Newt Gingrich: Palestinians are an ‘invented’ people
U.S. Republican presidential candidate differs with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich thrust himself into controversy on Friday by declaring that the Palestinians are an “invented” people who want to destroy Israel.
The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives predictably sided with Israel in its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians but took it a step further in an interview with the Jewish Channel.
The cable station posted online its interview with Gingrich, who has risen to the top of Republican polls with voting to start early next year to pick a nominee to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.
Gingrich differed with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.
“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire” until the early 20th century, Gingrich said.
“I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it’s tragic,” he said.
Gingrich along with other Republican candidates are seeking to attract Jewish support by vowing to bolster U.S. ties with Israel if elected.
Gingrich said the Hamas militant group, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinians’ governing body, the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, represent “an enormous desire to destroy Israel.”
The U.S. government has sought to encourage the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel but has labeled Hamas as a terrorist group.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has long forsworn violence against Israel as a means to secure an independent state, pinning his hopes first on negotiations and more recently on a unilateral bid for statehood via the United Nations.
Gingrich said he would be willing to consider granting clemency to Jonathan Jay Pollard, who has been serving a life prison term since 1987 for passing U.S. secrets to Israel. Successive U.S. presidents have refused Israeli entreaties to free him.
“If we can get to a point where I’m satisfied that there’s no national security threat, and if he’s in fact served within the range of people who’ve had a similar problem, then I’d be inclined to consider clemency,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich sharply criticized the Obama administration’s approach to Middle East diplomacy, saying it is “so out of touch with reality that it would be like taking your child to the zoo and explaining that a lion was a bunny rabbit.”
The story of Palestine and its people is one that will go down in history. In fact it has already started to do just that. One might say that the victor is the one that writes history. The victor in this case will inevitably be justice, and justice is at the core of the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism and oppression. And as in every episode in history, everyone will be mentioned according to their positions, and more importantly their deeds with respect to each story.
In the day of solidarity, let us remember that.
The students had gathered around an area that had earlier housed their tents. What an ominous threat to the community! Beware of students protesting in the quad instead of throwing a kegger party in a dorm!
The police had already removed the tents. All that remained of Occupy Davis was a banner hanging from a tree that read “Save Public Education.” How dare they call for such a radical agenda on a campus in the California University system? The students sitting across the campus walkway chanted the subversive line: “Don’t shoot students.” How is this a threat to riot-clad police?
Perhaps the really subversive, supposedly “threatening,” act was in the simple interlocking of their arms.
Last week The San Francisco Chronicle quoted UC Berkley Police Capt. Margo Bennett:
“The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence. I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest.”
In fact, Captain Bennett thought that it was okay to use batons to push back the Berkeley crowd, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the UC Davis police took it one step further and used pepper-spray to pry apart those threatening arms.
In Berkeley and in Davis, the goal was to break up Occupy encampments. In Berkeley, the police were trying to get to tents. In Davis, the tents were already gone. In both cases one wonders what exactly is so threatening about students camping on the quad? What is so “violent” about sitting with arms joined together?
Wait … they might just learn something! But it’s a lesson plan not approved by the Board of Regents.
Apparently, it would be better to force them back into their frat houses and sorority houses so they can get drunk before returning to their corporate-funded classrooms on Monday morning. We can’t have them learning about the effects of corporate greed all weekend, out in the open air of the campus commons. That must be why they moved in at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. What would the town pubs do if the students were camping on the quad instead of doing shots ’til they passed out?
All kidding aside, the scary thing is some of my sarcasm is probably not far from the truth. But the real effect of Friday’s police action at UC Davis is that this coming Monday at noon the students will be back, likely in much larger numbers. The pepper-spray fired by the police on Friday further fanned the flames of the revolution. When will they learn the relationship between cause and effect?
Watch the end of this video if you have any doubts about the outcome.
Beginning with Occupy Wall Street in September 2011, a protest movement spread across the United States to 70 major cities and hundreds of other communities. Similar actions emerged in scores of other nations.
For the first two weeks, the corporate-owned mainstream media along with NPR did what they usually do with progressive protests: they ignored them. These were the same media that had given the Tea Party supporters saturation coverage for weeks on end, ordaining them “a major political force.”
The most common and effective mode of news repression is omission. By saying nothing or next to nothing about dissenting events, movements, candidates, or incidents, the media consign them to oblivion. When the Occupy movement spread across the country and could no longer be ignored, the media moved to the second manipulative method: trivialization and marginalization.
So we heard that the protestors were unclear about what they were protesting and they were “far removed from the mainstream.” Media cameras focused on the clown who danced on Wall Street in full-blown circus costume, and the youths who pounded bongo drums: “a carnival atmosphere” “youngsters out on a spree,” with “no connection to the millions of middle Americans” who supposedly watched with puzzlement and alarm.
Such coverage, again, was in sharp contrast to the respectful reportage accorded the Tea Party. House Majority Leader, the reactionary Republican Eric Cantor, described the Occupy movement as “growing mobs.” This is the same Cantor who hailed the Tea Party as an unexcelled affirmation of democracy.
The big November 2 demonstration in Oakland that succeeded in closing the port was reported by many media outlets, almost all of whom focused on the violence against property committed by a few small groups. Many of those perpetrators were appearing for the first time at the Oakland site. Some were suspected of being undercover police provocateurs. Their actions seemed timed to overshadow the successful shutdown of the nation’s fourth largest port.
Time and again, the media made the protestors the issue rather than the things they were protesting. The occupiers were falsely described as hippie holdovers and mindless youthful activists. In fact, there was a wide range of ages, socio-ethnic backgrounds, and lifestyles, from homeless to well-paid professionals, along with substantial numbers of labor union members. Far from being a jumble of confused loudmouths prone to violence, they held general assemblies, organized themselves into committees, and systematically took care of encampment questions, food, security, and sanitation.
One unnoticed community protest was Occupy Walnut Creek. For those who don’t know, Walnut Creek is a comfortable conservative suburb in northern California (with no known record of revolutionary insurrections). Only one local TV station gave Occupy Walnut Creek brief attention, noting that about 400 people were participating, average age between 40 and 50, no clowns, no bongos. Participants admitted that they lived fairly prosperous lives but still felt a kinship with the millions of Americans who were enduring an economic battering. Here was a contingent of affluent but rebellious “middle Americans” yet Walnut Creek never got mentioned in the national media, as far as I know.
The Occupy movement has promulgated a variety of messages. With a daring plunge into class realities, the occupiers talk of the 1% who are exploiting the 99%, a brilliant propaganda formula, simple to use, yet saying so much, now widely embraced even by some media commentators. The protestors carried signs condemning the republic’s terrible underemployment and the empire’s endless wars, the environmental abuses perpetrated by giant corporations, the tax loopholes enjoyed by oil companies, the growing inequality of incomes, and the banksters and other gangsters who feed so lavishly from the public trough.
Some occupiers even denounced capitalism as a system and hailed socialism as a humane alternative. In all, the Occupy movement revealed an awareness of systemic politico-economic injustices not usually seen in U.S. protests. Remember, the initial and prime target was Wall Street, finance capital’s home base.
The mainstream news outlets not only control opinions but even more so opinion visibility, which in turn allows them to limit the parameters of public discourse. This makes it all the more imperative for ordinary people to join together in demonstrations, hoping thereby to maximize the visibility and impact of their opinions. The goal is to break through the near monopoly of conservative orthodoxy maintained by the “liberal” media.
So demonstrations are important. They have an energizing effect on would-be protestors, bringing together many who previously had thought themselves alone and voiceless. Demonstrations bring democracy into the streets. They highlight issues that have too long been buried. They mobilize numbers, giving a show of strength, reminding the plutocracy perched at the apex that the pyramid is rumbling.
But demonstrations should evolve into other forms of action. This has already been happening with the Occupy movement. It is more than a demonstration because its protestors did not go home at the end of the day. In substantial numbers they remained downtown, putting their bodies on the line, imposing a discomfort on officialdom just by their numbers and presence.
At a number of Occupy sites there have been civil disobedience actions, followed by arrests. In various cities the police have been unleashed with violent results that sometimes have backfired. In Oakland ex-Marine Scott Olsen was hit by a police teargas canister that busted his skull and left him hospitalized and unable to speak for a week. At best, he faces a long slow recovery. The day after Olsen was hit, hundreds of indignant new protestors joined the Occupy Oakland site. Police brutality incites a public reaction, often bringing more people out, just the opposite of what officials want.
Where does this movement go? What is to be done? The answers are already arising from the actions of the 99%:
- Discourage military recruitment and support conscientious objectors. Starve the empire of its legions. Organize massive tax resistance in protest of corrupt, wasteful, unlawful, and destructive Pentagon spending
- Transfer funds from corporate banks to credit unions and community banks. Support programs that assist the unemployed and the dispossessed. It was Giulio Tremonti, Italy’s embattled finance minister who declared: “Salvate il popolo, non le banche” (“Save the people, not the banks”). It would be nice to hear such sentiments emanating from the U.S. Treasury Department or the White House.
- Coordinate actions with organized labor. Unions still are the 99%’s largest and best financed groups. Consider what was done in Oakland: occupiers joined with longshoremen, truckers, and other workers to close the port. Already there are plans for a general strike in various communities. Such actions improve greatly if organized labor is playing a role.
- We need new electoral strategies, a viable third party, proportional representation, and even a new Constitution, one that establishes firm rules for an egalitarian democracy and is not a rigmarole designed to protect the moneyed class. The call for a constitutional convention (a perfectly legitimate procedure under the present U.S. Constitution) seems long overdo.
- Perhaps most of all, we need ideological education regarding the relationship between wealth and power, the nature of capitalism, and the crimes of an unbridled profit-driven financial system. And again the occupiers seem to be moving in that direction: in early November 2011, people nationwide began gathering to join teach-ins on “How the 1% Crashed the Economy.”
We need to explicitly invite the African-American, Latino, and Asian communities into the fight, reminding everyone that the Great Recession victimizes everyone but comes down especially hard on the ethnic poor.
We need to educate ourselves regarding the beneficial realities of publicly owned nonprofit utilities, publicly directed environmental protections, public nonprofit medical services and hospitals, public libraries, schools, colleges, housing, and transportation–all those things that work so well in better known in some quarters as socialism.
There is much to do. Still it is rather impressive how the battle is already being waged on so many fronts. Meanwhile the corporate media ignore the content of our protest while continuing to fulminate about the occupiers’ violent ways and lack of a precise agenda.
Do not for one moment think that the top policymakers and plutocrats don’t care what you think. That is the only thing about you that wins their concern. They don’t care about the quality of the air you breathe or the water you drink, or how happy or unhappy or stressed and unhealthy or poor you might be. But they do want to know your thoughts about public affairs, if only to get a handle on your mind. Every day they launch waves of disinformation to bloat your brains, from the Pentagon to Fox News without stint.
When the people liberate their own minds and take a hard clear look at what the 1% is doing and what the 99% should be doing, then serious stuff begins to happen. It is already happening. It may eventually fade away or it may create a new chapter in our history. Even if it does not achieve its major goals, the Occupy movement has already registered upon our rulers the anger and unhappiness of a populace betrayed.
David Crosby and Graham Nash on Occupy Wall Street
Musicians David Crosby and Graham Nash discuss their impressions of the Occupy Wall Street movement with Keith. The duo also performs an original song a cappella.
“Keep Going! Keep Going! Keep Going!”
Graham Nash and David Crosby sing to protesters in Zuccotti Park today, “Teach Your Children Well”
I knew a ton of friends and family were gonna watch and probably repost, but I had no idea this would get picked up so fast by so many sites. Just wanna plughttp://occupywallst.org and if anyone is hating on what’s going on down there, then I doubt they’ve bothered to actually talk to anyone, or more importantly LISTEN.
Thank you to everyone who can stay down there and hold down the fort for all of us who have jobs and families to keep warm and fed each night. That’s all for now. OCCUPY [YOUR TOWN HERE].
Pete Seeger Leads Protesters, on Foot and in SongBy COLIN MOYNIHAN
The Occupy Wall Street protests have drawn their share of musical supporters over the past few weeks. On Friday night, Pete Seeger lent his voice to the cause, though the protesters had to go uptown to hear it.
Mr. Seeger, whose activist credentials go back at least as far as a benefit concert that he and Woody Guthrie did for California migrant workers in 1940 and who wrote or helped write populist ballads like like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and “If I Had a Hammer,” had been performing at Symphony Space at Broadway and 95th Street with Arlo Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s son, and others.
About 11 p.m., Mr. Seeger, 92, emerged from Symphony Space wearing a red knit cap and carrying two canes. He then set off south, walking at a brisk pace and accompanied by a crowd of about 600, some of them carrying placards declaring support for the self-declared 99 percent that have been occupying Zuccotti Park for five weeks.
The crowd sang as they marched in the October chill, their voices swelling softly and carrying words to songs Mr. Seeger helped popularize, including “Down by the Riverside,” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
“He’s a symbol of the peace movement,” said one of the marchers, Larry Manzino, a retired research scientist from Piscataway, N.J. “He’s a guy who never caved, a guy who had integrity, a guy who stood up and said no when he had to.”
Police officers on foot and in vans traveled with the march. People peered out at the crowd from storefronts. At West 79th Street, a man silhouetted in the lighted window of an apartment gave a thumbs up to the marchers below. The crowd began singing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”
T.J. Frawls, from Harlem, who said he was in an “apocalyptic punk metal band” called Universal Truth Machine marched along, strumming a guitar.
Despite the difference in their preferred genres, he said he was thrilled to be performing — sort of — with Mr. Seeger.
“He’s an icon of folk music, the people’s music.” Mr. Frawls said.
Shortly before 1 a.m. the crowd streamed into the center of Columbus Circle. There, surrounded by gushing fountains, musicians that included Arlo Guthrie, Tom Chapin and David Amram, joined Mr. Seeger on the base of the Christopher Columbus monument.
The crowd quieted. Guitars began strumming as Mr. Seeger began singing “We Shall Overcome,” a song that he introduced to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Occupation of Wall St. continues to grow in numbers, activities, and spirit. Last night there was a parent-toddler sleep-over in a padded and secure section of Zuccotti Park. Toddlers with decorated faces, dressed warmly against the chill, and munching bananas, raisins, and Oreos got ready to settle for the night with a combination of curiosity and excitement. Meanwhile, a large group of Verizon workers, prepared for a looming strike, marched past the park as occupiers joined them en route to a Verizon facility where they rallied.
Life in the park has taken on all the aspects of a thriving community. There are concerts, religious services, a newspaper is published, there’s a library, food, and rudimentary medical care is given. Decisions are made at daily assemblies where all are encouraged to speak and vote.
The evening ended on New York’s Upper West Side where a group of occupiers met the people leaving a Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Clearwater folk concert and all, including Pete, now 92 years old, and Arlo, marched to Columbus Circle about 2 miles away. Singing all the way, when they reached their destination, about 1,000 strong, they sang a number of songs, some dating back to the struggle for civil rights such as “We Shall Overcome” thereby linking the struggles of the past with the one going on now for democracy and economic justice.
More Photos can be seen in THIS presentation from the New York Times
(They finally found some news that was ‘fit to print’)
age in the face of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard.
Some background on the above videos can be seen HERE
The Palestinian school administrator said his wife Huda had been killed in their home by an Israeli tank shell during the army’s March 8 assault on the Aida refugee camp. The army wouldn’t comment and foreign journalists weren’t allowed inside the camp.
But Israeli media were allowed to ride along with the soldiers, and they went right into the Hawarjeh home. An Israeli camera recorded the army blowing off the door, and found Huda Hawarjeh bleeding on the floor.
The pictures conformed to Ismail Hawarjeh’s story about his wife being hit by shrapnel in the front hallway of the house, and about the Israeli soldiers doing little to help her for an hour while she bled to death in front of her five children.
Finally, the soldiers allowed an ambulance to come to a nearby street, and soldiers helped Hawarjeh carry his wife to it. Doctors tried to revive her at the hospital but couldn’t.
Huda Hawarjeh was one of seven people to die in the Bethlehem area that day.
The Israeli army allows the media such close access on the understanding it can embargo anything it doesn’t want broadcast.
The tapes of the assault on the Hawarjeh home fell into that category. But Channel 2 broke the embargo anyway.
The army, government and many Israeli citizens didn’t like what they saw.
Channel 2 showed Hawarjeh begging soldiers to allow an ambulance through. The camera captured the terror of the woman’s daughter, and her brother’s attempt to stop her from showing the soldiers her fear.
After the woman was finally taken out, one of the soldiers looked into the camera and said: “I don’t know what we’re doing here. Purification, maybe. It’s dirty here. I don’t know why a good Hebrew boy should be here, so far from his home.”
The soldiers tore the home apart, evidently looking for weapons.
Another daughter begged them not to demolish the home’s wall. Soldiers commonly smash walls to move into adjacent houses.
Israeli spokesman Ranaan Gissin said the government was disappointed by the decision to air the tapes. “I would have expected a little bit more self-censorship on the part of the Israeli media,” he said.
Ma’ariv, Israel’s second-biggest newspaper, ran the story on its front page on Monday, under a banner headline that read “Gaffe!”
The army, after trying to suppress distribution of the pictures, admitted the soldiers’ actions pushed the boundaries of public acceptance.
“Our action is so difficult to be done that it is to the extremities of acceptance,” said Olivier Rafowicz, an Israeli Defence Force spokesman.
He called what happened in the Hawarjeh home “a mistake.”
Help us spread all of the above, it’s the only way people will be able to take sides, hopefully the side of Justice!