i often hear it stated (especially by neo-liberals such as findley, carter, weir, if americans knew, etc) that us. support for israel is against all u.s. values and is hurting the image of the u.s around the world; as if u.s. policy toward israel were so different than the policy that forged this nation, created bantustans (reservations), committed genocide, and is the belly of the beast of world domination and empire. as if all antipathy towards the u.s. is merely the result of u.s. policy in one small region, since 1967. this argument is racist on so many levels. on the surface it is anti-jewish as it perpetuates the stereotype of jewish power, not within any dialectical analysis, but from some magical source, unconnected to any other base of power, magically forcing the u.s to work against its “own interests.” the argument is also racist because it negates the incredible role the u.s. has played historically, not only within the confines of official expanding territory, but in imperial wars, neo and traditional colonialism, incarceration (the new slavery), free enterprise zones, etc. and how that policy is consistent with u.s. policy towards palestine and palestinians. this event: From la Frontera to Gaza. promises to make some of the connections between the situation in palestine, where a wall and a border has crossed what was an open palestinian homeland, and the situation in the southwest where a wall and a border crosses the territories and homelands of several indigenous populations, as well as the area that was once mexico.
From la Frontera to Gaza: Chicano-Palestinian Connections
Monday March 30 2009
Taper Hall of the Humanities (THH) 101
Free and open to the public
During the Israeli offensive on Gaza, it was often asked, “What if a terrorist group were lobbing rockets into San Diego out of Tijuana?” The analogy was tendentious and misrepresented both situations and their histories. But are there really connections between the Chicano and the Palestinian situations?
What connections exist between the histories of “Occupied America” and of Occupied Palestine?
–Are there analogies between the wall being constructed along the US border with Mexico and the separation wall that cuts through the occupied West Bank—both being constructed by the same Israeli firm, Elbit Systems? (http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/site/2008/01/23/up-against-the-wall-from-palestine-to-mexico/)
–What is the impact of the security state and the control of movement of people on US Latinos and both Palestinians and Arab Americans?
–Are there comparative dimensions to educational inequalities affecting both Chicanos in the US and Arab Israelis, both of who form substantial minorities that suffer from discrimination against their cultures and languages and significant under-representation in the upper levels of education?
–What lessons can be drawn from the practice of boycott by Cesar Chavez and the UFW for the current movement for the boycott of Israel? How does boycott work, what is its status as an instrument of non-violent struggle, when and why should a boycott be pursued?
These and other questions will be explored by the panel of speakers, which will be followed by three more focused workshops: History of Palestine, Boycott as a Non-Violent Tool, and The Right to Education.
12.00 –1.30 pm, THH 101: panel discussion with Manuel Criollo, Jose Fuste, and Manzar Foroohar
1.30-3.00pm: Focus Workshops in the Von KleinSmid Center
History of Palestine: VKC 105, with Manzar Foroohar
Boycott as a Non-Violent Tool: VKC 108, with Manuel Criollo and David Lloyd
The Right to Education: VKC 151, with Rana Sharif and Jose Fuste
Manuel Criollo, Bus Riders Union lead organizer, son of immigrants from El Salvador, life-long resident of Pico/Union neighborhood of Los Angeles where he knows “just about everyone.” Manuel received a BA from University of California, Santa Barbara, was elected to the BRU Planning Committee before joining staff. His work focuses on grassroots leadership development and mentoring organizers-in-training and new organizing staff, he is also a co-host of the Voices from the Frontlines radio show, and key staff liaison with regional elected officials including the LA mayor and County Board of Supervisors.
Manzar Foroohar is Professor of History at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Her work focuses on Modern Latin America, Modern Middle East, and the Comparative Political Economy of Latin America and the Middle East. She has recently returned from a visit to Palestine.
Jose Fuste is a graduate student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. He runs the blogsite Pensamiento Cimarrón/Maroon Thinking, which has recently focused on Palestine and the invasion of Gaza: http://marooning.blogspot.com/2008/12/gaza-war.html
David Lloyd is Professor of English at USC and a member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and of Teachers against Organization.
Rana Sharif is a Ph.D. student in Women’s Studies, UCLA. Currently, her research focuses on the ruptures and inconsistencies of the everyday, mundane, and habitual in the Occupied West Bank Territory of Palestine. She investigates the ways in which temporal and material consequences to occupation forfeit heteronormalcy and reconstitute subjectivities. Rana is an Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and a contributor to KPFK’s Radio Intifada.
This event has been sponsored by: the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, Chicano and Latino American Studies, and USC Students for Justice in Palestine.