Study: U.S. Wars Have Left Over 1 Million Dead in Iraq

26 Mar
Study: U.S. Wars Have Left Over 1 Million Dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Democracy Now! report 25 March 2015

A new report has found that the Iraq War has killed about one million people. The Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other groups examined the toll from the so-called war on terror in three countries — Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The investigators found “the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around one million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan ( i.e. a total of around 1.3 million). Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware. … And this is only a conservative estimate,” they wrote. They say the true tally could be more than two million.

Videos: Israeli night raids on sleeping Palestinian children

25 Mar

Video#1: Night search of Sameeh and Mai D’ana’s home, Hebron, 24 February 2015

 By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 24 March 2015

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem today released two harrowing videos of heavily armed Israeli soldiers raiding the bedrooms of Palestinian children in the middle of the night.

The first video above, is titled “Night search of Sameeh and Mai D’ana’s home, Hebron, 24 February 2015.”

The video was shot during a night raid on ten homes in the occupied West Bank city. B’Tselem does not say who shot the video, but typically the videos it releases are made by Palestinians.

After forcing the children – at least one as young as four – out of their beds, the video shows the soldiers in full combat gear, armed with rifles and hand grenades, photographing and interrogating them.

The father asks the soldiers why they are invading his home in the middle of the night.

“Because stones are thrown at us all day long,” one soldier replies.

“What’s that to us?” the father asks. “I don’t have to explain my schedule,” the soldier shouts and orders the father to “go wake up your children.”

We see the soldiers follow the father into the room and order the children – one of whom is visually impaired – out of bed.

The soldiers then interrogate the children, including the four-year-old.

“Do you think he understands?” the father asks.

“Yes, I think so,” the soldier says. A short time later the soldiers leave.

Children terrorized.

Video #2: Night search of Nayef and Dalal D’ana’s home, Hebron, 24 February 2015

This video is titled “Night search of Nayef and Dalal D’ana’s home, Hebron, 24 February 2015.”

It shows the soldiers forcing their way into a home and shouting to wake everyone up, demanding their ID cards.

The mother protests that the children are young and asleep. The soldier shouts at her, “Get them all here.”

The mother tries to persuade the soldier, telling him the children will be terrorized, but the assault on the home continues and the soldiers enter a bedroom occupied by the family’s sleeping children.

Such night raids are a frequent occurence.

In 2013, more than half of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank were taken from their homes in the middle of the night, according to Defence for Children International–Palestine.

The children’s rights group estimates that annually 500-700 Palestinian children are prosecuted in Israeli military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by occupation forces.

These harrowing videos underscore that many more children who are not arrested are nonetheless subjected to traumatizing assaults in the very place they should feel safest.

No accountability

They also provide an insight into what Palestinians live and have lived through for decades with no respite in sight as Israel continues to enjoy immunity and impunity for its violations.

“Not only is this policy of entering Palestinian homes by night unjust and terrifying,” B’Tselem says in its description of the video, “it illustrates how casually and arbitrarily the lives of Palestinians under occupation are disrupted and their rights violated.”

B’Tselem “calls on the military to discontinue this policy without delay.”

B’Tselem should call for those who perpetrate these harrowing attacks and those who order them to be brought to justice.

These videos depicting systematic violence against children should also give pause to the UN officials who are allegedly sabotaging moves to have Israel’s army included on a UN list of serious violators of children’s rights.

“My village was attacked and burned down”: Nakba survivor

24 Mar

ahmed-alhaj

Ahmad al-Haj was 15 when he was expelled from his village in 1948. (Photo: Kia Ora Gaza).

The New York Times (recently)referred to the “destruction of Arab villages in battles that led to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

The testimony of Ahmad al-Haj, however, exposes that paper’s version of events as dishonest.

Rather than being the victim of “battles” — a term that implies fighting between two armies of similar strength — this octogenarian was forced from his home in a carefully planned campaign of ethnic cleansing by Zionist militias. The ethnic cleansing is known to Palestinians as the Nakba — Arabic for catastrophe.

Al-Haj was just 15 in 1948. Like many other young Palestinians, he was already working in agriculture.

One day in April that year, he was returning to his village, al-Swafer al-Sharqia, after going to an area market. To get home, he and his mule had to pass through nearby Julis, which, he was told by a passerby, had been taken over by Zionist forces.

“I thought nothing would incite those people to try to kill an unarmed, small boy passing peacefully on his way,” he told The Electronic Intifada.

He was mistaken. The only way he could survive was to throw himself off his mule and sprint.

“The mule ran faster than me,” he said. “The machine gunners stopped shooting when their bullets could no longer reach me.”

When he arrived back home, his parents were standing in the yard they used to thrash wheat. “My father and mother took me into their arms and kissed me and thanked God for my safety,” he said.

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Arms Sanctions against Israel’s Everyday Terrorism

24 Mar

DESTRUCTION-crop To boost Israeli arms sales, Palestinian families have suffered three onslaughts of ‘systematic genocide’ wars in 6 years and are condemned to a life that is unnatural, stressful, traumatic waiting for the next Israeli weapons testing that will again turn Gaza into ground zero*……

For Hamza: Arms Sanctions against Israel’s Everyday Terrorism

Posted by Dr. Vacy Vlazna, 23 March 2015 in News & Analysis, Intifada -Voice of Palestine

This is for the child that is searching for an answer,

I wish I could take your tears and replace them with laughter,

Long live Palestine, Long live Gaza!

