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
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
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’
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
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
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
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
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 [...]
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
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 [...]
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