Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Shock! Horror! Israeli soldiers shoot at legs of children who throw Molotov cocktails at them
It is the callous misuse of children by the Arabs that is the real problem -- and the use of unsubstantiated allegations by Western "human rights" organizations just inflames the situation -- which is exactly what it is meant to do
THE Israel Defence Force's arbitrary use of violence against Palestinian children, including forcing them to act as human shields in military operations, has been exposed by veteran soldiers in detailed statements chronicling dozens of brutal incidents.
The most disturbing trend that emerges from the soldiers' testimonies relates to the wounding and killing of children in the occupied West Bank and Gaza by either targeted shooting or by failing to protect minors during military operations, the report from veteran soldiers' group Breaking the Silence says.
"The commander gripped the kid, stuck his gun in his mouth . . . The kid was hardly able to walk. We dragged him further, and then he said again: 'One more time this kid lifts a stone, anything, I kill him. No mercy'," one former soldier states.
Another recalls: "There was an ambush where a kid coming up with a Molotov cocktail had his leg blown off. They laid ambush exactly at that spot. Kids came, the soldiers were there, the kids lit a bottle, and they were shot in the leg."
Israeli soldiers and Palestinian children come into regular conflict as Israel seeks to maintain its control over areas of the West Bank where 300,000 settlers live across the 1967 "Green Line" in contravention of international law.
Children throw stones to protest against the presence of soldiers and settlers, sometimes with deadly consequences, soldiers say.
But that does not excuse the use of excessive force against children or the military's consistent arbitrary invasion of villages and homes as part of a campaign to suppress the Palestinian population of the West Bank, Mr Shaul says.
But according to the Israeli government, Palestinian children pose a grave threat to the country's security.
"Over a period of years now we have seen Palestinian minors involved in violence against Israeli civilians, whether it is throwing rocks at cars, whether it is throwing petrol bombs or Molotov cocktails," says Mark Regev, the spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"We have established a parallel system to deal with minors because we recognise minors have special needs and . . . we are trying to do this in a manner that is as sensitive as possible in very difficult conditions."
It was unfortunate, Mr Regev said, that militant Palestinian organisations chose to put minors "on the front line".
He urged anyone with a complaint against the Israel Defence Forces to come forward. "We have a very strict code of behaviour under which our soldiers are allowed to act and if there are violations of that code of behaviour soldiers face discipline and they can go to jail.
"There is an independent part of the military that investigates all such allegations . . . I don't think it is the norm but in any large system there are aberrations and we have to stamp them out."
The most common offence children are accused of is throwing stones, says Gerard Horton, head of Defence of Children International in Palestine.
"But in many cases it is very difficult for the army to actually identify who was throwing the stones . . . so the modus operandi of the army appears to be that when an incident of stone-throwing does occur someone has to be punished for that even if you cannot identify who the perpetrator is.
"The army needs to maintain control in the West Bank and they need provide protection to 300,000 settlers who are living in the West Bank, contrary to international law. In order to do that they need to make sure that any form of resistance, no matter what form that takes, has to be crushed."
The IDF's spokesman, Major Arye Shalicar, said the security situation in the West Bank had improved significantly because of the army's work.
"In the end if you compare it to 10 years ago we have had a decline in suicide attacks," he said. "We had hundreds of suicide murders in 2002 and none in 2012. It shows that there is some kind of effectiveness in the actions of the security establishment and its coordination with the Palestinian security forces."
If there was maltreatment of Palestinian children it was important that the IDF investigate the claims, he said.
He expressed frustration that Breaking the Silence did not provide the IDF or other relevant bodies with the information necessary to launch an investigation.
But Mr Shaul said it was important that Breaking the Silence protected the identity of its sources, many of whom were breaching IDF policy to expose the system of abuse.
Priests attack gay marriage in strongly-worded letter read out across Scotland's 500 Catholic churches
The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland yesterday staged a day of protest over plans to legalise gay marriage.
A letter attacking proposals to give the go-ahead for same-sex marriages was read out by priests across the country’s 500 Catholic churches, demanding politicians ‘sustain rather than subvert marriage’.
It said: ‘The church’s teaching on marriage is unequivocal: It is uniquely the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that governments, politicians or parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality.’
The Scottish government later issued a statement reiterating its intentions to legalise same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships – because ‘it is the right thing to do’.
However it was quick to stress that no clergy would be forced to carry out the ceremonies in a church. The issue remains under consultation in England and Wales. A government spokesman said: ‘We are equally committed to protecting religious freedom and freedom of expression, and ensuring that religious celebrants opposed to same-sex marriage do not have to solemnise same-sex ceremonies.’
The Catholic Church’s letter also announced the launch of a ‘National Commission for Marriage and the Family’ to co-ordinate a campaign against gay marriage. It is expected to be supported by the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Last week Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, who has described gay marriage as a ‘grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right’, broke off discussions on the issue with First Minister Alex Salmond.
Other churches in Scotland have also voiced concern about the same sex marriage plans. The Church of Scotland feared the Scottish Government was ‘rushing ahead of something that affects all the people of Scotland without adequate debate and reflection.’
But the Equality Network, which is campaigning in support of same-sex marriage in Scotland, urged politicians to stand firm over the plans.
Tom French, the charity’s policy co-ordinator, said: ‘It is increasingly clear that the Church has an anti-gay agenda that it wants to impose on the rest of society.’
Throughout the UK, civil partnerships for same-sex couples have been legal since 2005. These confer the same rights as heterosexual civil marriage, but go by a different title and cannot be solemnised by a religious ceremony.
Scotland will be the first part of the UK to bring in new legalisation that will end all distinctions between the two types of union.
In Westminster, the Government’s consultation on allowing marriages for gay and lesbian couples in England and Wales closed in June. The results will be considered by the coalition before publishing its formal response ahead of the next election.
However, it is expected there will be similar opposition from the Catholic Church in this country if legalisation of same-sex marriage goes ahead.
Earlier this year, the Archbishop of Westminster warned that David Cameron’s pledge to legalise homosexual marriage would threaten the true meaning of a sacred union. In a letter read from pulpits across England and Wales in March, it was warned that plans to extend marriage to same-sex couples would be a ‘profoundly radical step’ that reduces it to a vague commitment between two people.
The consultation process carried out by the Scottish Government found just over 80 per cent of respondents in favour of same sex marriage.
Castro-lover idolized by the media
Apparently the most tragic event in the Florida straits over the past fifty years involves recreational swimmer Diana Nyad getting stung by a jellyfish.
From CNN to ABC, from NBC to CBS, from Reuters to the AP, from the Washington Post to the New York Times, it was “all Diana Nyad all the time” the past week. The swimmer failed on her fourth attempt to swim from Stalinist Cuba to Key West, was pulled from the water and has been featured and feted in print and on video practically non-stop ever since. If only Sir Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong and Ferdinand Magellan had gotten half the media laurels for their triumphs as Diana Nyad got for her flops.
Perhaps you will excuse the families of from 20-50 thousand Cubans who died horribly from dehydration, sunburn, drowning, machine-gunnings or were eaten alive by sharks on the exact (but NON-recreational) journey from issuing a hearty “Boo-hoo-hoo” for Diana Nyad’s little jellyfish bo-bo.
For over half a century tens of thousands of desperate Cubans have been crossing the storm-tossed, shark-infested, and Soviet machine-gunned Florida straits in everything and anything that floats—however precariously. Alas, no Shark cages and electronic shark shields have been available to people once richer than most Europeans who now consider toilet paper a luxury.
Many completed the hundred mile journey. Many more died horribly in the attempt. The horrifying estimates run from 20 to 50 thousand Cubans gone to rest in that watery “cemetery without crosses,” accompanied by utter silence from the media. In one day July 13th 1994 43 freedom-seeking Cubans drowned, 11 of them children. Carlos Anaya was 3 when he drowned, Yisel Alvarez 4. Helen Martinez was 6 months old.
For her showboating swims Diana Nyad proudly partnered with the regime responsible for this appalling economic and demographic disaster and those tens of thousands of horrible deaths. The woman actually flaunts her partnership with Cuba’s Stalinist regime. To wit:
“Millions of us worldwide, but especially here in the United States, have been fascinated by the mystique of this "forbidden" island so close to our shores,” wrote Nyad in the Huffington Post. “We are aware of the advanced level of medicine and general education on the island. We have installed proud posters of Che (Guevara) on our college room walls….as someone who grew up with many Cuban friends in South Florida, someone who has now visited Havana some 30 times…”
For the brain-dead: Castro’s KGB-trained apparatchiks don’t welcome you into their master’s totalitarian fiefdom 30 times if you're not blatantly helping the Communist regime.
Nyad claims she grew up in south Florida surrounded by Cuban exile friends. Can she be oblivious to why these Cubans showed up in such numbers so suddenly? Wouldn't her swim be a great way to focus some much-needed media attention on this "cemetery without crosses" and on the murderous oppression that drove so many to throw themselves into the sea on craft most of us wouldn't board outside a backyard swimming pool? (And I repeat: this unprecedented horror from a nation formerly deluged with immigrants.)
Prior to Castroism, Cuba, which enjoyed a higher standard of living than much of Europe and the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth, was swamped with more immigrants per capita than the U.S. During the 1950s when all Cubans were perfectly free to emigrate with all family, and property and U.S. visas were issued to them for the asking, and flights and ferries ran daily from Cuba to Florida —during this entire period about the same number of Americans lived in Cuba as Cubans in the U.S. In 1953 more Cubans vacationed (then voluntarily went home) from the U.S. than Americans vacationed in Cuba. Alas, none of this features in The Godfather II. So it’s mostly unknown.
From this base Castro and Che created an island slum, sewer and prison ravaged by diseases unknown in Cuba since 1900, boasting the highest suicide rate in the hemisphere and repelling even Haitians. This after stealing $2 billion from U.S. businessmen, $25 billion from Cubans and being lavished with the equivalent of ten Marshall Plans by Soviet subsidies. This socialist economic feat defies not only the laws of economics but seemingly the very laws of physics.
Some U.S. officials very much in-the-know at the time of the Cuban Revolution do not blame the calamity exclusively on Cubans. “The U.S. owes the Cuban people a debt so tremendous that it can never be paid, even if some forthcoming administration wanted to.” This from rogue CIA right-winger E Howard Hunt, who worked in what came to be known as the Bay of Pigs invasion.
And yes, I wrote rogue right-winger deliberately. Far from the right-wing bunker of leftist lore, the CIA was always mistrusted by the Old Right as in fact a bunker of (mostly) Ivy League liberals. Recall the old Crossfire program, “From the Left Tom Braden and from the Right Pat Buchanan. Typically, Tom Braden was an ex-CIA officer.
“Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” (Robert Reynolds, CIA’s Caribbean Desk Chief 1957-60)
"Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State were pro-Castro, except (Republican) ambassador Earl T. Smith. (Robert Weicha, CIA operative in Santiago de Cuba 1957-59)
"Without U.S. help Castro would never have gotten into power,” flatly testified former U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, Earl T. Smith during Congressional testimony in 1960.
The overwhelming majority of the south Florida Cubans Nyad (claims she) grew up around are today solid Republicans. This probably explains the media black-out on any interviews with so many people so closely associated with a Cuba to Florida journey. “Please move along! Obviously no human-interest element here!”
The Berlin Wall, (who approximately 200 people died trying to cross) has no end of commemorations. Anyone doing absolutely anything newsworthy around it immediately calls up a commemoration to its victims.
But as usual the Left’s premier pin-up boys (Fidel Castro and Che Guevara) get another free pass from the media.
Ignoring the thousands of dead Cubans is bad enough. But leave it to the Media to actually ridicule them. "Why did she [Elizabet Brotons, Elian Gonzalez’ dead mother) do it?” sneered NBC’s Jim Avila on April 8, 2000 in a live report from Havana. “What was she escaping? By all accounts this quiet, serious young woman, who loved to dance the salsa, was living the good life…An extended family destroyed by a mother’s decision to start a new life."
You read the NBC man right: “The good life.”
Australia: To love and to submit: A new/old wedding ceremony in Sydney
This is good theology but it really cocks a snook at secularists and "modernizers". I note that the wishy-washy Primate refused to criticize. The Sydney diocese is the liveliest (and most fundamentalist by far) in Australia -- comprising one third of Australia's Anglicans -- so you can see his dilemma. The Sydney diocese is only one out of 23 Anglican dioceses in Australia but its following puts the other 22 to shame. It is close to being a church in and of itself
BRIDES will be promising to submit to their husbands under a new marriage vow the Anglican diocese of Sydney is expected to approve at its synod in October.
It requires the minister to ask of the bride: "Will you honour and submit to him, as the church submits to Christ?" and for her to pledge "to love and submit" to her husband.
The service is already being used in some Sydney parishes, under a diocese that opposes the full ordination of women and supports an exclusively male leadership doctrine.
The vows were written by the diocese's liturgical panel, which has the imprimatur of the Archbishop, Peter Jensen. The panel chairman, the Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, said "submit" was a deeply biblical word. "The Bible never said women must obey their husbands but Paul and Peter did say submit, which I think is a much more responsive, nuanced word."
The bishop said no one would be forced to use the new version, and an alternative would remain available to couples who did not want the woman to obey (which has been optional since 1928) or submit.
Kevin Giles, a New Testament scholar in Melbourne, said the subordination of women was exclusively related to "the fall" in the Bible and in 2012 made for bad theology.
"Jesus not once mentions the subordination of woman and says much in contradiction to this. Paul's comments over the subordination of women fit into the patriarchal culture of the day and are not the biblical ideal. The truth is that happy marriages today are fully equal, and unhappy marriages are ones where one or the other party is controlling."
Muriel Porter, a Melbourne academic and laywoman who writes on Anglican Church issues, said submit was a more derogatory word than obey and had connotations of slavery. "Frankly I'm horrified," she said. "It is a very dangerous concept, especially in terms of society's propensity for domestic violence."
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, declined to comment.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.