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Home arrow Blog arrow July 2009 arrow July 15, 2009: The Beatles, U2, The Wall: Where's the Love+Peace+VOICE of the Artists Against Aparth

July 15, 2009: The Beatles, U2, The Wall: Where's the Love+Peace+VOICE of the Artists Against Aparth
July 15, 2009: The Beatles, U2, The Wall and Apartheid


Five years ago this July, the International Court of Justice released its Advisory Opinion on the "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories".

This opinion detailed the court's findings that the Wall violated Israel's obligations under international law, that the Wall should be removed, and that Israel ought to lift its travel restrictions on Palestinians.

Today, construction of the Wall continues and Israel's restrictions on Palestinians have only intensified.

 
Read more...



Published first 2008:

Where's the Love+Peace+VOICE of the Artists Against Apartheid?

Lay down your guns
All your daughters of Zion
All your Abraham sons
I don't know if I can make it
I'm not easy on my knees
Here's my heart and GAZA broke it
We need some release, release, release
We need
Love and peace
Love and peace

 I wonder what is Bono and the rest of the Artists Against [South African] Apartheid thinking about Gaza?

In 1985 Bono joined forces with a group of artists concerned about Apartheid in South Africa. Inspired by his meetings with several of them, he wrote "Silver and Gold"

"Yep, silver and gold.
This song was written in a hotel room in New York City.
'Round about the time a friend or ours, little Steven,
was putting together a record of artists against apartheid.
This is a song written about a man in a shanty town outside of Johannesburg.
A man who's sick of looking down the barrel of white South Africa.
A man who is at the point where he is ready to take up arms against his oppressor.
A man who has lost faith in the peacemakers of the west while
they argue and while they fail to support a man like bishop Tutu
and his request for economic sanctions against South Africa.
Am I buggin' you?"


Dear 20th Century Artists Against Apartheid,

Have you heard about 21st century Apartheid in the 'Holy' Land; for it is in pieces: Bantustans!

In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that The Wall is a violation of International Law because it cuts through the West Bank appropriating Palestinian land and destroying Palestinian villages and economy to make way for further Israeli settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.

Negligently unreported by corporate media are the thousands of indigenous Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis and internationals who have been waging a major grassroots nonviolent campaign of resistance to the route of Israel's Wall.

In November 2005, this reporter attended the Gainesville, Florida, Anarchist's Against the Wall Power Point Lecture by Ayed Morrar from the West Bank village of Budrus and Jonathon Pollak, an intense young Israeli and committed activist and organizer for Anarchists Against the Wall/AAtW.

Anarchy is best understood as Rebellion against UNJUST laws.

The Yang/male force of anarchy resists authority and causes disorder and is socially and politically incorrect by the norms of the status quo for it seeks the higher ground of justice.

The Yin/feminine force of anarchy births a new order out of the chaos and chaos is creativity in action.

Pollak: "I was six years old at my first demonstration and active on my own at thirteen. I am 23 now. When they started to build the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank I would go a few times a week and watch them deceive the world. The Israeli government successfully marketed the Apartheid Wall as a security barrier. But it is all about segregation, separation and ethnic cleansing. The Apartheid Wall has put 76% [of what had been the village of] Jayous on the Israeli side of the Wall."

"Not such a great shock when government lies to you.

"Civilian uprising and non-violent activism is not like the Gandhi movie. It's not carrying posters and saying we don't like your wall, go away. We stand in front of Caterpillar's knowing we will be shot and arrested. I was shot five times in the last two years by rubber bullets which are 1/2 inch steel bullets covered with plastic. I have been shot in the head and the more I experience I have the scarier it is. One learns to recognize the ritual of it all: when the IDF will begin using the billy clubs, when the tear gas will come, when the bullets will come.....We are not a dialogue group, AAtW is an Israeli organization and we are not colonial liberators. All the strategy is done by Palestinians, we are with them seeking justice and giving support. There is no price to high to pay for freedom, equality and universal rights. Without justice there can be no peace.

"Although Israel marketed the Wall as a security barrier, logic suggests such a barrier would be as short and straight as possible. Instead, it snakes deep inside the West Bank, resulting in a route that is twice as long as the Green Line, the internationally recognized border. Israel chose the Wall's path in order to dispossess Palestinians of the maximum land and water, to preserve as many Israeli settlements as possible, and to unilaterally determine a border.

