Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It was a year in the planning. A “massive” march on Washington was planned for June 10, 2007. Over 300 organizations endorsed it. The theme: “ The world says “No” to Israeli Occupation”

In a memo to Participants in the June 10, 2007 March on Washington, The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and United for Peace and Justice declared “This will be a large protest.”
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article. php?id=1390

More optimistic rhetoric appeared at the DC Indymedia, regarding selling this story to the press:
http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/ display/139283/index.php
“Insist that they get a wide-shot of the crowd. The camera lens can be very narrow. It's one thing to say "a hundred thousand people", and quite another to show it.”

The trouble is, no one came.

Mass media reported “hundreds”
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070610/ UPDATE/706100362/1020/NATION.
DC Indymedia claimed “1,000".

The progressive community was left shaking their heads in disbelief. What do you do when reality and rhetoric don’t line up? Well, in the time honored tradition of the Israel-bashers, you lie.

According to organizing committee’s press release .“DC Protest against Israeli Occupation Big Success!” The organizers continue on to claim 5,000 participants.

Did we expect anything different? Not really. It’s a truth optional world for the Israel-bashers.

Panoramic view of June 10, 2007 march on Washington courtesy of http://ageofhooper.blogspot.com/


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  3. zionism is a branch of european settler colonialism. it has strong resemblances to south african apartheid. sorry, i am not an anti-semite. i oppose colonialism and ethnic cleansing wherever it occurs (kosovo, bosnia, etc).

    a one state solution is the only way forward that preserves the rights of all ethnic groups in israel/palestine. even better, it makes a real democracy, just as american democracy got a new lease on life after jim crow was overthrown.

  4. Thanks for visiting, Ratbert.

    "zionism is a branch of european settler colonialism."
    Wrong, because:
    1. The majority of Israelis have their orgin in the peoples of the Middle east and North Africa- NOT Europe
    2. "Colony" According to Wikipedia, in politics and in history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. So what state is/was Israel under immediate political control of? There are Israelis from over 60 countries- many were refugees from persecution and discrimination.

    "it has strong resemblances to south african apartheid."
    Wrong. Again.
    In South Africa, the minority population controlled the majority population. Israel is a one person one vote democracy. 20 % of the population isn't Jewish- they have full human and civil rights, and representation in government. The Israeli contestent to Miss Universe was an Arab. The Acting President of Israel was Druze. There are non-Jewish members of the Israeli diplomatic corp. In Israeli hospitals, Arab doctors treat Jewish patients. Jewish doctors treat Arab patients. The official languages of Israel are Arabic and Hebrew! Remind me again why this is even remotely like apartheid?

    "sorry, i am not an anti-semite."
    Hmmm. I sense a pattern. You might be wrong again here. I personally like Natan Sharansky's "3 D's test of anti-Semitism- I find it a good working definition:

    The first "D" is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel's actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz - this is anti- Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.

    The second "D" is the test of double standards. When criticism of Israel is applied selectively; when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, is ignored; when Israel's Magen David Adom, alone among the world's ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross - this is anti-Semitism.

    The third "D" is the test of delegitimization: when Israel's fundamental right to exist is denied - alone among all peoples in the world - this too is anti-Semitism.

    "i oppose colonialism and ethnic cleansing wherever it occurs (kosovo, bosnia, etc)."
    And so do I. But there is no "colonialism" and certainly no ethnic cleansing
    Between 1967 and 1994, when the PA took over, Israel built 166 medical clinics for the Palestinians and provided universal
    health insurance for them

    The birth rate in Gaza (ranked 26 in the world) is 39.45 births/1,000 population

    The birth rate in the West Bank (ranked 51 in the world)
    31.67 births/1,000 population

    Life expectancy at Birth in Gaza: (ranked 117)
    total population: 71.97 years

    Life expectancy at Birth in the West Bank: (ranked 98)
    total population: 73.27 years
    (for reference- the US is ranked 48)

    The infant mortality rate among the Palestinians was 8.3 per 1,000 live
    births in 2004.

    The infant mortality rate in 1967, when Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza was 170 per 1,000 live births. Thats a dramatic decrease!

    "a one state solution is the only way forward that preserves the rights of all ethnic groups in israel/palestine."
    Now you sound like an arrogant white man's burden style American, imposing a "solution" to this problem that NEITHER side would find acceptable. Unfortuately, the Arab nations have expressed an unwillingness to live side by side with Jews- over 850,000 Jews have been forcibly expelled from the Arab world in the last 60 years.

    "even better, it makes a real democracy, just as american democracy got a new lease on life after jim crow was overthrown."
    In many ways, Israel is more of a "real" democracy than America- their parliamentary system allows much more participation for minority parties

  5. dusty--

    i don't think you read what i wrote. as this is not a website devoted to iran or china, i did not comment on those countries. what leads you to believe that i "single out" israel and only israel. your first "criteria" for anti-semitism is therefore wrong.
    what next. . .oh, yes, "demonizing" israel. have i? did i mention auschwitz somewhere? please tell me where, because i cannot seem to find it.
    criteria two: wrong as well.

    finally, i do not deny any nation's "fundamental right to exist." unless you think israel only "exists" if it denies equal rights to all peoples of all territories under its controls. as with south africa, i did reject its right to exist as it currently was: just as pre-1964 america did not have the right to exist in the illegal form it took. so -- wrong again. you can keep trying to pin the "anti-semite" label on me, but i am afraid you can only do it by putting words in my mouth.

    as for european: zionism was born in europe, not in north africa or elsewhere.
    before israel becoming a nation, palestine was occupied by the british as a colony ("mandate," i think the euphemism was), and targeted for settlement by zionists. true, it is somewhat unusual for the colonial authority and the settlers to come from two different places, but their interests came together in enough places to allow the systematic dispossession of many palestinians.

    now, of course, israel the state controls territories illegally: they are colonies. within these territories are settlements.
    now, if you want to argue that the occupied territories should be counted "outside" the israeli democracy, then why not count the south african "homelands" outside the definition of the nation? of course, similar accounting tricks were tried in south africa that are used now in israel.

    the expulsion of jews from arab countries does not make the israeli dispossession of arabs ok. this tactic is merely cheap moral relativism: those guys are real bad, so why criticize my sort-of-badness? any comprehensive peace deal ought to allow any jewish refugees the right of return to their former homes. of course, early israel was happy to make use of this arab dispossession of jews.

    if the US occupied a sizeable chunk of latin america, for a long period, and allowed american citizens to build settlements there, could we really brag about american democracy? not at all. just as we indeed cannot: america is one of the greatest abusers of other nation's sovereignty in the world (alert: i am "demonizing" a christian majority nation), so a narrow focus on the rights of israeli citizens without a consideration for the effects of this militarized democracy on the lives and rights of people under its power, is absurd. does the fact that the US has a bill of rights negate the fact that its acts in vietnam helped result in 3 million deaths? obviously not. the fact that citizen minorities gain prominence means nothing to the fact of those dead vietnamese.

    there is no reason the two peoples cannot live together. believe me, before the end of apartheid there were plenty of prophets of doom such as yourself speaking for the white minority: this fear is simply a guilty conscience talking. there are plenty of polls showing a majority of palestinians are willing to live alongside israel -- as long as israel allows them independence. if someone was keeping you chained down, would you accept them? of course not. but people are not evil, by and large.

    white south africans and black south africans live side by side, not perfectly, but far better than before. why? because politics has replaced the gun.

    you will of course mock my hope, but all i can say is, my way is far more likely to work than your way, which is missiles and checkpoints. my way -- political negotiation -- has historical counterpoints. your way -- to beat occupied peoples into submission -- has none.
    and the american wiping out of native peoples does not count as "success," since it was only achieved by genocide. of course a large number of israelis do support this, but not the political establishment.

    so. . .you wanna discuss the evils of particular states? fine. but your brand of moral relativism (my responsibility to deal with my own evil is nullified by the other side's evil) is too common these days, in the US and elsewhere, to let it pass unchallenged. there is a serious lack of moral courage.

    another thing: pro-isreal people often moan that we leftists do not equally condemn the violence perpetrated by muslims on other muslims. i think the reason for this difference is simple: we do not like having palestinian blood on our hands, which we as americans do. if muslims in tajikistan kill other muslims, my tax dollars are not paying for it. so why should i scream as loudly? this is not about some buddhist thing about each life being precious: it is politics. is moral outrage only acceptable when every single moral outrage is condemned at the same time? sorry, it don't work that way. we are neither supercomputers nor saints.

  6. zionism is a branch of european settler colonialism. it has strong resemblances to south african apartheid.

    This is an absurd leftist cliché. What do you even know of the environment that created apartheid?

    Do you know anything about the Boers? Do you understand their language? Have you ever read anything about South Africa and the Afrikaners that was not written in English?

    And do you even know anything about the other ethnicities in that region? Other than the usual simplistic "all natives good, all honkies bad" crap that passes for politically correct thinking?

    More to the point, I suspect that like many you read only what fit your praeconceptions, and you never questioned the bias of the author of whatever text it was that you read. Because to do so would mean questioning your own biases and praeconceptions, and your own comfortable self-righteousness.

    Simply parroting the apartheid canard ad nauseum devalues the comparison with each iteration - and it was pretty worthless to begin with.

    Why am I even talking to a Rooinek whose shallow ideas merely mirror the assumptions and bigotries of his own cultural jingoism?

  7. To Ratbert:
    100 % of Gaza is under Palestinian control. In what sense is it a "colony"?
    97% of the west Bank is under Palestinian control.
    In what sense is it a colony?
    Be specific. Give me examples.
    What you are proposing is having Israel annex these areas and make the inhabitents citizens. This is not an acceptable alternative to either people, so why is it to you?

  8. Hello Ratbert:

    Theres alot more depth and detail to Israel, the Jewish return to their ancestral homeland, and Zionism than a simplistic analysis permits. "Zionism" is just a modern political label for Jewish national self determination which has continued since destruction of the Jewish Kingdom by the Romans 180 plus years ago. The extreme and exclusivist sentiments of the later developed Arab nationalism don't allow such things as equality and co-existance with a Jewish population. Only a dhimmi status for Jews is even contemplated, at best. Perhaps you may want to take a serious look at Israel's need to defend itself from literally thousands of terror attacks before leaping to the inapropriate conclusion that there is any racial motivation for the situation. Remember, before Arafat rejected peace and soveriegnty for the Palestinians, chosing violence instead, the situation was far less restricted for Palestinians. However, they used their freedom to work in Israel etc to commit acts of terrorist murder. If you ask people from there, they'll tell you that 1967 through Oslo was a Golden Age for the Palestinans. Wonder why?

  9. The following blogger in his list of the top 8 lies as the 2nd biggest lie is that Hitler was evil. Mind you he isn't a White NeoNazi but some guy from India.