rosahill's blog

Why it is essential for Jews to speak out, as Jews, on Israel

The other day Phil Weiss, editor of the always informative blog Mondoweiss ( asked Dorothy Zellner, a longtime leftwing activist now working with Jews Say No (, to explain why it is essential to address the issue of Israel's occupation of Palestine as Jews, and speak to other Jews. A lot of activists would say, But this is an American issue; everyone should be engaged. And a lot of leftwingers would say, Religion/ethnicity is a tiresome traditional category, I don’t want to identify myself in such a manner. [Thanks Phil for sparking a great post.

Gaza Views, First hand report of conditions in Gaza -- Part IV

This is the final post of the four part series by Felice Gelman who writes about her recent trip to Gaza under the pen name rosahill. Here are links to the first three posts from her diary. Here are links to the first three posts, Part I, Part II,  Part III.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Detailed Account of the Impact of Israel's Attack

Our meeting with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights is the best orientation to the impact of the Israeli attack. PCHR meticulously documents everything, and deals quite fearlessly with both internal and external violations of human rights.

PCHR estimates that, during the Israeli attacks, 2,500 tons of explosives were dropped on Gaza. That equals 3 kilos of explosives per meter. (They have a massive display of weapons fragments in their office, with all too many bearing indications that they were made in the USA).

Gaza Views, First hand report of conditions in Gaza -- Part III

About Me

Felice Gelman

I am a member of the Wespac Middle East Committee and part of a group of four delegations under the umbrella of CODEPINK invited to Gaza by the UN Relief and Works Agency. This trip is a follow-on to a March CODEPINK Gaza trip which I participated in

Rafah -- Survival Strategies for Palestinians

The first morning in Gaza, we returned from Gaza City to Rafah to spend time at the Lifemakers Center – the children’s center Fida Qishta and her sister Faten founded. Our drivers took the coastal road – a real treat. Absolutely no traffic, beautiful seascapes most of the way. Even here, however, there was plenty of evidence of destruction… the occasional large home destroyed, factories, workshops, and farm buildings flattened. Also, near Deir Balah, you cross a bridge over Gaza’s open sewer (the parts for the sewage treatment plant have been held at the border forever). Raw sewage must be pumped untreated into the sea, polluting all the coastal waters.

Gaza Views II,

This is the second in a series of commentaries.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mind Games at the Border and then, finally in Gaza

We were in high spirits when we arrived at the Gaza border post. The Canadians, who had put in four arduous days at the border, went thru first, then the 38 students. We called Faten to tell her we arrived, but it took about 15 minutes for our taxis to come. That was just enough time for the border officials to realize that, in their excitment, they had forgotten to do all their forms and procedures for the others. The full searchlight of security shone full upon us, albeit very politely. Forms to fill out, need to wait for a security escort, and, finally, the border health official saying he would send a doctor to our hotel to "examine" us. We drove from Rafah to Gaza City with a police escort, horns blaring, that did not stop at any intersection. This was more than a little embarrassing! Fortunately, they seemed to have lost interest in us after the first day. When the public health doctor arrived at Marna House, our hotel, to "examine" us a few days later, we got by with an interesting discussion about public health in Gaza -- no stethoscope ever appeared!

Gaza Views: Update on Delegation -- Sunday May 24; Headlong into a Kafkaesque World -- May 27

This is the first two of a series of posts by Rosahill about her second trip to Gaza to witness conditions there. Promoted by carol.

Update on Delegation - May 24

Our entire group is now in Cairo and will be leaving tomorrow afternoon for Al Arish. But first, to satisfy Egyptian (and Israeli -- what do they have to do with it?) rules, we must line up at the American Embassy, pay them $30 and sign away our rights to consular services in Gaza. Thank you America for being there for us when we really need you!

Headlong into a Kafkaesqie World -- May 27

The Canadian delegation that arrived in Al Arish two days ago still has not crossed the border to Gaza. Phone calls and papers are flying, but the key to all of this is publicity. Who is keeping smiles from the faces of children in Gaza?

A New Film About Rachel Corrie -- It's Not Extremism to Say This Should Stop

Rachel – a film documentary directed by Simone Bitton, shown at the Tribeca Film Festival

 This is a somber movie indeed, and timely as the United    Nations attempts an  investigation of the Israeli attack on  Gaza.  Rachel re-examines the death of Rachel Corrie,  crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza in 2003.  The    director, Simone Bitton, describes it as “the examination of    an examination”,  with much of the film focusing on re-  visualizing what happened, interviewing  witnesses, and on  the Israeli investigation of Rachel’s death.  The counterpoint  is Rachel’s fellow International Solidarity Movement activists  reading  excerpts from her diary.

A Call to Action: Oppose AIPAC Lobbying Effort

 I hate to say "There you go again," but AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) concluded its annual conference in Washington DC with 508 meetings with Congressional representatives.  Their message?  Their representatives should sign a letter to President Obama demanding he allow Israel to set the pace of negotiations with Palestinians, substituting vague offers of economic development and institution building for substantive negotiations to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank and siege of Gaza.  Here is a quote from the letter, sponsored by Representative Steny Hoyer, " "the best way to achieve future success between Israelis and Palestinians will be by adhering to basic principles that have undergirded our policy..."  These include "acceptance that the parties themselves must negotiate the details of any agreement" as well as demanding that the Palestinians first "build the institutions necessary for a viable state" before gaining independence. 

Here is a link to an article in the UK Guardian for more information: