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by Janan Abdu / July 14th, 2010
I used to tell my husband, Ameer Makhoul, "One day, they'll come for you." As chairman of the Public Committee for the Protection of Political Freedoms he'd begun to organize an awareness-raising campaign to push back against the security services' harassment of our community, the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Come for Ameer they did, late one night this May, pounding at our door, ransacking our house and terrifying our two teenage daughters. And now I've joined the ranks of Palestinian prisoners' wives, many thousands of us from the occupied territories as well as within Israel. His July 13 hearing - persecution, really - could begin the legal nightmare that ruptures our family for many years. This is the likely course of events unless Ameer gets a fair trial and his coerced statements are rejected or suppressed by the court.
"Democracies don't fear their own people," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her July 3 speech in Poland at the 10th anniversary meeting of the Community of Democracies. "They recognize that citizens must be free to come together to advocate and agitate." But the head of Israel's General Security Services said three years ago that Palestinian citizens' organizational efforts for equality constitute a "strategic threat," even if pursued by lawful means.
That's not how democracy works. We may be a minority of 20 percent, but our rights to organize and insist on full equality and civil rights ought to be sacrosanct. That's what our entire community believes. The Public Committee that Ameer chaired was established within the framework of the High Follow-up Committee for the Arab Citizens of Israel, the community's overall coordinating body. It's a vital position and the leading organization protecting our civil rights.
And now he faces the most serious charges leveled against a Palestinian citizen of Israel since the creation of the state in 1948. He is accused of being a spy (for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah) and having contact with a foreign agent. His trial will likely last for months.
After his arrest, Ameer was held incommunicado for 21 days and tortured. Then Israeli officials pressed their charges, based on the "confession" he made during this time, when he was deprived of sleep, shackled in a painful position to a small chair, and not allowed to see his lawyers.
Ameer denies all charges. As he said in his first letter from Gilboa Prison, he was "forced to explain to them in a very detailed way how exactly I did what I didn't do, ever." And if the prosecution needs any more information to make its case, all they have to do is use "so-called secret evidence, which my lawyers and I have no legal right to know about."
Clinton's Krakow speech focused on civil society: Ameer is a civil society activist. He directs Ittijah, the Union of Arab-Based Community Associations - a coalition that brings together 84 non-governmental organizations. Clinton criticized several governments by name - but not Israel - for intimidation and assassination of activists. Why does America's drive to promote human rights stop at Israel's door?
Throughout his life, Ameer has struggled for the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel - there are more than 35 laws on the books that discriminate against us - as well as those of the Palestinian people overall. He has the ability to lead and to convene diverse viewpoints, bringing them together across sect and ideology. His ability to network locally, at the Arab level, and internationally, coupled with his clear strategic vision - this is what Israel is trying to silence.
The youth also look to him for leadership, which infuriates the Israeli security services. They told Ameer so when they hauled him in for questioning during our community's protests against Israel's assault on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. During that interrogation they threatened to put him away if he kept up his activism, saying, "We can 'disappear' you. You should know that the next time we bring you in you will not see your family again for a long time."
The few times we've been allowed to visit him thick glass has separated us and our meetings were taped. Ameer asked me for a copy of my new book to read in jail, but they wouldn't let me even take him that. My daughters really miss their father. They often say, "If only we'd been able to hug him before they took him away." That's one of the things that hurts them most, not being able to hug their father.
Ameer still suffers from the torture and abuse inflicted on him, and they still try to break his spirit. They only allow 20 people into the courtroom even though it can hold many more, so when he sees it empty, he thinks no one cares. But far more people want to attend the trial than they allow in - family, community activists, politicians, and supporters from all over the world.
I have never thought of myself as a "wife" but rather as Ameer's partner in life and in activism. But these days, as I wait with the other wives for our allotted visit, I find myself reflecting on the traditional Christian marriage vows: "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." No man, I think, unless he's an Israeli jailer.
Clinton spoke of "the cowardice of those who deny their citizens the protections they deserve." Ameer deserves the protection of the law: the right to meet his lawyers in private - Israeli officials have been taping those meetings too; the right to see the evidence against him, much of which the prosecution plans to withhold on security grounds; freedom from torture; and inadmissibility of confessions secured under torture. When will Clinton call for a Palestinian activist's human rights and an end to his persecution?
Janan Abdu is a social worker, feminist activist, and researcher with Mada al-Carmel, the Haifa-based Arab Center for Applied Social Research.
San Francisco, I gotta be,
back in 'Frisco, beside the sea
up and down Chinatown
New York's pace,
great towns but they
and all that jazz.
Telegraph Hill, it fits the bill.
they thrill me still.
Golden Gate Bridge--
the fog rolling in!
So if you find
the need to explore all your dreams,
come to San Francisco,
my favorite to--wn,
come to San Francisco,
my favorite town.
Spirit guide said, "Look behind" and I saw the smoke from the (useless) brakes of a semi that was going the speed limit and about ten feet from my rear end.
I let go of the brakes, and got shot up the exit to Santa Rosa at sixty MPH like a pool ball hit by an evil cue.
Truck left hexagonal imprints from the bumper bolts in my license plate, and a blue smear on the bumper from his bumper, but that was it.
It's metal. You've seen "Donnie Darko" I presume?
2. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).
3. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
4. A backward poet writes inverse.
5. In democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism it's your count that votes.
6. She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.
7. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
8. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.
9. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
10. Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat minor.
11. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
12. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
13. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
14. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
15. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
16. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
17. Every calendar's days are numbered.
18. A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and 'taint mine.
19. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
20. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
21. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
22. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
23. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end. 24. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
25. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
26. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.
27. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
28. Santa's helpers are subordinate Clauses.
29. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
30. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.
Energizer Bunny arrested -- charged with battery.
A pessimist's blood type is b-negative.
Practice safe eating -- use condiments.
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
Shotgun wedding: wife or death.
I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.
If electricity comes from electrons... does that mean that morality comes from morons?
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Banning the bra was a big flop.
Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
A gossip is someone with a sense of rumor.
Without geometry, life is pointless.
When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.
Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
Alarms: What an octopus is.
Crick:: The sound that a Japanese camera makes.
Dockyard: A physician's garden.
Khakis: What you need to start the car in Boston .
Oboe: An English tramp.
Pasteurize: Too far to see.
Propaganda: A gentlemanly goose.
Toboggan: Why we go to an auction.
Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.
I think my spirit guide sent him to me this AM. What's he's saying is syncing up quite well with my new understandings of 'disease'.
It comes down to the simple old standard: faith. You either are here because you trust that God has you here for as long as you are supposed to be here, or you aren't.
Now, I've had some issues with 'faith' (partially because my spirit guide put me in some situations where it seemed pretty evident that 'the good' wasn't what was happening to me, and I'd not seen the whole set of facts yet).
But really, if you get your flu shot and get hit by a truck on the way back, that's the way He works.
I'd be far more concerned about the 'industrial' nature of the vaccinations. I didn't ever do mainline drugs, even when many of my friends were *really* into it, simply on the assumption that my body had filter systems designed to prevent this immediate intrusion of anything into the bloodstream.
Given what I know now about these vaccines, I'd sooner shoot up the speed that tipped onto the dirty table and got sopped up through a cigarette filter that turned my friend green (the 'rush') than go to an MDeity.
I don't believe that any American should ever 'work' with such people.
These people are not our friends, and our wars for their benefit do us no good at all.
You are, in my judgment, a war criminal for allowing this to continue, and for not prosecuting your predecessor as is required by international law.
The only place in the mid-east which *deserves* US troops at this point is Gaza, and that's to protect these innocents from our 'friends'.
You are supporting a bunch of sick, weirdo religious nutjobs.
Of course, I don't expect you'd change a whit, I just wanted to mention how *proud* I am to have voted for Cynthia McKinney, and that I'll likely never vote for your party again, you sick bastard.
I hope your dreams are filled with the images of the broken burnt babies that you provide the world.
Wilkerson believes that in April 1973 he received a vision regarding the future of the United States and subsequently gave a sermon on the vision and published a book called The Vision. He has said that God revealed to him a great calamity which was going to befall America due to increase in sins such as homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and greed.
Some of the details of this reputed vision were:
- "Worldwide recession caused by economic confusion"
- "At most a few more fat flourishing years, and then an economic recession that's going to affect the life style of every wage-earner in the world. The world economists are going to be at loss to explain what's happening. It's going to start in Europe, spread to Japan and finally to the United States."
- There will be a move toward a worldwide, unified monetary system. The US dollar will be hit bad and it will take years for it to recover.
- The only real security will be in real estate (until a somewhat later stage, at which point this apparent security will also disappear).
- "Nature having labor pains"
- Environmentalists will come under heavy criticism.
- There will be major earthquakes.
- There will be a major famine.
- Floods, hurricanes and tornadoes will increase in frequency.
- "A new kind of cosmic storm appearing as a raging fire in the sky leaving a kind of vapor trail."
- "A flood of filth and a baptism of dirt in America"
- Topless women will appear on television, followed by full nudity.
- Adult, X rated movies will be shown on cable television. Young people will gather at homes to watch this kind of material in groups.
- Sex and the occult will be mixed.
- There will be an acceptance of homosexuality, and the church will even say that it is a God-given gift.
- "Rebellion in the home"
- "I see the new number one youth problem in America and the world as hatred towards parents."
- "A persecution madness against truly Spirit filled Christians who love Jesus Christ"
- There will arise a world church consisting of a union between liberal ecumenical Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church, using Christ in name only.
- There will be a hate Christ movement.
- There will be a spiritual awakening behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains.
- There will be another wave of riots.
- There will be a fall in moral conduct.
- There will be a new drug that will be popular with teenagers that will break down resistance and will encourage sexual activity.
- Homosexual and lesbian ministers will be ordained and this will be heralded as a new breed of pioneer.
- There will be nude dancing in church, but this will never be widespread.
- There will be occult practices in churches.
I looked away for a couple seconds--to continue shaving--and when I looked back she was halfway over in my lane, still working on that makeup.
As a man, I don't scare easily, but she scared me so much I dropped my electric shaver, which knocked the donut out of my other hand.
In all The confusion of trying to straighten out the car using my knees against the steering wheel, it knocked my cell phone away from my ear which fell into the coffee between my legs, splashed, and burned big Jim and the twins, ruined the darn phone, soaked my trousers, and disconnected an important call.
Damn women drivers
Not so far from here
There's a very lively atmosphere
Ev'rybody's going there this year
And there's a reason
The season opened there before
Ever since the U.S.A. drug 'war'
Ev'rybody's going there and I'm going, too
I'm on my way to
Holland, there's where I'm going
Holland, there's where I'll stay
Holland, where dope is growing
And where blue-eyed Stellas
Light Dutch Masters' Panatellas
Holland, where all is happy
Holland, where all is gay
Why don't you plan a
To The Hague?
Just hop on a ship
And I'll see you in Nederland, eh?
Take a friend's advice
Smoking in a cellar isn't nice
Anybody who has got the price
Should be in Holland
Have you been longing for the 'smile'
That you haven't had for quite a while?
If you have, then follow me and I'll show the way
I'm on my way to
Why don't you do your smoking like a Dutchman
Instead of hiding in a cellar?
Since Prohibition, tell me, pal, have you been
A very frightened little feller?
Why don't you smoke it from a hookah
'Stead of a tiny silver pipe?
Smoke your hooch, dope and weed
Where the DEA can't feed
The finest bars are there, cigars are there
That only are made for Dutchmen
I'm not a drinking lady, I never smoked a Panatella
But I'm a she who likes to be where all is gay, okay!
So let us leave our cares and troubles behind
And tell 'em our new address
Is where they stay up late and drink till they're blind?
Blind, but nevertheless
They're glad to see you in Nederland, eh?
Why don't you travel with us on a train or a bus
To the Netherlands where we can begin
To plan a wonderful trip on a plane or a ship
That'll take us from prison state to Nivana?
See you in Nederdand, eh?