Tag Archives: Apartheid

Israel blacklists activist groups which most threaten their colonial legitimacy


 
 
–SAYS ISRAEL.
Israel released its annual list of political orgs which pose the biggest threat to their Apartheid colonial project in Palestine. Except — WHO DOES THAT?! Who gives positive feedback to adversaries?! Rather, this is a list of the lesser effective pro-Palestinian campaigns which Zionists would like to see draw energy from the international BDS movement. BDS is universally acknowledged to be Apartheid’s existential nemesis. Hence the regular legislative attempts to make it illegal. BDS took down White South Africa. This BDS is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israeli Apartheid in Palestine.
 
Below is the official “worst enemy” list, which avoids mention of BDS except where the omission would not seem credible. The list is divided by hemisphere. Europe is made to look like BDS there gets only a smattering of support. In the US there’s no BDS group at all, until you notice they’ve relegated BDS NATIONAL COMMITTEE to “other!” HAHA!

EUROPEAN ORGANIZATIONS:
France-Palestine Solidarity Association
BDS France
BDS Italy
European Coordination of Committees & Associations for Palestine
Friends of Al-Aqsa
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The Palestine Committee of Norway
Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
War on Want
BDS Kampagne

AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS:
American Friends Service Committee
American Muslims for Palestine
Code Pink
Jewish Voice for Peace
National Students for Justice in Palestine
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

OTHER GROUPS:
BDS Chile
BDS South Africa
BDS National Committee

Is the Israeli Left any lesser invasive? Support Israelis who don’t live in Israel

Happening upon a Middle Eastern restaurant advertising itself to be Israeli-owned, I wondered, as a BDS-adherant promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure the state of Israel to abandon apartheid and illegal occupation, if this business fell under the BDS dragnet. BDS targets Israel and not just products from the Occupied Territories as moderates might prefer. At times BDS also focuses on prominent Zionist enterprises whether they be Israeli or American. Very likely these proprietors evangelize for Israel, but I thought a broader principle suggested itself: LET’S DO SUPPORT ISRAELIS WHO DON’T LIVE IN ISRAEL! Wouldn’t that be precisely the goal?! But a word about other Israelis for whom BDS is asked to make an exception, the oft-celebrated Israeli Left. Are we supposed to be reassured that many Israelis do not support the ethnic cleansing perpetuated by their right wing government? What of the purported majority of Americans who oppose our continued wars and our drone extrajudicial executions? If populations cannot prevent the crimes perpetrated in their name, indeed the responsibility falls to who other but them, does their objection earn any points until they act?

If Israel can intercept Hamas rockets, it can stop pounding Gazans

If the Iron Dome works, Israel won’t have to retaliate after each Hamas rocket! These acts of desperation by the besieged Gazans, victims of Israel’s occupation, will become like the rocks thrown by Palestinian youth, futile. Hopefully Israel will expand its dome of impunity to protect Gazans too, from whoever is striking at them.

Gilad Shalit trade goes to Israel’s head

Israeli settlers in Silwan gloat about Gilad Shalit trade rationBut that’s not news. Trade ratio of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners exchanged for one Gilad Shalit could not but encourage the Zionist notion that Israeli Jews are worth more than your average cretinous Palestinian. Of course, Palestine held only one prisoner, versus Israel’s 6,000, so Israelis might consider that Shalit was worth only 16% of real exchange rate. Mathematicians might wonder how any multiple of non-Jews could be considered equal to one Jew. Apartheid suggests you don’t want to be compared to a low-life nothing, especially at a magnitude. Really, are Palestinians supposed to make peace with that?

The trade is complicated by several factors. One, Shalit gets to go home, while many of the Palestinians are being released into exile. Likewise, Shalit returns to safety while the Israel is free to detain Palestinians at whim, those released or any multitude of other, their relatives for example, or have them killed in airstrikes. So it’s actually a raw deal.

Israel retains 5,000 captives, but if you count Gaza, described as an open air prison, what’s the number really?

Next Gaza Freedom Flotilla will be an anti-globalist, anti-Apartheid Armada

Swedish-Greek Ship to Gaza JULIANO of the 2011 Freedom Flotilla II
Israel successfully defended its inhumane illegal siege of Gaza against the 2011 Freedom Flotilla, currently regrouping in Greece. Let’s recap: the French Dignite Al Karama awaits permission to leave Crete, the Swedish/Greek MV Juliano overcame sabotage which crippled the Irish MV Saoirse and unconfirmed others. The Canadian Tahrir was boarded by Greek commandos and towed back to Athens. The US Audacity of Hope repelled a shouting match with the Greek Coast Guard then surrendered into custody. Ready to form the next flotilla are the Spanish Guernica, French Louise Michel, and the Stefano Chiarini, Freedom for All and Methimus II. In the wings of course await the Mavi Marmara and the Rachel Corrie. Will this grow to an Armada? Israeli intransigence and its Hasbarapocalypse guarantee it.

Check these allied organizations to see how you can join the next voyage:

Okay I’ll bite, what is legitimate about Israel?

Israel asserts that Palestinian efforts to seek UN recognition, without Israel’s consent, are intended to delegitimize the Tel Aviv regime. Apparently sending an aid convey to relieve the siege of Gaza is also to delegitimize Israel. What they really mean it that Israel’s inevitably violent responses won’t help but to prompt onlookers to rethink Zionism’s legitimacy. Because, Israel was created unilaterally by the UN, without obtaining Palestinian consent. And whatever reason could anyone contrive to deny humanitarian aid to the Gazans? The Obama administration recently reiterated its aim to combat efforts to delegitimize Israel. You wonder if they’ve even asked it themselves, what is legitimate about Apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and occupation?

PPLFF says no BDS of Israeli Apartheid

Crap. The Anti-Apartheid BDS campaign targeted Cannes because of it, Hollywood luminaries boycotted the Toronto Film Festival over the same principles in 2009, you’d think the Springs gay community might have paid heed. Instead the 2010 Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival opted to screen the Israeli melodrama Eyes Wide Open, Zionists’ illegal appropriation of Jerusalem be damned. When Canadian gays made international news for allowing Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to march in their pride parade, in spite of Jewish philanthropists pressuring the City of Toronto to withdraw funding, I hoped that COS pride festivities might opt to climb aboard. Instead this weekend Colorado Springs gets a full-on endorsement of Israel’s ongoing illegal invasion of Palestine.

It was a false hope. The Pikes Peak area gay community has found itself so embattled since Amendment Two’s 1992 measure to legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, that common social causes are easily crowded out by Gay Marriage, DADT and brand recognition for LGBT. So much so that social justice activists can only participate in the pride parade on the condition that it be about solidarity, not antiwar. With gay issues being so politicized, should gays and lesbians get a pass on staying apolitical about war or racism? Whatever excuses we make, it’s a perfectly flamboyant example of silence equals consent. I count apolitical queens every bit as complicit with US military criminality as the above-it-all new-agers and NASCAR jackasses.

Set in an Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem, Eyes Wide Open doesn’t address the Israeli-Palestinian troubles, it ignores them, effectively normalizing an ethnically-cleansed Palestine. The film tells the story of an extramarital gay affair between Jewish scholars, blablabla, minus the evictions of Palestinians in the path of encroachment by Israeli settlers, and the hijacking of Muslim holy sites . “Beverly Hills 90210” was fine without scenes of the LAPD repression of Watts or East LA, but 90210 wasn’t pretending to be taped on non-Jewish land.

Eyes Wide Open was the title of the 2005 American Friends Service Committee antiwar boot-counting exercise to open American eyes to the enormity of casualties of the Iraq War — before the Eyes Wide Open slogan was adopted by a 2008 Israeli PR project to encourage American Jews to pay more attention to their birthright offer of Israeli citizenship. The death count of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan (now that the AFSC has been cleared to consider both wars illegal) has long since outgrown the AFSC budget for buying boots or lugging them around in rented trucks, and now EWO (Einaym Pkuhot) is a miserable tale about infidelity and sin.

Frankly, Trembling Before G-d was an incredible documentary about gay Orthodox men struggling with the DADT policy of Orthodox Judaism. I remember seeing it at the 2003 PPLFF, or so. I remember Rabbinical experts expounded on both sides of the argument with authority and humor. But that was before the BDS movement to curb Israel’s racist apartheid system. You either support the picket or you scab.

Objective reviews of EWO are scarce in the Zionist-dominated press, and increasing numbers are honoring the cultural and academic boycott of Israeli Apartheid. Refusing to see EWO is by no means concluding it is bad. For all I know the film may be using the ostracism of homosexuals within the Orthodox community to represent the growing alienation Israelis are feeling in the face of the open revulsion expressing itself by the rest of the world. Maybe it’s brilliant.

But I’m not deliberating about whether to see it. BDS means no to Israel, to its statesmen, artists, scholars and products. And the American companies which support Israel’s policy of Apartheid, several dozen, and now that includes our own PPLFF.

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid undaunted by Zionist intimidation

Organizers of the 2010 gay pride parade in Toronto have relented to allow the participation of QUEERS AGAINST ISRAELI APARTHEID. At first it was declared that the two words “Israeli Apartheid” would jeopardize their city subsidy and summon a perfect storm of angry Canadian Jews. Faced with queers determined to parade for their social cause in spite of the ban, Toronto Pride opted to honor their members’ freedom of expression.

S. Africa wipes Apartheid from the map

A unique subtext of the pre-game coverage of the 2010 World Cup is that South Africa was once banned from soccer competition because of its policy of Apartheid. Reporters ask how the host nation is faring post BDS. In the wake of Apartheid, South Africa has been trying to revert its place names to aboriginal origins, some buried by centuries of colonial heritage, to efface Apartheid’s dark legacy. Those hopeful about Israel’s sooner-than-later repudiation of its racism can take heart that for original place names of a re-christened Palestine, one need look no further than a 1947 map.

Looking for a parallel colonial failure? French Algeria and US Israel

Not “US-Israel” as in an alliance, but U.S. Israel, protectorate.
Scene from Pontecorvo's THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS
L’audace of the savage Arabs to assassinate the white settlers one by one, or by means of uncivilized cafe bombs, defying France’s brutal measures to wall the terrorists off and impoverish them.

Israeli yacht club sends Anti-Freedom Flotilla to protest Gaza relief convoy


PICTURES! -Some very expensive yachts sailed from Herziliya Yacht Club in a feint of indignation that an international social justice effort was showing favoritism toward Palestinians. No Gaza yacht club could be reached for a response. Commodore Guy Bechor, an outspoken Zionist, led the ostentatious flotilla in protest of the humanitarian aid convoy attempting to break the siege of Gaza, which he belittled as “rusty tin cans.”

The banners for their private regatta? TURKEY=IRAN? and FREE GILAD, an interesting conceit. 1.5 million Gazans are being blockaded to coerce the release of one Israeli POW. That’s a ratio similar to the disproportionate casualties of the 2008 Gaza “War.”

While soldier Gilad Shalit is considered a hostage of Hamas, he was an IDF soldier captured by the resistance. Israel holds 8,000 Palestinians in detention, not counting all the residents of Gaza.

The Gaza Massacre, like the ongoing siege itself, is recognized as an illegal act of collective punishment. A fact apparently lost on the Yerziliya skippers. Likewise the disconnect they display in presuming to insult the Turkish leader by associating him with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Though the yacht flotilla raised fears of creating an embarrassing confrontation with the humanitarian fleet, in reality it was a single day affair. The Israeli counter protesters were informed that the entire coast of Gaza has been cordoned by the Israeli navy. The pretext it will use to try to arrest the Freedom Flotilla blockade runners.

Bechor’s website G-planet celebrates all the press they received, I don’t see the harm in giving them more. These pictures speak a thousand words, almost as many days as Gaza has been under illegal siege.

See more pictures at Bechor’s Facebook album. The irony of the singular concern for Gilad Shalit might have caused Bechor to think twice about the message. All photos of yachts featuring the banners about Shalit have been curiously scrubbed, but they remain on some Turkish news sites.

Bechor list dozens of Turkish media outlets which covered his anti-relief regatta, demonstrating a strategy of aiming to undercut Turkish public support for what it predominantly its humanitarian effort. While several of the outlets might be Hasbara properties echoing Israel PR, most of the articles about the Israeli counter-protest make as much fun of it as we.

For the record, here is the port at Gaza, absent of yachts. The relief convoy will even have to improvise docks for unloading their supplies.

BDS movement should target USA too, for complicity in Israeli Apartheid

Israeli travel brochure for white colonist Apartheid tourismAs the US continues to subsidize the Israeli occupation, including the recent commitment to fund an anti-missile system, plus failure to demand a halt to Jewish settlements, termed “impediments to peace” and not “illegal,” it’s time the BDS movement against Israel recognized the US for its integral part in upholding Apartheid. It may be too much for nascent BDS efforts in the US, but international organizers should certainly add American products, businesses and institutions to the list of BDS targets. As our politicians reaffirm that US-Israeli interests are indivisible, so should we expect to hang together.

As if the world didn’t have enough excuse to sanction the US, for Iraq, for Afghanistan, for Pakistan, for the IMF, World Bank and United Nations. For its warmongering and provocations, for its covert crimes meant to destabilize populist resurgence against its imperial grasp. Israel and Apartheid, should be just the start.

Israel is not a tough sell in the growing international BDS movement. Adding the US is no great stretch, the two already regarded as partners in crime, I can’t think that proponents of BDS in the United States would be averse to calling out our own nation as accomplice. The same principles of social justice drive solidarity for Palestine as those against war and imperialism.

Maybe an international shift to group the US with Isreal will find more support because it is more intellectually honest. The effort will still be attacked as anti-Semitic, but perhaps the argument can be deflected by the enlarged focus. Israeli Apartheid, American racism, drive the same globalist anti-everybody-else policy.

Simon Wiesenthal Center makes best case against Israel colonial legitimacy

Give Israel credit for answering their critics head on, but that is the Zionist hubris. Simon Wiesenthal is propagating the latest Hasbara crib sheet to counter the ten most threatening lies about Israel. We couldn’t have summarized the arguments better ourselves. One man’s “lies” are his victim’s desperate appeals to confound systemic myopic denial. Here it is in their own nutshell:
 
Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust. Why should Palestinians pay the price? … Had Israel withdrawn to its June 1967 borders, peace would have come long ago. … Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution. … Nuclear Israel, not Iran, is the greatest threat to peace and stability. … Israel is an apartheid state deserving of international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns. … Plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem prove Israel is “Judaizing” the Holy City. … Israeli policies endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. … Israeli policies are the cause of worldwide anti-Semitism. … Israel, not Hamas, is responsible for the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. … Goldstone was right when he charged that Israel was guilty of war crimes against civilians. … The only hope for peace is a single, binational state eliminating the Jewish State of Israel.

Even dissembled, the case weighs hard against Zionist mendacity.

OK, a tad capricious
To Wiesenthal’s credit, the arguments are loaded with a laudable reserve of disingenuity:

5,500 MORE HOMES have been zoned for East Jerusalem, not 1,600, (and yes, Jerusalem’s mayor has set quotas, a Jewish to non-Jewish target ratio to counter a higher Arab birthrate).

Israeli policies are the cause of [PROLIFERATION] of worldwide anti-Semitism,

The Gaza “humanitarian catastrophe” soft-pedals the critics’ real accusation: MASSACRE. Imagine referring to the Holocaust as befalling its victims with the ambivalence of a tsunami.

JUDGE Goldstone isn’t the only accuser who’s documented the criminality the world witnessed WITH ITS OWN EYES.

Apartheid legitimizers blink
Further demonstrating the disintegrating global support for a Jewish haven-state, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has all but dropped its cover as Holocaust-remembrance-sledgehammer to directly shore up the supposed public grant of legitimacy to Zionist colonialism.

Trying to turn the argument on Israel’s “de-ligitimizers” couldn’t be more out of touch.

While the US fights in expanding but downward spirals against the entropy of Pax Americana, Western public support for empire-building erodes for even the pretext of “globalization.” White Man’s Burden has smartened to Carbon Debt, missionary zeal evolved to indigenous and environmental protectionism. Religious crusades haven’t held water for centuries, but what an Auld Testament to Zionism’s xenophobic tenacity to posit the Jewish People as “chosen” to revive God-manifested destiny.

What part of “Apartheid is for Neanderthals” do Palestine’s neo- Afrikaners fail to understand? Even an 18th Century South African settler categorization gives the mid-twentieth century European transplants in Zion too much credit for pretended genealogical roots in the Middle East.

Only State Solution
Not very well concealed in Wiesenthal’s framing of the “Top Ten Lies” is a specious conceit formed by straw arguments three and ten, which presume the desirability of a “two-state solution” and/or a misguided hope for an inevitable “binational state.” Only in Wiesenthal’s rebuttal is there utterance of Israel’s true taboo –unmentionable because it will be self-fulfilling. The single state solution is dismissed with cavalier aplomb as “a non-starter.”

They desperately wish. On what basis do Zionists imbue themselves authority to trump international consensus? Hopefully it is not their nuclear arsenal. No other religious ideology, armed with nukes or without, asserts any permutation of divine refugee-status provenance to an autonomous “homeland.” Not even Tibet.

I expect sooner than the Zionists like –but then the self-defeatist arrogance may bely my presumption– the Simon Wiesenthal Center will be scrambling to bolster rationalizations against the only peaceful solution already on everyone’s mind and taxing our humanitarian patience: the single-state multi-theist modern egalitarian democracy.

Hasbara desperation
We reprint a near-complete representation of the SWC brochure below for our readers, if also to facilitate the identification of pro-Israel internet trolls by the tracts they are presently copy-and-pasting all over blog discussions. Who would have suspected that the resurgent wave of Zionist troll tripe was so transparently linked to official AIPAC and Wiesenthal Center press releases. We give the IDF Hasbara budget too much credit.

A recent IDF-merc commenter goaded us to “envy Israeli intellectual superiority.” I will admit it, I am in awe. Eagerly too. I know where it got Icarus.

Israel goes Titanic. Gotta love a good spectacle.

Appendix
Here then, courtesy of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the 2010 Top Ten Anti-Israel Lies, enjoy!

2010 TOP TEN
ANTI-ISRAEL LIES

Israel is under assault!
Here’s what you need to know.
Act now…

Lie No. 1: Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust. Why should Palestinians pay the price?

Three thousand years before the Holocaust, before there was a Roman Empire, Israel’s kings and prophets walked the streets of Jerusalem. The whole world knows that Isaiah did not speak his prophesies from Portugal, nor Jeremiah his lamentations from France. Revered by its people, Jerusalem is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures 600 times, but not once in the Koran. Throughout the 2,000-year exile of the Jews, there was a continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land.

Lie No. 2: Had Israel withdrawn to its June 1967 borders, peace would have come long ago.

Since 1967, Israel repeatedly has conceded “land for peace.” Following Egyptian President Sadat’s historic 1977 visit to Jerusalem, Israel withdrew from the vast Sinai Peninsula and has been at peace with Egypt ever since. But the Palestinian Authority has never fulfilled its promise to end propaganda attacks nor drop the Palestinian National Charter’s call for Israel’s destruction. In 2000, Prime Minister Barak offered Yasser Arafat full sovereignty more than 97 percent of the West Bank, a corridor to Gaza, and a capital in the Arab section of Jerusalem. Arafat said no.

Lie No. 3: Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution.

The Palestinians themselves are the only stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution. With whom should Israel negotiate? With President Abbas, who for four years has been barred by Hamas from visiting 1.5 million constituents in Gaza? With his Palestinian Authority, which continues to glorify terrorists and preaches hate in its educational system and the media? With Hamas, whose Iranian-backed leaders deny the Holocaust and use fanatical Jihadist rhetoric to call for Israel’s destruction?

Lie No. 4: Nuclear Israel, not Iran, is the greatest threat to peace and stability.

The United States and Europe can afford to wait to see what the Iranian regime does with its nuclear ambitions, but Israel cannot. Israel is on the front lines and remembers every day the price the Jewish people paid for not taking Hitler at his word. Israel is not prepared to sacrifice another 6 million Jews on the altar of the world’s indifference.

Lie No. 5: Israel is an apartheid state deserving of international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns.

In fact, Israel is a democratic state. Its 20 percent Arab minority enjoys all the political, economic and religious rights and freedoms of citizenship, including electing members of their choice to the Knesset (Parliament).

Lie No. 6: Plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem prove Israel is “Judaizing” the Holy City.

Ramat Shlomo was not about Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem but about a long established, heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in northern Jerusalem, where 250,000 Jews live (about the size of Newark, N.J.) — an area that will never be relinquished by Israel.

Lie No. 7: Israeli policies endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would benefit everyone, including the United States. But an imposed return to what Abba Eban called “1967 Auschwitz borders” would endanger Israel’s survival and ultimately be disastrous for American interests and credibility in the world.

Lie No. 8: Israeli policies are the cause of worldwide anti-Semitism.

From the Inquisition to the pogroms, to the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, history proves that Jew hatred existed on a global scale before the creation of the State of Israel. It would still exist in 2010 even if Israel had never been created. For example, one poll indicates that 40 percent of Europeans blame the recent global economic crisis on “Jews having too much economic power” — a canard that has nothing to do with Israel.

Lie No. 9: Israel, not Hamas, is responsible for the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. Goldstone was right when he charged that Israel was guilty of war crimes against civilians.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is obsessed with false anti-Israel resolutions. It refuses to address grievous human rights abuses in Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and beyond. Faced with similar attacks, every U.N. member-state, including the United States and Canada, surely would have acted more aggressively than the Israel Defense Forces did in Gaza.

Lie No. 10: The only hope for peace is a single, binational state eliminating the Jewish State of Israel.

The one-state solution is a non-starter because it would eliminate the Jewish homeland. However, the current pressures on Israel are equally dangerous. In effect, the world is demanding that Israel, the size of New Jersey, shrink further by accepting a three-state solution: a P.A. state on the West Bank and a Hamas terrorist one in Gaza. All this as Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, stockpiles 50,000 rockets, threatening northern and central Israel’s main population centers. Current polls show that while most Israelis favor a two-state solution, most Palestinians continue to oppose it.

UCSD divestment hearing tweeted

Park bench, but not publicThe University of California San Diego student council decided to postpone its resolution to address the suffering of Palestine, but let public comments play out. UCSD Divest For Peace tweeted the proceeding @ucsddivest, which we retweet below so future student discussions don’t have to rehash the boilerplate AIPAC prevarications.

@ 2nd Divestment Resolution proceeding…
  
before walking into the ASUCSD meeting, we were notified that it was tabled indefinitely…
  
public input occurring to revive resolution (or shut it out by opposition)
  
opposition is trying to make this a joke while we bring them truth about oppression
  
opposition argument: it’s not our place to do this because there are a lot of places that we have not put our hand in
  
It is our place. Change starts with us. Stand with those who are oppressed and always constantly silenced.
  
This movement has been constantly silenced but we will not give up! Truth will emerge!!!
  
A student is disgusted that people are too cowardly and afraid to give people their right to live.
  
“What Israel is doing is the dictionary definition of terrorism”
  
So much obvious truth is being said for this resolution … I can’t keep up…
  
a student explains how this is not anti-semitic/anti-Jewish which is the opposition’s argument
  
a student from the committee created last Wednesday to “work together” explained the failed process due to the opposition
  
Question: Why don’t we invest in Palestine instead of divest from Israel?
  
Answer: Council, educate yourself on last year’s invasion on Gaza “Operation Cast Lead” and then answer their question
  
A.S. should honor the majority here at UCSD. One group against so many groups who have come together for this resolution due to PEACE!
  
How can we invest in Palestine while Israel imposes a blockade upon the Gaza strip and denies it direly needed relief?

Opposition is taking pictures of all our speakers … scare tactic against those for peace, justice and equality?
  
“You can’t censor my voice!” … against this resolution = alienating and segregating against a side!
  
Desmond Tutu thanked UCSD for change … let’s do it again.
  
“Council, you are privileged! … t is the duty of a human being to speak for the voiceless.”
  
“Standing up for human rights is not a political statement!”
  
“I will use the rest of my time to remain silent because you won’t listen to my voice anyway.”
  
This resolution is not against Israel but against companies that the U.S. deals with. Get it straight.
  
We were just told Israel tolerates everyone … democratic? What’s his definition of democracy?
  
please educate yourself on Israel and its laws and if you can, go there and see the truth for yourself …
  
“Council, you do matter and this decision really does matter.”
  
If this is not the time then when is the time? When will we talk about this? NOW!
  
We are already divided so let’s make an effort to talk about this b/c people are suffering every day.
  
Last person to speak
  
WE JUST WALKED OUT INTO A RALLY!
  
Peace until later… check in later for results!
  
Short rally was held leading into amazing speeches with opposition in the back who looked like they were in awe of our unity

This movement will remain strong until justice prevails “Time is on the side of the oppressed.” Malcolm X

Justice in Palestine Week 2010: End the Apartheid is NEXT WEEK! Are you ready UCSD?!? Here we come! http://theapartheid.com/

Apartheid haunts Israel Innovation Wk

BDS activists take heart. Anti-Apartheid Bostonites targeted their Museum of Science for hosting Israeli Innovation Weekend, a propaganda event to solicit investment in Zionist high tech industry. Protesters disrupted the speakers, provoking venomous outcry from the audience, all lovingly captured on video. Insults were so arrogant, I predict the pro-Israel ego will become the next too big to fail.

South African white supremacist gets head bashed in while followers look on

Wasn’t because of his violent racist activities, though, he was trying to cheat “his” workers and (this is important) according to his fellow supremacists who witnessed the event two of those workers, black, who had spent the summer putting money in his pocket, beat him to death.

Mind you, his fellow Supremacists were right there, so why didn’t they do anything to stop it? it was Buc-buc-buc-buc because they’re chicken. Not as “superior” as they thought themselves to be. Now his demented demonic disciples are saying that because it was a pair of BLACK workers who he tried to screw and started a fight with them, a fight he thought his Fellow Supremacists would handily win for him…. that it’s a “declaration of war” by every black PERSON in South Africa.

No, stupid racist punks, it was two people who defended themselves from your comrades when your comrades attempted to basically strong-arm rob them of their due wages. Now what are you going to do? Even when you had the “darkies” held at gunpoint and forbidden to bear arms you lost the last round of Apartheid.

Your Mighty Leader, ever so superior, picked a fight with two of the supposed untermenschen and got his head handed to him.

