Society's Child


10 Hip-Hop songs in solidarity with Palestine

Commercially successful rock and pop stars have tended to be silent about the oppression of Palestinians. There are exceptions, of course. Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, and the Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie have both been speaking out against Israel's crimes for quite a few years.

Other high-profile artists like Madonna, Elton John and The Rolling Stones have shamefully performed in Tel Aviv, ignoring calls for a cultural boycott of Israel.

The summer of 2014 might be remembered as the time when the music industry started to wake up.

Two weeks after Israel's latest offensive against Gaza began in July, Massive Attack used a festival in Dublin to convey a simple and poignant message. A graphics and lighting display during the band's performance emphasized that more than 400 Palestinians had been killed.
Star of David

Akkas Al-Ali's letter to an Israeli friend: "You know what is happening"

Comment: Though given in friendship, Mr. Al-Ali's letter is stark indictment of the ponerization of the Israeli population. The comparison between the resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto and the resistance fighters in the Gaza Ghetto is exact. The Zionist supremacist ideology (and a white supremacist ideology, at that) blocks Israeli citizenry from seeing it.

When Akkas Al-Ali's Israeli friend accused him of "siding with terrorists" in Gaza, he decided to write the following letter in response.
gaza bombed
© Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images
July 12, 2014 – Israeli residents, mostly from Sderot, sit on a hill overlooking the Gaza Strip to watch Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
By now, I expect you are fully aware of the apocalyptic scenes that have been coming out of Gaza over the past few weeks. In case you are not, I hope the following will give you some idea of what the Israeli army - spurred on by the country's government, by politicians, by journalists, by academics, by the lynch mobs in the streets - has successfully achieved in just six weeks.

From the beginning, we can now surmise, the Israeli military's sight has been set on nothing but blasting Gaza, an area of land several times smaller than greater London, my hometown, back to the Stone Age. Yesterday, 26 August, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that 2,101 Palestinians have been killed. Of this dreadful figure, 1,460 (69%) are civilians, 493 (23%) are children and 253 (12%) are women. The number of casualties is even higher. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 11,066 (mostly civilians) have been wounded, including 3,374 children.

But this is still not the entire picture; a picture it is imperative for you, as an Israeli Jew, to know, because these crimes are being committed in your name. Whether you are aware of them or not, the Israeli state has already implicated you in its actions.

Since 8 July - in just 51 days - this regional superpower has bombarded Gaza by F16, helicopter, drone, artillery, tank, ship and other weaponry. It has dropped almost 20,000 tonnes of explosives on Gaza, roughly equivalent to the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. It has displaced over 485,000 people with 240,000 fleeing to already overcrowded UN shelters. It has destroyed 16,000 homes. It has damaged 21 hospitals, 167 schools, 108 mosques, 52 fishing boats, 18 charities, five universities, five high-rise buildings, and eight water and waste plants. Electricity supplies have also been cut off after the bombing of Gaza's only power plant. As a direct result of Israel's destruction of basic and essential health services, the United Nations recently predicted an outbreak of serious diseases such as typhoid and cholera, not seen in Gaza for decades.

As I write to you, Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire to which, I must point out, half the Israeli cabinet remain opposed. And given Israel's long history of breaking agreements with Palestinians, how long will it be before this one is also rendered meaningless? How long before Israel launches another war and Palestinians must resume counting dead bodies? Who, when the time comes, will answer for these crimes against humanity, for the children that lie dead in Shujaeya, in Rafah, in Khuza'a? Will it be you?

Yet for all the cruel force and unyielding power of the Israeli army, this tiny corner of the Mediterranean will always haunt you. For it is here that the stray wreckage of your national memory - the Nakba you choose to forget - lies buried.

Destroyed buildings and traumatized children: School is about to begin in Gaza

© Wissam Nassar/The New York Times
Families take refuge at a school in Beit Hanon in the Gaza Strip
Here is the vexing math problem educators in the Gaza Strip are trying to solve in order to start school Sept. 14, three weeks later than originally planned:

There are 500,000 students who were scheduled to be divided among 648 schools, with 421 of the buildings being shared in double shifts. But the fighting between Israel and Hamas over the summer left at least 34 buildings damaged beyond use and dozens more in need of major repair. An additional 31 schools are still sheltering 59,728 residents who lost their homes.

Now, the students must be sorted into classrooms, taking into account that thousands no longer live where they did last year.

"This is the most challenging year for us," said Farid Abu Athra, the head of the education program for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs schools for half of Gaza's students. "We have a plan, but when we see facts, it might change. When our teachers face the students in the schools, I think we will know."

Two schoolgirls first raped then hung from a tree

© Reuters / Utpal Baruah
A protest against the rape in Mumbai
Two schoolgirls were killed and hung from the ends of the same rope on a tree in India's northeastern Assam state. Locals suspect the girls were first raped, reminding of the outrageous gang-rape and murder of a student in Uttar Pradesh.

The girls, who were students at the same school in the Nilambazar area, went missing on Wednesday, local media cited police as saying.

Family members alerted local residents and launched a search operation in the area.

The next morning, a relative of one of the girls found two bodies hanging from a tree located two kilometers from the India-Bangladesh border.

Police said the bodies have been sent for post-mortem examinations, as the reason for the murder has not been yet established.
Eye 2

Psychological torture: 8-hour detention for children wearing 'wrong trousers' in Newcastle, UK

© Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett
Over 100 children were forced to sit in detention in the UK, for simply wearing the wrong trousers. The incident happened at a school in Newcastle, where the kids were forced to miss classes for up to eight hours, local media report.

The head teacher of the school, Lynne Ackland, said she had given the parents prior warning that the school would be clamping down on those who didn't wear the correct attire.

"We have been discussing these uniform proposals for a long time," she told The Evening Chronicle. "We have communicated at length with parents, pupils and school governors. I think there is some learning to be had from yesterday. More than one or two members of staff were dealing with the uniforms and perhaps there was a lack of continuity."

However, even"one or two" members of staff were enough to send over 100 children to detention. The parents were furious with what they saw as draconian regulations - the kids were forced to sit in small rooms from 8am until 3pm, without doing any schoolwork.
Light Saber

Fighting back the police state: Muslim lawyer sues NYPD after arrest for 'blocking the sidewalk' during pro-Palestinian rally

© Reuters / Eduardo Munoz
A Muslim woman, and human rights lawyer has taken her accusations of NYPD's abuse and racism to court, following her violent detention over blocking the sidewalk after a pro-Palestinian demonstration in New York.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, with Chaumtoli Huq stating that the policemen used "unreasonable and wholly unprovoked force," the Telesur media outlet reported.

42-year old Chaumtoli Huq was arrested in July, right after the pro-Palestinian event, while she was waiting for her kids to use the WC. The police officer told her to keep moving.

"I'm not in anybody's way. Why do I have to move? What's the problem?" Huq asked the police.

Afterwards, police officer Ryan Lathrop and his partner, "without any legal basis, grabbed Ms. Huq, turned her and pushed her against the wall and placed her under arrest," according to the lawsuit.

Comment: Although Huq's lawsuit will most likely only result in a wrist slap for the police thugs involved, it sends out a message to the Universe that she is fighting back. Who knows, in the non-linear reality that we are living in, such a butterfly wing flap may contribute to produce a hurricane in the end to sweep the elite psychopaths away.

No Entry

Senegalese villagers form vigilante 'border guards' to keep Ebola out of their country

© AFP Photo/Seyllou
Vehicles wait at the Senegalese border before driving across into neighbouring Guinea
A dozen Guineans await deportation at a Senegalese frontier police post, stopped in their tracks by the foot soldiers of an informal battalion of villagers at the forefront of a fight to keep Ebola out.

These new vigilante "border guards" are becoming an increasingly common sight since a Guinean student brought the deadly epidemic raging across west Africa into Senegal just before the border closed on August 21.

He remains the only case in the country, in part, say these villagers, because of the vigilance they have shown.

"They were trying to cross the border. We arrested them with the help of the villagers. We are waiting for the order to send them back," said a policeman in Dialadiang, one of the last towns before the frontier.

America, the city on a hill: A record 92,269,000 not in labor force; rate matches 36-year low

© AP/Mike Groll
A record 92,269,000 Americans 16 and older did not participate in the labor force in August, as the labor force participation rate matched a 36-year low of 62.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force participation rate has been as low as 62.8 percent in six of the last twelve months, but prior to last October had not fallen that low since 1978.

BLS employment statistics are based on the civilian noninstitutional population, which consists of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home.

In August, the civilian noninstitutional population was 248,229,000 according to BLS. Of that 248,229,000, 155,959,000 - or 62.8 percent--participated in the labor force, meaning they either had or job or had actively sought one in the last four weeks.

Second plane crashes in a week because pilot was unresponsive - Dead NY millionaire and his wife

Larry glazer

Killed: Rochester real estate developer Larry Glazer and his wife Jane, both 68, were aboard the aircraft that lost contact with air traffic controllers and flew 1,700 miles before crashing in the water off Jamaica
Jamaican officials say unresponsive US plane has crashed on the island.

Two F-15 fighter jets were following the private plane over the Atlantic Ocean today. Government officials say the pursuit began after the pilot failed to respond to repeated contact attempts by air traffic controllers.

The FAA says controllers were last able to contact the pilot of the high-performance single-engine turboprop at around 10 a.m., Eastern time. The pilot took off from Rochester, New York, and had filed a flight plan to Naples, Florida.

The fighter jets were launched at around 11:30. An aviation tracking website, Flightaware, showed the plane over the Caribbean at around 2 p.m.

It's the second time in less than a week that private pilot has become unresponsive during a flight. On Saturday, a pilot lost consciousness and his plane drifted into restricted airspace over the nation's capital. Fighter jets were also launched in that case and stayed with the small aircraft until it ran out of fuel and crashed Saturday into the Atlantic.

Donetsk initiates prisoner swap despite Kiev's breach of ceasefire

© REUTERS/ Sergei Karpukhin
Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" Alexander Zakharchenko attends a news conference in Donetsk August 11, 2014.
The transfer of captives from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) to Kiev will begin on Saturday, despite ceasefire defiance in Amvrosiivka, DPR's Prime Minister Aleksander Zakharchenko told reporters Saturday.

Comment: Donetsk is acting impeccably during this crisis - it needs to, in order to counter the propaganda barrage being directed against it and Russia by the West. This way, anyone paying attention can see who is the superior party in this conflict.

"At the moment, the ceasefire agreement is not fully complied with. It is too early to talk about a complete ceasefire," Zakharchenko said.

Comment: Predictably, Kiev is not being good to its word. Who will hold them accountable? Anyone?

"The transfer of prisoners of war will be held today on our part. We hope that on Monday, the Ukrainian side will hold their transfer," he said.

Comment: Good move. By fulfilling their obligations in full and before Kiev, Donetsk puts Kiev in the position of having to comply, or looking like a total monster when they don't. Donetsk holds the cards here. Even if Kiev doesn't follow through, the NAF can always just re-capture any troops that get sent back into the conflict.

Zakharchenko made the statement in lieu of two shelling attacks in Amvrosiivka, within the Donetsk Region, early Saturday.