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A few well-written words can convey a wealth of information, particularly when there is no lag time between when they are written and when they are read. The IPS blog gives you an opportunity to hear directly from IPS scholars and staff on ideas large and small and for us to hear back from you.

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Entries tagged "Israel"

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Aftermath of the Israeli Flotilla Attack

June 1, 2010 ·

Howard Zinn's statement rings true for any nation, whether it be Israel, Palestine, or the United States: "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

The Institute's Israel/Palestine expert, Phyllis Bennis, had a scathing statement out today on The Huffington Post, on the Israeli military's "massacre" of nine-plus activists. She says:

By coincidence, I am in Istanbul at the moment. In Turkey, home to most of the dead and injured among the international activists, 10,000 people marched from the Israeli consulate to the city's main square, while thousands more took to the streets in Ankara, expressing outrage and demanding international accountability and immediate action to end the blockade of Gaza.

Maybe someone in the Israeli intelligence services or in the military really believed that the high profile threats that the Gaza Freedom Flotilla would "not be allowed" to reach Gaza shores would somehow convince the 700+ human rights defenders to simply give up. That they would agree to turn their 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid over to the Israeli military in the hope that the IDF, which has enforced an illegal and crippling siege against the 1.5 million Gazans for more than 3 years, would abide by their claim that they would send the aid on to Gaza... a Gaza that Israel continues to assert is not facing the humanitarian catastrophe that has been documented by the United Nations, by Amnesty International, by every Israeli and Palestinian and international human rights organization working in the region.

But anyone who knew anything about the Gaza boats knew that wasn't going to happen.

Our own Netfa Freeman overlaid interviews of people protesting Israel, protesters' chants, speeches, and music to create an audio story of the Gaza flotilla attack. It runs about 20 minutes long, but is worth every second.

CODEPINK provides an interactive timeline of the flotilla attack in Gaza yesterday, including firsthand stories of the attack – which they describe as "nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism." It's not quite complete yet, but should be a great resource for information as it comes.

Al-Jazeera is also liveblogging updates on the attack's aftermath.

Kevin Drum wonders: How will this end?

There are now planned protests at Israeli embassies worldwide, if you want to let your country's leaders know that you're against the Israeli government's actions.

Israeli Attack on Palestinian Flotilla

May 31, 2010 ·

The "Freedom Flotilla," a group of six ships carrying much-needed supplies for Palestinians, was attacked today by the Israeli military. Initial reports say as many as 16 unarmed activists were killed, and dozen more wounded. It seems that Israel's disregard for the international community and human rights law is becoming more and more pronounced.

You can find an extensive compilation of information on the flotilla raid here and here, courtesy of the Gaza Freedom March and the US Campaign to End the Occupation.

From UN expert Richard Falk's press release:

The UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, urged Monday the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of some 16 unarmed peace activist, when Israeli armed commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to Gaza.

“Israel is guilty of shocking behavior by using deadly weapons against unarmed civilians on ships that were situated in the high seas where freedom of navigation exists, according to the law of the seas,” Mr. Falk said. “It is essential that those Israelis responsible for this lawless and murderous behavior, including political leaders who issued the orders, be held criminally accountable for their wrongful acts."

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu cancelled plans to meet with Obama in Washington this week. The attack comes just as long-delayed indirect talks between Israel and Palestine were getting underway. 

From the US Campaign's site

The reaction of the Obama Administration to Israel's attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla, which included U.S. citizens, has been tepid.  A White House spokesperson stated that he "deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained."

Of course, this statement completely ignores U.S. complicity in arming Israel and enabling its human rights abuses.  In July 2008, the United States signed a contract worth $1.9 billion to transfer the latest-generation of naval combat vessels to Israel at U.S. taxpayer expense.  Currently, Congress is in the process of appropriating a record $3.2 billion in military aid to Israel this budget year.

The raid is also expected to worsen relations between Israel and Turkey. And you can learn more about the history of the human rights situation in Palestine from Falk's site.

You can take action here.

From the Frontlines: May 20th, 2010

May 20, 2010 ·

Today's action: Join our allies in urging Congress to support the Feingold-McGovern Bill for a military withdrawal timetable.  

To that end, the U.S. is investigating allegations that its soldiers were responsible for the unlawful death of Afghan civilians.  

Dennis Kucinich introduces legislation to prohibit killing U.S. citizens without due process, presumably to remind some government organizations they're not above the Constitution.  

Elvis Costello is the latest artist to cancel performances in Israel, in solidarity with the Palestinians. "I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security," he wrote in an open letter.  

Montgomery County, MD passed the nation's first carbon tax.  

The cloture vote on financial reform failed, and it looks like that was probably a good thing. However, Kevin Drum says that waiting too long might make things worse.  

Your moment of Zen: Blog This Rock's poem of the week.

From the Frontlines: May 18th, 2010

May 18, 2010 ·

The bill for Afghanistan could run into the trillions, as another suicide bomber hits another U.S. convoy. IPS fellow Miriam Pemberton, who studies the military budget, wrote that the era of Bush-style spending isn't quite over.

Noam Chomsky has to settle for talking to Birzeit University by teleconference in Amman, after he's denied entry into Israel.  

The racial wealth gap has "more than quadrupled over the course of a generation," according to a new study. Dedrick Muhammad has been studying this for awhile and has said that we need a huge shift in focus if we're going to narrow this gap.

Undocumented students stage a sit-in at John McCain's office, calling on him to support the DREAM Act so they can obtain scholarships and work their way through college while going through the process of legal residency.  

The Dept. of the Interior, despite the BP oil mess, still continues to approve offshore drilling plans in the Gulf of Mexico without environmental review. The Center for Biological Diversity is suing Sec. Salazar to stop this.

CBPP says that the growing budget shouldn't be an obstacle to passing the jobs bill: "Most of the provisions in this bill, which is now in the final stages of development, are strictly temporary measures that will stimulate additional demand for goods and services and create jobs while the recovery is still struggling to gain traction; they are not permanent measures that add to the long-term budget deficit."

From the Frontlines: May 7th, 2010

May 7, 2010 ·

Deregulation and carcinogens, racial foreclosure gaps, and the Fed audit: today's news and notes.

Might want to reconsider how "microwaveable" your Tupperware is: Nicholas Kristof highlights a new report that shows the connections between industry deregulation and increased cancer rates. 

Why is the foreclosure rate three times higher among blacks than whites? IPS scholar Dedrick Muhammad appears on CNN to discuss.  

Danny Schecter's new movie, Plunder, shows that the story of our economic collapse is even darker than you'd think. Truthdig has the preview; we've got the film screening in DC.  

After the BP oil spill, 55 percent of Floridians now oppose offshore drilling.  Almost a year ago, 55 percent were for it. Via Think Progress.  

Score one for government transparency: Dean Baker reports that Sen. Bernie Sanders reached a deal with Sen. Chris Dodd to get the GAO to audit the Fed. "Any interested journalist, academic, blogger or generic snoop can read through the data and find exactly how much money Goldman Sachs got, at what interest rate, with what collateral and when they paid it back."

New Yorkers will gather outside of Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev’s New York store this Saturday, to protest his involvement in human rights violations and settlement building in Gaza.

How will the British elections affect Africa and the Global South?

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