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The Mass of Saint Gregory

Attributed to Diego de la Cruz, Spanish (Castile), active 1482 - 1500

Made in Spain, c. 1490

Oil and gold on panel

Philadelphia Museum of Art


Can you imagine posing as the face of Christ for Rembrandt van Rijn? Evidence supports that Rembrandt used his neighbor in the Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam as the model for this moving depiction of Christ. Rembrandt, born today in 1606, had an uncanny ability to capture the face of humanity in his work.

Head of Christ,” 1648–56, by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

The Palestinians in Gaza live in conditions that now replicate those first imposed on Jews by the Nazis in the ghettos set up throughout Eastern Europe. Palestinians cannot enter or leave Gaza. They are chronically short of food—the World Health Organization estimates that more than 50 percent of children in Gaza and the West Bank under 2 years old have iron deficiency anemia and reports that malnutrition and stunting in children under 5 are “not improving” and could actually be worsening. Palestinians often lack clean water. They are crammed into unsanitary hovels. They do not have access to basic medical care. They are stateless and lack passports or travel documents. There is massive unemployment. They are daily dehumanized in racist diatribes by their occupiers as criminals, terrorists and mortal enemies of the Jewish people.
Chris Hedges: Israel Is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’ (via azspot)


Hamas did not reject a ceasefire, Israel did — Ali Abunimah

July 15 2014

It’s the siege, stupid. Talk to virtually anyone in Gaza and they will tell you the same. The siege is living death, slowly crushing the life out of Gaza. It has to end.

This is a main reason why Hamas did not accede to the attempt by Israel, through its ally the Egyptian dictatorship, to impose a unilateral “ceasefire” about which Hamas says it was never even consulted, hearing about the initiative only through the media.

Al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, said the initiative “is not worth the ink that wrote it” and “promised the Palestinian people that this blood and sacrifices will not be wasted by whoever was in this world.”

No return to status quo

As Mya Guarnieri explains succinctly in +972 Mag, the Egyptian “ceasefire” would have meant a return to a comfortable status quo for Israel in which:

Israel strikes Gaza from time to time and kills Palestinian civilians there and in the West Bank without garnering much scrutiny from the international media and, by extension, the international community. Returning to the status quo would also mean an end to the immediate damage to Israel’s image caused by the horrific photos and footage coming out of Gaza, and global protests against what Israel calls “Operation Protective Edge.”

But it would mean no change to the reality for 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza living under crushing siege.

In the immediate period, the bogus “ceasefire” initiative gives Israel the opportunity to spin headlines in its direction – claiming that Hamas are being irrational and unreasonable “terrorists.”

Already, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that “If Hamas rejects the ceasefire, we will have international legitimization to restore the needed quiet.”

That is a euphemism to kill more people, on top of the almost 200 Israel has already killed, the vast majority of whom civilians, including dozens of children. This systematic targeting of civilians and civilian objects in intense bombardments of Gaza has continued since 7 July.

Media are likely to follow the Israeli spin instead of asking Israel why it is maintaining the collective punishment of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza and why it constantly violates ceasefire agreements.

But the fact remains: it is Israel that has rejected reasonable ceasefire conditions that have always been on the table.

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Gaza human shields: Foreigners protect hospitals from IDF airstrikes — Harry Fear’s latest report from Gaza

July 15 2014

Israel has resumed its military offensive against Gaza, just several hours after unilaterally agreeing to a ceasefire. The deescalation plan proposed by Egypt was initially supported by the Israeli government but rejected by Hamas militants, who continued firing rockets. Harry Fear visited a hospital in Gaza which continues working amid the strikes.


Israelis Watch Bombs Drop on Gaza From Front-Row Seats | New York Times

The image of the Israeli spectators was taken after 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the reporter said, about the same time that what was intended to be a “precision strike” from Israel’s military killed at least eight of their Palestinian neighbors, seated in similar plastic chairs at a beachside cafe in Gaza, waiting to watch the World Cup semifinal between Argentina and the Netherlands.

As his image reverberated around the social network, where it was shared more than 10,000 times, the reporter was surprised by the response. It was, he said in a telephone interview from Israel, “nothing new.” Similar scenes, of Israeli spectators gathered on the high ground above Gaza to view the destruction below, were documented in a Times of London article and a video report from Denmark’s TV2 during Operation Cast Lead in 2009.


Israel: Where genocide is a spectator sport.


NEPAL, Kathmandu : A sadhu (Hindu holy man) dressed as Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, looks on while sitting next to a macaque monkey at the Pashupatinath Temple area in Kathmandu on July 15, 2014. Hanuman, known for his strength, is worshipped for his unyielding devotion to Lord Rama and is remembered for his selfless dedication to the diety. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA


Commanders within the 9th Infantry Division walk away from a helicopter.