The Electronic Intifada

Protesting 'The Place of Children in the Space of Conflict' conference

Iyad Sarraj and
Rita Giacaman
3 March 2005

The French Ministry of Health, the French State Secretariat for Victims and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs are co-sponsoring an international congress entitled ‘The Place of Children in the Space of Conflict’, to be held in Toulouse, France on the 21-23 of March 2005. The primary purpose of the conference is to draw attention to the suffering of Israeli children, to the exclusion of serious and needed attention to other children living in war and conflict, the context within which these children suffer, and the reason for their suffering.

Between South Africa and Israel: UNESCO's Double-Standards

Omar Barghouti and
Jacqueline Sfeir
3 March 2005

UNESCO’s recent support for establishing a joint Palestinian-Israeli scientific organization placies the organization at odds with the decision of the Palestinian Council for Higher Education which has repeatedly rejected “technical and scientific cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli universities.” This move also conflicts with the Palestinian call for boycotting Israeli academic institutions which was endorsed by tens of the most important unions, associations and organizations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees. This open letter to UNESCO challenges the move.

Ethnic Cleansing 101: The Case of Lifta Village

Jacob Pace
2 March 2005

On the morning of Friday, February 25, 2005 a group of approximately 300 Israelis, Palestinian refugees and international activists gathered near the highway leading out of Jerusalem towards Tel Aviv. In the valley below lay the ruins of the ancient Palestinian village of Lifta. The event was part tour, part protest, and part homecoming. It had different meanings for each of the groups involved. The organization responsible for planning the event, Zochrot (Hebrew for “Remembering”) takes Israelis on tours of depopulated and partially destroyed Palestinian villages. They bring Palestinian refugees to tell the stories of their village and plant signs in Arabic and Hebrew that explain what happened there. This event, however, was also a protest aimed at stopping the impending demolition of what remains of Lifta.

Speaking to the Presbyterians About Selective Divestment

Liat Weingart
2 March 2005

On 8 February 2005, Jewish Voice for Peace Co-director Liat Weingart and Israeli human rights attorney Shamai Leibovitz spoke to an audience of members of the Presbyterian Church in Chicago. JVP was the first Jewish group to publicly support the Presbyterian Church’s decision to investigate selective divestment. “There is a silent majority of Jews in the US,” said Weingart, “who feel completely alienated from mainline Jewish groups because those groups are no longer in line with their central beliefs of justice and equality.” Read the transcript.

EI EXCLUSIVE: Palestinian population exceeds Jewish population says U.S. government

Michael F. Brown,
Ali Abunimah and
Nigel Parry
1 March 2005

The population of Palestinians living in Israel, the Occupied Gaza Strip, Occupied East Jerusalem and rest of the Occupied West Bank combined now exceeds the number of Israeli Jews, a U.S. government report has revealed. The Palestinian population stands at more than 5.3 million while the Jewish population stands at 5.2 million. The figures come from the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004. The report provided population figures for each of these territorial units separately but failed to connect all the dots to arrive at the explosive new demographic reality.

Brian Avery's day in Israel's Supreme Court

Lisa Nessan
28 February 2005

On 5 April 2003, in the West Bank city of Jenin, Israeli troops fired at Brian and another ISM volunteer from an armored personnel carrier (APC). They were standing still, wearing bright red medic vests with their hands over their heads, when soldiers opened fire without any warning shots. Brian suffered serious damage to the entire left side of his face, jaw, mouth, teeth, nose, and eyes. He has undergone more than six reconstructive surgeries totaling over $1,000,000 in medical expenses. Two years later, Brian has returned to Israel to demand a criminal investigation be opened into the shooting, after an internal military inquiry found that the incident in which Brian was shot, never occurred.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (and War)

Bob Feldman
1 March 2005

Most people in the U.S. now realize that Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) board member James Woolsey’s pre-war talk about the Iraqi government’s alleged hidden “nuclear weapons equipment” and “biological weapons laboratories” was inaccurate.  Yet the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs role as a pro-war pressure group with an annual budget of $2.5 million, is rarely mentioned by the U.S. media. Since 1982, at least twelve trips to Israel have been sponsored  by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for retired Pentagon admirals and generals who are connected to the American security establishment. 

Lessons from the struggle against Apartheid

Sietse Bosgra
28 February 2005

Following the recent meetings between the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, the struggle for an independent Palestinian state will probably move to the political and diplomatic front. In this new phase, the role of the international community will be of utmost importance for a successful outcome. Therefore, there exists an urgent task for Palestinian NGOs and leaders to capture world support for the Palestinian cause. Sietse Bosgra considers international opinion of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the importance of international solidarity movements and the need for more mobilised activism through the Western media.

Darfur, another failure of the international community

Arjan El Fassed
al-Fasher,
Sudan
27 February 2005

Though the Security Council has “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security,” it has not been able to address and resolve a number of conflicts, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the conflict in Darfur. No party in these crises has taken adequate measures to ensure the cessation of violence against civilians in spite of the many assurances made. Over 20 months since they were burned out of their villages and after numerous promises from the Government of Sudan and world leaders, people’s lives are still under daily threat. EI’s Arjan El Fassed recently visited various camps and towns in Darfur.

The LA Times' notion of "relative calm"

Alison Weir
25 February 2005

Well, I just got hung up on again. This time by an editor on the Los Angeles Times foreign desk. I had called and attempted, as politely as possible, to give him a correction for the story on the Times’ website tonight. This will probably be their front-page lead news story tomorrow morning. The headline proclaims: “Palestinian Suicide bomber Shatters Calm of late.” The lead sentence then goes on to state that this bomber “shattered a months-long period of relative calm…” The fact is, however, that the truce and this “calm” were shattered long before this. The last suicide bombing against Israeli civilians was Nov. 1, 2004. It took three Israeli lives. Since that time, while Israelis have basked in “relative calm,” 170 Palestinian men, women, and children have been killed.

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