Posts tagged Palestine
South Africa established separate education systems for Blacks, Whites and Coloreds. Non-white education systems were seriously underfunded. 1984 per capita spending on white children was 1,654 SAR, black children 234 SAR.
Israel has established separate Hebrew and Arab education systems. A 2005 study showed that within Israel, Jewish students receive 4,935 Israeli Shekels per year in education funding while Arab students receive 862.
Many things you can do this year and resolve to do in 2011:
- You can join the twitter campaigns on December 27 to promote justice for Gaza and remember the atrocities committed by Israel in December – January 2008. The two campaigns are #Gaza2 and #BoycottIsrael.
- Wear Red on Monday, December 27.
- Join and support the BDS Movement – the most powerful and growing movement to delegitimize the apartheid state of Israel. There are simple things you can do like refuse to buy Motorola, Ahava, Veolia, and other products. And there are bigger things you can do by joining your local BDS groups and their campaigns to boycott, divest, and sanction.
Shame on Nayla Tueni, one of only 4 Lebanese women in Parliament and only 28. She has published an Op Ed in her family’s Arabic newspaper, Al Nahar, accusing Palestinians of bullying Lebanon and telling activists who are demanding equal rights for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees to piss off. Written in such self-righteous style, one could forget the fact that it is incredibly racist. I have translated her article into English below. Yes, Nayla, Lebanon is an apartheid state, denying a refugee population that lives on its land (because it has nowhere else to go) their human rights for the single reason that they are Palestinian. Yes, the Lebanese are a racist people because they discriminate against the Palestinians for no other reason than their nationality. It is as simple as that. Your arguments are unsound and invalid and sectarian and – perhaps worst of all – really badly written.
A couple of days ago, I read an article in which an American Palestinian describes his troubles in renting a house in Lebanon, and how he at least has a little advantage on his fellow Palestinians because he holds a foreign passport. He goes on to talk about Lebanese racism towards Palestinians first, and towards migrant workers as well.
Palestinians have a right to a life of peace and comfort that has not been granted to them in their land nor in Arab countries where they live. Their movement is restricted in Egypt, they have suffered in Jordan, were kicked out of Kuwait, and their physical and political activities are closely monitored in Syria. They are discriminated against in most Arab countries, but don’t dare to talk about their situation except in Lebanon, not because their suffering is greater, that is true relatively, but because they know that they will not be held accountable for their words and writings. They will not be held in the airport or at the borders. In Lebanon, they have a freedom they have never known or lived since they were kicked out of their homeland.
Palestinians tried to live their freedom – chaos on Lebanese land. They withheld freedom of expression and mobility and living from Lebanese. Instead of trying to liberate their land and country, they worked to build an alternative state that passes through Jounieh, not through the Southern borders. We don’t want to open wounds of the past every time the Palestinian issue is brought up because their rights are human rights and Lebanon must work seriously to deliver some of these rights according to capabilities that do not affect Lebanese citizens negatively.
But in return, have the Palestinians made any effort to express good will towards Lebanon? Have they controlled terrorism in Nahr Al Bared camp before the Lebanese army had to go into a harsh battle with them and lose over 100 martyrs? Have they delivered to the Lebanese authorities a fugitive who is hiding in Ain El Helwe camp? Did they prevent a terrorist from sneaking in to blow up commercial stores in East Saida villages? Did they control and turn in their weapons outside the camps in compliance with agreements of the National Dialogue Conference and to preserve the respect of the Lebanese state? Did they take permission from the required authorities to hold their military maneuvers in Qusaya and other places?
Is it always up to Lebanon to give up and concede and tolerate, and after all this, someone comes to hold us responsible and accuse our government and people of racism? In all countries of the world, the Palestinian is treated like any other citizen because he is like everyone else. But in Lebanon, he is above Lebanese citizens because he is above the law.
And so enough, a thousand times enough, to the statements and speeches, and television interviews of organizations that don’t exist, or that represent only a hundred or so people, while the majority has escaped from their clutch. Justice, enough offending and bruising Lebanon, destroying its well-being and identity. These are nothing but biddings that aim to hurt others and pay back for older unsettled accounts that belong to no one now that the snow has melted.
And finally, since the Palestinian Authority still exists, why doesn’t it issue official passports to all Palestinians on Lebanese land so that they are counted and identified, and can thereby get work permits just like any other Arab citizen?
Do they dare to discuss this option? More importantly, can they agree to this option? Will the Palestinian Authority respond? Of course not, and if the answer is set already, will it always be “Lebanon’s fault?”
Translated from الاستقواء الفلسطيني على لبنان published in Al Nahar newspaper on Monday, June 28.
We were on a mission this weekend to raise global twitter awareness about the Freedom Flotilla heading towards Gaza with tons of aid supplies. The organizers were doing an amazing job with social media, tweeting live from the boats, video live streaming, as well as Google-mapping their locations in the sea on the hour. We wanted to amplify those efforts.
Before the Attack
We tweeted and tweeted and #flotilla did not trend, although it was technically ahead of many trending topics over 24 hours. Even the Jerusalem Post recognized the phenomenal effort we put. I flipped through the TV channels and found no news covering the topic, except for occasional updates from Al Jazeera. By 5am Beirut time, over 13,000 viewers had been watching the live stream continuously for hours. The flotilla had been surrounded by Israeli warships and air force. Nobody reported about it. I stupidly thought there was no way Israel would attack the activists, who all appeared in positive, high spirits on the live stream. One young woman, an Arab American laughed and said to the camera she apologizes to her family for not telling them she was going to Gaza again. She was really cool. Max, I thought, the Israeli warships would block the flotilla near Gaza and escort them to the tents they had prepared in Ashdod. How else does one deal with a peaceful, non-violent protest?
And so, I went to sleep, waiting to hear the news of the flotilla in the morning. I woke up to the horror that 16 activists had been killed and that the flotilla had been captured by the Israeli military. I was shocked and speechless for a good hour. #Flotilla had risen to over 0.7% on twitter but still wasn’t trending. It is undoubtedly a case of censorship. I challenge anyone to tell me it wasn’t. I saved all the graphs. @ShantDotMe suggested that we try and trend another term since twitter must have blocked #Flotilla. I figured they also had the excuse of flotilla being a common noun, so I suggested we go for #FreedomFlotilla. An hour later, both “Gaza Flotilla” and #FreedomFlotilla were trending and have been for the past couple of hours.
We did not mean for #Flotilla to trend because of a massacre. No, that was not our purpose at all. We wanted #Flotilla to trend while the boats were on their way towards Gaza so that the world could follow what was happening.
The Wrong Kind of Trending
But all of that doesn’t matter. We did not mean for #Flotilla to trend because of a massacre. No, that was not our purpose at all. We wanted #Flotilla to trend while the boats were on their way towards Gaza so that the world could follow what was happening. We wanted the world to follow the facts, to meet the faces on board the boats, to see the situation unfold in front of their eyes. The Zionist propaganda machine is extremely powerful and it was on full speed last night with arguments like: people on the flotilla are armed, they are on their way to murder thousands of Israelis, they are smuggling guns to give to Hamas, all bullshit accusations. The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was an international group of over 700 people from 40 different countries, carrying thousands of tons of aid to the Palestinians who have been under siege for over 1080 days. Do you think they would be brave enough to sail to Gaza, knowing the threat they were under, if their purpose was to smuggle arms? Of course the point was not only to deliver the aid; they were on a political action to break the siege. Their action was brave and courageous and pacifist and non-violent. The world continues to be silent about the siege. Gazans continue to suffer. And so the activists wanted to wake the world up by sailing straight to Gaza through international waters.
And so, what is Israel to do in the face of non-violent protest? First, of course, Israel tries to play the innocent helpful role: give us the aid, we will deliver it ourselves, knowing the organizers would not agree because this is not an isolated incident of sending aid to Gaza. This is a political message to break the siege. Second, of course, Israel tries to delegitimize the non-violence, accusing the activists of “provoking” the Israeli warships. But who provoked who really? Israel taunted the activists, circling them by sea and sky, in international waters, signaling and threatening to take action. The flotilla boats then huddled close together and diverted their course a little in order to avoid the clash with the Israeli warships, and their spirits remained high. The Zionist taunting did not work. Israel weighs out the options:
- Attack the flotilla, kill a few people, scare everyone from ever attempting such actions again, take a tiny bit of criticism, remain protected by impunity, whitewash the crime with excuses of self-defense, and come out of it unscathed; or
- allow the activists to reach Gaza, break the siege, deliver some aid, and give hope to thousands of other activists that non-violent marches (or sails) actually work?
