<—– (Click there to find this page on the Internet. R)
08 December 11
12/12 PORT SHUTDOWN: Report from Los Angeles 7:53 PDT
12 December 11
Elderly people, people in wheelchairs and children being attacked. Batons are at the ready. Protestor leaders are telling the police they are peaceful. Terminal J. Police don’t look like they want to be there. Protestors being kept from the protest. Helicopters overhead. CBS NOT covering. Some trucks are coming in from another driveway. Protestors moving to block them.
More police arriving. Arrests threatened. Tune in the 90.7 for coverage.
12/12 PORT SHUTDOWN: Report from Los Angeles
12 December 11
CBS is covering and will continue to cover. In Long Beach the truck parking lot at the Goldman Sachs dock is empty. By now it is usually full. More police are massing. Updates as I get them.
Lowes is defending its decision to pull advertising from the Muslim reality show so if you were planning to shop there please think again. They are responding to pressure from right wing Christian groups who don’t want to see Muslims portrayed in a favorable light.
Occupy Seattle Aims to Shut Down Port of Seattle
12 December 11
SEATTLE — Occupy Seattle demonstrators planned a march and two rallies Monday as part of the campaign to shut down West Coast ports.
Organizers said on their website they would rally at 1 p.m. at Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle then march to Port of Seattle property for rallies at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. near the Spokane Street bridge and under the West Seattle bridge.
The website says demonstrators do not plan to break into port property or to sabotage equipment, but organizers say they plan on blocking traffic into the Port of Seattle in solidarity with other West Coast movements. Occupy marches and rallies also are planned Monday in Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver, B.C., and other port cities along the coast.
Occupy L.A. Targets Shipping Terminal at Port of Long Beach
11 December 11
Protesters from Occupy L.A. and other groups plan to form a picket line at the Port of Long Beach on Monday to try to shut down traffic at at least one shipping terminal. Similar actions are planned at ports up and down the West Coast.
The target of the Long Beach protest is SSA Marine, a shipping company. Occupy L.A. demonstrator Michael Novick said protesters chose SSA Marine because “they embody all the ills of this economic regime we live under.”
Protesters say SSA Marine has engaged in unfair labor practices and pursued objectionable environmental policies. Their other complaints include the company’s role as a military contractor during the Iraq war and its connection to Goldman Sachs, an investor in SSA Marine.
NYC CALL TO ACTION 12/12/11
12 December 11
NYC will Target the Vampire Squid- Goldman Sachs In solidarity with the West Coast Port Shutdown on December 12th, the NYC Occupy Movement vows to disrupt business as usual for the those that exploit our nation’s ports – and profit from the exploitation of tens of thousands of working people laboring behind the scenes …of the international trade system.
In New York, Occupy Wall Street is descending upon a single Wall Street giant – the owner of half of one of the planet’s largest transportation and shipping outfits – Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is the vampire squid who sucks the blood of workers.
Goldman Sachs’ shipping companies throughout the United States, specifically in LA, cynically pit thousands of citizens and undocumented immigrants against each other — for low wage jobs with unreliable hours — Goldman Sachs and its shipping companies reap record profits off the backs of workers.
Police Arrest About 55 Occupy SF Demonstrators
11 December 11
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police have arrested dozens of people during a raid of an Occupy San Francisco encampment outside the Federal Reserve building early Sunday.
San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza says that around 4 a.m. officers arrested about 55 people for illegal lodging.
Occupy Protesters Seek to Shut Down West Coast Ports Despite Rejection by Longshore Union
12 December 11
OAKLAND, Calif. — Anti-Wall Street protesters up and down the West Coast are joining an effort to blockade some of the nation’s busiest ports from Anchorage to San Diego.
Demonstrators are scheduled to gather at 5:30 a.m. to march on the Port of Oakland, which Occupy protesters successfully shut down in November. Marchers expect to descend even earlier on the sprawling port complex spanning Los Angeles and Long Beach as the work day begins. In Portland, Ore., the protest will get under way at 6 a.m.
