Four Reasons Why Americans Should Oppose Zionism

Israel has been subject to some bad publicity recently.  In 2008-09, it launched a brutal military campaign in the Gaza Strip that killed over 400 Palestinian children.  In May, 2010, bumbling Israeli commandos murdered nine nonviolence activists on the relief flotilla Mavi Marmara.  It only got worse for Israel when it was revealed that soldiers stole and sold personal items such as laptops from the ship.  Last week, former Israeli soldier Eden Abergil posted photos onto facebook showing her preening in front of blindfolded and despondent Palestinian prisoners, in some instances mocking those prisoners with sexual undertones.  The photos were part of an album entitled “IDF—the best time of my life.” 

While Abergil’s pictures may not seem as abhorrent as the Gaza and Mavi Marmara brutality—Abergil, for her part, described her behavior as nonviolent and free of contempt—all three actions are intimately connected.  First of all, we must dispel the notion that Abergil’s photos are nonviolent.  As with the Abu Ghraib debacle, a sexualized and coercive humiliation is being visited on the bodies of powerless, colonized, and incarcerated subjects, which by any reasonable principle is a basal form of violence; there is also the obvious physical violence of Palestinians being bound and blindfolded, presumably in or on their way to prisons nobody will confuse with the Mandarin Oriental. 

More important, these recent episodes merely extend an age-old list of Israeli crimes and indignities that illuminate a depravity in the Zionist enterprise itself.  What is noteworthy about Israel’s three recent escapades is that more and more people are starting to pay attention to its crimes and indignities.  In so doing, more and more people are questioning the origin and meaning of Zionism—that is, the very idea of a legally ethnocentric Israel. 

I would like to address this piece to those who have undertaken such questioning or to those who are prepared to initiate it.  I would urge you not to limit your critique of Israel only to its errors of judgment or its perceived excesses; it is more productive to challenge the ideology and practice of Zionism itself.  There is no noble origin or beautiful ideal to which the wayward Jewish state must return; such yearnings are often duplicitous mythmaking or romanticized nostalgia.  Zionists always intended to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, a strategy they carried out and continue to pursue with horrifying efficiency. 

Likewise, Zionism was always a colonialist movement, one that relied on the notions of divine entitlement and civilizational superiority that justified previous settlement projects in South Africa, Algeria, and North America.  Zionism, by virtue of its exclusionary outlook and ethnocentric model of citizenship, is on its own a purveyor of fundamental violence.  The bad PR to which Israel sometimes is subject today is a reflection of changed media dynamics, not a worsening of Israel’s behavior. 

The 2008-09 Gaza invasion, the attack on the Mavi Marmara, and Abergil’s facebook photos aren’t anomalous or extraordinary.  They are the invariable result of a Zionist ideology that cannot help but view Palestinian Muslims and Christians as subhuman, no matter how ardently its liberal champions assert that Zionism is a liberation movement.  Zionism has the unfortunate effect of proclaiming that one group of people should have access to certain rights from which another group of people is excluded.  There is nothing defensible in this proposition. 

Here, then, are four reasons why Americans (and all other humans regardless of race or religion) should oppose Zionism: 

1.  Zionism is unethical and immoral:  Because Zionists claim access to land and legal rights that directly obviate the same access to an indigenous community, it operates from within an idea of belonging that is cruel and archaic.  Israel bases its primary criterion for citizenship on religious identity.  Imagine having your religion on your driver’s license.  And imagine having limited access to freeways, farmland, family, education, employment, and foreign travel because the religion by which the state has chosen to identify you is legally marginalized.  Such is the daily reality of the Palestinian people. 

2.  Zionism is racist:  This claim isn’t the same as saying that all Zionists are racist.  I would make a distinction between the categories of “Zionist” and “Zionism.”  However, inherent in the practice of Zionism is a reliance on racialist judgments about who can fully participate in the benefits and practices of a national community.  Many Zionists view themselves merely as supporting freedom and safety for Jewish people.  I would suggest that people who identify themselves as Zionist look more closely at the ideology they support.  Such freedom and safety, both of which are, in fact, mythologies, come at the direct expense of people confined to Bantustans and refugee camps. 

3.  Zionism contravenes the geopolitical interests of the United States:  Many Americans have heard former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert boast that he once pulled George W. Bush off the dais while Bush was giving a speech, or more recently current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing that “America is something that can be easily moved.”  Israel costs the United States billions of dollars in direct aid and in bribe money to Jordan and Egypt for their docility.  Israel also is the main reason for disgruntlement about American foreign policy in the Arab and Muslim Worlds.  I raise this point with some hesitation because I believe all citizens of the United States should challenge and not celebrate American geopolitical interests.  I would also point out that Zionism’s narrative of salvation and redemption resonates deeply among Americans because of the United States’ origin and continued presence as a nation of settler colonists.  In the end, America itself needs to be decolonized and the vast sums of money that support the imperial projects Israel so brazenly exemplifies need to be directed toward the well-being of those who pay the government its taxes. 

4.  Zionism is fundamentally incompatible with democracy:  Israel, as a result, is undemocratic and will be as long as it uses religious identity as the operating criterion of citizenship.  We hear much in the United States about Islam being incompatible with democracy, a belief that is historically untrue and that elides the massive military and monetary support the United States provides to the assortment of dictators and plutocrats that rule much of the Arab World.  Neoconservative and mainstream commentators both evoke Israel in opposition to Islam as a symbol of democratic achievement, but in reality Israel performs one of the most barbaric forms of oppression today in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (and discriminates against the Palestinian citizens of Israel). 

The alternative media engendered by new technology have allowed more people to witness the unremitting violence that has been Israel’s stock in trade for decades.  Many consumers of this information and these images believe that Israel is guilty of excess when a simpler explanation exists:  Israel is acting out the requisites of an exclusionary and inherently violent ideology. 

These days all it takes is a little braggadocio from an ex-soldier such as Eden Abergil to so perfectly symbolize the callousness of Zionist colonization.  Ten years ago, the Israeli government’s lies about the IDF killings aboard the Mavi Marmara would have been unchallenged by gruesome cell phone footage.  Nobody these days could have stopped the images of white phosphorous exploding and spreading over the Gaza Strip from being aired; Israelis, themselves, were foolish enough to capture Jewish children writing messages on soon-to-be-launched missiles. 

Americans now have all the evidence they need for a reasonable and morally-sound conclusion, that Zionism produces a cruelty and truculence that they bankroll with their taxes and legitimize with either silence or consent.  As a result, I am not arguing that Americans should reassess their level of support for Israel.  I am arguing that Americans should oppose Zionism altogether.  Perhaps in this way we might begin the long and difficult process of redeeming our own nation of its imperial sins.

23 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ismail Zayid said on August 23rd, 2010 at 10:32am #

    Steven Salaita states accurately the real essence of Zionism. From its inception, it has displayed its true nature as a colonialist racist programme. As stated here in this article: “The recent episodes merely extend an age-old list of Israeli crimes and indignities that illuminate a depravity in the Zionist enterprise itself.”
    It is promising that more and more people are beginning to understand and courageously express their views about the true nature of Zionism and the resulting oppressive Israeli practices against the Palestinian people. Will our political leaders and media have the courage, one day, to speak out or act accordingly?

  2. teafoe2 said on August 23rd, 2010 at 1:49pm #

    The answer to Mr Zayid’s hopeful final question is, unfortunately, no. No chance.

    We need new political leaders brought to the fore by a new kind of process.

    The current ziodollar-controlled “constitutional” process is totally corrupted, from who gets onto your local school board to POTUS. The mainstream media is totally subservient to the same Money & Power Configuration.

    The only hope I see is that new social networks created via the Internet will eventually reach an accurate consensus on the nature of the present problem, and will coalesce into massive coherent formations around an agenda which begins with taking power away from those who now misuse it so terribly.

  3. teafoe2 said on August 23rd, 2010 at 2:08pm #

    Congratulations and thanks to Mr Salaita for his really magnificent articulation of Problem Number One.

    Start with any issue or social problem that has your attention; follow the train of causation back to the beginning. You will eventually arrive at the intersection of Capitalism & Zionism. If this combination did not originally create said problem, it continues to constitute the fundamental obstacle preventing ameliorization of the problem.

    So every serious discussion of Public Affairs inevitably winds up as a discussion of Zionism and its host, Capitalism.

    Those who find this tiresome are reactionaries of one kind or another, conscious or unconscious aiders and abetters of racist facism as exemplified by the zionist entities, the one implanted in the ME, the other embedded in the US of A.

    Those who desire to remove from their necks the boot of US Imperialism, who desire to end the cruel reign of Capitalism American Style, would do well to examine closely the role played by Organized Zionism in the overall Class Warfare regime, and to consider whether Zionism itself is not the biggest chink in the current armor of the Capitalist System.

  4. hayate said on August 23rd, 2010 at 7:20pm #

    I got a 5th reason: zionism is inherently fascist, in both its idealism/philosophy and in the way it is practiced. It promotes oligarchic political systems that favour monopoly capitalism, run by a select few “chosen ones” who practice “master race” elitism.

  5. JoeJ said on August 24th, 2010 at 1:07am #

    Creating Israel was a big mistake – the UN must reverse its error.

    The UN had no intention of creating a mega nuclear state.

    The UN’s charter creating Israel has been abused a million times over.

    What the UN did – it can take back.

  6. mary said on August 24th, 2010 at 2:00am #

    Prosor, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, gets told some truths


    Missed opportunities for a peaceful Middle East

    The Guardian, Tuesday 24 August 2010

    Ron Prosor’s defence of Israel’s continued blockade of Gaza (Before we talk to Hamas, August 20) is deeply flawed. Based on research published by The Lancet-Palestinian Health Alliance – a group of health scientists from the occupied Palestinian territory, the UK, US, Norway, France and Canada – several statements by the Israeli ambassador need immediate correction.

    Gaza is not a terrorist enclave. It is a vigorous community of 1.4 million people struggling to exist under what the UN still considers to be occupation by Israel. Operation Cast Lead did not target “terrorist infrastructure”. On a visit to Gaza that I made in March this year, with colleagues from the UK, I witnessed the results of indiscriminate bombing of residential communities across the Strip, as well as the results of civilian casualties. These civilian attacks have left families rebuilding homes out of the debris left by the bombing with their bare hands, thanks to the ban on transporting building materials into Gaza.

    Gaza is not “a golden opportunity tragically missed”. The people of Gaza are experiencing continued declines in child health, unchecked burdens of chronic disease, shortages of life-saving medical supplies and equipment, and the dramatic erosion of mental health. These unprecedented hardships are a direct consequence of Israel’s disregard for the health and security of people who they, as occupiers, have a legal duty to protect.

    Hamas has not “directed every resource to enslaving its people while attacking” Israel. Readers should make up their own minds by visiting Gaza for themselves. What I have seen during my visits is a dignified people who are anxious about the future of their children, seek the best care they can for friends and relatives, and look for work that will sustain their families. In the classrooms I visited, there was no incitement against Israel. Instead, there was pride in being Palestinian, a plea for the facts of their lives to be told against the propaganda that Prosor repeats.

    On one issue, Mr Prosor and I agree. Many Israelis are sceptical and do fear for their futures. But this is largely because it suits politicians to manufacture the scepticism and fear that destroy hopes for peace and justice. If the full truth about the health of people living in the occupied Palestinian territory was more widely known, the international community would no longer tolerate Israel’s apparent indifference.

    Dr Richard Horton
    Editor, The Lancet

    •?It is simply not worth commenting on most of the vitriol written by the Israeli ambassador. Those parliamentarians who visited Gaza and talked to Hamas leaders in Damascus have formed a very different view of the situation, and know that there will be no peace process unless Hamas is included in negotiations.

    What is worth commenting upon, however, is his assertion that “Gaza was a golden opportunity tragically missed”. A much greater missed opportunity was the creation of Israel itself. The gift of land, backed by support from the US in particular, was a chance for Israel’s new citizens to create a land of milk and honey for all the people of Palestine, living in peace and prosperity. With their policies of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, together with harassment and ethnic cleansing of the remaining Palestinians, the Zionists have squandered that chance.

    Jenny Tonge
    Lib Dem, House of Lords

    •?The Israeli ambassador repeats the demand that Hamas must recognise the state of Israel. Yet he does not explain the form in which such recognition should take place. Most governments and international bodies regard Israeli post-1967 settlements as violations of international law. Israel disputes this interpretation and claims that the resolution of the issue is a matter for last-stage negotiation. Hamas would, if it recognised Israel today, be handing Israel a blank territorial cheque for the future. Is this a reasonable demand?

    David Butler

    •?President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Senator George Mitchell and others who seem so keen on a two-state solution (White House gives Israel and Palestinians a year to break stalemate in face-to-face talks, 21 August) regularly gloss over crucial questions. To mention only four:

    First, why should the 1967 green line be treated as a suitable frontier between the two communities when it means that Israel is left in possession of huge swaths of territory acquired illegally?

    Second, legal and moral issues aside, how do they imagine that the Palestinians, whose population is approaching that of Israel, can form a viable state in Gaza and the West Bank, two small, non-contiguous plots of land amounting to less than 20% of the land of Palestine?

    Third, will they insist that the negotiators respect the Palestinians’ right of return, an inalienable right enshrined in article 13 of the universal declaration of human rights (1948), UN resolutions 194 (1948) and 273 (1949), article 49 of the fourth Geneva convention (1949), and other legal instruments?

    Fourth, if anything results from these negotiations, will they insist that the million or more Palestinians made refugees by Israel’s ethnic cleansing in 1948 and 1967 and forced to live outside Gaza and the West Bank are permitted to vote on the outcome?

    Dr Robert Boyce

    •?Since there is no power without punishment, exactly what sanctions will the US impose on either party if it fails to engage seriously and sincerely in this process? If there are no consequences for either or both parties, exactly what incentive remains to comply?

    Ian Lowery
    Watford, Hertfordshire

  7. mary said on August 24th, 2010 at 2:06am #

    This was Prosor. Note he was given his own column. The feeble Marx Bros joke at the beginning is supposed to disarm the reader into believing that he is a jolly and humorous type. In reality he is a thug.

  8. mebosa.ritchie said on August 24th, 2010 at 10:04am #


    New Gaza Luxury Mall

    While Hamas continues to complain that Gaza lacks building materials, a luxury mall in Gaza City held its grand opening over the weekend. Among the goods on sale are Israeli men’s clothing, and items from Turkey, France, and the United States.

    Photojournalist Tom Gross, who publicized photos from Saturday’s event on his website, noted that the opening coincided with a visit to Gaza from European Union foreign policy director Catherine Ashton. “TheBBC and other media have featured extensive reports all day long on what they term the dire economic situation in Gaza; why are they not mentioning the new shopping mall that opened there yesterday?” Gross asked.

    Pictures of the new mall were featured on the Palestinian Authority Safa website and by the Associated Press.

    A variety of stores sell cosmetics, clothing, office supplies, toys, shoes, appliances and more. The mall boasts air conditioning and a delivery service.

    Hamas has often accused Israel of creating a “siege” by keeping its border crossings to Gaza closed. According to Hamas, Gaza lacks electricity and building supplies.

    Gross, who has previously posted pictures of fancy restaurants, shops filled with goods, and even an Olympic-size swimming pool during the “Israeli siege,” pointed out that Gaza enjoys a higher standard of living than Turkey, which recently sent citizens on a flotilla to Gaza in violation of an Israeli naval blockade of Hamas. Noting that life expectancy and literacy rates are higher in Gaza than in Turkey, while infant mortality rates are lower, he asked, “Have they considered that perhaps the humanitarian flotillas ought to be going in the other direction, towards Turkey?”

  9. mary said on August 24th, 2010 at 10:22am #

    You really should check with the other Hasbara types. This was tried here a little while back after the attack on the flotilla.

    Here is the reality.

    PS You missed out on the Olympic size 12 lane swimming pool.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 24th, 2010 at 10:45am #

    mary, please don’t insult thugs. As for our favourite golem and her unrivalled (save by other Zionazis)capacity to spread really nasty lies-it’s a bit like those earlier,German,Nazis, speaking of the luxurious conditions that the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were lucky enough to enjoy, thanks to the generosity of their German benefactors. I imagine that some such propaganda effort was made.I seem to recollect some propaganda efforts to paint concentration camps as not so bad, also. Still when it comes to lying and shameless, truly shameless,propaganda, based in sadistic contempt for their victims, the Zionazis are in a category of their very own.

  11. mebosa.ritchie said on August 24th, 2010 at 10:46am #


    Gaza – Ma’an – Gaza’s first Olympic-standard swimming pool was inaugurated at the As-Sadaka club during a ceremony on Tuesday held by the Islamic Society.

    Gaza government ministers, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, leaders of Islamic and national governing bodies, as well as club members and athletes were among those at the opening ceremony, where Secretary-General of the Islamic Society Nasim Yaseen thanked the donors who helped realize the project.

    Yaseen praised the As-Sadaka club for a number of wins in international and regional football, volleyball and table tennis matches.

    As-Sadaka athletes performed a number of swimming exercises in the new pool to mark its opening.

