Progressive Calendar 12.28.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 16:45:19 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    12.28.08

1. Candlelight/war  12.28 6:30pm

2. Peace walk       12.29 6pm RiverFalls WI
3. Kolstad/music    12.29 8pm

4. Power plant site 12.30 10am
5. Gaza/MN action   12.30 10am
   a. Call to action
   b. WAMM
   c. Green Party of MN
   d. Tue.Dec.30:MN Protests of Israel's massacres of Palestinians
   e. Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace
   f. Dave Bicking: McKinney on the way to Gaza
6. RNC court watch  12.30 6pm
7. Ban landmines    12.30 6pm
8. Salon talk       12.30 6:30pm

9. Khaled Amayreh  - Strangling Gaza while pretending to be victims
10. Portside       - Massacre in Gaza: four reports
11. Eyad Al Serraj - "An earthquake on top of your head": bombing Gaza
12. Kenneth Ring   - Gaza voices, American silence

--------1 of 12--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Candlelight/war 12.28 6:30pm

Candlelight Service for the Children of Iraq and Other Child Victims of
War: "Out of the Darkness; Into the Light"

Sunday, December 28, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue
South, Minneapolis. Join with others in a candlelight service to remember
the children, who are always the first victims of war. Organized by: the
Twin Cities Peace Campaign (TCPC). Co-Sponsored by: WAMM and many other
peace organizations and churches. FFI: Call Marie, 612-522-1861.

--------2 of 12--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 12.29 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022

--------3 of 12--------

From: Sue Horns Kolstad <2sorns [at]>
Subject: Kolstad/music 12.29 8pm

Papa John has the following shows scheduled in January
 Monday Dec 29 Famous Dave's Swing Dance Night with The Hot Club 8:00 3001
Hennepin Ave S.  Mpls.
 New Years Eve, Dec 31 Merlins Rest with The Hot Club 9:00 3601 E. Lake St
 Saturday, Jan 3 Merlins Rest 9:00 with The Hot Club
 Saturday, Jan 10 Merlins Rest 9:00 with The Hot Club
 Saturday, Jan 17 Merlins Rest 9:00 with The Hot Club
 Sunday, Jan 18 The Narrows Saloon, Navarre 3380 Shoreline Dr, Navarre
 Saturday, Jan 24 Merlins Rest 9:00 with The Hot Club
 Sunday, Jan 25 Whiskey Junction 2:00 GOOT fundraiser to send Minneasota
contestants to International Blues Challenge Papa John and other earlier
Minnesota winners will perform.
 Saturday Jan 31 Merlins Rest 9:00 with The Hot Club
Check for up to date schedule.

Cadillac Kostad Sunday Nights at Palmers with Cornbread Harris 8:00 until
the wee hours.  500 Cedar Ave Minnepolis Friday Jan 2 Club Jager 923
Washington Ave N.  Minneapolis 55404

Your chance to see Cadillac for AN EARLY SHOW!!  Thursday January 15 6:30
MInneapolis Institute of Arts in the Arts Break Cafe

Jan 16 The Narrows Saloon, Navarre 3380 Shoreline Dr, Navarre Jan 22
Palmers Pig Roast 6:00 with Cedric Burnside and Ligntinin Malcolm Check for up to date schedule.

--------4 of 12--------

From: Alan Muller <amuller [at]>
Subject: Power plant siting 12.30 10am

This is from Carol Overland:

Please spread far and wide!
All humans welcome!  No dogs, no dancing...

Yes, it's baaaaaaaaack!  It's the Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing
and Potluck.  It's from 10:00 a.m. to high noon only, no evening session,
so this is it!  Bring your Comments, your critical thinking cap, and a
dish to pass!  Bring your own plate and silverware so we can make it
nearly ZERO WASTE!

Here it is, direct from the PUC:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the staff of the Minnesota Public Utilities
Commission will convene the annual public hearing on the Power Plant
Siting and Transmission Line Routing Program from 10:00 to 12:00 a.m. on
Tuesday, December 30, 2008.

Metro Square Building
Small Hearing Room, Third Floor
121 7th Place East, Suite 350
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101.

For more info:
Carol A. Overland
Attorney at Law

--------5 of 12--------

a. Call to action
c. Green Party of MN
d. Tue.Dec.30:MN Protests of Israel's massacres of Palestinians
e. Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace
f. Dave Bicking: McKinney on the way to Gaza
And see articles 9-12 below

From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Gaza/MN action 12.30 10am

Call To Action:
Protest the Israeli Actions In Gaza and US Unconditional Support of Israel

Tuesday December 30th
10am to 5pm
Press Conference
Minnesota US Senator Amy Klobuchar's Minneapolis office
1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

Also, there will be a presence at Congressman Keith Ellison office

Minneapolis office is located at:
2100 Plymouth Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55411
For directions you can call our office, 612-522-1212.

Activists from greater Minnesota who are unable to come to the Twin
Cities are encouraged to protest at Senator Klobuchar's other Minnesota

Rochester Office
1134 7th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
Fax: 507-288-2922

Moorhead Office
121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Fax: 218-287-2930

Iron Range Office
Olcott Plaza, Suite 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690

No "holding their feet to the fire" but instead hold them accountable.
Questions contact Michael (612)327-6902 ollamhfaery [at]

Sponsored and Endorsed by Women Against Military Madness, Coalition For 
Rights, International Jewish anti-Zionist Network Twin Cities (IJAN TC), Green 
of Minnesota. More endorsements forthcoming.

