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July 22, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Fanon documentary confronts fallacies about anti-colonial philosopher

Bhakti Shringarpure: The camera moves swiftly through the centre of a massive gathering of people in tattered clothing, emaciated, looking expectantly into the camera – the wretched of the earth, literally – as Fanon’s most damning words appear on screen:

From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the third world. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the under-developed peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialised in the Negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declare with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor under-developed peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude. Quite the contrary; we say to ourselves: ‘It’s a just reparation which will be paid to us.’

And then, finally, this below, which is doubly powerful coming from a European filmmaker who reminds us all of our complicity and our latent Eurocentrism:

We today can do everything, so long as we do not imitate Europe, so long as we are not obsessed by the desire to catch up with Europe.

More here.

July 22, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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If only: a poem

I’m walking and a man says, “If the Palestinians would just love their children more than they hate their enemy, the violence would be over.”
Yes.
If only.
If only they would love their children.
If only they would raise their arms to the sun to block the bombs with the palms of their hands.
Why don’t they?
Why can’t they just pull out their own lungs and stick them into their slaughtered children’s chests?
If only they would love their children, and carry their bodies up into the air, above the siege, past the blockade, into freedom.

More here.

July 22, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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From Shailja Patel

I share postings on Israelis who name and expose Israel’s genocidal settler colonialism to counter the blanket censorship of these voices in the US mainstream. But I am uncomfortable with the valorization of Israelis – or American Jews – as ‘heroic’ for simply acting as ethical human beings. The heroes are Palestinians living under the daily atrocities of Israel’s Occupation, Gazans waiting to be killed by Israel while the world watches. You don’t get a cookie for seeing and naming genocidal settler colonialism that should have been prevented 70 years ago. Let’s support anti-Zionist Israelis and American Jews AND acknowledge that speaking out is the baseline of their humanity, not an extraordinary act.

July 22, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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palestine is of paramount importance to all of us

Frank Barat: Quand on vous dit que la Palestine est un sujet global qui nous touche tous et que la reproduction de l’occupation et de ses techniques arrive peu a peu chez nous, vous croyez nous maintenant après ce qui s’est passé en France (principalement a Paris hier)? Mêmes techniques utilisées par les CRS que par l’armée israélienne a Bil’in, mêmes pressions politique sur les manifestants par un parti socialiste qui coule plus profond tous les jours. La Palestine nous concerne tous, c’est maintenant plus clair que jamais. Bravo a tout ceux et celles qui sont descendus dans la rue hier. Honte a ceux qui ont essayé de s’y opposer et honte aux médias de masses qui vont encore une fois soutenir la version du gouvernement.

my translation:

Frank Barat: when we say that palestine is a global issue which touches each and everyone of us and that the israeli occupation and its methods will move steadily closer to home, do u finally believe us after what happened in france (mostly in paris yesterday)? the french national police used the same methods of crowd control as those used by the israeli army in bil’in and the same kind of political pressure was exerted by the socialist party, which is in inexorable free fall. palestine is of paramount importance to all of us, this much is clear. bravo to all those who rallied in the streets yesterday. shame on those who tried to thwart their protest and shame on french mainstream media for toeing the government’s line.

July 22, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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A father opens his plastic bag: ‘This is my son,’ he says, killed by Israeli shell

Peter Beaumont: It seems a small thing – a hole the size of a toaster. But the shell travelled through four walls, scattering pieces of shrapnel that have been gathered and placed to one side. There were 60 people from three families sheltering inside, some under the stairs, some in a corridor leading to a half-finished room. Following the shell’s path through the house, three pools of blood punctuate where three people died – two of them children. Salem Antez, 29, approached with a purple plastic bag and opened it, its contents terrible. “This is my son,” he said and nothing else, tears tracking down his face. Mohammad, another family member explained, was two. The other dead were Abed Ali, 24, and Mohammad Ibrahim, 13. Salem bent back to his task – his bag becoming a little heavier. “They hit us at 8.45pm,” an uncle said. “We had just finished our Iftar meal and were gathered here for safety.” More here.

July 22, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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To Zion and Back

Max Blumenthal: It was not the right-wing Russians or the gun-toting settlers who carried out the Nakba. The Nakba is the legacy of Zionism’s putatively socialist wing. It was the grandfathers and mothers of the “enlightened public” of today’s Israel who literally drove tens of thousands of indigenous Palestinians into the sea in 1947-48 all along the Mediterranean coast, or who marched them at gunpoint to Ramallah. In the years leading up to the Nakba, during the 1920s and ’30s, Socialist Zionists implemented the project of Kibush Ha’avodah or the “Conquest of Labor,” establishing Jewish-only businesses and residential communities while organizing boycotts of Jewish businesses that hired Arabs. That meant attacking fellow Jews who didn’t uphold the same concept of separation and maintained business and community ties with Palestinian Arabs. So the legacy of the Zionist left of Tel Aviv is the Nakba, and the perpetuation of the Nakba is required to preserve Tel Aviv as one of the most homogenous cities on earth. There are fewer Arabs in Tel Aviv, one of the largest cities in the Middle East, than there are in Chicago, the largest city in the American Midwest. Just think about that for a second. How do you accomplish such a remarkable feat of social engineering without massive violence? More here.

July 22, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Asim Rafiqui: Making the Forgotten Visible – Watson Institute for International Studies

interview i filmed with photojournalist asim rafiqui, whose series “law and disorder: a people’s history of the law in pakistan” is now on exhibit at the watson institute, brown university. he speaks eloquently about the plight of ordinary pakistanis whose interaction with the state is defined by brutal injustice. yes, the taliban are not pakistan’s only problem, especially when one views the country through the eyes of its most marginalized citizens. watch my interview with asim here.