2016 Gaza Corner Archive
Heard live Saturday nights 11pm on Tangents 91.7 FM KALW San Francisco
This weekly feature includes news and opinion from the Middle East (and beyond) often ignored by the mainstream media followed by music from the relevant country or culture.
Gaza Corner was originally conceived to focus attention on relieving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza which has been under a severe blockade imposed by Israel since 2007. Gaza Corner has evolved to include the Middle East, Magreb, Kurdistan and Turkey.
February 6, 2016 [audio stream]
Turkey's Hidden Humanitarian Crisis
Kurdish human rights organisations say fighting across southeastern Turkey has displaced 200,000 people in the last two months alone. At least 220 Kurdish civilians have been killed in the last six months, according to the opposition and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Turkish authorities report that 246 security force personnel were killed in during the same period.
(Dore note - Perhaps 1000's of PKK associated fighters have been killed in the same time period as there are no reliable numbers.)
There are no camps for the displaced and no international organisations have offered help as yet according to IRIN news.(uncredited photo)
Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner said long-term displacement is a concern as more and more homes and business are wrecked across the southeast. “These are densely-populated residential neighbourhoods where tanks are being used, heavy artillery which will cause casualties to ordinary residents,” he said, citing allegations that security forces have been reckless or targeted civilians. “We do know that lots of people who are not carrying guns have been killed and injured – small children, women, elderly people who [don’t fit the] regular profile for fighters.” Gardner said civilians in the areas under curfew who need medical care or food can’t get it. Cuts in water, electricity, and mobile internet signals are becoming common in Kurdish areas across southeastern Turkey. Gardner said “all these things put together are starting to look like collective punishment.”
Fahriye Cukur has been spending her days on the stage of a public hall in Diyarbakir, clutching a photograph of her 16-year-old daughter, Rozerin. She and other mothers are demanding that the authorities’ release their children’s bodies, which they believe to be rotting inside Sur. The high school student was in Sur studying for her university entrance exams, trapped inside the city, when fighting began and a curfew was imposed. Witnesses said she was shot in the head by a government sniper. “For 20 days, her body has been lying in the street,” Cukur protests. “They are killing our children. Our only crime is to be a Kurd.”
Undoing Years of Progress in Turkey
Abdullah Demirbas is the former mayor of Diyarbakir’s Sur district and a founding member of the Council of Forty, an interfaith dialogue group. Demirbas' piece is a must read if you are interested in this topic.
"Entire towns and districts are under siege. Tanks ram through narrow alleys closed off by barricades and trenches. Residents are trapped indoors for weeks because of curfews. Those who venture outside risk sniper fire. Their bodies lie on the streets for days before they can be collected. Bullets fly in through windows and buildings collapse under shelling, killing those seeking shelter at home. This is not Syria. This is Turkey."
January 30, 2016 [audio stream]
BAN KI-MOON: GLOBAL CUPCAKE
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in his last year of office apparently got tired of being a global cupcake. He did not mince words when it comes to Israel and Palestine during an address to the Security Council on Jan 26.
"Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.
Some have taken me to task for pointing out this indisputable truth.
Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.
Continued settlement activities are an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community."
The words of out going UN Sec General Ban Ki Moon who in his 10th year in office finally had the chutzpah to tell it like it is.
Global Cupcake Octo
(poem by Clara Hsu)
Whipped cream serves up a no-fault kiss.
Hi and bye to world oppression.
Better stay sweet than be gritty.
It doesn’t pay to be pretty
When dealing with world oppression.
A diet change—no cream, no kiss,
No more Ban-ki Global Cupcake.
January 23, 2016 [audio stream]
In Syrian fog of war Israel has provided military and medical support to Jabhat al-Nusra (aka al-Nusra Front), the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, while the U.S. and Russia target al-Nusra with airstrikes.
combined excerpt from below articles
Syrian opposition activists in southern Syria say Israel has played a vital role in Jabhat al-Nusra gains near the Golan. There is clearly a growing divergence in U.S. and Israeli approaches over who represents the biggest danger—and who should be seen, if not as an ally, at least as a lesser evil in the regional crisis sparked by the dual implosion of Syria and Iraq.
In nearly two and a half years, around 2,000 Syrians have been admitted to Israeli hospitals. Only about 1/3 of the Syrians treated in Israel are women and children. The rest are combatants. An Israeli military official acknowledged most of the rebels on the other side of the fence belong to al-Nusra.
Al Qaeda a Lesser Evil? Syria War Pulls U.S., Israel Apart
note: may require registration
January 16, 2016 [audio stream]
“We demand Turkey’s state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region.”
For international support, please send your signature, name of your university and your title to firstname.lastname@example.org
January 9, 2016 [audio stream]
The (Turkish) State Doesn’t Talk; It Only Shoots
Turkey is waging a brutal war against Kurds (including civilians and youth) in Turkey's southeast (aka North Kurdistan). Few know what's really going outside this region because Turkey blocks media, politicians and humanitarian aid agencies from entering towns and villages under curfew. 'Curfew' is a polite term for total military siege where the military prevents civilians from leaving and does whatever it wants without the world watching. This chilling report is from a resident of Diyarbakir.
January 2, 2016 [audio stream] (includes moving field recording of Kurdish boy singing)
Endless Afghanistan War
The Taliban now holds more territory than in any year since 2001 when the US invasion removed the Taliban from power.
Meanwhile Afghan military attrition rates, are soaring. As Afghan security forces struggle, U.S. Special Operations troops are increasingly being deployed. Afghans, including senior military officials, no longer even pretend that they can fight the Taliban effectively on their own.
The True Cost of the Afghanistan War May Surprise You
According to a CRS report (Congressional Research Service), the cost of keeping a single American soldier in Afghanistan is $3.9 million.
Israel Bans Novel on Palestinian-Jewish Romance From Schools for 'Threatening Jewish Identity'
note: may require registration
Bennett wages a campaign against literature
Writer and Israel Prize laureate Amos Oz who is regarded as Israel's most famous living author wrote the blurb for the novel. The decision outraged Oz who called out Bennett for not taking parts of the Bible out of the official curriculum. “In everything dealing with sexual intercourse between Jews and non-Jews, the Bible is a thousand times more dangerous than Rabinyan’s book,” he wrote.
2008-2011 Note: This feature was renamed Gaza Corner from 'News of the Day' on 5/31/10 after the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was attacked by Israel resulting in 9 deaths. The focus changed to Palestine/Israel and the Middle East.