THE ABSURD TIMES — STILL

Occupy Satan!

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on February 22, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Occupy Satan


 Occupy Satan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Brilliant cartoon by Kieth Tucker.  Visit him at http://www.whatnowtoons.com
 
 
 
          We can be thankful for the Republican primaries as we now know exactly what is wrong with not only our country, but the world.  Rick Santorum is now leading – Onward Christian Soldiers – the pack, as they say, and he points out that SATAN is behind a lot of things going on.  Who better to lead us in a fight against Satan than Rick Santorum?  Well, I’d rather have Newt debate Satan, actually, but Rick has the true religion.
 
          We can see how life is being protected now.  There is even a bill in Virginia (as in “Virgin”) to help prevent abortions.  See, the idea is that before a woman can have an abortion, a doctor has to shove a microphone up her vagina so she can hear the heart beat.  She doesn’t have to listen to it, I understand, but the shoving up is required.  That will teach Satan!
 
          I heard more crap about intervening in Syria.  Syria is a recognized autonomous state.  True, it is somewhat Socialistic in its outlook, but it has a right to that.  And who is on the other side?  We have such a good record in the Middle East, don’t we?  Russia and China learned how much we are to be trusted in the matter of Libya.
 
          Here are a few items on the Middle East, just to give some sanity to this discussion:
 
 

Rush Transcript

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AMY GOODMAN: Israel’s Supreme Court has ordered the release of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner being held in Israel without charge or trial who is the 66th day of his hunger strike. Agence France-Presse reports Adnan has ended his 66-day hunger strike under a deal that will see him released in April. Khader Adnan has refused to eat since he was arrested in mid-December. Doctors say he’s at immediate risk of death.
In a video posted online Sunday, a voice believed to be that of Khader Adnan can be heard yelling from his hospital room, saying, “The strike will continue. The strike will continue…until freedom, pride and dignity.”

KHADER ADNAN: [translated] The strike continues. The strike continues. The strike continues…until there’s freedom and dignity, until there’s freedom and dignity.

AMY GOODMAN: Adnan is being held under so-called “administrative detention,” which means Israel can detain him indefinitely without trial or charge. There are said to be at least 300 other Palestinians held on so-called “administrative detention” in Israeli jails. Palestinians jailed inside Israel are holding a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with Adnan, in conjunction with a series of rallies planned in the Occupied Territories.
For more, we’re joined on the phone by Adnan’s lawyer. We’re also joined by—from Arraba, Israel, by Khader Adnan’s sister, Maali Mousa, joins us on the phone. And here in New York, we’re joined by Bill Van Esveld, a Jerusalem-based researcher at Human Rights Watch focusing on Israel-Palestine.
Bill, why don’t we start with you? Explain the case of this prisoner, who’s in the 66th day of his hunger strike.
BILL VAN ESVELD: Khader Adnan is alleged by Israel to be a member of Islamic Jihad, which is a banned group that’s carried out attacks on Israeli civilians in the past. But Israel has not alleged that he, himself, did anything wrong. He’s been detained under administrative detention without any charges, without any ability to see any evidence against him, after being arrested out of his home at 3:30 in the morning on December 17th. The day following that, he began a hunger strike in protest.
AMY GOODMAN: Where did he live?
BILL VAN ESVELD: He lived in Arraba in the West Bank, in the northern West Bank, near the town of Jenin.
He has started this hunger strike, which has really galvanized a lot of anger at the administrative detention system, under which more than—around 309 Palestinians are currently in detention inside Israeli prisons. And, you know, an unconfirmed report now from Reuters says that Adnan has made a deal that in exchange for the state promising to try him criminally rather than to throw him into the administrative detention system, he will stop his hunger strike as of today, and that the state will release him on April 17th if no new evidence is discovered against him.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about how many people are in the same situation he is in, how many prisoners.
BILL VAN ESVELD: Well, we’ve got—we know that there are at least 309 Palestinians in administrative detention. This is a system whereby you can be locked away for six months at a time on the order of the Israeli military, without any evidence being presented against you and without your ability to see any of it. It’s usually called classified or secret evidence, that you’re not able to see. Some of those people in administrative detention have been there for more than two years. There are about 16 people in detention for between two and four-and-a-half years. One man has been locked away for more than five years, without any charge, any ability to appeal his case before a court.
AMY GOODMAN: How did you get involved with this case, Bill?
BILL VAN ESVELD: We heard about this case—I’m based in Jerusalem for Human Rights Watch. We heard about this quite some time ago and have been following up with Khader’s family and his lawyers and Physicians for Human Rights Israel, which is an Israeli nonprofit group that’s been able to convince the Israeli prison authorities to allow them to come see him and provide some medical advice, but it’s been quite difficult. He’s actually been chained to a hospital bed for the last part of his detention, you know, with prison guards in the room at all times, on the basis that he was a supposed security threat.
AMY GOODMAN: Talking to CNN yesterday, Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev defended the policy of administrative detention, saying it’s comparable to policies in place in other Western democracies.

MARK REGEV: It’s clear that in terrorist cases often you rely on intelligence information. There are problems with sources and methods. And Israel, like other democracies, like the United States, like Great Britain, there’s a certain amount of discretion that you have. And I think it’s important to say here, if I might, that this man is a self-professed leader in Islamic Jihad.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response?
BILL VAN ESVELD: The administrative detention system throws out the most basic due process rights of those who are kept in jail this way. I mean, imagine that you’re arrested out of your bed at 3:30 in the morning. You have no information about why you were arrested. Khader Adnan’s family said, “We don’t know what it was this time.” He has been arrested many times in the past. This is actually his ninth detention. And, you know, the Israeli government and others say, yes, a member of Islamic Jihad. Well, that’s fine. That’s not really the issue. The issue is, why is he being arrested without charge? Why is he being thrown in jail, kept apart from his family, without any idea of what it was that he’s alleged to have done wrong and any ability to defend himself against those charges?
AMY GOODMAN: Why is he shackled?
BILL VAN ESVELD: This is one of the strangest aspects of this case. A man who’s been on hunger strike for more than 60 days was being shackled to his hospital bed on the claim that he presented a security threat to the security of the area. It seems hard to believe that a man with two prison guards in his hospital room, who was so weak he could barely move, would present any sort of threat that required shackling.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re also joined on the telephone from Ireland by Danny Morrison, an Irish Republican writer and activist, former member of Sinn Fein, secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust. Bobby Sands was the Irish activist who died in 1981 during a hunger strike against British rule. Sands was on the 66th day of his hunger strike, the same day Khader Adnan is on today. Danny Morrison is now speaking out in support of Khader Adnan’s freedom, joining us on the phone from Belfast.
Danny, welcome to Democracy Now!
DANNY MORRISON: Thank you, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: You were in prison with Bobby Sands back in 1981?
DANNY MORRISON: No, I was not in prison at that stage. I was outside and was nominated by Bobby as his spokesperson. And so, at the time of his election campaign, I did most of the radio and television interviews and also liaised with the international media community. I had been in jail and did come across Bobby in jail in 1973, and also I had been interned in my teens without charge or trial, which is the same as administrative detention.
AMY GOODMAN: Explain why you have gotten involved with Khader Adnan’s case.
DANNY MORRISON: Well, first of all, I consider him to be a political prisoner. I consider myself, as an Irish republican, someone who is concerned with freedom and the rights of oppressed people around the world. After all, our struggle was supported far and wide, from—you know, by activists in South Africa, in jails in South Africa. In fact, in South Africa, when prisoners on Robben Island went on hunger strike, they described—the code word for it was “We’re going to do a Sands.” That was named after Bobby Sands. And Bobby Sands’ name, you know, lives around the world 31 years after his death. And we identify with the treatment meted out to these political prisoners by the Israeli authorities.
And I don’t know whether you have reported on this, but I—a few minutes ago, I got a message, and I’m not sure if it’s true or not—I think it was reported on one news agency, perhaps Al Jazeera, that the Israeli authorities are going to release him. But I don’t want to raise false hopes, but I don’t know if that’s true or not.
AMY GOODMAN: We are hearing different reports, but something along those lines. The Israeli Supreme Court is hearing this case as we speak, Danny Morrison.
DANNY MORRISON: Oh, I see. They’ve brought it forward.
AMY GOODMAN: We are now joined by Maali Mousa. Danny, stay on the line. Maali Mousa is Khader Adnan’s sister. We’ve been trying to reach her through the morning. She is speaking to us from Arraba.
We welcome you to Democracy Now!. What is the latest news about your brother Khader, Maali?
MAALI MOUSA: You know, from this morning, starting this morning, we have heard many rumors. Something—some of them were saying that it’s a fixed four months. No one will renew the administrative detention after this period. And he will stay there in the hospital to recover from the hunger strike. Another lawyer told us that, “No, we are going to make a deal to let him go out from the jail after a couple of days.” But then we heard from the prisoners—sorry, the ministry of prisoners that Khader will be released on April 17th, which means it’s the—a fixed four months. And he will stay in the hospital until he recovered from the hunger strike. But until now, we didn’t hear anything, any information in—from the ministry itself or from a prisoners’ club or by the lawyer. All of these things are—I’m not sure what’s the good word, but—
AMY GOODMAN: Maali—
MAALI MOUSA: —I think—
AMY GOODMAN: Maali Mousa—
MAALI MOUSA: I think it’s four months—
AMY GOODMAN: We have just gotten this word from BBC. It says, “A Palestinian prisoner has ended his 66-day hunger strike over his detention in a deal that will see him released in two months, [Israeli] officials say.” That’s according to Israeli officials. The Israeli justice ministry said it’s decided to end Khader Adnan’s administrative detention but that he’ll remain in custody until April 17th.
MAALI MOUSA: Yes, that’s right. I think this is the—this is the true information. But in the same time, Khader was saying always that, “Don’t hear from anyone that I broke my hunger strike until I tell you by phone.” So we are waiting for a phone call from Khader to say that he ended his hunger strike or he holds it on. So, we are not sure from the hunger—that he stopped the strike or not.
AMY GOODMAN: So, your brother has been held without charge for how long?
MAALI MOUSA: Until now, it’s 67 days. They arrested him on December 17th, 2011, and now—without any charge, of course.
AMY GOODMAN: How often were you able to see him?
MAALI MOUSA: We visited him before two days. It was on Sunday. Yes, it was on Sunday. We visited him in the hospital of the [inaudible].
AMY GOODMAN: What did he look like?
MAALI MOUSA: He was very, very, very thin. His eyes were sunk, and his teeth were wide, wide. And it seems that his lips are smaller and so soft. His skin is so soft. And his hands were so cold and so yellow.
AMY GOODMAN: And what did he tell you then?
MAALI MOUSA: He told us that, “I am going on this hunger strike until I have an honorable deal or getting out from this jail.” But in the same time, his spirits were very high.
AMY GOODMAN: Was that the first time you had seen him, Maali?
MAALI MOUSA: Yes, yes, this is the first time for me, the third for his wife, and the second for my father.
AMY GOODMAN: And had you tried to see him before?
MAALI MOUSA: Yes, but we were refused.
AMY GOODMAN: When were—why were you refused?
MAALI MOUSA: No one knows that. They didn’t say anything. We applied for a visit through Al-Damir Association. And when they refused it, we applied through Red Cross, International Red Cross. And they approved us to go there. But Khader was saying all the time that “Don’t make the occupation—that the occupation is trying to whiten his page. Don’t believe him that he’s good, that the occupation is good,” because he was arrested for almost eight times before, and we have never visited him in the prison. Just my mother was allowed for a few times.
AMY GOODMAN: Bill Van Esveld, this issue of being refused to be able to see these prisoners who have not been charged, who are being held—Arraba is speaking to us from—I mean, Maali Mousa is speaking to us from Arraba on the West Bank. Where is the prison?
BILL VAN ESVELD: Where is the prison? He is now—Khader Adnan is now being detained in a hospital in Zefat, or Safed, inside Israel. But, of course, his family, as we just heard, is in the West Bank. This is an aspect of the case that isn’t discussed much, but it’s actually quite important. It’s a violation of Israel’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions to detain people from the occupied West Bank in prisons, or hospitals, in this case, that are inside Israel, precisely for this reason, that families are not able to visit their loved ones in detention without special permits, special Israeli permits, which are very difficult to come by, which can take months to apply for and finally receive. So, in many cases, not just this case but in the vast majority of cases, if someone is detained inside Israel, the family may not be able to see them for, you know, four to six months at a time. They may be released from prison before the family is actually able to see them.
AMY GOODMAN: Is this unusual, because of the international attention on Khader Adnan’s case, that the Supreme Court is hearing it and he, at least according to the latest news—this is all developing as we’re on air—is ending his hunger strike and will be released on April 17th?
BILL VAN ESVELD: Clearly, you can see that international pressure and attention is changing the way the Israeli authorities have behaved with this case. It’s not unusual, formerly, that you could appeal, as a Palestinian, a military court ruling. Remember, all of the things that have happened so far in his case have been in the military court system. It’s not unusual that you could appeal that to the civilian high court, the Supreme Court of Israel. But usually these things take a very long time. In this case, the case was moved up and then moved up again, so that the hearing is now being held today.
AMY GOODMAN: The significance of the support actions, Maali, what difference they have made around the world?
I think we may have just lost Maali. Let’s try for Danny Morrison, who is in Belfast. Danny, how you heard about this case—in your case, in the case of Bobby Sands, he died on the 66th day of a hunger strike, which is actually the day that Khader Adnan is in right now. We heard his condition, though we heard that he may have ended this strike right now. But how you heard, and why this is so important to you?
DANNY MORRISON: Well, I mean, I’m the secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust, and we maintain a website dedicated to the memory of Bobby Sands and the principles for which he fought and died. And we have an international section, and regularly we would report on the plight of Palestinians. And, of course, also from Ireland, people have been involved in the flotillas going to aid Gaza, which has been murderously interfered with by the Israeli authorities. Last Friday night, there was a very large protest outside Belfast City Hall, which was supported by Assembly members, Northern Ireland Assembly members, mostly from the Sinn Fein party. And of course there’s been protests in Dublin.
And it’s—I mean, I’m glad that Khader, if these reports are correct, has ended his hunger strike, and I’m glad also that his release has been expedited. But doesn’t it ridicule how allegedly dangerous he was in the first place, when Israel can turn around and say, “Well, we’re releasing him in April”? And it shows you that there’s actually absolutely no information or valid information or intelligence that they can put before a authority in order to judicially process Khader—that is, if you accept that Israel has any judicial right to judge Palestinian people.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you all for being with us. We’ll continue to follow this case, and we’ll update you as we hear it, even on today’s show. Bill Van Esveld, researcher at Human Rights Watch focusing on Israel-Palestine, based in Jerusalem, is in New York this week. Maali Mousa, thanks for joining us, Khader Adnan’s sister, speaking to us from Arraba in the West Bank. And Danny Morrison, who we’ve just been talking to, Irish republican writer and activist, secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust, speaking to us from Belfast, Ireland.
This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. When we come back, why did a young student on a whitewater rafting trip end up being in a boat with a New York undercover agent who was investigating Muslim students? Stay with us.


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Rush Transcript

This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
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AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Libya, which has just marked the first anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled Mummar Gaddafi’s four-decade rule. On Friday, thousands of people turned out for celebrations in Tripoli and Benghazi, Misurata and other towns. Another milestone was reached Monday, when Misurata residents elected a new city council in the first election since Gaddafi’s fall.
But as Libya celebrates a new era free of the Gaddafi regime, there are growing concerns the country’s lingering divisions will tear it apart. Libya remains deeply splintered by regions and factions. More than 500 militias exist throughout the country, leading to ongoing human rights abuses that resemble those under the Gaddafi regime.
In a report last week, Amnesty International said armed militias are committing human rights violations without punishment, with alleged Gaddafi loyalists suffering the worst abuses. The report’s co-author, Amnesty’s Carsten Jürgensen, said torture is widespread.

CARSTEN JÜRGENSEN: Horrific images of people who have been tortured and abused, people who have been tortured very recently when we saw them, in some cases only hours before. In fact, my colleagues saw detainees being beaten in a courtyard of a prison. And people have shown us, you know, obvious traces of torture, being whipped, or people also told us they have been subjected to electric shocks. People have been beaten by all sorts of objects.

AMY GOODMAN: The ongoing abuses in Libya have been far overshadowed by the crisis in Syria, where thousands of people have died in what is likely the Arab Spring’s bloodiest conflict to date. With estimates of well over 5,000 deaths, the shocking toll in Syria has sparked ongoing calls for international intervention to stop the bloodshed. Speaking Monday in Cairo, Republican Senator John McCain called for the arming of the Syrian rebels by countries other than the United States.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I am not saying that the United States needs to directly supply arms to the Syrian National Army. I am saying that there are ways to get assistance, ranging from medical assistance to technical assistance, such as GPS and other things that we could provide the Syrian National Army, support of the Syrian National Council, and there are ways to get weapons into Syria. It is time we gave them the wherewithal to fight back and stop the slaughter.

AMY GOODMAN: Efforts at a united international response to the Syrian crisis have faltered over a major division between the U.S., European Union and Arab League, on one side, and Russia and China, on the other. Earlier this month, Russia and China vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning the Assad regime’s crackdown. The U.N. General Assembly passed a measure with similar language just last week. Later this week, Syrian opposition leaders plan to hold talks with international officials at a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis. The 22-member Arab League has endorsed the meeting, and the U.S., European Union and Russia are among those invited to attend.
Well, in this month marking the first anniversary of the Libyan uprising, I’m joined by Vijay Prashad, who argues the NATO intervention in Libya offers key lessons for the debate over an international response to Syria. Vijay Prashad is chair in South Asian History and professor of international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, author of twelve books, most recently The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World. His forthcoming book, to be released in April, is called Arab Spring, Libyan Winter. He’s joining us from Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Professor Prashad, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about what’s happened in Libya in this year.
VIJAY PRASHAD: Well, of course, there has been the uprising a year ago. The uprising, it seems to me, within a month of breaking out in February, had gained immense momentum. And at its highest point, it was at the time when NATO decided to intervene. There was a conversion of an uprising, an internal civil war, into a NATO intervention. By May, there were already concerns from Amnesty International that there were maybe atrocities by NATO, by rebel forces and by Gaddafi’s troops, that it was a very dangerous soup of violence in Libya. This, Amnesty said in May of last year. The, basically, struggle ended by September, October.
In October, Amnesty did another very important report suggesting that if human rights is going to be used as a lubricant for intervention, one has to be very careful to continue to investigate the violence. One has to not only document violence, but also see that the perpetrators are prosecuted. And one has to bring a society to some kind of closure. This is what Amnesty began to say in October. Those were very prescient words from Amnesty, because, indeed, what Amnesty had proposed has not happened since October.
And Libya today, for all the jubilation about the removal of Gaddafi, who without question was an authoritarian dictator, without all—you know, without setting aside that jubilation, there are some serious questions about the future of Libya. In Misurata, yes, you’re right, there was an election on Monday to create a new city council. At the same time, Médecins Sans Frontières withdrew its entire team, because they are worried about the custodial deaths and extrajudicial torture that is taking place. In the town of Kufra, in the south of Libya, there is the continuation of the war. Weapons are all across the country.
So there is a serious need to evaluate what has happened in Libya as a result not only of the Gaddafi atrocities, of the rise of a rebellion, but also significantly of the nature of the NATO intervention. And that evaluation has not happened. I’m afraid that is really calling into question the use of human rights as a lubricant for intervention. If we can’t go back and evaluate what has happened, I think a lot of people around the world are afraid of going forward into another intervention, where the lessons of Libya have not been learned.
AMY GOODMAN: Late last year, the United Nations Security Council rejected a probe into the deaths of civilians during the NATO bombing of Libya. At the time, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said a probe is needed to determine the exact toll.

AMB. VITALY CHURKIN: The matter of civilian casualties, we believe, is particularly—from the bombing campaign, is particularly important, because we need to have a serious analysis. Some members of the Council, I can share with you, thought that somehow it was a diversion from Syria, from—coming from us, asking why we’re not discussing Syria. I gave a very simple response: because today we are discussing Libya. It is on our agenda. So it’s a matter coming out of the situation in Libya. So, this is where it stands now.

AMY GOODMAN: The United States refused to allow a U.N. Security Council probe into Libyan civilian deaths. In response to the proposal, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice accused Russia of trying to distract from its opposition to a measure condemning the Syrian crackdown.

AMB. SUSAN RICE: This is a distraction and a diversion, and it is a diversion from the fact that this Council’s actions, and that of NATO and its partners, save tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Libyan lives. That is something we should be celebrating. It is certainly something that the people of Libya are celebrating. And if the Libyans want to work with NATO to investigate any concerns they have, we’re more than willing to do that. I think it’s notable that we have not heard that call from the Libyan government. So, let us—let us see this for what it is. This is duplicative, it’s redundant, it’s superfluous, and it’s a stunt.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s the U.S. U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice. Vijay Prasad, your response?
VIJAY PRASHAD: Well, I mean, it’s very interesting that Ambassador Rice says, “Let us hear it from the Libyans.” The question is—the Libyans right now barely have control over the state. They barely have monopoly over violence in the country itself. The government is not fully formed. To expect them to come out and ask for a NATO probe at the same time as there are 8,500 extrajudicial detainees inside Libyan jails is rather, I think, a distraction in itself.
The real question is, why won’t NATO allow an evaluation of the Libyan war? What if we discover that the number of civilian casualties, the bombing in places like Marjah, the bombing in places in the center of Tripoli, had indeed cost the lives of a very large number of civilians? What is the harm of NATO coming under an evaluation? It will demonstrate, for instance, the actual commitment to human rights and to responsibility to protect civilians that the United States purports to support. So, the fact that they are not allowing an evaluation causes concern around the world. It means, perhaps, that the bombing campaigns are not going to protect civilians. They might, in fact, exacerbate the danger to civilians.
You know, you have to keep in mind that when the U.N. human rights chief, Navi Pillay, wanted to speak about Libya, the U.N. General—the U.N. Security Council said, “You can present your report on Syria, but it must be done—on Libya, but the Libyan report must be done in a closed session.” The Syrian report produced by human rights chair, Navi Pillay, could be done in an open session. In other words, it seems as if the West and NATO, in particular, does not want to have a discussion about Libya in public, but it wants to utilize human rights as a way to start wars, not a way to evaluate what has happened in a society.
Libya is going to suffer from a lack of truth and reconciliation, from a lack of evaluation of the full cycle of human rights investigation to prosecution. You have to remember that when the head of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Moreno Ocampo, decided to frame arrest warrants against Gaddafi, Abdullah Senussi and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, he framed those warrants immediately. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was arrested last year and is continuing to be held without being handed over to the ICC. And the ICC—nor has NATO asked for habeas corpus, in other words, the delivery of Saif al-Islam for trial in the International Criminal Court. These are serious questions about the truncating of a human rights process towards war making rather than towards peace making. So I don’t see this as a distraction; I see this as the fundamental question.
And it is precisely why the Russians and the Chinese are loathe to give another open-ended resolution to allow NATO to continue war making in Syria. They have said quite clearly that unless the resolution says this is not going to invoke Chapter 7, Article 42, of the U.N. Charter—in other words, the right to make war or to preserve the principles of the United Nations—unless it says specifically that this resolution is not under Chapter 7, we cannot sign on to it. So, I think there are some serious issues at stake. This veto by the Russians and the Chinese is not disgusting or a distraction. It’s about the principles involved here and whether this is just about a power grab by the West or a genuine concern for the people of Libya and Syria.
AMY GOODMAN: Vijay Prashad, we’ll leave it there. I thank you so much for being with us, professor at Trinity College. His latest book, just coming out, Arab Spring, Libyan Winter, it’s out in April.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012   
 
Join Us in Washington, D.C., March 2-6, to #OccupyAIPAC
Ever since the Occupy movement burst on to our political landscape last fall and reinjected energy into the movement to make government serve the 99 percent instead of the elites, we’ve enthusiastically joined forces by doing teach-ins at Occupy protests across the country and sending hundreds of organizing packets to empower local activists to end military aid to Israel.
Now we’re ready to Occupy AIPAC. We’ll be joining with member group Code Pink and more than 100 other endorsing organizations for five days of film screeningsteach-insperforming artsdirect actionstrainings and grassroots advocacy during AIPAC’s annual policy conference.  Check out the amazing list of speakers and performers here

Join us from March 2-6 in Washington, D.C. Register today to hold your place.

In our struggle to change U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel to support human rights, international law and equality, perhaps no organization better epitomizes everything that is wrong with our political system and current policies of support for Israeli occupation and apartheid than AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Here are just a few of the many reasons to #OccupyAIPAC:
An AIPAC front group skirts Congressional ethics guidelines to send Members of Congress on lavish trips to Israel where they are lobbied intensively to provide more taxpayer-funded weapons to Israel.
Political action committees and individuals aligned with AIPAC’s agenda dump millions of dollars into elections to ensure that politicians applaud Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians.
And, AIPAC lobbies for ever-expanding sanctions and never-ending wars against other peoples and countries, with Iran now the focus of their efforts.
Who benefits from the policies that AIPAC is pushing?  Certainly not Palestinians, who bear the brunt of U.S. weapons transfers to Israel and unconditional diplomatic support for Israel and live under brutal Israeli military occupation and apartheid. Certainly not the millions of ordinary Iraqis, Syrians and Iranians who have suffered harm as a result of AIPAC-backed sanctions and wars. And certainly not us, whose taxpayer dollars are diverted from funding unmet community needs to giving Israel–a country with greater per capita wealth than New Zealand and Saudi Arabia–$30 billion in military aid from 2009 to 2018.

It seems that the people benefiting from AIPAC policies are those in Israel and their supporters in the United States who work to ensure that Israel continues to subjugate Palestinians, to deny their fundamental human rights, and to try unsuccessfully to strip them of their humanity.  And, of course, also benefiting are the U.S. weapons manufacturers, who literally make a killing by joining with AIPAC to lobby for more taxpayer-funded weapons to Israel to injure and kill Palestinians by the thousands.

  
 
Above: Click to see our interactive map of cities where people are organizing to end military aid to Israel — and sign up!
The US Campaign will conduct a workshop there to end military aid to Israel, and organize a briefing to launch our new policy paper documenting the devastating impact on Palestinians of U.S. weapons transfers to Israel and build our case for sanctions against Israel.

Learn more about #OccupyAIPAC and register today!

We’ve got a lot of work ahead to counter AIPAC’s agenda–both here in Washington, D.C. in March and throughout the country all the time.  Help us do so by signing up to organize in your community to end U.S. military aid to Israel.  When you do, we will send you posters, stickers, postcards, flyers and more, to help educate and organize people in your city.  More than 2,000 organizers from 950 cities have already joined this ongoing campaign.  Sign up today to help us reach our goal of 1,000 cities with people organizing to end military aid to Israel in time for #OccupyAIPAC.

And don’t forget about our exciting matching funds competition for community groups that want to organize campaigns to get their city councils to pass resolutions to end military aid to Israel and redirect the money to unmet community needs.  That’s right, we’re offering your community group money, resources, training and inspiration to do it! 

Thank you for helping us to #OccupyAIPAC and for changing our country’s policies to support freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians.

Sincerely,

Josh Ruebner
National Advocacy Director

PS: Make your tax-deductible contribution to the US Campaign to support our ongoing efforts to counter AIPAC’s agenda and end U.S. military aid to Israel.
 

Take these actions

1. Sign up to Occupy AIPAC, March 2-6 in Washington!

 

2. Sign up to organize in your community.
3. Apply for a matching funds grant to launch a local campaign.
4. “Offset” your 2012 taxes that will go to fund U.S. weapons transfers to Israel.




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The US Campaign aims to change U.S. policies that sustain Israel’s 44-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.

US CAMPAIGN TO END THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION | PO BOX 21539 | WASHINGTON, DC 20009
202-332-0994 | USCAMPAIGN@ENDTHEOCCUPATION.ORG | WWW.ENDTHEOCCUPATION.ORG
 
 
 
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