River And His Father.

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-33“River: The Life of Robert Lovelace” is a 25-minute documentary about Professor of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston-Ontario Canada and political activist Robert Lovelace. There’s something wonderfully understated, refreshingly undramatic and non-intense about the film, so I thought it worthy and interesting for men and women who pass this way. Mr. Lovelace was born in Missouri to a white father and Indian mother.

He went to Canada at age 21 to avoid going to fight in the Vietnam War, which he perceived as colonial military actions by the United States government against the people of Vietnam – that the war was essentially going to involve the same horrific actions as those resulting in the genocide of American Indians.

After living in Canada and joining the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation tribe, Robert Lovelace along with others successfully fought for preservation of the ancient indigenous practice of harvesting wild rice after the government turned over those rights to a private company; he went to prison for 100-days in a successful protest against uranium exploration and mining on Native lands, and was part of a group of activists who organized a flotilla of boats traveling to Gaza advocating for an independent state of Palestine.

The short film is neat in that during half of the film Robert Lovelace shares the screen with his teenage son River who decided to base a school project, about someone the student knows personally, on his father. So besides telling Mr. Lovelace’s interesting life story and journey, viewers also see a father-teaching-son example which provides profound wisdom during the final moments of the film.

Mr. Lovelace supports what he calls “re-indigenization” or adoption of a philosophical, spiritual outlook that cares for and respects all people and the Earth’s environment. After reading the Quran and finding it made sense intellectually Mr. Lovelace converted to Islam.

I was pleasantly surprised, thankful and impressed after viewing the film, thought it was (for 25-minutes) perfect, and am happy to share this excellent documentary with all who pass this way.

(Thank you to Press TV Documentaries at YouTube)

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Israel’s Illegal Settlements Resume Despite Worldwide Condemnation.

Posted on October 27, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

368-1Alphabet German journalist Martin Lejeune revealed to the Russell Tribunal on Palestine 2014 that in 2007 the Israeli parliament passed a law which let Israel’s government off the hook for paying reparations on damages to property and businesses of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank from Israeli Defense Forces’ attacks. So, since 2007, Israel’s military has conducted “Operation Cast Lead” and “Operation Protective Edge” while knowing the financial responsibility to pay for reconstruction doesn’t legally exist.

While the 2007 law’s passage allowed any destruction of property and businesses to occur with financial impunity, it is uncertain whether Israeli laws include the same financial impunity for wrongful deaths and injuries to the tens of thousands of men, women and children greatly harmed during recent Israeli massacres. Continuous illegal confiscation of occupied territory through the years until today by Israel has occurred to prevent, then make impossible, a two-state solution with Palestinian statehood.

As Israeli illegal – repeat illegal – settlement construction has continued to gobble up Palestinian lands which would become part of their sovereign nation, the chances for that outcome diminish precisely because of the land robbery and construction of homes, placing the two-state solution further from implementation in the minds of more experts on the Israel-Palestine conflict. To those who’ve studied the Israel-Palestine conflict, using the term “fair and just resolution” moving forward unfortunately has become a near impossibility considering the non-action and complicity of the United States’ leadership and lawmakers.

It is not certain whether any studies have been conducted to ascertain the total financial destruction that Israel’s military assaults in recent years has caused, but the total can safely be estimated in the tens of billions of dollars. Israel’s expenditures for rebuilding Gaza multiple times after the three most recent military massacres and property destruction have come nowhere near the dollar amount they morally owe Palestinians – that is, a “fair and just resolution”. What would be the result of studies which compared the total dollar amount of both human and property destruction over recent years to Palestinians – to the dollar amount of buildings, apartments, homes, infrastructure, etc. built during the same time period?

Would Israeli relinquishment of all stolen Palestinian land and settlements back to the Palestinians for eventual inclusion in the new State of Palestine, where Israel pays the claims of those who lose money in the relinquished settlements, represent a “fair and just resolution” to the over-60-year Israel-Palestine conflict? The Palestinian people have the moral right – and duty – to bring Israeli leaders responsible for obvious war crimes during Operation Protective Edge before the International Criminal Court. It seems equally obvious that Israel’s illegal taking of occupied territory through the years – and still occurring today – are criminal offenses coming under jurisdiction of the same International Criminal Court.

A comparison could be made by imagining the United States government stealing/taking land from one or more of the sovereign American Indian reservations. The affected tribe(s) would first take legal actions in state or county courts, then to the United States Supreme Court if justice hadn’t prevailed. Apparently, Palestinians have no legal recourse in Israeli courts regarding the continuous stealing of occupied territory lands and settlements construction. There is glaring deficiency in international law when Israel steals land for years with impunity and Palestinians have no legal recourse or court of jurisdiction where they can present their clear case of harm.

Men and women with academic credentials and real world experience in International Law have surely looked at the problem of illegal Israeli settlements in the context of Palestinians’ legal options. Naming the International Criminal Court as the most likely court of jurisdiction is something one who doesn’t have deep knowledge of international law concerning this particular kind of situation would do. People who’ve done a moderate amount of research into the Israel-Palestine conflict are aware that Palestinians are considering war crimes legal actions against Israelis for Operation Protective Edge, but little is found regarding possible legal options on stolen lands and illegal settlements construction.

In a “fair and just” world highest-court legal proceedings which result in Israel’s relinquishment of all stolen Palestinian lands back to the Palestinians – including the buildings and infrastructure, in lieu of monetary reparations for Israel’s historic, chronic, devastating, destructive criminal actions – would represent a path making possible what the world’s people unanimously believe is the moral and ethical one: an independent Palestinian state.

A few weeks ago in Cairo, Egypt an estimated $5.4 billion became pledged by nations to go toward reconstruction of Gaza. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told the people gathered there that he hoped it would be the last Gaza Reconstruction Conference. From a logical legal perspective, the world community is not responsible financially for rebuilding Gaza time and again: Israel’s actions make Israel responsible for paying reparations. A “fair and just resolution” option goes as follows: Israel returns all stolen property, the two-state solution becomes worked out, then Israel and Palestine live side-by-side as independent nations in peace for all time.

If the Israeli government and people have objections to using tax revenues for reimbursing those who become financially harmed from the return of lands and settlements to the Palestinian people, perhaps one of their more fortunate multi-billionaire resident families – the Rothschilds – are capable of carrying out some creative financing, including solicitation of funds from their circle of equally fortunate friends around the world.

And, if anyone in the Rothschild family and/or their circle of multi-billionaire friends around the world happen to come across these words – the men, women, and children of Ukraine could use a little cash to pay a gas bill. You’ve been the recipients of extremely fortunate financial blessings, so perhaps it’s time to cut some checks and give back to your fellow brothers and sisters in their time of truly serious and urgent need.

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(Thank you to PressTV News Videos at YouTube)

“Israel Destroyed Everything.”

Posted on August 19, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

Many times after tornadoes pass through areas of America, helicopters from news stations become dispatched to fly over the path of destruction.  Everybody’s seen the videos, looking almost as if a giant “lawnmower” drove over the trailer park, town or city blocks. Tremendous, shocking images of destruction and devastation from tornadoes which touched down on Joplin, Missouri a few years ago remain in viewers’ memories from film footage shot out of news helicopters after the damage had occurred.

Tornadoes are events which humans have no power to prevent or stop. What the Israeli military did to the people living in the Gaza Strip in the past five weeks – the now infamous “mowing the lawn” – was unleash an intentional, murderous bomb tornado. Has anyone noticed there have been no long video reports coming from helicopters flying over the destroyed sections of the Gaza Strip? The United Nations’ Robert Serry described conditions in Gaza as an “unprecedented destruction and humanitarian crisis”.

In the following video, a Press TV reporter talks to the former mayor of a city in the Gaza Strip with 15,000 residents. He recalls 1999, when the city and himself invited over 50 mayors from Israel to visit, welcomed them with food and drink, and how the Israeli mayors became impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the city. The reporter asks him if the Israeli military were firing against military or civilians.

He replied that they (Israeli forces) were “targeting everything”: houses, trees, streets, ladies, kids, and old men. The former mayor estimated 450 homes were bombed, in what he describes as “complete, mass destruction”. He told the reporter that life for residents is now very difficult to cope with and, with winter coming, what has happened is the “disaster of the century”.

“They (Israel’s) are a brutal army. They kill civilization, they kill life”.

