Friday, July 3, 2015


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology


Contents:  Independence Day Newsletter #4, 2015
Critiques and Alternatives
Emily Kaitz, A Pacifist’s Fourth of July
AFSC, US Under the Influence of/the People Seeking Independence from the
(see OMNI newsletters on the Military-Corporate....Complex)
Rabbi Lerner, It Should be Interdependence Day and Reading the UN’s UDHR
Code Pink Praises the Mayor’s Statement
William Blum on Patriotism

Remembering a Declaration and Constitution Not at First for All
Frank Rich on the Declaration of Independence and Slavery
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz on Genocide of Native Americans

"A Pacifist's 4th of July" by Emily Kaitz, July 2, 2010

On our day of independence
we celebrate our country's pride
but there's something about this holiday
I never could abide
When we sing the national anthem,
the bursting bombs I can't ignore
Then we set off fireworks as if
to simulate a war

What is the glory in explosions
that deafen ears and frighten pets?
That threaten fire in times of drought
and may cause flashbacks for our vets?
Don't get me wrong, I'm patriotic
but understand me when I say
I prefer to love my country
in a much more peaceful way.

I will fly the stars and stripes
I'll even march in a parade
after which I might go swimming
and then picnic in the shade
I'll show my gratitude for living
in the land of the brave and free
A place of tolerance and diversity
that still embraces the likes of me.

What is the glory in explosions
that deafen ears and frighten pets?
That threaten fire in times of drought
and may cause flashbacks for our vets?
Don't get me wrong, I'm patriotic
but understand me when I say
I prefer to love my country
in a much more peaceful way.

American Friends Service Committee
In 1776, the signers of the Declaration of Independence stated that government derives its “just powers from the consent of the governed.” But in these days of rising economic inequality, unlimited campaign spending, and a multibillion-dollar lobbying industry mostly devoted to corporate interests, the consent of the governed often seems irrelevant in the corridors of power.   
"Governing under the influence." That’s what we at AFSC call the interconnected web of campaign spending, lobbying, and revolving doors between Capitol Hill, lobbying firms, think tanks, and the Pentagon that feed private interests at the expense of public good. 
Governing under the influence can be seen at work in how public officials spend our taxpayer dollars. Let’s look at U.S. military spending, for example. Since President Eisenhower coined the phrase, the “military-industrial complex” has grown to include outsourcing of government surveillance, transforming the U.S.-Mexico border into a war zone, converting police into paramilitary forces, and turning over the military’s own core functions to private contractors.    
Lockheed Martin is a prime example of corporate influence on public policy. The corporation is the Pentagon’s top contractor. It spends over $14 million a year on lobbying, and its employee PAC (political action committee) raises another $4 million for campaign contributions. Lockheed’s 71 registered lobbyists include a former senator and two former representatives. Its former CEO is now co-chair of a government panel on nuclear weapons that has called for relaxed oversight of weapons labs and more lucrative contracts for private companies, such as Lockheed, that run them. 
What does Lockheed Martin get from its investment and connections? More than $25 billion in government contracts every year. Lockheed is the primary contractor on the F-35 fighter plane, the most expensive weapons system in Pentagon history, and it also runs the Sandia nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico.
This is business as usual in Washington, and sometimes it’s easier to shrug our shoulders and give in to the thinking that this system will never change.
But something is bubbling up in Iowa and New Hampshire, where the first contests for the 2016 presidential nominations will take place. In these two states, AFSC has launched our Governing Under the Influence (GUI) project to remind candidates that the interests of the people must come first. 
We’ve trained more than 500 volunteers to question—or “bird dog”—candidates about the excessive corporate influence that drives our country toward more wars, more prisons, and more violence. Our team of volunteers is at town halls, fairgrounds, living rooms, TV studios, city sidewalks—anywhere candidates appear—to ensure these issues get the attention they deserve.  
The GUI project isn’t partisan; it’s not about ranking the candidates or telling anyone how they should vote. It’s about shifting the political discourse by exposing forces that steer us in the wrong direction. And we’ve already seen results, drawing out responses from close to 20 candidates and garnering attention from media outlets like the Boston Globe, Fox News, and Huffington Post.
As Independence Day approaches, join us in declaring independence from corporate ruleVisit our Governing Under the Influence website to see how candidates are responding to these important questions. And if you happen to be in New Hampshire or Iowa, we’d love to meet you and get you involved. 
In Peace, 
Signature Arnie Alpert
Arnie Alpert

Co-Director, New Hampshire Program
American Friends Service Committee
P.S. To learn more about our bird-dog volunteers, check out this recent story in MintPress News.
American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102    Make a Donation   Follow AFSC on Twitter   Like us on Facebook

How to Celebrate July 4th Weekend as an INTERDEPENDENCE Celebration

Rabbi Michael Lerner 6-29-15 via
to James
Tikkun  to heal, repair and transform the world:      A note from Rabbi Michael Lerner
Join or Donate Now!

Dear Dick,

There is much to celebrate in the goodness of the United States, even while acknowledging all of the nation’s problems.

We spiritual progressives invite people of all faiths, as well as the nonreligious, to avoid celebrating "bombs bursting in air" and all other displays of American nationalist chauvinism that imply that we are "number one" and others are lesser. Instead, let us transform the July 3-5 holiday to celebrate our interdependence with all human beings on this planet and our interdependence with the Earth, our badly abused planet.

We invite you to create a celebratory picnic or meal in which you sing songs affirming the humanity of all on our planet, our love not only for neighbor but also for the stranger, the Other (whoever that Other is—because almost every country on earth is "othering" someone or some group, and yet we want to affirm those people, animals, the earth, and even the split-off parts of our inner psyches that we have denied and repressed), the immigrant, the homeless, the hungry both in our own country and around the world. Don't let the July 4th weekend end up being purely about barbecues, fireworks, and the like. We invite our readers in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Israel, Palestine, India, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and elsewhere to turn your own national holidays into celebrations of interdependence.

We have much to celebrate in the U.S. this holiday weekend. We rejoice at the legalization of gay marriage. I was one of the first rabbis in the U.S. to conduct gay and lesbian marriages, as a way of affirming the equal validity of every caring-for-the-other-based form of loving relationships. The Supreme Court’s decision last week was a victory for all of us who want fundamental transformations toward a world of love and justice, and a reminder of a key teaching I've learned from the experience of the Jewish people and the teachings of our Torah: Don't be Realistic. Don't allow the people with power to tell you that your desire for a world based on love and justice and what we call The New Bottom Line is a utopian fantasy (please read  our full explanation of this idea at  Just as everyone was telling gays that marriage equality was unrealistic, so they will tell you that the New Bottom Line and the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ( and the Global Marshall Plan ( are unrealistic. Sadly, many of the most ethical people come to believe this message and narrow their focus to what they think is realizable in the short run, even failing to articulate to others the vision of the world they really want. But what we learn from the legalization of gay marriages is that:

You never know what is possible till you engage in sustained (decades long) involvement in movements that seek what is desirable and necessary for love, justice, and environmental sanity to prevail.

What is worthy of celebration about the U.S. and other democracies around the world is that these struggles actually have a chance of winning, though not without great effort, sustained inter-generational involvement through decades, commitment of our time and our money and our hearts, and great risks (including going to jail for nonviolent activism).

And while we are celebrating interdependence, let’s expand our celebration to include the powerful vision put forward by Pope Francis in his recent environmental encyclical, and celebrate the wide array of people (particularly younger people) who are becoming deeply involved in activity to save the life-support system of planet Earth.

None of this, of course, frees us from critique of the way racism persists. Taking down Confederate flags may be a nice symbolic move, but as I've shown in my recent article "A Path to End Racism," it will take a comprehensive strategy along the lines I lay out to really make a difference, and in the meantime we should be relentless in pushing forward a vision of a society freed from its racism, and not allow the shallow gestures of President Obama or paltry rhetoric to deflect us from our recognition that people of color are still being subjected to inhumane treatment, denial or rights, and even, as we saw in Charleston last week, murder—read the strategy I propose here.

Nor should we forget that it is not only people of color who suffer from the daily impact of the inequalities and environmental destructiveness that are an integral part of global capitalism's current manifestations. Celebrating the good in America gives us the opportunity to celebrate all the movements throughout American history that worked for the well-being of the relatively powerless (including many white people) whose struggles often succeeded in expanding democratic rights and equality, and remember there’s still more work to be done. Celebrating the goodness of the American people is part of the best in what spiritual progressives insist upon even while remaining critical of what needs to be changed--namely our refusal to demean anyone, including those who do not yet agree with us, and instead to talk to people in a way that affirms their goodness and highest being, an absolute precondition to get them to listen to ideas about which they would likely be closed otherwise!  Seeing what we religious and spiritual folk call "the holy in everyone" does NOT mean silencing our critiques of their ideas, but it does mean making those critiques in respectful and empathic ways!

As part of your celebration, we invite you to read aloud to everyone at your gathering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that I've appended below! And yes, also have lots of playful and humorous activity, which are imperative for a successful social change movement and an intrinsic part of the celebration of Shabbat! If you agree with out perspective, help us spread this message both by joining as dues paying member the Network of Spiritual Progressives ( and by posting this on your Facebook or other social media, tweeting it, and/or just forwarding it to friends ad family. . . .

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor of Tikkun Magazine
Winner of the "Best Magazine of the Year 2014 Award" from the Religion Newswriters Association 


PREAMBLE   Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 8.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 14.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
Article 16.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Article 29.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
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July 1, 2011
Dear Dick,
Email Congress & Obama
Tweet: RT @codepinkalert
Dissent is Patriotic
 Flex your dissent muscle here:

Facebook this!
Take Mayors Resolution to Congress

Cookouts and fireworks are great, but Independence Day also offers the perfect opportunity to flex your democratic muscles.
Patriots formed our nation by breaking the shackles of tyranny and declaring their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Join us in furthering this movement for a democracy grounded in life-affirming practices that serve the common good.
With your help, we moved our mayors to join the effort to bring our war dollars home.    Let’s take our victory to the next step by demanding complete withdrawal of all troops and contractors from Iraq and Afghanistan.
 Email Congress and the President a reminder that peace is patriotic.
For an even more intense democratic workout, you can hand deliver a copy of the mayoral resolution to your representative.
It took courage and tenacity to move the nation’s mayors to pass the first mayoral resolution challenging U.S. war policy since Vietnam. Join us as we use our collective muscle power to keep chipping away at the shackles of war.
Don’t you feel stronger already?
Celebrating dissent (and democratic strength-training) daily,
Alli, C.J., Dara, Farida, Gayle, Janet, Jean, Jodie, Kristen, Lisa, Nancy, Medea, Rae, Sanaa, Sasha, Tighe

The Anti-Empire Report   July 5th, 2010  by William Blum
“Some thoughts on "patriotism" written on July 4, 2010”
Most important thought: I'm sick and tired of this thing called "patriotism".
The Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor were being patriotic. The German people who supported Hitler and his conquests were being patriotic, fighting for the Fatherland. All the Latin American military dictators who overthrew democratically-elected governments and routinely tortured people were being patriotic — saving their beloved country from "communism".
General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, mass murderer and torturer: "I would like to be remembered as a man who served his country." 1
P.W. Botha, former president of apartheid South Africa: "I am not going to repent. I am not going to ask for favours. What I did, I did for my country." 2
Pol Pot, mass murderer of Cambodia: "I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country." 3
Tony Blair, former British prime minister, defending his role in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis: "I did what I thought was right for our country." 4
At the end of World War II, the United States gave moral lectures to their German prisoners and to the German people on the inadmissibility of pleading that their participation in the holocaust was in obedience to their legitimate government. To prove to them how legally and morally inadmissable this defense was, the World War II allies hanged the leading examples of such patriotic loyalty.
I was once asked after a talk: "Do you love America?" I answered: "No". After pausing for a few seconds to let that sink in amidst several nervous giggles in the audience, I continued with: "I don't love any country. I'm a citizen of the world. I love certain principles, like human rights, civil liberties, democracy, an economy which puts people before profits."
I don't make much of a distinction between patriotism and nationalism. Some people equate patriotism with allegiance to one's country and government or the noble principles they supposedly stand for, while defining nationalism as sentiments of ethno-national superiority. However defined, in practice the psychological and behavioral manifestations of nationalism and patriotism are not easily distinguishable, indeed feeding upon each other.
Howard Zinn called nationalism "a set of beliefs taught to each generation in which the Motherland or the Fatherland is an object of veneration and becomes a burning cause for which one becomes willing to kill the children of other Motherlands or Fatherlands. ... Patriotism is used to create the illusion of a common interest that everybody in the country has." 5
Strong feelings of patriotism lie near the surface in the great majority of Americans. They're buried deeper in the more "liberal" and "sophisticated", but are almost always reachable, and ignitable.
Alexis de Tocqueville, the mid-19th century French historian, commented about his long stay in the United States: "It is impossible to conceive a more troublesome or more garrulous patriotism; it wearies even those who are disposed to respect it." 6
George Bush Sr., pardoning former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in connection with the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal, said: "First, the common denominator of their motivation — whether their actions were right or wrong — was patriotism." 7
What a primitive underbelly there is to this rational society. The US is the most patriotic, as well as the most religious, country of the so-called developed world. The entire American patriotism thing may be best understood as the biggest case of mass hysteria in history, whereby the crowd adores its own power as troopers of the world's only superpower, a substitute for the lack of power in the rest of their lives. Patriotism, like religion, meets people's need for something greater to which their individual lives can be anchored.
So this July 4, my dear fellow Americans, some of you will raise your fists and yell: "U! S! A! ... U! S! A!". And you'll parade with your flags and your images of the Statue of Liberty. But do you know that the sculptor copied his mother's face for the statue, a domineering and intolerant woman who had forbidden another child to marry a Jew?
"Patriotism," Dr. Samuel Johnson famously said, "is the last refuge of a scoundrel." American writer Ambrose Bierce begged to differ — It is, he said, the first.
"Patriotism is the conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." — George Bernard Shaw
"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side. ... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." — George Orwell 8
"Pledges of allegiance are marks of totalitarian states, not democracies," says David Kertzer, a Brown University anthropologist who specializes in political rituals. "I can't think of a single democracy except the United States that has a pledge of allegiance." 9 Or, he might have added, that insists that its politicians display their patriotism by wearing a flag pin. Hitler criticized German Jews and Communists for their internationalism and lack of national patriotism, demanding that "true patriots" publicly vow and display their allegiance to the fatherland. In reaction to this, postwar Germany has made a conscious and strong effort to minimize public displays of patriotism.
Oddly enough, the American Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, a founding member, in 1889, of the Society of Christian Socialists, a group of Protestant ministers who asserted that "the teachings of Jesus Christ lead directly to some form or forms of socialism." Tell that to the next Teaparty ignoramus who angrily accuses President Obama of being a "socialist".
Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, we could read that there's "now a high degree of patriotism in the Soviet Union because Moscow acted with impunity in Afghanistan and thus underscored who the real power in that part of the world is." 10
"Throughout the nineteenth century, and particularly throughout its latter half, there had been a great working up of this nationalism in the world. ... Nationalism was taught in schools, emphasized by newspapers, preached and mocked and sung into men. It became a monstrous cant which darkened all human affairs. Men were brought to feel that they were as improper without a nationality as without their clothes in a crowded assembly. Oriental peoples, who had never heard of nationality before, took to it as they took to the cigarettes and bowler hats of the West." — H.G. Wells, British writer 11
"The very existence of the state demands that there be some privileged class vitally interested in maintaining that existence. And it is precisely the group interests of that class that are called patriotism." — Mikhail Bakunin, Russian anarchist 12
"To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography." — George Santayana, American educator and philosopher

Frank Rich,  “Fourth of July 1776, 1964, 2010,” The New York Times
Frank Rich looks at the 4th this year through the lens of history, Black and White history that is. Rich writes: "All men may be created equal, but slavery, America's original sin of inequality, was left unaddressed in the Declaration of Independence signed 234 years ago today."

Why is the N. American settler-colonialism genocidal?
All five acts of genocide as described in the 1948 UN convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide were committed (p. 8).  “From the colonial period to the founding of the United States and continuing into the twenty-first century, this has entailed torture, terror, sexual abuse, massacres, systematic military occupations, removals. . . . The absence of even the slightest note of regret or tragedy in the annual celebration of the US independence betrays a deep disconnect in the consciousness of US Americans” (p. 9).
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Beacon, 2014).

From An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz pgs. 8-9 (I scanned the text, and I urge every citizen of the USA to read this book.   --D)

Contents July 4, 2014, Independence Day and Declaration of Independence Newsletter #3 
Money, Money, Money
Independence Day Protests in Hawaii and Vermont Against
   Concentrated Economic Power
Public Citizen vs. Citizens United: US To Be a Nation Ruled Not
      by the Wealthiest Few, But  by and for ALL of We the People
Dick:  The Declaration of Independence, Roosevelt’s 1932
    Economic New Deal, and New Deal Today
The Struggle Continues:  Raising Minimum Wage in Arkansas
Permanent War
David Swanson, War No More
Alan Weisman, Countdown on Population Growth

At Least, Get Informed and Vote:  League of Women Voters
    and Electoral Democracy


Wednesday, July 1, 2015


  (#1 Feb. 22, 2011; #2 Feb. 16, 2012; #3 March 1, 2012; #4 May 18, 2012; #5 August 13, 2012; #6 October 29, 2012; #7 Dec. 17, 2012; #8 March 29, 2013; #9 Oct. 21, 2013; #10 April 28, 2014).

These essays express Palestinian perspectives or sympathy for Palestinians.

"...if way to the Better there be,
it exacts a full look at the Worst."

—Thomas Hardy

     With painful irony, Israel has become the oppressor, but we cannot forget the depth of fear that pervades that nation.  Belligerent Netanyahu was elected to office.  The Holocaust was and is ever-present in their hearts and minds, as well as the three Arab invasions beginning in 1967.   It would be well for us all to remember what Dag Hammarskjold wrote about fear and its resistance in 1956 following his trip to the Middle East to try to restore adherence to armistice agreements, when attacls and retaliations were increasing.  And of course his words applied to all the Middle Eastern combatant nations,  and to all nations, then and today. 
     “Why is war and fear of war in the headlines of every daily paper, if not because man fears man and nation, nation? . . .  Can there be a greater challenge for us to work for such a recognition of the dignity of man as would eliminate the fear which is eating our world like a cancer?”  See the full passage p. 249, Lipsey, Hammarskjold.

Here is the link to all OMNI topical newsletters:   For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.   Here is the link to the Index:

Contents Israel-Palestine Newsletters #4-10 at end
Contents Israel / Palestine Newsletters # 11

Historical Origins of Conflict:  PBS, “1913: Seeds of Conflict”
Dick, Palestine
PBS, “1913: Seeds of Conflict, “ Google Search

Conflict Today: 
Invasion of Gaza
Settlement Funds

Resistance Today

Free Palestine Movement, Google Search
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs  
Catholic Church, Pope Francis
    Qumsiyeh, Pope Francis Visits West Bank
    Vatican, Pope Francis Brings Together Israeli and Palestinian Presidents, the
       Courage for  Peace

    Phyllis Bennis on Pope Francis

Individual Commentators:  Zunes, Qumsiyeh, Abunimah
Prof. Zunes’s Articles
Qumsiyeh’s latest letter:  the Repression, Presbyterian Divestment, Biodiversity
      in Palestine

Ali Abunimah, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, publisher’s announcement and review by Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept (April 27, 2014).

US Double Standards
Greenwald in The Intercept


Contact Representatives
Contents of Newsletters 4-10


There Was a Palestine by Dick Bennett

      For as long as I can remember, discussion of Israel and Palestine and of the two-state solution with Zionist Jews has been skewed by their refusal to concede the historical existence of “Palestine.”  They permitted only the world “Palestinians,” never “Palestine.”   Israel had a state; Palestinians were only scattered Arabs.  The cards of history were stacked from the beginning.
     Recently, two articles in the same number of a magazine corrected this distorted history.   In The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (June/July 2014) appeared “Pictures Don’t Lie: refuting #there_was_no_Palestine” by Juan Cole and “The Hope and Ultimate Tragedy of the 1919 King-Crane Report” by Richard Drake. 
     Cole makes the case that “Palestine has been used for a very long time to refer to the geographical area south of Sidon and north of the Sinai.”  For evidence he argues regarding this area, for example, that “At the Versailles Peace Conference, the Class A Mandate of Palestine was created, and in 1939 it was scheduled for independence within 10 years.”   But these plans were “forestalled” by the Zionist “ethnic cleansing campaign of 1947-48. . .which made most Palestinians refugees and stateless.”
     Cole’s argument is reinforced by Drake’s account of the disposition at the Paris/Versailles Peace Conference, 1918, of the Arab lands (in the article also referred to as “Palestine”) formerly occupied by the defeated Ottoman Empire.  The King-Crane Commission, created by President Woodrow Wilson, “concluded that the people of the Middle East fervently desired independence,” and did not want British or French rule to replace the Turks.  King and Crane also reported that the Arabs “bitterly opposed the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine,” and that such a state would produce “an endless force of arms against the non-Jewish residents of Palestine.”
      I have only barely represented the rich assembly of historical facts these two articles provide. 

The studies by Cole and Drake are powerfully reinforced by the PBS documentary, 913: Seeds of Conflict,” which traces the gradual invasion of Jews into Palestine, particularly by the rise of Zionism and the spread of settlements throughout Palestine, which continues today in the minuscule territory left to the Arabs.  In the late 19th century, Jews, Christians, and Arabs lived amicably together; Old Jerusalem was not divided into religious sectors; all considered themselves members of the Ottoman Empire.  But with the Zionist movement, Jews in ever growing numbers arrived and bought land, segregated themselves, and began planning a Jewish state.  Arabs and Christian Ottomans gradually began to resist, until in 1913 violence broke out.

[The first entry, from PBS, offers an excellent summary and details.  –D]
Breaking new ground, 1913SEEDS OF CONFLICT, a one-hour documentary directed by filmmaker Ben Loeterman, explores the divergent social forces ...
Examine the seeds of today's Middle East conflict, sown in pre-World War I Ottoman Palestine. By weaving Arab and Jewish histories, the film dispels old myths ...
Watch 1913Seeds of Conflict videos on demand. Stream full episodes online. Explore an overlooked moment in pre-WWI Palestine when people's identities ...
In the news
5.    KPBS - 1 day ago
Tonight, PBS will air the documentary "1913Seeds of Conflict." It explores the little-known ...
6.    PBS docudrama '1913: Seeds of Conflict' deftly delves into Middle East drama   National Catholic Reporter - 23 hours ago - 1 day ago
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Tapping an enlightening new vein of contemporary scholarship, 1913SEEDS OF CONFLICT dissects the oft-overlooked but pivotal pre-WWI genesis of ... › ... › DVD › Documentary, Inc.
Pre-order Price Guarantee! Order now and if the price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you'll receive ...
10.                1913 Seeds of Conflict | Facebook
1913 Seeds of Conflict. 116 likes · 17 talking about this. Based on the book Jerusalem 1913, SEEDS explores the seeds of today's Middle East conflict in...
National Catholic Reporter
23 hours ago - The comprehensive and compact docudrama "1913Seeds of Conflict" reveals little-known facts that conflated to become what writer/director ...
12.                1913: Seeds of Conflict DVD -
Buy 1913Seeds of Conflict DVD - 1913Seeds of Conflict examines a critical yet overlooked moment of transformation in Palestine, long before the Balfour ...   Religion Dispatches
2 days ago - It is thus appropriate that Ben Loeterman's new film “1913Seeds of Conflict” deploys an agricultural metaphor. History is a jungle. The film ...


GAZA: Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” Summer 2014

'Indiscriminate' Killing in Gaza Was Top-Down War Plan, say Israeli Veterans
Over 60 officers and soldiers who took part in 'Operation Protective Edge' anonymously testify about acts they committed or witnessed
By Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Monday, May 04, 2015 by Common Dreams
The "massive and unprecedented harm" inflicted on the population of Gaza during last summer's 50-day Israeli military assault stemmed from the top of the chain of command, which gave orders to shoot indiscriminately at civilians, according to the anonymous testimony of more than 60 officers and soldiers who took part in "Operation Protective Edge."
The Israeli group Breaking the Silence, an organization of "Israeli Defense Force" veterans who engaged in combat, on Monday released the 240-page collection of testimony entitled, This is How We Fought in Gaza.
"While the testimonies include pointed descriptions of inappropriate behavior by soldiers in the field," the report states, "the more disturbing picture that arises from these testimonies reflects systematic policies that were dictated to IDF forces of all ranks and in all zones."
Breaking the Silence said that the war on Gaza operated under the "most permissive" rules of engagement they have ever seen.
"From the testimonies given by the officers and soldiers, a troubling picture arises of a policy of indiscriminate fire that led to the deaths of innocent civilians," said Yuli Novak, director of the group, in a press statement. "We learn from the testimonies that there is a broad ethical failure in the IDF’s rules of engagement, and that this failure comes from the top of the chain of command, and is not merely the result of 'rotten apples.'"   MORE


ORGANIZATIONS: Free Palestine Movement, U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, B t’selem, Catholic Church
Its latest newsletter (May 31, 2015) describes blocking Israeli ships and its bus ad campaign.   Specifically their coalition with other groups have blocked the Israeli Zim Line at Oakland, and the bus ads are: “Israel’s War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work” and “Boycott Israel until Palestinians Have Equal Rights.”
1.     Free Palestine Movement, Google Search, June 18, 2015
The Global Movement Against Israeli Apartheid: Achievements and Prospects ... Dear friends, The Free Palestine Movement is using its newsletter to help recruit ...
The Free Palestine Movement (FPM) is a California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit ... Israeli policies and actions that deny Palestinians their human rights, and in ...
The Free Palestine Movement (FPM) and its affiliates and sponsors will now consider a proposal to create a new project for Syria, so as to maintain the original ...
Below is an appeal sent out by the Free Palestine Movement on behalf of the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund (because FPM has an extensive email list and ...
The restriction of the movement of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories by the Israeli government is an issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. According ...
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in the national liberation movements emerging in the 19th and 20th  ...
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
But it is also complicit in Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine and grave breaches of international ... Help us to build a movement for solidarity with Palestine.
The Free Palestine Movement (FPM) is a California-based human rights organization with several working groups inside and outside the U.S. FPM's mission is ...
International Solidarity Movement
12th June 2015 | International Solidarity Movement, Al Khalil Team | Al Khalil, ... 27th May | Miguel Hernández | Gaza, Occupied Palestine The family El Najjar .... and counting #FreeAdnan #FreePalestine 14 hours ago ...

