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MH17: Malaysians Stand United on ‘Terror Against Humanity’

July 24, 2014

Dzulkefly Ahmad

Published: 23 July 2014 (TMI)

Never could anyone ever imagine that a second disaster would befall the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines (MAS) after MH370. The downing of MH17 close on the heels of the first, barely four months, must surely be a bizarre and an uncanny coincidence in modern avionic history.

While MAS is still reeling from the impact of the first tragedy, the calamity on MH17 is anticipated to permanently impair the confidence of many, for a long time to travel on MAS. That is about the worst and of toughest perception problem to turn-around.

Doubtless, the blame-game and finger-pointing has started. But this time around though, it shall no longer be about partisan parties outwitting the other and upping the ante to discredit political foes. No heroism is required here. Insisting on political posturing would incur the wrath of the nation already in an unending grief.

That said, all Malaysians would want the political leaders, on a bi-partisan basis, to get to the bottom of the problem (i.e. identifying the perpetrators and criminalising their act of terror). The blame-game, if ever it needed pursuing, shall be shifted to the warring power players in a proxy-battle for global domination.

Granted that a special parliamentary session is convened for the MH17, there couldn’t be any better platform to exude total commitment of political leaders, across the divide, to defending our national interest and our citizenry.

Bluntly put, the federal opposition parliamentarians are expected to exhibit solidarity with the federal government and not run them down at the slightest opportunity.

While many, like the Sydney Morning Herald, have been critical of how the Malaysian’s prime minister managed to broker a deal with the pro-Russians separatists, to get possession of bodies and the black box, political leaders must always remain unflinching and focus on solving national tragedy and not be frivolous. If anything the prime minister must be commended for achieving what more powerful nations arguably couldn’t.

Admittedly both MAS and the Malaysian Federal Government came under heavy criticism for their management or more of the lack of finesse, in handling the mysterious disappearance of MH 370. MH17 shall not be a repeat of this mishap.

Similarly Malaysians are also lethargic at the MAS-bashing antics of some of the social media. Doing more of the same wouldn’t help the nation to regain its lost confidence and dignity. Hence, like the partisan players, the social media must be equally more empathic and positive to carry the nation through this very harrowing time.

To this end, let us get one thing addressed right away. Questions were raised about the “irresponsible” MH17’s choice of flying over a hostile territory, after it emerged that some other carriers had avoided the area for months – though many companies were flying in the same area, rerouting only after Thursday’s disaster. Is this accusation true?

Amidst claims and counterclaims on this issue, a quick check reveals the following information.

Online flight-tracking service Flightradar24 observed 66 other airlines had crossed Ukraine’s skies last week, along the same corridor that saw MH17 being downed by a surface-to- air missile.

According to its data, MAS flew there 48 times, fewer than Germany’s Lufthansa which criss-crossed the Crimean air space 56 times, Ukraine International Airline (62 times), Singapore Airlines (75 times) and Russian’s Aeroflot over 86 times.

Continue reading here…


*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

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DONORS of the World! Please help to rehabilitate the savage assault on medical facilities in Gaza.

July 24, 2014




26 Ramadhan 1435 / 24 July 2014


Reports from Gaza narrated that Hospitals have not been spared of the Israeli attacks.

In Shuhada Al Aqsa Hospital, Central Gaza, 4 persons were killed and 20 injured. Wafa Hospital in East Gaza and Hospital in Beit Hanun, North Gaza were also attacked. 23 health facilities in Gaza have sustained damage. This is against all norms of accepted international warfare ethics.

There is massive shortage of drugs (28%) and disposables (50%). MOH Gaza requires USD 3.2 million monthly to secure the needed drugs and disposables. They require immediately 8 anesthesia machines, 10 ventilators, 5 electrosurgical units, 20 vital sign monitors, ECG machines, 5 defibrillators. There is also a need for fuel as  to run the hospitals basic operations. Al Shifa hospital urgently needs neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, plastic and general surgeons, and orthopedic specialists, as well as 20 ICU beds, a digital C-ARM machine for orthopedic surgeries, three operation tables and a lighting system for the five operation rooms.

The FIMA convoy is set to move to Rafah sometime today to deliver USD 500K of medicines & surgical equipments and disposables. This is the second consignment after the first 7 trucks moved in on the fifth day of the invasion on 13 July 2014. Mercy Malaysia has procured USD30K medical supplies and USD100K medicines from AMU (Arab Medical union). Aqsa Syarif Malaysia has procured USD60K medical & surgical supplies and donated USD120K for the purchase of 4 ambulances. Viva Palestine Malaysia has sent USD50K for medical supplies and USD90K for three ambulances.
Doctors World Wide Turkey (DWW) is planning to purchase a total of USD500K worth of medical, surgical supplies and ambulances. South Africa has raised 1 million Rands for medical relief. 5 WHO Health kits weighing 5,000 kgs airlifted by Islamic Medical Association North America (IMANA is presently at Cairo Airport due to be transported to Gaza via Rafah. And with other contributions from Islamic Medical Associations (IMA) and charity organization in Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan a total of 20 ambulances will be bought for the MOH Gaza.

All FIMA doctors are now stationed in Cairo. Egypt has tightened check point controls all the way leading to Rafah. No foreign personnel is allowed to travel pass Ismailia and those who manage to get through up to el-Arish have been escorted back to Cairo by the military.

Our FIMA representatives in Cairo are still in negotiations with the Egyptian authorities. We have been given verbal consent to enter Gaza but are still awaiting written permission from the Egyptian authorities.


Thus far, 16 days of the invasion, only 5 European doctors have been allowed into Gaza to relief the fatigued and overworked doctors in the MOH Gaza. Let us pray that we are allowed into Gaza to ease the strain on the Gazan doctors.


A Tunisian plane bound for Gaza loaded with medicines and medical supplies was refused permission to land by Egyptian authorities. The plane was supposed to air lift patients who sustained serious wounds during the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza to receive treatment in Tunis.


We further appeal to all our generous individual and corporate donors to help rehabilitate the struggling medical facilities in Gaza.

All forms of generous contributions are acceptable including Zakat & Sadaqah. Kindly find our banking details, for your banking convenience as attached below.  Kindly email your corporate logo to for our display banners on the trucks.

May Allah reward you all abundantly for your prayers and contributions during this blessed month of Ramadhan.


Dr Ashraf Jedaar (+27836754103)

Director, FIMA Relief 


A/C Name: FIMA

Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa

Constantia branch: 025309

A/C No: 071848770

SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ          


Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin (+6012-3200564)

Chairman, FIMA Advisory Council / Viva Palestina Malaysia


Bank: Malayan Banking Berhad

Block C, Damansara Offices Complex, Jalan Dungun, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Account no : 5-64324-601324

Swift Code : MBBEMYKL


Kewangan lemah, hutang kerajaan melebihi tahap siling, kata MIER

July 23, 2014

Pengarah Eksekutif Institut Penyelidikan Ekonomi Malaysia (MIER), Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid bercakap pada sidang akhbar mengenai Indeks Keadaan Perniagaan, Indeks Sentimen Pengguna, Indeks Ekonomi Malaysia dan indeks terkemuka lain di pejabat MIER, hari ini. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Afif Abd Halim, 22 Julai 2014.

Pengarah Eksekutif Institut Penyelidikan Ekonomi Malaysia (MIER), Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid bercakap pada sidang akhbar mengenai Indeks Keadaan Perniagaan, Indeks Sentimen Pengguna, Indeks Ekonomi Malaysia dan indeks terkemuka lain di pejabat MIER, hari ini. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Afif Abd Halim, 22 Julai 2014.

Prestasi kewangan bagi kerajaan persekutuan masih lagi lemah dengan pendapatan rendah bagi tempoh suku tahun pertama tahun ini dan hutang meningkat melebihi tahap siling, kata Institut Penyelidikan Ekonomi Malaysia (MIER).

Pengarah Eksekutif MIER, Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid berkata, berdasarkan prospek ekonomi Malaysia, hutang bagi kerajaan persekutuan meningkat melebihi tahap siling iaitu 55%.

Jumlah hutang kerajaan persekutuan bagi suku tahun pertama tahun ini ialah pada RM560.6 bilion.

“Kerajaan mesti berhati-hati dalam perkara ini dengan mengambil pendekatan lebih serius, iaitu mengawal perbelanjaan dengan bijaksana.

“Dan bagi pendapatan negara pula, ia bergantung kepada Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar (KDNK). Sekiranya KDNK kita meningkat, maka lebih banyak pendapatan diraih kerajaan,” katanya pada sidang media di Bangunan MIER, Bukit Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur hari ini.

Akta Pinjaman Tempatan 1959 mengehadkan hutang negara pada had siling 55% kerana sekiranya hutang negara melebihi had siling, ia akan menyebabkan negara mufllis.

Bagaimanapun, Zakariah berkata, situasi itu tidak harus dipandang negatif kerana ia melibatkan banyak faktor terutama pembangunan dalam dan luar negara selain pertumbuhan KDNK.

“Saya tidak fikir ini negatif. Sebenarnya, peningkatan nisbah juga dijangka kerana meskipun kita mencatat kenaikan KDNK iaitu sebanyak 6.2% bagi suku tahun pertama, ia tidak boleh dianggap terlalu bagus.

“Bagaimanapun, penurunan atau kenaikan KDNK bukan sesuatu yang boleh dikawal,” katanya.

Beliau berkata sekiranya Malaysia mencatatkan pertumbuhan KDNK lebih memberangsangkan, ia boleh membantu meningkatkan pendapatan.

Katanya, kerajaaan juga tidak boleh berbelanja sembarangan dan hanya perlu melihat perbelanjaan produktif dan mempunyai nilai hasil tambahan.

“Pertumbuhan pesat KDNK dipengaruhi cara kerajaan berbelanja, kerana ia perlu dilihat dari pelbagai faktor seperti eksport, import dan juga perbelanjaan isi rumah.

“Namun tidak semua perbelanjaan itu mendatangkan hasil atau kebaikan. Justeru, amat penting berhati-hati menggunakan dana dengan mengamalkan sikap berdisplin dan berhemah,” katanya.

Putarajaya dikritik ekoran pendedahan laporan Audit Negara bagi 2013 dan 2014 menyaksikan pembaziran perbelanjaan jabatan dan agensi kerajaan.

MIER yang merupakan badan penyelidikan ekonomi dan kewangan di Malaysia turut mendedahkan kadar inflasi negara ini bagi tempoh 6 bulan pertama terus meningkat lebih sekali ganda berbanding tahun lepas – dari 1.6% ke 3.4%.

Beliau berkata situasi itu turut dipengaruhi hutang isi rumah yang dilihat mencatatkan peningkatan bagi suku tahun pertama dan kedua 2014.

“Kerana itu Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) pada 10 Julai lalu bertindak meningkatkan kadar polisi semalaman (OPR) atau faedah dari 3% sebelum ini kepada 3.25%. Ia sebagai pendekatan mengimbangi inflasi dan juga hutang isi rumah,” katanya.

Beliau turut menjangkakan peningkatan hutang isi rumah akan terus bertambah terutamanya menjelang perayaan Aidilfitri kerana dipengaruhi kos barangan dan perkidmatan yang semakin tinggi.

“OPR ini merupakan satu langkah diambil BNM bagi mengawal isi rumah namun bagi kita ia lebih kepada sikap individu itu sendiri bagaimana mengurus perbelanjaan mereka.

“Kita rasakan penting kadar OPR terus dinaikkan. Bagaimanapun kita akan lihat kadar baru ini. Kemudian baru kita umumkan langkah seterusnya,” katanya.

Sebelum ini BNM menegaskan pertukaran kadar OPR dilakukan bagi mengimbangi pertumbuhan prospek di negara ini dengan inflasi yang masih lagi tinggi.

“Pada kadar OPR baharu ini, pendirian dasar monetari terus menyokong ekonomi negara, memandangkan kadar faedah itu tidak dinaikkan dalam tiga tahun lepas, sejak Mei 2011.”

Menurut BNM, selepas mencatatkan kadar sederhana pada suku pertama, ekonomi global telah kembali pulih secara beransur-ansur.

“Aktiviti ekonomi di negara maju utama terus berkembang pada kadar sederhana.

“Di Asia, pertumbuhan disokong sektor luaran yang bertambah baik di samping keadaan permintaan dalam negeri yang terus berkembang.

“Dalam persekitaran ini, pasaran kewangan antarabangsa secara relatifnya kekal stabil,” katanya. – 22 Julai, 2014

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DONORS of the World! Please help to rehabilitate the savage assault on medical facilities in Gaza.

July 16, 2014



17 Ramadhan 1435 / 16 July 2014

FIMA Gaza Relief Updates No 11


The incessant attacks on the Gaza Strip has caused at least 172 deaths (~40% women and children) and injured 1,260 (~65% women and children). The MOH facilities have not been spared of the savage assaults. Two hospitals, six clinics, three ambulances and a water desalinization centre have been damaged and the toll is increasing.  The MOH has less than six days of fuel reserves to power hospitals, as attacks on the electricity lines have exacerbated the pre-existing power shortages and resulted in complete reliance on generators for 20 hours a day.

Even prior to the invasion, at the end of June, the Ministry of Health (MOH) central drug stores reported that 28% of essential medicine items were at zero stock and half of surgical consumables were at zero stock.


All MOH hospitals stopped elective surgeries three weeks ago to save resources and are struggling to cope with the deluge of emergencies. Chief Surgeon and Medical Director of Shifa Hospital, Dr Sobhi Skaik described the situation as impossible!

The immediate priority of our FIMA humanitarian efforts is the resuscitation of the beleaguered health system made worse by the current invasion. Our estimates of the emergency list of medical & surgical supplies as requested by the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Gaza costs at least USD10 million. And this has not even begun to take into consideration the shortfalls and deficiencies inflicted by the chronic siege and blockade of Gaza.

Our joint endeavour is to provide basic and essential supplies for health care and help restore basic health services to the hospitals and clinics of the MOH of Gaza.

The 7 trucks that have entered Gaza the previous 48 hours have offloaded about USD200K worth of medical & surgical supplies. We are targeting a second convoy to deliver at least USD500K worth of essential medicines, medical equipments, surgical instruments and consumables.

FIMA has successfully purchased and stored most of these essential goods in Cairo, with the assistance of our partners in Egypt, Arab Medical Union (AMU), Islamic Medical Association of Egypt (IMAE) and PIMA (Palestinian International Medical Aid).

We further appeal to all our IMAs in the various countries and our individual, corporate and country donors to help rehabilitate the struggling medical facilities in Gaza.

All forms of generous contributions are acceptable including Zakat & Sadaqah. Kindly find both our banking details, for your banking convenience as attached below.  Kindly email your IMA or corporate logo to for our display banners on the trucks.

May Allah reward you all abundantly for your prayers and contributions during this blessed month of Ramadhan.

Dr Ashraf Jedaar (+27836754103)

Director, FIMA Relief 


A/C Name: FIMA

Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa

Constantia branch: 025309

A/C No: 071848770

SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ          


Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin (+6012-3200564)

Chairman, FIMA Advisory Council / Viva Palestina Malaysia


Bank: Malayan Banking Berhad

Block C, Damansara Offices Complex, Jalan Dungun, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Account no : 5-64324-601324

Swift Code : MBBEMYKL




Pakatan desak hentikan perbincangan TPPA

July 14, 2014

| July 14, 2014

Sebagai tanda protes terhadap kekejaman yang berlaku di Gaza, kerajaan perlu menghentikan perbincangan mengenai TPPA kerana kebiadapan Israel disokong oleh Amerika Syarikat.

pakatan rakyatPETALING JAYA: Majlis Setiausaha Agung Pakatan Rakyat hari ini telah membuat beberapa pendirian, khususnya mengenai isu serangan Israel ke atas Palestin yang setakat ini telah mengakibatkan lebih 150 warga Palestin termasuk orang awam dan kanak-kanak terbunuh.

Kekejaman Israel berlaku ekoran menerima sokongan padu Amerika Syarikat. Pakatan Rakyat mendesak kerajaan Malaysia supaya menghentikan serta-merta kesemua perbincangan mengenai isu Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) dan tidak menandatangani perjanjian tersebut sebagai tanda protes terhadap Amerika Syarikat.

Pakatan Rakyat juga mendesak agar diadakan satu persidangan khas Parlimen untuk membincangkan isu serangan ke atas Palestin sebagaimana yang telah dibuat pada Januari 2009, demi mendengar suara rakyat tentang isu ini.

Kerajaan Malaysia juga perlu memanggil semula Duta Besar Malaysia ke Amerika Syarikat sebagai tanda protes yang paling jelas mengenai isu ini.

Majlis Setiausaha Agung Pakatan Rakyat turut membincangkan isu serangan hendap di Pulau Mabul, Sabah yang berlaku pada 12 Julai 2014.

Pakatan Rakyat memanjangkan ucapan takziah kepada keluarga Korperal Abdul Rajah Jamuan, anggota Pasukan Polis Marin yang telah terbunuh sewaktu serangan hendap tersebut, dan mendoakan keselamatan Konstabel Zakia Aleip yang dipercayai diculik.

Memandangkan insiden pencerobohan kawasan perairan Sabah dibawah seliaan Esscom semakin meningkat, Majlis Setiausaha Agung Pakatan Rakyat menggesa pentadbiran Datuk Seri Najib Razak untuk menubuhkan satu Jawatankuasa Tetap Dwipartisan Parlimen untuk mengkaji semula keberkesanan Esscom dan Esszone.

JK Khas Mengekalkan Kebebasan Akademia

July 14, 2014

PAS tubuh JK Khas tangani pencabulan akademik


KUALA LUMPUR: PAS mengecam keras campur tangan politik di dalam sistem pendidikan negara terutama di peringkat Institusi Pendidikan Tingga Awam (IPTA).

Naib Presiden PAS, Salahuddin Ayuh berkata, pemecatan tokoh akademik atas arahan politik adalah satu pencabulan kebebasan akademik yang mesti ditangani.

“Kita melihat beberapa insiden sebelum ini membabitkan pemecatan tokoh-tokoh akedemik, PAS berpendapat perkara itu suatu yang membimbangkan dan menjadi tanggungjawab kita memastikan pencabulan akedemik ini dapat ditangani.

“Kita mahu isu-isu berkaitan pendidikan dan kebebasan berpendapat diberikan kelonggaran sepenuhnya agar IPTA negara ini terus cemerlang setanding dengan negara-negara luar,” jelasnya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang media di Pejabat Agung PAS hari ini sebagi mengulas isu pemecatan Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman sebagai Pengarah Pusat Kajian Demokrasi dan Pilihan Raya Universiti Malaya (UMcedel).

Salahuddin turut kesal dengan tindakan Universiti Malaya (UM) itu dan menyifatkan UM tidak konsisten dengan amalanya sebelum ini.

Beliau turut memaklumkan penubuhan satu jawatankuasa bertindak (Task Force) dalam menangani isu pencabulan kebebasan akedemik yang semakin meruncing.

Beliau sendiri telah dilantik sebagai pengerusi jawatankuasa bertindak tersebut.

“PAS mengambil ke semua rentetan insiden ini sebagai peringatan keras kepada semua penguasa politik samada persekutuan dan negeri.

“Tidak kira Umno Barisan Nasional (BN) ataupun Pakatan Rakyat agar menghormati kebebasan akedemik dan universiti-universiti awam negara ini,” sambung beliau.

Mengulas lanjut, beliau berkata tindakan bekas Timbalan Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah meletakkan jawatannya sebagai Fellow Penyelidik Kanan di Universiti Malaya kerana membantah pemecat itu sebagai membuka mata kepada tentang kedudukan universiti yang dibelenggu oleh pihak Putrajaya.

Sementara itu, Ahli Jawatankuasa PAS Pusat Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad memberitahu setiap pandangan yang dikemukakan oleh tokoh akedemik adalah wajar dibincangkan secara umum.

“Bagi memacu kecemerlangan universiti dan keaslian sumbangan kepada ilmu dan pengkaryaan, para akedemik bukan sahaja mesti diberikan segala ruang untuk menghasilkan sumbangan ‘original dan fundamental’.

“Bahkan mesti diberikan galakan serta pengiktirafan bagi usaha-usaha menjayakan cita-cita unggul dan mulia,” kata Dzulkefly yang juga salah seorang anggota jawatankuasa tersebut. – HARAKAHDAILY 14/7/2014

What The Media’s Getting Wrong About Israel And Palestine..And Why It Matters – Mnar Muhawesh

July 13, 2014

MintPress founder and editor-in-chief, Mnar Muhawesh, discusses the profound personal effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mideast Israel Palestinians

Read the MintPress News exclusive report and whitepaper on the Gaza Conflict with resources and timeline here.

From 2000 to 2007, about 1,000 Israelis have been killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and nearly 6,000 Palestinians have been killed.  Since the recent, assault on Gaza under Operation Protective Edge, over 80 Palestinians have been killed, including 22 children and 13 women, plus 469 wounded including 166 children and 85 women, and over 75 houses destroyed, and those numbers continue to rise.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Information’s latest report on civilian casualties, one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every three days for the last 13 years.

As an American who has lived in Jerusalem, I struggle between the want to share what I feel is the vast media cover-up of the Israeli-led violence and the want to stand up and say, “enough.” Both messages echo truths, from those trapped within the violence to those silenced for reporting the violent assault.

All rocket fire should be condemned, whether it be by Hamas or Israel, that much I know is true.

The deaths of Israeli teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah represent a tragedy- one that no family should have to face. Violence touches communities deeply and does not spare race, creed or intellect. What I grapple with, is the reaction to their deaths — Israeli lawmakers calling for a genocide and vengeance, the torture and murder of 17-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdair by Israeli settlers, Israeli settlers’ continued kidnapping and abuse of Palestinian children, and now the Israeli military operation against Gaza that is collectively punishing 1.7 million people who are already living in poverty and in whath as been described by human rights groups as an open air prison with no where to escape. It has to end.

This massacre will only continue to bring pain and suffering to a conflict that has taught both Israeli and Palestinian youth that a roadmap for peace has been shattered.

As I watch the media play headline games and act as a lapdog to a U.S. ally, it takes me back to the year 2001, when I returned to the U.S. after living in Jerusalem for about four years.

As we were about to head to the airport to go back the U.S., where I was born and raised, my father received a call from a relative, panicked and scared about evacuating the all-girl elementary school where this relative was working as a principal at the time because Israeli settlers had planted a bomb in the school. At the same time, this relative explained, their sons’ school, an all-boy elementary school, was also being evacuated because Israeli settlers had planted a bomb there as well.

That day, Israeli settlers had been planting bombs throughout Palestinian schools and no child was safe. Feeling extreme shock and fear that innocent children were being targeted by these extremist acts of hate and violence, it was beyond traumatizing for me and my family, as I was only 13 years old at the time.

I understood then, in my teens that I had a right to be angry at those that perpetrated the violence. But, I also felt great responsibility.

This was not the first time I would witness a relative panicked and scared, and it would not be the last, either. During my nearly four years living in Jerusalem as an American from Minneapolis, Minnesota, I witnessed war crimes no child should never have to witness. I lived under the occupation. We had our water and electricity cut off, and we lived under martial law — curfews were placed on major cities and soldiers bearing guns, even pointing them at civilians, ruled the streets.

By the time I was 13, I had already witnessed war planes dropping bombs on major cities in the West Bank like Ramallah, destroying homes of families and killing children. I had crossed through checkpoints in cabs and the driver would yell “Duck!” because Israeli soldiers were shooting at schoolchildren throwing rocks at them — the same children barred from crossing the checkpoints placed by the Israeli Defense Forces to visit their family members after school. At my American school in Jerusalem, half my classmates missed class most days and were essentially denied an education because they had been turned back at checkpoints because they lived in the West Bank and were Palestinian.

I would hear stories from neighbors and friends of other junior highschools’ being raided by IDF soldiers and rounding up all the teenage boys and indefinitely detaining them, because they could be potential terrorists, which is illegal under international law. When I last visited when I was 18 years old, I was stunned by the devastation of the apartheid wall that was build tearing families apart and destroying agriculture and land many were depending on.

By the time I was 13, I, a young girl from Minneapolis, Minnesota, had witnessed apartheid and military occupation, but I knew, I had to do something.

When we arrived back to the U.S. to neat green lawns and my classmates wondering when the next party was, or what was on television or how much booze they could down compared to their fellow classates, I felt lost and alone.

By this time, I was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. All I could think about and all that consumed me was the war that I had just left behind, and the families being torn apart from the war. Guilt overtook my body, since we were now living a comfortable American lifestyle in a quiet and manicured suburb, but I knew my friends, classmates, American and Arab teachers and family that I had just left back in Jerusalem were living under occupation and living in fear.

There was no one to talk to about the war I had just left behind, and I found no comfort in our American media. Then, as now, the media framed the story as if Palestinians and Israelis were fighting each other on an equal level playing field. It was framed as Muslim versus Jew, and the Palestinians were referred to as terrorists or militants in most media coverage. However, the majority of our neighbors in Jerusalem were Palestinian Christians suffering from the same military occupation as their fellow Muslim Palestinians. This was no Muslim versus Jew fight.

I blamed the media for my fellow Americans’ lack of understanding and lack of awareness of what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict really is. I blamed the media for the lack of empathy Americans had for the civilian life under occupation in 2001. I still blame the media for inaccurately reporting on major human rights issues we know are taking place around the world today.

The media is referred to in our Constitution because in a democracy, journalism’s role is to protect the interests of the people to essentially hold those in power accountable. When our media portrays murder as defense, and defense as murder, we know the media is not being truthful to its citizens and is not acting as a government watchdog, but rather as a government lapdog. As the Obama administration pledges to continue aid to Israel at a rate of $3 billion a year, despite calls by Israeli lawmakers for a genocide of Arabs in this conflict, many journalists of conscience can’t help but ask: Is the U.S. government complicit in these calls for genocide?

In the last month alone, our media has ignored the truth about the violence in Gaza and what led to this current round of violence. Why are we staying silent?

  • The Los Angeles Times ran “Palestinian rockets reach farther into Israel,” reporting that the homemade rockets have not killed a single person, but failing to mention the American-funded Israeli missiles that have left over 50 Palestinians — mostly women and children — dead in Gaza.

Although the majority of alternative and independent media organizations have started to refer to Israel as an apartheid state in the last 5 years, the mainstream media is trailing far behind and does not question the U.S. government’s complicity in apartheid.

My story of what I witnessed and what I lived through is only one of thousands of life under occupation. As I watch the events unfold in the Holy Land today and how the media continues to be complicit in Israeli war crimes in Gaza, many journalists, academics, human rights groups and peace advocacy groups wonder if this is to numb America to the real horrors our military aid is contributing to in the land that is so dear to the entire world.

I found courage and catharsis in pursuing journalism to speak up not just for Palestinians, but for all people around the world who are suffering and being oppressed, people who are being massacred in the name of power, money and greed whether it be in Sudan, the Congo, Burma, Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, China and many more under reported regions across the world. Journalism has become my outlet for the helplessness that I grew up feeling when I suffered from PTSD for several years, the anxiety that I live with every single day because of what I’ve endured, for the trauma that I carry because of my life in a war zone and knowing that so many people I left behind are still suffering whether it be in Palestine and Israel or anywhere in the world.

Providing a voice to the voiceless and covering national and international stories through the lens of social justice and human rights is the whole reason I started MintPress News, and I hope more of us can come together in the cause of human rights and know that every life is precious. We are humans struggling in a life for freedom, in a world divided by nations.

Join me in helping independent journalists tell the the whole story of the violence in Gaza. We are proud to partner with Jewish Voices For Peace in helping to end the violence between Palestine and Israel. Feel free to share their “End The Violence” campaign with your network or audience. Click here to sign the petition to bring peace to the Holy Land.


Best regards,

Mnar Muhawesh

Founder and Editor-in-Cheif of MintPress News

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Mint Press News editorial policy.

About the Author
Mnar Muhawesh
Mnar Muhawesh
Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups. She started her career as an independent multimedia journalist covering Midwest and national politics while focusing on civil liberties and social justice issues posting her reporting and exclusive interviews on her blog MintPress, which she later turned MintPress into the global news source it is today. In 2009, Muhawesh also became the first American woman to wear the hijab to anchor/report the news in American media. Muhawesh is also a wife and mother of a rascal four year old boy, juggling her duties as a CEO and motherly tasks successfully as supermom. Contact Mnar at Follow Mnar on Twitter at @mnarmuh

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