Verses from the Abstract

“Run a hand through your hair, like the white boys do, even though the only thing that runs easily through your hair is Africa.” - Junot Diaz

thepeoplesrecord:

Israel sprays “skunk water” into Palestinian homesSeptember 22, 2014
A new report highlights Israel’s use of supposedly “non-lethal weapons” against unarmed Palestinian protesters.
The report – “Proven Effective: Crowd control weapons in the Occupied Territories” – was published by the group Who Profits and launched at a conference in Jerusalem on 10 September.
Focusing on tear gas, skunk water and “The Scream” (a high volume acoustic device strapped atop Israeli military vehicles), the report documents their regular use to violently crush unarmed Palestinian demonstrators throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
It begins by reiterating two immensely important facts reported time and again by The Electronic Intifada: firstly, that Israel’s “non-lethal” weapons, in fact, often kill Palestinians, and secondly, that the manufacturing of weapons used against Palestinians is an extremely lucrative business.
American supplier
Who Profits focuses on tear gas produced by the American company Combined Systems, Incorporated (also known as Combined Tactical Systems), which produces “less lethal” weapons and “provides support to military forces and law enforcement agencies worldwide,” according to its website.
CSI also produces tear gas grenades and sting-ball bombs, or small devices that explode and shoot out dozens of tiny steel balls at demonstrators.
Its tear gas canisters, clearly labeled with the initials CSI or CST, are often found in Palestinian villages after the Israeli military raids them or attacks protests.
CSI is represented by M.R. Hunter, a Tel Aviv-based company that claims to be “the largest provider of tear gas munitions to the Israeli army, prison service and police,” according to Who Profits.
Repression across the globe
As Alex Kane of Mondoweiss recently wrote, CSI tear gas was used last month against unarmed protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, where militarized US police forces laid siege after demonstrations erupted in response to a police officer’s killing of an unarmed black teenager.
During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, regime forces used CSI tear gas transported via Israel. Who Profits notes that at least forty Egyptians were killed by tear gas, and another 2,000 were injured either through inhalation or from being struck by the canisters.
CSI provides tear gas and other weapons to repressive regimes across the globe, including Bahrain, Tunisia and Yemen.
A 2008 cable published by WikiLeaks shows the US government’s direct involvement in transferring CSI weapons to Israeli occupation authorities. Though this was never a secret, the cable shows the lucrative nature of weapons sales.
The same cable also suggests that Israel transferred weapons shipments to departments not approved by the US Secretary of State.   
The Secretary of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, which seeks to ensure American weapons are being used in a pre-approved manner and setting, sought an investigation into whether weapons intended for Israeli police use were being used by Israeli prison authorities.
According to the cable, an investigation was necessary because “inconsistencies were noted in the license application supporting documents.” It includes an itemized list of such weapons – mostly “CS” tear gas – that amounts to a total worth more than $5.1 million.
Repulsive odor
The Israeli military has for years sprayed Palestinians in protest settings and outside of them with skunk water, a foul smelling liquid generally fired from a high power turret atop a military vehicle.
Known as “The Skunk,” the weapon’s safety data sheet concedes that it “causes skin irritation, eye irradiation and redness and abdominal pain,” Who Profits notes.
First employed by Israel against Palestinians in 2008, it has become a regular form of attack against unarmed protesters in West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, Bilin and Kufr Qaddoum.
Mariam Barghouti, a Ramallah-based activist and writer, said the weapon “projects water at a high velocity so there is a risk of that injuring you,” adding that many have started referring to it as “the shitter” in Arabic.
“Due to its intense smell that gnaws at your nostrils, it makes it difficult to breathe,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “If you only get sprayed with it, that is an agony you have to live with for a few days to a few weeks. The water lingers on your skin to a point when you want to rip your skin off.”
“It smells like sewage mixed with rotten food,” she explained.
Passed out from the smell
Israel’s frequent use of skunk water “raises suspicions that The Skunk is being used punitively against villages where regular weekly demonstrations are held,” according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
B’Tselem also notes that in 2012 Israeli forces sprayed a funeral procession with skunk water in Hebron, a city in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. 
Who Profits and B’Tselem both point out that skunk water is often sprayed directly into the homes of Palestinians, despite Israel’s claim that it is used solely for “riot control” purposes.
In July 2014, Israeli occupation forces sprayed skunk water into 75-year-old Rubhiya Darwish’s home in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp.
“I saw a burst of water breaking through the window, when suddenly an intense odor hit and I passed out from the smell, so they had to take me to the hospital,” the elderly woman told Ma’an News Agency.
Israel’s targeting of homes and businesses not involved in demonstrations has been roundly denounced by Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups.
Israeli military forces also sprayed several other homes in the refugee camp and the surrounding area that day.
European involvement
The weapon was developed by Israeli police in collaboration with Odortec, an Israeli company that agreed to develop scent-based weapons for occupation authorities at a heavily discounted rate.
Though Odortec is owned by Israeli businessmen, Who Profits adds that the weapon’s production involves the German company MAN, which provides the chassis for the military vehicles that carry the weapon.
In 2013, MAN, which also sells its trucks and equipment across Europe, enjoyed a revenue of €16.7 billion Euros (more than $20 billion), according to a July 2014 Reuters report.
Another Israeli company, Beit Alfa Technologies, provides the actual military vehicles that carry the weapon. According to its website, it provides “riot control gear” to more than 35 countries across the world.
“The Scream”
Since 2005, Israeli occupation forces have also employed the use of “The Scream,” a device described by manufacturer Electro-Optics Research and Development as emitting “sound levels that are unbearable to humans at distances up to 100 meters.”
The Long Range Acoustic Devices Corporation (LRAD) has been providing a newer version of the weapon to the Israeli military since 2012. In 2011, LRAD announced that its first shipment of “The Scream” to Israel rang up a bill of $293,000.
Numerous victim testimonies contradict the claims of Israel and the manufacturers that the weapon is safe. 
According to Who Profits, the group Physicians for Human Rights – Israel collected several complaints that the weapon caused “dizziness, nausea, headaches, ataxia and a general sense of weakness.”
Lethal
All three of these weapons are part of a broader arsenal of “non-lethal weapons” that maim Palestinians. In some cases, these “non-lethal weapons” are lethal.
In January, Said Jasir, an 85-year-old Palestinian man from Kufr Qaddoum, died after reportedly inhaling tear gas fired liberally by Israeli occupation soldiers in the village.
Noha Qatamesh, a Palestinian woman who had asthma, suffered a similar fate when she died in April after Israeli forces attacked Palestinians with tear gas in Bethlehem.
In other cases, fatal injuries were inflicted when the tear gas canister was fired by Israeli soldiers at Palestinians from a close range. In April 2009, Bassem Abu Rahmeh died shortly after being shot at close range in the chest with a tear gas canister.
Other weapons, such as rubber-coated steel bullets, have also killed more frequently. According to a January 2013 B’Tselem report, Israeli forces’ use of rubber-coated steel bullets killed at least eighteen Palestinians (twelve of whom were children) between 2000 and December 2012.
“Human lab”
Yet even in cases when the “non-lethal weapons” don’t kill, they often inflict serious injuries on their victims and sometimes render them maimed and disfigured.
As I reported for The Huffington Post earlier this year, Israeli soldiers often ignore their own regulations designed to make these weapons “safe.”
In some cases, such as that of six-year-old Mousab Sarahnin, the damage is irreparable. Nowhere near a protest as he walked home with his mother and siblings, this child was shot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet, as reported by The Electronic Intifada at the time.
As a result of the shooting by an Israeli soldier, Mousab lost an eye.
These weapons “are first tested in labs, and then ‘monitored exercises’ are conducted on human beings, Palestinians, Israelis and foreign citizens demonstrating in West Bank villages,” Who Profits explains.
“After these experiments, the manufacturer can use the results to market the products.”
The use of these weapons in breach of regulations and in a reckless fashion can “violate numerous basic human rights of Palestinians, and in some cases may rise to the level of war crimes as defined by international law,” the Who Profits report concludes.
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

Israel sprays “skunk water” into Palestinian homes
September 22, 2014

A new report highlights Israel’s use of supposedly “non-lethal weapons” against unarmed Palestinian protesters.

The report – “Proven Effective: Crowd control weapons in the Occupied Territories” – was published by the group Who Profits and launched at a conference in Jerusalem on 10 September.

Focusing on tear gas, skunk water and “The Scream” (a high volume acoustic device strapped atop Israeli military vehicles), the report documents their regular use to violently crush unarmed Palestinian demonstrators throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

It begins by reiterating two immensely important facts reported time and again by The Electronic Intifada: firstly, that Israel’s “non-lethal” weapons, in fact, often kill Palestinians, and secondly, that the manufacturing of weapons used against Palestinians is an extremely lucrative business.

American supplier

Who Profits focuses on tear gas produced by the American company Combined Systems, Incorporated (also known as Combined Tactical Systems), which produces “less lethal” weapons and “provides support to military forces and law enforcement agencies worldwide,” according to its website.

CSI also produces tear gas grenades and sting-ball bombs, or small devices that explode and shoot out dozens of tiny steel balls at demonstrators.

Its tear gas canisters, clearly labeled with the initials CSI or CST, are often found in Palestinian villages after the Israeli military raids them or attacks protests.

CSI is represented by M.R. Hunter, a Tel Aviv-based company that claims to be “the largest provider of tear gas munitions to the Israeli army, prison service and police,” according to Who Profits.

Repression across the globe

As Alex Kane of Mondoweiss recently wrote, CSI tear gas was used last month against unarmed protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, where militarized US police forces laid siege after demonstrations erupted in response to a police officer’s killing of an unarmed black teenager.

During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, regime forces used CSI tear gas transported via Israel. Who Profits notes that at least forty Egyptians were killed by tear gas, and another 2,000 were injured either through inhalation or from being struck by the canisters.

CSI provides tear gas and other weapons to repressive regimes across the globe, including Bahrain, Tunisia and Yemen.

A 2008 cable published by WikiLeaks shows the US government’s direct involvement in transferring CSI weapons to Israeli occupation authorities. Though this was never a secret, the cable shows the lucrative nature of weapons sales.

The same cable also suggests that Israel transferred weapons shipments to departments not approved by the US Secretary of State.   

The Secretary of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, which seeks to ensure American weapons are being used in a pre-approved manner and setting, sought an investigation into whether weapons intended for Israeli police use were being used by Israeli prison authorities.

According to the cable, an investigation was necessary because “inconsistencies were noted in the license application supporting documents.” It includes an itemized list of such weapons – mostly “CS” tear gas – that amounts to a total worth more than $5.1 million.

Repulsive odor

The Israeli military has for years sprayed Palestinians in protest settings and outside of them with skunk water, a foul smelling liquid generally fired from a high power turret atop a military vehicle.

Known as “The Skunk,” the weapon’s safety data sheet concedes that it “causes skin irritation, eye irradiation and redness and abdominal pain,” Who Profits notes.

First employed by Israel against Palestinians in 2008, it has become a regular form of attack against unarmed protesters in West Bank villages like Nabi SalehBilin and Kufr Qaddoum.

Mariam Barghouti, a Ramallah-based activist and writer, said the weapon “projects water at a high velocity so there is a risk of that injuring you,” adding that many have started referring to it as “the shitter” in Arabic.

“Due to its intense smell that gnaws at your nostrils, it makes it difficult to breathe,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “If you only get sprayed with it, that is an agony you have to live with for a few days to a few weeks. The water lingers on your skin to a point when you want to rip your skin off.”

“It smells like sewage mixed with rotten food,” she explained.

Passed out from the smell

Israel’s frequent use of skunk water “raises suspicions that The Skunk is being used punitively against villages where regular weekly demonstrations are held,” according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

B’Tselem also notes that in 2012 Israeli forces sprayed a funeral procession with skunk water in Hebron, a city in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. 

Who Profits and B’Tselem both point out that skunk water is often sprayed directly into the homes of Palestinians, despite Israel’s claim that it is used solely for “riot control” purposes.

In July 2014, Israeli occupation forces sprayed skunk water into 75-year-old Rubhiya Darwish’s home in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp.

“I saw a burst of water breaking through the window, when suddenly an intense odor hit and I passed out from the smell, so they had to take me to the hospital,” the elderly woman told Ma’an News Agency.

Israel’s targeting of homes and businesses not involved in demonstrations has been roundly denounced by Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups.

Israeli military forces also sprayed several other homes in the refugee camp and the surrounding area that day.

European involvement

The weapon was developed by Israeli police in collaboration with Odortec, an Israeli company that agreed to develop scent-based weapons for occupation authorities at a heavily discounted rate.

Though Odortec is owned by Israeli businessmen, Who Profits adds that the weapon’s production involves the German company MAN, which provides the chassis for the military vehicles that carry the weapon.

