Foreign Occupation “Servicemember” Killed Somewhere Or Other In Afghanistan:
Nationality Not Announced May 26, 2013 AP
A foreign servicemember died following a direct-fire insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan today.
Comments, arguments, articles, and letters from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication.Same address to unsubscribe.
Police Officer Brutally Beaten By Afghan Army Chief Of Staff’s Son
27 May 2013 By Sadaf Shinwari, Khaama Press
An Afghan police officer was brutally beaten by Afghan army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi’s son in Pul-e-Mohammad Khan area of capital Kabul on Saturday evening.
The police officer has suffered severe injuries and is currently admitted to a hospital for treatment.
The victim told reporters, “We were instructed today not to allow any vehicle inside the security belt without proper inspection. It was 6pm when Afghan army chief of staff, Sher Mohammad Karimi’s son entered the security built with a Toyota Corolla vehicle.”
He said, “We requested him to stop the vehicle and allow police to inspect his vehicle but he said that the whole city knows him.”
According to the police officer, Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi’s son called the ministry of defense following verbal clashes and two army vehicles arrived to the scene to support him.
He said around 18 Afghan army officers started beating him and he fell unconscious.
Afghan interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi confirmed the incident and said further details will be provided to media after investigations are completed.
Attack Injure District Governor In Northern Afghanistan 27 May 2013 By Meena Haseeb, Khaama Press
According to local authorities in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan, district governor for Darzab Rahmatullah Hashar was injured following an attack on Monday.
Hashar - oʻzbeklar, ayrim boshqa turkiy xalqlar orasida udumga aylangan ijtimoiy hamkorlik va begʻaraz yordam shakllaridan biri. Asosan, tezkorlik bilan bajarish zarur boʻlgan ishlar (hosilni zudlik bilan yigʻib olish) va katta mehnat talab insho-otlarni bunyod etish (kanal qazish, yoʻl va koʻpriklar qurish)da qoʻllangan. H.
The incident took place after a bomber detonated his explosives near a funeral ceremony attended by Darzad district governor.
Rahmatullah Ashar, Darzad district governor said he was injured along with an Afghan civilian an Afghan police officer following the attack. The main target of the bomber was Rahmatullah Hashar who was due to attend the funeral ceremony.
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. “For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852
The past year – every single day of it – has had its consequences. In the obscure depths of society, an imperceptible molecular process has been occurring irreversibly, like the flow of time, a process of accumulating discontent, bitterness, and revolutionary energy.
-- Leon Trotsky,“Up To The Ninth Of January”
“Especially After The 1968 Tet Offensive, Antiwar Sentiment Spread Widely Among The Combat Troops In Vietnam”
“The Main Activities Of Antiwar U.S. Servicepeople In Vietnam Were Not Peaceful Demonstrations”
“A 1975 Survey Revealed That 75% Of Vietnam Veterans Were Opposed To The War”
“There Is No Contemporaneous Evidence Of Any Antiwar Activists Spitting On Veterans” Excerpts from Vietnam And Other American Fantasies; H. Bruce Franklin; University Of Massachusetts Press; Amherst, 2000
The most serious occurred on April 14 at the base of Dau Tieng (east of Tay Ninh, north of Cu Chi), when a unit of the Third Brigade of the Fourth Infantry Division defied orders to proceed on a search-and-destroy mission near where another unit had been badly cut up. The commanding officer ordered other soldiers to fire on the rebels, who returned the fire. One report indicated dozens of men killed or wounded and three helicopters destroyed. As the Vietnam veteran and sociologist Jerry Lembcke has demonstrated in his invaluable 1998 book The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam, the vast majority of returning veterans characterized their reception as friendly.
There is no contemporaneous evidence of any antiwar activists spitting on veterans. The first allegations of such behavior did not appear until the late 1970s. The spat-upon veteran then became a mythic figure used to build support for military fervor and, later on, the Gulf War, but the myth has become so powerful that many veterans have now come to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that it actually happened to them personally.
Of course it is possible that isolated instances may have occurred. But if antiwar activists were frequently spitting on veterans or otherwise abusing them, why has nobody ever produced even the tiniest scrap of contemporaneous evidence? According to the myth, spitting on veterans was a regular custom as they arrived from Vietnam at the San Francisco and Los Angeles airports.
We are supposed to believe that these men just back from combat then meekly walked away without attacking or even reporting their persecutors, and that nobody else, including airport security officers, ever noticed what was going on. For there is not one press report, airport security report, police report, court record, diary entry, video shot, or photograph of a single incident at these airports or anywhere else.
How then to explain the belief now held by many veterans that they were indeed spat upon as they arrived from Vietnam at the San Francisco and Los Angeles airports?
The answer lies in the transformative power of collective national myth over individual memory.
The myth is so strong that it has even determined their memory of where they arrived, for they were flown back not to these civilian airports but to military bases closed to outsiders. And a 1975 survey revealed that 75 percent of Vietnam veterans were opposed to the war.
Especially after the 1968 Tet offensive, antiwar sentiment spread widely among the combat troops in Vietnam, where peace symbols and antiwar salutes became commonplace.
Some units even organized their own antiwar demonstrations to link up with the movement at home. For example, to join the November 1969 antiwar Mobilization, a unit stationed at Pleiku fasted against the war and boycotted the Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Of the 141 soldiers classified below the rank of specialist fifth class, only eight showed up for the traditional meal; this “John Turkey Movement” spread to units all over Vietnam.
When Bob Hope introduced General Creighton Abrams, commander of all U.S.
General (lot. generalis - umumiy, bosh) - qurolli kuchlardagi harbiy unvon (daraja). Dastlab, 16-a.da Fransiyada joriy qilingan. Rossiyada 17-a.ning 2-yarmidan maʼlum. Oʻzbekiston qurolli kuchlarida G.
forces in Vietnam, to the 30,000 troops assembled for a Christmas show at the sprawling Long Binh base, the entire throng leaped to their feet and held their hands high in the “V” salute of the peace movement.
“The Main Activities Of Antiwar U.S. Servicepeople In Vietnam Were Not Peaceful Demonstrations”.
But the main activities of antiwar U.S. servicepeople in Vietnam were not peaceful demonstrations.
An ongoing dilemma for the antiwar movement back home was the difficulty of finding ways to move beyond verbal protest and symbolic acts to deeds that would actually interfere with the conduct of the war. The soldiers in Vietnam had no such problem. Individual acts of rebellion, ranging from desertion and sabotage to injuring and even killing officers who ordered hazardous search-and-destroy missions, merged into mutinies and large-scale resistance. As early as the spring of 1967, sporadic small-scale mutinies were being reported in the French press but not in the U.S. media — except for the movement’s own press.
The most serious occurred on April 14 at the base of Dau Tieng (east of Tay Ninh, north of Cu Chi), when a unit of the Third Brigade of the Fourth Infantry Division defied orders to proceed on a search-and-destroy mission near where another unit had been badly cut up. The commanding officer ordered other soldiers to fire on the rebels, who returned the fire. One report indicated dozens of men killed or wounded and three helicopters destroyed. The base was sealed off and no outside personnel were admitted for three days. Combat refusal and outright mutinies spread rapidly after the Tet offensive in 1968. But news about this form of growing GI resistance was kept rather efficiently from most of the American public until August 1969, when correspondents reported firsthand on the unanimous battlefield refusal of a badly mauled infantry company to go back into combat.
During the next two years, the press published numerous reports of entire units refusing direct combat orders, and the public actually got to see two incidents of rebellion on network television.
“A Common And Less Conspicuous Method Of Killing Unpopular Officers: Rifle Fire Often In The Midst Of Combat”
Resistance took another form so widespread that it brought a new word into the English language: “fragging.”
Originally taking its name from fragmentation grenades but soon applied to any means of killing commissioned or noncommissioned officers, fragging developed its own generally understood customs, usages, and ethos.
Officers who aggressively risked or otherwise offended their men were customarily warned once or twice by a nonlethal grenade before being attacked with a booby-trapped or hurled grenade.
By mid-1972, the Pentagon was officially acknowledging 551 incidents of fragging with explosive devices, which had left 86 dead and more than 700 wounded. These figures were no doubt understated, and they did not include a common and less conspicuous method of killing unpopular officers: rifle fire often in the midst of combat.
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?
Forward Military Resistance along, or send us the email address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly with your best wishes. Whether in Afghanistan or at a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to injustices, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657.