The choice is obvious. The Israelis thus act ruthlessly – even in the face of such non-violence – to scare the hell out of these activists and any others. Their message is clear: you cannot resist Zionism, not even non-violently. They will shut down every glimpse of it lest it grow too powerful. And no, my dear Arab leaders, you are not getting off the hook so easily. All of you are racing now to denounce the attacks on the flotilla. Where were you a few days ago when the mission needed your support? Where are all the other boat and ships from all the other countries to join the flotilla? Astankir, nastankir.. shut the fuck up!
So. Israel knew exactly what to do. The question now is: what are we to do? Our choice is just as obvious.
Friends, it is once again time to use social media to get a message across to the world. A flotilla of boats carrying human rights activists is right now on its way to Gaza via international waters in order to break the Israeli siege and deliver aid to the people. Will they succeed in their mission? Will they make history? What can we do to support them?
Let’s trend #flotilla on twitter all day tomorrow, Sunday, May 30, by tweeting news, thoughts, and links about the Freedom Flotilla’s trajectory to Gaza. Once we trend it, millions of people will see the term and click on it to find out what it means and why it’s trending. We will also be providing moral support and sailing (twailing?) in solidarity with the brave activists risking their lives on board the flotilla. Here’s what you can do:
- Be online on Sunday, May 30 starting 12pm Cairo time (5am New York time) and throughout the day. We want to get #flotilla trending by the early afternoon and keep it trending through the night.
- Let us know you have joined us. Sign up here or tweet to @nmoawad or @justicentric.
- Recruit fellow tweeps to join us.
- Use Facebook to get the message across.
- Get more information here: http://www.gazafreedommarch.org/cms/en/flotilla.aspx and here.
- Follow all the tweets on the #flotilla here.
Group trending is a lot of fun & will connect you to so many wonderful new tweeps. So get on board; we need every tweet. When tweeting, take note to:
- Hash #Flotilla only once (or else it doesn’t count).
- Don’t use the automatic retweet button (or else your tweet doesn’t count).
- Tweet often but not more than once or twice a minute (or else your account will get blocked).
- Tweet useful information about the #flotilla and #Gaza. Our mission is to raise awareness, not simple to trend.
It’s very short notice but we can do it!
I received this letter from a friend today:
Last week the UC Berkeley Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) Student Senate voted overwhelmingly, 16-4, to pass a divestment bill that targets two US companies, General Electric and United Technologies, which supply military equipment to the Israeli army that were used in operations in the Gaza Strip that have been investigated and classified as possible war crimes by the UN Human Rights Commission Goldstone Report, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International among others.
This historic development at UCB in the international struggle for Palestinian human rights is in danger of being reversed after the ASUC student president recently received a barrage of emails urging him to veto the bill before the one week deadline, Wednesday at 7pm (Pacific time). Please take the time to write a short message of support to the ASUC president for the democratic process that the ASUC senate engaged in, and urge him NOT TO VETO THIS BILL. Including group affiliations or any other information you think would be relevant is encouraged. Below is also a template email if you would prefer to use that. It doesn’t matter if you are affiliated with UC Berkeley or not. Thank you for your support!!
Subject: DO NOT veto the divestment resolution
Dear President Smelko,
I am writing to urge you to NOT VETO the divestment resolution, which calls for divestment from two companies which directly support the Israeli occupation and war crimes in Palestine. These bills call for the end of University funding to Israel’s military arsenal and the weapons that it uses in committing the war crimes recognized by international law and the United Nations. This divestment action builds on the legacy at UC Berkeley to fight systems of oppression and apartheid. In 1984, UC students held the banner of the divestment movement from South African apartheid. UC has also divested from tobacco companies, and carefully scrutinized products potentially coming from sweatshop labor.
