In all the craziness that happened in the Middle East between Israel & Hamas will finally let up for 72 hours. This is necessary to provide the people with much needed humanitarian relief. Good for Barack Obama and John Kerry, along with Ban Ki-Moon, in getting the fighting to end.
Continuing to hear about the ongoing violence in this most recent flare-up between Israel and Hamas, just infuriates me even more. The whole operation in Gaza looks to me like a massive landgrab. More on that at a different time.
In the meantime, I recently saw a newsflash from Newsy that Israel's just hit more UN schools in Gaza. What's so infuriating is that the schools run by the +United Nations, specifically the +UNRWA, should be specifically avoided for targetting. The schools sheltered thousands of Palestinian refugees trying to escape from the violence. However, what's more sickening is that many soldiers from the +Israel Defense Forces (aka, the Israeli military) are actively killing civilians out of revenge for their lost comrades. This is not how one conducts a war! Shouldn't the words, "Never Again", mean something?
Even with that being said on Israel's part, for Hamas the criticism for them is even more scathing. Hamas has done nothing but shown pigheadedness of its own to the suffering of the people of Gaza. What's worse is that they're actively turning those civilians in Gaza into human shields, which is directly in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
It's time to end this violence. It's time for the United States of America to put its foot down, on the part of both +Barack Obama and John Kerry, and demand an end to these massacres.
Well Israel and Hamas are at it again, same replayed scenario of 2008-9. I'm not entirely surprised of this chain of events as both sides made numerous threats and warnings of ensuing war.
Recent events show another ground war, and one that will inevitably lead to more unnecessary carnage. Hamas has received numerous warnings from both President Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab state leaders that if they don't get the various militant factions under control, they'd be inviting an Israeli invasion. Obviously, Hamas does not retain the capability to hold off the Israeli miltary for very long, nor the fire power necessary to carry on mass resistance as it pledged. However, Israel is not entirely innocent in this regard either, but more on that later.
As for the Israeli position in this current crisis, it is correct in saying no one should live in a situation of continual rocket fire. Additionally, there is truth in saying that Israel has every right to defend itself. On one more historic fact about the Jewish people as a whole, if we're attacked we fight back until we've exhausted the life out of ourselves, and we take the words, "Never Again," as being the reason that we will not let anyone try to harm us. However, it does not excuse going overboard in retaliation strikes. Nor does it excuse the bombing deaths of kids.
Based off what I've seen online on CNN (via Youtube), it's fairly obvious that the political leadership has thought they can kill as many civilians as possible. The video is fairly graphic, so it's not for those who may become queasy from watching this kind of scene. These are Israeli military strikes in Gaza, only the people killed in this video were kids playing on the roof of their house. I'd hate this to be the scene that we see if we were attacked like this.
This is not to say that Israelis are in a cycle of fear and anguish of their own. They are, as a number of Hamas militants attempted to enter Israel through a tunnel connecting it to Gaza. Daily Rocket barrages and fears of attempted kidnappings are a daily reality many face in Southern Israel.
The more stories I see on Facebook and Twitter about the +GOP's constant acts of sheer malice and unadulterated corruption, the more I realize that in order to keep the far-right from doing more damage is to vote +The Democrats back in complete control of Congress. We don't have time or money to waste dealing with continual Republican sideshows.
Take the latest example of +John Boehner launching a lawsuit against President +Barack Obama for seemingly not enforcing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as the +Affordable Care Act, or +Obamacare) . Let me say this, it has no basis in fact and is unmeritted to say the least. At most, there is no standing due to the fact that no one in Congress is seemingly injured by Obama's decision to delay certain aspects of the ACA until after the election and have shown absolutely no proof that the President is willingly ignoring it, altogether. This is a classic example of constitutional checks and balances, and who has authority in which area. In this case, implementing and enforcing laws is within the sole hands of President Obama, who along with his administration, have wide discretion as to how they seek to put the law into effect. Speaker Boehner and the +House Republicans have no standing in this case, as they have failed to enact even one piece of legislation to enable faster implementation.
The example above is one such reason why we need to head to the polls in November. If anything +Reince Priebus and the +GOP are hoping we sit this election out, this way they can continue to sell our nation to the billionaire who makes the best offer, in addition to implementing a theocratic state on us. We can't let this happen.
This is +jgsf1987 telling you to go vote this year.
I write this in part to the ongoing bloodshed between Israel and Hamas. I don't condone the killing of 4 teenagers (3 Israelis and 1 Palestinian), as I want to express my deepest sympathies to the families. One important note to put out there: 2 of the teens (1 of the Israelis and the sole Palestinian) were US Citizens, which in my mind makes it even more infuriating. A group of extremists from Gaza kidnapped the 3 Israelis and brutally murdered them, and the response by Israeli settlers in the West Bank was just as vile, where they abducted a Palestinian boy and lit him on fire upon arriving in a forest outside Jerusalem. It was only a matter of time before the Palestinian teenager would die from his burns, which covered 90% of his body.
Even though I understand the motivation of +Benjamin Netanyahu and the +Israel Defense Forces to end the terror caused by Hamas, collective punishment of the people of Gaza is not the way to do it. The fact is that the people of Gaza have nowhere to hide and most are not even affiliated with Hamas, or other extremist networks, such as the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. Even so, Hamas must abandon the practice of using Gazans as human shields. So in this case, both sides are to blame. But most of the blame, in my eyes, falls on Israel. Here's why: for too long Israel has retained its illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, only pulling out of Gaza in 2005. Moreover, Israel continues to build settlements in areas Palestinians hope to use for a state. I understand that demographics will need to shape how final borders will look, but for there to be a final determination of such factors, there needs to be a permanent freeze on settlement construction. Not to mention, it violates the laws of war, which I believe I made clear in a previous post. In no way does Israel have the right to demand recognition and simultaneously demand the right to deny recognition to the Palestinians and to settle their land.
A number of Israeli policies are perpetuating this endless cycle of violence. So until the extreme zionists and ultra-orthdox lose their grip on Israeli society, this cycle will continue. The same goes for Wahabists and Salafis in the Palestinian territories, mostly the Wahabis. Once their grip loosens, as well as those who express extreme Arab nationalism, can moderates from the Palestinian side be able to move the process forward, as well as on the Israeli side.
There's a lot to be desired about +Comcast, and its services, but when it comes to customer service, let me say this. What customer service? What caring about the inconviences the customer faces on a constant basis? That's the point, they don't care in the least, just happy to take the customer's money, but not do anything to help them when things break down.
As today is the 4th of July, being America's 238th birthday, I think it's a good time to reflect and see about what opportuities were given to us from the Founding Fathers. The real meaning behind this is to show why we need to keep fighting to keeping our democratic republic open as much as we can. This is not to say that we can't make some kind of life or death decision, far from it. We're not at that stage as we were back in April 1861, with the start of the Civil War. However, we need to remember that there's always that one force trying to make its way into gaining power in this great country of ours, and it is the force of religious fanaticism/extremism. Don't underestimate the power of the megachurches, or for that matter, those looking to inject religion into state affairs. This has been a long quest for them to, as they've always wanted to combine church and state, not keep them separate as the Founding Fathers fought to do.
However, on a happier note, take this as a day to remember why you are independent of anyone telling you how to live your lives. That is the other aspect about this day, as it shows us that at some point we need to throw off the yoke of some outside authority and gain some autonomy for ourselves, just like our Founding Fathers did with America, separating out of the hold of Great Britain and its empire in 1776.