Chicago: Protesters tell Ehud Olmert what they think

By Maureen Clare Murphy

October 16, 2009

Approximately 30 activists — mainly students from area universities — disrupted a lecture given in Chicago by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday which was hosted by the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. While Olmert’s speech was disrupted inside the lecture hall, approximately 150 activists protested outside the hall in the freezing rain.

Protesters inside the hall read off the names of Palestinian children killed during Israel’s assault on Gaza last winter. They shouted that it was unacceptable that the war crimes suspect be invited to speak at a Chicago university when his army destroyed a university in Gaza in January. They reminded the audience of the more than 1,400 Palestinians killed during the Gaza attacks and the more than 1,200 killed during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006. Both invasions happened during Olmert’s premiership.



With interventions coming every few minutes throughout his appearance, Olmert had difficulty giving his speech and often appeared frustrated. At one point he appealed for “just five minutes” to speak without being interrupted.

The demonstration was mobilized last week after organizers learned of the lecture, paid for by a grant provided by Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Within hours an appeal was issued, urging those concerned with Palestinian rights to call the university and demand that the lecture be canceled. The call was put out by major community organizations such as the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)-Chicago, American Muslims for Palestine and the United States Palestine Community Network, as well as solidarity organizations al-Awda, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, the International Solidarity Movement, the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago and area campus groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as the Arab Student Union at Moraine Valley.

The security presence at the lecture was severe with university police, the US Secret Service and Israeli security present — many of them visibly armed — with Israeli security checking in those who had registered in advance to attend the lecture. Video and photography was banned inside the hall and media were not allowed to cover the lecture. Despite these restrictions, activists managed to take video inside the hall and drop an eight-foot-long banner from the mezzanine that read “Goldstone” in both English and Hebrew, referring to the recently published UN report investigating violations of international law during the Gaza invasion. One activist was arrested and put in a headlock by a police officer, witnesses said, and released around midnight. Approximately 30 supporters waited for him at the police station while he was detained.

Towards the end of the lecture, Olmert put his hand over his brow and squinted to search out the source of the shout, “There’s no discussion with a war criminal — the only discussion you should be having is in court!” That call was made by Ream Qato, who graduated from the university in 2007, and added, “You belong in the Hague!” Qato told The Electronic Intifada that yesterday’s protest “Set the stage for University of Chicago students and students in the Chicago area … no one should be afraid of speaking out against someone.” She added that the demonstration was significant because “The Palestinian community [in Chicago] for the first time went to a university campus to protest.”

Second-year medical student Afshan Mohiuddin was removed from the hall after she voiced her disapproval at the Harris School dean’s on-stage assertion that Olmert was invited to express his views. “He can do that at the International Court of Justice, not at this university,” Mohiuddin shouted, adding, “[Olmert] belongs in a cage, not on a stage!”

Mohiuddin told The Electronic Intifada that “it was ironic that they searched us [instead of him],” considering that Olmert is suspected of war crimes. She added, “As a University of Chicago student I was upset with the lack of commotion on behalf of the student body before the event … No one has protested the event.”

Mohiuddin’s frustration was echoed in a commentary published by the University of Chicago’s student publication The Chicago Maroon earlier this week, in which third-year student Nadia Marie Ismail decried the lack of protest by the university community towards the Olmert speech. She contrasted this silence with the pressure the Center for Middle Eastern Studies faced after a lecture earlier this year by The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah (who was the first to disrupt Olmert’s speech yesterday), University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and Norman Finkelstein, whose lost bid for tenure at DePaul University is attributed to outside pressure by Israel government apologists. “[T]hat University center was put under unprecedented pressure for weeks before and months after the event, with claims that University centers and schools should not host ‘one-sided’ speakers,” Ismail wrote.

Olmert’s lecture in Chicago was one of several scheduled throughout the United States. His speech at the University of Kentucky the previous day was disrupted by activists and met with a protest outside. These demonstrations are part of a wave of notched-up dissent towards Israeli officials implicated in war crimes and racist policy. In 2003, former Israeli minister Natan Sharansky was greeted with a pie in the face by an activist at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Last year at the UK’s Oxford University, a speech by Israeli President Shimon Peres was drowned out by protesters outside while students inside the hall disrupted his talk.

One of the organizers of the protest, Hatem Abudayyeh, National Coordinating Committee member of the United States Palestine Community Network, hoped for a larger count of protesters despite the adverse weather. However, he said, “The fact that there’s people around the world who know about it, the fact that PACBI [the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel] sent us a letter of support and endorsement of our action, the fact that there was coordination with the outside protest and the inside disruption — all of these components and aspects of the action made it one of the more successful ones that we’ve done.”

He added, “There is real change happening, whether it’s the international response to the Lebanon war or the international response to the Gaza war. The US is the most powerful country in the world, Israel is a powerful military as well, but the Palestinians have the world on their side.”

Source

From Chicago Tribune

“This is a one-sided conversation,” said Aya Odeh, 19, a Loyola University Chicago student. “I don’t mind listening to what he has to say, but if all he has to say is that we’re wicked people, I refuse to listen to that. ”

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Imagine letting a “war criminal”  give a speech at a University no less.

How dare anyone think this was OK. Welcome him with open arms America?  Are they out of their minds?

Would they let Hitler give a speech?

Some in the US thought it was  a nightmare for children to sing  a song about Obama,  in school, which was really no big deal.  He is after all their President.

But it is fine to let a “war criminal”  give a speech and influence children.

I would not want this man speaking to my children or anyone children for that matter.  I would not even want them in the same room with him.

I don’t think children of any age,  should be exposed to this type of criminal.

So now the US schools are promoting war criminals?

Unbelievable??? But true!

On every level imaginable this is just wrong!

UN backs Goldstone UN Mission Report in spite of Israeli Threats

TEL AVIV | You could call him Israel’s Patrick Fitzgerald.

October 11, 2009

Like the crusading U.S. federal prosecutor in Chicago, Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has built a reputation bringing down politicians.

Although he began his five-year term with a controversial decision to abandon corruption allegations against then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Mr. Mazuz has more than compensated by issuing the first corruption indictment against a former prime minister, Ehud Olmert.

Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has been indicted on three counts of corruption

August 30 2009

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert was indicted on three counts of corruption on Sunday, becoming the first ex-premier to face criminal charges, the attorney general’s office said.

“The attorney general… has decided to press charges against former prime minister Ehud Olmert,” the office of Attorney General Menahem Mazuz said in a statement. “The charge sheet was presented today in Jerusalem district court.”

The 61-page charge sheet accuses Olmert of “fraud, breach of trust, registering false corporate documents, and concealing fraudulent earnings,” related to three of the scandals that dogged him when he was in office.

Olmert’s personal secretary Shula Zaken was also indicted on several counts, the statement said.

A spokesman at Mazuz’s office said that the 63-year-old Olmert becomes the first former or current prime minister in Israeli history to face criminal charges.

Olmert has always insisted he is innocent and his spokesman said on Sunday the trial would vindicate him.

“After having deposed an acting prime minister, it is obvious that the attorney general and the state prosecutor have no other choice than to indict Olmert,” said Amir Dan, the spokesman.

“The court of justice on the other hand is clean of such foreign considerations. Therefore Olmert is convinced that in court he will be able to prove his innocence once and for all.”

Olmert resigned in September over the corruption allegations but remained in office as caretaker until late March, when the hawkish Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in following February 10 elections.

Olmert was indicted for allegedly unlawfully accepting gifts — including cash-stuffed envelopes — from the Jewish-American businessman Morris Talansky, and for multiple-billing foreign trips in the so-called Rishon Tours affair.

He has also been charged with cronyism in relation to an investment centre he oversaw when he was minister of trade and industry between 2003 and 2006.

All the charges concern alleged actions taken before Olmert became prime minister, when he served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003 and then as minister of trade and industry from 2003 to 2006.

Mazuz had previously dropped three other corruption investigations against Olmert, whom Time Magazine named Israel’s most able politician when he formally assumed office in May 2006.

The various investigations, involving repeated police interrogations, weighed heavily on Olmert’s final months in office, prompting a wave of calls for him to step down.

The indictment comes amid a string of scandals that have hit Israeli public officials in recent years, with three former ministers handed prison sentences and both of Israel’s most recent former presidents resigning in disgrace.

Police earlier this month recommended that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman be indicted on charges of bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice, while former president Moshe Katsav is on trial on several counts of rape, sexual harassment and indecent acts.

Olmert had formally assumed office in May 2006 after several months of serving as acting prime minister when his predecessor and political mentor Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke and fell into a coma at the start of that year.

Under his stewardship, Israel became embroiled in a war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia in July-August 2006, a conflict for which he was widely criticised, with his popularity ratings at one point plunging into the single digits.

But he redeemed his image to a certain extent when he presided over Israel’s three-week assault on the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip at the turn of the year, which was widely seen as a success among Israelis.

Olmert relaunched peace talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas at an international conference held in the United States in November 2007 after a nearly seven-year hiatus, but the negotiations made little progress and were suspended during the Gaza war.

Source

They are all so innocent. Any time anyone says anything negative about  Israel they scream anti semitism,  they rant on about the holocaust or they attempt to boycott the source of the information.

So when will there be  “war crime” charges?

Israel wants boycotts for everything, but no one dare boycott them

Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war”

Testimony from Israeli soldiers/ Gaza

Israel targets Sweden over newspaper claim

Butchers: The hidden truth about Israel’s kidney theft ring

Swedish PM: No apology to Israel in regards to article Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs

U.S. group invests tax-free millions in East Jerusalem land

Gaza cancer patients have only painkillers, due to Israeli Blockade

Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 2:59 pm  Comments Off on Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has been indicted on three counts of corruption  
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Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Hiyam Noir reports from the war zone in Gaza. We thank her and her colleague, photographer Fady Adwan, for risking their lives to report the truth from Gaza.

photo by Fady Adwan, December 27, 2008

photo by Fady Adwan, December 27, 2008

December 27 2008

GAZA
On Saturday noon in the first wave of air strikes, the Israelis targeted Gaza City government buildings. Casualties are confirmed and include the Commander of Gaza Police Force Tawfiq Jabir, the Commander of Security and Protection Services in Gaza police, Ismail Al-Ja’bari and the Governor of the Al-Wusta (central) Districts Ahmad Abu Aashur. Islam Shahwan, a Hamas police spokesman, said that the Israeli attacks have destroyed most of the Gaza Strip police headquarters and that a police graduation ceremony was being held during the Israeli assault.

Following the first wave of Israeli air strikes, that killed at least 156 and injured over 200 Palestinians (Ed. note: updated numbers since Hiyam wrote this, reported in some western media: at least 200 dead and 300 injured – end note), Palestinian medical sources said in a press statement during Saturday afternoon that at least 80 of the wounded has arrived to hospital in “bits and parts” and the Head of the Gaza Emergency and ambulance department in the Ministry of Health, Mu’awieyah Hasaneen confirm that medical crews and rescue workers are still pulling dozens of people from underneath rubble. Hasaneen have pledged to all Arab governments, to send medications and operating supplies to Gaza, saying most of the injured were too badly injured to be moved outside the Gaza Strip. Hospital corridors are filled with bodies and gourneys, and in the local morgues there is no space to for all the bodies.

Leaders and citizens of Arab countries condemned Israeli air strike on Saturday. A few minutes after the first 30 Israeli air strikes at noon on Saturday, an Egyptian official said that the Israeli missile attacks was “an unprecedented massacre.” Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president condemned the attacks, demanded that the ceasefire between the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the Israeli army to be renewed. “Egypt will forge ahead with its contacts to create a favorable atmosphere in renewing the truce and attaining inter-Palestinian reconciliation in a bid to end the suffering of the Palestinian people”, a statement from the Mubarak’s office said.

Fouad Seniora, the Lebanese prime minister called the Israeli operations “tragic and criminal”. A statement from the Seniora’s office “strongly denounces and rejects the criminal operation in the Gaza Strip.” The Lebanese prime minister called on the Arab League and other heads of state to immediately convene in an emergency session to adopt a “united Arab stand to face the Israeli aggression.” Seniora also called upon United Nations security council to adopt “deterring and necessary measures against Israel for its continuous violations of Palestinian and Arab human rights”.

The Gaza operation plan was architectured on Wednesday. Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert ordered the air strikes on Gaza, Saturday morning, the assaults on Gaza Strip are intended to last throughout Saturday and perhaps into Sunday. The two Zionist leaders asserted that Israel has prepared for an operation that could take several weeks. Preparations have also been taken to contain any expected response in the West Bank. Ehud Barak and his chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, are supervising the air strikes, which they say – will “continue until the Israel has achieved its goals”. Israeli sources asserted that the operation does not aim to topple Hamas, but “we will stop homemade projectiles,” the statement said, warning for ” tougher images” in the Gaza Strip in the coming days.

A member of the executive committee in the PLO Taysir Khaled, accused Israel of using weapons in Gaza that are banned internationally and condemned the Israeli attack. He called for immediate intervention to stop the Israelis military actions, which he said have been in performance for months. In Jenin Al-Aqsa Brigades ( Fatah) said in a statement that their fighters are in a state of high alert and “would not be handcuffed,” and would retaliate “in the right place at the right time.”

The Al-Quds Brigades ( Islamic Jihad) asserted that they are in high alert and that the Israelis will pay a severe toll for their heavy handed attacks. The Islamic Jihad leader, Khaled Al-Batsh, said that the Israeli attack is a declaration to “open war” against the Palestinian people, intended “to repress the Palestinian resistance.” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum asked the Palestinian people to “remain patient in the light of Israeli crimes ” – he called for a massive response to the Israelis air strikes that have killed at least 200 Gaza residents, and wounded over 200. Barhoum stated that there will be a renewal of Palestinian operations within Israel.

Source

Israel needs to stop these attacks. This is murder. What Israel is doing is a crime. Not everyone in the world agrees with what they are doing.  There are many who believe they are committing criminal acts of genocide. These are crimes against humanity and war crimes.  The United Nations should find a way to stop this.

All aid to Israel should be stopped. They only use it to kill.

There are a Number of Videos Here not for the faint of heart.

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in army

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 5:15 am  Comments Off on Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip  
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