There is a war going on in the Middle East - the least we can do is stay well informed. Here are some messages we received recently and want to share with you: testimonies from the civilian front line, arab news updates and links for action and protest.

this page brings posts from august 8-14
most recent posts are here .

follow these links for previous posts:
August 7 / 6 / 5 / 4 / 3 / 1
July 31 / 30 / 29 / 28 / 27 / 26 / 25 / 23 / 22 / 21 / 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 / 15 / 11 / 8 / 6 / 5

follow these links for more news and updates from other places on the web:

blogs
from and about Beirut :
siege of Lebanon http://siegeoflebanon.blogspot.com/
Mazen Kerbaj: http://mazenkerblog.blogspot.com/
Zena el-Khalil: http://beirutupdate.blogspot.com/
Raed Yassin: www.raedyassin.blogspot.com
Laure Ghorayeb: www.laureghorayeb.blogspot.com
blogging Beirut http://www.bloggingbeirut.com/
beirut live http://www.beirutlive.blogspot.com/
war on Lebanon http://www.waronlebanon.net/
maowatinun http://mowatinun.blogspot.com/

from Ramallah:
Amoula il Majnoona Emily Jacir's blog : http://majnouna.blogspot.com/

about Gaza :
Laila al Haddad's blog: http://a-mother-from-gaza.blogspot.com/

for help, relief, actions:
http://urgence-liban.blogspot.com/
http://sanayehreliefcenter.blogspot.com/
www.saveleb.org
http://www.pacbi.org/

news, articles, background:
Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net
Electronic Lebanon: http://www.electronicintifada.net/lebanon/
selves and others: http://www.selvesandothers.org/
information clearing house: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/index.html
Robert Fisk: http://www.robert-fisk.com/
democracy now: http://www.democracynow.org/
News updates from Lebanon: http://www.lebanonupdates.blogspot.com/
al jazeera: http://english.aljazeera.net
middle east times: http://www.metimes.com/
me report: http://www.middleeast.org/mereport/index.cgi
middle east news: http://www.middleeastnews.com/
Institute for Middle East Understanding www.imeu.net
daily star http://www.dailystar.com.lb/
ya yibnan http://yalibnan.com/site/
al-bab lebanon (news review) http://www.al-bab.com/arab/news/lebanon.htm
Lebanese lobby http://www.lebaneselobby.org/


____________________________________________________________________

From: Emily Jacir
Date: Monday 14 august 2006 16:48
Subject: Beirut Projections in NYC | flyers dropped in Tel Aviv

Beirut Street Projections in New York City
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5524.shtml

Photostory: Flyers dropped over Tel Aviv
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5516.shtml


____________________________________________________________________

From: Lydia Wilson (through jan ackenhausen)
Date: Monday 14 august 2006 16:45
Subject: Help us relief sufferings of Lebanese families

Hello everyone,

Very wonderful news about a ceasefire, hopefully.  Some believe it will break down soon, but it's a start.

First a couple of articles, then this urgent appeal for help - please donate if you can; you can be sure that the money will go directly where it's needed as soon as it comes in, unlike with some of the big international charities.

-------------

Robert Fisk: As the 6am ceasefire takes effect... the real war begins
Published: 14 August 2006
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1219037.ece
Depressing view, but interesting.

--------------

An article that adds to a debate I've seen a lot recently - who's using who in the Israel/American allliance:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/aipacs_hold

---------------

And the important one:

URGENTLY CIRCULATE FOR DONATIONS IN SUPPORT OF REFUGEES SHELTERING IN SAIDA (SIDON).

After the Israeli Aggression on Lebanon since July 12, 2006 and its consequences

Help us relief sufferings of Lebanese families
Any donation makes a big difference

License No 268/ad – Saida - Lebanon

The cultural Street society is a non governmental organization established in November 2005 (No. 285/ad) by a small group of friends residing in the city of Saida and its suburbs, holding university degrees in various fields of study. The aim behind establishing this society is to help enhancing the cultural medium and supporting the development of the cultural consciousness in Lebanon generally and the city of Saida specifically, which will participate in improving the cultural activities and the social standards of the citizens. The current president of the society is Zaher El Bizri who is also the official representative of the society towards the Lebanese government.

Following the Israeli aggression against Lebanon in July 2006, Lebanon was announced as a damaged country, and the Cultural Street Society established a relief committee under the presidency of Nader Hijazi and recruited many young volunteers for this purpose. This committee is currently cooperating with the Municipality of Saida and the consortium of non governmental organizations in Saida and the Lebanese Red Cross. This committee is now serving hundreds of people who were forced to evacuate their homes from cities and villages in southern Lebanon and currently relocated in various buildings in Saida area.
This committee is providing food, medicine, matrices and other necessary materials for the families harmed by the aggression. The number of people harmed by the aggression and being served by the committee is drastically mounting everyday.

We urgently call your valued support to help us proceed in our mission in our society and our Relief Committee in these difficult circumstances.

Bank account information:

Nader Hijazi Or Zaher Morsi
0209 – 0227001
Lebanese Canadian Bank
Saida - Lebanon

Best Regards,

The Cultural Street


Chief of the Relief Committee                      President

Nader Hijazi                                                 Zaher El Bizri

         +9613380187
+9613651586

--------------------

Thank you, as ever, for all your information and comments and support.
I hope I can send you first hand descriptions of Beirut this weekend.

Lydia
____________________________________________________________________

From: Emily Jacir
Date: Monday 14 august 2006 13:39
Subject: from the n.o.m.a.d.s. and the philistines

for those of you into the Palestinian hip-hop scene Nizar and Omar's first music video!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAx1b-i_nxw


Emily

____________________________________________________________________

From: info@boycottisrael.ps
Date: Sunday 13 august 2006 2:27
Subject: PACBI Update 10--August 13, 2006

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
www.pacbi.org
info@boycottisrael.ps

In this update: Calls for BDS, Jewish Voices, BDS News, and Analysis/Opinion Articles

PACBI Update 10--August 13, 2006

Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions:
1.Press release: Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel | | August 12, 2006

Over 100 Palestinian filmmakers, artists and cultural workers have called on filmmakers and artists worldwide to cancel art exhibitions planned in Israel, to boycott Israeli film festivals, ّIsraeli cultural venues, and to end all cooperation with Israeli art, film and cultural organizations and institutions sponsored by the Israeli government. 
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=333_0_1_0_C

2.Statement of the National Council of Arab-Americans On the Occasion of the National Demonstrations of August 12, 2006--"Occupation is a Crime, From Lebanon, Iraq, to Palestine" | The National Council of Arab Americans | August 11, 2006

There are no words to describe the barbaric cruelty being inflicted upon the people of Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq today. The ongoing onslaught evidenced by the mass killing, maiming, imprisoning, and torturing of thousands of Arabs at the hands of the US-Israeli war machine has become a daily affair, sanitized by the US corporate media as though it were a natural part of the universal order. 
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=331_0_1_0_C

Jewish Voices:
1.Jewish Canadians urge United Church of Canada to approve "Ethical Investment for Peace in Palestine and Israel" | | August 8, 2006

We the undersigned Jewish Canadians have read the motion before the United Church of Canada (GS 2 "Ethical Investment for Peace in Palestine and Israel") and the submission by the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) to the UCC . claiming to represent the Canadian "Jewish community" . urging rejection of the proposed divestment motion GS 2 and its associated recommendations which are before the 39th General Council of the UCC.
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=327_0_1_0_C

2.Petition for U.S. Jewish Solidarity with Muslim and Arab Peoples of the Middle East | | August 8, 2006
This statement was drafted by U.S. Jews committed to stopping and holding accountable Israel for its destructive policies and practices--most immediately for a halt to the current attacks on Lebanon and Gaza.

As Jews of conscience living in the United States, we are outraged by the violence being perpetrated in our name both as Jews and as U.S. citizens. We, the undersigned, represent Jews across the United States who are choosing to stand in solidarity with the peoples of Gaza and Lebanon.
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=326_0_1_0_C

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions News:
1.IFI drops Israeli embassy as sponsor of film Michael Dwyer | The Irish Times | August 3, 2006

The Irish Film Institute has cancelled its sponsorship arrangement with the Israeli embassy in Ireland for the screening of an Israeli film at the IFI cinemas in Dublin this weekend. The screening of the film, Walk On Water, will go ahead as scheduled tomorrow evening.
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=325_0_1_0_C

2.End ties with Israel, say marchers
Christelle Terreblanche and Myolisi Gophe | Independent Online (SA) | August 6, 2006

Intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils has urged South Africans to boycott Israeli products and says we should not wait for the government to impose sanctions. 
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=323_0_1_0_C

Analysis and Opinion:
1.You are terrorists, we are virtuous
Yitzhak Laor | London Review of Books | August 17, 2006

As soon as the facts of the Bint Jbeil ambush, which ended with relatively high Israeli casualties (eight soldiers died there), became public, the press and television in Israel began marginalising any opinion that was critical of the war. The media also fell back on the kitsch to which Israelis grow accustomed from childhood: the most menacing army in the region is described here as if it is David against an Arab Goliath.
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=332_0_1_0_C

2.Israel must be held accountable for its international law violations
Stephen Lendman | VHeadline.com | August 10, 2006

On June 25, the Palestinians responded to continued, unrelenting and unjustifiable Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) attacks against them by striking at an Israeli military post near Kerem Shalom crossing, southeast of Rafah, killing two IDF soldiers, injuring several others, and capturing (not"kidnapping) a third.
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=329_0_1_0_C

3.God's chosen people
Jostein Gaarder | Aftenposten | August 5, 2006

From the Norwegian by Sirocco

There is no turning back. It is time to learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is history.
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=328_0_1_0_C

4.Israeli Intellectuals Love the War
Ran HaCohen | Antiwar.com | August 7, 2006

Dedicated to the too few Israeli intellectuals who do dare speak out against this war.
All generalizations are wrong, except this one: Israeli liberal intellectuals are against war. They have always been against it, and they even suffered greatly for their critical views, as they stress proudly. They were against the previous war, they will be against the next war, they are against all wars. There is just one minor exception, though: the present war, every present war, which they always support. Because the present war - well, that's something totally different from all those other wars! How can you even compare?! The present war is always inevitable, and necessary, and just, and worthy of support.
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=324_0_1_0_C

