Total number of comments: 118 (since 2011-02-12 17:07:28)
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Max, as always a coherent and thought-provoking read. It is a truly unfortunate that the organizers won't release the video of this debate. If they change their mind please do post it.
On a related matter, during the Q&A session of Ali Abunimah's book event at the New School this past Friday evening, a pro-Israel audience member claimed that she was recently harassed at a BDS event and was allegedly called a "Jew bitch", and used this alleged occurrence to claim that BDS was anti-semitic. This disturbed me on a number of levels: 1) if it occurred we must be vigilant of any anti-semitic remarks/actions by any BDS members. 2) if it didn't occur, this may be an example of how the pro-Israel crowd will try to slander and undermine BDS. It also made me think of the recent report on MW w/ regards to StandWithUs tactics.
Ali's response and tone was exemplary, he was very respectful of her concerns and told her that BDS is NOT anti-semitic, the issue at hand is Zionism, and that any such actions will never be tolerated. He spoke at length on it and explained the reasoning behind BDS.
On a personal level and from my own experience as an activist who has taken part in Palestine justice campaigns in NY and DC, I have rarely come across any overt anti-semitic actions or comments, and have always steered away from or ostrasized any "provacateurs". I can recall a few times (and by few I mean not more than 3 or 4 instances ) when demonstrating/tabling some people approached us wanting to know more and making comments about "the Jews", and we could already sense from the tone that the individual had a bigoted angle; either we tried to explain that the issue concerned human rights, or we simply stopped any further interaction as a way of shutting off the individual. This is an issue to which the activists I have worked with are very sensitive about, primarily because a) many activists are themselves Jewish and b) anti-semitism goes against the values we uphold and fight for. It is as simple as that.
But this did happen and the evidence is clear that Israeli soldiers commit crimes against humanity.
What if this happened to Israeli players JeffB? Would you still be doubtful of the story? Honestly, your reply was so pathetic, it had not one iota of logic or reason to it. You didn't at all address the facts of this horrific incident because you can't. You know and I know (and I know because I witnessed your beloved trigger-happy, "Kill Arabs" helmeted cowards harassing/threatening/beating/humiliating Palestinians) that Palestinians have no recourse against the sadistic Israeli soldiers. The war crimes tribunal will one day catch up with these war criminals.
How do you account for 10 bullets in the feet?
In the meantime, BDS, BDS, BDS.
Truth Central can handle their bigotry. And then we get a comment like Nation7697's and all one can do is pity them. We have to recognize that some species devolve, nothing we can do to save them.
I just googled "greatest 20th century achievements" + "political achievements of the 2oth century," and lo and behold Israel is nowhere to be found. Granted, the search was done in English so it is Western/U.S.-centric, which may skew the results somewhat. Nonetheless, the miracle that is Israel is not on any of these lists of "greatest achievements". Only seems to be a "great" achievement at the AIPAC cult convention. Certainly a Palestinian who lost their land, home + livelihood to colonialism would never consider it an amazing accomplishment.
And to test out the theory, this is the result based on a poll I just took with family members and friends, RE: 20th century political achievements (disclaimer: of course 8 ppl responding has no qualitative value whatsoever but it was fun to do and so here it is):
Electricity (it's not a political achievement but my great aunt insists that this is better than Israel :-)
Civil Rights for African-Americans
Immunizations + Infectious Diseases Control (public health domain but impact was profound)
Victory over Nazism
link to brookings.edu
link to pollingreport.com
link to people-press.org
so JeffB, you agree that helping the oppressed and brutalized is commendable work?
But the question JeffB is: Will BDS push Israel OVER the edge?
JeffB doesn't understand what grassroots is or how it functions. I don't mean this in a snarky way, it is evident in his reply as well as previous comments where he conflates organized lobbying with a functioning democracy, but never takes into account the role of grassroots organizing.
link to mondoweiss.net
"Yes lobbies are the mechanism by which issue oriented coalitions petition the government for a redress of grievances."
that is one tent that we don't aspire to have membership to. No thank you.
I see what Shmuel did, such a masterful & subtle touch. Very good!
on behalf of the worldwide sister movement, we don't need the advocacy of tribalist bigots w/ vocabulary issues. We can take care of ourselves, thank you very much.
I have read many many articles and books about the occupation, and witnessed it firsthand, and still Rev. Hagler's and Mr. Fletcher's descriptions of what they experienced just blew me away. Very powerful. I have nothing but deep respect for these gentlemen.
Your Serene Highness Hophmi,
as the debate gatekeeper par excellence, would Palestinians be allowed into this conversation or is this matter simply to be "settled" between liberal Zionists and conservative Zionists? It would appear from all empirical evidence that the Palestinian people are the ones who are so graciously providing their land for expropriation by the Conservative & Liberal Zionists, it would then stand to reason that they are participants at this esteemed gathering.
Inquiring minds would like to know how your highness will rule on this matter.
LOL, Ritzl. I will gladly provide the art supplies if it keeps them occupied (no pun intended) and away from doing any further harm.
Something must be wrong with me, when I read JeffB's brain dump just now I actually started to feel sorry for him, the poor dear is reduced to blabbering.
I'm going to have a strong cup of coffee now and then take a walk around the block so that I can hopefully regain my senses that were attacked by JeffB's attempt at false equivalence.
after reading this exchange (my compliments on your mastery and analysis of the documentation), for some reason I recalled the often-cited quote from Abba Eban wrt to the Palestinians: "The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." (The quote is attributed to Abba Eban after the Geneva Peace Conference with Arab countries, 21 December 1973).
It struck me that the Palestinians were never actually given the chance to "miss an opportunity" given that Israel's publicly stated policies were just a ruse and smoke screen to obfuscate their actual intentions. This quote is therefore even more cynical, harmful and horrible in light of the actual intentions that you addressed.
The only certainty in this context with regards to "opportunity" is that Israel has never missed one to further demonize and dispossess the Palestinians.
A very worthy project, especially since, as mentioned, the Nakba still continues. I look forward to visiting the online project when it is made available.
Hophmi's memory is as porous as his ethics.
RE: Hophmi in defense of Bronner:
link to mondoweiss.net
There are/were many reporters in Palestine & Israel who didn't speak Arabic fluently but still had enough professionalism to do their research, hire trustworthy guides/stringers, and actually make the 20 minute trip from Jaffa Street in Jerusalem to downtown Ramallah. Why can't Rudoren do that?
It is sheer coincidence that I just came across this video of Maya tweeted by a friend, thought I would share it so others who are interested can hear Maya explaining her experience w/ the IDF.
Great interview, really inspiring. Leehee's insights are incredible & inspiring. It underscores what a collaborative effort this is, everyone has a part to play when justice is concerned.
isn't it precisely because one enjoys human rights privileges that one should advocate for those who are being denied it, instead of sitting on the sidelines in all the privileged-splendor? Think Hophmi, think.
Thanks for sharing this Kathleen, Maya's and Eran's courage and conviction is truly commendable, not something to be taken for granted. Their stories that you shared are very powerful and moving.
#1) when will you understand the dynamics between those who fight for justice and those who attempt to thwart it? Social Activist individuals/groups have always been spied on and infiltrated, it is a given. Just recently PBS aired a documentary on one such instance of it wrt the civil rights movement in Mississippi (link to video.pbs.org). This is not an isolated incident, it is a known tactic used countless times. Why do you think the NSA spying revelation was such a big deal? Because it is considered unconstitutional.
Whereas, on the other hand, social justice movements have no need to make use of these clandestine tactics, why would they exert effort on spying or infiltrating? What would be the purpose, how would the movement gain by it? It makes absolutely no sense, one side wishes to change the power structure by appealing to the sense of justice, rule of law and civil rights, the other side wishes to suppress those voices because of the truth they convey. Period. End of story.
#2) if you are convinced that the organizations you mention engage in covert methods then put on your investigative sleuth hat and present the evidence. If they do, they should be called out on it, because doing so undermines their cause and sullies their reputation along with all those they portend to represent. Period. End of story.
Evidence, Hophmi, evidence. You can't just present a case theory without the cold hard facts.
I am still waiting for you to provide the smoking gun on the secret Cooper Union BDS Conference.
I can't comment if you don't back up your statements with evidence. But you still haven't answered the question, have you?
Knock Knock, Hophmi, anybody home?
Many folks on this thread commented on the crucial difference between SWU & MW: Transparency & Openness.
But of course, you choose to ignore the critical factor that undermines all your arguments.
Care to comment on transparency, or rather lack of it at SWU?
Simple question: why is the information that StandWithUs compiles only accessible via username & password only made available to a select few, whereas here on MW the information/analysis/discussion is out in the open?
Once again, your chronically inept zio-defense has been exposed for the hasbara is it. Sorry to spoil your day.
Judith Butler is a treasure, we may not be lucky enough to be her students but her lectures are readily available on youtube, not to mention all the books she has authored. She has truly enriched my intellectual life. For me, censoring her scholarship is like the burning of books by barbaric invaders. It pains me.
link to youtube.com
link to goodreads.com
He's busy at hasbara central taking pointers, give him time, he'll come back with some nonsense.
you say you were denied the opportunity of being exposed to "diverse viewpoints"; fair enough, everyone's education is lacking in some way. There are ways to make up for it. But what I would like to know is, are you in pursuit of "diverse viewpoints" just for the novelty factor or do you actually plan to incorporate that knowledge into your political outlook? After all, I imagine that some members of the MW community will be a bit sceptical given your track record on denying basic rights to others, rights that you yourself enjoy.
Bear in mind that you say you are willing to sign a letter that starts off by stating: "I, an open-minded, intellectually honest, and unprejudiced student....".
How do you reconcile that statement with your expressed views here on this forum?
Hostage is truly deserving of that "Bravo" for the research/legal analysis he put into that awesome response. My part was easy, and may I say just plain fun!
The unfortunate part is that Ziobrains are programmed to be "in one ear, out the other", the intellectual matter that is expended on them defies the fundamental laws of physics in that it leaves no trace impact whatsoever. They keep repeating the same rusted-out, dried-up propaganda, while we keep banging the drums of justice/humanity/universality. And yet, like Sisyphus, we have no other choice but to keep on documenting and resisting.
To Mayhem, proponent of the "illegally legal":
I thought those settlements were legitimately illegitimate. At least according to all those conveniently inconvenient international bodies + laws + resolutions, unless they are all falsely false?
Perhaps I am being illogically logical? Perhaps it is the wording of those international resolutions that are comprehensively incomprehensible to proponents of humanely inhumane occupations?
Or is the world just being uncritically critical when it comes to Israel.
Not once does Krusty factor in the suffering that Zionism has wrought on Palestinians. Case Closed.
They must have forgotten the famous slogan from the '68 student riots in France: Il est interdit d'interdire! (trans: 'to ban is forbidden!')
that beacon of light keeps getting dimmer by the day.
The fact that we are even having this conversation about the possible consequences on Israel of the current BDS is amazing. That needs to be said over and over because it is a huge victory.
It is true that the elements of the South African and Israeli economies are different, the bottom line is that they both need(ed) outside investment and investors do not like to put their money in ventures that as Seafroid aptly describes as "tainted". BDS may not in and of itself deal a lethal blow to the occupation, it is all the other factors and actors that will have a domino effect. All we can do is continue to advocate and keep the pressure up.
Years ago when I would tell people (in a non-preachy way of course, more as a btw) about the settlement products and the oppression that those products are built upon, hardly anyone thought their singular contribution could make a difference. Now when I mention it those same people are much more receptive and want to have more information.
It won't happen overnight, we need to keep telling ourselves this, but happen it will. Unfortunately, as Henry states, it seems inevitable that there will be violence and resistance from the Israeli socio-political spectrum, but what choice is there? Not the status quo that is for sure.
This gave me a good laugh. Thanks for that!
Oh, honey, really? What respectability that institution has left you could put into a thimble and still have room for coffee.
Oh dear, oh dear. Mahane,
you don't even know when you are being played. Apart from trying to instill some humanity in you do we have to teach you to read between the lines too?
The President of the EU Parliament is doing the diplomatic dance, every politician does this, but only one who has majority backing of the decision-makers in the EU would slyly insert this ever-so-innocent question:
“A Palestinian youth asked me why an Israeli can use 70 cubic liters of water and a Palestinian just 17,” he said. “I haven’t checked the data. I’m asking you if this is correct.”
Do you honestly think that Schultz is a novice who is earnestly seeking answers from legislators that endorse apartheid policies? Schultz knows what is what. It was purely his/the EU's way of letting the racist loonies in the Knesset know that the gig is up, patience is wearing thin.
Since the Palestinian-oppressors are not used to being challenged, only fawned over and adored, I am not surprised to see the apoplexic reactions to Schultz.
Bonus Tip for you Mahane: Learning to read a room is an essential skill in interpersonal relations.
if possible, please share it with us as well. Thx.
It must have been subliminal then :-)
The dynamics in a nutshell:
Please sir, can I have some more:
#1 - Israelis already Live in PalestInian towns and villAges...it's called the Nakba.
#2 - The global community has something called the woRld wide web, it's a nifty invention and we can access aLl sorts of informatIon. So while you Are still living within the stone age, we have moved on. Thanks to oRganizations such as link to icahd.org , link to bdsmovement.net , link to alhaq.org and link to hrw.org - to name but a fraction of excellent organizations Providing fActual informatioN - most members of The human race are aware of Israel's human rightS transgressiOns aNd oppression of the Palestinian people.
#3 - Furthermore, If you caRed so much about intEgration with the Palestinian community then why are you only now bringing this up when by my simple question I prove A*P*A*R*T*H*E*I*D exists and is an official policy of the Israeli government as evidenced by their policies and actions?
I hAve but one simPle question for Birnbaum:
Why cAn Palestinians only woRk buT not live witHin the SettlEments built on theIr stolen lanD?
So basically, Hirsh and his ilk of Liberal Zionists were fine with the apartheid conditions in Palestine and the myriad human rights abuses meted out by the State of Israel, but now that the world is no longer intimated and is putting pressure on them, they are conceding that "perhaps" Israel went a little too far? Disgraceful. But I do love the fact that the more they try to improve Israel's image, the more they and Israel are exposed for what they are. Ain't no digging themselves out of the hole they themselves made.
very eloquently explained. Hats off to you.
Oops, something didn't go right with my html code. Here is the graphic:
link to thetruthseeker.co.uk
one should never ever speculate or make a rather casual and insensitive assumption of what causes someone to take their own life. The effects on a family are devastating, especially on a child's emotional well-being and development. Suicides happen in every culture, every society, under all sorts of socio-economic situations. From my understanding, Amoz Oz' mother suffered from depression and she took her own life when he was in his early teens. This event could have happened anywhere, anytime, and I don't necessarily think it is for any of us to make any correlations. All any of us can wish for is that she found peace.
Does Hoenlein care to explain how the Iranian Bazaaris are going to negotiate themselves out of this?
Military Bases Surrounding Iran in the Persian Gulf
The exchange reminds me of Abbott & Costello's "Who's on First":
link to youtube.com
In fact, I propose that the State Dept forgoes the daily press conferences and just shows this youtube clip instead :-)
this wasn't orchestrated, but they certainly tried to spin it to their advantage. Unfortunately, it won't work, any marketer will tell you that having one's brand associated with questionable social practices is not good business...their last resort is calling in the PR cavalry. Doesn't always work though, its very risky. The main winner here (apart from ScarJo's bank account) is the BDS movement because of greater awareness around it, and the fact that more and more people will be less inhibited to question Israel's apartheid practices. SodaStream can't brush under the rug the fact that more people know that their production is in illegally occupied territory and in contravention of international law.
Outing the oppressors and those who profit from oppression can't get more succinct than this. Bravo!
can you point us to where we can get this financial information. I am not challenging your statement. Genuinely interested in reading further on it. If accurate, it is a valuable contribution. Thanks.
"All those that think that she was unaware and a bubblehead are wrong, imho. She simply thought that it would cause nary a blip on the radar, since acceptance of all things Israel was de rigueur. Not anymore!"
Completely agree, she's been living in her privileged, Hollywood bubble, blissfully riding along on the old memes, that Israel is universally adored and worshiped....but she got a rude awakening, Israel is not so cool after all, but to her detriment she's still putting her money on apartheid.
"What I am saying is that the Palestinians, as a people invented during the past 60 years, have no rights to anything in Jerusalem."
Invented people, LOL. Is that like a scientific cloning experiment? Or perhaps an outer space alien invasion? This thread is a riot. Keep them coming Giladg, they say laughter is the best medicine.
"It turned out they were referring to Abu Dis,(or was that Al Quds) as the new Capital of Palestine."
It was Abu Dis. Al Quds is the Arabic name of Jerusalem.
Thanks for posting that report Talknic, I'm reading it now. When I lived in the West Bank, waking up to find no water coming from the taps was a common occurrence. Funny how giladg says that Palestinians should be "flexible". SMH.
The Benevolent Occupation, all the Occupiers need is your cooperation:
We need your land for our settlement, please be flexible. We shot your son, yanni, please be reasonable. Oh those settlers, they uprooted your trees again, c'mon, show a little understanding. Sorry folks, checkpoints closed due to military orders, don't complain, think of it as a holiday. You Palestinians in Gaza are misbehaving so we're putting you a restricted caloric intake diet, look on the bright side, everyone could use a diet now and then. Sorry, no Palestinians on this road allowed, but you get to take the longer scenic route, aren't you lucky! Honestly, we don't want to have to build factories in the settlements, but we do it for your own good so that we can provide you with work.
"Most of the water in aquifers in the region just happen to be located under Arab towns and cities. This means that the Palestinians will need to be flexible on this point."
If most of the water aquifers are located under Palestinian towns and cities then why is Israel stealing it from them?
I think your suggestions and strategy is spot on. I think it is worth contacting Oxfam and suggesting they take ScarJo on a visit to witness the realities of Occupation first hand. An excellent opportunity for providing greater exposure and education.
the choice of candidates was dismal, Llota a republican backed by Koch money or Quinn with a proven track record of fund misappropriation, bullying of NYC council members and her close ties to developers. The voters are not criminal, we are simply pawns of a corrupt political machine that is fueled and run by the money of Wall Street and other influential moneyed power brokers..
Phil referenced the book, "Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA" and thought I would share this video which I came across the other day when googling the book.
Prior to the book's launch the editors and contributors held a forum in NYC a couple of months back.
Left Forum 2013: Imagine Living in a Socialist USA
link to vimeo.com
I guess de Blasio's campaign slogan "Tales of Two Cities" referred to New York and Tel Aviv.
I am not shocked, disgusted, but not shocked. AIPAC lobbying has reached new heights, it's on steroids because the opposition and activism has become stronger and more vocal. There is less fear to call out Israel's human rights transgressions. This had been stifled and silenced for so long, but something changed and now people are no longer as afraid. As the saying goes, Fear of the wolf makes it look bigger than it actually is.
So, when this is taken into consideration AIPAC's actions are only a sign of the strength of our position. And the more they try to buy off our elected officials, and the more they lobby for military actions, and the more they push the boundaries of deceit, the greater the chances that they will stumble....and of course, the greater will be the outrage.
It's all Shakespearean tragedy at this point. He wrote the script on ambition and deception of this magnitude, and the end never bodes well.
I think we should encourage this budding relationship between Harper and Israel. After all, the US citizenry may stand to gain lots from it if we unload Israel onto Canada. Let Harper put his money where his mouth is and take over the payments to the welfare state. I hate to do this to the Canadian people but we have to think of our self-interest first ;-)
The slogan Israel can use: We have a friend in Jesus Harper.
Thank you Monsieur Just :-)
First of all, the director identifies himself as Palestinian, not Arab. Israel cannot steal his identity just because it stole his land. Your deflecting strategy has been attempted countless times before by other hasbarists and has continuously failed. You can repeat it as many times as you like but it will not blot out the truth of how Israel has, and continues to, perpetrate ethnic cleansing.
Furthermore, Arab is not considered a nationality, it is an ethnic group. Someone from Jordan may be an Arab ethnically but their nationality remains Jordanian, and so on for Egyptians, Iraqis, Syrians, Qataris, Omanis, Kuwaitis, etc. Similar in concept to how French, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, etc are Europeans but nationally are identified by their respective and sovereign nations. I could go on and on with examples.
I suggest you do further reading on the topic of pan-ethnic groupings so that your contributions are more constructive: link to en.wikipedia.org
That’s the beauty of America; you can celebrate your HERITAGE and still feel at HOME, at least when BIGOTS are not trying to change all of that by making accusations of dual LOYALTY or calling for restrictions on FREEDOM of speech as some here do.
Meanwhile in Zionbantustan, non-Jews are subjected to ethnocratic, theocratic, nationalistic and racist policies that try to exclude and marginalize them. But Hophmi staunchly supports the pillars of all the apartheid barriers, lest anything spoil his privilege.
thanks for this link Harry, super helpful!
aren't the Palestinians lucky to have someone like Mike Konrad to validate their identity? ;-)
Not really Oleg, I doubt that his mistreated tenants would really care about such a distinction. Besides, human rights are universal, that is what everyone here keeps telling you but you somehow always twist things around in your quest to preserve your Jewish privilege in your Jewish Disneyland.
well said, Phil.
Speaking of straws, Hophmi keeps clutching at them in desperation, trying to stem the tide of justice.
the fact that you try to deflect the inhumane conditions that Palestinians endure at Israeli checkpoints by trying to compare it to an overcrowded subway car exposes your lack of humanity. I am glad you try to do this, because it reinforces why we keep fighting for human rights.
Since you supposedly have experienced overcrowding in a subway car, I now suggest you share the cattle car experience that Palestinians endure multiple times daily and then report back to us.
Lastly, when the Palestinians gain their freedom, land and self-determination, consider it an added bonus that in the process many Israelis will also be liberated from their self-imposed shackles of prejudice, intolerance and hatred.
The Settler's Arse-nal
markrcca, just in case you didn't know:
On Dec 15, 2013, "The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) has declared its support for the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
“As the elected council of an international community of Indigenous and allied non-Indigenous scholars, students, and public intellectuals who have studied and resisted the colonization and domination of Indigenous lands via settler state structures throughout the world, we strongly protest the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of the Israeli state that systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples,” NAISA’s governing body announced in a “Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.”
Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions can be found at link to naisa.org
(courtesy of EI report, link to electronicintifada.net)
Just saw this on Twitter:
The graduates who walked out! What courage! No honor in apartheid. BDS now!! #GMU #masongrad #arisonIDEA
Photo here ----> pic.twitter.com/DHNRRpstJF
July 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm
You can’t steal what was yours in the first place.
are you exhausted, have you been overexerting yourself? Perhaps you forgot to take your dose of hasbara vitamins today. Phil was commenting on a piece just published by The Forward newspaper. So this information is already in the public domain. In case that doesn't sink in, many publications publish salary lists and wealth statistics, among the most commonly cited is the Forbes 400. Does this make them jealous, or do you just assert that flimsy accusation as a diversionary tactic here in this forum that is critical of Israel?
well said, Amigo! (double-entrendre with your name intended :-)
There were black doctors in Apartheid era South Africa too. Does that erase or mitigate the fact that apartheid was a legal doctrine violently enforced by the white-dominated government? Nelson Mandela was a lawyer by profession, relatively privileged in comparison to the majority that toiled for low wages, yet he was a leader in the anti-apartheid movement. Please go back to the hasbara drawing board and try again.
In so many ways, and layer upon layer, this was a fascinating post to read. From the personal to the political, there were so many insightful gems that readers will identify with. The hero of the story is the aptly named "Wise Woman", she had the courage of her convictions to be frank and straightforward with her thoughts, with a complete stranger nonetheless. And the anti-hero is our very own Phil :-) It takes an introspective purveyor of truth to reflect on this interaction and express the lessons learned. A truly wonderful piece of writing that expanded my horizons.
just to get this straight, you consider it "EVIL" to do a feature on "lousy music" but yet remain silent about home demolitions, imprisonment of non-violent protesters, the siege of Gaza, theft of land, Military & Settler violence against Palestinians, etc?
more lyrics to help Ofra: "we bulldozered you with our love"
in case you've been living under a rock these past few years, we've had uprisings and strikes all over the world in response to corporate neo-feudalism & tyranny. We are living in tumultuous times and only if one is living off the grid do you not see the movements and leaders that have emerged and will continue to emerge in response to the corporate stranglehold over our resources and communities. Also, I suggest you read up on the economic struggles South Africans have been enduring in the wake of apartheid's end. That transition came at a price, one that I am sure was worth it but it gave birth to a new, different struggle that, as Jonathan pointed out, is a global problem.
Excellent, and sobering, analysis that is very needed in this moment as Mandela's legacy and South Africa's apartheid & post-apartheid struggle is being re-shaped, distorted and contextualized to fit the political class's narrative.
"Mandela was rehabilitated into an “elder statesman” in return for South Africa being rapidly transformed into an outpost of neoliberalism, prioritising the kind of economic apartheid most of us in the west are getting a strong dose of now."
My point still stands though, for a remarkably detailed author's bio an important detail - especially w/ regards to her novel and her professed values - is conspicuously not mentioned, i.e., her marriage to a Palestinian.
Corasanti's bio (link to thealmondtreebook.com) is very detailed but nowhere is it mentioned that she was married with a Palestinian. I find it curious that she leaves out that detail considering that she regales us with such minutiae such as the fact that she "returned to public school for seventh grade [and] stopped wearing skirts with pants underneath" and was "lying on a lounge chair, by the pool, at the Setai hotel, in South Beach, sipping a cosmopolitan" when she had her moment of epiphany and decided to tell her story.
There is something in Corasanti's bio which troubles me, and which I keep coming back to. It strikes me that Corasanti has never resolved that part of her life in which she was associated/married with a Palestinian man. It is almost as if writing this novel was her way of coming to terms with her past. In Corasanti's own words she had buried her past:
"For twenty years, Michelle successfully buried her past and
pretended it never happened until she started reading Khaleed
Hosseni’s book, The Kite Runner. She was lying on a lounge chair,
by the pool, at the Setai hotel, in South Beach, sipping a
cosmopolitan. She was on vacation with her husband and twins. She
didn’t have a care in the world until Amir, the protagonist, said that
the past can’t be buried, that it finds the means to claw its way out.
And like Amir, Michelle’s past found a way to call her. And there she
was face-to-face with her worst nightmares and her greatest
failures. One might say a defining moment. And Michelle decided,
that she wanted her children to know, that she had seen injustice."
Oddly, if one were to read just her bio, in no way does one get the sense that she was married to a Palestinian. Is she still keeping this buried? If yes, why? My impression is of someone who shut out that part of her life and now needs to reconcile with. And this book is a byproduct of that.
I can understand the fear you must be feeling at the thought of reading Max's book. I sympathize with you for it is not easy to expose one's beliefs to a reality that may completely undermine your raison d'etre, the foundations upon which you built your identity. It can be an emotionally traumatic event & process when the reality starts to sink in of what Israel truly is. Any challenge to an idea that we have invested our lives in is painful but there can be no development or growth without challenges. I don't say this mockingly or tritely. It is simply a part of the human experience and condition, and avoiding or denying it leaves you stuck in an unresolved state of being where there are many contradictions and fears. We each go at our own pace, but one's inability to confront the truth does not only affect the individual but society as well, and therein lies the tragedy.
thanks to your link, I just read through the author's bio, an excruciatingly long, rambling, and disjointed bio but it is pure gold, and a must read.
I honestly don't know where to begin with regards to the contents/context/framing as presented in the author's bio, but it must be read for it truly sheds light on the mindset of the author. Here are some highlights (in chronological order):
- [Leaves Utica, NY at 16 to go to an Israeli boarding school in central Israel - 1982] As it turned out, Michelle’s socializing helped advance her Hebrew more than the flash cards [her friend] Miriam was constantly reviewing in their room.
- [Israel] When Michelle graduated from high school [in Israel], she enrolled in the preparatory program at the Rothberg International School to improve her Hebrew in order to attend the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her boyfriend [a Kahanist, per the author] was unhappy. “There are too many Arab Israelis in Jerusalem.”
- Michelle’s parents, in an attempt to break-up her relationship with the Kahanist, sent her to Paris for the summer to study French. There she met a girl from Beverly Hills and they spent most of their nights in exclusive clubs filled with rich, educated Lebanese men. Those were the first Arabs Michelle had ever met. They had quite a different version of Israel than the one she had learned. With her eyes opened, Michelle returned to Israel.
- [Hebrew University] After she dropped the Kahanist, Michelle enrolled in the Middle Eastern studies program at the Hebrew University. She was the only American in her department. The rest of the students were Israeli Jews and “Arab Israelis.” After her experience in Paris, Michelle befriended the latter, but they were nothing like the elite Lebanese she had met. They were poor, second-class citizens and Michelle had to hide her friendship with them out of fear she might be failed-out. At the start, Michelle was the only one in the department who didn’t know who Mohammad [presumably referencing the Prophet] was. As she soon learned, both the “Arab Israelis” and Michelle had no knowledge of the version of Islam and Middle Eastern History that was being taught at her department. [from not knowing who the Prophet was to now being able to distinguish a distorted "version of Islam"]
-  The last year Michelle was there, the intifada broke out. Things went from horrible to unbearable. Something needed to be done and Michelle was determined to help bring it about. Michelle returned to the United States to pursue her master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard. She was determined to devote herself to achieving a just peace in the Middle East and defending the oppressed. She devoted her every breath to that goal.
- [Meets Hasan, Palestinian-Israeli, in the US] Due to circumstances, Hasan was only able to attend school on occasion. But because he was brilliant in math and science, he didn’t need more. He eventually won a scholarship to the university. There, the Israelis recognized his genius and embraced him. He grew up in a mud brick one room house. They didn’t get electricity until he left for college. Michelle was going to make up for everything he had suffered.
Since Michelle spoke to him in Arabic, she hadn’t realized that his English was practically non-existent and so Michelle had to spend many evenings translating and listening to his lectures in Chemical Physics.
- Michelle decided to do an internship her last semester in law school with her father’s law firm in her hometown. There, she met her husband who had recently returned home from Los Angeles and never looked back. She had wanted to save the Palestinians and in the end she only saved herself.
- For twenty years, Michelle successfully buried her past and pretended it never happened until she started reading Khaleed Hosseni’s book, The Kite Runner. She was lying on a lounge chair, by the pool, at the Setai hotel, in South Beach, sipping a cosmopolitan. She was on vacation with her husband and twins. She didn’t have a care in the world until Amir, the protagonist, said that the past can’t be buried, that it finds the means to claw its way out. And like Amir, Michelle’s past found a way to call her. And there she was face-to-face with her worst nightmares and her greatest failures. One might say a defining moment. And Michelle decided, that she wanted her children to know, that she had seen injustice and that she would try to do something about it. And so Michelle wrote the story that had been inside of her for so long.
The Kite Runner forced Michelle to deal with her past, but it also gave her a way to be good again. She realized that when she read the passage about how history and religion weren’t easy to overcome and in the end Amir was a Pashtun and Hasan a Hazara— she knew she was finally ready to tell the story that had been inside her for twenty years. She would show how such obstacles between Israelis and Palestinians could be transcended for she had seen it with her own eyes.
For five years, while her friends shopped, Michelle slaved over this novel because she had found a different way to achieve her dream.
And the best for last:
The Almond Tree is fiction and the characters are straight from Michelle’s imagination, but it has a sound and accurate base in reality.
Michelle’s motto is “May the battles we fight be for the advancement of the human race.”
“I can’t think of an army that has more experience in dealing with humanitarian catastrophes than Israel.”
I sit here laughing not even knowing where to begin. To anyone who works in international humanitarian aid this statement is so far removed from any factual evidence and reality, it is conjured solely from the figment of your actively indoctrinated imagination. The Israeli Army and all other relevant Israeli emergency response sectors couldn't even deal with the forest fire in Haifa without resorting to calling in help from neighboring countries.
I defy you to provide evidence of the Israeli army being an expert in Humanitarian disaster/catastrophe assistance. I will be patiently waiting.
For those interested, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Supported by the United Nations Ofﬁce for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs published a report in 2008 with a comprehensive overview of countries that provide military assistance during natural disasters: link to reliefweb.int
From page 4 of the report:
The main source of information for the overview of the use of foreign military
assets was the contributing countries themselves. A questionnaire was distributed to the governments of the following 25 countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the USA.
please don't debase and harm the just cause of exposing the truth/reality of the zionist entity by resorting to calling any pro-Israelis "cockroaches". Let's not forget that Rafael Eitan called Palestinians "drugged cockroaches in a bottle". So if we take umbrage when the Israelis make such horrendous statements we shouldn't resort to using the same labels.
Please take my comment in the friendly spirit in which it is meant. Otherwise, I agree with you wholeheartedly that the Israeli apologists are on the offensive, trying desperately to undermine Max's book with smears and lies, instead of addressing the book's content & thesis.
This is the same Bloomberg that in December 2008 visited Israel during its Operation Cast Lead military onslaught of Gaza, and upon his return to NYC publicly proclaimed: “I feel very strongly that Israel really does have a right …to defend itself.” Bloomberg said absolutely nothing about the loss of innocent life on the Palestinian side, not one syllable was uttered acknowledging the massacre of children, families, civilians within Gaza. To Bloomberg Palestinian civilians don't count.
As we bid goodbye to this myopic, heartless billionaire, let us not forget that Bloomberg's replacement, NYC's new mayor, Bill deBlasio, released this public message in October on Twitter re: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's passing:
Millions of people around the world lost a leader today in Rabbi Chacham Ovadia Yosef. His wisdom, charity and sensitivity were legendary.
10:10 AM - 7 Oct 2013
Thus, we can expect more of the same in the next 4 years.
like attracts like, Obsidian, that is the point. in this case, with regard to settler-state israel, it is, thug attracts thug.
It is funny how in your definition and defense of Zionism you somehow leave out the millions of Palestinians who have been displaced/dispossessed/disenfranchised by it. How convenient.
Hophmi proves the adage that fundamentalists (of all stripes) don't have a sense of humor!
Lighten up Hoppo!
Life is indeed too short as you say, Oleg. Precisely why occupation is a crime, because EVERYONE's life is precious, including the Palestinians to whom you deny the right to live in dignity.
It's an austerity measure, two for the price of one
Humm, sounds like she is being sworn in as Israel's Ambassador to the U.N.
Did anyone see this beauty from the June 12, 2013 "conversation" op-ed that Brooks does with Gail Collins occasionally, re: US intervention in Syria:
Brooks: Then there is the pure realpolitik reason to do something. We should be trying to turn the Syrian civil war into Iran’s Vietnam. We should make them waste money and effort trying to back their client.For all these reasons, I’m thinking that maybe it’s time for a more active U.S. role.
I was so repulsed that he so casually advocated for slaughter on such a massive scale. The "mental ingredients" that run through this man's head is beyond scary.
If you ever see him doing his pontificating pundit job on pbs the smirk on his face says it all....he is just so pleased with himself for coming up with brain dumps such as these. The man is sad actually. My (our) only consolation is that hundreds of years from now he will regarded (if he will be regarded at all) as a bumbling idiot compared to the likes of the Chris Hedges, Noam Chomskys, and Edward Saids of our time (and so many other contemporary writers of course who speak humanely but these quickly came to mind).
thanks to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Bradley Manning's trial transcripts are being posted daily. Link is below. They are crowd-sourcing for donations so as to be able to pay the stenographer they are sending into the courtroom. A very very important cause. Would be helpful to post a link somewhere in your article so that this valuable trial coverage doesn't get lost in a comment...
link to pressfreedomfoundation.org
I honestly never thought that Israel could surprise me anymore with their depravity but they have reached new lows. It is a reflection of the walls closing in, there is less and less wiggle room and in their desperation they are making serious strategic & tactical mistakes that will come back to haunt them, along with all their fabrications and lies. Do I dare say that I see a light at the end of the tunnel?
Thanks Phil for posting this and the related link, super important to support Bradley Manning!
why do you condone the Irgun's militant attacks against the British occupying power but condemn Hamas' militant attacks against the Israeli occupying power?
When you compare Israel to Syria it doesn't actually help help your case of defending Israel's crimes. Abuse is abuse, whether it is done by an occupying power, a tyrannical dictatorship or a democratically elected government.
What is happening in Syria is tragic and heart-breaking but the impetus for Syria's current civil war was not based in colonialism and the expropriation of Syrians' lands, as the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is. One cannot simply make a simple comparative argument when analyzing the circumstances that brought about the individual conflicts. They are two completely different histories, players, causes, motivations, etc. Sadly, the only thing that can be compared is the destruction of families and communities, but that is what happens when governments commit human rights abuses, and Israel is in this category, whether or not its neighbors experience benevolent or tyrannical governments.
SO.......Obama did broker a peace after all!!
your last sentence resonates and is very well put. For the past few years as I have witnessed the pendulum swing against Israel (especially since Operation Cast Lead), I too have noticed that the Israeli response has been very defensive, with the same tired arguments being spun but the audience is not as receptive, not as willing to accept the hasbara at face value. The Israeli pundits are definitely in a tight spot without a doubt, and I am sure they know it. They aren't given carte blanche anymore, there is more questioning, more resistance. People aren't as intimidated to speak out against Israel's violent occupation. The audience, whether it be the professional media or the average viewer/reader are starting to question them. It is not as pervasive as we would wish, but the cracks are definitely widening.
In the back of my mind though I can't help but wonder with consternation that the Israeli spin-masters surely must be regrouping and strategizing new & more effective talking points (and fabricating wars) to detract from and counteract the Palestinian's stronger international position? I am sure they will try but the question at this point is: is it too late, is the genie finally out of the bottle and no way to put it back in?
With regards to B'nai Jeshurun, I can only imagine the kind of pressure that the signatories must be facing, and their new email reflects that, but at the same time they didn't retract their original email, and that is great! By far the majority of comments in the NYT's initial article were very favorable to B'nai Jeshurun and they should take this into account when sticking to their position.
One more thought: maybe what she is witnessing is a whole society that is literally shell-shocked and traumatized beyond human endurance by the constant violence they are subjected to? Or are Rudoren's "zionist" blinders so ensconced that she dare not articulate this?
Rudoren can't etch-a-sketch her way out this, her explanations after the fact only make things worse for her by resorting to manipulative methods to silence her critics: e.g., accusing and blaming "upper-class international intellectuals" for distorting her words". Oh yes, all the people who are outraged by her remarks are a cabal of privileged people who are simply out to get her. Watch out!
