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Sunday, February 27, 2005

relative humanity

those who don't believe that the conflict between israel and the palestinians is a case of imperialism or colonialism need to explain the U.S. media's different valuations of israeli and palestinian lives. teddy roosevelt sums the attitude up:

'[A] Conquest may be fraught with evil or with good for mankind, according to the comparative worth of the conquering and conquered peoples.'

- Theodore Roosevelt

this double standard - essentially white supremacy, with israelis defined as white and palestinians as other - is most clearly on display when palestinians resume violence against israeli civilians after a period of refraining from it. universally in the establishment media, this is portrayed as shattering the truce or the calm. the assumption, and therefore the message, is that the israeli crimes that the palestinians held back their response to - killings, woundings, house demolitions, colony construction, wall construction - were not violations of the truce or disturbances of the calm, because what we value is calm for israelis not palestinians - peace for the whites, not for the colonized.

thus, the recent bombing in tel aviv, possibly carried out by islamic jihad, was universally reported as shattering the calm, but the same is not true of the 170 israeli killings of palestinians since the last such bombing in november.

if americans knew conducts studies of reporting of israeli vs. palestinian deaths in the US print media. the consistent conclusion is that israeli deaths are reported much more prominently than palestinian deaths. the executive director, alison weir, writes here about the LA times' coverage of the recent bombing.

here's a challenge to those who disagree with the colonialist/imperialist analysis: is there any other way to understand these facts?


Thursday, February 24, 2005

a new call for divestment

the world council of churches, which consists of most non-catholic christian denominations, voted to consider selective divestment from israel.

newsday reports that "jewish groups" are furious:

"Here you have Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon reaching out to one another in peace, and the WCC is trying to slap people down," said David Elcott, interfaith director for the American Jewish Congress in New York, referring to the Palestinian and Israeli leaders. "The timing couldn't be more embarrassing."
we see here one of the purposes of sharon's "reaching out". the settlements continue to be built, the apartheid wall continues to be built, but the notion that these crimes should be met with international sanctions has to be discarded because we're in a time of peace.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

israeli AG reverses land theft

israeli attorney-general meni mazuz has reversed the decision by a couple of cabinet members - natan sharansky and zevulun orlev - to apply the absentee property "law" to residents of east jerusalem.

he offered some technical explanation, but his clearly stated motive is to "avoid opening new fronts in the international arena in general, and in particular in the arena of international law." probably a smart move for the zionist state: if the international community started to consider the legality of the absentee property "law", it could lead to a court battle and an order to israel to compensate the refugees by returning their stolen property, which would leave israel with much less land. moreover, as mezuz points out, since the decision was effectively a result of the apartheid wall that the world has condemned, it strengthens the case against israel on a front where it's already on shaky ground.

orlev - who i'm not familiar with but is evidently a likudnik nut - strongly condemned the attorney general's pragmatism:

MK Zevulun Orlev defended the original decision yesterday, and declared that Mazuz's move is "the suicide of the Jewish state. The absentee property law has existed on the books for many years, and the attorney general is also subject to it," said Orlev. "The time has come to put an end to the inferiority complex and the apologies."
the fascist types who view any sort of caution or compromise as an indication of an inferiority complex always seem to be projecting their own inferiority complexes.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

palestinian children & israeli criminals - together at last

i'm passing this along. it comes from a person who is in touch with the palestinian prisoner association.

According to reports by the Palestinian Prisoner Association, 6 Palestinian children political prisoners, including 15 year old Bayan Najajrah, have been placed in a prison reserved for Israeli criminals serving long-term sentences. They include criminals convicted of murder and other capital crimes. According to Bayan's mother, the children are being terrorized by the Israeli prisoners who steal their foods, bang on the walls and doors of their rooms during the night, and beat them every now and then. Bayan was recently assaulted by some of the prisoners.


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