Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The other face of Israel--this is what makes nations "exceptional," not the amassing of power, not the largest armies, not the richest companies, not the self conceit of partial democracies--I am thinking of Roger Cohn's latest column of the truth of American "exceptionalism."


We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, support and uphold the call of a coalition of organizations and individuals in Gaza for an international campaign to end the siege on Gaza. We call on members of Israeli society to join the campaign.

Since June 2007, Israeli isolation policies towards the Gaza Strip have escalated. While controlling all points of exit from the Gaza Strip, the government of Israel has increasingly restricted passage of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip, leading to severe hardship and a drastic curtailing of the basic sources of sustenance and health of the population of the Gaza Strip.

All but 12 basic commodities have been blocked entry to the Gaza Strip, causing shortages in water, fuel, medications, essential equipment, raw materials and thousands of other essential commodities. In November alone, 13 patients died after Israeli authorities denied them access to medical care that is unavailable in Gaza.

Both Palestinians and Israelis have a right to live in peace and security, but the Israeli government policy of collective punishment is pushing the entire region further from security, and is morally and legally unjustifiable.

No progress can be achieved in any peace process while Gaza, still an occupied territory, is excluded from discussion and its civilian population punished. The lifting of the siege is therefore at the heart of Israeli, Palestinian and regional interests.

In November 2007, a group of Palestinian non-partisan human rights organizations and civil society leaders launched a call for a joint Palestinian-International-Israeli campaign to end the siege on Gaza.

The aims of the campaign are to call upon the Israeli government to lift the siege and stop other collective measures imposed on the civilian population of Gaza, to raise the awareness of the Israeli public and the international community to the deteriorating living conditions resulting from the siege, and to mobilize governments and communities to stop the boycott of Gaza.

The End the Siege campaign is humanitarian, non-partisan and based on the tenets of human rights and social justice. It is guided by the wish to end all forms of violence in our region.

On the Palestinian side, End the Siege is initiated and managed by “representatives of civil society, the business community, intellectuals, women activists, and advocates for human rights and peace from both the West Bank and Gaza, all expressing their commitment to peace and their respect for human dignity”. On the Israeli side, End the Siege supporters include human rights organizations and other actors in civil society. The call is open to all who wish to join it.

From the call: “We are determined to move hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder with all people who believe in freedom, human dignity and peace…. It is time to put aside any partisan conflicts and unite people in the pursuit of freedom, justice, and peace.”

Planned activities include:
- Documentation and dissemination of information on the impact of the siege: a website, posters and video clips of daily life in Gaza.
- International symposium in Gaza: “Breaking the Siege on Gaza: Together for a United Front for Peace”.
- International delegations to Gaza and Israel.
- Meetings and cultural activities in Gaza, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, and different cities in the world.
- A peaceful march to Erez Crossing from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the Crossing with peace activists from all over the world.
- A “Free Gaza Movement Day” in May, including a boat journey from Cyprus to Gaza.

For details or to join the campaign, contact: http://us.f531.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=mail@phr.org.il


Anarchists Against the Wall
Bat Shalom
Bat Tsafon
Coalition of Women for Peace
Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement
Gush Shalom
Hamoked Centre for the Defense of the Individual
New Profile
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
Shomrei Mishpat - Rabbis for Human Rights
Ta’ayush – Arab-Jewish Partnership
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
The Israeli Committee for the Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel



About said...

Hi Joan,
My name is Sassafras Lowrey and I am a femme author in NYC. I'm contacting you (i couldn't find an email address on your website so i'm posting to your blog) because I'm editing an anthology from Homofactus Press called "Kicked Out" which is brining together the voices of former and current LGBTQ youth who were forced to leave home as a result of their sexuality and/or gender identity; the books forward is going to be written by Judy Shepard (mother of Matthew Shepard).

I'm writing you in hopes that you will be willing to help get the word out about about the anthology. It is important to me that the book be as diverse as possible, and especially that it include the voices of people who came out several decades ago.

I am including the call for submissions here, and I would love to speak with you about this project further. my email is SassafrasLowrey@gmail.com or you can contact me via the book's email KickedOutAnthology@gmail.com

I look forward to talking with you soon


Call for Submissions:
Edited by: Sassafras Lowrey*
Publisher: Homofactus Press
Deadline: March 1, 2008

Kicked Out is a new anthology, which uniquely seeks to tell the tales of former queer youth and current queer youth who were forced to leave home because of their sexuality and/or gender identity. This anthology will tell our collective stories of survival, weaving together descriptions of abuse, and homelessness with poignant accounts of the ways in which queer community centers offered sanctuary, and the power and importance of creating our own chosen families in the face of loosing everything we have ever known. Kicked Out offers advice and wisdom to the queer youth of today from those who have been in their shoes. Additionally, it provides the opportunity for readers to get a glimpse into the world of those queer youth who as a result of circumstance have to leave home, while simultaneously shattering the stereotypes of who queer youth are, and what they have the potential to become.

Kicked Out is a collection of stories of those of us who have survived the experiences of having to leave home as minors as a result of our gender and/or sexual identities; and it tells the tales of our queer survival. These are the stories of overcoming obstacles, not simply surviving but thriving in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity. Kicked Out will explore the diversity of our experiences across lines race, class, gender, sexuality, geographic region celebrating our differences, and showcases the ways in which they have contributed to our unique experiences.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• How being forced to leave home as a minor continues to impact your adult life
• What happened to you when you left home and how you survived
• Words of wisdom for today’s homeless queer youth—what you wished someone had told you
• Survival through the creation of “chosen family”
• Challenges of dealing with CPS or other agencies
• Success through adversity- overcoming a troubled past

Submissions should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words in length and previously unpublished. Submit your piece via e-mail in .doc format to KickedOutAnthology@gmail.com
Multiple submissions per contributor are welcome. Please include a short biography and contact information with your submission. Submissions must be received no later than March 1, 2008; contributors are encouraged to submit early. Rights revert to the authors upon publication. Contributors whose work appears in the anthology will receive TBA free copy(ies) as well as ongoing royalties.

*Sassafras Lowrey is a high femme who was forced to leave home as a teenager after suffering physical violence after coming out as queer. Ze found hir way to queer youth organizations and movements, which saved hir life. As an adult ze has never forgotten the impact those groups had on her life and has volunteered regularly with the queer youth of today. Sassafras lives with hir partner, two cats and a princess service dog in New York City. Hir first book “GSA to Marriage: Stories of a Life Lived Queerly” is scheduled for release Summer 2008.

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