srijeda, 25. ožujka 2009.

Nekoliko linkova o aparthejdu

Mazin Qumsiyeh: Geneva understandings promote a failing apartheid solution
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat recognized Israel on 78% of the land of Palestine in hopes of being allowed an independent state on the remaining 22%. Many "deals" since then failed because, as Amnesty International puts it, they fail to recognize the importance of human rights. The media is now trumpeting the latest in this line of agreements: the Geneva understandings. Guided by an imbalance of power, Palestinians would be asked to abrogate the right of return to their homes and lands and to recognize Israel not as a state of its citizens but as a state "for the Jewish people."

In short, this blatantly violates international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What it means is that the victims of Israeli colonialism are expected to certify that it is OK for Israel to remain the only country in the world that identifies its lands as belonging not to its citizens but to "Jewish people everywhere." This means that the Palestinians accept that Israel caused the largest remaining refugee problem in the world and can break international law and basic human rights and refuse to allow them to return to their farms, businesses, homes and lands. The Palestinians must recognize that Israel can remain the only country in the world that gives members of a particular religion, including converts, automatic rights (citizenship, land, homes, subsidies) that supercede and mostly replace those of "citizens" and native people who belong to other religions. Israel grants automatic citizenship to any individual who has one Jewish grandparent while denying citizenship to native Christians and Muslims simply for being of the wrong religion.

Israel is the only country in the world whose legitimacy does not flow from rights of self-determination of natives but Zionist claims of biblical authority. Of course there was a UN general assembly resolution in 1947 which called for partition of a native land to give 55% to Jews who at the time represented 30% of the population and most of them new settlers/colonists and owned 7% of the land. Native Jews actually were not Zionists for the most part and rejected such partition. The resolution was unfair and could not be accepted any more than Algerians were willing to split their country with French colonists. It was accomplished by much arm-twisting by the US and USSR. Yet the resolution rejected any population transfer and included internationalizing Jerusalem, an economic union and free movement of people. All these provisions where unacceptable to the Zionist movement and are denied in the Geneva accords.
Israel has violated over 70 UN Security Council resolutions and was protected from 35 others by US veto. Yet Israel receives billions of dollars in tax-funded aid in direct violation of US law. Speaking of "eventually" having a Palestinian demilitarized mini-state is analogous to South Africa speaking about having mini-states for blacks (what became known as bantustans or large ghettos). The only difference is that South Africa never insisted that the appointed quisling rulers of those bantustans recognize South Africa as a state "for the white people." Yet, unless annihilated (a difficult task in the 21st century), no native people has ever succumbed to oppressors, however powerful.
(napisano u prosincu 2003.)

Ronnie Kasrils: Who Said Nearly 50 Years Ago that Israel was an Apartheid State?
It needs to be frankly raised that if the crimes of the Holocaust are at the top end of the scale of human barbarity in modern times, where do we place the human cost of what has so recently occurred in Gaza and against the Palestinians since 1948 in the ‘Nakba’ (catastrophe) they have endured?
How do we evaluate the inhumanity of dropping bombs and blazing white phosphorous on civilian populations, burning people alive, gassing them in a Gaza ghetto under relentless siege with no place to run or hide. For 22 days relentless bombardment whole families vaporized before the horrified eyes of a surviving parent or child.
But unquestioningly, what helped tip the balance, in Vietnam and South Africa, was the force and power of international solidarity action. It took some 30 years but the worldwide Anti-Apartheid Movements campaigns - launched in London in 1959 - for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - not only provided international activists with a practical role, but became an incalculable factor in (a) isolating and weakening the apartheid regime (b) inspiring the struggling people (c) undermining the resolve of those states that supported and benefited from relations with apartheid South Africa, (d) generated a change of attitude amongst the South African white public generally, and political, business, professional, academic, religious and sporting associations in particular. Boycott made them feel the pinch in their pocket and their polecat status everywhere - whether on the sporting fields, at academic or business conventions, in the world of theatre and the arts they were totally shunned like biblical lepers. There was literally no place to hide from universal condemnation backed by decisive and relentless action which in time became more and more creative.

