People asked what to do besides going to protests, donating, and supporting BDS. Call government and businesses. There’s a call-in week organized. People to call:
- Contact President Obama at (202) 456-1111 and the State Department at (202) 647-4000. Demand that they immediately withdraw U.S. military aid from Israel and call on Israel to immediately end its attacks. Tell them to stop supporting Israel’s crimes with our tax dollars.
- Call the Egyptian Embassy at (202) 895-5400 and demand they open the Rafah border for injured Palestinians in need of urgent medical care. Alternate number: (202) 966-6342.
- Call Boeing. Boeing provides Israel with F-15A fighter jets, Apache AH 64 helicopters, tungsten or DIMEbombs to attack Gaza. Boeing’s headquarters are located in Chicago. Contact Boeing at (312) 544-2140 and demand they stop giving Israel weapons to use against civilians in Gaza.
Visit this link to see other corporations that are involved in the current attacks on Gaza. Look for a corporation near you if possible and call them and protest at their offices: http://afsc.org/resource/
- Call your U.S. Senators and ask that Congress demand an end to the siege of Gaza. You can find your senators at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
Write your own letter and send it in. If you don’t know what to write, here’s one a friend edited off something else he found.
"I am writing to express my strong opposition to S. Res. 498. This one-sided resolution does far more to damage the prospects for peace than advance them, and fails to hold Israel accountable for its repeated and flagrant misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons.
Since July 7, Israel has killed at least 572 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilians, including over 100 children, and injured more than 3,300 people. Tens of thousands have been displaced or had their homes destroyed. Israel continues to deliberately target homes full of Palestinian civilians who have nowhere to run and are worried about Israel repeating its actions during 2008-2009 of dropping white phosphorous on Palestinian families sheltering in UN compounds. NOW, in 2014, Israel is test-driving new military technology like the absolutely brutal DIME system.
The lives of Palestinian civilians hang in the balance and I urge you to work for an immediate ceasefire.
I also demand that Israel be held accountable for the injuring and killing of Palestinians and U.S. citizens by applying the provisions of the “Leahy Law.” Individual soldiers and police who commit these crimes should be barred from getting a visa to the United States and military aid should be denied to units of the forces that commit these crimes, in accordance with U.S. law.
In addition, I am extremely concerned that U.S. military aid facilitates Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and the egregious and systematic human rights abuses Palestinian face on a daily basis. STOP FUNDING Israeli war crimes, genocide, apartheid, and occupation. End our complicity in these atrocities and human rights violations and name them the situation for what it is, a MASSACRE.
Amnesty International USA recently wrote Members of Congress that “the U.S. is the largest foreign supplier of weapons, munitions, police equipment, and military aid to Israel. As a consequence, the U.S. has special responsibilities in the context of Israel’s lack of accountability for human rights violations.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Amnesty that Congress should therefore “suspend transfers of munitions, weapons, crowd control devices, and military training to Israel.”
I look forward to receiving your response as to how the United States will take steps to ensure that our military support for Israel is no longer used to commit human rights abuses against both Americans and Palestinians. If you continue to support AIPAC and other organizations which cosign and promote this shameless collective punishment and murder, I want to make it absolutely clear: YOU DO NOT REPRESENT ME.
I would like a response to my letter. Thank you.”
Now do it.
August 3, 2014
The difference between you and me: I stood up and fought for my lost land and for everything that is dear to me.
I remember when I attended a three-day workshop on international law and human rights by the ICRC in Gaza, one of the attendees asked the trainer: “What do I do to be qualified to obtain those human rights?” The trainer replied without much thought: “Nothing. You should be a human, that’s all”.
The question now is, what am I supposed to do/be to be qualified as a human? As far as I can tell, I live like normal humans do. I love, I hate, I cry, I laugh, I make mistakes, I learn, I dream, I hurt, I get hurt, I love pizza, I watched Titanic 6 times, I have a crush on Bradly Cooper, I get sick, I sometimes tell lame jokes to which only I laugh and last time I checked myself in the mirror I very much looked human.
The only difference is that an occupying nation came from nowhere to claim exclusive ownership of my land on which an endless chain of my ancestors lived, and they started to ethnically cleanse my people.
My only sin is that I stood up and fought for my lost land and for everything that is dear to me.
The world accused me of terrorism just because I refused to be killed like an animal. But, even an animal will fight for its life.
I obeyed the US and went to elections; I voted for a party which met my expectations. But then I was punished for practicing the very democracy they taught me. I didn’t realize that the modern definition of democracy is to elect a party approved by the US, not a party that the majority of voters want.
As a result, I was put under severe blockade and was subject to systematic starvation, locked in a tiny patch of land isolated from the rest of the world for years.
I finished my university degree in that period, studying for my finals by candle light and writing entire research papers by hand. I often spent the long school days without having enough money to buy food because my father, an engineer, had nothing to build with.
Within four strenuous years I graduated with big dreams. Unfortunately, they were bigger than my reality.
I remained jobless despite the huge potential I have.
I stood up and fought for what I perceived as my basic rights but what the whole world calls terrorism. My Gaza that has been exhausted by poverty and isolation was also subject to three deadly wars within less than a decade by the Israeli occupation whose forces are armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction, paid for by US tax payers.
And the world again blames me for fighting back with my very humble and often-laughed-at, hand-made weapons.
Tens of my people are being killed on a daily basis and I’m watching my childhood and youth wasted in pain and utter misery and the world is still labeling me a terrorist.
I am a terrorist because I fight for my basic rights which everyone else is taking for granted without shedding a single drop of blood and without being dehumanised.
Twenty-seven days of my short life were robbed from what are supposed to be the most beautiful years of my life. I spent them watching my loved ones getting killed because they were not human enough in the eyes of the world and I will spend many more years recovering from the war trauma instead of building my career.
If I don’t survive this war, I would like the world to know that I have never seen a rocket nor stored any in my house.
Rest assured that I was not used as a human shield!
As I am writing this article, my mother told my father that we are out of cooking gas, knowing that we have been out of water and power for days now.
I still have not figured out what crime I have committed to endure this kind of wretchedness. I wonder what being human feels like.
Maisam Abumorr is a graduate of English Literature, a current student of Translation (high diploma) and Political Science and Media (BA) in the Islamic University of Gaza, a blogger and a body language trainer.
Copyright © 2014 Al Jazeera.
IDF is reportedly requiring journalists entering Gaza to fill out a form that absolves the Israeli army of all responsibility in the event of injury or death. via: mashable
photo credit sophiamariejones
Israel targeted and killed four Palestinian boys earlier today as they were playing football on the beach in Gaza.
Their names were Ismael Mohamed Bakr, 9, Ahed Atef Bakr, 10, Zakaria Ahed Bakr, 10 and Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 11, and they were all from the same family.
According to Abu Hassera, whose shirt was stained with blood: “When the first shell hit the land, they ran away but another shell hit them all. It looked as if the shells were chasing them.”
Now, everyone is used to seeing pro-Israel bias in the media and it’s no surprise. But this ‘article’ from the New York Times is something else. As pointed out by Ben White: there is no mention of “Israel”, or the “IDF”, or “Israeli military”, or basically any agency.
Sometimes I don’t feel like the people arguing realize that Palestine is completely under occupation. Palestine is not a sovereign state. At best the Palestinian Authority just facilitates and takes care of the administrative dirty work for Israel. But make no mistake, Israel is the side holding all the power and all the cards.
What are some crucial elements for a state to have, in order to be considered sovereign?
Well..they’d have to have control of their borders and airspace. Israel controls both of those for Palestine. We’re not allowed to even have an airport.
Okay..so what about, the freedom to tax its population according to their abilities? Well…the PA has its hands tied for that too. It is not allowed to change or mess with the import tax and VAT. That means that Palestinians pay the same VAT and import taxes as Israelis do. Just to be clear, the average income for Palestinians is around 1200-1400 NIS, while in Israel it’s around 9000 NIS.
Hrrmm, what about citizenship? It’s a hallmark of any sovereign state to issue its own passport and issue citizenship to whoever it wants, right? The Palestinian Authority can only give passports to people Israel approves, the Palestinian Authority is not allowed to issue Palestinian citizenship to anyone.
Yes, it’s true. If you happen to be Palestinian, and fall in love with someone who is not? You’re screwed. You’ll never be able to live in Palestine with them without a million complications. Your partner will have to keep perpetually renewing tourism Visas from Israel, and usually after a while, Israel stops giving those after they discover you’re living in areas under the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas himself, the president of the Palestinian Authority, cannot travel, I repeat, he cannot travel without having sufficient permission and coordination issued by Israeli occupation authorities.
What about an army? Hah! Good joke. Only recently were our Police even permitted -yes, permitted- to carry any form of side arms.
So tell me..an entity that cannot control its borders, its airspace, its own taxation, has no say in its own citizenship matters, and its highest office cannot travel without permission…what would you call such an entity?
Because it sure as hell isn’t a sovereign state.
And then somehow people turn around, and put this sad “Authority” on the same level as Israel? They treat both sides as equals? An occupied population and a military occupier?
The areas under the Palestinian Authority are at best Bantustans. The Transkei Bantustan in South Africa for instance, also called itself an independent and sovereign state. We all know the truth of how that was, and we all know how it ended.