Monday, September 1, 2008

A time to raise our voices: an update from Kim

Dear friends,
thank you to so many of you who have posted to Live from Occupied Palestine or emailed me personally with your support and well wishes. Thank you for your unwaivering support and the many kind words you have sent me. They have been greatly and very much appreciated.

After spending over a year in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, over the period of 18 months, I have now returned home to Australia for a spell from what has become my other home and a place I have grown to love deeply. I am planning to return to Palestine sometime in the not too distant future but for now that I am back in Australia, where I will continue to be part of and support the wonderful work of the International Women's Peace Service in Palestine (

While I am back in Australia, I hope also to continue to contribute to the raising of awareness about Israel’s brutal and illegal occupation and the struggle of the Palestinian people in Australia.

I am very excited by the work that is being done by a range of fabulous and highly committed Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists in Australia and am hoping that I will be able to contribute in some small way to this work (please see some of the links to the different Australian groups on this blogsite).

In the meantime,the Live from Occupied Palestine blog will continue to be maintained, so please continue to visit it. I hope to continue to provide relevant and up to date information coming straight out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to also provide other information on campaigns and activities happening both in Australian and internationally in support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.

Now that I am home, I will also continue to contribute for a range social justice forums, including Palestine Chronicle ( and the new Australian socialist newspaper, Direct Action (, both of which are fantastic forums which not only campaign for and support the struggle of the people of Palestine, but are also active in supporting other social justice and progressive campaigns.

As the brutal Israeli occupation continues, now in its 41st year, and the leaders of the so-called free world turn a blind eye, it is more important then ever that we take a stand and raise our voices in support of human rights and the just struggle being carried out by the people of Palestine.

On the ground in Palestine, the Palestinian people have not given up and neither should we.

In Ni’lin, Bil’in, al Khader, Umm Sulummuna and so many other villages throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Palestinian people have in the face of overwhelming odds continued to remain sumoud (steadfast) and to oppose the oppressive Israeli occupation. In Gaza, despite, a devastating siege which has plunged the region into an ever deepening humanitarian crisis, the people of Gaza have also not given up hope and neither should we.

In the past two weeks we have seen the wonderful and inspiring arrival of the SS Liberty and SS Free Gaza in the port of Gaza breaking the brutal and illegal siege imposed by the Israeli Zionist state – a siege which has been backed by the US and which the European Union has done little to oppose.

It is the actions of everyday, ordinary people from all walks of life and cultures and all religious and non-religious backgrounds such as those who sailed on the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty, who are moved by compassion, a sense of justice and a love of their fellow human beings, who are our shining lights, our beacons of hope and our inspiration - not the so-called “leaders” of the world who sit by and do nothing, while so many throughout the world suffer, not just in Occupied Gaza and the Occupied West Bank, but also elsewhere.

The Palestinian, Israeli and International activists aboard the two small wooden boats, supported by so many others around the world who believe in social justice, humanity and human rights, have taken to heart the words that Che Guevara penned and enacted so many years ago that “we must strive every day so that this love of living humanity is transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force” [1].

It is this love of humanity that moves us in our belief that the Palestinian people have a right to live in dignity, justice and freedom and not under the heal of a brutal occupation and oppression. And it is this love of humanity that moves us to continue to struggle for a better world and to support the struggle of the Palestinian people. And it is this love of humanity which carries us in our conviction that one day Palestine and its people will be free.

Thankyou once again for all your support.

For a Free Palestine and an end to the occupation now!

In solidarity, Kim

[1] Socialism and the Man in Cuba by Che Guevara 1965


Rachete said...

Thank you for the information you have provided us here. I look forward to your new posts. Enjoy your time at home.

Kim said...

Dear Rachete,
thanks so much for the kind words and support :) Its nice to be home and to see family and friends. Once things have settled down a bit, I will be adding more posts to the blog on a much more regular basis.

Look forward to hearing from you again,

all the best,


Mach 3 said...

love of humanity? when your blog is so entrenched in one side of a conflict by dedicating it to the palestinian cause, then what humanity are you showing to others who are not palestinians...or are israeli's or perhaps as some loosely say zionists not humans by your definition?

perhaps demonstrate your univeral love of mankind by writing an objective article on how some Jewish boys were murdered while learning by a terrorist, if your indoctrinations permit you to do so.

Pole said...

Hi Kim,

Hope you're settling back into life back home after your experiences in Israel.

Despite your personal experiences of daily life for Palestinians I think you are mistaken on several points, understanding and support for some dubious (to say the least) organisations, ISM for one - See

You're continuous reference to Israel as an apartheid state is also plain wrong.

Looking forward to talking with you soon.


Kim said...

In response to Mach3:

Yes, Mach, you right I am dedicated to fighting and supporting one side of the conflict. I am on the side of those who are the ones who are being oppressed and discriminated again and who are suffering under an internationally recognised illegal and belligerent aggressive military occupation perpetrated by the fourth strongest military in the world.

The fact is as I have pointed out several time before to other Zionists of your ilk is that when Israeli citizens are under occupation, when the freedom of movement of Israeli citizens are systematically restricted by the Palestinians as the Palestinians freedom of movement is restricted by the Israelis, when there are Palestinian tanks rolling down the streets of Israeli towns and cities, when their are Palestinian bulldozers destroying Israeli house on a daiily or weekly basis, as Israeli army military bulldozers are destroying Palestinian houses, when there are Palestinin solidiers armed to the teeth with the latest military high tech weaponary invading Israeli houses every single day and occupying those houses, when there are Palestinian fighter jets dropping bombs on Israeli cities and residential areas, when a Palestinian navy attacks Israeli fishing boats, when Palestinians start evicting Israeli citizens from their homes, then I will without reserveration stand on the other side of the conflict (ie. with the Israelis).

But will YOUR indoctrination permit you to admit that none of this is happening in Israel or to it citizens and that none of its cities are being systematically invaded by one of the strongest militaries in the world and none of its citizens are being randomly rounded up, interogatted, jailed with trail or charge etc.

Will YOUR indocrtination allow you to admit that currently Palestinians civilians are being killed at a rate of 40 in acts of Israeli state terror for every 1 Israeli civilian being killed by an act of Palestinian terror.

Will YOUR indocrtination allow you to see the Palestinians as human beings who have just as much right to live as you to live freely in their own country without a military occupaton bearing down on them.

Sadly, somehow, I doubt it.

Kim said...

Dear Pole/BraveJeWorld,
thanks for you post and comment (and well wishes).

Just a few points on some of your comments:

Re the NGO monitor – despite its attempt to give the impression that it is an independent organisation which is gives unbiased facts on ALL NGOs , the fact is that it is a hard core Zionist project who primary aim is to attempt to discredit NGOs who are critical of Israeli occupation policy and its ongoing and illegal occupation of Palestine.

As for the “facts” listed by NGO monitor about the ISM, this is quite laughable. For years, groups like NGO monitor and others have attempted to smear the ISM with such claims but have never been able to make it stick, due to the fact that these accusations are completely untrue and/or are distortions of half truths which they hope will stick.

Similarly, their criticism of the ISM regarding its dangerous campaigns is laughable. The only danger comes from the occupation forces (the Israeli military) and Israel’s occupation policies. The ISM is not responsible for these things, the Israeli state is.

The fact is the “work” being carried out by Israeli soliders is illegal under international law and often under Israeli law as well. If the Israeli military were not carrying out human rights abuses on a regular basis (as outlined by groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and Israeli human rights groups such as B’Tselem) then there would be no need for human rights workers to be on the ground in Palestine.

As for my “continuous reference to Israel as an apartheid state” being “plain wrong”, well no I am sorry, its you who is wrong.

What determines whether a state, such as Israeli, is engaged in Apartheid practices or not is - whether there exists a system of laws that (1) that allow for the domination of one group of another, politically, economically and socially, based solely on racial or ethnic grounds and (2) these laws allow for the enforced physical separation of one group from another based on race.

