Posts tagged politics
Posts tagged politics
The efforts by those to separate the Sandy Hook shootings from a political narrative “out of respect” are essentially saying, “if you attach a pre-existing narrative to our tragedy, you lessen its import.”
We all know what political tragedies look like; we hear about them every morning on the radio, read about them every day in the paper. They are black kids in Chicago getting gunned down before they have a chance to graduate high school. They are brown kids in Pakistan murdered by drones sent out by a nation that Pakistan is supposedly allied with. They are the innocents who are murdered by a gang war that is tearing Mexico apart. They are the millions of women and children that are sold into sexual slavery every day in every part of the world.
These people, these deaths, they exist in a separate part of our brain. They are “news”. Their voices, their faces, they can be turned off, when we complain that we’re “sick of the news”, or that “the news is too negative”.
Categorization allows us to ignore them.
So to place these dead (our dead) into this category by attaching their stories to a political narrative, is to lessen the importance of their deaths.
Because this is so tragic, this can’t possibly compare. Because if you could, then these dead kids become just another statistic, just some other tragedy that we can chalk up to another sad incident in a sad pattern.
…. the answer is obvious, isn’t it?
There are no deaths that can be ignored. There are no tragedies that aren’t personal. You do not have permission to turn your brain off when you’re sick of the news, because the families of those lost don’t have that luxury.
Even when its a political tragedy.
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday and reiterated U.S. support for Israel’s right to self-defense in light of rocket attacks from Gaza, the White House said.
Obama spoke to the leaders about the rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel and the escalating violence in Gaza, the White House said in a statement.
“The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate,” the statement said.
“The President also spoke with President Morsi given Egypt’s central role in preserving regional security. In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense,” it said.
Following four days of escalation on the Israel-Gaza border, Israel launched a military operation in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, killing Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike, and targeting weapons warehouses and long-range rocket launchers.
The IDF hit more than 20 targets in the Gaza Strip, including rocket warehouses and rocket-launching facilities. Palestinians say eight people in the Gaza Strip were killed, including Jabari, and more than 30 were injured in Israeli strikes Wednesday.
who the fuck is surprised
obama you’re fucking killing me
and you’re telling israel it’s okay to kill brown people
Israeli activists protesting in front of the residence of the Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak against the attack on Gaza on, Tel-Aviv, November 14, 2012.
U.S. solidarity activists need to be talking about the fact that our government funds this occupation, and defends Israel from the repercussions of their atrocious actions.
The United States gives about $3 billion to Israel in military aid annually, with a plain to give $30 billion by 2018. Since 1988, the U.S. has used almost all of its UN Security Counsel vetoes to block resolutions against Israel.
Our government pays for the slaughter and oppression of the Palestinian people.
Our government protects Israel from suffering the consequences of their daily violations of human rights and International Law.
Without us, there is no occupation. That’s why we as United States citizens bear responsibility for the oppression of the Palestinians. We give our money, we give our indifference, and consequently, we give our permission. Just because we don’t pull the triggers or drive the tanks doesn’t mean we’re not compliant.
That’s why we also bear responsibility for ending the occupation of Palestine. By standing in solidarity with Palestinians everywhere, listening to their stories, meeting Palestinian civil society’s call to action to the international community by supporting the BDS Movement, and telling our government we will not be complicit in the illegal occupation of an oppressed people.
Without us, there is no occupation.
FREE PALESTINE, END ISRAELI APARTHEID, END THE OCCUPATION
Hundreds of protesters are heading to the ministry of foreign affairs in the downtown of the capital to protest of the vicious Israeli assaults on Gaza
Hundreds of angry protesters march on Wednesday evening from Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo heading towards the ministry of foreign affairs near Tahrir Square to condemn the ongoing brutal attacks on the Gaza Strip by the Israeli forces.
Protesters chanted “Gaza Gaza, You’re the pride,“ “Arab states are cowardly,” “Palestinian blood is our blood,” as they carried Palestinian flags.
Protesters are demanding Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Israel and close down the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
A number of Egyptian political forces including the National Front for Justice and Democracy and Hamdeen Sabbahi’s popular Current have called for the protest.
On Wednesday night, president Mohamed Morsi recalled Egypt’s envoy in Israel following the Israeli attack that killed at least seven Palestinians, including Hamas leading figure Ahmed Al-Jaabari.
The People’s Record Daily News Update - Whose news? Our news!
November 12, 2012
Here are some stories you may not otherwise read about today:
- Workers at Target have expressed outrage after Target announced that they will remain open on Thanksgiving, joining retailers like Walmart & Sears. Workers are furious about the retail chain keeping workers from their families on Thanksgiving, according to a Change.org petition that’s garnered more than 170,000 signatures.
- Amazon, Google & Starbucks have been accused of diverting hundreds of millions of pounds to secret tax havens, in an effort to pay employees low wages, to take advantage of tax-payer funded tax credits and pay no tax themselves.
- In an effort to “tackle anarchists” and further criminalize the poor and working class, squatting is now a criminal offense in the UK. With the new law in place, the ministry of justice estimates that they could prosecute up to 2,000 people each year.
- Microsoft-owned company Skype did not even wait for a court warrant before sharing sensitive account data pertaining to a teenage Wikileaks participant for his involvement in Anonymous initiative “Operation Payback”.
- Protests were held in Portugal today over the arrival of German chancellor Merkel, who is visiting Portugal to support a series of austerity measures resulting in lower standard of living for the Portuguese people amid the worst economic crisis in Portugal since the 1970s.
the police force?
You should ask the workers at the Homestead Strike how well the Pinkerton National Detective Agency protected them.
You should ask the people of Bolivia how well Bechtel improved their plumbing.
You should probably ask the people of California how well Enron did to keep the power on.
You should ask the people of Mexico how well Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo operated the Highway of the Sun.
You should ask students in Chile how their voucher system is working out for them.
PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat today discussed the announcement of early Israeli elections (with officials putting a likely January 15 date on them), saying he is concerned that the ruling coalition will escalate moves against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as a political maneuver.
Erekat said he believes that the outgoing government is likely to escalate the expansion of settlements in the West Bank as well as approve major new moves toward the “Judaization” of the Palestinian portions of East Jerusalem.
Erekat’s assessment is likely reasonable, as many of the parties in the current far-right government will be running on a platform of settlement expansion and the continued forestalling of the peace process, and will likely be trying to “out-hawk” one another on the West Bank ahead of the vote, courting the settler vote.
The negotiator insisted, however, that the PLO would not change any of its positions because of the announcement, that they intend to not interfere in the vote and that they will continue to pursue recognition as a “non-member state” at the UN General Assembly.
There are so many similiar parallels between the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans/Indigenous Native peoples of the Americas, and with the 1948 Nakba cleansing of Palestinians and the gradual removal (and then later, forced expulsion) of Palestinians from Israel, starting in the late 1910s. Jewish settlers and Zionist “immigrants” from Europe have a lot in common with American pilgrims and colonialist settlers. Oh… and Palestinians were recently described as “savages” in those pro-Israel New York City subway ads a few weeks ago. Remember when Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of the Americas were called savages by Christian missionaries, white settlers, and European colonialists?
It is chilling that this shit still happens to this day.
Via Electronic Intifada:
A Mexican-led student action at the largest US public university this week, partly invoking Palestinian solidarity, demonstrated the need to extend history beyond borders to create a better future.
Equipped with face paint and using their bodies as props, members of the local chapter of M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán) creatively subverted Monday’s Columbus Day anniversary to mark it from the standpoint of Christopher Columbus’s victims.
In the torrid 90-degree midday heat, a group of about ten M.E.Ch.A. students lay down in the middle of the 70,000-student Arizona State University. Wearing red shirts and skulls painted on their faces, students used the tradition of macabre and theater of the oppressed to dramatize the memory of millions of Native Americans murdered by European settlers and slave-traders who invaded the “New World,” beginning with Columbus in 1492.
At the same time the MEChistas acted out the moribund scene, an equal number of Students for Justice in Palestine members passed out fact-sheets about Columbus’ murderous exploits and collected dozens of student signatures for a petition to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on the university’s calendars.
The action aimed to demonstrate that Columbus Day is, in effect, a celebration of brutal invasion, occupation, and enslavement of native peoples.
Columbus inspires Israel
Repudiating our nation’s history of colonialism will take more than just replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, however. Domestically, the United States government and dominant society carries on the practice of casting aside native peoples, rendering their lives invisible.
As a matter of foreign policy, the US provides crucial diplomatic and ideological support, as well as enormous amounts of military assistance — $8.2 million a day or $3 billion yearly — enabling the continuation of Israel’s impunity and human rights abuses against indigenous Palestinians. Since its creation in 1948, Israel has steadily stolen more and more Palestinian land, in a pattern resembling the European settlers’ expansion across North America.
Invoking the Columbus model of exterminating indigenous populations has been a leading element of the Zionist movement, from the pre-state period through the present day.
“There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing,” Morris said. “Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history” (“Survival of the fittest,” Ha’aretz, 8 January 2004).
In his 1923 essay entitled “The Iron Wall,” one of the “founding fathers” of Israel, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, outlined a basic observation of human history: “There has never been an indigenous inhabitant anywhere or at any time who has ever accepted the settlement of others in his country.”
An honest cynic, Jabotinsky recognized that the Palestinian indigenous population at the time “look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie. To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile.”
After all, Jabotinsky knew, as Israeli leaders know today, that the indigenous peoples must be driven out by force if policies of foreign settlement are to be maintained: “Zionist colonization must … proceed regardless of the native population” and it should continue “behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach,” he wrote.
The United States has warned European governments against supporting a Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations, saying such a move “would be extremely counterproductive” and threatening “significant negative consequences” for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions.
A US memorandum, seen by the Guardian, said Palestinian statehood “can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis” and urged European governments “to support [American] efforts” to block the bid. The message was communicated by officials to representatives of European governments at the UN general assembly (UNGA) in New York last week.
Palestinian officials accused the US of exerting “tremendous pressure” on European governments to oppose their bid for upgraded “non-member state” status at the UNGA. Announced by president Mahmoud Abbas last week (video), the move is a significant diminution of Palestinian ambitions after its application for full statehood failed last year when it was blocked by the US in the security council.
The Palestinians will wait until after the US presidential election in early November before proceeding with their bid for upgraded status. However, they insist they will press for a vote by the end of the year and are confident of winning a comfortable majority among the UN’s 193 countries. The US has no veto at the general assembly.
The memorandum – described by one diplomatic source as “private correspondence” – said the US was continuing to work for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and urged both parties “to avoid provocative one-sided actions that could undermine trust or otherwise distract from the pursuit of peace”.
A Palestinian resolution on non-member state status “would have significant negative consequences, for the peace process itself, for the UN system, as well as our ability to maintain our significant financial support for the Palestinian Authority”.
It added that a successful resolution could lead to Palestinian participation as a state in international bodies such as the international criminal court. Israel is concerned that Palestinian recourse to the ICC could have repercussions for its policies on settlements, the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza.
“We believe your government understands what is at stake here, and – like us – wants to avoid a collision at the coming UNGA session,” said the text. “We hope you are willing to support our efforts … We would appreciate knowing where your government stands on this issue. We would also be interested in knowing whether you have been approached on this matter by Palestinian representatives.”
Hanan Ashwari, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation executive committee, described the memorandum as “typical American behaviour but also overkill”.
“It is ridiculous and unconscionable the way they put themselves at the service of Israel in such a blatant way. This is tremendous American pressure and bias.”
She said most European countries had already decided their position on the issue: “I don’t think [the US] will make countries change their minds.”
Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, said the memorandum reflected the US position but he hoped that “the Europeans will follow their interests and choose peace over settlements”.
One European diplomat said that, until recently, US officials believed a “diplomatic ceasefire” was in force and that the Palestinians would not pursue the statehood issue at the general assembly. But pressure from street protests in the West Bank in recent weeks had stiffened Abbas’s resolve, and the current consensus among diplomats was that the Palestinians were determined to press ahead.
There were differing views among European countries on the wisdom of the Palestinians’ move, the diplomat added. “The closer we get to the prospect of a vote in the UN general assembly, the more concerned the US administration is likely to be. This letter is an expression of their well-known position against such a vote. But if we are to persuade Abbas not to pull the trigger, a serious alternative needs to be put on the table, and fast.”
A second European diplomat said the US had “made it very clear to all of us that they’re opposed to any [Palestinian] move at the UN”. He also criticised the Palestinians for not engaging in “serious, high-level diplomacy” on the issue.
Some European countries are alarmed at the prospect of the US withdrawing financial support for the Palestinian Authority in the wake of a bid for upgraded status, fearing that the EU would have to fill the funding gap.
Following the Palestinians’ acceptance as a state by the United Nations cultural and heritage body, Unesco, the US cut off funding as a punitive measure. The US had contributed 22% of Unesco’s annual budget.
Discussions among European governments on whether to support the Palestinians’ bid are due to be held this week. However the 27 member states are unlikely to forge a common line.
The US state department declined to comment on the memorandum.