Australia: Following Gaza from Afar

Though Gaza is a long way from Australia, there have been many reactions to the catastrophe unfolding there. Many Australians have been using their blogs to post links that help to provide both information and analysis of what’s happening that is not always covered in the mainstream media.

Planet IRF has been posting AlJazeeraEnglish videos. He re-titled ‘Sderot residents live on the edge 30 Dec 08′ as Sympathy for victims…

They are presented without comment. The Al Jazera summary on YouTube is:

Israel insists that as long as Hamas rockets keep falling on the southern part of the country, it must continue striking Gaza.
And as Hoda Abdel Hamid reports, residents in Sderot – which lies near the Gaza border – say they support those attacks, even if it means taking civilian lives.

US military aid underpins Gaza offensive – 31 Dec 08‘ is The constant flow of terror funds …

The Al Jazera summary:

Israel receives billions of dollars in military aid from the US each year, much of it spent on American weaponry which US law says must only be used in self-defence.

But experts say there is little chance of cuts in aid to Israel despite its military operation in Gaza.

Al Jazeera's Nick Spicer reports.

Ana blogs at Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua, (Revolutionary Anti Colonialism & Anti Capitalism in the Pacific). As well as linking to Al Jazeera, she has included a lengthy piece from Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah. He took up the growing pessimism that anything can be done to improve the situation:

On top of the intense anger and sadness so many people feel at Israel's renewed mass killings in Gaza is a sense of frustration that there seem to be so few ways to channel it into a political response that can change the course of events, end the suffering, and bring justice.

But there are ways, and this is a moment to focus on them. Already I have received notices of demonstrations and solidarity actions being planned in cities all over the world. That is important. But what will happen after the demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence?

Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group reaffirmed this today as it “called upon all civil society organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it.”

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine ( provides the framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do not wake up to “another Gaza” ever again.

Free Palestine

Antony Loewenstein, well known blogger and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution. His mix of anti-zionism and jewish background have made him a controversial voice in Australia. He frequently posts items from a wide range of sources such as this one from Ynet News, the online Israeli news service:

Dozens of Israelis received text messages from Hamas Thursday morning, stammeringly warning them that the offensive in Gaza will only bring about massive rocket fire on Israel.

The message read: “Rockets on all cities, shelters not protect, Qassam rocket, Hamas.” A source in Hamas military wing confirmed the new tactic, adding that Hamas wants to warn the Israeli public against a future escalation in Gaza. Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) Spokesman Abu Abir said that the Palestinian organizations have a few surprises in store for the Israelis, and not just military-wise.

From rockets to texting

The latest post points to a new source of citizen journalism in Israel:

Israeli human rights group have launched a blog to document the abuses during the current violence in Gaza.

Bypassing the old timers

This group’s purpose:

In light of the fighting in Gaza and in Southern Israel, Israeli human rights groups are sending out ongoing updates about the impact on civilians. Our aim is to inform the Israeli public of events that are not being covered by the media. Each group is posting the information at its disposal, which is necessarily limited and cannot be taken as a comprehensive picture of the human rights violations currently taking place. Since the fieldworkers cannot access most locations at present, much of the information is being conveyed over the phone. The data has been verified to our best ability under the circumstances.

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  • […] Global Voices Online » Australia: Following Gaza from Afar Though Gaza is a long way from Australia, there have been many reactions to the catastrophe unfolding there. Many Australians have been using their blogs to post links that help to provide both information and analysis of what’s … […]

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