  12. mary said on August 24th, 2010 at 11:02am #

    There’s a clever boy. Your copy and pasting skills are coming on apace.

    Having a swimming pool saves the people from swimming in the sewage laden sea since the treatment plant was put out of action. The people have been flooded out with sewage and people have been killed on several occasions.

    and this is in 2007

    Many Israelis have their own private swimming pools of course surrounded by nice green lawns.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 24th, 2010 at 11:30am #

    But mary,you forget that Jewish ubermenschen deserve swimming pools, because they are the supreme beings and typical representatives of ‘Western Civilization’. The Gazans,however,being untermenschen,’two-legged animals’,’human dust’, ‘lice’, ‘cancer’etc (name your favourite Zionazi epithet)deserve nothing,and when they manage to create something decent for themselves,it fills the Zionazis like mebosa with rage. You can bet that whenever the Herrenvolk launch their next terror attack on Gaza,that the Olympic Pool will be particularly targeted,probably when full of children learning to swim, to teach the untermenschen a lesson in where precisely where their place is on the celestial hierarchy, and mebosa et al will cheer the massacre to the heavens.

  14. mebosa.ritchie said on August 24th, 2010 at 12:46pm #

    mugla,the only person,on dissident voice, to call gazans and other arabs 2 legged animals and a bunch of other disgusting epithets is you. not surprising really because you, as an iranian have always referred to arabs in derogatory terms.
    so no change there

  15. shabnam said on August 24th, 2010 at 1:24pm #

    {mugla,the only person,on dissident voice, to call gazans and other arabs 2 legged animals and a bunch of other disgusting epithets is you. not surprising really because you, as an iranian have always referred to arabs in derogatory terms. so no change there}

    A desperate Zionist Jew shoots himself in the foot when he calls Mulga, an Iranian. The Zionist racists are determined to use any platform, suitable or not, to bring Iranians into their propaganda war to demonize them as ‘enemy’ to ignorant Americans who are UNDER ZIONIST CONTROL. People know that mulga is using zionist racist attitude and their words towards ‘non-jewish’ target, except the racist zionists.

  16. mebosa.ritchie said on August 24th, 2010 at 1:42pm #

    shabnam,a question
    if america and indeed the rest of the world is under zionist control why should i be desperate?
    as a zionist,i am a superior being; i am one of the chosen people
    i control and run the whole world
    why am i desperate??

  17. Deadbeat said on August 24th, 2010 at 1:55pm #

    richie writes …

    why am i desperate??

    Because more and more people are becoming aware Zionist power and its influence and control especially its influence upon the United States political economy. The more people become aware the more desperate you’ll be.

  18. mary said on August 24th, 2010 at 3:28pm #

    There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
    He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
    He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
    And they all lived together in a little crooked house

    (An old English nursery rhyme)

    An old Israeli crook

    Don’t some words look strange when you see them repeated?

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 25th, 2010 at 3:17am #

    mebosa,you are desperate because the Judaic sub-species of fascist is riven by hatred.Hatred is inescapable when you see the rest of humanity as an inferior species to yourself and your tribe.This hatred breeds contempt, that facilitates the exploitation through usury and sharp practice that has been one of the principal causative foundations of Judeophobia. After all, it has not been in Christian states alone that Jews have been hated (for the reason that they were ‘killers of Christ’). Jewish arrogance and refusal to become one with their host societies was always bound to arouse resentment and hatred in others.
    There is of course no justification for this hatred to lead to violence or pogroms, but that’s human nature.Detestable,evil, but so far inescapable, and all groups,led by their vilest individuals, even the Jews, are capable of it. In fact the Jews enjoyed their most peaceable existence under Islamic rule,where their supremacist delusions were held in check. In the ‘Christian’ world, after emancipation,although thoroughly despised by many, for real or imagined sins, the Jews used their group solidarity and relative lack of scruple in money matters when dealing with the goyim,to build up that money power that now makes them the West’s de facto rulers. Naturally not all Jews were usurers and parasites, but many were. While Jews made great contributions to humanity when they acted as human beings who happened to be Jews, the exclusivist, supremacist Jews, who see themselves as a different species of humanity, have made themselves a terrible menace. They are inflicting their extreme racism and hatred of the other onto Western societies, starting with the fertile ground of our psychopathic elites,through their media and political dominance,and are driving us all towards global race and religious war. The fruit of their evil impulses can be seen in Fallujah or Gaza.
    However even the worst psychopath,the vilest racist, still remains a human being, and vestigial traces of conscience and human solidarity afflict even the worst. So,mebosa,I take the hopeful position that your desperation,your hypermania in defence of the indefensible, is that tiny remnant of your human soul, repressed so long by your Zionazi id, troubling you. Perhaps there is hope for you yet.After all could there be a more dreadful fate for a Jew than to become the moral inheritor of the legacy of Nazism?

  20. mary said on August 25th, 2010 at 4:33am #

    This is a ‘conversation’ between a member of the Gloucester PSC and Uri Avnery which will definitely be of interest here (references to Zionism)

    On the site look for the link to a piece about Conservative Friend of Israel MP, Matthew Offord, whose previous employers were the BBC. No surprise there. Nice piccy of him planting a tree in the Lord Sacks Forest, i.e. over the remains of a Palestinian Village.

    On his website you can see photographs of him with our Zionist loving PM Cameron and Foreign Secretary Hague in the photo gallery plus the requisite photos of him at the Wailing Wall and Auschwitz

    His constituency is a stronghold of British Jews. The previous MP was Andrew Dismore who was a Labour Friend of Israel and the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Human Rights! No irony there.

  21. Maien said on August 25th, 2010 at 9:13am #

    For mebosa and friends. This comment was posted on another site in response to an article titled, “Blair: We Have A Duty to Listen to Israel’s Side” .

    “We did listen, Mr. Tony “Dodgy Dossier” Blair. We listened to Israel after they bombed US targets in Egypt and tried to frame the Egyptians. We listened to Israel after they attacked the USS Liberty, tried to frame Egypt, and claimed it was mistaken identity when the plot failed. We listened to Israel when they faked radio messages from Libya to trick Reagan into bombing Qaddafi, killing his five-year old daughter. We listened to Israel when they claimed Arabs were behind the 9-11 attacks and the anthrax letters. We listened to Israel when they assured us Saddam had nuclear weapons of mass destruction. We listened to Israel after they broke the cease fire with HAMAS on November 4, 2008, then launched operation CAST LEAD using white phosphorus on human targets. We listened to Israel after they attacked the aid convoy, including a US-flagged ship, capturing American citizens, killing one, then claimed to be in the right because the aid convoy was bringing cookies to Gaza. We listen to Israel while they scream that oppressions against them in the last century justify their oppressions against the Palestinians today. We listen to Israel while they cry that alone among all the nations of the Earth, their claimed history is above examination and review, even in the face of contradictory evidence. We listen to Israel while they wail that they are the favored people of God, that all other humans are subordinate and should know their place. We listen to Israel while it proclaims that what Nazi Germany was not allowed to do to France, Israel should be allowed to do to Palestine.

    The reason Israel faces delegitimization is because we are listening to Israel, Phony Tony, and all we hear from Israel and its parasitic sycophants like you is an unending stream of total bovine excrement, punctuated by shrieks of “anti-Semite” hurled at anyone who refuses to believe as they are ordered to believe.

    We are done listening, Phony Tony.

    Fool me once…”

  22. mary said on August 27th, 2010 at 12:08am #

    Some cheering and positive news from Gaza. In spite of what these children have endured, their spirit and determination is evident. Note how the materials had to be brought through the tunnels.

    Eva Bartlett, the author, is one of the ISM group of volunteers.

    Math program taps potential of young students in Gaza
    Eva Bartlett, The Electronic Intifada, 25 August 2010

    ‘According to the UN, as of 2009, roughly 88 percent of UN schools and 82 percent of government schools, unable to build new schools due to the siege on Gaza, have been forced to accommodate students in shifts.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education in 2009 reported that following the Israeli war on Gaza, school performance and attendance dropped due to the traumas caused by Israeli attacks, as well as the overcrowding and the lack of school materials. Even prior to the winter 2008-09 Israeli war on Gaza, in early 2008 the ministry reported a mere 20 percent of sixth grade children passed their standard exams.

    Yet, Majed al-Bari is pleased with his program’s success. “I hope that it spreads all over Gaza and the West Bank. I also dream that our students could participate in the annual competition in Malaysia.”‘

  23. hayate said on August 27th, 2010 at 1:20am #

    It’s really sad how Palestinian children have to rely upon the “underground” to experience what children experience most any place else.
    Reminds one of the children of the occupied countries controlled by nazi Germany during WW2.

    Congrats Jewish zionsts, you are now what you set out to be.