Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 2014

 

It has ripened: racial apartheid in Israel

On November 5th 2014, Naftali Bennet published an opinion article titled “For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution” in the New York Times, asserting that “Israel cannot withdraw from more territory and cannot allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.”

Instead, Bennet proposes, Israel should control the entire West Bank, creating clusters of ‘upgraded’ Palestinian Autonomy that will be “short of a state,” not being allowed to “control its own borders and… to have a military.” (But all of the West Bank is already controlled by Israel)

Although within Israel this publication went relatively unnoticed, it was a momentous action, signaling the beginning of the public unmasking of the one-sided Israeli solution; making visible a system of apartheid that evolved over a long time, but did so in increments and in a way that allows those in power to deny its existence.

(But all Israel’s actions have been one-sided when it suits its policies. Israel never followed up on any negotiation deal)

Bringing apartheid through the back door. (But Israel blatantly exhibits its apartheid policies up-front to the world community)

Na’aman Hirschfeld published this Nov. 23, 2014

Conditions are ripe for the racial apartheid that Israel has been gradually imposing on the territories since 1967

Coming out in the open – with a public primed to applaud and accept it.

 

The separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank.

The separation barrier (The Wall of Shame) between Israel and the West Bank. Photo by Nir Kafri
(No see Palestinians, No fear them: They don’t exist)

In South Africa apartheid was publicly visible from the onset, being the official state ideology, underlying its law, policy and actions.

In Israel by contrast, apartheid was developed in a way that masks its nature, employing the imposition of martial law and military control on the Palestinian population, to create a geo-social and physical separation between Israelis and Palestinians, while simultaneously facilitating the seizure and settlement of Palestinian.

For most Israelis, as well as many international observers, this apartheid is invisible because the first and to a degree primary purpose of this system is the restriction of Palestinian presence within Israeli space – geographically, socially, judicially, economically and culturally.

This effect is, by its nature, almost transparent within Israel itself: It occurs elsewhere – in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas into which most Israelis never venture and are in fact often not allowed to enter.

The Israeli settlers who do live in those areas, be it because of their ideological commitment or because of governmental economic incentives, as well as the military forces, governmental personnel, non-profit organizations, and commercial concerns that operate there, are actively and aggressively imposing this apartheid as “facts on the ground.”

Indeed this is the special characteristic of this apartheid: rather than being the foundational Ideology of the state, it is an apparatus that is seemingly extrinsic to it – a de facto system of oppression and segregation that is wholly unspoken of in official rhetoric and almost all Israeli media.

Although this apartheid was developed and shaped by the policies of almost all Israeli governments since 1967, it manifests primarily in praxis. This allows citizens and politicians alike to deny its existence (even to themselves.)

After all, no Israeli government ever publicly discussed enacting “apartheid”, and the system that does exist is disjointed, composed of many different elements that act in unison but not through the aegis of any single official entity or government directive.

This is now changing. Two days after Bennet published his article, the government approved a bill that extends Israeli civil law into the settlements automatically (settlers are already subject to civil law) and thus officially extends the state’s civil jurisdiction into the west bank, which being an occupied territory, is currently governed through martial law.

Alongside this territorializing action, which seeks to dissolve the distinction between the occupied and non-occupied, the democratic and secular basis of the state is under attack with the proposed “Jewish Nation-State Basic Law,” which Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to push through as soon as possible.

The first clause of this law states:

“a. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people in which it realizes its aspiration for self-determination in accordance with its cultural and historic heritage;

b. The right to realize the national self-definition in the State of Israel is exclusive to the Jewish people;

c. The Land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and the place of establishment of the State of Israel.”

It further asserts the significance of “Jewish tradition as a source of inspiration” in legislation, demotes Arabic from being an official language into a secondary language, and sets the “basics of liberty, justice and peace envisioned by the prophets of Israel” as a defining characteristic of the state alongside democracy.

Erasing the Palestinians

If this bill becomes law, it would force the Supreme Court to give more weight in judicial decisions to the Jewish element than the democratic one in all instances in which there is a clash between the two, curtailing the judiciary and removing key checks and balances that have thus effectively prevented the enactment of a de jure apartheid through legislative and executive actions.

