Mary Scully 2016 (Elena Ledesma Rashid)

Someone is always asking me to change my profile picture. But I actually do laugh a lot & love people & don’t go around hangdog all day even though I write about great sorrows. You cannot write about sorrow if you wallow in it or if you don’t enjoy human beings. Nobody on FB is wittier or more ironic than Kashmiris & they live in a sea of troubles. Maybe I’ll take a selfie all dejected today because my car battery is dead & I can’t get it fixed till Wednesday. But does anyone care about such a paltry-assed ‘sorrow’ & does anyone want to look at a sourpuss? No. So there. Leave my damn profile alone.

(Photo by Elena Ledesma Rashid)

Xray of pellet gun impact May 11 2018
“The Republic of India in Kashmir
How the republic looks when inscribed on a Kashmiri body”

–Satyadeep Satya

(Photo is scan of a pellet victim’s body via Khawer Shakeel Salmani)

There’s something very questionable about articles reporting drug trafficking or prostitution among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The articles are formulated in ways that make them sound sympathetic to the problems of refugees but they are prurient & probably floated to discredit the Rohingya who are a traditional, religious society not comparable to criminal underworlds in big metropolises. There is important news to report from the refugee camps but it has to do with the coming monsoons, inadequate shelter, children’s welfare, insufficient maternity & medical care, lack of employment. It’s not that we want to close our eyes to the downsides & desperations of refugee life. If some feel forced to sell drugs or sex, that’s an issue. But the articles stink of treachery & there’s no getting around that.

Kashmiri boy (Mehmood VzyRee) May 11 2018
A Kashmiri boy: another reason to oppose the occupation. What transformational politics is always about is a future worthy of children.

(Photo by Mehmood Vzyree)

Solidarity grows for Uyghur Muslims persecuted by China

Uyghur protest in East Turkestan (Abdugheni Sabit on Twitter) May 11 2018
We are beginning to see more reporting & more protests by Uyghur activists in exile over China’s persecution & genocide of the Uyghur Muslim people. Over one million Uyghur are held in arbitrary detainment without due process in concentration camp conditions. Mosques are being turned into propaganda centers & there are systematic attempts to erase Uyghur culture.

It’s likely that without social media we would not know the little we do about the Uyghur struggle for self-determination. But like Palestinians, Kashmiris, & Rohingya activists, Uyghur are taking full advantage of social media to educate about what China is doing to them & how they are resisting. The persecution of Muslims is real & widespread & their resistance more than explains why Islamophobia has become the battle cry of modern day colonizers & genocidaires.

(Photo from Uyghur activist Abdugheni Sabit on Twitter)

US rapped Azealia Bank crosses BDS picket line

Azealia Banks May 11 2018

American rapper Azealia Banks rejected appeals to honor the cultural boycott of Israel & crossed the BDS picket line by performing in Tel Aviv last Monday. She is making headlines denouncing the racist treatment she received during her visit to Israel, including being offered money for sex by a rabbi on the return flight. What’s really deplorable about Banks singing in Israel is her complete lack of solidarity with the thousands of African refugees who Israel is deporting & the whole history of Israeli racist policy toward Africans. Not to mention the Palestinians. Banks is in no position to cry ignorance because when BDS appealed to her, she had the resources to investigate & try to understand what was the right thing to do. We know Israeli pays exorbitant fees for performers to cross the BDS picket line & judging from a comment Banks made, money was the deciding element in her decision. She said that despite the racism, she might return to Israel for the right fee. Not a woman guided by principles.

She rejected appeals to honor the cultural boycott by saying “I too live in a country which has issues.” Of course the US “has issues” of which its racist practices & racist wars are paramount. But Banks is being cagey here, not principled, in proffering the same position that Noam Chomsky & Norman Finkelstein hold. Banks was cashing in on apartheid whilst Chomsky & Finkelstein support a cloistered Jewish-only state because they are cynical about the possibility for ending anti-Semitism. If anyone thinks a boycott against the US would be effective to curtail its wars, no antiwar activist could object to that boycott. But the chances of success would be small, partially related to the size & power of the US & its sweatshop relations with other countries. In their struggle against apartheid & genocide, Palestinians called for BDS because it proved an effective weapon in South African’s struggle against apartheid & they believed it would work in their own political & economic circumstances.

There’s another reason why it’s baloney to weasel around BDS by making a comparison to the US. By pledging $38 billion to Israel over the next ten years, the US government is sustaining apartheid & genocide. Part of the work of BDS is getting US schools, factories, businesses, & the Pentagon to sever those academic, scientific, medical, economic & military links to Israel. The BDS campaign very much impacts the US, if not directly then concomitantly but significantly.

Shame on Banks. Build & honor the economic boycott of Israel. Check the label on every product to make certain its country of origin is not Israel.

(Photo of Banks from Haaretz)

Israeli snipers face off against protesters ‘armed’ with Palestinian flags

GRM May 11 2018- snipers vs flags (GRM on Twitter) May 11 2018
A dramatic scene at the Great Return March today where Israeli snipers face off against protesters ‘armed’ with Palestinian flags.

Israel has absolutely no right to place snipers & tanks at the apartheid barrier with Gaza to prevent Palestinians from peacefully protesting for the right of millions of refugees to return home. When we see the carnage Israel is wreaking on unarmed Palestinians, we marvel that they continue to protest, knowing they might be shot or disabled. If we play our role in building solidarity, the whole world will know what Israel is doing & all the Israeli propaganda in the world will not undo the images of who the real terrorists are in the conflict between Palestinians & Israeli apartheid & genocide.

(Photo from Great Return March on Twitter)