Published on Sept 11, 2014
Benghazi Gate – Breaking Their Silence – Security Team Claims CIA Told Them To Wait – Pat Smith – Fox & Friends
Israel-Gaza Conflict: Images and Voices of the People
Genesis 15:18-21New King James Version (NKJV)18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:
“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+15%3A18-21&version=NKJV
[ Seeking a Just Peace between Israelis & Palestinians based on equality, international law, an end to occupation, and respect for the common humanity of both peoples. ] – Jewish Voice for Peace
July 9, 2014 Jeff Moskowitz published in article in The Atlantic Magazine, “The Next Generation of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Young people are at the center of the latest violence. And they’ll decide its future.” This is an excerpt from that article.—
JERUSALEM—In recent weeks, the all-too-common elements of Israeli-Palestinian violence—rocks, rockets, and rubber bullets, Molotov cocktails and missile strikes—have included more unusual tactics: kidnappings and murders, remarkable not only for their viciousness but also for the youth of the victims and perpetrators.
Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Fraenkel, the three Jewish teens who were abducted and murdered three weeks ago while hitchhiking in the West Bank, were between the ages of 16 and 19. Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian boy snatched from outside his home two weeks later and burned to death in a Jerusalem forest, was 16. The Jewish suspects being held in connection with Abu Khdeir’s killing are reportedly between the ages of 16 and 25. The prime suspects in the murder of the Israeli teens are 29 and 32. – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
There are really no more words necessary after reading that. These images speak for themselves.
Now hear the voices of the people. The Israeli and Palestinian young adult communities.
Corey Gil-Shuster is a Canadian immigrant to Israel. This is a video that is part of his Ask an Israeli/Ask a Palestinian project. In 2013 Gil-Shuster asked Israeli youth if they had a message that they would like to send to the Palestinian youth in Gaza. He speculated that, although the Israeli teenagers that he encountered overall seemed moderate and expressed concern for Palestinians, these views would change after they went to the army. – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
Published on Feb 28, 2013
Want to know what Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East really think about the conflict? Ask a question and I will get answers. People ask Israeli Jews questions. I go out and ask random people to answer. Mustafa in Gaza asks: “Do Israeli youth have a message for us in Gaza?”
One year later Palestinians were asked the same question about the Israeli youth. Gil-Shuster said that he was surprised by their responses. “Half of them didn’t want to answer the question,” he said. “They said they had no message, and underlying that seemed to be a lot of hatred and anger.” – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
Published on Jun 22, 2014
Please donate to the project so I can travel further and more often: http://www.gofundme.com/Ask-Project
Want to know what Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East really think about the conflict? Ask a question and I will get answers. People ask Israeli Jews questions. I go out and ask random people to answer. Want to contribute? Go to http://www.gofundme.com/Ask-Project
As I look at these images and listen to the voices of the people I see nothing but victims across the board. There is a serious breakdown in communication between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The majority of the peoples want these senseless killings to cease. A strong possibility for peaceful cohabitation does exist. In the midst of the tension, resentment and hostility the general population on both sides of the conflict have chosen to seek wisdom from its tumultuous history. Polls show that young people are highly dissatisfied with Palestinian leadership. While 5 percent of the young adult population in Palestine support their current leaders the rest of the population has expressed hate towards Palestinian leadership. Claims of corruption have surfaced. It is generally believed that the government does not care about Palestinians. The people have grown impatient with political parties that have continuously done nothing except helped themselves. When asked almost a year ago 48 percent of the youth in Gaza and 15 percent of the youth in the West Bank reported that they would support an uprising to remove the current Palestinian government.
Young Israelis, who have grown up experiencing intense security sanctions, could easily lose any and all hope for the peace process. The Oslo Accords of the 1990s were successful but then became stalled. Many have terrifying memories of the Second Intifada, the armed Palestinian uprising that lasted from 2000 to 2005. During the uprising daily life in Jerusalem was plagued by troubling images of Israelis being massacred on exploding buses. The Israeli peace movement was at its peak when the Intifada erupted. Which causes the Israeli people to look back at their empty hopes, especially considering the current state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. These recent security sanctions are what some believe is the cause for a noticeable generation gap among Israelis. The youth of Israel have become right-wing, even more so than their parents or grandparents. Israeli right-wing politics involves parties that support firm security measures, maintain distrust in the peace process and also question Palestinian intent. A significant portion of Israeli right-wing politics is representative of the nucleus of its current governing coalition. Heightened security stems from not just the bombings from Gaza but includes concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. The legal age to vote in Israel is 18. Two-thirds of the first-time voters described themselves as right-wing in the 2013 national election. A May 2014 poll revealed that 58 percent of Israelis under the age of 35 reported that they were politically right-wing. Israelis under 35 were also found to be more likely to say that Israel is headed down the wrong path.
