On September 4th and 5th, the United Nations convened a meeting of
dozens of non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine.
The meeting in the General assembly area of the UN was well attended
with hundreds of representatives of various NGOs. However, it was a
bit disappointing as there was no media coverage and some speeches
were the usual lip service and calling on Israel to “end the
occupation.” Very rarely did any of the speakers address Israeli
apartheid policies and laws or the Israeli continuing ethnic cleansing
as part and parcel of the Zionist ideology of conquering Palestine and
emptying it of its population for the sake of colonial settlers coming
in from all over the world for automatic citizenship and subsidized
housing (subsidized by my US taxes). On the positive side, dozens of
attendees wore pins that clearly symbolized that that the right of
Palestinian refugees to return is key to peace. And the vast majority
of attendees were disturbed by the lack of International pressure on
Israel to implement the respect over 69 UN Security Council
resolutions and over 300 General Assembly resolutions.
As I drove to JFK Airport from the United Nations on Thursday
afternoon to pick up a visiting scholar from Gaza, I was pleasantly
surprised to hear a great presentation in a talk show (WBAI) with Ora
Wise. Ora was born of a Jewish Rabbi father in Jerusalem and now live
in New York. Her work with the International Solidarity movement was
inspiring. Equally inspiring was that essentially all the calls
received were supportive (and the lines were busy). Callers and Ora
(and even the host) wondered why we in the US fund Israeli apartheid
to the tune of billions per year and to the detriment of many nations.
The adverse effects extend beyond the Palestinians, the primary
victims of Zionism, to many secondary victims (Israelis Americans). I
wanted to call to thank them for having Ora who is an activist also
with our Wheels of Justice Tour (see
http://justicewheels.org/) But I also because I wanted to ask how I
may get a hold of the great rap music they played in the intermission.
It was a hip-hop group from Palestine 48 (area that became Israel in
1948). While I did not get through, a search of the internet got me
their web page. I encourage you if you understand Arabic to hear this
wonderful hip-hop Palestinian group. Here is a link to their web page
(where you can download a couple of songs) and a link to an AP story
Friday September 5th the Israeli army destroyed an apartment building
in Nablus in the occupied West Bank (Palestine 1967). This single
action made over 100 Palestinians homeless. Apparently, a Palestinian
resistance fighter exchanged gunfire with Israeli soldiers earlier in
the day at the site. Now imagine if police forces in this country or
any other demolishes a building housing over 100 residents because of
the action of a gunman (who was killed). Such state terrorism (and
there is no other way to describe it) would be unimaginable and would
never be allowed if the residents where Jewish or Protestant White
Europeans. Being Palestinians, lives and livelihoods are considered
cheap and not worth it. This incident was not the only incident of
directed state terrorism on that day and there are days when things
are far worse. Twenty-nine Palestinians were killed in August, most
of them civilians.
On Saturday, Israel attempted to assassinate some more leaders of the
Islamic Resistance Movement (acronym Hamas). Assassinations are
considered war crimes by International Law as are many of Israeli
actions in the occupied territories (including settlement building).
Also on Saturday, and as I and millions of others predicted would
happen, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas resigned as Palestinian Prime Minister
citing first and foremost Israeli and American obstacles to peace.
The “road map” or more appropriately the road kill document was doomed
from the beginning with or without Israel’s 14 reservations that the
Bush administration allowed for Sharon. It was doomed partially
because it neither mentions nor accepts the simple words called “human
rights” and “International Law” and partially because it was intended
to “manage” the conflict rather than deal with its root causes.
Now, what can you do besides listening to some good hip-hop rap music?
Visit http://www.al-awda.org/mediaactivism/ and ACT. Speak out and
speak truth to power.
A Luta Continua