Saturday, September 24, 2011

four 20-somethings

In this video we have four Palestinians, each around 20 years old sitting around a table discussing the situation face by their fellow men and women on the occasion of the application for statehood by Mahmoud Abbas in the United Nations.

This reminds me of the kind of discussion that went on among young Americans during the Vietnam War. It's important that Americans see Palestinians as they really are and not behind the uniform Israeli label of "terrorist"

So sit down at the table and listen to these four. The woman in the blue headscarf if Jehan Alfarra who writes a blog called Palinoia

Friday, September 23, 2011

He did it, now what will YOU do?

Mahmoud Abbas presented the application for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations today.

He did this because it has been clear for some time, many years, that the so-called peace process was a fraud used by Israel to delay the Palestinians while grabbing more land with settlements.

The Israeli Peace NGO Forum, a group of Israeli peace groups, issued a list of 50 reasons to support Palestinian statehood and Israeli newspaper columnist Gideon Levy has written an excellent piece stating the truth - Israel does not want a Palestinian state.

President Obama has continued his hypocrisy, speaking against his own words of a year ago that called for a Palestinian state. Zionists continue there relentless manipulation of American politics and the average American, concerned with the economy, continues to be oblivious to the issue of Palestine.

This American has realized after investigating the entire situation intensively for several years now that the United States will never be the source of, or the broker for a solution to the plight of the Palestinians. I deliberately do not say the plight of Israel because that country is so thoroughly over-armed and enabled that it is in no danger and has not been for many decades.

That America could end the oppression of the Palestinians today is indisputable because it is the single country that stands with Israel.

Abbas' speech marks the isolation of the United States with Israel, a tragic alignment of a country that supposedly stands for liberty and justice for all with one that stands for one group exclusively. The United States, once a colony that fought for freedom now backs up a colony that dictates to the natives which it is relentlessly expelling. Hypocrisy cannot reach a higher level than this.

Have you, fellow American, had enough? The White House has established a new petition site called "We the People" where the public is invited to petition the government. Why don't you go there as I did and sign the petition asking the U.S. not to veto the Palestinian application for statehood at the U.N. (the response of the White House website is slow - be patient, after all it's the very heart of inefficient government)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Maureen Murphy - from art student to FBI suspect

There is a great danger to Americans. It isn't from any terrorist threat, but from the actions of our own government against our freedom to stand for our beliefs. Since 9/11 it has increased dramatically.

Maureen Murphy is a perfect example of an American living oblivious to the wider world, becoming aware that all is not right and, curious to find out why, taking positive action to change things, for which the reward is being placed under investigation by the FBI.

Her's is not an isolated case. What the previous paragraph outlines has been repeated countless times in the history of the United States since the elevation of the national security apparatus that came after World War II.

At one time the bogeyman was Communism. Many lives were ruined by the relentless attempt to find Communists under every streetlight. Now the Great Fear is of terrorism and the FBI is on the case against Americans.

It appears this is an endemic problem for America - going after its own for their exercise of rights that are guaranteed under the Constitution - acting against those who actually put freedom into practice.

Please read Maureen Murphy's essay on her path from art student to activist to suspect in only ten years.

Maureen is one of 23 under subpoena by the FBI along with Sarah Smith. They have refused to appear and so far the FBI has not taken further action - though jailing is a real possibility.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Susan Rice and US hypocrisy

Susan Rice has no credibility after her absurd performance in the wake of the U.S. veto of the U.S. position on the Israeli settlements early this year. She failed to make black appear white at that time. But this is only a reflection of the lack of credibility of the administration that tells her what to say and how to vote.

Still - it is amazing what she will say with a straight face. Today in the news comes this from Ms. Rice speaking of the coming vote on a Palestinian state in the UN...

"One thing I hope the Palestinian leadership is considering is the day after," Rice warned. "What will happen when whatever show we have in the United Nations is done? What will change in the real world for the Palestinian people? The answer is nothing--sadly. Expectations will have been raised very high. But the economy will still be the economy, the situation on ground will remain the situation on the ground. The [Palestinian people] will not have any more sovereignty, freedom or autonomy than they feel today."

Who better to speak of "whatever show we have in the UN" or what the Palestinians will have to show when they have absolutely nothing to show for years of the "peace process" and "talks between the two sides" that the US has carefully managed for the benefit of Israel? What gall to talk of the Palestinians having nothing to show when the US has worked hard for decades now to be sure of that.

The United States is about to lower itself even further in the eyes of the world, moving from a history of undermining the Palestinians to brute force bullying.

It will be a relief to see the phrase "honest broker" put forever to rest when referring to the US in the Middle East. It has long been a lie.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

is the New York Times coming around?

The New York Times has employed Ethan Bronner as its correspondent in Israel for some time. His son is in the Israeli Defense Forces and his stories have never been such to cause unhappiness among the supporters of Israel.

Lately, though, the NYT has been slipping in recognition of the Palestinian viewpoint. Recently it published the anti-occupation lyrics sung by some of those who disrupted the performance of the Israeli orchestra in London.

Today, Sunday, there is a story that describes how Israel is finding itself isolated and under siege. It's a routine Bronner telling, but in the second to last paragraph comes this:

"But as the months of Arab Spring have turned autumnal, Israel has increasingly become a target of public outrage. Some here say Israel is again being made a scapegoat, this time for unfulfilled revolutionary promises.

But there is another interpretation, and it is the predominant one abroad — Muslims, Arabs and indeed many around the globe believe Israel is unjustly occupying Palestinian territories, and they are furious at Israel for it. And although some Israelis pointed fingers at Islamicization as the cause of the violence, Egyptians noted Saturday that Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, distanced themselves from Friday’s protests and did not attend, while legions of secular-minded soccer fans were at the forefront of the embassy attacks."

This is a clear statement of the foundation of outrage against Israel that has been present for decades, though it still hedges by saying "many around the globe" instead of "everyone around the world except Zionists". Who approves of armed robbery but those who gain by it? But it's progress for the NYT that I'm glad to see.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Israel - the executive is supreme

We often hear it said that Israel is a democracy just like the United States.

It isn't true.

Quite apart from Israel allowing only Jews and a severely restricted number of Israeli Arabs to vote, there is no balance of power as we have in the United States.

The Supreme Court of Israel may or may not be obeyed by the military and, if obeyed, it may be this year, next year or "we'll get back to you"

In the case of the executive, the Prime Minister can refuse to answer a call for an accounting of military affairs by the legislature (the Knesset). There is no power of subpoena so if Netanyahu decides to keep mum, so be it. This has been the case with the recent military incident near Eilat on the Red Sea.

For an excellent summary of the lack of legislative oversight, please read American Richard Silverstein's blog post about it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finkelstein and Morris debate

You should watch this debate (too much of which is two people talking at the same time) to hear Norman Finkelstein, with his usual laser-beam use of facts, go against Benny Morris by quoting Morris' own writings. Morris attempts to throw up a barrage of noise and largely succeeds.

History undeniably shows that Israel is a theft of Palestinian land, acknowledged by the leaders of Zionism and documented by Morris in his books on the history. It was never a case of Jews asking to be allowed to come to Palestine and participate in a society with equal rights for all. Instead, it was a planned effort to expel the residents and replace them for the exclusive residence of Jews.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that Israel doesn't want to look at history before 1967 at the earliest, because that brings the whole concept of Israel itself into question and undeniably supports the right of return of the residents that were expelled in the formation of the state and the drive leading up to it. To Israel, there was a vacuum before 1948 and there continues to be a vacuum in the occupied territories where non-Jews can be swept aside without qualm.

This is why the future of Israel as a Jewish state is dim - it requires continuing injustice to add to what has occurred up to the present time. Israelis can rationalize what they have done, but it requires refusal to see the equality of the Arabs they expelled. It is by definition exceptional and arrogant. Always expect Israel to put the spotlight on two places in time: the present and a mythological link to 2000 years ago. What has happened in Palestine in the meantime is dismissed as irrelevant. Only Israelis can say with a straight face that the expelled have no rights whatever. Looking at the world with such blinders to reason has no future, but the very country that should be first to oppose it, the United States, is the only one doing everything it can to extend it. Zionism is wrong, but as long as something has political and financial power, right or wrong don't mean much.

Friday, September 2, 2011

a simple vase

Let me introduce you to the rarest thing I own: a vase exported from Palestine made by Palestinians in their own land.

This simple, small vase is the only item of several that I ordered to support the Palestinian people. The rest of the order, now over six months old, has not arrived because of the difficulty of getting anything out of Palestine.

But what about illegally made items from Israeli companies operating in the occupied territories in violation of international law? No problem of supply there. Ahava and SodaStream are the two most well known Israeli companies whose products are readily available in American stores nationwide.

This outrageous situation is a good reason for you to join in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that was started by Palestinians in protest of the unjust conditions under which they live and have lived for over 60 years.

To see a Palestinian pottery plant in action - go to 13:45 in on this video

If you would like to try obtaining Palestinian arts and crafts, place an order with Middle East Books.