August 15, 2010

Ben Gurion saves the remnant but which remnant?

Why are both Israel and Germany withholding papers relating to the Eichmann case from public view? I don’t know. But Shraga Elam thinks he knows and maybe he does.

Eradicating Arabs from the Entity: the finishing touches

What does the zionist infested media here say if Israel goes ahead with the finishing touches to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians? According to Gideon Levy in Ha’aretz, we may be about to find out:

Day and night they hear that they are a ‘demographic threat’ or a ‘fifth column,’ that the Negev and Galil must be ‘Judaized,’ that they must be expelled from their lands. Now they hear that the Knesset must be purified of their representatives, as well.
It’s likely to happen. In a society whose institutional defenses of democracy have started to deteriorate, nothing is safe any more. One day, perhaps we will no longer have Arab MKs, or at least none that represent their constituents. And on that day, Arab Israelis will know that their exclusion from their state has become total and complete.
And what do the inciters believe will replace Hadash, United Arab List – Ta’al, and Balad? And who will replace Barakeh, Zuabi and Tibi? What will replace the speeches, difficult and bitter as they are, from the Knesset podium? The campaign trails and assemblies? The public protest that is for the most part law-abiding?
You know the answer very well. The answer is frightening and dangerous.

And it has all happened before.

Ethnically cleansing the dead

The destruction of an ancient Muslim cemetery by Israel has been going on for decades but the latest round of desecration is possibly the most outrageous when you consider why it is happening:

Yesterday, the day before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began, at 2:30 in the morning, workers sent by the Israeli authorities, protected by dozens of police, destroyed the tombstones in the last portion of the Mamilla cemetery, an historic Muslim burial ground with graves going back to the 7th Century, hitherto left untouched. The government of Israel has always been fully cognizant of the sanctity and historic significance of the site.

Already in 1948, when control of the cemetery reverted to Israel, the Israeli Religious Affairs Ministry recognized Mamilla “to be one of the most prominent Muslim cemeteries, where seventy thousand Muslim warriors of [Saladin’s] armies are interred along with many Muslim scholars. Israel will always know to protect and respect this site.” For all that, and despite (proper) Israeli outrage when Jewish cemeteries are desecrated anywhere in the world, the dismantlement of the Mamilla cemetery has been systematic.

In the 1960s “Independence Park” was built over a portion of it; subsequently an urban road was built through it, major electrical cables were laid over graves and a parking lot constructed over yet another piece. Now some 1,500 Muslim graves have been cleared in several nighttime operations to make way for…..a $100 million Museum of Tolerance and Human Dignity, a project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. (Ironically, Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director, appeared on Fox News to express his opposition to the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan, because the site of the 9/11 attack “is a cemetery.”)

Such tolerance!

August 12, 2010

Irish artists sign cultural boycott pledge – your turn now

I’ve just come back from. Temple Bar. Usually a reserve in central Dublin where we herd tourists, this lunchtime it was taken over by Irish artists who support Palestine. Meeting House Square, a cultural nexus in the city centre, was donated by the managers of Temple Bar Properties as the site where the Irish artists’ boycott of Israel was launched.
So far, over 150 Irish artists – writers, musicians, directors, actors, and actual well…artists – have signed the pledge to respect the boycott of Israel called by Palestinian civil society. Actual pledge and full list of signatories as of yesterday here. Over a dozen have added their names since
In terms of names, we seem to have just about everyone in the Irish traditional music world – Christy Moore, Kila band members, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny and more. We also have, or rather Palestine also has the writer Seamus Deane, singer Damien Dempsey, actress Sinead Cusack, artist Bobby Ballagh and director Bob Quinn among others. And that’s just with the launch. We expect many more to sign over the coming weeks and months.
Palestine solidarity work isn’t usually noted for the joyfulness of the actions we organise. But this was a truly joyful event for everyone who turned up. About twenty of the signatories participated in the launch (photos to follow) with several of them performing, including Kila member, Eoin Dillon doing a duet with Lebanese-born jazz musician, Sami Moukkadem. The composer Raymond Deane, whose brainchild it was and who did so much work on encouraging folks to sign, was the compere for the launch. He quoted the PACBI endorsement of the event that noted that Israel uses visiting artists for propaganda just as apartheid South Africa did, and these artists have simply said they will not be used to bolster up an apartheid state.
The idea behind the pledge was that we were a bit tired chasing after artists who have already agreed to play Israel and trying to get them to change their minds. Thinking about it, this is the hardest category of artists to affect. It’s much easier to take pre-emptive action by asking artists to sign the pledge. By creating a solid bank of ethical artists we are building something that will have an effect on all artists who are offered money to break the boycott and play apartheid
So folks, it’s up to you now to do something similar in your countries. We expect more Irish artists will sign this pledge, but if we simply take the figure of 150 and the relative population sizes, the equivalent is about 2,000 British artists or 10,000 American ones. Ar aghaidh libh!

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