Friday, November 30, 2012

Jewish Voices for Peace video. Israel and Palestine. It's not really complicated.


Hey friends-it's time to stop saying, "It's too complicated!" You can't stay on the sidelines anymore. Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting, why the US-backed peace process has been an impediment to peace, and what you can do to make a difference. Find out more at www.jvp.org/101

Israel/US mighty allies


Only 9 members voted against Palestine: United States, Israel, Canada, Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.
138 members voted for their recognition

Does the UN vote mean Palestinian solidarity is growing?

Wherever one stands on the UN resolution giving Palestinians observer status, it is inadvisable to go overboard & attribute the yes vote of 138 countries to growing solidarity with the Palestinian cause. People need to temper their enthusiasm with some skepticism. Most of those countries haven’t done a damn thing for nearly 65 years to stop Israeli aggression & they aren’t going to start now. The relationship between the European Union & Israel is a collaborative one, with lots of trade money involved. Individual European countries like Portugal, Italy, France, Spain, Ireland, & Greece are eviscerating their own body politics with devastating austerity programs. Why the hell would they feel solidarity with the Palestinians!? A sense of justice is no part of their considerations. Realpolitik is their modus operandi & Machiavelli their guide.

Haaretz: Israel suffers humiliating defeat at UN


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the United Nations Generally Assembly th UN. 
Thursday’s UN vote was the international community’s warning light to Israel, as much as a show of support for the Palestinians. Germany, France, Britain, Italy and other friendly countries delivered messages to Israel with their votes – their patience with the occupation of the West Bank has worn off, they have had enough of settlement construction and there’s no faith in Israeli declarations of hands outstretched in peace and a desire to advance toward a Palestinian state.
Israel’s collapse in the UN and humiliating diplomatic rout is the result of a consistent policy led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It began with his refusal to accept the two-state solution. His speech at Bar-Ilan University, to which he was dragged by American pressure, may have voiced his readiness for the establishment of a Palestinian state, but was never brought to the government for approval

'Germany abstaining at UN because Israel wouldn't budge on settlements'

Haaretz
The German decision not to oppose the Palestinian bid for non-member observer state status, and to abstain in the vote at the United Nations General Assembly this evening has shocked the top brass at the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's office. A top German official who took part in discussions in Berlin, however, stressed that the writing was on the wall....
Indecisive and confusing Israeli conduct surrounding the Palestinian's move at the UN has angered decision-makers in Germany. The Germans feel that they have been taken advantage of by Israel, and that the latter has been secretive and uncooperative.

‘We lost Europe’

Phil Weiss (Mondoweiss)
Haaretz says that Germany has backtracked on decision to oppose Palestinian non-member status at the U.N., and will abstain. "We lost Europe," an Israeli Foreign Ministry official says.
Early Thursday morning, just hours before the vote -- scheduled to take place around 11:00 P.M. (Israel time) -- Germany changed its mind, deciding to abstain from voting rather than opposing the Palestinian initiative, as Israel had assumed it would.

"The decision wasn't taken lightly," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. "Germany shares the goal for a Palestinian state. We have campaigned for this in many ways, but the recent decisive steps towards real statehood can only be the result of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians," the German official said.

Palestinian Legal strategy against Israel: The Real Prize is Europe


Green: In favor; Red: Against; Yellow: Abstain; Blue: Absent; Grey: Non-Members

Juan Cole
The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to accord Palestine the status of “Observer State” on Thursday, with 138 countries voting in favor of the measure, 41 abstaining, and only 9 voting against. The US and Israel were decisively marginalized, as Italy and Sweden joined France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and several other European countries in voting for the new status. Continental Western Europe and Scandinavia were almost unanimous in supporting the Palestinians, in a kind of declaration of independence from the Obama administration. Even Germany, which for historical reasons is typically reluctant to buck Israel, voted to abstain rather than to oppose.

And now to the ICC (International Criminal Court)

Hallelujah!

Comments count fixed. Reverted to Blogger's default comments system. Moderation on. I hope it's not too much trouble for the regulars but that's the way to go to keep spammers, trolls and other obnoxious creatures at bay. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

So what does this piece of theatre means ? (UN observer status)

An audio interview with Ali Abunimah 

On the UN resolution for Palestinian statehood


When the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, a political journal I wrote for published an article by a Palestinian supporter endorsing the Accords as “the best the Palestinians could get.” But anyone who compared the demands of Palestinian justice with the details of the Accords recognized that the document embodied the terms of Palestinian submission to Israeli dominance & did not even tip the hat to justice. It was a document of surrender & Palestinian defeat. The article incensed me & I sent off a critique arguing that Palestinians could not hope to win justice in the arena of diplomatic maneuvers, that wienie-brained diplomats (I might have put it less rudely) could not possibly envision a just solution & that it required a massive, international social movement with an understanding of & an uncompromising fight to attain justice.

Though neither of the two Oslo Accords (the first in 1993 & the second one in 1995) addressed the question of Palestinian statehood they were regarded as the basis of a two-state solution, seen as the pragmatic solution to the conflict. Tis a pragmatic solution alright but one that completely preempts Palestinian justice. That justice must include the end of occupation, the end of Zionist settlers expropriating Palestinian lands, the end of bombing sieges, the right of return to Palestinian refugees, full equality & democracy in a single secular state. And nothing less!

That the two-state solution is still even thought of as a possibility boggles the mind. To hold on to that pipe dream means ignoring Israel’s policies of apartheid & ethnic cleansing, Israel's policy of settlement expansion in the West Bank & East Jerusalem, the siege & repeated murderous bombing campaigns against Gaza, the millions of Palestinians still living in refugee camps after 65 years, the barrier apartheid wall with all its check points.

Many are jubilant at the UN resolution accepting Palestine as an observer at the UN. Though it doesn’t invest a single political advantage to Palestinians--most notably statehood of any kind--supporters argue it is a symbolic victory. Symbolic of what? What does an observer’s chair at the UN mean regarding future Israeli bombing in Gaza or continued expropriations of Palestinian lands in the West Bank? Palestinians have no voice, no vote, & if they did would be shouted down by the thunderous majority of other UN members with both. It’s ironic symmetry that a UN resolution in 1947 recognized the right to establish a Jewish state in the British colony of Palestine & 65 years later some are looking to the same UN for recognition as a bantustate, as if that institution could possibly offer a just solution.

The Palestinian statehood resolution offers nothing to the Palestinians. It is an empty gesture, grandstanding, political theater by Mahmoud Abbas & the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. It is an obfuscating diversion not to fool wienie-brained diplomats but to hoodwink the Palestinian people & their supporters. Objections by the US & Israel were just part of the melodrama--sound & fury signifying nothing.

Gaza is a prison; it can never be a state--not even a lousy bantustate. The mis-leadership of the Palestinians led by the disreputable, Mahmoud Abbas, is pulling a stunt, substituting diplomatic maneuvers & shenanigans for a political strategy which addresses the urgent questions of Palestinian justice like the right of return, the end of land expropriations, the end of the Gaza siege, the end of bombing assaults, tearing down the barrier wall, the right to live in a unified, democratic, secular state in harmony with Jews.

