Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old son

Salon | June 2014
... I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma. ... Read full article

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


By Paul Balles What started off as Arab Spring has turned morbidly into Arab Fall. What began as a seasonal description became directional and self-destructive. Not only have movements that looked promising failed to benefit anyone but Israel, they have drawn their sponsors exorbitantly toward bankruptcy. The Israelis and their lobbyists in the United States laugh quietly when they hear someone complain about the $3 billion in annual gifts America sends to Israel. Why is that funny? Because it only represents a tiny portion of what Israel really costs America. Add the total costs of all the wars the US has fought for Israel. Print The Iraq war alone has cost America $815 billion and it’s still not over. It has benefitted no one but Israel–not America and certainly not Iraq. The number of Iraqis slaughtered in the US war and occupation of Iraq: 1,455,590. Nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003, according to an academic study by a research team from the Universities of Washington, Johns Hopkins, Simon Fraser and Mustansiriya (Oct.2013). Anyone with a few hours of work as an investigative journalist and a calculator would know that Israel has been the sole beneficiary of Iraq’s near-total destruction. One must ask the same question about the other imbroglios that America has been supporting in the Middle East: Who has benefitted? Support for the uprising in Egypt: America echoed protesters chanting “Down with Mubarak” in favour of democracy, until democracy elected Mursi, the wrong man for Israel. Whatever happens in Egypt, Israel is determined to be the beneficiary. Repeated bombings of Libya were designed to get rid of Muammar Gaddafi so that Israel wouldn’t have to worry about what Libya’s madman would do with Libya’s petro dollars. Money The Pentagon spent $1.1 billion in 2011 to launch attacks to destroy that country’s air defences and established a no-fly zone. America and NATO paid. Only Israel benefitted. Syria – controlling chemical weapons: More than $1 billion per month. No-fly zone another &1 billion a month Already cost 100,000 lives. Refugees cost $7.5 billion. Shimon Peres acknowledged the benefit to Israel of the death and destruction in Syria: “Today the Syrian President Basher al-Assad is punished for his refusal to compromise with Israel and the Syrian people pay for it.” The Syrians, America and Saudi Arabia pay. Israel benefits. Led by Israel, Iran is currently Israel’s major objective of death-dealing slaughter in the Middle East. The efforts Israel makes to convince the world that Iran has nuclear weapons or wants to develop them have been non-stop. Israel’s propaganda campaign is as constant and effective as anything Herr Goebbels put together in Nazi Germany. Currently, Iran and the P5+1 nations are looking for a way to avoid the fates of the countries suffering from Arab spring becoming Arab fall. Until a fair and reasonable solution can be negotiated Iran will suffer from undeserved sanctions while Israel benefits. Palestine continues to be the major victim of Israel’s perfidy, as it has been for the past 50 years. Total Cost of Wars Since 2001:$1,500 trillion The war in Afghanistan: $667 billion The War in Iraq: $815 billion Trillions of dollars in monetary costs; millions of lives lost and impoverished–monstrous unjustifiable expenses dictated by Tel Aviv. The world loses. Israel remains the only real beneficiary.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ukrainian government vows to track down ‘ringleaders of separatism’

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Interim Prime Minister, warned of serious consequences for those involved in behaviour likely to destabilise Ukrainian autonomy. He said: “The Ukrainian state will find all those ringleaders of separatism and division who now, under the cover of Russian troops, are trying to destroy Ukrainian independence. We will find all of them – if it takes one year, two years and bring them to justice and try them in Ukrainian and international courts. The ground will burn beneath their feet.”

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bitter memories: Tule Lake

(1975) - A documentary on the Tule Lake Japanese Relocation Camp presented through interviews with Japanese Americans who were interned there.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Palestine Under Siege

Palestine Under Siege from Richard Hugus on Vimeo.

A video documentary of the destruction caused by the April 2002 Israeli attack on Jenin refugee camp in Palestine. Filmed three months after the attack. Also visits Jerusalem and Gaza. 41 minutes. Winner of 2006 award from Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition worldwide film contest at Al-Awda’s Third Annual International Convention in Los Angeles Full screen view recommended.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Al Walaja: The Story of a Shrinking Village

Al Walaja: The Story of a Shrinking Village from Julie Land on Vimeo.
November 30, 2013 from Julie Land and Alison Morgan

Palden Jenkins | March 22, 2012

An armoured digger was rumbling slowly up through the military construction site toward a new piece of the separation wall that is being built at Al Walaja. The wall is slicing through Palestinian land to surround the growing Israeli settlement of Har Gilo, which is taking over much of the hill on which Al Walaja, an extended farming village, is located. Over 100 Palestinian houses have been demolished for it. Just round the corner is Cremisan monastery, a well-run estate managed by the Salesians, an ancient Christian sect here in Bethlehem – its land is going to be sliced through by the new wall. It’s crazy.

Wall in construction at Al Walaja
Ishmael was getting nervous. There was an armoured police van cruising around watching us, and he knew it would be waiting for us further on, watching what we were doing. I obliged, stopped photographing and hopped back in the car. “If there’s a problem, Ishmael, I’ll handle it – you’re just an innocent taxi-driver, okay?” But I knew he was concerned because his son Tareq had been released from Israeli jail only a few months ago, during the big release Hamas had fixed in return for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and the Israelis are now going around re-arresting some of those who were released. Not because many of them are doing anything suspicious, but they are suspected of possibly doing something – and that, to the Israelis is enough. Enough to give them an excuse to bomb Gaza a week or two ago, killing over 20 people and wounding nearly a hundred.

In the unlikely event that I got arrested, I could talk my way out of it, cite a few names and, at worst, waste 24 hours, but for Ishmael and people like him it’s a very different story. He’s an inmate of Deheisheh refugee camp, which immediately makes him suspect, even though he is the least troublesome man you could imagine – respectable, cautious, law-abiding (though Palestinians have a free-style approach to law, not least because many of the laws applied to them are nonsensical, giving new meaning to the term ‘criminal law’). ... Full article

Sunday, September 8, 2013