Washington Report on Middle East Affairs - Action Alert Archives http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives.html Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:28:44 -0600 Matrix Glitcher v.3.0 en-gb Send Help to Gaza http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12673-send-help-to-gaza.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12673-send-help-to-gaza.html

Send Help to Gaza

Bloody violence has descended once again on the Palestinians living in Gaza. American-made Israeli jets have dropped bombs on Palestinian homes, businesses, a mosque, and even a rehabilitation center for the disabled, threatening the already-tenuous existence of Gazan families. Despite the pleas of the United Nations, UNRWA, UNICEF, the Arab League, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague the Israelis and Hamas have not agreed to a ceasefire. Innocent civilians of Gaza are paying the price for this violence.

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

  • 175 Palestinians have been killed since July 7.
  • 80 percent of those killed were civilians.
  • 36 children have died as a result of Israeli attacks.
  • $60 million is needed to pay for medical supplies and medical referrals out of Gaza.
  • 25,300 children have been traumatized by the bombing and need psychological support.
  • 1,140 Palestinians have been injured. Of those, 296 are children and 233 are women.
  • 5,600 Palestinians have been displaced due to damage to their homes.
  • Another 16,000 Palestinians are taking shelter in UNRWA schools.
  • 32 fishing boats, a source of income for impoverished Palestinians, have been damaged, burned, or destroyed by Israeli attacks.
  • In one airstrike, Israelis killed 18 Palestinians from a single family, including six children and three women, one of whom was pregnant.

The Palestinian people, who have endured so much, need your help in this time of trial.

What Can You Do?

1. Send a financial contribution to an organization working to help Gazans survive this latest catastrophe. Here are some suggestions (in alphabetical order):

American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) 1522 K St. NW, Suite 202 • Washington, DC 20005-1270 • (202) 347-2558 • www.anera.org • Sponsors ongoing programs in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan and provides emergency relief.

Helping Hand for Relief and Development (Helping Hand USA) 12541 McDougall St • Detroit, MI 48212 • 1 (888) 808-HELP • www.HHRD.org • A global humanitarian relief and development organization responding to human sufferings in emergency and disastrous situations anywhere all over the world.

Islamic Relief USA P.O. Box 6098 • Burbank, CA 91510 • 1 (888) 479-4968 • www.irw.org • Works in more than 30 countries to alleviate hunger, illiteracy and diseases, provides rapid relief to victims of man-made and natural disasters.

Jerusalem Fund 2425 Virginia Ave., NW • Washington, DC 20037 • (202) 338-1958 • www.thejerusalemfund.org • Provides grants to hospitals, orphanages, clinics, schools, universities and civil society organization.

Kinder USA P.O. Box 224846 • Dallas, Texas 75222-9785 • (972) 664-1991 • www.kinderusa.org • Supports relief and development programs in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan.

Life for Relief and Development P.O. Box 236 • Southfield, MI 48037 • (248) 424-7493 • www.lifeusa.org • Provides medicines and medical equipment and supports infrastructure development in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine.

Médecins Sans Frontiers /Doctors Without Borders 333 7th Ave., 2nd Floor • New York, NY 10001 • (212) 679-6800 • www.doctorswithoutborders.org • Global organization that provides emergency medical relief across the Arab and Muslim world.

Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) 1101 Eighth Street, Suite 100 • Berkeley, CA 94710 • (510) 548-0542 • www.mecaforpeace.org • Works for the rights of children in the Middle East by sending humanitarian aid, supporting projects for children and educating North American and international communities about the effects of the U.S. foreign policy on children in the region.

Near East Foundation 230 Euclid Ave. • Syracuse, NY 13210 • (315) 428-8670 • www.neareast.org • Supports community development and provides humanitarian and emergency assistance in more than 16 countries.

Oxfam America • 226 Causeway Street, 5th FL. • Boston, MA 02114-2206• (800) 77-OXFAM • www.oxfamamerica.org • An international confederation of 17 organizations working in approximately 94 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and what it considers as injustice around the world.

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) • P.O. Box 1926 • Kent, OH 44240 • (330) 678-2645 • www.pcrf.net • Provides free medical care for sick and injured Palestinian children.

Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) • P.O. Box 450554 • Atlanta, GA 31145 • (404) 441-2702 • www.pmrs.ps • U.S.-based support group which receives tax-free donations for this grassroots, community-based Palestinian health organization.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) American Friends of UNRWA Association, Inc. • 1666 K St., NW • Suite 440 • Washington, DC 20006 • (202) 223-3767 • www.friendsunrwa.org • This U.N. agency aids Palestinian refugees through emergency relief such as food and health care, as well as long-term assistance through education and finance programs.

United Palestinian Appeal (UPA) 1330 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Suite 104 • Washington, DC 20037 • (202) 659-5007 • www.helpupa.com • Sponsors health, education and community development programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

World Vision P.O. Box 9716 • Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 • (888) 511-6598 • www.worldvision.org • Global Christian humanitarian organization providing relief in many countries in the Arab and Muslim world.

The Zakat Foundation of America P.O. Box 639 • Worth, IL 60482 • (708) 499-6151 • Fax (708) 499-6154 • www.thezakat.org • Sponsors programs for emergency relief, orphan sponsorship, education, development and health in 10 countries.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) 122 East 42nd St • New York, NY 10168 • (212) 551-3000 • www.rescue.org • IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At the moment IRC is not helping Palestinians but they do help Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

2. Urge U.S. government officials and United Nations representatives to call for a ceasefire. Contact:

3. Call or write your local newspaper or radio station and ask it to cover the crisis in Gaza.

  • Write the editor a letter. Make it brief and to the point.
  • Add comments about Gaza at the end of any article you read in that newspaper about the Middle East.
  • Google a photo about the Gaza crisis. Put the picture on Facebook and get people to like it.
  • Send out tweets using the hashtags #GazaUnderAttack, #Palestine, #FreePalestine, #PrayForGaza, #Israel, #Unite4Gaza, #Gaza2DK, and #Gaza
  • Ask any groups that you work with to take on the cause of getting relief into Gaza.
  • Hold a teach-in about Gaza at your local college or library.
  • Organize a demonstration.

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Action Alert Archives Mon, 14 Jul 2014 22:19:53 -0600
You Can Stop the Carnage http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12670-you-can-stop-the-carnage.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12670-you-can-stop-the-carnage.html

Actions You Can Take to Stop the Carnage in Gaza:

According to a White House statement issued yesterday, President Barack Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks. “The President expressed concern about the risk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm,” the statement said. “The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 cease-fire agreement.”

But that’s not enough. Americans should end aid to Israel unless it stops attacks on Palestinians now.

In its attempt to provide “balance,” U.S. media is showing Israelis intermittently heading for bomb shelters, but packing restaurants, bars and pubs as usual each evening, confident in the knowledge that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system (paid for by American tax dollars) will protect them from any rockets that actually pose a threat. Meanwhile, the residents of Gaza have nowhere to hide: Their homes and towns have no bomb shelters.

While Egypt has opened its borders to ambulances carrying critically wounded patients, Gazan families cannot exit their tiny enclave to find safety in Egypt or other neighboring countries—unlike Syrian and Iraqi civilians who find themselves in harm’s way. More than 1.5 million Gazans are trapped as Israel deploys American-made F-16 fighter jets to fire deadly missiles at homes in crowded neighborhoods. This is in clear violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which states that U.S.-supplied weapons can be used only for “legitimate self-defense” and “internal security.”

Palestinian flags

Here are actions you can take to stop the carnage in Gaza, and prevent Israel’s impending ground attack:

  1. Organize a protest in your hometown…Reach out to universities, churches, mosques and synagogues to ask their members to join your demonstration. A groundswell of U.S. public opinion dissuaded President Obama from attacking Syria. We can stop the carnage in Gaza now.
  2. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper or TV and radio station. Make it brief and to the point. Add comments about Gaza to any article you read online.
  3. Write or phone the White House, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.
  4. Hang a Palestinian flag outside your home or office to show your support. After the attacks on 9/11, Americans placed flags on their cars and windows. We can do that to show our support for reconciliation and a real peace agreement now. Don’t have a flag? You can order one from Middleeastbooks.com or make one yourself. You can also place a candle in your window to show you want peace.

For more information please visit Rememberthesechildren.org.

Palestinian and Israelis already have lost too many precious children in this conflict. Demand an end to the bloodshed now.

What You Can Do:

1. Urge U.S. government officials and United Nations representatives to tell Israel and Egypt to open the crossings to the Gaza Strip. Contact:

• John Kerry, U.S. State Department: Call 202-647-6575, select option 8 or 202-647-5291 option #1 and ask the operator for the comment line.

• Your elected officials: Visit “Vital Activist Resources” on our Web site to contact your member of Congress or call Congress 202-224-3121 or email through www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

• President Barack Obama: Call 202-456-1111  or Fax: 202-456-2461 or e-mail http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

• Office of Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations sgcentral@un.org 

 

2. Call or write your local newspaper and ask them to cover the crisis in Gaza. 

• Write the editor a letter. Make it brief and to the point.

• Add comments about Gaza at the end of any article you read in that newspaper about the Middle East. 

• Google a photo about the Gaza crisis. With a graphic program add the words: Gaza Aid Now. Put the picture on Facebook and get people to like it.   

• Hold a teach-in about Gaza at your local college or library; Hold a demonstration.

 

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:

American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

 

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, P.O. Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.org. To donate or subscribe to the Washington Report, please visit our Web site or call 888-881-5861 or e-mail circulation@wrmea.org. The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed without charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

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Action Alert Archives Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:37:08 -0600
Hoping to Survive in Gaza http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12669-hoping-to-survive-in-gaza.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12669-hoping-to-survive-in-gaza.html

Nowhere to Run

Article and photos by Mohammed Omer in Gaza

Palestinian boy inspecting damage following overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City.

July 9, 2014: I am writing this as ambulance and rescue crews continue to search for bodies. Among the ones they have uncovered so far are those of 4-year-old Mohammed Nawasra, whose body was found underneath the ruins of his home in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, his 5-year-old brother, Nidal, and their 29-year-old mother, Sumoud Nawasra. Miriam Nawasra, 83, and Khalaf Nawasra, 29, were found alive, but critically injured. The Nawasra house in Maghazi refugee camp was targeted by an Israeli F-16 missile. No one knows why. Their home was bombed at 5:30 a.m., as the family slept.

Most of the stretchers rescue workers carried into Gaza’s hospitals were filled with arms, legs and scattered pieces of human torso and flesh, torn into pieces by Israeli missiles.

Gaza is currently enduring one of Israel's heaviest bombings. In the last hour, during and after Iftar, the meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast, 80 air strikes were launched on Gaza, according to Israeli sources. These strikes targeted homes, streets, schools, mosques, governmental buildings, greenhouses and agricultural fields.

The number of people killed grows relentlessly. According to Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Al Bizm, as of today 192 of the injured are children and women, and, in addition to the Nawasra family home, 63 others have been bombed. The list of casualties changes by the minute. [The BBC reported July 10 that as of 10:35 a.m EDT, 80 Gazans have been killed and 540 injured.] The Interior Ministry stated that Israel has launched 780 Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Every few minutes throughout the Gaza Strip one hears the resulting explosions.

As I write this, the Israeli Military has suggested a ground operation may be imminent. Indeed, troops and weapons have been assembling on the border. Israel’s navy has joined the battle as well, and is shelling Gaza from the sea. At this very moment I can hear missiles fired from Israeli warships hitting the homes and fishing boats of Palestinian fishermen.

Palestinian man is sitting on the ruins of what remains from his farm in Gaza City after Israeli airstrike overnight

In Gaza we all suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—it comes with the territory, our territory, that Israel attacks so violently. I don’t want my son to have PTSD. He doesn’t deserve that; he is a child, our gift.

Now, however, F-16s pound Gaza as drones buzz overhead and Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” continues. There is no moment of relief or rest for anyone trapped in Gaza, as Israeli bombs target yet another neighborhood—God help its terrified residents.

As I write this, news arrives of a group of teenagers killed while watching the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Argentina: 6 boys dead and more than 10 injured by a missile which struck the café on the beach in Khan Younis where, like soccer fans around the world, they were watching the game.

Now a haze of smoke arises from nearby buildings struck by Israeli missiles. One thing I do know for sure is that American-made F-16s are sucking the air—and life—out of the lungs of my family and neighbors in Gaza. No sirens, no shelters, no bunkers, no womb to hide in. Only the dead are safe and at rest.

I don't know what else to say. I think we are going to die. It makes me sad that I cannot protect the child I made, I can't protect him from these missiles. I just can't. I don't have the superpower to end this madness.

UPDATED FIGURES: 

Total: 1008 Israeli airstrikes, 839 Palestinian rockets, 138 Pal houses bombed. 90 Pals killed, 633 injured 
 

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

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Action Alert Archives Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:03:30 -0600
June in Numbers http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12668-june-in-numbers.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12668-june-in-numbers.html

 

Washington Report

1902 18th St NW • Washington, DC 20009 | (800) 368-5788 • Fax: (202) 265-4574


 

June in Numbers

IRAQ:

More than 1,000 killed in Iraq violence in June

500,000 existing refugee population in Iraq

300,000 additional refugees throughout June as fighting between Islamist militants and the government continued

(Sources: http://online.wsj.com/articles/refugee-numbers-in-iraq-rise-by-300-000-amid-fighting-1402665943http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/iraq-violence-killed-more-1-000-june-united-nations-n139116http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48117)

SYRIA:

1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon

35 percent of Lebanon’s population are Syrian refugees

30,000 people, including Lebanese, without access to safe drinking water

20 percent unemployment rate in Lebanon, compared to 10 percent last year

(Sources: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Jul-04/262612-syrians-to-constitute-third-of-lebanese-population.ashx#axzz36trxe91Yhttp://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/04/Lebanon-FM-warns-of-strife-over-Syria-refugee-crisis-.html)

PALESTINE:

Between June 13-June 22:

118 Palestinians injured in Israeli attacks

454 Israeli military raids, 42 settler attacks recorded

471 Palestinians detained, including 11 parliamentarians

22 parliamentarians detained in Israeli prisoners

(Source: PLO media brief)

Gaza: 

1.7 million population

1.2 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza whose families were expelled from their homes in what is now southern Israel

$0 Amount of compensation Palestinian refugees in Gaza have received for the billions of dollars of property taken from them by Israelis in Beersheva, Sderot, etc.

More than 500,000 Gazans still live in the eight recognized refugee camps, “which have one of the highest population densities in the world”

7 years since Israel allowed Palestinians of Gaza to export what they produce

38.5 percent unemployment rate in Gaza as a result of Israeli blockade

25 percent estimated unemployment rate in U.S. during the Great Depression

13.2 percent of children in Gaza suffer from acute malnutrition

18.9 percent of children in Gaza suffer from anemia

10 percent of Gaza’s water is potable

8 years before Gaza becomes “uninhabitable,” according the U.N.

1 Gaza’s only airport was rendered inoperable by Israeli airstrikes

0 Number of ports Israel allows to operate on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast

(Source: UNRWA, http://www.juancole.com/2014/07/numbers-people-there.html)

Compiled by Dina Salah ElDin

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, P.O. Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.org. To donate or subscribe to the Washington Report, please visit our Web site or call 888-881-5861 or e-mail circulation@wrmea.org. The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed without charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

 

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Action Alert Archives Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:45:02 -0600
DC Monastery Holds Holy Land Festival http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12667-dc-monastery-holds-holy-land-festival.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12667-dc-monastery-holds-holy-land-festival.html

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Action Alert Archives Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:57:10 -0600
Mourning the Deaths of All Children; Update From Jerusalem http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12666-mourning-the-deaths-of-all-children-update-from-jerusalem.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12666-mourning-the-deaths-of-all-children-update-from-jerusalem.html

Mourning the Deaths of All Children; Update From Jerusalem

Tragically, the bodies of the three Jewish teenagers who had gone missing on June 12 were buried yesterday. Their disappearance and deaths were and continue to be covered extensively by this country’s mainstream media. We mourn their deaths—as we do those of innocent children everywhere.

Early this morning the body of a 16-year-old Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Hussein AbuKhdeir, was found in a Jerusalem forest, the morning after witnesses saw him being forced into a car in front of an East Jerusalem supermarket in what was believed to be a revenge killing for the murder of the three young Israelis. Will The New York Times have several accounts of the lives of Muhammad and his grieving family, as they did of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar and Eyal Yifrach? Will we even know what he looked like before his charred body was found?

Since the second intifada broke out in September 2002, 1,657 Palestinian and Israeli children under the age of 18 have lost their lives. Of these, 1,526 were Palestinian and 131 Israeli. We urge you to visit the website www.rememberthesechildren.org, which lists the names of all the young victims of the past 14 years. Each year—each month—we hope that there will be no new names to add. Perhaps the recent tragic events in occupied Palestine will cause the world to recommit itself to a just and peaceful solution to a conflict that continues to claim far too many young lives.

Meanwhile, Washington Report contributor Samah Jabr, who lives in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, as did Muhammad Abu Khdeir, sent us the following account of recent events:

July 2, 2014

Unequal in Life and Death

This morning I woke up to the sound of helicopters, police cars and ambulances, as clashes erupted in our hitherto peaceful East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. Israeli security forces were shooting at Palestinian youth protesting the killing of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir, who was snatched from our neighborhood on his way to dawn prayer. Eyewitnesses saw Muhammed being forced into a vehicle and informed the police.

A few hours later, Israeli police found his body in the Jerusalem forest, in the village of Deir Yassin—almost like a flashback to a scene from the traumatic massacre inflicted on the village more than six decades ago! Muhammed had been stabbed, his body charred and disfigured. Just the previous night, Israelis had tried to kidnap Mousa Zalloum, 10, who was saved thanks to the brave resistance of his mother, Deema. Both lived to tell their story.

Incitement and Revenge

Immediately following the June 12 kidnapping of three Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank—in an area over which Israel has full military and civilian control—Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that “Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.” The Israeli army proceeded to launch violent raids and impose curfews and closures across the West Bank, killing a dozen youths, re-arresting members of parliament and freed prisoners, and demolishing the homes of suspects before any evidence was provided to the public or to a court of law. It would not surprise me if the accused Palestinians are assassinated, so that only the Israeli narrative survives.

The Israeli military escalation since June 12 was not just about finding the three missing settlers, however. The Netanyahu regime took advantage of the situation to elicit international sympathy following the worldwide criticism of Israel’s role in freezing peace negotiations. Israel imposed collective punishment against the Palestinian people, restricting movement throughout the West Bank and banning non-Jewish Hebronites from leaving the country, implementing brutal incursions and searches into Palestinian homes, towns and refugee camps, arresting many, and killing whoever was perceived as a threat.

These Israeli actions have served to further disempower Palestine’s unity government and fan the flames of polarization. Moreover, Israeli leaders and propagandists created a hostile anti-Palestinian climate characterized by the extreme dehumanization of Palestinians, including children, in official and social media alike. Following the discovery of the three settlers’ bodies, Netanyahu said, “They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” and "They sanctify death, we sanctify life." He also spoke about "a broad moral gulf (that) separates us from our enemies." Benny Kashriel, mayor of the illegal Ma’ale Adumim settlement, called on Israeli authorities to construct new settlement units in the West Bank in response to the killing of the three Israeli settlers. Slogans like "death to the Arabs" and “No Arabs, no terror attacks” became increasingly strident among the Israeli public.

World leaders and diplomats, who don’t know the names of any of the Palestinian kids killed on an almost daily basis, deplored in the strongest terms the killing of the three settlers, mentioning them by name. But what about Youssef Shawamra, 15, who was killed in March while harvesting the wild thorny vegetable gundelia (Akkoub) in Deir Al Asal, south of Hebron; or Ahmad Sabarin, 20, who was watching a World Cup match when the Israelis came to arrest people at Al Jalazoun refugee camp and shot and killed Ahmad as he went out to see what was going on? Saker Daraghmeh, 16, was killed in Tayaseer village near the Jordan Valley while shepherding his cattle. Mahmoud Odeh and Nadeem Nawara, the two teenagers killed while commemorating the Nakba, did not receive anywhere near the international attention bestowed on the three young Jewish settlers! The killing of a Palestinian is not seen as horrific as that of an Israeli; our pain is not sensed as acutely as is theirs. The unfair equating of Palestinian responsibility for the alleged acts of a few individuals with the formal responsibility of a democratically elected Israeli government for the actions of its army is yet another insult to logic and reason often committed by the friends of Israel.

In fact, no Israeli has ever received a serious sentence for killing a Palestinian. Today, following the killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Israeli troops are invading Shuafat—not his killers’ neighborhood! They likely will remain anonymous, their homes will not be demolished, there will be no closure imposed on Israeli neighborhoods, nor will Israeli settlers be prevented from going to work or traveling abroad. The rabbis and settler leaders who incite their followers will continue to do so with impunity.

Since it first occupied our land, Israel has kidnapped our freedom, our lives, and our opportunities. As long as the killing of a gentile is taken more lightly than the killing of a Jew, as long as there is this huge discrepancy in human worth and lack of validation of the Palestinian experience, as long as Israel remains the only author of this land’s narrative and the only political player who counts, death and nihilism will continue to kidnap our life opportunities—Israelis and Palestinians alike.

 

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, P.O. Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.org. To donate or subscribe to the Washington Report, please visit our Web site or call 888-881-5861 or e-mail circulation@wrmea.org. The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed without charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

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Action Alert Archives Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:39:14 -0600
Something to Celebrate: All Charges Dismissed Against Sami Al-Arian http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12665-something-to-celebrate-all-charges-dismissed-against-sami-al-arian.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12665-something-to-celebrate-all-charges-dismissed-against-sami-al-arian.html

Something to Celebrate: All Charges Dismissed Against Sami Al-Arian

It’s great to have good news to share! We were beyond delighted to hear that the federal government finally has dropped all charges against Dr. Sami Al-Arian, who e-mailed the long-awaited news to the Washington Report: “From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all our friends for standing by our family all these difficult years. Freedom is precious and the victory to attain it is sweet indeed,” he wrote. “My family and I truly appreciate and value your continuous love, support and prayers. We consider our ordeal to be part of the continuous struggle for truth, justice, freedom and dignity.”

True to form, in his e-mail Al-Arian did not forget the many others still awaiting justice: “Today there are hundreds of political prisoners in this country and thousands abroad that also need the support and prayers of conscientious and brave voices like yours,” he reminded his friends and supporters. “We pray in these blessed days of Ramadan that they will also be remembered and provided continuous support in their struggle for justice and freedom.”

