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The new faces of Jewish-American resistance to Israel by Azad Ezza

March 23, 2019

IfNotNow-organized demonstration to protest the Denver Jewish Federation’s failure to criticize the anti-Semitism spewed by Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign

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“The American Jewish community has a racism problem,” Rebecca Pierce, Jewish American activist..

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Author’s introductory note. I am republishing below a rather lengthy article “The New Faces of Jewish-American Resistance To Israel” that appeared a few days ago in an on-line publication called “Middle East Eye.” I have run across other articles from this publication but really don’t know who is behind it. That said, it is a fine summary of developments in the U.S. Jewish Community visa vis Israel. Posted this piece elsewhere on social media. It resulted in what has already been a rich exchange. In introducing the article I published the following commentary which I reproduce here:

[A few evenings ago] with a small group of progressive Middle East activists meeting in a fine, highly recommended, Denver restaurant, The Phoenician – the question of distinguishing anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism came up as did the more immediate case of the campaign against US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, for her remarks criticizing AIPAC, the effective pro-Israel lobby. Because I am Jewish, much of the discussion turned to me for answers – I tried to explain things –  most especially how to counter the charge of anti-Semitism when it is simply a way to change the subject from Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. Can’t say I was very effective. Read more…

U.S. – Hands Off Algeria

March 19, 2019

A few days ago, a million Algerians took to the streets. In a country where more than half the population is under the age of 20…The youth want a future, and their voice in it.

US – Hands Off Algeria

A posting from the Maghreb Center out of Washington D.C. on social media (Facebook) quotes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “that Russia was concerned by protests in Algeria and saw attempts underway to destabilize the situation in the North African country.” He was speaking to Algeria’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ramtane Lamamra, in Moscow at the time. Contrast Sergei Lavrov – one of the most sophisticated voices internationally to the bulbous and usually vapid U. S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is yet another embarrassment for anyone living in these United States.

As the Maghreb Center posting notes:

[Lavrov’s remarks were}…obviously, a warning against all kinds of machinations, interferences, manipulations, and provocations, by right-wing and liberal interventionists and their Islamist “friends” and agents in the US, in Algeria, neighboring Tunisia, and elsewhere in the region.

Exaggerated concern?…After all what did the US do to destabilize Syria, Iraq, Libya?

Funny – well not very – but I was sitting here thinking it is time for peace movement forces and others not drunk with neo-con “humanitarian interventionist” nonsense…what to call for…Not complicated:

US – Hands off Algeria…

This is, of course an idealist, impractical – if highly ethical – demand… like calling on the US in 2002-3 not to invade Iraq, 2011 not to intervene (through proxies) to try to overthrow Assad in Syria, 2012 to oppose the US orchestrated NATO intervention in Libya, the current calls to oppose the US green-lighted Saudi war-crimes war in Yemen, etc…

Idealist, impractical – if high ethical – demand – entirely appropriate.

As I have written elsewhere – and will do so again soon – in exchange for whitewashing the crimes committed against the Algerian people by the Algerian government in the 1990s (especially) in the “international arena” – Algeria has entered into a strategic-military partnership with Washington…which is of no good, as these relationships tend to be. It resembles the U.S. relationship with the Saudis, Israel, Pakistan…This relationship has now endured nearly 20 years.

Any political change in Algeria that might threaten this relationship will be not just opposed but actively opposed by Washington.. and as the current situation is already moving out of control of the current government, long considered illegitimate by the Algerian people… Washington is “worried” – actually more like defecating in their pants – if you pardon the expression – because they did not anticipate this…Nor have they anticipated ANYTHING of significance in the region despite their super-duper NSA monitoring system which other than targeting Afghan weddings can’t predict anything. That means some attempt to derail the political processes underway in this strategic North African country to sweep away 67 years of corruption, repression and abuse.

I do not know what Washington is preparing now for Algeria other than it is evil, Details to follow.

U.S. Hands Off Algeria.

 

Algeria’s Youm Echâab – Day of the People

March 15, 2019

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• “Dear USA, there is no oil left, so STAY AWAY unless you want olive oil”
• “Algeria is kidnapped by a gang”
• “Voleurs, vous avez mangé le pays!” (Thieves, you have stolen our country)”
• “Monsieurs our generals! If you dare to fire a single shot, to spill one drop of our blood, THE PEOPLE will drag you to the International Criminal Court and indict you for crimes against humanity. The blood of the people is the red line you dare not cross.”

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(republished at MediaPart)

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After a twenty year hiatus “the Algerian Question” is back on the map.

It started on February 22, 2019. A series of powerful demonstrations throughout Algeria began, an unanticipated national mobilization. The demonstrations are massive, militant and well organized It continues as of this writing. When the announcement was made that Algeria’s ailing – to put it mildly – president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika would run for his fifth term a national protest explosion erupted that has not yet run its course. For weeks now Algerians have been turning out in force throughout the country voicing their disapproval at the very thought of Bouteflika running again.

The several weeks of non-stop demonstrations have achieved their first tactical victory. The upcoming elections where Bouteflika would have run for the fifth time have been called off. The Algiers’ power brokers have simply called off the election for the time being until they can figure out how to proceed.

It is a moment when political commentary passes from journalists and tv commentators to the street. The posters and banners reflect not only the demands for change, but as French publisher Francois Gèze pointed out “the remarkable lucidity” (la remarquable lucidité) of the Algerian people concerning the nature of their government. They were in Arabic, French and English: Read more…

Morning Dawns Sounding Like Spring: Ode To The Precursors*

March 7, 2019

Lisa Danielle Gallant and Ruth Bradspies. 1974

Morning dawns sounding like spring,
the light comes early,
the birds sing their song of hope despite the temperature of 1 degree
And in my email,
a gift from my mother
who would have turned 77 this month, but instead died nearly 29 years ago and never fails me when I need her

Her cousin, her beautiful cousin who looks like her so much it steals my breath to look at her,
writes to remind me of my strength
reaches back through time
and reminds me of my heritage,
conjures my relatives by name
Molly, Herbie, Ruthie, Lizzy, Robert

This cousin reminds me that love conquers all, that language carries love through time shining on us when we are ready,
that my Great Grandma Molly, working in a bra factory all day only to return home to a drunken husband, no food or rent,
did not suffer in vain.

