Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Boycott and Disinvest in Israel, in Solidarity and Self-Defense"


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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

"Black Americans, who have experienced apartheid at home and fought successfully against it in Africa," feel most intensely the need to register their opposition to Israel's version of apartheid. Yet their elected officials cower at the feet of the pro-Israel lobby, which has successfully targeted independent-minded Black officials for defeat. A boycott Israel movement will have to roll over cowardly Black elected officials, but so be it. "If solidarity with Palestinians who suffer the aggressions of a regime as fundamentally racist as apartheid South Africa is not a compelling enough reason - and it surely is - then self-defense against Zionist subversion of domestic Black politics should move us to action."

"Boycott and Disinvest in Israel, in Solidarity and Self-Defense"

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

"The corporate Right and the Israel lobby act in tandem."

African Americans must take a leadership role in the movement to boycott and disinvest in Israel, both for reasons of elemental justice and to defend our own people from the raging rightwing, corporate assault, of which the pro-Israel lobby is an integral component. If solidarity with Palestinians who suffer the aggressions of a regime as fundamentally racist as apartheid South Africa is not a compelling enough reason - and it surely is - then self-defense against Zionist subversion of domestic Black politics should move us to action. There can be no prospect of global peace or domestic progress while Israel runs amok in the Mid-East and its operatives wreak havoc in the African American political arena.

The moral imperative to answer the call "to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era," is overwhelming - so much so that failure to act amounts to a kind of self-mutilation, a defiling of one's legacy. Every iota of African American past and present existence tells us that no people can be allowed to superimpose themselves, their history, their supra-national rights on another people and their land, thus negating the Other's humanity - the essential facts of Zionism.

"There can be no prospect of global peace or domestic progress while Israel runs amok."

1948 saw the creation of civilization's greatest document to date - possibly the founding document of the truly modern era - the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The year also witnessed the founding of a state based on the antithesis of those values: Israel.

Both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tapped the deep reservoirs of the Declaration in their struggle for African Americans' human rights, and both understood the indivisibility of freedom. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," wrote Dr. King in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny." Malcolm counseled Black activists that "if they would expand their civil rights movement to a human rights movement it would internationalize it."

That movement was internationalized, culminating in the 1980s South Africa corporate disinvestment and boycott campaign. As Black writer/activist Kevin Alexander Gray wrote in a piece earlier this year, calling for a similar campaign against Israel:

"What's happening in Palestine is not fundamentally different from what occurred in apartheid South Africa. Kids are being killed. People have been herded into the (more deadly) equivalent of Bantustans. Political leaders are targeted for assassination.... Israel's behavior demands the same response from the world human rights community as was mustered against South Africa."

"African Americans are represented in public offices by abject cowards."

The obligation to respond is felt most intensely among Black Americans, who have experienced apartheid at home and fought successfully against it in Africa - but who are represented in public offices by abject cowards. Thirty members of the Congressional Black Caucus shamed themselves and us by endorsing a Resolution affirming the Jewish State's "right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza" and absolving Israel of any blame for the slaughter. Seven Black lawmakers sought cover in voting "present" - as if that would cloak their slavish fear of the Israel lobby - while only two voted Nay: Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Gwen Moore (D-WS).

The man- and womanhood was scared out of the Black misleadership class in general, and the Congressional Black Caucus in particular, in 2002, when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) joined with corporate moneybags to unseat two Black lawmakers. Reps. Cynthia McKinney, of suburban Atlanta, and Earl Hilliard, from Alabama, could not be counted on to bend their knees to Israel. They had to go.

"Reps. Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard could not be counted on to bend their knees to Israel."

As Hilliard told me in July, 2002, tons of money suddenly rained down on his opponent, Artur Davis, "not just [from] corporations, but organizations like AIPAC. Mostly Republican operatives and Jewish operatives that were sent by different organizations and groups and corporations."

Was it their intention to make a public display of their power, I asked? "Oh, definitely - the seed of fear," Hilliard replied. "It sends a message to every member of Congress."

The same message was sent the next month, with Cynthia McKinney's defeat in Georgia. "I was targeted by AIPAC and others for my opposition to the Israeli occupation of and genocidal policies toward Palestine," said McKinney, who last year ran for president on the Green Party ticket.

2002 was the beginning of a joint corporate/pro-Israel offensive to subdue or eject "unreliable" Black Democrats. The dramatic deterioration of the Congressional Black Caucus, as an agent for progress on Capitol Hill, dates from that year. The corporate Right and the Israel lobby act in tandem. Their purge of Black politicians has been so successful, they're running out of live targets. Maxine Waters and Gwen Moore are the last two righteous sisters standing on Capitol Hill - where Black manhood is extinct. Down the street at the White House, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel stands guard - although President Obama appears to be an entirely voluntary captive of Israel.

So we see that the tentacles that strangle Gaza and once helped South Africa build nuclear weapons, are throttling the life out of independent Black politics in the United States. Boycott and disinvest in Israel! If not in solidarity, in self-defense.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Comments (4)add comment

Congressional Black Carcass

written by debinbrooklyn , February 18, 2009

There needs to be a running list of those CBC members who have voted against the wishes of their constiuencies and all moral principle. Far too many public servants are not serving their public and the almost automatic renewal of their terms really need to stop. I'm very interested to see if the lines that formed to vote Obama in will be equally as long to vote these jokers out.
As for Israel and the Zionists - I must say they have weaved a masterful diabolical plot. The revising of "holocaust" history to aggress upon a defenseless people - undertowed by literally criminalizing intellectual conversation of the his-story is just a continual head shaker. But, I do see signs of more people being brave enough to at least question this aspect of history and that's being forced by the Zionists own rapacious inhumanity. Hopefully there will be some Palestinians left when the dust clears.

"Preemptive Strike" ...
written by Lou , February 18, 2009

For those who weigh in that BAR is fixated on Israeli-Palestinian issues to the neglect of other international issues I'll say this:

First, a huge swath of the American electorate, regardless of whether they identify as Christians on the "left," "right" or "middle" unwaveringly accept the Christian Dispensationlist view that the spiritual and literal Armegeddon begins and ends in Israel. There's nothing the Israeli or US "left" can do to thwart Zionism, most don't have the guts or courage though that's changing. So whether or not you are atheist, agnostic doesn't matter, what matter is that the US Electorate is swayed by the "Israeli Myth."

Second, and more pragmatically. The greatest risk of nuclear war and indeed the countries that have openly, arrogantly, dangerously voiced those threats are Israel,(and US) especially towards Iran a NPT signatory. Here's what Israel's preeminent military scholar stated publicly in 2003, of course the MSM never reported it. Interestingly, he's the only foreigner whose works is required reading for US Military Officers.

(IAP News) — An Israeli professor and military historian hinted that Israel could avenge the holocaust by annihilating millions of Germans and other Europeans.

Speaking during an interview which was published in Jerusalem Friday, (2003) Professor Martin Van Creveld said Israel had the capability of hitting most European capitals with nuclear weapons.

"We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force."

Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, pointed out that "collective deportation" was Israel's only meaningful strategy towards the Palestinian people.

"The Palestinians should all be deported. The people who strive for this (the Israeli government) are waiting only for the right man and the right time. Two years ago, only 7 or 8 per cent of Israelis were of the opinion that this would be the best solution, two months ago it was 33 per cent, and now, according to a Gallup poll, the figure is 44 percent."
(and rising I might add)

Creveld said he was sure that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wanted to deport the Palestinians. "I think it's quite possible that he wants to do that. He wants to escalate the conflict. He knows that nothing else we do will succeed."

Asked if he was worried about Israel becoming a rogue state if it carried out a genocidal deportation against Palestinians, Creveld quoted former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan who said "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
1-26-09, title: "Israeli Professor: We Could Destroy all European Capitals." by Nadim Laki.

The Israel elections just moved Israel further to the right, the Gaza assault was brutal, "local politics" at it's worse. Does Israel now have, post-Gaza, "the right man or woman for the right time?" It is likely that soon it will be a crime for an Israeli citizen to criticize the government, a law aimed primarily at Israel-Arabs and the Israeli "Left." The settlements are expanding as we write. Obama is viewed by the MSM as preoccupied with the financial crisis, all of a sudden now a greater threat, according to US Intelligence, than dirty bombs, biological weapons, or SARS.

Given current conditions, Israel is poised to do something gansterish, criminal, and bold, in his remarks Van Crevald said that Israel had no problem being labeled a "rogue state." The Middle East and Israel is the tipping top for nuclear war, until Israel is reigned in the end of the world as we no it looms on the horizon. There are no depths to the brutality of the Zionist State, not my words, theirs.