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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 28, 2009 @ 10:05 am

    Something practical for Gaza

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    I know from the response to various posts I have written about Gaza that there is great interest in the issue among readers of this blog. Many people have a feeling of helplessness as the tragedy continues to unfold. Here is something of a practical nature which has been brought to my attention and I pass the message on for your consideration:-

    “On Friday January 30th Irish MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) is hosting a Gaza Hour from 1.00pm-2.00pm, to raise badly-needed funds for medical aid to help the stricken people of Gaza.
     
    “Irish Map wants to encourage everyone in Ireland to participate in fund-raising activities of their choice, to try and raise the targeted total of €430,000, which would represent a contribution of 10 cent for every man, woman and child in the country. We are raising money rather than collecting medical equipment on account of the tight embargo at Gaza’s borders.
     
    “Irish Map calls on every school, college, workplace, sporting and business organisation, every community and voluntary group, every trade union and association to make a special effort to show solidarity and practical help to the citizens of Gaza who have suffered so much in recent times and whose lives have been so shattered by violence.

    “Our website is www.irishmap.ie and all the monies raised can be securely transmitted to Irish Map through that website or lodged to
     
    Irish Map, AIB Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2.
     
    Account Number: 31267097   Sort Code: 933384.
     
    “Every single penny raised will go directly to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), a sister organisation of the Red Cross.
     
    “Irish Map is a registered charity, chaired by former Senator Mick Lanigan and comprising cross-party political representatives such as Des O’Malley, Michael D. Higgins and David Andrews, prominent business and media people, as well as senior medical personnel from Palestine.”

    • Betterworld Now says:

      Deaglán,
      Another practical action that people can take is to support the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s call for a people’s boycott of Israel. Details of Israeli products and how to identify them can be found here: http://www.ipsc.ie. It worked before!

      Also in that context, the Irish-Anti War Movement, are asking customers of Eircom to request they not award a major new contract for computerised billing to Israel, securing up to 4,000 jobs there (jobs that could equally well be done here in Ireland). Download the petition here: http://www.irishantiwar.org/node/376

    • Deaglán says:

      As previously stated, I would be very wary of the notion of boycotting Israel, given the last 80 years of history in Europe, kristallnacht, etc. I would be particularly sceptical about boycotting commercial enterprises such as department stores or coffee outlets on the basis of an alleged “link with the Israeli war-machine”.

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      Betterworld, there is no way in hell that the Eircom billing system secures or provides for 4,000 jobs in Israel. If this is with AmDocs (with which U have some passing familiarity) then it would involve no more than a few dozen jobs and it’s for a system that is used by other European phone companies and so those jobs aren’t even solely dependent on Eircom.

      If this is the level of intelligence/awareness that would be guiding any boycott then heaven help us all.

    • Eoin Lynch says:

      Deagláan,

      I was wondering what is your view about the political partiality of UNRWA and other aid agencies.
      These agencies have for a long time been criticised for anti-Israeli bias and I have always taken an open mind whether the allegations were true or not.

      However this report in the Globe and Mail relates how contrary to global world headlines instigated by John Ging that the Israelis shelled and killed children at a UN school turns out to be not the case at all.Unfortunately children did die but it was not in the school which is a big difference.

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090129.wgazaschool29/BNStory/International/home

      Why hasn’t this correction been made by the world’s media and can you ask why The Irish Times have not made the correction?

    • Deaglán says:

      Hi Eoin, I have passed the Globe and Mail item to our Foreign Desk just now.

      Regarding your previous comment about alleged involvement in the Holocaust on the part of former Palestinian leader, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, I note the following in Conor Cruise O’Brien’s The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism:-
      “One witness at Nuremberg claimed that the Mufti played an important part in devising the Final Solution, but the testimony is unsupported and seems improbable.”
      You could hardly call the ‘Cruiser’ a pro-Palestinian commentator.
      Regarding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), I have observed their work on the ground and they seem to do a very good job of giving practical support to a people who have suffered one of the greatest catastrophes in history (obviously not as bad as the dreadful horrors of the Holocaust, but still pretty awful.) I have noticed a tendency on both sides in this conflict to say, “He who is not with us is against us.” The UNRWA website makes grim viewing: http://www.un.org/unrwa/

    • Eoin Lynch says:

      Deaglán,

      I don’t think I claimed that the Mufti had any central role in the process that accumulated into the Final Solution.It is a stated fact that the Mufti met Hitler to discuss the “Jewish problem” of Palestine, that he did know of the Holocaust, and he supported it but he had no influence or otherwise in Nazi policy-making.

      He is a convicted war criminal for helping to raise a Muslim SS division in Yugoslavia.

    • BetterWorld Now says:

      Deaglán,

      Thanks for the link to the statement by UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen AbuZayd delivered to the UN Security Council. Strong stuff, even if peppered with enough ‘apparentlys’ and ‘allegeds’ to show that a committee of lawyers had white-washed it of all charges of genocide against the invader, at least until the investigators have reported.

    • Deaglán says:

      Eoin, I take your point re the Mufti. My mistake.

    • IrishWhiskey says:

      Eoin, the Globe and Mail article you cite actually contradicts your comment regarding John Ging. He is quoted as saying that none inside the school were killed but those that were killed, were initially inside and then moved out.
      It is actually a violation of ‘the rules of war’ (such an odd phrase, I know) to return fire knowing that many civilian non-combatants are likely to be harmed.
      You certainly can’t deny that white phosphorus rounds were fired at UN buildings and schools (The Times has a photograph of the latter incident).

    • Deaglán says:

      For Dublin-based readers:

      I see there is a debate on Gaza at UCD Law Society. It is at 7 PM on Tuesday night, Feb 3 and the motion is, “That Israel is right to defend itself”.

      I haven’t got the list of pro-Palestinian speakers but here are the pro-Israel ones:- Nonie Darwish [ Arabs for Israel ], Tom Cooney, UCD law lecturer, Susan Philips [ Irish Friends of Israel ] and Tom Carew, chair of the Ireland-Israel Friendship League.

      Alternatively you could attend the following:

      http://ww2.buttonfactory.ie/profile.php?ID=1840

    • cymorg says:

      The Israeli ambassador wrote to Irish Times letters page (22/09/09) and made the point that investigations into criminal activity by soldiers was underway. I invite the ambassador to write again on the outcome of these investigations clarifying whether these were conducted by military or civil authorities, and summarizing the convictions, if any.


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