Bliar Pronounces on Hamas

Does anyone really take any notice of discredited Tony Bliar anymore? Still, as Middle East envoy for the Quartet, he has a whole story in Haaretz devoted to his thoughts on Hamas.

Blair is the Middle East envoy for the quartet of Middle East peace negotiators – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union.

Blair told the newspaper that that the strategy of “pushing Gaza aside” and trying to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank “was never going to work and will never work.”

“Yes, we do need to show through the change we are making on the West Bank that the Palestinian state could be a reality,” said Blair.

“The trouble is that if you simply try to push Gaza to one side then eventually what happens is the situation becomes so serious that it erupts and you deliver into the hands of the mass the power to erupt at any point in time.”

Blair repeated the Quartet position that there can be no talks, official or unofficial, with Hamas until they renounce violence and recognize Israel. However, he said that his “basic predisposition is that in a situation like this you talk to everybody.”

So what is he really saying? that his private position differs from that of the Quartet? furthermore has he REALLY noticed the changes on the West Bank in the past year?

In the Times, Bliar expands his position:

Hamas must somehow be brought into the Middle East peace process because the policy of isolating Gaza in the quest for a settlement will not work, …

In an interview with Ginny Dougary in the Saturday Magazine, Mr Blair says that the strategy of “pushing Gaza aside” and trying to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank “was never going to work and will never work”. He hints in references to how peace was eventually achieved in Northern Ireland that the time may be approaching to talk to Hamas … “My basic predisposition is that in a situation like this you talk to everybody.”

Mr Blair, speaking after talks with the new US envoy George Mitchell, says that Gaza will not be pushed aside because there are 1.25 million people there who want a Palestinian state.

However, he repeated the Quartet position that there can be no talks, official or unofficial, with Hamas until they renounce violence and recognise Israel.

Mr Blair then says that there is a distinction between the difficulty of negotiating with Hamas as part of a peace process if they would not accept one of the states in the two-state solution, and “talking to Hamas as the de facto power in Gaza”.

He declines to answer whether he has talked to Hamas unofficially, although his staff later insists that he has not, and that all contacts have been via Egyptian diplomats. Under intense questioning later he replies: “I do think it is important that we find a way of bringing Hamas into this process, but it can only be done if Hamas are prepared to do it on the right terms.”

Pressed to go further Mr Blair says that he has to be careful how he expresses things because “if you do this in the wrong way it can destabilise the very people in Palestine who have been working all through for the moderate cause”.

He added: “We do have to find a way of making sure that the choice is put before Hamas and the people of Gaza in a clear, understandable, unambiguous way, for them to choose their future. You have to find a way of communicating that choice to them in their terms. Now exactly what way you choose at the moment, that is an open question.”

Diplomats will point out that Mr Blair fully signed up to the Annapolis accord which envisaged the creation of a Palestinain state by the end of 2008 whether Gaza was part of it or not. Even though sceptics said that the goal was unrealistic, Mr Blair insisted that a deal could be done by the end of last year.

Why none of these Quartet goons recognise that it is the right under international law for an illegally occupied people to resist occupation with arms if necessary is beyond us. To not do so is to implicitly back fully Israel’s continued illegal occupation and repulsive domination of the Palestinian territories. Why are Palestinians denied the right to defend themselves from Israel’s obvious, disgusting aggression?

If Bibi Netanyahoo obtains power in the Israeli elections, extended confrontation between his goals to expand settlements and renounce previous agreements and Obama’s policies is liable to delay peace and the potential for a Palestinian state for years.

Hamas’ stance toward Israel’s demands is consolidated by senior member, Khalil Al-Hayya.

Hamas had not yielded on its demands that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza enclave be lifted and Gaza’s borders opened to normal trade, he said.

Hayya reaffirmed his group’s demands to conclude a prisoner swap with Israel that would see the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for the return of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Gaza militants in 2006.

“Gilad Shalit will never see the light and life until our prisoners see the light among their women and children,” he said.

YnetNews steps up its vapid, transparent propaganda campaign, quoting unnamed sources in an attempt to show that Al Qaeda has thousands of supporters in Gaza. Who are they trying to kid? only the terminally stupid would believe such blatant manufactured claptrap.

Dennis Kucinich Speaks Out For Peace

In our view, Dennis Kucinich is a man of moral clarity and courage.

On Day 18 of Israel’s Shoah against the Palestinian people of Gaza, journalist Sameh A. Habeeb relates the grim facts:

Day 18 of Israeli War On Gaza
Informative Report on Gaza War: Death toll 980, wounded 4400
By: Sameh A. Habeeb

Dear Editors, Journalists and Friends,
” Israeli MP and Leader: Afghdor Liberman says that “Gaza has to be erased from the Map by Nuclear bombs like what Americans used in Heroshima and Nagazaki.”

Israeli military operation is still increasingly killing more Palestinians mostly civilians. The victims are in contrary of the announced aim of targeting militants. Around 370 of the victims are children while 160 are women. Israeli Artillery intensified the shelling scale leaving more victims and destruction.

This is a new report for the 18th day of Gaza War and the outcomes of Israeli invasion. For more reporting, breaking news, interviews and accounts in Gaza, you could reach me on my contact info below. Please try both numbers below because there is a big problem in communication resulted in Israeli power cuts.

I’m available 24 hours for media coverage in occupied Gaza. You could reach me any time in my house. welcome to call me on this number in the night: Landline: 0097282802825


Mob: 00972599306096
Landline: 0097282802825

Skype: Gazatoday, Facebook: Sameh A. habeeb
Daily Photos:
Please, make sure you forward this email to those who you feel are interested in this matter.
Day 18 of Israeli War On Gaza
By Sameh A. Habeeb, A Photojournalist, Humanitarian & Peace Activist in Gaza Strip.

Daily Feed About Gaza War:
1. Israeli war ships bombard two weeding halls, Al Jazeera and Shab palace on Gaza beach.
2. Heavy shelling in East of Gaza City resulted in the killing of many people and injuring several others.
3. Continued artillery attacks on Bait Lahi town.
4. The Israelis destroyed many houses in Khoza’a south north of Kanyounis where 24 citizens were injured by the white phosphorous bombs, most of them are suffering from third degree burns.
5. Expanding bulldozering houses and farms in Khoza’a and Najar neighborhood south north Khanyounis.
6. Killing a woman and injuring a girl in her arm and leg as well as wounding several citizens for their rejection to evacuate their houses.
7. Continual clashes between resistance men and the Israel army on Al Rayyes and Al Sorni hills.
8. Shelling a house belonging to Al Barawi family in Twam, north west of Gaza, four people injured by white phosphorous bombs. Injured people waited for long time until the ambulance men managed to reach them .
9. One Palestinian citizen killed and ten injured on Khnyounis Highway.
10. Targeting Al Ahli Sports Club in west to Nusseirat Camp.
11. Targeting by war planes missiles a house belonging to Al Shanti Family in Nusseirat .
12. Targeting a group of citizens in Nusseirat, four casualties. Ambulance personnel were prevented to reach them.
13. Targeting a house belonging Al Zwaidi Family south of Beit Hanoun .
14. Bombardment by two F16 rockets on farms in Abbassan south of Khnyounis
15. Artillery shelling in an open area near Jabalia refugee camp; three people were injured.
16. Warning rockets at residential areas in Beer Al Na’a Ja west of Jabalia.
17. Detonating an evacuated house in Al Attatra area where Israeli special Forces were inside the house. Al Qassam Brigades claimed one Israeli officer was killed and other soldiers were injured , while the Israeli sources have not referred to that incident.
18. A Palestinian citizen is killed and four other were injured, one of them is serious in Al Falouja while they were trying to get bread for their kids.
19. Alaqsa brigades calim killing 12 Israel soldiers in an ambush south of Baitlahi. Israeil sources kept silent.
20. Al aqsa Brigades shells by home- made artillery Soufa Crossing.
21. Five Palestinian citizens were killed and 10 people were seriously injured near Al Sekka area in Jabalia.
22. Destroying a villa belonging to Mohammed Madi in Raffah..
23. Targeting a group of citizens in Baitlahia, one was killd.
24. Bombardment on a house belonging to Mr. Amin Al Zwaidi for the third time, adjacent houses were affected.
25. Bombardment on Fatouh street close to Mosab Bin Omair mosque , three citizens were killed and several people were injured.
26. Air raids on Jabalia refugee camp where forty citizens were injured.
27. Bombarding a house belonging to Al Najar clan in Khanyounis where Mr. Khalil Ahmad Alnajar age 75 was killed and seven of his family members were injured.
28. Bombarding Raffah border area by 100 F16 to destroy tunnels; 25 houses were destroyed.
29. Thirteen resistance men were killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers south west of Jabalia.
30. Recovering of the dead body of Mikbel Abed Aljarbeeh,an old Palestinian who was killed on the second day of the ground attack. The corpse was found rotten.
31. Eight resistance men are killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers in Tal Al Hawa neighborhood south east of Gaza.
32. The Israeli solders shot dead two Palestinian civilians from Ayyad family in Al Zaitoun Neighborhood and one resistance man was killed by a rocket in the southern area of the same neighborhood.
33. Two Palestinian civilians, Hassan Shtaiwi age 68 and Mamdouh Shaiber age 18 were injured and later died in Al Zaitoun neighborhood.
34. Mr. Jaji Ramzi who was injured on Jan. 6th and then transferred to an Egyptian hospital died.
35. The total toll of the Palestinians victims have been 980 killed and more than 4400 wounded in the War.
36. Naval forces open heavy fire on Gaza shore and many houses were destroyed.
37. A Palestinian Killed in Shikh Ridwan area as a rocket his car and 5 other wounded.
38. Israeli allows some few vans of aids to get into the Gaza Strip. Hoever, Gaza needs thousands of food trucks a day.
39. Israeli Leader: Afghdor Liberman says that Gaza has to be erased from the Map by Nuclear bombs like what Americans used in Heroshima and Nagazaki.
40. Palestinian figthters fired 15 rockets into Israeli settlements.

Sameh A. Habeeb, B.A.
Photojournalist & Peace Activist
Humanitarian, Child Relief Worker
Gaza Strip, Palestine

The UN Office for Coordination of Human Affairs Report for the 13th January is equally horrific.

Field Update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator 13 Jan 2009 as of 17:00

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Date: 13 Jan 2009

“My message is simple, direct and to the point: the fighting must stop. To both sides, I say: Just stop, now. Too many people have died. There has been too much civilian suffering. Too many people, Israelis and Palestinians, live in daily fear of their lives. And in Gaza, the very foundation of society is being destroyed: people’s homes; civic infrastructure; public health facilities; and schools.” (Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Press Conference, 12 January)

The Israeli military operation has entered its eighteenth day. Israeli air, sea and ground forces continue to surround populated areas of the Gaza Strip, and the Gaza and North Gaza Governorates remain isolated from the rest of the territory. The humanitarian crisis is intensifying and the number of Palestinian civilian casualties is increasing. Israeli bombardment is causing extensive destruction to homes and to public infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip and is jeopardizing water, sanitation and medical services. Increasing numbers of Palestinians are fleeing their homes as Israeli forces penetrate deeper into the Gaza Strip. Hospitals are overstretched as medical staff attempt to cope with the high number of casualties, many of whom have multiple injuries. Of particular concern are children, who make up 56 percent of the Gaza population.

On 13 January, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed its deep concern ‘at the devastating effects that the current military engagement in Gaza is having on children.’

In response to allegations of the looting of food aid, the humanitarian agencies (UN and partners) involved in the delivery and distribution of food supplies affirm that there has been no reported theft or misuse of these supplies. They emphasize that careful mechanisms for monitoring aid flows are in place, although the ongoing conflict makes such monitoring difficult.


The Israeli military remains present in the north, east and Rafah border areas. Aerial bombardment, artillery shelling and naval firing continued throughout 13 January, with Israeli ground troops backed by artillery and helicopters advancing further into populated areas in the outskirts of Gaza City. Intense military activity was reported overnight, particularly in the Tel al Hawa neighbourhood north of Gaza and in Khuza’a village east of Khan Yunis.

With Israeli troops advancing deeper into the Gaza Strip, growing pockets of the population are trapped in their homes. Areas affected include Siyafa, Al Atatra, Al Isra, As Salateen, east and north of Beit Hanoun, east of Jabalia (North Gaza); southeast Az Zaitoun (southeast of Gaza Governorate); and At Tuffah (east of Gaza Governorate). Aid organizations have been unable so far to access these communities. The bodies of those killed in the Al Samouni house in Az Zaitoun on 5 January have still not been recovered, despite appeals to the Israeli army for access to the home.


Security for health care workers and access to medical facilities continues to be extremely difficult. On 12 January, an Israeli air strike on a house in Jabalia killed a doctor who was treating injuries, and wounded three medical staff waiting outside to evacuate the injured. Thirteen medical personnel have been killed since 27 December, and attacks on medical personnel and ambulances have hampered organizations’ ability to assist the injured.

In a joint public statement on 13 January, the ICRC and PRCS deplored the fact that ‘wounded people have been abandoned and left to suffer alone, unable to reach hospitals and inaccessible to ambulances and medical workers. Some wounded have even died because ambulances did not receive the required clearances to reach them in time.’ ICRC and PRCS reaffirmed that under International Humanitarian Law all parties concerned have a duty to collect, care and evacuate the wounded, without delay or discrimination.


Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) figures as of 1600 hours 13 January are 971 Palestinians dead, of whom 311 are children and 76 are women. The number of injured stands at 4,418, of whom 1,549 are children and 652 are women. The MoH reported on 12 January that the number of children fatalities has tripled since the beginning of the ground operation on 3 January (compared to the number of child fatalities from 27 December to 3 January). The danger to medical staff and the difficulty of extracting the injured from collapsed buildings makes proper evacuation and estimation of casualties difficult, including to determine the number of Palestinian male civilian casualties.

Since the onset of the military operations on 27 December, two UN staff and four contractors have been killed while on duty, and six staff and four contractors injured. Another two UN staff have been killed off duty. Additionally, on 27 December, nine trainees were killed near the Gaza Training Centre. On 5 January, three brothers were killed at the UNRWA Asma school while taking refuge there. On 6 January, 43 people were killed and 55 injured when shells fell outside an UNRWA school in Jabalia. At least 49 UN buildings have sustained damage, of which 28 reported damage in the first three days of the operation. One international NGO partner clinic is reported to have been destroyed and several of their compounds have been damaged. At least four incidents have been reported of aid convoys being shot at or near

Nine Israeli soldiers have been killed since 27 December. Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip into Israel. According to the Israeli Police Spokesman, Israeli civilian casualties stand at four dead and 58 injured. (OCHA’s casualty figures do not include the number of Palestinians or Israelis treated for shock.)


Since 3 January, there have been numerous media reports about the alleged use of white phosphorous (WP). Human Rights Watch has stated that while the Israeli army appears to be employing WP as an ‘obscurant’ to hide military operations, ‘WP also has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.’ The Israeli army has informed Human Rights Watch and reporters that it is not using WP in Gaza.


The number of people who have fled their homes in Gaza remains unknown, but is estimated in the tens of thousands. As of the evening of 12 January, UNRWA was operating 38 emergency shelters, with 35,520 displaced people, an increase of 7,404 people since 11 January. UNRWA has provided bread and drinking water to all shelters; tinned meat was provided to shelters in the three southern districts of Gaza. On 12 January, UNRWA sent five trucks of essential non-food items from its stores in the West Bank to Gaza.


As of this morning, 60 percent of Gazans are not receiving any power. The rest receive electricity intermittently. In the Gaza Governorate, which is most affected by power cuts as it depends the most on the Gaza Power Plant, GEDCO, Gaza’s electricity company, estimates that 20 to 30 percent of the population is without electricity; 40 percent has electricity between 8 and 12 hours per day; and 40 percent has up to 8 hours. As of 12 January, GEDCO estimates that 30 to 40 percent of recent damage to the electricity network has been partially repaired.

On the morning of 13 January, GEDCO discovered that its warehouse in Gaza City was hit. It estimates financial losses of at least $400,000, including desperately needed spare parts for the electricity network.


Hospitals remain overloaded with the large influx of injured persons. WHO reports that the emergency room of Dorah Paediatric Hospital was directly hit on 12 January. Staff are continuing to work despite

the damage caused to the infrastructure. Dorah Hospital has been closed except for emergency services since 8 January, due to its proximity to fighting and earlier damage sustained to its infrastructure. Damage sustained by the Gaza European Hospital on 10 January has not been repaired. Danish Church Aid and Christian World Service reported on 12 January that the clinic of their partner Near East Council of Churches in Al-Shuja’ia was completely destroyed by Israeli missiles on 11 January.

28 of the 58 MoH Primary Health Care centres (PHC) are now closed due to shelling. WHO continues to be deeply concerned about the consequences of the disruption in vaccination programmes, antenatal care and nutritional surveillance due to lack of staff, electricity and dangerous conditions on the ground.

As of 11 January, 70 patients have been cleared for evacuation but have not yet been evacuated through Rafah because of the slow flow of evacuations.

On 12 January, UNRWA provided 10,000 litres of fuel to hospitals most in need of fuel throughout the Gaza Strip.


Many water wells and sewage pumps are still not functioning due to the lack of electricity, diminished fuel supplies to operate back-up generators and lack of spare parts. The damage to the water and wastewater networks has not been repaired because of the danger in reaching affected areas. CMWU reports considerable damage to infrastructure in Khuza’a following military activity in the area. 55 out of 145 water wells are not functioning throughout the Gaza Strip (32 in Gaza; 20 in North Gaza; 3 in Middle Area).

500,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip still do not have access to running water. Even before the current military operation, 80 percent of drinking water in Gaza was not safe for human consumption, according to WHO guidelines. 29,952 bottles of drinking water (1.5 litres each) from UNICEF entered Gaza on 12 January and were provided to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society for distribution.

Sewage continues to flow in the streets in Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya. UNRWA was unable to deliver fuel to the Beit Lahia Wastewater Treatment Plant to alleviate pressure on the banks of the sewage lake containing three million cubic metres of raw and partially treated wastewater due to the precarious situation. The sewage lake is in danger of overflowing placing up to 15,000 at risk. CMWU needs urgent approval from the Israeli authorities to assess the impact of wastewater leakage from the Gaza City Wastewater Treatment Plant.

CMWU is unable to access any of its spare parts or engine oil which are located in its warehouse in Az Zaitoun area. CMWU urgently needs access to 1,000 litres of engine oil for its sewage pump stations.


Many food items remain unavailable, including rice, flour, oil, meat, chicken, fish and milk. Bread is in short supply: only nine out of 47 bakeries are currently operational. On 12 January, UNRWA distributed food parcels to 1,916 refugee families throughout the Gaza Strip. Due to the security situation, WFP, who works through partners, has been unable to operate to its full capacity. WFP has reached more than 85,000 out of its regular 265,000 non-refugee beneficiaries since 27 December, and an additional 21,000 non-refugee beneficiaries have received an emergency distribution.

UNIFEM is concerned about the nutritional well-being of the civilian population, notably of the 56 percent under the age of 18 and the daily average of 170 new born and their mothers.


Access between northern Gaza and the rest of Gaza remains possible only via the coastal road west of the former Israeli settlement of Netzarim and is restricted to humanitarian relief assistance (including ambulances) following coordination with the Israeli authorities.

On 13 January, the humanitarian “lull” was activated between 0900 and 1200 hours.


Only Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings were open on 13 January.

On 12 January, Kerem Shalom was open, and Rafah and Karni were partially open. 93 truckloads including 54 for humanitarian aid agencies entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing (back-to-back transfer). 27 truckloads of wheat, lentils and animal feed entered Gaza via the open convoyer belt at Karni crossing. This was the first time Karni was partially open since 26 December 2008. 25 Egyptian ambulances (with medical staff) entered Gaza via Rafah to transport injuries from Shifa Hospital to Egypt; 14 trucks of medicine and 17 foreign doctors entered Gaza. Seven injuries crossed through Rafah to Egypt for treatment.


Protection of civilians: Civilians, notably children who form 56 percent of Gaza’s population, are bearing the brunt of the violence. As one of the most densely populated places in the world, more civilians risk being killed or injured if the conflict continues. The parties to conflict must respect the norms of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality.

Access for ambulance and rescue teams: An unknown number of dead, injured and trapped people remain in houses which have been shelled and in areas where hostilities are ongoing. Due to attacks on ambulances, medical staff are fearful of reaching these places. The evacuation of wounded and safe passage of ambulances and health workers are fundamental tenants of IHL, and should be facilitated at all times.

Opening of crossings: The number of trucks allowed into the Gaza Strip needs to be increased. Additional crossings must be opened urgently, including Karni for the provision of bulk grain.

Electricity is necessary for the operation of services within the Gaza Strip notably health, water and sanitation services. Back-up generators are not meant to function more than 8 hours per day, and are not reliable following repeated and prolonged use. Although efforts have been made to repair damaged electricity lines, bring in needed transformers, and allow fixing of other transformers, much more needs to be done.

Supply of fuel: Industrial fuel is needed to power the Gaza Power Plant, which had been shut since 30 December but partially re-opened on 10 January. Nahal Oz crossing must remain open as it is the only crossing which can facilitate the transfer of sufficient amounts of fuel to restart and maintain operations of the power plant, and restock other types of fuel needed in the Strip. Delivery of fuel to its intended destination must be facilitated.

Cash/liquidity: The issue of cash remains of high priority. Cash has still not entered the Gaza Strip and is urgently needed. With the exception of public UN sources, reproduction or redistribution of the above text, in whole, part or in any form, requires the prior consent of the original source. The opinions expressed in the documents carried by this site are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by UN OCHA or ReliefWeb.


Chomsky Condemns U.S. and Israel For Civilian Deaths in Gaza Strip

Human Rights Day 10th December

Today is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document which recognises humanity’s common interests and belongs to us all.

The Declaration represents a contract between governments and their peoples, who have a right to demand that this document be respected. Not all governments have become parties to all human rights treaties. All countries, however, have accepted the UDHR.


As the Declaration’s custodians and beneficiaries, all of us must reclaim the UDHR, make it our own. While we are entitled to our human rights, we should also respect the human rights of others and help make universal human rights a reality for all of us. In our efforts lies the power of the UHDR: it is a living document that will continue to inspire generations to come.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights PetitionOne way you can show your support for the UDHR and spread awareness of human rights around the globe is to sign the petition to print the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in your passport .

Australians might contemplate in particular Article 14, so cruelly ignored by the xenophobic and human rights abusing Howard government.

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Howard's ShameSadly, the right to seek asylum takes second place to border protection in the minds of many brainwashed Australians.

The sixth ‘people-smuggling’ vessel to reach Australian waters since September arrived on December 8.

Its 44 passengers brings the number of suspected asylum seekers arriving by boat over the past 10 weeks to nearly 120.

This is a VERY VERY SMALL number of people compared to the legal migrant intake instituted by the Rudd government this year.

The overall migration program will now be 190,300 for this year, and 133,500 of those places will be allocated to permanent skilled migrants.

Wrongful detention of legitimate asylum seekers committed by Howard’s cold-eyed goons is coming back to haunt us.

Immigration Department may be forced to compensate 191 of the 247 people investigated by the Ombudsman for wrongful detention.

The department has so far offered compensation in 40 of the cases and settlements have been reached in 17. In total, about $1.2million in compensation has been paid so far.

If Australia wishes to minimise people-smuggling within the character of the UDHR to which it is signatory, it needs to address human rights issues in asylum seekers’ countries of origin.

Increased border protection to prevent the entry of desperate asylum seekers fleeing human rights abuses is an ineffective bandaid solution, and as has been amply demonstrated during the Howard years with the Tampa and SievX affairs, can lead to shameful Australian human rights abuse with consequent blowback later on, including diminishment of Australia’s international stature and authority to speak out about human rights abuse elsewhere.

Article 19 of the UDHR is today’s recommended reading for Stephen Conroy and supporters of his web censorwall.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

On December 13, protests against Conroy’s proposed web filters will be held around Australia.


Father Frank Brennan is to head a Human Rights Consultative Panel to consider a wide range of human rights issues, including whether Australia should have a bill of rights. Brennan is a self-professed fence-sitter on whether we Australians would benefit from our individual rights being enshrined in a Bill or Charter of Rights.

Australia is the only democratic country in the world without formal human rights protections – join the Getup campaign to change this.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratic elected leader of Burma and Nobel Peace Price recipient, speaks about printing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in passports.