Archive | Human Rights

The injured Ala’ Abu Tayeh undergoes a surgery


Image result for injured PALESTINIAN CARTOON

The 19-year old Ala’ Tawfiq Abu Tayeh was injured in the abdominal area during clashes that broke out in the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh in Silwan in solidarity with Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Tawfiq Abu Tayeh explained that his son underwent a surgical operation at Al-Maqased hospital in Jerusalem where the doctors were able to stop the bleeding. He still needs more operations and is currently in “critical” but “stable” condition as explained by the doctors.

Abu Tayeh added that his son was heading home after visiting his sisters when he was injured.

Abu Tayeh explained that the Nazi occupation army continue to target the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh constantly through daily raids and targeting locals with rubber bullets and sound grenades; live ammunition was used on Monday.

Abu Tayeh family said the soldiers raid the family’s houses from time to time. Few days ago, the soldiers raided one the family’s houses and assaulted the residents, beat them and pushed them.

Minutes after the arrival of Ala’ Abu Tayeh to Al-Maqased hospital, the Nazi occupation forces raided the hospital and stormed into the operation rooms and emergency department. After withdrawing from the hospital, they were stationed at the gates.

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Nazi regime: Closing the mosques of Jerusalem


Pictures- For the fourth consecutive day…Prayers at Al-Aqsa gates…arrests…closing the mosques of Jerusalem on Friday

Image result for Nazi metal detectors GATE CARTOON


For the fourth consecutive day, all five Prayers were held at Al-Majles and Lions Gate in refusal of the metal detectors placed at Al-Aqsa gates.

The Islamic Awqaf department issued on Wednesday a decision to close all the mosques in the neighborhoods and villages of the city of Jerusalem on Friday and head to pray in front of the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque in refusal of the metal detectors. National powers and religious commissions also called to head to Al-Aqsa Mosque for the Friday Noon Prayer instead of praying at the mosques of the neighborhoods and villages.

Despite the continuous suppression of demonstrators, the number is increasing on a daily basis. On Wednesday, Muslims from Turkey, United States and South Asia came to the illegally occupied city of Jerusalem and refused to enter through the metal detectors.

Suppression and arrest

After the Noon Prayer on Wednesday, Nazi occupation soldiers surrounded the worshippers and attacked them with sound grenades and beat them with their batons. They also severely beat two young men and arrested them; Issam Shallodi and Ahmad Abu Ghannam.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the forces followed Abu Ghannam before stopping him and punching him in the face for no reason. He was then taken to the police station.

They also searched several young men and checked their IDs and threatened to arrest them if they continue to pray at Al-Aqsa gates. Young men refused the threats and insisted on their right to reach Al-Aqsa gates and pray.

Dozens of Muslims especially the employees and officials of the Islamic Awqaf department continued to protest at Al-Majles Gate since the morning hours. Occupation forces raided the area in the afternoon hours and arrested Tarek Hashlamon and Amjad Sumri.

The occupation forces also installed surveillance cameras at Al-Majles Gate.

Thousands of worshippers were gathered in the areas of Lions Gate and Hutta Gate during the Evening and Night Prayers and performed the prayers under heavy presence of occupation forces.

The center explained that the occupation forces prevented locals from entering the Old City of Jerusalem nearly 30 minutes before the Evening Prayer in an attempt to stop them from reaching Al-Aqsa gates. Many worshippers were forced to pray at the gates of the Old City.

Nazi forces arrested Eyad Tawil while being in the area of Lions Gate.


The Nazi occupation forces arrested Mahran Shweiki (14) from his house in the neighborhood of Bi’er Ayoub in Silwan and extended his arrest until Thursday. They also extended the arrest of Majd Al-A’war until Thursday and Louai Rajabi and Mohammad Abu Sbeih until Friday.

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Nazi Dramatic Increase Arrest of Palestinian Children

Dramatic Increase in Israel’s Arrest of Palestinian Children, Abused, Deprived of Food, Beatings, Denied Legal Council
A Sixty-Two Percent Increase in Arrests

Some 331 Palestinian minors were arrested by Israel between January and May this year, a 62 per cent increase on figures from 2012 to 2015, NGO Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) revealed yesterday.

According to a report released by the human rights group, Israeli forces regularly abuse Palestinian children, depriving them of food, subjecting them to beatings and preventing them from accessing legal counsel.

Accountability Programme Director at DCIP, Ayed Abu Eqtaish, stated:

“For over a decade, ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system has been widespread and systematic.”

From the persistent and institutionalised ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children, to the systematic denial of their due process rights, emerges a system of control far removed from justice.

DCIP records of cases between January and June also show that 81 per cent of Palestinian children were strip searched upon detention, two thirds were denied legal counsel prior to interrogation and only three had a parent present during proceedings.

The report details that one of the youngest children to be detained was 12-year-old Suheib from a refugee camp in the occupied Ramallah-area. He was allegedly throwing stones when he was knocked to the ground by Israeli officers and then restrained, beaten and blindfolded. He was subsequently held overnight at a police station where he was interrogated and denied food for 24 hours.

In another case, a 13-year-old boy known only as Anas M. was tortured as an Israeli soldier grabbed his neck and attempted to strangle him.

Israel prosecutes up to 700 children each year in military courts. Last month DCIP held a congressional meeting on the situation of Palestinian children over 50 years of illegal occupation, concluding that Israel’s actions against minors outdoes all security rationale.

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Nazi regime demolish Palestinian-owned building in East Jerusalem


Image result for demolish Palestinian HOME CARTOON

Nazi regime demolished a Palestinian-owned building on Monday morning in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Zaayyem, according to witnesses.

Bulldozers escorted by Nazi police forces and employees of Nazi Jerusalem municipality razed the home to the ground for lack of a building permit.

Last week, Nazi forces targeted Palestinian-owned buildings in occupied East Jerusalem for two consecutive days.

Construction licenses are very expensive and difficult to obtain for Palestinians, notably in the Jerusalem area, in a bid by Nazi regime to force Palestinians out and change the demographic balance of the city.

While Palestinians frequently take their cases to Nazi courts after Nazi land confiscation and home demolition notices are ordered, they seldom win their cases in court.

Thirty-three percent of all Palestinian homes in the occupied city lack Nazi-issued building permits, potentially placing at least 93,100 residents at risk of displacement, the United Nations reported in 2012.

Only 14 percent of East Jerusalem land is zoned for Palestinian residential construction, while one-third of Palestinian land has been confiscated since 1967 to build illegal Nazi Jewish-only settlements, according to the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI).

According to UNOCHA, Nazi regime demolished a record 1,093 structures in the occupied Palestinian territory in 2016, including 190 in East Jerusalem, displacing 1,601 Palestinians. They were the highest West Bank demolition and displacement figures recorded by OCHA since it started doing so in 2009.

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Judea declares war on British musician Roger Waters

Roger Waters writing "We don't need no thought control" on Israel's apartheid wall

Gilad Atzmon writes:

I am not the only musician whose career they are trying to destroy. The musician Roger Waters is also being subjected to a vile Zionist smear campaign. The Jewish press reports that a documentary titled Wish You Weren’t Here by Ian Halperin is about to hit the screens in every shtetl around the world.

According to the Wish You Weren’t Here trailer, Waters is to blame for the rise of anti-Semitsm, the failing of Israel and, for good measure, all other current Jewish problems. Impressive achievement, I must admit.

Halperin says: “To me, an attack on Israel is an attack against the Jewish people.” I guess Halperin deems both Israel and the Jewish people are beyond criticism. At least we know what choseness means these days. The question that remains open is whether the so-called goyim (gentiles) are going to buy into this intense delusional nonsense.

Halperin says he met psychologists who work with holocaust survivors and their families. After the meeting, he could diagnose the effect of Waters’s floating pig bearing the Star of David as “unforgiveable” for survivors. For once, I see Halperin’s point. As an ex-Jew who eats everything but kosher, I was also a bit offended by Waters’s attempt to give pork a kosher stamp.

The cinematic tactics used to defame Waters are boiler plate by now. The film juxtaposes Jewish suffering with Waters. “The terrorist’s friend”, the one who supports Arabs and Muslims. Halperin attempts to score points by appealing to the lowest xenophobic, racist intuitions. Waters, I guess, will easily survive this bombastic Zionist campaign for the same reason Corbyn survived the “anti-Semite” slur. People out there aren’t as stupid as the Hasbara (Israeli propaganda) book wants them to be.

Waters’s opposition to Zionism and Israel is anti-authoritarian and consistent with his long-standing general message of peace and reconciliation. The British Jewish lobby failed to detect that the more they attacked Corbyn and his amicable attitude towards Hamas and Hezbollah, the more popular he became…

Wish You Weren’t Here is set to portray Waters as a bigot, but instead it will be a window into tribal vindictiveness. Portraying an endless stream of right wing ultra-Zionists denouncing a dedicated peace advocate as a bigot and an anti-Semite for criticising Israeli apartheid is a dangerous game. It could easily backfire and might well prove very dangerous for the Jews.

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18-month-old Palestinian dies after being injured with Nazi tear


An 18-month old Palestinian infant died on Friday, some two months after suffering from tear gas inhalation when Nazi forces shot tear gas at Palestinian homes in the village of Abud in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that 18-month-old Abd al-Rahman Barghouti, was transferred to Hadassah Hospital in West Jerusalem after suffering from tear gas inhalation in May, owing to the severity of his condition.

However, Wafa pointed out that “all efforts to save his life failed,” and the infant was declared dead on Friday evening.

The infant was injured after clashes broke out across the occupied West Bank on May 19 in support of some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners who were undergoing a mass hunger strike to demand better treatment and conditions in Nazi camp’s.

At the time, Nazi forces haphazardly shot tear gas at Palestinian homes, which caused many residents, including Abd al-Rahman, to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

At the same time, Nazi forces opened live ammunition on protesters, injuring several Palestinian youths in the lower part of their bodies.

According to Wafa, Nazi soldiers had prevented Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances from reaching the infant’s home to treat him, and blocked the ambulances with Nazi army jeeps, forcing Palestinian medics to rush on foot to the infant to provide first aid.

The medics were also forced to carry him back to the ambulances, which were located a 30 minute walk away from Barghouti’s house, Wafa pointed out.

Abd al-Rahman became the 36th Palestinian to be killed by Nazi forces since the start of 2017.

Nazi forces have been the target of condemnation by rights groups for their excessive use of force on Palestinians. During clashes, Nazi forces shoot large amounts of tear gas, at times directly at Palestinian homes, leading to routine injuries and the occasional death.

In 2016, Muhammad Mustafa Habash, 63, from the Asira al-Shamaliya village in the northern West Bank district of Nablus, died of tear gas inhalation during clashes that broke out with Nazi forces at Qalandiya checkpoint in Ramallah.

In 2015, when a wave of violence first erupted across illegally occupied Palestine 1948 and the 1967 illegally occupied Palestinian territory, an 8-month-old infant died of tear gas inhalation in the village of Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem.

Several days before the infant’s death, a beloved local activist in Hebron, 54-year-old Dr. Hashem al-Azzeh, also died from tear gas inhalation.

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Gaza: Nazi Experiment Camp

Gaza: Israel’s Experiment on Humans in Situations of Extreme Stress and Deprivation
One experiment: What happens to two million human beings when they are deprived of electricity nearly all the time, day and night?

One of the biggest experiments involving human subjects ever conducted anywhere is taking place right before our eyes, and the world is silent.

The project is at its peak and the world shows no interest. This experiment on human beings, unsanctioned by any of the international scientific institutions whose oversight is required by the Helsinki Declaration, seeks to examine human behaviour in situations of extreme stress and deprivation.

The experimental group does not comprise just a few, nor dozens or hundreds, nor thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. The experimental population includes no fewer than two million human beings.

Thus far they have stood the test amazingly well. While some turbulence is evident inside the pressure cooker within which they are confined, it has not yet exploded. The Gaza Strip is being watched to see when and in what form it will ultimately explode. This is apparently only a matter of time.

As presented by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt: What happens to two million human beings when they are deprived of electricity nearly all the time, day and night? What happens to them in winter, and in spring, and especially now, in the terrible heat of a Middle Eastern summer?

This experiment, like all such experiments, is being conducted in a phased manner. The frog is to be cooked in water that will gradually be heated until it boils.

At first Gaza was deprived of electricity for about a third of each 24 hours, then for about half, and now the level has been ratcheted up such that the two million residents of Gaza have electricity for only about 2.5 hours in each 24. Let’s see what that does to them. Let’s watch how they respond. And how about when they are supplied with electricity for only a single hour per day? Or for one hour per week? This experiment is still in its early stages, and no one can foresee its end.

The location of this experiment is among the most cursed parcels of land on earth. Forty kilometres long, its width varying between 5.7km and 12.5km, with a total area of 365 square kilometres – the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places in the world. According to the CIA, in July 2016 there were some 1.7 million people there; the Palestinian Authority cites two million residents as of October 2016.

In any case, a million of them are considered refugees or the children or grandchildren of refugees, about half of whom are still living in refugee camps. Compared with other refugee camps elsewhere in the Arab world, the camps in Gaza are considered especially wretched, except perhaps for the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. The refugees in Gaza were expelled or fled from Israel in 1948 and comprise about a fifth of all Palestinian refugees in the world.

This population has rarely known any meaningful period of quiet, security or minimal economic welfare. Their situation today may be at its worst and most despairing, and a UN report has already concluded that in another two-and-a-half years or so, by 2020, the Gaza Strip will no longer be habitable, largely due to the escalating water problem. The new cuts in electricity are exacerbating the plight of these human beings as the experiment continues.

In the last decade, this battered strip of land has also turned into a cage, the largest cage on earth.

Gaza is surrounded: by Israel to the north and east and by Egypt to the south, and on its western boundary by the sea, where the Israeli military has absolute control. Since the advent of Hamas rule in Gaza, Israel in cooperation with Egypt has imposed a siege. The siege has been eased somewhat over the years, but remains a siege, especially with respect to the movement of people into and out of Gaza and the almost total prohibition on the export of goods.

But even that isn’t sufficient. Gaza’s torments are far from over. Now comes the reduced supply of electricity.

In this file photo, a Palestinian woman and her children light candles during a power outage in Gaza City, on November 10, 2013

In this file photo, a Palestinian woman and her children light candles during a power outage in Gaza City, on November 10, 2013 (Source:

Gaza has a single electric power plant, which cannot produce as much electricity as is consumed. Launched in 2002 with a production capacity of about 140 megawatts, the plant is limited by the carrying capacity of its grid and in 2006 was producing only 90 megawatts, with 120 additional megawatts supplied by Israel, paid for in full, of course.

The plant was blown up by Israel after the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in the summer of 2006, when it was producing 43% of Gaza’s electricity consumption. After reconstruction, the plant reached a production capacity of about 80 megawatts. But even this is entirely dependent on Israel, which is the plant’s only supplier of diesel fuel and spare parts.

When the siege was first imposed, Israel began restricting the quantity of diesel fuel it supplied. Gaza needs between 280 and 400 megawatts of electricity, depending on the season. About a third of the total required, some 120 megawatts, was coming from Israel, and 60-70 megawatts was coming from the power plant. There was a chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza even before the most recent decrease. Gazans have been without electricity for some hours every day for years now.

On 11 June of this year, Israel’s security cabinet decided to cut the supply of electricity provided by Israel to Gaza as per a request by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. That set off the present crisis, the worst so far. The power struggle between Abbas and Hamas, which rules in Gaza, a struggle in which Israel cooperates in a contemptible manner with the PA, has created the present situation. In this situation there are no good guys and bad guys, but only bad guys.

About two weeks after the cabinet decision, Israel cut back on its supply again and eliminated another eight megawatts from the 120 megawatts it was providing. In consequence, the supply in some parts of Gaza, especially in the west and south, has been reduced to only about two-and-a-half hours of electricity in each 24 hours. Two-and-a-half hours of electricity per day.

It’s hard to imagine the day-to-day routine in this sweltering heat with only two-and-a-half hours of electricity a day. It’s hard to picture how food can be kept fresh, frightening to think of all the ordinary human tasks being done without electricity, awful to consider all the hospital patients whose lives depend on electricity.

Not long ago, an article in Haaretz (4 June) by Mohammed Azaizeh, who works for the Israeli human rights organization Gisha, described what was happening in the Al-Rantisi Hospital in Gaza.

In the paediatric ICU, children were hooked up to respirators for which the electricity was available only a few hours each day, their lives now dependent on a generator. Sometimes the generator breaks down. Hospital director Dr Muhammad Abu Sulwaya described the situation in his hospital as catastrophic. In the other Gaza hospitals the situation is, of course, similar.

Children receive kidney dialysis treatment at al-Rantisi pediatric hospital in Gaza. (Photo by Dr. Rand Askalan through The Electronic Intifada)

Thus the residents of Gaza again fall victim to cynical political machinations that play out at their expense. The unbridled power struggles and ego games between Abbas and Hamas, between Egypt and Hamas, and between Israel and all the others have consequences that reach as far as the paediatric respirators for the children at Al-Rantisi.

No one can see where this will end, with the parties only further entrenching their positions and the world responding with apathy. The lack of electricity results in a lack of clean water and flooding of untreated sewage. Gaza is accustomed to all of that, but even the fantastic and unparalleled resilience of Gaza’s residents has its limits.

Israel bears primary responsibility for this situation, due to the siege it imposes, but Israel is certainly not the only culprit.

The PA and Egypt are full partners in this crime. Yes, crime. This is 2017 and preventing millions of human beings from receiving electricity means depriving them of oxygen and water. Israel’s responsibility cries out to the heavens because Gaza is still under partial Israeli occupation.

Although Israel withdrew its military and its settlers from the Gaza Strip, it retains sole responsibility for many other aspects of life in Gaza. This makes Israel responsible for providing electricity for Gaza’s residents. The PA also bears a heavy responsibility for the current situation, in which it is abusing its own people. Likewise Egypt, which likes to refer to itself loftily as the sister of Palestinians, even as its own role in the siege of Gaza is intolerable.

Gaza is dying, slowly. Elsewhere, its suffering matters to no one. No one in Washington, or Brussels, or Jerusalem, or Cairo nor even in Ramallah. Incredibly, there is evidently almost no one who cares that two million people are abandoned to the dark at night and to the sweltering heat of the summer days, with nowhere to run and no shred of hope. Nothing.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human Rights0 Comments

US Human Rights Record, Not Cuba’s, Should Be Condemned

  • According to a White House Fact Sheet on Cuba Policy, the Treasury and Commerce Departments will begin the process of issuing new regulations in only 30 days.
    According to a White House Fact Sheet on Cuba Policy, the Treasury and Commerce Departments will begin the process of issuing new regulations in only 30 days. | Photo: Reuters
Both the people in the U.S. and Cubans on the island are overwhelmingly for a normalization of relations, Freeman told teleSUR.

In an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Netfa Freeman, Cuba policy analyst for the Washington D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies, commented on U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement rolling back the normalization of relations with Cuba.

OPINION: Trump Cuba Policy: What Will Happen in Coming Months?

Trump called the U.S. rollback on Cuba, among other things, humanitarian. Can you address this point?

These are people who have no concept of what human rights and freedom for a people mean. And this doesn’t just mean Donald Trump. This applies also to all U.S. political officials who uphold the capitalist, imperialist system. Trump himself is a capitalist who leeches off of the super-exploitation of people and the environment.

We are talking about leaders of a country that has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world and the free labor of those incarcerated is exploited to produce all manner of goods and services for the private profit of the rich. Statistics show that U.S. police kill at least three people each day who are disproportionately people of African descent and Indigenous North Americans.

The U.S. has the worst election system in the industrialized world with voter suppression and all sorts of rigging and disenfranchising improprieties going on that are never addressed by either the Republican or Democratic party.

The U.S. health care system propels people into financial ruin by the thousands. Oddly people don’t understand that Obama’s Affordable Care Act was not health care. It was a concession to insurance companies and HMOs whose only purpose is to appropriate profits from the people.

Student debt for higher education does the same thing. The average graduate of 2016 is strapped with US$37,172 in student loan debt.

Yet, Trump and his class have the immoral audacity to condemn Cuba as denying freedom to its people, a country that provides some of the best quality health care in the world and education up to the university level to all of her citizens completely free of charge. The Cuban people do not have to endure anything like the epidemic of murders by law enforcement like what that takes place in the U.S.

Cuba has an electoral process that sees a participation rate of up to 89-95 percent with Cuban citizens automatically eligible to vote upon reaching 16 years of age. Cubans have the right to national referendums, unheard of in the United States. The Cuban National Assembly has representatives of not only geographic areas but also major sectors of society like women, youth and workers. U.S. people are prevented from even imagining congressional representatives for the interests of women or workers.

It’s a bizarre claim Marco Rubio makes, saying what the Trump administration is doing contrary to the Obama administration is “reaching its hand out to the people of Cuba.” But all data demonstrate that the Cuban people living in Cuba want an end to the U.S. blockade against them and an end to the illegal U.S. occupation of their territory in Guantanamo.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez responded strongly to Trump’s rollback today, outlining how it negatively affects both U.S. citizens and the Cuban people. Can you talk about the specifics of that?

Yes, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez’ was keen to refute Trump and Marco Rubio’s claims that the rollback in relations are only to target Cuban military, security service, and intelligence institutions, explaining how it will actually damage the Cuban people that they claim they want to help.

RELATED: Cuba: Trump’s Policy Will Backfire by Strengthening Revolution

Contrary to what Trump and his people are saying, their moves will impact families, and cause economic damage to cooperatives and self-employed workers. When you ban business transactions under the vague stipulation of being “linked” to the Cuban military you are affecting 60 percent of all Cuban business on the island. And many of those are affiliated with tourism, a major industry for Cuba.

On the U.S. side is a return to the violation of the right of U.S. citizens to travel freely. The new policy prohibits individual people-to-people travel, which was one of the 12 travel categories authorized by former President Barack Obama. Now people have to go in a group with a U.S. tour company that is approved by the Treasury Department. And travel will be audited. So U.S. citizens who travel under one of the remaining categories will have to deal with a tedious audit by the Treasury Department that will complicate and discourage people from traveling there.

Can you tell us if the U.S. blockade on Cuba has support among the people in the U.S. as well as around the world?

It has been common knowledge for years now that a majority of U.S. people would not be in support of the policy direction Trump is reverting toward. Just last December a Pew Research poll revealed that over 73 percent of U.S. people favored “ending the long-standing U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.” And it must be noted that this is a statistic that holds in spite of the fact that most citizens in the U.S. are grossly misinformed about the human rights situation in Cuba or really have a sufficient concept of human rights. Imagine what that percentage would be if people really knew the truth.

And it is very important to note that Trump, and the small click of right-wing Cuban exiles he is coalescing with on this, are completely out of touch with the whole world. It is not only the U.S. people who Trump’s Cuba policies go against but they go against the whole world that unanimously condemned the U.S. blockade against Cuba in a unanimous vote at the United Nations General Assembly last October. In that vote, for the first time, the U.S. and Israel abstained. In prior votes, those two counties, with one other country at times, would be the only ones voting to uphold the blockade. This year, with different representatives in play, we can expect the United States to go back to voting against ending the blockade.

Many people are focusing on Trump as if he is somehow removed from U.S. policy. Can you address where you think U.S. policy is heading with Cuba in regards to the bigger regional picture?

Good question. Right now there is a lot of political confusion in the U.S. because of the combination of the flagrant immorality of Donald Trump and the effort of the Democratic party and even some Republicans who don’t support Trump, to make people believe our woes are all about him.

So many things Trump does, that are merely a continuation of Obama administration policies, people condemn as if he started them. For example, the deportation of immigrants and the bombings of other countries. But in Cuba’s case, we have to remember that even Obama’s new direction, which had the blessing of chambers of commerce and other capitalist entities, had the same “regime change” goals, only trying to achieve them in a different way.

To Cuban’s credit, they have always been open to normal and mutually respectful relations but based on their national principles and never compromising their sovereignty. So they opened negotiations with the Obama administration and the only changes they have made were those mandated by the Cuban people and their process.

In terms of where U.S. policy toward Cuba is heading, I honestly don’t think Trump is ready to put any more attention to changing more. I believe this was something he did because he said he would. What he did is far from a complete rollback of the Obama policies. And the business community in the U.S. is ready to do business with Cuba no matter if Cuba is socialist country or not. The decades of regime change efforts have failed and no Trump advisor can come up with something new to do to Cuba that hasn’t already been done.

RELATED: Miami Cubans Reject Trump’s Hostility Toward Island

And as Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said, the thinking behind this move seems childish and “will only reinforce our patriotism, dignity and decision to defend our independence by all means.”

What steps are Cuban solidarity activists in the U.S. taking in light of this new hostile policy?

Everyone should know that the Cuba solidarity movement in the U.S. won’t be deterred by Trump’s move. Travel challenges have been going to Cuba from the U.S. for decades and will continue. There are people ready to go next month. And in fact, the Cuba Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild publicly reiterated its longstanding support for the right to travel to Cuba and pledged to continue to provide legal assistance to defend U.S. travelers.

In September the Institute for Policy Studies with the International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity will hold our third annual Days of Action Against the Blockade in Washington D.C., which will include public awareness forums, a rally, and visits to legislators on Capitol Hill. This is something we were already working on before because the blockade remained in place. It never ended.

This year for the Days of Action we are featuring the remarkable advancements that Cuba has made in the field of medicine and health. We are in contact with a number of U.S. health organizations, unions, faculties and students at medical schools in the Washington area and there is a lot of interest in setting up meetings and events.

The purpose of our activities is to raise awareness about the impact that the U.S. blockade is having on the health of the Cuban people as well as people in the U.S. who are denied access to the advancements that Cuba has made.

So we are looking at this development as an opportunity to expand our struggle to oppose Trump and those like him. We need to bring the reality of Cuba — a country that shows a better world is possible — to new audiences in the U.S. That is our task.

Posted in USA, Human Rights0 Comments

Migration, Social Inclusion and Evaluation of Sustainable Development Goals

  • United Nations offices
    United Nations offices

It has been nearly two years since the promulgation of Sustainable Development Goals, but a recently published report, SDG Index and Dashboard – Global Report, shows that there is still a large room available for improvement of quality of data, specifically in SDGs 10. SDG Index and Dashboard – Global Report, shows that the goal 10 was only shown through the lens of Gini Coefficient, an indicator of wealth inequality, which can only describe one target 10.1 of the said Goal. However there were 7 other targets, specifically, 10.2, which focuses more on social inclusion, left without mentioning.

RELATED: US Blockade is the Greatest Violation of Human Rights Against the Cuban People: Parlatino

On the other hand, such vagueness does not exist in other similar Goals; for example Goal 5, which advocate for women empowerment, have very clear and comprehensive targets such as ‘the targets of representation of women in parliament’, suggests a greater degree of tangibility towards goal. Such omission raises the eyebrows of development practitioners, evaluators, academia and other cynics, specifically, those who are close observer of tide of migration and changing demographics of society, regarding the aims for Sustainable Development Goals and raises questions about their credibility.

Since, globalization has caused an inundation of migrants in the developed world, which is yielding in a tangible demographic restructuring of nations’ basic compositions. For example, the Forbes 2012 describes Australia being a fourth most diverse country in terms of its labor market, where every fourth labor worker is migrant. Such a development induced another issue, the acceptance, and inclusion of these new ‘citizens’ in the society and the parameter of inclusiveness. Which consequently made it harder for authorities to formulate, uphold and monitor the track of greater inclusivity in the society. Although, it is a tricky path but in a recent research conducted at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which later published in international journal Tarbiya1, provides a lead to loosen up the knots to determine the degree of inequity and non-inclusiveness for Migrants. Hence provides a lead for improvement of indication, specifically for Goal 10.

The conducted research in Australian context finds that migrants are facing a greater degree of exclusion and specifically Muslims migrants are as much as six times worse off from being included in the society and living an equitable life, which is followed by Buddhism and Hinduism consecutively.

In the research paper, Muslim Employment in Commonwealth Government Departments and Agencies in the Context of Access and Equity, the phenomena of exclusion was examined in three spheres for minority religions’ inclusion. At national employment level, national government department’s level and managerial levels of national government employment.

The research reveals that in Australia Muslims population makes up 2.2 percent of total Australian population while facing 12.1 percent unemployment rate, double than the national unemployment and highest amongst religious groups of Australia. It was also noted that Muslims are facing this double deprivation in the national level of employment despite having 1.7 times higher education than the average qualification in the country. It was also revealed that 52.3 per cent Muslims were noted living below poverty line threshold, with income less than US$400 per week, which was highest amongst any minority religious group.

The excerpts of the research shown in the table below represented in multiple times of proportionate displacement of all major religious group in Australia from the average unemployment of 2011. It was quite obvious that follower of Islam were facing 2.2 times exclusion for their part of employment at national level followed by another minority religion Buddhism which stands at 1.5 times exclusion from their share of employment after that Not Defined religious groups, Atheism and Hinduism faces exclusion respectively, as shown in the table.

These figures of the exclusion of employment have also been drawn on the graph to have a quick artifact assessment of exclusion of various faith follower. And it can be comfortably viewed that Muslim, Buddhism, other religions (Not defined), Atheist and Hinduism spot well above the trend line while Christianity and Judaism being major religious group enjoys extra share in employment from the ratio of their proportionate share of society when it comes to the inclusion through employment.

In second step, the matter of inclusiveness of Muslims was examined within overall national government employment structure as being an icon of a supposedly collective owned entity. The results from the data of Australian Bureau of Statistics tells that only 5,462 Muslim employees were the part of the national government employment work force of 413,449 personnel shown in the table below from the 2011 census, which makes up only 1.3 percent of whole national employment of government. This representation remained 1.7 times less than their national proportionate presence. It is interesting to note that at this particular stage all other major religious faith follower’s representation is in accordance to their composition of the nation.

At the third level of inclusion’s investigation, the research was further drilled down at the managerial level of employment the situation found pretty consistent with the previous two rounds. Once again the ABS data utilised here in the following table; where it has been shown that there were only 336 Muslims managers which makes 0.6 per cent of total managerial level staff. Thus again two times centrifuged from their composition in national government employment. This tally clearly speaks that the Muslim managers are amongst the lowest in proportion from all religious faith follower mangers. From this tally it is also became understood that other minority religions; Buddhism, faces second highest exclusion by 1.8 times, followed by Hinduism which is 1.6 times and all other religions by 1.4 times excluded from being part of the participation of the society.

Now for the sake of calculating the totality of exclusion all three rounds’ results have been added, (national level, national government level and national government managerial level), the Grand Sum provides an indication of the total exclusion of minority religious group the society and tabulated as follow.

We can see from the table of all major religious classifications; the total exclusion for Muslim turned up nearly six times followed by the follower of Buddhism 2.3 times and Hinduism 1.6 times, remained out from their due share of participation and inclusion. While mainstream religious group almost maintains their proportionate share in the society for inclusion measured with the above stated framework.

Upon extending the above pattern of research to the ‘Minority Languages’, which complement the conditions of being Cultural Diverse groups of society; results reinforce the above claims of social exclusion of minority groups. For instances, Australia’s population who reportedly speaks English at home makes about 76.8 percent of the whole population, according to the report of Immigration Department, but the same group makes up of about 83.4 percent of national government employment quota which is 1.08 time higher than their national proportionate presence. When it comes to the managerial level posts this share even goes to more than 90 percent.

The data extracted from Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that minority languages speaker like Mandarin, Vietnamese and Arabic can face up to nearly three times of exclusion from decision making roles for the society.

Despite the availability of such data sufficient for indication of target 10.2 of SDG 10; the avoidances of including such a self-explanatory targets, raises eyebrows over the integrity of these SDGs.

Apparently, there could be two possible reasons for making SDG 10’s indicator a complicated. First the methodology and availability of data. If that’s the issue then the above stated pilot research project can provide an answer and a lead to progress. The second reason could be associated with the developed countries’ concept of self-construed perfection and a deliberated attempt to develop indicators which could cover up their internal flaws. If that’s the case then by 2030, whatever indicators wold reflect; the monitors, evaluators and public on the ground still be questioning the ‘inclusiveness’, despite the results of SDG 10’s indicators would accolade them with medals of ‘ What a great inclusive region or country’?

Posted in Human Rights0 Comments

Pushing Gaza to Suicide: The Politics of Humiliation

  • A Palestinian man watches Israeli heavy machinery demolish apartment blocs in the occupied West Bank settlement of Beit El, July 29, 2015.
    A Palestinian man watches Israeli heavy machinery demolish apartment blocs in the occupied West Bank settlement of Beit El, July 29, 2015. | Photo: Reuters
Those who are ’employed’ still struggle to survive. Eighty percent of all Gazans are dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Mohammed Abed is a 28-year-old taxi driver from the village of Qarara, near the town of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. He has no teeth.

Lack of medical care and proper dentistry work cost him all of his teeth, which rotted and decayed at a very young age. His dire financial needs prevented him from acquiring dentures. His community eventually pitched in, collecting the few hundred dollars needed for Mohammed to finally being able to eat.

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Mohammed is not unemployed. He works ten hours, sometimes more, every single day. The old taxi he drives between Khan Younis and Gaza City is owned by someone else. Mohammed’s entire daily salary ranges from 20 to 25 shekels, about 6 dollars.

Raising a family with four children with such a meager income made it impossible for Mohammed to think of such seemingly extraneous expenses, such as fixing his teeth or acquiring dentures.

Strange as it may seem, Mohammed is somewhat lucky.

Unemployment in Gaza is among the highest in the world, presently estimated at 44 percent. Those who are ’employed’, like Mohammed, still struggle to survive. 80 percent of all Gazans are dependent on humanitarian assistance.

In 2015, the UN had warned that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020. At the time, all aspects of life testified to that fact: lack of reliable electricity supply, polluted water, Israel’s military seizure of much of the Gaza Strip’s arable land, restricting the movement of fishermen and so on.

An Israeli military siege on Gaza has extended for over 10 years, and the situation continues to deteriorate.

A Red Cross report last May warned of another ‘looming crisis’ in the public health sector, due to the lack of electricity.

The energy crisis has extended from electricity supplies to cooking gas.

Last February Israel cut cooking gas supplies to the Strip to a half.

“The cooking gas stations stopped accepting empty gas cylinders because their tanks are empty,” according to the Chairman of the Petroleum and Gas Owners Association of the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Shawa. He described the situation as “very critical.”

Three months ago, the Mahmoud Abbas-controlled Palestinian Authority in Ramallah decided to reduce the salaries of tens of thousands of its employees in the Gaza Strip.

The money provided by the PA had played an essential role in keeping the struggling economy afloat. With most employees receiving half – or less – of their salaries, the barely functioning Gaza economy is dying.

‘H’ is a university professor and his wife, ‘S’, is a doctor. The middle-class couple with five children has lived a fairly comfortable life in the Strip, even during the early years of the siege. Now, they tell me they are counting their money very carefully so as to avoid the fate of most Gazans.

‘S’s salary comes from Ramallah. She is now only able to claim US$350 dollars from what was once a significantly higher pay. ‘H’ does not receive his money from the West Bank’s authority, but his salary was slashed by half, anyway, since most of the students are now too poor to pay for their tuitions.

Mu’in, who lives in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, is worse off. A retired teacher, with a pension that barely reaches US$200 a month, Mu’in is struggling to put food on the table. An educated father of four unemployed adult sons and a wife recovering from a stroke and barely able to walk, Mu’in lives mostly on hand-outs.

With no access to the West Bank due to the Israeli siege, and with severe restrictions on movement via the Rafah-Egypt border, Gaza is living through its darkest days. Literally. Starting June 11, Israel began reducing the electricity supply to the impoverished Strip, as per the request of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

The results are devastating. Gaza households now receive 2 to 3 hours of electricity per day, and not even at fixed hours.

‘S’ told me that her family is constantly on alert. “When electricity arrives at any time of the day or night, we all spring into action,” she said. “All batteries must be charged as quickly as possible and the laundry must be done, even at 3 in the morning.”

But Gazans are survivors. They have endured such hardships for years and, somehow, they have subsisted.

But cancer patients cannot survive on the mere strength of character. Rania, who lives in Gaza City, is a mother of three. She has been struggling with breast cancer for a year. With no chemotherapy available in Gaza’s barely-functioning hospitals, she takes the arduous journey from Gaza to Jerusalem every time she needs to have the life-saving procedure. That was, until Israel decided not to issue new permits to Gaza’s terminally ill patients, some of whom have died waiting for permits and, others – like Rania – who are still hoping for a miracle before the cancer spreads through the rest of their bodies.

But Israel and Egypt are not the only culprits. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is using the siege as a bargaining chip to put pressure on its rivals, Hamas, who have controlled the besieged Strip for ten years.

Hamas, on the other hand, is reportedly seeking a partnership with its old foe, Mohammed Dahlan, to ease the Gaza siege through Egypt in exchange for making him the head of a committee that is in charge of Gaza’s external affairs.

Dahlan is also a foe of Abbas, both fighting over the leadership of the Fatah party for years.

Abbas’ requests to Israel to pressure on Gaza via electricity reduction, together with his earlier salary cuts, are meant to push Hamas out of its the proposed alliance with Dahlan.

Palestinians in Gaza are suffering; in fact, dying.

To think that Palestinian ‘leaders’ are actually involved in tightening or manipulating the siege to exact political concessions from one another is dismaying.

While Israel is invested in maintaining the Palestinian rift, so that it continues with its own illegal settlement policies in the West Bank and Jerusalem unhindered, Palestinians are blinded by pitiful personal interests and worthless ‘control’ over occupied land.

In this political struggle, the likes of Mohammed, ‘H’, ‘S’ and cancer-ridden Rania – together with two million others – seem to be of no significance.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, sounded the alarm on June 14 when she warned that “the latest power cuts risk turning an already dire situation into a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.”

“For 10 years, the siege has unlawfully deprived Palestinians in Gaza of their most basic rights and necessities. Under the burden of the illegal blockade and three armed conflicts, the economy has sharply declined and humanitarian conditions have deteriorated severely,” she said.

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch director for the region, rejected the notion that the Israelis cut of electricity supplies to Gaza are made as per the Palestinian Authority’s request.

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“Israel controls the borders, the airspace, the waters of Gaza, so Israel has an obligation that goes beyond merely responding to a request from Palestinian authorities,” Shakir said.

Between Israel’s dismissal of international calls to end the siege and Palestinians’ pathetic power game, Gazans are left alone, unable to move freely or live even according to the lowest acceptable living standards.

Fatima, a 52-old mother from Rafah, told me that she tried to kill herself a few days ago if it were not for her children wrestling the knife away.

When I told Fatima that she has so much to live for, she chuckled and said nothing.

The suicide rate in the Strip is at an all-time high, and despair is believed to be the main factor behind the alarming phenomena.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human Rights0 Comments

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