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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/18/09

Break the Siege of Gaza

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A week from Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary since the beginning of Israel's three-week attack on Gaza that left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead (in addition to 13 Israelis killed, 4 of those by other Israeli soldiers), more than 100,000 Palestinians homeless, and one third of all Gaza's agricultural land destroyed. Before, during, and since the attacks, Gazans have been deprived of adequate food, water, medical supplies, building supplies, heating, and other basic needs in a brutal siege that has reduced Gaza to an open-air prison.

On December 31st, in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and all nonviolent resistance to injustice, more than a thousand delegates from 42 countries around the world will join an estimated 50,000 Gazans in a historical march to break the siege of Gaza.

Participants will include Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, French Senator Alima Boumediene Thiery, Filipino Parliament member Walden Bello, former European Parliamentarians Luisa Morgantini (Italy) and Eva Quistorp (Germany), former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright, President of the U.S. Center for Constitutional Rights Attorney Michael Ratner, Japanese Ambassador Naoto Amaki, and 85-year-old Holocaust survivor and research analyst at the Nuremburg Trials, Hedy Epstein (who also challenged fellow survivor Elie Wiesel to break his silence on this issue and join her:

Other marchers include doctors, lawyers, diplomats, rabbis, priests, imams, veterans, and Palestinians born overseas who have never seen their families in Gaza. And for those of us who can't make it to Gaza, there is much to be done! For all the information you could ever want about the March and how to show your support, visit

There's a petition on the website to endorse the March. Here are another handful of petitions--the first three involve dear friends of mine. If you read quickly and sign each, it shouldn't take long at all:

* Sign appeal on Jewish Voice for Peace's website that Obama demand that Israel free Bil'in nonviolence leader Abdallah Abu Rahme (who is a close personal friend of mine):

* Open letter to Obama to free Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions organizer and nonviolence advocate Mohammad Othman (also a friend of mine):

* Two other friends of mine, Sarah Shourd & Shane Bauer, are being held in prison, not by Israel but by Iran, which is charging them for espionage. I know Sarah & Shane from Damascus and they are wonderful people, who it seems accidentally strayed into Iran while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan. Please visit this website to sign a petition for their release, and you can also learn more about them:

* Endorse the US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel by writing after reading the mission statement at If you have questions about what an academic and cultural boycott entails, visit

* The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) petition to "End Demolitions Now: A Settlement Freeze Would Not Be Enough" -

* To keep appraised of other petitions, join the email list for the US Campaign to End the Occupation, an umbrella campaign of hundreds of Palestine solidarity organizations around the United States:

Finally, still scrambling for Christmas presents? Or belated Hanukkah gifts? What better gifts than something that supports Palestine?Visit the Palestine Online Store ( for a great selection of gifts from or about Palestine, including:

* New 2010 calendar
* Olive oil & olive soap
* Za'tar herb
* Handcrafts
* Films, Books, & Music CD's
* Apparel
* Maps & Posters
* Lots more!

IMPORTANT NOTE: To guarantee delivery by the 24th, place your orders quickly, ideally today (Friday, Dec 18th)!

What NOT to buy??... Here are the Top Ten Brands to BOYCOTT this holiday season:

* Ahava
* Delta Galil Industries
* Motorola
* L'Oreal
* Dorot Garlic and Herbs (Trader Joe's)
* Estee Lauder
* Intel
* Sabra
* Sara Lee
* Victoria's Secret

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Anna Baltzer is a Jewish-American Columbia graduate, former-Fulbright scholar, the granddaughter of Holocaust refugees, and an award-winning lecturer, author, and activist for Palestinian rights. As a volunteer with the International Women's Peace (more...)
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