There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Nota Bene: Criticism of Israel does not constitute antisemitism.

Matti Friedman argues that “There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” — from the perspective of a Canadian-Israeli, a soldier-poet, an apologist for Israeli rightwing family values: a kindred spirit for those who think of Palestinians in terms of cardboard cutouts, and a considered belief that they are a waste of cardboard. He works words with great economy, clarity and imagination — a Western writer living in a Middle-Eastern geography . Mr. Friedman is currently residing in Palestine’s capital city: Al Quds.

…a kindred spirit for those who think of Palestinians in terms of cardboard cutouts…

A Palestinian demonstrator from the West Bank village of Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah, waves his national flag as he sits on a pile of rocks during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a march against construction on Palestinian land by members of the Jewish settlement of Ofra on April 26, 2013. Photo by Issam Rimawi/FLASH90

Friedman’s opinion piece “There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is a study guide on how to look through both sides of a pair of binoculars in order to begin understanding that non-conflict. The article uses fifteen paragraphs to house fifteen straw men. I had intended to critique each, but have discovered that it might take a multi-part series to adequately address them, so here are the first couple straw men.

Matti Friedman (@MattiFriedman), a contributing opinion writer, is the author of “The Aleppo Codex,” “Pumpkinflowers” and the forthcoming “Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel.”

JERUSALEM — If you are reading this, you’ve most likely seen much about “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in the pages of this newspaper and of every other important newspaper in the West. That phrase contains a few important assumptions. That the conflict is between two actors, Israelis and Palestinians. That it could be resolved by those two actors, and particularly by the stronger side, Israel. That it’s taking place in the corner of the Middle East under Israeli rule.

They brought house keys along, planning to unlock their doors upon their return home.

West (orientalists): Palestine is in the Middle-East, it was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1918. The League of Nations — a short-lived and long defunct Western (orientalist) attempt at world order — The League unilaterally granted the British a legal instrument termed “Mandate for Palestine.”  They colonized Palestine until May 1948, when 700,000 unarmed Palestinians were forcibly removed from their homes, their neighborhoods, their ancestral homeland with only what they could cart or carry. They brought house keys along, planning to unlock their doors upon their return home — a right, ironically enough, guaranteed in that same catastrophic year by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1948.

Not surprisingly, Palestinians lived in greatest number along the Mediterranean Coast.

Particularly by the stronger side: The only armed forces — unless you consider rusty Ottoman-era weapons, unreliable and inaccurate mortars, and rocks from the rubble of demolished homes to be forces rather than farces — has always been the occupier.

Let me be clear: there is no “both sides.” There is a terrorist org that endangers civilians, and there is a state that protects them. Soon, the world will stare reality in the face and finally condemnation.

— Ambassador Danny Danon

https://twitter.com/dannydanon/status/1070796719066136577

Let me be clearer: Hamas has no army, no navy, no air force, no tanks, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no armored vehicles, no missiles, no bombs, no nothing but rocks and a few crude unguided rockets which land with a thud. From the bottom of my heart, shut the fuck up.

Abeer Khatib

https://twitter.com/abierkhatib/status/1070824222648352771

Corner of the Middle East: a feint that reminds me of Goebbel’s Ministry of Propaganda — Lebensraum defined in terms of population density, where British “living space” included Canada and Australia.

Under Israeli rule: Not surprisingly, Palestinians lived in greatest number along the Mediterranean Coast. See Mahmoud Darwish’s famous poem “Unfortunately, It was Paradise.” Palestine is comparable to Southern California in terms of climate and real estate value. Displaced refugees were driven into Gaza, and the West Bank of the Jordan River. Ironically, again, the number of “settlers” in the West Bank is now greater than the 700,000 granted diaspora in 1948. That corner of the Middle East.

Let me be clearer: Hamas has no army, no navy, no air force, no tanks, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no armored vehicles, no missiles, no bombs, no nothing but rocks and a few crude unguided rockets which land with a thud. From the bottom of my heart, shut the fuck up.

Presented this way, the conflict has become an energizing issue on the international left and the subject of fascination of many governments, including the Trump administration, which has been working on a “deal of the century” to solve it. The previous administration’s secretary of state, John Kerry, committed so much time to Israeli-Palestinian peace that for a while he seemed to be here each weekend. If only the perfect wording and map could be found, according to this thinking, if only both sides could be given the right dose of carrots and sticks, peace could ensue.

