Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Articles Archives - February 2012
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Israeli forces continue their campaign of widespread arrests in the occupied Palestinian territories - International Press Center photo

Sunday, February 26, 2012
The myth of Israel’s liberal Supreme Court exposed
Jonathan Cook, Middle East Report Online 2/25/2012
      Little more than a decade ago, in a brief interlude of heady optimism about the prospects of regional peace, the Israeli Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings that, it was widely assumed, heralded the advent of a new, post-Zionist era for Israel. But with two more watershed judgments handed down over the winter of 2011-2012 the same court has decisively reversed the tide.
     Palestinians, both in the Occupied Territories and inside Israel, will pay the biggest and most immediate costs of the new decisions. In one, the Supreme Court has created a new concept of “prolonged occupation” to justify further Israel’s denial of basic protections to the Palestinian population living under belligerent military rule. In the other, it has upheld the right of the Israeli state to strip the Palestinian minority inside Israel of one of its fundamental rights of citizenship.
     Both of these new rulings threaten to unleash a torrent of more aggressive legislative and administrative measures against Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line that separates the Occupied Territories from Israel proper, as the center of political gravity in Israel drifts steadily rightward.
     Activist Reputation
     The judicial mood of today is a far cry from the high spirits of the late 1990s, when the Supreme Court was led by Aharon Barak, feted by his counterparts in the United States as a paragon of enlightened liberalism. Barak is widely credited with entrenching in Israeli jurisprudence the philosophy of “judicial activism.” In practice, Barak’s activism meant that he reserved to the Supreme Court the right both to interpret the law creatively when it lacked clarity and to weigh critically and, if necessary, strike down measures passed by the Knesset when they conflicted with one of Israel’s 11 Basic Laws.
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VIDEO - South African activist offers perspective on BDS
Omar Rahman, +972 Magazine 2/26/2012
      An impassioned speech by South African activist at Israeli Apartheid Week in London quickly gains attention.
     The global symposium Israeli Apartheid Week kicked off a few days ago in cities and campuses around the world. Of particular note was an impassioned lecture given by a South African activist and PhD candidate called Mbuyiseni Ndlozi in London on Wednesday, on the connection between the struggle to end South African apartheid and what he described as an ‘evolved,’ and indeed worse, case in Israel.
     Ndlozi’s statement stands in stark contrast to the recent video interview with Normal Finkelstein, who says plainly that the Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid should not extend beyond the confines of international law. Ndlozi encourages activists to go further and appeal to people’s principles of freedom, justice and equality, what he said worked in South Africa.
     Ndlozi also highlights how the South African apartheid regime manipulated world opinion for decades in regards to the justification of separating Whites and Blacks and how this deception must be broken when it comes to Israel.
     "It cannot be true that on the face of the world today a people still exist who think they can survive with a system of separateness at the expense of others. It cannot be true that what we are continuing to do is to sit and talk all the time, that what we are continuing to do is sit and debate, is it apartheid or is it not, is it like South Africa or is it not. It is a violation of the fundamental right, the fundamental principles that we hold so dearly within our hearts. The principles of freedom, justice and equality." -- See also: YouTube: Mbuyiseni Ndlozi - Israeli Apartheid Week, London. 22.2.12
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What is really happening in Iran?
Pepe Escobar, Al Jazeera.com 2/26/2012
      Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei may control the nuclear programme, but he lacks a critical mass of Iranians.
     Hong Kong - The supreme war-or-peace question regarding the Iran psychodrama has got to be: What game is Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei really playing?
     Sharp wits among the lively Iranian global diaspora maintain that the Supreme Leader is the perfect US/Israel asset - as he incarnates Iran as "the enemy" (although in most cases in a much less strident way than Ahmadinejad).
     In parallel, the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat in Tehran also needs "the enemy" - as in "the Great Satan" and assorted Zionists - to justify its monopoly of power.
     The ultimate loser, voices of the diaspora sustain, is true Iranian democracy - as in the foundation for the country's ability to resist empire. Especially now, after the immensely dodgy 2009 presidential election and the repression of the Green movement. Even former supporters swear the Islamic Republic is now neither a "republic" - nor "Islamic".
     For their part, another current of informed Iranian - and Western - critics of empire swear that the belligerent Likud-majority government of Israel is in fact the perfect Iranian asset. After all, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and former Moldova bouncer turned Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's non-stop warmongering tends to rally Iranians of all persuasions - always proudly nationalistic - behind the flag.
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Debating Violence in the Occupy Movement
Dissident Voice: 26 Feb 2012 - The term “diversity of tactics” is used to distinguish direct tactics that include property damage and armed retaliation against the police from nonviolent direct action and extremist tactics such as planting bombs and armed insurrection. By now several thousands progressives and liberals have read the article “ The Cancer in Occupy,” by Chris Hedges from February 6. In the article, Hedges condemns the so-called “Black Bock Movement” and “Black Bloc anarchists” for a variety of sins that include breaking store and car windows, burning flags, and swearing and throwing tear gas canisters at the police. There is a major problem with the whole premise of the article. As Hedges’ critics are quick to point out, “black bloc” (lower case) refers to tactics – there is no such thing as a “Black Block Movement” or “Black Bloc anarchists.” However unless they are regular readers of anarchist and left libertarian websites and...more

Articles Archives - February 2012

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