Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Rania Khalek

Democrats try to bury Palestine in middle of the night

In the early morning hours of 25 June, while many Americans were asleep, Hillary Clinton allies on the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee blocked a motion that called for an end to Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlement enterprise.

The vote came after several grueling hours of bickering between members named to the committee by Clinton and Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, on the one hand, and those appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders, on the other.

The video above shows highlights of the heated exchanges surrounding the vote.

Deeper struggles over Israel taking place within the party have been brought into the open since Sanders named prominent supporters of Palestinian rights to the committee that is writing the party’s general election platform.

Clinton, who appears likely to clinch the party’s presidential nomination after a hard-fought primary battle with Sanders, named members who back her staunch pro-Israel lin

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Despite the tragedy of the other guy winning, this is the platform of the presumptive democratic nominee:
“Clinton surrogates shot down motions endorsing universal health care, a carbon tax, stronger support for raising the minimum wage, forceful opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a moratorium on fracking.”
That’s Not even addressing the debate among delegates on calling the occupation of Palestine what it is.
Cornel West abstains from voting to support the platform, and drops the mic with “That’s how I roll.”

Sanders reps make passionate pleas, but are outvoted by Clinton surrogates.
electronicintifada.net 

Dark of night

Throughout the day, Clinton surrogates shot down motions endorsing universal health care, a carbon tax, stronger support for raising the minimum wage, forceful opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a moratorium on fracking.

While these defeats took place during the day, committee organizers waited until the dead of night to deliberate on issues related to Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

The vote appeared to be deliberately timed to garner as little attention as possible.

It was the very last section raised and by then it was nearly 1am.

Ironically, holding votes in the middle of the night has been a Republican tactic for passing right-wing measures with as little public scrutiny as possible.

But if the purpose in this case was to suppress public debate over Israel, it doesn’t seem to be working.

End the occupation

Arab American Institute president James Zogby, a Sanders appointee, introduced an amendment to revise the language in the Israel/Palestine section of the platform.

Zogby proposed deleting a drafted pledge to oppose so-called delegitimization of Israel at the United Nations or by the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

He also proposed removing a reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital.

Zogby pushed for wording that called for

1.  “an end to occupation and illegal settlements so that [Palestinians] may live in independence, sovereignty and dignity,”

2.  “an international effort to rebuild Gaza which the UN warns could be uninhabitable by 2020” and

3. recognition that Palestinians, like Israelis, “deserve security, recognition and a normal life free from violence, terror and incitement.”

Sanders “had direct input” in crafting the amendment, Zogby said, arguing, “the term occupation shouldn’t be controversial.”

Indeed, there was nothing radical about the amendment, which left the pledged US commitment to subsidizing Israel’s military machine and the reference to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” intact.

Even the supposedly liberal pro-Israel lobby group J Street did not object to the word occupation. Although the memo it circulated to members of the platform committee urged them to adopt language opposing BDS.

Champions of occupation

Clinton appointee Wendy Sherman, a lobbyist who effectively sells access to government officials, accused BDS and the UN of “creat[ing] anti-Semitism.”

Former congressman turned lobbyist Howard Berman framed opposition to Israel’s occupation as “one-sided” and suggested that Palestinians bear some responsibility for Israel’s illegal conduct.

Bonnie Schaefer, former joint-CEO of the jewelry chain Claire’s Stores, didn’t even bother addressing the issues raised in the amendment. Instead, she engaged in pinkwashing.

“As a gay Jewish Zionist, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, as we all know, the only place in the Middle East that I can walk down the street with my wife hand in hand and not be afraid,” Schaefer said.

A Clinton supporter and major donor to the Democratic Party, Schaefer was named to the committee by the DNC.

“Tell the truth”

Zogby fired back, while “you can go and walk down the street of Tel Aviv holding the hand of your wife, I can’t get in the airport without 7 hours of harassment because I’m of Arab descent.”

“We have to be able to call it what it is. It’s an occupation that humiliates people, that breeds contempt, that breeds anger and despair and hopelessness, that leads to violence,” Zogby added.

Civil rights activist and celebrated public intellectual Cornel West, an outspoken supporter of BDS appointed by Sanders, expressed outrage.

“When the IDF [Israeli army] kills innocent people, over 500 babies in 51 days, no matter how many shields they say Hamas uses, it’s wrong,” said West, referring to Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza.

The “Democratic Party must tell the truth,” West implored. “We can never fully respect the Palestinians unless we can name … the boot on their necks.”

“I come from a people who’ve been hated,” West added, drawing an analogy between the long history of denying the horrors inflicted on African Americans and the refusal to recognize the oppression of Palestinians.

The motion was nonetheless defeated in an 8-5 vote, with Sanders’ representatives being the only committee members to back it.

That vote, combined with other defeats throughout the day, prompted West to abstain from approving the platform altogether.

“[If] we can’t say a word about [Trans-Pacific Partnership], if we can’t talk about Medicare for all explicitly, if the greatest prophetic voice dealing with impending ecological catastrophe can hardly win a vote and if we can’t even acknowledge occupation as something that’s real in the lives of a slice of humanity … it just seems to me there’s no way in good conscience I can say take it to the next stage,” West said.

“I have to abstain. I have no other moral option, it would be a violation of my own limited sense of moral integrity and spiritual conscience,” he added. “That’s how I roll.”

West’s and Zogby’s advocacy for Palestinian rights has been so insistent that the Clinton wing of the party has attempted to neutralize them through the most cynical form of identity politicking.

“Concerned that Zogby and West’s viewpoint may be gaining traction at least in the public narrative, Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina representative and now a CNN commentator, sent a letter signed by 60 African American politicians around the country to the co-chairs of the platform committee last week urging them to stick to the traditional language on Israel,” CNN reported.

This move was meant as a “counterpoint to West, a prominent member of the Black community.”

Fundamental disconnect

“Even though ending Israeli military occupation and settlement building have been explicit US policy goals since the early days of the George W. Bush administration, and even though Hillary Clinton as President Obama’s Secretary of State tried to advance these goals, Clinton appointees to the Democratic National Committee’s platform drafting committee outvoted Sanders appointees to exclude these very same goals from the Democratic platform,” Josh Ruebner, policy director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told The Electronic Intifada.

“As Dr. Jim Zogby, a Sanders appointee, noted in the debate last night there is a fundamental disconnect between official US policy and the unwillingness of the Democratic Party to back it,” Ruebner added.

The US Campaign is calling on activists to urge both the Republican and Democratic parties to support Palestinian rights in their platforms.

Advertisements

 

 

Progressive Except Palestine (PEP): The case of  Elizabeth Warren and those Pro-Israel progressives at any cost

The last time Elizabeth Warren was asked about her views on the Israeli attack on Gaza – on July 17 – she, as Rania Khalek put it, “literally ran away” without answering.

But last week, the liberal Senator appeared for one of her regularly scheduled “office hours” with her Massachusetts constituents, this one in Hyannis, and, as a local paper reported, she had nowhere to run.

One voter who identified himself as a Warren supporter, John Bangert, stood up and objected to her recent vote, in the middle of the horrific attack on Gaza, to send yet another $225 million of American taxpayer money to Israel for its “Iron Dome” system.

Banger told his Senator: “We are disagreeing with Israel using their guns against innocents. It’s true in Ferguson, Missouri, and it’s true in Israel . . .  The vote was wrong, I believe.”

To crowd applause, Bangert told Warren that the money “could have been spent on infrastructure or helping immigrants fleeing Central America.”

But Warren steadfastly defended her “pro-Israel” vote, invoking the politician’s platitude: “We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.”

According to the account in the Cape Cod Times by reporter C. Ryan Barber, flagged by Zaid Jilani, Warren was also asked about her Israel position by other voters who were at the gathering, and she went on to explain:

“I think the vote was right, and I’ll tell you why I think the vote was right. America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”

Warren said Hamas has attacked Israel “indiscriminately,” but with the Iron Dome defense system, the missiles have “not had the terrorist effect Hamas hoped for.”

