Thursday, October 30, 2008
Present and Past Palestinian Autumns
Nine-year-old Aya said she was terrified. "The lights were all off, there was water everywhere. My mother was crying. She is pregnant and the baby will come soon. Please get us out before my brother is born. I am scared he will die if we have to live here after she delivers."
Palestinians Denied Visit to Villages of Ancestors (Since 1948-present)
“He was killed 60 years ago as he was travelling to work,” she said, struggling to hold back the tears. “My mother was four months pregnant with me at the time. This photograph is the closest I’ve ever got to him.” Six decades on from his death, she has never been allowed to visit his grave in Galilee and lay a wreath for the father she never met.
IOF Unit Guns Down Seventy Year Old Palestinian (today)
They told PIC that Mohammed Abahra was instantly killed when the IOF soldiers fired at him after he got out of his house with a lamp in his hand to inspect the noises he heard in the vicinity.
October 29, the 52nd Anniversay of the Kufr Qassim Massacre
The massacre started at 5 in the evening ,at the western entrance to the village. The army executed 43 men at the western entrance, three more at the northern entrance, two inside the village, and a child, 11, was killed in a nearby village.
On that day, Israeli soldiers shot and killed 48 Palestinians in Kufur Qassim; among them were ten children and nine women.
Remembering Beit Hanoun
A group of women gathered around me. Each of them is trying to tell her piece of the story. Nisreen, Nema's daughter, explained that "My mother, Manal, and Fatima Masoud, the three of them turned to piles of burnt and torn flesh. We collected what was left of them from the walls, doors and trees, and then put them in buckets carrying their names. We recognized them from pieces of their clothes which were stuck to their burned flesh."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I believe that "Ummi" will be read worldwide on Mother's Day, on our mothers' birthdays, and also at our mothers' funerals. It resonates universally, and I was thrilled when co-workers commented "Beautiful," and when students attended with rapt faces:
My Mother (Ummi) by Mahmoud Darwish
I long for my mother's bread
My mother's coffee
Childhood memories grow up in me
Day after day
I must be worth my life
At the hour of my death
Worth the tears of my mother
And if I come back one day
Take me as a veil to your eyelashes
Cover my bones with the grass
Blessed by your footsteps
Bind us together
with a lock of your hair
With a thread that trails from the back of your dress
I might become immortal
Become a god
If I touch the depths of your heart
If I come back
Use me as wood to feed your fire
As the clothesline on the roof of house
Without your blessing
I am too weak to stand
I am old
Give me back the star maps of childhood
So that I
Along with the swallows
Can chart the path
Back to your waiting nest
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Blood on their Hands: Summary of Another IOF Child Killing
Abdel Khader Yousef Ashour, 13, and Mansour Al-Kafarna met their deaths on August 21, 2007. They were playing in an orchard in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip next to an Agricultural School. Both kids were killed instantly by a surface-to-surface missile, courtesy of Israel's Occupation Forces.
Abdel Khader's mother heard an explosion at 5:45 PM. She was just a few hundred meters from the school where she knew her son had been playing football. As she headed toward the school, she asked a man she'd met along the way if he'd seen a boy in blue. He told her that the boy in blue had been "dismembered." Another boy playing with the two who were killed suffered shrapnel wounds. There were several other children in the proximity of the schoolyard. No rockets had been fired from the neighborhood the day that the boys were targeted. The parents are convinced that the IOF deliberately targeted the innocent children as a warning "to pressure local parents into preventing rockets to be fired from Beit Hanoun towards Israel."
In five days, beginning on February 27, 2008, Israel killed twenty-seven children in Gaza. Half of them were killed in Jabalia in twenty-four hours.
"The circumstances of child deaths during Operation Winter Heat strongly and consistently indicate that children were deliberately targeted throughout the operation." On February 28, a group of boys were playing football near their homes. IOF launched a missile, killing four of them, Mohammed Na'im Hammouda, 9; Ali Munir Dardouna, 8; Dardouna Deib Dardouna, 12, and Omar Hussein Dardouna, 14. Three other boys were seriously injured. PCHR investigations indicate that there was no resistance activity at the time the boys were killed. They were playing in an open area in a residential district that was "clearly visible" to the IOF in the aircraft which targeted them.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Blood on Their Hands: Child Killings By the Israeli Occupation Forces
"Five minutes later the extended Abu-Saif family downstairs heard a single shot, followed by screaming. . . . Safaa had been shot and collapsed on the bedroom floor . . . ."
There was a hole in her chest and she was "bleeding heavily," according to her brother. Ambulances were being attacked by the IOF so they could not come to the house. The little girl bled to death for three hours. When her mother and her grandmother waving a white flag tried to carry the dead girl outside the Israeli soldiers from inside a tank shot in front of them forcing them inside.
The above is direct quotation and a summary from Palestine Center for Human Rights Gaza's "Blood on Their Hands": Child Killings By the Israeli Occupation Forces In the Gaza Strip, June 2007-June 2008.
The sixty-four page report may be downloaded in PDF format here.
According to a PCHR press release issued today:
During international armed conflicts, including occupations by military forces, children are afforded protection under International Humanitarian Law. Children are also granted protection under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as persons who are especially vulnerable during war time. However, the State of Israel has consistently failed in its legal obligation to offer protection towards the children of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have killed more than 860 children in the OPT, the majority of them in the Gaza Strip.
In response to these IOF killings of children, and IOF consistent use of excessive lethal force against Palestinian children, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is launching ‘Blood on Their Hands’ - a major investigative report on child killings perpetrated by the IOF in the Gaza Strip.
Blood on Their Hands examines IOF killings of children in the Gaza Strip from June 2007-June 2008. During this period, IOF killed sixty eight children in the Gaza Strip. The report provides data, analysis and testimonies on the killings of these children, including detailed testimonies from eye-witnesses and bereaved families, which highlight the horrific nature of these IOF child killings. The report also examines the psychological impact of child deaths on other children in the Gaza Strip, especially those children who have witnessed IOF killings. Although it focuses on the Gaza Strip, the report also refers to child killings by IOF in the West Bank, where twelve children were killed by IOF during the reporting period.
The violent deaths of all these eighty children are the direct result of IOF policy of targeting unarmed civilians in the OPT, and especially the Gaza Strip, as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians. The report investigates the context of child killings in the Gaza Strip, providing detailed investigations into IOF use of disproportionate and excessive lethal force in order to deliberately target children. The report also exposes IOF methods of killing children, and the consistent failure of the State of Israel to investigate IOF killings of Palestinian children in the OPT, or to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Blood on Their Hands exposes the extent of IOF child killings, and makes urgent recommendations for the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to respect the human rights of all Palestinian children in the OPT, as well as demanding that the international community intervenes immediately and effectively in order to ensure that children’s human rights are respected and upheld.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Hummus is Arabic
Hummus is garbanzo beans;my Uncle Hanna used dry garbanzo beans which he soaked all night, garlic, tahini, lemon, salt, pepper, sometimes cumin, olive oil, paprika, and parsley for garnish.
It's definitely not hydrogenated oils and whatever other disgusting additives immigrant American and European Jews throw in as they boast of their "Israeli" hummus.
How many children of western Jews learned from their parents to smooth hummus with the back of the spoon on to an oblong dish?
How many children of western Jews heard their parents say that "so and so is cheap because she puts too much water in her hummus?"
How many American and European Jewish mothers used sock darners to mash the hummus by hand?
How many American and European Jewish immigrant mothers taught their kids how to break the tahini?
How many European and American Jews know that most Arabs don't eat hummus in summer because it's considered a cold weather dish?
How many children of American and European Jews learned not to sprinkle the paprika on top of the hummus until serving time because it would dry the hummus?
How many children of Amerian and European Jews learned how to garnish the hummus with parsley?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Candidates Fall Over Themselves With Fealty to Israel
Is she "decent"?
She is. Thank you.
Woman at rally: I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's an Arab.
Sen. John McCain: No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about.
He's not, thank you.
"Barack Obama has claimed that nobody has suffered more than the Palestinians," says Randy Scheunemann, John McCain's senior foreign policy adviser, in an effort to show that Barack Obama doesn't exhibit sufficient fealty to Israel.
Obama's spokeswoman quickly counters: "No false charges can change Barack Obama’s unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security."
Israel made itself more secure today by stoning kids on their way home from school.
For the week of September 25-October 8 Israel made itself more secure by treating the non-suffering Palestinians to the following:
Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian civilian in near Nablus.
16 Palestinian civilians, including four children, and a Scottish human rights defender, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
Nine of the wounded were wounded during peaceful demonstrations against the construction of the Annexation Wall.
IOF conducted 38 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
IOF arrested 59 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children and a woman.
IOF violently assaulted a number of Palestinian civilians during house raids.
IOF arrested 2 Palestinian civilians near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
IOF imposed a comprehensive closure on the OPT for the Jewish Kipurim festival.
IOF troops positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 2 Palestinian civilians.
IOF held a number of journalists near a settlement in the West Bank.
IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attacks Palestinian civilians and property.
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian civilians and property.
Four Palestinian civilians and two human rights defenders were injured.
Israeli settlers deliberately set fire to dozens of olive trees.
It seems to me that Americans have good cause to question the commitment to American values that our presidential candidates possess when they fall all over themselves expressing fealty to a country that exhibits anything but "decency" when it comes to respecting the human rights of the people its occupied for forty years and the people its been dispossessing for over sixty years.