The words of Jim Page’s song “I’d rather be dancing” are based on the letters Rachel Corrie wrote home to her parents before the Israeli army crushed her to death in Gaza on 16 March 2003. She was murdered, crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer, when attempting to prevent the demolition of a house in Rafah, Gaza, owned by a Palestinian doctor and his family. Rachel was 23-years-old. See rachelcorriefoundation.org
you know I was always the one
I could never stand idly by
and watch while the bullies beat up on the weaker ones
I had to do something to try
and I never gave up on people
that we could be better somehow
morality’s compass, you gave it to me
I still follow it now
well, I couldn’t stop thinking about it
I couldn’t get it out of my mind
the pictures, the stories, the plight of the people
in occupied Palestine
how my government makes me complicit
with the political aid that they send
so I packed up my bags and I headed to Rafa
to work with the ISM
and I’d rather be dancing, dancing and falling in love
but if I just can just watch from a distance then what am I made of
mama these people are so good to me
they treat me like one of their own
they feed me and see to my needs
and let me sleep in their home
papa their lives are so hard
the gun shots night
the road blocks, the strip searches, the humiliations
papa it just isn’t right
I can feel my privilege around me
it’s there in my American face
I could wave my passport around like a flag
and I would be safe in this place
for these child soldiers of Israel
they look like the boys back home
and if it wasn’t for American money
they’d have to leave these people alone
and I’d rather be dancing, dancing to Pat Benatar
but somebody has to do somethin’ about it and here we are
the tractors are coming today
they’re like tanks with bulldozer blades
the name on the side says Caterpillar
that means they’re American made
well, I am American too
and I’ll be where everybody can see
so if they want to run over these houses today
they’re gonna have to run over me
it’s dangerous takin’ a stand
but it’s dangerous running away
sometimes you have to face up to the danger
there is just no other way
for there are such beautiful dreams
I have seen the eyes of a child
and if I can just make one little difference
then I think my life is worth while
and I’d rather be dancing, but instead I’m saying goodbye
but we’ll meet again when it’s over, don’t cry
and I’d rather be dancing, and surely we’d all rather be
and one day we’ll dance in a world that’s peaceful and free
It’s time for Tony to face charges;
It’s time for a Citizen’s Arrest.
There’s an empty dock in the Hague
Dying to have him as its guest.
There’s a million bodies buried in Iraq
Whose ghosts cry out in despair;
‘There were no weapons of mass destruction
So where’s ‘The People versus Tony Blair?’
There were no weapons about to hit London
Within the space of three quarters of an hour.
Tony was lying to Parliament and his country –
For Iraq never toppled the twin towers.
He and Campbell were conned by the neo-cons.
They were impressed by American power
Into letting themselves be drawn into war crimes
With Iraq being bombed for hour after hour.
A million were bombed to smithereens
Killed by shells tipped with uranium –
Causing birth defects to pregnant women
Lasting from generation to generation.
As a lawyer you’re aware that aggressive warfare,
Under the Nuremburg Protocols,
Constitutes the ultimate crime in international law –
Your avoiding justice makes people emotional.
To add insult to injury you’ve profited, Tony,
And you swan about in a private jet.
It’s made you popular amongst the corrupt;
You’re part of the International Set.
But the International Criminal Court
Is keeping your seat in the dock warm,
And anyone carrying out a successful arrest
Promises to go down a storm.
They’ll be rewarded with worldwide cheers
They’ll be greeted by great sighs of relief,
For at last the rule of law and of human rights
Won’t be undermined by a grinning thief.
London rapper Potent Whisper teams up with conscientious objector Joe Glenton to create a new anti-war song and music video.
What would you do if it was your family?
Your town in raw anarchy?
If it was your house you were forced out of casually?
If it was your blood, your son or your mums?
They’re running on your funds, so aren’t these your guns?
How can it be a “war” if only one side declares it?
Where are their kids on the front line or air strip?
Why do we serve a queen? When did we turn to sheep?
Why do we murder leaders when they seek an urgent peace?
What’s violence? How would you define it?
Isn’t it support of a war if we’re silent?
Couldn’t we have fought instead of falling for their rise?
(But they invade in our names and we don’t bat an eyelid!)
Why do we go to prison for protest?
Isn’t it grotesque? Is this the kingdom you co-rep?
When will the questions end? What’s their reason?
How can you reach peace without freedom?
Why? Why sit in silence when their men have guns up?
Oh yes I wonder… Why?
Why sit in silence when their men have guns up?
Oh yes I wonder why…
Am I weak for compassion? Is peace not an action?
Do soldiers wanna shoot or are they used for their passion?
How many soldiers really know what their fighting for?
Would the reasons differ? Are they quite sure?
If Bush wore a cross does it mean the war was gods?
Or is it blasphemy and actually a con?
Isn’t National Defence just an actual attack?
So many wanna love, where’s the manual for that?
Take a life or serve life? Murder or treason?
Wasn’t that the choice for all the boys they were leading?
Do we wanna war when the ones that went before all marched out to cheers but returned as a secret?
When the next war begins, will it be you who fights it?
And if we do fight, will it be you who decides it?
Are we not a factor? Are you not their number?
Am I just a mad man? Do you never wonder?!
Don Martin ft Immortal Technique (US), Eltipo Este (Cuba), Tumi (South Africa), Tonto Noiza (France). Prod Tommy Tee. Video by Ulfdawg. English translation + free download below.
Bambaataa told us knowledge was the fifth element
Truth behind the lies is what the music represents
So how the fuck you gonna have a peace settlement?
When people want a piece of your land to build settlements
There’s all different kinda terrorism you can perpetrate
Every dead body causes karma to circulate
There’s suicide bombin’ buildings full of civilians
Or cutting off water to cities full of children
You can’t try to justify collective punishment
A country never finds peace with bodies buried under it
I guess some Americans just don’t remember
There’s a slave graveyard under the world trade center
Stop the criticism of Iranian nuclear fission
Until mutual nuclear disarmament’s the mission
This ain’t about religion, Muslim, Jew or Christian
It’s about people making money off of that division
I am recognizing that the voices in my head
Are urging me to be myself and never follow when I’m led
So with that said it’s insurgency as we confirm some things
I am anti Zionist and any form of fundamentalist
The devil’s in the specifics mixing with your favorite dish
You can beef with Israel and not be antisemitic
Don’t buy beef from Israel cause you paying to kill them kids
So if you’re rocking this shit, go ahead do the Gaza strip
My heart race when I hear apartheid from out their lips
We have lived it, missed Olympics, seen ‘free Mandela’ pickets
And his image beamed repeatedly to street favela children
Even freed from prison cause of global criticism
Of this horrible system boycotted by the citizens
Boycott, boycott Israel
There’s only one step from hypocrisy to diplomacy,
Staying there sitting down in front of the stale situation
It is not the picture I have of human rights
Cause the immunity Israel grants itself shocks me
Look at the poverty of a people
How to relativize
This is the power that must be broken
I´m coming aiming without stigmatizing
I haven´t come to enter pacts like the UN
Nor to stir up hatred
But the inequality that bad faith entails has tenfold my sadness
It is the governing bodies I address, because they attack
For the price of past errors it is a whole people they oppress
For all innocent on all sides dragged into this fight
The bill is saltier then the dead sea. We have to get out of it
Boycott, boycott, boycott
It´s raining grenades over Gaza´s roofs
hitting hospitals, hitting kindergarten children, hitting dormitories
Off course we are calling it an apartheid state
They´re building a wall between themselves and those who shall not have citizenship
Because if you call something “pro-Palestinian”
then (international) rules do not count anymore. You best believe that
there is a more macabre sound to the word “blood orange”
when it is grown in stolen land and grows from a dead body.
Not in my name, not with my money
It´s not enough to just sit around complaining/crying anymore
We must hit the foundation, show Israel.
Cause they don´t give a shit about resolutions anyway
It´s a small part of a much bigger picture
Like when we boycotted Shell, when I was much younger
The responsibility lies with all of us ,so we want
anyone with a conscience – boycott Israel
Boycott Israel vocal sample from Arundhati Roy’s speech “Come September”
Still from the music video for the song, Somos Sur. The song is a collaboration between Chilean MC, Ana Tijoux (pictured in the back), and Palestinian MC, Shadia Mansour (pictured in front of Tijoux). Somos Sur is a powerful track establishing solidarity between Latin America and Palestine for their independence from imperialist and colonizing forces.
Picture courtesy of Absenta Musical.
Ana Tijoux – Somos Sur (Featuring Shadia Mansour)
The Tel Aviv regime has bombed a 12-story residential building in the center of the beleaguered Gaza Strip, leaving several wounded.
The Zafer Tower, located in Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in southern Gaza City, was toppled by Israel’s warplanes on Saturday.
Two missiles hit the tower within seconds causing a massive fireball, which was followed by smoke billowing into the sky.
The strikes, which shook the neighboring high-rises in the area, brought down the entire tower with 44 apartments.
“People started shouting Allahu Akbar, and women and kids were screaming,” said, a resident, adding, “This is crazy. The state of Israel has resorted to madness. In less than a minute, 44 families have become displaced … They lost everything, their house, their money, their memories and their security.”
According to some reports, 22 people were wounded, including 11 children and five women.
The Israeli military said it targeted a room belonging to Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in the building.
Press TV’s correspondent in Gaza said the collateral damage was immense, adding, the residents of two nearby buildings had also been warned to evacuate for impending airstrikes.
Israeli warplanes and tanks have been pounding the blockaded enclave since early July, inflicting heavy losses on the Palestinian land.
Some 2,100 people, mostly civilians, have lost their lives and over 10,200 have been injured despite pressure from the international community on the Tel Aviv regime to end aggression against Palestinians.
Nearly 400,000 Palestinian children are in immediate need of psychological help due to “catastrophic and tragic impact” of the Israeli war, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, has been launching retaliatory attacks against Israel.
Trucks of a Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine, August, 22, 2014 (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)
The first Russian trucks carrying humanitarian aid have reportedly reached the east Ukrainian city of Lugansk. Moscow ordered the convoy to proceed, without waiting for further permission from Kiev.
The first trucks in the Russian humanitarian convoy have arrived in Lugansk, leaders of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Lugansk confirmed to RIA Novosti.
Earlier, the LifeNews TV channel and Interfax agency also reported that several Russian vehicles carrying aid to the conflict zone made it to their final destination.
On Friday morning, several dozen Russian trucks crossed the Ukrainian border and started moving towards Lugansk, after Moscow ordered the convoy to proceed, without waiting for further permission from Kiev.
By 10:30 GMT on Friday, 145 vehicles from the 280-truck Russian aid convoy had crossed into Ukraine, reported RIA Novosti, citing the Ukrainian border guard service.
Moscow has accused Kiev of deliberately holding up the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine, according to the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“Our convoy with humanitarian aid is starting to move in the direction of Lugansk,” the Foreign Ministry’s statement reads. “We are of course ready for it to be accompanied by Red Cross representatives and for their participation in the aid’s distribution.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is not escorting the convoy.
“That’s because of the problems with security,” Galina Balzamova of the ICRC told RT. “Lugansk was shelled all night long. We believe we did not get sufficient guarantees of safety from all the parties to the conflict to start escorting the convoy.”
The head of the Russian Red Cross, Raisa Lukutsova, has said the organization supported the decision to get the humanitarian convoy moving.
“The fact that the humanitarian mission has started – this has probably been the right decision,” Lukutsova said. “For how long do we have to put up with this mockery? They put forward one demand after another. All of them unrealistic.”
She added the Russian Red Cross is ready to escort the humanitarian convoy and has appealed to the ICRC for permission to do so.
ICRC, meanwhile, confirms that people in areas affected by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine are in “urgent need for essentials like food and medical supplies.”
The crisis is particularly acute in Lugansk, where people have gone for weeks without water and electricity and have to queue every day for whatever scarce food supplies are brought to the city.
RT’s Maria Finoshina has spoken to Lugansk residents, who fear hunger is the reality they are about to face.
Ukraine’s intelligence (SBU) chief, Valentyn Nalivaychenko, has described the convoy crossing the Russian border as a “direct invasion.”
“We call it a direct invasion,” Nalivaichenko told journalists. “Under the cynical cover of the Red Cross these are military vehicles with documents to cover them up.”
The Ukrainian Border Service has said that by ordering the convoy to proceed Moscow has “ignored the agreements reached on registering the humanitarian load.”
“The trucks started moving through Ukraine, after a group of Ukrainian border customs’ officers had been blocked at the Russian check-point ‘Donetsk’,” a statement by the Ukrainian Border Service reads.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has accused Moscow of “smuggling humanitarian aid to Ukraine” and said it had to allow the convoy to pass.
“To avoid provocations we have given all the necessary orders to let the convoy pass safely,” the ministry’s statement says.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the “excuses” for delaying the aid from entering Ukraine have been “exhausted”.
Ukraine agreed to let the convoy pass during an August 20 phone call between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers. That gave a start to customs procedures for checking and registering the contents of the trucks comprising the convoy.
The next day the process was stopped by Ukraine, citing intensified shelling of Lugansk.
“In other words Ukrainian authorities are bombing the place of the aid’s point of destination and cite this as a reason for banning delivery of the aid,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
A convoy of 280 Kamaz trucks carrying food, medicines and other essentials for Lugansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine left the Moscow region on August 12.
It has been stuck at the border with Ukraine for more than a week.
“There’s a feeling that the current Ukrainian authorities have been consciously putting the humanitarian aid delivery on hold to arrive at a situation where there’ll be just no one left to get it,” the Ministry’s statement reads.
Israeli soldiers assaulted a young Palestinian, on Tuesday, in an area east of Yatta, south of the Hebron District, upon which they seized his tractor.
Rateb Jubour, Coordinator of the Anti-settlement Committee in Hebron, said the soldiers violently beat one Mohammad Shaabin, 21 years of age, before seizing his tractor and an attached water tanker.
Mohammad sustained bruises throughout his body and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Israeli soldiers and colonial settlers alike routinely attack Palestinian farm workers in the occupied territories, damaging their equipment and lands in the attempt to further islolate Palestinian communities, with the aim of expanding nearby settlements and further disenfranchising the Palestinian people as a whole.
More than 550,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements throughout the region, which has been illegitimately occupied by the Israeli military since 1967, in direct violation of the international laws to which they are signatory.
See also Corporate Watch exposé – Farming Under Siege: Working the Land in Gaza
Photo by ISM
Hebron, Occupied Palestine – On August 9th in Hebron, Israeli soldiers celebrated shooting an 18-year-old Palestinian youth in the leg with live ammunition.
The Canadian volunteer, Vern, who witnessed the soldier firing, stated, “After the soldiers left the roof, I went to confront them about why they had fired. One of them said to me that he was the one who fired and that he was proud of his actions. He then asked me to take his picture.”
Photo by ISM
The hospital released a document to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) stating that the injury of the young man was a gunshot wound to the right calf, and that the injury required surgery under general anaesthetic.
Photo by Youth Against Settlements
“This is not the first time protesters have been seriously injured or killed while not being a threat to the Israeli military. On Friday (8th August) in Hebron, 40-year-old Nader Mohammad Edrees was shot in the heart by an Israeli sniper. He died several hours later. This murder was caught on video, and it is clear that Nader was no threat whatsoever when he was killed, in clear contradiction of Israeli military policy and international law.” Stated Issa Amro, Human Rights Defender with Youth Against Settlements (YAS), based in Hebron.
According to Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, grave breaches against protected people, such as Palestinians, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, include wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.
Israeli Human Rights group B’tselem states that, “the army’s open-fire regulations clearly stipulate that live ammunition should not be used against stone-throwers, except in cases of immediate mortal danger.”
The Land Speaks Arabic. A Film by Maryse Gargour
Reviewed by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh:
‘La Terre Parle Arab’ (2007). Director Maryse Gargour. Arabic, French, English audio with English subtitles, 61 minutes. Winner of several European awards (ASBU, Prix France 3 Medirerranee, Prix Memoire du Medirerranee).
This excellent documentary on one of the most pressing issues of our time brings together rarely seen footage of Palestine before 1948 juxtaposed with historical research, eyewitness accounts, stunning choreography, moving testimonials, and historical documents.
We can state the fact that before the Zionist project began in Palestine it was more heavily populated than the United States of today. We can state that Palestine 20 years or even fifty years after the Zionist project was launched was still predominantly Arab. But it is one thing to state a fact and another to have seen it or lived it. The next best thing is to have a film that shows you a video of the era and pictures of the documents of the era. That is what this film does in a very professional, practical, and effective way.
… Letters in European languages exchanged between European Zionists and European imperialists are read followed by scenes of the impact of these blueprints of social engineering. Articles from newspapers of the late 19th century and early 20th century report on the progress (a poor choice of word in this context) of the colonisation project. We see through documents, including news reports and letters, that the word colonisation was used by the Zionist colonizers, when their writings and their speeches expressed the ideas of replacing the natives with the new population from Europe. We hear from Ahad Haam, Israel Zangwill, Yosef Weitz, Chaim Weitzmann, Theodor Herzl, and David Ben-Gurion.
Read the full review here:
US oil giant ExxonMobil and Russia’s Rosneft will continue joint exploitation of the Russian Arctic despite Western sanctions, the American company said as the two giants launched exploration drilling in the Kara Sea.
“Our cooperation is a long-term one. We see great benefits here and are ready to continue working here with your agreement,” Glenn Waller, ExxonMobil’s lead manager in Russia, told President Vladimir Putin during a videoconference call.
The Russian leader hailed the exploration project as an example of mutually beneficial cooperation that strengthens global energy security.
Rosneft head Igor Sechin said the launch of the Universitetskaya-1 well drill is one of the most important events for the company this year.
“We hope that this work will discover a new oil reserve here in the Kara Sea. The development of the Arctic shelf would have a big and positive effect for the Russian economy,” he said.
Optimistic company forecasts put oil reserves in the Kara Sea as high as 13 billion tons, more than in the Gulf of Mexico, or the whole of Saudi Arabia.
The drilling is being done by the West Alpha oilrig, built by Norway’s North Atlantic Drilling. It has a deadweight of 30,700 tons and can drill wells in the shelf up to 7 km deep.
The rig was equipped with an advanced iceberg warning system, which tracks potentially dangerous icebergs, giving enough time for either support ships to tow them away, or for the rig itself to seal off the well and evacuate to safety.
Rosneft is one of the Russian companies targeted by Western nations, imposed to punish Moscow for its stance over the Ukrainian crisis. Russia’s retaliation so far has been to ban the import of foodstuffs from the countries that approved anti-Russian sanctions.