Thursday, April 30, 2009

Zionists Attack Academic Freedom of Jewish Professor

A Jewish Professor's comparison of Israelis to Nazis stirs furor.

The UC Santa Barbara sociologist, who is Jewish, sent images from the Holocaust and from Israel's Gaza offensive to students in his class. He has drawn denunciation and support.

Controversy has erupted at UC Santa Barbara over a professor's decision to send his students an e-mail in which he compared graphic images of Jews in the Holocaust to pictures of Palestinians caught up in Israel's recent Gaza offensive.

The e-mail by tenured sociology professor William I. Robinson has triggered a campus investigation and drawn accusations of anti-Semitism from two national Jewish groups, even as many students and faculty members have voiced support for him.

The uproar began in January when Robinson sent his message -- titled "parallel images of Nazis and Israelis" -- to the 80 students in his sociology of globalization class.
The e-mail contained more than two dozen photographs of Jewish victims of the Nazis, including those of dead children, juxtaposed with nearly identical images from the Gaza Strip.

It also included an article critical of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and a note from Robinson."Gaza is Israel's Warsaw -- a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians," the professor wrote. "We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide."

Two Jewish students dropped the class, saying they felt intimidated by the professor's message. They contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which advised them to file formal complaints with the university. In their letters, senior Rebecca Joseph and junior Tova Hausman accused Robinson of violating the campus' faculty code of conduct by disseminating personal, political material unrelated to his course."
I was shocked," said Joseph, 22. "He overstepped his boundaries as a professor. He has his own freedom of speech, but he doesn't have the freedom to send his students his own opinion that is so strong."

Robinson, 50, who is Jewish, called the accusations and the campus investigation an attack on academic freedom. He said his former students, the Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League had all confused his criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism.
"That's like saying if I condemn the U.S. government for the invasion of Iraq, I'm anti-American," he said. "It's the most absurd, baseless argument."

Robinson said he regularly sends his students voluntary reading material about current events for the global affairs course, and that no one raised questions when he subsequently discussed his e-mail."

The whole nature of academic freedom is to introduce students to controversial material, to provoke students to think and make students uncomfortable," said Robinson, a UC Santa Barbara professor for nine years.

As the dispute over his e-mail plays out, UC Santa Barbara has become the most recent U.S. university to confront campus unrest over issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In recent years, Jewish and Muslim groups have quarreled repeatedly at UC Irvine about the Holocaust and Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. Professors and students at Columbia University have also argued over issues of intimidation and academic freedom amid debates on the Mideast.

In Robinson's case, reaction has been strong -- on both sides. Shortly after hearing from the two students in January, the Wiesenthal Center produced a YouTube video titled "Jewish Students Under Siege from Professor at UC Santa Barbara." The clip shows one of Robinson's former students, her face obscured to protect her identity, reading from his e-mail.

The head of the ADL's Santa Barbara region sent Robinson a letter in February calling on him to repudiate his statements about Israel. Last month, the ADL's national director, Abraham Foxman, in a meeting with faculty members at the campus, urged the university to conduct an investigation into Robinson. He was told that an inquiry was already underway.

"You can criticize Israel; you can criticize the war in Gaza," Foxman said. "But to compare what the Israelis are doing in defense of their citizens to what the Nazis did to the Jews is clearly anti-Semitism."

Robinson's supporters say the professor is being maligned for exercising his right to challenge his students to think critically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Students on campus have formed a group, the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, which is chronicling the saga on its website.

Letters of support also have arrived from academics across the country, including one from California Scholars for Academic Freedom, which says it represents 100 professors at 20 college campuses. The group argues that the allegations have been raised against Robinson to "silence criticism of Israeli policies and practices."

Some UC Santa Barbara faculty members also are speaking up for Robinson. History professor Harold Marcuse, who attended the March meeting with the ADL's Foxman, said the pictures e-mailed by Robinson were "well within the bounds of appropriateness on campus. It's something I could have used in a course."
Marcuse, who is Jewish and teaches about the Holocaust in his world history and German history classes, said he would not have injected his own views into such a message to students, but added: "
I don't think Bill Robinson's e-mail is anti-Semitic in any way. I think criticism of Israel is OK."

One UC Santa Barbara official has already looked into the allegations against Robinson, and a faculty committee is being formed to decide whether to forward the case to UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang. A university spokesman declined to comment on the case.

Robinson has hired an attorney, and the student committee supporting him has scheduled a May 14 campus forum on the matter. Joseph and Hausman, the students who filed the original complaints, said they plan to attend. So do Hausman's parents from Los Angeles and Rabbi Aron Hier, director of campus outreach for the Wiesenthal Center."

I just want to bring awareness," said Hausman, 20. "I want people to know that educators shouldn't be sending out something that is so disturbing."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

World's Longest Held Political Prisoner

Bethlehem – Ma’an – On Friday, 1 May,

Palestinian Nael Barghouthi will become the world’s record-holder as the longest-held political prisoner. Barghouthi will have completed more than 31 years in Israeli custody by May, said Abd An-Nasser Farawna, a Palestinian specialist in prisoners affairs.

On Friday, Barghouthi will break the Guinness World Record, which is currently held by Sa'id Al-Ataba, a Palestinian who was also in Israeli custody. According to Farawna, Barghouthi was detained on 4 April 1978. He became the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner after his fellow prisoner, Sa’id Al-Ataba, was released on 25 August 2008 after efforts made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Al-Ataba spent 31 years and 26 days in Israeli custody. Barghouthi was born in 1957 in Ramallah in the central West Bank. He was detained on 4 April 1978 at the age of 21, and an Israeli military court later sentenced him to life imprisonment. He has already been in prison ten years longer than he was free.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2008 Worst Year For Palestine Deaths Since 1948

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) bases in Gaza, issued a report on Saturday revealing that the year 2008 is the bloodiest year for the Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948.

Date: 26 / 04 / 2009 Time: 10:11 Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies –

2008 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since the violent creation of Israel in 1948, the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported (PCHR) on Saturday.

More than 1,000 were killed last year, including 820 killed by Israeli forces in Gaza and 40 in the west Bank. Another 143 Palestinians were killed in inter-Palestinian violence.

Presenting PCHR’s annual report to media in Gaza, the center’s director, director Raji Sourani, said, "2008 was the worst year and the deadliest for the Palestinians ... since 1948," according to AFP.

According to PCHR 1,417 Palestinians, including 926 civilians, were killed in the Israeli military offensive on Gaza in December and January.

Palestinians remember 1948 as the year of The Nakba (The Catastophe), marking the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people and the massacre of many others from the historic land of Palestine.

The PCHR said that the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli forces and the settlers in 2008 is 868, 820 (94.5%) of them were killed in the Gaza Strip, and 48 (5.5%) were killed in the West Bank.

The Center added that 414 of the slain Palestinian (47.6%) were civilians, and were killed in situations that did not pose any threat to the lives of Israeli troops.

Dr. Sourani further said that in 2008, Israeli soldiers kidnapped during repeated invasions 2433 Palestinians in the West Bank and 68 in the Gaza Strip. More than 9000 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

Israeli Soldiers and settlers carried repeated attacks against Palestinian lands and homes in the West Bank, while the army also expropriated more Palestinian lands for settlement construction and expansion and for the construction of the Annexation Wall.

The PCHR reported that in 2008, Israeli soldiers destroyed 216 homes in the Palestinian territories, including 107 in the West Bank and 109 in the Gaza Strip.

Referring to internal Palestinian violations and unrest, the PCHR stated that 143 Palestinians, including 25 children and 13 women, were killed by Palestinian gunmen, and 411 Palestinians were injured. Two more residents were killed in cases of weapons misuse.

26 Palestinians, including two children, were killed and 170, including 20 children and seven women, were injured by members of the Palestinian security forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Candidate for U.S. Envoy Calls for Unilateral WB Withdrawal.

"The only alternative for Israel to save itself as a Jewish state is by unilaterally withdrawing from the West Bank and evacuating most of the settlements."
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's candidate for Israeli ambassador to Washington, Dr. Michael Oren-

"Peace as a solution is not a question of next week but a generational issue," he said. "One of the lessons that the failed Oslo process has taught us is that peace must be built from the bottom up. We cannot impose peace from the top down, it doesn't percolate from the top down."
This certainly sounds to me like he is saying, it was a mistake to go against the will of the people when they democratically voted Hamas into power.
Earth to Hillary and Obama....

Oren said he does not believe that a solution to the conflict could be achieved at this stage. Instead we should find ways to "better manage the conflict, to relieve tensions and ameliorate the conditions under which people live to ensure against future flare ups."
Wow! This is too much commonsense all at one time.
I expect the Zionist Tar and Feather Brigade is surrounding his house and job, now.

Establishing a Palestinian state would require the evacuation of tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from the West Bank and from holy cities like Hebron, Oren said.
hmmmmm.....10's of thousands is not "most". Most is more like 300,000, isn't it?

To take such a traumatic step most Israelis must be convinced that they would be getting "absolute peace" and the "end of the conflict," he said. we are getting into Tin Foil Hat territory. This suggests that Palestine recognize Israel and that won't happen...on a promise of Israeli pull-out. Too many broken promises.

Full articel here:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Israel Ranked 38th as Flawed Democracy, 85th in Civil Liberties

In 2008, Israel's democracy ranked 38th out of 168 in the world by the Economist Democracy Index...well below countries like Uruguay, Korea, Chile and Estonia.

Israel is defined as a "flawed" democracy, but their Civil Liberties ranking puts them deep into the "Authoritarian" group of countries.

Israel's Civil Liberties rating is 85th out of 168. One notch ahead of the Palestinian Territories...which of course they control.

Israel's Civil Liberties rank puts them in the same class as:
Azerbaijan - 135th
Kazakhstan - 127th
Rwanda - 121st
Mauritania - 118th
Kyrgyz Republic - 114th
Pakistan - 108th
Russia - 107th

The above countries are classified as "Hybrid" or "Authoritarian" regimes.

The Economist is only interested in whether the conditions of a country are conducive to investment, so I assume the figures are fairly devoid of any personal politics.

In 2007, Israel had an overall ranking of 47th. It looks like they jumped 9 places in their 2008 ranking for some reason. No doubt this ranking gain was prior to the Gaza Massacre of December 2008/January 2009...and the continuing siege.

Here is a comparison of Israel's scores for 2007 and 2008:

Rank Overall Score Elect. Proc. Functioning of Govt. Polit. Partic. Pol. Cult. Civ. Lib.
47 7.28 9.17 6.64 7.78 7.50 5.29

38 7.48 8.75 7.50 8.33 7.50 5.29

Unless something dramatically positive happens in 2009, I expect the scores for Israel to drop into the basement. Of course this expectation does not take into account any lobbying pressure Israel may exert on those doing the next ranking.

Aren't numbers grand?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Israeli Army: Most Moral in the World

This is a priceless jab, an eye crossing uppercut and a paralyzing knockout blow to the Israeli governments position that they have the most moral army in the world.

The most moral army in the world. Fact
By Yitzhak Laor

On June 19, 1977, the Sunday Times marked the 10-year anniversary of the occupation with a wide-ranging expose on the torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The report concluded that torture was so widespread and systematic that it was impossible to dismiss these deeds as "'rogue' cops exceeding orders.

It appears to be sanctioned as deliberate policy." Israel's denial was, of course, adamant. No Israeli newspaper addressed the accusations directly.

Our ambassador in London said the morality of the prophets does not permit torture, and therefore these charges were baseless.
It was Menachem Begin of all people, who had just formed his government, who expressed shock and ordered the Shin Bet to cease and desist.

Yet the logic of occupation and the defense establishment were stronger than the shock of the former underground leader. Then came the Bus 300 affair and Izat Nafso, the Circassian Israel Defense Forces officer convicted of espionage in 1984, and it reminded all of us that the Sunday Times report was more accurate than the denials, and was more accurate even than Begin's good intentions.

On the other hand, every Israeli poll about torture or atrocities would reveal, beyond a shadow of a doubt, simple truths: first, this can't be so; second, it is right; third, they started it. Anyone who thinks this logic belongs solely to bizarre internet talkbackers needs to read Ehud Barak's initial reaction to the soldiers' testimonies from Gaza: "The IDF is the most moral army in the world." Fact.

Even the shelling of towns along the Suez Canal during the war of attrition, during bombardments of targets deep within Egyptian territory, included the destruction of a school during the school day and a steel factory during the workday, all under prime minister Golda Meir, and chiefs of staff and generals from the Labor movement.

Not even this changed Israel's self-image by one iota, and it is doubtful whether live Al-Jazeera broadcasts can do so, either. Aided by a carefully crafted narrative (by intellectuals on the Zionist left) we have been built as a nation that makes no room whatsoever for a contradictory private narrative, or at least an argument about sacred cows.

Everyone is marching to the same drummer. The symbols are always ready. Anything that did not fit the "nationalist" template was rejected. Exodus? Good enough for us. The Struma affair? Only for advanced researchers. Deir Yassin? It was not "us" who did it, but "dissidents." The massacre of Sasa, Tiberias or Lod? A non-sequitor. Qibya? Forget about it! Sabra and Chatila? That can be remembered (Christians killing Muslims).

Ehud Barak is right. By all measures, we are the most moral. Because we have no peers.
And yet, perhaps the defense minister is referring to acts committed by the Americans. Their army really committed more horrific atrocities in the last 60 years, from Korea to Vietnam, Panama and Iraq.

But it is in this context that the time has come to address the misdeeds taking place here, those committed by the state and its army against those it rules, including soldiers infected with a vicious virus, all with the approval of a collective unmatched in the democratic world. All the atrocities committed by the IDF always take place under the purview of "the compulsory conscription law," which is not only a law in the sense of income tax or driving on the right side of the road, but is a sanctified commandment.

Only "crazies" do not go to the army, do not dip their hands into the ceremonial blood. This is the supreme, traditional norm of Israeli society, and it covers up everything, both in denial and in acceptance of one's punishment. Not only does the entire system - education, the army, the Shin Bet and of course, the media and literature - rule out any talk of struggle or of being sane and not belonging, it even rejects the possibility that something within it is fundamentally immoral. Thus it is natural for the defense minister to sum up the current round of denial by praising the Military Advocate General: "I am happy that these are the findings, and it turns out once again we are correct when we say the IDF is the most moral army in the world, from the chief of staff to the last soldier."

Yes, this is the reality, one no satire can beat, even the words of Golda in Hanoch Levin's 1970 "Malkat Ha'ambatiya": "I've been examining myself for 71 years and God knows I discovered in myself a justice. And every day I am surprised anew. Right, right, right, and right once again. Once I took a nap in the afternoon and I said to myself, 'What if I do something stupid while napping? So did I do something stupid while napping? I'm the last person who does something stupid while napping!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm in Hot Water with Friends and Family over Jews

Be careful in making any statements that could be possibly construed as critical of Jews or Israeli's.

In solidarity with people who support equality for all people, I posted a bumper sticker message that shows up at the end of all my emails.
It simply says: "Boycott APARTHEID Israel" and gives the United Nations definition of Apartheid and invites people to ignore the bumper sticker if it offends them.

Since then, I have received hate phone calls, hate mail, had things thrown at me, received demands to remove the bumper sticker from my email, and take them off my email distribution...personal, political or business and dis-invited to functions by both friends and family. Some refuse to respond to me, refuse to look at me and have either their husbands or wives call me to express their displeasure.

I decided to think about it. I re-read my bumper sticker and thought about it some more.
Here is the response I sent to my friends and family (some former friends and family).

Dear Friend or Family member,
I was very surprised and distressed at learning you felt my email bumper sticker in support of boycotting Israel, in protest of some Israeli policies, was somehow directed toward you, personally. or against Jews or Israeli's, personally.

This is certainly not the case. I made no reference in that regard, in any way.

I was especially distressed at your response, since my every action with you has been as a friend. Whenever you have called and asked my assistance for whatever purpose, I have been there for you. Broken down car, doctors, house sitting, computer help, emergencies, messes or whatever. I’m surprised, that given this history, you would not have called to talk about your concern.

While our some of our politics and our religious beliefs differ greatly, it has never been an issue in our friendship. I am at a loss as to understand why this has changed now. I can only assume it is a misunderstanding, since I have no other information to go on.

I take my activism on the subject of Middle East peace very seriously. I have no loyalty to any religious or ethnic group. My loyalty is to the right of all people to be respected in their culture, religion and country. As this right is regularly violated, I exercise my right to be critical of any action or policy of any party that threatens the right of peaceful existence for any party.

Putting an email bumper sticker at the bottom of all my emails, which gives the United Nations definition of Apartheid, is part of my effort to shine a light on policies that have not produced positive results for either party, in the hope that people of good faith will work for a change we can all believe in. This is part of who I am. This is part of what helps me feel I am doing something worthwhile in my life.

When one makes threats and takes actions against someone, it actually makes the threatening party less safe. When one opposes a policy that threatens one party, that opposition is automatically in solidarity with the threatening party…but not the actions. Israel’s Apartheid policy is a threat to Palestinian people, thus I oppose it. The policy incites a similar response toward Israeli people, thus I oppose it.

Had I been alive in Gandhi’s time, I would have opposed the Apartheid practiced by the British upon India. Had I been alive during the Indian Wars here is the USA, I would have opposed the unjust laws and practices. I was alive during the civil rights struggle in American and opposed USA policies that disadvantaged minorities. I was alive during South Africa Apartheid and actively boycotted their policies. Had I been alive when women in the USA were fighting for voting rights, I would have marched with them. I was alive for the ERA Amendment fight and did take an active part. As I have Gay friends who are subject to injustice, I stand with them. Had I been alive at the time the Jews were reputed to have been slaves in ancient Egypt, I would have been opposed to that oppression…and according to bible stories, the Jews were aided in their quest for freedom, by some of the local people, officials, friends, etc…who were not Jews. Had I been a German, I would have helped my Jewish friends. Opposition to what one sees as unjust policies was seen by our founding fathers as not just a right, but a duty.

Some of you, who are critical of me, are Mormons. That I disagree with Mormons on Prop 8 is irrelevant to your right to practice as you wish, yet some of you do not afford me the same respect.

To be against equality for Palestinians is also to be against the equality of Women, Native Americans, native people of India, Black Americans, Jews…and many other un-named groups.
The policies of the above listed governments and institutions actually did and do damage to the people of the countries and institutions, not just to the people they oppress. Thus, while in opposing bad policy, you can still support the people.

At no time have I ever failed to see the distinction between a government and the governed. Hating a policy enacted by a government has never caused me to hate the race or nationality of the people imposing the policy…or to wish for their genocide. Yet, some of you appear not to accept that distinction.

Unfortunately, with the aid of a media which prostitutes itself for ratings, instead of honest reporting, too many people are victims of polarized conditioning. Because of this, some people assume reacting is the same thing as thinking. This creates a chaotic environment where it is difficult for open minded people to create an orderly process for discovering the truths and the solutions. Too many people mistake the TV commercial or the governments PR department product, for reality…they mistake the TV commercial and PR product as information on which to base their ideologies, actions….and most often: reactions. People who control other people don’t want the people to have all the information and sure don’t want them to learn how to reason. So, they wave the red cape, they wave primitive and instilled fears. They wave disinformation. They incite hate.

My priority is not the truth. My interest is in the integrity of the process. If the process is honest, I will accept whatever truth is discovered…whether it comports with my conditioning, religious beliefs, prejudices, or ideologies.

As you know, I am a member of many groups working for the common good of all peoples in the Middle East. Perhaps, as I am, you also are a member of J Street. A group made up predominantly of Jews, but which also welcomes other thoughtful people. This group accepts Arabs and Muslims as well. As you know, I am also a member of International Solidarity Movement. There are many Jews and Israeli’s in this group also. These people know enough about the policy of Apartheid and the effects it has on both parties, to know it must be opposed…for the good of mankind.

Unfortunately, some people feel Jews, Israeli’s, Arab’s and Muslim’s are monolithic. People who believe this way are easily manipulated by the corporate media, corporate government and special interest groups. These are the same manipulators that try to define Republicans and Democrats as monolithic, so they can keep them polarized and at each other’s throats, so they are unable to see that they have more in common with each other than in opposition.

The manipulators scream the word “anti-Semitism” when anyone criticizes any Israeli or Jewish policy…as if Jews and Israeli’s are the only groups of people on the planet immune from making mistakes. What these people also fail to recognize, is that Arab’s are Semites, too. So using that logic (or more accurately, lack of logic) any criticism of Arab’s or Muslims could be called “anti-Semite” as well. People like this are obviously not ready to be part of any constructive solution. They try to discourage people who desire to find a fair life for both parties. They assail their politics, their activism, they deface their religious places, they try to demonize and silence any and all who think differently. They try to intimidate people from using their right to free speech and action. They burn books. Sounds strikingly like Nazi tactic’s, doesn’t it?

I’m a trivia buff. I’m also a statistics guy. I like numbers…they can tell an interesting story in a few words. It is interesting that out of the 13 million Jews in the world, 6 million live in the USA, 5 million live in Israel. It was also interesting to learn that only 65% of Jews believe in God (to me, that say’s 35% of Jews are smarter than Americans since 91% of Americans believe in God). There are also 500,000 citizens of Israel, who are neither, Arab, Jew or Muslim. Not all Israeli’s are Jews. Not all Arabs are Muslims. Israel also has 1.1 million Israeli citizens…which are Arab. There are also 2.5 million Palestinians who do not have citizenship.

I list this trivia to make the point with facts, that the people of Israel/Palestine are not just one monolithic citizenry. They are as varied in their lives as we are in ours. Unfortunately, 2.5 million Arab people in Israel/Palestine, are not allowed to vote.

If you are interested in learning more about the nature of Apartheid, there is a very good discussion here: In easy to read charts and numbers, one can see some harsh realities that even the most hardened heart cannot justify.

Hopefully, you will find this letter helpful. I hope you will carefully consider it and agree that what you may have at first thought to be offensive was really only a misunderstanding…and in fact, is as supportive as one can be. That it really is supportive of people…all people, but not all people’s policies and actions or reactions. Hopefully, you will reflect on our friendship and find that the strength of it is in not only being there for each other when needed but in our diversity as well as our commonality.

Your friendship is very important to me.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Palestinians and American Indians - Not much Difference

As I have been following the latest seige of Palestine (you know it started on December 27, 2008 and has not stopped yet, right?), I have been awakening to the stark similarities of how the Native American Indian's were ethnically cleansed from their own country.

Following my short bit, I have included noteworthy quotes from well known Americans of the time...some justifying the destruction of a whole people.
I have also included more recent quotes from those who justify taking the land from the Palestinians as well as their justifications for massacring them.
I hope you will also see the similarities in the strategies and tactics.

Anyway, the Indians were pushed further and further west. They were pushed onto reservations (sounds like "camps" right?). White men ran the camps. Allowed or dis-allowed the flow of goods into the camps. Raided the camps. Punished those who resisted the camps. The poor living conditions resulted greatly diminished physiological development.

Soon other white men wanted the land the camps sat on, so they were moved onto other thousand mile marches of death and disease. The new land was even less desireable farther and farther from the land they were born on, their ancestors were born on, the land their ancestors graves were on.

Of course in the press, it was all the Indians fault...the white man was just defending themselves. Of course, who owned the press?

Yes, there were voices in support of the Indians among the white man, but the campaign by the land, railroad, timber, fur and munitions corporations in the halls of Congress and in the FOX News style media outlets of the day, was too great and those voices of opposition soon faded.

Some Indians escaped into exile in other lands...Canada and Mexico, but they were now refugees.

On guarded reservations in the United States, where "all men are created equal", the Indians lost their culture, their will and initiative.

Quotes about American Indians:

I believe in the policy that exterminates the Indians, drives them outside the boundaries of civilization, because you cannot civilize them.Congressman James M. Cavanaugh 1868
No State can achieve proper culture, civilization and progress…as long as Indians are permitted to remain.
U.S. President Martin Van Buren

The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian.... Reckless, revengeful, fiendishly cruel, they rob and murder, not the cowboys, who can take care of themselves, but the defenseless, lone settlers on the plains.
Future President Teddy Roosevelt, January 1886

They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement…Established in the midst of another and superior race…they must necessarily yield…and ere long disappear.
U.S. President Andrew Jackson, Message of the President to the Two Houses of Congress, 23rd Congress, 1833

We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians stop and check the progress of the railroad. I regard the railroad as the most important element now in progress to facilitate the military interests of our Frontier....We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux even to their extermination, men, women and children...they must feel the superior power of the Government. General Sherman - letter to General Grant) 1867

Not merely have all attempts to civilize them failed, but also every endeavor to enslave them. Our Indian tribes submit to extermination, rather than wear the yoke under which our Negro slaves fatten and multiply.
Ethnological researcher Josiah C. Nott

Intelligence, activity, ambition, progression, high anatomical development, characterize some races; stupidity, indolence, immobility, savagism, low anatomical development characterize others....our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untameable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies safety for our settlers and the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past.
L. Frank Baum. Author of the Wizard of Oz

All history and honest observation will show that the Red Man is a skulking coward and a windy braggart, who strikes without warning—usually from an ambush or under cover of night, and nearly always bringing a force of about five or six to one against his enemy; kills helpless women and little children, and massacres the men in their beds; and then brags about it as long as he lives, and his son and his grandson and great-grandson after him glorify it among the "heroic deeds of their ancestors".
Mark Twain, 1870

The idea that a handful of wild, half-naked, thieving, plundering, murdering savages should be dignified with the sovereign attributes of nations, enter into solemn treaties, and claim a country 500 miles wide by 1,000 miles long as theirs in fee simple, because they hunted buffalo or antelope over it, might do for a beautiful reading of Hiawatha, but is unsuited to the intelligence and justice of this age, or the natural rights of mankind.
New Mexico Supreme Court, United States v. Lucero, 1 NM S. Ct. 422, 1869

Quotes about Palestinians:

“a Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population.” Israeli historian Benny Morris.

“We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country [the total area was about 6%] we bought the lands from the Arabs. Jewish Villages were built in place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal [Dayan’s own village] arose in the place of Mahalal, Gevat– in the place of Jibta, [Kibbutz] Sarid– in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua– in the place of Tell Shaman. There is not one place in the country that did not have a former Arab population.” Moshe Dayan

But the native never lost his “last spark of hope”. The spark was not extinguished in 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were terrorized, uprooted and expelled, several decades after Moshe Sharret announced, “We have not come to an empty land but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it”; several years after David Ben-Gurion declared, “I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it”; and several months after Menachem Begin gloated over “a splendid act of conquest ” the rape and massacre of 254 Palestinians at Deir Yassin. The spark was not extinguished in 1967, when Israel grabbed the remaining 22% of Palestine and began its military occupation as its war hero Moshe Dayan kindly informed the natives, “You shall continue to live like dogs.”
Alam Wolf.

“Negev land is reserved for Jewish citizens whenever and wherever they want. We must expel the Arabs and take their place.” By 1951, fewer than 13,000 inhabitants remained of a community that numbered somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 in the late 1940s. David Ben Gurion in a letter to his son.

Individual Arabs may perhaps be bought off but this hardly means that all the Arabs in Eretz Israel are willing to sell a patriotism that not even Papuans will trade. Every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement.
That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of “Palestine” into the “Land of Israel”.
…they are not a rabble but a nation, perhaps somewhat tattered, but still living. A living people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions only when there is no hope left. Only when not a single breach is visible in the iron wall, only then do extreme groups lose their sway, and influence transfers to moderate groups. Only then would these moderate groups come to us with proposals for mutual concessions. And only then will moderates offer suggestions for compromise on practical questions like a guarantee against expulsion, or equality and national autonomy.
The Iron Wall by Vladimir Jabotinski, 1923

“Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.” Ariel Sharon

“I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.”
Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3rd, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

“Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…Everything we don’t grab will go to them.”
Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

“Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”
Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, “Complete Diaries,” June 12, 1895 entry.

“The blood of the Jewish people is loved by the Lord; it is therefore redder and their life is preferable.” Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsberg, head of the Kever Yossev Yeshiva in Nablus

“True, the white man brought great change. But the varied fruits of his civilization, though highly colored and inviting, are sickening and deadening. And if it be the part of civilization to maim, rob, and thwart, then what is progress? I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization…. “
Chief Luther Standing Bear, in his 1933 autobiography

Friday, April 3, 2009

UN picks South African Jew to head Gaza war crimes inquiry

I'm testing my open mind with this post. Judging from the reaction to this news in the blogs I have read, I am not alone in struggling to remember that many Jews and Israeli's have serious problems with Israeli Government actions...and openly protest them...around the world.

I wouldn't be struggling so much if at least one member of the investigating team was also an Arab, or a Muslim or a Palestinian. In fact, given the history of unfairness toward Palestinians, I don't know why I am even required to keep trying...I feel pretty lame for doing so...but, here is the story:

Richard Goldstone, a South African Jewish judge, will head an international fact-finding mission into allegations of war crimes by Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants in Gaza, the United Nations said on Friday.

The former war crimes prosecutor will head a four-member team whose mandate stems from a resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council at a special session on January 12.

"It is in the interest of all Palestinians and Israelis that the allegations of war crimes and serious human rights violations related to the recent conflict on all sides be investigated," Goldstone said in a statement.

Goldstone served as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Goldstone will investigate conduct by both sides in Israel's 22-day offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

According to a Palestinian rights group, 1,417 people including 926 civilians were killed in the fighting. Israel has disputed Palestinian claims that most of the people killed in the recent offensive in Gaza were civilians, stating that the vast majority of the dead were in fact Hamas militants. Thirteen Israelis were also killed in the hostilities.

"I am confident that the mission will be in a position to assess in an independent and impartial manner all human rights and humanitarian law violations committed in the context of the [Gaza] conflict," the president of the Human Rights Council, Nigerian ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said in a statement.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wiping Countries Off the Face of the Map

Dr. Juan Cole at presents a very interesting article on Israel's new foreign minister.

Avigdor Lieberman, the Moldovan night club bouncer, is now foreign minister of Israel. The world has had a lot of fun laughing at the pronouncements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stands falsely accused of threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the map. One of many "proofs" he never said it:

But Ahmadinejad has protested that it would be wrong to kill large numbers of civilians. In contrast, Lieberman has threatened to wipe at least two countries, Egypt and Palestine, off the map. Monstrously, he suggested bombing the Aswan Dam, which would have the effect of murdering all 80 million Egyptians and sweeping them into the Mediterranean in a vast continental African tsunami.

Lieberman promptly announced on assuming office that the Mideast peace process is dead. Well, at least we have an outbreak of frankness.Whereas Ahmadinejad was humiliated by Columbia University president Lee Bollinger on his visit to that university, which provoked public protests, Lieberman's acceptance into the Israeli government has been greeted mildly and he was allowed to come to the Brookings Institution and meet with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Lieberman is a Central/Eastern European ultra-nationalist in the mold of Slobodan Milosevic and Jorg Haider, and it is shameful that he was allowed into the government and more shameful that this travesty has passed without a peep in the civilized world.

The The Electronic Intifada lists "Some of Avigdor Lieberman's infamous statements":

1. In 1998, Lieberman called for the flooding of Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat.

2. In 2001, as Minister of National Infrastructure, Lieberman proposed that the West Bank be divided into four cantons, with no central Palestinian government and no possibility for Palestinians to travel between the cantons.

3. In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Lieberman in a Cabinet meeting saying that the Palestinians should be given an ultimatum that "At 8am we'll bomb all the commercial centers ... at noon we'll bomb their gas stations ... at two we'll bomb their banks ..."

4. In 2003, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Lieberman called for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel to be drowned in the Dead Sea and offered to provide the buses to take them there.

5. In May 2004, Lieberman proposed a plan that called for the transfer of Israeli territory with Palestinian populations to the Palestinian Authority. Likewise, Israel would annex the major Jewish settlement blocs on the Palestinian West Bank. If applied, his plan would strip roughly one-third of Israel's Palestinian citizens of their citizenship. A "loyalty test" would be applied to those who desired to remain in Israel. This plan to trade territory with the Palestinian Authority is a revision of Lieberman's earlier calls for the forcible transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel from their land. Lieberman stated in April 2002 that there was "nothing undemocratic about transfer."

6. Also in May 2004, he said that 90 percent of Israel's 1.2 million Palestinian citizens would "have to find a new Arab entity" in which to live beyond Israel's borders. "They have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost," he said.

7. In May 2006, Lieberman called for the killing of Arab members of Knesset who meet with members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.'

People are under the mistaken impression that Jews are the only semites in the middle east.
If one offers any comment even remotely critical of Israeli laws and policies, Israeli's or Jews, one is called an anti-semite. If one simply calls for more information on aspects of the Holocaust, one is shouted down, drummed out of office, job and country. If one simply asks that a rational discussion be held on the plight of occupied Palestine, one is banned from entering Israel...and in some cases, the United States.

Well, Arabs are also Semites. Palestinians are Semites.
Certainly the comments and actions by Lieberman qualify him as an anti-semite.
Yet, we hear only silence from those who seem to be so finely tuned to identify anti-semitism.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gaza: Dead People Walking

From Natalie Abou Shakra and International Solidarity Movement and Free Gaza volunteer, who lives in Gaza and places herself between Palestinians and Racist Israeli bullets: She tells of a generation of they think...some of their motivations...and how they live...with very little hope.

"The famers told us that during their harvesting on the field yesterday and the day before that, they had been shot at and were obliged to stop working and be shot at as one ploughs their lentils on their fields .. if ones house was constantly under fire... if it was decorated with bullet shots rather than artistic portraits... is usually the case that most of whom i meet, or have met, is either a refugee, or an ex-political prisoner... and sometimes even both...

...ultimate alienation... continuous frustration... anger... helplessness... great potentials with limited resources... non-existent oppurtunities... imprisonment... perpetual killings of beloved ones... unwavering resistance... tragedy... cynical reality... nervous laughter, out of fear, in defiance of unaccomplished aims... eyes looking everywhere, on guard... no future, death expected any second... children walking, indifferent, unaware-an F16 might bomb soon... no traffic, minimal cars... foreigners that ask too much... journalists that take statements that are not read... no change occurs... same promises, no outcome... working, endlessly, a life's achievements devastated in a second... don't build a home, they might bomb it soon... don't buy a car, it will be targeted... hurry to the store, buy bread, war coming unexpectedly... let's go to a fancy restaurant, it might be our last dinner... pray continuously, you might be dead soon... have more children, you will be losing some of them anyway... news, news, news.. lies, killings, injustice, ignorance, hatred- yalla, yalla, yalla!"

I looked up the meaning of "Yalla" and it means to "Hurry up!" or to "Come on!"
If you are able to make a small contribution or send words of encouragement, please visit her website. I have linked it below.