Militarisation

A surgical strike on Israel's wallet could end the occupation, writes Matthew A. Taylor in Haaretz: What on earth will it take to persuade Israel to leave the occupied territories? Sometimes it seems as if nothing will work. For eight years now, the Arab Peace Initiative, which early Zionist leaders would have seen as a dream-come-true, has been collecting dust. Its terms include two states based on the pre-1967 borders, a mutually agreed-upon solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis, and normalized diplomatic relations between Israel and the entire Arab world. What once would have appeared to many to be Israel's salvation now seems impossible given Israel's entrenched colonial position in the West Bank and the settlers' political power. Update on Israel/Palestine: Endorse UC Berkeley bid to divest from companies linked to Israeli occupation

Nous sommes des citoyens israéliens. Nous voudrions exprimer notre soutien à nos amis en France qui défendent l’appel palestinien au Boycott, Désinvestissement et Sanctions (BDS) internationales à l’encontre d’Israël. Nous aimerions insister sur le fait que prendre part à une activité de cette sorte n’est d’aucune manière discriminatoire, antisémite ou raciste, mais qu’il s’agit bien au contraire d’une action basée sur les valeurs universelles de liberté, d’égalité, de respect des droits de l’homme, ainsi que sur le droit international.

For the first time in the University of California history, the UC Berkeley Student Senate has approved a bill to divest from two US companies in response to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and to Israel’s siege and bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The Senate bill directs both the UC Regents and the Student Government to divest from two American companies, General Electric and United Technologies*. In addition, the bill creates a task force to look into furthering a socially responsible investment policy for the UC system. However, the bill has been vetoed, and in their campaign to override the veto on 14 April, led by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Student Senate are up against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] that has launched a drive to take over student government at the UC Berkeley.

The popular revolt in Kyrgyzstan that toppled Bakiyev two days ago was so sudden and ferocious that nobody has had a chance to give it a name yet. But it would be plausible to dub it the fir tree revolution – after the presidential shrubs taken and loaded into taxis. Kyrgyzstan's opposition parties declared they had formed a new interim government, after a day of mayhem on yesterday when security force snipers and riot police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators as they tried to storm the main government building in the capital, Bishkek. At least 75 people were killed and 300 more injured. Update to Kyrgyzstan: State of emergency declared as clashes escalat.

Anti-government protests in Kyrgyzstan have escalated violently, with 17 people killed as police clashed with demonstrators in the capital, Bishkek. Protesters attacked President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's offices and stormed the state TV and radio headquarters, taking them briefly off air. There are reports police fired live rounds after failing to disperse people with tear gas and stun grenades. President Bakiyev has declared a state of emergency in protest-hit areas.

Policiers et membres de l'opposition se sont affrontés, mercredi 7 avril, dans les rues de Bichkek, la capitale du Kirghizistan, après l'arrestation, la veille, de trois chefs de l'opposition kirghize. Entre 3 000 et 5 000 manifestants de l'opposition ont forcé les forces de l'ordre à battre en retraite et se sont ensuite rassemblés devant la présidence kirghize pour réclamer la démission du chef de l'Etat, Kourmanbek Bakiev. Au moins douze personnes auraient trouvé la mort lors des affrontements. Le ministre de l'intérieur a été tué dans la ville de Talas ; le premier ministre a décrété l'état d'urgence dans tout le pays.

At least five bombs ripped through apartment buildings across Baghdad today and another struck a market, killing 49 people and wounding more than 160, authorities said. Iraqi officials blamed al-Qaida in Iraq for the violence, the latest sign the country's fragile security is dissolving in the chaos of the unresolved election. It was the fourth set of attacks with multiple casualties across Iraq in five days, a spate of violence that has claimed more than 100 lives. Attacks have spiked as political leaders scramble to secure enough support to form a government after the 7 March elections failed to produce a clear winner.

 
As an Ashkenazi (a Jew from European descent) Israeli who was born in Australia to refugee parents, I have the luxury of living in Israel whenever I choose to, with full rights. Like other Jewish citizens, I have the freedom to move, access to hospitals, universities and water. What a luxury. So how can I call this place home and fascist at the same time, asks Alex Nissem.

PRESS RELEASE: Under the leadership of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), a Pan-African organisation based in Dakar, Senegal, a Solidarity Mission was organised in support of the women of Guinea, particularly the victims of the 28th September 2009 crisis. The Mission comprised of FAS, Pan-African Women Organisation (PAWO), Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP/WIPNET), Network on Peace and Security for Women in the ECOWAS Region (NOPSWECO), a former member of the African Union (AU) Pan-African Parliament, and a representative of the Female Caucus of the Parliament of Sierra Leone. It was supported by the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), UNIFEM, Africa Women Development Fund (AWDF), and the Urgent Action Fund.

Dr Shams Hassan Faruqi sits amid his rocks and geological records, shakes his bearded head and stares at me. "I strongly doubt if the children are alive," he says. "Probably, they have expired." He says this in a strange way, mournful but resigned, yet somehow he seems oddly unmoved. As a witness, supposedly, to the mysterious 2008 re-appearance of Aafia Siddiqui – the "most wanted woman in the world", according to former US attorney general John Ashcroft – I guess this 73-year-old Pakistani geologist is used to the limelight. But the children, I ask him again. What happened to the children?

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