Tuesday, June 19, 2007
On November 10th 2005, an article described one of the unspoken reasons why the United States had to invade Iraq: to liberate the U.S. dollar in Iraq so that Iraqi oil could once again be purchased with the petrodollar. See The liberation of the U.S. Dollar in Iraq.
In November 2000, Iraq stopped accepting U.S. dollars for their oil. Counted as a purely political move, Saddam Hussein switched the currency required to purchase Iraqi oil to the euro. Selling oil through the U.N. Oil for Food Program, Iraq converted all of its U.S. dollars in its U.N. account to the euro. Shortly thereafter, Iraq converted $10 billion in their U.N. reserve fund to the euro. By the end of 2000, Iraq had abandoned the U.S. dollar completely.
Two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was ended, the country’s accounts were switch back to dollars, and oil began to be sold once again for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with the euro. Universal global dollar supremacy was restored. It is interesting to note that the latest recession that the United States endured began and ended within the same timeframe as when Iraq was trading oil for euros. Whether this is a coincidence or related, the American people may never know.
In March 2006, Iran will take Iraq’s switch to the petroeuro to new heights by launching a third oil exchange. The Iranians have developed a petroeuro system for oil trade, which when enacted, will once again threaten U.S. dollar supremacy far greater than Iraq’s euro conversion. Called the Iran Oil Bourse, an exchange that only accepts the euro for oil sales would mean that the entire world could begin purchasing oil from any oil-producing nation with euros instead of dollars. The Iranian plan isn’t limited to purchasing one oil-producing country’s oil with euros. Their plan will create a global alternative to the U.S. dollar. Come March 2006, the Iran Oil Bourse will further the momentum of OPEC to create an alternate currency for oil purchases worldwide. China, Russia, and the European Union are evaluating the Iranian plan to exchange oil for euros, and giving the plan serious consideration.
If you are skeptical regarding the meaning of oil being purchased with euros versus dollars, and the devastating impact it will have on the economy of the United States, consider the historic move by the Federal Reserve to begin hiding information pertaining to the U.S. dollar money supply, starting in March 2006. Since 1913, the year the abomination known as the Federal Reserve came to power, the supply of U.S. dollars was measured and publicly revealed through an index referred to as M-3. M-3 has been the main stable of money supply measurement and transparent disclosure since the Fed was founded back in 1913. According to Robert McHugh, in his report (What’s the Fed up to with the money supply?), McHugh writes, “On November 10, 2005, shortly after appointing Bernanke to replace Greenbackspan, the Fed mysteriously announced with little comment and no palatable justification that they will hide M-3 effective March 2006.” (Click here to learn more about Robert McHugh's work.)
Is it mere coincidence that the Fed will begin hiding M-3 the same month that Iran will launch its Iran Oil Bourse, or is there a direct threat to the stability of the U.S. dollar, the U.S. economy, and the U.S. standard of living? Are Americans being set up for a collapse in our economy that will make the Great Depression of the 1930’s look like a bounced check? If you cannot or will not make the value and stability of the U.S. currency of personal importance, if you are unwilling to demand from your elected officials, an immediate abolishment of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the fiat money scheme that the banking cartel has used for nearly a century now to keep our government and our people in a state of perpetual debt, than you are faced with but two alternatives, abject poverty, or invading Iran.
The plans to invade Iran are unspoken, but unfolding before our very eyes. The media has been reporting on Iran more often, and increasingly harshly. For the U.S. government to justify invading Iran, it must first begin to phase out the War in Iraq, which it is already doing. Next, it must portray the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a threat to the region and the world. Finally, once naive American people are convinced the “weapons of mass destruction” that were to be found in Iraq are actually in Iran, coupled with the almost daily media coverage of Iran’s nuclear power / weapons program aspirations, and what we will soon have on our hands is another fabricated war that will result in tens of thousands of civilian lives being lost, all because the political elected pawns in Washington DC lack the discipline to return our currency to a gold or silver standard, end the relationship with the foreign banking cartel called the Federal Reserve, and limit the activities of the U.S. government to those articulated in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution for the United States of America.
When a wayward and corrupt fiscal policy and fiat currency, coupled with runaway government spending, forces a nation to only be able to sustain the value of its currency with bullets, the citizenry of the country involved in wars primarily to sustain its currency have historically first became slaves to their government, and then to the nations that finally conquer them. If you question the validity of such a premise, or whether it could happen to the United States of America, study the fall of the Roman Empire. If you read the right books on the subject, you’ll quickly discover that towards the end of the Roman reign, the Roman Empire was doing exactly what America is doing today; attempting to sustain a failed fiat money system with bullets.
Understanding fiat money is not an easy task, and the Federal Reserve, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund have purposely made it that way. They do not want the American people to realize that the money in their wallet loses its value with each new dollar that they print. They do not want people to understand that our money does not become money until it is borrowed. When the Federal Reserve has money printed, when it is in uncut sheets of paper, it is not yet money. After it is cut, bundled, and placed into the Federal Reserve vaults, it still is not money. It only becomes money once it is borrowed. Consequently, if all debt were to be paid, if the United States didn’t have an $8 trillion national debt and the American people were debt free, and if all loans of U.S. dollars made to foreigners were paid in full, there would be exactly zero U.S. dollars in circulation because it will have all been returned to the vaults of the Federal Reserve. This might seem hard to fathom, but it is the gospel of fiat money.
The major news media in the United States, fed by Washington DC which in turn is fed by the Federal Reserve, literally, has already begun conditioning the American people for invading Iran. Media accounts of Iran’s nuclear ambitions along with amplification of the potential instability and core evilness of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is setting the stage to spring the invasion of Iran on the American people. There does appear to be a direct correlation between the winding down effort underway in Iraq and the increase of anti-Iran rhetoric. How American soldiers ultimately arrive in Tehran is uncertain at this time, but it is reasonable to expect that if the Iran Oil Bourse opens for business in March 2006 as planned, it will only be a matter of time before the United States will have to blow it up.
If the United States invades Iran, or if Israel starts military actions by launches missiles at Iran’s nuclear power facilities, which then opens the door for the United States to intervene, most Americans will believe that our military actions in Iran will be to defend freedom and liberty while spreading democracy, when the truth is that we’ll be fighting a war in Iran because of our nation’s relationship with the Federal Reserve, a so-called bank that is not owned by the federal government, maintains no reserve, and isn’t a bank at all, but a cartel. Just like our war in Iraq, Americans and foreigners will die in battle so that the historical power bankers and brokers; cartel members such as Rothschild, Morgan, Lehman, Lizard, Schrader, Lobe, Kuhn, and Rockefeller to name a few, can continue collecting interest on every single U.S. coin and dollar bill in circulation, while controlling the U.S. Congress to the extent that the U.S. taxpayer becomes the collateral and lender of last resort to cover bad loans and unpaid debts that these institutions create by loaning money to third world countries, some of which are devout enemies of the United States. Remember the $400 billion savings & loan bailout approved by the U.S. Congress during the Reagan Administration? America is still paying for it – you and me, and so will our children and grandchildren.
It is well overdue for Americans, every American, to do whatever it takes to fully understand the relationship between the United States and the Federal Reserve, along with the grave consequences of our current fiat money system; for even if the United States wanted to continue to sustain the supremacy of the U.S. dollar with bullets, it is historically, impossible. When bullets become the commodity to secure a currency, it is a clear sign of devastating calamity looming. To ignore the warning signs, is to suffer like you have never suffered before, or to die. Harsh words, but true.
Friday, June 08, 2007
So says ‘John Doe’, a survivor of the attack on the USS Liberty who spoke with American Free Press on condition that his name and rank remain anonymous. Lest anyone think that he is being dramatic or overly-paranoid when it comes to what might happen to him as a result of exercising his right of free speech in the land of the free and home of the brave, the truth is that he has good reason for being concerned. 40 years ago he was told in no uncertain terms by 2 Navy lawyers that he was not to divulge what he personally saw and heard on June 8, 1967 when the state of Israel attacked an unarmed naval vessel of the United States and murdered 34 American servicemen in cold blood. In the 40 years since that time, he has watched as those with the blood of his fellow shipmates on their hands have gotten away with murder and has no illusions about their willingness to do the same to him, a theme that has been made explicitly clear to him on many occasions through threatening phone calls and harassing emails.
‘We had no idea who was attacking us until it was all over…It seemed like it would never end, and the only reason I think it stopped was that they ran out of ammo. Had that not happened, I have no doubt that they would have finished us off for sure. They were out to sink us that day, plain and simple.’
He is surprisingly calm when he speaks about what he witnessed that day. At least by superficial appearances he does not wear any of the typical psychological scars commonplace with men who have seen battle up close and personal. For him, the scars he does wear are those of outrage–outrage that 34 Americans lost their lives in a Pearl Harbor-type sneak attack and that the government for which he worked bent over backwards to cover it up. Rather than swallowing the anger and allowing it to destroy him though (as it has done to so many others) he projects it outwardly, as evidenced by his comments–‘Those SOB’s oughtta get on their knees and thank God everyday that I have a wife and kids, because if I were a single man with nothing to lose I would’ve tracked them down a long time ago and dealt them a dose of justice they would never forget.’
He–like the rest of the crew of the Liberty that day–was taken completely by surprise when the attack began, just as Israel had planned. John Doe had started off the day executing his duties in the engineering plant, the heart of the ship that provided the lifeblood for all its vital functions. He–like the rest of the crew–knew that hostilities were taking place in nearby Sinai, but went about his duties confident that he was safe, as the Liberty was in international waters, and–as Americans are never permitted to forget–Israel was America’s ‘greatest ally’.
Besides this, the Liberty was not a vessel of war. In fact she was the most advanced intelligence gathering ship in the world, with no heavy guns, 45 antennae on top and flying a flag a blind man could see from a mile away. Looking back, the only thing that caused him to sense that strange events were afoot was the fact that there were over-flights taking place every 30-45 minutes by low-flying Israeli reconnaissance aircraft in the 6 hour period immediately preceding the attack and that Capt. McGonagle called the Duty Photographic Teams to the deck to document them. Other than that, everything was just another normal peaceful day–until the first missile struck.
‘When the skipper called for Battle Stations, we grabbed our life jackets and helmets…My job was to go and secure all the hatches in deck 01 to ensure watertight integrity for the ship, and it was at this point,’ he tells AFP, that ‘things begin to blank out.’
‘As I said, everything kind of moved in slow motion. We did what we spent months training to do and did so without thinking much about it.’ But there are some things that he will never forget and which wake him at night sometimes.
‘I’ll never forget that first guy I saw, running down the hall towards me, covered in blood, screaming for someone to help him, or that other guy with a hole in his neck and blood gushing out of him. I’m ashamed to say I don’t even remember who they were, even though they were my own crewman.’
He continues–‘Around midnight I came up to the mess hall and saw that it had been turned into a make-shift triage room. The blood was everywhere…on the floor…on the walls…you could smell it and tried not to slip on it.’ One of the things John remembers best is what he calls the ‘incoherent murmur’–the sounds of men, lying on the floor fighting to survive as the ship’s one doctor–Lt. Kiefer–and 2 navy corpsmen tried desperately to save them. ‘Unless you honed in on one of the men and concentrated, it all just sounded like noise, but then once you did, you could hear what was going on. Some prayed out loud, begging God to let them live. Some called out for their moms. We ran out of medical supplies pretty quick and so the men had to lie there until help came 18 hours later, groaning in agony. We later found out that Doc Keifer had taken several pieces of shrapnel in the gut that none of us knew about and didn’t even tend to himself until he did what he could for the rest of the men.’
Going up top to survey the damage, he saw that it was just as bad there as it was below. ‘The deck was usually clean as a whistle, but now it was covered with blood and littered with pieces of flesh, shards of bone and various other body parts of the fellas who had been up there when Israel unleashed hell on us. Bullet holes everywhere you looked. Seemed like there was a million of them.’
He related to AFP some of the other scenes visible on the deck that day–A shipmate lying near the main gun whose body was gone from the waist down…What looked like 5 gallons of blood that pooled in a low spot as it sloshed back and forth with the rocking of the ship…Another crewman whose foot was caught in a cable as he hung upside down, suspended a few feet above the deck, and a few feet from him, one spent casing from the gun. The gunner only managed to fire off one round in the attack before the lower half of his body was blown off.
In John’s opinion, the fact that only one round had been fired was just more proof as to how effective Israel had been in getting the Americans to lower their guard before they were sucker-punched with the sneak attack. John told AFP that Capt. McGonagle, the ship’s skipper, himself covered with blood from shrapnel he caught in his arm and leg, limped out on to the deck and ordered the bigger pieces of flesh and bone be collected and the smaller ones washed off the deck with the firehose. The larger remains were later buried in a singular grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
John Doe could go on all day if pressed to do so, but out of consideration for him the interview is cut short. He had a few parting words though about the matter–
‘Those SOB’s murdered 34 Americans and for the last 40 years our government has covered it up and protected those who did it. It started with one Texas clown named Johnson and continues to this day with another Texas clown named Bush. Had the Liberty attack been dealt with as it would have were it any other country, we wouldn’t find ourselves in this mess today. That region is not worth one drop of American blood, and the thought of them getting away with this is what p* me off more than anything else.
John was told 4 decades ago by the US Government that he would get his chance to speak one day. ‘Well, it’s been 40 years and they haven’t contacted me yet, although I did manage to get $200.00 after the State Department filed a claim against the state of Israel for what took place that day. I was lucky, some of the other guys only received $56.00 for what they went through.’
‘Forty years ago they told us that speaking about it would be doing a ‘disservice’ to the dead. Hell, I can’t think of a bigger disservice than what’s been done to the fellas than the 40 years of silence they’ve gotten on this issue from their own government. We are tired of the silence, tired of the lies. We have been fighting the devil and his advocate for 40 years now, in this case, Israel being the devil and the US government being his advocate.’
For more on what took place that day, readers of AFP are encouraged to go to the website dedicated to the memory of the men of the USS Liberty found at > http://www.ussliberty.org./ Those interested in watching the video documentary on what took place entitled ‘Dead in the Water’ can write to the USS Liberty Veterans Association, c/o Moe Shafer/4994 Lower Roswell Rd, Suite 33/ Marietta Georgia 30068. The cost of the video is $25.00 and all proceeds go to the LVA for purposes of keeping the Liberty story alive.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
June 5: At 10:10 GMT Israel launches the first wave of attacks. Almost 400 Egypt-based military aircraft destroyed, leaving craters in the runway more than five metres wide and one point six metres deep
June 6: Israel captures the Gaza Strip, defeating part of the Egyptian army
June 7: Israeli paratroopers seize control of the old city of Jerusalem; 40,000 troops and 200 tanks are deployed against the Jordanian army - the West Bank and East Jerusalem is taken
June 8: Sinai is captured and Egyptian forces are defeated
June 9: Ground fighting between Israeli and Egyptian forces continues in the Golan region
June 10: Israel defeats the Syrian army in the Golan Heights. Fighting ends when Israel heeds UN warnings not to advance into Syria
The sounds of bombs dropped from airplanes, screaming to the ground as they fell are seared in my memory. The fear of not knowing if the next one was going to wipe out my family who were huddled in the hallway of our home. We spent 6 days in that hallway tring to avoid bullets and shrapnel that was flying all around the very backyard that just few days earlier I had been playing.
The Zionists called it "re-uniting Jerusalem" to me it sounded like a tearing apart.
After trying to live under the repressive Zionist regime for a year my family decided to leave, with the hope that one day we would be able to come home and live free where all of our ancestors had lived free...it's been 40 years...and counting.
BBC Report (Real Audio/Video)
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Oh, what a different world we would be in had they implemented the plan...and what a different life I would have had...in my home in Jerusalem!!
