Archive for January, 2009

BBC refuses to air plea for humanitarian aid to Gaza

The BBC is facing problems with British ministers after it refused to allow an umbrella of charity organizations, known as the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), to broadcast an urgent appeal for aid to Gaza.

Other channels like ITV, Channel 4, and al-Jazeera English agreed to air the appeal after initially refusing.

Protocol dictates that the BBC leads the way on deciding a consensus on DEC appeals with other channels. But rival channels allege the corporation made an announcement on Thursday before consulting them, forcing them to break with the convention.

The BBC is already facing heat for a perceived pro-Israel bias and a protest was held yesterday outside its offices. In the past, the broadcaster has aired DEC appeals for aid to other regions in the world like the Congo. But in this instance apparently, the broadcaster is worried that its political independence would be threatened by airing the appeal.

Many former BBC stalwarts were appalled at the news and called for an immediate reversal of the decision. John Tusa, former managing director of BBC World Service, said: “It’s a terrible mistake and I think they have lost for the moment any sense of judgement and a good deal of courage. Anybody who thinks giving aid to badly injured children in Gaza would be taken as bias needs their heads examined.”

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Anchor Jon Snow bitch-slaps Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev

Jon Snow, the British anchor who recently caused controversy when he called Bush’s regime “a nightmare” on air, interviewed Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev about Israel’s use of phosphorous, fleshette and fragmentation bombs. Under international law, the use of these weapons is illegal when used in civilian areas.

Regev kept trying to deflect the accusation by implying that Hamas may in fact have been the ones using those weapons against their own people, and that victims were too afraid to blame Hamas. Snow would not accept this as an answer and kept pressing Regev for a clear answer. I guess Regev is not used to being put in the hot seat by most journalists, particularly American ones, because at one point he gets so flustered that he begins trying to shout down Snow.

Kudos to Snow…this is how real reporting is done.  Wolf Blitzer would have taken Regev’s words at face value.

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The Monstrous Regiment of Women

Above is a video trailer of a movie that suggests that the autonomy of women is, essentially, wrong.
I laughed at first, then I realized that these people were actually serious.

Best parts:

00:31 “I knew if I could get a girl sexually active that she would have 3-5 abortions between the ages of 13 and 18, and that was actually our goal.”

Right.  Because the goal of family planning organizations is, in fact, to have young women flock to abortion clinics.

00:57 – “..that takes us right back to Marxism and Socialism. It’s far better for the state to run everything and decide how our lives will be, than for individual families to have that autonomy.”

Oh no! Not Socialism and Marxism! We wouldn’t want to be forced to follow some text to the point where it governs our lives completely and doesn’t allow for any sort of individual authority. Ya know, like, for example, THE BIBLE.

To any sane person reading this: Feel free to break something to let off some steam. Just try not to break anything valuable.


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Sympathy for Gaza II


After scoring a goal in a futbol match against Deportevo, Seville player Frederic Kanoute showed his support for Gaza. 

Visions of Aboutreika from nearly one year ago come to mind. Things never change.

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What’s Michelle wearing?



Why is it that every time I see Michelle Obama on TV people feel the need to discuss what she’s wearing?  The woman graduated from Princeton University, has a degree from Harvard Law and is one of the best speakers I have heard, but judging by what I hear, her dress seems to be the most intelligent thing about her. Have people forgotten that she gave one of the more riveting speeches at the DNC and has always been the driving force behind President Obama?  Why has she become a mannequin on display? Why is this nation more concerned with her wardrobe than her achievements? 

The sexism on display is astounding. And what’s more astounding is how we’ve come to accept it as normal. While we speak about President Obama’s policies on the economy, we ask the First Lady about her policy on the upcoming Spring fashion. Can we stop this please?

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The Voice of a Terrorist


Sometimes the pain is just too much to take, and all I can do is sit here as the tears wash my face.

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Amidst the media blitz and the newspaper clippings, and the youtube videos, we sometimes forget the tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes in Gaza. We forget the reality of the situation. It gets lost in the jumble of politics and story lines. It gets labeled as the “Middle East Conflict” and thrown into a pile of history and facts. Another textbook of words. I just watched another video online. This is my textbook.


We are pictures of dead, mutilated children in schoolyards.
We are albums of humiliated souls tortured in prison yards
We are erratic rockets fired from hidden canyons.
We are robotic masked men marching with handheld cannons.

We are human. We are real.

We are the baker’s dried well,
his stale and brittle bread baked on stone.
We are hunger.
We are the children huddled in rooms, the boom of tank explosions bouncing off buildings.
We are hidden killings.
We are 32 civilians, hiding in an apartment that is continuously shelled by a prepubescent boy in a tank taught to hate everything about our culture.
We are martyrs.
We are the blood stained Star of David painted on sleeves of Zionist murderers marching the streets of Gaza.
We are the empty shells of Israeli missiles filled with plutonium
We are the product of six billion dollars worth of private military bills paid for by American Capitalism.
We are the cataclysm.
We are the leaflets telling us to “Leave or Die,”
conjuring memories of refugees fleeing homes in 1948.
We left before. We can’t leave anymore.
We are the 19 month siege laid on us for practicing democracy.
We are the bodies, unburied, lining the crowded streets of Gaza City.
We are the millions of civilians who no longer have electricity
because the damage sustained from Israeli war plane on our power generators.

We are human. We are real.

And I know it’s hard to empathize with the sight of limbs being blown off,
the genocide before our eyes,
when you go home to cable TV and wireless internet lines.
while our houses lie in piles of bricks and broken glass.

Because it’s natural to detach yourself.
to distract yourself from the bloodshed.
Because remembering is insanity.
All I ask is this.
When you wake up
and when you choose to take a break,
Remember, we don’t have that choice to make
Our breaks end in heartache.
There is no vacation from a blockade.
There is no holiday from the bombs that rain down on us.

So as statistics of murdered civilians grow
And the logistics of a peace process narrows
Remember each number represents a life.
A teacher, a daughter, a birthday, a doctor, a marriage.
So many memories lost at the barrel of a gun.
1000 heartbeats stopped.
1000 souls at rest.

They were human. They were real.

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