More Gaza analysis and links to petitions

Below are some links to analysis on the latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza and its representation in the media. Following that is a section with links to petitions being circulated by a variety of groups and info to help you draft your own letter to your local media and elected representatives. And finally, a poem for the New Year.


First, Dr Mustafa Barghouthi analyzes the Israeli public relations myths that are being used to justify this and other acts of oppression in Palestine. Note Barghouthi’s sixth point (Israel claims to be attacking Hamas, not Gaza or the Palestinian people) and notice that the American media now uniformly describes these Israeli atrocities as an action in self-defense being taken against Hamas. Another common trope, notable for its sheer racism, is that the events are part of a pattern of brutal violence that is routine in the Middle East and that Palestinians (and Arabs more generally) only understand violence.

Second, the Institute for Policy Studies’ Phyllis Bennis argues that “Israel’s illegal airstrikes against the population of Gaza have little to do with protecting Israeli civilians…. They are used for internal Israeli politics and are also meant to push back any chance of serious negotiations between the parties that might have been part of the Obama administration’s plans.”

Petitions and letters to elected representatives

The Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (FFIPP)-International is circulating a petition condemning the bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza. To sign the petition and see a letter from Dr. Kamalain Shaath, the President of The Islamic University, go to:

To view and sign the Avaaz petition protesting Israeli action, go to If you’re on Facebook (i.e. those of you not in Syria!), you may also consider joining the Avaaz Facebook group.

J-Street, a Jewish-led progressive Israel lobby calling for an immediate resumption of the ceasefire, has a petition you can sign at

At the website of Princeton Committee on Palestine, a student group I used to belong to, you can find a sample letter that you can personalize, sign, print and send (or fax) to your local elected representatives to ask them to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza:

Also, the ADC has drafted a set of talking points to help people write about and discuss the issues.

Fri Jan 2, 12:55pm UPDATE:  March in Sydney

If you’re based in Sydney, like most of the contributors to this blog, you might be interested in participating in the  Protest for Gaza, Sunday 4th January at 2:00pm.  Meet at Town Hall, march to the Egyptian consulate and then to Belmore Park.

…and a poem for the New year

Finally, in honour of the New Year and all of our wishes for peace, and because I thought all of our souls could use a bit of poetry to give us strength in the face of the depressing barrage of news about war, I thought I would reproduce this poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which is a favorite of mine. I had always sung it as a hymn at church, but recently found the full text of the poem which includes several stanzas not included in the hymn version.

Ring out, wild bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

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