December 3rd, 2012

Godzilla, default


What does Israel expect to accomplish by moving new settlements into the West Bank, exactly? As I asked before, so I'll ask again: what justification does Israel have for settling the territory allotted to Palestine in 1948? No amount of excuses about what the Arabs did then explains why Israel's 'security interests' are served by settling and further partitioning territory Israel has agreed on paper will be part of Palestine, if it ever comes into existence.

I fail to see how anyone's interests are served by this in the long term, and find this another confirmation of what Israel's really doing here: extorting land from a leadership it tries to control and objects to it using legal channels to assert its interests, as opposed to filling up occupied territory with more settlers. Which is in fact illegal from the point of view of international law, regardless of any practical concerns with enforcing this provision. I'm also curious as to how people think Israel can settle a territory of people who are a genuine threat to it. If they are a threat, how can it provide more settlements? If they are not a threat, isn't supporting this kind of thing an open admission that the only thing that counts in the end is naked, merciless force even when it's a 'democracy' doing it?

China's million shame

Saturday was World AIDS day. Most of the stories about HIV/AIDS are usually focused on the epidemic in Africa, and rightly so. But meanwhile the story of China's one million people who were infected with HIV, remains largely ignored. The case of China is specific in that the disease was not spread so much through sexual contact, but through a blood transfusion scandal that happened in Henan.

Whether the authorities want it or not, the scandal won't go away:

These people went on a protest in Beijing, singing the national anthem, saying they are patriots, but also demanding answers from the authorities. They had the red ribbons on their lapels, showing their solidarity with the AIDS victims. The police, which would otherwise have dispersed them right away, this time refrained from intervening with force, and neither did it attempt to break the protest. Just on the contrary, they were eager to warn any bystanders to stay well away from the protesters... "Beware, those are HIV infected people"! That says a lot.

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