When pressed by another member of the crowd about civilian casualties from Israel’s attacks, Warren said she believes those casualties are the “last thing Israel wants.”

“But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” Warren said, drawing applause.

Warren even rejected a different voter’s suggestion that the U.S. force Israel to at least cease building illegal settlements by withholding further aid: Noreen Thompsen, of Eastham, proposed that Israel should be prevented from building any more settlements as a condition of future U.S. funding, but Warren said, ‘I think there’s a question of whether we should go that far.’”

In her defense, Warren has long been clear that this is what she would do. Her Senate campaign website still contains statements such as “it is a moral imperative to support and defend Israel” and “as a United States Senator, I will work to ensure Israel’s security and success.”

During her time in the national spotlight, Warren has focused overwhelmingly on domestic issues, rarely venturing into foreign policy discussions.

Many of those domestic views, particularly her strident-for-D.C. opposition to banks, have been admirable, elevating her to hero status for many progressives.

But when Warren has spoken on national security, she has invariably spouted warmed-over, banal Democratic hawk tripe of the kind that she just recited about Israel and Gaza.

During her Senate campaign, for instance, she issued wildly militaristic – and in some cases clearly false – statements about Iran and its nuclear program that would have been comfortable on the pages of The Weekly Standard

Even as conservative Democratic Senate candidates from red states such as Nebraska’s Bob Kerrey were vehemently condemning the threat of war against Iran during their campaigns.

Warren was claiming (contrary to the U.S. Government’s own assessment) that “Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons”, adding: “I support strong sanctions against Iran and believe that the United States must also continue to take a leadership role in pushing other countries to implement strong sanctions as well.” Those claims about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons remained her position even after she was told that they squarely contradict the U.S. intelligence community’s clear assessment of Iran’s actions.

In related news, the British newspaper The Telegraph yesterday published the names of all 504 children who were killed in Gaza over the last 50 days by Israel.

In the last week, Israel deliberately destroyed an entire large residential apartment building after giving its residents less than an hour to vacate, leaving more than 40 families homeless, and also destroyed a seven-story office building and two-story shopping center (the video of the apartment building destruction is online and ugly to watch).

Echoing Benjamin Nentayahu (and Hillary Clinton), Elizabeth Warren’s clear position is that Israel bears none of the blame for any of this.

Or, to use her words, “when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself.” Such carnage is the “last thing Israel wants.” The last thing. That, ladies and gentlemen, is your inspiring left-wing icon of the Democratic Party.

Andrew Bossone shared this link on FB this April 6, 2015

PEP (Progressive Except Palestine), and in this case Iran
https://firstlook.org/…/elizabeth-warren-speaks-israelgaza…/

The last time Elizabeth Warren was asked about her views on the Israeli attack on Gaza – on July 17 – she, as Rania Khalek put it, “literally ran away” without…
firstlook.org

 

Testimonies of atrocities in Gaza from the Russell Tribunal

Watch these testimonies

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine convened an emergency session in Brussels last month to examine whether Israel committed war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip during “Operation Protective Edge,” the summertime military assault that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, injured more than 11,000 and left Gaza in ruins.

Israeli soldiers were ordered to execute any Palestinian witness who could understand the criminal orders of the officers?

After hearing testimony from journalists, eyewitnesses, legal scholars and physicians present during the onslaught, the twelve-member jury, made up of world-renowned intellectuals and international law experts, found Israel guilty of “war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide.”

Though it was virtually ignored by both mainstream and progressive media outlets, the tribunal was significant in that it did what the so-called international community has time and again refused to do.

The Russell Tribunal put Israel on trial for its crimes against Palestinians.

Incitement to Genocide

Journalist David Sheen delivered a horrifying presentation on incitement to genocide within Israeli society, which was consumed by genocidal rhetoric from top Israeli government officials to the lynch mobs barreling down the streets of Jerusalem shouting “death to Arabs.”

Sheen’s testimony stunned the jury, concluding that absent outside intervention and accountability, the potential for genocide is likely.

“In light of the clear escalation in the physical and rhetorical violence deployed in respect of Gaza in the summer of 2014, the tribunal emphasizes the obligation of all states parties to the 1948 Genocide Conventionto take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide,” the judges implore in their final ruling.

“It is recognized that in a situation where patterns of crimes against humanity are perpetrated with impunity, and where direct and public incitement to genocide is manifest throughout society, it is very conceivable that individuals or the state may choose to exploit the conditions in order to perpetrate the crime of genocide,” they warn.

And  adding, “We [sic] have a genuine fear that in an environment of impunity and an absence of sanction for serious and repeated criminality, the lessons from Rwanda and other mass atrocities may once again go unheeded.”

Grisly executions

Journalist Max Blumenthal delivered powerful testimony on evidence of war crimes he gathered while in Gaza following a five-day ceasefire in mid-August.

Blumenthal described in vivid detail the grisly executions he documented of civilians, paramedics and fighters carried out by invading Israeli soldiers.

He also highlighted several instances of Israeli soldiers summarily executing older men in Gaza after learning they spoke Hebrew, leading to speculation that soldiers were ordered to eliminate anyone capable of understanding their commands. (The soldiers were to execute witnesses who could understand the criminal orders of the officers?)

Blumenthal posted a transcript of his testimony here.

Kidnappings and human shields

Gaza-based journalist Mohammed Omer described to the jury the crimes he witnessed and reported on in Gaza as well as the hardships of daily life under siege (see video of his testimony at the top of this post).

He cited summary executions, kidnappings of Palestinian men at gunpoint and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by invading Israeli soldiers in the now obliterated farming community of Khuzaa.

Omer was the only Palestinian eyewitness that made it out of Gaza to attend the session.

Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, and filmmaker Ashraf Mashharawi were scheduled to testify but the Egyptian military regime prevented them from leaving through the Rafah crossing.

Deliberate and systematic

Renowned Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert presented the jury with descriptions and photos of the gruesome injuries he witnessed while working at the overwhelmed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City at the peak of Israel’s latest bombing campaign, which marked the fourth time since 2006 that Gilbert has operated in Gaza during an Israeli military attack.

Outlining the devastation inflicted on Gaza’s health sector, Gilbert emphasized his admiration for the medical workers who risk their lives repairing the bodily damage caused by Israel’s “deliberate, systematic attack on the Palestinian civilian society.”

Taken together, the testimonies presented at the Russell Tribunal (all of which can be viewed here) demonstrate a clear pattern of intentional destruction of Gaza and its people by an increasingly extreme settler-colonial state “primed for genocide,” as Max Blumenthal put it.

Genocide does not happen overnight or in a vacuum.

There are warning signs, many of which were raised at the Russell Tribunal.

Israel has been destroying and erasing Palestine for more than six decades in an effort to consolidate and maintain a demographically engineered Jewish majority in an area that is historically Palestinian.

As long as countries including the United States continue to unconditionally shower Israel with weapons while shielding its leaders from accountability on the international stage, Israel’s destruction of Palestine will not only continue, it will intensify.

So the question becomes, how bad do the atrocities need to get before the world puts a stop this madness?

List of Israeli rape advocates of Palestinian women: US journalists to contact as expert on Palestinians and Middle East culture

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the United States for the UN General Assembly on Sunday, the Israeli government press office emailed journalists a list of supposed experts to contact on various issues related to his visit.

All those listed hail from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, a hotbed of right wing nationalism in Israeli academia.

Appearing twice on the Israeli government-approved list is Mordechai Kedar, a professor of Arabic literature at Bar-Ilan University who recently advocated for the Israeli army to use rape as a tool of war.

 Rania Khalek submitted this Oct. 10/2014

Israeli government promotes rape advocate as expert on Palestinians

300914_aj_00_1.jpg

Israel promotes apologists for the kind of violence that leveled Gaza City’s Shujaiya neighborhood as “experts,” including one advocating rape.

(Ali Jadallah / APA images)

Rape as deterrence Speaking to an Israeli radio program following the discovery of the bodies of the three Israeli teens abducted and shot to death in the occupied West Bank in June, Kedar said,“Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live.

He continued: “The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”

It sounds very bad, but that’s the Middle East,” he reasoned. (or what he is a potential rapist seeking an excuse to justify his lust for Palestinian girls)

Kedar’s recommendation appears to have been implemented in Gaza, where several Palestinian men who were kidnapped and imprisoned by the Israeli army during “Operation Protective Edge” told the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights that they were tortured and “intimidated with threats that Israel would demolish their houses, kill their families and rape their wives.

When a group of Israeli feminists protested Kedar’s comments in a letter to Bar-Ilan University president Daniel Hershkowitz, the school responded by defending and whitewashing Kedar’s rape advocacy with racist tropes about the region.

“Dr. Kedar’s words do not, God forbid, contain a recommendation to commit such despicable acts,” insisted a Bar-Ilan University spokesperson in a joint statement with Kedar. “The intention was to describe the culture of death of the terror organizations. Dr. Kedar was describing the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and liberal law-abiding country to fight against the terror of suicide bombers.”  

Witch hunts

While Kedar faced no repercussions for inciting sexual violence, his colleague at Bar-Ilan University, Hanoch Sheinman, was disciplined by the administration for sending an email to students expressing sympathy for all those affected by Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Outraged by the implicit reminder of Gaza’s suffering, students and their families flooded the university with complaints, prompting the administration to issue an apology and admonishment of Sheinman.

Meanwhile, Kedar’s rape advocacy boosted his profile in the US, which he is scheduled to visit this winter for an academic speaking tour.

He told The Chronicle of US Higher Education that he received even more speaking invitations as a result of the outrage stirred by his comments, which he referred to as a “witch hunt.”

Kedar knows a thing or two about witch hunts given his role as chairman of the Israel Academia Monitor organization, one of many McCarthyite groups dedicated to purging Israeli universities of academics who identify with the left or question Zionism.

This was not the only instance of Kedar showing enthusiasm for crimes against Palestinians.

Kedar’s fervent rejection of basic rights for Palestinian inspired him to devise the “Eight State Solution,” a detailed proposal to split the occupied Palestinian territories into eight cantons, with the besieged and ghettoized Gaza Strip serving as a model. The end result would be apartheid on steroids. He even created a website exclusively devoted to the project, dubbed the Palestinian Emirates.

“The central strategic goal of the state of Israel should be to permanently remain in Judea and Samaria and to prevent Palestinian territorial contiguity,” argues Kedar, using Israel’s terminology for the occupied West Bank.

In Kedar’s bigotry-clouded view, Palestinians (and Arabs more generally) are inferior beings predisposed to violence, militancy and tribalism, therefore any Palestinian state would quickly become a hotbed for terrorism.

Hannibal architect

Another “scholar” listed as an expert by the Israeli press office is Yaakov Amidror.

Amidror, who served as a National Security Advisor to Netanyahu and as head of Israel’s National Security Council, is a co-architect of the Hannibal Directive, an unwritten Israeli military protocol that amounts to an order to kill captured Israeli soldiers to avoid politically painful prisoner swaps.

Amidror with his fellow military leaders Yossi Peled and Gabi Ashkenazi drew up the Hannibal Directive in 1986 following the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hizballah in then Israeli-occupied Southern Lebanon in the aftermath of a deal in which 3 Israeli soldiers were swapped for 1,150 Israeli-held Arab prisoners. 

The Hannibal Directive was reportedly implemented on at least three occasions during Israel’s latest assault on Gaza.

Givati brigade commander Ofer Winter, an ultranationalist religious Zionist who told his troops they were fighting a Jewish holy war, oversaw the most gruesome episode in Rafah, where his implementation of the Hannibal Directive resulted in massive and indiscriminate shelling that killed 190 Palestinians, including 55 children, in less than two days.

In the aftermath of the Rafah slaughter, Amidror denied that the intention of the Hannibal Directive is to execute the captured soldier, though he admitted to The Times of Israel that, “Soldiers [lives] can be risked,” adding that taking care to avoid civilian casualties in the event of an abduction is appropriate only if “you want to help the enemy.”

Nakba denialist

Efraim Karsh — cited in the Israeli governement press office email for his expertise in “Middle Eastern history and politics, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, superpower involvement in the Middle East, and Islamic movements,” — is a card-carrying Islamophobe and close associate of anti-Muslim demagogue Daniel Pipes.

Karsh has made a career out of Nakba denialism, insisting that Palestinians left present-day Israel in 1948 because their own leaders forced them out.

The Nakba, or catastrophe, refers to the pre-meditated and well-documented ethnic cleansing of 750,000 indigenous Palestinians by Zionist militias in 1947-48. Karsh has devoted entire books to absolving Israel of responsibility for this atrocity.

It is no wonder the Israeli government champions him as an expert on the region.

 

Kill a Palestinian “every hour,” says new Israeli Facebook page

Is that within free expression?

coverpage_of_fb_rightwingcrazies.png

The Facebook page’s main profile picture and background image show Palestinians as targets through the crosshairs of a gun.

More than 16,000 Israelis have joinedFacebook page that calls for the murder of a Palestinian every hour until three missing Israeli settler teens are located.

The page is titled “Until the boys are back, every hour we shoot a terrorist.”

(If it is a matter of killing terrorists, why the Zionists don’t head to Da3esh Land in north Iraq?)

The page was launched as the Israeli army continued violent raids, curfews and closures across the occupied West Bank and shot dead Ahmad Sabarin, a Palestinian youth.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency:

The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on its website that within hours of its creation, a Facebook page calling for the hourly assassination of Palestinian “terrorists” had reached 10,000 likes.

The Facebook page called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “take responsibility instead of holding [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud] Abbas responsible” for the alleged kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Maariv reported.

The three missing settlers are Naftali Frankel, Eyal Yifrah (both 16) and Gilad Shaer (19), who reportedly went missing while hitchhiking between Jewish-only settlements in the Hebron area of the southern occupied West Bank late Thursday evening.

Since that time, Israeli political figures, including Netanyahu, have rushed to blame both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas, who recently signed a reconciliation agreement to end a seven-year division.

Israeli officials claim that Palestinian political organization Hamas kidnapped the missing boys, but a Hamas spokesperson denied involvement and dismissed the accusation as “stupid.”

Israel has yet to produce evidence supporting its claims, though it has arrested dozens of Hamas officials and activists including the speaker and several elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in ongoing raids across the West Bank.

Dozens of photos and comments by both the page administrator and commenters offer a glimpse into the radical and violent anti-Palestinian climate in Israel. The dehumanization of Palestinians, including children, is common among Israelis on social media, especially Facebook users in Israel.

Resonating with reality

One of the photographs posted by the adminsitrator reads, “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” At the bottom, the photo adds: “Kill a terrorist every hour.”

killeveryhour_1.png

Top: “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” Bottom: “Kill a terrorist every hour.”

At the time of writing, the post had received more than six thousand Facebook likes and had more than one hundred comments, most of them supportive.

One commenter, Hariel Ben Michael, called for Israel to destroy entire Palestinian communities “every hour” until the missing boys “are released.”

His comments resonate with reality. Since its destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and towns during the 1948 Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Israel has continued to demolish Palestinian homes and raze entire communities, particularly in places like the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank.

raze_villages.jpg

In Hebrew: “A friend suggested this idea: each hour that passes and the boys (may god protect them) are not released, we destroy a neighborhood in Hebron, and after we’re done with Hebron, we move to Ramallah then to Gaza, etc.”

“Get cancer”

An English-language commenter, Jordan Lerer, says he hopes Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip “get cancer” and “die with agony.” The picture he comments on shows many Palestinians between crosshairs of a gun and says, “kidnapped? kidnap!” — ostensibly calling for the kidnapping of Palestinians.

 

englishcommeter1.png

An English-language commenter hopes Palestinians in Gaza “get cancer” at a time when the Israeli military bombards the besieged coastal strip.

Lerner also comments that he has “no mercy” regarding the Israeli military’s treatment of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel’s military has already bombed several areas in the Gaza Strip since the three boys went missing.

Crackdown

On Saturday evening, 7-year-old Ali al-Awour died as a result of injuries sustained by an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday night. According to statistics from Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine), 1,405 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel since 2000.

ash_00_19-2.jpg

Relatives carry the body of Ali al-Awour during his funeral in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, 14 June 2014. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

After the Israeli settlers went missing on Thursday night, Israel’s occupation forces intensified their crackdown across the West Bank and continued bombing the Gaza Strip.

In the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the Israeli military last night reportedly injured two children and their father when soldiers “bombed open the door of [their] house,”according to Ma’an News Agency. That raid came only a day after Israel “detained eighty Palestinians across the West Bank,” as noted by another Ma’an article.

Israel’s crackdown has focused on the southern part of the West Bank, mostly in and around Hebron. As of Sunday, Hebron residents were banned from leaving the West Bank,Maan reported.

iss_00_2-2.jpg

A Palestinian kisses the face of Ahmad Sabarin, 20, who medics said was killed by the Israeli army in a raid on al-Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, 16 June 2014. (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

Overnight on Sunday, the military also raided the Jalazone refugee camp near the central West Bank city of Ramallah and shot and killed 20-year-old Ahmad Sabarin.

Michael Ben Ari, a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, also called for the assassination of Palestinians while speaking to Hebrew-language media. Israel ought to “kill terrorists in public hangings,” Ben Ari said.

“Sit in the dark”

Another alarming Facebook page, created yesterday, is named “If our boys are sitting in the dark, Palestinians will also sit in the dark.”

With more than three thousand members, the page calls for Israel to cut off all electricity to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Due to Israel’s suffocating restrictions, both regions are dependent on Israel for electricity.

removing_gloves.png

This photograph calls for Israel to cut off electricity and water to Palestinians and to further limit their ability to move freely.

One photograph posted on the page (above) called for Israel to inflict “collective punishment” on Palestinians by ending their electricty and water supplies and increasing restrictions on movement.

petition was also launched on Sunday demanding that Israel cut off Palestinians’ access to electricity. As of Monday morning, it had already received more than one thousand signatures.

Due to Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza, approximately 1.7 million residents of the coastal enclave have suffered deteriorating conditions over the last few years as a result of the lack of gas and electricity. 

Dehumanization

This is not the first time Israelis have used social media to call for violence against Palestinians, including children. As Israel’s political establishment grows even more rightwing, much of the general population has embraced the increasingly anti-Palestinian climate.

As Rania Khalek recently reported for The Electronic Intifada, a Facebook page supporting an Israeli soldier who was filmed pointing his gun at a Palestinian child’s face received more than 129,000 likes.

In February 2013, Ali Abunimah exposed an Israeli soldier’s violent pictures on the photo-sharing website Instragram. One of his pictures showed a Palestinian child as a target between the crosshairs of a rifle.

Since then, The Electronic Intifada has time and again brought to light the dehumanization of Palestinians and pervasive racism displayed by Israelis on social media outlets.

To read more about this, see The Electronic Intifada’s past coverage:

With thanks to Hanan Darawsha for her help with translation and research. 

Iraqi Birth Defects Worse than Hiroshima

I watched a documentary on the cable ARTE yesterday on the birth defects suffered by babies in Iraq after the US invasion of 2003. And today Hot Posts is disseminating what Rania Khalek wrote. This is a reblog with minor editing.
 
Rania Khalek posted on March 20, 2013 in her blog “Dispatches from the underclass”

The United States may be finished dropping bombs on Iraq, but Iraqi bodies and babies will be dealing with the consequences for generations to come in the form of birth defects, mysterious illnesses and skyrocketing cancer rates.

Al Jazeera’s Dahr Jamail reports that contamination from U.S. weapons, particularly Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions, has led to an Iraqi health crisis of epic proportions. “Children being born with two heads, children born with only one eye, multiple tumors  disfiguring facial and body deformities, and complex nervous system problems…” are just some of the congenital birth defects being linked to military-related pollution.

In certain Iraqi cities, the health consequences are significantly worse than those seen in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Japan at the end of WWII.

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera])

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera])

The highest rates are in the city of Fallujah, which underwent two massive US bombing campaigns in 2004. Though the U.S. initially denied it, officials later admitted using white phosphorous (like what Israel used on Gaza). In addition, U.S. and British forces unleashed an estimated 2,000 tons of depleted uranium ammunition in populated Iraqi cities in 2003.

DU, a chemically toxic heavy metal produced in nuclear waste, is used in weapons due to its ability to pierce through armor. That’s why the US and UK were among a handful of nations (France and Israel) who in December refused to sign an international agreement to limit its use, insisting DU is not harmful, science be damned.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s refusal to release details about where DU munitions were fired has made it difficult to clean up.

Today, 14.7% of Fallujah’s babies are born with a birth defect, 14 times the documented rate in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Fallujah’s babies have also experienced heart defects 13 times the European rate and nervous system defects 33 times that of Europe.

That comes on top of a 12-fold rise in childhood cancer rates since 2004.

The male-to-female birth ratio is now 86 boys for every 100 girls, indicating genetic damage that affects males more than females.

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera)

(Dr Samira Alani/Al Jazeera)

(On a side note, these pictures are rather sanitized compared to other even more difficult to look at images. See here if you can bear it.)

If Fallujah is the Iraqi Hiroshima, then Basra is its Nagasaki.

According to a study published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, a professional journal based in the southwestern German city of Heidelberg, there was a 7 fold increase in the number of birth defects in Basra between 1994 and 2003.

According to the Heidelberg study, the concentration of lead in the milk teeth of sick children from Basra was almost 3 times as high as comparable values in areas where there was no fighting.

In addition, never before has such a high rate of neural tube defects (“open back”) been recorded in babies as in Basra, and the rate continues to rise. According to the study, the number of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) cases among new-born is 6 times as high in Basra as it is in the United States.

These phenomenon are not isolated to Fallujah and Basra. The overall Iraqi cancer rate has also skyrocketed:

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

As Grist’s Susie Cagle points out, “That’s potentially a more than 4,000% increase in the cancer rate, making it more than 500 percent higher than the cancer rate in the U.S.

Dr. Mozghan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told Jamail that “These observations collectively suggest an extraordinary public health emergency in Iraq. Such a crisis requires urgent multifaceted international action to prevent further damage to public health.”

(Dr. Samira Alani/Al Jazeera)

Instead, the international community, including the nation most responsible for the health crisis is mostly ignoring the problem.

To make matters worse, Iraq’s healthcare system, which was once the envy of the region, is virtually nonexistent due to the mass exodus of Iraq’s medical doctors since 2003.

According to recent estimates, there are currently fewer than 100 psychiatrists and 20,0000 physicians serving a population of 31 million Iraqis.

Dahr Jamail was on Democracy Now this morning discussing the horrific effects of military-related pollution in Iraq:

Yanar Mohammad, President of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq was also on Democracy Now and addressed the toxic legacy of birth defects in Iraq. (I interviewed Mohammed for a piece I wrote for Muftah about the deterioration of Iraqi women’s rights since the invasion, which you can read here.)

 

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Blog Stats

  • 1,344,631 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 688 other followers

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: