September 28, 2014
DAVID ROVICS IN CONCERT

With Clare Norelle
Sunday, September 28, 4 – 6 pm
The Brink Lounge, 701 E Washington Ave, Suite 105

$10 at the door – proceeds benefit Gaza emergency relief and scholarships for children of Arcatao, El Salvador

DAVID ROVICS grew up in a family of classical musicians and became an early fan of populist regimes. After busking full-time in the Boston subways, by the mid-90's he was traveling the world as a professional flat-picking rabble-rouser. Now living in Portland, Oregon he tours regularly on four continents, playing at cafes, pubs, universities, churches, union halls and protest rallies. He has appeared with a veritable who's whoof the left in two dozen countries, with his music featured on Democracy Now!, BBC, Al-Jazeera andother networks. The 200+ songs he makes available for free on the web have been downloaded more than a million times. Most importantly, he's really good. He’ll make you laugh, he’ll make you cry; he will make the revolution irresistible.

CLARE NORELLE is a local performer who sings in several languages and tells stories from around the earth, connecting with people in many places and promoting a message of acceptance and appreciation of cultural diversity.

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Palestinians in Gaza are still waiting for the siege to end

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 10 September 2014

Destruction everywhere

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

A new United Nations assessment published this week lays out the massive scope of the needs facing the nearly 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza following the “unprecedented” destruction wreaked by 51 days of Israeli bombing in July and August.

Israel’s assault – which it dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” – left at least 2,133 Palestinians dead and more than eleven thousand injured. More than 100,000 are permanently homeless as some 13 percent of Gaza’s housing stock – 44,300 housing units – was affected by the attack, with five percent rendered completely uninhabitable.

The UN report “Gaza Initial Rapid Assessment,” published by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), was conducted through August with the assistance of dozens of Palestinian and international aid agencies, organizations and experts.

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September 12 – 13, 2014
Gaza “Wall of Shame” at Fighting BobFest

We will be displaying the Gaza “Wall of Shame” at the entrance to the BobFest events this weekend, both Friday, September 12 at the Barrymore, beginning around 6 pm, and Saturday, September 13 at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo, beginning around 8:30 am.

The wall is four large panels of pictures from the Gaza assault, plus a sign and leaflets asking why progressive icons (and BobFest featured speakers) Senators Baldwin and Sanders voted, along with the entire US Senate, to give Israel a green light to slaughter the people of Gaza.

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40 Holocaust survivors condemn ‘massacre’ of Palestinians, call for BDS against Israel

Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, August 26, 2014

Holocaust survivors printed an ad in the New York Times condemning Israel’s attacks on Gaza. (Photo: Alex Kane)

A group of Holocaust survivors and descendants of those targeted by Nazi Germany have harshly criticized Israeli actions in Gaza and called for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Following a letter from survivors of the Holocaust printed in the New York Times on Saturday, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, which helped coordinate the letter, organized a press call Monday, where some of those who signed the letter spoke out against the assault on Gaza.

Participants in the press call included Edith Bell, whose parents died in concentration camps and who was taken to four camps herself; Suzanne Weiss, whose mother was murdered in Auschwitz and who was hidden by French peasants; and Liliane Kaczerginski, whose father Schmerke was a Jewish fighter against the Nazis in Lithuania. Also joining the call were Monadel Herzallah and Hani Jamah, two Palestinians with family in Gaza who expressed appreciation at the descendants’ and survivors’ efforts.

40 survivors of the Holocaust signed the letter and 287 descendants of victims also added their names.

“I resent anybody who will use those events as an excuse to exterminate Palestinians,” said Bell, who said she survived concentration camps by “pure luck.”

The letter printed in the New York Times has garnered international media attention from the likes of the BBC and Ha’aretz. “As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine,” the letter says. “We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. ‘Never again’ must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!”

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Strike near UN school in Gaza leaves 10 dead


Palestinians evacuate a survivor of an Israeli air strike that hit the Al Ghoul family building in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. At least 40 people were inside the Al Ghoul family building in Rafah Camp when it was targeted by Israeli jet fighters, according to the Red Crescent and Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. Many have been confirmed dead and over two dozen have been wounded. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

TAMER ZIARA AND IBRAHIM BARZAK, ASSOCIATED PRESS, August 3, 2014

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — A United Nations school sheltering displaced people in the southern Gaza Strip was hit Sunday by what a U.N. official said appeared to be an Israeli airstrike, as the military struck the Hamas-ruled territory despite signaling a possible scaling back of its 27-day offensive.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said at least 10 people were killed and 35 wounded after the strike near a boys’ school in the town of Rafah. Robert Turner, the director of operations for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza, said preliminary findings indicated the blast was the result of an Israeli airstrike near the school, which had been providing shelter for some 3,000 people. He said at least one U.N. staffer appeared to be dead.

“We don’t have confirmed details yet but the initial report says that there was some kind of airstrike in a street outside one of our shelters,” Turner said.

Witnesses said the attack happened while people were waiting in line for food supplies. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

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Judith Laitman: A Jewish grandmother’s plea to Barack Obama

JUDITH LAITMAN, Cap Times, Jul 25, 2014

I’ve learned a few things during my more than seven decades on this planet. One of the most important is that when we are witness to evil and we do nothing about it, then we are complicit in that evil.

As a Jew born in 1942, I was imbued with the idea that Israel was a homeland for my people, who had been so horribly treated in the Holocaust. Today, that ideal has been destroyed, as Israel has become not so much a sanctuary for the victimized as a victimizer itself.

Today, I reject the idea that Israel has anything at all to do with my faith, or the values that it taught me. Today, my heart aches as I watch the mighty military power of Israel once again bombing the citizens of Gaza. And so I make my plea:

Mr. Obama, you say that Israel has every right to defend itself from Hamas rockets, and that no country in the world would put up with this. But that argument wrongly assumes an equivalence in power. It also assumes that Hamas committed the first act of war and Israel is merely responding. Neither of these assumptions is true.

Though Israel relocated its Jewish settlers from Gaza to the West Bank in 2006, it never relinquished control of the area. It controls everything that goes in and out, limiting the movement of people, restricting necessities like electricity, food, gas, and medical and building supplies. Under international law, Gaza is still occupied. Many people have referred to Gaza, with its 1.8 million residents, as the largest open-air prison in the world.

In the current conflict, Israel keeps telling us it is just responding to attacks from Hamas. According to the last cease-fire, signed in 2012, Israel was to open border crossings and ease the siege on Gaza. Israel broke that cease-fire just days after it was arranged, by firing on Palestinian fishermen, killing two. This pattern has continued with Israel shooting into Gaza at will, resulting in the death and injury of many Palestinian civilians even as Hamas for the most part upheld the cease-fire. Israel never did ease the siege, and so it has never upheld the cease-fire agreement. In fact, a siege and all it entails is considered an act of war in international law. No people would put up with that without resistance.

In the West Bank, where no rockets are fired, Palestinians have endured countless acts of aggression by Israel, including the demolition of hundreds of homes, the destruction of thousands of olive trees, mass arrests without charge, hundreds of checkpoints, an apartheid wall that separates Palestinians from their own territory, and ever-expanding Jewish-only roads and settlements on Palestinian land. International law states that all of these actions are illegal activity by an occupying power.

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Under Siege: A Report from Gaza on WORT FM

Broadcast on the WORT 89.9 FM program Third World View:

  • Mahmoud Abu Rahma, the Communications and International
    Relations Director at the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights –
    Gaza, and
  • Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash of Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report
  • Mahound Abu Rahma recently wrote in “Understanding Israel’s Actions”:

    “It is essential that U.S. citizens understand that this
    conflict should not continue to be viewed as a symmetrical one anymore
    and while they largely do not hear about it there are vicious violations of
    international law against Palestinians every day; including closures/
    blockades, settlement activities (population transfer on our land)
    displacement, killings, detention and torture.”

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