USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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Archive for April, 2007

USC Angelingo: Palestinian Conflict Bounces to a New Beat

Posted by uscsjp on April 22, 2007

“Rap music is the most visible form of African American cultural expression in contemporary society.” 1 Yet, as hip hop’s popularity continues to grow, it ceases to be solely a means of creating African American identity. Scholar Halifu Osumare in his article “Beats Streets in the Global Hood: Connective marginalities of the hip hop globe” argues that hip hop as “an extension of African American popular culture” has become “a global signifier for many forms of marginalizations.” Osumare continues to argue that in this case “‘blackness and its perceived status is implicated as a global signifier for many forms of marginalization.” 2 Osumare’s theory can be exemplified in the film Commitments, in which the main character, Jimmy Rabbitte, maintains that the reason many European minority groups identify with African American music is that they can empathize with the oppression of blacks. “‘The Irish are the blacks of Europe, and the Northsiders are the black of Dublin,” cries Jimmy. “So say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud!”3 The immense growth of Palestinian hip hop over the last seven years is due greatly to this equating “blackness” to “marginalization.” Hip hop has historically provided a voice for the silenced minorities and these roots have allowed for its rhythmic flows to transgress many nations’ borders, providing a global musical outlet for the marginalized. Due to the constant social and political struggle confronting Palestinians and Palestinian Americans, many of their youth have used hip hop as a means of creating an identity and providing a peaceful outlet for their political dissent…

Palestinian youth rapping to a crowd.

For many of these Palestinian hip hop artists, hip hop is not only used as political expression but a form of peaceful dissent. Palestinian youths’ lives are plagued by violent tensions between the two warring nations that manifest themselves in physical aggression. Hip hop has become a “form of creative nonviolent resistance against the military occupation,” where violent resistance and violent repression are the norm. According to documentarian Jacqueline Sacalloum, “hip hop has become an expression of Palestinian identity in the face of Israeli oppression”16, and it provides “a bridge to understanding the Palestinian struggle as well as highlighting the way creative resistance serves not only as a powerful educational tool but also as a source of strength and community” 17. Also, “Music can be a good weapon,” explains Palestinian hip hop artist Tamer. 18

An example of a group who has armed itself with its lyrics is DAM, a trio of rappers, Tamer Nafer, Suhell Nafer, and Mahmud Jiery, who hail from Ramleh. The group’s name means blood in both Arabic and Hebrew and is also associated with the English curse word. DAM blends the influences of 2pac and Mos Def’s American hip hop flavor with the traditional Arabic music greats, George Wasouf and Fairuz.19 DAM “sing about the racism and living as third class citizens, police brutality , and wanting to be united with all Arabs around the world.”20 In songs such as “Who’s the Real Terrorist?,” DAM spit powerful lyrics in Arabic in attempt to raise political awareness of the Palestinian struggle. Documentarian Jacqueline Sacalloum produced a highly politicized music video for DAM’s song “Who’s the Real Terrorist?.” But unlike mainstream music videos, DAM’s short documentary style video did not include scantily clad women or enormous diamond chains. The video was a blend of disturbing footage that showcased acts of violence against Palestinian people and a provocative track that begged the viewer to question who the real terrorists were. (continued)

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LA Times: Armenian genocide resolution far from certain

Posted by uscsjp on April 21, 2007

WASHINGTON — It was the year 2000, and Rep. George P. Radanovich was on his way to the Capitol, expecting the House to pass a long-debated resolution he was sponsoring to recognize the Armenian genocide almost a century ago.

But just as the Republican from Mariposa prepared to step onto the House floor, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) called off the vote because President Clinton personally had warned him that the symbolic but emotion-charged resolution could damage national security. Turkey, an important U.S. ally, long has insisted that the deaths of about 1 million Armenians in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire were not acts of genocide.

Seven years later, however, with Congress in the hands of Democrats, the resolution’s backers believe they stand their best chance yet of winning passage — even though the Bush administration, like previous Democratic and Republican administrations, is working hard to kill it…

And the speaker is not the only one in a bind on the issue. The Israeli government and many of its U.S. supporters face similar crosscurrents because opposing genocide is at the core of the Jewish state, but Turkey is the closest thing to an ally Israel has in the Muslim world…

Armenians, along with most historians and many Western governments, say more than 1 million died at the hands of Turkish forces — victims of either murder or mass deportation that led hundreds of thousands to succumb to exposure and disease.

