10 COMMENT A FRESH LOOK AT OUR CHANGING WORLD August 20 - September 2, 2009 The geopolitics of Facebook JOSEPH EID/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Health as bridge to peace in Middle East BY JOHN FEFFER Y OUNG people who want to receive phone calls but BY DR CÉSAR CHELALA Israelis and Palestinians. F don’t want their teachers Under the leadership of Dr Mary- or parents to catch on can OR over two decades sever- Claire King, who identified the first download high-frequency “mos- al projects have been carried breast cancer gene, scientists from Tel quito” ringtones. After a certain out between conflicting sides Aviv, Bethlehem and Seattle teamed age, the older set loses its ability in several regions around the up to find the cause of deafness, and to hear these higher frequency world that have improved public health have found several genes responsible tones. In this way, older people as a common denominator in the for hearing loss. They were able to do literally become tone deaf to the search for peace. Although these ini- that despite the obstacles posed by the way younger people communi- tiatives will not by themselves achieve shutting down of university facili- cate. Talk about resonant meta- peace, they are significant points of ties, blocked shipments, and other phors. contact between conflicting parties. inconveniences. The world is a-twitter over They have benefited thousands of Those are just a few examples the revolutionary implications people and increased understanding of what, up to now, is a very active of new technologies that young between them, and showed that sus- collaboration between Palestinian people almost instinctively tained co-operation can be achieved and Israeli doctors and health workers. understand and older people just despite violent disputes and a hostile Despite their obvious value, these don’t get. Several revolutions political atmosphere. activities are not universally sup- and half-revolutions have been Since its founding in 1988, the ported. In 2005, medical and health ascribed to Twitter and Facebook, Association of Israeli-Palestinian service providers and members of much as the Protestant Reforma- Physicians for Human Rights brought research and training institutions tion has been linked to Guten- together Israeli and Palestinian health working in the Occupied Palestinian berg’s presses and the political professionals. Following the signing Territory strongly objected to what ferment in the former Soviet bloc of the Oslo agreement in 1993, a new they consider is strong pressure to partly to mimeographs, copy set of players—aside from non- enter into Palestinian-Israeli co- machines, and faxes. Early adop- governmental organisations (NGOs) operation in the health area. ters of these technologies tend to and human rights groups—came According to them, a political be on the younger side. So we are into action between 1993 and 1997, agenda is the driving force in the facing yet again a confluence of focusing their activities on developing forced co-operation between Israelis youth and technology heralding and providing health services to the and Palestinians. In addition, they large-scale political and social Palestinian people. don’t think that Israeli-Palestinian change. In 1995, following an invitation collaboration in the academic, sci- Few analysts, of course, argue of the late King Hussein of Jordan to entific, and professional spheres can that Twitter and Facebook cause officials at the Canada International truly contribute to reconciliation as social transformation. They’re A Lebanese journalist visits the webpage of a Facebook Group about Lebannon’s Hezabollah leader Hassan Nasrallah at his office in Beirut Scientific Exchange Programme (CIS- long as justice for Palestinians has not only tools. But we would be fool- on July 31st EPO), several actions were carried out been achieved. ish to ignore how these tools are to foster collaboration between Arab Although there is some validity shaping consciousness. Twitter private space. demic interest in places like the more control over their private suppress these outer signs of and Israeli doctors. The high incidence to their position, peace will not be both reflects our attention-def- People over a certain age United States. In a country like lives. They want what their Face- rebellion through show trials and of hearing loss shared by Jordanians achieved overnight. It is only through icit culture and reinforces our don’t quite hear the “frequency” Iran, however, the changing book friends in other countries other measures. But it can do lit- and Israelis was the basis of a project some incremental steps that recon- increasing preference for smaller of Facebook. They don’t under- consciousness of the younger have. Of course, older Iranians tle to stop the shift in conscious- to provide auditory tests and improve ciliation between both peoples will and smaller niblets of informa- stand why anyone would reveal generation will ultimately have are probably deeply suspicious of ness taking place among young hearing among infants. take place. As former Prime Minister tion. Facebook, meanwhile, is so much private and often banal explosive political impact. The these liberalising trends, which people. Through Facebook, they Since then, there have been many Yitzhak Rabin stated when awarding the logical offspring of the Inter- information, which in previous Green Revolution was not really is why so many voted for Mah- are reclaiming public space. They scholarly exchanges between Canada, a UNESCO peace prize, “Peace will be net and reality television, since eras would have gone unrecord- a response to the economic situa- moud Ahmadinejad in the recent are creating a global community Israel and Jordan, many Israeli-Pales- built slowly, day by day, through mod- it facilitates communication ed or been relegated to a secret tion in the country (the economy elections. that makes the ruling elite in tinian publications were created, and est deeds and countless spontaneous among multiple “friends” and diary. Yet people under a certain rose nearly 7% over the previ- “Iranian culture itself is such Iran even more parochial. Much several scientific symposiums have details. It will be built, step by step, by also allows users to expose their age don’t think twice about post- ous year and poverty levels a mixture of European, Ameri- that is happening in Iran today been carried out. To date, more than people.” lives to an audience. ing information that could one declined). It didn’t put forward can and an overarching Persian among young people is taking 145,000 infants have been screened There is no better way to do it than I think of Facebook only as a day jeopardize a job application, radically new politicians (the influence,” Iranian film-maker place in the higher frequencies, and treated for hearing loss and their through collaboration in the public means to an end: a way to effi- deep-six a budding romance, or reformers are or were members Maryam Habibian tells FPIF in the mosquito range that only hearing has considerably improved. health area on issues of common inter- ciently disseminate information simply prove utterly embarrass- of the political elite). contributor Noor Iqbal in Demys- they can hear. By the time the In addition, the programme has est. The better health of thousands of to a targeted group of people (for ing to one’s future family and Rather, the revolution was tifying Iran. “You can see it authorities figure out the revo- expanded to youth health promotion, women, men, and children is a living instance: check out the Foreign friends. These everyday rev- fuelled by a desire for a more everywhere. Young people show lutionary implications of all this, maternal nutrition, and management testimony of the effectiveness of such Policy In Focus Facebook group). elations are all part of a different liberal society. The Iranian their Westernness by smoking they’ll be history. of infectious diseases. approach. In a region plagued by lack But Facebook is more than a tool set of social relationships that state has attempted to legislate cigarettes and in their fashion In December of 2004, the first issue of confidence and trust, health is the that would-be revolutionaries doesn’t so much eliminate the what is often considered private as well. The girls will be covered of the magazine Bridges was launched best antidote to war. use to announce an upcoming private as redefine it along a new morality: mandating the use of up but they wear tight tunics and under the auspices of the World Health demonstration or a regime tries continuum. headscarves, determining what they have highlighted hair you Organisation (WHO). The magazine to suppress in an effort to pre- Goodbye “too much informa- kind of music people can listen can see through their scarves. has contributions from both Israeli Dr César Chelala is an international serve the status quo. Facebook tion.” Hello “status update.” to, policing the Internet. Many This mixture has always been This article was first published and Palestinian health experts, and is public health consultant and a co- represents a fundamentally dif- This public-private divide Iranians, particularly younger around.” on www.fpif.org, Foreign Policy another example of the value of build- winner of an Overseas Press Club of ferent understanding of public/ is a matter of social and aca- Iranians, simply want to have The regime can attempt to in Focus. ing bridges of understanding between America award. The Epoch Times serialises The Nine Commentaries on the Chinese communist party http://ninecommentaries.com Part ﬁve: On the collusion of Jiang Zemin and the Chinese communist party to persecute Falun Gong This is part five of the Nine Commentar- ards & Meteorology, was traumatised until she had a miscarriage. Even cru- the persecution of Falun Gong over the never have been capable of launching ies on the communist party. The Nine Commentaries are an award winning serial on the history of the communist and afraid of losing his job. He could not withstand the tremendous pressure the authorities exerted on him. Early eler was that her husband was forced to watch his wife endure the torture (from a November 15th, 2004 report on the last decade, which has been bloody, irrational, widespread, vehement and brutal, has enabled the international this genocide, a genocide that is wide- spread throughout China and that even penetrates overseas. Similarly, the CCP QUITTING THE CCP party in China authored by The Epoch the next morning, taking advantage Minghui website, an interview with Ms community to once again witness the would not have easily gone against Times of the time when their elderly parents Wang Yuzhi who was tortured for over true face of the CCP and the biggest dis- the current of the historic trends and had stepped out of the house, he stran- 100 days in the Wanjia Forced Labor grace on the CCP’s human rights record. the environment created by the CCP’s Foreword gled his wife. Yang Lirong died tragi- Camp).  The general public in China, under the recent economic reforms and attempts Inspired by the Ms Zhang Fuzhen, about 38 years cally, leaving behind a 10-year-old son. These startling tragedies occurred in delusion that the CCP has been improv- to connect to the world; only a self- old, was an employee of Xianhe Park, Soon afterwards, her husband reported modern-day China. They happened to ing and progressing, has become used to willed dictator like Jiang Zemin who “Nine Commentaries”, Pingdu City, Shandong Province, China. the incident to the authorities, and the Falun Gong practitioners, who are being blaming the low morality of the police was determined to have his way could She went to Beijing to appeal for Falun police hurried to the scene to conduct an brutally persecuted, and they are just a for the atrocities committed by the make this happen. The collusion and as of 18 August, at 16:06AM 59,126,663 Gong in November 2000 and was later autopsy on Ms Yang’s body, which was few of the countless torture cases that Chinese legal system and law enforce- resonance between Jiang Zemin and abducted by the authorities. Accord- still warm. They removed many organs ment. However, the brutal, systematic the evil specter of the CCP have ampli- ing to people with knowledge of the from her body while the organs were persecution of Falun Gong is ubiquitous fied the atrocities of the persecution to case, the police tortured and humiliated still radiating heat and blood gushed throughout every level of Chinese soci- an unprecedented level. It is similar to Zhang Fuzhen, stripping her naked and out. A Dingzhou Public Security Bureau ety and has completely burst the illusion how the resonance between the sound shaving her whole head. They tied her to staff said, “This is no autopsy; it is vivi- A Dingzhou Public of improved human rights. Many people of a mountain climber’s equipment on Chinese people have announced their intentions to quit the a bed with her four limbs stretched out, and she therefore was forced to relieve section!” (from a September 25th, 2004 report on the Clearwisdom website)  Security Bureau are now pondering how such a bloody and outrageous persecution could have accumulated snow can cause an ava- lanche and bring about disastrous con- Chinese Communist Party and herself on the bed. Later, the police gave her an injection of an unknown poison- In the Wanjia Forced Labor Camp in Heilongjiang Province, a woman offical said, ‘This happened in China. The social order was stabilised after the chaos of the Great sequences. its affiliated organisations on a special web site established by The ous drug. After the injection, Zhang was in so much pain that she nearly went who was about 7 months pregnant was hung up from a beam. Both of her is no autopsy; it is Cultural Revolution 20 years ago. Why has China entered another similar cycle References:  More information about this case can Epoch Times. Many others, unable to break through the Chinese insane. She struggled in great pain on hands were tied with a coarse rope that vivisection!’ of nightmarish events? Why is Falun be found on: http://www.clearwisdom. internet blockade, have posted the bed until she died. The whole proc- was hung over a pulley attached to the Gong, which upholds the principles of net/emh/articles/2004/7/23/50560p. their withdrawal statements on ess was witnessed by the local officials beam. The stool that supported her was “Truthfulness, Compassion and Toler- html of the 610 Office (from a July 23, 2004 removed, and she was suspended in ance” and has been promulgated in over http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/ poles or buildings in China. Others report on the Clearwisdom website) . the air. The beam was 3 to 4 meters (10 60 countries worldwide, being perse- articles/2004/6/7/48981p.html have written them on Chinese Ms Yang Lirong, 34, was from Bei- to 12 feet) above the ground. The rope cuted only in China, not anywhere else  More information about this case can currency. Read recent statements men Street, Dingzhou City, Baoding went through the pulley, and one end of in the world? In this persecution, what be found on: of Chinese people quitting the Prefecture, Hebei Province. Her family the rope was held by the prison guards. have taken place over the past five years is the relationship between Jiang Zemin http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/ Party, the latest news on the “Nine was often harassed and intimidated by When the guards pulled on the rope, she of continuous persecution. and the CCP? articles/2004/9/25/52796.html Commentaries,” and more at http:// the police because she practiced Falun would be suspended in the air; as soon Since China began economic reforms Jiang Zemin lacks both ability and  Related information is also avail- Gong. On February 8th, 2002, after a as the police let go of the rope, she would in the late 1970s, the CCP has endeav- moral integrity. Without a fine-tuned able from: http://search.minghui.org/ www.ninecommentaries.com nighttime police raid, Ms Yang’s hus- quickly fall to the ground. This pregnant ored to build a positive, liberal image in machine of violence like the CCP, which mh/articles/2004/7/9/79007.html (in band, a driver in the Bureau of Stand- woman suffered painful torture like this the international community. However, is based on slaughters and lies, he would Chinese) About The Epoch Times - ‘A fresh look at our changing world’ copies. Our main distribution channel in the stories of our times, not on the basis plete silence. Emails and telephone calls meets a growing need for independently the Nine Commentaries on the communist Overview Ireland is free distribution but we are also of what is sensational at the moment, but went unanswered. All twenty journalists reported and published news, uncovering party series in late 2004. (See http://nine- What you are reading is a copy of the Irish available through Easons. Our retail price instead in terms of what will be of last- had been arrested in overnight raids and stories that have depth and meaning. In commentaries.com.) Now in book form, edition of The Epoch Times. The Epoch in Ireland is one Euro. We are also doing ing signiﬁcance. We take the long view of sent to labour camps or prisons. Some of English, as well as six other languages, it the Nine Commentaries takes an in-depth Times is a privately held multi-language door-to-door delivery for promotion. humanity’s history and future. them have since died from maltreatment serves a broad, international readership. look at the history of the communist party international news media company During a time when the world is in prison. At present, some ninety Epoch and its development in China and around headquartered in New York. Our network changing ever more quickly, people need Our history Times reporters are currently detained in China expertise the world. 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