Lila Abu-Lughod: Should We Act on Israel/Palestine, or Not?

Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[this essay originally appeared in Anthropology News]

abu-lughodI hope people will read the Task Force Report on Israel/Palestine. It represents hundreds of hours of labor by our colleagues. It reflects what is special about our discipline and why most of us are proud to be anthropologists. Based on close listening, careful observation, wide reading, and a search to find the right analytical framework, it fairly presents the situation about which we all now must make a decision. The comparative perspective these anthropologists brought to the task and their acknowledgment of both anthropology’s historic complicity and courage with regard to past and present colonial and neocolonial injustices, shape the report. Those who want to know more should consult the ethnographic work of so many colleagues who have done fieldwork in Palestinian communities (e.g. Lori Allen 2013; Amahl Bishara 2012; Ilana Feldman2008; Rhoda Kanaaneh 2008;

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France’s tax subsidy on ‘gifts’ to Israeli army | Jonathan Cook’s Blog

Just let me soak thus in for a minute, so if Mr or Ms French citizen want to donate to charity they get a tax rebate?

Sounds reasonable.

And, if Mr and Ms French citizen want to donate to the illegally occupying forces of the Zionist Apartheid regime of Israel they get a rebate too?


So since when did Bibi’s army register as a charity?

Then to make matters worse, if you  publicly voice astonishment about any of that,  you receive death threats.

Great post from Jonathon Cook.

SteveLendmanBlog: Clinton Email Revelation: Destroying Syria “Best Way to Help Israel”

Thanks to willyloman for the Lendman post.

And didn’t we all just know it. Out damn spot!

It’s like knowing how it all ends in one of the greatest tragedies ever conceived.


“Naked aggression was her strategy of choice. She called raping Syria, massacring its people and ousting Assad “the right thing” to do.

“Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces.”

“The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.”

A world war has begun. Break the silence


A little piece from John Pilger, who wouldn’t know me but thanks to the net, feels like an old friend.

I was drawn to the bit where Obama particularly likes to send the drones in on Tuesdays.

Yep thats what Pilger says, Obama is just what another friend of mine would call “a real see you next Tuesday!”

Forbes Yanks a Negative Article on JPMorgan While the Bank Pays for Content


As Pam Martens says,

Does one depravity lead to the next in corporate America? Is the whoring of Wall Street the inevitable driver of whoring everything else it touches – from politics, to ratings agencies, to foreign cartel activity and, finally, a “free press”?

Protective Edge War Crimes

BADIL Releases No Safe Place: crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated by high-level Israeli officials in the course of ‘Operation Protective Edge’

The BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights announces the release of No Safe Place; a report based upon BADIL’s formal submission to the International Criminal Court, delivered to the Office of the Prosecutor in February 2016. No Safe Place provides a damning indictment of Israeli acts and policies employed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’; and concludes that high-level Israeli officials were culpable for both war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of this operation.
Protective Edge – a 50 day military assault directed by Israel against the Gaza Strip and its population – left more than 2,250 Palestinians dead, and almost 170,000 Palestinian homes destroyed or damaged, leaving 108,000 Palestinians homeless. The Gaza Strip’s sole power plant ceased operation following Israeli airstrikes. 17 out of 32 hospitals were damaged, with six closed down as a result. Out of 97 primary health centers monitored for damage and closures by UN bodies, four were completely destroyed, while 45 sustained damage. Palestinian agricultural infrastructure suffered damage to the tune of $550m.
This staggering level of death, injury and destruction naturally produced mass forced displacement of Palestinian civilians on a vast scale, and at the height of the violence roughly half a million Palestinians were internally displaced inside the Gaza Strip, accounting for 28% of the enclave’s total population.
With forewords from Professor Richard Falk and Dr Michael Kearney, No Safe Place draws upon 90 interviews conducted by BADIL with Palestinians displaced during Protective Edge, and locates this displacement within the appropriate frameworks of international humanitarian and criminal law.
As such, the report sets out in vivid detail the wide range of policies and practices deployed by Israel which, contrary to international law, forced Palestinians to flee their homes and communities en masse, including Israel’s active targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Moreover, these displaced Palestinians were provided with no safe place to which to flee. To the contrary, humanitarian shelters and civilian escape routes were deliberately attacked by Israeli forces, whilst Israel’s continuing closure of the Gaza Strip has made it impossible to conduct adequate reconstruction, with the result that, for many tens of thousands of Palestinians inside this enclave, their displacement and suffering has no ending in sight.
The report thus concludes that there exists a reasonable basis to believe that high-level Israeli officials, within both military and political office, were culpable of, inter alia, the war crime and crime against humanity of forcible transfer, and the crime against humanity of persecution. In addition, the report highlights a range of grievous structural failings in Israel’s internal investigative processes; failings which remove any possibility of these processes providing effective review of the conduct of Israeli forces and/or Israeli officials during Protective Edge.
Israel shows no willingness to address these critical shortcomings, and intervention by the International Criminal Court therefore represents the only realistic means of holding to account Israeli perpetrators of these international crimes, and of delivering justice to Palestinian victims. Accordingly, BADIL calls upon the Office of the Prosecutor, as a matter of priority, to initiate a formal investigation into the conduct of high-level Israeli officials in the context of Operation Protective Edge.

This report constitutes a progressive and expert-reviewed analysis on an area which has not previously been thoroughly explored; namely that of forced displacement of Palestinians as a war crime and crime against humanity. This is an area which is steadily gaining greater awareness in the context of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory, with forcible transfer recently receiving extensive coverage in the report of the UN Secretary-General on Israeli settlement construction.  To this end, the evidence presented within No Safe Place points directly towards the culpability of senior Israeli politicians and military commanders for the war crime and crime against humanity of forcible transfer, as well as the crime against humanity of persecution.
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The brilliant Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish remembered.

Repost from the wordpress site
Arabic Literature (in English)
Translated by Marilyn Hacker


The Second Olive Tree

By Mahmoud Darwish
b:14th March 1942
d: 9th August 2008

The olive tree does not weep and does not laugh. The olive tree
Is the hillside’s modest lady. Shadow
Covers her one leg, and she will not take her leaves off in front of the storm.
Standing, she is seated, and seated, standing.
She lives as a friendly sister of eternity, neighbor of time
That helps her stock her luminous oil and
Forget the invaders’ names, except the Romans, who
Coexisted with her, and borrowed some of her branches
To weave wreaths. They did not treat her as a prisoner of war
But as a venerable grandmother, before whose calm dignity
Swords shatter. In her reticent silver-green
Color hesitates to say what it thinks, and to look at what is behind
The portrait, for the olive tree is neither green nor silver.
The olive tree is the color of peace, if peace needed
A color. No one says to the olive tree: How beautiful you are!
But: How noble and how splendid! And she,
She who teaches soldiers to lay down their rifles
And re-educates them in tenderness and humility: Go home
And light your lamps with my oil! But
These soldiers, these modern soldiers
Besiege her with bulldozers and uproot her from her lineage
Of earth. They vanquished our grandmother who foundered,
Her branches on the ground, her roots in the sky.
She did not weep or cry out.  But one of her grandsons
Who witnessed the execution threw a stone
At a soldier, and he was martyred with her.
After the victorious soldiers
Had gone on their way, we buried him there, in that deep
Pit – the grandmother’s cradle. And that is why we were
Sure that he would become, in a little while, an olive
Tree – a thorny olive tree – and green!