What WikiLeaks Reveals
David Michael Green
GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
Bang You're Dead
"Cat's Paw" Liability
One Year After
Exploiting U.S. Coal
Angola 3 News
The Real Cost of Prisons
Angola 3 News
Savage Imperialism 2
U.S. Threat to China
Nicolas J.S. Davies
Zaps - 01/11
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Enhancing the Swag
In mid-November, the U.S. offered Israel an incentives package in exchange for a new "settlement freeze" in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. What's supposed to be the main point of it all—new negotiations leading to something remotely resembling a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace—is simply not on the agenda of either Israel or the U.S.
The actual bribe—oh, sorry, "incentives"—being offered to Israel this time around is significant. Among other things, it will massively escalate the offensive capacity and reach of Israel's Air Force, already by far the most powerful in the region. The offer starts with 20 brand new state-of-the-art F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes—$3 billion worth. That's on top of the almost $3 billion of military aid already paid to Israel this year. According to the influential Israeli daily Ha'aretz, it will double the number of the F-35 stealth aircraft that the U.S. will send to Israel. Tel Aviv had already ordered 20 using the "normal" military aid to Israel, and now they're being offered 20 more free of charge.
Then there's the guarantee that the U.S. will veto any effort in the United Nations aimed at winning Security Council recognition of a Palestinian state as well as the promise to prevent any UN effort to hold Israel accountable for possible war crimes in Gaza, such as moving the Goldstone report forward in the Council and potentially moving the investigation to the International Criminal Court. From what we know of the offer, it will also include a broad commitment to veto essentially any UN resolution that Israel claims undermines its increasingly precarious international legitimacy.
What it all means is that the Obama administration is promising to interfere with and prevent any effort to hold Israel accountable in the international arena. The U.S. is staking out a position that allowing the UN to function unhindered, or implementing UN resolutions such as the Goldstone report's recommendations, are simply gifts to be bestowed or withheld according to politically-driven, not international law-driven, considerations.
And what does Israel have to give up? A one-time-only 90-day partial settlement moratorium in the West Bank, not including Occupied Arab East Jerusalem. Sure, most of the swag is stuff Israel would have gotten anyway. The U.S. has been vetoing Security Council resolutions criticizing Israel for decades. Just a couple of weeks ago the Obama administration engineered the withdrawal of a mild request in the UN's nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, asking that Israel finally acknowledge its widely known but officially secret nuclear weapons arsenal. That's nothing new. But 20 additional new F-35 warplanes, at $130 million a pop, paid for by U.S. taxpayers? Now that's nothing to sneeze at.
On the other hand, sneezing at this "settlement freeze" isn't such a bad idea. It simply isn't serious. Settlement expansion—which translates into house demolitions, land grabs, and population expulsions—will be allowed to continue at their current record pace in Occupied East Jerusalem. Even if the new West Bank "freeze" is total (which it certainly won't be), all it does is delay the settler building frenzy for 90 days at which point it can explode again, since the U.S. promised that this settlement slow-down will be the last ever requested.
So with U.S. complicity, Israel's settlements—all of which are illegal, whether in the West Bank or East Jerusalem, whether tiny outposts or the giant settlement cities—will continue. With 500,000 illegal settlers in the Occupied Territory, who are breaking international law just by waking up in the morning, Israel will continue to violate the Geneva Convention's prohibition on moving people into occupied territory. This "freeze" will do nothing to change that. In fact, the Israeli settlement real estate boom is being aided by U.S. organizations like the Hebron Fund, which raises tax-exempt funds to support the illegal and particularly violent settlers in Hebron.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems to welcome the reality that the U.S. is supporting the illegal occupation. According to the noted analyst and former head of the American Jewish Congress Henry Siegman, "How else to understand what Vice President Joe Biden told Netanyahu on November 8 in New Orleans before a gathering of Jewish Federation officials, that differences between Israel and the United States on the subject of construction in Jerusalem and in the West Bank are nothing more than 'tactical in nature.' Is the continuation of Israel's military occupation and its denial of all rights to millions of Palestinians for nearly half a century nothing more than a minor tactical issue for the United States? Is that what President Obama told the Arab and Muslim world in his speech in Cairo? President Obama will have to take his own words about the Middle East peace process and its deep moral and strategic implications for America more seriously than he has so far if he expects Bibi Netanyahu to do so as well." We will have to take those words seriously too.
Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and co-author with David Wildman of Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.