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Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem

Chair of West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

‘Geronimo EKIA’– as Indian wars continue in Palestine

May 07, 2011

Matthew Taylor

geronimo

When U.S. military officials chose the code name Geronimo for Osama Bin Laden– and then bulletined his death as Geronimo EKIA (Enemy Killed in Action)– they unwittingly cast a harsh historical light on the United States, its ally Israel, and both states’ deplorable treatment of their indigenous populations.

Although Uncle Sam patriots glorify a distorted past that never was, in truth the U.S. was founded on a massive campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing that annihilated most Native Americans and corralled the relatively few survivors into intolerable reservations. Stripped of their land base and way of life, American Indians today endure further devastation as greedy corporations encroach onto their small remaining territories to mine uranium and other resources, often exposing the populations to cancerous pollution.

Both the U.S. and the modern state of Israel were founded on an ideology of a promised land for a chosen people, and to hell with the natives. Israel’s policy of dismembering Palestinian communities, demolishing their homes, stealing their land, and packing them into fragmented urban islands echoes the U.S. treatment of its indigenous peoples.

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In January 2007, when then-Secretary of State Condolezza Rice paid a visit to the Hawara movement barrier (checkpoint) near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, Palestinians dressed up in Native American costumes to protest the U.S. role in funding and arming their immiseration. The protesters held aloft signs that said, “Is this our reservation?” and “The Indian wars are not over Mrs. Rice… We are still here, too!” and “The roadblocks are ruining the Palestinian’s lives.”

Bush’s laughable explanation for 9/11 – “they attacked us because they hate our freedom” – evades the truth of blowback. According to a 2008 audiotape, one of Bin Laden’s primary motivations for the brutal September 11th, 2001 attack was the U.S. role in funding Israel’s theft of Palestinian land. Bin Laden’s murderous methods to express his grievances were despicable. That said, I suspect that those who misguidedly mourn Bin Laden do so for his temerity in opposing U.S./Israeli bullying.

Geronimo was a highly revered Apache warrior who resisted the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Native Americans. The U.S. government labeled him a terrorist. The real perpetrators of terror, those who ordered and carried out the destruction of indigenous societies, were never condemned in such terms. Apache and Native leaders castigate the Bin Laden analogy, which is part and parcel of a U.S. tradition of both calling its enemies indigenous names (translation: all Indians are enemies and vice versa), and appropriating Native culture in militaristic, imperial ways (ex., Apache helicopters, Tomahawk missiles).

It is telling that the U.S. chose Geronimo as Bin Laden’s moniker. At an unconscious level, perhaps U.S. officials realized that just like the famous Native American warrior, Bin Laden had a valid bone to pick with Western imperialism.

U.S. conquest and subjugation of its native population is an especially sordid chapter in the history of this settler-colonial nation, disturbingly similar to Israel’s recent history. It’s time for the U.S. to finally get on the right side of history, and change its foreign policy from bankrolling Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land to funding and promoting Israeli-Palestinian equality and reconciliation.

 

Obama’s to-do list: Free Pollard in May so he can travel safely to Israel in June

May 07, 2011

Jeffrey Blankfort

Yesterday Weiss had breakfast in Berkeley with Jeff Blankfort, who laid out the following scenario. Weiss’s notes.

I generally do not make predictions. Though I do have a check from a former CIA guy for $10 because I said there would be no attack on Iran. It was when Scott Ritter was saying there would be an attack on Iran, and I said No it would be too disastrous to the world economy. But now I’m going to make another prediction.

I begin with the question, why Osama Bin Laden was killed at this particular point in time. Because they knew where he was for a while and Al Qaeda by everyone’s observations is not a very active force, and the way I see it is, Obama has a wimp image internationally which has come largely from the way he has been repeatedly humiliated by Netanyahu with direct and indirect support from the US Congress, which has now invited Netanyahu to speak this month. The Republicans that is, though the Democrats will also cheer him.

And to prepare for Netanyahu coming here Obama needed something to restore his image as a leader or commander in chief which would make Netanyahu think twice about even indirectly attacking him in Congress. That was killing Osama bin Laden.

Now in order for Obama to get the Jewish funding he had in the last election he has to make a trip to Israel. What’s curious is that up till now he has not only not made a trip there but he hasn’t been publicly invited– and probably for the reason that Obama is so unpopular in Israel that he cannot go there and feel assured that he will come back alive. And the Netanyahu government quite likely feels the same way, because many of their elite army units which used to be secular are now ultra orthodox. Because if Obama’s going to go, he has to go in a very public way, not like sneaking into Baghdad or Kabul.

Following a meeting that Obama had with Shimon Peres a month ago there’s been an expectation that he will go to Israel in June. and the only way for him to do it at this point in time would be to free Jonathan Pollard. And there has been a major campaign to free Pollard recently, an unprecedented campaign, on the part of the Jewish community. Henry Kissinger weighed in, George Shultz weighed in, Michael Mukasey weighed in.

Heretofore previous Israeli governments and the American Jewish community have not really pushed this issue in the way they’re doing it today. Because previously they were afraid of what Pollard might say, because Pollard has said that he was betrayed by the Israelis, and Pollard’s support has largely been in the settler community. But now the setters are running Israel, and the current Israeli government is the equivalent of the Tea Party, and they have nothing to lose by anything that Pollard might say about previous Israeli governments when he gets out.

I think that if it’s going to happen, if Obama’s going to make a trip in June, he may quite likely release Pollard before or during the AIPAC convention this month (May 22-24). I think there will probably only be objections to Pollard’s release on the right. Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan. Obama will get no serious attack, though there might be people who mght question it. Paul Krugman? He won’t even talk about it. And as for the intelligence establishment in the United States that has long objected to Pollard’s release, well it’s not the same as it used to be, and even they’ll rationalize it.

What if Obama were killed in Israel? Well I they they would probably try to blame it on the Palestinians. Though given the atmosphere in Israel, any Israel who would assassinate Obama would be considered a hero among many Israelis, as was the guy who assassinated Rabin.

The fallout here? I’ve thought about that. And if Obama were assassinated there it would cause a rise in African Amercan anti-Semitism. It would be a gamechanger, and this might– it would certainly speed the self-destruction of Israel.

What puzzles me is the timing of all this. Obama has no one in Congress backing him up in confronting Israel. Remember he took this on back when he was still popular, and he got letters from both houses of Congress saying, Don’t lean on Netanyahu. He’s a president who does not have the Congress backing him up and will not get the standing ovations in Congress that Netanyahu will. So the timing puzzles me. Why now?

Why’s it happening now? This pressure to free Pollard—it was a phony issue. None of the Jewish organizations have ever been criticized for not doing enough to free Pollard because Pollard is in prison making these wild charges.

How many people are aware of this deal? I’d say a handful. David Harris of the American Jewish committee, sure. Malcolm Hoenlein. Probably not Foxman, he’s too much of a wildcard. Dennis Ross—it was probably his idea.

Leon Panetta knows. Hillary knows. So now you’re in select company.

Former Mossad chief says ‘Atlantic Magazine’ Iran scenario is stupidest idea he ever heard

May 07, 2011

Philip Weiss

Last fall the Atlantic Magazine ran a piece titled The Point of No Return, stating that an Israeli attack on Iran was a likely scenario. It was written by Jeffrey Goldberg, who once served in the Israeli military, and was a transparent effort to pressure the U.S. to do Israel’s dirty work for it. Well now the former head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, says that the Israeli Air Force attacking Iran “is the most stupid idea I ever heard”. This is Hebrew on Haaretz,. English will likely follow. Oh, here. H/t Noam Sheizaf of 972mag.

 

 

‘FT’ architect says Israeli intolerance has ‘spoilt’ Jerusalem

May 07, 2011

Philip Weiss

Changing discourse. Financial Times architecture columnist Edwin Heathcote on the “best and worst” cities in the world to live in, today’s paper. Thanks to Irma:

Jerusalem

I know, I know – beautiful, holy, history lingers in its every shady corner. Yet the treatment of Arabs as second-class citizens, the ghastly security wall smashing through its edges and the omnipresent guns have spoilt it. Jerusalem is the perfect example of why tolerance is so critical to a city.

 

 

Israelis violently break up unity rally on occupied land

May 07, 2011

Palestine Project

hamdee2From the Palestine Project:

Hebron: Three members of the Beit Ommar National Committee against the Wall and Settlements were injured this afternoon in a demonstration near the Israeli Karmei Tsur settlement.

Yousef Abu Marya, age 36, (holding up his right arm in photo above) had his wrist broken in two places by a Israeli soldiers, while Ahmed Abu Hashem, age 42, and Mousa Abu Marya, 33, sustained leg injuries.

The demonstration was organized by the National Committee Against the Wall and Settlements to celebrate the unity agreement made between Hamas and Fatah this past week in Cairo. Demonstrators held signs proclaiming “Unity is Our Strength” and “Unity = Liberty.”

This weeks demonstration included participants from other villages and regions, including Wad Rahal and the Jordan Valley, as well as international and Israeli solidarity activists. Demonstrators went to the land of Ahmed Abu Hashem, a member of the National Committee whose land has been partially annexed by the Karmei Tsur settlement.

Demonstrators were forcefully prevented from working on Abu Hashem’s land, and several, including the landowner, were pushed from the 8-foot-high terraces that bisect the hillside. Ahmed Abu Hashem and Mousa Abu Marya both sustained leg injuries after being pushed from the terraces by Israeli soldiers.

About 15 minutes into the demonstration, soldiers charged the crowd and attempted to arrest Yousef Abu Marya, a cousin of the land owner who also owns land inside the Karmei Tsur settlement. Israeli soldiers twisted his arm and wrist until it was broken in two places, and released him only when it became clear that he was seriously injured.

Abu Marya was taken to a hospital in Hebron, where he was treated for a broken wrist and sprained leg. An Israeli supreme court ruling in 2006 declared that farmers whose land had been annexed by the Karmei Tsur settlement, including Ahmed Abu Hashem, Yousef and Mousa Abu Marya, should be allowed to access their land with permits from the Israeli authorities. To date no permits have been issued.

hamdee

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