Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rants of the Week June 22, 2010

 Mondial Week

I have been told by some readers that although I can let Uri rant for me on the local issues, I should point out the global ones.

World Cup for Human Rights
While the teams fight it out, let us stand up for human rights.  Here are some actions for you:
Human Rights Defenders

I asked myself whether the World Cup tournament in South Africa is as useless and even pernicious for the ordinary people of South Africa as the 2008 Olympic Games were for the ordinary  people of China.  I did not have to look far for the answer as you can see from the Amnesty posts above.
Fair disclosure--I too sit in front of the screen with my beer and popcorn and help pour the $3 billion into the coffers of FIFA.  I honestly think that FIFA should pay attention to what happens to the people other than the rich and powerful in the host country.

Can we really wish Happy Birthday to Aung Sung Suu Kyi who turned 65 last Saturday.   She has been under house arrest in Burma for twenty years, ever since she and her party won an election.  The result was overturned in a military coup and the junta still rules.  For details.

 She has been incarcerated in the foulest of prisons and subjected to terrible abuse, but her courage has not flagged.


This is a prime example of how the world is screwed up.  We see thousands being killed 
and hundreds of thousands becoming refugees and no one does anything. 
The fact that Hilary Clinton wrings her hands 
and the Russians do nothing helps not at all. 
When we ever learn from the past?

I have been watching the sordid drama of how corporate greed can do untold harm.  A few weeks ago I reported sentences being passed on some of those responsible for the Bhorpal Union Carbide disaster of 1985.  Now I see BP et al wriggling out or at least trying to wriggle out of their responsibility for what happened in the Gulf of Mexico.  Katrina was a natural disaster but Bush handled it poorly.  This is man made and I hope Obama can do better.  Cheers for Tom Toles.

I am about to post a speech by a Spanish leftist journalist about the phony European left and the bashing of Israel and the United States that are fashionable among the liberal establishment.  I am doing this because of an incident that took place in an organization very dear to me, Amnesty International.  I have chaired the Israel section and now serve on the board.  Nonetheless, I am outraged by what the former interim secretary-general  Claudio Cordone
 did in actually stating that "defensive Jihad" in not antithetical to human rights.  This is part of a fundamental flaw in our movement and I take every opportunity to fight it.  Our movement has lined    itself up with a ridiculous body such as the UN Human Right Commission when it has been expedient.
The writer Salman Rushdie called this behavior moral bankruptcy
With that in mind I will now refer you to Pilar Rahola and what she has to say about a left that  fails to notice genocide in Sudan, ethnic cleansing in Kyrgystan and a host of persecutions by the darlings of the left.  The unwillingness to hold Muslims and in particular Arabs to account is a very patronizing attitude that implies that they are irresponsible children.
Let me be clear--all who know me are aware of my opinion of the actions of our government, which also consists of a pack of immature idiots leading a brainwashed public.  To paraphrase Ben Gurion in 1939. we will fight the Occupation as if there were no hypocritical  antisemitic phony left and we will fight the antisemitic phony left as if there were no Occupation.

I am going to bring up an issue that concerns how an army can deal with crimes by its soldiers.  Now the IDF is bringing charges against soldiers who allegedly killed two women with white flags during the Cast Lead operation.  I leave aside why it took so long to indict them.  I point out that we are still waiting for an indictment against the killers of Abir Aramin
 and against the officer who was filmed ordering a soldier to shoot a handcuffed and blindfolded prisoner.
In this contact, I bring up the story of a Canadian officer who is now on trial for killing a wounded Taliban prisoner in Afghanistan.  He claims it was a mercy killing and the trial goes on.
There is food for thought here.

NGO MONITOR is a self appointed right wing blog that deals primarily in defamation of human rights defenders.  I am pleased to link to a response by the New Israel Fund to its slanders.


Let me start with Gideon Levy on what it means to be an Israeli patriot.
I also want to bring you something from a 96 year old veteran of Israel's wars
who has had enough.
Listen to Dov Yirmiya
who says it right for all of us. We are watching the rise of fascism in our country, with school principals called to account for their opinions  and the Education Minister on the warpath against liberal academics
Obviously Voltaire was not in the curriculum wherever they went to school.  While I disagree with some of my colleagues on details of BSD, the  threats against the  life of Neve Gordon are unacceptable and must be laid at the door of right wing politicians.

Here is a statement from one of the principals:
How I was summoned to the Knesset / by Ram Cohen
On Monday, June 21, I am to appear before the Knesset Education Committee and the Minister of Education, Mr. Gideon Saar, following my unequivocal words to my students, condemning the 43 year-old occupation and rule over the life of the Palestinian people.

A school principal should have a clear and unequivocal moral position about any subject and issue on the agenda of Israeli society. A principal is not an educational clerk. A principal must have, for example, something to say about the deportation of the children of migrant workers, trafficking in women, the separation fence, the withdrawal from Gaza, minimum wage law, settlers attacking Palestinian villagers to exact a `price tag`, the removal of Arabs from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, the siege on Gaza, corruption in government, or the relations of religion and state.

Full text:  http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=40651 
  MISTER X  is a prisoner who disappeared as in old Argentina or the KGB days in the USSR.  The difference is that is happened here, in what was my country until the fascist/religious mafia stole it from me.  The story appeared briefly on the Yediot web site and then vanished and it would have gone to oblivion had not  Richard Silverstein blogged it and then the Dailly Telegraph
then brought it out.  I would like to see the local media show some courage, but they all crawl before the whip of the Shabak and its trained zoo of obedient judges.

RE JUDGES the Supreme Court finally got its cojones together (excuse the misplaced metaphor Chief Justice Dorit Beinish)
and sent some ultra-religious people to prison for violating a court order in a matter of school segregation.  Indeed, the court was right and since these parents do not wear uniforms with tons of brass on them, it was an easy call.  This same court when it asked a government lawyer who in the military was responsible for building a road in the West Bank to an illegal settlement received the answer "I do not know" and sat still for it.  Chief Justice  Beinish and her predecessors could have sent somebody in uniform to prison for contempt on countless occasions, but courage and integrity come out of the closet only when the victim is weak.  The same court ruled this week that paying support to yeshiva students and not to university students is unjust and unfair.  It only took the hard working court ten yours to reach this difficult decision.  Reports indicate that public faith in the judiciary is declining.  I wonder why?

I will close with  Uri Avineri and
Ira Chernus
and refer you to my other blog entitled Pollyanna 
for the cheerful stuff.

OK, I know that there must be some perverted soul who reads only the nasty blog (I know of a few nice people who read only the nice one), so I will give you here as well Gene Weingarten in
Below the Beltway
to keep you happy.

1 comment:

  1. I felt so sad for Argentina when they lost! I mean, both teams seemed so good and in equal conditions!! Argentina did not deserve that. It was a big humiliation in front of the whole world. I watched the game in my apartment in buenos aires with my friends and my neighbours were almost crying. It was kind of disappointing. I hope they will have better luck in 2014.