Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or vote; Israel's assault on nonviolent protest and the beating of my host Bassem Tamimi

Peter Gibbins, who is working on the relationship of Tolstoy as a Christian anarchist defender of nonviolence and Gandhi and has been a union organizer, is participating in Trick or Vote, the New Era program all over the country in urban areas to engage with those voters whom the Republicans have made a long and dishonorable effort to suppress. This is the renewal of Jim Crow; it needs to be fought, and Trick or Vote is an amusing way to do it. There is also a party afterwards in Denver.


Below are the links to the New Era's trick or vote page for Colorado and a national page that lists trick or vote activities across the country. I just heard a news story breaking down the latest poll numbers from Pew. Obama leads among registered voters but is tied with likely voters. 78% of registered Republicans are likely voters versus only 62% of Democrats. This election is definitely going to come down to turnout.

See here for Denver.

See here nationwide."


In Israel Monday, Netanyahu forged a coalition for war with Iran with Lieberman's Yisrael Beteinyu party. See "With Lieberman at his side, Netanyahu's war cabinet is on a one-way track to Iran" from Haaretz here. This made real electorally what was already clear in the cabinet.

Obama is the last obstacle, in an election year, to bombing Iran. He has bravely, a former Mossad chief said last Tuesday, refused to do so. Romney is, among many other corruptions, voluntarily obsequious to Netanyahu and they are both funded by the same casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, who is determined to carry aggression through. See here.

As our delegation saw on the ground in Palestine, the Israeli state's policy is remarkably calibrated to drive out Palestinians. Ironically, the latter are treated as "permanent residents" in the conquered territories while settlers from Brooklyn and New Jersey like David Wilder are treated as "citizens." Israel would certainly use an enlarged war as an excuse for more viciousness toward the Palestinians. I have seen unarmed people attacked ferociously in the village of Nabih Saleh and talked with those who had also been attacked, getting to pick up silver tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, hard as rock, in Budrus and Beilin.

A few days ago, our host in Nabih Saleh, Bassem Tamimi, was among the demonstrators in a supermarket at a settlement. See here and here. The protestors used words and their presence to surprise shoppers. Afterwards, they were beaten, Bassem's ribs broken and he is being held in Israeli jails.

The occupations and the settlements are illegal, the land bifurcated and stolen with a Wall, but nonviolent protest is a "crime"...

Desperate soldiers seek to beat and murder protestors (27 year old Mustafa Tamimi was murdered by a tear gas canister earlier this year - see Janna's song here and here).

A regime which needs to do violence to nonviolent protestors is a reprehensible regime. Everyone should act to stop the violence. Protest - letters at least - to the Israeli embassy would be a good start. That Israeli or American jews are made more secure by such acts is false. These acts are both a crime and counterproductive.


In the American election, Obama is better on war with Iran, the settlements, climate change, FEMA, social security, not funneling more money to the .001% - Romney's only program for "jobs," to take away jobs - medicare, medical coverage for everyone than the imperial authoritarian shapeshifter. In fact, this election will mark a yawning divide in terms of the future of America. To do something more about justice for the people of Palestine (and for Jews as well) will take a movement from below. Even to prevent further depredations by American imperialism and drones will take a new civil rights or anti-apartheid movement. In American history, a rights-oriented democracy - one that defends a common good - comes only from below. One should not mistake voting for being the most important political act.

But reelecting Obama is decisive for the future of a common good and minimal decency in America.



By Mya Guarnieri |Published October 24, 2012]
Palestinians beaten, arrested during protest at settlement supermarket

Approximately 100 Palestinians and a handful of international activists entered the Rami Levy supermarket in the West Bank settlement of Sha’ar Binyamin Wednesday morning to ‘protest occupation and settler terror’ and to call for the boycott of ‘the occupation and its products.’ Two Palestinians and two internationals were beaten and arrested.

[the program would not reproduce the photograph, see here for the original article)
Activists in Rami Levy supermarket in Shaar Binyamin settlement (photo: flickr/Activestills)

Palestinian and international activists were unarmed. Carrying flags and signs, they entered the supermarket, chanting for freedom. They say that the Israeli police used excessive force to disperse the nonviolent protest.

Activist Abir Kopty, who was at the scene, reported that “as activists exited the building, about forty policemen and soldiers were waiting outside, they attacked physically the demonstrators and fired stun grenades at them, causing several injuries, two of which were taken by ambulance to the hospital.”

Bassem Tamimi, head of Nabi Saleh’s Popular Committee, was among the injured. He reportedly suffered broken ribs as a result of being beaten by Israeli forces as he was arrested.

This protest emphasizes, according to Kopty, that “as long as there is no justice to Palestinians, Israeli and settler daily life can’t continue on as normal.”

[the program would not reproduce the photograph - see here for the original article]
Bassem Tamimi being arrested in the Shaar Binyamin settlement today (photo: flickr/Activestills)

Last week also saw a protest that disrupted the flow of Israelis and settlers everyday life when a group of 50 Palestinian activists blocked Route 443 for half an hour. The road is built on occupied Palestinian land and connects settlements, which the international community considers illegal [a malapropism: they are illegal], to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. To an Israeli driver, Route 443 essentially erases the Green Line and gives the impression that the occupied West Bank is part of the country. The action of blocking the road may have reminded the Israelis who use it that the land 443 runs through is, indeed, occupied.

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