July 17, 2014
OpEdNews Article: Article: Israel Bombs: NYC Continues Protests

July 17, 2014

July 15, 2014 thousands rally at the United Nations in New York City

Video shot and edited by Palina Prasasouk

More at http://visiitorpictures.com/2014/07/16/israel-bombs-nyc-continues-protests/

July 15, 2014
Photo Essay: New York City Stands with Israel Press Conference

July 11, 2014
4,000 March for Palestine in New York City

Israeli consulate, New York City
(image by Palina Prasasouk)

From the Rivers to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free

On Wednesday, July 9, 2014 New York City was one of many cities who held emergency protests in support of Palestine. Two rallies were coordinated: the first, “A Rally Against US funding of Israeli Terror” began outside the Israeli consulate in the city’s east side. Merging the rallies together, approximately 4,000 people marched to the News Corporation head quarters in the second rally, “For Accurate Media Coverage.” News Corp is home to Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post, FOX News, and Wall Street Journal.

Media, including progressive publications, was widely absent in a rally calling for media transparency. CBS local news was present and drummed up a West Side Story-styled duel, reporting pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters both calling for a truce. CBS reporter, Jessica Schneider fails to take notice of the size of pro-Israel protesters, 200 people at most, which quickly dispersed. It is unclear whether or not counter-protesters were calling for an end to all conflicts. What appeared to be a young man dressed as a rabbi was seen on the side of the Israel protesters shouting racial slurs. It was apparent that the protest was largely a rally against the settlement of Palestine and murder of its people. The people in New York City had something to say:

Free, free Palestine / End the occupation now / From the rivers to the sea / Palestine will be free!

Support from Jewish Community

Rabbi Joel Eidlisz of Boycott Israel:

I’m here for humanity, because we are supposed to help everyone. Jews are forbidden to occupy holy land. Jews are forbidden by the Almighty to have a state of their own and are commanded by the Almighty to be in exile, subservient to the nations of the world. Before 1970 we were living in peace with Muslims. Muslims were helping Jews.

Eidlisz references Deuteronomy 4:25-27.

Among those who spoke was journalist and author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, Max Blumenthal:

Because I am a Jew who happens to not like Israel acting out…. I have been labeled an anti-Semite, a self-hating Jew…. Change our media which is presenting this as a cycle of violence. It is not a conflict, it’s a conquest. It is an illegal conquest. We are not the extremists . The extremists are the people who believe in an ethnically pure Jewish state…. The extremists are the people who have demolished 27,000 Palestinian homes since 1967.

Conquest, Not Conflict

Israel and Hamas began this latest round of fighting after a spike in tensions fueled by the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers hitchhiking in the West Bank and what is suspected to be the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager by Israelis. 53 people were killed in Gaza on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. More were killed at the same time as the rallies in NYC were taking place bringing the total this week to 88. Among those killed, at least 21 . Among those killed, at least 22 were aged 16 or younger. The youngest victim, 18-month-old Mohammed Malakiyeh, was killed along with his 27-year-old mother. The oldest victim, 80-year-old Naifeh Farjallah, was killed in an air strike on the town of Moghraqa, southwest of Gaza City.

(image by Twitter)

The single deadliest strike killed eight people Tuesday in southern Gaza when Israel bombed a home in the city of Khan Yunis. Attacks have been carried out by F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, and drones. No Israelis have been reported killed.

Hamas, an organization based on Islamic fundamentalism, has governed the Gaza strip since 2007 after gaining momentum in the 1980s. Zionism, a movement that believes in the creation of Jewish homeland defined as the Home of Israel was founded in 1896. The movement was eventually successful in establishing Israel on May 14, 1948 as the homeland for the Jewish people. A series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented Palestinians from returning to their homes, or claiming their property. They and many of their descendants remain refugees. The expulsion of the Palestinians has since been widely, and controversially, described as having involved “ethnic cleansing”.

Tahani Hesham of Brooklyn, New York holding a time-line displaying Israel’s siege over Palestine
(image by Palina Prasasouk)

Fatin Jarara of Al-Awad, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition said:

At minimum, the US should stop sending aid to Israel. First step is to stop funding the war against Palestine. 400 tons of explosives have been dropped on Gaza with very little warning. The people have no place to go and can not protect themselves. This has been going on far too long.

Over the past 60 years, Israel has absorbed close to a quarter-trillion dollars in aid from the United States. Last year alone, Washington sent some $3.1 billion in military aid, supplemented by allocations for collaborative military research and joint training exercises. The United States covers nearly one quarter of Israel’s defense budget.

The United States’ support for the Israeli operation appears conditional, Israeli analysts said, as Washington called for “restraint from both sides.” On Wednesday, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal offered to renew the 2012 ceasefire based on three conditions: an end to the Israeli offensive, the release of prisoners initially freed under a prisoner swap but recently re-arrested in Israeli raids, and Israeli respect for the Palestinian unity government. Israeli officials have rejected Meshaal’s terms and vowed to continue the attack. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

Today we expanded our operations against Hamas and the other terrorist groups in Gaza. We’ll continue to protect our civilians against Hamas attacks on them. Now, Hamas, by contrast, is deliberately putting Palestinian civilians into harm’s way. It embeds its terrorists in hospitals and schools and mosques, apartment buildings throughout the Gaza Strip. Hamas is thus committing a double war crime: It targets Israeli civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians.

Marching among protesters was peace poet Luke Nephew. “I feel very full of emotion right now. I haven’t been to any actions for Gaza since I’ve been back from Palestine. The Palestinian people offered me the warmest and most generous hospitality I’ve received any where in the world. They, like their struggle, are profoundly human,” said Nephew. Nephew was in Palestine in March, 2013 before being deported from the country in April, 2013.

Cities across the world continue to protest against bombings in Palestine throughout the weekend.

July 11, 2014
Photo Essay: Rally in NYC Against US Funding of Israeli Terror

Photos from the rally in New York City for Palestine with link to full article included.

July 10, 2014
The Daily Mail is more like the Daily Onion.

The Daily Mail released this yesterday: Inside the world’s most notorious prison: Photographers granted unprecedented access reveal Guantanamo Bay as it has never been seen before

"The United States technically pays Cuba a little more than $4,000 annually - less than the cost of a Midtown Manhattan apartment." $4,000 a month or year? I’m so confused.

"Guantanamo still holds 149 or so inmates in high security sections titled 1 to 7, who pass their days by painting and reading, while their guards pass the time eating in Cuba’s only McDonald’s and blowing off some steam at Ground Zero paint ball park."

Photo captions include: Chilling out, Expressionism, The only McDonalds in Cuba, Entertainment, Downtime, and Caribbean prison.

These photos aren’t as bizarre as the reporting.

June 16, 2014
In search of IEIs (INFJ)

For followers of type theory and if you’re not into type theory, here are two artists whom I very much enjoy that I’ve spent some time studying and am pleased to report they’re IEI like me (surprise!). Introverted thinking doesn’t have any practical applications. Both of these artists are deliberate in their execution. When Ti is applied to Ni, it can be very effective and is basically like a graph or map and if they’re talented and motivated enough can actually make money from their hobbies. 

I decided Olafur is an ennegram 5 after having seen him play live a couple of times and talked to him briefly. Very quirky guy, a bit aloof and unfeeling, more of a head type, and witty. I see more similarities within him and myself which is why it also took nearly two years to type him. Too close to home, it’s like when doctors can’t diagnosis themselves. I was excited to discover this because there aren’t many IEI 5s.

I’ve only interacted with Molly via Twitter. She seems like a sweet gal, but expresses a stronger desire to her identity which is why I think she’s an enneagram 4. Most IEIs are 4s. She has some pieces of her art that she will not sell.

Ólafur Arnalds—IEI-Ni (INFJ) Enneagram 5 Sp/So
Molly Crabapple—IEI-Fe (INFJ) Enneagram 4 Sx/So

First video exhibits Olafur’s Ti. He explains layering music here. His music gives a feeling of going nowhere and usually doesn’t have any lyrics. Lyrics mean nothing to IEI’s. Most times we aren’t even listening to what they’re saying:

Second video exhibits his Fe and his motivation for making music
"All of our senses are connected…if I can create just a little tear in someone’s eye":

Molly Crabapple:

Ben Gold, another IEI musician. Notice similarities, but I don’t particular enjoy his music:

June 14, 2014
A Blog about a Blog About Depression & the Acceptance of Absurdity


I just read a piece by Mo Fathelbab about the anniversary of his suicide attempt. It made me think about the other night when I was walking home in wet shoes. I was only 5 blocks away from home, but managed to get lost because I was stupid drunk. The people I was out with disappeared. It was drizzling lightly, the sun was coming up and I knew I was close. The street names all seemed familiar, but I didn’t have enough sense to make out which direction I should be going other than in circles—a metaphor of my every day waking life.

While I was walking I thought about how every thing is pointless. Time is linear and without a source other than the sun. My age doesn’t matter. I’m 34 and I feel no different than when I was five. Yep, still confused. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I just don’t care about money or careers. In the end—nothing matters. If I didn’t have a kid I would have killed myself long ago or now. I screwed myself over by having a kid. I don’t regret having her, but I would have been relieved a while ago. Honestly, I think the only person who wouldn’t be able to get over my suicide is her. My family would be relieved and all you guys (you readers—my friends) are adults and can get the fuck over it. I sure am lucky to have a kid. Most people who are depressed have nothing. So, that’s what I thought about while walking home and have had those thoughts before.

This blog I’m writing is for anyone who has tried to find some point in life or for living. It’s not for you to feel sad for me or to patronize me with your compliments.

In Mo’s blog, he talks about abusive family members, the lost of a job and romantic relationships that lead him towards spiraling into depressions. Believe me, I’ve had my share. I listened to my dad beat my mom and then watched him try to kill himself. He used to whip me with a belt while I was doing my homework and told me school wouldn’t get me anywhere, that if I found a husband, he would beat me too because I was stupid. My mom and sister had their own demons and was physically and mentally abusive too.

I recently read about the philosophy of “the Absurd"—the human tendency to find meaning in life. The theory includes three ways humans resolve absurdity: 

1. Suicide

2. Religious, spiritual, or abstract belief

3. Acceptance of the Absurd— the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information as well as the vast realm of the unknown make certainty impossible. Once we become conscious of the Absurd, we should respond to it.

Suicide is not an option for me and I tried to find religion, but it’s just not something that makes sense to me or makes me feel better. For some/most religion seems to work and that’s just fine. Suicide is fine too. It’s not a selfish act. Forcing someone to stay alive so that you don’t have to mourn is selfish. 

Depression will never go away. I have learned how to deal with it better. As I’ve grown older, I have accepted the Absurd. I used to think that because I didn’t have a loving family I could make my own family by finding a man who had a normal family. Well, that didn’t work out very well. My track record with men is not good and I would rather avoid any romantic relationships at this point. They tend to ruin me.

I have a better time make-believing romances in my mind. Last night I dreamt about being on a date with someone. The nice thing about dating is when you first meet someone, you like them, they like you and you feel wanted. Towards the end of the dream I was driving us in a car. The brakes weren’t good so I couldn’t stop at the red lights. There was a semi stopped at the intersection. It was big enough where I could keep driving underneath it. I have had lots of dreams where I was driving and I had no control. I think this dream meant that I feel like I don’t have control in my life, but somehow I skate on by. Things work out on their own without force.

Since I was ten, I’ve woken up with panic attacks. Usually with a feeling of doom and asking myself what I’m doing with my life and feeling like I’m going to die alone. I started having panic attacks again when I first moved to New York City. I found out that I don’t have any motivation to be in the film/TV industry anymore. Anything that doesn’t have an impact for good weighs little interest to me. I also found out that the New York City Catholic Worker is not the right place for me to live because we were told so. I’ve been told by almost every job I’ve had that I wasn’t right for it. Some have tried to get us to fight to stay, but I don’t feel that’s right. Maryhouse will go on without us. We will come visit and work when possible.

After a third try, I didn’t get a job with Democracy Now! I don’t know where we are going to live and I don’t know where I’m going to work. We might end up having to move out of New York City too, a total loss of thousands of dollars to get here, but whatever. Wait, what I was even saying here? Oh yeah, nothing fucking matters. Forget all the bad shit that happened in your past, learn from it, do not allow yourself to be manipulated, tell the truth and ignore people who call you an asshole for it, do not try to change people (just go away from them), and don’t think about what you don’t have—think about what you do have. Mini P is in New York City and TruthOut just told their Twitter followers to follow me. Yay!

June 3, 2014
When American Mainstream Media Is Amiss from Guantanamo

November 24, 2013
A message from Shaker Aamer


These few weeks haven’t been easy for us as it pains me to see him in the cell screaming for his rights.http://www.channel5.com/shows/5-news/features-archived/british-guantanamo-bay-resident-speaks-out-for-the-first-time

All I say is what Clive and Shaker say: 

(Clive Stafford Smith: “What I have said and what Shaker has said for years is that if you have got an allegations against him, put up or shut up.”)

Alhamdulillah, We recieved a message from Shaker through Clive for us and for everyone else. May Allah bring Khayr and thank you all.

By the way we did not recieve any postcards from Shaker. We haven’t recieved anything from him in ages.

(By: Umm Johina Aamer)

From Shaker:
My special thanks and gratitude to Jane Ellison, Joy Hurcombe, Mr Sadiq Khan MP, and Cortney and Cori – all of whom stand up for rights and for justice. Please make sure you send a message and tweet to all of them that I am very very thankful. I am overwhelmed by their love, care, prayers, and help. I know for a fact that my debt to them is greater than I can ever pay back. No matter what I do, I pray for their guidance and happiness in this life and in the hereafter. 

Sorry if I did not mention everyone by name and that I cannot thank them in person. However, even if I do not know all of my supporters, it is not really important because God knows all of you and He will not forget your good deeds.