this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr

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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

it works like this

These are two images from Banksy, an artist who is famous for drawing pictures on the illegal apartheid wall that Israel is building to both contain and separate the Palestinian people from their lands and from Israel. He is famous for drawing other artworks, too, as you will see from that link to a gallery of some of his pictures.

This wall been condemned by the United Nations, and to tell you the truth, I cannot understand why there is not more outrage about it. I cannot imagine living behind it. I cannot imagine being cut off from my friends, my family, my farmlands and so on. I can't imagine my daily life spent waiting at checkpoints, under curfew, soldiers raiding my house at will.

The west seemed to condemn the Berlin wall and it also has a lot to say about the division between South and North Korea, but this wall, we fully support it. I mean, it is our money and goodwill that is building it. That is, if our politicians are elected to support us. Why? Well, who knows? The media is not allowed to report on this issue in a truthful or outright manner it seems. This is well documented. Just read the Muzzlewatch blog by the Jewish peace group in the blogroll.

The article that ran these two pictures is an article on the controversy that surrounds Banksy's graffiti art. It is ninemsn, so it is very light. The two captions read:

In 2006 he travelled to Israel to paint a series of murals on the West Bank. That is under the caption of the Israeli soldier and donkey. No mention of the nationality of the soldier there, nor any reason why he might be fully armed against a donkey.

The second caption for the second picture reads: He created this graffiti on a wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem. On a wall? As if there are a hundred thousand such walls all over the world, and their existence is perfectly legit, and not to be questioned. As if this wall is not a matter of contention. On the wall, on the apartheid wall. Give me strength.

Possibly, this is the only way that mainstream media can get such strong images through to the general public, but considering how insipid the commentary is, I doubt that people well get how very seriously wrong this situation is. Hopefully it will make some question a little, it will make some query, feel queasy. Journalists need to keep their jobs, but not all of them are ignorant nor without compassion.

How long before those two pictures are removed from the gallery, I wonder? The usual claims made.

Monday, 28 December 2009

a year ago today

Read more.

Apparently, remembrance vigils are being held world-wide (according to Indi-media,and Jews san frontieres.), but food and aid convoys and so on are still being denied entry. The siege continues. The wall is still being built. Water supplies are destroyed and limited. The settlers still settle. Houses still get demolished. A mammoth amount of aid is still provided to Israel, and they are given carte blanche from Australian and American governments to do anything they want.

Also here from Mondoweiss.

Adam Horowitz has a great article on the injustice that injust keeps keeping on.

Photo by Oren Ziv, Active Stills
One such injustice, this is from the West Bank, comes via the site, Artists Against Apartheid.
Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a school teacher and coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall, was indicted in an Israeli military court yesterday. Abu Rahmah was slapped with an arms possession charge for collecting tear gas canisters shot at demonstrators in Bil’in by the army, in the creation of this sculpture (seen above).
The arrest is mentioned in this post from earlier this month.

B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights watch group, also has a report on the lack of accountability one year since the attacks.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Why the feigned surprise?

Of course the majority of our politicians, and politicians around the world are in one form or another, war criminals, including Obama, including Rudd, either for their actions or their inaction, but the Israeli war on Gaza last year, bombing people trapped behind borders they are forbidden to cross, not allowing women or children to leave, and the subsequent Australian and U.S. silence on the matter was beyond the pale. Europe will, hopefully, continue to lead the way on this one. This is from Ninemsn, so I will include the article in full, as they tend not to keep their articles.

19:03 AEST Tue Dec 15 2009
Israel has slammed an arrest warrant issued by a British court against former foreign minister Tzipi Livni over her role during the war on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

"The current situation has become intolerable, it is time that it change," Israeli ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor told army radio on Tuesday.

"I am convinced that the British government will understand that it is time to react and not content itself with declarations."

The arrest warrant against Livni, current opposition leader, was understood to have been issued by a London court at the weekend and media reports said it caused her to cancel a trip to Britain.

Her office said the trip was cancelled because of scheduling problems.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office told AFP that it was urgently assessing the implications of the warrant.

"The UK is determined to do all it can to promote peace in the Middle East, and to be a strategic partner of Israel," she said.

"To do this, Israel's leaders need to be able to come to the UK for talks with the British government. We are looking urgently at the implications of this case."

It marked the latest incident in which British courts have issued, or have been asked to issue, arrest warrants for Israeli officials.

In September, pro-Palestinian activists sought to have Defence Minister Ehud Barak arrested over his role in the Gaza war but a court denied the request on the grounds of diplomatic immunity.

In 2005, a retired Israeli general, Doron Almog, avoided arrest in Britain by returning to Israel without leaving the plane that had landed him in London after he learned an arrest warrant had been issued against him.
It's time the human got back into the humanitarian (*NB, December 28 - the British foreign office did not support this move and pressured the British court to rescind its warrant. I think it is the same legal system which resulted in the arrest of Pinochet. True, I guess, all leaders are liable for arrest if we look at who is responsible for the atrocities committed in the names of governments all over the world. Yet, maybe many places are held more accountable, at least on the surface, than Israel ever has been).

Thursday, 10 December 2009

How we treat educated people and Bethlehem greeting cards

Archive photo of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, Bilin, Palestine, 17.5.2005.

In This archive photo taken on the 17/5/2005 in the village of Bilin, Abdallah Abu Rahmah is seen during a demo against the apartheid wall, while Israeli soldiers try to arrest him.

At exactly 2 AM last night (10/12/2009), seven Israeli military jeeps pulled over at Abdallah Abu Rahmah's residence in the city of Ramallah. Soldiers raided the house and arrested Abu Rahmah from his bed in the presence of his wife and children. Abu Rahmah is a high school teacher in the Latin Patriarchate school in Birzeit near Ramallah and is the coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements.
Photo by : Oren Ziv/

Not too late if you are in Australia to buy these Christmas cards. If you are a Christian, well, you're supporting your fellow Christians. If you are a Christian and a humanitarian, you are supporting your fellow Christians who are also human, and humans who may not be Christian. If you are a humanitarian, but not Christian, well, you'll be supporting humans no matter their religion, so all is good, even when it's not.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

no way through

U.K. short film. Award winner. If we had to put up with this, would we? It's not an exaggeration. Of course people need to be worried about suicide bombers. I would say that far more suicide bombers are made from the 600 checkpoints and the 2 hours that a Palestinian has to wait for an ambulance in Jeruselem (according to the end of this short, B'Tselem would support the figures) and giving birth at checkpoints, dying at checkpoints, and being denied medical attention. I guess the ones who die are no longer a short term problem for the Israeli forces.

This was first seen on the Chronique de Palestine blog pages.

supporting torture - the U.S. and Australia; supporting kids - Olive kids and ASPIRE volunteers

From Australians for Palestine. Australian government supporting the right to torture, and not supporting Israeli humanitarians.
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) released on Friday a
new report which exposes the shifts in Israel’s combat doctrine as
evidenced in the prosecution of operation “Cast Lead” and from numerous
public oral and written statements made by high ranking military officers
and senior Israeli Government officials.

The report, “No Second Thoughts: Changes in the IDF’s Combat Doctrine In
Light Of Operation ‘Cast Lead’,” demonstrates Israel’s application of a new
combat doctrine during the hostilities in Gaza, which is based on two
principles: (1) Zero Casualties while disregarding the increased risk to
Palestinian civilians and (2) the Dahiyah Doctrine which promotes targeting
civilian infrastructure to cause widespread destruction and suffering among
the civilian population.

It is quite an eye-opener, especially since it comes from Israelis
. This then must make us question why the US and its acolytes –
Australia being one – would vote against the Goldstone Report on war crimes
in Gaza being brought to the UN Security Council for review and action. The
report is available
here (my emphasis).
More about the Goldstone Report:
New York Times Advert in Support of the Goldstone Report, and Goldstone wins Human Rights Award from Sweden NGOs. Australia was one of the 18 out of 132 nations who voted agings the adoption of the recommendations of the report which states that the occurrence of war crimes should be investigated, from both Hamas and Israel, in relation to the Gaza massacre. Fortunately we don't have the power of veto.

AFP also reports
And finally a happy ending to the ordeal of 16 Palestinian families who are arriving in Perth and Melbourne today to begin new lives with hopefully better prospects than had seemed possible when they fled Iraq in 2003 and were stranded in make-shift camps in the desert for more than 5 years.

Please read the press release below and see what ASPIRE – Australian
Supporters for the Palestinian-Iraqi Refugees Emergency – managed to do over
two years and hundreds of hours of voluntary work.
If that cannot be read, go to the AFP website. I was unable to find a direct link, but it might be in their archives somewhere.

Also, fund-raising-wise, AFP reports this about the Olive Kids, Palestinians living in Australia:
On a lighter note, you can read about how the third “Olive Kids” dinner last Sunday raised $18,000+ for Palestinian children in Gaza and secured sponsorship for 50 orphans. It was a wonderfully successful night and in particular showed the enthusiasm and skills of an emerging younger generation of Palestinians very willing to continue the struggle for their people, despite their more privileged circumstances.
Sorry for such lazy writing (as in, I haven't done any) - but I think that exposure to the stories and the amazing work that AFP does is very important.

Military aid, just in case you didn't get it the first time around in the many similar posts on this blog, is somewhat suspect.Seventy-five percent of US military aid to Israel is, by law, given to US arms manufacturers. From the Jewish Voice for Peace blog, Muzzlewatch. Seems a whole lot more money, except in the arms section, of course, could be generated if that 75% was actually channelled into U.S. domestic initiatives. But arms manufacturers employ a lot of people, don't they? In so many ways. And initially, they are domestic enterprises.

I think, if the food riots, shortages, flooding, global warming and so on which will inevitably affect the developed countries as well as further devastate the developing countries are to come about, I mean, even more so, as has been predicted, then the supply of arms is perhaps the only surefire (boom-boom, and boom-boom again) way to guarantee an income with which to maintain a high standard of living. That is, of course, until the inevitable happens. I guess guns can only buy so much food. And the production of food and such is impossible without people and workable land.
this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr