sabra shatila

September 16th, 2017 commemorates the 35th year of Sabra and Shatila massacre

The Sabra and Shatila massacre, occurred between September 16-18, 1982. It took place the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, where nearly 3,500 Palestinian and Lebanese Shiite civilians were slaughtered in cold blood. 

The massacre was carried out by hundreds of members of the Phalange/Kataeb party - a Lebanese fascist movement - in collaboration with the Israel under the supervision of Ariel Sharon.

We will never forgive, and we will never forget. Massacres won’t stop our fight for freedom. 

The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon, between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war.

Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by the Israeli supporters Phalangist militia while the camp was surrounded by Israeli forces.

In that period of time, Israel was at war with Lebanon. The Israeli forces occupied Beirut and dominated militarily the refugee camps of Palestinians and controlled the entrance to the city. Later, the Israeli forces were ruled to have been involved directly in massacres carried out in both camps.

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This September will be the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Sabra-Shatila Massacre in West Beirut. Three thousand unarmed refugees were killed from 15-18 September 1982.

I was then a young orthopedic trainee who had resigned from St Thomas Hospital to join the Christian Aid Lebanon medical team to help those wounded by Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. That invasion, named “Peace for Galilee”, and launched on 6 June 1982, mercilessly bombarded Lebanon by air, sea, and land. Water, food, electricity, and medicines were blockaded. This resulted in untold wounded and deaths, with 100,000 made suddenly homeless.

I was summoned to the Palestine Red Crescent Society to take charge of the orthopedic department in Gaza Hospital in Sabra-Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, West Beirut. I met Palestinian refugees in their bombed out homes and learned how they became refugees in one of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Before this encounter, I had never heard of Palestinians.

They recounted stories of being driven out of their homes in Palestine in 1948, often fleeing massacres at gunpoint. They fled with whatever possessions they could carry and found themselves in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

The United Nations put them in tents while the world promised they would return home soon. That expectation never materialized. Since then the 750,000 refugees, comprising half of the population of Palestine in 1948, continued to live in refugee camps in the neighboring countries. It was 69 years ago that this refugee crisis started. The initial 750,000 has since grown to 5 million. Palestine was erased from the map of the world and is now called Israel.

Soon after my arrival, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) evacuated. It was the price demanded by Israel to stop the further relentless bombardment of Lebanon and to lift the ten-week military blockade. Fourteen thousand able-bodied men and women from the PLO evacuated with the guarantee by Western powers that their families left behind would be protected by a multinational peacekeeping force.

Those leaving were soldiers, civil servants, doctors, nurses, lecturers, unionists, journalists, engineers, and technicians. The PLO was the Palestinians’ government in exile and the largest employer. Through evacuation, fourteen thousand Palestinian families lost their breadwinner, often the father or the eldest brother, in addition to those killed by the bombs.

That ceasefire lasted only three weeks. The multinational peacekeeping force, entrusted by the ceasefire agreement to protect the civilians left behind, abruptly withdrew. On September 15, several hundred Israeli tanks drove into West Beirut. Some of them ringed and sealed off Sabra-Shatila to prevent the inhabitants from fleeing. The Israelis sent their allies; a group of Christian militiamen trained and armed by them, into the camp. When the tanks withdrew from the perimeter of the camp on the 18 September, they left behind 3,000 dead civilians. Another seventeen thousand were abducted and disappeared.

Our hospital team, who had worked non-stop for 72 hours, was ordered to leave our patients at machine-gun point and marched out of the camp. As I emerged from the basement operating theatre, I learned the painful truth. While we were struggling to save a few dozen lives, people were being butchered by the thousands. Some of the bodies were already rotting in the hot Beirut sun. The images of the massacre are deeply seared into my memory: dead and mutilated bodies lining the camp alleys.

Only a few days before, they were human beings full of hope and life, rebuilding their homes, talking to me, trusting that they would be left in peace to raise their young ones after the evacuation of the PLO. These were people who welcomed me into their broken homes. They served me Arabic coffee and whatever food they found; simple fare but given with warmth and generosity. They shared their lives with me. They showed me faded photographs of their homes and families in Palestine before 1948 and the large house keys they still kept with them. The women showed me their beautiful embroidery, each with motifs of the villages they left behind. Many of these villages were destroyed after they left.

Some of these people became patients we failed to save. Others died on arrival. They left behind orphans and widows. A wounded mother begged us to take down the hospital’s last unit of blood from her to give to her child. She died shortly afterward. Children witnessed their mothers and sisters being raped and killed.

The terrified faces of families rounded up by gunmen while awaiting death; the desperate young mother who tried to give me her baby to take to safety; the stench of decaying bodies as mass graves continued to be uncovered will never leave me. The piercing cries of women who discovered the remains of their loved ones from bits of clothes, refugee identity cards, as more bodies were found continue to haunt me.

The people of Sabra-Shatila returned to live in those very homes where their families and neighbors were massacred. They are a courageous people and there was nowhere else to go. Afterwards, other refugee camps were also blockaded, attacked and more people were killed. Today, Palestinian refugees are denied work permits in 30 professions and 40 artisan trades outside their camps. They have no passports. They are prohibited from owning and inheriting property. Denied the right of return to their homes in Palestine, they are not only born refugees, they will also die refugees and so will their children.

But for me, painful questions need to be answered. Not why they died, but why were they massacred as refugees? After 69 years, has the world already forgotten? How can we allow a situation where a person’s only claim to humanity is a refugee identity card? These questions have haunted me and they have yet to receive answers.

On This Day: September 18

World Water Monitoring Day

  • 1437: Peasant uprising in Transsylvania.
  • 1810: Chile declares independence from Spain.
  • 1850: US Congress passes Fugitive Slave Act. It allows owners to reclaim slaves escaped to another state and denied slaves jury trials.
  • 1910: 25,000 demonstrate for general suffrage in Amsterdam.
  • 1914: The Irish Home Rule Act becomes law.
  • 1919: Dutch second chamber accepts women’s suffrage.
  • 1934: Textile workers on US East Coast stage general strike. Over 325,000 strike in the south and 421,000 strike nationwide.
  • 1942: The order for ‘extermination asocials through labour’ is approved by Otto Thierack, Nazi minister of justice.
  • 1943: Hitler orders deportation of Danish Jews. It fails due to resistance by the Danish people.
  • 1945: Voline, a leading light of the Russian anarchist movement, dies of tuberculosis in a Paris hospital.
  • 1948: Communist led Madiun uprising in Dutch Indies.
  • 1981: The Assemblée Nationale votes to abolish capital punishment in France.
  • 1982: Sabra and Shatila massacres: Christian militia massacre at least 700 Palestinians in retaliation for assassination of Bachir Gemayel.
  • 1988: End of pro-democracy uprisings in Myanmar after a coup. Thousands, mostly monks and students, are killed.
  • 1989: During the British Miners’ strike a three-week dock strike is called off.
  • 1991: Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) strikers go back to work to negotiate new contract.
  • 2007: Buddhist monks join anti-government protesters in Myanmar, starting the Saffron Revolution.
  • 2013: Anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas (Killah P) murdered by Nazi Golden Dawn members in Athens.
  • 2014: Scotland votes 'NO’ in a referendum deciding whether or not to stay with the United Kingdom.
Part 3: Another 10 Animated Movies Beyond Pixar

Part 1: Animation Beyond Pixar
Part 2: 10 More Animated Movies Beyond Pixar
Part 4: Some More Animated Movies Beyond Pixar


Before you start: I’d like to apologize for the terrible quality in a few of these screenshots. A few of the older/less successful movies are impossible to find in HD. With that, let’s get started! I hope you find something cool!

Sword of the Stranger (Stranja Mukōhadan, 2007)



It’s easy to forget what a good action movie looks like, and even easier to forget that there used to be action movies with actual grit, where the characters aren’t too clever to be fooled or hurt. Sword of the Stranger is both a good action movie and is absolutely caked in grit.

You won’t find many technical innovations in this Sword of the Stranger, and though the styling is beautiful in an austere way it’s definitely not a piece of glittering eye candy. That said, you will immediately be absorbed by its interesting characters and engrossing plot. It’s a testament to the power of good character development and satisfying plot progression/resolution, traits that animated movies often stumble over.

A young boy living among monks escapes as his home monastery is burned to the ground. Pursued by a band of elite Chinese warriors with mysterious motives, the boy runs across a disgraced samurai and strikes a deal for protection.

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The Painting (Le Tableau, 2011)



(This movie is currently available on Netflix US!)

Part of the reason many 3D animated movies are terrible is their sheer banality. Too many of them are about small animals doing something silly for poorly-established reasons (coughDREAMWORKScough). That’s why it’s so incredibly refreshing when a small studio goes for novelty, and turns their creativity towards describing a fascinating premise.

The Painting is an undeniably gorgeous movie, where CGI is turned towards emulating different styles of paintings in really successful and interesting ways.

An unfinished painting sits, abandoned, in an artist’s tiny cabin. Inside the painting the figures have created a stratified culture made up of Alldunns, Halfies, and Scribbles. The only thing that sustains the Halfies and the Scribbles is the idea that their creator might return to complete the painting, but hope is fading fast. With mounting oppression from the Alldunns a Halfie, a Scribble, and a sympathetic Alldunn set out to find their creator, to ask him to finish their painting.

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The Story of Mr. Sorry (Je-bool-chal-ssi I-ya-gi, 2008)



(This movie is currently available on Netflix US!)

Korea’s animation industry is weird. There’s a huge talent pool that regularly produces amazing work, but almost all of it is in the service of American TV shows. Stuff like Young Justice and Legend of Korra are largely designed and animated in South Korea. There’s very little by-and-for Korean animation available, and what is available is often indie (which means that giant talent pool usually isn’t involved).

The Story of Mr. Sorry is one of those indie movies. A dark fantasy animated with cut-out drawings (which, if anything, are vaguely reminiscent of Monty Python, no anime-styling here). The movie is cerebral, sometimes very literally. In tone and substance it’s a bit like Being John Malkovich, kind of quirky, depressive, and willfully weird.

A timid young man is shrunk to the size of a spider and works as an ear-cleaner. While cleaning ears he discovers that he can delve into peoples’ subconscious.

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Heavy Metal (1981)

I love this ridiculous movie. Here’s what you need to know: Heavy Metal was produced by the publishers of Heavy Metal magazine, a British sci-fi/fantasy comics magazine started in the 70s that still runs today. Heavy Metal magazine publishes an extremely specific form of fantasy comic, which is a bit hard to describe. Imagine if Conan the Barbarian fought cyber-goblins in the old west.

The first thing you’ll notice is that there’s almost nothing good about this movie. Choppy animation, horrible voice acting, bad action, bad storytelling. Critical fails all around. The second thing you’ll notice is that it’s so completely, wonderfully ridiculous that you have to keep watching. There’s also an inexplicably good soundtrack with cuts from Black Sabbath, Devo, Grand Funk Railroad, Blue Oyster Cult, and many more. All of this has made Heavy Metal kind of an animated version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The film has always had a cult following, but it really found its audience once it started being used at midnight movie screenings, with people acting along to the ridiculously juvenile stories.

I’m not even going to try to describe the story here. There’s an orb that invades a house for some reason, then a lady who rides a flying horse-thing has to fight a cyborg, then a nerd turns into a body builder so he can beat up horny orcs… It’s just great.

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Waltz with Bashir (Vals Im Bashir, 2008)



This is an incredible, sobering movie, and an impressive re-entry into feature-length animation for Israel. The style is impeccable, looking exactly like someone brought an inky, moody comic book to life, in spite of frequent photographic & 3D-rendered backgrounds & effects. Equally-impressive is that not one frame of the movie was rotoscoped, even though you’d swear it was given the incredibly natural movement of the characters.

It’s also a documentary.

Filmmaker Ari Folman meets an old friend for a drink. While catching up his friend relates an disturbing, war-related dream to Ari, which in turn makes Ari realize that he has blanked out his entire time as an Israeli soldier during the 1982 Lebanon war. Later that night Ari has an inexplicable dream regarding his time in Beirut. Unsettled, Ari begins talking to friends, members of his old combat unit, war journalists, and psychiatrists in an attempt to understand the dream, which seems to be related to the gruesome Sabra and Shatila massacre.

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Roujin Z (Rōjin Zetto, 1991)



The early-90s were an odd time for anime, sort of a lull between the giant anime boom of the late 80s and its resurgence via licensed manga properties in the late-90s. It’s always fun to see what an entertainment industry does when the public stopped paying attention. Usually because lots of really innovative and strange ideas manage to seep through the studio filters in that situation. That was definitely the case with Roujin Z, which is somehow an action-comedy about a bedridden old man. Smart and darkly-funny, Roujin Z plays out like the most satisfying kind of satire.

In the near-future the Ministry of Public Welfare unveils its new innovation in senior-care: a robotic, artificially-intelligent hospital bed that can bathe, clothe, feed, and entertain its occupant. However, not everything about the bed is as it seems, and when it goes haywire it sets off a mad-dash between government agencies to contain the situation.

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Fierro (sometimes Martín Fierro, 2007)



Based on a pair of epic poems by Argentinian writer José Hernández, the story of Martín Fierro is considered an indispensable touchstone for Argentinian national identity.

The titular (and fictitious) Martín Fierro is a poor goucho, an everyman who is unjustly conscripted by a Spanish governor to defend a frontier outpost against native attacks. Fierro’s fearsome sense of independence and open rebellion against his Spanish commanding officers made him an instant folk hero in 1890s Argentina.

That sense of national pride really comes through in this production, with a lot of gorgeous background paintings and a really lovingly-crafted score giving the movie a suitably epic, sweeping feel. That said, there are a few problems. Fierro’s simplistic character designs and oddly-placed comedic bits give the movie tonal problems, which the dramatic soundtrack can sometimes exacerbate. It’s sometimes unclear if Fierro wants to be a grand saga or a silly spaghetti western.

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Aya of Yop City (Aya de Yopougon, 2012)



Aya of Yop City depicts a version of Africa that is almost never seen in the west: A peaceful, rapidly-modernizing society with an emerging middle class. It’s based on a series of graphic novels by Marguerite Abouet, who in turn based the series on her own experiences growing up in 1970s Côte d’Ivoire.

This is apparently Abouet’s directorial debut, and right off the bat it is an amazing piece of visual storytelling. I actually wasn’t able to find a subtitle of this movie, but the art direction is so spot-on that I managed to glean most of the movie off of character interactions & tone.

Though the figure-movement can be a bit stiff, everything else about Aya absolutely pops. The character designs are simple but immediately charming, the backgrounds are lovingly rendered for every scene, the score is infectious, and the movie never once feels slow or boring. If this is Abouet’s debut then she’s clearly a fierce talent.

Told from the perspective of Aya, a young adult in the middle-class neighborhood of Yop City, the story follows the travails of Aya’s neighbors. Adjoua, one of Aya’s closest friends, has just discovered she’s pregnant. The father seems to be Moussa, the only son of one of the richest families in Côte d’Ivoire, and he and Adjoua are quickly married. However, when the baby is born Moussa’s domineering father starts doubting the parentage. Meanwhile Aya’s other friend, Bintou, has started dating a rich Parisian man who isn’t what he seems.

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The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)



The Thief and the Cobbler can be viewed as the ultimate cautionary tale for animators. It stands as testament to the fact that no matter how great the creator’s pedigree, how beautiful the film, or how many amazing actors are on board, no film is safe from studio meddling.

It had a notoriously long and troubled production time, starting in 1964 and not seeing the light of day until 1993, having passed through several major production studios and ending up at a cut-rate production bond company. What was intended to be the masterpiece of veteran animator Richard Williams was drastically and haphazardly recut into a direct-to-video yawn. And it’s really our loss, the original animation in The Thief and the Cobbler is absolutely peerless. The amount of beautiful fluidity, or amazingly genuine idiosyncrasies in movement ascribed to drawings still hasn’t been equalled by a major studio.

Thankfully, TTatC got a second life in the animation underground. For years a workprint copy of the movie was circulated by animation fans, and to this day you can still find recuts of the movie on the internet, each one claiming to be closer to Williams’ original intent than the last. The best-known of these recuts is probably Garrett Gilchrist’s “The Recobbled Cut”, released in 2006. Seek it out, it is worth the effort.

The story: The Golden City is an arabesque paradise, ruled by the good King Nod. An ancient prophecy foretells that the city is guarded by three golden balls on its highest spire, and if those balls are ever removed the city will fall to warlike race of one-eyed creatures. If this should ever come to pass the city’s only hope is, “the simplest of souls with the smallest of things.” Meanwhile city-life is moving along predictably for the young cobbler Tack, until a chance encounter with a thief puts him in the clutches of the city’s scheming Vizier, Zigzag, while the thief absconds with the three golden balls.

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The Triplets of Belleville (Les Triplettes de Belleville, 2003)



As the first French animated feature to make a splash overseas, The Triplets of Belleville has become many peoples’ gateway to Francophone animation. And no wonder, it’s a wonderful example of the power of visual storytelling, relying almost entirely on pantomime to communicate its story.

The first feature-length film of Sylvain Chomet (who you might recognize as the director of The Illusionist, another wonderful animated movie), TToB blew everyone away when it first debuted. Somehow it manages to be moody and light, silly and touching, & downtrodden but upbeat all at once. Moreover, in spite of its novel story and ample world-building, it moves along at a very brisk, immensely satisfying pace. You never once catch yourself counting the minutes, wishing the story would move along. That’s an accomplishment in a medium that often inspires self-indulgence.

Madame Souza has trained her grandson, Champion, for years to compete in the Tour de France. However, in the last leg of the race Champion is kidnapped. It’s up to Souza and her chubby dog Bruno to save him. Things look grim as the two follow Champion’s trail to the overstuffed city of Belleville, but a chance encounter with three aging music hall singers may provide the help they need.

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The Irgun was a Jewish Terror organization in Palestine that operated in the 30′s and 40′s, carrying out attacks and massacres against Palestinian civilians in their [successful] efforts to use terror to establish the state of Israel.

The Irgun was responsible for numerous shootings and bombings, from drive-bys, to planting bombs in crowded markets and cafes, to targeted assassinations, to full-on massacres. 

Two of the Irgun’s most notorious actions were that of the King David Hotel bombing in 1946 that killed 90 people, as the Deir Yassin Massacre in 1948 in which over 100 Palestinians were murdered.

The Deir Yassin Massacre was one of the worst massacres of the Palestinian Nakba, the campaign in which Jewish forces ethnically cleansed the native Palestinian Muslims and Christians from their land, creating over 750,000 refugees and destroying over 500 towns and cities in order to establish the state of Israel. 

During the massacre in their attempts to control the village, Jewish forces went door to door with TNT and blew up houses containing Palestinian civilians and those defending their village from the attack. Irgun forces would throw grenades in through the windows of houses they passed, killing those inside. To add to the atrocity, those taken as prisoners by the Irgun were lined up and systematically shot.

The images above represent the Irgun’s emblem, which features all of Palestine and Jordan. The Irgun believed that the entirety of both Palestine and Jordan belonged to the Jewish people, and their end-goal was to establish the Israeli state across the two of them. 

Palestinians are frequently demonized as refusing to accept peace or seeking more land for ourselves [despite the fact that the entirety of our land was stolen from us, and continues to be stolen from us by Israeli settlements], yet ignore the fact that one of the most prominent groups responsible for carrying out the ethnic cleansing of Palestine to establish Israel /themselves/ believed that both all of Palestine AND Jordan would be theres.

“Why is this relevant?” you might ask.

The answer is because leaders of the Irgun eventually went on to hold leadership positions within Israel, among them Menachem Begin, who lauded and celebrated the massacre of Deir Yassin as being vital for the establishment of Israel:

Arabs throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of “Irgun butchery,” were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overestimated.

- Menachem Begin 

He also celebrated the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest” meant to serve as a model of the future:

His violent and pervasive genocidal mentality followed him all the way to the positions of power within Israel, where he ruled during future massacres that I will come back to.

Begin, who was leader of the Irgun at the time of the Deir Yassin Massacre, eventually went on to serve as Prime Minister of Israel and found the “Herut” political party. For context, the Herut party went on to become the Likud party, the current party in control of Israel.

Begin, leader of a terrorist organization responsible for numerous civilian deaths through bombings, massacres, and shootings, who supported the idea that Israel should encompass all of both Palestine AND Jordan, who celebrated the massacre of Palestinians as important for the establishment of Israel, went on to become the head of the state, and he brought his ideology of terror to Israeli leadership.

Begin was a major proponent of Israeli Settlements, which are recognized internationally as illegal due to their construction on stolen Palestinian land and their segregational nature. His support of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory underlines his Irgun ideology - that ALL of Palestine and Jordan were to be Israeli territory.

Time and time again, Israel gives the world some sad story about how it’s the Palestinians who don’t want peace, how the Arabs refused to accept the partition plan, etc, etc. Yet, it’s clear to anyone familiar with history that the goal was always to control the entirety of Palestinian territory, and preferably have the Palestinians removed from it all. 

Begin was also Prime Minister of Israel during the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982, which left over 500 Palestinian refugees murdered by Lebanese Phalangists and Israeli forces.

So why is it that Israel, a country founded on terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and the massacres of civilians, headed by terrorists directly responsible for massacres who went on to carry out even worse while head of the state, continues to preach this double-standard and narrative of victimhood while those responsible for all the reprehensible actions mentioned above never faced justice and are instead lauded and celebrated?

Israel continuously asserts that Palestinians celebrate terrorists and murderers, yet Israel itself has been run on multiple occasions by terrorists and murderers responsible for the deaths of thousands, who are then hailed as heroes.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is the successor of Begin’s Herut party, and as such, they follow the same ideology of conquest and ethnic cleansing.

anonymous asked:

1/3. You made some decent points around the US foreign policy, but failed to exam how Islamic culture the cultures of the Middle East/North Africa may be partly responsible for creating terrorists. I mean, the US committed acts of brutality in Vietnam and Panama, but those countries didn't launch direct attacks against the USA as a result. Similarly, the Falklands War didn't result in nationals from Argentina launching terror attacks in Britain. US foreign policy alone isn't the sole cause.

2/3. I mean, what are your thoughts on the historical aggression shown by Muslim states towards the fledgling USA in the mid-late 18th century, when there was no prior hostilities between the countries? US ships were regularly attacked by pirates from Ottoman states. When Jefferson/Adams spoke to the Tripoli ambassador in London they were informed Muslim states had the “right” to attack US ships as they were non-Muslim. The US had no history of aggression towards any Muslim state at this point.

Anonymous said:3/3. I will agree though that in some areas of the world, Western Foreign policy is the major factor in terrorism. British foreign policy and colonialism in Africa, particularly in what is now Nigeria, almost certainly laid the ground work for ethnic conflict, which in turn produced Boko Haram. With all that said, 86% of all the terrorist attacks in 2017 have been carried out by Islamic terrorists. To what extent should Islamic culture be considered a factor in modern terrorism?

Firstly, thank you for this question. I may not agree with you, but I really, really appreciate how you’ve asked this - considering some of the other messages I’ve received.

I am going to provide NATO’s international definition of terrorism for reference at the start of this answer just to clarify the issue. Terrorism is:  "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate governments or societies to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives". 

Firstly, I have to point out the fact that in all those comparisons you have given you haven’t looked at the fact that the brutality in Panama and Vietnam was, in fact, terrorism. You are asking what it is about Islamic culture that breeds terrorism, while comparing the response of states that were the victim of US terrorist attacks. I would asked what it is about the culture of the United States that breeds terrorism? US foreign policy utilises terrorism to meet most of it’s goals - just because it is driven by profit and not religion, doesn’t mean it’s not terrorism. It still meets the definition.

Also, terrorist attacks were committed during the vietnam war and the first war on terror was actually declared by Ronald Reagan, not George W Bush, and was in relation to Nicaragua, and was about communism - not Islam. 

Now, the terrorism you are citing is in fact the Barbary Wars, and was far more complex than you are portraying. It was, in fact, government sponsored pirates demanding the provision of tributes in exchange for safe passage through the mediterranean sea. They were targeted for money. The US also instigated the first Barbary war by refusing to pay this tribute, and sent a fleet of ship to attack the ports. I suppose that could be considered an act of international aggression.

Historically I would like to draw parallel’s with other ideologically based terrorist groups (ignoring terrorist states, because obviously the United States is the biggest culprit and has been for quite some time ). Lets, for example, look at christianity and see whether that has a lengthy history of terrorism.

And, of course it does. Looking for more historical examples there is obviously the crusades (which specifically targeted muslims) and the european inquisitions, and the Bucharest Pogrom (which targeted Jews).

And looking at more contemporary examples, there was the Ilaga christian militia in the Philippines which specifically targeted muslims - in one occasion slaughtering up to 79 people (including children) in a mosque in 1971. And of course the Phalangist christian paramilitary in Lebanon that committed the Sabra and Shatila massacres during the Lebanon war. 

Then there is the National Liberation of Tripura - a christian group in north east India that forces tribespeople to convert to christianity, and is known to kill those who resist conversion. And then there’s the Anti-Balaka christian militia in the Central Africa Republic that is carrying out ethnic cleansing of muslims. 

I won’t argue that there is a lot of terrorism that is cited as having Islamic roots currently - but I think it’s far too reductionist to assume it is entirely motivated by a religion and overlooks the fact that any religion can be used as an excuse for violence when twisted far enough. And even then you can’t view Islamic fundamentalism outside of the scope of historical US  foreign policy - the United States has consistently supported violent, fundamentalist ideology in the middle east over secular nationalism. They supported Hamas when the PLO was in power, they supported Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia so it could access their oil during the cold war. And obviously the mujahideen in Afghanistan when it was occupied by the soviet union. The west has funded Islamic extremism and helped it take a grip of the middle east - because it ensured secular nationalism wouldn’t infringe on their access to resources.  

Western foreign policy is far too important to ignore when it comes to this form of terrorism, and I think Islam is a red herring when you look at the over all context of terrorism across the globe, and the fact that the west and their client states commit horrific acts of terrorism consistently and without remorse. We’re far too quick to point the finger at others and create a dichotomy of good and evil - it’s not that simple. We need to reflect on how we contribute to the world, we need to question our own governments and apply the standards that we apply to others to ourselves. 

