Let me explain the title to this blog post…..

A Non-member Observer State does not have voting power, but can join ‘committees’.

If youve attended college, the comparison can be made between auditing a class in college, in which you show up, participate, but not get credit and this Non-Member Observer State.

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First, a word from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

“Sixty-five years ago on this day, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181, which partitioned the land of historic Palestine into two states and became the birth certificate for Israel,” Mr Abbas told the assembly. “The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine,” he said.

A little bit of ‘pomp and circumstance’

Palestine’s UN Membership Chair being carried in to the General Assembly.

chairofpalestineun

Random ‘odd’ fact:

Palestines newly granted status of Non-member Observer State is the same one previously, and exclusively, held by the Vatican.

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Before I go on about the United Nations vote, let me remind you just what is at stake. Journalist Harry Fear uploaded this video, that names the names of those killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza: 

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Quick Links: 

Palestine becomes non-member UN state with observer status

UN general assembly makes resounding vote in favour of Palestinian statehood

QUOTE

The 193-member assembly voted 138 in favour of the plan, with only nine against and 41 abstentions. The scale of the defeat represented a strong and public repudiation for Israel and the US, who find themselves out of step with the rest of the world.

Thursday’s resolution raises Palestine from being a “non-member observer entity” to a “non-member observer state”. The key is the final word, which confers UN legitimacy on Palestinian statehood and, while it cannot vote at the general assembly, it will enjoy other benefits, such as the chance to join international bodies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).

END QUOTE

Comment: The chance to join the ICC worries the United States because that would mean that Palestine could potentially have Israel charged with war crimes. And as much as understand politics, I do not understand why the world isnt ‘up in arms’ regarding the atrocities perpetuated against the Palestinian people.

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What Statehood is:

Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States

QUOTE

The Convention codified the declarative theory of statehood as accepted as part of customary international law.

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

END QUOTE

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The Vote: 

Who voted against?

Just nine nations voted against the Palestinian Authority’s upgrade to nonvoting observer state status, which passed the General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions.

Voting “no” Thursday were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.

On a slight side-note, Nobody Knows Where Countries That Voted Against Palestine Are

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Reaction from Israel:

Yea, no one expected Israel to be pleased with the results…..but who would have thought that Netanyahu would say it was meaningless? (Netanyahu: Palestine Vote at UN ‘Meaningless’ )

QUOTE:  The upgraded status could make it easier for the Palestinians to bring Israel to trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Court. END QUOTE

Once again, the biggest complain is in regards to the ICC and bringing Israel to trial for war crimes.

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And then on top of that:

Israel hits back with 3,000 new settler homes after Palestine wins U.N. vote

Israel revealed plans on Friday to build 3,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to the Palestinians’ historic success in being recognized as a non-member state at the United Nations.

Palestinians bitterly oppose the E1 project, as it effectively cuts the occupied West Bank in two north to south and makes the creation of a viable Palestinian state highly problematic.

Israel has long feared that if the Palestinians won the rank of a U.N. non-member state, they could pursue the Jewish state for war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague — particularly over its settlement building.

Friday’s decision to build more settler homes was roundly denounced by Peace Now, Israel’s settlement watchdog.

Israel ‘to expand settlements’ over UN’s Palestine vote

Israel plans to build 3,000 new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in defiance of a UN vote implicitly recognizing Palestinian statehood there, Israeli media reported Friday.

Under international law, transferring populations into an occupied territory is considered a war crime.

Israel approves new homes in West Bank

The Obama administration has tried to discourage construction in E-1, which would cut off East Jerusalem from surrounding Arab towns and further carve up the West Bank, already riven by Israeli settlements and military checkpoints.

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United States reaction:

JOHN BOLTON: OBAMA DROPPED BALL ON U.N. PALESTINE VOTE

(Beware of the auto-play video, but please watch)

QUOTE: Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton says Obama could have stopped the U.N. vote to grant statehood to Palestine, but he didn’t take it seriously. QUOTE

Again, we hear people talking about Palestine being involved in the ICC and the language used is ‘lawfare’ against Israel.

For crying out loud, what Israel has done in Gaza CAN be considered crimes against humanity. What is the problem? Why the cover-up?

It irks me to no end that THIS is why legislators are being said that they will enact legislation to cut off funding to the UN itself.

John Bolton needs to get a grip. Yea, 20 years ago you cut off Palestine and ‘defeated’ them….but lets get real, your complete lack of empathy for HUMAN BEINGS makes me ill.

Lets not forget tho, that John Bolton knows all too well how to lie to us. All you have to do is recall 2001-02 and George W Bush.

(Okay, my rant against Bolton is done…..for now)

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This afternoon I watched Breaking the Set with host Abby Martin, who recently traveled to Haiti with former President Jimmy Carter.

Former President Carter gets a lot of flack in the press (even now, people I know claim he was the worst president ever). This interview tho, has made me realize that some of what Ive read, cannot be based on facts.

President Carter has personally been involved with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He sees that prior to Netanyahu, a two state solution was what the region was working towards.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu violated all that by taking over, confiscating homes, and claiming that the Jordan River Valley all the way to the Mediterranean Sea should be Jewish land. He also would like to ordain Israel as a completely Jewish state, when in fact, 20% of the population of Israel are non-Jewish.

He has completely prevented any reconciliation with the participation of the United States. He wont even stop building settlements long enough to have any type of peace talks with the Palestinians.

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Oh Canada!

Canada temporarily recalls Palestinian, UN envoys, but says it isn’t breaking off relations

Mr. Baird announced Friday morning that he is temporarily recalling Canadian ambassadors to the UN and the Middle East to consult them on their next steps, and reviewing Canada’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority. But in an interview with CBC News, Mr. Baird said the Canadian reaction “will be responsible and will be deliberate.”

Before the vote, Canada had warned of potential retaliatory steps against the Palestinians – including private warnings to Palestinian representatives that it might close their delegation in Ottawa.

On Friday, however, Mr. Baird ruled out that step: “We’re not, obviously, looking at breaking off relations with the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

and later in the article:

However, Mr. Baird’s warning of retaliation has already provoked a stark response from the Palestinian Authority, whose chief negotiator said Canada has “disqualified” itself from any future role in the Middle East peace process with its vitriolic opposition to upgraded UN status for Palestinians.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Canadian threats of reprisals and Mr. Baird’s decision to personally campaign against the Palestinian resolution at the UN have ruled Ottawa out of a future role.

“I believe this government is more Israeli than the Israelis, more settler than the settlers,” he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “I think they have disqualified themselves from playing any role in the Middle East peace process.”

In particular, he said, Canada is no longer fit for its long-standing role as the so-called “gavel-holder” of the Refugee Working Group – a post that makes Canada the chair of international discussions on Palestinian refugee issues.

 

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Mondoweiss calls for a military embargo on Israel after decades of human rights violations: BDS movement grows as leading figures call for military embargo on Israel following Gaza assault

QUOTE:  Israel’s unchecked belligerence and persistent denial of basic human rights and self-determination to the Palestinian people call for a concerted effort by international civil society to force world governments to end the links of complicity. This impunity has allowed Israel to continue its occupation, colonization and denial of Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned rights. END QUOTE

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Last but not least, I came across a very interesting blog post today and wanted to share it with you. Its about how a martian would see in Gaza: Why Americans Don’t Understand Palestine

QUOTE:  But our man from Mars is certainly not an American. And while empathy for the underdog is said to be an American trait, this is not true if the underdog is Palestinian. END QUOTE

 

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Again, this post has grown to include many supporting links and videos. Please read to the end and check out what I have posted. Thanks!

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The more I discuss the ongoing situation regarding Palestinians and Israelis, the more I have to scratch my head. I am perplexed as to how some of my friends can be so blind to the human rights violations that have been occurring by the hands of the state of Israel.

I can understand some of the confusion, but once you are faced with what the Palestinian people go thru on a day to day basis, how can you still idly sit by and defend this behavior?

Even this afternoon, I have people posting comments stating they have no sympathy for the Palestinian people. I just dont understand the lack of empathy or the lack of humanitarianism.

Those who ‘agree’ with my view, cannot understand why survivors and descendants of the Holocaust try and put others people in the same position they were in and have been in many of times throughout history.

I have touched on this subject in my last two posts (Israel – Gaza, Its Complicated & Gaza – As it pertains to Palestinians and Israelis)

But some of these atrocities need to be addressed once again.

And, let me straight up say this, since obviously it needs saying….I am not anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic, or pro-Palestinian. I am FOR human rights. I do not think that ANY of these people, whether Jew or Arab should die just because they are different religions.

And, as Ive said multiple times via social media, for as many people like to point out that Arabs call for the extinction of the Jews, there is just as many instances where the Jews have proven they want to exterminate the Arabs.

There are extremists in all branches of faith, including Christianity. I am talking about a complete lack of empathy for Palestinians due to that type of extremism that is occurring by the hands of the state of Israel. Lets get real now, Palestinians live separated from any way of supporting themselves, they live separated from their own culture in the West Bank, and Israel has been clearly been the aggressor in this, even breaking their own cease fire agreements on many cases. Where are the cries for the innocent Palestinians who are being malnourished? Where are the cries after groups like World Vision actually SHOW what is going on in Gaza?

Both sides have done wrong. But it takes TWO sides to even ATTEMPT to make things right.

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Settlements, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights Violations

As I said in my last post, at one time the Jews flourished amongst the Arabs. It wasnt until 1915 that Jewish ‘citizens’ began settlements, and the situation was again aggravated in 1922 when land was stripped from the Palestinians. Ethnic cleansing began in the  The Deir Yassin Massacre of 1948 .

In case you want a short list of some of the direct Israeli Violations of U.N. Security Council Resolutions – This list is dated from 1948-2009.

In 2009, Human Rights Watch reported Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza. Even the United Nations warned Israel against shooting this substance into densely populated areas. Israel attempted to claim that Hamas was using Palestinians as human shields but a further investigation into this claim, could not be proven.

And, in a case reported on just this past May, an Israeli settler shoots Palestinian in West Bank. There are too many cases of settlers shooting Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank to share all those links.

When Hamas was elected six years ago, Israel said they wanted to starve Palestinian residents of Gaza. Israels starvation diet for Gaza The fact that a blockade was built blocking Palestinians from their farmland and Israel controls the border shows that Israel shows no regard for the innocent Palestinians that reside in Gaza.

We also know that Israels water supply is controlled by Israel and that the World Health Organization and UNEP was warning that diseases like hepatitis could be on the rise. Gazas water supply near collapse (This article is dated 2009) At the time, only 5-10% of the water supply was fit for human consumption.

A post from haaretz states that Israel aimed at keeping Gaza on the brink of collapse – QUOTE: “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge,” one of the cables read.” ENDQUOTE

A more recent post (Nov 2012) states that Israel is cutting Gaza off from food, water and electricity: Inciting war crimes: Israel minister says force Gaza population into Egypt, cut off water, electricity

History is repeated as the international community turns its back on Gaza QUOTE – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), and other organisations, prepared countless well-documented cases containing concrete allegations of widespread war crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces. END QUOTE

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Why Should the United States Even Care?

The American media and the United States government are all complicit in what happens in Gaza. (See: U.S. Military Aid and the Israel/Palestine Conflict for a general graph and make sure to read the whole page and check out the links provided)

In an article I came across this morning via the Daily Beast entitled Netanyahu: No Current Plans for Gaza Ground War there is a startling discovery: QUOTE- The most effective missile-defense system appears to be Iron Dome, for which the U.S. granted $205 million in Fiscal Year 2011, which ended on Sept. 30. -END QUOTE

As much as I find regarding United States taxpayer dollars supporting Israeli military, I am always surprised at just how much of our dollars have been sent to Israel.

Im not the only one noticing the fact that when Israel is attacking Palestinians in Gaza, it is our tax dollars paying for part of it. The Guardian in the UK posted  Stop pretending the US is an uninvolved, helpless party in the Israeli assault on Gaza – And for those of you who claim President Obama has shunned Israel when he visited the Middle East??? Just read this article.

QUOTE – Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. END QUOTE

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Hey Israel….what the what?

Israel killed its own subcontactor when it killed Jabari

QUOTE: “Ahmed Jabari was a subcontractor, in charge of maintaining Israel’s security in Gaza… Israel demanded of Hamas that it observe the truce in the south and enforce it on the multiplicity of armed organizations in the Gaza Strip. The man responsible for carrying out this policy was Ahmed Jabari… Jabari was also Israel’s partner in the negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit; it was he who ensured the captive soldier’s welfare and safety, and it was he who saw to Shalit’s return home last fall.” END QUOTE

Other reports shown that Jabari WAS indeed working on negotiations for a permenent truce with Israel when he was assassinated: A Permanent Truce with Israel was Being Negotiated as Assassination of Hamas Leader Occurred

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As much as I know Ill get heat by sharing Noam Chomsky (because people say hes only visited Gaza once, therefore he shouldnt get notice?) I will share it anyway – Noam Chomsky: My Visit to Gaza, the World’s Largest Open-Air Prison

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I ran across a video of Netanyahu totally unaware of a camera filming. I dont know if the translation is correct, but if it is, Israel just expects us to keep defending them, even if Netanyahu knows hes wrong.

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Alot of my friends like to point out instances in which Hamas has sent rockets into Israel, and calls those ‘war crimes’ like in the post seen on the National Review –   Maintaining Clarity in the Debate over Gaza Tactics – but let me remind you of the landscape of Gaza. It is 4 miles wide and 25 miles long, most of this area is densely populated.

Let me also remind you that BOTH sides of this argument has every right to defend itself. And let me remind you that this launching of rockets, missiles and bombs has been a tit for tat. Both sides have continually responded to the other side.

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While I was editing this post, two friends sent me the following link: Op-Ed: Spare Us the Pieties on Gaza — My comment on this link can be explained by the other blogs Ive posted on this topic. And, not that I would expect anything else from an op-ed piece, but its very one sided.

QUOTE- As for those “refugee camps” – why are they “refugee camps” when Israel handed over all that territory for a nation to be built in peace and security alongside Israel? Why are all Palestinians automatically refugees even after they’ve been given a home? The only true refugees are the thousands of Israelis who were driven from Gaza and still live in trailer parks. No tears for them in this world that still dreams of Auschwitz. END QUOTE

I have already shown in prior posts how this is entirely untrue. Israel has handed over nothing. (Gaza – As it pertains to Palestinians and Israelis) Settlers have encroached Palestinian territories time after time.  And the Palestinian Right of Return has been refused by Israel, as well as the fact that most of the property owned by Palestinians have been leveled.

See: Topic-Ethnic Cleansing

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Here is a fabulous post by a Rabbi Outrage in Gaza Redux who, in his own words feels enraged by what is occurring in Gaza.

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Here is a powerful excerpt of a speech made in 2010:

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Documentaries Worth a Watch

And for those of you still with me here, I ask that you watch the film, Tears of Gaza, embedded below: 

If, for some reason the video is removed, you can watch it here: Tears of Gaza

Or, watch this documentary made by Harry Fear, Martyred in Gaza: Martyred in Gaza

Occupation 101 – the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: 

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Now, Im aware that some of you will not watch these.

Some of you will NEVER see the mistreatment of Palestinians as inhumane, and some of you who wont see this as inhumane will bring up Israel as being the ones treated inhumanely. But ask yourself this: Who in Israel is being kept from the necessities of life (food, water, electricity)?

After some heavy discussions on this latest Israeli-Palestinian war, I decided to do some research that wasnt buried in pro-con sources. I wanted to know when the Israeli Occupation began in Gaza and why.

And, I didnt want to use biblical-literalists opinions.

After my last blog post on this topic, (Israel – Gaza, Its Complicated) I planned on doing a post strictly pertaining the United Nations violations going on in this area, but a facebook friend of mine posted a graphic that led me to do this post.

Heres the image: 

Biblical Context: Israel believes that God told them this land belonged to them and no one else. I found a page on wikipedia that strictly pertains to the lands of Israel based on biblical scripture: Lands of Israel

However, there is the simple fact that Christianity began in Palestine, and that Palestinians were among the first converts to Christianity. (See –Aint Nobody Gonna Like This / The Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-428) / The Rise And Triumph Of Christianity / Palestinian People / Acculturation)

Those biblical representations aside, there are some facts about Palestinians and Jews that need to be discussed when the subject of Gaza and the Israeli occupation is brought up.

There is no truth to the centuries old adage that the war between the Palestinians and Israelis has been ongoing since the beginning of time. (I just found out this fact today, and Im pretty shocked) In fact, prior to the Zionist Jew conflict, Jews actually flourished amongst the Arab world.

From what I could find regarding this conflict, (not on a wikipedia page) most of the problems arose around 1915 when the Jews began to start settlement areas. This situation was further aggravated in 1922 when land was stripped from the Palestinians by the Jews. (Mandates for Palestine)

During the time of World War 2, over 150,000 Jews fled to Palestine, as refugees. (What happened in Palestine during World War II?) This migration would in fact, assist the Jews in the ‘conquering’ of Palestine.

In 1947, Britain requested that a permanent solution be addressed by the United Nations. (I admit, I do not fully understand this situation due to the oddly worded 2 state solution [Arab/Jew] or Independent solution. And I still do not fully understand which one they went with) (Israel Statehood)

Either way, Israel was granted statehood and became a member of the United Nations shortly thereafter and the destruction of Palestine truly began.

Alot of people have stated the similarities between the American Indians and the Palestinian people due to the way the land was ‘divided’ up. Jews were given the fertile land while Palestinians were (in my words) screwed.

It was around this time that Palestinians were forced off their property. Many fled during the Deir Yassin massacre (The Deir Yassin Massacre of 1948) In watching several documentaries, the Palestinians were clearly a victim of ethnic cleansing.

Once the Palestinians fled these areas (some estimates say 700,000 Palestinians fled), the Israelis took over that land. It was also around this time that we know that the West Bank was controlled by Jordan and Gaza controlled by Egypt.

After the United Nations enacted a resolution in 1948 that would allow Palestinians a right to return (forgive the use of wikipedia, but its the most comprehensive on this subject Palestinian Right of Return) However, Israeli leaders would not allow that to occur.

Unfortunately, even though Palestinians still held deeds to properties, they were turned into Jewish settlements. And lets be clear about what that means.  The land owned by Palestinians who fled was managed by the Israeli government and it was leveled.

In 1967, another war broke out and another exodus of Palestinians took place. (Some of these Palestinians were expelled) These refugees fled to the West Bank and Gaza.

Even after the United Nations passed resolution after resolution, they failed to take action.

Ill skip ahead a bit to the late 1980s when the first intifada occured. Palestinians demonstrated/protested in a non-violent manner against the Israelis. (Most of these demonstrations were kids throwing rocks at tanks) Yitsak Rabin decided to respond with the brutality that we now know to be called ‘break the bones’. (I will not link to those videos but they are easily found)

During the 7 years of peace after the Oslo Process was began (1993) the Palestinians plight actually got worse. Israeli settlements expanded and any demonstration/protest against Oslo labeled you as a terrorist.

Over 740 homes were demolished during the Oslo Process.

In 2006, the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) was seen as a failure and Hamas was voted in.

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Jewish settlers gain the benefit because Israel controls the power, the water, trash removal, and the roads, while Palestinians suffer from a lack of those services.

Most Jewish settlers on the always changing borders of Gaza/West Bank, have been offered ‘low’ costs for housing. They get a loan to relocate and if they are still there in 10 years, it does not need to be paid back.

In 2000, the Second Intifada began. The Palestinians mobilized against the oppression. It should be noted that Israelis used live ammunition against unarmed protesters.

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Palestinians have lived in an oppressive environment for years. They have to go thru various checkpoints just to go down the street. This is also a clear violation of international law.

The saddest thing is that United Nations havent been allowed into Gaza to see these violations because Israel wont let them in. (Am I the only one who finds this odd?)

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In August 2005, after 35+ years of occupation, Israeli forces began dismantling settlements in Gaza.

This was seen as a sacrifice.

Over $227,000 was offered to those settlers who offered to relocate. Israel asked the United States to pay twenty-two BILLION in aid to cover this cost. (I can find no sources as to when this money was allocated)

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And while Israels presence is no longer ‘visible’ they still control the air space, water, and the border.

Speaking of border – there was a separation wall built. Its said to be twice the height of the Berlin wall. Its used to separate Palestinians in Gaza from land, family, schools and medical treatment.

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There is now an entire generation of Palestinian children who have watched as their families have been treated in an inhumane manner.

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Human rights activists who have been allowed into Gaza (i.e. World Vision) have been reporting these living conditions to no avail.

In fact, when activist Rachel Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer at the age of 23, the United States Congress refused to investigate.

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Israel has the largest military presence in the world (behind the United States) and is the 5th largest nuclear power in the world.

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It is also worth noting that the United States is seen as the sole supporter of Israel. Most of this support comes from two areas: The US lobbying organization known as AIPAC or from the fundamental religious groups, who believe that a strong Israel is ‘Gods plan’.

These organizations/groups would like us to view this as a good vs. evil situation, and would like us to have blind support of Israel.

Im sorry, but those of us who look beyond the deceit that our American media presents to us cannot do this. Our media has a total bias regarding the plight of the Palestinian people.

It is clear that Israel does not abide by the rules and regulations set forth at the 4th Geneva Convention – (i.e. settlements, control of travel etc)

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American tax payers support this. Israel receives the most aid of any other country that the United States supports. (Israel gets 1/3 of the total aid by the US each year) In 2003, TEN BILLION dollars in aid went to Israel.

This money could be spent domestically in many areas. (But thats an entirely different blog)

This opening film shown at this years Climate Change Conference makes me sick! Stop infecting our children with this nightmarish scenario!

Yes, we need to clean our environment but this isnt how!

Here is Mikkel Blaabjerg Poulsen’s “Please Help the World” film from the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009.