The State of Palestine – A Hint of Liberation?

September 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

State of Palestine Stamp by Khaled Jarrar It occurs to me that I can’t address the issue of a Palestinian state without addressing my Anarchism. The national struggle is an issue of inevitable debate for many Anarchists who support the Palestinian struggle for liberation. Truth be told, as a local Anarchist, in a time when Palestine is still occupied territory, when asked about the Palestinian bid at the UN for a Palestinian state, I worry mostly about how more violent the Israeli army could get when we demonstrate with the villages. I worry about being denied entry into the occupied territory, in order to get to the demonstrations. I worry about not being able to see my friends, or being prosecuted for attempting to do so.

Many of us- “on the ground” as they say- Palestinians, Anarchists and allies, have been brushing off the reality of a Palestinian-state-positive vote in the UN , because we doubt it’ll change anything ”on the ground.” To those shot at, holding a flag or holding a stick is at best a semantic exercise.

That said, declaring a Palestinian state is not one of those small issues that can be brushed aside, especially because “state” is an internationally accepted legal term. As an Anarchist the idea of an international general assembly, in which whole populations have their say is remarkable to me. Had the United Nations been fashioned after a participatory society model, rather than a hierarchical, neo-liberal, democratic model, maybe it needn’t have had to hang its head in shame. But for now, one must hold the status of a “state”, in order to be recognized as a people- and consequently a person. So in a bid to understand the repercussions of next week, over our lives, more deeply, I’d like to delve into the legal opinions that have been published about the move.

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UN School of Etiquette: How to Conduct an “Appropriate” Blockade

September 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

Just as I arrived in Bil’in for the Friday weekly demonstration, word came that the UN Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident (a.k.a. “The Palmer Committee Report”) has named the blockade of the Gaza Strip “legal and appropriate”. Which is rather surprising, seeing as the blockade was defined by the UN as “illegal” as well as  “illegal and inhumane”, time and time again. (And again.)

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The Straight Line from the Seminole Wars to the War on Terror

August 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

from Indian Country Today Media Network, via Antiwar.com

Did the GWOT start with him?

by Gale Courey Toensing

Andrew Jackson’s illegal and heavily censured actions during the First Seminole War in 1817 were cited recently during the military trial of a Guantanamo prisoner and was used as a precedent for the $690 billion defense authorization bill recently passed by Congress that would give the president unilateral authority to wage war at home or abroad and detain anyone suspected of terrorism or “providing material aid to terrorism” anywhere in the world, indefinitely and without trial. Although there is no direct connection between the Guantanamo case and that legislation, the right of free speech is threatened by both and raises fears that the legislation could be used to squelch any kind of dissension or resistance to government policies or actions. And coming on the heels of the government’s use of “Geronimo” as the code name for Osama bin Laden, the man who epitomized global terrorism, indigenous peoples fear that the legislation could be used against them for asserting their right to self determination, sovereignty and the protection of their lands and resources against exploitation by governments or corporations.

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Khirbat Tuqu’ & the Silent World

May 5, 2011 § 4 Comments

It must have been late at night when this rare, short, late-night segment on Channel 10 sneaked by the editors:

Between Judea and Samaria & the West Bank

While I’m astonished that an Israeli mainstream news service would even address this story at all, let alone report in a considerably balanced manner; There are many very basic questions that this 2-and-a-half minute segment whizzes through, that I’d like to comment on.
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Want to make your war a “Just War”? A quick how-to, with help from WikiLeaks.

April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

War is hell, war is pain and sorrow–unless of course it’s a Just War which is noble, heroic, every true Christian’s blessed jihad, and if you can swing it, fully authorized by the UN Security Council.  Even if Just Wars both ancient (say, the Albigensian crusade) and modern (the starvation of thousands of Iraqis by UN Security Council-authorized sanctions) have been unspeakably nasty, Just Wars are still at least Just, so what’s not to like?

cluster-bombs.jpg

These cluster bombs are just.

There are two ways to make your war a Just War, with all the fringe benefits.  Please read carefully.

First, convince the world that the war is just by invoking the UN Charter and getting Security Council authorization.   The law involved is less straightforward than the Scholastic neo-Aristotelianism that used to justify Just Wars, so you’ll be wanting to hire some lawyers.  Less intelligent presidents will put angry anti-diplomats like John Bolton on the task, but cannier ones will hire smoother jurists like Harold Koh and Samantha Power to make the case in the dulcet tones of humanitarian NGOese.  This is the preferred way of making a war Just nowadays, most likely a matter of supply and demand, as there’s no shortage of secular casuists graduating from the top law schools, and the US Department of Defense has 15,000 lawyers on hand.

The second way to make your war a Just War is to get the Pope to declare it so, or at least not denounce it as an unjust war.  This may sound self-consciously retro, but new WikiLeaks disclosures reveal that it has never truly gone out of style.  The story « Read the rest of this entry »

Chase Madar: In defense of Bradley Manning

April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

In this TomDispatch.com interview Civil rights attorney and PULSE contributor Chase Madar outlines the case against––and the defense on behalf of––the soldier who allegedly provided the documents for the latest WikiLeaks release as well as the now infamous “Collateral Murder” video, Private First Class Bradley Manning. Also, don’t miss Chase’s brilliant piece on Bradley Manning.

Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, speaks at Brandeis University

April 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

Lisa Hanania

WALTHAM, MOmar Barghouti Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions The Global Struggle for Palestinian RightsA- Today (Wednesday) Omar Barghouti, one of the leading founders of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, presented at Brandeis his new book BDS: Boycott Divestment and Sanction: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. The event was hosted by Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine (BSJP) and Haymarket Books.

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