Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 20th, 2012

Stop the Killing in Gaza: From Alice in

Apparently, the US and Israel needed to verify, in the field, their analysis and conclusions on “what after the Arab Spring”.  They wanted to double-check their interpretations of “what might happen if we launch a second preemptive war on Gaza”? And the results, after 100 sacrificial Palestinians killed  and 900 injured, were gloomy to the US and Israel:

First, Israel and the US realized that if it took former Moubarak 21 days to react in the 2009 war in Gaza, it only required less than two hours for Mursi of Egypt to express Egypt position of siding with the Palestinians in Gaza…

Second, Israel and US wanted to verify which regional State power will fill the vacuum after Moubarak, such as Turkey, Qatar, or Saudi Arabia…(since Syria is out of the picture at these critical periods)… And Egypt displaced all the regional powers in negotiating and resolving Gaza problems…

Third, and these tiny missiles of only 90 kilo of explosives reached Tel Aviv and beyond Tel Aviv, and Iron Dome was a disastrous fiction in countering the Palestinian missiles…

Alice in posted:

Days ago the Israeli military began a bombing rampage in Gaza. An eleven month old baby was killed, and many more are likely to die unless the US and Arab League use their leverage right now. Let’s raise our voices to stop the violence.

Sign the petition

The Israeli bombing in Gaza has already killed an 11-month old baby. People have nowhere to hide from the missiles and mortars — Gaza is a prison. 

All mothers can do is stay indoors, put mattresses against windows, and pray for their children.

Israel’s attack may be a cynical move to drum up fear, so that voters reelect Israel’s right-wing extremist government. 

The massive suffering in Gaza will only increase unless global leaders step in to stop it.

With both Israel and Hamas threatening to escalate, it’s likely to get much worse unless the US, which has massive leverage over Israel, works with the EU and the Arab League to intervene. 

The international community has the power to turn this around. 

After Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, the US and Israel worked to delegitimize the vote and isolate Gaza from the rest of the world. Since then, Israel had initiated a ruthless blockade on food, oil, electricity, and medical treatment…

And in 2008 Israel launched a full scale military assault, using all kinds of prohibited weapons, such as phosphoric bombs that keep burning on live bodies and after they die.

Impoverished and overcrowded, Gaza’s isolation has fostered resentment and militancy.

No family, wherever they live, should live in fear of rockets or airstrikes. Gaza is already at a breaking point. The attacks by Israel — coming, not by chance, weeks before Israel’s election — are like throwing a lit match into a tinderbox. If the conflict spirals it will see thousands more die and decades more of misery under occupation.

Only immediate action by the international community, led by the United States, can stop this mess and prevent an all-out ground assault. 

Deep-seated conflicts can only be resolved through courage and determination. And politicians only display that when peace-loving citizens come together in large numbers and demand it. The Avaaz community rallied with force the last time Israel pummeled Gaza — let’s do it again now, before it’s too late. 

Click to call on them to take immediate steps to get a comprehensive ceasefire and end the blockade that’s strangling Gaza. Then share this with everyone — let’s make a noise they can’t ignore:

With hope,

Alice, Mais, Marie, Ricken, Wissam, Nick, Antonia, Pascal and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

Gaza conflict: world holds its breath for first Netanyahu war (The Week)

Egypt will no longer tolerate attacks on Palestinians: FJP (The Daily Star)

Gaza-Israel conflict adds tension to Palestine UN bid (Times Live) 

Israel killed its subcontractor in Gaza (Haaretz)

The trouble with ‘volunteers’…

Can you find alternative terms to “volunteer”? Is a collaborator more agreeable? Employee engagement? Employee impact? A new fresh sucker? Participation of the unemployed?…
First, let’s hear what Toby has to say, and I’ll fill in with my comments.
Toby of  posted his Point of View on Nov.15, 2012 (with slight editing):

“Imagine a cause you feel passionate about.

It could be a charity you support, a community project that you give some of your time to, or even an issue that raises your hackles and encourages you to sign a petition or donate some money.

(I wonder: researching for and writing up a dissertation isn’t it a volunteer work? You are doing it for free, aren’t you?)

Chances are, you feel motivated to do something about it.

You certainly are, if you’re giving up your time to get involved. And you take action because you get something in return.

Selfless acts are rewarding.

More than the simple feel-good factor, they offer many opportunities for you to gain: influencing change you want to see in society, learning new skills, meeting people or gaining relevant experience. They’re not one-way streets; they are exchanges of value.

It’s the same with employee volunteering schemes.

Would you expect one to succeed without this exchange?

At Uscreates, we have worked with hundreds of local people to help achieve positive social impact through ‘volunteer-led’ initiatives.

We learned that you will never make it happen if you just expect people to turn up, knock on a few doors or hand out some leaflets, and go home.

Instead, you have to invest in the volunteers,  and take a broad-minded view of your investment.

It means going beyond thinking just about providing resources.

It’s taking them seriously and showing respect, so that they’ll reciprocate in kind.

It’s listening and understanding in order to help them articulate their needs.

It’s recognising their skills and power, and removing the barriers to their ability to exercise it.

And it’s investing time to build relationships based on trust; to develop their skills; and to allow them to find their own way.

In short, it’s providing for your volunteers, so that they, in turn, can provide as well.

This is why the local people we work with are not called  ‘volunteers’.

The term doesn’t capture this crucial exchange of value that successful involvement requires.

The term volunteer is laden with existing associations and assumptions about the type of relationship, and work, it involves: By definition, it is a label given to people working for free.

It is all about whether they are being paid or not. Instead, ‘collaborators’ is more flexible − there is a value exchange which needn’t be financial.

The limitations of the term ‘volunteering’ may also be something that businesses acknowledge too: many now talk instead of ‘employee engagement’.

Employee engagement sounds Better; but it’s still one-way, prioritising business interests over the social ones.

So we prefer to talk about employee impact. It recognises that each employee is a potential agent of change − for society, themselves, and for the company.

And if that impact is to happen, an exchange of value must happen too.

Correctly identifying and managing this exchange – between the business, the employee, and the cause – is key to creating a scheme that benefits all parties. End of post

How about the other side of the coin of volunteering schemes?

Now is a good time to develop and find a better term for Scheme, a term that has a negative connotation…?

Have you heard of” subjets”? All those people volunterering for experiments, in medical testing (cobaye), in graduate experimental works, volunteered by first year psychology student for course credits, soldiers, a draft soldiers volunteering for reforestation, cleaning up after natural calamities, college students volunteering for “caritative activities”, in market research, collecting data by phone, filling questionnaires, indirectly providing serious information by using social platforms, or allowing Big Brother to listen to your messages…

Let’s face it: Even students who graduated from universities have been working for free for many years, on the ground that these volunteering works are great opportunities to “exchange values, skills, talents, shmoozing, collecting contacts, accumulating referrences…”, enriching our CV with all kinds of irrelevant actions that filled the void, the lost time… to making companies richer by our free professional work…

People in their 30’s, in the full energy of their life, still in the volunteering phase, on the ground of economic downturn, of participating for the general good…

I thought volunteering time and energy is for the retired people, still good enough to fill the void on the ground, out to meet people, discuss with live-people, share their “wisdoms”….

Time to start paying up in money or in kind of equal material values…

Come to think of it: What is meant by sharing values?

Are we talking of volunteering is mostly demanded from “minorities” and the poorer classes so that value systems are discussed and a common denomenator value system is established among the various communities to harmonize the society?




November 2012

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