One Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days for the past 13 years


Tuesday, 04 June 2013

 

Almost half of the Palestinian population is under 18Almost half of the Palestinian population is under 18

Official statistics from the Ministry of Information in Ramallah have revealed that 1,518 Palestinian children were killed by Israel‘s occupation forces from the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 up to April 2013. That’s the equivalent of one Palestinian child killed by Israel every 3 days for almost 13 years. The ministry added that the number of children injured by the Israelis since the start of the Second Intifada against Israel’s occupation has now reached 6,000. 

“The International Day for the Protection of Children is on June 1,” said a spokesman, “but Palestinian children are still subject to attacks by the Israelis and Jewish settlers on an almost daily basis.”

Noting that 2012 saw an unprecedented rise in the number of children arrested by Israeli forces, the report pointed out that 9,000 Palestinians under 18 years old have been arrested since the end of September 2000. Almost half of the Palestinian population is under 18. Almost two hundred and fifty Palestinian minors are being held in prison by Israel; 47 of them are children under 16 years of age.

- See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/6185-one-palestinian-child-has-been-killed-by-israel-every-3-days-for-the-past-13-years#sthash.oGoflKBq.weo6oVjV.dpuf

 

Rich- Poor Gap Widens In Rich Countries, Finds OECD


Developed and developing countries

 

 

 

By Countercurrents.org

 

16 May, 2013
Countercurrents.org

 

The gap between rich and poor widened more in the three years to 2010 than in the previous 12 years, said OECD, the group of industrialized nations.

 

According to an OECD report released on May 15, 2013, the richest 10% of society in the 33 OECD countries received 9.5 times that of the poorest in terms of income, up from nine times in 2007.

 

New OECD data showed:

 

The gap is largest in Chile, Mexico, Turkey, the US and Israel, and lowest in Iceland, Slovenia, Norway and Denmark. [1]

 

OECD found:

 

Poorer households tended to lose more or gain less than richer households between 2007 and 2010. The top 10 percent of the population did better than the poorest 10 percent in 21 of the 33 countries where data were available.

Using pre-crisis income levels as a benchmark, the number of people living in poverty rose during the crisis in most countries.

 

Taxes and benefits helped mitigate the overall increases, but the impact varied. Between 2007 and 2010, average relative income poverty in OECD countries rose from 13 to 14% among children and from 12 to 14% among youth, but fell from 15 to 12% among the elderly. Until 2010, in many countries, pensioners were largely protected while working households took the hit.

Children and the young are among the worst sufferers. The OECD report found:

 

Child poverty has risen in 16 OECD countries since 2007, with increases exceeding 2 points in Turkey, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia and Hungary. This confirms a previously identified trend of young people and children replacing the elderly as the group most at risk of income poverty across the OECD.

The analysis warns that further social spending cuts in OECD countries risk causing greater inequality and poverty in the years ahead.

 

Israel, according to the OECD data, presented a frustrating picture. Citing the report Lior Dattel and Nadan Feldman said [2]:

 

Israel is the most impoverished of the 34 economically developed countries, with a poverty rate of 20.9%.

 

A Paris datelined Reuters report [3] also cited the “growing divide between rich and poor” mentioned in the OECD report.

 

The Reuters report quoted OECD, the Paris-based think-tank,

 

“As the economic and especially the jobs crisis persists and fiscal consolidation takes hold, there is a growing risk that the most vulnerable in society will be hit harder as the cost of the crisis increases.”

 

“These worrying findings underline the need to protect the most vulnerable in society, especially as governments pursue the necessary task of bringing public spending under control,” OECD head Angel Gurria said in a statement.

 

Gurria added that governments should not neglect fairness when they craft their policies, especially when they reform their tax systems.

 

The Reuters report added:

 

With many developed countries facing the pinch of austerity, economic inequality has become a hot topic especially after an ECB study last month found that households in many peripheral eurozone countries are on average wealthier than those in the bloc’s core due to higher levels of home ownership.

 

Long a staunch advocate of free-market reforms shunned by some left-wingers, the OECD has become an increasingly vocal supporter of the welfare state for its capacity to soften the blow of hard economic times.

 

The study said the pain of the crisis was unevenly spread. Poorer households either lost more income from the recession or benefited less from recovery. Children and young people suffered more than the elderly, whose incomes were relatively immune.

 

While reporting the OECD report a BBC-news made the following observation:

The Paris-based group is generally in favor of free-market policies, but has recently become more vocal in support of more generous social provision to soften the impact of the economic downturn of the past few years.

 

Many countries, particularly within the eurozone, have been cutting back hard on welfare spending in an attempt to reduce debt and balance government books as tax revenues fall because of weak growth. In some cases, this is a condition of international support from the likes of the International Monetary Fund.

 

Source:

 

[1] May 15, 2013, “Growing risk of inequality and poverty as crisis hits the poor hardest”
http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/growing-risk-of-inequality-and-poverty-as-crisis-hits-the-poor-hardest-says-oecd.htm

 

[2] Haaretz, “Israel has highest poverty rate in the developed world, OECD report shows”,
May 16, 2013, http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-is-the-poorest-country-in-developed-world-oecd-report-shows.premium-1.524096

 

[3] “Rich nations’ wealth gap widens as welfare cut –OECD”,
http://www.trust.org/item/20130514220100-fspwz

 

 

Crocodile tears on the West Bank #Palestine


GITHA HARIHARAN, The Hindu

Expressions of solidarity for the Palestinian people have little meaning unless they become a powerful collective voice that can build pressure on Israel

The day U.S. President Barack Obama came to Ramallah, I was supposed to go to Haifa. The plan was to see one bit of ’48 — the Palestine that Israel took over during the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948. But the roads closed in Ramallah and Jerusalem; the checkpoints were on high alert; my visit to Haifa was cancelled.

I walked around Ramallah, uphill, downhill. The police whizzed past in trucks and vans; several protests were to be held. I saw one of these. Many of the banners bore a prominent key: the key to return, the right of the Palestinian people to return home.

As the day wore on, Obama and Palestinian President Abbas stood stiffly next to each other on television screens. Unlike the official images of the day before in Israel, the Ramallah meeting showed the leaders cold and unsmiling. What they said officially, said little about the misery and hope of real people. Perhaps, leaders get used to talking about the people they speak for in people-less terms. But the Palestinians were not missing. Despite the official cacophony of speeches, the barricaded and gun-toting security, I had no trouble seeing the people who become phantoms in official meetings. I had already seen them in stubborn flesh and blood in the days leading up to Obama’s visit. I had been to Jerusalem, Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron, and several villages on the road between Ramallah and Nablus, and the road between Bethlehem and Hebron. I had seen what people wrote and drew on the illegal wall Israel has built through their land and lives. I had heard what those I met had to say.

Apartheid wall

Obama, like all tourists and pilgrims, went to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a church beautiful because it is simple. But the beauty that spoke to me was elsewhere — in, for instance, the brave hope of the key of return I saw everywhere in the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. (The giant key above the rough arch at the camp entrance says on it: Not for sale.)

But before that hope in the future can be stoked, the unfolding present intrudes. One of the inescapable images of the present, in Bethlehem and elsewhere, is the wall Israel has been building despite its being declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. This Separation Barrier, which Palestinians call the Apartheid Wall, snakes its way across, between and around hills, farms, groves, villages, roads and houses throughout the West Bank, separating people from their neighbours, their schools, their hospitals, their shops, their land, their trees, their crop, their wells and springs. The wall is made of concrete. In places it is supplemented by, or growing into a wall from, electrified fencing, deep trenches, roads for patrol vehicles, electronic ground and fence sensors, thermal imaging and video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, sniper towers and razor wire. The wall does not run along the Green Line; it runs through the West Bank, on occupied Palestinian land. The plan is for the wall to be as long as 650 km.

In Bethlehem, the wall blocks the old entrance to the city from Jerusalem. A house I visited used to be across Rachel’s Tomb, a shrine visited by different communities. The house is now walled in on three sides. The house is called Sumud House; sumud means steadfastness.

If a third Intifada is brewing, the wall is one of the faces of the enemy. The wall across the Aida Refugee Camp, which was set up in 1950, has rows of Intifada martyrs painted on it.