May 29, 1932:
Betrayed Veterans March On Washington DC
The St. Louis contingent of the Bonus Expeditionary Force is pictured here as it starts for Washington, D.C., in May 1932.
Carl Bunin Peace History May 28-June 3
In the depths of the Great Depression, the “Bonus Expeditionary Force,” a group of 1,000 World War I veterans seeking cash payments for their veterans’ bonus certificates, arrived in Washington, D.C. By mid-June, they had set up a massive “Hooverville,” a contemporary term for an encampment of the homeless.
One month later, other veteran groups made their way to the nation’s capital, swelling the Bonus Marchers to nearly 20,000 strong, most of them unemployed veterans in difficult financial straits.
In direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, they were violently disbanded by the Army in July.
May 30, 1937:
The Memorial Day Massacre:
Chicago Police Cowards Murder Striking Steel Workers:
“All But Four Of The Fifty-Four Gunshot Wounds Were To The Side Or Back And One Victim Was Shot Four Times”
Carl Bunin Peace History May 28-June 3
1000 striking steel workers (and members of their families), on their way to picket at the Republic Steel plant in south Chicago where they were organizing a union, were stopped by the Chicago Police.
In what became known as the “Memorial Day Massacre,” police shot and killed 10 fleeing workers, wounded 30 more, and beat 55 so badly they required hospitalization.
The Memorial Day Massacre of 1937 uhigh.ilstu.edu [Excerpts]
The 1930s was a period of economic unrest for the United States. Following the prosperous “roaring twenties”, the Great Depression hit the general population hard. Many employees were fired and those who were not lost much of their former salary.
Then, in 1933, as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the National Recovery Act was passed. One of its most important concessions to laborers was the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.
The number of strikes nationwide grew to the highest amount in American history.
When the National Recovery Act was declared unconstitutional in 1935, Congress was still sympathetic to the young labor unions that had been formed under it. They soon passed the Wagner Act, or National Labor Relations Act, to reassert the rights of the laborers.
By the 1930s the steel industry had survived much adversity, yet there were still changes to come.
The Committee for Industrial Organization, (CIO), was founded in November 1935.
Encouraged by the CIO, the steel industry became one of the first to begin organizing under the Wagner Act. Accordingly, on June 17, 1936 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, (SWOC), was created.
The industry itself did not accept this movement.
Many companies began to stock up on tear-gas, firearms, and ammunition as well as, refining their espionage and police systems. After a long struggle for further organization and acceptance within the steel industry, the United States Steel Corporation, (the leading producer of steel, dubbed “Big Steel”), signed an agreement recognizing SWOC. This contract allowed for five dollar a day wages in addition to a 40-hour week with time-and-a-half for overtime. By May 1937, there were 110 firms under contract.
Still, some companies refused to sign. In response, SWOC called its first strike involving 25,000 workmen against Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation. Thirty-six hours later, the corporation agreed to a Labor Board election. The union won 17,028 to 7,207.
Despite this enormous victory, a combination of “Little Steel” companies including Bethlehem Steel, Republic Steel, Inland Steel, and Youngstown Sheet & Tube, refused to sign.
Their leaders had strong anti-union attitudes and felt that the U.S. steel decision to “surrender” to SWOC was a betrayal. Tom Girdler, chairman of the Board of Republic Steel, was one particularly influential anti-union spokesperson.
The company anticipated a strike so they placed a stockpile of industrial munitions at various plants of Republic Steel. Then, on May 26, 1937, SWOC decided to strike three of the “Little Steel” companies: Republic, Youngstown Sheet & Tube, and Inland. Most of the plants ceased production during the strike; they were willing to wait it out because the steelworkers’ union strike benefits were meager.
Picket lines were set up at these plants to prevent any attempt to reopen them.
However, Republic Steel remained defiant and refused to close all of its plants. They even housed non-union workers in the plant, so they could continue working without the hassle of picket lines outside.
One of these plants was the Republic Steel South Chicago Plant.
One half of this plant’s 2,200 employees had joined the strike. When the walkout began on May 26, the police interfered in an attempt to prevent other non-committed workers from joining the cause.
The SWOC organizers attempted to form a picket line in front of the gate.
Police Captain James Mooney, despite the fact that the picketers were peaceful, broke up the line and arrested 23 people who refused to move. The rest were forced to 117th Street, 2 blocks from the plant.
Because of this action, the police no longer played an impartial role in the strike. Instead, they were clearly supportive of Republic.
Strike headquarters were established in Sam’s Place, at 113th and Green Bay Avenue.
Chicago mayor, Edward J. Kelley, announced in the Chicago Tribune that peaceful picketing would be permitted.
In response to this article, the strikers attempted to establish pickets, but were turned away.
On the next day, at around 5:00 PM, another attempt was made to picket. The marchers marched from Sam’s Place to 117th Street. There were a few policemen present, but the marchers continued west towards Burley Avenue.
Once the marchers reached Buffalo the police line had strengthened a great deal. The workers continued and fighting broke out. The police used clubs to fight the workers back. A few had drawn revolvers without orders and discharged them in the air. No one was killed, but there were several bloody heads.
May 28 was a quiet day, but the marchers were upset with police actions.
Nick Fontecchio, a Union leader, called for a mass meeting at Sam’s Place the next day, Memorial Day Sunday. Captain Mooney received an anonymous report that on Sunday an attempt would be made to invade the plant to drive out the remaining non-union workers. He did not check the rumor, but proceeded to station 264 policemen on duty at the Republic Steel Mill.
By 3:00 p.m. on May 30, 1937, a crowd of around 1500 strikers had gathered. It was a sunny, warm day with the temperature at around 88 degrees. Many of the union members and supporters had brought along their wives and children to join in this almost festive gathering organized by SWOC leader Joe Hunt. Several speakers addressed various labor issues most importantly, the right to organize and picket. Some resolutions were approved to send to government officials concerning police conduct at the Republic plant. It was then moved to march to the plant and establish a mass picket.
When this was approved about 1000 people went into formation behind two American flags. Instead of marching south down Green Bay Avenue, they turned onto a dirt road across an open prairie chanting, “CIO, CIO!”
When the police, saw this they moved their position from 117th street between Green Bay and Burley Avenue to across the dirt road, just north of 117th on Burley.
The 200 police were in double file and watched the approaching marchers with their clubs drawn. The Republic mill had armed some of the officers with non-regulation clubs and tear gas.
The marchers met the police line and demanded that their rights to picket be recognized by the police letting them through.
They were “commanded in the name of the law to disperse”, but the picketers persisted. This continued for several minutes. While marchers armed themselves with rocks and branches, foul language was passed between the two parties. Tension was mounting.
Recording all of this was cameraman Orland Lippert. Unfortunately, he was changing lenses at the start of the actual violence. This has caused some dispute as to which side initiated the fighting. The following account, determined at the hearings under Senator Robert LaFollette, is generally accepted.
Police were trying to prevent marchers from outflanking their line.
As some strikers began to retreat a stick flew from the back of the line towards the police. Instantaneously, tear gas bombs were thrown at the marchers.
The next few moments were total chaos.
More objects were thrown at the police by the marchers.
Acting without orders, several policemen in the front drew their revolvers and fired point blank at the marcher’s ranks, many of whom were beginning to retreat. The actual shooting only continued for fifteen seconds, but the violence did not end there. Using their clubs, the police beat anyone in their paths, including women and children. During this time, arrests were also made. Patrol wagons were filled to twice the mandated capacity of 8 prisoners. The injured were not even taken directly to local hospitals. As a result of this atrocity, four marchers were fatally shot and six were mortally wounded. Thirty others suffered gunshot wounds. Thirty-eight were hospitalized due to injuries from the beatings and still thirty more required other medical treatment.
It is noteworthy that all but four of the fifty-four gunshot wounds were to the side or back and one victim was shot four times. There were minor police casualties with thirty-five reported injuries, (no gunshot wounds), but only three needed overnight hospital care.
After the riot, sympathetic strikers fervently protested the police brutality. On the other hand, the press, especially the Chicago Tribune, portrayed the marchers as communist conspirators who had essentially attacked the police and attempted to throw out non-union workers.
The LaFollette Committee investigated this tragedy and came to four conclusions.
First, the police had no right to limit the number of peaceful pickets and that the march was not aimed at freeing remaining plant workers.
Second, the police should have halted the march with limited violence, if this action is even justifiable.
Third, the force used by the police was excessive and the marcher’s only methods of provocation were abusive language and throwing of isolated missiles.
Fourth, the police could have avoided the bloodshed.
In addition to those killed in the Memorial Day Massacre, 6 other union members lost their lives in pickets of the “Little Steel” strike of 1937. In fact, the “Little Steel” strike is surpassed by few in the areas of viciousness, press distortion, suppression of rights, and police brutality. The strike was called off when the many hardships suffered began to demoralize union workers. However, in August of 1941, under legal pressure, the Little Steel companies agreed to cease the committing of unfair labor practices. A year later, they signed their first contract recognizing the new union, United Steelworkers of America.
The massacre has been referred to as the “blackest day of modern labor history”, but the sacrifices of these workers were not in vain. Little Steel had only delayed the inevitable march of unionism in America.
Strangers In Their Own Land:
“Eyal Is A Constant Reminder Of The Degree To Which Every Aspect Of These Peoples’ Lives, Work And Travel Is Dictated By The Relentless Israeli Project To Make Life As Difficult As Possible For All Palestinians”
Huwwara Checkpoint, one of many Israeli checkpoints and closures that restrict the movement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and have been compared to the apartheid pass system. Photo: whale.to/b/israeli_apartheid.
May 16, 2013 By Sam Gilbert, The Palestine Monitor [Excerpts]
The sun has not yet risen on Eyal checkpoint in the northwestern city of Qalqilya.
Already hundreds of Palestinians queue up and wait to cross into Israel and begin the workweek.
In the coming hours, roughly four thousand Palestinians from the Qalqilya region and the northern West Bank will pass through the encaged L-shaped corral, through the single turnstile all destined for work in Israel’s cities and towns.
Erak 42-year-old Erak is eating his breakfast and drinking his morning coffee, each purchased from one of the many makeshift food vendors that line the road leading up to the checkpoint. Noticeably tired but relentlessly friendly, Erak describes a routine that echoes the lives of many of the Palestinians waiting to cross over.
From Sunday through Thursday, Erak arrives at Eyal checkpoint no later than 3am. The early arrival is required due to the long waits (up to 3 hours) and subsequent bus ride which ferries Palestinians to their respective places of employment. Erak’s home, wife and four kids are in Jericho, a two-hour bus drive that compels Erak to stay in Qalqilya district during the week, away from his family.
Each night he returns to Qalqilya at 5pm from his job in Tel Aviv, a fourteen-hour day that begins and ends at the same Israeli checkpoint that so many Palestinians are required to navigate in order to seek better wages. This brutal schedule has been created by a situation all too familiar throughout the West Bank, where an elaborate system of physical and administrative obstacles restricts the movement of Palestinians both within and outside of the occupied Palestine territories.
Fawis It is almost 6 am and Fawis is at the on the edge of a large and increasingly impatient crowd of Palestinians pushing and sometimes climbing over one another to gain entry to the turnstile. A private Israeli Security officer remotely controls the passage of Palestinians through the gate, buzzing each man in one by one.
As the morning progresses the speed in which the workers are allowed through has slowed considerably. As Fawis talks, an Israeli officer barks instructions over the loudspeaker, denying entrance to those who do not have the proper paperwork.
Fawis is a 61-year-old resident of Qalqilya who works construction in Tel Aviv. Fawis spoke about the frustration and hardship of this life.
“Every day at least 13-hours from when I wake up to when I get back home. Sometime I wait three hours to get into Israel. When you come back to the house you take shower then go to sleep. Next day it’s the same thing.”
Fawis worked in Qalqilya and Ramallah for years, but as work became harder to find he sought out employment in Israel. When asked about the reason for working in Israel, Fawis spoke about the increasingly difficult conditions in Qalqilya. “I tell you life is not easy, too hard, the life is very expensive now, the money is not enough here.
“Fourteen years ago, it was different but now here we have few other choices. Israel is (strangling) Palestine. “We don’t have anything in Palestine, we buy only their food, their products.”
Fawis has his Palestinian ID, magnetic identification card and his work permit, which he explained were required for him to enter into Israel to work. Fawis’s Israeli issued work permit is for only three months, requiring him to go through the often torturous process of getting a new one when his runs out. When asked about this process, Fawis lamented, “it is difficult. Sometimes you wait 2 weeks, one month or even three to get your permit and sometimes you don’t get one at all. Each time it is different.“
The checkpoints and the permit regime instill an anxious uncertainty in Palestinians, where control over their basic livelihood is left to chance and their very movement controlled by an occupying power.
In cities like Qalqilya, who have felt more acutely than others the dramatic economic effects of occupation, work in Israel is a necessity, even if the process of getting there is arduous and dehumanizing.
As Fawis put it, “All I have is the work, it is not easy being over there but I have to work.”
Qalqilya The Qalqilya district, where Fawis is from, is considered one of the most agriculturally fertile in the West Bank. In the past, the region prospered as many Israelis and Palestinians came to the general market in Qalqilya to buy produce that was grown in the surrounding land.
All that changed during the second intifada in 2000 when Israel instituted the system of restrictions on Palestinian movement, culminating in the construction of the “security barrier.”
In 2003 Israel completed the section of the illegal barrier that now encircles the city on four sides, with one checkpoint and one “fabric of life” road allowing Palestine access into and out of the city.
The route of the wall separates the district into isolated districts, cutting off cities and towns from one another. Like much of the wall that resides inside Palestine (85%), the route of the “security barrier” in Qalqiya was designed to encompass and physically annex large settlement blocks that dot the district, becoming the de-facto border of Israel proper.
When the wall was completed around Qalqilya, 50% of the city’s agricultural land was confiscated, nearly 1000 acres.
The majority of the agricultural land in the district is located in area C or in the seam zone between the green line and the separation wall. These areas, which are under direct control by the Israeli military, can only be accessed through a series of Israeli controlled agricultural gates and only by those who have a permit to do so.
According to B’Tselem’s “Arrested Development” report on the impact of the separation barrier, these restrictions on farmers access to their lands has had a dramatic affect on the economy of the region. Many farmers were forced to abandon high profit crops that require daily cultivation and the severe restrictions of movement have made access to markets for perishable goods increasingly difficult.
Furthermore, the seizure of thousands of acres of land to establish settlements, without compensation to the farmers, has only exacerbated the problem. The cumulative effect has been that, in Qalqilya district, unemployment in 2009 was at 23.4 percent, the highest in the West Bank.
Much like Gaza, Qalqilya is under economic siege by the Israeli occupation. The construction of the barrier and placement of the two checkpoints has led to the closing of some 622 businesses in Qalqilya city.
By 2006 Israeli restrictions on new construction made the population density in the city the highest in Palestine, higher even than Gaza city. These conditions have pushed many Palestinians to work in Israel even as the process of doing so has become increasingly difficult.
7:30 Eyal checkpoint Eyal is a wholly different place in the light of day. The throngs of Palestinians have gone, the vendors are packed up; all that is left is the series of fences, gates and towers that dominate the area.
Walking back through the city you can see the metropolis of Tel Aviv in the distance where both Fawis and Erak will be laboring in the months to come.
Unfortunately their plight is not unique, the hardships faced by Palestinians at Eyal checkpoint and Qalqilya in general are products of a system of Israeli control that is part of so many lives in the occupied territories.
Eyal is a constant reminder of the degree to which every aspect of these peoples’ lives, work and travel is dictated by the relentless Israeli project to make life as difficult as possible for all Palestinians.
Yet in the midst of this hardship, I recall what Fawis said at the end of our conversation. “This life is hard, but I am a Palestinian! I would never leave and maybe one day when I am very old, all this (as he points to the checkpoint) will be gone.”
Fawis returns to the restless crowd of Palestinians waiting at the gate.
The light on top of the turnstile turns from red to green allowing one more body to pass into Israel.
And while much of the daily lives of these men and women is controlled by an occupying power, people like Fawis will continue to hold out hope that life can and will change for the people of Palestine.
“The Prisoners’ Diaries Is A Distressing Fragment Of Testimonies From Palestinians Whose Deterioration In Israeli Jails Has Become A Fact Of Life”
“Estranged Families, Poverty, Illness, Death And The Metaphor Of Time Experienced As A Perpetual Waiting And Loathed Dependence On An Entity Responsible For The Deterioration Of Life”
20 May 2013 Review by Ramona Wadi, The Middle East Monitor
Author: Norma Hashim
Paperback: 125 pages
Publisher: Islamic Human Rights Commission
Edited and published during the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, The Prisoners’ Diaries is a distressing fragment of testimonies from Palestinians whose deterioration in Israeli jails has become a fact of life, rather than a blatant violation of human rights.
The resilience against the occupation and a lack of global outrage against torture and apartheid practices resonated with irregular frequencies within the international community, as leaders relegate human rights to the vestiges of redundant diplomacy.
As the epitomes of the hunger strike, Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawna, seem to have faded from public scrutiny, this book serves as a reminder of the reality experienced by hundreds of prisoners who have, at some point, been incarcerated and subjected to torture in Israeli prisons.
The brief narrations manage to dissolve the facade of statistics and portray the humanitarian aspect - estranged families, poverty, illness, death and the metaphor of time experienced as a perpetual waiting and loathed dependence on an entity responsible for the deterioration of life as envisaged by the occupying power.
The intricate web of dependence is portrayed as a primary source facilitating physical and psychological torture.
Apart from the notorious practice of administrative detention, which manipulates the essence of hope, dependence upon an oppressive regime responsible for atrocities distorts the whole concept of safeguarding one’s personal wellbeing.
Medical neglect is one of the most commonly cited forms of torture, with prisoners reporting being treated with painkillers instead of being administered the appropriate treatment.
Others have reported being traumatised by the gloating of doctors over operations for malignant diseases.
A particular testimony by Ahmad Alnajjar describes the humiliating predicament.
"I was like a wounded man telling predators of his pain." Akram Mansour’s complaints of pain became a source of psychological torture - apart from delaying medical investigations, the prison doctor informed him that ‘deadly cancer had invaded my head’.
After going on hunger strike as a form of protest against negligence and torture; a proper check-up ruled out the possibility of cancer.
Family constraints are evident in almost all the narrations.
Dependence upon Israel to issue a visiting permit has rendered communication almost negligible.
Resorting to letters, as one prisoner explained, is perceived as the only shield against insanity and endless waiting - a means through which the connection with the world beyond incarceration is retained.
Prisoners recall the dissolution of family life since the time of arrest through various imposed measures - the destruction of family property, death of children following severe psychological trauma, the offers of exile as a means of permanent separation and the forced separation of children in different orphanages following the detention of both parents.
Another form of isolation, which resonates amongst the collective, is the threats to ‘exile’ Palestinian prisoners from the Occupied Palestinian Territories to Gaza - a move perceived as aiming to fragment the identity of Palestinians into that of estranged, separate factions.
It is evident from these narrations that the isolation from the family nucleus, as well as from the frontlines of the resistance has created a new form of endurance, in which the struggle against violence in Israeli jails became another link attributed to Palestinian resilience.
There is an acknowledgement of violence by detainees, regarding their precarious and at times, deadly missions, in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
Alongside the acknowledgement is the question of legitimacy, which is intertwined in the historical struggle of Palestinians.
The vociferous condemnations against Palestinian violence resemble a perpetual echo, which in turn legitimises Israel’s illegal occupation and its violations of international law.
The main source of violence, before armed resistance formed part of the Palestinian struggle, was the international approval of Israeli independence, which enforced a web of isolation upon Palestinians in order to enshrine Zionist ideology and its repercussions.
In turn, this acknowledgement of violence brings the Western caricature of Palestinians into the equation.
The oppressed population does not enter the configuration of international governmental organisations.
Palestinian prisoners are classified as ‘terrorists’ by international leaders, thus reinforcing Israel’s necessary propaganda to ensure the survival of the ‘Jewish state’.
The book dispels the ‘terrorists’ myth, depicting, through the detainees’ own recollections, a sliver of life under occupation which rendered armed resistance a necessity.
This phenomenon is perhaps best viewed through the coverage of corporate media regarding the capture of Gilad Shalit and the subsequent negotiations which secured his release and that of over a thousand of Palestinian prisoners.
Israeli violence is legitimised by the media, on the pretext of security concern. Palestinian armed resistance is equated to terrorism, despite the fact that the need for security is an issue which goes back to the initial dispossession.
The book includes statistical information about Palestinian detainees, stating that around a fifth of the entire Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been incarcerated.
Despite 645 complaints of torture and ill treatment, not a single investigation has been instigated.
While activists and supporters of the Palestinian cause will undoubtedly be outraged by the atrocities narrated in this book, it would serve as an incentive for international leaders and organisations clamouring for human rights to reconsider and reconcile themselves with the universality of such themes.
The discrepancy between the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights and actual practice has become a source of contention and hypocrisy which needs to be addressed, lest the document is transformed into the proof of moral degeneration to safeguard imperial and regional interests.
What A Surprise!
“Israel Is One Of The Least Popular Countries In The World; The Only States Less Popular Are North Korea, Pakistan And Iran”
May 25, 2013 Haaretz [Excerpt]
According to BBC World Service’s annual poll, Israel is one of the least popular countries in the world; the only states less popular are North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.
Only 21 percent of participants had a positive view on Israel, while 52 percent viewed the country unfavorably.
Iran, in comparison, won the favorable opinion of 15 percent of those who answered the survey, while 59 percent viewed it unfavorably.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Enemy Occupation Troops Beat Wheelchair-Bound Man Waiting For A Bus:
“The Officers Maced Him In The Face And Proceeded To Throw Him Out Of His Chair”
“While On The Ground, He Was Kicked, Punched And Kneed By Police”
“He Sustained Broken And Fractured Ribs, Numbness In His Hands, Neck Injuries, Internal Injuries And Cuts On His Wrists”
In a video shot by a young man who witnessed the event, two Rochester police officers are shown dragging Warr from his wheelchair and repeatedly kicking and punching him while he lay on the ground. To add insult to injury, Warr is now being charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. May 23, 2013 Socialist Worker. Brian Erway, Anna Grohens, Rochester Indymedia, Ream Kidane and Greg Morin contributed to this article.
MORE THAN 100 neighborhood residents and community allies gathered May 18 at the corner of Bartlett Street and Jefferson Avenue in Rochester, N.Y., to protest the savage police beating of wheelchair-bound Benny Warr at that same intersection nearly three weeks prior.
On May 1, Warr sat in his wheelchair waiting for the bus near his home in a predominantly Black neighborhood on the city’s west side when a Rochester police cruiser rolled up to the intersection. The officers exited the car and told Warr, using expletives, to move on. Warr responded by saying he was only waiting for the bus.
The officers then maced him in the face and proceeded to throw him out of his chair, according to Warr. While on the ground, he was kicked, punched and kneed by police. He was then placed in handcuffs and sat for nearly two hours until he eventually received medical treatment at Strong Memorial Hospital. He sustained broken and fractured ribs, numbness in his hands, neck injuries, internal injuries and cuts on his wrists.
In a video shot by a young man who witnessed the event, two Rochester police officers are shown dragging Warr from his wheelchair and repeatedly kicking and punching him while he lay on the ground. To add insult to injury, Warr is now being charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. According to neighborhood residents, the Rochester Police Department regularly does "clearings" of this busy intersection, telling residents that they are no longer allowed to be in the area. When asked about the incident during a radio interview, Rochester’s Police Chief James Sheppard responded by saying, "We’re doing what they want us to do," referring to requests made by the neighborhood business association.
Residents and community members reject Sheppard’s justifications.
"I’m outraged," said Felicia Abrams, a close friend of the Warr family, of the constant police presence.
"I have a son who is 29 and is always getting harassed. He tells me all the time, ‘The harassment breaks you down.’ It’s all about their power trip."
Bree Ross, Warr’s niece, added, "Who do you go to when the police are the ones engaging in disorderly conduct?" Warr’s sister denounced the lack of accountability for police violence. "I took an oath to protect lives," she said. "I’m a nurse. My job is to save people’s lives. They took an oath too. The police officer’s job is to protect us. If I screw up and give the wrong medication, I lose my job. If they beat someone up, kill someone, they keep their jobs as if nothing happened!"
Kevin Holley, who grew up with Benny, said, "I’ve lived here 50 plus years, okay? We hustlin’ in other ways, not like they say we are. We clear trash, cutting grass on the corner and the cops come and harass us for that all the time. What’s up with that?"
There was not a cop in sight during the entire gathering on May 18, which lasted for more than two hours. Several speakers took note of this, enthusiastically embracing a vision of what the neighborhood could look like--coming together without the cops’ menacing presence, replaced with the solidarity of residents standing together.
Benny has plead not guilty to the charges, and the community will again mobilize when he returns to court on May 30.
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