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You need to know that your latest onslaught in Gaza guarantees that as a nation, you will be loathed and reviled by growing numbers of people around the world. No, not because you are jewish- that doesn’t come into it, but because you murder civilians in their 100s with your high-tech weaponry. Because you have burnt little children, blown their limbs off, killed their parents, their brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

You have destroyed their homes. Because you fire flechettes at human beings, because you use DIME bombs in densely crowded civilian areas, you have rained white phosphorous down on a school, you have killed disabled people in their residential home, killed sick people in intensive care when you bombed a hospital. You bombed a UN school where women and children had taken refuge and then lied about it. You bombed a playground on the first day of Eid Al Fitr, a festival akin to Christmas. That was your present to the little children who played on a roundabout in their new outfits, now wrapped in sheets in their graves. Again, you sent out your propagandists to lie.

Since you destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza in 2008-2009, you have never allowed it to be rebuilt, leading to no sewage treatment, poor water supplies, sporadic electricity – in short you have made people’s lives as hard as they can possibly be. Relentlessly. You shoot farmers and fishermen who are doing their best to fight off poverty and fend for their families. You have done all these things and so much more, and then you lie to the world, trying to depict your victims as perpetrators, when it is you.

You are the occupying power, you are the aggressor. You bully the policy and decision makers and use political influence to ensure that your version of events is the one that is repeated, as if it were the truth. But you are not fooling us all, and you will pay for your crimes in the international criminal court – of that I have no doubt.

Call me an anti-semite and I will laugh at you as I know it is untrue, you will not shut me and others like me up. We will continue to speak out.

We will boycott your products, we will call out with millions of voices around the world for divestment of funds from Israel and sanctions against you until you comply with international law, until you:

1. End the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall
2. Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

We will struggle against our governments and institutions that are complicit in your crimes until you find yourself alone.You can change your path. You can stand for rights, for justice, for humanity. I hope this is the choice you make. But in the end, the choice is yours.

Elaine Bradley

Elaine is a human rights activist working in the West Bank.


Previously: We Walked In Solidarity 

The Mask Is Off And People Know

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Last week, It was a binge too far.

How does it look THIS week.

Anon writes:

“Things are going well. I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last week and took into account a lot of the comments people posted. My first port of call was the assistance service offered to employees by my employer, I did what was termed an AUDIT test which takes into account dependence, behaviours and indication of how people are with alochol.
The scoring system used is 1-40 and anything over 18 is considered problem drinking, I’m a 20! Friends (drinkers and non drinkers alike) have told me that I am being too harsh on myself but intuitively there is something telling me I should be looking at it and changing my relationship. Thinking about it long and hard what do I want to do? The alcohol culture is entrenched in the Irish psyche, telling people I was not drinking was met with a chorus of ‘What is wrong with you, are you sick?’ to people asking me for permission for them to drink ! Never did I mention I had a problem with other people drinking, I don’t in fact I’m wired to the moon as I discovered recently on a night out not drinking.

“I never considered myself a problem drinker at all. On an average night out I could have 8-10 pints which to me appeared normal but from reading up and learning it appears any more than 3.5 pints of beer is binging (seriously?). I have an appointment next week with a counsellor to tease out where I am and strike that balance. I’m going away on a few trips and I want a few beers, not because I crave them but because I enjoy them. My problem seems to stem from two things – I drink way too fast and flood my body with too much alcohol at once and I have associated alcohol with always having a good time which is not true at all! I do consider myself a moderate drinker with bad habits and compared to speaking to others I’m not at the bad end of the scale but I will know for definite midweek :)”



Lisa writes:

On Monday, the 7th of July, I contacted the Employee Assistance service that my Company uses. After a 20-minute assessment over the phone they advised that they were unable to assist me and I should attend my GP.

After months of coping with a growing depression, and a long history of mental health issues, it had taken a lot of effort to place that phone call. Their rejection felt like a physical shot to the gut, but I made myself walk to my GP’s office.

I have tried to kill myself a handful of times in my life, and have attended A&E for self-inflicted injuries more times than I can remember. Every time I entered a hospital someone, a nurse or doctor or parent, would ask me why I didn’t just ask for help when things got too much.

So there I was, finally asking for help, like I had been instructed to do countless times before. This might not seem like much to you reader, but believe me, it took every inch of my will to walk into that doctors office. At which point my GP, after some Googling, referred me to my local mental health clinic and sent me back to work.

At this point my mother, who lives abroad, was concerned enough to contact a well-known, affordable counselling service here and arranged an assessment for me the next day. So on Tuesday I mustered my courage and went to the centre for assessment. I remember sitting in the waiting room, feeling overwrought that I was down in this hole again, but with a tiny glimmer of hope that I had sought help in time.

Alas, only moments later, I was told I was not suitable to receive counselling for my depression and suicidal ideation because I have an eating disorder. Yes reader, I have an eating disorder. In brief: I was overweight, I discovered bulimia, I lost weight and suddenly vomiting was a daily necessity I had no control over. (This is an oversimplification of the matter but enough detail for you).

To recap, I am bulimic and I am suffering from depression. I have been to my GP, who was clueless, and I have been to two counselling services that have both rejected me. Trust me when I tell you this is more effort than most depressives will exert to find help. So on Thursday, the 10th of July, I tried to hang myself.

I shall spare you the details but, in the end, one of my dogs intervened and here we are. And rest assured sceptics, this was not a cry for help; I recommend you examine exactly why you had that reaction. Other than perhaps you’re an asshole.

I returned to my GP the next day, who spent two hours trying to find someone to assess me and eventually had to send me to A&E as it was the only way they could guarantee I would see a psychiatrist. After 10 hours of sitting in a chair, crying intermittently, I spoke to a psychiatric nurse and doctor.

I told both of them I did not regret my actions the previous day, detailed my current mental state and ‘pinky’ promised I would not kill myself.

And that was it, I was given an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication and told my local mental health clinic would ring me on Monday.

So my boyfriend took me home and I spent most of the weekend crying and sleeping, both of us counting down the hours to Monday. Of course nobody called me on Monday. But surprisingly, I picked up my phone and I called them.

Over, and over…I sat at my kitchen table in my pyjamas, dialled the number, held my breath, and then sobbed when nobody answered. I tell you this not for sympathy, but so you understand just how desolate I was. A very long story, a hospital mix-up and a short sobbing phone call later and I had an appointment.

On Wednesday the 16th of July, I met with a wonderful doctor at my local clinic, I cannot stress enough that meeting someone so helpful extended my life. She recommended inpatient treatment, and referred me to public and private hospitals (based on my insurance) immediately.

I am currently at home, still waiting for a bed. I am not looking for anyone’s sympathy, I am not your concern and you surely have plenty of your own. But I have done everything I can to get help; I have an incredibly supportive boyfriend. I have health insurance; I am not a drug addict or an alcoholic. I worked full time until the day I wrapped a noose around my neck.

On Thursday I tried to cut my throat, and I haven’t kept a meal down in a week. I have started to stockpile paracetamol, because I no longer think help will come before I break.

Our mental health crisis cannot be ignored, the struggle ends silently for too many.”

If you are in need of help, these are some of the services you can contact:
Samaritans  [01 116 123].
Pieta House
Reach Out

 Pic: Shutterstock