Last man out of mine greets Chilean president with fervent statement about worker safety Oct 14, 2010 12:03 am | Philip Weiss
I'm a fool for the Chilean mine story, I've watched a lot of the rescue. It has produced in me the warm fuzzy global feeling that the story has been staged to produce as international spectacle; and yes I've wondered about the political consequences of this historic event.
Well I just saw Manuel Gonzalez come out, the last rescue worker, a few minutes ago. Chilean President Pinera asked him what his last thoughts were underground, and he said, per the translator (and my memory), "I do not want this ever to happen again. I want Chile to change the way it conducts mining. I want small mines to be safe for workers."
Pinera talked about the legislation that Chile will consider to change work place safety for workers in many industries.
I find it thrilling that a workman confronted a rightwing president, at the end of a spectacle that made workers heroes, and talked about basic rights. If the miracle has global political resonance, let it be a blow for the dignity and rights of labor.
Groundwork laid for media narrative of failed peace talks: It’s the Palestinians’ fault Oct 13, 2010 07:10 pm | Alex Kane
With direct “peace talks” between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government headed nowhere fast after the Netanyahu government let the so-called “settlement freeze” lapse, the groundwork for the media narrative on who to blame if the “peace talks” officially break off is being laid. Predictably, it will be, and already is, a narrative of Palestinian rejectionism versus Israeli generosity.
Matt Duss, a must-read blogger on Middle East issues over at Think Progress’ Wonk Room, picks up on this, pointing to the headlines written after the Palestinian Authority said “no” to Netanyahu’s “offer” of a partial extension of the “settlement freeze” in exchange for the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinians recognizing Israel as such would effectively sign away the Palestinian right of return and relegate once and for all Palestinian citizens of Israel to institutionalized and official second-class status (which is the case already.)
As opposed to a settlement freeze, the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish State is an entirely new one. What Netanyahu is essentially saying to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, then, is that, in return for Abbas meeting this new demand, Netanyahu generously offers to partially, temporarily meet one of Israel’s already existing obligations.
Of course the Palestinian Authority has refused this “offer.” Is it really unclear why? Now let’s look at some of the headlines:
You get the picture. Israel is now essentially saying: we will partially obey international law for 60 days (and then go back to violating it), as long as you sign away basic human rights–refugees and their descendants returning to homes they were expelled from and equality for all–forever. And media, both in the U.S., in Israel and around the world, are adopting Israel’s framing of the issue.
The media narrative of Israeli generosity and Palestinian rejectionism is an old one that was prominently displayed in the aftermath of the collapsed Camp David peace talks in 2000.
Seth Ackerman, writing for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s Extra! magazine in July/August 2002, documented the U.S. media’s telling of the Camp David story in an excellent article:
The seemingly endless volleys of attack and retaliation in the Middle East leave many people wondering why the two sides can’t reach an agreement. The answer is simple, according to numerous commentators: At the Camp David meeting in July 2000, Israel “offered extraordinary concessions” (Michael Kelly, Washington Post, 3/13/02), “far-reaching concessions” (Boston Globe, 12/30/01), “unprecedented concessions” (E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, 12/4/01). Israel’s “generous peace terms” (L.A. Times editorial, 3/15/02) constituted “the most far-reaching offer ever” (Chicago Tribune editorial, 6/6/01) to create a Palestinian state. In short, Camp David was “an unprecedented concession” to the Palestinians (Time, 12/25/00).
But due to “Arafat’s recalcitrance” (L.A. Times editorial, 4/9/02) and “Palestinian rejectionism” (Mortimer Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report, 3/22/02), “Arafat walked away from generous Israeli peacemaking proposals without even making a counteroffer” (Salon, 3/8/01). Yes, Arafat “walked away without making a counteroffer” (Samuel G. Freedman, USA Today, 6/18/01). Israel “offered peace terms more generous than ever before and Arafat did not even make a counteroffer” (Chicago Sun-Times editorial, 11/10/00). In case the point isn’t clear: “At Camp David, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians an astonishingly generous peace with dignity and statehood. Arafat not only turned it down, he refused to make a counteroffer!” (Charles Krauthammer, Seattle Times, 10/16/00).
This account is one of the most tenacious myths of the conflict. Its implications are obvious: There is nothing Israel can do to make peace with its Palestinian neighbors. The Israeli army’s increasingly deadly attacks, in this version, can be seen purely as self-defense against Palestinian aggression that is motivated by little more than blind hatred.
As the cliche goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Gaza man, 26, dies of heart disease after waiting weeks for an exit permit Oct 13, 2010 01:17 pm | Seham
and other news from Today in Palestine:
Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing Settlers Launch Attacks On Palestinians Olive Groves In Nablus, Stealing Fruit Palestinian sources reported on Wednesday that settlers attacked Palestinian olive groves in Boreen village, in the southern part of Nablus. The attack comes at the beginning of this year's olive harvest. http://www.imemc.org/article/59613
Settlers violently attack Ezra Nawi’s car in the South Hebron Hills, Joseph Dana Last Saturday afternoon, Ta’ayush activists were helping Palestinian farmers in the South Hebron Hills near the settlement of Susya as is the custom for the last seven years. The group’s name, which means ‘working together’ in Arabic, conveys its mission to work together and break down the physical and psychological barriers between Israelis and Palestinians. The majority of Ta’ayush’s work is based on the joint agricultural work with Palestinian farmers. The agricultural work on Saturday began quietly as it usually does. After one hour of peaceful work, settlers from the illegal outpost of Mitzpah Yair descended on the group and incited violence against them. Army patrols quickly joined the settlers and monitored the situation while the settlers verbally threatened the Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. The double standards of the occupation were on display as the settlers incites violence towards peace activists under the eye of the army while a non-violent human rights defender has just been put in jail for one year on the grounds of incitement for leading non-violent demonstrations against Israel’s separation barrier in Bil’in. http://josephdana.com/2010/10/settlers-violently-attack-ezra-nawi%e2%80%99s-car-in-the-south-hebron-hills/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=settlers-violently-attack-ezra-nawi%25e2%2580%2599s-car-in-the-south-hebron-hills Israeli bulldozers raze 40 Araqib homes for the sixth time The Israeli municipality teams tore down 40 Palestinian homes in the Araqib village in the Negev desert, occupied since 1948, on Wednesday under heavy police protection. http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq
Israeli forces remove Sheikh Jarrah sit-in tent JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israel forces removed a Fatah-affiliated sit-in tent in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Wednesday, which was erected in solidarity with 28 Palestinian families threatened with expulsion. Fatah Revolutionary Council member Dimitri Diliani said forces had attempted to dismantle the tent overnight, but families had stayed the move. Officers returned the day after to remove the tent under tight security, he added. Ma'an's correspondent said confrontations between forces and the families concerned broke out while the tent was being dismantled. Diliani said Fatah would continue their protests despite the tent's removal. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323802
Demolition, clashes and 'price tag' at West Bank outpost Soldiers, police arriving in Ramat Migron to raze illegal structures confronted by stone-throwing settlers, who also attacked Palestinians; three Jews arrested. MK: PM appeasing Abbas. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3968898,00.html
Israel expands 2 West Bank settlements NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers on Tuesday bulldozed farmland in order to expand the illegal Eli settlement south of Nablus and in Beit Ummar expanded the Karmei Tzur settlement north of Hebron, officials in the West Bank said. Palestinian Authority official responsible for settlement observation in the northern West Bank Ghassan Doughlas said that since morning, the bulldozers have been working on Palestinian lands south of Nablus. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323478
As Occupation Plows Lands, Caravan Returns to Property of Ra’ed Taqataqa in Beit Fajjar Bethlehem – PNN - Occupation authorities plowed lands on Monday night and a caravan returned to the property to Ra’ed Taqataqa of Beit Fajjar, west of Bethlehem, in spite of a decision from the Israeli High Court of Justice that ruled the land belonged to Taqataqa. The hill in question falls near the main road between Beit Fajjar and Wam Salmuna. Taqataqa reported that after soldiers began plowing parts of the land, a wheeled caravan arrived with a rotating team of guards, including civil administration officers. He explained that the decision of the High Court had given him the right to reclaim the land and use his own agricultural machinery, therefore he had the right to resist any occupation effort to take it over. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8879&Itemid=62
Tormusayya: In West Bank, Symbol of Peace Now Signifies Struggle But when Mr. Abu Aliya and his family from the neighboring village of Al-Mughayer — 36 of them in all, including grandchildren — drove out to their land this week in a snaking convoy of cars and pickup trucks with others from Turmus Aya, they found scores of their trees on the rocky slopes in various stages of decay, recently poisoned, they said, by Jewish settlers from an illegal Israeli outpost on top of the hill. Branches drooped, the once lush, silver-green leaves were turning brown and the few olives still clinging on, which should have been plump and green or purple by harvest time, were shriveled and black. Dozens of trees nearby that Mr. Abu Aliya contended were similarly poisoned with chemicals last year stood like spindly skeletons, gray and completely bare. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/world/middleeast/13olives.html?src=twt&twt=nytimesworld
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment Non-violent Resistance In At-Tuwani Doesn't Give Up To Daily Oppression By Alessandra Bajec – PNN - The journey starts on a warm afternoon in the South Hebron Hills, south of Yatta, at few kilometres from the Green Line southern of the West Bank. Since August 2004, the Italian non-violent peacecorps, Operation Dove (together with Christian Peacemaker Team), is present in At-Tuwani and in the South Hebron Hills. They operate in partnership with various Israeli peace and human rights groups namely Ta’ayush and Rabbis for Human Rights. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8887&Itemid=59
OECD Considers Relocating Conference Planned For Jerusalem Due To Boycott Calls After several nations announced that they will likely boycott this month's planned bi-annual tourism conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Secretary-General of the OECD wrote a harshly worded letter to the Israeli Prime Minister which hinted at the possibility of relocating the conference. http://www.imemc.org/article/59608
“Why Is the U.S. Government Deaf to What Has Been Done to My Son?” Asks Father of an American Murdered on the Gaza Flotilla Through his lawyers in Turkey, Ahmet Dogan, the father of Furkan Dogan, the 19 year old American citizen who was executed by Israeli commandos has challenged the U.S. government its lack concern about the death of his son. Dogan was killed by commandos who shot him twice in the head and three times in other parts of his body on May 31, 2010 on the Mavi Marmara in the Gaza flotilla. "Up to this moment, I still do not understand why the United States government is deaf to what has been done to my son, an American citizen. I urge the U.S. government to act to defend the rights of my son. I also would like to know why the U.S. voted against the Gaza Flotilla Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission at the Human Rights Council last week, as that report included information about the execution of my son, " said Dogan. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/10/12-10
Palestinian diaspora join in olive harvest NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian peace activists from Europe, South Africa and Canada, as well as several foreign nationals, participated in the olive harvest with residents of the Al-Bathan village in the Nablus district on Tuesday. Sana Ad-Dabagh, one of the participants, said she hoped that by joining the harvest she would reveal the reality of daily life in Palestine, and that her group had toured several Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank and Israel in solidarity. Atheer Salahat from Al-Bathan greeted the peace activists and thanked them for their visit to the village which faces daily harassment from settlers and Israeli forces, he said. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323635
The persistence of resistance, Jamal Elshayyal Ismail Nashwan recalls the events of May 31 as if it were yesterday. The moment masked Israeli commandos brought death aboard the Mavi Marmara as it attempted to break the siege on Gaza. But despite the near-death experience and spending time in an Israeli jail at 81-years-young, Ismail is still determined to reach the besieged strip. He has now joined the latest humanitarian aid convoy heading to Gaza. I ask him what it is that makes him so determined to reach the territory, and how, at such an old age, he still finds it within him to cross land and sea in total defiance with the Israeli/Egyptian imposed siege on the coastal strip. http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2010/10/12/persistence-resistance
‘Hey BU you’ve been had, Dershowitz is WICKED bad!’: Boston University students protest CAMERA, Adam Horowitz On Sunday, October 10th, students from Boston University’s Students for Justice in Palestine group and their allies (American Jews for a Just Peace, ItisApartheid, and students from several other Boston Palestine groups) assembled to demonstrate against the university’s hosting of “War by Other Means: the Global Campaign to Delegitimize Israel,” a conference put on by the anti-Palestinian group CAMERA (the Committee For Accuracy in Middle East Reporting). As a result of the growing success of the international Palestine solidarity movement, Israel’s supporters increasingly feel that they are en route to a South African like pariah status. According to CAMERA, “Israel faces a convergence of global forces that may undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the world community.” Its conference contained many prominent Israel supporters including keynote speaker and Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, Daniel Pipes, and Gerald Steinberg of NGO monitor. http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/hey-bu-youve-been-had-dershowitz-is-wicked-bad-boston-university-students-protest-camera.html
Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement Palestinian Children Need Protection The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy strongly condemns the arrest of eight-year-old Omran Mansour on October 12 from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on charges of stone throwing. Mansour, who was identified on the videotape of settler leader David Be'eri running over two Palestinian children earlier this week, was taken forcefully from his home by Israeli soldiers late at night without the accompaniment of his parents. The arrest of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities is commonplace in the occupied territories but has recently reached exceptional heights. The two children who were run over by Be'eri in the stone throwing incident were ages 10 and 11. On October 12, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch declared that "children cannot receive immunity" in cases of stone throwing. Last month, 12-year old Karam Da'an from Hebron was arrested, detained and exiled from his home for five months including being barred from attending school. http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=22697&CategoryId=2
Gaza 20 months after Cast Lead MEMO - It has been over 20 months since Israel launched its brutal attack on Gaza, which saw over 1,400 civilians killed, many of whom were women and children. Today, walking around within the Gaza Strip, you see the devastation that still remains - houses turned to rubble, wasted and barren farmland, basic infrastructure in total ruin. Residents such as Abed Rabbo in the northern Gaza Strip. http://jnoubiyeh.com/2010/10/gaza-20-months-after-cast-lead.html
But the Coffins Do Come In, Mohammed Omer GAZA CITY, Oct 13, 2010 (IPS) - Samir Tahseen Al-Nadeem died after waiting 35 days for an exit permit for treatment for his heart condition. He was 26. The medicines he needed could not get in. But the coffins do. http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53144
EU urges equality for non-Jews in Israel TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- The EU on Tuesday urged Israel to guarantee the equality of all its citizens after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinians to recognize Israel's Jewish identity, Agence France-Presse reported. "We support the two democratic states living side by side in peace and security," EU diplomatic chief Catherine Ashton's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancik said. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323492
Violence Teenager injured by Israeli fire in northern Gaza GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian teenager was injured by Israeli fire on Wednesday while he collected construction aggregate in the the Al-Qaraya Al-Badawiya area in northern Gaza near the Erez crossing. Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said an unnamed 17-year-old was injured and transferred to the Kamal Udwan Hospital for treatment. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323649
Detainees PSP: 2 photojournalists detained in Beit Ummar HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained two Palestinian journalists on Wednesday before noon in the Beit Ummar village in the southern Hebron district as they covered the expansion of an illegal settlement, the Palestine Solidarity Project said. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323726
Military Invades Towns In West Bank, Arrests Three Israeli soldiers arrested Monday night a young man from the town of Beit Reema, near Ramallah in the central West Bank, after they invaded his house. http://www.imemc.org/article/59602 Israel occupation forces arrest 13 Palestinian in west bank Israel occupation forces arrest 13 Palestinian in west bank, Ramallah – The Israeli occupation forces invaded on Wednesday morning a number of West Bank communities and arrested 13 Palestinian civilians., Israeli raids were reported in the cities of Nablus and Jenin in northern West Bank, in addition to Bethlehem in the southern part of the West Bank, Palestinian sources reported on Wednesday., In Nablus, Israeli soldiers attacked homes and searched them before taken seven men away; meanwhile in Jenin soldiers arrested three men after searching homes., In Bethlehem, Israel soldiers arrested five civilians during house-to-house search campaign near the Nativity church in the city center. http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=9962
Silwan Boys Are Men Nonetheless: A Story Of Capture And Lifelong Terror Jerusalem – Maysa Abu Ghazala/ PNN Exclusive - Don’t mention cartoons to the boys of Silwan. Their story of capture and harassment is more like a horror movie which hasn’t yet ended, even with their release—instead, it’s imprinted in their memories for the rest of their lives. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8889
Israeli Unit Dresses in Women’s Clothes to Capture 4 Boys in Silwan Jerusalem – Maysa Abu Ghazala - A unit of Israeli musta’arabeen (Israeli soldiers dressed as Arabs) captured four boys in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan last night. Suleiman Abduh Sayyam, age 10, was injured by a sound bomb and a rubber bullet to his leg during a confrontation that broke out in the village, but not arrested. Eyewitnesses in the Be’er Ayyub neighborhood recount that a unit of Israeli musta’arabeen captured the boys by dressing in street clothes, some with long women’s hair. After capturing the boys, they put on their police caps. The captured boys were Jihad Zeitoun, 12, Ayhab Shouiki, 11, Biha’ al-Rajbi, 12, and Muhammad Mufid Mansour, 13, all taken to the Israeli compound. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8878&Itemid=56
Hamas awaits Fatah proposal on security GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Hamas movement said Tuesday that it was waiting to see Fatah's proposals on security, which is the outstanding issue in the national reconciliation meeting scheduled for 20 October in Damascus. Yahia Moussa, a Hamas lawmaker in the Palestinian parliament, said that “all that has been agreed upon in Cairo concerning this issue should be implemented, especially ending security coordination with Israel.” http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323525
PLO chief: We will recognize Israel in return for 1967 borders Yasser Abed Rabbo says that in exchange for accepting Palestinian territorial claims, it will recognize Israel as 'whatever it wants.' http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/plo-chief-we-will-recognize-israel-in-return-for-1967-borders-1.318835?localLinksEnabled=false
PLO wants map from U.S. with future Israeli border RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The Palestinians are seeking a map from the United States showing where Israel sees its final borders and making clear whether they include Palestinian land and homes, an official said on Wednesday. Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) official Yasser Abed Rabbo was responding to a U.S. call for the Palestinians to present their own ideas in response to an Israeli proposal they recognise Israel as a Jewish state in return for curbs on settlement building -- a declaration they have long opposed. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE69C1R2.htm PFLP: Abbas's Madrid-Oslo approach brought woes on the Palestinians Senior official of the PFLP Rabah Muhanna stated that the Madrid-Olso approach which Mahmoud Abbas is still adherent to only brought disasters on the Palestinian people and their national cause. http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6
Other News And Tom Friedman says the Arab world is rife with conspiracy theory…, Philip Weiss Israel National News: President Obama’s incoming National Security Adviser is well known for his close ties to the Jewish and pro-Israel community.... One of Donilon’s clients during his time as a lawyer was Penny Pritzker, daughter of Hyatt hotel chain founder Donald Pritzker and member of the notable Jewish American Pritzker business family. Penny Pritzker is one of President Obama’s strongest Jewish backers. She was the national finance chair of Obama's presidential campaign... Donilon’s appointment has also been backed and approved by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “Tom Donilon understands it’s a dangerous world,” said Committee spokesman Josh Block in a statement. “In every position he has held throughout his career in government, he has been a strong friend of the US-Israel relationship.” http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/and-tom-friedman-says-the-arab-world-is-rife-with-conspiracy-theory.html
Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest Rep. Baird: ‘J Street’ threatened to end support for Rep. Edwards over openness to consider one-state solution, Philip Weiss Wow. The fat is in the fire. Here is a video on C-Span of Congressman Brian Baird yesterday, criticizing J Street for reportedly assailing Congresswoman Donna Edwards's decision to meet with New Policy PAC. Start listening about 3:30. He was speaking at a conference at the Capitol Auditorium hosted by the New America Foundation and the University of Chicago. The conference is called "Cutting the Fuse: Beyond the War on Terror". http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/rep-baird-j-street-threatened-to-end-support-for-rep-edwards-over-openness-to-consider-one-state-solution.html
Benny Morris, former historian, Jerome Slater Benny Morris was one of the earliest and most important Israeli “new historians” whose scholarship and courageous truth-telling refuted a number of mythologies about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other things by demonstrating that the Palestinian refugee problem was deliberately created by the Zionists, who engaged in what we today call “ethnic cleansing.” Morris and others proved beyond reasonable doubt that in 1947-48 the Zionist military forces and political leadership drove a large part of the Palestinian population out of the lands under Zionist control, often by means of massacres and other acts of terrorism against the Arab civilian population. http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/benny-morris-former-historian.html
Time for New Palestinian Political Strategy, Dr. Elias Akleh Palestinians had long lost confidence in their Palestinian Authority as their representative, who was supposed to defend their rights and work to achieve their statehood. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, was imposed on the Palestinians in the 2005 election when the Israeli forces had arrested and restricted the movements of other Palestinian candidates and his campaign was given 94% of TV coverage. Although his presidency had expired in January of 2009 he is still, illegally and unconstitutionally, occupying his position. Polls had shown that his popularity is very low. http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16328
Australian Zionist Searches For Palestinian Supporters And Finds One: Guess Who? When a Pro-Israel, Australian politician addressed the Zionist Federation of Australia conference in Melbourne on October 10, guess who the one Palestinian he approved of turned out to be? It was no other than our very own Ray Hanania. That’s right. This pro-Zionist Australian searched far and wide across this world to find one Palestinian he approves of and came up with the clown of Cicero, Illinois Most of his speech was devoted to attacking Palestinians and their supporters in the BDS movement, but he apparently wanted to offer an example of a “good Palestinian” when he told his Zionist audience “I like the recent analysis of the Chicago-based Palestinian-American commentator Ray Hanania who abhors the extremists.” I wonder how long he was searching before he gave up and settled for this useless idiot. http://ikhras.com/2010/10/australian-zionist-searches-for-palestinian-supporters-and-finds-one-guess-who/
Gorilla’s Guides Team Members To Post A Series of Guides “An Introduction to Islam” On The Seminal Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim I am pleased to tell you that over the next few months Gorilla’s Guides team members will publish a series of articles on Islam here at The Seminal every weekend. The purpose is to give the readers of this site a good introduction to Islam and to what we Muslims believe. The articles are being written either by Muslims, or by Westerners who have lived long amongst us and demonstrated by speech, writing, and above all their deeds their understanding and respect for Islam and for the rights of Muslims to live free of war, colonialism, and oppression. http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/76097
Bahraini Shi'ites Feel Neglect In Govt Housing Crunch MANAMA (Reuters) - Seventeen years have passed and Bahraini government clerk Saeed is still waiting to move out of his ramshackle house in Barbar, a Shi'ite village outside the capital Manama, and into government housing. http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=88007b3e00ce177074f9489ed5eca6f1
‘Budrus’ on Charlie Rose, and the Israel lobby on ‘the Good Wife’ Oct 13, 2010 01:12 pm | Andrea Whitmore
I’ve taken to watching Charlie Rose online since it comes on too late here in Kansas City for me to stay awake, and I hate to miss it. Night before last (October 11), the same night that Andrew Sullivan appeared, Charlie also interviewed Brazilian filmmaker Julia Bacha and Jordan’s Queen Noor about the documentary Budrus.Rose opened the segment with a trailer for the film and asked entirely respectful questions. Julia Bacha made sure to say that people are always asking about the Palestinian Gandhi, so she answers that there have always been peaceful protests on the ground, but that the mainstream media gives “very little coverage of civil society and what Palestinians and Israelis are doing together” in the struggle for justice.It’s well worth watching.Queen Noor and filmmaker Bacha hope for wide exposure for Budrus following last Friday’s opening in New York. The interview is at http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11238
Charlie Rose has actually been doing some excellent Middle East interviews lately, including former President Jimmy Carter (who doesn’t hold back his views on Israel-Palestine), Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, President of Syria Bashar al-Assad, and others who are more likely to appear on mainstream media such as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. I’m not sure how Rose gets away with it given how much pressure Jon Stewart, for example, received for hosting Anna Baltzer and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti months ago. Rose deserves much praise because he must get lots of flack about his “non-mainstream” guests. The Middle East interviews are filed under “Collections” on his website (www.charlierose.com).
Another note about mainstream media and a confession: I’ve become addicted to a prime-time soap, The Good Wife (I know, I know, but even those of us in the movement get to have a little fun). So last night, as my husband watched the PBS series about religion in American, I hightailed to another room to watch my show. Well lo!—the main character’s husband, a politician who is in process of public rehabilitation as he returns to politics following a prison term, has a run-in with a Jewish community leader over his Israel-Palestine views. He’s accused of not being strong on Israel, of being pro-Palestinian. He’s been photographed carrying a copy of Jimmy Carter’s Peace, Not Apartheid—a sure sign of disloyalty to Israel--so his Jewish campaign manager arranges a Yom Kippur dinner at the pol’s house to prove his loyalty to Israel. Turns out the Pol’s teen daughter speaks up, says the book was hers, and what about the flotilla and all the activists who were killed—she is clearly outraged and informed. I was astonished this was brought up on such a show. The usual is to ignore even the word “Palestinian.” And I was glad to be able to later justify ("Guess what, guess what!") to my husband rushing away from the serious subject of religion to watch my program.
PA’s challenge to Israel: Set your borders Oct 13, 2010 11:07 am | Ira Glunts
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has offered to recognize Israel “by whatever name it applies to itself in accordance with international law” in exchange for “a map of the borders of the state of Israel which they want us to recognize.” This according to senior Palestinian official,Yasser Abed Rabbo, in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The offer is a response to the US and Israeli demand that the PA recognize Israel as a state of the Jewish people in exchange for a settlement freeze extension.
I think this is a very clever démarche by the Palestinian Authority. If the peace process were a chess game, it could be a winning move. However, in the real world, the Americans will quietly, privately, yet forcefully tell Abbas, "no way Mahmoud" and go back to business as usual.
The bottom line is Netanyahu is not willing to seriously talk about giving up any of the West Bank.
The question is: Is Obama? Is JStreet? I am not holding my breath for the answer.
Rep. Baird: ‘J Street’ threatened to end support for Rep. Edwards over meeting with ‘New Policy’ group Oct 13, 2010 10:53 am | Philip Weiss
Wow. The fat is in the fire; and the litmus tests of the American Jewish community are being publicly scrutinized.
Here is a video on C-Span of Congressman Brian Baird yesterday, criticizing J Street for reportedly assailing Congresswoman Donna Edwards's decision to meet with New Policy PAC. Start listening about 3:30. He was speaking at a conference at the Capitol Auditorium hosted by the New America Foundation and the University of Chicago. The conference is called "Cutting the Fuse: Beyond the War on Terror".
Steve Clemons of New America Foundation introduces Baird, the great congressman from Washington State. And Baird says:
"A funny thing happened on my way here, it really did. I bumped into my dear friend Donna Edwards, from Maryland, a fantastic member of Congress... Donna and I... traveled to Gaza along with New America... Donna shared with me the following story... She's been asked to speak to a group that has a policy that supports the two-state solution but that has also said, if two states don't work out, maybe we look at the viability of the one state solution. She then gets a flurry of emails saying, No you can't talk to those people. If you talk to those people, then we may not be able to support you any more. She then says, Wait a second, the other group in town, AIPAC, does that; what is J Street doing saying I can't talk to people.
I may be talking out of school here. This was a conversation in front of Starbuck's. Literally ten minutes ago. But it is indicative of the kind of problem we face. It's a town that imposes Groupthink with a ferocity that Irving Janis could not have imagined... It imposes it through financial contributions... a host of ways that limit how we think. And I want to challenge that a little bit today.
You forgot this question: When will Israel change its behavior? Oct 13, 2010 09:48 am | Philip Weiss
This email went out yesterday. Amendments are mine:
Dear Brandeis Alumni and Friends,
The Alumni Association is pleased to invite you to join Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D. '72, on Thursday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m. EDT for an interactive lecture and discussion. President Reinharz will explore "Israel on Campus." This forum, online and accessible from your own computer, is a unique opportunity to hear from a renowned expert on Israel studies and ask questions in real-time.
President Reinharz will discuss:
* How is Israel perceived on American campuses today? [Not very well]
* Who are the detractors? [Your daughter, and her political and hipster friends]
* Why is Israel losing ground among contemporary college students and faculty? [They are liberals who voted for a black president; and so they feel a need to separate themselves from a Jim Crow political entity that is put forward as our closest ally, but half of whose population has no political representation, with the distinction between enfranchisement and disfranchisement being racial]
Is Sullivan’s witness on Israel/Palestine linked to his moral stance re his own church? Oct 13, 2010 08:57 am | Philip Weiss
Yesterday I caught some of Andrew Sullivan's appearance on Charlie Rose from the night before. He said he had stopped attending Catholic mass because the child abuse scandal sickened him, he said the church hierarchy was corrupted by it and he did not understand the absence of accountability for the pope who as an archbishop had reassigned a priest who had abused boys to another parish where the abuses continued, and he said that he was pursuing his own Christian faith in a more personal manner, through meditation and reading. Now they have put up the transcript:
this moral institution aided and abetted and committed the rape and abuse of countless thousands of innocent children. Now, if any institution did that it would be beyond belief. But that the church, the representative of Jesus, would be doing that, has done that and hidden it and defended it, and no one has really taken responsibility....
I have stopped going to mass because the anger and the frustration overwhelms me, and those are things I don’t want to feel when I’m there.
How much of Sullivan's great witness on the Israel/Palestine conflict in recent years has come out of his disillusionment with his own religious authority, I wonder.
Also consider his comments in light of how rigid Jewish identity construction is in the political realm. Sullivan's falling away from Catholicism is a little bit conventional; you hear these ideas being openly expressed. But how many MSM Jews denounce Zionism on Charlie Rose? Oh you are allowed to be a Buddhist and marry a non-Jew, no one will draw the line there, but cheer the Goldstone Report? Who has done that in the mainstream? Beinart expresses dismay with AIPAC. He is firmly a liberal Zionist. That's about as far as things go. At J Street's conference, Goldstone was denounced from the rostrum by a big liberal rabbi.
Sadly, Sullivan made no references that I heard to Israel/Palestine. But this, regretting his bad judgment on the Iraq war:
I’ve been marinated in neoconservative thought for a long time so all of this made sense to me. But I did not --
CHARLIE ROSE: "Marinated in neoconservative thought"?
Barack Obama: Israel’s lawyer Oct 13, 2010 07:10 am | Maggie Sager
Just yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu demanded that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for Israeli compliance with international law. Shortly after, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley illuminated the United State's official position on the proposal, explaining, "We recognize the special nature of the Israeli State. It is a state for the Jewish people." While President Obama's views on the institutionalization of Israel's ethnic character are of no surprise, such an outright endorsement of Netanyahu's insult to the PA stands in stark contrast with the vision of the United States as impartial mediator the American public has been spoon-fed over the past few months.
If the admission of offering military, financial and political concessions in exchange for a partial extension of the so-called settlement "freeze" hadn't done enough to destroy the Obama Administration's credibility in the peace process, this was surely the final blow. How could any casual observer continue to believe Obama had the interests of both parties at heart while simultaneously lauding Netanyahu's inanity as even remotely legitimate?
Israel's settlement construction is illegal under international law. The United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Security Council and International Court of Justice all concur: Settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must immediately halt and reverse, along with construction of the partition wall. Just as chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, Israel's Jewish character has no bearing the illegal status of Israel's settlements. Netanyahu's condition is a wanton distraction.
The proposal also has nothing to do with Israel's right to exist as a nation. Far from being existentially threatened, Israel has enjoyed full recognition of its sovereignty by Fatah and the PA for the past 17 years. The issue lies in Israel's insistence that its statehood be defined on ethno-religious terms. Yet somehow the implications of this definition is utterly lost on Obama. Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah illustrates the point well in two of his recent tweets:
Would Obama align himself with the moral argument underpinning either of these assertions? One would hope not. Then why is it somehow permissible to endorse the same position when it comes to Israel? And how can his administration support linking the PA's acceptance of such assertions to Israel's admittedly partial and temporary compliance with standards of international law?
What's more, who could defend Obama as a worthy proponent of peace while he cheers Netanyahu on in his quest to force Abbas into selling out Israel's Arabs, further codifying their second-class status, while at the same time attempting to settle the question of Palestinian refugees' Right of Return prima facie?
To summarize, if the PA were to accept such a deal, Israel would have achieved the following:
Further military, financial and political support from the United States;
Formal permission from the PA to continue subjugating Israeli Arabs;
And nullification of the Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees of the Nakba
The PA would achieve the following:
A temporary "freeze"of settlement construction on what is to become a Palestinian state if talks succeed, one that would presumably not include freezing construction in East Jerusalem (in contravention of international law), nor the construction of current projects including the thousands that began just a few weeks ago, nor suspending the confiscation of Palestinian property to make room for further construction, just as the last "freeze"did not include these things
The United State's endorsement of such an insulting proposal makes clear Obama's complete disregard for Palestinian interests, and his commitment to repeating the mistakes of his predecessors. The authors of The Israel Lobby explain, "As Aaron David Miller, an adviser to six different secretaries of state on Middle East and Arab-Israeli affairs and another key player in the Clinton administration's peace effort, put it during a 2005 postmortem on the failed negotiations: 'Far too often, we functioned...as Israel's lawyer'" (Mearsheimer and Walt, 48). How exactly has Obama done anything to improve upon this characterization?