torsdag 15 april 2010

Exercise of Power

video

One of history's most fiercely contested landscapes, the 2,270 square miles of territory known as the West Bank was under the control of Jordan when it was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Over the last 35 years, the area has become ¬home to some 200,000 Israelis (400,000 including occupied East Jerusalem) who populate numerous, new, purpose-built settlements perched on its hilltops, overlooking long-established Palestinian lowland communities. This ongoing state-sponsored policy of expansion onto the high ground has been paralleled by the development, within the architectural and urban planning professions, of extremely particularized strategies for building on heights. Many of these draw on historical precedents; all are designed to provide basic municipal amenities within a context of highly refined, surveillance-based security.

An audiovisual exploration of the political space created by Israel’s colonial occupation. The journey unravels Israel’s mechanisms of control and its transformation of the Occupied Territories into a theoretically constructed artifice, in which natural and built features function as the weapons and ammunition with which the conflict is waged.
Israel’s methods of transforming the landscape itself into a tool of total domination and control, a system of a complex and terrifying project of late-modern colonial occupation.

söndag 4 april 2010

“Coalition to Break the Blockade on Gaza Announced”

April 3, 2010

Istanbul, Turkey – Following months of preparation, a coalition bringing together a number of organizations and movements working to break Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza was announced yesterday in Istanbul. The coalition, comprised of the Turkey-based IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) organization, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), the Greek Ship to Gaza campaign, the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign and the Free Gaza Movement, will launch a flotilla of ships laden with cargo, media, parliamentarians, celebrities and activists to Gaza next month.

The flotilla includes at least eight vessels, including three cargo ships, and will set sail from European ports beginning May 3, reaching the port of Gaza later in the month. Over 500 passengers from more than 20 countries will take part, and 5,000 tons of cargo, including cement, prefabricated housing, other building materials, medical equipment, and educational supplies will be delivered to Palestinians in Gaza.

The Free Gaza Movement has been launching ships to Gaza since August 2008, partnering with organizations and activists around the world on these missions. In December 2009, IHH led a land convoy to Gaza that brought tons of humanitarian aid and other supplies. In January 2010 the European Campaign brought 50 parliamentarians to Gaza in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to witness the devastation wrought by Israel’s illegal policies. Ship to Gaza/Greece and Ship to Gaza/Sweden meanwhile have had ongoing campaigns in their countries to raise awareness and funds for this effort and for materials to be brought to Gaza.

“Through this coalition, these organizations will be able to maximize resources, experience and commitment to ending the illegal siege on Gaza. Even as Israel continues its daily persecution of Palestinians, we will use this action to wake the world’s consciousness about the crimes committed against Palestinians,” said IHH President Bulent Yildirim.

The coalition invites organizations and individuals from around the world to join the effort by providing supplies for Gaza and contributing financial support for the mission.

Contact:

Free Gaza Movement – Greta Berlin - +33607374512; www.freegaza.org

ECESG – Arafat Madhi - +44 7908 200 559; www.savegaza.eu

IHH – Ahmet Emin Dag – +90 530 341 1934; www.ihh.org.tr

Ship to Gaza / Greece – Vangelis Pissias - +30 697 200 9339; www.shiptogaza.gr

Ship to Gaza / Sweden – Dror Feiler - +46702855777; www.shiptogaza.se

torsdag 1 april 2010

Three Swedish peace-project participants deported from Israel

After eight hours of traveling, three Swedish citizens—Lama Abu-Isefan, Salam Abu-Iseifan and Samaa Sarsour—were deported from Israel this morning. A fourth Swede, Tigran Feiler, was allowed in, but only after being forced to promise not to visit any Palestinian territories. All of the deported people are participants in a peace project with the goal of building bridges between Jews and Palestinians, and to provide hope for a peaceful solution to this seemingly unsolvable conflict.

On Wednesday night, a group of young Swedes of Jewish and Palestinian descent traveled to Israel to participate in a field trip within the framework of the “Let’s Talk About Peace” project. The peace project gathers young Swedes of Jewish and Palestinian descent, and has them give lectures in Swedish upper secondary schools.

Upon arrival at the Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv (Israel), the three Swedish women and one of the Jewish participants were taken away for interrogation. The interrogations went on for eight hours. The Swedish citizens were interrogated in separate rooms, with no lawyer or authorized interpreter present. During that time, another one of the Jewish participants was taken back to passport control for interrogation.

The remaining three participants maintained continuous contact with the Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv throughout the interrogations. Despite those efforts, the three Swedish women were deported. The only explanation offered was “security reasons”. After more than eleven hours, the Swedish citizen of Jewish descent was allowed entry, on the condition that he sign a document stipulating that he is forbidden to enter the Palestinian territories. He was also forced to pay a deposit of 5,000 Israeli shekels (approximately 1,400 US dollars). He signed the document under protest. “I signed it under duress. I see it as an attempt to constrain me, to prevent me from meeting Palestinians. There is no other purpose than to destroy exactly what our project is trying to achieve—building bridges and dialog,” says Tigran Feiler.

The purpose of the “Let’s Talk About Peace” project is to battle prejudices, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and to provide Swedish youth with a deeper, more personal description of the Israel/Palestine conflict. So far, the “Let’s Talk About Peace” project has reached out to nearly Swedish students, and it has obtained support from, among others, the Schools and Education Division of Stockholm and the Olof Palme Memorial Fund, as well as having been awarded by the Helena Bering memorial fund.

So the final result of this peace project was that all of the Palestinian participants were deported. “How can we create a dialog for peace when one side is not even allowed to speak?” asks Ronnie Liebech, one of the participants.