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 VIVA PALESTINA

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Oumelkheir

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Nombre de messages : 2299
Date d'inscription : 14/11/2006

MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mar Mar 10, 2009 10:29 am

Viva Palestina Email Alert
00.00 (GMT) Tuesday 10th March 2009


BREAKING THE SIEGE -
THE BEGINNING OF THE END?







The Viva Palestina convoy drove slowly along the Salah Eddine road leading to Gaza City taking in the atmosphere around them and savouring the moment of history they had just created.

Along the way, thousands of Palestinians, the other heroes of this beautiful story of resistance, defiance and hope approached every vehicle kissing, touching, hugging the bravest of Britain. They handed their babies, their young children, to the convoy members so that they could be embraced, as if the angels were in town. Drenched in flowers, tears were flowing on both sides.

Further up the road, they could see people coming out of their tents and the ruins of their destroyed homes running towards them, rubbing their eyes in disbelief that the siege has been broken and they were not alone.


According to the Palestinian Information Centre, George Galloway in his historic speech from Al Katiba Square, confirmed that Ismael Hania is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and a prime minister for all the free of the world

He also said that the members of the convoy are not from the upper class of the UK, but from all walks of life, all religions, all colours. The donations came from ordinary people, from mosques and churches. He also said that millions could not make this journey, but they are all praying today for you, the people of Palestine.

In Gaza City, it was jubilations and celebrations tonight where the guests of honour did not want to be considered as guests - but as part of the ever-growing Gaza family. The Gaza authorities have organised a rally in honour of Viva Palestina and a program of activities that includes a tour of the damaged areas including schools, hospitals and other amenities.

Some support members of Viva Palestina who managed to cross on foot after a ten-hour wait at the border are staying at Rafah tonight as guests of the Gaza governing authorities. Unfortunately, some other members are still awaiting permission to cross. They are hoping that the Egyptians will allow them to join their friends tomorrow.

An eventful day, with a roller-coaster of emotions, is drawing to an close. Tomorrow Viva Palestina will tour Gaza to see, at first hand, the plight of one and half million people in the densest concentration of people per square kilometre on the globe.

They will report on the scale of the calamity in what, in reality, is the world’s biggest concentration camp, where people have endured a never-ending siege and where they have nowhere to run when the F16s decide to play their deadly game with the children of Gaza.

Farid Arada

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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mer Mar 11, 2009 12:47 pm

09/03/2009
On the way to the Rafah Crossing
Photos by Richard Searle






























http://www.vivapalestina.org/galleries/gaza_090309.htm
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mer Mar 11, 2009 12:52 pm

08/03/2009

Waiting to welcome the convoy
A long day of cordiality waiting to meet the convey ended with frustration

Members of Global Help Initiative for Palestine (HI) from Gaza city and other places gathered today 10 o'clock at al Nusirate refugee camp to head to Rafah crossing in order to meet the lifeline convey which has been traveling 24 days over 10,000 km , across seven countries , to give the needy Palestinian people the humanitarian aid they have carried.
We had planned to receive the delegation with flowers at Rafah crossing though we faced some obstacles to get in for the reception take the governmental shape, eventually we managed to get in and wait for a long time with out any sign of their coming.
We know that Viva Palestina convoy is still stuck 40km from the Rafah border crossing at Al Arish after it was being prevented from progressing through the border gates to Gaza and they have been engaged in lengthily negotiations with Egyptian authorities. We are full of hope that the humanitarian aid will finally reach the needy people in Gaza.
HI chairman Hamza El Tawil said that though we are frustrated after this long day of waiting , this is considered nothing according to what they did by traveling all these kilometres and facing lots of problems for the Palestinian people . He also said that HI welcomes them at their home Gaza and Palestine and welcomes all those who are working for peace in Gaza and providing humanitarian support to the Palestinians.
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mer Mar 11, 2009 12:57 pm

10/03/2009
A day in Gaza
Photos by Richard Searle





















http://www.vivapalestina.org/galleries/gaza_100309.htm
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mer Mar 11, 2009 1:00 pm