In 2013, MAN, which also sells its trucks and equipment across Europe, enjoyed a revenue of €16.7 billion Euros (more than $20 billion), according to a July 2014 Reuters report.

Another Israeli company, Beit Alfa Technologies, provides the actual military vehicles that carry the weapon. According to its website, it provides “riot control gear” to more than 35 countries across the world.

“The Scream”

Since 2005, Israeli occupation forces have also employed the use of “The Scream,” a device described by manufacturer Electro-Optics Research and Development as emitting “sound levels that are unbearable to humans at distances up to 100 meters.”

The Long Range Acoustic Devices Corporation (LRAD) has been providing a newer version of the weapon to the Israeli military since 2012. In 2011, LRAD announced that its first shipment of “The Scream” to Israel rang up a bill of $293,000.

Numerous victim testimonies contradict the claims of Israel and the manufacturers that the weapon is safe. 

According to Who Profits, the group Physicians for Human Rights – Israel collected several complaints that the weapon caused “dizziness, nausea, headaches, ataxia and a general sense of weakness.”

Lethal

All three of these weapons are part of a broader arsenal of “non-lethal weapons” that maim Palestinians. In some cases, these “non-lethal weapons” are lethal.

In January, Said Jasir, an 85-year-old Palestinian man from Kufr Qaddoum, died after reportedly inhaling tear gas fired liberally by Israeli occupation soldiers in the village.

Noha Qatamesh, a Palestinian woman who had asthma, suffered a similar fate when she died in April after Israeli forces attacked Palestinians with tear gas in Bethlehem.

In other cases, fatal injuries were inflicted when the tear gas canister was fired by Israeli soldiers at Palestinians from a close range. In April 2009, Bassem Abu Rahmeh died shortly after being shot at close range in the chest with a tear gas canister.

Other weapons, such as rubber-coated steel bullets, have also killed more frequently. According to a January 2013 B’Tselem report, Israeli forces’ use of rubber-coated steel bullets killed at least eighteen Palestinians (twelve of whom were children) between 2000 and December 2012.

“Human lab”

Yet even in cases when the “non-lethal weapons” don’t kill, they often inflict serious injuries on their victims and sometimes render them maimed and disfigured.

As I reported for The Huffington Post earlier this year, Israeli soldiers often ignore their own regulations designed to make these weapons “safe.”

In some cases, such as that of six-year-old Mousab Sarahnin, the damage is irreparable. Nowhere near a protest as he walked home with his mother and siblings, this child was shot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet, as reported by The Electronic Intifada at the time.

As a result of the shooting by an Israeli soldier, Mousab lost an eye.

These weapons “are first tested in labs, and then ‘monitored exercises’ are conducted on human beings, Palestinians, Israelis and foreign citizens demonstrating in West Bank villages,” Who Profits explains.

“After these experiments, the manufacturer can use the results to market the products.”

The use of these weapons in breach of regulations and in a reckless fashion can “violate numerous basic human rights of Palestinians, and in some cases may rise to the level of war crimes as defined by international law,” the Who Profits report concludes.

Source


owning-my-truth:

Full Text on Storify: How US Imperialism Created ISIS

Correction: ISIS was not a subsidiary of Al Qaeda, although there were links between the groups which contributed to its rise before Al Qaeda disavowed ISIS. “ISIS grew out of the former Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), a jihadist militant umbrella group that is believed to have helped create the al-Nusra Front in mid-2011” (x). al-Nusra is al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria.

More Sources:

A short (and incomplete given the scale of US-propagated violence across the globe) account of the myriad ways in which US imperialism directly led to creation of ISIS. US imperialism is never the answer and the US-led coalition now will only destabilize the situation further and lead to even more violence and long term problems in the entire region.


From an American Indian standpoint, the American Revolution of 1776 ushered in the independence of a white settler population. It was akin to the “independence‟ of Liberia in 1847, white South Africa in 1910, Israel in 1948, and, indeed, the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of the Ian Smith-led white state of Rhodesia in 1974. Just as the “native question‟ in South Africa, Liberia, Israel and Rhodesia forms part of the history of colonial governance in the modern world, so does the history of relations between the Federal Government and Native Americans. If there is an American exceptionalism, it is this: Treated by organs of government as a perpetually colonized population, the fate of Native Americans is testimony that the U.S., the world’s first settler-colonial state, continues to function as one.

The uncritical embrace of the settler experience explains the blind spot in the American imagination: its inability to coexist with difference, indeed its preoccupation with civilizing natives. American cosmopolitanism has been crafted through settler lenses. The American sensibility remains a settler sensibility in important ways.
Settler Colonialism: Then and Now, Mahmood Mamdani (via cajabo)

                           My Funny Valentine - Ella Fitzgerald

Behold the way our fine feathered friend,
His virtue doth parade
Thou knowest not, my dim-witted friend
The picture thou hast made
Thy vacant brow, and thy tousled hair
Conceal thy good intent
Thou noble upright truthful sincere,
And slightly dopey gent

You’re my funny valentine,
Sweet comic valentine,
You make me smile with my heart.
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable,
Yet, you’re my favorite work of art.

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak, are you smart?
But, don’t change a hair for me.
Not if you care for me.
Stay little valentine, stay!
Each day is Valentine’s Day

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak, are you smart?
But, don’t change a hair for me.
Not if you care for me.
Stay little valentine, stay!
Each day is Valentine’s Day


flyartproductions:

pound cake, upside-down cake, carrot cake, icing on the cake
Cakes (1963), Wayne Thiebaud / Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2, Drake ft. Jay-Z/Birthday Cake, Rihanna

flyartproductions:

pound cake, upside-down cake, carrot cake, icing on the cake

Cakes (1963), Wayne Thiebaud / Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2, Drake ft. Jay-Z/Birthday Cake, Rihanna



 Immortal Technique - That’s What It Is

"Used to live robbing and stealing and being reckless
It took time for my mind to put the ghetto in perspective
I used to live in the back, of a holding van
Used to be offbeat, like the white girls’ shoulder dance
I wrote rhymes a cappella, no beat, behind bars
Shed blood to make it, like the story behind scars”


"Tavalodi Digar" by Forough Farrokhzad

the-trapeze-swinger:

Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) reciting her poem, Another Birth, in its original tongue.

Another Birth
English translation by Hasan Javadi & Susan Sallée:

All my existence is a dark verse
which repeating you in itself will take you
to the dawn of eternal blossoming and growth
I have sighed to you in this verse, ah,
in this verse I have grafted you
to tree and water and fire.

                   *  *  *
 
Perhaps life
is a long street on which a woman with a basket passes every day.
Perhaps life
is a rope with which a man hangs himself from a branch.
Perhaps life is a child returning from school. 

Perhaps life is lighting a cigarette in the languid repose between two embraces
or the mindless transit of a passer-by
who tips his hat
and with a meaningless smile says “good morning” to another passer-by.
Perhaps life is that thwarted moment
when my gaze destroys itself in the pupil of your eyes.
And in this lies a sensation
which I will mingle with the perception of the moon and the discovery of darkness.


In a room the size of one loneliness
my heart
the size of one love
looks at the simple pretexts of its happiness,
at the fading of the beauty of the flowers in the vase
at the sapling you planted in the garden of our house
at the song of the canaries
that sing the size of one window

Ah…
This is my lot
This is my lot
My lot
is a sky which the hanging of a curtain steals from me.
My lot is descending an abandoned stair
to find something in decay and exile.
My lot is a grief-stricken walk in the garden of memories
and surrendering my soul in the sadness of a voice that says to me:
"I love
your hands”

I plant my hands in the garden
I will grow green, I know, I know, I know
and in the hollows of my ink-stained fingers
swallows will lay eggs.

On my ears I hang earrings of twin red cherries
and stick dahlia petals on my nails
There is a street where
still, the boys who loved me
with the same toussled hair, slender necks, lanky legs
think of the innocent smile of a girl
whom one night the wind took away

There is a street which my heart
has stolen from the scenes of my childhood

The journey of a form on the line of time
and with a form, impregnating the barren line of time,
a form aware of an image
which returns from the party of a mirror.
And it is thus
that someone dies
and someone remains

In the shallow stream that flows into a ditch, no fisherman will hunt a pearl.

I
know a sad little fairy
who settles in the ocean
and plays her heart on a wood-tipped flute
softly, softly
a sad little fairy
who dies from a single kiss at night
and will be born with a single kiss at dawn. 

I cannot tell you how much I value this recording.

image



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