HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Want to feel less discouraged about the disarray and violence in the world? Then join a protest movement, say Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, a pro-peace group originally organized by mothers against war.
I have pondered lately about the world’s need for poet-journalists. (The hyphen is key here.) There are many great journalists who venture into terra incognita in order to tell the true stories of the victims of war, violence, poverty, ignorance, disease. Some of them, placing themselves “in the line of fire,” have been “killed in action,”– sometimes by “friendly fire”– while “just doing their jobs.” And, there are poets and artists in America who eschew the ease and comforts of an academic position– the foundation grants, the sinecures– because they are driven to sing their unique songs while they live– come hell or high water! (“There is some $#@& I will not eat!” wrote e.e. cummings).
“More Palestinians Killed by Drones Alone in eight DAYS than Israelis Killed by rockets in eight YEARS”
Two-thirds of Palestinians killed by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) drones in the November, 2012 attack on Gaza were civilians. This statistic means that for the residents of Gaza, the ground-breaking investigation by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights into the civilian impact and human rights implications of the use of drones and other forms of targeted killing is very important.
Data taken from reports of two human rights groups in Gaza documented that, of the 162 Palestinians killed during the eight-day attack, drone strikes killed 36 and injured 100. 24 of the 36 killed in Gaza by Israeli drones were civilians. Drone strikes (72) were 5 percent of the total Israeli military strikes (1,350) but accounted for 23 percent of the deaths in Gaza, a very high percentage of deaths from the number of drone strikes when compared with deaths from strikes of jet warplanes, artillery and naval bombardment.
Writing an Op-ed in The Jerusalem Post in November of 2012, Gilad Sharon, the son of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, said:
“We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima — the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.
“There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing.”
The footage ‘This is my Home’ is from Jabaliya, Gaza taken on November 30, 2012 just after Israel’s Pillar of Cloud operation.
In the process of destroying entire Gazan neighborhoods and severely disrupting the lives and dreams of the residents, the IDF pride themselves on having dropped warning leaflets and using ‘non-lethal’ dummy bombs as precautionary measures.
Scenes like this one in Jabaliya can be seen all over Gaza.
When asked why he felt his neighborhood was targeted, a Jabilya resident and young university professor responded, “for pure propaganda just to terrorize the people here.
And terrifying us will only bring violence. As the saying, ‘violence by violence, peace by peace.’”
Abdallah Mohammad Marouf (18) on his bed at Kamal Udwan Hospital. On the morning of the 21st of January he was working in the north of the Gaza Strip, scavenging construction materials around 250 meters away from the border fence when the Israeli Army opened fire on him. He received a direct impact on his leg, that broke both the shinbone and the splintbone and left a massive exit wound. He will not be able to walk and work properly for the next twelve months.
A ceasefire was announced on 21st November, ending eight days of horrific bloodshed in Gaza. Has the delicate truce held over the past two months? It depends who you ask. Israelis or Gazans, each going about their daily lives on opposite sides of a border fence.
There has not been a single report of a rocket fired out of Gaza since 21st November. In contrast, four Palestinians have lost their lives and over 80 have been injured by Israeli forces since then. Yet these violations have received little or no coverage in the mainstream media. Palestinian civilians, whose only crime is to live in the border areas, are terrorized on a daily basis by the Israeli army. This is what everyday life under the ceasefire has meant for them.
A farmer from Khuza´a pointing at his land, that was bulldozed by the Israeli Army last week. During those days, the army made incursions on Palestinian land along the Gaza Strip with tanks, bulldozers and infantry units; with heavy shooting reported in areas such as Rafah, Khan Yunis and Beit Lahiya. This incursions are considered a clear violation of the recent ceasefire agreement by Palestinian officials. Since the truce was brokered on 21st of November, four Palestinians have been killed, and dozens have been injured by Israeli gunfire.
At about 8.30pm on Tuesday 15th January, Israeli tanks and military bulldozers breached the border adjacent to the village of Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis and intruded inside the Gaza Strip. The incursion into Palestinian farmland continued through the night and added to the long list of Israeli ceasefire violations.
Heavy shooting was reported during the assault but fortunately there were no injuries on this occasion. Also, explosions were heard but no homes were damaged. Terrified locals contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross but were told that the Israeli military wouldn’t listen to anyone.
Israeli shell fired at Khuza’a, Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. Photo- Desde Palestina
December 29th marks the 122nd anniversary of the Massacre at Wounded Knee. It is a story that remains fresh in the lives of many indigenous peoples across America. Each generation is taught to never forget.
In 1891, reviewing the history leading up to the massacre, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Thomas Morgan said,
“It is hard to overestimate the magnitude of the calamity which happened to the Sioux people by the sudden disappearance of the buffalo. The boundless range was to be abandoned for the circumscribed reservation, and abundance of plenty to be supplanted by limited and decreasing government subsistence and supplies. Under these circumstances it is not in human nature not to be discontented and restless, even turbulent and violent.”
“The problems started for me at eighteen,” Madleen Kulab said quietly, sitting just meters from the shore of the Mediterranean. “The police and port authorities did not want me to sail as a woman.” Though Madleen has emerged from this recent challenge, receiving a permanent permission to fish from the Gazan Interior Ministry, this is not the first hardship she has stared down and overcome in her lifetime.
As Gaza’s only professional fisherwoman, Madleen’s sailing career began at an early age. Her father, Mahrous Kulab, taught her how to fish from the time she was six years old. “I went with my father from six years to thirteen. Our boat had no engine at that time,” she remembered with a certain fondness. At thirteen, Madleen personally made the decision to carry on fishing and support her family when her father’s legs were paralyzed from a form of palsy. Her father initially refused to allow her to go alone, but having no other viable means to support the family, he conceded.