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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aid to Bahrain/Israel; Read Omar Barghouti's book about protest in protest!

The Monday, February 22, 2011 Democracy Now show had a few items of interest on Israel/Palestine

The first also has more to do with Bahrain, though it made me think of the Palestinian- Israeli issue. :)
The so-called Leahy Law – which requires the cut-off of U.S. military aid to forces determined to have perpetrated human rights abuses -- “does apply to Bahrain,” since "the U.S. Government provides support to the [Bahraini] Army," Carle said.

OK, we give a ton of all kinds of aid to Israel. We train them, they train us. Due to certain breaches of human rights and international law, shouldn't we also be reconsidering aid to Israel??

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The second directly has to do with Israel/Palestine. 

Since we were the only veto on the recent UN resolution on illegal Israeli settlements brought by cosponsors Germany, France and Britain, this piece of news shouldn't surprise us. But it is still shocking if you are one of those people who still believe America is free and just and fair. 

One of the founders of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement wrote a book and wants to tour. He faces a problem many Palestinians face. Travel. If he were a "self-hating Jew" like Noam Chomsky or Norman Finklestein, he might get hassled and detained, but he'd still get to tour. We will see how this unfolds. I wonder if he's famous enough to get through. I hope more people read his book because of this! :)

Since the topic is rather sensitive in the US, this adds another dimension to the travel hardships. The US government doesn't really want people talking about peaceful ways to protest its complicity in Israel's crimes. Violence is easy. We will not negotiate with terrorists. This is more delicate. We'd like to just sweep it under the rug as quietly as possible so we can get on with protecting Israel's right to defend itself, steal land, murder, kidnap, and collectively punish all for the crimes of a few (or the general feeling of discomfort that future demographics brings...). At the top, I think disagreeing or denying Israel anything is seen as anti-Semitic- though here at the bottom many are beginning to see the nuance through that fog. Or maybe we're just afraid they will detonate a nuke like they threatened to do before- they are trigger happy and they had or have something called the Samson Option. This policy being not inspired by God, it appears as though they care more about killing others than saving their own peoples' lives. Like my post about the NPR: Fresh Air about torture a few posts ago.  It sounds like they have learned quite a bit from their corrupt Arab dictator neighbors. But, you still  have to call Israel a democracy or people will not take you seriously. Until all those people come to the realization that Israel is not in fact the kind of democracy we give them credit for... With Wikileaks, the Palestine Papers, all of these protests, I think it could happen.

More info:

Omar Barghouti kept from entering the U.S. for BDS speaking tour

Omar Barghouti, Leading Spokesperson of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) Campaign Against Israel, Kept from Entering U.S. for Book Release Tour


Barghouti tour sponsors are calling on supporters to contact the US Consulate in Jerusalem and the Department of State to ask them to fulfill the promise from the Obama Administration of "promoting the global marketplace of ideas" and grant Barghouti's visa immediately.

US Consulate:
Consul General Daniel Rubinstein
US Consulate General, Jerusalem
18 Agron Road, Jerusalem 94190
Tel.: +972 2 622 7230, Fax: +972 2 625 9270

Email: and

Department of State:
Visa Services
Public Inquiries Division

On Facebook: Join the group "Let Omar Barghouti Be Heard" and invite your friends.


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