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Total number of comments: 7 (since 2012-08-10 17:40:38)

Blake Alcott

Working for one democratic state in (all of historic) Palestine, working for complete right of return and property-restitution. Background: philosophy, cabinet-making, an ecological economics PhD and engagement since 2009 for Palestinians.


Showing comments 7 - 1

  • The explosion hidden inside the UN Apartheid report
    • Excellent work, Jonathan. But why do you suddenly bring in "Falk and Tilley"? This is confusing.
      I myself know that both those writers sometimes do not quite 'walk the last mile' against Zionism. But why bring them up?

  • 'Its ultimate reward is to enforce justice, to return home': A review of Salman Abu Sitta's 'Mapping My Return: A Palestinian Memoir'
    • What? No Comments on this great review of this great book? There are not many eloquent, honest writers still writing who experienced the Nakba, and because Salman Abu Sitta combines personal experience with more abstract history, this book is one of the five best on the topic of return (and property restitution).
      The book is especially strong in showing, like the author's previous works, that return to original places as citizens is both an absolute right that trumps other possibly competing rights and also doable with relatively little cost to the present individual residents on Palestinians' land. There is much un-built-upon land, and the author (and others) have databases showing who owns what, where and how much. The refugees and their descendants are known, that is, as is the exact location and size of their places of origin.
      He even does the economics of it: return with compensation is cheaper than all the billions spent propping up the unsustainable edifice of Israel.
      What is most encouraging is that Salman Abu Sitta himself has not given up. He is just as determined as he was 60 or 70 years ago to make return and one democratic state in all of Palestine a reality. He earns our undying respect, and I hope that 7 million more Palestinians in the shatat are willing to follow his example. Justice for Palestinians will be done inevitably, but faster if more of us engage.

  • Nakba in The New Yorker, BDS in Variety
    • Hello seafoid. You've picked out some key words. I agree with your take on them. That is why in my previous post I spoke of Lifeboat Palestine. Lifeboat ethics are where it's either you or me. It's also an excuse for anything, because if it's either/or, normal ethics no longer apply. It is morally equivalent whether I kill you or you kill me.
      The Z. tactic here seems to be exactly this: Re-cast the conflict as explicitly as possible as lifeboat ethics when talking to the World. When talking among themselves, of course, there's no need for this. They can just stand behind their pure aggression and 'wanting it all'. Seen thus, this is just very sophisticated, perhaps ultimate, hisbara.
      The debate then goes back to: Was it really a lifeboat situation in 48? Discuss.
      In 1917 it wasn't. In 2013 it isn't. That's why imho Shavit & Z & Co will fall on their popos on this. It's just too flimsy when claimed for, say, the period 1967-today.

    • To Annie Robbins: You're right, damn it. Shavit's article goes only halfway in acknowledging the nakba because he acts as if the Arabs in December 47 threw the very first stone in the history of Zionism, and adds not a word on Plan Dalet or anything. Subtle.
      I fear one effect of this article on mainstream Usrael apologists will be to rehabilitate a bit the good name of the 'liberal Zionists': they are honest, they admit to murder, they suffer. The message is that this is a Tragedy, i.e. unavoidable, human, with no culprits.
      Editor-in-chief Remnick is also a hardcore Zionist. Remember his revolting interview with Naftali Bennett?
      But Shavit's last paragraph. Read it again but dress warmly. The columns are still marching east, and they MUST. It is still necessary, Shavit is saying, in 2013 to ethnically cleanse Judea and Samaria. He's moved from 48 to today, and Remnick approved that last paragraph.
      Shavit and Remnick are up to something here that I don't yet understand.
      Thanks Annie and xanadu and Jim Holstun for the great Comments and Links.

    • Donald, I take your points, thanks. Yes, looking at the New Yorker, the glass is half-full, not half-empty. (Looking at Shavit himself, the glass is broken.)
      It is good to advance from looking at 67 to looking at 48, which the Shavit article does. That clears away the smoke and mirrors the Zionist narrative has set up in restricting the term 'occupation' to WB & Gaza.
      It is also good that the nakba is acknowledged, even if Shavit can't resist making it look like Palestinians threw the first stone, that 47/48 sort of fell from the sky: "In December, 1947, a seven-car convoy of Jewish soldiers [N.B. soldiers] from the Haganah... was attacked by Arab fighters. Thirteen soldiers were slain." [The biblical 'slain' is a nice touch; it's the New Yorker we're reading, you know.]
      But aside from these 2 points, Shavit is given the platform, in the oh-so-progessive North Atlantic world of 2013, to argue for ethnic cleansing. And you will have to wait a long time until the New Yorker publishes an article of equivalent length from the anti-Zionist viewpoint, that of the victims.
      You say it's "perfectly understandable" that many Jews saw themselves in a Lifeboat Palestine. But the term 'understandable' is ambiguous: it can mean just seeing the emotional logic of a position, but also condoning, morally approving of, such a position (in this case murderous, racist cleansing). Don't take it personally, but I am sick and tired of being asked to 'understand' racists, who liquidate(d) Arabs.
      Also, you are setting up equivalence between Zionist violence, which is offensive and from strength, and Palestinian violence, which is defensive and from weakness. I've also had enough of that.

    • Pam Olson gets this right, but stops short. Shavit is much worse than she indicates. She quotes several terrible Shavit statements, but misses one. After telling Lydda like it was, Shavit asks: "Do I wash my hands of Zionism? Do I turn my back on the Jewish national movement that carried out the destruction of Lydda? No."
      Lest one think Shavit is less immoral than Benny Morris, here are the closing sentences, as the liberal, erudite Ha'aretz/New Yorker author stands in Palestine 2013: "In the heavy heat, through the haze, through the dry brown fields, I see the column marching east. So many years have passed, and yet the column is still marching east. For columns like the column of Lydda never stop marching."
      Chilling stuff. Shavit believes it "had to" be done because the Jewish nation "has to" exist - in Palestine.
      Shavit's self-centered, Palestinian-free, poetic-tragic tone means to make us feel sorry for Shavit. The executioner is the emotional victim, forced to kill, expel and dispossess.
      What is going on is an argument that Palestine is a lifeboat, and we are faced with lifeboat ethics. Poor Mr Shavit moans: "Like the brigade commander, I am faced with something too immense to deal with." Here is both anguish and helplessness. This boils down to a banal, "It's either us or them."
      This is where the factual/ethical discussion should begin: Is Palestine a lifeboat, in which our hero, Shavit, must 'shoot then cry'? Not really.

  • John Kerry's peace process: Dead on arrival
    • The US appoints arch-Zionist Indyk as its representative and places the Israeli flag in the middle at the opening when Kerry presents Livni and Erekat to the press.
      For the US, Israel is the main thing.

Showing comments 7 - 1