Home

More Jewish Babies

February 23, 2010

I was reading this Amira Hass article when this huge advertisement saying “Have more Jewish babies” was blinking at me. This is the charity. It’s funny to see how pro-life politics in Israel are being framed in the context of the demographic “time-bomb,” as it is called in Israel, meaning that by common estimates, the number of Arab residents of Israel will outnumber the Jewish ones. Unfortunately, along with advocating higher birth rates for Jews, some are also calling for a reduction of the Palestinian population, aka genocide. Martin Kramer should be fired immediately from his post at Harvard. Recalling a class I took once on American electoral politics, I think it’s never a good thing when politicians start talking about babies. Really, babies need to be fed, cleaned up after and loved. That’s about it. Anytime babies start becoming the focus of politics, we should be alarmed. At best, it might be a shameless play for popularity; kissing babies, putting child-safety locks on car doors, etc. At worst, it locates the complicated issues facing contemporary citizens on the most vulnerable and un-responsible members of our society. Martin Kramer does this when he calls UN subsidies “neo-natal.” It sounds like he just threw in the only baby-related word he could think of, because  children in Gaza are surely not receiving neo-natal care.

See: Berlant, Lauren. The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship. Duke University Press: Durham & London, 1997.

War Crimes

June 18, 2009

By now, it is common knowledge that Israel committed war crimes in its 22-day offensive against Gaza in January.

“His conditions for peace are unrealistic.” 

“Contrary to some naive and optimistic hopes, Netanyahu does not represent only an extremist fringe in Israel. Today, the Israeli Jewish public presents (with a handful of exceptions) a united front in favor of a racist, violent ultra-nationalism fueled by religious fanaticism. Palestinians are viewed at best as inferiors to be tolerated until circumstances arise in which they can be expelled, or caged and starved like the 1.5 million inmates of the Gaza prison… The goal remains the same: to control maximum land with minimum Palestinians.” 

Day by day, Obama proves himself to be a shrewd commander of the world’s largest army. “This is where charisma disappears into the charnel house of history. Watch out.” “Truly, Rudyard Kipling would have been able to do something with this.”

Rachel Corrie

May 28, 2009

Here are a couple of interesting things that I’ve stumbled upon in the past few days.

“So this film is an independent investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie, but it turned out also to be an inquiry into the investigation itself, into the inquiry process of the Israeli army. Now, for example, the Israeli army says they are investigating possible violations of human rights during the bombings in Gaza in January. All the time the Israeli army investigates the killing of civilians, and in 99.9 of these cases, there is no independent investigation, and nobody’s punished, you know?

Not that it is the only army in the world that kills civilians. I’m not naive — it’s not. But maybe it is the one who kills civilians and it is so easy for the Western world to accept it and to swallow it. Maybe it is the only one where there are so many lies and hypocrisy around it, you know? It is not the army who kills the most civilians in the world, but maybe it is the army for which it is so easy to lie about it and to still be presented as democratic — this is a problem. The hypocrisy about it, you know? As an Israeli I would prefer them to be less hypocritical. If they continue to kill, at least I would like them to stop lying.”

“In Israel, when you are a Jew you can say what you want. When you are a Jew. That part is very important.”

 “it’s really time for the Americans, especially the Jews among them, to stop being intimidated by this pressure, from the Israeli lobby or whoever it is. They should say what they really feel. A lot of people are talking in our name who are not entitled to talk in our name.”

Philip Rizk in Gaza

April 6, 2009

Another thing is how there isn’t so much of an interest from media organisations around the world to keep reporting on Gaza.

To them, there’s nothing new about the situation when in fact, the story there is constantly unfolding, breaking news is Gaza’s middle name. But because this breaking news always holds the same kind of information, no one cares to report on it.

But they’re really everyday people just trying to make the best of their lives, putting their kids through school, finding a job, doing well in their final exams.

One thing I’ve noticed in the media is that the theme of violence is always associated with stories coming out of Gaza.

Why not focus on stories of non-violent resistance? While some Palestinians return Israeli violence with further violence, the vast majority does not, and the Arabic word for such everyday acts of non-violent protest is sumoud, which means steadfastness, perseverance.

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/04/20094313332943145.html

Hamid Dabashi article

April 6, 2009

Just as in the Summer of 2006 against the Hezbollah, the Christmas massacre of 2008-2009 in Gaza is the final indication of the military meltdown of Israel – that it has run out of military ideas, and that it is now not just morally bankrupt but far more crucially militarily clueless. Israel has already lost the Gaza invasion. The more the massive propaganda machinery of Israel around the world tries to hide its brute barbarity against civilian targets the more it has lost credibility in the eye of the global public opinion and the more its ugly militaristic disposition becomes naked.

More than from Obama, Israelis and their AIPAC operatives in the United States are afraid of the liberating and progressive movement that Obama has unleashed in the US – the movement of a new generation of Americans who wish to come to the fold of humanity at large and stop being the principle sponsor of warmongering around the globe. No one knows what will happen to this movement – will Obama deliver on his promises of change, will this movement dissipate, or will a new generation of young and progressive Americans wrest the destiny of their homeland from the confounding pathologies of predatory imperialism, vicious Zionism, and Christian messianism? It is impossible to tell – there is much cause for fear, and every reason for hope.

Naming names and denouncing individually every prominent Israeli intellectual who has publicly endorsed their elected officials’ wide-eyed barbarism, and then categorically boycotting their universities and colleges, film festivals and cultural institutions, is the single most important act of solidarity that their counterparts can do around the world. 1.5 million impoverished human beings have been choked to death in Gaza and this obscenity that calls itself “Israeli intellectuals” does not even blink and says it is the Hamas’ fault that they are being slaughtered in their hundreds by the Israeli military. 

“Hamas is the poor and impoverished representative of a poor and impoverished people.”

http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14656

Great article from Alternet:

http://www.alternet.org/audits/127698?page=entire

Extremely Disturbing

March 22, 2009

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Israeli-Army-T-Shirts-Mock-Killing-Palestinian-Women-And-Children-During-Gaza-Offensive/Article/200903315245946?lpos=World_News_First_World_News_Feature_Teaser_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15245946_Israeli_Army_T-Shirts_Mock_Killing_Palestinian_Women_And_Children_During_Gaza_Offensive

Words cannot even describe how sick this is. What is going on? What bizarre rip in the fabric of the moral universe occurs over Tel Aviv when the Palestinians are involved? 

Another soldier, describing how a mother and her children were shot dead by a sniper after they turned the wrong way out of a house, says the “atmosphere” among troops was that the lives of Palestinians were “very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israels-dirty-secrets-in-gaza-1649527.html

The New York Times tried to have a balanced debate on this issue. Unfortunately, the four panelists they picked were all Israeli apologists. The commentators set them straight, however. Check it out here:

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/civilians-caught-in-urban-combat/

 “I don’t know whether she was suspicious, not suspicious, I don’t know her story… I do know that my officer sent people to the roof in order to take her out… It was cold-blooded murder.”

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/03/all-that-you-have-done-to-our-people-is_19.html

It reminded me of a passage from Talal Asad’s excellent book On Suicide Bombing. He accuses the mainstream media and “scholarly” discourse of at worst, an attempt to reduce the complex history of resistance struggles and civil wars to the trope of the morally bankrupt savage against the liberal, humane West. “Liberalism too has it’s own culture of death.” (50) He single-handedly dismantles the “civilized vs. uncivilized” argument used by America and Israel to justify their massacres of innocent civilians in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq. Unfortunately, regarding the material above: “Guilt is no bar to the repetition of transgression.” (53) How many times have the same arguments been twisted, played out in a bizarre dance of memory/amnesia? 

On a personal note: “I felt more grown up earlier in life, more self determining, more autonomous, and it was because I had not yet been beaten down.”

http://profacero.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/the-r-post/