Israel destroys a whole Negev Bedouin village

UPDATED WITH NEW PRESS RELEASE

Audio of Interview with Dr. Yeela Ranaan live at the scene of the demolished village:

This alert is from JVP’s Only Democracy? blog (h/t Alfred G.)

Alert: Thousands of police evacuating and demolishing the village of El-Araqib in the Negev

Thousands of police are in the village of el-Araqib right now – beginning a mass evacuation, demolition, and erasure of this historical Bedouin village. if you have access to the media, please send them to this village as soon as possible! the village of el-Araqib is between Rahat and Beer Sheva, and in a location that the Goldberg commission deemed outside of the areas allowed for the Negev Arabs… an area designated only for Jews… the JNF (Jewish National Fund) is planting a forest on this village lands – to make sure that the Bedouin cannot live on their village lands or use them for agriculture. the villagers turned to the israeli courts, as the JNF were planting this forest at the bequest of the Israeli government, but against Israeli law… the people of el-Araqib won the court battle… but this morning it seems that the Government of Israel has started a war — of the Government against its own citizens. for more information:

Dr. Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages (RCUV). +972 54 7487005 yallylivnat@gmail.com

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The Saga of Abdul Halim

We recently posted the introduction to photojournalist William Parry’s new book Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine, as well as a selection of images. Below please find one final excerpt from the book, detailing the struggle of a Palestinian man named Abdul Halim whose home in Nazlit Issa in the northwestern West Bank was commandeered as a base for the Israeli army while his territorial holdings were truncated by the West Bank Wall. Following the excerpt are 9 images of Abdul Halim, his home and village, and the Wall.

All photographs by William Parry.

(Click here to view an interview with Parry on Rattansi & Ridley.)

***

If you were Abdul Halim, with a wife and children dependent on you, what would you do? You’re building a large, new home for the family – your sons are nearing that age when they will marry and they will share the house and start their own families. As the house nears completion, Israeli soldiers recognise its strategic position and decide they’ll position themselves on the rooftop – and there they set up base. The commander, his soldiers and their guns say: ‘We’re going to use your rooftop whether you like it or not.’ They station themselves there for 18 months and completion of the house is postponed as it’s now effectively a military structure, replete with bullet-proof glass. Things then get even worse: the house abuts the Green Line and you receive notice that the building you have nearly completed is going to be demolished to make way for the Wall. However, the Israeli military intervenes, telling the Israeli Civil Administration folk: ‘Don’t demolish it, we’re using it.’ Civil Administration agrees to freeze the demolition order – and it remains frozen to this day.

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The Wikileaks Afghanistan War Logs

In one of the biggest leaks in US military history, 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the war in Afghanistan obtained by the whistleblowers’ website Wikileaks were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel. The files reveal hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops, ‘friendly fire’ deaths and shadowy special forces, painting, as the Guardian puts it, “a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan”.

Over the fold: Julian Assange on the war logs and war log links.

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BP Oil Spill Threatens Bayou Tribes

by Dennis Bernstein

For unlucky residents of the Gulf States, the BP oil-spill disaster, coming up on 100 days, could take another turn for the worst if one of the storms churning up tropical waters in the Atlantic Ocean blossoms into a full-blown hurricane and heads into the Gulf of Mexico.

For several already marginalized Native tribes living on the Louisiana Coast – many of them fishermen and shrimpers – a hurricane crashing through the oil-polluted Gulf now could destroy a way of life that has survived for centuries.

Already, the tribal land among the coastal bayous is disappearing faster than anywhere on the planet, the victim of unbridled oil exploration and dam building projects of the Army Corps of Engineers dating back to the 1930s.

“For us it’s more like a hundred years of oil disasters than a hundred days,” said Chief Charles Verdin of the Pointe au Chien tribe. “And really when you look at it … it’s business as usual. The tribes being ignored, forgotten, overlooked, and forced from their land.”

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Lynne Stewart Speaks

At the United National Peace Conference that took place this weekend in Albany, Ralph Poynter, the husband of imprisoned activist lawyer Lynne Stewart and coordinator of her defense committee, was invited to read his own statement and a letter from his wife about her incarceration, the prison industrial complex, the state of the antiwar movement, and the importance of resisting state oppression.

For more on Lynne Stewart’s case, read Jasmin Ramsey’s “People’s Lawyer Sentenced to 10 years in Prison.”

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Rumi On Reason

(adapted from his Fihi Ma Fihi )

M. Shahid Alam

Man seeks to know God, not because he is knowable;
not reasonably, but by reasoning he knows him.

When man accepted the trust, it was reason
he acquired, to say yes to his Creator.

Man is a moth, God a candle. When his wings
wrap around the candle’s flame,
why should they not burn –
and he perish in its fire?

A moth that shuns the candle’s flame
is not a moth. A candle that does not
draw the moth, that will not
burn it to ashes – is not a candle.

Man is not man if he denies God,
if he eviscerates his urge to know him.

A god that man can know is not
God, he is man’s alter ago.

— M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston, and author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave: 2000). Visit his website – http://qreason.com – and write to him at alqalam02760@yahoo.com.