@ Monday, Jul. 31, 2006 – 02:35:43 pm
@ Monday, Jul. 31, 2006 – 12:54:23 am
"The zionist argument to justify Israel's present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history." Malcolm X
Did you know, at the BBC, Palestine already doesn't exist...
Yep, thats a map of Israel and, included as an after thought, 'Palestinian Territories' or 'Pal Areas'. A description that allows an uninformed reader to believe Palestinians are the occupiers when they really are the occupied.
Palestinians now have to live inside Israeli built ghettos which Israel call a 'security wall'.
It is three times the height of the Berlin Wall.
Palestinian homes have been bulldozed in order to construct this 'security wall'.
"Where we should go? They didn’t leave anything for us. Our houses, our belongings are crushed under their bulldozers. Are these small sheds any danger or threat to their 'security'? They are only in the way of their unlimited expansionism." Fatima Thiab Suman from Jib al-Thieb.
The wall is illegal under international law.
PLO says of it,
"In July 2004, the International Court of Justice determined that the Wall is illegal under international law and is not a military necessity. In reaching this conclusion, the Court determined that:
(1) in order to build the Wall, Israel destroyed or confiscated Palestinian property in violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention; 
(2) Israel’s severe restrictions on Palestinian movement violate international human rights and humanitarian law; 
(3) the Wall impedes the right of Palestinians to work, health, education and to an adequate standard of living; 
(4) the Wall severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination; 
The Court also ruled that Israel must halt construction of the Wall, return the land to Palestinians whose property has been seized and pay compensation to them."
"In 1948, we have been expelled from our land. Now in 2006, we became refugees once again. Nothing has changed from one Nakba to another - this is our life." Mohamed Abed Allah Takroori from al-Walaja.
Fatima Khaldi, from the Salfit region in the West Bank, is founder of 'Women Against the Wall',
"In 2002 women from Salfit, the region where Az Zawiya is located, formed a group named 'Women Against the Wall', in order to coordinate women's efforts against the wall. The Salfit region is heavily scarred by Israeli settlements. The wall is being built to surround those settlements and to seize much of Salfit's agricultural land. In Az Zawiya it is cutting off 80% of the village's agricultural land.
Our ancestors have owned and tended this land for generations, but now the Israeli army is uprooting the trees that are our livelihood, stealing our land, destroying our houses, and killing our people. We are only defending our land and dignity, but they call us terrorists, and claim it is their right to defend the security of the settlers who have stolen our land to build their colonies.
Palestinian women are deeply rooted in their land, and work hard to support our families. Women suffer greatly when families lose their land, often the primary source of income. We raise olive trees as if they are our children. When we lose them, we grieve deeply. This grief affects everyone in the household. The husband takes out his anger on his wife, and she in turn takes her anger out on her children. Thus the house becomes full of anger, instead of love.
Each of us has our own way of expressing anger and rejection of the occupation's oppression and humiliation. As women we are trying to find a peaceful way. We carry out demonstrations to show the whole world that we reject Israeli violence and racism. We believe that the justice of our cause, and our determination, are stronger than any Israeli weapon, and that Palestinian women are capable of accomplishing the impossible for a better life."
"The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. Its people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.
As a precaution to ever committing major acts of evil it is our solemn duty to never do what we're told, this is the only way we can be sure." Banksy
@ Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 – 10:40:42 pm
There isn't much to say. These images made me feel physically sick.
The confusion felt by Hanady, the author of the article, is heart rendering.
The US and Britain are complicit in this. One of our airports has been used to fly out weapons supplied by the US to Israel... to carry out these fatalities.
The worst thing is the silence.
If anybody can firstly... stomach the images and secondly... remain silent, then tell me how.
Protest, write a letter to your MP, do something... it isn't right.
@ Wednesday, Jul. 26, 2006 – 04:10:27 pm
Read this article "UK government sources confirm war with Iran is on" by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.
The controversial 'Civil Contingencies Act' as mentioned in Mr Ahmed's article has been described by Liberty as...
"...legislative overkill, responding to heightened concerns since September 11 2001. The proposed new definition of emergency, whilst updating the new ‘essentials’ upon which society is now reliant, is far too broad. The ‘triple lock’, including the ‘seriousness assessment’, is entirely subjective and provides slender safeguards against misuse. There is no compelling justification for the highly controversial inclusion of threats to political, administrative or economic stability. The scope of emergency regulations is extraordinarily wide, has a high potential to breach human rights and includes the startling power to disapply any primary legislation. The proposal that emergency regulations be treated as primary legislation is ill thought-out and undermines the whole rationale underpinning the Human Rights Act. The Government’s increased willingness to declare an emergency highlights the need for anxious scrutiny of widened emergency powers and the motives for expanding them. Fundamental rights are most at risk in times of emergency."
@ Tuesday, Jul. 18, 2006 – 01:36:07 pm
Your sunscreen that is... the front page of the Mail... rather wear it in a thick buttery layer. Yeah right.
Don't the Daily Mail have more pressing things to report on?
Current temperature where I am is 27c. Its hot and my palms are sweaty. Lets not get our little British heatwave out of all proportion though. Its 49c in Kuwait, 48c in Baghdad, 42c in Khartoum etc. etc. Those are real temperatures.
Makes me recall being in Turkey during a heatwave and the mountains were alive with the sound of crickets. The sky was an intense cerulean blue which melted into the sea of the same colour. Walking but a mile from one small village to another would cause me to collapse onto my bed, heart pounding. I spoke to a local man, he laughed and told me how silly it was to be exerting myself in the afternoon sun. He then went on to explain how he climbed the uphill road into the mountains every morning to keep fit... which he was.
@ Monday, Jul. 17, 2006 – 09:47:53 am
My cousin gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Saturday night.
She didn't even know she was pregnant and managed to go full term without an inkling there was a great big bundle of joy growing inside her.
My aunt called her an ambulance when she started having terrible pains in her back and legs... she gave birth in A&E. Her boyfriend is in utter shock as are my aunt and uncle.
"I said to her, haha, ...are you trying to kill me? It is the best present you could ever hope for," explained my uncle in his strong West Indian accent.
At 36, I'm unsure whether children ever figured onto her agenda but the baby is here now, beautiful and with the start of a promising afro.
@ Saturday, Jul. 15, 2006 – 11:14:06 pm
As most people probably have... I have been watching, with horror, the escalating crisis happening in the middle east.
We have 10,000 British citizens in Lebanon and another 10,000 dual nationality citizens over there too.
HMS Bullwark and Illustrious are ready to sail to the region to help evacuate these citizens. The damage caused to the Lebonese airports and ports by Israeli strikes will make this a difficult task. However, Bullwark has 500 marines onboard and Illustrious has helicopters and fighter bombers to help aid the mission if it goes ahead.
Aside from that, 80 Lebonese civilians have been killed so far since Israel launched the strikes.
Before the conflict started, Lebanon was looking forward to a summer of tourism with Beirut having become an increasingly popular tourist destination.
Hezbollah, the organisation responsible for the kidnappings of the two Israeli soldiers, represent Lebanon's Shia Muslims but have the respect of many Lebanese for providing social services and health care. The Lebanese government should have persuaded Hezbollah to demilitarise in line with the UN resolution 1559 but is probably powerless to do so as Hezbollah is heavily funded by both Syria and Iran. However, before anyone criticises the Lebanese government, let us not forget the 65 UN resolutions which have been targeted at Israel over the years which have largely been ignored.
Israel will not cease its onslaught until Hezbollah return the two Israeli soldiers... which will probably not happen. The Lebanese government and its civilians are powerless to do anything but watch their country reduced to rubble.
The Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, has called for a ceasefire and has asked the US to intervene,
"Lebanon is a disaster zone... and it pleads to its friends in the world to rush to its aid."
On a BBC message board, a Lebanese civilian explains,
"The whole country is destructed ,innocent people are dying and we as lebanese people are not able to do anything we are just watching things being destructed.Imagine you watching your home being destructed and your hands are chained,imagine you seeing your baby killed and your chained, you cannot move.As it is said it's not a war against Lebanon but our land is being destructed and our people are being killed,and the worst part is that countries are just watching us being destroyed."
It is unlikely that the US will call for restraint from the Israeli's. They use Israel as a stronghold in the oli-rich middle east and provide the Israeli government and military with $15,139,178 a day. It might be Israeli's firing the guns but it is the US that is providing them.
Although Hezbollah's actions were foolish, it may be worth thinking about what they are fighting for which is the release of the 9,559 Palestinian political prisoners currently held by Israel.
"Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This forms approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)."
"Palestinians are tried within Israeli military courts located within Israeli military centers in the OPT. These military tribunals are presided over by a panel of three judges appointed by the military, two of whom often do not have any legal training or background. These tribunals rarely fall within the required international standards of fair trial."
"Under military regulations in force in the OPT, a child over the age of 16 is considered an adult, contrary to the defined age of a child as under 18 in the Convention of the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory. In practice, Palestinian children may be charged and sentenced in military courts beginning at the age of 12."
"Between the ages of 12-14, children can be sentenced for offences for a period of up to six months – meaning that a child accused of throwing a stone can be sent to prison for six months;
After the age of 14, Palestinian children are tried as adults, in violation of international law;
There are no juvenile courts and children are often held and serve their sentences in cells with criminal prisoners and are often not separated from adults, also in violation of international law."
"Prison conditions in Israeli military detention camps are inhumane. Detainees are held in overcrowded prison tents that are often threadbare and do not provide for adequate shelter against extreme weather. Prisoners are not provided adequate food rations, neither in quantity nor quality, nor provided with clean clothes or adequate cleaning supplies. Many of the detainees currently being held in military detention camps were injured during their arrests and have not been provided the necessary medical attention, like those who suffer from chronic illnesses."
The Palestine Monitor
@ Friday, Jul. 14, 2006 – 10:25:23 pm
I wish my sister and I had taken this advice before we spent the day on the beach in Wales.
"We'll be alright innit? It ain't that warm..."
Several hours later in the pub,
"Oooh Laura, look at the back of your legs... that'll be painful later."
So. I remember this, obviously from Baz Luhrmann's track 'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) released in 1999. I was still in high school, I think it reached No.1.
But it originated from an essay by Mary Schmich written and published in 1997 as a column in the Chicago Tribune.
"Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young"
Published June 1, 1997
"Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.
I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen."
@ Thursday, Jul. 13, 2006 – 01:51:06 pm
Why, when the rest of the world condemns Israel's attacks on Lebanon, do Blair and Bush defend their disproportionate retaliation?
Another opportunity to get your guns out boys.