Friday, January 28, 2011

Trip to Gaza Delayed!

OK, (in the vein of discretion being the better . . .): I've decided to post pone my trip with CodePink to Gaza. Unrest appears to be enveloping Egypt and we probably couldn't make our way across Sinai to cross from Rafa anyway.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stuck in Colorado

Snow storm canceled flights to New York. Will try again tomorrow. Will miss "Day of Rage" in Cairo on Friday Jan 28th.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Onward to Gaza!



Michael Rabb
2002 18th Street
Boulder CO 80302

Local activist attempts entry into Gaza this week

[Cairo] – This Sunday Michael Rabb of Boulder, Colorado will join a 20-person group of activists from around the world will attempt entry into the besieged Gaza strip this week via the Rafah Crossing. The CODEPINK-led delegation, which will deliver humanitarian aid and attend meetings with Palestinian organizations and United Nations representatives, is part of an international movement calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza.

Michael, a 30-year resident of Boulder, and semi-retired from his telecommunications consulting practice, says he has found a new avocation as “Palestinian liberation advocate.” Michael also traveled to Palestine (West Bank) last summer with Inter-Faith Peace Builders to witness Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. “I hope our group, organized by CODEPINK, can bring some attention to the plight of the Palestinians caused by Israel’s illegal and immoral regime of military occupation, colonization and apartheid.”

The blockade, enforced by Israel since 2006, severely restricts the entry of food, fuel, medical supplies, and other necessities into the Gaza Strip. The situation has worsened dramatically since the Israeli offensive ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in December 2008 and January 2009. Much of the destroyed infrastructure has yet to be rebuilt because of the scarcity of building materials due to the blockade. CODEPINK co-founder and delegation organizer Medea Benjamin says, “The blockade is illegal and immoral, and our delegation is one more attempt to break the siege. We call on governments around the world to join with citizen's movements like ours to condemn Israeli war crimes and demand justice for the Palestinians."

Israel’s oppression of Palestinians is the focal point of Arab and Islamic radicalization. The release of the “Palestine Papers”, documents leaked to Al Jazeera, reveal Israel’s intransigence and lack of interest meaningful peace negotiations. Recent events in the region, e.g., the Facebook revolution in Tunisia, and now public demonstrations in Egypt and Yemen, have focused world attention on non-democratic, oppressive regimes in the Middle East.

CODEPINK, a women-led peace group, has led eight successful delegations to Gaza to witness the destruction caused by 2008-2009 Israeli military offensive and the ongoing blockade. This delegation, which will attempt to cross into Gaza Sunday, January 30th, is made up of writers, professors, Peace Corps volunteers, medical professionals, and filmmakers. Local Boulder delegation participant, Michael Rabb, speaks to the delegation’s importance saying, “It’s in America’s vital interest to promote human and civil rights (and democracy) in the Middle East and particularly in Palestine. We go to Gaza in the face of Israel’s record of atrocity and belligerence. America needs to wake up and stop supporting and enabling Israel’s awful behavior. America should support the recognition of Palestine as legitimate nation state.”

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tunisian Dominoes

This is Roger Cohen's column, "Tunisian Dominoes" that appeared in the NY Times on Thursday, Jan 20:

Here's my comment:

To the Editor:

refer to: GLOBALIST
Tunisian Dominoes?
Published: January 20, 2011

There’s another domino in the region that Roger Cohen doesn’t mention. The Arabs in Palestine continue to suffer under the iron fist of Israel’s illegal and immoral regime of military occupation, colonization and apartheid. It’s quite obvious, with its human and civil rights abuses of Palestinians, Israel is no true democracy.

Israel has enforced its occupation and military rule on Palestine for over 43 years. 17 years after Oslo, and two years after Cast Lead on Gaza, Israel has stiffed the Obama administration’s attempt to restart meaningful peace negotiations. Israel has dropped any pretense of wanting peace or willingness to live within its boundaries. Israel has turned up the volume on settlements in the occupied territories and continues to suffocate Gaza.

Yet what do we do in the face of this unbelievable record of atrocity, belligerence and aggression? We say, here, Israel, take another $3 Billion in aid this year, and while we’re at it could you use some more military stuff, say another $500 Billion in missiles, planes, tanks, etc. to keep the Palestinians suppressed.

Cohen is right: “Arab democracy is threatening to a host of vested interests and glib clich├ęs.” But it’s not just “Arab klepto-gerontocracies” that democracy threatens. Israel is an oppressive, non-democratic regime that is the focal point of Arab and Islamic radicalization.

It’s in America’s vital interest to promote human and civil rights (and democracy) in the middle east and particularly in Palestine. President Obama should not veto the UN’s resolution to recognize Palestine as an actual nation state. Let another functioning democracy begin.

Michael Rabb
2002 18th St
Boulder CO 80302
cell: 720-837-9674

Wednesday, December 8, 2010