Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 14th, 2014

This town belong to me: Israeli settlers walking into a Palestinian village

This footage, filmed and published in 2009, gives you an intimate yet disturbing close-up of colonial expansion and occupation.

Watch as over a dozen Jewish settlers make their way into a Palestinian home in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and lay claim to a section of the property.

  posted this March 11, 2014

(and selected as one of the top posts)

See: Israeli settlers walk into a Palestinian home and decide it belongs to them

The home belonged to the Al-Kurd family. Rifqa Al-Kurd, 90, attempted to keep the settlers from entering the home but the settlers quickly moved around her, bringing their own belongings into the house and removing the family’s belongings from the premises.

According to the video’s description, a previous court order administered by an Israeli judge transferred ownership rights over part of the house to a family of Jewish settlers.

It is unclear if any appeals were made on behalf of the Al-Kurd family, but considering Israel’s longstanding history of ignoring land ownership deeds held by Palestinians, it is unlikely that the situation would have changed.

Images of Western people: No different than the rest of us?

We have all wondered how Western people look like in everyday situations, behind the veil of exoticism that surrounds their mysterious culture.

Photographer Adam Vaijan has spent years documenting everyday life in the West and the results are a startling mix of the magical and the ordinary.

A healthy dose of satire?

Karl reMarks posted this March 11, 2014

Unprecedented images of Western people looking just like you and me

Vaijan beautiful shots allow us to see beyond the wall of myth that surrounds Western people and their culture, revealing scenes that are touching in their normality and reminding us that they are just like us.
Mother and child in a supermarket. Many Western people shop in supermarkets, using trolleys.

Café. In their spare time, Westerners go to cafés just like us,
and drink coffee and tea.
Couple by the sea. Relationships between men and women are quite common
in the West. Many couples take walks in the park and along the coast,
occasionally sitting down to look at the waves.
Street life. Walking on the streets is common in the West,
there are shops, restaurants and cafés and people can see
merchandise in shopfronts.
At the hairdresser. When Western people’s hair grows, they need a haircut,
just like us. They go to get a haircut and often engage in conversations
with the hairdresser.
School. Education is as important for Westerners as it is for the rest of us,
pupils are taught in classes by professional teachers using blackboards and books.
The workplace. Much like us, Westerners work in offices and other places of employment.
Sadly, they also have to attend meetings and pretend they are interested.
Labels: 
Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

– See more at: http://www.karlremarks.com/2014/03/unprecedented-images-of-western-people.html#sthash.BsZl6r24.dpuf

How to give the land back? Is America’s brutality toward Native Americans continuing today?

, associate professor of English, posted this Feb. 17, 2014

Americans have unjustly taken vast tracts of land. This Presidents’ Day, let’s uphold our treaties and return it

I write often about liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation, a habit that evokes passionate response.

I have yet to encounter a response that persuades me to abandon the commitment to Palestinian liberation.

We must give the land back: America's brutality toward Native Americans continues today
Sioux Indians, six of whom were present at the Battle of Little Big Horn, gather in Custer State Park in the Black Hills area of Custer, S.D. on Sept. 2, 1948. (Credit: AP)

I have, however, encountered responses that I consider worthy of close assessment, particularly those that transport questions of colonization to the North American continent. You see, there is a particular defense of Zionism that precedes the existence of Israel by hundreds of years.

Here is a rough sketch of that defense: Allowing a Palestinian right of return or redressing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1947-49 is ludicrous. Look what happened to the Native Americans.

Is the United States supposed to return the country to them?

Israeli historian Benny Morris puts it this way: “Even the great American democracy couldn’t come to be without the forced extinction of Native Americans. There are times the overall, final good justifies terrible, cruedeeds.”

This reasoning suggests a finality to the past, an affirmation of tragedy trapped in the immutability of linear time. Its logic is terribly cliché, a peculiar form of common sense always taken up, everywhere, by the beneficiaries of colonial power.

The problems with invoking Native American genocide to rationalize Palestinian dispossession are legion.

The most noteworthy problem speaks to the unresolved detritus of American history: Natives aren’t objects of the past; they are living communities whose numbers are growing.

It’s rarely a good idea to ask rhetorical questions that have literal answers.

Yes, the United States absolutely should return stolen land to the Indians. That’s precisely what its treaty obligations require it to do.

The United States is a settler nation, but its history hasn’t been settled.

Yet most people invoke Natives as if they lost a contest that entrapped them in the past — and this only if Natives are considered at all. As a result, most analyses of both domestic and foreign policies are inadequate, lacking a necessary context of continued colonization and resistance.

For Natives, political aspirations aren’t focused on accessing the mythologies of a multicultural America, but on the practices of sovereignty and self-determination, consecrated in treaty agreements (and, of course, in their actual histories).

Treaties aren’t guidelines or suggestions; they are nation-to-nation agreements whose stipulations exist in perpetuity.

That the federal government still ignores so many of those agreements indicates that colonization is not simply an American memo

One of the most famous violations is the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851, 1868), which guaranteed the Lakota possession of the Black Hills. The American government seized the Black Hills 9 years after signing the treaty, in 1877, having discovered sizable deposits of gold and other precious minerals.

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had unjustly appropriated the Black Hills (the ruling doesn’t use the word “stolen,” but it’s an accurate descriptor of what occurred). The Court awarded the Lakota $15.5 million (now well over $100 million with inflation) for the adjusted value of the appropriated land, but the tribe has consistently refused the monetary settlement, preferring instead to retain entitlement to its historic territory.

To clarify: Vast portions of 5 U.S. states — North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana — are Indian land according to a treaty to which the American government voluntarily assented.

The highest legal authority in the United States has acknowledged that a significant portion of the land in question is rightfully Lakota. The American government refuses to return that land.

Let’s therefore drop the quaint notion that the colonization of Natives is a tragedy limited to the days of yore.

A comparable example of continuing U.S. colonization (unfortunately, this could go on a while) exists in Hawaii, the youngest American state. Hawaii became an American possession in 1893 due to a coup d’état led by colonist Sanford Dole, cousin of James Dole, who, not so coincidentally, made a fortune growing produce on the islands.

President Grover Cleveland commissioned an investigation into the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, led by Georgia congressman James Henderson Blount. The Blount Report condemned the annexation of Hawaii. The condemnation ultimately did no good. American businessmen and politicians saw too much value in the new property to constrain their avarice. To this day, the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) do not recognize the legitimacy of the annexation and consider themselves subjects of foreign rule.

(For an excellent analysis of these matters, please read J. Kēhaulani Kauanui’s “Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity.”)

While American tourists enjoy hula dances and Mai Tais on stolen land, the Kanaka Maoli, victims of a conquest that in no way has passed, continue to organize for liberation.

Colonialism is present across North America in less obvious ways, though the lack of obviousness doesn’t mitigate its relevance.

Corporate malfeasance is especially harmful to indigenous communities in the Americas (and across the world).

Native nations have dealt with an uninterrupted expropriation of resources for over a century and now experience an inordinate amount of disease and pollution.

At present, Natives and their allies in both Canada and the U.S. are working to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that portends environmental damage and serious health concerns.

Natives have encountered violence in attempting to exercise their hunting and fishing rights. (Does the phrase “save a fish, spear an Indian” ring a bell?) Police brutality is acute in Indian Country.

Natives, women especially, are murdered at an epidemic rate, with the majority of cases unresolved. And many communities are still waiting on various institutions to comply with federal legislation requiring the return of artifacts and human remains to their rightful owners.

Nor should we forget that the forced sterilization of Native women and the kidnapping of children to be educated (read: brutally assimilated) in government boarding schools, where many were sexually molested and subject to countless other abuses, were still happening within the past half-century.

The inveterate omission of these realities in analyses of American politics constitutes an erasure of indigenous histories and illuminates why it is so easy to conceptualize the United States as historically settled. If we recall the existence of dynamic Indian nations, though, we have no choice but to rethink the commonplaces of American virtue.

It is a foolish conceit to suggest that history has ended in the United States.

No amount of ignorance (willful or unwitting) will invalidate the vigorous efforts to decolonize the North and South American continents.

When Israel’s apologists invoke the dispossession of living communities on those continents as a rationale for colonizing Palestine, they betray a profound disdain of indigenous humanity, the sort of contempt that renders the oppressor’s psyche so unsettled.

The truth about the UNITED STATES, LAW & YOU… YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS!

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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