|Progressive Calendar 01.24.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 07:43:27 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.24.09 1. Peace walk 1.24 9am Cambridge MN 2. Community gardens 1.24 9am 3. Green Party meets 1.24 9am 4. UofM AfAm anniv 1.24 10am 5. Palestine/secular 1.24 10am 6. RCTA/immigration 1.24 10am 7. Northtown vigil 1.24 2pm 8. Bicking cam party 1.24 6pm 9. Overcoming Zionism 1.24 9pm 10. Noam Chomsky - "Exterminate all the brutes": Gaza 2009 (pt2 of 2) 11. ed - No c*ns*rsh*p here (p**m) --------1 of 11-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 1.24 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------2 of 11-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Community gardens 1.24 9am Community Gardeners: Promoting Participation & Sharing Wisdom A new learning community series for gardeners who want to increase participation and opportunities for growing community gardens! · Discover the Power of Asset-Based Community Development · Develop a Leadership Plan for Gardeners · Learn Facilitation Skills for Group Decision Making & Planning · Create Structures for Getting Things Done! Sessions 1-4 will be held Saturdays from 9-11:30 am Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association 821 E 35th St, Minneapolis See below for location details of session 5-7 Session 1-January 24 Asset-Based Community Development: Power in Diversity Session 2-February 7 Shared Leadership for the 21st Century Session 3-February 21 Communication, Conflict & Meaningful Conversations Session 4-March 14 Fun & Effective Meetings! Session 5-March 28 Creative Consensus Building for Community Gardens (Workshop at the Community Garden Resource Fair, Unity Church, 732 Holly, St Paul) Session 6 & 7-April 18 & May 2 Topics and location to be designed and determined by participants Fee: $25 for the series with scholarships available. Facilitators for this learning community will be Rachel Hefte, Extension Educator in Leadership & Civic Engagement with the University of MN, and Ila Duntemann, Program Coordinator for Gardening Matters. Participants will share their organizing experiences and "what works" as well as share their new leadership tools with Resource Fair attendees on March 28. **Note** This series is focused on skills for building people capacity rather than gardening techniques. We highly recommend 2 or more gardeners per garden attending together. To register, contact Ila Duntemann at ila.gardeningmatters [at] gmail.com or 612-492-8964 --------3 of 11-------- From: Amber Garlan <agarlan [at] hammclinic.org> Subject: Green Party meets 1.24 9am The Green Party Winter Membership Meeting will be this Saturday 1/24/09 at: St. Paul Central High School 275 Lexington Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104 For lunch please bring a brown bag, or we will order out for sandwiches. You don't want to miss our keynote speaker from the communities of youth, hip hop and women of color, Rachel Raimist! 9:00 - Registration 9:30 - Welcome ceremony 10:00 - Workshop 1 11:00 - Workshop 2 12:00 - Lunch 12:30 Keynote Speaker (Rachel Raimist) 1:00 - Elections and Fundraising pitch 2:30 - Workshop 3 3:30 - Workshop 4 Workshop 1 Peak Oil Metro Independent Business Alliance Green Party Electoral Strategy Workshop 2 Department of Peace Single Payer Health Care Immigrate, Felons & Youth Voting Rights Workshop 3 Economy (Crash Course on the Crash) Affordable Housing Stop Acid Mining in Northern MN Workshop 4 Labor History (Floyd Olson) & (Union Rep) IRV 1/24/09 Green Party winter membership meeting list of speakers and workshops 1. Peak Oil - Brian Merchant 2. Metro Independent Business Alliance - Jesse Mortenson, John Kolstad 3. Green Party Electoral Strategy - Shannon Ikebe 4. IRV - Dakotah Rae, Troy Trooien 5. Dept. Of Peace - Greg Skog and family 6. Single Payer Health Care - Amy Lange, Lisa Niles, John Kolstad and Senator John Marty 7. Economy (Crash Course on the Crash) - Karen Redleaf 8. Labor History - (1930's depression era governor Floyd Olson) Rhoda Gilman & SEIU union rep. 9. Affordable Housing - Julie Johnson (MN Housing Partnership) 10. Immigrate, Felons & Youth Voting Rights - MN coalition for the expansion of voting rights 11. Stop Acid Mining in Northern MN - Sky Blue Waters --------4 of 11-------- From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at] umn.edu> Subject: UofM AfAm anniv 1.24 10am Roundtable discussion on Morrill Hall Takeover Saturday, January 24, 10:00 a.m. Coffman Memorial Union Presidents Room, 300 Washington Ave SE, University of Minnesota east bank Mahmound El-Kati, Spike Moss, Bill English, Randy Staten, Horace Huntley, Marie Braddock Williams, Lester Cannon and Rose Freeman Massey free and open to the public FFI: Department of African American and African Studies, 612-624-9847 In January, 1969, black students at the University of Minnesota staged an occupation of Morrill Hall, home of University administration, to demand the creation of a department committed to African American studies. Their actions led to the formation of the University's Department of African American and African Studies, along with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advising Office and the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence. On the 40th anniversary of that event, Twin Cities community members and participants in the 1969 Morrill Hall Takeover will convene a roundtable discussion to review the events of January, 1969 and to reflect on the legacy of their actions. They will also talk about the role of activism today. The public is welcome to attend and will be invited to participate in a question and answer session. --------5 of 11-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Palestine/secular 1.24 10am An Idea Whose Time Has Come: "Transforming Palestine/Israel into a Single, Secular Democratic State" 1/24 Saturday, January 24, 9:30 a.m. (Refreshments), 10:00 a.m. (Presentation and Discussion) Southdale Hennepin County Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina. A DVD panel discussion presented by the Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism (CODZ) June 7, 2008. Moderator: Rabbi Susan Einbinder: Panelists: Ali Abunimah, co-founder and editor of the Electronic Intifada: Kathleen Christison, author of Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy; Amaya Galili, Israeli activist with Zochrot, a group working to raise Israeli consciousness of the Nakba; Joel Kovel, editor of Capitalism Nature Socialism, and author of Overcoming Zionism. Sponsored by: Middle East Peace Now (MEPN). WAMM is a member of MEPN. FFI: Call Florence Steichen, 651-696-1642. --------6 of 11-------- From: biego001 [at] umn.edu Subject: RCTA/immigration 1.24 10am Resource Ctr of the Americas coffeehour, 10-11:30am, 3019 Mnnehaha Ave. S. Mpls, MN (Lake St and Minnehaha Ave., E. of Hiawatha lightrail station) May 12, 2008, Postville, IA was home to the now 2nd largest Immigration raid in the U.S. (behind Laurel, Mississippi). Around 390 people were arrested from their worksite, Agroprocessors, Inc. Eight months later, the local faith community is declaring a humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of people are without work, without electricity, facing eviction and dependent on the local food shelf. After passing months in detention centers around the country, many have been deported already, their families left to fend for themselves under the vigilance of ICE. Others are being forced to stay on in Iowa, with tracking bracelets on their ankles, until the Agroprocessors trial, which will likely not occur until September, 2009. On December 28th, a Solidarity caravan traveled from Minneapolis to Iowa with vans full of food as a sign of solidarity and support across borders. The aftermath of this raid was harsher than many had imagined. Those that participated in the caravan promised to bear witness to this tragedy as well as continue reaching hands across borders in any way possible. Please come listen to their account and see in what way we can all be involved. --------7 of 11-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 1.24 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------8 of 11-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: Bicking cam party 1.24 6pm I would like to invite you all to a party next Saturday night (January 24) to kickoff my 2009 campaign for Minneapolis City Council. We will have live music, snacks and desserts, good conversation, and a speech or two with time for questions. And yes, of course this is also a fundraiser. But there is no minimum donation, and your presence is most important to me and to the campaign. Let's get this campaign off to a powerful and encouraging start! (And have some fun together.) The details: Saturday, January 24, 6:00 - 9:00pm, Campaign kickoff / fundraiser party for Dave Bicking for Mpls City Council, in the basement of Walker Community Methodist Church, at 3104 16th Ave. S., Minneapolis. (One block east of Bloomington Ave. and one block south of Lake St. - good bus service on both those streets.) The music: 1) Papa John Kolstad, singer and blues guitar player. A Minneapolis legend - and also our 2006 Green Party candidate for MN Attorney General! Arrive by 6:15 to catch his set. 2) My band! (I play clarinet): Nice Driveway. We play Klezmer, Eastern European, and old- time dance music. You may have heard us at several past Green Party events and fundraisers. 3) Char Engen, singer, songwriter, and guitar-player. She describes her genre as jazzy folk. If you can't make it to the party, but want to help the campaign financially, please make out checks to Bicking for City Council. Any amount is appreciated; the legal maximum is $300. Mail to: Bicking for City Council, 2425 Franklin Ave. E. #407, Mpls, MN 55406. Please contact me if you are able and willing to volunteer for the campaign in any capacity. A grass-roots campaign needs a lot of volunteers to win! I would also like your input regarding campaign issues, message, and strategy. Just as I want to be a different kind of City Council member, I want to run a different kind of campaign - one that incorporates your ideas, your experience, and your expertise. We have a lot of serious work to do to improve Minneapolis city government. But I also want to make sure that this campaign is fun for all involved. So please come and party, and show your support! For a more fair and compassionate city, Dave Bicking 612-276-1213 PS. You may be wondering who I am and what this campaign is about. Here is a brief synopsis: I have been an activist since my college days during the Vietnam War. I ran for this same office in 2005 - my first attempt at elected office. I was endorsed by the Green Party, and I am seeking Green Party endorsement again. I received 30% of the vote - at least respectable for a novice who started my campaign late in the season. For the past two years, I have been one of the official spokespeople for the MN State Green Party. I helped lead the opposition to the Hennepin County sales tax that subsidizes the new Twins Stadium. I am now active with a group that is opposing public funds for a proposed new Vikings stadium. I have worked closely with Communities United Against Police Brutality. I have helped lead three labor organizing efforts. Since my last campaign, I have been monitoring the City Council and closely following many of the local issues, including the library consolidation (against the undemocratic process), Police Chief Dolan's appointment (against), changes to the CRA, Taser policy, Lake St. reconstruction, immigration raids, and support of those arrested at the RNC. Since last June, I have been an appointed member of the Mpls Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA), which hears citizen complaints and provides civilian oversight of the police department. I have also volunteered with the local Community Restorative Justice Program. You may recall that I worked with many neighborhood activists to successfully defeat a proposed wood-burning power plant that would have polluted our neighborhood. The issues in this campaign are reflective of my experiences listed above: No corporate welfare for billionaires. Development should serve people's needs, not enrich the large developers who wield too much power in city government. We need a better police department, with greater accountability to the people it is supposed to serve. End racial profiling and abuse. Support small locally owned businesses. Clean up and preserve our environment. What are your concerns? What would you add? The campaign will be built on your experiences as well as my own. More important than the particular issues are two broad principles that I would like to emphasize: 1) We need more than just new faces on the City Council - we need a new way to govern. It would be no more appropriate - or successful - for me to act by myself on the City Council than it would be for me to try to campaign all alone. City Council members need to be more connected to the community. Those people directly impacted by a decision should be consulted before that decision is made. Many of the current "public input" opportunities work to frustrate and discourage any real input. Hearings are often held after the real decision has already been made. On any given issue, there is more experience and expertise among members of the general public than there is in the Council chambers - and that will continue to be true if I am on the Council! That input should be actively sought out, not just in the interests of democracy, but also to reduce incompetence. 2) City government should be judged by how it treats the most vulnerable among us - the poor, the elderly, and the very young. It is unconscionable that people must sleep on the sidewalks next to towering symbols of great wealth. Food, housing, health, and education are basics. They must be our priorities. City spending is limited by its dependence on regressive property taxes, which we cannot continue to increase. We must be as frugal as necessary in our other spending until we can assure the most basic necessities for all residents. --------9 of 11-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Overcoming Zionism 1.24 9pm Majestic Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow! Households with basic cable may watch. Sat, 1/24, 9pm and Tues, 1/27, 8am Overcoming Zionism with Joel Kovel A secular Jew (and eco-socialist), Joel Kovel is a great American thinker and author of many books. Once a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Kovel is now a Professor of Social Studies at Bard College its critique of Israel. In late 2008 Joel Kovel visited the Twin Cities and spoke about "Overcoming Zionism" and the struggle to get these ideas out to the U.S. public. Includes Q and A. Stream it: www.ourworldindepth.org "Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists. Locally produced and not corporately influenced, "Our World In Depth" may be better than PBS! Order a dvd copy or contact us at ourworldindepth [at] gmail.com. -------10 of 11-------- "Exterminate all the Brutes": Gaza 2009 (pt2 of 2) January 20, 2009 By Noam Chomsky Znet Aggression always has a pretext: in this case, that Israel's patience had "run out" in the face of Hamas rocket attacks, as Barak put it. The mantra that is endlessly repeated is that Israel has the right to use force to defend itself. The thesis is partially defensible. The rocketing is criminal, and it is true that a state has the right to defend itself against criminal attacks. But it does not follow that it has a right to defend itself by force. That goes far beyond any principle that we would or should accept. Nazi Germany had no right to use force to defend itself against the terrorism of the partisans. Kristallnacht is not justified by Herschel Grynszpan's assassination of a German Embassy official in Paris. The British were not justified in using force to defend themselves against the (very real) terror of the American colonists seeking independence, or to terrorize Irish Catholics in response to IRA terror - and when they finally turned to the sensible policy of addressing legitimate grievances, the terror ended. It is not a matter of "proportionality," but of choice of action in the first place: Is there an alternative to violence? Any resort to force carries a heavy burden of proof, and we have to ask whether it can be met in the case of Israel's effort to quell any resistance to its daily criminal actions in Gaza and in the West Bank, where they still continue relentlessly after more than 40 years. Perhaps I may quote myself in an interview in the Israeli press on Olmert's announced convergence plans for the West Bank: "The US and Israel do not tolerate any resistance to these plans, preferring to pretend - falsely of course - that `there is no partner,' as they proceed with programs that go back a long way. We may recall that Gaza and the West Bank are recognized to be a unit, so if resistance to the US-Israeli annexation-cantonization programs is legitimate in the West Bank, it is in Gaza too." Palestinian-American journalist Ali Abunimah observed that "There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel's extrajudicial killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never stopped for a day during the truce. The western-backed Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has acceded to all Israel's demands. Under the proud eye of United States military advisors, Abbas has assembled `security forces' to fight the resistance on Israel's behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian in the West Bank from Israel's relentless colonization" - thanks to firm US backing. The respected Palestinian parliamentarian Dr. Mustapha Barghouti adds that after Bush's Annapolis extravaganza in November 2007, with much uplifting rhetoric about dedication to peace and justice, Israeli attacks on Palestinians escalated sharply, with an almost 50% increase in the West Bank, along with a sharp increase in settlements and Israeli check points. Obviously these criminal actions are not a response to rockets from Gaza, though the converse may well be the case, Barghouti plausibly suggests. The reactions to crimes of an occupying power can be condemned as criminal and politically foolish, but those who offer no alternative have no moral grounds to issue such judgments. The conclusion holds with particular force for those in the US who choose to be directly implicated in Israel's ongoing crimes - by their words, their actions, or their silence. All the more so because there are very clear non-violent alternatives - which, however, have the disadvantage that they bar the programs of illegal expansion. Israel has a straightforward means to defend itself: put an end to its criminal actions in occupied territories, and accept the long-standing international consensus on a two-state settlement that has been blocked by the US and Israel for over 30 years, since the US first vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a political settlement in these terms in 1976. I will not once again run through the inglorious record, but it is important to be aware that US-Israeli rejectionism today is even more blatant than in the past. The Arab League has gone even beyond the consensus, calling for full normalization of relations with Israel. Hamas has repeatedly called for a two-state settlement in terms of the international consensus. Iran and Hezbollah have made it clear that they will abide by any agreement that Palestinians accept. That leaves the US-Israel in splendid isolation, not only in words. The more detailed record is informative. The Palestinian National Council formally accepted the international consensus in 1988. The response of the Shamir-Peres coalition government, affirmed by James Baker's State Department, was that there cannot be an "additional Palestinian state" between Israel and Jordan - the latter already a Palestinian state by US-Israeli dictate. The Oslo accords that followed put to the side potential Palestinian national rights, and the threat that they might be realized in some meaningful form was systematically undermined through the Oslo years by Israel's steady expansion of illegal settlements. Settlement accelerated in 2000, President Clinton's and Prime Minister Barak's last year, when negotiations took place at Camp David against that background. After blaming Yassir Arafat for the breakdown of the Camp David negotiations, Clinton backtracked, and recognized that the US-Israeli proposals were too extremist to be acceptable to any Palestinian. In December 2000, he presented his "parameters," vague but more forthcoming. He then announced that both sides had accepted the parameters, while both expressed reservations. The two sides met in Taba Egypt in January 2001 and came very close to an agreement, and would have been able to do so in a few more days, they said in their final press conference. But the negotiations were cancelled prematurely by Ehud Barak. That week in Taba is the one break in over 30 years of US-Israeli rejectionism. There is no reason why that one break in the record cannot be resumed. The preferred version, recently reiterated by Ethan Bronner, is that "Many abroad recall Mr. Barak as the prime minister who in 2000 went further than any Israeli leader in peace offers to the Palestinians, only to see the deal fail and explode in a violent Palestinian uprising that drove him from power." It's true that "many abroad" believe this deceitful fairy tale, thanks to what Bronner and too many of his colleagues call "journalism". It is commonly claimed that a two-state solution is now unattainable because if the IDF tried to remove settlers, it would lead to a civil war. That may be true, but much more argument is needed. Without resorting to force to expel illegal settlers, the IDF could simply withdraw to whatever boundaries are established by negotiations. The settlers beyond those boundaries would have the choice of leaving their subsidized homes to return to Israel, or to remain under Palestinian authority. The same was true of the carefully staged "national trauma" in Gaza in 2005, so transparently fraudulent that it was ridiculed by Israeli commentators. It would have sufficed for Israel to announce that the IDF would withdraw, and the settlers who were subsidized to enjoy their life in Gaza would have quietly climbed into the lorries provided to them and travelled to their new subsidized residences in the West Bank. But that would not have produced tragic photos of agonized children and passionate calls of "never again." To summarize, contrary to the claim that is constantly reiterated, Israel has no right to use force to defend itself against rockets from Gaza, even if they are regarded as terrorist crimes. Furthermore, the reasons are transparent. The pretext for launching the attack is without merit. There is also a narrower question. Does Israel have peaceful short-term alternatives to the use of force in response to rockets from Gaza. One short-term alternative would be to accept a ceasefire. Sometimes Israel has done so, while instantly violating it. The most recent and currently relevant case is June 2008. The ceasefire called for opening the border crossings to "allow the transfer of all goods that were banned and restricted to go into Gaza." Israel formally agreed, but immediately announced that it would not abide by the agreement and open the borders until Hamas released Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in June 2006. The steady drumbeat of accusations about the capture of Shalit is, again, blatant hypocrisy, even putting aside Israel's long history of kidnapping. In this case, the hypocrisy could not be more glaring. One day before Hamas captured Shalit, Israeli soldiers entered Gaza City and kidnapped two civilians, the Muammar brothers, bringing them to Israel to join the thousands of other prisoners held there, almost 1000 reportedly without charge. Kidnapping civilians is a far more serious crime than capturing a soldier of an attacking army, but it was barely reported in contrast to the furor over Shalit. And all that remains in memory, blocking peace, is the capture of Shalit, another reflection of the difference between humans and two-legged beasts. Shalit should be returned - in a fair prisoner exchange. It was after the capture of Shalit that Israel's unrelenting military attack against Gaza passed from merely vicious to truly sadistic. But it is well to recall that even before his capture, Israel had fired more than 7,700 shells at northern Gaza after its September withdrawal, eliciting virtually no comment. After rejecting the June 2008 ceasefire it had formally accepted, Israel maintained its siege. We may recall that a siege is an act of war. In fact, Israel has always insisted on an even stronger principle: hampering access to the outside world, even well short of a siege, is an act of war, justifying massive violence in response. Interference with Israel's passage through the Straits of Tiran was part of the pretext for Israel's invasion of Egypt (with France and England) in 1956, and for its launching of the June 1967 war. The siege of Gaza is total, not partial, apart from occasional willingness of the occupiers to relax it slightly. And it is vastly more harmful to Gazans than closing the Straits of Tiran was to Israel. Supporters of Israeli doctrines and actions should therefore have no problem justifying rocket attacks on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. Of course, again we run into the nullifying principle: This is us, that is them. Israel not only maintained the siege after June 2008, but did so with extreme rigor. It even prevented UNRWA from replenishing its stores, "so when the ceasefire broke down, we ran out of food for the 750,000 who depend on us," UNRWA director John Ging informed the BBC. Despite the Israeli siege, rocketing sharply reduced. The ceasefire broke down on November 4 with an Israeli raid into Gaza, leading to the death of 6 Palestinians, and a retaliatory barrage of rockets (with no injuries). The pretext for the raid was that Israel had detected a tunnel in Gaza that might have been intended for use to capture another Israeli soldier. The pretext is transparently absurd, as a number of commentators have noted. If such a tunnel existed, and reached the border, Israel could easily have barred it right there. But as usual, the ludicrous Israeli pretext was deemed credible. What was the reason for the Israeli raid? We have no internal evidence about Israeli planning, but we do know that the raid came shortly before scheduled Hamas-Fatah talks in Cairo aimed at "reconciling their differences and creating a single, unified government," British correspondent Rory McCarthy reported. That was to be the first Fatah-Hamas meeting since the June 2007 civil war that left Hamas in control of Gaza, and would have been a significant step towards advancing diplomatic efforts. There is a long history of Israel provocations to deter the threat of diplomacy, some already mentioned. This may have been another one. The civil war that left Hamas in control of Gaza is commonly described as a Hamas military coup, demonstrating again their evil nature. The real world is a little different. The civil war was incited by the US and Israel, in a crude attempt at a military coup to overturn the free elections that brought Hamas to power. That has been public knowledge at least since April 2008, when David Rose published in Vanity Fair a detailed and documented account of how Bush, Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams "backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever." The account was recently corroborated once again in the Christian Science Monitor (Jan. 12, 2009) by Norman Olsen, who served for 26 years in the Foreign Service, including four years working in the Gaza Strip and four years at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, and then moved on to become associate coordinator for counterterrorism at the Department of State. Olson and his son detail the State Department shenanigans intended to ensure that their candidate, Abbas, would win in the January 2006 elections - in which case it would have been hailed as a triumph of democracy. After the election-fixing failed, they turned to punishment of the Palestinians and arming of a militia run by Fatah strong-man Muhammad Dahlan, but "Dahlan's thugs moved too soon" and a Hamas pre-emptive strike undermined the coup attempt, leading to far harsher US-Israeli measures to punish the disobedient people of Gaza. The Party Line is more acceptable. After Israel broke the June 2008 ceasefire (such as it was) in November, the siege was tightened further, with even more disastrous consequences for the population. According to Sara Roy, the leading academic specialist on Gaza, "On Nov. 5, Israel sealed all crossing points into Gaza, vastly reducing and at times denying food supplies, medicines, fuel, cooking gas, and parts for water and sanitation systems..." During November, an average of 4.6 trucks of food per day entered Gaza from Israel compared with an average of 123 trucks per day in October. Spare parts for the repair and maintenance of water-related equipment have been denied entry for over a year. The World Health Organization just reported that half of Gaza's ambulances are now out of order" - and the rest soon became targets for Israeli attack. Gaza's only power station was forced to suspend operation for lack of fuel, and could not be started up again because they needed spare parts, which had been sitting in the Israeli port of Ashdod for 8 months. Shortage of electricity led to a 300% increase in burn cases at Shifaa' hospital in the Gaza Strip, resulting from efforts to light wood fires. Israel barred shipment of Chlorine, so that by mid-December in Gaza City and the north access to water was limited to six hours every three days. The human consequences are not counted among Palestinian victims of Israeli terror. After the November 4 Israeli attack, both sides escalated violence (all deaths were Palestinian) until the ceasefire formally ended on Dec. 19, and Prime Minister Olmert authorized the full-scale invasion. A few days earlier Hamas had proposed to return to the original July ceasefire agreement, which Israel had not observed. Historian and former Carter administration high official Robert Pastor passed the proposal to a "senior official" in the IDF, but Israel did not respond. The head of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security agency, was quoted in Israeli sources on December 21 as saying that Hamas is interested in continuing the "calm" with Israel, while its military wing is continuing preparations for conflict. "There clearly was an alternative to the military approach to stopping the rockets," Pastor said, keeping to the narrow issue of Gaza. There was also a more far-reaching alternative, which is rarely discussed: namely, accepting a political settlement including all of the occupied territories. Israel's senior diplomatic correspondent Akiva Eldar reports that shortly before Israel launched its full-scale invasion on Saturday Dec. 27, "Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal announced on the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Web site that he was prepared not only for a `cessation of aggression' - he proposed going back to the arrangement at the Rafah crossing as of 2005, before Hamas won the elections and later took over the region. That arrangement was for the crossing to be managed jointly by Egypt, the European Union, the Palestinian Authority presidency and Hamas," and as noted earlier, called for opening of the crossings to desperately needed supplies. A standard claim of the more vulgar apologists for Israeli violence is that in the case of the current assault, "as in so many instances in the past half century - the Lebanon War of 1982, the `Iron Fist' response to the 1988 intifada, the Lebanon War of 2006 - the Israelis have reacted to intolerable acts of terror with a determination to inflict terrible pain, to teach the enemy a lesson" (New Yorker editor David Remnick). The 2006 invasion can be justified only on the grounds of appalling cynicism, as already discussed. The reference to the vicious response to the 1988 intifada is too depraved even to discuss; a sympathetic interpretation might be that it reflects astonishing ignorance. But Remnick's claim about the 1982 invasion is quite common, a remarkable feat of incessant propaganda, which merits a few reminders. Uncontroversially, the Israel-Lebanon border was quiet for a year before the Israeli invasion, at least from Lebanon to Israel, north to south. Through the year, the PLO scrupulously observed a US-initiated ceasefire, despite constant Israeli provocations, including bombing with many civilian casualties, presumably intended to elicit some reaction that could be used to justify Israel's carefully planned invasion. The best Israel could achieve was two light symbolic responses. It then invaded with a pretext too absurd to be taken seriously. The invasion had precisely nothing to do with "intolerable acts of terror," though it did have to do with intolerable acts: of diplomacy. That has never been obscure. Shortly after the US-backed invasion began, Israel's leading academic specialist on the Palestinians, Yehoshua Porath - no dove - wrote that Arafat's success in maintaining the ceasefire constituted "a veritable catastrophe in the eyes of the Israeli government," since it opened the way to a political settlement. The government hoped that the PLO would resort to terrorism, undermining the threat that it would be "a legitimate negotiating partner for future political accommodations." The facts were well-understood in Israel, and not concealed. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir stated that Israel went to war because there was "a terrible danger... Not so much a military one as a political one," prompting the fine Israeli satirist B. Michael to write that "the lame excuse of a military danger or a danger to the Galilee is dead." We "have removed the political danger" by striking first, in time; now, "Thank God, there is no one to talk to." Historian Benny Morris recognized that the PLO had observed the ceasefire, and explained that "the war's inevitability rested on the PLO as a political threat to Israel and to Israel's hold on the occupied territories." Others have frankly acknowledged the unchallenged facts. In a front-page think-piece on the latest Gaza invasion, NYT correspondent Steven Lee Meyers writes that "In some ways, the Gaza attacks were reminiscent of the gamble Israel took, and largely lost, in Lebanon in 1982 [when] it invaded to eliminate the threat of Yasir Arafat's forces." Correct, but not in the sense he has in mind. In 1982, as in 2008, it was necessary to eliminate the threat of political settlement. The hope of Israeli propagandists has been that Western intellectuals and media would buy the tale that Israel reacted to rockets raining on the Galilee, "intolerable acts of terror." And they have not been disappointed. It is not that Israel does not want peace: everyone wants peace, even Hitler. The question is: on what terms? From its origins, the Zionist movement has understood that to achieve its goals, the best strategy would be to delay political settlement, meanwhile slowly building facts on the ground. Even the occasional agreements, as in 1947, were recognized by the leadership to be temporary steps towards further expansion. The 1982 Lebanon war was a dramatic example of the desperate fear of diplomacy. It was followed by Israeli support for Hamas so as to undermine the secular PLO and its irritating peace initiatives. Another case that should be familiar is Israeli provocations before the 1967 war designed to elicit a Syrian response that could be used as a pretext for violence and takeover of more land - at least 80% of the incidents, according to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. The story goes far back. The official history of the Haganah, the pre-state Jewish military force, describes the assassination of the religious Jewish poet Jacob de Haan in 1924, accused of conspiring with the traditional Jewish community (the Old Yishuv) and the Arab Higher Committee against the new immigrants and their settlement enterprise. And there have been numerous examples since. The effort to delay political accommodation has always made perfect sense, as do the accompanying lies about how "there is no partner for peace." It is hard to think of another way to take over land where you are not wanted. Similar reasons underlie Israel's preference for expansion over security. Its violation of the ceasefire on November 4 2009 is one of many recent examples. An Amnesty International chronology reports that the June 2008 ceasefire had "brought enormous improvements in the quality of life in Sderot and other Israeli villages near Gaza, where before the ceasefire residents lived in fear of the next Palestinian rocket strike. However, nearby in the Gaza Strip the Israeli blockade remains in place and the population has so far seen few dividends from the ceasefire." But the gains in security for Israel towns near Gaza were evidently outweighed by the felt need to deter diplomatic moves that might impede West Bank expansion, and to crush any remaining resistance within Palestine. The preference for expansion over security has been particularly evident since Israel's fateful decision in 1971, backed by Henry Kissinger, to reject the offer of a full peace treaty by President Sadat of Egypt, offering nothing to the Palestinians - an agreement that the US and Israel were compelled to accept at Camp David eight years later, after a major war that was a near disaster for Israel. A peace treaty with Egypt would have ended any significant security threat, but there was an unacceptable quid pro quo: Israel would have had to abandon its extensive settlement programs in the northeastern Sinai. Security was a lower priority than expansion, as it still is. Substantial evidence for this basic conclusion is provided in a magisterial study of Israel's security and foreign policy by Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land. Today, Israel could have security, normalization of relations, and integration into the region. But it very clearly prefers illegal expansion, conflict, and repeated exercise of violence, actions that are not only criminal, murderous and destructive but are also eroding its own long-term security. US military and Middle East specialist Andrew Cordesman writes that while Israel military force can surely crush defenseless Gaza, "neither Israel nor the US can gain from a war that produces [a bitter] reaction from one of the wisest and most moderate voices in the Arab world, Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, who said on January 6 that `The Bush administration has left [Obama] a disgusting legacy and a reckless position towards the massacres and bloodshed of innocents in Gaza...Enough is enough, today we are all Palestinians and we seek martyrdom for God and for Palestine, following those who died in Gaza'." One of the wisest voices in Israel, Uri Avnery, writes that after an Israeli military victory, "What will be seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a blood-stained monster, ready at any moment to commit war crimes and not prepared to abide by any moral restraints. This will have severe consequences for our long-term future, our standing in the world, our chance of achieving peace and quiet. In the end, this war is a crime against ourselves too, a crime against the State of Israel." There is good reason to believe that he is right. Israel is deliberately turning itself into perhaps the most hated country in the world, and is also losing the allegiance of the population of the West, including younger American Jews, who are unlikely to tolerate its persistent shocking crimes for long. Decades ago, I wrote that those who call themselves "supporters of Israel" are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration and probable ultimate destruction. Regrettably, that judgment looks more and more plausible. Meanwhile we are quietly observing a rare event in history, what the late Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling called "politicide," the murder of a nation - at our hands. -------11 of 11-------- No c*ns*rsh*p here In the free US you may discuss ______ and ______, and call ______ a ______. (hey, man, spaced out!) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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