____________________________________________________________________

From: Jayce Salloum
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2006 8:24 PM
Subject: Re: 1 month anniversary


Dear all,

It is pure 'double-speak' from politicians and the press, and it seems like 1984 all over again Orwellian style. Besides this charade of UN dances - with Israel leading, a veritable media cleansing' is taking place, it must be illegal to show dead and wounded Arabs or their suffering, except the grossest massacres of which Qana was subjected to once again. We are inundated with reports from Israel as their perspective leads off most news stories, lots of compassion shown there. Who is counting the number of Israeli cluster and phosphorous bombs falling daily on the Lebanese when we know exactly how many Hizballah missiles are launched each day? When was the last time we saw images or detailed reports of the death and destruction happening in Gaza. A convenient time for slaughter, as if Palestinians don't count, as they never did to the press unless they were dying in sufficient numbers all at once. And why are we not seeing images of the dead and wounded in Lebanon (see fromisraeltolebanon.org)? The collective deception that we are being fed has the end result of genocide. Arguably we are not there yet, 'only' at the stage of collective punishment and ethnic cleansing. Fear leads and ultimately buries us.

If we undertake the seemingly futile task of writing letters to our politicians around the world to put pressure on the Israeli's, will that accomplish anything? Perhaps if enough people speak up then at least our politicians can feel more secure in lending a dissenting voice but I am not hopeful because they are so incapable of seeing beyond Israel and America's agenda. And with Israel proving once again to be the war-criminals that they are, they have been doing this same type of murdering, annihilation/ militaristic-terroristic (in the true sense of the word) politiking for 60 years (starting formally with the Irgun Zvai Leumi & the Stern Gang). In fact, for well beyond the past year Israel has been planning the attacks in Lebanon and were waiting for the slightest provocation to renew their 'campaign' there, and immediately after the Hamas election were planning further comprehensive attacks in Gaza. Both Palestine's situation and Lebanon's can be linked in the historical and contemporary perspective, and how Israel's agenda is similar with both targets, first it was to eliminate any secular and moderate voices and crush as much societal networks as possible, then it is to demolish as much infrastructure as possible at any (other) human cost (then they'll say there is no one to talk to), following this they are destroying any other groups that they disagree with until they have a puppet government in place in both Palestine and Lebanon, one that kowtows to the whims of Israel (and it's colony America).

So, I think if we all apply pressure to our federal politicians that is the most direct way of getting them to pay attention. Then maybe they will force our "leaders" to see some of the reality of the situation which they are truly missing. Tacit or unequivocal support of Israel is stupefying, unbelievable, so damn wrong. Also, it would be useful to send letters to the opposition leaders and their Foreign Affairs people in each of the parties, and of course as much global press/editors as one possibly can. For Canadians, I've pasted some of Adala's message at the end of this missive. Also below are a couple places you can send donations for relief if you are so inclined.


For information/news, I've found this is the best site:
www.selvesandothers.org

for more info/images/letters from the Middle East see:
http://july2006waronlebanon.blogspot.com/
http://www.lebanonundersiege.gov.lb/english/F/Main/index.asp ?

British MP George Galloway's refusal to play along with the press:
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=9071731896689197790&q=george+galloway

Israel's monstrous legacy brings tumult a step closer by David Hirst
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1820134,00.html

No peace for Israel without justice for the Palestinians, by Saree Makdisi
www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/editorial/outlook/4048204

From The Lebanese People To The So Called “Civilized” West "Thank You" (WARNING: disturbing images that you won't see on the news)
www.fromisraeltolebanon.org

Israel did not act spontaneously, Lebanon crisis an Int'l Conspiracy, As'ad AbuKhalil
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/D259C343-ED88-4C43-B839-BCEFBED61924.htm

Echoes of 1948 and 1967, Israel's Latest Bureaucratic Obscenity
www.counterpunch.org/cook07122006.html

Israel acts according to a ready script, by Jonathan Cook
www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=73998

Leave your home: anti-flyer & flyer
http://www.zochrot.org/images/lebanonflierenglish.jpg

What Does Israel Want?, by Ilan Pappe
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5003.shtml

Israel, the US and the New Orientalism by M. SHAHID ALAM
www.counterpunch.org/alam07142006.html

Gush Shalom (The Peace Bloc): core of the Israeli peace movement.
http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en

Sincerely,
Jayce Salloum
____________________________________________________________________

From: jan ackenhausen
Date: Saturday 12 august 2006 7:41
Subject: Lebanon: the view from Syria

from my friend in Damascus:

Lebanon: the view from Syria - Lydia Wilson

http://www.opendemocracy.net/articles/ViewPopUpArticle.jsp?id=2&articleId=3812#

____________________________________________________________________

From: Emily Jacir
Date: Friday 11 august 2006 22:48
Subject: this one is for the poets. (and bushwick beirut video)

"I heard you in the other room asking your mother, 'Mama, am I a Palestinian?' When she answered 'Yes' a heavy silence fell on the whole house. It was as if something hanging over our heads had fallen, its noise exploding, then - silence.

Afterwards...I heard you crying. I could not move. There was something bigger than my awareness being born in the other room through your bewildered sobbing. It was as if a blessed scalpel was cutting up your chest and putting there the heart that belongs to you...I was unable to move to see what was happening in the other room. I knew, however, that a distant homeland was being born again: hills, olive groves, dead people, torn banners and folded ones, all cutting their way into a future of flesh and blood and being born in the heart of another child...Do you believe that man grows? No, he is born suddenly - a word, a moment, penetrates his heart to a new throb. One scene can hurl him down from the ceiling of childhood onto the ruggedness of the road."

-Ghassan Kanafani, in a letter he wrote to his son

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

this email is for the poets....
it is poetry and only poetry that has ever helped me make it through in the darkest hours of my life.

but first two links.....
An incredible video made right here in Bushwick directed by Waleed Zaiter and crew
http://electronicIntifada.net/v2/article5473.shtml

and Patti Smith wrote a song about Qana (you can download it)
http://www.pattismith.net/news.html


_________________________________________________________________________________________________

- a poem written by my homegirl Suheir Hammad.... last November we were together in beirut. that was the last time i was there.....November....

wind (break) her

fairuz turquoise dawn ears ring
voice diwan detroit divine
smoke full lips fall on back baalbek
museum mezze sabra jordan black
june in jersualem

bi albek
almonds coffee darwish
the eighties the ground the zeroes
tabla in brooklyn air so thick beat hung there
hips reflected the breath someone was drumming
to accompany the dying and the living
somewhere far and somewhere close

a sweeping
find shelter in a cross
a reckoning
find none at all
people looking to be seen
even if the last moments
even if after life

last fall her birthday
i ask my homegirl what she wants
bi albek
she leaps to fall in love
i offer earrings and we kiss the beirut
sky color of bruised healing

kiss it born
kiss it ill
kiss it youth
kiss it prison
kiss it collective
kiss it punishment
kiss it viral
kiss it infected
kiss it missing
kiss it childhood
kiss it water
kiss it dignity
kiss it burning
kiss it alone
kiss it so alone
kiss it kiss it

habibi wants the moon
but the moon is far away

a city in exile

bi albe ana nar

curl of flame jeweled arms
flash smile flash flesh perfect cut damage is tapestry vintage
design with no weapons dress to kill
it means you don't die
from the powerlessness of it
from the leap to fall in love
from believing in rebuilding

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
the other night i re-read this poem by Mahmoud Darwish. i read it silently. i read it out loud. i re-read and remember all the other countless times i have read it. the words slippery. the weight heavier. the sky smaller now....

The Earth Is Closing on Us

The earth is closing on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she'd be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our
dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us in
the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children;s feast. We saw the faces of those who'll
throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. here and here our blood
will plant its olive tree.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

and lastly Aissa Deebi, a Palestinian artist from Haifa sent me this poem written by Taha Mohammed Ali, a poet from Nazareth
(er I cam including two slightly different versions for translations sake....)

Revenge: This poem was written by Nazareth poet Taha Mohammed Ali and translated from Arabic by Sasson Somekh.  Line breaks have been replaced with dots in the version below due to space limitations.

Sometimes…I wish to hold…A duel…With the man…Who killed my father…And demolished my home…And turned me into a refugee…In the narrow land of man;…If he kills me…I will find my rest…And if I take his life…I will have taken my revenge.

But…If I learn…In the duel…That my adversary has a mother…Who awaits his return…Or a father…Who presses his right hand…To his chest, over the heart,…Whenever his son is late in coming--…Then I will not kill him, if…I should gain the upper hand.

By the same token…I will not slay him…If it comes to my attention…That he has brothers and sisters…Who love him…And miss him…At all hours,…Or he has a wife who anticipates his arrival…And children who suffer from his absence.

And his gifts gladden their heart…Or if he has…Friends and comrades…Or neighbors and acquaintances…Friends he met in prison…Or lay beside his hospital bed…Or old schoolmates…Who ask after him…At every opportunity…And send him regards.

But if he is alone…Like a branch chopped from a tree…Neither friends, comrades nor neighbors…No acquaintances, not a father, not a mother…And no partners to his path…I, then, shall not add anything of my own…To the pain of his solitude…The suffering of his demise…The bleakness of his oblivion…I will be content to ignore him…If I encounter him on the road,…And will convince myself…That ignoring him…In itself…Is a kind of revenge.


REVENGE

At times …
I wish I could meet
in a duel
the man who
killed my father
and razed our home,
expelling me into
a narrow country.
And if he killed me,
I'd rest at last,
and if I were ready—
I would take my revenge!

*

But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who'd put his
right hand over
the heart's place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they'd set—
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.

*

Likewise …
I would not murder him if
it were soon made clear
that he had a brother or sisters
who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
Or if he had a wife to greet him
and children who
couldn't bear his absence
and whom his presents thrilled.
Or if he had
friends or companions,
neighbors he knew
or allies from prison
or a hospital room,
or classmates from his school …
asking about him
and sending him regards.


