Militarisation

The UN Security Council Calls for Impartial, Credible Investigation of Israeli Boat Raid. The raid in international waters, on the aid convoy headed to Gaza left at least 16 civilians dead. After an emergency session wrapped up in the early hours this morning, the council agreed to language condemning the acts that resulted in the deaths and injuries aboard the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmaraand the European Campaign’s vessel Spendoni. Update on Israel: Outlaws of the Mediterranean

Douze heures de discussions serrées pour un communiqué. Le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU a demandé mardi une enquête sur l'intervention militaire israélienne lundi contre une flottille pro-palestinienne chargée d'aide humanitaire pour Gaza, ainsi que la libération immédiate des navires et des civils détenus.

At 4 am Eastern Mediterranean time on May 31, elite Israeli commandos rappelled from helicopters onto the deck of the Turkish-registered shipMavi Marmara, part of an international “Freedom Flotilla” that had met in Cyprus and then set sail to deliver humanitarian relief supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip. The Mavi Marmara, the largest of the relief vessels, was carrying some 600 activists, mainly Turks but also others of diverse nationalities. The commandos fired live ammunition at some of the passengers, who Israel claims were lightly armed with metal rods or knives, and may have resisted the raid. Some reports say that other ships were also boarded and/or fired upon. The lowest reported death toll among the activists is nine, and the lowest number of wounded is 34.

'Women are not just victims of war, as some aspects of their experiences are empowering and can be used as a resource for healing and transformation’. War is a gendered process. Post war is no different. It may be a cliché to say that in Sri Lanka as elsewhere in the world, the most visible and harmful impact of 30 years of war has been on women, but that is the reality. As men joined militant groups or the armed forces, were arrested, abducted, disappeared, or took flight to safer locations outside the community or the country, women were left behind to cope with fractured families and communities; multiple displacement, transition in alien spaces such as camps for the displaced; or resettlement in distant and unfamiliar regions.

I am back in Baghdad after seven years away, writes Hadani Ditmars who returns to find a broken Baghdad.Since 2003, a million people have died in Iraq in the wake of post-invasion violence.Sectarian wars have torn the country apart, foreign troops have established huge military bases, and politicians who have sworn to crack down on militias have their own private armies. This once secular nation has been scarred by extremism, with terrible consequences for women, gay people and religious minorities. As Government ministries remain feeding troughs for cronyism and sectarian patronage, national reconciliation remains elusive.

Une publication de Alternatives, une organisation non gouvernementale de solidarité et de développement international fondée en 1994. En Irak, Alternatives met en oeuvre un programme qui vise à favoriser l’émergence d’une société civile dynamique et de médias pluralistes et indépendants, capables de promouvoir les droits économiques, sociaux, politiques et culturels: www.alternatives.ca

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.

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