But the very worst part of this damn UN maneuver is that it legitimizes what has now been proved a pipe dream & impossible solution--the two-state solution. And it delegitimizes intifada. Every attempt of the Palestinians to push back against apartheid will be seen as a provocation, a violation of the Israeli creed that my land is my land & your land is my land & when we’re finished with Palestine, Palestinians will not exist.

Though we may disagree strongly on the UN resolution for Palestinian statehood, we do agree on the need to continue boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) & on the demand to end all US & EU aid to Israel. Justice for the Palestinians.

This is what real democracy looks like.

UN approves Palestinian status upgrade with 138-9 vote (and US Senators threaten to cut aid)

unvote
At around 5:00 pm in New York City, the United Nations General Assembly voted to approve Palestine's bid to become a non-member observer state. The final vote stood at 138 in favor, 9 against and 41 abstentions. The United States voted against the measure along with Israel, Panama, Palau, Canada, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Czech Republic and Micronesia.

Betty Windsor's buffet

Check our Betty Windsor’s opulent all-you-can-eat buffet at the state banquet (that means paid for by taxpayers) to fete the feudal ruler of Kuwait! If you notice, the table decorations make it impossible to talk to your dinner companions. Which is just as well because, between you & me, people who do nothing & know nothing about anything except betting on the horses & lead shameful private lives probably make less entertaining conversation than those sorry-assed women on “The View.” (Photo by Getty Images)

Good riddance to the butcher, Calderon!


A photo of the despicable, Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president leaving office on December 1st, has been symbolically splattered in a protest giving this butcher the contemptuous send-off he deserves. Actually, spitting fake blood at his photo isn’t retribution enough for this criminal; his crimes warrant arrest, prosecution, incarceration. In his 6-year tenure, an estimated 60,000 Mexican civilians have been murdered in the US-bankrolled war on drug trafficking; thousands of Central American immigrants have been raped, kidnapped, disappeared, murdered, & had their dismembered bodies dumped. Meanwhile, in his tenure, marijuana production has grown by 35% & Mexico has become the second largest opium producer in the world--& the 45,000 troops deployed by Calderon can’t find the fields!? They can’t find the drug traffickers either since only 20 are reported arrested in the past 6 years.

Since there is no question the Mexican elites like Calderon organize, control, & profit from drug trafficking (& US banks launder the dough), the so-called war on drugs has more nefarious purpose. The military & paramilitary violence is deployed not to stop drug trafficking but to deter immigration to the US by making passage through Mexico a living hell. But it is also a war on the Mexican people who have endured the predations of NAFTA & the imposition of neoliberal agricultural models; it is to prevent the emergence of political resistance among Mexican working people.

We join our Mexican brothers & sisters in giving a kick in the ass to Calderon on his way out the door, though his policies, in collusion with the US, are likely to remain intact under the new regime. Mexico has a rich heritage of social protest despite political repression & we stand with them also in solidarity with their struggles for social transformation. (Photo by Pedro Pardo/AFP)

Spot on!

What are they afraid of?

A secret State Department diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed that one of the primary reasons behind Israeli objections to Palestinian statehood is that lack of statehood keeps Palestinian territories outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prosecutes war crimes.

Palestinians Reject US Demand to Prohibit War Crimes Charges Against Israel

The US pushed Palestine to add a clause in UN bid barring war crimes charges against Israel. What are they afraid of?

The Palestinians have refused demands from Washington that it soften the wording of the proposed United Nations resolution regarding the recognition of a Palestinian state.

According to Haaretz, “the push did not succeed because the Palestinians refused to add a clause to the draft that would prevent them from filing criminal charges against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”
Israel, backed by the US, has objected to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) bid at the UN, claiming formal recognition of Palestine needs to happen through negotiations, instead of happening unilaterally at the UN.
Read more

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why White People Get Mad

 
The Thanksgiving myth teaches (white) Americans that they are the kindest, most generous people on Earth – and, if you don’t believe that, they will tear you limb from limb. “The celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday is not only a celebration of slaughter but it is used to this very day to keep all Americans secure in their love of white supremacy.”
 The Mayflower's cultural heirs are programmed to find glory in their own depravity, and savagery in their most helpless victims, who can only redeem themselves by accepting the inherent goodness of white Americans.” – Glen Ford
Read more

Stevie Wonder pulls out of fundraiser of shame

 
Stevie Wonder is set to pull out of a performance at a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces, a source told JTA. Wonder's representatives will claim that he did not know the nature of the group, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and that he believes such a performance would be incongruent with his status as a U.N. "Messenger of Peace," according to a source who has read email exchanges between Wonder's representatives and organizers of the event.

52 Nobel peace laureates call for Israel military boycott over Gaza assault

Letter with 52 signatories including artists and activists also denounces US and EU 'complicity' through weapons sales
Israeli air strike in Gaza City

The Guardian UK
A group of Nobel peace prize-winners, prominent artists and activists have issued a call for an international military boycott of Israel following its assault on the Gaza Strip this month.
The letter also denounces the US, EU and several developing countries for what it describes as their "complicity" through weapons sales and other military support in the attack that killed 160 Palestinians, many of them civilians, including about 35 children.
Read more

Scott McConnell: Why Americans Don't Understand Palestine

"One explanation for such sentiments is that most Americans take foreign policy cues from political leaders, and no prominent American politician is willing to publicly express sympathy or compassion for Palestinians at the expense of Israel. Since roughly the time of John F. Kennedy, the politically ambitious have understood that expressing a wish for even-handedness between Israel and Palestine would threaten one’s career. Whatever their private views might be, by the time they get to Congress legislators learn that uncritical support for Israel is the “smart” political choice.
The spectrum of Congressional debate is shaped by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, whose leaders vet potential candidates from across the political spectrum for their willingness to promote AIPAC-sponsored views on the Middle East, and ensure the access of those who agree to the lobby’s superb national fundraising networks."

Solidarity is an active thing

There are several photos from Tahrir Square showing activists rescuing a companero who has been injured or overcome by tear gas. Since the Egyptian uprising began nearly two years ago, we’ve seen dozens & dozens of such photos. Solidarity is not a Platonic thing confined to ideals in our heads. It is the constant practice of fraternity & sorority & a very practical matter--like carrying a fallen comrade to safety, or demanding no US aid to Egypt, or marching against US-NATO wars, or boycotting Israeli products, or picketing Sears, or sometimes just speaking unpopular truths. (Photo by Thomas Hartwell/AP)

Elephantine love

Every year the Sonepur cattle fair in the Indian state of Bihar produces the most touching photos of elephants relating to each other. It almost makes you want to start attending livestock shows. Elephants use their trunks for many reasons from scratching an itch to threatening an adversary but it’s most magnificent use is surely as an organ of affection. Here two elephants reach out to touch each other at the fair this year. Elephants don’t forget past companions or caretakers. At the elephant reserve outside Nairobi, Kenya, they often come back from the wild to show former caretakers their offspring. So perhaps these two elephants were old pals, or siblings, or just know each other from the fair.  (Photo by Aftab Alam Siddiqui/AP)

Palestinian children targeted by Israel


This is 11-year-old Hussam from the city of Rafah in Gaza standing in the rubble of his bombed-out home. The children of Gaza have now to cope with the devastation & terror they have just lived through, seeing neighbors, school mates, family members die, seeing their homes demolished, over 136 schools & kindergartens damaged or destroyed. They are left without sufficient water, inadequate sanitation, & without necessary health & trauma care.

