More War Crimes

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

There are many events that take place in this world that we… myself included.. can describe as crimes. Crimes take many forms and have different degrees. Among these forms, one of the most horrendous in my eyes – becuase it is so tacidly approved of and glorified in our collective culture, is war.? Stop with the World War II references, there hasn’t been a just war since… since.. how can anyone call a war just? It is a contradiction in terms, especially in 2009, when as a world we know so much more about why things happen, why people suffer and who benefits in keeping in that way.? It is not a mystery of why one group hates another, there are very clear causes and those causes are rarely addressed because too many people profit from perpetuating hatred and conflict.

Gaza on my Screen

by bicyclemark

Sitting there eating my tofu-stew, watching BBC News, supposedly about to go to some Amsterdam club to see a band play… and there it is on the screen: Hamas Takes Gaza.

On the euronews podcast I watch the video of Fatah supporters in the street, armed to the teeth, supposedly prepared to fight to keep the city.

Since by nature I always look behind what I’m given, I sit watching these images thinking about all those who benefit from the chaos. The desperation that comes with poverty and decades of fighting, loss of your home, loss of family members… loss of all logic. Meanwhile wealthy nations, who have long played a big role in what does and does not happen in that part of the world, standby and roll camera. That’s what it has become for them, a little media blip for your daily dose of violence and confusion. For me to watch as I eat my dinner and prepare for an evening out on the town.Then Ill blog about it.

While people keep dying.

Thomas Milo on UNIFIL

by bicyclemark

The name UNIFIL doesn’t often appear on page one of the mainstream newspapers. For many it was last summers invasion of southern Lebanon that caused the media to even mention that there was an international force wedged between Israel, Lebanon, Hezbollah, given the task of ensuring that all sides respect a peace agreement.

In Thomas's Kitchen

Thomas Milo had a very unique roll as one of the only Arabic speakers stationed with the Dutch battalion of UNIFIL back in 1979. We sat together in his kitchen in Amsterdam and he explained what it was like to work everyday between rocks and a hard place.

UNIFIL website

We Discuss:
– What is UNIFIL
-What armies were involved
– The Dutch role and controversy of deployment
– His studies and initial involvement with UNIFIL
– Meetings with the PLO
– The First Suicide bomb belts
– The Senegalese zone
– What progress was made?
– Israeli’s lose patience
– Lebanese reaction and approval
– First kids with Stones, the orgins
– Original Improvised Explosive Devices
– Israeli military Tactics
– Lessons for Soldiers in Iraq
– Response to Americans who criticize peacekeepers as ineffective

Thomas in 1979

bm188 Understanding Todays Kibbutz

by bicyclemark

When you hear the word Kibbutz, perhaps you’re like me and you invision a collective of people working on a farm. Perhaps somewhere someone told us a story or we saw a picture of what a kibbutz looked like, long ago. But what about today’s Kibbutz, as times change, and people start to use the term privatized? With the help of a few guests and different experiences, we explore this very complex topic.

Jason Weill, in Seattle
Hanna Braun, via email from England
Hezi, at Kibbutz Givat Brenner

– The inspiration and original purpose of the Kubbutz movement
– The way of life, past and present
– Money, housing, family, and work
– the politics of a kibbutz
– relations with the government and outsiders
– the privatization and sustainability
– factories and new businesses
– changes and the future
– arms caches and membership
– plenty more, dont just read notes, listen to the show