Time to Start Profiling White Christians*

It is with great regret and hesitation that I arrive at the unsavory conclusion that it is in the interests of our safety as Americans that we begin profiling White Christians.  The evidence for outbreaks of irrational White Christian violence is overwhelming.  We, the conscientious people of color, must protect the nation from the dangers of that violence.  The measures I propose to implement will be practical and just, little more than surveilling techniques and moderate physical compressions that will produce only minor inconveniences.  Those White Christians who have nothing to hide will of course be unaffected.

If the past twenty years have shown us anything it is that White Christians are slaves to a fanatic ideology of hatred that is incompatible with the practice of modern democracy.  Eric Rudolph, for instance, bombed the Olympic Village during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and undertook a guerilla campaign against physicians and those who promoted a “homosexual agenda.”  Theodore Kaczynski, popularly known as the Unabomber, bombed sixteen targets in nearly two decades of terror, including airlines and universities, the very symbols of American modernity.  We cannot forget Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 truck bombing of the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168, including the seventeen children in the daycare center under which McVeigh parked his vehicular bomb.

Continue reading “Time to Start Profiling White Christians*”

Defamation and Binary Idiocy

by Ali Farzat

To summarise: I have been smeared by a Scottish newspaper. Most of the words they attribute to me I did indeed say, but they have decontextualised and selected to such an extent that they make me say things I do not believe – for instance that September 11th was a good thing, or that the Taliban should take over Afghanistan. What follows is a rather long description of meeting the man from the gutter press, which I hope will set the record a little straighter. Yesterday, meanwhile, 33 civilians were killed by NATO bombs in Afghanistan.

I was doorstepped the other morning. A young man wearing a suit and an apologetic manner wanted to ask some questions on behalf of the Scottish Mail on Sunday.

What? Stumbling down the stairs in my thermal underwear, wild-haired and bestubbled, I dream for a passing moment that I’ve become as important to the world as Tiger Woods or Amy Winehouse. Perhaps even now press vermin are going through my rubbish bin. Perhaps paparazzi are crowding the front garden.

Alas, our aspiring hack, young Oliver Tree (for so he called himself), hasn’t yet graduated to the tabloid heights, and neither have I. It soon becomes clear that his mission is much more mundane, is indeed the everyday grind of papers like the Mail: to create outrage where there was none before, to smear, misrepresent and decontextualise, in order to strangle the possibility of real debate.

Continue reading “Defamation and Binary Idiocy”

In Captivity: A Letter from Abdallah Abu Rahma

Abdallah Abu Rahmah during a demonstration in Bil'in. Picture credit: Oren Ziv/ActiveStills

From the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee website:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

It has been two months now since I was handcuffed, blindfolded and taken from my home. Today news has reached Ofer Military Prison that the apartheid wall on Bil’in’s land will finally be moved and construction has begun on the new route. This will return half of the land that was stolen from our village. For those of us in Ofer , imprisoned for our protest against the wall, this victory makes the suffering of being here easier to bear. After actively resisting the theft of our land by the Israeli apartheid wall and settlements every week for five years now, we long to be standing along side our brothers and sisters to mark this victory and the fifth anniversary of our struggle.

Ofer is an Israeli military base inside the occupied territories that serves as a prison and military court. The prison is a collection of tents enclosed by razor wire and an electrical fence, each unit containing four tents, 22 prisoners per tent. Now, in winter, wind and rain comes in through cracks in the tent and we don’t have sufficient blankets, clothes, and other basic necessities.

Continue reading “In Captivity: A Letter from Abdallah Abu Rahma”

The Seven Laws of Noah

In a recent post on Israel’s PR campaign, Tali Shapiro mentioned an article “about something called the “Jewish Values Lobby” trying to get employers in Zefed to force “Arab” (Palestinians don’t exist in NRG) workers to sign a statement, where they’ll keep the Seven Laws of Noah, as a prerequisite to their employment.”

Here’s more on that story, courtesy of a translated item from Maariv.

Do Arab workers in businesses in Tzefat and the surrounding area need to fulfill commandments from the Tanach? This is the opinion of activists from the “Jewish Values Lobby,” who are starting a campaign to persuade employers to ask their workers to sign a religious statement according to which they will undertake to observe the Seven Noachide Laws. These include prohibitions against eating parts of a live animal, serving idols, desecrating Hashem’s name, immorality, robbery, and violence.

This initiative, which is expected to take Israeli Arabs by storm, was officially launched today. Lobbyists will visit businesses in Tzefat and the surrounding communities, which employ hundreds of Arabs living nearby, and they will ask them to sign their employees on a commitment to observe the Seven Noachide Laws.

“I hereby sign that I will undertake to observe the Seven Noachide Laws and declare my faithfulness to the Jewish nation according to Jewish values,” it is written in the statement. “I know that if I am caught violating any one of these laws, my employer will be allowed to fire me with no prior notice nor compensation.”

The Jewish Values Lobby explained that this campaign does not contradict a directive from one of the Jewish leaders of the generation from two years ago against employing Arab workers in public places. “We recommend that people don’t employ Arab workers,” a spokesman from the lobby explained. “But unfortunately, there are many Jews who employ Arabs in their stores, so we decided to deal with reality.”

Rahimullah Yusufzai on the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the ‘Af-Pak’ theatre

Kudos to The Real News for giving its viewers an opportunity to listen to Rahimullah Yusufzai, the most respected authority on the politics of the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier. Yusufzai was also among our 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.

Capture of leader will not weaken Taliban: Taliban is so strong now they have probably already replaced Baradar

Continue reading “Rahimullah Yusufzai on the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the ‘Af-Pak’ theatre”

2. Ghazal from Ghalib

translation by M. Shahid Alam


کہتے ہو نہ دینگے ہم دل اگر پڑا پایا
دل کہاں کہ گم کیجئے ‘ ہم نےمدُعا پایا


I can’t have it – you say – if you find my heart.
Once – it was mine. Now I know who has it.

Love is easily the best part of life. This pain
cures life’s itch: there is no cure for it.

She is coy & cunning, sweet – exacting too.
She is testing me when I do not know it.

The plain truth about my heart is this.
Every time I look for it, she says she has it.

My mentor likes to rub salt in my wounds.
Sir Tormentor, I ask, what is your reason for it?



Continue reading “2. Ghazal from Ghalib”

After the riots: Where is the justice for Peru’s indigenous?

Digging up an issue I have watched for some time, the IPS reported yesterday that justice is still elusive for the indigenous of the Peruvian Amazon. In June of last year, tribal opposition to the government’s trade liberalization policies erupted in rioting. Sixty people were killed in what has been described as the worst fighting Peru had seen in a decade and a revolution that should inspire the world.

While the Peruvian government was forced to hold off on FTA-mandated plans to open large swaths of tribal land to oil, mineral, and timber extraction, it has not been a total victory.

From the IPS report:

Although the technical investigations cleared two of the indigenous demonstrators accused in the murders of 12 policemen during a bloody June 2009 clash between native protesters and the security forces near the northern Amazon jungle town of Bagua, they are still behind bars.

Feliciano Cahuasa and Danny López have been in prison for over eight months, despite the fact that technical crime scene investigations showed that neither of them fired a single shot, and that they are thus innocent of the Jun. 5 killings of the police officers.

On the other hand, no police are in prison for the Jun. 5 shooting deaths of at least 10 indigenous protesters, which occurred when the police were ordered to clear their roadblock on the main highway near Bagua.

This comes on the heels of another report from Indian Country Today concerning the corruption of the official investigation into the riots.

So while the elusive “official story” is likely to pin quite a bit of blame on “foreign provocateurs” and shrug off the actions of law enforcement, we can at least remember Danny and Feliciano.

Artwork by Favianna Rodriguez.

Friday Night Lights: American and Israeli human rights activists disrupt ballet performance in Vermont

BURLINGTON, VT- Greetings from the Green Mountain State! I want to give a shout out to those who participated in a successful night of activism. Several activists leafleted 249 people attending last night’s Israeli Ballet performance at the Flynn Theater.

The leaflet asked “Would you like some information about Don Quixote and the Israel Ballet?” — which was an accurate presentation of last night’s performance. “Israel’s ‘Golden Helmet of Mambrino’ — which makes one invisible, thus capable of all actions — is slowly turning into Don Quixote’s version of it — a upside-down shaving bowl plopped on the head — incapable of nothing but making its wearer more obvious and actionable to the world. Brand Israel will continue to call forth increasing protests as audiences realize they are being used,” said author and activist Marc Estrin.

The headline said “A Modern Don Quixote.” Estrin said almost all ballet-goers accepted it, even those glancing at the opening before continuing into the theater. There are no trash cans inside the actual theater, so he assumes most flyers made it to people’s seats for reading before the show began. Estrin said one elderly man “came all the way out again to present us with a crumpled up ball with instructions to ‘shove this up your ass,’ but the other 249 copies all made it in.”

The other highlight was one Israeli and three Vermonters unfurled a banner during the performance. Check out the YouTube Vimeo below the fold!

Continue reading “Friday Night Lights: American and Israeli human rights activists disrupt ballet performance in Vermont”

J Street’s Really Big Problem

J Street’s problem isn’t what it is—it’s what it isn’t.

In a February 16, 2010 address to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon inadvertently revealed his government’s core problem with the new American lobbying organization J Street.

Ayalon and other members of the Israeli government boycotted a J Street delegation shepherding members of the US Congress through Israel this week.  Ayalon strongly condemned J Street: “They don’t present themselves as what they really are.  They should not call themselves pro-Israeli.” J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami attributes this “spat” to an “inability of some in Israel and in the US to distinguish between criticism or disagreement with Israeli policy and outright hostility to the state itself.”  J Street positions itself as a “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel” alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

However the Israeli government’s core problem with J-Street is far more profound.  J Street’s main competition, AIPAC, was actually created by a former employee of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Isaiah L. Kenen, who set the existing standard for coordinating AIPAC’s lobbying with the needs of the Israeli government while repeatedly dodging DOJ foreign agent registration orders.  The Conference of Presidents, which organizes AIPAC’s executive committee, actually works out of the same New York office as the World Zionist Organization – American Section (which itself is a shell corporation set up in the US after the Jewish Agency’s American Section, another quasi arm of the Israeli government, was shut down as a foreign agent in the early 1970’s ).

Continue reading “J Street’s Really Big Problem”

So How Do I Look? – Zionist Self-Righteousness in the Face of Delegitimization

Sabra and Shatila / Gaza 2009

In 1982 Ariel Sharon enabled the massacres in refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila. To Israel, this was a disaster. Not because innocent human beings, already victims of a mass ethnic cleansing, were brutally murdered, but because, for the first time, Israel was suffering a major wave of criticism from the international community. How does one untangle from such a nasty debacle? No! One does not apologize, compensate, and bring the guilty parties to justice! Instead, one creates one of the most successful and unscrupulous PR systems in the 20th century.

Lately, however, it seems there are cracks in the system. One might conclude, that Hasbara isn’t as airtight as it used to be, and maybe it needs a bit of a facelift. Either that, or we could say, one may be overlooking some facts. Continue reading “So How Do I Look? – Zionist Self-Righteousness in the Face of Delegitimization”

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