Nebi Saleh, West Bank — Two days after her release from an Israeli jail, the 17-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi sat in her parents’ yard, wearing jeans and a tired expression, the front of her mane of blond curls tied in a bun atop her head.
TV crews from the United States, Turkey, Germany and Norway vied for on-camera interviews with her. Since her release, her representatives say, she has responded to questions from about 175 media outlets. She has six media advisors, one of them Israeli, and they have worked hard to make her the face of the Palestinian resistance.
In December, Israeli authorities detained Ahed, then 16, after she was filmed slapping and kicking a soldier. She had just learned that a cousin had been shot and wounded with a rubber bullet by Israeli soldiers. It was not her first time in the spotlight: She had been filmed confronting soldiers in 2012 and again in 2015.
This morning, Democracy Now had a hard-hitting report on the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen. They combined highlights of the PBS Newshour series with an interview with Jane Ferguson, the PBS Newshour journalist who “smuggled” herself into Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen to report on conditions there.
What’s crucial about the Democracy Now report, compared to most other [far too infrequent] reports in the U.S. media, is that it squarely places responsibility for the war on the government of the United States, and highlights the need for political action in the U.S. to end the war now. The report makes clear that the war is perceived correctly in Yemen as a U.S. war, that the war would not be possible without the participation of the United States, and that the U.S. government can end the war anytime it wants, by cutting off U.S. participation and by pressuring its “allies” Saudi Arabia and the UAE to end the war and agree to a political resolution. The report also makes clear that if the war is not ended this year, millions more human beings will be pushed to the brink of starvation.
This last fact, what will happen to civilians in Yemen if the war doesn’t end this year, is crucial. There’s a lack of urgency in Washington right now about pressing for action to end the war, even though the fate of millions of human beings hangs in the balance. There are many causes for this lack of urgency, but one key cause is the political season in Washington. With mid-term elections approaching in four months, the foremost concern for many people in Washington about any issue now is: how will this issue affect mobilization for our team in the mid-term elections? If it’s not obvious how raising an issue would help the Democratic team or the Republican team mobilize for the mid-term elections, it’s hard to generate interest for it in Washington right now.
But millions of human beings in Yemen can’t wait until after the mid-term elections for action to end the war. They need action to end the war now.
In a new war crime, on Saturday, 14 July 2018, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded 23 others, including 2 children, in a series of airstrikes targeting an uninhabited al-Katiba building, which is located next to a public park in a densely populated area and government and civil institutions in the center of Gaza City. The bombing caused severe damage to the central building of the Ministry of Health’s ambulance, al-Katiba Mosque and al-Katiba Central Prison.
The Israeli airstrike came in light of a wide Israeli escalation since today’s dawn during which the Israeli warplanes launched dozens of missiles at agricultural lands and sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups in various parts of the Gaza Strip coinciding with artillery shelling east of the Gaza Strip. The airstrike resulted at severe damage to the lands and many houses in addition to causing fear for civilians, particularly children and women.
The justifications given for the deaths of Palestinian protesters just don’t add up
Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip, June 1, 2018. Israeli tear gas canisters fall toward Palestinian protesters and medics during clashes with Israeli security forces along the Israel-Gaza border. Photo courtesy dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo.
Over the past ten weeks, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have participated in the “March of Return,” mass nonviolent demonstrations to protest Israel’s illegal siege. Throughout, Israel has responded with violent force.
As of June 7, Israeli forces had killed more than 110 Palestinians in the course of the protests, including 14 children, and injured more than 3,700 with live ammunition. In order to brutalize the people of Gaza into submission while minimizing the international criticism that accompanies lethal force, Israeli snipers deployed along Gaza’s perimeter fence methodically shot the legs of Palestinian demonstrators. “The aim,” reports the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, was “to leave as many young people as possible with permanent disabilities.” To this end, the snipers used expanding bullets that “pulverized” bones and left exit wounds the size of a fist. According to the Secretary-General of UNRWA, the United Nations agency providing education and healthcare for refugees in Gaza, “many” of those shot will suffer “life-long disabilities.” Mission accomplished.
Not many in the media are noticing, which is understandable given the burden of keeping up with Donald Trump, but in the shadow of Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, Bernie Sanders is dramatically challenging Beltway discourse on Israel.
In 2020, when Sanders likely runs for president, and journalists begin paying attention, they’re going to be shocked. The Israeli government and the American Jewish establishment will be scared out of their minds.
Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said America’s recent move to relocate its embassy to Israel will help advance the cause of Middle East peace.
During an address Tuesday at the Milwaukee Rotary Club, Dermer called President Donald Trump’s decision to open the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem “historic” and “one of the greatest decisions in the history of Zionism.”
“I know some people are concerned that this decision will set back the cause of peace. I disagree,” he said.
Israel will be testing their Arrow 3 weapons system, among other things, on Kodiak Island, Alaska in the summer of 2018. The Arrow 3 weapons system was funded and developed by both Israel and the United States. All amenities and resources will be provided for the Israeli military free of charge, paid for by American taxpayers. Kodiak has a long history of pollution from the Pentagon that they are still trying to clean up from WW2.
The Global Network recently made the decision to hire Afghan and Iraq war veteran Will Griffin of The Peace Report to serve as our social media coordinator on a part-time basis. One of his jobs will be to produce a space-related video for us each month. This new video, revealing Israeli plans to test the Arrow ‘missile defense’ system from Kodiak Island, is his first for the GN.
We’ve long been supporting the local citizens campaign on Kodiak Island to build opposition to the launching of military rockets from their pristine public lands. But the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency feels that Kodiak is ‘out of site, out of mind’. We are determined to make sure that Israel’s testing of these weapons systems does not go un-noticed and without international opposition.
Please help us spread the word about this issue by sharing this important video via email and on Facebook using the links above. Help us break through the corporate media silence surrounding this provocative and destabilizing effort by Israel (with full Pentagon support) to control the Middle East and its resources.
Will Griffin has made many videos which you can find at his site called The Peace Report.