Although deeply skeptical of their ideal peace deal coming to pass, Israeli youth are mostly in favor of a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians. Data from a 2013 survey indicated that 57 percent of young Israelis continued to support a two-state solution, however only 25 percent think that it is truly feasible, in comparison to 41 percent of their elders. A 25 year old college student and chairman of the Hebrew University Student Union at the Givat Ram campus describes himself as politically center-left. His childhood experience in Israel has given him a unique insight into the changing political climate.
“I remember as a child, I believed that everything was going to end and everyone was going to be happy. A lot of people see those days and remember the hope and look at where we are today, and then they become more right-wing,” said Idan Maor.
“They say we tried to go left once,” Maor continued. “And it looks like it wasn’t the right way. There aren’t many attacks today but it’s only because our intelligence and military became stronger.”
Rumors of a rebellion against the Palestinian Authority are brewing, but a 26-year-old Palestinian woman from the West Bank who asked that only her first name (Hiba) be used for security reasons, said that there will not be another violent intifada against the Israelis. Hiba claimed that the Second Intifada had a damaging effect on Palestinians as much as it did on Israelis. Palestinians don’t ever want to experience that level of violence again. Based on the results of an August 2013 poll it was discovered that 45 percent of young Palestinians support a two-state solution—slightly lower than figures for older Palestinians. One prominent political figure in the West Bank lately has been calling for an alternative model. Tareq Abbas is the 48 year old son of President Abbas. He is a strong advocate of a one-state solution where Jews and Arabs would enjoy equal rights.
“The young people prefer legal actions, they’re trying to copy the South African model,” Hiba said. “Because they survived the Second Intifada and it was traumatizing for all of us, now we think an intifada will only harm the Palestinians, not the Israelis.” – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
All things considered, what I take away from this in depth review of the Israel-Gaza conflict is a greater insight into the hearts, minds, and suffering of the people than I had a couple weeks ago. One thing is certain. We cannot change the past but we can all, globally, learn from it.
There is nothing more disheartening than the images of war. Especially when that war is sparked by nations feuding over ancestral claim to lands. Whether a man believes in God, a higher power or not, one would like to think that as we have ventured into more modern times there would be a universal understanding that the earth belongs to all its inhabitants. No one nation, religion, race, gender or species has more or less right than any other to inhabit this earth.
As Christians we must give reverence to the covenant that God made with Abraham in the book of Genesis. —
18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:
“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
Genesis 15:18-21 New King James Version (NKJV) – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+15%3A18-21&version=NKJV
This is the land of Israel. In my heart I believe that no matter where we as people, God’s creation, may live on this earth God has blessed us all to inhabit this earth.
Nonetheless, these wars are real and one in particular will be etched in the hearts, minds and history of the people of Kosovo. There is a disputed border territory between Serbia and Albania that is known as Kosovo. Of the two million people that live in Kosovo, an estimated 90% are Kosovo Albanians also known as Kosovars. The Albanians are believed to be descendents of the ancient Dardanians or Illyrians. History suggests that these ancient peoples inhabited the western Balkans quite some time before Slavs settled there in the 6th to 8th centuries A.D. After the medieval Serbian Orthodox Church had established in Kosovo in 1297 the medieval kingdom of Serbia proclaimed itself. In the minds of Serbian Nationalists Kosovo’s many Orthodox monasteries, the blood and the relics of those who died defending them have ‘eternally sanctified’ Serbian claims to Kosovo. Serbs even go so far as to dispute Albanian’s direct descending from ancient Dardanians. I personally don’t care who came from who or who, in ancient times, was there first. Nothing can justify or excuse the atrocities that the Kosovars experienced under Serbian rule. – http://www.historytoday.com/robert-bideleux/kosovos-conflict
I am mortified by the events and opinions in relation to Serbian Nationalists. One of the most difficult things was watching the video below, “The Valley – hate and death during the Kosovo conflict.” The more disturbing part is that this is what day to day life was like for the Kosovars. Watching these men bury their family and friends who were senselessly murdered, shot and then burned in their homes by Serbian troops in 1998, was horrific. My heart aches as a Kosovar man says, “Our people are homeless.”, “Everything we’ve worked for has been destroyed.” I could feel nothing but anger and deep sympathy as I watched video of burning houses in the Drenica Valley, Central Kosovo. The chilling sounds of gunshots and explosives coming from somewhere in the distance. It is honestly hard to understand what motivates people to harbor such an intense hatred. In Bajcina, an Albanian village recently visited by Serb troops, there is footage of the ruins of a burned house. A man says, “There is blood, so he was shot.”, “He was shot before he burned.” Men sift through the rubble and bring caskets to collect the bodies of the dead. One man who found a button to a pair of jeans says, “I think it’s Mohammed’s.” Another man helping to sift through the rubble says, “It’s his foot.”, “This is his foot.” Someone says, “I reckon we’ve found a fourth body.”, “Another rib.” Another says, “I recognize his jumper.” Other men watch as they do this. Everyone appears to be very sad about what they are seeing. One man stands next to a young boy and holds him close with one arm over his shoulder. The boy is extremely saddened. They all watch as two men with scarves tied around their nose and mouth wearing long gloves for protection lift the distorted burned remains of a body into a casket. Someone believes he has identified the name of one of the corpses and says, “It’s Rahim.” Rahim was only 16 years old.
Fortunately, February 17, 2008 the Kosovo Assembly adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration acknowledges years of strife and violence in Kosovo as well as deep gratitude for the 1999 world intervention’s removal of Belgrade’s governance placing Kosovo under UN interim administration. In today’s society the United States, for example, is constantly under scrutiny for choosing to become politically and militarily involved in international conflict. I can definitely appreciate the basic concerns expressed by those, including Americans, who feel that US intervention is intrusive and an infringement on the independence of nations where the US has no jurisdiction. However, I feel that the US puts a great effort into recognizing international and independent government. When people like the Kosovars are being subjugated and slaughtered it is everyone’s responsibility to take action if it is in their power to do so. The brutality and oppression that I discovered would have continued if no one had interjected. Even as recent as 2008, the Republic of Serbia insisted Kosovo remained a southern province. Serbian President Boris Tadic addressed the Security Council on February 18, 2008 and made this statement:
“The Republic of Serbia will not accept the violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Government of Serbia and the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia have declared the decision of the Pristina authorities (Declaration of Independence) null and void. Likewise, we are taking all diplomatic and political measures to prevent the secession of a part of our territory.” – Kosovo Article
This statement made just one day after the Kosovo Declaration of Independence. The Assembly of Kosovo convened on February 17, 2008, in Pristine, the capital of Kosovo. – http://www.assembly-kosova.org/?cid=2,128,1635
It is fortunate that organizations like NATO and the United Nations as well as others like them continue to work toward abolishing governments like the Serbians, the Saddam Husseins and the Muammar Gaddafis. The Kosovars have found freedom and peace. Thus, I am at peace with the images of horror that was once Kosovo, the Drenica Valley.
Uploaded on Feb 19, 2011
Kosovo 1999, The Valley shows us the face of civil war seen – uniquely – from both sides of the same front line. Filmed in the epicentre of the uprising, the Drenica Valley, over the bloodiest summer of the war, it achieves a level of intimacy with its subjects rarely seen in conflict documentaries.
In it we meet the inhabitants of a Muslim village destroyed by Serbs, a Christian Convent surrounded by hostile forces, the elite Black Tiger units of the KLA and the men of a Serbian village who have taken up arms to protect their lands from the surrounding Albanians. In these situations, grief is never far away.
The Kosovo Liberation Army contained many angry Albanians, sick and tired of a loss of rights, which had been revoked by their Serbian masters. Fighting to reclaim the land they believed to be historically theirs, they ran up against Serb forces with full of righteous indignation.
The Valley is now widely considered as the definitive Balkan war documentary. At a time when the question of Kosovo’s political status hangs in the balance The Valley is a harrowing reminder of how and where it all began.
The hate and death during the Kosovo conflict.
Award-winning documentary that focuses specifically on the conflict ( war ) in the Drenica Valley of Kosovo during the late 1990s.
Directed and Produced by: Dan Reed
Length: 70 mins
Produced by Mentorn and Suspect Device
Reminds me of the historic slaughter of many of my ancestors, the Native American Cherokee Tribe, as they were mercilessly marched along what came to be known as the Trail of Tears. Tragically senseless depravity.
“At the beginning of the 1830s, nearly 125,000 Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida–land their ancestors had occupied and cultivated for generations. By the end of the decade, very few natives remained anywhere in the southeastern United States. Working on behalf of white settlers who wanted to grow cotton on the Indians’ land, the federal government forced them to leave their homelands and walk thousands of miles to a specially designated “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River. This difficult and sometimes deadly journey is known as the Trail of Tears.” – http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/trail-of-tears
They really have no voice.
In the northern region of British Columbia, Canada, there is a highway that has become known as the Highway of Tears.
If you drive there, and you forget the high trees, dense forest, and majestic mountains peaks that you can see in a distance, you will realize that you are driving on a strip of road that, since1962, has seen the disappearance of 582 women and girls.
The missing women and girls are all indigenous.
Almost forty percent of them disappeared after the year 2000. No one knows why; the Government of Canada does not investigate. They have just vanished, evaporated into the thin air of this isolated part of Canada.
We have committed so many crimes against the indigenous population. We have killed them. Ignored them. Stolen from them. Humiliated them. They have indeed became a marginalized footnote in history. Just like these 582…
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The Russian Mafia
[ A secret criminal society known as the Thieves World or in Russian, Vorovskoy Mir ]
Given the history of Russia, I have a hard time feeling sympathetic to the notion that the citizens of Russia and the Near Abroad were victims of circumstance. It has always been my opinion that one of, if not the worst, atrocities to befall humanity was the Holocaust. History is plagued with economic, political, ethnic and geographical crisis. Since the beginning of time man has been challenged to survive against all odds. The point that I am trying to make is that there are a number of other ethnic groups and nations who have faced similar, even worse, conditions without resorting to the treachery of the Russian Mafia. What concerns me is that research lends itself to the suggestion that due to circumstance corruption was the only option for Russia and the Near Abroad.
In the USSR power changed hands thirteen times, beginning with Vladimir Lenin and ending with the current Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Lenin was a Russian revolutionary and the founder of Bolshevism. He came to power as the major force behind the Revolution of 1917 (infoplease.com). In 1917, Russia finally reached the end of centuries of imperial rule. Political and social changes erupted that would lead to the formation of the Soviet Union. Nicholas II reigned as emperor from 1894-1918, and he would be the last Russian czar. Civil unrest and constant food shortages flared into open revolt, forcing the abdication of Nicholas II. The newly installed provisional government, within a few short months, was then itself overthrown by the more radical Bolsheviks under the charge of Vladimir Lenin (History.com). From the death of imperial czarism, Bolshevism or Soviet communism was born. To the naked eye it would seem that the former Soviet Union’s communist regime was destined to collapse, throwing the Russian Republics to the wolves, the Russian Mafia. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union is but a contribution and catalyst to the surfacing of an Old World secret society.
The roots of the Underworld can be traced back centuries to a secret criminal culture that survived both czarist terror and Soviet treachery, the Thieves World. In 1991 after more than 70 years of communist rule the Soviet Union collapsed. The world’s most heavily armed police-state looked as though it had given birth to the Red Mafia. The collapse of the Soviet Union was not the cause of the organization of the Russian Mafia, nor is the history of its roots an excuse for criminal activity. From my standpoint, most actions for any man are a personal choice. Countless other nations suffered under imperialism, poverty and despair. For example, the African Slave Trade is a brutal side of African-American and African native history alike. After many years slavery was abolished and replaced with segregation in America. For the African natives there was the apartheid. Certainly the physical geographies, state policy of regional development, natural history and circumstances of past regional development are similar to the conditions and history of Russia. No one can deny the crime that flourishes in the African-American community, however, it simply can not compare to the wide-scale treachery and exploitations of organized crime groups such as the Russian Mafia.
The Russian Underworld dates back centuries to a secret criminal society. The organization managed to outlive the czars and outlast the communists. It is known as the Thieves World or in Russian, Vorovskoy Mir. The origins have been traced to Imperial Russia at a time when most of the population were peasants living in obscure poverty. In Imperial Russia, since everything in the country was the property of the czar, stealing was more than criminal it was a means of rebellion against the State. The people praised these popular heroes and dubbed them Russian Robin Hoods. Rebel criminals were even immortalized in songs and stories. Eventually, criminals themselves started to band together. Developing their own outlaw culture and along with it a strict code of conduct. Membership was based on loyalty to one another and opposition to the czar. Rule number one: do not inform on any member of the gang. Rule number two: you do not cooperate with the government. Rule number three: share all the profits made among everybody.
It would soon become very apparent, by the time of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Vorovskoy Mir was well established. It is said that Vladimir Lenin experienced this first hand. Within months of seizing power Lenin was robbed by a gang of highway men. Lenin’s reaction was swift and fierce. A brutal new police force was created and given orders that all bandits be executed on sight. Although, It would be Joseph Stalin who would try to eradicate the Thieves World for good. Sadly, Stalin and his habitual backstabbing only succeeded in adding fuel to the fire and ultimately caused chaos in the ranks of the Vorovskoy Mir. Stalin had shattered the honor and loyalty of the Thieves World code of conduct. It may seem miniscule, but for an already embittered and vicious group of criminals the breakdown of the honor and loyalty within the code of conduct made them a force to be reckoned with. Essentially, wild beasts capable of any and everything.
Joseph Stalin seized power after Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924. It would only be fair to assume that this new government would somehow take part in the new enterprise of organized crime, welcoming it. However, it was not until the 1960s and 1970s under the regime of Premier Leonid I. Brezhnev would corruption become a way of life within the Soviet system. Communist Party bureaucrats eagerly trafficked in whatever they could make a profit from. As for Stalin, he happily locked the Soviet Union in his iron grip. The Russian Police executed hundreds of thousands. Millions more criminals, dissidents, political enemies and Jews disappeared into a wide range of prisons and gulags. Even within the walls of prisons like the one on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Russia’s criminal underworld thrived. High ranking powerful thieves who are known as vory v zakone or thieves in law (“thieves of the code”) quickly lorded over the prison hierarchy with ease.
Adolf Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Stalin became desperate for reinforcements so he offered freedom to prisoners who enlisted. Oddly enough, many of these extreme anarchist criminals took Stalin at his word. Members of the Thieves World joined, even though, working with the government was synonymous with treason in the Underworld. Stalin did not keep his word and when the war was over they were sent right back to prison. Indeed, fighting for the country would cost them. They returned to prison and paid a huge price, falling to the bottom of the prison hierarchy. Now considered traders to the Thieves World, they became known as suki, the Russian word for bitch. In the aftermath of WWII the secret society of the thieves was almost completely wiped out by a hidden war that overwhelmed the Soviet prison system and forever changed the Russian Underworld. Those who were strong enough to survive the prison wars were now different from the old Thieves World. Approximately an estimated 8 million inmates were released from the gulags and prisons after Stalin’s death. No longer obligated to the laws of the old Thieves World, a new breed of Russian criminal was born and he looked out for himself only. Even if it meant going to the extent of cooperating with the government. Corruption began to eat away at the Soviet machine and before long the criminal bosses and the communist bosses started to look the same.
This resemblance and intermingling between bureaucrats and hardened criminals goes to support my disregard for any sympathy. When you are hungry and cold with children who don’t know when their next meal will be, this is what drives a man to commit a crime. Provided that crime will benefit him or his family. The pitiful part is that to many the Russian Mafia is powerful and deadly. In my opinion, they are weak. People all over the world suffer unspeakable atrocities, and they also feel geographically and economically imprisoned. They do not resort to crime, they endure. They rally, protest and band together. In researching, “Economic Geography of Russia”, the standard by which Russia is examined consists of three main factors. Physical geography, policy of the state and historical circumstances are the factors used to determine what shapes a nation’s economic geography (New Economic School). Which, I believe, further proves that Russia’s economic geography does not make it any more or any less vulnerable to large scale corruption, organized crime and high crime rates.
Uploaded on Feb 12, 2011
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia switched to a free market economy, opening the doors for the Red Mafia to take control of an estimated 40% of the nation’s economy. As one of the most fearsome, violent, creative, and well-educated criminal organizations in the world, the Red Mafia has been difficult to locate and shut down.