2012-11-20 14:55:50

Democracy Now! 2012-11-20

Over the past week, Israeli strikes have killed at least 116 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the majority of them civilians, including 27 children. Monday’s victims included four members of the same family — two parents and their two toddlers — who were killed in a bombing of a Gaza refugee camp that also left more than a dozen people injured, mostly women and children. We go to Gaza to speak with Dr. Mona El-Farra, director of Gaza Projects for the Middle East Children’s Alliance and the Health Chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip. Dr. El-Farra writes about living under siege on her blog, "From Gaza, with Love." 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo today as the Israeli attack on Gaza enters it seventh day. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also in the region after calling for an immediate ceasefire and warning an Israeli ground operation in Gaza would be a "dangerous escalation" that must be avoided. As ceasefire talks continue in Cairo, Hamas has set two conditions for accepting a cease-fire: lifting the military blockade on the Gaza Strip and international assurances that Israel would stop assassinations and other military measures. We speak with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies based in Washington, D.C.

Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams is joining with Human Rights Watch to oppose the creation of killer robots — fully autonomous weapons that could select and engage targets without human intervention. In a new report, HRW warns such weapons would undermine the safety of civilians in armed conflict; violate international humanitarian law; and blur the lines of accountability for war crimes. Fully autonomous weapons do not exist yet, but high-tech militaries are moving in that direction with the United States taking the lead. Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, joins us along with Steve Goose, director of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division.

Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, calls for an end to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip. Williams chairs the Nobel Women’s Initiative and is author of the forthcoming book, "My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize." In 2011, she joined three other women Nobel Peace laureates in calling for the safe passage of an international flotilla to Gaza.

As Israeli airstrikes continues for a seventh day, we turn to a film by Fida Qishta, a young Palestinian filmmaker born and raised in Gaza. The documentary, produced by DeepDish TV, is called "Where Should the Birds Fly?" The title is taken from a poem by renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The film looks at the effects of the 22-day Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians.

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