Thought crimes in Israel – Nadim Rouhana: This suppression is symbolic of a state that fears its past

30 May, 2009

For the Palestinian citizens of Israel, life is becoming a collective Kafkaesque experience. For years, their state has been determined to buttress its Jewish identity by legal, constitutional, cultural, and political means, in spite of the fact that one in five of its residents is an Arab. This latest series of bills is just another part of that effort. In addition to the discrimination they already face in all walks of life, Palestinians will not be able to mourn the Nakba, the loss of their homeland, or express their opposition to Israel as a Jewish state.

It is not only that they have been excluded from belonging to their homeland, which has been claimed by people who immigrated there and made exclusively Jewish; it is not only that their people have been expelled, occupied or dispersed to all corners of the world; it is not only that they are legally unequal citizens and even treated as enemies in many areas of life by the very state in which they are citizens. They also have to accept this reality: express loyalty, show no opposition, and even refrain from mourning their loss in public.

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Racists for Democracy By Uri Avnery

30 May, 2009

HOW LUCKY we are to have the extreme Right standing guard over our democracy.

This week, the Knesset voted by a large majority (47 to 34) for a law that threatens imprisonment for anyone who dares to deny that Israel is a Jewish and Democratic State.

The private member’s bill, proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev of the “Jewish Home” party, which sailed through its preliminary hearing, promises one year in prison to anyone who publishes “a call that negates the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State”, if the contents of the call might cause “actions of hate, contempt or disloyalty against the state or the institutions of government or the courts”.

One can foresee the next steps. A million and a half Arab citizens cannot be expected to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. They want it to be “a state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others. They also claim with reason that Israel discriminates against them, and therefore is not really democratic. And, in addition, there are also Jews who do not want Israel to be defined as a Jewish State in which non-Jews have the status, at best, of tolerated outsiders.

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Video: AL NAKBA: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 by Benny Brunner

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Al Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 (58 min. documentary, Israel-Germany-The Netherlands, 1997). Arguably the first film that seriously tackles the historic events that lead to the creation of 750.000 Palestinian refugees at the end of the first Israeli-Arab war of 1948. Based on historian Benny Morris’ book “The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-49”.

Produced and directed for ARTE by Benny Brunner & Alexandra Jansse. Photography: Ram Lital. Editor: Joseph Rochlitz. Original music composed & performed by: Elizabeth & Ilya Magnes.

Broadcast: Europe. Screened at the cinematheques of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in March-April 1998.

AL NAKBA: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 from Benny Brunner on Vimeo.

Video: The Concrete Curtain by Benny Brunner

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The film chronicles the daily life of two Palestinian middle-class professionals who live in the shadow of “The Wall” in the greater Jerusalem area.

THE CONCRETE CURTAIN is a sequel to THE WALL which I made a year earlier for Dutch TV.

Photography: Eytan Harris. Editor: Simon Bunt. Director: Benny Brunner.

Produced by Xela Films.
In coproduction with LASSO Film & TV Production.

Year: 2004-5.
Duration: 76 minute.

Festivals: Palestine Film Festival, London 2005; Arab Film Festival, San Francisco 2005.
Screenings: various cinemas in Holland and Belgium 2005; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem cinematheques 2006.

The Concrete Curtain from Benny Brunner on Vimeo.

Video: Interview with Abderrahmane Sissako on "N'Dimagou — 'Dignity'"

30 May, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

Interview with Abderrahmane Sissako director of “Dignity”


First of all, we would like to ask you where the story that you tell in your movie comes from.

The idea was born from the complexity of the theme proposed: dignity. I think it’s very difficult to deal with such sweeping concepts as justice and dignity in the allotted two or three minutes, so I looked for an idea that actually asked the question ‘What is dignity’ rather than answering it.

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Newly declassified documents reveal More than $97 million from USAID to separatist projects in Bolivia By Eva Golinger

22 May, 2009 – Bolivia Rising

Recently declassified documents obtained by investigators Jeremy Bigwood and Eva Golinger reveal that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $97 million in ‘decentralization’ and ‘regional autonomy’ projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002. The documents, requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), evidence that USAID in Bolivia was the ‘first donor to support departmental governments’ and ‘decentralization programs’ in the country, proving that the US agency has been one of the principal funders and fomenters of the separatist projects promoted by regional governments in Eastern Bolivia.

Decentralization and separatism

The documents confirm that USAID has been managing approximately $85 million annually in Bolivia during the past few years, divided amongst programs related to security, democracy, economic growth and human investment. The Democracy Program is focused on a series of priorities, the first outlined as ‘Decentralized democratic governments: departmental governments and municipalities’.

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Mohamed Khodr – The Three Branches of the AIPAC: The Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial

28 May 2009

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“The actions of some of our United States Zionists will eventually prejudice everyone against what they are trying to get done. I fear very much that the Jews are like all underdogs. When they get on top they are just as intolerant and as cruel as the people were to them when they were underneath.” – President Harry Truman in a Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt (“Truman”, David McCullough, p. 598). Although Truman is the one most directly responsible for the creation of Israel, he has now joined the Pantheon of “Anti-Semites”.


“Back in the 1950s, the frustrated Secretary of State John Foster Dulles unambiguously stated: We cannot have all our policies made in Jerusalem. ” To the owner of Time Inc. Henry Luce he said: “I am aware how almost impossible it is in this country to carry out a foreign policy not approved by the Jews. [But] I am going to try to have one. This does not mean I am anti-Jewish, but I believe in what George Washington said in his farewell address, that an emotional attachment to another country should not interfere.”B. R. Gowani, “The Lobby as Juggernaut”, Counterpunch, September 1, 2008

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Housmans Radical Books, London – Newsletter June Events 2009

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CONTENTS:

NEWS

1. Volunteers needed to help with the Peace Diary
2. Your second-hand books are still wanted!

EVENTS

  1. ‘Meltdown The End of The Age of Greed’ with Paul Mason
    Wednesday 3rd June – 7pm
  2. Grey Hen presents: ‘Uncomfortable Poems by Older Women’
    Saturday 6th June – 5pm
  3. Shamanic Maps of How the Universe Works with Leo Rutherford
    Wednesday 10th June – 7pm
  4. ISBO present: ‘The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World’
    Saturday 13th June – 5pm
  5. ‘Clear Red Water: Welsh Devolution and Socialist Politics’ with Nick Davies & Darren Williams
    Wednesday 17th June – 7pm
  6. ‘The End of Certainty: Towards a New Internationalism’ with Stephen Chan
    Saturday 20th June – 5pm
  7. Press Freedom – Jason N Parkinson + Marc Vallée
    Saturday 27th June – 5pm
  8. Forthcoming in July & August 2009 – ‘London’s Burning

BOOKS

‘Armed Madhouse’ by Greg Palast
‘The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power’ by Joel Bakan

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