Progressivist Principles and Resistance

As a principle, resistance to oppression must be an inalienable right no matter what the type of resistance it may be. Blame for any violent resistance must never be laid on the oppressed but rather on the oppressor because oppression in itself is violent and when one suffers violence then violent resistance becomes justified as self-defense.

This is akin to “fighting fire with fire.” Uncontrolled fire can wreak great devastation, but few would object when a large fire is lit to snuff out what might be a more calamitous fire. Why, then, should people object when a violent resistance brings to an end a violent oppression? Peace can only reign when an oppression has been halted. Certainly, it would not be preferable for the violent oppression to continue in the face of pacifist resistance?

Therefore, as a second principle, a resistance movement must never incur greater limitation in tactics than an oppressor uses. To limit a resistance more than an oppressor would be morally anathema. The logical proof is easily verifiable since the cause of the violence is the morally reprehensible oppression; without oppression there could be no resistance. In the case of an occupation/oppression, an entire population is targeted – both civilian and military. In a morally just intellectual space, a military field should never be supported or tilted in favor of the oppressor. Intellectually, if not morally, the entire population of the oppressor could be considered a legitimate target; this writer would, however, recoil at targeting children, elders, and women.1 Therefore, criticism of the Palestinian resistance for inflicting casualties on Israeli civilians is logically and ethically flawed. The oppressor bears responsibility for all casualties because without the oppression, there would be no need for resistance.

It also follows that an oppressed people must be granted an equivalency in tactics and targets that is beyond moral condemnation, again because there would be no violent resistance were it not for the oppression and violence wreaked upon the resisting people. Ergo, the blame for any violent resistance belongs to the oppressor – not to the resistance.

A major tactic of Palestinian resistance is the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. BDS is a non-violent means of resistance against the occupation and oppression that Palestinians have endured for six decades. Nonetheless, there are people regarded as progressives that oppose the BDS campaign or sections of it, such as boycotts.

Expressing disapproval of a tactic is right of any commentator. However, one must wonder about the motives and morality of equally opposing the violence of a resistance and oppressor while also opposing a non-violent means of resistance. If one is opposed to all violence, then if one opposes a non-violent means of resistance, at the very least, it should be incumbent on such a person to proffer an equally viable alternative means of resistance.

Also, in the case of historical Palestine, since it is the Palestinians (and Bedouins and Druze and human rights supporters) who suffer the indignity and violence of occupation, a principled position would hold that any opposition to tactical resistance be discussed with Palestinians first. Further, it seems only just and right that any alternative and/or supplemental plans for tactical resistance also be passed by the Palestinians. I am unaware whether non-Palestinian progressives who oppose boycotts (Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Robert Fisk, etc.) have followed this etiquette.

Progressives must also be on guard for the language they use to identify the oppressors and resistance. Elementary etiquette would, at first, seem to require that a people be referred to by their self-designation. However, since propaganda and disinformation is a major tactical area for oppressors, people receive reportage of oppressors as defenders, as in the Israel Defense [sic] Forces. Predictably, the controlled media and state propagandizing organs, usually refer to the oppressed who dare to resist as “insurgents” and/or “terrorists.” Yet sometimes progressives also lapse into imperialistic terminology.2

Demonizing Iran

Demonization of resistance movements and resistance leaders is a perpetual tactic of imperialists and their media organs. This extends to nations and leaders of nations that hegemons have designated as enemies.

The US-disseminated demonization campaign is crystal clear in the case of Iran. The United States has obvious designs on the region of the Middle East and beyond. It therefore arrogates certain rights onto itself and denies the same rights to other nations. To assert its right as an equal among nations, Iran has been forced to resist US hegemony.

