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Home arrow Blog arrow February 2008 arrow February 4, 2008

February 4, 2008
WAWA Blog  February 4, 2008: Letter to an Editor and a letter to we the people from Mazin Q
Americans should demand solidarity for Palestine


By: Matt Luciano / Contributing Writer Posted: 1/31/08

 One and a half million Palestinian men, women and children live within the Gaza strip; a region that borders Israel to the north and east, Egypt to the south and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Currently, Israel controls Gaza's borders, airspace and access to water. On Jan. 20, Israel shut down Gaza's only power plant just days after sealing off its borders.

Within the past several weeks, dozens of Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more wounded due to what the Israeli government calls "retaliation" for rocket fire directed at a southern Israeli town. This punishment has resulted in the death of innocent people.

Demonstrations were held throughout the United States Jan. 29 to protest the Israeli blockade, which is in clear violation of international law. Several organizations, such as the ANSWER coalition of Florida, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Muslim American Society and many others came together in peace and solidarity to stand up for human rights.

Br. Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, director and counselor of the American Muslim Association of North America spoke his mind in a CNN report on Jan. 28.

"We are opposed to the blockade of the Gaza Strip. We are against the mass punishment of our nation," Zakkout said.

The Israeli blockade refuses the shipment of fuel; hospital facilities are virtually ineffectual without the use of electricity and many Gazans are being denied the right to travel outside of the strip to receive necessary medical care or supplies.

"Everything is controlled by Israel, like a prison," Zakkout said.

Furthermore, innocent Gazans must face poor and unsanitary sewage as well as contaminated water, Zakkout emphasized.

"Imagine the thousands of children and newborn children without heat, hot milk, medicine or nutrition," he said.

According to Article 33 of the Geneva Convention "no protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise, intimidation and terrorism are prohibited."

As a signatory, Israel has an obligation to uphold the laws outlined in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Zakkout believes Israel should be held responsible for every child and elderly person and affirms that "we [Palestinians] are against the killing or torturing of Christian or Jewish peoples and call upon the Christian and Jewish communities to have compassion and respect."

The most important concern is the restoration of peace and justice. Each year, Americans send billions of tax dollars in aid to Israel. Many people, myself included, believe the United States is responsible for the continuity of the blockade and the suffering the Palestinian people are enduring. Our government has proven capable of putting an end to a crisis such as the one in Gaza. The common sentiment Sunday night was that of urgency for our government to stop the mass oppression and collective punishment of innocent Palestinians; to call it an injustice would be a grotesque understatement.

I call upon anyone who believes in the legitimacy of this American democracy to demand that our government take immediate action and strongly urge those people to join us in solidarity and support of upholding human rights, peace, and justice for all Palestinians.

http://media.www.beaconnewspaper.com/media/storage/paper540/news/
2008/01/31/Opinion/Americans.Should.Demand.Solidarity.For.Palestine-3180677.shtml






The illusion of choice in US elections: Does it herald the dissolution of these United States of America?
Mazin Qumsiyeh



The 2008 presidential elections were likened to the World Wrestling Federation matches: take time and energy but obviously fixed/staged. A more apt analogy would go beyond these elections: the whole political system in the US is a theater play with predictable script but different actors. Yet, the damage caused by elected officials is getting so severe that another four years may finish off the experiment that is otherwise known as the USA (whether those are of a Clinton, McCain, Obama, or Romney administration).

Candidates of both parties are allowed to advance to final rounds whether in congressional or presidential elections only if they are cleared by the real powers to be. This is evident from issues they can and cannot tackle. The cleared Democratic and the Republican nominees cannot for example tackle the broken system with no proportional representation and no system to allow instant runoff elections. Both cleared nominees must believe in maintaining the US Empire by force and are only allowed to differ in tactics of advancing the "white man's burden" of "civilizing" and "improving" the world. They will not be asked about why US troops are stationed in 140 countries. Cleared Candidates of both parties will continue to support pouring billions directly into Israel and many more billions to support conflicts perceived to help Israel (e.g. Iraq and Iran) or help bring money to coffers of wealthy corporations. ExxonMobile just set a world record with PROFITS in 2007 exceeding $40 BILLION. Both will ignore (or at best pay lip service to) the racial and economic divides that are growing. Both will ignore the inability to face-up to the US criminal history (Slavery, Genocide of Native Americans, support of brutal dictators abroad, militarism etc).

Both have no interest, let alone ideas, in tackling the entrenched military-industrial complex that is bankrupting the US. They all support the pathetic "stimulus package" (with minor variations) that will give some $600 tax rebates to 117 million Americans so that "they can spend it" and stimulate the economy. Yet the real issues gate keepers will not allow to be addressed: trillions in private debts (corporate and individual), $9 trillion in government debt (which means our children will have to pay for it), a multi-trillion dollar mortgage debacle involving large scale fraud, the scandal of a raided/depleted social security safety net, the collapse of the fiat currency otherwise known as the US dollar, and much more. Yes, some candidates maybe allowed to pay lip service to reducing government deficits but the system is now beyond that. Corporations (e.g. General electric, United Technologies) and governments (e.g. Israel) who sucked up these trillions are getting to a point where they do not need the United States as a functioning or stable economic system but only a military power overseas to guard their interests there.

Cleared candidates for presidential elections will never have to answer any real difficult questions about these economic matters or about the equally important legal and social matters. When was a candidate really challenged about the violations of the US Constitution, violations that they implicitly or explicitly support? Gatekeepers make sure that cleared candidates are not challenged on impeachment or on taking legal action against an administration that:

1) Violated International treaties repeatedly. Treaties like the Geneva Conventions prohibit most actions done in Iraq and beyond from torture to collective punishment to targeting civilians etc and these treaties are mandatory under the constitution as they were ratified by congress.

2) Violated the constitution in supporting warrant-less spying on US Citizens and now seeking retroactive immunity for companies that helped and immunities for officials who did this

3) Violated the constitution by holding people in jails without due process, without habeas corpus etc.

Congress and Senators cleared for final rounds actually supported these policies with laws like the renewing FISA, funding Guantanamou, funding the CIA etc.

Cleared candidates are also not allowed to be challenged on the broken US (In)Justice system: the highest incarceration rate in the world, more than three million people are in custody or on parole (and they cannot vote), a system that employs more people than anywhere else in the world, privatized jails etc. No wonder our economy has been called a service economy.

Ron Paul articulated that the Republican party of today bears no resemblance to the party of Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln for example was against the war with Mexico). But the media gatekeepers did not give Paul much airtime or exposure. Paul is also correct that despite the rhetoric of the cleared candidates in both parties, they are all pro big government, massive debts, and destroying the future of our children for short-term political gains. The differences are minor and relate to ratio of discretionary spending on the military vs. on domestic service industries: one wants it 60:40 and the other 40:60.

Cleared Republican candidates say that governments can't run healthcare or other social programs but this sounds hollow when they say in the same breath that government is to be trusted with our money to run the biggest government beauracracy in the world: the US military. The US with 6% of the world population spends nearly the same amount as all other countries combined on the war machine. With military industries, bases, and other outlets spread in just about every congressional district in the US, it is politically impossible to tackle this issue with logic. Thus when the Soviet Union collapsed of its own weight (a lesson there not understood in the US), that military industrial complex found it convenient to latch onto the offered alternative (offered by Zionists): the threat of "Islamic extremism".

Cleared Democratic candidates can talk all they want about the rich not paying their fair share. But a logical person asks if this rhetoric can mean anything in the real globalized world. Democrats know very well that if they try to tax the rich, all the rich will have to do is relocate to other countries who would welcome them. Some already have dual citizenship (e.g. British, Israeli). In fact, many have already done so thanks to laws they have lobbied for ("free-trade" agreements, globalization which means capital and its owners can move freely between countries whereas workers cannot). Many billionaires like the Zionist Haim Saban (the largest single contributor to the Democratic Party) have already concluded that the US has been squeezed to the max and are already positioning themselves in other countries. Rupert Murdoch is buying European media. Haliburton relocated its headquarters to Dubai (the same Haliburton which bilked taxpayers of billions supposedly to rebuild Iraq and ended up with no completed projects in Iraq). There are literally hundreds of examples. So even as the US dollar continues to decline and the US Middle class gets squeezed more, profits of these companies continue to rise. Worse comes to worse, those cleared elected officials can oblige with new wars/conflicts (look at Haliburtons profits before and after the war on Iraq as an example).

Six months ago, I stated that it is easy to predict who will be allowed to advance for final rounds of the US elections and who will be shunned and marginalized. I stated that the best indicator is to look who the Zionists in Israel and the US like. This is because Israel is not an ordinary country but is rather unique (see http://www.qumsiyeh.org/isisraelunique/ ). Israeli preferences were published months ago and those were more predictive than anything else. Those who got the lowest scores (on "friendliness to Israel" scale) were quickly marginalized by a compliant media (e.g. Ron Paul, Garver, Kucinich). Those with the highest scores were elevated and exalted in a media that is populated heavily by those to whom Israeli interests are number 1 (e.g. Wolf Blitzer used to be a Zionist spokesperson before he was to become a CNN spokesperson). Those in the intermediate levels like Barak Obama have to jump many times before he is taken seriously (he is called a Muslim, his middle name Hussain becomes a weapon to use against him, he is chastised for once accurately saying that no one in the Arab-Israeli conflict suffered more than the Palestinians etc). Of course Obama was attuned to this from the beginning and he started to pander to the Zionist lobby very early on when he ran for the Senate. In the past three years, he was thus supportive of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon in 2006, Israeli collective punishment of the Palestinians (crimes against humanity and war crimes), Israeli extrajudicial executions, Israeli settlement activities, maintenance of US occupation forces in Iraq (although like Sharon with Gaza, he called it redeployment to the periphery), and most recently a strong stance against Iran to serve Israeli interests. Obama even hired the services of Dennis Ross who was a lobbyist for Israel before Bill Clinton hired him and went back to work for the same lobby outfit after leaving government. Rabbi Lerner of Tikkun explained: "Jewish voters are only 2% of the U.S. population, but they are mostly concentrated in the states with the highest number of delegate and electoral votes (New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois), they contribute financially to politicians disproportionately to their percentage of the voters, and they are often in key roles as opinion shapers in the communities in which they work or live." Shlomo Shamir wrote in an analysis in Haaretz (in Hebrew not English version) that whether Obama wins or does not win the nomination or the election, that establishment Jews in the US supported him financially as a replacement to the aging black leadership which has always been looked at with suspicion (e.g. Jesse Jackson)

Of course Hillary Clinton is a bit to the right of Obama and so are McCain and Romney. McCain and Clinton from the beginning were the favorite with Zionists in the media who play the game of Democrat vs. Republican. They range from Charles Krauthammer to Thomas Friedman to Mort Zuckerman to Wolf Blitzer to Alan Combs. Giuliani was an interesting phenomenon. He was so wanting to please that Zionist establishment and distinguish himself from other pandering politicians that he chose for advisers, staff, and friends some of the most fascist/racist neoconservative and other Zionist extremists (from Daniel Pipes to Alan Dershowitz). This was a mistake on two fronts: 1) these are people who know nothing about winning elections in the US (they are mostly about a scorched earth policy abroad), 2) these are Natanyahu Likkud Zionists who alienated the other mainstream Zionist forces in the world (Labor Zionists, Kadima Zionists, even religious Zionists etc). Most Zionists were not disappointed when Giuliani dropped out of the race (actually most Republican Zionists in Florida voted for McCain). Giuliani himself emerges a winner, as he will likely be a vice president with the McCain administration. The template for that role will be Dick Cheney's relationship to Bush. Instead of Afghanistan and Iraq, this time it will be Iran and Sudan (or Syria). The actors are altered but the script is the same.

We must face the reality that while some candidates give lip-service to challenging special interest lobbies, this is a government by and for special interests (the Israel-first lobby, the Military Lobby, the Industrial lobby etc). So what can be done beyond voting for the lesser of two evils while ignoring how these people get cleared into the final choices? We must always remember that it is our (the citizens) responsibility. We must take this opportunity to protest and speak out.  We all know that real social change occurs from grass root movements. We all know that that is what achieved ending the genocidal war on Vietnam, ending support for Apartheid South Africa, civil rights, women rights, labor rights etc. We all know that freedom is never freely given; that it must be demanded. Even the simplest things would help (like flyering and speaking out at all Candidates appearances in your state). We all know that we must look in the mirror and refuse the task given to us of being consumers rather than citizens. So if you do get your $600 check "for shopping" why not spend it only for activism. Why not join an activist group or build your own. Why not block congressional offices. Why not build the revolution that could transform the US and the rest of the world. After all, the alternative is far too disastrous and is becoming clearer every year.

http://www.qumsiyeh.org/illusionofchoice/

   
 
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Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
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