Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 24 (since 2011-07-16 13:59:35)

Co-founder, the Free Gaza movement. Volunteer with the ISM in 03, 05 and 07. One of the major spokespeople for the Freedom Flotilla. Passenger on board the Audacity of Hope in June 2011

Website: http://www.freegaza.org

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  • Thousands march to UK parliament calling for justice on Balfour centenary
    • I have no idea. I was not one of the organizers but flew in from Nice, France to participate. Many of the friends that I have known for years did the same, flying in from Paris and Brussels. Some came in by bus from around the UK. You would have to ask the organizers why.

    • The demonstration is over. By all accounts, it was a smashing success, between 10,000 and 20,000 of us walked for five hours in the drizzling rain from Grosvenor Square to Parliament. It took that long for all of us to get from one point to the other, listening to inspiring speeches at both ends. The streets were filled with Palestinian flags, and kaffiyehs were everywhere.

      It was great to see so many young people there. For those of us who have been involved in justice for Palestine for decades, we have often despaired that, once we died off, no one would pick up the banner and march. Saturday proved me wrong on so many counts. There were babies in strollers, on the shoulders of their fathers, walking next to their mothers
      .
      I remember in July 1967 when four of us stood outside the Israeli consulate in Chicago... my Palestinian husband, my two tiny children and me. I had to make a Palestinian flag because we couldn't buy one. Fifty years later, there still is no justice for the Palestinians, but there will be.

      Britain told another people that it was OK to steal, murder, dispossess and drive out the indigenous Palestinians in favor of a European/colonialist enterprise that has proven to be a scourge on humankind. It is the final nail in the colonial project, and Israel, like other colonial projects, will disappear in the sands of time and will become a country for all its people if it ever intends to be accepted in the world community. No amount of bribing, blackmail or backsheesh is going to stop the people on the ground, and there is only so much the Israeli government can do to influence other governments and nothing they can do to stop the civil marches like Saturday's.

      Palestine has been kept alive for seven decades because of the work of Palestinians, inside and outside of Palestine, supported by those of us who believe in justice. We know we are succeeding because of the constant whining of the supporters of the Zionist enterprise, and the 'facts on the ground' on Saturday were a testament to the growing involvement of people around the world, as thousands of us showed up in the rain, while a handful of Zionists impotently babbled on the sides of the road.

      I write this to tell all of you to not be discouraged, for I have seen huge changes in 50 years. It was never going to be easy; we fight not only Zionists and their supporters but the military/political/industrial complex that put Israel there in the first place. But we will persevere.

      Free, free Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. Remember the Nakba and that 'never again' was meant for everyone. Greta Berlin

  • In Ireland, a Palestinian is understood
    • Thanks Steven for this great article about coming to Ireland. I was so delighted to be in Dublin when you were speaking. Your powerful speech kept the room mesmerized. I don't think any of us moved for the entire time you spoke.

      As far as Ireland is concerned, the Irish were among the first people to join us on that first trip to Gaza. They helped fund our cargo ship, The Rachel Corrie, and spent hours of their time in Dundalk in 2010 when we were there getting the ship ready to leave. The Irish know what it's like to be occupied. Since 2006 when Mary, Paul and I started the Free Gaza movement, the Irish have been 'on board.' We could not have successfully sailed into Gaza five times without them.

      Greta Berlin

  • Why I am leaving Israel
    • Thank you, Keith. I don't comment often unless someone says something either brilliant or really offensive. And I consider Arab/Israeli or Israeli/Arab offensive

    • Those of us who have worked and lived in the occupied territories or Gaza or even Israel proper would never consider calling our friends, "Israeli/Arabs or Arab/Israels." It's an insult. They are Palestinians

    • The person Ronit has fallen in love with IS A PALESTINIAN. It's high time people started using that word. An Arab is someone who is a member of a Semitic people, originally from the Arabian peninsula and neighboring territories, inhabiting much of the Middle East and North Africa.

      A Palestinian is a person who comes from Palestine, the place that European Jews stole, then changed the name, the religion and the land from the original inhabitants. I'm happy she''s coming back to the US, but really... at least have the courtesy to call the person you love PALESTINIAN.

  • Two women's boats set sail for Gaza in effort to break blockade
    • I just wanted to add some comments regarding this article, for both clarity and historical accuracy. This voyage is the l7th attempt to sail into Gaza, not the 4th. The Free Gaza movement, the founder and organizer of most of these voyages actually sailed into Gaza successfully five times in 2008 setting a precedent that Israel has no right to stop us.

      We have also had the Jewish Boat to Gaza, the Irish Boat to Gaza, the Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Marianne, the Estelle and the Spirit of Humanity. All of these boats have been violently stopped by Israeli commandoes, our crews and passengers kidnapped and thrown into detention and most of these boats have never been returned to any of the initiatives.

      We made a promise that first successful trip on August 23, 2008... that we would continue to return. Eight years later, 26 boats later and 17 trips later, we are still doing out best to fulfill that promise.

      As far as the boat, Amal, being sabotaged, the Israelis have sabotaged them before and actually brag about it. So it's entirely possible, even with security, that a small boat like this could be sabotaged.

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
    • Thanks Avigail. I admire what you have written and your thoughtful responses. Frankly, I don't think we go far enough to talk about what Israel is doing in the language that should be used. Israel is committing genocide on the Palestinians. Gaza is a concentration camp. And Israel murders civilians, including children and women.

      I've been told several times that I shouldn't 'use that language' when talking about Israeli transgressions. Why not? That is what they are doing to the captive Palestinian population and it's high time we used the correct language

  • In long obit for Hedy Epstein, 'NYT' buries Palestinian solidarity
    • Hedy told me of her anger several times over the years. I was also there when you met Hedy, although I did not stay for the taping or interview. She asked me if I wanted her to bring up the subject of Mondoweiss coming after me, and I suggested she concentrate on the really great things that she had done.

    • I completely agree with Annie Robbins about the obituary in the New York Times. What they did not say is that the photo was taken by Mary Hughes Thompson, a co-founder of the Free Gaza movement, when she went to Cairo with Hedy. Hedy was a passionate advocate for the Free Gaza movement clear back in 2008 when she was scheduled to be on that first trip and became ill before we left.

      It's ironic that she was not happy with Mondoweiss for coming after me four years ago and wanted nothing to do with your publication until Annie talked to her last winter and smoothed over her anger. She was, until the end of her life, an advocate for justice, and hated to see people demonized for what they read, watched or listened to. She clearly knew what those consequences meant when she was growing up.

      This paragraph is quite fitting for those of us who have been sending boats to Gaza for 8 years.

      "She became an impassioned supporter of the Free Gaza Movement and in 2011 was aboard the ship the Audacity of Hope in a flotilla attempting to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip."

  • Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91
    • In honor of Hedy Epstein and her tireless work for Palestine, a group of us friends are working with PLAYGROUND FOR PALESTINE (a 501c3 organization) to dedicate a playground in her name. The preliminary information is below as well as how to donate.

      It is with great sadness to learn that Hedy Epstein, a dear friend of Palestine, is gravely ill. All of us at Playgrounds for Palestine extend love and warmth to Hedy and her family.

      PfP was approached by Hedy’s closest friends who would like to dedicate a playground in celebration of Hedy’s life. Details of this project will be announced in forthcoming days.

      The donate button is just under the last sentence in the above paragraph.

      http://www.playgroundsforpalestine.org/news.php?ID=101

  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart
    • There have actually been articles written already about what happened that day. Many of us were either in Paris or in other French cities. "During the 51 dark days for Gaza in July and August 2014, hundreds of thousands marched against Israeli barbarity, from major cities like New York to municipalities like Worchester, UK. We raised our collective voices in outrage over the massacres of women, old men and children by the world’s 5th largest military. And we marched in France as well. In cities and towns around France, we raised the Palestinian flag, spoke out about Israel’s genocidal attacks that murdered over 2,500, mostly civilians. - See more at: http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2015/4/16/myths-around-the-french-ban-on-pro-palestine-protests#sthash.agexkq91.dpuf"

  • Weapons fired in Ferguson come from companies supplying Israel, Bahrain and Egypt
  • Blaming the Victims: A night with AIPAC in St. Louis and protesters in Ferguson
    • Hedy Epstein is 90 today. When I spoke to her to wish her happy birthday, she told me what had happened at this event. If we all grow to be as remarkable as this woman, the world will change for the better. Six years ago, three dozen of us were in Cyprus waiting to sail on that first trip to Gaza, and we celebrated her birthday there. She was not able to come with us, but we carried her spirit and her determination on that journey. I asked her today if she would come on the next flotilla. Her answer, "I'd love to go, but my body is telling me it's probably not possible. How did I get to be 90 when I feel young? Maybe they changed the date of my birth on the records."

  • 'Telegenically Dead': Israel’s crumbling media war
    • When the Free Gaza movement sent the first two boats into Gaza in August 2003, almost six years ago, we insisted that it would be civil society that would change the dynamics of the 6 decade Palestine/Israeli conflict. There was very little social media available when we left that hot August morning, as Israel blocked our satellite phones, our electronic equipment and our open channels. It was the Al Jazeera journalist on board the Free Gaza who kept his phone off (Israel immediately blocks any sat phone that is turned on) until the next morning, after a sleepless night for everyone on board and everyone worried about us. Many thought we were dead, since we disappeared for many hours. When he connected to his office in Gaza, they began to scroll "They are Alive... They are Alive" across the bottom of the screens.

      For us, watching social media grow over these past six years, that was one of the huge changes in reporting. No one pays much attention any longer to MSM and their talking heads when we can get a direct report from someone's SMART phone.

      Israel has lost this battle. And they will never be able to regain the upper hand, not just because we have truth on our side, but because we activists for Palestine, have learned how to use social media to the advantage of an occupied and brutalized people.

  • 'Haaretz' analyst says surging BDS movement may be contributing to falling shekel
    • Even if some of these are rescinded, Israel is on the losing side of the BDS movement. There are no longer enough fingers to stick in the dikes of public opinion, and it is always going to be civil society that changes Apartheid.

      Perhaps, Mondoweiss should start collecting the successes.

      Norway: The Government Pension Fund of Norway has sold its shares in Africa Israel Investments, Danya Cebus and Sesa Sterlite.

      Germany: The German Railway Company did not bid to build or operate the train service which runs through the occupied Palestinian territories.

      France: Largest supermarket, Carrefour, removes all Israeli produce from shelves. Legal charges against French BDS activists dropped.

      Belgium: The Belgian government has cancelled a "Tel Aviv - the White City" exhibition which was scheduled in the capital, Brussels.

      Scotland: The Edinburgh International Film Festival returned an award granted by the Israeli Embassy in line with its decision to boycott the state.

      Australia: The Maryville municipality in Sydney province imposed a boycott on Israel and all companies engaged in trade with it. Several pro-Palestinian organisations have called for a boycott of oranges produced in Jaffa and Max Brenner chocolate.

      Netherlands: The Netherlands' largest water company, Vitens, has severed ties with Israel's Mekorot water company. The Dutch Pension Fund has withdrawn all investments from Israeli banks.

      South Africa: The South African Foreign Minister announced that the cabinet will boycott Israel and will not visit it. The South African Trade and Commerce Union stopped importing an Israeli-made circumcision device.

      Britain: UK major retail chain, the Co-operative, has boycotted all products produced in the settlements in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.
      Marks & Spencer fashion house has been boycotting settlement products since 2007 .
      Ireland: The Irish workers' trade Union has announced its decision to boycott all Israeli products and services.
      The Irish teachers' Union supports imposing an academic boycott on Israel.

      Canada: The Canadian postal workers Union boycotts Israel.
      The Protestant Church in Vancouver launched a campaign to boycott settlement products.