It would also dramatically exacerbate the bias against Palestinians who are Israeli citizens (euphemistically referred to in Israel as “Israeli-Arabs”,) while introducing the denial of the Palestinians’ claim to a homeland and of their right to self-determination into the legal foundation of the State of Israel itself; making the erasure of Palestine and Palestinians into the law of the land while enabling the expansion of the state to include the entire territory of the Land of Israel / Palestine.

There is little hope for those who wish to stop this process. The political discourse in Israel is so powerfully controlled by the right, that this government – which is the most right-wing in Israeli history – is often criticized publicly for being ‘leftist.’

Even if the ruling coalition were to collapse, which appears to be a real possibility, the next government will be in all probability even more extremely right-wing, with the two real contenders for premiership being Netanyahu and Bennet.

Although the rise of the extreme-right in Israel has been in the making for many years, a development that notably accelerated since “Operation Cast Lead,” the past year saw a massive shift to the right in Israeli politics and society at large. This was not merely the result of events that occurred, or of conditions that ripened, but rather of intentional actions aimed at ushering this very reality.

While the Israeli move to cease the peace-talks this April was significant, this was mostly symbolic because these talks were a sham from the get go.

The policy of settlement that was initiated by the first Netanyahu government (1996-‘99) and continued ever since, made the two state solution a non-viable possibility: Even a cursory look at the geographic distribution of the settlements makes it abundantly clear that without the forced evacuation of a huge number of settlers from the West Bank the formation of an actual Palestinian state is impossible, and such an evacuation became an impossibility once Ariel Sharon ceased being premier (2006).

The facade of a “peace process” finally collapsed five months ago, when the kidnapping of three Israeli-Jewish teenagers was cynically used by the government to manufacture a war. Although the Israeli security services knew early on that the teenagers were dead, the government falsely claimed that the teenagers were alive.

This was done in order to justify the transformation of the search into a large scale military operation against Hamas, initiating the spiral of escalations that eventually served as the official cause of war. It was also simultaneously used as an excuse to conduct a veritable propaganda campaign meant to shape the public’s opinion and collective experience by instilling a false sense of hope and solidarity with the families of the kidnapped – a campaign in which the established Israeli media was a willing participant.

As expected, when the bodies were eventually found, this false hope shattered, transforming into collective grief and outrage, and giving rise to an unprecedented wave of racial hatred that swept Israel.

The resulting burning of Mohammad Abu Khdeir and the ensuing large scale Palestinian demonstrations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, against the background of escalation in the IDF’s bombardment of Gaza and Hamas’ launching of missiles, were used to galvanize the public, channeling the Israeli public’s wish for revenge into a justification for war.

Although the war ended in mid-august, by late September it became apparent that the Israeli government is trying to bring about a full scale intifada through aggressive steps in East Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the West Bank.

At the same time, a full-scale media war was initiated against the Palestinian Authority – shifting the responsibility for the escalating violence to Mahmud Abbas, while in fact agitating for more violence. This is an ‘end-game’ maneuver: The Israeli government closed the door on negotiations and has finally proved that it really is “no partner for peace,” forcing a situation in which there is no longer a solution, only a resolution.

A race has begun:

As the Palestinian Authority attempts to achieve statehood, at least on paper, with a UN recognition of it’s being a state – an effort that already acquired substantial momentum, the Israeli government is maneuvering to create a reality that will empty these moves of all meaning, finally dissolving the last vestiges of the Oslo Accords by bringing the West Bank in its entirety back under Israeli control, consigning Palestinians to semi-autonomous territories that will resemble South-Africa’s “Bantustans” in all but name.

Although there is a chance this maneuver will fail, there is also a good chance it will succeed.

Since Israeli governments proved time and again that “facts on the ground” are very hard to change, and given the distinct possibility that the shifting balance of world-power will dramatically fortify Israel as an irreplaceable ally for the west, the successful enactment of apartheid will postpone indefinitely the creation of a Palestinian state and shift the site of conflict and oppression from the occupied territories to the very core of Israeli society.

This is the end of Zionism its final result – a Jewish state that embodies the rationale of anti-Semitism.

Note:

ISRAEL CONFIRMS A “JEWISH STATE” IS A RACIST STATE.

“The Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved draft legislation that emphasized Israel’s Jewish character above its democratic nature.”

P.S. WHAT “democratic nature”?

The draft legislation emphasizes Israel’s Jewish character above its democratic nature, proposing to define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a…
nytimes.com|By Isabel Kershner

 

 

 

The Disease of Being Busy

I am so busy… have so much going on.

First of all: Need to set the context of the story. Like where people feel so busy.

by Omid Safi (@ostadjaan),  weekly columnist

I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.”

Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.”

The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed.

And it’s not just adults. When we moved to North Carolina about ten years ago, we were thrilled to be moving to a city with a great school system. We found a diverse family neighborhood. Everything felt good, felt right.

After we settled in, we went to one of the friendly neighbors, asking if their daughter and our daughter could get together and play. The mother, a really lovely person, reached for her phone and pulled out the calendar function. She scrolled… and scrolled… and scrolled.

She finally said: “My daughter has a 45-minute opening two and half weeks from now. The rest of the time it’s gymnastics, piano, and voice lessons. She’s just…. so busy.”

Horribly destructive habits start early, really early.

How did we end up living like this?

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we do this to our children?

When did we forget that we are human beings, Not human doings?

Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored?

Do we have to love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?

What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

How did we create a world in which we have more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?

Somewhere we read, “The unexamined life is not worth living… for a human.” How are we supposed to live, to examine, to be, to become fully human when we are so busy?

This disease of being “busy” , when we are never at ease is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.

Since the 1950s, we have had so many new technological innovations that we thought (or were promised) would make our lives easier, faster, simpler. Yet, we have no more “free” or leisurely time today than we did decades ago.

For some of us, the “privileged” ones, the lines between work and home have become blurred. We are on our devices. All the Freaking Time.

Smart phones and laptops mean that there is no division between the office and home. When the kids are in bed, we are back online.

One of my own daily struggles is the avalanche of email. I often refer to it as my jihad against email.

I am constantly buried under hundreds and hundreds of emails, and I have absolutely no idea how to make it stop. I’ve tried different techniques: only responding in the evenings, not responding over weekends, asking people to schedule more face-to-face time. They keep on coming, in volumes that are unfathomable: personal emails, business emails, hybrid emails.

And people expect a response — right now (Not correct). I, too, it turns out… am so busy.

The reality looks very different for others.

For many, working two jobs in low-paying sectors is the only way to keep the family afloat.

Twenty percent of our children are living in poverty, and too many of our parents are working minimum wage jobs just to put a roof over their head and something resembling food on the table. We are so busy.

The old models, including that of a nuclear family with one parent working outside the home (if it ever existed), have passed away for most of us. We now have a majority of families being single families, or where both parents are working outside the home. It is not working.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask in Arabic, Kayf haalak? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your 7aal?

What is this haal that you inquire about?

It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment.

Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch.

Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing.

Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch.

Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.

Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second.

Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.

I teach at a university where many students pride themselves on the “study hard, party hard” lifestyle. This might be a reflection of many of our lifestyles and our busy-ness — that even our means of relaxation is itself a reflection of that same world of overstimulation.

Our relaxation often takes the form of action-filled (yet mindless) films, or violent and face-paced sports.

I don’t have any magical solutions. All I know is that we are losing the ability to live a truly human life.

We need a different relationship to work, to technology.

We know what we want: a meaningful life, a sense of community, a balanced existence.

It’s not just about “leaning in” or faster iPhones. We want to be truly human.

W. B. Yeats once wrote:

“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”

How exactly are we supposed to examine the dark corners of our soul when we are so busy?

How are we supposed to live the examined life?

I am always a prisoner of hope, but I wonder if we are willing to have the structural conversation necessary about how to do that, how to live like that. Somehow we need a different model of organizing our lives, our societies, our families, our communities.

I want my kids to be dirty, messy, even bored — learning to become human.

I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing? I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the state of my heart.

How is the state of your heart today?

Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”

Note: Even in retirement people need to feel totally busy. Many feel happy when retirement age is extended. That is why getting bed ridden is the end of the world.

 

The Trouble With the Genetically Modified Future

Like many people, are you wondered about the safety of genetically modified organisms?

They’ve become so ubiquitous that they account for about 80% of the corn grown in the U.S., yet we know almost nothing about what damage might ensue if the transplanted genes spread through global ecosystems.

Mark Buchanan

this Nov 16, 2014

How can so many smart people, including many scientists, be so sure that there’s nothing to worry about?

Judging from a new paper by several researchers from New York University, including “The Black Swan” author Nassim Taleb, they can’t and shouldn’t.

The researchers focus on the risk of extremely unlikely but potentially devastating events.

They argue that there’s no easy way to decide whether such risks are worth taking — it all depends on the nature of the worst-case scenario.

Their approach helps explain why some technologies, such as nuclear energy, should give no cause for alarm, while innovations such as GMOs merit extreme caution.

The researchers fully recognize that fear of bad outcomes can lead to paralysis. Any human action, including inaction, entails risk. That said, the downside risks of some actions may be so hard to predict — and so potentially bad — that it is better to be safe than sorry.

The benefits, no matter how great, do not merit even a tiny chance of an irreversible, catastrophic outcome.

For most actions, there are identifiable limits on what can go wrong. Planning can reduce such risks to acceptable levels. When introducing a new medicine, for example, we can monitor the unintended effects and react if too many people fall ill or die.

Taleb and his colleagues argue that nuclear power is a similar case: Awful as the sudden meltdown of a large reactor might be, physics strongly suggests that it is exceedingly unlikely to have global and catastrophic consequences.

Not all risks are so easily defined.

In some cases, as Taleb explained in “The Black Swan,” experience and ordinary risk analysis are inadequate to understand the probability or scale of a devastating outcome.

GMOs are an excellent example. Despite all precautions, genes from modified organisms inevitably invade natural populations, and from there have the potential to spread uncontrollably through the genetic ecosystem.

There is no obvious mechanism to localize the damage.

Biologists still don’t understand how genes interact within a single organism, let alone how genes might spread among organisms in complex ecosystems. Only in the last 20 years have scientists realized how much bacteria rely on the so-called horizontal flow of genes — directly from one bacterium to another, without any reproduction taking place.

This seems to be one of the most effective ways that antibiotic resistance spreads among different species. Similar horizontal exchange might be hugely important for plants and animals. No one yet knows.

In other words, scientists are being irresponsibly short-sighted if they judge the safety of GMOs based on the scattered experience of the past couple decades. It’s akin to how, ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, analysts looked at 20 years of rising house prices and assumed they would always go up.

The honest approach would be to admit that we understand almost nothing about the safety of GMOs, except that whatever happens is pretty likely to spread.

Science is at its best when it acknowledges uncertainty and focuses on defining how much can be known. In the case of GMOs, we know far too little for our own good.

To contact the author on this story:
Mark Buchanan at mbuchanan32@bloomberg.net

 Note:

Arguing with biologists about risk is exactly like arguing with George W. Bush about algebraic geometry.
This is by Mark Buchanan, a physicist.
http://bv.ms/1vfU8oK

Story of another civil war: Syrians on their knees?

Almost 200,000 Syrians have lost their lives in the escalating conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule.

Syria’s bloody internal conflict, which started in 2011, has destroyed entire neighbourhoods and forced more than 9 million people from their homes.  The UN declared that 11 million Syrians (out of 20 million) need urgent aids to survive this catastrophe.

This is the story of the civil war so far, in eight short chapters.

1. Uprising turns violent

Syrian protesters

Pro-democracy protests erupted in March 2011 in the southern city of Deraa after the arrest and torture of some teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. After security forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing several, more took to the streets.

The unrest triggered nationwide protests demanding President Assad’s resignation. The government’s use of force to crush the dissent merely hardened the protesters’ resolve.

By July 2011, hundreds of thousands were taking to the streets across the country.

Opposition supporters eventually began to take up arms, first to defend themselves and later to expel security forces from their local areas.

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2. Descent into civil war

Grieving Syrian man and injured girl

Violence escalated and the country descended into civil war as rebel brigades were formed to battle government forces for control of cities, towns and the countryside. Fighting reached the capital Damascus and second city of Aleppo in 2012.

By June 2013, the UN said 90,000 people had been killed in the conflict. However, by August 2014 that figure had more than doubled to 191,000.

The conflict is now more than just a battle between those for or against President Assad. It has acquired sectarian overtones, pitching the country’s Sunni majority against the president’s Shia Alawite sect, and drawn in neighbouring countries and world powers. The rise of the jihadist groups, including Islamic State, has added a further dimension.

Syria death toll chart
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3. War crimes

Barrel bomb victim

A UN commission of inquiry, investigating alleged human rights violations since March 2011, has evidence that those on both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes – including murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearances. Government and rebel forces have also been accused by investigators of using civilian suffering, such as blocking access to food, water and health services, as a method war.

In the city of Aleppo, an estimated 3,000 people have been killed by barrel bombs dropped by the regime on rebel-held areas since December last year. The UN says that in some instances, civilian gatherings have been deliberately targeted, constituting massacres.

The jihadist group, Islamic State, has also been accused by the UN of waging a campaign of fear in northern and eastern Syria. Its fighters have beheaded hostages and carried out mass killings of members of the security forces and religious minorities.

We’re just living on the edge of life. We’re always nervous, we’re always afraid

Mother-of-nine, Mariam Akash, whose husband was killed by a sniper
Getty Images
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4. Chemical weapons

Syrians in masks

Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 after rockets filled with the nerve agent sarin were fired at several agricultural districts around Damascus. Western powers, outraged by the attack, said it could only have been carried out by Syria’s government. The regime and its ally Russia blamed rebels.

Facing the prospect of US military intervention, President Assad agreed to the complete removal or destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal as part of a joint mission led by the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The destruction of chemical agents and munitions was completed a year later.

Despite the operation, the OPCW has since documented the use of toxic chemicals, such as chlorine and ammonia, by the government in attacks on rebel-held northern villages between April and July 2014.

Map showing alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria in 2013
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5. Humanitarian crisis

Syrian refugees

More than 3 million people have fled Syria since the start of the conflict, most of them women and children. It is one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history. Neighbouring countries have borne the brunt of the refugee crisis, with Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey struggling to accommodate the flood of new arrivals. The exodus accelerated dramatically in 2013, as conditions in Syria deteriorated.

A further 6.5 million people, 50% of them children, are believed to be internally displaced within Syria, bringing the total number forced to flee their homes to more than 9.5 million – half the country’s population.

An estimated 10.8 million are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, with 4.6 million living in areas under siege or hard to access.

The UN launched its largest ever appeal for a single crisis in December 2013, seeking $6.5bn (£4bn) to provide medical care, food, water, shelter, education and health services.

Map showing Syrian refugee numbers across the region
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6. Rebels and the rise of the Islamists

Nusra Front fighter

The armed rebellion has evolved significantly since its inception, with as many as 1,000 groups commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters. Secular moderates are now outnumbered by Islamists and jihadists, whose brutal tactics have caused widespread concern and triggered rebel infighting.

Capitalising on the chaos in the region, Islamic State (IS) – the extremist group that grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq – has taken control of huge swathes of territory across Iraq and Syria. Its many foreign fighters in Syria are now involved in a “war within a war”, battling rebels who object to their tactics as well as Kurdish forces.

In September 2014, a US-led coalition launched air strikes inside Iraq and Syria in an effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” IS.

In the political arena, rebel groups are also deeply divided – with rival alliances battling for supremacy. The most prominent is the moderate National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, backed by several Western and Gulf Arab states. However, the coalition’s primacy is rejected by other groups – including the powerful Islamist alliance, the Islamic Front – leaving the country without a convincing nationally supported alternative to the current Syrian regime.

Map showing Islamic State territory across Iraq and Syria
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7. Peace efforts

Peace talks on Syria

With neither side able to inflict a decisive defeat on the other, the international community long ago concluded that only a political solution could end to the conflict in Syria. However, a number of attempts by the Arab League and the UN to broker ceasefires and start dialogue have failed.

In January 2014, the US, Russia and UN convened a conference in Switzerland to implement the 2012 Geneva Communique, an internationally-backed agreement that called for the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria formed on the basis of mutual consent.

The talks, which became known as Geneva II, broke down in February after only two rounds.

The then UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi blamed the Syrian government’s refusal to discuss opposition demands and its insistence on a focus on fighting “terrorists” – a term Damascus uses to describe rebel groups.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the organisation’s long-term strategic objective remains a political solution based on the Geneva Communique.

The new UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura has also proposed establishing a series of “freeze zones”, where local ceasefires would be negotiated to allow aid deliveries in besieged areas.

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8. Proxy war

Rebel fighter

What began as another Arab Spring uprising against an autocratic ruler has mushroomed into a brutal proxy war that has drawn in regional and world powers.

Iran and Russia have propped up the Alawite-led government of President Assad and gradually increased their support, providing it with an edge that has helped it make significant gains against the rebels. The regime has also enjoyed the support of Lebanon’s Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement.

The Sunni-dominated opposition has, meanwhile, attracted varying degrees of support from its main backers – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Arab states along with the US, UK and France. However, the rise of radical Islamist militia in rebel ranks and the arrival of Sunni jihadists from across the world has led to a marked cooling of international and regional backing.

The disappointment caused by the West’s inaction created a fertile recruiting ground for extremists, who told those who had lost their loved ones that they were their only hope

Majed, a 26-year-old civil society activist

 

Ferguson Protesters To Be Prosecuted? Like the Palestinians in Israel?

President Barack Obama strongly denounced violence that occurred during demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, and called for prosecutions against those committing “criminal acts” Tuesday night.

“Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk — that’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts. And people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts,” Obama said before giving a speech on immigration in Chicago, Illinois.

(Obama was upset because they were destroying their community).

Protesters stormed the streets of Ferguson Monday night, after a grand jury declined to indict the white police officer, Darren Wilson, who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August.

Wilson has said he acted in self-defense, but protesters disagree and argue the killing is part of a larger problem of police discrimination.

The demonstration quickly turned violent with numerous businesses and cars torched by the crowd. More than 60 protesters were arrested and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced he would deploy over  2,000 National Guard troops to keep order Tuesday evening.

Obama said it would be inappropriate for him to address the specifics of Wilson’s case.

However, as he did in a speech following the verdict, Obama spoke generally about his sympathies with the community’s broader frustrations. He said he ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to look into improving police training and diversity across the country.

The frustrations that people have generally, those are rooted in some hard truths that have to be addressed. And so those who are prepared to work constructively, your president will work with you. A lot of folks, I believe, in law enforcement, and a lot of people in city halls, and governors’ offices around the country want to work with you as a well,” Obama said.

While he noted he understands why many are upset by the situation, Obama said he has “no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities.”

“The bottom line is nothing of significance, nothing of benefit, results from destructive acts. I’ve never seen a civil rights law, or a healthcare law, or an immigration bill result because a car got burnt,” he said.

“Take the long-term, lasting route of working with me and governors and state officials to bring about some real change. And to those who think that what happened in Ferguson is an excuse for violence, I do not have any sympathy for that.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-violent-ferguson-protesters-should-be-prosecuted-2014-11#ixzz3KN9InRon

Note: The Palestinian youth in the West Bank are arrested administratively while in their home under no charges whatsoever and are incarcerated for over 6 months. These stone throwers are shot by live bullets, mostly in their backs and heads.

 

And why mankind is “homogeneous”?

How come with this tenuous evolutionary theory?

Current explanation defies a few of my common senses

Ice age covered most of Europe and reduced the green Sahara to a desert. And that was 200,000 years ago that almost wiped out all kinds of human species and barely 600 of them survived in 5 locations in Africa, mainly by the main Congo, Niger and the Nile rivers… That’s the current hypothesis.

The theory want us to believe that from these 600 left to survive, homo sapiens managed to colonized earth and all its continents. How? By following the herds, the edible vegetarian animals.

As if herds are about to leave their domain: They barely cross rivers in their shallow sections, and these scientists want us to believe that they crossed seas and oceans, one way or another.

Many kinds of bipeds species with brain size close to current man have been found in many continents. A few species had very small stature and much smaller brain volume, others had larger stature and larger brain, others grew as fast as Chimpanzees do (an 8 year-old skeletal looked as 14 of age)…

This centrist theory, as old as time, is pretty tenuous.

If mankind homo sapiens could develop in Africa, why it should be so far fetched for Man to have also evolved in Iran, India, South Asia, Latin America and in every major river basin?

If they managed to evolve in Africa, homo sapiens should be able to evolve in a few other locations with the appropriate climatic conditions, away from the poles.

In any case, if they evolved with a different DNA structure then they wouldn’t be of the same species. Would they?

Why the scientists keep insisting on this centrist concept?

If mankind on earth has the same genes structure, should it be because it came from a single source or branch?

How about considering this alternative: mankind has the same genes simply because this is the exact structure that made him everywhere he evolved?

If the Neanderthal  species survived for 400,000 years, twice as long as Homo sapiens,  why the researchers insists that this species disappeared 25,000 years ago simply because it failed to be flexible and adjust to climate change?

The scientist want us to believe a theory that the larger brain of the Neanderthal species had two lobes smaller than current man, simply based on the structure of the skull, a tenuous finding meant to degrade this evolved kind of species. The scientists claim that he lived mainly on meat and never ate fruits or vegetables.

If this is true, then the Neanderthal species must have domesticated animals in farms and thanks to plenty of protein they grew bigger than homo sapiens in body and brain: they had to consume twice the required calories.

Why the researchers stick to the notion that the Neanderthal failed to fabricate killing tools adapted for the large animals, when they were totally carnivorous species and needed twice as much protein as the better evolved Homo sapiens?

Actually, the tools the scientists discovered were of their latest phase before extinction and are not representative of 400 thousand years of evolution. Anyway, if they had short range killing tools, maybe it is because they domesticated animals and didn’t need to go after dangerous animals.

How about because they had domesticated the animals and didn’t need heavier weapons?

How about this species failed to survive more than 400,000 simply because the various branches didn’t merge in a few locations to improve their skills and culture for development?

And Why this current mankind seems homogeneous?

I conjecture that samples of many mankind species migrated to the most fertile centers after major calamities where they evolved and formed a melting pot of developed species.

I may consider at least 4 melting pot centers: The South-East Asia around the Mekong River, the Indus/Ganges Rivers, the Central America, and the Middle-East/Caucasus region.

The best plausible hypothesis is that of the advent of the “Reverse Migrations” from the main melting pot centers to the 5 corners of earth, each center migrating everywhere by successive phases, with preference to the closer regions and then onward.

If the Middle East is considered the cradle of civilization, maybe it is because many more than one branch of Homo sapience converged and linked in this land. This convergence generated higher development for intelligence and a variety of cultural know-hows for sedentary living.

If it has been proven that the Phoenician mariners landed and colonized America (north, middle and south) 3,000 years ago, why is it not possible that mankind colonized these continents, Australia and the Pacific islands from South Asia and India, many thousands years before the Phoenicians?

Be careful excavating the artifacts from archaeological centers in the Middle-East.

Mankind, be honest, generous and proud of your origins.

 

 

On Being a Black Male, Six Feet Four Inches Tall, in America in 2014

Just like Michael Brown, comedian and commentator W. Kamau Bell is six feet four inches tall. And he knows it.

I am afraid of the cops. Absolutely petrified of the cops.

Now understand, I’ve never been arrested or held for questioning. I’ve never been told that I “fit the description.” But that doesn’t change a thing.

I am afraid of cops the way that spiders are afraid of boots. You’re walking along, minding your own business, and SQUISH! You are dead.

By Cassie Wright/Getty Images for SXSW

Simply put, I am afraid of the cops because I am black.

To raise the stakes even further, I am male. And to go all in on this pot of fear, I am six foot four, and weigh 250 pounds.

Michael Brown, the unarmed Missouri 18-year-old shot dead by police this summer, was also six foot four. Depending on your perspective, I could be described as a “gentle giant,” the way that teachers described Brown.

