White House Protest Corps


After roaming oceans and continents, Sri Lankan Tamils find home in Oakland
June 16, 2010, 5:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

 http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15295572?nclick_check=1

Palani Nadarajah
www.boycottsrilanka.com

Please remeber our Heroes

Advertisements


American Media Failure Again: Israeli Raid Coverage

American Media Failure Again

Israeli Raid Coverage

By LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.

http://www.counterpunch.org/washington06152010.html

An American art student loses an eye when struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli Defense Force (IDF) personnel breaking up a demonstration in the occupied West Bank which itself is a protest against the deadly commando raid on the Free Gaza flotilla.

No, you didn’t miss U.S. news media coverage of this IDF attack on 21-year-old Emily Henchowicz, a student at Cooper Union in New York City who was standing with a group of foreigners during that demonstration near a checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.

You didn’t miss it because the mainstream media in the U.S. ignored it.
Apparently news of Henchowicz’s maiming was not news deemed worthy enough for print in the New York Times or Washington Post or meriting broadcast network/cable news attention.

It’s no surprise that the avowedly right-wing FOX ignored this incident, but the liberal-leaning MSNBC ignored this story also.

The blackout of this partial blinding of an American citizen darkens the already black eye the mainstream American news media has giving itself by its crimped coverage of the deadly Israeli raid on that flotilla attempting to bring humanitarian supplies to the Israeli-besieged Gaza and of the international fallout in the wake of that illegal raid.

The same major U.S. newspapers that found space during the two weeks after that May 31st assault in international waters for over 1,200 articles about the Tea Party or that “movement’s” darling du jour Rand Paul, carried only 58 references to the American-born teen killed during that raid, according to a review of articles in the LexisNexis database of U.S. newspapers and wires.

So, what would explain why the fatal shooting of Troy, NY-born Furkan Dogan’s merits only one-ninth of the 500+ article coverage devoted to prattle from Sarah Palin, all of which was published during that same two week post-raid period?

Maybe it’s the fact that the 19-year-old Dogan, who had dual US/Turkish citizenship, lived the last 17-years of his short life in Turkey. Did his “Turkishness” trump the news that autopsy results showed the young Dogan had died from multiple gun shots including four shots to the head, one of them from the back?

Or maybe this minimalist coverage of Dogan’s death, as documented by a Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) anylisis, results from the fact that much of the “U.S. press coverage takes Israeli government claims at face value…”

If FAIR’s criticism that the media exhibited a lack of “skepticism” toward Israeli government spin is on target, maybe media managers simply embraced Israeli government claims that their crack commandos only boarded the Mavi Marmara armed with paint-ball guns and small caliber pistols, and then concluded that perhaps Dogan must have died either from gunfire from his fellow peace activists, or that he had shot himself four times in the head?

FAIR cited a Washington Post editorial as an “appalling” example of the U.S. news media’s penchant for reporting on the Israeli assault exclusively through Israel’s eyes.

That Post editorial characterized participants in the flotilla as a “motley collection,” deserving no sympathy due to their ulterior motive on “provoking a confrontation.”

Acknowledging that the Israeli raid was “misguided and badly executed,” this editorial in one of the nation’s major newspapers (a paper that did not report on the blinding of Emily Henchowicz) took a pro-Israeli perspective, inferring that calls for an international investigation into the flotilla raid could potentially become part of a campaign to “de-legitimize the Jewish State.” Such language is a talking-point lifted straight from the Israeli government and its American lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Irrespective of the sympathy many Americans have for Israel, the Ethics Code of America’s Society of Professional Journalists states that journalists should: support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.

Any fair-and-balanced report on the flotilla raid would have to have to include the perspective of flotilla participant and Israel Parliament member Hanin Zoabi, an Israeli-Arab, which ran in an AP article, and which was thus available to virtually every news editor in the country. In that AP story, which ran on June 10, she said, “The Israeli military is like a rapist that gets scratched and then blames the victim…Israel acts like a bull.”

According to a LexisNexis review condcted three days later, Zoabi’s words had still not been published in any major American newspaper.

Many American journalists – like many Americans – may feel Israel is justified in taking military actions in its professed self-defense, even as other Americans might consider those actions to be war crimes. Yet the point remains that support for the Israeli position does not justify suppression by the media of information integral to the story that conflicts with that position. At that point, the “news” becomes simply propaganda.

As George Curry, columnist for the BlackPressUSA site, noted in a recent article about the FAIR analysis, “For years, Palestinians have been unable to get their side fairly reported in the U.S. media and the latest international incident is yet another example.”

The critiques of Curry, FAIR and many others about the pro-Israeli/anti-Palestinian slant in America’s news media echoes a decades-old finding about news media failings to adequately cover race-related matters in the United States.
America’s news media have “not communicated to the majority of their audience – which is white – a sense of the degradation, misery, and hopelessness of living in the ghetto,” stated the March 1968 report of the Kerner Commission, which examined the causes of urban riots during the 1960s.

The Kerner Commission’s examination of news media practices criticized exclusionary coverage that consistently failed to provide context critical for a full understandings of race-related issues.

“If what the white American reads in the newspapers or sees on television conditions his expectations of what is ordinary and normal in the larger society, he will neither understand nor accept the black American,” the Kerner Report noted, concluding that slanted news coverage had “contributed to the black-white schism in this country.”

Slanted coverage on Palestinian issues similarly deprives Americans of the context needed to understand the complicated controversy that keeps the Middle East volatile and keeps America as a primary target of terrorists.

While accounts of that blinding injury to Emily Henchowicz are available in the blogosphere, the Inter Press Service is the only major U.S. news organization listed in the LexisNexis database to carry a story specifically reporting on the incident.

A June 1, 2010 IPS report from Ramallah stated that Henchowicz “…appeared to be deliberately targeted when a teargas canister was fired at her head, causing her to lose an eye.”

That same IPS article included context about IDF personnel regularly violating regulations barring firing those powerful gas canisters directly at protestors…violations that have produced in a number of deaths and serious injuries.

That Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Code urges journalists to “Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it’s unpopular to do so.”

The failure of many American media organizations to adhere to SPJ Code provisions produces the dynamic of: text without context is pretext.

LINN WASHINGTON is a founding member of the new independent collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening.net. His work, and that of colleagues John Grant, Dave Lindorff and Charles Young, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net



German Activists File War Crimes Complaints Against Israel

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,700127,00.html

By John Goetz

Left Party parliamentarians Annette Groth (l.) and Inge Höger (r.)  together with human rights activist Norman Paech (c.).

Left Party parliamentarians Annette Groth (l.) and Inge Höger (r.) together with human rights activist Norman Paech (c.).

Public prosecutors in Germany are looking into a war crimes complaint filed against Israel by two members of parliament with the far-left Left Party and a human rights activist who were on board the Mavi Marmara when Israeli troops stormed it 11 days ago.

Eleven days ago, the Israeli military stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla carrying pro-Palestinian activists toward the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade. Now, it has become a case for German prosecutors.

Human rights activist Norman Paech and two German parliamentarians from the far-left Left Party, Annette Groth and Inge Höger, have filed criminal complaints for “numerous potential offences, including war crimes against individuals and command responsibility … as well as false imprisonment.”

At 5:10 a.m. on May 31, the complaint reads, Höger, Groth and Paech heard from the captain of the Mavi Marmara via the ship’s loudspeaker that the Israeli soldiers who had boarded the ship as part of the commando operation were taking over control of the ship. An hour later, Israeli soldiers ordered the Germans on deck, where their backpacks and other belongings were searched. Their hands were temporarily bound.

German Jurisdiction?

It wasn’t until 9:10 p.m. that parliamentarian Annette Groth was given the possibility of contacting the German Embassy. At 2 a.m. on June 1, the Germans were brought to the airport in a prisoner transport vehicle for their flight back home.

According to international criminal law expert Florian Jessberger of Berlin’s Humboldt University, “there is cause to believe that false imprisonment was perpetrated as understood by German law.” He says that German criminal law would have jurisdiction “irrespective of the fact that the act was perpetrated on the high seas.”

German public prosecutors told SPIEGEL ONLINE that they were currently investigating whether there was enough evidence to warrant pursuing the case further.

‘Barbaric’

The Israeli raid of the Mavi Marmara, which resulted in the deaths of nine activists onboard the ship, unleashed a storm of criticism against Israel and its ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. It has also severely damaged Israel’s relations with Turkey.

The blockade began in 2007 after the Islamist militants from Hamas took over power in Gaza. Israel claims that many of those traveling with the flotilla had ties to Hamas or other terrorist groups, but the activists deny the charge.

Upon returning home to Germany, Höger told reporters that “we felt like we were in a war, like we had been kidnapped.” Her colleague Groth spoke of a “barbaric act.”



Protest Opportunity in Washington DC: Christians United for Israel
CUFI invites you to A Night to Honor Israel

The Leadership of CUFI invites you to
A Night to Honor Israel

at the Fifth Annual CUFI Washington Summit

Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Please be seated by 6:45 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

Washington, D.C. Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place Washington, DC

$50 Per Person

RSVP for this NIght to Honor  Israel

During the Holocaust, too many Christians were silent, and we were left to mourn the slaughter of 6 million Jews. Today, Bible-believing Christians must speak up and stand up for Israel.
Our faith demands it. The times require it.
We will be silent no longer.  Please attend CUFI’s Night to Honor Israel to stand up and speak up for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.  Click here to RSVP.

Featured Speakers: Pastor John Hagee and Ambassador Oren

A Night to Honor Israel is an expression of Christian solidarity with the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Event photos
RSVP for this NIght to Honor  Israel



NOW AVAILABLE: Full 60-minute footage smuggled from Mavi Marmara

NOW AVAILABLE: Full 60-minute footage smuggled from Mavi Marmara

June 11, 2010

MEDIA ALERT:

JUST RELEASED: ONE HOUR OF FOOTAGE FROM MAVI MARMARA
Footage taken aboard largest ship in Gaza Freedom Flotilla in hour before and during raid by Israeli military

New York, NY—

A full hour of raw footage taken aboard the Mavi Marmara in the hour leading up to and during the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has just been made available to view at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwsMJmvS0AY

The footage is also available for download at: http://tinyurl.com/flotilla-footage/

Despite the Israeli government’s efforts to confiscate all of the footage taken during the attack, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE filmmaker Iara Lee was able to smuggle one hour of footage back to the United States and is releasing it raw to the public today.

Yesterday at the United Nations, Ms. Lee presented the footage for the first time to the international press corps after the following statement:

“I want first to thank the United Nations Correspondents Association for organizing this event on such short notice.

“My name is Iara Lee. I am a dual U.S.-Brazilian citizen of Korean descent. I am a filmmaker and a human rights activist.

“I decided to join the Freedom Flotilla after going to Gaza a few months ago and seeing first hand the devastation there. After hearing the pleas of the people living in Gaza to have the blockade lifted, I felt I must do something.

“The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was on a humanitarian mission.  We expected to be deterred from delivering our aid to Gazans, but we did not expect to be attacked.

“We started filming from the moment we boarded the Mavi Marmara right through the Israeli assault on the ship. Although all of our equipment was confiscated, we managed to smuggle this footage out.

“Mine is high-definition footage of the Flotilla attack and also the only sustained footage of the ship and its passengers preceding the deadly Israeli commando raid. Watching this raw, unedited footage, you will get a sense of the mood on the ship and of the passengers on it.

“Undoubtedly, many of you will be scrutinizing it for clues to resolve the mysteries that still surround what happened that fateful night.

“During this past week the Israeli government has repeatedly alleged that these passengers — or some of them — laid a trap for Israel, duped the Israeli military, and plotted a lynching. Israel has repeatedly alleged that we were anti-Semitic Muslim fanatics connected to terrorist organizations.

“In fact, the passengers on our mission came from many countries and religious and ethnic backgrounds.  Our one common denominator was that we wanted to end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by highlighting the injustice of Israel’s blockade.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “This wasn’t the ‘love boat,’ this was a flotilla of terror supporters.” Our footage will help you decide whether we were a love boat or a hate boat. You will see secular and devout passengers. You will see people at prayer and people working at their laptops.

“Was this a lynch-mob moved by hatred of Israelis or was it a cross-section of humanity moved by the plight of Gaza? Did we lay a trap for the Israeli commandos or did they unnecessarily attack us? Did we take them by surprise or did they take us by surprise?

“Do you see a premeditated ambush, or do you see some passengers using items at hand to protect themselves from an unprovoked assault by heavily armed commandos?

“You decide.”

CONTACT:

Iara Lee: iaralee@culturesofresistance.org

please cc: assistant@gg3.com for prompt reply

www.culturesofresistance.org

http://www.facebook.com/ profile.php?id=100000928581236

Posted at http://gazaflotilla.delegitimize.com/statements/activist-statements/full-60-minute-footage-smuggled-from-mavi-marmara/

To unsubscribe or update your records, Click here.


ETAN Action ALERT: East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

ETAN Action ALERT

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

Please do this simple task to support human rights and justice.


Call your representative in Congress. Urge him or her to co-sponsor H. Res. 1355, The resolution, submitted by Rep. Patrick Kennedy urges the government of Indonesia to improve  human rights in West Papua.

Prisoners of Conscience Filep Karma,Yusak Pakage and others may spend the next decade or more in prison in Indonesia for peacefully raising a flag. Indonesian assaults on freedom of expression and abuse in its prisons are well-documented. A year ago, the Indonesian government expelled the International Committee of the Red Cross in West Papua.

What YOU can do:

Call your Representative today. Urge her/him to co-sponsor House Resolution 1355 supporting human rights in Indonesia’s West Papua. A copy of the Resolution is below.

When you call, ask to speak to the foreign affairs legislative assistant. The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121 (ask for the office of your Representative), or check www.congress.org for contact information. To sign on to the resolution, the office should contact Daniel Murphy in Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s office (5-4911).

Your call can make the difference.  Please keep us posted of the results of your calls by writing to etan@etan.org. Go here to check on current go sponsors. Be sure to thank your representative if she or he is on the list.  Support ETAN’s work by donating today. Thank you!!

[]

Talking points:

1. The U.S. Department of State, UN investigators and human rights organizations have documented threats to freedom of expression and dire prison conditions in the Indonesian provinces of West Papua and Papua.

2. The government of Indonesia must demonstrate its commitment to freedom of expression by releasing people convicted for peacefully expressing their political views, improving prison conditions, and allowing access to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

3. The U.S. Congress needs to be a strong advocate for human rights in Indonesia and elsewhere. Representative Kennedy’s resolution is an opportunity for members to express their commitment to the rule of law and freedom of expression in Indonesia. This can only strengthen democracy.

4. The Congressmember should support human rights by co-sponsoring House Resolution 1355 by contacting Dan Murphy in Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s office.

You can e-mail your member of Congress on the Resolution via Amnesty International USA.


111TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION

H. RES. l355

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. KENNEDY submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on _____________

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.

Whereas the Department of State’s 2008 Human Rights Report on Indonesia documents the detention of at least 30 peaceful Papuan activists, the killing of a Papuan man at a peaceful rally, and additional evidence of suppressed speech, societal abuse, and discrimination against religious groups, violence and sexual abuse against women, child labor, and human trafficking;

Whereas the Government of Indonesia has recently banned the International Committee of The Red Cross(ICRC) from the Provinces of Papua and West Papua which followed ICRC visits to detention facilities;

Whereas a 2007 United Nations report by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, found “widespread torture in Indonesian prisons” and “the use of excessive force by Indonesian security forces in particular in Papua” and that “beatings and other forms of torture are entrenched in much of Indonesia’s prison system where a culture of impunity reigns”;

Whereas Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid permitted Papuans to fly the “morning star” flag as a cultural and historic symbol;

Whereas Amnesty International has identified numerous prisoners of conscience in Indonesian prisons, among them Papuans such as Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, imprisoned for peaceful political protests including the display of the “morning star” flag which has historic, cultural, and political meaning for Papuans;

Whereas 40 Members of Congress in 2008 petitioned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on behalf of Papuan political prisoners Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage;

Whereas a Human Rights Watch report on June 5, 2009, noted “torture and abuse of prisoners in jails in Papua is rampant”; and

Whereas prominent Indonesian leaders have called for a national dialogue and Papuan leaders have called for an internationally-mediated dialogue to address long-standing grievances in Papua and West Papua:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that

(1) the Government of Indonesia should report to the international community specific progress made regarding

(A) the end of abuse of those detained by authorities in Papua and West Papua and prosecution of those guilty of that abuse;
(B) actions taken by the Government of Indonesia to improve conditions of incarceration, especially in Papua and West Papua;
(C) measures taken to protect the right of its citizens to peaceful assembly and association as well as the freedom of speech and specifically symbolic speech, such as raising banners or flags;
(D) compatibility of Indonesian law that criminalizes peaceful political dissent and conflicting Indonesian commitments concerning the  rights to freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by international covenants to which Indonesia is a party, to include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
(E) provision to or access to detention facilities in West Papua by recognized human rights monitoring institutions, including the International Committee of The Red Cross; and

(2) the Government of Indonesia should allow an independent, third party human rights organization to review prison conditions with special attention to Papuan inmates and on the basis of that review, formulate a series of recommendations to the Government of Indonesia that would facilitate prison and legal reforms especially to

(A) address deficits in facilities, personnel training, and procedures for the purpose of improving the humanitarian treatment of those detained;

(B) formulating procedures, including judicial reform and legal remedies to ensure that prison authorities face appropriate punishment for mistreatment of those detained; and
(C) encourage reform of the Indonesian criminal code and sentencing procedures to ensure that they reflect Indonesia’s commitments under international undertakings and Indonesia’s own legal obligations to protect fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and association.

see also

full alert and updates are here: http://etan.org/action/action4/32alert.htm

etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan

Support ETAN make a contribution here http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm
Thank you for your support.

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668  Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email john@etan.org Skype: john.m.miller
http://www.etan.org

Twitter: http://twitter.com/etan009
Blog: http://etanaction.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/134122?recruiter_id=10193810

Send a blank e-mail message to info@etan.org to find out how to learn more about East Timor and Indonesia on the Internet



Israel’s Lifting of Gaza Blockade Means Junk Food, But No Cement to Rebuild Damaged Buildings

Salem-News.com http://salem-news.com/articles/june092010/blockade-reality.php

The marginal easement is a step in the right direction, but a very small one.

Raffah Crossing at Gaza
File image of Raffah Crossing at Gaza during a previous effort, Viva Palestina. Courtesy: Wikipedia

(JERUSALEM) – Some food items that had been banned under Israel’s and Egypt’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, are now finding their way into this battered, walled and tortured land.

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla set out with a goal of breaking the several years old siege that has brought this population to piteous depths of poverty, the likes of which even this place had been able to avoid.

Reporters with the Times of India spoke to officials Wednesday, who agree that it is a small step toward easing its three-year-old blockade of the territory, after worldwide criticism of last week’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound international flotilla.

The decision only narrowly expands the list of goods that can enter Gaza — and most of the newly permitted items are already being smuggled into the area from neighboring Egypt.

The move also does not include the most-sought items in Gaza, such as cement, steel and other materials needed to rebuild the war-devastated strip. But it is the first tangible step by Israel to temper the uproar caused by the raid, which left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead after a clash with Israeli naval commandos on one of the flotilla’s ships.

Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates the flow of goods into Gaza with Israel, said that soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy were now permitted. He said some products have already entered Gaza, and others would cross in the coming days.

The naval raid drew attention to the blockade, imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas militants seized power in Gaza in 2007.

The closure has devastated Gaza’s already battered economy, erased tens of thousands of jobs and prevented the area from repairing damage after a fierce Israeli military offensive in Gaza early last year.

Wednesday’s gesture was unlikely to blunt the global criticism, since it doesn’t lift the ban on materials needed to rebuild Gaza.

=======================================================

Special thanks to the Times of India