Wednesday, June 27, 2012

kids in prison without bail

This graphic may be a little difficult to read here on the blog. The text reads:
Israel arrests up to 700 Palestinian children each year. Up to 94% (of these) are held in pretrial detention without bail.

The graphic is from the Institute for Middle East Understanding. Further information on the issue of children being arrested is provided in an article from the British newspaper, The Guardian. The lead paragraph of the article says:
A belief that every Palestinian child is a potential terrorist may be leading to a "spiral of injustice" and breaches of international law in Israel's treatment of child detainees in military custody, a delegation of eminent British lawyers has concluded in an independent report backed by the Foreign Office.
Mondoweiss' Annie Robbins goes into great detail on this issue, revealing that the United Kingdom is taking action against Israel over it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Heaven's Field - let it spread

Heavens Field- a farm of cooperation in a sea of conflict.

"The land doesn't belong to us, we belong to the land."

From the Heaven's Field website (where you can see a video of the site):

Israel/Palestine often sparks images of violence and conflict but there are also Palestinians and Jews dreaming and realizing a different future. Whatever political  agreements may be reached- we know that our future on this land is together and its upon us to start working within our communities for a better future. Where we make space for each other- Heavens Field is exactly a space like that- a farm where we recognize and embody that this land is ultimately neither of ours;  our design and farming on the land reflects our understanding of each other as long-term neighbors: perma-culture.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nurit Peled-Elhanan with powerful truths

There are many powerful Israeli voices who see the cost of what their nation has done, none more incisive than that of Nurit Peled-Elhanan, who I have mentioned before. An excerpt from a speech she gave I have put below. Her book, Palestine in Israeli Schoolbooks: Ideology and Propaganda in Education will be published next week.

As everyone knows today, the 1967 war was not a war of no choice. It was a bolting from the corral by young generals, hot-blooded colts who had sprouted and grown up in the Zionist ghetto and learned to dream of conquest. They trained and trained until they could do so no longer and then took advantage of a moment of stupidity on the part of the neighbours to breach every obstacle, to cast off all restraints and to conquer and expand and destroy joyfully, with intoxicated senses, with a feeling of omnipotent supremacy but without any plan for the future, without any thought for the day after and the millions of human beings who became subjects overnight. In order to justify the devastation and the destruction, the official mythologists were mobilized to affix a scriptural verse to every profane killing and an entire nation was swept into the stream of plunder and exploitation, surpassing themselves every year, because the Jewish genius, from the moment it was enlisted for the task of ruin and devastation, destruction and killing, has not stopped taking out ever more patents.

Today, when the Occupation is beginning to show its effect on the quality of life of the ruling nation, they are rising up and demanding social justice. But social justice too is classified. Social justice is for residents of this ghetto, not of that ghetto. Residents of that ghetto will only spoil our social justice if we include them in our demands, if we give them a forum, if we let their voices be heard in demand of what is theirs. Because that ghetto is there for security reasons and its residents are not victims of injustice and racism but are a security problem, each and every one of them. And when they are killed it is not from racism but from political considerations and we donן¿½t get involved in politics. Therefore that movement for social justice, the failure of which was written on the wall upon its inception, is the most spectacular product of the Israeli education system.

Woe to us that the criminals of the Occupation today are our children, woe to us that we have so succumbed to racism, that we have thus permitted the apartheid criminals to occupy our spirits and to cut us off from everything that is human, from everything that is just, from everything that is peace and quiet, good neighbourliness, love of humanity, mercifulness and compassion, in order to achieve their base objectives. The spirits of the hunger-striking prisoners in their cramped cells are breathing freedom and liberty, and our spirit is oppressed and expiring.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

willful blindness - Obama honors Peres

In this picture that appeared on the front page of the New York Times, President Obama bestows the Medal of Freedom upon Israeli President Shimon Peres. According to Wikipedia, the Medal of Freedom "recognizes those individuals who have made 'an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors'"

Israel is probably the single greatest threat to the national security of the United States because of the way it can direct U.S. foreign policy in Palestine, making America a hypocrite when it pretends to stand for liberty and justice for all. Far from contributing to peace, Israel is a warrior state that has used its power to take from the helpless and continues to do so at this moment.

Peres is quoted, "Accepting the award, Mr. Peres told Mr. Obama that he was 'honoring the pioneers who built homes on barren mountains, on shifting sands...fighters who sacrificed their lives for their country.'" This is simply not the truth, only a reiteration of the longstanding claim by Zionists that Palestine was empty when European Jews arrived in a place that was "their land" only in mythology. As for "pioneers", they are still around, doing the same thing, but now they are called settlers. They shoot Palestinians, burn Palestinian olive trees and beat up Palestinian farmers in their fields while the Israeli army stands by, if it doesn't help with the oppression.

The awarding of the medal is pure politics as Obama plays for the American Jewish vote in the upcoming presidential election. It is testimony to the power and wealth of Zionists in the United States. For the U.S. citizen, there is no difference between Obama and Romney, the Republican candidate for president. Both cannot say or do enough to please the Israel lobby in the U.S.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weiss on Jews in the print media

While reading comments on a blog, I came across a reference to a post that Phil Weiss made on his blog Mondoweiss (a must read blog) back in 2008 about Jews in the positions of influence in the media. The whole thing is worth reading but here are some excerpts...

I’ve worked in print journalism for more than 30 my experience, Jews have made up the majority of the important positions in the publications I worked for, a majority of the writers I’ve known at these places, and the majority of the owners who have paid me...I think it shows that Jews make up a significant proportion of power positions in media, half, if not more. 

In New York, I have worked for a dozen magazines. Most of my editors have been Jewish. Both my book publishers were Jewish. At one point at one publishing house, the editor, his boss, and her boss were all Jewish, and so was the lawyer vetting the work—I remember her saying she would never travel to Malaysia because of the anti-Semitic Prime minister. Oh--and the assistant editor was half-Jewish.

As former CNN correspondent Linda Scherzer has said, "We, as Jews, must understand that we come with a certain bias ...We believe in the Israeli narrative of history.

The result is that Americans are not getting the full story re Israel/Palestine. Slater says this dramatically in his paper--that the Times has deprived American leadership of reporting on the moral/political crisis that Israel is undergoing, one that Haaretz has covered unstintingly...Ilan Pappe has marveled in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, that the Nakba is all but unmentioned in the U.S.--while Haaretz has sought at times to document it, for instance a former officer saying in 2004 that if he had not helped to destroy 200 villages in southern Israel in '48, there would be another million Palestinians in Israel. To repeat Scherzer's admission: "We believe in the Israeli narrative of history..." 
As I mention in my video, Twin Tragedies, there are Jews in every aspect of American life because they have been successful and are fully integrated into American society. As Weiss says, Jews have their own prejudices as do all of us, but when those prejudices are in position to block what others see, read and hear it has a highly distorting effect on American opinion.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

the holocaust means never having to say you're sorry

What follows is in excerpt from Bradley Burston's excellent opinion peace in Haaretz - The Holocaust Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

"Why can't this Israel bring itself to apologize? Why is apology equated with surrender, a potentially fatal sign of weakness, an offering up of the neck to the executioner? 

As early as 2009, scholar and former American Jewish Congress executive director Henry Siegman may have pointed to a root cause. 

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Siegman quoted Yitzhak Rabin's 1992 inaugural address, in which the late prime minister declared that because Israel was militarily powerful and neither friendless nor at risk, Israelis should stop thinking and acting like victims. 

Nonetheless, Siegman argued, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s message that the whole world is against Israel and that Israelis are at risk of another Holocaust … is unfortunately still a more comforting message for too many Israelis." 

In a phrase that rankled many, myself included, Siegman declared that "The Israeli reaction to serious peacemaking efforts is nothing less than pathological — the consequence of an inability to adjust to the Jewish people’s reentry into history with a state of their own following 2,000 years of powerlessness and victimhood."
After looking anew at a subsequent exchange of views, I have come to realize that Henry Siegman was right, and that his take on Israeli pathology has everything to do with the apology issue as well. 

Whether it be relations with Turkey or Palestinians wronged by the occupation, or Africans subjected to violence and to racist incitement by public officials, Israel has put the world firmly on notice: The Holocaust means never having to say you're sorry."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

the Israelification of US policy

Israel acts unilaterally and pre-emptively. If the Israeli administration thinks something is amiss, it doesn't wait for confirmation or agreement with any other country. From the invasion of Lebanon to leaving Gaza, to the attack on the Gaza flotilla, what makes Israeli action right is that the Israeli administration says it is right. The truth is what Israel says it is, including the history of the country that it teaches in schools that has little relation to the actual documented history of the country.

Does this sound anything like the invasion of Iraq? Does it sound anything like the denial that waterboarding was torture? Israel defines words as well - calling Palestinians terrorists routinely.

Now we find out that President Obama operates under the idea that anyone in close physical proximity to a drone target is a "militant" by definition and not a civilian or innocent. This was clearly stated in the excellent NYT article on our Warrior Professor President this week.

Here is Stephen Colbert on the subject of drone strikes and "militants"

This new lexicon is in pure emulation of Israel. As Glenn Greenwald has documented, AP and the Washington Post are eagerly following the administration definition of "militant" in their reporting of drone strikes.

In addition, the Obama administration promotes fear to enable its disregard of the protection of individual rights of Americans. As Prime Minister Netanyahu knows, fearful people are complaint and willingly submit to what a fearless and free people will not. That's why Bibi endlessly invokes the threat of a second holocaust and beats the drums for war against Iran. No matter how powerful it may be, Israel is always the innocent victim and America since 9/11 has followed this self-portrayal religiously. Is it any wonder that Netanyahu said at the time that 9/11 was a good thing for Israel?

Our country apes a pariah state yet expects admiration and respect.

And of the two countries - America and Israel, who really is running U.S. policy in the Middle East? In a NYT article on cyber-warfare against Iran, it's said that the US fully supported it out of fear that if it did not, Israel would attack Iran militarily:

 "...Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.If Olympic Games (the cyber warfare effort) failed, he told aides, there would be no time for sanctions and diplomacy with Iran to work. Israel could carry out a conventional military attack, prompting a conflict that could spread throughout the region."

Think about this - the US is pressured into going ahead with a very dangerous precedent that invites cyber-retaliation because it fears that its tiny "ally" will launch an attack with weapons that we have supplied to it and paid for!

I could go on but I will end with the militarization of the U.S. in emulation of Israel, a state of warrior citizens always attacking in a large or small way. Checkpoints are everywhere in the occupied territories and the U.S. is busily constructing checkpoints in cyberspace that will be looking into the affairs of every citizen. Military affairs trump every other aspect of Israeli life and so it is becoming in the States where the hatred of government is suspended when it comes to funding of and deployment of weaponry.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Let's go see Madonna! no, not possible

Madonna did a show in Israel, invited Israelis and Palestinians. The Israelis made it but as for the Palestinians, just watch. If the video doesn't appear below, you can watch it here.