Archive for April 15th, 2015

15/04/2015

Would King David Want Jerusalem Cleared of Palestinians?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Nadezhda Kevorkova*
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15 April 2015 (RT) – At the foot of Al-Aqsa the struggle ensues over every house. If this neighborhood is called Silwan, the Palestinians have a chance of staying. But if it’s named after King David, their chances are nil.
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A view on Al-Aqsa from the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan (Photo by Nadezhda Kevorkova)

A view on Al-Aqsa from the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan (Photo by Nadezhda Kevorkova) | Source: RT

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If you don’t want to know anything about the hard life Palestinians are leading in Jerusalem, you won’t find out even if you visit the Holy Land dozens of times.

Most tourist guides talk about Jerusalem like the Palestinians are not there at all, and if they are, they are nothing but an unfortunate part of the landscape.

But if you do want to find out about how Palestinians live in Jerusalem you needn’t go far: The Silwan neighborhood is right there at the foot of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel occupied this neighborhood along with the entire Jerusalem in 1967. Israelis call this place the City of David and consider it the oldest part of the city.

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15/04/2015

Military Spending  Increases in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia – SIPRI

Human Wrongs Watch

Stockholm – World military expenditure totaled $1.8 trillion in 2014, a fall of 0.4 per cent in real terms since 2013, according to figures released on 13 April 2015 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).* 
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Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

World military spending, while falling for the third year in a row, has levelled off as reductions in the United States and Western Europe were largely matched by increases in Asia and Oceania, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa. Spending in Latin America was virtually level.

US military spending fell by 6.5 per cent* as part of ongoing budget deficit reduction measures; spending has now fallen by 20 per cent since its peak in 2010. However, current US military spending is still 45 per cent higher than in 2001, just before the 11 September terrorist attacks on the USA.

The next three highest spenders—China, Russia and Saudi Arabia—have all substantially increased their military expenditures, with Saudi Arabia’s increase of 17 per cent making it the largest increase of any of the top 15 spenders worldwide.

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15/04/2015

Kenya Urged to Reconsider Closure of World's Largest Refugee Camp

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations refugee agency on 14 April 2015 urged Kenyan authorities to reconsider their decision to shut down within the next three months Dadaab refugee camps, a decision that would require some 350,000 Somalis to return to their country and would cause “extreme” humanitarian consequences.

A group of displaced Somali women residing at the Ifo 2 Refugee Camp in Dadaab, Kenya, which is supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UN Photo/Evan Schneider

“Large-scale returns are still not possible in many parts of the country, in particular to South Central Somalia,” spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Karin de Gruijl, told journalists in Geneva.*

The Government’s decision was announced this past weekend following the horrific attack at Garissa University in Kenya earlier this month, the agency said, referring to the 2 April assault on the campus for which Somali-based Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility.

According to the UN Security Council, which strongly condemned the attack, dozens were killed, scores injured and many held hostage and others unaccounted for, the vast majority of whom were students.

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15/04/2015

Gandhi and Mandela: Two South Africans

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

14 April 2015 TRANSCEND Media Service – Mohandas Gandhi invented the nonviolent approach to basic social change, Satyagraha, in South Africa in the early 20th century; Nelson Mandela presided over the birth of a one person-one vote democracy at the end of the century.

**Nelson Mandela | Author: Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science | Wikimedia Commons

**Nelson Mandela | Author: Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science | Wikimedia Commons

Both were lawyers, trained in English Common Law; good in the sense of a keen consciousness of what is right and wrong, bad in the sense of a court process identifying who is in the wrong rather than solving underlying conflicts, and wrong in the sense of punishing the wrong-doer; violence rather than cooperation.

Both built on the positive side of law–the indelible rights of the people for whom they were fighting by comparing empirical facts with normative rights; immigrant Indians in the case of Gandhi, original inhabitants in South Africa, the Blacks, in the case of Mandela.

Gandhi (1869-1948) did not live to see equality between Indians and whites in South Africa, but in India, his mother-father land; Mandela (1918-2013) did. They won their struggles–but the societies that emerged still suffer from other and major ones.

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