Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 25th, 2013

Somewhere Over the Separation Barrier

Makes more sense to tear down the Wall of Shame, desegregate and disarm the settlements.

Giver the Palestinians job opportunities and they will readily go on strike to building Israeli illegal settlements.

Maysoon Zayid posted on Open Zion this December 18, 20134

I tweet too much. When tweeps follow me, I immediately warn them that I am super annoying and won’t take it personally if they unfollow me for flooding their feed.

My addiction to expressing myself in 140 characters finally paid off when a random tweet I posted about wanting to be POTUS’ s tour guide in the Holy Land landed me a writing gig at The Daily Beast.

On March 20, 2013, my first piece was posted. Nine months later, to the day, the section I was chosen to write for, Open Zion, is closing. This is my final column for OZ and I’d like to dedicate it to the topic I have been avoiding since day one: why I support one secular state and why doing so does not make me anti-Semitic, delusional, or genocidal.

I was born and raised in the great state of New Jersey.

As children, we were taught that everybody was equal, regardless of faith, race, ethnicity, and ability. Sexual orientation had not come out of the closet yet, but in my neck of the woods we all got along.

I am not naïve and I do realize that racism is alive and well in the United States of America. I am also fully aware that when segregation ended, we didn’t all live happily ever after.

No one can convince me, however, that life in America would be better if blacks and whites had stayed separate and unequal.

I did not live through the civil rights struggle, but the situation in Palestine mirrors everything I have learned about it secondhand. Millions of Palestinians and Israelis already co-exist and the theory that they need to be separated or else the Palestinians will push the Israelis into the sea is nothing but fearmongering. Palestinians build the illegal settlements. They work in Israeli supermarkets and gas stations.

In my articles for Open Zion I have written about Stephen Hawking joining the BDS movement and becoming the academic boycott’s poster child.

The BDS movement has made great strides—especially with its latest victory, the American Studies Association’s decision to endorse the academic boycott of Israel. However, Palestinian villagers are still shopping at settler-owned Rami Levy stores.

Rami Levy is the Walmart of the West Bank and while BDS advocates abroad shun Sabra brand hummus, Palestinians shopping at Rami Levy just can’t say “no” to a great bargain. Instead of pushing Netanyahu and the Knesset to implement a settlement freeze, we should instead implore the refugees building the settlements for slave wages to go on strike. This would freeze the settlements by bringing construction to a grinding halt.

The billions of dollars in aid money that Kerry has promised to the PLO is not being used to create jobs.

A Palestinian father of 5 that can’t find any other work will continue to build settlements on Palestinian land that neither he nor his children are allowed to live in, simply in order to put bread on the table.

Whenever I mentioned one state on the pages of Open Zion, some flying monkey in the comment section or a troll on Twitter would accuse me of being a genocidal anti-Semite or a Zionist-loving normalizer.

I do not understand what makes anyone think that a call for equal rights for all people living between the river and the sea means anything other than equal rights for all. At least one commenter asks, “What about the suicide bombers?”

Like a broken record, I will repeat: I condemn the use of violence against civilians by anyone at any time. Suicide bombings are not mainstream. They are the lunatic fringe minority, much like school shootings in America.

Out of the millions of Palestinians living in the territories, less than 150 committed this unthinkable crime and every other Palestinian living in the vicinity has been collectively punished for the past decade because of it.

Five years have passed since the last suicide bombing, but only a few days since an IDF sniper guarding an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian kid. Soldiers, settlers, and bulldozer drivers have also mercilessly targeted civilians.

Israel cannot claim that every single child they have killed was an accident when their soldiers are posting pictures on Facebook of Palestinian children in the crosshairs of their rifles’ scopes.

In discussing one state, I am often asked, “What about Gaza?” Gaza has long been forgotten.

Due to the Israeli blockade, and the Palestinian Authority’s apathy, fuel shortages have caused Gaza to descend into darkness. They are only receiving three hours of power a day, and while gorgeous pictures of Jerusalem blanketed in snow are popping up all over Instagram, the Palestinians in Gaza are freezing and wading through raw sewage.

Those who remember Gaza have reduced it to Hamas’s playground, ignoring the fact that the movement’s popularity is practically non-existent. The masses suffering in Gaza are as fed up with Hamas as they are with Fatah, since neither party seems to be doing anything to end the decades-long Israeli oppression they have had to endure generation after generation.

When I call for one state, I’m told it is impossible because there would no longer be a Jewish state. I don’t know how many times I can explain that being a secular state with equal rights does not deny the Jewish people their identity or a safe haven. It is time to live in the present.

Neither Israel nor Palestine has a constitution.  (Palestinians don’t have a State to write a Constitution, but what’s Israel excuse?)

As one state they could create one that allows any Jewish person worldwide to come live there as they do now. There is more than enough room for the refugees that want return and the Jews worldwide who want to make aliyah.

The fear that allowing the refugees to return will ensure the persecution of the Jewish population and the return of the Caliphate is absurd. Palestinians are Christian, Muslims, atheist, Buddhist—you name it. And the majority I know have nothing against Judaism and everything against Israeli oppression. Under democratic law, extremists of any stripe will have to live in a country where you do not discriminate against your neighbors or, if you do, you do so hiding behind a sock puppet on social media.

Many will say, “But one state denies Israel’s right to self-determination.” I’ve looked up the term self-determination and still don’t see how equality infringes upon it. If your right to self-determination means denying the lion’s share of the indigenous population equal rights then it is not an internationally recognized human right. Giving one group superior status makes all other citizens second class.

We have already witnessed the rampant discrimination faced by non-Jewish Israeli citizens when it comes to family reunification, finding jobs or housing, and practicing their faiths. A secular state that protects all faiths would be a true democracy, as opposed to the current state which has codified bigotry.

I am miffed that Open Zion will not be around for me to mock what comes of the Kerry-helmed peace talks. Just today, the leakerazzi mentioned that the U.S. was trying to force a framework on the parties that would allow Israel to continue to control all access between Jordan and the future fictitious State of Palestine for at least a decade. The United States needs to stop putting Israel’s wants above Palestinian rights.

Although I’m an ardent one-stater, I will not object to two states if the majority of Palestinians vote yes on the referendum that Abbas, who has not managed to hold elections in half a decade, promises will take place if any agreement on a two state solution between Palestine and Israel is brokered.

I sincerely do not believe you can separate these Semites.

Where will the borders be? Who controls the air and the water? Will the extremist Israelis, who storm the Al Aqsa compound in the Old City daily, ever agree to a divided Jerusalem?

Will the over 1 million Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship finally be treated equally in the Jewish state?

What makes more sense is to tear down the wall, desegregate and disarm the settlements, and allow each person a vote and equal protection under the law, regardless of faith, ethnicity, race, gender, disability and, since it’s almost 2014, sexual orientation, too.

Whoever doesn’t like it can move to Saudi Arabia. I am not saying that the American way of life is perfect. I’m saying that trying to separate millions of people, who live on top of each other, based on whatever fairytale they follow or whatever tribe they belong to, is a social experiment bound to fail. One secular state with equal rights for all is the only just solution.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. It’s now time for me to click the heels of my ruby slippers together and say goodbye to OZ. It’s been real.

Try not to kill each other.

Special thanks to Mary Richards Kallman for typing every single piece I have ever written for Open Zion.

Note: The 2-State status must be first  implemented to safeguard Palestinian robbed dignity as a people. Time will open up the inevitable opportunities for a unique secular state with two self-autonomous districts.

Dark side of Abu Dhabi’s cultural revolution…

As Abu Dhabi gets a multibillion-pound cultural face-lift, many of the migrant workers from Bangladesh and Pakistan complain of appalling conditions after paying large fees to agents, an Observer investigation has found.

Glenn Carrick visits Abu Dhabi’s exclusive Saadiyat island, where the Guggenheim and the Louvre museums are preparing to open stunning new premises – built by workers who go months earning less than £100 a month

The dark side of Abu Dhabi’s cultural revolution – video

Is there any equivalence between Wealth and Value?

Any difference between products (services) in Usage Values versus products for Exchanged?

You read “This person is worth a million

If this person own shares worth one million, or have that wealth in cash, or in real properties, or accumulated through an enterprise, or inherited… would you consider these forms of wealth as equivalent?

If the shares go bust and you find yourself penniless, or the cash has been devalued through currency changes, or properties have been confiscated or not amounting to much after a calamity, or the enterprise was selling illusion of wealth, or the inheritance was divided up early on while alive and has been wasted… what could be the common denominator among all these forms of wealth?

That once upon a time you were wealthy?

That you knew how to accumulate wealth but unable to hold on to?

That feeling poor in old age is overshadowed by a social recognition that you were once rich?

You read that the economists have lately estimated that Nature can extend worth of 54,000 billion per year on services rendered . What that means?

That concept of valuing the various services that nature are saving the corporations was first contemplated in 1997 by Robert Costanza, and the studies multiplied since then. For example:

Bats save $23 bn per year in the US on pesticides

Bees and pollinating insects save $190 bn per year.

And how about the photosynthesis of forests? How much this process saves on accumulated CO2? And valued per ton of CO2 eliminated on the market… A purely political price consensus by the G20

Anything that can be transformed into money is computed by the neoliberal capitalists who have this faculty of absolute recuperation in their mental system.

William Petty once said: “Work is not the unique source for practical values that it produces in material wealth. Work is the father, and land is the mother…”

The new trend among economists is to include all kinds of factors that can be capitalized in their linear models: Sort of analogue addition of variables that include human capital, social capital, knowledge capital, natural capital, communication capital, cognitive capital…

The motto is: “Economical Factors that can be monetarily evaluated should be considered as Capital

One of the problems in these models is ignoring the interactions among the variables, such as the metabolism within the natural eco-systems. All these interconnections that constitute the vast networks for a living condition and the preservation of the productive conditions.

There are new concepts and terms created by international organizations such as the World Bank, the UN Environmental Programs (PNUE) and the Organization of Cooperation and Economic development ( OCDE), and the European Union…. Terms such as “Valuing the living“, “Intrinsic economic value of nature“, and “service value generated by nature”…


1.  Can Nature have  Intrinsic economic value since it is not within the social category?

2. Should the wealth of nature be  reduced to political price decision that are reached by consensus of the largest exporting nations?

Since it is human work and efforts exercised on nature that produce values, should the economists and politicians exclude the social context in navigating within a network of interconnected anthropological living organism?

You read that daily transactions amount to over what all nations produced in GNP for an entire year. What that means?

The neoliberal capitalists have been trying hard to eliminate the notion of “value of work” and replace this term with “circulation of capital” as the main wealth producing factor, sort of connecting work with exchange value and disconnecting usage work as a value in generating wealth.

Neo-capitalists want to equate value with everything that can be transformed into capital, including knowledge, talents, health care, education, potable water, breathable air… Everything that maintain life and the survival of mankind has to be taxed and “capitalized”…

Neo-capitalism has created two contradictions that is handicapping any progress in sustainability of nature and mankind. To be explained in the second part.

Note: Post inspired by the article of Jean-Marie Harribey in Le Monde Diplomatic #717 under “Of bats and capitalism




December 2013

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