Archive for February, 2011

Houria Bouteldja from "Indigenes de la Republique"

 from Kasama Project A Maoist sister in Spain, LG, sent us the following posting. She wrote as an introduction:

This very controversial  essay is by Houria Bouteldja, the spokesperson for the political party organized by people of color in France called Les Indigenes de la Republique. This group is composed by people born and raised in France whose families come from the French ex-colonies. The majority of the members are French from African, Caribbean and Arab origin.

The essay caused a lot of interesting debates because it is a critique to Western Feminism from a Third World Feminist perspective. The essay was also translated to many languages by the Decolonial Translation group.

The term “indigenous” in the French context is used very differently from the Americas. In the Americas, the indigenous are aboriginal or native people. In France, indigenous means “colonial subjects of the French empire.” Indigenous was the term used by the French empire during colonial times to refer to colonial populations everywhere (Viet Nam, Algeria, Tunisia, Martinique, Guadaloupe, Senegal, etc.).

This French party, composed primarily by people of color but open to everybody, appropriated the term “indigenous” from French colonial history to basically say that even though they are French (born and raised in France), due to racism, capitalism and imperialism, they are still treated inside France as “indigenous of the Republic,” that is, as colonial subjects.

It is a way of saying, we are still living in colonial times even though we live in France. Thus, their openly stated goal is to decolonize France. They do a Decolonial march every year in Paris on May 8th. This is the day of the liberation of France in 1944 from the Nazi occupation and the day of the Seti massacre in Algeria. What happened was that while the French went to the streets to celebrate, the Algerians in Seti (a small city of Algeria) also went to the streets to celebrate and to call for Algerian independence. The response of the French colonial army was to kill everybody in the Seti demonstration. So, the indigenous of the Republique do this Decolonial march every year to remind that France is in need of radical decolonization. I was once in one of these marches and it is surreal. You could see thousands of French people-of-color in a demonstration through the streets of Paris with huge Photos of Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon, Amircal Cabral, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkhruma, Nelson Mandela, Nasrallah, Nasser, etc.

Anyway, here is the essay, which was delivered as a speech to the 4th International Congress of Islamic Feminism that took place in Madrid, in October 2010. It appeared in English on Decolonial Translation:

 

Les Indigenes de la Republique

 

White women and the privilege of solidarity

by Houria Bouteldja

I would, first of all, like to thank the Junta Islamica Catalana for having organized this colloquium, which is a real breath of fresh air in a Europe that is shriveling up in upon itself, wrought up in xenophobic debates and increasingly rejecting difference/alterity.

I hope that such an initiative will be able to take place in France. Before getting into the subject at hand, I would like to introduce myself, as I believe that speech should always be located.

I live in France, I am the daughter of Algerian immigrants. My father was a working class man and my mother was a housewife. I am not speaking as a sociologist, a researcher or a theologian. In other words, I am no expert.

I am an activist and I am speaking as a result of my experience as a political activist and, I might add, my own personal sensibility. I am insisting on these details because I would like to be as honest as possible in my reasoning. Truth be told, until today, I hadn’t really thought about the question of Islamic feminism. So why am I taking part in this colloquium? When I was invited, I made it quite clear that I lacked the authority to speak about Islamic feminism and that I would rather deal with the idea of decolonial feminism and the ways in which, I believe, it should be related to the more general question of Islamic feminism.

That is why I thought I would lay out a few questions that could prove useful for our collective questioning.

  • Is feminism universal?
  • What is the relationship between white/Western feminisms and Third World feminisms among which we find Islamic feminisms?
  • Is feminism compatible with Islam?
  • If it is, then how can it be legitimized and what would its priorities be?

First Question: Is feminism universal?

For me, it is the question of all questions when adopting a decolonial approach and when attempting to decolonize feminism. This question is essential, not because of the answer but rather because it makes us, we who live in the West, take the necessary precautions when we are confronted with ‘Other’ societies.

Let’s take, for example, so-called Western societies that witnessed the emergence of feminist movements and have been influenced by them. The women who fought against patriarchy in favor of an equal dignity between men and women gained rights and improved women’s circumstances, which I, myself, benefit from.

Let’s compare their situation, that is to say our situation, with that of so-called “primitive” societies in Amazonia for instance. There are still societies here and there that have been spared by Western influence. I should add here that I don’t consider any society to be primitive. I think there are differing spaces/times on our planet, different temporalities, that no civilization is in advance or behind on any other, that I don’t locate myself on a scale of progress and that I don’t consider progress an end in itself nor a political goal.

In other words, I don’t necessarily consider progress to be progressive but sometimes, even often, it is regressive. And, I think that the decolonial question can also be applied to our perception of time. Getting back to the subject at hand, if we take as our criteria the simple notion of well-being, who in this room can state that the women from those societies (who know nothing of the concept of feminism as we conceive of it) are less well-off than European women who not only took part in the struggles but also made available, to their societies, these invaluable social gains?

I, myself, find it quite impossible to answer this question and would consider quite fortunate whoever could. But yet again, the answer is of no importance. The question itself is, for it humbles us, and curbs our imperialist tendencies as well as our interfering reflexes. It prevents us from considering our own norms as universal and trying to make other’s realities fit into our own. In short, it makes us locate ourselves with regards to our own particularities.

Between Western & Third World feminisms

Having laid out that question clearly, I now feel more at ease to tackle the second question dealing with the relationship between Western feminisms and Third World feminisms. Obviously it’s very complicated but one of its dimensions is the domination of the global south by the global north. A decolonial approach should question this relationship and attempt to subvert it. An example:

In 2007, women from the Movement of the Indigenous of the Republic took part in the annual 8th of March demonstration in support of women’s struggles. At that time, the American campaign against Iran had begun. We decided to march behind a banner that’s message was “No feminism without anti-imperialism”. We were all wearing Palestinian kaffiyehs and handing out flyers in support of three resistant Iraqi women taken prisoner by the Americans. When we arrived, the organizers of the official procession started chanting slogans in support of Iranian women. We found these slogans extremely shocking given the ideological offensive against Iran at that time. Why the Iranians, the Algerians and not the Palestinians and the Iraqis? Why such selective choices? To thwart these slogans, we decided to express our solidarity not with Third World women but rather with Western women. And so we chanted:

Solidarity with Swedish women!

Solidarity with Italian women!

Solidarity with German women!

Solidarity with English women!

Solidarity with French women!

Solidarity with American women!

Which meant:

Why should you, white women, have the privilege of solidarity? You are also battered, raped, you are also subject to men’s violence, you are also underpaid, despised, your bodies are also instrumentalized…

I can tell you that they looked at us as if we were from outer space. What we were saying seemed surreal, inconceivable. It was like the 4th dimension.  It wasn’t so much the fact that we reminded them of their situation as Western women that shocked them. It was more the fact that African and Arabo-Muslim women had dared symbolically subvert a relationship of domination and had established themselves as patrons. In other words, with this skillful rhetorical turn, we showed them that they de facto had a superior status to our own. We found their looks of disbelief quite entertaining.

Another example: After a solidarity trip to Palestine, a friend was telling me how the French women had asked the Palestinian women if they used birth control. According to my friend, the Palestinian women couldn’t understand such a question given how important the demographic issue is in Palestine. They were coming from a completely different perspective. For many Palestinian women, having children is an act of resistance against the ethnic cleansing policies of the Israeli state.

There you have two examples that illustrate our situation as racialized women, that help understand what is at stake and envisage a way to fight colonialist and Eurocentric feminism.

Following on from that question, is Islam compatible with feminism?

This question is purely provocative on my behalf. I can’t stand it. I am asking this question to imitate some French journalist who believes they are asking a really pertinent question. As for me, I refuse to answer out of principle.

On the one hand, because it comes from a position of arrogance. The representative of civilization X is demanding that the representative of civilization Y prove something. Y is, therefore, put in dock and must provide proof of her/his “modern-ness”, justify her/him-self to please X.

On the other hand, because the answer is not simple when one knows that the Islamic world is not monolithic. The debate could go on forever and that is exactly what happens when you make the mistake of trying to answer.

Myself, I cut to the chase by asking X the following question:Is the French Republic compatible with feminism?

I can guarantee you one thing: ideological victory is in the answer to this question. In France, 1 woman dies every 3 days as a result of domestic violence. The number rapes per year is estimated around 48 000. Women are underpaid. Women’s pensions are considerably less substantial than those of men. Political, economic and symbolic power remains mostly in the hands of men. True, since the 60’s and 70’s, men share more in household duties: statistically, 3 min more than 30 years ago!! So I ask my question again: are the French Republic and feminism compatible? We would be tempted to say no!

Actually, the answer is neither yes nor no. French women liberated French women and it’s thanks to them that the Republic is less macho than it was. The same goes for Arabo-Muslim, African and Asian countries. No more, no less. With, however, one extra challenge: consolidating within women’s struggles the decolonial dimension, that is to say the critique of modernity and eurocentrism.

How to legitimize Islamic feminism?

For me, it legitimizes itself. It doesn’t have to pass a feminist exam. The simple fact that Muslim women have taken it up to demand their rights and their dignity is enough for it to be fully recognized. I know, as result of my intimate knowledge of women from the Maghreb and in the diaspora, that “the-submissive-woman” does not exist. She was invented. I know women that are dominated. Submissive ones are rarer!

I would like to conclude with what, in my opinion, should be priorities for decolonial feminism.

You have all heard about Amina Wadud and her involvement in the development of Islamic feminism. She became well known the day she lead the prayer, a role usually reserved for men. Out of context, I would say that it could be thought of as a revolutionary act. However, in an international context that saw the Iranian Revolution and 9/11 (as well as growing Islamophobia, demands that Islam update and modernize itself), a much more ambiguous message was brought to light. Was it answering strong demands, an urgency, the fundamental expectations of women from the Umma? Or were these expectations of the white world? Allow me to dwell on the latter hypothesis. Not that there aren’t any women who find it an injustice that only men be allowed to lead the prayer but because women’s priorities and urgent needs are elsewhere.

What do Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian women want? Peace, the end of the war and the occupation, the rebuilding of their national infrastructures, legal frameworks that guarantee their rights and protect them, access to sufficient food and water, the ability to feed and educate their children under good conditions. What do Muslim women in Europe and more generally those who are immigrants and who, for the most part, live in lower income neighborhoods want? A job, housing, rights that protect them not only from state violence but also men’s violence. They demand respect for their religion, their culture. Why are all of these demands silenced and why does the issue of leading the prayer make its way across the globe when Judaism and Christianity have never really made apparent their own intransigent defense of the equality of sexes? To finish up with this example, I believe that Amina Wadud’s act was, in fact, quite the opposite of what it claimed to be. In reality and independently of the theologian’s own wishes, this act, in my opinion, was counter-productive. It will only be able to adopt a feminist dimension once Islam is equally treated with respect and once the demands to lead the prayer come from Muslim women themselves. It is time to see Muslim men and women how they really are and not how we would like them to be.

I conclude here and hope to have shown the ways in which a true decolonial feminism could benefit women, all women when they, themselves, deem it to be their path to emancipation.

Houria Bouteldja, Madrid, 22 October 2010.

Translated by Amy Fechtmann

It had been pointed out (thanks Wassy and Eva) that there was a banner on the top of the “newspaper pro-Palestinian activists in the West love”, Ha’aretz, for a “Palestinian State”. This banner was paid for by a group of Fanatics lead by Israeli MK Aryeh Eldad and the text of it, I found on this site,  http://israelifrontline.blogspot.com/ run by a woman who lived 40 years of her life in Canada and the USA, but now has “returned to Israel”. Check out this campaign entitled:

A Democratic Jordan is Palestine  (Jordan is Palestine)

What follows is the material the signatories spread if they have a site or mailing list, with my (mary rizzo) comments in RED.

Just because the flags are similar, they propose "unification" as Palestine

Please sign this petition from Knesset Minister Dr. Aryeh Eldad, and forward it to all your friends, urging Jordanian King Abdullah to declare Jordan as the new Palestinian State and Homeland.
The New ‘Road Map’ for Peace starts Now! No. No need for the actual citizens to have a voice in it! That’s the way every “Road Map for Peace” has always worked.

Larry Kosberg
—————————–
As you well know, we are encouraging people to sign this petition so we can declare Jordan the new Palestinian State. Because wishing makes it so! Please watch the video below (complete with trashy electronic pop) to learn more about the history of this region.  Read the declaration, and if you agree, please sign the petition. And in the meantime declare Disneyland a Nuclear Free Zone and why not The Moon as the next frontier? Lacking that, declare your next door neighbour’s garage as belonging to the guy across the street. Everyone will think it’s reasonable!

Israel is being pressured to create a Palestinian State.  In response, we want to pressure the international community and the UN to pressure King Abdullah II to turn Jordan into the Palestinian State. 80% of Jordanians are so-called “Palestinians”. We propose that the rest may join them. From Pressure to pressure, the pressure on “the rest” is not going to be a petition or a kind invitation. It takes other forms, ones that include guns, bombs, arrests, and the thing we call “willing population transfer”.

Now is the time to stand in support of the state of Israel and to create peace in this region by giving the Arabs a country of their own. Arabs there had a country of their own, a land of their own, a home of their own.  They will never again be able to say that they do not have a state. They actually were robbed of their homes, and during the process of post colonial state-making, were swindled out of their state, which is a crime that has not been rectified with the imposition of unlimited mass immigration of Jews into Israel and with the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population also into other Arab states.

Most importantly, after you have signed, please be sure to forward this message to your list to keep this trend going and to have a significant number of signatures.
Thank you very much,

Michelle Cohen (a so-called “Israeli” who lived 40 of her years in Canada and the USA).

Please click HERE to sign this petition. Not advised to even leave a snide remark… they will use your name and that is not what you want.  

The Government of Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu are under  pressure to accept and implement “the  two states solution”  which means a creation of  a Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Right now, they better grab it while the going is good. But they have never been able to understand what the implications of their Jewish State were in actual fact. It means obviously claiming in fact what the unstated annexation of the territory has allowed them to avoid…. less territory than the entirety. Now that the “demand” might happen, they change the cards on the table. So, to find a way to get all the land, “get the rest of the unwanted to join others” in population transfer, which is actually a word that means deportation, a crime against humanity, they make it look like a boon for Palestinians and an asset for peace. YES!  The old hasbara trick of commit an atrocity and paint it as humanitarian goodness! 

It was the late Prime Minister Rabin who wrote :”A Palestinian State can be created only on the ruins of the State of Israel”. We are concerned that the only political plan to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – is the plan that endangers the very existence of Israel.
 
 
 

Prof. Aryeh Eldad, M.D. (For a detailed biography on Prof. Eldad, please click here.) No, see below where I comment on his “illustrious” biography.

Jordan is Palestine (with deconstruction in red)

To His Majesty
The King of Jordan
King Abdullah the Second
&
The Government and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Presented this Date, the 25th of May 2011
The 65th Independence Day of the Kingdom of Jordan
 
As the cries for democracy reach us from Tunis, Egypt, and all around the Arab world, we call upon the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to declare itself the democratic nation state of the Palestinian people. (And it frightens us to see the word democracy which is translated into human terms, numbers and people in flesh and blood asking to be counted. This goes against our ideals of what democracy means so let’s kill two birds with one stone: complain that Jordan is NOT a democracy because it is ruled by a King, and also present ourselves as a democratic entity because we don’t have a king. We are the Jewish state, we don’t need anything else that complicates this simple reasoning).
 
80% of the population of Jordan are disenfranchised Palestinians. (Let’s hope that no one remembers how they actually ended up there, it’s already bad enough we have to use the P word).  This declarative step (imposed by us, so you have to reject it, and then the real victory: ARABS ARE AGAIN REJECTIONIST OF A PEACEFUL SOLUTION)  would correct that injustice and provide the foundation for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace between the Jewish and Arab peoples. (Israel isn’t even stated yet in MY words, how clever am I? Now let me drop the bomb for my own people, after all, they are the only ones who will read this! Then I repeat it once we get that pesky Palestine out of the way.)
 
The late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin wrote: “A Palestinian State can be created only on the ruins of the State of Israel”.
That needn’t be the case. That shouldn’t be the case. (How in the hell can I sell the idea of Eretz Yisrael unless I brand it in the figurehead the peaceniks love? How clever am I?!)
 
Let Jordan be democratic and free, and let the Palestinian people accept upon themselves the full mantle and responsibility of democratic statehood in Jordan – without the destruction or diminishment of the state of Israel and without the physical transfer of any population, neither Jew nor Arab. (Now, when I say without the physical transfer, I cover my bottom nicely, and I don’t even need to state that we officially take the land and make it Jewish! We keep on doing what we are doing now and if they are so masochistic they want to say, it’s their own damn doing! How clever am I? Now remember, what I said, those Arabs are the enemies within the Jewish state of Israel. Within a few years we would be able to resettle 2-3 million refugees in Jordan, this is my plan and I never hid it except now. I call it “willing population transfer”.)
 
We the undersigned, citizens of the world, representatives of hundreds of thousands around the world, (there, covered my bottom again because the signatories will not be even six million) ask the Government of Jordan and King Abdullah the Second, to proclaim the Hashemite Kingdom the democratic nation state of the Palestinians, and with this symbolic and declarative step, make a decisive contribution to Middle East and world peace. (Since he’s a KING, he can just do that! Monarchy is good for us right now, thanks G-d!)
 
We remind you of the brave words of your father: (who was a king, so WTF does this mean but deep Arabic bowing which will win his heart and make us look like we respect all of that rot).
  
“I wish democracy and peace to be my legacy to my people and the shield of generations to come.” – King Hussein I of Jordan

Aryeh Eldad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

 

Aryeh Eldad
Arie Eldad.jpg
Date of birth 1 May 1950 (1950-05-01) (age 60)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Israel
Knessets 16th, 17th, 18th
Party National Union
 

Prof. Aryeh Eldad, M.D. (Hebrew: אריה אלדד‎, born 1 May 1950) is an Israeli physician and politician, and a member of the Knesset for the National Union, within which he heads the Hatikva faction.

Biography

Eldad was born in Tel Aviv in 1950. He is married with five children. His father, Israel Eldad, was a well known Israeli public thinker and formerly one of the leaders of the underground group Lehi. (Underground is a polite word for TERRORIST. Lehi assassinated Folke Bernadotte, the UN attachè in the mandate.

The other major Jewish terrorist group, Lehi, was more extremist than the Irgun, claiming all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates as belonging to the Jews. When Jabotinsky declared a cease-fire in the fight against Britain and its mandate troops in Palestine during World War II, Stern broke with him and founded Lehi. Stern sought alliance with the Nazis, both because they shared an enemy in Britain and because Lehi shared Hitler’s totalitarian ideology. During the war Sternists openly celebrated Nazi victories on the battlefield.

 He is a resident of Kfar Adumim (he’s a settler in the most simplified sense of the term) and is a Brigadier-General (reserves) in the Israel Defense Forces. Self explanatory.

Medical career

Eldad is a professor and head of the plastic surgery and burns unit at the Hadassah Medical Center hospital in Jerusalem. He studied medicine at Tel Aviv University, where he earned his doctorate. He served as the chief medical officer and was the senior commander of the Israeli Defense Forces medical corps for 25 years, and reached a rank of Tat Aluf (Brigadier General). He is renowned worldwide for his treatment of burns and won the Evans Award from the American Burns Treatment Association.

Political career

Eldad was first elected to the Knesset on the National Union list in 2003, and chaired the Ethics Committee

Some of his ethics: He considers Israel as the “canary in the mines of radical Islam,” something his fellow Israelis would rather not think about. He is bringing courageous Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders to show his controversial film “Fitna” (strife or chaos in Arabic) and legislators from Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the U.K. and America to formulate a declaration against Islamization among Western democracies. Eldad deems it to be crucially important for Israelis to become educated about the nuances of this existential threat that seeks to extinguish the Jewish state as well as other non-Muslim nations.

and how about these ethics:

Thus, the first step in the attack against Iran should be a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah and Hamas. The timing of the war against Hezbollah should be coordinated with the plans against Iran.

Prior to the scheduled Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank in August 2005, Eldad was the only member of parliament to call for non-violent civil disobedience as a tactic in the struggle against the government. Eldad even walked the few hundred kilometres between the now evacuated community of Sa-Nur (in the northern West Bank) to Neve Dekalim in order to attract attention to the opposition of the Withdrawal plan.

In the February 2006 dismantlement of the Amona outpost Eldad was injured during the confrontation between demonstrators and police, as was his ally MK Effi Eitam. The event caused a storm of criticism on both sides, as interim Prime MinisterEhud Olmert accused them of inciting the crowd to attack the police, while they accused Olmert and the police of reckless use of force. But it achieved the enormous benefit of making the settlers into “the force to reckon with”. From the horse’s mouth: But a new standard of resistance was achieved. No government in Israel will take for granted that they can evacuate a settlement and destroy it. They know very well that the next time they try it; they may have to kill some of us first. They know that no government in Israel will survive such brutality. The fact that the government avoids any attempt to forcibly evacuate settler outposts after Amona is the direct result of that very traumatic day.

After being re-elected in 2006, in August 2007 Eldad established and headed a 10-member Homesh Knesset caucus met for the first time. The caucus’ mandate is to work to promote the re-establishment of Homesh – with the aim of eventually re-establishing all the settlements dismantled in 2005.

In November 2007 he announced the formation of a new secular right-wing party named Hatikva. Ultimately the party ran as a faction of the National Union in the 2009 elections, with Eldad in third place on the alliance’s list. He retained his seat as the Union won four mandates.

In 2008 he submitted a bill to the Knesset proposing that Hebron‘s Arab residents be removed “in order to protect the Jews of Hebron”.[1] but his suggestion came to no avail.

Eldad’s 2009 proposal that Palestinian Arabs be given Jordanian citizenship drew a formal protest from the Jordanian foreign minister.[2]

Political beliefs

Eldad is a Revisionist Zionist who believes in the ideas of Zionist philosopher Zeev Jabotinsky who wrote:

“If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison for the land, or find a benefactor who will maintain the garrison on your behalf. … Zionism is a colonizing adventure and, therefore, it stands or falls on the question of armed forces.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 45).

Eldad supports the right of Jews to live in any part of the Land of Israel and opposes any surrender of Israeli sovereignty to the PLO. “We have to understand that there is a price to pay if we want to be an independent Jewish State. It is still a lower price then what we will have to pay as Dhimmis living at the mercy of the Islamic terror” and what is that price? “There is only one answer to the challenge of the Jihad from Gaza: a military one.”

Eldad opposes the creation of any Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River and called its possibility a “disaster”. The creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would lead, Eldad believes, to a Hamas-run center of terror within three days of Israeli transfer of the land. Furthermore, Eldad believes that the State of Israel will never have peace with the Arabs.

On his Zionism, Eldad stated that “I belong to this part of the Jewish people that believes the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel.” In a university lecture, he questioned, “how did we [the Jewish people] become so distorted as to say the Arabs have a right to our land?” On “occupation,” he posits that “the only occupation I know of is the Arab occupation of the Land of Israel in the seventh century… If I am an occupier in Hebron, I am an occupier in Tel Aviv…” The Balfour Declaration, the White Papers, the United Nations recognition of the State of Israel – all these, Eldad believes, are not the sources of the Jewish right to the Land of Israel, but “only recognition of our right.” Yes, an occupier. This is clear. If one is an occupier in Hebron, one is an occupier in Tel Aviv.

On his political goals, Eldad has stated: “When I wake up in the morning, I divide the day into two parts. In the first part of the day, I try to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. It is not a full-time job, so in the second part of the day, I try to prevent corruption.”

In March 2010, in response to David Miliband‘s statement that the Israeli cloning of British passports is “intolerable”, he commented: “I think the British are being hypocritical, and I do not wish to insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty, [but] who gave the British the right to judge us on the war on terror?” Uhm, try the same guys who gave you that Declaration that you use as the recognition of your “right”. Let’s make a deal, they withhold judgement and you forget about the Balfour Declaration. Seems logical.

During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s visit to Lebanon in October 2010, Eldad stated:

“History would have been different if in 1939 some Jewish soldier would have succeeded in taking Hitler out. If Ahmadinejad will be in the crosshairs of an IDF rifle when he comes to throw rocks at us, he must not return home alive.” (spoken like a true son of Lehi).

  

(thank you Hussain)

Gheddafi and Chavez

If one, like myself, is raised with the love of “the worker” and “the people” which exceeds any love of a party, an ideology or even a nation, it is difficult to really fit in with any established left. While the left claims that it seeks power of the people, too many times its public statements make it clear that the people to protect are instead the people already in power, despite what they might actually have to do in order to maintain that power.

In the past, I have been critical of the massive investments Fidel Castro allowed to be made by Rafi Eitan and have been told that expressing how wrong the policy of “anything at all to uphold the Cuban revolution is good, even if it means trampling on Palestinians” was. I was accused of siding with dissident Cubans. It seems that there is a belief that this leader is beyond criticism.

Again, when I have criticised Ahmadinejad (who is not a leftist leader, but currently a leader some of the anti-imperialists who do not accept pan-Arabism look to as being “the voice of truth”) for the lack of what I consider political savvy in some of his speeches and how easily they are used to deflect attention to Israel as victim and away from Palestine as real victim, I have been accused of being a Zionist… and to my eyes, the automatism of Ahmadinejad=the real anti-Zionist seems like rote dogmatism without true reflection of what precisely Iran’s role in the region’s in/stability might be. Iran deserves to be free of all instrumentalisation and to have a truly autonomous and independent domestic and foreign policy, no matter if Ahmadinejad is the leader or not, but those in the West who insist upon singing the praises of Ahmadinejad as a symbol and condemning those who don’t are using simpleton logic and do nothing that is different from those who use him as the banner for what is evil.

Today my inbox has gotten another jolt. It seems that the “Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity” is supporting Muammar Gheddafi and accusing the uprising in Libya as being the work of foreign services. Like classic dogmatic leftist propaganda, their press release attempts to equate the person of Gheddafi with the nation of Libya. Like all pieces of dogmatic propaganda, it contains some elements of truth, such as lamenting the lack of media attention for the crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people as well as the tendency of the forces of power in the West to attempt to hijack any popular movement and take control of it. As well, its statements about Gheddafi’s son being a benefactor in an NGO are also true, as his foundation donated 180 vehicles to the Viva Palestina mission as well as having assumed the exaggerated costs of the doomed and ill-planned Road to Hope Convoy, which did not factor in the amount of money to actually bring the goods to Gaza by boat, as is (unfortunately in these horrible times we live in) the only means possible. However aside from some facts and truth in the press statement, the core truth is that once again, the “left” sides by the power of a leader who states himself to be anti-imperialist, (despite evidence to the contrary) and instead tyrannically controls the business and wealth in a sort of State Capitalism where only a few gain and where democracy is seen as counter to the interests of the State. 

It is sufficient to read the press statement to see that the great blindspot blocking many who speak in the name of the “left” is a lack of awareness of the unstoppable force and legitimacy of the Arab masses. People in the MENA lands are divided into nations, religions, political orientation so that they can be used for a huge variety of dogmatic reasons. This is done even by their friends and supporters who neglect a very basic reality – unity across every artificial divide. There are those who blame/praise the recent uprisings on Islam, but that is again untrue. Though these are nations with a vast Muslim population, the uprisings are not religious rallies and are indeed joined by Muslim groups, but not lead by them, just as they are joined by internationalist groups, but are not lead by them. It is simply the power of human beings who live in the “Middle East” and North Africa who are demanding their political and human rights. It is their identification as a united front which brings them en masse to the largest squares in their countries, allows them to face bravely the very real threat of bodily harm and even death. 

It is the Arab human being who is being buried on the beaches of Tripoli, the cemeteries of Soussa, Manama and Cairo. It is the Arab human being who is arrested in Palestine for sharing his or her solidarity with other humans fighting for their rights. There is no limit of age, sex, religion, political credo or even social class. There is one uniting factor, the factor of Arabhood, Arab Consciousness that is drawing these people to demand to have a say in their own future and to construct their own country, and protect it for all the nationals abroad who are in exile or diaspora, ousting corrupt and tyrannical leaders who have at times used patriotism of the nation to inspire “brand loyalty” to the leader. 

Yet, these same feelings of patriotism, the beloved flags of all the independent nations, are being waved in a mass statement of unity. Arab people are supporting other Arab people across the globe, seeking to empower the individual national struggles in the name of Arabhood and humanity as a whole. The Algerian, the Moroccan, the Jordanian, the Tunisian, the Iraqi, the Egyptian and all the other national identities are not abandoned, but are instead joined together in solidarity as a sole people rising up against any outside forces or internal pressure that seeks to strip them of their power and determination to be the protagonists of their own stories. 

Just as it is wrong and improper to impose sanctions against a people to bring down a leader, as is attempted from the West and the imperialist powers (US and EU sanctions against Iran, Iraq, Gaza, to name only some), it is also wrong to have attempted to call for an economic boycott of Egypt to bring down Mubarak. To boycott an Arab nation at this time, as is expected soon from the USA towards Libya, never brings down the leader, it only weakens the masses and makes them further victimised by the oppressive powers, their own and those from outside. Boycotts are to change policy, not to bring down leaders, and they do nothing but increase suffering to the population which does not possess any kind of powers or economic clout. 

So the left, rather than support Gheddafi, should condemn the proposed boycott of Libya while at the same time accept the power of the people and abandon the dogmatism of the charismatic “revolutionary leader” when it is evident that his leadership is in place only by means of oppression. I would expect that true revolutionaries and leftists will ignore the appeal of the Chavez Foundation and will take their place alongside the Arab people in their struggle for freedom. 

(thank you Ali Baghdadi for bringing this missive to my attention).   

HUGO CHAVEZ INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR PEACE, FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY

HCI-FPFS

“To love one’s neighbor is also to love one’s enemy. Although in reality that qualifier-‘enemy’ does not exist in my vocabulary. I recognize that I only have adversaries and I have acquired the capacity to love them because in this way we do away with violence, wrath, vengeance, hatred and substitute them with justice and forgiveness.” 
Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Gonzalez (1999)

Press Statement                                                                       23 February, 2011.

Bamako, Republic of Mali                    Tel: 00223-6413027.

This is the second statement to the Press issued by the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS), in the light of the situation in Libya. It is no more a secret to state in this Press Release that foreign powers, opposed to peace, unity and progress of Africa are in action again, leading a wicked campaign of treachery, deception and terrorism against Libyan leader, Muammar Al-Qathafi and the people of Libya. This time, the enemies of Africa are hiding behind the corrupt foreign media in their criminal attempts to attack and destroy Libya.

The international conspiracy to destroy Muammar Al-Qathafi through a carefully-calculated media frenzy constitutes the burden of each of our position statement on current events in Libya, especially the wide, vicious, hypocritical gap between the US and Western powers’ “democratic” avowal and the state terrorism associated with the activities of these so-called civilized nations towards the people of Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America. In the first place, the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace,
Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS) wonders how British Foreign Secretary William Hague can feel so comfortable in the company of anti-Libyan organized crime groups that seek the devastation and destruction of Libya. For instance, it was the British Foreign Secretary-turned-coat anti-Libyan, anti-Qathafi, anti-Africa, anti-Arab, anti-Hugo Chavez, anti-Venezuelan whom led the malicious lie to the world that Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qathafi had ran away and sought refuge in Venezuela. The malicious lie was doctored at a time British Prime Minister David Cameron was on an unannounced visit to Egypt, ostensibly to urge the military junta in Cairo to respect the so-called timetable for holding elections.

The other lies, deceptions and ill-thought-out propaganda associated with the ongoing anti-Libyan campaign in the corrupt media include the following misguided allegations, that:

LIBYAN WAR PLANES BOMBED CIVILIANS.

It is innuendos and reckless dissipation for any foreign government, organization or the corrupt media to suggest that the competent authorities in Tripoli used Libya’s fighter jet planes against Libyan civilians. It has never happened and there is no evidence to convince any sane person to believe that the Government of Muammar Al-Qathafi ever used fighter planes against the Libyan people, since the dawn of the era of the Great September 1st Al-Fateh Revolution in 1969. As a matter of fact, there are all evidences available to conclude that the Government of Muammar Al-Qathafi does not need importing foreign mercenaries to protect Libyan life and property against the terrorist activities of organized crime groups and the corrupt media.

It is now clear that the “corrupt international media” disproportionately covers human rights violations in Libya beyond an attempted distraction from the actual situation on the North African nation. For example when Israeli army massacred Palestinian men, women and children in the occupied Arab lands and territories, there is little media coverage compared to the coverage generated over the drown attacks directed by the White House in Washington against tribes men, women and children in Afghanistan. The extrajudicial execution of Egyptian opposition leaders by US/Israeli trained agents of former government of the disgraced dictator Hosni Mubarrak was not covered by the “corporate media” despite it being a heinous crime against humanity. We assert that, the assumption that Libyan fighter planes deployed by the Libyan Government against civilians is without basis. This is further evidence that the corporate media’s claims about happenings in Libya are without substance.

SAIF AL-ISLAM QATHAFI THREATENED THE LIBYAN PEOPLE.

The corporate media got it wrong from the beginning when it made and repeated the claim that Saif Al-Islam Qathafi, the President of the Gadafi Foundation threatened the Libyan people. When weighing the claims of the corporate media against the President of the Gadafi Foundation, one should look at Saif Al-Islam’s background. This is a man who leads a respectable Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Gadafi Foundation that has been instrumental in enforcing the principles of the Green Charter International (GCI), for peace, human rights, rule of law, democracy, freedom and human dignity in Libya and world over.

Saif Al-Islam’s statement on attempts by criminals to rob the Libyan people of their peace, freedom and dignity was crystal clear and made to urge the Libyan people to resist any foreign attempts to destroy their country. The accusations against Sail Al-Islam are false and reveal that the corporate media is ever willing to blatantly lie in order to attempt to damage the reputation and illuminating personality of Sail Al-Islam.

Thus far we have seen how a simple, clear-cut national security case became a wider, more serious problem through unwillingness on the part of the enemies of Libya to respect the sovereignty and independence of the North African nation. Instead they (the enemies of Libya) deliberately buried facts and began a campaign of gossip, tale bearing and slander against Sail Al-Islam. We have also learned how the US and Western imperialists encouraged the corporate media’s anti-Libya terrorism by listening to their unfounded and baseless allegations and treating them as true.

NO FLY ZONE RHETORIC.

A number of heretics, racists and anti-Libyans have gone mad and resorted to advocate for a “no fly zone” be imposed on Libya. The objective, it is now clear-to create a corridor for aggression and violation of Libya’s sovereignty and integrity. Those who advocate for this subversive action plan are themselves collaborators of organized crime groups intending to destroy Libya.

On whether Muammar Al-Qathafi is in control of Libya, we would leave it to the sane international community to read the writings on the wall. There is no gain saying the fact Muammar Qathafai is well, kicking and performing his duties as Leader and Guide of the Revolution, and remains the legitimate leader of the Libyan masses. The Libyan Government is fully in control of its country’s internal situation, and as repeatedly said by Muammar Qathafi, the Libyan Government would not sit idle and allow any body pursue vested personal agendas, or derail the country from path of economic prosperity and sustained development.

The competent authorities in Tripoli have undertaken full duties and responsibilities through decisive action in the face of a well planned international covert agenda, and managed to restore security and protect human life and property in Libya. The US and Western governments hate-filled attacks on Colonel Muammar Qathafi are mere “propaganda” aimed at diverting growing international concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq, occupied Palestine, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Anger and frustration at the collapse of the anti-Arab, pro-zionist regime in Egypt is completely understandable and shared by us, in the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS), yet that anger must not be directed at destroying.

Concluding we call upon the civilized international community to exert pressure on the military junta in Cairo not to allow any part of Egypt be use as staging posts for the destabilization of Libya.

Signed:………………………….

Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh

President of the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS),

For, and on behalf of the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS).

On 25 February 2011 activists and organizations from around the world will join together in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron/ al Khaleel, through local protests that demand for the opening of Shuhada Street to Palestinians and an End to the Occupation! For more info or to organize a protest in your city please contact openshuhadastreet@gmail.com

Want to get involved? Click here for more information

Open Shuhada Street Pamphlet 2011

Open Shuhada Street – 25 Feb 2011 – Global Day of Action from Joseph Dana on Vimeo.

Shuhada Street used to be the principal street for Palestinians residents, businesses and a very active market place in the Palestinian city of Hebron/ al Khaleel. Today, because Shuhada Street runs through the Jewish settlement of Hebron, the street is closed to Palestinian movement and looks like a virtual ghost street which only Israelis and tourists are allowed to access. Hate graffiti has been sprayed across the closed Palestinian shops and Palestinians living on the street have to enter and exit their houses through their back doors or, even sometimes by climbing over neighbor’s roofs.

International Supporter Being Arrested During a Recent Protest in Hebron. Photo: Activestills.org

In 1994, following the massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer by America-Israeli settler Dr Baruch Goldstein, shops on Shuhada Street were closed and vehicular traffic prohibited on the street. Despite a court case and an admission by the Israeli government that it is illegal, the street is still closed to Palestinians 16 years later. We are focusing on Shuhada Street as a symbol of the settlement issue, the policy of separation in Hebron/al Khaleel and the entire West Bank, the lack of freedom of movement, and the occupation at large. Check back to this page for more updates regarding how you can get involved. For more background information and FAQ’s click here.


Στο όνομα του Αραβικού Παλαιστινιακού λαού, του αίματος των μαρτύρων, των χηρών και των υστερημένων, των ορφανών και των χιλιάδων φυλακισμένων στις Ισραηλινές φυλακές και όλων των απόδημων Παλαιστινίων, καλούμε όλες τις Παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις να ενωθούν υπό το λάβαρο της Παλαιστίνης, προκειμένου να μεταρρυθμιστεί το πολιτικό σύστημα στην Παλαιστίνη στη βάση των συμφερόντων και των φιλοδοξιών (οραμάτων) των Παλαιστινίων στην πατρίδα και τη διασπορά.

Η σοβαρότητα της Ισραηλινής αποικιακής εισβολής στην παρούσα φάση, η αρπαγή των εδαφών της ιερής μας Ιερουσαλήμ και η βίαιη πολιορκία εναντίον του λαού της Γάζας, απαιτεί από όλους μας να αντισταθούμε σε αυτή την βάναυση κατοχή.

Έχουμε ακούσει πως ο Παλαιστινιακός λαός ζητά νομοθετικές και προεδρικές εκλογές προκειμένου να λήξει το καθεστώς διάσπασης. Ναι, όλοι θέλουμε να βάλουμε ένα τέλος στη διάσπαση, αλλά θέλουμε επίσης την πλήρη αναδόμηση και μεταρρύθμιση της Οργάνωσης για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης (PLO), ώστε να περιλαμβάνει όλες τις αποχρώσεις του παλαιστινιακού πολιτικού φάσματος, της Hamas συμπεριλαμβανομένης, προκειμένου να παλέψουμε πάλι για την απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης όπως προορίστηκε αρχικά.

Εμείς, οι Παλαιστίνιοι στην πατρίδα και στο εξωτερικό, πάντα ακούγαμε ότι οι ειρηνικές ενέργειες θα επετύγχαναν τη νίκη και θα αποκαθιστούσαν τα εδάφη μας αλλά 20 χρόνια διαπραγματεύσεων δεν έχουν επιτύχει ούτε τις ελάχιστες απαιτήσεις. Οι συνάνθρωποι μας παραμένουν υπό τη βάναυση και καταπιεστική κατοχή που υφαρπάζει τα εδάφη μας, παραβιάζει τους ιερούς τόπους και σκοτώνει τα παιδιά μας, και όλα αυτά ενώ η οικουμένη, που απαιτεί δημοκρατία και σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, απλά παρατηρεί και ακούει! Ενώ παράλληλα, η αντίσταση χρονοτριβεί, αφήνοντας περισσότερο από ενάμιση εκατομμύριο Παλαιστίνιους υπό τον ισραηλινό αποκλεισμό που τους πνίγει σε τέτοιο βαθμό που παραπέμπει ακόμα και ασθενείς στο εξωτερικό προκειμένου να τους παραχθεί θεραπεία, την ίδια στιγμή που αυτό είναι πρακτικά αδύνατο να γίνει, ακόμα και για τους ίδιους τους ηγέτες της αντίστασης και των οικογενειών τους, πόσο μάλλον για τον υπόλοιπο Παλεστινιακό λαό.

Πρέπει να συμφωνήσουμε πως είναι απαραίτητο όλοι μας να ενωθούμε για τους απανταχού Παλαιστίνιους, που ακόμη ονειρεύονται την επιστροφή έξι εκατομμύριων Παλαιστίνιων προσφύγων στις κατοικίες τους που καταπατήθηκαν κατά την κατοχή, μια κατοχή που αντιλαμβάνεται μόνο τη γλώσσα της βίας!

Ας γίνουμε δυνατοί, ας είναι η ενότητα η δύναμή μας, και ας συμφωνήσουμε ομόφωνα σε μια ενοποιημένη ηγεσία που θα μας οδηγήσει στην ελευθερία με υπερηφάνεια και αξιοπρέπεια!

Από αυτή τη θέση, καλούμε τις κυβερνήσεις της Δυτικής Όχθης και της Γάζας να ανταποκριθούν στα νόμιμα αιτήματα των ανθρώπων:
1. Την απελευθέρωση όλων των πολιτικών κρατουμένων από τις φυλακές της Παλαιστινιακής Αρχής και της Hamas.
2. Το τέλος της μεταξύ τους δημόσιας αντιπαράθεσης.
3. Την παραίτηση των κυβερνήσεων του Haniyeh και του Fayyad και τον σχηματισμό μίας κυβέρνησης εθνικής ενότητας που θα συμφωνηθεί από όλες τις παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις και θα είναι αντιπροσωπευτική του Παλαιστινιακού λαού.
4. Την αναδιάρθρωση της Οργάνωσης για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης, που θα περιέχει όλες τις παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις και την επιστροφή της στον αρχικό στόχο: την Ελευθερία της Παλαιστίνης
5. Την ανακοίνωση περί αναστολής όλων των διαπραγματεύσεων μέχρι την πλήρη συμφωνία ενός πολιτικού προγράμματος από τις διάφορες παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις
6. Το τέλος κάθε μορφής συντονισμού σε θέματα ασφάλειας με το σιωνιστή εχθρό
7. Την οργάνωση προεδρικών και κοινοβουλευτικών εκλογών ταυτόχρονα, σε χρόνο που θα συμφωνηθεί από όλες τις παρατάξεις

Οι εκδηλώσεις θα ξεκινήσουν την Τρίτη, 15 Μαρτίου 2011, στις 11:30 π.μ. και θα συνεχιστούν μέχρι την επίτευξη όλων των στόχων.
Θα μαζευτούμε στις ακόλουθες τοποθεσίες (αλλαγές είναι πιθανόν να υπάρξουν):
Γάζα: Πλατεία Αγνώστου Στρατιώτη (Gaza: the Unknown Soldier Square)
Ραμάλλα: Πλατεία Manara (Ramallah: Manara Square)
Τουλκάρμ: Κυκλική Πλατεία Gamal Abdel Nasser (Tulkarm: Roundabout Gamal Abdel Nasser)
Τζενίν: στο συγκρότημα των χώρων στάθμευσης κοντά στον παλαιό κινηματογράφο Jenin (Jenin: complex of garages near the old Cinema Jenin)
Χεβρώνα: μπροστά στο κυβερνείο (Hebron: in front of the governor’s office)
Βηθλεέμ: Εκκλησία της πλατείας Nativity (Bethlehem: Church of the Nativity Square)
Nablus: Πλατεία Μαρτύρων (Nablus: Martyrs Square)
Ιορδανία και Λίβανος: η τοποθεσία δεν έχει οριστεί ακόμα
Στον υπόλοιπο κόσμο: μπροστά από τις Παλαιστινιακές πρεσβείες, σε συνεννόηση με τις παλαιστινιακές κοινότητες στο εξωτερικό. ΘΑ ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΗΣΕΙ ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ !!!

Παρακαλούμε επισκεφτείτε μας στην σελίδα:
http://www.facebook.com/Palestinians.United?sk=info

15 marzo, Azione internazionale per l’unità del Popolo Palestinese.
Un solo popolo contro il Sionismo.

In nome del popolo arabo palestinese, per il rispetto del sangue dei martiri, delle vedove, degli orfani e dei loro lutti, per le migliaia di prigionieri nelle carceri israeliane e per tutta la nostra gente della diaspora palestinese, chiediamo a tutte le fazioni di unirsi sotto la bandiera della Palestina per potere riformare e basare il sistema politico in Palestina sugli interessi ed aspirazioni del popolo palestinese, in patria e in esilio.

La gravità dell’attuale fase di incursioni da parte dei coloni israeliani, dell’appropriazione della terra nella nostra Sacra Gerusalemme e della violenza dell’assedio contro il popolo palestinese di Gaza obbliga tutti noi ad unirci saldamente contro quest’occupazione brutale.

Noi abbiamo sentito il popolo palestinese chiedere le elezioni legislative e presidenziali per porre fine alla divisione. Sì, tutti noi vogliamo la fine della divisione, ma vogliamo anche una totale ricostruzione dell’ Organizzazione per la Liberazione della Palestina, che comprenda tutti i colori dello spettro politico palestinese, incluso Hamas, e di riformarla con lo scopo di lottare di nuovo per la liberazione della Palestina, così come era stato inteso dalla sua fondazione.

Noi, il popolo palestinese, in patria ed in esilio, abbiamo sempre sentito che le azioni pacifiche sarebbero bastate per ottenere la vittoria e ci avrebbero restituito la nostra terra, ma 20 anni di negoziati non ci hanno fatto ottenere la benché minima richiesta. La nostra gente vive sotto una brutale ed oppressiva occupazione che saccheggia la nostra terra, viola i nostri luoghi sacri, uccide i nostri figli. Fa tutto questo mentre il mondo dichiara che la democrazia è assicurata e i diritti umani vengono rispettati! D’altro canto la resistenza è in stallo, mentre più di un milione e mezzo di palestinesi restano sotto l’assedio israeliano che strangola fino al punto che i nostri malati, compresi i figli dei leader della resistenza, possono essere curati solo altrove.

Dobbiamo essere d’accordo: è necessario che noi ci uniamo per tutti i palestinesi qui e per i sei milioni di rifugiati palestinesi in ogni parte del mondo che ancora sognano il loro ritorno alle loro case sottratte dall’Occupazione, che comprende soltanto il linguaggio della forza! Dobbiamo essere forti, dobbiamo fare sì che l’unità sia la nostra forza e che siamo unanimemente concordi su una dirigenza che ci potrebbe guidare fino alla libertà, con orgoglio e dignità!

Con questo appello chiediamo a tutti coloro che governano in Cisgiordania e Gaza di rispondere alle richieste legittime del popolo:
1 – il rilascio di tutti i detenuti politici nelle prigioni dell’ Autorità Palestinese e di Hamas
2 – la fine di ogni tipo di campagna stampa contro le altre fazioni
3 – le dimissioni dei governi di Haniyeh e Fayyad per poter ricostruire un governo di unità nazionale che riscuota l’approvazione di ogni fazione palestinese e che avrebbe il compito di rappresentare il popolo palestinese
4 – la ristrutturazione dell’Organizzazione per la Liberazione della Palestinna che includa tutte le fazioni palestinesi e che ritorni al suo scopo originario: la liberazione della Palestina
5 – l’annuncio del congelamento dei negoziati finchè non ci sarà totale compatabilità tra le vari fazioni su un programma politico
6 – la fine di ogni forma di coordinamento con il nemico sionista sulla questione della sicurezza
7 – l’organizzazione di elezioni presidenziali e parlamentari simultanee nei tempi scelti da tutte le fazioni

Gli eventi avranno inizio il martedì, 15/03/2011 alle 11:30 e andranno avanti finchè non saranno accolte tutte le nostre richieste. Ci raduneremo nei seguenti posti (salvo modifiche):
Gaza: Piazza del Milite Ignoto
Ramallah: Piazza Manara
Tulkarm: Piazzale Gamal Abdel Nasser
Jenin: complesso dei garagi vicino al vecchio Cinema Jenin
Hebron: davanti all’ufficio del Governatore (Al Khalil)
Bethlehem: Piazza della Natività
Nablus: Piazza dei Martiri
Giordania e Libano: da definire
Nel mondo: davanti alle sedi diplomatici palestinesi, in coordinamento con le comunità palestinesi in esilio.

http://www.facebook.com/Palestinians.United?sk=info

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

Translated into Greek by Christina Baseos, translated into Italian by Mary Rizzo

A classic postion for a dictator's speech... from the window of the symbolic building


I have just finished listening to Colonel Qaddafi
I did not get wiser, nor did my opinion change.

40 years is enough even if the ruler is Mother Tereza
or Nelson Mandela…………

One thing I must agree with Qaddafi:
If and when Qadafi shall leave Libya,
it will no more be ruled by “a Libyan”
.
Raja Chemayel

Raja, I am surprised.  How did you get the strength to listen to Gheddafi’s speech all the way to the end?  I tried but couldn’t do it.  I got too sick.  I did even vomit. 

I met the man several times.  I prayed behind him on the sand outside his tent.  I visited his home and sat with his ordinary and humble wife and lovely daughter, Aashea.  I was impressed.  I loved what I saw.  Aaesha told me that she will soon be studying law to defend the oppressed.  I must say that my home is better than theirs.  I am not rich.  I saw no servants.  It was Aaesha and her mom who brought lemonade, pistachio nuts and baclawa.  The living room was tiny and had simple furniture.  Only the home of President Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan impressed me more.  It was even tinier and simpler.  The couch I sat on was an old iron bed.

Nasser was a dictator, but we loved him.  He was our champion. As a matter of fact, we almost “worshipped” him.  He built Egypt.  The Arab people realized that we are one nation.  Despite our defeats, we felt proud. He was one of the pillars of the non-aligned nations’ movement.  He continued to live in his house that he owned as an officer.  The home had only one bathroom.  Nasser was surprised when his children complained and told him that they knew some families who had two bathrooms.  The Nasser family members had to stand in line to wash, bathe and do the other thing; you know what I mean.  After he was poisoned, he left behind less than 100 dollars for his family.

Gheddafi was a dictator too.  But we tolerated him.  He financed several liberation movements around the world.  He didn’t succumb to Zionism.  He didn’t open an Israeli embassy at this bad time when the majority of Arab leaders are caving in.  We also thought that he didn’t deposit billions of dollars in foreign banks.  Of course, it is too early to find the truth.

I personally dropped Gheddafi from my “book” when he paid over two and a half billion dollars to the Lockerbie Pan American crash victims.  Libya has nothing to do with this horrendous crime.  It was a false flag.  It was a CIA operation.  The White Prime Minister of South Africa was warned in advance to not take that plane. Gheddafi also paid for the attack on a night club in Berlin.  Two American soldiers died.  This crime was carried out by the German Red Brigade that worked for the CIA.

My “respect” for Gheddafi ended when he capitulated to Bush the son on nukes and sent all material and equipment to Washington.  The guy even demanded that Iran should do the same to avoid destruction by America.

hand in hand

I was delivering a speech titled “Africa’s Brain Drain” in Tripoli, Libya when the Tunisian President fled to Saudi Arabia.  Almost 500 people from Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand attended a conference on African Immigration to Europe.  I was shocked to discover that the organizers were not interested in the papers we delivered.  They packed us as cattle and drove us to listen to Gheddafi and his puppets.  The great “revolutionary leader” delivered another speech telling the Tunisians that they should have kept Ben Ali for life as a president.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  He repeated the same nonsense later when the Egyptian youth revolution erupted.  He wanted Mubarak to stay.

The only thing that I loved about my trip to Tripoli is the fact that I met some good people.  Abdel Hakim Jamal Abdel an-Nasser was one.  Fortunately, he didn’t speak.  I felt that he was disgusted.  We embraced.  I saw Nasser in him.  But I also wept.  I am “weak”.

I do apologize to the Arab people of Libya.  I thought that they would never rise up.  I thought that they are not prepared to face the enormous firepower of Gheddafi’s army. Fortunately, I was wrong. To my greatest surprise, they did.  The price was too high.  My Libyan brothers and sisters continue to pay.

Today, Gheddafi accused the Libyan youth who demand his ouster of being on drugs.  Now I am convinced that the man himself is hallucinating.  He should check what his Ukrainian “nurse” is giving him.  He should leave now.  He must not forget to take his sons.  Libyans want to be free.  The Gheddafi “kingdom” must come to an end.

Ali Baghdadi

Jamila Al Habash

It has been two years since the war launched on the Gaza Strip. On 27th of December 2008 at 11:30, explosions were heard everywhere; and then the nightmare of 22 days begun. The nightmare, which resulted in 1,434 martyrs and 5,303 injured most of them were children. For most of the Gazans, the war did not end yet. Its memories bring alive the moment of the war. Everyone in Gaza has his own story to tell about the war. The war came into our houses like a thief, stole our beautiful and precious things and left for us pain and agony. Every house, every family, every person, every child and even me has a story of loss, fear and horror. I have lived the moment of fear and horror that I might wake up; and I do not find my family around me. In my dreams, I have seen my mother crying beside my dead body. The suffering did not end. Mothers still remember their children dying in front of their eyes, fathers still smell the blood of children on their hands and some children are still afraid that the war might come back again. There are many tragic and appalling stories to tell. Al Samouny family’s story, Jamila Al Habash and Om Ahmed Fawaz Saleh all suffered from the brutality of the war.

Al Samouny family’s plight began with the Israeli incursion into and firing at Al Zaytoun neighborhood. The Israeli occupying forces started bombing the area leaving no way out to the people living there. As the situation deteriorated and the shelling intensified, Al Samouny family sought refuge in Tallal Al Samouny’s house, thinking that they would be safe there, 60 members of Al Samouny family gathered at Tallal’s house. They were left without water for 24 hours. Unconcerned about the people’s lives in the area, the Israeli forces continued shelling the house. Emergency services were banned from reaching the area. Dead bodies of Palestinians lay in the house, only thirteen family members were still alive. Eight of them were children, some of them injured, who had been locked in for three days with the bodies of their dead parents and family members, with no access to food or water. Overall, 26 members of the Al Samouny family were killed, including 10 children and 7 women. Back to the children who had been locked in with the dead bodies for three days. Those children will be traumatized by the sad and mournful memory of seeing their parents dying in front of their eyes. They will be imprisoned in their painful past forever. Can any child in the world endure what those children have undergone?

Om Ahmed Fawaz Saleh has a story of loss to tell. Om Ahmed lives in Jabalia; she had four children. She lost two of them in the war, Ahmed and Fawzia. During the war, Jabalia was subjected to an intensified Israeli shelling. Most of people there left their houses to seek shelter. Om Ahmed did the same thing. She wanted to take her children to a safe place, her sister’s house. She started packing her children’s clothes, but the Israeli forces were faster than she was. As her children stepped out of the room, a missile hit the house. Ahmed and Fawzia achieved martyrdom, and the other two children were injured. Om Ahmed tried her best to save her children, but she could not. She spoke about her children with tears in her throat. She remembers her sons, Ahmed’s, dreams. She said:” Ahmed wanted to go to the kindergarten; he wanted to buy me sweets with his pocket money. But his dream will never come true.” Om Ahmed has nothing left for her except memories that will always bring the harsh moment of war.

Jamila Al Habah is another evidence of the Israeli barbarity and cruelty. Jamila is a 15-year old girl who lost her legs in the war, when her house was bombed by a missile. Her sister and cousin were killed. Jamila was taken to the hospital and had several operations. When she woke up, she discovered that her legs were amputated. In spite of her ordeal, Jamila decided to be a strong girl, smile, and continue her way towards her dreams. Jamila went under physical treatment and used a wheelchair. Now she is able to walk using crutches with artificial limbs. When I met Jamila, I was impressed by her beautiful smile and her strong will. She challenged her plight. She continues going to school every day on crutches. Looking at her gave me hope. She is willing to achieve her dream and be a famous journalist. Her story is a story of faith and hope.

The Israeli war caused the Gazans so much misery; but it did not break our strong will to exist. The Israelis are to be held accountable for their crimes against humanity, and the truth will be exposed one day. Despite the war, the life in Gaza did not die. Nothing will kill the Gazans’ spirits. Finally, I would thank a friend of mine who supported and helped me in writing this article; a friend who has a story of loss; but it was so painful to talk about it.

These are the beloved people of Egypt!

Ghedaffi and Italian Foreign Minister Frattini

Eni and Impregilo, Unicredit, Astaldi, Finmeccanica, Fiat, and even Juventus: Italian business deals with GHEDDAFI

I reject this devious Italy, petty trafficker, always nostalgic for its own colonial failure, heavily involved in this massacre of civilians underway, accomplice of the ferocious oppression of a legitimate popular revolt. I reject this accomplice, Italy, debased, asleep

Francesca Antinucci

This reading can be enhanced by this musical accompaniment

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWZR-ZO_m6A

for which I thank the wisdom of Doriana Goracci

Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi who kisses Ghedaffi's hand. Classic gesture used in the mafia to denote submission

Summary by Reuters

ENI: The major Italian oil company which has various activities in Libya, among which, long-term (take or pay) contracts. (Clause that is included in purchase contracts, under the basis that the purchased is obligated in all cases to pay, entirely or partially, the price of a minimum quantity of raw materials indicated within the contract, even in the possibility that this material is not withdrawn). The six-legged dog illustrates an investment plan running up to 25 billion dollars in the country. Tripoli had also indicated its intention of purchasing shares in the company.

  

IMPREGILO, ASTALDI: Impregilo,the leading construction company in Italy, would greatly benefit from the friendly relationship between Berlusconi and Gheddafi, in that they have been pre-qualified for the realisation of a super-highway project in Libya financed by the Italian government of a 5 billion Euros value. The second largest construction company in Italy, Astaldi, has also expressed interest in participating in the project. Impregilo has also been cited as a possible investment target by Libya.  

  

FINMECCANICA:  The Italian aerospace company in 2009 signed an agreement with Libya for the cooperation in the aerospace sector and in other projects in the Middle East and Africa. The agreement entails the creation of a 50-50 joint venture in which the partners are Finmeccanica and Libya Africa Investment Portfolio. Finmeccanica has also had various contracts with Libya, one of several, last year, for the construction of railways having a value of 247 million Euros. Not to be ignored is the fact that the Libyan Investment Autority holds 2.01% of the shares in Finmeccanica.

UNICREDIT. The Libyan holdings in the banking group are 7.5%, after the acquisition by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) of 2.59% of the capital. The Central Bank of Libya is another shareholder in Unicredit, with shares for 4.988% of the capital.  

FIAT. Libya came to the rescue of Fiat in 1977, upon the invitation of Giovanni Agnelli, with the acquisition of approximately 15% of the shares by the Lybian Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico). The investment gave rise to a strong wave of criticism. Fafico thus sold its shares in 1986, but in 2002 repurchased shares exceeding 2%. At the moment its shares amount to less than 2%. 

Libya, lastly, is active in football as well. Lafico in fact holds no less than 7.5% of the capital of Juventus. Al-Saadi Gheddafi, the Colonel’s son, once a player in the Perugia and Udinese teams, is also a member of the Board of Directors of Juventus. Libya at a certain point also thought of investing in Lazio and had invested in Triestina.

Lafico is also active in the textiles sector, holding shares worth 21.7% in Olcese, according to what is written in the company’s Internet site.  

Further reading:

http://domani.arcoiris.tv/mentre-il-medio-oriente-brucia-gheddafi-compra-100-milioni-di-azioni-finmeccanica-diventa-un-po%E2%80%99-padrone-di-armi-navi-e-aerei-non-si-sa-mai/

Translated by Mary Rizzo for We Write What We Like and Gulagnik

On behalf of the Palestinian Arab people, on the blood of the martyrs, widows and bereaved, orphans and thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails and all our people in the Palestinian diaspora, we call on all the Palestinian factions to unite under the banner of Palestine, in order to reform the political system in Palestine, based on the interests and aspirations of the Palestinian people in the homeland and the diaspora.

The seriousness of the current phase of Israeli settler incursions and looting of land in our Sacred Jerusalem and the violence of the siege against the Palestinian people in Gaza require us all to stand as one against this brutal occupation.

We have heard that the Palestinian people call for legislative and presidential elections to end the state of division. Yes, we all want to end the division, but we also want a complete re-building of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to include within it all the colors of the Palestinian political spectrum, including Hamas, and to reform it in order to fight again for Palestine’s liberation, as it was initially intended.

We, Palestinian people in the homeland and abroad, have always heard that peaceful actions would achieve victory and restore the land, but 20 years of negotiations have not achieved the leatest demands. Our people remains under a brutal and oppressive occupation that steals land, violate the Holy sites and kills our children, and all of this while the world that claims democracy and human rights is watching and hearing! On the other hand, the resistance is stalling, leaving more than a million and a half Palestinians under Israeli blockade, choking them to the point that our patients, including the sons of the leaders of the resistance, are sent to be treated abroad.

We must agree; it is necessary that we unite for all Palestinians here and there and everywhere, still dreaming of six million Palestinian refugees to return to their homes stolen by the Occupation that only understands the language of force! Let us be strong, let unity be our strength and unanimously agree on a unified leadership that can lead us to freedom with all pride and dignity!

From here we call on the governments of the West Bank and Gaza to respond to the legitimate demands of the people:
1 – the release all political detainees in the prisons of the PA and Hamas
2 – the end of all forms of media campaigns against each other
3 – the resignation of the governments of Haniyeh and Fayyad to re-build a government of national unity agreed by all Palestinian factions representing the Palestinian people
4 – the restructuring of the Palestine Liberation Organization to contain all the Palestinian factions and get back to its initial aim: Palestine’s freedom
5 – the announcement of the freeze of negotiations until the full compatibility between the various Palestinian factions on a political program
6 – the end of all forms of security coordination with the Zionist enemy
7 – the organization of presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously in the time chosen by all the factions

Events will start on Tueseday, 03/15/2011 at 11:30 pm and will continue until the achievement of all goals. We will be gathering in the following places (modifications possible):
Gaza: the Unknown Soldier Square
Ramallah: Manara Square
Tulkarm: Roundabout Gamal Abdel Nasser
Jenin: complex of garages near the old Cinema Jenin
Hebron: in front of the governor’s office
Bethlehem: Church of the Nativity Square
Nablus: Martyrs Square
Jordan and Lebanon: no location yet
All over the world: in front of the Palestinian embassies, in coordination with the Palestinian communities abroad. TO BE ANNOUNCED!!!

Please join our page.

http://www.facebook.com/Palestinians.United?sk=info

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

from PACBI -As Palestinian Students based in Gaza we are alarmed to see yet another group ‘Al Tariq’[1] presenting solutions for us Palestinians, as if two equal parties were locked in a stalemate. According to the group website “both sides” need to “learn from each other through reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue”. For us young people among the 1.5 million languishing in Gaza open-air prison, (800,000 children) the 4 year-long medieval blockade of land, air and sea and 2 years on from the most devastating of massacres that killed over 1400 of us and over 350 of our children, this is quite an insult.

We ask: can we forget the ongoing ethnic cleansing? How can we forget the brutal killing of 350 of our children and 1400 citizens, while more shootings of farmers and rock collectors continue along the border? How can we forget the ongoing medieval siege of the whole of the Gaza Strip which still deprives sick patients from treatment abroad and allows no concrete in for reconstruction?

The dialogue promoted is a diversion from addressing the wrongs and route to justice for a clearly racist and colonial subjugation of an entire people such as that imposed by Israel on us Palestinians languishing in besieged Gaza or in the Bantustans of the West Bank. Israeli oppression has traditionally followed the sequence of, ‘murder, steal and colonize first, then dialogue on our terms later’.

This applied to South African Apartheid, and the white Afrikaner regime and its allies and supporters steadily felt their hold was threatened only when civil resistance grew among South African blacks and the global Anti-Apartheid Movement. The right to resist illegal military occupation and racist domination is enshrined in international law, yet like us they branded the African National Congress as one of the more ‘notorious terrorist organisations’ – Nelson Mandela was on the US terror watch list until 2008.

Anti-Apartheid heroes Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils have said that the situation here is worse than apartheid. So we ask again, would we have asked for White South African youth to discuss with Black youth under Apartheid telling them that, “the path that both parties walk only after they learn from each other through reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue?”

For South Africa, there was no discussion, there was no debate, the racist oppression had only one answer: BOYCOTT.

Acknowledging the one-way nature of the oppression, Al Tariq should introduce to Palestinian youth, Israeli groups that endorse the 2005 Boycott Divestment and Sanction call[2] by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups, such as Boycott! and Boycott from Within. Not as in one of al Tariq’s workshops, hearing from an Israeli youth leader who “gave the Palestinian participants the opportunity to see the Israeli liberation movement in another light and recognize the similarities between both nations in their struggle for freedom, security and peace.”

What kind of liberation movement required as a prerequisite the violent ethnic cleansing of 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods destroyed or emptied by force by the nascent Israeli army – all belonging to us Palestinians, the indigenous population. Over two thirds of us in Gaza are UN registered refugees, still expecting justice like any other human being would.

Dialogue groups such as Al Tariq are nothing but a cover for the status quo of Israeli domination – the illegal occupation, the forced exile of 6 million Palestinian refugees, systematic discrimination and an illegal blockade of Gaza, and the increasing number of discriminatory laws against the indigenous population of 1948. In fact, by maintaining the myth of parity between the sides, the lives of Palestinians become progressively worse due to the settler colonial nature of Israeli oppression with incremental land theft and continuous ethnic cleansing and genocide.

We say enough to equating the colonizer with the colonized, enough to the false parity between the “two sides” presented by this utterly false vision of the Middle East. We ask Al Tariq to continue the rising international isolation of Israel’s colonial enterprise instead of feeding the myth that the colonizer and colonized require dialogue, the likes of which has done nothing more than mask Israel’s increasing domination of Palestinian lives based on a racism at the core of their expansionist and apartheid policies. We call on the Palestinian participants in this project to withdraw immediately and act in accordance with Palestinian consensus by boycotting such projects of normalization.

Besieged Gaza, Palestine
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
University Teachers’ Association

[1] http://altariq.wordpress.com
[2] http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

 

Nomen omen

from PULSE – A few weeks ago, while I was in al-Arakhib after the 11th ethnic cleansing attempt (yesterday was the 15th), I was interviewed by the Israeli Channel 10 culture editor, about Vanessa Paradis’ cancellation of her performance in Israel. Only one of the sentences I uttered in the 15-minute interview was included in the segment, and the rest is somewhere on the Channel 10 editing floor. So in an act of preservation, I’d like to paraphrase a part of the interview:

Channel 10 culture editor: “OK, so Vanessa Paradis canceled, do you really think anybody cares?”

Myself: “You came all the way to al-Arakhib to ask me that, I think it’s pretty effective.”

Macy Gray Draws The Picket Line

Macy Gray’s initial words of condemnation showed her to be someone who understands, to an extent, that Israel is practicing apartheid. This created a situation in which the international community expected her to act in moral accordance with her words. We all worked very hard to help her understand the meaning of occupation and apartheid, but we failed. We also failed to show her why she has a responsibility, beyond her performance, towards the Palestinian people. Though Gray had tried to offer a plethora of unacceptable “solutions” that would allow her to continue the show, (like doing the show in combination with going to the West Bank, as she published on her official blog) we had failed in getting her to do the one thing she had to do: Not perform.

Though I repeat that we’ve failed, I’d like to make it clear that due to her actions, it’s clear that Gray actually has no real understanding of the situation and how her actions, as innocent as they may seem, are in fact lending her face to injustice. As if performing in the “White City” wasn’t enough, Gray had followed up with a list of things that not only don’t help, but they actually exasperate the situation. I feel it’s important to follow these actions, so that maybe other artists will be more informed in the future (not to mention us “little people” who guide them in the process).

I’ve written about Gray’s meeting with the Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles. It’s most crucial to understand the international artist’s role in whitewashing of Israel’s atrocities and creating an illusion of “business as usual.” The Israeli government has always made an effort to bring international artists to Israel. The artist’s name gives the state a sort of unofficial sponsorship- a vote of support- which is good for “the market”. The D in BDS is about divestiture from Israeli companies that profit from the occupation, or from Israeli institutions that enable, forward, or whitewash the occupation. One way to achieve this goal is to directly inform international companies where their money is going, another way is to erode Israel’s “sexy” image, by taking away its star-studded aura, which artists such as Madonna, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and now Macy Gray, provide.

It’s important to add that Gray’s meeting with the Consulate is direct cooperation with the government of Israel. She has already violated the boycott, before she even stepped on the “holy soil”. However, even this could have been rectified, had Gray came out with a public statement that her good name has been used for Israeli state propaganda. As expected, this “seemingly innocent” meeting has made good use of Gray, as the Consulate proudly plastered a picture of gray and Consul, Jacob Dayan, on the front page of its website, accompanied by a press release and a Facebook release.

Not recognizing the pattern, after a sour experience with the Israeli government, Gray came to Israel and met a currently undisclosed member of Knesset, in the Knesset building. Of course the violation of BDS is obvious, but she furthered the propaganda on her Twitter page with these following statements:

Seeds of Illusion

If that statement wasn’t enough to get Israel a few more business deals, then we can look into her meeting with “Seeds of Peace”. I wonder who set this meeting up, because as we’ve seen in the case of the Cape Town Opera, meeting with Palestinian organizations after performing in Israel isn’t an option. More so, when the organization is an Israeli-Palestinian organization that promotes an illusion of balance, and more so, when the organization is American (government and corporations) funded, such as the case of Seeds of Peace.

On the face of it, the organization is impressive. A mixed population of children, both Israeli and Palestinian (and other conflict regions, but allow me to focus), are taught “leadership and coexistence skills” within the context of the “conflict”. It’s very exiting to see a program which teaches kids things like economics and gender within the prism of politics. However, with the sterilized language on the website (no “occupation” to be found) and the program’s focus on trust building games between strangers that fake mutual trust in a sterilized environment, one must ask, how will these kids be able to be effective in the real world, when their education was based on a fictional balance between their situations? I highly doubt that an Ashkenazi Israeli young woman faces the same economic problems and obstacles that a Gazan young woman faces, for example.

Beyond the questionable content and context of Seeds of Peace, there’s the highly dubious list of funders:

USaid- A US federal government agency “[extending] assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.” The question remains: Is this before, or after they give 3 billion dollars worth of military aid to Israel, on an annual basis? Before or after it brought democracy to Iraq? And this is what USaid, who’s busy donating to Gaza with one hand, is busy doing with its other hand:

The end of the year downturn [for the Israeli economy] was caused by a combination of factors. The violence in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza led to a steep drop in the number of foreign tourists. Construction and agriculture were hurt by the sudden loss of Palestinian workers, unable to travel to jobs in Israel because of closures imposed by the Israeli military. A drop in economic growth in the United States led to a lower level of exports. Finally, the steep drop on the stock exchange resulted in a decrease in the rate of new foreign investment in Israel.

How does USaid solve this?

THE USAID PROGRAM: The United States, acting through the USAID, will provide $720,000,000 in FY 2002 funds to Israel as a cash transfer. These funds will be used by Israel primarily for repayment of debt to the United States

Who would have ever thought masturbation can be profitable outside the porn industry…

ExxonMobil – I was once told by an ethical investing consultant that the biggest donators on the planet, are the most harmful corporations. Now this makes sense, if you just think about the sheer size of these corporations. This manipulation that these corporations practice is, of course, what allows them to continue destroying every green patch of this little earth (also metaphorically speaking). ExxonMobil, which I doubt needs an introduction, trades in fossil fuels and is ranked “sixth among corporations emitting airborne pollutants in the United States”. It’s responsible for catastrophic oil spills, endangering the wildlife and the funding of skepticism of global warming. In addition to environmental damage, ExxonMobil is neck-deep in human rights violations, from denying LGBT employees same-sex partner benefits, to it’s hand in oil-rich governments around the world, creating military unrest, leading to torture, murder and rape. Indeed, is this economics of politics taught to our precious seeds of peace?

Carlson Wagonlit Travel- CWT is a travel agency with branches all over the world. Its branch in Israel is run by the Israeli travel agency Ophir Tours, which exclusively provide travel services to the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI), which is sponsored by the Jewish National Fund, thus taking an active part in Judaizing Israel (“Aliya”), ethnically cleansing the Bedouin population from the south of Israel, and whitewashing Israel’s brutal past of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Clean Like Pros – A cleaning company run by the Singer family. The Singers are active in the Jewish Federation of Ocean County, an offshoot of the Jewish Federations of North America, who’s top partner is the Jewish Agency.

Toll Brothers – A house building company who’s list of contributions could have melted my heart, had it not included that infamous excuse for idleness The Anti Defamation League.

The content and list of donors leaves very little room to speculate about Seeds of Peace using Palestinian youth (and other marginalized young people of color around the world, as well as in the United States) as tokens for a cynical game that furthers a capitalist, imperialist American agenda, which never doubts it’s commitment to its arm in the Middle East, Israel. Don’t believe me? Just check out the Seeds of Peace Advisory Board of Directors list:

T.H. George H. W. Bush

T.H. William Jefferson Clinton

Her Majesty Queen Noor

H.E. Shimon Peres

Dr. Sa’eb Erekat

(A word to Sa’eb Erekat: Who needs Al Jazeera leaks?!)

The Show Can’t Go On

Not only did Gray meet all the wrong people, she went on with her show and in it included a lavish donation of a motorcycle  to United Hatzalah, an Israeli emergency medical organization, which also receives motorcycles from non other than the most notorious settlement in all of the occupied territories, Hebron.

United Hatzallah funded by Hebron settlement. Ceremony held in the Cave of Patriarchs.

Panic in the Knesset

Without a doubt, the combination of Vanessa Paradis (and Johnny Depp along with her) canceling and the possibility that Macy Gray may cancel, as well, propelled the Knesset into action. You’d think that the “Boycott Prohibition” bill ( that will be passed tomorrow), criminalizing BDS criticism and activity in Israel, would be enough for the only democracy in the Middle East, but it seems that they just can’t get enough of the BDS jive [limited by my translation]:

I don’t know what our legal abilities are to act against these boycotts, but if we’re silent, we allow these things to happen… it’s very important that we raise our voice against this issue, especially when we’re talking about organizations that come from within Israel.

These are the words of Kadima’s MK Ronit Tirosh. In this same meeting, she also said [limited by my translation]:

The problem isn’t with specific organizations that boycott Israel and try to have impact, but about the use of different social networks in order to pressure the artists themselves on a personal level and even the people around them, like members of the band and roadies. We’ve asked the ministry of culture to take the issue of utilizing social networks from the Israeli side, too, in the face of the pressure they are exposed to, and an artist, who needs fans, has to recognize the extent of his hurt he causes his fans in the state, and maybe, as a result he’ll reweigh the cancellation.

Tirosh may not know the extent of her legal abilities to counter the BDS movement, but not for lack of trying. She’s just one of the MKs to be behind the “Boycott Prohibition” bill:

…a proposal to outlaw any nongovernmental organization that provides information to foreign or international bodies that leads to war crimes accusations against the government or the army.

The proposed legislation would apply to NGOs that provide information directly to accusers, or to NGOs that put information in the public domain that leads to such accusations… For the lawmaker behind the bill, Ronit Tirosh of Kadima, it is a necessary move to “end the rampage” by organizations that are trying to “subvert the state.”

Other MK’s also had some bright ideas [limited by my translation]:

Yisrael Beitenu MK, Alex Miller, head of the Culture and Education Committee, is planning to create a cross-ministry committee of the Foreign Affairs, Culture and Treasury ministries, who’s purpose will be to create an insurance policy to compensate (with my tax money) the Israeli producers, that bring the acts to Israel, who’s act bailed on them for “ideological motives”. He also added that he’ll join MK Tirosh in a law proposal to ensure this. He also called on the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture to build a joint strategy in dealing with the “delegitimization phenomenon of Israel in the culture world”. Lastly, he called on the producers to use the services of the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture, let them know about cancellations, so that consulate representatives can apply pressure on the artists.

Alon Barr, Director of Culture Ties of the Foreign Affairs Ministry:

…the boycott phenomenon is well known from the fields of commerce, academia, and international jurisdiction [prosecution] of IDF officers. “The way I deal with it is with an effort to propagate Israeli culture abroad and to encourage cooperation between Israeli artists and artists abroad. If we had more funds, we could do more.

Beit El settlement establisher, founder of Gush Emonim, responsible for doubling the Jewish population beyond the Green Line, National Union member, Arutz Sheva executive director, and Law of Boycott Prohibition initiator, Ya’akov Katz, in his capacity as a fair and balanced media man had this to say:

There are a few dictators of the Israeli media… that systematically stand behind organizations that boycott artists in Israel.

Shas MK, Nissim Zeev, had little to add, except the word “incitement”.

Of course, no Knesset conference, dealing with threats to Israel’s existence, would be complete without a member of the Re’ut Institute. In his capacity of “National Security team leader”, Eran ShayShon added:

..our job is to create a differentiation between legitimate criticism and delegitimization.

The BDS movement has come a long way. Thanks to Macy Gray all the crazies came out of the woodwork. While the “Boycott Prohibition” bill was proposed last summer, only tomorrow will it be passed. From a movement of the most impoverished and oppressed, that for 60 years couldn’t get the time of day from the media, Palestinians of the Occupied Territories are now changing Israeli legislation.

Video describing the modern history of  Palestine by Mustapha Barghouti

This subject’s always been on my mind, but I felt that I really have to write about it after the 25th of January and how the former president and his gang succeeded in making many of our fellow Egyptian citizens turn against us and our revolution. I started with searching about definitions of Brainwashing (AKA Mind Control) and how it started and when, so bear with me a little during this short journey through definitions and historical background.

Brainwashing is a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas or the application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation. Alternatively, it simply refers to a process in which a group or individual “systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated”. The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual’s sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making. The world started talking about it during the Korean War and after many American soldiers became defected to the enemy’s side after becoming prisoners of war.

Now allow me to proceed with ordered questions and answers.

Who supported Mubarak?

1-        Climbers, parasites and those who have a relation of “mutualism” with the regime.

2-        Emotional people (and they are too many, unluckily). Those who love the person of “Mubarak” as an Egyptian figure and idol, those who shed tears during his speeches and a word can turn their opinions 180 degrees.

3-        The Brainwashed, and they had several flags, each represents one of the lies or viruses installed on their brains as I’ll explain later.   

What were the means of brainwashing during the reign of Mubarak?

I guess everyone knows the answer of this question, in a third world country like Egypt you don’t have many choices, people are simple and so are the means of brainwashing them. Media in general; TV, radio, newspapers. Simple means don’t necessarily mean simple techniques.

What are the most common techniques followed?

Repetition:  A simple but very effective way, it’s even used in Marketing! Make the customer see your product every second on TV, hear about it every second on the radio, read about it in every newspaper and his mind will accept it and want to buy it, same concept.

One of the techniques they depend on (and Egypt is such a fertile land for it) is making a rumor out of something they really want to do and it’ll find its way to every Egyptian ear in few hours! Your sister tells you and you tell your friend who tells his mother who tells her aunt and so on, at some point you’ll hear the rumor everywhere you go and for many days then sooner or later you accept is as a fact. Example: They wanted to make Mubarak the son the future president of Egypt and they released a rumor, the rumor spread and began to be part of every Egyptian discussion for months and years till some people surrendered and began to accept it as a fact, as a reality, fait accompli.

Assault on identity:  They kept focusing on the ancient Egyptian Pharaonic heritage and identity and did marginalize other eras or periods when councils or those elected or loved rulers existed, they kept consolidating the idea of the worshipped ruler with all the powers, the god king, they make you totally in peace with Totalitarianism.

Guilt:  They make you feel so guilty that you hate yourself, lose hope and self confidence. Example: you are 80 million human beings, you keep reproducing, you are the reason we can’t feed you, you are the reason of the bad education, you are the reason that the country is poor and you stole the pants of Homer Simpson! They make you reach a state of self-betrayal.

Breaking Point:  That’s when you are nothing but a wreck, that’s when you are raw again, that’s when you keep wondering about who you are and what you should do, and of course they’ll have the answers for you, they’ll fill your head with what they want and persuade you to do what they want too.

What are the biggest lies in the reign of Mubarak?

Mubarak is the wisest leader one earth (no comment).

Without Mubarak, chaos will prevail, we don’t have others who can lead (you insult Egypt and the whole Egyptian nation by saying this, there’s no single man with leadership skills and political awareness among 80 million citizens? epic fail).

Mubarak is the hero of the 6th of October war (Did Mubarak make the war plan? Did he fight in field or in air? Army leaders do not fight as I know, true heroes are those who died, got injured, and are those who fought).

The reason for all the problems in Egypt is that Egyptians make love everyday and bring new babies to the crowded country (I’m against having many babies but for god’s sake! Some countries exceed the double of our population, have less resources of income and they are living in prosperity, democracy and peace).

We can’t open our borders with Palestine because all Palestinians will leave their land to settle here and destroy our economy (no comment).

Uncountable lies, no space or time to mention all of them.

Prevention is better than treatment, how can we protect ourselves from Brainwashing?

Always make sure to write your goals in a notebook or something, always remember them, add to them, and edit them if necessary. Constantly visualize your goals.

Always smile, yes smile.

Stay positive and find the full half of the cup no matter what happens.

Stick to things that motivate you!

Pay more attention to your spiritual side.

Don’t be a loner! Make sure you have some good friends with some concepts, standards and goals in common between you and them.

Be more selective, throw your TV away and instead of letting them decide what you watch, go watch whatever “you” decide on the internet.

Who is Tariq al-Bishri?

Posted: 02/15/2011 by editormary in Egypt, Middle East, Middle East Issues, Religion
Tags:

from Nisralnasr blog

Tariq al-Bishri and Constitutional Revision

News that the Supreme Comittee of the Armed Forces has appointed the former judge of the State Council, Tariq al-Bishri,  as chair of a committee to re-write or revise the Egyptian constitution is remarkably important.  It may also provide some insight into what the military is thinking and what possibilities they are willing to consider.  For a process that we are only a couple of days into, this announcement itself is laden with historical meaning (and irony) as well as possible ambiguity.

Given that the ongoing labor conflict and the army’s advice that it end quickly is capturing most of the commentary, I want to write about Al-Bishri himself.  Even as I write state television is providing its own account of what his appointment might mean. 

The deepest irony which cannot be lost on anyone who has been following events and most of the Western accounts of them is that the armed forces have turned to an 80-year old public intellectual and judge to guide the task of re-writing the constitution for the 21st century in the wake of a revolution made by three generations removed from him.  What few accounts in English I have seen so far refer to him as a moderate Islamist, an honest figure, and a former secular leftist who is a “bridge” between secular political figures and the Muslim Brothers. 

Bishri himself is a more complex figure whose familial and personal history are revelatory of changes in Egyptian society over the last century.  His grandfather served in the position of Shaykh al-Azhar, the most important religious position in the Egypt, at the beginning of the 20th century.  His father was on the Court of Cassation, the highest state appellate court in the 1930s.  He himself spent his entire working career in the State Council which is the highest administrative court in Egypt and is modeled on the French Conseil d’Etat.  There is, insofar as I know, no equivalent in the American legal system.  The job of the State Council is to ensure that the state follows its own rules.  It is not, at any rate not directly, supposed to rule on the constitutionality of laws in the way the US Supreme Court does.  It is supposed to make sure that the administrative actions of the state conform to the rules it has already set in place.   Although this is a somewhat different way of looking at the rule of law than the Anglo-American one we are used to, it can be a powerful tool for disciplining the executive power but only if there is indeed an independent judiciary.  Egypt, of course, also has a Supreme Constitutional Court and it appears that at least a couple of members of that body also sit on this committee.

Although Al-Bishri entered his career in the 1950s after graduating from law school he is old enough to have memories of what my old professor Afaf Marsot called Egypt’s liberal experiment.  Thus one of the ironies of appointing an 80 year old to chair the reform committee is that no one much younger has any memory or experience with an Egypt that had a functioning parliament or a commitment, however limited, to liberal institutions.  Younger people do, of course, have experiences with such systems but not in Egypt; to the extent that they have experienced liberal democracy it has been outside the country whether in the US or Europe. 

Bishri has been an acerbic critic of Husni Mubarak and his government.  In his presciently titled booklet, Egypt Between Disobedience and Decay, Bishri outlined how the creation of an authoritarian state rooted in Mubarak’s person had worsened the dictatorial tendencies that had been present since 1952 but had added the burden of decreased competence as the regime sought compliance rather than capability from its agents.  He also pointed out the extremely unequal income distribution that became increasingly prevalent in the society during Mubarak’s 30 years in power.

Bishri is widely considered a leading (if not the leading) public intellectual in Egypt today.  This is not to say everyone agrees with him and in recent years he has evoked some significant criticism for his involvement in some very public controversies about the role of Copts and especially the Church in Egyptian society. 

Bishri has served as an adviser to several groups of younger activists (and these days almost all activists are younger than he is) including Kifayah (Enough) which can be considered the point of departure of the groups that initiated and led the recent mass protests.  Although he is personally close to members of the Muslim Brothers (including the noted attorney Salim Al-Awa) and has a high opinion of their importance in Egyptian political history, he has (to my knowledge) never been a member.  He is often bracketed in Western accounts with others who are considered Islamic liberals such as Awa or the constitutional law professor Kamal Abu al-Magd who Mubarak, in the waning hours of his government, appointed to his own committee to oversee constitutional reform.  That committee now appears to be disbanded.

In his younger days, Bishri was closely associated with the left although he was influenced at least as much by the writings of Max Weber and lawyers associated with the British Labor party as by Karl Marx. One of Bishri’s earliest interventions on the organization of the Egyptian state was a short book published by the Communist publisher, New Culture, in the 1970s on democracy and Nasserism.  This may be why he is often viewed as a lapsed leftist, although his analysis of the Nasserist state set out the themes which have dominated much of his political criticism in the intervening years:  the dangers of a state without an independent judiciary and an overly power executive.  One point Bishri made then and has made in different ways since is that to the degree the legislative and executive branches are unified as has occurred in Egypt over the past 60 years the independence of the judiciary is also compromised.  In other words, without a separation of the powers of legislation and execution there can be no real power of adjudication except perhaps at the most elementary level of arbitrating private disputes.

Without knowing exactly what mandate the committee he chairs was given by the military, it is hard to be very specific.  Even television comment here today points out that al-Bishri has long been a champion of judicial independence.  It would be difficult for Bishri to refuse service on such a committee at such a moment but it is also difficult to imagine he would have accepted to serve merely as a figurehead.

One plausible guess therefore is that the committee will at least pose the possibility of a much stronger parliament as a counterweight (rather than an alternative) to a powerful presidency.  Bishri may be one of the few legal scholars who would favor a working separation of powers rather than lodging authority either in the presidency or the parliament.  Such a separation would, at least in what he has written across the years, be the prelude to an equally powerful but independent judiciary whose role would then be, as in the US, to balance these two contenders. 

Although al-Bishri may have ideas about the organization of the institutions of the state that bear similarities to the US he is a strong nationalist and by no means particularly enamored of American policies. He has very strong sentiments about the strategic dangers that he sees Israel posing to Egypt.  That said, Bishri himself is tasked with how the institutions of the state should be constituted not with the day to day policies they should follow.  Along with a profound concern with judicial independence he may also have two other goals.  One, which will command little direct objection in today’s Egypt, is to continue the policies of the provision of social welfare in ways that mirror concerns of a generation of European Social Democrats and Egyptian nationalists when he was a young man.  Bishri will probably push for a strongly independent judiciary in ways that both Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg can agree with.  He is not likely to want the Egyptian state to adopt the vision of the economy that John Roberts, Samuel Alito or  Clarence Thomas would find compelling.  On the question of Islam he is extremely unlikely to push for excluding the revised Article 2 that shariah is the source of Egyptian law.  For better or worse he believes that most Egyptian law is already compliant with shariah and he generally argues that the role of shariah in Egyptian law is similar to that of natural law in European legal systems:  it provides judges (not so much legislators) with cues about what to do when the legislature has been silent or incoherent.  He does not seem inclined to allow the ulama (Islamic legal scholars) to interpret law for the regular judiciary except (and this is an important exception) in cases in which legislation has given them that authority. 

Bishri is profoundly antagonistic to the military tribunals and special courts as well as the state of emergency that the government has employed over the past decade.  Far more important for Egypt’s future, however, is his occasional suggestion (at least when he was much younger) of a very different vision of the Egyptian state:  one in which the high degree of centralization and hierarchy that currently characterizes it was sharply reduced.  What, in other words, if (without dismantling the current state which shares much in common with the various governments that issued from the French revolution) Egyptians were to gain much more authority to make decisions over their own lives?  Bishri will not (and I think very few Egyptians would)  propose transforming Egypt into a federal system whether on the American, German or Brazilian models.  But he might be interested in transferring power away from a hierarchical system centered in Cairo to one in which Egyptians gained more control over the institutions that affect their lives locally.  In some ways the past three weeks have confirmed some of Bishri’s earlier ideas that Egyptians could govern themselves if given the chance.  He now may be in a position to push that idea a little further forward.

Theatre of the absurd is a literary school appeared in the world in eerie circumstances. It was founded after the horrific Second World War. It was an outcome of the arduous of the post-war period. At that time, life had no meaning, barrenness was the main theme of life, values were buried under the rubble and people had no hope of a better life. This is the case of life now. Life has become an absurd play where everything is waiting for “Godot” to come and provide answers and solutions for people’s concerns. Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot” can be recognized as a fine example of absurdity. In Beckett’s play, Estragon and Vladimir, the main characters of the play, keep waiting and waiting for Godot; and nothing ever comes. Most of us do the same thing; we keep waiting and waiting for the change to happen. Our life is like a train station where we stand waiting for a train that might not come and unwilling to take the risk of choosing another path to reach our destination.

Many issues have been long standing because of human’s laziness and carelessness to resolve it. We blame Israel for the procrastination, while the Palestinian and the Arab leaders are busy in discussing trivial issues. The Arab people can liberate themselves from the political slavery system. They can do the same as the Tunisian people did. Go out in the streets ask for the change, but without setting fire on their bodies.

Focusing on one main issue will present a solution. For example, In order to prevent the focusing process, Al Jazeera channel played a very wicked game to distract the attention of the Arabs away of the Tunisian upheaval. It published leaked papers against the Palestinian Authority. It is a plot to deepen the Palestinian rift. To those who have minds, do not let this silly game block the way towards Palestinian Unity. It is another absurd way to whitewash our brains. In addition, Youth have been complaining about unemployment. It is a serious issue for sure. However, there is always a way out; it is not the end of the world. We can determine our future, overcome all the hardships by activating our minds, and use the activation codes in our hearts. Struggle to smile through difficulties, be always hungry for truth and most important have a strong faith in God’s justice. When we reach a deadlock, we should look for other alternatives. Never give up; this is the key word towards success. Faith, knowledge, hope and love are blessings from our Almighty God towards the life’s bounties.

Ovid says: “To wish is not enough: you must desire passionately in order to gain your end.” The change can only be happening when we have the strong determination to achieve our wishes. People bring misery upon themselves. Complaining and relying on something called luck will do no good for us. Sometimes, we may need to take difficult decisions; this will help in paving the way toward a better future and life. We need a great courage to continue. It is not impossible to be the change. There is nothing impossible in this life. It was not impossible to invent planes, nuclear power, phones, internet or satellites. Obviously, the impossibility can be defeated by a strong will. Certainly, Godot will not come so stop waiting and take the first step toward the change.

Fida Shurrab lives in Gaza.