STATEMENT FROM AL-ARIAN FAMILY June 27, 2014

We are glad that the government has finally decided to drop the charges against Sami Al-Arian. It has been a long and difficult 11 years for our family in what has ultimately been shown to be a political case. We are relieved that this ordeal finally appears to be at an end. We hope that today’s events bring to a conclusion the government’s pursuit of Dr. Al-Arian and that he can finally be able to resume his life with his family in freedom.

We are so grateful to our brilliant attorney, Jonathan Turley and his legal team for their tireless efforts and advocacy on our behalf. Thank you to all of our supporters around the country and across the globe, who have stood behind us throughout the years.

_____________________________________________________

From attorney Jonathan Turley’s blog: federal court drops all charges

The Washington Post handled Dr. Al-Arian’s news in its typically biased manner. The first report by Matt Zapotosky neglected to mention that a jury had failed to convict Dr. Al-Arian of a single charge brought against him: Washington Post

The Associated Press report is an improvement: AP

The Washington Report has covered the persecution of Dr. Sami Al-Arian and other Muslim Americans for many years, including the following articles:

The Ordeal of Dr. Sami Al-Arian:

Related Articles:

Stephen Downs, Esq. and Kathy Manley, Esq., Why All Americans Should Care About the Holy Land Foundation Case, Jan./Feb. 2013 Washington Report, p. 17

John Sugg, What People in Nashville Now Know About Steven Emerson, Jan./Feb. 2011 Washington Report, p. 25

Stephen Downs, Esq., New York State Capital Takes Stand Against Pre-emptive Prosecution of Muslims, July 2010 Washington Report, p. 28

Muslim-American Activism, On the 4th of July, Protesters Call for Freedom for Muslim Prisoners, Sept./Oct. 2009 Washington Report, p. 56

Human Rights, Al-Arian Supporters Hold Press Conference, July 2009 Washington Report, p. 58

James G. Abourezk, What Goes Around, Comes Around, July 2009 Washington Report, p. 24

Muslim-American Activism, Criminalizing Compassion in the “War on Terror, Sept./Oct. 2007 Washington Report, p. 48

Katherine Hughes, Dr. Rafil A. Dhafir at Terre Haute Prison’s New Communications Management Unit, May/June 2007 Washington Report, p. 12

April 2007 PostcardPlease modify Dr. Sami Al-Arian’s current sentence of civil contempt

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Action Alert Archives Mon, 30 Jun 2014 23:19:57 -0600
May in Numbers and Words http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12595-may-in-numbers-and-words.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12595-may-in-numbers-and-words.html

May in Numbers and Words

2 Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed by IDF soldiers near a protest outside Israel’s Ofer Prison in the West Bank. Israeli authorities initially denied shooting at the boys, however video was later leaked showing IDF soldiers firing bullets at the unsuspecting victims.

186 of the 5,265 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention are being held without trial or charge, according to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organization.

21.4 percent of Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military report being placed in solitary confinement, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine.

75.3 percent of East Jerusalem residents live below the poverty line, according to The Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

2 Israeli news outlets—the Makor Rishon newspaper and the NRG news website—were purchased by American billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The staunchly pro-Israel Republican funder already owns the Israel HaYom newspaper.

0 out of 10,000 Sudanese migrants have been granted refugee status by Israel, +972 Magazine reported. Worldwide, the refugee recognition rate for Sudanese individuals is nearly 70 percent.

10 bills that could lead to the annexation of all Israeli settlements were placed on the Knesset’s docket on June 23. The legislation calls for Israeli law, judiciary and administration to apply to these areas in the occupied West Bank.

92 percent of Egyptian voters cast their ballot for former general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, according to unofficial results released by his campaign.

42 percent of Egyptians view ousted President Mohamed Morsi favorably, according to a Pew Research poll. The survey also found that 40 percent of Egyptians still support the Muslim Brotherhood and that 54 percent of the country has a favorable view of Sisi.

3-year prison sentence was handed toformer Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for embezzling millions of dollars in public money for renovations to his personal property.

9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 if the Afghan government signs a security agreement, President Barack Obama announced.

$5 billion “terrorism-partnership fund” was announced by President Obama at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY. If supported by Congress, the fund will assist countries such as Yemen in combatting terrorist groups.

5 detainees were released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in exchange for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was allegedly captured by the Haqqani Network. The government of Qatar played an instrumental role in negotiating the prisoner exchange.

Pakistan’s economy is 70 percent larger than previously estimated, according to figures released by the International Comparison Project.

24,500 people have been displaced in Yemen’s Abyan and Shabwah governorates as a result of fighting between the Yemeni government and elements of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to the U.N.Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

75 Libyanswere killed in fighting between Islamist militias and armed rebels led by retired Gen. Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi. General Haftar’s actions, which included storming the parliament, were viewed by many as a coup attempt.

1,027 civilians were killed by violence in Iraq, according to Iraq Body Count.

6 young Iranians were arrested for making a video in which they danced to Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy,” sparking international outrage.

Quotes:

“[Love is] a pretty radical notion. It means your daughter or son, your neighbor’s daughter or son and the daughters and sons of people who live thousands of miles away, all deserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It means we let go of fear and see each other’s humanity…It means American lives don’t count more than Iraqi lives. It means we see a young Palestinian kid not as a future security threat or demographic challenge, but as a future father, mother and lover.”

Singer John Legend, addressing the University of Pennsylvania’s graduating class on May 19.

 

“It is a measure I guess of how twisted and shallow our depiction of a people is that these images [of Palestinians doing ordinary things] come as a shock to so many. The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinian people, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity. People are not statistics. That is all we attempted to show. A small, pathetically small step towards understanding.”

CNN’s Anthony Bourdain, after being presented with the Muslim Affairs Council’s award for courage and conscience in the media for the episode of “Parts Unknown” he filmed in Israel and Palestine.

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Action Alert Archives Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:54:53 -0600
Can Pope Francis Bring Hope and Justice to the Holy Land? http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12561-can-pope-francis-bring-hope-and-justice-to-the-holy-land.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12561-can-pope-francis-bring-hope-and-justice-to-the-holy-land.html

Can Pope Francis Bring Hope and Justice to the Holy Land?

Pope Francis will spend this weekend visiting leaders, holy sites and ordinary people in Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Given that his visit comes in the wake of another round of failed peace talks, the pope is likely to observe a land filled with hopelessness and skepticism.

Above all, however, Pope Francis will visit a land plagued with physical and emotional suffering. The Holy Father will witness a glimpse of this suffering when he meets with refugees in Jordan and Palestine.

During his visit to the Dheishe refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, Pope Francis will meet with families who have been displaced since the 1948 Nakba. “We want to show the pope our suffering, the bad economic conditions, the lack of work, the feeling of the youth that they have no future,” said resident Mamoun Lahham.

Reem Hajajreh, a social worker who lives in Dheishe, expressed disappointment that the pope will not walk the streets of the camp but rather meet with a select few refugees in a building outside the camp. “If only I could take him by the hand and lead him through the camp, to at least a few houses,” Hajajreh lamented. “But they told us that he isn’t actually going to go inside. If only I could take him on a walk down the narrow lanes, he would see the disastrous situation that people are living in every day.”

Nonetheless, individuals inside and outside of Palestine are hoping that Pope Francis, known for his candor and spontaneity, will not remain silent on the injustices facing the Palestinian people.

Among those hoping the pope will speak out against the occupation are a group of 20 priests of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In a letter to Pope Francis, the priests asked, “Can the Holy Father be in the Holy Land without saying anything about the reality of injustice against an entire people held prisoner on its own land?”

In addition to issues of human decency, the priests hope the pope will speak out on issues of religious freedom. In the letter the priests informed the pontiff that Israel regularly denies Palestinian Christians and Muslims access to holy sites in Jerusalem. “Jerusalem is becoming increasingly closed off to Christians from the West Bank,” the priests cautioned, adding that pressure from the pope was “almost a last hope.”

Even though the Vatican has issued the priests passes to see Pope Francis in Jerusalem, Israel has refused to grant these clerics permission to enter the city. “According to the State of Israel, the illegal occupier, we do not have the right to travel to Jerusalem without permission from the Israeli army,” the priests wrote.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, has affirmed the Vatican’s belief that the Palestinian people have the right to their own country and “the right to move around freely, the right to live in dignity.”

Here’s to hoping Pope Francis will—both publicly and privately—push this message of dignity during his trip.

 

Full Itinerary of Papal Visit

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rome

8:15 – Departure from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Amman, Jordan


Jordan

13:00 – Arrival at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman

13:45 – Arrival ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amman al-Hussein— Courtesy visit with King and Queen of Jordan

14:20 – Meeting authorities from Kingdom of Jordan. Address of the Holy Father

16:00 – Mass at the Amman International Stadium. Homily of His Holiness

19:00 – Visit to the Baptism at Bethany

19:15 – Meeting refugees and disabled youth in the Latin Church of Bethany Address of the Holy Father


Sunday, May 25, 2014

8:15 – Farewell. Queen Alia airport in Amman

8:30 – Departure by helicopter from Queen Alia airport to Bethlehem

 


 

Palestine Authority

9:20 – Arrival by helicopter to the helipad of Bethlehem

9:30 – Arrival ceremony at the presidential palace in Bethlehem—Courtesy visit to the President of the Palestinian Authority

10:00 – Meeting with Palestinian Authority. Address of the Holy Father

11:00 – Holy Mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Homily of His Holiness—Regina Coeli Prayer. Address of the Holy Father

13:30 – Lunch with Palestinian families in the Franciscan convent of “Casa Nova” in Bethlehem

15:00 – Private visit to the grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem

15:20 – Greeting children of refugee camps of Dheishe, Aida and Beit Jibrin

15:45 – Farewell at the heliport of Bethlehem

16:00 – Departure by helicopter from the heliport of Bethlehem for Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv

 


Israel

16:30 – Arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. Address of the Holy Father

17:15 – Transfer by helicopter to Jerusalem

17:45 – Arrival at the heliport of Jerusalem on Mount Scopus

18:15 – Private meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem. Signing a joint return.

19.00 – Ecumenical Meeting on the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Address of the Holy Father

20:15 – Dinner with the Patriarchs and Bishops and the Papal entourage at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

  

Monday, May 26, 2014

8:15 – Visit to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the building of the Grand Council in the Temple Mount. Address of the Holy Father 

9:10 – Visit Western Wall in Jerusalem

9:45 – Laying a wreath at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem

10.00 – Visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Address of the Holy Father

10:45 – Courtesy visit to the two chief rabbis of Heichal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. Address of the Holy Father

11:45 – Courtesy visit to the President of the State of Israel at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem. Address of the Holy Father

13:00 – Private audience with the Prime Minister of the State of Israel in Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem

13:30 – Lunch with Papal entourage at Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem

15:30 – Private visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, in the building next to the Orthodox Church Viri Galileai on the Mount of Olives

16:00 – Meeting with priests, religious and seminarians in the Church of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Address of the Holy Father

17:20 – Mass at the Ordinaries of the Holy Land and papal entourage in the room of the Cenacle in Jerusalem. Homily of His Holiness

19:30 – Transportation by helicopter from the heliport on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem to Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv

20:00 – Farewell at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv

20:15 – Departure from Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv for the Ciampino airport in Rome

 

Rome

23:00 – Arrival at Ciampino airport in Rome

 

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Action Alert Archives Fri, 23 May 2014 18:43:03 -0600
Surveillance Video Shows IDF Soldiers Assassinating Two Innocent Palestinian Children http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12548-surveillance-video-shows-idf-soldiers-assassinating-two-innocent-palestinian-children.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12548-surveillance-video-shows-idf-soldiers-assassinating-two-innocent-palestinian-children.html

Surveillance Video Shows IDF Soldiers Assassinating Two Innocent Palestinian Children

A shocking video released this week by Defense for Children Palestine (DCI-Palestine) shows two Palestinian children being gunned down by IDF soldiers while walking near the site of a May 15 Nakba Day protest outside Israel’s Ofer Prison in the West Bank.

IDF officials originally claimed that the two young men were throwing stones and firebombs and that Israeli soldiers had fired no live bullets. “They [IDF soldiers] used nonviolent means to try and disperse the crowds,” IDF spokeswoman Libby Weiss told The New York Times.

DCI-Palestine’s video, however, reveals that the IDF’s version of events is an outright lie. The video footage clearly shows that Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Salameh, 16, and Nadeem Siam Nawara, 17, were not holding any rocks or weapons, nor were they showing any aggression or posing any security threat when IDF soldiers shot them assassination-style.

The disturbing video shows one of the young men peacefully walking down the street with a backpack on his back when he suddenly collapses as a result of a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. The other young man is walking in the vicinity of tear gas when he falls to the ground after being shot in the back.

Tragically, the May 15 incident is representative of Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinian children. Israeli authorities routinely arrest and torture Palestinian children. Indeed, DCI-Palestine reported earlier this month that an increasing number of Palestinian children are forced to endure solitary confinement after being arrested by IDF soldiers. According to the group, 21.4 percent of Palestinian children report undergoing solitary confinement as part of the interrogation process.

We must let our elected officials know that we will not accept Americans’ tax dollars being used to support an Israeli military that harasses and kills innocent children. Contact your representatives today and tell them how you feel.

For more information on the 1,652 children—Palestinian and Israeli—killed since 2000, see www.RememberTheseChildren.org.

Read “As Pawns of the Occupation, Palestinian Children Face Regular Abuse and Torture,” By Dale Sprusansky in the June/July 2014 issue of the Washington Report.

President Barack Obama

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Visit <www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments>

Secretary of State John Kerry 

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Visit www.state.gov to e-mail comments.

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Action Alert Archives Tue, 20 May 2014 20:47:09 -0600