taub-meme

I’ ve memed & am sharing this quote from Ben Taub, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/aleppos-evacuation-is-a-crime-against-humanity, today, not because I’m unhappy that the UN Security Council passed the resolution (which some have already rightly described as toothless [1, 2, 3) condemning the Zionist State’s settlements in the West Bank of occupied Palestine: toothless or not, it may well have some resonances that may bring more strength & encouragement to ‘activists living in other repressive parts of the world’ (& in those parts that don’t seem to be repressive but continue to support & be complicit in all the repression & oppression, etc). & I’m sharing it mainly because I feel it’s important for all who seek solidarity worldwide against all these repressions & oppressions to always remember that the international community really is satisfied with what’s going on.

‘The international communityprofits from it. ‘The international community’ is a company of self-interested nations. ‘Inter-national’ activities are either competitions or collaborations, alliances or confrontations, etc etc. Good for World Cups, Olympics,war coalitions, peace-keeping interventions, sporadic humanitarian actions. No  real hope that this ‘community’ would put an end to repressions & oppressions that bring the repressors & oppressors profits & power. Just as there is no real hope that this ‘community’ will do anything really substantial about climate change. So what could be a way for a worldwide solidarity, a worldwide resistance to oppression & repression that is simultaneously committed to preserving life on our perilously warming planet, to circumvent & transcend the national structures & strictures, to become the force that is necessary to make the necessary changes? Something to meditate about…

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THE MONARCH IS NO FOOL, & HE IS SOLIDLY BACKED BY THE EMPIRE– three sentences (with numerous parentheses)

bibi-4pics

He is no fool (though many of his opponents think he is & deride him publicly accordingly), the four-times elected (presently in his third time in a row) monarch (surely the correct word, “a sole and absolute ruler of a state or nation”, which by now for all practical purposes I’d say he is) of the Zionist State (I prefer not to use the name this state has in my opinion usurped & has no real right to, because it has for millennia been the Hebrew name for all Jewry in the world, most of whom live outside & are not represented by that state), Mr Rightson Godgiven (this is a fair Englishing of his Hebrew name; look up Yahu).

In many ways, he’s a genius, & has proved himself to be a superb manipulator not only within the Zionist State (where he has securely established an administration whose functionaries do his bidding, where the taxes of citizens pay for the subsidizing of settlers in the occupied “West Bank” while the health, welfare, educational; cultural & social needs of the citizens within the State proper are ignored, where activities against his policies & practices are suppressed &/or punished, where an indoctrinated &/or terrified populace is continually conned into not feeling compassion or objecting to the continuing brutality of the continuous occupation & the continuing non-acknowledgment of the Nakba that has been ongoing for almost 70 years, & of the Zionist State’s responsibility for it, where everything that a humane observer would excoriate & rage about is allowed to continue through the power of fear &/or the Big Lie of “the nation-state of the Jewish people”, to the extent that most of the populace don’t even feel complicity in the crimes against humanity their state is continuously committing) but also in the international arena, as his latest triumph in getting Egypt to withdraw its resolution from the Security Council agenda yesterday.

Except that here (as in numerous previous ventures & interventions by him outside of & on behalf of the Zionist State) he mightn’t have succeeded had there not been powerful interests who do not want to see the Zionist State’s power in Palestine & in the Middle East weakened, not because they favor or love or even care for Zionism as such (though having more “white” Jews there might seem better to & for them than having it all inhabited by “black” Arabs), but because there is more profit & power for them if things continue as they are. As monarch of the Zionist State he has solid backing from the “Western” global neo-liberal Empire…

Aya Zinati: “We Are Not In The Same Boat. A Letter to Israeli Feminists”

[My translation / Hebrew original below / מקור בעברית בהמשך]

To Israeli feminists and activists I say clearly and emphatically: No, we’re not in the same boat, and we’re not partners in the same struggle.

Such partnership is not possible because we don’t undergo the same oppression. We can’t be partners because you (and to be fair, I’ll say the crushing majority of you) don’t acknowledge the injustice of the Nakba and the oppression of the occupation that began in 1948, continued in 1967, and to this day.

This injustice and this oppression cannot be separated from what we’re undergoing today. We were expelled, murdered and raped in 1948 and in 1967 and the vast majority of you denied and continue to deny this fact, and whenever we bring it up you choose to abandon the struggle. For this reason it’s important to make clear that we, the Palestinian women living within the borders of the State of Israel, and also the Palestinian women living in the West Bank, Gaza, and in the Palestinian diaspora, have been conducting a single (although changing and developing) feminist-national struggle for many years, from back in the days of the British occupation and even before that. We have struggled against the Zionist occupation since 48, and at the same time we have conducted a struggle against the patriarchy that dominates in most of the strata of our Palestinian society. We do not need beside us Israeli women who are willing to “support” us in a way that is partial, conditional, limited and stuttering. For how is it possible to champion values of feminism and equality, but not to acknowledge and not to be willing to speak about oppression and occupation? I need to note that a very few of you are indeed willing to speak about the occupation, and particularly about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, but those voices dissolve under the majority of you who aren’t willing to speak about this at all. How can a settler-woman in a house and on land that she has stolen from another Palestinian woman and family expect us to sit at a table and speak about partnership and women’s rights? It’s impossible, period. A Palestinian woman who participates in such a discourse places herself from the outset in a weak and hypocritical position, and is perhaps unaware of the danger in such a discourse.

