Progressive Calendar 02.23.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 12:38:57 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   02.23.09

1. RNC/Mardi Gras     2.24 12noon
2. Indian education   2.24 1pm
3. RNC8 court dates   2.24 1:30pm
4. Moral injury/law   2.24 5pm
5. Latino education   2.24 5pm
6. RNC 8 town hall    2.24 5pm
7. Budget cuts        2.24 5:30pm
8. RNC film           2.24 6:30pm
9. Gaza teach-in      2.24 7pm
10. Airport protest   2.24 7pm
11. Army suicides/PBS 2.24 9pm

12. XCEL vs greenway  2.25 11am
13. MN single-payer   2.25 2:45pm
14. NARAL/choice      2.25 6pm
15. Palestine         2.25 7pm  Northfield MN

16. Charley Underwood - Vs NCLB miseducation
17. Stephen Lendman   - Fascist rule in Israel
18. Fareed Zakaria    - Disowning Israel's Arab minority
19. ed                - Unspeakable  (bumper sticker)

--------1 of 19--------

From: rnc08 [at] riseup.net
Subject: RNC/Mardi Gras 2.24 12noon

SUE THE BASTARDS!
The Community RNC Arrestee Support Structure (CRASS)'s campaign for civil
litigation is up and moving! Workshops, actions, and deadlines are rapidly
approaching, so look below for important information. Civil litigation is a
great way to hold the state accountable for the police violence and repression
during the RNC, and has the potential to strengthen our movement through
community organizing and political victories.

Mardi Gras Action!!!
Tues. Feb 24th Noon at the State Capitol lawn (St. Paul).
We will turn in our Notices of Claim forms and have a musical procession
through downtown. Bring your instruments, Mardi Gras costumes, Notice of Claim
forms, friends & neighbors.

--
From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>

Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday Rally: Notice of Claim

Tuesday, February 24, Noon Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Reverend Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul. It's time to put the city of St.
Paul, the police and the sheriff on notice. Take to the streets with
others who were affected by the Republican National Convention (RNC),
Mardi Gras-style with a brass band and all! Bring masks, noisemakers and a
Notice of Claim (see #3 above). Dig out your best black go-to-meeting suit
to join some street theater with the "Ethical Anarchists for Truth and
Justice" group.  Signs will be provided: "Stop Profiling! "Restore
Community Policing!" and "Stop Police Repression!" Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI:
Call Coleen, 952-456-0186.

--
From: CRASS Media <rnc08media [at] gmail.com>

In a Mardi Gras-themed procession slated to begin at noon on Tuesday on
the Capitol lawn, numerous individuals and community groups directly
impacted by the police violence during the Republican National Convention
will put the state on notice of their intention to sue for damages.

Community RNC Arrestee Support Structure (CRASS), allied organizations,
and affected individuals

Organizers hope that, in serving notice to the government, the wider
public will also be more clearly informed of these upcoming civil suits,
which are a direct and logical response to the police brutality that many
encountered on the streets last year. Individual Notices of Claim will
address instances including the indiscriminate nature of the mass arrests,
the widespread, malicious use of chemical agents and projectile weapons,
and the creation of a climate of fear and intimidation by law enforcement
which kept many people away, effectively silencing their dissent.

A wide swath of the larger community was adversely impacted by the
heavy-handed police actions during the convention, including the business
community, which, by all accounts, reaped little of the benefits
convention planners had promised. Indeed, not only protesters but everyone
in the area was endangered that week by law enforcement operations.

About CRASS -- Community RNC Arrestee Support Structure is a
non-hierarchical coalition of RNC arrestees and community allies,
including local groups such as Coldsnap Legal Collective, Friends of the
RNC8, National Lawyers Guild - MN, Communities United Against Police
Brutality, Anti-War Committee, Twin Cities Indymedia, and Veterans for
Peace. CRASS provides multifaceted support to those arrested during the
2008 Republican National Convention to ensure that all interested
arrestees have the support necessary to fight their charges and stand up
for free speech. The first meeting of arrestees and supporters took place
two days after the end of the convention and meetings have continued
regularly since. CRASS has a travel fund available to aid arrestees in
returning to the Twin Cities for their court dates, is actively working on
court solidarity strategies to support those still facing charges, and is
dedicated to aiding and facilitating civil suits.

For more information about CRASS and upcoming civil suits, visit
RNCaftermath.org.


--------2 of 19--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Indian education 2.24 1pm

American Association of University Women, St. Paul Branch Meeting. 9:59
AM: Mystery Hour Clubhouse. 10:45 AM: Meeting. 11 AM: A Midlife Escape to
the Scottish Highlands. 1 PM: The Education of American Indians: State and
Federal Levels with St. Paul School Board Member Elona Street-Stewart and
Betty Walker, former staff at the U.S. Dept of Interior, Bureau of Indian
Education. 990 Summit, St. Paul.


--------3 of 19--------

From: info [at] rnc8.org
Subject: RNC8 court dates 2.24 1:30pm

Because of the new judge, we have separate hearing this time around. We still
hope folks can make it to any or all of our dates. This will be our first
appearance in front of the new judge, and it is important to show that we have
support!

All hearings are at the Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 W. Kellogg Boulevard in
St. Paul, courtrooms TBA (you can always check the TV screens on the ground
floor for courtroom assignments).

Max Specktor: Tuesday, February 24, 1:30pm
Monica Bicking: Tuesday, February 24, 2:30pm
Luce Guillen-Givens: Friday, February 27, 9:30am
Eryn Trimmer: Friday, February 27, 10:30am
Erik Oseland: Monday, March 2, 9:00am
Rob Czernik: Tuesday, March 3, 9:00am
Nathanael Secor: Tuesday, March 3, 10:00am
Garrett Fitzgerald: Tuesday, March 3, 1:30pm


--------4 of 19--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Moral injury/law 2.24 5pm

Tuesday, 2/24, 5 to 7  pm, Berkeley anthropology prof Saba Mahmood speaks
on "Moral Injury and Secular Law: An Incommensurable Divide?" room 135,
1701 Classroom Building, East Bank U of M, Mpls.
http://igs.cla.umn.edu/events/


--------5 of 19--------

From: "[ISO-8859-1] Marco Dávila" <maidaca85 [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Latino education 2.24 5pm

There is an activity going on at El Nuevo Rodeo being organized by Latino
students and non-Latino students as well...

Tuesday february 24th at 5pm
The event is called UNIDAD ESTUDIANTIL

We are fundraising money to finance the education of two undocumented
students from MCTC. With that we just want to show that anything is
possible even making money independently and help your brothers and your
sisters

POR LA UNIDAD ESTUDIANTIL *Marco 612-619-5707*


--------6 of 19--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: RNC 8 town hall 2.24 5pm

Sophisticated St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm,
midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow!  All
households with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 2/24, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 2/25, 10am
RNC 8 Town Hall Gathering
Eight people organizing dissent around the 2008 Republican National
Convention were "pre-emptively" targeted by the Ramsey County Sheriff
prior to the RNC.  The "RNC 8" face serious charges including "Conspiracy
to Riot in the Furtherance of Terrorism" and are believed to be the first
people to be charged under the state of Minnesota's version of the USA
Patriot Act.  This town hall gathering is a community response to the
authorities conduct.

(later) stream it at 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.

[Anything they can do we can do better; we can do anything better than
they!  -ed]


--------7 of 19--------

From: Anne R. Carroll <carrfran [at] qwest.net>
Subject: Budget cuts 2.24 5:30pm

Horrendous budget cuts in St. Paul as well as in St. Paul Public Schools.

And yes, sometimes the numbers and impacts seem so overwhelming, and the
solutions to complex and equally problematic that it's hard to know how to
respond. One enormous additional challenge in both cases is that there's
very little we can do locally to solve it. While the city has direct tax
levying authority, the school district doesn't, but in both cases the
majority of the current financial crisis is a result of decisions made at
the state and federal levels, combined with various impacts from the
financial crisis.

I really, really encourage people to share their perspectives and ideas on
this Issues Forum, and also to let electeds know what you think.

The city is hosting two input sessions on the budget and cuts to local
government aid:
    * 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 17 in the auditorium at El Rio Vista Rec
Center/Neighborhood House, 179 E. Robie Street; and
    * 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Bullard Rainforest Auditorium at Como
Park Zoo and Conservatory Visitor Center, 1225 Estabrook Drive.

More here: http://www.stpaul.gov/index.asp?nid=2960

The School District is dealing with both large-scale system change and
budget cuts. Here's the link to all that information:
http://www.spps.org/ConversationU.html.

Here's the link to various upcoming community engagement opportunities:
http://www.spps.org/sites/209472fd-849d-4015-bcbe-8839b20be25b/uploads/NextO
pR2.pdf Many of these are still in the planning stage, so check back for
updates.

What I find most disheartening is the devastating combination of cuts. St.
Paul lists itself as "The most livable city in Amerca," and SPPS offers "A
world of opportunities." I'm pretty hard-wired as an optimist, but things
are looking bleak for our community's ability to serve people well. I
heard an interesting comment on the radio yesterday about the distinction
between being an optimist and being hopeful; my takeaway is that one can
be hopeful even when it's no longer realistic to be optimistic ;-).

So I'm working on the hopeful part, and further hope that all of you will
weigh in to both the city and the school district on your good ideas as we
tackle both short- and long-term challenges -- and opportunities.

-- Anne Carroll (St. Paul Bd of Ed)


--------8 of s--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: RNC film 2.24 6:30pm

Feb. 24 we will show part 2 of the documentary of what happened outside
the Xcel Center when the Republican National Convention was taking place
inside.  Discussion follows.

Next week we will continue in this vein by having Vernon Rodriques talk
with us about his arrest during the RNC, and will put a human face to the
stories we hear about "violent Anarchists" who were protesting.

Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.


--------9 of 19--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Gaza teach-in 2.24 7pm

Gaza Teach In: "Gaza: The Real Story"

Tuesday, February 24, 7:00 p.m. University of Minnesota, Hubert H.
Humphrey Center, Room 50, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Gaza lies in
ruins with 1500 people dead and 4000 injured after the brutal Israeli
bombing campaign.  Even with a truce, the three-year blockade continues
with inadequate amounts of food, fuel, medicines, etc. just now being
allowed in. How could this happen? What will it take to end the
persecution of Gazans? What does the truce mean?  What is the role of the
international community?  What does the rightward shift in the Israeli
government mean? What forces are involved in the growing U.S. movement for
justice for Palestine? Come to learn, discuss and take action.

Speakers TBA. All are welcome. Sponsored by: the Coalition for Palestinian
Rights-MN Chapter (CPR), Student for a Democratic Society (SDS),
Al-Medinah. WAMM is a member of CPR. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.


--------10 of 19--------

From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at] attg.net>
Subject: Airport protest 2.24 7pm

Some of you have asked what transpired at the Concerned Citizens of the
North Metro (CCNM) meeting that was held on Thursday night, January 29,
2009.

I believe the below article is a good summary of what is happening at the
Anoka County-Blaine Airport and what was presented/said at the 1/29/09
meeting.

THERE WILL BE ANOTHER Anoka County/Blaine MINOR Airport
INFORMATIONAL/ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
held by the Concerned Citizens of the North Metro
on Tuesday, February 24, 2009
from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
at the Spring Lake Park City Hall; 1301 - 81st Avenue NE, SLP 55432.

This meeting will be CABLE televised LIVE by two cable commissions - North
Metro TV and CTV15 in Roseville - on your local cable Channel 15.

There will be other notices of this meeting sent out later but this gives
everyone a "heads-up".

Here is the 2/4/09 article by Eric Hagen, ABC Newspapers; Blaine/Spring Lake
Park LIFE:

Citizens group voices concerns over airport runway extension
Wednesday, 04 February 2009
by Eric Hagen <0>
Staff writer

A recorded airplane fly-over gave residents a sample of what they could be
living with if a runway extension happens at the Anoka County-Blaine
Airport.

The Concerned Citizens of the North Metro held a Jan. 29 public meeting to
give their views on a proposal to extend the east-west runway at the Anoka
County-Blaine Airport from 5,000 feet to 6,000 feet.

