Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 26th, 2014

 

Bill Maher and Conservative Agree on Israel and Gaza

July 21, 2014 “ICH” –

Does Bill Maher pretend to be an idiot? The smug talk show host, for whom the expression “progressive except Palestine” was coined, reached new depths with his contempt for Palestinians and support for their oppressors.

Short explanation:

“progressives except for Palestine (PEP)” is the term for the kind of people who are progressive in their beliefs in just about every way except when it comes to Palestine, where they become supporters of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and colonialism.

That view is typically explained by their ingrained belief that Jews have a different DNA than the rest of mankind and therefore all standard measures and norms are dropped when Jews are involved.

For example, if a non-Jew murders a person he is a criminal that should spend the rest of his days in jail but if a Jew murders a person there must be a good reason for it and he must be retaliating, therefore the victim is to blame.

If a Jewish State practices apartheid with different set of laws for Jews and gentiles and builds colonies for Jews-only, then they will tout the virtues of apartheid!

If the Jewish State locks people in a ghetto and liquidates entire families with American supplied military might, then it surely is because the victims did something wrong to deserve it!

Bill Maher is the type of progressive that if in the future Israel decides to make dog food out of Palestinians and market it in the US, he would be the first to volunteer to be the brand’s spokesperson in national ads.

Here is Bill Maher, conducting a lively debate between an Israel supporter and another Israel supporter, moderated by a third Israel supporter.

And a holy orgy of lies, distortions, misrepresentations and smugness ensues.

After watching the above spectacle it was clear to me that “progressive except Palestine” is insufficient to encapsulate Bill Maher’s world view. I had to leaf through my dictionary for a good hour in search of a better term.

Fortunately, thanks to the richness of the English language, I finally stumbled upon the fitting expression to accurately describe Bill Maher: a piece of shit.

So without further ado here are the top ten reasons why Bill Maher is a piece of shit:

  1. The famed atheist who has gone as far as making an atrocious documentary movie where he mocks people of all religions for 100 excruciating minutes, turns out to be giving his endless support and admiration to… yes you guessed it… a state that was created based on religion, has religious parties in government and still touts Judaism as its raison d’etre. Why does Bill Maher support a religion-based state? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  2. Bill Maher would shudder thinking of the United States, where he lives, as a “Christian State belonging exclusively to Christians” yet Bill Maher fawns for a state that defines itself as a “state belonging exclusively to the Jewish people” and has state sanctioned religious institutions and no separation between religion and state. Why does he have a double standard? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  3. Bill Maher touts Jewish supremacy to Arabs by pointing to the fact that Jews have won more Nobel prizes than Arabs and that must be because of a higher percentage of “Jewish atheists” (whatever that means), which explains Arab backwardness according to him and Israel’s technological advances. Yet you would never hear Bill Maher touting Apartheid S. Africa as a role model of a state and white supremacy as an ideology because whites won more Nobel prizes than blacks. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  4. Bill Maher considers Israel morally superior because it could kill more Palestinians but it doesn’t. In the same way, Bill Maher would consider the US to be morally superior in Vietnam because it could have nuked the entire Vietnam but didn’t. Why is Bill Maher creating false morality arguments? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  5. Bill Maher who at some point called the US military budget “the world’s largest welfare program” and opposes such waste, doesn’t mind sending over $3 billion a year from his tax money, or around $2,000 annually for every single Israeli family, to subsidize Israel’s military. Why does Bill Maher believe our tax dollars are better spent on a foreign country than at home? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  6. Bill Maher lets one of his guests get away with a gigantic lie that Israel left Gaza and no longer controls it, even though the UN, the entire international community and even agreements that Israel signed view the Gaza strip as occupied territory, considered an integral territorial unit with the West Bank, both under occupation since 1967. Bill Maher would never claim that Warsaw Ghetto was not occupied by Germany because there were no German soldiers inside it. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  7. Bill Maher tells Palestinians that they should forget their dispossession and move on, even though the majority of them still live under a repressive colonizing military occupation and some are locked in an open air prison behind walls and remote controlled machine guns. Would Bill Maher preach to Jews locked in the Warsaw Ghetto or in occupied Poland to forget and move on? Of course not. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  8. Bill Maher blames Palestinian deaths on.. you guessed it… Palestinians. He upholds the mendacious claim that “Israel is defending itself” from rockets even though Israel is the occupying power and hence the aggressor. Bill Maher denies the occupied the right to resist their occupation and incarceration. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  9. Bill Maher makes the claim that “Hamas would wipe Israel off the map if it could” while ignoring the fact that it is Israel that has wiped and is still wiping Palestine off the map with colonies. Why does Bill Maher support the wiping off the map done by colonial immigrants but not the natives who were wiped off the map and who want to do the reverse? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
  10. Bill Maher ignores the ongoing colonial context and the Jewish state’s policies of Jewish exclusivity, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, colonization and “Judaisation” on the expense of Palestine’s native population.
  11.  Maher ignores Israel’s discriminatory laws, its state definition of Jews versus non-Jews, the denial of refugee rights, the violation of dozens of UN resolutions and the Geneva Convention, the millions of people under Israel’s rule without basic human rights for generations – all these monstrosities that have been going on since Israel’s foundation and that no progressive would ever support. Is it because Bill Maher is ignorant, pretending to be ignorant, or is it just because he is a piece of shit? I vote for the latter.

Ahad Haadam

 I grew up in Israel and served as an IDF officer. It took me years to realize that we had been brought up on lies, myths and propaganda and that Palestinians are no different from native Americans, blacks in S. Africa and other indigenous populations who were abused and dispossessed by European colonialism.

Demolishing the Zionist myths and propaganda is the first step towards de-constructing the exclusionary colonial state and achieving historic justice and lasting peace.

I can be reached at ahadhaadam at yahoo dot com.http://dancingwithpalestinians.wordpress.com

See also – A Brief History of Gaza: It seems outlandish that anyone would believe this absurd Orwellian language that turns oppressor and occupier into victim and victim into aggressor. So let’s review briefly Gaza’s history and put things in perspective:

 

This Young Man Lost 3 Family Members in Gaza.

Here’s Why Their Stories Matter.

 posted July 18, 2014

We were sitting at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, with a handful of friends who had gathered for a picnic potluck, awaiting others who would be joining us shortly.

A Facebook message came through on my Smartphone from my friend Yousef Munayyer:

Hey Jen, just saw some news about a young man from the Shurrab family in khan yunis being the latest victim, Name is Tayseer. Have you heard from Amer recently?

It’s been almost two years since I was last in Gaza. But every day, especially during these times, Gaza is in me.

Amer Shurrab. Photo courtesy of Jen Marlowe.

Amer Shurrab was, as a matter of fact, sitting across the picnic table from me at that very moment. He had come for a few days’s visit from Monterey, Calif., where he is finishing his MBA.

Though we had planned the visit weeks before the shit hit the fan in Gaza, the timing of it felt oddly right. I think it felt somewhat comforting to Amer to be surrounded by people who had some notion of what he was going through, and the beautiful Pacific Northwest was allowing some respite from the obsessive news-checking and strangling stress that is inevitable when one’s family is under bombardment.

We had just returned to Seattle after spending the last two days in Olympia with Rachel Corrie’s family. (Rachel, a peace and justice activist from Olympia, had been crushed to death in Gaza in 2003 by an Israeli military bulldozer as she stood in front of a Palestinian family’s home in order to prevent its demolition.)

In between deep acknowledgment of the horror of the situation in Gaza, some of it spoken and some of it silent, we spent several hours on Mount Rainier.

Just a few hours earlier, Amer took his first ride in a kayak. And then, as we were waiting for other Seattle friends and activists to come and meet Amer, which had been the impetus of organizing the picnic potluck, Yousef’s message came through over Facebook.

I walked around the picnic table where everyone was introducing themselves and gently touched Amer on the shoulder, asking him to step aside from the group with me. He did, and I showed him Yousef’s message.

“Is he a relative?” I asked.

Amer’s face instantly clouded with fear and worry. “It may be my cousin Mohammed Tayseer,” he answered.

He immediately pulled out his phone, and walked up a path towards the woods so he could call his family with some measure of privacy. I stared at him for a moment as he sat on the railing of the path, head bowed down, cell phone pressed against his ear, and could think only about the incident that led to Amer and I reconnecting after many years of not having been in touch—the incident in January 2009 during Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” when two of his brothers were killed and his father injured.

In the months and years since that horrific event, I had grown very close to Amer, holding him in my heart as family. I had visited his family in Khan Younis twice—the second visit, tragically, was just two days after his father passed unexpectedly, due at least in part to the grief and stress related to the murder of his sons.

And now. And now, here was Amer, on the phone to confirm if the most recent killing in Gaza was another member of his family.

Amer continued to sit on the rail, head down, but his arm with the phone was dropped limply by his side. I approached.

“Was it your cousin?”

It was.

I went back to the group at the picnic table. Amer needed a few minutes alone, he told me, and he would join us when he felt ready.

The mood of the gathering shifted instantly. Where there had been casual, light conversation, there was now mostly silence laden with sadness, anger, dread, and, overlaying it all, worry for Amer, who was now sitting on a log by the water’s edge, head still bowed.

The only clear thought echoing through my mind in those next minutes: This is so unfair. This is so fucking unfair.

Amer’s father outside the car in which he was shot and two of his sons (Amer’s brothers) killed by the Israeli military in January 2009.