*

But if he turned
out to be on his own—
cut off like a branch from the tree—
without a mother or father,
with neither a brother nor sister,
wifeless, without a child,
and with no kin or friends or neighbors
and neither colleagues nor companions …
then I'd add not a thing to his pain
within that aloneness—
not the torment of death,
and not the sorrow of passing away.
Instead I'd be content
to ignore him when I passed him by
on the street—as I
convinced myself
that paying him no attention
in itself was a kind of revenge.

Nazareth, 2006
____________________________________________________________________

From: Omar Barghouti
Date: Friday 11 august 2006 20:33:44 GMT+02:00
Subject: A graphical Lebanese/Arab/Global South view of the UN

____________________________________________________________________

From: Lydia Wilson (through jan ackenhausen)
Date: Friday 11 august 2006 17:14
Subject: Some more personal accounts

Hello everyone,

I believe that one of the fundamental obstacles to understanding this conflict lies in the misconceptions of Hizbollah. One great website for background info on Hizbollah:
http://www.merip.org/mero/mero073106.html
As the writer of this site notes: "Even if their involvement is accepted, it is both inaccurate and unwise to dismiss Hizballah as
"terrorists.""
I will write more on this another time, and if anyone can help with info and opinions about misconceptions that would be great.

------------

A couple of more personal accounts from Lebanon:

My friend (the wonderful David Munir who sends out Mideast Wire and many other emails) has just gone to Beirut and sends this description of a favourite beach; when we swam there in April you could stand up to your chest in the water and see your feet - that's how clean it was.  Now:
"I went down to Ramlet al-Baida (the big beach in Beirut, south of Raouche...) yesterday afternoon... it's near my mom's apt...  I went down close to the water, but the fumes were so strong I started getting light-headed and had to leave."

----------
I was sitting with a friend when he got a phonecall from another friend in Beirut, telling us that a bomb had fallen near a cafe/restaurant complex we were in on that same trip in April - it's always been a treat eating in Beirut as the choice is/was so much
wider than in Damascus.  I guess not any more...

----------
Is anyone stickering, as on www.bloggingbeirut.com ?  I'm attaching a picture of some results from Brussels...they're pretty good...

---------

Lydia

____________________________________________________________________

From: Zena el-Khalil (through Emily Jacir)
Date: Friday 11 august 2006 15:28
Subject: 1 month anniversary

As most of you know, I have been keeping a blog documenting my experience with this war. I have felt that it is my way to do my part, by speaking up..
It is my way of "resisting".

I wanted my words to come into your inbox today, because after one month, it is easy for the media to start getting tired of our news and slowly move on to other things. We can not let this happen.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to all who have been active, making a difference, writing, demonstrating..

Stay strong. Stay beautiful.

With love,
Zena.
P.s. Sorry for any cross posting



it has been one month now.

for one month, lebanon has had bombs drop on her.

in one month, i have aged 50 years.

for one month, i have cried everyday.

as the days unfold, the news is only getting worse. i find myself sinking...
it has become so hard to write.

how many times can i keep repeating..."help, israel is targeting civilians... israel is blowing up the whole country... infrastructure has been hit...all the highways have been hit... roads and bridges, hit... food and wheat storages, gas and fuel supplies, communication towers, ports...all hit...hospitals shutting down because they have run out of fuel... the whole country is slowly being choked to death.

how many times can i keep repeating that the israeli army is hitting trucks carrying food and aid... they are hitting the red cross... the un...

how many times can i write that war crimes are being committed. that phosphorous bombs are being dropped on children...

how many times can i say that the oil spill has wrecked our coast and marine life... it has now spread to syria, by the way... even after the clean up, it will be 6 years before the environment can stabilize again.

how many times can i keep saying that the planes are getting louder.. the bombs are getting louder!

over 1 million displaced civilians now.
over 1,000 civilians killed.

how many times do i have to say that my country is being destroyed piece by piece. entire neighborhoods in my city no longer exist. entire families have disappeared. the south of lebanon is one fire.

for one month, i have seen lebanon brutalized. her citizens crushed under the rubble of their own homes.

you can not make peace through bombs.

in a week, if we do not get fuel into the country, the hospital that maya goes to will be shut down. she will not be able to get her chemotherapy. that is a few days from now.

a great friend sent me a song. it has become my mantra. every time i think i'm going to break down, panic, etc.. i put this song on full blast... and it somehow gets me to smile :) if there is no electricity, then i sing it out loud to myself.. and to my sister.. and brother.. and dogs.. and neighbors... hahaha...never thought i'd say this, but, long live happy music!!

here are some of the lyrics:

why must our children play in the streets,
broken hearts and faded dreams,
peace and love to everyone that you meet,
don't you worry, it could be so sweet,
just look to the rainbow, you will see
sun will shine till eternity,
i've got so much love in my heart,
no-one can tear it apart,
yeah,

feel the love generation,
yeah, yeah, yeah,
feel the love generation,
c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon yeah,

(whistling.....)

With love,
Zena el-Khalil
beirutupdate.blogspot.com


____________________________________________________________________

From: nat muller (through nettime-nl)
Date: Friday 11 august 2006 13:37
Subject: Mrabba Electroni[c]que: Global Lebanon Web Jam - 12aug,15:00 - 19:00 PM CEST

diegenen die in Amsterdam live willen bijdragen, zijn vanaf 14.45 welkom in de Waag | Nieuwmarkt 4 | Amsterdam.
www.waag.org

groetjes_

nat


  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  >>>Mrabba Electroni[c]que: Global Lebanon Web Jam. Stop the war!>>>
  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


!!!!please note time change!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 12 2006, 15:00 - 19:00 PM CEST [--> 16:00 - 20:00 EEST]

http://beirut.streamtime.org
http://streamtime.org

Live audio/video streaming transmission from Waag Society in Amsterdam, in direct connection with Beirut and surrounding localities. The event was initiated by Streamtime, a web support campaign for Iraqi bloggers.

After one month of violence and carnage, this Global Web Jam brings together live interviews and conversations, video clips, cartoons and blog blurbs, soundscapes, DJs and VJs, a lively mix of information, art, protest, party and reflection. We feature the voices, images stories, reports and initiatives from Lebanon and beyond, with participation of activists, artists, bloggers, journalists, musicians and many others.

This is a call for an immediate end to the violence and destruction, in defiance of war, and in search for solidarity.

With contributions and participation of: Wahid el-Solh, Mounira el-Solh, Sonya Knox, Naeem Mohaiemen, Kanj Hamadi, Jim Quilty, Randa Mirza, Mazen Kerbaj, Raed Yassin, Charbel Haber, Nathalie Fallaha, Henri Gemayel, Fadi Tufayli, Tariq Shadid, Peter Speetjens,  Chalaan Charif, Martin Siepermann, Arjan El Fassed, Ruud Huurman, Kadir van Lohuizen, Thomas Burkhalter and Anna Trechsel, Beirut DC, Tarek Atoui and many others.

This Global Web Jam is an initiative of Jo van der Spek, Geert Lovink and Cecile Landman (from Streamtime), Nat Muller, Paul Keller and Denis Jaromil Rojo in Amsterdam; and Tarek Atoui and Rawya el-Chab in Beirut.

info: http://beirut.streamtime.org | mail: beirut@dischosting.nl

This project is supported by Waag Society, Novib (Dutch Oxfam) and X-Y Solidarity Fund

____________________________________________________________________

From: jan ackenhausen
Date: Friday 11 august 2006 10:31
Subject: we've been working our asses off here in brussels

but it's working...

____________________________________________________________________

From: jan ackenhausen
Date: Thursday 10 august 2006 18:16
Subject: ‘Lebanon: An Open Country for Civil Resistance’

Call for Action

August 7th, 2006

'Lebanon: An Open Country for Civil Resistance'
Civilian Resistance: Call For Action & Solidarity For Lebanon

Download Arabic version (.pdf, 46kb)
Spanish version below
Media contacts and the official Press Release here

Endorse this call for nonviolent action!

We, the people of Lebanon, call upon the local and international community to join a campaign of civil resistance to Israel's war against our country and our people. We declare Lebanon an open country for civil resistance.

In the face of Israel's systematic killing of our people, the indiscriminate bombing of our towns, the scorching of our villages, and the attempted destruction of our civil infrastructure, we say NO!

In the face of the forced expulsion of a quarter of our population from their homes throughout Lebanon, and the complicity of governments and international bodies, we re-affirm the acts of civil resistance that began from the first day of the Israeli assault, and we stress and add the urgent need TO ACT!

We urge you to join us in defying Israel's aggression against our country and in defending the rights of the inhabitants throughout Lebanon, and particularly in the South, to live on their land. When the United Nations, created to preserve peace and security in the world, is paralyzed; when governments become complicit in war crimes, then people must show their strength and rise up. When justice and human rights are scorned, those who care must unite in their defense.

Building on our belief in our country, the efforts of the civil resistance, and on the arrival of the internationals coming to Lebanon for solidarity, we declare that Lebanon is an open country for civil resistance, starting from August 12.

On August 12 at 7 am, we will gather in Martyrs' Square to form a civilian convoy to the south of Lebanon. Hundreds of Lebanese and international civilians will carry relief as an expression of solidarity for the inhabitants of the heavily destroyed south who have been bravely withstanding the assault of the Israeli military.

After August 12th, the campaign will continue with a series of civil actions for which your presence and participation is needed. Working together in solidarity we will overcome the complacency, inaction, and complicity of the international community and we will deny Israel its goal of removing Lebanese from their land and destroying the fabric of our country.

To sign up to join the convoy, send us an email through our contact page or contact one of the following:

If you are outside Lebanon and want to sign up and join the convoy, you should know:

  1. You need to obtain a visa for Lebanon and for Syria if your plan is to enter Lebanon from Syria.
  2. We don't have the funds to cover for the cost of your travel, however we can help with finding accomodations.

For questions and help for all internationals please contact Adam Shapiro at: internationals@lebanonsolidarity.org

If you are in Lebanon, contact us through the contact page if you are interested in joining the convoy or want to volunteer in other capacities.

En castellano (In Spain; also be sure to contact Adam at the above address)
Alberto Arce
email: nonviolenceproject@gmail.com
phone: 0034655650048
phone: 096170974462

Please check the website of this campaign regularly: www.lebanonsolidarity.org

This campaign is thus far endorsed by more than 200 organizations, including:
The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Cultural Center for Southern Lebanon, Norwegian People's Aid , Lebanese Center for Policy Studies , Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections , Frontiers, Kafa , Nahwa al-Muwatiniya, Spring Hints , Hayya Bina , Lebanese Transparency Association , Amam05, Lebanese Center for Civic Education, Let's Build Trust, CRTD-A , Solida, National Association for Vocational Training and Social Services, Lebanese Development Pioneers, Nadi Li Koul Alnas, Lecorvaw , Samidoun, and The Cultural Movement-Antelias.



--
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____________________________________________________________________

From: Emily Jacir
Date: Thursday 10 august 2006 16:45
Subject: please help us. please join our boycott.

Dear all

I am writing to you to ask you to please help us by joining our boycott. (See details below). I am also enclosing the article by Virginia Tilley: The Case for Boycotting Israel
I encourage you to write letters explaining why you can not participate in upcoming events in Israel. Those of you who have so far, thank you. Please send me documentation of your letters so we can have an archive of all this.

"But Israel's war crimes are now so shocking, its extremism so clear, the suffering so great, the UN so helpless, and the international community's need to contain Israel's behavior so urgent and compelling, that the time for global action has matured. A coordinated movement of divestment, sanctions, and boycotts against Israel must convene to contain not only Israel's aggressive acts and crimes against humanitarian law but also, as in South Africa, its founding racist logics that inspired and still drive the entire Palestinian problem."
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5435.shtml

(i love the picture of Bayt Sahour action - burying "international concern")

So here is the boycott with the list of Palestinian signatories. I hope to see your name there too. I hope you will write to institutions and tell them why you can not participate.
To answer this call for a cultural boycott of Israel please send an email with your name, position and country to: pal.filmmakers@gmail.com
Salamaat
Emily


http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=315_0_1_0_C
Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel
August 4, 2006


Dear Filmmakers & Artists,


During the past few weeks we have borne witness to the escalation of Israeli
aggression into open war on both Palestine and Lebanon.

With Israel's invasion of Gaza on June 27th, 2006, ministries and educational institutions have been destroyed, as has the plant that supplies nearly 50 percent of Gaza's electricity. Bridges, roads, dozens of homes, and hundreds of dunams of agricultural land have also been destroyed. Sixty-four elected Palestinian legislators, cabinet ministers and officials have been detained without charge.

On July 12th, Israel brought its campaign of collective punishment and military violence to Lebanon, with "Operation Just Reward". A complete assault, via land, sea, and air, of the Lebanese population and infrastructure has led to total destruction. In just 3 weeks, almost 1 million Lebanese civilians have been displaced and the death toll has reached 900 Lebanese and 160 Palestinians, with a UN count saying one-third of the dead are children.

Additionally, in violation of international law, Israel continues to occupy Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Syria's Golan Heights. In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel continues to hold 9,600 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and detention centers without due process, among them 130 Palestinian women and 388 children, many of them taken from their homes in the middle of the night.

We, the undersigned Palestinian filmmakers and artists, appeal to all artists and filmmakers of good conscience around the world to cancel all exhibitions and other cultural events that are scheduled to occur in Israel, to mobilize immediately and not allow the continuation of the Israeli offensive to breed complacency. Like the boycott of South African art institutions during apartheid, cultural workers must speak out against the current Israeli war crimes and atrocities.

We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.

We call upon you to take a stand in order to appeal to the Israeli people to give up their silence, to abandon their apathy, and to face up to their responsibility in the destruction and killing their elected government is wreaking. To the Lebanese and Palestinians terrorized by this Army's planes, bombs and missiles, this silence, apathy and lack of action from Israelis, are regarded as complicit in the ongoing war crimes, as for those Israeli artists, academics and intellectuals who continue to serve in the Israeli army they are directly implicated in these crimes.

We call upon you to give way to action that would replace words spoken too often and forgotten too quickly. We call upon you to make your voices heard in calling for an end to this bloodshed and an end to this oppression that has lasted too long.

To endorse or answer this call for a cultural boycott of Israel please send an email with your name, position and country to pal.filmmakers@gmail.com



Signatures (Alphabetical):
http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=315_0_1_0_C


____________________________________________________________________

From: jan ackenhausen
Date: Wednesday 9 august 2006 18:59
Subject: Watch this clip-Sky news on Lebanon


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Maan Alhasbane


*Listen to this clip from Sky news- interview with George Galloway. A very good one*


http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html

____________________________________________________________________

From: Michael Albert
Date: Wednesday 9 august 2006 0:00
Subject: Shalom Commentary from ZNet

Hello,

[...]
www.zmag.org/weluser.htm

[...] We update daily, often a few times a day. In the current period we of course have considerable Mideast coverage. I am sending a piece today, by Stephen Shalom, that can assist, we think, in communicating about the events. Hopefully it will be useful in the much needed work of developing consciousness and activism about the ongoing war.

-----

Lebanon War Question and Answer

by Stephen R. Shalom August 07, 2006

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=107&ItemID=10721

____________________________________________________________________

From: jan ackenhausen
Date: Tuesday 8 august 2006 23:13
Subject: the new middle east

the new middle east acoording to USA and Israel:

° democracy is reduced to superficial elections, but does not considder the basic strongholds of a democracy, such as accessibility and transparency of the institutions and government policy, communication to the community, the right of everyone to engage and take part in and interact with the government and its institutions, freedom of speach and the right to have a different perception. democraticly elected parties do not necessarily have to be accepted by the international community (as for instance Hamas, Hezbollah, ...) and it is perfectly normal to put a halt to all financial aids to countries that adopt democratically elected parties into their government if these please the USA or Israel.

° kidnapping of democratically elected government representatives.

° holding mainly innocent women and children in prison; without granting them the right to talk to their families or a lawyer, without telling them what they are being held for, without trial.

° preliminary strikes against countries that are suspected of certain criminal activities but that have not yet been proven. this also includes occupying land. invading countries, destabilising them, clearing the ground for civil. democratic puppetry governments are supposed to cover up the situation, serving as propaganda for the states causing the failure of their new middle east.

° ignoring UN resolutions, unless they serve the USA or Israel, hereby turning the UN into a policy enhancement for both states. the UN does no longer serve the international community, based on diplomacy and consesus, but only serves to push through strategies of USA and Israel. humanitarian and legal matters do not have priority; 'casualties' may exceed the number of 1000, as long as they serve the general interest of USA and Israel.

° hijacking radiowaves and cellular phone frequencies to submit propaganda.

° blowing up humanitarian convois, ambulances, vegetable transports, refugee convois, bomb shelters, dairy farms, UN buildings, government buildings, armed forces buildings, private houses, border checkpoints, lighthouses...

° state and religion should be separated, except for USA and Israel, since they are officially christian and jewish, two harmless, peace loving religions, unlike islam. the USA president has breakfast on tv with high representatives of the right-wing christian lobby, everyone who is a jew can obtain an Israeli passport. people living in Israel for several generations, even before the erection of the Israeli state, do not have the right to obtain a passport, to do certain jobs, to be allowed into government jobs, unless, of course, they happen to be jewish...

° to achieve the new middle east plan, all means may be used, illegal imprisonments, kidnapping of government representatives, economic damnage, demolishing infrastructure (Lebanon, Ghaza Airport,...), causing ecologic disasters (massive oil spill on Lebanese and Syrian coast).

In the mean time, this policy to achieve the new middle east has killed several thousands of people, destroyed major historical sites and documents stemming from the early ages of civilisation, displaced millions of peoples from their homes, encouraged religious extremism and isolated several countries that do not commit to achieve this 'new middle east'. way to go dudes... i think 'the new middle east' is a code name for 'project for a new american century'.

good night


--
????

____________________________________________________________________

From: nat muller (through nettime-nl)
Date: Tuesday 8 august 2006 22:59
Subject: reminder deze woensdag: De Fabriek: Filmavond Libanon

Het conflict tussen Israel en Hizbullah houdt aan en ondertussen neemt het aantal slachtoffers onder de burgerbevolking gestaag toe en wordt de humanitaire crisis in Libanon met de dag schrijnender.

Uit protest tegen dit zinloze geweld presenteert krakerscinema De Fabriek elke woensdagavond om 22.00 uur films, documentaires en video's van Libanese makers.
Donaties gaan naar humanitaire initiatieven in Libanon, waaronder Sanayeh Relief Fund.

Voorstellingen:  9 augustus, 16 augustus
Aanvang: 22.00 uur - deur open 21.30 uur
Adres: squatdeluxe, Mathenesserdijk 418 Rotterdam (tramhalte Delftshaven)

meer info:
www.squatdeluxe.com/
http://siegeoflebanon.blogspot.com/2006/07/cinematic-resistance.html
http://sanayehreliefcenter.blogspot.com/

____________________________________________________

From: jan ackenhausen
Date: Tuesday 8 august 2006 2:16
Subject: APPEAL for PROFESSIONALS : Reconstruction Efforts

In the eventual reconstruction of Southern Lebanon, Lebanese NGO's hope to adhere to international best practices for minimizing environmental impact and ensuring sustainability. They are launching an appeal for:

- Information and examples of environmentally sustainable, low impact reconstruction efforts, especially in rural areas.

- Assistance preparing project proposals and grant applications.

- Organizations willing to oversee and/or fund demonstration projects capable of duplication.

- Expertise in specific related areas such as sanitation and renewable energy.

http://bloggingbeirut.com/LogisticsF/viewtopic.php?t=49



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____________________________________________________________________

follow these links for previous posts:

August 7 / 6 / 5 / 4 / 3 / 1
July 31 / 30 / 29 / 28 / 27 / 26 / 25 / 23 / 22 / 21 / 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 / 15 / 11 / 8 / 6 / 5

most recent posts are here .