I was chatting with a new friend from Australia after adding me on Face Book. It was a very long conversation with lots of questions and answers about Gaza and its people. He asked me a tremendous number of questions and I answered all of them. The first question that I was asked, after I told him that I`m a Gaza, was” Where does that place locate?”
I smiled a little bit and sent him a smiling face. And then I asked him instead of answering his strange question” Have you ever seen mutilated children full of blood spread in the ground and under rubble in the Media?”
“Yes for sure. I have seen many of them, but why do you ask?” he retorted.
Now it`s my turn to answer his first question” So here Gaza locate”. The friend stayed silent for more than two minutes; however, I thought that he would unfriend me directly. After the two minutes have gone, he sent me another strange message” How can I come to you and kiss your forehead??” and then he sent me a crying face. I was shocked and cried a little bit and said to me “we are known by our blood. What a miracle”.
I`m not kidding when I say the people of Gaza are the greatest and the bravest in all round the world. I don`t say that because I`m one of them, but our rare behaviors forced my pen to write these humble words. I must admit that we are the bravest in all the sides, from the men to women and from the youngest to eldest. We all are one person called Gaza and our widow mother Palestine.
The second question that he asked me after crying” Tell me more about Gaza please!!”, I answered him without thinking” We are the greatest and the bravest people in all over the world”. He stayed silent again for a while and asked me” How come?”
My fingers typed directly as if I entrusted them my mind” Lets first speak about our men. When I speak about the Gazan men, I speak about the LIONS of Palestine. They are our honor that many countries missed these days. They are the first and the last defenders who protected our boarders and our families from the oppressive enemy. They stayed more than thirty days resisting the enemy. They did not know the taste of food except having three dates every day. Our men stayed at their homes and lands and refused to evacuate them in order not to let the despoilers steal them.
Beside of our men, there are our great women who refused to be the victims of the murderers. They have done what no one did. Many of them did not sleep during their nights staying beside their sick and injured children and husbands in the protective edge operation on Gaza. Many of them did not cry over their children and stayed patient when they were killed. Most of them returned to their destroyed homes under the danger and looked for food and clothes under the rubble for their children. They did not eat for days to save the food for their families. They breasts got dry and empty of milk and that did not stop them from feeding their children. I must say that they are the LIONESSES of the LIONS of Gaza.
I cannot deny that our children are brave as well even if they are children. They did not resist like the men and the women, but they did a lot of things that brought the word HUMANITY back to the dictionary of the human rights. Our children used to drink from the grimy water and the water of the toilet while the other children are drinking coca cola and Pepsi in the biggest restaurants in the world. Many of our children got killed in the sake of their countries while the others are enjoying their time in the amusement centers and cinemas. Our children studied under the destroyed schools refusing the let the enemy makes them illiterate and the other are asking their parents to let them join special schools. Our children see the death follows them in every moment and every step. The bloody sharpened dagger of the enemy follows them whenever they try to smile even if a small hidden smile. The joy of our children is imprisoned inside the jail of silent of the leaders of humanity. So I must consider them the SONS of the LIONS who will lead the humanity of the world after they missed it.
Mr. Pen( A pen for Palestine)
I quote from an article “The catastrophe inflicted on Gaza–and the costs to Israel’s standing”. Under international law, as the occupying power Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population.
Generally countries build up their defence systems in the light of threats from other powers who similarly spend huge fortunes on increasingly sophisticated armaments. Arms industries are also significant earners and enlist political leaders to help sell their wares indiscriminately. Even royalty is dragged in on their account on diplomatic missions. The Palestinian territories have no match for Israel’s economic and military might.
In the past it has been possible to some extent for the Israeli Government to rely on secrecy to cover its activities. The availability of social media has changed all that so the figures for casualties in Gaza have been plain for all to see:
“Of the fatalities whose identity and status have been verified so far, 86 percent are civilians, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Of those tabulated in its most recent update, 226 are members of armed groups; 459 are children.”
When in 1985/6 Mordechai Vanunu told the Sunday Times about Dimona and the highly dangerous nuclear arsenal held by Israel the official position was neither to confirm or deny the situation. It seems that although facts are there clear for all to see this is still the position. You pretend you didn’t see it. While this is harder and harder to sustain it remains a position shared with many of Israel’s supposed allies in the United States and Europe. As the United Nations speaks of “war crimes” it will be interesting to see if there is a variation in changes to policy of different states. Certainly rhetoric is changing markedly as there appears to be much less willingness to defend the indefensible in many quarters. As far as the people are concerned demonstrations have erupted far and wide with tangible effects on the BDS movement targeted at Israel’s economy, particularly where firms are operating on stolen Palestinian territory.
“It is—as usual—a matter of elementary simplicity to dispense with those declared objectives and the mendacious protestations and justifications Israel has fabricated around them. Gaza is not a sovereign state firing rockets across an international frontier: it is an occupied territory held under tight Israeli control. Sealed off by land, sea and air, even its population registry remains in Israeli hands. Internationally recognized as the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population whose very capacity for life it has been obsessively reducing to ruins. And in any case the sequence of events leading to this bombardment was triggered not by rockets from Gaza but by the recent Israeli crackdown in the West Bank, which culminated in the burning alive of a Palestinian teenager by Jewish fanatics—and, beyond that, five decades of grueling military occupation.”
Note: Interesting to see in the Independent’s article on arms sales that supply to “Israel and Palestinian Territories” accounts for nearly £8,000 million, well over half the total, yet there is no marker re. concerns for human or civil rights! What, we might ask, is the division between Israel and the Palestinian Territories? Were rockets supplied to Gaza, or stones to be thrown in the West Bank?
While the established media are still prevaricating about what is going on in Gaza, we the ordinary people take to the streets and social networks and see that what is happening daily are war crimes. Still the politicians and sycophantic journalists are saying “maybe” war crimes have been committed. Looking at posts on Facebook and Twitter there’s no “maybe” about it.
In the first place the secrecy beloved by states like Israel and agencies like the NSA and GCHQ (which Edward Snowden recently declared is worse than the NSA – good grief!) is harder to maintain. Israel still maintains it isn’t nuclear power after Mordechai Vanunu blew the whistle in 1986 in the ungrateful Sunday Times. (it now barely utters a word about the man who subsequently spent 18 years, much in solitary, and now another 10 held in Israel against his will. 58 MPs invited him to Britain last month but the Sunday Times was virtually silent, apart from a couple of paragraphs).
That the social media counts is shown by Netanyahu’s (aka Bibi) reaction by offering bribes to young people with scholarships when they tweet something favourable to Israel. I call that scraping the barrel. Hard to stomach as it may seem Hamas also recognises that the world is at last seeing what has been happening to the Palestinian people under occupation and is seeking a long term end, not the capitulation that Israel and supporters such as the US and British Governments would wish. Even the UN seems to accept that scenario. As Ban Ki-moon deplores the shelling of the UN school in Gaza where at least 13 were killed he is reluctant to apportion blame to Israel.
One commentator guaranteed to get Bibi rattled and riled is Daniel Barenboim, holder of Israeli and Palestinian nationality. He can claim to offer both an informed and balanced view on Gaza and stating the obvious – that a military solution will never solve anything – speaks to everyone.
A passing remark by Prince Charles during his visit to Canada had disproportionately provoked a vigorous response from Russia. President Putin sees the crisis in the Ukraine as a threat from fascist forces but finds himself the butt of Charles’ comment comparing him with Hitler. The history lesson that ensued is personal pointing out not only the British royal family’s history of links with Hitler but the German origins of his family and his own links with the Nazi past. I doubt whether it will go onto the National Curriculum as things stand.
In the year commemorating the centenary of the beginning of World War 1 no one promoting the sacrifices of so many wants reminding of its architects, which of course includes Charles’ own great grandfather, George V:
“Charles’ great grandfather George V was one of the three ‘great’ architects of World War One, the so-called ‘Cousins’ War’, four years of mindless slaughter that began exactly a century ago. With two more Saxe-Coburg Gotha cousins, George’s hapless subjects slugged it out in trench warfare with Germany’s Wilhelm II and Russia’s Nicholas II’s unfortunates leaving, by 1918, a total of some ten million dead for no discernible purpose.”
The writer continues reminding us that Charles’ family name changed at this time from Saxe-Coburg Gotha to Windsor in order to distance himself from any German link because of widespread public hostility…
“When in 1917 ill-mannered soldiers began pointing out that German Gotha bombers from another branch of the King’s family business were killing them, George V blithely announced that his surname was changing from ‘Saxe-Coburg Gotha’ to the more English-sounding ‘Windsor’.”
A history of the monarchy and the obsession with secrecy, maintenance of an elite and advancement of capitalism add discomfort to Charles inheritance, but a personal attack on his continuing expenditure on ensuring a positive PR against even higher costs of keeping the lid on anything else doesn’t help the monarchist cause. Not a bit. Thus at Highgrove Diana is a taboo subject. She, it is explained, tried to protect her sons from the unreality of their life as royals. While she is mentioned in books large sums are paid to ensure they are not seen here when they claim that the “arrangement of an accident” was something desired by the Windsors themselves.
As MacDonald workers demonstrate peacefully for a fair wage in Illinois they come under attack by the very forces supposed to protect them in exercising their rights. Governments choose to protect Corporations and their ever growing demands for profit rather than the people on who they depend on delivering their services. Wages and conditions of service are sacrificed to this end.
Monsanto had become a name symbolising the predatory nature of the corporate beast and today people across the globe are taking them on. Governments respond not by supporting the people, those who elected them democratically through the ballot box, but by drafting increasingly draconian laws to protect their paymasters. Thus curbs on the Internet and freedom of speech are being proposed.
