Howard Zinn was magical as a teacher. Witty, irreverent, and wise, he loved what he was teaching and clearly wanted his students to love it also. We did.
IOA Editor: As did this former Zinn student, and probably everyone else. A friend who knew Howard well and worked closely with him said: “Howard had that je ne sais quoi that is rare beyond expression. Allowed him to say the most amazingly radical thing and seem like common sense. And make you laugh while doing it.” Exactly.
Israel is pushing the Palestinian community to a big confrontation, in order to harm the whole community. We must look at the whole of the Palestinian community since 1948. We need to include the 1.4 million Palestinian people living in Israel in our efforts for just solution.
Carleton University (Canada) students’ new BDS campaign video which re-tells the story of the censorship of a poster by the University and the reasons behind the new divestment campaign.
We can continue to remain silent and know that silence means collaboration. But when the left wakes up it will be too late. In fact, it is already too late. Meretz is dead, Labor is dying, Kadima is nonexistent, Peace Now is still deliberating over whether to petition against the pardon, and the right is freely celebrating and going wild.
“The Goldstone report is a defamation written by an evil, evil man,” Dershowitz said.
IOA Editor: The use of the term “traitor” is important: a Traitor loses a good deal of protection provided by civil society, and may become a target of assassination. Such a declaration is as close to a Fatwa as Jewish society gets – including secular, “Western” Jewish circles.
But look at the statistics and leaf through the pile of demolition orders… and it all looks like ethnic cleansing via bureaucracy. Perverse might be the word for the paperwork involved. Obscene appear to be the results.
Mr. Zinn was chagrined by the present state of affairs, but undaunted. “If there is going to be change, real change,” he said, “it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves. That’s how change happens.”
Walid Khalidi, Palestinian historian, co-founder and General Secretary of the Institute for Palestine Studies, delivering the keynote speech at a UN event commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. While Khalidi ends by outlining what he sees as the “pillars” of an honorable and peaceful solution for Jerusalem today, he devotes most of his speech to a historical overview of the city, with particular emphasis on the millennium-plus period of Muslim rule, the 1947 UN resolution, and the transformation of the city since its conquest in 1967.
In addition to its plating activities, JNF also holds studies on forestation and ecology and hosts delegations from around the world interested in learning plating methods in dry conditions and forest protection.
IOA Editor: The JNF’s greatest contribution to the success of Zionism and the State of Israel has been the facilitation of the replacement of Palestine’s Arab population by a Jewish population, a process that is generally termed Ethnic Cleansing. Starting well before the establishment of Israel, it peaked after 1948 and continued on.
MORE: JNF: Colonizing Palestine since 1901
“A female combat soldier needs to prove more…a female soldier who beats up others is a serious fighter…when I arrived there was another female there with me, she was there before me…everyone spoke of how impressive she is because she humiliates Arabs without any problem. That was the indicator. You have to see her, the way she humiliates, the way she slaps them, wow, she really slapped that guy.”
Spelman College girls are still “nice” but not enough to keep them from walking up and down, carrying picket signs, in front of two supermarkets in the heart of Atlanta. They are well-mannered, but this is somewhat tempered by a recent declaration that they will use every method short of violence to end segregation.
IOA Editor: In these days of Apartheid Walls and resistance to military occupation, it is both interesting and inspiring to read Howard Zinn’s account of protesting segregation in the South.
It has been a wonderful privilege to have been able to join Howard on his “moving train” on many occasions over these years of challenge, inspiration, torment, and persistent concern over impending catastrophe. Like everyone who knows him, I too have been struck by his enduring optimism… Howard’s life and work are a persistent reminder that our own subjective judgments of the likelihood of success in engaging human problems are of little interest, to ourselves or others. What matters is to take part, as best we can, in the small actions of unknown people that can stave off disaster and bring about a better world, to honor them for their achievements, to do what we can to ensure that these achievements are understood and carried forward. In brief, to follow the model provided for us by the subject of this welcome biography.
JNF eBook, Vol. I: JNF – Colonizing Palestine since 1901
Edited by Mortaza Sahibzada
Introducing the Jewish National Fund
We have a prime minister who speaks about evil but is building a fence to prevent war refugees from knocking at Israel’s door. A prime minister who speaks about evil but shares the crime of the Gaza blockade, now in its fourth year, leaving 1.5 million people in disgraceful conditions. A prime minister in whose country settlers perpetrate pogroms against innocent Palestinians under the slogan “price tag,” which also has horrific historical connotations, but against whom the state does virtually nothing.
“He’s made an amazing contribution to American intellectual and moral culture,” Noam Chomsky, the left-wing activist and MIT professor, said tonight. “He’s changed the conscience of America in a highly constructive way. I really can’t think of anyone I can compare him to in this respect.”
IOA Editor: Howard Zinn, our friend, teacher, a life-long activist so many of us followed with great interest and admiration, and an IOA Advisory Board member, passed away today. Words cannot express how much he will be missed.
Howard Zinn – IOA Video Selection
Democracy Now! – a tribute
“I, Ahmed Tibi, a tall, proud Arab, is happy to be on the same side as prominent Arab intellectuals who came out forcefully against Holocaust denial in the Middle East and other places around the world.” And “Those who were victims of that horrible death, which is a byproduct of a malicious exercise of power – a destructive… must be attentive to the cries of the bereaved mother whose home was destroyed and whose children were buried underneath it; to the pain and cries of a doctor who lost his daughters; to the victims of the other, even if the other is his victim, the victim’s victim.”
Yesh Din: “Past experience” fed suspicions that the Bnei Menashe would be encouraged to settle deep in the West Bank… Shavei Israel lobbies for other groups of Jews to be brought to Israel, including communities in Spain, Portugal, Italy, South America, Russia, Poland and China.
IOA Editor: An endless supply of lost tribes, and their relatively disadvantaged members, can provide a lifeline of fresh, enthusiastic ‘pioneers’ to Israel’s settlement frontier.
There are widespread fears among Israeli academics that calls for a boycott of Israeli universities will intensify following the Ariel College decision. Yaron Ezrahi, a professor at Hebrew University, called the decision the “academisation of the occupation”.
Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, along with a slew of blogs, are playing an increasing role in the growing participation of young Israelis in protest rallies in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Israel, via the Interior Ministry, continues to spit in the face of friendly countries, and those countries continue to admire the falling raindrops. The ministry’s most recent gob of spit was the cancellation of the work visas that citizens of those countries who are employed by international NGOs have been getting for years.
The fiction of democracy remains useful, not only for corporations, but for our bankrupt liberal class. If the fiction is seriously challenged, liberals will be forced to consider actual resistance, which will be neither pleasant nor easy. As long as a democratic facade exists, liberals can engage in an empty moral posturing that requires little sacrifice or commitment. They can be the self-appointed scolds of the Democratic Party, acting as if they are part of the debate and feel vindicated by their cries of protest.
IOA Editor: The influence of multi-national corporations – led by US-based entities, with extensive participation of Israeli companies, on the ME and the Occupation, is enormous: from high tech and arms-manufacturers to ‘benign industries’ like aviation and transportation – all involved in political systems that, to varying degrees, deprive their subject-citizenry of meaningful political participation.
As far as Israeli citizens and their range of interests are concerned, the annexation of the territories is a fait accompli. Defining the territories as “occupied” is, in fact, an attempt to depict it as a temporary condition… This linguistic choice thereby contributes to the blurring and obfuscation of the reality in the territories, thus abetting the continuation of the status quo.
The Israel Film Fund has ended its financial support for director Yonatan Segal’s new piece Odem, after learning that it compares Israel’s occupation of the West Bank to the Holocaust.
Two months after the government decision on November 26 to freeze construction in Jewish settlements for 10 months, you’d have to be blind, an idiot, or a member of the Yesha Council of settlements to use the term “freeze” to describe the real estate situation in Judea and Samaria.
Like the Clinton and Bush administrations… the idea that the United States ought to use its leverage and exert genuine pressure on Israel remains anathema to Obama, to Mitchell and his advisors, and to all those pundits who are trapped in the Washington consensus on this issue. The main organizations in the Israel lobby are of course dead-set against it — and that goes for J Street as well — even though there is no reason to expect Israel to change course in the absence of countervailing pressure.
IOA Editor: Whether effective lobbying or effective propaganda – Obama’s “cynical charade” – isn’t quite as obvious as Walt makes it sound.
Obama also needs to take on the Gaza blockade, imposed by Israel and abetted by Egypt. If private diplomacy shows no results soon and Israel does not end its wholesale restrictions on the movement of goods and people, the president should publicly criticize the blockade as collective punishment and specify consequences, including reductions in military aid.
The diplomatic stalemate and the provocations by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in East Jerusalem harm not only the chance for peace in the future but also past fruits of peace. Fifteen years after the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan was signed, the two countries are now deep in a crisis the government is doing nothing to resolve.
“Egypt’s steel wall does not serve the interests of any Arab party,” Hamas’ al-Masri said Monday. “The Israeli occupation benefits from it, because it has killed the last lifeline keeping the Gaza Strip alive after two and a half years of siege.”
The attempt to change the geography and demography of Jerusalem has been a relentless Israeli project since the occupation of the city in 1967 and its subsequent de jure annexation. While this “legal” annexation has been rejected by the international community as a violation of international law, action has been limited to verbal protests and condemnation.
The crisis with Jordan is much less public than the one with Turkey, but it is far more acute and stands in deep contrast both with the warm relationship of Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert, with the king, as well as Netanyahu’s close connection to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
“The message is clear — we are here, and we will stay here,” Netanyahu said in Kfar Etzion. “We plant and build — this is an inseparable part of the State of Israel forever.”
An Arab-Israel student at the Ariel College in the West Bank was told to get off a bus because she “dared” to speak Arabic on her cell phone, and was also subjected to a full body search.
IOA Editor: Despite the biased tone of the report, the facts speak for themselves. As does the reality of the “Israeli-Arab minority.”
“The prohibition ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’” applies only “to a Jew who kills a Jew,” write Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and attacks on them “curb their evil inclination,” while babies and children of Israel’s enemies may be killed since “it is clear that they will grow to harm us.”
While Israeli soldiers can’t fight in the war in Afghanistan, Israeli drones can. Starting next week, five NATO member countries will be operating unmanned aerial vehicles produced in the Jewish state in anti-Taliban operations in the Central Asian country.
IOA Editor: Controlling the Third World, remotely.
The Sheikh Jarrah vigils started as an avowedly political act – an outcry against a system which allows Jews to reclaim property held in east Jerusalem prior to 1948, but prohibits Palestinians from doing the same in west Jerusalem… Silencing the drums of Sheikh Jarrah is akin to eroding the pillars of Israel’s freedom.
IOA Editor: Written from an Israeli-centric perspective, this commentary supports citizens’ right to protest. But it overlooks a 61-year long reality where the “pillars of Israel’s freedom” never applied to Israel’s Palestinian citizens. And, no country running a four-decade long violent colonial occupation project can make any claims to “freedom.”