The Nakba: A Crime Watched, Ignored and Remembered

By Ilan Pappe The 15th of May is usually a trigger for a journey back in time. And for an unfathomable reason each such journey conjures up a different aspect of the Nakba. This year, more than anything else, I am preoccupied with the continued apathy and indifference of the Western political elite and media […]

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Netanyahu’s new dysfunctional government

A majority of 61 Knesset seats out of 120 isn’t bad, but it’s not enough to govern. Coalition members who have not yet been sworn in know this well, but they rush ahead blindly nonetheless. We have almost forgotten the last elections, yet Netanyahu took a long time to get a government together. His “natural” partners are already at the wheel and ready for the journey, but they too feel that the trip is likely to be short and end in disappointment.

Israel Seeks in Nepal to Whitewash Its Crimes in Gaza

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quick to congratulate Israeli soldiers on their relief efforts in Nepal, where an earthquake late last month claimed many thousands of lives. “These are the true faces of Israel,” he said of a 260-strong team that arrived to pull survivors from the rubble, treat […]

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The Arab Boat: It’s an Arab-Palestinian Nakba, and We Are All Refugees

By Ramzy Baroud In a western capital far away from Gaza and Cairo, I recently shared a pot of tea with an “Egyptian refugee”. The term is familiar to me, but never have I encountered an Egyptian who refers to himself as such. He stated it as a matter of fact by saying: “As an […]

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The Nakba: Israel’s Catastrophe

By Vacy Vlazna “By military force, the Jewish forces conquered 78% of Palestine in 1948 and depopulated 675 towns and villages, leaving only 15% of its Palestinian citizens under the rule of the Jewish forces. This area of Palestine was called Israel.” — Salman Abu Sitta The Palestinian Nakba is a catastrophe for the Jewish […]

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Liberia Conquers Ebola, but Faces a Crisis of Faith

 

NY Times – Now, it is officially over. The Ebola outbreak has ended in Liberia, the World Health Organization announced Saturday, an enormous milestone that seemed impossibly far off last year when dead bodies blocked roads and the sick prayed for ambulances that never came.

Deasprately, the country is trying to rebuild just about everything, from its health and education systems to its economy and international image. 

But in the dim hall of the United God Is Our Light Church, its generator turned off to shave costs, the congregation has been trying to repair something more fundamental: its spirit. 

The large circle of plastic chairs inevitably drew attention to the low attendance at Friday morning prayer, a monthly gathering intended to bring together a church torn asunder by Ebola. Three, four, sometimes half a dozen empty seats separated the attendees from one another.

Like many people here, church leaders often denied that Ebola, a disease new to West Africa, was real. At an emergency meeting last July, the Liberia Council of Churches, the country’s main group for Christians, described Ebola as divine punishment for acts of homosexuality and government corruption.

Gaza: Children in Crisis

By Hilary Wise Mona Samouni was 10-years-old when she lost her home, her parents and 19 other relatives, after they were crushed before her eyes in one of the bombing raids of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2009. In an award-winning film, she speaks of her past experiences with an almost eerie detachment, as if she […]

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FUNDAMENTAL LAW AND AMERICAN IGNORANCE: WHY ATHEISTS MUST CHANGE THE SYSTEM

By Mark Kolsen

 

By international standards, Americans are poorly educated.  Their ignorance extends beyond the oft-reported low math, science and social science scores achieved by high school students (See, for example). Adult Americans know relatively little about their own political system or other cultures (see, for example).   

They know even less about scientific cosmology or evolutionary biology (See, for example). In personal matters, where one might think Americans would know more, they are equally hapless.  Americans are laughingly ignorant of their own sexuality (See, for example).  

A comedy series could feature Americans’ responses to more complicated questions, such as “Which factors predict a successful relationship?” or “What is the best predictor of your child’s social-economic status”?

 

Given that only Italians–90% of whom call themselves “Catholic”– are more ignorant than Americans, it could be persuasively argued that a religious Weltanshauung is a primary “cause” of ignorance.  If a human assumes that the universe was created by an omnipotent and omniscient god, and that god still intervenes in human daily life, then that human has donned blinders to real knowledge.   Why read, why learn, when you have the Bible, the word of god?