Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

drive-by planet: Vijay Prashad on anti-imperialism [video]: the ‘third way’ on Syria

I concur with most of what Vijay Prashad is arguing in this video talk except to say that there is a lot more at stake in Syria than for example Libya, in terms of the power balance in the Middle East.

When the NATO attack on Libya got underway some on the left took the side of Gaddafi and I always considered that a mistake. Gaddafi was an enabler of imperialism, just as Assad has been an enabler. Both opened their nations for rendition flights and permitted torture of war-on-terror detainees in their prisons. Gaddafi joined forces with then Italian (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Palestinian legislator Ahmad Tibi slams Harper’s postion on Israel as "unbalanced" and "right of Likud": why Tibi gets it right

Ahmad Tibi, the Palestinian legislator who walked out of Stephen Harper’s Knesset speech said in an interview with CBC’s Evan Solomon that Harper’s views on Israel were “unbalanced” and “right of Likud.” Sounds pretty accurate. Harper’s views are indeed extreme even by some Israeli standards and certainly more extreme than most average Canadians on the subject of Israel.

Tibi and a fellow legislator raised objections from the floor when Harper dismissed the idea that  apartheid exists in Israel. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of the Israeli system knows that segregation lies at very heart of daily life (Read more…)

LeDaro: Ariel Sharon Dead

Stephen Harper is very saddened.

Sharon who butchered Palestinians mercilessly.

Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, described Sharon as “one of the architects of modern-day Israel” and one of its “staunchest defenders” in a statement of condolence.

“A renowned military leader, Mr. Sharon pursued the security of Israel with unyielding determination that was recognized by friends and foes alike.” CBC

I wonder what rest of the folks think.

drive-by planet: Max Blumenthal’s Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel – reviews: liberal hypocrisy on Israel

Max Blumenthal‘s  Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is a remarkable and courageous book that reveals hard truths about Israel’s dark side. What makes Goliath especially impressive is the amount of time Max Blumenthal spent in Israel and the occupied West Bank in order to gather information and get a first hand understanding. His research shows in the wealth of detail he brings to the book, including key historical information and interviews.

In a review of Goliath that appeared in Electronic Intifada, Rod Such opens with a few paragraphs that highlight key areas in Blumenthal’s book:

A specter (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Israeli ‘master of disinformation’ Danny Ayalon takes a hit: hasbara fantasies exposed in new video

Lara Sawalha and Dana Dajani take on the hasbara revisionism of Danny Ayalon in a video that sets the record straight.

Some bio information on Lara Sawalha – here – and Dana Dajani – here. Preparing for the unlikely

FB.Event.subscribe(‘edge.create’, function(response) { _gaq.push(['_trackEvent','SocialSharing','Facebook - like button',unescape(String(response).replace(/\+/g, " "))]); }); Share this: A version of this post appeared as a signed editorial in The Canadian Jewish News on Sept. 12. As a new Jewish year begins, renewed U.S.-led peace talks continue between Israel and the Palestinians. Much has been written about the low expectations surrounding these negotiations on both sides. Certainly, Israelis and Jews have good […]

drive-by planet: Ehud Olmert called ‘war criminal’ and ‘murderer’ during speech at Woodrow Wilson Center

Former Israeli PM, Ehud Olmert, who authorized operation Cast Lead against the people of Gaza, had his speech interrupted earlier this month at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC. Student activists showed their outrage at Olmert’s role in the Gaza assault by standing up at various points during his speech and calling him out, before staging walk outs.

The protest was led by students from George Mason University Students Against Apartheid.

Statements called out from the floor included:

“I’m appalled that the Wilson Center would host a war criminal such as yourself.”

“To hell with you and (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Israeli soldiers testify: powerful new Breaking the Silence videos featuring female ex-soldiers

I’ve posted before about the work of a remarkable site called Breaking the Silence. It features candid video testimonials by former Israeli soldiers about the experience of being the uniformed enforcers of occupation and state control. The site has released a series of new testimonials by females who served in the Israeli military and I’ve chosen to post one that features testimony by a former soldier named Gil Hillel.

Hillel offers no solutions but simply states what the exercise of military power does to a human being…  those who as Hillel describes it are made into ‘violent, aggressive creatures. (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Rashid Khalidi’s ‘Brokers of Deceit’: how the U.S. has undermined the peace process

In Jerusalem at the start of his current visit to Israel, Obama went over-the-top with superlatives in a speech that employed high flown rhetoric and symbolism. He painted the US/Israel relationship in transcendent terms – “eternal” no less. In a later speech, adopting a more pragmatic approach, the president characterized Israeli settlements as “counterproductive” without directly calling for a halt to new settlements as he did in 2009. Much of the world condemns Israeli settlements as illegal – not merely an impediment to peace.

Obama’s artful diplomacy – praising Israel it to the skies on the one hand while mildly

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Rashid Khalidi’s ‘Brokers of Deceit’: how the U.S. has undermined the peace process

LeDaro: Palestinians Need Their Rosa Parks

There has been great progress, great steps forward worldwide, in human and civil rights. In the United States, people like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, John Lewis, and others fought a hard battle against racial segregation – and for equal rights, such as voting – in the 1950s and 1960s, making great strides for African-Americans. These struggles paved the way, four decades later, for the election of the first African-American president, Barack Obama.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for almost thirty years for standing up against apartheid, would oversee the end of this appalling system of discrimination

. . . → Read More: LeDaro: Palestinians Need Their Rosa Parks

drive-by planet: Mor Ostrovski’s offensive Instagram image: what it says about the IDF ‘culture of impunity’

Top: Instagram ‘sniper’ image Below: Mor Ostrovski and weapons

A photo posted on the personal Instagram account of Israeli soldier, Mor Ostrovski, showing rifle crosshairs trained on the head of what appears to be a Palestinian youth has sparked outrage and criticism.

Ostrovski’s twisted visual isn’t exactly unusual. That Palestinian life is cheap in the eyes of some IDF soldiers comes across also in t’shirts. In an earlier post I discussed incredibly offensive anti-Palestinian t’shirt graphics, one of which depicted crosshairs trained on the stomach of a pregnant Palestinian woman along with the line “1 shot kills 2.”

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Mor Ostrovski’s offensive Instagram image: what it says about the IDF ‘culture of impunity’

Politics and its Discontents: Harper’s Debasement Of Canadian Foreign Policy

That Canada once enjoyed a sterling reputation in the international arena is something beyond dispute. That its standing has fallen precipitately under the misguided direction of the Harper regime is a truth that I suspect only the most rabidly ideological would disagree with.

Perhaps the most egregious departure from norms that most would consider reasonable is found in its Mid-East policy, which can be summed up in four words: unqualified support for Israel. Despite its disproportionate response to aggression from Hamas, Israel, it seems, can do no wrong in the eyes of our political ‘leaders.’

In his Star column

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Harper’s Debasement Of Canadian Foreign Policy

Drive-by Planet: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’: Israeli and South African parallels

 Clips from “Roadmap” that draw Israel/ S. African parallels

A feature-length documentary Roadmap to Apartheid is the first time close parallels between the apartheid of the old South African regime and Israeli-style apartheid have been explored in a documentary film in significant depth.

The parallels between the two systems have been all too evident to those on the receiving end of Israel’s colonial-style apartheid and to the activists on the front lines. Roadmap brings the message to a larger audience including those who may be learning about the parallels for the first time.

The film is a joint project

. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’: Israeli and South African parallels

Bill Longstaff: The U.S. squeezes the Palestinians

The Palestinian Authority has announced that before the end of the year (but after the U.S. presidential election) it will press for a vote by the General Assembly for upgraded status at the UN. On cue, the United States has gone into bullying mode, warning European nations that if they support the Palestinians there will be “significant negative consequences,” including financial sanctions, for

Drive-by Planet: Rachel Corrie: Israeli court ruling raises questions and spurs activism

On March 16, 2003, a 23-year old American activist named Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an IDF armored bulldozer in Rafah, southern Gaza. Along with fellow activists from the International Solidarity Movement, Corrie was engaged in a courageous effort to defend Palestinian homes slated for demolition.

In an Israeli court this week, a judge ruled that the the state bore no responsibility for Corrie’s death. Judge Oded Gershon said that Corrie “was accidentally killed in the framework of a ‘war-related activity’ … [and] the state bears no responsibility for the damages inflicted on the plaintiffs resulting

. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: Rachel Corrie: Israeli court ruling raises questions and spurs activism Church settlement boycott becomes interfaith train wreck

Share this: This past August, the General Council of the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, adopted a motion urging its members to boycott goods produced in West Bank settlements. The proposal was part of a larger, rather one-sided report prepared by the church’s Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy. It aimed to put [...] Why seek validation from the IOC? Instead, flip it the bird

Share this: I love the Olympics, but not for the reasons you might think. It can be truly inspiring to watch the best athletes in the world – and the best Canada has to offer – compete against one another at the highest levels of sport. And I’m proud when Canadians do well. I was elated [...]

Drive-by Planet: Palestinian hunger strike a victory for non-violent protest

  The Israeli practice of holding Palestinian prisoners in so-called “administrative detention” is a violation of international law. Prisoners are brought before military judges who determine the length of detention. This can be as much as six months and can be repeated indefinitely.

Administrative detention was a central issue driving the 28-day mass hunger strike staged by Palestinian prisoners that saw Israel make key concessions. The outcome of the strike was hailed by the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer as “achievements of the prisoners’ movement.” Details on Israeli concessions from Electronic Intifada.

Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi welcomed the deal:

. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: Palestinian hunger strike a victory for non-violent protest Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Here’s hoping he’s successful, but as I argued in an earlier post, it seems unlikely that he will be, because the left is as divided [...]

Drive-by Planet: ‘Lines’ don’t work for me

The Roundhouse: Another avoidable tragedy for Gaza

The loss of life on the flotilla attempting to move from Cyprus to Gaza is tragic, but it was also completely avoidable. This is a topic certain to inflame passions, but there were a few points I felt I had to make.

Gaza is under a declared blockade; one declared not by Israel alone, but rather by Israel and Egypt. While Israeli warships and troops carried out the blockade in this instance it is important to remember that a Palestinian ally supports the blockade. The flotilla’s organizers refused to follow the protocol of the blockade, docking in either Egypt or

. . . → Read More: The Roundhouse: Another avoidable tragedy for Gaza