A regular mailing from William J. (Bill) Thomson, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This edition includes a good media list
And a list of hot races in next week's elections.
MIDEAST ACTION: Thursday, 10/31/02-1 (AM--USA:EST)
First Edition (10/31/02)
Previous copies of these updates will be available at http://www.soundvision.com/info/jerusalem
"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience…Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring" -- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950
“Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless person you have seen and ask yourself if the next step you contemplate is going to be of any use to that person.”--Mohandas Gandhi
"The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis" -Edmund Burke
Rally in Washington Is Said to Invigorate the Antiwar Movement
Emboldened by aweekend antiwar protest in Washington that organizers called the biggest since the days of the Vietnam War, groups opposed to military action in Iraq said they were preparing a wave of new demonstrations across the country in the next few weeks.
The demonstration on Saturday in Washington drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers. They expected 30 buses, and were surprised by about 650, coming from as far as Nebraska and Florida.
A companion demonstration in San Francisco attracted 42,000 protesters, city police there said, and smaller groups demonstrated in other cities, including about 800 in Austin, Tex., and 2,500 in Augusta, Me.
"The rally was like a huge gust of wind into the sails of the antiwar movement," said Brian Becker, an organizer of the Washington protest. "Our goal was not simply to have a big demonstration, but to give the movement confidence that it could prevail. The massive turnout showed it's legitimate, and it's big."
Building on those demonstrations, a coalition of groups called International Answer - short for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism - is asking people to vote in a referendum called VoteNoWar.org, which organizers hope will serve as a countervote to the Congressional resolution in support of military action in Iraq.
The coalition, which has absorbed several smaller groups around the country, is also planning another protest on Jan. 18 and 19 in Washington, to coincide with the commemoration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and the 12th anniversary of the Persian Gulf war. Organizers are also planning what they call a Grass Roots Peoples' Congress to publicize the results of the referendum.
Smaller groups that attended the demonstrations in San Francisco and Washington said they were planning their own protests back home. Protesters plan to march in New Orleans and Tampa, Fla., this weekend; in Charleston, S.C., in mid-November; and again in San Francisco on Nov. 22. A group in Louisiana is planning a peace walk between Baton Rouge and New Orleans at the end of November, and the National Council of Churches is discussing another rally in Washington for Nov. 24.
MoveOn.org is conducting an online petition drive and has raised about $2 million for candidates, including the late Senator Paul Wellstone, who opposed a war in Iraq.
In California, college students are leading teach-ins against the war at high schools. Richard Becker, an organizer with Answer in San Francisco, said the group was setting up an emergency response plan to accommodate a mass protest - complete with sound systems, placards, the requisite permits and even portable toilets - on the day United States troops enter Iraq.
"There is not going to be one speech or one demonstration, after which everyone goes home," said Barbara Lubin, the founder of the Middle East Children's Alliance in Berkeley, Calif. "This is a movement against war, and it's building momentum."
Those who have been organizing and attending demonstrations for several months said the swelling size of the protests showed how much antiwar sentiment had increased as the threat of war intensified.
In San Francisco, a march on Sept. 6 drew 2,500 people, one two weeks later, 6,000, and one on Oct. 6, 10,000.
"People are very emboldened right now," said Mike Zmolek, an organizer with the National Network to Stop the War in Iraq. "We've been in a financial crunch since we started - suddenly people are sending checks out of nowhere."
Mr. Zmolek said his organization had attracted 100 new antiwar groups across the country in the last three months.
"It was beautiful," said Merrill Chapman, 35, who called herself "just a housewife" in Charleston, S.C. "I'm in a very conservative town, and I feel like the lone voice. Being in Washington energized me, by seeing I was not alone."
Ms. Chapman had never been to a protest before the demonstration in Washington, but got involved after organizing a group called Thinking People in Charleston. She is planning a rally for Nov. 16 in her city.
In Houston, Lois Wright, a 46-year-old saleswoman in a drapery workroom, said she felt compelled to take the two-day bus ride to Washington, because the Bush administration seemed "hellbent on going to war."
"It's O.K. to do stuff in Houston, but nobody gets to hear about it," she said. "I felt if we were right in their faces, they couldn't ignore us."
Polls show that about 50 percent of Americans support sending ground troops to Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Antiwar organizers acknowledge some public support for military action, but said that until now, the voices of those who do not support the policy have not been heard.
"I think the president has considerable support," Mr. Zmolek said, "but I think the nation is pretty divided on this."
Certainly, there is still debate. In Austin, the University of Texas student government passed a resolution on Oct. 22 opposing an attack, by a vote of 20 to 17. Some students seek to have that vote overturned, saying it does not reflect the sentiment of the campus's 50,000 students.
From: Wes Boyd, MoveOn PAC
Dear MoveOn Member,
Today we bring you good news from the front lines in the battle for the U.S. Senate.
This is exciting, because although Shaheen has been an effective Democratic Governor (see her endorsement from the Boston Globe below), she has always faced difficult odds in this staunchly Republican state.
Please help Jeanne Shaheen seize this moment of opportunity, at:
She has a strong record on
* Education: added Kindergarten to New Hampshire's public schools;
Her opponent, Congressman John Sununu, has taken extreme positions against reproductive choice. He has sponsored legislation to privatize Social Security and risk it in the stock market. His father, also named John Sununu, was Chief of Staff to the first President Bush during the 1991 Gulf War on Iraq.
Help make it happen, at: http://www.moveonpac.org/moveonpac/viewcandidates.phtml
The three other candidates on this page -- Tim Johnson, Jean Carnahan, and Ron Kirk -- are all in incredibly tight, battleground races.
Thank you. Your support will really make a difference in these key races.
- Wes, Joan, Peter, Carrie, Eli, and Doug
Date: 29 Oct 2002 16:48:16 -0000
Dear MoveOn member,
Yesterday we askedyou to talk to your boss. Today we ask you to talk to your friends. But not just any friends -- talk to friends that live in or near areas with really tight races. (See list below.) Call five of them. This should be fun. Let them know about the important race in their area. Ask them if they've considered helping a key campaign in its final push.
What do your friends care most about -- the environment, a woman's right to choose, peace & justice, their shrinking stock portfolios, keeping their jobs? No matter what they're most concerned about, you can make a good case for action today.
Then talk to your friends about the tremendous contribution they could make by volunteering to help get out the vote.
The list of key Senate and House races is attached below. Think hard -- you probably know folks in these places.
Today's reason to act, #7 in our election countdown, comes from Peggy Kenny of Palo Alto, California through our discussion forum. She says:
Reason #7: Vote as if your life depends on it!
What do your friends think? Are they going to help?
Let us know at:
Below you'll find a listing of (1) Hot Senate Races, (2) Hot House Races, and (3) Bus rides to hot races.
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 12:24:42 -0500
For thosewho would like a good analysis of what we may be in for with respect to occupation of Iraq, I strongly suggest you read the long article in this month's Atlantic Monthly, called "The Fifty-First State." It is VERY ENLIGHTENING and should be in the national discussion. -- Jeff Surfus
"The Fifty-first State?"
Going to war with Iraq would mean shouldering all the responsibilities of an occupying power the moment victory was achieved. These would include running the economy, keeping domestic peace, and protecting Iraq's borders-and doing it all for years, or perhaps decades. Are we ready for this long-term relationship?
Article in its entirety: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/11/fallows.htm
From: "Amer Abdelhadi"
This story and more at www.tmfm.net
A lot of things happened since the cold blooded murder of Shaden Abu Hijleh, most of them you heard from me or your own sources.
From: "Ami Kronfeld"
[Number of officers and soldiers in the Israeli armywho signed the "Fighters' Letter" declaring publicly that they will refuse to execute the government policy and will no longer serve in the occupied territories: 500
See http://www.seruv.org.il/defaulteng.asp (English) or
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 18:31:22 +0300
The Evil Wall - Palestinian Ghetto - Israeli Catastrophe Demonstration
If you are planning to attend and have room in your car leaving Jerusalem, please call Yehudit (02-5637174) before Thursday evening. The Bat Shalom-Gush Shalom-Women's Coalition for Peace-Kvisa Schora contingent will be meeting at 19:00 near the west side of the stage.
We gratefully accept contributions to help support our work. Checks in any currency can be mailed to Bat Shalom, POB 8083, Jerusalem 91080, Israel. Tel: +972-2-563 1477; Fax: +972-2-561 7983. See our web site for information about tax-deductible contributions or bank transfers.
To subscribe to Bat Shalom's newsletter, please reply by e-mail with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line, and include your first and last name in the body of the email. To unsubscribe, please write "Unsubscribe" in the subject line, and also include your first and last name in the body of the email.
From: Jewish Peace News
[Today the Israel Defense Force belatedlyadmitted that it had used "exaggerated" force in its attack on the Rafah refugee camp two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of six Palestinian civilians, including women and children who were far from the purported skirmish. Israeli troops fired tank shells indiscriminately, according to the internal report (second article below). No disciplinary action will be taken. While highly disturbing, the report does not surprise. At the same time, as Ha'aretz commentator Ze'ev Schiff argues, the IDF must be called upon to respond to attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian olive harvesters. This is the first time in recent memory that Israelis have participated in the "collective theft" and destruction of Palestinian food supplies. (Of course, this has long been state policy with regard to water supplies, of which Israeli appropriates about 80% from West Bank aquifers.) Schiff points out that this is particularly meaningful in a year when, unlike last year, the olive crop is abundant and stands to bring a source of economic and food sustenance to up to 600,000 Palestinians who depend in one way or another on the harvest. And Schiff remarks -- surprisingly perhaps for a mainline columnist -- that the destruction of Palestinian olive crops and prevention of harvesting is "laying the groundwork for Transfer" of Palestinians out of the Territories. This is a process that has already begun, as Palestinians villagers have been forced out of villages like Yanun. The Israeli government bears the greatest responsibility in this matter because, as occupier, it is legally (and morally) responsible for the well-being of the occupied. --LS]
The army must stop the olive thieves
By Ze'ev Schiff
It would be a mistake to regard the settlers' robberies of Palestinian villagers' olive harvests as merely another serious crime. This collective theft signifies a change in the current military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and is a revolution in the history of the settlements in general. For the first time in the current conflict, Israelis are stealing and confiscating Palestinian food. Even if they won't admit it, it can be seen as laying the groundwork for Transfer, not by the state but by a group of settlers. In Yanun, south of Nablus, most of the residents have already been forced to leave their homes.
In one of the rounds of the conflict in the distant past, during the Arab revolt of 1936, it was the Palestinians who tried hurting the Jewish yishuv by burning fields and crops. Now citizens are doing such things after their country promised Washington and President George W. Bush that it would take into consideration the humanitarian problems of the Palestinian population. Israel understands that is the other side of the war on terror; to fight the terrorists and their controllers, and not at the expense of the innocent population. The settlers are mocking those promises, including the ones made by the prime minister.
With their deeds, the thieves are sending the message that it's not a war on terror in the territories but a campaign to deepen the poverty and hunger of the Palestinian population. They are burning the olive harvests, damaging the olive trees and preventing farmers from reaching privately owned groves. This is a classic formula for creating more terrorists. And why is it happening this year? Because this year the olive harvest is excellent, compared to last year, when it was very weak and there was no point robbing the slender crop. According to one assessment, by the end of the season in late December, the farmers could earn as much as NIS 200 million. That's what the harvest robbers want to prevent. Those knowledgeable about Palestinian agriculture say that some 600,000 Palestinians earn their livelihood in one way or another from live harvests.
To prepare the groundwork for their plot, the robbers enlisted the former chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, who explained that the fruit from the trees planted by Gentiles on land inherited by the people of Israel, does not belong to the Gentiles. At most, they can get a tithe from it. This is rape of the Jewish religion, the handiwork of idol worshippers, and a disgrace for the people of Israel, whether from the right or left, secular or religious. A few days ago, Denmark, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, managed to postpone for three years the decision whether the EU should boycott goods produced by Israelis in the settlements. If the olive robberies are not ceased immediately, and the victims of the theft are not compensated, Israel will have no moral right to ask the EU to prevent boycotts of settlement products.
The harvest robbers show that Israelis are also contributing to the destruction of the rule of law in the territories. If they were blocked immediately, things would appear differently. But the depth of the change these deeds are creating is apparent in the weakness the IDF is displaying. Many officers are ashamed of it. But statements by the chief of staff during internal discussions that he condemns the phenomenon are meaningless, if the army does not take determined action to prevent it. The settlers' private army - and it's not only the hilltop gangs - has taken the law into its own hands, and is spitting in the face of the army.
If the harvest robberies are not immediately stopped there will be, for the first time, justification for international military involvement in the territories - and not merely inspectors, but a full-fledged military intervention. We'll all lose. We can already learn from the harvest robberies about the future developments we're promised, if the settlers and their supporters are allowed to lead Israeli policy. The change the harvest robbers have wrought proves how important it is that Washington sticks to its demand to freeze the settlements.
© Copyright Ha`aretz. All rights reserved
IDF admits 'exaggerated' use of force in Rafah incident By
Two weeks after an incident in which six Palestinians were killed by IDF fire in Rafah, a top army officer has admitted that poor judgment resulted in an improper use of force in the incident. However, no action is expected against any of those involved.
Two weeks ago, while the troops were building a wall meant to block Palestinians from digging smuggling tunnels into Egypt from Rafah, the force came under fire from light weapons and hand grenades, culminating in an anti-tank rocket that hit one of the armored diggers at work. An IDF tank responded with four shells, which killed six Palestinians. Among the dead were women and children, some of whom were a long way from the gunmen, Palestinian sources said.
Brig. Gen Yisrael Ziv, commander of the army in Gaza, told Channel Ten on Tuesday that in retrospect, after the investigation, it seems that "the army used an exaggerated amount of force. The tank fired four shells when one was enough," he said. The day after the incident, Ziv told Channel One that the IDF had no reason to apologize for the incident and that the force operated properly under heavy fire.
In the wake of the incident, the rules of engagement for tank fire in Rafah have been tightened. In recent days there has been relative quiet in the area, despite ongoing IDF engineering in the area, aimed at completing the wall.
© Copyright Ha`aretz. All rights reserved
Jewish Peace News (JPN) is an edited news-clipping and commentary service provided by A Jewish Voice for Peace. JPN's editors are Adam Gutride, Amichai Kronfeld, Rela Mazali, Sarah Anne Minkin, Judith Norman, Mitchell Plitnick, Lincoln Shlensky, and Alistair Welchman. The opinions expressed by the editors and presented in the articles sent to this list are solely those of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of A Jewish Voice for Peace.
A Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a San Francisco Bay Area grassroots organization dedicated to the human, civil and economic rights of Jews, Palestinians, and all peoples in the Middle East.
Donating to A Jewish Voice for Peace is easy. Just go to our website at www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org. There, you can either donate online using your credit card or you can find our mailing address to send us a check. All contributions are tax-deductible. Your support is greatly appreciated.
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International A.N.S.W.E.R. Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
CALL and FAX and EMAIL TODAY!!!! CALL and FAX and EMAIL TODAY!!!! CALL and FAX and EMAIL TODAY!!!!
You can easily find how to contact for your own U.S. Senators and Congresspeople at http://government.aol.com.
To begin, here are four important people to address in the United States. Use phone AND fax AND email:
President George W. Bush
Vice President Dick Cheney
Secretary of State Colin Powell
You can call the Capital switchboard toll-free: 1-800-839-5276 and ask to be connected to your member of Congress.
UN Security Council Members with Veto Power
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan
Permanent Representative and Ambassador Wang Yingfan Tel: 212-655-6191
Deputy Permanent Representative and Ambassador Zhang Yishan Tel: 212-655-6123
Political Affairs Section Tel: 212-655-6141
UNITED NATIONS ADMINISTRATION:
Benjamin Ben Eliezer, Israeli Minister of Defense:
Shimon Peres, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Here is the phone number of the IDF Commander for the Ramallah area (from the US):
ABC News - 212-456-4040
NBC Nightly News - Nightly@nbc.com
MSNBC - email@example.com
KOMO-TV4 - Tips@KOMO4NEWS.com
KIRO-TV7 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Jennings - PeterJennings@abcnews.com
CTV NATIONAL NEWS - email@example.com
CNN - firstname.lastname@example.org
CBC-TV - email@example.com
CBCNEWS - firstname.lastname@example.org
CBC VANCOUVER - email@example.com
CBC THIS MORNING - firstname.lastname@example.org
BCTV NEWS - email@example.com
ABC World News Tonight - firstname.lastname@example.org
THE VILLAGE VOICE - email@example.com
THE VANCOUVER SUN - firstname.lastname@example.org
THE TORONTO STAR - email@example.com
THE PRAGUE POST - firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NATION - email@example.com
THE INDEPENDENT - firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GUARDIAN - email@example.com
THE DAILY STAR-BEIRUT - firstname.lastname@example.org
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD - email@example.com
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES - firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ZEALAND HERALD - email@example.com
NEW YORK TIMES - firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL POST - email@example.com
MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE - firstname.lastname@example.org
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL - email@example.com
MIAMI HERALD - HeraldEd@herald.com
LOS ANGELES TIMES - firstname.lastname@example.org
JORDAN TIMES - email@example.com
JERUSALEM POST - firstname.lastname@example.org
GLOBAL NATIONAL - email@example.com
EVENING POST - NZ - firstname.lastname@example.org
DENVER POST - email@example.com
CKVU-TV - firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - DWycliff@tribune.com
CBS Evening News - email@example.com
CBC COUNTERSPIN - firstname.lastname@example.org
BUENOS AIRES HERALD - email@example.com
BOSTON GLOBE - firstname.lastname@example.org
BANGKOK POST - email@example.com
2020 - firstname.lastname@example.org