Friday, August 26, 2011

How Israel takes its revenge on [Palestinian] boys who throw stones

How Israel takes its revenge on boys who throw stones

Video seen by Catrina Stewart reveals the brutal interrogation of young Palestinians

Friday, 26 August 2011

The boy, small and frail, is struggling to stay awake. His head lolls to the side, at one point slumping on to his chest. "Lift up your head! Lift it up!" shouts one of his interrogators, slapping him. But the boy by now is past caring, for he has been awake for at least 12 hours since he was separated at gunpoint from his parents at two that morning. "I wish you'd let me go," the boy whimpers, "just so I can get some sleep."

During the nearly six-hour video, 14-year-old Palestinian Islam Tamimi, exhausted and scared, is steadily broken to the point where he starts to incriminate men from his village and weave fantastic tales that he believes his tormentors want to hear.

This rarely seen footage seen by The Independent offers a glimpse into an Israeli interrogation, almost a rite of passage that hundreds of Palestinian children accused of throwing stones undergo every year.

Israel has robustly defended its record, arguing that the treatment of minors has vastly improved with the creation of a military juvenile court two years ago. But the children who have faced the rough justice of the occupation tell a very different story.

"The problems start long before the child is brought to court, it starts with their arrest," says Naomi Lalo, an activist with No Legal Frontiers, an Israeli group that monitors the military courts. It is during their interrogation where their "fate is doomed", she says.

Sameer Shilu, 12, was asleep when the soldiers smashed in the front door of his house one night. He and his older brother emerged bleary-eyed from their bedroom to find six masked soldiers in their living room...READ MORE

Design Elements of the newly built Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Washington DC

Drawing on its location at the edge of the Tidal Basin, water is used as an essential element that builds on King's words and recalls most powerfully the theme of justice. The water appears only on either side of the main entry, not even visible until one has entered the memorial plaza. It is the sound of water “rolling down” that will draw a visitor’s attention. From this life-giving source, Dr. King’s message begins stretching away from the entrance, at once welcoming and yet daring the visitor to follow.


Along the Tidal Basin, Yoshino cherry blossom trees have thrived since 1912 – a gift from Japan as a sign of peace and unity. For only two weeks each spring, their tiny blossoms surround the Basin in a cloud of delicate pink and white. Spring resonates with the spirit of hope, rebirth and renewal; the King Memorial has added 182 cherry blossoms to the Tidal Basin’s collection. Poetically, each year the peak blooming period for the trees coincides with the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, April 4th.

To prolong the message of renewed hope embodied by the cherry trees, crape myrtles have also been planted in the memorial. Crape myrtles bloom throughout the summer months and into the fall, prolonging the burst of color and encouraging a sense of endurance and faith.

Along West Basin Drive and Independence Avenue 31 American elm trees have been planted, not only as the standard street tree of Washington, DC, but also as a border surrounding the memorial, embracing Dr. King as an American icon...READ MORE

“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” MLK

Palestinians have to be very careful in their approach to the legal implication of the UN bid

"Dr. Hussein Ibish, a senior research fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, said that the opinion suggests that there are numerous important legal implications to the ambitious UN statehood initiative that have not been fully considered, particularly by the Palestinian general public.

One such implication raised by the report is that the PNA was established as a temporary administrative body, and as such it " has limited legislative and executive competence, limited territorial jurisdiction, and limited personal jurisdiction over Palestinians not present in the areas."

Ibish argued that the "Palestinians should be very careful about any action that might prove a symbolic victory but carry serious political, diplomatic and legal consequences."

"A confrontation is not in the interests of any of the parties, " Ibish said."

UN bid may erode PLO's status: Palestinian report


This is an important legal opinion regarding The PLO, the future State of Palestine and the question of popular representation by Guy S. Goodwill-Gill at Oxford.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our words have a way of echoing out into either war or peace.... my letters & comments published May- August 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

my letters & comments published May- August 2011

The Daily Star
online comment regarding The ex-spy who stepped into the cold by By Hussein Ibish & Michael Weiss

Anne Selden Annab July 30, 2011

The American Task Force For Palestine (ATFP) is not associated with the U.S. Government. ATFP is independent, funded by donations and from what I have seen of it their work is quite admirable as they take both America and Palestine seriously. It is basically a think tank of educated and concerned American citizens who are trying to influence American opinion (including America's Congress) regarding Palestine. Hussein Ibish is a brilliant analyst and writer who makes a point of thinking about and even occasionally interacting with all different types of people and groups. Read his recent "Debating an extremist Israeli settler" and you can see quite clearly that he does not coddle or idolize Israel.

I found the Ibish/Weiss story of Alastair Crooke's Conflicts Forum quite fascinating... and I have to wonder if Alastair Crooke really believes the propaganda he generates- or is he mainly trying to do what he can to goad Arabs and Muslims into becoming enslaved and crippled by religious tyranny.


ABC Drum Opinion
RE "Transitioning from a pro-Palestinian to pro-Israel perspective"
online comment

Anne Selden Annab :

21 Jul 2011 5:50:22pm

The point of this article is to demonize and dismiss the refugees right of return, specifically the Palestinian refugees right of return. Slavery was once popular too- and civilized intelligent people supported it deploying what they perceived as civilized intelligent arguments. I very much doubt this author would take the same stance on the topic of universal basic human rights and respecting refugee return if it was about Jewish refugees from the Nazi Holocaust seeking to reclaim property stolen and the freedom to live and work where their families had lived and worked for generations.

LATimes letters
Lessons of the 'Gay Girl' hoax
Re "Taken in by 'Gay Girl,' " Opinion, June 14

Foolishly, I too got taken in by the compassionate calls to care about Amina, who turned out to be nothing but a sock puppet for a misguided writer.

However, I do not believe that this well publicized blogosphere incident should be used as an opportunity to discredit and dismiss the Palestinian refugees' very real right to return to original homes and lands, a cause Goldberg points out this "Amina" supported.

United Nations Resolution 194 from 1948, clearly affirming the Palestinian refugees' right to return, is not a figment of anyone's imagination. The photographic records and documents following the plight of the Palestinians for the past 60-plus years are about very real, oppressed, impoverished and displaced men, women and children.

Anne Selden Annab

Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Washington Times
comment i posted online

RE: Palestinians storm into Israel, 15 reported killed during unprecedented demonstration

[Dear Editor,]

Religious tyranny of every type flourishes with the Israel/Palestine conflict: Both Zionists and Islamists are very eager to sabotage reasonable efforts to create a fully secular two state solution to once and for all end the cruelties of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Both Zionists and Islamists seek to turn the Palestinian refugees very real right to return to original homes and lands into a weapon of war- it is not a weapon of war. The refugees right of return is a universal basic human right and a very reasonable expectation as well as a necessary part of civilized life in a modern world. Every time you leave your home to go shopping or to school or to work you know you can return to your home and things. It is a simple as that.

I agree with Dr. Ibish (of the American Task Force on Palestine) that President Obama deserves credit for his efforts so far... I very much hope that Obama (& Ibish) continue to support the idea of empowering real freedom, justice, peace and progress in the Middle East.

Anne Selden Annab


my most recent letter to my elected leaders
Dear President Obama,

The Palestinian refugees right of return is not only about what happened in 1948 and 1967 when huge numbers of Palestinian men, women and children were pushed out into forced exile.

The Palestinian refugees right of return is not simply about a distant yesterday.

The Palestinian refugees right of return is totally about today and tomorrow as Israel continues to usurp Palestinian land, rights, freedom and security in multiple ways.

Please do not let manipulative propagandists and clueless advisers push you into undermining universal basic human rights and a just and lasting peace in the Middle East... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not ignore the vital importance of FULLY respecting the Palestinian refugees very real right to return to original homes and lands!

Obviously extremists and outsiders on both sides prefer to portray the Palestinian refugees right of return as something explosive, dangerous and subversive- and hate mongers do a great deal of harm to the idea by trying to turn it into a weapon and way to undermine international law and public support for a two state solution to once and for all end the Israel/Palestine conflict.

The real right of return is ALL about living by the Golden Rule & respecting universal basic human rights:

The real right of return is ALL about empowering peace with the rule of fair and just laws & true democracy here and now in today's world.

The real right of return is about working and living in peace- as a valued part of a diverse community... The real right of return is ALL about ending institutionalized bigotry, injustice and religious tyranny.

Open your mind and your heart and welcome home true return- not more forced transfer. Many, if not most Palestinian refugees will eventually chose to relocate to a real Palestinian state rather than be Israeli- but the refugees themselves need to be the ones that make that individual choice.

Don't let extremists, bigots, religious tyrants and useful idiots destroy civilization in the Holy Land: A fully secular two state solution with both Israel and Palestine doing all they can to honor and respect universal basic human rights (including but not limited to the Palestinian refugees right to return) to once and for ALL end the the Israel/Palestine conflict really is the best way forward- for everyone's sake.

Anne Selden Annab


posted online-
RE: Israel's obstacles to peace hurt U.S. by Richard North Patterson

Dear Editor,

In Jerusalem alone, and only since 1967, one by one Israeli authorities have revoked the residency rights for more than 14,466 indigenous Palestinians in an ongoing effort to make Jerusalem "Jewish". Richard North Patterson under the pretense of advocating peace wants to help Israel continue on with this myopically cruel and counterproductive trend of investing in institutionalized bigotry by convincing us that the "Palestinians must accept that there will be no huge repatriation of Palestinian refugees and their descendants."

Any one who has seriously studied this problem knows that a refugee's right to return is a universal basic human right already very much honored and implemented since 1948. One obvious precedent is the fact that Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust have been reclaiming property usurped, as well as citizenship and the freedom to work and travel all through out Europe.

Today is Mother's Day here in America. I live in community and a country where it does not matter what my religion is, and I am free to travel across town to have brunch with my daughter in her home. Yesterday I was free to travel to another state to my son's college to cheer his team on. I do not have to worry about my home being usurped in my absence, or my daughter's home being bulldozed, or our residency rights being taken away. That is what the right of return is all about- the rule of fair and just laws empowering decency, dignity, peace, security, possibility and progress for ALL the people.

Currently religious extremists and hate mongers on both sides of the Israel/Palestine conflict are thriving, as are pessimists. Time will only make matters worse: A fully secular two state solution based on honestly respecting universal basic human rights (including but not limited to the Palestinian refugees' very real right to return to original homes and lands) to once and for all end the ongoing insanity and extremism of the Israel/Palestine conflict really is the best way forward- for everyone's sake.

Anne Selden Annab

Monday, August 22, 2011

Honoring Heritage, Embracing Originality...The American Task Force on Palestine's 6th Annual Gala

Please save the date and purchase your tickets today!

The American Task Force on Palestine's 6th Annual Gala

Honoring Heritage, Embracing Originality

October 19, 2011

The Ritz Carlton

1150 22nd Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20037

The American Task Force on Palestine is pleased to announce that the theme of this year’s annual gala will be:

Honoring Heritage, Embracing Originality

We will honor four distinguished Palestinian Americans: Maha Freij, Hanan Munayyer, Nawaf Soliman and Maysoon Zayid.

We are privileged to crown the event with a Concert of Arab Vocal and Instrumental Music by internationally recognized Palestinian American musician and composer Simon Shaheen and Ensemble.

We are delighted to have the very talented Palestinian American comedian Dean Obeidallah as our MC for the evening.

This will be a black tie event.

click here for more information