Sunday, January 9, 2011

I've been doing a lot of news-reading and blog-hopping. A few things that stood out today....

( Stephen Walt-More on the Bilin Incident

The Israelis have kept the Palestinians under military occupation for nearly 44 years, while steadily seizing more and more land, and using their superior military power to stifle any form of resistance. This policy requires concealing what is really going on, and forces the IDF to work overtime to spin unpleasant realities. The problem is that the more you conceal things, the more corrosive it is to the body politic as a whole, and the more discredited you are when the truth comes to light. As it will.

MondoAwards Entry 5: Zionism's Call to Me--and My Answer

...Palestinians' freedom of movement and sometimes their very lives exist at the whim of frightened, bored, and sometimes unapologetically racist youths wielding automatic weapons.

There is an added burden on those of us who are Jewish to articulate a coherent position on Israel/Palestine. Whether we like it or not, Israel has conferred upon us certain privileges, and silence implies acquiescence. I think about how generations of white South Africans blithely enjoyed their racial entitlement without troubling themselves to consider the consequences on their victims. We all would like to believe that if we had been born into that environment, we would have refused the undeserved advantages of our skin color. Israel's cordial invitation to me to join their party founded on brute force oppression of another people is something I must not only decline but publicly renounce.

Protestor Death Shows IDF May Be Using Most Dangerous Type of Tear Gas

Jawaher Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was killed in April 2009 when Israeli soldiers fired a tear-gas grenade at his chest at a demonstration at the fence in Bil'in. Ahmed Abu Rahmah has three surviving brothers; their father died five years ago.

"My entire family is ruined," he said on Sunday. "The whole house feels a sense of catastrophe." He said he bears no hatred toward Israelis. "They are people just like myself. We don't seek vengeance against Israel. We want the return of our lands, and the struggle won't end until our property is restored."

CommonDreams.Org-Israel's Deadly Tear Gas Made in USA

As long as the Israelis occupy the West Bank, though, they don't have the option of nonviolence. A military occupation is inherently an act of violence and it has to be maintained by violence.