I have some great news, actually. But I’ll have to write about that later. This bit of troubling video with the proper accompanying article has to be shared first.
Tag Archives: Palestine
I am writing today to express grave concern about a wave of legislative measures in the United States aimed at punishing and intimidating those who speak their conscience and challenge the human rights violations endured by the Palestinian people. In legislatures in Maryland, New York, Illinois, Florida, and even the United States Congress, bills have been proposed that would either bar funding to academic associations or seek to malign those who have taken a stand against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
These legislative efforts are in response to a growing international initiative, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, of which I have long been a supporter. The BDS movement emanates from a call for justice put out by the Palestinian people themselves. It is a Palestinian-led, international nonviolent movement that seeks to force the Israeli government to comply with international law in respect to its treatment of the Palestinian people.
I have supported this movement because it exerts pressure without violence on the State of Israel to create lasting peace for the citizens of Israel and Palestine, peace which most citizens crave. I have witnessed the systematic violence against and humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces. Their humiliation and pain is all too familiar to us South Africans.
In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime. My conscience compels me to stand with the Palestinians as they seek to use the same tactics of non-violence to further their efforts to end the oppression associated with the Israeli occupation.
I am also deeply troubled by the rhetoric associated with the promulgation of these bills which I understand, in the instance of Maryland, included testimony comparing the boycott to the actions of the Nazis in Germany. The Nazi Holocaust which resulted in the extermination of millions of Jews is a crime of monstrous proportions. To imply that it is in any way comparable to a nonviolent initiative diminishes the horrific nature of that genocidal and tragic era in our world history.
Whether used in South Africa, the US South, or India, boycotts have resulted in a transformative change that not only brought freedom and justice to the victims but also peace and reconciliation for the oppressors. I strongly oppose any piece of legislation meant to punish or deter individuals from pursuing this transformative aspiration. And I remain forever hopeful that, like the nonviolent efforts that have preceded it, the BDS movement will ultimately become a catalyst for honest peace and reconciliation for all our brothers and sisters, both Palestinian and Israeli, in the Holy Land.
Please help us spread this.
My poem “If Palestine were a Treasured Painting” has been included in the second issue of Rusted Radishes! I need a working teleporter to attend the launch in the next few days. 🙂
I submitted the poem a long time ago. Their fantastic editors suggested some changes which I gladly accepted. And finally it’s out there!
It was a few years ago that this article came out: Israel recruits ‘army of bloggers’ to combat anti-Zionist Web sites. Prison Planet, among tons of others, mentioned it too. I only read about it today. I’m not one to quickly believe what I read. I also found THIS VIDEO.
But it seems the trolls have spawned and one discovered my blog. Last week, thudding about, spitting odd and flammable words, this troll sent me a number of “comments” in the form of lectures in “how dare you” tones because of a poem I wrote for Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer Issawi. The twisted logic could have made the most intricate pretzels, but I have given up eating pretzels when I found out that my favourite ones were made in Israel.
Here is one “comment” I received:
|Rachamim Ben Ami
Are you claiming that Israel has an institutional policy that aims to kill civilians? Let me simplify it for you. Israel kills civilians as a byproduct of legitimate military operations that seek to neutralise terrorists and their infrastructure. When Israel undertakes military operations, for example, Operation Pillar of Defence in Gaza recently, it makes hundreds of thousands of computer generated cellular phone calls warning Gazans of an impending attack and warning them to take cover. It drops tens of thousands of leaflets in targetted areas also warning civilians, it hijacks Gazan television, radio and internet to warn civilians and it Roof Knocks, drops a non-lethal shell on a targetted building. It makes a very loud sound and serves as a 10 minute warning to get out of the building. In Operation Pillar of Defence between 50 and 94 civilians died out of a population of 2.3 million who live in the most densely populated area on the planet- literally.
HAMAS on the other hand states quite clearly in its Charter that it aims to kill not only all Israelis but every Jew on the planet. Then, having expressed their intention repeatedly, they purposely attack civilians.
Do you see the difference?
I will spare you the racist remarks he threw my way. I just feel very sorry for him. He obviously loves his guns. He must sleep with at least a dozen so that when he gets woken up by the cooing of doves he can quickly silence them. I hope I don’t hurt his feelings. Such fragile creatures need a special kind of love.
Hatred and prejudice, among a lot of other things, are taught. It takes a lifetime to unlearn them. One has to start somewhere. I don’t take this comment lightly.
I always leave a door, or at least a window, open. One never knows what the next breeze may bring.
Trawling around the internet, I bumped into this image that made me laugh:
Poem for Palestinian Samer Issawi Who is on Hunger Strike to Draw Attention to Israel’s Human Rights Violations
for Samer Issawi
The stomach is not a beast to be caged
or tamed. It is no more than a sack
to be filled and emptied.
Those who clutch the keys
to your prison cell believe their fists
are not made of skin and bones,
that blood only flows
With the world watching,
they are begging you now
to open your mouth and chew
what they can easily
This article from the Middle East Monitor regarding the number of people from Palestine who are in Israeli prisons should bother anyone who cares about “human rights” – that phrase so easily thrown around.
Please READ HERE.
The term “Administrative Detention” is something worth questioning, among other things.
There are a number of prisoners under “administrative detention” who have gone on a prolonged hunger strike. One of them was brought to court the other day, was kicked around by the guards, humiliated. A day or so later he was charged for hurting the guards and slapped with more offenses.