We are in two boats, and they’re essentially different. We, the Palestinian feminists, don’t need women who’ll preach morals to us, or tell us how we ought to conduct our struggle – just as you wouldn’t be willing to accept men who’ll tell you how to conduct your struggle. We know very well how to conduct ourselves, how to demand and obtain our rights, what to say and when! We know that our journey is very long and hard. It includes resistance to the occupation, resistance to the patriarchy, and resistance to women who think they’ll redeem us from oppression while they themselves take part in our oppression but don’t have the courage to acknowledge this. You want a shared and comfortable struggle, but we’re not comfortable at all with this equation, and in this struggle too we’ve decided to break the silence. We erred and were silent a lot, and there are those who are still silent, but the day will come when they too will reach the right conclusions. Once we thought that you’d take it in, that you’d understand, that you’d acknowledge, but to our regret nothing has changed, and to be truthful it isn’t worth the effort, when we find ourselves expressing and explaining our position again and again, and while every new Israeli women’s project that wants to work in partnership with us repeats your willingness to speak only on gender problems in society, your evasions of speaking in a truthful way about the price the occupation extorts from is, and your expectations that we’ll be willing to give up.

palwomen-1929

Palestinian women demonstrating outside the British High Commissioner’s HQ, 1929

The struggle being conducted by Palestinian women wasn’t born yesterday. Here are some historical facts you should know: the Palestinian feminist movement was born in 1893, when women demonstrated against the establishing of the first Zionist settlements in Palestine, on lands of Palestinian villages. Already at its outset this struggle was interwoven with the Palestinian national struggle. In 1904 the first Palestinian women’s NPO [non-profit organization] was formed. In 1910, Palestinian women in Jaffa set up an NPO for women’s empowerment, which among other things assisted women to study and to get an education. In 1917 women demonstrated against the Balfour Declaration. In the late 1920s many Palestinian women’s NFOs were formed. Some of these engaged in politics and in the Palestinian national project, others in health, education, economics, empowerment, and in advancing women on all levels. The first union of Palestinian women was formed in 1919, with the participation of women from many towns and villages, including Akka, Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, etc. The first congress of Palestinian women took place in in 1929, with hundreds of women taking part. Many important congresses like it have been held since then, and continue to do so. Women participated in the Palestinian revolution and took part significantly in the uprising and the resistance, were part of the Palestinian army until 1948, and Palestinian women fighters were killed in the course of the fighting beside those women who were killed in their homes, in mosques they were hiding in from the shelling and the shooting, or while they were fleeing with the intention of returning one day. Palestinian feminist history is too long to detail in a short post, and these are only several details from it.
– Does any of you know it? Has any of you invested time in learning about it?

Since 48 the movement has undergone many changes: the messages, the goals, and of course the women themselves, have changed, but we’re proud to be daughters of this strong and empowering movement. We are another generation, and a generation is lacking, because many are not with us physically. Our partners in the struggle live in refugee camps in Arab countries after being expelled in the Nakba, others were expelled to the West Bank or Gaza and live there, in addition to the Palestinians who were already living in the part of Palestine that was occupied in 67. We wish for the moment when all Palestinian women will be able to return to their homes, to their lands, to their homeland, we wish for the moment when we’ll be able to work together without any barriers or limitations. For this too is a right that has been stolen from us, and you choose to deny this. We, Palestinian women, the majority of us, will always be here, in order to say this.

And from here I wonder, and today in a loud and proud voice, how is it possible to talk about feminism and to refuse to talk about the occupation since 48? How is it possible to talk about feminism and not to talk about the Palestinian women who were raped in 48? How is it possible to refuse to hear about cases of sexual harassment by men of the Border Police undergone since always and to this day by women activists during demonstrations and during interrogations? How is it possible to be a feminist and to champion values of freedom and equality, and to represent Palestinian women as weak, and Israeli women as saviors and not as occupiers? How is it possible to dare to demand of the Palestinian women that they put aside their national and political pain, so as to sail with them on a phoney journey of liberty that perpetuates the occupation? You keep repeating “Why drag everything back to the Nakba?”, and we keep declaring “Every day is Nakba” – of brave, strong women, who will change society, but in a different boat than yours, a boat that we have built, and we know where it’s heading.

Aya Zinati is a Palestinian feminist activist, residing in Lod, and a leading figure in the struggle against violence towards women in that city and in Palestinian society within the 48 boundaries

Here is the FB post with the Hebrew original , as shared by Miri Barak, who wrote: “A clear and strong voice. Every day is Nakba”.

וכאן הפוסט עם המקור בעברית

A Song for Palestine (שיר לפלשתינה (א”י

גן נעול.

A locked garden. A shut-up garden. A walled garden. A garden inclosed, a garden enclosed.

The title of  a comprehensive report, with vivid photographs (for those who want to see &/or know) on Zionist Jewish-Israeli landgrabs in the “West Bank” areas of Palestine occupied since 1967, “A LOCKED GARDEN: Declaration of closed areas in the West Bank” has inspired this Song for  (& to & with) Palestine.

My sister, my spouse.

אחותי כלה.

song for palestine meme