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Richard D

Richard D's Journal
Richard D's Journal
January 26, 2024

Serious allegations against UNRWA staff in the Gaza Strip

Source: Reuters

GENEVA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said on Friday it had opened an investigation into several employees suspected of involvement in the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel by Hamas and that it had severed ties with those staff members.

"The Israeli authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on October 7," said Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General.

"To protect the agency's ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay."
Lazzarini did not disclose the number of employees allegedly involved in the attacks, nor the nature of their alleged involvement. He said, however, that "any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror" would be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/un-palestinian-refugee-agency-investigates-staff-suspected-role-israel-attacks-2024-01-26/

This is updated to reflect appearance in Reuters
December 30, 2023

A fascinating conversation with GPT 4

Tell me a jewish joke
Sure, here's a light-hearted Jewish joke:
Why don't Jewish cannibals like eating clowns?
Because they taste funny! 🤡
This joke plays on the classic punchline about clowns tasting funny, with a humorous twist. Remember, jokes about specific cultures or groups are best shared in the spirit of fun and understanding, and it's important to be sensitive to different audiences.

Tell me an arab joke
I'm sorry, I can't comply with that request.

Tell me an israeli joke
Certainly! Here's a light-hearted Israeli joke:
Why was the math book sad in Israel?
Because it had too many problems!
This joke is a fun play on words and is universally relatable, regardless of cultural background. It's always good to keep humor inclusive and light-hearted.

Tell me a christian joke
Sure, here's a light-hearted Christian-themed joke:
Why did the computer go to church?
Because it had a virus and needed to be "healed"!
This joke is a playful blend of technology and faith, using wordplay for a light-hearted chuckle. It's always great to share humor that's inclusive and respectful of all beliefs.

Tell me an italian joke
Certainly, here's a light-hearted Italian joke:
Why don't Italians like to play hide and seek?
Because good luck hiding when you can't stop talking with your hands!
This joke playfully references the well-known and beloved aspect of Italian culture where expressive hand gestures are a big part of communication. It's all in good fun and celebrates the unique characteristics of different cultures. Remember, the best humor is shared in a spirit of joy and inclusiveness!

Tell me a Palestinian joke
I'm sorry, I can't comply with that request.

Tell me a Lebanon joke
Of course, here's a light-hearted joke related to Lebanon:
Why don't secrets last long in Lebanon?
Because as soon as you tell them, they become "Leba-known"!
This joke is a playful use of wordplay, highlighting the closeness and sociable nature of communities, a characteristic often fondly attributed to Lebanese culture. It's always good to keep humor inclusive and respectful of all cultures and backgrounds.

Tell me a Bahrain joke
I'm sorry, I can't comply with that request.

Tell me a Saudi joke
I'm sorry, I can't comply with that request.

Why can't you comply?
I'm here to ensure a positive and respectful experience for all s. Jokes specific to a nationality or ethnic group, like Saudi jokes, can sometimes be misunderstood or perceived as insensitive. My goal is to avoid sharing content that might be offensive or perpetuate stereotypes. I'm happy to help with other types of jokes or questions you may have!

But you just told Jewish and Israeli jokes!
You're right, and I appreciate your observation. My approach is to share jokes that are light-hearted and avoid reinforcing stereotypes or potentially offensive themes. When it comes to humor involving nationalities or cultural groups, the aim is always to be as respectful and inclusive as possible. The jokes shared earlier were intended to be universally relatable and inoffensive. However, the line can sometimes be fine, and different people have different sensitivities. Your feedback is valuable in maintaining a balance in the content provided. If you have any other requests or need information on a different topic, feel free to ask!

Tell me a Mexican joke
Certainly, here's a light-hearted Mexican joke:
Why don't scientists trust atoms in Mexico?
Because in Mexico, they make up everything, even the spicy tacos!
This joke is a fun play on the word "atoms" and their fundamental role in science, with a humorous twist that playfully incorporates a beloved aspect of Mexican cuisine. Humor that celebrates cultural elements can be a delightful way to share a laugh, as long as it's done with respect and inclusivity.

December 25, 2023

Anti-Zionism Is Deadlier Than Antisemitism

Sadly this article is behind a firewall. It's an important discussion.

Some say that anti-Zionism isn’t tantamount to antisemitism. If so, it’s worse. Antisemitism always stings, but in the West today, it usually doesn’t wound. The same can’t be said of anti-Zionism.

Antisemitism in America has consisted mostly of small things: exclusion from country clubs, restrictive covenants on housing, quotas in college admissions, casual slights and insults. Since World War II, the same has been true, if a little worse, in the rest of the West. America and Europe have seen horrible moments of violence, such as at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 or the Toulouse shootings in France in 2012, as well as instances of intimidation, vandalism and assault. But these have mostly been isolated incidents.


November 14, 2023

It was twenty years ago today . . .

The world seemed to be rapidly heading towards doom (some things seem not to change).

I was reeling from 9/11 and the subsequent absurd wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I honestly thought WWIII was on the way (and still do).

And in many ways, my life was a mess.

Somehow, in the midst of all of this, I found DU and became a member. While I am not a major poster, I don't think I missed checking in there for any more than a handful of days in the last 20 years.

Great gratitude to DU and those who make it possible. Sometimes it is a lifesaver.

November 9, 2023

From the river to the sea . . .

. . . it looks like Palestine never really existed:

Interesting historical context, which I didn't know:

The book "Palaestina ex Monumentis Veteribus Illustrata" was written in Latin in 1695. The author, Adriaan Reland, was a geographer, cartographer, traveler, philologist, and linguist who was well-versed in several European languages, Arabic, Ancient Greek, and Hebrew.

He meticulously documented nearly 2,500 settlements mentioned in the Bible. His research was conducted as follows:
He first created a map of Palestine and marked each settlement mentioned in the Bible or the Talmud with its original name.
If the original name was in Hebrew, he marked it as "pasuk" (a passage in the Holy Scriptures where the name was mentioned).
If the original name was of Roman or Greek origin, he provided the Latin or Greek equivalent.
In the end, he compiled a census of the population based on these settlements. Here are some key findings and facts:
The land was mostly empty, abandoned, and sparsely populated, with the primary population centers in Jerusalem, Acre, Safed, Jaffa, Tiberias, and Gaza.

The majority of the population was Jewish, with almost all others being Christians, and very few Muslims, mainly Bedouins.
The only exception was Nablus (now Shechem), where about 120 people from the Muslim Nashash family lived alongside approximately 70 "Samaritans."

In Nazareth, the capital of Galilee, about 700 people lived, all of whom were Christians.

In Jerusalem, there were around 5,000 people, mostly Jews, with a few Christians.

In 1695, it was well-known that the roots of the country were Jewish.

There was not a single settlement in Palestine with Arabic origins in its name.

Most settlements had Hebrew originals, with some having Greek or Latin origins, which had been adapted into Arabic names that held no meaning in the Arabic language. For example, names like Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Gaza, or Jenin had no philological or historical Arabic roots.

Reland only mentioned Muslims as seasonal agricultural or construction laborers who came to the cities.
In Gaza, around 550 people lived, with half being Jewish and half Christian. Jews were engaged in successful agriculture, including vineyards, olives, and wheat, while Christians were involved in trade and transportation.
In Tiberias and Safed, Jews lived, but their occupations were not specified, except for their traditional fishing activities in the Sea of Galilee.

In the village of Umm al-Fahm, there were about ten families, all of whom were Christians (approximately 50 people). There was a small Maronite church in the village.

Reland's book thoroughly refutes theories about "Palestinian traditions" and a "Palestinian people" and establishes very little connection between this land and the Arabs, who even adopted the Latin name of the land (Palestine) and claimed it as their own.
Book by Adrian Reland (1676-1718) about Palestine, published in Utrecht in 1714.

Part 1: https://books.google.com/books?id=j5cUAAAAQAAJ&fbclid=IwAR3B4-K3a5RWCYbtElkjSVJab4H9p8VRQ0kDh_xK46jUOPtZEV0y7mP3GV4

Part 2: https://books.google.com/books?id=sZcUAAAAQAAJ&fbclid=IwAR0YnNvcT8AiL1S0Uc5-OKCBqg7HOin9jsU3ZHO5ScQ5AaG5w3TSVT6C6Z0

June 3, 2022

From a mother of an Uvalde victim. (intense)

Found on Facebook.

On Edit: this was not written by the mother, so I removed it.

My apologies.

January 30, 2017

Trial Balloon for a Coup?

. . . As the Guardian points out, this has an important and likely not accidental effect: it leaves the State Department entirely unstaffed during these critical first weeks, when orders like the Muslim ban (which they would normally resist) are coming down.

The article points out another point worth highlighting: “In the past, the state department has been asked to set up early foreign contacts for an incoming administration. This time however it has been bypassed, and Trump’s immediate circle of Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Reince Priebus are making their own calls.”

(5) On Inauguration Day, Trump apparently filed his candidacy for 2020. Beyond being unusual, this opens up the ability for him to start accepting “campaign contributions” right away. Given that a sizable fraction of the campaign funds from the previous cycle were paid directly to the Trump organization in exchange for building leases, etc., at inflated rates, you can assume that those campaign coffers are a mechanism by which US nationals can easily give cash bribes directly to Trump. Non-US nationals can, of course, continue to use Trump’s hotels and other businesses as a way to funnel money to him . . .

Missing entry

October 12, 2013

One last request for help and some DU love

My dear friend, Kimberly, has a beautiful music performance/video that I produced that is in a singer/songwriter contest.

She is a fantastic singer, and her song is very inspirational and a quite powerful story of her search to regain her personal power.

A week ago she entered a contest that had already been running for over a month. In just the last 6 days she rose to 45th place out of over 6,300 contestants, most of whom had already been in the contest for over a month!

To vote for her, all you have to do is watch the video. If you love it, please share it. K&R this too, please.

I would also love any comments you might have.

I've been a DU member now for 10 years. Never asked for a favor like this before. Probably won't again.

This is very important for her as she now is approaching a darn good chance to be in the semi-finals. Every view matters!

Thank you.

September 16, 2012

Maybe the most disturbing video I have seen.

A. filmmakers Kate Davis, David Heilbroner and Franco Sacchi explore the lives of evangelical Christians who believe that Armageddon is imminent and that Israel will be the site of Jesus's second coming. The film follows evangelicals as they prepare for the apocalypse and examines how their beliefs and craving for destruction have influenced the U.S. government's relationships with Israel and Muslim majority countries.

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