Lowkey

 

HAMZA-NEW-crop

Look carefully at Israel’s savage violation to his once perfect little body when on the 25th July 2014, Israel’s soldiers loaded and fired pale blue artillery shells that discharged white incendiary rain on Gaza in hundreds of phosphorous-impregnated felt wedges as Hamza and his family slept.

Imagine the agony Hamza suffered from the moment the white phosphorous struck and burrowed through his soft three year old skin. Phosphorous burns are only contained by blocking off oxygen but the extreme pain and, as you can see, the horrific tissue damage endures.

Hamza’s father and two siblings were also burnt but luckily their injuries were less severe. Imagine the wounded family’s terrifying walk through the night to the nearest hospital.

It is heartbreaking to imagine Hamza’s parents, Mus’ab and Kifah distress watching their little boy trapped in pain; his mind and hospital bed shaking with the relentless hammering over yet another 32 days of Israeli bombs with their thunderous soundtrack of war striking trauma into every cell of the child and all the terrified, war-weary Gazan families.

The trauma has made a once happy and boisterous child, mute. His inability to speak depresses his parents who try to make life as normal as possible for Hamza.

The photographer, Hassan Rabie, has sensitively shared with us Hamza’s innocence in his acquiescent pose with his little hand gently protecting the heinous painful and itchy scar on his arm, in the flawless skin on his face, in the little frown and the eye-lashes that you know have been burdened with tears of unbearable pain, day and night.

Rabie has caught a moment in present time but what about Hamza’s future? As his little body grows the Israeli mark of Cain and cruelty will be indelible with painful complications for the rest of his life. It is possible to get treatment in Italy, but the Palestinian Authority denied Hamza assistance because of the multitude of serious cases.

Of course, this article presents Hamza to the world for the first time. No mainstream media reported his wounding because little Hamza is an ‘unworthy victim’ in the manufacturing of consent to Israeli war crimes.

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Power, wealth & inequality in the Arab world

24 Mar

protest_news

Fundamental rifts: power, wealth and inequality in the Arab world

By  Dr Adam Hanieh, monthly guest write, Middle East Monitor, March 2015

adam-haniehDr Adam Hanieh is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London

Over four years since mass uprisings ousted sclerotic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt it can seem that the initial hopes represented by these movements lie in tatters. Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq remain mired in bloody armed conflicts that have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more within and across borders. In the pivotal case of Egypt, military rule has returned through the violent crushing of protests, the arrests of an estimated 40,000 people and the rebuilding of the repressive structures of the Mubarak era. Elsewhere, autocratic governments look more secure in their rule today than they have for many years.

In assessing the current moment, though, we need to look beyond the headline coverage of war, displacement and sectarianism. The Arab uprisings were not simply struggles against authoritarian rule; they were ineluctably wrapped up with a decades-long stagnation in living conditions and profound inequalities in wealth and power. Without addressing these socio-economic roots of the region’s malaise, there is no way out of the current impasse.

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Appeal for safety equipment for Gaza journalists

21 Mar

PressTV report from Gaza

They were not soldiers. They were even more powerful than soldiers. 11 brave journalists. They were on duty making the voice of the people of Gaza heard as Israeli bombs rained on the besieged coastal strip during the 51 day bombardments last summer.

Some of them were deliberately targeted since they were considered threats because of the message they carried to the world from Gaza. The Israeli attacks have not only targeted reporters, but also their equipment, vehicles and headquarters. International law regarding journalists being attacks during wartime is crystal clear. Protection under international law is meaningless in Gaza when journalists are deliberately attacked by Israeli forces. So far at least 11 of them have been killed on duty. Hopefully their sacrifice won’t be in vain and the culprits will be held responsible for their crimes.

Support the appeal to provide Gaza’s journalists with safety equipment: Donate here https://www.indiegogo.com/…/protect-local-journalists-of-ga…

After Netanyahu’s election win – how will world respond?

20 Mar

 

Democrary Now! discusses the aftermath of the Israeli elections with Amira Hass, journalist with Ha’aretz newspaper. 18 March 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a surprise election victory, putting him on course for a fourth term in office. Netanyahu’s Likud Party is poised to control 29 or 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset. The Zionist Union opposition placed second with 24 seats. A united list of Arab parties came in third with 13 seats.

Netanyahu closed out his campaign with a vow to oppose a Palestinian state, reneging on his nominal endorsement of a two-state solution in 2009. Netanyahu also vowed to expand the illegal West Bank settlements and issued a last-minute plea to supporters denouncing a high turnout of Arab voters.

The Zionist Union, Netanyahu’s chief rival, also ran on a platform for Israel to keep the major Israeli settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, the home of any future Palestinian state. Likud says Netanyahu intends to form a new government in the coming weeks. Talks are already underway with a number of right-wing parties.

To discuss the election, [Democrary Now! was] joined by two guests: Jamal Zahalka, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset and chair of Balad party, which is part of the Joint List of Arab parties; and Amira Hass, correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The above video is an excerpt of the full discussion with Jamal Zahalka and Amira Hass. Watch the full segment on Democracy Now! here: http://www.democracynow.org/2015/3/18…

NOTE: AMIRA HASS is coming to NZ on a speaking tour in May!! 

SAVE THE DATE – Auckland May 6th and Dunedin late April (date tbc)

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