Swiss journalist. After having extensively written about diplomacy in South-East Asia and the Indian Ocean, she was witness to operation « Protective shield », launched by the Tsahal against the Palestinians. Ever since, she has devoted her work to raising global awareness of the conditions endured by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.
Against the current backdrop of Israeli talk of pre-emptive strikes against Iran’s alleged military nuclear facilities, Voltaire Network is republishing this exclusive 2005 interview of Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. Twenty-five years ago, this former Israeli nuclear technician exposed the existence of his country’s nuclear arsenal, tearing down the wall of Israel’s secrecy and hypocrisy. To this day, Israel - in unison with the United States - refuses to confirm the existence of its nuclear arsenal.
In his book, "The Wandering Who?", Gilad Atzmon goes where no one else dares to tread. He challenges what he considers to be the myths and the tribal mindset underpinning the founding of the Zionist state and its racially-driven policies. Repudiating the concept of ’chosen-ness’ that separates the Jews from the others, he has abandoned his to ’become an ordinary human being.’ His book has been acclaimed by eminent Jewish intellectuals. He responds to Silvia Cattori’s questions.
Under pressure from Israel and the United States, the embattled Greek government has prohibited the Freedom Flotilla from sailing to Gaza from its ports. But for its organizers, the fight has just begun and Israel will be kept under pressure by civil society who will continue to denounce the illegality of the blockade, and endeavor to reach Gaza. Dimitri Plionis, one of the Greek spokesmen for the Flotilla, responds here to the questions of Silvia Cattori.
Gilad Atzmon is an outstandingly charming man. He is often described by music critics as one of the finest contemporary jazz saxophonists. But Atzmon is more than just a musician: for those who follow events in the Middle East, he is considered to be one of the most credible voices amongst Israeli opponents. In the last decade he has relentlessly exposed and denounced barbarian Israeli policies. Just before his departure on a European Spring Tour, “The Tide Has Changed “, with his band the Orient House Ensemble, he spoke to Silvia Cattori.
The extraordinary brutality of the army that abusively describes itself as “the most ethical army in the world” has ended up in exposing to everyone the true face of Israel. It must be noted that such brutality would never have been possible without the complicity of Western political circles and media. Hazem Jamjoum, 28, a Palestinian scholar who passed through Geneva on the same day as Israel’s deadly storming of the Freedom Flotilla, replies to the questions of Silvia Cattori.
While the Israeli Government is projecting an "economic peace" with the Palestinians and the French Government is calling for the recognition of a fictitious Palestinian State - deprived of land and sovereignty - Silvia Cattori has interviewed one of the leading intellectuals of the Palestinian resistance: Khalid Amayreh. According to him, the Western countries are in deep denial over the colonial reality of Palestine, which they only perceive through the prism of their Palestinian collaborators.
85-year old Hedy Epstein is back in the limelight. Last week in Cairo, she embarked on a hunger strike to protest the ongoing blockade of Gaza. A Jewish Holocaust survivor whose parents perished in Auschwitz in 1942, she emigrated to the US in 1948 and first visited Palestine in 2003. Revolted by the Israeli Government’s oppression of the Palestinians, she has devoted her life to drawing public attention to this reality. Back from a visit to Palestine in January 2008, she was interviewed by Silvia Cattori.
On 29 July 2009, we had the privilege of meeting with Sami al-Haj, an Al Jazeera journalist and cameraman who was imprisoned in Guantánamo for more than 6 years and who was passing through Geneva. On that occasion he told us about the foundation of the London-based humanitarian organization « Guantánamo Justice Center" which he chairs, as he will formally announce at the press conference taking place in that capital on 30 July 2009. This NGO will be steered by the former British prisoner, Moazzam Begg, in his capacity as Secretary-General and will have branches in Geneva and Paris.
Standing straight and tall, an impressive and deeply introspective man, Sami El Haj walks with a limp and the help of a walking stick. Neither laughter nor smiles light up the refined face of this man, old before his time. A deep sadness pervades him. He was 32 years old when, in December 2001, his life, like that of tens of thousands of other Muslims, became a horrific nightmare.
Under the cover of the « war against terror », the United States and the European Union have granted unlimited powers to secret services and police. Emergency measures which were introduced on a provisional basis in 2001, outside any judiciary control, have become permanent. Since September 2001, at least 80,000 people, mainly Muslim, would have been kidnapped, kept in secret prisons, and tortured by CIA and FBI agents. Hundreds of others have been put on the UN « black list ». That’s what happened to the businessman Youssef Nada, 77 years old, an Italian citizen of Egyptian origin, accused by U.S. President, G.W Bush of financing Al-Qaeda. Two judiciary investigations resulted in a non-suit, but Mr. Nada didn’t get his name deleted from the UN « black list » (*). His assets remain frozen; he is barred from travelling to or transiting in any country. He can’t go outside the tiny enclave of Campione - an Italian enclave inside Swiss territory - where Silvia Cattori went to meet (...)
When the announcement that Israel would attend the "Fiera del libro" of Turin, (*) came out, an immediate wave of protest arose in Italy; and many personalities supported the boycott call, made by the Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian Writers’ Associations. In France, strangely enough, the same invitation, to the "Salon du livre" of Paris, did not make much noise. Alone, the Israeli poet Aharon Shabtaï has refused to participate in these events, contrary to the 39 Israeli writers who accepted to be part of the Israeli delegation to these two exhibitions. Aharon Shabtaï explains here why these events –which he qualifies as "promotion of propaganda" for Israel-, must be boycotted, as well as any cultural event where this apartheid State is celebrated.
Omar Barghouti belongs to a new generation of Palestinians who never adhered to the solution of « Two States, Two peoples ». They are advocating, instead, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel as well as a «secular, democratic state» solution, where Palestinians and Israelis would share equal rights, after historic injustices are redressed and the refugees are allowed to return.
Greta Berlin, 66 years old, is a businesswoman from Los Angeles, CA. She is the mother of two Palestinian-American children and has been to the occupied territories twice in the past four years with the International Solidarity Movement. She is also a member of Women in Black Los Angeles. She is one of many other people, who have organized an unusual project, sailing a boat to Gaza. They intend to challenge Israel’s claim that they no longer occupy Gaza. Talking to her, she explains why she and the other courageous people are going.
For Hans Christof von Sponeck, the former assistant secretary-general of the UN, the United Nations, far from garding the respect for international law and the consolidation of peace, have themselves become a factor of injustice. Thus, the sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq caused a human disaster, whereas treaties such as the nuclear non-proliferation treaty are used to ensure the domination of certain powers and to threaten others. It is time to change the system completely.
The Yugoslav Caldron
From colonisation to interference
The Strategy of Tension
Interview with Count Hans-Christof von Sponeck
No to the apartheid 2 states solution
The 2007 French Presidential election
An Interview with Greta Berlin
The Palestinian Vice-Prime Minister kidnapped by Israel
Axis for Peace 2005