Friday, November 30, 2012

14 year old Afghani girl killed for refusing a marriage proposal.

The attack happened Tuesday, a day before new legislation was introduced in Congress calling on the U.S. government to take steps to help protect Afghan women and girls as the U.S. military prepares to exit Afghanistan.

Gasitina, a student, was beheaded in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province. The attack was initially reported by local media, and was confirmed by Amnesty International researcher Horia Mosadiq in an email.

The girl was fetching water when she was accosted, according to reports. The men, who have not been identified, were arrested by police. The girl and her parents had refused a marriage proposal by one of the men, according to the Amnesty International report.

This was the 15th deadly attack on a female victim in Kunduz in 2012, the human rights organization said.

"Amnesty International is very concerned about the violations against women in Afghanistan," said Cristina Finch, director of the organization's Women's Human Rights program.

Amnesty reported a similar incident in October, when a young woman was murdered and her throat slashed. In that case, the woman apparently refused to work as a prostitute.

Although it appears such attacks are increasing in frequency, it may be that the world outside Afghanistan is just beginning to hear about them, Finch said.

On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican from Texas, introduced the Afghan Women and Girls' Security Promotion Act. If passed in its current form, the bill addresses how women's security will be monitored as the U.S. military withdraws from the country.

The bill also calls for improved gender sensitivity among Afghanistan's national security forces and recruitment of women within the ranks of those forces.

Amnesty International USA's executive director Suzanne Nossel applauded Casey and Hutchison for introducing the bill.

"As the United States military transitions out of Afghanistan, Afghan women's human rights continue to be at grave risk and demand urgent attention," Nossel said in a statement. "The fate of women will be a crucial determinant of that country's prospects for a stable and prosperous future."

Straight from yahoo- at least it entering the mainstream press now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not the typical IDF soldier's mom

Anet Haskia is not the typical mom of a soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces. A Muslim Arab, who grew up in a mixed Arab-Jewish city in the north, Haskia is breathing a little easier this week.

For Haskia, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision not to enter the Gaza Strip last week was "brave and right."

The mother of three children, with a 20-year-old IDF combat soldier, Haskia told Tazpit News Agency, that "many Israeli soldiers’ lives were saved thanks to that decision."

"Going into Gaza would have yielded success for the Hamas terrorists. Israel did what it had to do for the time being to stop the rocket attacks and played it smart."

Haskia who was born and raised in Akko, a mixed Arab-Jewish city in the Western Galilee in northern Israel, is openly vocal about her support for the Jewish State of Israel.

"I am proud to live in Israel," she says. "I am even prouder that both my sons have served as soldiers for this country."

"If I was living in Gaza, I would have no rights as a woman under Hamas," explained Haskia. "And you can’t expect anything different—Hamas is a terror organization, they treat people like animals with no regard to human life. They will never hold democratic elections like they do in Israel."

"I’m open about these truths," adds Haskia. "The Arab MKs in the Israeli Knesset don’t represent me. The extremist left-wing in Israel also doesn’t represent me and others in my community who share my beliefs. Those corrupt politicians just contribute to hate, incitement and lies."

"When an IDF soldier is killed in combat, not one Arab MK will stand up and offer his condolences to the bereaved family," she exclaims. "These Arab MKs enjoy democratic rights but don’t appreciate them."

Anet explains that her attitude towards the Jewish state as a member of the Arab minority country stems from the fact that she was raised in a home that "respected both Hebrew and Arabic-speakers."

"When I grew up in Akko, we had good relations between Jewish and Arab families."

"I realized early on that I wanted my children to advance in Israeli society. They studied in a private Jewish school on a kibbutz and were exposed to a different mentality. It was not an easy road, but I taught my children to always be proud of their identity and not to cry and whine like our politicians."

During Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Haskia did not just sit worried over what may happen to her son—the proud mom did her share to help Israel as well. "Over 12 years, Hamas has been firing rockets at Israeli civilians and all you see are photos of Gaza in the media. Some of those photos are fakes," Haskia pointed out.

"I noticed many times in Arab media that 'Gaza' photos of bleeding civilians were actually photos from other Arab conflicts in the Middle East— Syria and Iraq for example. They were being used to incite hatred against Israel, so I started to post these fake photos and their origins on my Facebook wall."

Haskia, however, has political ambitions as well. "I want to be part of Israeli politics some day and make a change by representing my people politically. There are many people who are too scared to speak up, who love Israel like I do and have done well here. They want a future where their children will not fall to hatred and incitement, but overcome that. I want to be their voice," she concludes.

Originally published at YNET

Friday, November 9, 2012

The death of Shaima Alawadi

It was the cause celebre for some time. Until it wasn't.

From the Huffington post:

March 24, 2012, EL CAJON, Calif. ­ A 32-year-old woman from Iraq who was found severely beaten next to a threatening note saying "go back to your country" died on Saturday.

Hanif Mohebi, the director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he met with Shaima Alawadi's family members in the morning and was told that she was taken off life support around 3 p.m.

"The family is in shock at the moment. They're still trying to deal with what happened," Mohebi said.

Alawadi, a mother of five, had been hospitalized since her 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious Wednesday in the family's house in El Cajon, police Lt. Steve Shakowski said.

The daughter, Fatima Al Himidi, told KUSI-TV her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron, and that the note said "go back to your country, you terrorist."

Addressing the camera, the tearful daughter asked: "You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?"

Police said the family had found a similar note earlier this month but did not report it to authorities.

Al Himidi told KGTV-TV her mother dismissed the first note, found outside the home, as a child's prank.

A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told UT San Diego () that the attack apparently occurred after the father took the younger children to school. Alzaidy told the newspaper the family is from Iraq, and that Alawadi is a "respectful modest muhajiba," meaning she wears the traditional hijab, a head scarf.

Investigators said they believe the assault is an isolated incident.

"A hate crime is one of the possibilities, and we will be looking at that," Lt. Mark Coit said. "We don't want to focus on only one issue and miss something else."


Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times, 4/2/12

El CAJON, Calif. -- This day's English lessons for Iraqi immigrants at Cuyamaca College involved learning how to talk about bad news.

From their text, "Day by Day: English for Employment Communication," the 25 students repeated dialogue wrapped around common occurrences: "I lost my wallet" and "My husband got fired from his job."

But the students had a horrific piece of real news on their minds: the March 24 death of an Iraqi immigrant who had been bludgeoned with a tire iron in her home three days earlier. A note near her bloodied body called her a terrorist and told her to "go back to your country."

"They can't stop talking about it," said the instructor, Hayfa Dalali, an immigrant from Baghdad. "They just keep saying: 'She was a mother of five, from a nice family, in a safe neighborhood.'"

Predictably, the unsolved killing of 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi has led to heightened concern among some women about their safety.

But in this working-class suburb east of San Diego, the nation's second-most-populous community of Iraqi immigrants, the fear does not seem to spring from a belief that the killing was a hate crime committed by a predator stalking Iraqis. ...

Officials of the San Diego branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council have urged residents not to jump to conclusions and to wait for the police to find the killer. So did Imam Sharif Battikhi at a memorial service for Alawadi at the mosque in nearby Lakeside


There were vigils in her honor.

Attempts were made to tie her death in with Trevon Martin. Both became potent symbols of the "inherent racism" of American society. Our local AROC (Arab Resource organizing center) also planned a vigil.

Bradley Manning/ Justin Herman Plaza San Francisco
Vigil, Procession, and Speak Out

On March 21st Shaima Alawadi, 32, a mother of five, a devoted wife, and an Iraqi refugee who fled violence there in 1995 was found lying on her kitchen floor in a puddle of her own blood, She had been viciously beaten with a tire iron. By her body was a note saying "Go back where you came from terrorist"

Shaima's attack and death come on the heels of the massacre in Afghanistan of 17 innocent civilians, mostly women and children, by a "rogue" soldier who "snapped" after previously serving three tours of duty in Iraq.

Join us on this occasion to remember Shaima and to address the aftermath of 9/11, the war on Iraq, and the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments that are at the core of this terrible incident.

It is important to touch on these issues and educate the public about the misunderstandings and mistreatment the Arab and Muslim communities go through in this country.

Bring red and white flowers

Then it was abruptly cancelled. Without explanation


Bradley Manning/ Justin Herman Plaza San Francisco
Vigil, Procession, and Speak Out


Sadly, Shaima Alawadi's death only concerned people as long as she could be used as a symbol. But as increasing amounts of evidence pointed to domestic violence as the cause of her death, the local Muslim community was just as happy to sweep it under the rug.

Finally, there may be justice for Shaima. Interestingly enough, neither AROC nor CAIR followed up on this story, or informed their email lists of the new developments. Their silence is complicity, not only in Shaima's death, but in the deaths of all women who are abused at home. CAIR and AROC are only concerned with exploiting the deaths of these women to advance their own political agendas, turning a blind eye to issues such as domestic violence, underage marriages, and the subjugation of women. Shaima again was exploited in death, just as she had been exploited in life. Shaima was a 32 year old woman with a 17 year old daughter. Do the math.

Husband held in killing of Iraqi-American woman

L CAJON, Calif. (AP) - The husband of an Iraqi-American woman whose beating death initially appeared to be a hate crime was arrested on suspicion of murder in what police described Friday as an act of domestic violence.

The killing of 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi drew international attention in March when the couple's 17-year-old daughter told reporters that she found a note by her mother's bludgeoned body that read: "Go back to your country, you terrorist."

Kassim Alhimidi, 48, was taken into custody Thursday after being called into the police station, said El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman.

Police said there were no other suspects. Redman declined to comment on the evidence or elaborate on a possible motive.

"Criminal investigations build, evidence builds, and you reach a point where you have enough evidence to move forward, and that's what happened in this case," he said.

Alhimidi went to Iraq for about two weeks to bury his wife and returned voluntarily, Redman said. Police did not try to prevent him from leaving the country because he was not a suspect at the time.

At the burial in Najaf, relatives wept uncontrollably. Alhimidi and the 17-year-old daughter, Fatima, fainted as the body was lowered into the grave.

Kassim Alhimidi was publicly silent for six days after the body was found, while his children spoke often with reporters.

To AROC AND to CAIR: Justice begins at home. If you refuse to take a stand on these issues that are vital to the health and to the safety of our community- you will lose half your members. you've already lost me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Saudi Arabia: The real Apartheid State

Saudi Arabia is the real Apartheid State.

There is religious apartheid

And there is gender apartheid.

And yet we don't here a word about it from the BDS movement. I can't imagine why.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hamas beating Women with sticks

If this happened in Israel, it would be all over the news.

The background- women in Gaza from a variety of political backgrounds decided to have a peaceful unity rally. Hamas would have none of that. Whats left to do? Watch and see

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Scenes from the World Conference on Women

I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

Here are some of the panelists in the World Conference on Women and the accompanying exhibition Qassim University held at the King Khaled Cultural Center in Buraidah

Oh those wacky wacky Saudis

Friday, November 2, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yemeni woman sentenced to death for killing male relative who tried to rape her

I found this little slice of life in I suppose its an improvement that these stories are getting published nowadays. It was written by Mustapha Ajbaili

A Yemeni woman has been sentenced to death for having opened fire and killed a male relative who climbed up the wall of her house in an attempt to rape her.

Raja Hakimi was initially sentenced to two years in prison by a district court in the southern province of Ibb. The sentence was raised to death by the court of appeals, prompting the condemnation of women and human rights groups.

Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), an organization co-founded in 2005 by Tawakkol Karman, a recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, condemned the death sentence against Rajaa as an “unjust ruling, which violates all legislation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

WJWC said in a statement that the woman, Hakimi, was “only defending herself” against an armed man who tried to exploit the absence of the woman’s husband and attack her with the intention to rape her.

The man reportedly carried a gun and climbed up the wall of Hakimi’s house in the middle of the night trying to enter the house from the window, and websites reported.

When she saw him, the frightened Hakimi pulled up the gun of her husband and opened fire on the assailant. He fell down to the ground and died. In the morning, neighbors saw the body of the man and informed the police, who then arrested Hakimi.

Hakimi pleaded guilty to murder but insisted that that she killed him in self-defense. However, her words were not taken into consideration by the appeals court, which ordered sending her to the gallows.

But deputy general director of legal affairs in the province of Ibb, Abdulrakeb Alhimyari, told Al Arabiya English that the act of killing was “possibly planned beforehand.”

He quoted Abdul Alim al-Hakami, a relative of both the woman and the murdered assailant, as saying that “justice was finally held.”

Abdul Alim was a previous government official in the province of Ibb, according to Alhimyari.

Alhimyari said Abdul Alim told him that the assailant was “dragged into the house” in order to be killed. But Alhimyari insisted that this story could not be verified as true.

Some local media had claimed that relatives close to family of murdered assailant have influence on local authorities in the province of Ibb, which could explain why the ruling was in their favor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Arab Women in the Middle East

Arab Women in the Middle East (why is this written by a guy?)

n Pakistan, a 14-year-old girl is shot by Muslim extremists for daring to call for education for women.

In Tunisia, a young woman who was raped by three policemen is about to on trial for committing an "indecent act." Her crime: she was sitting with her fiancé in a car when the policemen surprised them and brutally raped her.

Syrian refugee girls who fled the fighting in their country are being forced into marriages by Muslim men, who are exploiting the plight of their families to fulfill sexual fantasies.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, a Muslim woman who decided to run in the local election is being ridiculed and threatened by fundamentalists who insist that she should be only staying at home cooking and looking after her husband and children.

In the Gaza Strip, women continue to suffer from severe restrictions imposed by Hamas and other fundamentalist groups.

In Saudi Arabia, women are still not allowed to drive.

In Israel, however, Muslim women are not only allowed to drive and run for elections, but can also reach high positions. Not all Arab Israelis are an "enemy from within;" Muslim women in the Jewish state enjoy more rights and opportunities than their colleagues in Arab and Islamic countries.

While female Muslims are being abducted, raped, shot, tortured and forced into unwanted marriages in a number of Arab and Islamic countries, 33-year-old Maria Gharra has just become Israel's first Muslim woman to serve as a police officer.

Gharra, who is from a village in the Triangle area in Israel, is probably one of the most courageous Arab women in Israel.

"I'm part of the state and I even have no problem singing the 'Hatikvah' [Israel's national anthem]," she declared shortly after she assumed her new job.

Gharra represents those Arab Israelis who see Israel as their state and believe in its democratic system.

Her story also shows that Arab women often have more opportunities than in most Arab and Islamic countries.

Contrary to common belief, Gharra does not believe that her recruitment to the Israeli police is an unusual act. "I never felt different," she explained. "My working assumption is that we are all equal citizens. This is my state and that is why I want to make a contribution."

What is even more encouraging is that she has won the support of her parents, who say they are proud to see her serve in the Israeli police.

True, many Arab men already serve in the Israeli police, but this is the first time that a woman has been promoted to the rank of officer.

Amal Ayoub, 36, is one of the women making waves in biotechnology. The founder of Metallo Therapy, a startup developing gold nano-particles to enhance radiation therapy, she is the first female Arab Israeli high-tech entrepreneur.

Dr. Rania al-Khatib is the first Arab Israeli woman to become a plastic surgeon at Rambam Hospital.

These are only some of the success stories of Arab women in Israel.

The past two decades have also seen a number of Arab women elected to the Knesset a right that is denied to Muslim women in some Arab countries.

In recent years, hundreds of Arab Israeli women, ignoring calls from some leaders of the Arab community to boycott national service, have volunteered for the government's initiative.

Although of course there is much Israel could do to improve the living standards of its Arab citizens, especially in employment and infrastructure, the success stories of Arab women in Israel stand in sharp contrast to the reports about discrimination against women in the Arab and Islamic countries.

Another Swasitka on Campus

A swastika was found on the door of a freshman girl last month at Cal. It was just mentioned to me in passing- its almost as though the Jewish students have been completely desensitized to this sort of thing. There was nothing in the Daily Cal, and as far as I can tell, nothing was done. Was this even reported? Does anyone care?

It seems, at UC Berkeley, the answer is still "No"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Let them eat i Phones

No Food. No Water. No hospital beds. But Gaza has Apple I Phone 5's.

The funniest part is that the phone isn't even available yet in Israel (It won't be released until December), but its already saturating Gaza.

"Apple's new iPhone 5 is selling well in the Gaza Strip despite inflated prices, reaching the Palestinian enclave via smuggling tunnels even before high-tech hub Israel next door.
The cutting edge smart phone is being snapped up for almost double what it costs in the United States, its price jacked up by middlemen on its circuitous delivery route from Dubai via tunnels linking the blockaded territory with Egypt.
But the phones have been available for a couple of weeks in Gaza and they were on display on Monday in three independent mobile stores in a one-block radius in downtown Gaza City."

Its all in the Business Times

Photos from Palestine Today

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Maybe its not all lsrael's fault.

This article is exclusive to Arab News. I dont really know what that means, but its worth giving it wider exposure. Written by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, the original can be found here

Thirty-nine years ago, on Oct. 6, 1973, the third major war between the Arabs and Israel broke out. The war lasted only 20 days. The two sides were engaged in two other major wars, in 1948 and 1967.

The 1967 War lasted only six days. But, these three wars were not the only Arab-Israel confrontations. From the period of 1948 and to this day many confrontations have taken place. Some of them were small clashes and many of them were full-scale battles, but there were no major wars apart from the ones mentioned above. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the most complicated conflict the world ever experienced. On the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world are beginning to ask many questions about the past, present and the future with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The questions now are: What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people. And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars? But, the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.
I decided to write this article after I saw photos and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo souk in Syria, the under developed Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East.

The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is that who is the real enemy of the Arab world?
The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.

These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.

In the past, we have talked about why some Israeli soldiers attack and mistreat Palestinians. Also, we saw Israeli planes and tanks attack various Arab countries. But, do these attacks match the current atrocities being committed by some Arab states against their own people.

In Syria, the atrocities are beyond anybody’s imaginations? And, isn’t the Iraqis are the ones who are destroying their own country? Wasn’t it Tunisia’s dictator who was able to steal 13 billion dollars from the poor Tunisians? And how can a child starve in Yemen if their land is the most fertile land in the world? Why would Iraqi brains leave Iraq in a country that makes 110 billion dollars from oil export? Why do the Lebanese fail to govern one of the tiniest countries in the world? And what made the Arab states start sinking into chaos?

On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel was declared. And just one day after that, on May 15, 1948 the Arabs declared war on Israel to get back Palestine. The war ended on March 10, 1949. It lasted for nine months, three weeks and two days. The Arabs lost the war and called this war Nakbah (catastrophic war). The Arabs gained nothing and thousands of Palestinians became refugees.

And on 1967, the Arabs led by Egypt under the rule of Gamal Abdul Nasser, went in war with Israel and lost more Palestinian land and made more Palestinian refugees who are now on the mercy of the countries that host them. The Arabs called this war Naksah (upset). The Arabs never admitted defeat in both wars and the Palestinian cause got more complicated. And now, with the never ending Arab Spring, the Arab world has no time for the Palestinians refugees or Palestinian cause, because many Arabs are refugees themselves and under constant attacks from their own forces. Syrians are leaving their own country, not because of the Israeli planes dropping bombs on them. It is the Syrian Air Force which is dropping the bombs. And now, Iraqi Arab Muslims, most intelligent brains, are leaving Iraq for the est. In Yemen, the world’s saddest human tragedy play is being written by the Yemenis. In Egypt, the people in Sinai are forgotten.

Finally, if many of the Arab states are in such disarray, then what happened to the Arabs’ sworn enemy (Israel)? Israel now has the most advanced research facilities, top universities and advanced infrastructure. Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than some places in the Arab World. Wasn’t one of the judges who sent a former Israeli president to jail is an Israeli-Palestinian?

The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finally. A Middle Eastern Flotilla that I Can Support!

Taken from the AP wire

If Code Pink provided this service to Gaza and North Africa, I might just join them!

Moroccan police Thursday escorted from its waters a small yacht carrying women's rights activists claiming to be able to perform abortions on board, after anti-abortion protesters jeered them on land.

The Dutch group Women on Waves sailed the boat around the northern Moroccan harbor with banners advertising an information hotline about abortion, which is illegal in most cases in this North African country.

A day earlier, the group had said that a ship that can provide "safe, legal, medical abortions" up until 6.5 weeks of pregnancy was on its way from the Netherlands. Medical professionals have traveled before to European nations to raise awareness; the group's founder said that abortions had been performed aboard ship in international waters off of Poland.

The trip in the harbor of the Mediterranean coastal town of Smir was the abortion rights group's first event in a Muslim country.

Abortion in Morocco is illegal, except in rare cases where the mother's life is threatened and it is also illegal to give out information about it. Moroccan officials had said the boat would not be allowed in to the harbor and police sealed the port for what they called "military maneuvers," denying journalists access.

But in the afternoon, activists from Women on Waves said they already had stationed a sailboat in the harbor several days ago, fearing the port would be shut down. That boat took off around the harbor, about an hour after the group's founder approached crowds of protesters on the ground, trying to hand out fliers on abortion in Arabic and French to crowds of protesters.

Police later boarded the Dutch-flagged yacht and escorted it out of the marina. No one was charged.

"We launched a hotline that gives information to women here in Morocco, because the ship can never solve the problem here for everyone," said Rebecca Gomperts, the organization's founder. The hotline contains a recorded message explaining which easily available medication in Morocco can be used to perform an abortion.

Some 200 protesters in Smir targeted the activists outside the sealed gates of the marina. The protesters, some in conservative Muslim robes and headscarves, carried pictures of bloody embryos and shouted "Terrorist!" and "Assassin!" at Gomperts.

"We are here because we cannot accept these values, the values of massacre," said protester Abdessamad Zilali, 23. "It is not part of our tradition to kill the unborn."

Police pushed back shouting protesters who tried to get closer to Gomperts, and said she was escorted away for her own protection.

The Women on Waves boat was invited to Morocco by a local women's rights organization seeking the legalization of abortion in this North African kingdom.

Founded in 1999, Women on Waves aims to spread information about safe medical abortions induced by medication and has previously angered authorities in conservative Catholic countries.

The group traveled to Ireland in 2001, Poland in 2003 and Spain, and was banned from entering Portugal's waters in 2004.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Mohammed - Messenger of Peace"

Celebrating Mohammed, Messenger of Peace with armed masked men and big scary guns. Don't know if I should laugh or cry.

More photos of Israel's partner for peace can be found here

Monday, September 10, 2012

An officer and a Muslim Zionist

What a fearless man. This article is circulating quite a bit, but its important.
From Israel Hayom, which I assume is a mouthpiece of the World Wide Zionist conspiracy.

"From the age of zero I was told that Israel stole Palestine from us, but when I was 14 I woke up. I discovered that Jews are not bad," says Ala Wahib, an operations officer at a key IDF training base, and the highest-ranked Muslim officers in the Israeli army.

Major Wahib, 32, is currently the highest ranking Muslim officer in the IDF. He is enormously patriotic, a true Zionist. Precisely the kind of person we like to see lighting the torches during the national Independence Day ceremony every year.

But still, Wahib came to this interview with immense trepidation. Even today, after 12 years in the Israeli military, he still doesn’t feel comfortable openly discussing his views. For years he struggled on all fronts: he fought against the residents of his village, who to this day refer to him as a traitor, and he fought the military institution that never fully understood his motives.

"In my village, they can’t understand what could possibly motivate me to protect a country that is not my own. In the army there are people who know me and would go all the way with me, but there are those who don’t know me and don’t really know how to relate to me,” he says.

So why did he decide to give this interview, with his face exposed and his full name in print? “Because it is important to me to show the Arab public what they are missing. There are quite a lot of people [in the Arab community] who want to enlist, but they are afraid and they don’t know if they will be accepted by their environment. It is important to me to show them the road I’ve traveled, and to make them understand that it is possible.” Regardless, he doesn’t take his hand off his gun for a second during the entire interview. “It is my security. It is my only means of protecting myself,” he says.

His Hebrew is fluent, without a hint of an accent, and he could easily be mistaken for an average Tel Avivian. A map of the training grounds hangs on his office wall, and his green eyes constantly sweep it, making sure again and again that everything is under control. Every once in a while a soldier will knock on the door, asking permission for this or that mission, and one of them, noticing the newspaper crew, can’t resist and says “write that he is the best commander there is.” Wahib tries to hide an embarrassed smile and tells the soldier to get his backside back to the field.

He describes himself as a “Zionist Israeli Arab.” Four years ago he went on a tour of Nazi extermination camps in Poland, together with his fellow officers, as part of the IDF’s Witnesses in Uniform program. “As a child,” he says, “I grew up in a society that denies the Holocaust. When I arrived in Poland I was shocked. I cried a lot. It was difficult to contain this thing called genocide. There was something very powerful in the fact that I was standing on Polish soil, holding an Israeli flag and donning the uniform of the Israeli army, but this time from a position of power. It was proof that we can’t be broken.”

When Wahib says “we” he means the Jewish people. “I believe in the Muslim faith, and I will never abandon it, but I think that Zionism is more than a religion. It is something that fully represents my sense of belonging to the State of Israel and to Israeli society, and the immense commitment I have to protecting and guarding the country of which I am part.”

Lets hear it for Israel, the Apartheid state.

Friday, August 17, 2012

More photos from Starving Gaza

Are they still telling you that Gaza is starving? Are they quoting nebulous reports that strangely lack footnotes or substantiating data? Do you respond with scholarly peer reviewed medical literature that gets brushed aside as propaganda?

We've all been there.

Gaza and the West bank has obesity rates that rival the West, yet we keep hearing about the starving children. We can show photos of overflowing stores, and open air markets. We can show photos of hotels and restaurants. But people just don't want to be bothered with the facts.

I present to you the Almat'haf Hotel and Cultural House in Gaza. Its not nearly as nice as the Al-Mashtal, but its still pretty nice in a rustic, boutique hotel sort of way.

This is from their facebook page, btw.

Notice the date stamp on this photo- its from April of this year. For all you've heard about the water shortage in Gaza, how does this hotel manage to sustain a Koi pond?

Al Quds day around the World

I know I said I was giving up activism. I've stopped tweeting. That was a good start. And by and large, I've abandoned this blog. (Everyone coming here was looking for porn, anyway.) But I don't know why exactly, but I'm really fond of the team here. They did such an amazing job researching the failed Global March to the Jerusalem, but more importantly, they've keep their sense of humor even when surrounded by hate. I'm going to take a break from my break and promote their work. Deal with it.

CiF Watch has prepared a special report on the Iranian linked Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), chief organizer of this year's Al Quds Day march in London which is scheduled to take place on August 17.

The report spotlights the role played by the IHRC, an integral part of the Iranian support network in the UK, and the manner in which the IHRC takes advantage of its registered charity status despite acting in a manner that runs counter to the Charity Commission's own guidelines on charities and terrorism.

In the calendar of anti-Israel events, the Al Quds Day march in London is perhaps the most disturbing in its blatant display of support for the terror group Hezbollah and vocal calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Richard Millet has photos from last years's event here and describes some of the signage

Israel Your Days are Numbered
Death to Israel
Down down Israel
For World Peace Israel Must Be Destroyed
The World Stopped Nazism, The World Must Stop Zionism
We Are All Hizbollah

Yellow Hezbollah flags were everywhere with the flag’s usual gun emblem, which is especially menacing considering that the head of Hizbollah has said that Jews are descended from pigs and apes and that if all the Jews in the world gathered in Israel it would save Hizbollah the trouble of going after them elsewhere.

This was particularly charming:

I dont know why, but Al Quds day was a non-event in the Bay area. Maybe its because all the Al Awda kids are still with Mom and Dad, and school hasn't started yet. Maybe its because JVP is afraid to touch this one, even though they have no trouble partnering with CAIR and AMP, so their standards are fairly loose. Maybe its because International ANSWER has been virtually emasculated, and just cant gather a crowd any more. Or maybe its because everyone is saving up their anger for the Rachel Corrie verdict next week.

That'll be my bet

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jihadi Pin-up calendar

Inspired perhaps by the Full Monty, friends in Gaza are thinking about creating a jihadist (freedom fighter) of the month calendar. For fundraising, of course. For the children

I kinda want to tell April playmate of the month "This bag is not a toy".

And no, I don't want to be the regional distributor, and no, I don't think this will be a big hit in America. And no, I don't think they need to conceal their awrah. I think this is stupid.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Palestine needs Women who dream

Do you know what Hamas fears? Do you know what the International Solidarity Movement fears? Do you know what those that teach hate and preach hate fear most of all?

They fear normalcy.

They fear children growing up with a bright future

They fear little girls dancing.

The Jerusalem Post writes "Despite difficulties to overcome male-dominated culture and chauvinism, increasing number of Palestinian women starting businesses. "

RAMALLAH - From corner fruit stalls in Hebron to chic Ramallah ballet studios, Palestinian women are making their mark in business, some out of necessity and others looking to break the gender mold and pursue a dream.

For Shyrine Ziadeh, a 24-year-old Birzeit University graduate, that dream was to open a dance studio.

Now the proud owner of the Ramallah Ballet Center, the first in the West Bank, her sunny, top-floor studio is flooded with classical music and mirrors stretching from wall to wall. Little girls plié in pink ballet shoes and jump over fairy wings.

"I want to develop girls," she said. "Ballet helps develop their point of view in life. We need such things in Palestine."

This works in many ways. We need strong women leaders. We need them as examples and as role models. We need women to be educated and to have the inner strength to follow their dreams- even if that dream means saying no to marriage at 18 to a second cousin.

We need women who dream.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Unexpected Gaza

More views of Gaza that the ISM doesn't want you to see.

Ask yourself- why are they hiding the truth? Why do they lie?

Muslim woman: Arabs must enlist in IDF


Arab-Israeli whose kids serve in army supports campaign for equal share of the burden, slams Arab lawmakers for 'perpetuating sense of inequality among Arabs'

Arabs, not just the haredim, must also carry their equal share of the burden, stop complaining and begin serving in the IDF – or at least join the national service program," an Arab-Israeli woman said Wednesday.

During a visit to the so-called "suckers' tent" - an encampment by army reservists from the 'Equal Burden Forum' who are demanding all Israelis serve in the IDF or perform national service – Anet Haschaya (43), said "the Arabs in the country must give more of themselves to get more."

Haschaya is leading by example. Her 22-year-old son Deddo was recently released from the army after completing two years in the Duchifat Battalion; her daughter Suha, 20, serves in the IDF Education Corps, while 19-year-old Hussam is expected to be recruited to the Golani Brigade after completing a year of national service (shnat sherut) in the south.

"Israel's Arabs shouldn't try to turn back time, but raise their heads high and look to the future," she said.

Haschaya, a Muslim, was born in Akko. Twenty years ago, after her divorce, she moved with her children to Kibbutz Yechiam, and today she resides in Kfar Vradim, where she manages a hair salon. "I was born and raised (in Israel). I have no other homeland.

"My children studied in the Jewish school system and were taught to love the homeland and contribute as much as possible," she told Yedioth Ahronoth.

Haschaya, who leveled harsh criticism at Arab Knesset members, said she was considering joining Yisrael Beitenu, Kadima or the Labor Party.

"In my opinion, the Arab MKs are only looking out for themselves, instead of caring for the Arab public," she claimed.

"Instead of bringing Arabs closer together, they are perpetuating their sense of inequality. They (MKs) are disparaging the country – and the country is paying them to do it! Those who wish to fight the country should leave and do so from the outside," she said.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Postcards from Gaza

With 25 miles of Mediteranean beaches, the only thing that stops Gaza from being Monaco is Hamas. That no alcohol and no bathing suits stuff is so medieval. I suppose the rocket launches that regularly fall short might put a crimp in the tourist industry too.

If I were to visit Gaza, I think I'd like to stay in the new Al Mashtal resort. Check out that pool. Its, well "like the worlds largest open air concentration camp" isn't the first thing that comes to my mind.

Check out that view. Is this the Gaza of your dreams? No, this is the Gaza that the ISM and the PSM never want you to see.

Racism in the Arab Lands

Shhh. Don't tell anyone. Its supposed to be our secret

From an article by Michael Curtis, orginally published at the Gatestone Institute

The dirty little secret is finally out. Even Robert Fisk, whose anti-Israeli credentials endear him to critics of the Jewish state, wrote in an article in The Independent, on May 7, 2012, of the pious silence by the politicians, prelates, and businessmen of Arab countries about the treatment of Asian domestic servants, and discrimination against migrant labor, male and female....

Discrimination, intolerance, and racism in the Arab world persist in many forms: they affect women; all non-Muslims; dark skinned people, Blacks, would-be refugees, and migrants. Among those groups and peoples who have been denied political and civil rights are Kurds, the non-Arab people whose language belongs to the Iranian group; Berbers, the pre-Arab native people of North Africa; Turkmen who speak their own language; the Christian Copts in Egypt; the Assyrians or Assyro-Chaldeans in Iraq subject to both ethnic and religious persecution; and Jews. Christians and Jews are still regarded as dhimmis ["tolerated" people], defined in different ways but always as second-class citizens. Extreme Islamists, regarding them as infidels, have used violence against many, including the Copts and the Bahais, as well as against Jews.

Recent years have seen even stronger examples of discrimination than is customary: the slaughter in Darfur; the massacre of Kurds by Saddam Hussein and their persecution by Syria and Turkey; the Algerian government repression of the Kaybles, and the maintenance of apartheid of the Zaghawa people in the Sudan, especially in Darfur. A reasonable calculation is that over the last twenty years more than 1,500,000 African Christians have been killed or expelled from Southern Sudan, or enslaved by the Islamist regime in Khartoum.

In his unjustly neglected book, Race and Slavery in the Middle East, Bernard Lewis recounts that many of the stories in the Arabian Nights portray Blacks as slaves, and as second-class citizens, while Arabs are "white." The Egyptian story is not a pleasant one for a variety of reasons. Egyptian Copts, about 10 to 12 million, are treated as second-class citizens and denied senior jobs. Now that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis have won the election with 70% of the seats in new parliament, the Copts' situation is likely only to worsen. Individual Copts and their churches have already been attacked. The Virgin Church in Assiut in Upper Egypt was burned. Copts have been sentenced to prison for allegedly insulting the Prophet. About 200,000 Egyptian Christians have tried to get visas to come to the US.

Before he became Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, who was dark skinned, was insulted as Nasser's "Black Poodle" and "The Monkey." Although Blacks suffer from discrimination in many countries, Egypt has a long history of it, with Egyptians attacking black Africans in recent years. Riot police in 2005 cleared a camp of 2,500 Sudanese refugees, mostly from Darfur, at the Egyptian border with Israel. Egyptians have killed numbers of African refugees trying to reach Israel. Black Africans report verbal harassment and negative language, such as being called "oonga boonga" or samara [black], as well as physical attacks in the streets by the public, and even by Egyptian law enforcement officials. Blacks have been stopped for arbitrary identity checks on the basis of skin color, and have faced arbitrary roundups.

In Basra, Iraq, Blacks are treated contemptuously: people in street talk call them abd [slaves]. In Yemen, darker skinned individuals are known as al-akhdam [the servants]. Kuwait has shown similar hostility to blacks. 2,000,000 black African migrants were treated as virtual slaves in Libya. Even though slavery was officially abolished in Mauritania in 1981, around 15% of its population is still enslaved.

Discrimination is also rampant in the economic area. In the United Arab Emirates, the federation of seven emirates, Dubai, with its high rise buildings and luxury resorts, is attractive to tourists who are unaware that 2,500,000 migrant workers compose 80% of the population and 95% of the workforce. As the major group in the construction business, they are treated as bonded laborers, in essence slaves, despite the alleged UAE adherence to the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. The migrant workers are abused by very low wages, years of debts to recruitment agencies, and hazardous working conditions that result in a high rate of injuries and death.

Above all, there is outright slavery. Even though Mauritania officially abolished slavery for a third time in 2007, the legislation has never been enforced. Mauritania is an unpredictable country, one of the few, along with Yasser Arafat and the PLO, to support Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War in 1991. Today, some 500,000 are still enslaved there, including the Haratin, the hereditary slave caste who speak Arabic, the language of their masters. Similarly, slavery still exists in Yemen, in the provinces of Hudaydah and Hajja in the North, even though it was officially abolished in 1962.

In contrast, more than 120,000 of the Ethiopian Beta Israel community now live in Israel with full civil and political rights. Some are in mobile home camps, but the majority are in towns and cities, and are helped by generous government loans or low interest mortgages. Undoubtedly problems exist in the attempt of Ethiopians, from a less-developed society, to become integrated into Israeli society. They arrive with a low level of education and have language problems. But they are beginning to participate in Israeli political and social life, to enter higher educational institutions, and to take positions in public bodies, including the diplomatic corps. Even the most prejudiced critics of Israel will hesitate to call this story an illustration of racism.

Is the New York Times listening? Or does it just prefer to falsify easily attainable facts?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Palestinian Rocket Fire Kills Palestinian Toddler (Thats ok. They can just Blame it on Israel)

A Child Killed and 5 Others Wounded due to the Accidental Landing of Home-Made Rockets on their Houses when Palestinian Resistance Groups Launched Rockets on Israeli Targets

From the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (No its no necessarily oxymoronic- they actually reported this as news. Has any Arabic language media reported it? Have any independent bloggers?

(I must admit I'm taken aback by the term "homemade" used to describe devices meant to kill, maim and terrorize.)

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned about the killing of Hadeel Haddad, and the wounding of five others, as 5 home-made rockets have landed on 4 houses and an empty area of land in several parts of the Gaza Strip in the past few days. PCHR calls upon the government in Gaza to seriously investigate these incidents, and to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilian life and the safety of their property.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and testimonyfrom eyewitnesses, at approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 19 June 2012,Hadeel Ahmed Sa'eed al-Haddad (1.5) was struck in the head by shrapnel while she was standing in the entrance of the house of her grandfather, Sa'eed Mohammed al-Haddad, in al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City, when a home-made rocket landed on their house. Hadeel was transported to al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City to receive necessary medical treatment, but later transferred to Shifa Hospital due to the seriousness of her injuries. The efforts made by her doctors failed to save her life. In addition, in the same incident, Hadeel's cousin,Zaqariya Mohammed Sa'eed al-Haddad (9), was also struck in the head by shrapnel. As a result, he was transported to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where medical sources have described his injuries as moderate.

The spokesman of the Palestinian Police, Chief Ra'ed al-Batniji,confirmed with PCHR's fieldworker that Hadeeldied as a result of being hit in the head with shrapnel from a home-made rocket that landed on her grandfather's house. Al-Batniji added that the police had headed to the scene and initiated investigations.
In BeitHanoun, at approximately 22:35 on Wednesday, 20 June 2012, a home-made rocket landed on an under-construction house belonging to Mohammed AkramShabat(24). As a result, part of a wall inside the house was destroyed, though no injuries were reported.

In Deir al-Balah, at approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 20 June 2012, a home-made rocket exploded in the vicinity of land belonging to Abu Khattab family on Salah al-Deen Street, south of Deir al-Balah. As a result of the explosion, Yahia Mohammed Abu Khattab’s(16)left shoulder was wounded by shrapnel, and he was transported by a PRCS's ambulance to al-Aqsa Martyrs' Hospital in Deir al-Balah where he received necessary medical treatment. He only suffered from minor wounds.

In Rafah, at approximately 20:30 on Tuesday, 19 June 2012, a home-made rocket landed on the house of Suleiman Abed Rabbu Abu Shabab, in al-Nasser village, southwest of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, the house sustained damage and its 15 residents were terrified. The Palestinian police said to PCHR's fieldworker that they immediately moved into the area, where the Explosives Engineering Unit collected the remnants of the rocket.

Previously, at approximately 21:50 on Monday, 18 June 2012, a home-made rocket landed on the house of 'AzzamYusefHamad on al-Qurman Street, east of BeitHanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, 3 of Hamad's children were wounded: Bara'a(12) sustained wounds and bruises in the left arm and leg; and Jannat and May, (both 3) sustained bruises throughout their bodies. Additionally, the western side of the house, windows and water network were damaged.

The Palestinian media, and blogsphere is filled with Photos of the dead child- and again, Israel is blamed.

Perhaps indirectly they are right. If the darned Jewish state didn't exist, we wouldn't need to bomb them. If we didn't bomb them , our rockets wouldnt fall short and kill our own children

Sunday, June 17, 2012

American Muslims for Palestine: Spread Propaganda for fun and profit

Did you also get this email? Bored this summer? Want to spread propaganda for fun and profit? You know, I'm going to pass. I think I'll just read a book instead.

Youth Activism for Palestine Summer Program

Want to do more for the cause of Palestine but just not sure how to go about it? Think you’re too young to give speeches or interact with the media?


The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) is offering an intensive summer training program for select youth who would like to take their activism to the next level.

Three sessions to choose from!
Public Speaking – Learn from professional motivational speakers how to craft a speech, how to prepare yourself and how to effectively get your message across.
Marketing and Graphic Design – Learn how to use online tools to spread the cause of Palestine around the globe. Topics include creating videos; how to send email, text and Twitter blasts; and the basics of graphic design.
Writing – The battle for Palestine is taking place today in the media. Learn how to get your letters to the editor or op-eds published in newspapers; create a blog and learn how to take it to the top; and learn how to become a citizen journalist and write your own reports about Palestine.

Enroll in the units you are interested in.

WHAT: Intensive Summer Activism Training
WHO: Open to juniors and seniors in high school and college freshmen
WHEN: Orientation for all units will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 25.
WHERE: AMP national office, 10101 S. Roberts Road, Palos Hills, IL
CONTACT:; 708.598.4267, ext. 22

(all times are 5:30 to 7 p.m., unless otherwise stated):

Monday, June 25, Orientation; Modern history of Palestine * Mandatory for all
Tuesday, June 26, Palestine – Facts on the Ground today * Mandatory for all
Wednesday, June 27, Public Speaking – How to write a speech
Thursday, June 28, Public Speaking – How to prepare yourself before an event
Friday, June 29, Public Speaking – Handling the Hecklers/how to handle the tough questions

Monday, July 2, Public Speaking – Handling the tough questions, part 2/practice speeches
Tuesday, July 3 Marketing/Graphic Design – Key elements in design
Wednesday, July 4 0FF
Thursday, July 5, Marketing/Graphic Design -- Blasts, i.e., MailChimp, texting, Twitter, etc.
Friday, July 6, Marketing/Graphic Design - Video production

Monday, July 9, Writing – Letters to the editor, op-eds, blogging, online comments
Tuesday, July 10, Writing – Critical reading and research skills; Tips for clear writing
Wednesday, July 11, Writing - Citizen journalism: create your own blog, CNN iReport account
Thursday, July 12, Workshop for all students to work on presentations
Friday, July 13, 7 p.m. -- FINAL PRESENTATIONS from all students***

*The final presentation night will be an evening for parents and friends to come see what you’ve learned. Each student will need to present one project from his or her unit. For instance, someone who took the Marketing/Graphic Design Unit would create a video, a brochure, or other marketing tools and then create a presentation about this project to present to the audience. A student who enrolls in more than one unit will only have to present one project of his or her choosing.

Students who successfully complete each unit will get a certificate, and those who successfully complete all three units will get a $100 stipend.

Only interested students should apply. Contact AMP to get an application form and to schedule an interview.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gaza Kindergarten Graduation 2012

What did your children learn in school today? These photos from the Islamic Jihad website show kindergarten graduation in Gaza.

When will there be peace? When peace is cherished, embraced and valued. And judging by these photos, its not going to happen any time soon.

The photos also show quite clearly that Palestinian children are taught that the Jew and the Israeli are the enemy. Notice the children dressed up as Jewish soldiers torturing the Palestinians. This is from a kindergarten graduation!

It breaks my heart and makes me fear for the future of peace in the Middle east.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Palestinians to Methodists: "We dont need your stinking charity!"

"Civil rights" activists working on behalf of their Palestinian overlords (or are the Palestinians acting on behalf of their Civil rights activist overlords?- I get confused) have told the United Methodist Conference being held in Tampa this week in unevquivocable terms "We don't need your stinking charity"

Why the wrath? After all, we've heard these self same activists time and time again speak of the poor starving palestinians. Why all of a sudden are they rejecting help?

Its really quite simple. The Methodists, after careful debate have decided that perhaps the best way to aid the Palestinians would be positive investment in their economic future.

The orginal text "Aligning UMC Investments with Resolutions on Israel/Palestine (21071-FA-Non-Dis)" as follows, stated

"The 2012 General Conference calls on The United Methodist Church to end its financial involvement in Israel’s occupation by divesting from companies that sustain the occupation.

The 2012 General Conference:

instructs all United Methodist general boards and agencies to divest promptly from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard until they end their involvement in the Israeli occupation. These companies have been engaged repeatedly by the United Methodist general agencies, boards and annual conferences on this issue.

calls on all United Methodist general boards and agencies to immediately engage with other companies in their portfolios that have been identified by researchers in United Methodist general boards and agencies and annual conferences as being involved in the occupation (United Methodists’ Holy Land Task Force, “Companies of Concern,” November 2010 .). If these companies do not change their involvement within two years, they should be removed from United Methodist portfolios.

requires all United Methodist general boards and agencies to provide updates on their Web sites regarding the process of corporate engagement with and/or divestment from companies that support the Israeli occupation.
directs all United Methodist general boards and agencies to provide a report to the 2016 General Conference regarding their progress toward complying with this resolution.

calls on United Methodist general boards and agencies, annual conferences, local churches and individuals to prayerfully consider corporate involvement in Israel’s occupation when making investment decisions.
encourages United Methodists to partner with Jews, Christians, Muslims and other people of conscience working for corporate accountability, human rights and an end to the occupation."

After hours of debate and testimony, this amended version passed:

"The 2012 General Conference calls on the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits to explore serious peacemaking strategies in Israel and Palestine including positive economic and financial investment in Palestine."

The 2012 General Conference:

"Asks that all United Methodist general boards and agencies prayerfully consider advocating that all companies formally recognize and adopt into their Codes of conduct the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (also known as the Ruggie Principles) and that the boards and agencies prayerfully consider economic sanctions with companies that refuse to recognize and adopt the Principles."

requires all United Methodist general boards and agencies to provide updates on their Web sites regarding the process of corporate engagement with and/or divestment from companies that support the Israeli occupation.
directs all United Methodist general boards and agencies to provide a report to the 2016 General Conference regarding their progress toward complying with this resolution.

calls on United Methodist general boards and agencies, annual conferences, local churches and individuals to prayerfully consider corporate involvement in Israel’s occupation when making investment decisions.
encourages United Methodists to partner with Jews, Christians, Muslims and other people of conscience working for corporate accountability, human rights and an end to the occupation."

And the crowd went wild. A positive statement in support of the Palestinian people wasn't sufficient. A financial commitment to the Palestinian people wasn't enough either. The reason is simple. Ultimately, the goal of divestment isnt to help the Palestinians build a state. They get more humanitarian aid per capita than any other group on the planet. Get with the program, well- meaning Methodists. Divestment is meant to isolate and eliminate Israel. Didn't you hear Norman Finklestein? Even he caught on eventually.

So with this action we learn that its NOT about helping Palestinians. It never has been. Its about f**king Israel. Can't have it both ways, Code pink. Cant have it both ways, Jewish Voice for peace. Anna Baltzer- Rae Abileah- the world and the United Methodists aren't as stupid as you think they are. You can't lie about starving Palestinians in a humanitarian crisis and then in the next breath turn down financial assistance, without the world catching on.

Why is the Divestment team arrogantly refusing financial assistance? Could it be because the Palestinians get MORE AID per Capita than other other group on the planet? Could it be because they've been lying all this time? Why yes, I think thats it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Background information for the Global march to Jerusalem.

Just so you know:

Three Things They Didn't Tell You About Jerusalem

As long as i've figured out how to embed youtube, here's another one

Mordechai Kedar in al-Jazeera about Jerusalem & Islam

Sexual harrassment of Solidarity Volunteers in the West bank

We written about this phenomenon before, and still, it continues. Female solidarity volunteers are facing sexual harrassment and worse at the hands of the palestinians

Its reported in Haaretz

The popular protests of Israeli and foreign leftist activists alongside Palestinians had already began in the middle of the previous decade, but had become more popular in recent years. The protests in Bil’in and Sheikh Jarrah have become points of pilgrimage for activists on the left from Israel and abroad, who join the Palestinians in protest every Friday, when these protest usually take place. In Sheikh Jarrah the protest began when Palestinians were evicted from their homes that were returned to their Israeli owners by court order. In other organization, activists help Palestinians under constant harassment of settlers in places such as south Mount Hebron.

The joint activity of Israeli leftist activists on one side and local Palestinians on the other has created rare cases of cooperation in this time of conflict. But at the same time, complaints of sexual harassment by Palestinians started to emerge. In April 2010, an American peace activist filed a complaint against a Palestinian, charging he had tried to rape her. The suspect was later freed when the activist withdrew her complaint.

Hanna Beit Halachmi, a longtime leftist feminist activist, says the outcry began in the spring of 2010, when the organization Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity, issued a message requesting that the female activists arrive to the protests dressed in a manner that is considerate toward the residents.

The statement created a rift between the organization's female activists and male activists who said their response was exaggerated. Soon after, the activists began holding meetings in which they discussed, among other issues, the issue of sexual harassment.

Alongside the struggle against the sexual harassment, the female activists have criticized the responses of their Israeli associates. The ire of many of the activists in the past and in the present is directed at their associates in the left who, according to them, are belittling the significance of the harassments, all in the name of “the opposition to the occupation.”

One activist, who in the past used to frequent the protests in the West Bank but no longer participates, told Haaretz, “Two years ago we had a meeting of women who took part in the struggle against the occupation. It took place in an apartment in Jerusalem, and disturbing things were brought up. Nearly all the women that attended told of cases of harassment or discrimination. One of the women recounted how one night, in a tent set up to help Sheikh Jarrah families, someone tried to grab her. She shouted for help and Palestinians came and asked who it was so that they could ‘take care of him.’”

“A female foreign activist of the international solidarity movement that was sleeping in one of the Palestinian villages, where protests against the fence take place, said that one night someone entered her room and tried to grab her, she began to shout and one of her friends rushed to help her. Since then I don’t go to places I ‘shouldn’t’ go to alone, as a women,” she said.

Mahmoud Zohara, a member of the Popular Committee of Masra told Haaretz that the town decided to fight the phenomenon in every way possible. “First, the person responsible for the incident was ostracized. In addition, the Popular Committee decided to file a complaint against him at the Palestinian Court. He was fined NIS 5,000 for his deeds.”

Zohara said that the residents of the town will not accept this phenomenon. “It is unacceptable that Israeli or foreign women that come to protest in solidarity with us be harassed and their human rights be infringed upon.”

Zohara added that the Popular Committee has done much to raise awareness about the issue among the town residents and youth. “One must understand that harassment takes place everywhere - in Tel Aviv and in the United States as well. In these protests there is a very open relationship between the Palestinians and Israeli and foreign activists. This creates friendships, love, and yes, incidents of sexual harassment. But we must put an end to this phenomenon, whatever the price.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

You Break it. You bought it. A suicide in Morocco

Amina al-Filali, 16, drank rat poison last week in Larache, Morocco after being forced to marry the man who raped her.

The rapist of this young girl had sought to escape prison by invoking an article of the penal code that authorizes the rapist to marry his victim to escape prosecution. 300 protesters staged a sit-in outside the local court that had approved the marriage, a demonstration organized by Morocco's Democratic League for Women's Rights.

Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister for Women and Families and the only woman in the cabinet, called for a debate to reform the law, in comments to state television channel 2M.
Her predecessor in the post Nouzha Skalli also declared herself shocked by the affair and called for the law to be changed.

On Wednesday the League's president Fouzia Assouli condemned the law, saying that while it ostensibly defended family values it did not uphold the rights of women.

"The law treats the raped minor like a criminal even if she was the victim of violence," Skalli "We have to reform the criminal code to adapt to the new constitution, which forbids violence against women and ensures the equality of the sexes."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hamas leader Haniyeh's children spend $15,000 a day in Qatar

Who's the 1% again?
And what were you saying about starving Gaza? What were you saying about it being an open air prison that no one can enter or leave?

From the Palestinian press News Agency

Abdul Salam Ismail Haniyeh and his sister Khawla Ismail Haniyeh, children of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh are spending 15 thousand dollars a day in Qatar, residing in the Four Seasons hotel.

Does Haniyeh have a facebook page? Is he saying "Let them eat cake?".
Don't even try and blame this on Israel. Hamas functions as a ruling
elite in Gaza, yes, as "royalty"- the people of Gaza be damned. And its high time the world realized this.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

African, Arab nations walk out on UN gay rights session

The 47-member Human Rights Council was holding a session on sexual orientation-based discrimination for the first time after a resolution seeking equal rights for everyone was passed in 2011, to the dismay of Muslim states.

Originally in Al Arabiya

African and Arab states walked out in protest Wednesday during a U.N. Human Rights Council debate on gay rights, saying that they could not legitimize homosexuality.

The 47-member state council was holding a session on sexual orientation-based discrimination for the first time after a historic resolution seeking equal rights for everyone was passed in June 2011, to the consternation of Muslim states.

On Wednesday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab group and the African group made their opposition clear, by walking out during the meeting.
“Licentious behavior promoted under the concept of ‘sexual orientation’ is against the fundamental teachings of various religions including Islam,” Pakistan’s envoy said.

“From this perspective, legitimizing homosexuality and other personal sexual behaviors in the name of sexual orientation is unacceptable to the OIC,” he added.

At the opening of the debate, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon signaled his support for homosexuals and transgender people in their struggle against discrimination.

“To those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, let me say: you are not alone. Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle,” he said.

“Any attack on you is an attack on the universal values the United Nations that I have sworn to defend and uphold. Today, I stand with you -- and I call upon all countries and people to stand with you, too,” he said.

For U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay, it was clear that sexual orientation-driven discrimination was prevalent across the world.

“What emerges from all of the material we gathered is a pattern -- a clear pattern of targeted violence and discrimination directed at people because they are, or perceived to be LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender).

“It is a pattern too-long overlooked by many states and one that this Council has a duty to address,” she added.

MissRepresentation at UC Berkeley

Please come to a screening of MissRepresentation on March 17th at UC Berkeley

MissRepresentation is a documentary that exposes how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.

- March 17th 1:00PM - 4:00PM 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building- UC Berkeley
- ADMISSION: Students: $5 online/$10 at the door, Non-Students: $10 online/$15 at the door
- Tickets can be purchased here:
- Following the screening, there will be a panel conversation
- The screening is open to all and is appropriate for all ages

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Death of innocents. 16 year old Palestinian girl killed.

An innocent 16 year old Palestinian girl killed. Emirates 24/7:

A Palestinian mother waited for her 16-year-old daughter to go to bed, tied a rope around her neck and strangled her to death. The woman murdered her own daughter after neighbours lied to her that the girl had an affair with their son.

The crime, which moved local residents, had remained underground for a while before it was revealed by police and a Palestinian female activist, who described it as “one of the most heinous criminal acts” in Palestine.

The crime took place in Bait Oula, a tiny village in the West Bank town of Hebron and it was publicized several weeks after it was perpetrated by the mother.

Residents, who spoke to the Palestinian Arabic language daily Donia Al Watan, said the mother had already been cruel to her daughter as she used to force her to do all household work because she does not like female offspring.

It was this cruelty that made her rush and murder the girl without bothering to check if what neighbours said about her daughter was true.

“Just go and see your daughter’s pictures on my son’s mobile phone,” the neighbouring woman told the mother after an argument, according to the paper.

“The mother then started her plan to kill her daughter…residents said she had made her daughter clean the house for two days so the family will be prepared to receive would-be mourners on their daughter’s death.”

After the murder, the family left the girl in her bed all the night. In the morning, they went straight to hospital and said their daughter had died of heart attack.

“But doctors noticed the swelling in her neck and that her body was bluish… they informed the authorities, who later wrested a confession about the murder…the mother said she killed her to wash off shame and clean the family’s honour….a day later, hospital tests showed the girl was still virgin and pure….it was a hasty crime of honour, which has never been marred or even touched.”

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sailing for Freedom. The Gaza Yacht race

Could this be the work of the crack PR team hired by the Palestinians to market their cause? Are they attempting to "rebrand" Gaza, perhaps to market it to the luxury traveller? Its certainly feasible, with the recent construction boom. Or are they simply trying to fill up those 5 star luxury resorts?
No, its not a Latma parody. Its not a joke. Its…. (drum roll please)
The Yacht Race to Gaza
(well, they call it "Sailing to Freedom")

Their website describes the event:

In the light of my participation in the Flotille de la Liberté 2011 (Freedom Fleet 2011) and following the events that occurred during the 2010 Fleet, I have imagined an action which will contribute to the efforts made by so many throughout the World to try to break the blockade of Gaza. To counter the Israeli argument that humanitarian convoys may well permit the importation of armaments and of terrorists, we have thought of creating a sporting event, a sailing race.

This race, “Sailing for Freedom”,
would take the sailboats from Marseille to Gaza in 4 stages :
Marseilles – Tunis,
Tunis – Antalya,
Antalya – Alexandria,
Alexandria – Gaza.
The start will be given in Marseille on 9th September 2012.
The arrival in Gaza is planned for 2nd October.

After the 2010 and 2011 Fleets, should the creation of a 2012 Fleet be attempted? Israel argues that the cargos of humanitarian aid can hide arms and “terrorists”.
This reflexion, and discussions with other members of the crew of the “Dignité Al Karama”, have led to me imagining a different way of expressing our solidarity and support.Having spent most of my life sailing the seven seas, I have imagined the creation of a sailing race.
To go to Gaza not with cargo boats which will always be suspect in the eyes of the Israelis who will justify their boardings in the name of their security
but with sailboats, in the framework of a purely sporting regatta.
No cargo, no arms, no “terrorists".
Sportsmen and women on sailboats.
The idea of “Sailing for Freedom” was born this way.
The presentation of “Sailing for Freedom” will have a definite impact throughout the entire world including Israel which will find it difficult to explain that a sporting event would be a danger to its security. That said, we are obliged to consider the possibility that Israel may prevent the arrival of the boats in Gaza.
So we cannot ask for private yachts to participate, as they may well be boarded by Israel and probably returned in poor condition after an unpredictable delay.
Thus the idea is to reserve the participation in this first edition of “Sailing for Freedom” to the groups and associations that have already led an action at the time of the 2010 and 2011 Fleets.
16 countries are concerned:
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA, to which should be added the project that included Asian countries.

So "Sailing for Freedom", in a nutshell are the same people who organized the flotillas, trying the same tactic with luxury sailing yacts. At least they've completely dropped the pretence that this has anything to do with bringing in "essential humaniatrian supplies"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Israeli-Arab pride in Israel

Bet you didnt expect this

According to “Democracy Index 2011″ on behalf of the Israel Democracy Institute,52.8%of Arab citizens (compared to 88% of Jews) answer yes to the question if they are proud to be Israelis.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
52.8% of Israeli Arabs proud to be Israelis, 45% think important Israel strengthens its military might Only 28.3% of respondents 
said they were "not at all proud" to be Israelis. ..

According to "Democracy Index 2011" on behalf of the Israel Democracy
Institute, 52.8% of Arab citizens (compared to 88% of Jews) answer yes to the question if they are proud to be Israelis. Only 28.3% of respondents
said they were "not at all proud" to be Israelis. ..

These findings are not unusual at all. In 2009, a survey conducted a week after the conclusion of "Operation Cast Lead", found 45% of Arabs said they were proud to be Israelis. Years ago that figure was 53%. I happened to ask a group of British journalists ... whether by their estimate 45% of Catholics in Northern Ireland ready to say "I am proud to be British". "I do not believe that 45 Catholics in Northern Ireland who are willing to say it, not to mention the 45%", said one journalist.

Only to 24.5% of the Arabs, according to the survey of 2011, have confidence in the prime minister; 35.5% the government as an institution; 44% the Knesset; 39% have confidence in the Israel Police; 45.6% the state prosecutors, 50% the attorney general and 69.4% the Supreme Court (almost the same percentage of Jews). The IDF enjoys the confidence of 41% of Arab citizens and 45% agree that it is "important or very important" to strengthen its military might of Israel. Who would have guessed from the Jewish community that the percentage of Arab citizens who think it is important to strengthen the military might of Israel is far greater than the percentage that responded that it "not important" to them (29%)?

Are these answers reliable? Two years ago I saw a survey in which scores of percentages of voters for the Arab parties, including Balad, said that they are Israeli patriots. Whoever says Balad to a pollster is pointing, not to pander to the Jews. Israeli pride is very strong statement - stronger than loyalty.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Assaults on Women in Egypt’s Tahrir Square

Is this what we call freedom?

Read it here:

CAIRO: A foreign woman was stripped and sexually assaulted on Wednesday evening in Egypt’s iconic Tahrir Square, one eyewitness said on Twitter and anothe confirmed in an email to

The woman, who’s identity has not been revealed, was taken away in an ambulance after being assaulted for 10 minutes. Her husband reportedly was unable to intervene and witnessed the incident.

“I saw the woman and then dozens of men surrounded her and started grabbing her, when she screamed for help some people came, but they were hit in the face,” wrote one witness.

What happened next was “appalling,” said the trusted witness, who asked for anonymity. “The men just started tearing at her clothes and grabbing her body all over. When she fought back, they pushed her. It was chaos.”

There were unconfirmed reports that the men “violated” her with their hands.

The nationality of the woman is unknown at the current time.

Throughout the day, sexual harassment towards women has been increasing and more and more reports of women being grabbed and groped began being reported.

Activists called the attacks on women completely “unacceptable” and must be exposed no matter what. They demanded an end to all violence toward women.

“What happened in Tahrir today has no justification and must be fully exposed even if it taints Tahrir!” wrote EgyptSecularist on Twitter.

And more:

Heather still doesn’t know how she made it home on Wednesday night after being in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. The Arab-American arrived back at her Cairo flat without pants, having had them torn off downtown. She and her two roommates were victims of a mob attack by people in the iconic square on Wednesday, as protesters demonstrated against the military junta.

According to Heather, an Arab-American living in the Egyptian capital, she and her Swedish and Spanish roommates took to Tahrir as thousands were converging there to mark one-year since the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak.

“They started fighting over who was going to do what,” Heather told in an exclusive interview. She came forward after seeing the report on a foreign woman who was stripped naked and assaulted only hours after her own incident.

“My roommates and I fell to the ground when they attacked us. The people pulled our pants off even as we yelled and tried to fight,” she continued.

The incident occurred around 7:30 PM local time, just as night was taking hold of the city. Heather said the attack happened “in the center of Tahrir.”

She said that after the men pulled their pants off, they continued to grab and grobe the women’s bodies. “It is disgusting. They put fingers up my ass,” she revealed.

Luckily, the women were somehow pulled from the violence by a man and a woman and taken to safety. She said she doesn’t recall exactly how she was saved from the violent attack.

“I was shaking and crying and the man and woman just grabbed us and pulled us out and took us out of the square.”

Later in the night, the issue of sexual violence toward women was sparked after an eyewitness reported on the micro-blogging site Twitter that a foreign woman was stripped, groped and assaulted by another mob of men in the square.

The woman, who’s identity has not been revealed, was taken away in an ambulance after being assaulted for 10 minutes. Her husband reportedly was unable to intervene and witnessed the incident.

“I saw the woman and then dozens of men surrounded her and started grabbing her, when she screamed for help some people came, but they were hit in the face,” wrote one witness.

What happened next was “appalling,” said the trusted witness, who asked for anonymity. “The men just started tearing at her clothes and grabbing her body all over. When she fought back, they pushed her. It was chaos.”

There were unconfirmed reports that the men “violated” her with their hands.

The nationality of the woman is unknown at the current time.

Throughout the day, sexual harassment towards women has been increasing and more and more reports of women being grabbed and groped began being reported.

Activists called the attacks on women completely “unacceptable” and must be exposed no matter what. They demanded an end to all violence toward women.

“What happened in Tahrir today has no justification and must be fully exposed even if it taints Tahrir!” wrote EgyptSecularist on Twitter.

Heather said that she came forward to talk about what happened to her “because people need to know what goes on. It is the only way to start making it a problem that will have to be dealt with.”

However, many people told her to not reveal what happened to her because she was told, “it would hurt the image of the revolution.” But Heather said after seeing the reports of others and their assaults, “I felt it was right to say something.”

The incident brings memories of reporter Lara Logan, who was sexually assaulted the night former President Hosni Mubarak gave up power.

A mob of men ripped the 40-year-old correspondent away from her crew and bodyguard, tearing at her clothes and beating her in broad daylight.

“People don’t really know that much about [post-traumatic stress disorder],” she told the New York Daily News in her latest interview on the incident. ”There’s something called latent PTSD. It manifests itself in different ways. I want to be free of it, but I’m not.”

In an interview with “60 minutes” in April, Logan spoke publicly about the incident for the first time. She confided that the attack lasted for about 25 minutes, as 200 to 300 men assaulted her. She feared for her life and imagined that she would not survive, she explained.

Logan was finally pulled to safety by an Egyptian woman and a soldier who witnessed the attack.

She and her team were brought back to their hotel, where she received an examination and medical treatment. She returned to the United States the following morning where she entered hospital for four days.

Logan confided in her latest interview that nightmares about the incident come at unexpected times, like when she is tucking her infant daughter into bed.

Instances of sexual assaults on female journalists covering the events in Tahrir Square have continued in the year since Mubarak’s ouster.

According to studies conducted by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Right (ECWR) in 2008, 98 percent of foreign women and 83 percent of Egyptian women surveyed had experienced sexual harassment in Egypt.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of Egyptian men confessed to harassing women and 53 percent of Egyptian men faulted women for “bringing it on.”