Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
A Tale of Two Sit-Ins
Monday, 12 July 2010
East Jerusalem is occupied territory, and the expulsion of people from occupied territories is expressly prohibited by international law.
July 10, 2010—At this moment, two sit-ins are taking place in Jerusalem, two kilometers apart. In West Jerusalem, the Shalit family is sitting in a protest tent in front of the Prime Minister’s residence, swearing to remain there until the return of their son. In East Jerusalem, three members of the Palestinian parliament are holed up in the building of the International Red Cross.
The word that connects the two is: "Hamas."
The Shalit family is demanding the release of their son, Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, after four years in captivity. For that purpose they have marched, under the beating sun, 200 kilometers from their home in Galilee to Jerusalem, at the head of tens of thousands. This is a popular movement almost without precedent in Israel: people of the Left and the Right marched together with ordinary people who were touched and united by their concern for the young man. The common demand was for the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to agree to the proposed prisoner exchange with Hamas.
The three Palestinian Members of Parliament are protesting against the order to leave the city, in which their forefathers have lived for centuries—perhaps for millennia. Their sin is that they were elected as Hamas candidates to the Palestinian parliament, in democratic elections whose fairness was certified by ex-President Jimmy Carter and his team.
East Jerusalem was indeed formally “annexed” by Israel, but according to the Oslo agreements, its inhabitants have the right to take part in elections to the Palestinian “legislative council.” Hamas won the last elections.
The four Jerusalemite Members of Parliament from Hamas were arrested immediately after the capture of Gilad Shalit, in order to serve as “negotiation chips”—a reprehensible practice in itself. They were sentenced to four years in prison by a military court. (It has been said that “a military court is to justice what a military march is to music.”) A few weeks ago they were released, after serving their full sentence, only to be informed that their residence status in Jerusalem had been cancelled and that they have to leave the city and move to the West Bank or Gaza within 40 days.
The four refused, of course. The best known among them, Muhammad Abu Ter (also written Abu Tir), was arrested again and is now in prison. The other three avoided arrest by taking refuge in the IRC building in the Sheikh Jarrah quarter. The building does not enjoy extra-territorial immunity, but its invasion by Israeli police could arouse a wave of international protests, and has been avoided, therefore, until now.
I decided to visit both sit-in sites in order to express my solidarity with both protests.
First of all I visited the members of parliament in the Red Cross building. That was not our first meeting: four years ago I visited Muhammad Abu Ter at his home in the Tsur Baher neighborhood. We were joined by Ahmad Attoun, one of the three (the other two are Muhammad Totah and Khaled Abu Arafa.)
On that occasion, I was also a member of a Gush Shalom delegation. The conversation was friendly, but entirely political in character. Our aim was to explore the possibilities for an Israel-Hamas dialogue, as part of the effort for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Abu Ter, a friendly person by nature, is well known in Israel. Everyone can identify him easily because of his beard, which is dyed a flaming red color, following the habit of the prophet, Muhammad, who also dyed his beard with henna.
We gained the clear impression that it is possible to talk with Hamas, and that their positions are far less extreme than they may seem.
Immediately after, all four were arrested. During their “trial” we demonstrated outside the military camp where it took place.
At this week’s meeting with the three threatened with expulsion, I voiced the evident: that there is no legal or moral right to expel a person from his home and his town, especially not for his political opinions. East Jerusalem is occupied territory, and the expulsion of people from occupied territories is expressly prohibited by international law.
I could not help remembering the words of the German Martin Niemoeller. a World War I submarine captain who later became a priest and landed in a Nazi concentration camp. “When they took the Jews, I kept silent. After all, I was not a Jew. When they took the communists, I kept silent. After all, I was not a communist. When they took the social democrats, I kept silent. After all, I was not a social democrat. When they came for me, there was no one left to protest.”
“Now,” I said, “they expel Hamas members. Then they will expel the Fatah people. Then they will expel all the Arabs from East Jerusalem. Then they will cancel the citizenship of Israeli peace activists and expel us, too. This must be a joint struggle of all of us—Israelis and Palestinians, Fatah and Hamas and the Israeli peace camp.”
The attempt to expel the Hamas members from East Jerusalem is, of course, part of the massive campaign to “Judaize” the East of the city in a thousand and one ways. This campaign is headed by the mayor, Nir Barkat, who wraps himself in the flag of “love for Jerusalem.”
Love for Jerusalem is like love for children. Everybody loves children—but not always in the same way.
A father loves his children. A teacher loves the pupils. A paedophile loves the objects of his lust. A cannibal loves them fried.
I love Jerusalem. Nir Barkat loves Jerusalem. But our love is different.
I am a Tel Avivian. It’s my home. But Jerusalem I loved. Loved—in the past tense.
During the ten years I served as a member of the Knesset, I spent half of each week in Jerusalem—both before and after the Six-day War.
Every time I came to Jerusalem, I breathed deeply. I loved the city almost physically—its stone houses, the mountains around it, its dry air. And every week, when I went down to Tel-Aviv, I grumbled about its humidity.
After the Six-day War, I came to love Jerusalem even more. The Eastern part of the town added to it what was missing before—the Oriental ambiance, the beautiful mosques, the wonderful wall, Damascus gate, the noisy bazaar, the incredible mixture of languages, types, human beings.
I got to know fascinating people and made new friends—Feisal al-Husseini, Anwar Nusseibeh and his son, Sari Nusseibeh, and many others. For some weeks, it seemed as if Jerusalem was indeed united and returning to its former glory.
And then the process started that destroyed everything—the city, its human fabric, the unique beauty of its manifoldness.
The seven veils of unity began to fall, one after another, and what remained was the ugly reality of occupation. The occupation of East Jerusalem by West Jerusalem, a story of annexation, oppression, expropriation, neglect and creeping ethnic cleansing.
The person who symbolizes this reality more than anyone else is Nir Barkat, the man who never misses an opportunity to provoke a quarrel, to start a fire, to demolish and expel. He reminds me of a pyromaniac who throws burning matches into a gas station.
How did such a person become mayor? The Jerusalemites voted for him for one sole reason: he is secular. Any secular candidate seemed to them preferable to an orthodox one. The orthodox are conquering the city, slowly but surely, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood. The secular public is afraid, rightly afraid. Out of fear, they voted for the only secular person on the stage—though this one is far more dangerous for the future of their city than the most frightening orthodox.
There was no secular, liberal, peace-loving candidate. The choice was only between an aggressive orthodox and an extreme nationalist. The voters (all of them Jews, the Arabs stayed away) did not understand in time that an extreme nationalist can easily embrace the extreme religious—after all, both have their roots in the cult of the “chosen people” and the hatred of strangers.
The ideology of Barkat pushes him forward, without inhibitions or brakes, until he succeeds in destroying the human fabric of the city, its cultural richness and beauty—see the monstrous buildings—and nothing is left but one monotonous hue, the Jewish-orthodox black.
Barkat is not the first and not the only one who went out to Judaize East Jerusalem. To Judaize means to eradicate all other colors, to demolish the layers left by many generations of lovers, to eliminate thousands of years of history and cultural creation.
He was preceded by Teddy Kollek. But Kollek was a genius. He eradicated the Mugrabi quarter near the Western Wall, expropriated and built new Jewish neighborhoods at a frantic pace, and at the same time collected peace prizes all over the world. If he had lived on, he would surely have received the Nobel Peace Prize, too. Compared to him, Barkat is a primitive, transparent oaf who attracts world-wide loathing. Sheikh-Jarrah, Silwan, Ramat Shlomo, Pisgat Ze’ev—these names have become symbols everywhere.
The two parts of Jerusalem are united as a lion is united with the sheep it has swallowed.
The myth of “The City That Is Compact Together” (Psalms 122) is being exploded every day. The city has not come together. The two parts are united as a lion is united with the sheep it has swallowed. Barkat is the mayor of West Jerusalem and the military governor of East Jerusalem. He and his accomplice in the holy work, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, do everything possible to push the non-Jewish population out.
But they do not succeed. Barkat & Co are experiencing with the Arabs what Pharaoh experienced with the Children of Israel: “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew” (Exodus 1:12). In spite of the demolition and new building, the demographic balance in Jerusalem has hardly changed—and if at all, in favor of the Arabs.
I told the members of parliament that in the end, what will be realized will be the vision of two states, because the only alternative is an apartheid state in which the Arabs will be an oppressed majority and the Jews an oppressive minority—until the whole edifice inevitably comes crashing down. Two states mean: two capitals in Jerusalem, the Palestinian in the East and the Israeli in the West. “I hope that we shall all agree on Jerusalem being united on the communal level, under a joint municipality, which will safeguard the rich and unique fabric of its population.”
In spite of Binyamin Netanyahu, Nir Barkat and their colleagues, the destroyers of Jerusalem.
Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is one of the writers featured in The Other Israel: Voices of Dissent and Refusal. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's book, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on July 12, 2010.