World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Let him go, let him speak + action alerts & report

Let him go, let him speak + action alerts & reports


on the agenda: []Let him go, let him speak, let there be an open debate (Gush ad tomorrow) []Saturday - a working day in solidarity with the cave dwellers []Sunday, an Alternative Day of Remembrance in Tel-Aviv reports []Civilian Yoni Ben Artzi dragged back to the military prison []Roundup of Vanunu news & request for your protest of the restrictions []Yes, Alice, it does do some good (Gila Svirsky) followed by press release: UNWRA back to Gaza []Eldar on opportunities lost once more in blood (based on Gush Shalom report of Arafat visit 10.4 )

\\// //\\ \\//
[]Let him go, let him speak, let there be an open debate (Gush ad tomorrow)

òáøéú áàúø / Hebrew on the website



[ad to be published in Ha'aretz, 23.04.04]

To voice our opinion we need your donation to Gush Shalom, P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 or ask us about charities in your country +++

[]Saturday - a working day in solidarity with the cave dwellers

[Hebrew was sent earlier / ðåñç òáøé ðùìç ëáø + éùìç ùåá òì ôé á÷ùä]

~~Day of Solidarity with Palestinians of South-Hebron Hills~~

During the past months the Israeli occupation is further tightening the noose around the neck of the cave dwellers in the South-Hebron hills.

Already for more than 20 years the government of Israel, the army and the settlers maintain their ongoing joint effort to make this an area "free of Palestinians."

Now, the planned route of the "Separation Fence" is threatening to cut off the inhabitants from the town of Yatta, on which they depend for basic necessities, forcing them to give up their centuries-old way of life.

On Saturday, April 24, 2004, we will hold an Israeli-Palestinian working day in South Hebron Hills in order to express solidarity with the inhabitants and strengthening them in their struggle for their homes and their livelihood.

Please, bring working clothes, water and food sufficient for the day. The action is fitting also for families.


Tel-Aviv: 8.00am Arlozorov Street Railway Station (info: 050-814343)

Jerusalem: 7.45am Liberty Bell Park, 8.00 Binyaney HaUma (info: 058-603199)

Haifa: 7.30am Solel Boneh Junction (info: 052-887185 - possible picking from elsewhere in the North)

Be'er Sheva: 9.00am University Entrance Gate (info: 067-804909)

Gush Shalom, Ta'ayush, HaCampus Lo Shotek, Yesh Gvul +++

[]Sunday, an Alternative Day of Remembrance in Tel-Aviv

------- Forwarded message follows ------- From: "yuval halperin" To:,,

[English follows]

éåí äæéëøåï ìçììé äîìçîåú åäëéáåù

áéåí à', 25.4.04, ùòä 19:30 éú÷ééí áâãä äùîàìéú, øç' àçã äòí 70 ú"à àéøåò àìèøðèéáé ìéåí äæéëøåï.

:ééùàå ãáøéí àéáøäéí áåùðà÷, ùàçééðå ðøöç áàå÷èåáø 200 îàù îùèøú éùøàì. øîé àìçðï, çáø "ôåøåí ääåøéí äùëåìéí äéùøàìé-ôìñèéðé ìîòï äùìåí". îùä éäåãàé, çáø äñðéó äéùøàìé ùì äôãøöéä äòåìîéú ìñøáðé îìçîä. çåä ÷ìø, ìåçîú á- 1948: "äáèéçå ìé ùòåã îòè îçæéøéí àú äôìéèéí". àåøé éò÷á, ñøáï âéåñ á-2003. éò÷á çï, ñøáï âéåñ á-1956. øåúé ÷ðèåø, ôòéìä áàøâåï "ôøåôéì çãù". ùîåàì éøåùìîé, îùåøø åôòéì ùìåí. ëîå ëï úåöâ úòøåëä áðåùà îéìéèøéæí áéùøàì.

Day of remembrance to the victims of war and occupation. An alternative ceremony of the day of remembrance will take place at the Gada Smalit ("Left Bank", Ahad Ha'am 70) on Sunday, 25 of April, at 19:30.

The participants: Ibrahim Bushnak,whose nephew was murdered in October 2000 by the guns of the Israeli police; Rami Elhanan, member of the joint Israeli-Palestinian forum of bereaved families for peace; Moshe Yehudai, member in the Moshe Yehuda'i, Israeli branch of the world federation of war resisters; Hava Keller, who fought in 1948: "I was promised that the refugees would return to their homes shortly"; Uri Yaakobi, 2003 draft resister; Yaakov Chen, 1956 draft resister; Ruti Kantor, activist in the "New profile" organization; Shmuel Yerushalmi, poet and peace activist.

An exhibition on the theme of Israeli militarism will be opened. +++

[]Civilian Yoni Ben Artzi dragged back to the military prison

[report by Adam Keller - Gush Shalom member and member of the Refuser Parents Forum]

It would have required the pen of a Kafka or an Orwell to do justice to the scene at the Jaffa Military Court yesterday morning. CO Yoni Ben Artzi, who had spent nearly two years in repeated detentions, had already in January gotten a complete discharge from military service. Officially and formally a civilian who should never again be required to wear a uniform or be part of military hierarchy - yet here he was, brought back to complete the process of a military trial and hear the verdict passed on him for the most military of all offences - "Refusal to obey a legal order from the commanding officer placed in charge of him".

Colonel Avi Levy, the presiding judge, started by reiterating that himself and his two fellow judges have become convinced of Ben-Artzi's sincerity in his pacifist convictions. That, surely, should clinch the matter? It turns out that it does not. "This court is not the competent body to rule on exemptions for reasons of conscience. The body in charge of that - the Conscience Committee - now includes not only military officers but also a civilian philosopher (sic). The committee heard the accused and remains in doubt whether he is motivated by conscience or by by self-seeking and egoism.(...) The accused has chosen to flout the legal decision of the committee and to take the law into his own hands by refusing orders repeatedly. Whatever his motives, for that he must be punished - to deter him from future defiance of the law, and to deter others whose request for exemption may in future be turned down. We regret that the accused rejected the court's offer that he serve his punishment in the form of Military Works, whence he could come home every night and avoid actual incarceration". Ben Artzi: "Had I been willing to do that, I could as well have enlisted in the army to begin with". The judge went on: "The accused having declined our offer, we have no choice but to impose the term of two months' incarceration in the military prison, plus a fine of NIS 2,000 - non-payment of which would entail a further two month imprisonment". Silence in the hall - and then Prof. Matanya Ben Artzi, Yoni's father' rose up and stated in a clear, steady voice: "Colonel Avi Levy, once upon a time you, too, will be called to account for your iniquities". "I meant it" Prof. Ben Artzi afterwards told the group of activists and refusers' parents who had been following this trial from the start. "All this pretence at a fair process and letting justice be served, but it's a crooked game. It's all part of the same predatory and vindictive system - like letting Vanunu out after 18 years and then imposing such severe restrictions on him, like declaring that they are going to withdraw from Gaza and then sending the army back in to destroy and kill. Why, right now they said on the news that the army killed six Palestinians near Gaza, just as we were sitting here in the court and listening to this verdict! Someone had to get out and say it, even if it's against the court rules. What the court said in this verdict was that Yoni should have become a robot, silenced the voice of his conscience in deference to the judgement of a bunch of bureaucrats who never gave him a fair hearing."

Meanwhile, Adv. Michael Sfard managed to obtain a stay of execution pending an appeal to the Military Appeals Court. "If necessary, we will go higher, also to the Supreme Court". +++

[]Roundup of Vanunu news & request for your protest of the restrictions

A taxi ride from the military court - to the Ashkelon Prison, just in time to witness the nuclea r whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu emerge.

A pandemonium, with hundreds of journalists, photographers and TV crews jockeying for position. A bit behind, anti-nuclear activists from all over the world were since the early morning chanting "Peace, Shalom, Salam" from behind police fences, holding up Vanunu posters, a smiling Vanunu and "Thank y ou, Mordechai " in Hebrew, Arabic and English. There were also the individual signs of particular group s: "Hiroshima survivors welcome Mordechai Vanunu"; "Vanunu the whistleblower, you are welcome in Irela nd"; "US Campaign to Free Vanunu". Then arrived the extreme-right people - waving Israeli national flags, shouting unprintable obscen ities, throwing eggs, tearing signs... With the connivance of the police they advanced forward, placing themselves between the peace delegations and the prison gate. Would that be Vanunu's first sight after eightee n years behind bars, this his welcome?

A group of Israeli activists and some internationals - led by the anarchists, fresh from the daily struggle around the "Separation Wall", rushed forward and placed themselves right near the gate, Upon notici ng them, the nationalists increased their heckling and catcalls, bursting out into "He's a traitor, he's a t raitor, he's a traitor!" in a cadence usually heard at football matches - which was answered with "He's a hero, he 's a hero, he's a hero!" and "Peace Yes - Nukes No!" and "Nukes are terror - Vanunu a hero!" Meanwhile the international contingent released 18 white doves, one for each year of incarceration, to the gay st rains of a trumpeteer. . The moment was drawing close… Already we could hear on a transistor radio snatches of Vanunu speaking to journalists inside the prison gates: "I am proud of what I did... I call for international inspection of the Dimona Nuclear Pile. .. I have no more secrets to reveal... I did not say that I am against the existence of Israel, I said that I have no use for a Jewish state and don't want to live in one...". Would he say anything that would be interpreted as breakin g the stringent restrictions put on him, which would provide a pretext for the authorities to pounce on h im?

Then, the heavy gate opened. Our clapping and cheers drowned out the curses of our opponents, we th rew outwards the flowers which were saved for this moment, got a glimpse of a speeding white car - and he was past. The frustrated rightists rampaged a it more, threw a few more eggs - happy throats answered t hem with "Mordie is free, Mordie is free!".