The topic has not been brought up since a Dec. 2, 2008 meeting at
Kingswood Church in Blaine was cancelled after the Anoka County Board's
Airport Committee heard a lot of negative public feedback at a Nov. 18,
2008 meeting.

"There's absolutely nothing going on in Anoka County with any airport
issue right now," said Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart, who is one of
three county commissioners besides Scott LeDoux and Robyn West who are on
the airport committee.

Barb Haake, a former member of Minnesota House of Representatives and a
member of the Concerned Citizens of the North Metro, said the citizens
group held the Jan. 29 meeting because they believe something will happen.

"I've not heard much about it at the county other than being told that
it's not dead," said Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, who was
one of the panelists at the Jan. 29 meeting. "It will come up again at
some point in time. When, I don't know and that's why I think what you're
doing here tonight to get prepared and lay the groundwork is extremely
important."

The concerns

On June 30, 2007, the east-west runway, which had been extended from 4,000
feet to 5,000 feet, opened for operations, according to Joe Harris,
manager of the airport. An instrument landing system to guide pilots in
low visibility conditions and a longer taxiway parallel to the east-west
runway was also included in the project.

Volume 3 of the 2006 Anoka County newsletter had an article on the runway
extension.

"These improvements will improve safety, make the airport more functional
for business and decrease noise for area residents," the newsletter
article stated.

Anoka County issued general obligation bonds to fund this project. In
exchange, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) leased the county 40
acres of land on the northwest side of the airport, which the county
subleased to a development group, Anoka Airport Development, LLC.

This group's task was to develop a fixed base operation (FBO) at the
airport.

Just days before the Republican National Convention (RNC) in September
2008, this FBO opened. A Connecticut aircraft management company, Key Air,
opened a 14,000 square-foot executive terminal and an 80,000 square-foot
hangar.

During the RNC, the FBO booked almost 100 convention-related reservations,
according to Key Air President and Chief Executive Officer Brad Kost.

A few months later, Key Air became interested in the concept to extend the
east-west runway even farther from 5,000 feet to 6,000 feet.

Kost said people with local business interests and not Key Air were those
who initially pushed for this project. He said icy conditions in the
winter can make the runway less attractive for businesses to land their
aircraft. A 5,000-foot runway in a Minnesota winter is different than a
5,000-foot runway in Florida, Kost said.

"If there's an event and a pilot needs to stop the aircraft, we need to
make sure there's ample asphalt. Greater braking distance is required,"
Kost previously told ABC Newspapers.

The Concerned Citizens of the North Metro said the public heard the safety
argument a few years ago when the runway extended from 4,000 feet to 5,000
feet.

"I just heard not too long ago an argument for safety to go from 4,000
(feet) to 5,000 (feet)," said Barry Rice, a member of the concerned
citizens group. "Now I'm hearing safety again to go from 5,000 (feet) to
6,000 (feet). I'm sure I'm going to hear safety again to go from 6,000
(feet) to 8,000 (feet)."

The concerned citizens group's fears are based on the fact that state
statute allows a maximum runway length of 5,000 feet for a airport that
has a minor status under the Metropolitan Council's classification.

A runway of 5,001 feet to 8,000 feet is allowed for intermediate airports.

Haake authored the bill that states a minor airport runway can be no
longer than 5,000 feet. The concerned citizens group is worried that if
the airport moves to an intermediate status, the runway could easily
extend to 8,000 feet and even with an extension to 6,000 feet, bigger
planes could come in.

Key Air does not plan to bring in larger aircraft if the extension
happens, Kost said. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the
intermediate Holman Field in St. Paul exist to handle these larger
aircraft, Kost said.

In the next three to six months, Key Air will conduct a thorough analysis
of what needs to happen at the airport to improve safety and during the
process the company would like to talk to concerned citizens, county and
local government officials and officials from MAC and the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA).

"We're going to be as sensitive to the community as they are to this
project," Kost said.

"We're not looking to change the environment around the airport."

Representation

State and local elected officials, including Sen. Don Betzold,
DFL-Fridley, and Rep. Tom Tillberry, DFL-Fridley, were in attendance.

Blaine resident and MAC Commissioner Andy Westerberg was also in the
audience to listen to comments and presentations Jan. 29.

The Concerned Citizens of the North Metro told citizens to contact every
elected official they can on the city, county, state and federal level to
voice their concerns.

Member Ron Holch also encouraged citizens to talk to neighbors unable to
attend the Jan. 29 meeting, write letters to the editor to local
newspapers, contact businesses and contact the MAC's noise complaint
information line every time they feel existing airplane noise is
excessive.

"Government is run by those who show up," Rice said. "If you show up,
you're the government. If you sit on the sideline, you're going to get an
8,000-foot runway or at least a 6,000-foot runway."

The goal of the Concerned Citizens of the North Metro is to get their
concerns out there so the county board does not approve any resolution
supporting a runway extension.

Holch and Sivarajah said if the county board passes a resolution
supporting the runway extension and this goes to state legislators, it
would be harder for citizens or local legislators to prevent the state
Legislature from approving it.

"The problem is once it is in the hands of the Legislature, outstate
legislators and legislators from Minneapolis and St. Paul I'm sure will be
very happy to vote to impose an expansion in our backyard as long as it's
not going to be in their backyard," Sivarajah said.

One resident raised the concern that of the seven county commissioners,
only Sivarajah and West were in attendance.

Sivarajah's and West's districts include areas immediately surrounding the
airport.

Commissioner Dennis Berg said he did not attend the meeting because it
does not directly affect his district. He represents parts of Andover,
Anoka and Oak Grove and all of Bethel, Nowthen, Ramsey and St. Francis.

Erhart said he was at the state capitol in St. Paul that afternoon and
into the evening attending meetings. Erhart's district includes eastern
Anoka and western Coon Rapids.

According to Berg and Erhart, the runway extension is not on a county
board meeting agenda at this time.

Commissioner Dick Lang said he has been busy attending a lot of meetings.
He said there will be more meetings on this issue that he plans to attend.
Lang represents parts of Andover, Blaine and Oak Grove and all of East
Bethel and Ham Lake.

LeDoux was in Florida attending a meeting of the National Board of Public
Safety. He represents part of southern Andover and eastern Coon Rapids.

ABC Newspapers did not hear back from Commissioner Jim Kordiak before this
edition went to press. Kordiak's district is in southern Anoka County. He
represents Columbia Heights, Hilltop and most of Fridley.

According to Sivarajah, the airport issue affects the whole county,
especially if property values of homes around the airport are negatively
impacted by any increase in noise.

She told the citizens gathered at the Jan. 29 meeting that if they have
friends living in the county who do not live near the airport, they should
encourage them to contact their county representative to voice their
concerns.

"Frankly if you live in Anoka County, whether you're impacted by the
airport noise or not, you should be concerned because if our property
values fall around the airport, the people over in Dan Erhart's district
are going to be paying a bigger piece of the property tax pie," Sivarajah
said.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen [at] ecm-inc.com This e-mail address is being
protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


--------11 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Army suicides/PBS 2.24 9pm

FRONTLINE
http://www.pbs.org/frontline/
- This Week: "The Soldier's Heart" (60 minutes), Feb. 24th at 9pm on PBS
(Check local listings)

With the U.S. Army now reporting a record number of suicides - the highest
since 1980, when it began tracking the rate - we offer an encore broadcast
of "The Soldier's Heart" this Tuesday night (check local listings).

In this emotional, one-hour film--praised by the Chicago Tribune for
"exploring in depth the challenges that bedevil even well-meaning
counselors, in and out of the military, trying to help returning veterans
of the war in Iraq"-- producer Raney Aronson explores the psychological
toll of war on combat soldiers who've returned home, and investigates
whether the military has been doing enough to help them.

"This is the most damaging type of war psychiatrically," combat veteran
and counselor Jim Dooley tells FRONTLINE.  "You have no protection
anywhere at all times... And you're also witnessing death at an incredibly
close range. When you are finally back here, and you make connection with
your safety, which is your family--that's when you begin to vibrate with
the fact of where you were."

"Nobody comes back from combat unchanged," a top Defense Department
official in charge of mental health tells FRONTLINE.  "[Soldiers] will
have expectations about what their families are going to be like. Their
families have expectations about what they're going to be like. And the
one thing that is absolutely true about all of those expectations is that
all of them are going to be wrong."

We hope you'll join us Tuesday night.  In the meantime, visit our Web site
to sample the report online, read some of the hundreds of letters we've
received about the film, and get updates on the soldiers we profiled, and
how the military is dealing with this ongoing issue.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/heart/


--------12 of 19--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: XCEL vs greenway 2.25 11am

TRUTH TO TELL
NOW 900 WATTS STRONG: FM 90.3/Minneapolis-106.7/St. Paul and STREAMING
LIVE AT KFAI.org
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25 - 11:00AM

POWER PLAY OVER THE GREENWAY: Green Ways to Up the Voltage?

Minneapolis' Midtown Greenway converted a rail bed below 29th Street
through the core of the city's south side to bike trails and walking paths
with an eye to eventually putting a transit rail line from Uptown to the
River, connecting it to the regional rail system. Now Xcel Energy wants to
plunk down a major power substation near Hiawatha and run a high-voltage
powerline down and over the Greenway, crisscrossing the trail several
times. The neighborhoods are up in arms, despite conceding the need for
additional electricity to the area. Bury it, say the neighbors. Too
expensive, says Xcel.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN explore the issues and conflicts
plaguing the debate between large power users like Allina,
Abbott-Northwestern Hospital and Wells Fargo Bank who can't afford summer
brownouts against a new green vision for power generation promoted by area
advocates. We talk with a panel of principals of varying perspectives.

GUESTS:
 PETER MCLAUGHLIN, Hennepin County Commissioner/Former Chair, H.C.
Regional Rail Authority (owner of Greenway right-of-way)
 GEORGE CROCKER, Executive Director, North American Water Office;
Veteran Energy Consultant/Activist
 Tentative: BILL ZIEGLER, President/CEO, Little Earth of United
Tribes
 XCEL ENERGY Representative
AND YOU! COMMENTS? QUESTIONS? CALL IN: 612-341-0980
Can't get us on the radio? Stream TTT live from KFAI's Home Page


--------13 of 19--------

From: Rhoda Gilman <rhodagilman [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: MN single-payer 2.25 2:45pm

The first House hearing on the Minnesota Health Plan (Marty/Bly) bill will
be on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2:45, in Room 200 of the State Office Building.

It will be heard by the House Health and Human Services Committee, chaired
by Rep. Paul Thissen.  At last report the committee was about evenly
divided with several members undecided.  One bit of good news is that Rep.
Tom Huntley of Duluth, who has opposed the bill before, says he is now in
favor of it, although he will not be able to attend this hearing.  We need
to have everyone there who can make it.


--------14 of 19--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: NARAL/choice 2.25 6pm

February 25: NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota. Pizza, Politics, and BUTTONS!
Pizza and discussion at 6, creativity in making choice-related buttons for
upcoming Lobby Day until 9 PM. 550 Rice Street, St. Paul. RSVP.


--------15 of 19--------

From: Bill McGrath <billmcgrath52 [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Palestine 2.25 7pm  Northfield MN

"With new governments in Israel and USA, will we move towards justice and
peace in Palestine?" 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, city library, 210
Washington Street, Northfield. Slide show, followed by discussion.
Presented by Northfield resident Bill McGrath and sponsored by Northfield
People for Peace and Goodwill. For information, call (507)  645-7660.

[With new governments in Israel and USA, will pigs fly? -ed]


--------16 of 19-------

Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 11:51:05 +1300 (NZDT)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Vs NCLB miseducation

I would like to add a slightly different slant on this discussion.  My own
perspective comes from 40+ years of teaching, the last 15 in St Paul.

The context here is No Child Left Behind and, from a slightly wider
perspective, the idea of reforming schools by use of lots of high-stakes
testing.  The theory goes that we hold teachers "accountable" by fairly
constant standardized testing, throw out the non-performers in order to
make things better.  Supposedly this will make our schools generally
better, and especially for those groups that have been under-performing.

In practice, this is a fear-based reform system that doesn't match very
well with the usual motivations that bring the best teachers to our public
schools.  What ends up happening is that the best teachers who are
teaching the most difficult students get more tests and more paperwork
that they can possibly do (if they want to actually teach even a few
minutes of each day).  They get frustrated and leave.  The very students
who are supposed to be identified as needing the most help are also the
first ones to get discouraged and either give up or even drop out
completely.  The schools facing the biggest challenges are the ones who
end up receiving the least help and the most blame.  The entire system
seems designed to destroy the public schools while extensively documenting
that destruction.

In the short term, scores may go up, of course.  Teachers get scared.
Kids receive subtle and not-so-subtle pressure; they try a little harder
and there may be some marginal improvement.  But eventually the heavy
weight of failure becomes so great that the best teachers just give up, as
do the most challenged students.

So the problem with superintendent hiring is not so much what state the
super came from or which university the super graduated from.  The problem
is that St Paul has been actively seeking out people with background in
"accountability" from large (often failing) school districts.  This worked
fairly well for the career of the previous superintendent, since she
entered at the beginning of the No Child Left Behind curve.  But becoming
a superintendent at this exact point in history is actually a poor career
move for anyone, especially someone coming from an accountability
background.  Mobility is actually the only logical solution for the larger
problems of high-stakes testing.  Anyone working in any school system now
must surely realize that we are now in the part of the cycle when scores
will be going down instead of up; the fear factor is no longer working.
Anyone who have ever taken a Statistics 101 class must surely realize that
you can never have everyone be above average.

I see no solution to our education problems until we stop teaching to
tests and begin teaching children.  It is time to examine the entire set
of flawed assumptions of No Child Left Behind and humanize our public
schools before it is too late.

Charley Underwood Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis Info about Charley
Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood

[Charley Underwood is running for Mpls City Council, Ward 12, vs
Colvin-Roy. Cell phone 612-501-1270.  info [at] underwoodforminneapolis.com
CU at the polls. -ed]


--------17 of 19--------

Fascist Rule in Israel
by Stephen Lendman
February 20th, 2009
Dissident Voice

On February 10, Israel held parliamentary elections for 120 seats in its
18th Knesset. The process repeats every four years unless the body calls
an earlier election by majority vote. The prime minister may also ask the
president to request one early that will proceed unless the Knesset blocks
it. Parliamentary terms may be extended beyond four years by special
majority vote. Israel has no constitution. Under Article 4 of its Basic
Law: The Knesset:

"The Knesset shall be elected by general, national, direct, equal, secret
and proportional elections, in accordance with the Knesset Elections Law."

Every Israeli citizen 18 or older may vote, including Arabs who are
nominally enfranchised, may serve in the parliament, but can't govern or
in any way influence policy.

Knesset seats are assigned proportionally to each party's percentage of
the total vote. A minimum total is required to win any seats. Jewish
parties alone are empowered. Arab parliamentarians have no decision-making
authority. They're also constrained by the 1992 Law of Political Parties
and section 7A(1) of the Basic Law that prohibits candidates from denying
"the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people".

Under the law for Arabs and Jews, no candidate may challenge Israel's
fundamental Jewish character or demand equal rights, privileges, and
justice. The essential Zionist identity is inviolable. The law works only
for Jews. Israeli Arabs have no rights. They're denied equal treatment and
justice, even those elected to public office. Israel calls this democracy.
South Africa called it apartheid. Nazi Germany called it fascism.

On January 12, the Central Elections Committee (CEC) banned two Arab
parties from participating in the February elections on grounds of
incitement, racism, supporting terrorist groups, and refusing to recognize
Israel's right to exist. Two extremist right wing parties requested it:
Yisrael Beiteinu and National Union. Named were United Arab List-Ta'al and
Balad. All charges were bogus and hateful.

On January 21, Israel's High Court unanimously reversed the ban after Arab
politicians appealed, but this behavior shows what Arab citizens face in a
country affording rights only to Jews. Nonetheless, election law states
that all votes are of equal weight, without saying only Jewish ones
matter, not those of Arabs or members of other faiths. Israel is a Jewish
state. Others are outsiders, unwelcome, unwanted, disadvantaged, without
rights, and criminally abused at the whim of the government.

                        Israeli Election Results

Given the number of Israeli parties, coalitions are needed to govern as no
single party ever won enough Knesset seats to do it on its own.

Below are the results of the February 10 elections:

Kadima:

- 28 seats, one less than previously. Founded by Ariel Sharon and 13 other
Likud members in November 2005, Kadima (meaning "forward" or "in-front".),
calls itself "a broad popular movement which works to ensure the future of
Israel as a Jewish democratic state". It's now Israel's largest political
party. Its ideology is center-right and very militant.

Likud:

- 27 seats compared to 12 in the previous Knesset. It was founded in 1973
as a right wing union of the revisionist Herut party with the Gahal and
center Zionist parties. Its former prime ministers include Menachem Begin,
Yitzhak Shamir, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ariel Sharon. Netanyahu again
leads it. Its ideology is hard right and like Kadima is very militant.

Yisrael Beiteinu (or Israel is Our Home):

- 15 seats, four more than the previous Knesset. It was founded in 1999 by
Avigdor Lieberman, an ultranationalist and revisionist Zionist. In its
January/February 2007 issue, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
said his rise .makes (the) US-Israel alliance more dangerous, given his
extremist views.

On Israeli Radio in November 2006, he called for the assassination of
"militant" Palestinian leaders (meaning from Hamas and other resistance
groups) and added: "They have to disappear, to go to Paradise, all of them
and there can't be any compromise". He also wants all peace agreements
(like Camp David and Oslo) abandoned, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
ignored, and earlier urged that Israeli Arabs be deported and Arab Knesset
members who met with Hezbollah or Hamas executed.

Haaretz called him an "unrestrained and irresponsible man - a threat (to
Israel for) his lack of restraint and his unbridled tongue (that may)
bring disaster (to) the whole region". Confrontation with Iran is one of
his top priorities as well as continued illegal settlement expansions.
Lieberman is hard-line and uncompromising. His party surpassed Labor to
rank third in popularity.

Labor:

- 13 seats compared to 19 in the previous Knesset. Founded in 1968 by the
union of the Mapai, Ahdut HaAvoda, and Rafi parties. Its ideology is
Zionist, neoliberal, and militant like the above three parties. Former
prime ministers include David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Shimon Peres,
Yitzhak Rabin, and Ehud Barak. Barak is its current leader.

Shas:

- 11 seats, one less than the previous Knesset. Founded in 1984 by rabbis
Ovadia Yosef and Elazar Shach, it's an extremist right wing religious
party led by Eli Yishai, Israel's deputy prime minister in its 17th
Knesset.

The National Union Party:

- 4 seats. Founded in 1999 by Rehavam Ze'evi and Avigdor Lieberman. Now
led by Ya'akov Katz, it's extremely militant, supports settlements in all
the Land of Israel (as biblically defined), and advocates expulsion of
Palestinians from the West Bank, preferably on a voluntary basis.

Jewish Home Party:

- 3 seats. It was founded in 2008 by a merger of the National Religious
Party, Moledet, and Tkuma. Modelet then broke away, and half of Tkuma
rejoined National Union. Now led by Daniel Hershkovitz, it's a moderate
right wing, pro-settler, religious Zionist party.

Hadash-Democratic Front for Peace and Equality:

- 4 seats, a gain of one. Founded in 1977, it's a Jewish-Arab party led by
Mohammad Barakeh. Its ideology counters the above right wing bloc with
little public support. It's anti-Zionist, favors dismantling Israeli
settlements, ending the occupation, and backs the right of return, full
equality for Israeli Arabs, and a comprehensive stable peace.

New Movement Meretz:

- 3 seats compared to 5 in the previous Knesset. Founded in 1992, it's a
labor Zionist, social democratic party led by Haim Oron.

United Torah Judaism:

- 5 seats, one less than previously. Founded in 1992, its ideology is
strict adherence to the laws of the Torah. Its current leader is Yaakov
Litzman.

Balad:

- 3 seats compared to none in the previous Knesset. Founded in 1995, its
ideology is Arab nationalism and democratic socialism. Its current leader
is Jamal Zahalka.

United Arab List-Ta'al:

- 4 seats, up from none in the previous Knesset. Founded in 1996, it
represents Israeli Arabs under its current leader Ibrahim Sarsur.

Israel has about 20 other minor parties. None got enough votes to win
seats. The big loser was Gil. It had seven previously. Now it has none.
Led by Rafi Eitan, it.s ideology is social welfare and pro-elder care.

                  Israel Shifts to the Right

On January 15, a Haaretz-Dialog poll showed widespread support for the
Gaza war with less than 10% of Israelis calling it a "failure". Despite
mass slaughter, destruction, and human suffering, 82% of respondents
believed the IDF hadn't "gone too far".

It played out strongly in the February elections with center to far right
parties winning decisively - 104 of the 120 seats or 86.6% of the Knesset.
In spite of mass global condemnation, Israelis stood firm on hard-line
militarism, candidates favoring conflict over conciliation, and continued
occupation of Palestine in lieu of peace.

Negotiations continue for a new government, but policy is clear whoever
becomes prime minister. Under Tzipi Livni or Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza's
siege will continue. So will West Bank oppression, conflict over peace,
leaders affirming it in rhetoric and policy, and international community
support will back them. Grim times persist for Palestinians, isolated and
on their own after decades of occupation and abuse.

On February 11, Juan Cole's web site headlined: "Right Wing Sweeps Israel"
in an election that "sounded the death knell for the two-state solution".
One never existed, of course, because separation accelerates land
annexation, and equity demands one democratic state for members of all
faiths equally.

After the February 10 elections, that possibility is more remote than ever
with figures like Avigdor Lieberman emerging as "kingmaker". He rose in
prominence on a racist platform against 20% of the population and now
wants them "executed," expelled, or at least forced to sign loyalty oaths.

Under a hard-line Netanyahu or Livni government, Cole sees one of three
possibilities:

a hardened apartheid giving Palestinians fewer rights than ever and no
control over their land, borders, water and air; Palestinians won.t accept
it, so conflict ahead is assured;

a violent expulsion policy affecting all Palestinians, including Israeli
Arabs to purify Greater Israel for Jews; Cole believes that "This option
would almost certainly end the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan,
because a population outflow this great would create tensions in both
countries and they'd react; they and other Arab states might also ally
with Iran and create a new problem for America and Israel.

a single-state solution; impossible now but over time economic,
technological, and political boycotts may force one.

As for Obama reviving the peace process and a viable two-state solution,
both prospects aren't possible given Israel's shift to the right and the
Israeli Lobby's influence against it.

In a February 10 Nation magazine article, Neve Gordon disagrees.
Headlined: "Few Peacemakers in Israel's Knesset," he believes it's for
"the world, and particularly the Obama administration, to respond,"
unmindful of his one-sided Israeli support and reluctance to counter its
policy.

Nonetheless, Gordon hopes that Obama "will make good on his promise for
change and introduce a courageous initiative that will finally bring peace
to Israelis and Palestinians". under a two-state solution "to resolve this
bloody conflict once and for all".

"With determination and political boldness he can do just that". Perhaps
so but he won't. Obama is timid, not bold. He "crossed the River Jordan,"
according to James Petras. His administration is filled with Zionist
zealots professing unconditional support for Israel. With that team in
place, Israeli interests matter. Palestinian ones don't. Change awaits a
new day in Israel and Washington, and given Tel Aviv's likely government,
it's more in the future than ever.

Prospects are grim with Israeli Arab Knesset member (MK) Ahmed Tibi
calling Livni "90% Lieberman and 10% Netanyahu". For his part, Netanyahu
is 100% hard-line, and won't give an inch on compromise. As head of state,
he promises to destroy Hamas. As 1996-1999 prime minister, his agenda was
three "nos":

 no Golan Heights withdrawal;
 no discussion, division, or relinquishing of Jerusalem, and
 no precondition negotiations with Arafat, meaning Palestinian relations
depend on full compliance with Israel demands.

Today he's more hard-line than ever, vows as prime minister to "thwart the
Iranian threat," and sabotage Tehran's nuclear program once and for all by
any means necessary. He also opposes the peace process, wants expanded
illegal West Bank settlements, and, like Lieberman, called for "mass
deportations of Arabs from the Territories".

For her part, Livni is no less hard-line in vowing to overthrow Hamas if
elected and finish subduing Gaza. As kingmaker, Lieberman won't join any
government that will "agree directly or indirectly to Hamas staying in
power". He opposed last month's ceasefire that "prevented the IDF from
finishing the job" and stops just short of demanding renewal.

As a result, AP reported on February 11 that Arabs see little chance for
peace under any new government and fear the emergence of Israel's far
right. It cited Middle East newspapers decrying Lieberman's rise,
denouncing him as racist with Syria's Al-Thawra saying: "The Israelis are
electing war and extremism - so long as the Israel street is extremist and
racist, the government would be like it".

In Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi called it "regretful"
that all sides were hard-line in their campaigns. "Each party tried to
show a more brutal, aggressive and pro-occupation face". He added that
Iran has no official position on the election as it doesn't recognize any
Israeli government.

Oraib al-Rentawi, head of the Al Quds Center for Political Studies, said a
Livni government may market an illusory peace process, but under
Netanyahu, "the mission will be far more difficult". Others think it
impossible no matter who's prime minister given that 61 years of
oppression prevented any from emerging thus far. With Israel's far right
shift, it's less likely now than ever.

                     Forming A New Government

Under Israel's Basic Law, the president (a symbolic, ceremonial post),
lets one Knesset member form a new government and head it as prime
minister.

The law reads as follows:

"When a new government has to be constituted, the President of the State
shall, after consultation with representatives of party groups in the
Knesset, assign the task of forming a Government to a Knesset Member (MK)
who notified him that he is prepared to accept the task".

Time constraints are imposed: a maximum 28 days but the President may
extend it for an additional 14. If a government can't be formed or if the
Knesset rejects the one proposed, "the President may assign the task - to
another Knesset Member who has notified him that he is prepared to accept
the task". No mention of a "she".

'When the Knesset Member has formed a Government, he shall notify the
President of the State and Speaker of the Knesset" within a designated
period. The MK who "formed a Government shall head it".

On February 16, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu "said earlier that he
would begin forging a coalition with his party's 'natural partners' as
soon as possible" even though Kadima bettered Likud by one seat.

Livni said she'd only join a Netanyahu coalition on a rotating prime
ministerial basis. Jockeying for position continues amid conciliatory and
hostile rhetoric with one Likud MK (Silvan Shalom) accusing Livni of
"shtick, tricks, (and) scheming (that could) sabotage the standard
political process". He added that election results affirmed Netanyahu as
the rightful prime minister so allow him to "form a government as soon as
possible".

Prime minister Olmert mentioned post-election uncertainty and suggested
that Livni join a Likud coalition "with Kadima as a central factor". At
the same time, Olmert advised Livni to head the opposition to ensure a
clear victory next time.

On February 17, Labor's Housing and Construction Minister, Isaac Herzog,
told Haaretz that neither Livni or Netanyahu can form a new government
that will hold. "At this rate, (he suggested) we will find ourselves in
the midst of new elections within a few months" because Livni agreed to
ally with Yisrael Beitenu.

Labor whip, Eitan Cabel was even more strident saying: "The scam that is
Kadima has now been exposed before all. If the leftist voters who gave
their ballot to Livni would have known (they'd be) in bed with Lieberman,
they would have demanded their votes back".

President Peres spoke about the complicated task he faces:

"On Wednesday (February 11) at 6PM, I will get the official results," and
will then try to form a unity government. "The nation told me to consider
the election results honestly and as the law prescribes, so I will make my
decision after I hear out all the parties".

On February 15, the Jerusalem Post reported new developments in a story
headlined: "Police have evidence of money laundering against Lieberman".
Quoting former National Fraud Unit's Boaz Guttman, writer Yaakov Lappin
said "Police amassed sufficient evidence to link" Lieberman with these
charges. It's believed that he used Cypriot bank accounts under his
daughter's name - for money laundering and possible fraud and bribes. "The
police source said there was no doubt about money laundering," but that
prosecution could be a long way off given complex hurdles to be overcome
before charges lead to a trial.

Guttman added that fallout affecting Lieberman could be considerable since
he's now damaged goods. Forming a new government is more complicated and
important positions for Lieberman are off-limits - including finance and
public security.

On the same day, Tehran's Press TV reported that "An Israeli defense
strategy report for 2009 has tasked the military with making preliminary
preparations for launching a war against Iran". It calls the country "the
No. 1 threat the IDF is now preparing for," and cites Tehran as "a threat
to Israel's existence" without any evidence to prove it. There is none
because Iran threatens no other country but is prepared to defend itself
if targeted.

Nonetheless, "Israeli officials argue that a military attack is a
legitimate option for taking out Iran's nuclear infrastructure" even
though the IAEA says it complies with NPT provisions. Israel is a nuclear
outlaw non-signatory.

Earlier, Tel Aviv asked the Bush administration for bunker-buster bombs,
green light permission to attack, and overflight and refueling rights over
Iraq. It was rebuffed in favor of covert sabotage efforts.

For its part, Iran is seeking sophisticated Russian S-300 long-range
surface-to-air missiles. They can intercept aircraft, cruise and ballistic
missiles so pose a formidable defense against attack. Lexington Institute
vice-president and Pentagon advisor Dan Goure said ."If Tehran obtained
the S-300, it would be a game-changer in military thinking for (targeting)
Iran". It might also prevent a Middle East holocaust if Washington and/or
Israel seriously consider one, something even the Bush administration
didn't pursue.

On February 16, the UK Telegraph headlined: "Israel launches covert war
against Iran" with writer Philip Sherwell calling it "an alternative to
direct military strikes against Tehran's nuclear programme, US
intelligence sources have revealed".

It includes planned assassinations of "top figures involved in Iran's
atomic operations" as well as "sabotage, front companies and double agents
to disrupt the regime's 'illicit' weapons project, the experts say".

According to a former (unnamed) CIA officer, the idea is to slow progress
without Iran knowing what's happening. "The goal is delay, delay, delay
until you can come up with some other solution. because the Obama
administration may prefer non-military efforts for now.

Rumors are that Mossad was behind the mysterious 2007 "gas poisoning"
death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, Iran's top nuclear scientist at its Isfahan
uranium plant. Other suspicious deaths were also reported, and according
to an unnamed European intelligence official, "Israel (doesn't hesitate)
assassinating weapons scientists" or anyone else for that matter.

Israeli security and intelligence journalist, Yossi Melman, said that
"Without military strikes, there is still considerable scope for
disrupting and damaging the Iranian program, and this has been done with
some success". Tehran is alerted to the threat and has measures in place
to counteract it.

Observers are following the rhetoric and watching as events unfold. In the
meantime, jockeying and deal-making continue as Netanyahu and Livni try
outmaneuvering each other to form a new government. Whoever wins,
Palestinians, Israelis, and most others will be losers.

On February 19, AP reported that Lieberman endorsed Netanyahu, "all but
guaranteeing that (he'll) be the country's next leader". Haaretz went
further saying that "65 MKs announced (for) Netanyahu (so) it appears that
his path to the premiership is (now) paved". Livni called it "the
foundation for an extreme right-wing government". Lieberman wants Kadima
in it. Likud said it would try to forge a broad coalition, and Peres may
shortly announce Netanyahu will lead it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. Contact him at:
lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site and listen to The
Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from
11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished
guests. All programs are archived for easy listening.

[Judaism and Jewish culture and history are being eaten alive by Zionism
(the lust for stolen land at any price). -ed]


--------18 of 19--------

Disowning Israel's Arab Minority
Fareed Zakaria
Washington Post - PostGlobal
February 15, 2009
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/fareed_zakaria/2009/02/israels_existential_dilemma.html

Even before a new coalition could emerge, Israel's latest election was
historic. It marked the collapse of Labor, the party that can plausibly
claim to have founded Israel and produced its most celebrated prime
ministers, from David Ben-Gurion (as head of Labor's predecessor, Mapai),
through Golda Meir to Yitzhak Rabin. The last vestige of old Labor is
Shimon Peres, who - with fitting irony - is the country's president only
because he quit the party. Israel's political spectrum is now dominated by
three right-wing groups: Likud, Kadima (the Likud offshoot founded by
Ariel Sharon) and Yisrael Beytenu, a party of Russian immigrants. But
while most commentators focus on the future of the peace process and the
two-state solution, a deeper and more existential question is growing
within the heart of Israel.

It's a question posed by the election's biggest winner: Avigdor Lieberman.
His Yisrael Beytenu party won 15 seats, placing third but gaining enormous
swing power in the Israeli system. Whether or not the new government
includes him, Lieberman and his issues have moved to center stage. As
fiercely as he denounces the Palestinian militants of Hamas and Hizbullah,
his No. 1 target is Israel's Arab minority, which he has called a worse
threat than Hamas. He has proposed the effective expulsion of several
hundred thousand Arab citizens by unilaterally redesignating some northern
Israeli towns as parts of the Palestinian West Bank. Another group of
several hundred thousand could expect to be stripped of citizenship for
failing to meet requirements such as loyalty oaths or mandatory military
service (from which Israel's Arabs are currently exempt). The New
Republic's Martin Peretz, a passionate Zionist and critic of the peace
movement, calls Lieberman a "neo-fascist ... a certified gangster ... the
Israeli equivalent of [Austria's] Jörg Haider." No liberal democracy I
know of since World War II has disenfranchised or expelled its own
citizens.

Today's Arab Israelis are descendants of roughly 160,000 Arabs who stayed
in the lands that became Israel in 1948. Their number now stands at 1.3
million, 20 percent of Israel's total population, and demographers predict
that by 2025 they'll be a quarter of the country's people. Aside from
their military exemption, they have the same legal rights and obligations
as all other Israeli citizens. But they face discrimination in many
aspects of life, including immigration, land ownership, education and
employment. "This inequality has been documented in a large number of
professional surveys and studies, has been confirmed in court judgments
and government resolutions, and has also found expression in reports by
the state comptroller and in other official documents," retired High Court
justice Theodor Or concluded in an official investigation of the second
intifada. "Although the Jewish majority's awareness of this discrimination
is often quite low, it plays a central role in the sensibilities and
attitudes of Arab citizens. This discrimination is widely accepted ... as
a chief cause of agitation."

The antipathy is mutual. "The people who stayed here did not immigrate
here, this is our country," declared Azmi Bishara, a former Arab member of
the Knesset, after being charged with sedition for his expressions of
support for Hizbullah. "That is why you cannot deal with us on issues of
loyalty. This state came here and was enforced on the ruins of my nation.
I accepted citizenship to be able to live here, and I will not do
anything, security-wise, against the state. I am not going to conspire
against the state, but you cannot ask me every day if I am loyal to the
state. Citizenship demands from me to be loyal to the law, but not to the
values or ideologies of the state. It is enough to be loyal to the law."
For decades Israel's Arabs remained loyal to the law - and loyal to the
country during its many wars with its neighbors. Now that loyalty is
waning. Israeli Arabs - even those who are Christian, rather than Muslim -
no longer vote for Israel's mainstream parties. Despite low turnout, the
Arab parties fared well in this election, winning some 11 seats in the
Knesset. The Arab parties have never been invited into the government,
which limits the influence of the Arab population in Israeli politics.

For Israel, handling the relationship with its Arab minority is more
crucial even than dealing with Hizbullah or Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad. Israel needs to decide how it will deal with the Arabs in its
midst. As extreme as it may sound, Lieberman's call to disown them seems
to have resonated with many of his fellow Israelis. Benjamin Netanyahu has
warned that Israel's Arabs constitute a demographic time bomb. He calls it
unacceptable. Benny Morris, the once dovish historian who chronicled the
forced expulsion of most Palestinians from the Jewish state in 1948, has
turned to arguing that Israel needs to protect itself from the Arabs now
living within its borders. "They are a potential fifth column," he warned
five years ago in an interview with Haaretz. "In both demographic and
security terms they are liable to undermine the state ... If the threat to
Israel is existential, expulsion will be justified." It's a dangerous
spiral: the worse the distrust gets, the less loyalty Israel's Arabs feel
toward their country - and vice versa. Last week's election has brought
the issue into the open. Its resolution will define the future of Israel
as a country, as a Jewish state, and as a democracy.

Co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International,
overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for
Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The
Washington Post.


--------19 of 19--------

                                ---------------
                                    *SR**L.
                                  Unspeakable.
                                ---------------


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