"In order to build the Wall Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of ancient olive trees that for many Palestinians are also the last resource to provide food for their children. The Palestinian aspiration for an independent state is also threatened by the Wall, as it isolates villages from their mother cities and divides the West Bank into disconnected cantons [bantusans/ghettos]. The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem conservatively estimates that 500,000 Palestinians are negatively impacted by the Wall.

"We believe that, as with Apartheid South Africa, Americans have a vital role to play in ending Israeli occupation - by divesting from companies that support Israeli occupation, boycotting Israeli products, coming to Palestine as witnesses, or standing with Palestinians in nonviolent resistance." [1]

According to a UN report, Haaretz columnist Danny Rubinstein admitted that "Israel today was an apartheid State with four different Palestinian groups: those in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israeli Palestinians, each of which had a different status...even if the wall followed strictly the line of the pre-1967 border, it would still not be justified. The two peoples needed cooperation rather than walls because they must be neighbors." [2]

"An apartheid society is much more than just a 'settler colony'. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, whereas civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges." [3]

On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the establishment of Israel affirmed that, "The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations."

However, reality intrudes, for "The truth which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp."- Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in the popular Israeli newspaper, Yediot Acharonot on December 20, 2006.

How could a state founded on "equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants" come to be such a state of hypocrisy?

A Little History:

On July 5, 1950, Israel enacted the Law of Return by which Jews anywhere in the world, have a "right" to immigrate to Israel on the grounds that they are returning to their own state, even if they have never been there before. [4]

On July 14, 1952: The enactment of the Citizenship/Jewish Nationality Law, results in Israel becoming the only state in the world to grant a particular national-religious group—the Jews—the right to settle in it and gain automatic citizenship. In 1953, South Africa's Prime Minister Daniel Malan becomes the first foreign head of government to visit Israel and returns home with the message that Israel can be a source of inspiration for white South Africans. [IBID]

In 1962, South African Prime Minister Verwoerd declares that Jews "took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them, Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state." [IBID]

On August 1, 1967, Israel enacted the Agricultural Settlement Law, which bans Israeli citizens of non-Jewish nationality- Palestinian Arabs- from working on Jewish National Fund lands, well over 80% of the land in Israel. Knesset member Uri Avnery stated: "This law is going to expel Arab cultivators from the land that was formerly theirs and was handed over to the Jews." [IBID]

On April 4, 1969, General Moshe Dayan is quoted in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz telling students at Israel's Technion Institute that "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You don't even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don't blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either… There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."[IBID]

On April 28, 1971: C. L. Sulzberger, writing in The New York Times, quoted South African Prime Minister John Vorster as saying that Israel is faced with an apartheid problem, namely how to handle its Arab inhabitants. Sulzberger wrote: "Both South Africa and Israel are in a sense intruder states. They were built by pioneers originating abroad and settling in partially inhabited areas." [IBID]

On September 13, 1978, in Washington, D.C. The Camp David Accords are signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. The Accords reaffirm U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which prohibit acquisition of land by force, call for Israel's withdrawal of military and civilian forces from the West Bank and Gaza, and prescribe 'full autonomy' for the inhabitants of the territories. Begin orally promises Carter to freeze all settlement activity during the subsequent peace talks. Once back in Israel, however, the Israeli prime minister continues to confiscate, settle, and fortify the occupied territories. [IBID]

On September 13, 1985, Rep. George Crockett (D-MI), after visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, compares the living conditions there with those of South African blacks and concludes that the West Bank is an instance of apartheid that no one in the U.S. is talking about. [IBID]

In July 2000, President Bill Clinton convenes the Camp David II Peace Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Clinton—not Barak—offers Arafat the withdrawal of some 40,000 Jewish settlers, leaving more than 180,000 in 209 settlements, all of which are interconnected by roads that cover approximately 10% of the occupied land. Effectively, this divides the West Bank into at least two non-contiguous areas and multiple fragments. Palestinians would have no control over the borders around them, the air space above them, or the water reserves under them. Barak called it a generous offer and Arafat rightly refused to sign. [IBID]

August 31, 2001: Durban, South Africa. Up to 50,000 South Africans march in support of the Palestinian people. In their Declaration by South Africans on Apartheid and the Struggle for Palestine they proclaim: "We, South Africans who lived for decades under rulers with a colonial mentality, see Israeli occupation as a strange survival of colonialism in the 21st century. Only in Israel do we hear of 'settlements' and 'settlers.' Only in Israel do soldiers and armed civilian groups take over hilltops, demolish homes, uproot trees and destroy crops, shell schools, churches and mosques, plunder water reserves, and block access to an indigenous population's freedom of movement and right to earn a living. These human rights violations were unacceptable in apartheid South Africa and are an affront to us in apartheid Israel." [IBID]

October 23, 2001: Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew and a minister in the South African government, co-authors a petition "Not in My Name," signed by some 200 members of South Africa's Jewish community, reads: "It becomes difficult, from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression expressed by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under apartheid rule." [IBID]

Three years later, Kasrils will go to the Occupied Territories and conclude: "This is much worse than apartheid. Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking our townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale." [IBID]

April 29, 2002: Boston, MA. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he is "very deeply distressed" by what he observed in his recent visit to the Holy Land, adding, "It reminded me so much of what happened in South Africa." The Nobel peace laureate said he saw "the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. Referring to Americans, he adds, "People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists." [IBID]

"From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught...that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, 'vomit you out' if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]: "When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself' but also 'you shall love the other.'" [5]

For more information about AATW, please visit:

http://www.awalls.org/

[1] Eileen Fleming, Memoirs of a Nice Irish-American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory, pages 55-56
[2] http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3444320,00.html
[3] Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights
Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.
[4] The Link, "About That Word Apartheid", April-May 2007, Published by Americans for Middle East Understanding, Inc.
[5] Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007


Published first September 1, 2008:

Imagine: Lennon's Response to McCartney's 'Friendship First' Concert in Israel

 
Four decades ago, Israel banned The Beatles fearing their revolutionary message of love and peace would corrupt their youth.

On
September 25, 2008, Sir Paul McCartney will perform his 'Friendship First' concert in Tel Aviv for $4.3 million and is being promoted as one of "music's most revered stars" and a holder of "the key principals of friendship – loyalty and respect."

As I wondered what Lennon might have said to his old mate in regards to making money from an apartheid state, I reminisced to REVOLUTION

 
The Beatles - Revolution

You say you want a revolution?  Well, you know we all want to change the world, but when you talk about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out;  when you[take] money [from]  people with minds that hate, all I can tell you brother is:

No Way! Haven't you seen The Wall of Hate?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPpkCf6637E



Haven't you heard The Word from The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel/PACBI that urged you to just say no to Israel, because its creation 60 years ago dispossessed and uprooted over 700,000 indigenous Palestinians from their homes and lands, condemning them to live like a refugee in exile and destitution.

Israel at 60 is still denying Palestinian refugees their inalienable human rights and UN-sanctioned rights, because they are "non-Jews."

The world allows
Israel to illegally occupy Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. Israel persistently defies international law and denies fundamental human rights with impunity! US and European economic, diplomatic and political support collude and treat Palestinian citizens with institutionalized discrimination.

Israel has been "committing horrific war crimes in the occupied Gaza Strip, where its illegal and immoral policy of collective punishment -- through a hermetic military siege and an almost complete blockage of fuel, electric power, and even food and medicine -- is pushing 1.5 million Palestinian civilians to the brink of starvation. Without electricity, incubators are shutting down; hospitals are fast coming to a standstill; water is not being properly purified nor separated from raw sewage; whatever is left from the local economy is undergoing a meltdown; and the most vulnerable sectors of the population, the children, the elderly, and the acutely ill, are languishing under unspeakable hardships." [1]

Israel's wanton killings of civilians, demolition of homes and property, uprooting of more than a million fruit bearing trees, incessant theft of land and water resources, denial of freedom of movement to millions, dividing indigenous Palestinian's into Bantustans caged by walls, fences and hundreds of roadblocks, is not to be celebrated, but condemned and changed.

 In 1985 Bono joined forces with a group of artists concerned about Apartheid in
South Africa.
I IMAGINE, if Lennon were with us today, he would be among a group of artists concerned about Apartheid in Israel Palestine.

I also hope that Paul just doesn't yet know that Apartheid can be summed up as a structured process of gross human rights violations perpetrated against a conquered ethnic majority by a state and society mainly controlled by an invading ethnic minority and its descendants, mainly immigrants that have been deemed part of the ethnic elite.

The following nine categories make up the necessary, sufficient, and defining characteristics of apartheid regimes: 

1. Violence: Apartheid is a state of war initiated by a de facto invading ethnic minority, which at least in the short term originates from a non-neighboring locality. In all main instances of apartheid most if not all members of the invading group originate from a different continent. The invading ethnic minority and its self-defined descendants then continue to dominate the indigenous majority by means of their military superiority and by their continuous threats and uses of violence. 

2. Repopulation: Apartheid is also a continuation of depopulation and population transfer. One example is seen in the obliteration of the indigenous Bedouins that
Israel denies free movement to graze their herds and are silently transferring the Bedouins to new locales, such as atop of garbage dumps.

3. Citizenship: The indigenous people are often denied citizenship in their own country by the apartheid state authorities, which are ironically and irrationally, run and staffed by the recent arrivals to the country.

 4. Land: Apartheid entails land confiscation, land redistribution and forced removals, almost without exception to the benefit of the invading ethnic minority. Usually, members of the ethnic majority are forced on to barren and unfertile soils, where they must also try to survive under impoverished and overcrowded conditions.

5. Work: Apartheid displays systematic exploitation of the indigenous class in the production process and different pay or taxation for the same work.

6. Access: There is ethnically differentiated access to employment, food, water, health care, emergency services, clean air, and other needs, including the need for leisure activities, in each case ensuring superior access for the favored ethnic community.

7. Education: There are also different kinds of education offered and forced upon the different ethnic groups. 

8. Language: A basic apartheid characteristic is the fact that only very few of the invaders and their descendants ever learn the language(s) of the indigenous victims. 

9. Thought: Finally, apartheid contains ideologies or 'necessary illusions' in order to convince the privileged minorities that they are inherently superior and the indigenous majorities that they are inherently inferior. Much of apartheid thought is shaped by typical war propaganda. The enemy is dehumanized by both sides' ideologies, words and other symbols are used to incite or provoke people to violence, but mostly so by the invaders and their descendants. [2]


After recently returning from
Palestine's West Bank and Gaza Strip, Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence in South African Government wrote how it was "like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints -- more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger…A journey from one West Bank town to another that could take 20 minutes by car now takes seven hours for Palestinians, with manifold indignities at the hands of teenage soldiers…The monstrous apartheid wall cuts off East Jerusalem…Bethlehem too is totally enclosed by the wall, with two gated entry points. The Israelis have added insult to injury by plastering the entrances with giant scenic posters welcoming tourists to Christ's birthplace." [3]


Upon The Wall next to the checkpoint that leads from Jerusalem to her sister city, Bethlehem that enormous Orwellian sign Karlis refers to hangs and in Orwellian speak proclaims:
 
"PEACE BE WITH YOU"



The Wall is spun as a 'security barrier' but it "is designed to crush the human spirit as much as to enclose the Palestinians in ghettos. Like a reptile, it transforms its shape and cuts across agricultural lands as a steel-and-wire barrier, with watchtowers, ditches, patrol roads and alarm systems. It will be 700km long and, at a height of 8m to 9m in places, dwarfs the Berlin Wall. The purpose of the barrier becomes clearest in open country. Its route cuts huge swathes into the
West Bank to incorporate into Israel the illegal Jewish settlements -- some of which are huge towns -- and annexes more and more Palestinian territory." [Ibid]


 
"It has become abundantly clear that the wall and checkpoints are principally aimed at advancing the safety, convenience and comfort of settlers."- Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad. [Ibid]


"The West Bank, once 22% of historic
Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison...roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa." [Ibid]


John Lennon did say that "Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends...I believe that as soon as people want peace in the world they can have it. The only trouble is they are not aware they can get it. …All we are saying is give peace a chance…All you need is love…Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one."


On
December 20, 2006, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless work confronting and challenging South Africa's Apartheid regime spoke to The Guardian: "I've been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land. I have seen the humiliation at the checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about…Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice…If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land
  ."


Justice requires equal human rights, liberty and self-determination for all people. Justice requires honoring International Law and the Declaration of Human Rights. There can be no peace without justice; and that will take either a Revolution of love-or
  BDS: Boycott, Divest and Sanction.

1. http://www.pacbi.org/press_releases_more.php?id=655_0_4_0_C                                                      
2. Paraphrased from pages 71-73, Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77..                             
3.
Mail & Guardian, Israel 2007: Worse than Apartheid, by Ronnie Kasrils.  http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=308966&area=/insight/insight__comment_and_analysis/


Other Sources:
http://www.paulmccartney.com/index.php
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3587825,00.html




 






   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
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People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

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“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



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Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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