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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave...a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."
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"Imagine All the People Sharing All the World."
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"If enough Christians followed the gospel, they could bring any state to its knees." 
Father Philip Francis Berrigan 

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Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence


Home arrow Blog arrow June 2007 arrow June 16, 2007

June 16, 2007

I rarely watch more than four hours of television a week, but I am 'addicted' to two shows that are on Comedy Central.

The other night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart joked that since Hamas now controls the Gaza and Fatah the West Bank, now is the time for a three-state solution.

I did NOT laugh, but I immediately thought that is exactly what the empire: the governments of America and Israel would prefer over Palestinian Unity.

Following Jon, Stephen Colbert interviewed the author of Muses, Madmen and Prophets, Daniel B. Smith who spoke about how hearing voices is not always psychotic and could actually be a good thing.

I did laugh at that, as I have heard more than a few voices in my head/heart and the most persistent voice I have ever heard began the second I viewed a photo of George of Beit Jala [west Bethlehem] who graces the WAWA Banner.

In 2000, George was 'captured' by photographer Debbie Hill, the morning after the Israeli army destroyed his bedroom in retaliation for a few hopeless militants who had infiltrated his once peaceful Christian village to snipe across the way into the illegal colony of Gilo.

The shrapnel that pierced the wall of his sanctuary read “Made in USA” and was delivered via American made Apache helicopters.

The second I saw George's eyes, my heart said "DO SOMETHING!"

I cried, "What can I possibly do?"

The voice replied: "DO SOMETHING!"

What could I possibly do I wondered, but I did make a copy of the photo, placed it in a frame and placed it upon the altar [a bar high table] in the upper room of my home.

Dozens of times a day, I stop and gaze into the eyes of that little boy of Bethlehem and beg God to end the insane cycle of violence in the Holy Land for the sake of all the children who live there.

Everytime I look at George-or even think about him-the persistent voice continues to say:


I have begged God to be delivered of the voice, but it only grows louder and more persistent!

I first met George in June 2005, shepherded by an Internet connection, George Rishmawi, a Palestinian Christian. Big George was working with Holy Land Trust at the time, a non-profit organization in Bethlehem dedicated to nonviolent resistance against the occupation. Big George now works with

Big George emailed the following news clips and what follows that, is an OPED about how the empire thrives via FEAR.

Christ taught me to: "FEAR NOT!" and that "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."-John 8:32

So, I suppose, I do actually do something by fearlessly disseminating information and persistently praying for ALL the children of the Holy Land.

 This Week in Palestine – Week 24 2007 - mp3 11M

As the Israeli army continues its invasions to the West Bank and some parts of Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the unity government and declared a state of emergency. These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.

Nonviolent Resistance in Palestine

Let's begin our weekly report with the nonviolent actions in Palestine against the wall and settlements.


In Bethlehem, nonviolent activities that were planned for this Friday were all suspended due to the current situation. A number of people gathered near the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and expressed rejection of the infighting between the Palestinian factions.


On Friday the villagers of Bil'in, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, conducted their weekly non-violent protest against the illegal Israeli wall.

The protesters called on Hamas and Fatah to stop their recent infighting and return to a government of national unity.

The protesters also insisted that the fight should focus on the continuing Israeli occupation of the West Bank, as well as the illegal construction of the wall and the continued expansion of Israeli settlements.

As is the case every week, the villagers of Bil'in were joined by a group of international and Israeli activists.

For its part, the Israeli army installed razor wire blockades to stop the protesters from reaching the gate of the wall separating the Palestinians from those lands illegally annexed by its construction.

Israeli troops showered the protesters with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets, leading to the injury of three protesters, among them a child and a journalist.

In addition, the Israeli army kidnapped two Israeli peace activists and took them to an unknown location.

The protest ended after several hours with promises from its organizers to return next week.

Abbas Dissolves the National Unity Government and Declares state of emergency

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed three presidential decrees on Thursday evening in which he decided to dissolve the national unity government and declare a state of emergency.

Abbas’ decisions came after recommendations by the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine, (PFLP) was the only PLO faction who expressed opposition to the declaration of state of emergency.

Through the three decrees, Abbas fired Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh of Hamas, declared a state of emergency in all the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction areas and formed a temporary executive government to implement emergency regulations and laws.

According to the basic law of the Palestinian Authority, the president is authorized to dissolve the government and declare a state of emergency in certain cases, including natural disasters, war, or an armed coup.

The state of emergency is limited to 30 days renewable for another term. However, renewal requires the approval of two-thirds of the Palestinian Parliament, a majority that is unlikely to be granted given that Hamas controls 63 percent of the parliament.

Tayyeb Abdul Rahim, spokesperson for Abbas, stated that the reason behind the president’s decisions was that an illegal armed coup is taking place in the Palestinian territories. Abdul Rahim also declared the president’s intention to hold elections as soon as the situation allows.

The armed wing of Hamas and the executive force formed by the former Hamas government were declared illegal and the National Security forces held a wide scale arrest campaign in the West Bank and took dozens of Hamas supporters and affiliates prisoner.

On Friday, Abbas assigned Salam Fayyad, Minister of Finance in the unity government to form a temporary government that would implement emergency law.

Hamas rejected all Abbas’ decisions, arguing that they lack a legal basis and stating that the dissolved government will continue to function normally. Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas leader and spokesperson, said the basic law does not allow the President to form an emergency government.

"Definitely we reject those decisions, first they have no practical value because the dissolved government will continue to run civil affairs according to the Palestinian basic law, second this is a violation of the Basic Law which does not allow the President to form an emergency government."

Abu Zuhri also accused Abbas of acting based on American influence.

“These decisions reflect that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah movement are not interested to contain crisis. The Saudis made contacts with us and with Abbas and he expressed his intentions to reach a solution. So, he delegated Ahmad Hillis to meet with us in Gaza. On Thursday we had a meeting with Hillis as a representative for Abbas. We were surprised, however, during the meeting that these decisions were made, which makes us believe that Abbas’ decisions were dictated from the United States in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”

Local analysts believe that two governments will be established, one by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and one led by Fatah in the West Bank, which will increase the chaos in the Palestinian territories.

The infighting has resulted in the death of more than 70 Palestinians in five days. At least 360 were wounded and life was paralyzed in the Gaza Strip. Clashes between Fatah and Hamas loyalists moved to the West Bank, but were not as intense as reported in the coastal region.

The al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah attacked a TV station and arts company affiliated with Hamas in Ramallah and Nablus on Tuesday and Wednesday, kidnapping workers who were released a few hours later.

Apparently, Fatah was unable to withstand an armed battle with Hamas, who in four days declared it has assumed control over all the Palestinian security forces headquarters in the Gaza Strip, with Egyptian sources adding that several Fatah leaders and fighters had fled to Egypt.

Hamas captured several leaders of the Al-Aqsa brigades and the National Security Force in Gaza, but released 10 others on Friday afternoon.

Several attempts to end the infighting failed shortly after agreements were reached. Local observers believe that the instability in the Gaza Strip has allowed third parties to inflame the situation.

Meanwhile, Talal Okal, a political analyst in Gaza, attributes this failure to the contradiction in Fatah’s and Hamas’ ideology.

“The fact that core issues were not tackled in these talks resulted in this fluctuating situation. These core issues are related to the contradictory political vision of Hamas and Fatah. Also this contradiction existed between Hamas and Fatah when Hamas was not in the Authority and move with Hamas into the Palestinian Authority.”

In reaction to the Gaza infighting, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described Hamas victory over Fatah as a defeat for the Palestinians, the Israelis and the international community. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said her country will consider sending international forces to maintain security in Gaza.

Ahmad Jibreel, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said in Damascus that the Palestinian factions should meet at the Arab league to find a solution to the current crisis.

Jibreel slammed Abbas’ decision to declare a state of emergency, stating that external parties, including Israel, the US and some Arab regimes, contributed to the infighting and supported Fatah over Hamas.

The Israeli attacks

The West Bank

During the week, Israeli troops carried out 25 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, broke into dozens of houses and constructions, killed three Palestinians, among them one child, injured at least seven and kidnapped another 21 civilians, raising the number of residents abducted since the beginning of the year to 1358. IMEMC's Ghassan Bannoura has more:

Earlier this week Israeli soldiers shot and killed one Palestinian child in Tafoah village, west of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and injured another child.

The army claimed that the child and two other children were carrying a gun when soldiers fired at them. Palestinian sources confirmed that the children were carrying a handmade hunting gun as they were hunting birds. Eyewitnesses reported that the children could have been arrested easily, but the military chose to open fire.

On Thursday morning, around 60 Israeli army vehicles stormed the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. During the invasion, Israeli troops surrounded a group of four Palestinian resistance fighters, killing one and injuring another. The other two managed to flee the scene unharmed. Clashes erupted between the local youth and the invading forces during the day, with 10 receiving injuries, two of whom were injured critically.

Na'eem Sowelem, a Palestinian journalist was near the attacked area in Qalqilia city:

"60 military vehicles stormed Qalqilia city from several directions, surrounded four resistance men, and clashed with one of them leading to his death,, the occupation forces kidnapped one of the four who was injured, another two managed to escape the scene."

Palestinian sources reported on Thursday evening that one fighter of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah movement, was assassinated by Israeli forces in Saida village, north of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem. The force surrounded a house in the village and showered it with live rounds killing Mohammad Tweir, a member of the brigades.

The Gaza Strip

The Israeli army continued to attack the Gaza strip this week and five children were killed by Israeli tank fire in the southern part of the region. IMEMC's John Smith has more:

On Thursday evening, five Palestinians children were killed and seven residents injured after the Israeli army fired artillery shells at Al Shouka town, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The shelling was carried out as ground forces invaded the eastern parts of the town.
The sources added that all five children are members of Abu Matroud family, and that the bodies of four of them were moved to Abu Yousef Al Najjar hospital in Rafah. The bodies were severely mutilated in the blasts. Four of the victims were brothers and the fifth is their cousin.

