Bloggers report on strike in Egypt

April 8, 2008

On April 6th, protests took place in Egypt against the rising costs of basic foods. There are English-language reports in the International Herald Tribune and on Reuters, among other places. Egyptian security forces brutally suppressed these demonstrations; according to international journalist reports, anywhere from 200 (IHT) to 500 protesters (Bloomberg) have been arrested.

AFP reports that the Egyptian security forces have arrested two bloggers who wrote about the protest and its suppression, as well as the organizer of the Facebook group that has called for another strike in May. AFP argues that this symbolizes the rising political power of bloggers in Egypt (something that I’ve already commented on at Khaldoun and Culture Matters).

To that end, I thought I’d provide links to a few blogs where the fallout from the strike is being described. In Arabic, there is tadamonmasr, which reports that at least 4 have been killed in Mahalla al-Kubra (a poor neighborhood that was a center of protest), including a 15-year old boy shot in the head by police. Tadamonmasr compares the actions of the Egyptian security forces to the Zionist state’s attacks on Palestinian youths, and describes the murdered protesters as “martyrs.” Also in Arabic is an anonymous blog site devoted specifically to the 6 April Strike with extensive pictures and descriptions of the protest. For those of you who don’t read Arabic, Sunbula has been translating some of the Arabic-language blog postings on KABOBfest.

I’ll post more links as I come across them.

– L.L. Wynn

Update 9 April 2008: See al-Jazeera for more English-language coverage, and Egyptian blogger Zeinobia reviews the media coverage of the strike in the Egyptian press.


Birthright Palestine

March 17, 2008

A new Bethlehem-based NGO intends to “gather first-generation, western-born Palestinians (over the age of 18-years old) in their ancestral homeland, so that they can reunite and witness firsthand how their brethren are living under illegal Israeli military occupation.” Check the link below for further information on the 2008 program.

Palestine coverage through 4 Mar 08

March 4, 2008

One week has elapsed since the last article summary posted and what a week it has been! Israel managed to kill dozens of civilians in this short period while simultaneously pulling off another of its great PR triumphs, recharacterizing as *defensive* its military attack on a jam-packed tiny strip of land densely populated with trapped refugees possessing no defensive capacity of their own. One of the world’s most sophisticated armies is confronted with the equivalent of gerry-rigged molotov cocktails and responds by pounding the entire civilian population into the ground. Of course per Alan Dershowitz (publishing in today’s WSJ) there is no such thing as a civilian Palestinian or Lebanese, and indeed I would guess on his reasoning there are no Arab civilians more generally if said Arabs are in Israel’s cross-hairs. By his definition, a Palestinian, Lebanese or other Arab killed by Israel is a militant. Well, that’s not the take of B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, reporting on the tally of death from Israel’s mindless onslaught of last week — but more on that below. Read the rest of this entry »

Joint Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire petition

March 1, 2008

Someone just sent me this Israeli ceasefire petition. Note that they’re only looking for petition signatures from Israelis and Palestinians, but they’d still like to see it publicized widely.

Dear All

Yesterday at the meeting of the Israeli Gaza Coalition it was decided to adopt and promote the initiative for a joint Israeli-Palestinian call for a ceasefire and for an end to the siege on Gaza, with the following text in Hebrew, Arabic and English. The events of the last 24 hours make this initiative most urgent, Dr. Eyad Saraj called me from bombed Gaza and asked to accelerate the collection of signatures so that we could go public with this initiative already at the beginning of next week, with as many signatures as will be collected until then. Following is also the first list of Palestinian signatories, and an intensive effort is being made to collect more in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Read the rest of this entry »

Palestine coverage through 23 Feb 08

February 24, 2008

Today’s news roundup begins with the grim tally of Palestinians killed and injured by the most recent rounds of Israeli strikes within their territories. The story of the Japanese translator shot in the eye by the IDF as he observed a nonviolent protest of the Wall at Bilin is especially typical of the senseless brutality of life day-in, day-out under Israeli occupation. It is also representative of the stories that are never picked up from the wires in the mainstream press because they might suggest to English-speaking audiences that Palestinians are engaging in nonviolent resistance.

Additional pieces that reflect the daily struggle to survive under occupation include news of the extension of the Israeli closure of all Palestinian representation in East Jerusalem as well as the denial of 94% of all requested permits to build in the West Bank and East Jerusalem submitted by Palestinians even as settlement activity to create Israeli facts on the ground in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank goes forward. Read the rest of this entry »

A 3-year history of Egyptian blogging

February 22, 2008

Veteran Egyptian blogger Tarek Amr has reached his 3-year anniversary of blogging and stops to reflect on the recent history of the Egyptian blogosphere.  It’s an excellent introduction to some of the more popular Egyptian bloggers in both English and Arabic.  He talks about bloggers’ involvement in the pro-democracy movement Kifaya and tells us who was the first to be jailed for blogging (Abdul Karim Amer).  He also points to the religious blogging scene as well as the more Western-oriented bloggers and notes the different audience bases.

— L.L. Wynn

Palestine coverage through 7 Feb 08

February 10, 2008

Today’s selection reprises what I think have been some of the better (or sometimes simply noteworthy) pieces since the end of last week. I begin with Darryl Li’s assessment of the situation in Gaza following his own visit there in January. Li was stuck in Gaza during one of the more severe of Israel’s closures, preventing even humanitarian deliveries or entry/exit by internationals from the area. His account of what he witnessed, written for the Israeli organization Adalah, is well worth the read.

The next couple of articles detail the ongoing killing of Gazans by Israeli air strikes and Israeli plans to ensure the total isolation of Gaza by establishing their own fence at the Egyptian-Gaza border. The Christian Science Monitor covers the Dimona suicide bombing as a renewed basis for Israeli construction of the Wall through annexation of Palestinian lands. Princeton’s Dan Kurtzer has a piece about negotiations in the “peace process” in the Lebanese Daily Star, which I
have included. Then there is the Israeli effort to externalize costs of occupation through a call for an international body to be made responsible for “resettlement” of Palestinian refugees. Read the rest of this entry »