Another One Bites the Dust


The British Ambassador to Lebanon has been forced to remove, from her website and which we linked to here at Miscellany101, the remarks she made about Lebanese cleric Mohammad Fadlallah; this after the heavy handed Israeli government complained to the British government about Guy’s remarks. No doubt similar arrogant and illicit entreaties were made by the Israeli government to CNN as well; the similarities of both cases can only lead to the regrettable conclusion that either Guys’ resignation or firing is next.

What I find interesting however is that secular women from both east and west, Nasr and Guy expressed regret over Fadlallah’s death and even a passing interest in this Lebanese cleric would reveal why.  Taking a very strong stand against honor killings, female genital mutilation and violence against women in general along with being a nationalist and not an expansionist/imperialist endears one with such positions more easily than most but because of his opposition to the heavy handedness of Israel and especially vis-a-vis his own country, Fadlallah must be an anathema to all who expect to keep their jobs or careers. Towing the line is something Israel expects everyone to do even if it’s not in their best interest.

Out with the old!


I’m NOT a big fan of the UK these days, what with their obsequious adoption of US foreign policy measures, which included their  security forces’ gunning down  innocent residents merely on suspicion, their rendering of suspects and their abandonment of their residents to US rendition.  Neither do I think that this latest news is really their turning over a new leaf although that’s exactly what it should signify.

Britain says it is re-establishing contacts with the political wing of the Lebanese movement Hezbollah. The move follows “positive political developments” in Lebanon, officials from the UK Foreign Office said. It comes about 10 months after Hezbollah signed a unity accord in Lebanon and joined the government.

Of course it took no time for the Lobby via the American government to respond negatively to the news, and at this stage in America’s political development that’s entirely expected.  The American government has become a political arm of the Israeli war machine, spouting all the necessary rhetoric to keep the government of Israel at the top, for now, of the Middle East’s hierarchy.  The Obama administration even uses the same tactics as the Lobby, lies and deceit, claiming that it wasn’t given a proper advanced warning of this political development, as if such a warning was essential to the interests of either America, the UK, Lebanon or Hezbollah.  Rather, it appears as a veiled threat that for the moment at least Britain has no right to decide for itself what is in its best interests with other countries.  What is painfully obvious is that the Lobby has gone far beyond asserting Israel’s right to exist, which like every other sovereign country it has, instead it now declares it has the right to decide for other countries what is in their (Israel’s) interests exclusively.  This all or nothing, zero sum game signified by the one way flow of information, material, good will all in Israel’s direction is necessary for the establishment of the Israeli empire.  It ignores the admission of its foes that the right to exist belongs to all communities and peace should come from both sides, because Empire is established only on the corpses of opponents, not through peace treaties.  So it should come as no surprise that news Hamas wants peace with Israel and wants to stop attacks from its soil against Israel  doesn’t get mentioned in political discussions taking place around the world because such news means Israel must cease its aggressive policy against Palestinians, something it is not willing, nor able given the current political climate in Israel, to do.  Syria’s announcement that it can live peacefully alongside its Israeli neighbor was met with Israeli invasion of Syrian airspace on a suspect nuclear weapons site, still shrouded in doubt and mystery.

None of these movements, political or military pose even the slightest existential threat to Israel, yet they are all met with the same heavy handedness that only a leadership steeped in the oppression of its past adversaries can bring to bear on a defenseless population.  Part of that defenseless population includes those living in America who see oppression and brutality emanating from the Israeli side and call it just that.  Charles Freeman is one of the latest casualties of the Israeli blitzkreig. If America’s political leadership is able to muster the backbone necessary to fight the Lobby war, and free itself of its indulgence to that Lobby, only then will there be peace in the Middle East and the survival of all parties there will be a possibility.  Until then, we are destined for more conflict, death, destruction and political casualties of decent, honest civil servants and civilians at the hands of the Lobby and its military wing the Israeli government.

An impressive list of people


have lined up to show their support for the beleaguered people of Gaza, and I salute them for their moral courage.  Quite an array of academics from across the British spectrum have signed the letter which appears below.    I hope to publish an equally challenging list/petition originating from the US, but for now take a look at what citizens from other parts of the world are saying about the atrocity that took place in Gaza over the last three weeks.

The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Some of the signatories of the above letter, their numbers are in the hundreds, include, Professor Gilbert Achcar, Development Studies, SOAS,Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Politics and International Studies, SOAS, Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, Gender Studies, SOAS, Professor Eric Alliez, Philosophy, Middlesex University,Dr. Jens Andermann, Latin American Studies, Birkbeck,Dr. Jorella Andrews, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths
Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson, Philosophy, University of Warwick
John Appleby, writer,Dr. Claudia Aradau, Politics, Open University
Dr. Walter Armbrust, Politics, University of Oxford, Dr. Andrew Asibong, French, Birkbeck, Professor Derek Attridge, English, University of York, Burjor Avari, lecturer in Multicultural Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, Dr. Zulkuf Aydin, International Development, University of Leeds, Dr. Claude Baesens, Mathematics, University of Warwick ,Dr. Jennifer Bajorek, Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, Professor Mona Baker, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Manchester, Jon Baldwin, lecturer in Communications, London Metropolitan University ,Professor Etienne Balibar, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Dr. Trevor Bark, Criminology, WEA Newcastle, Dr. Susan Batchelor, Sociology, Glasgow University.

A group of people mostly in the entertainment field had this to say about what is taking place in Gaza.

We regard Israel’s indiscriminate killing in Gaza as a crime against humanity. We protest against Israel’s exterminating tactics and offer our wholehearted support to the people of Gaza.

Among them are, just to name a few, Stephen Frears – Film Director – UK, Nigel Kennedy – Musician, Poland/UK, Miriam Margolyes – Actress UK,Brian Eno – Musician and producer UK, Robert Wyatt – Musician UK
William Dalrymple – Writer and historian,Dhafer Youssef – Musician France and Dave Robinson – Producer & pioneer of Stiff Records, UK

What absolutely amazes me is how governments can ignore the voices of their people without consequences? While I’m not all that familiar with the British parliamentarian system of government, our own Congress seems hell bent on pursuing a course that has nothing at all to do with why its members were elected. The present Gaza genocide and Congressional resolutions supporting it is just one example among many where the representatives of the people are anything but that! Every two years the House should turn over a new leaf if its members aren’t supporting the wishes of the electorate…but that’s for another blog post. For now, I hope you add your voice to those who are protesting the Gazan Holocaust.