By Marivel Guzman
Sacramento, Calif. On September 29, 2016, Dr Cornel West at Press Conference at Sacramento State University.
I was aware of Dr. West’s role in advising the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, particularly on the Palestine Issue. For over 40 years, Dr. West has been a vocal advocate and supporter of the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionist occupation of their nation.
Knowing Dr. West’s position on this important issue-of-the-day, I was intrigued by his deep concern about the plight of the Palestinian people and the need for people in this country to gain an objective and historical understanding of the roots of the current plight of Palestinians.
In my familiarity with Dr. West’s books, he has almost maintained a very progressive stance by tying their oppression to foreign occupation of their country. Therefore, I very eager to hear more about his views when I attended his lecture and press conference at Sacramento State University.
Knowing that the mainstream media would not only shy away, but ignore the conflict in the Middle East, particularly in regards to the Palestinian issue, I made it a point to ask Dr. West about his role in advising the Sander’s campaign regarding the rights of Palestinian that live under Israel’s occupation. His response made it clear that he remained firm in his conviction that the people of this country must understand and support the Palestinian struggle to regain statehood.
When I asked why the Democratic Party after the primaries refused to acknowledge the Palestinian issue, his reply was unequivocally clear,
“if they didn’t address it, they were just wrong, this was cowardly and too indifferent, too unwilling to engage the level of suffering and misery and injustice of precious Palestinians brothers and sisters.”
Dr. West went on to explain that the position of the Democratic Party has been “tied too long to AIPAC (American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee).” He went on to explain that “AIPAC is not representative of Jewish-Americans, it represents a slice of centrist and conservative Jewish-Americans.” He went on to explain that the AIPAC is “very powerful, like the NRA, and any other powerful lobby that is shaping U.S. policy … and for too long the kind of policies that the AIPAC promotes has not recognized the humanity (of the Palestinians) and the evil of Israeli occupation …. I am against foreign domination, I think what we are about is that every human being has some security from domination.”
The topic went on to highlight Assembly Bill 2844 which Governor Brown recently signed into law opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) bill.
There is a broad campaign both nationally and internationally to boycott, divest and impose sanctions upon companies that financially benefit from the Israeli seizure of Palestinian lands and resources.
This campaign included a boycott of those products from the occupied territories. The intent of Governor Browns’ bill is to protect the State of Israel by silencing and suppressing the groundswell support of an every- growing number of people in this country and worldwide of the Palestinian people. Therefore, I asked Dr. West for his opinion of Assembly Bill 2844 and whether he thought groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would challenge it on the basis of a denial of free speech. He responded that he felt that there would be legal challenges to this bill because he considers himself a libertarian when it comes to freedom of speech.
He went on to state that “there’s no doubt that there are many brothers and sisters in BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) who are being targeted and demonized because they have a critique of not just Israeli occupation, they have a critique of the Israeli state that is perceived by very powerful elite at the top as being anti-Semitic …” “It is very difficult to have that conversation in the United States and so those of us who are part of the BDS we get demonized, we get viewed as if we are anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and we just have to make it clear that we have to rob that kind of shallow characterization of the substance, we have to be very explicit about that fact that we take principled stance against anti-Jewish hatred and anti-Jewish prejudice and anti-Jewish sensibilities and still have fundamental commitment to the self-determination of Palestinians…”
I was very heartened by Dr. West’s formulation of the Middle East conflict and his wholehearted opposition to bigotry of any type. It was evident that he has pondered the issue long and hard or in his words for “30 to 40 years.” I found that his comments about President Obama’s neo-liberal identity that leads him to support the State of Israeli to be on-target. He bravely criticized President Obama for his support and allowing himself to be captive to the right-wing elements in Israel. This included the passage of the $38 billion bill to the State of Israel. Dr. West concludes that the Middle East conflict is a very complex issue that demands “that we have enough people who are willing to tell the truth the best way they know it.”
The following segment is the second paragraph of a letter sent to the editor of The New York Times regarding a book reviewed by Joseph Dorman, “Genesis” by John B. Judis.
The “conflict” between Arabs and Jews is not the result of the “Zionist lobby” preventing the United States from enforcing “peace.” Left unsaid is the extent to which such a “peace” may imperil the survival of Israel, although that is a likely goal of “Zionist lobby” detractors. The “conflict” exists because, by word and deed, Palestinian Arabs have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews. The Jews have decided they will not be killed. It will not be resolved until Palestinians stop teaching their children to hate. WALTER SCHIMMERLING, WASHINGTON (segment of a letter to the editor of the NYT)
The New York Times is a credible newspaper widely read in the US and around the world and it should keep its readers informed and at the same time should allow its readers to exercise their freedom of speech.
Saying that the NYT also should refrain or at least give it a deeper thought when chose to publish inflammatory comments that are complete lies that only deepens the misinformation spread by the Jews’ Lobby in the US specially by AIPAC-the Israel agency that works in the US as lobby agency-disinformation that had created a fake atmosphere of hate against the Jews.
In its review of “Genesis,” John B. Judis makes a reference to Truman from “Genesis” trying to appeal to history as if the predicament was for the Jews and not for the Palestinians that were losing their land to a newly invented nation.
“Over the course of “Genesis,” John B. Judis recounts Truman’s predicament, trapped between his desire to find a fair and equitable outcome for Arabs and Jews in Palestine and the seeming impossibility of doing so. But Judis is interested in telling a larger story, one that lays a good deal of responsibility on the American Zionist lobby for Truman’s — and America’s — failure to construct a just and peaceful solution.” New York Times Book Review by Jonhn B. Judis
There is no such hate from Arabs taught to their children but the other way around. There are thousandth of documented cases of settlers in the occupied territory harassing Palestinians, destroying their property, stealing their goats, and killing them also without legal repercussions from the Israel Defense Forces.
When we see lies such this being printed in The New York Times,-even in their letters to the editor-we see that this newspapers is giving credibility and foot to the claim the Palestinians teach hate to their children and with this type of printing material creating more hate and spreading more lies.
The New York Times would not permit any other group of people on earth to be blood-libeled like this– even in a letter to the editor.
Mr. Schimmerling is entitled to his view of John Judis’s (excellent) book. He is not entitled to lie that “Palestinian Arabs have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews.”
The Times must apologize to all its readers, especially to those who are “Palestinian Arabs,” and the newspaper should also reprimand the editor who allowed this libel to get into print ” The MONDOWEISS
Boycott and Divestment Sanctions is the non-violent movement started from within the civil Palestinian population, it is rapidly taking roots as a grassroots movement and moving in the right direction to bring Israel to comply with its international obligations, and could be use to boycott institutions that give financial and logistical support to Israel. Its time to boycott the propaganda channels as well, the institutions that that make its official policy to support Israle no matter what, and corporations that one way or another benefit from the occupation. Read more in their webside BDS
The Out of Context Line That Can Sacrifice A whole Nation and Discredit A Legitimate Movement of Resistance.
“Abu Marzouk: Hamas won’t be bound by PA-Israel treaty”
Fighting against misinformation it have been one of the biggest Fights For Palestine.
The first excerpts of an Interview published on Thursday 19 of April have sparked a whole new controversy on the position of Hamas regarding Israel and PA previous agreements.
To the informed readers comes to no surprise Hamas Position on Israel Illegal Existence on Palestine Lands, and vilifying the words of Abu Marzook taken out of context is irresponsible by writers, journalists and bloggers that add their “Side” of the story when their twisted, misinterpreted and purposely published Shreds of the Truth, that by the end of the day have become a whole new “Truth” and a story moving by the armies of bloggers and News Big and small around the world.
Hamas is an acronym of Harakat al Mawqawama al Islamiyya meaning “Islamic Resistance Movement.” The word Hamas also means “zeal.”
Since the article of Abu Marzook interview was first published more than 4000 News and bloggers published their version of the interview and more than 2 millions web sites have talk about it, and they have made their own interpretation of the interview and across the Headlines of the Editorials you can read with Bold Letters:
This remind me of the experiment done to a group of students that are given a “story” and they are suppose to pass the verbal story to a new student entering the room, by the time the last student is given the “Raw Story”, there is not a Shred of Truth on the story but only the idea of the original story, and the interpretation that every student have given to the story given to them, I mention you this little story/experiment because most probably you were part of this experiment sometimes in your life while in school. The same distortion of the truth is being passed over and over regarding Palestine, its leaders and its people.
The sole mention on an article of the world “Islamic” brings up bad taste of mouth and negative reaction from the well trained audience of the world that have developed a new social disease:
Phobia Intentional created, nurtured and spoiled as brat child. Once this brat is release in our society that has been already weakened with pain, wars and propaganda, is able to create the worse of the chaos, and the worst of the crimes, which is the acceptance of the crimes because the subconscious mind have already condoned it.
Phobia: A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger.
If you follow the stories that were generated after the interview that was first published on the 19 of April, you can not help but get outraged by the malicious intent and effort to discredit and to twist the words of Moussa Abu Marzouk, this type of lies and dirty games play by the Major News Organizations is what have help create this social disease that have been so handy for the War Complex Machine, that have helped to desensitized the people hearts. It has come to the point in the physique of the people that if dozens, hundreds or even thousands get killed don’t matter because their lives are not important because they are Muslim, and what they have done to deserve this?.
In Palestine they can not accept the theft of their lands, they can not sit idle when the residents of Gaza are sprayed. with white phosphorus, they react with anger when their children are bombed in the schools or sonar bombed when they sleep.
In other parts of the world where Muslims are being vilified after Bush invaded Iraq, and thereafter the situation got worse for Muslims around the world.
Notice when the News bothers to mention Israel crimes in Occupied Palestine, they make sure that they use the words “Militant Islamist Wings of Hamas”, or “radical Islamic Palestinian terrorist group”, with this denominations the victims are already being vilified and their murder are con·done by the public opinion.
Why will Hamas as an political organization and as an Official Government in Place in Gaza, will accept anything less than the rights for its people?. Why will Hamas be blame and branded a terrorist organization, when they only defend the population from the attacks of Israel?
Does it make sense to you? …The robbers came in the middle of the night and killed your parents, and in the morning you are force to accept a paper that says that those robbers not only will not be punish for the murder of your parents but they will take your home also, and you will go to live in a tent under the auspice of the UNRWA charity? ..how many times the story have to be repeated before someone feel in its heart, that it is inhuman, unfair and illegal under all international standards laws?
This simple story happened in thousands of Palestinians homes, entire villages were razed after their residents were murdered, some other were forced into exile, thru intimidation and terrorist practices. Now they asking Palestinians to accept their destiny without fighting, without feeling the pain. They are asking to give up the fight, they are being ask to lower their gaze and do not complain.
Well some people have already accepted that the plight of the Palestinians is irremediable and unchangeable fact. The PA did when their leaders signed peace treaty with Israel, when they decided to settle the deaths of hundred of thousands of Palestinians deaths in exchange for a Chair in Ramalah, but Hamas and other groups were never agreed with those deals, because they were rotten deals for Palestinians and until now they have not change their mind. They still defend the population and express their outrage on the Press.
Every conflict in history that is ever being written has always been only one side of the story, but that has changed, now we have thousands sides of the story, but with every story there is a twist of the truth, and that have been used against legitimate resistance movements. Hamas is just one example, its leaders have been labeled as Islamist Radicals , the organization itself has been officially labeled terrorist organization in many western countries thanks to AIPAC long tentacles and other Radical Jews groups around the world.
The common notion is that Palestinians living in Gaza are Islamist terrorists, why is this? Israel acquire thousands of weapons “legally”, they signed Weapons Deals with US its major arms supplier.
U.S. press coverage of Israeli attacks on the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian towns on the West Bank often treat the U.S. government as either an innocent bystander or an honest broker in the current conflict, often without giving a full sense of the importance of the United States role as a supplier of arms, aid, and military technology to Israel. In its role as Israel’s primary arms supplier, the United States could exert significant potential leverage over Israeli behavior in the conflict, if it chooses to do so.
Military and Economic Aid
Since 1976, Israel had been the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. According to a November 2001 Congressional Research Service report, Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance, U.S. aid to Israel in the last half century has totaled a whopping $81.3 billion.
In recent years, Israel remains the top recipient of U.S. military and economic assistance. The most commonly cited figure is $3 billion a year, with about $1.8 billion a year in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants from the Department of Defense and an additional $1.2 billion a year in Economic Support Funds (ESF) from the Department of State. In the last decade FMF grants to Israel have totaled $18.2 billion. In fact, 17% of all U.S. foreign aid is earmarked for Israel. World Policy Institute
The weapons that Israel buys “legally” from the US arm dealers are killer machines, they kill and destroy people and property, and they are more terrorizing devices than Palestinians Home Made Rockets, rockets that have to be bought “Illegally”, smuggle thru the tunnels, because Israel have sweet deals with the West and the west have taken the right for Palestine to defend their population.
What does it make a person a terrorist?
If you are Palestinian and kill a settler, without jury or trial you are branded terrorist, but when you are Israeli, and you kill 1400 innocents civilians, you simply are defending Israel. That it is the Mantra repeated, That is the difference now days in hundreds of News Outlets that are legitimating this distinction, when they irresponsibly publish News and articles simply branding Palestinians as Islamist Terrorists.
Most of the weapons that Israel uses comes from US weapons factories, the profits are astronomical, so the conflict needs to be kept alive. What will it be of the US Weapon Manufactures if there is a Peace Agreement in Palestine? Peace is the enemy # 1 of Profits .
We are talking of billions of dollars a year in Profits, pure profits because the money that goes to Israel for “Defense”
is free, and some of it comes back as Profit for the US Corporations that live out of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sure. Almost all of the weapons used by Israel are from the United States. There might be a couple French fighter planes that they’re using, but its F-16s made in Fort Worth, Texas; its Apache helicopters; its Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles; it’s all from the United States. So you have this real disconnect between an overemphasis on the supply by Iran and Syria of Hezbollah’s weapons and no discussion of the fact that all of the Israeli arsenal is from the United States, and that that is in contravention to U.S. law. to the Arms Export Control Act, which says that U.S.-origin weapons are only to be used for self-defense and for internal security. Frida Barrigan from World Policy Institute
Published April 19, 2012 originally
Hamas Wouldn’t Honor a Treaty, Top Leader Says
Abu Marzook Says He’s Open to a New Israel Relationship
Any agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be subject to far-reaching changes if Hamas comes to power in a democratic Palestinian state, a top Hamas leader told the Forward in an exclusive and wide-ranging interview.Mousa Abu Marzook, considered Hamas’s second-highest-ranking official, said that his group would view an agreement between Israel and the P.A. — even one ratified by a referendum of all Palestinians — as a hudna, or cease-fire, rather than as a peace treaty. In power, he said, Hamas would feel free to shift away from those provisions of the agreement that define it as a peace treaty and move instead toward a relationship of armed truce.
“We will not recognize Israel as a state,” he said emphatically. “It will be like the relationship between Lebanon and Israel or Syria and Israel.”
The exchange was but one part of an unprecedented five-and-a-half-hour discussion conducted over two days between Abu Marzook and the Forward, the first-ever in-depth exchange between a senior Hamas leader and a Jewish publication.Larry Cohler-Esses from Forward
The Situation in Gaza is different, here we talk about resistance as a strategic option, about the right of all the resistance factions to obtain all the means needed to conduct resistance, about the legitimacy of the weapons of the resistance, and about the national consensus on managing the resistance in a way that does not harm the principle.
We Talk about operating in accordance with the conditions we talked about:
Taking people’s circumstances into consideration, and even the conditions in Gaza, which has become..Today.” Ismail Haniya during an interview on Al-Quds TV in Lebanon March 5, 2012
AN EMAIL I HAVE RECEIVED, UNFORTUNATELY IT HAS NO SIGNATURE, BUT IS WORTH READING. IT NEEDS NO AUTHENTICATION AND SHOULD BE THE ADDRESS OF EVERY AMERICAN TO THE PRESIDENT OR TO ANY PRESIDENT IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
Dear Mr. President,
I am neither an expert on history nor a political activist; I am just an average American who is gravely concerned about the direction I see my country taking. I know you inherited a snake-pit of problems when you first took the oath just three years ago, but somehow when you said ‘Yes, we can!’ I believed you could find a way to return our country to its basic beliefs in liberty and justice for all.
I grew up being proud to be an American, inspired by Patrick Henry’s heroic words of ‘Give me liberty or give me death’, instilling in me a belief that liberty was indeed worth dying for. My grandfather enlisted in the army in 1914, thinking that his involvement would help make it the war to end all wars. Then just twenty-five years later, my father enlisted in the navy with the belief he was fighting against imperialism and tyranny. I am still proud of my grandfather and father for they left the safety of America to fight for the freedom of others.
Although neither my father’s nor my grandfather’s generations were able to being about the end to war, we as a nation have always been ready to fight for our own freedom as well as that of others. We have always admired any people who fought against the occupation of their nation, regarding the French resistance movement as especially inspirational. It seems the Palestinians who also live under occupation are not regarded as a people who have that same right.
Quite frankly, Mr. President, it appears to me that we no longer believe in justice and freedom for all, but only for those who can either be of financial benefit to us or for those who have the strongest lobby in Washington, D.C. How can we condemn UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and threaten to withhold millions of funds from them if they recognize Palestine as a valid member of the UN? Israel never had any problem when it asked for official recognition in the UN even though they were a nation created on land that was already populated by Palestinians. But Palestine, the land that is divided into shards of broken up city states, unable to even control who enters its own cities, its own borders or its own roads, is not seen as worthy of being part of the UN. And why? Because according to Israel, the Palestine Authority refuses to recognize it? I am sorry to tell you this, but they have recognized Israel over and over again. Are we suddenly deaf to anything a Palestinian says and open-eared for anything that comes from an Israeli? Why, might I ask, has Israel not recognized Palestine? Isn’t that a key to establishing a peaceful situation in the Middle East?
Just a quick look at UN Resolution 242 shows that Israel has been thumbing its nose at the UN for well over forty years. The preamble of this resolution makes it perfectly clear about the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security.” Does this not include Palestine or am I missing some tiny print that excludes them and only refers to Israel as having this right?
Let us not forget as well that this resolution also calls for the withdrawal of Israel’s armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict. Has that happened yet? All I see is the world turning a blind eye to what Israel continues to do, illegally entering into cities like Ramallah and Gaza claiming it is for security reasons. I wonder if we would feel the same if Mexican or Canadian troops violated the sovereignty of our borders with similar claims. I find it odd that Israel is the only nation in the world that is given carte blanche to do so.
I am confused between the America I thought we were, the nation that professes to stand for the rights of all, regardless of their religious beliefs, their color, their creed and the America I have seen over the past few years. I now see us as a 21st century Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that one moment sends troops to fight for people’s rights and the next moment supports the strong-armed treatment of peaceful protesters when they stand against Israeli occupation.
Are we now a nation that stands like Caesar in the amphitheater of politics that either thumbs up or thumbs down the fate of a people? Is it thumbs up if we can benefit from what they have? Thumbs up if their lobby is so powerful we fear their power? Thumbs down if they are only fighting for freedom and independence? Thumbs down if they are Palestinian?
The people of Palestine need a voice in the United Nations which is an organization that my country fought very hard to establish in 1945. Let us not forget that all the Palestinians are asking for is to be recognized as the very nation the UN in Resolution 181 had tried to establish as far back as 1947. Yes, it was rejected by the Palestinians at that time because it meant giving up what was rightfully theirs in order to provide a safe haven for people who survived the holocaust in Europe. Now that the Palestinians have swallowed their pride, their wounds have scarred over and they are willing to accept that resolution, they are being denied. Have they waited too long? Was there an expiry date on the offer?
Why do we now oppose the recognition of Palestine if we tried to establish it over sixty years ago? What has changed? The people of Palestine lost everything when Israel came into being. They are an occupied people, like the French under the Nazis, but have we decided their resistance is wrong because it against the Israel? It can’t be because of religious differences because Palestinians are Jews, Muslims and Christians… but then you knew that already, right?
Why are we so afraid to stand up to Israel, the country that is the recipient of most of our tax money…the same country that blatantly ignores every UN Resolution concerning the Middle East…the same nation that contrary to UN orders, continues to build settlements and occupy land that is not rightfully theirs…the same country that openly practices state-supported terrorism of a people who, like David, throw stones at the Israeli Goliath who responds with tank fire, gas and bullets…the same country lead by a man who continues to openly insult you and our people? Netanyahu has consistently lied to the world about his intentions. He has done everything in his power to ensure that a Palestinian state is not created. Peace negotiations are nothing more than a cover to gain time to steal more land and water resources from the Palestinians. Mr. President, can you not see this or are you blinded by Israel’s control over whether you get re-elected or not?
Why do we allow ourselves to remain joined at the hip with a Siamese twin that is destroying our very core, our principles of human rights and justice? I am hoping you too can follow in the courageous footsteps of Presidents Eisenhower and Carter who stood up to Israel and said ‘No!’ Be the man who cuts this Gordian Knot and set us free!
Mr. President, do you really think our forefathers would be proud of what we have become? Don’t you think it is time to stand up to tyranny and break free of the chains that are holding us all back from supporting justice and freedom? Until that day, I shall weep for my nation and apologize to our forefathers for what we have become and for what we have done to our great nation.
With hope that you still can, I remain,
A Concerned American Citizen