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Lebanon Watch

10/26: Israel accused of attacking German ship in Lebanon
(Al-Jazeera) Germany and Israel are at odds over an incident involving attack on a German naval vessel patrolling the Lebanon coast as part of an international peacekeeping force, reported Reuters. >> Read More
10/18: Israel/Lebanon Conflict Leaves Deadly Legacy
(IPS) - The Israeli war against Lebanon was over soon after the United Nations brokered a ceasefire agreement last August. But while that may be true for outsiders, is not for the Lebanese.
At least three to four people are getting killed or maimed every day as a result of cluster bombs used by the Israeli Air Force during the war, according to a new study released here Wednesday.

Entitled "Foreseeable Harm: The use and impact of cluster munitions in Lebanon: 2006," the study points out that among those killed and wounded were numerous children under the age of 16. >> Read More

War in Lebanon: Israeli attacks continue despite UN Ceasefire

[Independent Media Center] In Lebanon families are struggling to rebuild homes, schools, and communities destroyed by Israeli aggression during the month long war, as clusterbombs and undetonated explosives injure and kill families returning home. The people of Lebanon are struggling to put the pieces back together, as Israeli forces continue to break the United Nations-brokered ceasefire on a nearly-daily basis. Meanwhile, Greenpeace and other groups are struggling to deal with the environmental damage caused by the war.

UN, Amnesty International Reports: Israel Committed War Crimes in Lebanon | Counterpunch: What the UN Security Council's Ceasefire Resolution Actually Says | Kathy Kelly: A Visit to Southern Lebanon | Barucha Calamity Peller: Letters from Lebanon: The Proximity of Death | Barucha Calamity Peller: This Pain Has No Ceasefire | Israel Gears Up for Next Round of War | Lebanese Humanitarian Convoy Ventures into Southern Lebanon | Photos from Southern Lebanon |  More Photos from Southern Lebanon |  Photos from Beirut

Interviews from independent journalists from San Francisco, currently in Lebanon:
Interview with Anarchist Relief Group by Barucha Calamity Peller and Ali Bektas | Interview with UN Mine Action Coordination Center on Cluster bombs by Barucha Calamity Peller | Interview on KPFA | Interview on radioActive sanDiego



8/24: War Still a Threat in Lebanon, Ongoing in Gaza, and Impending in Iran

United With Peace & Justice
After a month of war, during which Israel committed extensive war crimes, according to Amnesty International, the Bush Administration finally allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a cease-fire resolution. The U.S. peace movement played a small but important role in suspending the carnage.
But the fragile cease-fire agreement has many holes. U.S.-backed Israeli attacks are still a grave threat:
  • On Saturday the Israeli military launched a failed commando raid in eastern Lebanon. U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan said the attack violated the ceasefire agreement. Undeterred, Amir Peretz, the Israeli defense minister, announced his country was preparing for "the next round" of fighting. Yesterday Italy's foreign minister said his country will not send peacekeepers into Lebanon so long as "the I.D.F. continues to shoot."
  • The Israeli government's refusal to lift its air, sea, and land blockade of Lebanon is preventing badly needed relief and reconstruction aid from getting to war-torn areas.
  • The Bush administration not only provided arms used by Israel to kill civilians, it goaded Israel into launching the war to remove Hezbollah as a deterrent to a pre-emptive war on Iran, senior government officials told investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.
  • In a report released yesterday, Amnesty International accused Israel of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure in Lebanon. The human rights group criticized Israel for destroying homes, bridges, roads, water treatment plants and fuel tanks.
  • The United Nations has revealed that Israel dropped cluster bombs on at least 170 villages and other places in south Lebanon. Many of the cluster bombs failed to explode initially but are now causing further Lebanese casualties.
  • Meanwhile, Israel's attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip have continued. The bombing of Gaza's main power plant and other key infrastructure has caused a humanitarian crisis for more than 1.3 million civilians. The repeated and prolonged closings of the border crossings and the bombing of three bridges into Gaza have greatly compromised access to humanitarian aid and the return of Gaza residents to their homes.
The fact that Israel used U.S.-supplied weapons when it committed its war crimes means we in the U.S. have both the responsibility and leverage to prevent new wars of aggression. We also know that the Bush administration will launch and support wars to prevent diplomatic efforts to resolve crises. If we act now to curtail U.S. support for Israel, we can reduce the chances of another all-out war in the Middle East.
TAKE ACTION
1. Demand that Congress halt arms shipments to Israel and require Israel to fully abide by the cease-fire.
Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators' and your Representative's offices.
2. Educate ourselves and others about the conflict.
Invite recently returned members of a peace delegation to Lebanon to speak in your community. Judith LeBlanc, UFPJ Co-Chair; Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange; and Gael Murphy, CODEPink: Women for Peace (all members of UFPJ's Steering Committee) are available to speak. Call 212-868-5545 for contact information.
3. Shape the debate in the media. Suggestions for what to say are listed below.
  • For your local newspapers: Send a letter to the editor and encourage others to do so; try to arrange for an op-ed piece or a guest editorial; if you or someone you know has been personally touched by this crisis, try to get a reporter to do an interview.
  • Call into radio talk shows: You can often talk about anything that's on your mind and reach thousands of people.
  • If you organize a visit to your member of Congress, invite a reporter to come with you.
4. Ask your group to sign the "Open Letter Re US Policy in the Middle East From People in the United States Who Believe that Only Justice Will Bring Peace."
The letter was drafted by the Steering Committee and Staff of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in collaboration with UFPJ. Click here (and scroll down to the bottom of the page) to endorse this letter.
ISSUES TO RAISE IN THE MEDIA AND WITH YOUR CONGRESSPERSON
  1. Nothing positive was achieved by Israel's war on Lebanon. More than 1,100 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilians, mostly children) and 160 Israelis died. Whole villages were reduced to rubble, 900,000 Lebanese have been rendered homeless, and Lebanon's infrastructure was devastated. Despite all the destruction, the war did not achieve the release of the captured Israeli soldiers. In fact, it strengthened Hezbollah's political support. The White House's policy of preemptive war hasn't worked in Iraq, nor in Lebanon, and it won't work in Iran.
  2. The U.S. should not be supplying weapons for use in war crimes. In July and August, Lebanese and Palestinians civilians by the hundreds were killed by Israel with U.S.-supplied weapons. By using U.S. weapons to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure, Israel is violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which limits the use of U.S. weapons to internal policing and legitimate self-defense. Instead of stopping the flow of weapons as required by law, the United States rushed jet fuel and satellite- and laser-guided bombs to Israel.
  3. War on Lebanon has not made Israelis or Americans safer. Nor will new "pre-emptive wars." Sustained security cannot come from policies of military unilateralism nor by denying the legitimate needs and aspirations of others. The Bush administration's disdain for diplomacy and its delivery of weapons used by Israel to engage in war crimes has made the people of the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
  4. Only negotiations, not the policy of "might makes right," can address the root causes of conflict. The current dispute did not begin with the capture of three Israeli soldiers. After a 20-year occupation of Lebanon, Israel still holds thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners and still occupies Lebanon's Shebaa Farms. It has occupied the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem for nearly 40 years. Only meaningful negotiations to end Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands and to implement equal rights for all will bring peace to the region.
  5. Congress must call for:
    • Israel to immediately lift its air and sea blockade of Lebanon and respect the cease-fire agreement;
    • An end to delivery of U.S. weapons to Israel;
    • Meaningful, multi-party negotiations to resolve the underlying political disputes based on human rights and international law;
    • No war on Iran.


8/12: The country's largest protest against the
U.S.-Israeli assault
30,000 fill the streets around the White House

Aug12DC
Washington, DC


[International ANSWER] More then 30,000 demonstrators filled the streets around the White House today chanting, “Stop the US-Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine.”
The New York Times reported today that the demonstration's “diverse crowd included many Arab-Americans and Muslims, college students and families, as well as veterans of prior demonstrations against the war in Iraq.” The NY Times goes on, “thousands of people rallied near the White House on Saturday to protest what they described as Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the United States’ unwavering support for Israel …At the rally on Saturday, the prevailing sentiments were expressed in signs held aloft by marchers: “Occupation is a crime — Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine.” “Stop Israeli terrorism.” “No justice, no peace.’’
From New York Times today:
LeftquotationBrian Becker, national coordinator of a coalition called Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, a sponsor of the rally, asserted that President Bush had given Israel a green light to crush Hezbollah in Lebanon, then 'sent cluster bombs to the Israeli Defense Forces to kill Lebanese children.'rightquotation
- New York Times. Read full story.

This was the largest demonstration in the US since the commencement of the Israeli bombing campaign of Lebanon and Gaza in mid-July.
The demonstration was initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation and the National Council of Arab Americans. More then 150 buses brought demonstrators from, MI, IL, NY, MD, FL, VA, MA, NJ and 25 other states.
In San Francisco, 10,000 people marched in one of several other August 12 actions timed to coincide with the Emergency March on Washington. In Los Angeles 5,000 demonstrated. Smaller actions of about 600 people in Seattle and 300 people in Orlando Florida were also held.
August 12 a Global Day of Action
August 12 emerged as a day of coordinated worldwide protests. Street demonstrations were held in Mombasa and Nairobi, Kenya; Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada;
San Francisco August 12
San Francisco
Madrid, Spain; Paraguay; Damascus, Syria; Santiago, Chile; Mumbai, India; Istanbul, Turkey; Mogadishu, Somalia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Karachi, Pakistan; Jakarta, Indonesia; Sydney, Australia; Nablus, Palestine; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and many others.
Speakers at the Washington D.C. demonstration included, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Mahdi Bray the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard an attorney and co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice; Brian Becker the National Coordinator of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition; Dr. Mounzer Sleiman of the National Council of Arab Americans; Osama Siblani Publisher at Arab American News; Peta Lindsay Howard University student and Coordinator ANSWER Student and Youth; and Dr. Clovis Maksoud the Former ambassador from the Arab League to the U.N, Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), and others.
Crimes against Lebanon and Palestine Continue
LeftquotationThe Israelis assert that the slaughter of Lebanon is in the self defense of Zionism. As a progressive Jew, I want nothing to do with that brutal and unjust ideology.rightquotation
- Carl Messineo, read full speech

The U.S.-Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine has created immense suffering for the people but it has also created widespread resistance. The Bush administration and the Israeli government believed that this massive bombing campaign would force all of Lebanon into a new U.S. sphere of influence. Just the opposite has happened. This same fantasy has backfired in Iraq as well.
Overwhelming military power has inflicted unimaginable human suffering but failed in achieving its political objectives of transforming the entire oil rich region into a virtual colony. The effort to achieve the “new” colonialism by brute force has and will inspire continued resistance by the Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian people and all the peoples of the area.
Leftquotation'We want to know why our tax money is going to support war crimes,' said Mounzer Sleiman, vice chairman of the National Council of Arab- Americans, one of more than 15 speakers who addressed the protesters gathered in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, under a cloudless sky.rightquotation
-New York Times. Read full story.

The August 12 Emergency Demonstrations were an important step in forging the kind of U.S. anti-war movement in the United States that embraces the just cause of the peoples’ in the Middle East who are rejecting domination by the new imperial Empire. Instead of having the people of the United States pitted against the Arab people our message is one of solidarity.
People in the United States must struggle for jobs, justice, education, and in opposition to racism at home rather than be dragged along by the war makers in Washington D.C. Their chauvinistic campaign against those in the Middle East who are seeking to freely determine their own destiny is a calculated propaganda effort by the Bush administration -- and all those Republicans and Democrats alike -- who support its program of endless war. It is not the people of the United States but the big transnational corporations and banks, and especially the largest oil monopolies, who are the real beneficiaries of the Bush program.
Help take the next steps and stay involved as an activist or supporter of the anti-war movement. Congratulations to all the thousands of volunteers and supporters who made the August 12 demonstrations such an important step in continuing to build this movement.  Contact one of the A.N.S.W.E.R. offices listed below and come out to the next volunteers and organizers meeting. If there is not a close A.N.S.W.E.R. office to your area but want to stay involved, contact the national office below.
Click here to see the New York Times coverage of the protest.
Click here to see the Washington Post coverage of the protest.

8/15: Who Really Won the Month-Long Israeli War Against Lebanon? You Decide
It's funny that U.S. corporate media desperately claim Israel won the current Israel bombing against Lebanon. I have enclosed you two today's press articles (UK's Independent and US's VOA) from two news agencies, you can decide who's more trustworthy.

Robert Fisk: Desert of trapped corpses testifies to Israel's failure
15 August 2006
Independent (U.K)
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1219260.ece

They made a desert and called it peace. Srifa - or what was once the village of Srifa - is a place of pancaked homes, blasted walls, rubble, starving cats and trapped corpses. But it is also a place of victory for the Hizbollah, whose fighters walked amid the destruction yesterday with the air of conquering heroes. So who is to blame for this desert? The Shia militia which provoked this war - or the Israeli air force and army which has laid waste to southern Lebanon and killed so many of its people?
There was no doubt what the village mukhtar thought. As three Hizbollah men - one wounded in the arm, the other carrying two ammunition clips and a two-way radio - passed us amid the piles of broken concrete, Hussein Kamel el-Din yelled to them: "Hallo, heroes!" Then he turned to me. "You know why they are angry? Because God didn't give them the opportunity of dying."
Far from humiliating Iran and Syria - which was the Israeli-American plan - these two supposedly pariah states have been left untouched and the Hizbollah's reputation lionised across the Arab world. The "opportunity" which President George Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, apparently saw in the Lebanon war has turned out to be an opportunity for America's enemies to show the weakness of Israel's army. Indeed, last night, scarcely any Israeli armour was to be seen inside Lebanon - just one solitary tank could be glimpsed outside Bint Jbeil and the Israelis had retreated even from the "safe" Christian town of Marjayoun. It is now clear that the 30,000-strong Israeli army reported to be racing north to the Litani river never existed. In fact, it is unlikely that there were yesterday more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers left in all of southern Lebanon, although they did become involved in two fire-fights during the morning, hours after the UN-ceasefire went into effect.....
To read the entire story: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1219260.ece
US Blasts Iran, Syria, for Lebanon Comments
By David Gollust
Voice of America, USA
15 August 2006
http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-08-15-voa77.cfm
The Bush administration Tuesday sharply criticized Iran and Syria for claiming victory for Hezbollah in the Lebanon conflict. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres meanwhile, who met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said Hezbollah may have lost half of its mainline fighting force.
The Bush administration says that despite its claims of victory, the conflict was a strategic setback for Hezbollah as well for its two main international sponsors. And the State Department's chief Middle East policy expert is taking the leaders of both Iran and Syria to task for comments he says aim to take political advantage of a regional tragedy.....
To read the entire story: http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-08-15-voa77.cfm



A REAL Cease-Fire Now! Take Emergency Action

UFPJ Emergency Week of Action, Aug. 7-11

  • Find Gaza/Lebanon emergency actions near you or post an event on our calendar.
  • Call your Congressional representatives and the White House every day. Call 202-456-1111 or email today to reach the White House! Call Congress at 202-224-3121 for the Capitol switchboard.

Photo: ©Haitham Moussawi/IRIN

We Declare Peace: A Campaign to Turn Up the Heat
Join United for Peace and Justice in
Turning Up the Heat and Expanding Our Activism
Over the past four years, our work has helped turn the majority of the people in this country against the Bush Administration's illegal, immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq -- but there is much more to be done. With a new war in the Middle East -- one the U.S. contributes to through sales of bombs to Israel and the Bush administration's refusal to work for a comprehensive cease-fire and negotiations -- there is reason to be concerned that our government's commitment to permanent war is only expanding. Will Iran, or Syria, or North Korea, or Venezuela be next? Our voices must be heard; we must take action.
WE DECLARE PEACE CAMPAIGN: Phase 1

Read More »
Historic Peace Meeting in Jordan
In recent weeks, we reached out to you asking for your help in placing an ad in a major Iraqi newspaper. With our open letter to Prime Minister al-Maliki requesting a meeting with him, we hoped not only to bring attention in the U.S. to the Iraqi peace proposals, but also to make an important connection with the Iraqi people. Thanks to your generosity, the ad ran in Assabah Al-Jadid on Tuesday, July 25 (see picture at left).

 
While al-Maliki did not meet with us, five Iraqi parliamentarians contacted us to see if a meeting between them and a few representatives of the U.S. antiwar movement could be organized in Jordan. Ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq and supporting Iraqis in the long-term project of rebuilding their nation will only be hastened by such people-to-people connections.
Thanks again to your critical support, this historic meeting was held in Jordan, and a few members of the peace delegation are now in Lebanon.


Read More »



August 12: International ANSWER NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON
Stop the war on Palestine and LebanonFrom Iraq to Lebanon to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime! Stop U.S. Aid to Israel! Support the Palestinian People's Right to Return! Money for Jobs and Education, Not for War and Occupation!
Initiated by ANSWER, National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), and Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation.  
- NEW! Logistics for Aug. 12: Maps, bus drop-off locations, hotel listings and more! 
- Bus tickets: New York City, Chicago
- Organize transportation 
- Endorse
Volunteer for DC march
- Volunteer for SF march 
- Make an urgently needed donation
- Download flyers: National (DC)New York City, ChicagoSan Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles
Click here for reports from emergency actions.

War in the Middle East While the World is Watching
For the 9th day in a row, Israeli forces have been bombarding Lebanon. So far, more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been killed, over 1,000 wounded and some 500,000 displaced, compared with 29 Israeli deaths (15 civilians) caused by Hizbullah's Katyusha rockets. Reports from Beirut talk of a deserted, devastated city, with residential buildings, roads and bridges being hit by Israeli air strikes. Israel launched attacks on Lebanon after Hezbullah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid so as to swap them for the remaining three Lebanese and an undetermined number of Arab prisoners held by Israel. However, the captive soldiers, both in Gaza and Lebanon, have already been deleted from the public agenda. Israeli officials are now talking not about "bringing the soldiers home" but about destroying Hizballah and Hamas, and perhaps Syria and Iran as well, "once and for all." And, apparently, they have got the green light from the US and other international "allies".
[The Bank Accounts to send Funds for Lebanon Relief]
Meanwhile in Palestine, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip continue, again allegedly to free a soldier seized by Palestinian militias on 25 June, whom they have offered to release in exchange for some of the Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. Tens of Palestinian civilians have been killed and many more injured, not to mention the periodic shortages of food, fuel, electricity, water and medicine. Many of those killed were Palestinian civilians, including children, who died during Israeli air force "targeted killings". As well as actual bombing raids, Israeli military airplanes have conducted nightly sonic booming raids over Gaza, with the aim of making the civilian population fearful that actual bombing is under way. In retaliation, Palestinian groups also continue to fire Qassam rockets at Israeli towns [see Human Rights Watch's statement].
Apart from the mass destruction of civilian infrastructure, there are reports that Israeli forces have been using internationally banned weapons, such as phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs, both in Gaza and in Lebanon.
Although still small in scale, there have been several protests - in Israel and elsewhere throughout the world [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] - against the continuing Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza. Opinion polls suggest that majorities of US and Israeli citizens oppose the attacks. On 18 June, several hundred people demonstrated in Parliament Square in London. UK-wide demonstrations have been called for July 22nd by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and various Muslim organisations. Earlier this month, protesters blockaded EDO MBM in Brighton, which makes electrical weapons components for the Israeli military. [see also "Boycott Israeli Goods" National Day of Action].
Saturday July 22: International Day of Action Against Israeli Aggression
Read more: Global Indymedia feature | Word from Lebanon | Cyprus Indymedia features 1 | 2 | Appeal for Solidarity with Lebanese Civil Society | The racist subtext of the evacuation story | The Gaza Sea Weeps Blood | The Israeli Censor | Photos: cmaq gallery
Links: IMC Beirut | IMC Israel | Internation Middle East Media Centre | Palestine News Network | Electronic Intifada | Electronic Lebanon | Palestine Blogs | Tadamon


URGENT APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY WITH LEBANESE CIVIL SOCIETY


Indymedia Beirut,

The Israeli offensive against Lebanon is an act of aggression against the whole Lebanese people. The IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) claims to be attacking an “infrastructure of terror”, but the attacks on bridges, roads, airports and ships are cutting the country into pieces, threatening to create a disastrous situation by impeding the transportation of food and medicines, and terrorizing everyone. Besides the hundreds killed and injured, thousands of people are fleeing the country, and thousands of people are fleeing from the areas where the bombing is heaviest into central Beirut. Even here in the “safe” parts of the city we can hear the bombs throughout the day and night, and electrical and water supplies are tenuous.

Translations

Francais | Castellano| Italiano | نداء عاجل للتضامن مع المجتمع الأهلي اللبناني |

-
ECO ALERT: 10,000 tons of fuel oil spilled into Mideterranean as a result of Israeli bombing. 15,000 tons more are awaited.

-

International Civil Mission to Lebanon | Castellano | Francais |
Italian Civil Mission to Lebanon
-

For more information, please visit

Sanayeh Relief Center | Electronic Lebanon | Lebanon Updates Blog | Save Lebanon

Info sources worldwide

Indymedia Global | Cyprus Indymedia | Tadamon (Montreal) |

Read More

اقرأ الخبر الكامل >>

Bomb Number Five, Salaam
Raida Hatoum,
I've lost count of the Days. And the Bombs. And the Dead

Beirut, first weekend of August

The Israeli war of genocide, destruction and siege is now on Day 24, but for myself I lost count ...as if this is how I lived all my life. Only when the numbers of those who are killed day after day are mentioned in the media I realize that I was paralyzed or numbed... and I realize that the war has eaten up another day of people’s lives.
اقرأ الخبر الكامل >>



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