And so for a moment or two the slaughter of Palestinian civilians and the destruction in Gaza City has ceased; the oppression, intimidation and terror throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories though continues unabated. The ‘Pillar of Cloud’ has done its destructive work and blown over, until the next time Israel feels the urge to wreak chaos, kill civilians and tear families apart. How many times must we watch this slaughter, how many more tears will be shed, lives ruined, futures denied, as the peace activist Izzeldin Abuelaish in The Observer 18/11/2012[i] asks “How many more massacres can Palestinians stand? How many can onlookers tolerate?”
Barack Obama, former president of the Harvard Law Review and a constitutional law lecturer, should go back and review his coursework. He seems to have declined to comport his presidency to the rule of law.
Let’s focus here on his major expansion of drone warfare in defiance of international law, statutory law and the Constitution. Obama’s drones roam over multiple nations of Asia and Africa and target suspects, both known and unknown, whom the president, in his unbridled discretion, wants to evaporate for the cause of national security.
An old man in Gaza held a placard that reads: “You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” 
The old man’s message provides the proper context for the timelines on the latest episode in the savage punishment of Gaza. They are useful, but any effort to establish a “beginning” cannot help but be misleading. The crimes trace back to 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled in terror or were expelled to Gaza by conquering Israeli forces, who continued to truck them over the border for years after the official cease-fire. Continue reading
Dec 2, 2012 by RussiaToday
RT talks to William Binney, whistleblower and former NSA crypto-mathematician who served in the agency for decades. Virtual privacy in US, Petraeus affair and whistleblowers’ odds in fight against the authorities are among key topics of this exclusive interview.
“What do they want from Jaramana? The town brings together people from all over Syria and welcomes everybody.” These were the anguished words of one distraught resident in the Syrian town of Jaramana that was devastated by multiple deadly explosions this week.
The death toll has yet to be confirmed. Early reports on the blasts said 34 were killed. Later, the toll was put at more than 50, with over 120 injured, many critical. All of the victims were civilian.
We saw the faces of those who’ll throw our children
Out of the window of this last space
We will die here, here in the last passage.
Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.
— Mahmud Darwish, 1943-2008
The Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights has now assessed the destruction caused to Gaza and to its 1.6 million people living in an area of land twenty-five miles long and between four and seven miles wide (forty one km and six to twelve km respectively.)
Amazing but true: The first European settlers in what is now the USA weren’t English Puritans or French fur trappers but Sephardic Jews. Before the Mayflower sailed to America, Jews had fled the Spanish Inquisition and settled in what is now Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Although they were eventually absorbed into the mainstream culture, they built a real Jewish life here.
Who were these first pioneers? What happened that forced them to flee? What did they encounter in this far land? These questions fascinate me, and as I read what little we know about them and imagine their lives, a story emerges: