Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 128 (since 2011-02-16 04:16:06)

Matthew Graber

I am a feminist community organizer with a variety of interests - writing, photography, philosophy, and radio broadcast. I am an organizer with the Philadelphia Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Coalition and a co-host of Radio Against Apartheid on West Philadelphia's community radio station, WPEB 88.1.

Website: http://phillytravels.wordpress.com

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  • Gazafying Dissent
    • You've overlooked two countries in Africa that I know of that have murdered people for protesting in solidarity with Palestine: Egypt and Nigeria. Which seems like a huge oversight, considering the United States' support for these governments.

      According to the FB page Shimaa from Tahrir Square:

      "After Eid prayers Egyptians across the country marched in solidarity with Gaza making a statement against the complicity of the US funded Zionist Egyptian regime.

      I didn't see anything firsthand because I reside in a predominately military supportive neighborhood in Cairo. Protests are no longer allowed in this part of Cairo since last summer and showing any signs of solidarity to Palestine or against the coup is suicide.

      Nonetheless, Egyptians from all over who don't live in any better environments defied all that and marched for Gaza. The US funded junta security forces opened fire on them, 5 protesters were killed and many were injured.

      As much as everyone is angry at Egypt, nobody wants to recognize the existence of these people. I will collect pictures and posts from Egypt in this post that I kindly ask you to share so that anti-coup pro-Palestine Egyptians are seen and heard like everyone else in the world. #Gaza #Palestine #Egypt #AntiCoup"
      The link - with several comments and pictures of martyrs and protests - is: https://www.facebook.com/Shimaa.writes/photos/a.156337554437703.40919.153772218027570/703199996418120/?type=1&theater

      - On Friday, July 25, Nigerian military forces murdered thirty-three protesters in a pro-Palestine demonstration, which was held on Al Quds Day. Among those killed was 18-year-old Syed Mahmud Ibrahim Zakzaky, a son of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, which had called for the rally. He is a critic of political corruption and Boko Haram.

      While the world was in an uproar about the kidnapping of hundreds of women by Boko Haram, there's been very little concern about the murder of Muslims who criticize them.

      In London, there was a demonstration held in solidarity with those murdered by the Nigerian military. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ7Jd5H8N1w&feature=youtu.be

      More on the Nigerian military's massacre of protesters: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/07/26/372879/25-killed-in-nigeria-quds-day-rally/

  • Northeastern University SJP chapter suspended as members are subjected to police interrogation
    • It should also be noted that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is a branch of the World Zionist Organization. The Jewish Federation and Hillel are also projects of the WZO; and the State of Israel is a project of the WZO. The Jewish Agency (previously the Palestine Zionist Executive) and the Jewish National Fund were the two coordinating agencies of the WZO which established the State of Israel in 1948 and executed the Nakba.

  • Obama scared AIPAC into silence, then defeated it
    • All of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the nomination of Hegel has been absolutely ridiculous, and I'm just glad that its over. The matter of who heads the US war department makes absolutely no difference, and you've already wasted so much time and space following the matter.

      Oftentimes I've felt as though the editorial staff of Mondoweiss doesn't comprehend the nature of the United States, and focuses on anti-Palestinian rhetoric and violence, while casting a blind eye to anti-black racism, and other forms of capitalist violence, in the US and worldwide.

      Perhaps the framework of the blog is skewed.. I'm not sure. When Dov Hikind's blackface makes headlines its a point to pay attention to, but when scientific research finds that inequitable health care between Whites and African Americans in the United States contributed to 880,000 unnecessary deaths of African Americans between 1990-2000, it isn't a point of concern. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518606/

  • The Western Wall is as political as the Apartheid Wall
    • Natan Sharansky isn't just any right-wing politician. He's the chairman of the Jewish Agency.

      So. In this world today. Is there any Jewish agency outside of the Jewish Agency?

  • Why should I be accused of being Westernized?
    • Have to say that, upon reading the comments on this thread, I'm incredibly worried about the patronizing positions taken by some of the commenters. So many people decrying the gender norms of Gaza, without explaining (understanding?) the context in which those norms are enforced.

      Which is part of the reason I've been around Mondoweiss less lately, to be honest.

      There has been a discussion taking place on Jadaliyya on "honor crimes," or the practice of killing women in response to their perceived sexual activity. I recommend the entire article by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Suhad Daher-Nashif, but here's an excerpt:

      'Our work in colonized Palestinian society has taught us that within the Israeli context, femicide is structured by a complex interrelationship between informal Palestinian systems of control and the formal Israeli legal and welfare system. Informal social structures in the context of colonialism in the Jewish state, including systems of kinship, patriarchy, and religious and traditional tribal systems, play a role in defining the physical and social boundaries within which female and male individuals are able to move and act. These structures regulate social behavior, roles, responsibilities, and relations within Palestinian society, enforcing social norms and codes that define and delimit mobility, choice of spouse, type and level of education, dress, profession, and sexual behavior. In a context of constant political attacks, fragmentation of communities and families, violence against the individual and the land, and constant uncertainty, these informal systems fluctuate between being systems that preserve the society’s safety, internal security, and cohesion, and systems that reach for power under conditions of complete powerlessness, making use of women’s living and dead bodies.'

      Full article: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/9061/the-politics-of-killing-women-in-colonized-context

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Forget the 'fiscal cliff' -- could Israel fall off the American political cliff?
    • "Politics is the bridge between gaps."

      I'm still reading Judith Butler's latest, "Parting Ways." The word "agonist" popped up today, and I needed to look that one up in a dictionary or two. I searched a bit longer, and the closest word that I know to agonism is jihad. But I'm ignorant to the jurisprudence and praxis of both words.

      Then I was thinking of some wordplay.

      The gulf between the socialist ideal of equality and contemporary suffering is eclipsed by agonists and jihadis.

      May or may not be correct. What do others think?

      "Politics is the bridge between gaps."

  • At least four killed, dozens wounded, in Israeli shelling on Gaza
  • Obama's victory highlights a bad night for the Jewish right
  • Exile and the Prophetic: Chomsky’s 'Letter from a Gaza Jail'
    • We're continuing our book group discussions on Judith Butler's "Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism," where the constituency is drawn mostly from the local JVP chapter.

      I've been thinking a lot about redeeming Judaism, and redemption. Yet considering the depth of Israel's actions, it sometimes feels like there's too much trauma done by Jews, in the forms of injustices past and present.

      In Arabic, the word for Israeli? Yehud. Jew.

      Then I speak with Jewish activists.. They can't find synagogues. They are almost.. displaced by the synagogue. To bear witness to Israeli aggression is to join the diaspora. Like their renunciation of Israeli citizenship.

      Suddenly, it feels as though its not just Zionism that's on the line.

      Judaism in exile. For so long it has been. Is it now? Will it be if and when Israel becomes a democracy?

  • Pro-settler Israeli organization calls for an end to US aid to Israel
  • On the unbearable lightnness of (not) being Israeli
    • Interesting to bring up these connotations in a blog based in the United States. Who is American? What necessitates a hyphenated usage: Asian-American, African-Americans, Arab-American? Is Obama an American? Is Obama as American as French Fries and hamburgers? Is Obama as American as fireworks on the Fourth of July?
      Does that make anyone uncomfortable?

      Furthermore, when one labels Obama - or any other black in the United States - as American, or even African American, does that whitewash the diverse history of struggle against oppression of those non-European, non-colonialists, in America? Does it whitewash an ever-present racism today?

      And finally, what of the indigenous people of the Americas? The people who lived here before the land was ever called America. Speaking of the magician's trick, eh?

      How ridiculous is it that "America" is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer of Columbus' time? Talk about historical revisionism!

  • Exile and the Prophetic: How much justice will there be in a 'just' resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
    • Hasan Safadi was released from Israel's prisons two days ago. He endured 164 days of hunger strike (73+61). He, Mahmoud Sarsak, Hana Shalabi, Khader Adnan, Samer Al Barq, and the hundreds of other hunger strikers are the prophetic. Whereas Chomsky has the comforts of an American academic, these Palestinians have nothing but their bodies, and they've forged a new path. They've exposed the incompetence Palestinian Authority and created a new leadership, demonstrating the power non-compliance and refusing normalization.

      I don't think English-language coverage has given enough credence to the growth of non-compliance and civil disobedience within Palestinian civil society. Its an incredibly difficult task. How can we log the changes of persuasion within Palestinian society? How can we - English-speakers - document for our own communities the ways in which Palestinian society changes ideological and practical formulations of resistance?

      And another note:
      The taxpayers of the United States pay more money in sum than Israeli taxpayers for the Israeli military. Unfortunately, this will not be a part of discussions in forging a just resolution, and there will be a scapegoating process, whereby American leaders escape accountability. Which ones? Who knows? That's a long way down the road. We need to find some accountable though.

      Here's hoping that we're planting the seeds of accountability in the minds of the many.

  • Guardian: Israeli intellectuals and Palestinian activists are engaged in imagining the inevitable, one-state future
    • Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz today, "Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel"

      The article has been shared over 4,000 times as of right now on Facebook. The US media doesn't report like this, but Americans want to know. Americans need to know what our politicians are talking about.

      From the article - http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/survey-most-israeli-jews-would-support-apartheid-regime-in-israel.premium-1.471644

      '"The majority of the Jewish public, 59 percent, wants preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries. Almost half the Jews, 49 percent, want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 percent don't want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don't want their children in the same class with Arab children.

      A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 percent objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

      A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favor of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. A quarter - 24 percent - believe separate roads are "a good situation" and 50 percent believe they are "a necessary situation."'

  • Smadar Lavie's lesson on global neoliberal restructuring, Israeli style
  • Exile and the Prophetic: When the Russell Tribunal leaves town the machinations of the powerful remain
    • "I remember the South African air force flyover at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. "
      That line is SO powerful. I watched the film, "Dear Mandela," with folks organizing with the shackdwellers' movement in South Africa, and it was incredible. They screened here in downtown Philly - in a historic part of town that's been gentrified - and it was incredibly encouraging to attendees. People without decent homes are beginning to finally demand homes.

      What will happen when the Russell Tribunal leaves town?

      Well, the Creative Time Summit will come to NYC. Today and tomorrow on the campus of NYU. And one of their partners is the Israeli Center for Digital Art, which is a project of the City of Holon and the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport.

      In response to the involvement in the Creative Time summit, artists have been withdrawing. First the Egyptian media collective, Mosireen, withdrew. Then NY-based hip hop group, Rebel Diaz. Then Montreal-based hip hop artist, The Narcicyst.

      And BDS has become practice in New York. Its a great shift. We have the support, we have the wherewithal. We're boycotting Israel.

      Yet Jodie Evans of Code Pink, Slavov Zizek, and the Occupy Wall Street theory magazine, Tidal, are still scheduled to speak today at the Creative Time Summit. We'll have to follow this one.

  • Israel is losing legitimacy -- according to Daniel Bell
    • I was working on a piece a while ago, but never got around to completing it. I wanted to speak about Peter Beinart's "Crisis of Zionism" and David Harvey's lecture, "Capitalism in Crisis," focusing on the insufficiency of the two political economies. Both privilege a particular class (ethnic Jews and the wealthy, respectively), creating subaltern classes which are not cared for and recognized, the non-privileged classes.

      So for Capitalism, the evidence of inadequacy comes in the form of two statistics. First: the 2010 US Census. According to the 2010 census, the median wealth of whites in the United States is $110,000. The median wealth of blacks in the US is $4,990 -http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/21/news/economy/wealth-gap-race/index.htm.

      Take these statistics, combined with evidence from research done by Lawrence Summers in the 1980's which finds that approximately 80% of wealth is accumulated by inter-generational transfers - http://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jpolec/v89y1981i4p706-32.html, and we find that capitalism has never produced equality, and without reparations (not only for blacks, but also for women, Latinos, and many others who have been historically denied access to capital) and strict modifications of laws governing intergenerational transfers, a capitalist economy cannot provide an equitable distribution of essential resources.

      Thus, the seeds of their undoing originate in the very idea of the two political economies. It is not just a contemporary perspective, but a historical perspective that provides significant evidence of the illegitimacy of capitalism and Zionism. So to say that they are failing today is to ignore the fact that, for millions or billions of people around the world, they have never been successful.

  • See how Israeli colonies killed the two state solution
  • Palestine to Pakistan...connecting the dots
    • Thank you for the article, and for making the courageous journey, Pam. Very much looking forward to following the trip further, and flipping the popular narrative here in the states.

      One objection:

      Wanderlust is a curious thing. I know too many people to begin to mention who won't go to parts of Philly because those are the "dangerous" parts of town. Yes, there is a dominant narrative that subjugates and then vilifies others, particularly people of color. It happens in Palestine, Pakistan, the United States, and around the world. But there is are many struggles happening here in the United States, and there are so many enlightening cultures that are thoroughly engaged in resistance.

      And I do wonder about the acceptable resistance struggles, and the taboo, unaccepted resistance struggles, for white Americans. Which is not to say that this is a characteristic of white people, but rather to comment on what is integrated into (popular) discourse as a means of refuting a hegemonic narrative.

  • Ridicule of Netanyahu at UNGA won't quit
    • 972 also has an apt critique of the meme culture and this Netanyahu stuff. After all, the New Yorker then had Netanyahu choose which three of the cartoons were his favorite. So much for opening up a venue for free speech.

      From Noam Sheizaf at +972: '[The memes] serve as Netanyahu’s echo chamber, they divert attention from the real issues at hand and they disguise political desperation as internet-activism. Memes shouldn’t be more than inside jokes, but nowadays they seem to lead the conversation. '
      http://972mag.com/why-i-hate-those-bibi-memes/56714/

  • Exile and the Prophetic: The day without a future
    • Reading Judith Butler and Marc Ellis, I come across so many lightbulbs. AH! Judaism! I now have an entire room enlightened by their work. I'm trying to put it together and formulate my thoughts. Still reading Judith. Still processing.

      Beginning work on a piece, "Is Samer al Barq Jewish?" But I still coming across roadblocks. BDS as prophecy. Samer al Barq, Khader Adnan, Hannah Shalabi, and hundreds of other prophets. If they don't foretell a path forward, then does Netanyahu?

      And then millions of Palestinians are cast into exile. Samer al Barq forced to go to Egypt. Exile and the Prophetic.

      Thank you for contributing to Mondoweiss, Marc!

  • Mona Eltahawy arrested for defacing Geller's racist savage ad in NYC subway
    • There's been a bit of debate on the matter on Facebook and Twitter: Was Mona trying to draw attention to herself with this as a staged protest? If so, is interjecting her ego into the matter productive for dispelling the influence and effects of the racist ads?

      Remi Kenazi posted:
      'From Rahim Kurwa: "Lots of amazing New York activists managed to creatively deface Pam Gellar's racist ads in ways that exposed their bigotry. But Mona Eltahawy showed up with a bottle of spray paint to mindlessly cover up the ad and make a scene in public, including spelling her name for people to tweet as she got arrested. Kudos to the many nameless, faceless activists for subverting racism the right way, and shame on Mona Eltahawy for once again trying to grab the spotlight."

      To which somebody responded, 'Somehow between November of 2011 and Sept 2012 I must have missed a chunk of news about Mona and the interpretation of her motivation. I did not know about the racist ad until I saw on Twitter Mona being arrested. When I read it I started posting about the racist ad. Shame or no shame, I believe she gave more exposure to what's happening right now in terms of racist ads being displayed around us. It is not about Mona but about spreading awareness. In the meantime, I'm intrigued to understand where the spot light grabbing comes in.'

      Max Blumenthal weighed in on Twitter:
      7:42 PM - 25 Sep 12: 'Mona Eltahawy and Pam Geller in tacit media attention alliance: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/video_exclusive_woman_defaces_anti_3xZ5mGVAGc1b6KUMFKGseK …'

      7:50 PM - 25 Sep 12: 'It was staged for media attention, positioning herself deceptively as leader of fight against racist ads.'

      8:48 PM - 25 Sep 12: [email protected] sometimes self-promotion is productive but in this case it casts the campaign against the ads as lawless & wacko'

  • 'Savage' NY subway ads get a make-over-- revealing their true character
  • Morsi repeatedly stresses Palestinian issue in interview with the NYT
  • Change of plan
    • Tomorrow, I have the first meeting for my book group. We have about 20 people from the Philadelphia chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace reading Judith Butler's "Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism".

      Phil, there are so many cracks right now in the hegemonic facade of Zionism in America. Whether its Judith Butler's book, or Max Blumenthal speaking this coming week about "The Death of Liberal Zionism". The J Streeters are in an incredibly precarious position, and it feels as though many are trending towards BDS.

      I feel as though I'm an eternal skeptic. But Phil, through this site in particular, the conversation is being pushed to the fore.

      Let's keep pushing.

  • Israel's version of the two-state 'solution' is anything but dead
    • Did anybody catch Israeli MK Danny Danon's tour of the US in the past week? He has been a proponent of the annexation of Area C in the West Bank, and over the past week visited NYC, Washington, and I think some other visits in order to advocate for that.

  • Robert Gates addresses private security conference on Afghanistan, Iran, China, and the expansion of the NSA
    • But yeah, whereas I know that Americans associate and "support Israel," I have no idea what the American interests in the Pacific are. Is this ignorant? Do others know?

    • From the full transcript:
      '[China's leaders] are becoming more and more aggressive in pursuing China’s interests and defending exaggerated territorial claims vis-a-vis its neighbors. In the case of Japan, inflaming resentments left over from the second world war. This is increasing the likelihood of armed confrontation on disputed islands and at sea, conflicts that could draw in the United States given our military alliances in that part of the world. '
      http://radioagainstapartheid.libsyn.com/home/transcript-robert-gates-keynote-at-asis-2012

      Which is fascinating, given that Romney's strategy on China and Taiwan is to "kick the ball down the field," just like with Israel/Palestine.

      It's a red flag for me.

    • Do you mean that femininity and womanhood are lesser values than masculinity and manhood? Because that's what it sounds like when you say that I'm debasing myself by associating with the feminist organizing tradition.

      To clarify, I learned my organizing methods by women who have dedicated their lives to community organizing, and I know that any sort of principled commitment to justice intentionally puts women at the fore. From those roots in my community work, I have extended my critique of society to include liberation theology, queer theory, and Marxism. Yet my methods, tactics, and ideologies are derived from what I learned from the people of the Global Women's Strike.

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  • Jon Stewart: We've finally discovered evidence of Democratic voter fraud Republicans are always complaining about
    • Wha? Wha? He blamed... Fox News?

      That's right though, he did. Krauss is right, and this is awkward. Fact check on the Daily Show? Though, the whole thing seems so entirely lost, so profoundly obtuse, if we follow Stewart's logic.

      Can we do a fact check on the Daily Show?

  • Pro-Israel activists turn to cartoons in effort to tackle delegitimization on campus
  • Two hunger strikers in administrative detention face 'imminent danger to lives' as Gazans rally
  • Justice for Salim Najjar
    • I've been thinking about this lately. But I think it's something a little deeper than just White supremacy (though I do recognize that as something to continually contend with).

      Yet aren't international judicial systems built, at least theoretically, to allow for a greater degree of accountability for Rachel's death than for Mustafa Tamimi, or Bassem or Jawaher? Israel holds military and judicial jurisdiction over the lands where they murdered these people, so many in the solidarity community take it as understood that Israel condones and permits these murders with impunity. Yet, according to international law, countries of origin protect citizens while they are abroad, and act on their behalf.

      Thus, it follows that vis-a-vis the US government, there would be greater international condemnation and call for justice within international law than for the murders of the Samouni family, Bassem, Jawaher, Noha, Salim, and many others.

      Additionally, I don't think that any of this has been lost on the Corrie family as they strive for justice for their daughter's murder. Though it has been lost on some in the Palestine solidarity movement.

  • 'We seek justice for the Corrie Family'
  • A modest lexicographic proposal
    • I think too many people reference the 'Israeli-Palestinian conflict'. It isn't just a conflict between two sides. I find it more accurate to refer to the oppression of the Palestinians, or the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. For example, I say that I do activism in opposition to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. My radio show brings light to the oppression of the Palestinian people. Etc.

      Even framing the conversation from the get-go can lead to an entirely different conversation.

  • Israeli Settler: 'If I see her coming, no matter what age she is 3, 4, 7, I'll f*ck her over'. Israeli Soldier: 'No problem'
  • In September, the agendas collide
    • Let's not confuse the Palestinian Authority with the collective will of the Palestinian people. This is not a meeting of two oppositional forces - one supporting the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the other resisting. The PA lacks legitimacy from the Palestinian people, and has gone to great efforts to consolidate its power and deny the collective will of the Palestinian people remaining in Palestine.

      Thus, for me, the question turns to Israel and the United States - how will they manipulate these processes, and just how much violence will be delivered upon the Palestinian people remaining there?

  • Kahanist message holds strong, now with IDF's blessing
    • The final two sentences in the NYT article, Yonah:
      'Recognizing that, Ikutiel Ben-Yaacov, a Kach spokesman, said today's vote ''was a political decision made by politicians,'' adding, ''We understand that Likud and Labor are afraid that Kahane will take away a number of seats.''

      But commission members, all of them members of or candidates for Parliament from other parties, said they had voted to ban Kach because it espoused ''Nazi-like ideology'' and ''racism.'''

  • Mearsheimer: 7 reasons Netanyahu & Barak might like war with Iran
    • They are such fascists. They love their power and the power of the US military, and not only don't see the people wh ose lives they are ruining, but they cannot even conceive of any other balance of power whereby they do not get everything they desire.

      Which is why the idea of a nuclear Iran enrages them.

  • Paul Ryan describes Israel as issue of 'Homeland Security'
    • I'm pretty sure all of what Phil highlights in this post are credentials for him to be A) chosen as the VP candidate for the GOP Party and B) Vice President of the United States.

  • The world according to Sheldon Adelson
  • The road to Damascus runs through Palestine: Linkage and a comprehensive peace
    • A rather ambitious call. You may want to elaborate on who and where those who have political will for such an act are, and where they may work to institute these policy changes. The US policy-makers intransigence over Israeli policy within the UN certainly won't change after witnessing the brutality and death at the hands of the As'sad regime. So who can work to implement such a policy?

      I think that the As'sad regime maintains power through fear of Israeli and US power in the region, and through the Hezbollah-Iran-As'sad alliance's resistance to US and Israeli hegemony.

      Would the Israeli declaration of nuclear weapons and signature to the NPT suffice? I think that would do more or at least as much to reduce Syrian and regional support for As'sad. Those six submarines armed with nuclear weapons patrolling the region would be reason for many to support a violent dictator.

  • Terror war comes home: White supremacist kills 6 Sikhs in Wisconsin
    • Great comprehensive report, Alex! Thanks.

      In today's news: a mosque burning in Joplin, Missouri:
      'The shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin is the day’s worst example of hateful violence — but it is not, sadly, the only one. Early Monday morning, someone set fire to the Islamic Society of Joplin during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. The mosque couldn’t be saved, so now there are 50 Muslim families in Joplin, Missouri — the same town devastated by a tornado last May — without a place to worship.'
      From: http://www.salon.com/2012/08/06/mosque_burned_in_joplin_another_hate_crime/

  • Settlement spending reaches two-decade high of NIS 1.1 billion
  • Why Obama shouldn't go to Israel
  • Election theatrics: Obama to sign bill that gives Israel $70 million while Romney hints Jerusalem is capital
    • When I first saw this headline, I thought it was regarding voter registration, enfranchisement, and disenfranchisement efforts by the Republicans ahead of the November elections.

      I believe its been reported before here, but Republicans are pushing for voter registration of American citizens living in Israel.

      From http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/ballot-2012/2012/07/02/republican-group-deploys-voter-registration-drive-in-israel:
      'The Republican Jewish Coalition announced Monday that its board of directors, together with former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleicher, are headed next week to Israel to encourage Jewish Americans living abroad to register to vote just in time for the presidential election.
      ...
      The RJC estimates that roughly 150,000 U.S. citizens and eligible voters are living in Israel, including many from key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.'

      This occurs while there are active efforts to disenfranchise perhaps millions of Americans living in the United States with voter ID laws. In Pennsylvania, the voter ID law is currently being debated in the state capital of Harrisburg, after having been passed by the Republican-controlled State Congress and signed by Governor Corbett.

      From http://articles.philly.com/2012-07-27/news/32890135_1_voter-id-law-form-of-photo-identification-thousands-of-inactive-voters:
      'In court Thursday, a University of Washington political scientist with extensive background in polling testified that his survey found that more than one million registered voters, or 12.7 percent, lacked valid identification to vote.'

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Chief Last Night
  • Adelson-backed ad campaign features Jewish Dem claiming Netanyahu represents 'all' Jews
    • If they want them to be.

      (yes, since Super PACs are considered non-profits).

    • Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont released a list of 26 billionaires who have contributed to Super PACs. At the top of the list is Sheldon Adelson.

      From: http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-exposes-26-billionaires-buying-2012-election.html

      "1). Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Casino, is worth nearly $25 billion, making him the 14th wealthiest person in the world and the 7th richest person in America. While median family income plummeted by nearly 40% from 2007-2010, Mr. Adelson has experienced a nearly eightfold increase in his wealth over the past three years (from $3.4 billion to $24.9 billion). Forbes recently reported that Adelson is willing to spend a “limitless” amount of money or more than $100 million to help defeat President Obama in November.

      2. The Kochs (David, Charles, and William) are worth a combined $103 billion, according to Forbes. They have pledged to spend about $400 million during the 2012 election season. The Kochs own more wealth than the bottom 41.7 percent of American households or more than 49 million Americans.

      3. Jim Walton is worth $23.7 billion. He has donated $300,000 to super PACs in 2012.

      4. Harold Simmons is worth $9 billion. He has donated $15.2 million to super PACs this year.

      5. Peter Thiel is worth $1.5 billion. He has donated $6.7 million to Super PACs this year.

      6. Jerrold Perenchio is worth $2.3 billion. He has donated $2.6 million to super PACs this year.

      7. Kenneth Griffin is worth $3 billion and he has given $2.08 million to super PACs in 2012.

      8. James Simons is worth $10.7 billion and he has given $1.5 million to super Pacs this year.

      9. Julian Robertson is worth $2.5 billion and he has given $1.25 million to super PACs this year.

      10. Robert Rowling is worth $4.8 billion and he has given $1.1 million to super PACs.

      11. John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made his fortune betting that the sub-prime mortgage market would collapse, is worth $12.5 billion. He has donated $1 million to super PACs.

      12. Richard and J.W. Marriott are worth a combined $3.1 billion and they have donated $2 million to super PACs this year.

      13. James Davis is worth $1.9 billion and he has given $1 million to super PACs this year.

      14. Harold Hamm is worth $11 billion and he has given $985,000 to super PACs this year.

      15. Kenny Trout is worth more than $1.2 billion and he has given $900,000 to super PACs this year.

      16. Louis Bacon is worth $1.4 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

      17. Bruce Kovner is worth $4.5 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

      18. Warren Stephens is worth $2.7 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

      19. David Tepper is worth $5.1 billion and he has given $375,000 to super PACs this year.

      20. Samuel Zell is worth $4.9 billion and he has given $270,000 to super PACs this year.

      21. Leslie Wexner is worth $4.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

      22. Charles Schwab is worth $3.5 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

      23. Kelcy Warren is worth $2.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year."

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Revered to radioactive: peace gardens of the world beware!
    • Loved this new poem on Jadaliyya - http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/6580/apache:

      “Crazy Horse” was not a horse.

      He was an Apache child who ran as fast as the wind. So his mother called him “Crazy Horse.” He rushed the seasons to grow up and defend the Apache. At night he dreamed of one thing: Being a strong bird and soaring into the belly of the sky to nest in one of its clouds. To pounce on the White Man who hunted his ancestors like deer and scattered them all over Arizona.

      But fever chased his soul out of his body and it settled in a passing cloud while his body slept in a ditch. He never became that fierce bird.

      It was three years before the Apache’s final defeat, when five thousand soldiers besieged Geronimo and dragged him and his men in shackles (Skeleton Canyon, Arizona, September 4, 1886).

      All that is left of the Apache today are reservations on the margins of history.

      . . .

      Do dreams die with their dreamers? Or do they roam the night searching for someone to dream them again?

      Perhaps they become nightmares and inhabit the nights of others.

      Apaches are hovering now.

      In distant skies.

      The hunt continues.

      . . .

      2010

      * “Crazy Horse” was the call-sign for several Apache helicopters shown in footage released by Wikileaks in 2010. They were firing missiles on Iraqi civilians, including children, and killing them, in Baghdad in 2007.

    • "I highly doubt more than even a few college athletics teams are institutionally connected to child rings or torture or execution chambers" - W. Jones

      When did anybody equate these child abuse rings to execution chambers? This line of argumentations ruins your credibility. If you want to for other corruption within athletics department, look no further than Duke University. Or perhaps we could mention the fraternity system, and the normalization of rape culture within fraternities.

  • The occupation machine can't run on empathy
    • A friend posted this to Facebook today. Didn't say it was related to the article, but I extrapolated it for you all:

      'My latest response to the typical Zionist-apologist criticism we receive with activism against Zionist supremacy/hegemony to promote equality and social justice in Israel/Palestine:

      No one is denying that there are sensitive men in Israeli society, but here is a “soft” Zionist asking Palestinians, who are facing ethnic cleansing, torture in prison, apartheid, home demolitions, and relentless destruction of their entire livelihood (with absolute impunity) to refrain from drawing attention to the Israeli/Zionist chauvinism and militarism that underlie this physical and structural violence in order not to make “pointless” “generalizations” that make the situation “worse.” I, frankly, do not care if the Israeli soldiers (service in the Israeli army is required for all Jewish citizens) who recently strip-searched me and humiliated me and return afterwards to the land they stole from my grandparents and then get in touch with their “sensitive” side and cry out of guilt for what they did to me. That might make the colonizers feel good about themselves but as a colonized, occupied, and subjugated Palestinian subject there is nothing that will silence me, even if it makes Israelis uncomfortable. When Israeli Zionist apartheid ends, then these soldiers will have my shoulders to cry on.'

  • Susan Abulhawa demolishes Itamar Marcus
  • Penn State lobby... gun lobby... Israel lobby
    • You're right, Mondoweiss has done a spectacular job of naming names when there is a clear example of somebody manipulating the media. But I don't think we, as a public, actually know who exerts great control over American media. Has the research been done? Is there a way to infiltrate media establishments and find out who sets the guidelines for reporting?

      Why is it that the NYT so often parrots the US government? Who is it there that decides, ultimately, what in the Middle East gets coverage, and what does not? And at NPR? Is it the over-arching 'Jewish community' that exerts influence on American media (as is often suggested by Mondoweiss articles), or are there execs within American media that have set bylaws and agendas which their news outlets must abide by?

    • So I know that Comcast is a huge conglomerate, and thus David Cohen, as VP, exerts a great deal of editorial control over Comcast channels. But are there others whom you know of? Who are the Zionist lynchpins in American media?

      I think its crucial for us to find out exactly who these people are. It would make our case so much stronger if we could move out of the theoretical and begin naming names, and showing how Zionist manipulation of the media works.

  • Netanyahu thinks Chris Wallace is Mike Wallace-- but he's 'absolutely rock solid' Iran was behind Bulgarian terrorist attack
    • I'm not one to normally rant about the utter inhumanity of politicians. But this one struck a chord with me.

      Wallace asks Netanyahu about the violence in Syria, and Netanyahu turns around and talks about the violence in Colorado. Not that the lives lost in Colorado don't matter, but the way he obfuscates on Syria really makes it sound as if the Syrian lives don't matter.

  • We need another name for the occupation
    • I have been considering the relations between Zionism and Capitalism. Both political-economic structures favor a specific class (ethnic Jews and the wealthy, respectively), at the expense of the non-privileged classes. Whereas the normative society for each political-economic system accepts each paradigm (thus, Jews and non-Jews are able to exist in Israel, and the wealthy and the poor exist in the United States), the system cannot normatively function when there are those who refuse to abide by the presumptions of the respective political-economic system.

      And thus, both systems favor the absolute destruction of alternative political-economic systems. Both Zionists and Capitalists have relied on militarism without exception as a means of imposing their political-economic structures on indigenous populations.

      So whereas there are Zionists and Capitalists, for those who don't abide by the two systems, they are seen simply as Fascists imposing their ideologies by force and violence.

    • The upcoming session of the Russell Tribunal, set to take place in New York in the beginning of October, will apply the term of 'sociocide' to the current system Israel applies to the non-Jewish population of historic Palestine.

      'The ultimate aim of sociocide is not the physical destruction of peoples, or of a loosely defined culture, or of a State, as it is sometimes confusedly said, but rather the destruction of the relationships between the different groups constituting a society. This is what governments of the United States have done in Iraq, what Western governments encouraged in ex-Yugoslavia, what the Zionists did in Palestine. If “ethnic cleansing” in all its physically and culturally destructive forms can contribute to sociocide—the destruction of social bonds between diverse groups—the way is clear for colonial or imperialist domination and exploitation of a region, whether it be for expropriation of the land, exploitation of its economic resources or occupation of its strategic location.'
      Via http://divergences.be/spip.php?article2522&lang=fr

  • 'NYT' reporter detained at Nabi Saleh demo-- colleague says it was just 'for a bit'
  • Congressman with ties to Netanyahu calls J Street 'anti-Semitic'
  • Exile and the Prophetic: How deep is (y)our – colonial mentality?
    • I went to a jazz concert in North Philadelphia (a historically black community - impoverished and one of the highest crime rates in the nation) this evening. The community, today, is just on the fringes of a gentrified neighborhood known as Fairmount (so much wealth coming in from the suburbs - homes are being rebuilt, new construction, businesses, etc.).

      A Black woman who had grown up in North Philadelphia turned to me and said, "This neighborhood is changing quickly. I don't imagine anything like this has happened since the colonization of America." She isn't aware of the US-Israeli colonization of Palestine.

      The majority of the people at the jazz concert were well-off and white in this historically black neighborhood.

      So I'm beginning to think that the 'gentrification' that we see in neighborhoods like Brooklyn, Harlem, Fairmount, West Philadelphia, San Francisco and Oakland, and across the country, is part of an American aesthetic. Is there anything deeper? Gentrification goes hand-in-hand with white supremacy. Is it the appeal of having whites in a neighborhood, or is it simply the entitlement of those who have more money?

      I write all of this bearing in mind the 2010 census data: the mean wealth of a White resident of the United States is $110,729. The mean wealth of a Black resident of the United States is $4,995.

      Again, I pose the question: is the appropriation and theft of the land and culture of peoples of color part of 'American values'? As this post questions the foundations of Judaism and Christianity, can we really point to a prominent benevolence within the frame of the 'Western'? Is there any subaltern who has not been punished by Capitalism and Zionism?

  • Expert UN panel established to investigate 'implications' of settlements on Palestinian human rights
    • So the US has another resolution to veto in the UN Security Council? This is just as delusional of an action by the United Nations as in the declaration by the Levy Report.

      If the country that is demonstrating control of the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River (what's left of it) says that they are demonstrating that control, then why should the United Nations set up a commission to say that they are not demonstrating that control?

      I understand that it's a matter of the the legality of the colonization of the West Bank (since we've done it so long, then it must be legal now). But Israel just declared itself an Apartheid State - millions of people residing on its sovereign territory with absolutely no legal rights. I think that's a pretty good starting point for an argument, and it's the delusion of the United States (and as coordinator of the Palestinian Authority) that is driving this UN Commission.

      Which begs the question: What opportunities for justice are there for the Palestinians if there are no realms (UN, ICC, etc.) within international legal systems for them to find justice?

      (Russell Tribunal this Fall will be an interesting indictment of the role of the United States and the United Nations).

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Chosen/Kairos
    • I've seen many people who were raised in Jewish households disavow themselves of Judaism completely. Marc, you certainly have taken a different path, one which I am not as familiar with but yet I consider no less valuable.

      I do worry about sectarianism as it pertains to the liberation of the people of Palestine. When Kairos was responding to Palestinian Christians, I worried that they were NOT heading the calls of non-Christians (particularly the majority Muslims), particularly given the realities of Islamophobia in America.

      I know that the philosophical traditions of Judaism are rich, and I'm continually impressed by the humanity of those who have learned these traditions. And yet, the Jewish Federation is a monolith.

      One may say that the Jewish Federation speaks for all Jews, in so many different venues. Then, the permission to narrate for 'Judaism' and for Jews depends on who has the opportunities to speak. In this, the rhetorical power of Jews of Conscience may not be something to scoff away, but may be the most powerful tool you could have.

  • Exile and the Prophetic: South Africa in the mirror
    • I googled 'Saudi Arabia Israel United States' last night, and the 10th result was the Raytheon Corporation, a military company that provides services to the three countries. I think it's telling that these three countries involve so much theological rhetoric in their politics - Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, respectively. I think that the recent divestment votes of Presbyterians, Methodists, and Quakers are exceptional. The rule, in my opinion, is that religion is used to (mis)educate the vast majority of people in these countries, in favor of apocalyptic visions and rampant militarism.

      But I'm a pessimist :)

  • 'Goldstone Report will pale' next to damage we will do to Lebanon, says senior IDF official
  • Exile and the Prophetic: Tighter than tight
    • Thank you so much for your writing and your voice here at Mondoweiss, Marc. I deeply appreciate it.

      I do believe that the Jewish Federation must be held accountable. This is becoming increasingly obvious, as they associate with the likes of Pamela Gellar these days. But how long have they promoted the blue boxes of the Jewish National Fund? How long has the Israeli Consulate been meeting with the Jewish National Fund, with AIPAC, and with the Jewish Federation?

      Another question I do find myself pondering more these days, particularly living in Philadelphia, is the resilience of white supremacy in United States (which I see as synonymous with W.Jones idea of "civilization"), as manifested in our support of the state of Israel, the prison-industrial and military-industrial complexes, and the genocide of the indigenous people of America.

  • Deep in the West Bank-- a Jewish Arcadia
    • Phil - any particular reason for choosing the word 'Arcadia'? The language on the billboard itself doesn't speak to anything idyllic, but rather a last resort, as 'the only areas which can provide quality living.'

      I ask this in particular because my day job requires that I work in the museum store at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in particular, in the exhibition store of a new exhibit entitled "Visions of Arcadia: Cezanne, Matisse, Gauguin". (review: http://34st.com/2012/06/review-visions-of-arcadia/

      Thus, while selling t-shirts, prints, and mugs, I go on regular diatribes of the devastation of French colonialism, and the sexism and racism which were normalized by these artists in what became Modern Art.

      As such, I'd be interested in the connection between an "Arcadia" and an ethnically cleansed land.

  • Sarsak's release rumored, as football fans protest his detention
  • Medal of Freedom for Shimon Peres maintains White House blind spot on Israel
  • Should we call it apartheid?
    • I think it's important to start conversations with this, and not to reach them at the conclusion of your conversation, as Ibish suggests. So instead of telling people that I do work on Israel-Palestine, I often say that I work to end the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

      The next session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which will be this Fall in New York City, will begin to address the term sociocide - the systematic elimination of Palestinian society. With speakers such as Noam Chomsky, Ilaan Pappe, Diana Buttu, Saree Makdisi, and Dennis Banks of the American Indian Movement, this session of the Russell Tribunal is going to be a good one.

      http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/future-sessions

  • Jane Harman, media mogul
    • Great reporting - thanks Phil!

      So perhaps we can all start speaking with Peter Beinart about the financial support that his blog gets from Newsweek. Certainly a conflict of interests there.

  • The things I miss (confessions of an activist)
    • Thank you for this, Sarah!

      For so many today, personal struggles are political struggles. This is a cause of anguish, and a cause for hope, as we come to realize that by building a broader and more supportive movement, we improve our own mental health and well-being and then can struggle all the more effectively for justice and equality for Palestinians.

  • London Olympics security contractor's role in occupation is giving BDS 'traction and respect'
    • Israel NEEDS the Mountain Aquifer in the West Bank in order to have sufficient potable water for its residents. Just one of many reasons why the two-state solution won't work, and why Israel invaded the West Bank in the first place. It's a fascinating study, Israel's theft of Palestinian water, specifically in relation to 1967, as well as with Oslo. Ben Ehrenreich gave it a fascinating treatment in his Harper's article, 'Drip, Jordan'

  • 9th grade Palestinian boy arrested at 3:45 am, soldier leans close and whispers 'F*ck your mother' as they haul him off
  • Oren's defensive piece on 'sinister' delegitimization movement shows boycott is working
    • Yup! That's how I read it. Israel is happy to outlaw commemoration of the Nakba and BDS. I'm sure that all of us are on some list somewhere. Based on this line, I wouldn't be surprised to see increased efforts to target activists, journalists, and academics in the US. That's what Oren is prescribing in the WSJ.

  • US military officers taught to target civilians and wage 'total war' on Islam
  • Major Bay Area arts org worked closely with Israeli consul general to counter protests
    • In a completely unrelated matter, at the top of sponsors of the Equality Forum is the Comcast Corporation. How much do we have to wonder as to whether David Cohen convinced Malcolm Lazin to have Israel as the "featured nation"? And what collaboration does the Equality Forum have the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and the Israeli Embassy in Washington?

      Also, Annie, though San Francisco and New York have been prominent in the US LGBTQ cultural scene, let us not forget Philadelphia and the role that ACT UP played in securing rights to treatments for HIV+ individuals at a time when the LGBTQ community was decimated by AIDS.

  • Israel mobilizes special forces to deport 'flytilla' activists
    • The latest from Gideon Levy in Haaretz:
      'Israel is paranoid about pro-Palestinian activists'
      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-is-paranoid-about-pro-palestinian-activists-1.423894

      "The roots of this paranoia are deep and thought-provoking. Were Israel convinced of the justice of its path, it wouldn't behave this way. If Israel really thought the occupation is just and legal, it wouldn't be frightened by every conscientious activist who opposes it. If it had nothing to hide, it would respectfully invite them to visit.

      But when the ground is burning beneath our feet, and the fire of doubt and insecurity is consuming everything, the only response is a violent and unrestrained attack. On Sunday, when the farce of arrests and the grotesque expulsion take place once again, the activists will register another significant victory: Once again they will prove that Israel does have something to hide, that in spite of all its propaganda, Israel is well aware that there are skeletons in its closet and anyone who dares come near them will suffer the same fate - expulsion."

  • There are two liberation movements
    • 'There is a Palestinian led liberation movement that we support as allies. And there is a Jewish liberation movement that we are leading. '

      I often hear about 'healing' the Jewish community. Yet how can a movement that does not include those who are going through the MOST pain have any righteousness?

      For example, do you see Khader Adnan, Hana Shalabi, and the many other Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike as allies, or are they a part of your struggle?

      If the Palestine solidarity movement does not internalize the suffering of the Palestinians, then there will be no way forward for justice.

  • Israel as strategic liability -- US will trample human rights in Egypt for one reason
  • From M1 to Marcel Khalife, musicians from around the world join the call for 'Jerusalem for Us All'
    • Rather divisive to be promoting this album, at the same time that the petition condemning the anti-semitic messaging of Gilad Atzmon is being circulated by the Electronic Intifada, the US Palestinians Community Network, among others.

      From the petition:
      'With this letter, we call for the disavowal of Atzmon by fellow Palestinian organizers, as well as Palestine solidarity activists, and allies of the Palestinian people, and note the dangers of supporting Atzmon’s political work and writings and providing any platforms for their dissemination. We do so as Palestinian organizers and activists, working across continents, campaigns, and ideological positions.

      Atzmon’s politics rest on one main overriding assertion that serves as springboard for vicious attacks on anyone who disagrees with his obsession with “Jewishness”. He claims that all Jewish politics is “tribal,” and essentially, Zionist. Zionism, to Atzmon, is not a settler-colonial project, but a trans-historical “Jewish” one, part and parcel of defining one’s self as a Jew. Therefore, he claims, one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist. We could not disagree more. Indeed, we believe Atzmon’s argument is itself Zionist because it agrees with the ideology of Zionism and Israel that the only way to be a Jew is to be a Zionist.'
      http://uspcn.org/2012/03/13/granting-no-quarter-a-call-for-the-disavowal-of-the-racism-and-antisemitism-of-gilad-atzmon/

  • Advice to Zionists from a fellow loser
    • Mondoweiss has made a very important contribution to undermining the white male supremacist (ashkenazi) power structure in Israel by highlighting the violence they must use to maintain control. That, to me, has been the easy part of doing this work in the USA.

      What is much more difficult is confronting white male supremacy here at home. The conversation usually begins by highlighting the violence by which white males maintain control (prisons, immigration policy, capitalism, etc.), but we must also begin to elaborate on alternative power strictures.

      I wonder if mondoweiss would allow for articles on race and gender in the United States. I know it is not where you began with your consideration of 'ideas on the middle east', but shouldn't that be where you end up going?

  • What’s queer about the anti-occupation movement?
    • Dan, I'm a little surprised by your disdain for queer theory.

      What brings you to this work? What political theory and instilled values drive you to stand up and say that what Israel is doing is wrong?

      As Darnell shows, Queer theory allows for individuals to self-define their own sexual preferences, without having to conform to a specific identity. Furthermore, queer theory allows for sexual preference to be disconnected wholly from gender identity, and thus allows for a fluid conception of sexual preference.

      You refer to this as arbitrary, but what is it that allows for individuals to self-define their sexual preferences that is so threatening to you? I only say that because you sound angry and threatened, particularly when you say 'Why can’t you just as a friggin human being be against Israel’s policies, walls etc – along with “ideas that diminish our humanity”?'

      From my understanding, Darnell is against walls and constructions based upon identity because he sees the walls in Hebron as analogous to so many of the walls constructed elsewhere in society, metaphorically and physically.

      Queer theory creates a political space for equality, free from the social division created by sexism, racism, and classism. When individuals are allowed to be as they wish, without having to conform to the stereotypes and histories associated with their identity, they are free.

  • Palestine absent? Not at Occupy AIPAC
    • My reflections on Occupy AIPAC:

      Occupy AIPAC inspired me more than any other protest or demonstration that I have been a part of. So I wanted to share these experiences with the Mondoweiss crowd, as I believe that we can all learn methods and strategies from organizing from my experiences this weekend.

      First off, it was the Palestinian women who were there at Occupy AIPAC who inspired me. Because of their actions, I'll forever be changed for the better.

      Allow me to elaborate.

      Sunday was slated to be the day of action, with thousands of people attending the AIPAC conference at the DC Convention Center, and our hundreds gathering outside. Obama and Peres were scheduled to address the conference around 9:30, so Code Pink wanted folks to be there early.

      I was there around 7:30, and I met up with a group about 50-strong. Some students among us went incognito, and distributed fact sheets about AIPAC to student leaders among the attendees. Others, such as Anne Wright, remained across the street from the convention center in the park, with banners, a simulation Apartheid wall, and a loudspeaker.

      I was among fewer than a dozen who were directly confronting AIPAC attendees. Each encounter was as daunting as the next, as AIPAC attendees collectively dismissed my assertions of the lunacy of a strike on Iran.

      As the group went into the convention center, our numbers grew as theirs diminished, finally ending with us confronting their stragglers, and then gathering ours signs for a demonstration to Obama's motorcade en route to the convention center.

      We all massed together, rehearsing chants, and staging ourselves appropriately for that one glance that we would get from Obama from inside of his limousine. Our angles had to be just right, so as to enhance visibility. The chants were, to be honest, rather drone. 'Free Free Palestine!', and 'No War on Iran!' chief among them. I tried my best to add rhythm and rhyme with lines such as 'Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!', and '1, 2, 3, 4, no to sanctions, no to war!', but the flair was lost in repetition as we lingered around, badgered by the local police and relegated to a side street for a couple hours, awaiting the Obama motorcade.

      Obama drove by, with some among us exchanging glances with Obama's daughters as we screamed 'Free Palestine!', yearning for our words to have some reception.

      Then I considered with some friends, 'Should we get lunch now?', thinking that our action for the morning had come to an end. Well, we did our best, Obama gave us a glance. Shall we call it a day, get some good food, and reflect on our movement?

      Nancy of Existence is Resistance and Ashira Hakan grabbed two megaphones, and started leading chants. The pace was hurried, the chants organic and striving. With their energy, we quickly gathered steam and regrouped, collectivizing as we marched back from the side street to the front of the convention center. We screamed into the glass of the convention center, 'From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!'. My friend and co-conspirator, Evan Hoffman, banged his drum, and Nancy pointed the megaphone directly into the faces of AIPAC attendees.

      Our pulsating crusade marched on, shaking the walls of the convention center. Then we marched right on to the steps of the convention center, peering in on attendees. The small police force at the mouth of convention center nervously held us back, as our numbers could have easily stormed through the building. They called for reinforcement, as we balanced our own passion with our consideration of the fact that, well, none of us wanted to get arrested today.

      The chants continued, with 'From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!' mixed with the Arabic version, 'Miin al Mai'a la Mai'a, Falastine Arabiya!', and 'Free Free Palestine!' all beating out of our hearts, with drums beating and fists raised.

      Ashira and Nancy continued leading the chants. Ashira had arrived from Palestine just two days ago, and certainly the confrontation with police officers on the steps of the AIPAC convention is analogous in many ways to a confrontation with an IOF soldier on the hills of Bil'in and Nabi Saleh. Ashira spoke to this connection, and made everybody aware of exactly what AIPAC was promoting. In her impromtu speech, she spoke to her family losing their land, her brothers, sisters, and cousins being targeted, imprisoned, and in the case of Mustafa Tamimi, murdered by the Israeli Occupation Forces.

      Then, as our several-hundred strong group beat with one collective heart on the steps of the AIPAC convention, many took to the microphone. Medea Benjamin, Former Colonel Ann Wright, and Udi, a former soldier of the IOF and current organizer of the Global Justice Working Group of Occupy Wall Street, all took to the microphone, speaking passionately and eloquently on just why we must occupy AIPAC.

      Then the attendees began trickling out of the convention center. Code Pink assembled several signs and forums spanning the city block. In addition to speeches, the mock check point went back up, and then we went back to confronting the attendees of the conference.

      I joined several of my friends - students from Temple SJP, friends from Philly BDS, Abbas from Al Awda, and Nancy and Ashira. We confronted every attendee that we came across as they made their way across the street. No, we would not let them escape the AIPAC conference with clean consciences. What they are supporting is despicable. They're wrong.

      I've never done this before. I've always preferred to engage those who are not involved with Israel and Palestine, and tried to inform them. I've never actively engaged and challenged those who conform to Zionism. This was very much out of my element. But as the blood continued to flow in me, and the fire and energy of my friends seethed within me, there was no stopping me.

      I have read about Palestine, and been there myself, for a few years now. I know what is happening. And this was my opportunity to say, 'No', 'Stop this', and to confront those who are responsible for so much oppression.

      Ashira was commenting to attendees, 'You have blood on your hands!', and they would literally look at their hands. This moment of hesitation on their part gave Ashira the opportunity to elaborate how their attending the conference amounts to support and complicity in Israeli crimes. And they will all be held responsible, when the day comes when Palestinians do have justice.

      Then Nancy and my friend Kareema, from Philly BDS, confronted a man in his sixties. He struck back harshly to them, denouncing them and speaking about their mothers. Then, as fierce words were exchanged, he coolly put his finger to his lips.

      'Shhhhh'.

      And he turned his back on Nancy and Kareema and walked away with a look of satisfaction on his face.

      This lit me up. I've never before in my life confronted somebody like I did at this moment. I sprung. I jumped right in his face, 'You do NOT speak to other people like that! Have some respect! You go right back over there and you speak to them! You have no dignity, no respect!'

      It was so fucked up what he did. A white man attending the AIPAC conference feels entirely contented to shush Palestinian women as they are screaming for justice for their families. It goes back to all of the misogyny that you see against women in Israel, and all of the racism inherent in the Israeli position. Further, it exemplifies everything that I see wrong here in America. White men of wealth and privilege of given every opportunity to speak, while Palestinian women are silenced. Its our media, its in our movements, and its everywhere in society.

      I'm not going to stand for it any longer. Any misogyny, racism, sexism, nationalism, or classism, I just simply won't stand. I love these women, and I love people too much to allow for them to be silenced. I'm going to listen, and I'm going to ensure that others listen, because we all need to hear what they are saying.

      At one point, a young man said that Ashira and Nancy were 'too passionate'. I corrected him. We wouldn't have been nearly as successful had they not been as passionate. Certainly, we can look to curtail some of the actions of our movements so as to avoid arrest. But by and large, it is Palestinian voices that will lead our movement, and dictate strategy and messaging. They are the ones that are suffering the most, and they know what we need. If we attempt to stifle their voices, we are only perpetuating the very system which we are seeking to dismantle.

      The difference that I saw between Code Pink and the Palestinians at Occupy AIPAC was clear. Code Pink is standing up for justice, and asking for permission to dissent. For Palestinians, it isn't a choice. Their families and friends are subject to extreme violence, and they need justice. There is no other option. Seems like a lesson to be learned by many within the Occupy movement.

    • The young woman was Ashira Hakan.

      Here's a photograph of the scene: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=342063862501964&set=a.341776445864039.72651.195473957160956&type=1&theater

      I've been searching for a quality video, but have yet to find one.

  • Why Israel freed Khader Adnan
    • Khader Adnan, an innocent man according to the Israeli military court (which finds 99.74% of Palestinians "guilty"), will be held in Israeli prison for 5 months.

      Michael Plitnick hits the nail on the head. This abhorrent practice is now routine for Israel and the United States, among other countries which find it politically expedient in their repression of alternative political perspectives.

  • Why young Palestinians chant the word 'thawra'
    • I don't know if desperation is the correct word for this. Based on Doraed's demeanor, and that of many of the Palestinians whom I met in the West Bank, it's not necessarily desperation. To me, it speaks of a moral rectitude and moral clarity that is undeniable. The occupation and Israel's treatment of Palestinians is so abhorrent, resistance is the clear, unshakable, and moral aspect of Palestinian life. As Doraed said, it's not about the political or religious affiliation of an individual undertaking resistance. Rather, its the acts of resistance.

      Also, using the word desperation doesn't give justice to the Palestinian demand of dignity and equality. Doraed was so dignified in this video. He speaks with such moral clarity, such righteousness.

      There is no rebuttle to Doraed. There is no rebuttle to Khader. The Israel hasbarists can't refute their claims. It makes the revolution that grants Palestinians justice and equality feel not only inevitable, but forthcoming.

  • Out of the Ballpark: Susan Abulhawa's speech to the PennBDS conference
    • BIC, where are you based? What are you doing?

      If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that the resolution on Princeton's campus last year to have an alternative to Sabra Hummus was proposed almost entirely by one resolute student, then was quickly dispelled. This shows that 1: campaigns must be organized by a well-organized organization and 2: there is very little buy-in on campuses for resolutions to actually pass, due to the huge influence that Israel DOES HAVE on America's campuses.

      As far as campus divestment - the majority of universities, after the 1980's, no longer allow for students to have access and input into how the universities invest. So that is a huge barrier to any divestment campaigns on campuses, and would probably take lots of hand-wringing and political lobbying before students are even able to propose divestment initiatives.

      The way you speak as if it's so easy shows that you're clearly not actually involved in any campus activism. If you were, you'd see the huge amounts of political and media pressure that students who do solidarity work are under in the United States.

  • Sh*t the David Project says about Israel
    • Video of "Shit Zionists say" is up!

    • The "Shi* People Say..." phenomenon has produced some really interesting social commentary. I saw this video the other day: "Shi* White Girls say to Black Girls... Is Not Racist" in which the speaker breaks it down.

      "Shi* White Girls say to Black Girls" just does for white people what mass media does to black folks every day, with one very important difference. Its a joke. Its not trying to present itself as the real thing. But the media's caricatures of blackness are trying to be the real thing. And that's why the video's not racist."

  • How Sarah Schulman managed to get 'Pinkwashing' into the New York Times
    • Dershowitz berated the NYT editorial staff for this in his speech at UPenn. Made me smile when I watched the video.

      From my transcript:
      ...the answer is not, "Yes we stole your land, but we're good to gays". That was the article that was in the New York Times a few weeks ago. One of the stupidest articles ever run in the New York Times by this idiot professor that says that the only reason that Israel treats gays well is so that they can treat Palestinians badly. How the Times would allow that piece of drech to slip through the editorial pages is just remarkable to me. I've never seen a lower standard of editorial judgement than that article.

      A lot more of my analysis is up on my website: http://radioagainstapartheid.libsyn.com/home/analysis-of-dershowitz-speech

    • Thank you Sarah, and thank you Phil. This weekend was spectacular, and I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to share such moral clarity with everybody there.

  • Penn's president condemns article likening BDS conference to Nazism as 'counter to her personal values and civility'
    • President Gutmann's statement in the Daily Pennsylvanian today (http://thedp.com/index.php/article/2012/02/your_voice_protecting_speech_we_may_not_like) was co-signed with David Cohen, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UPenn and the Executive Vice President of the Comcast Corporation.

      Mondoweiss readers may remember Cohen, as he was the dinner chairman of the Friends of the IDF fundraiser back in November, and will be the honoree of the March 29 fundraiser here in Philadelphia.

      Annie, this is the climate that Penn BDS is working with. It is a wonder that the students at Penn were able to put this conference together. But the Penn administration is making it evident to the Philadelphia community where they stand. Cohen introduced Dershowitz this evening.

      (Will anybody be reporting on that Dershowitz speech??? He said that he spoke with Netanyahu AND Obama over the phone??? And he seems completely prepared to bomb Iran.)

  • Support a Palestinian family fighting to stay together under Israel's citizenship law
  • Israel is at the heart of Jewish identity, Gorenberg says
    • Ugh. I was going to pick up Gorenberg's book, but after not recognizing his own contradictions, it just doesn't seem worthwhile. More logic, please!

      As you pointed out, Phil, the prescription for Jews in the diaspora is an expression of ethnocentricity, the exact ethnocentricity which Gorenberg asked the reader to reject in the previous paragraph!

      "Think about it: You don’t believe in the inborn superiority of particular ethnic groups any more than you believe in the opposite, the inherent inferiority of ethnic groups."

      Think about it, Gorenberg! Then don't ask for a Jewish majority in a sovereign state on somebody else's land!

  • Community Radio: Media opportunity of a lifetime to build the Palestine solidarity movement
    • Thanks everybody! The podcasts are available online at RadioAgainstApartheid.Libsyn.com. We are still working on the equipment, and in all likelihood, this week's podcast will come in a much better quality. Though it doesn't have to deal with Israel and Palestine, we'll be speaking about Nigeria and the latest outbreak of violence there, and the origins of it.

  • Today in Pittsburgh, Jesse Lieberfeld, 17, will deliver a hammer blow to American Jewish support for Israel
    • Amazing the levels of partisanship and identity-based vitriol on Mondoweiss on MLK Day, particularly in response to an article denouncing racial supremacy.

      It's also so startling to read the Post Gazette's article. Rather than hailing and celebrating such ideological courage as that expressed from Jesse and Erika, they warn readers and only describe the essays as "searingly honest".

      In fact, it's almost as if they missed the point entirely. Why not just come out and say that these are two teens who have struggled with and overcome racial stereotypes?

  • Why aren't the best and the brightest in our MSM?
  • Surviving Guantánamo
  • Carter: US backed Egyptian dictatorship for 30 years to preserve Israel treaty
    • Jimmy's on my shit list.

      From the Times article:
      “I think it is probably going to be inevitable, and I don’t think it is going to be detrimental for the military to retain some special status,” he said.
      ...
      “If the civilian leadership decided to give the SCAF immunity from prosecution, say, for the death of the people in Tahrir Square over the last few months, I would have no objection to that,” Mr. Carter said. Protecting the military budget from full civilian scrutiny might be another point where civilian political leaders could compromise, he said.

  • Israel is trying to hook us into a war with Iran-- Matthews and Baer speculate
    • The thing that makes me most disappointed in all of this is Iran's crackdown on civilians in 2009 following the stolen elections. If Iran hadn't adopted militarism as the means of policing its own people, then I doubt that they would have adopted militarism as the means to finding justice for Palestinians (vis-a-vis Hezbollah).

  • Omar Barghouti: 'They can colonize our lands, but they can never colonize our minds'
  • Gaza students discuss 'Occupy Wall Street'
  • Ynet: Support for Israel on American campuses is kerplunking
    • I really think it's essential for BDS folks to get involved with Occupy, and Occupy folks to become involved with BDS. Those who support Zionism make up a small contingent of the world's financial elite, and the elite's disillusionment with the Zionist project is waning (as per international consensus).

      I do believe that the majority of financial elites will give up their support for the Zionist project in an effort to spare themselves from the humiliation of the colonization. Yet after giving up on Zionists, they will continue with imperialism, particularly in Africa.

      And the end of the Zionist project will create an opportunity to engage in a conversation as to America's history of colonization, and the power and morality of indigenous people, creating further schisms among supporters of capitalism.

      (I just wonder how many will have to die for this to happen... Or if they'll just continue with their hegemony for many more generations with a quiet war against all people).

  • Char the pepper! Diane Shammas shares her secret maftoul and muhammara recipes
  • Under pressure from smear campaign, Center for American Progress abandoned assertion that Israel lobby is pushing war with Iran
    • Any ideas as to what the content of the "pressure" applied to CAP by the Israel lobby consisted of? The Forward article just says it was "due to a barrage of criticism hurled at the group from Jewish and pro-Israel activists", and then goes on to cite CAP's links to the Democratic party. But there isn't a clear distinction between the supporters of CAP and the supporters of Media Matters.

      My guess is that there is some division within CAP, and it seems like a very likely ally in the future - but not at present.

      And meanwhile, M.J. Rosenberg does some great work.

  • Clark: There was no national debate over the policy coup by the 'hardnosed'
    • Does anybody have any links to information regarding where Israeli/American military support lies in Syria? The fact that Clark says "We are going to start with Iraq and then we are going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran seven seven countries in five years." sounds about accurate, as far as Libya, Somalia, Iran, and Sudan are concerned. But what political/military interference has American done in Syria and Lebanon?

  • Occupation economy: taking from the very land they stand on
    • What struck me most in the Ehrenreich article was the interview with Bassem Tamimi. Ehrenreich made it clear to readers that Israel targeted Tamimi for imprisonment for organizing the weekly nonviolent demonstrators in Nabi Saleh.

      From the article:
      "Tamimi had a strange, stiff sort of calmness about him, as if his long face and blue eyes were directed at some other, less tumultuous world. He had not been home for days. “I am wanted,” he explained, and smiled sadly. Late one night the previous week, Israeli soldiers had arrested his cousin Nabi and then came looking for him.
      ...
      "Five days after we talked in March, Tamimi risked a visit to Nabi Saleh. He had been back home for ten minutes when the soldiers arrived at his door. He has been inprison ever since."

      I'm not certain of the relation of Mustafa Tamimi to Bassem, but I assume that they're extended family members. And the systematic targeting for imprisonment of Bassem makes me believe that Mustafa was also a marked man.

  • Arendt: an Israel dependent on 'great powers' will always be 'precarious'
    • I haven't had the chance to read Arendt, but she is widely cited by Judith Butler, both in previous works, and in Butler's latest lecture series at Bryn Mawr. From those readings and from other citations, such as this one Phil, it seems to me that Arendt made a valuable contribution to the canon of moral philosophy based on Jewish tradition.

      I think I could be much more joyful if it weren't for the contribution of Zionism also being a part of the Jewish canon of theory.

  • Two critiques of Norman Finkelstein
    • Can I do a (somewhat) personal plug? There have been a lot of discussions of the efficacy and consideration of BDS on this thread. I hope some of you will come to Philly in February to contribute those viewpoints at UPenn's BDS conference: pennbds.org.

  • Swiss museum cancels competition after prize-sponsor Lacoste rejects Palestinian artist
  • Mainstream press sniggers at Ron Paul's antiwar message
    • Ron Paul is a libertarian, which means that he wants to leave the American government up to the bare minimum. This means that he wants to end regulation of the environment (EPA), end public education, and end the funding of American wars and foreign aid.

      In this respect, I see him very similar to many of the other candidates - he wants a corporatocracy. Whether the other candidates call for the corporations running a government, and the government being at the helm, or Paul calling for an end to government funding, and then corporations taking the helm, it all sounds the same to me.

      I think it's naive to think that he's taking a moral stand on any of these issues. He's taking a capitalistic stand, and letting the money that funds him talk.

      Sorry to burst bubbles. You may be angry with me saying this, but you may also think that I'm right.

  • Funeral march
  • Why did it take 6 years to talk about the Israel lobby?
    • From Friedman's article today in the NYT:
      "As for Newt, well, let’s see: If the 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians are not a real people entitled to their own state, that must mean Israel is entitled to permanently occupy the West Bank and that must mean — as far as Newt is concerned — that Israel’s choices are: 1) to permanently deprive the West Bank Palestinians of Israeli citizenship and put Israel on the road to apartheid; 2) to evict the West Bank Palestinians through ethnic cleansing and put Israel on the road to the International Criminal Court in the Hague; or 3) to treat the Palestinians in the West Bank as citizens, just like Israeli Arabs, and lay the foundation for Israel to become a binational state. And this is called being “pro-Israel”?"

      My response:
      This feels like an absolute slap in the face of the Palestinians in Gaza, '48, and living in exile. As if the Palestinians living in the West Bank are the only ones who matter because its their land that is currently being stolen by Israel. I'd love to see Friedman go to Gaza and wake up to reality.

      How ironic that Friedman, by denying the lives and experiences of the other Palestinians, engages in the exact same negation that he is denouncing.

  • Liberal pundits and Democrats are stifling conversation on failed peace process, AIPAC's power, and push for war on Iran
  • How we started 'Radio against Apartheid' in Philly
    • Thanks for the support everyone! I really appreciate it and really mean what I wrote in the article - I'm hoping that the project is just an opening up of dialogue and conversation, and I invite the many brilliant voices attending to this website to contribute.

  • Why is Charlie Rose hugging Seth Klarman?
    • Jeff, do you think that Israel occupies the American government? What would Israel look like if there were no American influence there? What would America look like if there were no Israeli influence here?

      So who occupies whom? Some may say that Israeli influence upon American politics is the tail wagging the dog. But I'd contend that that's just how the damn dog is. What may be perceived as Israeli interests in American politics isn't as much Israeli interests as it is what Americans wish for Israel to do next.

      I'm really skeptical about you saying 'our subservience to Israel.'

  • NBC and the Israel lobby
    • Can anybody unpack the Jewish Exponent quote for us readers a bit? I think there are some who would look at a mention of threats to 'Israel's physical security' and absolutely cringe. And then there are others who may read that and take it as a given, as a right.

      And I think debunking quotes like that can go a long way towards gaining acceptance at the Daily KoS, for instance. And finding a place in American discourse.

      I just haven't got the time at the moment, but I certainly would like to. Last week I attended a lecture at Bryn Mawr by Judith Butler entitled 'Towards an Ethics of Co-Habitation," in which she railed against Jewish 'communitarianism' and ethnic exclusivity. This quote reminds me of the lecture.

      Her lecture unfortunately won't be available until publication in 2012.

  • Susan Abulhawa's Mornings in Jenin headed for the silver screen
  • What next after the latest frustrated flotilla?
  • Israeli embassy tried to get alarmist Iran question into 2008 presidential debate, then coordinated Gaza onslaught's end with Team Obama
    • The US doesn't have the launch a war with Iran. It sounds more and more as if Israel is getting the go-ahead from the US. Israel has mandatory service in the army for all citizens - plenty of foot soldiers.

      And "there is ZERO upside for America or Europe to any war with Iran" ????

      Have you not been paying attention? The people who MAKE the weapons are driving the policy! Why wouldn't they want to have another war to profit from? More reasons for weapons sales!!! WOOOT!

    • Does anybody have any resources on Hesbollah? Any books/articles/documentaries that give a good history of the movement and political party? Really – please reply.

  • Knesset to vote on full Israeli annexation of the West Bank
    • Since when was Oslo a great thing for Palestinians? Everybody I've talked to in Palestine felt that Arafat had sold the farm with Oslo, so I don't know why people on this thread feel as though the non-implementation of Oslo was a devastating blow to Palestinians.

      If you look at Oslo, it left 2.3% of the West Bank and Gaza as Area A, meaning that there is full PA authority in these areas. 25.1% of the land was designated as Area B, meaning that the PA has civil authority and Israel has security control, and 72.2% of the West Bank and Gaza was designated as Area C, which is autonomous Israeli territory.

      But when Israel has security control over Area B, this really means that soldiers and settlers can do as they please with impunity.

      So Palestinians are left with 2.7% of their own land under the Oslo Accords. And now there are steps being taken to nullify Oslo because Israelis feel that they didn't get enough of the land.

      And just as a note, eee wrote: "Only the Jewish settled areas will be annexed and any Palestinian living there will get to choose if he wants to be an Israeli citizen, like the Druze in the Golan or the Arabs of East Jerusalem."

      And this makes me wonder about where eee is working from. If he were speaking from a knowledgeable position, then he would know that "Jewish settled areas" exclude Palestinians.

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