Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Some Thoughts On Current Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Today I am going up to West LA to the Federal building on Wiltshire to join the protests against the war in Gaza. War is what some people in the media are calling the Israeli assault now. Justifying the action, pro-Israeli pundits always use the analogy, of an enemy launching missiles from Canada as the example. Well history aside, of several American actual invasions of Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries, the analogy is misplaced. What Hamas and other groups in Gaza are doing in striking back at the Israeli settler population is more akin to what if say the Native Americans in Morango, or some of the other reservations in Southern California were lobbing rockets at Los Angeles. It shifts the perspective, from one of two nations with established borders in a conflict to a conquered people, forced onto a reservation, resisting the occupiers. More correctly the analogy would have to be taken back to the 19th century when Native Americans actually had some resources to fight back and still had strong enough identification with their former freedom to resist violently. Just as in Africa the Zulu’s resisted the encroachment of the British and Boers and other tribal groups resisted the European colonists.

The image of Native American casino owners launching missile strikes on near by Palm Springs for example may seem absurd, why would then want to destroy the source of their income after all? But it brings up the point that these people have after two centuries barely clung on to their tribal existence and it is to their benefit that they have found another way to fight, in the US court system to gain the right to operate casinos as they are belatedly recognized as having some sovereign rights. This recognition did not happen in a vacuum, as the Indian gaming rights had resistance from the local states who felt they had authority to regulate gaming within their territorial boundaries. Supreme Court decisions, notably Bryan v. Itasca County, 426 U.S. 373 (1976), in which the court stated “should, as an admittedly ambiguous statute, be construed in favor of the Indians and against abolishing their tax immunities by implication.” Pp. 426 U. S. 390-393. (Bryan v. Itasca County, Justia.com). What I really want to speak to, is not Native American rights, which became encoded in Federal law with the passage of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, but to the fact that the Gazan’s have no such symbiotic relationship with Israel and thus that reservation, which is all it is at best, at worst an outdoor prison camp, has no reason to accept Israeli terms if there is a chance to resist and gain sympathy for their cause in the court of world opinion.

This is an important thing to recognize beyond the humanitarian disaster that the bombings, air strikes and such represent, that legally Hamas has been driven to this position because Israel will not recognize their authority in Gaza and when the Palestinian Authority and Hamas made a deal earlier this year to form a unity government, Israel could not countenance that, waving the avowed program of Hamas that Israel did not have a right to exist on Palestinian lands. The position of Hamas is no more unjustified than any group of Native Americans claiming that white settlers did not have the right to take traditional tribal lands. That goes into another issue of Native American collective land ownership concepts versus European private land ownership rights, something which was in conflict in Europe itself and the Enclosure movement of the commons there attests to. Israel in fact does negotiate with Hamas and has in the past, what Israel does not want to accept is an independent and prosperous Palestine, hence no Palestinian Gaming Authority, although there was a time not long ago when that very possibility existed. There is the interesting case of the Oasis Casino in Jericho which was opened in 1998 as a result of the Oslo accords in Palestinian territory very close to the Israeli border. It was a major investment meant to attract Israeli gamblers, very much like Native American Casinos rely on local non Native Americans. The exact scenario played out when “[d]uring the first days of the Second Intifada, Palestinian militants reportedly used the casino to fire at IDF soldiers, who in turn blew a hole into its front. Due to security concerns, which led to the absence of Israeli visitors, the casino was closed down shortly after” (Miri, The Tale of Jericho’s Oasis Casino, Green Olive Tours Blog).

How did this impasse come about? Israel had sown the seeds of much of the recent conflict with Gaza by supporting Hamas against the Palestinian authority. Andrew Higgins writes in the Wall Street Journal, ‘”Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,’ says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades….Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas” (Higgins, WSJ online 24 Jan. 2009). Israel’s divide and conquer policies have led to an unstable Palestine and has thwarted any real efforts on the part of Palestinians to establish an independent and viable state. With hard line conservatives in power, the Israeli position seems to have become one of toughing it out and extending the status quo for as long as possible.

Israel is not the United States where European immigrants swamped the indigenous population and killed them off through disease and warfare. Israel is in a position much more like the old South African regime in which a small white minority used similar tactics, those of apartheid to do much the same as Israel is now. In fact Israel and the old South African regime were close allies and had mutual weapons programs including their nuclear weapons program. Chris McGreal reporting for the Guardian UK wrote in his 2010 article “Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons”:

Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.

The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa’s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”. The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.

(McGreal, Guardian 23 May 2010).

Having lost it’s main ally in the 1990’s when South African apartheid was dismantled, Israeli authorities under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin prompted by a sense of real politic signed peace accords with and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat under the auspices of then President Clinton who was himself looking to carry on in the tradition of the Camp David Accords under former President Carter. But due to bad faith, when the agreed upon date for self rule of 2000 for Palestine did not occur as planed, and the break down of the 2000 Camp David Peace Summit, the Second Intifada, sparked by an incident when Ariel Sharon made a visit to the Temple Mount in September 2000, began the period of periodic Israeli assaults upon Palestinian territories which the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in August of 2005 did nothing to mitigate, because by relinquishing direct authority, it essentially presented the Palestinian Authority with a region it could not rule as Hamas had been developed by Israel as a counter authority, thus playing into the divide and conquer scenario, but resulting in the unintended consequence of Hamas taking its part as a body for the liberation of Palestine seriously and once it was out from under the direct scrutiny of Israel, capable of acting on its own initiative. This is of course an over simplification, but the conflict is both the result of an attempt by Israel to manipulate the aspirations of the dominated Palestinians while it jockey’s for its own survival as an independent polity in a hostile region of the world.

The status quo of cruelty and increasingly harsh tactics has turned Israel from a frontier community, into an increasingly organized prison guard state, Essentially Israel has become something like a community dependent upon it’s ability to guard the prison created for the Palestinians. Like the image of the Dutch dyke builders, holding back the ocean with concrete walls, Israel is doing the same to the Arab world. At some point the unstoppable force plying against the immovable object will win out. It just depends on how long Israeli intransigence is willing to maintain its strained position in this increasingly volatile region of the world. Biblical historical roots or not, the region is predominantly Islamic and if there are to be Christian, Jewish and other minorities in the region, they must find accommodation or eventually perish. The model of South Africa is a real path for the future. If there is an Arabic equivalent to Nelson Mandela, Israel should find a way to integrate and not wall off the Palestinians who are certainly not going away any time soon.

In the meantime I will go join the protests against the Israeli incursion in Gaza for the upteenth time in the last decade.

David’s Sling, Anakim, Gaza & Israeli Propaganda

Saturday, July 12th, 2014


Israel tests David’s Sling next generation anti-missile system.
Source: www.ainonline.com

Responding to a conversation between an Anarchist friend of mine and a relative of his who is a volunteer for AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), discussing their proposed solution for the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The solution suggested by my friend is annexation of the occupied territories and the secularization of Israel. His relative speaks of the fact that Jewish demographics in the region will soon eliminate the Arab problem due to a baby boom among the Jewish settlers. In fact this relative questions who exactly the Palestinians are.
Below are my comments.

Disappearing Palestine
Source: www.a-w-i-p.com

Realistically speaking there were political reasons why Israel could not annex the occupied territories, probably related to US policy at the time, which was more concerned with the cold war and did not want to give the Soviet Union anymore ammunition in the battle for the hearts and minds of the Middle East. They USA was embroiled in the hot war in Vietnam, and had become a net oil importer increasingly dependent on Saudi Oil. Israel was required as a potential base for launching strikes on Soviet supported Arab states, and frankly I don’t think US policy ever had the best interest of the Jewish or Arab people in the region at heart. That is why I think it is vital for the Israeli’s to develop strong local ties, like it seems to have developed with Jordan, the Saudi’s and the current Egyptian strong men.

Israeli Tanks Invading Gaza 7/18/2014.
www.dailymail.co.uk

As for the Israel giving up its Identity as a Jewish homeland, that would be totally against the very essence of Israeli exceptionalism, which is based on the Zionist interpretation of the promise to Moses and the Israelites for a homeland at the end of their punishment of the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, outside of Spotsylvania (but I digress onto another exercise in futility). I am talking about another wilderness, part of the American Civil War, probably not a very good pun. Yahweh literally had a cow when he saw the people wanted to stay in land where they could raise cattle, which I think had more to do with alien dietary restrictions than any misdeeds. Basically I think Yahweh was somewhat lactose intolerant. Here I am referring to the Book of Numbers 13 and 14, where Yahweh punished the would be Israelites for not wanting to enter a land of giants, thinking that they would be better off raising cattle where they were, and then being punished to remain goat herds on the wilderness until they had all died out, perhaps another bad pun.

From an Israeli Tourism Poster.
remnantofgiants.wordpress.com

But whatever reasons the “great one” had for killing off the older generation (wasn’t that Jackie Gleason’s reverential epitath?), most likely to wipe out the collective memories of the good old days in Egypt, what is really interesting is that the Anakim retreated to Gaza after being defeated by Joshua in southern Canaan. Here is a reference to Joshua 3:10 and the clearing of Canaan of the others and as Joshua 11:22 says he drove the giants into Gaza. These descendents of the Nephilim mingled with the Philistines and fought the good fight against David’s airborne advanced technology. Spear chucking Philistines could not compete with the laser accuracy of David’s surgical strikes and supported by the power of the US, I mean Yahweh, the poor residents of Gaza were encircled. The propaganda of the victors turned the story on its head with David as the underdog. It is not ironic that the next generation anti Hamas anti-rocket weapon is called “David’s Slingshot” reflecting underlying Jewish association of Gaza with the Nephilim who were giants driven out of the promised land. It is a coded justification for wars of extermination as Yahweh ordered for the Israelis to do. Because of the association of fear of these giants with betrayal of the Lord, showing a lack of faith, those who would compromise with the Philistines hiding the Anakims, as human shields should be exterminated also. Essentially I am saying that Israel is using this Biblical story to prop up its justification for a racialist attitude toward Gaza both from the perspective of Jewish militant pride, ie David, and the fears of giants ie Hamas and terrorists in general. Playing on the tale of David and Goliath, and the history of the settlement of Palestine is an old game in the Israeli propaganda machine.

Israel critique Hamas Call for Human Shields in Gaza.
www.jewsnews.co.il

Slingers were very effective fighters in the ancient world and armies would recruit them especially from the Balearic Islands where they were known to be experts at that type of medium range missile warfare. Often slingers would be deployed at the onset of battles to soften up the enemy at the beginning of an engagement.

Artists conception of a Balearic Slinger
commons.wikimedia.org

Dislocated-Occupy Memories, Obama Fiddles In Burma While Gaza & Tibet Burn.

Monday, November 19th, 2012

I have a strange way of reacting when things are going the way I think they should. I get suspicious. I begin to wonder what is wrong. I get bored, I try something else and watch and wait. I have helped with Occupy in the fall and again last winter during break between fall and spring semesters in school. I participated in the May Day action in LA and thought it was a disaster, well not totally, but certainly it failed in its goals to shut down the banks.

Basically I think the whole Occupy movement was manipulated by the Democrats in the same manner that they used the left during the depression to intimidate the rich into giving some benefits to the working classes. They learned what they could use from communist agitators, copied some of the Soviet Union’s agricultural practices in large scale farming, and then went on about the business of America, the interests of the business classes.

It did change the discourse from the debt crisis to the needs of the many and that made it easier for Obama to run for reelection on a status quo campaign of not much change, more of the same. It was pretty amazing that the president managed to get reelected mostly because people didn’t like Romney.

I told the Obama campaign people in their survey of what I did for them, and what I thought they should do with their volunteers, I jokingly said form “Shock Troops for Social Change.” Obama’s Raiders. Take on Corporate Capitalism. I doubt if I will hear from them, well I will be on their robo lists. but I suspect Obama does want to use his volunteers to help provide the groundswell to push through his agenda, if he had one.

Listening to his speech in Burma, er Myanmar, he was touting what could be a Republican foreign policy line, spreading American style Semi-Democratic Capitalism. Free markets were his blazoned goals and removing Myanmar or whatever, from the Chinese orbit, to secure that access point to the Indian Ocean for the west. Old habits die hard. The Chinese can hardly be happy about this. Why is Obama ignoring the Tibetans though where monks and villagers alike are immolating themselves to draw attention to the plight of their people under Chinese rule?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/19/why-its-such-a-big-deal-that-obama-said-myanmar-rather-than-burma/

http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/tibet/3033-78th-tibetan-dies-after-setting-himself-ablaze-to-protest-chinese-rule

http://www.savetibet.org/policy-center/obama-administration-statements-tibet

http://www.policymic.com/articles/19320/israel-war-as-israel-hamas-death-toll-rises-america-is-nowhere-to-be-found

Looking for US leadership in the Gaza situation, we get Republican Congressmen threatening to cut off military aid to Egypt if it helps the Palestinians.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/18/15257041-obama-israel-has-every-right-to-defend-itself-from-gaza-missile-attacks?lite

Obama green lights the assault on Gaza, washing his hands of the situation with his trip to Burma. A real Pontius Pilate when it comes to the Palestinians. The Tibetans can all burn themselves as far as Obama is concerned. He has no strategic use for that mountain land. But think about it. That is a source for most of the water for India and Pakistan. If the Chinese continue to develop and pollute that watershed, pretty soon the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Indus will be nothing but memories. It would behoove the US to help the traditional people of Tibet live and remain as pre-modern as they want.

Gaza

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

I wrote this letter to my congress persons about Gaza. All women, Richardson is my rep, Feinstein and Boxer are my senators.

“Please lend your voice and vote to efforts to stop the Israeli assault upon Gaza. Not only must the bombing stop but the blockade of the Gaza must end also. Former Congresswoman McKinney was on a boat that attempted to reach Gaza and it was almost rammed by the Israeli Navy recently.
The Israeli government acts with impunity disregarding common decency and humanity because there is no force in the world that is willing to enforce the United Nations mandates. These have been consistently blocked by the United States government. We must allow the United Nations to do its work and stop vetoing efforts to end the Israeli assault upon the Palestinian people.
Comparing the ineffectual rockets launched by Palestinian freedom fighters to the might of the Israeli military backed by the United States is nonsense. These are Davids against a modern day Goliath. One would only wish that the odds were truly more even, then perhaps the Israelis would think twice before they initiate such barbaric violence against the Palestinian people of the Gaza.
I can understand your reluctance to go against a nation of people who have in the past suffered under the brutality of the Nazi regime. But for a nation to act in a manner than has such negative consequences in the world, just as the United States invasion of Iraq had such negative consequences, is not advancing the cause of freedom, justice or humanity. Please use your power and skill to try to restrain the Israeli government and tell them to open a real dialogue with the Hamas leadership in Gaza.”

I don’t know if it will have done any good other than putting my name on more watch lists. But since demonstrating in front of the Israeli consulate or some other government building will do little good that I can tell, this is the next best thing short of going to Egypt or Israel and attempting to break the blockade myself. Anybody want to help finance a little trip?


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