By Yasmina MrabetWashington D.C- These are what I see as the Top 5 signs that you’re talking about the Israeli massacre in Gaza, Palestine with someone who is willfully ignorant and/or has little or no common sense. Each one is accompanied with a short, recommended response:1. When they tell you “Israel isn’t targeting civilians it’s targeting those Hamas terrorists.” Respond with: The statement you just made is completely false. Israel is in fact targeting civilians as evidenced by the fact that approximately 80% of casualties are civilian including hundreds of children. If you don’t believe that Israel is targeting civilians, please refer to the following sources (HRW: Israel targets fleeing Palestinian civilians and “Israel Targets Civilians, the Casualties Speak Volumes”: Int’l Protection Urged for Besieged Gaza). to start with, and please feel free to ask for more if they aren’t enough.2. When they tell you “Israel is surrounded by hostile Arab countries that can attack it so it has to protect itself.”Respond with: The statement you just made is completely false. Even if all Arab countries combined their militaries and collectively attacked Israel, Israel would still win. Israel has the 4th strongest military in the world, and along with North Korea, India, and Pakistan, Israel is NOT a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, and the United States has historically turned a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear arsenal.3. When they tell you “Those Palestinians shouldn’t have those terrorist rockets and tunnels.”Respond with: The statement you just made is neither here nor there. The rockets fired from Gaza rarely kill anyone. Please refer to civilian death toll in Israel: 3 civilians out of a total of 64 killed so far vs. civilian death toll in Palestine: 1,500 civilians 84% of 1800 total killed so far + 10,000 injured. Gaza has tunnels that have historically been used to smuggle in basic goods supplies supplies that Palestinians have no access to because they are living in the world’s largest open air prison due to Israel’s criminal siege. Please do more research on what life is like for Palestinians under Israeli siege and occupation, and what life is like right now for Palestinians in Gaza who are experiencing a holocaust.4. When they tell you “Israel is our best ally so America needs to protect it.”Respond with: The statement you just made is completely false. Israel conducts aggressive espionage activities against the United States, and our unjustified support for Israel has fostered hatred and resentment toward the United States from all around the world. Israel is in fact America’s biggest liability.5. When they tell you “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East”Respond with: The statement you just made is completely false. A state build on an system of institutionalized racism – in other words, an apartheid state, is incapable of being a “democracy.”NOTE: It is best to keep your answers short, and not to engage in a long discussion in these scenarios, because 9 times out of 10 you’re talking to someone who has no intention of having a meaningful conversation. Rather, their intention is to try and force you to accept the erroneous narrative that Israel and Palestine somehow have equal power and equal responsibility in this conflict.Please feel free to add to this list in the comments!The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
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Smoke rises from a series of explosions from the oil field chemical supply firm DrillChem in Conroe, Texas, on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. The dense column of thick, black smoke was visible for miles. (Brandon K. Scott/Conroe Courier via AP) Series of explosions, fire tears through Texas oil field chemical supplier by The Associated Press Posted Aug 14, 2015 4:59 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 14, 2015 at 9:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CONROE, Texas – A series of explosions rocked an oil filed chemical supply company north of Houston on Friday, setting off a fire that sent a broad, dense column of thick, black smoke towering into the otherwise blue skies.DrillChem said no one was in the plant on the eastern fringe of Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston, at the time of the explosions. Authorities said they knew of no one who was injured in the explosions or blaze that erupted about 4:30 p.m. Firefighters took about two hours to bring the fire under control.“The facility was empty at the time of the fire and we are thankful that no injuries have been reported,” said DrillChem CEO Brandon Hayes in a statement. “We are working closely with local authorities to determine the cause of the fire and assess the extent of the damage.”Units from several fire departments and a hazardous-materials team were at the scene. Residents up to 2 miles from the fire site were told to remain indoors. By nightfall, the alert had been reduced to a half-mile radius before being lifted completely about 7:30 p.m.Air monitors have been set up to check for toxic air pollutants, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been notified, Conroe Fire Marshal Mike Legoudes said.Wayne Patterson, who lives less than a mile from the facility, had just stepped from his back door with his dogs when he “saw a huge cloud of black smoke,” he told The (Conroe) Courier newspaper.“The last explosion … we heard about three or four, but the last one shook the house,” he said.Patterson said he received a text message requesting to turn his air conditioning off. His son, who lives about a half-mile away from the explosion, drove to Patterson’s house to seek shelter.“Our eyes were burning. It’s not too bad, but they are burning,” he said.