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.