Tag Archives | Palestine
This was an excellent discussion where Prof. Finkelstein provided a secular perspective focusing on international law, while Mr. Tzortzis shared his perspective as an international public speaker on Islam.
What I found especially of interest, however, were the following opening remarks by Prof. Finkelstein:
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“I was asked to speak on a very specific topic this evening namely ‘How to resolve the conflict’, if I had my choice in the matter I would’ve preferred to speak about what’s happening now in Gaza and more importantly, what seems to be unfolding in Lebanon, which is quite serious and quite ominous. I think we’re headed towards a crossroads in the Israeli-Palestine conflict in Lebanon in the near future, probably in the next several months…
“In my opinion, there is a very sinister plot, and I don’t usually use the word plot, and there is a very sinister conspiracy, and I don’t usually use the word conspiracy, but I do think there is a plot, a conspiracy afoot, not just by the usual suspects the US and Israel, but also France, Italy, Canada, all the western powers are now acting in concert for a decisive moment.
To emphasize the hypocrisy of US foreign policy in the following reply from President Obama, the word “missiles” has been replaced by “drones”, the word “landing” replaced by “striking”, and the word “Israel(i)” replaced by “the country’s”. Obama’s actual video reply follows the modified quote.
“Let’s understand what the precipitating event here was that’s causing the current crisis, and that was an ever-escalating number of drones that were striking, not just in the country’s territory, but in areas that are populated, and there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate drones raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.
“So we are fully supportive of the country’s right to defend itself from drones striking people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians, and we will continue to support the country’s right to defend itself.”
The needs and concerns of the Palestinian people are not in the news much in the United States, even though the issues have been around for decades here in the city that hosts the United Nations and where there have been, over the years, persistent resolutions based on allegations of international law violations and apartheid-like abuses in the territories occupied by Israel.
In this same period, there have also been many detailed studies, as well, of media coverage that prove that our media rarely covers Palestinian concerns, or features Palestinian perspectives in talk shows or even news programs unless and until violence erupts.
Criticisms of Israeli behavior raised by foreign leaders are also largely ignored unless they are cast as controversies about noisy and invented allegations of anti-Semitism rather than any exploration of the underlying issues that are always treated as matters of contention, not of facts.… Read the rest
A Swiss laboratory says that at the time of his 2004 death, the Palestinian leader’s body contained high levels of polonium, the radioactive element which killed Russian spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko after it was slipped into his tea at a London restaurant in 2006. Via Al Jazeera:
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Eight years after his death, it remains a mystery exactly what killed the longtime Palestinian leader. Tests conducted in Paris found no obvious traces of poison in Arafat’s system. Rumors abound about what might have killed him – cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, even allegations that he was infected with HIV.
A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed that none of those rumors were true: Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004.
More importantly, tests [at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland] reveal that Arafat’s final personal belongings – his clothes, his toothbrush, his iconic kaffiyeh – contained abnormal levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element.
So now I have been to Israel. I have also been to Palestine. I got a taste of the place, but not in the way I'd originally hoped.In many ways I really wish my band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, had played in Tel Aviv. But I also share most of the boycott's supporters' feelings about Israel's government, the occupation and ongoing human rights violations. I hope people take the time to understand how deeply this has torn at the fabric of our band. The promoter in Tel Aviv lost thousands, and I am eating thousands more in lost and re-booked airfares that I have no idea how I am going to pay, or how I will pay my bills for the rest of the year. Real human beings got hurt here. This whole controversy has been one of the most intense situations of my life - and I thrive on intense situations. But the rest of the band was not used to this. How fair was it to drag them there in the first place? This is not like fighting Tipper Gore and the Los Angeles Police Department, greedy ex-Dead Kennedys members or more-radical-than-thou thugs who think it's OK to put someone in the hospital for being a "sellout"...
Via Common Dreams:
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A sustainable energy program in ‘Area C’ of rural West Bank is being threatened by Israeli authorities. The program, which recently installed solar panels and wind turbines in 16 communities, is providing 1,500 Palestinians with electricity — who were formerly without reliable energy.
The foreign aid program, thus far successful, has become a new target for Israel as it threatens to demolish the structures that supposedly lie within Israeli ‘administration’.
The best part is when the lights in the tents go on, one by one, says Elad Orian. Electricity here, in the hills south of Hebron, was long unreliable. Either it was not available or it was too expensive, produced for just a few hours each day by a noisy, diesel-guzzling generator. That changed when Elad Orian and Noam Dotan, two Israeli physicians who had tired of conflict, came along three years ago and installed solar panels and erected wind turbines.
Any nation that must abridge human rights to survive deserves to fall, and that includes Muslim and Christian nations. Via Al Jazeera English:
The Israeli government has repeatedly demanded that Palestinians recognise Israel as a “Jewish state”. Recent developments in the Knesset and High Court are exposing exactly what this means, and in doing so, throw the spotlight on the issue that the ‘peace process’ – and Western governments – refuse to tackle.
On Wednesday, Israel’s High Court rejected a legal challenge to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, by a six to five vote. The law, first passed as a ‘temporary’ measure in 2003 and renewed ever since, prevents Palestinians from the Occupied Territories (and those from ‘enemy states’) from living with their spouses in Israel.
For thousands of Palestinian families, Israel’s law means a choice between moving abroad, living apart, or living in Israel illegally. No wonder that the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) condemned what it described as a “racist law” for the way it harms “the very texture of the lives of families whose only sin is the Palestinian blood that runs in their veins”…