July 30, 2006

Day 19: Qana Massacre 2

Everything that I had been planning to write about over the past few days about what is going on in Lebanon has simply become insignificant at this moment. I am watching live images from Aljazeera and Alarabiya from the 2nd massacre of the Lebanese town of Qana. A shelter which families used to hide from Israel's killing machine has now been directly hit by the Israeli Occupying Forces. There are not as many shelters in Lebanon as there are in Israel of course, but even the few that do exist have now become targets of Israeli forces. The death toll is horrifying. Nearly 58 people are dead under the rubble, 21 of them are children, the rest are women and old men. The 1st Qana massacre occurred in April 1996 when a "Fijian UNIFIL compound in the village was shelled by Israeli artillery. Around 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge there to escape the fighting, of whom 106 were killed and around 116 others injured."

Members of the rescue team are working with their bare hands. They do not have the necessary equipment to save lives. They are emotionally distraught. When they speak to the reporters, these men are crying. They are reporting another massacre by Israel. One of them said it is "utterly indescribable." Reporters are incessantly asking them if the people they are removing from the rubble are Hizbollah fighters. The answer is consistent: the victims of this massacre are children and women and a few old men, none of whom are Hizbollah fighters. There are no rocket launchers here. There is a shelter here. A shelter which is protected by international law against targeting during wars. Shelters that Hizbollah did not attack in Israel because even this non-state power recognized that such an act is a crime against humanity.

Forget the New Middle East. Forget Condi's failed visit. Forget the failure of the Rome conference. Forget the news about Israel targeting UN observers. Forget about the US's rejection of a Security Council resolution condemning Israel's attack on UN offices and the murder of four observers. Forget the shameful position of Arab puppet leaders.

They are talking about diplomacy. We're talking about human life. We're talking about an apartheid rogue state that knows no bounds. A racist "democracy" controlled by a murderous military.

The news now is that the rescue efforts have been paused because there is a risk that the rest of the building may collapse on them and whoever else might be still breathing under the rubble. The rescue teams are carrying the bodies of children and their mothers. The rescue team is now reporting that a possible gaseous substance is causing nausea among those working on the scene. An eyewitness has just said that this town was bracing for this as the Israeli forces shelled them all night. The attack on this shelter apparently occurred around 1 AM Lebanon time, and the reporters were only able to bring this footage starting at 9AM.

I cannot record a video of this at the moment because it will be too hard to upload it. Here are some of the pictures I just took of the life footage mostly from Aljazeera and some from Almanar. Either Blogger is not working or its my slow dial-up Internet that is not allowing me to post any of the photos I took. I'll try to add them later.

Update: Condolezza Rice has canceled her visit to Beirut this morning. Lebanese PM Fouad Senioura in a live press conference has called for an immediate unconditional ceasefire.

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July 25, 2006

March in DC Today @ 5PM Against Israeli Aggression


March on the Israeli Embassy to Demand an End to the Killing!

Tuesday, July 25th
5:00 PM

Meet at corner of Van Ness & Connecticut Avenue (UDC Metro Station)

Wear black for a funeral procession. We will carry 50 coffins to the Israeli Embassy. Bring your Lebanese and Palestinian flags.

March will begin at 5:30 and proceed north on Connecticut, west on Brandywine, south on 36th, ending at the Israeli Embassy (514 International Dr. NW)

Endorsed by: The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (DC Chapter), Codepink, The Council for the National Interest, Pax Christi USA, Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and more. To add your organization's endorsement, call Jeff at 202-390-6434.

More Information:
Since July 13, Israeli forces have killed close to 400 Lebanese civilians in a massive bombing campaign targeting civilian infrastructure and homes. During the same time, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli incursions into the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israel’s assault on Lebanon has injured thousands of civilians and made more than 500,000 homeless, half of whom are children. Israel has directly targeted civilians, flattening them in their homes and apartment buildings or cutting them down in their cars as they try to flee the fighting. Most of the key roads and bridges have been bombed along with a milk factory, convoys bringing food and medicine, gas stations and power plants, creating a humanitarian crisis of major proportions.

In other news, this is from ADC as well:
Washington, DC | July 24, 2006 | Today, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld failed to fulfill their constitutional and professional obligations and protect US citizens in a crisis or time of war.

In the lawsuit, ADC alleges that the defendants placed US citizens in peril by not taking all possible steps to secure the safety and well being of US citizens in Lebanon. Further, the lawsuit asks the Federal Court to issue an order compelling the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense to request a ceasefire and to stop any shipments of weapons or any other military support to Israel during the evacuation of all US citizens out of Lebanon.

ADC President Hon. Mary Rose Oakar said, "At no time has President Bush, Secretary of State Rice, or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld called for a ceasefire in Lebanon. To the contrary, the Bush Administration has encouraged the violence by sending an urgent shipment of bombs to Israel giving that country the green light to continue in its indiscriminant bombing of Lebanon." Oakar continued, "This has placed innocent civilians, including thousands of US citizens, in harms way and has resulted in injuring several US citizens in Lebanon."

ADC is joined in today's lawsuit by several American citizens who have returned from Lebanon after escaping the violence and others who remain in Lebanon. The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. ADC and its co-plaintiffs are represented by the law firm of Nabih H. Ayad & Associates.

July 24, 2006

Three Weeks in Jordan

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow I will have been in Jordan for three full weeks. In terms of crossing things out on my list of things to do, places to visit, and people to meet, I have accomplished almost nothing. The reason is simple: when you are in Jordan, you have no control over your time.

No, I’m not exaggerating. My sisters, parents, and I have been working and studying all year, and we like to think that these six weeks in Jordan will be a break from the stresses of daily life in the US. Indeed, we are extremely naïve to assume that this would be the case. I really am holding myself back from pouring out all the complaints I have and elaborating on everything that has annoyed me since being here. But alas, I must let off a little steam.

So back to the time issue. No control over it at all. Every extended family member here wants you to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with them. If you don’t want to, they will swear to divorce their wife or swear that they will not speak to you again. If that doesn’t scare you, then they will just come to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at your home.

Privacy, with regards to every aspect of your life, is non-existent here.

When you are in Jordan, expect your phone to ring at any time in the early morning or after midnight. Expect the doorbell to ring at those times as well. Expect that every person who visits you unannounced has at least one cell phone attached to their ear every other minute of the day. Expect that they will stay for an undetermined amount of time without any regard for any of your own plans. Expect that they will all complain about the economy while they have the newest cell phone, just refurnished their home, and just bought a new car. Expect that most Jordanians will agree with you if you sympathize with the Lebanese and Palestinian people, but that most of them will laugh sarcastically if you suggest that there’s anything you can do to help them. Expect that while the country next door is burning in flames, Jordanian youth are busy watching Haifa Wehbe videos, downloading the latest ringtones, and smoking cigarettes or sheesha. Expect that it is not out of the ordinary for you to be hit with a stroke while your in Jordan for a few weeks if you are not used to living here.

Thankfully, I haven’t had a stroke, yet. It’s because there are other things here that I really do love and admire and it’s those things that help you get through your unusual vacation. It’s the grandmother’s kiss and the aunt’s hug that are always available. It’s the feeling you get when looking out your window watching how simple life is for the goat herder across the street. It’s the smile that spreads across your face when you watch the little sheep play with one another. It’s the nice old man in the mini-market who asks you how your family is doing when you stop to buy a pack of gum. It’s the feeling you get when that old man tells you that all those chocolate bars you just bought cost barely a dinar when you used to pay a couple of dollars for them just a few weeks ago in another country. It’s the fact that you don’t need to go to four different stores to buy ice cream, nail polish remover, tomatoes, and plastic plates; they’re all found in the old man’s mini-market down the street. It’s the aroma of corn and shawerma sandwiches in the busy streets, and the scent of ground coffee I’m smelling right now sitting in the veranda of my grandparent’s house. It’s the generosity of most Jordanians that extends to everyone and is truly overwhelming.

This is what I try to remind myself every minute I am here, to appreciate the small things that one takes for granted all the time. The key word here is try because it gets really hard when you are constantly faced with a reality that is totally different from the one that you are used to living. I think I’ll stop my complaining here, and start praying that I will have more control over my time for the next three weeks so that I can really start doing the things I’ve been wanting to do, seeing the people I want to see, and visiting the places I want to visit. These include meeting with bloggers, visiting the Dhana reserve and other tourist attractions, shopping for things not found in DC, stopping by some museums and in Amman, etc.

I got a kind of late start yesterday when my family went to visit relatives in Ajloun and Eshtafaynah. The drive from Irbid is absolutely breathtaking. We took lots of pictures of the drive-by scenery as well as those of the fruit fields that we hiked through, but the internet right now is not fast enough for me to post them. I'll try to post them on Flickr asap and possibly again on this post sometime later.

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July 20, 2006

On Lebanon and the World

The small town of Mirwaheen in Southern Lebanon was one of the targets of Israel’s state sponsored terror machine a few days ago. The IOF gave the people of this small town two hours to evacuate and warned that they will begin attacking it at 10 AM Lebanon time. As the inhabitants began fleeing the town, Israel fired rockets at a van carrying families heading for safety. The death toll rose to 23, with many others injured. Why, Israel, do you give people warnings to flee when you will target them anyway? Are you going to do the same tomorrow to all of southern Lebanon? Is this part of your psychological war against innocent civilians? You of course do not realize that these individuals are considered internally displaced persons (IDPs) and are subject to international protections against refugees and IDPs. You wouldn’t know this because your not one to give any regard to international laws that are put in place to make this world safer. You create your own laws, your own norms. You place no value on any human being who is not an Israeli Jew.

This is the everyday story of Israel’s unrelenting war on the people of Lebanon, as it has been before on Palestine and continues to this minute. This is the story of Israel’s destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure, its villages and towns, its history and its people. It is the story of a country still recovering from a civil war instigated by Israel. Today, the Jewish state has pushed Lebanon back another forty years without any regrets or considerations for the laws set by the international community.

Lebanon. The country that only one year ago was the center of the Bush administration’s agenda, which sought to “liberate” it from Syrian “occupation” and “influence”. This is the Lebanon that Christians the world over cry out to when there is the slightest indication that its indigenous Christian population is being persecuted by Muslims. Where are the Christians of the world crying out now for their Lebanese brethren? Where are Bush’s evangelical conservatives who cry wolf every time Copts in Egypt are harmed? Where are the Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria who are ready to burn embassies and effigies when they are angered by a despicable cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad? Why isn’t this anger as visible as it was a few months ago over the cartoon fiasco? Where is the international community? Where is Bush and de Villepin's support for Lebanese independence? Where where where is the world?!

Eight days have already passed, and I am already beginning to sense that the news of the Israeli atrocities in Lebanon is getting old for some people. Some are already becoming “used to” and “desensitized” to the mass murder and statistics of casualties. The numbers in the hundreds are becoming normal. The first days it was a shock. Over the next week, people will forget. They will push the frustration and sadness and anger to the back of their minds, and worry about their own problems. They will return to their everyday lives as Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, and continue living under oppressive regimes. They will not realize that this is the first time a force in the Middle East has been able to counter Israeli aggression with some real results.

In conversations with my father and grandfather over the past few days we have recalled past Arab defeats against Israel. We remembered the six day war in which various Arab nations succumbed to the loss of large portions of their land without much of a fight. Today, after eight days, Israel doesn’t dare step foot into Lebanon. It is cowardly attacking innocents by air and sea, afraid to risk the lives of their soldiers who would much rather shoot and bomb from a distance.

Israel is a cowardly rogue state, and no country is willing to stop its murderous machine. While the world has its eyes set on Lebanon, Israel continues its persecution of the Palestinian people, taking the lives of more than 14 people in just one day. Fifty here, twenty there, a few bridges here, a couple homes there, Israel is keeping itself busy these days.

In the Arab world, a few thousand people have come out to protest Israeli aggression. Against the will of their people, some Arab leaders have shown their true loyalties as they directly and indirectly insulted and condemned the Lebanese resistance against Israeli aggression. An Arab summit cannot even be held yet because not enough leaders have agreed to attend.

In the US, congressmen loyal to the Israeli lobby also showed their true colors as they rushed to support H.R. 921 declaring Israel's right to defend itself and continue its oppression against Lebanon and Palestine. Senator Hillary Clinton also ran to support the Israeli cause giving a fiery speech at a New York rally supporting the Israeli bombardment and siege of Lebanon and Gaza.

This is the sad reality of the international community's reaction to Israel's aggression. This is how they responded to the calls of Lebanese mothers, to the cries of Palestinian children. If they had kept their mouths shut, we'd be better off.

Ahhh Beirut....Ahhh Gaza, hangin' there, but while you're at it, don't put your faith in the world. Put your faith in a higher force.

(please excuse my scattered thoughts as I have been trying to collect them in an organized fashion but to no avail. the long hours glued to the television have worn my eyes and my brain cells and i'm not sure how i even managed to put together this post.)

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July 14, 2006

Speechless and Sleepless on Lebanon

I could not keep myself away from the non-stop news coverage of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon yesterday. I went home and continued to watch the news until 1:30 AM and decided to sleep on the couch while the tv was on so I could keep following everything by the minute. I woke up every hour to check the updates, until 6:00 AM when the sun came out and Israel decided to take a break from the bombings. How can one possibly sleep during a time like this?

The Lebanese border is only a couple hours away from where I am staying right now. People fleeing from the fighting will go to Syria then drive down to the Jordanian border and pass through Irbid on their way to Amman. Now that possibility is diminished as Israel has been destroying the highway connecting Beirut to Damascus, in addition to the Lebanese airport which is now crippled.

I am not shocked by Israel's scare & terror tactics. And I am not shocked that the US has yet again stood behind Israel as it "defends" itself. Nor am I surprised that Arab countries have yet to do anything other than issue some condemnations and schedule a meeting which will produce yet a few more condemnations.

What did surprise me last night, however, were the statements coming from the Saudi government which cast the blame on Hezbollah for what is taking place now. This I did not expect, although I probably should've because it doesn't seem that complicated. The Saudis are scared shitless (excuse my French) that an all out war might ensue in the next few weeks. They are definitely threatened by Iran's power, and feel that they no longer have any role in what goes on in the Middle East. Surely, they did not expect that everyone will sit around like them and watch Gazans being butchered?!

The Saudis did that for three whole weeks, while Gaza plunged into a humanitarian crisis as a result of Israel's invasion of the Strip. They stayed quiet, taking absolutely no action to defend the lives of their fellow Arab and Muslim brethren. And now, the most they could muster was a condemnation of Hezbollah's resistance against Israel and retaliation for its actions in the Gaza Strip?! SHAME SHAME SHAME!

The international community's reaction has been limited to some condemnations from Europe and Russia:
"Actions, which are contrary to international humanitarian law, can only aggravate the vicious circle of violence and retribution," the EU presidency said in a statement.

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, denounced Israel's attack on Lebanon and its operations against the occupied Palestinian territories.

"This is a disproportionate response to what has happened, and if both sides are going to drive each other into a tight corner, then I think that all this will develop in a very dramatic and tragic way," Interfax news agency reported him as saying.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy called Israel's bombardment of the Beirut airport "a disproportionate act of war", saying there was a risk of a regional war.
The UN Security Council will meet today to discuss the tensions in Lebanon. Let's wait and see if the US will use abuse its veto power yet again. Let's wait and see if the Arab foreign ministers' meeting will bring anything but useless statements and fake plans of action. Let's wait and see if the US will defend Lebanon, a country that it has championed over the past year as a beacon of democracy in the Middle East for pushing out the Syrian army. Let's wait and see if the Arab and Muslim world will come out in thousands to protest the attacks on Palestine and Lebanon and demand action by their puppet leaders.

Let's wait and see, dammit, if another Arab-Israeli war is on the horizon.

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July 13, 2006

U.S. Vetoes UN Condemnation of Israeli Assault on Gaza

Hot off the wire:

The United States cast the first U.N. Security Council veto in nearly two years Thursday, blocking an Arab-backed resolution that would have demanded Israel halt its military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The draft, sponsored by Qatar, accused Israel of a "disproportionate use of force" that endangered Palestinian civilians, and it demanded Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza. (AP)

Surprise, surprise!

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Israel and Lebanon: On the Brink of War

For almost three weeks now, Israeli Occupying Forces have been pounding the Gaza Strip after one of their own was taken prisoner by Palestinians defending their families and homes. For almost three weeks now, we have not seen any notable action from the Arab and Muslim world other than empty condemnations. At the same time, the US did not hesitate to defend Israel's barbaric actions and categorize them as "self-defense". Three weeks later, members of the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah have responded to cries of Palestinian women by killing eight Israeli soldiers and capturing two others. The result is not surprising: Israel has unleashed its forces of terror on the people of Lebanon as it has been doing to Gaza for weeks.

Israel's presence in Lebanon is well known, as it began with the 1982 invasion in which Israel sought to push back PLO forces that were threatening the northern Israeli border, and ended in 2000 as Israel withdrew its forces after intense resistance from Lebanese fighters, mainly Hezbollah. Since the withdrawal, Israel has continued to occupy a small portion of Lebanese territory referred to as the "Sheba'a Farms" which Hezbollah continuously attempts to reclaim.

In response to the continuing Israeli assault on Gaza which has left dozens of Palestinian men, women and children dead and injured, Hezbollah launched an attack on Israeli occupying forces, killing eight and capturing two others. The fact that a small resistance group was able to threaten one of the most powerful armies in the world is definitely an embarrassment for the latter. With its history of disproportionate firepower, Israel has not hesitated to pound the hell out of southern Lebanon and impose a ground, air, and sea blockade in an effort to isolate the Lebanese people from the outside world.
Some 47 Lebanese civilians--including at least two large families -- have been killed so far in a barrage of airstrikes and artillery, according to Lebanese television stations. News cameras filmed the charred, dismembered remains of one of the youngest victims, identified by a morgue official as a nine-month-old baby from the village of Dweir. (WP)
On the blockade:
Early on Thursday morning, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the runways at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, shutting the airport and potentially stranding thousands of visitors at the peak of the tourism season. The Israeli military confirmed the strike, saying that the airport was a target because Hezbollah receives weapons shipments there. Israel also announced that its navy would blockade Lebanon’s ports to cut off such shipments. (NYT)
The Bush administration of course reiterated the same line, accusing anyone of challenging Israel's occupation of terrorist activity. However, they stopped short of egging on the Israeli assault in order to save face in front of the rest of the world as they have been staunch supporters of the new "reform government" which is being threatened by this attack.
The United States called the attack a terrorist act, but officials appeared reluctant to see fighting wreck a country that has emerged as one of the success stories of Bush administration policy in the Middle East. At a news conference in Germany Thursday morning, President Bush said Israel has the right to defend itself and declared that Syria "needs to be held to account" for supporting and harboring Hezbollah.
This is what the Israeli occupation has accomplished just over the past week in Gaza according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights:
  • IOF kill 79 Palestinians, 76 of them in the Gaza Strip.
  • 19 children, 2 women, and 3 handicapped are among the dead.
  • University lecturer, his wife, and 7 of their children among the dead; a woman and 2 of her children among the dead.
  • 266 Palestinians, including 63 children and 14 females, were wounded by the IOF.
  • IOF conducted 47 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and reoccupied areas in the Gaza Strip.
  • 67 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a female, were arrested by IOF.
  • IOF use Palestinian human shields during operations in the Gaza Strip, and takes over several civilian houses.
  • 5 houses transformed by IOF into military sites.
  • 6 charitable societies in the West Bank were raided by IOF.
  • 250 families totaling nearly 2000 people flee their houses in Rafah and Beit Hanoun. UNRWA provides alternative shelters in its schools.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have imposed a tightened siege on the Gaza Strip; dozens of patients are stuck at Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border; IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 12 Palestinian civilians; IOF detained the Second Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council as he was attempting to travel through El-Karama Border Crossing with Jordan.
  • IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank; IOF started confiscated 45 dunums of agricultural land in southern Hebron.
  • In settler-related violence and crimes, a Palestinian house is set on fire in southern Hebron; and a settler road is renovated in the old city of Hebron.
This is the result of Israeli aggression for only one week in Gaza. In two days, Israel has killed nearly 50 Lebanese civilians, and nobody has defended their right to defend their people. Nothing, no human power in the world, appears to be willing nor able to stop the Israeli sponsored killing machine that plans to destroy everything in its path for the sake of a few occupying and murdering soldiers.

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July 12, 2006

Arriving in Jordan: Thoughts and Pictures

Well I did finally arrive in Jordan late last Wednesday night (Thursday morning to be exact) at around 1 am Amman time after leaving at 6 pm EST on Tuesday evening. I feel like I need to start another blog dedicated to my six week vacation in Jordan because there is so much I have to say about things here, and I haven’t even been here for a week. It’s not like this is the first time I’m here, or that I have been away for years. I was here last July and almost every summer before that since I can remember. Still, it’s different this time because I feel a little more “grown up” and also because I keep connecting everything I see to what I’ve been read on Jordanian blogs for the past 8 months. And finally, every time I notice things that bother me or amuse me about Jordan and Jordanians, I have an urge to run to my computer and blog about them, which isn’t something that I’ve experienced in past summers in Jordan.

Right now, I'm ecstatic because my grandparents' neighbor offered to hook me up to his wireless connection! Yes, wireless Internet access in Irbid, you gotta love it! This will definitely get me back up-to-date with my blogging which I have been missing terribly.

I'm trying my best to point out any positive changes I see in Jordan, but it is definitely hard. Wherever I look, I see people obsessed with their cell phones (err, sorry, "mobile" phones) and the latest ringtones. I hear negativity and see hopelessness. My cousins in college depressed me with stories of incompetence, disorganization, lack of motivation, and a slew of other problems facing my generation here in Jordan.

Nevertheless, I will remain optimistic as I still have a few weeks to explore new places and meet new people in Jordan which I hope will give me some hope for the future of this country.

Until then, I leave you with these pictures from the past week:

clouds from the plane window on the way to Amsterdam

the first i noticed when i left the airport in Amman were the carts thrown all over the parking lot, even though there was a designated area for them to be parked after use. look at how this car is parked totally wrong, and the cart is left in the middle of the parking lot.

the view of Jordan's hilly landscape on the way to Irbid

the usual trip to the traditional Arabic sweets store

sheep grazing across the street from our apartment. in Jordan, sheep receive priority when crossing the street and traveling across the city or village. it's not as common of a sight as it used to be, but I do enjoy seeing that this profession is still alive and well. i didn't, however, appreciate that some drivers are too crazy and in a hurry to give the herd a few minutes to cross. one taxi driver actually beeped at them, as if they would understand!

the view on University Street in Irbid the night of the World Cup; streets were closed to cars because of the heavy foot traffic as fans went out to celebrate the Italian win.

(click images to enlarge)

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July 4, 2006

Final Call for Flight To Amman

I'll be heading to the airport in an hour or so. There must be an easier way to travel, seriously. It's too tiring! Even though I travel half way across the world every year, I still find it fascinating that I will be crossing oceans and continents in a matter of hours (ok, they do need to speed things up, but still). It's a surreal feeling thinking that just yesterday you were in suburban Washington D.C. and the next you're in Amman, Jordan.

So I'm off, and I leave you with a picture of a gift I received recently from a friend who clearly understands my political tendencies :)

(click to enlarge)

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July 2, 2006

DC Demonstration Against Gaza Seige-Monday @ 5 PM

(I received this email from fellow Palestinian activists in the DC region)

End the Siege of
Demonstrate Against Israeli Violations
of Human Rights and International Law
5:00 – 6:30 P.M.
Dupont Circle in Washington, DC
All People of Good Conscience
Raise Your Voices – Bring Your Signs
Israel could not carry out its crimes against the Palestinian people without
YOUR tax dollars.

Humanitarian Crisis
Most of the population of Gaza's 1.4 million resident has been left without water and electricity. The destroyed power station provided power to the majority of Gaza's residents and supplied power essential to the functioning of the water system, sewage treatment, and medical treatment.
An estimated 72% of Palestinians are either unemployed or working without pay as the US-led sanctions against the Palestinian Authority proceed. The economic crisis in Gaza is particularly bleak, as movement restrictions and border closures imposed by Israel have prevented adequate humanitarian aid from reaching the majority of the population of Gaza . Officials have indicated that Gaza is only days away from a deadly humanitarian crisis.
While a great outcry is heard in the mass media about one captured Israeli soldier, the same media pays no attention to the 9,000 Palestinian political prisoners being held illegally under terrible conditions in Israeli prisons. At least 335 of these prisoners are children. Palestinian prisoners are systematically tortured by Israel , the only country in the world that has legalized torture.
Israel in Violation of International Law
Israeli is granted tacit approval by the international community for its policies of collective punishment while the US and EU implement sanctions against the Palestinian people. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides, "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."
Israel is using weapons supplied by the United States to target Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip in violation of the US Arms Export Control Act. We must hold Israel accountable for its abhorrent actions in the Gaza Strip and for the arrests of Palestinian government officials.

We must call attention to the fact that these grave violations of international law and human decency are funded by our US tax dollars and are carried out with the use of US military equipment. Israel receives more than $3,000,000,000 in military and economic aid from the US each year.

(You can also help by writing a letter to the UN and to the Arsenal football team which struck a deal to boost tourism in Israel, details from Ohoud)

I leave you with these words of wisdom from the great Martin Luther King, Jr.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Related Posts:
Summer Showers= Self Defense
Summer Showers: Israel Begins Pounding Gaza
Cold Blooded Murder? Yes! Legitimate Resistance? No!