Thalwen Explains Hasbara: إسرائيل

Truth to Power

A single truth can defeat a legion of lies. A 15-year-old shows us how.

I’m reminded of the guy in Poe’s “Telltale Heart.” Truth pulses.

Leanne Mohamad is a 15 year old Palestinian who lives in the UK. A student at Wanstead High School, she took top place in the Redbridge regional final for Jack Petchley’s Speak Out challenge. The Speak Out Challenge is an annual contest that is funded by the Jack Petchley Foundation and the purpose of it […]

via Leanne Mohamad, censored for hoping for freedom — Thalwen’s Rants and Stuffs

Thalwen is setting a higher bar in solid reporting at the same time as the hasbara crowd keeps lowering theirs. This is another one for the reference shelf here at billziegler1947. It may be daunting to publish small unfunded thoughts when I could get paid to sit at a monitor and yell “Go Team Hasbara Go!” but this way I can live with myself.

From Adonis Diaries on Palestine

What happens to a dream deferred?

Drawing two words from Langston Hughes, it explodes.

excerpt from Adonis Diaries:

Senior Fellow Mouin Rabbani: “Ignore Palestine At Your Peril” … The main impression I got – in a variety of rural areas and also in Ramallah and Jerusalem – was how severely abandoned the average Palestinian and Palestinians collectively feel by their own leadership, their own political movements, by the Arab states and increasingly by […]

Read moreIgnore Palestine At your Peril — Adonis Diaries

The Palestinian population is growing faster than any other ethnic group in the geographic region delineated by the British occupying forces.

Between the two largest ethnic groups, and soon, there will be more Palestinians than any other ethnic group. Where? There.

dream.deferred

WallWritings gives a perspective from a Methodist point of view by James M. Wall, also provides us somber warnings on the consequences of dream deferment.

wallwritings
Image from the WallWriting home page

I  came across a thorough demographic perspective: a modest proposal by Netanyahu’s choice for the IDF, Avigdor Lieberman, from a bit over a year ago in Haaretz by Yuli Tamir:

lieberman.peace.plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Living Backward in Time with 20/20 Vision

Fifty years ago I learned about having a wizard for a tutor.

once.and.future.king

A touchstone work is one you return to throughout your life for the simple reason that its ring is ever true, it illuminates your contrived and contorted life rather than darkening it.

Merlyn had a skill that made him a profoundly wise teacher: the ability to live life from the future into the past. When you live life backward in time you meet the people who live lives forward into the future: you and I. People look to the past for better choices, being raised in different families in different schools.

going.back.to.a.simplier.time

Were that Franklin Roosevelt had died from his polio in childhood. Reconnect the dots: fractals snap that way, but if you proceed from the future-as-history into the past-as-future?

Alternate histories in science fiction are fractals of life, roads not taken in a panorama of maybes. Setting out one way, becoming derailed or re-railed. Hindsight might be gift or torture.

Henry_II,_Plantagenet_Empire
Randall Garret’s “Lord Darcy” series:

The Angevin Empire in 1172, before the point of divergence of Randall Garrett‘s “Lord Darcy” series.

Let me live my life backward. Let me celebrate my first birthday one year in the past. It would take me from 1947 to 1946. I would become an adult in 1926, the present moment would be in the year 1879.

And the best thing for  being sad?

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then–to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.  Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn–pure science, the only purity there is.  You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics–why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it  is time to learn to plough.”

(Merlyn, advising the young King Arthur in T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, Berkeley Medallion Edition, July, 1966, page 183.)

 

 

 

Xenophobia and the Church Militant

Al Kresta

The über orthodox Al Kresta owns the drive-time slot on Ave Maria Communications (he is also their CEO). His scholarly tones suggest intellectual curiosity, unfortunately that curiosity seems to cast suspicion on  “the stranger” or “the other.”
kresta.in.the.afternoon
 I’m in the Kresta in the Afternoon audience, but not singing with the choir. Al gives me an opportunity to refresh my understanding of logical fallacies, and to remind me that half-truths lead to full-blown lies. I call a partial truth a bold challenges, a euphemism I once overheard in a marketing campaign. how much misinformation can be included in an ad for the king’s latest attire before the clever ruse is noticed.
Open minds threaten xenophobia and racism.
A couple years ago Kresta announced an upcoming panel to definitively answer the question “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”  He decided to bring people with different ideas to the table to balance the views expressed. As a seeker of truth Kresta would weigh opposing views to see if that mighty question might find a true and everlasting answer.
Big but: Kresta stacked the panel.
robert-spencer-jihad-watch-did-muhammad-exist
comment unnecessary
The American Muslim published an article on the debate. An excerpt:
 
“He will certainly be in over his head, and this “featured debate” will simply be used as an opportunity to humiliate the American Muslim community. Shadid Lewis may mean well, but participating in this very public event without the tools to deal with someone like Robert Spencer is at the very least unwise. And, the fact that Spencer, Kresta, Ave Maria, et al are framing this as a debate between scholars, when that is clearly not the case makes it clear that they have an agenda.”
From my article “The Jailer Mentality and Alternate Histories” published here.
“…those who brood much on the remote past or future, or stare long at the night sky, are less likely than others to be ardent or orthodox partisans.”
Arsalan Iftikhar approaches Islamophobia from a different perspective.

RNS-IFTIKHAR-QANDA

 Thanks for reading.

A Free Palestine

Is Occupation better than Independence?

free.palestine.end.apartheid

Honest reporting and genuine research relies upon listening to others, hearing repugnant points of view, bearing them.

Stepping onto the dark side does not lead to a more gentle peaceful world for anyone or any one.

Slavery is not freedom. Occupation is not a blessing.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 1.47.50 PM

 

It’s the thing you think you know, the thing that reassures you but keeps you ignorant.

Gaza needs what Greece is getting” was written on the anniversary of the 2014 War on Gaza. How did Gaza become the world’s largest open air prison?

gazavillages.refugees.nakba
Refugee genesis and exodus.

Occupation is not freedom: not for the occupied and not for the occupier. Prison is not paradise.

From H.L. Mencken (1880 – 1956), born in Baltimore, died in Baltimore, wrote for the Baltimore Sun:

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer offered advice on when you must speak out.

Silence-in-the-face-of-evil

 

Thanks for reading!

 

NAKBA Tour: Cincinnati May 14

Breaking News!

The NAKBA tour stops in Cincinnati, Ohio this SATURDAY

Anyone near or anyone able to become near is invited. The event is open to the public. I personally vouch for the sponsor and the host.

nakba-day-2013

When: SATURDAY (May 14, 2016) at 5:00.

Where: Cincinnati Clifton Mosque

clifton.mosque

FB Event Page: CPSC FaceBook Event Page
dont-buy-into-the-israeli-occupation-2-feature (1)
Flyer from a recent tour stop: Tempe AZ

Details:

Mariam, now 86 years old and respectfully known as Umm Akram (mother of Akram), has spent the last 68 years in crowded, makeshift refugee camps in Lebanon.
Umm Akram wants to meet you and tell her story in person. So does Amena Ashkar, the granddaughter and great granddaughter of other Nakba survivors, who has known no other home than refugee camps.
Umm Akram and Amena have a different message from other Palestinians. As exiles, they have a different perspective from Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the part of Palestine that became Israel.
Personal-stories-250x300

Source: NAKBA Tour

Niemöller and Johst

Niemöller was not a narrow-minded person

Pastor Martin Niemöller’s timeless quote is larger than his name.

First they came for … then … then …there was no one left to speak for me.

first.they.came.for.the.palestinians
from Mondoweiss

Xenophobia is dangerous and narrow-minded. It flourishes on ignorance. It has no redeeming social value.

Ignorance of algebra combined with chutzpah-level arrogance recently became equated with terror. My advice: spend less time removing innocent passengers from flights and spend more time learning about other cultures. 

The Arabic word “InshaAllah” is the most common word spoken by Arabic speakers to express the hope that everything will be OK, such as “Let’s hope for the best.” Not all Arabs are Muslims. Most Muslims are not Arabic.

Curiously enough, the word algebra comes from Arabic; actually a long list of English words come from Arabic

aljabr

Should we be more tolerant of the rabidly intolerant? Let’s consider über orthodox Al Kresta, the broadcaster who owns the drive-time slot on Ave Maria Radio. Mr. Kresta always presents himself as a fair commentator. A couple years ago he announced formation of a panel to answer the question “Is Islam a Religion of Peace.” He selected a new convert to Islam as the panel’s scholar and proceeded to bulldoze the poor guy.

Here is an excerpt on the clever ruse from The American Muslim:

“He will certainly be in over his head, and this “featured debate” will simply be used as an opportunity to humiliate the American Muslim community. Shadid Lewis may mean well, but participating in this very public event without the tools to deal with someone like Robert Spencer is at the very least unwise. And, the fact that Spencer, Kresta, Ave Maria, et al are framing this as a debate between scholars, when that is clearly not the case makes it clear that they have an agenda.”

Al’s guest today was Winston Churchill’s grandson. It did not take long for Kresta to direct the conversation to Islamic jihad and The Church Militant. The takeaway: Winston would have recognized ISIS as a threat similar to Reich 3.

billziegler1947 follows Kresta in the Afternoon so you don’t have to. 

Fear of the stranger may derive from a sense of superiority, privilege or ordained certainty. Xenophobia flourishes best on the dark side: it works like the brain’s autonomic system to profile “the other” as an existential threat. You don’t even have to think about it. Hate goes way beyond rolling the eyes: visceral reactions, racist rants, flying spittle, cognitive dissonance…

cognitive-dissonance-2

We enough personal experience with the human shadow in our cultures, traditions and literatures to know how long that shadow may be cast.

Hanns Johst wrote the play Schlageter

First performed on Hitler’s 44th birthday, 20 April 1933, Schlageter is a play by Hanns Johst. It celebrates the arrival of Adolph Hitler and Reich Number 3. That piece of Nazi theater is the source for “When I hear the word culture…, I release the safety on my Browning!”

SCHLAGETER: Good old Fritz! (Laughing.) No paradise will entice you out of your barbed wire entanglement!

THIEMANN: That’s for damned sure! Barbed wire is barbed wire! I know what I’m up against…. No rose without a thorn!… And the last thing I’ll stand for is ideas to get the better of me! I know that rubbish from ’18 …, fraternity, equality, …, freedom …, beauty and dignity! You gotta use the right bait to hook ’em. And then, you’re right in the middle of a parley and they say: Hands up! You’re disarmed…, you republican voting swine!—No, let ’em keep their good distance with their whole ideological kettle of fish … I shoot with live ammunition! When I hear the word culture …, I release the safety on my Browning!”

SCHLAGETER: What a thing to say!

THIEMANN: It hits the mark! You can be sure of that.

SCHLAGETER: You’ve got a hair trigger.

— Hans Johst’s Nazi Drama Schlageter. Translated with an introduction by Ford B. Parkes-Perret. Akademischer Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, Stuttgart, 1984.
It’s not fair to judge a minority of Israelis on the actions of a majority, but the word “Palestinian” twitches thumbs to search for the safety.
Fascism produces no art, no literature. Actually nothing of value, but it is superb at destroying all human values.

 

Thanks for reading.

May we Voice Criticism of Israel in Public?

Recent Opinions in Jewish Week and Washington Post

A good friend brought this opinion by Seymour D. Reich to my attention today.

A word to the wise…just might…

Multi-million dollar daily cash infusions are the price of eternal vigilance. “Keep moving. There’s nothing to see here. Keep moving…”

pal.nothing.to.see.here

Bernie Sanders did not say many words (measured rhetoric) on a theme of the “disproportionate force” but each word has sprung multiple leaks.

Media in the US and in Israel form the corpus politic. Tangential reporting relies on short attention spans in the audience, a single word must never gain purchase. Hasbara is serious business.

“For decades, most American Jews who cared about Israel’s welfare and security adhered to the maxim that we don’t voice criticism of Israel in public.”

Source: Israel’s Assault On Democracy: Time To Speak Out | The Jewish Week

to.learn.who.rules.over.you
Source: Piercing the Veil or Reality

Speaking of hope, I read David Bernstein’s opinion in yesterday’s Washington Post.

Bernstein is a frequent contributor to the WP and has performed his perfunctory best at pressing the “hate site” label onto Philip Weiss, half of the Mondoweiss founders. Philip keeps getting into Mr. Bernstein’s craw and it’s hard to remain level-headed when your craw is aching. I understand.

cartoon.sheldon.adelson

See also “antisemitism” and “anti-defamation” to learn less of the truth about Palestine and the Palestinian people, as refugees under occupation, as a people in exile for 68 years now.

I admit this: I am a comment reader, an observer of scary stuff that goes on in the worlds of Israel and her BFF. It festers as ever: Israel as promised land (“Because He promised. I swear He did”) Honey, milk, physical and spiritual perfection. A place where birthright yields more independence and recognition than birthplace.

birthright.birthplace

The whole construct relies upon holding fast to denial: the perfected society has skeletons in its closet (carpentered in 1948). PTSD is not unknown among IDF soldiers and veterans. They are breaking their silence.

Witness storied operations inspired by the sling of David, but remain unaware of the murderous occupation maintained for cleansing ethnicity.

Let’s say that your guess is as good as mine.

 

peace.and.conflict.politics

Similarly, a Twitter page for those wishing to band together and fight Arabic fascism.

zvi.lando.arab.fascism
Nothing facile about this logic. It’s from the gentle Zvi Lando.

 

 

Aleppo is Burning: Join the Worldwide Red Protest for Syria

In solidarity.

On Tuesday, May 3, protestors in London will gather to demand action be taken for the innocent civilians of Aleppo, who are being crushed by the brutal Syrian regime. If you live in the UK, join the Student Union of King’s College London at the Quad, Strand Campus, from 6 p.m. BST. For more details, visit the Facebook…

aleppo

Source: Aleppo is Burning: Join the Worldwide Red Protest for Syria