ISRAEL AND AMERICA ARE JUST FULL OF SURPRISES TODAY ….

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Now who could have expected these moves? ;)
(click on headline to see reports)
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U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote

White House says approval of Palestine as member of the UN cultural body undermines goal of a comprehensive Mideast peace plan; Germany also says move hinders peace.

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Israel to reconsider cooperation with UNESCO after approval of Palestine membership

After UN cultural agency grants Palestinians full membership earlier Monday, Foreign Ministry issues statement that Israel rejects the decision.

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And the clincher, as predicted yesterday
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Netanyahu: No ceasefire, no negotiations

PM tells Likud faction IDF will continue operations in Gaza Strip as long as terrorists keep launching rockets on south; promises ‘severe response’ if attacks continue

“THEY HAVE LIES TO SPIN; WE HAVE TRUTHS TO TELL”

Interview with the co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement
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Also see THIS DesertPeace Editorial from the archives.
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Huwaida Arraf with kids in Khan Younis.
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Huwaida Arraf: ‘They have lies to spin; we have truths to tell’

by Yousef M. Aljamal

Yousef M. Aljamal of Gaza’s Center for Political Development Studies interviews with Huwaida Arraf, cofounder of the International Solidarity Movement:

Aljamal: First, could you please give us a brief introduction about ISM?

Arraf: The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. We founded this international coalition to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with a resource — international protection and a voice — with which to resist, nonviolently, an overwhelming military occupation force.

The resources the Israeli government has at its disposal are well-known – over $3 billion in military aid from the U.S., hundreds of millions of dollars in private funds, and the unquestioned diplomatic support of the only superpower in the world exercised through its veto in the UN Security Council of any resolution that would compel Israel to abide by international law. The Palestinians also need strong resources.

We focus on providing support for the Palestinian unarmed resistance, not because we take a hostile view to the armed resistance, but rather because we believe that unarmed resistance is strategically more advantageous to Palestinians. Seeing as Israel is superior to us militarily, it’s better not to fight them in that arena, but rather in an arena where we are stronger, or at least where we have the possibility of building up our strength. This arena is that of the popular struggle, or the strategic unarmed resistance. I also must note, that while I, personally, and the ISM as an organization, recognize the Palestinian right to use armed struggle to resist occupation (even if we don’t engage in or actively support it), we strongly believe that armed resistance MUST adhere to international law. It is true that Israel frequently violates the laws that regulate armed conflict, but we do ourselves no service by doing the same.

The first ISM campaign was in August of 2001. At that time over 50 civilians from various countries came to the Occupied Palestinian Territory to engage in a 2-week, coordinated campaign of nonviolent direct-action against occupation forces and policies. Since that time we’ve had nearly 7500 civilians from all over the world come join us. Many of our volunteers come North America and Europe, but we’ve also had a number of volunteers from Latin America, Africa and various Asian countries. The socio-economic and age range of the volunteers is vast, with the average age being over 30. A number of volunteers have been over the age of 60 and we’ve even had people in their eighties join us.

Internationals joining the Palestinian struggle is important for 4 key reasons, and these form the foundation of the ISM:

1) Protection: an international presence at Palestinian civilian actions/protests can insure a certain level of protection for the Palestinian people engaged in nonviolent resistance. Palestinians acting/resisting alone are often met with harsh and even lethal forms of violence by Israeli occupation forces, including arbitrary, long-term arrest, beating, severe injury and sometimes even death. The Israeli occupation forces have succeeded to label every Palestinian man, woman and child as a potential terrorists and thereby justify their actions. No body holds Israel accountable for Palestinian lives, but foreign civilians do have governments responsible for them and are harder to label as “terrorists.” As such, when internationals are present with Palestinians at popular actions, lethal forms of violence are usually not used by most Israeli soldiers.

2) Message to the mainstream media:
The Palestinian struggle is not being accurately reported by the mainstream corporate international media. Example: When Israeli troops open fire and kill Palestinian civilians, it is often reported as “clashes” and very rarely by what it really is, Israeli forces opening fire on civilians. The mainstream media tends to show the Israeli – Palestinian conflict as one in which two sides are fighting over a piece of land and can’t live together, instead of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, dignity, and human rights that it is. Palestinians are inaccurately depicted as violent people who hate Jews and want to destroy Israel. Internationals of various social, national and religious backgrounds, joining Palestinians in the freedom struggle can help to dispel this notion. The ISM volunteers from all over the world that join us can reach out to their respective media sources and give Palestinians the voice that we don’t have.

3) Personal witness and transmitting of information:
International civilians joining Palestinians on the ground can bear witness and return home to talk to their communities about what is happening. We encourage volunteers to talk to their friends, family, and colleagues when they return home, as well as to organize larger speaking events where they can present what they experienced to community members and to the media. This information and education can then be used to lobby policy makers in an effort to change US foreign policy. Currently we have many ISM volunteers and groups actively engaged in local Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) efforts, which is a powerful form of nonviolent resistance that is having a psychological as well as a financial impact on Israel. The kind of eyewitness reporting that ISM engages in helps to generate more action in support of the Palestinian freedom struggle.

4) Break isolation / provide hope:
The occupation isolates Palestinians and cuts the Palestinian people off from the rest of the world and from each other. At the very least, international civilians have been able to raise the morale of the Palestinian people living under occupation by standing with them and saying, “you are not alone.” We feel that this helps create or return hope that is vital to our struggle – hope that Israel keeps trying to extinguish. Hope, that people acting together can change things, has been a cornerstone of our philosophy.

While the primary purpose of the ISM has been to engage in and support the Palestinian unarmed, civilian-based freedom struggle against occupation, at times when aggression of the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians has increased, the ISM took up a role in providing humanitarian assistance and protection by using their status as internationals to escort doctors, ambulances, schoolchildren and other civilians to work, hospital and school. We have also engaged in internationals only efforts to disrupt military operations. Prime examples of these include breaking through Israel’s military cordons to put internationals in the presidential compound as well as in the Church of the Nativity when they were both under siege in 2002.

Aljamal: Well, What is the role of ISM to encounter Israeli propaganda?

Arraf: As I mentioned above, ISM provides people from all over the world to come and see with their own eyes what is happening on the ground in Palestine and to take part in the popular resistance. This kind of first-hand experience is important to countering the Israeli propaganda machine in three ways: (1) it provides many people from different backgrounds speaking different languages to give eyewitness accounts from places where Israeli attacks and other atrocities take place. This increases the likelihood that journalists will get information that they might not otherwise receive, as well as gets information out about what is happening in Palestine using alternative media sources; (2) when the volunteers return to their homes, their first-hand experience, stories and pictures provide a compelling and hard-to-argue-with narrative for other people that would not otherwise get this kind of information; and (3) the experience ends up being life-changing for so many volunteers and therefore they are driven to work hard when they return to their countries. It is this drive that is behind a lot of the activism for Palestine on college campuses, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions efforts, and others.

I believe that all of the above combined plays a very important and effective role in countering Israeli propaganda. This is not to say that we’re “winning” but we have to remember that Israel spends upward of $1 billion per year on their public relations efforts, compared to almost nothing that we spend. They have professional public relations firms working for them; we have the free voices of the people. They have lies to spin; we have truths to tell. Their money and political power might buy them the mainstream media and the politicians, but not for long as we continue to inform and mobilize the masses…

Aljamal: Do Palestinian communities in the West play a positive role in exposing Israel’s crimes?

Arraf: This is not an easy question to answer. My direct experience is with the United States where, unfortunately for too long, we were disorganized and divided in addition to many members of the Palestinian community choosing to be apolitical. Add to this the fact that what was mobilized around generally had to do with raising money to provide aid to Palestine. While this is important, Palestinian communities in the west focused all of their energies (which have been limited) to responding to the crises that Israel is so good at creating. In other words, we have been, and largely still are, reacting and giving our money to aid and not the political efforts that might lead to a change in the situation that has left Palestinians in need of aid.

That said, I have noticed a shift in recent years and young Palestinian activists have been leading this shift.

Aljamal: You played a major role in breaking Gaza’s siege and brought dozens of activists to Gaza. You were one of the activists on The Freedom Flotilla that was attacked in the International waters in May 2010. Do you think that Israel has lost its reputation as “the only democracy in the Middle East” in the West after its attacks on Gaza in 2008-2009 and its attack on The Freedom Flotilla?

Arraf: No, I don’t think that Israel’s brutal aggression has anything to do with its reputation as “the only democracy in the Middle East.” We must remember that democratic governments commit unspeakable crimes. Just look at what the US and the UK have done and are doing to Iraq and Afghanistan, to name just a couple. Israel’s self-proclaimed status as the “only democracy in the Middle East” should be challenged from a more factual basis. First, Israel is not the only entity in the Middle East with democratic types of government. What about the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon? In terms of the former, we don’t have a country to call a democracy, but we do have democratic traditions. No one will deny that our 2006 elections were democratic, free, and fair (something Israel, with the support of the international community, punished us for when they did not like the outcome!); in terms of Lebanon, she’s more accurately described as a republic, which is actually better form of government than a democracy. A republic (which can be democratic) is governed under a constitution that places certain limits on the voice of the majority in order to protect the rights of the minority, something that a democracy does not do.

But even if one considers Israel a democracy, this doesn’t mean Israel is not guilty of horrific crimes, which must be stopped. Perhaps the best analogy to make here is to that of the United States prior to the late 1960s. Everyone recognizes that the US is a democratic country. Well, the U.S. was a democracy while it practiced slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries, and after that, continued outright racism against the black minority in the US, depriving black people of equal rights and opportunity, not to mention subjecting them to degrading and abusive treatment. Just because Israel may be considered a democracy for its citizens this doesn’t mean that it’s not occupying, oppressing, killing, and maiming; it doesn’t mean that Israel doesn’t practice racism against its minority population; and it doesn’t mean that Israel is not a colonial, apartheid regime, which is not only illegal, but a crime against humanity.

In terms of its 2008-2009 assault on Gaza – Operation Cast Lead, and its lethal attack on the Freedom Flotilla, Israel lost something more important than its reputation as a democracy. Israel lost its image of victimhood, and perhaps for the first time, was exposed clearly as a violent aggressor.

Aljamal: Does the Palestinian rift hinder ISM efforts to get the Palestinian voice heard in the West? How?

Arraf: Undoubtedly this rift hinders efforts. First of all, it allows questions about the divisions to be raised and detracts from the core issues. Second, it provides fuel for Zionists who love to point to the chaos in Palestinian society and our violence against each other in order to justify their repression and boost their colonialist claims. Third, it divides our community outside (albeit to a lesser extent) as it does inside.

That said, I’m going to point to a larger issue than the split between Fatah and Hamas. We have not been able to capitalize properly on the international solidarity movement with Palestine due to our lack of a unified representative leadership for our national liberation struggle. In theory, this leadership is supposed to be the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but the PLO has been deliberately marginalized and for the past 18+ years existing in name only as an unelected and unrepresentative institution. This absence of a unified national resistance movement means that we also do not have a national strategy for effective resistance and are unable to communicate effectively with the solidarity movement what we want and what we want them to do to support us. To give an example of how this not only prevents us from taking full advantage of the solidarity movement but how it can actually be harmful to our efforts, I will refer to a UN Conference of Civil Society Organizations in Solidarity with the Palestinian People that I spoke at in 2002. I clearly remember an organizer of the Palestinian Solidarity Committee in South Africa telling us how they were working on promoting a boycott of Israel and even pressuring the South African government to cut relations with Israel. The South African government asked the Palestinian Representative Office in South Africa whether or not boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel was a demand of the Palestinian leadership? The Palestinian Ambassador said no. In this case, and in many others, the “official” Palestinian leadership hindered the ability of a solidarity organization to advocate for Palestine.

To make up for this absence of a unified national leadership with an effective strategy for fighting the occupation, Palestinians civil society has tried to step up and make their voices heard. The most successful example of this is the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). By releasing a statement and a call to action endorsed by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, we gave the solidarity movement some direction. So, Palestinian civil society has been trying to make up for what I consider a massive failure of our leadership. This is not enough however. I strongly believe that Palestinians, not only in the West Bank and Gaza, but also in 48 and all over the world need to focus on building or rebuilding a unified representative leadership to lead our national struggle forward. One of the ways to do this is by reviving the PLO and its institutions, starting with direct elections to the Palestine National Council (PNC).

Aljamal: You likely heard about “The Israel Project”, if Palestinians need to encounter such a project, what are the main points they need to shed light on?

Arraf: I don’t think that we need to focus on countering this project per se. We should focus on setting the agenda and shaping the debate. It is the Israel Project that should continue scrambling to devise ways to counter what we are doing. Everything the Israel Project produces is really empty and devoid of any truth, designed to manipulate people who don’t have accurate information and to give people that are already under the influence of the Israeli lobby hollow words and arguments to use to defend their support of Israel. This is all easily countered by facts and information that we put out.

If I would recommend that we take anything from the Israel Project, it is their focus on using language that resonates with the audience that it is trying to reach. This is one thing for us to keep in mind in our communications. Sometimes, we can really turn people away by using language that people might think is extreme, or that doesn’t mean much to them. Highly emotional language and images are understandable, but not very effective. This is not to say that we should not appeal to people’s emotions, we should, but through personal stories told in calm language. For example, an image of an elderly man standing in a cage that is one of Israel’s checkpoints can expose the racism and deliberate degradation that is part of Israel’s policies. People can relate to this, imagining their own fathers subjected to such humiliating treatment. Whereas if we show a picture of a bloody body, this will likely only inflame the emotions of those who already support our cause. Others will not relate this to a deliberate policy that is unjust, but rather to the unfortunate results of war. Israelis can show similar pictures.

Aljamal: If you have a message to the Palestinian young bloggers and writers who write in English, what would you say?

Arraf:I would say that I need to take advice from them! It’s wonderful that we have so many talented young writers. I don’t write much at all, which is a great weakness. I feel that our young Palestinian writers know better than me, but for the sake of stressing a few important points:

(1) Strive for accuracy: It’s often hard to get accurate information fast, but the more one focuses on her/his information accuracy, the more s/he will become a credible source of information, not only for the general public, but also for journalists. This is one thing we’ve tried to do with ISM volunteers. Because we have ISM volunteers in sensitive places where journalists do not often go, we have stressed the importance of getting accurate information that we can pass along to journalists in the hopes that they will report on actions and incidents. If you give a journalist wrong information, s/he will not be likely to use you as a source again. However, if you consistently provide accurate, reliable information, you will become a source for journalists and others, which can only be helpful in disseminating news about what is happening in Palestine.

(2) No need to exaggerate: This is another piece of advice we give to ISM volunteers. The things that happen in Palestine on a daily basis are bad enough, so there is no need to exaggerate anything. Tell it like it is.

(3) Personal stories: You want to try to relate to your readers and have them relate to you. I think this is best done through personal stories and experiences.

Aljamal: New Media motivated Arab youths express themselves, do you believe that Palestinians can make use of it to get rid of the occupation? How?

Arraf: New media, alternative media, social media – all of these can be used as tools in fighting the occupation. We will need more than media to get rid of the occupation, but effective use of various new media tools to communicate information and organize collective action can greatly strengthen us.

To get rid of the occupation, we have to change people’s behavior; we have to create situations where people’s actions that support the Israeli occupation are altered in order to weaken the occupation. For example – soldiers who refuse to serve in the Israeli army can help weaken Israel’s military capabilities; Israeli society that wakes up from it’s indifference or government-supporting trance can increase pressure on the Israeli government to alter its policies; governments that impose sanctions on Israel can weaken Israel’s political and economic power; people, organizations, and institutions that boycott Israel can create pressure on Israeli society to pressure its government, and create an image crisis for the Israeli state, etc. To motivate these and other sectors of society to act, we need to communicate effectively, and here, we use new media as a tool to disseminate information and to organize.

For example, as I talked about above, ISM volunteers go back to their home countries and spread the word about what’s happening in Palestine. We then want to transform this knowledge into action – to lobby government officials to change their policies and stop supporting Israeli occupation and apartheid, to boycott Israel, etc. So we use new media and other communication tools to inform, so that we can then turn that information and knowledge into action.

Also in terms of organization, we’ve seen how social media has helped to mobilize people. We can use social media tools to organize coordinated actions around the world designed to put pressure on Israel. But while social media can be a great organizing tool, I think that we should be careful about relying only on social media, especially for organizing local actions. We should not forget that many people don’t use the Internet, don’t use Facebook and Twitter as a source of information and we need to reach these people too. So, these media tools should be used in addition to other traditional means of communication

Aljamal: Why do you believe that one-state solution is the best one to the conflict?

Arraf: I actually do not advocate the one-state solution. This doesn’t mean that I support the two-state solution either. Rather, I take a “rights-based approach.” This means that I focus on the rights that we’re struggling to achieve and don’t spend time arguing about one state or two. In reality, I don’t care if it’s 10 states or no states, as long as the rights of Palestinians and all people are respected and implemented. This includes the right of our refugees to return and to compensation for their losses, the right to complete equality under the law, and other rights currently denied to Palestinians. As a political solution, one state would likely achieve this best. However, if two states were proposed that included the right of all refugees to return to their homes (even if not the exact homes they lived in) inside 48 Palestine, and guaranteed equality for all people, meaning that Israel would NOT be defined as a Jewish state, but a state that represented all her people equally, then that could also work. Since the two-state solution that has been and is currently talked about does not guarantee the above, in principle, I am opposed to it. But, instead of spending time arguing that one state is better, I choose to focus on the rights that we’re fighting for. This is my personal approach. I don’t argue that it’s the best approach, but I do feel that it focuses us on principles and rights, which are hard to argue with. For example, a Zionist argument against the one-state solution is that it seeks to wipe out Israel. Whereas it’s hard for a Zionist to say that they can’t agree to total equality of citizens within the state. I would say to a Zionist “no, I don’t want to wipe out Israel, but I want to be treated equally inside Israel.” This means that Israel cannot define itself as a Jewish state, because then it would need to maintain a Jewish majority. This means that it would need to take steps to ensure that Jews remain a majority, including preventing Palestinian families from reuniting, continuing to recruit Jews to bring to Israel while keeping Palestinians out, perhaps some day restricting the number of children Palestinians inside Israel can have!”

CPDS is a Gaza based non-profit organization facilitating Palestinians representing themselves “in the tongues of its own people”, to convey their own message to the world and enhance Palestine’s presence in world forums and international organizations.

 

Originally appeared AT

ISRAEL, U.S. TO ABBAS: ‘TOE THE LINE OR PERISH’

Not the exact words used, but that’s the jist of it…
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Israel wants him to kiss the paramount right of return for the refugees goodbye, wants him to forget East Jerusalem, and wants him to formally accept perpetual Israeli control over Palestinian borders, water resources as well as the settlements established by Israel on occupied Arab land since 1967.
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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Will he remain the traitor he already is as seen in THIS report, that is the question…
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Israel, U.S. , want Abbas to be full-fledged traitor 
By Khalid Amayreh

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It seems that the tight Jewish stranglehold on the American government is not only preventing the Obama administration from pursuing a fair, rational and honest approach to the enduring Palestinian crisis, but is also inhibiting the formulation in Washington of an accurate and objective understanding of  basic facts in and about the Middle East.

 

An example of this willful and unnecessary ignorance was a statement made recently by the US Ambassador for Middle East Peace David Hale.According to Hale, the Arab Spring could “sweep Hamas from power.”

The Palestinians are no more immune to currents of change and demand for democratization, reform and freedom than any other people in the region,” he was quoted as saying.

“I think you will see those same forces affect Hamas because clearly their leadership is not characterized by any of those words.”

Hale’s words exude a lot of ignorance and misunderstanding of the facts and realities in the region.

First of all, the Palestinian people have been languishing under a sinister Israeli military occupation for 44 years, and no amount of “democratization” in occupied Palestine will change this fundamental fact.

The Palestinian people therefore need, first and  foremost,  freedom from the Nazi-like occupation before they can exercise democracy. Perhaps people like Hale can’t bring themselves to uttering the word occupation for fear of  upsetting the Jewish lobby in Washington . He presumably could lose his job if he did, especially in a sensitive election year. Hence, the conceived phobic reaction.

Like most Palestinians, I am not against genuine democratization in Palestine. However, let us be honest and have no illusion: Without ending the evil Israeli occupation, no amount of democratization would really help the Palestinians attain their freedoms. The absence of democracy in Palestine is due to the presence of the occupation. Twisting this fact would be an expression of dishonesty and mendacity.

Does democracy practiced by inmates in a maximum-security jail bring freedom to prisoners? Yes, it might help them manage their daily life and routine inside the jail, but it won’t help them regain their freedom.

Likewise, the Palestinian people are not merely striving to enhance their daily life, though this is a legitimate and important task, if only to help Palestinians withstand the systematic and institutionalized oppression meted out to them by Zio-Nazism.

The Palestinian people want absolute and total freedom from the decades-old nefarious Israeli occupation.

Besides, since when did the US really show any serious concern about democratization in occupied Palestine or elsewhere in the Arab-Muslim region?

Didn’t the U.S. abruptly lose its composure and mental equanimity when Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006? Didn’t a U.S., under aggressive and frenzied Jewish pressure, acted rather spasmodically to strangle and throttle the Palestinians following the said elections which by the way the Bush administration itself had Okayed?

I am afraid I have bad news for Mr. Hale and his equally ignorant boss or bosses in Washington. Hamas is here to stay. Hamas, which only last week forced Israel to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners from its dungeons and concentration camps, is strong and getting stronger:

Strong because it represents the true aspirations of most Palestinians for a better tomorrow; and stronger because an arrogant Israel driven by Talmudic insolence only understands the language of force, stubbornness and strength.

More to the point, a  soft, obsequious approach toward Israel won’t take the Palestinians anywhere. It will only transform them into vanquished supplicants begging for their legitimate rights from an arrogant and rapacious Israel that is hell bent on stealing the remainder of Palestinian land.

The truth of the matter regarding the impact of the Arab Spring on Hamas is that it has not only vindicated the liberation movement’s approach toward Israeli occupation, but it has also created an auspicious atmosphere conducive to helping Hamas and the Palestinians as a whole expedite their goals.

The growing good chemistry between Hamas and Cairo is undoubtedly an auspicious development. The upcoming elections in Egypt, slated to start on 28 November, is expected to produce pleasant surprises if the nationalist and Islamist forces achieve victory in the polls and form the next Egyptian government.

Israel and her guardian-ally, the U.S.,  (the latter is getting weaker and bankrupt by the hour) know that hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims expect the next government in Cairo to find a real correlation between the Egyptian commitment to uphold the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and Israeli treatment of and behavior toward the Palestinian cause and people.  I bet this is going to be a serious matter for Israel’s firsters and the Zionist shipyard dogs in Washington who think Israel’s interests come even before American interests.

In any case, the Islamists are simply coming, and Israel will soon become bereft of friends in this region, no matter what desperate feats Israel is trying. And Israel has only itself to blame.

The Israeli state, itself a crime against humanity (perhaps people like Hale would shake in fear while reading this shocking but veracious phrase) never really lost an opportunity to alienate Arabs and Muslims. The murderous Israeli modus operandi toward the Palestinians and other peoples in the region has generated a huge reservoir of hatred toward the Jewish state. The Arab masses, whether in Egypt or Tunisia or even Libya, will not waste anytime venting their frozen rage and accumulative frustration vis-à-vis Israel when they are given the chance to do so.

The King of Jordan Abdullah II recently “warned” that Egypt might effectively abrogate its peace treaty with Israel and that Jordan was effectively becoming the last remaining advocate of peace with the Jewish state?  The king knew what he was talking about. However, his warnings are unlikely to be heeded, given Israel’s characteristic insolence and America ‘s brazen subservience to the evil entity and its backers in Washington .

As to the whoring peace process, it is really difficult to talk about this process using dignified language. How else can one relate to a process that is based on lies, fraught with lies, and shaped by lies?
Israel, which we  earlier described as a crime against humanity because it is based on ethnic  cleansing, genocide, and aggression, wants Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to become a full-fledged traitor.Israel wants him to kiss the paramount right of return for the refugees goodbye, wants him to forget East Jerusalem, and wants him to formally accept perpetual Israeli control over Palestinian borders, water resources as well as the settlements established by Israel on occupied Arab land since 1967.Needless to say,  Abbas would rather commit suicide than agree to these irrational demands.  He knows that any Palestinian leader agreeing to these capitulations will not live long to even regret his folly.Besides, how can Abbas possibly offer a “workable” alternative to Hamas’s seemingly more logical and appealing line, which is based on resistance and steadfastness?

Will Israel, for the sake of Abbas’s legendary moderation, withdraw to the borders of the 4th of June, 1967? Will Israel terminate the building of colonies and Judaizing of Jerusalem? Will Israel allow for the repatriation of millions of refugees uprooted from their homes when the evil entity was established 63 years ago, which is a sine-qua-non for any genuine and durable peace deal in the region? Will Israel dismantle the settlements?

The answer is a plain NO.

Another question: Will the U.S. pressure Israel to end its decades-old occupation? The answer is also a plain NO because the Jewish lobby is in tight control of American politics and policies. Moreover, an American president, especially in an election year, won’t commit political suicide by displeasing the only state in the world that truly calls the shots in Washington.

RAIN, SNOW, SLEET OR HAIL – OCCUPY WALL STREET WILL PREVAIL!

The Web is chock full of information, and more so misinformation, about the latest challenge the protestors are facing … an early winter.
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What effect will the unexpected snowstorms have on the encampments throughout the Northeast and West?
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Snow didn’t stop America’s first Revolution…. why should it stop this one?
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The best report I found is here
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Will winter weather stop Occupy Wall Street?

By Jeremy Bloom

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Mayor Bloomberg  hopes the onset of winter will finally convince Occupy Wall Street to pack up the tents and tarps and go home. On October 10 he predicted the protests would dissipate with the first sign of frost.

But now, as winter is setting in to the Northeast, he may find himself disappointed by the demonstrators stamina and resourcefulness.

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman…

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

In New York, The Daily News reports it was “given a peek inside occupiers’ storage space at 52 Broadway and saw shelves lined with blankets, sub-zero sleeping bags, heavy coats, cough syrup and even an assortment of herbal teas.” And there are 200 to 400 packages with more supplies arriving daily.

In Philadelphia, tents and heaters have been donated to the occupation.

At Occupy Denver, they’re already dealing with snow and freezing cold, but police insist: No tents! They’re sleeping under tarps, and facing hypothermia.

And now CNBC reports from New York City, “Plans are underway to rent an enormous space capable of housing up to 300 people so that Occupy Wall Street can continue through the winter.”

“We’re going to find a place where people can sleep at night, store their stuff. We’ll maintain a continuous presence in the park but you can’t ask people to put their lives in danger. It’s Occupy Wall Street, not Freeze to Death In Zuccotti Park,” [a person closely connected with the core de facto leadership of Occupy Wall Street]  said.

The early metaphors for this movement came out of the 1930s: the Hoovervilles and the Bonus Army Occupation.

But perhaps a better metaphor might be Valley Forge.

IS ISRAEL BEHIND THE ROCKET ATTACKS FROM GAZA?

 Image by Skulz Fontaine
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The timing seems to say YES
Israel got what it wanted from Hamas a week ago when Shalit was sent home….
Israel will do everything in its power to prevent Palestinian Statehood…
Israel must also try to justify its continued attacks on the civilian population in Gaza …
So the circumstances also seem to say YES.
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The following video published at HaAretz shows Gaza ‘militants’ preparing to fire rockets at Israel…. The IDF watched, captured it on video and did not try to stop them? Isn’t that a bit strange? It really makes one wonder if this is nothing more than another Israeli false flag attempt to ‘con the world’.
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Israel has already lost its credibility with much of the world, hopefully they will see these recent incidents as part of the lies spread by zion to prevent the inevitable Freedom and Independence FOR ALL OF PALESTINE.

OAKLAND GETS A WHIFF OF THE WEEKLY PALESTINIAN EXPERIENCE

Occupy Oakland protesters got a whiff of the weekly Palestinian experience  two nights ago when a crackdown complete with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades tore through their protest encampment.

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Don’t miss the video at the end of this post…

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Palestine in Oakland– Scott Olsen and Tristan Anderson

by Alex Kane

ScottOlsen
Protesters in oakland carry iraq war veteran scott olsen after he was struck in the head by a police projectile (photo: Jay Finneburgh/indybay.org)

Occupy Oakland protesters got a whiff of the weekly Palestinian experience  two nights ago when a crackdown complete with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades tore through their protest encampment. (See Adam Horowitz’s post here). The injury of Iraq War veteran and activist Scott Olsen, who is in the hospital with a fractured skull, adds to the obvious similarities seen in protest crackdowns in the U.S. and Palestine.

This is in addition to reports that the same arms firm supplies both the Oakland Police Department and the Israeli army with tear-gas.

Olsen was reportedly hit by a tear gas canister in his head, resulting in a fractured skull injury. Olsen was in a coma, although Reuters reported last night that “Olsen was breathing on his own and could undergo surgery in the next day or so.”

The scenes of blood streaming down Olsen’s face were eerily reminiscent of what happened to Tristan Anderson in 2009.  An American activist from Oakland, Anderson was also struck in the head by a tear gas canister, although in his case it was fired by the Israeli army during a protest in the West Bank village of Nil’in. Anderson was in an Israeli hospital for over a year, and a sham IDF investigation declared the shooting “an act of war,” absolving their soldiers of responsibility.

These two cases, side by side, matter, and not just because of coincidence but for what it tells us.

The similarities between Olsen and Anderson’s injury (although thankfully Olsen seems to be recovering) and the  force used on protesters in Oakland make clear how militarized the police in the U.S. are, as Charles Pierce points out in Esquire (h/t Liliana Segura’s Twitter):

Make no mistake about it: The actions of the police department in Oakland last night were a military assault on a legitimate political demonstration. That it was a milder military assault than it could have been, which is to say it wasn’t a massacre, is very much beside the point. There was no possible provocation that warranted this display of force. (Graffiti? Litter? Rodents? Is the Oakland PD now a SWAT team for the city’s health department?) If you are a police department in this country in 2011, this is something you do because you have the power and the technology and the license from society to do it. This is a problem that has been brewing for a long time. It predates the Occupy movement for more than a decade. It even predates the “war on terror,” although that has acted as what the arson squad would call an “accelerant” to the essential dynamic.

Basic law enforcement in this country is thoroughly, totally militarized. It is militarized at its most basic levels. (The “street crime units,” so beloved by, among other people, the Diallo family.) It is militarized at its highest command positions. It is militarized in its tactics, and its weaponry and, most important of all, in the attitude of the officers themselves, and in how they are trained. There is a vast militarized intelligence apparatus that leads, inevitably, to pre-emptive military actions, like the raids on protest organizations that were carried out in advance of the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Sooner or later, this militarized law enforcement was going to collide head-on with a movement of mass public protest, and the results were going to be ugly. (There already had been dry runs elsewhere, most notably in Miami, in 2003, during protests of a meeting of trade ministers.)

The militarization of the police was clearly accelerated by a “war on terror” framework, and the Olsen/Anderson injuries are the real-life, tragic consequences that these policies have. Now, an American uprising is clashing with that security-first mentality. How many more Scott Olsens will we see?

Written FOR

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Repost the above video wherever possible on your Blogs and Websites to show the world the hypocracy of the present U.S. Administration.
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Here is the URL … 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S880UldxB1o#!

PHOTO OF THE DAY ~~ HALLOWEEN AT WALL STREET

JASON ALEXANDER (GEORGE COSTANZA) VISITS BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

Possibly as an attempt to maintain his status on the infamous S H I T List, Jason Alexander was in Israel and Palestine last week on a fact-finding mission…
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A report follows.
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‘Seinfeld’ Star Sees Both Sides of Israel

Renowned Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander arrived in Israel earlier this week, with the media questioning the sincerity of his efforts to bring “serenity now” to Israel and the conflict. But the OneVoice Delegation Tour – an eclectic group of business professionals and philanthropists from the U.S. and Europe – strives to be more than yet another celebrity tour for a trendy cause.

The delegates arrived on Sunday for a weeklong trip geared toward providing participants with a broader, more informed understanding of both the Israeli and Palestinian narratives of the conflict, while fostering a deeper commitment to a two-state solution.

“As an American Jew, you feel like it is your job to advocate for the state of Israel,” Josh Bernstein, president of Bernstein Management and director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the United Jewish Endowment Fund told Haaretz.

“But Israel has grown from a state that is fighting for its existence to a democracy, and unfortunately, it doesn’t always uphold the values it was built upon. For American Jews, this has become awkward – this is not the Israel we love.”

Many of the delegates shared Bernstein’s sentiments, expressing a love and commitment to the state of Israel, but difficulty reconciling their Jewish values, vision for a democratic country, and the present reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

James and Sonia Cummings, chairman and trustee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, that launches and sponsors community projects that promote economic and social justice based on Jewish tradition and democratic values, were disappointed at the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships’ inability to reach a solution. However, they remained hopeful that the youth they had met through OneVoice were part of a new generation that could inspire change.

“It is so important to enlighten the Diaspora about what is really going on in Israel – we need more unity,” Sonia Cummings told Haaretz.

“It is about the future of the next generation. Meeting with young people on this trip has been very enlightening; there is hope, they are living in the present. Maybe we can grab that, and communicate it to the Diaspora, so that we can create a movement of peace,” she added.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

PHOTO ESSAY ~~EXISTING AND RESISTING FOR PALESTINE AT WALL STREET

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Commentary by and Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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The pro Palestinian organisation ‘Existence is Resistance’ held a silk screening event at the Occupy Wall Street Encampment.
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Anyone who brought their own T shirt or anything else that could be silk screened were able to get it imprinted with the words ‘Un-Occupy All Foreign Lands’.
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There was a large turnout for the event as can be seen in these photos …
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USING CULTURE TO WHITEWASH APARTHEID

People engage in different ways, but they engage. They are pushed beyond their comfort zones. They begin to question, or, in the case of committed Zionists, they are at least reminded that they cannot get away with using culture to whitewash apartheid.
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An “Open Door” tour for Israeli apartheid
Hannah Mermelstein*

Idan Raichel (second from left) has performed for the opening night of MASA Israel tours, an Israeli government project which brings young Jews to Israel. (Masa Israel Journey / Flickr )

 

“We certainly see ourselves as ambassadors of Israel in the world, cultural ambassadors, hasbara ambassadors, also in regards to the political conflict.” – Idan Raichel, 2008 (“An interview with Idan Raichel,” translated from Hebrew in online magazine To Australia).

On Tuesday, 18 October, I and eight other Adalah-NY members stood in front of the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, holding signs, singing songs, and handing flyers to passersby and concert-goers. The concert: Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter India.Arie, and “Israel’s most popular dread-locked musician” (according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Idan Raichel.

Despite one India.Arie fan’s claim that “I’m sure she doesn’t even know who the other performer is tonight; that’s how concerts get planned,” the show was actually part of a larger tour the two musicians have planned together to promote their joint album “Open Door.”

“Does ‘Open Door’ include Palestinians?” asked one of our signs, while another demanded, “Don’t entertain apartheid.”

“Idan Raichel can’t support apartheid,” countered one concert-goer. “He sleeps with a black woman!”

While this claim is as laughable as it is offensive, the more prevalent objection to cultural boycott actions is the idea that culture and politics are somehow separate. But as long as the Israeli government uses art and culture to cover up Israeli war crimes, culture and politics are clearly intertwined.

As is evident in Idan Raichel’s quotation above, the musician is willingly part of the Brand Israel campaign, which aims to bring arts to the world in order to, in the words of an Israeli foreign ministry official, “show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war” (“After Gaza, Israel grapples with crisis of isolation,” The New York Times, 18 March 2009).

The moral case for cultural boycotts

Adalah-NY stated in a recent press release that beyond Raichel’s collusion with the Israeli government’s cynical use of art, he has served in and performed for the Israeli army and actively expressed support for the Israel military during its brutal attacks on Gaza in the winter of 2008-09 and criticized Israelis who refused to serve in the army.

Raichel’s performance in 2007 in the Israeli settlement Nokdim led to a call for boycott by the Israeli organization Gush Shalom for collaborating with settlements that prevent any possibility of peace (“New Yorkers protest India.Arie concert with Israeli superstar Idan Raichel,” 18 October 2011).

In 2004, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called on global civil society to boycott Israeli cultural institutions, products, and events that normalize Israel’s multi-layered system of oppression against Palestinian people. Many international artists have heeded the call and have refused to perform in Israel, including Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, Devendra Banhart and The Pixies.

Cultural boycott actions can be fairly simple, and provide an opportunity for people to work together nationally. Our friends in Seattle alerted us and their friends in Olympia to Raichel’s tour and sent us the flyer they would be using on the tour’s opening night. We revised the flyer for a New York audience and sent it to our friends in Burlington and Boston. With minimal effort, we had coordinated a five-city protest action.

The moral case for cultural boycott should be clear, yet there are still some who question it on tactical grounds. Why focus on cultural boycott, they ask, when it is arguably the hardest case to make to a non-politically minded public? Over and over again, I have found cultural boycott actions to yield some of the richest dialogue I have seen about Palestine.

Holding peace-loving, liberal-seeming artists and audiences accountable

People who attend cultural events, particularly peace-loving liberal-seeming concerts such as India.Arie and Idan Raichel, are often quite receptive to arguments about social justice. They do not want to be accused of supporting racism, and they do not want to cross a picket line.

On 18 October, some people merely read our signs and moved on. Some questioned the connection between Raichel and the government. Some thanked us for being there. Some sneered and tore our flyers in half. One person took extra flyers to pass out inside. One debated whether to give up her $200 ticket, and then decided instead to yell “Free Palestine” during the show.

People engage in different ways, but they engage. They are pushed beyond their comfort zones. They begin to question, or, in the case of committed Zionists, they are at least reminded that they cannot get away with using culture to whitewash apartheid.

Shifting the discourse

Perhaps the most important gain of the cultural boycott in the United States so far has been the way in which it has shifted the discourse about Palestine. One of our first cultural boycott actions in New York was a small protest of the Batsheva Dance Company, who we discovered with very little notice was to perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 2009.

The show happened to coincide with Israeli Apartheid Week, the annual week of actions around the world to bring attention to Israeli apartheid policy and to support the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, so we brought people together to sing, chant and distribute flyers.

Our press release garnered media attention, and a number of articles were written which questioned the tactic of cultural boycott. In so doing, however, these articles took for granted the idea that Israel can be called an apartheid state that should be protested against, and even at times boycotted. It was simply the cultural boycott that was being questioned. We had successfully shifted the discourse and opened an important conversation within the mainstream media.

Israel is desperate to salvage its global image and promote itself as a liberal democracy, but it is not working. As Idan Raichel and India.Arie continue their “Open Door” tour, people with conscience the world over are heeding the Palestinian civil society call for BDS. Cultural boycott actions highlight cultural workers’ complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights, thereby opening the door to justice a little wider each day.

*Hannah Mermelstein is a Palestine solidarity activist working with Adalah-NY and a school librarian based in Brooklyn, NY.

Source

CORPORATIONS AND BANKS WIN ROUND ONE AS WIKILEAKS GETS SILENCED

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The corporations and banks, currently being protested by the Occupy Wall St. movement, have launched a financial blockade on the
whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks.

The corporations and banks, apparently, don’t like the rabble hearing the truth. Especially if it’s about them or the the diplomats they own.

WikiLeaks is going to stop publishing secrets and may go dark all together with no funds to continue operations due to the blockade.

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 WikiLeaks will have to stop publishing secret cables and devote itself to fund-raising if it is unable to end a financial “blockade” by U.S. firms such as Visa and MasterCard by the end of the year, founder Julian Assange said on Monday.

After releasing tens of thousands of confidential U.S. government cables, WikiLeaks needs $3.5 million over the next year to continue operating, Assange said.

Visa and MasterCard stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks in December 2010 after the United States criticized the organization’s release of thousands of sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables from its embassies all over the world.

In the 24 hours before credit card donations were blocked, the organization said it had received $135,000. Now, it is receiving on average about 7,000 euros ($9,700)a month.

Assange said there were no lawful grounds for the blockade by Bank of America Corp, Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc, eBay Inc unit PayPal and Western Union Co, which he said had cost Wikileaks 95 percent of its revenue.

“If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade, given our current levels of expenditure, we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the year,” Assange told a news conference.

Source

CALL TO ACTION: OCCUPY WALL STREET, NOT PALESTINE

Occupy Wall Street, Not Palestine!

Saturday, October 29 2011, 2:30pm

Join members of Adalah-NY for a message of solidarity from the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions National Committee followed by a Q & A session about the growing movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law.

2:30 PM: gather at the big red structure (corner of Broadway and Cedar) to help publicize event + hold space

3 PM: statement + debut of new chant for Occupy Wall Street + BDS Q & A

“The refreshing scenes of determined peaceful protest for justice from around the world tell us that we, the 99% of the world, are in the process of straightening our backs, collectively, with unwavering fortitude and boundless hope.”

OAKLAND AND JERUSALEM BECOME TWIN CITIES

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At the unrestrained attack on the Oakland encampment a 24 yr. old Iraq vet (2 tours) was hit in the head by a police fired projectile.  He’s in a coma – swollen brain.  Thousands in Oakland have re-taken the camp site which is right across from their City Hall.  Late last night when they heard what happened the NY occupiers held a big late night march around the financial district.  Reporters on TV were very histrionic showing it.  It was a big group but outside of chanting they were just walking – no threat to anyone or anything. …. a lesson taught by zion.

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I was not surprised when I learned that the same company that supplies the Israeli army with teargas rounds and other weapons of mass suppression is selling its dangerous wares to the Oakland police.
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Palestine in Oakland

by Adam Horowitz

oakland
Woman in a wheelchair tries to escape the tear gas the Oakland Police Department launched upon the protesters. (Photo:
Occupy Together)

Last night police in Oakland, California cracked down on protesters in the Occupy Oakland movement in a possibly ominous sign of things to come. Mother Jones reports that law enforcement used rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash-bang grenades to attack the protesters. The tactical similarities to Israel’s treatment of nonviolent Palestinian protesters were obvious to many, but they go deeper than that. Max Blumenthal writes the Oakland police used many of the same weapons:

The police repression on display in Oakland reminded me of tactics I witnessed the Israeli army employ against Palestinian popular struggle demonstrations in occupied West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, Ni’lin and Bilin. So I was not surprised when I learned that the same company that supplies the Israeli army with teargas rounds and other weapons of mass suppression is selling its dangerous wares to the Oakland police. The company is Defense Technology, a Casper, Wyoming based arms firm that claims to “specialize in less lethal technology” and other “crowd management products.” Defense Tech sells everything from rubber-coated teargas rounds that bounce in order to maximize gas dispersal to 40 millimeter “direct impact” sponge rounds to “specialty impact” 12 gauge rubber bullets.

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Poet Amirah Mizrahi made a similar connection in a piece she wrote for the Occupy Writers series:

oakland, 25 october 2011

I. second person present

when you are there
nothing else
is real.

tear gas makes you calm
clear-headed
surprisingly
a warm comfortable room
is disorienting

the shaking you feel
is each cell rising up
to protest with you
each person marching
is a cell
in the blood stream
of resistance flowing
steadily

broadway
is a vein

II. first person past

today
i was wadi salib 1959
i was musrara 1971
i was palestine in oakland
like never before i was
all the places
in all the radical histories
i know and don’t know

i heard a trumpet in a marching band
play a tune i recognized
bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
clapping hands marching feet i gave
away shirts as scarves
to shield faces

today i was a time
place comma date
that some day some one will be
when she is again marching
in the streets and
knowing history
holding it
making
it.

III. future perfect

there is a moment of realization
that a new world
is on the horizon we
work hard for her
slowly, painfully we
recognize

that there is still work
to be done tomorrow we
go home, wash
tear gas out
of our hair
clean our wounds
each other’s wounds

we remind each other:
love yourself
& build
for tomorrow.

How far will these connections resonate with the broader Occupy Together movement? Blumenthal ends:

Some Occupy Wall Street activists have argued that Palestine must remain segregated from the movement’s agenda. It is a distraction from the essential economic issues that drive the protests, they say, and turns the majority of Americans off. But the issue is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid now that the protesters are confronted with the very same weapons Israel uses to crush unarmed Palestinian resistance.

Source

BDS MOVEMENT IS ALIVE AND WELL ~~ MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FROM GREECE

Despite every effort and the passing of illegal legislation to put a stop to the Israeli Boycott, it is alive and well and GROWING!
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Martha Frintzila cancels participation in Jerusalem Oud Festival
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After the calls from Israeli citizens and the Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People – INTIFADA, but also after messages of individuals from her audience, Greek singer Martha Frintzila with a short message at Facebook, announced that she will not participate in Jerusalem Oud Festival for conscientious and political reasons.
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The message is the following:

Martha Frintzila will not participate in Oud Festival in Jerusalem for conscientious and political reasons.

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Ευχαριστώ Martha /// Thankyou Martha

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Watch the following to see what the ‘Boycott From Within’ is …
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RUMBLINGS FROM DOWN UNDER ABOUT HOME-GROWN TERRORISM

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Home-grown terrorism, depoliticising violence and human rights

 

Prepared by Antony Loewenstein

In July this year, Anders Breivik, a right-wing activist, murdered more than 65 Norwegians in an act of political violence. His manifesto, all 1500 pages of it, provides an insight into the dark but increasingly mainstream views of the West since 9/11. Being against immigration, Muslims and multiculturalism and being for Israel, racism and white pride isn’t simply a fringe belief in 2011. And many in the mainstream political and media elites have fuelled this resentment and bigotry.

This month sees the launch of a new book, On Utøya: Anders Breivik, right terror, racism and Europe, that tackles all these questions. It is a collection of essays by a range of British and Australian writers, including me (book extracts here and here), on the attempts to depoliticise what was a direct political event. It should serve as a warning of where our politics is heading. On Utoya is the necessary Left response to it.

It is available as an e-book with a hard copy (and updates) hopefully coming in 2012.

In other news:

- Review in Sydney Morning Herald on a former UN insider detailing war crimes in Sri Lanka.

- Analysis for ABC online about the Palestinian UN statehood bid.

- Review in Sydney’s Sun Herald on a book about child trafficking in Asia.

- Response to article in the Spectator magazine attacking me for supporting Palestinian rights and BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] against Israel.

- Interview on ABC radio about Palestine, the UN statehood bid and a one-state solution.

- Interview on ABC Radio National about BDS and growing alliances between the far-right and Zionism.

- Essay on ABC about using the Commonwealth to hold Sri Lanka to account for war crimes.

- Review in Sydney’s Sun Herald on a book about the explosive false CIA mole in Afghanistan.

- Interview on The Wire radio current affairs show about the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and Israeli kidnapping of Palestinians.

For a daily dose, see my website, Twitter and Facebook.


JACK LONDON PREDICTED THE OAKLAND POGROM IN 1908

Jack London didn’t just write tales of the Klondike Gold Rush and canine adventure stories. Sometimes he foretold the future.
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Occupy Oakland & Mercenaries of the Oligarchy:
The 99% vs. The Iron Heel


Nima Shirazi *

“We are in power. Nobody will deny it. By virtue of that power we shall remain in power…We have no words to waste on you. When you reach out your vaunted strong hands for our palaces and purpled ease, we will show you what strength is. In roar of shell and shrapnel and in whine of machine-guns will our answer be couched. We will grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces. The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain. As for the host of labor, it has been in the dirt since history began, and I read history aright. And in the dirt it shall remain so long as I and mine and those that come after us have the power. There is the word. It is the king of words–Power. Not God, not Mammon, but Power. Pour it over your tongue till it tingles with it. Power.”

- Mr. Wickson, The Iron Heel by Jack London (1908), chapter 4

Jack London didn’t just write tales of the Klondike Gold Rush and canine adventure stories. Sometimes he foretold the future. The above quote, written over a century ago and spoken by an aristocratic one-percenter in response to the rising tide of anti-plutocratic sentiment among the working class, is taken from London’s dystopic novelThe Iron Heel.

The novel depicts a society of unregulated and unrestrained capitalism; a society of the impoverished and disenfranchised, the unemployed and the unrepresented, at the mercy of a tiny but ruthlessly aggressive corporate elite that controls the government. London describes the perception of “the great mass of the people [who] still persisted in the belief that they ruled the country by virtue of their ballots,” when “[i]n reality, the country was ruled by what were called political machines. At first the machine bosses charged the master capitalists extortionate tolls for legislation; but in a short time the master capitalists found it cheaper to own the political machines themselves and to hire the machine bosses.”

Furthermore, London delves into the deluded arrogance of the wealthy, stock-holding plutocrats, explaining, “They believed absolutely that their conduct was right. There was no question about it, no discussion. They were convinced that they were the saviours of society, and that it was they who made happiness for the many. And they drew pathetic pictures of what would be the sufferings of the working class were it not for the employment that they, and they alone, by their wisdom, provided for it.” Journalists are excoriated for their willingness, for fear of losing their jobs, “to twist truth at the command of [their] employers, who, in turn, obey the behests of the corporations.”

The revolutionary hero of the book, Ernest Everhard, at one point addresses an exclusive gathering of the local aristocracy known as The Philomath Club, consisting of “the wealthiest in the community, and the strongest-minded of the wealthy, with, of course, a sprinkling of scholars to give it intellectual tone.” Everhard tells the crowd,

“No other conclusion is possible than that the capitalist class has mismanaged, that you have mismanaged, my masters, that you have criminally and selfishly mismanaged…You have failed in your management. You have made a shambles of civilization. You have been blind and greedy.”

The Iron Heel preceded Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here by about two and a half decades and George Orwell’s 1984 by over 40 years. It anticipated the rise of totalitarianism in Europe over a decade before Mussolini’s Blackshirts marched on Rome. In his Introduction to the 1980 edition of the book, Rutgers professor H. Bruce Franklin explains that London essentially defined Fascism before it even officially existed as “the form that the capitalist state assumes when the oligarchy feels that its economic and political power is seriously threatened by working class revolution.”

Franklin proceeds to catalogue the brutal and authoritarian actions and abuses of The Iron Heel‘s ruling elite as envisioned by its prophetic author:

London foresees: the creation of attractive suburbs for the relatively privileged strata of the working class while the central cities are turned into what he calls “ghettoes” for the masses of unemployed and menial laborers, shoved into the darkest depths of human misery; the deliberate economic subversion of public education in order to spread illiteracy and ignorance; adequate food, health care, and housing priced above the reach of more and more people; the ubiquitous secret police infiltrating all organizations opposing the government; the establishment of a permanent mercenary army; the government conspiring in real and phony bomb plots, in the suppression of books and the destruction of printing presses, in witch hunts aimed at dissident labor leaders, professors, and authors, in destroying the reputations of some of its opponents, imprisoning many others and murdering the few it finds too formidable; spontaneous mass rebellions of the downtrodden people of the central cities; urban guerrillas battling the government’s army of mercenaries and police in the canyons of the cities.

Clearly, from historic income inequality and over 15% of Americans living in poverty (that’s 46.2 million people) to massive budget cuts for public education to FBI infiltration of peace groups to the ever-expanding surveillance state to the stifling of free speech to spooky terrorist plots allegedly thwarted by the very agencies that planned and funded them in the first place, Jack London was on to something. To say the least. The Occupy Wall Street movement around the globe is a testament to our new reality, as presaged by one of our renowned writers.

The Iron Heel is set primarily in California’s Bay Area, London’s home turf. Yesterday morning, Tuesday October 25, 2012, the non-violent, anti-corporatist protesters occupying two parks in Oakland met their own city’s iron heel, jackboots in full riot-gear.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, “Under cover of darkness early Tuesday, hundreds of police swept into Oakland’s Occupy Wall Street protest, firing tear gas and beanbag rounds before clearing out an encampment that demonstrators had hoped would stir a revolution,” continuing, “Officers and sheriff’s deputies from across the San Francisco Bay area surrounded the plaza in front of City Hall at around 5 a.m. and closed in. Eighty-five people were arrested, mostly on suspicion of misdemeanor unlawful assembly and illegal camping, police said.” Reflecting on the raid and arrests which were carried out at the behest Oakland mayor Jean Quan, interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said, “I’m very pleased with the way things went.”

In responsethousands of protesters gathered later that same day and faced down a phalanx of Oakland’s Finest Fascist, who responded by repeatedly attacking the crowd with more tear gas, batons, rubber bulletsbeanbags, concussion grenades, flashbombs, and sound cannons. At one point, Oakland authorities, claiming the protest was “an unlawful assembly,” issued this threat: “If you refuse to move now, you will be arrested. If you refuse to move now, chemical agents will be used” (see here) and later warned those peacefully standing their ground, “If you have respiratory problems now is the time to leave.” They weren’t kidding.

Despite protester’s solidarity appeals advancing riot police that “You are the 99%,” Oakland forces carried out the bidding of the government on behalf of its Wall Street donors. Just as the NYPD, which last year accepted a massive $4.6 million donation from J.P. Morgan Chase via the New York City Police Foundation, the OPD has demonstrated its willingness to become the private army of the wealthy, abrogating free speech, freedom of assembly, and civil rights in order to crack down on peaceful protests against an unfair system. As London wrote, “hired fighting men of the capitalists…ultimately developed into the Mercenaries of the Oligarchy.”

Meanwhile, as gas clouds wafted through the Oakland air, just across the bay in San Francisco, President Barack Obama was at a reelection fundraiser at the W Hotel for which guests shelled out at least $5,000 to attend. It was the latest stop on one of the president’s “busiest donor outreach trips of the season.” Last week, the Washington Post reported that “despite frosty relations with the titans of Wall Street, President Obama has still managed to raise far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate.”

It remains to be seen whether Obama addresses the police brutality and stifling of dissent that occurred just a few miles from where he dined with his donors, especially in light of what he had to say about the post-election protests and police response in Iran in mid-2009: “We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.” Earlier this year, Obama recalled the “peaceful protests…in the streets of Tehran, where the government brutalized women and men, and threw innocent people into jail.”

In the speech he delivered upon accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Obama noted his apparent belief that “peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely” or “assemble without fear.” He affirmed his support of “the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran,” continuing, “It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear to these movements that hope and history are on their side.”

Just last month, in front of the United Nations General Assembly, the president stated, “The Syrian people have shown dignity and courage in their pursuit of justice — protesting peacefully, standing silently in the streets, dying for the same values that this institution is supposed to stand for. And the question for us is clear: Will we stand with the Syrian people, or with their oppressors?”

One can only wonder if Obama will heed the words he spoke at the UN in September 2009, when he told world leaders, “The test of our leadership will not be the degree to which we feed the fears and old hatreds of our people. True leadership will not be measured by the ability to muzzle dissent, or to intimidate and harass political opponents at home. The people of the world want change. They will not long tolerate those who are on the wrong side of history.”

Will the president remember what he said at the same podium a year later? “The arc of human progress has been shaped by individuals with the freedom to assemble and by organizations outside of government that insisted upon democratic change and by free media that held the powerful accountable,” he declared.

Replying to Mr. Wickson’s threats of violence and repression in order to maintain the Oligarchy’s stranglehold on society, Ernest Everhard, noble protagonist of The Iron Heel, declares:

“We know, and well we know by bitter experience, that no appeal for the right, for justice, for humanity, can ever touch you. Your hearts are hard as your heels with which you tread upon the faces of the poor. So we have preached power. By the power of our ballots on election day will we take your government away from you.”

With the Occupy movement growing stronger, more determined, fearless and united with every tear gas canister launched and each protester beaten, pepper sprayed, and arrested, it is surely a movement that can no longer be silenced or suppressed.

As Ernest’s wife, fellow revolutionary, and narrator of The Iron Heel, Avis Cunningham Everhard asserts:

“The solidarity of labor is assured, and for the first time will there be an international revolution wide as the world is wide.”

*Nima Shirazi is a political commentator from New York City.

Visit his website at: www.wideasleepinamerica.com
Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima

NEW YORK SAYS ‘NO TO SEXPARTHEID’

 Hopefully Jerusalem will soon follow …
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City Pulls Yiddish Signs Ordering Women Aside

Municipal workers in Brooklyn have taken down signs directed at Hasidic women — not because they’re religious in content, but because of where they’re posted.

The signs, written in Yiddish, direct Hasidic women in the Williamsburg neighborhood to keep a distance from their male counterparts, telling them, “Precious Jewish daughter, please move aside when a man approaches.”

The signs were affixed to trees in the area, which is illegal, the city’s Parks Department says.

In addition to coverage in the New York Daily News, the signs’ removal has garnered attention on local blogs and television news. Hasidic residents of the neighborhood have defended the signs, with one resident claiming the community’s first-amendment rights had been violated. “It’s taking away freedom of speech,” 70-year-old Faye Grwnfeld told the Daily News.

City officials don’t know who posted the signs, but locals speculate that a “hard-line rabbinical group” may be behind them.

No signs were posted asking “precious Jewish men” to step aside when they see a woman.

WE ARE ALL PALESTINIAN AT WALL STREET

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Existence is Resistance Kuffeya Day at Occupy Wall Street

 

Friday, October 28 · 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Liberty Plaza: The Occupation Of Wall Street

In support of Palestinian political prisoners, most significantly Majd Ziada, EIR (Existence is Resistance) will be hosting a Kuffeya Day at Liberty Plaza to spread awareness and gather petition signatures which will later be delivered to Israeli authorities which are scheduled to release an additional number of prisoners within 2 months.

In solidarity with the people of Palestine, we are asking that on Oct. 28th everyone come to Liberty Plaza wearing their Kuffeya. EIR will be on site silk screening shirts for a $2 donation.

Majd has already served 10 years in an Israeli jail and is due to serve another 20 for speaking out against Israel’s occupation of Palestine and refusing to recognize the Israeli military court that sentenced him. For more on Majd’s story and to sign the petition, please CLICK HERE

Even if you cannot physically attend this event, please help us by circulating the petition and inviting your friends. Thank you.

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=274632612568909

 

Sponsored BY www.existenceisresistance.org 

“Injustice ANYWHERE is a threat to justice EVERYWHERE” – MLK Jr.

JOHN LENNON’S MESSAGE TO OCCUPY WALL STREET

In view of the system’s ‘fightback‘ against those involved in the Occupy Wall Street Movement across the country, John Lennon offers the following words of wisdom …
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click on image to enlarge

NO RATING ON BOVINE METER FOR THIS

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Have you heard any rumblings from the United Nations about the status of Palestine? We waited for that faithful day in September …  for the proposal to be made declaring it a full member of the UN …. a day that came and went…
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India declared today that ‘Palestine’s membership to UN should not be made conditional’
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The UN itself is still ‘discussing’ The Question of Palestine
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It appears that Israel has made up its mind on the situation as the settlements grow daily and illegal settler homes continue to be built on Palestinian lands
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C’mon guys, Times A Wastin … Every wasted day means more lives lost and more land stolen … 64 years is enough wasted time! Enough of this BS!!
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