Part of the wall is burnt; a watchtower with sniper-windows stands charred, testimony to the anger of people in the camp. The graffiti on this part of the wall sends sharp and eloquent messages, and not just to the Israelis: “No one can talk about the camp better than the people of the camp,” says one. An activist spoke to me ruefully about the numerous delegations that visit the wall, spray-paint words and images of solidarity on it. “We tell them to speak to people first,” he said. But many come with their readymade messages; like other genuine causes, this last bastion of colonialism can also be turned into a solidarity cottage industry.

Najwan Darwish, a poet I was on a literary panel with in Ramallah, read a poem about the bleak situation in Palestine today: “I tried once to sit in one of the vacant seats / but the word reserved was lurking there like a hyena. / I did not sit. / No one did. / The seats of hope are always reserved.” Darwish added, “I hate the word suffering. Suffering makes me think of victims.”

He was also wary of the word solidarity: too many people use solidarity merely as a means of self-expression. But solidarity is important, of course; we have the South African model in relatively recent memory. We also have the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to build international pressure on Israel.

This is the way I unravelled this call to revisit solidarity. Having seen and heard what I did in Palestine, it would be impossible to shy away from solidarity. But my own little solidarity means nothing by itself; it can only mean something if it grows into an Indian solidarity. And Indian solidarity can only mean pressuring our government to end the deepening “strategic” relationship between India and Israel — an alliance that means the purchase of arms from Israel, joint investment and industry ventures, collaborative research and educational programmes, and cultural exchange. Israel the occupier spends a great deal on building Brand Israel that can be sold in countries like ours. Our solidarity with Occupied Palestine is only worthwhile if we make sure India does not contribute to subsidising the Israeli colonial war machine.

(Githa Hariharan is a writer.)

 

Narendra Modi- Main, Mera #Video


 Narandra Modi's Vibrant Gujarat Story: Propaganda vs Fact #mustread

We are greatly influenced by the philosophy of Mr. Narendra Modi. The Main Mera is a great hit amongst our generation. Here’s one of our tributes to this great man that produces the best tourists too.

Obama in Occupied Palestine #mustread


MAR 23, 2013

Obama

 
Sign: US leads terrorism (Raad Adayleh)
I am a Palestinian from the Bethlehem area but who also happens to hold a US passport.  The latter does not allow me to enter Jerusalem and the US government will not protect this or other rights I have (including family reunification). Meanwhile, any Jewish American can come and get automatic citizenship and live on stolen Palestinian land in our city. It is hard to describe the level of frustration that I had watching the theater of media frenzy (devoid of any real substance) about Obama’s visit.  Obama gave a new lifeline to war and conflict by avoiding human rights and international law.  It is the missing ingredient that for the past 65 years precluded peaceful resolution. It is the twisted logic that says the insecurity of the thief must be the only thing to be dealt with by ensuring the victims first recognize the legitimacy of the theft and the legitimacy of the need for the thief to first have full security and immunity from accountability for the theft before the victim is put in the room with the armed thief so that they can work out something (vague and without reference to International law). That formula has been shown to be a disaster and has kept Apartheid and colonization going.   Israel has no incentive to allow a Palestinian sovereign state let alone redress the injustice (e.g. refugees, theft of land and resources etc) as long as it continues to get unconditional check from our tax money and guaranteed veto of the US at the UN protecting it from International law.  This plus over $12 billion in profits from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (captive market, natural resources etc.) ensures the occupation continues.  But Israeli and American governments are thinking short term.  Long term, the changing reality (in the Arab world) and demographics in Palestine will ensure change. Obama alluded to this when he told Israelis that no wall will be tall enough and no iron dome will be strong enough and that peace is imperative.  The problem is he failed to follow his own logic and press Israel to change and instead repeated the same failed logic that “bilateral” negotiations between a strong occupier/colonizer and a weak leadership of colonized/occupied people is the way to go.
Below are some of the things that happened during Obama’s short visit.  You be the judge of their value or relevance to bringing peace.
Palestinian and American security coordinate to clean streets of any thing that might allude to Palestinain rights (refugee signs, maps of historic Palestine etc).  They change all manholes in targeted areas spending millions for excessive “security” for the unwanted visitor to Bethlehem and Ramallah. Palestinian security preemptively arrest dozens and suppress peaceful demonstrations succeeding in isolating Obama from seeing Palestinian anger.
Massive traffic jams, and on days of visits an essential siege and curfew on Ramallah area (Thursday) near Al-Muqata and Bethlehem (Friday).  The preparations create significant damage to economy and livelihood of tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Selected choreographed visits by Obama to Hertzl’s and Rabin’s tombs (the former who called for ethnic cleansing, the latter who executed it) but not to Yasser Arafat’s tomb.
American flags placed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) along the streets removed by Palestinian activists. PA security officials suppress demonstrations and prevent activists from getting near Obama. At Ramallah demonstration, PA security dressed in civilian cloths attack demonstrators.
Obama calls on Palestinian officials­­ to resume bilateral negotiations that led to nowhere in the past 20 years, to accept Israel as a “Jewish state”, and not to seek implementation of International law via International bodies like the UN or the International Court of Justice.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the Palestinian mission in Geneva has put out mild drafts that do not take advantage of the strong  findings of the UN Human Rights Council (see item link below).
Obama brokers a deal by pressuring Turkey to accept a tepid Israeli statement of regret for the deaths of Turkish citizens with some compensation for families and restoring Turkish-Israeli strategic relations (presumably including military cooperation). Turkish demands for lifting the siege on Gaza is dropped.
Obama, like his predecessors, identified Hizballah, Syria, and Iran as a dark axis of evil while Israel as a perfect model of democracy and beauty.
Obama in his speeches adopts the Zionist myths that Apartheid Israel is redemptive and that it is the guarantee against another holocaust (it is actually the reverse). Obama fails to mention that this “great and technologically advanced country” is actually built on top of Palestine and by destroying 530 villages and towns and by looting property and patrimony of millions of Palestinians.
Obama will send John Kerry to try and restart the “Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.”
Obama defines what we Palestinians want (supposedly a vague “viable state”) even though for most of us, we want return to our homes and lands and freedom from racism and apartheid.
Obama will give Jordan $200 million to help Syrian Refugees.
Obama reminds the Israelis that his administration developed unprecedented support to the apartheid state of Israel especially in the field of security.
Obama highlighted the Iron Dome system and praised it but now documented data show that they are less than 30% effective as opposed to the government insistence that they had 90% success).
Obama claimed the West Bank is in good shape because of Abbas and Fayyad and compared to Gaza which he claimed is miserable under rejectionist Hamas.
What Obama and his large entourage fail to mention during this supposed “historic visit”: human rights, international law, the tenth anniversary of the murder of US Citizen Rachel Corrie, Palestinian rights and security, justice, land confiscation, apartheid laws, illegality of settlements, US opposition to Palestine joining the UN, applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention, how much taxpayer money is given to Israel, the siege on Gaza, the freedom of movement, the attack on US citizens’ rights by Israel….
While Obama meets Israeli children, Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian Children
Amira Hass writes on Humanitarian hush money: The generous aid given to the Palestinians through various channels is the reward offered by Western states in exchange for the tolerance they show toward Israeli apartheid.http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/humanitarian-hush-money.premium-1.501672
A brave Palestinian confronts Obama asking if he had come here to bring peace or to continue arming Israel for war instead of dealing with the substance Obama claims this “heckler” proves democracyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiPH-olTfuA
Palestinians build another tent village on our lands while Netanyahu and Obama speak about Iran and continue colonial settlement expansion on natve Palestinian lands. Video with message to Obama
Netanyahu: Leaked video shows how he lied to the US and the world
A short documentary on the relevant issues of the peace process (From the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R94Ss8hRqhk
and here is from Jewish Voices for Peace a short course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
A young Jewish American makes a lot more sense than Obama
Goldstone again? Source: rights groups fear Palestinian cave-in at UN could scuttle action on settlements
Mazin Qumsiyeh

Nuclear weapons must be eradicated for all our sakes- Desmond Tutu


No nation should own nuclear arms – not Iran, not North Korea, and not their critics who take the moral high ground

(FILES) This file picture taken by North

As an Oslo conference on nuclear weapons starts, we should not accept that a ‘select few nations can ensure the security of all by having the capacity to destroy all.’ Photograph: Kns/AFP/Getty Images

We cannot intimidate others into behaving well when we ourselves are misbehaving. Yet that is precisely what nations armed with nuclear weapons hope to do by censuring North Korea for its nuclear tests and sounding alarm bells over Iran’s pursuit of enriched uranium. According to their logic, a select few nations can ensure the security of all by having the capacity to destroy all.

 

Until we overcome this double standard – until we accept that nuclear weapons are abhorrent and a grave danger no matter who possesses them, that threatening a city with radioactive incineration is intolerable no matter the nationality or religion of its inhabitants – we are unlikely to make meaningful progress in halting the spread of these monstrous devices, let alone banishing them from national arsenals.

 

Why, for instance, would a proliferating state pay heed to the exhortations of the US and Russia, which retain thousands of their nuclear warheads on high alert? How can Britain, France and China expect a hearing on non-proliferation while they squander billions modernising their nuclear forces? What standing has Israel to urge Iran not to acquire the bomb when it harbours its own atomic arsenal?

 

Nuclear weapons do not discriminate; nor should our leaders. The nuclear powers must apply the same standard to themselves as to others: zero nuclear weapons. Whereas the international community has imposed blanket bans on other weapons with horrendous effects – from biological and chemical agents to landmines and cluster munitions – it has not yet done so for the very worst weapons of all. Nuclear weapons are still seen as legitimate in the hands of some. This must change.

 

Around 130 governments, various UN agencies, the Red Cross and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons are gathering in Oslo this week to examine the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons and the inability of relief agencies to provide an effective response in the event of a nuclear attack. For too long, debates about nuclear arms have been divorced from such realities, focusing instead on geopolitics and narrow concepts of national security.

 

With enough public pressure, I believe that governments can move beyond the hypocrisy that has stymied multilateral disarmament discussions for decades, and be inspired and persuaded to embark on negotiations for a treaty to outlaw and eradicate these ultimate weapons of terror. Achieving such a ban would require somewhat of a revolution in our thinking, but it is not out of the question. Entrenched systems can be turned on their head almost overnight if there’s the will.

 

Let us not forget that it was only a few years ago when those who spoke about green energy and climate change were considered peculiar. Now it is widely accepted that an environmental disaster is upon us. There was once a time when people bought and sold other human beings as if they were mere chattels, things. But people eventually came to their senses. So it will be the case for nuclear arms, sooner or later.

 

Indeed, 184 nations have already made a legal undertaking never to obtain nuclear weapons, and three in four support a universal ban. In the early 1990s, with the collapse of apartheid nigh, South Africa voluntarily dismantled its nuclear stockpile, becoming the first nation to do so. This was an essential part of its transition from a pariah state to an accepted member of the family of nations. Around the same time, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine also relinquished their Soviet-era atomic arsenals.

 

But today nine nations still consider it their prerogative to possess these ghastly bombs, each capable of obliterating many thousands of innocent civilians, including children, in a flash. They appear to think that nuclear weapons afford them prestige in the international arena. But nothing could be further from the truth. Any nuclear-armed state, big or small, whatever its stripes, ought to be condemned in the strongest terms for possessing these indiscriminate, immoral weapons.

 

How Israel gets away with Torturing Palestinians To Death #humanrights


English: Piece of File:Westbankjan06.jpg which...

By Charlotte Silver

26 February, 2013
Al-Jazeera

Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest – February 18 – and the day of his death – February 23 – his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility.

Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.

When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat – who leaves a pregnant widow and two children – died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.

What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.

The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel’s Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel’s prisons. According to the prisoners’ rights organisation Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect.

The legal impunity of the Shin Bet, commonly referred to as the GSS, and its torture techniques has been well established. Between 2001 and 2011,700 Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney’s Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.

Writing in Adalah’s 2012 publication, On Torture [PDF], Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote, “The GSS’s impunity is absolute.”

Israel’s High Court has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.

In August of 2012, Israel’s High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organisations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and PCATI to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.

And in the first week of February, two weeks before Arafat was killed, the High Court of Justice threw out Adalah’s petition that demanded the GSS videotape and audio record all of its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.

In May 2009, UNCAT condemned [PDF] Israel for exempting the Shin Bet’s interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the Knesset extended the exemption for another three years.

Rationalising its failure to comply with this most basic requirement of recording interrogations, the State maintains that it is in the interests of “national security” that its interrogation techniques not be made public.

Arafat was killed under torture. Torture is routine. But the following is not routine: upon the announcement of his death, thousands of Palestinians, already unified in solidarity with the arduous struggle waged by Palestinian hunger striking prisoners, responded in force. At least 3,000 prisonersrefused their meals; thousands poured into the streets of Gaza and impassioned demonstrations erupted across the West Bank. While the State of Israel continues to deploy its deadly arsenal of weapons to repress Palestinians, the banality of the evil of this regime is, as it will always be, eclipsed by the mighty Palestinian will for self-determination.

Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in San Francisco and the West Bank, Palestine. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

The people who are “seditious” and are “waging war against the state” !!!


Join Protest in Solidarity With People’s Struggle  Against Koodankulam Nuclear Plant @10thoct

The Idinthakarai Experience:

Best Practices in Peaceful and Nonviolent Protests
Indefinite hunger strike of a huge group of people including women and youth
Relay hunger strike – every single day 10 am to 5 pm
Inviting a prominent political, religious or cultural leaders for day-long hunger strikes
Meeting officials and submitting memorandums
Dialogue with government officials, scientists and others
Organizing seminars on nonviolence, democracy, development etc.
Organizing massive conferences
Organizing all party meets
Having political leaders meet with the Chief Minister, Prime Minister etc.
Inviting supporters from all over the country for solidarity public meetings, hunger strikes
Reaching out nearby villagers and youth with outside volunteers and campaigners
District-wide teach-ins
State-wide agitations
Nation-wide campaigns
Sending back voter identity cards
Boycotting elections
Supporting a specific party/candidate in the elections
Asking the local MP, MLA to resign and facilitate by-elections
Observing Independence Day as Black Day
Refusing to accept government schemes
Refusing to let government officials into our villages
Laying siege in front of the nuclear plant entrance
Preventing workers from entering the workplace
Laying siege to harbors
Laying siege to the State Assembly
Blocking trains
Blocking roads
Organizing continuous agitations of various types for a week/month
Burning national flags of visiting international leaders’ countries
Burning effigies of visiting leaders
Bandh all over the district/state (future plan)
Agitations in distant towns and villages
Bike rally through neighboring villages and towns
Rallies to nearby towns and villages and agitations in those places
Congregating in a particular village and rallying to a nearby village or town
Commemorating national and international leaders’ births and deaths
Remembering activists’ deaths and sacrifices
Ringing Church/Temple bells and congregating people
All night religious vigils
Organizing yagnas and special poojas
Prayer meetings
Candle light processions
Celebrations such as “Asserting Freedom, Celebrating Resistance”
Celebrating religious festivals
Celebrating cultural festivals
Composing and singing struggle songs
Poetry recitals
Guarding the village entrances
Guarding the struggle leaders’ residence
Collecting signatures on petitions
Writing letters to embassies
Writing letters to human rights organizations
Writing letters to international organizations
Floating letters on the sea
Sending ‘Thank You’ letters to international supporters
Refusing to let rooms and houses to nuclear plant workers
Refusing to sell food stuff to nuclear plant workers
Congregating on the sea
Singing and dancing on the beach
Marching on the seashore
Human chain on the seashore
Boycotting fishing
Jal-satyagraha (striking in neck-deep waters)
Burying ourselves in the sand
Living in cemeteries
Shaving heads off
Wearing black shirts and/or black ribbons
Deserting the village temporarily (future plan)
Burying “time/history capsules” all over the state (future plan)
Women canvassing support in villages and towns
Women leaders travelling to distant places all over the country
Women speakers speaking in public meetings and campaigns
Women braking alcohol bottles and driving away bootleggers
Women abstaining from sex and pregnancy to convince their menfolk
Women meeting District Collector and submitting memorandums
Women holding press meet
Sending children on marches and rallies
Children writing thousands of postcards to authorities
Children meeting District Collector and submitting memorandums
Children submitting memorandum to the Chief Minister at the Secretariat
Children visiting foreign embassies and submitting memorandums
Children holding press meet
Children boycotting school
Youth organizing cultural programs
Youth organizing colleagues in neighboring villages
Youth guarding the village, roads etc.
Empowering women with newspaper and book reading during hunger strikes
Publishing Newsletters
Publishing handbills, pamphlets, booklets, books
Organizing photo exhibitions
Painting walls with specific protest messages
Pasting posters
Email campaigns
Social Media campaigns and canvassing
Forming social media friends’ circles
Internet-based streamlining, live telecast, documentaries etc.
TV interviews
Radio interviews
Magazine interviews
Regular Press Releases and Updates
Filing cases with the High Court
Filing cases with the Supreme Court
Filing cases with the National Green Tribunal
Using court appearances of prisoners for campaigns
Legal education campaigns
Organizing blood donation camps
Organizing food donations
Serving meals for campaigners
Replacing round bulbs with CFL bulbs
Supporting ‘New Energy’ schemes
Promoting solar panels
Promoting windmills
3P Principle: Purity, Patience, Perseverance
3H Policy: Never Hurt, Harm or Homicide
3T Formula: Things Take Time
3O Strategy: Organize, Organize, Organize
Compiled by
S.P. Udayakumar
koodankulam@yahoo.com
February 26, 2013

 

 

PRESS RELEASE- Investigate Palestinian detainee’s death in Megiddo Prison in Israel #Torture


 

 

 

 

 

 

Ref: 21/2013

Date: 25 February 2013

 

 

PCHR calls for investigation into the circumstances of Palestinian detainee’s death in Megiddo Prison in Israel

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls for an immediate and independent investigation into the circumstances of the death of a Palestinian detainee in Megiddo Prison in Israel following 4 days of detention. PCHR has serious concerns that the detainee may have been subjected to physical and psychological torture while he was being interrogated inside the prison.

 

Arafaf Shalish Shaheen Jaradat, 30, from Sa’ir village northeast of Hebron in the southern West Bank, died in Megiddo Prison on Saturday, 23 February 2013. Sources from the Israeli Prison Service claim that medical crews rushed to the prison and attempted to save Jaradat’s life, but that he died due to an apparent heart attack. They further stated that the victim was not on hunger strike at the time of his death.

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, Jaradat was arrested from his family home in Sa’ir village at approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 19 February 2013. Later that day, his family was informed by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club that Jaradat had been transferred to al-Jalama Detention Centre for interrogation. On Friday, 22 February 2013, he was transferred to Megiddo Prison, where he died the following day.

 

According to the family, they witnessed Jaradat being beaten heavily by Israeli soldiers during his arrest. The family reports that Israeli soldiers prevented him from changing his clothes and ordered him to say goodbye to his wife and children. The family emphasised the fact that Jaradat was in a good health and had never complained of any disease. Following Jaradat’s death, Israeli authorities announced that they had transferred his body to the forensic institute in Tel Aviv for autopsy and that they would allow a representative of the Palestinian National Authority, his family, and his lawyer to be present during the autopsy.

 

Jaradat was married with two children, aged 2 and 4, and his widow is pregnant. He was an employee of a fuel station belonging to his family in Sa’ir village.

 

 

PCHR is concerned that Jaradat’s death may have been a result of his being subjected to torture during interrogation, and:

 

1.         Calls for initiating an immediate and independent investigation into Jaradat’s death;

2.         Calls upon the international community to compel Israel to respect international law and humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the UN Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment;

3.         Expresses concerns for the deterioration of the detention conditions of more than 4,700 Palestinians who are currently detained in Israeli prisons and detention centres.

 

 

Surfing Sisters in Gaza Hit Waves of Disapproval #womenrights


By Eman Mohammed

WeNews correspondent

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sisters Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim are trying to carry their childhood passion for surfing into adolescence. The sport is a rarity in the Gaza Strip, and almost forbidden for young women in this conservative society.

Sisters Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim surfing in the Gaza Strip
Sisters Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim surfing in the Gaza Strip

Bookmark and Share

(WOMENSENEWS)–Two Palestinian sisters, Sabah and Shrouq Abu Gunaim, are struggling to hang on to their identities as active surfers despite cultural opposition to body-baring sports for girls and women.

When they were little girls they could surf with relative freedom. But now that they are teens, it’s different.

“My family encourages me, although the community thinks it’s shameful to do so,” says Sabah, age 14, as her mother braids her long ponytail.

For her older sister Shrouq, 17, the pressure is now particularly intense.

The Abu Gunaim family lives in a modest, thatched-roof house just across the street from the beach, in the windswept spot of Sheikh Ejleen.

For a while Sabah, as a younger girl, surfed openly on the beach. But now she avoids broad daylight. “Once I got older and became more of a woman, as they say, I had to surf when no one is looking, in the early morning and sometimes late at night,” she says.

Both sisters are careful not to go out alone anymore.

“I always surf with my father and brothers around now,” says Sabah. “I enjoy it; but not as much. But do I have any other choice?”

If their father is nearby, men on the beach are less likely to harass and scold them for flouting constraints on girls’ sports. But sometimes even if their father is there, a male passerby will threaten and harass him to get his daughters out of the water.

Still, Sabah remains committed to the sport. “The community might say it is ‘aib,’ a disgrace, for a girl to surf, but it doesn’t feel this way. I want to go to the Olympics with Shrouq and prove them wrong.”

Hurting Marriage Prospects

Their mother, a 35-year-old full-time homemaker who asked not to be named, worries that surfing could hurt her daughters’ chances at marriage.

“My daughters can’t draw attention to themselves anymore,” she says. “It will hurt them and ruin their small dreams. I only hope they don’t get hurt; it’s what they love to do and that’s all I care about.”

The sisters’ surf boards–one black and white and one blue–have been featured in a number of stories in the foreign press in recent years. But here at home the attention is beginning to work against them in a community where young women are expected to stay largely inside and wear modest attire.

Whether they will be knocked off balance by waves of public disapproval is a question as they are getting older.

The girls’ father, Rajab Abu Gunaim, helped pioneer the sport in the Gaza Strip and passed on his passion to his two daughters, the oldest of six children. Sabah and Shrouq in turn taught their younger brothers.

“I consider myself a self-taught surfer, a lucky one,” says Rajab Abu Gunaim “What I have learnt represents my heritage, one that I’m working on passing on to my children, both boys and girls.”

When the novelty of two surfing sisters in the Gaza Strip began to attract the media, their father worried the exposure might bring negative attention. At the same time, however, he thought it could also work to foster their talent and help the local community adjust to the idea of female surfing.

The sisters are breaking no laws in surfing, but girls and women are by custom expected to be accompanied by a male in public, to dress in modest attire and to exercise and participate in sports indoors. Outdoor sports, with body-revealing attire, are borderline taboo.

TV-Taught Skills

Rajab Abu Gunaim works as a full-time life guard during the summer and as a fisherman throughout the year. Much of his surfing skills, he says, came from watching the sport on TV. He learned how to swim at age 8 and at 17 began training others to surf.

Now about a dozen male surfers–ranging from 14 to 35 in age–are a common feature on the beach, all of them trained by him.

His daughters ride on boards donated by a cross-border cooperation organization, Surfing 4 Peace, which encourages surfers in Gaza and Israel.

Gazans’ use of the sea was limited to three nautical miles after the 2008-2009 war imposed a blockade that has made fishing and sailing nearly impossible. Israel says the blockade is necessary to stop the infiltration of militants into Israel and arms importation to Gaza.

Rajab Abu Gunaim, who says he has come under fire many times while fishing, condemns the blockade as a form of “collective punishment” that has hurt his livelihood and blocked the import of surf boards to the Gaza Strip.

“No surf boards are allowed to come in and of course none of us are allowed to get to the boarders to bring them in. It is hopeless. Although surfing is a joyful and challenging sport all over the world, apparently in Gaza it threatens Israeli security,” he fumed.

Sabah recounts the astonishment of her classmates the first time they saw her surf. “I once came back from school with some of my classmates and they saw my board. I tried to explain to them about surfing and my dad took us all on his boat into the sea. I dived into the water and when I looked back, they were all astonished.”

Eman Mohammed is a 25-year-old Palestinian photojournalist and reporter based in the Gaza Strip.