I already know a little about the situation there :
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.