FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs - 4-11
Tax Form Lies
Values and Interests
Sex and Security
WSF in Africa
Social Media Role
Cause of Fiscal Crisis
Gaza in Crisis
Zaps - 04/11
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Gaza in Crisis
Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians
By Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé; Haymarket Books, 2010, 240 pp.
When two of the most informed academics in the world collaborate on a project, the reader expects to have clear information and insights into the topic at hand. Chomsky and Pappé provide that in Gaza in Crisis. The book starts with an earlier Chomsky interview highlighting possible outcomes of the Palestine situation, the use of boycott and divestment, and, as always, the important role that the U.S. plays in supporting Israel. The "crushing of the Palestinian and other violent crimes are possible only because the United States provides [Israel] with unprecedented economic, military, diplomatic and ideological support."
That leads into a brief summary of U.S. involvement in the Palestine question, highlighting general attitudes/positions that have helped create today's situation:
Christian Zionism, the conversion from pro-Arabism to
Zionism in view of the King-Crane commission
the creations and advancement of the pro-Israel lobby within the U.S.
the dominance of the five sisters (the big oil companies)
- the true nature of a peace process that allows Israeli colonialism in Palestine
The third chapter deals with the nabka—the 1948 expulsion/exodus of Palestinians—an essential background to any discussion on Palestine. Chomsky and Pappé look at the broader picture and how it is utilized in context with overall Palestinian/Israeli relationships. The current peace negotiations focus on the 1967 "green line," the demarcation between what Israel conquered after the UN Partition plan was rejected. Part of the reason for highlighting the 1967 date is that for the Israelis it allows them to conceal the events of the nakba. This serves the heroic narrative that is part of the collective denial of the ethnic cleansing that occurred during the 1947-48 war (and continued well after). The stilted nature of the peace process after 1967 is then limited to mainly the settlement process and the subjugation of the now "enclaved" Palestinian people, whereas otherwise it would necessarily include the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of Palestinian towns and the recognition of the internationally accepted right of return for persons displaced by war.
The United States plays a central role in all Israel actions. Whether supplying direct military aid, testing new weapons and security control systems, supplying direct financial aid, or providing diplomatic and political support at the UN and other organizations, the U.S. has been a tacit partner in all Israeli actions.
The issue of what will be the final outcome of all this is represented in two discussions which intersect with the overall goal of Israel, complete "control of Mandatory Palestine." The latter section emphasizes the current process of decreasing territories divided into bantustans or ghettos that are completely subordinate to Israeli rule. In the case of Gaza, that becomes essentially a large open air prison containing a million and a half Palestinians in a state of suspended livelihood.
An excellent summary of Israeli violence towards Gaza is made in "The Killing Fields of Gaza 2004-2009." Israeli policymakers have resorted to using "brutal military power as a short-term reaction to a problem they had no idea how to solve politically." From "First Rains" to "Summer Rains" to "Autumn Clouds" to the overwhelming brutality of "Cast Lead," the attacks on Gaza stem from Israel's military humiliation in Lebanon and the capture of one Israeli soldier. The whole population has been demonized based on the Israeli narrative of its moral superiority and right to all Palestinian lands. At first presented as part of the global war against the "World Jihad," the...use of such highly disproportionate firepower revealed the "nature of the military operations…[as] an Israeli military wish to experiment with new weapons, all intended to kill civilians as part of…the need to brand in the Palestinian consciousness the fearsome might of the Israeli army."
The Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak is mentioned several times through this work. When discussing the attacks on Gaza where "the Arabs are finding a way to do nothing as the Israelis slaughter Palestinian children," the authors say of Egypt, "Perhaps the most shameful of the Arab regimes is the brutal Egyptian dictatorship, the beneficiary of the most U.S. military aid, apart from Israel." Later, while discussing the policies in relation to the attacks on Gaza, its absolute control of the area, and its overall determination to "separate Gaza from the West Bank," the authors indicate "These are only the bare outlines of very ugly policies in which Egypt is complicit as well." Finally, while discussing the possibilities of peace in relationship to the Obama administration, the authors cite Obama's words in relation to Mubarak as a "force for stability and good," and a "stalwart ally, in many respects, to the United States."
I look forward to a second volume that incorporates new information: the events and ramifications surrounding the "Palestine Papers" (the negotiations between the PA and Israel as revealed by Al Jazeera) and the Egyptian revolution.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles's work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.
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.