House of Hate

caged but undaunted

(Originally published on Al Jazeera March, 30, 2017)

House of Hate

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
―Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

I remember as a young boy sitting and watching my father’s blank stare as he looked at a documentary about WWII and concentration camps. He seemed to travel to distant places, as if he was all alone and not seated there right next to me. Only once did he share with me what he had seen as a soldier when part of a group that had liberated camps.

On that occasion he described carrying the skeletal remains of a still as yet living man from the darkened catacombs far below the ground to the light of day, as they both cried… the survivor because he expected to die and my dad, I am…

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The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups

caged but undaunted

(Originally published in Counter Punch March 24, 2017)

The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups

The Russian “hack” is sexy. It’s the kind of cabal that can surely draw left and right into a marriage of temporary convenience… perhaps even political warfare, albeit, for different petty reasons. Ultimately, it’s just so much fluff. If you think the so-called Russian hack will in itself drive Donald Trump from power, don’t hold your breath. It just isn’t going to happen.

That’s not to say that Trump’s days are not numbered, but simply to suggest that the pathway to the exit door of this administration is constructed not of digital chips, but rather old school overt acts such as perjury, obstruction of justice and, ultimately, conspiracy. Indeed, how often have you heard it said that the cover-ups are always far worse than the substantive offenses they seek to hide? Just ask…

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Jim Crow is alive and well in Israel

caged but undaunted

{Originally published March 1, 2017 at Al Jazeera}

Jim Crow is alive and well in Israel
Long before Israel erected separate communities, the United States perfected the art of the artificial divide.

by Stanley L Cohen

For years, Israel has sold, and we in the United States have bought, the cheap peel-away sticker that it is the “lone democracy” in the Middle East.

It has a nice, assuring ring to it, sort of like “opportunity” or “peace”, whatever these chants may, in practice, mean. But, like beauty, it remains very much in the eye of the beholder, and like reality, sooner or later the truth surfaces, no matter how well its fiction is packaged.

We in the US are damn good at packaging ourselves, and our charade of equality and justice is second to none. We sell stuff; lots of it. Much of it false. Very much like a willing…

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Show me your papers

rebel.lio

Show me your papers

The President of the “United” States, Donito Trumpolini, has empowered hundreds of thousands of racist police to racially profile all non-whites as potential “illegal” humans who are subject to deportation ostensibly for criminal activity. Such activity, believe it or not, might be as simple as jay-walking or spitting on the sidewalk. Technically, the “crime” of entering the US “illegally” is sufficient criminality warranting detention/deportation. Worse, it can be at the discretion of the police that an individual might, in his/her opinion, pose a threat to citizens and/or “National Security”. This amounts to “Stop & Frisk” on steroids nationwide. “Show me your papers.”

Since Donito took office, thousands of immigrants with varying status have requested church sanctuary and/or headed to the “welcome arms” of our Northern neighbour, Canada. Doors are being knocked and kicked in by ICE and Border Patrols are chasing down anyone who looks like…

View original post 3,159 more words

rebel.lio

Show me your papers

The President of the “United” States, Donito Trumpolini, has empowered hundreds of thousands of racist police to racially profile all non-whites as potential “illegal” humans who are subject to deportation ostensibly for criminal activity. Such activity, believe it or not, might be as simple as jay-walking or spitting on the sidewalk. Technically, the “crime” of entering the US “illegally” is sufficient criminality warranting detention/deportation. Worse, it can be at the discretion of the police that an individual might, in his/her opinion, pose a threat to citizens and/or “National Security”. This amounts to “Stop & Frisk” on steroids nationwide. “Show me your papers.”

Since Donito took office, thousands of immigrants with varying status have requested church sanctuary and/or headed to the “welcome arms” of our Northern neighbour, Canada. Doors are being knocked and kicked in by ICE and Border Patrols are chasing down anyone who looks like…

View original post 3,159 more words

Move the Embassy: End the Charade

caged but undaunted

Originally published January 31, 2017 in CounterPunch

Move the Embassy: End the Charade

Among Donald Trump’s first acts as President was suspending Barack Obama’s last – a grant of 221 million dollars in discretionary humanitarian aid to Palestine.

But why pause before the next move against Palestine? Move the US Embassy to East Jerusalem right now and end this charade once and for all.

Politics

US politicians like to preach from on high about justice for Palestinians and Israelis alike… as if the pathway of pain for occupied and occupier is one-in-the same… as if these two dramatically different ends of the scales of justice can, indeed should, be balanced.

When it comes to Palestine, for decades the United States has hidden behind a cheap frilly veneer of neutrality all the while subsidizing, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, a vicious, often deadly, criminal occupation that has…

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UPDATE ON OUR CAMPAIGN TO ASSIST 1st GAZA STUDENT TO ATTEND CUNY GRAD SCHOOL

Our concerns are heightened by the recent battle over deportation of Muslims by s0-called President Trump. A major requirement of Walaa’s stay in the US on her student visa is maintaining a financial reserve. In order to maintain this reserve, additional funds are needed immediately.
The dollar figure now showing on our campaign page does not reflect the actual amount in this account. It shows only the amount that has been donated up to date. The reality is that, after tuition and securing living space (deposits & initial rent), this fund is depleted and the need to acquire further funding is urgent. We are very concerned that Walaa will become stranded, financially, very soon. Such a situation does not provide an ideal environment for the focus Walaa needs to succeed. It is important to understand this .. and that Walaa is here only on an education visa. She has no work visa and is currently not eligible for one. Efforts from our community are essential to her ability to remain here and succeed. Please donate whatever you can. RT our appeal. Ask friends and family to lend support. Contact angels. Every effort is urgently needed and gratefully appreciated.
Help spread the word!

This Is An Urgent Appeal To Aid Walaa al Ghussein

My name is M. Dennis Paul, PhD.  My friends and I have started this fundraiser for a brilliant young woman living in war torn Gaza (Palestine) who has been accepted as the first student from Gaza to enter Grad School at CUNY (City University of NY).  I ask that you read the following appeal and visit the links we have provided to learn more about this exceptional human being.

Getting out of Gaza is no easy proposition. Returning is often more difficult.  There are numerous legal and political hoops to jump through to make  either journey possible. Last year, we were successful in making it possible for the sister of this student to attend Portland State University where she is now making family, and all of us, very proud.  Our current student has prior history of attending Universities in the US and is acquainted with the hurdles.  We are confident she will make this journey. (SEE UPDATES)

We believe that once you read about the achievements accomplished so far, and under such brutal conditions as exists in the Gaza strip, by this special individual (and the others on whose behalf we work) you will understand the efforts made to help them further their education and life endeavours.

The funds we seek will satisfy both the conditions set by the State Department and the University. Any amount above these requirements will be maintained as a reserve for unforeseen expenses that may incur and then addition to the safety reserve for the student.

Time is of the essence as our student has been accepted to CUNY Spring semester and must quickly secure her place at the University. We will update as needed to stress the true deadlines she must meet.

As long time supporters of rights and freedom for Palestinians and having many friends and acquaintances there, we understand the severity of their living conditions, the depth of daily struggle to survive, and the drive toward betterment and success which fosters the hopes and dreams they carry within. Education is vitally important for these students and is something they do not take for granted.

We greatly appreciate however much you can contribute to help us make it possible for this next student to meet her goals.

Please go on to read the Pensive Quill article which explains more.  Follow the links to learn more about the desires and accomplishments of this brilliant young spirit..

THEPENSIVEQUILL
Censor Offender
ANTHONY MCINTYRE

Help Walaa Al-Ghussein
Saturday, October 29, 2016

(Stanley Cohen makes a funding appeal on behalf of Walaa Al-Ghussein, a resident of Gaza who is currently seeking to further her education in the US. Walaa Al-Ghussein has been actively involved in exposing Israeli terror against Palestinians.) 

Walaa Al-Ghussein is a treasure; one of those rare shooting stars that lights up the sky when all else seems dark and hopeless. Although truly one of a kind, she is not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of other national and international treasures that call Gaza home. Young women and men of determination and drive who against impossible odds have survived … survived to dream, to study, to grow, to look to a brighter future … one where they are no longer merely a political statistic played out in a decades old perverse, often deadly, game of power orchestrated by Israel with the acquiescence of much of the world.

Recently, after a great deal of struggle and sacrifice, Walaa obtained her undergraduate degree at university in Gaza. Previously she had attended a summer long academic program in the United States where she excelled. Most important, as a participant at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, she discovered the freedom of academic pursuit… one where classmates were not killed, where electricity existed (not a rare privilege) to study by, where podiums did not stand empty because faculty had been disappeared or were detained at a border crossing closed for the fall, or the winter … or permanently; where textbooks were not censored by Israel or recycled year after year from necessity because of a punishing embargo intended to break the spirit and will of millions as little more than a brazen criminal act of collective punishment.

Not satisfied with studies alone, Walaa has played an active and vibrant role in the life of her community especially among other young women who look to her as very much a role model of self-determination and independence. In that capacity, among other efforts, she organized and oversaw a series of training programs for youth in Gaza and the West Bank which focused on women’s empowerment and leadership. She presented a working paper on Young Women’s Leadership and its challenges at a conference held at the Women’s Affairs center in Gaza. She has mentored many young women trying to balance the tension between community and personal aspirations.

She has worked as a journalist and photographer whose articles and photographs have appeared in such prestigious publications as Al Jazeera and Mondoweiss. She has contributed to a number of powerful documentaries on Gaza and, herself, been the subject of a number of reports on life under Israeli attacks and the permanent siege of the coastal enclave of some two million people.

Walaa helped organize, and chaired, an international conference in Gaza which was one of 10 cities chosen worldwide as part of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos which focused on development skills for young entrepreneurs. In 2012 she was a member of the Palestinian Youth Delegation at a conference, “Evolution for Palestine”, held in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia … and was the social media coordinator for the Conference. As part of her undergraduate studies, she worked as a teaching intern at both the Latin Patriarchate and Rosary Sister’s Schools in Gaza with 3rd and 10th graders.

Walaa was inspired by her time at Washington State University. Like no other place or experience, it was there that she discovered the world of academics, for her, a ticket to freedom … a boundless, exciting journey with the pursuit of graduate school a gateway to a future where she could not only realize great personal growth but share her passage and accomplishments back home with the many other young women and men of Gaza who look to her with a deep sense of pride and hope.

Recently, Walaa became the first student from Gaza to be accepted by the prestigious Graduate School of Middle East Studies at City College in New York. For her, CUNY… with its diverse population, world class faculty and location in the heart of the most vibrant City in the world has truly become a dream come true. She is scheduled to begin her studies this coming spring semester, which is not that far off. To enroll, Walaa must first obtain a student visa from the US State Department… a not quick procedure which ultimately is dependent upon sponsorship by a US citizen (who has just signed on) and a healthy level of financial security in her own bank account.

I write now to ask our extended family in Ireland, who better than most, have long known the pain of oppression and occupation, to help make Walaa’s dream a reality by contributing to a fund which we’ve set up under the supervision of a highly respected accounting firm in the United States.

For those interested in contributing by check, all it takes is an endorsement to Leonard Vona, CPA , with a reference to the academic fund for Walaa Al-Ghussein. For those who prefer a wire transfer from your bank account to the one overseeing this effort, under US law it’s a bit more complicated. Donors must first send an email to Mr. Vona identifying themselves and setting forth a very brief personal background. This will be followed up by information from Mr. Vona on how to complete the transfer.

==> Contributions, of course, can be made through this GOFUNDME Campaign

For a closer look at the thoughts and words of Walaa, I’m enclosing a link to her application statement to CUNY as well as a number of other links which reflect some of her work.

Many thanks.

Stanley Cohen.

Application Statement

Gaza’s female fixers

Walaa Ghussein

Articles by Walaa Ghussein   

Walaa Ghussein on the power (and vulnerability) of Palestinian journalists

Leonard W. Vona CPA CFE
2967 US Route 9 Suite 403
Valatie, NY 12184
Office: 518-784-2250
Fax: 518-784-2251
Mobile: 518-339-6748
lvona@leonardvona.com

ANTHONY MCINTYRE
Former IRA volunteer and ex-prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh, 4 years on the blanket andno-wash/no work protests which led to thehunger strikes of the 80s. Completed PhD at Queens upon release from prison. Left the Republican Movement at the endorsement of the Good Friday Agreement, and went on to become a journalist. Co-founder of The Blanket, an online magazine that critically analyzed the Irish peace process.

UPDATES
#1 November 19, 2016

We are happy to announce that Walaa has safely made her way out of Gaza after several months of effort. We are, however, woefully shy of meeting the $15k needed to insure her place at CUNY.

Walaa will be the 1st Gaza student accepted in the prestigious Graduate School of Middle East Studies at CUNY. This is a great accomplishment for her, personally, and for Gaza.

We are so thankful to all our donors. We know that finances, for some, are tight in this season. Every gift, whether $1 or $1000, is celebrated by us as it makes the dreams of this shining star ever closer to reality. Please tell all your friends and family about this campaign, about Walaa, and ask them to help us help her.

#2 December 1, 2016
We are happy to announce that Walaa’s student visa has been approved. One more hurdle behind her now. There are still many more ahead and we are still woefully short of our $15K goal. Several donors have come back and donated additional amounts and we simply cannot thank them enough. But we need your donations and time is running out. If only half of our combined Twitter & Facebook followers donated just $3, our campaign could end tomorrow. Please consider a donation of any amount and make it now.
#3 December 10, 2016
We have less than 22 days to solidify all the steps necessary to insure that Walaa is safely established at CUNY. Of course, this means we need funds. At this point, we are only a little over the 1/3 mark for meeting our goal. We know the holidays can cut into giving but we are urging all our followers and friends ,,, and their followers and friends … to reach down deep and find that extra $1-3-5-10 (or what ever might be available) to donate now. Any and every amount counts. With less than 22 days, we are in desperation mode. Walaa’s visa has been approved and a sponsor found. Housing must still be secured and ready for her arrival. Other expenses require attention.. some immediate. We need some serious angels to pull all of this together. Please help us make this happen for Walaa.
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