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Gandhi on Palestine [excerpt]

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“What is going on in Palestine now cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct…”

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and in-human to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French. If the Jews have no home but Palestine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other parts of the world in which they are settled?  Or do they want a double home where they can remain at will? This cry  for the national home affords a colourable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews…..And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs….” Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi  (November 1938)

Complete Text  (Gandhi shows compassion for both Jews and Palestinians and desires for justice and human rights for all)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(see Palestine Remembered for more pix & info)

It is time to weep for Palestine…

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Pasolini’s 1963 Film on Palestine

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Pasolini recorded his observations in the documentary A Visit to Palestine while scouting locations for his moving biography of the life of Jesus, The Gospel of St Matthew.

The sophisticated hasbara / sophistry that created the hologram of  “democracy” and “chosenness” was the very first of  Israel’s chief exports (to be followed by human organ smuggling, pornography, espionage  and  shocking weapons) and that it was and is a very “successful” endeavor in every part of globe, meant to convince not only hawks and politicos, but the academic world. Could Pasolini’s ambiguity re the brutal colonial nature of Zionism be due to the fact that in the 50s and 60s he and many intellectuals saw Israel as a progressive experiment in socialism that needed time to live up to expectations? The halo effect over Israel still hangs on in Europe and the USA for decades after al-Nakba.

Although the true nature of Zionism was little known in the West for decades– either in popular culture or among the intelligentsia — the mask of righteousness has slipped off Israel’s PR-drenched narrative and a truly demonic face has been glimpsed by more people than ever before.

Could these two films of Pasolini’s — one celebrating Jesus’ life, and one recording contemporary Palestine — be connected to Pasolini’s very tragic, unexpected and unsolved murder?


Pasolini filming Palestine

APRIL 15, 2010
by South/South   Be sure to check out the entire South/South blog – it’s brilliant.

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1963 film Sopralluoghi in Palestina (English title: A Visit to Palestine, though it would be more accurate to call it Scouting for Locations in Palestine) showcases the director’s preparation for filming The Gospel According to St. Matthew. (Parenthetically, in Italian the latter film’s title is Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo, about which my film professor has posed a good question: do Italians erase the ‘saint’ in Matthew’s title or is Pasolini being irreverent?) The film is more evocative and personal than the average making-of documentary that often accompanies a major film as a voyeuristic sidebar. It is also not without its problems on the question of Palestine.

It’s clear from the outset that Pasolini is filming here because he is fed up with the industrial world: you can’t shoot a film about Christ near Milanese factories. He has come here for the Jesus ‘look.’ It’s not an aberration to point this out since it’s a stake Pasolini constantly claims: only in the Terra Santa itself can he strike the ‘poetic and archaic… extreme smallness, poverty and humility.’ His favorite part of the journey is a narrow strip close to Jordan because that’s ‘where Jesus spent his last days.’

In a rapid, breathy voice-over that runs the entire course of the film, Pasolini sounds almost like a tourist, both eager and disappointed to find comparisons with sites and sounds from home. He compares the rolling, grassy landscape of Palestine to southern, rural Italian cities like Bari, Calabria and Sicilia. Unfortunately, while he is certainly not the average tourist and though he does struggle some to decode what he sees, one gets the sense that he’s not really struggling enough—at least not any more than necessary to furnish scenes for his film. Coming to terms with not being able to film in ‘modern’ Nazareth, he says in a defeated tone: ‘You understand that in this period of our trip, I had set out as a problem, as the purpose of my research, the finding of those villages, places and faces which could replace modern villages, faces, places.’ (Avrai capito che in questo periodo del nostro viaggio, io mi ero posto come problema, come scopo della mia ricerca, il trovare dei villaggi, dei luoghi, delle facce, che potessero sostituire i villaggi, le facce, i luoghi moderni.)

His scouting tour takes him to much of pre-1967 Palestine/Israel, from the Jewish kibbutzim to the habitats of impoverished Palestinian farmers. While he interviews a young family at a kibbutz at length (conducted in Italian) he never films himself talking at length to Arabs. There is the linguistic problem, of course, but this distancing act reinforces something troubling that Pasolini repeats at least twice in the film: the Palestinians just seem ‘more authentic.’ They are ‘allegre, animalistiche‘—happy and animalistic—far closer to his archaic Gospel characters than the new inhabitants of the modern settlements/colonies dotting the hillsides.

Indeed, it can often seem like Pasolini takes the colonial project for granted. In the poem ‘The Southern Dawn’ (L’Alba Meridionale),* published a year after the trip to Palestine, he writes about finding ‘millions of men employed only to live as barbarians descended recently on a happy land, strangers to it, and its owners’ (milioni di uomini occupati / soltanto a vivere come barbari discesi / da poco su una terra felice, estranei / ad essa, e suoi possessori). Are the recent Jewish immigrants the ‘barbarians’ descending in ‘millions’ on a ‘happy land’? How does Pasolini reconcile their relationship to this land as both ‘strangers’ and biblical ‘owners’? The film is fraught with these same unanswered musings.

In this screen grab, Pasolini stands in front of a map of Jerusalem, surrounded by those likely objects of his disdain, modern advertisements for cigarettes. It’s hard to pinpoint a poetics to Pasolini’s critiques, but if there is one solid critique it is, again, his disappointment at what has become of his imagined Palestine. For the most part, his monologue is deeply concerned with the technical and aesthetic concerns of making his film. But the jabs he makes about modern, industrial Israel can be found if one is looking for them. They express sorrow at a lost aura he is sore that small, white Israeli settler/colonial houses on the plains appear soulless and uniform. ‘You could easily find [them] in the Roman countryside, or in Switzerland.’

One of the most moving moments is Pasolini in a Bedouin desert, encroached on ‘day by day by the Israelis.’ The footage is beautiful, but as he says again in that breathy disappointment, unusable.The Bedouins make look authentic, and they may even be the victims of colonialism and land grabs, but he still hasn’t found what he’s come looking for.

Where Pasolini’s musings lack any overt colonial critique, the camera highlights it. The shots of Jerusalem surrounded by barbed wire are particularly compelling. As Pasolini’s voiceover expresses awe at the natural beauty of these surroundings, the camerawork displays the indignities of everyday life for Palestinian inhabitants. As seen above, the camera zooms in and out of a shot of birds perched on top of barbed wire, in and out and in and out, a syntactical repetition of a sublime and sordid reality.

*Thanks to http://www.twitter.com/revsocialist for sending me the reference to that poem.

(All screengrabs by South/South)


Real Men Love Palestine: Malcolm X Quotes

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Malcolm X

http://mundosonhos.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/real-men-love-palestine/.

Malcolm X on Zionism – Egyptian Gazette, September 17, 1964

“The Zionist armies that now occupy Palestine claim their ancient Jewish prophets predicted that in the “last days of this world” their own God would raise them up a “messiah” who would lead them to their promised land, and they would set up their own “divine” government in this newly-gained land, this “divine” government would enable them to “rule all other nations with a rod of iron…”

“The modern 20th century weapon of neo-imperialism is “dollarism.” The Zionists have mastered the science of dollarism: the ability to come posing as a friend and benefactor, bearing gifts and all other forms of economic aid and offers of technical assistance. Thus, the power and influence of Zionist Israel in many of the newly “independent” African nations has fast-become even more unshakeable than that of the 18th century European colonialists… and this new kind of Zionist colonialism differs only in form and method, but never in motive or objective….”

“Did the Zionists have the legal or moral right to invade Arab Palestine, uproot its Arab citizens from their homes and seize all Arab property for themselves just based on the “religious” claim that their forefathers lived there thousands of years ago? Only a thousand years ago the Moors lived in Spain. Would this give the Moors of today the legal and moral right to invade the Iberian Peninsula, drive out its Spanish citizens, and then set up a new Moroccan nation … where Spain used to be, as the European zionists have done to our Arab brothers and sisters in Palestine?

In short the Zionist argument to justify Israel’s present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history … not even in their own religion. Where is their Messiah?

Malcolm X Resources

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Al-Nakba in pictures

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Before

After

Purpose

For more information on the infamous events of 1948, please consult

Lest We Forget and Palestine Remembered

THE BANALITY OF JEWISH SYMBOLISM

TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2010 AT 7:32AM GILAD ATZMON

In a remarkable exposé of the Mossad operation in Dubai, The Times happens to refer to Meir Dagan’s (the Mossad chief) ‘philosophy’. “The tone of Dagan’s directorship is set by a photograph on the wall of his modest office in the Tel Aviv headquarters. It shows an old Jew standing on the edge of a trench. An SS officer is aiming his rifle at the old man’s head. ‘This old Jew was my grandfather’ Dagan tells visitors”. According to The Times, the picture reflects Dagan’s belief: “We should be strong, use our brain, and defend ourselves so that the Holocaust will never be repeated,”

Dagan’s interpretation of the photographic symbolism as a license to kill is rather banal yet common amongst Jews and Zionists in particular. However, this interpretation is far from being the only interpretation available. I haven’t seen the Photograph on Dagan’s wall but I guess that it must depict a devastatingly intense situation between a murderer in Nazi uniform and an oppressed Jewish man facing his death. However, Dagan and to a certain tragic extent, far too many Jews, are clearly fascinated by the role of the man with a rifle rather than with the ordeal of their collective grandfather, a defenseless venerable victim. Instead of grasping the Holocaust as a universal message against racism or oppression of any kind, Dagan and his Jewish State interpret the holocaust as a license to execute.

Though the photograph can be realised as a simplistic symbolic binary opposition between the innocent (Jew) and the evil (Nazi) there is a further element in these photographs that is totally dismissed by Jewish post war political, intellectual and ideological discourse namely universalism. Unlike the Zionist or in our case Dagan, who draws some immediate murderous ‘operative’ conclusions that are there to serve the Jewish tribe and that tribe only, a humanist would stare at such a photograph and try to come up with some ideas that may present us all with some positive prospects of a better future for humanity as a whole.

In the late 1940’s a few sporadic Jewish thinkers insisted that after Auschwitz the Jews should position themselves at the forefront of the battle against evil. Not only has this never happened, the Jewish state is now established as the leading danger for world peace. Moreover, Jewish lobbies enthusiastically support racist ideologies (Zionism) and push for colonial expansionist and interventionist conflicts around the world.

“This old Jew was my grandfather” says the Mossad’s chief. Indeed, after the big war many Jews wanted to believe that the Holocaust provided them with an entry card into humanity for the Holocaust redeems the Jews  from the original sin of Crucifixion. The Iconic image of the persecuted venerable collective ‘grandfather’ provides the Jew with a suffering symbol that could easily have stood a competition with Christ or any other emblem of religious persecution. In 1979, Pope John Paul II called Auschwitz the “Golgotha of the modern world.” Yet, along this line of thinking, something went horribly wrong. While Jesus’ suffering is interpreted by his followers as a call for mercy and compassion, Dagan’s grandfather’s shoa experience is interpreted by the national Jew as a call for retribution and vengeance. As disastrous as it may sound, the holocaust religion that was recognized by Israeli Philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz as the new Jewish religion, is nothing less than a crude and sinister call for murder. It is probably the most resentful religion known to man.

In 1844 Karl Marx argued that for humanity to liberate itself it first must emancipate itself of Judaism*. Karl Marx was not at all a racist, he was probably referring to Jewish ideology (Jewishness) which he knew closely. I would maintain that if we want to find the road to humanism we must liberate ourselves of the Holocaust religion. The Holocaust as a message failed to become a universal call. Instead it matured into a tribal religion that opposes every value humanity and humanism have ever stood for.

Many of us including me tend to equate Israel to Nazi Germany. Rather often I myself join others and argue that Israelis are the Nazis of our time. I want to take this opportunity to amend my statement. Israelis are not the Nazis of our time and the Nazis were not the Israelis of their time. Israel, is in fact far worse than Nazi Germany and the above equation is simply meaningless and misleading.

In the past I mentioned that unlike totalitarian Nazi Germany, the Jewish State is a ‘democracy’. In other words, the entirety of its Jewish population is complicit in IDF crimes against humanity. As if this is not enough, the fact that 94% of Israel’s Jewish population supported the IDF genocidal attack in Gaza  just over a year ago makes the case against Israel solid like a rock.

But there is another point that must be mentioned here. As we all know very well, Nazi Germany didn’t like its Jews. It introduced racial laws, it aimed to cleanse Germany and even the rest of Europe of its Jewish population. It didn’t want to see Jews in politics, in the workplace, in shops, in the media, in the banks and in the streets. As resentful as Nazi policies were, one thing was clear. Germany did it all in the open. It didn’t hide a thing. It was racist and it was proud about its bigotry. Israel and its Jewish lobbies on the other hand, are doing it all in a deceiving method. Rather than saying we hate Arabs, we want Muslims out or even dead, rather than admitting its ethnic cleansing policies and practices, Israel always kills in the name of a grand ‘progressive’ ideology: in the name of democracy, pluralism, ‘moral interventionism’, ‘war against terror’ and so on. Israel’s supporters around the world are doing very much the same, they preach for war in the name of ‘noble motives’, they always want to ‘liberate’ other people, and to teach them about the greatest values of the ‘democracy’ through military expansionist interventionism.

The legendary Israeli humanist Israel Shahak wrote in the late 1980’s about his experience as a Jew under Nazi occupation: “if you enter a square from which there are three exits, one guarded by a German SS man, one by an Ukrainian and one by a Jewish policeman, then you should first try to pass the German, and then maybe the Ukrainian, but never the Jew.”

I must say it loudly. I take Shahak’s advice very seriously. If I ever enter a square from which there are two exits, one Guarded by a Nazi officer holding a rifle and the other blocked by Meir Dagan holding a pillow, I will certainly go for the Nazi with no hesitation.

TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2010 AT 7:32AM GILAD ATZMON

Works of Karl Marx 1844

On The Jewish Question

Written: Autumn 1843;
First Published: February, 1844 in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher;
Proofed and Corrected: by Andy Blunden, Matthew Grant and Matthew Carmody, 2008/9.

See Citizen in the Encyclopedia of Marxism, for an explanation of the various words for “citizen.”


The social emancipation of the Jew is the emancipation of society from Judaism.”