A steadfast stream of disinformation and propaganda has flowed from US media to demonize Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad is controversial because he broaches topics deemed unmentionable by manipulators of discourse. Consequently, Ahmadinejad is mendaciously and repeatedly depicted as calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Iranian elections were targeted for criticism, and a Green Revolution was orchestrated to topple Ahmadinejad. Iranian elections are open to criticism for their lack of adherence to democratic principles, and Iran has a long way to go before becoming authentically democratic, but this same criticism holds equally for the US and every other nation on the planet. Democracy, up to the present time, exists as an ideal and not as a reality. Under capitalism, money determines who holds political power. Consequently, criticizing other states for democratic deficiencies is merely revelatory of ignorance and prejudice.

Iran has been subjected to imperialist oppression orchestrated by the US and compliant western governments to submit its right to uranium enrichment to outside jurisdiction, a right which is granted by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.3

Over a dozen countries are known to enrich uranium; preventing Iran from pursuing this same activity creates a hierarchy among nations – a violation of the United Nations Charter.4

Moreover, the argument that it is not necessary for a nation to enrich its own uranium because it can purchase enriched uranium from other countries already enriching uranium is flawed, and it does not address the inequality among nations argument. It leaves a non-uranium enriching nation at the whim of the commercial market and its potential enemies. The US and its western supporting nations (with the egregious complicity of the UN, contrary to its own peace-promoting charter, since enacting sanctions is often viewed as a declaration of war) have already abundantly demonstrated their alacrity for using international sanctions to achieve hegemonic ends. Why, therefore, would an independent nation leave itself open to losing its access to an energy supply?

The only way Iran can guarantee itself access to enriched uranium is if it enriches its own supply of uranium.

This US-led campaign, purportedly to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability, suffers from the US’s acquiescence to Israel maintaining a nuclear weapons stockpile. This was, however, not a problem when the US backed the nuclear aspirations of the regime of the dictator it installed in Iran. The Shah of Iran is said to have desired nuclear weapons.5 Hypocrisy aside, the US campaign contravenes the UN Charter and NPT, besides positing and attempting to legitimate an inequality among nations. The US rationale points to a scenario where there are supreme nations who may have nuclear technology and/or nuclear weapons, and there are lesser nations in this US-dominated world order who may not have nuclear technology and/or nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Deterrence and Peace

The only time nuclear weapons were used against another nation was by the US, when it only possessed the technology and when its victim nation was virtually defenceless. Since then other nations have acquired nuclear weapons, and a nuclear deterrence factor has been claimed as preventing a nuclear war.

Insofar as nuclear deterrence has significance, then for a peaceful nation such as Iran — which has not initiated a war against another country in centuries, which finds itself unceasingly subject to threats from a warmongering hegemon and the apartheid nuclear-armed Israel, both of which have been at war their entire existence — nuclear weaponization seems to be the only currently viable self-defense option to continue as a peaceful, independent nation among nations. Every nation should be entitled to an equal, inalienable right to self-defense.6

To adhere to the principle of equality among nations, then the solution is clear: either all nations become and remain disarmed of nuclear weapons, or all nations have the right to become nuclear armed.

And why stop there? Why not a fully verifiable dismantling of military industries by all nations and a standing down of all military service personnel? Why not a global peace treaty by all nations and peoples forever renouncing war?

It would be most difficult to oppress peoples without weapons and fighters, and the need for resistance would vanish.

However, the oppressors are still calling the shots in today’s world.

  1. In Israel, there is also the fact, that most of the population serves in the military of the oppressor at one time or another, and that they may, therefore, be considered military. []
  2. See Kim Petersen, “Insurgents”: Hermeneutics Are Not a Substitute for Clarity!Dissident Voice, 3 March 2006. []
  3. The preamble states “… all Parties to the Treaty are entitled to participate in the fullest possible exchange of scientific information for, and to contribute alone or in co-operation with other States to, the further development of the applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes…”

    Article IV.1 states, “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.” []

  4. The UN Charter states in the preamble affirms a principle of “the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small…” []
  5. Mohammad Sahimi, “Iran’s Nuclear Program. Part I: Its History,” Payvand’s Iran News …, 2 October 2003. []
  6. See Kim Petersen, “The Inalienable Right to Self Defense: Balancing the Power,” Dissident Voice, 27 February 2006. []

Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: kim@dissidentvoice.org. Read other articles by Kim.

23 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. David Silver said on September 27th, 2010 at 7:30am #

    Right on Kim Like the equating Hamas rockets and the State terrorism
    of Israel

  2. bozh said on September 27th, 2010 at 7:52am #

    A few words about ‘media’ [watch it: it labels a a fictive reality]? I think, its vitiating effects appear overstressed, while vitiating effects by CIA-FBI-Army-police echelons understressed.
    In addition, the label “media” in folk meaning appears as an independent medium for control of americans instead of as an interdependent tool for oppression– or, rather, integral part of US system of governance.

    And like most or all governances, US governance controls also much of [dis]information by any individual [via money paid] or any of its components like judiciary, college administration, sports, army reports, etc.

    And, of course, nothing in this world is independent; i.e., in toto separated from one and only reality we have.
    That americans believe media is independent [fawning or otherwise] is an established fact. How to let them know that it is not so?

    Hyphenating inseparable aspects of our reality [includes warfare, torture, oppression, 'schooling' and the like] in thought or in writing accomplishes this for most people or people who care about our plight.
    Sorry folks for harping on it: there is only one reality and not two! tnx

  3. bozh said on September 27th, 2010 at 8:09am #

    Of course, even the structure of govt is an integral part of structure of governance. The structures being constant; basic parts of it never ever changing an iota; unless is met by an antipodal structure of governance.

    It is obvious that the ‘two’ US parties appear as mere aspects of US governance. The ‘two’ parties’ contract to one party in basics {US right to ‘self defense’, chasmic difference in earnings and thus powers} or expand to a dozen or more when it comes to cosmetic changes or minor matters that do not in any way change the basic structure!

    Even in canada we have one party when it comes to oppression of palestinians, pashtuns, and iraqis. And even the difference in wealth-econo-military-governmenatl powers!
    In short, welcome back to Sargon the Idiot’s world. tnx

  4. Ismail Zayid said on September 27th, 2010 at 8:42am #

    Kim Petersen’s analysis of the role of resistance against an oppressive foreign occupation is balanced and accurate. International law entitles all people under foreign occupation to resist such occupation. one obviously cannot approve targeting children and innocent civilians. Accordingly, the Palestinian people who have been subjected to a most oppressive foreign occupation are entitled to wage resistance against this occupation. similarly, it is perfectly legitimate to wage a campaign of boycott against a state that maintains such an oppressive occupation. It is surprising that few activists object to such a peaceful fully- justified form of resistance.

    Mr. Petersen also correctly refers to the hypocrisy of the US and its allies in attacking Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, for its claimed peaceful nuclear programme, while maintaining complete silence about Israeli refusal to sign the N.P.T, and hording hundreds of nuclear weapons. Is there no limit to duplicity and hypocrisy?

  5. teafoe2 said on September 27th, 2010 at 5:16pm #

    This is really good work, Kim. I think Frantz Fanon would have liked it.

    I’m struck by the organization:

    As Point Number One you posit the principle of the right to resist oppression, and to resist violence with counter-violence.

    After expanding on that, providing some supporting arguments, you move to

    Point II: wherein you articulate the principle that the oppressed have every right to use any means already used by the Oppressor.

    Point III is one I’ve tried to write about myself ever since Amnesty International et al started echoing the Ziomedia propaganda line about Palestinians visting violence on “Isreali Civilians” (sic):

    >”…criticism of the Palestinian resistance for inflicting casualties on Israeli civilians is logically and ethically flawed. The oppressor bears responsibility for all casualties because without the oppression, there would be no need for resistance.”<

    My own position usually seems unduly "extreme" even to many otherwise sympathetic persons. And it is not easy to expound in a balanced way, taking into account all the possible exceptions one by one.

    So I'll start by laying it out in the simplest form I can come up with, which will inevitably contain or imply much that needs correction or even to be abandoned:

    As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as an adult ablebodied Isreali "Innocent Civilian", except for nursing mothers.

    I'm an "elderly" myself, I know a lot of elderlies who've supported one US Warcrime after another, who supported Jim Crow and Manifest Destiny, whined about The Yellow Peril, applaud the Minutemen, hire Mexicanos to mow their Orange County lawns at half the legal minimum wage… Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck fans. There's another bunch who keep JFK's picture on the wall, but voted for Reagan and supported every US Imperialist Aggression from Korea to Vietnam to Grenada to Panama to Bush I's desert storm to Clinton's genocidal sanctions to Shocknawe to Afganistan to Pakistan, plus colonialist counter insurgency in Colombia…

    The point is, most of these Isreali "elderly" are precisely the perpetrators who bear responsibility for the Nakhba, for the 1967 expansion of the conquests, for the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, for the 2002 cancellation of the "deal" Abu Ammar thought he had cut with the devil and the ensuing violent IDF destruction of the so called "Palestinian Authority" and its replacement with good old Uzi-enforced Military Administration.

    So among these "elders" there may be a handful who are totally innocent, who haven't a spot of blood on their snow-white hands. But even those who took no active part in any of these state-sponsored crimes but did nothing to stop them must share in the guilt.

    As for Isreali peaceniks like Uri Avneri, if they weren't so attached to the privileges they enjoy as Jewish Citizens of the Jewish State, they'd do the only decent and honorable thing: emigrate. Vote with their feet; refuse to be a part of what's going on.

    Picasso's example comes to mind: he refused to set foot in his native Espana while the Falangist-fascist Francisco Franco remained at the head of the government and the Phalangist goonsquads remained at large.

    Oops, I've introduced another subject. So better stop and regroup.

    But before I log off, I do want to note that Kim referred to Robert Fisk in the same breath as Chomsky & Finkelstein. I've been informed that Fisk made some negative comments about BDS in Berkeley the other day, and proposed as an alternate strategy something that was described to me as a "harebrained idea" about filing lawsuits against US government agencies and officials.

    I haven't been able to get full details of the incident, and several minutes devoted to googling Fisk's The Independent site didnt turn up anything about BDS or his Legal System-based scenario. I did note that Fisk's name is displayed on the frontpage of Bob Scheer's "truthdig" site, right next to that of Uncle Eugene Robinson.

    Which may not prove anything one way or the other, but sure looks to me like A Straw In The Wind.*

    *One of those hollywood moguls is sure to have that one copyrighted so don't even think about it. Those Irish types are all alike, they always get there first and glom onto anything worth glomming:)

  6. teafoe2 said on September 27th, 2010 at 8:47pm #

    Just want to add that any Isrealis desiring to avoid responsibility for Zionist crimes have an easy way out:

    EMIGRATE NOW!

  7. John Andrews said on September 28th, 2010 at 12:14am #

    Few of us (regulars at DV) dispute the Palestinian cause. The Zionist occupation of Palestine is one of the most obscene evils being actively supported by western governments.

    But I’m not sure about violent resistance or boycotts as effective tactics for creating change.

    I could not and do not take issue with any individual so brutalised by oppression that they pick up a gun to fight back; or someone so crushed, enraged and powerless that they pack explosives around themselves, to fight back. I would probably do the same thing myself if I were in their position. I also could not and do not have an issue with any individual who chooses not to support the economy of an oppressive regime – and I do not knowingly buy anything that supports the zionist state, say. But… but… to suggest that violence and boycotts are legitimate actions that governments might pursue is another matter altogether.

    Trade sanctions (boycotts) are a tool of empire, which is why just about every set of trade sanctions imposed by the UN for the last sixty years has been initiated by the United States. Prior to that, in the days of the British empire, trade blockades were a routine pastime for the Royal Navy.

    It’s fair enough to be understanding when individuals take up arms to resist the oppression of their own governments; and fair enough for individuals to refuse to support the economies of oppressive regimes (or corporations) – but it’s quite another thing when a nation does it.

    I think it might be more effective for those of us living in comfort to aim our discontent at obscene regimes such as the zionists by targeting our own governments and media empires for their moral support of those regimes than by trying to get them to impose sanctions or take up arms. After all, it is the moral argument that governments must accept before the full pariah nature of places like Israel can be properly exposed.

    As for Iran, well… there is of course already a law which allows nations to defend themselves – the problem is there’s no effective means of policing it, so the Empire gets to choose which nations may defend themselves and which may not.

  8. 3bancan said on September 28th, 2010 at 1:02am #

    teafoe2 said on September 27th, 2010 at 8:47pm #

    “Just want to add that any Isrealis desiring to avoid responsibility for Zionist crimes have an easy way out: EMIGRATE NOW! ”

    Exactly! But the problem is that all those in Israel who have found a way to humanity have already left Israel. Practically all Israelis are zionists, most of them hardcore ones and a handful of them of a soft(er) kind. Those who are leaving now are mostly rabid zionazis whose mission is doing the zionazi hasbara for Israel in other parts of the world, especially in the US, as members of various think tanks and other organizations “working for the good of the Jews”.
    Totally unmentioned by the media goes the immigration of tens of thousands of new zionazi genociders into Palestine every year. Cf
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=40734
    The Jews keep steadily stealing the Palestinian land, while bringing in new colonial genociders and expelling/deporting more and more Palestinians. I don’t give the talk about “the demographic bomb” much credibility: While the Palestinian birthrate goes down, the Jewish goes up, thanks mostly to the most rabid zionazi settlers, who are becoming a more and more greater part of the Israeli zionazi society. I think that the emigration of Palestinians is going up as the Jews are raising their tempo of destroying the Palestinian economy, livelihood and culture. Cf
    “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?
    A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law
    May 2009 Cape Town, South Africa”
    All those who preach non-violence against the violent opressor are on the side of the genociders. If there wouldn’t have been any armed Palestinian resistance, the world now would probably not know that Palestinians ever existed…

  9. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2010 at 1:29am #

    Reading John Andrew’s remarks I don’t know whether he’s coming or going. They are extremely duplicitous, specious and unfair. On the one hand … On the other hand. We’ve heard it all before.

  10. 3bancan said on September 28th, 2010 at 2:49am #

    John Andrews said on September 28th, 2010 at 12:14am #
    “I think it might be more effective for those of us living in comfort to aim our discontent at obscene regimes such as the zionists by targeting our own governments and media empires for their moral support of those regimes than by trying to get them to impose sanctions or take up arms.”

    I’ve got a feeling I’m reading Chomsky.
    Evil exists because good men – like JA – do nothing…

  11. Don Hawkins said on September 28th, 2010 at 2:58am #

    Hurry hurry burn more book’s in the name of truth and justice, I still wonder what some of the great minds long gone would say if they could see old twenty ten?

  12. John Andrews said on September 28th, 2010 at 6:17am #

    Deadbeat,

    I’m not sure whether to envy your wisdom or pity your ignorance, which I suppose is a result of being duplicitous.

    3bancan

    I apologise. You’re right, it’s not a great sentence. However, you don’t know the first thing about me, so you have no idea about what I do. I assure you, it isn’t ‘nothing’.

  13. Rehmat said on September 28th, 2010 at 6:19am #

    Palestine – The rhetoric game

    During the last week 65th gathering of the ‘divided nations’ in New York -the world heard three habitual liars’ views concerning the foreign Jewish occupied Arab country, Palestine.

    The first half-Black US President Ben Obama said that the rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through peaceful means — including genuine reconciliation with a secure Israel (on Israeli terms of course!).

    The Israeli radical Jew Prime Minister Benji Netanyahu said, “I came here today to find a historic compromise that will enable both people to live in peace, security, and dignity.”

    The double-agent PA President Mahmoud Abbas, whose electoral mandate ended in January 2009, said, “We will spare no effort and we will work diligently and tirelessly to ensure these negotiations achieve their cause.”

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/palestine-the-rhetoric-game/

  14. bozh said on September 28th, 2010 at 7:36am #

    John andrews,
    I not only cry out for present boycott against israel– i also want more and more of it.
    How about boycotting US? Yes, of course! And do it because it hurts criminal minds’ body-minds and not because of what it may bring us.

    In any case, please, list how it may hurt pal’n or our cause? Especially, in view that palestina in any shape or size will most likely never rise or rise only after the world unites and demands its rise.

    In add’n, no protest ever even delayed let alone prevented or stopped a war, but it is still ok to protest.

    To repeat: only an antipodal econo-military-governmental power to the present powers of masters of wars and people can stop a war once underway.
    Does not the eight millennia of warfare for land theft [primarily or solely] by clerico-noble class [past and present] of lowlife prove that?

    Surely, hobos, homeless, housepeople, miners, fishers, tillers, et al do not think of warfare nor ever plot one and only approve of it as germans, italians, japanese, serbs have after being told the ‘truth’.
    Mind u, there is no such entity as “truth”, but 99.99% of world pop doesn’t know that.
    And it is or shld be our job to shout this from rooftops! tnx

  15. Don Hawkins said on September 28th, 2010 at 8:28am #

    113 degrees in LA now Mexico thousands and the flooding record flooding in the Northern US. There’s some truth coming alright. The people in Mexico don’t have any rooftop’s to shout from there gone and so it goes and here in the States the elections are so important to us all madness.

  16. teafoe2 said on September 28th, 2010 at 11:06am #

    give it up John Andrews. Not only have we heard all that crap before, we’ve refuted it all in miniscule detail over and over again. Please review the DV Older Articles, also comments on Pulse Media and Palestine ThinkTank; when you get up to speed and think you’ve found a way to present your BS in a way that might sound fresh, come on back and post it. Several of us will be delighted to take it apart:)

  17. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2010 at 12:11pm #

    I guess I’ll have spell out the duplicity of Mr. Andrews remarks …

    Mr. Andrews writes …
    I do not knowingly buy anything that supports the zionist state, say. But… but… to suggest that violence and boycotts are legitimate actions that governments might pursue is another matter altogether.

    What is a government if not her citizens and is not Hamas the elected government of the Palestinian people. Therefore Mr. Andrews remarks suffers two glaring contradiction: it infers that the representative government of the Palestinian people cannot call out for a boycott of Israel and that the citizens of the United States cannot demand a boycott of Israel because her leaders has misused sanctions.

    This is out and out Chomskyism which is speciously more subtly interwoven in Mr. Andrews remarks than the paragraph that 3bancan’s identified.

    Like T42 says we’ve heard it all before.

  18. teafoe2 said on September 28th, 2010 at 1:17pm #

    Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 10:07 AM
    To: Saja Raoof
    Subject: Re: The FBI Raids in Context
    Saja, thanks for the quote. how about this one:

    The opposite of violence is not non-violence. The opposite of violence is Power.

    From: Saja Raoof
    Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:53 AM
    Subject: Re: The FBI Raids in Context
    “He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

    Saja

  19. teafoe2 said on September 28th, 2010 at 2:37pm #

    Apparently the extremely active Mr John Andrews was too busy to carefully read the arguments Kim P presents above. Take another look at this proposition, Mr A:

    “… a resistance movement must never be bound by less than the tactics that an oppressor uses.”

    This is not to advocate or offer advice to the Palestinian Resistance about what particular tactics they should employ at any particular time or in any particular situation. Such decisions are up to the aggrieved parties, to those suffering oppression and aggression.

    What we in the “West” are responsible for is being clear about the governing moral principle. Criticizing a subjugated oppressed people for choosing to employ weapons or tactics already deployed against them by the invading/occupying Aggressor is the height of hypocrisy.

    More of Mr A’s hypocrisy is exposed when he conflates advocacy of non-violent boycotts with “calls for violence”. Come on Mr A, nobody is calling for the US to bomb Tel Aviv.
    The chances of the US Government imposing trade sanctions on Isreal anytime in the foreseeable future are A)Slim; B) None. So what are you really talking about, Mr A?

    Maybe the key to understanding Andrews’ confusion can be found in this jewel: >”Trade sanctions (boycotts) are a tool of empire…”"I think it might be more effective for those of us living in comfort to aim our discontent at obscene regimes such as the zionists by targeting our own governments and media empires for their moral support of those regimes than by trying to get them to impose sanctions or take up arms. After all, it is the moral argument that governments must accept before the full pariah nature of places like Israel can be properly exposed.”<

    Stripped of irrelevancies, Mr A's argument is that instead of targeting "obscene regimes" directly, we should give Izzy a free pass until "governments" are ready to accept "the moral argument", which amounts to extending the free pass forever, since it will be a cold day in hell when US or EU politicians let silly shit like "morality" influence their political calculations.

    Sorry Mr Andrews, but the Write Your Congresscritter tactic has already been tried, and found grievously wanting. They aren't listening, and why should they?

    If we were to follow your advice, we'd be back at square one, going around in the same deadend circles we've been trapped in for the last thirty years.

    Right now we've managed to get a ball rolling. The BDS Campaign is gathering momentum daily. People like this Andrews are even farther behind the curve than Chomsky and the Little Chompskies, who while they hate the idea of boycotting, divesting from, or heaven forbid imposing sanctions on their favorite little country, have realized that by failing to back BDS they risk losing all credibility as persons knowledgeable about the ME and/or the I/P "conflict".

    So the task in front of us is to find a way to dispel the web of lies these "soft" Zionists are trying to preserve by employing a gambit, sacrificing the most obsolete elements of the conventional snowjob in order to preserve the elements they deem most essential. Which is why we now see them engaged in exposing and discarding the older and corniest lies such as the once universally accepted Exodus Version, and also vociferously condemning the worst of Izzy's more recent crimes.

    Well, Mr A, I think there are a number of points you need to reconsider before you launch into any more pontificating? I'm sure you agree, don't you? Have a nice day:)

  20. John Andrews said on September 28th, 2010 at 11:29pm #

    Please forgive me for daring to have a different opinion. How silly of me to think that should be tolerated.

  21. Jeff White said on September 28th, 2010 at 11:32pm #

    teafoe2 said on September 27th, 2010 at 8:47pm:
    “Just want to add that any Isrealis desiring to avoid responsibility for Zionist crimes have an easy way out:

    EMIGRATE NOW!”

    Do you offer the same advice to Americans who wish to avoid responsibility for imperialist crimes?

    I would much prefer that any anti-Zionist activists still in Israel remain there and keep up the fight. Likewise anti-imperialist Americans.

  22. Angie Tibbs said on September 29th, 2010 at 12:04am #

    John Andrews writes in part: “… to suggest that violence and boycotts are legitimate actions that governments might pursue is another matter altogether”.

    For the past 62 years the Palestinian people in their own homeland have been daily brutalized by the occupier. Killed by guns, bombs, missiles, tank fire, white phosphorus, and all else besides. This violence against essentially unarmed people at home, at work, at play, at prayer continues year after murderous year causing death, injury, destruction of homes and property — and then there’s the land theft, or as I call it, the creeping transfer.

    Are you suggesting that the Palestinian people ought to be good little boys and girls and turn the other cheek over and over until there are no cheeks left to turn, no homes left to destroy, no land to steal, no Palestinian people left?

    You have an occupier with one of the greatest caches of weapons in the world continually using them against people armed with guns and homemade rockets. You don’t see this as being an unequal playing field? And they should do nothing? We, the people of the universe, should do nothing?

    What sort of reasoning is this?

    Your comments need clarification.

  23. Kim Petersen said on September 29th, 2010 at 12:43am #

    John,

    Of course, everyone should be entitled to their opinion. But opinions are better based in factuality.

    You wrote, “… to suggest that violence and boycotts are legitimate actions that governments might pursue is another matter altogether.”

    A closer reading is in order. I never wrote anything about “governments”… or governments legitimately pursuing violence. There is no such suggestion. I wrote about resistance to oppression.

    In fact, the article questioned the legitimacy of governments since democracy is an ideal and not a reality.