Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Criminal thugs beat peace activist (also, my friend) with iron bar

My friend and colleague (whose name will be withheld for his own security in the territories) was beaten by Israeli settlers who hit him over the head with an iron bar. What was he doing to deserve a beating with an iron bar? Well after we establish that no one ever deserves a beating with an iron bar, I can explain that he was standing in solidarity with a local shepherd who is often chased off his land by violent, hateful Israeli settlers. He stood by to document or to intervene in case of an attack against the shepherds and their flocks. Unfortunately, these hate-filled scum of the earth caught up with my friend, and struck him over the head with a metal pipe. The U.S. government is actively supporting this group of racist colonizers as they push an indigenous people off of their land, and savagely beat anything or anyone who comes across their path with a message of tolerance and peace. I am ashamed of Israeli and U.S. leaders and citizens, ashamed of all the politicians who kowtow to the near-sighted Israeli lobby. I am ashamed of my friends and acquaintances who try to defend the Zionist project in Israel, which is largely responsible for this racist, hateful ideology that results in premeditated attacks against Palestinians and those who advocate for justice. But I am proud of my friend, for standing up for what is right, for advocating for justice for all people, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, religion, or creed.

Here's the press release, pictures are below (and they're bloody, fyi):
At approximately 9:15 AM on July 27, 2011, masked settlers from the Havat Ma’on outpost armed with stones and an iron bar harassed three Palestinian shepherds and attacked two international observers. The settlers threw stones at the internationals, and hit one of them in the head with an iron bar.

The Palestinian shepherds were out with their flocks on Palestinian land near Mesheha hill when the four masked settlers attacked them. The shepherds were able to leave the area, but the settlers attacked the internationals. One of the internationals was a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, the other was visiting the area. The settlers destroyed the CPTer’s camera and chased them both back to At-Tuwani. The CPTer went to the hospital and received 8 stitches.

Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove have documented 6 occasions since June 22, 2011 in which settlers from Havat Ma’on have attacked Palestinians or internationals near Mesheha Hill.

Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004.

Picture gallery here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

'Terrorism' doesn't apply to acts committed by white, christian males

Democracy Now interviewed Glenn Greenwald regarding the US media coverage of the attacks on Norway:
The other aspect of it, though, is what you referenced in your question, which is, when it was widely assumed, based on basically nothing, that Muslims had been responsible for this attack and that a radical Muslim group likely perpetrated it, it was widely declared to be a "terrorist" attack. That was the word that was continuously used. And yet, when it became apparent that Muslims were not involved and that, in reality, it was a right-wing nationalist with extremely anti-Muslim, strident anti-Muslim bigotry as part of his worldview, the word "terrorism" almost completely disappeared from establishment media discourse. Instead, he began to be referred to as a "madman" or an "extremist." And it really underscores, for me, the fact that this word "terrorism," that plays such a central role in our political discourse and our law, really has no objective meaning. It’s come to mean nothing more than Muslims who engage in violence, especially when they’re Muslims whom the West dislikes.
He continues:
But the idea that Islamic terrorism is some sort of unique threat is completely belied by the E.U.'s own statistic. This idea of equating Muslims with terrorism is an incredibly propagandistic and deceitful term. The idea is to suggest that, as several of your guests were saying, that Islam is some sort of existential threat to Western civilization, to Europe and the like, and it's propagated with this myth that terrorism is an Islamic problem. And that’s why the idea that the establishment media in the United States and in political circles equates terrorism, as a matter of definition, with violence by Muslims is so problematic, because it promotes this lie that terrorism is a function of Islamic ideology.
The whole interview is worth hearing, it's about a 13 minute segment: