In three days of fighting 18 Palestinians have been killed and dozens injured, while two Israelis have been wounded.
We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue. By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue. ~ Blog Action Day Website
For the past 3 years, every October 15th, Blog Action Day has been marked by tens of thousands of bloggers, discussing the same issue. From the environment, to poverty, to this year’s theme of water, Blog Action Day is a perfect fit for PULSE, which never fails to make the connection between these “social issues” and the politics driving them, 365 days of the year.
To all of us at PULSE that follow world events (or rather “the money”, or rather “the power”) it’s very evident that water, being the very essence of basic needs for sustaining life, becomes a cynical tool, leveraged by the powerful, in order to oppress, control and often kill off whole populations of human beings deemed meaningless.
On October the 15th PULSE will dedicate itself to the issue of water, and we invite all our blogging readers to do the same.
Patrick Bond, South Africa’s leading analyst and author of a number of excellent books on the country’s post-Apartheid neoliberal transformation, reports about rising class polarisation and the prospect of mass social unrest in the wake of the global economic recession.
(Durban, 28 June 2009) — With high-volume class strife heard in the rumbling of wage demands and the friction of township “service delivery protests”, rhetorical and real conflicts are bursting open in every nook and cranny of South Africa.
The big splits in society are clearer now. The 2005-09 dispute within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) between camps allied to former president Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma has resolved itself largely in Zuma’s favour.
Today marks the second anniversary of the criminal siege of Gaza. Here is a statement signed by over 40 NGOs, humanitarian and UN organizations denouncing Israel’s blockade:
We, United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organisations, express deepening concern over Israel’s continued blockade of the Gaza Strip which has now been in force for two years.
These indiscriminate sanctions are affecting the entire 1.5 million population of Gaza and ordinary women, children and the elderly are the first victims.
The amount of goods allowed into Gaza under the blockade is one quarter of the pre- blockade flow. Eight out of every ten truckloads contains food but even that is restricted to a mere 18 food items. Seedlings and calves are not allowed so Gaza’s farmers cannot make up the nutritional shortfall. Even clothes and shoes, toys and school books are routinely prohibited.
For those who refuse to accept the brutal reality on the ground, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa has produced a new detailed legal report which confirms “that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).” The study was commissioned to “test the hypothesis posed by Professor John Dugard in the report he presented to the UN Human Rights Council in January 2007, in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the OPT:
Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT. At the same time, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law. What are the legal consequences of a regime of prolonged occupation with features of colonialism and apartheid for the occupied people, the Occupying Power and third States?
On the specific question of colonialism the report unambiguously states that:
“Five issues, which are unlawful in themselves, taken together make it evident that Israel’s rule in the OPT has assumed such a colonial character: namely, violations of the territorial integrity of occupied territory; depriving the population of occupied territory of the capacity for selfgovernance; integrating the economy of occupied territory into that of the occupant; breaching the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources in relation to the occupied territory; and denying the population of occupied territory the right freely to express, develop and practice its culture” (pp. 15-16). Furthermore, “Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is manifestly an act based on colonial intent” (ibid.).
Concerning the charge of apartheid, the report states:
By examining Israel’s practices in the light of Article 2 of the Apartheid Convention, this study concludes that Israel has introduced a system of apartheid in the OPT (p. 17)
The Anti-Defamation League and the Israel advocacy group “Stand With Us” are leading an aggressive, direct campaign to pressure UCSB administrators and faculty to investigate and discipline Professor of Sociology William I. Robinson for having introduced materials critical of Israel in a course on global affairs. The UCSB academic senate opened an official inquiry alleging “academic misconduct” and “anti-semitism”, following complaints by two students in response to an email Robinson sent out to his class during Israel’s war on Gaza. The email consisted of an article published in the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle by Judith Stone, who had recently returned from the occupied territories (the editor responsible was fired the next day), a photo essay which juxtaposed Nazi atrocities against Jews in WWII and Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza and the following commentary:
If Martin Luther King, Jr. Were alive on this day of January 19, 2009, there is no doubt that he would be condemning the Israeli aggression against Gaza along with u.s. military and political support for Israeli war crimes, or that he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians. I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Perhaps the most frightening are not those providing a graphic depiction of the carnage but that which shows Israeli children writing “with love” on a bomb that will tear apart Palestinian children.