Israel apartheid week with events in over 100 cities around the world is going great (see http://apartheidweek.org/). I participated already in some of the events and will join others (see my schedule at http://www.qumsiyeh.org/upcomingevents/). Events are packed and the opposition is not able to mobilize even among Zionist Jews in America. The few Zionists holdouts are getting smaller in number though they still try to do some damage by attacking and insulting people. Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun had his house attacked by extremist Zionists for the third time. The reason this time is the award Tikkun made to Richard Goldstone of South Africa. But the geopolitical shift is happening and is unstoppable. People around the world decried the shameful behavior of Hilary Clinton and the Obama administration support of the Saudi invasion of Bahrain (intended to save a murderous dictatorial regime)
The many workshops on Palestine at the Left Forum are filled with Jewish and other voices speaking for human rights and against the apartheid system (nearly 3000 are attending here in New York, see http://www.leftforum.org/).
In other good news, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated (inspired by Arab uprisings elsewhere) demanding elections to the Palestinian national council and real unity for Palestinian rights. Both Hamas and Fatah tried unsuccessfully to co-opt the message of the demonstrators (most not affiliated with ANY Palestinian faction) who promised to up the pressure. (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12742761).
On the road, we met so many new people who are becoming involved in activism for human rights and justice. But travel also gives us time to read and reflect while on the many planes, trains etc. I finished reading the book ”I shall not hate” by Dr. Izzeldine Abueleish on the trip from Cleveland to Philadelphia. It is a remarkable book about his life and about the murder of his three daughtersand his niece, one of the few cases when such tragedy appeared on Israeli television. See this video about the tragedy of this family http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UxJWdCwOpc In one part of his book, Izzeldine writes ”We have to find the light that guides us to our goal. I’m not talking about the light of religious faith here but light as a symbol of truth. The light that allows you to see, to clear away the fog- to find wisdom. To find the light of truth, you have to talk to, listen to, and respect each other. Instead of wasting energy on hatred, use it to open your eyes and see what is really going on.” When I finished the book and arrived in Philadelphia, our hosts Mary and Roger Allen had a book laying out titled “Peace Prayers: Meditations, Affirmations, invocations, poems, and prayers for Peace”. The first was remarkably this relevant poem by W. H. Auden:
Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame
Examples of other good actions by affirming flames from around the world
Monday is the beginning of Israel apartheid week in Connecticut (USA)
Join Birthright unplugged travel July 10-16 in Palestine
Join the events July 8-16 in Palestine
In Brussels a checkpoint was set up in the middle of town. The actors are very convincing!
Belgian activists made a blockade to protest import of Israeli produce by Agrexco!!
Roger Waters about his decision to respect the call for cultural boycott of Israel :
Statement by Jewish Activists and Organizations active in BDS against Israel
A Jewish response to the February 2011 Statement of Jewish Zionist Organizations on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
Qatif, Sihat, Safwa and other towns in Saudi Arabia held demonstration to denounce the US-supported Saudi intervention in Bahrain and concomitant massacre of Bahraini citizens. These demonstrations are not reported on in the controlled western media
My last question is why did Obama choose to begin bombing Libya on 19 March when his predecessor George Bush began bombing Iraq 19 March 2003 (three days after Rachel Corrie was murdered)? The US and western-supported massacre of civilians continue in Bahrain, Yemen, and other Arab countries. We are seeing the struggle intensify. From Sykes-Picot agreements between France and Britain in 1916 and the Balfour and Cambon declarations of 1917 to the hypocricy of the Obama administration, there is a very long record of Western powers working against democracy in the Arab world (and prop-up a racist apartheid regime implanted in the midst of this world).
La luta continua… keep the hope alive….
Silence is complicity.