Sunday, August 2, 2020

'Cruelty of the Occupation Knows No Bounds': Israel Demolishes Covid-19 Clinic in Epicenter of West Bank Outbreak

My husband’s words are tragically and horrifyingly true — “With all the other horrors we are facing, don’t forget that Israel, with our help, continues it’s relentless, slow genocide of Palestinians.” 

We must do the research and passionate quest for truth that frees us to no longer unknowingly support and collude with mass destruction and death for the Palestinians and others worldwide and in our own nation. We're all urgently needed to do our part, whatever that is, in the universal struggle for racial, economic, social, and environmental justice. Molly

"There is no humanity in destroying grassroots attempts to support an already deprived health system suffocated by occupation."
Palestinians living near the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the occupied West Bank are without a badly-needed testing and quarantine center following the Israeli government's demolition of a building that was meant to give relief to overwhelmed hospitals.

The Israeli Civil Administration demolished the building, being constructed on land belonging to Palestinian Hebron resident Hazem Maswada, on Tuesday, claiming the structure was being erected illegally without a permit. The building was set to open to the public next week. 

The demolition came as Hebron recorded the most coronavirus cases in the West Bank. The Palestinian Health Ministry said Wednesday that there were 154 new cases in Hebron district the day the building was destroyed, including 60 in the city itself. 

Hospitals in Hebron are filled to capacity, the Middle East Eye reported Tuesday.

"The cruelty of the occupation knows no bounds," tweeted Palestinian rights advocacy group If Not Now. 
According to Haaretz, the Palestinian Health Ministry was involved in the decision to build the coronavirus center, and Maswada donated his land to the city of Hebron temporarily to help the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Maswada family told the Middle East Eye that the project cost them about $250,000 and that they built the center in memory of their grandfather, who died of Covid-19.

Construction began three months ago, and the family did not apply for a permit from the Israeli government; Israel controls the area in which Hebron lies, known as Area C, where Palestinians are rarely granted building permits. 

"If we applied for a permit, we would not have gotten it," Maswada told the Middle East Eye. "We thought maybe during Covid-19, there would be some exceptions."

Maswada told the Civil Administration that the building was to be used for testing and quarantine measures after officials issued a demolition order on July 12, but to no avail.

The administration used an order reserved for new construction, which can be carried out within 96 hours, making appeals nearly impossible. 

Israel's assault on Palestinians' ability to fight the pandemic is "nothing new," tweeted Daniel Lubin, an organizer with the British anti-occupation group Na'amod.

In March, the Civil Administration confiscated tents that were meant to form a field clinic and emergency housing in the West Bank during the pandemic. 

"There is no humanity in destroying grassroots attempts to support an already deprived health system suffocated by occupation," tweeted Lubin.

In recent months, Israel has drawn international condemnation by preparing to annex 30% of the West Bank, leading Palestinian leaders to end all coordination with Israeli officials.

The deterioration in relations between Israel and Palestine in recent weeks has hampered the region's ability to combat the pandemic, the United Nations said Wednesday. 

"Israel in general makes the process for Palestinians to fight this virus more difficult," Farid al-Atrash, a human rights lawyer in Hebron, told the Middle East Eye. "Since the [Palestinian Authority] stopped coordination with Israel, the Israelis have been using all different means to put pressure on the PA to reinstate coordination. They will do everything to make our lives as hard as possible here."

White House Continues Building 13-foot High ‘Anti Climb’ Wall After Protests

Trump’s inner prison — the enormous impenetrable walls he’s built around his heart — is manifesting again and again on the outside. Beyond chilling, disturbing, dangerous, scary, and sad! 
Thank you to my friend Rande Neukam for sharing this article and for his spot on and well articulated thoughts below, which I’m moved to also share with this piece:
It was '65 when my family stopped in D.C. and we visited the WH on the way to our grandparents. Heady stuff to this 14 yr. old -- Dolly Madison, Lincoln, JFK. Then in '81, after tooling around D.C. in a beat up VW Beetle (believing I'd never have to pay for all the parking tickets I was racking up --wrong), Aria and I walked through the fringe-cause protesters in Lafayette Park, peering through the fence. Post-Nixon & Watergate, it still had the pull of gravitas, of marbled history, and I was kind of proud of the chance to finally show it to her.
And here we are today. A wall, the fact that it's 13 ft. high, that it seals off the WH from the people. It's ugly and brutal. It lacks only watch towers and a moat to complete the image, a cheap erector set built by a little paranoid man. If a building could only weep in humiliation ...
Illegal immigration fired his candidacy, front-loaded his presidency, and fueled his bibbed-brained rallies as a dependable trope. It underscored his racism, exposed his migrant wave lie as the cynical mid-term ploy that it was, personified his indifferent brutality to border kids in cages, and martyred DACA Dreamers like red meat to his base.
So, as a strange, poetically unintended consequence, he got his wall. And Mexico -- because it bore the humiliating brunt of his racism -- did in that way at least pay for it.
But Christ, over the past 4 years so have we.”

The White House is on course to complete a planned multi-million dollar perimeter fence replacement as construction continues.

Pictures shared online showed construction advancing along Pennsylvania Avenue, where views of the White House are expected to be impaired when the new fence is completed next year.

Parts of the street have been blocked off and a temporary wall has been erected, as construction takes place.

Under plans that pre-date Donald Trump’s administration, the White House will upgrade all permitter steel fencing with new 13-foot “anti-climb” fences.

The enhanced security measures also include wider and stronger fence posts, intrusion detection technology, and “future security threat” mitigation, according to the plans.

The current fence, at six-foot tall, was said to have permitted multiple intrusion attempts and lapses in security over the past decade.

One incident in 2014 saw an armed man enter the White House, which led to the resignation of the then chief of the US Secret Service.

The Secret Service, in partnership with the US National Parks Service, says some 3,500 feet of steel fencing will encircle the White House upon the project’s completion.

The construction, which began a year ago, comes after temporary 8-foot barricades and an enhanced security zone were created to counteract Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Washington DC last month.

That decision, which came amid nationwide anger over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd – an unarmed black man – was condemned as walling-off protesters from “the people’s house”.

“It’s a sad commentary that the [White] House and its inhabitants have to be walled off,” said District of Colombia mayor Muriel Boswer last month.        

More Images and Thoughts On the Portland Protests for Racial and Economic Justice

My sign reads: Replace the capitalist globalization of racism, greed and violence with the globalization of generosity, equality, justice, truth, wisdom, compassion and love.
Eric Greatwood represents both veterans and independent press. He has been live-streaming the Portland protests every night for weeks. Deep bow of gratitude and respect.
There were many doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers participating and standing up for justice.

These photographs are a small glimpse into the Portland protests in front of the federal buildings on the night of Wednesday, July 29th. My husband and I will continue to return again and again to these protests and to support Black Lives Matter in every way we can. 
For me, this support includes continuing to read How To Be an Antiracist, listening to and being informed and inspired by the words of John Lewis and others, and actively identifying and peeling back the layers of racism that I have absorbed growing up in America. 
Choosing to do the work of learning how to be an antiracist is an ongoing process. It takes work and energy, courage and humility, compassion and commitment to recognize my blind spots and heal and transform the obstacles I’ve built around my heart which have impaired my capacity for consciousness, kindness, and love. 
I reflect in this moment with tears welling in my eyes on memories of my childhood in Grosse Pointe, Michigan where Blacks were prohibited by law from living. The one Black family that did move into this wealthy Detroit suburb when I was a teenager was ultimately driven out. And then there are my mother’s words ringing in my ears and my heart when a friend and her boyfriend were going to pick me up from my parents’ home and drive me back to college: “If that Black boy shows up on our doorstep, we’ll be finished in this neighborhood!”

So much has impacted me — and all of us. This also includes the economic structure of our nation which has from the very beginning been rooted in racism, greed, inequality, dehumanization, oppression, and violence. The systems and policies of patriarchal neoliberal predatory capitalism — the policing policies built on racism and punishment and dehumanization, the mass incarceration of the prison industrial complex, the ongoing brutality and violation directed at Indigenous Peoples and their land, the endless wars and worldwide militarism of the military industrial complex, the fossil fuel industry which is fueling man made global warming and driving us all towards extinction, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries which kill and impoverish millions, the animal and agricultural industries which poison the Earth and cause unfathomable suffering of other beings, the ongoing vast redistribution of wealth upwards and all the poverty and death and violence it leaves in its wake, the vast and relentless poisoning and devastation of the Earth, and on and on — all has their roots in racism and the ideology of domination. This is why radical systemic change has for so very, very long been vitally and urgently needed. 
This is a glimpse into why I’m so fiercely committed to the ongoing process of more and more deeply waking up, showing up, and doing my part in working to alleviate the suffering in our beautiful hurting world. The systems and policies causing such great harm most deeply impact Blacks, Indigenous Peoples, and other marginalized humans and nonhumans. And, because we are all interconnected, we are all affected. 
To be silent is to be complicit. To turn away, to remain ignorant, to justify and defend the status quo, to live with a shrunken circle of caring, to point fingers of blame and judgment at those who are hurting and demanding radical change, to distance our minds and hearts from the suffering of our planetary sisters and brothers is to enable that suffering to continue. 
It’s my belief that we all have a role to play in this great universal struggle for racial, economic, social, and environmental justice. This looks different for each of us. And whatever our part is, no matter how big or small, we’re all needed. We’re all needed. Molly

My husband listening to a speaker amidst the crowds.

David Whyte: Self-Portrait

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you.  If you can look back
with firm eye,
saying this is where I stand.  I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
falling toward
the center of your longing.  I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

David Whyte 
From River Flow:
New and Selected Poems