David Bloom

300 killed in one week in Afghanistan —including civilians

From CNN, May 23:

Wave of violence in Afghanistan

Fighting this week in Afghanistan has been among the most intense since the U.S. invasion more than four years ago, with up to 300 people reported killed since last Wednesday.

The United States says it struck a blow against the Taliban on Monday when its warplanes killed as many as 80 people.

Afghans at the scene, however, say some of the victims were innocent civilians.

Action call: protest crackdown on Egyptian civil rights

From the Egyptian groups Institute for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Arab Institute for Civil Society, Legal Aid Society for Human Rights, and The Civil Monitor for Human Rights, on May 21:

On Thursday, May 18 activist Asmaa Mohammed Hassan Soliman (known as Asmaa Soliman), was surprised to learn that she had been dismissed from her job at the National Institute for Laser Enhanced Science at Cairo University. The dean of the institute, Dr. Mohy Saad Mansour, usually refuses to fire anyone, even when the situation clearly demands it When Asmaa tried to learn the reasons behind her dismissal, the director of Human Resources, Amaal Khalil, said that the dean had the right to do what he wanted, without giving his reasons.

Congresswoman boycotts AIPAC

From the JTA, May 20:

Congresswoman cuts off AIPAC
A congresswoman says AIPAC is unwelcome in her office until it apologizes for an activist who called her a terrorist supporter.

AIPAC spy-trial backlash: Pentagon security clearances revoked

More pendulum swings. Douglas Feith, former no. 3 at the Pentagon, Richard Perle, who served on a Pentagon Advisory board, and former undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz have all been the subject of investigations for their ties to Israel, according to Stephen Green, writing in Counterpunch. Even though the three were subject to repeated investigations, they continued to get Defense Department jobs. The following may signal the proverbial chickens coming home to roost. From the Jerusalem Post, May 18:

Israeli ties impair US security clearance

US citizens who have ties to Israel or an Israeli-American dual citizenship encounter difficulties in obtaining security clearance from the Pentagon and are dealt with in a manner similar to that of Americans who have ties with hostile nations.

Israeli army attacks protest, girls' school

Ten Palestinians have been shot and killed in the last two years while protesting Israel's separation wall non-violently. Hundreds of protestors have been injured, including internationals and Israelis. From the ISM media office, May 14:

Non-Violent Demonstration Against the Wall in Ar-Ram Attacked by Israeli Military
Saturday 13th May: Around 800 Palestinian and 200 Israeli and international demonstrators, representing a broad coalition of people, united in a march to call for the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall in the Palestinian town of Ar-Ram, just north of Jerusalem. With the participation of schoolchildren, teachers, neighborhood residents and representatives of all the different Palestinian political parties, it was carefully prepared as a non-violent protest. It was well disciplined, with a line of organizers at the front of the march preventing any impatient youth from provoking a confrontation with the soldiers.

Israeli neo-Nazis attack Jews

From Ha'aretz, May 11:

Fear and loathing in Petah Tikva / Neo-Nazi gangs assaulting ultra-Orthodox Jews
A week after the desecration of the Great Synagogue in Petah Tikva, nothing remains of the horror the worshipers encountered there last Thursday when they arrived for morning prayers. The walls, which had been sprayed with swastikas and blasphemy, have been newly painted, the floor polished and the curtain covering the holy ark replaced.

Israeli court upholds apartheid

According to this decision, if he married her now and she was under 25, an Israeli parliamentarian's wife wouldn't be allowed to live with him in Israel. From Ha'aretz, May 14:

MK Barakeh: High Court ruling supplies an 'alibi for racism'
Senior Arab Israeli lawmaker Mohammed Barakeh on Sunday strongly condemned the High Court's ruling banning Israeli Arabs and their Palestinian spouses from living together, saying it "gives racism a shady alibi."

Israeli troops shoot two foreigners

The two were shot with rubber bullets at close range in the head. From the International Solidarity Movement: [photos at the link]

May 12, Bi'lin, occupied West Bank
"I saw blood gushing out of his head, and helped bandage it. As we were getting him into the ambulance an Israeli soldier grabbed his long hair and they all tried to stop him from leaving in the ambulance even though they knew he was injured", said American eyewitness Zadie Susser who saw Phil sitting in shock immediately after he was hit.

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