28
Apr
08

Talking points for 28 April

Good morning, thanks to Katharina in Belgium and Agostinho in Jamaica for a sterling job in moderating the fourth blank page. We’ll be reading through your ideas for programmes with great interest. Turning to today’s programme, a report by the World Bank says the Israeli blockade on Gaza is having a crippling effect on it’s economy. Not all that surprising you may think, but Palestinian economic recovery is seen as crucial for U.S.-backed Mideast peace efforts.

The Israeli government say they also want to see the Palestinian economy recover, but the virtual lockdown of the Gaza strip is necessary for the security of Israelis. In the latest violence five people, including four children were killed in an Israeli air strike in Northern Gaza. Today we’re hoping to bring together Israelis and Palestinians around a table, to talk about how to improve the lives of people on both sides of the divide. We’ll start the dialogue and see where it goes.

Honour killings
Reports emerged yesterday that a 17-year-old Iraqi girl, Rand Abdel-Qader, was stabbed to death last month by her father for becoming infatuated with a British soldier serving in southern Iraq. In a similar case a 19-year-old Iraqi was, according to her father, murdered by her own in-laws, for having an unknown number on her mobile phone. Why is there still a tolerance for honour killings in some cultures?

Austrian girl
And while it might not make it onto the programme we can’t ignore the horrendous story unfolding in Austria. Police officers are searching a cellar where a woman was allegedly held captive and sexually abused for 24 years by her own father. He allegedly had seven children with his daughter.

US elections
Peter posted on the blog last week “Is Obama’s skin colour harming his presidential campaign?”, ever since the Pennsylvania Primary the issue of race has reared it’s head again and seemingly won’t go away. In an interview over the weekend the Democratic hopeful Barack Obama admitted that he had to fight harder to win over white working-class voters. It’s certainly got a lot of you talking on the blog, Is race dividing the Democrats? Is the US ready to elect a Black man as President?

Rights of prisoners
And an interesting issue, if nothing else. Last week we focused on whether we’re too quick to lock people up in prisons – What rights should prisoners have?


20 Responses to “Talking points for 28 April”


  1. 1 Katharina in Ghent
    April 28, 2008 at 10:07

    Hi,

    As an Austrian I’m deeply ashamed of this example of “Love, Austrian style”. In this country is a deeply routed atmosphere of not-interfering if it does not concern you directly. This man lived with his family in an apartment building and none of the neighbours claims to ever have noticed anything, not even his wife. People in other countries may be too quick to call the police if they see something suspicious, but here they won’t do anything ever. It’s in this atmosphere that the Nazis could do their attrocities, and I’m ashamed to say that not much has changed in this country since.

    As long as Austrians can present themselves as the happy “hills are alive” singing, valse-dancing people with the pretty white horses, they think that their world is just fine. It makes me sick.

  2. 2 John in Germany
    April 28, 2008 at 10:59

    Honour killings and other crimes in the name of honour, apply as far as i can see only to the female sex. What does a man have to do in such countries where Honour seems to be prevelant, to become a victim?.

    As far as one can see it is not possible in these Macho orientated lands.

    John in Germany.

  3. April 28, 2008 at 11:51

    Honour killings do not just happen in muslim societies.

    India has a growing problem of Acid Attacks or murders, where (normally a man) throws acid over a women after she has either said no to his marriage proposal, run away from him or sought a divorce.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7270568.stm
    Although such attacks are frequently reported in the press, the government has only just begun to realise the scale of the problem.

    Are these attacks honour killings?

    Also in the Uk there is a problem in that police officers are not allways trained correctly to deal with honour killings or attacks. In a similar vien to domestic abuse, when a woman comes forward to report an honour crime, or to claim she is in fear of her family, she may not always recieve the correct support from officers.

    Is this an unintentional support for honour killings?

  4. April 28, 2008 at 12:55

    @ Austrian Girl
    This case is absolutely sick… There’s alot of messed up people out there.

    US Elections
    Barack Obama admitted that he had to fight harder to win over white working-class voters.

    Why is this a shock? Did America or anyone else think that ‘race’ would not be an issue? Many Americans (of all colors and religions) are racist… Many are not. It is the first ignorant group which will create the largest hurdle for anyone of color to make it into the White House.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  5. 5 VictorK
    April 28, 2008 at 12:58

    Re Palestinians: just about every map that I’ve looked at shows Gaza bordering Egypt as well as Israel. Assuming this is still the case, you’d have thought that goods would be able to flow between Gaza and Egypt. But the article you link to clears up the mystery. Gaza does indeed have a border with Israel, but the Egyptians are for some reasons blockading their fellow Muslims? That sounds like an important aspect of the story that needs to be explained (even at the cost of having Egypt share some of the blame with ‘the Zionist entity’.

    Actions have consequences. That’s a basic law of life. The Israeli blockade could be ended in weeks if Hamas prefered peace and prosperity to launching rockets into Israel. And Hamas wouldn’t be in a position to make bad decisions if the Palestinian people hadn’t elected them. The Palestinians have gone out of their way to deserve to be blockaded (at least by Israel). WHYS should try to shine its spotlight on more deserving stories rather than the latest stage in the Palestinians’ slow-motion suicide.

    DR Congo has always been a more signifcant story than Palestine, especially with the latest reports of the corrupt activities of UN troops in trading arms for gold their. The crisis in Somalia?

  6. 6 Alan
    April 28, 2008 at 13:28

    To Anyone of color coming to the US:

    Make sure your life insurance is paid up. Otherwise your family will get nothing when you are murdered by the police and they justfity it, even celebrate it.

  7. 7 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 14:00

    Do you mean the consequences of Palestinian terrorism are devestating the palestinian economy? It’s not like the Israelis are blockading them for fun. Maybe they should stop trying to kill Israelis for once?

  8. 8 Ros Atkins
    April 28, 2008 at 15:03

    Hi, Ross.

    My name is Isaiah Thomas from Kenya. This morning Before I left for work the was a discussion topic on Capital FM, a popular station, about whether marijuana should be considered as a drug and why it should be legalized!

    See, I am all for freedom of speech. However I am also for responsibility.
    Seeing as it is during the school holidays in Kenya, it is seriously irresponsible to be seen by the holidaying youth to be apologetic to drug abuse especially from such a position of trust.

    As an aside, I do not buy the notion that to be a well-rounded adult you must have taken drugs at some point in your life. That said, my point is, freedom of speech should not be as free when dealing with a gullible audience who are likely to misinterpret the arguments for a position as an endorsement for that position.

    Can an omniscient God, who
    Knows the future, find
    The omnipotence to
    Change his future mind?

    Thomas in Kenya

  9. 9 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 15:03

    Whatever Alan. One case and you go into conspiracy mode? You seem to forget or ignore that 2 of the 3 cops were black. Convenient to forget that. Were they racist too? try a little harder to bad mouth the US next time.

  10. 10 John in Salem
    April 28, 2008 at 15:41

    1. Israelis and Palestinians~
    Please ask your Israeli guests to give a rational justification for continuing to build Jewish settlements on land that it was not given in it’s original charter.

    2. Austrian girl~
    We are, after all, still animals -and some of us more than others.

    3. Honor killings~
    See #2.

    4. Is the U.S. ready to elect a black man as president?
    Probably not, but that doesn’t mean we won’t do it anyway.

    5. What rights do prisoners have?
    See #2

  11. 11 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 15:46

    “1. Israelis and Palestinians~
    Please ask your Israeli guests to give a rational justification for continuing to build Jewish settlements on land that it was not given in it’s original charter.”

    Probably because they won a war they didn’t start, and are doing what every other nation has done, except Jews seem to be held to a different standard. I’m curious, for any American to criticize Israel about things, I do hope you aren’t a native american, because being a hypocrite doesn’t lend one the ability to have a good argument. Sorry, but the truth hurts.

  12. 12 Will Rhodes
    April 28, 2008 at 16:12

    Honour killings
    Reports emerged yesterday that a 17-year-old Iraqi girl, Rand Abdel-Qader, was stabbed to death last month by her father for becoming infatuated with a British soldier serving in southern Iraq. In a similar case a 19-year-old Iraqi was, according to her father, murdered by her own in-laws, for having an unknown number on her mobile phone. Why is there still a tolerance for honour killings in some cultures?

    My view is that a culture or religion is not at peace with itself if it needs to resort to this kind of thing.

    US elections
    Peter posted on the blog last week “Is Obama’s skin colour harming his presidential campaign?”, ever since the Pennsylvania Primary the issue of race has reared it’s head again and seemingly won’t go away. In an interview over the weekend the Democratic hopeful Barack Obama admitted that he had to fight harder to win over white working-class voters. It’s certainly got a lot of you talking on the blog, Is race dividing the Democrats? Is the US ready to elect a Black man as President?

    Obama wants it out in the open – I agree with him.

    Austrian girl
    And while it might not make it onto the programme we can’t ignore the horrendous story unfolding in Austria. Police officers are searching a cellar where a woman was allegedly held captive and sexually abused for 24 years by her own father. He allegedly had seven children with his daughter.

    I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.

  13. 13 Alan
    April 28, 2008 at 16:29

    To Steve:

    Where ofr when did I imply that anyone was rascist? You seem to be eager to say I am. The police in New York are MURDERS who will not be held accountable.Anyone who wants to avoid that will end up like the last 150 unarmed men, or the Sikhs that have been beaten.

    On the Isaraeli issue I must agree, and I am an American. In fact, if the truth be known, an overwhelming majority of Americans favor NEITHER SIDE ins Teh Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Evangelicals are salivating at the prospect of converting Jews to Christians, which is why Christians send so much money to Israel. Unfortunately, money is speech in America, and the Israeli lobby have a lot of influence in our government. We even have people eager to sell US secrets to Israel! You are not likely to get a strong reprimand to Israel from over here……..

  14. 14 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 17:22

    @ Alan,

    All police in NYC are murderers because three killed some person? You’re warning all non white people that they WILL be murdered by the police? Can you admit you’re overreacting a little? In fact alan, you said “Otherwise your family will get nothing when you are murdered by the police and they justfity it, even celebrate it.” Meaning, ALL police, not just the NYPD, solely if you are non white, you WILL be getting killed by the police, then the police will “celebrate”. Ummm, do you realize how crazy that sounds and how untrue it is?

  15. 15 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 17:24

    How come Britain has never had a black PM, or a black head of a major political party? Is Britain not ready to have a black PM?

    See what that argument sounds like? This election cycle is pathetic, because if you don’t vote for HIllary, you’re a misogynist, if you don’t vote for Obama, you are a racist. This is immaturity at the highest level, and perfectly reprensentative of the sickness that is involved with politics.

  16. 16 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    April 28, 2008 at 17:53

    Steve, I am a little concerned that you are so defensive and especially absolutist regarding the discussion race in this forum. As far as you are concerned, all black people are on one side and whites are the direct polar opposites, at least in the US. What nonsense! With respect, how do you arrive at these illogical conclusions?

    This line of argument is especially weak. As one blogger posted on the weekend, racism and many of the issues connected to it, often, go much deeper than a mere question of skin colour, as implied by your simplistic reasoning that some of the officers in the Sean Bell shooting incident were also black. Indeed, one can participate in the racially awarded privileges of certain cultural and or social institutions without spefifically being a member of the dominant group in whose favour such benefits traditionally accrue.

    Black communities in the US have long complained of police excesses directed against them and especially during certain periods like the Civil Rights era, for instance. Not much has changed, it appears, as standard policy appears to favour either dismissing these concerns or criminalising blacks, altogether, for what appears no other reasons than the colour of the skin. Racial profiling and the alarmingly high numbers of African-Americans who populate US prison populations are clear testaments in this regard. The Sean Bell case is probably a little more complex than your insistence on this narrowly conceived and, especially, one sided review of whose skin colour should automatically place them in a particular category.

    I suspect Alan has a valid point, notwithstanding the lack of a more expanded argument. What would be interesting to hear from him (?), however, is the extent to which what he says necessarilly squares with the facts. Obviously, the case to which he speaks is of concern insofar as the appearance of an overwhelming truth about discrimination and prejudice faced by non-white peoples, specifically black men, by US law enforcement officers. Ready examples include, the notorious Rodney King, Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo cases.

    Surely, the answer cannot be to dismiss these concerns out of hand. Arrogantly overlooking the significance of Alan’s point denies the reality of his concern. That there were also black officers involved does not change the reality that past grievances about the vexed issue of race in America have not been sufficiently healed, as the Sean Bell shooting proves. The fear of working class communities, even some foreigners, of state sanctioned violence is real, notwithstanding the apparent complicity of blacks and other non-white peoples in these inhumane, often barbarous and unjust forms of oppression.

    Africans were invovled in the selling of their country men into slavery and many later helped to maintain slavery in the New World. As you are aware, this served to deprive generations of Africans of their rights and dignity, as well as income. Which, in the overall scheme of things, adds to the gravity of the problems surrounding a case like Sean Bell’s. Does that mean, there is no basis for the claim of racism here? Or that, because “whiteness” as a representation of power and privilege is not always explicit, visible or obvious, that it is any less culpable a factor?

    Indeed, non-white peoples also participated in such practises and are, therefore, implicated in the burden of responsiblity for solving the problem. However, the issue is that racism largely operates in the US in the favour of whites and simultaneously disadvantages young black men, especially. Your thinly reasoned arguments, therefore, are every minute as bad as race being trumped as the first line of defence by blacks in such situations. What that does is to obscure the more substantive issues at play – authorised state violence and its impact on social justice in the wider context of collective social and political relations.

  17. 17 selena
    April 28, 2008 at 20:19

    The question is how could a man hold his daughter for twenty-four years in a basement and no one know about it, especially when there were other occupants of the same building?

    it is difficult to believe that no one had suspicions. Is is a question of man having the right to run his household any way he chooses? Do people look the other way? Would you act on suspicions, if you just had a feeling?

    And to echo John in Germany, what does a man have to do, in some cultures, to incur the wrath of the society?

  18. 18 selena
    April 28, 2008 at 20:22

    RPJS,

    I would like to thank you sincerely for moderating the Blank Page on the weekend. Hope the numerous posts didn’t interfere too much with your social life 😉

    Selena

  19. 19 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    April 28, 2008 at 22:56

    Thanks, Selena.

    I was more than happy to have assisted. But thanks must also go to Katharina and Brett, as Ros as our able tutor! (LOL!)…The compliments are appreciated, nonetheless!

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments above. So let me say ditto in reference to John’s original post.

    All the best!

  20. 20 John in Germany
    April 29, 2008 at 08:30

    Austria.
    According to Bild, (a well read, but probably with a large legal section German daily paper), The policeman who collected the children had stated that they were well educated. The Bild reports that the mother had taught them, and had also taken care of then as best she could health wise. Once again if the report is true, a mother had condoned the beastly actions of a father-her husband, towards his Daughters, her children.

    i am not qualified to form an opinion as to why, but my soul has taken a hard dent over the last few days as the news broke. What happens to mothers that allow such atrocities to occur to her own flesh and blood.?

    This statement may cause a rumble. Mens attitudes towards females has a North-South pattern in a lot of countries, and this is not sarcasm, also the attitude towards animals. Please note in a lot of countries, but not all. And honour rears its ugly head mainly with relationships between men and women. If integration was perfect, it would not matter. A girl has died because she fell in love, another mother looks on and does nothing, how do the girls female siblings feel?. It would be a waste of time asking her brothers.

    How about some answers from some of our informed ladies out there.

    Have a very nice day, and thanks for all of the good reading from you all, courtesy of BEEB.

    May your Guardian Angels look after you all.

    John in Germany.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: