THANK YOU ALAN DERSHOWITZ

Norman Finkelstein the scholar has turned into Norman Finkelstein the activist – and a good one. They threw him out of Israel last year but he went to Gaza with CodePink and is now organizing something big. Dershowitz will regret the day he got him fired and freed up all his time and energy. Some dark clouds do have a silver lining. 

Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos by Bud Korotzer 

 

Earlier this week 200 people crowded into a very warm room to hear eyewitness accounts and analysis from members of delegations who went to Gaza as part of the international campaign to break the Israeli blockade.The event was hosted by the Brecht Forum. The speakers were Sammer Aboelela, organizer of the N.Y. Community of Muslim Progressives, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, Norman Finkelstein, author, political scientist specializing in Mideast studies, Felice Gelman, leader of the N.Y. delegation to Gaza and member of WESPAC and Phil Weiss, journalist and author of the Mondoweiss Blog.
 

 

Some speakers described the terribly difficult living conditions in Gaza and others spoke of the remarkable spirit of the people there despite the daily hardships. We were told that there is no cease-fire in Gaza. Israelis are still shooting at farmers and fishermen who risk death just by going to work. They are shooting at fishermen who are only 300 yards off shore, clearly where they are entitled to be. In these acts of piracy they are kidnapped, taken to prison, and their boats are confiscated. If and when they are returned they are returned damaged. Tunnels are used to bring essentials in from Egypt. They are not hidden, they are on main walkways and are privately owned and operated. When Israel pressures Egypt about the tunnels the Egyptians pump methane gas into them.
 

 

The ongoing persecution from Israel is having an extremely detrimental psychological affect on the children. Some try to act like tough guys, as they see Israelis to be. Some look to their fathers for protection but the fathers, unemployed and powerless against Israeli abuse, can do nothing. We saw slides of the children’s art showing their view of the military attack against them.

Norman Finkelstein spoke of the current perception most of the world has of Israel. He said that Israel is seen as a satanic state. Many organizations, the Red Cross, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International documented Israeli human rights abuses. Amnesty International issued two reports on the subject. In effect, they agreed that Israel was guilty of crimes against humanity, another way of saying ‘war crimes’.

Medea Benjamin described walks through the halls of congress that she and other CodePink members made trying to talk to representatives and senators about what Israel is doing. With very few exceptions their words fell on deaf ears.

Norman Finkelstein and Medea Benjamin proposed a very big, and long walk to Gaza. In order for it to work there would have to be many participants. People would gather in Egypt near the Rafah crossing, walk through into Gaza, walk through part of Gaza to the Erez crossing, cross into Israel where they would be met by a contingent of Israeli peace activists. The logistics would have to be worked out. There was great enthusiasm for the plan and many people in the room volunteered to participate. For those who could not go there would be a series of marches in the U.S. at the same time. One person in the audience suggested that the event should start in Washington with many people visiting their congress members to talk to them about cutting the billions of dollars given to Israel each year.

Andy Pollack spoke after the panelists did. He reported that the Viva Palestina-US delegation had reached an agreement with Egypt and that all the medical aid would be delivered to the people in Gaza very shortly. There were some conditions; convoy participants could only stay for 24 hours, and the ambulances could be donated but the trucks could not. The audience reacted to the news with joy.

There was a question and answer period and one young Palestinian woman spoke about the 11,700 Palestinians, serving indeterminate sentences, that are now undergoing daily torture in Israeli prisons.
Other questions and comments dealt with the importance of working together despite differences of opinion on some issues. One area of work was the divestment, boycott and sanctions campaign. Several people spoke on activities in that area with Motorola (see boycottisraelnyc.org for further information) and with Ahava cosmetics which are produced in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank (for more information on this campaign go to stolenbeauty.org)

When the meeting ended there was a general sense that there was a lot of work ahead but there was also optimism because important changes were occurring. Minds and perceptions were changing in a positive direction both inside and outside the Jewish community.

 

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

THE PANEL FROM YOUR LEFT TO RIGHT : NORMAN FINKELSTEIN , PHIL WEISS , SAMMER ABOELELA , FELICE GELMAN & MEDEA BENJAMIN

 







9 Comments

  1. FatNSassy said,

    July 17, 2009 at 17:08

    “Dershowitz will regret the day he got him fired and freed up all his time and energy. Some dark clouds do have a silver lining.”
    That is always the way. Justice has a way of prevailing in the end. If only everyone would realize this, the world would be a very different place.

  2. Kim said,

    July 17, 2009 at 17:15

    It has a lot of different names. I call it Karma, Mr. Dershowitz. It gets us all in the end.

  3. Gulamhusein said,

    July 17, 2009 at 18:25

    It was Martin Luther King who said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

    Also see: http://www.propheticimagery.com/The%20Face%20of%20Reality.htm

  4. Norm Finkelstein is a hero said,

    July 17, 2009 at 21:26

    Norman is better off doing exactly what he’s doing than being another cog in the ZOG machine in Hollywood.

    and the same is true for bunches of americans just like myself who have been blacklisted and now are delivering spreads of torpedo’s into the keel of this Israeli nightmare called zionism.

    we’ve got their asses on the way to the davey jones locker, and they’re scared.

  5. Paul Mills said,

    July 18, 2009 at 03:43

    I guess it’s all about balance. The Universe has an extraordinary way of forcing balance at the most critical of times and as we wend our way into the era of Ethics, this is happeneing before our very eyes. Thank you Mr Finkelstein, you are my hero.

  6. July 18, 2009 at 05:36

    [...] THANK YOU ALAN DERSHOWITZ « Desertpeace. July 17th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized | Leave a comment | [...]

  7. chip said,

    July 18, 2009 at 11:57

    God I wish for a chance to face this enemy. But what I get is cadres of brainwashed puppets. Where’s the fun or purpose accomplished in being the target of the mercs, it’s the paymasters that need purging and it needs to come about through the movement of the outraged. This is the time of the 24 – 7 Vigil, the time of total boycott of any and every One who prefers life under tyrany to justice. This is the time for discipline to supplant the unconscious consumption. We dont have long now before it’s too late to repent and start a new life even if it means Being called names. Tolerance of evil may seal the fate of the subjugate consumer cadaver “persons” who dont have time or patience to learn what the zionist idea has done/is doing. I know how tough it is to walk the walk. It’s not easy to stand up to the derision and scorn of a nation like the Us where I “live”.

  8. July 22, 2009 at 17:45

    Yes, it’s very satisfying to see the strategy of trying to marginalize Dr. Finkelstein academically backfire as he now has much more free time to shine a spotlight on the conflict. The man is a giant among truthtellers.

    Thank you Alan Dershowitz indeed (himself a giant of rhetorical fabrications)!

  9. July 22, 2009 at 17:46

    “Norman is better off doing exactly what he’s doing than being another cog in the ZOG machine in Hollywood.

    and the same is true for bunches of americans just like myself who have been blacklisted and now are delivering spreads of torpedo’s into the keel of this Israeli nightmare called zionism.

    we’ve got their asses on the way to the davey jones locker, and they’re scared.”

    Well put. You have a way with words.

    Full speed ahead!!


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