Monday, October 22, 2018

Khashoggi murder in perspective

The world is in an uproar, quite properly, over the murder of one Saudi journalist in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

At the same time, it makes clear the hypocrisy of the world over the daily killings by sniping of unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza/Israel border. These killings, actually executions, are being done by the IDF, the army of Israel with not the slightest reprimand from Washington.

The life of a journalist lost is unacceptable, but the many lives, thousands over the years, of Palestinians by Israel is even more so.

Here is an email I have sent to my U.S. Representative, Jan Schakowsky...

Dear Jan: I know that you, like me, are outraged by what appears to have happened to one man at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Yet, I know you are more than willing to overlook the many killings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers executing them at the Gaza/Israel border on a daily basis, ongoing now for months.

I would like to think this is due to the views of your donor base and not to your personal feelings. You are a very commendable Congressperson with a record that, with the exception of Israel, deserves praise. Even then you do occasionally show some thought on that country as you did when you refused to attend the speech to Congress by PM Netanyuhu when he was invited by Republicans. I hope that before you retire you will find the courage to stand up for liberty and justice for all for a people kept under the boot of Israel for over 60 years now with the full support of the USA.

Friday, October 5, 2018

State anti-boycott laws will fall

There's good news today from Palestine Legal telling of a judge stopping the enforcement of Arizona's anti boycott of Israel law, Arizona being one of 25 states to have such a law pushed through by the Israel lobby. Since the Supreme Court has long held that a corporation is a person with rights protected by the Constitution, it stands to reason that freedom of speech by a business cannot be limited by states.

The anti-boycott of Israel laws specify that if a business participates in a boycott of Israel, the state will not do business with it. This is an attempt to cripple the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement (BDS) that was started by the Palestinians as a peaceful method of putting pressure on Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank, to give equal rights to Palestinians and to allow Palestinians to return to their homes in Israel.

Eventually a case such as this one in Arizona will work its way to the Supreme Court where it will be ruled unconstitutional, invalidating all such state laws.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Zionism is anti-Semitism? A must read

Five years ago Joseph Massad wrote an essay for Al Jazeera's website, The Last of the Semites, subtitled, "It is Israel's claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all."

How can this possibly be? Can you think of a any title more likely to make people scoff?

I gave him a chance and he makes a solid case, pointing out that Zionism shared with European anti-Semitism the idea than Jews in Europe were not Europeans, but a people apart who could never belong and needed to be moved from Europe to a place of their own. This is in contrast to the view of the great majority of European Jews who did not have any desire to go to Palestine and felt themselves to be part of the countries in which they lived. Massad's article is a must read.

Zionism was having a very hard time attracting Jews to Palestine until after World War 2. Then, with the aid of anti-Semitism in the US and Britain that denied Jews in the displaced persons camps of Europe entry, Zionists were assured of an influx of Jews to Palestine, who had nowhere else to go. In fact Zionists did what they could to keep the US and Britain from admitting Holocaust survivors. For detailed information on this period, read In the Shadow of the Holocaust by Yosef Grodzinsky.

Today, Benjamin Netanyahu continues to tell European Jews that they should move to Israel and insists that he in his role as Israeli Prime Minister speaks for Jews worldwide, outright denying by this that such people, equal to the number of Israelis, are simply American, German or English. In other words they are to be discriminated as Jews, called out to leave their homes against their own preference to be known as citizens of their native lands.

In short, Hitler had and Netanyahu has the view that half the world's Jews should not stay where they are for the fact that they are Jews. Hitler had no objection to German Jews going to Palestine and neither does Netanyahu. In fact Zionists worked out a deal with Hitler in 1933 to expedite such a move. You may recall an eager Netanyahu rushing to Paris after the Charlie Hebdo killings. The man is concerned with convincing non-Israeli Jews that they should leave their own countries for a place he designates for them, while at the same time proclaiming he speaks for them.

Anti-Semitism is the idea that Jews are not like other people, but must be set apart. Zionism endorses this with the added ideas that there is only one place where Jews do belong and it must be exclusively theirs with the expulsion of non-Jews who are native to the place selected. In the long run, this cannot last, but the horror of the Holocaust gave it a boost that has kept the idea going as Israel moves further to the right. This is to be expected of a society based on discrimination that blatantly oppresses under the protection of a country that has the gall to claim it stands for liberty and justice for all. It says volumes that Donald Trump is very popular in Israel.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

a primer on Israel/Palestine, and emotional non-sequiturs

I began this blog years ago with the intention of spreading the truth about the plight of the Palestinians, wrongly maligned in the United States and inaccurately portrayed in history by "The Story of Israel" that is accepted without question in the U.S.

The first years of this blog make up a tutorial on the situation in Israel/Palestine. As this foundation has been built, my postings have tapered off. But I have found an excellent tutorial that covers the period from the start of Zionism through 2014 from the Middle East Research and Information Project. It is 16 pages of small print, but it covers the subject all in one place.

Few will read it.

It is a fact that emotions rather than facts determine the views of most people. Learning about any subject takes effort and few will bother to understand foreign affairs particularly with a mainstream media that paints a ridiculously simplistic picture that any TV viewer can effortlessly watch. If you or I have a generally good or bad feeling about something, even a full presentation of facts that show the feeling is unfounded will be resisted. It is the "my country right or wrong" idea and we see it now in the outright anger that greets new data showing global warming to be real.

Eyes glaze over and attention wanders when Americans should be paying careful attention to a situation that could well bring our country to grief is discussed. Today, in 2018, the U.S. policy in the middle east is the policy that Israel wishes it to be. Donald Trump has moved the U.S. embassy for Israel to Jerusalem, the Israeli settlements continue to expand, Palestinians are murdered by Israeli soldiers sniping them down at the Gaza border, and Iran is demonized. The policy of Benjamin Netanyahu is the policy of Donald Trump.

Rather than attend to the facts, people will support Israel for reasons that have nothing to do with the situation over there. For example, one might say "I have a good Jewish friend that I know strongly supports Israel. He knows more about it than I do and I wouldn't feel right not supporting him." Can you see there is no logical connection here?

Or how about, "I know about the Holocaust and the Jews deserve a place of their own where they feel secure." This thinking disregards entirely the people who are native to Palestine that were ejected by force when Zionists took the area for themselves exclusively in 1948 and continue to take more today. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once said, "After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything." It is the same logic.

If my neighbor is terribly wronged by others, does that give him a license to throw me out of my house though I had nothing to do with the wrong done him, because he says he would feel safer having my house for his exclusive use?

The above reasoning is not rational. The only way to take a stand on any issue is to base it on facts that can be used to build an opinion that can be defended. Many Americans who are Jews are revolted by what they see going on in Israel and openly repudiate it, Jewish Voice for Peace being a large group of such people. They base their view on what they know to be true about Israel. Listen to what they say. I do.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Israelis ask for international pressure against Israel

I once wondered what might happen if Palestinians simply marched, unarmed, against the Israeli barriers erected on Palestinian land, whether it be the huge concrete wall or simply the 500 foot deep "no-go" zone in Gaza. Could the Palestinians do what Gandhi had done when he resisted the British presence in India with mass protest that placed human bodies against armed force?

In the last months, I got my answer. Palestinians did exactly that and were shot down at random by Israeli soldiers sniping at them from behind a fence hundreds of feet from where the Gazans stood demonstrating, no threat to Israel. Here is a photo of a Palestinian shot in the face with a tear gas canister, something designed to disperse people, to injure them.

Things have gone so far in Israel that Israelis, a small minority, are asking the outside world to intervene. Of course, there have always been Israeli human rights groups, such as B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence and others I list on this site that have worked against the extreme rightward movement of Israeli society but I think the members of these groups all realize change will not come from the inside.

Here is an essay by two Israelis asking for international intervention, intervention that the United States, alone, always prevents. This protection of a serial violator of international law show that modern Israel is the creation of the United States, ironic for a country that once claimed to be for liberty and justice for all.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Life under occupation now has an icon

This video about Ahed Tamimi is remarkable for the fact that there is so much photographic evidence of the oppression of the Palestinians in the lifetime of this one girl. Israel has done to her family just about everything that it does to the Palestinians in general and her face is caught throughout as she grows from a child to a teen seeing it all in her home and village. It will not be surprising if she becomes and icon.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

This new video is an example of how sophisticated the resistance to Israeli occupation has become. Superb cinematography portrays the plight of the Palestinians as that of people about to drown, yet in fact it is their great numbers and their steadfastness that keeps them from that fate. Rather than being afloat, they stand on the solid ground of their own existence and history. Whatever happens, the Palestinians are not going away and will be a living indictment of Israel as long as their oppression continues.