Impunity for crimes of Israeli occupation

Images from Palestine (AFP)

Today’s headlines are blasting about the 19-year-old Palestinian who entered an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank & stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli girl to death. It was a gruesome crime for which he was shot on the spot in accordance with the Israeli form of due process for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv issued a denunciation of this “terrorist attack” & condemned it “in the strongest possible terms” as “unconscionable.” The NY Times used it to hammer home the media narrative that Palestinians are on a knifing rampage. They said the assault “was the latest in a series of violent attacks that began eight months ago & that have left over 30 Israelis dead. More than 210 Palestinians have also been killed, most while carrying out attacks or when thought to be about to do so.”

Does anyone remember such official outrage when Israeli settlers torched the home of the Dawabsheh home last year which killed three family members & burned a surviving child over 60 percent of his body? Did the media or the US Embassy wax indignant “in the strongest possible terms” when the perpetrator was released without charge & a naughty finger? Did they go ballistic with the denunciations when Israeli soldiers shot an old man down in the street? Or when it recently shot down teenage girls? Do they utter a peep when Israel arrests little kids & sticks them in the gulag for months without charge?

Media weasels think they can slough off the fact that the Palestinian fatality rate is seven times that of Israelis by claiming Palestinians were “carrying out attacks.” That way they think they can skip the condemnations of Israeli occupation & violence.

But when they add “or when thought to be about to do so” they introduce a whole new dimension to criminal justice. Since when do soldiers get to shoot people down in cold blood because they “think” he or she might be contemplating a crime? No wonder Palestinians & Black youth are forging bonds of solidarity. The same standards of criminal justice apply for both.

It’s very sad the young girl was murdered. It’s just as sad that hundreds of Palestinians have been executed for resisting occupation & illegal settlements & then get blamed for their own murders.

Cut the crap on all this & build BDS, the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel.

Listen to this little boy cut through the propaganda with the eloquence of Palestinian justice:

(Photo from AFP)

Clinton says “it’s time to move on” after a congressional committee on Benghazi found no evidence of wrongdoing on her part. That’s good because now we can get to investigating the real crime which is the US-NATO war that destroyed Libya & has reportedly made it an ISIS haven.

Of course, didn’t Clinton also say with exasperation that “for goodness sakes” it’s time Africans got over colonialism?

That’s how lesser evil rolls.

Michael Hayden, the CIA director under Bush the younger, is on TV this morning weaving a tale of conspiracy about the Istanbul bombing that would put Alex Jones & David Ickes to shame. He’s coined a phrase for suicide bombers drawing on those years of close proximity to Bush–“jihadi mojo”–which has a certain cache even if it’s idiocy.

As a caveat to lesser evil voters now following Bernie Sanders’ lead & getting goofy about defeating Drumpf: Hayden advocates Clinton for president because of her foreign policy expertise. An endorsement straight from the mouth of the guy who administered the US agency of torture & assassinations.

The three murderous amigos: Trudeau, Obama, & Peña Nieto

The 3 amigos (REUTERS:Chris Wattie)

CNN has coverage of the North American Leadership Summit with Trudeau of Canada, Obama from the US, & Peña Nieto from Mexico. They all have stinking rotten murderous politics but they sure are pretty fellows & very snappy dressers. That may explain how they fool so many even when they’re shooting & bombing tens of thousands of people. Nothing like spiffy to take your mind off mass murder. Kind of like Ted Bundy writ large.

This is not in any way to dismiss the tragedies of Orlando or the Paris bombings last November–because innocent people were involved–but how long do you think before media puts the Istanbul bombing behind us (except for purposes of war-mongering)? If it happens in the US or some parts of Europe, media wants us to mourn for weeks, even months. But in Istanbul & elsewhere, the news cycle lasts a couple days. If that. Some lives are just held of more value.

Affordable, safe childcare is a worldwide urgency for working families

Okhla Station, New Delhi (Shams Qari:Barcroft Images) June 29 2016

This would be every parent’s nightmare: a little girl, who can’t be more than five or six, holding her infant brother only feet from a moving high-speed train. It’s likely she’s been entrusted with his care because their parents work. The Guardian-UK caption read only, “A girl holds her brother while a train passes behind them near Okhla railway station,” in New Delhi, India. Honestly, one would think a little journalistic investigation would be required here.

One can damn parents till the cows come home for being reckless but this is the reality all over the world, not just in India, since childcare is considered solely a parent’s responsibility, private care is costly, family members cannot always provide it–& to eat & have housing, work is essential. Affordable, safe childcare is a primary demand of women’s rights.

These little kids are likely from the community of 20 mostly Dalit & Muslim families (150 people) who live in a slum near the Okhla Railway Station. Close proximity to the railway means they bear the brunt of waste, including human poop, discharged from the trains along with a persistent water stagnation problem in the area due to sewage runoff & lack of sanitation. This causes many health problems but under neoliberal policies there are no public clinics in the district so people have to shell out money for private care.

Maybe if Modi pulled his ass out of his peace asana, ended the military occupation of Kashmir, & stopped buying bombers & military arsenals from the US & Israel, then India would be able to afford sanitation, healthcare, & childcare for working families–& they wouldn’t have to put their little kids in charge of their infants. But such is the price of militarism which the poor of every country bear the brunt.

(Photo by Shams Qari/Barcroft Images)

Ending verbal abuse & bullying: a tutorial from the battlefield

Bullying photo

Recently, someone reminded me of this piece I wrote last year about how to defend ourselves against verbal abuse–which seems to be a hallmark of social media. Women in particular get hammered with it. Either that or we get ignored.

I’m reposting it because I learned the hard way how to ward off abuse. Now that I’m a senior, I would like young people to bypass the difficult learning process, to understand what’s going on in abuse, & learn how to handle it without internalizing or spending years wondering what the hell is wrong with you that others take liberties with your dignity.

My hope is that you will learn from this & let it make you a monster in warding off insults. Once you see that you don’t have to tolerate it, that there are techniques you can develop (in front of a mirror, no less) to stop it, you will love the liberty of holding fast to your dignity.

My beloved friend Trista Hendren reposted it on her blog & I am reposting it from there.

Israeli police create provocation at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Palestinian youth with Quran ( REUTERS:Ammar Awad) June 29 2016

Many think the Israeli conflict with Palestinians is inscrutable, even intractable because media coverage is half-assed at best & lying-assed as a norm.

Reuters news service posted this caption, of the half-assed genre, along with this photo: “Masked Palestinians read the Koran before clashes with Israeli police erupted during the holy month of Ramadan near the Dome of the Rock (seen in background) on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary & to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City June 28, 2016. An Israeli police spokesman said that the compound would be closed to visitors, including Jewish visitors, for three days in response to clashes, in which masked Palestinians threw stones at Israeli policemen and some 16 suspects were detained by the police.”

IBTimes posted a series of photos of the same event with reporting of the lying-assed genre: “Violence was witnessed at the holy site back in September. Since then, Palestinian’s have carried out dozens of attacks, including shootings & car ramming assaults, killing 32 Israelis & two visiting Americans. According to AP, 200 Palestinians have been killed during that time, most of which were identified as attackers by Israel.”

Let’s see if the truth can be told in not much more space than all those lies: This is the last ten days of the Muslim holy period of Ramadan. Thousands of worshippers from the West Bank bypassed the apartheid wall & tight security measures imposed by the Israeli military to get to prayer services at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. According to mosque officials, 250,000 Palestinians performed noon prayers on Friday despite Israeli restrictions excluding all males under the age of 45.

According to the director of the mosque, disturbances began on Sunday when Israeli police opened a gate to the Al-Aqsa compound to allow tourists & Israelis to enter the site–even though the agreement governing the mosque excludes non-Muslims from entering the mosque during Ramadan. It didn’t say how many they allowed to enter but in April of this year they pulled the same stunt & allowed over 1,000 to enter. If it isn’t a provocation to parade hundreds of hostile “tourists & Israelis” through the mosque during Ramadan while at the same time excluding Palestinian males from prayer, then what the hell is!?

Palestinians had every right to protest the presence of those provocateurs & of Israeli police–not just because it breached Al-Aqsa regulations but because it was an act of Israeli aggression intended to justify violence against Palestinians. Palestinian medical teams took seven Palestinians to the hospital for treatment of injuries from sponge-tipped bullets, tear gas, & beatings.

The best way to defend Palestinian religious freedom is to honor & build BDS, the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel.

(Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters)