The death of fear

Good to see that Al Jazeera made a journalist out of Rageh Omar, who while working for the BBC breathlessly relayed the false narrative on the stage-managed toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad. (Also see Part II)

Rageh Omaar examines how the death of a street vendor led to a wave of uprisings across Arab world.

The death of fear

No thank you, the Arabs have their own minds

Photo from thecst.org.uk/blog

by Brenda Heard

‘With me you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible’, David Cameron assured over a thousand supporters of a private security organisation that polices the English Jewish communities.  While his commitment has long been common knowledge, his word choice underscores the need for concern.

When we say we ‘believe in’ something, we are making a personal value judgement.  Whether we ‘believe in’ God, or we ‘believe in’ drinking five litres of water a day, the phrase means that we think the concept is valid.  The British Prime Minister’s word choice points to a political phenomenon: Israel has never been a traditional state as much as it has been an ethos.  From the beginning, the Israeli project has been an ideology imposed at the expense of those whose only fault was to have been caught unawares on a coveted land.

Indeed the whole of Cameron’s speech, which can be read here, exudes a passion for a conceptual people under siege.  Cameron thus describes his belief in the Israeli project as ‘indestructible’—defensively and defiantly ‘indestructible’.

Continue reading “No thank you, the Arabs have their own minds”

CulturEscapes and the Moral Duty of BDS Today


The neutral Switzerland is about to host a yearly Culturescapes festival. Every year the festival focuses on a different country. This year- the most successful for cultural boycott, yet- it just had to play into Desmond Tutu’s hands and focus on Israel.

A Word about Culture

Culture is a word I’ve been hearing a lot lately. Israel’s Brand Israel campaign is focusing on PR apartheid; Hiding it’s atrocities as best it can, and highlighting it’s “advantages”:

In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 niches were identified in which Israel has a relative advantage… The 6 niches through which it is planned to promote Israel, in the world, are environment (with an emphases on desert agriculture); Science and technology (medicine, internet and hi-tech); Culture and art; Human variety and tradition; lifestyle and leisure culture; Tikun Olam [=Fixing the world] (support of populations of special needs).

Continue reading “CulturEscapes and the Moral Duty of BDS Today”

Conversations with History — Richard J. Goldstone

Justice Richard J. Goldstone discusses “The Rule of Law” with Harry Kreisler on Conversations with History.

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Justice Richard J. Goldstone for a discussion of the role of law in transitions to democracy, in the prosecution of war crimes, and in the enforcement of the rules of war in the post 911 environment. Drawing on his experiences in South Africa, on his work as special prosecutor for the Bosnia and Rwanda tribunals, and for his leadership of the UN commission on the Gaza War, Justice Goldstone discusses the distinctive features of the South African transition, the ground breaking work that facilitated a breakthrough in the Bosnia conflict, and the goals and accomplishments of the commission examining the conduct of Hamas and Israel in the Gaza War. He concludes with lessons learned from his efforts to insure the rule of law.

My Journey to BDS

by Roger Waters

In 1980, a song I wrote, “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2,” was banned by the government of South Africa because it was being used by Black South African children to advocate their right to equal education. That apartheid government imposed a cultural blockade, so-to-speak, on certain songs, including mine.

Twenty-five years later, in 2005, Palestinian children participating in a West Bank festival used the song to protest Israel’s apartheid wall.  They sang “We don’t need no occupation! We don’t need no racist wall!”  At the time, I hadn’t seen first-hand what they were singing about.

A year later in 2006, I contracted to perform in Tel Aviv.

Palestinians from the movement advocating an academic and cultural boycott of Israel urged me to reconsider.  I had already spoken out against the wall, but I was unsure whether a cultural boycott was the right way to go. The Palestinian advocates of a boycott asked that I visit the occupied Palestinian territory, to see the Wall for myself before I made up my mind.  I agreed.

Continue reading “My Journey to BDS”

Incalculable: The human cost of NATO’s war on Afghanistan

by Kathy Kelly

Bodies of children killed by US-Nato bombing

Recent polls suggest that while a majority of U.S. people disapprove of the war in Afghanistan, many on grounds of its horrible economic cost, only 3% took the war into account when voting in the 2010 midterm elections.  The issue of the economy weighed heavily on voters, but the war and its cost, though clear to them and clearly related to the economy in their thinking, was a far less pressing concern.

U.S. people, if they do read or hear of it, may be shocked at the apparent unconcern of the crews of two U.S. helicopter gunships, which attacked and killed nine children on a mountainside in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, shooting them “one after another” this past Tuesday March 1st.  (“The helicopters hovered over us, scanned us and we saw a green flash from the helicopters. Then they flew back high up, and in a second round they hovered over us and started shooting.” (NYT 3/2/11)).

Four of the boys were seven years old; three were eight, one was nine and the oldest was twelve.  “The children were gathering wood under a tree in the mountains near a village in the district,” said Noorullah Noori, a member of the local development council in Manogai district. “I myself was involved in the burial,” Noori said. “Yesterday we buried them.” (AP, March 2, 2011)  General Petraeus has acknowledged, and apologized for, the tragedy.

Continue reading “Incalculable: The human cost of NATO’s war on Afghanistan”

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