writings by Joshua Brollier

On United States Intervention in Syria: Remember a Few Things

August 28, 2013

To those who think the United States should intervene in Syria,

Remember this is the same United States which;

• is still deeply involved in two failed wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan that have lasted for over a decade without coming to a conclusion.

• is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not over a million Iraqis and Afghans through aerial bombardments, night raids, artillery shelling, ground missions and genocidal sanctions.

• used depleted uranium and white phosphorous munitions in Iraq leading to a sharp increase in cancerous birth defects in areas like Fallujah.

knowingly aided Saddam Hussein with intelligence while being completely aware that he was using chemical weapons against Iran.

No More Truthless Heroes

Photo-Larry W. Smith European Pressphoto Agency   New York Times Photo-Larry W. Smith European Pressphoto Agency New York Times

…We see ourselves as the shining “city on a hill” and therefore a U.S. citizen who kills people in other lands becomes an unquestionably renowned hero. This must appear offensive and ridiculous to many people living beyond U.S. borders…

…Glorifying Chris Kyle’s story integrally connects to U.S. media and military efforts to affect public perception of ongoing warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as expanding war on terror policies which the Obama administration is aggressively attempting to institutionalize…

Gaza’s Only Fisherwoman Continues to Sail

Madleen Kulab Madleen Kulab

December 26, 2012

“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.

Connection to the Land Cannot Not Be Broken

Mohammed and Ahmed Qdeih Dec 15, 2012    Photo- Maher AlaaMohammed and Ahmed Qdeih Dec 15, 2012 Photo- Maher Alaa

The struggle for land rights near the Gaza border

December 15th, 2012

Gaza City-Yesterday in al-Faraheen, Gaza, Israeli Occupation Forces shot and wounded an unarmed 22 year old farmer, Mohammed Qdeih, from behind. Mohamed and nine others went out to their fields in the early afternoon, walking approximately 250 meters from the Israeli border. Within minutes, two heavily armed Israeli military jeeps rushed to the security fence. They issued a warning for the farmers and residents to leave the area and shortly thereafter the Palestinians, intimidated by the heavy military presence, began to head back to the village of Abasan. The soldiers were not satisfied and opened fire, piercing Mohamed’s right arm from the backside. Israeli forces continued to shoot rounds of live ammunition while Mohamed and the others frantically evacuated and waited for an ambulance. Another young Palestinian, 19, was shot yesterday near the border in Jabaliya.

Israeli forces fire on Gaza Farmers and Internationals in Khuza’a

December 12th, 2012
By International Solidarity Activists

Gaza- Israeli forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at unarmed farmers and international solidarity activists working in Khuza’a, a small village outside of Khan Younis located near the Israeli border. At 10:30 AM, the farmers arrived and began to plough approximately 100 meters from the separation fence while internationals lined up in between the border and the farmers. They were quickly met by an Israeli military jeep and transport vehicle. An Israeli soldier issued a warning in Arabic to leave the area and then fired two rounds into the air. The farmers and internationals remained calm and continued their work and the Israeli soldiers left the area.

Israeli soldier aiming Israeli soldier aiming

At around 11 AM, approximately 20 Palestinians and farmers gathered around 300 meters back from the fence. Two military jeeps returned to the area. One soldier exited his vehicle and fired four shots in the direction of the farmers and activists. The fourth shot crossed the line of the activists and landed in the field being ploughed. Again, the Palestinians and internationals were not deterred. The Israeli jeeps left and the farmers finished working on this section of land and moved on to an adjacent plot.

Gazan Farmers at Work in Kuzaa

Planting wheat in KuzaaPlanting wheat in Kuzaa

December 10th, 2012

Today, Gazan farmers from Kuzaa, a small village near Khan Younis, worked on their land in defiance of Israeli military harassment. Farmers ploughed approximately seven dunams and then sewed wheat in a plot that they had previously been denied access to before the November 21st, 2012 ceasefire. The farmers successfully worked up to 100 meters from the separation fence. The Israeli military arbitrarily designates this area as a restricted military buffer zone, otherwise known as the “kill zone.” According to the workers, they have not been able to farm on this specific plot of land for the past ten years. Formerly an orchard, Israeli forces bulldozed the field multiple times during military incursions and regularly shoots at farmers who attempt to work there.

Left Speechless

Walid al Nassasra Stands next to the Former Home of His Brother near Rafah: photo by Johnny BarberWalid al Nassasra Stands next to the Former Home of His Brother near Rafah: photo by Johnny Barber

…Sitting with families over the past week, most of whom have “facts on the ground” and stories every degree as distressing as that of Dr. Majdi Na’eim’s tragic loss of his son, I have often felt a complete lack of words. What can one say when visiting the home and farm of Walid and Tawqfiq al Nassasra, Bedouin farmers and brothers living near Rafah? On November 19th at 10 PM, an Israeli war plane targeted Tawqfiq’s tin-roof home. The house was completely destroyed leaving a massive crater in the ground. Tawqfiq’s two teenage sons, Ahmed and Mohamed, were both killed. They did not suffer any bone fractures. The pressure from the bomb caused their internal organs to explode. It is amazing there were any survivors. Tawqfiq is still hospitalized, while his wife was blinded and his young daughter was severely burned. What apologies will matter to the wife or daughter, who are now permanently disfigured and disabled, whose tearful gazes pierced our lifeless cameras and shredded our notebooks full of numbers and statistics?…

Refusing to Acquiesce in Gaza

Ahmed Suleman Ateya standing next to his destroyed home in Gaza: Photo-Johnny Barber Ahmed Suleman Ateya standing next to his destroyed home in Gaza: Photo-Johnny Barber

November 30th, 2012

Gaza City-The past few days have been harrowing, yet still deeply inspiring in Gaza as people in the strip must carry on with their lives after the Israeli army’s deadly 8 day offensive operation “Pillar of Cloud” which killed at least 160 Palestinians and left over 1000 wounded, many of them severely. To “carry on” in Gaza does not mean returning to predictable routines or a reasonable set of expectations of calmness in what amounts to everyday life in most parts of the world. This is exceptionally true for Palestinian fishermen who return to the daily struggle with the Israeli Navy to fish in waters that are rightfully theirs.

There has been no ceasefire for these men who bravely attempt to exercise not only their legal rights, but perhaps more urgently, the human right to fulfill the most basic of needs, such as feeding their families and paying rent. Since November 26th, 2012, 15 fishermen have been arrested and 6 boats destroyed. As participants in an emergency delegation to Gaza, we have had the opportunity to speak to several of the fishermen arrested, members of their families, and a Palestinian activist, Maher Alaa, who was documenting the situation while aboard one of the adjacent boats, which also received heavy gunfire. We spoke with concerned relatives in the afternoon after the attacks, but we did not get the full story until Maher returned in the evening.

Apathy and Inconvenience- Opinions about NATO Protest

Apathy and Inconvenience
Opinions about NATO Protest

Anti-NATO Demonstration 5.23.12Anti-NATO Demonstration 5.20.12

Capitalism and NATO may seem like they provide security for some living here, but they certainly interrupt and inconvenience other societies around the globe. In China, people are working as near slaves to provide us with the lovely parts for our newest IPad. Iraq and Afghanistan have been devastated through decades of war for their resources and strategic positioning. Countless other countries have been severely disrupted through military and economic interventions. And we don’t want to stop to think about who is causing the continuation of such destructive policies, and how we can effectively involve ourselves in changing these policies.

A Conversation with Firas Majeed of Native Without a Nation

November 18, 2010

Joshua: Do you see this kind of idea being maybe even able to prevent future wars? Because, I think, one of the problems is that we don’t know each other. And if we are able to know each other, we realize that there is no reason to fight.

Firas: Yeah, you’re right. That’s what exactly happen. And people, the children, they are not children. They are going to lead the world after us. And we need to prepare all our children, your children and our children, prepare them to lead the world better than now.

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