Archive for February 8th, 2015

08/02/2015

Over Bottled

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

7 February 2015 — EVERYBODY KNOWS what the Israeli elections are about.

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

The choice is stark: on the one side, the dream of a Greater Israel “from the sea to the river”, which would in practice be an apartheid state; on the other side, an end to the occupation and peace.

Some would add a social choice: on the one side, the existing neoliberal state with the widest inequality in the industrialized world; on the other side, a social-democratic state of social solidarity.

So is the country plastered with posters about war and peace, occupation and settlements, wages and the cost of living? Are TV programs full of them? Are they occupying the front pages of the newspapers?

Far from it. Five weeks to election day, and all these subjects have practically disappeared.

War, peace, social justice – they just raise a collective yawn. There are far more interesting matters which electrify the public mind.

Bottles, for example.

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08/02/2015

500 Rabbis Urge Israel to Stop Demolition of Palestinian Homes

Human Wrongs Watch

8 February 2015 (RT)* — Over 500 rabbis from Israel, Britain, the US and Canada have called on the Israeli prime minister to stop demolishing Palestinian homes. Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) say Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance is against “international law and Jewish tradition.”

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Photo source: Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)

RHR’s open letter came after the Israeli PM announced the destruction of over 400 Palestinian homes in the Israel-controlled part of the West Bank, the territory known as Area C.

“Thousands have been forced to build without permits, and great human suffering is caused when hundreds of homes are demolished each year in Area C alone,” RHR stated in their letter, adding that Israeli planning and zoning laws “severely restrict the ability of Palestinians to build homes, even on the lands that the State recognizes as belonging to them.”

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08/02/2015

A Year to Save the World? How Crucial is 2015?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Daniel Mittler*

6 February 2016 — 2015 has barely begun, but it has already been called “the most crucial year in decades for the climate battle” and a “watershed” year for sustainable development worldwide. Naomi Klein is convinced that 2015 is a once-in-a-generation moment for the climate battle and Avaaz has just told their supporters that we have ten months left to save the world.

Greenpeace activists block the outflow pipe at AKZO in Delfzijl. 03/07/1990 © Greenpeace / Benno Neeleman

Greenpeace activists block the outflow pipe at AKZO in Delfzijl. 03/07/1990 © Greenpeace / Benno Neeleman

What’s going on?

World leaders will meet in September to agree upon new goals for all of humanity: the Sustainable Development Goals. And, in December in Paris, another attempt will be made to deliver a global climate agreement.

Both summits will be huge, and will get a lot of media attention. Some of our allies have called them “opportunities of a lifetime” and many, including Pharrell Williams, are starting to organize events to mobilize public support for a greener future.

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08/02/2015

How UK Detention Policy Worsens Migrants’ Mental Health

Human Wrongs Watch

London, 6 February 2015 (IRIN)* – This month, the UK parliament is due to release findings of an inquiry into the detention of migrants and asylum seekers, prompted by high profile incidents of sexual abuse and deaths. Unlimited immigration detention contributes to – and can even cause – lasting mental health problems among detainees, according to IRIN interviews with former detainees, aid and advocacy groups and UK court decisions.

Several studies have examined the impact of immigration detention on mental health. A review of 10 of these studies by specialists who gave evidence to the inquiry found that they all “reported high levels of mental health problems in detainees. Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder were commonly reported, as were self-harm and suicidal ideation. Time in detention was positively associated with severity of distress.”

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