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‘If Rosa Parks could have called a press conference it would have looked like this’

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Today I appreciate the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Spier for his video coverage (above) that begins with his saying, “If Rosa Parks could have called a press conference, it would have looked something like this,” as well as  referencing the Freedom Riders as “Freedom Riders” and interviewing stellar and brave Huwaida Arraf and Badee’ Dwaik. It thrills me to no end to hear their voices. I love hearing Palestinian voices, the universal voice of sumud against the oppressor, a voice they own like none other in our time.

I am thankful to all the journalists who showed up ensuring this was a somewhat safe passage.

Most of all, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Nadeem Al-Sharbate, Huwaida Arraf, Dr.Mazin Qumsieyeh, Fadi Qura’an, Basel Al-Araj, and Badee’ Dwaik for holding up my world.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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36 Responses

  1. annie
    November 16, 2011, 12:21 pm

    i wanted to scream from the rooftops when i heard him channel rosa parks.


    • mudder
      November 16, 2011, 9:05 pm

      Here in Detroit and Michigan, long-time revered resident Rosa Parks is the closest thing to a saint that we have ever had. Her actions and braveness are deeply instilled in school-children. This is the environment that Huwaida Arraf grew up in.

      • mudder
        November 16, 2011, 9:17 pm

        And Rosa Parks’ spirit lives in Palestine.

  2. Exiled At Home
    November 16, 2011, 12:21 pm

    Thanks, Annie.

  3. Clif Brown
    November 16, 2011, 1:08 pm

    How things have changed for the better since the time of Rosa Parks’ bus ride. She was alone, there was no press, no video, even to make an audio recording would have been difficult as audio cassettes were in the future. Let people say what they will about technology, for outing what needs to be outed, we are living in a wonderful time.

    But more could be done. How about a way to up-link to satellite from a cheap camcorder? With this it would be possible to get video/audio without the possibility of the authorities (in any of their many forms) grabbing the memory chip or tape. For example, you are being approached by people who intend to beat you. With the up-link, everyone can see it coming along with you and no destruction or seizure of your equipment can stop your video from being seen because it has already been sent.

    • Daniel Rich
      November 16, 2011, 4:37 pm

      Hi Clif,

      Not not deflate your balloon of hope, but there’s always good ol’ jamming to spoil your joy.

    • Proton Soup
      November 16, 2011, 4:54 pm

      i’ve been thinking about this for a while. the thing is, you’ve got to be sneaky about it. you can’t announce what you’re doing, or what you’ve done. most especially it can’t be obvious how. the very first thing the IDF navy did when intercepting the boats was transmitting radio interference. secrecy and flexibility are key. satellites are probably not necessary. you could broadcast WiFi to multiple recipients nearby. you might even want to jump around and use some different frequencies or technologies, or even have equipment that broadcasts on delay. you might even embed recorders in equipment that could be retrieved in a more invasive manner later, assuming the equipment is returned. but most of all, you can’t be predictable.

  4. Kathleen
    November 16, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Great post. Thanks Annie. Crisp and clear.

    You know the Israeli police would have behaved differently if all of those journalist were not there.

    The whole world is watching!

    Well except MSNBC, CNN, Faux, etc etc etc

    Did NPR cover this at all. Most likely not

  5. dadaz
    November 16, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I would like to tell the zionist colonizer who said that he would not be allowed into ramallah, that maybe he’s not welcomed because he’s colonizing and confiscating palestinian lands… but there are jews who live in ramallah next to palestinians, who are married to palestinians, activists who come from around the world who are jews protest side by side with palestinians… so no one stops anyone entering ramallah or stops a jew from entering…EXCEPT for the israeli offence army soldiers who won’t allow him to enter and spread propaganda about palestinians claiming that they are all terrorists and that its dangerous for him to come..

    • annie
      November 16, 2011, 6:09 pm

      we know dadaz, this allegation was made here also and it is not true. thank you

  6. seafoid
    November 16, 2011, 2:28 pm

    Israeli border police are the least intellectually capable employees of the Israeli state. In bolstering the occupation they act against their own class interests. The Palestinians should be their allies.

  7. jonah
    November 16, 2011, 2:57 pm

    “It doesn’t end until Israel’s colonial apartheid regime is dismantled”, says the Palestinian activist in the interview. What exactly does she mean with “Israel’s colonial …. is dismantled?”. She doesn’t elaborate, but we can assume (and hope) that she is referring to the settlements in the so-called territories.
    Regrettably, the same thing is saying Hamas, whose declared goal is however to destroy Israel as state and nation and to erect an Islamic Caliphate in the whole region. This goal is written with fire in the Hamas Charter, and was demonstrated eloquently with thousand of rockets fired on Israeli Southern communities, after Israel actually dismantled in toto the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip.
    So, who are we now expected to believe, the moderate Palestinian stance, politically represented by the Palestinian Authority, or the radical hostile position of the Islamist party, especially considering that soon the two seemingly different “souls” of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination (and beyond) will sit in the same government?
    This fundamental ambiguity (or shall we more correctly say duplicity?) of the Palestinian position makes the quite imperfect status quo look far better and preferable than the false prospect of a “perfect peace” with the Palestinians.

    • Cliff
      November 16, 2011, 3:30 pm

      Shift change at Hasbara central.

      jonah’s troll-mode is in hyper-drive.

      1. ‘thousands of rockets’
      2. ‘israel left gaza and all it got was’ see number 1
      3. hamas charter
      4. israel is a democracy and hamas wants to establish a world-wide caliphate!

      You’re pathetic jonah.

    • eGuard
      November 16, 2011, 8:22 pm

      jonah, what is your problem with the word non-violent?

      And please tell us about that last time you trusted someone. Or were trusted by someone; whichever you remember after all these years.

    • eGuard
      November 17, 2011, 6:03 am

      jonah: What exactly does she mean with “Israel’s colonial colonial apartheid regime is dismantled?”. […] we can assume (and hope) that she is referring to the settlements in the so-called territories.
      Regrettably, the same thing is saying Hamas, […]

      So when the activist says it, we are to hope, but when Hamas says it, it is regrettable.

    • dahoit
      November 17, 2011, 10:56 am

      Jonah,if Israel had at its inception treated the indigenous peoples with dignity and amity all this nonsense of 60 years of idiocy would have been avoided and the two peoples would live together in peace and harmony.A light unto the world instead of this evil disaster of pride of place and hegemony.
      And I guarantee you that in the end,if there is not a sea change of attitude,the Israeli state will crumble just like their Crusader predecessors who seem to be the Zionist role model.
      You do know that Hamas credibility with their people,which is probably their strongest attribute,and which, as the result of the prisoner exchange is far higher than Fatahs ,would be hurt by their declaration of surrender to the Israeli occupier.Why would they give up any platform to people who keep them in cages and refuse to recognize their rights?

      • jonah
        November 17, 2011, 1:25 pm

        Here we are again. The same applies to you (as to Exiled). If your main argument is:”if there is not a sea change of attitude,the Israeli state will crumble just like their Crusader predecessors who seem to be the Zionist role model.” your are making yourself the spokes(wo)man of Hamas, whose Charter states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”.
        This kind of statements are unacceptable and I wonder why the editors of mondo publish them without flinching. Or did I miss something here? Is this maybe the official stance of mondo?

  8. Exiled At Home
    November 16, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Jonah, a single line from the Hamas charter from the 1980s reflects reality far less than actual facts on the ground today. The informed among us (which you are clearly not a part of) are well aware of Hamas’ many offers to accept the state of Israel, of its many conferences and negotiations with European interlocutors, and of its attempts to rein in those elements in Gaza which provoke Israeli retaliations. We’re also aware that despite Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Israeli upped the ante with illegal West Bank settlements on Palestinian land and its punishing and illegal blockade of Gaza. Your “assessment” is thus not based on reality.

    • DBG
      November 16, 2011, 3:45 pm

      Jonah, a single line from the Hamas charter from the 1980s reflects reality far less than actual facts on the ground today.

      A single line? have you read it lately?

      • Exiled At Home
        November 16, 2011, 6:21 pm

        Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.

        I see alot about the struggle against Zionism, and against the Jewish “merchants of war,” an apt description of Israeli leadership I might, but I see no other references to eliminating Israel or the Jewish people but the above mentioned line.

    • jonah
      November 16, 2011, 4:10 pm

      Cliffi –
      running out of topics?

      Exiled at home –
      “well aware of Hamas’ many offers to accept the state of Israel”

      If you are so well aware, you can surely provide some evidence, yes?
      When and where exactly does Hamas leaders stated to accept Israels existence as nation state – I mean, without contradicting each other and themselves at a distance of a couple of days?

      Is this the credibility versus duplicity you are referring to?

      • annie
        November 16, 2011, 6:25 pm

        jonah, what is your point in changing the framing from “accept the state of Israel” to “accept Israels existence as nation state “?

      • Exiled At Home
        November 16, 2011, 6:27 pm

        Thanks, Annie. I was just about to respond to Jonah’s abysmal lack of awareness. Here are a few more…

        2006, Hamas agreeing to Two-State Solution (which I reject as unjust, by the way) which means that it inherently recognizes Israel:

        2009, Hamas in secret talks with the EU:

        2010, Hamas in secret talks with the US:,7340,L-3910714,00.html

      • annie
        November 16, 2011, 6:52 pm

        thank you exiled. i just grabbed the first google links that popped up, npr being the most recent. i also recall reading a few interview w/meshaal (one the transcript of him on charlie rose btw). there is so much documentation of this but the hasbrats like humping that charter so much. like a bone they won’t let go of. oh well.

        i loved the opening of the video and thought it rather amazing coming from jpost even tho some of the framing was skewed. the access they had coupled w/the professionalism of the video’s really good. i hope someone else downloads it in case jpost decides to keep it for themselves at some point. history in the making.

      • jonah
        November 17, 2011, 5:03 am

        Well, annie, it is fine to google a few links to provide evidence. But you must also use the brain to put them in the right perspective.

        Actually, some Hamas leaders said to be ready to accept the 67-borders, but they clarified also that they would never recognize Israel because the recognition of Israel would deprive future Palestinian generations of the possibility to ‘liberate’ their lands. In other words, their recognition of the 67-borders, which would imply a Palestinian state next to Israel, appears to be a means to continue their struggle against Israel in the future generations.

        Read it yourself:

        As you can see, there is nothing here that could somehow exonerate the Palestinians from the charge of duplicity and unreliability as a partner for peace.

      • jonah
        November 17, 2011, 7:44 am

        … and we can desume another thing from the above stated and well documented rejection of Israel’s existence by Hamas. The fact that activists as the girl in the video, together with all the others here, fail to distance themselves from Hamas and its aggressive goal to destroy Israel, and actually do relativize or even support the radical Islamist strategy, naivily thinking that it’s for the sake of peace, willingly closing their eyes in front of the wolf in sheep’s clothing – makes them appeasers of radicalism and reveals a worrying lack of awareness of reality. So, the duplicity and unreliability of Palestinian extremists fall on pro-Palestinian Western supporters, whose silence, whitewashing or even complicity with the first cast a grim light on the declaimed “rightness” of their cause.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 17, 2011, 9:34 am

        ” some Hamas leaders said ”

        ” exonerate the Palestinians ”

        Jonah, you cannot base an approach to an entire people based on what some members of that people have said, you fucking bigot.

      • Exiled At Home
        November 17, 2011, 10:22 am

        Considering that Hamas came about in the 1980s -with the full support of Israel who wanted to divide the PLO’s base of support- following decades of Palestinian inactivity in resisting the illegal occupation of its land, I really do not think that you or any other Israeli apologist is in a position to pass judgment on Hamas. Let’s face it, Israel is an illegitimate entity, carved out of another people’s land as a homeland for European Jewish zealots. There is nothing radical about resisting that.

      • jonah
        November 17, 2011, 12:30 pm

        Aha, so you are now resorting to the standard anti-Zionist slogans, eah? Since you have no arguments anymore to counter the claim that Hamas want indeed to eradicate Israel – regardless of the time needed – your receipt is, listen listen: “Israel is an illegitimate entity, carved out of another people’s land as a homeland for European Jewish zealots.” Seems to come straight out of the Hamas Charter which states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” and: “there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
        Maybe you are not fully aware of the fact that what you’re saying here – and what I fear is quite widespread in circles of “human rights activists” – is tantamount to an implicite admission of failure. The failure of the moderate position which contemplate the possibility of true peace and reciprocal acceptance as common ground for the future generations. Instead, you choose to follow down the path of extremism, both in mind-set and rhetoric. In doing so, you disqualify yourself and the same Western pro-Palestinian movement as serious partner of mediation and dialogue, and you confirm the prevailing view in the Israeli right, which does not believe in the good faith of the Palestinians and their supporters. Good job, really. Ss you sow, so shall your reap.

  9. jonah
    November 16, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Or even a couple of years, as the maansnew link shows.

  10. jonah
    November 16, 2011, 4:26 pm

    Please cancel my comment at 4:12 pm, I read the date wrong.

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2011, 6:31 pm

      “Please cancel my comment at 4:12 pm, I read the date wrong.”

      What is written in the Book of Life cannot be erased, Jonah.

  11. John Douglas
    November 16, 2011, 7:09 pm

    Thanks, Annie.

    You are wonderful and these young people are so incrediblt brave! It is very inspiring.

  12. annie
    November 16, 2011, 8:07 pm

    here’s a video of Al Jazeera’s Freedom Rider coverage (arabic)

  13. Elliot
    November 17, 2011, 9:51 am

    The Jerusalem Post?! I know the report was biased in support of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement. Yet, consider that the Jerusalem Post invokes Rosa Parks and frames this story to its readership (most of whom are settlers or settler-friendly) as a successful action.
    It is possible to get through to the settlers!

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