Occupation Map

Occupation Map

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A Message from Golborne Road Festival

Zajel will be performing in the Annual Cultural Festival at Golborne Road, Kensington; Representing Palestine, its culture and traditions, in this international event in London. We will be performing on the main stage at 2:30pm

As part of the 2010 Golborne Festival - a day of food, entertainment, arts, crafts, music and dancing celebrating the diversity of West London's renowned Golborne Road - Maramia Cafe is proud to present the sounds and flavours of Palestine.

Join us at the main festival stage between 12.30 pm - 2 pm, where legendary musician and singer REEM KELANI will be joined by flamenco guitarist FADI WAKED for an inspirational session of alternative Palestinian music. This will be followed by folkloric performances of the much-loved ZAJEL and Al Zaytuna Dance Groups, whose interpretations of the dabka never fail to bring joy to heart.

The party then continues at our very own Maramia Café stage, where you'll be able to savour the ever popular singer SAMI ALHUSSAMI and musician TAREK SAEED, the unique sound of premiere urban act MC LOWKEY and SHADIA MANSOUR, and latest Arabic hits, courtesy of DJ STEVE. All this, and the very best Palestinian food this side of Gaza!

See you there!

Time to Hold Israel Accountable

Australian for Palestine placed this advertisement in eight newspapers

In just a few days, we gathered more than 400 names and numerous organisations, with more coming.  To date, we have received an overwhelming $31,000 towards the cost of the adverts – not quite the full amount, but close enough.  It proves to us once again that people are very aware of the assault on truth and decency and our governments’ miserable failure to uphold them in the face of belligerent interests.  What is so obvious to most, that this was a deliberate craven attack on civilians in an unarmed ship under cover of darkness, is now held up as an attack on the Israeli navy and its heavily-armed commandos. And, what should have been treated as an outright crime is now to become the subject of a “mickey mouse” investigation, despite Israel’s brazen but discredited attempts to doctor film footage, disseminate racist spoofs and furiously spin its way out of an unforgiving public eye.  Not only is the culprit Israel being allowed to mount its own investigation, but now it turns out that the inquiry observer - former Northern Ireland leader Lord David Trimble - is a high-profile supporter of Israel.  Whatever happened to independence?

None of this would have had the remotest chance of succeeding if the US had treated Israel’s act in the same way it treats other pariah states and criminal activities.  The difficulty is that the US has for years constructed a crystal facade around its empire and it wouldn’t do to throw stones at a friendly state-gone-rampant, lest the whole edifice comes crashing down.  But citizens around the world are beginning to see that protecting Israel right or wrong comes at a huge cost to the integrity of our own lives making everyone of us vulnerable to the excesses of power, and these same citizens are prepared to act in defence of truth and justice.  It happened here in Australia last week and it is happening all over the world: people are not blind and they are no longer buying the spin.  Our newspaper ad campaign only tapped into a fraction of the population, so one can imagine how much more would have been possible with multiple time and human resources, but what we did is part of the turning tide.

Our thanks to everyone who gave generously and what they could, including their names.  While the day of the ad has now passed, more people know that they are not alone in their disgust, more people feel connected in a common drive for human and civil rights and more people are waking up to the 63-year long Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.

We are still taking names and donations and the list of names can be seen on our website for the next two weeks http://www.australiansforpalestine.com  When you are visiting, take some time to learn more about what is being done to the Palestinians on a daily basis and the terrible catastrophe that is being wreaked on them on our watch.  Few people who learn the truth are not forever touched by their narrative.  One day it will be the epic story of our times.

One of our lead articles on the website today is an article by Stéphane Hessel, a holocaust survivor, diplomat, French resistance fighter, human rights activist and co-author of the Universal declaration of Human Rights who ends his piece with “I endorse the heartfelt words of Scottish writer Iain Banks, who in  reaction to Israel’s atrocious attack on the Freedom Flotilla suggested  that the best way for international artists, writers and academics to  “convince Israel of its moral degradation and ethical isolation” is  “simply by having nothing more to do with this criminal government.”  Published yesterday in America’s most popular Huffington Post, it is well worth reading.  You can read it on our website http://www.australiansforpalestine.com

Monday, 14 June 2010

Eye Witness Accounts of Israeli Flotilla Attack

Raw Footage from Israeli Attack on Mavi Marmara

Lara Lee, a Brazilian film maker who is now resident in the United States was making a documentary on the Mavi Marmara's mission to Gaza. When mobiles and other cameras were confiscated by the Israeli military Lara hid a memory card with footage of the attack under her clothes. She showed over an hours raw footage at the UN on Thursday and released it on the Cultures of Resistance website. This is an edited 15 minute version.

Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara, May 31st 2010 // 15 min. from Cultures of Resistance on Vimeo.