Bulletin N° 382
Subject: ON LIFE AFTER CAPITALISM AND THE ISRAELI STATE OF DENIAL TODAY.
The régime of "truth" gave the intellectual, whose business truth was, a certain
"universal" status. The "disinterested" intellectual represented the conscience
of society as a whole. But Foucault shows that truth does not exist outside power,
still less in opposition to it. Each society has its own régime of truth: the types of
discourse accepted as true, the mechanisms that make it possible to distinguish
between truth and error. In place of the "universal" intellectual, Foucault places
the "specific" intellectual who, like everyone else, is competent to speak only of
what he knows and experiences. His task is not to enlighten, but to work upon the
particular régime of truth in which he operates. He is called upon neither to reveal
the truth nor to represent others. The will to the power of truth is a pitiless tyrant: it
requires a singular and total devotion. It is a service that has tempted the European
mind since Plato. Nietzsche gave the first signs of its possible end: he also provided
a way out, which he called genealogy. Genealogy was a "grey" activity, but it was
also a gay science, a science of the hypothetical. That gaiety, that love of hypothesis,
pervades all Foucault's work.(p.222)
The 4 items below contribute to the start of rethinking real strategies to end the Imperialist war against the Palestinian people.
Item A. is a call from Ahmed El Aïdi for a local mobilization in Grenoble this evening, Tuesday 30 December, at 5:30 to protest Israeli barbarity in Gaza.
Item B., an article by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006) calls for prompt action to transform the Gaza tragedy into a definitive peace movement.
Item C. is an article by Robert Fisk, who is questioning the amazing non-action of world leaders, including President-elect, Barack Obama & Co (not to mention the predictable and banal collaboration of leaders like U.S. president George Bush and Australia's acting prime minister, Julia Gillard, who posses a whole closet full of genocidal credentials).
Item D. is an appeal from the Council for the National Interest Foundation to the Israelis, in the name of humanity, to stop the violent murder and slow starvation of innocent men, women and children in Gaza.
And for more video coverage of the brutal Israeli aggressions in Gaza, we refer CEIMSA readers to the courageous BBC coverage of the current murders being perpetrated with impunity, as we read, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7802515.stm.
Finally, with apologies, we feel compelled to invite CEIMSA readers to wake up of the reality of violence, with this very graphic short film on the banality of cruelty and the taking of life from the CEIMSA archives on the rapport de force in capitalist society = http://www.peta2.com/takecharge/swf/fur_farm.swf.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3
from Ahmed El Aïdi :
Date: 29 December 2008
Subject: Manif pour Gaza.
from Ali Abunimah :
Date: 28 December 2008
Subject: The Gaza Massacres by Israeli Forces.
The Electronic Intifada
(Dec 27) -- "I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing." Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel's latest massacres were broadcast around the world.
A short time earlier, US-supplied Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of locations in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip killing at least 195 persons and injuring hundreds more. Many of these locations were police stations located, like police stations the world over, in the middle of civilian areas. The US government was one of the first to offer its support for Israel's attacks, and others will follow.
Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels "terrorists" were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training. An as yet unknown number of civilians were killed and injured; Al Jazeera showed images of several dead children, and the Israeli attacks came at the time thousands of Palestinian children were in the streets on their way home from school.
Shmerling's joy has been echoed by Israelis and their supporters around the world; their violence is righteous violence. It is "self-defense" against "terrorists" and therefore justified. Israeli bombing -- like American and NATO bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is bombing for freedom, peace and democracy.
The rationalization for Israel's massacres, already being faithfully transmitted by the English-language media, is that Israel is acting in "retaliation" for Palestinian rockets fired with increasing intensity ever since the six-month truce expired on 19 December (until today, no Israeli had been killed or injured by these recent rocket attacks).
But today's horrific attacks mark only a change in Israel's method of killing Palestinians recently. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food and necessary medicine by the two year-old Israeli blockade calculated and intended to cause suffering and deprivation to 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority refugees and children, caged into the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Palestinians died silently, for want of basic medications: insulin, cancer treatment, products for dialysis prohibited from reaching them by Israel.
What the media never question is Israel's idea of a truce. It is very simple. Under an Israeli-style truce, Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonize their land. Israel has not only banned food and medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for schoolchildren.
As John Ging, the head of operations of the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), told The Electronic Intifada in November: "there was five months of a ceasefire in the last couple of months, where the people of Gaza did not benefit; they did not have any restoration of a dignified existence. We in fact at the UN, our supplies were also restricted during the period of the ceasefire, to the point where we were left in a very vulnerable and precarious position and with a few days of closure we ran out of food."
That is an Israeli truce. Any response to Israeli attacks -- whether peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in Bilin and Nilin in the West Bank is met with bullets and bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel's attacks, killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never ceased for one single day during the truce. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has acceded to all of Israel's demands, even assembling "security forces" to fight the resistance on Israel's behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian or her property or livelihood from Israel's relentless violent colonization. It did not save, for instance, the al-Kurd family from seeing their home of 50 years in occupied East Jerusalem demolished on 9 November, so the land it sits on could be taken by settlers.
Once again we are watching massacres in Gaza, as we did last March when 110 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed by Israel in just a few days. Once again people everywhere feel rage, anger and despair that this outlaw state carries out such crimes with impunity.
But all over the Arab media and internet today the rage being expressed is not directed solely at Israel. Notably, it is directed more sharply than ever at Arab states. The images that stick are of Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Livni in Cairo on Christmas day. There she sat smiling with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Then there are the pictures of Livni and Egypt's foreign minister smiling and slapping their palms together.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported today that last wednesday the Israeli "cabinet authorized the prime minister, the defense minister, and the foreign minister to determine the timing and the method" of Israel's attacks on Gaza. Everywhere people ask, what did Livni tell the Egyptians and more importantly what did they tell her? Did Israel get a green light to turn Gaza's streets red once again? Few are ready to give Egypt the benefit of the doubt after it has helped Israel besiege Gaza by keeping the Rafah border crossing closed for more than a year.
On top of the intense anger and sadness so many people feel at Israel's renewed mass killings in Gaza is a sense of frustration that there seem to be so few ways to channel it into a political response that can change the course of events, end the suffering, and bring justice.
But there are ways, and this is a moment to focus on them. Already I have received notices of demonstrations and solidarity actions being planned in cities all over the world. That is important. But what will happen after the demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence?
Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group reaffirmed this today as it "called upon all civil society organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it."
The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine (http://www.bdsmovement.net/) provides the framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do not wake up to "another Gaza" ever again.
Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006).
from Robert Fisk :
Date: 29 December 2008
Subject: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Robert Fisk's ZSpace Page
If reporting is, as I suspect, a record of mankind's folly, then the end of 2008 is proving my point.
Let's kick off with the man who is not going to change the Middle East, Barack Obama, who last week, with infinite predictability, became Time's "person of the year". But buried in a long and immensely tedious interview inside the magazine, Obama devotes just one sentence to the Arab-Israeli conflict: "And seeing if we can build on some of the progress, at least in conversation, that's been made around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be a priority."
What is this man talking about? "Building on progress?" What progress? On the verge of another civil war between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, with Benjamin Netanyahu a contender for Israeli prime minister, with Israel's monstrous wall and its Jewish colonies still taking more Arab land, and Palestinians still firing rockets at Sderot, and Obama thinks there's "progress" to build on?
I suspect this nonsensical language comes from the mental mists of his future Secretary of State. "At least in conversation" is pure Hillary Clinton - its meaning totally eludes me - and the giveaway phrase about progress being made "around" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is even weirder. Of course if Obama had talked about an end to Jewish settlement building on Arab land - the only actual "building" that is going on in the conflict - relations with Hamas as well as the Palestinian Authority, justice for both sides in the conflict, along with security for Palestinians as well as Israelis, then he might actually effect a little change.
An interesting test of Obama's gumption is going to come scarcely three months after his inauguration when he will have a little promise to honor. Yup, it's that dratted 24 April commemoration of the Armenian genocide when Armenians remember the 1.5 million of their countrymen - citizens of the Ottoman empire slaughtered by the Turks - on the anniversary of the day in 1915 when the first Armenian professors, artists and others were taken off to execution by the Ottoman authorities.
Bill Clinton promised Armenians he'd call it a "genocide" if they helped to elect him to office. George Bush did the same. So did Obama. The first two broke their word and resorted to "tragedy" rather than "genocide" once they'd got the votes, because they were frightened of all those bellowing Turkish generals, not to mention - in Bush's case - the US military supply routes through Turkey, the "roads and so on" as Robert Gates called them in one of history's more gripping ironies, these being the same "roads and so on" upon which the Armenians were sent on their death marches in 1915. And Mr Gates will be there to remind Obama of this. So I bet you - I absolutely bet on the family cat - that Obama is going to find that "genocide" is "tragedy" by 24 April.
By chance, I browsed through Turkish Airlines' in-flight magazine while cruising into Istanbul earlier this month and found an article on the historical Turkish region of Harput. "Asia's natural garden", "a popular holiday resort", the article calls Harput, "where churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary rise next to tombs of the ancestors of Mehmet the Conqueror".
Odd, all those churches, isn't it? And you have to shake your head to remember that Harput was the centre of the Christian Armenian genocide, the city from which Leslie Davis, the brave American consul in Harput, sent back his devastating eyewitness dispatches of the thousands of butchered Armenian men and women whose corpses he saw with his own eyes. But I guess that all would spoil the "natural garden" effect. It's a bit like inviting tourists to the Polish town of Oswiecim - without mentioning that its German name is Auschwitz.
But these days, we can all rewrite history. Take Nicolas Sarkozy, France's cuddliest ever president, who not only toadies up to Bashar al-Assad of Syria but is now buttering up the sick and awful Algerian head of state Abdelaziz Bouteflika who's just been "modifying" the Algerian constitution to give himself a third term in office.
There was no parliamentary debate, just a show of hands - 500 out of 529 - and what was Sarko's response? "Better Bouteflika than the Taliban!" I always thought the Taliban operated a bit more to the east - in Afghanistan, where Sarko's lads are busy fighting them - but you never can tell. Not least when exiled former Algerian army officers revealed that undercover soldiers as well as the Algerian Islamists (Sarko's "Taliban") were involved in the brutal village massacres of the 1990s.
Talking of "undercover", I was amazed to learn of the training system adopted by the Met lads who put Jean Charles de Menezes to death on the Tube. According to former police commander Brian Paddick, the Met's secret rules for "dealing" with suicide bombers were drawn up "with the help of Israeli experts". What? Who were these so-called "experts" advising British policemen how to shoot civilians on the streets of London? The same men who assassinate wanted Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and brazenly kill Palestinian civilians at the same time? The same people who outrageously talk about "targeted killings" when they murder their opponents? Were these the thugs who were advising Lady Cressida Dick and her boys?
Not that our brave peace envoy, Lord Blair, would have much to say about it. He's the man, remember, whose only proposed trip to Gaza was called off when yet more "Israeli experts" advised him that his life might be in danger. Anyway, he'd still rather be president of Europe, something Sarko wants to award him. That, I suppose, is why Blair wrote such a fawning article in the same issue of Time which made Obama "person" of the year. "There are times when Nicolas Sarkozy resembles a force of nature," Blair grovels. It's all first names, of course. "Nicolas has the hallmark of any true leader"; "Nicolas has adopted..."; "Nicolas recognizes"; "Nicolas reaching out...". In all, 15 "Nicolases". Is that the price of the Euro presidency? Or will Blair now tell us he's going to be involved in those "conversations" with Obama to "build on some of the progress" in the Middle East?
from Council for the National Interest Foundation :
Date: 29 December 2008
Subject: Emergency Mobilization to Protest Israeli Attacks on the People of Gaza.
In response to recent attacks on Gaza, CNI encourages all members to participate in local demonstations to vocalize your opposition to the bombings. The Associated Press is reporting that the Israeli air strikes have killed an estimated 300 people, and have wounded hundreds more. The Israeli attacks come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip. The siege has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life.
Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip could not have happened without the support of the United States. We need to take action to end these attacks, and demand that the US act swiftly to end the violence diplomaticaly as a honest broker.
Please make plans to attend a demonstration in your hometown listed below. If not, please make an effort to contact your local congressman or senator. The attacks on Gaza must end, and without a voice of opposition here in the US innocent lives will continue to be wasted.
(The list below was provided by www.endtheoccupation.org)
EMERGENCY PROTESTS TO STOP
THE ATTACKS ON GAZA
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has compiled the following list of events taking place in the United States and Canada to protest Israel's attacks yesterday on the occupied Gaza Strip. Inclusion of an event does not imply endorsement by the US Campaign.
1. Contact the White House to protest the attack and demand an immediate cease-fire. Call 202-456-1111 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575 or send an email by clicking here.
3. Contact your Representative and Senators in Congress at 202-224-3121 or find contact info for your Members of Congress by clicking here.
4. Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor. To find contact info for your local media, click here.
5. Organize a local protest or vigil and tell us about it by clicking here.
6. Sign our open letter to President-Elect Obama calling for a new U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine and find out other steps you can take to influence the incoming Administration by clicking here.