From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: WAMM Endorsement

Women Against Military Madness will sponsor. We can't send an e-mail out
until tomorrow as our office with our e-mail lists is closed until then (I
don't have them on my laptop here. We'll send the call out tomorrow and
ask people to bring their own signs. Although it will be great to have
people there all day and some may be able to - we will put that out - Our
Middle East Committee is talking about specific times for a rally.
-Mary Beaudoin, WAMM

Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 17:14:51 -0600
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
Subject: Press release on Gaza

Green Party of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
December 28, 2008
Dave Bicking, Spokesperson, 612-276-1213
Rhoda Gilman, Spokesperson, 651-224-6383


The Green Party of Minnesota condemns the ongoing bombing of the
Palestinian territory of Gaza by the Israeli military.  Hundreds of
Palestinians have been killed, and many more are seriously wounded.
There can be no justification for this violence.

The situation is compounded by the ongoing humanitarian disaster caused by
the 18 month long siege imposed by Israel as an illegal act of collective
punishment.  The 1.5 million residents of Gaza were already facing
malnutrition and shortages of medical supplies, water, and electricity.
Hospitals that were already barely functioning are now overwhelmed with
the wounded.

We call upon our representatives and our government to condemn these
attacks and to work for an immediate ceasefire.  This must be backed up by
a cessation of all aid to Israel as long as it persists in these crimes
against humanity and against international law.  The silence of our
leaders has allowed the siege to continue, and it has encouraged this

We support our 2008 Presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, as she
courageously takes part in a shipment of medical aid that will break
through the siege of Gaza.  She is onboard a ship leaving from Cyprus on a
mission organized by Free Gaza, a group that has successfully defied the
siege several times in the last five months.

This crisis is urgent, and it is likely to be ongoing.  Israel has
threatened to continue and to escalate its violence until it achieves its
goals.  Our response must be immediate and ongoing as well.  In that
spirit, we endorse the following actions sponsored by WAMM (Women Against
Military Madness):

Protest the Israeli Actions in Gaza and U.S. Unconditional Support of
Israel Tuesday, December 30th, 10am to 5pm or office closing:
 1) Minneapolis office of Senator Amy Klobuchar: 1200 Washington Avenue
South, Suite 250
 2) Office of Congressperson Keith Ellison: 2100 Plymouth Ave N,

We also encourage our members and the public to contact their

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Tue.Dec.30:MN Protests of Israel's massacres of Palestinians

Free  Palestine and Free all Political Prisoners

The One Democratic State Group urges the International community and
people of conscience everywhere to demand that Israel respect
International law by ending its illegal occupation of all areas occupied
since 1967, by respecting and implementing refugees' right to return, and
by freeing all political prisoners including members of the Palestinian
legislative council.

Since June 2006, Israel has kidnapped more than 64 elected Palestinian
Legislative Council members and cabinet ministers, university lecturers,
city mayors and health workers, including Palestinian Legislative Council
Speaker, Professor Aziz Adwaik. Professor Adwaik is also Professor of
Economics at An Najjah University in Nablus. Ahmed Saadat leader of the
PFLP was just "sentenced" to 30 years imprisonment by the illegal military
courts of the occupation regime.  Israeli forces kidnapped Saadat two
years agofrom a PA prison in Jericho and kept him in solitary confinement
since then. Saadat and other Palestinians refuse to recognize the
authority of the court or to appeal to higher occupation courts. Israel
currently illegally holds more than 11,000 Palestinian political
prisoners. While Palestinians have different opinions on tactics of
resistance to colonial occupation, we all share the same goals of freedom
and self-determination and we all recognize the rights and obligations of
occupied people to resist per tenets of International law.

The One Democratic State Group calls on the international community, all
academic institutions, and all international civil society organizations
to demand: - The immediate release of Ahmed Saadat, Marwan Braghouti,
Professor Adwaik, other elected legislatures and all Palestinian political
prisoners. - The protection of civilian lives and property, as stipulated
in international humanitarian law and international human rights law such
as the Fourth Geneva Convention. -An end to Israeli occupation of
Palestinian land, Israeli apartheid and Israeli war crimes against the
Palestinian people. -Implementation of International law including the
rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands.

For Comments contact: Dr. Asaad Abu Shark + 972 599 322636 (Gaza) Dr.
Haidar Eid + 972 599 441766 (Gaza) Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh +972 598939532 (West

Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 16:20:52 -0500 (EST)
From: "Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace"
    <info [at]>
Subject: A rising death toll

Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the
1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in
condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end
to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli.

Israel's slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread
suffering to the entire 1.5 million population of Gaza due to lack of
food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a
violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the

In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and
mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians,
which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have
been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004.

Every country, Israel included, has the right and obligation to protect
its citizens. The recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows
that diplomatic agreements are the best protection for civilian life.

Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an indiscriminate and
brutal weapon. In just two days, the known death toll is close to 300, and
the attacks are continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor and
densely populated area, Israel has ensured widespread civilian casualties
among this already suffering and vulnerable population.

This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not protect the citizens
of Israel. It is illegal and immoral and should be condemned in the
strongest possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West Bank and add
flames to the other fires burning in the Middle East and beyond for years
to come.

The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a US administration
that has undertaken a catastrophic policy toward the Middle East and
during the run-up to an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda
for short-term political gain at an immense cost in Palestinian lives. In
the long run this policy will benefit no-one except those who always
profit from war and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace, achieved
through a negotiated agreement, can provide both Palestinians and Israelis
the security they want and deserve.

What we will do together.

JVP is working now to develop a multi-faceted and long-term response to
the attacks on and strangulation of Gaza. We will let you know soon how
you can be a part of this. But in this moment:

1. US Campaign to End the Occupation has a list of street actions taking
place around the US

2. Contact the White House to protest the attack and demand an immediate
cease-fire. Call 202-456-1111 or send an email to comments [at]

3. Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575

4. Contact your Representative and Senators in Congress at 202-224-3121

5. Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a
letter to the editor.

Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 18:26:05 -0600
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
Subject: McKinney on the way to Gaza

The Green Party has yet another reason to be proud that we supported
Cynthia McKinney for President.

You all know by now that the situation in Gaza has gone from intolerable
to even worse. A tiny open-air prison with 1.5 million inhabitants,
created by border closings and a near total blockade, is now being bombed
by the Isreali Army using US military equipment.  The humanitarian
disaster that accompanies any bombing is aggravated by the lack of
equipment and supplies at the hospitals that are swamped by the wounded.

What is Obama doing during his vacation?  I'll quote one of my favorite
blogs, which says it better than I could:

    And Barack Obama ... had a spokesmodel say that he was "closely
    monitoring global events." It is, literally, the very least he can do.
    The spokesmodel also muttered something about there being only one
    president at a time, which evidently precludes Obama from responding
    publicly to this slaughter as a, you know, human being.

As a contrast, the person who SHOULD be our President (if the Democrats
and Republicans hadn't spoiled the election) is actually DOING something.
Cynthia McKinney is courageously taking part in a shipment of medical aid
that will break through the siege of Gaza.  She is onboard a ship leaving
from Cyprus on a mission organized by Free Gaza, a group that has
successfully defied the siege several times in the last five months.
I'll copy below the complete article that tells about the mission.

A tip of the hat to my favorite blog, where I found out about this: And to another favorite (and fun) blog from
which I got the quote: I
highly recommend both blogs.  Check them out.

I am planning to donate what I can to Free Gaza - see:
and to the International Solidarity Movement - see:

Does anyone have recommendations of other groups that could use our
donations to help alleviate or oppose this crisis?  Or any reason why the
two groups above might not be worthy of our help?

Solidarity and peace,

Dave Bicking

Here is the complete article, as posted at:
OR use this URL:

Dignity Leaves for Gaza on Emergency Mission of Mercy

Sunday 28th December 2008

(Larnaca, Cyprus) The Free Gaza movement will hold a press conference at
16:30, Monday, December 29 at the port in Larnaca. The organization is sending
in the DIGNITY on an emergency mission of mercy to Gaza loaded with three to
four tons of urgently needed medical supplies.

On board are four physicians, including Dr. Elena Theoharous, a surgeon and
Member of Parliament in Cyprus. Also going are The Hon. Cynthia McKinney,
former U.S. Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, and Sami
al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera reporter and former detainee at Guantanamo.

Dr Khaled from the Shifa hospital ICU in Gaza City told us on Saturday that
the majority of cases are critical shrapnel wounds from Israeli gunboats and
helicopters, with an approximate 80% who will not survive.

The medical supply list includes bandages, splints and rubber gloves, items
that any medical community should have access to, but, because of Israel's
policies of collective punishment, these supplies are not available.

Eliza Ernshire, one of the Free Gaza organizers says, "We have calls for
surgeons willing to go into Gaza and work there throughout this crisis. The
doctors inside are exhausted and unable to cope with the number of wounded. We
will do our best to send in the DIGNITY as often as we can over the next few
weeks, bringing in physicians and medical supplies.

The media is welcome to come to the port at 16:30 to interview the passengers.

--------6 of 12--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at]>
Subject: RNC court watch 12.30 6pm

RNC Court Watchers are in need of participants to help with organizing
court information, documentation and etc.  RNC Court Watchers Meetings are
every Tuesday, 6 P.M. at Caffeto's.

Caffetto's Coffeehouse and Gallery (612)872-0911 708 W 22nd Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Every Tuesday @ 6:00 P.M to 7:00 P.M
participate and help organize RNC court solidarity.
For more information, please contact: rnccourtwatch [at]

--------7 of 12--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Ban landmines 12.30 6pm

Jack Rossbach's Banning Landmines Birthday Party

Tuesday, December 30, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue
(below the Hub Bike Co-Op), Minneapolis. Celebrate the 11th annual
anniversaries of the signing of the Banning Landmine International
Treaty-which the U.S. did no sign-and the International Campaign to Ban
Landmines' Nobel Peace Prize. Party with a bunch of Nobel Peace Prize
winners and marvelous others. Potluck or just bring yourself-lots to
share. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call Jack, 651-488-0524 or email
<jack2ros [at]>.

--------8 of 12--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Salon talk 12.30 6:30pm  [ed head]

Dec. 30,  Open Discussion and evaluation of thoughts of the salons

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------9 of 12--------

Strangling Gaza to Near Death while Pretending to Be Victims
by Khaled Amayreh
December 22nd, 2008
Dissident Voice

No one is enthusiastic about the latest escalation of violence in the Gaza
Strip, except perhaps the warmongers in Tel Aviv and the American-backed
Arab and Palestinian traitors who would do anything and go to any extent
to please their masters in Washington, D.C.

In Israel, the Gaza Strip is becoming the central election issue in a
country deeply menaced by political and religious extremism.

Israeli political leaders from right and left are already promising the
Jewish public that they will destroy Gaza and murder untold thousands of
poor Gazans if only they are elected in the 10 February polls.

Tzipi Livni, leader of the Kadima party, was quoted as saying on Sunday,
21 December, that if she becomes Israel's next Prime Minister, she will
destroy Hamas's government in Gaza, using military, economic and
diplomatic means.

Similar remarks have been voiced by other Israeli leaders, which really
underscores the cannibalistic instincts and jingoistic trends permeating
through the bulk of the Israeli Jewish society.

After all, experience shows that the more racist, more criminal and more
vitriolic a given Israeli politician is perceived, the greater the
likelihood he will be elected.

In contrast, an Israeli politician who advocates a humane approach toward
the Palestinians, like, for example, calling for lifting the Nazi-like
siege imposed on the 1.5 million innocent Gaza inhabitants, will be
committing a political suicide. Such a politician would instantly be
called "Self-hating Jew," "Hamas lover," or even "a Nazi".

This background is essential for understanding the present situation in
Gaza as the huge Israeli propaganda machine would have us believe that
Israel is the victim of aggression and that the Palestinians are the

Israel claims ad nauseam that its Nazi-like blockade of Gaza, which is a
brazen violation of international law, is in response to the firing by
Gaza guerrillas of generally ineffective home-made projectiles known as

This is simply a big lie. The Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip began
immediately after Hamas won the legislative election in January 2006, and
the main driving goal was to punish, as much as internationally
acceptable, the people of Gaza and Palestinians in general for electing a
government that Israel didn't like.

Indeed, some Israeli leaders admitted then that Israel wanted to put the
Palestinians on a diet, a euphemistic expression connoting the subsequent
and continuing Israeli policy of starving and killing and savaging the
people of Gaza very much like the Nazis did to Jews at Ghetto Warsaw in

Determined to survive, in spite of a malicious cruel world that preaches
human rights while crushing human lives, Gazans appealed to everyone and
anyone willing to listen all over the globe, but to no avail.

It was only after it became clear that Israel was hell bent on destroying
Gaza and its inhabitants through a slow process of extermination that
Gazans began firing these largely psychological weapons which inflict
little damage and rarely cause human casualties among Israelis.

In June, Hamas agreed to stop all "belligerent acts and hostilities"
against Israel in return for Israeli reciprocity and the lifting of the
hermetic siege on the Strip which obliterated Gaza economy and caused the
death of hundreds of innocent people.

However, instead of dealing in good will with the Egyptian-mediated
understanding, Israel never lifted the siege nor allowed the reopening of
the border crossings.

Using the words of a Gaza journalist, Israel resorted to the policy of
"strangling Gaza to near death," by preventing the delivery to Gaza of
most consumer goods and products from vital medical material to food

More to the point, Israel did violate the ceasefire understanding several
times, killing as many as 49 Palestinians from June-19 when the truce
began to December-19 when it ended.

During that period, not a single Israeli civilian was killed by
Palestinian factions in the Gaza strip.

Hence, one is always prompted to ask what the Palestinian Authorities in
Gaza are supposed to do when Israel is effectively telling them that they
have only two choices awaiting them, to die a slow agonizing death as a
result of this criminal siege, or be killed and decimated by the Israeli
occupation army.

A few months ago, this writer challenged a rabbi from the West Bank to ask
his government to end the siege in Gaza and allow normal economic
activities between Gaza and the outside world.

I assured him that if Israel were to carry out such a step, there would be
a total stoppage of all attacks and hostile activities against Israeli
settlements bordering the coastal territory.

Predictably, the Israeli government dismissed the proposal, telling the
rabbi rather tersely that they respected his efforts.

Unfortunately, Israel is allowed to keep up starving and killing Gazans
thanks to a hypocritical world whose leaders keep telling Israel that "it
has the right to defend itself," while utterly ignoring the fact that the
Palestinians, too, have at least an equal right to life and human dignity.

How many western leaders have had the moral courage to visit the Gaza
Strip and see the slow-motion holocaust on the ground?

How many western leaders have dared utter the politically innocuous but
balanced view that Israel should lift the siege on Gaza and Palestinians
ought to stop their nearly innocuous attacks on Israel?

Why is Tony Blair telling Israel that it has the right to bomb Gaza? Is he
completely oblivious of the existence of 1.5 million human beings who have
been forced into a situation that doesn't really differ much from that
faced by much of the European Jewry several decades ago?

How about Sarkozy, who claims to represent western enlightenment? How
about the leaders of EU states?  Do they all enjoy watching the people of
Gaza getting savaged and killed by the crime against humanity, otherwise
known as Israel?

Have all they succumbed to moral blindness and callousness in the face of
an evil state that claims to be a light upon the nations while thinking,
behaving and acting very much like the Third Reich?

Well, shame on you all. History won't be kind to you.

Khalid Amayreh is a journalist living in Palestine.

--------10 of 12--------

From: moderator [at] PORTSIDE.ORG
Subject: Massacre in Gaza- Four Reports

The Gaza Massacre

Four Items

1) Arabs Plan Emergency Summit
2) The Gaza Massacre in Sound & Sight
3) South African Trade Unions Condemn Attack
4) West Bank Protests Call for Palestinian Unity


Arabs are seeking an emergency summit: US does not call on Israeli forces
to stop
Palestine News Network - PNN
December 27, 2008


The Arab League, Jordan and Egypt are among those issuing urgent
condemnations of the Israeli air strikes that killed 195 people in the
Gaza Strip on Saturday and said it would continue its efforts to 'restore

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is holding Israel responsible for the
tens of dead and wounded in today's air attacks. 'Egypt has condemned the
Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip.'

Egypt issued a warning to the Israeli administration against further
attacks on the Gaza Strip saying the repercussions would be severe.

The European Union called on Saturday for an immediate cease in the Gaza
Strip, while Javier Solana EU Foreign Policy Chief said, 'We are deeply
concerned by the events in Gaza.'

The United States urged Israel on Saturday to 'avoid civilian casualties
in air strikes on the Gaza Strip.' The US also said Hamas must control the
armed resistance and stop projectile launches. The US did not call for an
end to the Israeli air attacks and referred to Hamas of engaging in
'terrorist activities.'

Amr Mousa, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, said that
Arab foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday
or Monday to take a unified stand against the Israeli raids killed 195
people at least in Gaza.

The Arab League referred to the Israeli raids as a "massacre." The League
demanded the United Nations Security Council to take immediate action to
'stop the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.'


The Gaza Massacre in Sound and Sight


COSATU condemns Israeli assault on Gaza
December 27, 2008

The Congress of South African Trade Unions vehemently condemns today's
murderous Israeli attack on the people of Palestine, when Israeli
warplanes and combat helicopters killed at least 155 people and wounded
around 200 more in Gaza. It is reported that in Gaza City the dead and
wounded lay scattered on the ground after more than 30 airstrikes
destroyed several security compounds, including two where Hamas was
hosting graduation ceremonies for new recruits.

Today's death toll is even worse than on the five-day Israeli offensive in
March, which killed more than 120 people. It is the highest loss of life
in a single day in more than 20 years. And yet the Israeli government says
that today's attack is 'just the beginning' of their offensive against the
people of Gaza!

Among the dead, according to medical workers' reports, are police chief,
Tawfiq Jabber, the head of Hamas's security and protection unit, and the
governor of central Gaza. Contrary to the Israeli claim that it had only
targeted "terrorist infrastructure", TV footage clearly shows wounded
children being carried to hospital. Yet again civilians are bearing the
brunt of the bombings and shootings.

COSATU endorses the view of Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, that
this Israeli air campaign was "criminal" and backs his call for the
international community to intervene.

The federation reaffirms more strongly than ever its demand that Israel
must immediately withdraw all occupation forces from Gaza and end the
occupation of all Palestinian land. It must abide by international human
rights law, and refrain from imposing collective punishment on Palestinian
civilians (as per the UN Human Rights Council declaration issued on 6 July
2006), which it has blatantly contravened today.

All workers and freedom-loving people of South Africa and the world should
intensify the boycott of Israeli goods. COSATU reiterates its call for the
government of South Africa to break diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel
and institute sanctions against it until it ends its 40 years of military
occupation of Palestine and recognise the people's right to sovereignty
and self- determination.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson) Congress of South African Trade


Protests Call for Palestinian Unity December 27, 2008

Palestinians in the West Bank have demonstrated for unity between the
rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, after Israeli air attacks on the Gaza
Strip killed more than 155 people and wounded 200 others.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the centre of Ramallah in the West
Bank on Saturday, some carrying banners reading: "We will not forget you,

The Israeli bombardment also sparked rallies across the Arab world,
including in Amman, the capital of Jordan, and Damascus in Syria.

Hezbollah, the Lebanese movement which fought a 33-day war against Israel
in the summer of 2006, called for a demonstration in the southern suburbs
of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, later on Saturday.

Nour Odeh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in neighbouring Jordan, said: "This
is probably one of the most violent Israeli air campaigns against Gaza."

"Politically speaking, this is devastating... We can see people in
Ramallah coming out on the streets, calling on the leaderships in the
Palestinian territories to unite, and set aside their differences knowing
that that will be difficult, as it has been for the past year and a half.

"It will certainly be very embarrassing for Mahmoud Abbas [the Palestinian
president], who is engaged in a peace process with Israel, trying to
convince a very sceptical public that a political process with Israel can
yield results while these bombs are raining on Gaza.

"Yasser Abed, an adviser to Abbas speaking in the West Bank said: "In this
moment we express our solidarity with all the victims of this aggression.

"And we call for an immediate halt and ending of this aggression against
the Gaza Strip.

"Our leadership and our government are taking measures now in order to
help the victims of the aggression."

Abbas said he was in "urgent contact" with numerous countries over the

Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister in the West Bank, said: "I
strongly condemn the Israeli military attack on the Gaza Strip and demand
its immediate end.

"I am making a series of calls to try to stop the Israeli attack and have
called an emergency cabinet meeting."

The meeting is to be held at 1300GMT in Ramallah.

The Palestinian ministry of health in Ramallah called on its employees to
immediately head to government hospitals in the Gaza Strip to help,
following statements from Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, saying
that the operation "will last as long as necessary".

Regional condemnation

Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, said that Arab
foreign ministers would be meeting in the Egyptian capital either on
Sunday or Monday to take a common position on the raids.

Moussa told reporters that Libya, the only Arab country on the UN Security
Council, would also be seeking an urgent meeting of the council.

"It will take a joint Arab position on what is happening and at the same
time agree on the steps to be taken," he said.

Egypt condemned Israel's raids and said it would keep trying to restore a
truce between Israel and Gaza.

A presidential statement quoted by the MENA news agency said Egypt held
Israel responsible for the deaths and injuries that result from the raids.

"Egypt will continue its contacts to prepare an atmosphere conducive to
restoring the period of calm and achieving reconciliation between the
Palestinian groups."

Ahmed Abu Ghait, the Egyptian foreign minister, summoned the Israeli
ambassador to express Egypt's rejection to the attacks.

Egypt called publicly for restraint by both sides on Thursday when Tzipi
Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, came to Cairo for talks with Hosni
Mubarak, the Egyptian president.

International condemnation

Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, is also calling for an
immediate ceasefire.

"We are very concerned at the events in Gaza," he said. "We call for an
immediate ceasefire and urge everybody to exert maximum restraint."

For his part, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, called for an
immediate halt to the "escalation".

"The President of the Republic ... strongly condemns the irresponsible
provocations which led to this situation as well as the disproportionate
use of force," the Elysee Palace said.

The statement added that there was "no military solution in Gaza" and
called for the "conclusion of a lasting truce".

A statement from the Russian foreign ministry said: "Russia believes it is
necessary to halt immediately the large-scale acts of force against the
Gaza Strip, which have already caused considerable victims and suffering
amongst the Palestinian population.

"At the same time, we call on the leadership of Hamas to stop firing
rocket on Israeli territory," it said, adding that the most important
priority now was for the parties to restore a truce.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, said: "Today is a holocaust
and a massacre day, that Tzipi Livni had publicly campaigned on the
regional and international level so she can commit to this Holocaust and
this massacre.

"This is a group massacre for our Palestinian people in Gaza."

--------11 of 12--------

"An Earthquake On Top of Your Head"
The Boming of Gaza
December 26-28, 2008

The bombing went on for about 10 minutes. It was like an earthquake on top
of your head. The windows were shaking and squeaking. My 10-year-old was
terrified, he was jumping from one place to another trying to hide. I held
him tight to my chest and tried to give him some security and reassure
him. My 12-year-old was panicking and began laughing hysterically, it's
not normal. I held her hand and calmed her and told her she would be safe.
My wife was panicking. She was running around the apartment looking for
somewhere to hide.

We live on the ground floor so we headed to the basement.

Not very far from our home is the headquarters of the police and there was
a massive bomb. The chief of police was killed. Two streets away there was
another bomb and more people were killed. The office of the president is
about one kilometre from our house and it was also bombed.

We went downstairs to the basement and tried to hide ourselves from the
shelling. The child of one of our relatives, who lives in our building,
finally came home from school. We hadn't been able to find her. All the
phone connections were jammed. She came home and she was in a very serious
state of shock. She was pale and trembling and she was describing dead
bodies in the streets. On her way home she passed Hamas people in uniform
and they were dead.

I had been very apprehensive when I woke up this morning. I had some
bread, some cheese and a glass of tea. Like all the people in Gaza I felt
that something was going on and something very serious. When Israel
allowed the delivery of food and fuel [when it ended the blockade of Gaza
yesterday] I said to myself and my friends that Israel is really planning
a massive strike. They don't want to be blamed for starving the people.

I was sitting in the living room with my family trying to figure out what
to do today for lunch, it's our main meal. What to cook and how to cook,
whether we have enough to eat. There was no rice so I wanted to have
lentil soup and my wife said "No, there's no lentils in the market." I
said "What else can we do?" She said "I bought some cans of food." We were
discussing this when suddenly the whole thing erupted. Suddenly there was
a big explosion.

Right now I feel very anxious about what's going to happen. I'm worried
about how many more people are going to die.

Dr Eyad Al Serraj is a practising psychologist in Gaza City.

--------12 of 12--------

Gaza Voices, American Silence
by Kenneth Ring
December 27th, 2008
Dissident Voice

[Author's note: Just after this article was written, it became evident
that Israel is likely to launch at least a limited attack on Gaza, which
only heightens the sense of urgency for action that is advocated here.]

The baby is crying again. You wake up. Cold. There is no electricity in
the house; it went off during the night. For the last week - weeks, months
- it has been on only sporadically. You throw on a coat and go to check on
the baby. It seems listless. There is no milk in the house, and very
little food. The UN shipments have stopped again, and you are not sure
when they will resume.

In the other room, you hear your husband coughing. He has been sick for
weeks and lately he has been spitting up blood. He has tried to get
permission to get to a hospital in Israel, but every time he has been
denied permission to leave.

You go outside to see if a neighbor can give you any milk. The first thing
that hits you is the stench. The garbage has not been collected for weeks,
and the sewage problem, because of the recent rains, has become even
worse. No wonder so many people are sick. You are living in a cesspool.
And you, and everyone else, is trapped inside this prison because the
borders are sealed. This has been going on now for a year and half, and
there is no telling when it will be over. And with the end of the truce,
such as it was, there is a renewed threat of violence from the Israelis.
Even now, you see an Israeli drone overhead and know that a missile could
be launched from it at any time.

This is ordinary life these days in Gaza, the thin strip of land along the
southern Mediterranean coast, 25 miles long and 6 miles wide at its
maximum into which about one and half million inhabitants, most of them
originally refugees, are packed. Gaza has one of the highest population
densities in the world, and most of its population, about 56%, is 16 or
younger. Many are malnourished - some estimates put the figure as high as
75%. According to a recent study cited by the noted author, Chris Hedges,
46% of Gazan children are afflicted with acute anemia, and 30% suffer from
stunted growth as a result of chronic malnutrition. About a tenth of these
children have permanent brain damage. Eighty-two percent are afflicted
with post-traumatic stress disorder; the great majority of them have
witnessed death first-hand. Eighty percent of the population as a whole is
dependent on food. Unemployment is rampant - upwards of 60%. Most Gazans
subsist on less than $2 a day.

According to a recent report by Andrea Becker in an article entitled "The
Slow Death of Gaza," the effects of the siege, which has been imposed on
Gaza by Israel, ever since Hamas took control of this territory in June,
2007, have been devastating, and the situation is, if anything, only
growing worse. Many on-the-spot observers and prominent international
spokesmen have not hesitated to call Israel's actions genocidal both in
intent and effect. The U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the
Occupied Territories, Richard Falk, for example, has condemned the Israeli
siege of Gaza as "a crime against humanity" and "a prelude to genocide".
It's easy to understand why when you read such reports as Becker's where
she recounts the various forms of misery and deprivation from which Gazans
suffer daily:

In practice, Israel's blockade means the denial of a broad range of items
- food, industrial, educational, medical - deemed "non-essential" for a
population largely unable to be self-sufficient at the end of decades of
occupation. It means that industrial, cooking and diesel fuel, normally
scarce, are virtually absent now. There are no queues at petrol stations;
they are simply shut. The lack of fuel in turn means that sewage and
treatment stations cannot function properly, resulting in decreased
potable water and tens of millions of litres of untreated or partly
treated sewage being dumped into the sea every day. Electricity cuts -
previously around eight hours a day, now up to 16 hours a day in many
areas - affect all homes and hospitals. Those lucky enough to have
generators struggle to find the fuel to make them work, or spare parts to
repair them when they break from overuse. Even candles are running out.

Articles such as Becker's are easily found on the Internet and even
occasionally in the American press; there is no dearth of damning
statistics that can be cited to illustrate the immensity of the problems
Gazans face in coping with the challenges of this siege, seemingly without
end. But my purpose here is not merely to provide another such recitation
of numbers, percentages and other quantitative indices of this situation.
Instead, I would merely like to present to you some voices from Gaza that
speak directly of what their own lives are like and how they have come to
feel as this siege continues.

The people whose stories I will cite are friends of mine - though I have
never met them. Although I spent most of November in Palestine myself, I
was never able to get into Gaza since the walls of a prison exclude
visitors as well as those they incarcerate. But they have become friends
of mine through correspondence, and all of them will be contributing to a
book I'm writing about life under the occupation. Here, however, I will
just let them speak for themselves, quoting from the letters they have
sent or otherwise made available to me.

One man, a professor, in writing about the siege, sent me this summary
several months ago, although conditions have not really changed
significantly from the time of his letter:

Sorry to disappoint you and tell you that Israel, in fact, is still
preventing us from having fuel. They only allowed the only electricity
station we have here to have some industrial diesel. But that was not
enough at all. I spent the whole night in total darkness.

The severe shortages in fuel have affected our teaching program. Our
students and lecturers cannot attend their classes. Yesterday, I had only
three students out of 80! Those who can walk long distances try their
luck. But yesterday we had a heat wave and many of those who tried to walk
to school had dehydration. Mind you that most of our students already
suffer from malnutrition. To add insult to injury, UNRWA has halted all
its activities yesterday, for the first time in 60 years. 80 per cent of
Gazans depend on food handouts provided by UNRWA. So you can imagine the
situation now.

Israel's continued tightened siege on the Gaza Strip has a catastrophic
effect on all of us here. In addition to the chronic shortages of fuel, we
also have shortages in medicine and some basic food stuffs. The situation
is simply disastrous. I've just heard that patient number 138 has passed
away. He is one of thousands of terminally ill patients who need urgent
treatment outside Gaza, in Israeli, Jordanian, Egyptian, or even West Bank
hospitals, but Israel is refusing to give them the necessary permits. Two
days ago I visited Al-Shifa hospital and was told that almost all major
surgical operations have been suspended due to regular power cuts and the
absence of fuel to run their generator!

In addition to the dangerous shortage of electricity that threatens the
lives of critically ill patients in all of Gaza's hospitals, and the
chronic shortages of petrol and diesel and gas for domestic use, we are
also suffering widespread shortages of bread, due to lack of electricity
to run the ovens at bakeries across Gaza.

Another friend, this one a college student, who wrote me only two weeks
ago, after alluding to similar conditions that were affecting her
personally, summed up her feelings this way:

My dear, I don't want to break your heart with the awful news of the late
Gaza, peace be upon that place of earth, I am sure you follow the news
wherever available, yet media can not and will never be able to honestly
describe the truth of our reality. People here have reached a point in
which they feel as if they are isolated from the rest of the world (which
the are). I have personally heard some saying: "This is not a life, we are
dead, we have been for along time but lying to ourselves saying that we
are alive, we're just some moving dead people".

Believe me, it is worse than that, but there are still many people who
truly believe that the salvation is very close. I am not sure which one of
them I am.

And. finally, a letter that was written a year ago showing that even then,
only five months into the siege, the situation was just as grim as today
and the feelings of hopelessness and abandonment fully as pronounced. As
you'll see, this woman's remarks foreshadow and articulate even more
powerfully the same sentiments my college student friend expressed in her
recent letter.

I'm sorry for not being in touch and for not writing sooner, but words are
failing me, and I cannot articulate what Gaza feels like right now. A
hopeless prison with a dark gloomy cloud over it. It's been raining for
three days now and its starting to get cold. Unfortunately with rainstorms
come power outages, so that means there is no water or electric heaters.
Gas heaters are not operational either because of the high gas price,
that's when gas is even available. But also because most people are saving
their gas for cooking food, rather than using it for heaters, especially
with a possible invasion coming in two weeks and the possible cutoff of
gas. I feel for people without access to heat. I also feel for people like
my aunt whose house was demolished and is living in a half-built house
with no windows that UNRWA stopped building because they ran out of cement
and other building materials. It's the beginning of the winter. It's only
going to get colder.

I also can't help but think of Gaza's sick and dying -  in their frailty,
lying there helpless - wishing - hoping - praying that by God's mercy they
would be allowed a permit to leave Gaza, or by some sort of miracle
someone will save them. But most are denied access -  and most die a slow
agonizing death, and only then are their bodies free.

And the world reads about it, but its just another story, another one of
Gaza's tragedies. But I wish the world would realize how real this is and
how real these sick people are. Some of these sick patients are my uncle
who has heart disease, or my little cousin with a tumor, and now
unfortunately my aunt's husband who one day was walking, and the next day
woke up crippled from a brain tumor. And when you see people you care
about so sick and unable to leave Gaza, you first get angry for having
such shitty luck, and for the injustice of the world. the type of anger
that turns into fury and consumes you, until it becomes exhausting. You
then resign yourself to the reality of Gaza's fate - which finally sinks
in.  But with that reality comes hopelessness and the crippling feeling of
helplessness. And so my uncle, my cousin and my aunt's husband lie in a
hospital, waiting for their permits, and none of us can do a thing other
than pray or chase around people who may know someone who knows someone
who can help us with a permit. But we know full well how real death is,
and that most just die while waiting. And then a human rights organization
issues a statement, yet again, another Palestinian dies because they were
denied access to medical care. And their only crime was being born
Palestinian in Gaza and falling ill. Nowhere else will you see this but in
Gaza. And no place else will the world remain silent at the obscenity of
Israel's inhumane acts, except in Gaza.

It's hard to not feel like we're in a large concentration camp as I see
Gaza's empty streets, and the hopeless feeling in the air - and just the
gloominess that has covered Gaza. I think most people feel abandoned as we
are literally locked up in this small, concentrated space and we don't
know what the world plans for us, or what to expect next. It's hard to
imagine what being in Gaza does to someone's will until you've come here.
You no longer feel alive, in fact, you're not living; you're just killing
time until some sort of change happens. Sadly, Gaza has become
desensitized to the rest of the world, as it feels like the international
community has turned a blind eye to the reality that is Gaza, and as long
as Israel is allowing some food in and hasn't completely cut off
electricity or gasand - as long as we are kept alive, no one will ask
about us.

But just because we are breathing, that doesn't mean we're alive.

Again, like the statistics I cited at the beginning of this article, these
despairing Gazan voices could be multiplied ad infinitum, but redundancy
would not strengthen my case that the people of Gaza have been suffering,
and continue to suffer, grievously from this terrible siege that has been
imposed on them collectively because of the actions of a few. Of this, you
are probably already convinced, whatever you may think of the
justifications - or lack of it - for Israel's actions. The point is that
more than a million people are experiencing a calamitous humanitarian
crisis, which has been made even worse by so many American voices
remaining silent in the face of this ongoing and, in the view of many,
obscene strangulation of Gaza.

Of course, you could say, "well, there are many people who are suffering
throughout the world - look at Darfur, the Congo, Kenya, India, etc.,
etc". True enough, but Americans must remember this: It is our unremitting
financial support of Israel, amounting to about 3 billion dollars every
year,1 making it the recipient of more of our foreign aid that any other
country, that makes this siege possible. We are paying for all those
planes and missiles, for all those bulldozers that demolish the houses of
Gazans (and other Palestinians), and for the salaries for all those guards
who are keeping the Gazan people locked up in their fetid open-air prison.
Yes, these are your tax dollars at work.  Do you really want to continue
to see them spent in this way? If not, then please, as the Obama
administration is about to take office, write to the incoming president,
to your senators and congressmen, and even to the government officials in
Israel, which is holding its own election soon, to protest as vigorously
as possible against the continuation of the siege and to call for its
cessation. American have a special responsibility here, and by adding our
voices to those around the world who have already condemned in the
strongest way the siege of Gaza, perhaps we can help to create a wave of
irresistible pressure against the walls of Gaza that will finally bring
them down. The people of Gaza, resilient as many of them doubtless are,
are counting on us not to forget them. Listening to their voices, we must
use ours not to fail them.

1 Some analyses suggest that the actual amount may be closer to 5 billion
dollars per annum, but whichever figure is used, the thesis is not
affected. [.]

Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of psychology, University of
Connecticut, who currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. His
e-mail is: kring1935 [at]


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