January 1 and 2, 2009
WORT Programs on Gaza

“A Public Affair”, WORT 89.9 FM, Thursday, January 1, 2009 at noon, call in 256-2001
Why the Israeli assault on Gaza? Why now? What are the Israeli motivations? What are the broader, deeper contexts for this massive act of aggression against a largely defenseless people? These and other questions will be the focus of a conversation with host Allen Ruff and special guest Jennifer Loewenstein, Palestine Human Rights activist, co-founder of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project and Lecturer on the Contemporary Middle East, the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, the UW-Madison.

“A Public Affair”, WORT 89.9 FM, Friday, January 2, 2009 at noon, call in 256-2001
Judith Siers-Poisson hosts a show on the crisis in Gaza. Guests: Ewa Jasiewicz and Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement on the Israeli attack — in international waters — on the boat Dignity. Dignity was loaded with 3-4 tons of emergency medical relief supplies, doctors, and international observers including former U.S. Congresswoman and recent presidential candidate for the Green Party, Cynthia McKinney. Jasiewicz is in Gaza, Berlin in the U.S. Also, a representative of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza.

December 28, 2008
Take Action to End Israeli Attacks on Gaza – Radio Show Sunday

Our friends in Rafah and elsewhere in Gaza report massive casualties from Israeli air strikes. Hospitals are overflowing with more than 200 dead and over 500 wounded (so far). So-called “Hamas compounds” included a civil police training school where scores of young men desperate for a salary to support families were assembled for a graduation ceremony. Bombs hit at school let-out time so children were in the streets in large numbers.

Many expected that no Israeli attack would be launched just hours after Israel, as widely reported in the western media, had finally allowed the delivery of a small amount of humanitarian aid to the starving population of Gaza. Widespread property damage is making life in the cold and dark of Gaza even more miserable than it was, if such a thing can even be imagined. And as I write this, it is reported that new missile attacks are targeting a mosque and various social welfare agencies located in densely crowded neighborhoods.

And the U.S. media continues to promote the myth of Israeli “retaliation” when in reality it was Israel that broke the truce several weeks ago.

If you need more information on today’s events in Gaza, click here: Gaza City hospital a gruesome scene; families pick through body parts to identify loved ones: Continue reading

Thank You!

Friends,

Thank you so much for your support of the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer Tournament for Youth. Because of your kind contributions we made our goal and the event was a huge success. Twenty teams of youths and mentors played as neighbors in an uplifing community event. Together we helped created a genuine community space where Gazans could meet to heal the wounds of internal violence. Already plans are forming for next year’s tounament and we hope you will be there with us to make it happen.

To get all the updates, photos and commentary, please visit us at Rachel Corrie Ramadan 2008 Cup.

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October 1 – 4, 2008
Palestine in Focus Photo Exhibit and Sale

In conjunction with the play My Name is Rachel Corrie, a photo exhibit will be on display outside of Anderson Auditorium, Predolin Humanities Center, Edgewood College, from October 1 – 4. Free and open to the public, the exhibit features photos by award-winning Palestinian journalist, photographer and website host Mohammed Omer.

Requests for printed copies of any of the images can be made before or after the play performances, or by sign-up sheet at the exhibit, and purchased for delivery at a later date. All proceeds from the sale of the prints will go to support Omer, a native of Rafah.

For more information about Mohamed Omer, including an account of his recent detention and torture at the hands of Israeli officials while returning from Europe where he had been given the prestigious Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism, see rafah.virtualactivism.net/news/todaymain.htm.

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Truth and Consequences Under the Israeli Occupation

A Palestinian journalist’s life and work shed light on the violence in Israel’s “dual” society

Mohammed Omer, The Nation, July 31, 2008

I am a Palestinian journalist from Gaza. At the age of 17, I armed myself with a camera and a pen, committed to report accurately on events in Gaza. I have filed reports as Israeli fighter jets bombed Gaza City. I have interviewed mothers as they watched their children die in hospitals unequipped to serve them because of Israel’s embargo. I have been recognized for my reporting, even in the United States and United Kingdom, where I have won two international awards. I have also been beaten and tortured by Israeli soldiers.

This summer, at age 24, I was honored to learn that I had become the youngest journalist to receive the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, named for the famed American war reporter and awarded to journalists who counter propaganda with the truth. Although Israel has sealed Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinians in what many now call the world’s largest open-air prison, Dutch MP Hans Van Baalen lobbied the Israeli government to let me leave Gaza to receive my award in person. Upon my return from London, I was surrounded by Israeli security officers. I was stripped naked at gunpoint, interrogated, kicked and beaten for more than four hours. At one point I fainted and then awakened to fingernails gouging at the flesh beneath my eyes. An officer crushed my neck beneath his boot and pressed my chest into the floor. Others took turns kicking and pinching me, laughing all the while. They dragged me by my feet, sweeping my head through my own vomit. I lost consciousness. I was told later that they transferred me to a hospital only when they thought I might die.

Today, I have difficulty breathing. I have abrasions and scratches on my chest and neck. My hands don’t function well; typing is difficult. My doctor informed me that due to nerve damage from one kick, I may be unable to father children and will need to have an operation.

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September 1 – 23, 2008
Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament

Dear Members and Friends of MRSCP,

We have been asked by some of our friends from Olympia, Washington, Rachel Corrie’s home town, to solicit support for an ambitious new undertaking to benefit the young people of Rafah.

In September, during the month of Ramadan, the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), one of our partner groups in Rafah, plans to host the first ever all-Rafah youth soccer tournament. They hope that this tournament will begin the process of establishing a soccer park and organized soccer leagues in the war-ravaged Rafah community, providing a healthy outlet for Rafah’s youth (over half the population of Gaza is under 18).

Organizers have set a modest but critical goal of raising $2,500 by August 1. MRSCP has agreed to contribute $500 to this cause. We urge you to join us.

Tax-deductible U.S. donations will be channeled through the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, an approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Please do not make out checks or send donations to MRSCP.

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August 8 – 10, 2008
Rafah Soccer Tournament: Benefit Garage Sale

Shafia Powell and her friend Nabila have generously offered to host a garage sale next weekend to benefit the Rafah Youth Soccer Tournament planned for this September.

THE SALE WILL BE ON MADISON’S NORTH SIDE AT 3601 MARCY LANE, OFF OF TROY DRIVE. THE TENTATIVE HOURS ARE:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 12 NOON – 5 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 9 AM – 5 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 10, 9 AM – 3 PM

Tournament supporters in the U.S. were successful in raising the money needed to launch the tournament and will shortly be doing “Phase 2” fund raising to support it.

IF YOU HAVE ANY ITEMS TO DONATE TO THE SALE, please contact Nabila at 242-9179 to arrange to drop them off. If you need help transporting donations please contact Shafia at 772-5744. Holy Land Olive Oil should be available at the sale as well.

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