Another mining disaster with huge loss of life in Turkey concentrates the mind (or should concentrate the mind) on maintaining safety standards. As we well know from long and bitter experience it is likely to be the first thing that goes when private hands take over our industries and services. The low pay and shocking conditions described by Dickens is back with a vengeance. Instead of railing at the corporate interest that recreates and maintains servitude politicians of all major parties are paralysed with fear that the corporate lobbyists will withdraw the largesse and favours they like to bestow on the political elite. Don’t blame them, blame the foreigner as responsible for the countries ills. UKIP and the right thrive on it and the others trip over themselves to outdo thmm to create a climate of racism and xenophobia.
The history of opposition to the current power group all but vanishes as the corporate media represents its own and other corporate interest exclusively. However stories emerge that give a different picture. Seumas Milne reminds us of the emerging information correcting common views of the miners’ actions which shows not only the importance of the struggle but the lengths taken to close down any debate through misinformation and downright lies. In most cases it is just ignored as programmes like the BBC’s supposedly impartial question time goes out of its way to ignore the likes of Bob Crow and Arthur Scargill, but goes out of its way to drag in Nigel Farrage. It seems to justify this by selecting those who demonstrate the larger political interest, not stopping to think that it has been instrumental in creating the celebrity status of the so-called “fruit cake”.
It is not only the right that opposes European dictat from Brussels but lack of media oxygen does not allow the message of the left to be heard. It is to do with class, unions and targetting corporate interest as the problem creating crisis after crisis. Far from solving the problem it is recreated in ever more alarming form with ever increasing debt bubbles. Those with the control of huge financial resources look after themselves and their friends, including politicians of all the major parties using resources of the state (ie our money paid in taxes nationally and locally) to implement their disastrous projects. People don’t matter as greed overtakes need and the most vulnerable are discarded without a thought.
The people of Costa Rica believe small is beautiful since they have retained their banks over tremendous outside pressure. In contrast one of the UK’s mutual banks, the Co-operative has fallen prey to the voracious appetite of the banking world of hedge funds and those who have the power to do what they want with available wealth, whoever it belongs to. Labour sadly joined Tories and friends in attempting to make this a large corporate organisation. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em I suppose is the philosophy.
The transition of the UK amongst others of changing from an industrial base, which produced tangible wealth to the country, to the paper-based finance dominated economy, began years back. My Father set up his own business manufacturing and selling equipment for use on farms and industrial sites. One day the Distillers Company took charge and it was an accountant who made decisions about the company’s future. What he knew about industry I don’t know, but it didn’t seem to matter. From then on it didn’t have a future.
The practice of accountants running things has snowballed as large off-shore corporations take charge of our lucrative public services running councils, schools, health services, prisons and security. With them it doesn’t seem to matter how well they do or don’t perform, they are the Untouchable.
I seem to remember that as the established accountancy firms began to take control Capita came into prominence, I thought with Labour’ support at the time. If the Tories could do it they should get in on the act and compete. Of course Capita is now huge and undistinguishable from any other corporation. It dominates Birmingham City Council and is adept at getting its fingers into every pie at a huge cost to us as tax payers. Two Capita stories were prominent in yesterday’s news. The first in the Birmingham Post reported on the massive charges Capita were making for providing a website for the New Birmingham Public Library. As the libraries await a decision on a sell off we find our money going into someone else’s pocket. Capita were in the news previously for the delays and incompetence in setting up the Council’s website.
The second Capita story is about one of their executives pronouncing the need for bigger and better wars, the lack of which he opined had led to the demise of large sections of Britain’s armed forces. This is usually an unstated reality of the raison d’etre of the huge industrial-military complexes of the world, bit occasionally someone will state the unmentionable truth. Trust Capita.
An Israeli source is reporting that US warships and an Israeli vessel have been allowed through the Suez canal by Egypt. Can’t be true, the world leaders are all in Canada talking economics with environment as an afterthought. Then there’s the World Cup, Wimbledon to keep us all happy – or not.
Looking at headlines, the Observer tells about Lib-Dem unhappiness with the Condem coalition which at least half the voters think is unfair. Danny Alexander disagrees. Both the Independent and Washington Post are tied up in Afghanistan, the one telling how McChrystal was warning dire things about the progress of the war, the other how it is stressing out the military leadership. BBC looks at the BA cabin crew action. Meanwhile the ships sail silently almost unnoticed for a showdown with Iran. Not news? Somewhere there is a well organised conspiracy going on.
This is not to say that it has been unnoticed entirely. Lots of rumours and the hope that the story isn’t true. I hope so too.
Any settlement of a peace process in Israel and Palestine has to take into account the question of Palestinian refugees. The Guardian report has thrown light onto a group displaced from Iraq who are now camped on the Syrian border. No one wants them so they are further displaced. Meanwhile well-heeled Zionists from U.S. and elsewhere have no problem in moving onto land seized from Palestinians and pressing for security by building a wall around the Palestinians creating prison camps for them.
Barack Obama’s appointment of George Mitchell once more signals the change we hoped for if not entirely expected. Gerry Adams gives a personal and informed view in the Guardian (28/1/2009) based on his own dealings with the man who expanded a lot of energy and patience in brokering a deal in Northern Ireland. The way in which he faced obstruction from many quarters.