Viva Palestina Email Alert
19.00 (GMT) Tuesday 11th March



THE ‘ANGELS’ ARE IN TOWN

Gaza woke up this morning not to the sounds of F16s and the awful smells and white smoke of phosphorous bombs, but to the amazing sights of those ‘angels’ who have defied the odds to be with them in this time of great need.
Today Gaza is in celebration, you can see for the first time in a long while a smile on the faces of traumatised young children who cannot fathom what is going on around them.
It was a day also for George Galloway, the leader of Viva Palestina who addressed a rally in the centre of Gaza City. He reiterated that Ismael Hania is the only and legitimate elected leader of the Palestinian people.
George also said that there is a crisis in the Arab regimes, because their people and some of their officials, their officers at border controls all despise the siege on the people of Palestine.
He added that he would like to thank the Palestinians for the reception Viva Palestina received and for the opportunity to kiss this sacred land on the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet (PBUH).
Then he addressed the members of the convoy saying that, “You have now become heroes and legends. No one will ever forget you in Palestine. Your children and brothers will value your actions and will be proud of you.”



”My son Zein Eddine who is two, can see me now on TV from London and he is saying ‘LONG LIVE PALESTINE' When he is a grown man, he will remember that his father decided to get to Palestine and that one day he will, with his own son, come back to Palestine and its capital Jerusalem.”
The convoy has been split into groups to allow them to move around war torn Gaza. They have seen at first hand the destruction of hospitals, schools, ministries and official buildings. They visited El salam neighbourhood, El Wafa hospital, the Islamic University and various sites.
They will tour the strip and assess what is urgently needed so that plans to follow on with further aid work can be considered on their return.
Last night, some members benefited from the hospitality of the Foreign minister. Everyone is overwhelmed by the welcome and generosity of the Palestinians considering they have been left with so little.
I am told that a large number of the Convoy will start leaving Gaza tomorrow. Apparently, the Egyptians have told them that the border may close and that therefore they may be stuck in Gaza for days.
Will keep you posted.

Prepared and translated by Farid Arada
http://www.vivapalestina.org/
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mer Mar 11, 2009 1:20 pm

C'est là, la première conférence de presse (à chaud), dès leur entrée dans Ghazza, avant-hier lundi 9 mars, sinon hier il y a eu une autre (plus longue) conférence de presse du coeur de Ghazza, où on a appris, et vu, qu'un algérien (?) avait envoyé par le biais d'un convoyeur, un jeune plant d'olivier à faire planter dans l'une des places de Ghazza... très beau geste!!!

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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mer Mar 11, 2009 6:32 pm

Galloway bat en brèche le «cordon sanitaire» établi autour du Hamas



Mar 11,2009 00:00 Par : Kharroubi Habib

La barbare agression sioniste contre la bande de Ghaza a suscité un vaste élan de solidarité internationale sous la forme de généreuses contributions destinées à soulager la détresse matérielle dans laquelle vit la population ghazaouie et à permettre la reconstruction des habitations et autres infrastructures détruites à grande échelle et sciemment par l'agresseur.

Sauf que l'aide internationale ainsi déjà disponible ou promise n'arrive sur le terrain qu'au compte-gouttes, alors que l'état de catastrophe humanitaire dans laquelle se trouve la population de Ghaza impose qu'elle soit massive et rapide.

La raison en est que Israël et ses alliés ont assorti l'accès à cette aide de la population ghazaouie à des préalables qui ignorent son urgence vitale. L'Etat sioniste maintient son blocus de la bande de Ghaza, ce qui lui permet ainsi de décider sans considération de ce dont cette population a besoin, de la nature et des quantités des secours qui lui sont destinés. Par ailleurs, cet Etat et ses alliés font exigence pour que ces aides internationales ne soient en aucun cas distribuées à leurs destinataires par l'intermédiaire des institutions locales sous autorité du Hamas, qui détient de fait pourtant le pouvoir administratif dans la bande de Ghaza.

Cet interdit qui empêche la solidarité internationale de remédier rapidement aux besoins des Ghazaouis a un objectif politique, celui de les pousser à se soulever contre le mouvement islamiste. C'est aussi une arme mise à disposition de Mahmoud Abbas et de la faction qu'il dirige dans la négociation qu'ils ont avec le Hamas pour la formation d'un gouvernement de consensus national.

Un événement est pourtant intervenu pour battre en brèche «ce cordon sanitaire» établi autour du Hamas sans souci des épreuves qu'endure la population de Ghaza. Celui créé par le député travailliste anglais George Galloway et l'équipe de bénévoles l'accompagnant qui ont remis aux représentants du Hamas les secours qu'ils ont acheminés depuis l'Europe et ont pu faire entrer à Ghaza.

C'est un acte que le parlementaire anglais et son équipe ont assumé en protestation des restrictions à caractère politique auxquelles Israël et ses alliés veulent contraindre la manifestation des solidarités internationales avec le peuple palestinien. George Galloway et ses amis ne sont pas des partisans du Hamas. Ce qui les motive, ce sont les grandes souffrances infligées à la population palestinienne par les «grands humanistes» que sont les dirigeants sionistes et leur détermination à lui venir en aide sans s'embarrasser des calculs politiques auxquels on prétend soumettre cette aide. Galloway a courageusement fait le choix d'opter pour l'urgence et d'ignorer les interdits politiques qui empêchent la population de Ghaza d'avoir accès au minimum pour sa survie après deux semaines d'enfer et d'horreurs durant lesquelles ceux qui voudraient l'obliger à se retourner contre la Hamas n'avaient pas levé le petit doigt pour faire cesser la barbare agression sioniste.

http://www.lequotidien-oran.com/?news=5117080
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Jeu Mar 12, 2009 10:43 am

Viva Palestina Email Alert
17.00 (GMT) Wednesday 11th March 2009



A MISSION ACCOMPLISHED... FOR NOW
Many were in tears, some of them inconsolable at having to leave their new-found family. Today, a large number of the convoy members and the activists who joined them in Gaza made their way to the infamous Rafah crossing to leave Palestine and head home.

George Galloway, who met with Prime minister Ismael Hania last night, was due to leave today too. It was a warm meeting where the PM thanked Viva Palestina for breaking the siege and, by doing so, gave a moral boost to the people of Gaza and hope to every Palestinian child. On leaving, George described the destruction as 'unbelievable' and a siege of 'medieval' proportions.

Prime Minister Hania handed George his personal Prime Minister's passport as a symbolic gesture of gratitude and appreciation for his stance with the Palestinian people. Other gifts and souvenirs were handed to members of Viva Palestina.
A proposal from Viva Palestina Manchester is being considered by the Gaza officials to twin Cheetham Hill with Rafah, as a symbolic gesture and a show of unity. Cheetham Hill was the departure point for the Manchester contingent and where the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was started in the city many years ago.
About twenty stayed behind today to tour the area and to meet with various bodies and officials - in order to assess and evaluate the urgent needs of the Gaza population.
Talat Ali, the only convoy leader who decided to stay behind, visited an orphanage housing between 100 to 150 orphans. They listened to harrowing accounts of the slaughter that took away the lives of their loved ones.
Some children are so traumatised after spending days and nights under the rubble of their demolished homes, with the bodies of their parents, that they cannot speak.
Then, the Viva Palestina members visited an area where tents were erected to house the destitute who lost their homes after the bombings. Each tent has a capacity of between 10-15 people. In These extreme weather conditions, whole families sleep on hard ground, struggling to keep themselves warm in the freezing nights.
Last night, F16s bombed Gaza again making martyrs of eight souls. An activist told me that one of the bombs exploded only 200 yards from where they were sleeping. She said ' I went back to sleep '.
That is the measure of Viva Palestina and the measure of the people of Gaza, who daily say to Israel, “Your bombs do not scare us and they will NEVER defeat us!”

Prepared and translated by Farid Arada
http://www.vivapalestina.org
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Ven Mar 13, 2009 10:00 am

Viva Palestina Email Alert
18.00 (GMT) Thursday 12th March 2009

Message from George Galloway MP to all on Viva Palestina Convoy



I have just retuned from Egypt and would like to thank each and everyone of you who made the historic journey into Gaza. You have now become heroes and legends. No one will ever forget you in Palestine. Your children, brothers and sisters will value your actions and will be proud of you.

Also to all those in Britain who helped organise the convoy, raise funds and more importantly keep our moral high when times were tough, thank you.

To those who were not able to enter Gaza, I want to reassure you that we did everything humanly possible to facilitate this. We were in negotiations with authorities in every country that we entered but especially in Egypt to try and make this happen but unfortunately we did not succeed. I would though like to say that having you in Egypt supporting those who made the mammoth journey boosted our moral and I would like to thank you for this.

To the four brothers, who were not allowed entry into Egypt from Libya, you were in our thoughts as we entered Gaza.

Finally, this is not the end but just the beginning of what I am sure will be a lifelong friendship amongst all those who were involved in the convoy and the people of Palestine.

Once again thank you

George Galloway MP
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Ven Mar 13, 2009 10:19 am

Viva Palestina Email Alert
19.30 (GMT) Thursday 12th March 2009




GAZA AND VIVA PALESTINA...ONE FAMILY
A Zionist frigate was bombing the fishermen’s boats last night in Gaza. Whilst the world remains silent Gaza is still being pounded by cowards from the air and sea. Last night, they bombed tunnels close to heavily populated areas of the strip.

Yesterday, and for the best part of today, the Viva Palestina members who have ayed on visited a number of places including a women's project and a water desalination plant - in addition to visiting a hospital and the ambulance station.

Some members were shown sites where there remains debris from the internationally banned white phosphorous bombs that caused agonising burns and death to the Gaza population. Meetings have continued to take place with various charity representatives and project managers.

The most moving story was heard from the remaining members of a large Gaza family whose story caused an outrage when the Israelis forced them into an empty building, then bombed it from the air.

The IDF did not stop at that, as they then prevented ambulances from getting to the site for days, which meant that the children who survived lay helpless under the rubble next to the bodies of their mothers or fathers, brothers or sisters.

Many chilling stories were heard, at first hand, today by Viva Palestina which makes this incredible journey much more fascinating and worthwhile.

Discussions on twinning projects took place today and an orphanage, a school and a clinic were singled out as suitable candidates for the twinning projects with towns of districts in the North West.
Some members toured a number of camps where scores of tents were erected and they distributed cash donations: fulfilling the personal wishes wish of the many benefactors who could not make the journey themselves.
I understand from the members left behind that solidarity with Gaza is a long-term project. Their mission is now a fact finding one, which will be followed by other visits in the near future. Viva Palestina is here to stay and will not abandon one and a half million people, now that it has broken this barbaric siege.
According to the Palestinian Information Centre today, and according to the spokesman for the Governmental Committee for Breaking the Siege, 'The arrival of Viva Palestina, the Scottish convoy 'Justice for Gaza' and the Libyan convoy is a victory for the will of the Palestinian people and an important link in the breaking of the Zionist siege'.
The spokesman also confirmed that the Arab and foreign activists registered with their courage a new legendary chapter in support of the Palestinian people - and that their will power has succeeded in breaking the siege and defeating the Zionist invader.
Today I asked a member of Viva Palestina, whilst he was inspecting sites of war torn Gaza, how he felt. He said ' I feel safe, relaxed, loved, I feel amongst my family and it is going to be heart breaking to leave them soon.'

The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Bishop Riah, today phoned George Galloway as he returned to London from Gaza, to offer his congratulations for the success of the convoy. He told George that he had wanted to join the convoy in Gaza but was refused permission by the Israelis, as he is in Jerusalem.

Viva Palestina and Gaza are one family now, for years to come until the day Gaza and Palestine are FREE.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Received at Viva Palestina 12/03/2009
Dear Honourable Mr. George Galloway,
I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations and gratitude for accomplishing the incredible mission of "A Lifeline from Britain to Gaza". The unprecedented determination, wisdom, perseverance, integrity, strong ethics, incredible courage that you and the team exhibited throughout this long and challenging journey, that extended across three continents, are highly appreciated and greatly valued by all of us, Palestinians and Muslims in particular,and the whole World in general.
I welcome you as a Palestinian brother of mine...I think Mother Palestine is weeping today with joy not sadness, for having such a son, a hero, that along the many, many long years of suffering, refused to forget.... Refused to forget the horrifying suffering, the tremendous pain, the inhumane genocide...Her rape and torture in every way possible...And he kept on going and going...Until justice and defeat of the siege prevailed. Sir, this is not just a victory for Mother Palestine....but rather a victory for all of humanity indeed.
I salute you my friend, for all what you did and continue to do for my people...We cherish you and admire you.... You are in our hearts and minds now and always.
Best regards, Dalal Alhusseini Muhtadi
(Cousin of the late Faisal Alhusseini)

Prepared and translated by Farid Arada and Clive Searle
http://www.vivapalestina.org
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Sam Mar 14, 2009 11:05 am

Viva Palestina Email Alert
20.00 (GMT) Friday 13th March 2009



A DEVASTATED COUNTRY – A NATION UNDEFEATED

That was the verdict of the members of the Viva Palestina convoy and support team left behind to evaluate the damage and the urgent needs of Gaza.
They split into groups and headed for the Palestinian Hydrology Group to assess the damage to the water tanks cause by the pounding of the IDF artillery. Plans were made for Viva Palestina to help in the funding of a desalination plant and freshwater wells. Money will be dispersed to funding these projects, as water is so essential to a normal life.
Some members visited the Zakat Foundation in Zeitun. Here widows spoke of their plight and their desparate needs, some of whom are now living in makeshift homes in a cemetery. Amongst the other places visited by Viva Palestina were a bakery, one of the few still operating on a shoestring budget to keep the children and the sick fed.
Viva Palestina activists also visited a fish farm where they witnessed the process of fish incubation, so essential as the IDF prevents Palestinian boats from fishing in their territorial waters. More orphanages have been visited today including the Islamic Association Orphanage.
One of our teams spent time with Majed Adallah Alathmna. Majed lost most of his family in a 2006 Israeli assault. Attempting to re-start his life he moved to a new area to the south of Gaza only to have his house blown to pieces by the Israeli army in January.
The members also inspected the Nasser and Yaffa hospitals where they spoke to badly wounded and burns patients and recorded some harrowing tales of slaughter, bravery and, equally, of resistance. Many medical clinics were on the agenda to be inspected.
The whole of Gaza seems to be a hospital, as not one Palestinian was spared in the onslaught. Every soul has been affected - especially the younger generation. Yet the amazing thing a member of Viva Palestina told me was that 'Everyone manages a smile - a true genuine smile in the face of death and a barbaric siege.'
On a happier note, some activists today were invited to a Palestinian engagement party and shared the celebrations of the families involved. Above were the Israeli reconnaissance drones and F16s, in the distance could be heard the dull thud of bombing and the crack of gunfire. From out at sea the IDF were shelling once again, while above them hovered a huge barrage balloon festooned with cameras. But the party went on - sending a message to the murderers above, which says simply, ' You will never kill our way of life and our spirits will never die!'

Farid Arada and Clive Searle
http://www.vivapalestina.org
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Dim Mar 15, 2009 10:07 am

Viva Palestina Email Alert
18.00 (GMT) Saturday 14th March


GAZA - WE WILL BE BACK SOON


He led a convoy to bring aid to the Palestinian people in Gaza. His convoy crossed mountains and the seas from the British islands to mainland Europe then crossing the western Sahara to reach the north African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sinai and Gaza. Thousands of kilometres and miles, with a humanitarian, moral and an equitable political aim.
George Galloway was not an Arab living next to Palestine or belonging to the Arab nation, but he was a free man belonging to free humanity, he detached himself from partisan politics, civilizations, languages and geographical differences. His stances were highly moral by excellence, he called for justice to the weak, His mission touched the hearts of the free, he did not talk the talk, he walked the walk.

(Some extracts translated from a piece by Hassan Abu Hachish, Palestinian Info Centre)

The majority of the remaining Viva Palestina convoy members and activists were leaving Gaza today - exactly one month after the convoy departed on its epic journey from Hyde Park in London. I could not get a word out of some of them, as they were extremely upset. The bond they have developed with the people of Gaza will undoubtedly last for many years.
Viva Palestina will cross at Rafah today, not for the last time, because they will soon be back with more aid, assistance, activists and above all, with hope and messages from the people of Britain. We want Gaza to know that we have broken barriers once and WE WILL break them again.
On their last day, they visited a mixed school. They sat in some of the classes, in particular, an English language lesson.

The Viva Palestina guest asked them to start a project where they will write about their history, using pictures from their country. Their work will be sent to selected British schools who are willing to explore the possibility of twinning projects with Gaza schools.
Some houses destroyed by phosphorous bombs were visited today. The members recorded the scenes and saw unexploded bombs, tank shells and the remnants of the IDF's prohibited weaponry.

Others were in Beit Hanoun, where the headmistress of a Foundation training centre and a nursery project showed Viva Palestina around. Here young children are taught literacy skills whilst women train in sewing and other skills.

The story of a 85 years old Palestinian attracted the attention of the team leaders and members at Beit Hanoun. He was looking fit and healthy for his age. He took them to a field, which had been his orange grove, until the Israelis dug up all his fifty years old orange trees using their bulldozers.
The old man had gone back and replanted every single acre of his orange grove with olive trees. He vowed that he will keep replanting it every time the invaders destroy his grove.
All the vehicles delivered are at work already. Palestinians over the years have shown the ability to adapt quickly to a new situation. A right hand drive ambulance in the streets of Gaza may be a first, but every time a child comes across one of our vehicles, they will remember Viva Palestina and the people of Britain who did not forget them.
The remaining teams are heading back with heavy hearts - torn at leaving their new found friends, brothers and sisters, behind to the mercy of the IDF, their F16s and their drones. They have lived the dream of walking amongst the brave of Gaza. We will celebrate their return. We will listen to their tales, we will admire their courage and without a doubt, we will aspire to be there ourselves, next time.

Prepared and translated by Farid Arada
http://www.vivapalestina.org
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MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mar Mar 17, 2009 3:32 pm

Le Monde change et pas seulement l'Algérie.... étranges liens, comme toujours....
15/03/2009
A VERY BRITISH AFFAIR



By Yvonne Ridley
I'VE never been a huge flag-waving fan of the Union Jack because to me it was largely a symbol of the old British Empire and all the bad things it once represented in terms of occupation, slavery, tyranny and imperialistic wars.
1966 changed my view to a certain extent when 'we' won the World Cup. It was one of those defining moments where we were all proud to be British.
As young as I was, I remember my mum remarking with glee: "Two World Wars and one World Cup" as she jigged around the front lounge with my late father - the old black and white box in the corner flickering monochrome scenes of jubilation from Wembley Stadium. In the final, almost agonising moments of extra time Geoff Hurst had just powered home his third goal to give England a 4-2 victory over Germany.
Apart from that historic occasion, I can't really remember the urge to pick up the Union Jack again declaring to the world: "I am proud to be British".
As Leo Tolstoy once remarked, such patriotism in its simplest form is nothing more than a "means of obtaining for rulers their ambitions" as well as a sign from us lesser mortals as our "slavish enthralment to those in power".
So it was rather a peculiar feeling when I watched several members of Viva Palestina cloak themselves in the Union Jack for the final stages of our 5,000 mile journey from London to Gaza.
In truth, the British flag was flown throughout our marathon journey across nine countries and the message was loud, proud and clear at each border crossing: "We are British, the convoy is British and we support the Palestinian people."
The last time a convoy bearing British flags had crossed North Africa in such a size, was the Second World War when the Nazis were being chased by the noble Desert Rats.
Our arrival in Morocco, and throughout the Maghreb, attracted the same initial reaction from the powers that be - all assumed the Viva Palestina Brits would be white, fair-haired and clean shaven so imagine their surprise when they saw in large numbers olive skins, hijabs, long black beards and Islamic dress. We might have looked more Tora Bora than Twickenham, but every one of us was a British passport holder, and proud to be so because what we were doing was exceedingly British.
If being British is about promoting equality, justice and fair play with the stronger person going to help the weaker then our convoy was red, white and blue through and through. We were representing the very best of British and on those grounds I felt proud to join in the flag waving. As I said before, I really can't remember such a burst of spontaneous patriotism since 1966.
Viva Palestina was never just about 100 vehicles laden with humanitarian aid and 300 people led by George Galloway, MP. The reality is tens of thousands of British people were stakeholders in Viva Palestina having invested anything from a few pounds, to a shed load of money to help those living in war torn Gaza.
And so, when our very British convoy arrived in Gaza, we were also carrying the hopes, expectations and salutations of countless British people, of faith and no faith, who wanted to show the world that good, humanitarian things come out of the UK for Palestine.
The bombs and bullets and other weapons the British Government gives to Israel to use on the women and children of Palestine is not done in our name.
We cannot stop Gordon Brown from helping to arm the fourth largest army in the world, a military force which is currently being investigated for war crimes following the deaths of more than 1400 civilians.
But we can help repair the view the outside world holds on what it is to be British.
And just a few days ago 300 citizens, waving their Union Jacks, rolled in to Gaza to show the people of Palestine the real face of Britain.
What we did and what we achieved was done in the name of millions across the world.
The welcoming smiles on the faces of the Palestinians made me proud20to be part of the Viva Palestina convoy, proud of every man and woman on that convoy.
And that is something Gordon Brown will never be able to experience about his own convoys to the Middle East. Perhaps it is he who needs a lesson in what it is to be British.
Now pass me that Union Jack, please. Viva Palestina!

* British-born journalist Yvonne Ridley and Scottish award-winning film-maker Hassan al Banna Ghani were on board the convoy from the beginning and are making a documentary charting the historic event.
http://www.vivapalestina.org/Yvonne/150309.htm
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Nombre de messages : 2299
Date d'inscription : 14/11/2006

MessageSujet: Re: VIVA PALESTINA   Mer Mar 18, 2009 10:26 am

Viva Palestina Email Alert
23.00 (GMT) Sunday 15th March 2005


GAZA REFLECTS

They have gone. The 'angels', some called them 'saviours', but in reality just ordinary men and women who took part in an extraordinary act - and in doing so brought hope and put smiles on the faces of thousands of Gaza children have all finally left.

All that remains in Gaza is the aid they left behind - the right-hand drive vehicles including many ambulances, now roaming the streets of Rafah, Khan Younes, Beit Hanoun and Gaza City - and the memories.

The memories of those heroes, from all walks of life, who crossed continents to reach them, of the jokes and laughter they shared, of the tales of suffering they found the courage to speak about to their guests.

At the Rafah crossing, where they numbered in excess of sixty five, they were inconsolable. Some of them sobbing, whilst others were speechless, sitting at the back of the coach on the way to Cairo, reflecting on what they have just witnessed and left behind.


After a long wait, they all headed for Al Arich, the scene of their final push towards Rafah barely a week ago. More waiting was to follow until transport was finally arranged and their journey home began.

Yet things are never that easy. Last night, some of our team spent several hours in the unscheduled company of scores of armed Egyptian police at the side of the road. But the waiting, tense at first, was relieved with the arrival of food and tea, brought by the Libyan drivers from the convoy. More police then arrived with a van full of plastic chairs, so at least they could all sit down as they waited for ‘instructions’! In the end common sense prevailed and our team joined the Libyans in their compound for the evening.

Contacts have been established, money was pledged or handed over for a multitude of projects by Viva Palestina.

Whilst world leaders are pledging billions for Gaza there remain disagreements on who should take charge of the reconstruction. Viva Palestina have started the process, George Galloway and the team walked the walk.

It took one man to show the way and open the door for other brave men and women to reach this besieged concentration camp known as the Gaza Strip.

Khalid Amayresh wrote 'I salute you for challenging the forces of hypocrisy and moral duplicity back in Britain who instead of calling Israel a criminal state ruled by an evil clique of war criminals, by its real name, hasten to blame the helpless victims for surviving the recent genocide in Gaza and clinging to life, dignity and freedom.'

'I salute you for being a "non-conformist", because in a world overwhelmed by hypocrisy, immorality, human depravity, unethical expediency, and repulsive political correctness, it takes a true non-conformist to uphold true human values. And above all, I salute you for exposing and putting to shame the treacherous Arab leaders who played their fiddle while Gaza was burning'. The same is true of everyone who made this convoy possible.

Tonight Gaza reflects, stronger, with some more hope and belief than before. Viva Palestina was our lifeline for Gaza injecting love and hope into the veins of Palestinians. Tonight Gaza reflects on the ‘angels’ who came to town and they know that angels always come back.

Farid Arada (additional reporting by Clive Searle)
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