Sunday, November 18, 2012

Palestinian Bid for Non-member Observer State

Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison—it is the most densely populated area on this planet. Since the election of Hamas in 2006, Israel has imposed a harsh siege on Gaza. Israel now controls the water, land, and air space of Gaza; Israel mainly controls who and what goes in and out of Gaza; Israel determines the daily number of calories ingested by Gazans (“Put them on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,” said an Olmert advisor); and Israeli gunboats force Gaza’s fishermen to fish within a three-mile limit, in water polluted by Gaza’s Israeli-destroyed sewage system. A recent UNRWA report noted that unless damage to Gaza’s aquifer is reversed, Gaza may not be a "livable place” by 2020. The list goes on and on—this is collective punishment. And, sadly, Israel does this with our tax dollars and with total impunity. Israel wants Gazans to feel powerless; Israel wants Gazans to feel hopeless about even the possibility of a better future. 

Noam Chomsky recently visited Gaza. He reports, “The Gaza Strip could have become a prosperous Mediterranean region, with rich agriculture and a flourishing fishing industry, marvelous beaches and, as discovered a decade ago, good prospects for extensive natural gas supplies within its territorial waters. By coincidence or not, that is when Israel intensified its naval blockade, driving fishing boats toward shore ….”

Perhaps, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are now provoking Gaza, implicitly threatening another assault akin to Operation Cast Lead. During that travesty, it was excruciatingly evident that Gazans were trapped—they had no way to escape. Perhaps Israel is using its current provocation to stop the Palestinian bid for non-member observer state status at the United Nations later this month. Israeli leadership has notified the world that Israel will “go crazy” if the UN grants even limited recognition to the Palestinians. Ehud Barak said the Palestinian UN bid had to be delayed "immediately."

The next day, the IDF went into Gaza with tanks and bulldozers and killed a child. The Popular Resistance Committees fired rockets into southern Israel saying they were a “revenge invoice;” the PRC wanted to make it clear to the world that they saw the Israeli attack as a provocation. However, Americans are mainly ignorant of these facts because our mainstream media keeps us from knowing the facts.

As Annie Roberts wrote, “On Election Day in 2008, Israel invaded Gaza and broke the ceasefire. The ensuing rocket fire was used as the pretext for a full on invasion and war against Gaza beginning 3 weeks later. November 29, the day the Palestinian delegation is expected to submit its bid for observer status at the UN, is two weeks from tomorrow.”

Let’s see what happens.

Helaine Meisler

The Greenville Mountain View Pioneer

On the front page of the October 19th issue of the Pioneer, we learned that the US Postal
Service is planning to reduce the hours of service at “thousands of rural post offices around the
country” and that 30 of those post offices are in our area. Nineteen of the thirty would be open
only four or less hours each day to serve the families in our communities.

Just one day earlier, the International Herald Tribune had reported our federal government
would spend 30 million dollars on an Israeli missile drill in October. That’s 30 million of our tax
dollars added to the nearly three billion dollars in annual military aid Washington gives to
Israel…a country that ranks 10th among all the world’s nations in terms of military firepower,
before even taking into account the atomic weapons in Israel’s arsenal.

Does that make you wonder how many rural post offices could continue to provide full service
in the heart of their communities if our government were to bring some of our tax dollars back
from Israel and use them to help our postal service continue to help us?


Paul W. Rehm

Saturday, November 17, 2012

End the New Jim Crow! Action Network Statement Against the U.S.-Israeli War on Gaza

14 November 2012

As we  meet  today  the  state  of  Israel,  funded  to   the  tune  of $3 billion  U.S.  tax  dollars  worth  of  military   equipment  and  aid  per  year,  is  engaging  in  a  military   assault  on  Gaza  City,  Palestine,  a  civilian  city  with  almost   a  million  residents.  At  the  time  we  penned  this  statement,  at  least  15  people  had  been  killed  as  a   result  of  the  assault,  including  a  one-­‐month  old  toddler  and  a  seven-­‐year-­‐old  girl,  and  over  a  100   people  had  been  wounded.  The  number  of  dead  and  wounded  is  expected  to  rise  if  this  war  is   allowed  to  continue.

Like the  racist  system  of  mass  incarceration  here  in  the  United  States,  the  U.S.-­‐Israeli  war   on  the  Palestinian  city  of  Gaza  is  an  example  of  the  gross  contradiction  between  the  priorities  of   the  vast  majority  of  humanity  who  want  to  live  peaceful,  dignified  lives  and  the  misuse  of  societal   resources  by  elites  that  should  be  used  to  meet  human  needs  but  are  instead  used  for  war,  bank   bailouts,  police  brutality,  and  mass  incarceration.

The End  the  New  Jim  Crow!  Action  Network (E.N.J.A.N.) stands  with  the  Palestinian   people  in  their  struggle  against  war  and  occupation,  and  makes  the  connection  between  the   struggle  of  the  people  in  Gaza which  M.I.T.  professor  Noam  Chomsky  called  the  “world’s  largest   open  air  prison”  during  his  recent  trip  there and  the  struggle  of  people  in  the  United  States   fighting  the  world’s  largest  prison  system.

The U.S.  system  of  mass  incarceration  directly  restricts  the  movement  and  liberty  of  over   2  million  people,  including  over  a  million  African  Americans,  just  as  Israel’s  occupation  restricts   the  movement  and  liberty  of  all  Palestinians.  It  is  the  same  racist  system  that  harasses  people  of   color  on  the  streets  of  U.S.  cities,  and  whose  police  and  racist  vigilantes  murdered  at  least  120   Black  people  in  the  first  six  months  of  this  year.  As  a  network  we  oppose  all  forms  of  racism,   including  anti-­‐Black  racism,  Islamophobia,  and  anti-­‐Semitism,  and  we  make  common  cause  with   all  those  around  the  world  who  do  the  same.

As an  organization  we  demand  societal  resources  be  shifted  towards  jobs,  housing, healthcare, and  education,  both  at  home  and  abroad,  and  away  from  prisons,  war,  and
occupation. End the  U.S.-­‐Israeli  War  on  Gaza!   Free  Palestine!   End  the  New  Jim  Crow  Now!

The End  the  New  Jim  Crow!  Action  Network (E.N.J.A.N.) Campaign  Against  Mass  Incarceration


Meetings are  on  the  2nd  and  4th  Wednesday  of  the  month  at  the  Sadie  Peterson  Delaney  African  Roots  Library,  on   the  second  floor,  in  the  Family  Partnership  Center,  29  North  Hamilton  St,  Suite  218,  Poughkeepsie,  New  York  12601