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Bin Laden’s assassination and the continued state terrorism practiced by the US government and its allies, especially Israel, attempt to entrench the idea of violence as an answer.

By Mazin Qumsiyeh / My Catbird Seat

There is a western media frenzy about the reported “taking-out” of Osama Bin Laden (the previous ally turned enemy). Israeli papers reported a high level US security official as saying his instruction was not to capture Bin Laden alive but to liquidate him.  But everyone already knew this would be the case,  since it would be a messy business if the US soldiers captured such a person alive (he may even spill the beans on his US and Pakistani  intelligence links).  Most people went about their daily lives of apathy.  Even the stock market did not go up as pundits predicted.  Soon the dollar will resume its downward spiral.

The US military may feel vindicated and Pakistanis will feel their country’s sovereignty challenged. Some may choose to retaliate with violence giving the Neocons and Neoliberals their excuse to pursue their policies.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the military-industrial complex needed a new enemy to sustain its massive structure and conveniently the “Islamic terrorism” materialized. Of course there are fanatical Muslims (and Jews and Christians and Hindus) who are willing to kill. Yet, the US did not have to invade Iraq and Afghanistan and create more such fanatics.  But a more sober analysis shows that things will change. Bin Laden was killed a while ago not physically perhaps but as an idea! The idea suffered significant blows by the Arab Spring revolutions which showed that it does not take violence to change our societies and remove US/Israeli backed dictators.

Bin Laden’s assassination and the continued state terrorism practiced by the US government and its allies, especially Israel, attempt to entrench the idea of violence as an answer.


The brutal assault on Syrian, Yemeni, Saudi and Bahraini demonstrators and the US continued military attacks in countries around the world are part of this human foolishness.  They represent that wing of our global society that believes violence is the answer: the win-lose scenario. The hopeful ideas of popular resistance, freedom, democracy and end to exploitation successfully challenged the notions of “clash of civilization” and “might makes right”.

We thus remain hopeful despite all the false news planted around us and all the false-flag operations, and despite the 1 million Iraqis and 50,000 Afghans killed by these wars.

Here in Palestine, most people went about their lives focusing on how to find the next loaf of bread under Israeli colonial occupation.  Hardly a mention was made of Bin Laden.  If we take just one village called Izbet Al-Tabib, a tiny village of 247 residents (60% of them children), we see one example of what was on people’s minds.  The Israeli decision to take their land was met with building a protest tent on the threatened land and trying to make their story known.

Sandra Quintano, A 60 year-old American Activist

The Israeli military came and attacked the villagers and the international volunteers severely, injuring an elderly American woman and arresting three other internationals (see http://palsolidarity.org/2011/05/18071/ ). At night more than 200 soldiers invaded the village terrorizing its population to try and stem the growing popular resistance. Please join the villagers this Thursday for solidarity starting at 1 PM.

Last night, the Israeli army arrested several Palestinians in major cities including Bethlehem (this happens regularly in defiance of the Oslo accords and with knowledge of “Palestinian security” forces).

In a few days, there will be events and commemorations surrounding the Nakba day.  The Nakba is the Palestinian catastrophe etched into every living Palestinian mind.  It is the fact that from January 1948 to the end of 1949, more than 2/3rd of our people who lived in the land that became the (Jewish) state of Israel were ethnically cleansed.  63 years later, nearly 7 million Palestinians are refugees or internally displaced people. This is the largest and most tragic and persistent post world war II atrocity.

For information, visit http://PalestineRemembered.com

Israeli Apartheid and The Nakba

By Anthony Lawson

It is important that we all join in activities to challenge colonialism on this anniversary of the Nakba.

In the US, you can also get some printed material (a Nakba Pak) from here http://ifamericansknew.org/about_us/packs.html.

Below are some events but do look for events in your area or organize your own events:

From Lebanon and Jordan, see details here http://returntopalestine.blogspot.com/

Hellerup, Kobenhavn, Denmark http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=221525124531256
Israëlische ambassade, Sterrewachtlaan 40 1180 Ukkel – Avenue del’Observatoire 40 1180 Brussel

(UCCLE) http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=200013603371184

Madrid. C/ Velázquez 150, 7º http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180589978657757

Ambassade d’Israel – Paris http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179953362056178

Bern (Bern, Switzerland) http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=168998889823873

Houston, TX http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=123540217721453

Consulate General of Israel, 6380 Wilshire blvd. Suite 1700, Los Angeles CA, 90048 & Consulate General of Israel, 456 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, 94104 http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140344946036616

Israeli Embassy 122 Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge Dublin, Ireland
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=205349512829240

Ambasciata d’Israele, via Michele Mercati 12, Roma
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=178215672227437

Israelische Botschaft Auguste-Viktoria-Str. 74-76 14193 Berlin
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=118993821513426

Boston Israeli Consulate
20 Park Plaza
Boston, MA
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=210024405683124

Israeli Embassy, 2 Palace Green, London W8 4QB
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=197040297000383

Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. He served on the board/steering/executive committees of a number of groups including Peace Action Education Fund, the US Campaign to End the Occupation, the Palestinian American Congress, Association for One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine, and BoycottIsraeliGoods.org. He is now president of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People. He advised many other groups including Sommerville Divestment Project, Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project, Palestine Freedom Project, Sabeel North America, and National Council of Churches of Christ USA. He is an active member of a number of human rights groups (Amnesty, Peace action, Human Rights Watch, ACLU etc.). He published several books of which the most acclaimed “Sharing the Land of Canaan: human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle” which was also translated to spanish. For more about his work go to: http://qumsiyeh.org

2 Comments

  1. Solon on the 05. May, 2011 remarked #

    This is an extraordinary website that gathers strong and disciplined voices to counter the relentless propaganda.

    So I’m loathe to criticize.

    But — we are asked to “join in activities on this anniversary of the Nakba,” — I’ve watched the entire video, clicked the IfAmericansKnew link, and still don’t know WHEN is the anniversary of the Nakba?

    Most people stop paying attention after about 90 seconds; present basic facts first: WHEN should WHO do WHAT and WHERE?

  2. Solon on the 07. May, 2011 remarked #

    tangent-

    Phil Weiss and his community are highly exercised over news that the City University of New York has declined to award an honorary degree to Tony Kushner, a Jew, because Kushner is not sufficiently pro-Israel.

    Weiss has banned me from posting on his site consequent to the crime of mentioning David Irving’s ten years of research into the life of Adolf Hitler. Fair enough; it’s his site. If information that challenges the intellectual frame of his blog-constituents causes agita, then Weiss must placate his readership. Weiss’s blog is oriented to Jewish people, run by Jewish people, discusses issues of concern to Jewish people. He can ban whomever he wants.

    But City University of New York, which ‘banned’ Kushner from an honorary degree, is supported with taxpayer money. It is not owned by Jewish people. It is a public university. Why is support for- or lack of support for- Israel a decision point at a university supported by American taxpayers?

    In 1933 the American Jewish Committee published “The Jews in Nazi Germany: The Factual Record of Their Persecution by the National Socialists” http://www.scribd.com/doc/35220890/The-Jews-in-NAZI-Germany .

    In the Forward, the AJC wrote: “In the following pages are presented the facts regarding the acts of oppression and violence from which the Jews of Germany have suffered, and the degradation to which they are now being subjected under the present regime. These facts are submitted to the judgment of the public of the United States in the light of traditional American principles of justice and fair play.

    New York, June 19, 1933”

    The “oppression . . .violence . . .degradation” of which AJC complained included LIMITS on the number of Jewish people who might enroll in German schools to no more than 1.5 times the proportion of Jews in the population.

    Let’s make that point crystal clear: The German government, answerable to the German people, taxpayers who support German schools, enacted laws to limit the number of Jewish people who could enroll in German schools to 1.5 times the number of Jews in the population. A “violent” and “oppressive” act indeed.

    Other acts of “violence and oppression” against the Jewish people in Germany included removing from employment in Germany’s taxpayer-supported schools, Jewish people who were not part of Germany in 1914.

    Note the date of the publication of this complaint by AJC – June, 1933.
    In March 1933 the same American Jewish Committee declared war on the German people. The intent of the Jewish-declared war on Germany was to destroy Germany’s economy and to cause starvation among the German people. “Biting sanctions.” (In 2008,former Knesset member Ephraim Sneh told a cheering AIPAC audience that the US — the WORLD — should impose such tough sanctions on Iran that its leaders would be forced to be “worried whether they could feed their 70,000 citizens.”)

    In an atmosphere in which the Jewish people had undertaken a worldwide propaganda campaign to both incite hatred of Germans and, indeed, to destroy the German economy and starve the German people, Jewish people complained that Jews were “violated and oppressed and degraded” because Germans reduced the opportunities for Jewish people to retain employment in German institutions.

    In all of the palaver on Weiss’s website about the terrible insult to the Jewish person whose right to an honorary degree has been denied by the Jewish head of a taxpayer-supported institution, the perspective of the taxpayers is scrupulously elided. One non-Jewish opinion was included in Weiss’s collection of outraged voices; here’s the portion of blogger Andrew Sullivan’s argument that Weiss quoted:

    All of this is a deliberate and sustained dehumanization of an entire people. Now I am not saying that this kind of thing isn’t also common throughout the Arab and Muslim world with respect to Jews, who are demonized, dehumanized and lied about on a regular basis. It is extremely common; it is more prevalent than its opposite; and the hideous history of anti-Semitism in the twentieth century makes eliminationist language about the Jewish people and their absolute right to a homeleand repellent in every way. But we would not allow such anti-Semites to sit on university boards judging the work of Jewish writers, would we?

    Sullivan is from a Catholic background; he is well aware that entré into the holy of holies must be preceded by genuflecting to the Lord of Hosts. But unless one is severely arthritic, genuflecting does not require twisting logic into quite the pretzel that Sullivan forms.

    Let’s clean up Sullivan’s act: The Palestinian people have been and are being deliberately dehumanized over the course of half-a-century. Their dehumanization has included the killing of thousands of innocent Palestinians by the fifth largest army in the world supported by the world’s only superpower. FULL STOP

    Arabs in the region have retaliated by calling Jews ugly names and by using primitive means to kill Jews in fits of vengeance and violent resistance. FULL STOP

    The June, 1933 American Jewish Committee publication failed to mention that the relatively mild acts of retaliation that Germans carried out against Jews were preceded by a Jewish declaration of war on the German people.

    And Phil Weiss fails to note that the university over which Jewish people are exercising control in service to a foreign power is a United States/New York citizens’ taxpayer supported institution.

    Both points are essential to a proper understanding of the argument.
    Both points are erased from the record by Jewish people eager to sustain their sense of both entitlement and of victimhood.

    And because people like Andrew Sullivan and any other voice that speaks out against Israeli and Jewish duplicity is silenced, deleted from media and memory, the same savage people who declared war on Germany in 1933, and who have waged war on Palestinians since at least 1908 to the present, have so distorted the message that Americans receive about the Iranian people that a caller to C Span’s Washington Journal this morning could say, WITHOUT any apparent qualm of conscience and certainly without restraint from the host, Peter Slen: “It’s great that we killed bin Laden. Now let’s go get that guy in Iran.”

    This is what you have aided and abetted, Phil Weiss.

    Phil is enamored of the notion of Jewish privilege in the US. Enjoy it while you can, Phil; this is not your father’s Mercedes Benz.

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