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The launch of a new book by Joe Sacco is a major event, and with considerable expectation a crowd recently gathered in London to hear the great Maltese-American cartoonist and author discuss his latest book:Footnotes in Gaza.  Sacco spent seven years researching and drawing about two sordid events that took place in November 1956 when Israeli forces invaded Gaza as part of the joint British-French attack against Egypt. The Israeli army conducted two massacres where hundreds of Palestinians were murdered, and Sacco set out to collate the oral histories of the Palestinians who witnessed or were the victims of the events. Sacco engaged in a detailed investigative work finding the witnesses who could credibly recollect what happened, sifted through the accounts to eliminate the factual inconsistencies due to the deteriorated memories, and then spent four years bringing these histories to life in his inimitable style. The book doesn’t only focus on the past, but the present is also very much part of his account; in present day Gaza giant armoured bulldozers flatten houses in Rafah and where the ongoing siege affects everybody's lives. Sacco says: "… the past and the present cannot be so easily disentangled; they are part of a remorseless continuum…" more >>
In your recent column in the New York Times, "Ten for the Next Ten," you wrote: "I’ll place my hopes on the possibility — however remote at the moment — that...people in places filled with rage and despair, places like the Palestinian territories, will in the days ahead find among them their Gandhi, their King, their Aung San Suu Kyi."
Your hope has already been fulfilled in the Palestinian territories.
Unfortunately, these Palestinian Gandhis and Kings are being killed and imprisoned.
On the day that your op-ed appeared hoping for such leaders, three were languishing in Israeli prisons. No one knows how long they will be held, nor under what conditions; torture is common in Israeli prisons. more >>
During a visit to Ramallah a year ago while the Israeli bombardment of Gaza was underway, I shared my fears with a close Palestinian friend. "It may sound insane, but I think the Israelis' real objective is to see them all dead."
My friend told me not to be silly, the assault was horrific, but it was not mass killing. I said that wasn't the issue: This was a population already very vulnerable to disease, ill-health, and malnutrition after years of siege, with its infrastructure rotted, its water and food contaminated. Israel's war would surely push the people over the brink, especially if the siege was maintained -- as it has been. more >>
With the Palestinian authorities in Ramallah seeking recognition of a Palestinian state through the United Nations, we must consider what this means both to Palestinians and to the rest of the world. more >>
More than 46 years ago, President John F. Kennedy sought to preclude a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. In June 1963, he wrote the last in a series of insistent letters to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Those letters sought what Israel now demands of Iran: international inspections of its nuclear facilities. The key difference: Kennedy knew for certain that Israel, while portraying itself a friend and ally, repeatedly lied to Kennedy about its nuclear weapons development at the Dimona reactor in the Negev Desert. more >>
The immediate punishment that comes to Israeli officials and security forces for Palestinians who attack Israelis is to raze their homes. This has become a norm in Israel since a very long time. more >>
Palestine, the last of the Liberation movements has a special place in the hearts and minds of the countries that were liberated in the 20th century. more >>
I love Adam Sandler. From Billy Madison to Happy Gilmore to the Chanukah Song, the predecessor of the Superbad generation has effortlessly conquered the domain of slapstick comedy and inappropriate jokes. But damn you Scuba Steve! If youâ€™re going to propagate misinformation about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, do it quietlyâ€”or at least in your non-comedic life. more >>
Israel's ruling elite now has a major aspiration: to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a member country. For the sake of the Israelis and of their neighbors, this aspiration should be thwarted by an international campaign of all supporters of peace; and, in fact, by supporters of the free market as well. more >>
What is the UK government and International Community doing as Israeli military targets and destroys Muslim charitable institutions in Hebron? more >>
Once again, the Israeli military lied to its citizens and the rest of the world. In an article published June 6 on YNet, the online version of the Israeli mass daily Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli military claimed that it was justified in attacking an anti-wall and anti-occupation demonstration, in which an Irish Nobel Peace Laureate and the Vice President of the European Parliament participated, because demonstration participants were "rioting" and "throwing stones" at the Israeli military . more >>
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