Still Counting Dead
November 9, 2006
We are still counting our dead.
I just want to first of all say thank you for the love, the support, the hugs, the time given to ask me "how are you" (and the time given to listen), the kisses, and everything else from my friends out there. Getting your emails and calls makes me so happy always. I love hearing from you no matter where I am on this earth or where you are. Thank you.
I am blessed to have you in my life.
At this moment in time I especially want to send a shout out to Tarek, Rula, Laleh and Annemarie for the past few weeks.
Sorry in advance that this email will be scattered and disjointed. Other then that I had wanted to write awhile back and talk about being in Nablus for a week for the Eid while the Israelis invaded (and of course it was not in the news). The morning of the Eid they circled above in the skies with their F-16's as a form of psychological warfare and terror. I heard they were doing the same thing in Beirut at the same time.
Another disturbing incident which I may write about later in detail was that I crossed a checkpoint with a baby for the first time in my life. My best friends baby. I love that baby. I have always thought of myself as rather fearless and unaffected while crossing checkpoints. No big deal. Normal. But my whole perception of reality changed when I was with that baby. Here I was with a beautiful, innocent, green, little human being. His eyes were open wide as he was taking in everything around him. I was terrified. I couldn't feel part of my body. It was Howara and we had M-16's trained on our heads the whole time like normal. The ugliness of the war machine was all around us. I only wanted for that baby never ever to be exposed to such violence. I had no way of protecting it. I had no way of shielding him from the horrible reality all around us.
Another element to this story, is that last spring I learned how to shoot a gun for one of my art projects. I think this has also changed how I feel when having all these 18 year olds pointing guns at you all the time. now I know how damn easy it is. Now I know how really unsafe I am.
Lastly on a lighter note, besides the usual flood of European women living here (and yes it is true it is mainly women who are in the NGO's, activist, etc) there seems to be quite a large contingency from France in particular at this time. You see them at all the bars and nightclubs with their Palestinian boyfriends. Lots to say on this phenomenon. Maybe I will later.
A couple of things:
For those of you who think the Democrats are different than Republicans:
Pelosi Attacks Iraq's Prime Minister For Not Supporting Israel's Destruction Of Lebanon
Israel Comes First
Israeli forces beat schoolchildren demonstrating in Jerusalem; use excessive violence against 10-year-olds
Palestinian Solidarity with Qaxaca in NYC this Saturday but first this statement:
The Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign Honors the Martyrs of Oaxaca.
Jerusalem, November 3, 2006: In this dreadful Autumn of death and destruction, the Palestinian and Mexican people are united more than ever in a common history, mourning and struggle.
In Palestine in the last 48 hours a new massacre has been perpetrated. 20 martyrs from the refugee camp of Beit Hanoun have been added to the hundreds of victims that have been killed since June, when the Occupation forces launched another ruthless offensive in the Gaza Strip.
In the same way, since June the Mexican government has started to use all the destructive force of its military against the 70,000 educational workers in Oaxaca who struggle for their rights. The same government that followed the demands of the US government to send its soldiers to invade and massacre the Iraqi people today turns these weapons against its own people in defense of imperialist interests.
We mourn the dead of Oaxaca as we mourn our own and we take courage from the determination in the struggle that this people has shown in response to the repression. They have united their voices in the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO): some 350 organizations have taken back the city and struggle to overthrow the corrupt government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.
If the government wanted to crush this movement with the invasion of the 29th October and the murder of the protesters, we now know that this goal has not been achieved and that the activists of the APPO know how to respond to the latest brutal attacks.
We know that the Mexican Intifada continues and spreads to other states of the nation.
As Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign representing some 50 popular committees that struggle day after day in the villages ghettoized by the wall and besieged by the complex mechanism of Zionist repression and expulsion, we want to let you know that you are not alone, that your struggle is our struggle.
60 years of occupation, dispossession, daily murder and eventually the attempt to transform Palestine into a giant open air prison were not enough to destroy the determination of the Palestinian people. The majority of our people has been expelled from their land and struggles for the return to their homes, the rest of us resists apartheid and a life in open-air prisons behind walls and razor wire.
The experience of these 60 years of resistance enable us to recognize our brothers in the Mexican indigenous communities who have resisted genocide for over 500 years. We salute the resistance of the people of Oaxaca against a corrupt puppet government and see in it a new point of reference for the struggle against imperialism.
We join the call of our Mexican comrades to demand:
1. That Ulises Ruiz Ortiz immediately step down from his post as governor of the state of Oaxaca. His authoritarian policies are at the root of the bloodshed and the struggle. His permanent presence is the main obstacle to a political solution.
2. The immediate withdrawal of the Federal Preventive Police from the city of Oaxaca.
3. The immediate end to all forms of repression, the liberation of the arrested and the detained and the return of the disappeared.
4. Unconditional respect for Human Rights and the guarantee of safety for all, in particular the members of the APPO.
5. The punishment of the intellectual and material authors of the murders perpetrated by the paramilitary groups of the state.
We further remind the Federal Government that it holds the responsibility for the repression and assaults on the population and organizations of Oaxaca.
We join all those that ask a political solution and the respect of the demands put forward by the APPO.
Coordinator of the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
The Ad Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East
in association with Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM) present
RESIST THE APARTHEID WALLS!
From Palestine to Mexico
Stop Israeli and US Aggression
Saturday November 11
Judson Memorial Church: Washington Square Park, Manhattan
1:30 PM: Workshop
3:00 PM March
President Bush signed into law a House bill to build 700 miles of double-layer border wall between the United States and Mexico. Identical border-wall legislation helped to spark marches by millions for immigrant rights last spring. This multi-billion dollar US wall will further separate border communities, break apart families, and increase the number of deaths on the border as immigrant workers are pushed deeper into the desert.
Israel, with US support, continues it's assault against the Palestinian people, through daily killing and the construction of a 400 mile Apartheid Wall that reaches 15 miles into the Occupied Territories. The wall's path threatens to annex as much as 50% of the West Bank to Israel, and confiscate 90% of Jerusalem. In building this wall, Israel is razing Palestinians' land, destroying their homes, and turning Palestinian villages and towns near the Wall into isolated ghettos.
Elbit Systems limited, an Israeli company building and profiting from the Wall in occupied Palestine, has been awarded a contract, along with Boeing, to build the US’ wall. Elbit will import Israeli military technology, tested on Palestinians, for use against poor immigrants here.
Please join us for a slideshow and report-back by members of DRUM who will share their first-hand accounts of the walls in Palestine and Arizona from recent visits. Learn how the fight against racist travel bans, for dignity, and against militarized borders link the struggle for immigrant rights in the U.S. to the struggle for freedom in Palestine!
Bring signs and flags. After the workshop, we will take it to the streets and bring the Wall to New York!
This event is being held in conjunction with the International Week Against the Apartheid Wall called by Stop the Wall: Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (www.stopthewall.org)
Saturday, November 11th
1:30 PM: Workshop
3:00 PM : March
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, NY
A, B, C, D, E, F and V to West 4th, or 1 train to Christopher St.
To endorse, and for more information and downloadable flyers please visit www.mideastjustice.org
Or email: justiceME@gmail.com
The Ad-Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East includes: The New York Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, Jews Against the Occupation - NYC, International Socialist Organization, International Solidarity Movement - NYC, Solidarity, Socialist Action, the National Council of Arab-Americans, the Network of Arab-American Professionals of NY-PC, and the WESPAC Foundation.