State Representative Rod Driver

Rod Driver, a state representative for Rhode Island in the USA, who has for a long time been concerned for human rights and particularly, since about 1980, for the human rights of Palestinians, sent me an e-mail asking permission to use the rdphoto060828croppedpictures from my Photo Gallery “Butchery in Gaza, Unseen Horror Photos” which was posted on the main page of my gallery and republished on Jeff Rense, Uruknet, and many other websites and blogger.

Mr. Driver was in the Rhode Island state legislature from 1987 to 1994. He left to run for congress several times. In 2008, he ran again for the state legislature and won. Mr. Driver wrote that a state legislature has little to say about the foreign policy of the USA. In last January, Mr. Driver introduced a non-binding resolution about Gaza, which “went nowhere”. Other legislators in Rhode Island introduced resolutions “expressing solidarity with Israel in it’s defense against terrorism in the Gaza Strip”.

Mr. Driver said “It’s up to me and a group of friends to prevent these resolutions from going anywhere”.

State Representative Driver wrote me:


Dear Ms. Salam

I am  a state representative in Rhode Island, USA — long concerned for human rights and particularly, since about 1980, for the human rights of Palestinians.

I’m also the founder and president of Justice First Foundation, Inc. — a non-profit organization trying to tell Rhode Islanders what we and our weapons are doing to the people of Iraq and Palestine. Attached is a quarter-page ad we ran in the Providence Journal (Rhode Island’s main newspaper) in January 2009.

I want to assemble some pictures and text about the Israeli genocide in Gaza for distribution to Rhode Island political figures. And I’d like to include a couple of pictures from your collection at Uruknet.

Two questions:
(1) Who took the pictures?
(2) Can you tell me the names of any of the Palestinian victims in these horrific pictures and the date and place where they were wounded?

Thanks for your valuable work,

Rod Driver


After I answered him, Mr. Driver sent me PDF files showing the ads about Genocide in Gaza which he and his group published in local media in Rhode Island. I quote him below.

Genocide in Gaza

The PDF Genocide in Gaza
In 1937 the world was shocked at the Nazi massacre of 300-400 people in Guernica, Spain. But what Israel has done in Gaza dwarfs that Nazi slaughter.

The Gaza Strip – less than one-eighth the size of Rhode Island – has become an open-air prison for 1.5 million human beings. Most of them are children or grandchildren of the 750,000 Christians and Muslims who were violently driven from their homes in other parts of Palestine by Jewish colonists in 1948.

Israel controls all access to Gaza. It has routinely prevented food and medicines from entering Gaza, creating, according to relief agencies, “catastrophic” conditions. No one may enter or leave without permission from Israel. Even Bishop Desmond Tutu and U.N. human-rights investigator Richard Falk (himself a Jew) were not allowed in to see what was happening.

“The experiment in famine began on January 18, 2008. Israel hermetically bethlehemad081219closed all of Gaza’s borders, preventing food, medicine and fuel from entering the Strip. Power cuts, which had been frequent for many months, were extended to 12 hours per day. … at least 40 percent of Gazans have not had access to running water (which is channeled through electric pumps), for days and the sewage system has broken down.” Prof. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University, Israel, 2/4/2008

As part of a June 2008 truce agreement, Israel promised to relax the blockade of Gaza. Israel did not do what it promised; but military attacks by both sides were greatly reduced anyway. Then on Nov. 4 Israelis entered Gaza and killed 6 people; and Palestinian rocket fire resumed. From 2001 through 2008 their crude home-made Qassam rockets were responsible for about 20 of the 1,000 Israelis killed throughout Palestine. (During that same period the Israelis killed more than 4,800 Palestinians).

The U.S. media routinely refer to Israeli violence as “retaliatory.” But the fact is that in every cycle of violence Palestinians are killed first. Israeli media has revealed that the present attack on Gaza was planned six months ago. It had nothing to do with “retaliation”.

“Our finest young men are attacking Gaza now. Good boys from good homes are homedemoaddoing bad things. … They set out to bomb the graduation ceremony for young police officers who had found that rare Gaza commodity, a job, massacring them by the dozen. They bombed a mosque, killing five sisters of the Balousha family, the youngest of whom was 4. They bombed a police station, hitting a doctor nearby; she lies in a vegetative state in Shifa Hospital, which is bursting with wounded and dead.” Gideon Levy, a writer for the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, 12/31/08

The killing continues using U.S.-supplied F-16s, Apache helicopters, naval gunboats and tanks against a mostly-unarmed population, bombing and strafing police stations, homes, mosques, schools, universities, hospitals and ambulances.

R.I.’s Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Reps. Kennedy and Langevin
consistently vote to send more U.S. weapons and taxpayer dollars to Israel
– currently $7 million per day.

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