Tag Archives: Gaza massacre

Support needed in Cairo

Hello all,

You can read the newest update (yesterday’s) from Marie and Katerina in Cairo in the blog at: http://studentlifelinetogaza.blogspot.com/ I am including it attached at the end of this message. As you can see from their own message, the most critical thing they need now is support from home. So please keep making calls, sending emails, and letting people know of what is happening.

There are two things I would like to ask you for your support:

  1. First there’s another sample email and list of adresses below. Please either send an email or call.
  2. Secondly and this is very important, I would like to ask you to send me any relevant contact adresses or telephones you can find. Everybody reads English, so most of the sample emails we have can be send to many more adresses. If you can find contact details for the Egyptian embassy in your own country, or in other countries around the world for example, to important politicians again, in your country or others, important (or not so important) media, please send them to me, and we’ll try to put together a more extensive list of contacts that people can use.

_________________________________________

Sample letter:

Dear Sir, Dear Madam,

I am writing to you to urge the Egyptian government to let Code Pink’s Gaza

Freedom March continue so that 1362 international delegates can join the

Palestinians of Gaza to march together on December 31, 2009.

Currently all delegates are stuck in Cairo and have been refused the right

to move towards Gaza.

The UK government and David Miliband have openly condemned the blockade.

This is a crucial moment for the UK to use its influence as an international

player to take responsiblity and act upon behalf of peace, justice and human

rights.

The Code Pink delegates will not stand for this oppressive ban. This

indirectly endorses war crimes and the inhumanity caused by the blockade

onto the Palestinians of Gaza.

The international peace marchers have aid and are ready to deliver it.

They have

raised tens of thousands of dollars for medical aid, school supplies and

winter clothing for the children of Gaza. But we realize that in addition to

material aid, the Palestinians of Gaza need moral support. The Gaza Freedom

March offers that support on the difficult anniversary of an invasion that

brought them so much suffering.

Sincerely,

__________

Contacts:

-Foreign & Commonwealth Office Ministerial support team email address

MSU.PublicIn@fco.gov.uk

-Egyptian Embassy in London

Tel: 020 7499 3304/2401

eg.emb_london@mfa.gov.eg

-Egyptian Consulate

consulate@egyptianconsulate.co.uk

Irini Pantelidou has also found these addresses (thanks!):

questions@cabinet.gov.eg

or …complaints@cabinet.gov.eg

Cabinet of Ministers

Address : 2 Maglas El Shaab

Phone : +202-2793-5000

Fax : +202-2795-8048

Email : questions@cabinet.gov.eg

ministry of international cooperation for the egyptian government

Mrs. Fayza Mohamed Aboulnaga

Address : 8 Adly street – Cairo

Tel : 23910008

Fax : 23908159

URL : www.mic.gov.eg/

Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs?

Mr. Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit

Address : Kornish el Nile, Maspiro- Cairo

Tel : 25749820 – 25749821

Fax : 25748822

URL : www.mfa.gov.eg/

E-mail:

General Inquiries:  Info@mfa.gov.eg

Citizens’ Complaint Unit: Contact.Us@mfa.gov.eg

Foreigners and Legalization Affairs: foreign.legalization@mfa.gov.eg

______________________________________________________

6th update from Cairo from Katerina and Marie:

We demonstrated all day at the UN today, demanding that

1) the UN put pressure on the Egyptian government so that we can continue our march

2) help let all our aid through to Gaza

3) organise a small group of delegates to Gaza to at least represent all the countries and be in bloody Gaza!!!

Answer:

No

No

and No.

It was a really peaceful demonstration, with lots of music, dancing, chess playing, talks by Walden Bello and Anna Haas (journalist).

Led by the 85 year old holocaust survivior Hedy Epstein, 14 are now on hunger strike. We were barricaded by police however, not allowing to leave the area for a few hours. Lol, we made a makeshift pee area but the atmosphere was super awesome.

Also, Netanyahu is coming to Cairo, to meet with Mubarak about Gilad Shalit.

The French delegates, around 300, have been camping outside the French embassy for the last 2 days. We will be joining them tonight, but they managed to get the French ambassador to negotiate and talk. The ambassador has been talking to the Egyptian government as a result. However, there were over 1000 riot police and since today they have not allowed any of the French people to leave or enter.

Any attempts for smaller groups to get to Gaza have been stalled. People have either been detained, put under hotel arrest or been forced to return to Cairo.

We are feeling quite demoralised, since we have put so much effort into getting to Gaza as has everyone else here. We are relying on support from back home, so please keep writing.

At this point you have more power than we do.

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Eyewitness in Gaza

I’ve found a link in a website about Palestine, that led to another link that led to another, and I’ve managed to discover a new blog page from Gaza I’ve added to our links. You can visit the blog here, by Lina AlSharif, a 20 year old student of English literature at the Islamic University in Gaza. I wanted to share two videos about remembering the war from the page…

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Rain of fire – and the power of media control

As the months pass since the ‘official’ ending of Isral’s massacre in Gaza, more and more official documentation, proof, and analysis of Israeli war crimes and acts of war comes out. Human Rights Watch has produced a 71 page report on the use of white phosphorus on civilians in Gaza, complete with images and maps of attacks. There are links to the report, images and maps – which we’ve also included in our resources pages – below, but I’ve been wondering if the lesson to be learned from this report isn’t about white phosphorus at all, but about the effect of media control.

It has been a very long time since the attacks in Gaza have made it on the news, at least where I am located. They certainly no longer make it in the front pages and the top news stories. The media would pay attention while the massacre was taking place late December and early January, but after the ‘official end of hostilities’, they’ve moved on. Perhaps this is hardly surprising, and not something that we can be realistic when complaining about. After all, the world is a large place, and there are more events taking place apart from the massacre in Gaza, even if rarely quite so tragic. But we cannot expect focus to stay one issue indefinitely, especially in a world as fast moving as our own. So we must make sure the world is aware of the facts while they are occuring, before people’s attention moves elsewhere.

And this is where the effectiveness of Israel’s control of the press during the massacres becomes clear. Because how many people will really find out about this report from Human Rights Watch, or any of the other reports that have been released or will be released by human rights groups, or any of the documentation that will arise of the war crimes and attrocities commited by the IDF? The few of us with a special interest, yes, but we are already aware of the reality of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians. But the general public? The general impression they will be left with will be the one they got by what the media reported while the attacks were taking place – while the very same media was held hostage outside Gaza, away from the reality of the ground. And while Israel may not have suceeded in hiding its attrocities quite so well, even during that period, they’ve certainly managed to make them less well-documented, and that will leave some people with the impression of yet another conflict where ‘there’s allegation of inconclusive attrocities’, where ‘the IDF is doing its best to avoid unnecesary death’, where ‘Hamas started the conflict, and Israel is merely responding in the same way any other state would’ etc.

For those of you who bother enough to read a bit more about the conflict, here’s the HRW report, just to confirm once again what we already know. Relevant maps can be found here, and images here.

And a few choice quotes from the introduction to the report:

…the report concludes that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) repeatedly exploded white phosphorus munitions in the air
over populated areas, killing and injuring civilians, and damaging civilian structures,

including a school, a market, a humanitarian aid warehouse and a hospital.
White phosphorus munitions did not kill the most civilians in Gaza – many more died from
missiles, bombs, heavy artillery, tank shells, and small arms fire – but their use in densely
populated neighborhoods, including downtown Gaza City, violated international
humanitarian law (the laws of war), which requires taking all feasible precautions to avoid
civilian harm and prohibits indiscriminate attacks.

The unlawful use of white phosphorus was neither incidental nor accidental. It was repeated
over time and in different locations, with the IDF “air-bursting” the munition in populated
areas up to the last days of its military operation. Even if intended as an obscurant rather
than as a weapon, the IDF’s repeated firing of air-burst white phosphorus shells from 155mm
artillery into densely populated areas was indiscriminate and indicates the commission of
war crimes.

The dangers posed by white phosphorus to civilians were well-known to Israeli commanders,
who have used the munition for many years.


When it wanted an obscurant for its forces, the IDF had a readily available and non-lethal
alternative to white phosphorus—smoke shells produced by an Israeli company. The IDF
could have used those shells to the same effect and dramatically reduced the harm to
civilians.

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