Along with a Youtube video[see below], the following short report appeared on the Ha’aretz website today:
Israel’s new immigration police has joined security forces in cracking down on foreign activists residing in the Palestinian West Bank, Haaretz has learned.
The Oz Unit participated last week in the attempted arrest of a number of activists in the West Bank town of Bil’in, and also in the raid that nabbed leading Palestinian militants Mohammed Hatib that same night. Two weeks ago, the unit took part in the arrest of a Czech activist in Ramallah…
An Israel Defense Forces officer can be seen ordering the activists to obey the unit’s instructions, explaining that immigration officials have every right to make such requests. The same officer then urges the immigration official to search for some default or problem in the detainee’s documents,
The IDF soldiers can later been seen forcefully detaining a few of the activists. When asked why the arrest was being carried out, the soldier said that the immigration official would explain everything.
So for some background on the ‘Oz’ unit, here are some links:
Established by a 2008 cabinet decision, the task force, which goes by the Hebrew name “Oz” (courage), is the enforcement body of the Population Authority that comes under the aegis of the Interior Ministry, and replaced the immigration police. The unit has 200 inspectors, who have policing powers only with regard to foreigners.
I deeply missed June Jordan today. Back in Fall 1995 (or was it 96?) the acclaimed poet read not her own poems, but those of her Arab students, at the first ever Berkeley “Poetry at Lunch” event. I adored her, and adored her even more when she courageously asserted that Arabs/Muslims were one of last groups it was explicitly kosher (read: not un-PC) to be racist or prejudiced towards in any given circle. Way before 9/11…
Tunku Varadarajan, a professor at NYU’s Stern Business School and a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, recently wrote a piece “Going Muslim: America after Fort Hood.”(1) He coins the phrase “Going Muslim” to “describe the turn of events where a seemingly integrated Muslim-American—a friendly donut vendor in New York, say, or an officer in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood—discards his apparent integration into American society and elects to vindicate his religion in an act of messianic violence against his fellow Americans.”(2)
Before Rage Against the Machine there was Living Colour, an all black comprising of four virtuoso musicians who recorded some of the most politically charged music of the late 80s and early 90s. The vocalist Corey Glover appeared in Oliver Stone’s Platoon (and contrary to what I wrote earlier based on an old Circus magazine article, has no relation to Danny Glover) and the guitarist Vernon Reid I’m told has divine relations. The bassist Doug Wimbish went on to play with guitar legend Joe Satriani and the drummer Will Calhoun was likewise an honored graduate of the Berkeley School of Music.
This anti-Fascist classic was inspired by the rampant anti-immigrant violence against Turks in Germany.