Can Israel explain the purpose for bombing schools? They won’t, but we can: it was intended precisely to traumatize Palestinian children, to demoralize & terrorize them, because every new generation is a threat of continued resistance to apartheid. Fear of the young is not unique to Zionism. Prior to the US Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, there was an odious genre called pickaninny art which depicted Black children, often tiny infants, in perilous circumstances--the most common one was an infant clinging to a branch over a crocodile pit. These repugnant images were reproduced by the thousands & were part of popular consciousness. Viewing these images can lead to only one conclusion: the dominant nationality is terrified of the young because every new generation has to be broken, inculcated with self-hatred & passivity, discouraged from resistance.

To express your solidarity with the children of Gaza, boycott all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) & demand no US aid to Israel!  (Photo by Iyad El Baba/UNICEF)

The struggle for democracy requires courage

Here a democracy protestor is running to throw a tear gas canister back at riot police in Tahrir Square (yesterday). You can bet your bottom dollar that canister is stamped, "Made in the USA". We stand in awe of his courage. Not to mention his tenacity! No US military aid to Egypt! (Photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)

Tahrir Square, Cairo: they're back!


Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt: this photo shows the thousands of democracy protestors who filled Tahrir Square yesterday (many set up occupy tents) to oppose a decree by President Mursi giving himself dictatorial powers. What the hell made him think he was gonna get away with that!? Media reports say he was feeling cocky after brokering Israel’s ceasefire. That’s the simple-minded propaganda that passes for analysis in western media. They also report “the West has voiced its concern” at Mursi giving himself autocratic powers. Concern, my ass! Last week, Egypt signed a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $4.8 billion loan. They don’t dish out money to people who don’t play ball with imperialism. How much US military aid is Egypt still receiving? The hand of the US, Israel, & other western governments is written all over that Mursi decree. Mursi’s episodic & electoral front office display of democratic rule does not mask the fact that the military, bankrolled by the US, remains in control. And it exposes the fact that collusion with Egypt is critical to US plans in the region & dictatorship in Egypt is critical to those plans.

It’s only been two years since millions of Egyptians rose up & bounced the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Thousands were killed, beaten, incarcerated, tortured in that uprising. In the revolt against Mursi’s decree, one person has already been killed & over 370 people injured by police violence--just in one week. Judging from this photo, the Egyptian uprising is back in a big way. Our fullest solidarity with their struggle. No US military aid to Egypt! (Photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)

Already in 2008, Tzipi Livni explained what it's all about

“Israel takes more land so that the Palestinian state will be impossible . . . the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state”. She conceded that it had been “the policy of the government for a really long time”.

In The Atlantic: The Mainstream Media's Biased Coverage of the Gaza Blockade

Robert Wright
Sadly typical of the way the MSM covers the issue is a recent New York Times piece about the ceasefire by David Kirkpatrick and Jodi Rudoren (both of whom have done excellent work on other issues in the region). The piece described the blockade as "Israel's tight restrictions on the border crossings into Gaza under a seven-year-old embargo imposed to thwart Hamas from arming itself."

Putting it this way is a real time saver, not just because it fits into a single short sentence, but because, if you're too busy to actually write that sentence, the Israeli government's press office would be happy to do it for you. But this description of the blockade raises a question:

If the essential purpose of the blockade were indeed to "thwart Hamas from arming itself," wouldn't restrictions on imports into Gaza suffice? (And even then the import restrictions wouldn't have to be as draconian as they were when imposed, or even as tight as they are now, after some loosening.) What I'd like to see an enterprising MSM reporter ask is: How do Israel's severe restrictions on Gazan exports keep arms from getting to Hamas?
Read more

Haaretz: Likud Beiteinu is headed for a showdown with the world

This conflict has now come to an end. It is now an extreme right-wing party with strong racist undertones.
Lieberman and Netanyahu at press conference - Olivier Fitoussi 

Carlo Strenger
In a case of remarkable historical irony, Likud has moved to the extreme right while Netanyahu has already understood that he can no longer stop Abbas from attaining non-member status at the United Nations. While Netanyahu has so far only paid lip service to the two-state solution, the international community will increase pressure on him to move ahead with the peace process. 
Read more 

Britain still undecided on vote. France votes yes

France - a permanent member of the UN Security Council - is the first major European country to come out in favour of the move.
Germany is expected to vote against, while the UK's ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, said on Tuesday that London remained undecided.
According to AFP news agency, Mr Lyall Grant told reporters the UK thought the Palestinians should delay the application, but was still in talks with the Palestinian Authority and would decide "in due time" how to vote.
Austria says it will also back the Palestinian bid and claims that more than half of the European Union's 27 member states will vote for the proposal, AFP reports.
Observers say the application is likely win approval in the 193-member UN General Assembly, as it needs only a simple majority to pass. According to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), more than 130 countries already grant the Palestinians the rank of a sovereign state. 
Read more

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

May our brother, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, RIP


The story of this young man, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, from Yemen is too painful to recount but must be told to expose the racism & horrors of US foreign policy, of Guantanamo & other torture centers, of crimes against men, women, & children so egregious that justice is not a possibility but makes social transformation an imperative. Our young brother, Adnan, was seriously injured in a car accident in Yemen & was seeking free medical treatment in Afghanistan in October 2001 when the US invaded after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. In a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Adnan was captured at the Pakistan border & ended up in the hands of  murderous US agents. He died in Guantanamo last September under mysterious circumstances called suicide by US officials. He was just 36 years old & though he required special medical attention for neurological injuries from the car accident had been confined to a hell hole for 10 years.

US taxpayers bankroll thousands of such atrocities & crimes--crimes committed under the guise of fighting for freedom & democracy, crimes committed in our names. This post is to pay tribute to our brother, Adnan & to express our deepest sympathies to his family for their loss. It is to pay tribute & express our solidarity with all those who have suffered &/or lost loved ones to US-NATO aggression & colonialism. But mostly it is to pledge that we will do our utmost to expose & oppose US military & economic aggression.

May our brother, Adnan RIP. But may millions of us raise holy hell until this reign of racist terrorism has been brought to an end. Demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all US-NATO troops from wherever they are on this planet!
http://truth-out.org/news/item/12967-latif-autopsy-report-calls-gitmo-death-a-suicide-mystery-endures#.ULPm9YEgsI8.facebook
(Photo by JTF-GITMO)

Do the math

France Says It Will Vote in Favor of Palestinians’ U.N. Bid

The Israelis are concerned that the Palestinians could use enhanced status to try to join other international bodies, like the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue legal claims against Israel . 
Read more

An idiot...

Sigh! There's an idiot who keeps posting comments knowing well that there's no chance in hell for them to pass the moderation wall. Not even a possibility for anyone to even see or read them as they're automatically deleted by the system itself, only notification of deletion being sent. Talk about wasting his time..

Milk as the new weapon of social protest

Dairy farmers in Belgium are trying to go one better than union protestors in Greece with their paint bombs. They drove their tractors into Brussels for a two-day protest outside the European Parliament against that body racketeering unreasonable milk prices. Of course, weren't Greek farmers the first to introduce tractors into social protest when they recently barricaded the airport in Crete? Riot cops in full regalia defending the parliamentary gangsters got it smack in the kisser with sprayed milk. What a pity when they looked so spiffy in their battle gear!  (Photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP)

The moochocracy continues to decay before our very eyes

The British media is always trying to cover for Betty Windsor & her regrettable progeny. The BBC says the guy on the left is a sniper in disguise but we’d recognize Charlie anywhere--& the disapproving look on Betty’s face confirms that. It’s not because Charlie’s personal valets who wipe his heinie, brush his teeth, comb his hair & dress him have the day off. The recent Jimmy Savile pedophile scandal raises unsavory implications about Charlie & although moochocracy knows no shame, Buckingham’s legal retinue want him to dodge uncomfortable questions. But why the hell would they worry about that with the BBC implicated in the same scandal!? And for sure, David Cameron always has his back. The whole shebang of them need to be rounded up & sent off to a penal colony. (Photo by Reuters; its misuse, all mine)

Garment factory fire in Bangladesh


In an industrial catastrophe reminiscent of the famous 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City (where 146 garment workers burned to death), a fire incinerated the 8-floor Tazreen Fashions Limited factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, burning to death 120 workers & injuring over 150, as of today. The Tazreen factory which opened in 2009 employed about 1,700 people. Bangladesh, with about 4,500 garment factories, is the world’s second biggest garment exporter after China, with clothing making up 80% of its $24 billion annual exports to several countries including the US & in Europe.

Tazreen made clothing for many retailers who are now trying to distance themselves from the disaster. Walmart & Sears now have the unspeakable temerity to claim Tazreen was producing their clothing without their knowledge or authorization so as not to face any boycotts or other repercussions in their holiday sales. The Bangladesh government is claiming sabotage & arson as the cause of the fire but this is likely a cover for the manufacturers since fire officials report 500 people have died in garment factory fires since 2006. Factory conditions are wretched, with overcrowding, locked fire doors, & without enforcement of safety laws. Of course, now the government can feign a hunt for the saboteurs rather than coming down like a ton of bricks on factory owners to force them to improve conditions of labor & safety.

Since yesterday, thousands of Bangladeshi workers have hit the streets in protest, closing down over 200 factories, blocking a major highway, throwing stones at factories, & smashing vehicles. They demand justice for those killed & injured & for improved safety. The Wall Street Journal called this massive outrage a “Fire Remembrance” but history will more likely record it as the day the revolution began. This is a photo of the protest in Dhaka. Factory owners should look at this photo & tremble. The rest of us should consider boycotting & picketing Walmart & Sears. Our fullest solidarity with the garment workers of Bangladesh. May our brothers & sisters RIP.  (Photo by Shariful Islam/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

Neo-fascist street theater in Thailand


Some people think I have it out for the British moochocracy. They think that’s why I frequently comment on the idiocies of Betty Windsor & her mutant tribe but seldom on the other feudal overlords in 44 other countries. Well those moochocracies have a policy of lying low (like the US oligarchs) so it’s hard to get the goods on them. But Thailand may be changing all that!

Thailand has a constitutional monarchy which just means the court hangers-on get moved over to their own building to get them out of the king’s hair. Thailand also has lèse-majesté laws which means insulting the king is treason. Even England doesn’t have them! This would be where feudalism shades into farce--& vice versa--except they enforce those laws in Thailand & severely punish the offenders & protestors for democratic rights, like free speech.

As we have seen at Betty Windsor’s garden parties, aristocrats wear funny hats & dress not at all sensibly, as we were taught about the British. That’s just as true in Thailand where this member of Pitak Siam, a neo-fascist, ultra-right political group rallied to defend the king against what they perceived as anti-monarchist elements within the ruling political party. Pitak Siam proclaimed their intent to forcibly remove the government of Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra to install a dictatorship. But if you can’t even call the king a bad name, what the hell else would you call it!? This is where feudalism does become farce because Shinawatra is a loyal minion of the king & decorated several times by him in The Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant. The media reported police used tear gas & truncheons against the protestors but just how credible is that!? (Photo by Jack Kurtz/Getty Images)

Alex Kane: Aftermath of Gaza assault: Black eye for Israel and strengthened Hamas

Israel’s image will be blackened by the high civilian death toll; the country’s regional position has been exposed to be weakened; and Hamas will survive another day, boosted by resisting the might of the Israeli military, no matter how much dissent against its authoritarian rule exists in Gaza. The fact that Israel will win the war but lose the battle, so to speak, is a replay of what happened during Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza in 2008-'09, which was dubbed “Operation Cast Lead.”

Stephen Zunes: Abetting Murder in Gaza

Obama blocked attempt at a ceasefire.
gaza-israel-war-conflict-ceasefireThe November 22 ceasefire between Israeli and Hamas forces is a huge relief for the civilian population on both sides—the primary victims of the conflict. But the Obama administration’s unconscionable decision the previous week to block a ceasefire effort by the UN Security Council not only resulted in additional civilian deaths but also serves as an indication that, despite the president owing his re-election to the hard work of his progressive base, his foreign policy will continue to lean to the right.
The draft resolution blocked by the United States explicitly condemned all acts of terrorism and violence towards civilians, reaffirmed the right of all states to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, and called for an immediate and durable ceasefire. It reiterated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could only be resolved through peaceful means and called for an immediate resumption of a substantive bilateral negotiating process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Read more

Peaceful Rally in Times Square Attacked by Rabid Zionist


Protesting not only the current attacks on Gaza, but the continued attacks on the Palestinian people as well as the continuous occupation that restricts Palestinians of basic human rights. EIR and friends held a peaceful rally in Times square and were met with verbal attacks by passing zionists. One of the passing zionists accused Existence is Resistance and friends of Anti-semitism even though some of the protestors themselves were Jewish.

Police order Palestinian workers off buses to West Bank, at request of Israeli settlers

"Police have begun ordering Palestinian laborers with legal work permits off buses from the Tel Aviv area to the West Bank, following complaints from settlers that Palestinians pose a security risk by riding the same buses as them."
----------
But this is not apartheid. No, no, no no!

Ron Paul to Congress: Stop Worshipping Israel


Monday, November 26, 2012

US-NATO out now!



Oh, the power of US military emancipation! Here Afghan refugee children warm themselves by a fire in a squalid slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Does freedom get any better than this!? Demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all US-NATO forces! (Photo by Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

Steven Spielberg's racism


Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones film series is about as racist as film gets. What was masked somewhat with adventure in the first couple films of the series becomes jaw-dropping & bold-faced as the series progresses. “Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom” about India should be considered a classic of racism & studied for its malignancy--& its banality too. It’s the action-packed version of the ‘white people save brown & black people’ genre. Spielberg’s films offer more respectful treatment of extraterrestrials & extinct dinosaurs than other human beings on this planet.

If Spielberg was attempting to portray Indian oligarchs, his depiction would be dead on; but instead he portrays ordinary Indian people (in reality politically combative & creative) either sentimentally or as incompetent & servile, in the old stereotype of Asiatic toadyism before authority. Spielberg is of the generation that went through the US Civil Rights movement but somehow he managed to learn nothing. This would explain his films that not only depict but glorify war, his war-mongering in Darfur, his support for Israel, his honorifics from the Pentagon.

The racism of his films is not accidental; he has the best (or at least, the highest paid) political consultants in the world. He knows he’s peddling racism & Orientalism. That’s why his films are now more action-packed propaganda than entertainment.

In this still from the film, the groveling Indian masses surround the white savior in obsequious gratitude.

Honor killings & Islamophobia


Entertainment media plays as important a role as news media in generating lies & Islamophobia in defense of Israeli aggression against Palestinians. On a recent rerun of the popular crime show, “Law & Order,” a young Palestinian man was prosecuted for the “honor killing” of his sister. In his trial, it was stated that honor killing was the number one cause of death for women in the West Bank & Gaza. Actually, the number one cause of death is Israeli occupation & ethnic cleansing but if Palestinians are murdering their own daughters & sisters, it’s a matter of great concern--especially since reports say Palestinian women “are executed in their homes, in open fields, & occasionally in public, sometimes before crowds of cheering onlookers.”

Remarkably, some of those most concerned with the issue of Palestinian honor killing are the most rabid, right-wing Zionists like David Horowitz, the crazed Zionist editor of FrontPage magazine; Itamar Marcus, right-wing associate of Netanyahu & founder of  Palestinian Media Watch; & Phyllis Chesler, the former feminist turned  Zionist, who once wrote unreadable books on women’s psychology & now writes scurrilous tracts against Islam. How is it that such ardent & odious supporters of Israeli state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians, including women, are so up in arms against honor killing in the West Bank & Gaza!?

All three of these creeps argue as FrontPage Magazine wrote: “A growing collection of Palestinian leaders {who they do not identify!} are acknowledging that the recent rise in ‘honor killings’ and other horrific acts of violence being perpetrated against Palestinian women can only be stemmed by changing the Arab cultural & Islamic propensity of violence toward women.” So there you have it! Islamophobics & anti-feminists are rising up in unison against honor killing--but regrettably, as part of the odious practice of marshaling feminism to support the most reactionary politics.

That violence against women takes on different forms in different cultures should come as no surprise to anyone with half a brain--but to call out the particular form it takes in Arab societies as an especially egregious form of violence is arrant racism & Islamophobia. It is an honest & important question to ask, “what distinguishes so-called honor killings from domestic violence; what makes honor killings unique?” You can drag out horror stories for comparison but that would only add to the measure of confusion since violence against women & children is horrific & unimaginable whatever form it takes, in whatever cultural context. Phyllis Chesler uses her Jesuitical skills & blunted morality to make the case for important differences but her hatred for Arabs & for Islam drown out any cogency.

Reliable figures on domestic violence are hard to come by for the West Bank & Gaza for the same reasons as in the US & every other country. But some estimate so-called honor killings take the lives of about 20 women annually. Outside of an analysis of all homicidal crimes, that estimate is meaningless. Palestinian women’s & human rights activists have for many years protested & fought against lax legal protections for women against domestic violence. Aya Baradiya, a 20-year-old Palestinian resident of the West Bank, was murdered by her uncle in April 2010 because he disapproved of her suitor. Following the discovery of her remains one year later, 20,000 Palestinians attended her funeral to honor her as a martyr--suggesting a strong Palestinian cultural propensity against violence toward women.

In the context of Islamophobia & the war against Palestinians & the Arab peoples, it should be considered inflammatory, even a concession to Islamophobia, to use the term “honor killing” or to distinguish it as more egregious than violence against women & children in any society. That is not for one moment to excuse femicide among Palestinians but to purge racism from our solidarity.

Here Palestinian women in Bethlehem protest to demand tougher legal protections for women & children victims of domestic violence, August 2012. (Photo by Majdi Mohammed, AP)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

London Review of Books: Israel lost

"The west is now reckoning with the ways that the Gaza conflict changed the political terrain of the Middle East. From Why Israel Didn't Win, by Adam Shatz in the LRB (thanks to Idrees Ahmad):"

Uri Avnery: The Big Winner is Hamas


Counterpunch

If at least the US had allowed Abbas to achieve a UN resolution recognizing Palestine as a non-member state, he might have held his own against Hamas. But the Israeli government is determined to prevent this by all available means. Barack Obama’s decision, even after re-election, to block the Palestinian effort is a direct support for Hamas and a slap in the face of the “moderates”. Hillary Clinton’s perfunctory visit to Ramallah this week was seen in this context.
Looked at from the outside, this looks like sheer lunacy. Why undermine the “moderates” who want and are able to make peace? Why elevate the “extremists”, who are opposed to peace?

Back to school in Gaza clearing the Israeli mess



 
Back to school in Gaza clearing the Israeli mess..

Asa'd Abu Khalil response to the Economist's "Atheists and Islam"

On Ex-Muslims

 By As'ad AbuKhalil - Fri, 2012-11-23 20:58- Angry Corner
There are so many obsessively redundant stories about Muslims and Islam. They are too familiar: stories about the veil, Jihad, the status of women, minorities and apostasy. Western reporters love to search and find a Muslim in the West who tells a story of persecution by Muslims. These stories are sexiest when the person elaborates on his new freedoms in the West and how he/she was not able to breathe until their arrival in the West. They tell about their past suffocation and how they could only read and enjoy “Lolita” in Western countries.
But the stories of apostasy still resonate. Westerners don’t know that apostasy laws were common at the time when they were promulgated in Sharia. The Economist is sometimes reasonable, but other times indistinguishable in its resort to lazy clichés about Muslims. The new issue of the Economist has a long article about “Atheists and Islam.” In the article, all the familiar clichés are squeezed in to draw a most dramatic picture that is worthy of movies about medieval Europe. It operates under the classical premise: that one story about one Muslim suffices to tell the story about all Muslims. And in singling out a story or two about Muslims in the West, the writers don’t know that they often fall victim to deception.
Read more (Al Akhbar)

Owen Jones!...It takes guts to say what he said especially on the BBC!


On BBC's Question Time on 22.11.12, journalist Owen Jones described the reality-- largely ignored by the mainstream media -- of Israel's brutal attack on Gaza, 14-22 November 2012, that left close to 160 killed, over 30 of them children.


Despite the sabre-rattling, an attack on Iran is now unlikely

"Within hours of the ceasefire being announced, anonymous Israeli and American sources were claiming that the air strikes on Gaza were a dry run for an assault on Iran. Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador in Washington, compared what happened in Gaza this month to the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. He said that "in the Cuban missile crisis, the US was not confronting Cuba, but rather the Soviet Union. In Operation Pillar of Defence [Israel's name for its Gaza operation] Israel was not confronting Gaza, but Iran.""