Solidarity and Unity for Occupy Movement
11 December 11
We find ourselves at a turning point in the Occupy Movement. Progressives, liberals, populists, labor activists, peace activists, environmentalists … all now have the country’s attention.
We have a golden opportunity to unite and build a future that we’ve all been fighting for over the years. Our biggest obstacle is not the corporations or the government – it is ourselves.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves once again fighting each other. If we can’t get along with our natural allies then how we will we ever build the true majority we need to change our world and build a just, sustainable society?
Occupy Oakland and Organized Labor Plan to Shut Down Port
10 December 11
Oakland, California — Today, rank-and-file workers from the ILWU and Teamsters, local union leaders, veterans, and occupy organizers explained plans for the upcoming West Coast Port Shut Down on December 12 called for by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly.
Community pickets and mass mobilizations to blockade the ports are being organized by Occupy movements in San Diego, LA, Oakland, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, and Houston.
Occupy Anchorage, Occupy Denver, and Occupy Wall Street are targeting Goldman Sachs and Walmart on the 12th. Solidarity actions are being planned as far away as in Japan.
Police Evict Occupy Boston Protesters
10 December 11
Police have evicted Occupy protesters from Boston’s Dewey Square, tearing down tents and arresting about 40 people. The raid brought to an end a 10-week demonstration spawned by the Wall Street occupation in New York.
Police moved in at about 5am and the operation lasted less than an hour. A police spokeswoman said the protesters were “very accommodating”. Two dozen demonstrators linked arms and sat down in protest before the arrests began. The arrests were for trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
New Testimonials by Occupy LA Detainees Suggest Illegal Arrests, Abuse, Even Torture by LAPD, LASD
10 December 11
Many of the individuals who were swept up by last week’s LAPD raid on the Occupy LA encampment at Los Angeles City Hall were arrested even as they attempted to disperse in accordance with police directives, according to testimonials from some who were detained in the early morning hours of November 30th and held on misdemeanor charges for days after.
Their videotaped testimonials [some of which are posted below] both corroborate and reinforce the excessive force and post-arrest abuse charges detailed in our previous article on the Occupy LA raid, in which detainees charged that they were hand-cuffed behind their backs and left to languish inside L.A. County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) buses for eight to nine hours without access to food, water, medicine, or toilets as they were left to urinate on themselves in their seats.
Occupy DC Prepares for Its Valley Forge
10 December 11
“If this is the revolution, this is our Valley Forge,” said a doughy, middle-aged man with frazzled long brown hair.
I was shivering when we spoke at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning – as I had been shivering for the seven previous hours. Arriving about midnight on Wednesday, I’d missed the day of cold rain that had left the Occupy DC camp somewhere between damp and drenched. Without a sleeping bag or pad (both lost in a police action a few days earlier) and in 35-degree weather, I settled into a soggy upholstered chair under a mostly dry blanket. The loose weave welcomed the wind that whipped through our flimsy yurt on the barren granite and marble of Freedom Plaza along Pennsylvania Avenue..
Deadline Passes for Occupy Boston Without Eviction
09 December 11
BOSTON — A diminished Occupy Boston encampment held its ground early Friday after police decided not to immediately enforce a midnight deadline Mayor Thomas Menino had set for them to leave a city square.
Two protesters were arrested after police said they moved a tent into a street and refused to move, blocking traffic. But there were no other serious confrontations between the demonstrators and supporters who gathered at the site as the deadline loomed.
Boston police Supt. William Evans told protesters that even though Menino set the deadline, he did not specify when the camp would be shut down.
SF Plaza Clear After Night of Tension
07 December 11
At least one protester tried to set up a tent on San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza this morning, hours after police and Occupy demonstrators said no tents would be allowed and sparred into the night.
Police quickly moved in and removed the tent before requiring the dozen campers who had spent the night sleeping under the stars on the plaza to get up and stop sleeping in the park.
My Occupy LA Arrest
08 December 11
It was horrible to watch, and apparently designed to terrorize the rest of us. At least I was sufficiently terrorized. I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.
Occupy D.C. protesters Shut Down K Street
08 December 11
The mix of protesters from across the country, including union workers, progressive activists and community organizers, said they’re opposed to the corporate greed embodied by the street known for housing special interest groups and offices of major corporations. Adopting the slogan of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York, the activists spilling onto K Street said they were fighting for the interests of the “99 percent” of ordinary Americans.
Demonstrators celebrated their success after shutting down K Street for several hours on a busy weekday. “Thousands of unemployed workers and community members are engaging in peaceful civil disobedience this week to make the voices of the 99 percent heard above the power of the 1 percent and their K Street money machine,” said Stephanie Mueller, a spokeswoman for the American Dream Movement, a coalition of labor and progressive groups.
Occupy Movement Seeks Refuge in Court as Evictions Mount
08 December 11
On one end of the spectrum, defeats for Occupy could mean continual police crackdowns in every major city in America until protesters either give up in defeat or imprisonment — which could either end the movement or force it to become more creative in its tactics in its fight against a system that’s built to increasingly expand the gulf between the rich and poor.
On the other, victory could create constitutionally protected encampments dotting city parks on the national map for months — or even years — should occupying be held as a protected right under the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to assemble in protest.
Police dismantle Occupy SF – 70 arrested
07 December 11
Police raided the Occupy SF camp early today, arresting 70 campers and protesters at Justin Herman Plaza and clearing out the two-month-old encampment, authorities said.
Officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and public works crews converged on the camp at the foot of Market Street at about 1 a.m. today and gave protesters five minutes to clear out, said Officer Albie Esparza, a San Francisco police spokesman.
Occupy Your Food Supply: Radical Farmer’s March Aims to Bridge Urban-Rural Divide, Focus in on “Food Justice”
06 December 11
“I have a confession to make,” said Jim Gerritsen, an organic seed farmer from northern Maine, “This is my first time in New York City. I had no good reason to come until today.”
Jim Gerritsen was one of several farmers, farm laborers, and food activists that came from across the country to the country to the Farmer’s March this past Sunday—a rally and march designed to connect the struggles of rural farmers held captive by the corporate control of big agriculture with the Occupy movement in New York City.
Rooftop Films Gives Occupy Wall Street Its Own Film Series
05 December 11
As a political movement, Occupy Wall Street has attracted plenty of headlines, buzz and creative energy. Now, this being New York, it has its own film series. Rooftop Films, in partnership with several movie houses throughout the city, is presenting a free series of four films from Dec. 13 to 16 featuring issues that ignited the demonstrations.
Rooftop Films is a nonprofit best known for showing movies outdoors (hence the name). In a statement released on Monday, Dan Nuxoll, the program director for Rooftop, said the series was prompted by a public outpouring over the events surrounding Occupy Wall Street.
London Police Include Occupy Movement on ‘Terror’ List
05 December 11
City of London Police have sparked controversy by producing a brief in which the Occupy London movement is listed under domestic terrorism/extremism threats to City businesses.
The document was given to protesters at their “Bank of Ideas” base on Sun Street – a former site of financial corporation UBS. City police have stepped up an effort to quell the movement since they occupied the building on 18 November, with the document stating: “It is likely that activists aspire to identify other locations to occupy, especially those they identify with capitalism.
Occupy Wall Street Takes on Capitol Hill
06 December 11
Today the Occupy movement took another step, moving from cities, colleges, and Wall Street to the actual courthouse — the kangaroo court, if you will, corrupting our nation.
Occupy Congress descended on the bull’s-eye of Washington today — a beautiful thing in our view! Members from a broad range of organizations marched to the Capital and then spread out to meet with their representatives, air their grievances, and as they say, “take back the people’s house.”
What better way for the 99% to take a stand against the growing wealth gap than confronting our crushingly ineffective and misaligned Congress, which has not only worked to preserve and strengthen the finances of the richest Americans, but is half full of millionaires itself?
This comes on the heels of a standoff at Washington’s McPherson Square, where 31 Occupiers were arrested, with some Occupiers forcibly removed.
David Goodfriend on Occupy Wall Street: “Let Them Occupy”
07 December 11
I’m troubled by the images of Occupy protesters being forcibly removed from McPherson Square park here in Washington, D.C. I didn’t like it when the protesters were removed by force in New York or Oakland, either, but Washington is different. Washington is our public square, it’s where the nation comes together to voice our views, air our grievances, and most important, petition our government. That’s a right granted to all of us by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Throughout our history, the people have come to Washington to express through peaceful protest their ideas and feelings. The Civil Rights marches. The anti-abortion protests. The Million Man March. The Tea Party. Whether you agree with them or not, these are sign posts on our national journey toward forming a more perfect union.
Occupy Movement Heads to Congress Today to Air Grievances
06 December 11
Protesters from the Occupy movement and other groups are planning to converge on Capitol Hill Tuesday to air their grievances in front of members of Congress. Members of a broad range of organizations, including unions and community groups, are expected to travel to Washington to take part in an event dubbed “Take Back the People’s House.”
Many of the participants plan to assemble in the morning before marching toward the Capitol, according to information posted on the website of Progressive Maryland, a nonprofit organization that says it works to improve conditions for working families.
After arriving at the Capitol, marchers say they intend to fan out for meetings with representatives and “occupy” Congressional offices until closure. Not all participants have meetings scheduled, so some protests are expected in the area around the Capitol.
Occupy London Is 50 Days Old – Now It’s Time to Occupy Everywhere
06 December 11
Occupy London is 50 days old on Monday and it’s time to take stock. Unlike those occupations across the world that started off small and were able to expand gradually, our occupation was born in the full glare of the media on 15 October, a “big bang” launch that meant we had to hit the ground running. Since then we have expanded to three sites across three London boroughs, each of which is a hive of activity. We currently have 39 working groups based at St Paul’s alone, operating across topic areas as diverse as direct democracy, outreach and sanitation.
As a non-hierarchical movement, Occupy is inextricably a joint endeavour. Everyone who joins us – even for an evening – holds equal decision-making weight. At the same time, for those of us who are fully immersed in the process, Occupy is a challenging full-time job that is often combined with other commitments. Seeing the sacrifices people make to keep this project going has been humbling.
Over the last week or so, there have been a variety of news stories – some better intentioned than others – challenging us to aspire to even higher levels of efficiency, transparency and accountability. We take it as a compliment that, after only seven weeks, we are regarded as significant enough to warrant the kind of tough questioning that much more powerful organisations find hard to respond to. Unlike them, we intend to rise to the challenge.
Instead of Going Away Occupy Wall Street Will Be Occupying Everywhere
06 December 11
When OWS first started, the corporate media ignored it hoping it would just go away. When that didn’t work, the 1% turned to propaganda. First they mocked the occupy movement describing them as lazy kids who don’t know how the world functions. Occupy got stronger. The propaganda got uglier, but was discredited. OWS still gained popularity, surpassing the 1% astro-turfing Tea Party.
That’s when the 1%’s minions and supporters turned to creative applications of the law, while overlooking legal niceties like the first amendment. Property was seized. Scott Olsen and Dorli Rainey became national symbols of the violence that Occupy protesters endured.
Olsen survived two tours of Iraq, only to be seriously injured, when a tear gas cannister hit him in the head, while peacefully protesting in Oakland, California. He is still recovering from the injuries he sustained and he is still an Occupy supporter. In a recent, on the Ed Show, Olsen explains why he continues to support the Occupy Movement.
Where Were You When They Crucified My Movement?
05 December 11
Trinity Church to turn over to the Occupy Wall Street movement an empty lot, known as Duarte Square, that the church owns at Canal Street and 6th Avenue. Occupy Wall Street protesters, following the call, began a hunger strike at the gates of the church-owned property. Three of the demonstrators were arrested Sunday on charges of trespassing, and three others took their places.
Fox Pollster Tells GOP Governors Why ‘Occupy’ Scares Him
05 December 11
When the reigning wordsmith of the Republican right says that he is “frightened to death” by Occupy Wall Street, there must be a compelling reason for him to admit his fear. Such was the confession of Frank Luntz, famed pollster and consultant whose advice has been sought by Fox News, Newt Gingrich and many other leaders in the political and corporate worlds. Speaking before the Republican Governors Association in Florida this week, Luntz went on to warn its members that the public wants to raise taxes on the wealthy, deeply distrusts Wall Street, and even thinks capitalism is “immoral.”
Is Joining the Occupy Movement Better Than an Internship?
05 December 11
Finally, our generation is taking a stand, and we have a chance to be a part of something more than serving lattes or spreading guacamole on a Chipotle burrito for a few bucks an hour. We’re faced with a choice: continue working an unfulfilling low-wage job or unpaid internship, or become part of something meaningful and future-shaping.
Joshua Holland | Occupy Crackdowns: Naomi Wolf’s Response to My Critique Largely Evades the Issue at Hand
02 December 11
It’s disappointing that Naomi Wolf’s response to my criticism of her November 25 Guardian column – and earlier blog-post — doesn’t address the many misstatements of fact, logical leaps and baseless assertions which I highlighted.
Wolf instead spends much time on a general discussion of heightened federal surveillance and the increased coordination between federal and local law enforcement agencies, which she says I am naïve not to acknowledge, and devotes an enormous amount of space to establishing that federal law enforcement agencies have had some sort of role in at least monitoring the Occupy Movement and offering some guidance to local law enforcement agencies.
Judge: Occupy Boston Protesters Can Stay 2 More Weeks
03 December 11
A Suffolk Superior Court judge says Occupy Boston protesters can stay in an encampment on Dewey Square until Dec. 15.
After a four-hour hearing, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre took both sides’ arguments under advisement and said she would issue a ruling in two weeks time. Until then, she said, an injunction that bars the city from booting the protesters remains in place.
The protesters called the decision a “victory.”
Occupy Catch-22: Boston Cops Throw Out the Kitchen Sink
03 December 11
Yes, it has come to this – cops and Occupy protestors at one of the last major encampments in the United States are fighting over a kitchen sink.
Boston police moved in with heavy force on Thursday’s General Assembly meeting in Boston’s Dewey Square to remove a DIY grey-water sink intended to help Occupy Boston members wash their dishes and comply with sanitation requirements that the city says the encampment is violating.
But the Boston cops who surround the Financial camp day and night enforce an embargo on anything durable entering the camp. So after Occupiers gang-rushed the 10-foot-long industrial sink into the camp Thursday night, the cops forced their way into the camp to remove the ‘contraband.’
One officer guarded the sink, while he was surrounded by a cold and frustrated crowd chanting, “Let us do the dishes!”
Occupy Richmond Stands Up for Local Tea Party Group
03 December 11
The Richmond Tea Party has been alleging that it is being singled out for unfair treatment from the city of Richmond, Virginia after officials have opened a tax audit of the group. These Tea Partiers complain that the city has been much more lenient on Occupy Richmond (which recently faced arrests after resisting an eviction) and that 99 Percenters are getting preferential treatment.
Yet the Richmond Tea Party just got an unexpected ally in its claim against the city – Occupy Richmond.
The ‘Crackdown on Occupy’ Controversy
03 December 11
What a firestorm my Comment is free blog post in the Guardian, “The Shocking News Behind the Crackdown on Occupy”, has unleashed: some have prai
In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.
Michelle reads Dante’s post and the laughing begins. Michelle: Hon, you’ll never believe who Dante dreamed about last night. President: Who? Michelle: LOL You. President: He dreamed about me? Michelle: He says his dreams are getting better all the time. He says if you haven’t got a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true. President: LOL What was the dream?
Michelle: Well, you were talking about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. You invited the American people to open their minds and hearts, to put aside their prejudices, and become aware of certain facts. Christians who live in the Holy Land are Palestinians. Christians and Muslims suffer together under Israel’s occupation. Israel stands in violation of more UN Resolutions than any other nation ever has. You repeated your promise to be an “honest” broker in the negotiations, and you announced that you have decided to suspend all aid to Israel … financial and military … and no more loan guarantees … until Israel joins the US and the rest of the world at the UN in voting in favor of Palestinian statehood. President: Did I say anything about International Bankers and the role they are playing in the Holy Land issues? Did I say anything about the Military-Industrial Complex and other special interest groups? Michelle: Well, there were references. Things were implied. But that’s where the dream ended. Dante said all the applause woke him up. President: Some folks would say that a dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep. Michelle: There’s a postscript.
P.S. There’s a short paper trail (one cartoon).
When the going gets tough, that’s when the tough get going.
Michelle has a red alert for the President this morning. Michelle: Dante says you’ve been challenged to a debate. President: Who by? Michelle: By Newton Leroy (“Newt”) Gingrich. Newt says he will call for seven debates. Each debate will last three hours, and he won’t object to your using a teleprompter. President: That’s the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. What else does Dante write this morning?
Michelle: Well, as you know, Dante is an Independent voter who’s registered as a Democrat because he likes to vote in the Democratic Primary. He’s thinking about changing his registration to Republican so that he can vote in the GOP Primary this time. President: How does he figure? Michelle: He wants to vote for Newt. President: Really? Whatever for? Michelle: He believes that debating Newt will stimulate you and invigorate you … and … the best that’s in you will finally come out. President: Tell our presumptuous young grad student that…. Michelle: Wait, Hon, he writes more.
Michelle: Dante invites your attention to Paul Woodward’s essay pasted below. The subject of the essay is sure to be the main subject in the next Presidential Debates. President: What makes Dante so sure? Michelle: Because the Arab-Israeli conflict is the central problem facing the world today. And, as you know, the conflict is directly related to the world’s economy as much as to our own. Whoever wins the debates will be the next President. President: (pause) I understand what he’s saying. Michelle: From my perspective, Hon, Dante knows what he’s talking about this time. President: Scroll down and let’s read what Newt has to say.
… with attention to the unseen
Gingrich favors rapid expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank — calls Palestinians ‘terrorists’
Having stirred outrage by calling Palestinians an “invented people,” in last night’s GOP presidential debate New Gingrich went even further by saying, “these people are terrorists.”
I guess if he becomes president, at least the United States will have to abandon the pretense that it has any role as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians.
In a conference call organized by the National Council of Young Israel and broadcast on The Yeshiva World News on Friday, Gingrich took a question from Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America.
Klein is more forthright than some of Gingrich’s other Zionist friends might be — he unequivocally opposes a two-state solution.
Last year he said: “As much as we all want Israel to have peace with the Arabs, Israel can and will survive and thrive without it — as they have since 1948.”
What those who don’t believe in peace do believe in, is the need for the United States to ensure that Israel maintains its “qualitative military edge” — a commitment that the Obama administration has supported even more strongly than its predecessors.
A nuclear-armed Iran would undermine Israel’s military hegemony in the Middle East and so many of Israel’s supporters are willing to back another war — usually on the pretext that it would prevent a second holocaust — rather than tolerate a significant shift in the regional balance of power.
In spite of the hysterical campaign propaganda that some American politicians are now using, “[f]ew in Netanyahu’s inner circle believe that Iran has any short-term plans to drop a nuclear weapon on Tel Aviv, should it find a means to deliver it,” according to Netanyahu confidant, Jeffery Goldberg.
Klein’s question for Gingrich was on the expansion of settlements, but the strategic perspective they share is that Israel can continue to exist and prosper in a permanent state of war. From that perspective, the two most important features of the relationship between Israel and the United States are that the U.S. continues to maintain a steady flow of military aid and it remains willing to engage in wars that Israel cannot fight alone. It comes down to blood and money.
Note too that a necessary condition that helps ensure that Americans will acquiesce in fulfilling this need is that we must also share the Zionist faith in the sustainability of permanent war.
The unshakable bond that unites Israel and the United States — a bond that in American politics has become an object of cultish devotion — is an absolute faith in war. Perhaps the only thing that will be able to shake that faith will be economic ruin.
Klein: What is your position about the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and the right of Jews to live in communities there at this present time?
Gingrich: Well, it depends on where exactly you define the boundaries. I do not oppose any development in the [Israeli occupied] areas, because I think that’s part of the negotiating process. To the degree that the Palestinians want to stop the developments they need to reach a deal in which they recognize the right of Israel to exist… As long as they are waging war on Israel, they are in no position to complain about developments. I think the whole peace process has been absurd and has created a psychologically almost impossible position for the average person because once you say there’s a peace process you wonder why the Israelis aren’t being more forthcoming. But if you say, look, we’re still in the middle of a war. They’re still trying to destroy the country — they’re still firing rockets, they still have terrorists coming in — then you all of a sudden understand what the real situation on the ground is, and in that setting, why would the Israelis slow down in maximizing their net bargaining advantage?
In other words, settlement expansion is a bargaining tool and thus the more Israelis there are living in the West Bank, the better Israel’s negotiating position.
As a Palestinian negotiator once said, this is like trying to divide a pizza with someone who is intent on eating the whole pie before it gets divided.
Michigan Sen. Carl Levin sharply criticized Gingrich’s comments as cynical attempts to curry support with Jewish voters and unhelpful to the peace process.
“The vast majority of American Jews (including this one) and the Israeli Government itself are committed to a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians live side-by-side as neighbors and in peace,” Levin said in a statement. “Gingrich offered no solutions — just a can of gasoline and a match.”
[Hanan] Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee, said Gingrich’s remarks harked back to days when the Palestinians’ existence as a people was denied by Israelis such as Golda Meir, prime minister from 1969 to 1974.
“It is certainly regressive,” she said. “This is certainly an invitation to further conflict rather than any contribution to peace.”
“This proves that in the hysterical atmosphere of American elections, people lose all touch with reality and make not just irresponsible and dangerous statements, but also very racist comments that betray not just their own ignorance but an unforgivable bias,” she said.
Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the Gingrich remarks “were grave comments that represented an incitement for ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians.”
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With some other activist Palestinian friends, I took two days to go to Amman to attend a conference for the Global March to Jerusalem*. We met great people from around the world including Palestinians in exile. But every time we leave Palestine even for a very short time we feel like a fish out of the water. We missed the funeral of Mustafa Tamimi, murdered with a tear-gas canister at a demonstration in Nabi Saleh**. We missed the notice given yesterday of the demolition of a home in Beit Jala (near my village) and thus the actual demolition this morning. We missed the fact that the Israeli army came to my friend’s house Saher Alsouse again last night demanding he appear for an investigation [he had been there before and left when he was not called in the room for investigation leaving them his phone number]. And more attacks on Gaza happened killing innocent civilians includinga mother and her child and a husband and his wife. It is frustrating sometimes to witness these injustice all around us (either in person or distantly) and yet see so much apathy from so many people.
Politicians including Palestinain and European politicians from the left and the right may talk nice. Other politicians may talk nonsense as in eth case of Mr. Newt Gingerich saying that 11 million Palestinains including me are an “invented people” and “terrorists”. Yet actions speak much louder than words. Israeli actions on the ground should not be met by mere wordfs or symbolic protestations. There are groups in Palestine and abroad working on real activities. It is important in my humble opinion to support these existing activities (e.g. the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh) and/or to create other activities that challenge the repression. The most immediate other activities we have are around the Christmas holiday season. Activists in the Bethlehem area, the birthplace of Jesus, are planning a number of functions including functions that challenge the occupation and others that educate tourists. They need support, there is a meeting Wednesday (tomorrow) at 5:30 PM in Beit Sahour and all those willing to contribute are invited and encouraged to attend by contacting email@example.com… for details.
*Global March to Jerusalem promotional video
Click here: BBC News – West Bank settlers attack Israeli soldiers (<—- activated link. R)
Last updated at 07:04 ETWest Bank settlers attack Israeli soldiers
Palestinian UN membership bid
Q&A: Bid explained
Palestinians score points at UN
Showdown at UN
Jewish settlers and activists angry with rumours of plans to dismante illegal settler outposts in the West Bank have clashed with Israeli troops.
About 50 people broke into the Ephraim Brigade’s base near Qalqilya, setting tyres alight, throwing stones and damaging vehicles, the military said. (To continue reading, go to BBC’s website. Activated link above. R)