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Register for Our National Conference!
Our 14th Annual Conference will take place 9/25-9/27 in Atlanta, GA.
A national coalition of more than 400 groups, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation works to end U.S. support for Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. We support a U.S. policy that upholds freedom, justice and equality.

The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs  
Every number of The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs  is packed with articles and contains a review of a book, nine annotated book citations, and several references to books in the articles.  Excellent pro-Arab/Muslim magazine well worth the subscription price.  –Dick
Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem field researcher in Gaza, has been hard at work documenting life amidst the ruins left in the wake of this summer's fighting: “The ...
Statistics - ‎About B'Tselem - ‎First - ‎Video'Tselem   Wikipedia
B'Tselem (Hebrew: בצלם‎, "in the image of [God]") is an Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) founded on February 3, 1989 by a group of prominent ...
NGO Monitor
B'Tselem faces serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, and skewed statistics including casualty lists. › World › Israel   The Guardian
Aug 15, 2014 - B'Tselem has called on Uri Orbach, the government minister in charge of the authority for national civic service and a member of the ...
The Electronic Intifada
Dec 10, 2014 - A new Amnesty International report details eight cases in which Israeli airstrikes targeted residential buildings and inflicted huge numbers of ...
B'Tselem בצלם‎, Jerusalem, Israel. 54831 likes · 8330 talking about this. B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied... › Featured
Algemeiner Journal
Oct 5, 2014 - After weeks of strong denials and acrimonious debate over statements made by one of its Palestinian researchers, the Israeli NGO B'Tselem, ...
Aug 14, 2014 - B'Tselem will no longer be able to have National-Civilian Service volunteers work in its organization, the National-Civilian Service Authority ...
2137 tweets • 190 photos/videos • 18.2K followers. Check out the latest Tweets fromB'Tselem בצלם (@btselem)
10.                btselem - YouTube
B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, endeavors to educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human ...
Searches related to B'Tselem


Today Pope Francis visited the israeli apartheid wall built thru occupied territory.

The Pope at the Wall By Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem
[Qumsiyeh, formerly a university professor in the US, now works in Bethlehem.  He visited Fayetteville while he still resided in the US.   –D]
The children of Al-Rowwad from Aida Refugee Camp delivered a message to Pope Francis when he stopped to pray at the apartheid and annexation wall. They emphasized prisoners plight and the right to return home. This impromptu
stop was in my opinion the most memorable part of the Pontiff's visit to
Bethlehem. The Pope recognized "The State of Palestine" (Google just did it
too!) and also met with refugee children at Dheisheh and shared food with
some family members who each had a story to tell him about horrific
suffering under Israel's colonial occupation. Christians and Muslims here
were all genuinely touched by the visit of this more humble Pope and his
gestures of understanding and solidarity. But most said they wished he
would use his influence more to pressure the Zionist regime. The Western
Zionist dominated media tried to hide things including the Pope's gestures
of solidarity with us but social media was prominent and the story could
not be ignored.

See pictures here

From David Druding:

Let's see the spin US mainstream media puts on this one  [Did Zionist dominated media..hide things”?  An excellent project for journalism, media, communications, corporations classes, and other students both on college and high school levels.    --Dick]
Here’s Qumsiyeh’s full  letter:

[HumanRights] The Pope at the Wall

Mazin Qumsiyeh 

The Pope at the Wall
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem

The children of Al-Rowwad from Aida Refugee Camp delivered a message to the
Pope when he stopped to pray at the apartheid and annexation wall. They
emphasized prisoners plight and the right to return home. This impromptu
stop was in my opinion the most memorable part of the Pontiff's visit to
Bethlehem. The Pope recognized "The State of Palestine" (Google just did it
too!) and also met with refugee children at Dheisheh and shared food with
some family members who each had a story to tell him about horrific
suffering under Israel's colonial occupation. Christians and Muslims here
were all genuinely touched by the visit of this more humble Pope and his
gestures of understanding and solidarity. But most said they wished he
would use his influence more to pressure the Zionist regime. The Western
Zionist dominated media tried to hide things including the Pope's gestures
of solidarity with us but social media was prominent and the story could
not be ignored. See pictures here

The Pope later went on to Tel Aviv to be was sandwiched between two Zionist
Polish liars who continue to build walls of hate and destruction: Persky
(aka Peres) and Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu). The Pope had to listen as both
atheists said that God gave this land to the Jews and that Israel was "the
land of the Jewish people" and is a "democracy that guarantees freedom of
religion"! Unfortunately, the Pope is also forced to lay a wreath at the
tomb of Theodore Herzl (in addition to the obligatory stops at "Yad Vashem"
and Herod's retaining wall). Herzl is another atheist who is "credited"
with organizing a world-wide Zionist movement that resulted in hundreds of
thousands of deaths (not counting those crimes committed by its subservient
armies like the US army killing Iraqis etc). It is a movement that has
created millions of refugees and continues to commit crimes against
humanity as it consolidates an apartheid system here while money laundering
billions of illicit financial gains money. Israel continues to demolish
homes and lands.  Just to welcome the Pope: Israel murdered Palestinian
youth, imprisoned many, destroyed over 1500 trees in the Land of the Nassar
family (called Tent of Nations) and more. Israeli Jewish "activists" even
distributed flyers calling for destruction of Churches (claiming Christians
worship idols according to Jewish law), and some sprayed graffiti on
Churches that "Mary is a Cow" and "Jesus: a son of a Whore"!

Who are these Zionist leaders that brilliantly brainwashed Jews to support
racist Zionism and pressured some Gentiles to do the same?

Shimon Peres was born as Shimon Perski in Vishniva, Poland (now Belarus).
He and his parents came to Palestine in 1934 (under British rule). He
joined the underground terrorist group the Haganah, and served as a chief
of its manpower division in the 1940s and participated in the ethnic
cleansing of 1948-1949. He is the architect of Israel's nuclear program.
Appointed in 1953 as director general of the ministry of defense, he
immediately started exploring the nuclear development.  In the late 1950s
and early 1960s, Israel developed its nuclear program primarily with the
help of France while maintaining the Peres doctrine of "ambiguity."  The US
and Britain and other countries looked the other way. He is known as a
slick politician able to lie with ease claiming wanting peace but rejecting
any responsibility for his ethnic cleansing of Palestine and rejecting the
rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands. He was awarded (with
Rabin and Arafat) the Nobel Peace Prize for their disastrous Oslo accords.
Many Nobel committee members later signed a letter regretting their
awarding Perski the Nobel Peace Prize (based on his actions as member of
the Sharon government during its war crimes spree).

Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) was born to Benzion Mileikowsky (later
changed names to Netanyahu), a polish immigrant. His Americanized father
became secretary to terrorist leader Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky (aka
Zeev Jabotinsky) founder of "revisionist" Zionism and supported groups like
Irgun terrorist organization during the mandate in Palestine. His son
continues to idolize these early Jewish terrorists. Both Benjamin and his
brother served in units of the Israeli forces responsible for
assassinations on foreign lands (in violations of international law) and
committed war crimes. Benjamin Miliekowsky (Netanyahu) is known both among
Israelis and globally as a consummate liar who refused to accept the Oslo
accords (even though they were partial to Israel) and has gotten rich off
of his political activities. Here is a video of him thinking the camera was
off explaining his true contributions during his first stint as Israeli
prime minister in the 1990s. .
see also this
This is after all the same terrorist who gave a speech to dozens of
Party members in Eilat in which he admitted this is his strategy. According
to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (15 July 2001): " his audience a
bit of advice on how to deal with foreign interviewers (Netanyahu
said):'Always, irrespective of whether you're right or not, you must always
present your side as right.' In 2011, the French president, Nicolas
Sarkozy, described Netanyahu as a liar in a private exchange with US
President Barack Obama at the G20 summit (it was inadvertently broadcast to
journalists). "I cannot stand him. He's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama. The US
president Obama responded by saying: "You're fed up with him? I have to
deal with him every day."

Other Zionist leaders have even more interesting backgrounds. See

But in very good news, and inspite of sending in legions of professional
propaganda men to DePaul University, the students there voted to support
Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions.

The BDS campaign must grow. Other forms of resistance must grow. Injustice
must end. Join the struggle.
Mazin Qumsiyeh
Bethlehem University
HumanRights newsletter
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Attachments area

Pope: Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare 
By Phyllis Bennis, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted May 28, 2014
A short and thoughtful analysis [from HAW].  Netanyahu: 
etanyahu Unaware of Camera

 Zunes articles #164: the US and Israel/Palestine
James R. Bennett
I communicate your ideas and distribute your articles in appropriate newsletters of mine. Thanks for this impressively helpful list.   Dick
Stephen Zunes []
 Thursday, June 05, 2014 6:45 PM
You replied on 6/9/2014 10:45 AM.
My latest article looks at the failures of U.S. diplomacy in the recent round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the Obama administration's opposition to Palestinian accession to human rights treaties:

Below are links to some other articles of mine on U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
    * On how U.S. acquiescence of Israeli settlements flouts international law: 
    * On the importance of activism to push the U.S. government to challenge Israel’s legal impunity:
    * On bipartisan Congressional efforts to undermine the peace process:
    * On Obama’s disappointing efforts at the United Nations to undermine international law in addressing Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
    * On Congressional efforts to support the Israeli occupation and block Palestinian self-determination:
    * On Congressional Democrats joining Republicans in siding with Netanyahu against Obama’s initial peace efforts:
    * On the Obama administration’s veto of an otherwise unanimous US Security Council resolution reiterating Israel’s legal obligations regarding settlements in occupied territories:
    *On bipartisan Senate efforts to undermine Obama’s initiatives for Israeli-Palestinian peace:

Finally, last weekend marked the fourth anniversary of the Israeli attack on an unarmed humanitarian aid convoy in international waters which initially left nine people dead, including a 19-year old U.S. citizen, who was shot execution-style in the back of the head while lying wounded on the deck. (A tenth victim, in coma since also being shot in the head, died two weeks ago.) Here are a series of articles I wrote at that time addressing the decisions by the Obama administration and a broad bipartisan majority of Congress to defend the Israeli action in the face of overwhelming international criticism:

You can find additional articles of mine and other information on my website:

Please feel free to forward this on to others and invite them to contact me about being on my email list. And please let me know if you no longer wish to be on my email list.

Stephen Zunes
Professor of Politics
University of San Francisco
phone: 415-422-6981
skype: szu

Bad news followed by Good news: In the past 10 days, Israeli occupation
soldiers murdered 7 Palestinians (including a 13 year old child), injured
dozens, kidnapped nearly 400, demolished many houses, destroyed contents
and broken doors on hundreds of homes invaded in the middle of the night,
blocked travel to hundreds of thousands, and continues to imprison
thousands many on hunger strike for being held without charge for months.
... Read more and leave comments at

Also we created a listserve for those interested in biodiversity and
natural history in Palestine. We sent invitations to join to those who
showed earlier interests. If you have not received the invitation from
googlegroups and is interested do let us know.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Bethlehem University
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The Battle for Justice in Palestine
·         Palestine
Efforts to achieve a “two-state solution” have finally collapsed; the struggle for justice in Palestine is at a crossroads. As Israel and its advocates lurch toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. This book offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future.
About the author
Ali Abunimah is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse, and co-founder and director of the widely acclaimed publication The Electronic Intifada. Based in the United States, he has written hundreds of articles and been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years. He is the recipient of a 2013 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship.
"Every community that stands fast, loving its people and its land, its customs and its ways, will be seen, eventually, as worthy of saving. This is because it is our own humanity we are learning from, our own value. There will also arise a special voice to champion us, one that is brave, trustworthy and true. In The Battle for Justice in Palestine it is the voice of Ali Abunimah, fierce, wise - a warrior for justice and peace - someone whose large heart, one senses, beyond his calm, is constantly on fire. A pragmatist but also a poet. This is the book to read to understand the present bizarre and ongoing complexity of the Palestine/Israel tragedy. And though it is filled with the grim reality of this long and deadly, ugly and dehumanizing, conflict, it also offers hope: that as more people awaken to the shocking reality of what has for decades been going on, we can bring understanding and restitution to the Palestinian people. Their struggle to exist in dignity and peace in their own homeland - and this may be the biggest surprise of Abunimah's book - is mirrored in the struggles for survival and autonomy of more than a few of us."
—Alice Walker
"This is the best book on Palestine in the last decade. No existing book presents the staggering details and sophistication of analysis that Abunimah’s book offers. Abunimah’s scope includes an analysis of the politics, economics, environmental policies, identity politics, international relations, academic scholarship and activism, global solidarity, and official and unofficial lobbies that have come to bear on Palestine and the Palestinians. The Battle for Justice in Palestineis the most comprehensive treatment of Palestinian suffering under Israeli control and offers the only possible way to end it. It is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the current situation of the Palestinians and Israel."
—Joseph Massad, Columbia University
"With incisive style and scrupulous attention to documentation and detail, Ali Abunimah's new book offers a complex portrait, from every angle, of the Palestinian struggle for justice today."
—Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
"A crucially needed dose of educated hope. This is what hits me from this fascinating amalgam of incisive journalism, analytic prose and intellectually compelling vision that emanates from many years of brilliant activism. Sailing effortlessly from the domestic to the global, from Johannesburg to Belfast and from Chicago to Tel Aviv, Ali Abunimah paints a lucid, accessible picture out of a complex web of racism, racialized oppression, and creative resistance. Abunimah does not give us hope; he helps us dig for it within us by meticulously laying out before us the facts, the trends, the challenges and the inspiring resistance to them."
—Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights activist, co-founder of the BDS movement, author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights
"In The Battle for Justice in Palestine, Ali Abunimah—the most astute commentator writing on Palestine today—bursts the leaky myths of Israeli exceptionalism while carefully examining where the battle for Palestine is currently being waged. Forget the endless “peace process,” which has ushered in little more than massive economic exploitation, tragic environmental degradation, and servile and destructive politics. Focus instead, Abunimah tells us, on the many civil society and campus initiatives around the world that are bravely ushering in a new era of global grass-roots organizing for justice. Rich in information and deep in analysis, The Battle for Justice in Palestine will inspire readers that Palestinian self-determination is not only possible but absolutely necessary."
—Moustafa Bayoumi, author, How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America

Excerpt from The Battle for Justice in Palestine

By Glenn GreenwaldThe Intercept, 27 Apr 2014.
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Like most of what he writes and says, Ali Abunimah’s new book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, is provocative, erudite, impassioned, aggressive, and certain to make even some political allies uncomfortable with their tacitly held beliefs (beginning with the book’s very first sentence: “The Palestinians are winning”). One need not agree with all of his Read more

Compare How U.S. Responds to the Killing of American Kids Based on Identity of the Killers
By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept   26 October 14
ast Wednesday in Jerusalem, a three-month-old American baby was killed, and eight other people injured, when a car plowed into a crowded sidewalk; the driver, a 20-year-old Palestinian named Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, was killed by police when he tried to flee the scene. The family of the driver insisted it was an accident, but Israeli officials immediately called it a “terrorist act.” Some Israelis speculated that it was in retaliation for the killing in the West Bank of a 5-year-old Palestinian girl days earlier by an Israeli settler who ran his car into her (and another Palestinian girl, seriously injured) and then fled the scene (Palestinian officials denounced that incident as “terrorism”).
Yesterday, a soldier in the Israeli military shot and killed a 14-year-old boy in the West Bank who was participating in a protest against the 5-decade Israeli occupation. The boy, Orwah Hammad (pictured above at his funeral), was a U.S. citizen as well as a Palestinian; he was born in New Orleans and moved with his family to the West Bank when he was 6. The IDF claimed he was throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers and that another man was preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail, and that this justified the live ammunition they fired.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement about the two incidents. Here’s the one it issued about last week’s Jerusalem incident where the Palestinian driver killed the American baby, issued on the very day the incident took place (i.e., prior to any investigation):
Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.
Here’s the markedly different statement the State Department issued last night about the fatal shooting by an Israeli soldier of the 14-year-old American boy:
Death of a U.S. Minor in Silwad
The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24. Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. We call for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation. We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
There is certainly nothing wrong with waiting for the results of an investigation before making definite statements, but that’s not what the State Department did in the Jerusalem incident, which was instantly labelled a “despicable” act of “terror.” Moreover, when the U.S. calls for a “speedy and transparent investigation” of the West Bank shooting, what they mean is that they want the IDF – the occupying force which killed the American teenager – to investigate (and inevitably clear) itself (Rania Khalek today documents how reflexively Israeli authorities clear Israeli settlers and soldiers while instantly finding Palestinians guilty in similar circumstances). As the driver’s family told Israeli media:
A few days ago a Jewish settler knocked over two girls near Ramallah. He killed one and the other is in serious condition. The police immediately said it was a car accident. In our case they said the opposite in seconds. This is because the driver was an Arab driver. When a Jewish driver was involved in an accident the attitude was different and no one shot him.
Whatever else is true, IDF soldiers should not be in the West Bank given that the occupation they are there to enforce is regarded as illegal by virtually the entire world.
Most importantly, the U.S. Government has a remarkable history of exhibiting indifference, or even support, when Israel kills American citizens. The State Department never uttered a peep of protest over the Israeli bulldozer killing in 2003 of peace activist Rachel Corrie, and then implicitly endorsed the killing by Israel of the Turkish-American teenager Furkan Dogan aboard the anti-blockade Mavi Marmara flotilla (in stark contrast to the Turkish government, which – acting as most governments would – was furious that Israel had killed its citizens).
In general, countries become indignant when other nations kill their own citizens. But all of the normal rules are inapplicable when the countries in question are the U.S. and Israel. Thus, when a Palestinian runs his car into an American child, this is instantly declared a “despicable act” of “terrorism” which is condemned in “the strongest possible terms”: no investigation needed. But when an Israeli occupying soldier shoots and kills an American child, the most tepid, nonjudgmental and careful language is used to politely call for an “investigation” by the very occupying military responsible for the killing.

1.    Profiles in Courage: 38 Dems Publicly Break With Netanyahu's War Polemic  Huffington Post - 23 hours ago
A recent CNN poll found that four out of five Democratic voters oppose the Israeli Prime ...
2 days ago - Robert Naiman is Policy Director at. 6:16 PM PT: Apparently Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called for Netanyahu's speech to be postponed. This is ...

(Our many activities exceeded my ability to record; I hope someone else did.)

August 2001 Reading the names of Palestinian and Israeli civilian victims.

January 2003 Roundtable on Religious Peace Traditions included a Muslim (Winy ? from Indonesia) and a Jew (Mike Lieber).

2003 Gladys organized the first “Conversation” at UA Multicultural Center to enable local Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Humanists to talk with each other about Israel and Occupied Palestine.

OMNI PeaceWriting Award 2003 to Kathleen Kern for her novel about a Christian peacemaker team in Hebron protecting Palestinians.

Fall 2003 Forum on P-I, a film of a lecture by Rabbi Michael Lerner, who sets forth principles for reconciliation between the two sides (sponsored by OMNI and UA Multicultural Center).

A  second “Conversation” was organized by Gladys Tiffany in 2004.

Fall 2003 Film on the Jenin refugee camp sponsored by Al-Islam   Jenin Jenin??

Fall 2003 Religious Peace Traditions Forum included a Muslim (Hameed Naseem).and a Jew (Darla Newman). 

2004 Fayetteville Film Fest OMNI Award to a film on Palestinian refugees made by Jefferson Fletcher.

Spring 2004 Film “Jenin Diary” on Israeli reservists inside the Jenin camp, shown in The Deep End by the Jewish student Hillel Club, facilitated but not sponsored by OMNI.  [David Druding’s criticism eventuated in the formalization of our practice of enabling all presentations from all points of view.  OMNI henceforth would not select what would and would not be shown about the Middle East, but would assist all in communicating their points of view.]  [Dick 2013:  Members of Temple Shalom never again requested use of our Center.]

Spring 2004 Religious Peace Traditions Symposium included a Muslim (Hugh Talat Halman).

Spring 2004 Lecture by Jim Harb on Middle East Conflicts and P-I.

Spring 2004 Forum on Muslim Peacemaking and Peacemakers (2 out of town speakers, with Profs. Cornell and Halman) (March 5)

John Pilger’s film, “Palestine Is Still the Issue,” Underground Video March 12, 2004.

Spring 2004 Essay Contest for school youth on P-I and public meeting at awards (Erin Cowsert).

Spring 2004 Forum on P-I. (Gigi Secuban, Hameed Nasseem, Mike Lieber, Rhett Baird, Erin Cowsert, Gladys Tiffany, Dick Bennett, and all are welcome to participate) (April 14).

[All of our 2005 and 2006 activities have gone unrecorded.  I should have realized long ago I could not keep up with everything and found someone to focus just on this very important aspect of OMNI’s struggle for a Culture of Peace in NWA.]

In 2005 or 2006 OMNI continued to facilitate any and all points of view with no attempt to screen or censor.  OMNI would provide space and projector/screen if needed.    In June 2007 we decided to ask each speaker, initiator to be responsible for own publicity, except that OMNI would notice each event in OMNI’s Current Events Newsletter.

Events from Jan. 1 to May 11?

May 11, Compassionate Conversation started, renewing 2004-05 efforts to enlarge dialog among NWA Muslims, Jews, Christians, Humanists, and Atheists with ultimate aim a fruitful dialog about Israel and Palestinian Occupied Territories.  Anita Schnee was convenor and moderator using Non-Violent Communication NVC orientation.

June 12, 2007 Jefferson Fletcher gave another strongly pro-Palestinian illust. lecture on the Israeli Wall in the West Bank.

June 20, 2nd Compassionate Conversation with Anita Schnee.
Thursday June 28, Time: 6:00-7:45, Place: Fayetteville Public Library, 2nd floor study room (north side of building)

July 12, 2007 Mr. Fletcher’s 3rd lecture on Israeli Settlements in West Bank.

 Wednesday, July 18, Compassionate Conversation, 1:00-2:30, at the Yoga Room.  Anita Schnee.

Two observations? October 11, 2013:

This is only a partial list of our I-P events.  Here are more for which I could find no dates:
 OMNI sponsored a visit by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh and other Palestinians on the national bus tour, “Wheels of Justice.”   Mazin was a professor at a northeastern university.  Soon afterward he moved back to the West Bank, became a professor at Bethlehem Univ., started a newsletter on nonviolent action, which I continue to receive (2015).
A visit of Anna Baltzer, recently returned from living in the West Bank and author of a pro-Palestinian book— Witness in Palestine.  Ms. Baltzer became US coordinator of  the US Campaign to End the Occupation of Palestine and its BDS Movement, and continues (2015) to advocate for Palestinian rights.
Also for about 2 years, 2006-07?-- I organized about a dozen small meetings/luncheons of members of Temple Shalom (Mike Lieber) and me and an occasional supporter of Palestinians.   I urged TS to endorse Palestinian statehood and oppose the settlements.   The meetings were not fruitful, we eventually ceased.

Around this time Gladys Tiffany met occasionally with a group of local Muslim women, but the dialog did not grow and ceased after a year or so.

None of the senators or representatives publishes his e-mail address, but each can be contacted by filling in forms offered through his website.
Senator John Boozman: (202)224-4843
Website Email:
Senator Tom Cotton: (202)224-2353,
Rep. Rick Crawford, 1st District: (202)225-4076
Website Email:
Rep. French Hill, 2nd District: (202)225-2506
Website Email:
Rep. Steve Womack, 3rd District: (202)225-4301
Website Email:
Rep. Bruce Westerman, 4th District: (202) 225-3772

President Barack Obama: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Contents of #4
Jerusalem March
Palestinian Non-Violence
UN Condemns Settlements
 Americans for Peace Now
Jean Zaru,  Occupied with Nonviolence
Rev. of Two Books  Beinart and Bar-On
Atzmon, The Wandering Who

Contents of #5
APN:  Reject the Levy Report
Qumsiyah’s Newsletter: Gradual Destruction of Indigenous Palestinians
 Qumsiyah, Destruction of Palestinian State   
Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance
Leila Khaled Resistance Fighter
Palestinian Gandhi
Palestinian Nakba
Bedisha, Testimonies of Palestine 2011
3 Films:
 Christian Zionism, With God on Our Side
 Palestinian Child, Miral
 Wall in Binin, 5 Broken Cameras

Contents #6
Shehadeh: The Occupation
Kestler-D’Amours: Israel’s Apartheid Wall Extending
Social Forum in Brazil on the Occupation
Veterans for Peace
APN Call to Jews to Defend Civility and Justice
Rachel Corrie Verdict
Parallel Cases
Bachevich, Israel/US
Safieh:  Israel’s Mistreatment of Its Palestinians
Loewenstein & Moor: One State Solution

Contents #7
Sign J-Street Petition Against Closing Palestinian Mission
Live from Palestine
Breaking the Silence: Israeli Soldiers’ Confessions
U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Free Palestine Movement

Contents #8  March 29, 2013
2012 Russell Tribunal on Palestine
UN Welcomes Palestinian State: 3 Views
Film: 5 Broken Cameras, Resistance
Carey, Four Films: Cameras, The Gatekeepers, The Law in These Parts, Towards a Common Archive
Hajjar, Israeli Court System Palestinians, Courting Conflict
Kaufman-Lacusta:  P&I Nonviolent Resistance
Jamiel Rev. of Lerner, Embracing Israel/Palestine (see Newsletter #2, 2-16-12)

Contents #9 Oct. 21, 2013
Qumsiyeh:  Occupation
Lazare:  Palestinians in Hebron
Abulhawa: Novel about Palestinian Refugees
David Swanson on Ruebner’s Shattered Hopes
Bar-Tal, Two New Books:  Effects of Occupation on Israel and Long-Lasting
Jebreal, Miral, Book and Film
Just Vision Palestinian-Israeli Documentry Films (Budrus, My Neighbourhood, etc.)
Khalidi, US Deceit in ME
Blumenthal, From David to Goliath
Israel’s Nuclear Bombs

Contents Israael/Palestine Newsletter #10
Good News, Palestinians Given Protections and Responsibilities of Geneva
Four Letters from Mazin Qumsiyeh
    The Latest, Packed with Grim and Happy News and Avenues for Action
    Qumsiyeh, Being Positive
    3 Actions and Information
    Prawer Plan, Murder of Palestinian, and more
Federman’s Report on Half-a-Million Settlers
Hedges, Myth of Israel
Chomsky, One or Two States? 
Blumenthal, Goliath
Ali Abunimah, Palestinian Solidarity Movement is Winning
Israel Democracy Institute, Peace Index
Contact Arkansas Senators
Contents Nos. 4-9