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Why I’ll vote for the Jewish candidate in US presidential election?

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By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj

Let me start off with a confession: I didn’t get it right when I speculated the Republican Party would not nominate Donald Trump for US president. I argued in an earlier column that if they did, the narcissistic Trump would most likely run as an independent candidate.

I had posited, or hoped in such scenario Bernie Sanders would do the same and run against the Democratic Party establishment’s nominee. The Republican leadership however, chose Party unity over what was best for America. And Sanders folded under the Democratic Party for the obvious reasons.  

Four major candidates running for the final election could have signaled an end to the absolute two-party reign over US politics since 1792.  The governing duopoly has made American election process lengthy, expensive and stale, unlike the shorter, less costly and the much more dynamic European elections.

Today, American voters are left to choose between the lesser of two evils. The disapproval rating of Clinton and Trump hovers around 60%.  Possibly for the first time in American history, the new White House resident will be the least disliked of the two party picks.

In 2000, electorates were faced with similar quandary. They had to choose between George W Bush/Dick Cheney or Al Gore/Joe Lieberman tickets. Else, cast their votes for the alternative that had little or no chance of winning.

Three years later, it became very clear that “evils” flock together. To make the case for war, Bush’s greatest asset in US Senate was none other than Gore’s running mate, Lieberman. The Democratic vice presidential candidate who ran against the “evil” Republican, was the most faithful warrior in Bush’s loyal “evil” army in US Senate.

Hilary Clinton wasn’t far behind Lieberman. With her eyes on the White House, she proved to be an opportunist, voting to the sentiment of the majority of Americans who at the time supported the war. Leadership is front of the wagon, not behind it; Clinton failed her biggest leadership test.

Experience aside, Clinton and Trump are not much different: She’s wicked in politics, he’s evil in business. She supported unjust wars. He exploited workers and bankrupted businesses.

That’s why in 2016, I refuse to vote for the lesser evil and have decided to cast my vote next November for the Jewish US presidential candidate.

Jill Stein refuses to sell her soul to “evil doers” and financiers of US elections. She speaks for millions of students who are overburdened by bank loans. Her Green Party platform advocates living wages for hard working Americans. She stood up to American Zionist financiers of the two-party system: Shedlon Adelson supporting Trump and Haim Saban backing Clinton.

Heads or tails, Zionist financiers can always count on a winner in the White House.

Stein is the only candidate with the courage to tell Israeli leaders that US taxpayers’ money will be contingent on peace talk. Unlike current and previous presidents, Stein promised to withhold U.S. financial aid if Israeli continues flaunting American human rights values.

In an interview with the Israeli Newspaper Haartz, Stein warned Israel, “Home demolitions, occupation, assassination, apartheid…” against Palestinians wouldn’t be tolerated in her administration.

Despite my dissatisfaction with Barak Obama’s presidency especially on the Palestine question. The truth to be said however, Obama broke the mold of the Party establishment candidate. He rattled the status quo and won. He had created more than 14 million jobs since February 2010 and 20 million new Americans have gained health insurance coverage under his Affordable Care Act.

On the International front, he ended most of Bush and the Zioncon’s wars.  He ended America’s last cold war relic and established relationship with Cuba. And to a lesser extent, he stood up to the hubris Israeli rightwing prime minister and the powerful Israeli lobby in Washington. Even though, last week he cowered and agreed to grant Israel $38 billion of US taxpayers’ money in next ten years, the largest set-aside entitlement foreign aid package ever.

Still, optimistic as it maybe, but I’m hoping Obama will garner the audacity before he leaves office and proclaim an enforceable peace framework and to recognize Palestine.

Back to US election, it could be rationally argued that if it wasn’t for eight miserable years under Bush, American voters might not have taken a chance on someone, like Obama from outside the Party establishment.

The worst that could happen in November is electing the less experienced evil. Unfortunately, Americans would most likely suffer as a result. But hopefully short pain, long term gain. The bigger the evil in the White House, the better the chance is for no evil next election’s round.

American should vote for the greater good, not the lesser evil.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

 

Written by altahrir

September 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Posted in Jamal Kanj

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PalMed: Israeli force-feeding law incitement to murder

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BRUSSELS, (PIC)– The Assembly of Palestinian doctors in Europe (PalMed) warned on Wednesday of the serious upshots of an Israeli bill to force-feed Palestinian hunger-striking detainees, saying the law amounts to a legitimization of murder. PalMed Chairman, Dr. Mondher Rajab, slammed the Israeli force-feeding law, dubbing it a barefaced incitement to the murder of Palestinian hunger-strikers in Israeli jails and a call to torture. PalMed charged that the force-feeding law flagrantly violates the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Malta 1991 which states, “forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable.” The Assembly also said that feeding induced by threats or coercion is inhumane and that it violates the 1975 World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo which explicitly states that force-feeding is a crime and a form of torture. The statement also pointed to the serious health complications of this cruel measure on the prisoners’ health; as it is very painful and it may lead to death as what actually happened with a number of Palestinian prisoners. In earlier statements, the Assembly called on international health institutions, and human rights organizations, including the United Nations, the Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders, to immediately condemn the Israeli decision and pressure the occupation government to cancel it, improve the prisoners’ detention conditions, and allow doctors’ visits to check on the prisoners’ health status. The Supreme Court of Israel on Sunday ruled to allow for the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike after a panel of judges rejected a petition which called to cancel the force-feeding bill. The Knesset voted the “force-feed” bill into law in July 2015, with 46 MKs voting in favor and 40 voting against.  The ruling upheld a 2015 law to allow force-feeding as constitutional, despite a range of objections by human rights organizations. Hunger strikes have become a high profile means by which Palestinians can peacefully resist their capture and arbitrary detainment by Israeli authorities.   There are currently three Palestinians – detained without charge – in Israeli prisons who are on hunger strike one of whom, Al-Qadi, 25, slipped into a coma last week.

(Source / 14.09.2016)

Written by altahrir

September 14, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Zorg / Health

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Egyptian MP: Women must undergo FGM to control men’s desires

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egyptian-woman-crying

Egypt recently passed a bill to toughen the punishment for anyone found practicing FGM. [File photo]

Women must undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) to help curb men’s “sexual weakness”, an Egyptian MP said.

Elhamy Agina added that the procedure would reduce women’s “sexual appetites”.

Illegal in Egypt since 2008, Agina said banning FGM would only work if Egypt had “strong men” who were able to control their desires.

“We are a population whose men suffer from sexual weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of sexual stimulants that only the weak will consume.”

“If we stop [female genital mutilation], we will need strong men and we don’t have men of that sort.”

Nine out of 10 Egyptian women between the ages 15 to 49 have undergone FGM, according to the 2015 Egyptians Health Issues Survey.

Egypt recently passed a bill to toughen the punishment for anyone found practicing FGM.

(Source / 10.09.2016)

Written by altahrir

September 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm

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Ahmad Dawabsha taken to hospital after health deteriorates

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Ahmad Dawabsha

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Ahmad Dawabsha, the five-year-old sole survivor of an arson attack in the village of Duma in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus last year, was taken to Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital Wednesday night after his health deteriorated.Naser Dawabsha, a member of the family, told Ma’an that the “child’s health has severely deteriorated,” adding that Ahmad has suffered from “constant vomiting and an increase in body temperature.”Naser said that medical tests were done on Ahmad and he would remain in the hospital until his health condition stabilized.Ahmad was officially released from the hospital last month, returning for weekly checkups and additional surgeries expected over the coming months, most of them plastic surgeries to help reconstruct parts of his body and face which were severely burned in the attack.The young boy was severely injured in the high-profile attack which took place in the town of Duma in the Nablus district in July 2015, and has undergone a series of complex surgeries since.Two Israelis were indicted for murder for the arson in January, five months after suspects belonging to a Jewish terror organization set the home of the Dawabsha family ablaze, burning 18-month-old Ali to death.The infant’s parents, Riham and Saad, later died from severe burns, leaving then four-year-old Ahmad Dawabsha the only surviving member of the family.According to rights group Yesh Din, over 85 percent of investigations into violence committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians are closed without indictments and only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks result in a conviction.Attacks by settlers are often carried out under the armed protection of Israeli forces, who rarely make efforts to protect Palestinians from such attacks.An upwards of 500,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there were a total of 221 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2015.

(Source / 11.08.2016)

Written by altahrir

August 11, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Zorg / Health

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Lydda en Lidice

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By Engelbert Luitsz             ©          (www.alexandrina.nl/?p=2670)

Artikel van October 19, 2013

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Ruïnes van Lidice, 1942

Lidice, een Tsjechisch dorp, werd in 1942 door de nazi’s volledig verwoest. De meeste mannen werden ter plekke doodgeschoten, de overigen, inclusief vrouwen en kinderen, werden op transport gezet naar Chelmno en Ravenbruck, waar ze werden vergast of door uitputting om het leven kwamen. Het dorp werd met behulp van bulldozers met de grond gelijk gemaakt. Een Duitse soldaat maakte er een – stomme – film van en mede om die reden werd Lidice apart opgenomen tijdens de Processen van Neurenberg. Het werd een symbool van het kwaad dat de nazi’s hadden aangericht.

Het ging uiteindelijk om “slechts” een paar honderd mensen en een vernietigd dorp, maar we zien wel vaker dat juist het kleinschalige leed meer impact heeft dan het hele grote dat niet te beseffen is. Iedereen kan zich nog wel identificeren met de bevolking van een klein dorpje. In de nacht van 8 op 9 april 1948, dus ruim een maand vóór het uitroepen van de staat Israël, vond het bloedbad van Deir Yassin plaats, waarbij tussen de 125 en 200 mensen werden vermoord. Deze gebeurtenis heeft geleid tot een reactievan onder anderen Albert Einstein en Hannah Arendt in The New York Times. Een groot aantal prominente joden beschuldigde de Partij van de Vrijheid van Menachem Begin (later premier van Israël en winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede!) van fascistische praktijken. Ook hier ging het om een relatief kleine gebeurtenis in het licht van de etnische zuiveringen die gaande waren, maar de symbolische waarde was enorm.

Lydda_1948

Ruïnes van Lydda, 1948

De stad Lydda (tegenwoordig Lod) ligt niet ver van Tel Aviv. Gedurende 1948, toen Israël het ene dorp na het andere zuiverde van Palestijnse inwoners, vluchtten veel Palestijnen naar Lydda. Er waren op een gegeven moment zo’n 50.000 inwoners. Deze mensen werden op last van het Israëlische leger uit de stad verjaagd, slechts enkele honderden Palestijnen bleven achter. De vluchtelingen die in Lydda bescherming hadden gezocht moesten op de heetste dag van het jaar 17 kilometer lopen naar de frontlinie, daarbij kwamen honderden mensen door uitputting en uitdroging om het leven. Daarna werd de stad geplunderd door het Israëlische leger. De achtergebleven Palestijnen werden uit hun huizen verjaagd en de stad werd snel ingenomen door joodse immigranten.

Lydda is onderdeel van wat de Palestijnen de Nakba noemen, hun catastrofe. De Israëlische regering probeert de Nakba kost wat kost buiten de aandacht van het publiek te houden, onder andere door een verbod op onderwijs over de Nakba en door het aannemen van een speciale Nakba-wet, die herdenkingen probeert te blokkeren door middel van sancties. Het zal geen verbazing wekken dat juist door die maatregel de Nakba extra aandacht kreeg, iets wat bekend staat als het Streisandeffect.

Een artikel (fragment hier) van Ari Shavit in The New Yorker over Lydda riep dan ook gemengde gevoelens op. Shavit komt daarin tot de conclusie dat de gebeurtenissen in Lydda de kern vormen van het zionistische project. “Als het zionisme moest bestaan, kon Lydda niet bestaan. Als Lydda moest bestaan, kon het zionisme niet bestaan.” Sharit lijkt hier erg op de historicus Benny Morris, die als onvolprezen archivaris de misdaden van het zionisme in kaart heeft gebracht, maar die misdaden tegelijkertijd als een noodzakelijk kwaad ziet. Het zionisme en de joodse staat staan kennelijk boven de morele overwegingen die een normaal mens heeft. De immer scherpe journalist Yossi Gurvitz noemde Shavit al eens “de laatste kolonialist“. Dat was een paar jaar geleden, maar dit artikel geeft aan dat Gurvitz het goed zag.

Pamela Olson schrijft in een mooi artikel op Mondoweiss dat het een geweldige stap is dat de Nakba via Shavit in de main stream media belandt. Gezien de merkwaardige rationalisaties die verdedigers van het zionisme als Shavit er op nahouden is het een eerste stap, maar toch belangrijk. Na decennia van absolute ontkenning van hun misdaden, alsmede de Nakba-wet en propaganda is het de zionisten niet gelukt hun verleden te doen verdwijnen. Als Shavit beweert: “Wij hebben geen ander thuis en er was geen andere manier”, vergelijkt Olson hem met een alcoholicus die wel snapt dat ie een probleem heeft, maar niet inziet dat hij de fles moet laten staan om daar een eind aan te maken.

Dat de nazi’s of de zionisten geen keuze zouden hebben of hebben gehad in hun manier om het land te ontdoen van ongewenste elementen, is natuurlijk te zot voor woorden. En zelfs al zouden er verzachtende omstandigheden bestaan hebben in 1948, dan hebben de afgelopen 65 jaar wel bewezen dat het zionisme nooit en te nimmer van zins is geweest zich te gedragen naar de morele maatstaven die ze pretenderen te hebben.

De kans dat de Palestijnen eindelijk hun eigen Processen van Neurenberg zullen krijgen lijkt minimaal. Aan de laatste ronde “vredesbesprekingen” waren maanden van overleg voorafgegaan, de situatie was dus volkomen duidelijk voor de Israëlische regering. En toch is de constructie van nederzettingen in bezet gebied dit jaar met 70% toegenomenvergeleken met vorig jaar. Een duidelijker teken dat het Israël nooit ernst was is er niet zou je zeggen. Daarnaast zijn de agressie en repressie zowel in de Gazastrook als op de Westelijke Jordaanoever dit jaar ook toegenomen. Pessimistische geluiden zeggen dat Israël aanstuurt op een nieuw grootschalig conflict, zodat ze wat ze nu dagelijks mondjesmaat doen, in één keer groots kunnen aanpakken.

Pamela Olson heeft het over haar Palestijnse vrienden van wie velen nooit toestemming kregen hun thuisland te bezoeken, maar die glunderen bij de verhalen van hun grootouders over de schoonheid en het intellectuele klimaat van Jaffa, waar ze elke steen en boom kenden. Ondanks alles blijken de Palestijnen over het algemeen zeer vergevingsgezind te zijn, ze willen vooral in vrede en veiligheid leven, geen overdreven wens zou je denken.

Dat maakt het des te schrijnender dat ze tegenover een steeds radicaler en racistischer Israël staan, waarin zelfs linkse intellectuelen niet de moed hebben hun eigen geschiedenis onder ogen te zien en daar de consequenties uit te trekken.

Written by altahrir

August 2, 2016 at 8:12 pm

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MEDICAL CARE IN GAZA, TWO YEARS ON FROM THE 2014 ATTACKS. ISRAEL TARGETED HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CLINICS

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The 2014 attacks on Gaza killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and injured 11,000, leaving approximately 900 with permanent disabilities. As our latest infographic shows, needing to access care after the conflict struggle to do so due to the nine-year blockade and closure of Gaza, and the damage caused to Gaza’s health sector in 2014.

During the attacks 17 hospitals, 56 primary health clinics, and 45 ambulances were damaged or destroyed, and 16 medical workers lost their lives while on duty.Last year, we partnered with the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights to highlight some of these cases in our ‘No More Impunity: Gaza’s Health Sector Under Attack‘ report, and called for thorough, independent investigation into potential violations of international humanitarian law. This year, we have revisited the victims and survivors of these attacks, to ask how the lack of accountability or access to justice has affected their lives.

Last month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) highlighted the continuing challenges for Gaza’s health system, including shortages of medicines and long waiting lists for surgeries caused by operating room personnel shortages. Their report also found that progress made in rehabilitating damaged health infrastructure. All of the damaged facilities have been or are in the process of being rehabilitated, though the Al Wafa Hospital – featured in our report – has not been rebuilt.

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This week, writing in The National about his team’s struggle to provide adequate care to patients in their temporary site, Al Wafa Hospital Director Dr Basman Alashi said:

“Though we hope to rebuild, we cannot do so in the same place for fear of being attacked again. Our only hope is to rebuild on a new site, but even this cannot guarantee our safety in Gaza. The prospect of new attacks hangs over us.”

With the blockade still in place, patients continue to struggle to access adequate health services inside Gaza, and are often prevented or delayed when seeking to travel abroad for urgent care. Though progress has been made in rebuilding after the 2014 attacks, Al Wafa remains in ruins.

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Medical Aid for Palestinians has joined with 42 other aid and faith organisations to call for an end to the blockade and closure of Gaza.

(Source / 01.08.2016)

Written by altahrir

August 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm

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THE SECRET SYKES PICOT AGREEMENT

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Britain and France Carve Up The Middle East

One Problem: Ottoman Turks Winning the War

Special to The Great War Project.

(1-4 May) The British may have been defeated at Kut in Mesopotamia on the last day of April a century ago, but they are not defeated in the Middle East. At least that’s the way they see it.

Just three days before the British surrender in Kut — after a Turkish siege of 145 days — British and French diplomats, negotiating for months in Paris, sign a secret pact partitioning the Middle East after the war.

The document, known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, is the work of Sir Mark Sykes from Britain and Georges Picot of France. They hold private talks for months, negotiating the postwar partition of the Middle East.

“The diplomats,” writes historian Martin Gilbert, “were dividing up Asia Minor [much of the Middle East] in a secret agreement with France. In the Levant [present day Lebanon] France would control the Lebanese coast, with its capital at Beirut.”

The Middle East as seen through the Sykes-Picot agreement.

The agreement creates “an Arab sovereign state in Syria,” reports Gilbert, “based in Damascus, that would be under French protection.”

Britain would be sovereign over the port city of Haifa [now in northern Israel] and the crusader city of Acre [also in northern Israel], thus controlling the bay that would serve as the Mediterranean terminus for oil pipelines coming from Mesopotamia.

“Palestine,” reports Gilbert, “would be under the triple protection of Britain, France, and Russia.”

And finally, Gilbert observes, an Arab state under British protection would stretch from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Of course this all depends on the Ottomans’ losing the war. Just now though, they are celebrating the great victory against the British at Kut…

…on the Tigris River a hundred miles south of Baghdad.

“More than 9,000 troops surrendered to the Turks on April 29th,” a century ago, according to Gilbert.

Nonetheless, in Britain the surrender at Kut comes as a great shock. “More men had surrendered to the despised Turk at Kut,” Gilbert writes, “than had surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown,” (a great victory for the Americans during their revolutionary war).

What’s more, this comes just four months after the Turks drive the British and allied troops off the Gallipoli peninsula. The British position in western Turkey and the Middle East is disastrous.

“Despite the fresh example of the catastrophe at Gallipoli,” writes historian Scott Anderson, “many senior British commanders simply couldn’t accept that they might lose to the ‘rabble’ of the Ottoman army once again.”

The next day the Turks begin a forced march of  thousands of captured soldiers. Their destination is “distant Anatolia.”

A veritable death march is beginning.

Writes historian Gilbert, “The soldiers captured at Kut, nearly 12,000 in all, British and Indian alike, were marched northward without any concern whatsoever for their well-being, or for their helpless status as prisoners-of-war.”

Many of the captured soldiers are forced to walk barefoot after their boots are stolen. “Those who stumbled or fell were beaten with whips and sticks.”

Thousands to British and Indian soldiers on march from Kut to Baghdad, May 1916.

Some British officers travel up the Tigris River by boat and manage to observe the march briefly. One writes later, “the eyes of our men stared from white faces drawn long with the suffering of a too tardy death, and they held out their hands towards our boat.”

There is nothing the observing British officers can do.

And what of the work of Sykes and Picot?

“Even the most starry-eyed imperialist had to recognize,” observes historian Anderson,

“there was something faintly ludicrous about Britain and France sitting around and divvying up the postwar Middle East at a time when, if not outright losing that war, they certainly weren’t winning it.”

(Source / 30.07.2016)

 

Written by altahrir

July 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Posted in History

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