Six Palestinian residents were injured during several Israeli air strikes and shelling carried out this week.

One of the injured residents is deaf and was shot when the army opened fire at the Al Amal neighborhood, northeast of Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Four more residents were injured when an Israeli war jet fired two missiles at a Palestinian research and study center near Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

In Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli air force fired two missiles at two camions which belong to a milk company. Some damage was reported.

The army also shelled a blacksmith workshop in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, north of Gaza City. The workshop was destroyed and several nearby houses were damaged.

Two invasions were also carried out in Gaza during the reported period; one in Dir Al Balah and one in Rafah. Six residents were kidnapped, and 33 donums of farmland were uprooted.

The Gaza Strip remains totally isolated from the outside world. Its crossings are blocked and the area is suffering from severe shortages in medicines and fuels.

Only limited supplies of medicines and goods were allowed into the Gaza Strip, and the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt was only opened for several hours in two days.


Download an MP3 file of the report
posted June 14, 2007 (July 2, 2007 issue) 
Laboratory for a Fortressed World 
Naomi Klein
Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president's chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hezbollah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith.

At a glance, things aren't going well for Israel. But here's a puzzle: Why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it's 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China's?

Thomas Friedman recently offered his theory in the New York Times. Israel "nurtures and rewards individual imagination," and so its people are constantly spawning ingenious high-tech start-ups--no matter what messes their politicians are making. After perusing class projects by students in engineering and computer science at Ben Gurion University, Friedman made one of his famous fake-sense pronouncements: Israel "had discovered oil." This oil, apparently, is located in the minds of Israel's "young innovators and venture capitalists," who are too busy making megadeals with Google to be held back by politics.

Here's another theory: Israel's economy isn't booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it. This phase of development dates back to the mid-'90s, when Israel was in the vanguard of the information revolution--the most tech-dependent economy in the world. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel's economy was devastated, facing its worst year since 1953. Then came 9/11, and suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners.

Within three years, large parts of Israel's tech economy had been radically repurposed. Put in Friedmanesque terms: Israel went from inventing the networking tools of the "flat world" to selling fences to an apartheid planet. Many of the country's most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of twenty-four-hour-a-day showroom--a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war. And the reason Israel is now enjoying supergrowth is that those companies are busily exporting that model to the world.

Discussions of Israel's military trade usually focus on the flow of weapons into the country--US-made Caterpillar bulldozers used to destroy homes in the West Bank and British companies supplying parts for F-16s. Overlooked is Israel's huge and expanding export business. Israel now sends $1.2 billion in "defense" products to the United States--up dramatically from $270 million in 1999. In 2006 Israel exported $3.4 billion in defense products--well over a billion more than it received in US military aid. That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain.

Much of this growth has been in the so-called "homeland security" sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion--an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are high-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems--precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories.

And that is why the chaos in Gaza and the rest of the region doesn't threaten the bottom line in Tel Aviv, and may actually boost it. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the "global war on terror."

It's no coincidence that the class projects at Ben Gurion that so impressed Friedman have names like "Innovative Covariance Matrix for Point Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images" and "Algorithms for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance." Thirty homeland security companies were launched in Israel in the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country's universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups (something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott).

Next week, the most established of these companies will travel to Europe for the Paris Air Show, the arms industry's equivalent of Fashion Week. One of the Israeli companies exhibiting is Suspect Detection Systems (SDS), which will be showcasing its Cogito1002, a white, sci-fi-looking security kiosk that asks air travelers to answer a series of computer-generated questions, tailored to their country of origin, while they hold their hand on a "biofeedback" sensor. The device reads the body's reactions to the questions, and certain responses flag the passenger as "suspect."

Like hundreds of other Israeli security start-ups, SDS boasts that it was founded by veterans of Israel's secret police and that its products were road-tested on Palestinians. Not only has the company tried out the biofeedback terminals at a West Bank checkpoint; it claims the "concept is supported and enhanced by knowledge acquired and assimilated from the analysis of thousands of case studies related to suicide bombers in Israel."

Another star of the Paris Air Show will be Israeli defense giant Elbit, which plans to showcase its Hermes 450 and 900 unmanned air vehicles. As recently as May, according to press reports, Israel used the drones on bombing missions in Gaza. Once tested in the territories, they are exported abroad: The Hermes has already been used at the Arizona-Mexico border; Cogito1002 terminals are being auditioned at an unnamed US airport; and Elbit, one of the companies behind Israel's "security barrier," has partnered with Boeing to construct the Department of Homeland Security's $2.5 billion "virtual" border fence around the United States.

Since Israel began its policy of sealing off the occupied territories with checkpoints and walls, human rights activists have often compared Gaza and the West Bank to open-air prisons. But in researching the explosion of Israel's homeland security sector, a topic I explore in greater detail in a forthcoming book (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism), it strikes me that they are something else too: laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested. Palestinians--whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling "Hamasistan"--are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.

So in a way Friedman is right: Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn't the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target "suspects." And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource.


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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa

“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946

The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright

“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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