Blog

JFP 1/8: Paraguay abolishes public health user fees

Just Foreign Policy News
January 8, 2010

Mondoweiss: Israeli television confrontation is 'metaphor of the moral crisis' in Israel
A video clip of a contfontation between an Israeli television interviewer and a Palestinian Member of the Israeli Knesset is making the rounds of the internet.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/01/israeli-television-confrontation-is-a-metaphor-of-the-moral-crisis-in-which-zionism-is-found-today.html

Support the work of Just Foreign Policy:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey says Americans should prepare to accept hundreds of U.S. casualties each month in Afghanistan, Army Times reports. McCaffrey predicts up to 500 casualties per month, as the winter thaw permits enemy and coalition forces to launch their respective offensives.

2) The wife of a Jordanian doctor who killed seven CIA employees in a suicide attack in Afghanistan says her husband was outraged over the treatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, AP reports.

Tags:

Gaza Freedom March: What We Accomplished

Cairo - Some of us reached Gaza and participated in the Gaza Freedom March as planned. Some of us traveled via Israel to the Israeli border with Gaza and protested the blockade on Gaza alongside Israelis. All of us significantly raised the profile of dissent - particularly, American dissent - against the blockade of the people of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt, with the backing of the United States and the acquiescence of Europe. The groundwork is being laid for future campaigning in the U.S. for "citizen sanctions" against the Israeli government that could help change the balance of forces influencing U.S. policy, so that U.S. policy becomes a force for peace, rather than continuing to perpetuate the Israel/Palestine conflict as the U.S. is doing today.

The New York Times (yes, the New York Times had two articles on the march) reported:

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on both sides of the Israeli-Gazan border on Thursday to mark a year since Israel's three-week war in Gaza, and to call for an end to the blockade of the area imposed by Israel and Egypt. About 85 of the several hundred demonstrators inside Gaza were foreigners, part of a group of more than 1,000 who arrived in Cairo in hopes of entering the territory but who were stopped by the Egyptian authorities. After days of negotiation, Egypt permitted a small delegation to cross the normally closed border at the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

Hundreds of us - confined to Cairo - protested against the Israeli/Egyptian blockade where we were. Our protests in Cairo were front-page news in the Egyptian press - and were reported in the U.S. as well.

The Christian Science Monitor reported:

Under International Pressure, Egypt Yields Ground to Gaza Freedom March

Cairo - Twelve hours before this writing, it appeared that 50,000 Palestinians in Gaza planning to march to the Erez border crossing with Israel on Thursday in protest of the continuing blockade on Gaza might not be accompanied by any of the 1400 internationals who had come to Egypt planning to join the Gaza Freedom March.

But on Tuesday Egypt agreed to let 100 of the 1400 marchers depart for Gaza Wednesday morning. This came as just the story of the Egyptian government crackdown on largely Western peace activists was starting to spill from the Arab media and European media into the US press.

Egypt's partial concession means that 50,000 Palestinian marchers will have 100 companions representing some 40 countries to act as a deterrent against Israeli government violence - and to help get the story out about Gazans nonviolently protesting the blockade.

Egypt's concession leaves 1300 of us here in Cairo to continue to press the case on the Egyptian government - together with many sympathetic Egyptians - that Egypt should cease supporting the U.S.-Israeli blockade on Gaza.

Egypt Blocks Americans from Gaza March, Stops Aid Convoy

Cairo - The government of Egypt is taking a spectacularly hard line against international solidarity efforts in support of civilians in Gaza on the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion, blocking peace marchers from the U.S., Canada, and Europe from even approaching the Egyptian border with Gaza and blocking an aid convoy that has the support of the Turkish government from entering Egypt at Nuweiba. Even a peaceful protest at UN offices in Cairo was largely walled off from public view by Egyptian police.

It seems that any pretense of Egyptian government concern for the suffering of Palestinian civilians has been dropped, along with the pretense that there is anything less than 100% cooperation from Egypt and its US and European patrons with Israel's program of punishing Gaza's population for the political crime of having provided majority support to the Hamas movement in a legislative election.

Meanwhile there is largely a U.S. press blackout of these striking developments. A search of the New York Times and the Washington Post only turns up a tiny AP story on the websites of the Times and the Post.

As has frequently been the case, Agence France-Presse [AFP] pays more attention to these developments. On Monday, AFP reports that Hedy Epstein and other members of the Gaza Freedom March have begun a hunger strike to press the Egyptian government to allow them to enter Gaza:

JFP 12/23: Rep. Waters Demands Explanation for Exclusions from Haitian Elections

Just Foreign Policy News
December 23, 2009


Just Foreign Policy News on Break Until January 6
The editor of the JFP News is going to Gaza for the Gaza Freedom March - if the Egyptians let us in.
[The Egyptian government has announced that it will not allow internationals to enter Gaza. Write the Egyptian Embassy in Washington and ask them to reverse the decision:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/gaza-march]

If Egypt does not let us enter Gaza, we will protest the blockade from the Egyptian side of the border. In either event, you can follow our progress by blog here:
http://bit.ly/naiman_gfm and by Twitter here: @naiman.

