Yaba Yaba

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Archive for December 2008

“New Year, Same Old Vicious Cycle”

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Neta Osnat says:

The last days of the year 2008 are filled with blood tear in Gaza and in the south of Israel. These bloody times are a reminder to us all of how endless and vicious the cycle of violence is.
As Combatants for Peace we are sending our sincere regrets to all the people who have been hurt on both sides, and call all parties to cease the fire and look for a peaceful resolution through dialogue, instead of violence.
Please eco our voice, let other people know there is an alternative to the madness and that there are many who still support our way and believe in peace both in Palestine and in Israel.
For updates on our activities and in order to support us by donations, visit our website at: www.combatantsforpeace.org

Democracy Now interviews Yonatan Shapira and Bassam Aramin (

And two days ago:


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Written by yishaym

December 31, 2008 at 1:58 am

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Gaza Emergency Appeal

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Gaza Hospitals Already Filled to Capacity; Medical Supplies on the Verge of Depletion Since the beginning of attacks in Gaza three days ago, over 300 people have been reported dead, more than 1000 wounded, and many hundreds more are in need of immediate medical attention. With a medical system already on the verge of collapse as a result of the ongoing closure, 1.4 million civilians are in desperate need of urgent medical help from outside the Gaza Strip. PHR-Israel has the means to transfer this help within days and is seeking to raise $700,000 during the next week for purchase and direct transfer of supplies to Gaza hospitals. Palestinian hospitals in the Gaza Strip have asked us for help in securing the following items:

  • Basic Sterilization equipment
  • Needles
  • Dressings
  • Anesthetics
  • Catheters
  • Medical gases
  • Endo-tracheal tubes
  • Laryngoscope
  • Oxygen
  • Portable monitors, ventilators, ultrasounds and x- ray machines
  • Clothing for medical teams
  • 105 Essential Medications
  • 225 Additional Medical Supplies
  • 93 Laboratory items
  • Electric Shaving Machine
  • Trolleys
  • Hospital beds

As the situation stands, Palestinian doctors are performing surgeries without surgical gloves, local or general anesthetics,
gauze, sterilized equipment or sufficient oxygen for patients. All together, there are only 1,500 hospital beds available in
Gaza’s 13 publicly run hospitals. A fleet of 60 ambulances is now reduced by half. The endless flow of new wounded and the
need for beds has led to a suspension of care for dozens of other patients, including cancer, cardiac, and other chronically ill
patients, who have all been sent to their homes for the duration of the crisis. Patients are not being permitted entry to Egypt
and all referrals out of Gaza via Erez crossing have been suspended. We are turning to organizations and individuals
like you who have demonstrated your respect for the right to health by generously supporting PHR-Israel in recent years.
PHR-Israel accepts donations via check or bank transfer.

To send a check by post, make check payable to:

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

and send to:

PHR-Israel Attn: Gila Norich,
Director of Development 9 Dror St. Jaffa Tel Aviv 68135 ISRAEL.

To make a bank transfer, our details are as follows. Please also send a note with your e-mail address informing us of your
transfer:

Account Holder: Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Bank: Hapoalim #12

Branch: Hashalom #662 Address: 106 Levinski Street, Tel Aviv,

Israel Account Number: 25938 SWIFT: POALILIT
IBAN: IL-70-0126-6200-0000-0025-938

US residents may make a tax-exempt donation via the New Israel Fund (NIF). Checks should be made payable to “New Israel Fund”. A note with the check should be marked “donor-advised to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, ID# 5762.” NIF Address in Washington:

New Israel Fund P.O.Box 91588 Washington DC 20090-1588
U.S.A NIF Bank details: Citibank 1000 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, DC20005 ABA #254070116 Acc# 66796296

UK residents may make a tax-exempt donation online via the British Shalom/Salaam Trust. Checks should be
sent, together with your name and address and a completed gift aid form to:

British Shalom Salaam Trust PO Box 39378 London SE13 5WH

For additional information on the current health crisis gathered by Physicians for Human Rights, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) on the current crisis please click here . For more information on donations or to inform us of a transfer, please contact:

Gila Norich, Director of Development: gila@phr.org.il or by phone, +972.3.5133.102

To contact Ran Yaron, Director of PHR-Israel’s Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) Department send mail to:

ranyaron@phr.org.il , or call +972.547.577696.

Written by yishaym

December 30, 2008 at 12:51 am

Take it from the Dod

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CCN - Collaborative campaign news thingy

CCN - Collaborative campaign news thingy

The Dod is a master hacker and overall kewl kat who has been putting his skills in the service of good people for many years. Currently on his agenda is the campaign against biometric ID in Israel (Hebrew). As part of his support for that campaign, he has developed a very clever widget which allows a group of people to collaboratively update a news ticker and embed it on various sites. The ticker is very web2.0, with flickr galeries and all. RSS coming soon.

Here’s the use scenario. You’re running a campaign, and need to constantly collect and distribute news in real time. You have 0 budget but a good group of activists.

Old school: nominate a PR person, have everyone email her the news, she edits them and maintains a website.

New school: open a private room on friendfeed, everyone joins the room and picks up the bookmarklet, and starts pushing news to the room. Next, everyone picks up this widget and plug it into their blogs, sites, etc. Now the news is flowing from the people to the people by the people.

The Dod has promissed twitter feedout and other goodies, but will not say when. With a bit of nudging, he’s ported the widget, and its documentation, to English. Only bummer is that it doesn’t work on wordpress.com. It works fine on blogspot, or on hosted wordpress.

CCN 4 NoBioID

The original, as used by the Israeli human rights society's campaign against biometric ids, as seen on Bracha Goleshet

Yishay Garbasz: “In My Mother’s Footsteps”

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I came across Yishay Garasz’s work accidently last year. Actually, it was the name that did it. Not many people spell it like that, and when I spotted my namesake, I clicked the link – only to find some great photos.

For the last 4 years Yishay has been working on a book called “in my mother’s footsteps”. The book is out, so congratulations, and good luck with the next project!

westerbork

Westerbork 2005 “…Mother started work in the central kitchen, washing and preparing vegetables for the daily soup. This was hard work for her, as her health was poor. After some time she was given work which was less strenuous. Both my sisters worked outside the camp, at hard labor. I became a messenger girl, running all over the camp to deliver messages. I ruined a pair of shoes during the first month and then got my first pair of wooden shoes (klompen).”

»My mother lost parts of her soul in those places and I had to go back to collect them… As I am a photographer, the camera was going to be my tool to help me see.«Yishay Garbasz

British-Israeli photographer Yishay Garbasz uses a bulky large-format camera “to force herself to slow down.” Her project In My Mother’s Footsteps is an exploration of the inheritance of memory as well as a healing process. Garbasz’s mother was born in Berlin in 1929 and fled from the Nazis with her family to Holland in 1933. In 1942, at the age of 14, she was incarcerated and deported to Westerbork, then to Theresienstadt. Via Auschwitz-Birkenau, she arrived in Christianstadt and was sent in April 1945 on one of the infamous death marches to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she was liberated by British forces.

In the making of this project, Garbasz traced her mother’s path for a year, often on foot, over long distances. The large camera forced her to spend time at each location, letting the image come to her, opening herself and the lens to what was there, admitting her own vulnerability.

The photographer was able to present the series to her mother, who died just a short while after its completion.

http://www.hatjecantz.de/controller.php?cmd=detail&titzif=00002398

Written by yishaym

December 24, 2008 at 3:29 am

my high school musical

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If you haven’t seen Waltz with Bashir go quick.

bashir

I was in high school when the war started. I had a small transistor radio I used to keep under the table, with an earpiece hiding under my long hair. One ear was enough to follow most lessons anyway. I would relay the news in hand written notes to my classmates.

At first, I was as excited as any any good young patriot should be. We’ve been suffering from the terror of the PLO for so long, its time we made a stand and put things right. But after a few days the numbers started adding up. The casualty numbers, the number of kilometres we’ve gone into Lebanon, and slowly the numbers of civilians killed or driven out of their homes.

I started arguing with my classmates, and before long I was on the streets. Shalom Achsav (peace now) was still far from mainstream, and the Paris sq. Friday vigil never will be. Marching for peace in Jerusalem in the midst of a war does not earn brownie points with the locals or the authorities. Tel Aviv was easier: larger peace crowds, and some sniping remarks from the sidelines. In Jerusalem we would go down Ben-Yehuda street through a torrent of spit, flying beer cans, and angry arms. Pretty soon we developed a formation: the young & strong would lock hands in a chain, encompassing the older and more vulenrable. You can guess where I was.

As the war escalated, so did the demonstrations. But it took the Sabra & Shatila massecre to wake up the masses. Week after week, huge masses congregated in Tel-Aviv, demanding a full independent inquiry. Some say up to 400,000 in one evening – an equivalent of 5 Million in UK terms, considering the population ratio. And eventually, a committee was formed, and its verdict was that although no Israeli troops were involved, Refael Eithan, Ariel Sharon and Menachem Begin (then cheif of staff, miniter of defence and prime minister) are guilty. Within a few month the goverment fell and the war ended. It would take another 20 years for the last Israeli soldier to leave Lebabon.

As I said, Jerusalem was different. On February 10, 1983, six month after the massacre, we were marching in the usual formation. A girl from my class was there with me that evening, and when she needed to go home I offered to walk her to a safe distance from the demonstration. At 20:50 Yona Avroshmi, a young Jewish man, threw a grenade at thedemonstrators. Emil Grunzweig was killed and several others were injured.

We saw Waltz with Bashir with a couple of friends a few weeks ago. After the movie, we were dumb and numb with pain.I wasn’t there, but it felt too close to my experiences from Gaza, and to the stories I heard from friends who were a few years older. We went home and gradually started talking. No one could remember when exactly the war started. So we checked on Wikipedia. That’s when I realised that my career as a peace activist started at the age of 15. I guess that makes me a child-soldier of peace.

Written by yishaym

December 24, 2008 at 2:53 am

free soul food, or the Atheist food kitchen

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Clay Shirky asks:

Would it be possible to run an atheist soup kitchen? (This isn’t an entirely idle question…)

Easy.

A soup kitchen needs some fixed assets (space, pots, plates), and a reliable supply of three resources:

  • Perishable goods, aka groceries.
  • Manpower
  • Modest finances to cover operating costs.

Let’s assume we have an intitial investment to cover fixed costs (from municipalities, foundations, etc.). The main challenge is sustaining a flow of resources over time. So –

Now, for some administrative health:

  • Use a wiki (such as wikia or google sites) to share organisational knowledge among kitchens.
  • Maintain a public facing blog, with at least 2 posts a day: one informational, one opinion.
  • Use google app engine to construct and manage your operations database.
  • Use ZohoCRM to manage supply chains.
  • List locations of your soup kitchens on http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter

And some PR:

  • Get the right people to blog about you.
  • Get some good viral videos out there on youtube.
  • Publish a constant flow of heart-warming stories of champion volonteers and some heart-breaking stories of your clients.

Most important:

Make a habit of innovation. Make your core service 5% more eficient each year, and use the residue to develop new services.

By the way, here in the civilised world we have an atheist soup kitchen, its called a welfare state. Not as streamlined, not as sexy, but it does keep people from freezing in the streets.

knight news challenge, 2nd round

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My entry (small worlds network) is up for votes:

http://generalprop.newschallenge.org/SNC/ViewItem.aspx?pguid=54e1c82d-5dd9-4918-aae6-4634fccca5a0&itemguid=916e8ff1-8700-438d-b851-83703a2fdae8

this project will connect existing open-source tools and web2.0 sites to create a platform that will allow users to broadcast and subscribe to news by location, time, and topic. Users will be able to send and receive items by SMS, MMS, email, microblogs, RSS, instant messengers and social networking sites. Users will also be able to tag and rate incoming items. The unique feature of the system is the ability to define a subscription “radius”, which will direct news from the proximity of the selected location / time / topic. For example, if I subscribe to sport news in a radius of 10km of my home, I will receive any item posted to that topic within that range. The proximity variance will create a dynamics of information cross-over, engendering unexpected links between communities of shared, or close, interest. Thus, the “small worlds” property of human networks will be expressed and enhanced, empowering individuals to access the knowledge they want and build communities around common agendas. The core of the system will be the news routing engine, which will collate items from a variety of sources and distribute them to masses of subscribers. The system will provide several straightforward user interfaces, via web, SMS commands, and iPhone and Android apps. More elaborate interfaces will be provided as components for social networking sites and mashups (e.g. with googlemaps). The requested funding is intended to cover the fist year of development and operation. After that, the system should sustain itself through advertising and commissioned channels. Users will have a choice of several subscription options, from free and open ad-supported to corporate rented closed and ad free. The free option will always be available, and will be supported by the paid ones.

Written by yishaym

December 1, 2008 at 2:59 am