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TeeJay (2309)

TeeJay
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http://www.aarontrevena.co.uk/

Working in Truro
Graduate with BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks
pm : london.pm, bath.pm, devoncornwall.pm
lug : Devon & Cornwall LUG
CPAN : TEEJAY [cpan.org]
irc : TeeJay
skype : hashbangperl
livejournal : hashbangperl [livejournal.com]
flickr :hashbangperl [flickr.com]

Journal of TeeJay (2309)

Tuesday May 20, 2003
04:26 PM

The Killing zone (and why I don't feel like coding tonight)

[ #12334 ]
I have just finished watching channel 4's despatches investigation into recent deaths of western journalists by the isreali army in palestine.

I already know a little about the situation there :

  • Isreal is bulldozing homes and farms 'to defend itself'.
  • Isreal is blockading palestine and ghettoising it, imposing curfews, roadblocks and rocket or tanks assaults on civilians.
  • Isreali shrapnel, bullets, rockets and shells or jewish terror group bombs kill innocent men, women and children every day of every week.
  • Isreal will fire on and has killed doctors, nurses, journalists, ambulance drivers, foreign ambassadors and UN workers and anybody getting in the way of, or documenting their atrocities.

All of this is documented and recognised the rest of the world outside of the United States and Isreal - The UN Security Council has had ten motions against Israel for every one against Iraq but all have been veto'd by the US.

The documentary follows a journalist as she meets both peace protestors and the isreali military (who seem, judging by the video footage) to not know the difference between firing on unarmed protestors, journalists and children and 'returning fire against armed terrorists' - or that firing one missile into a car of a suspected terrorist, rather than firing one, then another and another into the crowd and the ambulance would be judged by the rest of the world as deliberately killing innocents rather than accidentally.

I was shocked as representatives of the IDF claimed that a british photographer shot in the head by an isreali sniper while trying to get young children to cover from isreali fire was camoflaged and carrying a gun. Footage shows him previously and after beeing shot wearing flourescent jacket and bright colours of the peace protestors.

It was also claimed that the young american peace protestor was killed by falling masonry, despite photos showing her in the tracks of the armoured bulldozer dying in the arms of a jewish peace protestor, and her friends - no masonry. The footage of these bulldozers makes it clear that the IDF will bulldoze any parts of palestine it deems necessary, regardless of protestors - these bulldozers aren't attacked by gunmen - they are protected by tanks and armoured personel carriers that fire into crowds tear gas, stun grenades and machine-guns. Rachel Corrie was seen by her killer, there are witnesses and the footage of the bulldozers show quite clearly that they will bulldoze through any people that get in their way.

The footage also showed that the IDF classes 'crossfire' as 'somewhere in palestine there might be someone with a gun', as IDF described their firing hundreds of rounds of automatic and sniper fire down a Raffa main street as 'returning fire' - the footage shows tracers going only one direction and fire is described as 'overwhelming and incessant' - essentially one shot fired, or imagined to be fired from palestine, is returned a thousand fold from the israeli forces protected by huge walls, while palestinians try and get on with their lives.

Finally the most recent killing of a journalist occured while the documentary was taking place - the team from HBO covering the bulldozing, were fired on by isreali tanks 'returning fire' or rather 'shooting at anything that moves, especially if it might look arab'. The cameraman and directory was shot twice by an isreali tank when they tried to leave an area they had been trapped in by isreali armoured vehicles while filming the bulldozers desteroying crops and olive trees - they were carrying lights and a white flag, shouting and requesting to be able to leave the area, they didn't wish to dodge the indiscriminate isreali sniper fire of the back alleys the palestinians used. and expected tanks not to fire on unarmed journalists shouting in english.

It seems that the rest of the world is quite happy to turn a blind eye to these atrocities, even when western journalists are killed. Whats worse is that israelis and many sympathisers with israel world-wide seem to think that killing 3 innocent palestinians for every 1 israeli killed, not to mention bulldozing crops and homes, curfews, and blockading trade is acceptable.

In the middle of all this Ariel Sharon wants to walk away from peace talks because of some suicide bombers - it is clear israel has no interest in peace - only in avoiding giving up its illegal settlements, occupation, assasinations, trade blockades and nuclear/chemical/biological weapons.

The terrorists have their own agenda, it has as little in common with that of the palestinan people or their government as it does with the people of israel - it has a lot more in common with the IDF, the zionist/jewish militants and settlers who don't want peace but instead bigger walls and more tanks and dead palestinians.

Of course what does this have to do with perl - well we just had YAPC::Israel, unlike YAPC::Europe or any conference in the normal world, this would not welcome anybody from neighbouring countrys - arabs or palestinians who managed to make it through Isreals borders, checkpoints and snipers wouldn't be welcome. Were there any arabs at YAPC::Israel? Unlike other conferences which are held mostly in english - a language spoken or at least understood by most hackers world wide, this conference was almost exclusively in hebrew. Finally why has no-one from israeli spoken out about these atrocities, can we assume tacit acceptance that their lives are worth several of their neighbours or that they are just pretending its not happening or not relevent.

I think most british or american perl mongers are happy to bring attention to their nations ills - there are many many things about the UK that I dislike and I have mentioned them and even written to my MP about them! All I ever see here is americans claiming that I am anti-semetic for pointing out that Isreal is the biggest problem facing world peace and human rights and democracy in the middle east. Maybe these americans have forgotten that the UK lived through many years of terrorism and managed to avoid spilling a tiny fraction of the blood in 30 years that Israel sheds in a week. How many americans have sat on their way to work while the bomb squad defuses a package on the train line to your office - how many israeli's even ? How many americans have had a bomb factory two streets from their flat? While I was living in ealing - I was less than a mile from the bomb at white city, my flat was even closer to the bomb that exploded in ealing broadway, and I expect the terrorists to be tried in court not killed in their beds or their cars by rockets along with unlucky civilians.

I was hoping to code something useful tonight - I am working on various database, xml, and math related modules for CPAN, but sometimes I wonder why I bother, most hackers - particularly here can't see beyond their fat pale beerguts the world around them - crying foul if a website tracks their web usage with cookies but turning a blind eye to atrocities in israel, or those starving in Iraq, those people who's livings are desteroyed by 'freemarket' organisations in the pocket of the rich multinationals they buy their chocolate or coffee or beefburgers from. What have we given the world ? Millions of bytes that nobody can eat, that power military to take lives, or corporations to crush third world economies? How many of use recycle ? How many care about all the polution required to build and power our neat toys and gadgets. What a bunch of self-righteous assholes we are! I know I am as bad as many but at least I try and keep my eyes open to whats going on, I try to minimise the damage I do and I really hope that somebody doing something that matters uses some of my code one day.

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  • website is at channel4 [channel4.com]

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  • Noone in the US ever wants to talk about it as you're either called an anti-semite or you're starting an argument that will be very heated. So people stay in their foxholes.

    If you're interested in tormenting yourself with more along these lines you should read Body of Lies [amazon.com] which has a rather detailed account of the USS Liberty starring an Israeli general whose name may be all too familiar.

    History repeats itself always until it doesn't.

  • Hm. I think I'm beginning to see where you're getting your anti-Israeli perspective.

    Isreal is blockading palestine and ghettoising it, imposing curfews, roadblocks and rocket or tanks assaults on civilians.

    But no mention that Israel has been in a state of war for over 50 years, and been targeted by a continual stream of suicide bombers for the past few years.

    Somehow, I don't think you would be so indignant if London were under perpetual attack by Foobari martyrs wearing suicide jackets -- in the pu

    • This I states that its only the terrorists who are interested in continuing the conflict.

      Unfortunately there are many in the government and the army who would rather the conflict continue, and continues to cost palestine more than isreal in both money and lives, than pull out of occupied areas, allow repatriation and take the settlements out.

      The people (or rather a large section of them) in israel elected the current government on the policies of putting revenge and 'security' before peace. If peace wer

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      • Unfortunately there are many in the government and the army who would rather the conflict continue, [...]

        While that statement is trivially true, it undermines the fact that the vast majority on both sides want the conflict to end.

        The people (or rather a large section of them) in israel elected the current government on the policies of putting revenge and 'security' before peace.

        Um, no. Israeli politics do not work that way. No government has ever gotten a simple majority in the popular vote. G

        • Only the people on one side is in a position to end it though. The palestinians are powerless to reign in terror groups acting in their name, Palestinian security and infrastructure has been damaged to such an extent that Arafat is hardly in a position to impose a ceasefire.

          Isreal on the other hand - a) voted for this b) have some control over the forces acting in their name by voting against parties with security-not-peace policies or concientious objection.

          I know Israel has a coalition, this means

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          • Only the people on one side is in a position to end it though. The palestinians are powerless to reign in terror groups acting in their name, Palestinian security and infrastructure has been damaged to such an extent that Arafat is hardly in a position to impose a ceasefire.

            Look, I think that Israeli government policy in the territories (and on many other issues, to be honest) is wrongheaded and counterproductive in many ways. But your above claim ignores reality. The Palestinian police could crack dow

  • It's a sad fact that violence breeds violence and the only way out of the situation is to break the cycle. That is hard to do in ways we in the more peaceful parts of the world can't even begin to imagine.

    I'm lucky enough to be working on a project with a client directly involved in trying to resolve conflict through non-violent means. These people are immensely dedicated, risking their lives to prevent others dying. You mentioned some of them in your piece & it's a privilege to be working with them.

  • Of course what does this have to do with perl - well we just had YAPC::Israel, unlike YAPC::Europe or any conference in the normal world, this would not welcome anybody from neighbouring countrys - arabs or palestinians who managed to make it through Isreals borders, checkpoints and snipers wouldn't be welcome.

    And exactly how was the YAPC::Israel organizing team supposed to supercede Israel's immigration policies?

    Waitasecond. Last I checked, peace treaties were in place between Israel, Jordan and Eg

    • Several quick comments on this thread:

      (1) YAPC::Israel took money and registration information from anyone who expressed interest. I find it very difficult to believe that anyone was turned away because of citizenship.

      (2) A regular participant in the Israeli Perl mailing list is Lebanese. So far as I can tell, he has been treated with only the greatest of respect and kindness. You can be sure that there are racists and bigots in Israel, and I'm sure that some of them are Perl programmers. But to paint
      • This is what I wanted to hear!

        Each time I hear about the situation there I lose hope that anybody in my community (open source or perl) gives a fuck about the victims (predominantly palestinian, especially if you consider homelessness, etc).

        Its good to hear that mongers in Israel are leading by example - I don't see any of this in the Tech, Open Source or Perl media and that makes it fraustrating. It seems as though my community is one that stands by as this happens.

        Thanks for giving me some faith in

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    • Man, I would have loved the chance to practice my Hebrew at YAPC::Israel and try to use the language for expressing Perl concepts. Does that make me Zionist? Not so, for I've said some pretty underhanded things about Ariel Sharon et al. Does that make me anti-Semitic?

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • My hebrew is very poor, I can just about write my name Aleph H*mumble* *mumble*, at least I used to be able to when I was reading up on Qaballah (which renders the very small set of very old hebrew I did know pretty much useless outside of discussions with Aleister Crowley geeks).

        Saying nasty things about Sharon? I would have thought most people who watch the news on TV ( except perhaps certain US TV channels *cough*fox*cough* ) has too.

        Although puzzlingly he got elected leader there.

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  • Palestine-Israel [suck.com] is my favorite African ethnic civil war! And so much easier to cover than Zimbabwe or anything.

    I say we evacuate the place and terraform it with giant space lasers. This time I want fjords. As someone who has a fjord in their front yard (or vice versa), I can attest to them being very calming.

    • We shall call it..."The Alan Parsons Project"! :) Maybe a cooler climate with snow 9 months out of 12 would help too.

      • I am pleased to see that we agree on this most crucial point: There is no problem so big or so small that we cannot fix it with a giant orbiting laser, and the threat of radical climate change.
    • If we're going to have fjord's, can we also have Moose?

      /me runs quick

  • TeeJay: did you read this article by Philip Greenspun [greenspun.com], which I mentioned on scribot mainly for your benefit? It is long, but it brings out some interesting points. If you really lack the energy to read through it, I can bullet point my choice of them for you.

    Perhaps it'll shake you out of your dogmatic world view. However, I think the previous evidence is really against that.
    • it is veru interesting.

      I plan to make a point of a) reading it and b) leaving more time between dying children and journalists on video and posting journals.

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    • Reading through the article I find an even more dogmatic world view. Although there are a lot of interesting facts unearthed and more than enough evidence to tarnish the reputation of many Arab Nations (rather than their people), there is incredible speculation and lack of understanding of very important issues.

      Assuming that arabs and muslims worldwide hate jews as much as nazi germany is hardly plausable, and the comments on the piece posted by Irish readers show large holes or conflicts in his logic. In

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      • "Assuming that arabs and muslims worldwide hate jews as much as nazi germany is hardly plausable" Why isn't it plausible? I don't think all Muslims want me dead; but I think that there are N Muslims who do believe that I should be killed, where N is a number that is larger than I would like it to be. In fact, I think it's fair to say that that there are British citizens who would like have a chance to kill me and my family. Tell me that the following account of Saudi and Yemeni sports teams forfeiting t
        • it isn't plausable because that would be a larger proportion than any UK party votes, or for any party in europe.

          Islam itself is a peaceful religion (although like the bible you can effectively bend the words to suit any agenda).

          It is less plausable than saying that 30% of jews hate muslims or arabs because polls show that a significant minority , enough to vote in a coalition of right-wing parties to the Israeli government, voted for arab/palestine policies.

          I think its reasonable to boycott both the

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            • 2 british muslims out of over a million (guessing) have chosen to blow themselves up in Israel - they could have targetted jews just as easily elsewhere but did not. So you cannot conclude that a british muslim is going to kill you in america for being a jew. For being american possibly but only 2 al-quaida bombers were british out of $very_big_num muslims in the UK.

              If you can't distinguish between the 99.9% of muslims worldwide who don't wish to kill any jews, and the small minority that do - then it is

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