BIBI’S ACADEMY AWARD PERFORMANCE

Where should I begin? The 25 or so standing ovations? The emphatic nodding and smiles of Congress heads at almost each and every word Bibi said? The ridiculous welcome that looked more like the entrance of a demi-god than of a controversial head of state? If Netanyahu’s address were not so dangerous – and frankly, insulting – the entire episode would have come across as simply absurd.
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Netanyahu at the Congress: What a Show

By Joharah Baker

Sisyphus’ battle is a piece of cake compared to the uphill trudge the Palestinians will have to make in trying to convince the US of their cause. After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress on May 24, the effort seems almost pointless.

Where should I begin? The 25 or so standing ovations? The emphatic nodding and smiles of Congress heads at almost each and every word Bibi said? The ridiculous welcome that looked more like the entrance of a demi-god than of a controversial head of state? If Netanyahu’s address were not so dangerous – and frankly, insulting – the entire episode would have come across as simply absurd.

I’ve come to think that perhaps the Palestinians are not the party that should be most insulted, however. US President Barack Obama, visiting friends on the other side of the Atlantic, probably shook his head in resignation when he heard Netanyahu slight him before his own lawmakers.

But back to the Palestinians, since that is the battle in which I take personal interest. There are actually two battles we must wage: one with Americans who have a sense of foreign politics in this region and one who have no idea whatsoever.

Most of those who do have a sense unfortunately share the sentiments of the overzealous Congress. Pro-Israel is as popular as pro-American in this group of people, maybe even more. Seriously, where else would a foreign leader get such a warm welcome for a speech that clearly rejects the policies of the country’s own leader? And with such absurd arguments to boot.

“I recognize that in a genuine peace, we will be required to give up parts of the Jewish homeland. In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo,” insisted Netanyahu.

Right off the bat, Palestinians were pushed to the side as the unlawful squatters on “Jewish land.” The congressmen and women, no doubt, praised Bibi with a round of applause. “No distortion of history can deny the four thousand year old bond, between the Jewish people and the Jewish land.” Four thousand years? Hmm…

The bottom line is, the moment Benjamin Netanyahu stood up before the Congress, it was a losing battle of epic proportions for the Palestinians. I mean, if they weren’t happy with President Obama’s speech – which by the way the Palestinians were hardly jumping for joy about – just imagine the level of empathy this Republican-majority Congress had for the Palestinian cause. That’s right – just below zero.

Which brings me to the second battle – the one with the “less-than-informed” American people. As demonstration of the actual level of some Americans’ basic knowledge of the conflict, let me offer a small personal experience.

“So, where are you from?” I am often asked by some friendly salesperson, waitress or random neighborhood dog walker on my trips back to the US.

“I’m from Palestine,” I answer, almost always preparing myself for the follow up explanation.

“Oh, Pakistan? That’s so far away.”

“No, Palestine; you know, Jerusalem,” I correct.

“Oh, you mean Israel?”

“No, I mean Palestine. I am Palestinian, not Israeli,” I make sure to clarify.

“Oh.”

Of course, not all of my interactions with average Americans are so trying. But the common belief is that Israel is a land for the Jews and that the Palestinians are naturally inclined to violence and just won’t take Israel’s outstretched hand in peace.

Nobody likes being put on the defensive, but that is exactly the position Palestinians are put in time and again, especially in the United States – whether at the official level or even among the people.

Still, after listening to President Obama and then to the patronizing speech Netanyahu gave before Congress I am convinced now more than ever that our work is among the American people, a people with compassion and opinions of their own, who just might change their minds if they would only get to know us and hear us out. A bit of education goes a long way and I for one am ready to offer anything I can that would give the Palestinians even the slightest chance at being understood.

Lesson number one: Benjamin Netanyahu, regardless of his little American-jokes made in his deep-voiced American accent, is no man of peace.

Joharah Baker is Director of the Media and Information Department at the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH).

Source Via Uruknet

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The Voice of Dissent at the Congress
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Rae Abileah of CodePink on Disrupting Netanyahu’s Congress Speech: “He’s the Main Obstacle to Peace”

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From Alex Kane*

AIPAC’s thuggery comes home

The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is committed to supporting Israel’s thuggish right-wing government–no matter how much land is confiscated from Palestinians, no matter how many homes are bulldozed, and no matter how many Palestinians are killed.  And, it appears, AIPAC’s support of violence also applies to the U.S.

Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American activist with CODEPINK and Jewish Voice for Peace and who is of Israeli descent, interrupted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress yesterday.  She shouted:   “No more occupation! Stop Israel war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupation is indefensible!”  She was tackled by members of AIPAC, and was subsequently hospitalized and then arrested.

From the CODEPINK press release:

Police arrested CODEPINK peace activist Rae Abileah at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. Abileah was taken to the hospital after having been assaulted and tackled to the ground by AIPAC members of the audience in the House Gallery during Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Abileah interrupted Netanyahu with a banner that said  “Occupying Land Is Indefensible” and shouting, “No more occupation, stop Israel war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.” She rose up to speak out just after the Prime Minister talked about the youth around the world rising up for more democracy.

As this 28-year-old Jewish American woman spoke out for the human rights of Palestinians, other members of the audience—wearing badges from the conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee—brutally attacked her. The police then dragged her out of the Gallery and took her to the George Washington University Hospital, where she was being treating for neck and shoulder injuries.

“I am in great pain, but this is nothing compared to the pain and suffering that Palestinians go through on a regular basis,” said Abileah from her hospital bed. “I have been to Gaza and the West Bank, I have seen Palestinians homes bombed and bulldozed, I have talked to mothers whose children have been killed during the invasion of Gaza, I have seen the Jewish-only roads leading to ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank. This kind of colonial occupation cannot continue. As a Jew and a U.S. citizen, I feel obligated to rise up and speak out against stop these crimes being committed in my name and with my tax dollars.”

Abileah explained that she stands in solidarity with the Palestinian and Israeli activists who are routinely jailed and beaten for speaking out for democracy.

8 Comments

  1. Schlesinger said,

    May 26, 2011 at 11:38

    thanks for this passionate and thorough analyzis. As a matter of fact Bibi outsmarted congressman and they didn’t even realized. He managed to introduce his demographical problem right onto the negotiation table. It’s no longer about the right of return, but the ethnical nature of Israel. This is new to the “process”, bit Netanyahu received full approval for it.

  2. J Rouch said,

    May 26, 2011 at 20:00

    Schlesinger – Outsmarting US congresspersons isn’t very hard. I’m convinced most are idiots. Other than Ron Paul how often do you hear anything of any intelligence coming from any of them? They speak in sound bites, often times contradict themselves and rarely can answer real questions.

    Probably easier to outsmart a congresscritter than a dog or a cat.

  3. May 26, 2011 at 20:20

    […] BIBI’S ACADEMY AWARD PERFORMANCE « Desertpeace. May 26th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized | Leave a comment | […]

  4. May 27, 2011 at 00:59

    […] Continue reading here: BIBI’S ACADEMY AWARD PERFORMANCE […]

  5. Rob said,

    May 27, 2011 at 02:53

    There should be a remake of “Scarface”, with Al Pacino playing Nitanyahoo; with the same ending. Then, that ending should occur with Nitanyahoo himself, for real. The Zionist world order in a pool of blood. Hope springs eternal.

  6. Howard T. Lewis III said,

    May 27, 2011 at 08:34

    Bibi really believes in his self-indulgence. He wallows in his success like a wino rolling in his own mess in an alley way. No soul. No heart. No class. No hesitation.

  7. Schlesinger said,

    May 27, 2011 at 14:26

    @JRoach
    “They speak in sound bites, often times contradict themselves and rarely can answer real questions.” Thats exactly was Uri Avnery lately reported from his own experience in WashDC. I havent’t met congressman or senators yet, though I hope that some of them are smart (as opposed to clever) at least when it not comes to Israel or the Arabs or muslim world.

  8. Deb said,

    May 30, 2011 at 04:17

    re: “I am convinced now more than ever that our work is among the American people, a people with compassion and opinions of their own, who just might change their minds if they would only get to know us and hear us out.”
    Mr. Baker – you think we are ignorant, impressionable people, huh? Wrong. We have VALUES, and we will CONTINUE to support ISRAEL. It has absolutely nothing to do with their past, current, future leader(s) – Yes, it much, much deeper than that. We support ISRAEL based on what our Father God told Abram concerning him & his descendents in Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
    Mark my word – keep messing w/Israel, as I know you & the rest of the Middle East will because it it prophesied in God’s Word – and God will mess with you… I would NOT want to be in Pres Obama’s shoes, your’s or anyone who turns their back on Israel, God’s Promised Land.
    Open yourself to God and He will show you the TRUTH & the ONLY WAY to redemption.


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