Being part of a diaspora is the feeling of never wanting to forget, but being incapable of remembering.
Armed militias continue to patrol the United States-Mexico border seeking to repel any migration north, but critics warn that these self-styled ‘freedom defenders’ lingering on private land represent a powder keg that could have “disastrous” consequences.
Near Brownsville, Texas, a group of private citizens simply known as the Patriots were invited to watch 21 acres of border land owned by Rusty Monsees. The group, Reuters reported, has been on the land since early summer, when news reports announced that unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied minors from Central America had crossed the border.
And this is allowed and TOLERATED. Yet people simply trying to protest are treated as war criminals in their OWN country. Where are the militarized police opposing these folks? Nowhere.
since the ceasefire agreement on 26 Aug, iof had opened fire at least three times at Palestinian fishermen off the gaza coast. 4 fishermen were kidnapped today (9 September) which brings the total of kidnapped Gaza fishermen since the ceasefire up to 6. [x][x]
according to the speaker of the Union of Gaza Fishermen, “the occupation violates the agreement every day” as Israeli gunboats “have been firing at fishermen every day since the ceasefire agreement was signed.” [x]
Playing cards made from desecrated Torah scrolls.
Germans and Lithuanian “partisans” also targeted Jewish religious institutions and cultural treasures. In the early days of the war, many of Kovno’s synagogue and houses of learning were ransacked and destroyed. Torah scrolls, the most revered writings in the Jewish religion, were desecrated. Often the parchment scrolls were reused for mundane purposes.
(Lithuanian National Museum, Vilnius)
Mind-blowing and staggering photographs from the Socotra islands of Yemen. The archipelago is very isolated and about a third of its fauna is endemic to the islands, meaning that it can not be found anywhere else. The islands are considered a profoundly well-preserved jewel of biodiversity with over 700 documented endemic species of plants and animals and has been described as “the most alien-looking place on earth”.
I can’t fucking breathe right now
Stephen Hawking’s boycott hits Israel where it hurts: science
Stephen Hawking's decision to boycott the Israeli president's conference has gone viral. Over 100,000 Facebook shares of the Guardian report at last count. Whatever the subsequent fuss, Hawking’s letter is unequivocal. His refusal was made because of requests from Palestinian academics.
Witness the speed with which the pro-Israel lobby seized on Cambridge University’s initial false claim that he had withdrawn on health grounds to denounce the boycott movement, and their embarrassment when within a few hours the university shamefacedly corrected itself. Hawking also made it clear that if he had gone he would have used the occasion to criticise Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.
While journalists named him “the poster boy of the academic boycott” and supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement celebrated, Ha’aretz, the most progressive of the Israeli press, drew attention to the inflammatory language used by the conference organisers, who described themselves as “outraged” rather than that they “regretted” Hawking’s decision.
That the world’s most famous scientist had recognised the justice of the Palestinian cause is potentially a turning point for the BDS campaign. And that his stand was approved by a majority of two to one in the Guardian poll that followed his announcement shows just how far public opinion has turned against Israel’s relentless land-grabbing and oppression.
Hawking’s public refusal follows that of prominent singers, artists and writers, from Brian Eno to Mike Leigh, Alice Walker and Adrienne Rich, all of whom have publicly rejected invitations to perform in Israel. But what winds Israel up is the fact that this rejection is by a famous scientist and that science and technology drive its economy. Hawking’s decision threatens to open a floodgate with more and more scientists coming to regard Israel as a pariah state. Its research ties with European and American scientists must be protected.
That Israel, a Middle East country, has managed to secure membership of the European Research Area and the many collaborative links with European labs underlines the importance of these links. When European parliamentarians challenged its membership on the grounds of Israel’s numerous breaches of UN resolutions and of the European Human Rights conventions, the European Commission responded to the effect that research trumped human rights.
Israel’s science and technology are not just a source of prestige and technological innovation, but underpin its military strength. It was an Israeli engineer who developed the drones that the US now employs in quantity. Israeli home-produced chemical weapons minimally match those of Syria, and Israeli universities amply supply the Israel Defence Forces with the sociological, psychological and technological methods it employs to suppress Palestinian protests against the occupation.
The complicity of Israeli academia in Israeli state policy is incontrovertible. However, this is the first time that a scientist of Hawking’s status has taken so public a stand – and the hyperventilating response of the Jerusalem conference organisers (it is worth noting that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where the conference Hawking refused to attend was to be held, is built on illegally annexed Palestinian land) has only added to its public impact.
Lastly it has been the very public debates over the rights and wrongs of an academic boycott that have drawn attention to the subservience of the Israeli universities to the state. Until the boycott began internal critics were few and far between, and some of the sharpest such as Ilan Pappé were forced out. However, this subservience is beginning to yield. When in 2012 the education minister attempted to close the politics department at Ben Gurion on “academic grounds”, it was immediately recognised as a political attack on one of the very few departments where academics were willing to name Israel as an apartheid state. Prof Gilad Haran from the Weizmann Institute launched a petition stating “We sense that academic freedom in Israel’s higher education system is in severe danger.” The department remains open – one small victory.
Hilary Rose is a feminist sociologist of science and emerita professor at Bradford University. Steven Rose is emeritus professor of neuroscience at the Open University. They recently co-authored Genes, Cells and Brains: the Promethean promises of the new biology, and were among the co-founders of BRICUP, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine
Sosua: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic (x)
In October of 1941, when the Nazis banned Jewish emmigration from land they had conquered in Europe, the Jewish population of Sosua, which was set aside in DR for Jewish refugees fleeing from Europe, reached 500. By 1944, the small community thrived int heir new environment.
Today, 25 Jewish families remain in Sosua. Next to the town’s synagogue is a museum. The final caption on the exhibit reads “Sosua, a community born of pain and nurtured in love must, in the final analysis, represent the ultimate triumph of life.” (x)
— Noam Chomsky