Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding

Letters, Videos, & Announcements, July 25, 2011


Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)





5 – 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 27

Moreland Avenue & Caroline Street

Edgewood Retail District

(just south of Little 5 Points)


US Out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya & Yemen

Bring the Troops Home Now

Money for Jobs and Education – Not War and Occupation

Healthcare – Not Warfare

NO to Endless War!

Free Bradley Manning


Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition/Atlanta




film, Standing Army 7/25/11


Standing Army


An award-winning documentary film

on the global network of U.S. military bases,

 its impact on local populations, and the military-industrial complex that underlies it.

A blend of stories, history and reflections.


7:30 p.m. Monday, July 25

Discussion to follow


Reception at 6:30


Atlanta Friends Meeting House

701 West Howard Avenue, Decatur 30030

Free admission and parking

 (3 blocks from East Lake MARTA station)


Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition/Atlanta





Tell Washington: Don’t Veto Palestinian Independence!

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The U.N. Security Council may soon consider the issue of the expected Palestinian application for admission to the United Nations as a member state. Admission of Palestine to the United Nations as a member state would strengthen the international movement for resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict based on the two-state solution. But the U.S. government has indicated that it may block Palestinian independence by vetoing a recommendation by the U.N. Security Council of the Palestinian application for membership.

Urge President Obama and your representatives in Congress to oppose blocking Palestine's bid for U.N. membership by using the form below.


Palestinian children playing kites in Jerusalem Shot by the Zionist army in the day of "Freedom in Colors"



Illinois State Senator Dave Syverson, representative of the 34th district in Rockford since 1993, recently posted an anti-Muslim joke to his Facebook page:

"Father Daughter Talk...My daughter just walked in the room and said, 'Dad, cancel my allowance, rent my room out, throw all my clothes out, take my TV, iPhone, iPod, and my laptop. Please take all my jewelry. Then sell my car, take my house key. And write me out of your will.' Well, she didn't put it like that...she actually said...'Dad this is my new boyfriend, Mohammed from Iran."Syverson refuses to apologize, not wanting to bend to "political correctness."




David Taintor, Talking Points Memo LiveWire


Jon Stewart on Thursday took on the 2012 Republican presidential candidates' fundraising numbers, likening the race to a "survival of the funded."

When it came time to look at former pizza magnate Herman Cain's numbers, Stewart was impressed with the contender's recent $2.5 million haul.

"That's a lot of pepperoni, for the godfather of buffet-style pizza," Stewart said. "Why is Cain connecting?"

Stewart rolled a clip of Cain denouncing a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn. "Our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state," Cain said on Fox News Sunday. "Islam combines church and state. They're using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their mosque in that community, and the people in the community do not like it. They disagree with it."


"First, let's address what I believe may be pronoun issues," Stewart said. "You think our First Amendment protects us from their mosque, when in reality the First Amendment protects their mosque from us.



Kelly James Clark Interviews Israeli Peace Activist Rami El-Hanan

Kelly James Clark Interviews Israeli Peace Activist Nurit Peled-El-Hanan About Israeli Textbooks

Contributed by Gilad Atzmon


Greece- Champion of Palestinian rights

Turned Israel’s mercenary and craven accomplice

By Latheef Farook

Jews and Christians, including a 87 year old Jewish woman  , are braving Israeli barbarity to help the   brutalized and starving Palestinians  in Gaza. The question is Where are the Muslims worldwide?  

This year’s Gaza bound Freedom Flotilla 11, carrying urgently needed food, medicine and other essential items in 20 boats and with around 2000 passengers to help   Palestinians fizzled out as Greece prevented it under pressure and, perhaps, blackmail from United States and Israel.  

The French yacht Dignite-Al Karame set sail toward the Gaza Strip  on  Tuesday July  2011, after other ships  were grounded in Greece. However  lawless Israel , was  stopped    approximately 40 miles away from Gaza, very much in international waters , and  was taken  to the Israel port of Ashdod.

Summing up Greece’s U-Turn from strong supporter of Palestinians to mercenary of Israel, author David Cronin said in his book Europe’s Alliance with Israel that “   Andreas Papandreou’s championing of Palestinian rights might have had some moral weight in the early 1980s. However three decades on, his son, Prime Minister George Papandreou, has become a craven accomplice in maintaining the Israeli occupation”.  

The misery of Palestinians in Gaza started in the aftermath of the January 2006  spotless democratic elections, held   under the supervision of former US President Jimmy Carter. In this free and fair election Hamas was elected .This is democracy. However for Israel and its  United States and European supporters  electing Hamas is a crime to be punished.   

Thus they cut off the flow of all money to starve Palestinian into submission. The Arab regimes collaborated with this Zionist financial blockade knowing very well the misery they were causing. However Hamas needed this money to keep body and soul together. This was followed by Israeli economic blockade in flagrant violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of occupations under “effective” occupation.

 While the Muslim  world   remained indifferent   and the Arab dictators  shamelessly collaborated with Israel,  compassionate Christians and Jews in the West, collected food, medicine and other essential items and sailed  to Gaza braving Israeli brutality to alleviate the sufferings of Palestinians. They sailed as an expression of citizen nonviolent, direct action, confronting Israel's ongoing abuses of Palestinian human and political rights.



Crew and Pro-Palestinian activists stand on board one of the French boats of a flotilla bound for Gaza. American     activists                                                                Canadian activists



US Ship Audacity of Hope                                               French activists


Demonstrators beat drums and chant "thieves" outside the Parliament   Athens., Greek Coast Guard

Since August 2008 these human rights groups have traveled nine times to Gaza by sea to break Israel's illegal stranglehold on Palestinian civilians. They entered Gaza successfully five times in 2008.However they were violently intercepted  by the Israelis on the past four voyages, including Israel's MAY 31, 2010 lethal attack on  Freedom Flotilla, when nine  were killed and many more injured by Israeli commandos .Violent assault   also included summary executions, torture and theft, remains the recent starkest example of Israel's tactic of deterrence towards solidarity activists.    

Israel's attempts to thwart flotilla through outrageous acts of intimidation, lies, political pressure, threats of violence and sabotage, has reminded the world that the criminal blockade on the Gaza Strip is still in force, depriving Palestinians of their basic rights. It is through this use of military force that Israel maintains its occupation and colonial apartheid regime in Palestine. Further, every Israeli military operation is used as an opportunity to showcase and promote its weapons to the global arms market thus ensuring the profits needed to support its unlawful actions.

British politician George Galloway has been one of the prime movers in organising convoys .British journalist Yvonne Ridely and  Lauren Booth, a British journalist and sister of law blood thirsty criminal Tony Balir, were among  hundreds of activists who departed with aid convoys for the Gaza

This year’s Freedom Flotilla   included, among the others, activists from United States   Spain , France , Australia/Belgium/Canada, Denmark and Germany jointly , Italy and Netherlands , Ireland , European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza  and Greece, Sweden and Norway .The Flotilla  also had  ten boats and  37 journalists.    

However on 8 July 2011 Greece, a member of the EU, banned all boats participating in the Gaza flotilla from leaving its port. Many activists who had planned to fly to Israel for peaceful protests in the Occupied Territories, part of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign – dubbed a flytilla – were banned from traveling or detained at Tel-Aviv’s airport.   

“Sabotaging Flotilla II is Waging War against Civil Society. “said Prof  Richard Falk , former UN Special Rapporteur to Gaza, who once described economic blockade as “ a prelude to genocide”. 

Canadians, activist Dror Feiler accused Greece of doing "dirty work" for Israel."One more time, they have shown that Europeans and other citizens are not able to move freely in the Greek peninsula," he said.   David Heap, one of the Canada Boat to Gaza organizers , a professor of French at the University of Western Ontario and the son of the outspoken former NDP MP Dan Heap said “We wanted to at least show the world the Greeks are helping Israel enforce an illegal blockade of Gaza.”



Prof Richard Falk                 Ray McGovern               Dr David Heap               Dror Feiler                      

 Ray McGovern, a veteran Army officer , CIA analyst and one of the passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza   said; by putting the issue of Israel’s blockade front and center, we also managed to force discomforted U.S. State Department spokespersons to dissemble about the legality of Israel’s illegal blockade. They ducked declaring something so clearly illegal legal, knowing that otherwise they would have invited international ridicule. But caution. The injured-animal syndrome among the Likudniks poses distinct dangers for the people of the Middle East — the more so, as we watch President Barack Obama continue to let Netanyahu walk all over him.


Update From Jewish Holocaust Survivor Hedy Epstein on U.S. Ship in Gaza Flotilla

Hedy Epstein in the centre demonstrating  against Israeli blockade of Gaza

Among those in the US boat in the flotilla “The Audacity of Hope”  is 86-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor  Hedy Epstein who said “If I can go anywhere in the world, why not to Gaza?  Because the Israelis do not want me to go there? That is not a good reason for me not to go”.

Two members of the Australian delegation joining the   Freedom Flotilla to Gaza were   Sylvia Hale 69, former Greens member of the NSW Parliament and Vivienne Porzsolt of Jews against the Occupation.

Conversion: Lauren Booth

Sylvia Hale       Vivienne Porzsolt       Kathy Kelly      Lauren Booth

    “Gaza will not be free so long as the Israeli siege destroys the territory’s economy,” said Sylvia Hale. The Australian delegation is determined to   break the siege,” said Vivienne Porzsolt of Jews Against the Occupation, who pointed out that “By participating in the Flotilla, we are opposing Israel’s acts of piracy in international waters and its illegal blockade of Gaza.“                              

 Among the others who participated in this year’s Flotilla was Kathy Kelly, renowned American peace activist, author and founder of the Voices for Creative Nonviolence.  

Despite most of the Freedom Flotilla II being unable to leave Greek ports, the flotilla was able to highlight the vicious nature of Israel's policy towards Gaza. Israeli leaders showed their willingness to use intimidation, lies, economic blackmail, threats of violence and sabotage to stop boats that Israeli military officials admitted would not be carrying weapons.   

The Israeli government's continued violation of international law and the human rights of Palestinians is possible only as a result of the international community's failure to take tangible measures to uphold United Nations resolutions and Palestinian human rights. As the American passengers on The Audacity of Hope directly experienced in Greece, some major powers - including the U.S. government and the European Union - are willing to ignore international law and human rights to appease the Israeli government. International civil society has no recourse other than to take nonviolent direct action. 

 As long as the illegal blockade of Gaza remains in place, ships will sail to confront it; as long as Israel continues its occupation, and violent repression of Palestinians and our governments are silent about it, the global solidarity movement will mobilize to nonviolently and directly challenge it. Ends

 Latheef Farook, a Sri Lankan ,worked for  Ceylon Daily News and Ceylon Observer for almost a decade before  leading a team of   journalists to Dubai in February 1979 where he re launched Gulf News. After living and working   in the Gulf for almost a quarter century he is now based in Colombo.

 Greece cited safety concerns when stopping the flotilla vessels bound for the blockaded Gaza strip, but organizers say it was pressure from Israel.






Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & &