Day 29 of the California prisoners hunger strike: In Pelican Bay and other prisons throughout California, approximately 30,000 inmates are nearing their second month of the largest prison hunger strike in US history. Committed to maintaining the strike indefinitely, they are demanding an end to a vast range of abuses, including solitary confinement, long-term isolation, denial of family contact, and absence of legal protections.
Palestinian hunger strikers have expressed their solidarity with inmates in California, urging them to stay strong in their commitment to ending their isolation and to remember that they are not alone. Internationally, as one, we stand — internationally, as one, we resist.
Art by Nidal El-Khairy
Goods for Gaza (2010) - Lebanese Artist ZENA AL KHALIL
After having created a large-scale mixed media painting to honor the MV Mavi Marmara, el Khalil decided to personally investigate the blockade on Gaza. What exactly was it that the Israeli army was so afraid of allowing into Gaza? To her surprise, she found that the list of banned goods included over 2,000 items. “That’s a lot of stuff to keep out of Gaza,” she thought to herself. This diabolic list included everything from spices such as sage and ginger, to chocolate, to goats, to desks, to donkeys and heaven forbid even size A4 paper. el Khalil began feeling rather upset with the Israeli army, thinking that they shouldn’t be allowed to run amuck and ban chocolate from the children of Gaza (can you imagine life without M&Ms, Snickers, Kinder eggs and Reese’s Pieces—even ET was allowed a pack of Reese’s Pieces). She then asked herself the following, “If the Israeli army dropped bombs on us, what could I drop in return?”
Her decision was to drop the very goods not allowed into Gaza; in particular, 47 desks for the new primary school in Gaza City, 87 donkeys, 623 goats, 73 pounds of dried fruit, 500,000 packets of potato chips, 153 tones of Reese’s Pieces, and toys. Lots and lots of toys. As el Khalil is currently unable to rent a plane and fly it south, she opted to produce delicately crafted artworks highlighting the banned items. She is also currently considering building a flotilla of her own. The boats would be bright pink, of course. - ZK
June 20, 2013
Thousands of Palestinian children were systematically injured, tortured and used as human shields by Israel, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reported. Israel’s foreign minister denied the report’s accusations, calling it “recycled old stuff.”
During the 10-year period examined by UN human rights experts, up to 7,000 children aged 9 to 17 were arrested, interrogated and kept captive, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said in its new report. At least 14 cases of abuse were reported to have taken place in the past three years.
As conflict in the Gaza Strip and West Bank continues, children on both sides continue to be killed and wounded; however, the majority of victims are Palestinian.
“Hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed and thousands injured over the reporting period as a result of the state party military operations, especially in Gaza where the state party proceeded to [conduct] air and naval strikes on densely populated areas with a significant presence of children, thus disregarding the principles of proportionality and distinction,” Reuters reported, citing the CRC’s report.
It was revealed that the IDF used Palestinian children to enter potentially dangerous buildings, forcing them to stand as human shields to discourage stone-throwing at military vehicles and troops.
“Almost all those using children as human shields and informants have remained unpunished and the soldiers convicted for having forced at gunpoint a 9-year-old child to search bags suspected of containing explosives only received a suspended sentence of three months and were demoted,” the watchdog’s panel of 18 independent experts said.
Throwing stones at soldiers of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is the most common felony for which underage Palestinians are taken to prison – convicted Palestinian minors face penalties of up to 20 years in jail, the CRC reported.
“Palestinian children arrested by [Israeli] military and police are systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released,” the report said.
Children are fitted with leg chains and shackles to appear before military courts, and are often held in solitary confinement. The committee blames Israel’s “long-standing occupation” of Palestinian territory for the “severe and continuous violations of the rights of Palestinian children and their families.” Many Palestinian children are denied birth certificates, health care and education, as well as basic needs such as clean water.
Israel – which disputes the international stance that its West Bank settlements are illegal – denied the accusations. The Israeli Foreign Ministry accused the UN report of “recycling old stuff” that carries “no importance.”
“If someone simply wants to magnify their political bias and political bashing of Israel not based on a new report, on work on the ground, but simply recycling old stuff, there is no importance in that,” Reuters quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor as saying.
According to Palmor, officials from the ministry and the military cooperated with UNICEF in March for its work on the report. He claimed the effort was aimed at improving the treatment of Palestinian minors in Israeli custody.
“Israel will study the conclusions and will work to implement them through ongoing cooperation with UNICEF, whose work we value and respect,” he said back then.
Copyright © 2013 Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”.
[Photo © Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.]
First they threatened to burn his house down. Then they pinned leaflets to his front door, denouncing him as a Jewish traitor. But Eli Tzavieli, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, is defiant. His only “crime” is to rent out his rooms to three Arab students attending the college in Safed, a religious city in northern Israel that was until recently more famous for Jewish mysticism and Madonna.
I’m growing increasingly tired of the Zionist deflection to Muslim women, and to their rights. They act like we need saving, because we are being “oppressed by our own people” and “have no rights”. They pretend to care, while actively condemning our religious or spiritual beliefs as the reason our own “mistreatment”, as if we are brainwashed and cannot make our own decisions. They have this delusional fantasy that they have the right to speak on behalf of me and my sisters. Instead of acknowledging the extreme oppression, institutional discrimination and violation of human rights displayed by the very entity they support, they default and deflect to surrounding “Muslim” countries, whose policies and laws are completely separate and irrelevant from what is being discussed. And somehow we, Muslim women, despite our diverse ethnicities and beliefs, are thrown right into the mix. Let me tell you something. If you want to know how Muslim women feel, don’t ask Jerusalem Post, CIJA, CJPAC, Fox News, Michael Oren, Pamela Geller or Bibi Netanyahu. Shed your colonialist, racist, patriarchal, condescending orientalist views and you ask a MUSLIM WOMAN. I’m reclaiming my narrative. And I refuse to be your deflection.BOOM. (via marierioux)