From:   Layan Fuleihan <lsfuleihan@gmail.com>
Sent time:   Wednesday, October 12, 2011 2:35:44 PM
To:   september17@googlegroups.com
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Zionist speaker at OWS outreach training
 

But does that mean that it shouldn't be discussed? Both are serious issues that should not be ignored. Also, remember the time frames here, Israel is barely 100 years old, and the 'killing and destroying' is still happening with intensity right now.

Would anyone like to help organize some sort of discussion or teach in about this?  I don't know what form it should take.  It seems tempting to talk about settler colonialism in both the US and in Israel at the same time but I'm afraid of further obscuring the issues by doing that, any other ideas?

On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM, Martin Kaminer <martin.kaminer@gmail.com> wrote:
Ok, so then circling all the way back to the original post, not sure how "hold[ing] accountable the people who actually make the decisions to continue killing and destroying" squares with cutting off contact with the organizers of the J14 'tent protest' movement . . . doesn't appear they made any decisions to kill and destroy Palestinians any more than you and I did to kill and destroy Native Americans.


On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 12:25 PM, Jon Good <therealjongood@gmail.com> wrote:
I'd like to give my two cents about the dangers of lumping all the crimes of the Israeli government into "Zionism".

Zionism is racist because it's based on the idea that nation-states should be defined by ethnicity, that is, that Israel should exist as a specifically Jewish state.  It's an obsolete belief based on a nineteenth-century European worldview.

The occupation of Palestine and the aparthied and violence and destruction wrought by the government of Israel (and the corporations who make money from it) against Palestinians are atrocities that go way beyond that.  Zionism may be used by politicians to justify and contextualize these atrocities, but that's not really where they arise.  To boil all these things down to Zionism is to blame an idea rather than hold accountable the people who actually make the decisions to continue killing and destroying.  The crimes of the Israeli government are not unique to Zionism; they are the same as ones committed across the world in the names of—at various times—communism, capitalism, national socialism, democracy, manifest destiny, national security, and religion.

The story of the nation of Israel is the cautionary tale of an oppressed and marginalized people who came together, and used their combined strength oppress and marginalize others.  This did not happen in a vacuum.  To boil it all down to Zionism is to erase (and absolve) the oppression of both Jews and Palestinians by greedy and power-hungry manipulators.

Solidarity,

Jon


On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM, grimwomyn <grimwomyn@gmail.com> wrote:
Zionism has no place in #occupywallstreet and I will not support zionism in anyway.

Leave it at home. Please. There are other spaces for you to work on yr racism this is not the place.


On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM, shaista husain <shaistahusain@gmail.com> wrote:
> Christopher Columbus was the first ZIONIST ===don't you guys get it?
> The same colonial narrative--genocide.
> We must endorse the Declaration of First Nation Peoples, in
> solidarity, for the plight of all people of color.
> Cesar and Bahareh, i agree-- this is most urgent.
>
>
> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM, gail zawacki <witsendnj@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I don't see the cross-purposes.  US needs a secure base in the middle of oil
>> country.  My larger point, however, is that it is wholly insufficient to
>> attack the economic system without understanding that, whatever the economic
>> system, unsustainable growth based on burning fuel is doomed to catastrophe.
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM, Martin Kaminer <martin.kaminer@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I'm not clear on the connection between unquenchable thirst for oil and
>>> unshakable support for Israel -- those would seem to work at cross-purposes,
>>> no?
>>>
>>> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 8:43 AM, gail zawacki <witsendnj@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Any acknowledgment of US military oppression and the "war on terror" as
>>>> well as the stranglehold that corporations have on politics and the economy
>>>> should include the primary motivation, the largest - by far most profitable
>>>> - industry in the world, which is the extraction of fossil fuels.
>>>> Dependence on oil (enforced by multi-national corporate interests) is the
>>>> most perniciously destructive aspect of modern society.  We've already taken
>>>> all the easily available oil and now have turned to more exotic, desperate
>>>> and dangerous methods of obtaining non-renewable, dirty energy, including
>>>> deep water drilling (Gulf oil spill?),  nuclear (Fukushima anyone?), and
>>>> destroying entire regional ecosystems through mountaintop removal for coal,
>>>> "natural" gas fracking, and tar sands.
>>>> The 99% are going to have no economy to recover if we continue to poison
>>>> the planet.  The entire Mideast is going to become literally uninhabitable
>>>> as the climate heats up, and all this squabbling over the scraps will have
>>>> been a waste of time.
>>>> Focus on the real enemy.  Exxon,  BP, the Koch brothers, Massey
>>>> Energy...the list is long.
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 8:12 AM, Matthew Presto
>>>> <matthew.presto@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> A couple hundred representatives from Students for Justice in Palestine
>>>>> are coming to New York this weekend. There's talk of them coming to the
>>>>> occupation on Sunday afternoon.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 7:35 AM, Amin Husain <amin.husain@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Andy and Layan - What do you think is needed to make things better?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Oct 12, 2011, at 7:32 AM, shaista husain <shaistahusain@gmail.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> > Can we have a teach in in front of UN? The NYU speak out was
>>>>>> > successful. Perhaps a UN speak out will also be just as successful to
>>>>>> > bring attention to the failed policies.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 7:06 AM, Amin Husain <amin.husain@gmail.com>
>>>>>> > wrote:
>>>>>> >> I am happy to help with a teach-in.
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> On Oct 12, 2011, at 3:49 AM, Layan Fuleihan <lsfuleihan@gmail.com>
>>>>>> >> wrote:
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> I agree wholeheartedly.  As an arab-american with Palestinian roots,
>>>>>> >> I've
>>>>>> >> been encouraged by the amount of support and inclusion so far in the
>>>>>> >> square.
>>>>>> >>  This is definitely not something I'm used to seeing, and it is
>>>>>> >> really
>>>>>> >> heartwarming and encouraging.  There are of course differences of
>>>>>> >> opinion,
>>>>>> >> and while I personally do not see any reason at all to support a
>>>>>> >> zionist
>>>>>> >> political agenda, I will respect the right of anyone involved with
>>>>>> >> OWS to
>>>>>> >> have their own opinions regarding this issue.
>>>>>> >> However, there is a difference between having personal opinions and
>>>>>> >> being
>>>>>> >> afraid to hear all sides.  What it sounds like happened (and I
>>>>>> >> wasn't there,
>>>>>> >> so I apologize if this is inaccurate) is, with the downward finger
>>>>>> >> signs and
>>>>>> >> general disapproval, and unwillingness to face an uncomfortable
>>>>>> >> truth.  If
>>>>>> >> this isn't then time, then when?
>>>>>> >> OWS is not about being comfortable.  Isn't this supposed to be a
>>>>>> >> place where
>>>>>> >> voices that are usually oppressed to finally be heard?  If anyone
>>>>>> >> has any
>>>>>> >> critique about anything that goes on in the square, it must be
>>>>>> >> fairly
>>>>>> >> considered.  The specific context of the J-14 protests is
>>>>>> >> specifically
>>>>>> >> concerning:  yes, the J-14 protests might have been similar to ours
>>>>>> >> in form
>>>>>> >> and style and subject, but the real housing crisis in Israel
>>>>>> >> happened half a
>>>>>> >> century ago with the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes
>>>>>> >> and
>>>>>> >> continues today with settlement expansion and an institutionalized
>>>>>> >> policy of
>>>>>> >> racism and apartheid.  These are facts that are, at this point,
>>>>>> >> impossible
>>>>>> >> to ignore and undeniable, there is more than enough human and
>>>>>> >> material
>>>>>> >> evidence so that this becomes larger than politics, it is an issue
>>>>>> >> of basic
>>>>>> >> human rights.  To speak of the J14 protests without at least
>>>>>> >> acknowledging
>>>>>> >> this reality goes against what I understand is one of the main
>>>>>> >> central
>>>>>> >> productive abilities of OWS that gives it such credibility: a drive
>>>>>> >> to
>>>>>> >> unmask the forms of oppression the national and global system
>>>>>> >> currently
>>>>>> >> creates.  Further, it is our responsibility to face these facts: the
>>>>>> >> disproportionately large U.S. financial and political support of
>>>>>> >> Israel
>>>>>> >> makes this issue urgently relevant to our protests.
>>>>>> >> I second Andy's suggestion for a teach in and discussion between
>>>>>> >> different
>>>>>> >> groups to start coming to an understanding on this topic.  I truly
>>>>>> >> believe
>>>>>> >> that OWS is the space for this sort of productive discussion to
>>>>>> >> happen, I've
>>>>>> >> seen it happen, and I'm very optimistic that it can occur again.
>>>>>> >> Thanks,
>>>>>> >> Layan
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >> On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM, acpollack2@juno.com
>>>>>> >> <acpollack2@juno.com>
>>>>>> >> wrote:
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> Tonight (Tuesday) was the first Occupy Wall Street outreach
>>>>>> >>> training. I
>>>>>> >>> was shocked to hear that the first speaker after the introduction
>>>>>> >>> would be
>>>>>> >>> an activist from the Israeli "tent protests," the racist movement
>>>>>> >>> which was
>>>>>> >>> fighting for cheaper rents and mortgages for stolen homes on stolen
>>>>>> >>> land.
>>>>>> >>> OWS has responded to criticisms of
>>>>>> >>> inadequate leadership and participation and addressing of issues by
>>>>>> >>> and
>>>>>> >>> regarding people of color by fostering discussion and
>>>>>> >>> restructuring. The
>>>>>> >>> racist "tent protest" movement responded to equivalent challenges
>>>>>> >>> from
>>>>>> >>> Palestinians by telling them, "shut
>>>>>> >>> up, leave us alone, don't divide the movement."
>>>>>> >>> I waited to hear what the speaker (Ezra something) had to say, and
>>>>>> >>> it was
>>>>>> >>> as bad as I feared. It was all about the technical issues of
>>>>>> >>> outreach and
>>>>>> >>> democracy, and not one word about outreach to Palestinians or
>>>>>> >>> inclusion of
>>>>>> >>> their issues.
>>>>>> >>> When he finished I got the floor (even though there hadn't been
>>>>>> >>> discussion
>>>>>> >>> time planned for that agenda point) and made some of the above
>>>>>> >>> points.
>>>>>> >>> Almost as soon as I began speaking murmurs of disagreement and
>>>>>> >>> calls of
>>>>>> >>> "this isn't the time" and downward "twinkling" hand motions began.
>>>>>> >>> One of
>>>>>> >>> the facilitators asked the
>>>>>> >>> speaker to respond, and he said "it's a question of outreach. I did
>>>>>> >>> outreach to Palestinians in Israel who were leery of joining the
>>>>>> >>> movement.
>>>>>> >>> You'll have to do the same in the Bronx. The issue of Palestinians
>>>>>> >>> in the
>>>>>> >>> movement won't be settled here."
>>>>>> >>> Well, yes, Mr. Zionist, it will be settled here. There is a huge
>>>>>> >>> Palestinian exile community in the US, with that in NY being one of
>>>>>> >>> the
>>>>>> >>> biggest components. They want their land back, they want their
>>>>>> >>> homes back,
>>>>>> >>> and they want the right to return. They have no
>>>>>> >>> interest in a movement which haggles over the rent paid by Jews to
>>>>>> >>> Jews
>>>>>> >>> for stolen property. They can't even return to visit because of
>>>>>> >>> exclusionary
>>>>>> >>> laws passed by your racist state.
>>>>>> >>> I have been having a hell of a great time building OWS, especially
>>>>>> >>> its
>>>>>> >>> labor component, and encouraging Palestinians and other Arabs to
>>>>>> >>> join in.
>>>>>> >>> That will cease until there is some clarification of exactly where
>>>>>> >>> OWS
>>>>>> >>> stands on these issues.
>>>>>> >>> I can't continue to encourage Palestinians to come to OWS events
>>>>>> >>> for fear
>>>>>> >>> that they might be surprised, as I was tonight, by the promotion of
>>>>>> >>> a racist
>>>>>> >>> Zionist speaker. When 30,000 Bedouins are being driven out of their
>>>>>> >>> homes,
>>>>>> >>> when settlers are escalating murderous attacks and destroying
>>>>>> >>> thousands of
>>>>>> >>> olive trees, how can I recruit people to a movement which promotes
>>>>>> >>> a speaker
>>>>>> >>> who thinks this is all irrelevant?
>>>>>> >>> I don't presume to know what the opinions of the rest of the
>>>>>> >>> leadership of
>>>>>> >>> OWS is on this question, and I would be happy to help organize a
>>>>>> >>> discussion
>>>>>> >>> -- preferably with Palestinian activists, the OWS People of Color
>>>>>> >>> committee,
>>>>>> >>> and a representative group from
>>>>>> >>> the OWS leadership -- to resolve this.
>>>>>> >>> How can OWS promote the great revolutionary speech by Mohammed
>>>>>> >>> Ezzeldin on
>>>>>> >>> Saturday and then promote this racist tonight?
>>>>>> >>> The REAL movement OWS can learn from in the region is that of the
>>>>>> >>> refugees
>>>>>> >>> in May and June who tried to reoccupy their homes in historic
>>>>>> >>> Palestine by
>>>>>> >>> crossing the borders, some of whom were mercilessly gunned down.
>>>>>> >>> Photos have begun to surface in stories about the current
>>>>>> >>> Palestinian
>>>>>> >>> hunger strike in which at solidarity demonstrations for the
>>>>>> >>> prisoners,
>>>>>> >>> Palestinians are holding up signs reading "Occupy Wall Street, Not
>>>>>> >>> Palestine!" How can we let them down?
>>>>>> >>> Until such time I will be devoting my organizing efforts to where
>>>>>> >>> they
>>>>>> >>> were overwhelmingly before OWS erupted: the Palestine solidarity
>>>>>> >>> movement.
>>>>>> >>> In solidarity (I hope),
>>>>>> >>> Andy Pollack
>>>>>> >>> Al-Awda NY: the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
>>>>>> >>> For background and context:
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> http://electronicintifada.net/blog/jalal-abukhater/what-tent-protest-really-about
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> http://electronicintifada.net/content/tel-aviv-arab-spring-ignores-arabs/10374
>>>>>> >>> http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/ajl160811.html
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>> http://maxblumenthal.com/2011/08/the-exclusive-revolution-israeli-social-justice-and-the-s
>>>>>> >>> eparation-principle/#more-2195
>>>>>> >>>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>> >>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>




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