Gaza, remember?

Gideon Levy writes that “it’s exactly three months since the much-talked-about war, and Gaza is once again forgotten. Israel has never taken an interest in the welfare of its victims. Now the world has forgotten, too.”

Alyan Abu-Aun is lying in his tent, his crutches beside him. He smokes cigarettes and stares into the tiny tent’s empty space. His young son sits on his lap. Ten people are crammed into the tent, about the size of a small room. It has been their home for three months. Nothing remains of their previous home, which the Israel Defense Forces shelled during Operation Cast Lead. They are refugees for a second time; Abu-Aun’s mother still remembers her home in Sumsum, a town that once stood near Ashkelon.
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PERU: Where the Poor Pay More for Water

On a slightly different note, Ángel Páez of IPS reports about the shocking state of water distribution in Peru. Not only do 8 million people (out of a population of 28 million) lack access to piped water but the inhabitants of the capital’s slums pay almost 8 times more than Lima’s super-rich elite for access to clean water.

In Lomas de Manchay, an area of slum-covered hills outside of the Peruvian capital that is home to 50,000 people, mainly poor indigenous migrants from the highlands, clean
water is worth gold – almost literally.

Local residents of the shantytown pay 3.22 dollars per cubic metre of water, compared to just 45 cents of a dollar that is paid a few blocks away, across the main avenue, in Rinconada del Lago, one of Lima’s most exclusive neighbourhoods.


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Spain Investigates What America Should

The end of impunity? Marjorie Cohn reports about criminal proceedings initiated by a Spanish court against John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes and Douglas Feith.

A Spanish court has initiated criminal proceedings against six former officials of the Bush administration. John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes and Douglas Feith may face charges in Spain for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay.

If arrest warrants are issued, Spain and any of the other 24 countries that are parties to European extradition conventions could arrest these six men when they travel abroad.
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The IMF Rules the World

Michael Hudson writes that “in a nutshell, the solution to a debt crisis is to be yet more debt. If debtors can’t pay out of what they are able to earn, lend them enough to keep current on their carrying charges. Collateralize this with their property, their public domain, their political autonomy – their democracy itself.”

Not much substantive news was expected to come out of the G-20 meetings that ended on April 2 in London – certainly no good news was even suggested. Europe, China and the United States had too deeply distinct interests. American diplomats wanted to lock foreign countries into further dependency on paper dollars. The rest of the world sought a way to avoid giving up real output and ownership of their resources and enterprises for yet more hot-potato dollars. In such cases one expects a parade of smiling faces and statements of mutual respect for each others’ position – so much respect that they have agreed to set up a “study group” or two to kick the diplomatic ball down the road.

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Israel created ‘terror without mercy’ in Gaza

More evidence of Israel’s state terrorism comes to light. Following charges of war crimes by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Guardian’s own investigative team, a new report commissioned by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society accuses Israel of  “creating terror without mercy to anyone” and “terrorising the population.” Here’s a rather bland summary of the report by the Guardian’s Rory McCarthy:

The Israeli military attacked civilians and medics and delayed – sometimes for hours – the evacuation of the injured during the January war in Gaza, according to an independent fact-finding mission commissioned by Israeli and Palestinian medical human rights groups.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society yesterday said their findings showed Israel’s military committed serious violations of international humanitarian law. In their 92-page report, compiled by five senior health experts from across the world, they documented several specific attacks, with interviews from 44 separate witnesses.

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Israeli exports hit by European boycotts

The Guardian reports that “A fifth of Israeli exporters report drop in demand as footage of Gaza attacks changes behaviour of consumers and investors.”

Israeli companies are feeling the impact of boycott moves in Europe, according to surveys, amid growing concern within the Israeli business sector over organised campaigns following the recent attack on Gaza.

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Our leaders still aren’t facing up to the scale of the crisis

Seuman Milne: “It’s hardly surprising that some want to trash the City, but to claim that the G20 protesters have no alternative is nonsense.”

When mass protests exploded on the streets of Seattle in 1999 against the kind of globalisation embodied in the World Trade Organisation, their anti-capitalist message was widely portrayed as utopian. A decade on, as anti-capitalist demonstrators vented their fury yesterday on the social and ecological vandals of the City and prepared to do battle today outside the G20 meeting in the heart of what was once London‘s docks, it looks more like common sense.

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Changing the rules of war

George Bisharat, professor of law at Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, writes, in the San Francisco Chronicle, that “what is less appreciated is how Israel is […] brutalizing international law, in ways that may long outlast the demolition of Gaza.”

The extent of Israel’s brutality against Palestinian civilians in its 22-day pounding of the Gaza Strip is gradually surfacing. Israeli soldiers are testifying to lax rules of engagement tantamount to a license to kill. One soldier commented: “That’s what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn’t have to be with a weapon, you don’t have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him.”

What is less appreciated is how Israel is also brutalizing international law, in ways that may long outlast the demolition of Gaza.

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Ali The Don – Arab Blood

Ali’s The Don’s debut music video for his hard hitting single “Arab Blood”.  An inspiring track starting with a great Malcolm X quote: If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ”freedom” out of your vocabulary.  For more see Ali the Don’s Myspace or Facebook.