The Horror of Trump’s America

Henry, who fled MS-13 in El Salvador by moving to join his parents on Long Island, was found by the gang, and decided to inform on them in exchange for a promise of witness protection. The results are all too predictable:

Now that he had helped the police, Henry assumed his witness-protection papers would be coming through any day. When he turned 18, he started telling friends and teachers he trusted that he would soon disappear to California. Then one morning in August, as Henry was making lunch for his shift at the toilet-paper factory, the federales finally came for him. But they weren’t from the FBI or the witness-protection program. They were from ICE. The same unit that Henry had helped to arrest members of MS-13 was now pursuing a deportation case against him, using the information he had provided as evidence.

Confused, Henry told the agents he was already working with the police. He asked them to call Tony. Instead, after interrogating him, the ICE agents put him on a bus. He watched the Long Island streets he knew disappear, replaced by the high-rises of downtown Manhattan, then darkness as the bus was swallowed by a tunnel to New Jersey. He was headed to an ICE detention center full of young men suspected of being MS-13 members — the very same ones he had snitched on.

[…]

One night, as Henry sat in the TV room watching a reality show about aspiring Miami rappers, a half-dozen MS-13 members walked up to him, led by a Brentwood High student who had established himself as the gang’s leader on the ward. The boy called him Triste and demanded to see his detention memo.

Every inmate rounded up in ICE’s anti-gang raids is given a memo explaining why the government has pegged him as a member of MS-13. Most are short and vague. They list things like school suspensions, Facebook posts, and statements by anonymous informants. Henry’s memo is so specific that it amounts to a signed confession. It lists the details that Henry confided to George Politis, the school’s police officer. It quotes his account of the murder he committed back in El Salvador. And most damning, it reveals that he informed on the Sailors to the Suffolk County police. “The subject told SCPD that he has recently had contact with the following confirmed MS-13 members,” the memo says, listing the names of El Fantasma and another Sailor. Instead of protecting his identity as an informant, the police and ICE had effectively signed his death warrant.

[…]

One of the gang members that Henry turned over to Rivera, meanwhile, has been released by ICE. Unlike Henry, he did not admit to being a member of MS-13, and ICE was unable to prove it. All told, a quarter of the 200 immigrants rounded up in ICE’s anti-gang operation on Long Island last year have been released because of insufficient evidence. So Henry is marked for death and slated for deportation, while the gang members he helped his handler target go free.

“Just for having talked, all this is happening,” Henry says. “They were asking for help, and I gave them all these names. So how am I here?”

[…]

Talking about his memories actually seems to ease Henry’s fears as he imagines what will happen next. If he is deported, anyone who takes him in would be putting themselves at risk. Back in El Salvador, he watched gang members stake out the homes of suspected traitors, then kill their brothers and cousins when they stepped outside. Even if he is granted asylum and returns to Brentwood, the gang will likely kill him unless he gets help relocating.

The thing is, Donald Trump and his allies don’t give a shit about MS-13 and its victims. As Drier observes in her extraordinary story, it was mass deportation of Salvadorans from L.A. that led to MS-13 becoming what it is in the first place. It’s a point of demagoguery he can use to justify violence against immigrants, and that’s it. As a wise man observed, God I hate these people.

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Egypt horizons…between animals and people…modesty is the key

nadiaharhash

The animal lover inside me cannot but react especially in front of a dog. My dogs suffered for too long justice Luc by with me In a neighborhood inside a city in a country within a culture that looks at dogs as impure. In Egypt it should not be different . Something I always bow with respect whenever I visit turkey is the status of dogs and cats there. I am will be a happy street dog living in Turkey . Clean, comfortable and very well fed. I strongly believe that a country with such treatment to dogs and cats is a country that builds human beings.

In my country , the moment the dog passes by someone’s side a big scream is heard as if a monster appeared or a plague is hitting in the area. Some months ago , they announced for a prize in Gaza for 10…

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Massacre at Gaza’s Borders: We Will Not Be Silent – End Israeli Impunity

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Massacre at Gaza’s Borders: We Will Not Be Silent – End Israeli Impunity

April 2, 2018 10:57

 

Agence Media Palestine (France)

On Land Day, March 30, thousands of peaceful, hopeful and unarmed Palestinian women, men and children gathered at the borders of Gaza for the Great March of Return. Initial reports indicate that at least 16 Palestinian

As soldiers, we too were told to open fire at protesters in Gaza

I was on the border with Gaza six years ago. The same marchers, the same protest. Even the orders to open fire at crowds of people remained the same.

By Shai Eluk

Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

I was there six years ago. It was Friday, March 30, 2012. Land Day on the border with Gaza. Demonstrations began after Friday noon prayers. A group of snipers had set up its post the previous night, while the rest of the unit stood armed with riot dispersal weapons, closer to the fence. The order was clear: if a Palestinian crosses the “buffer zone” — 300 meters from the fence inside the Gaza Strip, one may shoot at the legs of the “main inciters.”

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This order, which never explained exactly how a soldier is meant to identify, isolate, and shoot a “main inciter” out of tens of thousands of demonstrators disturbed me then. It continued to disturb me this past weekend, after IDF snipers opened fire on Palestinian marchers at the Gaza border. “How can opening fire at a crowd of people be a legal order?” I asked my deputy company commander six years ago. I have yet to receive an answer.

What would have happened had these soldiers spent their entire service on the Gaza front? As soldiers who have had just finished our course, “Land Day” was the perfect opportunity for us to see some “action.” The same can likely be said about the soldiers who shot dead at least 16 protesters on Friday. Their commanders were most likely also excited.

I am certain that had we been called up to do the same thing year after year, something would have changed. After all, this situation — every year, at the same time, at the same place, with the high likelihood that a Palestinian, not an Israeli, would lose his life — makes sense only the first time around, especially in the eyes of a fresh-faced 18-year-old.

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But any soldier who would return to the Gaza border every year, who would see Palestinian after Palestinian fall to the ground, could figure out a better solution to the situation. Any soldier who would return to see the same marchers nearing that fence — which symbolizes, above all else, that death may not be such a bad alternative — understands that there must be an alternative.

One of my friends killed a demonstrator on the border with Gaza. I am part of a group that carries this death on its shoulders. The only difference between myself and my friend is chance. Had I been sent to the sniper course rather than the medics course, I would have been that shooter. The entire group lent its support to the operation, and the blood — despite the fact that we have all been released from the army — is still on our hands. I doubt if anyone but myself remembers.

Every year is a new one, and at the border with Gaza arrive new commanders and new soldiers — fresh blood and a leadership with short-term memory.

An injured Palestinian man being helped during the Great Return March in Gaza, east of the Jabaliya refugee camp. March 30, 2018. Palestinians tend to a boy injured during the Great Return March in Gaza, east of the Jabaliya refugee camp. March 30, 2018. (Mohammed Emad / Activestills.org)

Palestinians tend to a boy injured during the Great Return March in Gaza, east of the Jabaliya refugee camp. March 30, 2018. (Mohammed Emad / Activestills.org)

Soldiers have a privilege. Every three or six months they move to a different area. They see only a fraction of Gaza’s despair, but before they even have a chance to process or think about it, they move on to see the despair in Hebron, Ramallah, and Nablus.

The soldier knocks on the Abu Awad family’s door in the middle of the night only once. He fires at protesters on Land Day only once. He carries out arrests for a few months. After that he is replaced by another soldier. Then he is released.

The residents of Gaza and the West Bank are marking 50 years under occupation. But they will not be replaced, and no one is coming to release them or help shoulder the burden. For us soldiers, everything is temporary. For them, it is permanent.

Shai Eluk is a former soldier in the Nahal Brigade and an activist with Combatants for Peace. This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.