Pro Hutu Power Interpretation of 1994 Rwanda Events

POLITICS OF GENOCIDE AND THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRAGIC MASS KILLINGS IN RWANDA IN 1994

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POLITICS OF GENOCIDE AND THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRAGIC MASS KILLINGS IN RWANDA IN 1994

Tuesday, April 15, 2014   6:00 AM – 7:00 AM

Peter Phillips with guest co-host Ann Garrison discuss the Politics of Genocide and the 20th anniversary of the tragic mass killings in Rwanda in 1994. Their first guest is Robin Philpot, a Montreal author of the new book Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa, from Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction. Their second guest is Edward Herman, professor Emeritus at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of the Monthly Review Press book “The Politics of Genocide.”

Herman argues that some genocides such as Kosovo and Rwanda in 1994 have been heavily publicized in the West to advance a specific economic agenda, eventually leading to a minority controlled government of pro-Western and pro-business Tutsi, while other genocides, such as in East Timor, have been largely ignored for the same reason. Herman and Peterson wrote that the Western establishment has “swallowed a propaganda line on Rwanda that turned perpetrator and victim upside-down….the great majority of deaths were Hutu, with some estimates as high as two million.”

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Syria’s Drought and the Rise of a War Economy

Syria’s Drought and the Rise of a War Economy

by Omar S. Dahi | published April 14, 2014 – 11:19am

The grinding war in Syria brings new horrors with every passing week. The death toll and the number of displaced people continue to soar, as more areas of the country are reduced to rubble. This month, two additional issues with dire long-term consequences have been gaining attention: the possible drought affecting the northwest and the entrenchment of a war economy.

The World Food Programme (WFP) warns that this year’s rainfall is less than half the annual average. The resulting drought — particularly in the northwest of the country — could place about 2.3 million Syrians in need of emergency food aid. That number would be in addition to the 4.2 million already dependent on aid, for a total of 6.5 million.

Syria already experienced a severe drought from 2006 to 2010, leading some to make a link between climate change, water shortages, and the uprisings there and elsewhere in the Arab world. Yet others, such as Francesca de Châtel, argue that these discussions distract from the long-term mismanagement and overexploitation of the region’s water resources, particularly since the 1990s.

Either way, the food security policy that was a hallmark of the Syrian regime is unlikely to survive the war. After being the only country in the region that was self-sufficient in food production, the state is now a net importer of wheat. Before the uprising Syria had a “strategic reserve” of wheat estimated at around 3.5 million tons, roughly equivalent to one year’s consumption, and mostly stored in areas now outside regime control. In 2013, the government is reported to have imported about 2.4 million tons of wheat. These changes imply a bleak future for the Syrian countryside and suggest that the millions who have been displaced from the rural areas may never return there.

The entrenchment of the war economy, including competition over smuggled goods and black markets, control over natural energy resources (such as oil fields in the northeast) and foreign funding flows, has been equally devastating. As journalist Jihad Yazigi argues in a policy brief for the European Council for Foreign Relations, the collapse of public regulation and the emergence of new local actors with a material stake in continuing the conflict will only further delay a meaningful political settlement. Interestingly, while the rise of this warlordism exists mainly within rebel groups, it also occurs in regime-controlled areas.

Both the Syrian government and the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) are attempting to retain and project their economic authority over areas nominally under their control, albeit with differing results. In most areas under regime control, basic goods are available and the government’s institutions have shown remarkable resilience. Even state employees in many areas outside government control receive their salaries (albeit greatly devalued as a result of currency depreciation). No doubt the regime has received external financial support and is likely to have depleted its foreign exchange reserves or incurred large debts, but it has also proactively slashed investment spending and raised tariffs on some luxury goods. So far it has managed the economic crisis skillfully, as demonstrated by its ability to secure the large wheat imports mentioned earlier. For its part, the SNC’s recent efforts include printing half a million schoolbooks and declaring all fired Syrian state workers as employees in the Interim Syrian Government. Its actual presence and authority in areas outside Syrian government control is almost non-existent, however, and remains largely an aspiration rather than a reality — especially as local groups assert more control.

Of course, for the many millions of displaced Syrians completely dependent on relief, the scorecard of who “controls” which area no longer matters. Their actions are directed toward ensuring their survival and that of their families, and most of their thoughts are occupied by the question of when, if ever, their nightmare will end.

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On The “Israel as a Jewish State” Demand

In this article, Yousef Mouneyer answers the query…

Why ‘Jewish state’ demand is a non-starter

If Washington accepts new Israeli demands, it moves the goal posts further away from a middle ground for a just peace.

Last updated: 09 Apr 2014 12:20
Yousef Munayyer
Yousef Munayyer is Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational programme, The Palestine Center. Prior to joining the Palestine Center, he served as a Policy Analyst for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab American membership organisation.
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Israel is demanding that Palestinians recognise it as a ‘Jewish state’ [AFP]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands Palestinians recognise Israel as “a Jewish state and US President Barack Obama, who used this language in his state of the union address, signalled US support for this position. This is disastrous for the prospects for peace and not something the Palestinians can or should ever accept. Here is why.First, the PLO accepted the Israeli demand to recognise the State of Israel decades ago and Israel never reciprocated with recognition of the State of Palestine or its right to exist. Now, while still denying self-determination to Palestinians, Israel demands recognition “as a Jewish state” not from the world but only from Palestinians. Israel does not want to formally change its name to “the Jewish State of Israel” which would allow it to join an elite group of theocracies like the Islamic Republic of Iran. It only wants Palestinians to accept it as such. Why?

Second, this demand adds insult to injury. The ostensibly pragmatic land-for-peace approach is one that says the parties will never agree on a historical narrative and must look to the future instead. But the Jewish state demand undercuts this and demands Palestinians accept the Israeli narrative that securing Jewish majoritarianism in Palestine was morally justified even if it necessitated destroying Palestinian society and created masses of Palestinian refugees. Asking Palestinians to make a deal that focuses on the future is one thing, but asking them to accept the crimes committed against them is another altogether. It is unbecoming of a party that claims to want a just peace.

Recognition of a ‘Jewish state’ by Palestinians and by extension the US and the rest of the world that accepts agreements on such terms would not only lend credibility to past measures to maintain a Jewish majority but it will also enable future ones.

 

Third, recognition of a “Jewish state” by Palestinians and by extension the US and the rest of the world that would accept agreements on such terms, would not only lend credibility to past measures to maintain a Jewish majority but it will also enable future ones. This directly imperils Palestinian citizens of Israel, like myself, living in the “Jewish state” as non-Jews.

It is conceivable that a state recognised by Palestinians as Jewish may soon say to its Palestinian citizens: “Go to the Palestinian state, that is where you belong,” discriminate against them further, or engage in ethnic cleansing. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman already openly advocates such policies today. To recognise Israel as a Jewish state would only give license to further efforts of marginalising or removing this population with the goal of maintaining Jewish majoritarianism.

A magical use of language would not sufficiently wed recognition of a Jewish state with the principle of safeguarding the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Every Palestinian recalls that the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which established London’s support for Zionism, noted that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. This did little to prevent the Nakba which followed as Zionism’s goal materialised.

As the Israeli historian Benny Morris said, “A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore, it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population.” Legitimising the pursuit of Jewish majoritarianism ad infinitum opens the door to future actions like this.

Fourth, this is an entirely new demand from the Israeli side that did not exist a few years ago. Today, the Israelis present it as a deal breaker. That the Americans allow this is a significant problem. When Washington accepts new Israeli demands, Israel moves the goal posts further away from a middle ground where a just peace can be made. Making matters worse is that while Washington accepts new Israeli demands, it also fails to enforce Israeli obligations. The Road Map, which called for a settlement freeze, was never enforced. This allows Israel to have its cake, eat it, and then demand even more cake. Little more than the crumbs are left for Palestinians.

No Israeli politician has pushed this issue as strongly domestically and internationally as Netanyahu. He has created resonance in Israeli public opinion and argues now that his hands are tied on this matter.

The truth is, the main reason Netanyahu makes this demand is that he knows the Palestinians cannot accept it for all of the above reasons. Yet, he makes it, knowing it will be met with sympathy in Washington and put the Palestinians in the position of looking like rejectionists. This way, he aims to put a stop to any negotiations that would lead to an end to Israeli occupation.

Palestinians shouldn’t stand for this, neither should anyone else.

Yousef Munayyer is Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational programme, The Palestine Center. Prior to joining the Palestine Center, he served as a Policy Analyst for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab American membership organisation.

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Letter from the Archive: The Genocide in Rwanda

Article Link

April 4, 2014

 

Letter from the Archive: The Genocide in Rwanda

 

 

rwanda-massacre-580.jpg

Monday, April 7th, will mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda—a systematic, nationwide attempt to exterminate the country’s Tutsi minority in the course of about a hundred days. (In Rwanda, April 7th is Memorial Day, commemorating the genocide against the Tutsis; July 4th, Liberation Day, celebrates the genocide’s end.)

