Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

Israel Orders Palestinian Village to Uproot Olive Trees

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Human rights violations continue unabated this week as the State of Israel ordered Palestinian farmers in the West Bank to uproot 1400 olive trees by May 1st, or face heavy fines and incarceration.

The olive trees, some of which are 1000s of years old, grow on Palestinian land and serve as the main source of livelihood for the Palestinian farmers. (more…)

Israel Complicit in Ethnic Cleansing

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

“The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.”

“The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless, and impoverished ghettos in the West Bank and Gaza, where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building a series of ringed Palestinian enclaves where the Israeli military will have the ability to instantly shut-off movement, food, medicine, and goods to perpetuate the misery.”

“Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.”

The preceding quotes came from Chris Hedges, espousing an oft unheard perspective about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine – a viewpoint I happen to agree with.

Israel’s occupation and systematic degradation of the Palestinian people remains one of the gravest blights facing our world’s people. In terms of atrocities and abuse, it ranks up there with Apartheid in South Africa, or the genocides in Rwanda or Darfur.

And what’s even more shameful is just how oblivious most of us in the Western world remain to the reality and severity of the situation. Much of this is due to Israel’s reach around the globe. The State of Israel has a powerful public relations department along with feelers running deep into the minds of many of the world’s high level politicians and government employees.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, have no PR department, live in impoverished conditions, and are constantly under threat from the region’s largest army.

Yet, despite the lack of PR, the Palestinians have justice on their side, and will eventually triumph. Over the next few years, thanks to the spread of alternative media, the international community is likely to awaken to this decades-long injustice.

Once this happens, and Israel’s atrocities get reigned in by a world no longer willing to tolerate such inhumanity, historians and anthropologists can see how it came to be that the victims of heinous genocide went on to become perpetrators of the same crimes within just a few generations.

Corporations Seeking Immunity for Rape, Torture, Genocide

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Imagine what can happen when international corporations are no longer liable for committing heinous crimes against humanity. It’s a scary premise for any entity, let alone some of the world’s most influential and vehemently greedy institutions.

Yet that is precisely what is being ruled on right now in the US, where a split decision is due to be settled in the Supreme Court.

The case centers around Shell Oil subsidiaries that colluded with the Nigerian government to torture and execute individuals protesting against the companies’ oil exploration. Plaintiffs filed suit in a US district court under the Alien Tort Statute, which empowers federal courts to hear cases by “an alien” bringing a civil suit for wrongs committed “in violation of the law of nations.”

Last year, while ruling on the Citizens United bill, the Supreme court found the First Amendment does mean Corporations are considered people, opening the doors for unlimited political spending by business entities. Now, this same ruling might make international corporations financially liable for their actions.

Of course, given how much clout these mega-conglomerates yield, it won’t come as a huge surprise to see the Supreme Court affording corporations all the pros of personhood while shielding them from any cons – like facing repercussions for using mass murder as a business tactic.

Whatever comes of this ruling, it certainly shows us the direction the pro-corporatism people want to take our world. It is far more profitable when businesses get all the benefits the government offers, while at the same time skirting any accountability and shirking all responsibility to the world in which they exist.

This is why populist movements, like #occupy, are so essential. The pro-business side will continue to tirelessly and systematically stack the cards in their own favor at the expense of everyone else. Unless we fight tooth and nail right now, the hill we’re climbing towards a more just civilization could very well grow into a mountain right under our feet.