An action call from the International Solidarity Movement -- two of the main Palesinian non-violent organizers in the occupied West Bank village of Bil'in, which holds weekly protests against Israel's "separation barrier" being built illegally on its farmland, have been arrested and detained under false charges by the occupation authorities. For more on Bil'in, the collective punishment of the village, and its cooperation with Israel activists, see Meron Rapaport's Ha'aretz article, Ghandi Redux.
Action Alert – Non-violent organizers from Bil'in Still Imprisoned!
Abdullah and Rateb Abu Rahma, brothers, organizers and non-violent activists from the village of Bil'in near Ramallah, were arrested at a non-violent demonstration against the annexation barrier on Friday, June 17th. As of today, June 19th, they are still being held in Ofer camp and a date for their hearing has not been set. Abdullah is accused of `disturbing with an office in the course of duty' and Rateb of throwing stones at soldiers. Both proclaim their innocence. A video recording made by an Israeli activist corroborates their stories completely. However, the Israeli police refused to watch the part of this recording relating to them, while agreeing to release three Israeli activists based on the very same tape!
A former Taliban official now living on Long Island pleaded guilty in US District Court in Manhattan June 16 to tax fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Noorullah Zadran, 53, of Huntington Station, faces up to 8 months in prison after pleading guilty to filing a false 2000 tax return, failing to include in the statement the $1,541 in income he received from the Taliban. Zadran also admitted that he falsely claimed on a bank loan application that his wife was employed, in order to get a lower interest rate.
Zadran, described by Newsday as "a tall, elegantly dressed man with gold wire-rimmed glasses," was "First Secretary to the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan" from 1998 to 2001, when he frequently appeared on TV news programs as the spokesman for the Taliban regime.
You almost have to admire the chuztpah of the Bush gang. Not only are they refusing the close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, they are actually planning to expland it--and Halliburton gets the contract! This from the AP:
Halliburton Gets $30M Gitmo Contract
Friday, June 17, 2005
WASHINGTON — A subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton has been awarded a $30 million contract to build an improved 220-bed prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay (search), Cuba, the Pentagon announced.
Dorothy, an Israeli activist, forwarded the following message from Fareed, a villager in Qira, in the Salfit region of the West Bank, south of Nablus and near the major Israeli settlement of Ariel. The town faces an acute water shortage directly caused by the diversion of water by Israeli occupation authorities, and requests urgent action. Details follow.
Dorothy Noar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
URGENT HELP NEEDED; WATER CRISIS IN PALESTINE
Sun, 19 Jun 2005
Fareed, below, calls attention to the water crisis in Qira--while settlers use the water for swimming and gardens, the residents of Qira are deprived of water. Among the several consequences for the villagers is one that Fareed omits to mention: a high proportion of children in Qira suffer from kidney problems. One possible reason for this, it has been suggested, is insufficient water. Water problems are endemic for Palestinians throughout the West Bank. For more information about the problems and their sources, see:
We get very little new about the new intifada in Western Sahara, and here's one of the reasons why: Morocco is effectively barring journalists from the occupied territory. This from
Reporters sans Frontières via allAfrica.com, June 17:
Journalists in Western Sahara Face Assaults, Arrests And Harassment
RSF has called on the Moroccan authorities to put an end to the harassment of local and foreign media in Western Sahara and allow them to work normally.
No happy returns for Suu Kyi
By Tony Cheng
BBC News, Bangkok
The woman simply known as "The Lady" will spend a lonely 60th birthday this Sunday, allowed only the company of two maids and a weekly visit from her doctor, as she enters her consecutive third year under house arrest.
From the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, June 16th, 2005 (online at Stop The Wall):
Villagers of Marda Continue To Resist Settler Bypass Road
Thirty villagers were injured today during clashes with Occupation Forces in Marda, in the east of Salfit district. Villagers were demonstrating against the theft of their lands by the Apartheid Wall and the Jewish-only bypass road system that together will almost completely encircle the village.
Several hundreds villagers marched to lands in the northwest of Marda, which are being confiscated and uprooted by the Occupation for the route of a new settler bypass road. They were attacked on the way by Occupation Forces who fired tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets into the crowds of demonstrators.
In the Chronicle of Higher Education, June 17, 2005, two Israeli activists protest the reversal of a recent decision by Britain's Association of University Teachers (AUT) in support of a limited academic boycott of Israel.
A British Union Reverses a Boycott
By Yehudith Harel & Anon.
Many Israeli academics and their supporters welcomed the reversal of the AUT boycott. However, we are Israeli human-rights activists who want to express our disappointment and to reaffirm our support for a comprehensive boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions. We do so because, in Israel, "academic freedom," the main argument raised against the boycott, is being used to legitimize racism of the worst kind.