This bill will further the efforts to keep the university accountable and responsible for the investments it makes. In a time of economic crisis, and underfunding of our education with budget cuts, it is crucial we show that we as students do not support our tuition funding military occupation. I sincerely hope that you can see the truth in this struggle and help further it.
The Shorty Awards finale is here! We’ve got until 7pm (Beirut time) on Friday, February 5 to vote for Ali Abunimah al molakkab bi @avinunu on twitter. I don’t need to go into the details of why this is important, but to recap: it raises awareness, it fights back the slander (and since last week Ali has been getting TONS of online slander by zionist propagandists), it brings activists for Palestine together, it gives us hope that small actions on our part can fight the seemingly all-powerful zionist machine. And all it takes is really a couple of minutes.
Ali is leading now by a small margin of votes but his opponent (who has 55,000 followers!) is always making comebacks. So even if we’re leading, keep on voting! Here are some of the basics:
- To vote, tweet this: “I vote for @avinunu for a Shorty Award in #politics because…” and put a reason after “because..” or else it won’t count. Also, your reason must be unique & real. Don’t put anything hateful towards the opponent or anything silly. Lost for a reason? Google Ali. You can also do this at the voting page.
- If you voted during the nomination phase, you don’t need to vote again – you will still only count once. You can, however, re-vote to updated your reason if you feel your reason wasn’t that good. They take the last votes.
- Now is the time to RECRUIT actively to get others to vote too. Shorty Awards are monitored by real people, so they will check the accounts voting. If an account was just created, it is disqualified or if it never tweets, it is disqualified too. So take a few minutes please to recruit friends and supporters of Palestine to vote for Ali (and to recruit others in turn). You can do this by tweeting something like “Please encourage your friends to vote for @avinunu in Shorty Awards. We need 100s more people to win!” or DM-ing them (don’t spam). Or you can go back to traditional methods and call them, email them, or tell to vote when you bump into them in a cafe.
- Use other channels like Facebook and blogs to tell people about this campaign.
- Monitor the results live! It’s really exciting
This is going to be a quick post because I need to get dressed & go to work, but I wanted to give a summary of our spur-of-the-moment campaign yesterday:
I saw a tweet by @RedPlebiscite mentioning how pissed off he was that a zionist was leading the Shorty Awards list in politics. Of course I had heard of the Shorty Awards but didn’t really care much for them. But then when I saw the zionist nomination page accusing the #Gaza activists of being murderers and terrorists (again), I figured we shouldn’t shut up about anything – especially the allegations made online – not even the littlest thing! This is what we are fighting: “#justice will occur when Israel flattens #Gaza, dear” (click on image below)
And so we came together again and I suggested nominating Ali Abunimah @avinunu because he really is one of our best and most active voices on Palestine and human rights today. Google him. The decision was unanimous! It was like an awesome reunion of all the #Gaza tweeters – all of us spreading the word from 2am (Beirut time) till now – which is 8am. The trick this time, however, is that every one of our voices counts as just one. We need to recruit more people. And indeed, at the time of writing this post, we had gotten up to 179 votes for @avinunu. This is our standing now[8am GMT+2]:
@avinunu is in third place lagging less than 120 votes behind the zionist propagandist although he only has 1,500 followers whereas the other dude has 55,000! AND, we only started campaigning for Ali tonight, whereas the other dude had been campaigning for weeks now. The voting closes January 30th at 10am (Beirut/Cairo time) – so please get everyone you know to vote here: http://shortyawards.com/avinunu and bear in mind that only votes from active accounts are counted. Here are some of the tips:
- It is preferable to vote using the box on the page: http://shortyawards.com/avinunu
- Make sure you put a reason after “because…” or else it doesn’t count.
- Your vote is only counted once even if you tweet a nomination a million times.
- There is some formula for counting ranks. You can read about it on their “How It Works” page. That’s how Ali’s ahead of RayBeckerman too although the latter has more votes. But I’m not sure how it works. Anyone?
- Follow the competition in the #Politics category here.
- I am not sure what happens afterwards; the rules say the Top5 become finalists (?) if anyone knows more, please share the info in the comment box.
- Vote! And when you’ve voted, recruit fellow supporters of Palestine to vote! The zionists have already smeared Ali online nominating him for antisemite and terrorist awards. Shuf! And they will continue to do so. So let’s all take a stand for the truth about Palestine
Updates as the day progresses…
It’s 3am [+2 GMT] now and Ali has been winning all day! He is now at 433 votes; almost 100 ahead of his competitor. We did it. We are the people. Let us wait and see what the committee of the Shorty Awards has to say about that.
Only 2 days to go before our attempt at trending #GAZA on twitter to raise global awareness on commemorating one year since the massive Israeli assault and siege. You can read the initial post here. Here are some updates and instructions I thought would be useful for all of us involved in the campaign:
How does a topic trend on twitter and why is that important?
At every given time, twitter lists a number of “trending,” i.e. popular topics being discussed frequently by a large number of people. These topics get a lot of needed attention – especially if we know they are otherwise going to be ignored by mainstream mass media. With all the odds against the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina, we need to make sure that we are reporting the news of what’s happening with their campaigns, as well as reminding the world of the one-year commemoration. Topics trend on twitter when a large number of people mention it frequently over a substantial period of time. It also depends on the percentage of tweets, the hour, how active the twit-o-sphere is, etc. Based on a little research I did today, here’s how we can get it done:
- We have all been tweeting #GAZA news frequently the past week at an average of 0.02% (i.e. out of 1 million tweets, 200 are about Gaza). We need to raise that number to at least 1% AND we need to sustain that for at least 4 hours. Some research says the average hour has 200,000 unique tweets. So we’re looking at a goal of 2000 unique #GAZA tweets per hour. Follow #GAZA on Trendistic to see how it’s doing at any time. You can also compare it to other topics; here’s a comparison between #GAZA and #09memories that quickly trended to 4% in a day.
- In order to do that, we must focus our energies on 4 hours: 3pm – 7pm (GMT). Find out what time that is in your city here. According to the following graph, that raises our chances of trending because that’s when the tweets are at that lowest. It’s Sunday morning for the North Americans (twitter’s largest demographic), so we should aim to trend #GAZA by the time they get online:
- To guarantee a large reach, we initially called for at least 100 campaigners. These are tweeps who are dedicated to tweet non-stop about #GAZA for the full 4 hours of the campaign. They are the ones who will make the difference in peaking the topic. Here is a list of everyone who has signed up. You can choose to follow all (or some) of them to retweet the news yourself. I am updating the list on an hourly basis. If you’d like to sign up, please drop me a message on @nmoawad or leave a comment here. We need many more people to sign up! Even if you’ve never used twitter before, you can still register for an account, follow the #GAZA list and start tweeting with us.
- Please blog about the commemoration to add news and resources we can link to. We expect that some great news articles, blogs, and videos will come up on Sunday for us to tweet. We will also be receiving and reporting live news from GFM and Viva Palestina marchers.
That’s the plan for now. We’re crossing our fingers it works! The challenge will be to get enough people on board and enough tweets out there. We’re hoping no sudden global event happens to steal attention away from Gaza. It’s not going to be easy at all because we’re in the middle of holiday season and goodbye 2009 tweets. But imagine how beautiful it will be when we (and the world) see #GAZA up there. If you have any expertise, please do make comments on my stats above – they are at best my estimated guesses, so any help is greatly appreciated.
So yalla! Take action:
- Spread the word. Send emails, share links on Facebook, make calls, recruit your friends, etc. Ask people to sign up on twitter. Since we don’t have much time to coordinate efforts, please feel free to run different ideas to support our goal.
- Add a #GAZA Twibbon to your Twitter Picture.
- Join the Facebook event ACT, Don’t Mourn and invite all your friends.
- Follow #Gaza search on twitter on Sunday to see where we at.
- Chang your Facebook profile pic to the image on the right.
- Follow me on twitter for updates.
- You can use Tweet-U-Later to schedule tweets to come out at different times. Do so in moderation though so that twitter doesn’t see you as spamming.