To someone here in Israel, all of this is harder and harder to understand. There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think, and this perception gap is worth spelling out. It has nothing to do with being right-wing or left-wing in the American sense. To borrow a term from the world of photography, the problem is one of zoom. Simply put, outsiders are zoomed in, and people here in Israel are zoomed out. Understanding this will make events here easier to grasp.

International Left: A political leaning so distasteful in Israel that the Left is nearly extinct. Netanyahu, a perfect storm of a politician, remarks that his opponent Benny Gantz “leans to the left.”

Deal of the Century: Trump is a fellow White Supremacist, “subject of fascination of many governments…” Trump’s interests do not include any measurable intellectual curiosity. Trump is just another convenient tool — Obama was considerably too melanin-rich, but he delivered the 3.8 billion in funding to allow the largest per-capita military prowess to eke along, to scrape a respectable secure “defense” that now includes the ethnical-cleansing maiming marvel: butterfly bullets.

John Kerry: He knows what war is, he knows who Trump is, he successfully completed the difficult negotiations with Iran — a country without nuclear weapons. Israel gets to have it both ways: nuclear weapons? Yes, No, Maybe, Meh. “Hey, what’s happening over there?” No, it’s what’s happening here, we’re picking your plump wallet. 

Perfect Wording : Who is your new friend there? I hear he comes from a good Saud family (the only country in the world run by a single family.

… a political leaning so distasteful in Israel that the Left is nearly extinct.

I include myself among those who sense that a long, deep and deadly conflict has extended into the longest and most threatening conflict in at least the last several centuries. I was eight-months old in May 14, 1948, but have only been paying close attention to the conflict/non-conflict since the mid 1960s.

The population of Palestine/Israel has reached parity, there are as many Palestinians as Israelis within the same geography. Israel has managed to eliminate any remote semblance of a two-state solution with a divide and occupy strategy:

  • Maintaining an apartheid wall
  • “Withdrawing” from the Gaza Testing Range and Petri dish
  • “Settling” the West Bank
  • An 800 state solution (to paraphrase Mordechai Kedar)
  • Demolishing homes, occupying homes, uprooting ancient olive trees, terrorizing children of any age…
  • Tracking and imprisoning children over the age of 11.
  • Using overwhelmingly overwhelming force and security equipment possessing advanced technological capabilities, such as those butterfly bullets.

Fencing commuter highways along the length of both shoulders, thereby fracturing Palestinian populations into an 80-state solution

Recommended reading on the topic by someone who knows Palestine inside-out:

A Short History of Collective Punishment by Stanley Cohen

Nota Bene Too: The phrase “security for the Jews” has been consecrated as an exclusive synonym for “the lessons of the Holocaust.” It is what allows Israel to systematically discriminate against its Arab citizens. For 40 years, “security” has been justifying control of the West Bank and Gaza and of subjects who have been dispossessed of their rights living alongside Jewish residents, Israeli citizens laden with privileges. — Amira Hass

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/amira-hass-the-holocaust-as-political-asset/

As always, opposing viewpoints are welcome on this blog. Please try to limit your comments to 500 words.

Thanks for reading.


Forked Tongues

It’s always a good day to learn something you did not know before, but it’s a better day when you learn things that confound your complacency and introduce you to post-Santa compassion.

There is a soundbite for every event taught in American classrooms — 90% of history curricula are either grossly twisted, are outright sanctified falsehoods, or are events not complimentary to sensitive Whiteous feelings: the eighth deadly sin.

Genocide on American soil is slathered over with sugary white icing before it can meet publishing standards established in Texas. Before Columbus, Indigenous Americans were a tapestry of tribes. Should they be thankful for Western Evilization?

Blacks lived in the tapestry that was Africa before the Europeans arrived. Should they be thankful for being saved by the generous very nice plantation system that offered better? Better Lives Through Slavery?

Somehow most White genealogies trace back to families that were very very nice to their slaves. Who the hell ever learns about the Black Stock Market of Greenwood, OK that was burned to cinders in 1921? What of their American dream?

“According to eye-witness accounts, the scope of the attack was equal to warfare: homeowners shot dead in their front yards, planes dropping turpentine bombs onto buildings, a machine gun firing bullets on a neighborhood church. It was a living nightmare, and for many decades Tulsa treated it as such, a dark apparition of the mind that might fade from memory so long as it was repressed.”


Fox News doesn’t have to be your only source for faux news, you can turn the channel, change the dial, read a “newspaper of record” and mislearn about current regime changes in the process. Perhaps you watch, perhaps you hear, perhaps you think you know about what happens in Venezuela. Here is something by Greg Palast that inspired me, something I promised to post: In Venezuela, White Supremacy is a Key Driver of the Coup.


Additional unnerving, disturbing, real-time coverage is available at Shelby Courtland dot com. Truth can be unsettling sometimes.

…”The New York Times, NPR and other mainstream outlets in the US reported on marches against the Chavez government, describing the tens of thousands of Venezuelans calling for Chavez’s removal. The light-skinned protesters were overwhelmingly wealthy — and they wanted you to know it. Many of the women marched in high heels, the men peacocking in business suits, proudly displayed in the uniforms of their privileged class. The Chavistas wore patriotic yellow, blue and red T-shirts, sneakers, jeans.”

Most people do not even participate in their own lives, life happens in an autonomic way — if you prefer that the cranium function as autonomically as breathing, it will do so. Existing-While-Black, Existing-While-Palestinian, Existing-While-LGBQT+, Existing-While-Living InMyNeighborhood? Cognitive dissonance happens. I think myself a cognitive dissonancer because I am a lightning rod for the cognitively dissonanced. You must learn to expect such when you speak for the most exploited among us, and I even include all sentient animal beings among the most exploited. Factory farms really are death camps. It’s always a good day to eschew blood-laden “resources” — for all parties involved, both the muncher and the munched.

Avoiding television frees up the time to think independently, in my opinion. The tube/screen has always been a popular passive way to address boredom, a popular alternative to thinking, a stress-reducing mechanism. Propagandists, marketers and people like DJT know how to direct their messages to target audiences by any means possible, such as eye-scanning apps that detect minute movements in a supermarket, process the scanned data at the checkout, and follow you home. Technology is very good. Technology is very bad.

Thanks for reading.

Auschwitz Survivor on Independence

 

— From The Electronic Intifada, 6 December 2018

Esther Bejarano was part of a group that traveled by boat from Marseille to Palestine. “We wanted to develop the country together with the Palestinians,” she recalls. “In general, the Palestinians helped us…We wanted to develop the land together. But it was different with David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir,” she says, referring to Israel’s founding Zionist leaders. “They turned Zionism upside down and then the Zionists said ‘we are the ones who own the land.’ That was not our idea.

She is appalled that when young Palestinians protest near the boundary fence – as they have been doing regularly as part of the Great March of Return rallies since last March, “They are simply shot” by Israeli snipers.

But in my opinion, Palestinians have a right to oppose what the Israelis do to them. They have a right to do that,” she asserts. “Or should they just be killed by the Israelis?

They say ‘Hamas sent its rockets to Israel and they are responsible for the war,’” Bejarano states, recalling Israel’s excuses. “But who started it? Not the Palestinians. It’s the Israelis who sent all the Palestinians out of the country.

Nota bene: Palestinians played absolutely NO part in The Holocaust. NONE.

Hamas vs. Likud

Roughly 12 million persons live in Palestine/Israel — half are Israeli, half are Palestinian. They both live within a single de facto state, but only one is a de jure state. That was true in 1948, it is true in 2018.

Resistance is the inalienable right of the occupied.

“When the British ruled Palestine, the underground Jewish army prided itself on hiding arms factories in grammar schools and synagogues. And as we know, in any besieged ghetto there will be ghetto fighters, and they will be treated as heroes by those on the inside, and terrorists by those on the outside. But if there are certainly men of violence among the masses of protestors, let us not forget that alongside the many Israeli soldiers who surely suffer some pangs of conscience, there are some, as we have seen on videotape, who high-five one another for using fancy sniper rifles to put big holes in human bodies hundreds of yards away.” 

Israel’s Massacre of Palestinian Civilians Should Spark Horror—and Action

Gaza is a prison with walls above its perimeter and barriers below those walls. Details available at Israel and Stuff.

Israel officially admits that it officially does not admit ownership of nuclear weapons. Iran is direct and truthful, it has no nuclear weapons.  

All secret information eventually surfaces. Recently among them: a plan to set off an atomic bomb on Sinai in the event that the six-day war took more than six days. Just to send a message to the neighbors, of course.

Hamas represents Gaza. If you want to negotiate with Gaza you have to negotiate with Hamas, the elected party of Gaza. Abbas is not even a puppet. The Palestine Authority has no authority. I understand that Israel possesses a tidy panoply of “defensive” military resources.

Danny Danon, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, never hesitates to demonize Hamas. Danny doth protest too much, methinks.

Danon vs. Hamas

 

 

 

Mistranslation as False Witness

Western Civilization celebrates roots that extend to the Eastern Mediterranean, a body of water once surrounded by the Roman Empire. When that empire imploded, the power vacuum filled the remnant structure with fresh blood. One such pulsing corpus was Christianity — one authored by a former Roman citizen: Saul before his metamorphosis. There is no compelling historical evidence to suggest that Peter coauthored with Paul in Rome. I agree with Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby: The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity for the argument that Peter had traveled to the east as far as Baghdad, but he had never ventured west of Palestine. The Roman Catholic Church relies upon an apostolic rock, but she freely admits that its reality anchors on Tradition and the Magisterium — historical facts notwithstanding.

The Eastern Mediterranean coastline describes the shortest path between Africa and Eurasia. An incomparable piece of real estate, not what I would call a swamp, though some have: Unfortunately, It Was Paradise. Palestine is sacred soil for the three monotheistic faiths that declare solemn roots at that Eastern confluence, that Holy Land, that stomping grounds of patriarch Ibrahim. Although Ishmael was Ibrahim’s eldest son, he was also the “illegitimate” son of a slave girl known by Ishmael’s father. Isaac was the “legitimate” son of non-enslaved Sara. Islam recognizes Ishmael as the elder son of Ibrahim.

You can read about it in a Qur’an near you. In fact, you may find any number of interpretations freely available online. However, I recommend that you consider an interpretation carefully. My personal copy is a translation by Abdel Haleem: The Qur’an.

abdel.haleem

I attended an interfaith program that included a local well respected and knowledgeable Imam. A seething attendee slammed his personal copy of “The Holy Koran” onto the table. His question: “Do you know what this book says?” The Imam responded: “It depends upon the translation.” Would you accept a Bible translation that recounts the poisoning of the loaves, the tainting of the wine?

judaism.christianity.islam.venn

Radical Google® Searches
  1. “Radical Christian Terrorism” (About 9,310 results (0.66 seconds) )
  2. “Radical Islamic Terrorism” (About 231,000 results (0.43 seconds)
  3. “Radical Judaic Terrorism” (About 21 results (0.39 seconds)

 

Native Americans, African Americans, and Palestinians share something that Northern Europeans do not: a skin too red, too black or too olive (a characteristic of humans from the sun-rich climate.

That’s an unforgivable crime if racism is your touchstone. Why are Biblical personalities depicted with impossibly Northern European features, such as blue eyes, fair skin, an athletic countenance? Who were the original authors of the Torah, the Bible, the Qur’an? Is that a loaded question? They were Semitic peoples who spoke Semitic languages.

 

jesus.computer.generated
Computer-generated depiction by BBC of the historic Jesus. Click image for details. 

 

 

Why does Islam honor Ishmael? What did he do to deserve exile? The Judeo-Christian tradition honors Isaac. What’s up with that? I’ll check that out and get back to you, I have to get to the dirty dishes first, they’re over there in the sink.

Nota bene: The wilder the spurious translation of the Qur’an, the wider is it circulated, the ever endless is it immortalized by false witnesses.

Making stuff up to stoke an agenda is dishonest. It weakens your credibility. Just saying.

 

 Thanks for reading.

 

May the Meek Inherit Al Quds

The persons most affected by a decision are always the last to be informed of that decision. The Palestinians are the persons most affected by Trump’s nod to Netanyahu. But:

Jerusalem has always been the capital of Palestine. 

“There’s no such thing as a Palestinian,” said Mark Levin on Monday, while broadcasting from Israel. “They’re Arabs. I’m sorry, they can call themselves Palestinians, or Palestinian Arabs – I don’t even know what that means.”

By 2020 there will be more Palestinians than Israelis inhabiting the same geography. Israel didn’t even exist before May 14, 1948.

“The May 19 Metro article ‘Judge: Terror suspect’s words can be used at trial’ stated that a terrorism suspect’s parents “immigrated from Palestine.” Last I heard, there has been no peace accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority resulting in a country called Palestine. For people who immigrated after 1948, it is factually incorrect to state that they “immigrated from Palestine.”   Herbert Chubin, Bethesda
In 1948 700,000 unarmed Palestinians were driven by well armed soldiers into a diaspora that continues to this day. Palestinians only possessed arms inherited upon the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire — pretty much all the armaments they have today.

what.it.is.to.be.palestinianDe facto Israel is America’s 51st State, or at least its second District. Puerto Rico is a territorial island inhabited by a people with skin too brown for racist tastes. The Israeli ideal appears to be Northern European, fair of skin and akin to the skin favored by most empires.

Where do the Palestinians stand in Trump’s estimation? Well, what grabs his attention? Trump is as decisive as he is incompetent. POTUS 45 is every bit as racist and corrupt as POTI 12, by any ethical measure.  Each president denies the racism behind their actions. Trump envies Netanyahu’s wall and Israeli engineering firms bid for Trump’s dream barrier. Ethiopian Jews try to attain Aliya but can’t get past detention centers. Both blame Islam: Radical Islamic Terrorism but ignore White Supremacists’ terror aimed at Muslims and the survivors of slavery: America’s Black population.

Netanyahu uses his intelligence, and the intelligence at his disposal, to remain in office. Trump doesn’t have enough intelligence to function as an adult. He knows what corrupts absolutely and he grooms it. He’s far closer to a Caligula than any previous President.

I doubt that Trump could find Jerusalem on a world globe, but he has Fox and Friends to cover that from behind their coffee table. They have his ears and the dark matter between those ears. F&F spur him on to spurt his soul-deadening tweets, his talking points.

latuff.2017

The last two empires to make global choices for Palestine have been English-speaking realms with world-counquering ambitions. In 1948 the former imperious spoke the Queen’s English. They passed the baton to the next imperial deciders, the ones who speak English American style.

The United States had already ethnically cleansed indigenous Americans who stood in their way since the arrival of Columbus (notable racist) to today. The 50 states carved into North America arrived by dint of legally sanctioned genocide. Manifest Destiny squeezed life blood from sea to shining sea — State by flagged-star State.

History is always written by the conquerer. Of course “mistakes were made,” but their monotheistic God did favor the features of the Northern Europe didn’t he? Jesus, Mary and The Father depicted with European features and a skin lightened by many cloudy days.

Let’s take a look at how the English speakers ordained the ancient land of Palestine, home for three aspects of a monochromatic God in situ. Each find a place in respective scriptural scripts for the characters at play.

The sons and daughters of Ishmael find themselves at the crosshairs. 1.8 billion gentle worshipers are either “Radical Islamists” or they support “Radical Islamic Terrorism” because they honor the Quran. Is that beyond all possibility in 2017? No, homo sapiens are ever capable of reaching to any depth of depravity to attain greater depravity. Venture capital is always available to fund decadence, be you a Drumpf or a Caligula.

Children as young as 12 enter the Israeli prison system if they throw a single rock, or an IDF soldier merely states that the youth threw a stone.

israel-children-cages

Were it not for the United States of America (and the Marshall Islands) the Palestinians would already have a homeland, one recognized by the world community.

May the meek inherit Al Quds.

Thanks for reading.

Solidarity for Sustainability

My thanks to all and each who inspire this blog 🙂

I appreciate my readers and am ever grateful for each of you — including those who disagree with some (or all) content here, or those who have tripped into my blog by entering a type O graphical error in a Google search bar. Say you’re interested in discovering something germane and find German instead. Many (most) might feel that nothing I write is germane to many (most) surfers’ interests.

sustain.pakistan

Today’s comment of the day is from Robert, creator of Words for Breakfast, a worthwhile blog I recommend to your attention on the basis of its inherent interest and merit:

“…Vegans, Vegetarians and proponents of sustainable living should work together more, be more receptive to each other instead of trying to convince each other of the rightness of their opinion…”

Please allow me to quote from my reply:

“… You are absolutely right about the need to work together with as many fellow travelers as possible. I believe in joining with others in solidarity, even if you disagree with them on many other issues. Creating enemies by edict solves nothing and poisons the soil… — crap drains no sewer…”

Vegans are not the only planetary inhabitants who recognize that a sustainable environment is not a luxury or a fantasy. Solidarity for sustainability unites many with whom you may disagree: mildly or vehemently. We have no Plan B Planet.

meatrix

I believe that sustainability is a rock-solid rule of Mother Nature, a rule enforced by her forces of evolution and devolution. You break the rules by stacking the deck in your favor, resulting in expulsion.

Before going any further, let me recommend a recent review and summation of a recent symposium in Sheffield UK by Mira Lieberman, a scholar who combines voice and verve at a sustained level of competence. Thorough and well written? Yes, indeed.

Sometimes the rules are blatantly not caused by planetary inhabitants. Sizable meteors are also a force of nature, as is a dying sun. The dinosaurs had been around far longer than mammals, for example. Extinction Event Number 5 was not of their doing. Sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time just happens. Sorry ’bout that.

Venus became enshrouded by clouds, setting hypothetical Venusians up for the heartbreak of The Greenhouse Effect. Your assignment: write an essay (50,000 words or less) on the topic: what I think happened to Venus.

greenhouse.smithsonian

Extinction Event Number 6 may be well on the way to completion, I’ve heard that nothing is completed until it is finished, or something. Unfortunately most other innocent fellow species are thus endangered. Many species have already disappeared through a process known as ‘extinction’ — something as natural as getting hit by a largish meteor or squeezed into a cul-de-sac by a human crave for lebensraum or some other geopolitical impulse.

Extinction events usually take millions or billions of years to complete. Leave it to the self-appointed kings of the hill, self-named topper of the food chain to deserve an “anthropocentric” geological era.

Perhaps robots invented by homo sapiens will begin a “cene” of their own after their creators leave the scene.

Vegan Venn Diagram o’ the Day

Venn diagrams are useful heuristics. Here is one from VeganStreet.com that departs from the conventional Meatist perspective. I’m calling it the Venn diagram o’ the day.

vegann.diagram.veganstreet

Hoping that you like the idea of complimenting a comment with a complementing commentary. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

 

Orange-Rights: The New Racism?

Longtime racist Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is failing Donald, our first orange president. JBS faced the sycophant’s dilemma when he recused himself from certain Senate hearings — how do you cover your ass while performing a scaramooch?

And Jeff was T’s number one fan.

jefferson.beauregard


Source

DJT only has eyes for himself and the adoring eyes of his sycophants. Every moment of his life spent on a loving consideration for his own countenance, his mirror mythologically faithful. Is it his fate to starve in a chamber oval? Famous fingers turning everything to gold?

 

W set a low bar for his predecessors, while his intellectual curiosity appeared slight the guy actually read the printed word. Mr. Orange’s intellectual curiosity celebrates the perpetuation of  ignorance in the ultimate bully pulpit. We have a president who is functionally illiterate.

narcissism2

Awakening to nightmare is daily doom. I take solace in the company of my peers, thank you kind readers 🙂

What’s chilling your bleeding heart today, Bill?

A piece in today’s NYT.

The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights 
division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for 
a new project on “investigations and possible litigation 
related to intentional race-based discrimination in college 
and university admissions.”

45 is the original birther. Obama called him out at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner — history may note this as the event that ignited the movement for orange-rights.

Did you know that elected officials take an oath to protect the Constitution upon assuming public office? Amendments to that constitution serve to redress imbalances, to make it a living document. But not to originalists like Antonin Scalia, his apprentice Neil Gorsuch et al.

Originalism codifies raciesm in perpetuity. All men white and male propertied in land and propertied in slaves are created equal.  Inalienable white-right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Reinforced+by+a+strong+belief+in+British+racial+and+cultural+superiority,+the+British+system+enslaved+black+people+in+perpetuity,+altered+African+gender+and+kinship+relationships+in+the+

Equal protection under the law did not exist before the constitution was deliberately amended to include that right. The bookshelf containing the holy writ and relicts read by originalists is very short.

You’re probably one of those animal-rights freaks too, are you?

Yes.

The American version of slavery defined slavehood as extending into perpetuity. Once a slave, or the progeny of a slave, a branding for life.

Thanks for reading.

A Child Was Born!

shelbycourtland

A child was born, dark as night,
and sent out into the world.
Everywhere he turned,
such insults, people hurled.

He took this all in stride,
grew up and became a man.
Took one look at his skin,
it was darker than a tan.

On a mountaintop, he stood,
looking out on a sea of hate.
He decided that once and for all,
he’d be the master of his own fate.

He had been followed for many a day,
even when he’d stopped to rest.
He thought he’d never feel secure,
knew that to him, this was a test.

God, they said, loved him
and he believed it for awhile.
He carried with him, a Bible.
 It was evidence at his trial.

You see this man, he finally snapped
on a hot, sunny day in June.
One insult was one too many,
a white man called him, a baboon.

View original post 182 more words

Palestine/Israel/Palestine

The events of May 1948 in Palestine have sparked trillions of conversations that have droned on in parallel for seventy years now. You may find a few thousand meaningful uncommon conversations post Nakba (the Catastrophe). They are exceedingly rare. Most “conversations” parrot propaganda mills (hasbara in Hebrew).  Below are concerns of an individual Israeli citizen. I have not redacted a single word.

Bill hi, I would suggest you come and visit Palestine – you know Palestine was Israel before 1948. If you come I would be only too happy to offer you coffee and you can tell me what you think about Israel and answer any of your questions if I can.

Even though I live here and spent hundreds of hours at lectures my memory unfortunately is not what it used to be as I am now 76. I live in Netanya and would be only too pleased to help you find answers from history lecturers to any questions you may have. My opinion on Israel seems a bit different to yours but I am sure we could have interesting chats.

I must tell you I am fascinated with BDS and how so many people really do have a problem with facts here and there but I always believe you have to visit a country and speak with the locals so as to make up your own mind.

I keep hearing from members that there is a Genocide in Israel and the disputed territories yet their own statistics show this to not be true.

How many members know that an Israeli president was sentenced to jail by an Arab judge. That Arabs account for 20% of the population and that is their representation at Universities and hospitals where they are professors and famous surgeons.

Please don’t mix up Israel and politicians – I would swap Bibi for Trump in a heartbeat. I think we should keep our correspondence private as I really do not want to cause anyone any grief.
Looking forward to your reply
Mike Altman, Netanya Israel

Hello Michael, Thank you so much for the very kind comments, they are gratefully received. In the two years I’ve been writing this blog, yours is the very first remark from an Israeli perspective — a succinct and thoughtful set of arguments as well. I certainly respect your wishes to maintain an off-blog conversation; however, I would also like to share your views with my audience. Please know that I am quite willing to make your comment visible — again, I understand your concern.
Here is one proposal: I am eager to write a post that addresses your points and to respond on each concern you express. An open conversation between viewpoints is sorely lacking, but desperately needed.

Droning on in parallel from differently selected events, statistics and perspectives proceeds without hope of resolution, and indefinitely.

I have been following the “conflict” for many decades now. I was born eight months before the events of 1948, so it is possible for me to relate each event. For example, I was a student in Germany during the Munich Olympics of 1972. So I was 25 years old and so was Israel/Palestine Palestine/Israel.

Perhaps a point-by-point response that does not reveal your name or location might be a worthy compromise between private and open dialog.
It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Michael. I look forward to learning from you 🙂

I try and reply to posts immediately but your reply was different to what I somehow expected. I do not at all mind our conversation being viewed online I incorrectly assumed it would be you that would rather have an offline chat.

Since I am blessed/cursed with a very over active imagination I manage to see things from multiple angles and standpoints. When I think of BDS my mind is flooded with so many questions of why does one well funded organization with ardent followers choose a basically one sided view of just one of the many obviously urgent problems on our planet. Reading articles I do understand that people are writing from their viewpoint but like I am colour blind I expect people to try and see what is there but maybe not visible to them. The thing about being colour blind is that the mind can force oneself to see the missing things if you think they should or could be there.

I have a childhood friend that adamantly believes that we should not intervene – like invading Iraq – we are obliged to do nothing and wait for evolution to choose a path for everyone. Maybe Obama also believed in doing nothing and the result was half a million people killed more wounded and displaced causing hardship and misery for millions more. Never mind the other millions migrating to Europe from Africa to find a better and safer life for them and their children.

The reason I mention this is because with all this abject misery surrounding us I would think that such a well-funded and run organization would not be focusing on just one problem amongst all others. I have always been able to analyse what I see and read and imagine the many directions things could take and how effective they could be. In my humble opinion I cannot see why BDS could succeed as it has already “solved” this complex problem without understanding too much about it.

My father would not have won many “father” awards but he was smart and instilled in me to never judge anyone until I have walked in their shoes. As an example, the last time I visited the Western wall myself and everyone else including tourists passed through metal detectors – like we do at airports today – thank goodness. After arms were taken onto the Temple Mount and used to kill two policeman.

The head of the police promised their families who happened to be Druse that they would take steps so it would not happen again. Maybe even to foreign visitors on this holy site. The police themselves decided to install metal detectors at the entrances and this is what caused the current serious problem. People prayed in the streets instead as they would not pass through the machines and dispersed after prayers with very little problems but in some parts of town young people rioted and people were injured and killed.
Please forgive the over long post but there is so much to say.
May you all have a very good week, Mike

Hello Michael, Thank you for your kind comments on my About page. Dialogues on this topic are as desperately needed as they are rare, and misinformation is the coin of the realm. I think it’s a good sign that both of us responded with consideration for the privacy of each. Would you mind if I wrote a new posting that contains your comments without redaction on my part? In other words, a genuine open and civil dialogue.

Shalom,
 
Bill

I have no problem whatsoever – in fact would welcome it.

A very strange time of year here as more than 4 million Israelis leave to spend a greener cooler holiday all over the world. Amazing when there are only 5,600,000 Danes in Denmark.

 Have a good week Bill

Mike

 

You are a kind soul, Michael. Our exchange already contains enough grist for the mill to inspire quite a few conversations. Actually, that observation on climate, travel and Denmark is sufficient for an entire post. 🙂

A superb week to you, Michael.

🙂 an interesting thought – if we can get the mill to spin faster it could take off – imagine that, flying windmills. Something to think about while trying to sleep.

Thanks for reading.

Palestinian Animal League

When you announce your vegan beliefs expect incredulity, perhaps not visceral, perhaps visceral. Make public your support of Palestinians to self-determination and expect raw nerves to flare — it comes with the territory. Or am I tilting at windmills? Why must Palestine be a verboten topic?

pal

Misunderstanding happens to “the least of these, my brethren” (Matthew 25:34). I mentioned recently that I am the green sheep in the family. Do I hold a lightning rod aloft, inviting impending doom? I guess.

I live in an area of the country noted for its borders — political, racial, climatic, geomorphic, social: there are others.  Our planet does not need more division and more rancor. Welcome the green, the black and the rainbow. Welcome the stranger.

 

sudfeh.vegan.cafe
Sudfeh Vegan Cafe

Languages fascinate me intensely. Learning them lightens my spirit and dispels an illusory separation. We are all one. I lived and studied in Germany, a country that knows something of borders — their erection and their dissolution. Loving languages is a joy that requires patience, but it rewards that patience by several orders of magnitude. Or is it a waste of time, a conceit if you already speak THE international language — one dipped in the blood of imperious arrogance. Just saying. Colonialism is not dead. Were that it were.

 

berlin.wall
Berlin Wall

My intense interest in the Middle East began in 1967 when I began to seriously study its physical, cultural and religious geography. Study makes friends of pain and joy. I was living in West Germany in 1972, at the time of an ill-fated Olympics in Munich. Stasi was still going strong in East Germany. That same year I learned about Savak and the Shah of Iran from my fellow exchange students of the University of Tehran — a full seven years before the revolution in their ancient land, one with the longest continuous civilization in history, one that started with Cyrus the Great. Many cool people are Persian. Yes they are 🙂

Perhaps this is an overlong preface to my topic. I hope not, but please accept my apology if it is.

 

PALlogo
Source

Let me meld two curiously similar joys and pains — veganism and Palestine. Mix them together and you have The Palestinian Animal League. That kind group of animal activists knows that “acting like an animal” is an expression to deflect misbehavior of a specie with an overdeveloped ego that imposes their self-righteous “superiority” to the innocent fellow sentient beings possessing inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, though it be inexpedient to the self-described exceptional.

We’re not the top dog, we are the arrogant yapping selfish being that always takes advantage. Are we not a part of the cycle of life? Who made us the boss? What is the difference between cannibalism and meatism? I suggest that the difference between eating the flesh of your own and eating the flesh of an other is as trivial as the difference between apples and oranges — both are fruit. Human flesh and the flesh of any other sentient being — both are meat.

Let me now lighten the burden of writing. I yield the pen to The PAL. They know more about themselves than I. Expect joy.

arabic-public-art-qma
Arabic public art

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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