If Rudoren truly wanted to provide "context" to the stoism she has witnessed in Gaza, she would have provided her readers with a historical timeline of the violence and colonialist oppression that the Palestinians have endured . If indeed it is true that the Palestinian Gazans don't express the same level of emotions as their oppressors on the other side of the electrified, heavily militarized fence, what is her point? She provides no historical context, as if this is just a fact that is not anchored to any reality. Of course, empirical evidence garnered via video reporting totally negate her words, unless I am just hallucinating when I see the grief-stricken, emotionally distraught families.
Surely any honest, unbiased witness in Gaza who provides analysis of he Palestinians psychological profile will make note of the imposed environmental pressures? Or maybe I am missing something, just as the Palestinians are apparently missing the "crying" gene?
Finally, Rudoren has totally discredited herself journalistically with her crass, dehumanizing thoughts on the "Other", words and thoughts that she is constantly trying to retroactively explain, all to no avail.
PS: A special note to Rudoren: I too as a "privileged" observer of the exonerated Israeli crimes in Palestine have become inured and stoic, my simple, Western mind can no longer process or make sense of the Israeli crimes, I am literally numb in thought, speech and actions. I no longer cry when I see a 10-month old baby lying listless in her mother's arms.
The plot thickens......
Statements made by Paula Broadwell at speech she gave last month at University of Denver:
In an answer to a question reading the CIA chief's handling of the incident, the biographer said: "Now, I don't know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that's still being vetted."
SOURCE: link to guardian.co.uk
I just checked out CTV on Wikipedia and was pleasantly surprised to learn that CTV is the "top-rated network in total viewers" in Canada. Not bad, not bad at all!
CTV Television Network (commonly referred to as CTV) is a Canadian English language television network, owned by Bell Media, which is a subsidiary of BCE Inc.. It is Canada's largest privately owned network, and has consistently placed as Canada's top-rated network in total viewers and in key demographics since 2002, after several years trailing the rival Global Television Network in key markets.
I am blown away by the bandmember's eloquent and succinct rebuttal, she leaves not one centimeter of wiggle room for the pro-israel camp to attack her back with. Wow! I am just in awe of the response, so spot on both legally and morally.
It is getting harder and harder for the pro-israel camp to spread their lies and spin.
Update on Poll as of 4:22pm:
Should the billboard be removed from the Chappaqua Train Station?
Total votes: 1487
No: 87% (1291 votes)
Yes: 13% (196 votes)
Isn't it amazing how a democracy works. Now, if only there were to be a real nationwide referendum on whether or not the US should fund Israel ('s colonialist expansionist apartheid settler state), the majority would say "NO"!
But alas, such a referendum is only a dream.
Castelli said: "However, the subliminal message that this particular billboard carries is an anti-Israeli message that I believe has just the opposite effect of creating peace and harmony between the Israeli and Palestinian people.
And the fact that our govt gives billions to an occupying power creates that wonderful "peace & harmony"? Oh puleez, spare me Castelli!
I just posted a comment on David Lebovitz' bog and gave him an earful. I'm sure he won't allow my comment to to be posted but I don't care, as long as he gets the message! He really needs to be educated, I recommend everyone write to him to let him know about the real food history of Palestine!
Hallelujah for the changing of the guard at the NYT's Jerusalem bureau. Good riddance to Bronner! The only people/institutions that will miss him are the pro-settlement/zionist PR agencies that he established relationships with that were blatantly a conflict of interest and journalistic integrity.
Jodi Rudoren shows her merits and what real journalism is through this article. She reports the facts, what a journalist is meant to do. I sent her a note to tell her; it can't hurt considering the pressure she will be under.
Let us all hope that this continues.
I fervently hope that this expose:
1) gets reported on by newspapers so that more people in the Bay Area are aware of this collusion.
2) and that filmmakers boycott this film festival until K.C. Price is removed as director.
One thing I am certain of is that Frameline can expect further protests given this egregious behavior that has come to light!
The NYT's coverage by Ethan Bronner of the Land Day protests leaves alot to be desired, some quotes from article below:
The article mentions Mustafa Barghouti episode and states "Palestinian witnesses offered a similar account" as the Israeli claim that he was attacked by "other Palestinians". Bronner doesn't back it up with any direct testimony:
At the Qalandiya checkpoint between the West Bank and Jerusalem, masked youths
threw stones at Israeli troops and set tires alight. The troops responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Mustafa Barghouti, a doctor and
Palestinian politician, said one of the teargas canisters hit him, sending him to the
“I was hit with a teargas bomb on the side of my head and my back,” Dr. Barghouti
said in a telephone interview from his hospital bed. “My scalp is injured, my right
ear has problems, and they are checking to see if I have any spinal injury.”
The Israeli military spokesman’s office, in a set of Twitter messages and later over
the telephone, said Dr. Barghouti had not been hit by an Israeli canister but had been
attacked by other Palestinians. A few Palestinian witnesses offered a similar account.
And of course, the piece de resistance is the closing paragraph:
At the Qalandiya rally in the West Bank, a set of posters and a map put up for the rally
showed Palestine consisting of all of Israel as well as the West Bank and Gaza. A demon-
strator, Yusuf Abdulrahman al-Turk, when asked if he favored a two-state solution,
replied, “We want all of Palestine. The Jews have no right to even one inch.”
At least we can be thankful that Bronner gives some historical context as to why there are
protests on Land Day!
link to nytimes.com
Something just doesn't quite add up. How can the person whose land is being occupied and human rights denied be in turn criticized for being an opportunist for going to a university run by the occupier?
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