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(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)

World Now United: Israel Guilty Of War Crimes, Apartheid.

Posted on August 14, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.”

– ARISTOTLE

ocean222Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” has galvanized world public opinion in ways that give hope to people wishing for the end to apartheid conditions for Palestinians. While some ask the question “will it be any different this time?” most, after seeing what Israel’s leaders have carried out over the past 30 days – a massacre of human beings – feel more certain than ever Palestinians are going to finally receive justice, dignity, and equal treatment as fellow members of the world community.

Time and again since Israel’s bombing campaign began based on the false pretext of Hamas’ kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens, Israel’s apologists have pounded discussions with references to Hamas’ use of civilian Palestinian “human shields.” In the minds of Israel’s (un)accountable leaders who’ve directed the bombing campaign and their apologists in the United States government and corporate media, “human shields” are justification for the high percentage of close to 2,000 Palestinian children and civilian deaths.

As the death count has risen over the past thirty days, more reports have emerged disputing the “human shields” excuse flooding the media, asserting there is no evidence to back up claims that Hamas has fired rockets from positions in Gaza where civilians live.

When “human shields” gets turned over a new phrase “Shield Humans” enters the language. The new phrase can now be used to describe an action: protecting one’s brothers and sisters in the family of man, or people: those who wish to protect all human beings from immoral, unnecessary, criminal harm and the resulting harsh, difficult circumstances.

Despite a continuous successful refutation of false assertions made by Israel’s leaders and apologists, the bombing campaign – which some describe with the truly disgusting historical phrase “mowing the grass” – has been relentless, mercilessly destructive, and morally indefensible. Millions around the Earth have reacted strongly against actions of a brutal and barbaric nature which most thought long ago extinct – experienced only through reading descriptions of centuries-old events found in history books; never again possible.

Most, to borrow a phrase used by Ken O’Keefe in the following video, reacted to Israel’s utterly cruel and inhumane carpet bombing campaign like all “fully functioning human beings” – with complete shock, disbelief, compassion, and strong emotional opposition. Millions of men, women, and children have joined in publicly condemning Israel’s murderous actions, including the largest ever Palestine solidarity gathering in front of the White House, 150,000 in Britain and the offices of BBC, and 250,000 in the land where an apartheid state was last stopped: South Africa.

It has become overwhelmingly obvious to people around the world that Israel’s leaders are accountable for war crimes which must become prosecuted in accord with existing international law. What is so astonishing is that some will persist in denying that war crimes were committed, when the proof is in plain sight and impossible to avoid.  Going forward, decisions will need to become made with civilized international consensus on the best option for dealing with this tragic situation and criminal punishment.

Nelson Mandela’s decision to form “Truth and Reconciliation” panels, dismissing prosecution and imprisonment of South Africa’s apartheid criminals in favor of publicly admitting their crimes, is an option which offers the benefits of forgiveness – diminished future occurrences of violence, hate, vengeance, and resentment. On the other hand, as it seems Mr. Mandela’s example did not enter the awareness of, or deter, Israel’s leaders over the past weeks, traditional legal steps leading to punishment in line with crimes committed could be the choice with more beneficial deterrent consequences.

One possibility for honorably dealing with those who committed war crimes, along with accountable accomplices, is to organize a “Truth and Reconciliation” panel under the power of 20 of the most distinguished retired judges on Earth. Each war criminal/accomplice will be given 60 minutes to speak to the judges and convince them they will never commit another war crime for as long as they live. Those who speak in such a way that all 20 judges agree to dismiss punishment will experience what occurred for South Africa’s war/apartheid criminals. Those who fail to make the case that they’ll never again commit war crimes, fail to evoke a unanimous agreement by the judges, will receive traditional punishment commensurate with their crimes.

Such a legal process, although extraordinary, offers a reasonable framework halfway between Nelson Mandela’s “Truth and Reconciliation” option and the International Criminal Court option. What makes this unusual, hybrid form of trial more beneficial for Palestinians, Israelis, Middle East citizens, and humanity is that so profound an amount of wisdom will become available from the 60 minute testimonies of those accused. This means wisdom in the sense of full revelation of causes for man’s failure to live in harmony with his fellow-man, recorded for all time, and an invaluable teaching instrument on the final important topic of war and peace.

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(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)