Trust the universe, she writes, pour love into your spirit soothing poems,
understand the compelling power of real authenticity put out into this world,
I listen with an open heart and I hear.

Molly, Herbie, Ruthie, Lizzy, Robert, Sarabelle, I embrace this gift and I thank you.

Lisa Danielle Gallant

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* The title is mine as it had no title…Perhaps better that way? Lisa Gallant is my cousin Elizabeth’s daughter on my father’s side.

She writes poetry – like her great Uncle Herbie and her cousin Sarabelle, she has a fine appreciation of language and uses it well.

There is history in this poem that I had forgotten – that my grandmother Molly Prensky had worked in a bra factory in the Bronx. There is reference to my grandfather Abraham Prensky. He had worked his way up from a construction worker to become a successful contractor, only to get caught up in the crash of 1929 that ruined him and the family financially. My understanding is he always drank some, but after the crash his life collapsed and he became an alcoholic, abusive to his wife. He also contracted tuberculosis and spent some time in a Denver sanitorium. I have tried to track down which one but to date have been unsuccessful. In his later life Abraham dried out and the Prensky couple had a few peaceful years..He died of the tuberculosis in 1948, she in 1971.

 

ROBERTJPRINCE.NET

US Congresswoman, Illan Omar (D-Minnesota) Under Attack For Criticizing AIPAC..

March 6, 2019

Ihlam Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashid Tlaib – The New, Refreshing Faces in the House of Representatives. All young, Brown and Black, the hope of change…

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We need to support Ilhan Omar…as well as Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…The Congressional Brown and Black-skinned holy trinity for peace, justice and accountability

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Three new members of the House of Representatives, all women of color, one whose family originates from Africa, the second from the Middle East, the third from Latin America.

  • All representing important American cities – Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, New York City.
  • All supported by a base of working class, Brown and Black, progressive and Socialist elements.
  • All young, poised and already showing a kind of toughness and principle that makes moderate Democrats cringe and Trump like Republicans poop in their pants.
  • All under attack by the right-wing in the scurrilous manner they have become accustomed to – racist and death threats; and all in one way or another already!! more or less abandoned by the more moderate elements of the Democratic Party.

Read more…

Support Miguel Angel, Arrested by ICE in Denver

March 4, 2019

Foot path to border customs San Diego-Tijuana, American side

Last I knew Miguel Angel, a Chicano activist in the Democratic Party, one of a number of young, brown-skinned, talented political organizers, was running for city council in Denver’s District 9; the next thing I know he is incarcerated in the ICE facility in Aurora, Colorado, a facility he has publicly criticized on a number of grounds, most recently because of a chicken pox outbreak there.

Coincidentally – or not –  in the same few days that our Miguel Angel was kidnapped by what can only be considered the US version of the Gestapo, ICE, an immigrant rights “activist detained in Florida just weeks after he appeared in an acclaimed film at the Sundance Film Festival about activists infiltrating and exposing for-profit immigrant detention jails.” According to DemocracyNow! today (March 4, 2019) Claudio Rojas, an immigrant from Argentina was arrested on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by ICE after a routine check-in at the Krome Detention Center in  Miami, Flordia for an annual check-in and is now being held at Krome Detention Center, where he faces immediate deportation.

How many other immigrants’ rights activists have been targeted for deportation?

I don’t know Miguel Angel well, but among the young Chicanos that have become active and working in the Democratic Party here in Colorado, he’s already a stand out for his dedication, principle and from what I can tell, his political acumen. I last ran into him at the “Marade” – Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr annual celebration – one of the biggest in the country. I had heard – or maybe read on Facebook – that he was running for city council in Denver’s District 9 that covers parts of Five Points, Curtis Park and Whittier Neighborhoods, long working class, Black and Chicano neighborhoods currently, like the rest of Denver, ravaged by development and “gentrification.” (1) Read more…

Beecher Island – A Short Detour on the Genocide Train…

March 3, 2019

The Arikaree River Valley by Beecher Island

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For the most part, the military “engagements” between Native peoples and the US army, fought on such lopsided terms, ended badly for Native Americans. But at Beecher Island, under the leadership of Cheyenne warrior, Roman Nose, the tides were momentarily turned. 

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It sits in a valley between two rises in the landscape. In between the Arikaree River, there a small stream, flows east and north until it tumbles into the Republican River near Hagler, Nebraska. According to the Wikipedia description:

…it has been made one of the designated areas under the Colorado Natural Areas Program because it is “part of the largest and best remaining example of a naturally functioning Great Plains river system in Colorado.” It has several species of reptiles, fish, and amphibians that are native and uncommon. The area is a sanctuary for many bird species, including burrowing owlsferruginous hawks, and greater prairie chickens. The habitat is near-pristine and there are high-quality riparian and native prairie plants

There in September, 1868, an US Army patrol of some fifty soldiers was surprised and ambushed by a party of some 1000 Indians, Cheyenne, Arapahoe and Ogallalah Sioux among them, the survivors of the Sand Creek Massacre four years previous. Although suffering many casualties, the army patrol held out on the island – a sand bar situated between branches of the Arikaree. It was later named Beecher Island after Lieutenant Frederick H. Beecher, one of the patrol leaders, killed in the skirmish. Read more…