A palestinian Anne Frank?

September 3, 2009

Girl, 15, seeks justice for Gaza in world court


Girl, 15, seeks justice for Gaza in world court

(AFP) – 2 days ago


THE HAGUE — A 15-year-old Palestinian girl who says Israeli troops killed her father and two siblings in Gaza in January, sought justice from the International Criminal Court on Monday.

“I am here to lodge a complaint against the occupying army,” Amira Alqerem told journalists in The Hague, seven months after her family was killed in an early-morning assault in the Tal Al Hawa neighbourhood that also left her severely injured.

“I hope this complaint will succeed because it is the truth,” the soft-spoken teenager said, seated next to her lawyer on his way to the ICC to file the complaint with the office of the prosecutor.

In her court filing, Alqerem says her 67-year-old father Fathi, 16-year-old-sister Ismat, and 14-year-old brother Ala, were killed by Israeli army fire in the early hours of January 14.

The three children were awoken by an explosion to find their father’s body, covered in blood, next to a crater near their house, the document claims.

Ismat and Ala went off to seek help, but were killed in another explosion. Amira, who had stayed behind with her dead father, was hit in the right leg.

“This was a crime against humanity, that is why we brought it to the ICC,” said her lawyer Gilles Devers, who claims the attacks were aimed at civilians.

“Israeli politicians and military leaders must be held responsible.”

Israel’s 22-day offensive on Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead before ceasefire took effect on January 18.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced in February he had begun a “preliminary analysis” of alleged crimes committed by Israel during the Gaza offensive.

He has to date received complaints and evidence from the Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Kashan, the Palestinian National Authority, and over 360 other individuals and non-governmental bodies, his office said on Monday.

Amira, meanwhile, is undergoing physical and psychological rehabilitation in France.

“I am doing this for all the children of Gaza,” she said through an interpreter.

“I want to do something to change the situation.”


Cuba has always been one of those countries that were on the wrong side of the political equator. In a way there is nothing worse than being ruled by a leftist dictator. Good old fashioned market oriented dictators (see Pinochet) are at least occasionally opposed by the left. Communist dictators are more often than not excused by an apologetic left with a disproportioned nostalgia for a utopian society that has never existed. You would think the right would naturally oppose the communist dictators, in some sort of cosmic check and balance. But we all know that the right doesn’t care for opposing anybody unless there is oil, military contracts, or casino’s involved. And even then they not really care for victims, only for profits, and they gladly replace a non-money making fascist dictator with a money making fascist dictator (see Saddam, see Pinochet).

So that leaves communist dictatorships with nothing but the deafening silence of its victims.

Cuba, 50 years after communist hell broke loose, is in ruins. Literally. Most houses have not been painted since fascist dictator Batista left the building. Most people (except the communist top) do not have enough food to eat on a daily basis, most people cannot freely chose where they want to live, what they want to study, what they want to do for a living, and what they want to say. Most people do not even have decent healthcare. Not because there are no doctors, they are plenty of doctors, in fact there are too many doctors. One day Castro decided that Cubans were going to be doctors, and forced everybody to become one. There is one doctor for every 10 people. Cuba has so many doctors that they export them to Venezuela in exchange for cheap oil. But in Cuba, the doctors are useless because they have no supplies, no medicines, no syringes, no chemo, no nothing. This lack of medical care is extremely infuriating, as Cuba presents itself as a medical Mecca to the rest of the world.

Embargos certainly don’t help. But anybody that spends a little bit of time in Cuba, and travels around with an open mind, can see that the heart of the matter is an economic system that doesn’t work, with or without embargos.

Anyway. Even if it was the embargo that was the problem, one still should be able to speak one’s mind about the fact that there is nothing to eat. But not even this basic kind of stress relief is granted to Cubans. Complaints about the system and the regime are rewarded with extensive time in jail; which of course explains why it is hard to find a Cuban that speaks his mind in Cuba. The potent combination of terror with the isolation of an island surrounded by oceans is sufficient to keep people in line for years, hungry or not. This basic truth has long been denied by the nostalgic left. The nostalgic left has always denied that Cubans were hungry to begin with and that complaining about it would land you in jail. I wish I could talk to the nostalgic, apologetic left now. Now that Panfilo has arrived on stage.

Panfilo is a man that consumes a good amount of alcohol on a regular basis. Not uncommon in countries where there is no hope for improvement. In Cuba they can make alcohol from feces. I am not kidding. Desperate men can make alcohol out of anything. I mention this because there are always ignorant/cynical idiots who would argue that there is enough food if there is enough alcohol.

Panfilo, not too long ago, came across a small film crew that was filming another man explaining the popularity of a new type of music called Reggaeton. Panfilo the drunk saw the other guy blabbering on and on about the reggaeton, and suddenly felt a surge of rage exploding in his body. He jumped in front of the camera and began to scream ‘lo que hace falta es Yama!’ (translated it means something as ‘we are hungry we need food!’) Over and over he screamed the same thing. This clip found its way to youtube. God bless youtube.

300000 people saw the scene. Another clip emerged, an interview with the same Panfilo, this time explaining that he was still hungry but now also afraid that he would end up in jail. He had been questioned a couple of times by the secret police. He was explaining that he hadn’t wanted any of this to happen. That he had no political affiliations. That he was drunk when it happened. A hundred thousand people saw that clip.

Guess what. He was right. He did end up in jail. The Cuban government sentenced him to two years in jail, apparently for being ‘dangerous’. In Cuba they can put anybody in jail when, on completely subjective basis, if they decide you are a danger for the revolution. They say revolution but they actually mean bad PR for the regime. One can hardly still talk about a revolution when the same government has been in power for 50 years. They put people in jail for decades for singing a song that jokes about Fidel. They put people in jail for suggesting that maybe once; they should have elections with more than one party, more than one option. They put you in jail when your communist party-neighbor doesn’t like you and accuses you of something you never did. Think about these travesties, when you celebrate Castro’s 83rd birthday, apologetic left. And think about how you ignored these people decade after decade because you cared more about your ideology than about people.

Sandra (a non-apologetic leftist)