July 21, 2014
Caption via A Mighty Girl:

The three women pictured in this incredible photograph from 1885 — Anandibai Joshi of India, Keiko Okami of Japan, and Sabat Islambouli of Syria — each became the first licensed female doctors in their respective countries. The three were students at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania; one of the only places in the world at the time where women could study medicine.As Mallika Rao writes in HuffPost, “If the timing doesn’t seem quite right, that’s understandable. In 1885, women in the U.S. still couldn’t vote, nor were they encouraged to learn very much. Popular wisdom decreed that studying was a threat to motherhood.” Given this, how did three women from around the world end up studying there to become doctors? The credit, according to Christopher Woolf of PRI’s The World, goes to the Quakers who “believed in women’s rights enough to set up the WMCP way back in 1850 in Germantown.”Woolf added, “It was the first women’s medical college in the world, and immediately began attracting foreign students unable to study medicine in their home countries. First they came from elsewhere in North America and Europe, and then from further afield. Women, like Joshi in India and Keiko Okami in Japan, heard about WMCP, and defied expectations of society and family to travel independently to America to apply, then figure out how to pay for their tuition and board… . Besides the international students, it also produced the nation’s first Native American woman doctor, Susan LeFlesche, while African Americans were often students as well. Some of whom, like Eliza Grier, were former slaves.”To read more about these women’s stories, check out the HuffPost article at http://huff.to/1egiYwT or listen to the PRI story at http://bit.ly/Q6TjLA

Caption via A Mighty Girl:

The three women pictured in this incredible photograph from 1885 — Anandibai Joshi of India, Keiko Okami of Japan, and Sabat Islambouli of Syria — each became the first licensed female doctors in their respective countries. The three were students at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania; one of the only places in the world at the time where women could study medicine.

As Mallika Rao writes in HuffPost, “If the timing doesn’t seem quite right, that’s understandable. In 1885, women in the U.S. still couldn’t vote, nor were they encouraged to learn very much. Popular wisdom decreed that studying was a threat to motherhood.” Given this, how did three women from around the world end up studying there to become doctors? The credit, according to Christopher Woolf of PRI’s The World, goes to the Quakers who “believed in women’s rights enough to set up the WMCP way back in 1850 in Germantown.”

Woolf added, “It was the first women’s medical college in the world, and immediately began attracting foreign students unable to study medicine in their home countries. First they came from elsewhere in North America and Europe, and then from further afield. Women, like Joshi in India and Keiko Okami in Japan, heard about WMCP, and defied expectations of society and family to travel independently to America to apply, then figure out how to pay for their tuition and board… . Besides the international students, it also produced the nation’s first Native American woman doctor, Susan LeFlesche, while African Americans were often students as well. Some of whom, like Eliza Grier, were former slaves.”

To read more about these women’s stories, check out the HuffPost article at http://huff.to/1egiYwT or listen to the PRI story at http://bit.ly/Q6TjLA

July 20, 2014
Top Obama official blasts Israel for denying Palestinians sovereignty, security, dignity

It seems the Obama administration now has at least two diplomats who are frustrated with the Israeli government over the peace process.  In May, an American diplomat walked out of a Palestinian-Israeli peace conference frustrated by the lack of progress, stating, It seems we’re in need of another intifada to create the circumstances that will allow for progress.”   

Nonetheless, it appears that the U.S. Senate is still reliably in Netanyahu’s pocket.  Via TruthDig:

On Thursday, all 100 U.S. senators—including progressives Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken and Sherrod Brown—voted to pass an AIPAC-drafted resolution supporting the Netanyahu government’s military invasion of the Gaza Strip.

AIPAC stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It lobbies Congress and the White House in the interests of Israel and is a source of campaign funds for both Democrats and Republicans.

M.J. Rosen, a former senior foreign policy fellow at Media Matters Action Network, wrote of the agreement in a mass email: “There is not one word of compassion for Palestinians killed or injured, not a word calling for peace, not a word indicating that the Senate would perhaps prefer to see the invasion end. On the other hand, it calls for dissolution of the Palestinian unity government which has been Netanyahu’s goal since it was established.”

July 20, 2014









More “human shields” from Gaza.  Fifth from the top is the remains of an ambulance hit by Israeli bombs.
Photos curated by Ali Abunimah.  Captions available at the link.

More “human shields” from Gaza.  Fifth from the top is the remains of an ambulance hit by Israeli bombs.

Photos curated by Ali Abunimah.  Captions available at the link.

July 19, 2014
Gaza rocket kills Bedouin man; Israeli air strikes kill 34 Palestinians | +972 Magazine

While rocket attacks have become the preferred method of resistance for militants in Palestine, it’s important to remember that these sorts of indiscriminate attacks can also kill Arab citizens as well:

A 32-year-old Bedouin man was killed Saturday after being hit by a rocket near the town of Dimona in Israel’s south. Four of his relatives were wounded, including an infant.

According to Ma’an News Agency, Israeli air strikes killed 34 Palestinians across the Gaza Strip on Saturday. The deaths follow the deadliest day in the conflict so far, after Israel killed at least 63 Palestinians and injured more than 400 on Friday.

Ma’analso reportsthat four members of a Palestinian family were killed in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday afternoon, as at least 10 Israeli shells hit the area around the Beit Hanoun Hospital. Medics told Ma’an that Mahmoud Zuwaid, his wife Daliah, and their children Nagham, 3, and Ruyah, 2, were killed in the attack. Another woman who was not yet identified was also killed in the same shelling.

The military wing of Hamas said earlier on Saturday morning that it had breached “enemy lines” in the northern Gaza Strip and had engaged Israeli forces.

Four Israeli soldiers were also wounded Saturday morning after Palestinian gunmen crossed into Israeli territory from the Strip. Two were moderately wounded, and the others were lightly hurt.

According to Haaretz, a unit of gunmen breached the Israeli border on Saturday morning near Kisufim, launching an anti-tank missile at an IDF unit. The IDF returned fire, killing one of the militants.

B’Tselem notes that at at least nine Palestinians have been killed by rocket fire since 2004.  Ryan Broderick, a fierce critic of Israeli policy, has nonetheless stated that Palestinians deaths from rocket fire are an indicator of the "criminal stupidity of this tactic," while also noting that the Israeli military’s conduct in the Occupied Territories only tends to the problem worse.

2:32pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZMMjnx1LwwTMt
  
Filed under: politics israel palestine 
July 19, 2014
And now: The criminalization of parenthood

After describing a few cases where parents were arrested for “parenting mistakes,” Radley Balko writes:

You needn’t approve of the parents’ actions in any of these cases to understand that dumping them into the criminal justice system is a terribly counterproductive way of addressing their mistakes. (And I’m not at all convinced that three of the four stories were even mistakes.) The mere fact that state officials were essentially micromanaging these parents’ decisions is creepy enough. That the consequences for the “wrong” decision are criminal is downright scary.  It doesn’t benefit these kids in the least to give their parents a criminal record, smear their parents’ names in their neighborhoods and communities and make it more difficult for their parents to find a job.

July 18, 2014
m7madsmiry:

There is nothing more difficult than waiting. This father carried his son to Al. Aqsa Hospital in Gaza after he was hit in the bombing of his house. He waits the fate of his son if he is still alive or not !!

LTMC: Does anyone really wonder why so many Palestinians resent the Israeli government after Israeli bombs cover them in the blood of their own children?  This man could easily have been staunchly anti-Hamas before his son was wounded by an Israeli bomb.  Now, it’s quite possible that he views rocket attacks as morally permissible in light of what he’s suffered. This kind of collateral damage is the most effective recruitment tool the militant wing of Hamas could have ever devised.

m7madsmiry:

There is nothing more difficult than waiting. This father carried his son to Al. Aqsa Hospital in Gaza after he was hit in the bombing of his house. He waits the fate of his son if he is still alive or not !!

LTMC: Does anyone really wonder why so many Palestinians resent the Israeli government after Israeli bombs cover them in the blood of their own children?  This man could easily have been staunchly anti-Hamas before his son was wounded by an Israeli bomb.  Now, it’s quite possible that he views rocket attacks as morally permissible in light of what he’s suffered. This kind of collateral damage is the most effective recruitment tool the militant wing of Hamas could have ever devised.

(via anarcho-queer)

July 18, 2014
Top AIDS Researchers Killed in Malaysia Airlines Crash

Apparently, there were 100 HIV/AIDS researchers on the Malaysia flight that was just shot down.  What a tragedy this has become.

July 18, 2014
Do Critics Unfairly Single Out Israel?

Mehdi Hasan's ruminations are worth observing at length:

For its many supporters in the west, Israel is being unfairly singled out for criticism. As the country’s former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami angrily said to me in an interview for al-Jazeera English in 2013: “You are trying to turn Israel into a special case.”

According to the likes of Ben-Ami, there are much more vile regimes, and more violent groups, elsewhere in the world. Why pick on plucky Israel? What about the Chinas, Russias, Syrias, Saudi Arabias, Irans, Sudans and Burmas? Where are the protests against Isis, Boko Haram or the Pakistani Taliban?

There are various possible responses to such attempts at deflection. First, does Israel really want to be held to the standards of the world’s worst countries? Doesn’t Israel claim to be a liberal democracy, the “only” one in the Middle East?

Second, isn’t this “whataboutery” of the worst sort? David Cameron told those of us who opposed the Nato intervention in Libya in 2011: “The fact that you cannot do the right thing everywhere does not mean that you should not do the right thing somewhere.” Well, quite. And the same surely applies to criticism of Israel – that we cannot, or do not, denounce every other human-rights-abusing regime on earth doesn’t automatically mean we are therefore prohibited from speaking out against Israel’s abuses in Gaza and the West Bank. (Nor, for that matter, does the presence of a small minority among the Jewish state’s critics who are undoubtedly card-carrying anti-Semites.)

Trying to hide Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians behind, say, Syria’s barrel bombs, China’s forced labour camps or Russia’s persecution of gays won’t wash. After all, on what grounds did we “single out” apartheid South Africa in the 1980s for condemnation and boycott? Weren’t there other, more dictatorial regimes in Africa at the time, those run by black Africans such as Mengistu in Ethiopia or Mobutu in Zaire? Did we dare excuse the crimes of white Afrikaners on this basis?

Taking a moral stand inevitably requires us to be selective, specific and, yes, even inconsistent. “Some forms of injustice bother [people] more than others,” wrote Peter Beinart, the author of The Crisis of Zionism, in December 2013. “The roots of this inconsistency may be irrational, even disturbing, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t act against the abuses they care about most.”

Third, Israel is “singled out” today, but by its friends and not just by its enemies. It has been singled out for unparalleled support – financial, military, diplomatic – by the western powers. It is indeed, to quote Ben-Ami, a “special case”.

Which other country is in receipt of $3bn a year in US aid, despite maintaining a 47-year military occupation in violation of international law? Which other country has been allowed to develop and stockpile nuclear weapons in secret?

Which other country’s prime minister could “humiliate” – to quote the newspaper Ma’ariv – a sitting US vice-president on his visit to Israel in March 2010, yet still receive 29 standing ovations from Congress on his own visit to the US a year later? And which other country is the beneficiary of comically one-sided resolutions on Capitol Hill, in which members of Congress fall over each other to declare their undying love and support for Israel – by 410 to eight, or 352 to 21, or 390 to five?

Indeed, which other country has been protected from UN Security Council censure by the US deployment of an astonishing 42 vetoes? For the record, the number of US vetoes exercised at the UN on behalf of Israel is greater than the number of vetoes exercised by all other UN member states on all other issues put together. Singling out, anyone?

Read More

July 17, 2014

descentintotyranny:

Israel begins its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip

LTMC: Jesus.

(via priceofliberty)

July 17, 2014
Gaza, Ctd.

This war will only end when Hamas either stops shooting rockets into Israel, or runs out of rockets, whichever comes first. Also, if Hamas doesn’t want a hospital to be bombed, then stop shooting rockets from the hospital!

This is a very common response directed towards people who criticize Israel’s use of force in the Occupied Territories.  I think it is unpersuasive, for the following reasons.

  1. The logic being employed here looks a lot like victim-blaming.  The IDF, to its credit, in what seems to be an acknowledgment that not every single person living in Palestine is a terrorist, called the Director of the Hospital and told him to evacuate the building.  But this probably means that militant Hamas members who may have been occupying the building would also have evacuated it as well.  Will this deny them a base of operations?  Perhaps.  But only temporarily.  Hamas is waging something akin to a guerrilla war against Israel.  History suggests that the militant wing of Hamas will find other places to go, and  the rockets will not in fact stop.  So in the end, all that was likely achieved by the hospital strike was that a vital civilian resource—a hospital—was destroyed.

  2. Hamas may not care if a hospital gets bombed, but the patients who rely on that hospital probably do.  Not every Palestinian living in Gaza supports Hamas, but the Israeli military often behaves as if this were true.  Some claim that Hamas forces civilians to act as human shields.  But if that’s true, then those civilians are unwilling participants in the violence.  They are therefore still “innocent,” and however despicable this tactic may be on the part of Hamas, it is equally despicable to carry out military strikes in disregard for these peoples’ lives.  This idea that the residents of Gaza are all expendable in the fight against Hamas is morally objectionable.  To risk an analogy, few people would agree that it’s ok to shoot through a hostage to kill their captor.  But that is precisely what the Israeli military does every time it bombs civilian infrastructure in Gaza, and then justifies civilian deaths by claiming that Hamas is forcing civilians to be “human shields.”

  3. As I’ve said many times on this blog, the reason why Hamas has the degree of political influence they have is because the Israeli government actively empowers them through its policies in the Occupied Territories.  Gaza and the West Bank are open-air prisons.  Freedom of movement, commerce, and expression is restricted in numerous ways by the Israeli Government in a manner which most reasonable people would view as intolerable.  To take one example: A former U.S. diplomat once noted in a leaked cable that the policy of the Israeli Government is to “keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge,” and to keep the Palestinian economy "functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis."  Dov Weisglass, a former senior Israeli official, put it this way: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”  It should come as no surprise that at least a portion of the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories have become so frustrated and angry by the mistreatment they receive at the hands of the Israeli government that they take up arms to violently resist.  Which  brings me to my next point…

  4. What is it that keeps the rockets coming?  Ostensibly, there are two primary reasons: the first is that some members of Hamas views Israel as an illegitimate state and will never accept its right to exist under any circumstances.  There is little, if anything that Israel can do to change this.  However, another reason why these rockets keep coming is that it remains one of the few accessible ways that residents of the Occupied Territories have to fight back against an occupying force—one they view as the source of their oppression.  When that oppression ends, support for Hamas will dry up considerably.  And—I humbly submit—the number of rockets being fired into Israel will also shrink considerably.

  5. Whether the Israeli government likes it or not, this is a guerrilla war.  The Israeli government has blown up hospitals before.  It has blown up schools before.  It has blown up homes before.  Yet the rockets always keep coming.  They keep coming in part because the IDF can’t be everywhere all the time.  But mostly they keep coming because residents of the Occupied Territories find a new reason to legitimate Hamas’s violence every time another Palestinian house, business, or family gets blown to pieces by an Israeli bomb.  

With all this being said, the greatest impetus for rocket fire into Israel, in my opinion, is the Israeli government’s ongoing military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.  The Israeli government’s policies toward the residents of these areas generate resentment, anger, and hatred in those affected by them. As a result, a portion of the Palestinian population is invariably radicalized by the trauma of enduring the Israeli government’s policies, and they come to view violent resistance as reasonable.  This violent resistance is in turn empowered by foreign sponsors who sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people (e.g. Iran, Hezbollah).

That’s why the rockets won’t stop coming until Israel ends the Occupation.  Militants will always find ways to commit violence against Israel.  The only true way to stop these attacks is to remove the impetus for them.  That impetus is, for the most part, the Occupation.  The Occupation is the lifeblood of Palestinian resentment towards Israel.  It is the Occupation that radicalizes the Palestinian population.  It is the Occupation that empowers militants through the sympathy of foreign sponsors.  And it is the Occupation that continues to put the lives of Israelis in danger every day.

One final note: it bears mention that I’m not suggesting that ending the Occupation will mean Israel never suffers another terrorist attack.  What I am suggesting is that Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories are a large motivator for those attacks, and changing those policies would reduce the number of rocket attacks considerably.  It would also deprive Hamas of political legitimacy, because ending the Occupation robs Hamas of most of their talking points.  This would deprive Hamas of political power, which would reduce their ability to finance their militant wing.  That means less rocket attacks, and a safer Israel.

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