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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
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“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
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“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
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“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
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17. 2016 Will Find Gaza out of Drinking Water

In Gaza, 1.7 million Palestinians currently live without clean drinking water. With no perennial streams and low rainfall, Gaza relies on a single aquifer for all of its fresh water. The coastal aquifer, Zander Swinburne reported, is contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and seawater. The Palestinian Water Authority recently determined that 95 percent of the water in Gaza does not meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards for human consumption. The polluted water causes chronic health problems and contributing to high rates of child mortality. One study estimated that 26 percent of disease in Gaza results from contaminated water supplies. “A crippling Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza has exacerbated the problem,” Al Jazeera reported.

A recent United Nations report warned that the water situation for Palestinians in Gaza was “critical.” According to that report, “the aquifer could become unusable as early as 2016, with the damage irreversible by 2020.” Even with immediate remedial action, the 2012 report stated, the aquifer will take decades to recover; otherwise it would “take centuries for the aquifer to recover.”

As a result of the contaminated water supply, Al Jazeera reported, the Palestinian Ministry of Health recommends that residents boil water before using it for drinking or cooking. However, residents contend that even with boiling, tap water is “not fit to drink,” and, in many cases, is simply unavailable. According to people in the territory, Zander Swinburne reported, “during the summer months water might spurt out of their taps every other day . . . pressure is often so low that those living on upper floors might see just a trickle.”

Instead, according to United Nations estimates, over 80 percent of Gazans buy their drinking water, with some families paying as much as a third of their household income, according to June Kunugi, a special representative of the UN children’s fund UNICEF. Palestinians purchase more than a quarter of their water from Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, Al Jazeera reported. Mekorot sells Gaza 4.2 million cubic meters of water annually.

Contaminated water also affects agriculture in Gaza. For example, high levels of salinity mean that most citrus crops can no longer be grown.

The Egyptian–Israeli blockade of Gaza intensifies the water problems. Materials needed for repairs of water and waste facilities cannot be imported. Lack of reliable electricity has forced 85 percent of agricultural wells out of operation, contributing to the risk of drought for more than 30,000 square acres of crops.

As B’Tselem—the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories—reported, there is discrimination in water allocation: “Israeli citizens receive much more water than Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” Water from shared resources is unequally divided, and in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians have access to only seventy to ninety liters per person per day—less than both the WHO-recommended minimum of one hundred liters per person per day and the average Israeli allocation of 100 to 230 liters per person each day.

Sources:

Zander Swinburne, “The Water Is Running out in Gaza: Humanitarian Catastrophe Looms as Territory’s Only Aquifer Fails,” Independent, June 30, 2013, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-water-is-running-out-in-gaza-humanitarian-catastrophe-looms-as-territorys-only-aquifer-fails-8679987.html.

Wissam Nassar, “In Pictures: Gaza Water Crisis Worsens,” Al Jazeera, May 12, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/03/pictures-gaza-water-crisis-wors-201432673053211982.html.

“Over 90% of Water in Gaza Unfit for Drinking,” B’Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), February 9, 2014, http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20140209_gaza_water_crisis.

Student Researcher: Pippa Whelan (College of Marin)

Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)

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