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Monday, 22 February 2016

Mahmoud Darwish: Psalm 9 ("O rose beyond the reach of time and of the senses") / Stop Paying for Ethnic Cleansing and Send Your Kids To College For Free: A Modest Billboard Proposal


Occupation, Colonialism and Apartheid in Israel – A Photo Essay by
Mats Svensson #Palestine #EndTheOccupation: image via free falling upwards @philipgeany, 17 February 2016

Mahmoud Darwish: Psalm 9

O rose beyond the reach of time and of the senses
O kiss enveloped in the scarves of all the winds
surprise me with one dream
then my madness will recoil from you
Recoiling from you
in order to approach you
I discovered time
Approaching you
in order to recoil from you
I discovered my senses
Between approach and recoil
there is a stone the size of a dream
It does not approach
It does not recoil
You are my country
A stone is not what I am
therefore I do not like to face the sky
nor do I lie level with the ground
but am a stranger, always a stranger
Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008): Psalm 9, translated from the Arabic by Lena Khadra Jayyusi and Christopher Middleton in Modern Arabic Poetry: An Anthology, ed. Lena Khadra Jayussi, 1987


Occupation, Colonialism and Apartheid in Israel – A Photo Essay by
Mats Svensson #Palestine #EndTheOccupation: image via free falling upwards @philipgeany, 17 February 2016

Billboard along heavily traveled I-680 in Walnut Creek, California, seen on 18 February 2016. If Americans Knew, a California-based group, paid $5,000 for a 30-day rental of the billboard. Journalist and author Alison Weir, of Richmond, California, speaking on behalf of the group in Walnut Creek on 9 February, said billboards like Walnut Creek's have appeared in almost 30 states, and that new ones are coming to Connecticut, New York, Texas and Florida. American taxpayers give Israel $3.1 billion per year in direct military aid, and routinely provide millions more each year for missile defense programs. (For fiscal year 2015, Congress gave Israel an additional $619.8 million, making total military aid to Israel $3.7 billion, or $10.2 million per day.) Palestinians do not receive military aid. Late Sunday, after the "$10 million a day" billboard comes down, another will go up at the same spot in Walnut Creek, sponsored by Los Angeles-based pro-Israeli group StandWithUs. Its graphic design will be similar, but its message will quite different. StandWithUs has used this direct-replacement strategy in other cities.: photo by Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via Contra Costa Times, 22 February 2016

U.S. aid to Israel prevents peace: The United States' massive spending on Israel hurts Americans: Alison Weir, Orlando Sentinel, 9 February 2016

In Eli Ziegler's New Voices column, "An anti-Israel billboard campaign sends dark message to Orlandoans," in Thursday's Sentinel, an Israel partisan dutifully defends Israel.

He repeats talking points developed by Israel's billion-dollar advocacy machine, including the usual accusation that critics are supposedly "bigoted."

Let us examine the facts:

Thanks to the powerful Israel lobby, politicians from both parties have sent tiny Israel more of our tax money than they've sent to any other country -- on average 7,000 times more per capita than to others around the world. Today this is $3.7 billion per year (more than $10 million per day).

In a unique arrangement, Israel gets almost all this money in a lump sum at the beginning of the year. Since the U.S. is operating at a deficit, this means that we borrow this money, give it to Israel and then pay interest long after it's gone. Israel deposits this in an interest-bearing account, making even more money off the U.S. economy.

Alison speaking at the National Summit to Reassess the US-ISrael 'special relationship' in March

Alison Weir, executive director of If Americans Knew and president of the Council for the National Interest, speaking in March 2015 at the National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel 'special relationship': image via If Americans Knew 

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Added to this disbursement is $1.45 billion annually to Egypt and $1.5 billion to Jordan, thanks to deals concocted by Israel in which American tax money would be used to buy off opposition to Israel's ethnic cleansing of the non-Jews who originally inhabited the land it wished for a Jewish-only state.

On top of this is the more than $2 trillion cost of the Iraq war, which was engineered by Israel partisans in the administration and enabled by others in the national media, such as Judith Miller, formerly of The New York Times. Impossible to quantify in dollars are the thousands of American and Iraqi lives destroyed through this disastrous invasion.

In addition to these costs is the humanitarian aid for Palestinians who have been displaced, whose property has been stolen, and whose deaths and injuries are caused by Israeli invasions. Additional aid is given to the Palestinian authority to round up resistance fighters on behalf of Israel. This totals about $700 million per year.

In addition to the deep financial burden these disbursements impose on Americans, our money enables Israeli violence and aggression that causes continuing instability and tragedy throughout the Middle East. This prevents peace, endangers Americans, and is a continual cause of misery.

It also gives Israeli militarists the belief that since Israel has the most powerful nation in today's world in its back pocket, there is no need to compromise with Palestinians. Only when Americans change this dynamic will true peace negotiations be conducted and peace eventually forged.

News coverage of our Orlando billboard. Donate to help put up more!: image via If Americans Knew @ifamericansknew, 28 January 2016

Question for the pro #Israel people. What do you expect the people of #Palestine to do? What options do they have?
: image via Robert Martin @Robert_Martin72, 19 February 2016

!!!Boycotting Israeli goods will be illegal for public bodies and student unions in the UK #Palestine #BDS
: image via free falling upwards @philipgeany, 15 February 2016

Wow !! These posters are on the London Underground !! That's one way of raising issues. #Palestine: image via ravinder singh @RaviSinghKA, 22 February 2016

Roger Waters: 'I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite': photo via The Independent, 19 February 2016

Roger Waters: Pink Floyd star on why his fellow musicians are terrified to speak out against Israel: Exclusive: 'If they say something they will no longer have a career – I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite': Paul Gallagher, The Independent,  19 February 2016

American musicians who support boycotting Israel over the issue of Palestinian rights are terrified to speak out for fear their careers will be destroyed, according to Roger Waters.

The Pink Floyd star -- a prominent supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel since its inception 10 years ago -- said the experience of seeing him constantly labelled a Nazi and anti-Semite had scared people into silence.

“The only response to BDS is that it is anti-Semitic,” Waters told The Independent, in his first major UK interview about his commitment to Israeli activism. “I know this because I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite for the past 10 years.

“My industry has been particularly recalcitrant in even raising a voice [against Israel]. There’s me and Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Manic Street Preachers, one or two others, but there’s nobody in the United States where I live. I’ve talked to a lot of them, and they are scared s***less.

“If they say something in public they will no longer have a career. They will be destroyed. I’m hoping to encourage some of them to stop being frightened and to stand up and be counted, because we need them. We need them desperately in this conversation in the same way we needed musicians to join protesters over Vietnam.”

Waters likened Israeli treatment of Palestinians to apartheid South Africa. “The way apartheid South Africa treated its black population, pretending they had some kind of autonomy, was a lie,” he said. 

“Just as it is a lie now that there is any possibility under the current status quo of Palestinians achieving self-determination and achieving, at least, a rule of law where they can live and raise their children and start their own industries. This is an ancient, brilliant, artistic and very humane civilisation that is being destroyed in front of our eyes.”

A trip to Israel in 2006, where Waters had planned to play a gig in Tel Aviv and the end of the European leg of his Dark Side of the Moon Live tour, transformed his view of the Middle East.

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd alludes to his band’s lyrics while painting on the Israeli-Palestinian security barrier in Bethlehem in 2006
: photo via The Independent. 19 February 2016

The key passed from father to son, up to the door from which it was wrenched... #RightOfReturn #Palestine: image via RosmeWarda_Palestine @RosmeWarda, 22 February 2016

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was interrupted by two protestors, while he addressed the panel on “The Climate Crisis: Which Way Out?

Last night at a climate change event in New York City, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders once again found himself in the crosshairs over his inconsistent -- Israeli exempt -- opposition to U.S. entanglement in the Middle East.  Sanders was interrupted by two protestors, while he addressed the panel on “The Climate Crisis: Which Way Out?”  The protesters held a sign for the audience, which read “BERNIE VOTED FOR THE WAR ON THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF PALESTINE.”.: photo via Addicting Info, 21 September 2014

What Is Bernie Sanders' Religion? Inside the Faith of the Vermont Senator

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at Liberty University: photo by Steve Helber/AP, 19 January 2016


David Cameron is welcomed by the speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein during his visit to Israel in March 2015. The British Inter-Parliamentary Union has invited Edelstein -- who lives on an illegal Israeli settlement built on Palestinian land, publically opposes Palestinian statehood and
supports initiatives to colonize what is left of Palestinian land (e.g. Lobby for Greater Israel) -- to address both Houses of Parliament on 2 March. In a recent interview, the British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey said that "the relationship between Britain and Israel…is probably stronger and deeper than it has ever been". The current British government has done everything to protect and enhance its ties with Israel, even trying to squash all dissent at home, and is undermining British democracy by restricting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli products and institutions complicit with the occupation. In his speech to the Knesset during a state visit in 2014, David Cameron said he was proud that Britain played a major part in creating Israel. Is he also proud of Britain’s policies towards the Palestinians?: photo by Israel Sun/REX Shutterstock via The Independent, 22 February 2016

Hillary Clinton greets a supporter following her address at the 18th Annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University in New York: photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters via the Guardian, 29 April 2015

Hillary Clinton greets a supporter following her address at the 18th Annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University in New York: photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters via the Guardian, 29 April 2015

Then secretary of state Hillary Clinton meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York, 27 September 2012: photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90  via Times of Israel, 30 March 2015

Hard day of diplomacy  ... Benjamin Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton during a news conference in Jerusalem on Saturday.
Hard day of diplomacy ... Benjamin Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton during a news conference in Jerusalem on Saturday: photo by Rina Castelnuovo / AP via Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 2009

In this handout photo provided by the GPO, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 16, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel: photographer unknown via Zimbio, July 2014

Hillary Clinton, Benjamin Netanyahu

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak before a meeting at the Regency hotel, Thursday, September 27, 2012 in New York: photo by John Minichillo / AP, 27 September 2012


Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in 2005. After awkward episodes as first lady, she proved to be Israel’s friend as senator: photo by Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times, 1 January 2009

Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak after a joint press conference on July 16, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel. Clinton is in Israel to discuss diplomacy with Iran, Syria and Egypt in addition to peace talks regarding the Middle East: photo by Lior Mizrahi via Zimbio, 16 July 2012

Hillary Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu - Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As UN Call For Truce
In this handout provided by U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) on November 21, 2012 in Jerusalem: photographer unknown via Zimbio, July 2014


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting at a peace summit in Sharm el-Sheikh
: p
hoto by AP, 14 September 2010


Apartheid is back. Apartheid is a tangible, unmistakable realty in Palestine as it was in South Africa. Many were fooled to think that Apartheid was buried forever, that Colonialism was only meant for the history books. Now that we know we must take a stand and dare speak out.: photo by Mat Svensson via The Palestine Chronicle, 10 February 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel arriving at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem for the Purim holiday last week
: photo by Uriel Sinai for The New York Times, 10 March 2015


TC said...

In August 2014, with the smoke still rising from the ruins of the Gaza Strip, where Israel's brutal 50-day Operation Protective Edge offensive has just claimed the lives of over 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, Sen. Bernie Sanders defends Israel's "existential" position in language curiously echoing that of Binyamin Netanyahu -- and silences angry citizens at Cabot Town hall, in his home state, by furiously ordering them to "Shut up!" (video via Secular Talk, 21 August 2014)

TC said...

Oh by the way, those of you who bravely lurked and looky-lou'd and then cautiously slunk away into the shadows secure in the cloaking safety of invisible passive distance, to lurk another day, probably won't have been interested in knowing those London Underground posters addressing the BBC policy of not-so-subtly re/enforcing Israeli apartheid -- one of which is seen here, posted by a Tube rider, Ravinder Singh -- did not last long.

Surprise! Bibi didn't like them.

Sandra said...

poweful it!

TC said...

Gracias, Sandra.