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ACTION ALERT: CEASE FIRE NOW!


January 2, 2009
Gush Shalom / Haaretz & Avaaz & Toni O'Loughlin / The Guardian

Israel's preeminent peace group writes: "The killing of hundreds of Palestinians and the destruction of the infrastructure of life in the Gaza Strip are abominable acts. Those who hope to reap electoral profits from them are greatly mistaken." Avaaz petition calls for Cease Fire in Gaza. And Israel's supreme court orders the government to allow the international media into Gaza to report on the effect of the air strikes on Palestinians.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace

From a large Gush Shalom ad published in Haaretz

(December 30, 2008) This war is inhuman, superfluous and harmful. Nothing good for Israel will come out of it!

The killing of hundreds of Palestinians and the destruction of the infrastructure of life in the Gaza Strip are abominable acts. Those who hope to reap electoral profits from them are greatly mistaken.

A ground invasion will cause even greater harm, destroy what is left in Gaza and cause many casualties - Israelis and Palestinians, soldiers and civilians.

If, after hard battles, the Israeli army will succeed in conquering the ruins of Gaza, the result will be, at most, to drive Hamas underground and to increase their influence both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank.

The attack, which has already deepened the hatred, will

AROUSE the whole civilized world against us,

RAISE all over the region a new generation that will hate the State of Israel even more,

INCREASE the impact of Hamas,

UNDERMINE even more the status of peace-seeking Palestinians,

PREVENT Palestinian unity, without which there can be no peace.

On behalf of thousands of Israelis who have demonstrated in the streets of Tel-Aviv within hours after the start of the war, we demand:

To stop at once the attack on Gaza!

To propose - and to maintain - a cease-fire that will include the end off all violent actions by both sides, a real opening of the border crossings and the termination of the blockade against the population of the Gaza Strip.

To start a dialogue with Hamas. Hamas is an integral part of Palestinian society and the Palestinian political system. Without their participation, all negotiations and agreements are meaningless.

Gush Shalom P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 info@gush-shalom.org www.gush-shalom.org



Gaza Through the Eyes of William Shakespeare
Tariq Ali

And Israeli citizens might ponder the following words from Shakespeare (in The Merchant of Venice), which I have slightly altered:

"I am a Palestinian. Hath not a Palestinian eyes? Hath not a Palestinian hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Jew is?

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that . the villainy you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."



Gaza: Ceasefire Now!
Isa-Kae Meksin

Dear friends,

In less than 72 hours, over 150,000 people from every country have signed Avaaz's emergency petition calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. But as the situation continues to escalate, and news emerges that calls for a temporary truce have been rejected, we must amplify our global public outcry and seek to end the violence on both sides.

It is not too late to add your name to the petition below!

The answer to this crisis, lies with the international community actively intervening and mediating between Israel and all Palestinian parties. Our petition is already being heard by the UN, the EU, the USA and the Arab League. But as the humanitarian crises worsens there are already over 370 dead -- we must raise our voices even louder. Over the coming days, we will increasingly use the petition numbers to advocate for a ceasefire, so click here now sign the petition and then send to your friends.

ACTION:

Thanks for all you do and have a peaceful 2009!

The Avaaz Team

Dear friends,

The Gaza crisis has exploded put your name to our emergency petition demanding a ceasefire. We'll deliver it immediately to the UN Security Council, the Arab League, the US and other world leaders! Take Action Now

As we watch the Gaza bloodshed with horror, appalled at how the crisis is spiraling further out of control, one thing is clear this violence will only lead to further civilian suffering and an escalation of the conflict.

There must be another way. Over 280 are dead so far in the Gaza Strip and hundreds more injured rockets are striking Ashdod deep inside Israel for the very first time, and the sides are mobilising for invasion. A global outcry has begun, but it'll take more than words -- the immediate violence won't end, nor will wider peace be secured, without firm action from the international community.

Today, we're launching an emergency campaign which will be delivered to the UN Security Council and key world powers, urging them to act to ensure an immediate ceasefire and address the growing humanitarian crisis -- only with robust international oversight and action can civilians on all sides be protected and real steps be taken toward a wider peace. Follow this link now to sign the emergency petition and send it to everyone you know:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/?cl=164325996&v=2624

After Gaza's bloodiest day in recent memory and eight or more years of ineffective US and global diplomacy, we need to get world leaders to do more than issue statements if they're to ensure a lasting ceasefire.1 Through the UN Security Council and other international bodies, the world can provide the help and pressure needed to stop the violence and change the situation on the ground in Gaza preventing the rockets and incursions, re-opening crossing-points under international oversight so that instead of weapon-smuggling, the 1.5 million ordinary people of Gaza can get the fuel, food and medicines they so desperately need.

All sides to the conflict will continue to act as they have in the past if they believe that the world will stand by and allow them to do so. We mobilised for a ceasefire in 2006's Israel-Lebanon war and succeeded, but this time the international community must not delay let's raise a truly worldwide outcry. 2009 is a year that things can be different. As we face this crisis, and the possibilities of a new year, it's time for us everywhere to work together to stop this violence.

With hope and determination,

Brett, Ricken, Alice, Ben, Pascal, Paul, Graziela, Paula, Luis, Iain and the whole Avaaz team

Further actions could include: a formal resolution from the Security Council rather than issuing a press statement as was done on 28 December 2008; explicit private and public international pressure on the parties to end the hostilities including developing clear terms for the resumption of negotiations; proper international oversight of the Rafah border; and in time, a detailed Security Council resolution setting out the terms in international law for a permanent peace between Israel and Palestine. For background, see this Jerusalem Post article, "No international pressure to end op": http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230456497503&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull)

Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.)

Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva.

Call us at: +1 888 922 8229 or +55 21 2509 0368 Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages!

To contact Avaaz, write to info@avaaz.org.



Israel Ordered to Let International Media Into Gaza
Toni O'Loughlin / The Guardian

JERUSALEM (December 31, 2008) Israel's supreme court today ordered the government to allow the international media into Gaza to report on the effect of the air strikes on Palestinians.

Over the past two months, foreign journalists and representatives have increasingly been restricted from entering Gaza.

Israel has closed the border completely since it began bombing the besieged Palestinian territory on Saturday.

However, the supreme court told the government it must allow up to 12 journalists to enter whenever it opens the Erez crossing, a passenger gateway, for humanitarian reasons.

The Foreign Press Association (FPA), which represents foreign journalists and began a legal battle to open the crossing to the media last month, said it had been "left with no other choice" than to accept what is a limited victory.

"The state's prohibition on journalists violates two fundamental rights - the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press," the FPA's lawyer, Gilead Sher, said.

"There are several countries in this world, such as North Korea, Zimbabwe and Burma, that ban press coverage in conflict zones. Israel is a democracy with a free liberal press and it should stay so, even in times of crisis and danger."

The government has until 10am tomorrow to respond to the court ruling as it faces growing pressure to open the crossing with increasing numbers of journalists flying in to cover the conflict.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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