Saturday, August 23, 2014

Western Conquerors were never Liberators

On August 5 of this year, Major General Harold J. Greene was killed in Afghanistan by a lone gunman. Greene was the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be killed in a war zone in four decades. Before him, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial database, Maj. Gen. John Albert B. Dillard Jr. was killed on May 12, 1970 when his helicopter was shot down. Later Rear Adm. Rembrandt Cecil Robinson, who was the Navy’s equivalent of a major general, was killed on May 8, 1972 when his helicopter crashed. Five other American officers of comparable rank were killed in the Vietnam War, all in air crashes, whether accidental or caused by hostile action. Lt. Gen. Timothy L. Maude, who was the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel, was killed at the Pentagon site on September 11, 2001.

 What is noteworthy here is that Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene died not at the hand of a sworn enemy like the Taliban but from a burst of gunfire by a soldier in an allied army who had been largely paid, trained and equipped with the American and NATO support. One of the most puzzling developments has been such insider attacks, in which Afghan personnel have opened fire on their foreign military counterparts.

 Why? Why did Maj. Gen. Greene die? Is there something wrong he did, and/or symbolized or represented that was at the heart of the reason behind his killing? How about the other killings that have happened in the occupied territories? Surely, for every effect there is at least a cause behind; nothing of that sort happens without a reason. What could have motivated the Afghan soldiers to killing Greene and other occupying soldiers?

 Occupation of a foreign territory is never an easy task. Even when the former foes are defeated, newer ones have always emerged to continue the old fight. Occupying forces have, therefore, always tried to create its surrogate army by recruiting from inside the occupying territory to work as a buffer force. That is how they have been able to rule vast territories of India and other colonies in our world while their own forces accounted for a very small fraction of the total force.

 Occupation of a foreign territory with an alien culture is even harder. That could well explain the reasons behind much of the problems faced by the occupation forces in Afghanistan. In 2010 an American and a Canadian colonel and two American lieutenant colonels were killed in a suicide car bombing. Per account of a coalition official, that event sent “more than a little shock and numbness” at coalition headquarters. Another coalition official compared General Greene’s death to the killings of American advisers at Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry by an Afghan government employee in 2012. That attack came in the midst of a wave of anti-American violence over burnings of the copies of the Holy Qur’an at Bagram Air Field, a sprawling base north of Kabul. A German brigadier general and a senior Afghan commander were among the wounded.

 The “inside attacks” phenomenon became noticeable in 2008 and surged for the next few years. In 2012, there were 60 such attacks, including the fatal shooting of two American advisers by a government worker inside the Interior Ministry. By June of this year, 87 insider attacks had killed 142 coalition troops and wounded another 165, according to the Long War Journal, an online publication focused on American counterterrorism.

 There was no similar incident before the shooting of Maj. Gen. Greene on August 5. According to a senior Pentagon official, the general and some other Afghan and American officers were standing by a water purification tank when the Afghan soldier opened fire without warning.

 It was also unclear what provoked two other “insider attacks” that week: a firefight Tuesday between an Afghan police guard and NATO troops near the governor’s office in southern Paktia province, and an incident Wednesday in Uruzgan province in which an Afghan policeman poisoned his colleagues’ food, then shot at least seven of them before fleeing in a police truck, officials said.

 As (late) Professor Edward Said mentioned in his lecture at a seminar in Cal Tech some 30 years ago, which I had the pleasure of attending, nowhere did the occupation forces encounter as much resistance as they did in Muslim territories. Muslims were militarily defeated and their lands occupied by the western forces, but the resistance against occupation continued for decades making it very difficult for new rulers to sustain their gains. This, in spite of all the propaganda of the occupation forces trying to portray its so-called kinder, gentler mission. From the time of Napoleon, these western occupiers, who had defeated Muslims militarily, claimed that they intended to restore, protect, and liberate their new subjects. They even sounded as if they had no quarrel with the religion of Islam and the culture of Muslims.

 After his royal entry to Alexandria, Egypt in 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed, "You will be told that I have come to destroy your religion; do not believe it! Reply that I have come to restore your rights, to punish the usurpers, and that more than the Mamluks, I respect God, his Prophet, and the Qur'an." One of his generals, Jacques Ménou, even converted to Islam to show his respect for Islam.