Or I could be described as a “demon,” the way that Officer Darren Wilson described Michael Brown in his grand-jury testimony.

I don’t engage in any type of behavior that should place me in a cop’s crosshairs. I don’t live in “one of those neighborhoods,” or hang out with a “bad crowd,” (unless you count comedians).

I am not involved in felonious activity. I’m not bragging. I’m just boring. But the fact that I’m not involved in any of that stuff doesn’t leave me any more confident I won’t be killed.

That’s because I’ve been endowed with the triple crown of being killed for no good reason: big, black, and male.

On Monday night, I went out for ic 000019F2 e cream at 12:30 A.M. I walked a while because I live in a pretty sleepy neighborhood in Berkeley, California.

I had my hoodie up, because it was cold and it made it easier to listen to the podcast in my headphones.

By the time I found a late-night convenience store, I had passed a few—by my eye—unsavory characters of all races. So, as I walked in the store I had to take some precautionary action.

For starters, I took the hood down. I took it down even though my afro had become a flat-fro from being squashed underneath. I didn’t touch anything that I wasn’t absolutely sure I was going to buy. (Just like my mom had taught me.)

I kept my hands out of my pockets with palms clearly visible so the clerk behind the counter could easily see that I wasn’t shoving things in—or maybe more importantly about to pull something out of—my pockets.

And as soon as I decided on an It’s It ice-cream sandwich, I went directly to the counter and gingerly placed my selection down, again keeping my palms visible and only making the movements I needed to get the money out of my wallet.

All seemed to be going well. But I was so preoccupied with not seeming unsavory that when the clerk said “two twenty-five”, I thought he said, “one twenty-five.” As he wordlessly stared at the two bucks I had given him without looking me in the eye, I realized my error and simultaneously had a tiny jolt of adrenalin.

“Uh-oh!” I thought. “He’s going to think I’m pulling some sort of scam!” I envisioned him getting loud, “WHAT ARE YOU UP TO HERE?” Then I imagined myself trying to calm him down . . .

He misunderstands, and pulls out a gun. I run out of the store. He calls the cops. Since I live in a good neighborhood they show up quickly. They cut me off as I’m running home. They leap out of their car, guns drawn. I start to truly panic, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! IT WAS A MISTAKE!” I put my arms up in the air. At this point I realize I’m holding the It’s It, which I never paid for. I wave my hands frantically and say, “I DIDN’T MEAN TO STEAL THIS!” The cops take in all my hand waving, crazy talk, and B.B.M.-ness and then, POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! I’m dead.

The next day, it comes out that earlier that night I’d had a fight with my wife . . . and that I had recently written a blog about comedians and depression . . . and that in my standup act I have jokes that are critical of police.

The media reports that when I was in high school I was an assistant instructor at a kung-fu school. Headline: Black Comedian, a Martial-Arts Expert Who Hated Cops, Fought with His Wife, and Was Clinically Depressed, Demonically Steals Frozen Treat From Local Merchant.

That all went through my head—in about a second.

And I was just trying to buy ice cream. I don’t live in a socio-economically deprived neighborhood. I haven’t been denied a good education by my local government. I don’t generally feel trapped by my circumstances. But I do feel every bit of my six-foot-four-inch, 250-pound body, and every bit of my black skin.

And lest you think I am exaggerating in the above scenario, know that it contains elements of the deaths of Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Kajieme Powell, Eric Garner, and others.

The fact is that being a B.B.M. has consequences. Being a B.B.M. is why I smile quickly. It’s why I don’t usually stand to my full height. I slouch and bend.

When acquaintances haven’t seen me for awhile, I often hear, “I forgot how tall you are!” I know you did. It’s because I’m trying to make you forget. This is what being black in America has done to me, to others like me, and in some sense, even to you.

It’s not that I think that I will be killed by a police officer. It’s just that if I am, it won’t be a surprise.

W. Kamau Bell’s “Oh, Everything!” Comedy Tour runs through the end of January 2015. He is also the co-host of the new podcast Denzel Washington Is Greatest Actor Of All Time Period with his longtime collaborator Kevin Avery available on Wolfpop.com.

Jobs decoded in Info-graphic forms

By Merci Alfred

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