Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Articles Archives - April 2011
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Thursday, April 21, 2011
Itamar murders don’t justify stripping Palestinians’ rights
Amira Hass, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/20/2011
      Our law and order authorities do not protect the Palestinian villages from the thugs who ‘exact a price’ from Palestinians in revenge for the razing of an unauthorized settlers’ hut by authorities. How can we expect them to protect the Palestinians against the avengers of the murder of the Fogel family?
     The Israeli settlement enterprise does not need the murder of Jewish families in order to strip Palestinian families of their land and endanger the future of both peoples. But when such a murder “falls into its hands,” the settlement enterprise knows how to make the most out of it, by building new neighborhoods and outposts, blaming Palestinian nature and education, and dropping biblical terms like “bitter enemies” and “Amalek.”
     The history of white settlement in other peoples’ countries is full of sickening murders carried out by individuals who belonged to the indigenous peoples or by African slaves. These actions did not prevent the systematic expulsion and near extinction of the original inhabitants. It is not acts of murder that brought an end to slavery or apartheid. At the same time, abominable murders in Algeria did not make French colonialism, or any other colonialism, legitimate.
     At the time, the whites attributed the murders to the nature of the savages, their inborn viciousness and their lowly race. The takeover and murderous enslavement were regarded as a divine and courageous mission and as a means of preserving law and order. Now, decades or centuries later, many recognize the brutality that characterized the settlement enterprise of their forefathers. -- See also: Source
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The Revolution’s Missing Peace
Abdullah Gul, New York Times 4/20/2011
      Ankara, Turkey
     THE wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa is of historic significance equal to that of the revolutions of 1848 and 1989 in Europe. The peoples of the region, without exception, revolted not only in the name of universal values but also to regain their long-suppressed national pride and dignity. But whether these uprisings lead to democracy and peace or to tyranny and conflict will depend on forging a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and a broader Israeli-Arab peace.
     The plight of the Palestinians has been a root cause of unrest and conflict in the region and is being used as a pretext for extremism in other corners of the world. Israel, more than any other country, will need to adapt to the new political climate in the region. But it need not fear; the emergence of a democratic neighborhood around Israel is the ultimate assurance of the country’s security.
     In these times of turmoil, two forces will shape the future: the people’s yearning for democracy and the region’s changing demographics. Sooner or later, the Middle East will become democratic, and by definition a democratic government should reflect the true wishes of its people. Such a government cannot afford to pursue foreign policies that are perceived as unjust, undignified and humiliating by the public. For years, most governments in the region did not consider the wishes of their people when conducting foreign policy. History has repeatedly shown that a true, fair and lasting peace can only be made between peoples, not ruling elites.
     I call upon the leaders of Israel to approach the peace process with a strategic mindset, rather than resorting to short-sighted tactical maneuvers. This will require seriously considering the Arab League’s 2002 peace initiative, which proposed a return to Israel’s pre-1967 borders and fully normalized diplomatic relations with Arab states.
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Europe’s Rising Islamophobia
Paul Hockenos, Agence Global 4/21/2011
      Berlin -- With inspiring scenes of the Arab Spring on television for months, one might have expected images of democratic revolutions to punch a hole in the crude anti-Muslim stereotypes of Europe’s Islamophobes, those politicians and intellectuals who swear that Islam is totalitarian to its core. And if this alone didn’t dispel clichés of a monolithic, violent religion, then surely the vox pop of diaspora Egyptians, Tunisians and others on the nightly news -- university students, women who head NGOs and children alongside their native French or German peers -- would have demonstrated the diversity and integration of Muslim Europeans, something study after study documents.
     To the contrary, in recent elections Islamophobes like France’s right-wing National Front and the anti-EU True Finn Party racked up their best numbers ever, the latest strides in a surging movement that is recasting the political landscape of Western Europe. These elements have every reason to thank mainstream politicians, who, in the hope of exploiting the phenomenon for their own gain, have paved the way for the far right. In April, for example, France’s ridiculous “burqa ban” went into effect with overwhelming popular support, while EU leaders pushed the panic button over Tunisian refugees landing in Italy and Malta, turning the image of peaceful revolutionaries across the Mediterranean into one of an impoverished mob besieging Fortress Europe.
     What makes anti-Muslim racism so lethal is that unlike populisms of the past, Islamophobia has broad appeal across the political spectrum, from the far left to the far right and irrespective of class or educational level. Where it manifests itself in electoral parties, such as in France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and now even Sweden and Finland, its advocates fare much better than old-school far-right parties ever did, with their vulgar anti-Semitism and expansionist fantasies....
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Bieber's empty pop can't drown out Palestine's cry
Electronic Intifada: 21 Apr 2011 - Alexander Billet The Electronic Intifada Marred though it might have been by the paparazzi and diplomatic fiasco, Benjamin Netanyahu probably couldn’t be happier with how pop star Justin Bieber’s visit to Israel went.more

Israel issues demolition orders for Jerusalem school
Electronic Intifada: 21 Apr 2011 - The Electronic Intifada The one-room school building in a Palestinian village on the “wrong” side of Israel’s wall is facing demolition orders as Israel refuses to grant permits to build extra classrooms.more

Netanyahu plans to subvert Palestinian rights
Palestine Monitor: 21 Apr 2011 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's latest plan proves he is devoted to perpetuating the occupation and contains no prospect of peace. Netanyahu is seeking to circumvent the national rights of our people – an end to history's longest occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state – by seeking to raise the idea of our state in temporary borders. We cannot accept any Israeli-led initiatives that do not lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty over all territories occupied in 1967 and Jerusalem as its capital. These are non-negotiable boundaries of mutual respect and peace... Read the rest on Dr. Barghouthi's blogmore

Palestinian Festival of Literature Outro: Poems, Flames, Tears and Rap
Palestine Monitor: 21 Apr 2011 - Violence erupted in Silwan last night, interrupting but not stopping the final day of the Palestine Festival of Literature. Reportedly started by an Israeli shooting a young man's face , the streets of tumultous Silwan rose up in rock-throwing protest. The road to and from the tent was cut off by burning tires. But as two cars carrying settlers tried to pass, a small group of young boys pelted the car with rocks. "It sounded like someone was beating the cars with bats," said an eye-witness. Only few minutes later, the air was thick with teargas and the people attending the literary festival fled to the Solidarity Tent . For a little over an hour, Israeli soldiers launched teargas at festival attendees, performers and guests. As the situation quieted down, people returned to the tent. With a significant interruption in the program for the event, speakers choose to carry on with the...more

Clashes erupt in Silwan, but Literary Festival carries on
Palestine Monitor: 21 Apr 2011 - Last night, 20 April, the Palestinian Literary Festival was scheduled to hold the final reading of their tour in the Solidarity Tent in Silwan. Slated to perform with them was Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. However, only an hour before the show began, clashes erupted after an Israeli soldier shot a young Palestinian man in the face with a rubber bullet. According to Jawad Siyam, the director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, after the young man was taken to the hospital the Israeli soldiers closed down the streets to Silwan. “When they notice that anything is happening, they bring soldiers to the ground,” Siyam said. Siyam told Palestine Monitor that he noticed a deployment of troops in Silwan earlier in the afternoon when volunteers and activists were handing out fliers in front of Israel's Archaeological City of David . Silwan is located in the heart of the Old City in Jerusalem....more

6th Annual Conference on Popular Resistance in Bil'in
Palestine Monitor: 21 Apr 2011 - Yesterday, 20 April, the village of Bil'in commenced its sixth Annual Conference on Popular Resistance. Bil'in's ongoing nonviolent protests against the construction of the wall on its land, has made the village an internationally recognized symbol of Palestinian resistance to Israel's occupation, theft of land and Apartheid Wall. Community members hold up signs that tell the names of their family members that have been killed by Israeli forces. The village of Bil'in is beautifully situated amongst soft green hills. Its gardens are lush with fig and olive trees, roses and newly planted rows of vegetables. As one stands in the village to take in the view, one sees the wall that cuts through the landscape like a jagged scar and the expanding settlements lie beyond. Over 300 people from Palestine and all over the world sat under the blue and white tarp of the conference's tent. Italian solidarity activists made...more

The Strange Case of Judge Goldstone
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Apr 2011 - By Peter Lavelle Ever since Israel invaded Gaza and massacred around 1,400 Palestinians in 2008-09 in a brief, bloody and onesided war, it has been haunted by the UN-sponsored investigation commonly known as the Goldstone Report. Until now, it would seem. Some form of divine intervention has put Israel’s Gaza ghost to rest – at least for those who are apologists for countries committing crimes against humanity. In the initial report, Judge Richard Goldstone, an eminent South African jurist experienced in tackling war crimes cases and himself a Jewish Zionist, concluded that Israel had committed multiple war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during its 2008-09 invasion. But now Goldstone has publicly distanced himself from the report, and explained his volte-face in a Washington Post commentary. The op-ed, which appeared on April 1, of all days, stated: “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would...more

Ex-Peace Process: And Palestine's Big Chance
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Apr 2011 - By Stuart Littlewood In an article Mobilizing for September? Jeff Halper, Director of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), shares his thoughts on the collective action that must be taken between now and when the window of opportunity for applying for statehood opens in September. As he rightly says, the Palestinian Authority over the years "has failed to mobilize its greatest resource and ally, grassroots activists the world over". It also needs to provide them with guidance and leadership. "We have no idea where the PA is heading." To start with... no more pointless talk of negotiations. “The interminable peace process, says Halper, "serves one purpose only: prolonging the Israeli Occupation." Many would go further and say that the US, Britain and the EU have connived with Israel to prolong the Occupation to the point where they hope it will become irreversible. Washington and London won't take kindly to...more

Sinning against Zionism: Traitor to Country
Dissident Voice: 21 Apr 2011 - Hell is where many false commitments must be unlearned. — Ricardo J. Quinones, Dante Alighieri Richard Goldstone’s journey from Justice to Sinner represents the spiritual act of dying in the Zionist world. By recanting his own report he has attempted to break the bonds that cast him into the sufferings in Caina, Antenora, and Judecca where, in Dante’s Inferno , those treacherous to their own, are removed from the light and warmth of their kin, their country, and their masters and suffer eternal damnation in the remorseless dead center of the ice in the most bottomless circle of Hell. Fortunately, Goldstone like Dante can learn that he has, in his journey, aligned himself with many false gods and many false attachments ignoring on the way the elementary truths that bind humankind ineluctably in one race in a bond of human grace. The Zionist world needs no Hell since it heeds no...more

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