Boycott Israel Apartheid this Christmas

Boycott Divestment and Sanctions of Israel to end Palestinian OccupationIn solidarity with the ONE MILE MARCH to free Gaza, on the one year anniversary of Israel’s genocidal incursion into Gaza, let’s kick start a Colorado Springs effort to support the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel, to end apartheid and free Palestine. There are many US/Israeli companies who promote or profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine. On December 28, let’s target those in the Chapel Hills Mall!
L’Oreal, Revlon, Estee Lauder, Ahava, Hanes, Timberland, Teva, Victoria’s Secret, and Bath & Body Works.

American citizens can feel a vague sense of disconnectedness with respect to US business ties with Israel, or we can trace the responsibility for the injustices suffered in Palestine directly to retailers in our neighborhoods. Let’s let these local outlets know we will not tolerate their companies’ agenda in Palestine.

These are just among the consumer products and retailers which actively support Israel’s illegal actions in Palestine. Others you can boycott in town include Home Depot, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Sara Lee, Danon, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clarke, AOL Time Warner, [Fox] News Corp, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Motorola and Caterpillar.

The BDS movement against Israel is attempting to recreate the same pressures which ultimately brought down apartheid in South Africa. Academic, cultural and business boycotts are targeted against US and Israeli companies which participate in the settlement industry, the economic exploitation of Palestine and Palestinians, and control of the population.

Ward Churchill speaks on which settler invasion wrote the book on Apartheid

Tucson Tohono O'odham
Ward Churchill spoke in Tucson on Friday and Brenda Norrell has posted the footage. Watching the ex-CU professor speak, I can’t help but think about the university students’ loss. They’re missing the lamentably rarefied perspectives he offers of course, but more important, the inspiration gained from such an engaging luminary.

Throughout his lectures, Churchill likes to put questions back at his audience. He understands, if I can presume to project his rationale, that a mentor’s role is to bounce ideas around, and be sure his students have minds open enough to let them resonate. It’s also a sign of someone fully confident with what they are teaching. Churchill gives you the impression he’s interested in the best argument you’ve got, and I believe him, but in reality he’s going to have few peers up to the task.

When it’s time for Q and A, Prof. Churchill calls it mud-wrestling, and welcomes all shots, “even spit wads.” He draws the line at brick bats, because he says, one might bounce off his head and hit somebody else. He warns, as if he’s had practice, “because someone might get hurt. I can assure you it won’t be me.”

I wished at that moment that Tucson was not so far from Churchill’s curiously vile detractors, who attended his trial in Denver, and who hold bitch fests online about every Churchinalia for reasons unspecified. I predict they’re remunerated; the love-to-hate pretext is wearing thin, these yahoos are pro-Israeli tea-baggers. So there’s no Drunkablog or Pirate Ballerina there tonight to take the “perfessor’s” challenge. Although wouldn’t such an exchange have been simply tedious? I recall this dismal attempt mounted against “Wart” by a couple CU college Republicans, it was just embarrassing. Have Churchill’s online critics ever confronted him in person I wonder? They can spout off in the safety of anonymity, and that’s about it.

Churchill’s speech to the predominantly Anglo and O’odham border activists was about the bigger issues behind the border wall. The theme of the gathering was Apartheid in America, and Churchill demonstrated how South African Apartheid came of the successful colonial methods practiced in the United States. These were the strategies employed by the Germans in taking and settling the Eastern Front during WWII, and of course the goals of Israel in Palestine.

Churchill described how settler invasions vary from colonial administration. In the latter case, the colonizers can go home, in the former, they stay. Another distinction is critical, the settlers aren’t moving to a land and becoming part of the social system, they remain citizens of the occupying force. They bring their identity and the foreign system with them, to apply against the people indigenous to the land. The process involves two steps: displace enough of the natives to make room for yourselves, but leave just enough to serve as a labor pool, for all the building that is required of empire building. You’ve need of only a portion of the original population, to do the manual labor required of developing the land, but eventually you need them to die off. The Nazi strategy in Poland was to eleminate a great deal via war, then another mass through starvation, ill health and exposure. Methods mirrored today in Gaza. As a USA example, Churchill sited the average life expectancy of a Native American on a reservation in 1975. The age was 44.6 years old. That’s 1/3 less that the G-Pop average, equivalent to thinning the population by a third.

To cut to the quick, Churchill asked his audience how they felt about social challenges like sexism, racism, ageism, classism. All were basically in accord as being against. What’s the problem, Churchill asked. If so many are against these things, why do they persist? Then he threw imperialism into the mix, which had not been mentioned. Churchill said we cannot adequately address the others until we have a clean conscience about the land taken from America’s First Peoples. This must be the priority. First Peoples, First Nations, First Priority.

Below is the video of Friday’s Tohono O’odham event in Tucson. Take note also of the excellent speeches which followed the keynote, by Ofelia Rivas and her brother in particular.

Click ON DEMAND, then select the “Live Show Fri Nov 13 2009 06:20:55 PM” or watch it at Livestream/earthcycles.

This Israel public relations jig is up

Colorado College lecture in Gaylord HallCOLORADO COLLEGE- The news from the ISRAEL TODAY lecture is all good. If you’d been there, you might wonder how my takeaway from such a bilious gathering could be upbeat. I’ll tell you. The Palestinian voice was well represented, Israel’s presentation was Old Testament, and the writing on the wall grows ever more clear. And I got a few nice pics.

The Audience
To begin, I would certainly have preferred everyone had acted with more decorum. That is, if there had been impressionable attendees there. As it was, the seats were only half occupied. Except for the young men with “JEW CREW” on their backs, or girls with Hebrew script across their pullovers, there were almost no CC students. The audience was one third voices for Palestine, and two thirds vitriolic Jew, amazingly indignant to disruption of their world view. No one was there to listen, except to cheer for what they already believed. But I’m certain it was an eye opener for all.

My friends and I were sure to supplement the speaker’s pauses with color to augment his heavily loaded statements. For example, when Gil Artzyeli described the objective and feat of Israel’s 2006 incursion into Lebanon “to silence them,” and did that not prove effective? Who could refrain from adding “you killed them.” The 2/3 supporters grew more and more angry. But the speaker had an inopportune manner of posing rhetorical questions, which we couldn’t resist answering.

It almost got us kicked out. I spent the duration with security guards poised right behind me, ready to escort me out of the room. I learned it would be more prudent to avoid the back row at opportunities like this, because you can be pulled out of your chair, or distracted into involuntary conversation with security personnel more readily than if you were well ensconced among the other attendees.

Those voicing support for Palestinians were made to wait until question and answer portion to voice their objections. Even then, the pro-Israel audience would cut them off. It became impossible to ask a complex question without interruptions of “What is your question? State your question!” They hounded everyone who wasn’t setting the speaker up for a softy. It was a ruthless crowd with the civility of Tea Partiers. When the pro-Israel attendees took their turn posing questions, no one interrupted. When it was a detractor, their time suddenly became too valuable to entrust to us. Even a CC student from Gaza, who hasn’t been permitted to visit his family in two years, was not given a hearing.

I’m positive that as these rude people think on how the event transpired, they will not be able to help feeling ashamed. Our interactions were spirited and engaging, addressed to a speaker with the hubris to take us on. We interrupted the speaker, but never tried to drown him out. Our adversaries on the other hand tried to flat out shut their fellow audience members up.

That crowd is immovable. I’ve no optimism for influencing their resolve. On the other hand, their rigidity was laughable. Their logic will not sway anyone new. They were positively shrill about their speaker being permitted to deliver his message as abridged. “Let him speak!” they shouted, as if their attention was rapt by information they’d never heard before, a preposterous notion. I’m neither Palestinian nor American Jew, but this was Israel Foundation Myth for Dummies. I can only think that this crowd sat tightly clenched, thrilled that the others among the audience were forced to listen to their dogma.

The Presentation
Old school. Palestinians offered their own statehood, but rejected it. Israel is pretext for Arab countries to oppress their peoples. No such thing as a Palestinian, Jewish presence in Judea has been continuous, Palestinians teach their children to hate, Israelis teach love, etc, etc. The old greenhouses of Gaza story was the example given to show that Palestinians don’t want to help themselves. Arab neighbor states are blamed for not resettling the Palestinians. Gaza is free, it is not occupied.

Would you believe Israel justifies the force it used in Lebanon and Gaza based on what NATO was permitted to do in Bosnia? Those were war crimes too! Israel accuses its critics of anti-Semitism because they don’t take other militaries to task for their crimes. But really Israel gives itself the latitude to commit crimes commensurate with the worst.

And here’s a wild gem! Israel owes its enormously successful economy (no mention of US foreign aid or direct sponsorship by Jewish American interests) to, among progressive business practices, the fact that all Israelis, both men and women, have to serve compulsory military service. It gives them the skills and discipline to excel in business and strengthen Israel. Mr. Artzyeli showed a video clip taken from CNBC, recommending that such a policy in American would certainly greatly improve its prospects for an economic recovery!

A word about the delivery of the presentation. Though impeccably dressed Gil Artzyeli affected the presence of someone wearing a Tony Soprano tracksuit. He sat back on his heels, his eyes directed to the ceiling as he dismissed his questioners. When a Palestinian girl raised a specific instance of an IDF strategy deployed in Lebanon, wondering how it was not a war crime. Artzyeli ignored it completely, making an aside to someone up front that the he wasn’t about to dignify that accusation with a response.

It’s kinda the problem Israel is having, isn’t it?

The Jig is Up
Over the last weeks I’ve had a chance to participate in three presentation by Israeli officials. The sum experience has fortified me with hope. With world opinion against them, and now the Goldstone Report, Israel is on the run.

The first lecture by Uzi Landau was on the offensive, directed toward Iran. It went over poorly. The Q&A revealed that Landau hadn’t connected the dots at all. The audience he had hoped to rally became only more concerned about Israeli nukes than Iran’s.

The second presentation delivered by Nir Barkat was an encouragement to the Denver Jewish community to support Jerusalem, with donations, travel, and by encouraging emigration. There the audience was equally smug and oblivious to the notion that increased settlements constituted violations of international law. But Israel’s continuous push for Jewish immigrants provides the clue to what Barkat inadvertently confirmed. Jews are leaving Jerusalem. The balance of the population is shifting toward the non-Jew.

This third event with the Deputy Consul General took the rhetoric down to basics, a demonstration of how far Israel is slipping. The dogma behind Zionism’s right to its own state, and their right to defend themselves, used to go without saying. Today Gil Artzyeli was forced to defend the most basic assumptions. The Jewish diaspora, their right to return, the expanding borders, the wall, the military retaliation. I was thrilled to see arguments slip back past the basics.

The Jewish American communities may still be a resolute, but their numbers are not large. It appears to me that the compatriots they’ve recruited, from the Christian right and the neoliberal conservatives are receding quickly.

The image of the much-oppressed Jew is becoming eclipsed by the militant arrogant Zionist, earning no one’s sympathy.

A few pictures from the event:
Deputy Consul General Gil Artzyeli lecture November 12, 2009
Castigated for raising his voice, Ed Nace insisted on standing for the duration of the lecture, to lend omniscience to his objection.

Deputy Consul General Gil Artzyeli lecture November 12, 2009
Colorado College Poli-Sci professor, and Middle East specialist Bob Lee rose several times to forbid the impromptu participation by the audience. Here he calls for security to remove Ed.

Deputy Consul General Gil Artzyeli lecture November 12, 2009
Security reconsidered asking Ed Nace to leave as he informed them in his booming voice that he was a Colorado College alum.

Deputy Consul General Gil Artzyeli lecture November 12, 2009
Would you believe Mr. Artzyeli trotted out the old Farfur the Mouse clip, depicting Muslim children being taught to admire suicide bombers. It’s a favorite example whose relevant context was long ago dismissed.

Footnote
One lamentable observation I had regarded a member of the chaplain’s office at CC, who is also a peace community activist. She was not at liberty to take sides on the Palestinian – Israel discussions for fear of alienating the Jewish students. I do not personally doubt her motives, nor her sympathies for the victims of injustice in Palestine.

However, when our 85 year-old Ed Nace raised his voice, or stood angrily, the chaplain’s assistant moved to calm him down. She may have thought he needed assistance, but in reality his stubborn act was working. His offense at the slanders against Palestinians, his incredulity that such a one-sided presentation was being allowed, and his indignation at the ferocity with which he was being silenced, expressed itself as a hard-of-hearing old man who was not about to be bullied. His performance, even inadvertent, worked to disrupt the lecture and temper the smug untruths being passed as academic fact. But Ed’s act was not made any easier by a colleague trying to calm him down. To his credit, Ed persevered and was able to put a human emotional context to Mr. Artzyeli’s slick propaganda.

The chaplain is no doubt schooled in nonviolent communication. She needs to bone up on effective nonviolent theater. Non-confrontational communication isn’t going to bring racist bullies like Artzyeli to heel. Zionist Apartheid is going to fall when it is condemned and pilloried.

Israel sends deputy consul general to CC

End the occupationThe Israel Today event changed the speakers on us, instead of the Israeli Consul General to Los Angeles, it’s the Deputy Consul Gil Artzyeli. But the act’s still on. Get to Gaylord hall sometime before noon, it’s the conference room at the Southeast corner of the Worner Center building. We’ll stand outside with our repudiation of Mr. Artzyeli’s message, then go inside to assure the discussion steers toward being honest. I found this quote by Artzyeli, addressing the Denver Jewish community earlier this year about the Gaza incursion:

“This is not a war for territory … The first war is to protect the citizens of Israel, the second war is against Iran and the third war is against lies and disinformation.”

Any takers? My first question, if I’m given the chance: Mr. Artzyeli, are you here only to speak, or will you listen?

Cyndy Kulp put together a handout for the occasion:

Human Rights Issues in “Israel Today”

Israel is a pariah nation condemned by the UN and much of the international community for its multiple violations of international human rights law, including:

• Continuing the occupation of the Palestinian people

• Building housing settlements on confiscated land

• Seizing additional land and property from Palestinians to build “The Wall”, highways for the exclusive use of Israelis, and military areas, etc.

• Using extremely disproportionate and indiscriminate force in the invasion of the Gaza Strip during “Operation Cast Lead” in Dec. 2008

• Inflicting heavy casualties on Palestinians, many civilians and children with no way to escape the bombing

• Refusing to compensate the 5.8 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants who were displaced from their homes and properties during 1948

Israeli Diplomats, like our speaker today, should not be given a public platform from which to promote their views as long as they refuse to recognize and cooperate with international laws.

HERE ARE FURTHER DETAILS:

? In June 1967, the Israeli military invaded the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. These areas of historic Palestine under military control are the “Occupied Territories,” comprising some 3.5 million Palestinians, and they are systematically being incorporated into the state of Israel in violation of international law.

? Life under occupation is very harsh. The Palestinians have virtually no human or civil rights. Unemployment is rampant. In order to go about their daily lives, the people in the Occupied Territories must line up and go through multiple checkpoints manned by the Israeli army. Proper paperwork, including Palestinian ID’s, and permits are required to pass through, and many people are denied entry, even into East Jerusalem which is Palestinian territory and home to many hospitals, schools, and employers.

? Israel has built 200+ settlements in the West Bank, and over 400,000 Israelis have moved onto Palestinian land. Many of the settlers are armed and aggressive extremists, and their actions are regularly protected by Israeli Defense Forces.

? Israel has seized a majority of the West Bank land as military bases, settlements, security areas, “land reserves,” by-pass roads linking settlements with Israel, and other areas forbidden to Palestinians. Palestinians are confined to small fragmented areas resembling Bantustans in an Israeli version of Apartheid.

?? Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem is questioned by the international community, and contrary to what the Israelis would like you to believe, Jerusalem does not belong to Israel. This is why other nations have their embassies in Tel Aviv instead.

? East Jerusalem was declared as an occupied territory in UN Security Council Resolution 242 which specifically emphasized the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” Yet Israel continues to seize homes and land and allow Israeli settlers to move into East Jerusalem.

? Over 10,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed, leaving 30,000 people homeless. Housing demolitions and displacement are common for Palestinian families, and they are powerless to protect their properties or get legal permission to build homes.

? The Gaza strip remains under siege today. Despite the withdrawal of Israeli settlers in 2005, Israel still controls entry into Gaza. People cannot leave and cannot get the goods and services they need. They are literally locked into a ghetto.

? In Dec. 2008, Israel invaded the Gaza strip, causing massive destruction and Palestinian causalities. The vast majority of the Palestinians killed in Israel’s operation were innocent civilians rather than combatants, according to a new report by B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization. Of the 1,387 deaths, 773 were non combatants. 320 of these were under the age of 18, and 109 were women.

? Nine Israelis were killed during the Gaza war — four by rocket fire on southern Israel, including three civilians and one soldier, while the other five were soldiers killed in combat, primarily from “friendly fire” incidents.

? The Goldstone Report which investigated the Gaza Invasion for the UN concluded that both Israel and the Palestinians had committed violations of International Law, but that Israel because of it’s huge army and sophisticated weaponry was more culpable and guilty of Crimes Against Humanity in it’s 2008/09 Gaza onslaught.

? U.S. aid has made Israel’s army one of the most powerful military forces in the world. Israel is using U.S. F-16 fighters and Apache helicopters in attacks against Palestinian civilians. This violates the U.S. Foreign Arms Export Act. Over $3 billion in US foreign aid is given to Israel, and most of it is used for military operations.

There Will Be No Security For ISRAEL Until There Is Justice For PALESTINE.

Resources For more information:
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
B’tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
Bethlehem University
Mazin Qumsiyeh
Machsom Watch
Breaking the Silence
Women in Black
Sabeel

Stop the Wall Campaign

US Campaign to End the Occupation

–END THE OCCUPATION
–COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL LAWS
–FREEZE SETTLEMENTS
–NEGOTIATE AN EQUITABLE SOLUTION ON LAND AND WATER

The US claims to be an “honest broker” –fair to both sides– in the so-called peace process. At the same time, the U.S. proclaimed itself the unswerving ally of Israel. These roles are contradictory. Massive U.S. aid funds the occupation. Since 1949, the U.S. has given Israel well over $100 billion in grants, loans and other assistance. This amounts to over $15,000 per Israeli citizen. ?
A genuine peace with a minimum of justice requires an independent and viable Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 (West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem). Jerusalem should be shared as the capital of both Israel and Palestine. Palestine should be an equal neighbor alongside Israel with peace and security for both peoples. ?

Ward Churchill to speak for O’odham

O'odham rightsAccording to Censored News, Activist and scholar Ward Churchill will speak at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 W. 22nd St., on November 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to benefit O’odham VOICE Against the Wall, which since 2003 has organized and advocated for the traditional O’odham leaders and elders of the Tohono O’odham communities in the southern territory of the United States and northern territory of Mexico. Professor Churchill’s talk is part of the “Apartheid in America: Surviving Occupation in O’odham Lands”

O’odham activist Ofelia Rivas will also participate. The event is sponsored by the Dry River Radical Resource Center, the Earth First! Journal, and Voices against the Wall.

Here’s some background on the O’odham struggle:

pamphlet cover illustrationBy J. D. Hendricks, 2004
TIAMAT PUBLICATIONS #5

The People Who Emerged From the Earth

Over two thousand years ago the descendents of the O’odham moved into the southwestern region of the area now claimed by the U.S. as the state of Arizona. 1 The O’odham have had one of the longest histories of contact with the forces of European colonization compared with the rest of the native North American peoples. The O’odham’s first contact with Spanish invaders took place in the mid 16th century; nearly one hundred years before the colonization of the North Atlantic coast and Great Lakes regions were begun by the French and English colonists. As such, the history of the O’odham provides a good context for an investigation of the colonization of Native North America, and more specifically, an investigation of the interplay between, and results of, the varied responses to colonization – that of collaboration, accommodation, and resistance.

Many histories of the O’odham refer to these desert people as the Papago. The term Papago was a name given to the O’odham by the Spanish colonizers, and is likely the result of a Spanish corruption of the O’odham word “papabi” which was the O’odham name for one of their principal bean varieties. Thus, the Spanish colonizers term for the O’odham (Papago) came to mean “the bean eaters.” 2 For the purposes of this study I will refrain from the use of the term Papago and will refer to “the people” 3 by their traditional pre-colonial name. 4

As is often the case, with the name Papago being a good example, European constructs are often imposed upon indigenous peoples by the historians that seek to portray their past. This result can occur when historians seek to glorify European norms and traditions at the expense of indigenous ones, and can also be the result of the subconscious indoctrination of the historian by the dominant culture – in this case that of western style industrial civilization. In other cases it can be the result of a simple uncritical usage of language.

One of the most dominant and reoccurring “civilized” constructs imposed upon indigenous peoples history is the commonly understood notion that the O’odham, or any other indigenous North American culture for that matter, existed as a totality or uniformed mass. This study will seek to use the history of the interaction between the O’odham peoples and the United States, both its government and its peoples, to deconstruct this myth of the totality and provide a history of the O’odham’s varied responses to colonization from an anti-colonial and anti-industrial perspective. By investigating various important case studies in O’odham history, and looking not only at resistance but also accommodation and collaboration, it is hoped that this work will help to provide a more realistic historical picture of the effects of colonization, and the intentions and reactions of both the colonizer and the colonized. Within the previously stated context and theoretical framework, this study will argue that while the O’odham responded to the U.S. invasion of their lands in various ways, the choices to resist, accommodate, or collaborate with the forces of colonization did not affect the overall U.S. policy concerning the O’odham – that policy being the eventual total assimilation of the O’odham into the dominant “civilized” industrial system. 5

This investigation will include a strong focus on O’odham resistance to colonization, as any anti-colonial history should, however it will not discount or ignore the many historical occurrences of accommodation, and in some cases outright collaboration, with the colonizers. It is important to always keep in mind that none of the actions and reactions in any of the case studies looked at are attributable to the O’odham as a “totality,” but rather are attributable only to the various groupings of O’odham, be they incarnated in the form of the individual, the clan, the village, an economic or spiritual grouping, or an established political organization.

A God of Civilization and Coercion Comes to the O’odham

The O’odham’s first encounter with Spanish invaders took place in the mid sixteenth century when a group of conquistadors led by Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca entered O’odham territory in search of gold. These men did not find the riches they were looking for and left the desert region to return to the Spanish colony. However, soon after word spread of the O’odham villages on the northern periphery of the Spanish colony, missionaries began to travel north to bring God and “civilization” to the native people residing there. By 1686, Catholic missionaries had formed a few small missions in O’odham territory using what they believed to be the influence of their soft power 6 techniques to lure the O’odham into their missions where they were then subjected to a rigorous schedule of cultural indoctrination. Most O’odham historians, including Winston Erickson, 7 and to a lesser extent, Bernard Fontana 8 have, during this time period, focused on the O’odham who chose to reside nearby and within these early missions, thus painting a picture of the O’odham as accepting of Spanish influence and cultural indoctrination.

However a closer look at this time period reveals that mission O’odham were only a small percentage of the total population of O’odham residing in the Sonoran desert 9 and that the ones who were there may not have been so for the reasons that the colonizers believed. San Xavier del Bac, the largest mission in O’odham lands, as well as many other missions, took advantage of the fact that the desert O’odham migrated in the dry winter months to the Northern Piman settlements along the rivers to work the small farm plots for sustenance. 10 The Catholic missions inserted themselves into this traditional pattern. Those O’odham who worked and lived near the missions were, for the most part, seasonal residents, which shows that the missions were viewed merely as being of utilitarian value. Thus, the O’odham as a totality were not necessarily accommodating to or interested in anything the missionaries had to offer per se, and when the missionaries began to employ “hard power” techniques and abuse or overstep the grounds for their welcome it did not go without consequence. 11

Accommodating and ignoring the missionaries was not the only response to colonization practiced by the O’odham during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although historians such as Erickson feel that “the missions did serve the O’odham well….,” 12 that assertion is contradicted by the fact that there were many large scale rebellions waged against the missions from outside and from within. In 1695, 1751, 1756, and 1776, large scale rebellions occurred in which missionaries were killed and their missions burned to the ground. 13 In some cases these rebellions were the doing of joint O’odham/Apache alliances, which is significant considering that many histories of the O’odham and Apache portray them as immemorial enemies. This may be the result of the fact that by the early nineteenth century the Spanish government initiated a campaign of divide and conquer that was continued later by the Mexican and U.S. governments to turn the O’odham and Apache against one another, thus easing the project of their subjugation.

A Change in the Occupation Government: Washington Enters O’odham Lands

In 1821, Mexican Independence from Spain was achieved and interest in the O’odham dropped away nearly entirely. By 1828, the new and secular Mexican government began the process of shutting down the missions in O’odham territory and by 1842, the last of the missions were closed. Soon after, in 1846, the United Stated initiated a war for territorial expansion against Mexico. This war was not of immediate consequence to the O’odham peoples. Isolated in desert regions, the fighting between the two occupation powers affected them little in the short run. However, the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which ended the war, would lay the foundations for a series of disastrous events which would affect the O’odham in very negative ways.

Of greatest consequence to the O’odham was the fact that the boundary between the United States and Mexico was not finalized by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The boundary was designated by Article Five of the Treaty as being an arbitrary line roughly following the 32nd parallel, an area which runs through the southern part of modern Arizona. To the east, the border was provided by the Rio Grande. The exact boundary line along the 32nd parallel was to be decided at a later date. It is also important to note here that the Treaty also provided that all Mexican citizens absorbed by the United States were to be granted U.S. citizenship, which included all indigenous peoples in the annexed territory since under Mexican law they were considered citizens. In the treaty the United States also assumed the responsibility for preventing cross border raiding into Mexico by the southwestern tribes, specifically the Apache. 14

In the aftermath of the signing of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, it became quickly apparent that an acceptable border between Mexico and the United States along the 32nd parallel would not be achieved. An official survey expedition was assembled by the United States and Mexico in 1849 to trace out the boundary between the two countries with little success. Various borderlines were agreed to and then abandoned and re-made by the United States, sometimes in a unilateral decision that dismissed the positions of the Mexican government altogether. 15

The principal concern for the United States was to secure title to an area of land in northern Sonora, Mexico that was ideally suited for the construction of a portion of the southern continental railroad whose building was being discussed in the U.S. Congress at the time. One of the main advocates for this southern railroad route was a South Carolina man by the name of Colonel James Gadsden. Gadsden’s history of connections to powerful business, military, and political leaders is very interesting and his appointment by the United States to be Minister to Mexico in 1853 serves as a very informative source to gauge the United States’ intentions towards Native Americans and the O’odham in particular.

James Gadsden was born into an influential southern family and graduated from Yale University. After enlisting and serving in the war of 1812, Gadsden was sent to the Florida territory with Andrew Jackson to aid in the campaign of removal and extermination being waged against the Seminole Indians, which took place from 1816-1818. After this war against the Seminole, Gadsden was appointed by President Monroe as commissioner to oversee the removal of the Seminole Indians to Indian Territory. Like the more famous removal of the Cherokee, the removal of the Seminole, and the high death rate suffered as a result, unarguably constituted genocide. 16 As a reward for a job well done, Gadsden was appointed by Monroe to a seat on the legislative council of the territory of Florida, thus beginning Gadsden’s political career. In 1840, Gadsden was elected President of the Louisville, Charleston, and Cincinnati Railroad. In 1853, the Secretary of War, an ardent white supremacist and slavery defender by the name of Jefferson Davis, appointed Gadsden to be Minister to Mexico. 17 As Minister to Mexico, one of Gadsden’s primary missions was to negotiate a final demarcation of the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. Although Gadsden was a zealous believer in Manifest Destiny, his ideas concerning racial Anglo-Saxonism 18 caused him to be an opponent of the total annexation of Mexico. Gadsden, like many racist U.S. politicians of that time, felt that the total absorption of Mexico and its non-Anglo population into the United States would pollute the Anglo bloodline too much and thus he sought only to gain enough territory for the United States to build the southern pacific route. 19 Thus, a man who had presided over a war of genocide against the Seminole Indians, was a devout racist, and who had obvious conflicts of interest due to his connections to the railroads, was put into a position to determine the territorial boundary between the United States and Mexico and in the process also determine the boundaries of the O’odham’s land. With its appointment of Gadsden, the intent of the U.S. government could not be clearer. Business interests and territorial expansion were to run roughshod, by any means necessary, over any native peoples who stood in the way.

It is no surprise that when James Gadsden finally successfully negotiated a treaty with Santa Anna to secure what is now the southern portion of Arizona, the O’odham were not consulted. In fact, the Gadsden Treaty, signed into law in 1853, did not contain any mention of the O’odham at all. Considering that the new boundary line put in place by the Gadsden Treaty literally split the traditional O’odham lands in two, it is obvious that the intentions of the United States were in no way benevolent. Here it is also important to point out that the terms of the Gadsden Treaty specifically included the same citizenship provisions which were spelled out in the earlier Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 20 Although the Gadsden treaty was of great significance for the O’odham, their isolation and the outbreak of the Civil War enabled them to live another decade in relative isolation from Anglo encroachment.

Assimilation, Cultural Destruction, Double Speak and Ordained Genocide

The causes which the Almighty originates, when in their appointed time he wills that one race of men – as in races of lower animals – shall disappear off the face of the earth and give place to another race, and so on, in the great cycle traced out by Himself, which may be seen, but has reasons too deep to be fathomed by us. The races of the mammoths and mastodons, and the great sloths, came and passed away: The red man of America is passing away!
–United States Congress Committee on Indian Affairs report, 1865. 21

No doubt with similar justifications in mind as those of the Committee on Indian Affairs, Anglo settlers began their invasion of O’odham lands less than a year after the conclusion of the Civil War. The Homestead Act had opened up the lands of Southern Arizona to Anglo squatters and in 1866, one of the first of many bills was passed by Congress granting mineral rights to any citizen who claimed them. 22 Every one of these homesteads opened and every resource extraction operation initiated without the express consent of the O’odham represented an illegal action under the Gadsden Treaty. The citizenship provisions of the Gadsden Treaty had granted citizenship to all former Mexican citizens and the O’odham were, by legal definition, included in this formulation. The United States, however, refused to consider “uncivilized” peoples as being worthy of the protections granted to citizens by the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the expropriation of property. This refusal of the United States government to follow its own laws pertaining to Native Americans when those laws happen to stand in the way of U.S. interests has been a common occurrence in United States Indian policy. This land grab was only the first of many illegalities committed against the O’odham people by the United States and its citizens. In this respect the O’odham are in a special position when compared with many other tribes. While the theft of native lands by the United States Government was usually legally justified by treaty stipulations signed between a tribe and the U.S. government, this justification could not and cannot be used in the case of the O’odham since no treaty was ever signed with the O’odham by the United States Government. 23

For the most part, the O’odham did not resist this initial incursion of Anglo settlement, rather the O’odham practiced accommodation and moved farther out into the desert to shield themselves from the new settlers invading their lands. Traditional ways were maintained with the exception of the introduction of cattle ranching. The O’odham territory was well suited for the raising of cattle and a good number of O’odham became cattle ranchers, both for purposes of subsistence as well as for sale to Anglos residing in and around Tucson. In the 1880s, as increasing numbers of Anglo cattle ranchers began to invade and take over their pasture, some O’odham began to resist.

The O’odham resisted by stealing the Anglo cattle herds which were rounded up and driven south to be sold on the Mexican market. The expropriation of Anglo cattle herds was not isolated, and it became a major concern for the settlers and the government. In at least one case, a large cattle outfit was driven out of business. 24 The concern over this outbreak of O’odham theft of Anglo cattle was large enough that newspapers as far away as Los Angeles ran stories about the phenomenon. For the most part these stories seem to have been deliberately used to justify the enclosure of the O’odham into reservations as the government and Anglo cattle ranchers seized the opportunity to gain even more O’odham land by arguing that it was an unfair burden for the Anglo cattle ranchers to have to “support” the O’odham. 25 Here, in previous case study, we have another common attribute of U.S. Indian policy in general, and one which occurs again and again in the history of O’odham contact with the U.S. government and Anglo settlers – blaming the victim.

Another official position of United States Indian policy during this time period was that everything done to the Indians was, in the words of Indian Commissioner J. Q. Smith, in their own “best interests.” 26 Whether this obvious sham was based on a subconscious guilt and delusion or was a cynical example of “double-speak,” it is obvious that Native American’s best interest’s were the last thing on the government’s mind. Nevertheless, with this reasoning as justification, the first official reservation for the O’odham was created by executive order of President Grant on July 1, 1874. This small reservation surrounded the Old Catholic mission at San Xavier del Bac. It is estimated that only about ten percent 27 of the desert O’odham took up residence within this reservation – these were labeled as “civilized” O’odham by U.S. census takers. The vast majority of O’odham were labeled as “wild” and continued to live in the vast desert regions west of San Xavier del Bac. While it is obvious that the desert O’odham were resisting cultural assimilation by avoidance, even the mission O’odham maintained a resistance to European culture as the next example will illustrate.

While visiting the old mission at San Xavier a newspaper columnist from the Los Angeles Times wrote that upon her visit in 1882, she could see “not a single civilized human habitation within miles.” This writer goes on to state that the O’odham’s dwellings were in the form of “conical mud huts.” In the casual racism and Social Darwinist rhetoric of the period she also adds that,

“The Papagos are but little in advance of gophers and prairie dogs in their habitations.” 28

The point is that after more than 200 years of European influence, even the mission O’odham continued to build their traditional shelters. 29

Progressivism and Cultural Genocide: The Dawes Act

In 1887, the General Allotment Act, also known as the Dawes Act, was signed into law. The Dawes Act was the staging point for the forced assimilation of those remnants of Native American groupings which had not been totally decimated by the preceding period of “Indian Wars” and forced relocations. The essential function of the Dawes Act was to disrupt traditional tribal land holding patterns and thus force Native Americans into the Anglo system of private property. The O’odham, like most other Native American cultures, did not have a concept of private property – land was held in common for the benefit of the village group. Communally held land was an essential pre-requisite for their Anarchistic political system and extremely de-centralized tribal structure. 30

The first section of the Dawes Act provides for equal “sections” of land to be parceled out to each “head of family.” This head of family was always understood to be the father of each family when land was allotted. Thus, this first section of the act not only attempted to destroy the communal land system of Native Americans, it also instituted Patriarchy as the basis for social functioning in Native America. 31 In addition, Section Five of the Act also provides that any un-allotted lands be subject to purchase by the United States government. Section Six and Seven provide that all monies paid by the U.S. for un-allotted Native lands be held for each tribe by the U.S. Treasury and “subject to appropriation” by the U.S. government to repay itself for the implementation of allotment as well as to provide for the “civilization” of Native Americans. 32 In less veiled words, these sections are basically stating that Native Americans will be forced to pay for their own cultural annihilation.

This interpretation of the intent of the Dawes Act becomes clearer when one looks at the arguments and debates that took place in Congress and within self described progressive “Indian rights” groups such as the Indian Rights Association. Critics of the Dawes Act in Congress such as Rep. Russell Errett understood that

“the main purpose of this bill is not to help the Indian troubles so much as it is to provide a method for getting at the valuable Indian lands and opening them up for settlement.” 33

And Senator Dawes, the namesake of the final bill, speaking of the land and resources of Native Americans stated that

“civilization has got after these possessions with a greed never before equaled but it is idle to expect to stay it….” 34

As for the progressive Indian Rights Association, they argued that

“the organization of the Indians into tribes is, and has been, one of the most serious hindrances to the advancement of civilization, and that every effort should be made to secure disintegration of all tribal organizations….” 35

And one of their leaders, Reverend L. Abbott, provided justification with the statement:

“Barbarism has no rights which civilization is bound to respect.” 36

So here we have a self-proclaimed progressive Indian Rights organization arguing for cultural genocide and against the notion that Native Americans have any rights that civilized people are bound to respect! This conclusion provides a perfect example of the essence of “progressive” or “civilized” thought.

The Dawes Act had a much less devastating effect for the O’odham than it did for many other Native American tribes. At the time of its passage, the only official reservation for the O’odham was the San Xavier reservation which, as was stated earlier, was only a small 71,090 acre reservation around the old mission San Xavier del Bac. When the allotment agent came to San Xavier in 1890, he allotted out 41,600 acres of land to the 363 O’odham whom he counted in his census as being resident at the time. 37 The vast majority of the O’odham still continued to live west of San Xavier in the expansive desert regions and were little affected by the allotment schemes. Even those O’odham who lived in San Xavier and were allotted land paid little attention to the artificial boundaries drawn on paper which supposedly privatized their land – they continued to farm and graze the land communally. 38 This refusal to abide by the provisions of the Dawes Act is also a form of resistance to cultural assimilation and adds one more example to show that for those O’odham who resisted, the most often employed method of resistance was non-compliance and avoidance. This specific response to colonization was made possible by the isolation and expansiveness of their desert home, which many Anglo’s continued to view as a “hopeless desert.” 39

The Domestication of the “Wild Papago”

The vast majority of the O’odham continued to resist assimilation and maintained a fairly traditional lifestyle – minus the introduction of cattle herding and horse rearing. In the twenty years following the passage of the Dawes Act, a growing effort was made to enclose the “Wild Papago” 40 and forcibly strip them of their traditional culture and instill them with the “civilized” values of the industrial Anglo. As was mentioned previously in the paper, ranchers and the government used O’odham cattle theft from Anglo ranchers as one tool to justify the enclosure of the O’odham within a reservation. During this period, Anglo Cattle ranchers continued to encroach deeper and deeper into O’odham territory and scuffles began to break out.

In another classic example of the “blame the victim” tactic, a pro-enclosure story was printed in the Los Angeles Times, no doubt to build public pressure for the domestication of the “Wild Papago.” The story concerns a group of O’odham who had resisted an Anglo cattleman’s attempts to enclose one of their water sources. When these O’odham continually tore down the fence that this cattleman had built, the rancher filed a report with the local Indian Agency sheriff to have the men arrested. When the sheriff arrived to arrest the O’odham responsible for defending their water source, he was taken hostage. The sheriff was later released unharmed; however, the incident was used to make the argument that such troubles can only be expected to increase if the O’odham were not enclosed on a reservation where they could be more easily controlled and monitored. 41

The tactic of occupying and diverting natural water sources was one of the tools used by the Anglo settlers and government to destroy the self sufficiency of the O’odham and force them into reservations where they would be dependent on the government for their water and would thus be easier to control and monitor. Some of the O’odham clearly understood what was happening, which is evidenced by instances of resistance both to the enclosure of natural water sources as well as resistance to the drilling of wells. One example of the U.S. government using water as a tool of forced cultural assimilation can be found by looking at an event recorded by an O’odham calendar stick 42 keeper. In 1912, the O’odham residing in the village of Santa Rosa, an isolated and traditional village in the western desert region of O’odham territory, were paid a visit by an Anglo Indian Commissioner who wished to drill a well for them. The Chief of the village objected to the drilling of the well on the grounds that it would disturb their culture, their autonomy and their self-sufficiency. The government agent proceeded to have the well drilled anyway. Upon completion of the well, the Chief of the village, according to the calendar stick keeper, stated that

“the well must be left alone and, in order that the Papagos might continue their old life, water must still be carried from the spring in the foothills.” 43

However, the prohibition by the Chief could not be upheld due to the overwhelming convenience of the new well and after a period of abstaining from its usage, the village of Santa Rosa (including the Chief) gave in and thus was assimilated into the industrial system by being made dependent on the Government well. 44 During this same time period, encroaching Anglo farmers engaged in the diversion of O’odham water sources to irrigate their farms. This practice served as another method of forcing the self sufficient O’odham into a relationship of dependence upon the government. In many areas so much water was diverted that the O’odham could no longer grow their traditional summer crops. 45

In 1919, the first incarnation of an O’odham reservation to enclose the nearly two million acres of desert that the “Wild Papago” were residing in was established. The formation of the desert O’odham reservation in 1919 ushered in a period of exponentially increased government interference in O’odham matters, and of course, the various forms of coercive assimilation were multiplied. By 1933, thirty-two unwanted wells were drilled all over the new reservation. 46 The well drilling was often opposed by those who were trying to maintain the O’odham Him’dag – the traditional ways of the desert people.

