Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, Rebecca Vilkomerson, sits arrested with JVP colleagues for publicly reading the names of Palestinian victims killed in Gaza at the office of Friends of the IDF (FIDF) in New York City.
Is The US Abandoning Afghan Interpreters To Certain Death? - Via Reason TV
Over 2,000 Palestinians were killed in all three military operations in Gaza, not including the Second Intifada. Most of them were civilians. I’ve exchanged emails with people in Gaza in the past few days. These are people who don’t care much for Hamas in their everyday lives, whether due to its fundamentalist ideology, political oppression or other aspects of its rule. But they do support Hamas in its war against Israel; for them, fighting the siege is their war of independence. Or at least one part of it.
For the Palestinians, the choice is between occupation by proxy in the West Bank and a war in Gaza. Both offer no hope, and neither are forms of freedom. The Israeli promise — that an end to armed struggle will bring freedom — is not trustworthy, as the experiences of past years has shown. It simply never happens. The quiet years in the West Bank have not brought the Palestinians any closer to an independent state, while the truce in between wars in Gaza has not brought about a relief from the siege. One can debate the reasons for why this happened, but one cannot debate reality.
Hamas tells the Palestinians the simple truth: freedom comes at the cost of blood. The tragedy is that we usually provide the evidence. After all, the evacuation of settlements in Gaza came after the Second Intifada, not as a result of negotiations. The Oslo Accords came after the First Intifada; before that, Israel turned down even the convenient London Agreement between Shimon Peres and Jordan’s King Hussein.
Israelis are convinced they are fighting a terror organization driven by a fundamentalist Islamic ideology. Palestinians are convinced Israelis are looking to enslave them, and that as soon as the war is over the siege will be reinforced. Since this is exactly what Israel intends to do, as our government has repeatedly stated, they have no reason to stop fighting.
— The most phenomenal comment on a political internet article I’ve ever read.
An interview between Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer, and Raji Sourani, founder of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights:
M: So, how was last night?
R: Well last night was difficult, the worst in the last two weeks. This is incredible evil. Ambulances weren’t able to reach the areas which were under heavy bombardment by tanks and F16s. And F22s were used too last night. And these kinds of bombs that we are not familiar making the houses last in an earthquake. You know, it just shakes for a few seconds.
M: There are no warnings before?
R: No no no. It just on the top of the people, on their heads. It is a war zone, not bombing. You see slain [people]. Six to eight bombed per minute. Not for 10 minutes, or one hour, all the east side of Gaza, Zeiton, Shujaiyeh, eastern Jabaliya, nothern area, eastern Khan Younis, eastern Rafah…
M: Israeli friends reported that the IDF, the Israeli army made notifications that the civilians could go to some areas. Are there any areas that are safe to be?
R: No, there is not safe place in Gaza. You can be in the street, in my office or home and you will be bombed and away from my house, sixty meters a house was bombed by an F16. This can [be] anywhere, whether it [is] a drone, F16, and tonight they used F22. Gaza, Michael, I’m telling you, 350 square kilometers, two million people are living in it. It is one of the most densely populated areas on earth. Anywhere you move. You can ask people from the northern or eastern areas to move but you are taking about 400,000. They ask eastern Khan Younis, where to go? So far there is 70,000-80,000 [civilians] that moved since mid-day yesterday (July 19), but where are the people can go? UNRWA? Each school hold 1,500-2,000 people. There is shortages in the UNRWA schools. It’s madness. I have never seen anything like this in my life.
M: Do you think it is worse than Cast Lead?
R: That was a joke. This is very, very serious. I think the army is losing their minds. They really want to inflict pain and terror on the civilians. I have no objection to do that with Fatah, with Hamas, with PFLP, they are competent, they are resistance. But I’m telling about hitting the flash, they are bombarding randomly. Bombing the civilians houses. Many, That is why many families fled. I challenge if in Gaza, one million people, if any of them slept.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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