How I remember their humanity

Since the attack on Gaza started a few days ago, I have been frightened not only by the bombing, and people fleeing their homes in anticipation of a bloody invasion, but by the dehumanization of the very real humans in Gaza.

It’s happening as people label them “terrorists” or “Hamas supporters,” or placidly suggest that they are victimized only by Hamas using them as “human shields.”

It’s happening as they are spoken of only as numbers and statistics; and as people post photos of small children with heads blown open or limbs blown off, causing us to look at these children not in their human childness but as gory images.

I have been trying to resist this dehumanization, if only for a moment, by describing the Palestinian human beings I know in Gaza.

I’ve been going there for 14 years, first when I was working with a peace organization (which is how I first met Amer), and now for the work I do as a writer and documentary filmmaker.

I know pharmacists in Gaza.

I know doctors.

I know people who work for the United Nations, who work for humanitarian organizations, who work for human rights organizations.

I know people who run youth programs and I know teachers.

I know mothers who love their children with a fierce protectiveness.

I know a father whose 9-year-old son was executed while he was holding him in his arms—and who then struggled with how to raise his surviving children without being surrounded by trauma and violence.

I know a father who bought his little girls bunny rabbits so they would have something small and cuddly to hold; so his daughters could retain their own humanity and have a chance at growing up emotionally intact.

I know accountants.

I know taxi drivers who have invited me to their homes for lunch and introduced me to their families; whom I have dodged bullets with and brought cigarettes to during long months of siege.

I know small children who, while living in tents in horrible conditions, wake up in the morning and have their faces scrubbed clean by their big sisters and the sand brushed out of their hair with what little water there is so that they can go to school looking fresh and have a chance at learning.

I have friends who are new mothers and new fathers, just figuring out how to meet their infants’ needs.

Many of the young men and women I know I remember as teenagers: We used to gather at pizza restaurants in Gaza, and in later years gathered at beach-side cafes and smoked arghillas—reminiscing, talking, laughing.

It’s been almost two years since I was last in Gaza. But every day, especially during these times, Gaza is in me.

Insha’allah

I saw a rather large group approach and walked toward them to see who was joining us. It was my friend Kara and her husband Hakim, who is from Gaza. With them were Hakim’s 6-year-old sister Hiba and his mother.

Hakim had been working on bringing them to the U.S. from the Gaza strip for months but had managed to get them out, in the end, just a day before the bombardment began. Other friends from Gaza, one from the same neighborhood that Amer is from, joined us shortly afterward.


Standing on the Side of Peace: One man’s journey changed everything I knew about the Middle East conflict.

I sent a quick prayer of thanks for the new arrivals. There were people here who shared Amer’s pain. Hakim and his friends Anas and Mohammed lit coals on a barbeque and started to grill meat patties and chop peppers and tomatoes. Hiba found some sidewalk chalk and began to draw a stick figure of a smiling little girl under a big colorful tree next to a house.

Amer came back from his perch by the sea and soberly joined the group which had now tripled in size. It had the Gazan dialect of Arabic chatter intermingling with English and the wafting odors of grilled meat prepared with Middle Eastern spices.

Hiba gave Amer a rock she had specially decorated for him with the sidewalk chalk. People began to eat.

In some way, we needed to directly confront, as a group, what had just happened to Amer’s cousin, what was happening to every family in Gaza. We had to find a way to hold space for the pain and the loss. And to honor those who had been killed these last eight days, those who loved them, and those who were living in terror that they, or their family members, would be next.

And so, as the sun set and the mountains turned a deep purple, our group of 17 (six of them from Gaza) gathered tightly together around the picnic table.

Passing around a smartphone with the information loaded, we read aloud, one by one, the names and ages of every one of the 194 human beings who have been killed (at the time of this writing) in Gaza—as well as the one Israeli killed—since the assault began. A reminder that those killed are not numbers. They are people. Many of them children. Some of those children even younger than Hiba. Each one with a family. Each one an entire world.

The web-based list had not been updated in the last hour. Amer’s cousin was not yet on it. But we didn’t need a website to know his name. “Mohammed Tayseer Shurrab,” Amer said in a strong voice when the last name on the smartphone had been read.

Insha’allah, he added, this would be the last name. Insha’allah, the list would grow no longer. Then, as the mountains deepened from purple to black, Amer led us in a prayer for the dead. We held silence together for a moment. Anas and Hakim spoke about what this simple act of solidarity meant to them.

Then, we shifted our circle from around the picnic table to around Hiba’s chalk drawing. It was by the narrowest of threads that the 6-year-old girl was not, at that moment, shuddering under fierce explosions from bombs dropped by warplanes and drones.

The drawing: A smiling girl. A home. A tree.

What every child deserves to draw.

What every child deserves to know.


Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based human rights activist and filmmaker and the author of three books, The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker; Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival; and I Am Troy Davis. For more information, visit Donkeysaddle Projects.

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