35 of the hundreds of highlights of 2005. Please do not be offended if I did include something you think should be included, but rather email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add it to the this web page . In no particular order:
- Palestinian Civil Society adopts action plan and call to action for the International community http://www.badil.org/Boycott-Statement.htm
- US foreign policy found its mirror domestically, as a city was destroyed, a population demonized, abandoned and exploited, and a people - this time from New Orleans - fought for justice, human rights, and the "right of return."
- 4500 signatures for divestment in a small city in Massachussets provided models for actions, see http://www.divestmentproject.org/
- Wheels of Justice ended a strong year having traveled in the Mountain States and the south (MO, UT, CO, OH, MI, IL, AR, MS, TN, TX, MS, etc) http://justicewheels.org/
- Massive earthquake strikes South Asia.
- Tsunami kills over 200,000 (lack of funding prevented warning)
- US death toll in Iraq exceeded 2000 (acknowledged) Americans; 844 in 2005 alone. US refuses to count its contractors and mercenaries let alone Iraqis. Death toll of Iraqi civilians estimated at 50-100,000
- Terrorism around the world grows as those interested in world domination create more greenhouses that breed new violence. (From Jordan to London to Bali).
- Japan stock market goes up 40%, US stock market essentially barely keeping up with inflation (but Apple Stock soars on iPod sales)
- Crisis in Darfur (Sudan) continues with civilians suffering tremendous dislocation while big power players play politics.
- Under pressure US administration allocates some money for AIDS in Africa but it remains miniscule compared to allocation for war
- Movies receiving acclaim and controversy Palestinian produced "Paradise Now", the "Wall" (Simone Bitton), Steven Spielberg Munich and others
- Launch of two excellent Palestine Guidebooks
- Scandals hit white house from torture to "rendering" to domestic spying to misallocation of funds etc.
- Democratic Party chiefs succumb to the lobby, slam those who support human rights/opposes divestment from Israel. http://www.njdc.org/issues/detail.php?id=487
- For the first time, over 4 calendars for the upcoming year were launched in North America with Palestine themes and revenue to help Palestine causes
- Syria pulls all its troops out of Lebanon. Israel and US governments keep pressure on both Lebanon and Syria.
- Israel pulls back colonial settlers and soldiers from Gaza but maintains its occupation there and creates "no-man land" (free fire zones) in Gaza. Meanwhile Israel adds twice as many colonial settlers inside the West Bank; adding 4% to become nearly 450,000 colonial settlers in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem). Israel continues to build the wall in defiance of International law, rulings of the International Court of Justice, UN resolutions, and teh will of the International community
- Cindy Sheehan galvanizes the anti-war movement. US expenditures on Iraq occupation and to fund the occupation of Palestine reach parity (roughly $230 billion to each)
- The Nakba Oral History project gathers steam http://www.PalestineRemembered.com/OralHistory
- Friends of Sabeel North America holds a number of regional meetings each attracting hundreds of attendees http://www.fosna.org/
- Mass rallies September 24th in Washington DC bring 300,000 against war, occupations, and colonizations from Haiti to Palestine to Iraq (joined events by United for Peace and Justice and ANSWER Coalitions)
- New Palestinain elections brings Mahmoud Abbas as president of teh Palestinain authority. Big changes in local municipalities (Hamas gaining ground). New Palestinain envoy to Washington Afif Safieh brings new energy and optimism.
- Prof. Sami Al-Arian and co-defendents acquitted from the more serious charges with jury deadlocked on other charges giving a blow to the Bush administration's crackdown on political dissent in the name of fictional "war on terror"
- Veterans for Peace resolution calls for divestment and boycotts of Israel and to support peace and justice http://www.veteransforpeace.org/convention05/resolutions_passed_2005.htm
- One Pentagon official high ranking AIPAC (Israel lobby) officials indicted in the US for passing secrets to Israel (media hushes this up)
- US gives Israel $600 million more in adition to the nearly $3 biilion in direct 2005 aid and 2 billion in indirect aid.
- two high ranking Israeli leaders Avi Dichter and Moshe Yaalon were named defendents in US courts for targeting civilians http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/report.asp?ObjID=XeKpqhgbBK&Content=681
- Key books published in the passing year: John Quigley "The Case for Palestine", Norman Finkelstein "Beyond Chutzpah", Robert Fisk "The Great War for Civilisation : The Conquest of the Middle East", Jacqueline Rose "The Question of Zion", John Rose "Myths of Zionism", Michael Pruior, ed "Speaking the Truth", Susan Nathan "The Other Side of Israel", Michel Warschawski "On the Border", Virginia Tilley "The One State Solution", and many more
- US Campaign to End the Occupation Launches Caterpillar Campaign (including sending over 15,000 cards to Caterpillar CEO), brings key speakers like Mohammed Abed (from WisconsinDivestment Campaign) in the mass ralies in DC September 24, and hosts Palestine tent etc. http://www.endtheoccupation.org/
- Green Party calls for divestments/boycotts http://www.gp.org/press/pr_2005_11_28.shtml
- Launch of http://stopthewall.org
- Launch of http://openbethlehem.org
- Independent media proliferate: Arabvoices.net, The struggle video network (thestruggle.org), KPFK, Pacifica, indymedia, WPKN, ckut.ca, kpfa, etc
- Six Palestinians refugee camps launch joint internet web portals titled "Raghm al-Hudood" (across borders or defying borders) with separate pages for each of the camps