Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 17, 2009

Thousands of Israelis Protest War in Gaza

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 16, 2009

Who is this Netanyahu threatening world peace?
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Apr 15, 2009, 00:22

“…This long-standing Zionist plan that included the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians, Pappe argues with abundant detail, was created to manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state. To support this claim, he presents first all the accepted international and UN definitions of ethnic cleansing, and then a painstaking detailing of depopulation of hundreds of villages, and the forced expulsion of the hundreds of thousands of native Arabs from their country”

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 13, 2009

DM Column Published Today

This column was published in the DM today:

Guidance on Israel and Palestine

J.H.
Columnist

The Israeli Arms Divestment campaign has brought a new source of controversy to the Ole Miss campus, finding many students unprepared.

In the shouting match over the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, it can be difficult to figure out whose arguments are more credible than others. Even tenured university professors have been known to quarrel vigorously when debating this issue.

So who are we to hold opinions of our own? After all, very few of us have been to Israel, Gaza or the West Bank, and most of us are far from Middle East experts. However, it should not be considered unreasonable to make an opinion on the basis of credible evidence and the counsel of experts.

So where do we turn for guidance? I suggest we look to the most informed individuals who are relatively unaffected by the conflict itself. Of course, their claims should be verified with reliable statistics and reasoned logic.

A good place to start is the United Nations. The UN General Assembly contains all 192 member countries of the UN. Regarding the controversial “Separation Wall” under construction in Occupied Palestine, the GA has passed three principal resolutions.

The first resolution passed with a vote of 144-4, the second, 90-8, and the third, 150-6. Each resolution calls for Israel to cease construction of the wall, under the premise that the wall is a tactic of illegal annexation of Palestinian land.

Each resolution emphasizes the afflictions that the wall imposes upon the Palestinian people. The international consensus is that the wall impedes the efforts toward a peaceful solution to the conflict.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice pronounced the wall illegal and demanded the Israeli government dismantle it.

The 14-1 decision declared the wall to be a method of “de facto annexation,” illegal under international law. Yet, the Israeli government continues to construct the Separation Wall in occupied Palestinian territory.

Read More…

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 13, 2009

Letter to the Editor

The following letter was submitted to the Daily Mississippian on Saturday, March 11th, in response to Michael Zubick’s column published on March 9th:

To the Editor:

Michael Zubick’s April 8th column, “Palestine is Jordan,” is saturated with false statements used to support Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.  Zubick’s entire argument backfires upon recognition of these erroneous claims.

The most appalling of these false contentions, “Today [Jewish Israelis] remain outnumbered, a population of 10 million against a half billion Arabs who are still thirsty for their blood,” suggests embittered racial prejudice and deliberate fabrication of the truth.  There are only 325 million Arabs in the world; not a “half billion.”  The Arab people have no genetic, cultural, or historic predisposition of Jewish bloodthirst.  Zubick makes Arabs out to be rabid dogs, rather than the proud people they truly are.

In addition, Zubick answers his own question: “Why don’t the Palestinians go to their homeland? Jordan doesn’t want them.”  This reasoning reflects Zubick’s lack of concern for the truth. 

About half of Palestinians’ homes are in Gaza and the West Bank .  The rest are living as refugees in foreign nations.  Jordan is the only country to grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees.  Palestinian refugees cannot return to their homes because the Israeli government forbids them from doing so.  The Israeli government forcibly evicted them from their homes and destroyed their villages in the first place.  Despite perpetual demands from the UN General Assembly and International Court of Justice, Palestinians still do not have the “right of return.”

The “pro-Israel” arguments published in the DM thus far have all relied upon misinformation.  Propaganda like this imprisons the Palestinians.  The truth will set them free.
Dan Blazo
Political Science Graduate Student

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 13, 2009

“The Israel Lobby” (Documentary)

The Israel Lobby

“For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the absence of any significant contrary voices.

“It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians.”

– Jimmy Carter

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 13, 2009

Military Aid to Israel Costing American Jobs

This post is for all those who have suggested that the enactment of the divestment proposal would cost American jobs.  On the contrary, the divestment proposal suggests that divested funds be reinvested in domestic corporations. 

A real source of rising unemployment levels in the U.S. is the cost of foreign aid to Israel.  Israel has received more foreign aid from the U.S. than any other country in the world.  This aid is paid for by American taxpayers in a system that forces us to give a portion of our earnings to a relatively wealthy nation.  This massive amount of aid–mostly for Israel’s military–helps the Israeli government illegally annex land and violate the human rights of occupied Palestinians. 

The thirty billion dollars of American foreign aid given to Israel over the last ten years could have been used to pay 1,000,000 Americans thirty thousands dollars for one year.  It could have been spent on public education, a dire concern for the future of Mississippi (who ranks 50th in the nation, according to most assessments).  The Mississipi state budget included about 2.7 billion dollars for public education in 2008; the same amount of money the U.S. federal government allocated to Israel that year (including $2 billion in military aid).   

Or perhaps the thirty billion could have remained in the possession of those who earned it in the first place: taxpayers.  A 30 billion dollar injection into our economy over the next few years would create thousands of jobs.  A $500,000 divestment from nine American corporations (our divestment proposal) would not perceivably cost any American jobs, due to the reinvestment of equities in the American economy.

The divestment campaign is part of a larger effort to reduce U.S. military aid to Israel, thereby reducing the power of war profiteers in shaping foreign policy.  The Occupation of Palestinian Territory, including the construction of the “Apartheid Wall,” would have to narrow its scope if America’s blank checks started bouncing. 

Is it un-American to speak out against this “entangling alliance”?  We think not.  Consider some of the strategic alliances held by the U.S. federal government in the recent past: the Taliban; Saddam Hussein; Osama bin Laden; Musharaff; Stalin; and many others.  It would be dangerously naive to trust the federal government’s foreign policies and alliances as being just and advantageous.  Strategic alliances may serve national interests on occassions, but the strategy behind these alliances derives from a bureacratic web of influence, saturated with factional interests of financial gain. 

Read More…

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 13, 2009

U.S. Federal Aid to Israel

The Jerusalem Fund published Richard H. Curtiss’ article,  “U.S. Federal Aid to Israel,” in 1999.  Curtiss’ research assesses the amount of U.S. foreign aid allotted to Israel in relation to that of third-world countries.  He also discusses the implications for the American economy. 

Excerpt:

Israel continues to receive substantially more aid from the U.S. government than any other country in the world, despite the fact that Israel’s gross domestic product per capita in 1997 was $17,500, making it one of the wealthier countries in the world. Even before additional funds from the Pentagon and other federal budgets are included, the projected fiscal year (FY) 2000 congressional appropriation for Israel will bring the total of U.S. government grants and loans to Israel, from 1949 through 31 October 1999, to nearly $92 billion, as indicated in the chart below. This is more than the total of U.S. aid to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined. Yet, in 1999, these countries had a combined total population of 1.142 billion people, while Israel claimed a population of 6.1 million. All told, Israel, with a population smaller than that of Hong Kong, receives about one-third of U.S. bilateral foreign aid worldwide…

Second, unlike all other recipients of U.S. government aid, who are required to spend most of the funds on procurement of U.S. products and services, Israel is free to spend its U.S. aid any way it wishes…

During the more than half-century that has elapsed since the creation of Israel on 15 May 1948, the U.S. has lost tens-of-thousands of jobs and billions of dollars as a result of the Arab economic boycott. More was lost as a result of the 1973 Arab oil boycott that touched off a recession in the U.S. and other industrialized countries. There also are incalculable costs associated with the vastly increased security outlays for U.S. government installations at home and abroad necessitated by U.S. military support for Israel.

Moreover, because of its unconditional support for Israel, the U.S. remains vulnerable to unified economic retaliation from Arab and Muslim countries organizing to support the Palestinians. Ultimately, the cost to U.S. manufacturers in the aircraft, auto, and other industries may become so great that they will be forced to mount a counter-lobby to Israel’s otherwise unopposed domestic lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Boeing dared to challenge AIPAC during the 1982 sale of AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) technology to Saudi Arabia, but at great cost to senators Charles Percy (R-IL) and Roger Jepson (R-IA), who voted for the sale and were defeated, with AIPAC support, in the following election.

Ironically, unconditional U.S. government financial support for Israel, regardless of the latter’s performance in the peace process, is a major factor in Israeli intransigence regarding the land-for-peace formula. Dependent upon U.S. official and private subsidies, Israeli governments, whatever their preferences, find it difficult to carry out territorial withdrawals in the face of domestic opposition. Although the transfer of U.S. aid to Israel and the expenditure of U.S. resources in defense of Israel certainly are unprecedented in world history, the individual cost to American citizens, and to the cause of peace, is still growing, with no end in sight.

 

Since the publication of this article, American foreign aid to Israel has increased dramatically.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 13, 2009

“Wanted” Flyers

Click here to see our new fliers

Posted by: enku | April 10, 2009

UN to look into war crimes against Palestinians.

UN fact-finding investigation into war crimes in Gaza is warranted and necessary  (Jurist)
10:27 PM ET

Will Youmans [Fellow, Palestine Center]: “The announcement by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of the formation of a UN fact-finding mission to investigate alleged war crimes during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year is both warranted and necessary. The appointment of the eminent jurist, South African judge Richard Goldstone, the chief UN prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, came after a widespread call for the United Nations to take seriously the allegations about, as well as the applicability of international law to, Israel’s actions.

Read More…

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 8, 2009

Nelson Mandela Flyer

mandelafly43

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 7, 2009

Senator of the Year

The Associated Student Body Senate voted graduate school senator Dan Blazo “Senator of the Year.”    Blazo is chapter president of the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) and co-founder of “Rebels Resisting Apartheid.”

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 7, 2009

Liberty and Justice for All

While the focus of this campaign is the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, our primary motive is the advancement of human rights for all peoples. 

Many people wonder why we decided upon this particular human rights struggle for our focus.  The answer, in short, is leverage.  The U.S. government’s role in the Israeli occupation is an essential factor in the occupation’s continuance.  As members and taxpayers of the U.S. federal government, we have a direct role in the actions of the Israeli military.  We believe that this governmental role offers us an opportunity to effectively support the fulfillment of Palestinians’ human rights by means of our own government systems. 

That said, we recognize the many other struggles for human rights abroad and fully support the efforts of these campaigns.  It takes a broad network of specialists to advance the universal struggle for peace and justice. 

In addition to the adversities faced by Palestinians, some of the most dire human rights struggles include:

Burma:  The military regime in Burma is one of the world’s most repressive and abusive regimes.  Reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other groups have repeatedly detailed a gruesome litany of abuses, including murder, torture, rape, detention without trial, massive forced relocations, and forced labor.  In the past ten years, over 3,200 villages have been destroyed in eastern Burma.  There are over 600,000 internally displaced people, over a million of whom have fled to other countries.

Read More…

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 6, 2009

Casualty Flyer

danflyer

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 5, 2009

Home Demolition Flyer

asmaflyer5

 

Created by Asma Al-Sherri

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 5, 2009

Noam Chomsky Interview | April 3rd, 2009

Excerpts from today’s headline story in Democracy Now:
“Noam Chomsky on US Expansion of Afghan Occupation, the Uses of NATO, and What Obama Should Do in Israel-Palestine”

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, author of more than a hundred books on US foreign and domestic policy… Can you talk about [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and what you see coming up?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Now, what’s Israel’s commitment to the road map? [Netanyahu] knows very well. The road map is the famous decision of the Quartet—US, Europe, Russia and the United Nations. A couple years ago, it sort of laid out vague plans for what ought to be done. It’s worth looking at them. But put that aside, because really it doesn’t matter, because as soon as the road map came out, Israel formally accepted it and instantly added fourteen reservations, which completely eviscerated it…

In effect, Israel said, “We’ll sign the road map, but we’re not going to observe it, because here’s the conditions.” So, for example, the condition—one condition is that nothing can happen until the Palestinians end, of course, all violence, but also all incitement, so anything critical of Israel. On the other hand, it added, nothing can stop Israel from carrying out violence and incitement. It was explicit, approximately those words. And so it continues. There can be no discussion of the existence of settlements, in fact, no discussion of anything that matters. That’s the road map. Now, the US supported that. That means both the US and Israel reject the road map. Read More…

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 3, 2009

Peacemakers for Peace

We sincerely believe that the fulfillment of this divestment proposal is the most constructive endeavor our university can undertake in the journey to a more peaceful world. 

 

We ask you to accept our claim of sincerity on the merits of: (1) our lack of any political affiliations or group loyalties beyond the scope of our grassroots, self-constructed, college-student organizationestablished in 2009with the exception of a nonbinding and immaterial association with the international Campus Antiwar Network; and (2) the credentials of those who support our cause.

 

Listen to the highest ranked veterans of Peace and
study their vindicated courses of action.
Hear the timeless wisdom ring amid
the twilight tails of tomorrow’s legends and
Find inspiration.

 

 

Spend an evening with Nelson Mandela; converse through the pages of his autobiography—these tales offer solutions best suited for our struggle. 
 
Mandela’s triumphs resurrect with every reading. 

 

We turn to the peaceful for guidance on our journey for Peace: 
  

 “Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.

  

“The responses made by South Africa to human rights abuses emanating from the removal policies and apartheid policies respectively, shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end to its apartheid policies.”

 
Nelson Mandela | March 8th, 2001

 

The following quotations are from Mandela‘s speech on December 4th, 1997, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:

 

 “When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system.”

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

  

“I have come to join you today to add our own voice to the universal call for Palestinian self-determination and statehood. We would be beneath our own reason for existence as government and as a nation, if the resolution of the problems of the Middle East did not feature prominently on our agenda.”

 

 THE LEGENDS OF PEACE WALK AMONG US…


nelsonmandela

 

 

Other supporters include:
Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jimmy Carter; Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mariad Corrigan Maguire , Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; Norman Finkelstein, and many other notable individuals and organizations.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 3, 2009

Wisdom

“We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence.  But I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence.”

– Mahatma Ghandi

 

   

“Some things you must always be unable to bearINJUSTICE and OUTRAGE and DISHONOR and SHAME. No matter how young you are or how old you have got… Just refuse to bear them.”

William Faulkner

 

 

“There is no greater sorrow on Earth than the loss of one’s native land.”

– Euripides, 431 BCE

 

 

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

– Malcolm X, 1963

 

 

 

“We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours. That’s what makes it ours – being born on it, working it, dying on it. That makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it.”

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

 

 

 

“If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.”

– John F. Kennedy

 

 

“Like the bee gathering honey from the different flowers, the wise person accepts the essence of the different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

 

“THE NATIONALIST NOT ONLY DOES NOT DISAPPROVE OF ATROCITIES COMMITTED BY HIS OWN SIDE, BUT HE HAS A REMARKABLE CAPACITY FOR NOT EVEN HEARING ABOUT THEM.”

– George Orwell

 

 

 

“Only free men can negotiate, prisoners can not enter into contracts.”

– Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

“Since when do you have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?”

– Lillian Hellman

 

 

 

“Torture has perhaps saved some, at the expense of honor, by uncovering thirty bombs, but at the same time it aroused fifty new terrorists who, operating in some other way and in another place, will cause the death of even more innocent people.”

– Albert Camus

 

 

 

 

Quotes taken from Amnesty International USA Group 133

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 2, 2009

Looking to Learn More about the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict?

If you’re just beginning to “do your homework” on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, thanks for stopping by.  I will try to briefly summarize our claims to give you a feel for what we’re all about. 

  1. We believe that the Israeli government’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (the longest occupation in modern history), the blockades against Gaza, and the illegal Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank are all sources of continual violence, and that the Israeli government needs to bring them to an end for peace to ensue.
  2. We are morally outraged by the recent 22 day “war” in Gaza, which left at least 1,370 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.  One third of the Palestinians killed were children, and at least 80% were nonviolent civilians.  4 of the 13 Israelis died in friendly fire; 10 of the 13 were soldiers.  This was a lengthy aerial bombardment against a defenseless people.  We consider this attack a massacre.
  3. We seek genuine peace and civil rights for all Israelis and Palestinians, and believe thatunder current circumstancesPalestinians are systematically and perpetually denied their basic human rights, as outlayed in the Geneva Convention and confirmed dozens of times by the UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Commission, UN Security Council, Amnesty International, The Red Cross, and many other prominent international human rights organizations. 
  4. We believe  that the U.S. government, which gives billions of dollars in military aid to Israel every year, could play a major and necessary role in the dismantlement of the Occupation.

We understand that these are bold, and perhaps startling claims.  If you look into what we have to say, however, and verify the credibility of our sources (which we hope you do!), we strongly believe that you will see this conflict from a viewpoint similar to ours. 

Wars are always bad for both sides engaged in battle, and we feel that the winning side should end the war as soon as the necessary means of self-defense are achieved.  Israel’s ongoing presence in the West Bank incites anger and frustration among the occupied Palestinians.  Israel continues to build and expand settlements on Palestinian land, despite dozens of UN resolutions declaring these settlements illegal!  Palestinians simply cannot fight back.  They have no functional economy (in large part because of the occupation), no organized military force, and no means of self-determination.  Their occupiers, on the other hand, have the fourth largest military in the world (Israel’s), which is unconditionally sustained and defended by the largest military in the history of the world (the United States’).

This is a complicated situation, but we hope that doesn’t deter you from learning more about it.  What if we’re right?  Would you be appalled at the injustice?  Would you try to ease the dire suffering of the Palestinian people?  Would you care? 

Keep reading, and if you decide you want to help ease the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians, please join us in the struggle for peace and human rights worldwide.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 1, 2009

Occupation 101

If you could see just one documentary about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, we highly recommend Occupation 101, featured below:

 

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 1, 2009

Rachel Corrie’s Legacy

Rachel Corrie was an American human rights activist and member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).  Her commitment to serving others began at a very early age, as seen in this inspiring video of a speech she gave at the age of ten:

In 2003, Rachel went to Gaza with the ISM to protest the destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israel Defense Force (IDF).  She was 23 at the time.  On March 14, 2003, during an interview with the Middle East Broadcasting network, Corrie said: “I feel like I’m witnessing the systematic destruction of a people’s ability to survive … Sometimes I sit down to dinner with people and I realize there is a massive military machine surrounding us, trying to kill the people I’m having dinner with.”  Two days later, when acting as a human shield in the path of the a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer, Corrie was fatally injured.  The following is a video clip from “Occupation 101” which includes an interview with her parents and eyewitness accounts of her life and death:

Rachel’s legacy lives on in the hearts of all who resist the oppressive occupation of Palestinian neighborhoods. 

To learn more, visit the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

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