Tag Archives: Palestine

From Latin America to the Arab World

From Latin America to the Arab World – What’s going on in Libya?

Santiago Alba Rico and Alma Allende – español

Translation: Machetera

We have the impression that a great worldwide liberation process may be aborted by the unappeasable ferocity of Gaddafi, U.S. interventionism, and a lack of foresight in Latin America.

We might describe the situation like this: in a part of the world linked once again to strong internal solidarities and from which only lethargy or fanaticism was expected, a wave of popular uprisings have arisen which have threatened to topple the allies of Western powers in the region, one after the other.  Independent of local differences, these uprisings have something in common that radically distinguishes them from the orange and rose colored “revolutions” promoted by capitalism in the former Soviet bloc: they demand democracy, certainly, but far from being fascinated by Europe and the United States, they are the holders of a long, entrenched, radical anti-imperialist tradition forged around Palestine and Iraq.  There’s not even a hint of socialism in the popular Arab uprisings, but neither is there one of Islamism, nor – most importantly – of Euro-centric seduction: it is simultaneously a matter of economic upheaval and democratic, nationalistic and anti-colonial revolution, something that, forty years after their defeat, suddenly opens an unexpected opportunity for the region’s socialist and pan-Arabist left. Continue reading

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Dying to live

One of the astonishing things about the part of the country where Machetera lives, a backward and super-provincial, reflexively capitalistic and hyper-nationalistic (not in a good way) kind of place, is that even here, the truth still escapes all the mostly effective attempts to blockade it. Back when Machetera was suffering from the triple virus and had to haul her computer into the shop, she took it in without bothering to remove the bumper sticker taped below the screen which says “Only free men can negotiate” (Nelson Mandela), with the subtitle, “Palestine. Dying to live.” At the end of the week when she went to retrieve it, an older gentleman, dressed like a lumberjack and waiting to retrieve his own computer, stared fixedly at the sticker, while Machetera’s heart sank. Surely an evangelical tirade about Israel was brewing. Finally, after a few minutes, he asked with the utmost politeness where the sticker had come from because he wanted one for himself. “It’s so true,” he said, shaking his head.

With that in mind, today’s contribution to the destruction of the information blockade is the news about Mohammed Omer, the 24 year old Palestinian journalist who is in critical condition after being tortured nearly to death by Israeli troops for the crime of trying to return home after accepting the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in London. He and Dahr Jamail shared the prize. You can read more about Omer here, where you will also find a link to his acceptance speech, introduced by John Pilger.

And in other ethnic cleansing news from Palestine, this arrived in Machetera’s mailbox this morning:

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Reporters Without Borders spells F-R-O-N-T group

Pascual Serrano points out how the front group Reporters Without Ethics Borders (RSF) looks the other way when Israel Defense Forces kill journalists. Machetera cannot be entirely certain when Serrano accessed RSF’s website, but she supposes it was on April 17th, because headlines on the April 18th Spanish version were slightly different, although scrolling down to the bottom of the page there was still a link to RSF’s whitewashing. On the English version of the RSF website for the 18th, there wasn’t even that. To read about it, you had to actively search for the “Middle East” section.

How Reporters Without Borders Deals with the Israeli Army’s Murder of a Journalist

Pascual Serrano – Rebelión and PascualSerrano.net

Translation: Machetera

On Wednesday, April 16, the Reuters television journalist Fadel Shanaa died in the Gaza Strip after being fired on by Israeli warplanes. It’s worthwhile to observe how Reporters Without Borders (RSF) dealt with the affair; for that, we turn our attention to their website.

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Internet censorship, Part 3: An inconvenient mirror

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Not long after posting an article about Tony Greenstein’s obsessive and unsuccessful efforts to shut down the peacepalestine blog, the blog’s editor Mary Rizzo reported that her blog access (though not Machetera’s) had been shut down once more, this time on the basis of the false accusation that she was running a “spam blog.” Rather than delve into definitions of what constitutes a spam blog and why someone would run one, for now Machetera will simply make the following observations:

1. peacepalestine is not a spam blog,

2. Blogger does appear to have a shoot first, ask questions later approach;

3. Machetera does not have enough information at the present time to say whether WordPress has a less trigger-happy temper, although being somewhat self-interested she will hope for the best;

4. The timing of the latest shutdown for peacepalestine is certainly curious, coming as it did on the heels of Machetera’s recent post on the subject, although Machetera does not claim credit nor would she want to, and finally,

5. Something very curious is going on in what Gilad Atzmon would call the Zionist/crypto-Zionist world. Translation (since that is Machetera’s specialty): the opinions expressed by Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo are upsetting enough to certain people, to try to block their internet publishing.

It won’t work. The example of peacepalestine demonstrates pretty clearly that this form of internet silencing is at best, a short term endeavor, because the internet is like water; by design it is meant to follow the path of least resistance, and it’s impossible to plug all the leaks all the time. As Machetera has already pointed out, for really effective internet censorship you need to operate with an iron hand, preferably through the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. Even then it’s a slippery beast, even for those who invented it. Shut down peacepalestine in one manifestation, and it will flower in a thousand other places.

What is it that disturbs these particular censors so? Well, nobody likes thinking of themselves as a racist, but Atzmon posits that secular Jewishness is a form of racism, so settling for being an anti-Zionist is not enough – Manuel Talens spoke to him about it some years back:

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Colombia/Israel…Israel/Colombia

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Translation: Machetera

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Santander’s Return by Way of Venezuela – Basem Tajeldine

The cards have been dealt. They say that “war rumblings don’t kill soldiers.”

The present situation we face with Colombia obliges us to reflect deeply. The questions we ought to formulate in order to understand the intentions hidden at the bottom of the recent situation generated by the Colombian government are as follows:

Did the Colombian Armed Forces (state) attack against the Colombian Armed Revolutionaries – People’s Army (FARC-EP) advance the liberation of the last four prisoners, including the first two women detained by that political-military organization, or did it frustrate such liberations?

Why did the Colombian government kill the very most senior spokesman for peace and humanitarian exchange from this organization?

The answer is quite clear: those who were liberated were lucky the informants arrived late. The Colombian government does not care for peace. Continue reading