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Home arrow Blog arrow October 2009 arrow October 5, 2009: The Politics of Impossibility on the Battleground of Moral Legitimacy with the Goal

October 5, 2009: The Politics of Impossibility on the Battleground of Moral Legitimacy with the Goal
October 5, 2009: The Politics of Impossibility on the Battleground of Moral Legitimacy with the Goal of a Just Peace in Palestine Israel   

"Enough with the analysis! We are dieing in Palestine and everything is clear! We need an American Intifada [Arabic for rise up and cast off]. We must continue our work here in D.C. and empower the UN; the conflict belongs there and USA policy must be changed. And yes we can do it because our God is a God of Justice, Hope and Love."

Those were a few of the closing comments by Reverend Naim Ateek, Founder of Sabeel [Arabic for The Way] Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center which is based in Jerusalem with a global congregation of progressive Christians seeking a just peace in Palestine Israel; which equates to an end to the occupation, human rights for all and the honoring of international law. 

Sabeel's 28th regional conference, sponsored by 25 organizations, united a few hundred committed Americans from the first through third of October, in the sanctuary and class rooms of Shiloh Baptist Church, in D.C. which was established by freed slaves in 1854.
 
We were people of many faiths, atheists and agnostics united by our righteous anger against hypocrisy in high places and state sponsored injustices and our fuel is our belief in the equality of all human persons.

We carry the same torch that forced an end to slavery, obtained the vote for women, addressed the rights of American African descendants and ended apartheid in South Africa.

We recognize that security for Israel and justice for Palestine must also include the end of colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling of the Wall where ever it has been erected on Palestinian property.

We comprehend that the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel have not been fully equal to Israeli Jews and the denial of the trauma, pain and rights of Palestinian refugees must be addressed and realized as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

We are in solidarity with the true voice of Palestine: Palestinian Civil Society, who issued the Call for BDS: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights. [1] 

We are committed and energized to pursue justice and peace by nonviolent moral economic actions and with morally responsible investments in order to change the course of the bad behavior of the Israeli government, USA government and corporate collusion and complicity.

We seek to transform Cold War ideologies of exclusiveness and greed into 21st Century comprehension that only by inclusively and cooperation can there be prosperity and sustainability for any and all.

We truly do "have it in our power to begin the world again" and the future is already here.

Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Territories who also has been challenging US policy regarding Iran for the last thirty years stated, "The initial chapter of Obama's diplomacy shows no change of the unconditional alliance with Israel which takes precedence over a fair outcome.

"Although discouraging, it is in one sense fortunate that it did not produce new negotiations; for failed negotiations only raise hopes temporarily but worsen the cycle of despair and violence. It is futile to enter negotiations with this government and not talk about refugees, settlements and Jerusalem.

"At this stage it is a fundamental mistake to look for Government solutions and traditional diplomacy. Look instead to the activation of Civil Society, such as solidarity with BDS.

"There was nothing new in the Goldstone Report's substantive findings, so why was Israel so hysterical? This is the first time they haven't ignored the UN as irrelevant.

"When the International Court of Justice ruled The Wall was illegal Israel-supported by the USA government- didn’t even bother to respond.

"The US government is aligned with Israel against the Goldstone Report to maintain the status quo, but the report confirmed in a variety of ways the war against Gaza was inconsistent with international law for infrastructure was targeted. Hamas also is seriously guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The nature of Israel's response was politics deflection; no discussion of the allegations, but pointing to the messenger to avoid the message. It is the rule of force over the rule of law and geopolitics trumped human rights.

"The grounds for hope are in the history of the last 75 years that shows that military approaches do not succeed in successful political outcomes. America won every battle in Vietnam, but lost the war.

"The people running the government still subscribe to political realism; military power. Afghanistan proves militarism doesn't work, but we keep reinventing failure. We talk human rights but still engage in military interventions.

"Only progressive forces in civil society recognize this and understand the symbolic battlefield of morality and the legitimacy war. Shifting expectations from institutions and government onto the global battlefield of legitimacy will determine destiny. 

"There is potency in nonviolence as proved by Gandhi but anti-apartheid strategies doesn't mean we will see a just outcome; look at Tibet, but it is the only path.

"It is the Politics of Impossibility that can project the unimaginable. No one expected Nelson Mandela to be released from jail or the collapse of the USSR.

"This set of circumstances requires the art of the impossible and the war is waged in the consciences of people which makes it so powerful.

"The Legitimacy War gives me hope that Palestine will receive justice and there will be peace.

"The traditional institutions are limp and the UN Charter is an illusion as a way forward in the conflict. That is the signal to Civil Society to act for no leadership should be given impunity for what amounts to war crimes. They must be held accountable and the call is for national governments and institutions to implement international law and universal jurisdiction."


On September 29, 2009, a Palestinian bid to enact international law and universal jurisdiction by seeking the arrest of Israeli defense chief Ehud Barak for war crimes during his visit to Britain did not result in his arrest; but it was seriously debated by UK Judges for five hours and led to Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, to cancel his scheduled trip to London next month.


Author, Professor Jeff Halper, an American Israeli and Founder and Director of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions reminded us that we cannot talk about Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan without talking about the Dome of the Rock, for all roads lead to Jerusalem.

"We have gotten to the end of the education process now we have to turn the corner and become a resistance movement and our job is to end the occupation. There's no chance a two-states is going to happen and the obvious alternative of one state is not even on the table.

"All national groups claim self-determination and that gives logic to two states, but Israel has eliminated that option with a half a million settlers in the West bank, the apartheid highway system and the settlement freeze was just a smoke screen of the Matrix of Control."


What The Matrix of Control has done is render the Occupation invisible by a system of controlled design that has enabled Israel to control every aspect of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories, by lowering "Israel's military profile in order to give the impression to the outside that what Palestinians refer to as "occupation" is merely proper administration, and that Israel has a 'duty' to defend itself and the status quo, by creating enough space for a dependent Palestinian mini-state that will relieve Israel of the Palestinian population while deflecting, through the use of 'administrative' image and bureaucratic mechanisms, international opposition…to force the Palestinians' to despair of ever achieving a viable and truly sovereign state and to accept any settlement offered by Israeli. [2]


Jeff has lived in Israel since the Vietnam era and witnesses on a daily basis how, "Israelis are insulated from the occupation and its eroding effect. The Israeli economy is better than the USA, tourism is back and Israeli banks are buying up-shoring up the American dollar.

"Israeli Jews have been told there is no political solution and the Arabs are our permanent enemies, but terrorism as its called has been reduced to nothing and the framework of being the victim relieves them of responsibility and accountability.

"The reason Barak flipped over the Goldstone Report was because it placed victims and perpetrators on the same playing field.

"We have no political partners in government and civil society is in a bad marriage with government. Remember that governments are not our partners, friends or on our side, were alone and we have to build a civil society to make the occupation unsustainable.

"It is on the moral level and in regards to economic interests that we will win the War of Legitimacy. The clash of civilizations is between human rights and imperialism.

"The occupied territories are a laboratory for government and corporations and the arms industry…We are all Palestinians in solidarity against corporate military police forces and security warfare against people. Israel could not get away with what it does without USA cover in the UN and the support in government."


As Pogo said, "We have seen the enemy and he is US."


Money is the currency with the loudest voice and this last May, President Obama sent his FY2010 budget request to Congress which included $2.775 billion in military aid for Israel. We the people who pay taxes in the USA have been providing $3 billion annually to Israel which has consistently misused U.S. weapons in violation of America's Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts. 
 
During the Bush Administration, Israel killed more than 3,000 Palestinian civilians who had no part in hostilities, including more than 1,000 children. 

Israel's December-January assault on Gaza was aided and abetted by USA manufactured weapons. Estimates range between 1,166 to 1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed. More than 400,000 Gazans were left without running water, 4,000 homes were destroyed, tens of thousands of people remain homeless and 80 government buildings were targeted including those flying the United Nations flag.


Shamrock Holding, owned by the Roy E. Disney family, is a shareholder of several companies making money on the Israeli occupation including Teva Naot, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, and the Orad Group.
 
Their involvement ranges from Israeli industry in the illegal West Bank settlements, the use of natural resources from occupied Palestinian territory and technologies for controlling the Palestinian population at the checkpoints.

EDS, a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard, has developed and installed automatic biometric access control systems in the checkpoints in occupied Palestine.

The settlements are a symptom of the disease of the occupation as well as blatant disregard of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits the transfer of population to occupied territories and the stealing of their resources.


There is a Jewish teaching that states: "Thou shall not derive personal pleasure or benefit from any product created through exploitation."



During the opening Interfaith Service at the conference, Imam Yahya Hindi began his prayer in Hebrew and then in English blessed the name of God, the Lord of the Universe that peace of God will be upon Israel, Jerusalem, Palestine and all the world.

The Imam said, "In the Islamic tradition what you wish for your neighbor should be what you wish for yourself. Yes we can and yes we will for the Koran says God created all tribes that we could come to know each other as brothers and sisters. Everyone matters and all are children of the one God, who loves and nurtures peace and wants us to work for peace by resisting evil with good."

Rabbi Brian Walt, was born in Cape Town, South Africa and was active as a student in the struggle against Apartheid. He founded Ta'anit Tzedek: Jewish Fast for Gaza because as Isaiah said:

"Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?" (Isaiah 58:6)  

Rabbi Walt informed us that, "Isaiah said that the result of justice is peace and security and the psalmist wrote to move away from evil and pursue the good; seek peace and pursue it."

David Wildman, executive secretary for human Rights and Racial Justice with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and a cofounder of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation reminded us that we all are culpable in the violent attacks upon civilians in Palestine and we need to examine the logs in our own eyes; our portfolios, investments and that as USA taxpayers we provide $3 Billion a year to fund the illegal occupation and misery in occupied Palestine.

David also reminded us to heed the lesson of the Persistent Widow, a story Jesus told in Luke 18 1-5 and I spin it like this:


Once upon a time, there was an old widow, who lived in a certain town with a judge who cared nothing about justice, people or God. But an old widowed crone kept coming to him with her plea, "Grant me justice against my adversary."

The judge ignored her until she became such a royal PIA [pain in the ass] he finally muttered to himself, "Even though I don't fear God or care a hoot about this old crone, she has become such a royal PIA, I will give into her, just to get her to leave me alone!"

 
It is a fact of history that when politics fail broad social movements rise and politicians must and can be lead and every journey begins with the first step.


Learn more and be a part of the change for the future is already here:



http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

http://endtheoccupation.org/

http://www.sabeel.org/pdfs/mri.htm

http://whoprofits.org/

http://www.fastforgaza.net/


1. http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

2. http://www.icahd.org/eng/articles.asp?menu=6&submenu=3

 

 



   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

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