      United States: The American Studies Association has recently joined the academic boycott imposed against Israel by many universities and unions.
      The American Pension Fund has withdrawn its investments from a company that sell agricultural tractors to settlements. http://www.theasa.net/caucus_activism/item/academic_and_cultural_boycott_campaign/
      Anti-boycott-Israel bill halted in New York assembly.

  • MJ Rosenberg owes Ali Abunimah an apology for false accusations of anti-Semitism
    • As usual, Annie Robbins rushes to the defense of Adam Horowitz and Phil Weiss without once asking me for the emails that they sent to me. I didn't brush anything off once I found out what happened, but I was on the road traveling by bus, train, plain and car for a book tour. Within two days, my apology was on the front page of Free Gaza, and the message of support from our current board was there as well.

      Annie seems to be joining the witch hunt, once again without a shred of evidence. I don't think I needed to do more than a simple apology. Phil and Adam blew the situation WAY 0ut of proportion, and their accusations were not worth answering, once Adam said he'd like to spy on us. Then they printed that disgusting article by Bekah Wolf, where she lied about our conversation and conveniently left much of her dialogue with me out. I sent that to Phil. His comment was that even though she might not have told the whole story, he stood by the article. WHAT?

      Or, does Annie think that's OK as well. My explanation was clear from the very beginning. It is you gatekeepers who kept wanting more the the simple explanation that I posted a video (which I have EVERY right to watch) in the wrong place. To suggest that is the same as a principal "saying he downloaded to pedophilia because his group of friends were studying it," is akin to defamation. Shame on you.

      As far as what was in the video, who are you to tell me what I can and cannot watch, Annie. Since you are not the arbiter of what any of us can watch or read, and since you apparently have NO clue that Zionists did, indeed, collaborate with the Nazis, I'd suggest you sit down and read "51 Documents," "Zionism in the Age of Dictators," "The Transfer Agreement." then come back and post something of substance.

    • EXACTLY MY POINT LEFTY.. and that's why I said it and wrote it. You apparently have no feel for irony

    • The idea that Daniel Semel would talk about me in the third person and presume to know anything regarding what happened last year is a classic case of misogynist behavior. My name is Greta, not Berlin. I did NOT have to prove anything regarding the ridiculous video by Mullens except to say that I did not see it before dropping it on to the front page of my FB account to watch later, thinking I was dropping it into a small private group that I belong to. I apologized for that, which should have been enough. But Ali decided, for whatever reason (I have never met him) that he was going to come after me by prowling around in the wrong group on Facebook, then accusing me of supporting anti-semitic comments from that group that was not mine. I deserve an apology from him and from Mondoweiss for the scurrilous accusations both made, especially the lies written by Bekah Wolf. I stayed out of the fray for a year, because, honestly, you all appear to be obsessed with a ballsy woman who speaks her mind and puts her feet where her mouth goes instead of being interested in 'the truth.'

      When someone of the stature of Lenni Brenner decided to write about the affair, he asked me for an example of the kinds of conversations our small group of 30 people had. I asked the group, and we provided a detailed one on homophobia as just one example. Adam Horowitz, on the other hand, said he could make the story go away if I would let him 'look around' in a group that was private. I was then and am still appalled at the behavior of the so-called gatekeepers.

      To me, this is the epitome of McCarthyism. I would be happy to publish Adam's snide email to me for anyone who is interested in determining whether he was just trying to verify that we had a group (something he could easily have done by simply asking for an example as Lenni Brenner did) or was spying. To us, he was disrespectful and a throwback to the 50s.

      And it might behoove all of you to watch the ridiculous video of Mullens. I never commented on it, said I liked it or wrote about it, In fact, the hysteria focusing on the title to the video (something I didn't write) was a good indication of the paucity of the accusations.

      I apologized on the front page of Free Gaza's website. That should have been more than sufficient. Instead, the thought police in the guise of Ali and Mondoweiss decided that they would demonize me, someone who has worked for 45 years for justice in Palestine. One wonders just exactly what your motives were, since you certainly were not interested in the truth.

    • I've pretty much stayed out of this debate and have not posted anything in this forum for over a year, but I'm appalled that Mondoweiss would continue the smear tactics against me, written by David Samuel. Last year, because of a post that I downloaded onto my front page on Facebook (it was meant for a much smaller group), self-styled critics like Ali and Mondoweiss came after me, to the point that Adam Horowitz pretty much told me via email (yes, I have it) that he could make the story go away if I let him spy on our small group.

      I was so appalled, that I simply stopped posting anything to any group. Now, my name has come up again in this smarmy attack on Ali (who was also in the completely wrong FB group when he wrote his ridiculous comments about me). I am NO fan of Ali and his tactics, but MJ is going after someone who, overall, does his best in spite of being a pompous ass sometimes.

      However, attacking me for a post mistakingly put in the wrong place (I defy anyone reading this to tell me you have never done the same thing), to have Adam Horowitz sound like some McCarthy defender by telling me he would make the story go away if he could 'look around' in our small group (which still exists) has been a wake up call for those of us advocating for the freedom of speech... including the right to read Gilad's book, which Ali never read.

      What is wrong with you people? Who are you to be the arbiter of what we read and watch? Thank God for people like Lenni Brenner, who actually had the sense to contact me and ask me politely for my side of the story, unlike Ali, who never contacted me after he posted his silliness, and Mondoweiss, who essentially said you would quash the story if I let you spy on us.

      Frankly, I have no sympathy with any of you. http://www.thestruggle.org/g_berlin_controversy.htm

      As far as Gilad is concerned, how DARE any of you tell us what to read. Or have you decided that you will pick on the only woman who endorsed Gilad's book, rather than attack Ramzy Baroud, Professor Falk, and dozens of other endorsers.

  • What '60 Minutes' & Bob Simon got right and wrong
    • So your take is that stopping payments to the families of fighters is what stopped the bombing? You're kidding, right? You think Palestinians will strap on a bomb and kill themselves for $25,000 and that's the motivation? Are you nuts? First of all, it was primarily Saddam who paid these soldiers just like we pay our soldiers. You don't have to like their methods of resistance, but you do have to see why they do it.

      If the U.S. was willing to provide the Palestinians with tanks, mortars, phosphorus bombs, helicopters and F-16 fighters, the battle would be even, and no one would have had to strap on a bomb in retaliation.

      Your kind of comments are ignorant of the facts and fail to see the desperation of an occupied people fighting for their freedom. Guess that's OK for everyone BUT the Palestinians

    • The irony of Simon' comments about the wall is that Hamas, in Gaza, was responsible for most of the suicide bombers. But the wall is built in the occupied West Bank and has NOTHING to do with stopping Palestinian resistance factions. The wall is built to separate Palestinian from Palestinian, and to make it impossible for Palestinians to go get to school, go to the doctor, travel from one city to the next and have any kind of freedom of movement.

      Israel's on-going slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian Christians and Muslims is personified by that evil 28 foot wall.

  • 'I've been duped' -- America's travel guide Rick Steves says our media black out the brutal occupation
    • So, it's now April 25, and the last entry here was over two weeks ago. Steve still has his job, and an outpouring of support. People in his home state are asking him to come and speak. Things have changed since Henry Norr was fired for his point of view. And thank God for that.

      We now have the 60 Minute program on Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Christians and bob Simon's putdown of Michael Oren. The frantic Zionists put a form letter together, and 22,000 'supposed' Zionists sent the same letter to 60 Minutes, while thousands of us wrote from our hearts and thanked 60 Minutes.

      The times they are a changing and there is nothing the Zios can do to put the lid back on Pandora's box. As Americans, we may be ignorant of the situation in Palestine, but we are not stupid. And, once we learn the truth, we remain outraged for the rest of our lives over the lies we have been forced to swallow.

      Israeli hasbara are finding themselves with too many holes in the dike and not enough PR fingers to stick into them to stop the ongoing flood of outrage over what they have been doing to the Palestinians for 64 years.

      Greta Berlin

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