As millions of children around the world return to school for a new year, the infographic “Back to School” – produced by VP in partnership with UNRWA and the EU – highlights the challenges faced by Palestinian refugee children from Syria, from displacement to school closures, emergency education provision and the simple uncertainty over whether they will have access to education.
Family members are threatened not to intervene. They’re beaten if they try. Children are violently abused.
They’re blindfolded, shackled and beaten. They’re threatened with much worse. Sexual threats and abuse are common. So are electro-shocks and much more.
Nothing’s too outrageous to employ. Children are interrogated without counsel. They’re treated like adults. They face wrongful charges. It doesn’t matter.
More than 64 years after Mohammed was forced to leave his home, he longs to return to Isdod. “I still wish I could return. If I could leave everything, every house that I stayed in since, everything I have, I would leave it all. I was born there and I am so attached to that place. The future of my nine children and my 42 grandchildren depends on our return to our home in Palestine. I hope I will be buried in my home, Isdod.”
Until and unless we eradicate injustice, we have no reason to know beauty, for all that we create is tainted by that injustice pretending all is well with our world. Truth does not exist if injustice surrounds us and we are silent in our complicity. Proclaiming moral virtue in a world awash in crimes against humanity is condoning the crimes unless we act to eradicate the crimes.
American progress is, has been, constructed on abuse and contempt for the sovereignty of other nations and their people and is thereby racist. American peace, American liberty, American freedom, and the ruthless pursuit of happiness for American citizens is the dream, but the manifest truth is, that American citizens are facing social meltdown and immizeration at home as their military and intelligence agencies kill abroad for profit. This America we hold to be self evident. “The idea of rights is nothing but the concept of virtue applied to the world of politics. By means of the idea of rights men have defined the nature of licence and of tyranny … no man can be great without virtue, nor any nation great without the respects for rights.” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America  1991:219). This America must be your manifest duty to understand. How can you export American Democracy to a distrusting world when “you have no product?” (Cindy Sheehan).
The particulars of this Operation Neptune Spear (the US Government code name) are ventures that only the United States, and possibly Israel, would undertake, and that their unabashed victory claim, is a notorious instance of American Exceptionalism, namely, an assertion that the United States can do what others must not dare to do, and can even provide for itself a legal rationale with the arrogant label ‘not for use by others.’
this country has chosen to support the increasingly undemocratic state of Israel, the ever increasing tribalism that is pushing that state into a theocracy that denies the universalism of all human kind and imposes a set of beliefs that threaten to destroy the very concept of individual rights. America invests untold billions of dollars into this state ostensibly because it is democratic, a democratic friend in the mid-east, and it adheres to America’s core values. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Born at Qalandia Checkpoint focuses on the impact of Israeli movement restrictions on the everyday lives of Palestinians. The phenomenon of Palestinian women forced to give birth at military checkpoints peaked during the Second Intifada (2000-05). Since this time, Palestinian women in remote areas have increasingly resorted to coping strategies of relocating in the weeks prior to delivery, or giving birth at home.
As the African National Congress voted Thursday to support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel known as BDS, declaring it was “unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel,” we look at a new film that examines the apartheid analogy commonly used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Roadmap to Apartheid.”
Imprisoned or free, Palestinians have no rights. Racism is policy. So is institutionalized persecution and violence. Arabs are despised. Israel calls them sub-human.
Israel persecutes them for not being Jews. Praying to the wrong God is criminalized. Hunger strikers defy Israeli lawlessness. Abstinence is their only weapon.
Palestinians wanting to live free are called terrorists. Non-Jewish refugees, asylum seekers, and those suffering from captivity and torture aren’t wanted. In Israel they’re imprisoned. They’re treated harshly with no rights. Most are deported.
Israel matches the most unjust, repressive societies. Netanyahu exceeded the worst of his predecessors. Victimization before entry into Israel continues while there. Like America, it’s no fit place to live in.
He has been telling the unsettling truth about Israeli behavior for four years now, with another two to go. Repeatedly he has documented Israeli violations of international law and its relentless disregard for Palestinian human rights.
In a sane world this work would make Richard Falk a universally acclaimed defender of justice. But ours is not a sane world.
All those reacted negatively to Falk’s latest report are well positioned, well paid representatives of nations and multinational businesses are reduced to sounding like lawyers defending the mafia.
It is for very good, science-based reasons that long term isolation is internationally recognized as torture. Israel is systematically using isolation to psychologically and physically destroy politically active Palestinian prisoners.
One of the long term prisoners, Nabeel Barghouti was imprisoned for 30 years. His wife who was pregnant when he was imprisoned gave birth to a son, Fahdi. At the age of 16 his son decided that the only way to see his father was to become a prisoner. After his arrest and imprisonment he fought for the right to be imprisoned under conditions that made it possible for him to see his father. Incidents like these are not extraordinary, although they are extraordinarily tragic.
At Nuremberg, following the trial of the “Major War Criminals” where judges were drawn from the four victorious powers, the United States convened military tribunals for the lesser war criminals. Among these were the famous “Doctors’ Trials” which set standards for the conduct of doctors in the treatment of detainees and prisoners, still in effect today. It is time for the United States to show that we hold ourselves and our health professionals to the same ethical and legal standards that we imposed on those whom we defeated in the past. We must work for justice in the U.S. to ensure that the costs and consequences of 9/11 do not eclipse our commitment to the rule of law, to human rights, and to ethical medical practice.
Neoconservative triumphalism has destroyed American morality and left hubris in its place. Americans are overwhelmed by how great and good and moral and indispensable they are. American hubris raises Americans above everyone else in the world. Americans can torture, murder, invade, and still lecture the rest of the world about human rights.
The point is that we cannot give up hope that the world can be returned to a moral existence. What is discouraging is that it is no longer the West, and certainly not the US government, that is the upholder of “the rights of mankind.”
Israel had developed a very oppressive anti-Palestinian children policies, that are aimed at intimidating, terrorizing and traumatizing Palestinian children, whose families dared to stay in the country. These policies aim primarily at driving Palestinian families out of the country for the sake of their children’s future, and secondary to traumatize and terrorize Palestinian children while very young so that they would not dare grow up into revolting young men.
“Violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred, terrorism begets terrorism,” so rings the prophetic knell of the Reverend Wright to his congregation one of whom happened to be our current President Barack Obama. Would that he had listened, for if any man was ever elected to the office of President to change the world, this was the man and he has failed.
The recent finding of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) that the state of Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid in relation to the Palestine people should be taken with the utmost seriousness by all those who affirm human solidarity and care about making visible the long ordeal of a suffering and vulnerable people. The finding is conspicuously ignored by Israel and the United States, as well as by most media and by the United Nations.