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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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"We're on a mission from God."
The Blues Brothers

"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave...a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."
George Washington's Farewell Address - 1796

"My aim is to agitate & disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast."
Unamuno


"Imagine All the People Sharing All the World."
John Lennon

"If enough Christians followed the gospel, they could bring any state to its knees." 
Father Philip Francis Berrigan 

"You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."
Tom Petty

"If I can't dance, it's not my revolution."
Emma Goldman

"We have yet to begin to IMAGINE the power and potential of the Internet."
Charlie Rose, 2005

Only in Solidarity do "We have it in our power to begin the world again"
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"Never doubt that a few, thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." 
Margaret Mead

"You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."
John 8:32

DO SOMETHING!

 
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Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

 

Home arrow Blog arrow May 2008 arrow May 6, 2008

May 6, 2008
WAWA Blog May 6, 2008: What I learned from the past 3 days in Memphis reinforced what I learned from my 11 weeks in occupied territory, Calvin Coolidge and The Persistent Widow...


"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. ... Genius will not. ... Education will not. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."- Calvin Coolidge

...Once upon a time, there was an old widow, who lived in a certain town with a judge who cared nothing about justice, people or God. But an old widowed crone kept coming to him with her plea, "Grant me justice against my adversary."

The judge ignored her until she became such a PIA [pain in the ass] he finally muttered to himself, "Even though I don't fear God or care a hoot about this old crone, she has become such a pain in my ass, I will give into her, just to get her to leave me alone!" [Paraphrased from a story Jesus told in Luke 18 1-5]

Last Saturday I visited SUN Studio, where Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others persisted until their voices were heard by mainstream America.

During my travels through occupied Palestine, I listened to many voices of those that mainstream America has yet to hear or pay any attention to-more on that topic coming soon.


But today I am weary from travel and thankful to Sam and Dorothy for forwarding the following voices.

As always the BOLD is mine and once more, I conclude with an experience I had in Ramallah in January 2006:


Arab News: The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily

Monday 5 May 2008

Are We Witnessing the Death of Israel by a Thousand Cuts?

By Jonathan Power, < >

Even Jimmy Carter, who single handedly (without much Jewish appreciation) has done more to make Israel secure than any other living person, can’t change the march of demographics. Within the boundaries of the State of Israel and the occupied territories there are 5.4 million Jews and 4.6 million Palestinians. The Palestinian birth rate is almost three times that of the Israeli Jews. If anything the Jewish population is starting to fall as an increasing number of Jews decide that Israel has no future for them and in significant numbers emigrate. The far seeing Richard Nixon, when asked by Patrick Buchanan and his wife, how he saw the future of Israel, turned down his thumb “like a Roman emperor at the gladiators’ arena”.

Perhaps we are witnessing the death of Israel by a thousand cuts, the attrition of conflict and the attrition of population. Maybe after all the rabbis of Vienna who were sent in 1897 on a fact-finding mission to Palestine to investigate whether it was a suitable place for Jewish settlement were right.

They reported back that the “bride was beautiful but married to another man.” The rabbis had been moved to visit Palestine by Theodore Herzl, an Austrian journalist, who had just published his highly influential book, “The Jewish State”, which launched the movement called “political Zionism”.

Herzl, a broad minded man, was happy to think of the new Israel in Argentina which had a considerable Jewish migration in the 19th century and was well away from the clutches of anti-Semitic Europe.

He was also inclined to accept the offer of Joseph Chamberlain, then the British colonial secretary, for a site on the Uasin Gishu plateau near Nairobi in what was then British East Africa. The Zionist Conference overruled him.

But when the British government finally gave in to Zionist lobbying and, in the words, of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, favored “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” the only Jewish member of the Cabinet, Edwin Samuel Montague, denounced the whole project as a reconstruction of the tower of Babel.

“Palestine”, he said, “would become the world’s ghetto”. Lord Curzon, the former viceroy of India, observed that Britain had “a stronger claim to parts of France” than the Jews did to Palestine after two millennia of absence. He denounced it as an act of “sentimental idealism”.

There are few rewards in this life for being farsighted on political questions.

The Zionists still have the bit between their teeth on the creation of a permanent Jewish state, even as they face self-destruction.

A few perhaps can see it coming and among the few is the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

In an interview last November he said, “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories) then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished.”

For the Zionist this would be a terrible end. But need it be for rank and file Jews who just want to bring up their families and live in an atmosphere emptied of violence? (Read Israeli novelist Shifra Horn’s book, “Ode to Joy” if you want to smell the cordite and sense deep in the soul their everyday fear of being blown up.)

But unmistakably this is the direction events and demographics are moving and arguably the best thing that outsiders can now do for Israel is to stop trying to help organize the creation of a two-state solution and let the Israelis themselves look the Palestinians in the eye as the demographics bite. If the white South Africans can do it so can the Israelis. If this were the solution the Israelis would find that the only thing that most Palestinians would now want is a prosperous, capitalist economy that lives in peace with its neighbors.

The Jews would not be driven into the sea. But those who wanted to return to Europe, America or even Russia would be more than welcome. Both Germany and Russia, the great centers of anti-Semitism in the past, have seemed to have flushed that horror away.

Life does move on. Some problems, like apartheid, do get solved, even if not very long ago they seemed intractable.

The Jews should never have tried to turn back the historical clock by returning to Palestine after fleeing in AD 70.

But now they are there in such significant numbers their only solution is to honor the rest of the text of the Balfour Declaration.

“Nothing should be done that may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non- Jewish communities in Palestine”, it said. This was the British condition. The Israelis overlook it today at their peril.

Copyright: Arab News © 2003 All rights reserved.

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=109587&d=5&m=5&y=2008





We didn’t mean to kill them: Israel says it doesn’t mean to kill Palestinian children, yet they keep on dying

 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3539098,00.html


 

By B. Michael

We really didn’t mean to do it. Again we didn’t mean to do it. We have never meant to do it. Yet as usual, even though we didn’t mean it – we hit them. We hit them 1,000 times already without meaning to do it. We have killed a total of 1,000 Palestinian children since the second Intifada broke out on September 29, 2000. A thousand.

 

We already have a special procedure for cases where a Palestinian child dies as a result of a misfired missile, a misaimed shell, an unfocused helicopter, or a distracted sniper. At first, we deny a child even died. Later we argue that his own people killed him. Later we issue explanations and excuses and scenarios that only become dumber with the passage of time. sualties of War

 

Then comes the turn of the “investigating officer” (it will never be an investigating judge, a scrutinizing observer, or an inquisitive civilian. It’s always an officer) who proceeds to issue some nonsense that clears us of any wrongdoing. Ultimately, we declare that the evil Arabs are at fault, because they take cover among civilians.

 

Yet if the regular “it was a mistake” claim has already become completely ridiculous – because how many times can one say “we didn’t mean it” without making those words empty and hollow and cold – the argument regarding taking cover among civilians is truly infuriating with its chutzpa.

 

A state whose military high command and the office of its defense minister are located at the heart of a crowded city, and which sends civilians, including their women and children, to “expand the boundaries of the country” and whose bridgehead for occupation and takeover regularly hides being babies and pregnant women, and which refers to its own armed soldiers who died in battle or were captured as “boys” – such state needs a very high level of nerve in order to blame others for hiding behind civilians and children.

 

And for those who wish to clear what is left of their conscience with the number of Israeli children killed by the Palestinians, here is a little information: Since the start of 2004, the Palestinians killed 11 Israeli children. We, during the same period of time, killed 452 Palestinian children.

 

But how can we even compare? After all, they mean to do it, while we don’t. (So maybe it would be better if we also start meaning to do it? Many children will be spared that way.)




 Difficult Charges: Gaza residents say IDF soldiers looted their homes
Ali Waked
 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3539931,00.html


Palestinians recount 'nightmarish' searches by troops during counterterrorism ops. 'The mental scars will remain for a long time. We have never experienced such brutality,' resident says


Gaza residents say they were subjected to inhuman treatment at the hands of IDF soldiers conducting searches in their homes as part of the army's recent efforts to combat Palestinian terror.

The complainants say they were confined to stairwells for hours on end without access to food, water or a toilet. The Palestinians further claimed soldiers vandalized and looted their homes. The IDF confirmed it had received complaints and said it had begun investigating the charges.

 

Maher Abu-Daha'a says he will never forget the day soldiers stormed his house, located near the southern town of Khan Younis, just east of the border fence. "It was hell; the mental scars will remain for a long time. We have never experienced such brutality," he said.

 

Last weekend a large IDF force entered the Strip as part of increased counterterrorism operations in the region. Soldiers questioned locals about the attempted bombing of a border crossing last month, in which Palestinian groups rigged an armored carrier with explosives and planned to detonate it in conjunction with the attack against the Kerem Shalom crossing. But the vehicle never reached its destination, having become entrenched in the sand.

 

"At least 150 soldiers took over the house," Abu Daha'a recounted, "my house is 180 square meters (1,937 square feet) large, but they (the soldiers) forced me, my wife and our baby to wait in the stairwell from 2:00 am until 10:00 or 11:00 pm. My hands were tied behind my back, and when I complained they placed a band-aid over my mouth and blindfolded me."

 

He said he was permitted to go to the bathroom only after an eight-hour wait. His wife, Umm Karim, said the soldiers refused to allow her to boil water needed to warm a bottle of milk for her baby.

 

According to Karim, she could not go to the bathroom because soldiers demanded that she leave the door open and was therefore forces to urinate fully-dressed. She said the soldiers also pointed their weapons toward the baby when he screamed.

 

'Hamas will only grow stronger'

Abu Daha'a said that after the search was completed he was taken outside and placed inside a tank that then patrolled the area for several hours; according to him, the soldiers used him as a human shield. He said was later taken to the Kerem Shalom crossing for questioning along with nine other Palestinians.

 

"What if militants would have fired a missile at the tank or set off a bomb beside it? I told them 'I am an unarmed civilian, why must I be in this tank?'"

 

Abu Daha'a said that upon his arrival at the crossing an IDF officer suggested that he purchase a home far from the security fence to prevent any additional confrontations with the army.

 

"He told me that the IDF would thoroughly investigate my complaints regarding the damage done to my property and the soldiers' offensive behavior, but these are Jews we are dealing with – complaining won't do any good. Only Allah will help," he said.

 

"We felt as though we were in Guantanamo; we were stripped naked and left without food and water for hours. Only at around 9:00 pm were we given a sandwich after we demanded some food."

 

Abu Daha'a said that when he heard the soldiers knock on their door he instructed his wife to hide the family's stash of money on her person. "A neighbor of mine did not have time to hide his money and the soldiers stole NIS 1000 ($290) from him. These are thieves and sons of thieves, and I prepared accordingly."

 

The neighbor said he had complained to the commanding officer about the purported looting, but the soldiers denied stealing any money.

 

"The theft was only a small part of the nightmare," he said, "at 1:00 am at least 50 soldiers entered my home, tied my hands behind my back and blindfolded me. They put me, my wife and our two children, aged four and six, in one room. Since my children are hard of hearing, they began to yell and I begged the soldiers to bring their hearing aids from the living room. They agreed only after I pleaded with them."

 

The neighbor also claimed that his wife was forced to urinate fully-clothed after they refused to let her shut the bathroom door.

  
 

"The slept in our house, and when they changed clothes in front of us they made rude gestures with their hands and private parts," he said.

 

Abu Daha'a said that during his interrogation he was asked why Hamas was so popular in Gaza. He said his response was that support for Hamas increases whenever its members "fight the invading soldiers."

 

"The longer you continue with these policies, the stronger Hamas will grow," he told his interrogators.



On January 5, 2006, I traveled to the Ramallah Headquarters of ADAMEER [Arabic for conscience] and was blown away about more of the injustice inflicted upon Palestinians by the Israeli Justice system.

I met with Ala Jaradat of the organization ADAMEER [ http://www.addameer.org] a slightly built man who delivered a powerful message in a soft spoken voice:

"Since 1967, 650,000 to 700,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained. That totals 20% of the total population and 80% of all adult Palestinian males have been arrested.

“Most of these arrests occur after midnight when large numbers of IDF storm into neighborhoods or refugee camps, horrifying everyone and arresting anyone 14 years or older. Sometimes they storm into business offices and arrest the breadwinners of the families without any charges.

"These arrests and detentions are based on military orders; we live under a kind of Marshall Law which rules every aspect of Palestinian life: where we live, our license plates that restrict our movement and limited voting rights. Under these military orders the Israeli government is free to hold anyone eight days without accusations or charges. They can hold anyone up to 180 days for interrogation and up to 60 days without benefit of a lawyer.

”The Israeli government never agreed to the Second Geneva Convention, the Knesset never ratified it, and when it comes to the Occupied Territories they totally ignore it. Israel is the only State that approved torture of detainees. I know there are dictators who use torture, but Israel is the only State that supported torture until 1999. That is when International, Israeli and Palestinian pressure groups forced the issue and Barack was confronted about it when he visited the United States.

“The IDF will round up and arrest family members and use threats against their relatives to force confessions. The interrogations lead to Military Trials which is theoretically like court with three Judges presiding but only one is required to have an education and a law degree is not at all necessary. The Military Commander appoints the translators, issues all orders, assigns the judges, and has total control. One appeal is allowed, but if the judges are settlers the Palestinian is in deep shit!

“Administrative Detentions are issued by the Military Commander for a period of six months and the reason is always labeled ‘Security’ and the charges can be renewed indefinitely. One Palestinian spent eight years under Administrative detention and hundreds have endured four or more years. Today fifty are being held for the past four years. They may be released for a day or two and then they are rearrested because they are social or political activists but reasons are not given by the Israeli government.


“At any given moment 10% of those in prison are under Administrative Detention. There are currently 8,000 prisoners and 800 of them are under Administrative Detention. The government does not have to inform anyone about these arrests except the Red Cross and only if they are imprisoned over two weeks, but most arrests go unreported.

“Any Palestinian under the age of 16 is tried as an adult, but for an Israeli Jew it is 18 years of age. Under 12 years old the child can be arrested but not detained. Over 12 they can be arrested, detained, interrogated, prosecuted and sentenced for throwing stones.

“Most of the Israeli Jews that are imprisoned are in for violent crimes against society and they are mixed in with the Palestinian population. The guards encourage them to do what ever they want to do against the Palestinian population. This is an open invitation by the Israeli government to incite violence and terror in the prison system. We have sworn affidavits from Palestinians claiming it was the guards who encouraged the violence inflicted upon them.

“In August 2004 the Palestinians went on a hunger strike to raise awareness of this problem and the Minister of Health who is responsible for them stated publicly: ‘Our hospitals are off limits to them They can all starve themselves to death.’

“No human rights organizations are allowed access to the prisoners. Only lawyers and the Red Cross can visit them but have no access to the facilities where they are detained.

“The methods and photos from Abu Grahib and Guantanamo were no shock to any Palestinian who had been in prison between 1967 and the ‘80’s. All the methods used in Abu Grahib were normal procedures against Palestinians. In 1999 Internationals, Palestinians and Israelis for human rights threatened a boycott against Israel and that is what forced the Supreme Court to address the torture issue. They did not ban torture and the General Prosecutor can choose not to prosecute those who still use it."

 

   
 
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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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