Obama Weaves Web of Deceit on Gaza War

When Barack Obama finally spoke out publicly about the Israeli assault on Gaza, at a press conference, he wove an astonishingly thick web of deception and distortion.
I’m no Obama-basher. But when I see him bashing and trashing the truth so blatantly, I have to speak out. I have to express my pain, because I know that his misleading words will increase the risks to my loved ones and fellow Jews in Israel and the much greater risks to the victims of Israeli aggression in Gaza.
Read more

Robert Fisk: Netanyahu leads Israel into isolation

Israelis are congratulating themselves on the success of their Iron Dome missile shield. But across Israel these past years has fallen a different kind of iron dome, one that isolates the country rather than protects it, which shields its people from the realities of the Middle East, from Gaza and the West Bank and Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world. The country's liberal elite fear this isolation and the soullessness it has created. How else can one account for the government minister who proposed "sending Gaza back to the Middle Ages" or the accusations against Israeli model Bar Refaeli that she was "an enemy of the people" because she merely prayed "for the welfare of the citizens on both sides" during last week's Gaza war?
Read more

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Your tax dollars at work

If Americans knew!


American taxpayers give Israel over $8 million per day – even though Israel is one of the world’s smallest and richest nations.
And this give-away costs Americans over $15 million per day.
An economist who conducted an audit for the Army War College found that as of 2003 Israel had cost Americans $3 trillion dollars because of the many associated and hidden costs of this money.

For example, Israel receives this massive aid in a lump sum at the very beginning of the fiscal year – unlike aid to any other country.
Since our government is operating at a deficit, this means that we borrow the money, deposit it in an Israeli account at a Federal Reserve Bank, and then taxpayers pay interest on this money long after it has been given away – while Israel makes interest on it.
It is failed policy that hurts everyone – both abroad and here at home.
This expenditure, unlike other governmental give-ways, is never openly discussed, due to the power of the Israel Lobby – the most powerful lobby on behalf of a foreign nation in our country.
A thorough, public discussion would show that it is a failed policy that prevents peace, perpetuates tragedy and injustice, finances discrimination against Christians and Muslims, drags Americans into endless Middle Eastern conflicts, and has caused damage to Americans for decades.

Interview with the author of 'In The Shadow of The Holocaust'

Spannos: In your book you illustrate how, where there was a conflict between Zionist interests and the interests of Jews in DP camps, Zionist organizers, planners and activists put their interests before the well- being of the Jewish refugees. Let's look at your first illustration, the 1945 children's affair. What happened to Jewish children in DP camps during 1945?
Grodzinsky: It is important to see the utilitarian logic behind the Zionist stance: As the ultimate goal was to populate Palestine with multitudes of Jews, they tried to target weak Jewish populations. Strong communities were less interested in Palestine immigration: When things are good, as they were in America (relatively speaking, of course), why move to a war zone? Thus a decision was made to focus on the Jewish DP camps, and envoys were dispatched to Germany, driven by Ben-Gurion’s vision to bring 250,000 survivors from Germany to Palestine. If this is the goal, then a Jew heading west is not an asset. This is why the Zionists objected to initiatives aimed at evacuating Jewish child survivors from Germany right after the war. This is a shocking affair. Several thousand sick, malnourished, and vulnerable orphans, still at great risk, were forced by the Zionists to stay in the camps, even though arrangements were made for them to arrive to safety in England and France. The rest of this tragedy constitutes chapter 4 of my book.

Spannos: I understand that the Zionists at times even resorted to using violent methods against Jews in DP camps for the purposes of conscription. What did this look like?
Grodzinsky: Yes, violent methods were used when necessary. I was shocked to find eviction orders issues to draft deserters, fines, other punishments, and in some instances, even physical beating. Most important, to my mind, is not the violence itself but the coercion, And the irony: The very movement that was created to bring deliverance to the Jews now took possession of Jewish national identity, and in its name expropriated the rights of the people, so that its own needs could be served. Thus, while the establishment of the state was predicated on a conflict with the Arabs over territory, it also led to a conflict with Jews over people. Much has been written on the former, less on the latter. My book is an attempt to fill this gap by focusing a critical lens on the actions of the pre-state Zionist movement. As I was writing it, I tried to give a voice to simple, ordinary Jews, whose suffering as they were ground by the mills of big ideas is rarely discussed. I sought to emphasize the fate of regular individuals, whose life stories form a rich web of alternative Jewish paths.

Why Israel Didn’t Win


Adam Shatz

The ceasefire agreed by Israel and Hamas in Cairo after eight days of fighting is merely a pause in the Israel-Palestine conflict. It promises to ease movement at all border crossings with the Gaza Strip, but will not lift the blockade. It requires Israel to end its assault on the Strip, and Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets at southern Israel, but it leaves Gaza as miserable as ever: according to a recent UN report, the Strip will be ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020. And this is to speak only of Gaza. How easily one is made to forget that Gaza is only a part – a very brutalised part – of the ‘future Palestinian state’ that once seemed inevitable, and which now seems to exist mainly in the lullabies of Western peace processors. None of the core issues of the Israel-Palestine conflict – the Occupation, borders, water rights, repatriation and compensation of refugees – is addressed by this agreement.
The fighting will erupt again, because Hamas will come under continued pressure from its members and from other militant factions, and because Israel has never needed much pretext to go to war. In 1982, it broke its ceasefire with Arafat’s PLO and invaded Lebanon, citing the attempted assassination of its ambassador to London, even though the attack was the work of Arafat’s sworn enemy, the Iraqi agent Abu Nidal. In 1996, during a period of relative calm, it assassinated Hamas’s bomb-maker Yahya Ayyash, the ‘Engineer’, leading Hamas to strike back with a wave of suicide attacks in Israeli cities. When, a year later, Hamas proposed a thirty-year hudna, or truce, Binyamin Netanyahu dispatched a team of Mossad agents to poison the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Amman; under pressure from Jordan and the US, Israel was forced to provide the antidote, and Meshaal is now the head of Hamas’s political bureau – and an ally of Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi.

How Israel Lost

by
Palestinian infoshop. Milan, November 2012.
Hamas lost very little, but gained a lot. Its legitimacy as a governing body grew by leaps and bounds. During this conflict, the Secretary General of the Arab League, the Prime Minister of Egypt and the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Sudan all visited Gaza. Until now, such official visits, even from Arab governments, were exceedingly rare.

No love for baby killers Israel in Turkey



"Baby killers Israel get out of Palestine" by Turkish supporters of Football club Galatasara.

Solidarity rising from the ashes


Despite low margin of error claims, public opinion polls are tendentious things & not particularly reliable--unless of course, they agree with you. According to a poll taken in Israel by Maagar Mohot (a research institution), 49% of the 503 respondents think Israel should have continued the murderous attacks on Gaza, while 31% favored the ceasefire. The poll found 20% with no opinion but it’s unlikely Israel has such a large percentage of halfwits. By contrast, a Haaretz/Dialog poll reported 90% of Israeli Jews supported the siege, with only 12% opposing it. It would be useful to see how the questions in both polls were formulated since that often limits choices & willingness to respond. For example, were the questions about bombing Palestinians or Hamas? A CNN/ORC Int’l poll reported this week that 57% in the US support Israeli attacks on Gaza. Interesting, since at least 63% in the US oppose the Afghanistan war.

Whatever the margin of error or even the truth, it shows the educational & political work to be done is enormous both in the US which bankrolls & arms these atrocities & in Israel which conducts them. But it also shows the potential for building solidarity & opposition to ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Whether the percentage in Israel open to dialogue is 12% or 31%, that’s a lot of people & a lot of potential. Whether the percentage in the US is 43% or less (discounting our halfwits), the work we do can make all the difference in getting out the truth. There was a time when support for Israeli aggression in both countries was nearly 100%. Polls are often a political weapon to intimidate; they are best taken as a political challenge.

This is a smoldering government building in Gaza destroyed in an Israeli air strike on Friday Nov. 24th. (Photo by Hatem Moussa/AP)

Why do they hate us?


Do you think they hate us for our superior culture!?

(Photo by Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press)

Gaza and the US media narrative (Is there a shift?)

Is there potential for a shift in the US media's time-honoured portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? 

Al Jazeera presenter Shihab Rattansi, is joined by guests: Frank Sesno, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and a former CNN Washington bureau chief; Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Insitute for Policy Studies, who helped found the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation; and Vijay Prashad, a professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Connecticut, and the author of Arab Spring, Libyan Winter.

Reformatting deterrence: A new day in Gaza and Israel

Jon Elmer 
The true game-changer 
The true game-changer in the region was Israel's defeat in south Lebanon in the 2006 July War. For 34 days, a seemingly unending stockpile of rockets drove Israelis into bomb shelters and halted daily life throughout nearly the whole country. When Israel's brutal air war failed to halt the rockets, a ground war was launched by the Israeli army.
If every war is to have its signifying battle - the July War was defined in Bint Jbeil. Israel's conscripted army and its reserves walked right into a prepared enemy that had changed the rules of the game - mixing guerrilla operations with conventional military tactics. In so doing, Hezbollah dealt Israel a psychological blow that carried the "spectacle" of defeat, as Israel's Haaretz newspaper characterised it.
According to Israel's Winograd Commission - tasked by the state with investigating the July War failings - the battle in Bint Jbeil was the turning point of the war, "a symbol of the unsuccessful action of the Israel Defence Forces throughout the fighting".
A successful model was in place, and Palestinians took note.
Read more

The way Israeli PR works

1. We haven't heard reports of deaths, will check into it.
2. People were killed, but by a faulty Palestinian rocket/bomb.
3. Ok, we killed them, but they were terrorists.
4. Ok, they were civilians, but they were being used as human shields.
5. Ok, there were no fighters in the area, so it was our mistake. But we kill civilians by accident, they do it on purpose.
6. Ok, we kill far more civilians than they do, but look at how terrible other countries are!
7. Why are you still talking about Israel? Are you some kind of anti-Semite?
8. Repeat from step 1

Where your tax dollars are going



When an American made F16 drops an American made AGM 65 guided missile which was paid for by American taxpayers on a mission sanctioned by the American Ambassador to the United Nations Security Council, do you really think anyone is confused simply because somebody painted a star of david on the fuselage?

In the New York Times: America’s Failed Palestinian Policy

Yousef Munayyer
MORE than 160 Palestinians and 5 Israelis are dead, and as the smoke clears over Gaza, the Israelis will not be more secure and Palestinians’ hopes for self-determination remain dashed. It is time for a significant re-evaluation of the American policies that have contributed to this morass.
The failure of America’s approach toward the Israelis and the Palestinians, much like its flawed policies toward the region in general, is founded on the assumption that American hard power, through support for Israel and other Middle Eastern governments, can keep the legitimate grievances of the people under wraps. 
Read more (Thanks Abu Zuhair)

RT Abby Martin: Journalists in Gaza were deliberately targeted and hit

RT’s Abby Martin Accuses Israel of War Crimes for Targetting Journalists

 Abby Martin of Russia Today’s Brainwash Update pointed out that Israel’s targeting of Gaza media centers, which killed journalists and endangered employees of many news organizations, was a war crime. (She was hardly alone in this). She was the victim of a smear attempt by the Israel lobby, which accused her of support for terrorism (because she dared call illegal Israeli actions illegal). If more journalists stood up to such smear campaigns with her feistiness, the world would be a better place. Watch her let her detractors have it:

 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Who is Goliath?

Phil Weiss (Mondoweiss)
I went to Thanksgiving yesterday in my wife's childhood community of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, (affluent, gentile) and was struck by the criticisms of Israel over the Gaza assault. "Those poor people can't escape anywhere," said a middle-aged woman, speaking of Gazans. While a relative said the imbalance of forces between Israel and Hamas reminded her of a schoolyard bully. "Or let's say you see your neighbor mercilessly beating his dog. And he says to you, Well he snarled at me. That's not an excuse. Really it's a David and Goliath situation." 
Read more

Palestinian poet, Remi Kanazi, performing "Normalize This!"




"Those who engage in normalization either ignore this oppression, or accept it as the status quo that can be lived with.
In an attempt to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights, Israel attempts to re-brand itself or present itself as "normal" -- even "enlightened" -- through an intricate array of relations and activities encompassing hi-tech, cultural, legal, LGBT and other realms.

Normalization applies to relationships that convey a misleading or deceptive image of normalcy, symmetry, or parity despite a patently abnormal and asymmetric relationship of colonial oppression and apartheid."

A photo worth a thousand lies


This photo is of a Palestinian solidarity rally in New York City, not Israel. But there have also been many such rallies in Israel. The belief that Israeli-Palestinian hostilities are intransigent & separation necessary for survival is Zionist propaganda, exposing its utter capitulation to racism. The political impact of the great US Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was blunted when Black leadership attached themselves to the Democratic Party but such treachery can never efface the power & force of that movement against racial hatred & oppression or the inspiration it continues to give to millions of people around the world suffering the whip of colonialism & racism.

Israelis who stand up against Zionism & work in concert with Palestinians & their supporters around the world are part of the great movement against racial hatred which is one of the pivotal political struggles of our historic epoch. Those Israelis who choose to stand with the human race & not against it play a role of the greatest importance. They face enormous political pressures in Israel, as dissidents do everywhere, so we do more than tip our hats to them; we stand in solidarity with them to uproot Zionism, replace it with human solidarity, & build a unified, democratic, secular society where Jews & Palestinians can live in harmony. (Photograph from RT)

Does this look like joy to you!?

The Wall Street Journal caption to this photo read: “A cease-fire between Israel & Hamas took hold across the Gaza Strip border Thursday. Here, a Palestinian celebrated after Egypt announced the halt to eight days of Israeli-Palestinian bombardments.” It’s hard to pack so much hogwash into two short sentences! This young boy’s eyes speak very powerfully of emotions, but does this look like celebration to you!? Grief, sadness, anger, exhaustion--but no damn celebration. And the worst deceit of all, “Israeli-Palestinian bombardments” to describe an all-out murderous aerial assault with attack helicopters & bombers against defenseless & unarmed people.

The beleaguered people of Gaza have been through hell & must be overwhelmed & exhausted. Palestinian solidarity has never been more important. The Israeli siege of Gaza will not end even if they stop raining bombs on Gaza so getting the truth out is more important than ever to demand: End the siege of Gaza; Boycott all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); & End all US aid to Israel. (Photo by Ali Ali/EPA)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Just say No!

They have it all good!



"Ever had a Zionist tell you how amazing life is for "Arabs" in Israel compared to anywhere else in the Middle East? Or that life expectancy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is higher than Iran, Turkey etc etc? Remind them that their "argument" sounds familiar - this is John Connally, U.S. politician, speaking on visit to Apartheid South Africa in Sept 1978". (Ben White)

The toddler who couldn't understand mother is dead





Overwhelming US support for onslaught was given in prejudicial disregard of Palestinian perspective — Scholars

by Terri Ginsberg, Fouzi El-Asmar, Raymond W. Baker, Ghada Karmi
"We believe that overwhelming U.S. government support for Operation Pillar of Defense has been offered brazenly and prejudicially, without a careful or balanced review of the facts and in blatant disregard for Palestinian perspectives and experiences. Official Israeli military and government reports have been accepted at the expense of such perspectives and experiences, and the objections of a small but significant number of dissenting Israelis have also not been considered. In turn the U.S. mainstream media has supplied a distorted representation of the situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories that fosters misinformation and ill-advised reactions, thus further endangering human lives."
Read more

Three Israelis abduct a Palestinian worker from his workplace and kill him... just because

Israelis kill Palestinian worker in cold blood
JENIN (PIC) 21 Nov -- Three Israelis abducted a Palestinian worker from his workplace in Yarka village, in 1948 occupied Akka province, on Tuesday night and killed him in cold blood. Relatives told the PIC that three Israelis took Ahmed Eid, 22, from his sleeping bed in the village to nearby groves and shot him to death just because he is a Palestinian. They said that his brother Mahmoud, who went to inquire about his brother, miraculously escaped from the Israelis but was detained by the police along with his brother’s body. They said that both brothers, from Jenin, worked in a carton factory in the village.
Read more

Meanwhile in occupied West Bank, the occupation as usual

Israel arrests 33 Palestinians in West Bank
WEST BANK 21 Nov (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday arrested 33 Palestinians from across the West Bank, according to local and security sources. They told WAFA that forces stormed the village of Hussan, west of Bethlehem, raided several Palestinian houses, tampering with their contents, and arrested nine Palestinians from the Hamamreh family. Sources said that the arrests came following confrontations that broke out Tuesday evening, during which a Jewish settler was injured by a stone thrown at her while she was passing in her car near the village, claimed the Israeli forces.
Forces also raided several houses in al-Dheisheh Refugee Camp south of Bethlehem and arrested three Palestinians age 18, in addition to two 22-year-olds.
Meanwhile, forces stormed Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, and Wadi Shahin area and arrested six Palestinians, including three youths.
Israeli forces at dawn arrested three Palestinians from the Jenin area after raiding their houses and tampering with their contents. Forces also raided several greenhouses in the city of Jenin, searched them, destroying crops and causing financial loss.
In Hebron, forces arrested four Palestinians after raiding their homes, tampering with their contents....
Read more

African Americans condemn Israeli war on Gaza


NEW YORK 20 Nov (WAFA) – A group of prominent African Americans condemned in a statement issued on Monday the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. "African Americans for Justice in the Middle East and North Africa (AAJMENA) strongly condemns Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza" said the statement ... The statement denounced the position of the United States administration of Barack Obama from the Israeli aggression."Rather than taking a stand against Israeli’s onslaught and issuing an unambiguous demand for an end to the bloodshed, the Obama administration has condemned alleged Palestinian terrorism, repeating the dishonest line that this violent attack is merely in defense of Israel..."
Read more

Palestinian funerals are not militant pageantry

Palestinians love their children and want them to live just like the rest of us. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I feel it’s necessary following a New York Times piece by Jodi Rudoren critiquing the funeral held for members of the Dalou family killed in a single Israeli airstrike on Gaza, four of who were small children between the ages of one and six. Rudoren is the New York Times  Jerusalem bureau chief ... From beginning to end, the piece is packed with racially loaded buzzwords that reflect common negative stereotypes westerners hold about arabs and muslims. The trouble begins in the opening sentence:
Read more

Cease-fire agreement almost identical to that reached in Operation Cast Lead

Haaretz
Agreement reached despite terror attack on Tel Aviv bus; Israel wins assurances on security, Gaza on freedom of movement; Obama pressures Netanyahu; Morsi emerges as prestigious leader.

Regurgitating Israeli talking points, Amanpour lectures Meshal that ‘int’l agreements’ bar right of return

Phil Weiss (Mondoweiss)
Interviewing Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Cairo last night on CNN, Christian Amanpour stated repeatedly that Palestinian refugees had no right to return to Israel according to "international agreements." (Transcript below)
In fact there are UN resolutions guaranteeing the right of refugees to return to their homes. Max Blumenthal challenged Amanpour "to cite one legally binding international resolution that prevents the Palestinian right of return. It is clear... she has no understanding of international law on refugees, no idea of Res 194." He continues, by email:
Read more

‘New York Times’ fails dismally again, this time in Congo

James North (Mondoweiss)
I am experienced and world weary, and it takes a lot to leave me speechless.  But once Jodi Rudoren's Orientalist pop anthropology had flabbergasted me, her New York Times colleague in east Africa finished the job.
Jeffrey Gettleman missed the actual breaking news in eastern Congo two days ago, when several thousand armed predators calling themselves the M23 Movement seized Goma, a major regional city.  Once he did show up, he opens his article with a favorable portrait of the M23, describing them as "lean, young rebels in pressed fatigues." Only right at the end, almost as an afterthought, does he note that those pesky scolds at Human Rights Watch have found M23 guilty of "ethnic massacres, recruitment of children, mass rape, killings, abductions and torture."

Palestinian solidarity isn't going anywhere soon! We're here until justice is served!


Not all Palestinians are celebrating the tenuous ceasefire. Many are still trying to remove tonnage of rubble to recover bodies. Hundreds are mourning & burying their dead. Some are surveying their bombed out fields & thousands are left homeless. All face even more severe food shortages, lack of medical supplies, & power blackouts. It’s all over but the suffering.

And so it must be asked: exactly what was Israel’s purpose in this murderous assault? The Arab uprisings, which are not completed, transform politics in the Middle East & change the narrative peddled for over 60 years about Israeli democracy & Arab terrorism. They threaten the Zionist edifice built on lies & alter power relations in the entire region, previously dominated by Israeli & US military terror. The Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement has been growing in strength around the world, challenging the Zionist lies. Palestinians have been heartened by this growing support after being isolated & beleaguered for so long & strengthened by the support expressed in all the Arab uprisings. This siege was not just an escalation of Israeli ethnic cleansing; it was intended to demoralize Palestinian resistance & to terrorize Arab democracy protestors in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, & elsewhere by a massive show of military aggression. And it was an attempt to discourage Palestinian solidarity by making their cause look hopeless.

Well, we have a purpose too & that is to remain undaunted, to continue to build the BDS movement, to continue to organize speak-outs, forums, rallies, to continue to tell the truth & to support the Palestinian people. Our demands are clear: boycott all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) & end all US aid to Israel. Our full solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Here people survey the damage in Gaza City. (Photo by Tyler Hicks/NYTimes)