Thursday, June 17, 2010

Peace-Loving Peoples of the World: Divest!

That is to say, divest from companies that profit from Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Some of these companies provide weapons and covert surveillance supplies that maintain the occupation by force. Others take or exploit Palestinian resources, including scarce water and even the land itself. All are profiting from Israel's violations of international law and international human rights standards.

Some examples:

  • CATERPILLAR profits from the destruction of Palestinian homes and the uprooting of Palestinian orchards by supplying the armor-plated and weaponized bulldozers that are used for such demolition work.
  • VEOLIA profits from the construction and expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlements by operating a landfill in the West Bank, exploiting Palestinian natural resources to serve the settlements, and by contracting for the future operation of an illegal light rail system connecting these settlements with Jerusalem.
  • NORTHROP GRUMMAN profits from the production of parts for the Apache helicopters and F-16 aircrafts used by Israel against civilians in Gaza during Israel's 2008-09 assault.
  • ELBIT profits from the confiscation of Palestinian land by providing surveillance equipment that is mounted on the Separation Wall, which was declared unlawful by the International Court of Justice.
  • MOTOROLA profits from Israel's control of the Palestinian population by providing surveillance systems around Israeli settlements, checkpoints, and military camps in the West Bank, as well as communication systems to the Israeli army and West Bank settlers.

You can also create investment criteria to screen out investments incompatible with most of humanity's values. (See a petition on this)

Yeni Bir Boğaz Köprüsü Trafiği Rahatlatır Mı?

Koray Doğan Urbarlı, yesilgazete.org

B
u tüm zamanların ötesinde olan soruya hemen yanıt vermek mümkün. Evet, rahatlatır! Nasıl ki, ilk köprü trafiği rahatlatmışsa, ikinci köprü trafiği rahatlatmışsa bu yapılması planlanan köprü de trafiği rahatlatır. Trafik için en güzeli herhalde boğazın asfaltlanması olur ki o zaman gerçekten trafik çok rahat olur. Hem araya da bir kaç TOKİ projesi sıkıştırdık mı, birkaç xport, 7 yıldızlı otel falan, her şey mükemmel olur. Rantından yenmez valla! Altından boğaz, üstünden 6 köprü geçen Dünya’nın kıtalararası tek karayolu.

Rahatlatır rahatlatmasına da, trafik denen olgu rahatlamaya, rahatlatmaya muhtaç bir olgu mudur? Çok kilolu, hatta obez, boğazına da düşkün bir kişinin her yemekten sonra kemerini biraz daha açması mıdır sorununun asıl çözümü? Bu onu rahatlatmaz mı? Rahatlatır, rahatlatmasına da ya sonrası? Trafik, köprü ilişkisi de aynı bunun gibi işte. Siz trafiği, arabaların bir yerden bir yere gitmesini “en kutsal” olarak görürseniz, ekonomik kriz ile ilgili önlemlerde aklınıza ilk otomobil satışında vergileri düşürmek gelirse daha çok kemerinizi açarsınız. Kilo vermeniz gerektiğini bazen hissedersiniz ama, yeni köprülerin getireceği rant hoşunuza gider. Bu yolların asla bir sonunun olmadığını, bir tanesi yaptığınızda ikincisini de yapmaya mecbur kalacağınızı bilirsiniz ama kemeri gevşetmek ve o anlık rahatlama sizi içine çeker.

Amacınız nedir? İnsanları bir yerden bir yere taşımak mı? Otomobilleri, kamyonları bir yerden bir yere taşımak mı? Buna açık yüreklilikle, otomobilleri taşımak tabii ki, diyebilecek herhalde kimse yoktur. Tek tek sorulursa ve yanıt alınabilirse herkes ilkini söyleyecektir. Peki neden uygulamada bunun tam tersi oluyor? Tam tersi gerçekleşiyor? Fikir ile eylem arasındaki bağlar bu kadar mı kopuk olabilir mi? Madem, iki yaka arasında köprüleri gerektirecek kadar büyük bir insan akımı var, bunu toplu taşımaya yönlendirerek, toplu taşımayı bir eziyet haline getirmekten çıkartıp gerçek bir seçenek haline getirerek çözmeye çalışmak hiç düşünülmüyorsa bu iyi niyet midir? İyi niyetli bir politika mıdır? Böyle bir şehirde, çok gelişmiş bir deniz ulaşımının olması beklenmez mi? Her noktaya ulaşacak bir vapur sisteminin olması beklenmez mi? Var mı? Yok.

Açıkça söylenmelidir artık. Şu anda karar alan mevkilerde oturanlar, kara yolu ulaşımına göbekten bağlıdırlar. Gerekirse on yıl sonra bir köprü daha yapmak da isteyebilirler ki gerekecektir bu politikaları devam ettiği sürece. Önünü alamazlar, almak için bir politikaları yok çünkü. Bir ulaşım politikaları da yok. Üçüncü köprü yapılırken, yapılmasının planı açıklanırken, bir tane öneri duydunuz mu, dördüncü köprünün olmasını, gerekmesini engelleyecek? Engellenmelidir çünkü! Belediyeler, hükümetler sadece kentleşme politikası için değil, yaşam için artık otomobil ile seyehati en az düzeye indirmeye, insanları otomobilden soğutmaya mecburlar. En büyük görevlerinden bir tanesi bu olmalı. Türkiye’de ise tam tersi. Daha çok otomobil alın, elinizdekini değiştirin, toplu taşıma, raylı sistem, deniz ulaşımı değil, karayolunu tercih edin diye çırpınıyor herkes. İzmir’de de bu şekilde, Ankara’da da bu şekilde. Daha dün, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi metro ve hafif raylı sistemin bazı güzergahlarının çalışma sürelerini verimlilik nedeniyle kısalttı. Böyle yönetiliyor şehirler ve ülke.

İşte bu yüzden trafik rahatlatılmaya muhtaç bir obez canavar olarak büyüyor karar alan insanların kucağında. Karadeniz’i otoyola çevirdiler rahatladı; İstanbul’u köprülerle donattılar rahatladı; İzmir’e köprü yapmak istiyorlar, yaptıklarında rahatlar. Bir trafiği mücadele edilecek değil, rahatlatacak bir olgu olarak gördükten sonra, doğayı yok edip, asfalt dökecek yer mi yok ülkede?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A letter from Jewish Voice for Peace

Dear Aysem,

When I got the news about Israel's armed attack on the Gaza Flotilla at 2:30 am on the morning of May 31, I felt sick. I immediately called a dear friend in Jerusalem, one of the most committed activists I know. Across the ocean, I could hear in her voice that she was in tears. "The worst part about it, " she said, "is that nothing will change."

"No," I replied. "I can't believe that can be true. Things have to change."
"Well," she said, "then it is up to you, the internationals."

She's right. It is up to us, the internationals both here in the United States and abroad.
That is why I want you to send a message to US President Obama if you live outside of the United States, and to Obama and the US Congress if you are a U.S. resident, demanding the immediate release of the detained human rights activists, an end to the siege on Gaza, an impartial investigation of the attack on the flotilla, and a suspension of US aid until Israel abides by international law.

We still don't know a lot about what happened to the flotilla of boats carrying some 700 human rights activists from around the world and over 10 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza-- Israel has kept the activists under a near total media blackout while sharing only its implausible narrative of events. What we do know is that Israeli commandos boarded a ship in international waters and killed at least ten activists, injuring dozens of others.

Israel insists that highly trained commandos were forced to lethally fire on activists, creating a new definition of self-defense. In the first alternative accounts to appear, an Israeli Knesset member and an Al Jazeera cameraman who were on board the ship at the time each described something different, a scene of chaos with civilians waving white flags and commandos using stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas. Regardless of what actually happened when armed soldiers landed, Israel's wanton killing of civilians is unacceptable.

We still don't know th
e names of those who were killed or injured, or where they are from. And we don't know the whereabouts or well-being of more than 400 activists still being held by Israel.

These deaths, and the attacks on the boats, have hit all of us around the world particularly hard. There were people from 40 different countries on board the ships, including Israelis and Palestinians. Israel sent armed commandos onto a civilian ship in international waters, a brazenly illegal act
to enforce Israel's nearly 3-year illegal siege of Gaza - a siege that has left 1.5 million men, women and children living like prisoners on substandard diets, deprived of the simplest things like potato chips, musical instruments, and toys. The flotilla wasn't just about this one delivery of aid. It was about the right of Palestinians to have sea, land and air routes to the rest of the world and for the need to end the blockade.

I know that there comes a point in one's life when you simply have to take a stand. You cannot sit by silently and watch ongoing and wholly unjustified destruction of life, tacitly supported by governments around the world, and simply do nothing.

The flotilla was filled with people just like you and me who finally decided it was time to risk life and limb to take a stand, to break through those prison walls, and we thank them for it.

Now, as citizens of the world, we owe it to the people of Palestine, and the people of Israel who want to live in peace, and the brave people on that flotilla, to build the movement to make Israel accountable to international law and standards of simple human decency - especially because our governments have failed us.

The response of the U.S. government thus far has been wholly inadequate, with a mild statement "regretting the loss of life," without assigning any blame for the fiasco, let alone applying any sanctions for Israel's acts. Please, join me in telling President Obama and Congress enough is enough

. US taxpayer dollars fund Israel's occupation, and together with wall to wall uncritical diplomatic support have sent the message that any Israeli action, no matter how foolhardy, will be backed by the full might of the United States.

It's time for that to stop.

We must also continue to build the already massive global people's movement for justice, which has undeniably found its greatest impact in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This is about all of the ways, big and small, people can bypass their often ineffective governments to use economic pressure to make the Israeli government accountable to international law. After launching our energetic support for campus efforts to divest from the occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace will let you know soon about our own divestment campaign to help bring pressure on Israel to reach a just solution.

It is time for the United States, as Israel's closest ally and most powerful nation in the world, to stop unconditional support for the Israeli government.Doing so will protect Israelis and Palestinians, American citizens, and internationals alike.

Click here to demand that President Obama and Congress call for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza,

an international and impartial investigation into the tragic killing of civilians in a humanitarian mission, and the suspension of military aid to Israel until he can assure the American public that our aid is not used to commit similar abuses.


Rebecca Vilkomerson,
Executive Director,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS, We've prepared posters in PDF format that you can use at protests, in your car window or on bulletin boards. Download them here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

German President Kohler Resigns

over his comments (below) on the military involvement of Germany in Afghanistan:

"In my estimation, though, we—including society as a whole—are broadly on our way towards understanding that a country of our size, with its export-led and hence export-dependent nature, needs to recognise that in cases of uncertainty or emergency, military deployment, too, is necessary if we are to uphold our interests such as ensuring free trade routes or preventing regional instability which is also certain to impair our ability to safeguard trading-related jobs and incomes."
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