To conclude: we must spare no effort in building a world-wide solidarity movement to emulate the success of the Anti-Apartheid Movement which played such a crucial role in toppling the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nelson Mandela stated after South Africa attained democratic rule that “we South Africans cannot feel free until the Palestinians are free.” A slogan of South Africa’s liberation struggle and our trade union movement is “An injury to one is an injury to all!“ That goes for the whole of humanity. Every act of solidarity demonstrates to the Palestinians and those courageous Jews who stand by them in Israel - that they are not alone.

Israel has lost in Gaza. Whilst many Palestinians have lost their lives the Palestinians have not been conquered or cowed. Repression generates resistance and that will grow. Israeli aggression stands exposed. A turning point has been reached in humanity‘s perception of this issue. The time is ripe for us to drive home the advantage. When 150,000 Palestinians within Israel itself demonstrated against the carnage in Gaza; when Jewish women staged a sit-in in at the Israeli Consulate in Toronto; when Norwegian tram drivers stopped their transport in sympathy; when municipalities and colleges decide to divest like Hampshire college in the USA (the first that took this step against apartheid South Africa), when Durban dockworkers refused to unload a ship with Israeli cargo; joining with the countless thousands around the world, from Australia to Britain to Belgium to Canada to Cairo, Jordan, Indonesia and the USA we know the times are changing and Zionist hegemony is fast losing control. BDS represents three words that will help bring about the defeat of Zionist Israel and victory for Palestine. Like South Africa this can mean, must mean: freedom, peace, security, equality and justice for all - Muslim, Christian and Jew. That is well worth struggling for!

From Mazin Qumsiyeh's blog on apartheid life in Palestine: Wednesday 18 March 2009
I woke up today and had a great and refreshing cup of Arabic coffee and think to myself: life is still good. I checked emails; hundreds with news and views and actions and from students and from scientific colleagues and on and on. But I lingered on one email from a British volunteer who was attacked in a peaceful demonstration in Palestine and was beaten, detained, jailed and then deported by the Israeli colonial state. Excerpt:
so im back in my home town, … it was a bit unexpected being whisked away from all that i was absorbed in, stuck in jail for 4 days and then stuck on a plane back to the uk, but im getting back into the swing of things…..the palestinians know how to live and love. the folk here have been bombarded with wealth for so long that they fail to see any other plausible way of living and so take their luxury life style with a pinch of salt…give me palestine any day….sadly i've got a ten year ban on coming back so i cant even get into the west bank. i am gutted, but i will return one day.….everyday i get anxious feelings about the work i personally left uncompleted and the people i left disappointed….all the people i never got the chance to say a proper goodbye to. i never thought it would come to deportation. after my second court appearance it seemed that all would be fine if i could get a new visa, just an application for a new visa by the time of my next bail date at kiriyat arba police station in hebron. however, first the israel ministry of the interior in jerusalem told me that as i was living in bethlehem i must get a visa from the palestinian authority. so i got an application in process in bethlehem only to be told by the israeli police that this wasn’t good enough and that the matter would be transferred to israeli immigration. so they arrested and took 4 days to deport me during which time i was moved around various jails ending up in ramle amongst african refugees. this really was an eye opener. refugees held in prison, some for 3 years without any notification as to how long they might spend there. none of them had money for lawyers and none of them had a country to return to. israel was threatening most of them with deportation even though they were pleading political assylum. i was told by a few that if they returned they would likely be killed.. the lawyer that saw me told me that if i didnt hire her services i was looking at spending 3 months in jail. i knew she was lying just to make me panic and get my money. i had already been told that the british consulate would get me out in at most a week. so, you can imagine how much money she must have swindled out of these captive refugees, those with any money that is. i would love to hear from you all. take care for now, much love…”

I drove to Bethlehem University where I met a Dean in the Parking lot who was angry that the Israelis at the checkpoint delayed him for one hour demanding he dismantle the spare tire on his car (he has a Jerusalem ID and thus a yellow license plate so could drive his car unlike me with a West Bank white/green license plate). He asked them to do it themselves and search whatever they want but it is not his job to take things apart for them! Acts of civil resistance like this are done by the millions everyday in Palestine.

In a Palestinian newspaper I read that the Israeli supreme court (after delays of five years) refused a petition that requests it to issue a ruling that Muslim Holy Sites should be treated by the Israeli government just like Jewish Holy Sites (in terms of maintenance, protection etc). The court claimed in this racist ruling that it was due to difficulty for the Jewish state to determine Muslim Holy Sites (obviously there is no “difficulty” about deciding Jewish holy sites). Hundreds of mosques have already been demolished in the past 60 years and others turned into things like nightclubs and art galleries. The remaining Muslim ancient sites are pillaged, buried, ignored, etc. while Israel spends millions to maintain and build (and in some cases even fabricate) Jewish Holy Sites.

In the web version of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, I read that Israeli leaders blamed Hamas for failure of prisoner swap and have then taken more political prisoners to pressure Hamas. A reader response caught my eyes: “This is insane what Zionists keep indulging in, an exercise of unabashed narcissism. It’s nothing more than a self-righteous sanctimonious orgy of self-gratification and self-glorification. What are they drinking in Zion to be so out there in the stratosphere? Israel murdered over 1,300 people just a month or so ago, injured over 5,000 - majority civilians and kids, and bombed 100% civilian infrastructure (since no military infrastructure exists) and Zionists got the chutzpah to talk about ‘blood on their hands’? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? To top all of that, Israel has locked up and rounded up thousands (over 11,000 to be exact) of Palestinians who today rot in prisons somewhere in the desert and their only crime was to be born NOT JEWISH. Only in Israel, POW exchanges are performed by bleeding heart puritans. Give me a break, just because a slaughterhouse is kosher doesn’t mean it’s any less bloody than non-kosher slaughterhouses. Israel has more war criminals/terrorists than Las Vegas has gamblers. It’s time for the holier than thou act to end”. Part of me wants to think the worst is yet to come here with an extreme right government in Israel. The other part of me sees the growing chorus of Jews and non-Jews engaged in telling the reality and challenging the stereotypes and racism.

In the same newspaper website edition, we learn that “During Operation Cast Lead (Gaza Invasion earlier this year), Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive….The speakers included combat pilots and infantry soldiers. Their testimony runs counter to the Israel Defense Forces' claims that Israeli troops observed a high level of moral behavior during the operation.”

Dodatno i nevezano uz Palestinu/Izrael:
US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites
For from the moment of his dramatic capture, on March 28, 2002, the man known as Abu Zubaydah slipped from one clandestine world, that of al-Qaeda officials gone to ground in the days after September 11, into another, a "hidden global internment network" intended for secret detention and interrogation and set up by the Central Intelligence Agency under authority granted directly by President George W. Bush in a "memorandum of understanding" signed on September 17, 2001. This secret system included prisons on military bases around the world, from Thailand and Afghanistan to Morocco, Poland, and Romania—"at various times," reportedly, "sites in eight countries"—into which, at one time or another, more than one hundred prisoners...disappeared. The secret internment network of "black sites" had its own air force and its own distinctive "transfer procedures," which were, according to the writers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report, "fairly standardised in most cases"
Many officials of human rights organizations, who have fought long and valiantly to bring attention and law to bear on these issues, strongly reject any proposal that includes widespread grants of immunity. They urge investigations and prosecutions of Bush administration officials. The choices are complicated and painful. From what we know, officials acted with the legal sanction of the US government and under orders from the highest political authority, the elected president of the United States. Political decisions, made by elected officials, led to these crimes. But political opinion, within the government and increasingly, as time passed, without, to some extent allowed those crimes to persist. If there is a need for prosecution there is also a vital need for education. Only a credible investigation into what was done and what information was gained can begin to alter the political calculus around torture by replacing the public's attachment to the ticking bomb with an understanding of what torture is and what is gained, and lost, when the United States reverts to it.