US Tax Dollars Provide Welfare to the Global Repression Industry!

If American’s think gun violence in the US bad now, things are about to get a whole lot worse with the $38 BILLION US tax dollars of ‘military aid’ going to Israel and $60 BILLION to Saudi Arabia.
Not only will this trillion dollar hand out to military contractors and arms dealers, justified by the illegal, immoral ‘war on terror’ will be used to kill civilians abroad – it comes at the expense of much needed funding for: education, healthcare, affordable housing, infrastructure & everything else that’s in shambles in the US.
Still this war against the people, is not limited to those abroad. As Jeff Halper notes:
This type weaponry for everything from counterinsurgency to combating refugees to Ferguson to the Occupy Movement should send the message: the Occupation is here in our community. As our armies, police forces and paranoid-induced civilians are being “israelized,” the rest of us are being palestinianized.”

So here is an Israeli weapons company, Israel Weapons Industries (IWI), announcing a ten-fold increase in ammunition sales to the US of $66 million, a third of it geared to the civilian market. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. IWI, the manufacturers of the most famous submachine gun in the world, the Uzi, recently opened a manufacturing plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://iwi.us

What IWI is producing and selling is chilling: powerful military weapons that have been “civilianized” so that they can be used by police and civilians. The Uzi, for example, has been made into a large pistol, so the next time you’re stopped by your local police (or if you’re black or poor, shot at by your local police), they could be pulling from their holsters Uzi machine gun pistols.

Besides supplying weapons and ammo to the US army, IWI is targeting two American populations. First, the police. It is encouraging the militarization of US police by producing a range of semi-automatic rifles, machine guns and other “hybrid” military/police weapons, and using local police to lobby in their departments — and Congress –for IWI weaponry.

Second, IWI targets the huge American civilian market (Americans, about 4% of the world’s population, own 250 million small arms, about 40% of the world’s total). In fact, on the IWI US website is an icon urging Americans to support the gun lobby. So IWI produces the X95 combined carbine, assault rifle and submachine gun. Why a carbine component? Would you use an X95 to hunt deer? Because assault rifles and submachine guns are (marginally) harder to purchase across the counter; being a normal carbine removes that difficulty. $1200 at your local gun shop (or maybe Walmart’s) will buy you one.

A Call for Solidarity with Palestine and the World’s Oppressed

Today the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, comes at a time of intensified aggression by occupation forces and violence in Palestine and throughout the region. As conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate globally, the situation is amongst the worst facing Palestinians since 1948. In Palestine, Zionist settlement expansion continues to usurp more land unabated in the West Bank, while settler and soldier violence has reached relentless levels in all of historic Palestine. Meanwhile, Gaza has experienced three devastating assaults by Israel since 2008 — which according to a recent UN report will render the strip uninhabitable within five years. Individual Palestinians are lashing out with kitchen knives and whatever limited means available to resist the bleak situation.

Palestinians have watched helplessly, as every so called peace process since Oslo, has only served to provide Israel with diplomatic cover, to kill and blatantly steal more land and consolidate power. Meanwhile, the international “quartet” tasked with negotiating a solution are consumed by violence they are responsible for creating, thus rendering hopeless any chance of creating a more peaceful solution, in the foreseeable future. As the complacent Palestinian leadership, tasked with the role of suppressing resistance, serves to accelerate the colonization of our homeland –the situation becomes more desperate than ever. In what many have called a Third Intifada, individual Palestinians are lashing out with kitchen knives and whatever limited means available to resist the bleak situation.

The acts of resistance by Palestinian youth are spontaneous expressions of anger – yet lack sufficient organization and strategic direction, calling into question whether the demonstrations can be sustained. Despite a lack of political leadership or clear organization, the Palestinian people continue their struggle for freedom against one of the world’s largest and most powerful militaries in the world. Regardless of what it’s called, the biggest achievement of the latest surge of rebellions is its ability to reactivate the youth to directly confront Zionism. Palestinian Youth Movement Call for Solidarity To combat this Zionist project of erasure, the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) the only transnational, independent, grassroots movement made up of Palestinians in exile, and within historic Palestine, put out the following statement:

On this international day of solidarity November 29, 2015, the PYM calls on Palestinians worldwide and the solidarity movement to join us in support of the Palestinian resistance, culminating in an international mobilization on this day, and until Palestine is free: Our aspirations for justice and liberation motivate us to assume an active role as a young generation in our national struggle for the liberation of our homeland and people. In recent weeks, Al-Aqsa Mosque has been the target of particularly brutal assaults while arbitrary killings are committed daily by the Zionist military and settlers and mass youth arrests are implemented in Palestine. In response to this Zionist violence, we must recognise that resistance is a mandatory element to surviving in the face of an ongoing project of ethnic cleansing.

Solidarity glimmers, beyond an otherwise bleak horizon

As a principle, solidarity with the world’s oppressed provides a guiding light of how to navigate in an increasingly hostile, complex and violent world. Every day in the corporate media – from Palestine to Iraq, Syria, Ferguson and beyond, we are bombarded with images of mass violence and those spewing hate against poor people and people of color. Palestinian liberation must be based on uniting all Palestinian workers–in the West Bank and Gaza, within Israel’s borders and in the diaspora. Settlers, police and soldiers are portrayed as the victims, while given free range and even incited by government officials to kill with impunity, while media pundits provide no context or cause of the violence.

In 2005, the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) call was signed by more than 170 civil society organizations and has gained unprecedented global success, and its leadership has filled an important vacuum left by the traditional political parties. Likewise solidarity for Palestinians means overcoming the media misinformation and recognizing that #BlackLivesMatter and Indigenous peoples around the world that are killed with the same impunity. For us to be in solidarity means we too must make these connections and understand that all state violence is connected – while working to address the root causes. BDS is central to our movement, however BDS alone is not enough.

A genuine strategy for Palestinian liberation must be based on uniting all Palestinian workers–in the West Bank and Gaza, within Israel’s borders and in the diaspora. The Palestinian working class can then make regional and international alliances with all those seeking the democratic self- activity necessary for liberation. Road Map to Peace, Where to Begin? Solidarity statements with Palestine are an important first step. Yet to transform the oppressive nature of occupation, we must navigate from this initial symbolic show of support – to practical liberatory action. We can begin by looking at historic and current examples – both of which provide an excellent source of inspiration.

As solidarity among oppressed peoples grew historically–so did Israel’s cooperation with dictators in techniques of surveillance, detention, torture and death squads in Latin America. Emigrating after the First World War, Palestinians created the first Palestinian institutions outside of Palestine, in Latin America. As early as 1920 and by 1947 there was a strong lobby in several countries against the partition of Palestine by the United Nations.Today Latin American solidarity is expressed in a variety of forms of delegations and cooperation, and organizations in Latin America demanding their governments break all relations with Israel. As solidarity among oppressed peoples grew historically–so did Israel’s cooperation with dictators in techniques of surveillance, detention, torture and death squads in Latin America such as Somoza in Nicaragua and Pinochet in Chile. Today Israel shares “expertise” with U.S. police under “various facets of counter-terrorism and first response to better protect the American people.” And as “cooperation” increases we see in both instances, an increasing number of victims are blamed for their own murders, even when evidence is clear they provided no threat whatsoever. me

Exporting Global Repression

Israel is perfecting surveillance, and one of the top occupation profiteers, through the surveillance of the Palestinian people. Using knowledge and expertise gained from assisting in the occupation of Palestinians, the Israeli defense systems company, Elbit, has made millions exporting surveillance worldwide – and increasingly in Latin America. While, Israel’s role in arming dictators and oppressive regimes in Latin America during the last century is well documented, Elbit, is at the forefront of a new growing movement working in at least five Latin American countries, as well as along the U.S.-Mexico border. Elbit – Crossing Borders, Building Fortress Walls The technology Elbit is using to profit off of the “Wall of Death” along the U.S.-Mexico border was first deployed in Palestine along Israel’s Apartheid Wall that in 2004. The International Court of Justice ruled was illegal, and must be torn down, and that Israel must pay reparations. Despite this ruling, Elbit continues to participate in the maintenance of the Wall, thereby being complicit in a grave breach of international law, which is a war crime. palmex

G4S – Leading Repression in Palestine and Globally

In August 2015, more than 1,100 prominent Black activists, artists, scholars, students and organizations signed a historic Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine. As part of the BDS campaign, they are taking up targeting the British security company G4S that backs Israel’s notorious prisons. From their statement: “G4S is the world’s largest private security company. G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally held in Israel and Black and brown youth held in its privatized juvenile prisons in the U.S. The corporation profits from incarceration and deportation from the US and Palestine, to the UK, South Africa, and Australia.

This article was originally published in Telesur.

Israeli occupation forces strangle PA official Ziad Abu Ein to death, during olive tree planting

December 10, 2014 On this human rights day Ziad Abu Ein, Palestinian Authority minister and head of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was murdered at a protest and olive-tree planting in Turmusayya village outside Ramallah after being hit, choked and tear-gassed by Israeli occupation forces today.

As we can clearly see here, vicious Israeli/zionist occupation forces train American police in every major city, with the same brutal tactics as used on Palestinians.

It doesn’t even matter that this man was a Palestinian minister that collaborated with the farce of a peace process and system to the extent in which the PA legitimated them. Still, the moment he stood up, even in the most symbolic way, they were quick to murder him as they do with so many other Palestinians. . with complete impunity.

STATEMENT: Murder of Ziad Abu Ein, Palestinian official and former political prisoner, must mean end to security cooperation.

Eric Garner being choked to death by NYPD

nakba
#ShutItDown #PalestinianLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter  #JusticeForEricGarner

Samer Issawi Joins Mandela, MLK, Gandhi in Legendary Struggle for Freedom, Justice, Dignity

Palestinian political prisoner and super hero Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike for 202 days – literally starving for justice – for the world to open their eyes, ears and hearts to his plight, and the plight of his people.

issawi

I often hear well-meaning liberals ask, “where is the Palestinian Nelson Mandela, MLK or Gandhi?”.

Ironically today in 1990 Nelson Mandela, after being imprisoned for 27 years, was released. Mandela, like Issawi was also jailed for struggling for not only his freedom, but the freedom of his people. Mandela was a member of the the African National Congress (ANC), which is the oldest black political organization in South Africa and was, like Hamas, designated by the white, racist, ruling class-as a terrorist organization.

Today Samer Issawi is hanging on by a string, for his life. But the truth is he’s been dying a slow painful death, since the day he was arrested – without charge or trial – in a process called “administrative detention” by Israeli occupation forces. Administrative detention is a nice, sterilized term which allows Israeli/zionist forces to arbitrarily kidnap, arrest, torture and harass any Palestinian, at any given moment.

And to be precise, he was rearrested after having served 11 years in Israeli dungeons. Issawi was previously sentenced to 30 years by Israel in 2002 and was among freed Palestinian prisoners who were released in October 2011 under a prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel. However, this time Israel reneged and rearrested him eight months later, as it did in previous prisoner exchange deals.
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What is also quite ironic and astonishing, is that Gandhi’s longest hunger strike from prison lasted merely 21 days. This is truly nothing to scoff at. However, what makes Samer beyond amazing is that he has lasted nearly 10 times as long without food – despite being beaten, abused, humiliated, in freezing conditions – while both he AND his family were living through hell and under constant attack by his captors.

But, unlike Mandela, Gandhi, and King – because he is Palestinian and our lives mean nothing to those in power, their was no global outcry. No attempt by so called democratic governments, or human rights organizations to intervene.

What Martin Luther King, Jr. meant when he said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” explains what comes as no surprise to some of us, that the media has been completely silent about Samer’s case. Clearly, they are not telling us the truth (about anything), except for what their corporate sponsors want us to know-and why their has been absolutely no media coverage of any of this reality. Nor has a single US government official, who not only admit, but praise their “unbreakable bond” with this criminal regime, who have made these abuses possible with US tax dollars.

That’s why each and everyone of us has a critically important role to play in furthering justice for Samer, for Palestine, and for ALL those who struggle to further these righteous aims. The only voice to amplify Samer’s message to the world, points to the only hope and power that’s been illustrated in the struggle for justice, today-and that is, the voice of the people. Twitter activists globally who attempt to amplify his case by “trending” on twitter, reminds me of the ISM, the flotilla‘s and other activists trying to reach the world with this message of justice-since we know that governments, media and so called human rights organizations are not going to do the right thing. The choice is ours alone.

The question that remains is: when the next oppressed people begin to rise up against this oppressive system will we say: Why isn’t their a Samer Issawi – and/or will we learn from these inspirational leaders that have taught us that dignity, freedom and justice, are indeed more important than food – and well worth living, and dying for.

‘Hungry’ – by Doc Jazz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOxOWAHesKI&feature=youtu.be

Please Help Us Celebrate, Not Appropriate-Palestinian film ’5 Broken Cameras’ Oscar Nomination!

In a historic victory, the excellent and riveting newly released documentary ‘5 Broken Cameras which documents the non-violent struggle against the loss of Palestinian land by the construction of the nearby settlement and the apartheid wall-was nominated for an Oscar this year. The film about the Palestinian people, was made by a Palestinian film maker, and takes place in the Palestinian village of Bil’in. Whether due to malicious intent, even maybe due to sheer confusion, or perhaps because it was co-directed by an Israeli – the media however has taken the liberty to sabotage it, as an “Israeli film” – thus putting a major damper on celebrations.

5BrokenCamsQAGuyEmad

As Palestinians, this fact alone is a severe blow to our national pride and is annoying, but that’s not the worst part! To make matters worse and what really makes it a disaster, is what kind of message does it send to the unknowing reader?? An article, in the liberal leaning Huffington Post clearly demonstrates the conundrum and bitter sweet victory, that this Oscar nomination brings. To your average reader, the article states the obvious point, in saying: ”Israel’s overall image in the world has taken a beating because of the decades-long conflict with the Palestinians.”

FINALLY! After over six decades of brutalized struggle, trying desperately, mainly in vain – to hold on to their land, this “beating” to the Israeli image (which is really the truth finally beginning to emerge, as is clearly exemplified in this film) that Palestinians and activists from all over the world-have been struggling tirelessly – at great personal cost, to convey to the world has finally begun to penetrate the main stream.

What comes in the very next sentence of the article, however, makes the exact point that threatens to effectively undermine all the hard work and upholds the false illusion of ‘democracy’ that the apartheid state works so hard to create. The article actually goes on to state: ”but even critics say its film industry shows that Israel remains a vibrant democracy.”!!!

Come again!

The bottom line is that creating one set of laws for one group of people, i.e. “Jews” and another one for “non-Jews”, makes it inherently impossible and therefore intellectually dishonest, to call it a democracy (click here to read more about, Israel’s illusionary democracy/system). In fact, the term ‘apartheid’ comes from apart or separate – as in laws, i.e. as was in the case of apartheid South Africa, which is why so many have come to use the term to describe Israel’s system.

Since zionists can’t silence it, they will do what they do best and appropriate it, then lie about its origins. Incidentally, that’s why there are strict guidelines against “normalization“. When this films gets recognized for its amazing work -at great personal risk to the film makers, the struggle of people of the village of Bil’in and all of Palestine – it is no doubt a victory. But the question is, who ultimately gains the most… on the back of Palestinians…yet Again…?!

iyad

Cause to Celebrate or Will Zionists Appropriate?

WE MUST BE VIGILANT!! SUGGESTIONS TO PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD about this legendary Palestinian film of nonviolent resistance that so many have sacrificed, with their bodies and their lives for. 

1) ANY TIME YOU SEE OR HEAR IT CALLED AN ISRAELI FILM, PLEASE REPORT IT HERE

2) POST COMMENTS ON ANY MEDIA REPORTING ON THE FILM, AS PALESTINIAN! Let this film be for the purpose it was meant – to educate, and to raise our voice and just struggle to the world, and bring us one step closer to ending the cultural, and all appropriation of the Palestinian people and cause for freedom and justice, ONCE AND FOR ALL!

3) WRITE YOUR OWN BLOGPOST AND/OR OP-ED ALERTING READERS TO THIS ISSUE AND ASK THEM TO SHARE, THEN DO SUGGESTIONS 1 & 2

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! AND FOLLOW #BABALSHAMS TO READ ABOUT THE LATEST PALESTINIAN NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE AGAINST SETTLEMENTS & LAND THEFT..

1) Huffington Post – ‘The Gatekeepers,’ ’5 Broken Cameras’: Israeli Documentaries Shortlisted For Oscar” – By Daniel Estrin 01/03/13http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/the-gatekeepers-5-broken-cameras_n_2404714.html

Israeli Illusionary Democracy: Beyond Apartheid

By Noura Khouri – Article from 2007

The saying that occupation exists best in the dark explains one reason for the controversy surrounding the use of the term Apartheid to describe the Israeli system. It also explains why what is a clear and simple fact to those intimately acquainted with the reality on the ground has caused so much confusion or strife among those who are not.

Generally speaking, there are three sides to the debate about the use of the term to describe Israel’s political system and its comparison with South African Apartheid. Staunch Zionist defenders are completely against the use of the term, charging it as ‘anti-Semitic’, with no thoughtful discussion of the issues. By dismissing the criticism as a personal attack, they fail to account for the basic facts and reality on the ground and reveal their limitations in understanding or wanting to know the severe injustices, committed in their name. Then there are activists, academic and legal experts who support the use of the term.

As a matter of convenience, they borrow the term from the oppressive South African regime, which most people know to be reprehensible, in order to strengthen the Palestinian case. They argue that although the term may not be entirely representative of the situation – the underlying racism and discrimination are the same. They would add that, due to the advances made in South Africa in ending oppression, it is useful to leverage the parallels and draw on the successes of the anti-Apartheid movement, as a means for building the boycott-Israel campaign. Finally, even amongst Palestinians and solidarity activists, there are internal disagreements about the use of the term. Critics say, that because the term “Apartheid” is borrowed from South Africa, it fails to portray the complexity of the Israeli system and in fact, causes more confusion rather than understanding.

Most well intentioned people however, would agree that the only way to end the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to first engage in honest analysis of the situation. Still, generalities are made, distinctions are muddled and people with the best of intentions are often left alone to interpret meanings, or worse, completely confused by the insidious details of the system at work.

Jimmy Carter’s well intended book titled, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, is an example which in fact feeds into these misconceptions. He asserts that Apartheid is found in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but ignores the regime existing inside Israel, thereby implying that the situation there is fine. Yet, inside Israel the comparison with Apartheid is more accurate; the case can be made from the basic laws alone, and the result is cultural genocide(1) of the Palestinian identity within Israel.

The system of domination and militarized control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is actually, more accurately described as one on the path of ethnocide.(2) Although the means of the Zionist settler project may vary within Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), the goals are the same and should be analyzed as such: its demographic objectives and colonization of all of historic Palestine (“Eretz” Israel) translate into the dispossession and transfer of Palestinians.

Still, Zionist leaders know that to the outside world they must walk the fine line and uphold the appearance of a democracy while maintaining the Jewish state. As both Israel and the Palestinian people are extremely dependent – economically, politically and in the realm of public relations – the conflict ultimately becomes a war of public opinion. Perhaps this is why Israel’s main success lies in its public relations campaign. Indeed, over the years, Zionist leaders have engaged in the world’s most brilliant and cunning PR campaign. Adding to the complexity, confusion and profound misunderstanding of the state of Israel is perhaps the fact that Israel is one of the most multi-cultural places on earth. In South Africa racist practice was identified much more easily; it manifested itself in separate laws for “Whites”, and “non-Whites” based on the color of one’s skin. In Israel, you are either a Jew, whether religious or not (which makes it a matter of race), or a non-Jew.

For Israel, as was for the Apartheid South Africa, the goals are/were colonial and imperialistic in nature. However, in former South Africa, the system of control and separation was designed to expropriate the valuable natural resources for the ruling minority through oppression of the natives, who did not enjoy the right to vote. Whites there were the extreme minority; they therefore realized the impossibility of upholding even a fallacy of a democracy, and laws were made and upheld by and for the ruling class. The Palestinian populations of the OPT and Israel will soon surpass the number of Jews. Hence, the question of how to achieve and maintain the demographic majority of Jews in Palestine has become the single most important obsession of Israel’s leaders. The fact that Palestinians in Israel are allowed to vote adds to the confusion and the illusion of democracy. Moreover, the basic laws in Israel, and countless military orders in the OPT, which exclude Palestinians are so deeply embedded in the fabric of Israeli Apartheid, that they are seldom questioned in a systematic manner.

As a result, the point which begs understanding – although obvious to Palestinians, anti-Zionist Jews and other scholars – is that Israel as a state ‘for Jews’ leads directly to the oppression and subjugation of Palestinians. Herein lies the inherent racism against Palestinians on both sides of the ‘Green Line’: either we come to terms with Jewish superiority and Israel’s “right to exist” as it is as “Greater Israel,” or we cannot ‘coexist’ at all. The implication is that it is naïve, unrealistic, perhaps ideal but definitely impossible, to live as equals on this land, if Israel continues to be allowed to define itself exclusively as a Jewish state. This message advanced clearly by representatives of Palestinians in Israel in their “Future Vision of Palestinian Arabs in Israel:”

Defining the Israeli State as a Jewish State and exploiting democracy in the service of its Jewishness excludes us, and creates tension between us and the nature and essence of the State. Therefore, we call for a Consensual Democratic system that enables us to be fully active in the decision –making process and guarantee our individual and collective civil, historic, and national rights.(3)

Israeli ‘Democracy’: The Formula for Dispossession

Since the inception of the state, the basis of Zionist ideology and Apartheid has been manifest in Israel’s Law of Return of 1950, which states that any Jew in the world, spanning three generations, is allowed to ‘return’ to the ‘promised land’ of over 2000 years ago. This stands in stark contrast to the laws for Palestinians who are forbidden to return to their own homes of just 60 years ago. This law alone, makes it impossible to construct, much less uphold, a democratic system. Such discrimination contradicts every democratic principle and the otherwise universally recognized right of 6 million 1948 Palestinian refugees, who are entitled to Israeli nationality based on the right of return and the law of state succession.

Since 1950, the Absentee Property Law has ensured that the new immigrant settlers find a comfortable home in the properties belonging to those who fled or were forced to leave because of Zionist terrorism during the 1948 War. The same law was later applied to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 war. Property rights were transferred to the Custodian of Absentee Property without compensation and effective appeal. In the OPT the seized land has been used predominately for military bases, Jewish-only bypass roads, and settlements. So-called “state land” also allows for the Apartheid “roads and tunnels plan”. Israel is currently in the process of completing 24 tunnels for Palestinians to drive through and connect with their Palestinian prison-islands, and paving the 56 settler-only Apartheid roads for Jews only to travel on!(4)

In order to prevent additional Palestinians from becoming Israeli citizens, against international law, on 14 May 2006, the Supreme Court of Israel, issued a decision to uphold the racist Nationality and Entry into Israel Law of 2003, which violates the right of Israeli citizens to family reunification with their Palestinian spouses from the OPT.

These laws combined with countless supplemental policies result in the cleansing of Palestinians and the population of the land with Zionist settlers. The suffering of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem has reached tragic proportions; while illegally annexed to Israel, they are considered “permanent residents” whose residency permits can be taken away if they go abroad for more than 7 years. Jews may have dual citizenship, but a non-Jewish Jerusalemite loses residency if acquiring additional citizenship. Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem are enduring the same systematic process as those in the rest of the West Bank as the Wall leads to house demolitions, property confiscation, forced displacement, isolation and denial of access to social services. Such practices found in Jerusalem, can also be seen from the Galilee to the Naqab and the Jordan Valley. It all adds up into one bigger picture, and the larger context, its analysis and the recipe become clear to see.

It is time to define our own terms and claim our rights, in practice and as enshrined in human rights conventions and international law. In addition to the concept of Apartheid, it is critical we challenge the acquiescence to cultural genocide and ethnocide, in part and in full.

Noura Khouri is a Palestinian American activist who has written on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is a shortened and edited version of a longer article which can be found in full at: http://palestinehumanrights.blogspot.com/

Endnotes:

(1) Article 7 of the “United Nations draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples” defines Cultural genocide as (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities; (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources; (c) Any form of population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights; (d) Any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or otherwise.

(2) Raphael Lemkin, the linguist and lawyer coined the term genocide as “the union of the Greek word genos (race, tribe) and the Latin cide (killing), used ethnocide as an alternative form representing the same concept, using the Greek ethnos (nation) in place of genos.” The broader definition of ethnocide may be useful in addressing perceived shortcomings and restrictions of genocide law and in identifying cultural destruction when it occurs by less violent and less visible means (All Experts Online Encyclopedia: http://en.allexperts.com/e/r/ra/raphael_lemkin.htm)

(3) The National Committee for the Heads of the Arab Local Authorities in Israel, of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel presented titled, A Manifesto for the “Future Vision of Palestinian Arabs in Israel”.

(4) Negotiations Support Unit Website –

http://www.nad-plo.org/inner.php?view=palisraeli_Roads_faq%20roadfinal

What does it mean to be in solidarity with Palestine?

Another Take on the Free Gaza Fiasco – updated. Also, ‘Fall out from the Fiasco’ below. 

In light of current and past events leading up to the Gaza Freedom Fiasco, ‘we’ – whose ultimate goal is genuinely to achieve justice for Palestine – it is due time to ask ourselves some important questions. The question that all who are part of this ‘we’, should ask of all of our actions, words and activities is: are we strategically advancing our one common goal? If the answer is no, ‘we’ should drop everything and immediately attempt to rectify, or correct this contradiction.

It  should be evident by now, that there is not one clear, monolithic movement with agreed upon values. It may follow then, to call into question – so how are we tied together, what exactly is it in all honesty we can expect others to be accountable to the rest? It’s not saying we should not be, and it’s not just a hypothetical question – what does it actually mean to be a solidarity activist? And most importantly, in the future, how can we avoid getting side-tracked by these public dramas, and still hold and be held accountable?

Also, what are the current mechanisms for resolving conflicts, that are sure to come up due to issues of representation, accountability – in a highly decentralized, independent, grassroots movement? Of course the need for any serious movement to condemn all forms of racism, sexism and every one of the countless phobias – are a huge challenge, that we must be better be prepared to deal with. Yet, since it’s impossible to control the words, actions and activities of anyone but ourselves, and needless to say capitalistic/totalitarian like solutions of dealing with those striving for justice – are highly problematic. So how can we best achieve this goal?

The main problem with the public trials, where evidence is presented and accusations are slung, is first that it inherently pits other activists against each other by forcing them to choose sides, many times between those they’ve worked for years. Perhaps more importantly, public pronouncements about each others character, are slanderous and will in no way sustain a growing global movement. That is, in short – it directly only feeds into typical divide and conquer, and the hands of the real enemy – zionism. For more on that, as well as the original Free Gaza Fisaco, see my post on the fallout from the fiasco. Perhaps there is no way to find redress in the current situation, maybe there is. However for the future, in order to change from the current old world order – to a new justice based model, it is imperative we start with ourselves – and be the change – beginning with all those, who are committed to achieving these ends.

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To achieve justice, we must restore justice!

In the spirit of ending the cycle of divisiveness, future infighting and splits – let us make this movement not about people, but about principles. Principles can best be adhered to with agreed upon consensus – and ways of dealing with conflict, that do not repeat the injuries that have been done. This is called restorative justice*. If we in good faith, approach each experience as an opportunity to learn new ways of dealing with problems – we automatically revolutionize conflict and in doing so, put what we all want – Palestine first.

For example, in a Palestinian conflict resolution context, we might turn to an indigenous method for resolving conflict called: Sulha. In this case, parties are brought together with a mediator respected by each side. They go through one of two types of procedures that involve those immediately effected by the conflict. Learning about this history may help us collectively create better ways to address conflict in the future.

Humanitarian aid ship Estelle was sieged by Israeli forces! Israel violates int’l law by arresting people in int’l waters & stealing humanitarian aid

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb and I are working on a proposal to create a ‘Beit Convivencia’ – which is a communal living space with the purpose of bringing together a diverse network of justice based activists. This intentional community will be dedicated to human rights organizing in a multifaith, multicultural and intergenerational context and will be used to create art, share ideas and work together to build a common vision for the future based on principles of restorative justice.

Rabbi Lynn is currently in Toronto, participating in Annual General Meeting of Independent Jewish Voices. They are addressing the issues associated with solidarity with Palestinian resistance, where she will be presenting the work from her recent ‘Mural Arts in Palestine Delegation’, and on The Torah of Nonviolence as a source for solidarity. In her words “This will include those aspects of our tradition we need to put away and those we need to lift up for the sake of human rights. Spending so much time in the context of movement building gives me hope in the face of so much ongoing devastation.” In addition to her work with JVP, we will also discuss ways to move forward with these questions and more. Stay tuned for more updates!

In solidarity and respect for all those who tirelessly work for justice, and our beloved Palestine.

Thawra hata nasr & awda. Revolution until victory & return.

Noura & Rabbi Lynn

Restorative justice (also sometimes called reparative justice[1]) is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender. Victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, “to repair the harm they’ve done—by apologizing, returning stolen money, or community service”.[2] Restorative justice involves both victim and offender and focuses on their personal needs. In addition, it provides help for the offender in order to avoid future offences. It is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual or community, rather than the state.[3] Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice

 

 

Fall out from the Flotilla Fiasco

In Activism & Culture on October 19, 2012 at 6:20 am

When individuals that are a part of any group take it upon themselves to make decisions, it is important to understand these actions will have far and wide reaching consequences for others, the fall out for which no one can predict. Clearly the damage has been done in this case. But for future incidents, that call for accountability, a more sane healthy process is not only necessary for good values, but also for our collective success. It seems fairly obvious that these attacks from the right wing, are only legitimatized through our own public (and private) denunciations of each other.

Here are just a few examples of the backlash that comes, when we throw each other to the wolves..

A few tweets I initially stumbled upon are case and point, why this whole thing is a complete disaster on every level:

#Israel‘s enemies laying into one another again. #antisemitism#freegaza

In article in this right wing blog, titled ‘Greta Berlin Fallout: A Must Read Post, by Bekah Wolf at Mondoweiss’, Harry concludes:

This movement is presently splitting: into the antisemites and those who oppose these specific instances of antisemitism. There’s also a large middle ground and hinterland. But the split itself is instructive. And they haven’t even begun to think about the incongruity of supporting, often overtly, the genocidal Hamas movement. http://bit.ly/QyjDIf

In the Jeruslaem Post: Will #FreeGaza implode due to #antiSemitism scandal? http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?ID=287371&R=R1 …

The growing assessments about the future of FGM suggest that the organization has experienced irreparable harm and is now viewed as a kind of left wing neo-Nazi group. The open questions are, will FGM’s supporters pull the plug on its fundraising streams and will additional FGM advisory board members–like the US linguist Noam Chomsky and Archbishop Theodosius (Atallah) Hanna from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem–resign from the FGM?

The focus of the right wing attack is not their usual smear of antisemetism, which no one besides their like, pays much mind too anyway since it’s so played out–as their main focus is in gloating about the internal divisions while stoking the flames of division..
I certainly do not feel comfortable being a part of a movement that publicly shames and brandishes people as outcasts, especially one’s that were long time committed allies (I’m speaking about a pattern). The way these cases are handled is downright immature and embarrassing. To slander someone’s name reflects extremely poorly, not only on the ones who issue it, but then on all of our collective image..AND most importantly it directly adversely impacts our work! The biggest victim in this latest fiasco was Anne Wright–of which the decision that was made by flotilla activists was ONLY legitimized by the initial/internal attack!

The following is a past example of the original Free Gaza Fiasco, and its split as it relates directly and indirectly, to the issue at hand. To those with intimate knowledge of the scandalous split between FGM and FPM, the irony should not be lost! My first recollection of this experience of activist fall out, was the slanderous desecration of the name of long-time, tireless, committed activist Paul Larudee. To those intimately knowledgeable of the whole affair, may remember the attacks that were made on him. I interviewed those from all sides’ for well over a month to try to get tot he bottom of the split, and see if there was any chance at reconciliation. It soon became clear that there was not -however it also became apparent that that the accusations that were made – happened to be, by the exact same parties in question now (need I say, what comes around goes around?). Although Paul’s was a much more of an internal PR campaign, at the time it was equally as damaging to his reputation..(of course he still thrives in his tireless work for Palestine) but as we have seen the fall-out also leads to others being indirectly hurt, as seen by Ann Wright. However, I would add that the damage that was sustained by the split of this once most powerful, unstoppable movement with limitless potential, was far more damaging, in its internal implications and unseen consequences.

By coincidence the split just so happen to take place following the savage attack on Gaza, and the vicious raid on the Mavi Marmara – at the exact moment when global sympathy was at its peak – which if proceeded with strategically, might have translated into what could have been key political momentum, and resulted in limitless support for this nonviolent movement.

These historical examples beg for us to learn from the lessons at hand. How ‘we’ chose to do so, will define who ‘we’ are as a movement – and very, very likely, our real chances of achieving our goals, or not.