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Home arrow Blog arrow April 2008 arrow April 1, 2008

April 1, 2008
WAWA Blog April 1, 2008: NO JOKE! I really was on TV, from Tehran, Iran last Sunday 2-3PM EST.




On March 30th, Land Day and Sunday morning, I opened up an email from PRESS TV, Tehran, Iran:

Hello Eileen Fleming

This is ...coordinator at Press TV, which is based in Tehran Iran. Dear Eileen I have read your articles and I must say that you are very talented and dedicated journalist. And I am sure it is more than a job for you.

Dear Eileen, here in Press TV, we cover Middle East quite often and in my program 4 Corners we are always in need of great experts who have something to contribute and not afraid to express their views…you fit into that category…

The coordinator at Press TV ended her email with a cut and paste of these lyrics from my home page, written and sung by George Harrison, which was also his lead song at the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971:

If you open up your heart

You will see what I mean

You've been kept down so long

YOU think that we're all green

The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see

The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see

The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see...


I was informed that Press TV had read my Land Day article
[1] and were interested in talking to me about Land Day on the air. Thinking it would be over the phone, I agreed as, I have done radio interviews before. I am quite relaxed while perched in front of my website, as I know where to go for facts and links.

I went for a swim in the back porch pool and while in the shower the phone rang incessantly. Still dripping, I grabbed the phone next to the bathtub and it was Caesar, from South America, who worked with PRESS TV. He had located a satellite connection an hour from my home.

With my hair still wet, I arrived at Adrenalin Films on the east side of Orlando, ten minutes before air time. I was quickly wired up from inside my jacket with an ear piece that kept popping out. My only view was into the dark room and I was told to look into the camera and keep smiling.

I asked, "Where's the camera?"

Being painfully myopic, all was a grey black haze three feet from my face. Eerie gave way to surreal when I spoke for the first time, as the feedback through my temperamental earpiece was most disconcerting, as was the time delay from Iran.

However, the dialogue was relevant and exactly the kind we should be having in America. I commented about how uninformed and misinformed American citizens are when it comes to life under military occupation. Military occupation dehumanizes the occupied and renders many occupied hopeless; and that is why people strap on bombs; for they have no hope that things will change.

We the people in the land of the free and home of the brave, have some power for a very brief moment before we elect a president who will maintain the status quo.

Yeah, we can do that, we can elect a politician beholden to the Military Industrial Complex, or we can say, no, not this time.

We the people have it in our power to make a phone call, send a FAX or email to News Editors of newspapers and network news shows and demand they ask the candidates about Gaza, Jerusalem, the rights of refugees, The Wall, the continuing settlements, the over 500 checkpoints denying Palestinians the right to move on their land in light of this year; the 60th anniversary of Israel, Nakba and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights- upon which Israel's statehood was contingent upon upholding.

PRESS TV in Tehran, Iran, honored Land Day [2] and so did forty New Yorkers at the eighth annual protest at the Madison Avenue jewelry store of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, whose settlements threaten the indigenous Palestinians.

"We targeted Leviev's New York store on Land Day because his companies have recently built Israeli settlements on Palestinian land in at least four different locations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank," said Issa Mikel, a spokesperson for Adalah-NY. "He has also financed the Land Redemption Fund, a settler organization accused of using fraud to secure Palestinian land for settlement construction."[3]

The New Yorkers' chanted:

"On this year's Land Day, we want Lev to pay/For all he's stolen, to make his millions/From Angola's miners, to Bil'in and Jayous/We won't stop 'til everyone is free!"

"The protest featured theater depicting Israeli soldiers attempting to force peaceful Palestinian protesters off their land…The theater was accompanied by Palestinian testimonies from 1948 to present, emphasizing the continuity of Israeli efforts to displace Palestinians. The narratives tied the Nakba, or Catastrophe, in 1948, when more than 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their villages, to Land Day, and to the present settlements built by Leviev's companies that are destroying Palestinian villages." [4]

Sharif Omar, from the West Bank village of Jayyous, where Leviev's company Leader is building a settlement on village farmland, explained, "Last September I was working in my olive grove near the wall, when I came across uprooted olive trees coming out of the bulldozed ground. These green young branches are soft and beautiful, deeply rooted in the ground and stronger than the wall and bulldozers. These trees refuse to die or to surrender, and send a message to all farmers and people who love the land: 'Do not give up, and keep struggling and one day you will touch the sun.' We have been here longer than these trees, and we will stay here longer than the stones." [5]

"It's important to see current illegal land theft by Israel, of which Leviev is a profiteer and ideological supporter, as part of a historical policy stretching back decades…That's the point we wanted to convey today." -Ethan Heitner, spokesperson for Adalah-NY.

Leviev also works closely with the repressive Dos Santos regime in Angola and he employs the private security firm K&P Mineira, which has been accused of torturing, sexually abusing and even murdering Angolans. In New York, Leviev and his former partner Shaya Boymelgreen came under fire for employing underpaid, non-union workers in hazardous conditions in their development schemes. This month, the New York City Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order at the Leviev-owned Met Life Clocktower, allegedly for building without permits. [6]

Just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left the region for the second time, Israel announced plans Monday for 1,400 new homes on land the Palestinians claim for a future state. Jerusalem's city hall announced it would build 600 new apartments in Pisgat Zeev, a Jewish "neighborhood" in the eastern sector of the city and a place I visited in 2006. Pisgat Zeev is an Orwellian Disney World of swimming pools and lush landscape less than a five minute drive from Anata, refugee camp/holy ghetto.

"Neighborhood" is the euphemism spewed by western politicians and media to replace the term settlement. Every settlement in the West Bank is illegal under international law. Israel adds insult to injury by taxing the Palestinians and refusing them permits to allow them to build on their legally owned land.

On March 31, 2008, Israel began taking down some of the 50 West Bank roadblocks it pledged to remove during Rice's visit. Israel still maintains more than 500 checkpoints and roadblocks, claiming "security" - euphemism for total control of the indigenous people's right to move and export their goods; another reason the Palestinian economy is in ruins.

Senator Obama had the audacity to say, "What this country needs is a President who won't just do what's right when the politics are easy, but will stand up when the politics are hard."

The policies the United States has pursued since the Six Day War have failed to secure Israel, and have been an injustice unto Palestine.

All we the people hear from our politicians is the same failure to lead in the way of equal human rights and international law. All we the people hear is an increasingly fervent repetition of the status quo and bankrupt policies that have brought us to the point in time where 'civilized' white people openly consider unleashing the terror of another nuclear bomb.

.

On January 23, 2008, Senator Obama sent a letter to Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, about a proposed Security Council resolution on the situation in Gaza.

Obama focused on condemning Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel, but made no mention of the ongoing Israeli bombardments and raids that have killed hundreds of innocent residents of Gaza, as well as the calculated Israeli policy of denying the necessities of life - food, clean drinking water, medicines, medical care, school supplies, and the energy needed to power sewage treatment plants and hospital operating rooms - to all 1.5 million open air prisoners, of whom more than half are children.

Obama wrote that "Israel is forced to do this." Obama denounced Hamas as a terrorist organization, and ignored its repeated offers of a long-term truce with Israel - offers the Israeli government has repeatedly immediately rejected, although polls show that more than 60 percent of Israel's own population favors negotiations with Hamas.

Not Obama, not McCain and not Clinton have offered even a word of criticism of Israel, or of sympathy for the people of Gaza.

This is not "change we can believe in" or a change that can begin the world again…might this time we see that the world is our country, that all man and woman kind are our sisters and brothers. Might we all do good; be merciful and just, as our religions inform us of. Might our media seek to ask the questions too many of we the people, do not even know to ask. Might our politicians be beholden to we the people and to no other government.




1. http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=855&Itemid=198


2. 4 Corners TV Show: 30 Mar. 2008: A Land Grabbed

http://www.presstv.ir/pop/wmp.aspx?id=49658

3 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9430.shtml

4. IBID

5. IBID

6. IBID

More Land Day Reports:

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/

Oral histories from the Nakba in 1948, Land Day in 1976 and Leviev's companies' current settlement construction, visit: http://adalahny.org.
   
 
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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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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.
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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.

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Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

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Build anyway.

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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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