Still, the scene at the prison gates made one thing clear: aside from the officially-imposed restri ctions, the nominally-free Mordechai Vanunu could hardly stroll down the streets of Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem, unle ss heavily disguised. The intensive hate campaign of the past months ensured that people who get their information from what passes for the news sections of the mainstream Israeli media would think of h im as a despicable traitor. And yet the government which made such a thorough job of making so many people hate him also insists upon forcing him to go on living in one country with these people.

For the time being, Mordechai Vanunu has found a welcoming refuge at the Pilgrim Guest House, run b y the Anglican Church at St. George's Cathedral in East Jerusalem. But that can only be a temporary exped ient. Mordechai Vanunu should not be forces to live among hatred. He must be allowed to try building a n ew life somewhere else. P.S. from Rayna Moss the following:

[compiled of two messages]

For a review of articles, photos and other news about Vanunu's release, go to

Even if you don't read Hebrew, see and for photos.

Coverage also on

For addresses of where to send a protest against the restrictions on Vanunu who served his full prison term:

in order to send a copy to the nearest Israeli Embassy: +++

[]Yes, Alice, it does do some good (Gila Svirsky) followed by press release: UNWRA back to Gaza

------- Forwarded message follows ------- From: Gila Svirsky Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 9:59 PM To: Gila Svirsky Subject: Yes, Alice, it does do some good.

Dear Alice,

You were signature number 2,750 on the petition "Open the Gates to Allow Food into Gaza", and you added after your name, "This won't do any good, but here goes."

Thankfully, Alice, you were mistaken: The gates to Gaza have now been re-opened to regular UNRWA emergency food shipments, following three harrowing weeks of sporadic delivery. Celebration, or at least great relief, is in order.

I asked a senior UNRWA official what he thought made a difference, and he replied, "Everything -- the people who signed the petition, the Israelis and Palestinians who spoke out against it, the internationals who expressed their indignation, the letters to the officials -- everything together made the difference."

So thank you, Alice, wherever you are, and thank you to the 6,685 others who signed the petition and sent letters or made phone calls. It's a drop in the ocean of what remains to be done, but for 600,000 men, women, and children in Gaza, it means that tomorrow they won't go hungry.

Gila Svirsky Jerusalem

The UNRWA Press release:

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East-Headquarters Gaza website: Press Release No. HQ/G/07/2004 21 April, 2004

UNRWA Recommences Emergency Food Distributions in the Gaza Strip

Gaza - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees today recommenced the distribution of emergency food aid to some 600,000 refugees in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA's emergency food programme was suspended on April 1 following restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities at the sole commercial entry point for Gaza. Those restrictions prevented UNRWA from transporting empty freight containers out of Gaza, causing the Agency a bottleneck that prevented 11,000 tons of food from entering from the Israeli port of Ashdod and costing UNRWA around $130,000 in fees.

For most of the last two weeks, the Israeli authorities have operated workable arrangements - as is required under international humanitarian law - at the Gaza entry point. These have permitted the Agency to bring sufficient amounts of humanitarian aid into the Strip. The Agency now has enough food in Gaza to provide for the needs of the refugees for the next 30 days.

However, the future of the emergency food assistance programme remains in doubt because the Israeli authorities are now insisting that holes must be drilled in the two-inch wall cavities of containers leaving Gaza so that they can be searched by mini-camera. The containers are not the property of UNRWA and such procedures will add to the costs and the delays in providing food to the needy.

UNRWA delivers around 250 tons of food aid per day to the refugees in Gaza as part of a wider programme of emergency operations. These operations are designed to alleviate the worst of the economic hardship felt by the refugees since the start of the strife in the West Bank and Gaza in September 2000. Around two-thirds of the population of the Gaza Strip, 80 per cent of whom are refugees, are now living below the poverty line and are increasingly dependent on international humanitarian assistance.

A donation of US$30 can provide one month's food parcel for a family of eight containing 50kg of flour, five kg of rice, five kg of sugar, two liters of cooking oil, one kg of powdered mil and five kg of lentils. You can make a donation by visiting and paying by credit card, or by sending crossed cheques to UNRWA liaison offices. Alternatively you can send cheques payable to UNRWA to its bank accounts. Please contact us about a nearest bank account from your location.

Public Information Office UNRWA-HQ (GAZA) website: +++

[]Eldar on opportunities lost once more in blood (based on Gush Shalom report of Arafat visit 10.4 )

People and Politics: It's still the same old story, a tale of missed opportunity By Akiva Eldar // Ha'aretz 20.04.04

Saturday morning, 10 days ago, a small group of Israelis slipped through the checkpoints to Ramallah. The Gush Shalom activists, headed by Uri Avnery, were on their way to tell Yasser Arafat that if Ariel Sharon aimed to kill him, Arafat will find them once again at his side. full text

Hebrew/ òáøéú

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC