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Monday, June 06, 2005

updates on the norman finkelstein site

there's new material on norman finkelstein's website. most of is is dershowitz-bashing (which, with dershowitz in "panic mode" as finkelstein puts it, is not much of a sport) by norman and by alexander cockburn, but there's also an excerpt from finkelstein's forthcoming memoir (is he old enough to be allowed to write a memoir?).

one bit of news from the cockburn article: michael neumann will be publishing a book, "the case against israel", with counterpunch.


schickelgruber sounds off

this piece was published in the chain of local magazines published by the israeli tabloid maariv. it appeared in october 2003, and was written under the name "a. schickelgruber". maariv missed the irony, not realizing that "adolf schickelgruber" was the birth name of adolf hitler; nor did they notice that the text consisted of a bunch of quotes from "mein kampf" and other hitler speeches and writings pasted together. after realizing what they had done, they sacked the columnist who wrote the piece, yehuda nuriel. having missed the original irony, maariv's editor amnon denker missed the point of the piece, explaining his termination of nuriel as follows:

"This is an extremely repulsive satire, which means that anyone who opposes Sarbanut (Conscientious Objection) is Hitler, quasi-Hitler, or about to become Hitler. In my view, as an editor of a Jewish newspaper in Israel, it is a horrible act which can not be forgiven, and can not be protected by the right for a free speech."

who says you have to be literate to be the editor of a major publication? here's an english translation of nuriel's piece, as it appeared in harper's magazine in april 2004:

"A brave and moving response to the refusenik pilots. A must read..."

Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence of our people, the sustenance of our children and the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator. The world has no reason for fighting in our defense, and as a matter of principle God does not make cowardly nations free.

Our nation wants peace because of its fundamental convictions. We want peace also owing to the realization of the simple primitive fact that no war would be likely essentially to alter the distress in our region. The principal effect of every war is to destroy the flower of a nation. We need peace and desires peace!

The war against our enemies cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. Man has become great through struggle. Whatever goal, man has reached is due to his originality plus his brutality. If you do not fight, life will never be won. The man who has no sense of history is like a man who has no ears or eyes. It must be thoroughly understood that the lost land will never be won back by solemn appeals to God, nor by hopes in any United Nations, but only by the force of arms.

A single blow must destroy the enemy, without regard of losses. A gigantic all-destroying blow. Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.

There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience, Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness, Sacrifice, and love of the Homeland. Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that “liberalism” has ever invented for its own destruction. One of the worst symptoms of decay was the increasing cowardice in the face of responsibility, as well as the resultant self-hatred in all things.

In actual fact the pacifistic-humane idea is perfectly all right perhaps when one law rules the world. Therefore, first struggle and then perhaps pacifism. Pacifism as the idea of the State, international law instead of power - all are means to unman the people. They hold India up to us as a model and what is called 'passive resistance.' True, they want to make an India of us, a folk of dreams which turns away its face from realities, in order that they can oppress it for all eternity.

What food did our press dish out to the people before the violent events? Was it not the worst poison that can even be imagined? Wasn't the worst kind of pacifism injected into the heart of our people at a time when the rest of the world was preparing to throttle us, slowly but surely? Even in peacetime didn't the press inspire the minds of the people with doubt in the right of their own state? Was it not the press which knew how to make the absurdity of 'democracy?'

A concerted and all-embracing attack must be made on unemployment in order that the working class may be saved from ruin. Within four years unemployment must be finally overcome. At the same time the conditions necessary for a revival in trade and commerce are provided. Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea.

The required message does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie, never half this way and half that way. This is the very first condition which has to be fulfilled in every kind of public relations: a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with. The best means of defense is attack.

Ours is not a warlike nation. It is a soldierly one, which means it does not want a war, but does not fear it. It loves peace but also loves its honor and freedom. We will never allow anyone to divide this people once more into camps, each fighting the other. The world will not help, the people must help themselves. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it, we may wage the battle of our life. May God Almighty give our work His blessing, strengthen our purpose, and endow us with wisdom and the trust of our people. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward.

If we are forced to send the flowers of the nation into the hell of war without the smallest fear, then surely we have the right to remove millions of another race that breeds like vermin. For we are fighting not for ourselves but for the whole country.

A. Schicklgruber


checkpoint syndrome

duplication alert: i copied this straight from angry white kid's blog. more context and details, including how to get the full text of "checkpoint syndrome", now available in english for the first time, can be read on his blog.

By Liran Ron Furer

GAZA 1997

I was very excited, that first time on a checkpoint. We were all quite stressed. We were polite to the Arabs, we checked each car thoroughly. The Arabs immediately sensed that we were new recruits to the job. They asked us which unit we belonged to and how long we were going to stay. They smiled at us with their special derisory smiles when we let them go, though sometimes they hooted to make us nervous or frighten us. It took some time, but we soon learned how to work at the checkpoint. We felt more at ease, the Arabs didn't frighten us so much any more, gradually we realized that it was they that had to be frightened not us. After all, it was in our hands whether or not they were going to reach their place of work on time. It was we who could make their life very difficult. Someone told us that the more the Arabs were afraid of us the more order there would be at the checkpoint. As time passed we discovered that he was right.


Today we taught the Arabs at the checkpoint to sing "Alinor". Eli checked the documents of an old twisted Peugeot and noticed that the driver looked exactly like Zohar. He took out a camera and took his picture. Then he dragged him out of the car and started to sing songs from Zohar's repertoire and made the Arab sing with him, without the lyrics of course. The Arabs who sat in the car were laughing. Then the crazy Eli shouted at them: "What are you laughing at? Start singing too!". The Arabs got frightened and started to sing. We dragged them out of the car and arranged them in a line, like a choir. I tried to teach them the lyrics:
"…Aaaalinor, you are beautiful, like an angel…"
What a sight to see these Arabs singing a song of Zohar Argov. It was like in a movie.


The Arabs hate us because we built a State over their heads, and now we sit on top of them with these checkpoints. We have taken away their will to live and this is why they turn into terrorists, to fight us and to resist. They bomb our buses and restaurants. This is a vicious circle and everybody suffers in the end. So what does it matter? What is certain is that in a situation like this it is better to be us, the Jews.


We sat in the back of the jeep with our feet pressing on top of this Arab. He was lying there with his feet sticking out from the jeep. We drove and the Arabs were standing at the side of the road and watching. Our Arab was lying silently but you could hear that he was crying quietly to himself. His head was actually lying on my jacket. He was bleeding and his blood was running making a puddle of blood mixed with saliva. It disgusted me and made me angry so I caught his hair and turned his head on one side. He gave a loud cry so, to silence him, we stepped on his back more forcefully. This silenced him for a while and then he started to cry again. We came to the conclusion that he was mental or mad for certain. The company commander told us on the phone to bring him to the base. "You did fine, tigers…" He was just teasing us.


Today I was really nervous. The heat and the flies at the checkpoint, I felt as if I was going mad, I hit an Arab again without a reason - he tried to cross the checkpoint without papers. Still, I might have gone a bit over the top. I put him in the shed (so that others would not see) and started to hit him with my fists straight into his face, and kicked him all over his body. I don't think he will lodge a complaint against me (I remember his face well), but I mustn’t do that sort of thing. I’ve got to restrain myself, I should not let wickedness rule over me. I shouldn't let these vicious urges get the better of me.


Saturday, June 04, 2005

where is the non-violent palestinian protest?

a couple of years ago, i attended a talk by four members of jews against the occupation - NYC, three of whom discussed their trips to israstine with the international solidarity movement. there was a large and hostile zionist turnout, which dominated the Q & A period, as usual, with questions that were disguised attacks rather than understanding-enhancing queries.

the most memorable question was, "why don't the palestinians adopt non-violent forms of resistance, instead of bombing israeli civilians?". it was memorable because most of the panel's discussion had been about precisely that: the non-violent forms of resistance initiated by palestinians and supported by the ISM - and suppressed with considerable brutality by the israeli occupation forces. panelist ora wise lambasted the questioner for being so brainwashed as to miss the central point of the presentation.

what follows is a press release from al-mubadara - the palestinian national initiative - a political party that i've blogged about several times. it describes just one more instance in which the israeli army unleashes its brutality against a nonviolent demonstration, and just another instance of prominent palestinian political figure and humanitarian mustapha barghouti being physically assaulted at one of these demonstrations.

Press Release

Over 15 people injured, including Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, by Israeli Occupation Forces during an Anti-Wall Demonstration in Bil’in

Friday, 3 June 2005

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, the head of Al Mubadara, the Palestinian National Initiative, was amongst tens of demonstrators injured by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) at a non-violent demonstration against the construction of Israel’s Apartheid Wall in Bil’in village (West-Ramallah) earlier today.

Dr. Barghouthi was participating in a non-violent, civilian demonstration together with Palestinian, Israeli and international activists against the construction of the Apartheid Wall, that stands in breach of the International Court of Justice’s ruling in July 2004, declaring the construction of the Wall and its associated regime illegal.

During the demonstration the Israeli military began firing rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs at demonstrators. Over 15 demonstrators were injured after being beaten by IOF soldiers and tens of others suffered breathing difficulties after inhaling the smoke from tear gas bombs. Among the injured was Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. He sustained injury at his left leg as a result.

Since the construction of the Wall began weekly non-violent demonstrations have been taking place in Bil’in. Until today over 1,500 dunums of agricultural land have been seized and there are plans to confiscate at least an additional 1,000 dunums as construction of the Wall continues. Although Israel has to freeze its colonial expansion and dismantle its illegal settlements, in accordance with international humanitarian law, the route of the Wall near Bil'in has specifically been designed to incorporate the new settlement Menura, and the expansion of the existing settlement Kiryat Sefer.

To date, approximately one third of the construction of the Apartheid Wall has been completed, with only 20 percent running along the Green Line. When completed, the Wall will stretch 670 kilometers, eating into 46 percent of the land of the West Bank.

The Palestinian people call on the international community, as High Contracting parties to the 4th Geneva Convention, to pressurize Israel to bring an immediate halt to its illegal construction of the Apartheid Wall, according to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice and to launch an inquiry into the continuous assaults by the IOF against Palestinian non-violent demonstrations, as today.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

azmi bishara on patience

interesting article.


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