Resistance and Collaboration: O’odham Responses to Forced Modernization

In contrast to the traditional O’odham who had maintained resistance to cultural assimilation for the past 300 years, there was also a small number of O’odham based in the new reservation that welcomed collaboration with the forces of Anglo modernization and advocated for cultural accommodation and in some instances for total cultural assimilation. These men would later form an organization called the Papago Good Government League, which would serve as the propaganda arm of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and government policy in general. The leadership of this new faction had been taken from their families as youths and placed in Protestant boarding schools to be culturally indoctrinated. The Tucson Presbyterian Training School was one of the indoctrination centers where many future members of the Good Government League had been sent. 47

Religious indoctrination, whether Catholic or Protestant, has always been one of the most powerful tools of colonization and its justification used by European invaders against the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The necessary counterpart to the forced indoctrination of Christian principals and morals has always been the repression of indigenous spiritual practices. The United States government understood the profound power that traditional spiritual practices had in maintaining group solidarity and cohesion and it is for this reason that such spiritual practices were made illegal and repressed historically. In 1883, a Court of Indian Offenses was established by congress at the request of Secretary of Interior Henry M. Teller to eliminate traditional spiritual practices. In a report to the commissioner of Indian Affairs, Teller laid out his goals and his rationale stating that,

“If it is the purpose of the Government to civilize the Indians, they must be compelled to desist from the savage and barbarous practices that are calculated to continue them in savagery….”

Teller went on to associate those who resisted the repression of their spirituality with the “non-progressive” faction of Indians and labeled traditional spiritualism as “debauchery,” “diabolism,” and “savagery.” The overarching argument of his letter is that in order to civilize the Indians and bring them into the industrial system, their traditional spiritualism must be destroyed. As an initial step towards this end, Teller advised that Medicine Men be “compelled” to desist from their practice of “deception.” 48

Although the Court of Indian Offenses advocated that coercion be used to repress and destroy indigenous spiritualism, it failed to succeed in this project even when it used force to try to stop traditional spiritual rituals. According to Historian Edward Spicer, the only thing the Court succeeded in doing was driving traditional spiritual practices underground. In the case of many resistant O’odham, traditional spiritual practices were continued without regard to regulations or prohibitions against them, and in many cases, federal authorities resorted to repression and arrest to try to stop these practices. One traditional spiritual practice of the O’odham which was particularly hated by the Protestant Missionaries and Indian Agents was the Vi-kita ceremony.

The Vi-kita ceremony of the O’odham has been written about and studied by many Anglo historians and anthropologists, the most prominent being Columbia Anthropologist Ruth Underhill. 49 Before going into a short description of the Vi-kita it is important to understand that this ceremony varied depending on who was conducting it and where it was being conducted. Peter Blaine, an influential O’odham man sympathetic to the traditional ways, wrote in his autobiography about Underhill’s methods. Blaine explained the traditional way for the O’odham to tell about their past was to do it

“in a group so that everybody had a chance to talk and tell it their way. Underhill was talking to just one man…Dr. Underhill was wrong all the way in how she got her information.” 50

As scholars from the dominant culture often do, Underhill had applied her own notions of hierarchy, authority and individualism to her work with the O’odham and totally disregarded their traditional methods of conveying information in a communal fashion.

The Vi-kita itself was a yearly rain and fertility festival preformed to initiate and give thanks for the yearly summer rains. The ceremony itself consisted of the communal singing of rain songs, dancing, intimate encounters, and the consumption of Navait (Saguaro wine), an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of Saguaro Cactus buds. The consumption of this wine was meant to symbolize the connection between the sky and the earth. The intake of the Navait was representative of the earth’s intake of rain. Participants drank Navait until vomiting occurred as this act embodied the clouds issuing forth rain unto the earth. It was a powerful ceremony that bonded the O’odham with the elements of nature.

When Protestant missionaries, and a small number of Protestant O’odham in the Good Government League, backed by U.S. Indian Agents, began their attempts to usurp power on the newly formed western O’odham (Sells) 51 reservation in the early 20th century, one of the first things they attacked was the practice of the Vi-kita ceremony. In the early 1930s, Peter Blaine explained that the traditional O’odham from the San Xavier reservation would travel to the western reservation for the Vi-kita. He states that,

“In the late 1920s the government tried to stop this wine drinking ceremony on the Sells reservation. But no Papago or Agency police could ever stop it.”

In one instance Blaine tells the story of how he helped defend three traditional O’odham Vi-kita ceremony leaders when they were arrested by agents from the Indian Bureau and jailed in Tucson. During the trial, a group of Protestant O’odham men from the Good Government League 52 argued for the repression of the ceremony – one of these men, Richard Hendrix, would continue to plague the traditional O’odham in future encounters. To respond to the collaborationist Good Government League, the resistant traditional O’odham formed the League of Papago Chiefs to counter the attempts of the Protestant Good Government League to usurp control on the reservation. 53

The Indian Reorganization Act and O’odham land rights

On June 18th, 1934, President Roosevelt signed into law the Indian Reorganization Act which finally stopped the forced allotment process initiated by the Dawes Act in 1887. The Indian Reorganization Act was viewed by its proponents as being in the best interests of the Indians. One of the reasons for this view was the fact that the Dawes Act and its forced allotment provisions had resulted in the loss of 90,000,000 acres of tribal lands and it was hoped by some, including then Indian Commissioner John Collier, that the Indian Reorganization Act could be used to regain some of this lost land.

The public was also encouraged to view the Indian Reorganization Act as being beneficial for Native Americans. A large article in the Los Angles Times entitled “The Bill to Return Indian Rights” stated that:

“After a century of graft, plunder and injustice, this bill has the objective of handing their own souls back to the Indians.” 54

However, such optimism and notions of cultural relativism were not held by all. As a precursor to the Indian Reorganization Act, a report was prepared for the Secretary of the Interior in 1928 to lay out the need for a change in Federal Indian Policy. The report stated that the “great majority of Indians are ultimately to merge into the general population” and that it was the government’s responsibility to assimilate Native Americans into “white civilization” because “the hands of the clock cannot be turned backwards.” Sympathetic attempts to help Native Americans retain their culture were stigmatized as attempts to “preserve them as museum specimens.” 55 Indian Commissioner John Collier was one of those who believed that Native Americans should retain their culture and that “the awakening of the racial spirit must be sustained….” 56 However, although the finalized Indian Reorganization Act did contain elements that were meant to “help” Native Americans, many of its articles were still designed to impose “civilized” systems on Native Americans.

It can be argued that the intent of the finalized Indian Reorganization Act was to initiate a new chapter in the push for the total cultural assimilation of the Native American tribes. The argument that there was no qualitative change between the Dawes Act and the Reorganization Act is legitimate. The Indian Reorganization Act provides the examples for the argument. The main tool of assimilation in the Indian Reorganization Act was the provision in Section 17 which allowed for Native American tribes to form their own tribal governments, constitutions and laws which, although it is not specifically stated, were intended to be Anglo in structure and functioning. In the case that these native governments were not sufficiently acceptable to the U.S. government, section 17 also provided that all Tribal Government formations must be “approved by the Secretary of the Interior.” 57 This clearly shows that the intent of the Act was not to allow Native Americans to become fully autonomous, either culturally or politically. For a tribe such as the O’odham, which had a long history of decentralization and consensus decision making, the imposition of western style liberal democracy, with its attendant centralization and majority rule system, was an obvious method of forced cultural indoctrination. Peter Blaine, who was mentioned earlier, was an O’odham man who had sympathy for the traditional, decentralized and communal way of O’odham societal organization. When the collaborationist Papago Good Government League began to maneuver themselves into the position of representing all of the O’odham, Blaine took it upon himself to lead the charge to discredit their assertions to business interests and the Federal Government that they represented the O’odham. Blaine wrote that:

“This so-called council represented only their own church people, but they took it upon themselves to become a council for all Papagos. They had meetings. Nobody attended them but these four guys because most people didn’t recognize them as leaders.” 58

In 1934 Blaine, along with another O’odham from the Gila Bend reservation named Leon Pancho became the first O’odham to travel to Washington D.C. These two men were sent as representatives of the traditional chiefs of the O’odham villages to argue against a recent court order that closed the Sells reservation to outside, Anglo owned, mining. The court order was a result of a lawsuit brought by the members of the Good Government League, including Richard Hendrix, who had teamed up with outside lawyers. These lawyers were to receive as payment a ten percent share of all land reclaimed from the mining companies, or a monetary equivalent. As this entire procedure was done behind the backs of the majority of the O’odham, when it was revealed, there was great resentment towards the Good Government League by many of the O’odham.

While in Washington D.C., Blaine was informed of the pending Indian Reorganization Act, and he became a supporter of the Act due to its provision allowing for the self government of Native Americans, as well as a provision in section Six that allowed the Secretary of Interior to manage mineral, mining, and livestock on the reservation. 59 In the case of the O’odham this meant that the reservation would be re-opened to mining and they would regain an important means of economic sustenance. According to Blaine, the mines were an important economic resource for the O’odham as they provided jobs and a market where beef and other O’odham products could be sold. 60 This is yet another unfortunate example of how the incursion of Anglo industrial technology served to destroy the self-sufficiency of the O’odham by making them dependent on it for survival.

Whether or not the mines were truly in the best interest of the O’odham is a complex topic which cannot be dealt with here. However it should be stated that Blaine and his companions’ trip to Washington D.C. was financed by the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, an organization that functioned in support of the mining interests, not the O’odham. This Tucson Chamber of Commerce was the same organization that had aggressively petitioned President Wilson to rescind his 1916 act forming the Sells reservation because it prevented Anglo agricultural interests from exploiting the area’s “best agricultural and grazing lands.” 61

Resistance to and Collaboration with the “White Man’s War”

Not long after the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act and the formation of the first O’odham Tribal Government, the United States declared war on Japan, thus entering World War II. The participation of Native Americans in World War II has been well publicized, especially the role the Dineh (Navajo) played as code talkers in the South Pacific. The United States government and the mainstream media portrayed Native Americans as being eager to fight for their homeland, and eager to assimilate into “white civilization” once they returned from the war. Nearly 25,000 62 Native Americans served in the United States military during World War II, many of whom were no doubt under the impression that their service would be rewarded with increased “rights” after the war’s end. Instead, as a “reward” for Native Americans participation in World War II the United States government established the Indian Claims commission in 1946 to legalize the U.S. occupation of Native American Lands never granted to the U.S. by treaty, passed House Concurrent Resolution 108 to terminate tribal recognition as separate entities from the Federal Government, and then instituted a plan in 1954 to relocate Native Americans off the reservation and into “Indian Ghettos” in the nation’s large cities. 63 These were the “rewards” for participation in World War II.

Like many other Native American Tribes, some of the O’odham Nations members participated in World War II. Ruth Underhill claims that the O’odham enlisted to serve in World War II “in droves” 64 and it is documented that the O’odham tribal government bought $10,000 in war bonds. 65 However, the extent of this involvement was distorted by the media, academia, and even some of the O’odham leaders in the tribal government. Richard Hendrix, a former member of the collaborationist Good Government League, had risen to prominence in the new O’odham tribal government by this time and was interviewed by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society on November 16, 1942. In this interview Hendrix exposed the extent to which he had allowed his mind to be colonized and assimilated into that of the dominant white culture. Speaking of colonization in general and World War II in particular, Hendrix stated that the O’odham had:

Learned to love the American government and they learned to love the Stars and Stripes. And when the war came and the time came for our boys to be registered, there was no exception. They registered just the same as white boys did. And now they are out fighting alongside the white boys, the American boys. They are just as anxious as the white boys to kill as many Japs, to kill as many Germans, and they are very anxious to win this great war so that the Papago people in this desert land may continue to enjoy the freedom of their homes. 66

Hendrix’s internalization of white supremacist racial notions is a heart breaking and shocking example of the extent to which he had accepted the ideology of “white civilization.” In addition, his assertion that every O’odham boy registered for the war with “no exception” is glaringly false.

Aside from the fact that there are always exceptions to everything, there was also a large scale organized resistance to World War II led by an old Chief and medicine man, Pia Machita, and his band of traditional O’odham who resided in an isolated village in the north western area of the Sells Reservation known as the Hickwan district. According to Peter Blaine, the O’odham residing in some of the most isolated villages in the Hickwan district had not seen a white man until the 1930s, and continued to practice the traditional O’odham Him’dag. 67 When Pia Machita was informed of the compulsory registration of young O’odham boys for induction into World War II, he instructed the youth of his village to refuse to sign the registration forms when they were visited by the local Indian Agent. Pia Machita was a very traditional leader who refused cultural assimilation and would not accept the authority of the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the O’odham tribal government. Finally, after all efforts to persuade Pia Machita’s village to register had failed, the tribal chief of police and a gang of Federal Marshals led by U.S. Marshall Ben McKinney invaded the village at two in the morning on October 16th, 1941, with tear gas bombs and guns drawn – when the Marshals attempted to take Pia Machita into custody some of the young men from the village used force to liberate him and severely beat one of the federal marshals. In the face of this resistance, the government agents and their local collaborators retreated to Tucson. When the Attorney General’s Office heard of the resistance on the O’odham reservation, they immediately got involved in the effort to repress this draft resistance movement as quickly as possible to prevent its possible spread to other reservations. By May 17th, 1941, after a period of about six months of trying to track down Pia Machita and his small band of men, Marshall McKinney and O’odham collaborators including Jose Ignacio from the tribal government, surrounded Pia Machita in the village of Stoa Pitk and took him into custody without incident. 68

Peter Blaine was the O’odham tribal chairman during the time that Pia Machita was leading the draft resistance movement. Although he did not believe that Pia Machita and his men were threats in any way, he was annoyed by what he perceived to be their stubbornness and attributed their draft resistance to his belief that they “didn’t really understand what they were doing.” 69 In reality, it was Blaine who did not understand the reasons behind Pia Machita and his men’s resistance to enlistment. Pia Machita and his men understood very well what they were doing – they were resisting giving aid to a government that they understood was their enemy. Given this understanding, and given the dictionary definition of the word “collaboration,” it becomes necessary to label those O’odham who participated in the arrest of Pia Machita as such – collaborators. The understanding that the U.S. government was the enemy of the traditional O’odham of the Hickwan district was based upon a long history of attempts by the U.S. government to force the Traditional O’odham of that area to abandon the Him’dag and embrace elements of Anglo “progress” such as dams, railroads, wells, and the protestant religion. Despite Peter Blaine’s inability to understand why the O’odham in the Hickwan district rejected Anglo-civilization in its totality, he still maintained sympathy for the people there. When Pia Machita and two co-defendants were finally sentenced to serve 18 months in prison at Terminal Island Federal Prison for their roles in leading the resistance movement, Peter Blaine eventually came to their aid and used his connections as tribal chairman to persuade the sentencing Judge to release Pia Machita early and allow him to return to the reservation and his family. 70

Conclusion

The history of the O’odham’s contact with the United States government has been one marked by a persistent current of resistance to cultural assimilation into “white civilization.” This resistance has included a variety of tactics and actions. The favored tactic of resistance to assimilation for many of the O’odham groupings seems to have been that of avoidance and feigned accommodation to Anglo culture when expedient. However, as was evidenced by the O’odham’s early history of contact with the Spanish, they did not refrain from waging armed resistance to colonization when they were pushed into a situation where other tactics might have been ineffectual.

In addition to resistance and accommodation, it has also been shown that some of the O’odham choose to engage in direct collaboration with the Anglo colonization of their lands and minds. As this paper has shown, the levels of collaborative activity amongst the O’odham varied, and so did the effects of such collaboration. When investigating instances of collaboration it is always important to understand the context which produced them and to remember that the ultimate blame for a situation of oppression should always be placed upon the group committing the acts of repression – in this case the United States government and allied business interests. It is important to show such examples of collaboration and to understand that all human cultures who have been the victim of colonization have invariably contained individuals who chose to collaborate for a variety of reasons. The O’odham are no exception to this rule. Making apologies for collaboration or failing to mention the instances where such collaboration did occur creates a historical distortion and does nothing to aid present struggles for liberation.

The O’odham responses to colonization never represented a totality, but a strong current of resistance is evident throughout their history. In regards to the United States government, it can be said, given the primary sources looked at, and the final drafts of laws signed and policies followed, that the intent of the United States government toward all Native American tribes, when it was not outright genocidal, has been the cultural destruction and absorption of remaining Native Americans into the dominant industrial culture of “white civilization.” Regardless of the varying tactics used, and the various lip service about “best interests” and “justice,” it has been shown that there has never been a qualitative change in United States policy toward the O’odham people and Native Americans in general. The O’odham have maintained aspects of their traditional culture despite the best efforts of the government to force assimilation, not as a result of such efforts. A continuing current of struggle between the forces of colonization and resistance has persisted for centuries, in all its various forms, within the minds and bodies of many O’odham and will continue until liberation.

NOTES:

1
This date is based on archeological evidence gathered by E.W. Haury in Ventana Cave. Haury, E.W. The Stratigraphy and Archeology of Ventana Cave Arizona. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1950. Cited from Williams, Thomas R. “The Structure of the Socialization Process in Papago Indian Society.” Social Forces, Vol.36, No.3. p.253.

2
Fontana, Bernard L. Of Earth and Little Rain: The Papago Indians. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1989. pp.37-39.

3
The name “O’odham” is roughly translated as “the people” in the Piman dialect spoken by the various O’odham groupings.

4
In 1986 the tribal government of the Papago reservation officially changed its name to the Tohono O’odham Nation.

5
The term “civilized” is a problematic historical term, and its definition tends to be very subjective. The meaning of the term and its use as a label is heavily influenced by how the author and the reader understand its meaning. For the purposes of this paper, the term “civilized” refers to the totality of the “western” cultural, political, and economic system – and most importantly the belief that technological/industrial progress is inherently beneficial and liberatory. For most, being labeled “civilized” is viewed as a positive and the label of “un-civilized” or “savage” is viewed in the reverse. However, for the purposes of this study it is imperative to understand that this author views “civilization” itself as an inherently oppressive and destructive entity, and this must be kept in mind to correctly understand the arguments and analyses in the paper.

6
The term “soft power” refers to the concept of gaining influence and control over another group by means of the attraction of the dominating group’s cultural attributes and the use of commodification rather than using military might and coercion (“hard power”) to gain that influence. See Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Soft Power: The means to success in world politics. New York: Perseus Books, 2004.

7
Erickson, Winston T. Sharing the Desert: The Tohono O’odham in History. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003.

8
Fontana, Bernard L. Of Earth and Little Rain: The Papago Indians. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989.

9
According to Catholic missionary records, the numbers of mission O’odham during this time period were somewhere around 2,000. However, according to population estimates there were at least 10,000 O’odham peoples living in this area. See Fontana, Bernard L. Of Earth and Little Rain . pp.11,46.

10
Fontana, Bernard L., p.40.

11
It is well documented that many of the Missions resorted to physical abuse, forced confinement and occasional murder to coerce the O’odham into compliance. San Xavier del Bac, the largest and most famous of Catholic missions in O’odham lands was built with forced labor. See Daniel McCool; “Federal Indian Policy and the Sacred Mountains of the Papago Indians.” Journal of Ethnic Studies 9.3 (1981).p59.

12
Erickson, Winston P., p.66.

13
Fontana, Bernard L., pp.61-64.

14
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb 2nd, 1848. United States Statutes At Large, pp. 922-943

15
For a detailed treatment of this series of events see; Garber, Paul N. The Gadsden Treaty. Glouchester: Peter Smith, 1959.

16
For more information on the removal of the Seminole; Stannard, David E. American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. P.124. For additional information about the Seminole Wars see; Churchill, Ward. “A Little Matter Of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present.” San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997.

17
All dates for the political appointments of James Gadsden are cited from Paul Garber’s “The Gadsden Treaty.” Pages 74-81.

18
Racial Anglo-Saxonism was a belief popular in the later 19th century which held that Europeans of Anglo-Saxon descent were at the forefront of evolution and were responsible to bring civilization to the world. This ideology was used as a convenient justification for the extermination and removal of Native Americans. For a detailed study of this ideology see: Horsman, Reginald. Race And Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981.

19
For a detailed investigation of the role that the railroads played in the Gadsden purchase see; Schmidt, Louis B. “Manifest Opportunity and the Gadsden Purchase.” Arizona and the West, vol.3 (autumn 1961).

20
Forbes, Jack D. The Papago-Apache Treaty of 1853: Property Rights and Religious Liberties of the O’odham, Maricopa and Other Native Peoples. Davis: Native American Studies Tecumseh Center, U.C. Davis, 1979. p.1.

21
United States Congress. Joint Special Committee. Condition of The Indian Tribes. Report of the joint special committee, appointed under joint resolution of March 3, 1865. With an appendix. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1865.

22
Erickson, p.77

23
During this time period many treaties were negotiated with native tribes in the regions west of the Mississippi to gain legal justification for the United States’ theft of their lands. For a detailed list of treaties signed between the United States and Native American tribes, see the compendium edited by Charles J. Kappler. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. 7 volumes. Washington, D.C.: Unites States Government Printing Office, 1903-4.

24
Spicer, Edward H. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1962. p.138.

25
“Arizona News; Papago Cattle-thieves Brought to Justice.” Los Angeles Times. Feb 1, 1894. Also see: “Arizona News; Report Showing the Depredations Committed by Papago Indians on Stockmen’s Herds.” Los Angeles Times. June 8, 1895, In addition see; “Arizona News: Papagoes Destroying Cattle in Large Numbers.” Los Angeles Times. Mar 23, 1894.

26
Kehoe, Lawrence. “Our New Indian Policy and Religious Liberty.” Catholic World, vol. 26 (Oct. 1887). P.96.

27
Erickson p.78.

28
“Tucson And Fort Lowell; Notes of a Visitor – The Church of San Xavier.” Los Angeles Times. Nov 18, 1882.

29
The Spanish had brought the adobe style of construction to the O’odham but, although the resources for adobe construction were readily available to the O’odham at San Xavier, they continued to build their traditional grass huts.

30
For a detailed study of traditional O’odham tribal structure and life style see; Underhill, Ruth M. Social Organization of the Papago Indians. Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1939. ________. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

31
For the most part, traditional Native American societies exhibited gender parallelism and were rarely if ever patriarchal by definition. For a detailed study of gender in Native America see: Allen, Paula G. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

32
All direct quotations from Dawes Act. General Allotment Act (Dawes Act). February 8, 1887. Printed in its totality in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

33
U.S. Congress, House Committee on Indian Affairs, Lands in Severalty to Indians: Report to Accompany H.R. 5038, 46th Cong., 2nd sess., May 28, 1880, H. Rept. 1576, pp.7-10. Reproduced in: Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Assault on Indian Tribalism: The General Allotment Law (Dawes Act) of 1887. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1975.

34
Letter from Henry L. Dawes to Henry M. Teller (Commissioner of Indian Affairs), September 19, 1882. Dawes Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Reproduced in: Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Assault on Indian Tribalism: The General Allotment Law (Dawes Act) of 1887. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1975.

35
Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Assault on Indian Tribalism: The General Allotment Law (Dawes Act) of 1887. P.12.

36
Washburn, p.16.

37
Fontana, pp. 77-79.

38
Erickson, p. 92.

39
“Baboquivari Peak.” Los Angeles Times. Nov 4, 1894.

40
The term “Wild Papago” was a term used by the government and media to marginalize those O’odham who continued to resist “civilization.”

41
“The Indian War Cloud.” Los Angeles Times. May 22, 1885.

42
The Calendar Stick was a device used by the O’odham as a tool to aid in the remembering of their history. The Calendar Stick itself was a cactus stick on which notches were carved at various intervals which aided the history keeper in the remembrance of events.

43
Fontana, p.54.

44
This example is meant to show the insidious nature of industrial technology and is not intended to place any blame on this specific group of O’odham for their ultimate choice to begin using the well. This example is given to show how industrial technology always comes with strings attached. In this case, once the village becomes dependent on the well they in turn become dependent on the Anglo civilization which is needed to maintain the functioning of such a well, and thus become less able to resist other Anglo incursions. In addition it must be pointed out here that the traditional water gathering procedure talked about was preformed by O’odham women. Due to this fact, some may feel that by resisting the building of the well, the male O’odham are in fact seeking to perpetuate patriarchy. It is true that the O’odham did have a system of gendered roles, but the overall system made room for exceptions and is best characterized as one of gender parallelism, not patriarchy. It is the Anglo industrial system that brought patriarchy to the O’odham. For more information see: Underhill, Ruth. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979. Also see: Allen, Paula G. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

45
Forbes, Jack D. The Papago-Apache Treaty of 1853: Property Rights and Religious Liberties of the O’odham, Maricopa and Other Native Peoples. Davis: Native American Studies Tecumseh Center, U.C. Davis, 1979. pp..5-8.

46
Spicer, p. 140.

47
Spicer, p.141.

48
All quotes taken directly from: House Executive Document no.1, 48th Cong., 1st sess., serial 2190, pp.x-xii. Reproduced in; Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

49
For a detailed account of the Vi-kita see: Davis, Edward H. The Papago Ceremony of Vikita. New York: Museum of The American Indian, 1920. Also see: Underhill, Ruth. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

50
Blaine, Peter. Papagos and Politics. Tucson: The Arizona Historical Society, 1981. p.42.

51
The expansive western O’odham reservation was officially called the Sells reservation. It was named after the first Indian agent in the region, John Sells.

52
The Good Government League was formed by a small group of Protestant O’odham who used the organization to advocate for the assimilation of the O’odham into Anglo civilization as well as to promote general U.S. Indian policy.

53
Blaine, pp.40-50.

54
“Bill To Return Indian Rights ” Los Angeles Times. June 8, 1934.

55
Lewis Meriam et al., The Problem of Indian Administration. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1928. Selection printed in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

56
Annual Report of the Secretary of Interior, 1934, pp.78-83. Reprinted in; Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

57
Wheeler-Howard Act (Indian Reorganization Act) June 18, 1934. U.S. Statutes at Large, 48:984-88. Re-printed in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

58
Blaine, p.50.

59
Wheeler-Howard Act (Indian Reorganization Act) June 18, 1934. U.S. Statutes at Large, 48:984-88. Re-printed in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

60
Blaine, pp.50-53.

61
McCool, Daniel. “Federal Indian Policy and the Sacred Mountains of the Papago Indians.” Journal of Ethnic Studies 9.3 (1981). p.62.

62
Holm, Tom. “Fighting A White Mans War: The Extent and Legacy of American Indian Participation in World War II.” The Journal of Ethnic Studies. 9.2. p.70.

63
For more on this aspect of the Indian Claims Commission, and a discussion about the termination act see: Forbes, Jack D. The Papago-Apache Treaty of 1853: Property Rights and Religious Liberties of the O’odham, Maricopa and Other Native Peoples. Davis: Native American Studies Tecumseh Center, U.C. Davis, 1979.

64
Underhill, Ruth. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979. P.94.

65
Blaine, p.115.

66
Hendrix, Richard. Talk by Richard Hendricks, Prominent Papago Indian, Given at the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, November 16, 1942. The Kiva, vol. 8 (Nov. 1942).

67
Blaine, p.92.

68
Flaccus, Elmer. “Arizona’s Last Great Indian War: The Saga of Pia Machita.” The Journal of Arizona History, vol. 22 (1981).

69
Blaine, p.101.

70
Blain, pp.103-4.

© 2004, REPRODUCTION FOR NON-PROFIT INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES IS ALLOWED

Picture of Israeli worth 20 Palestinians

Galid Shalit kidnapped by Hamas in 2006At first glance the trade betrayed a racist inequity. This week Israel agreed to release twenty Palestinian women in exchange for one Israeli held captive by Hamas. Not for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, just for proof that he was still alive.

What is the worth of one Israeli? At first his captors demanded the release of all Palestinian women and girls. Later they asked for the release of 1,000 detainees. But the relative values are reversed. Shalit is the lone POW held by Palestine. Israel incarcerates an estimated 11,000, most detained for obstructing the construction of the Apartheid Wall. Exchanging Shalit would represent a trade of 100% for 9%. Don’t worry, Israel’s occupation forces can always capture more.

Gilad Shalit is the first IDF soldier captured by the Palestinians since 1994. Israel on the other hand, with the collaboration of Fatah, can arrest civilians whenever they choose.

Shalit’s capture is an interesting story. Israel claims to have received warning of the eminent kidnap attempt. The day before, IDF soldiers raided a house belonging to a suspected Hamas militant. They arrested his two sons, a doctor and a lawyer. Their torture allegedly extracted details of a cross-border raid. As a result, technically I suppose you could say, their intelligence officers “received warning.” However Israel was unable to thwart the tank operator’s capture.

Shalit has served as the pretext for many ensuing incursions into Gaza, at a great cost to Palestinian lives. Draw your own conclusions.

Israel propagates this story to assert that Gilad Shalit was “kidnapped,” invoking a litany of international laws which Israel wields against Hamas. With shameless hypocrisy, Israelis protest the inhumanities suffered by Shalit, ignoring the documentation of thousands of imprisoned Palestinian subjected to worse. The irony of Israel’s complaints becomes tedious: lack of International Red Cross access, parental visitation, regular correspondence, information of his exact whereabouts, etc. This in light of Israel’s refusal to permit oversight of its Palestinian detainees, or to denounce its tortures. What gall to decry the fate of one soldier, taken prisoner while on duty, with Israel’s demonstrated eagerness to expend ordnance and harass Palestinian civilians at whim.

Shalit has prompted Israel to launch aerial bombardments, and restrict border checkpoints in the effort to extort his release, or to pit Palestinian sentiments against Hamas, who refuse to release Shalit in spite of the collective punishment meted to its people.

The Israelis had reason to doubt that Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006, was not dead. After all, the IDF was confident that their January incursion into Gaza had destroyed all known Hamas hiding places.

Don’t buy Israeli Apartheid

Boycott, Divest, IsraelInteresting counterpoint in Ha’aretz this morning about the Goldstone Report on the recent war crimes committed in Gaza, where the UN commission found grounds to investigate both Hamas and Israel for violations.
 
Hamas rejects the charges based on population’s right to resist illegal occupation. The Israeli administration was indignant with a more complicated rationale. In the face of having inflicted 100 times more casualties, most of them civilian, Amira Hass wrote about The one thing worse than denying the Gaza report, which is to justify the crimes. Ari Shavit took a further tack, arguing that the UN must hold Obama to same standard as Israel. My favorite analysis of the moral predicament Israel finds itself rationalizing, is by Jihad el-Khazen.

Osama on Obama

The usual channels have yielded another video from Osama bin Laden, wherein a still photo of the al-Qaeda godfather accompanies an audio “statement to the American people,” purportedly recorded June 4. Here is the full English translation of the 10 minute tape. First, two questions.

ONE: I find it interesting that the message echoes what most anti-imperialists already believe. From a Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, this text would be timid. Throw in the unverified nature of this transmission, the mystery of whether Osama lives, or whose interest he really served, and this new tape subverts somebody’s message, but whose?

For example, in the new tape, Osama bin Laden recommends three books. The NYT is quick to tell us that any recommendation from bin Laden is certainly unwelcome by any author. The books? The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The NYT just as quickly dismissed the titles as well.

TWO: Why does no one release the full translation of Osama’s message? Newspapers comment on his statements based on interpretations made by US intelligence contractors, who themselves do not release their translations to the public.

Are there no Arabic speakers who wish to translate bin Laden’s words for the international audience? Why is everyone content to hear what the US government says is Osama’s message?

Extracts the US media is reprinting of Osama’s message:

“Reasonable people know that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised, but rather, will continue it to the highest point possible.”

“The bitter truth is that the neoconservatives continue to cast their heavy shadows upon you.”

“Ask yourselves to determine your position: is your security, your blood, your children, your money, your jobs, your homes, your economy, and your reputation dearer to you than the security of the Israelis, their children and their economy?

“If you choose your security and cessation of war … this requires you to work to punish those on your side who play with our security.”

“The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby.”

“The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine.”

“If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups.”

“Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq — as Bush claimed — it should have been liberated.”

“If you stop the war, then fine. Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front… If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this.”

“You have only changed the faces in the White House.”

The full English translation, courtesy of the NEFA Foundation:

“All praise is due to Allah who created [the] creation for His servants and commanded them to justice, and who permitted those who have been unjustly treated to carry out similar vengeance against their oppressors…”

“O’ people of America, my speech to you is a reminder of the reasons behind [September] 11 and what took place in its aftermath in the form of wars, and claims, and the path to escape from its causes. Specifically, I draw attention to the families of those who were killed during these events, and those who have recently called for open investigations to determine the causes that led to them— this is your first step in the right direction amongst many steps that deliberately missed the path throughout eight years of little prosper that have passed you by. And it is correct that the American people should have sympathy for them, because the longer it takes you to recognize the real causes, the higher a price you will pay, needlessly. Thus, since the administration in the White House—one of the sides in this struggle— has appealed to you for years that war is necessary to ensure your security, then, to understand the truth, a wise man would want to heed and listen to both sides of the struggle, so lend me your ears.”

“First, I say: we have shown and declared many times over more than two and a half decades that our dispute with you [is based on] your support of your allies; the Israeli occupiers of our land in Palestine. It was this stance—along with other injustices—that moved us to carry out the events of September 11. If you realized the extent of our suffering caused by the injustices of the Jews backed by your administration, then you would understand that both of our nations are victims of the policies laid down by the White House, which in reality is nothing but a puppet in the hands of powerful interest groups, specifically big corporations and the Israel lobby.”

“And, the best voice who has tried to explain to you the reasons behind [September] 11 is one of your own citizens, the veteran former CIA agent whose conscience awoke in his eighth decade [of age] and he decided to tell the truth despite the pressure against him, and explained for you the message behind September 11. Thus, he carried out some actions for this purpose

specifically, from within that is his book titled, ‘Apology of a Mercenary.’ Similarly, with regards to the suffering of our people in Palestine, Obama recently confessed in his speech in Cairo to the suffering of our people there [in Palestine], under occupation and sanctions. And the matter becomes even clearer if you read what your former president Jimmy Carter has written about the Israeli discrimination against our people in Palestine, or had you listened to his statement some weeks ago, while visiting besieged and ravaged Gaza, when he said, ‘the people of Gaza are treated more like animals than human beings’…”

“And here we should pause for a moment, for anyone with an atom’s weight of mercy is compelled to sympathize with the suffering of the elderly, women, and children under the fatal siege, while above them the Zionists pour down burning American-made white-phosphorus bombs. Life there is miserable beyond any conception, such as the number of children who are dying in the hands of their fathers and doctors because of a lack of food, medicine, and basic electricity. It is truthfully a stain of shame on the forehands of all world politicians who facilitate this, and the people who ally with them with prior knowledge of their intentions—along with the influence from the Israeli lobby in America. The details regarding this have been clarified by two of your citizens, they are John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt in the book ‘The Israel Lobby in the United States.’ Upon reading these various suggested works, you will discover the truth and you will be terribly shocked by the scale of the deception that has been used against you. You will also discover that, even today, those who issue statements from inside the White House and claim that your wars against us are necessary for your security are the same ones who worked under the regime of Cheney and Bush, and marketed their former policies of fear to safeguard the interests of large corporations at the expense of your blood and economy. Truthfully, those are the ones responsible for forcing war upon you, not the mujahideen—as we are [merely] defending the right to liberate our land.”

“And should you consider your situation at some depth, then you will discover that the White House is actually occupied by interest groups, and that it [the White House] should have been liberated, instead of fighting to liberate Iraq as Bush claimed. The role of a White House leader in today’s atmosphere, regardless of his name, is like a train conductor who has no choice but to move forward on the rails laid down by interest groups—or else its path will be obstructed—and who lives in fear that his fate will be that of the former president [John F.] Kennedy and his brother.”

“The conclusion of my speech: it is time to liberate yourselves from the fear and mental terrorism that the neo-conservatives and the Israeli Lobby have used to manipulate you. Put the issue of your alliance with the Israelis up for debate and ask yourselves what your stance is: is your own security, blood, children, money, jobs, homes, economy, and reputation more important to you, or do you prefer the safety of the Israelis, their children, and economy? If you choose your own security and bring the war to a halt—and this is what the opinion polls have shown is most popular—then you must work and replace the hands of those from amongst you who have endangered our safety, and we are ready to respond to this decision in accordance with sound and just principles that have been previously mentioned. And here, there is an important point that requires attention regarding the war and stopping it: when Bush took power and appointed a secretary of defense who had assisted in killing two million suffering villagers in Vietnam, intelligent people predicted on that day that Bush was preparing for new massacres during his term in office, and this is what occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then, Obama took charge and kept Cheney and Bush’s men—those from the senior leadership in the Pentagon—like Gates, Mullen, and Petraeus. Intelligent people understand that Obama is a weak man who cannot stop the war like he promised, but instead, he will postpone it to the greatest possible degree. If he was really in control, then he would have handed over leadership to the generals who have opposed this foolish war—like the former forces commander General Sanchez and the head of Central Command who was forced by Bush to resign shortly before leaving the White House because of his opposition to the war. Instead, he [Bush] appointed someone else who would press on after him.”

“Furthermore, Obama—under the pretext of his willingness to cooperate with the Republicans— has tricked you with a big fraud, as he kept the most important and most dangerous secretary— Cheney’s man—to continue the war. It will become clear to you over the coming days that you have changed nothing in the White House except faces—the bitter truth is that the neo-conservatives are still heavily shadowing you.”

“Returning back to the original point, if you stop the war, then so be it. But otherwise, it is inevitable that we will continue our war of extermination against you on all possible fronts, just as we annihilated the Soviet Union for a decade until it was dismantled, by the grace of Allah. So, go ahead and prolong this war as long as you want, but you are engaged in a miserable losing war for the interests of others that seems to have no end in sight. The Russian Generals—who were shaken by the battles in Afghanistan—warned you what the outcome of the war would be before it began, but you refuse to listen to those who advise you. This war is being financed through ghoulish interests, the morale of your soldiers is collapsing, and they are committing suicide on a daily basis to escape it. It is a failed war, Allah willing.”

“This is has all been prescribed for you by the doctors Cheney and Bush as medicine for the events of September 11, yet, the bitterness and loss this has caused is worse than that of the events themselves. The accumulated debt alone has almost led to the collapse of the entire American economy. It has been said, some illnesses are tolerated more than their medicine. And we, by the grace of Allah, continue to carry our weapons slung over our shoulders, fighting the evil powers in the east and west for thirty years, and in all that time, we have not recorded a single incident of suicide despite the global pursuit targeting us, praise be to Allah. This should tell you something about the righteousness of our doctrine and the justice of our cause. Allah-willing, we are moving forward on our path to liberate our land; patience is our weapon and we seek victory from Allah, and we will not abandon Al-Aqsa Mosque, as our grasp on Palestine is greater than our grasp onto our souls… Thus, you can lengthen the war as you desire, [but] by Allah, we will not compromise in the least over it.”

The original Arabic transcript:

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IDF targets al-Jazeera on West Bank

Al Jazeera reporter targeted by IDF in West Bank

Al Jazeera reporter Jackie Rowland is targeted by IDF in West BankDid you catch it on Democracy Now? Al-Jazeera reporter Jackie Rowland, broadcasting live from the West Bank covering the weekly Palestinian protests of the Israeli Apartheid Wall at Bil’in, was interrupted by the IDF. The protesters were accustomed to being shelled with tear gas, but this time the Israeli soldiers targeted the reporter.

Al Jazeera reporter targeted by IDF in West BankWhile she was on the air, the IDF soldiers repeatedly fired gas canisters, until she could no longer speak, and a cameraman had to come to her rescue with a spare gas mask.

Here’s the original footage: