Oakland museum cancels exhibition created by Palestinian children

[Revolutionary Frontlines urges all readers to protest this censorship of Palestinian children’s art by the Oakland Museum, and find other venues where the art show may be viewed by people in the US.  The US government, it must be said, finances the Israeli missiles and bullets which rained down on Gaza during the siege depicted by its child victims.  The US support for Israeli displacement and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their native lands, must stop! — Frontlines ed.]
In December, 2010, Revolutionary Frontlines posted
this video and an article about the Palestinian children’s art at
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By Jennifer Modenessi, Contra Costa Times, 09/10/2011
An exhibition of drawings and paintings created by Palestinian children scheduled to open Sept. 24 at Oakland’s Museum of Children’s Art has been canceled.

The show, which was to run until Nov. 13, included harrowing images of bloodshed and loss during the Israeli bombing of Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead, which began in 2008. In one drawing, a little girl with a bandage on her head stares out from behind prison bars. In another, tanks roll through a burning town as women wail and children weep.

These and other artworks created by Palestinian children ages 6-14 were to have been included in “A Child’s View of Gaza,” which was to open with a day of cartooning workshops and poetry readings.

Hilman Storey, chair of MOCHA’s board of directors wrote in a statement that while the museum supports art that fosters “insight and understanding,” an exhibit of art about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “not appropriate for an open gallery accessible by all children.” Continue reading

How Greece abandoned Palestine

[Israel has expended great effort in Europe in recent years (a la AIPAC’s relentless manipulation of US politics) — acquiring compliant politicians, quelling liberal critics, and quashing supporters of Palestinian rights. The following is a case study of the engagement of  the Greek government with Israel, which enabled the Greek suppression of the pro-Palestinian human rights aid flotilla to Gaza.  Any summation of the flotilla strategy will have to recognise the backdrop of relations involving the Athenian port of departure, and the unanticipated problems which ensued. — Frontlines ed.]

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July 14, 2011

by David Cronin, The Electronic Intifada

When Andreas Papandreou died in 1996, The New York Times noted that he often left Western governments “befuddled or exasperated” as he took positions “diametrically opposed to theirs.” Citing examples of his “maverick” behavior, the paper’s obituary referred to how the Greek prime minister granted diplomatic status to the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1981, the year he first took office (“Andreas Papandreou, Greek leftist who admired and annoyed US dies at 77,” 24 June 1996).

Like most political leaders, Papandreou was a man of contradictions. He professed to despise American imperialism, while allowing the United States retain military bases on Greek soil. Yet he deserves some posthumous acclaim for saluting the PLO when it was still a genuine resistance movement and for criticizing Israel more trenchantly than any of his counterparts in the then European Community.

In recent times, the current Greek premier George Papandreou has acted as if he wishes to totally negate his father’s legacy. No doubt, Greece’s refusal to allow the Freedom Flotilla II to set sail for Gaza was partly the result of pressure — and possibly even financial blackmail — from the US and Israel. Nonetheless, it was not an isolated occurrence but the logical consequence of a process that was already underway. Continue reading

Lebanese activists protest Greece’s blocking of Gaza aid flotilla

12/07/2011

BEIRUT: A dozen pro-Palestinian activists held a demonstration Monday in front of the European Union building, after a flotilla heading to Gaza was prevented from leaving Greece and other activists were banned from entering Israel over the weekend.

“We’re protesting EU governments’ complicity in perpetuating the siege of Gaza and indirectly supporting the illegal blockage,” said a protest organizer, Rana Boukarim.

The aid flotilla, trying to break the blockade on Gaza, was prevented from departing Greece by local authorities on July 8, while many activists who had planned to fly to Israel for peaceful protests in the Occupied Territories, part of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign – dubbed a flytilla – were banned from traveling or detained at Tel-Aviv’s airport. Continue reading

On “Obama vs. Netanyahu” — What Does It Mean?

from the series, “All People’s Liberation”, by Collision Course Video:

The political establishments of the US and Israel — long time partners in settler-colonialist and ethnic cleansing projects against the Palestinian people in historic Palestine — had a series of exchanges from May 19-May 24, 2011, because the changing situation across the Arab world has prompted some differences in the US and Israeli agendas.

Breaking down these changing circumstances and agendas, and what they will mean for the Palestinian and other peoples of the Middle East, Dr. Hatem Bazian (UC Berkeley professor) and Jeffrey Blankfort (writer and radio host) had this conversation.

The video is by Collision Course Video Productions, for the series on “All People’s Liberation.”

Why I blew the whistle about Palestine

Israel’s attack on Gaza and the disastrous ‘peace talks’ compelled me to leak what I knew

Ziyad Clot,  The Guardian, Saturday 14 May 2011

In Palestine, the time has come for national reconciliation. On the eve of the 63rd commemoration of the Nakba – the uprooting of Palestinians that accompanied the creation of Israel in 1948 – this is a long-awaited and hopeful moment. Earlier this year the release by al-Jazeera and the Guardian of 1,600 documents related to the so-called peace process caused deep consternation among Palestinians and in the Arab world. Covering more than 10 years of talks (from 1999 to 2010) between Israel and the PLO, the Palestine papers illustrated the tragic consequences of an inequitable and destructive political process which had been based on the assumption that the Palestinians could in effect negotiate their rights and achieve self-determination while enduring the hardship of the Israeli occupation.

My name has been circulated as one of the possible sources of these leaks. I would like to clarify here the extent of my involvement in these revelations and explain my motives. I have always acted in the best interest of the Palestinian people, in its entirety, and to the full extent of my capacity. Continue reading

Jordan Times: “Palestinians unite as they mark Nakba”

Friday, May 13, 2011
Activists hold Palestinian flags and orange flags of an Arab Israeli  political movement during a rally marking the anniversary of the ‘Nakba’, Arabic for catastrophe, in East Jerusalem on Saturday (AP photo  by Sebastian Scheiner)
Activists hold Palestinian flags and orange flags of an Arab Israeli political movement during a rally marking the anniversary of the ‘Nakba’, Arabic for catastrophe, in East Jerusalem on Saturday (AP photo by Sebastian Scheiner)
AgenciesLeaders of rival Palestinian factions displayed rare unity on Saturday as they marked their “day of catastrophe” or Nakba at a rally in Gaza, raising hopes of reconciliation between the two bitter rival parties.

It was the first time leaders from Islamist Hamas and the more secular Fateh movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had shared the platform at a large public gathering since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from Fateh in a 2007 civil war.

Palestinians mark “nakba day” on May 15, the day in 1948 when more than 760,000 Palestinians – estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants – were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict that followed Israel’s creation 62 years ago. Continue reading

Israel’s Army Gears up to Suppress Nakba Events

 [In the  following article, the Palestine News Network reports the Israeli threat to attack this weekend Nakba commemoration in these terms:  “According to the Israeli army site several regiments will be joining units already in place, in case Palestinian rallies needed to be suppressed“! (our emphasis)— Frontlines ed.]
Thursday May 12, 2011
by Palestine News Network & AgenciesReport post

Israeli media sources reported on Wednesday that the Israeli Army are set to increase West Bank deployment as Palestinians prepare to commemorate the Nakba, or in English ‘catastrophe’ from the period of 1948 which saw the establishment of the state of Israel after an estimated 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes.

palmsunday_4.jpg

The annual ‘Nakba Day’ will be marked on May 15. Israeli Security chiefs have been closely monitoring the situation in advance, and as of Wednesday the Israeli troop deployment throughout many areas in the West Bank and close to the Gaza strip will increase significantly, the army announced. Despite considerations that the Palestinian security forces will be aiming to keep tensions low, the Israeli army is preparing for various scenarios, including cases of extreme violence envisaged, sources reported on Wednesday.

According to the Israeli army site several regiments will be joining units already in place, in case Palestinian rallies needed to be suppressed or clashes take place Israeli forces and settlers. Continue reading

Univ. of California-Irvine: 11 Students prosecuted, student group banned for protest of Israeli speech

[As the US student movement grows, a central focus is building support for justice in Palestine, and opposition to the exclusivist Jewish state of Israel with its history of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and brutal attacks such as the siege of Gaza.  In California, the student campaign has taken up the struggle to boycott Israeli goods and divest public funds from investment in Israel, and it has challenged propagandists of Israeli’s denial of human rights for Palestine.  In February, 2010, a student protest at UC Irvine was suppressed by police.  Students were arrested, and a student group was banned from campus.  The story continues, below.  For more information, see  http://www.irvine11.com/ — Frontlines ed.]
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The Stand with the Eleven Campaign mobilizes community support & raises awareness about the Irvine 11, who are unjustly facing prosecution by the Orange County DA for protesting during a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

What Happened?

“Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!”

Unable to continue his intended statement, this student’s voice of protest was quickly drowned out by the threats and verbal harassment of others in the crowd.

A little over a year after Israel’s massacre in the Gaza Strip, the student was protesting a visit by Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, for his refusal to acknowledge Israel’s war crimes and violations of humanitarian law.

A police officer walked up to the row from which the protester had stood up to be heard. Accompanied with backup, he gestured to the protester to leave the event. The protester willingly stepped out and was led by police out of the hall into another room where he was patted down and arrested.

Another nine individuals chose to rise up and exercise their right to free speech by sharing their own statements throughout the first half of the event. Each time, there was no resistance, no violence and no misconduct. After making his statement, each student would readily follow police orders to leave the room. Despite each individual’s ready compliance with officers, throughout the event school officials consistently felt the need to reassure the crowd that consequences were to be had, disciplinary action was to be taken, and possible suspension and expulsion was in order if the individuals continued to practice their freedom of speech.

After the tenth individual was escorted out by the police, about a third of the room, consisting of students from different races, ethnicities and religions, peacefully rose from their chairs and marched out chanting slogans, calling for justice both at home and in Palestine. During this time, the cops discreetly arrested one individual – a young man who was a part of the chanting crowd – whose reason for arrest remains unknown. This brought the number of arrests to eleven: the Irvine Eleven. Continue reading

Wikileaks: Economic Reasons Behind the Siege of Gaza

The Alternate Information Center                                                  Thursday, 10 February 2011

Shir Hever, JNews

The ripple effects of the Wikileaks documents are still being felt, but until recently Israeli officials continued to boast that the documents were ‘good for Israel’.

break-siegeAs opposed to the way the Palestinian Authority (PA) was portrayed in leaked cables, leading to scandalous revelations, for a while Israel suffered no such scandal from the documents pertaining to its conduct. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even came out in support of the leak of the papers, suggesting that the documents can do no harm to Israel’s foreign policy.

He spoke too soon. More recent cables have provided unflattering revelations about Israel’s policies in the Gaza Strip, quoting Israeli officials spelling out their attempts to keep the Gaza Strip on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. They have also described how corruption is rife at the checkpoints through which goods are brought into Gaza.

Yet this information failed to shock. It was already well-known and widely reported by UN bodies, NGOs, scholars and journalists.

One cable, however, does contain some new information and has so far received no coverage at all.

The cable, titled “Shin Bet Talks Gaza Economics,” was written by David R. Burnett, Economic Counselor in the US embassy in Tel Aviv. It describes a briefing given to Embassy officials by senior members of the Israeli Shin Bet*, on how Israel uses the banking system in Gaza to increase the political influence of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Gaza, by attempting to starve the Hamas government of cash.

The Shin Bet informed the US embassy that banks in Gaza know that they must neither allow Hamas members to open bank accounts nor have salaries deposited into existing accounts. If the banks disobey, they will lose their stamp of approval from the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), a branch of the PA that is under constant pressure by Israel and the US to prevent any dealings with Hamas members. The Shin Bet expressed satisfaction that the Gaza banking system has indeed been cowed into submission. Continue reading

Egypt’s Uprising And Its Implications For Palestine

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada

30 January, 2011

We are in the middle of a political earthquake in the Arab world and the ground has still not stopped shaking. To make predictions when events are so fluid is risky, but there is no doubt that the uprising in Egypt — however it ends — will have a dramatic impact across the region and within Palestine.

If the Mubarak regime falls, and is replaced by one less tied to Israel and the United States, Israel will be a big loser. As Aluf Benn commented in the Israeli daily Haaretz, “The fading power of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government leaves Israel in a state of strategic distress. Without Mubarak, Israel is left with almost no friends in the Middle East; last year, Israel saw its alliance with Turkey collapse” (“Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in Mideast,” 29 January 2011).

Indeed, Benn observes, “Israel is left with two strategic allies in the region: Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.” But what Benn does not say is that these two “allies” will not be immune either.

Over the past few weeks I was in Doha examining the Palestine Papers leaked to Al Jazeera. These documents underscore the extent to which the split between the US-backed Palestinian Authority in Ramallah headed by Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction, on the one hand, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, on the other — was a policy decision of regional powers: the United States, Egypt and Israel. This policy included Egypt’s strict enforcement of the siege of Gaza. Continue reading

Three Wounded in Gaza, Three Arrested in Nablus



21.12.10 – 10:00
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The aftermath of an earlier Israeli airstrike on Gaza (PNN Archive)

Gaza City – PNN – Israeli air raids on Monday night in Gaza Strip left three wounded, while a predawn incursion into the northern West Bank city of Nablus ended with three Palestinians arrested in the village of Beit Hasan.

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In Gaza, local sources said the airstrikes were carried out by F-16 warplanes firing rockets at Palestinians in western Khan Yunes, resulting in two injuries described as “moderate to critical.” A third airstrike occurred in eastern Khan Yunes. All three wounded were taken to al-Nasir Hospital for treatment.

Warplanes also bombed the northern Gaza Strip, near Beit Lahiya, and in the southern city of Rafah, targeting tunnel sites. Strikes were also recorded in Gaza City and Beit Jabaliya in the north. Nobody was injured.

In related news, a homemade Qassam shell fired from Gaza lightly wounded a 14-year-old girl on Tuesday morning in the city of Ashkelon. The attack is thought to be in retatliation for the Israeli airstrikes.

Overnight raids in Nablus targeted the house of Muhammad Salah Abu Zour of the village of Beit Hasan, north of the city. He and his two sons were arrested after troops searched the house and their belongings and left before dawn.

A Nation Behind Bars: 8500 Palestinian Political Prisoners abused, denied medical care, tortured in Israeli prisons

Intifada Palestine

By Reham Alhelsi

The 8500 Palestinians are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, cousins, they are our families, they are us, every single one of us. Their pain is our pain, their suffering is our suffering, their struggle is our struggle, their captivity is our captivity and their freedom is our freedom. We are their voice and they depend on us to keep their issue alive and not forgotten.


While the whole world demands the release of the Zionist soldier Gideon Shalit, who was captured by Palestinians in Gaza while he was on a mission to kill and destroy, the so-called “free world” continues to ignore that the Zionist entity holds a whole nation hostage.

The Palestinian people in occupied Palestine have been held hostage by a brutal military occupation, confined to ghettos built on their own lands. Some 2.5 Million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are captives in their own homes, towns and villages, with military checkpoints locking them up, controlling and limiting their movement. 1.5 Million Palestinians are held hostages in the open-air prison Gaza, not allowed to leave even for urgently needed medical treatment.

In addition to that, there are over 8500 Palestinians locked up behind bars in Israeli dungeons. These 8500 Palestinians unite occupied Palestine from the River to the Sea; they unite Jerusalem with Yafa, Jenin with Ara, Hebron with Nazareth, Gaza with Akka. These 8500 Palestinians unite families, unite the pain, unite the hope and unite the struggle for freedom.

Almost every Palestinian family has had at least one family member detained by Israel. Almost every Palestinian family has been abused by Israeli soldiers while visiting their loved ones. Almost every Palestinian family has known the pain of waiting, the fear of what might happen behind bars, the hope for a near release and a safe return home. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of detention, has felt it directly through its members. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of freedom, for we pay the highest price for the sake of this freedom, and we love our freedom, we cherish our freedom and we yearn for our freedom and would always fight for it. Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Rabah Mohanna of the PFLP on the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation

Dr. Rabah Mohanna

[The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has articulated over many years the demand for a single secular, democratic state in historic Palestine, and the demand for a two-state solution based on a return to 1967 borders, with a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. These two views continue to be vigorously debated among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, in Gaza, in presently constituted  Israel and throughout the Palestinian diaspora.  In this interview, which appeared on a blog on the Middle East, Dr. Rabah Mohanna of the PFLP Politburo assesses the current political situation and prospects for the advance of  the Palestinian struggle for national liberation.-Frontlines ed.]

November 24, 2010

In the Gaza HQ of the Popular Front

Interview by Flora Nicoletta

“We will transform every grain of sand into a mine under your feet.” Javara (Mohammad El-Aswat), the PFLP military commander of the Gaza Strip who was assassinated in a safe house belonging to Dr Rashad Mosmar, on the back of Es-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, by the Israeli Occupation Forces on a night of October 1973.

Dr Rabah Mohanna, a health doctor, is a prominent figure in Gaza. He is a member of the Politbureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a leftist group with a glorious past. On his email address are mentioned two numbers: 48, the year of his birth. His first name means winner; the root of his surname means happiness.

Here, Dr Rabah Mohannah gives us an assessment of the situation in Palestine seen from the headquarters of the PFLP in Gaza.  “From 1948 to this day there are in the Gaza Strip some socio-economical and political characteristics proper to the Gazans, but all of them come within the whole Palestinian issue, I mean Palestinians in historical Palestine, Palestinians in the West Bank and Palestinians living in exile. Continue reading

‘Economic prison zones’ exploit Palestinian labor, create dependency on Israel

 

Map of industrial zones, Israeli military bases, Zionist settlements and areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank

[This article describes the so-called industrial development zones being set up by Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Turkey, Japan and the EU imperialist powers in the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and within Israel. The article also sets forth a plan for economic development that does not factor in:  The Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and ongoing siege of Gaza; Israel’s severe restriction of trade and movement between Gaza and the West Bank; and Israel’s slicing up  the West Bank into isolated cities and towns–all of which has made an independent Palestinian economy and state impossible. Economic development based on meeting the needs of the people in the West Bank and Gaza can only take place after Israel’s military and economic siege of Gaza is broken, the Israeli occupation forces and the 500,000 Zionist settlers are driven out of the West Bank,  the Apartheid Wall is demolished, and the corrupt and collaborationist Palestinian Authority is toppled. This could be an important step toward the liberation of all of historic Palestine by the people’s forces.–Frontlines ed]

MERIP Report, November 19, 2010

Economic Prison Zones

by Sam Bahour

When a project mixes the feel-good words of jobs, economic development and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, how can anyone complain? These things are some of what the international community has been promising to deliver through the construction of industrial free trade zones in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The free trade zone model has been promoted locally and globally by powerful third parties like the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and Japan for two decades, but none has much to show for the enormous efforts and amounts of money spent to bring these zones to life.

Nonetheless, the project’s proponents expect the zones to constitute the economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. They hope that, by bolstering Palestine’s economy, the zones will make Palestinians less prone to social upheaval, less insistent on their national rights and more amenable to the status quo. The idea is that a peace agreement with Israel will ensue.

While this expectation is unlikely to be realized — at least not in the way that the projects’ advocates anticipate — these mega-employment projects present a serious challenge to those who strive to build an independent and viable economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. Because the zones will depend on Israeli cooperation to function, and because they will exist within an Israeli-designed economic system that ensures Palestinian dependence on Israel, they cannot form the basis of a sovereign economy. Relying on them will perpetuate the status quo of dependency. Continue reading