Gaza

You know, there is a lot of ridiculous and quite unfair criticism of Israel floating around, simply because it has been relentlessly bombing 1.5 million people trapped in a 360 square kilometre open-air prison over which it maintains a brutal siege and has slaughtered hundreds of people including dozens of children, supposedly in retaliation for homemade rockets fired from Gaza that has kill a total of one person in the current conflict. But there is a little reported story that shows exactly what Israel's true values are.
About 1000 people rallied in Melbourne on July 12 to protest against Israel's attack on Gaza. Samah Sabawi, a playwright, poet, political analyst and human rights advocate originally from Gaza, gave the speech below to the rally. In May, attempts were made by Zionists to prevent Sabawi speaking at a public forum on Israel and Palestine. ***
The Only Democracy In the Middle East (TM) held elections on January 22, which is what all good democracies do — even if not all those actually governed by the Israeli Knesset got to vote. Those in Gaza, which depends on the Israeli government elected in the poll to decide such things as which basic goods are let in to the besieged territory and whether or not they will be bombed on any given day, didn't get to cast a ballot. But in the West Bank, you'll be pleased to hear it is more mixed.
For a brief moment last month, as the bombs fell and destruction spread, Gaza was a lead story for the world's media. But now the plight of 1.5 million people living in an over crowded open-air prison, routinely attacked and denied essential medicines, has made way for a far more important story: an English aristocrat is knocked up.
With the escalation of the war on Gaza in the past week, now is the time for the Greens to urgently reconsider backing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS). This campaign aims to bring international pressure on Israel until it stops human rights abuses against Palestinians. BDS has grown rapidly in Australia in recent years, though mainstream politics has barely noted its progress. Even the Greens, generally far more sympathetic to the suffering of the Palestinian people, have now completely abandoned BDS.
“In a war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man.” So declared billboards on New York’s subways paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) early in August. But, let’s face it, in these days of horrific mass slaughter, it can be difficult to determine who is who. So the AFDI ads spell it out: “Support Israel! Defeat Jihad!”
More than 150 people protested at Parramatta town hall on November 15, calling for a boycott of Max Brenner chocolate shops and an end to Israel's recent attacks on Gaza. The rally was part of the worldwide campaign for boycott, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Max Brenner's parent company, the Israeli Strauss Group, donates care packages of chocolates to Israeli commandos of the Golani and Givati brigades. 

The ongoing siege of Gaza by the Israeli government looked set for a worrying escalation following a visit to Gaza by the emir of Qatar. Just three days earlier, Israel's navy had boarded a Gaza aid ship and used tasers on activists. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani entered Gaza via Egypt's Rafah border crossing on October 23. Israeli leaders condemned al-Thani's visit, the first by a foreign head of state since 1999. Al-Thani promised $400 million in aid projects to Gaza, undermining Israel's economic blockade.

The Sydney Al-Nakba rally and march - marking 64 years since the brutal dispossession of Palestinians from their homeland - was successful despite police attempts to derail it.

Media reports suggested that US President Barack Obama's May 19 Washington DC speech on the Middle East and North Africa contained a new proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. A look at the content shows this is false. The May 20 New York Times declared: “President Obama, seeking to capture a moment of epochal change in the Arab world, began a new effort [in his speech] to break the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, setting out a new starting point for negotiations on the region's most intractable problem.”
What are some examples of highly offensive words that must be censored from radio? For British state broadcaster BBC, they are not all of the four-letter variety. The BBC appears to find not just the phrase “Free Palestine” but even the geographical entity of the Gaza Strip itself unutterable on a cultural show. A controversy has broken out over the BBC's anti-Palestinian bias after its digital radio channel BBC 1xtra, which largely plays hip hop, grime and other “urban music” genres, censored on air references to Palestine.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority started on September 2. After the resumption of negotiations, Israel refrained from attacking Gaza for just two days. Then it ordered the bombing of two Rafah tunnels that connect the besieged Gaza Strip to Egypt, killing two workers, and leaving two severely injured.