The Children of Gaza: A Generation Scarred & Under Siege ↘ 2nd September, TuesdayReblog

This speaks volumes.


This speaks volumes.

2nd September, TuesdayReblog
The U.S. Jewish Community, Amoral Familism and the Crisis of Palestine ↘ 2nd September, TuesdayReblog



just in case there’s anyone in Ferguson who’s following info on tumblr as well

sadly, with the way the police are out, marching, and ready for the curfew (with dogs), there are some people that may need this

"We are prepping for a night if jail support. Call 314 862 2249 if you or friend arrested."

2nd September, TuesdayReblog
Palestinian Photojournalist: The People In Gaza Are “Dying To Live”


With the death toll in Gaza rising above 2,000, its devastating to discover that over 1,300 of these deaths are innocent Palestinian civilians – a good portion of which are women and children.

Hamde Abu Rahma, an award-winning Palestinian photojournalist in West Bank, has been documenting the situation in Gaza. He says:

“Most of the people do not know that a population with more than 50% below the age of 18 is currently walled into a space approximately twice the size of Manhattan. Unlike their families before them, who fled the ethnic cleansing of 1947-1948 and 1967, these people have no way to flee the violence inflicted upon them. Nearly one million children of Gaza are under Israeli attack.”
Hamde, also the author of “Roots Run Deep – Life In Occupied Palestine“, recalls a day he spent at a hospital in Gaza, where the true sufferers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were revealed. Hamde recalls:

“This afternoon, I decided to go to Ramallah hospital to visit some of the civilians who were injured in the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Upon arriving at the hospital, I met a family who had a small child who was waiting for an operation. The child had arrived at Ramallah hospital four days ago, after waiting more than a week for the proper documents which would allow his transfer from Gaza to Ramallah. The hospitals in the West Bank have more advanced equipment and according to the child’s uncle, there was no more room for any victims in Gaza hospitals.”

When Hamde was at the hospital, he learned the devastating story of what had happened to a young boy and his family. Hamde believes that this story, and the many others like it, needs to be told. The struggles and tragedies of real people must be told alongside death tolls and statistics – to remind us that the bodies are not numbers, but humans no different than you and I. This is Hamde’s recollection of what he learned at the hospital:

“The story of Ibrahim Hamad, who is one and a half years old, begins when his family decided to evacuate their home in Rafah, after it had been struck by an Israeli missile. They sought refuge in an UNRWA school, because they believed they would be safe there. UNRWA schools are known to shelter women and children, and therefore are off limits to military strikes, so they thought.

Once they arrived at the school, Ibrahim went out to the playground to have some fun with his cousin and the other children. After about five minutes, their playing was abruptly halted by a loud explosion. The school was now being targeted by Israeli missiles. Ibrahim, frightened, as anyone would be, ran to look for the comforting arms of his mother. He knew if he could just find his mother, he would be okay. She would protect him. Ibrahim’s mother came running to her son. She wrapped herself around her little boy in an attempt to shelter him from any shrapnel.

As she was trying to calm the child down, another missile hit the school. This time, though, no one was safe. Shrapnel injured both the boy and his mother. Ibrahim survived the catastrophic event, but unfortunately, his mother did not. She was killed immediately as a result of her extensive injuries. She was killed trying to protect her son. Ibrahim’s cousin, also one and a half years old, was also killed, as were ten other children. Ibrahim is only one victim of many – but I chose to tell his story because I met him today. Ibrahim opened his eyes for the first time in weeks, today. The only person he saw was his uncle at his side.”


What the statistics and numbers we often see in reports of the Gaza conflict usually never communicate is loss. People are losing their families; children will be growing up alone. The long-term consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict couldn’t be more apparent than in Hamde’s description of Ibrahim upon meeting the boy:

“As I got closer to Ibrahim, I could see the pain in his eyes; pain that no one should ever have to feel, let alone a child. Ibrahim lost one of the most important people he would ever have in his life – his mother. His mother gave her life so that he could live.”

This conflict will affect generations to come. Those who do survive will never forget the fear, chaos and bloodshed. Many will be left with mental and physical scars. Hamde says:

“There are a lot of other children who lost both of their parents. This genocide has created many orphans. More than 400 children have been killed, and thousands more seriously injured. There is no telling how many more will succumb to their injuries. Ibrahim’s injuries include being hit by shrapnel in the legs, chest, and back, as well as having a piece of shrapnel lodged into one of his lungs. He will have surgery, and once he is given the okay by doctors, will return to Gaza. Ibrahim may be too young to understand what is going on, he may not remember what happened that horrific day, but he will always have the physical scars to remind him – his mother gave up her life trying to save him. One cannot imagine what it must feel like, knowing that the only reason you are alive is because your mother is dead.

This is something that no one should ever have to face. The people of Gaza are more than just numbers that you see flash quickly across your TV screen. They have names, faces, lives; each and every one of them has a story of their own. Each and every one of them has their own hopes and dreams. The people of Gaza are no different from any one of us. They want what we all want – to laugh, love, have peace, and freedom. Most of all, the people of Gaza want to live. They are dying to live.”


2nd September, TuesdayReblog

Nearly half a million Palestinian children in Gaza were unable to start the new school year as scheduled. During #Israel’s latest assault on #Gaza, 244 schools were damaged and at least 25 schools were left beyond repair. In addition, many of Gaza’s schools continue to serve as shelters for the more than 100,000 Palestinians made homeless by Israeli attacks since July 7.Learn more:

Nearly half a million Palestinian children in Gaza were unable to start the new school year as scheduled. During #Israel’s latest assault on #Gaza, 244 schools were damaged and at least 25 schools were left beyond repair. 

In addition, many of Gaza’s schools continue to serve as shelters for the more than 100,000 Palestinians made homeless by Israeli attacks since July 7.

Learn more:

2nd September, TuesdayReblog
The intolerable ease of being nasty on social media ↘

Alongside the addiction to news broadcasts and finding reinforced areas on the street in case of a rocket strike, the increase in defamatory speech on social networks was a characteristic of Operation Protective Edge. Calls for the destruction of Gaza with its inhabitants, together with wishes that left-wing activists would die in a rocket strike or from cancer, became a matter of daily routine.

Notices of the deaths of Gazan children on B’Tselem’s Facebook page sometimes drew as many as 20,000 comments, many of them expressing hatred toward B’Tselem or pleasure at the death and devastation. Statements advocating the boycott of Arab markets were shared by thousands; left-wing activists and journalists who opposed the war received private messages of hate mail, and some went so far as to publish their hateful remarks for all to see.

It was interesting to contact the people who had posted the hateful messages on Facebook to find out who they were and whether they had any second thoughts about their statements. Most of them would not agree to be interviewed. Those who did, after a brief conversation in which their statements were read back to them, retracted their statements, at least partially, saying that they had gotten carried away in the heat of the moment, and offered a softer stance.

Three people agreed to speak about their days of rage on Facebook: a marketing specialist who moved to the United States, a security guard from Yeruham and a customer service employee in Be’er Sheva. Every one of them was likable and completely ordinary. Maybe that is what should be more worrisome – the possibility that such statements, which would be defined as anti-Semitism in Europe if they were directed against Jews, are already a matter of consensus in Israel.

Nessi Ziv Corali, 34, a salesman originally from Tel Aviv, now living in the U.S.

Statement: “Bibi should just send in the Air Force to kill any living, breathing person in the holocaust known as Gaza. The place ought to be smashed to smithereens.”

“During this war, from the moment I woke up to when I went to sleep, I spent 20 minutes of every hour on Facebook,” recalls Corali, a former marketing employee of City Mouse, by telephone from Ohio. “I wrote heaps of comments, at least 30 per day. Suddenly I felt like a Zionist. I spoke with more than ten Americans every day and would show them videos on YouTube. I missed a pro-Palestinian demonstration and the Israeli counter-demonstration when I was visiting Hawaii, because I went on to a different island.”

I asked him whether he grinned from ear to ear when he saw reports about the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza, and whether he would be happy if a rocket were to explode on people from B’Tselem, as he had written. “I had outbursts,” he admits, “and the way I wrote seems a bit childish. Of course I don’t want anyone to die in a rocket strike. I wrote that when I was upset and hurt.”

Still, he says that he does not regret what he said. “It’s an atrocious organization,” he says of B’Tselem. “This is not the right time to report things like that. There’s something known as timing. Soldiers who were killed – one cannot say that they were murderers.”

He explains his suggestion to kill every living man in Gaza as having been written in the heat of the moment. “Now, if I look at it, maybe I’d say that it wasn’t pertinent. It’s hard to believe that 100 percent of the people living in Gaza would be ready to blow themselves up. There’s definitely a certain percentage, even if it’s small, that thinks differently.”

Sometimes he makes statements during the conversation that are prevalent on the left. “If you take an Arab mother who never wanted to hurt us, then once her children have been killed, she will not want to live with us in peace and will become an enemy of the Jews. There’s no doubt that it’s a cycle. But we still need to make sure that the threat is removed. Like other people, I’m a slave to my emotions and speak from the heart. During the first days, I wrote posts in a strongly right-wing spirit. A week into the war, I started asking questions: What were the tycoons’ interests here? If the government could have eliminated the tunnels before, why didn’t they? But even if it’s obvious to me that there are political and financial interests, the threat to the communities in the south must be eliminated.”

Corali recalls that before he traveled to the U.S., he attended the social-justice demonstrations. Still, he says: “I was always very right-wing, not on the radical right. I don’t like the word ‘radical.’ If someone in my family were to be killed and then one of my friends came and talked to me about peace, I’d slap him.”

Corali drew a lot of protests for advocating war while he was on the beach in Honolulu, but he rebuts them. “In Israel, if you want to buy an apartment and a car here, the chances of that happening are low. It’s not right. It’s not right that you work 11 hours and have nothing left at the end of the month. It’s not right that there’s a defense establishment that doesn’t work the way it should. So why stay in Israel? For slogans? You can love the country from afar. You don’t have to live in poverty so that it will remain your country. If a student is living in a damp studio apartment in south Tel Aviv, in a place that is dangerous because of the Sudanese immigrants and has to work two jobs, he’s better off leaving.”

Dennis Kharkov, 22; a factory security guard from Yeruham who immigrated to Israel from Ukraine at age four

Statement: In response to a photograph of destroyed homes in Gaza on B’Tselem’s Facebook page, he wrote: “I am in favor of turning all of Gaza into one big parking lot.”

“There are things that can drive me mad, such as everything that has to do with [MK] Haneen Zoabi,” Kharkov admits. “During the military operation, it bothered me that the Israeli media gave too much weight to what was happening in Gaza. I don’t care what happens in Gaza, with all due respect. I care about our country and our troops. I don’t care that B’Tselem is taking photographs of dead children in Gaza.”

Today he distances himself from his remark about turning Gaza into a parking lot. “I have my own opinions,” he says, adding, “I didn’t mean it when I wrote that. It’s extremism, just like B’Tselem shows the most devastated neighborhoods in Gaza on its web page. When you turn on CNN, you see broadcasters in hotels that were not destroyed.”

Kharkov’s anger at B’Tselem also stems from his army service in the Border Police. “B’Tselem did everything it could to screw over every soldier. If you see their videos, you say that we were shown as unfair. But when I was in the Border Police, that’s not how it really was. People hate Israel because of them. In reality, we’re the most moral army.”

Kharkov says that he “supports this country first of all. They have training camps for children where they teach them to crawl and hold a gun. You see in the children’s eyes that they will do everything they can against Israel, as if Israel didn’t exist, and that bothers me. But the bastard hasn’t been born who is going to stop Israel.”

Sigalit Moshe, 40, from Be’er Sheva, a customer service employee in a high-tech company

Statement: “The King Messiah will conquer Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Italy. There will not be a single Arab left in the Land of Israel!”

“I was on Facebook a lot during the war. Every day, most of the day,” Moshe says, adding that when the military operation began, she changed her profile picture to the Israeli flag. “I had terrible arguments. One time, someone from Turkey wanted to friend me. I didn’t accept the request because I didn’t want to see curses against Israel. So he wrote to me that he also admired Israel a bit. Since then, whenever he saw photos on my page, he softened and started asking me, ‘What’s new over there?’”

Moshe is evasive at first about her statement, which called for leaving not a single Arab in the Land of Israel. Then she says: “The reason I wrote it is that our hope is lost. Not because of Hamas, but because of the opponents among us. Maybe the solution will come through religion. Maybe the King Messiah will solve the problem.”

She directs most of her criticism against the left wing, and her statements contain anger that has to do with the ethnic issue. Even though the leaders of the military operation – Netanyahu, Ya’alon and Gantz – are of Ashkenazi origin, she says: “It bothers me that there are people of Ashkenazi origin on the left, and they let us, the Mizrahim, who did not go through the Holocaust, fight in the war to protect the Jewish homeland. Everything that happened was because of B’Tselem and the left-wing demonstrators. After every demonstration in Rabin Square, rockets fell on us. I say to the left wing: Sit down and be quiet. If there was no left wing, there would be peace. The Mizrahim understand Arabs better than the Ashkenazim do. I was invited to a Jewish-Arab seminar once when I was young. I was very frightened but I went, and at the end I was the one who had Arab friends. The people who were of European descent had nothing to say to them.”

Ironically, while Moshe was busy fighting against Gaza, her husband was working as a truck driver bringing goods to the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and was friendly with his coworkers on the other side. “They’re friends. They work together, and they’re really friends of my husband. He says that they’re very worried there, mainly about whether Kerem Shalom will be open. When they ask my husband why Israel is bombarding Gaza, it annoys me that my husband doesn’t answer them. I tell him, ‘Answer them so that they’ll know.’ But he’s not so interested in politics. My husband’s friends in Gaza just want to make a living.”

2nd September, TuesdayReblog

Rape: It’s Your Fault

Every sexual assault case in India inspires a string of stupid and hateful remarks against women. This is our response to those remarks.

AIB 365 is a weekly sketch show from India’s edgiest, politically incorrect comedy collective AIB. 

2nd September, TuesdayReblog
In Pictures: India’s water crisis deepens

For Vishal Agnihotri, 33, a rickshaw puller in the Dwarka neighbourhood here in the capital, the Global Water Week that kicked off on Sunday in Sweden and the ice bucket challenge craze means nothing.

"I haven’t had a bath for the last four days. We don’t have water for drinking; forget taking a bath in ice cold water," he told Al Jazeera.

New Delhi, a union territory and the capital of India became the world’s second most populous city this year after Tokyo, more than doubling its population since 1990 to 25 million, according to the latest UN report. The city is expected to retain this spot until 2030, when its population is expected to rise swiftly to 36 million, the report says.

But does the city have enough drinking water for its bulging population?

Currently the demand for potable water is around 1,100 mgd (million gallons per day) but the government only supplies around 800 mgd. About 81 percent of the households get piped water. The rest of the population relies on mobile water tankers.

Last year the Delhi government even had to insist that 35 five-star hotels cut down their consumption.

With no ensured timely distribution of water to the inhabitants at many places, the water mafia has taken over.

"Government is the biggest problem. It doesn’t plan water resources," Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator with the New Delhi-based South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, told Al Jazeera.

That’s why in this water-hungry city, a parallel water industry is flourishing despite tough measures taken by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) which is responsible for maintaining Delhi’s water supply.

"The water mafia will work when there is a scarcity of water. It’s because of the unequal distribution of the water by the authorities. People who need water anyways see a solution in water tankers," Dewan Singh, an environmentalist at Natural Heritage First told Al Jazeera.

It’s estimated that more than 2,000 private tankers draw water from tube wells and the DJB connection and sell the water to residential localities and industries at exorbitant rates. This industry earns an estimated 400 crores ($66.15m) annually.

Water tanker rates differ on the basis of capacity, season and demand, and in some cases, the customer.

Almost half of Delhi’s population lives in slums where getting water is a challenge every day.

"Every day after school, I come to take a shower in this private bathroom for five rupees ($0.08), because there is no water at my home. We buy water for drinking but can’t afford it for other purposes," says Mohmmad Ansari, 12, of the Sanjay colony neighbourhood in South Delhi. 

By 2020, the World Bank projects wars over water. But in New Delhi, the war has already begun with people mostly getting into arguments and fights over water from the mobile water tankers.

Overuse and exploitation has reduced the ground water levels so that open drains now mix with ground water in many places, making the water unhealthy. Water experts belive that the water table has been going down by three feet every year for the past 30 years.

Rows of water cans and jars, used by slum dwellers to store water, can be seen along the roads. Almost half of New Delhi’s population lives in the slums where the lack of water is severe.

"From the last 10 years, we’re facing water shortages and there is no relief. People elsewhere fight for secondary matters, but we are still stuck with basic issues like water," says Shaam Singh, 70, of the Kusumpur neighbourhood in New Delhi.

The water supplied to most households in the slums is dirty and unfit for normal usage. A water sample test done in 20 slum areas by an NGO called FORCE in 2013 found E. coli contamination was present in at least one or more samples in 18 slums.

An water ministry report in 2013 says the skewed availability of water between different regions and among various people in the same region, combined with the intermittent and unreliable water supply system, has the potential for causing social unrest.

"I don’t go to work these days. I keep waiting to get water everyday. This has been a real setback. Shall I work or get water for my family? If I choose to work, we may not get water. I take 200 liters of water everyday for daily usage from this public tap, which has no proper timing for water," says Rajinder, 45, of Sangam Vihar in South Delhi.

In the Kusumpur slums people lock up water containers with a chain so they aren’t stolen during the night. Swati, 35, says there is such a scarcity of water that people steal each other’s water drums. 

With little public trust in government-supplied drinking water, the bottled-water industry has boomed over the years.

India’s ground water authority wants households to adopt rooftop, rainwater harvesting systems, but the effort has done little to thwart the water crisis in the capital.

With the water mafia on the prowl, many illegal drinking water manufacturing units have sprouted up in New Delhi.

A private water tanker fills the water tank of a bungalow in the upscale Sarita Vihar neighbourhood. Water tanker rates differ on the basis of capacity, season, and demand and in some cases the customer.

Prince - a distributor of potable drinking water in the Kalkaji neighborhood - says he has been in the business for the last 11 years. “Earlier the demand for water was less, now it’s high. There is lot of competition too. I distribute around 200 to 250 of 20-litre water jars every day.” 

India has 17 percent of the world’s population, with just four percent of the world’s fresh water, which makes it very hard for India to satisfy its water needs.
2nd September, TuesdayReblog

Women, men, children, the elderly, no one is safe under Nawaz Sharif’s government.
The Pakistani police are using rubber bullets and tear gas shells against peaceful protesters in Islamabad
Police brutality will not stop peaceful change. The joint PTI and PAT revolutionaries will continue to march towards the PM’s house to demand his resignation.
Join the revolution. Support change


Women, men, children, the elderly, no one is safe under Nawaz Sharif’s government.

The Pakistani police are using rubber bullets and tear gas shells against peaceful protesters in Islamabad

Police brutality will not stop peaceful change. The joint PTI and PAT revolutionaries will continue to march towards the PM’s house to demand his resignation.

Join the revolution. Support change

2nd September, TuesdayReblog
The untold story of how a culture of shame perpetuates abuse. I know, I was a victim ↘ 2nd September, TuesdayReblog


Saturday morning, over 1,000 people march for justice for Michael Brown. 

August 30th.

1st September, MondayReblog
James Foley Video Had A Change Of Actor – Expert Points Out ↘

A forensics expert points out hints that the James Foley beheading video was edited to give way to a change of actor.

Whiles experts has no doubt that Foley was actually killed, they were one in saying that the video showing his execution was edited to suit whatever purpose it wants to serve.

A masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaks next to man purported to be U.S. journalist James Foley at an unknown location in this still file image from an undated video posted on a social media website. Britain is close to identifying a suspected British national shown beheading American journalist James Foley in a video released by Islamic State militants last week, the British ambassador to the United States said on August 24, 2014.

According to Ross Patel, a forensic expert, the change in stature of the man masked in black was a giveaway that there is another man or a second militant that acted the part. The second man could be the actual killer.

Patel pointed out that an obvious edit made it possible to conceal the appearance of the second man.

"There’s definitely a change of actor. There are noticeable, there are subtle but there are also noticeable changes in their build, their physical appearance," the expert said.

Patel suggested that for investigators to track down the man in the video, the measurements of his face can be compared through databases of passport photos.

Patel was keen to observe that the knife being held by the man in the video has dimensions and style different from the knife left beside Foley’s dead body anddecapitated head. Furthermore, the man’s pistol was holstered underneath his left armpit which suggests that he was right handed. However, the beheader who appeared in the video was left-handed.

Curiously, the whole footage appeared to be edited using “slick post-production techniques,” according to an international forensic science company, which requested not to be named.

"I think it has been staged. My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped,” the company’s analysis of the video published by The Times reads.

Video experts, who had also spoken with The Times, observed that some portions of the video have play-acting.

In the instance that Foley’s beheading video was elaborately edited using advance equipments, it will be logical to ask next as to how and where the ISIS gets its funding.

The group owns cash amounting to $2 billion amassed from private donations, taxes, ransoms and stolen millions of money from big infrastructures that the group had been seizing, The Guardian reports.

There is no way to determine the exact amount of funding that the group is getting, according to Australian National University’s Middle East terrorism expert Dr Rodger Shanahan.

Shanahan said that it is a known fact that the group is amassing money from the Gulf to Syria, or their sales of oil from the locations that they now control. But as for the exact amount of money coming in, no one can definitely know “unless you’re privy to their books of account.”

Calling itself as a caliphate means that the group has its capacity to do everything that a government does as “the notion of holding dams is as much about claiming to be a government as it is about revenue raising,” he said.

Related article

1st September, MondayReblog



1st September, MondayReblog
Jews expelled from Guatemala village ↘
Founded in the 1980s by Israeli Shlomo Helbrans, the Lev Tahor practice an austere form of Judaism 

A few months after moving from Canada to a remote part of Guatemala to find religious freedom, a group of ultra-orthodox Jews have now been forced to leave their homes in a bitter conflict with villagers.

The Lev Tahor community packed its bags on Friday in San Juan la Laguna around 150km west of Guatemala City, to board buses bound for the capital after weeks of friction with sections of the local population.

The town’s Elders Council voted last week to force the group to leave because they say some members of the sect have mistreated indigenous residents and tourists in the area, the AP news agency reported.

Verbal abuse, threats to cut off power and eject them by force were, say the Jews, the last straw for the group who began arriving in March from Canada, where the Lev Tahor group’s strict religious ways had clashed with authorities.

Founded in the 1980s by Israeli Shlomo Helbrans, the Lev Tahor practice an austere form of Judaism.

Winning admiration from some Jews for its devoutness, the group is condemned by others as a cult-like sect.

Helbrans declined to be interviewed, but another Lev Tahor leader in San Juan, rabbi Uriel Goldman, fielded questions about the group.

Goldman insisted most of the Guatemalan villagers were friendly toward the group but that it was pushed out by an aggressive minority he said were motivated by local politics.

"I don’t understand why they don’t want us, we’re doing nothing bad here," said Goldman, who like other men in the Lev Tahor, which means "Pure Heart" in Hebrew, the Reuters news agency reported.


According to Goldman, the Elders Council issued an ultimatum to the Lev Tahor, saying water and electricity would be cut off if they did not leave.

"They also warned us they would remove us from the village by force," he added.

Miguel Vasquez Cholotio, a member of the council, said the villagers decided to expel the group because they refused to greet or have physical contact with the community.

"We felt intimidated by them in the streets. We thought they wanted to change our religion and customs," he said.

Eschewing technological trappings such as television and computers, daily life among the Lev Tahor, is steeped in religion.

Rejecting the state of Israel because it views the Jews as a people in exile, the Lev Tahor hope to find land elsewhere in
Guatemala to build 30 houses to resettle the 200-odd strong community, Goldman said.

Around 60 members of the group left San Juan during the night with the rest set to follow.

1st September, MondayReblog