June 30, 2009


[23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] - Today Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers). The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate. “President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel’s December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.

“The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of "Cast Lead”. Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone" said fellow passenger Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland.

Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this voyage, stated that: “No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters.”

Arraf continued, “Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release.”


CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Justice
tel: +972 2646 6666 or +972 2646 6340
fax: +972 2646 6357

CONTACT the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
tel: +972 2530 3111
fax: +972 2530 3367

CONTACT Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
tel: +972 5 0620 3264 or +972 2670 5354

CONTACT the International Committee of the Red Cross to ask for their assistance in establishing the wellbeing of the kidnapped human rights workers and help in securing their immediate release!

Red Cross Israel
tel: +972 3524 5286
fax: +972 3527 0370

Red Cross Switzerland:
tel: +41 22 730 3443
fax: +41 22 734 8280

Red Cross USA:
tel: +1 212 599 6021
fax: +1 212 599 6009

Kidnapped Passengers from the Spirit of Humanity include:

Khalad Abdelkader, Bahrain
Khalad is an engineer representing the Islamic Charitable Association of Bahrain.

Othman Abufalah, Jordan
Othman is a world-renowned journalist with al-Jazeera TV.

Khaled Al-Shenoo, Bahrain
Khaled is a lecturer with the University of Bahrain.

Mansour Al-Abi, Yemen
Mansour is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera TV.

Fatima Al-Attawi, Bahrain
Fatima is a relief worker and community activist from Bahrain.

Juhaina Alqaed, Bahrain
Juhaina is a journalist & human rights activist.

Huwaida Arraf, US
Huwaida is the Chair of the Free Gaza Movement and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

Ishmahil Blagrove, UK
Ishmahil is a Jamaican-born journalist, documentary film maker and founder of the Rice & Peas film production company. His documentaries focus on international struggles for social justice.

Kaltham Ghloom, Bahrain
Kaltham is a community activist.

Derek Graham, Ireland
Derek Graham is an electrician, Free Gaza organizer, and first mate aboard the Spirit of Humanity.

Alex Harrison, UK
Alex is a solidarity worker from Britain. She is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Denis Healey, UK
Denis is Captain of the Spirit of Humanity. This will be his fifth voyage to Gaza.

Fathi Jaouadi, UK
Fathi is a British journalist, Free Gaza organizer, and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

Mairead Maguire, Ireland
Mairead is a Nobel laureate and renowned peace activist.

Lubna Masarwa, Palestine/Israel
Lubna is a Palestinian human rights activist and Free Gaza organizer.

Theresa McDermott, Scotland
Theresa is a solidarity worker from Scotland. She is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Cynthia McKinney, US
Cynthia McKinney is an outspoken advocate for human rights and social justice issues, as well as a former U.S. congressperson and presidential candidate.

Adnan Mormesh, UK
Adnan is a solidarity worker from Britain. He is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Adam Qvist, Denmark
Adam is a solidarity worker from Denmark. He is traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

Adam Shapiro, US
Adam is an American documentary film maker and human rights activist.

Kathy Sheetz, US
Kathy is a nurse and film maker, traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

More Info;

June 28, 2009

"There's a hush tonight, all over the world"

Michael Jackson's gotta be the biggest and most loved entertainer, the earth has ever seen, forget Elvis and Beatles; If in a tent full of Nomads in outer Mongolia or sharing a bonfire with the Tuaregs in the middle of the Sahara -( In India they call MJ "A true Diamond") - Very different people; And all of them, have heard of MJ ! And what never cease to amaze me; 99% of them are devoted to his music! His albums will survive all the media hype about funky slumber parties, plastic surgeries + all the other outlandish and juicy tidbits they've dished out through the years....

There's precious little to add to all the fine (and not so fine) eulogies written - So here's a 'Jackson 5' radio interview from 1973 incl '73 ads - This was recorded in New York city when things were still pretty simple and the Jackson Family could still make jokes about having to do home schooling on the road.... They all sound so innocent and uncomplicated - Michael is 13 years old and still far away from court cases, chimps called Bubbles, sons named Prince the I and the II. or "Blanket" for short....

If a "grown" man chooses to live on a enormous estate, which resembles something between a Toy 'R' Us outlet and Barnum's, then it must be safe to say, that this guy never really became an adult but stayed true to the oath that Peter Pan made to the Lost Boys... And who are we to judge what's right or wrong?

The King of Pop is dead - Long live Rock'n'Roll

June 21, 2009

" And Revolution in the air..."

Dropped by my blog, now shamefully out of date...; Iran is revolting and for the first time ever I have been able to follow the minute by minute updates on Social media; Twitter. Vietnam was the first war to be televised, Somalia on CNN and so was Iraq/Afghanistan, but also on the Internet/ YouTube... So now we have Twitter with the hashtag # IranElection and hurray for this incl all the faults!

What's happening right now in Iran, where the just held election was "Bogarded" by the sitting Pres. Ahmadinejad with the support of the spiritual leader of Iran; Khameni is Real and Live and on the Net; The Paramilitary gangs (Basij) shooting students armed with rocks, doors being kicked down in the night and whole families taken away to torture, fake courts and then a very real sentence of public hangings....

Today I saw a young girl die in the streets of Tehran and this made me tremble... (It's very graphic -It's here)

I'm 51 years old and I remember seeing the famous clip from Hanoi(?) on TV, where a man is shot point blank on the street, seen horrendous photos from Burma, Rwanda and all the other places where war, sudden and violent death has been reported with live footage and stills, I've worked with the "displaced children" in Bosnia during the war in '93, and I've worked for more than 10 years in Refugee camps in Denmark and seen what Shiite Vs Sunni can do in a "Peoples Court" during the Lebanese civil war, but still; The open eyes of Neda dying in her fathers arms of a gunshot wound in the stomach- "hit" it home for me and left me shivering in the summer sun; This is for real, this is how "I'll die for what I believe in - I'll die for Freedom " looks like......

The youth of Iran is now ready for the 30 year long oppression to end, not that the Shah was much better, the plight and suffering for the Iranians, once a mighty Persian empire is a long potholed and very rocky road!

But the girls wants to feel the wind ruffle their hair and boys wants to be able to hold the hands with their loved ones (being straight or Gay) without being hanged by the Moral Police - Who can blame them, these are things we take for granted. And while we in the West has made our selves comfy in our "Lazy Boys" while leaving it all up to "our savior Obama" to change our worlds for us - Though we're very, very, very quick to complain, when things don't happen as fast or exactly how we want it to..... We're very hard to please, you know! We live under our noble motto; Success is a fine thing, but other peoples failures is okay too!

Now the Iranians will have to muster all their courage and be prepared to give their lives for a "Change; Yes We Can" - In our neck of the woods, we just have to shuffle down to our local ballot box and exercise, what we now consider our birthright; Namely to vote in a democratically held election without the votes being tampered with in any way or form......!

What a difference, eh? Suddenly (or not so suddenly, really...!) how our spoilt and sheltered existence is pointed out to us ...... again!

June 15, 2009

Life beyond sensibility ........

From "Window Into Palestine" - Sunday, June 14

Absurdity Is the Norm in the Gaza Strip

Upon returning home from Gaza, a friend commented, "It must have been horrifying seeing all the destruction." And it was. The 22-day Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip laid waste to an already ravaged territory.

The landscape is dotted with piles of rubble of bombed out buildings, the twisted iron and aluminum of destroyed factories, once green fields reduced to sand and dirt by Israeli tanks, apartments with 2 meter holes in the walls and toppled minarets of mosques turned to ruins.

But as devastating as bearing witness to the destruction was, it was the absurdities of the siege, the total blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt, that really affected me. Gaza itself remains frozen in time; for nearly five months after the ceasefire, aside from a few rare cases in which cinder blocks have been used to fill gaping holes in the sides of buildings, no reconstruction whatsoever has begun. The blockade keeps the necessary building materials out of Gaza.

While traveling throughout Gaza with a delegation of mostly U.S. citizens organized by CodePink, the absurdities of the siege presented themselves over and over.

At Al Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza, we saw state of the art isotope scan and radio therapy machines in the oncology department that cannot operate because the radioactive material as well as a calibration tool have been refused entry by Israel. A row of dialysis machines sat unused, lacking the required fluids.

As medical conditions in Gaza deteriorate due to the siege, many look for medical care abroad. However, the sealed borders prevent them from traveling. We met the director of an orphanage who had already lost the vision in one eye, was losing it in the other, but had been unable to obtain permission to travel to Egypt for eye care.

Power outages are regular occurrences. The Gaza power plant simply cannot keep up with the demand due to a lack of fuel, which is blocked by Israel, as is supplemental electricity produced in Israel. There are both scheduled blackouts of 8-10 hours, as well as spontaneous outages.

While touring the Al Shifa Hospital, the Minister of Health apologized for the heat in the room, saying their generator must be reserved for higher priority uses than air conditioning. Families are forced to carry their loved ones up the stairs, the elevators shutdown during blackouts.

The centers working to create employment opportunities for Gaza's women inevitably fall prey to the siege. Power cuts bring the sewing machines making dresses and linens to a stand still. Even the embroidery thread used to make traditional handicrafts must be smuggled in through the tunnels.

The siege has also taken its toll on the father figure. According to Dr. Zeyada of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, with well over 50% unemployment due to the siege, children see their fathers as unable to provide for them. And during the war, they saw that their fathers were also unable to protect them. Children have started looking to other role models, and make easy targets for those who, unfortunately, have no desire for peace.

Education suffers under the siege. At a UN vocational training center in Khan Younis, the library consists of roughly 12 bookcases, but only two had any books at all, with half being photocopied manuals. The textbooks destined for the center have been held up in a storage facility in Jerusalem; the Israelis simply refused to allow them in. The center is also unable to get the raw materials for their metal and woodworking courses.

Sharif, a university student studying business administration in his second year, is understandably proud of having top marks in his faculty. His friends have nicknamed him 'The Genius.' Sharif has been awarded a scholarship at Portland University in Oregon starting this fall. Unfortunately, the irrationality of the siege is likely to prevent him from being allowed to go. “If I can’t get authorization by August, there goes my scholarship.”

A professor at Al Aqsa University has been offered a position at the University of Manchester, however, he has been denied permission to travel. Professors are also unable to travel to attend international conferences. And students of the English department have a tough time finding native speakers with which to practice the language; getting into Gaza is almost as difficult as getting out!

Numerous projects for which funding has already been approved are currently suspended for the simple fact that the materials to complete them are not allowed in. Turkey has donated funds for a new university library and PalTel, the Palestinian telecommunications company, has allocated funds for an Information Technology Center. Both projects remain in limbo, victims of the siege.

An official with the UN Relief and Works Agency remarked that it is also a problem to get the actual banknotes in. UNRWA, which provides services to more than 1 million registered refugees in the Gaza Strip, is often only able to get money in to pay the salaries of their 10,000 employees, while money to fund projects is blocked.

Not only are Palestinians restricted in their movement in and out of Gaza, but also within. In late May, Israel began dropping thousands of leaflets near the border areas warning the people of Gaza not to come within 300 meters of the border or they would be fired upon. Farmers are forced to risk their lives in order to work their fields that fate has placed too close to the border. The same restrictions are imposed on Palestinian fishermen. The sound of shots pierce the silence nightly, as Israeli gunboats fire on fishing boats that dare to venture far enough away from the shore in order to catch fish to sell and provide a living for their families.

These are the absurdities that have become the norm in Gaza. But perhaps most absurd of all is how anyone can believe that Israel's severity in the closures, the destruction of the economy and social fabric of the Gaza Strip, will serve to convince Palestinians to place their trust in international law.

What we in the international community must do is to heed the call we heard repeatedly from the people of Gaza: work to break the siege so that they can take care of themselves.

Stephanie Westbrook

Stephanie is a founding member of U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice in Rome, Italy - http://www.peaceandjustice.it  and currently serves on the group's coordinating committee.

June 10, 2009

Sheep, dogs and videotapes

 Okay, so Europe just voted themselves into the muddy Right Wing ditch; Unemployment is going up and up, xenophobia is blooming happily and fear of strangers'ism is now hailed as being a benign form of nationalism and "Oh so necessary" in order to fully protect  "our culture" which apparently can't stand for too much influx of anything unknown or "foreign"? which is a bit weird, for that's exactly, what has been happening since the beginning of time. And also a bit sad, really, in these times of globalization, even to think, that we'll be able to shut down our mental borders and keep everything foreign out of our art, music, language, writing and all things creative, which will only flourish and expand  from a continuing exchange of minds and thoughts.

So.....Things are pretty depressing these days, right?- My good friend Case emailed me this little  clip; and it made me smile and laugh out loud... 

Well, then; Hurray for sheep in the night, Border Collies doing their job and men in old wellies and raincoats, whistling in order to micro-control their animals and having a grand time doing it -
      It's all something, which is not very productive for the health of the dolphins or the war in Darfur... But who cares, we can't be dead serious all the time and fuck the recession just for a couple of minutes and let's make a bow for life and lets applaud; dogs and sheep running on the green slopes of hope........

June 8, 2009

Peace in our lifetime....

How sad, but arrogant is ignorance - A girl in this clip saying "Who's Benjamin Yahoo?" This girls claims , that she's a Political Science student, so she knows her shit and "Obama is Muslim for sure"...... If this is what the young Jewish generation feels and thinks, then we're in for the long haul... But we knew that already, eh?

 Meanwhile in the ghettos of Gaza and the West Bank; For every violent oppression, for every unnecessary house search, for every unjust apartheid rule set into action by the Israeli, a young person is going to be willing to give their tender lives for martyrdom and send themselves and everyone around them to the heavens above, which is the only place in sight, where Peace in Our Lifetime is Guaranteed...

June 5, 2009

The Wall of hate..........

See this to the end and you might be a bit wiser....

Gaza Over and Over.... Make your art your weapon!

Hover your mouse/cursor over the image, to view it full screen...

This 70 pages document try to summarize Israel military aggression into Gaza Strip (December 2008 - February 2009). It contains photos, data, report and artworks related to the war. More then 30 artist involved and more then 40 artworks featured. This is the third project done by No-More-Ignorance. This document is a must-see for every people & organization who wants to see Israel-Palestine conflict closely. In this occasion, we would like to ask you to tell your friends about this document. Tell them via your Facebook notes, links, DA journal, blog post, or anything. They could download our PDF file or read it online. You could post the 500px wide JPG image in this folder as a teaser in your publication. Just ask them to visit our landing page for this project. If you interested with our project, you could join us on Facebook pages or Deviant Art. Thank you very much for your help. Sincerely;

June 2, 2009



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