No to Anti-Semitism, No to Islamophobia

“ATTENTION: PLEASE refrain from using anti-semitic language when expressing support for Palestine and Palestinians. It is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable and I will call you out on it. The Palestinian cause invites ALL who stand for justice and equality and all who want to be on the right side of history including American Jews. They have been some of our closest and most loyal allies and the last thing we need is to alienate people by using the same tactics and hateful rhetoric that is used against us. Let’s learn from history. Stay focused, stay principled – your cause is pure, your cause is just. No need to contaminate it with misguided hate.”

Photo of Linda Sarsour on the Brooklyn Bridge

Linda Sarsour
Director, Arab American Association of New York

Some Conservatives Kindly Took the Time out of their Day to Broadcast to the World that They Are Racist & Islamophobic

Newt Gingrich helpfully informed the confused world that there need be no more concern about the Palestinians displaced and mistreated by the Israeli state, because Palestinians don’t exist.

Remember, there was no Palestine existing as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places.

He went ahead and renamed these 11 million non-people, “a group of terrorists that are firing missiles every day.”

Somebody go tell all those confused fake Palestinians with their totally fake grievances! My Palestinian friends are going to be pretty surprised to hear that they don’t exist, but that they nevertheless spend their days firing missiles!

Fun fact: Israel as a state didn’t exist until 1948. Does this mean that Israelis are an “invented people” too?

In related news, The Learning Channel (TLC) is running a reality show about 5 Muslim families in Michigan called “All-American Muslim”. EVERYBODY PANIC!

The Florida Family Association, for one, is panicking.

The Learning Channel’s new show All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.

Wow. They don’t even address how many of the people featured on the show don’t even exist, because of their fake Palestinian roots.

The FFA has started a boycott campaign to erase this threat of tolerance and diversity from television. Lowe’s has enthusiastically jumped on board, saying that “there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines, including the show you [the FFA] brought to our attention.”

I would love to hear a more thorough explanation of exactly why that is. No really. I’m sure it would be fascinating.

The FFA kindly provides a list of companies that have dared to continue advertising, even after they were warned that the show depicts MUSLIMS. I recommend taking time out of your day to support those companies or send them a note of thanks.

Assess the danger level yourself:

Ah Geez News

Here’s some reading for ya!

BBC: Saddam’s rule ‘better’ for gay Iraqis

All the LGBT Iraqis interviewed for Gay Life After Saddam maintained that life was easier for them when Saddam Hussein was in power, from 1979 to 2003.

Some spoke fondly of an underground gay culture that flourished before the war in Baghdad.

Seattle Times: Israel deports activists detained going to Gaza

Israel on Monday deported a former U.S. congresswoman, a Nobel peace prize laureate and other activists who were arrested and jailed after trying to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli navy commandeered their boat last week as it tried to sail from Cyprus to Gaza.

…There were 21 passengers and three tons of medical aid on board, and most of the activists were quickly expelled. But Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and former U.S. congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, along with six other activists, remained in Israeli custody while the government arranged flights for them…

Marwa SherbiniBBC: Egypt mourns ‘headscarf martyr’

Marwa Sherbini, 31, was stabbed 18 times by Axel W, who is now under arrest in Dresden for suspected murder.

…Ms Sherbini had sued her killer after he called her a “terrorist” because of her headscarf.

…Medics were unable to save Ms Sherbini who was three months pregnant with her second child.

Tanveer AhmadMore on death in US immigration detention. New York Times: Piecing Together an Immigrant’s Life the U.S. Refused to See

Tanveer Ahmad, it turns out, was a longtime New York City cabdriver who had paid thousands of dollars in taxes and immigration application fees… His only trouble with the law was a $200 fine for disorderly conduct in 1997: While working at a Houston gas station, he had displayed the business’s unlicensed gun to stop a robbery.

It would come back to haunt him.

And now, a Day Brightener after all this shitty news:

Continue reading

When You Fight For God, Human Law No Longer Applies

The New York Times reports that the Israeli army is experiencing a clash between two groups within its ranks: the secularists and the religious nationalists.

It is all coming out in the aftermath of the Gaza invasion and the revelation of severe abuses against the Palestinians. Religious material was distributed to soldiers that framed the invasion as a religious war. The material claimed that Jews have a God-given right to the Palestinians’ land. The army’s chief rabbi himself, Brig. Gen. Avichai Rontzki, is an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank. He handed out a booklet to soldiers containing “a rabbinical edict against showing the enemy mercy.”

In response:

Avshalom Vilan, then a leftist member of Parliament, accused the rabbi of having “turned the Israeli military’s activity from fighting out of necessity into a holy war.”

…[Rontzki] has written, for example, that what others call “humanistic values” are simply subjective feelings that should be subordinate to following the law of the Torah.

Israeli philosopher Moshe Halbertal says, “The right tends to make an equation between authenticity and brutality, as if the idea of humanism were a Western and alien implant to Judaism. They seem not to know that nationalism and fascism are also Western ideas and that hypernationalism is not Jewish at all.”

1 Shot 2 KillsThis is all thrown into even creepier relief by the revelation of certain army members’ predilection for violent and offensive T-shirt imagery.

The T-shirt on the left depicts a pregnant Palestinian woman wearing Islamic clothing, in the cross hairs of a gun. Underneath it says “1 Shot 2 Kills.”

Some other T-shirt designs of recent Israeli army popularity include:
A Palestinian child in the cross hairs, with the slogan: “The smaller they are, the harder it is”

A dead Palestinian baby with the slogan: “Better use Durex”

A soldier standing next to a bruised woman with the words: “Bet you got raped!”

“Let every Arab mother know that her son’s fate is in my hands!”

A ruined mosque and the slogan: “We came, we saw, we destroyed!”

And more.

This past January, the “Night Predators” demolitions platoon from Golani’s Battalion 13 ordered a T-shirt showing a Golani devil detonating a charge that destroys a mosque. An inscription above it says, “Only God forgives.”

…No one had a problem with the fact that a mosque gets blown up in the picture?

[One of the soldiers in the platoon said] “I don’t see what you’re getting at. I don’t like the way you’re going with this. Don’t take this somewhere you’re not supposed to, as though we hate Arabs.”

Huh. I don’t like the way this is going. Sounds like any other country that believes it has a religious mandate to do violence to others. Sounds like where Bush was trying to take the American military. Sounds like the religious right who framed the Iraq war as a “clash of civilizations,” a religious war of Christians vs. Muslims. Not all Americans are Christian. Some Americans are Muslim. Not all Israelis are Jews. Some Israelis are Arab (Jewish and not), some are Muslim.

I wish this holy war frame wasn’t so attractive for certain groups of people who already seem to lack signs of the kind of good judgment one hopes is inherent in war decision-making.

Love to South African Dock Workers

The dock workers in the South African port of Durban must be an incredible group of people. Previously, they have refused to unload ships carrying weapons to Zimbabwe to help Mugabe further oppress his people, and they called out to dock workers at other ports in other cities to do the same.

And they’re at it again, in solidarity with Palestinians!

From the AP:

Randall Howard, general secretary of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, said it appeared a ship carrying goods from Israel was nearing Durban’s port. If once the ship docks its cargo is determined to be Israeli, he said, union workers won’t unload it.

”We will make that contribution,” he said. ”The historic and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination … is a struggle that SATAWU supports.”

I am impressed and inspired.

Israel’s reaction:

In Israel, Foreign Minister spokesman Yigal Palmor said: ”If these people think that by refusing to unload shipments from Israel they are promoting peace they should go back to school because they have misread the situation in the Middle East big time.”

I’m sure the dock workers, many of whom probably didn’t have the opportunity to attend excellent schools, really appreciate Palmor’s condescension.

h/t Momma, here come that girl again!