Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 15th, 2014



Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein assassinated by Israel in a rally to save olive trees

Ziad Abu Ein dies following a confrontation with Israeli troops as he made his way to a tree planting ceremony

Ziad Abu Ein was Deputy Minister for Prisoner Affairs for the Palestinian Authority prior to his role with the anti-settlements committee.

About 100 foreign and Palestinian activists were on their way to plant trees near an Israeli settlement when they were stopped at an improvised checkpoint.

Naomi Wolf  wrote:

“Now you see the morphing headlines..on SkyNews “Palestinian Minister Dies after Troop Clash’ which suggests a militarized conflict — not a group of peaceful demonstrators trying to plant olive trees on their own land…no suggestion of a wrongful death manslaughter or assault in the headline……/palestinian-minister-dies-after-troop…

UK, Wednesday 10 December 2014

Play video “Soldier Row: What Footage Shows”


Video: Soldier Row: What Footage Shows

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has announced 3 days of national mourning after one of his cabinet members died following a confrontation with Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian leaders are holding emergency talks about the incident, while Israel says it is “reviewing the circumstances” of the death.

Mr Abbas says all options are open, following the death of Ziad Abu Ein in the West Bank.

He was taking part in a tree-planting demonstration in Turmus Aya when he was confronted by Israeli soldiers and tear gas was fired.

Witnesses also said the Cabinet member was involved in a scuffle with an Israeli soldier and there were claims he was hit on the chest by an Israeli soldier’s helmet and a rifle butt.

Play video “IDF Promises Investigations”


Video: IDF Promises Investigations

He then began to experience breathing problems, and died while he was being taken to hospital by ambulance.

Mr Abbas said: “What happened today was a crime. We cannot be patient or remain quiet about what happened.

“We are open to taking up any option against the other side.”

Palestinian leaders are due to hold a meeting on Wednesday night to discuss what action they may take.

A group of around 15 Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at the protesters and began scuffling with them, witnesses said.

One marcher said Mr Abu Ein marched toward the soldiers ahead of everyone else, until he was stopped by a soldier.

He said the soldier head-butted the politician then hit him in the chest with his rifle butt.

Play video “Manuel Hassassian: ‘A Crime'”


Video: Manuel Hassassian: ‘A Crime’

The Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian told Sky News: “Ziad Abu Ein was trying to explain the situation, why they were there, and what have you.

“They started pushing and shoving and throwing tear gas at the people and he was defending the right to stay there, to plant the olive trees and the end result was that tear gases were suffocating him. He fell on the ground and he was beaten before he passed away.”

Lt Col Peter Lerner of the Israeli Defence Force told Sky News: “We are investigating the specifics of the events of today. How were our troops prepared for the event, for the demonstration? What did we know? Did we know who was coming?

“We have to determine what is the actual cause of death and I’m happy to say that the Palestinians have agreed that there will be a joint investigation and pathologist both from our side and the Palestinian side will look into what exactly happened.

“Taking care and preventing an escalation of violence, we don’t want that to happen. We are currently speaking with our counterparts in the Palestinian security apparatus in order to prevent an escalation and stop the cycle of violence we face.”.

The British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “I’m shocked by the death of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein, following clashes between the IDF and Palestinians at a protest and tree planting ceremony for Human Rights Day in the West Bank.

“We expect a swift and transparent investigation.”

Joelle Petrakian via Ramsay Shor posted on FB
‘Nobody dreamed this day would have this kind of ending’–
Zaid Abu Ein, Palestinian deputy minister for prisoner affairs, is killed during an olive-tree…



Mythical Tetralogy of Richard Wagner:

Masterpieces, the Ring or Chant of Nibelungen, manipulated and abused by Germany bourgeois class

The 20th century political/economic system in Germany disseminated this myth that German culture doesn’t care about society composition but mainly about the individual human spirit.

This tendency of setting Germany culture apart from western Europe’s Latin culture and the Slovak culture was initiated by manipulating Goethe’s work in the 19th century.

Unlike Dickens, Thackeray, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Balzac, Zola… masterpieces that envisioned the world in its social aspect, The German culture wanted to see the masterpieces of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner as representative of the human in his absolute quest that is crystalized in the myths of the primitive people, the in-temporal poetry of the nature and of the heart.

This cultural explanation was used by Imperial Germany as an expedient for the dissemination of mythical concepts in order to resolve the tenuous organization of its social/economic system “All I want is the popular story“. The Nazi movement took it to its ultimate level of how it interpreted National Socialism.

This genius poet/musician or musician/poet of Wagner had to seek refuge in Switzerland after the failed uprising of Dresden in 1849. It is in Zurich that Wagner composed most of his masterpieces. The German term elend, which means misery, originally meant being in a foreign country, and that is how Wagner felt in his first few years in Switzerland.

And it is from Zurich that Wagner felt deceived by the successive enlargement of the Prussian Empire to include all of Germany and part of Austria.

Wagner wanted that his mythological story goes as far as the origin of mankind and as far as the myths went back in time. Myths not linked to the  Scandinavian or German Medieval myths.

He wanted to take care of the primitive nature of a myth in its simplicity.

And Wagner production was not done in a linear manner. The first work was Gold of the Rhine in which Wagner described the primitive life of the natives who didn’t care about wealth, gold or power. He then composed the Death of Siegfried, but had to wait until he  produced The Valkyrie, Lohengrin, Tannhauser and the Youth of Siegfried. Why?

Wagner was composing for the masses who were more apt to understand and appreciate the primitive way of life and Not for the bourgeois elite society.

However, the little people need a continuity in the story and need to the genesis of the story first thing first and thus, what took place before the death of Siegfried was essential for the tetralogy and Wagner worked 20 years before he presented his first work.

“The initial plan didn’t include many of his works “This is not what I wanted, but now it must be and may God come to my rescue

The ambition in the great work has its source in the work in progress as the author seeks larger reach than he initially endeavoured.

The most little of detail is the fruit of a happy inspiration

“Enthusiasm has the greater part in my plan and Not the fruit of reflection. But it is wrong to understand the power of reflection: In a period of high culture, the artist work cannot but be born from full consciousness.”

Without primitive music his dramas would have lost a great deal of their poetic values.

The music of the original period in mankind history must be incorporated in the ears of the audience before the audience hear the music in the last episodes.

For example, the motif in the question of the kid’s impatience to get tot know who is his mother, the heroes of a race from an enslaved God who wanted his descendants to live the life of the Free without a God, the rapt of Alberich, the ballade of Senta, the incestuous hymn of Siegfried and Siegelinde, the malediction of love, malediction of gold in the mind of Wotan.

In the beginning was the River Rhine.

Creating the myth of the music and its genesis and knowing that Love and Fear are intertwined so that only music can disseminate these intricate feelings.

The German bourgeois society was initially appalled by the tetralogy, but as it gained momentum and appeal to larger section in society, this bourgeois class ran with it and usurped the masterpiece to give it a nationalistic mythical dimension.

The colonial powers could now send the little people to the colonies under the motto: “What is good for the Nation (elite class) is necessarily good for the citizens

Note: Read the essay of Thomas Mann “The Nobleness of the Spirit


Pain in the ass to retrieve numbers and statistics in Lebanon. Worst when it is related to money

How hard is it to get information from the Lebanese government?

The answer may surprise you. I discuss my adventure with the finance ministry in my recent column for Bold Magazine

Habib Battah posted:

Lebanon By The Numbers

It seemed a straightforward question: How much money has the Lebanese government received in Syria-related aid donations?

When I asked the Prime Minister’s advisor at his lavish office in the Grand Serail, he lifted his hands. “It’s a very small number. It’s nothing. I don’t have it,” he said, looking at me as if the matter was inconsequential.

At the time, the Lebanese government had been on a world tour to lobby for funds to cope with the world’s largest refugee crisis, arguing that it had received a pittance in aid money.

I was writing a piece about it and thought, in order to make that argument effectively, wouldn’t it be helpful to specify exactly how much has been given, to underscore the wide gap between that tiny figure and the amount that was actually needed?

I emailed the advisor twice after our interview and he could still not produce an answer, referring me instead to the Finance Ministry.

So days later, I put in a call there – well, several calls – until I was told I would need to make an information request. Naturally, the bureaucrat told me requests could only be made in writing, and by this she meant typed and delivered in person, not signed and scanned, not emailed, not faxed, not any means convenient or rational.

So half an hour of walking later – thank God I live in Beirut – I arrived at the Finance Ministry with a typed up piece of paper stating my simple one line question, who I was writing for and why I wanted to know.

I approached the office of the “responsible person,” a middle-aged man, who was flanked by two similarly aged women. He smiled wryly at my request. “You were living abroad?” I affirmed, but asked how that was relevant to obtaining the information. “If you can, go back there. Lebanon is like Angola,” he exclaimed with a chuckle. I smiled and asked one of his female co-workers if they had dealt with journalists often. “You are the first one I have seen here,” she said soberly.

Later I visited the office of the bureaucrat I had dealt with over the phone to see if I could hurry matters along as I was on a deadline. She told me the request would take “some time” as it, like all press inquiries, had to be approved by the minister.

Surprisingly, she said I could have a look at the figure in the meantime, though I could not quote her. She pulled out a spartan spreadsheet of what seemed to be accounts receivable, with only a few entries. She did a few quick calculations, and figured total donations to the state amounted to around $2.8 million, an astoundingly tiny sum, which would amount to less than 0.1% of Lebanon’s total aid appeal. Why was this figure so hard to obtain?

I called and emailed the same bureaucrat several times over the following two weeks, but my request was never answered. Eventually I was forced to use the unofficial figure, labeling it as a “government estimate.” A couple of weeks after the piece was published -nearly a month after my initial request was made – I received a phone call from a ministry employee.

The figure I had requested was ready, she said nonchalantly. It was close to $2 million or $1 million less than the previous figure. But who was counting.

Clearly accuracy or transparency were not a priority among the myriad of officials I had dealt with. This meant I would miss my deadline and that the public would not have access to relevant national data illustrating the daunting challenge the country and its institutions faced.

Yet I was also surprised by the lack of reporters that had requested documents from the Ministry of Finance (perhaps the most important of all ministries), according to the staff I met.

The bureaucracy may be stifling but negotiating it is part of what journalism is there for. Who else is going to have time to pace government hallways, make phone calls relentlessly, and ultimately put pressure on authorities?

Sadly, many reporters and activists often assume that if the information is not forthcoming it simply does not exist or, worse still, is not worth pursuing. It is almost as if we are conditioned not to ask, not to bother, to accept evasive answers, sigh and call it a day, so to speak.

But what many may not realize is that non-answers are also a type of answer; that they are also responses worthy of being recorded and disseminated to the public.

I have written entire articles based on non-answers, from pollution on Lebanese beaches, to a lack of budget or website for Municipality of Beirut, to top internet officials who refused to discuss their roles in one of the world’s worst connections.

In many of these cases, the desire to remain evasive produced flustered, if not comical answers that cast even more doubt on the competency of those in power. “No comment” should send up a red flag for any dedicated journalist: keep digging.

Increasingly, concerned citizens are not waiting for journalists to do their jobs. Every year, new activist groups are born, composed of both young and older individuals willing to sacrifice time and effort to dig through archives, take screenshots from Google Earth, conceal hidden cameras, pore through archaic legal codes to document illegal seizure of public properties, racism at beach resorts, grounds for civil marriage, among many other issues.

One group is even now looking into resurrecting a 1920s era law that allows citizens to launch complaints with Parliament, though it has rarely ever been used before.

The internet and social media have helped create momentum like never before, even in a place that seems as feudalistic or complacent as Lebanon’s public sector.

As a result, today it is easier for anyone to get involved and to pressure both news outlets and officials to work harder to come up with the answers that citizens deserve.

This column originally appeared in the July issue of Bold Magazine




December 2014

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