Students stage protest at US embassy,

hit US role in Gaza bombing and invasion

 

Manila

 

Video: US Congress votes to back Israel

 

 

January 11, 2009

 

 

   
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Photos courtesy of Anakbayan/news agencies
           

 

Students hit US role in Gaza bombings; hold protest at US embassy in Manila

January 11, 2009

The League of Filipino Students (LFS) today led a protest action in
front of the US embassy in Manila calling for a stop to the "genocide
and occupation" being conducted by Israeli troops in Gaza. The
students also condemned the US for backing Israel, saying the US is
the financier and operator of the killings.

"The US-Israel child-killing, mass murder tag team in the Middle East
must be stopped. The on-going conflict in Gaza shows how merciless and
brutal the US war machine is, despite its pretensions of being
democratic and humanitarian. Israel and US must be punished as war
criminals," says Vencer Crisostomo, LFS National Chairperson.

The US provides a large sum for Israel military funding, of up to
almost $4 billion annually.

Crisostomo said that the killing and occupation has also to do with
oil and natural resources, in which the US has big stakes.

"In part, this war is about a right-wing Zionist ideology, but also,
this is about economic interests, particularly oil and natural gas, in
the Middle East. There is natural gas in Gaza, and an oil pipeline
planned to pass through the strip. This is, like Iraq and Afghanistan,
also blood for oil," said Crisostomo. (Reference:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11680)

Crisostomo said that they will launch an anti-war campaign in schools,
taking part in the international efforts to stop the conflict and end
the occupation.

"We are in solidarity with the protests around the globe against the
war. The students, youth and peoples of the world must unite in
stopping this monstrosity," says Crisostomo.

Since the Israeli offensive began on December 27, at least 854 people
have been killed, including 270 children, 93 women, and 12 paramedics.

www.lfs.ph

 

     
           

 

MEDIA STATEMENT
14 January 2009
Reference: Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, 371-2302 / 0917-221203

WOMEN UNITE AGAINST ISRAELI ATTACK
ON PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

The women of GABRIELA National Alliance of Women stand in unity with the international community in condemning the Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip.

The vision of hundreds of wounded and lifeless Palestinian children
strewn in Gaza is beyond heartbreaking. In each and every woman, the
death, destruction and overall human suffering in Gaza should stir
rage against the governments of Israeli and the United States. From
generation to generation, the Israeli government repeatedly attacks
with impunity the Palestinian people and the United States government
inspires and supports such inhuman acts of massive proportions.

 

 

The current aggression of Israeli troops in Gaza has resulted, so far,
in the death of 910 Palestinians, 292 were children and 75 were women
and the wounding of more than 4,000 others.
 

This unspeakable violence against the Palestinian people is not unlike
the attacks waged against peoples in the name of political and
economic control over sovereign nations. Wars of aggression, within
which the culture of violence is intricately webbed, victimize women
and children most. In the recent past it has happened in Afghanistan
and in Iraq and in Mindanao in the Philippines. Displacement,
dislocation, hunger, rape and other forms of sexual violence are
suffered most by women and children.

Filipino women must stand together with all freedom-loving people of
the world in protesting this recent violation on the lives and
sovereignty of the Palestinian people and demand for the immediate
pull out of Israeli troops in Gaza and put and end to the death,
destruction and overall human suffering Palestine.

           
     
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Commentary
Our indifference to Gaza

By H. Harry L. Roque Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:29:00 01/14/2009

It is unfortunate that the crisis at the Gaza Strip has taken a back seat to two ongoing domestic issues: those of the Alabang boys and the Pangandaman Valley Golf incidents. While perhaps the distant location of Gaza and its lack of “soap opera” appeal may largely be to blame for the lack of serious discussion on the Gaza issue, it is imperative that equal importance be accorded to Gaza since it involves important rule of law issues that are equally relevant to the Philippines, what with our armed conflicts against the New People’s Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as well as our unresolved territorial controversies that may also lead to further armed conflicts.

Thus far, the bulk of the reportage by Philippine media on the Gaza crisis has been on the plight of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who continue to be stranded in the place of conflict. This is a sorry reflection of how Philippine foreign policy has been crafted of late: parochially reduced only to how events overseas may directly affect our overseas workers constituting the Diaspora. Not much has been said as to why there are mammoth rallies around the globe against this latest instance of Israeli adventurism. That is, that by unilaterally resorting to the use of force, Israel has again showed its defiance of International Law, which prohibits the use of force and restrictively allowing the same only to circumstances constituting self-defense or when authorized by the Security Council of the United Nations. Imperfect as the UN may presently be, it has nonetheless been largely instrumental in preventing what the UN Charter describes as “scourges of war.” This prohibition on the use of force is in fact the most important rule stated in the UN Charter and one that has proven largely effective in preventing armed conflicts of the scale that ravaged humanity in the past two world wars.

Why Israel has not opted to have the Hamas issue debated in the Security Council is open to speculation. The fact though is that if the missile attacks are indeed threats to international peace, the international community has already granted the Security Council primary jurisdiction to deal with these types of threats. For Israel and its ally, the United States, to now insist on unilateral use of force is a blatant disregard of a cardinal rule recognized by all civilized states.

Israel of course will claim that its recent offensive is but an exercise of self-defense. In fact, it has stated that it will only stop when and if Hamas stops launching missiles into Israeli territory. But the question is: self-defense against whom?

 

 

 

 

 

Hamas is a non-state party that Israel accuses of operating in the territory of its neighboring states. Without accusing either Palestine or Lebanon of aggression, it has waged wars against both these states solely on the ground that Hamas operatives are found in the territories of these two states.

Meanwhile, the death toll as a result of the crisis continues to rise. Among the victims are protected individuals under humanitarian law, such as civilians, including women and children. What is the sense, for instance, of targeting even the 11 children and four wives of an alleged Hamas leader? Has there since developed a principle attributing criminal guilt to a person solely by virtue of family relations?

The fact that Israel has been targeting civilian homes is a breach of humanitarian law itself since the Geneva conventions prohibit combatants from targeting civilian infrastructures. And yes, the fact that Israel has been violating the non-derogable norms of humanitarian law apparently with impunity is equally deplorable since these grave breaches weaken the rule-enforcing value of the law. Why should our own soldiers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or the New People’s Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, desist from targeting civilians when the Israelis have seemingly gotten away with it?

Ultimately the Gaza issue should be accorded equal importance as the case of the Alabang boys and the Valley Golf incident because it undermines the rule of law on the prohibition against the unilateral use of force and the non-derogable rule according protection to civilians and other non-combatants in times of armed conflicts. The Gaza issue could spell disaster to countries like the Philippines. For while Israel may have the confidence to engage in military adventurism and commit grave breaches of humanitarian law owing to its superior military strength, countries like the Philippines can only rely on other countries’ compliance with the rule of law against threats of these nature. Think of the Spratlys. Think of China. Think of Malaysia. Think of terrorists operating in Mindanao. This is why Filipinos should take the Gaza incident more seriously. Because unless the rule of law is observed, our “tora-tora” planes will simply be no match to the military might of our potential state adversaries.

Prof. H. Harry L. Roque Jr. teaches Public International Law at the UP College of Law and at the Philippine Judicial Academy. He is also chair of the Center for International Law (CENTERLAW).

 

 

     
   
 Video of Jan. 6 rally in front of the Israeli embassy Israeli strikes hit UN schools - 06 Jan 09
   
More children among Gaza dead Scenes in Gaza after more Israeli raids - 11 Jan 09
   
Listening Post - Part 1sault on Gaza - 9 Jan 09 - Part 1 US Congress votes to back Israel - 09 Jan 09
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