[A-List] Fwd: [R-G] The pharaoh of Jerusalem
Suzanne de Kuyper
suzannedk at gmail.com
Thu Sep 16 00:30:37 MDT 2010
The time of hate has been constructed by us, whose passivity to hate's
needs are the building blocks of mass inhumanity as a Spector Sport,
true also in the Middle Ages. The dissent distroyed by
dictatorships contains the wealth of human reality. Choice for it's
expression is not an optiion. That is what The European Union
International Human Rights Laws state in structured, enforcable form.
These are the Laws that, by allowing Israel and the U.S to continue
the genocide of Pakistan, are all being destroyed.
Funny thing though, once those laws are gone, neither do the rulers of
such systems have any rights but with unusable weapons. Once they use
them, and they do and have, they damn themselves in the eyes of
everyone, necessitating even more atrocities. Unsustainable? The
Crusades can give one answer. Dissent gives others. Suzanne
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steven Robinson <srobin21 at comcast.net>
Date: Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 7:19 AM
Subject: [R-G] The pharaoh of Jerusalem
To: Suzanne de Kuyper <suzannedk at gmail.com>
Cc: Jeffrey <JGSHURT69 at aol.com>
The pharaoh of Jerusalem
by Philip Weiss
September 15, 2010
In the last two days two guides have taken me through the geography of the
Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and I'm staggered. I wonder why this
monstrous structure is not better known, even to people like me, who study
the conflict. I wonder how it is that American reporters are not describing
the racist devouring of Jerusalem every day in our newspapers and showing it
every night on our television news. I wonder why our politicians, or our
liberal Democratic ones anyway, are not holding angry press conferences in
front of the repulsive separation wall as it lunges to separate a
Palestinian village from virtually all its connections to the outside world,
so as to privilege the lifestyle, and short commute, of Jews in the new
development on the hilltop above them.
I wonder why Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who calls for boycotting the "pharaoh" of
BP as a response to the destruction in the Gulf, cannot see the Pharaoh's
works right here and call for boycott. I wonder how it is that Ethan Bronner
of the New York Times, who lives in West Jerusalem, could give lectures back
home about covering the story and lament the (remote) possibility of
Palestinians moving back into Arab houses in West Jerusalem when the only
real movement and dispossession, eastward, is in front of his eyes; and
millions of Palestinian ambitions are blighted by lack of freedom of
movement and constant insults to their human rights. And believe me, if a
fraction of what the Palestinians are experiencing were happening to Jews,
it is all we would hear about.
But let me try to be a little more reportorial.
What I'm seeing is the result of 40 years of Jewish colonization of one of
the jewels of world civilization. During the 43-year occupation, the
Israelis have essentially constructed a system of spears radiating out from
Jewish West Jerusalem into Palestinian East Jerusalem, and on into the West
Bank. These new Jewish neighborhoods are designed to solidify Israeli
control over greater Jerusalem in the event of any possible division of the
place in a two-state solution, but more important, to make Jerusalem into a
Jewish city by choking off the Palestinian life of this international city.
And yes, I imagine, there is a security component to the thinking too. They
want to kill us, we have to keep them behind fences.
The choking-off is what I saw in my tours. As this colonization progresses,
it takes more and more village land around the city and throws out more
infrastructure to serve the colonists, special roads and high barbed wire
fences and walls to protect the drivers and their communities. The
infrastructure isolates more and more Palestinians from one another. You can
tell Palestinian villages from the black water vessels dotting the
rooftops-because their water is shut off for days at a time. So when Jeffrey
Goldberg, pushing the Israeli side in the U.S., says that Gilo is just a
neighborhood in Jerusalem, well it is actually a white stucco
fortress/colony built on the outskirts of southern Jerusalem on Palestinian
village land, and now requiring more of that land so as to expand, with
plans to build a wall right through the neighboring village to protect the
colonists from the farmers in the valley. And again, all of this on land
that international law says is Palestine's.
Homes are routinely demolished in that village facing Gilo, so as not to
prevent the colony's growth; and as you travel through Greater East
Jerusalem you often see the rubble of Palestinian buildings, Palestinians
who dared to try and develop their communities. The Israeli authorities come
in and destroy the houses or businesses. Even as the Israelis expand a
colony nearby. Rubble and palaces. In a word, systemic racism.
Maybe the most pitiable sight I saw yesterday, inside the West Bank but
close to the north Jerusalem colonies of Ramot and Ramat Shlomo, is the
hilltop tomb of the prophet Samuel, which is worshiped by Jews and Muslims.
The tomb is both a mosque with a minaret and a Jewish place of worship. Well
when we visited, busloads of Jewish schoolchildren were arriving and Israeli
soldiers were in the tomb davening and Hasidic boys were descending, too. A
moving sight. We must have seen 150 religious Israelis.