Sabra and Shatila by  Mahmoud Darwish

Sabra – a sleeping girl
The men left
War slept for two short nights,
Beirut obeyed and became the capital…
A long night
Observing the dreams in Sabra,
Sabra is sleeping.
Sabra - the remains of a dead body
She bid farewell to her horsemen and time
And surrendered to sleep out of tiredness.. and the Arabs who threw her behind them.
Sabra - and what the soldiers Departing from Galilee forgot
She doesn’t buy and sell anything but her silence
To buy flowers to put on her braided hair.
Sabra - sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war:
Why do you go?
And leave your wives in the middle of a hard night?
Why do you go?
And hang your night
Over the camp and the national anthem?
Sabra - covering her naked breasts with a farewell song
Counts her palms and gets it wrong
While she can’t find the arm:
How many times will you travel?
And for how long?
And for what dream?
If you return one day
for which exile shall you return,
which exile brought you back?
Sabra - tearing open her chest:
How many times
does the flower bloom?
How many times
will the revolution travel?
Sabra - afraid of the night. Puts it on her knees
covers it with her eyes’ mascara. Cries to distract it:
They left without saying
anything about their return
Withered and tended
from the rose’s flame!
Returned without returning
to the beginning of their journey
Age is like children
running away from a kiss.
No, I do not have an exile
To say: I have a home
God, oh time ..!
Sabra - sleeps. And the fascist’s knife wakes up
Sabra calls who she calls
All of this night is for me, and night is salt
the fascist cuts her breasts – the night reduced -
he then dances around his knife and licks it. Singing an ode to a victory of the cedars,
And erases
Quietly .. Her flesh from her bones
and spreads her organs over the table
and the fascist continues dancing and laughs for the tilted eyes
and goes crazy for joy, Sabra is no longer a body:
He rides her as his instincts suggest, and his will manifests.
And steals a ring from her flesh and blood and goes back to his mirror
And be - Sea
And be - Land
And be - Clouds
And be - Blood
And be - Night
And be - Killing
And be - Saturday
and she be - Sabra.
Sabra - the intersection of two streets on a body
Sabra, the descent of a Spirit down a Stone
And Sabra – is no one
Sabra - is the identity of our time, forever.

An excerpt from In Praise of the High Shadow translated by Saad El Kurdi

SABRA AND SHATILA


35 years ago today, then-General Ariel Sharon ordered Israeli Occupation Forces in Lebanon to seal the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.

For days, groups of hundreds of residents of the camps attempted to escape, pleading with Israeli soldiers for their lives, saying that they were being slaughtered en masse. Three days later, when nearly everyone was dead, the Israelis unsealed the camps. Journalists and red Cross agents were horrified to discover heaps of rotting corpses filling the streets and hastily constructed mass graves. Thousands of people had been executed, dismembered, raped, burned and buried alive.

Within days the United Nations formally condemned the Israeli-directed slaughter as “an act of genocide.” Shortly afterwards, an Israeli investigation commission, convened only after half a million people took to the streets in protest in Israel, found that General Ariel Sharon bore “direct personal responsibility” for the massacre.

As many as 3,500 unarmed civilians - mostly women and children - died.

20 years afterwards, the man known for decades as “The Butcher of Beirut” enjoyed total immunity as the Prime Minister of Israel. Today, unknown thousands of victims remain buried in unmarked mass graves under a garbage dump and a golf course. Today, the survivors of what has since come to be known as one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century continue to suffer in silence, while the man responsible received more official receptions in the Bush White House than any other head of state. President Bush announced: “I do believe that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace.” A decade after Bush’s insanity, America`s leaders continue to applaud Israel’s weekly orgies of human slaughter. When Netanyahu - a man who is not only requesting but demanding that the US turn all of Syria and Iran into Sabra & Shatila - addressed Congress recently, he received no less than 29 standing ovations.

September 16-18, 1982.

by Thomas Celan

After a year of losing some truly great humans – including Hugo Chavez, Nelson Mandela, Vo Nguyen Giap, Amiri Baraka, Chin Peng, Herman Wallace – FINALLY somebody remembered to turn off Sharon’s life support machine.

Rest In Piss, Ariel Sharon. You were a brutal, maniacal, racist, zionist, morally degenerate, murdering bastard.

—  Carlos Martinez via Facebook

Milany Boutros Alha Bourje holds a picture of herself standing over her dead family after the Sabra and Shatila massacre, in her home at the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut, January 11, 2014. Ariel Sharon, who died on Saturday, was directly responsible for the massacre and unsurprisingly, survivors showed little sympathy when they heard of his death after eight years in a coma. Sitting in her home down the street from where a memorial stands at the site of a mass grave, 70-year-old Milany Boutrous Alha Bourje recalled how her husband and son were shot dead that day. Sharon, she said, deserved far worse than he got. Photo: Caren Firouz / Reuters

anonymous asked:

MLK was a Zionist though... I wanna respect him, but..

I understand its important to constructively critique every revolutionary’s life, so as to not repeat or internalize their incorrect stances, but attributing the “Pro-Israel” label to him when his life’s work personified the exact opposite is not a stance I can respect or support in any capacity. I’m just gonna copy+paste something I wrote earlier. “MLK was deeply ill-informed by the conditions of Palestine and its citizens and the apparatus of Israeli settler colonialism. Granted, this should have led him to withdraw from commenting on the situation altogether, and I wholeheartedly accept that criticism, but thoroughly labeling him a Zionist or colonialism apologist is completely unfair, as the tenets and rationalities of the aforementioned require an adoption of acceptance for human suffering that MLK obviously did not exemplify. That’s the only rational explanation to this all, and if he had lived to see what an unmistakably oppressive regime Israel was to become, his thoughts definitely would have altered.   That letter to the anti-Zionist that King supposedly posted has yet to be proven and unsurprisingly enough, the main people who’ve pushed it unsourced are pro-Israelis who don’t care about what King actually stood for and the values he personified everyday until he died. Electronicintifada wrote a really commendable piece on this exact debacle. So, I find it disturbing that some supposedly pro-Palestine people are so intent on mimicking the actions of colonialism supporters, instead of providing a full bodied account of the events that surround that unproven letter. Also,  we need to put in perspective the time and social climate in which he made these statements. This was less than 25 years after the Holocaust and of those surviving Jews who appealed for relocation to the US, they were the next target after black people for KKK violence. Admittedly, there was a heightened empathy and shared suffering that lead to a clout of judgment. In certain political spaces and under such similar conditions, there was a kinship formed between Black and Jewish activists/personalities (also, I realize that some Jews did exploit the rampant antiblackness exported by White America, that’s besides the point).  In addition the previous statement, this was a time when it was much more difficult to access information about other regions of the world. There was no internet, equal opportunities to different perspectives,  ways to connect with others unless they were in your direct vicinity, etc. Unfortunately, without apt and extensive dialogue with and exposure to the Palestinian (or even greater Levantine) diaspora, MLK wasn’t ever really given the chance to completely engage with their narrative, which is a great shame, but leads to my next point… If you’re comparing him to Malcolm X, you need to stop, because whether or not its dawns on you, its antiblack to instrumentalize the legacy of one Black revolutionary to undermine and belittle another’s, when in the end, they share far more similarities than harbor differences. Also, its imperative to realize that Malcolm X was a world renowned Muslim man who travelled to Egypt, among various regions in the Middle East and was exposed to people, history, narratives and accounts that Dr. King never had the chance to. You’re comparing apples to oranges in terms of environments and understandings of global affairs, which exploits the both of them. By all means, constructive criticisms are important, but they need to stem from intellectual honesty or else they’re wholly impoverished and deviate from important facets of two men and their complicated lives. You cannot project Israel as it exists today as a global exporter of violence and oppression, or as it was under the Sabra and Shatila massacres or the first intifada or the occupation of both of the West Bank/Gaza Strip and the material conditions of various people around the world adversely affected by Israeli policies onto King’s dead body. Since the death of MLK, Israel, as an entity has drastically expanded and drawn enormous power and political mobility, both within its borders and out. Israel has helped support many of the same warmongering and apartheid status quos that King fought and died to protest against.  Israel rallied against the initiatives of the ANC and other anti-apartheid organizations. Israel has helped crush revolutionary and propped up colonization projects in Central Africa by the Portuguese. For all intents and purposes, its imperative to state that Israel is a colony that has eagerly participated in the continued decimation of Black Africans’ lives. What’s curious is that when MLK spared words of encouragement of Israel, he invoked the suffering of Black Africans, which Israel has taken the joy of participating in. Do you honestly think he would’ve done so had he been given the opportunity to see what the state has become. He would have spat on his own diaspora, the same one he died for. I’m completely intent on rejecting such an idea. As someone who’s supported Palestine since my early high school years and found out these comments were uttered by a man I considered a hero in many ways, I’ve wrestled with the highly circumstantial precarities that surround these remarks and these are the only rationalities I’ve been able to come to peace with. Again, I’m not defending Israel or MLK’s comments in any way and I would hope people know my intentions better than that to accuse me of such a thing, but these comments have been stripped of all the crucial surrounding context and this opportunistic portrayal of King is unacceptable and with such vital figures such as MLK, its important to consider all options before impulsively posting questionable sources.”
2

Palestinian scouts play the bagpipes and others carry portraits of their relatives during a march in Beirut to mark the 32nd anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, September 19, 2014. Then-Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was found to be directly responsible for the slaughter of 3,500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. He faced no consequences - unsurprisingly - and the Israeli public later elected the war criminal as their prime minister. (Photos: Sharif Karim / Reuters)