Posts Tagged ‘Justice’

One more reason

12/03/2010

Since the tragedies of September 11th 2001, the question “Why do they hate us?” kept coming in the minds of Americans like never before. It is a very legitimate question. I cannot see how a person can hate a whole nation just because of the mistakes of a minority, though such minority consists of the leaders and the ones who are in control. On the other hand, it is somewhat difficult not to hate America. I won’t start talking about the unlimited support to Israel, Afghanistan or Iraq. Yet, when I look to the history of American policy in South America and Vietnam, it was never clean or ethical. It was always dirty business.

But even today, the US policy makers insist in touching the wrong buttons in the hearts of millions around the world, not only the Arabs or Muslims but many others who see the clear double standard and the injudicious support to Israel. When I read the speech of Vice President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv University, I wondered should not he feel ashamed and make his citizens feel so as well. Vice President Biden clearly repeated that he is a Zionist which was considered till 1991 by the UN General Assembly Resolution as a form of racism. He said that though the Israeli Government announced a day ahead of that speech that it will go ahead with a plan to build 1600 new settlements in the East Jerusalem. Is not that a spit on the face of the so called negotiations Mr. Biden was visiting the region to re-initiate? I think it was, yet Mr. Biden had the guts to go in public and reiterate what many other US politicians before him said which comes down to one thing; Israel can do whatever and American policy will be there to support it.

Such thing happens while the invasion of Iraq was based on absolute lies but so far neither Bush nor Blair admitted their mistake or paying any consequences for their actions and the human death toll resulted from the war on Iraq.

Then you wonder why?

By Ahmed Ba-Aboud

Israeli Apartheid Week

07/03/2010

Saudi Blogger Qusay suggested publishing his latest post “Israeli Apartheid Week” in Alternative Saudi Voices blog. I am delighted to have this post in the blog since it touches in an important subject for many around the globe.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for a while now, and what better time to actually write it and publish it than during the Israeli Apartheid Week.

Let me be clear, I do not hate Jews. I’ve had Jewish friends, we talked, we ate , we celebrated, we got into heated debates about this and that, we helped each other on homework and projects and I have some good memories of some of them, and bad memories of others. I have never subscribed to the idea of grouping people into one category, and I was never comfortable with generalizing a whole community and demonizing or exemplifying them.

Now that I have that out of the way, Israel is an apartheid, just like South Africa was, and worse in my opinion.

Many years ago, when I was not even in high school, I read about Israel not accepting the African Jews of Ethiopia into the Israeli society and imposing restrictions not imposed on Jews of other nationalities who get almost free admission into the settlements, and let’s not forget that they push the people who’ve lived on the land for hundreds of years off the land to build the settlements and call upon Jews from all over the world to come and get the Jewish aliya (literally “ascent”).

One of the reason I’ve loved blogging is because it gave a voice to people, those who I’ve never heard of, saying it like it is. Israel hates Arabs so much that they not only attack Arabs and treat them bad, but they also treat their Jewish people with disdain for looking like Arabs, this is a post by an Iraqi-Jewish-Israeli scholar, Ella Shohat telling it like he lives it. “The discrimination Mizrahi Jews face, like their Palestinian brethren, is a testament to the racist nature of the state of Israel.”

I saw a 60 minutes report a few months ago, some good Jewish people who work for the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem in a remarkable project called Shooting Back. They live on the land gave some poor Palestinians video cameras so they can video the attacks (watch this), and then they take the footage from them and upload the videos for the world to see. I have to say that I am proud of them, I hate discrimination, I even wrote a post about it, and these people stood up against it, thank you.

I really do not care who governs the land, but what Israel is trying to do is copy what has been done to the Native Americans and the Aboriginals and the Africans, but they were a few hundred years late, plus the area was not living in the stone age so they can not just push the natives off the land (which somehow humans intend to do even to inhabitants of distant planets if they have the chance, seen the movie Avatar?).

I write this post, to include my voice in a global movement that I hope will change the situation for an uncountable number of people to the better, and raise awareness.

In a previous post I said I hope I have the courage to speak up against any discrimination I see, and I could not resist to speak up on this one.

The Arab stance was once that as written in a letter by Prince Faisal Hussaini King of Syria and Iraq to Felix Frankfurter in 1919, which I quote here “We Arabs, especially the educated among us look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.” (full letter and correspondence)

It started with a welcome, and went through many genocides, I hope it ends soon.

Haile Selassie in his eternal 1963 Speech delivered to the United Nations and popularized in a song called War by Bob Marley said it well “That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained”

The Israeli minister was grilled on apartheid issues that “he made a confounding claim that Israeli Arabs may have “full citizenship,” even if they do not enjoy “full rights.”

There is no excuse for this type of discrimination to keep going on at all.

What is next?

06/03/2010

A friend of mine asked me: “What is your problem with Saudi Arabia?” Well, I said: Justice, Equal Rights, Choice, and Trust

We live in a country where people abandon their rights because they believe they will never have them. We lack trust in our government, and we lack trust in our judicial system.

I don’t want to force people to follow my believes, yet I want to have the freedom to follow my own. I want to be able to walk in the street without covering my face and without others whispering behind my back: “Astaghfor Allah,” Muttawa shouting at me, and people judging me based upon what’s on my head! I want to have the choice to go out with my cousins to any restaurant without fearing that Muttawa would come arrest us and sentence us to 50 lashes each. I don’t want to be judged because I don’t fear putting my pictures on Facebook. I don’t want to be judged because I deal with men. I don’t want to be judged because I don’t mind appearing on TV. I don’t want to be judged because my father allows me to travel alone. I don’t want to be judged because I sit with my male cousins. It is a choice! I am not bad because I am different. I am just different.

“Your father trusts you,” she said. “But the society doesn’t.”

“Show our women that you trust them, as much as you in fact depend on them” Woodrow Wilson once said. You should trust that we can, and will make the right decisions. Trust us, because we are your partners in life. We gave, we sacrificed, we suffered, we accepted, we listened, and we obeyed. Why are you willing to make us partners in suffering but not in rights?

Now is the time for us to be full partners. Trust us, and believe in us. Having our rights doesn’t mean excluding men from our lives and disrespecting them. It means sharing the responsibility and become equal partners.

The problem is that women are afraid. Afraid of the responsibility, because they have been taught and they believed that they are useless, and that they can do nothing but cook, clean, and raise children which I think the biggest responsibility of all. Women want to be in the safe side, and they rather not face the world as long as there is someone who can face it instead of them. Well, one day there won’t be anyone and you will have to do it on your own.

Rights are taken, not given. And if we don’t take them by force we will never have them. Sitting behind our computers and writing these blog posts and making online campaigns will do nothing. We tried it and it didn’t work.

What is next?

By: Najla Barasain