The Electronic Intifada

Pinochet in Palestine


Before the United States government subcontracted the Chilean military to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in 1973, it carried out a number of important missions in the country in preparation for the coup of 11 September. These included major strikes, especially by truck owners, which crippled the economy, massive demonstrations that included middle-class housewives and children carrying pots and pans demanding food, purging the Chilean military of officers who would oppose the suspension of democracy and the introduction of US-supported fascist rule, and a major media campaign against the regime with the CIA planting stories in newspapers like El Mercurio and others. 

R2P could prove solution for protection failure in Gaza


The emergent doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” locates primary responsibility squarely with the government of the state in question. But it also stresses the collective responsibility of other states for protecting civilians of any state facing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity. This response should be the exercise of first peaceful and then, if necessary, coercive (including forceful) steps to protect civilians. Considering the inability of the Israel to protect Palestinian civilians, the international community shares a collective responsibility to protect civilians by getting Israel - through persuasion or otherwise - to abide by the Geneva Conventions. 

Between Resistance and Deception


The Israeli regime unleashes daily racist brutality that by far outstands the crimes of the previous apartheid regime in South Africa. It imprisons an entire people behind ghetto walls, kills them and submits them to an economic blockade that has brought communities to the verge of starvation. Yet, while exactly 30 years ago the UN General Assembly called for comprehensive sanctions against apartheid in South Africa, Palestinians are reminded on a daily basis that the Zionist Occupation can still count on the blindness of the world to its atrocities and crimes. Until when? 

We overcame our fear


Yesterday at dawn, the Israeli air force bombed and destroyed my home. I was the target, but instead the attack killed my sister-in-law, Nahla, a widow with eight children in her care. In the same raid Israel’s artillery shelled a residential district in the town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip, leaving 19 dead and 40 injured, many killed in their beds. One family, the Athamnas, lost 16 members in the massacre: the oldest who died, Fatima, was 70; the youngest, Dima, was one; seven were children. The death toll in Beit Hanoun has passed 90 in one week. This is Israel’s tenth incursion into Beit Hanoun since it announced its withdrawal from Gaza. 

"One Country": An Interview with Ali Abunimah


“Let’s assume that what the Israelis are saying is true and that they are imposing this siege because of the capture of the Israeli soldier. If that is true then they are admitting to the most serious war crimes that can be committed under international law because the Geneva Convention makes it very clear that it is a serious crime to punish a civilian population for political reasons. Here Israel says they are punishing the civilian population in order to secure the release of a prisoner of war. I think that, if nothing else should alert people to the true nature of this regime.” 

The Anatomy of a Beautiful Soul


The highlight of the Rabin Memorial ceremony in Tel Aviv on 4 November last was, by common consent, David Grossman’s speech directed rhetorically to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. This text has already done the rounds of the world’s liberal media, and there is general agreement that it represents Israeli pacifist humanism at its very best. Of Israeli literature’s “three wise men”, Grossman is the one who universally gleans most respect. Amoz Oz’s reputation survives outside Israel primarily because the repentant Germans dutifully worship at his shrine. A. B. Yehoshua put his foot in it once too often when in a Ha’aretz interview he prescribed the use of “full force against the entire population” of Gaza. 

Academic Boycott: "We do not want to continue business as usual"


“We are willing to talk to any Israeli academic at any time about the boycott and the Israeli policies that have generated it. What we are not willing to do is to continue with ‘business as usual’. They need to see that not only complicity but also silence have their consequences.” Jonathan Rosenhead has been a member of the British Committee for Universities of Palestine for the past two years. He has been a member of staff at the London School of Economics since 1967 and Professor of Operational Research from 1987. Birgit Althaler speaks with him about recent developments in the academic boycott. 

Letter: Switzerland must act on Gaza even as others choose silence


EI co-founder Ali Abunimah writes to the Swiss foreign minister: “I am not an ambassador, a minister, or an elected official. I have no standing to appeal to your conscience except as a human being. I do so now with all the will I can muster to urge your government immediately to reconvene the Conference of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention urgently to consider measures to enforce this Convention and end the grave and mounting breaches being perpetrated by Israel, the Occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip.” The letter followed the morning of an Israeli massacre in Beit Hanoun which killed 19 civilians, including 11 from a single family. 

Two White Sisters in Asia: Israel and Australia


In a recent interview published in Haaretz, Naftali Tamir, the Israeli ambassador to Australia, articulates a perennial need for ‘white’ collaborators that has defined the Zionist project since its inception. He speaks bluntly of an Israeli partnership with Australia, founded on racial solidarity, to “enhance” Israeli influence over East Asia. Only perhaps in the nineteenth century could a Western diplomat have spoken so plainly about race as the basis of a political alliance. Infinitely better armed against their Arab victims, the Israelis have no need for caution. They can dispense with diplomacy, with political correctness. 

Letter: European inaction and complicity as Gaza burns


EI Co-founder Ali Abunimah responds to a statement issued by Finland, in its capacity as EU President, about the mounting atrocities in Gaza. “I wholeheartedly agree with that part of your statement which says, ‘Violence will only aggravate an already grave situation in the region,’” Abunimah writes, “But violence will not be ended by empty condemnation of the victims and craven appeasement of the occupier. It will end when governments like yours take action to make Israel, as the occupying colonial power, accountable.” Abunimah points to six steps the EU could take if it was really interested in ending violence and bringing about peace.