Tell Israel to Let Children Live

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Lubna Al-Shorafa
5 years ago
Children everywhere should not be targeted and killed. Children should be allowed the opportunity to enjoy safe living to grow and prospor and pursue their dreams.

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aicha FEKIH
5 years ago
Je signe parce que je suis
humain

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Anita Kanitz
5 years ago
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
― Albert Einstein

“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

We must end war, before war ends us!
- Anita Kanitz

Facts about the truth of war, for example the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima, the Fire Bombing of Dresden, the mass rape in the Nanking massacre, the us of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war, the mass rape of German women at the the end of the Second Worldwar, the mass rape of Bosnian women during the the Bosnian war, the greatest war crimes in the last century:

NUCLEAR BOMBING HIROSHIMA

On August 6, 1945, during World War II (1939-45), an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender in World War II in a radio address on August 15, citing the devastating power of “a new and most cruel bomb.”

FIRE BOMBING DRESDEN

On the evening of February 13, 1945, a series of Allied firebombing raids begins against the German city of Dresden, reducing the “Florence of the Elbe” to rubble and flames, and killing as many as 135,000 people. It was the single most destructive bombing of the war—including Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and all the more horrendous because little, if anything, was accomplished strategically, since the Germans were already on the verge of surrender.

Among the conclusions reached at the February 1945 Yalta Conference of the Allied powers was the resolution that the Allies would engage in concerted strategic bombing raids against German cities known for war-production and manufacturing, in an effort to bring the Nazi war machine to a crashing halt. The tragic irony of the raid on Dresden, a medieval city renowned for its rich artistic and architectural treasures, is that during the war it had never been a site of war-production or major industry. Both Allies and Germans alike have argued over the real purpose of the firebombing; the ostensible “official” rationale was that Dresden was a major communications center and bombing it would hamper the German ability to convey messages to its army, which was battling Soviet forces at the time. But the extent of the destruction was, for many, disproportionate to the stated strategic goal—many believe that the attack was simply an attempt to punish the Germans and weaken their morale.

More than 3,400 tons of explosives were dropped on the city by 800 American and British aircraft. The firestorm created by the two days of bombing set the city burning for many more days, littering the streets with charred corpses, including many children. Eight square miles of the city was ruined, and the total body count was between 35,000 and 135,000 (an approximation is all that was possible given that the city was filled with many refugees from farther east). The hospitals that were left standing could not handle the numbers of injured and burned, and mass burials became necessary.

THE NANKING MASSACRE
In 1928, the Chinese Nationalist Government moved the capital of China from Peking to Nanking. The city normally held about 250,000 people, but by the mid-1930's its population had swollen to more than 1 million. Many of them were refugees, fleeing from the Japanese armies which had invaded China since 1931. On November 11, 1937, after securing control of Shanghai, the Japanese army advanced towards Nanking from different directions. In early December, the Japanese troops were already in the proximity of Nanking.

On December 9, after unsuccessfully demanding the defending Chinese troops in Nanking to surrender, the Japanese troops launched a massive attack upon the city. On the 12th, the defending Chinese troops decided to retreat to the other side of Yangtze River. On the 13th of December, the 6th and the 116th Divisions of the Japanese Army first entered the city. At the same time, the 9th Division entered Guanghua Gate, and the 16th Division entered Zhongshan Gate and the Pacific Gate. In the afternoon, two Japanese Navy fleets arrived on both sides of the Yangtze River. On the same day, December 13th, 1937, Nanking fell to the Japanese. In the next six weeks, the Japanese committed the infamous Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, during which an estimated 300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed, and 20,000 women were raped.

During the Nanking Massacre, the Japanese committed a litany of atrocities against innocent civilians, including mass execution, raping, looting, and burning. It is impossible to keep a detailed account of all of these crimes. However, from the scale and the nature of these crimes as documented by survivors and the diaries of the Japanese militarists, the chilling evidence of this historical tragedy is indisputable.

MASS RAPE OF GERMAN WOMEN AT THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
At the end of World War II, Red Army soldiers are estimated to have raped around 2,000,000 German women and girls. Norman Naimark writes in "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949." that although the exact number of women and girls who were raped by members of the Red Army in the months preceding and years following the capitulation will never be known, their numbers are likely in the hundreds of thousands, quite possibly as high as the 2,000,000 victims estimate made by Barbara Johr, in "Befreier und Befreite".

Many of these victims were raped repeatedly. Antony Beevor estimates that up to half the victims were victims of gang rapes. Naimark states that not only did each victim have to carry the trauma with her for the rest of her days, it inflicted a massive collective trauma on the East German nation.

Naimark concludes "The social psychology of women and men in the soviet zone of occupation was marked by the crime of rape from the first days of occupation, through the founding of the GDR in the fall of 1949, until – one could argue – the present." German women who became pregnant after being raped by Soviet soldiers in World War II were invariably denied abortion to further humiliate them as to carry an unwanted child.

As a result, according to the book Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor, some 90% of raped Berlin women in 1945 had venereal diseases as results of these consequential rapes and 3.7% of all children born in Germany from 1945 to 1946 had Soviet fathers. The history behind this particular rape of the German women by the Soviet troops was considered a taboo topic until 1992.

The enormous personal humiliations and violations of dignity towards the prisoners during interrogation happened especially in 1945. Ernst von Salomon delivered impressive examples of those deeds in his questionnaire. German women had to endure rape on top of this. The victors of the East and West are both guilty of these crimes. Millions of German women and girls were ravished by this barbaric behaviour. The estimated figures are about two million. Ingo von Münch calculates 1.4 million rapes for the territory east of the Oder and Neiße line, about 500,000 in the former DDR. Ilya Ehrenburg, distributed flyers among the Soviet soldiers weeks ahead before the Red Armey entered East Germany, calling for rape in public and killing of at least one German each day. Soldiers and Officers alike took part in it to follow Ilya Ehrenburg`s appeal. Very few officers resisted this lack of discipline and very few seldom interfered. In Berlin alone tens of thousands of women had to endure this brutal, humiliating behaviour by the Red Armey. The call "women come" became a feared word. Just recently are extensively written monographs made public.
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As the Red Army advanced toward her in 1945, the city of Berlin had become a city virtually without men. Out of a civilian population of 2,700,000, 2,000,000 were women. It is small wonder that the fear of sexual attack raced through the city like a plague. Doctors were besieged by patients seeking information on the quickest way to commit suicide, and poison was in great demand.

AGENT ORANGE VIETMAN WAR
Agent Orange was a powerful mixture of chemical defoliants used by U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, as well as crops that might be used to feed them. The U.S. program of defoliation, codenamed Operation Ranch Hand, sprayed more than 19 million gallons of herbicides over 4.5 million acres of land in Vietnam from 1961 to 1972. Agent Orange, which contained the chemical dioxin, was the most commonly used of the herbicide mixtures, and the most effective. It was later revealed to cause serious health issues–including tumors, birth defects, rashes, psychological symptoms and cancer–among returning U.S. servicemen and their families as well as among the Vietnamese population.


In addition to the massive environmental impact of the U.S. defoliation program in Vietnam, that nation has reported that some 400,000 people were killed or maimed as a result of exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange. In addition, Vietnam claims half a million children have been born with serious birth defects, while as many 2 million people are suffering from cancer or other illness caused by Agent Orange.

In 2004, a group of Vietnamese citizens filed a class-action lawsuit against more than 30 chemical companies, including the same ones that settled with the U.S. veterans in 1984. The suit, which sought billions of dollars worth of damages, claimed that Agent Orange and its poisonous effects left a legacy of health problems and that its use constituted a violation of international law. In March 2005, a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, dismissed the suit; another U.S. court rejected a final appeal in 2008.

MASS RAPE OF BOSNIAN WOMEN BOSNIAN WAR

Violence against women during conflict has reached epidemic proportions. Mass rape is frequently used systematically, as a weapon of war. During conflict women are physically and economically forced to become prostitutes, sometimes in order to secure the basic necessities for their families. Women and children are also the majority of refugees and internally displaced persons.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina 20,000 – 50,000 women were raped by Serbian forces during five months of conflict in 1992. (IWTC, Women’s GlobalNet #212. 23rd October 2002). In some villages in Kosovo, 30%-50% of women of child bearing age were raped by Serbian forces (Amnesty International, 27 May 1999).

In her “Mass rape: the war against women in Bosnia-Herzegovina“, Alexandra Stiglmayer et al conclude:

“In war, men rape for various motives, and we can identify nearly all of them in every war. Yet not all wars are the same, and each war provides its own specific motivations for rape. For the Russians who raped German women by turns during the invasion of Berlin in 1945, the key motives might have been revenge, a desire to break the pride of the German master race, and the feeling of having earned ‘thanks.’ For the Americans in Vietnam the motive was more likely the frustration of being in a foreign country and having to fight a war that was not ‘their’ war. In neither case was the goal to drive away the women and their community; both the German and the Vietnamese women were to remain where they were.

But dispersion is precisely the goal of the Serbian forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their purpose is to drive Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims] and Croats [Bosnian Catholics] away from the conquered territories. Besides brutal terror, deliberate murders, mass executions, internment camps, deportations, and torture, one of the means they are employing is rape. Rapes spread fear and induce the flight of refugees; rapes humiliate, demoralize, and destroy not only the victim but also her family and community; and rapes stifle any wish to return. A rape is a ‘surefire weapon that doesn’t need any fuel or ammunition,’ as the Zagreb feminist Asija Armanda once said… In Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, rape has been an instrument of ‘ethnic cleansing’. The UN Commission of experts that investigated the rapes in former Yugoslavia has concluded. ‘Rape cannot be seen as incidental to the main purpose of the aggression but as serving a strategic purpose in itself,’ reports the European Community mission concerned especially with the situation of Muslim women.The report of the humanitarian organization Amnesty International states: ‘Instances that have included sexual infringements against women are apparently part of an inclusive pattern of war conduct characterized by massive intimidation and infringements against Bosniaks and Croats.’ The American human rights organization Helsinki Watch believes that rape is being used as a ‘weapon of war’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina: ‘ Whether a woman is raped by soldiers in her home or is held in a house with other women and raped over and over again, she is raped with a political purpose – to intimidate, humiliate, and degrade her and others affected by her suffering. The effect of rape is often to ensure that women and their families will flee and never return.’

Against this background, it is obvious that rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina are taking place ‘on a large scale’ (UN and EC), that they are acquiring a systematic character, and that ‘in by far the most instances Muslim (Bosniak) women are the victims of the Serbian forces ‘ (Amnesty International). Estimates of the number of rape victims range from 20,000 (EC) to 50,000 (Bosnian Ministry of the Interior).”

A pattern of crime: Serbian soldiers repeatedly raped Bosniak women and girls as young as 6 and 7.

Media reports:

January 04, 1993.
NEWSWEEK

About all she has left is her name, which she prefers to keep to herself, and the shocking memories of last July. That’s when Serbian troops stormed the northwest Bosnian village of Rizvanovici, and S., a 20-year-old Bosniak [Bosnian Muslim] woman with a ponytail, was rounded up with 400 other women in the yard of a neighbor’s house. Two soldiers, wearing camouflage uniforms and Serbian crosses around their necks, picked S. and her friend I. out of the crowd.

“They brought us to an empty house and there they did what they wanted to do,” says S. dully. “First we had to excite them and then we had to satisfy them.” Afterward the Serbs traded partners. The girls had been virgins. “They were laughing at us,” S. recalls. “They said we were pretty girls and [that] we saved ourselves for them.”

Her ordeal didn’t end there. After being raped and dumped at the yard, one of the soldiers came back to bring S. to his commander. “He told me to take off my clothes and to lie down on the bed,” she says. “Then he did the same thing. He started to kiss and to caress me. He saw that I didn’t feel anything. I looked into his eyes and asked him if he had a wife. He said no. I asked him if he had a sister. He said he had one. Then I said, ‘How would your sister feel if somebody did the same thing to her that you are doing to me?’ Then he jumped up and told me to get dressed and leave.”

S., who now lives in a refugee center in northern Croatia, is a survivor of what may be the most sadistic violence to haunt Europe since the Nazi campaigns: “ethnic cleansing.” Now, on top of documented cases of systematic torture and murder in Bosnia, come charges of a new Serb atrocity-mass rape. No one knows how many victims there are, though estimates range from 30,000 to 50,000 women, most of them Muslim.

In the last few months, a torrent of wrenching first-person testimonies from refugees has emerged, suggesting widespread sexual abuse by Serb forces. They tell of repeated rapes of girls as young as 6 and 7; violations by neighbors and strangers alike; gang rapes so brutal their victims die; rape camps where Serbs routinely abused and murdered Bosniak and Croat women; rapes of young girls performed in front of fathers, mothers, siblings and children; rapes committed explicitly to impregnate Muslim women and hold them captive until they give birth to wanted Serbian babies.

Many reports are unconfirmed, and some may never be independently corroborated. But as anecdotal evidence piles up, Western media and women’s groups are pressuring their governments to take some kind of action. So far it has resulted in little more than intelligence gathering by the United States and the European Community. The U.N. Security Council, citing “massive, organized and systematic detention and rape,” voted unanimously on Dec. 18 to condemn “atrocities committed against women, particularly Muslim women, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” In blithe defiance of international outrage, the Serbs continue to attack Bosnian towns.

Do the Serbs have a deliberate policy of’ rape? Have they, as Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic alleges to NEWSWEEK, used rape in the “systematic humiliation and genocide of the Bosnian people”? U.S. government analysts haven’t yet uncovered anything as obvious as a speech or direct order by a Serbian leader calling on troops to violate Bosniak women. But there does seem to be a widespread pattern of on-the-ground commanders encouraging-or even ordering-their men to rape. The testimonies of so many victims and witnesses, and of some captured Serb perpetrators, have a consistency that cannot be accidental. “It’s hard to believe that all these Serbian men, no matter how animalistic you think human nature is, would suddenly get it in their heads to find a 7-year-old girl and rape her,” says the lead State Department researcher. Rape is an integral part of ethnic cleansing, of eradicating entire areas of their historic Muslim populations through brutal intimidation, expulsion and outright murder. In such Bosnian towns as Brcko, Bjeljina, Kljuc, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Kotor Varos, Zvornik, leading citizens-anyone who owned a business, participated in the Party of Democratic Action, held a university degree-were hunted down and liquidated. The rest of the male population was packed off to prison camps. Rape clearly was the coup de grace delivered to tens of mortally wounded towns, a way of ensuring that women would never want to return to their homes.

For 12-year-old Vasvija [Bosnian Muslim girl], the terror began after she was evicted from her village of Jelec in August. During her first night in Partizan Hall, a Serb-run detention camp in the nearby eastern Bosnian town of Foca, two soldiers picked her from among the 70 detainees, all women, children and elderly civilians. “They brought me to a flat, an empty flat,” she says, a single tear running down an otherwise passive face. “They raped me.” Both soldiers? “Both.” Over nine consecutive nights, Vasvija endured the same hideous treatment at the hands of different men. Once she was taken out with her mother and another inmate. They were all raped by the same Serbian soldier. Exchanged on Sept. 17 for Serb prisoners, Vasvija, her siblings and her mother now live in a refugee center near Sarajevo. No one has heard from her father, who was beaten and dragged off to a different prison camp when the Serbs overran Jelec.

How many women are victims of rape? The Bosnian government commission on war crimes in Sarajevo claims that there are 30,000; the Ministry for Interior Affairs goes as high as 50,000 women. When pressed, Bosnian officials concede that their estimates are extrapolations based on a relatively small number of testimonies. There’s no procedure for reporting such crimes and little willingness by victims to come forward. Battered by fear and shame, most survivors keep their stories to themselves. “They have been brought up in the Islamic spirit,” explains Dr. Muhamed Sestic, chief of the neuropsychiatric department at the hospital in Zenica, in central Bosnia. “Sexual intercourse is a very serious act, no matter if it’s done with or against the will of the woman.” Families, he says, often conceal rape to spare a woman from marrying beneath her station-or to keep the knowledge from her husband. Muhamed Sacirbey, leader of the Bosnian Mission to the United Nations, has a grimmer explanation for the relative paucity of confirmed reports: “We believe many of the women who’ve been raped have been murdered. But a thorough search can’t yet be conducted of the victims’ whereabouts.” The Serbian forces, after all, still occupy 70 percent of Bosnia.

Proving mass rape is difficult. No allegation is so emotionally charged-or so susceptible to exaggeration and propaganda. “It will be years before the full picture of what has transpired emerges,” reports a U.S. government specialist. “When we finally can survey the interior of Bosnia, I think we’ll find a mass grave associated with each and every camp and village that was ethnically cleansed. And in every one of them will be women who were raped.”

The attempt to pin down numbers enrages some advocacy groups. “What happens to men is called politics, what happens to women is called culture,” says Gloria Steinem. She has a point: rape has historically been treated as an incidental atrocity of war. Along with groups like the International League for Human Rights and the Center for Reproductive Law & Policy, the Ms. Foundation has labored to place rape in Bosnia at the center of international attention. Many organizations hope to provide psychological support to rape survivors. But a chief aim is to prosecute war criminals. Says Steinem: “These people must be held responsible.”

But sorting out “these people” won’t be easy. In his call for a war-crimes trial, Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger lumped together the chief architects of a Greater Serbia-including Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the political and military leaders of the Bosnian Serbs-with low ranking henchmen like Borislav Herak. A 21-year-old Serb laborer from Sarajevo, Herak admits to raping seven Bosniak women and to killing two of his victims in addition to the 18 murders to which he has already confessed. “We were ordered to rape so that our morale would be higher,” he says from a military prison in the Bosnian capital. “We were told we would fight better if we raped the women.” He claims that he and fellow soldiers frequented the Sonja Cafe-one of several alleged “rape camps” outside Sarajevo-which maintained a population of 70 Muslim women and girls; those who were killed were quickly replaced.

Entire villages, such as Miljevina in eastern Bosnia, may have been converted to rape camps. About 100 people, “all young Muslim women and girls, were raped,” says a 20-year-old named Aida. Her attacker was Dragan J., a Serb policeman and neighbor, who excused his behavior, she says, on the ground that “‘It is war, you can’t resist, there is no law and order’.” Rasema, a 33-year-old mother, offers a similar account. She claims that her assailants raped her in front of her two girls. When she resisted, they threatened, “We will cut out your teeth! Do you want us to slaughter your children, to watch us cutting them into pieces, piece after piece?” In his own defense, one attacker told Rasema, “I have to do it, otherwise they will kill me.”

He may have been telling the truth. Two young Serb deserters, Slobodan Panic and Cvijetin Maksimovic, now being held in a prison in Orasje, Bosnia, told NEWSWEEK they were ordered to rape and murder for the amusement of their commander in Brcko, in northeastern Bosnia, last May. Panic says he balked when two battered women, each about 18, were brought to him in a room in a warehouse where 500 to 600 civilians were imprisoned. Serb soldiers “Said they’d kill me if I didn’t” rape them, he recalls, insisting that he “only did a little” to his screaming victims, not consummating the act. Three other women were dragged out for the same humiliating display. During these episodes, Panic says, soldiers stood around in a circle and laughed. Then they hauled two badly beaten Bosniak prisoners before Panic and handed him a gun. “I said, ‘I can’t, they’ve never done anything to me’,” he remembers. “‘You have to or else we’ll kill you’,” Panic says he was told. He shot each man in the chest. Two more male prisoners appeared. A soldier handed Panic a knife. “Butcher them,” he commanded. When Panic protested, the soldier replied, “I’ll show you how it’s done.” Then, holding Panic’s hand around the knife handle, he seized the man by the hair, jerked back his head and cut his throat.

Death, at least, brings an end to suffering. Rape victims who became pregnant relive their horror every day. Sofija, a 30-year-old Muslim, was released from a school turned prison camp in the village of Parzevic in mid-September, after being raped every night for six months by five or six different Serb soldiers. Now she is hiding from her family in a cold Sarajevan hospital, tormented by the thought of the unwanted child growing inside her. “I do not want to see the baby,” the mother of two says without emotion. “I will not feed it. I do not want anything to do with it.” Her roommate says that Sofija talks in her sleep every night, debating whether to kill the baby when it arrives in mid-January. Somewhere in Sarajevo are 12 other pregnant women and girls from the same village as Sofija who were similarly raped and held until long past the time for a safe abortion. Earlier release doesn’t guarantee relief: a 1978 Yugoslav law allows gynecologists to perform abortions only up to the 10th week of pregnancy; thereafter, cases are referred to a hospital ethics commission which, in Roman Catholic Croatia, home to 400,000 Bosnian refugees, may be more inclined to put the babies up for adoption.

Rape is the ultimate act in the Serbs’ program of annihilation. They have robbed countless civilians of their possessions, their land, their lives and their dignity. Bosnia will be haunted by hundreds, if not thousands, of Serbian children forced on unwilling Muslim mothers. The Serbs do seem to be winning their ugly war. But their crimes have guaranteed that Greater Serbia will be an international pariah for years to come.

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Leah Tellez
6 years ago
Children do not deserve to live in fear, children deserve our protection.

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Dee Stephens
6 years ago
Because Israel is a bully country and is supported by the Jewish people in the USA

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MARIA MCALPINE
6 years ago
KILLING OF ANY CHILDREN, WHETHER IRAQ, SYRIA, PALESTINE, SUDAN, OR AMERICA IS ALL THE SAME..UNJUST!

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Mohamed Banni Banni
6 years ago
Massacres n destruction of homes n i frastructure in gaza

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Bertha Kriegler
6 years ago
Killing innocent children is a crime!

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Andrea RONKIN
6 years ago
There can be no peace without justice; no peace unless the Palestinian people can be allowed to live with dignity and raise their children with hope for the future.

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Jacob Nammar
6 years ago
Stop Israel crimes against Humanity!