And meantime the Islamic portion of the tomb is dead. The door is chained,
pigeons fly into the outer rooms, the Palestinian who runs a store there
told us that the authorities had shut down the minaret. There are no
Alongside the tomb is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, but the
occupation has now cut this village off from the rest of Palestinian life in
the West Bank. The school serving the village-that is the photograph at the
top of this post-is a one-room building. At this point in our travels, my
wife walked away for a few minutes so that our Palestinian friend who lives
under these conditions all the time would not see her feelings.
And this is a National Park. An Israeli National Park for the tomb of
Samuel, inside Palestinian territory! Do you think the Israelis are ever
going to part with this colony? Of course not. We are in the West Bank, the
home of the Palestinian state, and these Jews will be here forever.
Now let me remind you that the Israeli settlement nearby, Ramat Shlomo, is
the one that pissed off Joe Biden in the spring, when he blew up at
Netanyahu over the latest construction orders. Biden got really angry. He
said you're endangering American lives. There was a showdown, and in the end
what happened, Obama swallowed it.
Still, you can see why Biden was pissed off. This situation is monstrous and
racist. If our politicians were not hogtied by the Israel lobby, they would
be bringing reporters with them to the tomb of Samuel and saying, Is this
right? This is happening with our tax dollars? They are making a National
Park inside Palestinian territory and choking off all Palestinian access to
the place! Are you crazy?
Our politicians would declare that the road to peace in Jerusalem doesn't
lead through Baghdad or Tehran-- no the road is right here in Jerusalem, and
it is blocked by Israeli bulldozers.
Now I mentioned a minute ago that my wife hid her feelings from our
Palestinian friend, and I want to unpack this somewhat. The Palestinians
live with this all the time. They have the boot stuffed down their throat at
every turn. Even the educated professionals, their horizons are blocked off,
their aspirations. Academics can't travel, even into Jerusalem; and when I
say, Oh they can't sustain this, my friend responds, They have sustained it
as long as I can remember. You cannot normalize this oppressive situation.
The polticians talk about all the businesses thriving. Well the Palestinian
people are always trying. The Palestinians are not defeatable, and they are
always struggling for this and that. You see beautiful restaurants inside
the occupation, lovely hotels, good book stories. But it is not a
flourishing life. It is not the life that these people would make for
themselves if they had any real freedom. If they were able to compete and
cooperate as equals with the Israelis, you would see something entirely
So they live with this daily humiliation and they stuff their souls down
inside their chest somewhere and one day they bring in friends from the
United States and show them around, and a visitor is so overwhelmed by the
oppression that she starts crying and has to walk away. Well you understand
that it is a little rude to show your friend just how pitiable life here
seems to us.
I don't know how they live with this, my wife said later, and of course you
ask that question. The other day we met a man who works in Sheikh Jarrah,
right up from the house evictions that happened last winter, a funny
Palestinian, my wife and he were joking around a lot, when I said to him,
"Are they still living in the tent down there?" I meant the Palestinians who
had been thrown out of their houses in Sheikh Jarrah and were living in a
tent in the road.
The man's smile disappeared. "I don't know."
"Well it's just a block away."
"I've never been there. It would make me sick. And then I would have to walk
away and there would be nothing I could do about it. So I've never seen it."
Imagine feeling so helpless, and feeling that powerless over your own fate
and the life of your society that you avoid knowledge of the fierce
conditions. Jews were like this during the advance of anti-Semitism in
eastern European cities, they tried to ignore it.
And that's why my wife walked away, she didn't want to seem a complete
tourist of someone else's suffering.
My rage at this situation is directed at my own community, American Jews,
who have allowed this to develop. I can think of only a few responses to
Jerusalem that I can honor. Earlier this year Michael Ratner of the Center
for Constitutional Rights visited Jerusalem and came back and gave speeches
about the colonization and said the two-state solution is finished. Jeff
Halper came to the States more recently and described the endless process of
house demolition. And Charney Bromberg came back and told a Columbia
University audience that this situation reminds him of apartheid.
These are exceptional statements. Liberal Zionists generally can't face this
reality; and our politicians are mute and even the fairly-good piece that
Isabel Kershner did on the colonization of East Jerusalem a couple of months
back in the Times didn't convey the monstrous reality. No, liberal Zionsts
are are concerned with preserving Israel against the "demographic threat"--
a possible Palestinian majority. When you see what Jewish control has meant
for non-Jewish residents of Jerusalem, that seems a particularly filthy
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from
Rad-Green mailing list
Rad-Green at lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
More information about the A-List