If you value the Just Foreign Policy News, please make an end-of year donation to Just Foreign Policy:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Rep. Waters Demands Explanation of Exclusions from Haiti Election
Congresswoman Maxine Waters sent a letter to Haitian President Rene Preval today - copied to Secretary of State Clinton - to express her concerns about the the arbitrary exclusion of political parties from the upcoming elections in Haiti.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/439

Summary:
U.S./Top News

Tags:

Rep. Waters Voices Concern Over Exclusions from Haiti Election

Congresswoman Maxine Waters sent a letter to Haitian President Rene Preval today - copied to Secretary of State Clinton - to express her concerns about the the arbitrary exclusion of political parties from the upcoming elections in Haiti. The text of the letter is below; the PDF is here.

---

December 23, 2009

His Excellency René Préval
President of Haiti
c/o Embassy of Haiti
2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Your Excellency:

I am writing to express my concerns about the decision of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to exclude more than a dozen political parties from the Parliamentary elections scheduled for February and March 2010. I am concerned that these exclusions would violate the right of Haitian citizens to vote in free and fair elections and that it would be a significant setback to Haiti’s democratic development.

As you know, I have a longstanding commitment to supporting democracy and development in Haiti. I led efforts in the United States Congress to obtain debt cancellation for Haiti. These efforts culminated in the World Bank’s announcement last June that Haiti reached the “completion point” for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and would receive complete cancellation of its multilateral debts. I am also working to increase United States bilateral assistance to Haiti.

It is imperative that Haiti’s next elections be free and fair and that they be perceived as free and fair. Political parties should not be excluded from an election without a legally compelling reason, determined through a transparent, impartial process.

JFP 12/22: Afghanistan Divides Illinois Senate Primary

Just Foreign Policy News
December 22, 2009


Egypt Says It Will Block International Gaza Freedom Marchers
The Egyptian government has announced that it will not allow internationals to enter Gaza for the Gaza Freedom March (in which Just Foreign Policy is participating.) Write the Egyptian Embassy in Washington and ask them to reverse the decision.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/gaza-march

Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
Your financial contributions to Just Foreign Policy help us create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Summary:
U.S./Top News

JFP 12/21: Egypt Says It Will Block International Gaza Freedom Marchers

Just Foreign Policy News
December 21, 2009


Egypt Says It Will Block International Gaza Freedom Marchers
The Egyptian government has announced that it will not allow internationals to enter Gaza for the Gaza Freedom March (in which Just Foreign Policy is participating.) Write the Egyptian Embassy in Washington and ask them to reverse the decision.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/436

Quixote Center: Contact State on Escalating Human Rights Abuses in Honduras

There has been a spike in targeted murders and abductions following the November 29th "electoral event" in Honduras, the Quixote Center reports. Call Secretary of State Clinton and register your alarm at the escalation of human rights violations in Honduras.
http://www.quixote.org/urgent-action-alert-honduras

Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
Your financial contributions to Just Foreign Policy help us create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Summary:
U.S./Top News

1) The U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, ABC News reports. Until Friday, U.S. officials had "hedged" about any U.S. role in the strikes against Yemen and news reports from Yemen attributed the attacks to the Yemen Air Force, ABC says.

Tags:

Egypt Says It Will Block International Gaza Freedom Marchers

On December 31, together with more than 1000 peace advocates from around the world, I'm planning to join tens of thousands of Palestinians in a march in Gaza to the Erez border crossing to protest the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and to demand international action to relieve Gaza's humanitarian crisis.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Egyptian government has just announced that it will not allow the internationals to enter Gaza as planned. If so, that would be a shame.

But this apparent decision could be reversed with sufficient public pressure, in Egypt and around the world. Concerned individuals can write to the Egyptian Embassy in Washington and to the Foreign Ministry in Cairo. There is also contact information for the Egyptian consulates in Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco here.

The aim of the march is to call on Israel and the international community to lift the siege, and to respond to Gaza's humanitarian crisis. The international participants will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza. Dec. 27 will mark the first anniversary of the Israeli invasion, from which Gaza has not recovered, in large measure because of the ongoing Israeli blockade, which has prevented Gaza from rebuilding.

Of course, if the Egyptian government decision stands, and the international participants are not allowed to enter Gaza, then much less international attention will be drawn to the ongoing blockade, and that would be an unfortunate setback for peace efforts, because the need for international attention is great.

JFP 12/18: US Accused on Palestinian Torture

Just Foreign Policy News
December 18, 2009


Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
Your financial contributions to Just Foreign Policy help us create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

Summary:
U.S./Top News

1) Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian reports. Human rights activists say the abuses would end promptly if US pressure was brought to bear on the Palestinian authorities. A diplomat in the region said "at the very least" US intelligence officers were aware of the torture and not doing enough to stop it.

2) A leaked UN document indicated deceit on the part of rich country governments concerning the effects of promised carbon emission cuts, the Guardian reports.

3) President Obama's speech in Copenhagen prompted widespread criticism from environmental and development activists, the Guardian reports. A spokesman for the World Development Movement said: "The president said he came to act, but showed little evidence of doing so." The World Wildlife Fund said Obama had let down the international community by failing to commit to pushing for action in Congress.

Tags: