Resources and Inspiration Against the Occupation
By Paul Street at Jan 18, 2008
Here is a killer musical video from the wonderful left English folk-singer Billy Bragg: "The Loneseome Death of Rachel Corrie," adapted from a famous Dylan song.
In 2003, Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while seeking to defend the Palestinian people against a brutal and illegal occupation.
And here for context is a remarkable eyewitness account of the revolting situation experienced by Palestinians under Israeli occupation: Anna Baltzer, Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2007).
Ms. Baltzer's book evoked the following comment from Noam Chomsky: "even those who are familiar with the grim reality of the occupied territories will quickly be drawn into a world they had barely imagined by these vivid, searingly honest, intensely personal portrayals."
"Moving and vivid." says Tanya Reinhart.
I would add that the book is also a very useful introduction to the Palestinian issue for those who aren't "familiar with the grim reality." It's a very good starting place.
One of Witness in Palestine's great strong points is the inclusion of numerous photographs and maps. In the United States, there is something of a visual embargo on what the occupation looks like in terms of roads, walls, check-points, homes, facilities, and squalor (for the Palestinians). Ordinary Americans generally have zero idea of what daily life is like for Palestinians under the astonishing oppression imposed by Israel. That's no accident, of course.
The visual and related personal account of what apartheid looks and feels like on the ground will chill remotely sensitive readers to the bone and convey some sense of what motivated Rachel Corrie to risk her life in Gaza,
At the same time, Witness in Palestine contains much to inspire - numerous stories of heroic resistance and quite a bit of material about decent Isaelis who reject the Occupation and enlist in the fight against it.
Listen to and watch the Bragg video and buy or check out the Baltzer book. Both are good starting places to inform activism against an unjust occupation that is richly financed and otherwise enabled, sponsored, and protected by Uncle Sam.