Philip Gourevitch first wrote about Rwanda for The New Yorker in 1995; in 1998, he published “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families,” a book about the genocide and its immediate aftermath, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. We asked him to look back over his coverage, select a few of his pieces, and say a few words about how they came together, and how they might be read now, at nearly two decades’ remove. From now until July 4th, we’ve unlocked these articles on the genocide so that everyone can read them.

After the Genocide,” December 18, 1995.

I arrived in Rwanda for the first time in early May of 1995, a year after the genocide. The country was gutted. Between those who were dead and those who had fled, Rwandans spoke of their country as empty. Its infrastructure was trashed. The Hutu Power political, military, and militia forces that had carried out the genocide had reëstablished themselves as a rump state along Rwanda’s borders in camps catered by the United Nations and international aid agencies. In Kigali, the capital, the Rwandese Patriotic Front, the rebel army that had been waging a civil war in Rwanda since 1990, and that had brought the genocide to a halt, had established a rough control. But it was immediately clear that the violence that was unleashed in 1994 was far from spent. The United Nations peacekeeping force that had done nothing to stop the genocide had been given a beefed-up mandate after the slaughter—to help stabilize the country—but the only thing the R.P.F. wanted the U.N. to do was leave. The prisons and jails were packed to bursting with accused génocidaires. There were revenge killings. And two weeks before I arrived, on a hill called Kibeho, the Army had killed several thousand men, women, and children during an operation to close down a camp for internally displaced people—a move that clearly foreshadowed what could happen on a much larger scale, and what did happen, in 1996, when Rwanda went into neighboring Congo (then called Zaire) to disband the U.N. camps there.

I stayed in Rwanda for three months in the summer of 1995 before coming home to write. Nobody expected Rwanda to survive in the shape it was in then. The expectation of another—and a worse, or at least a broader—bloodletting was pretty much universal among international observers, and most Rwandans, too, had a grim view of the future. I had gone to Rwanda because I couldn’t understand what had happened, and because I wondered how life would continue in the aftermath. And when I went, I was chiefly preoccupied with questions about us—about America, the West, the so-called international community that had promised up and down for fifty years never again to tolerate genocide, but had abandoned Rwanda the moment the genocide began. I wondered what Rwanda’s story told us about our notions of a universal common humanity.

But, after a very short time in Rwanda, my focus shifted, as it often does when reporting, and I became overwhelmingly interested in Rwandans. As I travelled around, collecting their deeply thought-provoking, challenging, and moving stories, I often scribbled more words in my notebook in the course of a day than there are in this, the (not short) first reported piece I ever wrote for the magazine.

Neighborhood Bully,” September 9, 1996.

In the early months of 1996, when I returned to Rwanda, I kept hearing about a steadily increasing spate of attacks by the regrouped genocidal Hutu Power forces, who were based in the U.N. border camps in Congo (Zaire)—attacks by guerilla infiltrators into Rwanda, and also attacks on Congolese villagers living in the hills of eastern Congo beyond the camps. By spring, I was getting word of a seemingly systematic campaign by Hutu Power to drive local Tutsi populations out of eastern Congo, and to stake out control of a vast, agriculturally fecund zone of North Kivu province. The attacks against Tutsis by Rwandan génocidaires intersected with and reignited local conflicts over land and citizenship rights that had pitted ancestrally Rwandan Congolese peoples against other Congolese groups since the mid-sixties. But the violence now had all the markings of the killings in Rwanda in 1994, and when I got reports of a church massacre in the hills of Masisi, in the volcanic massif beyond the city of Goma, I went to have a look. The Makoto monastery massacre that is at the core of this piece had gone unnoticed in the international press. The “Neighborhood Bully” of the title was President Mobutu Sese Seko, and the systematic collusion of the Congolese state in the mass expulsion of surviving Tutsis from eastern Congo had also largely been ignored. These were defining events in the run-up to the war in Congo that was beginning just as this piece appeared, in the early fall of 1996. That war gave way to a series of devastating wars that continue to this day—and the question of citizenship for Tutsis remains as bitterly contested as ever.

Toward the end of this story, I tell of a young man whose head had been cut halfway off, then sewn back on by his rescuers. Two years ago, in the fall of 2012, I was visiting a refugee camp in Rwanda where many of the Tutsis who were ethnically cleansed from Congo in 1996 still live, and I heard that a number of the Makoto survivors were there. I asked after the boy with the cut neck, and a few minutes later we were introduced. He had been living in the camp ever since, and was raising his own children there. It was not a good life, he said, but it was life.

Forsaken,” September 25, 2000.

When the Rwandan Army went into eastern Congo in 1996, it spearheaded a Congolese rebellion that soon drew support from a far-flung pan-African alliance—from Uganda and Zimbabwe, Burundi and Angola, Namibia and Ethiopia—keen to drive out the West’s Cold War client dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko. The leader of that rebellion, an old Maoist guerrilla who had fought alongside Che Guevara in Congo in the sixties, was Laurent-Desire Kabila, who was installed as Congo’s new President after Mobutu’s ouster, in May of 1997. His popularity with the Congolese and with his key foreign patrons, Rwanda and Uganda, was short-lived. During Kabila’s march to power, Mobutu’s strongest military defense came not from Congolese loyalists but from the renegade Rwandan Hutu Power forces that had regrouped in the U.N. border camps. Along the way, the Rwandan and Congolese forces fighting for Kabila had massacred tens of thousands of them and their civilian families and followers. But a year later, Kabila forged an alliance with his former Hutu Power enemies against the Rwandans who had carried him to power—and suddenly there were anti-Tutsi pogroms in the streets of the capital, Kinshasa. Then Rwanda attacked again, and this time the Ugandan army came with them, but instead of removing and replacing Kabila, as they had done with Mobutu, the invasion split Congo in two in a grinding stalemate.

Along with the violence of the occupation, the Ugandan and Rwandan forces, and their Congolese proxies in the east, were accused of pillaging natural resources. As friction between these old allies mounted, they turned against one another. Between several bouts of fighting between Ugandan and Rwandan troops in the cut-off Congolese city of Kisangani in the spring of 2000, I travelled to Kinshasa, then to Kigali, where some military officers put me on a plane (from the fleet of the notorious Victor Bout) to fly to the front. As it happened, it was at that point in the second Congo war, as the fighting that began in 1998 and continued into 2003 was known, that General Paul Kagame, who had led the R.P.F. when it was a rebel force and commanded the Army ever since, became President in a shakeup in Kigali. Kagame’s Presidency, which continues to this day, had been long anticipated. But the atmosphere in Kigali was far from celebratory. It was as heavy and demoralized a time as any I’d seen in post-genocide Rwanda.

The Life After,” May 4, 2009.

I didn’t visit Rwanda again until New Year’s Day, 2009—nearly a decade after my last trip, and a few months ahead of the commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of the genocide. The country had progressed immensely and was becoming known as much for its recovery as for its near annihilation. Rwanda had come back to life in a way that nobody could have imagined when I first visited.

But what does reconciliation mean after such extreme communal violence and so much absolute betrayal of neighbors by neighbors? I went back to visit a killer I had first met in 1996 as well as the survivors of his victims. He had been convicted and released by the community genocide court because he confessed, but he was hardly the picture of repentance, and the survivors were far from wholeheartedly forgiving. Like everyone in Rwanda told me then, they said they lived in peace side by side because they had to.

Everywhere one turned in the newly resurgent Rwanda, the complexities of officially imposed unity seemed to test the limits of possibility. For instance, the former commander of the Hutu Power forces in Congo was now a general of the national Army. The genocide had come in the middle of a decade of civil war, but that war was now little spoken of: in the name of ending the violence, the outrages committed on either side of the fight before and after the genocide were officially regarded as bygones. And in eastern Congo, after another round of destructive proxy war, Rwanda had just secured a deal with Kabila—Joseph Kabila, that is, the son of the old rebel chief who had been assassinated in 2001. The deal lasted for three years, bringing a greater semblance of peace to the region than it had known for fifteen years, until it was undone in 2012. Rwanda was very far from “normal,” whatever that would be, and the post-genocide order felt at once heavy and fragile, but the mood in the country was less haunted than I had ever expected to find it.

Photograph by Dominic Nahr/Magnum.

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When the World Turned Its Back: James Nachtwey’s Reflections on the Rwandan Genocide

In the linked article:

In 1994 TIME photographer James Nachtwey witnessed the devastating effects of the Rwandan genocide. On the 17-year anniversary, the photographer looks back on the tragedy.

Humans make war, and we make peace. We make love, and we make hatred – hatred and fear. Those two are the killers. Orchestrate hatred and fear, and humans make genocide. European colonialists used fear and hatred to cut an incision deep into Rwanda to divide and conquer. It was never allowed to heal and became the subtext for society long after the white rulers made their exit. In 1994, tribal enmity between Hutus and Tutsis was politically manipulated to a state of critical mass. Between 500,000 and 1 million people were slaughtered in the span of three months using farm implements as weapons. The killing by the Hutu interahamwe was committed face-to-face, neighbor-against-neighbor, and sometimes even brother-against-brother.

The number most often heard is 800,000. It’s a big number no matter what it’s applied to. Trying to imagine 800,000 people with their heads bashed in by rocks and clubs, impaled on spears, hacked to death with hoes and machetes – in just three months – stuns the mind, and we struggle to wring meaning out of words like “biblical” or “apocalyptic.”

As they had in Bosnia, instead of sending more troops to prevent bloodshed, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force stepped aside. Because of the disastrous military operation in Somalia, our own political leaders made a conscious decision not to use the one word that could even begin to have meaning -“genocide” – understanding the obligation to intervene implicit in the language. As the world turned its back, the genocide happened in front of its eyes. Later, public apologies were made, something rare for politicians, but the gesture did not bring back the life of a single Rwandan.

Later, when the Hutu army and militias fled into Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to escape the advancing Tutsi forces, more than 1 million people crossed the frontier in a single day. They set up makeshift shelters on rocky, volcanic earth, where it was impossible to find clean water, dig latrines or bury the dead. Within days a cholera epidemic swept through the camps. Tens of thousands died within a few weeks. Mass burials were carried out using bulldozers. Untold numbers of children were orphaned and abandoned. International relief agencies streamed into Goma to try to stem the tide of disease.

Those responsible for the genocide concealed themselves within the mass of civilians inside the camps. Relief organizations were in a dilemma. Because they could not distinguish who was a killer from who was a human shield, they were obliged to treat everyone. Ironically, the international community that had walked away from its responsibilities during the genocide was now forced to come to the rescue of those who had committed the atrocities.

All this happened in the same time frame in which Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, as if by some infernal metaphysics the best humanity had to offer would be offset by the worst imaginable. It was our world then, and it’s our world now. We have examples from both ends of the spectrum of human aspirations. Will we take heed from the lessons taught by our own history? If we don’t, who will?

James Nachtwey is a TIME contract photographer, documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. On his most recent assignment, Nachtwey was one of the first photographers on the ground in northern Japan covering the devastating effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Nachtwey was also embedded with a United Stated Medevac unit in southern Afghanistan, published in January 2011.

Posted in Africa, FSEM: History of Genocide | Leave a comment

MERIP’s Primer on Palestine

This is the latest version of the Middle East Report’s “Primer on Palestine,” a comprehensive guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict:

Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Contents

  1. The Land and the People
  2. The United Nations Partition Plan
  3. The Palestinian Refugees
  4. Palestinians
  5. Palestinian Citizens of Israel
  6. The June 1967 War
  7. UN Security Council Resolution 242
  8. The Occupied Territories
  9. Jerusalem
  10. The Palestine Liberation Organization
  11. The October 1973 War and the Role of Egypt
  1. The First Intifada
  2. The Negotiation Process
  3. The Oslo Accords
  4. The Second (al-Aqsa) Intifada
  5. The 2002 Arab Peace Plan
  6. The Separation Barrier
  7. Popular Resistance
  8. The Road Map and the Quartet
  9. Israel’s “Withdrawal” from the Gaza Strip
  10. The 2006 Palestinian Elections and the Rise of Hamas
  11. Israel’s Siege of the Gaza Strip
  12. The Secret Olmert-Abbas Negotiations
  13. Palestinian Statehood and the UN
Palestine, Israel and the Arab Israeli Conflict: A Primer

Click to view or download a PDF of the Primer.

The conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Zionist (now Israeli) Jews is a modern phenomenon, dating to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the two groups have different religions (Palestinians include Muslims, Christians and Druze), religious differences are not the cause of the strife. The conflict began as a struggle over land. From the end of World War I until 1948, the area that both groups claimed was known internationally as Palestine. That same name was also used to designate a less well-defined “Holy Land” by the three monotheistic religions. Following the war of 1948–1949, this land was divided into three parts: the State of Israel, the West Bank (of the Jordan River) and the Gaza Strip…

For the rest of the Primer, read here…

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Yarmouk Camp Op-Ed, Right of Return

Lessons from Yarmouk

Yousef Munayyer
Yousef Munayyer is Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational programme, The Palestine Center. Prior to joining the Palestine Center, he served as a Policy Analyst for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab American membership organisation.

Yarmouk is the latest reminder of the international community’ failure to address the plight of Palestinian refugees, writes Munayyer [EPA]
In Yarmouk refugee camp, the largest concentration of Palestinians in Syria among the nine refugee camps there, the Palestinian population is trapped and suffering. The camp sits just south of Damascus and its strategic location has made it part of the battlefield, leaving refugees who would rather take a neutral stance for their own safety caught in the middle.

Prior to 2011, the camp was home to some 180, 000 Palestinian refugees, today only about 20,000 remain. Most of its inhabitants have been forced into becoming refugees again. Those stuck inside are trapped, and a stalemate between the government and rebels has led to a siege preventing humanitarian access for months. Only recently have emergency food packages been permitted entry.read further here…

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Op-Ed on Yarmouk Camp & Right of Return

Lessons from Yarmouk

Every decade, another episode of dispossession and loss plays out for Palestinian refugees in troubled host countries.

Last updated: 27 Feb 2014 10:01
Yousef Munayyer
Yousef Munayyer is Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational programme, The Palestine Center. Prior to joining the Palestine Center, he served as a Policy Analyst for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab American membership organisation.

Yarmouk is the latest reminder of the international community’ failure to address the plight of Palestinian refugees, writes Munayyer [EPA]
In Yarmouk refugee camp, the largest concentration of Palestinians in Syria among the nine refugee camps there, the Palestinian population is trapped and suffering. The camp sits just south of Damascus and its strategic location has made it part of the battlefield, leaving refugees who would rather take a neutral stance for their own safety caught in the middle.

Prior to 2011, the camp was home to some 180, 000 Palestinian refugees, today only about 20,000 remain. Most of its inhabitants have been forced into becoming refugees again. Those stuck inside are trapped, and a stalemate between the government and rebels has led to a siege preventing humanitarian access for months. Only recently have emergency food packages been permitted entry….

Read further here…

 

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Islamic Civilization II » naltikri 2014-03-03 03:43:47

Zoologic Darwinism and the Origins of World War One:

A posting form “The Afternoon Map” blog on cartography and history:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Zoologic Darwinism and the Origins of World War One

The cover of Mussaver Tarif-i Hayvanat, or Illustrated Guide to Animals. M. Emin, Istanbul: Matbaa-i Osmaniye, 1310 (1892)

A great deal of fascinating work has been done on the political implications of Social Darwinism – the misguided but extremely popular 19th century effort to apply Darwin’s theory of natural selection to human society. Historians have highlighted the role of this ideology in justifying everything from imperialism to extreme capitalism to eugenics. Today, this Ottoman Bestiary seems as good a pretext as any to discuss how social Darwinism contributed to the outbreak of the First World War….

 

 

 

 

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“The Act of Killing” Documentary

This article discusses the documentary “The Act of Killing,” which was nominated for an Academy Award at this year’s Oscars.  It covers the mass killing of Communists in Indonesia in the 1960s:

It’s Our Act of Killing, Too

Act of Killing

Viewers in Jakarta watch the The Act of Killing, a film that challenges widely held views about the massacre of Indonesian communists in the 1960s. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

In The Act of Killing, one of the nominees for an Academy Award for best documentary, a group of elderly Indonesian men re-enact their role in the killing of alleged Communists following a purported coup attempt in late 1965. Viewers are rightfully repelled by how little many Indonesians today seem to know or care about the killings, and how those who participated in them not only show no remorse for their actions but are celebrated as national heroes.

“No one cared, as long as they were Communists, that they were being butchered,” recalled one observer, whose nonchalance in the face of mass murder should give us pause. This was no Indonesian, however, but rather a State Department official describing the enthusiastic support of Lyndon Johnson’s administration for the efforts of the Indonesian army and local militias to exterminate the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), after years of mounting conflict over the direction of the country’s domestic and foreign policy.

The United States was no mere observer in these events. After supporting Indonesia’s independence from the Netherlands in 1949, US officials grew concerned over the growing popularity of the PKI and the increasing radicalism of the mercurial President Sukarno. In the aftermath of a disastrous US-backed regional rebellion in the late 1950s, Sukarno abandoned parliamentary democracy, and the army and PKI emerged as the dominant political forces in a highly polarized Indonesia….(more in link).

Posted in FSEM: History of Genocide, Indonesia | Leave a comment