Occupation 101

Since the year 2000: approx. 123 Israeli children and 1,435 Palestinian children have been killed

approx. 1,072 Israelis and 6,348 Palestinians have been killed

approx. 8,864 Israelis and 39,019 Palestinians have been injured

During the fiscal year 2009: the U.S. provides $7.0 million taxpayer dollars per day towards the support of the Israeli government and military

1: number of Israeli political prisoners being held by the Palestinians

10,756: number of Palestinian prisoners being held by the Israelis, many of whom have had no chance at a trial

18,147: number of Palestinian homes demolished by the Israeli military

223: number of illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land

This is not fiction.

A year or two ago I had the chance to visit Israel. It is a beautiful country full of beautiful people, but I had no idea that I was so close to one of the most brutal occupations in modern history; the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel. I just watched the documentary Occupation 101, and was appalled by the terrible violence being committed on both sides of the border.

It is hard to determine who exactly ‘started’ the conflict, but this is an immature approach to the situation anyway. If both sides are going to play tit-for-tat, then why is the number of Palestinian casualties so disproportionally high in comparison to Israel’s? I hesitate to point the finger in either direction so early in my serious exploration of the issue, but I do believe that the Palestinian people have suffered great injustices with far less representation than the Israeli people. While I know that it would be wrong to compare the occupation to the Holocaust, I still find it horrifying that a people who truly know what suffering is would inflict the same torture on others. When will we learn that acts of violence only further perpetuate the cycle of violence?

I encourage everyone to watch this documentary and research the issue for themselves. While the documentary is admittedly biased in favor of the Palestinians, we get enough pro-Israeli propaganda from the American media, and bias does not discount the facts or the personal stories of suffering told by Palestinian children, which were extremely moving and powerful.

I selected a few images from my trip that captured some of the strong emotions I felt in the country.

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Filed under Preston Hartwick

fairly tales

my destination is as clear as the focus of my camera.

the stories in my head are misleading blurs of light
and i strive in that direction; i move towards the end
of the tunnel that seems to shroud my wishes, dreams
and all kinds of wonderful pretends.

oh syracuse,

once upon a time, this girl loved a boy.

he sat in front of her in one class.
sat behind her in another.
and she loved him from faraway,
from up close,
and she kept loving him,
in those distant memories, never
once asking him his name
and when he married,
she was happy
because

her heart never broke once

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Filed under Christal (dearskye.)

inevitable.

Brad Corrigan

“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking.
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older.
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.”

“time,” Pink Floyd

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Filed under Natalie Nicole Lau

Turn It Up

guitar

s o u n d  /  noise

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Filed under Preston Hartwick

chess pieces

PB270074

Let’s paint the picture of the perfect place
They got it better than what anyone’s told you
There be the king of hearts and you’re the queen of spades
And we’ll fight for you like we were your soldier
I know we got it good, but they got it made
And the grass is getting greener each day
I know things are looking up, but soon they’ll take us down
Before anybody’s knowing our name

– all the right moves, one republic

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Filed under Christal (dearskye.)

White Light White Heat

686997

Count and multiply with the cliques
Turn around to magic me up

Clog with ferocity and sliced pores
Close mine eyes pretend I want it wrong
Bare teeth like pre-school photograph day
[for an]
Eyeline lipline tanline slimline church
Scream and twist against the concrete floor
Add to collections of graze scratches
Conjure your faith and touch me to sting
Close mine eyes it’s only a flesh thing

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Filed under Vanessa Cheng

Roadkill

streetlights

I sit down on the curb

watching people walk, run, trip, but not live.

I live, but sheepishly, like a toad waiting to cross.

thoughts wriggle around in my stomach dreaming that one day they too

can be born from the superior womb we named the mouth to join this random

gum-ball machine life where nothing sense makes. zig-zags.

i’m going into labor and I’m not even a woman thank God. God this hurts.

writhing hoarsely my quick thoughts demand to be birthed and leap into the traffic of speeding opinions – so i do.

and it’s true – this toad is

roadkill.

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Filed under Preston Hartwick