Tag Archives: John Pilger

No to “Pinkwashing” Israeli Apartheid

As a member of the NY chapter of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), I helped pen the statement being circulated, below, against the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) attempt to provide a progressive veneer for their racist actions. Please read this brief statement and click on the link to sign it, if you agree. A protest is being organized in NYC for this Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.

No to JNF’s Pinkwashing of

Israeli Apartheid

Statement of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

As lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight activists and scholars, we condemn the Jewish National Fund’s launch of a new LGBT committee in New York City on December 9, 2010, for what it is: an attempt to “pinkwash” the JNF’s central role in acquiring Palestinian land on which to build the Israeli apartheid state.Most immediately, this campaign is designed to cover up the ugly fact that Palestinians, with few exceptions, are effectively barred from living on 93 % of land in 1948 Palestine (“Israel”). That 93% is land controlled by the Israel Land Authority – a government body in turn controlled by a council on which the JNF holds just under half of the seats. The JNF’s LGBT committee is also part of a well-orchestrated campaign to deflect growing international outrage over Israel’s six decade-long occupation of Palestine, including its continued denial of basic human rights to the indigenous population, the brutal siege of Gaza, and the recent massacre of humanitarian aid activists on the Gaza Freedom flotilla. 

This campaign is the latest addition to the Israeli state’s concerted efforts to portray Israel as a gay tourist destination based on its tolerance for diversity – despite the entire Israeli social fabric being woven to exclude and erase Palestinian culture, livelihood and lives. This includes the culture and history of LGBT Palestinians – who often face increased harassment at checkpoints from Israeli soldiers, due to their sexual identity. Clearly, any gains made by Jewish LGBT Israelis are not shared by Palestinians.

We stand in support of both LGBT rights and an end to Israeli apartheid. We therefore condemn the JNF’s tokenizing of the long fought for rights of LGBT communities for the purposes of erasing the ongoing struggle for the rights of Palestinians.

Click here to sign: http://www.ijsn.net/643/

Reading & Discussion – Gaza In Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians, by  Ilan Pappé

Friday, December 10th, 7pm–Acclaimed Israeli New Historian

At Alwan for the Arts
Free and open to the public 

Described by a UN fact-finding mission as “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population,” Israel’s Operation Cast Lead thrust the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip into the center of the debate about the Israel/Palestine conflict. Ilan Pappé surveys the fallout from Israel’s conduct in Gaza and places it in the context of Israel’s longstanding occupation of Palestine.

Ilan Pappé is professor of history at the University of Exeter in the UK, where he is also co-director of the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies, and director of the Palestine Studies Centre. He is author of the bestselling The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld), A History of Modern Palestine (Cambridge), The Israel/Palestine Question (Routledge), and is a long-time political activist.

“Ilan Pappé is Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.” —John Pilger

 

Bringing a Turd to the Picnic

I don’t usually bring a turd to the picnic.  After all, I’m not immune to the enthusiasm surrounding the rescue of 33 Chilean miners from their entombment for 69 days. In fact, while the politicians and corporate titans take their bows and accept kudos, I’m struck by the human ingenuity and workers’ solidarity displayed for all the world.

What extraordinary feats we humans are capable of when no expense is spared. Locating trapped men thousands of feet beneath the earth, attending to their psychological, medical and emotional needs and those of their families. International solidarity extended by people who previously knew nothing of Chile, but who were touched by the drama of these 33 men who went to work one morning and found themselves buried alive. Wow!

But… I’m still not exactly clear why no expense was spared for these working men who should never have been down in that heavily fined, unsafe mine in the first place. I’m thrilled it was, I’m just not sure why in a country and a world where workers are routinely left to perish it was different this time.

I suspect that a Chilean president’s flagging reputation amidst a miserable economy and the characteristic of all rulers to save their asses and rally the country to national unity when class divisions are stark may be at play here.

As usual, award-winning filmmaker and  journalist John Pilger has already sussed out some of the background politics and economics being ignored in all the media frenzy. So, let’s go ahead and celebrate the potential society is capable of, but let’s also feed our brains with the not-so-pretty reality behind the myth of the rescue of the Chilean 33.

Once again, it’s workers’ solidarity versus bosses’ greed. But this time our side won! Read Chile’s Ghosts Are Not Being Rescued, originally posted to Truthout.

My next public talk is on Fighting the Right, Friday, Oct. 15th, Rochester Inst. of Technology, Library’s “Idea Factory,” 7PM. I’ll also be speaking the following day, Saturday, Oct. 16, on Can the Working Class Unite? at 3PM, details are here.