Reality campaign ad by the Coen brothers.
Amira Hass has a brilliant piece in the latest issue of the London Review of Books. I consider LRB and Le Monde Diplomatique easily the world’s best publications. They are also eminently affordable; I’d encourage everyone to subscribe.
On Friday, 16 January, Mohammed Shurrab and his two sons, Kassab and Ibrahim, took advantage of the daily lull in the Israeli assault – the ‘three hours’ promised by the IDF – to travel from their plot of land in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip back to their home in Khan Younis. They were driving a red Land Rover. On the road, soldiers in a tank waved them on. Later, in the village of Al Fukhari, in a street lined with small houses and gardens, their vehicle was shot at by soldiers stationed on the roof of a local home. Kassab was killed instantly. Ibrahim lay bleeding beside his father; he died at midnight. Mohammed Shurrab had called for help on his cellphone, but the army prevented ambulances from entering the area until 23 hours after the shooting. The closest hospital was two minutes’ drive away.
Continue reading “Return to Gaza”
Focus on Gaza is a weekly Al Jazeera show that offers a rare look at what life is like for ordinary people inside the Gaza Strip.
In this episode: It has been two months since Israel’s war on Gaza began with a devastating air strike on a police academy. Lauren Taylor reports from Gaza on the impact of that strike on the affected families and on the job of policing itself. Also, host Imran Garda talks to Usama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, about attempts at Palestinian reconciliation. And, in the first of our weekly glimpses into family life in Gaza, we catch up with the incredible story of the Samouni children.
Here is Tom Paulin’s famous poem which caused much consternation amongst Israel’s apologists in the US when it appeared in the Observer in February 2001.
To me the Zionists, who want to go back to the Jewish state of 70 AD (destruction of Jerusalem by Titus), are just as offensive as the Nazis. With their nosing after blood, their ancient ‘cultural roots’, their partly canting, partly obtuse winding back of the world, they are altogether a match for the National Socialists. – Victor Klemperer, 13 June 1934
We’re fed this inert
this lying phrase
like comfort food
as another little Palestinian boy
in trainers jeans and a white teeshirt
is gunned down by the Zionist SS
whose initials we should
– but we don’t – dumb goys –
clock in that weasel word crossfire
Here’s Rachel Shabi putting paid to the Zionist ploy of passing off ethnic cleansing as ‘exchange of populations’.
Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) thinks that Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinian refugees should somehow be offset against each other – the rights of one side counterbalancing the rights of the other. It’s a neat argument: Jews were forced to abandon material assets and leave Arab countries; Palestinians similarly fled or were expelled from their homes. Ergo, the region witnessed an exchange of populations and if Palestinian refugees are to be compensated by Israel, so too must the Jewish “refugees” from the Middle East, by the Arab nations that expelled them.
Nice try, but there are many reasons why this formula is all wrong. First off (as David Cesarani points out), it’s tasteless. There is no need for the fate of these two peoples, Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians, to be so fused materialistically. Middle Eastern Jews may indeed have a claim to lost assets, but those genuinely seeking peace between Israel and its neighbours should know that this is not the way to pursue it.
Professor Mahmood Mamdani of Columbia University believes that defining the conflict as Arab against African is inaccurate and says much more about the potency of race in the West rather than the relevance of the notion in Darfur. He believes that estimates of 400,000 dead in Darfur are inflated, irresponsible and unrealistic.
Mamdani, who was named as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by the US magazine Foreign Affairs in 2008, is from Uganda, and is the current chair of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal.
He is the author of numerous books and articles, including the book Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. His upcoming book, Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, politics and the War on Terror will be published in English by Pantheon (Random House, New York) on March 17, 2009 and by Verso (London) a month later.
Following is the full interview conducted by IOL correspondent in Khartoum, Sudan, Isma’il Kushkush. Continue reading “Darfur: A War of Definitions”
PULSE co-editor Robin was recently in Norway for a conference on ‘Deconstructing the War on Terror’ (You can read his key arguments in this post on his blog). The panel had many excellent speakers but Robin tells me that he was most impressed by Dr. Eric Fosse’s presentation which, contrary to what one would expect, was more than an account of shambles that is Gaza’s healthcare system. Fosse presented a sophisticated political analysis that explained Israel’s objectives behind the assault and the events leading up to it.
Here are reports from Al Jazeera and Russia Today on Israel’s use of illegal weapons including interviews with Fosse.
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Vodpod videos no longer available.
To celebrate the release of new U2 fluff, here is Harry Browne’s take on Bono.
Entries have already been pouring in to the ‘rewrite a U2 song’ competition in honour of the group’s Irish tax-exile status, as described here on Counterpunch by Eamonn McCann. ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ has been recast as ‘Where the Cheats Have No Shame’, ‘Angel of Harlem’ as ‘Arrangement in Holland’ — and those are just the entries from my house.
But CounterPunchers are rarely less than fair, so we just had to read more when we saw this news intro on page-one of today’s Irish Times: “U2 singer Bono says he was ‘stung’ and ‘hurt’ by criticism of the band moving part of its business to the Netherlands to lessen its tax burden.”
Oh, Bono, dear Bono. Is that a tear I see in your eye, behind the wraparound shades? No, maybe not. As the interview with Bono in the newspaper demonstrates yet again, this is indeed a man entirely without shame. And also not too well endowed in the smarts department. His main excuse — all the other corporate entities were doing it — is a childish abdication of moral responsibility. And as another excuse he adds, “I can’t speak up without betraying my relationship with the band” — i.e. maybe this wasn’t really my idea but I’ve got to stick with my greedy pals. Well, that’s just low.
Stephen Lendman on boycott, divestment, sanctions and prosecutions.
Ronnie Kasrils fought for decades against apartheid in his South African homeland, and with victory served in the governments of Nelson Mandela, and later Thabo Mbeki.
On March 20, he will be speaking at the University of Strathclyde (6:00 p.m., P5.14, Graham Hills Building) on the need for a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israeli apartheid.
Ronnie Kasrils Interview (35:25): MP3
Ronnie Kasrils interviewed by Mordecai Briemberg of Redeye: Vancouver Cooperative Radio