Whether or not there are roads signs in a minority language or whether an Israeli newspaper runs an article by an Palestinian with Israeli citizenship or whether members of the Israeli security forces criticise the occupation or call for withdrawal from the OPT is completely and utterly irrelevant (these are some of things that supporters of Israel claim to “prove” that Israel is not engaged in apartheid)

While it is true that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship may be able to vote, are you aware that there is no Basic Law (Israel by the way has no constitution, only Basic Laws) that guarantee the rights of the Palestinian minority to equality?

Instead the Basic Laws emphasis the Jewish character of the Israeli state and undermine the rights of "non-Jewish" citizens guaranteeing the right the racial/ethnic domination - politically, socially and economically - of Jews over non Jews.

Israel also actually has laws that prevent it citizens campaigning for equality for all citizens and for Israel to be a democratic, secular state rather then a "Jewish state"?

Israel's Basic Laws allow for the enforcing of land and property rights in favour of the Jewish majority over the Palestinian minority, economic discrimination, social discrimination in education and schooling and physical separation in town and municipal planning.

Israel, while differing from South Africa in many ways, is still an apartheid state precisely because it has laws that allow for the domination of one racial/ethnic group over another and because these laws enforce the physical separation based on race.

As the Israeli human rights group, Adalah notes (Adalah is the the legal centre for Arab minority rights in Israel (

there are 20 laws that institutionalize discrimination against the Palestinian minority in Israel.

In addition, Uri Davis, an Israeli academic has also written an indepth account of how the apartheid system works in Israel in his book: Apartheid Israel – I would suggest you take the time to read it as it systematicallly illustrates the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.

Increasingly Israeli commentators are also coming out and publicly stating that they believe that Israel is engaged in apartheid practices. Some of the most notable include Akiva Eldar, Danny Rubenstein, Ilan Pappe and quite a few others.

I would also draw your attention to the article I post a month or so back on this blog from South African Anti-Aparthied era campaigners, many who are now govt officials and leaders of civil society. They have categorically stated that what is going on in Israel is actually worse then the apartheid that happened in South Africa.

Similar John Duggard, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, John Dugard issued a report last year which categorically pointed out the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.

Mr Dugard is a South African Professor of Law and was the Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (which seeks to advocate and promote human rights in South Africa) and has written several books on civil and humans rigths under South African Apartheid.

He is also an expert in International Law (working in this field for many years) and has been a member of the UN's International Law Commision for almost 10 years.
As a result, Mr Dugard is a highly qualified expert in not only International law but also understanding exactly what is and isn't Apartheid.

In the report issued in March 2007, Mr Dugard states that:
"The international community, speaking through the United Nations, has identified three regimes as inimical to human rights - colonialism, apartheid and foreign occupation ... Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem contains elements of all three of these regimes..."

A full copy of his report can be found at

Kim said...


opps, in my post to Mach - I left out the word "out" when I wrote that Palestinians were being rounded up and interogatted with trail or charge.

I meant to write "without" trail or charge (which is the case).

NEVILLE said...

Hi kim thanks for the massive information as usual.
I am another one sided and proud of it.In my whole life i never saw Israelis persecuted by Palestinians day by day.
My solidarity goes with the people of Palestine.

Pole said...

Hi Kim,

I really can't help but feel, and this is somewhat of an understatement that you are seeing everything in black and white terms. Do you know the history at all of the state of Israel? Do you have any idea that there are two sides to this conflict? I'm sorry to say that your comments are incredibly blinkered and if you are shouting down someone else for being indoctrinated into the Israeli way of seeing things, then I'm afraid the same thing could be applied to you who have been 'indoctrinated' to only see the Palestinian's side of events.

there is a lot I could pick up on but for now I have two main points:

1) You say "Israel also actually has laws that prevent it citizens campaigning for equality for all citizens and for Israel to be a democratic, secular state rather then a "Jewish state"? " - Please can you show me such laws.
In addition, please take a look at every other Arab country in the region and let me know if they will allow women, homosexuals, Jews, free speech into their country.

2) Israel is not an apartheid state. Palestinians are allowed on buses, they can work freely in Israel, they can vote... there's even a High Court Judge who's Arab. Does this sound anything like S.Africa? No.

Kim said...

Hi Pole,
Thanks for your post.

Okay this is looong reponse, but I would hope you would take the time to read it. I seem to be having trouble posting, so I am going to post it in two parts.


You are definitely welcome to have the opinion that I see things in black and white terms but I would say I am simply stating hard, cold concrete facts and reality on the ground.

Please excuse my plain talk (as anyone who knows me personally will tell you I am not one to beat around the bush and am quite blunt, which often gets me into “trouble” : ) - the problem is that Zionists – such as yourself and others – make this claim that we are seeing things in black and white in order to try and muddy the waers and distract from the fact that what we are saying is based on hard, cold concrete reality/facts, which Zionists like yourself find incrediably uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Your right there are two sides of the conflict,on the one side is the occupier and on the other side is the occupied.

In this case, Israeli is the occupier and the Palestinians are the occupied.

Are you denying that this is a hard,cold fact?

Are you really trying to tell us - as I asked Mach - that there are Palestinian armoured tanks rolling down the streets of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Kafa Sava etc at this very moment? Are you telling me that there is a Palestinian airforce dropping bombs on Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities etc (see my post to Mach on this)?

You ask me do I know the history of Israel...

Yes, Pole, I do and its exactly because I know the history of Israel that I am an anti-Zionist and an opponent of the Israeli occupation.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I think you may be the person I recently spoke to on a university campus (is that correct?) and if that is the case, then you will know from our conversation then, that I once described myself about 15 years ago as a “soft zionist” – this is mainly because I fully accepted the zionist view of Middle East history that is popularly available in the Australian mainstream.

As I pointed out to you (or it that wasn’t you, this other person), one day after I read a book which mentioned the Dier Yassin massacre, it suddenly dawned on me that I had never heard the Palestinians side of the story. So I decided to research the topic, reading both the Jewish view and the Palestinian view (which I still do today).

As I noted to this person on campus, I have probably read more books by Zionists and about the leaders of Zionism, then many, many Zionists. In fact, I have lost count of how many Zionists I have met, who haven’t even read Herzl’s Jewish State and have never read Ben Gurion or Jabotinsky or other Zionist leaders whose writings explicitly state the racist and colonial aspirations of the Zionist movement, while I can say categorically I HAVE read Ben Gurion, Herzl, Jabotinsky, Wiezmann and others Zionist leaders).

Kim said...

Regarding your specific questions:

Discriminatory laws:

I would point out that its not just groups like Adalah who have documented the fact that Israel has discriminatory law which establish institutionalised discrimination against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. This has also been outlined in reports by the US State Deparatment (a close Israeli friend), by human rights organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and by Adalah.

You can read Adalah’s reports at and

I am not going to list everything in it (you can read it for yourself, if you are really interested in educating yourself in this issue), however, I will repost what I have posted to this blog before regarding this issue:

Institutionalised discrimination by Israel against it’s Palestinian Arab minority (who are citizens of Israel) is well documented in:

2004,2003,2001 US State Dept HR Report on Israel&the Occupied Territories (and others) (2004) (2003) (2001)


The 2003 US State Department Human Rights Report found:

1. socio-economic discrimination of Palestinian Arab citizens.

2. At the end of 2003, the Israeli Government still had not implemented the 2000 High Court of Justice ruling that the Government cannot discriminate against Israeli Arabs (ie. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship) in the distribution of State resources, including land.

3. Government resources allocated for Palestinian Arab children (who were Israeli citizens) were scheduled to be built had been constructed.

4. Government needed to improve special education in the IsraeliArab sector

5. Arabs who make up 20 percent of the population continue to be under-represented in the government sector.

6. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship continued to face discriminatory treatment at the airport and security checkpoints.

7. In 2002, NGO’s challenged the government plan to pay less social security child allowance benefits to families in which at least one parent did not serve in the IDF than to families in which at least one parent did.

8. The government has yet to fulfil its commitment to resolve the legal status of unrecognized Arab villages including Bedouin villages in the Negev.

9. The government’s passage of the Citizenship and Family Unification Law took away the right to Israeli citizenship for spouses living in the West Bank and Gaza.

10. Specifically many Palestinian employees of press agencies were denied press cards. Only Palestinian journalists were subject to a vetting process by the ISA.

11. Freedom of peaceful assembly and association was violated on numerous occasions.

12. The government provided proportionally greater financial support to Orthodox Jewish institutions than to non-Orthodox or non-Jewish groups.

13. The Central Election Committee denied the candidacy of Dr. Ahmed Tibi, Azmi Bishara and the Arab Bal’ad Party list from running in the January 2003 election before the Supreme Court overturned the decision.


Human Rights Watch Report
“Second Class: Discrimination against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel’s School” (2001)

The report found that Israeli operated two separate school systems, one for Israeli Jewish children and one for Palestinian Arab children who had Israeli citizenship.

According to the report, “Their schools are a world apart in quality from the public schools serving Israel's majority Jewish population. Often overcrowded and understaffed, poorly built, badly maintained, or simply unavailable, schools for Palestinian Arab children offer fewer facilities and educational opportunities than are offered other Israeli children”.

The report went on to say, “Discrimination against Palestinian Arab children colors every aspect of the two systems. Education Ministry authorities have acknowledged that the ministry spends less per student in the Arab system than in the Jewish school system. The majority's schools also receive additional state and state-sponsored private funding for school construction and special programs through other government agencies. The gap is enormous--on every criterion measured by Israeli authorities”


According to the 1998 Adalah study there are 20 DISCRIMINATORY LAWS

These laws either related to the rights of Jews in Israel or abridged the rights of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. The study found that 17 laws which either privilege Jews or abridge the rights of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. These laws can be found in the Basic Laws, which are the source for Israeli Laws (Israel does not has a constitution as such, instead they have 5 Basic Laws) and revolve around citizenship, the right of political participation, land and housing rights, cultural rights, education and religious rights.

The study found that the other three laws, while using neutral language and general terminology, however, in practice have a discriminatory effect on Palestinians with Israeli citizenship in relation to limiting land and housing rights of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship

The findings are to long for me to include in this already very long reply but you can read them for yourself at

Regarding your point about Arab countries:

Nobody is denying, least of all me, that discrimination does not occur in many Arab countries.

However, how does that JUSTIFY Israeli discriminatory and racist practicies?

Just as I oppose discriminatory practices against women, homosexuals, Jews and free speech in Arab countries, I oppose it in Israel.

The QUESTION IS do you?

Also for the record, I have organised rallies and speakout against such discrimination in Arab countries (for example against Saddam Hussien’s bruatl beheading of 300 women, against the Taliban, against discrimination against homosexuals etc) and sorry to be blunt, but strangely enough I don’t recall many Zionists like you who express so much concern for the plight of people in Arab countries bothering to turn up (and sorry to be brutally blunt, but it really makes one wonder that perhaps that Zionists who express such concern for what is happening in ARab countries, are just using this a way to try and deflect crticism from Israel and really aren’t that interested in the plight of these people)


Regarding your second point about Apartheid:

You clearly did not read what I wrote or you did and have chosen to not comprehend its meaning.

As I pointed out in my previous post, it is irrelevant whether or not Palestinians are allowed on buses, that they can work in Israel, or their is ONE judge (oh, did I hear someone say the word “tokenism”?)

As I pionted out what determines whether a state, such as Israeli, is engaged in Apartheid practices or not is - whether there exists a system of laws that (1) that allow for the domination of one group of another, politically, economically and socially, based solely on racial or ethnic grounds and (2) these laws allow for the enforced physical separation of one group from another based on race.

Israel by Zionist definition is a JEWISH STATE. That is it favour JEWS over every other ethnic group. It therefore allows for the domination of one group over another – politically, economically and sociallyl based on this ethnic grounds. THIS IS WHY it is an APARTHEID STATE - it favours one racial or ethnic group on the basis of ethnicity over another. This is the very definiton of aparthied!

