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By Emma Rosenthal

An important discussion has inadvertently come to a head within the Palestine solidarity movement that focuses on the nature of solidarity, agendas within movements, white savior syndrome, the nonprofit industrial complex and alliance building and accountability. While the differences exposed by this discussion have been an issue within the movement for sometime, the discussion is long overdue. 

This all came to a  head when Alison Weir, founder of If Americans Knew, (IAK), and president of the Council for the National Interest, (CNI), responded publicly to the internal decisions, communicated to Weir in personal letters,  of two other Palestine Solidarity organizations; Jewis Voices for Peace (JVP)   and The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO)  that it was inconsistent with their anti-racist human rights agenda to work with Weir or her organizations. Weir and her supporters were outraged over the decision by these two groups to dis-associate from her.

What is curious is the response of Weir and her supporters here  and here  including assertions that this was:  the act of zionist infiltrators,  McCarthyism,and that Weir was being silenced, censored and attacked (“by zionists”).  Most notable in the responses to these internal documents is that in calling out what both organizations believe to be in contradiction to their anti-racist principles, they were being “divisive” and “playing into the hands of the zionists.”

No one is silencing Weir. Not working with Weir isn’t silencing her. She is not entitled to every panel, conference and coalition. The definition of zionism* isn’t “disagreeing with Alison”.

With public recognition comes public scrutiny.  At the very least, books get reviewed, and to disagree with a particular author or to choose not to create a forum with or for that author isn’t McCarthyism or a personal attack or censorship.  Despite the protestations of her followers, no one is infringing on Weir’s employment, ability to travel outside the U.S., arresting her, blacklisting her,  keeping her from other forums or from creating forums of her own. She is not at risk for imprisonment, deportation or execution.  (THAT would be McCarthyism, a movement that singled out Jews and Blacks disproportionately.) In pointing that out, I would hope we could focus on fair and honest argumentation and avoid insults, ad hominem and strawmen. We should avoid terms that define a person in ways that they would not define themselves  and instead identify ideas and actions that are racist, white supremacist and zionist and explore their impact and significance.   In that context, a person who is truly anti-racist would want to check themselves out of concern that unintentionally they may have done harm. “I’m not racist but…” is not the response of accountability.  Furthermore “Alison doesn’t have a racist bone in her body” obfuscates the issue and avoids actual accountability.

It was Weir that made this discussion public,  but it is much bigger than her, or her organizations with implications for social justice activism and advocacy in general.  I hope in this article to inform that discussion in a deeper way than has been offered up until now, and I expect in its wake will come even more discussion and understanding, as well as unfortunate insults, ad hominems, strawmen and abuse. I would hope those who believe in their positions would chose to articulate  them in ways that add to our greater understanding and leave insults and derailing obfuscations to those whose positions have little substantiation beyond their own opportunism and bigotry.

This article will not focus on Weir in particular, but rather on the key issues, ideologies and contradictions  that fuel the differences of the current dialogue. Notably this discussion involves core assumptions and entitlements. Without the willingness to explore the root of these premises no one is qualified to then assert that racism isn’t an underlying factor, regardless of all good intentions and “better judgement.”

Divisiveness: or don’t talk about the elephant.

The assertion that those who raise the issue of racism (sexism, ableism etc) are divisive is a common defense against and a way of derailing any discussion of racism and oppression within social justice activism. But discussing already existing divisions doesn’t create them. Denial doesn’t make differences go away. A healthy movement should be able to air differences and account for them, determine which differences are deal breakers for forging alliances and which are healthy in that they allow for a diversity of opinions, experiences and voice.

Discussing Differences: Two Major Tendencies

There are two basic tendencies within what is broadly known as Palestine solidarity with implications in regard to U.S. global policy and social activism as well. One tendency, and the one that I identify with, comes from a tradition of anti-racist, anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist work, which often includes a critique of capitalism at its root. In no context does it see the U.S. as a neutral party, an agent of benevolence or the Great White Hope.  It views Western support for Israel as an extension of and consistent with western imperialism, colonization and conquest.  This tendency doesn’t deny the power of the zionist lobby (The Lobby), but sees that power not as an exception but rather as functioning well within the lobby system itself and the entire infrastructure of U.S. empire and capitalism.  Many of the members of this tendency, myself included,  have been attacked, surveilled and blacklisted by the The Lobby and the zionist establishment.  The problem isn’t with The Lobby in particular, but rather with the political structures that allows for powerful corporate lobbies to exist at all and with how The Lobby exists to support those systems.  This perspective asserts that The Lobby doesn’t just consist of  Israel, its Jewish U.S. supporters  or the self proclaimed “Jewish” organizations (the ADL, Stand with Us, AIPAC). It  also includes the vast number of Christian zionists and the Christian fundamentalist churches, the oil industry, the construction industry, the security industry and by no short measure, the arms industry, all of which profit quite favorably from escalating Israeli militarism.  (In the U.S, while there are less than 6 million Jews, zionist and anti-zionist, there are over 40 million Christian zionists.) Israeli brutality and militarism is consistent and in dialogue with, and developing alongside the growing militarization of police forces within U.S. cities, the prison industrial complex, and urban warfare as well as the militarization of the border with Mexico and U.S. empire.

Within this tendency though, and Weir points this out to JVP,  is the tolerance by some of “soft zionism”.  JVP should address internally as well as publicly its refusal to denounce zionism if it’s going to be consistent with its assertion that it does not work with racists. The attempt by “soft zionists” to present zionism as somehow consistent within a larger human rights narrative is impossible.  In my opinion, Weir is quite correct in this assertion.

The other tendency’s ideology is based in white supremacist assertions and ideology. This tendency sees the problem as an ethnic/foreign one, with one outside agent (Israel) with its internal agents (usually diaspora Jews, with little or no discussion of the vast number of Christian zionists) having “undue influence” via The Lobby, on the U.S. government. This tendency breaks down into two groups:  The first group espouses  outright ideological white supremacy: KKK, Nazis, David Duke, Stormfront, Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, David Icke, Gilad Atzmon, among others, who identify particular Jewish qualities as the core issue and envision themselves engaged in an existential struggle against “World Jewish Domination” and the rising numbers of people of color. Generally they openly fear the growing number of people who are not white, both within occupied Amerika and the world at large, and are overt in their concern for the “eventual extinction” of white people.  They don’t actually care about Palestinians. They just hate Jews more and see Palestine as the front line of a global struggle against white annihilation. They use terms like Jewish power, Jewishness, ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) and  the Hollowcause;  they doubt that there ever was a Holocaust but assert that if there were it was because the Jews brought it upon (them) (our) selves.

Then there are the neo-liberal/neo-colonialists, whose premise is also white supremacist,  in that they support ruling class interests that favor and promote white power and privilege.  They include Mearsheimer and Walt, Jimmy Carter, Kathleen and Bill Christison, Paul Findley, Anne Wright and Ray McGovern. Their concern is with particular market interests and U.S. foreign policy strategy.  They frame their concern in terms that are white supremacist because they assume U.S. largess and exceptionalism, like “American interests”,  “American core values, “American founding principles”,  “America’s good name and good will”  and the need to “appeal to middle (aka white) America”.  While Weir and her supporters painted all those who call out this inherent racism, as zionists, interestingly, zionism is not so much of a problem for most of this group, but rather the extent of Israeli (perceived) power and disobedience as a client state.  Many of the neo-liberals (including Paul Findley–who, as a U.S. congressman, never opposed South African apartheid, U.S. intervention in South and Central America or the Vietnam War) qualify their critique of Israel with support for a two state solution that would include a specifically Jewish state, run by and with particular advantage to Israeli Jews.  (In case you missed that, it’s essentially zionist, unless by zionist, one mean “Jews”.)  While The Lobby advocates a war economy, the neo-liberal objective is to create markets and promote industry and debt dependency,  which is difficult under extreme military conflict. We could refer to this group and their two state solution as Maquiladora (sweatshop) labor and Halal McDonalds. However to expand markets the neo-libs need the absence of war. They need a passive population to serve the interests of multinational corporations.

The adherents to ideological white supremacy and neoliberalism focus on what they see as the undue influence of Israel on U.S. policy and in many cases present the U.S. as the victim, even the ultimate victim of zionist brutality and aggression.  They are not, for example, offended or concerned that a U.S. spy ship  (the U.S.S. Liberty) was in the Mediterranean spying on Israel and Egypt,  because they recognize that as a significant right of “American” exceptionalism.  They don’t concern themselves with the fact that this was a military target and as such, not innocent, in the way civilians are innocent. They are offended that the ally they gave “so much money to” (bought and paid for) would bomb “our” spy ship.  They are not offended by settler colonialism, racism, apartheid, manifest destiny. The concern of this tendency isn’t with imperialist power, capitalism, hegemony or settler colonialism per se, but rather with what they see as the threat: Israel and by extension,  the Jews. Those who harbor ideological white supremacy locate Jews and Jewishness, as the problem. The neo-liberals focus on Israel: a foreign power, that exercises these systems of oppression outside of what they identify as (their) U.S. interests.

This is to say these two tendencies represent very different ideologies and motivations. One is a movement against racism, imperialism, capitalism and empire. The other sees Israel as an obstacle to imperialism, capital and empire, and rejects any suggestion that this agenda might be fundamentally problematic, supremacist and unjust. This is the root of the objection to Weir, IAK and CNI.  It isn’t personal, it isn’t McCarthyism (which requires the power of the state!). It’s simply a different and opposing politic.

White supremacist opportunism has colonized this movement, columbused* this movement, taken it on as its own, framing it in Amerikanisms, as if the Palestinians were superfluous to their own struggle. Senior Editor Gordon Duff of “Veterans Today”’ referred to Palestinian activists  as “Supposed Palestinian Activists.   Greta Berlin referred to Ali Abunimah, as “Ali Ayatolah,”  Atzmon referred to Palestinian activists  en masse as demonstrating “intellectual intolerance” and to Ali Abunimah as a Sabbath Goy answerable to his Jewish masters.  And many  Gilad Atzmon and Greta Berlin supporters disregarded a widely diverse call from Palestinian activists and scholars, that racism, including antisemitism* has no place in the Palestinian movement here and  here; as if Palestinians had no right to direct the message and the terms of their own struggle.

If Americans Knew, according to its own web page, states:  “she (Weir) founded an organization to be directed by Americans without personal or family ties to the region who would research and actively disseminate accurate information to the American public.”  This false and entitled “objectivity” disregards the politics of experience and pretends that only those not directly impacted negatively can be trusted to come to rational or objective conclusions and make legitimate assertions, or at the very least, to run and direct an organization intended to inform “Americans”. This is so essentially supremacist and in this regard, IAK provides the most ideological framework for stripping the Palestinian struggle of Palestinians and for disregarding the insights of Jewish anti-zionists when it comes to  navigating the distinction between real anti-Jewish racism and  false accusations of antisemitism against any and all critiques of Israel and zionism. One can scroll the pull down menu at the top of the IAK web page and barely find any mention of Palestinians at all. It’s truly striking and offensive – Palestinian struggle without Palestinians, where Palestinians, little more than statistics, with their “personal or family ties” aren’t to be trusted to direct the movement or present “objective” viewpoints. This is the job for the fair-haired Amerikan saviors.  who “read dozens of books on the topic.” 

In one recent statement Weir defends this segregated approach to organizing, citing the value of ethnic-specific organizations, though she doesn’t think anti-zionist Jews or Palestinians know what antisemitism is as she has yet to call out anything within the movement as antisemitic including Atzmon and a host of Holocaust deniers with whom she is closely affiliated and in Atzmon’s case, has publicly defended (against the better judgement of Palestinian activists). She claims that the ethnic makeup of her organization is important to reach a particular constituency. NO DOUBT!  and that’s pretty much the point. Unless one is reaching out to white Amerika to confront their racist entitlement,  from an anti-imperialist anti-racist perspective, one is just reinforcing their entrenched bigotry to the benefit of the ruling class,  especially if one uses language that reinforces that hegemony.

Opportunistic white supremacy advances an agenda in which the Palestinians are superfluous to the struggle and the movement. It pretends that since zionist organizations assert that all and any critiques of Israel and zionism are antisemitic, then nothing is. It uses the Palestinian struggle and other popular concerns to normalize and advance a U.S. imperialist agenda that is racist to its core, and to normalize it, even on the left, significantly on the left.  It is not only anti Jewish,  it is anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-Native American, anti-Asian, anti-the global south, anti-Arab, anti- everyone the U.S. foreign and domestic policy has hurt, attacked, stolen from and killed, over the last hundreds of years.  Hiding behind scapegoats and particularly Jewish stereotypes to perpetuate an exceptionalism it only opposes when those who embody it are Jewish or “foreign”. The problem with Israel in this context obviously isn’t settler colonialism, or racism, or imperialism, or genocide. It’s the understanding that it is carried out by and for Jews.

But it isn’t. It’s being carried out by U.S. empire– a reality which is easily eclipsed by focusing on  Israel and the Jews, as if in the fight for human rights, U.S. interests were in any way noble. As if the U.S. had a good name to destroy, had core values that were virtuous, as if the U.S. ruling class had suddenly lost the ability or the will to advocate for itself. The appeal to middle (aka white) Amerika betrays and abandons every other movement for liberation and justice.  And this is a key difference: One tendency joins the Palestinian struggle to global struggles for human rights and the other tendency, to white Amerikan entitlement and empire. This is not a minor difference and in recognizing these fundamental contradictions one is not divisive. The existing division is wide, deep and longstanding.

That members of this second tendency may be Jewish or Black or from a group targeted by white supremacy, doesn’t preclude them from espousing and advocating white supremacy. White supremacy is an ideology, and as such can be advanced by anyone. Jewish and Black white supremacists provided a greater illusion of objectivity to the racist assertions.

To be clear, I am not saying we must work on every issue and for every cause. I am not calling out specialization and specification. Yet surely in deciding to devote our attention to one particular cause, we must not sell out others or sell short the larger issues of social justice and we certainly should not colonize causes for what is basically an imperialist objective.

Those within the second tendency have colonized this movement for their own white supremacist agenda, with no concern for the consequences of their analysis and refusing to consider the racist implications of their assertions. White Amerikans will not bear the brunt of any association of Palestinian liberation with anti-Jewish stereotypes and ideology. Victims of U.S. empire will, targets of white supremacy will, Palestinians and Jews will.  Palestinians most of all.

Zionism is racism not only because of the relationship it establishes regarding Jews and Palestinians, it is racist because it is a settler colonialist enterprise of U.S. and western empire.

Between ideological white supremacy and the neo-libs there is incredible overlap in both ideology and endorsement as well as in underlying core assumptions.  That members of these two groups not only express their entitlement to the support of the anti-imperialist tendency, but that they rely on and align with each other is not insignificant.

And there are a few leftist cheerleaders, or those who would have us think they are leftists, for example, Counterpunch magazine,  James Petras,  Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan who either advocate a Lobby exclusivist perspective or promote those who do to the exclusion of other points of view. These leftists also tend to promulgate conspiracy theories, many of which are rooted in traditional antisemitism and distract activists from supporting human rights and opposing U.S. empire. The promotion of unsubstantiated conspiracies as fact, makes addressing documentable grievances more difficult, as they get caught in the cacophony of the unbelievable. Conspiracism as a ruling class tool,  abandons documentation and material dialectics and replaces them with unsubstantiated accusations,  magic secret societies and outright lies. When Sheehan granted Mckinney and Atzmon quarter on her soapbox she not only refused to allow any other voice to counter Atzmon and the racism that Palestinians have rejected, she blocked and unfriended those of us who attempted a dialogue and critique in the form of comments.

European Christian Origins of Zionist Ideology

In response to two organizations declining to work with Weir, several of her supporters signed a petition defending her.   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oyHWpfZtMvDez5XThztcbRMbgzQqMnCibkVk4Rjh3Hw/viewform  Many of the leading names on the petition were predictable, and include many Holocaust deniers, former U.S. governmental officials and CIA and miltary operatives. If Weir doesn’t appreciate their support she needs to disassociate from them (and in some cases, endorsing them).  Endorsement is more than “guilt by association” it is complicity by affiliation and alliance.

I was especially surprised to see Lawrence Davidson’s name among the signatories. Davidson has done deep and considerable work documenting the European Christian fundamentalist origins of zionist ideology.  and   He documents that European Christians envisioned a Jewish state in historic Palestine centuries before Hertzl’s first pen or the founding Zionist Congress and well before the Irgun or Stern Gang set off their first bombs.  Davidson demonstrates how the European Christian interpretation of the Biblical texts has been used to justify western colonization and imperialism: manifest destiny, conquering the wilderness, Pilgrims, the promised land, a city on the hill.

It wasn’t Jews who named Zion National Park, who named Amerikan cities Hebron and Bethlehem.  zionism is essentially a Christian ideology, not a Jewish one. t is settler colonialism, arising as political zionism in the context of 19th century nationalism and imperialism, then promoted decades later to a desperate people after a genocide of catastrophic proportions. Zionism is simply one element of Amerikan empire. Israel’s conquest and domination of Palestine is one more notch on the bedpost of U.S. enterprise.

Follow the money. Just follow the money. I know, I know, the whole rich Jew thing makes that sound silly, but put that stereotype aside and FOLLOW. THE. MONEY. While it is my considered belief that there is no form of political zionism that is not racist, the extreme example we have today is the zionism of empire (Western and Amerikan), bought and paid for. To assert anything else, is only believable because of stereotypes of the powerful Jew, Jewish dominance and Jewish money. To keep asserting these is to give cover to empire, which in turn gives cover to settler colonialism, capitalism, apartheid and racism on a global scale.

A Call for Accountability

Could the neo-liberals at least dis-associate from Ideological white supremacy and admit that there may be SOME sectors of the Amerikan ruling class that benefit from this arrangement and that at the very least campaign finance and the lobby system are systemically, and not specifically flawed?  Could they argue their position vis a vis U.S. foreign and economic policy within the context of U.S. government? Fundamentally that’s rhetorical and unlikely, because their entire premise is one of exceptionalism, empire and obfuscation.

When Lobby exclusivists claim there are no U.S. interests they are hoping we don’t notice the blood money of criminal “justice” system, security, construction, oil and arms; (where 75% of the ‘aid’ money donated by empire to Israel must be spent on US defense product and the other 25% goes to Israeli companies which are floated on the NASDAQ).

“U.S. interests” is a corrupt and outrageous basis for human rights advocacy.  If we are concerned for Palestinian human rights, it must be unconditional and not dependent on entitlements, not zionist entitlements, and not Amerikan entitlements. IAK and CNI should be honest that within the ruling class they represent a sector that may not benefit from (current levels of)  U.S. support for Israel. But to deny any interest is just columbusing* the whole discussion; “We is smart, we is kind, we is important” and thus can retell and untell any story  to make “us” look righteous. But it’s not righteousness. A society that is founded on empire and conquest is hardly the moral authority nor is its support for a smaller version of itself so surprising. U.S. support for Israel is totally consistent with U.S. policy in general: to support those regimes that support U.S. corporate interests.  And this is the basis for those who make this challenge: IAK’s premise is racist on face, not just because of anti-Jewish rhetoric or stereotyping, though the whole assertion of its premise is believable because of anti-jewish stereotypes of Jewish power, money and control; it is racist because it ignores and denies the fundamental and racist similarities between these two settler colonialist societies, and abhors the smaller while vindicating the larger.  It asserts in its very name that IF AMERIKANS KNEW they would do the right thing. But Amerikans do know. They know about slavery, Jim Crow,  police brutality, racism  reservations, immigration laws, and the growing prison system. They know about cuts to welfare, education and social services. They know about drone warfare and “honoring the troops”.  A huge sign is visible from the 5 freeway in San Diego County at the Pendleton Marine Base that proudly states “No Beach Out of Reach.” Does that not offend most Amerikans driving by, or does it fill them with pride? Who could appreciate such an arrogant and murderous imperialist attitude toward all the beaches in the whole world?  Do Amerikans not know that?  At the very least, the powerful funders and founders of IAK and CNI know. The Christisons and Ray McGovern, CIA operatives for many years, have known.  So on what basis do we believe that IF AMERIKANS KNEW about U.S. support for Israel, that (middle) Amerikans would do the right thing, would act any differently than they have on any other issue of Amerikan racist entitlement? Perhaps in pointing fingers and blaming a fifth column of (Jewish) outsiders, they assuage their guilt and reinforce their white savior syndrome. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/  When these organizations lead with “U.S. interests” how much confidence can we have in what “the right thing” might actually be? And if (middle) Amerikans really don’t know, how opportunistic is it to obscure U.S. historic and ongoing hegemony while calling on (middle) Amerikans to take on Israeli iniquity?

If settler colonialism is wrong, it is wrong. If stealing the best land, genocide, displacement, brutality, exploitation and militarism is wrong, if apartheid is wrong and Bantustans (modeled after Native American reservations) and extra-judicial executions, and false imprisonment, and lack of due process is wrong, if racism is wrong, if apartheid and border walls are wrong,  then there is no anti-racist basis for holding up the U.S. as a beacon, an example of magnanimity, as a paragon of justice. A human rights agenda that begins with Amerikan interests and harkens to some mythological and historically dishonest Amerikan goodness is a racist agenda on a racist premise, in its entirety, from the initial conquest, to ongoing policies toward indigenous Native Americans, to the racist criminalization system, wherein more people are currently incarcerated (in what is considered by many to be the new slavery—the privatized prison system) than were ever enslaved under Amerikan chattel slavery.  The focus on “the Jews” or on Israel, or The Lobby,  separate from or in contradiction to its benefactor, serves to obscure and exonerate capitalism and imperial predation. The racist impact and significance is much deeper and broader than antisemitism.

If their appeal to “middle America” is strategic, then they are lying to the “American people”, and appealing to their racist and jingoistic assumptions. If  the intention is truly to assert Amerikan exceptionalism, the basis is racist: It might be colonialist, it might be neocolonialist. Regardless of the motive, as long as the basis is western interests over regional self-determination  then  they are fighting racism with racism, and the result will always be racist.

If Weir and her supporters aren’t racist, then they as must we all, need to challenge entitlement, comfort, and the belief in their de facto goodness and rightness:  as white people, as Amerikans. If they expect Israel to be held accountable for systemic racism, then so too must Amerika.  For those who won’t, your double standards are showing, and yes, the words for that are entitlement, racism and supremacy.
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*Lexicon:

*Amerikan: I use this spelling to distinguishes between the U.S. and the American continent which consist of several nations and peoples. The U.S. is a settler colonialist entity, founded on a religious based doctrine of conquest and manifest destiny, contingent on massive and ongoing genocide, slavery and exploitation.

*Columbusing:  Staking claim to land and territory and then changing the narrative so that you’re a hero.

*Antisemitism: Racism against Jews, including Jewish magic, power, undue influence and wealth, Jews as outsiders, pariars. Antisemitism is an important (and ideologically central) aspect to ideological white supremacy and serves to distract the population at large from the problems of capitalism (wealth, undue influence, power) and blames those problems on the Jews.   Joseph Massad explains in detail. 

*Zionism: While the Second tendency (as described in this article) often define zionism along ethnic terms, or as anyone who calls out antisemitism, it actually refers to the belief in a specifically Jewish state, regardless of the ethnicity of the person who provides that support.

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By Emma Rosenthal

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”Jessica Dovey  incorrectly attributed to martin luther king jr.*

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” — Martin Luther King, Jr  Strength to Love

This quote (printed as one single quote)  has been making rounds on the internet. I was one of the people who sent it out, after receiving it. Now another article is circulating that the quote is a hoax. Actually, it’s NOT  a hoax. the first sentence is not attributable to King, but the rest of the quote comes from his book Strength to Love.  It should be printed as two separate quotes, both worthy of mention.  Perhaps the author of the first quote didn’t think his or her words would get the attention they deserved, and attributed it to MLK jr., or perhaps it was sent out as a comment and a quote, and others blended them together to meet character limits on facebook.  (I wrote this sentence before finding out the name of the first sentence of the quote, which i have since included, in a later edit.– emma rosenthal)

Don’t get me wrong.  As a researcher, writer and activist, I appreciate correct attributions, good research and  setting the record straight.

Regardless, the sentiment resonated with a lot to a lot of people.  With all the anger and animosity in the world, that we might confuse a mythical Martin Luther King Jr. with the factual one, in a quote that could very well (had it been written a whole lot better!) be attributed to him, speaks of a different Amerika than the one Obomber is representing, a different America than the Navy Seals represent.  Martin Luther King Jr. is as much a part of our collective Amerika as all the bombs, and debt dependency structures, and multinational corporations and foreign wars, and covert actions.  Should we be ashamed that we tried to find,  that we believed, Martin Luther King Jr had words to express our collective grief and outrage, in a nation where the code name for Bin Ladn, during this alleged raid, was “Geronimo” ?

Which is the greater hoax? Really?

*http://bookhaven.stanford.edu/

More interesting commentary:

http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2011/01/14/06

http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2011/0503/How-Osama-bin-Laden-s-death-sparked-a-fake-Martin-Luther-King-quote

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AIM_poster background, additional graphics by Jenny Grossbard based on the speech by Moonanum Jamesspeech by Moonanum James, Co-Leader of UNAINE, at the 29th National Day of Mourning, November 26, 1998:[4]  Some ask us: Will you ever stop protesting? Some day we will stop protesting: We will stop protesting when the merchants of Plymouth are no longer making millions of dollars off the blood of our slaughtered ancestors. We will stop protesting when we can act as sovereign nations on our own land without the interference of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and what Sitting Bull called the "favorite ration chiefs." When corporations stop polluting our mother, the earth. When racism has been eradicated. When the oppression of Two-Spirited people is a thing of the past. We will stop protesting when homeless people have homes and no child goes to bed hungry. When police brutality no longer exists in communities of color. We will stop protesting when Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal and the Puerto Rican independentistas and all the political prisoners are free. Until then, the struggle will continue.

AIM_poster background, additional graphics by Jenny Grossbard based on the speech by Moonanum James

This page is being updated with new links, throughout the day, with the newest posts at the top of the page.

it is impossible to separate this gluttony with the symbolism, its origins, the narrative taught in classrooms throughout the country, and what this holiday means to native american people. it’s sort of like leonard cohen saying he can play… tel aviv as long as he donates the money to an israeli “human rights” organization and mentions the palestinians. nice of HIM to decide for palestinian civil society what’s the “right” way to support justice! this holiday is rooted in the amerikan settler colonial narrative (i watched from my porch, mexican and central american kids, walking home from school with “indian” headresses on, made of paper;) when we confront empire, power, racism and genocide we can’t do it separate from that history and its impositions and the impact its “celebration” has on the people on whose bones we chew. -emma rosenthal- cafe intifada
A few Links on Thanksgiving: The Amerikan Settler Colonial Narrative

After a colonial militia had returned from murdering the men, women, and children of an Indian village, the governor proclaimed a holiday and feast to give thanks for the massacre. He encouraged other colonies to do likewise—in other words, every autumn the crops are in, go kill Indians and celebrate your murders with a feast.”

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It is easier to teach a fairy tale than to teach that the first thanksgiving was a celebration of the massacre of defenseless Indian people.” – Leonard Peltier.
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THE TRUTH ABOUT THANKSGiViNG By Yo’Nas Da Lonewolf-McCall Muhammad

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“So let us be very careful when we think we know our ancestors and our history.  Let us not be captivated by romanticism or  the movie-making of Hollywood or particularly the patriarchal conquerors who would re-write history for the sake of their legacies as they white-wash their misdeeds, greed and exploitation.”

www.examiner.com

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www.youtube.com

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Russell Means Speaks…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J_XhkhkCnM

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‪Mumia Abu-Jamal “Some Who Feel No Reason For Thanksgiving”

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Custer Died For Your Sins – Thank you for the world so sweet

www.youtube.com

A beautiful old Floyd Westerman song, sung here by Daniel Patrick Welch. Look him up–his album for which this is the title track is still available somewhere. Incredibly moving lyrics, very apropos for thanksgiving, modern US history, and any hope for a just world. ..

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Native American history mocked by ignorant culture

www.youtube.com

From Mumia Abu Jamal: Most Americans do not know and do not care to know anything about Native history or culture. What is passed off as Native comes from cartoons, a few racist as hell movies, and totally fictional public school education myths.

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Jensen: How I stopped hating Thanksgiving

www.statesman.com

I have stopped hating Thanksgiving and learned to be afraid of the holiday. Over the past few years a growing number of white people have joined the longstanding indigenous people’s critique of the holocaust denial that is at the heart of the Thanksgiving

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The celebration of land grabs and settler colonialism. Pass the dead bird!http://www.oyate.org/resources/shortthanks.html

www.oyate.org

“Deconstructing the Myths of “The First Thanksgiving”by Judy Dow (Abenaki) and Beverly SlapinRevised 06/12/06 What is it about the story of “The First Thanksgiving” that makes it essential to be taught in virtually every grade from preschool through high school? What is it about the story that is s…

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Kids Reenact The First Thanksgiving With Smallpox Blankets And Whiskey (VIDEO)

www.huffingtonpost.com

How did the Pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving? According to these adorable young history buffs, with blankets covered in smallpox.

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‎”George Washington orders, 1779: “lay waste all the Iroquois settlements…not be merely overrun but destroyed…You will not listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements…Our FUTURE SECURITY will be in THEIR INABILITY TO INJURE US…& in the TERROR with which the severity of the chastise…ment they receive will inspire them.” “Preventive” war using terror!!”

Terror and Preventive War are “American” Values | S. Brian Willson

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Happy Indigenous Solidarity Day!

Tomorrow 12:30am at Everywhere

The injustices that Native Americans face today are varied. Some, including poverty, health care, education, and violence against women, affect many others in United States, but are exacerbated in Native Americans’ case because of jurisdictional issues and historic marginalization. Other justice issues, including tribal sovereignty, and certain immigration issues and violations of religious liberty, are unique to the Native American experience. Source: http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issues/economicracial/nativeamerican/index.shtml

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=146529988728130 Happy  Indigenous Solidarity Day

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National Day of Mourning

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Day_of_Mourning_(United_States_protest)

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Thanksgiving and Forgotten Genocide: Brainwashing in American Textbooks by Jehanzeb Dar

http://muslimreverie.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/thanksgiving-and-forgotten-genocide-brainwashing-of-american-textbooks/

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By Elise Hendrick

Opportunism makes strange bedfellows. How else can Jeff Blankfort’s prominence in what is supposedly a Palestinian solidarity movement be explained?

The Lobby Hypothesis

Blankfort’s basic claim is that a Jewish Lobby has absolute control over US policy in the Middle East. This is hardly a novel claim – it’s been advanced by various congressional Republicans and mainstream hawks like Walt and Mearsheimer, who claim that The Lobby is the reason that the US deviate from their general foreign policy of support for “democracy” when it comes to the Middle East, and that the Lobby is harming “national interests”.

There are, however, some obvious problems with this theory, which I will outline only briefly, as they have been discussed in great detail elsewhere. If we are to assume that The Lobby is the driving force behind US Mid-East policy, in particular of US support for the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, it is useful to ask a few basic questions:

  1. Does US policy in the Middle East differ in any fundamental, qualitative way from US policy anywhere else in the world (i.e., is US policy towards Israel, Palestine, and the rest of the region unique in the annals of US foreign policy)?
  2. Are there any other interests within the US that might benefit from US support for Israeli militarism?
  3. What happens when Israeli policies conflict with US strategic interests?
  4. Based on the overall US record, could we reasonably expect the US to pursue a policy of supporting the human rights of Palestinians if it were not for The Lobby?

One might further ask how one defines “national interests”, and whether a discourse of “national interests” is necessarily a good thing for Palestinian rights.

The answer to the first question is a resounding NO. The essentials of US Middle East policy – supporting murderous dictators, racist regimes, illegal military occupations, rampant violations of human rights and international law, and acts of aggression and genocide – characterise not only US policy in the Middle East, but US policy virtually everywhere else. The US installed and decisively supported the genocidal Suharto regime in Indonesia, which celebrated its inauguration by slaughtering between half a million and a million Indonesian peasants (often based on US-supplied hit lists), and went on to invade and occupy East Timor, carrying out a decades-long bloodbath (politely ignored in the US corporate media) that killed as much as one fifth of the population of that small, defenceless country. US support for genocidal regimes includes decisive support for Saddam Hussein’s slaughter of Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s, Turkey’s ethnic cleansing of Kurds in the 1980s and 1990s, the mass slaughter of the indigenous people of Guatemala (lasting almost half a century), and its own genocidal warfare against Indochina, from which that region has yet to recover. Clearly, then, US policy towards Israel and Palestine is best characterised as highly consistent with US policy elsewhere. It is hard to sustain the idea that the dark machinations of an all-powerful lobby are the driving force behind a policy of doing basically the same thing everywhere in the world.

The answer to the second question is an obvious YES. Certainly, the US has an interest – going beyond the obvious commercial benefits – in controlling the Middle East’s oil reserves, which have been deemed by US planners to be the key to world domination going back to the end of the Second World War. Obviously, US oil corporations aren’t exactly hurting from this arrangement, either. Additionally, US military aid to Israel – 75% of which ends up in the pockets of US arms manufacturers – helps spur on a regional arms race, ensuring constant demand, and thus constant profits. Moreover, Israel is virtually the only state in the region that has little to no danger of being “infected” by “radical [i.e., independent] Arab nationalism”. Mubbarak & Co. might be overthrown tomorrow, but there’s no chance of Israel being a base for resurgent Nasserism.

As for the third question, when US interests conflict with Israeli policies, US interests consistently prevail. It is first important to remember that US interests do not include “ideological slogans about human rights”, as George Kennan put it half a century ago. From a strategic standpoint, the US couldn’t really care less what happens to the Palestinians. However, the US does care – to name just one example – about whether the Chinese government get their hands on classified US technology, and when Israel tried to make a deal to do just that, the US put a stop to it with a few phone calls and a well-timed snubbing. A deal like this is not a small matter for Israel. Israeli strategists have long been ambivalent about the exclusivity of the US-Israeli “special relationship”, and Israel certainly has a long-term interest in reducing its dependency on US armaments in order to ensure maximum manoeuvring room on policy. Losing the China deal, thus, was a real blow. One might have expected The Lobby to attack the US government for doing such harm to Israeli interests. One would have been wrong.

If The Lobby is truly the driving force behind US support for the oppression and dispossession of Palestinians, the answer to the fourth question – whether the US would truly support Palestinian human rights if it weren’t for The Lobby – would have to be YES. This does not rise to the level of a bad joke, as even a cursory glance at US policy elsewhere demonstrates. The US has enthusiastically supported and engaged in genocide and ethnic cleansing all over the world, from the Kurds in Turkey and Iraq, to the Timorese, to the Mayas of Guatemala, to the indigenous peoples of Paraguay, to the people of Indochina, and, last but not least, the genocide by which ‘The West [not to mention the East, South, North, and Midwest] Was Won’. Proponents of the Lobby Hypothesis do not even attempt to explain why the US would care more about Palestinians than about the millions of others whose slaughter they have supported.

As for “national interests”, the first problem is conceptual. Can we really claim, with any validity, that all people within “the nation” have the same interests, that unemployed auto workers have the same interests as the owners of auto companies, that the working class base of the US military has the same interests as the CEO of Halliburton? Of course not. “National interests” is a meaningless, obfuscatory concept. However, even if it were not, a discourse of “national interests” would be of little help to the Palestinians. What benefit do they confer on “the nation”? Moreover, if we accept “national interests” as the basis of the Palestinian solidarity movement, the movement would, by definition, have to end if it were ever conclusively proven that “national interests” are harmed by enforcing the human rights of Palestinians. Clearly, the Palestinians cannot hope to find reliable friends amongst those who base their advocacy on imagined “national interests”.

In other words, in order to sustain the Lobby Hypothesis, we must essentially forget all we know about US history and foreign policy. This sort of willful ignorance, while not particularly helpful to the Palestinians, is quite useful for those who simply want to improve the effectiveness of US imperialism. By placing all of the blame on an all-powerful lobby, they give US planners a ready-made alibi for their crimes against the Palestinian people: “The lobby made me do it!” Moreover, this hypothesis ensures that activism will miss one of the most important targets: the US government, and focus instead narrowly on Israel. This would be a serious tactical error – if activism is aimed solely at increasing the cost of the occupation for Israel, the US can easily find ways of counteracting those costs through extensive aid. Only by targeting not only Israel, but also the US government – without which none of these crimes would be possible – and US institutions that profit directly from the oppression of Palestinians can we hope to be effective in our work for Palestinian rights.

Blankfort’s Dishonesty

Blankfort’s contribution to this rather dubious theory – though even it is hardly original – is to respond to those who take issue with his claims by suggesting that they are of Jewish ancestry.

And yet, Blankfort is given a forum by blogs that otherwise seem to have some degree of quality control. MondoWeiss, for example, which often publishes quality material on the Israel-Palestine conflict (apart from Weiss’ obsession with “dual loyalty” and the Lobby Hypothesis) even went so far as to suggest that an interview between Ali Abunimah and Blankfort signified “a sense of a torch being passed here, or of the older left not being suited for the new conversation about Israel/Palestine.”

It is perhaps worthwhile to ask to whom this metaphorical torch is being passed.

Blankfort has made attacking Chomsky his life’s work. By this, I do not mean criticising Chomsky’s views, but actively, consistently, and knowingly misrepresenting them. In the torch-passing interview, for example, Blankfort claimed that Chomsky had never written about the role of US trade unions in calling for US support for Israeli militarism. This claim, as anyone who has read up to page 30 of The Fateful Triangle will know, is patently false. In that 1983 book, Chomsky discusses the role of trade unions at some length, and points out the flaws in the Lobby Hypothesis, which Blankfort also claimed Chomsky hasn’t written about. In other words, there are only two possibilities: Either Blankfort makes claims despite being ignorant of the facts, or he makes claims knowing full well that they contradict the facts.

Since this was my first encounter with Blankfort, I became curious, and discovered that his misrepresentations in the Abunimah interview were not isolated. Jeremy Hammond – whose masochism in delving into the Blankfort Bog greatly outstrips my own – has documented extensive distortions of Chomsky’s actual record that Blankfort demonstrably knows to be false. For example, that Blankfort has distorted Chomsky’s statements about Salam Fayyad’s pursuit of “sound and sensible policies” that seek to lay the groundwork for a de facto Palestinian state (something Chomsky describes, using a popular Zionist expression, as “creating facts on the ground”) to claim that Fayyad is “a favorite of both Washington and Israel and, it would appear, Chomsky”.

What is the proof that Blankfort knew that he was misrepresenting Chomsky’s statement in the interview? ‘Blankfort himself participated [in the interview in question] as well, having called in to the live program.’

In order to support his claims that Chomsky is involved in ‘damage control’ for Israel, Blankfort has quoted that statement by Chomsky in an interview on Israeli TV that ‘I don’t regard myself as a critic of Israel. I regard myself as a supporter of Israel.’ When Hammond noted in comments to a piece defending Blankfort on Dissident Voice that “Chomsky means he is opposed to Israeli crimes against Palestinians when he says he is “a supporter of Israel”, Blankfort’s terse response, in its entirety, was:

“DON’T AGREE. HE DID NOT QUALIFY HIS STATEMENT TO THE ISRAELI INTERVIWER [sic] BY SAYING THAT WHEN HE COULD HAVE.”

The problem is that Chomsky did qualify it, in the very next sentence:

“The people who are harming Israel, in my opinion, it’s what I’ve said many times, are those who claim to be supporting it. They are helping [to] drive Israel towards moral degeneration and possible ultimate destruction. I think support for Israel should be support for policies which are for its benefit.”

This distinction, of which Blankfort must certainly be aware if he is as familiar with Chomsky’s work as he claims to be, dates back at least to a passage in the first chapter of The Fateful Triangle (p. 4 of the 1999 updated edition), which merits quoting in full:

These remarks will be critical of Israel’s policies: its consistent rejection of any political settlement that accommodates the national rights of the indigenous population; its repression and state terrorism over many years; its propaganda efforts, which have been remarkably successful – much to Israel’s detriment in my view – in the United States. But this presentation may be misleading, in two respects. In the first place, this is not an attempt at a general history; the focus is on what I think is and has been wrong and what should be changed, not on what I think has been right. Secondly, the focus on Israeli actions and initiatives may obscure the fact that my real concern is the policies that have been pursued by the U.S. government and our responsibility in shaping or tolerating these policies. To a remarkable extent, articulate opinion and attitudes in the U.S. have been dominated by people who describe themselves as “supporters of Israel,” a term that I will also adopt, though with much reluctance, since I think they should more properly be called “supporters of the moral degeneration and ultimate destruction of Israel,” and not Israel alone. Given this ideological climate and the concrete U.S. actions that it has helped to engender, it is natural enough that Israeli policies have evolved in their predictable way. Perpetuation of these tendencies within the U.S. and in U.S.-Israel relations portends a rather gloomy future, in my view, for reasons that I hope will become clearer as we proceed. If so, a large measure of responsibility lies right here, as in the recent past.

(emphasis supplied, footnote omitted).

In other words, Chomsky’s distinction between what he considers real supporters of Israel (i.e., critics of criminal Israeli policies) and those who “should more properly be called ‘supporters of the moral degeneration and ultimate destruction of Israel’ is not a new point. Just to hammer this home, Chomsky puts the phrases ‘support for/supporters of Israel’ in inverted commas throughout the book.

Now, it is certainly possible that Blankfort is simply not as familiar with Chomsky’s writings as he holds himself out to be, and that he was just unaware of Chomsky’s deconstruction of the notion of ‘support for Israel’ at the very beginning of his best-known book on the subject, but the fact remains that Chomsky made the very same point, albeit more briefly, in the very next sentence in the very interview that Blankfort quotes. Thus, Blankfort’s claim that Chomsky “DID NOT QUALIFY HIS STATEMENT” can only be characterised as a lie.

Why, then, to return to the initial question, do people who otherwise show some discernment in their editorial decisions, associate themselves with the likes of Blankfort? Blankfort’s writings contain nothing novel, original, unique, or even intellectually honest. He has an irrational vendetta against Chomsky for reasons unknown, and is willing to lie outright in order to discredit him. One of Blankfort’s most common responses to criticism is to make insinuations about his critics’ ancestry, deflecting, for example, from Jeremy Hammond’s questions about obvious contradictions in Blankfort’s claims with the following remarks:

You know how it is with names. Hammond could be Protestant, Quaker, Methodist, Catholic, or, in this case, I suspect Jewish. And why? It seems that only Jews, thus far, have become hysterical over my critique of Chomsky which will come back to haunt them when they wish people to take them seriously.

Blankfort is, to be blunt, an asshole, and arguably a racist one at that. The only explanation why an unoriginal, dishonest, racist asshole like Blankfort is allowed to bring discredit on the Palestinian solidarity movement is that the movement (or at least some segments of it) has developed something of a habit of embracing assholes. When you’re already embracing imperialists like Walt and Mearsheimer, as well as racists like Pat Buchanan (who regularly excoriated opponents of original-flavour apartheid), Gilad Atzmon, and Paul Craig Roberts, what’s one more addition to the list? The response one invariably gets when this issue is raised is that “We may not agree on everything, but [whoever it is] opposes the occupation, and that’s all that matters”.

No, it bloody well isn’t. It’s one thing to encourage a healthy pluralism within a movement; it’s quite another to align oneself with people whose goals and ideologies (one hopes, anyway!) are diametrically opposed to one’s own, just because of an agreement-in-principle on one part of an overall issue. While this is quite beneficial to people like Blankfort and Buchanan, who would much prefer to be thought of as supporters of human rights than as proto-fascist reactionaries, it is toxic to a movement that is based on human rights and opposition to racism. While Buchanan, Roberts, Blankfort et al. get a reputation upgrade by association with the movement for Palestinian human rights, the movement itself can only be harmed by association with people like Buchanan, Blankfort, and Roberts. Assholes get legitimised, the movement gets delegitimised, everybody – especially the Palestinians – loses. That is the danger of opportunism.

http://meldungen-aus-dem-exil.noblogs.org/post/2010/08/06/jeff-blankfort-and-the-tender-embrace-of-opportunism

Élise Hendrick is a translator, writer, and editor based in Cincinnati, OH, US.

http://www.elisehendrick.com/?page_id=2

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For KPFK listeners, interested in more information:

To buy the book:

https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/cafe-intifada-shoppe-available-now-shifting-sands-jewish-american-women-confront-the-israeli-occupation/

Information on the upcoming readings:

https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/¡cafe-intifada-events-and-activities/

for information on the blacklisting:

https://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/anatomy-of-a-blacklisting-a-thread-in-two-blogs/

Emma Rosenthal:

http://home.earthlink.net/~emmarosenthal/

and

http://emmarosenthal.wordpress.com/

In Bed With Frida Kahlo:

http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/

Cindy Sheehan on line:

http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com/

http://peaceoftheaction.org/

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Facebook Status Montage

 
Facebook provides an amazing network of activists, writers, photographers, artists.  Here are commentaries by some of my facebook (and in some cases, real life) friends, allies, comrades. 

Majed Abusalama “All Gaza people are praying in solidarity with our friends in the flotilla , Gaza is so angry now , Mosques is calling all the people to make protests in the streets , the streets are full of people ! A new Intifada in Gaza will start! My beloved Gazan people are so angry ! we are with all our friends in the Peaceful boats ! Let us act now” Gaza, Occupied Palestine

 

Tamara Joy Rettino “Before sleep, two thoughts: 1. The Israeli army attacked and killed 16 civilians bringing humanitarian aid to blockaded Gaza. This is an atrocity. 2. BUT this is simply a symptom of Israel’s systemic violence. The vast majority of men, women, and children injured and killed and occupied by the Israeli Army are unarmed civilians.” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Don Emmerich ” Since the Gaza Massacre, public opinion has been turning against Israel. Now Israel continues damning itself. Now is the time for us to remain calm and reasonable. Yes, anger is okay, but we must calmly and reasonably expose the truth. Don’t give the media the chance to slander us and our cause.”  -Denver, Colorado, Occupied Amerika

 

Jay Cassano “Israel afraid of Palestinians receiving cement, wheelchairs, and water purifiers. For shame.” Amherst, Massachusetts, Occupied Amerika

 

Elise Hendrick “For anyone still confused: Piracy is what the Israeli Navy is in the process of doing right now, not what Somali fishermen are doing to protect their territorial waters.”  Cincinnati, Ohio, Occupied Amerika

 

Emily Jacir “thinks its sheer insanity that EU nations are issuing statements that they are “shocked” about the Israeli massacre of unarmed peace activists in international waters. Really? You are shocked that Israel would do this? Where have you been the last 62 years? oh thats right quietly supporting Israel and turning a blind eye to a sea of massacres.”   Ramallah, Occupied Palestine

 

Sasha Crow “There is appropriate outrage today of its murders of internationals on the Gaza aid flotilla but the state of Israel has been murderers since its inception. Our outrage should be constant and relentless against its ongoing murders – not only of internationals but also of its taking of equally valuable Palestinian lives.” Amman, Jordan

 

Ali Abunimah “States failed to act so a people’s navy was formed, carrying no weapons & much love, to run an unjust blockade.”  Chicago, Il, Occupied Amerika

 

Ben White “globalise the intifada”

 

Nada Elia “You do NOT have the right to remain silent, and still claim that you have a modicum of decency.” Seattle, WA, Occupied Amerika

 

Tom Vee “When you open fire on a ship and drop heavily armed masked men from the sky in the middle of the night you forfeit any “self-defense” claim.” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Ben White “i hope congress boosts its aid to Israel next year to combat the threat of bagged marbles”

 

Anne Key “How many BBC reporters does it take to fix a liebulb?”  Cumbria, England.

 

Dina Odetalla “Release the names of our dead friends”

 

Jehanzeb Dar “Attacking Gaza aid boats, advancing the war in Afghanistan, and ordering drone strikes on Pakistan all kill innocent civilians and are deserving of equal and bold international condemnation.” Langhorne, PA, Occupied Amerika

 

Emman Chehade Randazo “Mark our words Israel, we will never let you forget the carnage you have caused over the past 62 years. If not in our lifetime, then our children and their children will carry the torch and we will never forget, we will build museums, make documentaries, shout our hellacious experiences from the rooftops, and you will be spit on by history as the garbage superficial morally lacking thieving entity you are.” Chicago, IL, Occupied Amerika

 

Hussam Ayloush “While this new massacre is not the first in Israel’s history and possibly not going to be the last, it still indicates a growing Israeli arrogance, carelessness, and disregard for the world’s reaction or to the sanctity of the lives of those who disagree with its policies.”  Anaheim, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Sylvia Posadas “after the F35s – I think Turkey has at a least a signed contract, the US keeps delaying the signing of Israel’s toys guarantee.  Turkey could stop Israel’s water contract, rip up the drone contract, tell elbit and iai to take a hike. Yet, then Turkey would have to face the US. Still, the US needs Turkey in NATO – without Turkey’s boots on the ground, the US presence in Afghanistan would be through. The EU, where the richest US $ investments are, needs Turkey as a transit for energy.

Turkey can wait, keeping a low profile, working on its regional trade alliances and patching up all wounds till the empire falls a little more, dragged down by its zionist accomplice.” Noosa, Queensland, Occupied Australia

 

Human Rights Watch “A prompt, credible, and impartial investigation is absolutely essential to determine whether the lethal force used by Israeli commandos was necessary to protect lives and whether it could have been avoided. Given Israel’s poor track record of investigating unlawful killings by its armed forces, the international community should closely monitor any inquiry to ensure it meets basic international standards and that any wrongdoers are brought to justice”

 

Tamara Joy Ruttino “Israel is STILL refusing to release the names and bodies and whereabouts of the dead, injured, and prisoners from the Free Gaza Flotilla. They have forced an information blackout, and who knows what they are doing to our people…I am OUTRAGED at Israel’s flagrant violation of international law and lack of basic common decency. Guess what Israel? THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING. “  Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Donna K.Khorsheed “ MV Rachel Corrie set sail Monday from Malta with goal of breaking Israel’s blockade of Gaza ~ Our hearts are with you ~”  San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Steve Cooke “supports the right of people on aid convoy ships to defend themselves from state pirates.” Stockton-on Tees, England

 

Dirk Adrieansens “Following Israel’s criminal raid in international waters on May 31st, the Rachel Corrie MV continues to sail towards the Gaza coastline in defiance of Israeli threats.

In an act of tremendous courage, the Rachel Corrie MV is determined to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. A lot of my friends are on board that ship, like Denis Halliday, Matthias Chang and his brother and other Malaysian friends. Go, friends, go !”

 

Emily Jacir “Oh! And lets not forget the 24 hour media blackout and refusal to allow any media access to the civilians they attacked and imprisoned or the ships in order to give Israel a 24 hour PR advantage.” Ramallah, Occupied Palestine

 

Cindy Sheehan “ Many Jews and people of Jewish heritage or descent do not support what the State of Israel does. Just like many of us “Americans” do not support what our State does. Anger at Israel should not evolve into hatred of Jews. Many of my friends are peace loving Jews (Muslims, Christians, Pagans, Atheists, etc).” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Zahra Billoo “just overhead bystanders discussing that they observed more Jews on the Gaza solidarity side than the Israeli side of the SF rally.” San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Greta Berlin “Israel’s ‘military video’ had no time code in the upper right had corner when the ‘alleged’ attack from passenger occurred. However, the time code is clearly there at the beginning of the action when it’s just a shot from the helicopter.”  Paris, France

 

Miko Peled “Activists aboard the boat fought courageously as they were attacked by armed Israel pirates. The Israeli pirates, trained assassins or “commandos” – cowards to the very end opened fire.” San Diego, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Tamara Joy Rettino “Love is the color of action. So make us an army of lovers…irrational optimists, forever blind to the possibility that we cannot win. Let us find purification in the rites of fighting and fucking. Uniforms of blushing flesh, sacrificial devotees of desire. You can beat us, gas us, jail us, but our love is immutable. We are crazy with love. And we will be victorious, because even in death, love makes us strong…” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Mary Hughes Thompson “Sweet Rana and Lara, I will need to knit two more hats. I hope the Israeli pirates are able to make good use of the ones they stole.” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Colleen M. Keyes “WE MUST ENCOURAGE EVERY COUNTRY TO SEND AID TO PALESTINE–AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE WEST BANK AND EAST JERUSALEM WHERE DAILY ISRAEL CONFISCATES PALESTINIAN LAND, EVICTS PEOPLE FROM THEIR ANCESTRAL HOMES, DEMOLISHES HOMES, ATTACKS PEACEFUL ACTIVISTS.” Middletown, CT, Occupied Amerika

 

Tali Shapiro “will be supporting the arrested flotilla survivors at the Be’er Sheva prison, at 18:00, this afternoon.” Jerusalem Al Quds, Occupied Palestine

 

Jenny Grossbard “ here’s an independent investigation of the flotilla massacre: israel fired the first shot. in 1948. case closed” New York, NY, Occupied Amerika

.

Donna K. Khorsheed  “After all this… Nothing will change… The US will stand by Israel and they will continue to do what they are doing… and worse. The only hope we have is knowing there are so many people in the world that support our cause and believe in justice. We mourn the peace activists that were killed. Good people that were only coming to give humanitarian aid… It’s a sad world…” San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Leah Bolger “VFP condemns the Israeli attack and calls for an immediate cessation of mililtary aid to Israel”   San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Marcy Winograd “(running for Congress, CA36):  As a Jewish woman of conscience, I invite my opponent, Jane Harman, another Jewish woman, and all of Congress to join me in denouncing this kind of barbaric violence, demanding an end to the blockade and seeking an international investigation into these murders. I recommit myself to working towards a true, just and lasting peace.

(Quote does not constitute an endorsement of one candidate or another. As a non-profit entity, Cafe Intifada is barred from endorsement of candidates.)

 

Norman Finkelstein “ Israel is not violating US doctrine. Israel is implementing it.” Chicago, IL, Occupied Amerika

 

Muhammad Alsyed “7 month-old infant died in Gaza today – unable to reach medical treatment.”  Napier, New Zealand 

 

Fatima Mojaddidy “Between the BP oil spill and Israeli massacre of the humanitarian activists on the freedom floatilla, if we don’t wake up and see what’s wrong with this world and fix it NOW, then we are a worthless, stupid, self destructive species that will be our own demise!! These two incidents are MAJORLY eye-opening, DO SOMETHING!!!!” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Garrick Ruiz “History is moving very fast around us. We can choose to watch it unfold or we can jump in and let the rulers know that they don’t create history. We do. All of us together. Get involved and lets create the beautiful world we all know is possible. From Gaza and the Mediterranean to Arizona and Los Angeles the resistance is growing! Palestine will be free! And so will we! Love and Rage!” Los Angeles, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Donna K.Khorsheed “The truth is coming out… and there is nothing the filthy zionists can do to cover up the massacre they have committed… yet again… The world better wake up and put an end to this.The international community must step up with or without the US… Don’t kid yourselves… This will go on forever if it is left up to them!” San Francisco, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

Cindy Sheehan “ The US gives Israel about 10 million dolars a day in military and other aid. That’s like an insane, pyschopathic older brother arming his even insaner and more psycopathic younger brother. When is someone going to sanction the US?” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

S Brian Willson “As a typical religious, all-American type kid growing up in rural USA, I thanked “God” for special benefit of being born in “America,” the greatest country on earth endowed by God to bring salvation to the heathen & prosperity to the poor. Such myth. Now, I ask the Great Spirit for strength to resist & separate myself from the most dangerous, diabolical force on the planet – that same USA. Epistemological shift!”

Majed Abusalama “ Good Night after a lot of work for my beloved people , I loved the solidarity events which going on everyday in Gaza to show the flotilla activists that we are supporting them and waiting for them again to Break Gaza Blockade!”   Gaza, Occupied Palestine

Cindy Sheehan “The State of Israel and its Zionist supporters always say that Israel is “acting in self-defense,” but the US and Israel NEVER extend that right to the people they occupy and systematically exterminate.” Oakland, CA, Occupied Amerika

 

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A recent L.A. Weekly article “addressed” the “problem” of getting rid of “bad” teachers.  (see link below) 

As someone who retired from LAUSD with disability retirement after trying to get the most minimal of accommodations for my dis-ability and facing incredible harassment for such a request;

As someone who requested basic accommodations, found ways to make the whole proposal cost free for the District while offering to fill high need hard to staff areas of education, (bilingual special ed) and fully aware that if I had merely kept my mouth shut, showed Disney movies, gave out busy work, and gave all my students C’s, then I would have had no problem with the same administration, but only had a problem when requesting the resources to do my job well.

As someone who NEVER had a bad evaluation, had several outstanding evaluations, and wrote and received several grants and coordinated several school wide programs;

As someone who filed and won approx 30 grievances against the district for collective and individual violations of the contract, never observing any consequences, reassignments, discipline etc against these principals for such wanton rights violations;

As someone who observed and confronted gross misuse of school funds and a crony system that favored mediocrity and obedience over dedication and commitment to teaching;

As someone who used tenure to defend and advocate for students and the community and teachers, against the will of the administration;

As someone who ONLY KNEW ONE ADMINISTRATOR  who went after bad teachers– with the full support of the highly unionized faculty.  (I consider her the best administrator I worked with);

As someone who observed administrators go after activists, whistle blowers, community, educator, worker and student advocates while perpetuating or ignoring sexual harassment, sexual abuse, hate speech, racism, sexism, dis-ability discrimination etc. both by staff and students; 

As someone who graduated magna cum laude, is bilingual in English and Spanish, continues to study and to teach, is a life long activist and writer;

I find it hard to believe that:

1. Michael Kim, a man with cerebral palsy, who neurologically can’t control his hands, is the best example of the district trying to defend the rights of staff and students against sexual harassment and gropping! 

More to point, the District doesn’t WANT dis-abled teachers.  This whole case was totally offensive and outrageous, and should be transparent; a perfect example of how dis-ability discrimination is used to take us all down, to set a pretext for greater rights violations.

2. the present administration is able to select the appropriate teachers for dismissal– which of course would explain why it is so hard to fire the teachers the district is trying to fire.  It is quite possible that very few of these people should be fired and the ones that need to go are comfortably doing the principal’s bidding!!!

3 given that the City of Los Angeles decided NOT  to fire a single cop for beating up press and community members for the May Day demonstration a few years back, wonders what city employees ARE doing that warrants (“the easy” removal from their positions.

4. there are only bad teachers and not bad administrators, who also need to be removed from their positions which the district can do, and doesn’t.  It seems that a lot of bad teaching might be resolved by creating acceptable working conditions, starting with a supportive administration. 

5. that the grievance process is the problem, The grievance process is a three step process: 1.A meeting with the principal, 2. A meeting with the area supt. And 3. Binding arbitration with an arbitrator chosen by both the union and the district. A principal looses a grievance against a teacher when either the District or the arbitrator chosen by the district says a violation of that teacher’s rights has occurred.  In such a situation is it right to assume that it is the teacher that is failing to perform basic assigned duties?

6.that settlements of 40-100 thousand dollars  for the removal of teachers the District wants to fire,  are excessive and against whom no evidence exists, other than district say so, that these teachers deserve to lose their careers, which includes 5 years of university study, and often thousands of dollars each year for materials the District fails to provide and in a District that has bought out the contracts of several of its superintendants for over half a million dollars.

 The entire premise of the Weekly article is that the District can’t fire the teachers it wants to fire  because of the Union and tenure, and not that these constructs  actually protect the academic freedom of teachers who should not have been brought under scrutiny in the first place.

There is no evidence IN THE ARTICLE, except the District’s say so, that the District is actually trying to fire the BAD teachers. That is an essential missing element of the article.  Sure there are bad teachers.  But if the district isn’t going after bad teachers, but is going after teachers who demand their rights or the rights of others, then the waste of resources is even more outrageous.  

http://www.laweekly.com/2010-02-11/news/lausd-s-dance-of-the-lemons/

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