Why Palestine?

February 18, 2009

I watched this link today.
“Israel is the last Western, settler, colonial project in the world… there is a moral problem here, an inadmisibility of the racist, exclusive ideology which Israel refuses to acknowledge.” This is from Ali Abunimah, author of One State: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse

“Silence is complicity… non-Jewish Americans who are afraid to speak out for fear of being labelled anti-Semitic.” 

Questioning Israeli’s “special status” and right to self defense.

The fourth panelist was the Hampshire leader of Students for Justice in Palestine. On February 7th, Hampshire became the first college campus in the US to completely divest from Israel and other arms manufacturing companies. They were also the first to divest from apartheid South Africa in 1977. As a former college student, studying anti-colonialism, I identified with his statement about taking what one has learned in the classroom and then looking out into the “real world” to see Gaza as an occupied place.  “You can’t remain neutral on a moving train.” -Howard Zinn (or when your university is invested in military, arms and technology companies.) 

“These students have done a courageous thing… something that none of our politicians have been willing to do… a battle they have won… for peace and justice.” -Ali Abunimah “As scholars, activists, citizens, students, we are required to take a stance on this.”

“Resistance to Israel is also resistance to US hegemony in the region.” He makes the point that Barack Obama will not make significant foreign policy gains as long as he remains “silent or worse than silent… continues to endorse Israeli massacres.” 

Some American activists pointed out “a peversely two-tiered system…” within Israel. Israelis “did not deny the apartheid or the second-class citizenship but they justified it.” 

“Jews have to speak up for justice… that there is not this blind support for Israel… to make Israel accountable and to make the US accountable… no more blank cheques.” “I can understand in 1945… but by now, people should have learned better… that land was not empty… one of those myths of history that created so much damage.”