Israel also allows for the enforced physical separation of one group from another based on race (for example, there are laws which mean only Jews can own land and non-Jews can’t etc). THIS IS THE DEFINITION OF APARTHIED – that there is legally enforced physical separtion of one group from another.


Finally, I really suggest you take the time to read the following books (All by Jewish Israelis):

Ilan Pappe: The ethnic cleansing of Palestine

Uri Davis: Apartheid Israel

And just so you can’t say I am just favouring anti-Zionist Israeli historians, please also read the following by Israeli Jewish Zionist historians and academics:

Tom Segev: The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust

Benny Morris: The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem (Morris a hardcore Zionist was the first Israeli historican to have access to the IDF's achives, where he was able to unearth at least 24 massacres recorded by the IDF of zionist terror gangs/IDF againsts the Palestinians as part of Ben Gurion’s master plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine - Plan Dalet in 1948. It should be pointed out as Pappe notes, the number was actually much higher, but MOrris only uses Israeli sources and not Palestinian sources or oral history,which is a legitimate histographic way of documenting history).

Zeev Sternhall: The Founding Myths of Israel

Having read all 6 of these books, I would highly recommend all of them (altho I don’t politically agree with some of the authors or their conclusions, particularly Morris who is a hard core Zionist who publicly has advocated that Ben Gurion should have ethnically cleansed all of Palestine in 1948)

Kim said...

opps, having so much trouble trying to get the post to work, I clearly miscounted. the number of books is I recommended is clearly 5, not 6!

Pole said...

Hi Kim,

I really don't think its a case of anyone muddying the waters. History and current affairs is very very rarely black and white. If it were conflicts would be very easy to resolve and as we know, conflicts are very rarely to resolve. You are oversimplifying so much and basing a lot of your opinions on what you have personally seen, interpreted and emotion. All of which are totally understandable and of course natural. People on both sides do this and I would argue with them in the same way.

Of course, Palestinian tanks are not rolling through Tel Aviv and nor are planes dropping bombs. In the past of course there have been these instances, during wartime in which Israel was invaded though this is a whole new topic altogether. What is important to bear in mind, and am not sure you realise how much that they are (and I am not making this up to muddy anything), is that eveything is intertwined in this region which is why things are complicated. Different groups support each other and despite how powerful you might think Israel is, in this respect it is very much on its own surrounded by enemies. This has to be taken into account when analysing the siuation and how that impacts on decisions made both domestically and internationally.

A lot of the troubles stem back from the founding of the state - as you can only argue, which I hope you are, that the 'occupation' only dates back to 1967 - when the Arab nations rejected the UN Partition plan. 2 states were offered and they rejected it. Instead they chose to invade Israel to wipe it off the map. Furthermore, they rejected the Palestinians who fled as the Palestinians are seen in the Arab world as the scum that no-one wants. This is very sad.

As for as Herzl and Jabotinsky's writings, the reason why a lot of Zionistic people have not read their writings is because the theory of zionism is one thing and the reality is another. Herzl and others put forward a general idea and others develop it and adapt it. Furthermore there are no colonial aspirations of Israel and the desire to have an empire. Why would you think there are?

Glad to hear that you campaign for other causes too. Though I can't help but have the impression this issue is closer to your heart than others and you invest a lot more time and effort into it than others. You've certainly read a lot which is good and you will be pleased to know that I have also read some of those books too. I would recommend you also read Alan Dershowitz's 'Case for Israel'. You should also note and read that Benny Morris wrote a follow up book to his first called 'The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisted" in which he retracts a lot of what he says in the first.

I don't suggest looking at other crises in the world as a deflection away from the problems in the Arab-Israeli conflict, nor does anyone else, as I and many others are aware there are many problems and it is a difficult situation for all. The price Israel pays for the security measures are enourmous in every respect. This goes back to the beginning of this comment about it being complicated and not black and white. I encourage you (and I don't intend to be patronising so apologies if this comes across as such) to look at the bigger picture and keep a balanced view of what you see though, and furthermore not believe all you see.

Pole said...

oh, and no it wasn't me you met with on the university campus.