 Similarly, soon after his arrival in Baghdad in March 1917, Stanley Maude, the British commander, after having defeated the Ottomans, addressed "the People of the Baghdad Vilayet" saying: “Our armies have not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators. Since the days of Hulaku your citizens have been subject to the tyranny of strangers, your palaces have fallen into ruins, your gardens have sunken into desolation and you yourselves have groaned in bondage. ... the Turks have talked of reforms, yet do not the ruins and wastes of today testify the vanity of those promises?

It is the wish not only of my King and his peoples, but it is also the wish of the great nations with whom he is in alliance, that you should prosper even as in the past. ... Between your people and the dominions of my King there has been a close bond of interest. …

It is the hope of the British Government that the aspirations of your philosophers and writers shall be realised and that once again the people of Baghdad shall flourish, enjoying their wealth and substance under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws and their racial ideals. …

I am commanded to invite you, through your nobles and elders and representatives, to participate in the management of your civil affairs in collaboration with the political representatives of Great Britain who accompany the British Army, so that you may be united with your kinsmen in North, East, South, and West in realising the aspirations of your race.”

 
Eight months later, in November 1917, the Soviet communist conquerors of Central Asia announced in a missive titled "To All the Muslim Workers of Russia and the East":

Muslims of Russia…all you whose mosques and prayer houses have been destroyed, whose beliefs and customs have been trampled upon by the tsars and oppressors of Russia: your beliefs and practices, your national and cultural institutions are forever free and inviolate. Know that your rights, like those of all the peoples of Russia, are under the mighty protection of the revolution...”

 As noted by a neocon analyst in his 2009 essay “Western Conquerors or Liberators of Muslims?” the history of Europe is replete with such statements. After Britain secured its rule over India, its officials made repeated professions of respect for Islam, so as to diminish Muslim hostility to their rule. … According to him, a particularly bizarre instance dates to 1937, when the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini arranged for Muslim notables from Italian-ruled Libya to gird him with the "sword of Islam" during a visit to Tripoli. "Muslims may rest assured," Mussolini intoned on that occasion, "that Italy will always be the friend and protector of Islam throughout the world."

 All those western conquerors, perceived more as crusaders than liberators, were hypocritical. This perception was not altogether lost soon after 9/11 when President George W. Bush wanted to present his administration as anti-Taliban, and anti-al-Qaeda but not anti-Islam. However, the often bigotry-ridden, inflammable and hostile remarks from some members within his administration could not hide the real intent. The American-led invasion of Afghanistan, originally referred to one time by President Bush as a "crusade", was then haughtily, almost in a Pharaonical way, dubbed   "Operation Infinite Justice", which was finally called "Operation Enduring Freedom" to present itself as saving Afghans from tyranny of the Taliban. Although the Taliban was replaced, genuine freedom remained a far cry for most Afghans. And the same is true for the Iraqis who were rid of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

 The occupation forces have replaced the old guards and trained new ones. But nothing seems to be working towards stabilizing the current regimes. In Iraq there is ISIS (or ISIL), which is threatening the Shia-led government. The American-led invasion, occupation and re-intervention have gone so wrong that a major US newspaper last week put up a cartoon depicting Saddam Hussein taunting “Do you miss me?”

 

>> To be continued...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A response on the Rohingya issue from Carlos Sardina Galache

which has appeared in the DVB, which I share in to to (BTW: DVB has failed to post some of my responses):
According to Mr. Tonkin, the Rohingya identity might be "imposed from above". Of course, he doesn't provide any evidence to support that, but this insinuation is particularly insulting in view of the more than credible reports of the authorities trying to impose the "Bengali" identification, often using violence against those that refuse it.
He claims that the name Rohingya is offensive to Rakhines and Burmese alike. That's irrelevant. Any individual/group has the right to self-identify, not the right to decide others' self-identification. Rakhines have all the right to correct me if I call them Bamar (or even Burmese if they like), in the same way that a Basque have the right to self-identify as such and not as a Spaniard (regardless of how offended a person from Madrid might feel), and it's only for Rohingyas to decide how I should call them. Period.
It might well be true that Muslims in Arakan didn't identify themselves widely as Rohingya until the 20th Century. But many other ethnic groups in Burma didn't identify themselves using their current designations until quite recently. Ethnic groups and boundaries are not eternal fixed categories (as the British believed in colonial times and Mr. Tonkin seems to believe even now), but the (somewhat unstable over time) results of complex historical and political processes, as well as the interaction with other groups. Many authors have proved that ethnic categories were infinitely more fluid in pre-Colonial times, and that it was the British who imposed a rigid grid on a bewildering and confusing variety of human groups. Mr. Tonkin would do well in reading authors like Fredrik Barth, F. K. Lehman, Edmund Leach or James C. Scott to move beyond his Victorian-era and essentialist views on ethnicity.
Professor Michael Charney showed clearly in his PhD thesis ("Where Jambudipa and Islamdom Converged: Religious Change and the Emergence of Buddhist Communalism in Early Modern Arakan, 15th-19th Centuries") that there were substantial Muslim communities in Arakan from the 17th century on. It's clear that the descendants of these communities plus those of the migrants from Bengal arrived in colonial times (now it would be impossible to distinguish between them) are the present-day Rohingyas.
Mr. Tonkin would like us to believe that the problem lies in the fact that the Rohingyas are trying to claim a name and an ethnicity which "offends" the Rakhines and the Burmese, and they should renounce to their identity in order to achieve peace. He seems to forget who are the main victims in Arakan State since at least 1974, and who initiated the persecution to "purify" Burma of those who don't fit in a too narrow and historically false definition based on "blood and soil" of who belong in Burma.
Of course, there's a lot of mythology in the accounts by Rohingya historians (some of them claim erroneously that Arakan was a Muslim kingdom at times, on the basis of the Muslim/Bengali tittles some kings adopted, for instance); that's scarcely surprising and it shouldn't serve as a reason to deny their identity altogether. There's a lot of mythology and plenty of anachronisms and mystification in the history that any ethnic/national group tells about itself, including also the Rakhines, the Burmese, the Thais, the Spanish, the British or whatever other group in the world. Official Burmese history is full of bogus claims about a mythical pre-colonial Burma roughly encompassing present-days borders, and even beyond, which has little basis on fact. Sadly, it seems that Mr. Tonkin has decided to direct his (highly selective) criticism to the weak side's historical "mythology" (that of the Rohingyas), and to take at face value the official Burmese and Rakhine "histories".

Monday, August 18, 2014

Feminism - in the eyes of the monotheistic religions

Feminism has become a buzz word these days, esp. within the women communities around the globe. How does various religions see the issue? Do Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have the same conception of women? Are they different in their conceptions? Do Judaism and Christianity really offer women better treatment than those offered in Islam? What is the truth?


Here is an article that is quite illuminating.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Response to Derek Tonkin's article in the JAS



This is in response to Derek Tonkin’s article: The R-word, and its ramifications, which was posted in the JAS:

 As I first noted in one of my articles, Derek Tonkin,  former British Ambassador to Thailand and Advisor to Bagan Capital Limited, is in the business of promoting the agenda of the Burmese government, as this is part of his job making some money out of that friendship that he enjoys. He has been intellectually dishonest on the issue of the Rohingya cause knowing that his Burmese patrons in the administration of Thein Sein and his British patrons for whom doing business in Myanmar is more important than human rights of the persecuted minority. So, time and again, he comes out of his turtle nest to repeat flawed theory. In this endeavor, he does not miss to quote another intellectually dishonest researcher Jacques Leider, well known for anti-Muslim, missionary bias.
 
Mr. Tonkin may like to read the British report of 1826 in which the then British administrator Paton cited the presence of 30% Muslims in Arakan soon after the territory was annexed by the East India Company. What did happen to those Muslims? Are they not the forefathers of today's Rohingya people? What about the report of the British surgeon, Dr. Buchanan, who visited Burma in the pre-colonial days of the late 18th century when he mentioned the Rohingya people? None of these historical facts, let alone tomes of literature - prevalent in Bengal and Arakan - pointing to the rich history of Rohang, Roshang - desh and its people matter to paid agents like Derek Tonkin. He is a joke and sounds like an intellectual fraud.
 
One of the signs of genocide is denying the right of a group to self-identify itself. And that is what the Burmese authorities and their racist Buddhists have been doing for the past half a century when it comes to the Rohingya people. Instead of twisting facts to hide such a horrendous crime, what Tonkin and Leider ought to do is to take a moral stand and condemn it vehemently. That would be proper rather than wasting everyone's times with nonsense that is untrue and cannot be justified under any circumstance.

Appendix:
Derek Tonkin is Founder & Chairman of Network Myanmar - an organization promoting engagement with Myanmar. During the 90s, Mr. Tonkin was Chairman of the Beta Vietnam Fund and the Beta Mekong Fund, that made investments in Myanmar. He is also in the Advisory Board of Bagan Capital, which promotes business with Burma.

You can find the info about his activities by clicking http://www.bagancapital.com/index.php/why-Myanmar
 
As to the group's justification of business with Burma, see the quote below from its website:

Why Myanmar?
Myanmar is the last frontier market opportunity in Southeast Asia.

Myanmar is a country with enormous economic potential based on its strategic location, its size and its stock of human and physical resources.

Since elections in 2010, Myanmar has been caught in a whirlwind of excitement, intrigue and change. The Government has demonstrated a general commitment to the far-reaching political and economic reforms that began over two years ago – with new laws, policies and engagements. As a result, a rapprochement with western economies and lifting of most of their sanctions has renewed investor interest in the country.

Reforms have seen the Myanmar Government moving to dismantle anti-competitive elements of the domestic business environment and encourage foreign investment, with the aim of increasing economic efficiency and driving economic growth.  Reform of the banking system and development of the financial sector is also well under way. We believe government policy has now established a base for extensive social and economic renewal in Myanmar, allowing the country to make the leap into the 21st century.  There is immense potential for rewarding participation by foreign investors.
 
 
 

Are people misled by propaganda about ISIS?

In times of war and troubles, truth is one of the first casualties. As we have seen many times before  with Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and other troubling places in the world, so is the case with ISIL or ISIS, or so it seems. From published reports, I have not found anything to show that there is anything good about this extremist group. My opinion about their evil prowess has not changed. If published reports are true they are monsters who have no respect for Islam and are abusing the name to create hatred towards the faith of a billion and six hundred million Muslims.

The group first emerged amongst the Sunnis as a resistance movement against American occupation forces in Iraq. Later the local Sunnis had enough of their brand of extremism and were able to throw them out. Unfortunately, with Nuri al-Maliki's sectarian rule in Iraq which marginalized the Sunnis, the group resurrected from the ashes of Anbar under a new battle-hardened leadership in Syria. They have been able to gravitate many disgruntled Sunnis to fight Maliki's Iraqi forces and in so doing are allegedly committing horrendous crimes. Unlike Judaism and Christianity, there is no place in Islam for killing unarmed non-believers, and yet ISIS is accused of such brutality. They are accused of demolishing Shia mosques and shrines.

They are even presented as child killers. How true are such claims about ISIS? 

The source of the claim comes from Mark Arabo in an interview with CNN. Arabo says that ISIS is “systematically beheading children” and that “there is a park in Mosul in which heads of beheaded children are put on a stick.” Arabo has been instrumental in promoting House Resolution 663, a resolution that expresses an “urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution.” Fueling the speculation has been websites, like Catholic Online, that purport to have pictures of children beheaded by ISIS.

One of the pictures that Catholic Online includes — and that has become ubiquitous on social media — shows a baby with three rifles pointed at his head. While the image is outrageous, it was not a photo taken of ISIS in northern Iraq.

The photo originally appeared online April 11, 2014 on the Facebook page of a person from Yemen. Numerous people on that page attest that the clothes the child is wearing are obviously Yemeni. A few days later, though, the image started popping up on pro-Syrian Army websites claiming that it was an Armenian child who was taken by Syrian rebels. Whatever the original context for the photo, we know based on the date alone that it was not recently taken in Mosul or northern Iraq.

You can find out the real truth about this story circulated in the popular media by clicking here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What a week!

This past week, Hollywood actor Robin Williams, one of the funniest guys in the planet, took his own life by committing suicide. He was suffering from depression, anxiety and the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. It is so difficult to believe that Robin who amused so many through his acting and spontaneous jokes was himself in such a dire condition that he probably needed more amusement to hang onto life than others that he had entertained all these decades!

Fifty years ago, America's living rooms were interrupted with images of peaceful protesters in Selma or Washington or Chicago being bitten by police dogs, sprayed with fire hoses and pummeled by batons. At that time, the mainstream media, comprising mostly white journalists, failed miserably to tell the truth about the protest marches. Like the embedded journalists that we saw during Bush Jr.’s genocidal campaign in Iraq in 2003, the White media relayed the viewpoint of the police. They simply could not relate to the life experience of a Black American.

This created an atmosphere of distrust and hostility and eventually it became unsafe for white reporters to venture into the black community.

Fifty years later, Missouri is burning. Americans again are witnessing similar images. The shooting death of a black teenager - Michael Brown - by a white policeman and the subsequent police clampdown on protests in 2014 is similar to how law enforcement treated civil rights marchers and the media in 1964. This time, instead of dogs and water hoses, their tools are stun grenades and assault weapons. The police force is now fully militarized who are using war gears. In recent years, the Pentagon has supplied local police forces with military equipment worth billions of dollars, which are now used against its own citizens.

 

In recent days, Ferguson has witnessed riot and widespread looting and as a result curfew has been imposed from midnight to sunrise by the state governor to stop such incidents.

 

From reports in the TV media and other news outlets, we are told that Brown and Dorian Johnson, 22, were walking in the middle of the street, en route to either Brown's grandmother's house (according to Brown's mother and grandmother) or to Johnson's house (according to Johnson), when a Ferguson police officer confronted them. The officer told the young men either "Get the f*** on the sidewalk" or "Get the f*** out of the street."  

The young men replied that they were "not but a minute away from our destination, and we would shortly be out of the street," Johnson told CNN. The officer drove away but stopped and backed up, almost hitting the pair, Johnson said. He said he wasn't sure what prompted the officer to return. Johnson told MSNBC the officer said something to the effect of "What'd you say?"

 

"We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike's body and closed back on the officer," Johnson said. Later Mike was killed by the police officer.

 

On Friday, six days after the shooting, Ferguson police revealed that Brown was the "primary suspect" in the strong-arm robbery of a convenience store moments before he encountered police and was killed.

 

A store surveillance video shows a man pushing a clerk before walking out the front door with a box of Swisher Sweets cigars worth $48.99, according to information released by police. The Brown family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said that the person in the video appears to be Michael Brown. Even then it does not justify the killing of an unarmed teenager.

 

On Friday, police revealed the officer as Darren Wilson, 28, who is white and a six-year veteran of the department without any history of disciplinary action.

 

Racial tension has long been simmering for years. Despite Ferguson being 68% black, Ferguson's police force is nearly all white. Blacks in the town comprise 86% of all vehicle stops and 85% of all arrests. Over the past week, black residents of the town have complained of racial harassment from law enforcement. That, combined with the trend of unarmed black men being the victims of extrajudicial killings, makes the racial implications of Brown's death quite strong.

Ferguson remains one of the most segregated places in America and the crime statistics is very high in this city.

 

Racism is obviously not dead in the USA. It is simmering and sometimes comes out in the open. We got a good dose of it earlier from the highly publicized case with former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, a white, Jewish American.  He was heard telling his girlfriend that he didn't want her to bring black people to his games or post pictures with black people on Instagram.

 

Many of the U.S. lawmakers are outright racists, esp. in the southern and more conservative states. Many are unabashedly bigots also.

 

Gavin Ellzey, the vice chairman of the Kansas Republican 3rd Congressional District Committee, advised on Twitter in early July that “offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person.” Ellzey added, “Especially with a .45.”

 

Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said the state party has “no responsibility for or connection to the public statements of private citizens who perform volunteer work for the party.”

 

When such is the attitude of a lawmaker, what can we expect from ordinary John Doe’s, who are taught, preached and programmed to hate the ‘other’ people? Thus, we learn that on July 19 a 26-year-old Muslim woman when walking to her car with her 5-year-old daughter was attacked by a group of three — two men and one woman — all white in outside the local mall in the Meridian County of Michigan. They surrounded her and attempted to pull off the woman’s niqab and abaya — the traditional veil and cloak that some Muslim women wear in public. The woman was knocked to the ground while her attackers shouted slurs and cursed at her. The assailants fled after the woman’s husband, a Ph.D. student, heard her cries and rushed to the scene. The woman was hospitalized for 36 hours, complaining of chest pain and numbness in her left arm.

 

Meridian Township Police announced that one of the attackers, Jonathan Patrick Deuel, will be the only suspect charged in the attack. The ethnic intimidation charge is a felony which could cost Deuel up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The misdemeanor charge could carry an imprisonment of up to 93 days and fines of up to $500. The two other attackers have not been charged by the police and remain on the loose.

Well, not everything was bad the past week.

On a positive note, Chadian troops have rescued 85 Nigerians by Boko Haram. An official of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Maiduguri confirmed the rescue of the 63 male and 22 female hostages. Something to cheer for in these days of hopelessness and global disorder!

Massacre in Shujaiya and Khuzaa

Thanks to Nahum Barnea, a prominent journalist at Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, it is now learnt that prominent settler and former Israeli army chief rabbi Avichai Rontzki delivered a “messianic, fiery speech” to Israeli forces prior to the devastating massacre of the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya during Israel's latest genocidal campaign in Gaza. He reported from a soldier who related that before their invasion of Shujaiya, troops were gathered to “listen to the words” of Rontzki, who “praised the miracle of God’s army.”

Israel’s ground assault on the Gaza Strip began late on Thursday 17 July, with tanks receiving orders “to open fire at anything that moved.”  Over the next few days, the Shujaiya district of Gaza City was subjected to intense and indiscriminate bombardment, including 600 shells fired by an artillery battalion and 100 one-ton bombs dropped from the air.

Rontzki’s speech to Israeli soldiers recalls his time as Israeli army chief rabbi, when, in 2009, he told religious students that troops who “show mercy” towards the enemy in wartime will be “damned.” During Israel’s so-called “Operation Cast Lead” massacre in 2008-09, the army rabbinate under his leadership distributed inflammatory publications that referred to the massacre as “a war on murderers.”

Rontzki was one of the founding members of Itamar, a fanatical Israeli settlement colony near Nablus, where has also led a yeshiva, or religious seminary.

You can learn more about this by clicking here.

In the 30-day Israel's barbarous invasion of Gaza, nearly 2000 unarmed Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands injured. Nearly a quarter of a million Palestinians are now homeless. Israeli savagery knew no bounds. Tens of mosques, including some historic ones, were also deliberately demolished and bombed by the evil IDF. There was no justification for destroying such historical religious sites used by Muslims to pray.

Khuzaa, which is east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, is an area where Palestinians have still been unable to recover all the bodies of loved ones killed in Israeli attacks. ITV journalist Rageh Omaar, who visited the area on Friday, August 1, found a neighborhood that “had almost been completely obliterated, looking like a post-apolcalyptic scene.”

“The stench of decomposing bodies filled the whole area,” Omaar said, as Palestinians returning to the area for the first time in three weeks during a short-lived “humanitarian ceasefire” began to recover bodies from the ruins.

The Daily Beast’s Jesse Rosenfeld reported that he saw decomposing bodies gathered in a bathroom of a house on the edge of Khuzaa amid “haunting signs of what looks like the summary execution of several Palestinians.”

But for the Israeli soldiers destroying Khuzaa, the violence is cause for celebration. Click here to view how the IDF demolished a historical mosque.

The Israeli soldiers apparently from the Givati brigade dedicate the mosque destruction to their fallen comrades and cheer as a massive explosion obliterates it. “Long live the State of Israel!” a voice exclaims. According to the narration by the videographer, the detonation took place on 30 July in Khuzaa.

Part of the transcript and translation, by Dena Shunra, of what the videographer says is shared below:
Khirbat Khuzaa, 30 July 2014, Operation Tzuk Eitan.
"We’re waiting for the explosion of something like eleven tons of explosive above – and below – the ground.
This explosion is dedicated to the memory of the three people from the battalion who have fallen since the beginning of the operation – Amit Yeori of blessed memory, Guy Boylend of blessed memory, and Moshiko Dvino, of blessed memory."

You can learn more by clicking here.