In Homage to the Struggle

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Gaza’s children will not forget

As Israel withdraws its ground forces from Gaza “to defensive positions” outside the Gaza Strip there are already obscene calls for Israel to re-engage so that Israel may “finish the job” and “go all the way” by demilitarizing Gaza, purging the 360 sq. km strip of its native Arab inhabitants and reoccupying it. Nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed and at least 500,000, who are already refugees, have been internally displaced once more as a result of 29 days of implacable Israeli attacks. Parts of Gaza have been emptied, with entire neighborhoods eradicated as though they had never existed. From space the Gaza Strip was captured veiled in black, with Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment glowing bright — the widespread pockets of shelling luminous amongst the darkness, like blazing sulfur. If this is what was witnessed from space imagine what horrors the people of Gaza will see on earth as the dust settles.

The myth of the ‘Arabs versus Jews’ narrative

The transformation of Zionism as a political ideology to Zionism as a religious ideology begins, in part, with Theodor Herzl’s "infatuation with British imperialism," as noted by literary scholar and cultural historian Eitan Bar-Yosef in his book A Villa In The Jungle: Herzl, Zionist Culture, And The Great African Adventure. “Herzl’s phrase – a ‘miniature England in reverse’ – preserves the imperfect colonial mimicry that stood at the heart of Herzl’s Zionist project, and which was exposed so explicitly...in his decision to align himself with the British Empire.” Herzl would form the Zionist Organization (now The World Zionist Congress) in 1897 and promote the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, while continuing to identify with British colonialism and those who facilitated colonialism – the colonialists themselves. While Herzl, in his book The Jewish State, published in 1895, argued that the ‘Jewish question’ was not social or religious but political, the historical account of the rise of religious Zionism shows that it began to take hold not long before the passing of Herzl in 1904.

Unsettling the Israeli settlers

In order to confront the tangled web of colonization and begin the indispensable process of decolonization there must first be an acknowledgement of the historical coloniality of power which existed behind the creation of Israel and which continues to exist today so as to advance the state of Israel – those with positions of privilege, who progress the development of the occupation and the colonial-settler state itself must be disturbed. It is not enough to flirt with matchsticks beneath passports. Nor is it enough to cry “not in my name!”. The colonial mentality must be deconstructed. The Israeli settlers must be unsettled.

US show "Tyrant"'s novel plot to vilify Arabs

Our earliest intimate interaction with the foreign characters in Tyrant comes in the form of an aggressive sexual assault where we quickly learn that Bassam’s older brother Jamal is a sexual predator and philanderer in a scene featuring the first close encounter with an Arab woman. She is brutalized while her husband and small children wait outside, clearly able to hear the sounds.

The resurgence of the United States’ favorite ‘native informant’ in Iraq

There exists a treasured class which flourishes in this world of raging empires – It is allowed to straddle its foreignness so long as it is in order to reaffirm Orientalist attitudes, and its members are often found crossing back and forth into and outside of the establishment’s dwellings. They are a fragment of the other but to the extent that they use their otherness to disparage those who reside beyond the empire’s domain. Their identity is commercialized; from their self imposed marginalization they cultivate their own brand of civilized personality, and through this they become the gatekeepers of history.

Iraq intervention, redux?: The folly of ‘humanitarian imperialism’

US soldiers board the last C17 aircraft carrying US troops out of Iraq. (Photo: AFP-Martin Bureau)

Jean Bricmont’s powerful book Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War, written during the occupation of Iraq, is a timely historical critique of Western interventionism, one worth examining as the United States of America moves once more in the direction of military entanglement in Iraq. Bricmont, a Belgian theoretical physicist and professor at The Université catholique de Louvain, discusses the ideological factors which legitimize military action in response to humanitarian abuses and “in defense of democracy” (p. 7). — “This is the discourse and the representation that must be challenged in order to build a radical and self-confident opposition to current and future wars.” The humanitarian rationales offered under the banner of there being “a responsibility to protect” have only increased since the end of World War II, and methods to reinforce such motivations have grown progressively coercive.

Where’s the outrage over the frequent kidnapping of Palestinian children?

Where’s the outrage over the frequent kidnapping of Palestinian children?

“Until the boys are back, every hour we shoot a [Palestinian] terrorist.” This is the name of a Facebook page that has garnered over 20,000 likes, as reported by the Electronic Intifada — this bold call for the extrajudicial assassination of so-called Palestinian ‘terrorists’ comes after the disappearance of three Israeli teens from Israel’s illegal Gush Etzion settlement. In response to their disappearance the Israeli occupation forces have launched a massive manhunt, conducting widespread operations, in order to find the teens who went missing Thursday evening. By simply perusing the official Facebook page of the “Israeli Defense Forces” you will find Israel’s staunchest supporters leaving prayers and death threats directed at the Palestinian people, one after the other, from calling for the Israeli army to “just wipe Gaza off the map” and “flatten the West Bank” to demanding Israel make an announcement that “if [the teens] are not turned over safe and sound within 24 hours, every Palestinian city will be burned to the ground. Then carry it out if they do not comply.” “That's the only thing these savages understand,” writes one user in response. “The Arabs will never become civilized. Only through violence can [we] create a better tomorrow for our people.”

Separation

I.
We’ve spent our entire lives
clutching passports
and saving ticket stubs
so that when we wake up
and we find ourselves
far from your embrace
we have enough evidence
to hush the howling wounds
that try with all of their might
to convince us
that we were dreaming.

II.
I can taste the bitterness of loving you
on my tongue and around my gums
as though I’ve spent days
chewing on the lemon rinds
that remain of my grandmother’s orchards
as though I’ve been grinding on burning tires
that fuel the flames of protest in your streets
and here I am swallowing the pieces

A witness to Israeli terror savors liberation

The following is the testimony of my mother, who I interviewed for Liberation Day, commemorated every May 25 — marking the end of Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon. This is her personal story of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the horrors she witnessed.

Insha’Allah

When I arrived at the gates I hunted for relatives as I fumbled with my bags. My uncle calls my name and my eyes strain to find him in a sea of people. Minutes later I leave the shapes of unknown travellers behind as we fall into an embrace. Soon I am sitting in the backseat of his car while my senses begin taking snapshots of all that surrounds me; sleep threatens to overwhelm my body but my eyes refuse to close.

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