My New Blog: Israel’s 60th Birthday

I’ll be working a lot less on this blog for the next year as I have a new project – Israel’s 60th birthday if you’re a blogger a link to the site would be appreciated.

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URGENT: Aid to Nahr al Bared

05.28.2007 |

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

A growing humanitarian crisis is occurring in North Lebanon at the Palestinian Camp, Nahr Al Bared Camp. Heavy fighting began on Sunday 20 May, with shelling on the camp itself beginning on Tuesday, May 22. According to statistics by UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees in the Near East, approximately 31,000 registered Palestinians live in the camp, although actual statistics, including the unregistered persons are closer to around 35,000.

When the fighting began many civilians remained still in the camps, caught in the cross-fire, and evacuated during a ceasefire and has continued with only sporadic gunfire afterwards. While exact figures are still unknown at this point the number, approximately 25% of the refugees are seeking refuge in UNRWA schools. The majority of families–approximately 75% have sought refuge with other families in the nearby Badawi Palestinian Camp in the North of Lebanon and increasingly refugees are streaming into Palestinian camps in Beirut–Shatila, Mar Elias, and Bourj al Barajneh.

Many civilians were injured and have chronic illnesses and hospitals as well as clinics are running low on medical supplies, as well as there are limited basic necessities for all the IDPs as they fled their camp with just the clothes on their back. The situation is extremely critical and requires additional aid and supplies to prevent a further increase to the already growing humanitarian crisis. Aside from international organizations, such as UNRWA, civil society organizations and grassroots groups–such as professors and students from the American University of Beirut, and the Committee of the Festival of the Right of Return, began immediate operations to gather supplies and take care of IDPs and support hospitals caring for the wounded.

Immediate funds are required to buy the supplies needed for the IDPs. We have adopted 50 families, whom the Nahr al Bared Relief Campaign is taking care of, by purchasing items inside the refugee camps to supply the refugees with the supplies they need (medicine, diapers, kitchen materials, clothing, and hygiene kits). While donations of clothing and other items are welcome, we feel it is important to collect cash donations as the economy of the Badawi refugee camp is already suffering because the NGOs inside the camp are bringing all their aid in from outside. Thus, we are supplying people inside Badawi, Bourj al Barajneh and Shatila camps with goods from their own community.

The Naher Al Bared Relief Campaign is working with Palestinian and grassroots organizations who are on the ground in the camps where people have fled: Badawi, Shatila, Bourj al Barajneh. We are seeking funds to assist us in our relief efforts. We are working as a grassroots organization because 80% of the relief from NGOs, including the Red Cross/Crescent and the UN, are only giving aid to refugees in the UNRWA schools, thus only reaching 25% of the population and no NGOs are on the ground in the camps in Shatila and Bourj al Barajneh as of yet. Thus far we have given food aid, medicine, hygiene kits, diapers, and baby formula to Nahr al Bared refugees who are internally displaced in four refugee camps in Lebanon. We have adopted 50 families in Shatila whom we will care for, in cooperation with Palestinian NGOs and political parties inside the camp, and we are seeking to raise $1500 per day to take care of these families. There are many more in need, and we will include more families depending on our fundraising; please consider giving us anywhere from $100 to $1000 to help support our efforts.

For more information about our project please visit:
http://nahrelbareddonations.blogspot.com/

To donate funds here are the details:

Donation Account Details For tax-deductible donations to the Nahr el Bared Relief Campaign please use the following account:

AUB Office of Development

https://rtf.aub.edu.lb/

Please make sure to specify that your donation is going to the Nahr el Bared refugees.

To contact us:

Rami Zurayk: Professor at the American University of Beirut Mobile: +961.3.733.227 rzurayk@aub.edu.lb

Rania Masri: Professor at the University of Balamand Mobile: +961.3.135.279 rania.masri@balamand.edu.lb

Marcy Newman: Professor at the American University of Beirut Mobile: +961.3.977.812 marcynewman@gmail.com

Source: Norman Finkelstein

Thousands flee Lebanon violence

 

Smoke coming from the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp

There have been fierce clashes at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp

Thousands of people are fleeing from a refugee camp in northern Lebanon which has seen three days of heavy fighting between troops and Islamist militants.Palestinian residents of the Nahr al-Bared camp have been trapped as troops exchanged fire with Fatah al-Islam fighters holed up in the camp.

Witnesses say many are taking advantage of a lull in the fighting to leave.

Earlier an informal truce was declared, with the militants pledging to cease fire if the troops did the same.

There was a reduction in the fighting, although sporadic clashes were reported.

UN aid convoys entered the camp to deliver food and water, but one was forced to leave after shells exploded near its vehicles.

‘No power, no food’

Witnesses said that as the fighting lessened, a mass exodus began.

FATAH AL-ISLAM

Split from Palestinian group Fatah al-Intifada in late 2006

Believed to have 150-200 armed men, based in Nahr al-Bared camp

Denies al-Qaeda links but says it endorses its ideas

Has links with Syrian intelligence, Lebanon says

Leader is Shaker al-Abssi

In pictures: Lebanon clashes

Profile: Fatah al-Islam

Media: Pressure on Lebanon

“Thousands of refugees – men, women and children – started fleeing on foot or by car from Nahr al-Bared camp from early evening to take shelter in the nearby Beddawi camp,” Hajj Rifaat, a camp official, told the news agency AFP.

Vehicles crammed with up to 10 people were flying white flags as they left, Reuters news agency said.

Ashraf Abu Khorj, who lives inside the camp, told the BBC conditions there were dire.

“Really really, the situation is so bad – no power, no food, no water,” he said. “There is no hospital inside the camp. There are a lot of people injured, there are a lot of people dying.”

Appeal for calm

The fighting is the bloodiest internal conflict in Lebanon since the civil war ended 17 years ago.

Dozens of soldiers, militants and civilians have been killed in the clashes, which began on Sunday.

map

Eyewitness: Tripoli fighting

Send us your comments

The Lebanese government has pledged to root out the militants, who it says are being backed by Syria.

On Monday evening, the cabinet authorised the army to step up its efforts and “end the terrorist phenomenon that is alien to the values and nature of the Palestinian people”.

The US State Department, meanwhile, said it was considering an urgent request from the Lebanese government for more military aid to help battle the militants.

And in Beirut, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana met Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to discuss the fighting, appealing for calm and calling on the military to respect the safety of civilians.

Sunday’s clashes erupted when security forces tried to arrest suspects in a bank robbery. Militants from Fatah al-Islam then attacked army posts at the entrances to the camp.

Lebanon is home to more than 350,000 Palestinian refugees, many of whom fled or left their homes when Israel was created in 1948.

New French President loves Israel, hates “terrorists”

This is just a reposting of an old article since sarkozy has now won…

Possible new French President loves Israel, hates “terrorists”

What the possible new French President thinks of Israel and Lebanon….(thanks to the Fanonite)

It appears very likely that the far right Sarkozy (I was appalled to hear Al Jazeera International describe him as “somewhat reformirst, centre-right”. If even Sarkozy has claims on ‘centre’ I presume Atilla the Hun would qualify as ‘left-liberal’) will win the French election. From some of the coverage, I gathered that elections in France are no less image-driven than in the US. Personally, my already diminishing faith in Western-style democracy will vanish if this execrable creature is elected as the president of France.

It is rather sad that only four years after the French resisted US pressure to back its illegal invasion of Iraq, they should vote in a poodle who is vying for Tony Blair’s kennel. Following is from the Fanonite archives:

If you thought Blair was a disgrace, wait till you meet his new competitor for American affection. Nikolas Sarkozy, the French Interior Minister and future Premiereship hopeful is on a visit on the United States, and according to this NYT report he also seems to have a keen sense of where the power lies:

He told Jewish leaders of his love of Israel, American business leaders of his love of free enterprise, and Francophiles of his love of America. He confessed that he loves to read Hemingway and watch movies like “Miami Vice.”…

In a closed-door meeting with more than a dozen Jewish leaders on Monday, he said France should not have waited as long as it did to commit troops to Lebanon and went further than Mr. Chirac in criticizing Hezbollah, calling it a “terrorist” organization, according to one participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose what took place at the meeting.

Speaking on Turkey’s bid to join the EU, he added:

In the meeting with Jewish leaders, for example, he said Europe had a problem with its own Muslim population and asked, “So why is America advocating Turkish membership in the European Union?” according to one participant. He added, “We don’t have a model of handling Muslims in Europe, so why should we bring in the Turks?”

He said the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, had told him that one day Europe would be Muslim, and added that it would be “terrible” if such a thing happened with American help, the participant said.

Israeli intellectuals petition for contacts with Syria, Hamas

Israeli intellectuals petition for contacts with Syria, Hamas
Posted by peoplesgeography on September 26th, 2006

Dialogue is the way … this initiative and these academics are to be applauded
Mon Sep 25, 11:24 AM ET

 Israeli scientist Aaron Ciechanover signs a chair at Stockholm's Nobel museum in 2004. Ciechanover is part of a group of Israeli university lecturers, writers and reserve officers, who have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to open contacts with Syria and Hamas.(AFP/Pressensbild/File)

AFP/Pressensbild/File Photo: Israeli scientist Aaron Ciechanover signs a chair at Stockholm’s Nobel museum in 2004. Ciechanover is part of a group of Israeli university lecturers, writers and reserve officers, who have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to open contacts with Syria and Hamas (AFP/Pressensbild/File)

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Dozens of Israeli university lecturers, writers and reserve officers have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to open contacts with
Syria and the Palestinians, including Hamas.

Among the 71 signatories were well-known writers Amoz Oz and A.B. Yehoshua, as well as Aaron Ciechanover, who won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2004, and retired general Shlomo Gazit, a former head of military intelligence.

“The war in Lebanon is behind us, but its results have significantly increased the risk of another war: a new war in south Lebanon, a war with Syria or even a conflict involving the Iranian army,” said the petition seen by AFP.

“Everything should be done to avoid that,” it continued.

The petition urged the prime minister to “examine” any appeal for dialogue emanating from an Arab country and to “sound out the possibility of secret negotiations”.

According to the signatories, Israel should act on the “three axes” of Syria, the Palestinians and Lebanon “to consolidate the ceasefire and UN resolution 1701″ that ended Israel’s recent 34-day war with Shiite militia Hezbollah.

On the Palestinian front, the intellectuals said the idea of talking to officials from the ruling Islamist movement Hamas should not be ruled out.

The petition was delivered to Olmert and five of his cabinet ministers, said Naphtali Raz, a teacher behind the initiative.

Qatar Airways to defy Israeli blockade on Beirut

Agence France Presse | 3 September 2006

Qatar Airways has decided to resume direct flights between Doha and Beirut “within the next 24 hours” despite the Israeli blockade on Lebanon, a company spokeswoman told AFP.

“We have asked for authorisation from the Lebanese authorities and they have given it. Therefore flight QR 422 is going to go to Beirut,” said the spokeswoman, who did not wish to be named.

“Qatar Airways will become the first international carrier to make a commercial flight into Beirut since the war ended,” she added Sunday.

Israel imposed an air and sea blockade on Lebanon at the outset of its 34-day conflict with the Shiite Hezbollah militia on July 12.

The blockade is being maintained despite United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 calling for it to be lifted.

The only two companies which have since the blockade been authorised to operate commercial flights to Beirut, via Amman, are Middle East Airlines (Lebanese) and Royal Jordanian.

from Reclaiming Space