Turks say there was no government-sponsored program targeting Armenians. Rather, they insist, large numbers of Armenians — and Turks — died in the chaos of war and an uprising staged by Armenians seeking to capitalize on a government weakened by World War I…

Though the events lie far in the past, Armenians and Armenian Americans have worked hard to keep the memory alive. The Turkish government and the ultranationalists who are resurgent in that country have worked equally hard to keep the U.S. government from taking a position.

Caught in the middle of the debate are Israel and its supporters.

“It’s a terrible predicament,” said David Twersky of the American Jewish Congress. “As Jews, we have a tremendous reverence for the moral imperatives of history. But then there is the aspect that no Muslim country is closer to Israel than Turkey. So we feel paralyzed by a set of conflicting emotions.”

Turkish officials say the renewed push to recognize an Armenian genocide could not come at a worse time.

The issue is so incendiary that even a symbolic recognition by Congress could embolden ultranationalists there to unleash enough anti-American sentiment to shut down important U.S. military bases and affect Washington’s position throughout the Middle East.

Civilian and military leaders of the Turkish government, including Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, met at a Washington hotel in February with more than a dozen leaders of major Jewish organizations in an effort to prevent action on the resolution. Members of the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee took part in the gathering.

“I believe the right thing for the Jewish community is to recognize the Armenian genocide as a fact, because virtually every historian and scholar of note in this area calls it a genocide,” said Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America. “As friends of Turkey, we need to encourage them to just recognize the truth, honor the victims and be done with it. This would only enhance Turkey’s standing in the world.”

Other Jewish leaders, believing the security needs of the U.S. and Israel trump distant history, are siding with Turkey.

“I don’t think a bill in Congress will help reconcile this issue. The resolution takes a position. It comes to a judgment,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “The Turks and Armenians need to revisit their past. The Jewish community shouldn’t be the arbiter of that history,” he said. “And I don’t think the U.S. Congress should be the arbiter either.”…

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates are among those working to scuttle the measure, contending it could jeopardize Turkey’s support for U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan… (full link)

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Gary Yeritsian: Doomed to Repeat – The Arab Israeli War of 1967

Posted by uscsjp on April 20, 2007

 Doomed to Repeat? -- The Arab-Israeli War of 1967

In July and August of 2006, the Israeli military carried out an extensive bombardment of Lebanon, under the pretext that it was responding to cross-border attacks by the Lebanese guerilla group Hezbollah. Israel’s apologists insisted that the state was simply “defending itself” against Hezbollah, whom they simplistically labeled as a “terrorist organization” which had carried out an “unprovoked attack.” In fact, though the initial Hezbollah raid that triggered the crisis could legitimately be condemned as a violation of international law, it was hardly unprovoked. As Laurie Brand, the Director of USC’s School of International Relations noted at the time, “Despite [Israel’s] May 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon … Its air force regularly violated sovereign Lebanese airspace, and its soldiers regularly violated the land border. It has kidnapped and killed Lebanese civilians.” Furthermore, the nature of Israel’s “retaliation” was criminal, both in a legal and moral sense. The Israeli military was responsible for the widespread and wanton destruction of Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure, and carried out indiscriminate attacks that took the lives of well over 1,000 Lebanese, the vast majority of them civilians—as compared to a total of forty-three Israeli civilian deaths resulting from Hezbollah strikes (which were themselves a response to the initial Israeli bombardment). 1

Pro-Israel ideologues have attempted to downplay or discredit the perspectives of respected sources, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, which found that Israel committed egregious violations of international law in Lebanon. For instance, top U.N. humanitarian official Jan Egeland called the Israeli bombardment a “violation of international humanitarian law,” and referred to Israel’s use of indiscriminate cluster munitions as “completely immoral.” Furthermore, an Amnesty International report identified many Israeli actions as “war crimes, including indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks.”2 In sum, the Israeli assault on Lebanon was an act of illegitimate international aggression, one which bears striking similarities to Israel’s actions in its earlier wars against the Arab states, and in its treatment of the Palestinians.

Official propagandists and unofficial apologists for Israel contend that every war fought by the state since its inception has been a result of the aggression and intransigence of its Arab neighbors. In their view, Israel has on multiple occasions, encountered circumstances that have presented an “existential threat” to the country, and its military actions have constituted defensive and measured responses to these threats. For instance, in a recent reply to an article critical of Israel, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz charges that “the authors mention the wars of 1948, 1967, and 1973 to cite evidence of Israeli military superiority, but they never mention why the wars were fought in the first place . . . on all three occasions, Arab countries attacked Israel in order, according to their own well-known formulation, to ‘drive the Jews into the Sea.’ ” (full link)

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Asia Times: The nightmare Bush dreads most

Posted by uscsjp on April 18, 2007

By Dilip Hiro

Public opinion polls are valuable chips to play for those engaged in a debate of national or international consequence. In the end, however, they are abstract numbers. It is popular demonstrations which give them substance, color, and – above all – wide media exposure, and make them truly meaningful. This is particularly true when such marches are peaceful and disciplined in a war-ravaged country like Iraq.

This indeed was the case with the demonstration on April 9 in

Najaf. Over a million Iraqis, holding aloft thousands of national flags, marched, chanting, “Yes, yes, Iraq/No, no, America” and “No, no, American/Leave, leave occupier.”

The demonstrators arrived from all over the country in response to a call by Muqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shi’ite cleric, to demand an end to foreign occupation on the fourth anniversary of the end of Ba’athist rule in Baghdad.

Both the size of the demonstration and its composition were unprecedented. “There are people here from all different parties and sects,” Hadhim al-Araji, Muqtada’s representative in Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district, told reporters. “We are all carrying the national flag, a symbol of unity. And we are all united in calling for the withdrawal of the Americans.”

The presence of many senior Sunni clerics at the head of the march, which started from Muqtada’s mosque in Kufa, a nearby town, and the absence of any sectarian flags or images in the parade, underlined the ecumenical nature of the protest.

Crucially, the mammoth demonstration reflected the view prevalent among Iraqi lawmakers. Last autumn, 170 of them in a 275-member Parliament, signed a motion demanding to know the date of an American withdrawal. The discomfited government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki played a procedural trick by referring the subject to a parliamentary committee, thereby buying time.

Opinion polls conducted since then show three-quarters of Iraqi respondents demanding the withdrawal of the Anglo-American troops within six to 12 months. (continued)

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Robert Fisk: Fear and loathing on an American campus

Posted by uscsjp on April 17, 2007

04.14.2007 | The Independent
by Robert Fisk

On the night of 11 September 2001, Al Dershowitz of Harvard law school exploded in anger. Robert Fisk, he roared over Irish radio, was a dangerous man. I was “pro-terrorist”. I was “anti-American” and that, Dershowitz announced to the people of County Mayo, “is the same as anti-Semitic”.

Of course I had dared to ask the “Why” question; Why had 19 Arabs flown aircraft into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania? Take any crime on the streets of London and the first thing Scotland Yard does is look for a motive. But when we had international crimes against humanity on the scale of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, the first thing we were not allowed to do was look for a motive. How very odd. The 19 murderers came from a place called the Middle East. Was there a problem out there?

But Al would have none of this. And I got the message. To ask the “Why” question made me a Nazi. Which is why I subsequently received a flood of mail, much of it from Denver – what has Denver got against me? – telling me that my mother was Adolf Eichmann’s daughter. Thanks, Al. I’m sure you didn’t dream of the hate mail your silly diatribe will inspire. I guess Irish radio host Eamon Dunphy did. He pulled the plug on Al.

I’m recalling all this nonsense because Al has been back at work attacking his old nemesis, Norm Finkelstein, who has just applied for tenure at DePaul University in the US where he is an assistant professor of politics. Norm’s department has supported him but Al has bombarded faculty members with a blistering attack on Norm and all his works.

So let me just explain what these works are. Finkelstein, who is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, has published a number of works highly critical of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and the use Israeli supporters make of the Holocaust of six million Jews to suppress criticism of Israel’s policies. He has accused Dershowitz of plagiarising portions of his 2003 book The Case for Israel. Finkelstein’s book, The Holocaust Industry, earned Dershowitz’s continued fury.

Now, I’ve known Norm for years and he is a tough, no-holds-barred polemicist, angry against all the traditional supporters of Israel, especially those who turn a blind eye to torture. Personally, I find Norm’s arguments sometimes a little overwrought. In radio discussions, his voice will take on a slightly whingeing tone that must infuriate his antagonists.

But Al is clearly trying to destroy Norm’s career, adding that the “dossier” he sent to DePaul academics – we remember that word “dossier” rather too well in Britain and, I should add, Al has absolutely no connection to DePaul University – contains details of “Norman Finkelstein’s … outright lies, misquotations and distortion”.

It will be a disgrace, says Al, for DePaul to give tenure to Norm. “His scholarship is no more than ad hominem attacks on his ideological enemies.” As if this is not enough, Al – who is also Jewish – takes a crack at philosopher and linguistic academic Noam Chomsky who has supported Norm and whom Al refers to as “the high priest of the radical anti-Israeli left”.

Enough, I hear readers shout. I agree. But Norm’s politics department give him top marks for scholarship and says he “offers a detailed argument that suggests that Dershowitz plagiarised or inappropriately appropriated large sections of others work in The Case for Israel”. Norm has a “substantial and serious record of scholarly production and achievement” and has lectured at the University of Chicago, Harvard, Georgetown and Northwestern Universities. (continued)

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EI: What the persecution of Azmi Bishara means for Palestine

Posted by uscsjp on April 17, 2007

What the persecution of Azmi Bishara means for Palestine
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 16 April 2007

Photo: Azmi Bishara (Magnus Johansson/MaanImages)

The Israeli state and the Zionist movement have begun their latest assault in their century-long struggle to rid Palestine of its indigenous people and transform their country into a Jewish supremacist enclave: the persecution of Azmi Bishara, one of the most important Palestinian national leaders and thinkers working today. This case has enormous significance for the Palestinian solidarity movement.

Bishara is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, one of more than one million who live inside the Jewish state, who are survivors or their descendants of the Zionist ethnic cleansing that forced most Palestinians to leave in 1947-48. Elected to the Knesset in 1996, Bishara is a founder of the National Democratic Assembly, a party which calls for Israel to be transformed from a sectarian ethnocracy into a democratic state of all its citizens.

On Sunday, Bishara appeared on Al-Jazeera, after weeks of press speculation that he had gone into exile and would resign from the Knesset. He revealed that in fact he is the target of a very high level probe by Israeli state security services who apparently plan to bring serious “security” related charges against him. Censorship on this matter is so tight in “democratic” Israel that until a few days ago Israeli newspapers were prohibited from even mentioning the existence of the probe. They are still forbidden from reporting anything about the substance of the investigation, and Ha’aretz admitted that due to official censorship it could not even reprint much of what Bishara said to millions of viewers on television…

What he was clear about was that he is the target of a campaign, coordinated at the highest levels of the Israeli state to destroy him and his movement politically. He is undoubtedly right about this and there is long precedent. In 2001, Israel’s attorney general Elyakim Rubinstein charged Bishara with “endangering the state” because of comments he made during a visit to Syria, and the Knesset voted for the first time in its history to lift the immunity of one of its members so Bishara could be prosecuted. In 2003, the Israeli Central Elections Committee attempted to disqualify Bishara and his party from standing in national elections, on the grounds that the party did not adhere to the dogma that Israel must remain a “Jewish state.” Under Israeli law all parties are required to espouse the dogma that Israel must always grant special and better rights to Jews, meaning truly democratic parties are always flirting with illegality. That decision was eventually overturned by the courts. (Though it should be noted that the ban was supported by former attorney general Rubinstein, who is now a Supreme Court judge!). Such persecution against Palestinians in Israel has been the norm since the state was founded. Until 1966, they lived under “military government,” a form of internal military occupation similar to that experienced by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza today. Laws, practices and policies that continue to deny their fundamental human rights are well described in Jonathan Cook’s recent book Blood and Religion: Unmasking the Jewish and Democratic State. In recent years opinion polls show that a majority of Israeli Jews consistently support government efforts to force Palestinian citizens out of the country. (In recent weeks, former Israeli prime minister and current Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu declared that it would be best if Bishara never returned).

Bishara sees Israel’s latest gambit as signalling a change in the “rules of the game.” If he, an elected official, a well-known public figure can face such tactics, what will the rest of the community face? Indeed, the recent publication by leading Palestinians in Israel of a report calling for mild reforms to the Israeli state prompted Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet (which operates torture and death squads in the occupied territories) to warn that it would “disrupt the activities of any groups that seek to change the Jewish or democratic character of Israel, even if they use democratic means” (“Arab leaders air public relations campaign against Shin Bet,” Ha’aretz, 6 April 2007). (There is precedent for such disruption not only against Palestinians, but even against Israel’s Mizrahi Jews whose attempts to organize against Ashkenazi discrimination were destroyed by the Shin Bet — see Joseph Massad’s book The Persistence of the Palestinian Question.)

Palestinian solidarity activists must understand and act on the signal Israel is sending by persecuting Bishara. For years, the mainstream Palestinian movement and its allies have buried their heads in the slogan “end the occupation.” If it ever was, this vision is no longer broad enough. We must recognize that Israel’s war against Palestinians does not discriminate among Palestinians, sparing some and condemning others. It does however take different forms, depending on where Palestinians are. Those in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip live under an extreme form of military tyranny now often called “apartheid,” though it is increasingly apparent that it is something even worse. Palestinians inside Israel’s 1948 borders live under a system of laws, policies and practices that exclude them politically and oppress them economically and socially. Millions of Palestinians outside the country are victimized by racist laws that forbid their return for the sole reason that they are not Jews.

In practice this means that the Palestinian solidarity movement needs to fashion a new message that breaks with the failed fantasy of hermetic separation in nationalist states. It means we have to focus on fighting Israeli racism and colonialism in all its forms against those under occupation, against those inside, and against those in exile. We need to educate ourselves about what is happening all over Palestine, not just in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We need to stand and act in solidarity with Azmi Bishara and all Palestinians inside the 1948 lines who have for too long been marginalized and abandoned by mainstream Palestinian politics. Support for the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions is particularly urgent (see http://www.pacbi.org/). In practice we need to start building a vision of life after Israeli apartheid, an inclusive life in which Israelis and Palestinians can live in equality sharing the whole country. If Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams and hardline Northern Ireland Unionist leader Ian Paisley can sit down to form a government together, as they are, and if Nelson Mandela and apartheid’s National Party could do the same, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility in Palestine if we imagine it and work for it.

Azmi Bishara is the only Palestinian leader of international stature expressing a vision and strategy that is relevant to all Palestinians and can effectively challenge Zionism. That is why he is in fear for his life, safety and future while the quisling “president” Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah receives money and weapons from the United States and tea and cakes from Ehud Olmert. (full link)

Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006)

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USC president threatens, but anti-sweatshop students will not be silenced

Posted by uscsjp on April 16, 2007

Editor’s Note: We applaud these students for their principled stand, their sacrifice and courage. Meeting these students via Internet and reading about the action they’ve taken to rid their university of profiting from the misery of others has been inspiring. Please consider supporting them by writing to the USC president at the bottom of this article submitted by the student activists. – Les Blough, Editor


 

University of Southern California’s Administration Threatens Students Demanding Fair Treatment for Apparel Workers

The clothes bearing the USC name are made in sweatshops, and the university silences students when they propose that the university take serious efforts to address this. Eight years ago, students at USC first informed the university that the clothes bearing our university name were produced in factories where workers did not earn enough to support themselves, let alone a family. Sexual harassment was commonplace, workers were forced to work overtime without compensation, and they were fired simply for standing up for their rights. For eight years, students have demanded that the university use its power to support workers attempting to change these conditions, and for eight years the president of USC, Steven Sample, has not only refused to act, but has refused to even discuss the matter with students.

13 students occupy President Samples’ office while 1500 across the country protest university profiteering on sweat shop clothing.

It is for this reason that, on Tuesday, 13 students representing the Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation, an affiliate of United Students Against Sweatshops, occupied President Sample’s office and demanded that the university finally listen to its students and take a stand in support of workers’ rights. Our demands were simple:

1. that USC join 168 other universities, and the City of Los Angeles, in affiliating with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), an organization responsible for monitoring the conditions in which university clothes are made.

2. that it follow the lead of the 31 other colleges that have also adopted the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP), which would ensure that these clothes are produced in factories where workers earn enough to support a family and have the freedom to form a union without losing their jobs.

Unfortunately, instead of distinguishing this university as a leader, President Sample chose to do exactly the opposite. (continued)

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Z Magazine Article: The role of language in defending the indefensible

Posted by uscsjp on April 16, 2007

By Ronald Osborn

The mendacity and criminality of the U.S. war on Vietnam are matters of historical record, yet easily forgotten is the role that so-called objective, balanced, and responsible language played to defend the indefensible. With today’s Washington planners attempting to disburse billions of dollars in “development and reconstruction aid” to Iraq in the midst of a heated war, the village of Ben Suc in Vietnam serves as a prescient reminder of what “aid,” “development,” and “humanitarianism” can mean in the context of an ongoing foreign invasion. Ben Suc also points toward an unsettling kinship between debased language, social sciences, and pathologies of technocratic control. 

The use of technocratic doublespeak as a mask for violence is perhaps nowhere more incisively analyzed than in George Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language”: “Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification,” Orwell wrote in 1946. “Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called rectification of frontiers. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.” Orwell identified four ways that truth is shrouded in cocoons of debased speech by the perpetrators of deadly political action: pretentious diction, verbal false limbs, dying metaphors, and meaningless vocabulary…

The war in Vietnam, “A Program of Action for South Vietnam” reveals, was conceived by its architects from an early stage as being critically linked to “development,” with “economic projects” explicitly “designed to accompany the counter-insurgency effort” in a complementary and parallel fashion. There was no contradiction in the minds of the Washington planners between gray broadcasts, Ranger raids, and napalm bombing, on the one hand, and the construction of hospitals, schools, and agricultural pilot-projects, on the other. Both were essential means to the same end: victory over the Communists and integration of Vietnam into the U.S. sphere of influence and control. At the same time, architects of the war found it necessary to distinguish between humanitarianism and violence, both to themselves and before the public. Development is referred to in the Pentagon Papers as “the other half,” or “winning hearts and minds”—euphemistic phrases that suggest both a clear division of labor as well as a sense of moral clarity. Development was in some sense related to the war—it was its other half—yet it was also fundamentally different from it. In a small, rice-farming village located in a meandering loop of the Saigon River in 1967, these distinctions were bulldozed to shambles. 

The lessons of Ben Suc have not been learned by today’s new Washington planners who speak again about “winning hearts and minds,” “humanitarianism,” and “development” as the “other half” of the insurgency war in Iraq. Or, it may be, the lessons have been learned all too well. History offers little hope that “aid” and “development” will not continue to be corrupted by their proximity to coercive power. It is left to honest women and men to find the linguistic practices necessary for resistance. (full link)


Ronald Osborn is a writer and guest lecturer. He is with the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southern California.

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UK National Union of Journalists votes to boycott Israeli goods

Posted by uscsjp on April 14, 2007

Stephen Brook **** Friday April 13, 2007 **** MediaGuardian.co.uk

Jeremy Dear
Jeremy Dear: general secretary of the NUJ. Photo Stefano Cagnoni

The National Union of Journalists has voted at its annual meeting for a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a protest against last year’s war in Lebanon.Today’s vote was carried 66 to 54 – a result that met with gasps and a small amount of applause from the union delegates present.

The vote came during a series of motions on international affairs and reads: “This ADM [annual delegate meeting] calls for a boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid South Africa led by trade unions and the TUC [Trades Union Congress] to demand sanctions be imposed on Israel by the British government and the United Nations.”

The motion was originally brought by the union’s South Yorkshire branch and opposed by the Cumberland branch, which said it was too political and was not tied closely enough to journalistic matters.

After a show of hands twice failed to give a clear result, union scrutineers were called in and the doors to the conference room closed.

The vote on the motion was taken after it was split from a larger motion that condemned the “savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon by Israel” last year.

This motion, known as Composite B in Order Paper 4, was carried by a large majority and also condemned the “slaughter of civilians by Israeli troops in Gaza and the IDF’s [Israeli Defense Forces] continued attacks inside Lebanon following the defeat of its army by Hezbollah”.

The motion called for the end of Israeli aggression in Gaza and other occupied territories.

The union’s national executive committee has been instructed to support organisations including the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice in Palestine and the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding. (link)

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Paintings on Israel’s West Bank Wall

Posted by uscsjp on April 12, 2007

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Posted in Culture | 2 Comments »