The right to strike
By Amir Oren
The end of the story is known: During the Six-Day War, no battles were waged between the Israel Defense Forces and the United States. True, the American spy ship "Liberty" was attacked by mistake, but neither side initiated exchanges of fire. What is not known - and because of it, the story is riveting nevertheless - took place in the background. For some time, the United States had had an emergency plan to attack Israel. In May 1967, one of the U.S. commands was charged with the task of removing the plan from the safe, refreshing it and preparing for an order to go into action. However, the preparations lagged behind the developments in the diplomatic arena, and even further behind the successes of Israel's air force and armored divisions in Sinai. The general who was planning to attack Israel made do with extricating frightened American citizens and a panic-stricken ambassador from Jordan. This unknown aspect of the war was revealed in what was originally a top-secret study conducted by the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington. In February 1968, an institute expert, L. Weinstein, wrote an article called "Critical Incident No. 14," about the U.S. involvement in the Middle East crisis of May-June 1967. Only 30 copies of his study were printed for distribution. Years later the material was declassified and can now be read by everyone, although details that are liable to give away sources' identities and operational ideas have remained censored. Strike Command, the entity that was to have launched the attack on Israel, no longer exists. It was annulled in 1971 for domestic American reasons and superseded by Readiness Command, which was abolished in the 1980s in favor of Central Command (CENTCOM) - which today includes forces in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Afghanistan - and the Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
The general who oversaw the planning in 1967 was Theodore John ("Ted") Conway. In Israeli terms, taking into consideration all the relevant differences, he can be likened to Avraham Tamir and Yuval Ne'eman, Aharon Yariv and Giora Eiland. Conway was a talented but forgotten officer, who did not leave a powerful impression on the history of the army that made use mainly of his brain; he did more participating than actual fighting in his generation's wars. His qualities as a curious and intelligent planner, a quick study who was creative in his solutions, led his commanders to assign him to headquarters and deprived him of the prospect of leading fighting forces. That didn't stop Conway from advancing through the ranks. In the last decade of his service he moved up quickly to the highest level - that of four-star general - at the age of 56, as head of Strike Command. It was in this last post, ahead of his retirement, that he served as the crisis of May 1967 unfolded. It was his last opportunity to see whether what he had conceptualized could truly be realized. 'Subway' soldiers Conway, who hailed from Indianapolis, described himself jestingly as one of the "subway" soldiers, as New Yorkers who enlisted to serve in World War II were sometimes described: short men, whose dimensions suited the crowding on the underground trains. He was a small, coiled spring, a physical fitness zealot. Every New Year's Day he made his officers take part in a 16-kilometer run, so that they would not spend the holiday watching television in a beer-induced stupor on the couch. In the 1930s he was sent to Paris to study France, its language and culture, in order to return to West Point and teach the cadets about them. His exposure to Europe peeled away the provinciality that characterized the American officer corps at that time. During World War II, in the course of his service in North Africa, Italy and France - sometimes as an interpreter and liaison between the U.S. and British forces, and between both of them and the French forces - Conway acquired expertise and an understanding of the complexities of security and diplomacy on both shores of the Mediterranean. If the U.S. Army was going to have to act in the Middle East, there was no officer more suited than him to command the forces in the period of the Six-Day War. As a 30-year-old captain at the start of the American involvement in the world war, Conway volunteered for the paratroops, but was disqualified because of his age. A decade later, after two years in military colleges, he discovered that the only way to avoid being assigned to a desk job in the Pentagon was to volunteer for the paratroops. He tried again, and this time, as a colonel of 40, he was given command of a brigade. In October 1961, when President John Kennedy paid a visit to Fort Bragg, the headquarters of the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division and of the Special Forces, the then 50-year-old Conway was already the commander of the division, had parachuted with his troops and marched back to base with them in a trek of 135 kilometers. His deputy, Ed Rowny, later recalled the presentation Conway prepared for Kennedy: He divided the division into five units and dressed each of them in a different uniform, in order to demonstrate the division's flexibility to carry out missions anywhere in the world. One group was in standard battle fatigues, ready to be airlifted to Europe; a second was in jungle camouflage fatigues, ready to deploy to Vietnam; a third wore desert camouflage fatigues; a fourth wore winter uniforms of the Korean War type; and the fifth, equipped with skis and wearing white ski suits, was available for Arctic operations. Within a few months, Conway's clever presentation of worldwide readiness sparked an imitation. At MacDill Air Force Base, near Tampa, Florida, the headquarters of Strike Command, an officer demonstrated for the camera of the ground forces monthly journal Army just how ready every soldier there was for any mission anywhere: They had not one duffle bag and not two, but three: one Arctic, one tropic, one miscellaneous. more...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Time for a Bi-National State
Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas may have affirmed that they want a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but it may be more promising to return to a much older idea.
There is talk once again of a one-state bi-national solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Oslo peace process failed to bring Palestinians their independence and the withdrawal from Gaza has not created a basis for a democratic Palestinian state as President George Bush had imagined: the Palestinians are watching their territory being fragmented into South African-style bantustans with poverty levels of over 75%. The area is heading to the abyss of an apartheid state system rather than to a viable two-state solution, let alone peace (1).
There have been a number of recent publications proposing a one-state solution as the only alternative to the current impasse. Three years ago Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem’s deputy mayor in the 1970s, wrote that the question is “no longer whether there is to be a bi-national state in Palestine-Israel, but which model to choose” (2). Respected intellectuals on all sides, including the late Edward Said; the Arab Israeli member of the Knesset, Azmi Bishara; the Israeli historian Illan Pape; scholars Tanya Reinhart and Virginia Tilley; and journalists Amira Haas and Ali Abunimeh, have all stressed the inevitability of such a solution.
The idea of a single, bi-national state is not new. Its appeal lies in its attempt to provide an equitable and inclusive solution to the struggle of two peoples for the same piece of land. It was first suggested in the 1920s by Zionist leftwing intellectuals led by philosopher Martin Buber, Judah Magnes (the first rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Haïm Kalvarisky (a member of Brit-Shalom and later of the National Union). The group followed in the footsteps of Ahad Ha’am (Asher Hirsch Ginsberg, one of the great pre-state Zionist thinkers).
Underlying their Zionism was a quest for a Jewish renaissance, both cultural and spiritual, with a determination to avoid injustice in its achievement. It was essential to found a new nation, although not necessarily a separate Jewish state and certainly not at the expense of the existing population. Magnes argued that the Jewish people did not “need a Jewish state to maintain its very existence” (3).
No to partition
Although supporters of the bi-national state remained a marginal group in Zionist politics under the British mandate, they made sure they were heard both in official Zionist circles and the international arena. They also pleaded before the 1947 United Nations special committee on Palestine. When the commission finally recommended partition, they strongly opposed it, calling for a bi-national state in Palestine, forming part of an Arab federation. They campaigned for a federal state that would respect the rights of all citizens, while guaranteeing the national aspirations of the Jewish people to cultural and linguistic autonomy. They proposed, in line with the British, the creation of a legislative council based on proportional representation, safeguarding the rights of its nationals but also assuring equal political rights for all citizens of the state.
But with the UN’s partition plan and the Arab-Israeli war that broke out in 1948, a one-state solution was shelved. It came to light again in 1969 with the call by Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement for the creation of a “secular and democratic state” in Palestine. The new state was based on the right of return — while accepting a Jewish presence in Palestine — and it was to end the injustices stemming from the creation of Israel and the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinian villagers. Although it called for the destruction of Israel as a colonial entity, it upheld the principle of a single state for all, Muslim, Christian or Jew. This was the first official attempt by the Palestinians to address the relationship between national and individual rights of citizenry. The idea met with no enthusiasm in Israel, and none internationally, and again lost momentum.
The failure of the one-state option has often been attributed to the idealism of its cause and its failure to come to terms with local realities. Nevertheless, as Magnes pointed out, the option offered significant advantages in demographic and territorial terms in 1947 to the Jewish cause (4).
In fact, the idea failed because the political actors of the time rejected it: the Zionist organisations were not interested, the British were unsupportive and the Arabs too suspicious. Between 1948 and 1993 the only significant change in these positions came from the Arabs, who finally came to terms with the existence of Israel.
Despite the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s calls for a secular, democratic state, Arafat prepared Palestinians for partition as the only available option. The PLO’s national council accepted the position in 1974, and confirmed it with its declaration of Palestinian independence in 1988 and the acceptance of the UN partition plan. A separate, independent Palestinian state was the best hope, even if it had to be on only 22% of the territory. The long Palestinian struggle for statehood culminated in 1993 with the Oslo accords.
From dream to nightmare
The tragedy of Oslo is that it turned the dream of two states into the nightmare of a single new state of apartheid. Israel’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that the great success of the accords, perhaps their only success, was to recognise that Israelis and Palestinians were “destined to live together, on the same soil in the same land” (5).
Since 1994 the Palestinians have not been liberated; they have been imprisoned by the Israeli system of permits and the installation of 50 permanent checkpoints and terminals fragmenting the territory into eight bantustans (6). Since 2002 the Palestinian Authority has seen its territory further eroded by the 700km-long wall being built with the aim of severing the West Bank from the remaining 46% of the territory.
What is the attraction of a bi-national state in these circumstances? For a start, a two-state plan appears to be less of a solution to the nationalist aspirations of either Zionists or Palestinians. Before 1947 partition had not been tried; since then it has taken root in circumstances of total Israeli domination. Despite the historic compromise of 1993, the Palestinians have not obtained the independent, viable state they sought. Palestinian nationalism has also met its limits: its leaders have failed to guide their people to independence and are now reduced to tearing themselves apart.
But partition has also failed to give Jews the security the state of Israel promised. About 400 Israelis were killed in suicide attacks in the 1990s, and 1,000 more have died since the second intifada of 2000. Antisemitic feelings are worsening around the world.
Demographic changes will continue to undermine any plans for partition. In 2005 there were 5.2 million Israelis living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river, and 5.6 million Palestinians. Despite Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and its plans to demarcate the West Bank frontier, a separate Israeli state will have to deal with the much more rapid demographic growth of the Palestinian population within its own frontiers. This will have not only economic but political consequences, given the Palestinian population’s current lack of basic rights.
There is another factor that argues against a two-state solution: the idea of citizenship founded on justice and equality. History has shown that, in this region as elsewhere, partition cannot be achieved without the expulsion and transfer of populations. This raises ethnic issues. There can be no peace, from a moral point of view, without an equitable solution to the Palestinian refugee problem, based on the right of return or compensation, as required as early as 1948 by resolution 194 of the UN General Assembly.
But this right of return, and the expansion of the Palestinian population, endangers Israel’s Jewish identity. This has always been a major problem for Israelis.
According to historian Tony Judt, this is where Israel reaches its limits. No state can claim democratic credentials whilst practising ethnic exclusion; not after the crimes of the last century (7). Virginia Tilley says that partition, and the very existence of Israel, are “flawed from the start, resting on the discredited idea, on which political Zionism stakes all its moral authority, that any ethnic group can legitimately claim permanent formal dominion over a territorial state” (8).
The establishment of a bi-national state would redefine the identity of the state; it would favour democracy over nationalism. For Ali Abunimeh it would allow “all the people to live in and enjoy the entire country while preserving their distinctive communities and addressing their particular needs. It offers the potential to deterritorialise the conflict and neutralise demography and ethnicity as a source of political power and legitimacy” (9). At the heart of this conflict there remains a persistent territorial issue. Ethnicity (and, even more, religion) continues to be the main source of legitimacy and the quest for power.
Those arguing for a single democratic state now detect growing popular support for this solution, inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement. Boycott campaigns are being organised in Europe and the United States against what is often now called Israeli apartheid (10).
Groups in Israel and in Palestine are working together against the construction of the separation wall and are inventing new forms of resistance. The struggle has been redirected, against Israel’s policies rather than its people, and for rights for all rather than separate states for each.
True, the three political protagonists seem far from convinced. Israel’s politicians and the majority of its population insist on separation, as their wholehearted support for the wall seems to prove. The international community seems intent on a two-state solution, but does little to bring it about or influence progress. The Palestinian leadership is at a loss for a strategy, and the differences between Hamas and Fatah continue to generate conflict. But the present deadlock has created new conditions. Perhaps the time is ripe for original ideas and untried solutions.
Leila Farsakh is an assistant professor at University of Massachusetts, Boston, and author of ‘Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, land and occupation’ (Routledge, London, 2005)
(1) Leila Farsakh “Israel: an apartheid state?”, Le Monde diplomatique, English language edition, November 2003.
(2) Meron Benvenisti, “Which Kind of Bi-national State?”, Haaretz, Tel Aviv, 20 November 2003.
(3) See www.one-democratic-state.org
(4) Judah Magnes, Like All Nations, Weiss, Jerusalem, 1930.
(5) Yitzhak Rabin’s statement at the signing of the Declaration of Principles, Washington, 13 September 1993.
(6) www.btselem.org/english/statis tics/. See Dominique Vidal, “Jerusalem’s apartheid tramway”, Le Monde diplomatique, English language edition, February 2007.
(7) Toni Judt, “Israel: the Alternative”, New York Review of Books, 23 October 2003.
(8) Virginia Tilley, The One-State Solution, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2005.
(9) Ali Abunimah, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, Henry Holt, New York, 2006.
(10) See the calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against http://www.bds-palestine.net/
The Association is a non-governmental organization incorporated according to the Swiss association law. Its headquarters is located in Geneva , Switzerland .
Membership is open to all nationalities provided a candidate for membership accepts the principle of one democratic state in Palestine/Israel.
An international conference and general assembly will be held in Geneva on Octobre7 and 8, 2006.
Who we are
We are Palestinians who have been continuously acting reflexively because of the atmosphere of urgency that we have lived under for decades, and now find it imperative to plan strategically. We are the Palestinians, who inspite of being brutalised for generations have not lost our humanity and have not become racist or exclusivists. We are calling for PEACE, RECONCILIATION and EQUALITY with Israelis in one political entity. We are the overwhelming majority of Palestinians who are not intimidated by the wealth, political skills or the connectedness of the Israelis to superpowers; for we are an educated and energetic people who excel when provided the opportunity. We are the refugees who realize that they can have a homeland only in a reunified country in historic Palestine
We are Jews in and outside Israel who overcame Zionist indoctrination and do not want to support a brutal, racist state. We do not want to be an appendage of world imperialism in their drive to subdue and exploit the Middle East . We are the Israelis who realize that we can thrive and prosper in a country at peace with its neighbors with a vast economic market open for it. We are the Jews who want a spiritual-cultural home in Palestine/Israel rather than a mercenary-military state that exists to fight and destroy
We are the Europeans and North Americans who are cognisant of the role of their countries in establishing and maintaining a colonial-setter state in Palestine at the expense of its indigenous population. We realize that at the root of the tension between the Arab and Muslim societies and those of Europe and North American is the Palestine/Israel conflict. Our states are based on citizenship not ethnicity, and we are not going to support a supremacist exclusivist state for one ethnic group. We are Europeans who understand that, because of geographic proximity, our strategic and economic well-being depend to a large extent on a stable Middle East .
We are members of the international community who are keenly aware of the threat that this conflict constitutes to world peace. We want it resolved in the same manner that all other colonial-settler experiments, most recently South Africa , were resolved: one country, with one person-one vote, and without apartheid.
We all subscribe to the highest standards of human rights. We do not patronise, denigrate or discriminate against any group.
We are not naïve dreamers, for we realize that the road is rough, but it is the only road to peace and justice. We shall not be demoralized, cynical or complacent.
Also they have a forum of discussion, that you may want to join by using the following link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/one-democratic-state/You will need a Yahoo! account...it's FREE though...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Since hip-hop was born on the streets of the Bronx in the 70s, it has been a mechanism by which disaffected people have expressed their concerns and empowered themselves through music. Through the years, different groups have put their own stamp on the rap world and this tradition continues today through a man who goes by the name of Patriarch.
Born in San Francisco and raised in the East Bay, Hayward, California, Patriarch's love for communication through art began early. In elementary school, he played a bevy of musical instruments, including the violin and by the age of 12, he was writing poetry. These talents later manifested themselves in a lyrical form of music - hip hop.
Patriarch never let obstacles deter his drive to become someone respected and admired for his work. Patriarch developed a rare speech impairment as a child which limited his ability to communicate with others which in turn only secluded him from the outside world. At the age of 11, Patriarch witnessed a divine event in his life when miraculously with the help of his and his grandmother's prayers his speech impairment was rid from his life in one night. His strength and his strong faith comes from the lessons and teachings of his grandmother.
Growing up in a predominantly African-American and Latino community, Patriarch was immersed in West Hayward bred rap artists such as Spice 1 and influenced by other local artists such as Tupac Shakur, Digital Underground, Richie Rich, E-40, Dru Down, The Luniz, Too Short and many more. Living only a block away from Spice 1 in Patriarch's West Hayward neighborhood, Patriarch would see a lot of the artists he grew up listening to visiting the East Bay Legend Spice 1, and would only inspire him to pursue music even more.
Patriarch has now worked or performed with such great artists such as, The Dogg Pound, The Outlawz, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Akon, Tyrese, San Quinn, D12, Obie Trice, Furious, Get Lit Ent. and the list goes on and on. Patriarch has traveled across the world to perform and is only getting started
It is the dichotomy of the struggle of the African in America and the plight of the Palestinian that makes Patriarch's choice to rap a natural one. Hip hop is like air for Patriarch. With a determination to change the world through his art, this Son of a Refugee is destined to touch the lives of true hip hop fans, make a difference and introduce you to a whole new shade of hip-hop.
Download the song "Palestine" here for FREE!
Buy the album on iTunes
Learn more: Patriarch on MySpace