Israel in the dock over Ahed
On the subject of own goals you’ve got to hand it to the Israeli military for their clumsy handling of the Ahed Tamimi affair.
For the few in the world who’ve not yet heard of this 16-year-old Palestinian girl, she was recently arrested in a heavy-handed night-time raid on her home.
Dressed like robocops and heavily armed, the Israeli soldiers accused this slip of a girl of “assaulting: one of their own … an Israeli soldier and an officer. A day earlier Ahed had confronted the occupying force who had entered her family’s backyard.
Tensions were high as it all happened shortly after a soldier shot her 14-year-old cousin at close range, in the head with a rubber bullet while firing tear gas canisters inside the family home, smashing the windows as they fired.
As you can see from pictures of Ahed, the only big thing about her is her magnificent wild main of hair.
In 2012 she featured in a video showing her angrily confronting an Israeli soldier. The video went viral and this child who has known no other life than one of occupation emerged as a rising star in pro-Palestinian circles. Still a child, there’s another video showing her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier and it is this that has landed her in custody awaiting trial.
The pro-Israeli lobby says she is a puppet of political parents who has been, schooled in violence, and that she deserves stiff punishment. I’m not buying it.
I would say if she has been schooled in violence it will be from watching the brutal occupation of the Israeli enforcers and is probably more a product of a colonial settler society. When Israel puts this child on trial the Zionit State should stand there alongside her charged with complicity.
The only life she has known is one of checkpoints, identity papers, detentions, house demolitions, intimidation, humiliation and violence. What would be shocking to most of us is normal, sadly for Ahed.
We must all stand in solidarity with this courageous young girl who has shown more backbone in the face of brutality and occupation than any of the corrupt men running Ramallah and the West Bank these days.
Spotify song spat
It seems the only clouds gathering in the bean bag world of Spotify are storm clouds after it was hit with a lawsuit that accuses the streaming service of infringing the rights of songwriters and publishers. Wixen Music Publishing says it is seeking damages of at least $1.6bn (£1.18bn) – $150,000 for more than 10,000 songs.
The California company represents artists that include Janis Joplin, The Black Keys and Tom Petty. Spotify has declined to comment although it has been trying to settle a class action lawsuit brought by songwriters for some time. The legal battle looked on course to being resolved in December until it hit a snag.
In a new lawsuit filed at the end of December in a federal court in California, Wixen said Spotify failed to also address the claims of songwriters and publishers, which have separate rights to the compositions. Wixen said: “As a result Spotify has built a billion dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music Spotify is using, in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licenses.”
Many migrants who have begged, borrowed and stolen money to pay their way across the Mediterranean Sea end up imprisoned in Libya after being intercepted by the authorities. Those who have experienced Libyan detention centres, describe horrific abuse – including being leased or sold on as slaves.
Surely the thing to do is to go to the predominantly African countries where these men and women set out on these foolhardy trips and warn them of the high failure rate and dangers. In addition if the international community could come together and create jobs and stimulate the economies of these countries these sad souls would be less compelled to leave home. Or am I being naive?
Stats, stats & what’s that?
Apparently UK music fans streamed 68.1 billion songs in 2017 which averages out at 1036 songs per person. Blimey, I don’t know what that means or if I’ve even taken part in the process. All I know is that when I see stories like that I feel as old as Methuselah!
I see the Reality TV star and socialite Paris Hilton is engaged to actor and model Chris Zylka. The couple began dating two years ago and became engaged at the weekend while on a skiing trip. I’m not sure when the wedding is … let’s just hope they leave the video cameras outside the honeymoon suite!
Every picture tells a story and the pressure group Tell Mama has compiled this map of Britain which reveals where and how many mosques in the UK have been targeted by bigots and Islamophobes: https://www.tellmamauk.org/mosque-attacks-map.html
My best tweet response to kick off the new Year goes to Child of Alba who responded to the awful Lord John Kilclooney’s tweet about race and nationality
"If you read it in the voice of Kenneth Williams it does sound like a bad script for Carry On WWIII." #c4news on Trump's 'I've got a big button' tweet. Did make me 😂😂, I have to confess.— Child of Alba (@ChildOfAlba) January 3, 2018
A Chinese baby born in Scotland is Scottish and whatever else it wants to be. This is why I’m proud to live in a nation where we’re all just Jock Tamson’s Bairns.
Child of Alba added,