Letterhead a priority over pediatric chemotherapy treatments

More unexpected reporting in the NYT that humanizes the suffering caused by the occupation, in this instance, the cruelty comes in a particularly arbitrary form.

Coat of arms of State of Palestine

State of Palestine


“Israel rejected the applications of dozens of medical patients in the Gaza Strip seeking to travel for treatment in Israel or the West Bank this week because the paper they were printed on bore the logo “State of Palestine” rather than “Palestinian Authority.”

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, ordered that the state logo be used on all official correspondence shortly after he won the status of nonmember observer state for Palestine at the United Nations on Nov. 29, 2012, over vehement Israeli objections. But Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli agency that coordinates movement and other activities with the Palestinian Authority, said that it had always refused to accept such documents, and that the Palestinians had generally complied and used the old letterhead. ….

Caught in the middle was a 13-year-old boy, Salah Abu Assi, who has been traveling to Jerusalem for chemotherapy at Hadassah Medical Center as often as four times a month for three years. Salah’s father, Hammad Abu Assi, a pharmacist in Gaza City, said that the boy has a tumor behind his eye. A Palestinian Authority liaison informed family members on Tuesday night that they would not be allowed to leave Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing to make their Wednesday appointment, Mr. Abu Assi said.

“We did not sleep last night after we learned about the problem,” he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “We are afraid that the progress he has made in recent months will backfire and his condition deteriorate.”

Sari Bashi, the executive director of Gisha, an Israeli group that advocates access to Gaza, …. called the situation “very problematic.”

“Refusals or even delays over an irrelevant issue like the logo on a medical report can cost lives,” Ms. Bashi said.”

Gillo Pontecorvo, the amazing leftist film director, apparently had a brother who was a brilliant physicist.


“…researchers like Bruno Pontecorvo, the brilliant physicist who recognized how enormous tanks of dry cleaning fluid (carbon tetrachloride) could be used to “see” the random capture of one of trillions of passing neutrinos.

Pontecorvo set the stage for much of the future neutrino work in the U.S. But he would not be around to see it. That was because Pontecorvo and his family disappeared without a trace in 1950. Five years later the left-leaning physicist turned up in the Soviet Union claiming he had left to help prevent a third world war. (Interesting factoid: His brother Gillo directed the influential anti-colonial film the Battle of Algiers.)”

An expert critique of HRW’s pro-Washington bias: “The Hypocrisy of Human Rights Watch,” Feb 5 2014, Keane Bhatt


The role of the Kaibiles, the notorious Reagan-backed special forces of the Guatemalan genocide, in the international drug trade:


“The witness, a former member of the Kaibiles — Guatemala’s elite Special Forces unit — said, “At the start, the Zetas only recruited Guatemalan and Mexican military members. They preferred those who had been Kaibiles and were out of the army. Later, though, they started to admit civilians and members of “mara” street gangs.” According to the witness, recruits were offered monthly salaries of up to $1,700.”


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