By Mohja Kahf
It Came to This
For Kurdish rights in Syria
For Kurds stripped of citizenship since 1963
stripped of their land their language their names
whipped by the Arab Belt of the Baath
no economic justice no equality no
dignity for prisoners of conscience in Syria
families of prisoners assemble on the curb
outside the Justice Building in Damascus
for Tal Malouhi, 17, imprisoned for a poem
for a word for an essay for a blog
no charge no warrant no
redress and no recourse
for Raghda Hassan, imprisoned for her novel manuscript
her ten-year-old son on the curb beaten at the vigil
no charge no warrant no
accountability of government
its rubber-stamp parliament
its executive all powerful for life
its security branches all powerful
all seventeen of them
its Mr. Ten Percent lining his pockets
the Assad family plundering the country
Continue reading “How it came to this”
According to Haaretz:
The government will impose sanctions on Israel-based employees of the Al Jazeera network in response to the closure last month of the Israeli trade office in Qatar, which hosts and funds the network. Qatar had closed the office in opposition to Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Following the closure, the Foreign Ministry, in conjunction with the newly-formed national information directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office, considered declaring the station a hostile entity and closing its offices in Israel. After submitting the idea to legal review, however, concerns emerged it would not be permitted by the High Court of Justice.
Instead, it chose to limit the network’s activity in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. First, Israel will not renew the visas of Al Jazeera’s non-Israeli employees or grant visas to new employees. Second, station representatives will have reduced accessibility to government and military bodies, and will not be allowed into briefings or press conferences.
Israeli officials have recently criticized Qatar’s warming relations with Hamas and Iran. Foreign Ministry director-general Aharon Abramowitz told attendees at the Herzliya Conference on Monday that Qatar is moving toward a “radical axis.”
The supposed “democratic” Israeli government has little care for democratic principles, here trying to reduce press freedom. Clearly banning Western journalists from Gaza wasn’t enough to prevent images of Israeli acts of massacre being transmitted globally. This is a problem for the Foreign Ministry and the propaganda outfit the national [dis-] information directorate and their solution is further unfreedom: try and ban those responsible, namely Al Jazeera.
Fear not as the BBC explains all:
Continue reading “Sanctions on Al Jazeera’s Israel Operations”