There doesn’t appear to be a ferocious Zionist backlash against Michelle Alexander for her excellent January 19th opinion piece in the NY Times titled “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine.” Perhaps that’s because it would be difficult for them to vilify & smear her as hateful toward Jews because of her important work about racist violence against the Black community. But it’s also because her case for Palestinian justice was so brilliantly constructed with reference to Martin Luther King. On January 29th, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote a response titled “Michelle Alexander’s “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine” Omits Key Facts, Puts Entire Onus for Conflict on Israel.” But on February 7th, 100 American rabbis responded with “Rabbinic Letter in Support of Professor Michelle Alexander.” Alexander’s piece followed a December 7, 2018 opinion piece in the NY Times by Michelle Goldberg titled “Anti-Zionism Isn’t the Same as Anti-Semitism” which is an excellent elaboration of why that charge against most Palestinian supporters is so dishonest.
The opinion pieces by Michelle Alexander & Michelle Goldberg certainly don’t signify an editorial shift in the NY Times against Israel for apartheid & genocide but they do suggest that Zionism is on the defensive. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been published. That is almost certainly mainly due to the impact of BDS. Otherwise why would US Zionists & politicians be so willing to undermine the US Bill of Rights, the foundation of American democracy, to outlaw support for BDS?
Activists can use these opinion pieces in organizing opposition to the tsunami of laws in the US outlawing support for BDS. Alexander & Goldberg aren’t saying anything that Palestinians & their supporters haven’t said but by making such a strong case & by Alexander linking Palestinian justice to the Black civil rights struggle (as the Black Lives Matter movement did) they add authority to the struggle of Palestinians & to the campaign against outlawing BDS.
Alexander’s piece: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/opinion/sunday/martin-luther-king-palestine-israel.html?
Goldberg’s piece: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/opinion/rashida-tlaib-israel-antisemitism.html?
ADL response to Alexander: https://www.adl.org/blog/michelle-alexanders-time-to-break-the-silence-on-palestine-omits-key-facts-puts-entire-onus?fbclid=IwAR0MSKT5geNRSkzPx-QhBDvgr-P8G57Hj5hWVm-1bF5ZqIMWVlylc7QA_us
Rabbinical letter: https://www.tikkun.org/newsite/rabbinic-letter-in-support-of-professor-michelle-alexander?
“Perchance the so-called Modi ‘wave’ breathed its last on boulevard Srinagar along the Dal Lake embankment. He was seen waving at the frozen lake, not even lotus stems to welcome him. His visit was facilitated only after ensuring internet shutdown, siege, cordons and deserted streets. A reality Delhi loves to deny.”
Anyone else having trouble distinguishing the left from the right in politics & then just giving up & calling yourself liberal so everybody can hate you?
February 11th is Maqbool Bhat Day in Kashmir. Maqbool Bhat was a leading figure of the Kashmiri freedom struggle who was executed by hanging in a New Delhi jail in 1984 at the age of 46. Indian authorities still refuse to return his body to Kashmir for respectful & honored burial. Refusing to return his body is not just politically vindictive but indicates the Indian government’s fear of the scale of tribute by Kashmiris to such a monumental figure. He stands among the greatest freedom fighters in human history & should be honored by all humanity. He once said “For us, azadi means not just getting rid of foreign occupation of our beloved motherland but also to remove hunger, poverty, ignorance & disease & to overcome economic & social deprivation. One day, we shall achieve that azadi.”
In this video, Kashmiri musician MC Kash dramatized a brilliant 1974 “I have a dream” agitational speech by Maqbool Bhat calling for self-determination.
(Photo is placard with image of Maqbool Bhat from 2017 protest in his home town)
So let’s get this straight: the Trump regime–which kidnapped thousands of little kids from their parents & locked them up in warehouses; which hermetically sealed the US border against thousands of desperate refugees; which is bombing & starving out civilians in several countries; which has close personal & political relations with the head-chopping Saudi government; which bankrolls the genocide of Palestinians, didn’t lift a finger to stop the genocide of Rohingya, & sells military equipment to India to maintain the occupation of Kashmir–is sending humanitarian aid to Venezuela? It’s a provocation & could be called an act of war. Those who buy into it should talk to Trump about buying swampland in Florida right next to Mar-a-Lago. Those who buy into it to rah-rah for war against Venezuela stand on the side of tyranny & are no friends of the Venezuelan people.
This photo is a February 2nd protest against the Maduro government in Caracas. The placard reading “No solos Putin, ni solos Trump, somos pueblo unido contra el opresor” means “We are not Putin, nor are we Trump, we are people united against the oppressor.” To stand with Venezuelans does not mean whitewashing the political & economic policies of Maduro, blaming the austerity & repression all on US sanctions, calling the capitalist Venezuelan government socialist, or vilifying protesters–as Assadists, Stalinists, fascists did all the Arab Spring uprisings–as US-orchestrated. It means opposing US military intervention so Venezuelan working people can settle the score with their own government without foreign interference.
No US war against Venezuela!
(Photo from Local10.com)