Update news stories:
Code Pink Delegation Returns From Gaza
Recently a delegation from Code Pink and other organizations brought humanitarian and emotional support to women and women organizations in Gaza. They also pressured the US, Egyptian and Israeli governments to lift the blockade against the Palestinians. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Israeli attack that began on December 27 left over 1,000 dead, including 412 children and 110 women, and more than 5,000 injured which include 1855 children and 795 women.
The UN also reports that hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid are needed to help Gaza’s 1.4 million people.
Helen Schiff and Felice Gelman:
Helen Schiff: Growing up in Great Neck in the 50s, a lot of Jewish community were liberal and in support of civil rights movement. I learned about colonialism, and that Israel was created at the behest of US and British colonialism. I learned that Israel supported the French in Algeria, they supported France and British against Egypt in a war for the Suez Canal.
So I realized the Palestinian struggle is a colonial struggle.
Code Pink organized a delegation to Gaza and we did bring $10,000 in aid. We are drawing attention to the blockade also.
We throw around the words siege and blockade, modern war doesn’t have sieges.
The last siege was the battle of Leningrad, which is people blocked in to an area and attacked with all military armament.
Gaza is about the size of Philadelphia. The current number of trucks that bring supplies into Gaza are about 100 a day. 8700 supply trucks arrive in Philadelphia, on just one bridge in one day.
The claim that Hamas broke the truce by firing missiles is false. The truce also meant to open up borders. That hasn’t happened since Hamas were elected.
We brought baskets for a thousand women, filled with different products that women would appreciate. We brought this on International Women’s Day.
Psychiatrists say that the children of Gaza are exhibiting caged rat syndrome.
When you are in Gaza you say to yourself, why does Israel care about Gaza, what’s the big deal?
Two things, Gaza is an example to the West Bank and in 1999 natural gas reserves where discovered in the coastal waters of Gaza. 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Israel has tried to negotiate for control of the reserves since 1999.
They have two drilling platforms north of Gaza that some believe are slant drilling into the natural gas reserves.
The Israelis are wearing down the fighting spirit of the people in Gaza by forbidding pasta, jam, candy and any building materials. Desalinization plants have been bombed, children have kidney disease because Israelis have siphoned off the good water and there’s too much salt seeping into the wells.
It was a targeted attempt to breakdown the infrastructure. Wanton killing of civilians and destroying infrastructure.
Every single day we were in Gaza there was bombing or shelling. Tunnels being bombed and fishermen being shelled. Permanent tent cities.
More delegations planned to visit Gaza to open borders. May 22 – June 14
Palestinian Committee For Human Rights – accountability – documenting evidence.ple and billions of dollars will be required to rebuild its shattered buildings and infrastructure.
Guests – Code Pink members/activists Helen Schiff and Felice Gelman, they both had boots on the ground in Gaza and give their first hand accounts of the devastating aftermath.
Left Forum – Vivek Chibber: American Violence: Actually Existing Barbarism?
This year’s Left Forum panels are addressing the many facets in the current global economic crisis and subsequent political conditions. Author and professor Vivek Chibber joins us today in the studio to tell us about the 2009 Left Forum at Pace University and the panel titled American Violence: Actually Existing Barbarism? The panel will explore the roots of violence, military, terrorist, criminal and casual in contemporary society that includes America’s inner cities and prisons.
- The Left Forum used to be known as the Socialist Scholars Conference.
- My panel on America Barbarism is from the annual volume of the Socialist Register. This year’s theme is around the issue of violence. The various forms violence takes under capitalism.
- I’ll be focusing on the violence of American foreign policy. Iraq in particular. The motives and interest behind Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
- Turning Points – theme for Left Forum. We’re seeing tremors in American power, which historically is the time to build progressive movements. Social welfare, pro-labor policies in favor of women, recognizing the plight of minorities.
- It’s the largest Left Forum conference ever. Everyone realizes that this is a time when we got to get some analysis of what’s going on.
- Right now, there’s a complete loss of legitimacy for the economic model of neoliberalism and a corresponding loss for all the journalists, the media gurus and intellectuals who were promoting it all this time.
- If you look carefully at Obama, his primary worry has been not to take advantage of the opportunity of this crisis to enact any type of progressive social agenda. His main worry is to contain the pressure and not take advantage of that.
Guest – Vivek Chibber, professor of sociology at NYU and the author of Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India.