Yaba Yaba

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Archive for the ‘coexistance’ Category

Me on PressTV: “Palestine, the ethics of resistance”

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Last week I was invited to participate in Tariq Ramadan’s “Islam & Life” show on PressTV. The title of the show was “Palestine: the ethics of Resistance”, but in fact the main topic of discussion was the boycott campaign in the UK. I shared a panel with Faizal Dawjee, who was introduced as a former journalist from South Africa, and Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead, secretary of BRICUP (pronounced like hicup).

There was no pretence of balance – PressTV identifies itself as the first Iranian international news network, Tariq Ramadan has his clear views on the subject, and the panel had two pro-boycotters on one side and myself on the other. Nevertheless, there was an honest, respectfull and open debate. I was given the oportunity to resopnd to every argument by my peers, and ample time to present my positions. Whether I did a good job of that is for you to judge.

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Written by yishaym

February 16, 2009 at 3:37 am

Karma Nabulsi, Gerald Kaufman MP, David Rosenberg and me (feb. 11th)

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The Jewish Socialist Group has invited me to take part in a conversation on “After the war on Gaza: What next for the Palestinians? And how can Jews here and in Israel help bring about a just peace?”

I wouldn’t consider myself eligible to make any suggestions regarding the first question. The fate and strategic choices of the Palestinians are a matter for the Palestinians to decide. I may have my private opinions, but I have no business making them public. As for the second bit, well, again, I’m in a bit of an uneasy situation. I don’t feel comfortable sitting here, in London, and telling my friends in Israel what they should do. On the other hand, I never quite felt part of the British Jewish community.

So what exactly am I doing there?

I’ll try to post some notes closer to the event, but here’s a spoiler. I’d like to start by challenging the title. First, I argue that we need to reject the Israeli-Palestinian dichotomy. Yes, we are two peoples. But we have one land, one past, and only one future. Any discussion that positions Israelis and Palestinians as two sides is part of the problem, not the solution. Second, I urge anyone sincerely concerned with the human tragedy of the land to suspend the call for justice. I know that sounds cruel. But it is a necessary sacrifice, for one man’s justice is another man’s death. I have life, happiness and dignity on the top of my list of priorities. Justice is a bit further down the line.

Still, if I can’t speak for the Palestinians, the Israelis or the British Jews, who am I speaking for? Myself, for what its worth. I can tell you what I believe I would be doing if I was there, and what I think I should be doing here. I am a true believer in democracy, empowerment and hope. By this I mean that I truly believe that change will only come from the people affected taking actions of hope. If I was there, I would be working with such people. From here, the most I can do is support them in any way I can. I hope you will do the same.


Wednesday 11th February, 7.30pm

Tudor Room, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB

Public meeting – all welcome

After the war on Gaza

What next for the Palestinians?

And how can Jews here and in Israel help

bring about a just peace?

Speakers:  Karma Nabulsi,  Gerald Kaufman MP,

Yishay Mor, David Rosenberg

Karma Nabulsi is an Oxford-based academic who formerly worked as a PLO diplomat at the UN and in Beirut, Tunis and Britain.

Gerald Kaufman has been a Labour MP since 1970 and has been an outspoken supporter of a just peace in Israel/Palestine.

Yishay Mor is an Israeli peace and social empowerment activist

David Rosenberg is on the editorial committee of Jewish Socialist magazine

Organised by the Jewish Socialists’ Group www.jewishsocialist.org.uk

Matan Israeli, 21 days in prison for refusing

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Matan Israeli has been sentenced on Tuesday 13/5/08 to 21 days in prison for refusing to serve in the Ramallah area (OT).
Matan, 28 years old, lives in west Jerusalem and studies art at the Bezalel academy. He also works at the Museum On The Seam in Jerusalem, a gallery dedicated to “contemporary art that deals with different aspects of the socio-political reality”.
Please email your letters of support to:
“yesh gvul” <yeshgvul2001@yahoo.com>,
Or send directly to:
Matan Israeli
Military Number 6411305
Prison 6
01860
IDF
ISRAEL
If sending from abroad, email is better.
(Source: Yesh Gvul)

Written by yishaym

May 17, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Bassam Aramin and Raed Al Mickawi, this Sunday (11 May) in London

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Bassam Aramin, co-founder of Combatants for Peace and Ra’ed Al Mickawi, director of Bustan, will be speaking this Sunday, 2:30-4:00 at ULU.

Bassam Aramin was a co-founder with Yonathan Shapera of Combatants for Peace.
He had spent many years in an Israel prison for his involvement with Palestinian
militancy, but came to the conclusion that engagement and dialogue are the only way
forward. Following the founding of Combatants for Peace, his new beliefs were sorely
tried by the killing of his 10 year old daughter, Abir, by the Israeli border police on
her way home from school and by the Israeli authorities refusal to investigate her
death properly. Combatants for Peace and local people are making a garden in her
name next to the school, supported by Jewish Groups across the world. A new play
featuring Bassam’s lifestory was performed in Jaffa recently, by well known Israeli actors.

Raed Al Mickawi is a compelling speaker who weaves his own personal story of growing
up Bedouin in the Negev with the larger civil and human rights issues facing Bedouin and
Arab people living in Israel—20% of the overall population. Learn more about the
“unrecognized” villages, the relationship between the situation of Palestinians inside and
outside the Green Line, and environmental and social policy towards Bedouin people.
Hear about BUSTAN’s role in building a sustainable, just future for ALL residents of the
Negev through small-scale, grassroots projects that advocate for human rights, cultural
preservation, and sustainable land use and development.

If hope, courage and determination have a face, it is the face of Bassam and Raed.

Oi, here we go again (or: boycott, yes, but do it right)

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Engage tells us that the national executive of UCU backs new boycott proposal. Engage give a very well-thought review of why the boycott is morally wrong and strategically stupid. I won’t repeat their arguments – go read them yourself. You should also read Shuli Dichter‘s account of why the Supreme Monitoring Council, the most broadly representative umbrella organization of the Arabs of Israel, directors of Arab non-profit organizations and the joint associations of Arabs and Jews did not accede to the boycott calls, despite the pressure they were under to do just that. Shuli is the co-director of Sikkuy, the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality. His view is shared by Mohammad Darawshe, the Abraham Fund’s Director of Development for Europe and Israel. When asked recently, his response was clear and simple: the boycott is stupid, harmful and cheap.

And here’s a twist of historical humor: this news of a fresh attempt to boycott Israels bastions of forward thinking come at the same week when we are flooded with rabid rabbis calling for discriminant and even violent action against Arabs. What better illustration of the ludicrous hypocrisy of the boycott campaign? I mean, if you really care about anything other than your smug sense of moral superiority, your pleasures of intellectual colonialism, how about boycotting Dov Lior and Shmuel Eliyahu? Or better yet, supporting the Abraham Fund in taking legal action against them?