Forthcoming

"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Palestinian Woes

2011-01-29

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

The "Palestine Papers": can the Palestinian leadership overcome this latest scandal? For a group of men who have achieved almost nothing towards the goal of a peace settlement with Israel, while more Palestinian land is stolen, more of their citizens murdered, jailed, driven to poverty, there should not be too much distress over the recent revelations.  

Palestinians interviewed about the disclosure of files said to represent their years of (unsuccessful) negotiations with Israelis and Americans claim they are not surprised by the details. They maintain they have known of their leaders’ incompetence as well as their hypocrisy. And they see the results in their daily lives. They have experienced only losses as negotiations proceeded from one site to another, under one sponsor or another. The emperor has no clothes.

Attempts by Palestinian Authority members to defend themselves in the media regarding the validity of the “papers” leaked by Al-Jazeera TV have been vigorous. They are fighting back, not against their American and Israeli co-conspirators however. They are attacking the prestigious Al-Jazeera network who they claim falsified or manipulated the facts. For me the revelations in these papers are damaging for all the parties involved—The US, Israel and Palestine. Yet, somehow only the Palestinian leaders are being put on the spot, exposed as disingenuous traitors. It is a sorry situation. And it leaves supporters across the world in a dilemma.  

And where does it leave the Palestinian people? To whom do they turn to lead them out of the morass? They did not vote these men to represent them. Rather when elections for a new president proved futile and inconclusive two years ago, Washington and the Europeans sanctioned the continuation in office of Mahmoud Abbas and his group, claiming they were the only Palestinians able to negotiate. (There was fear that a true election would bring Hamas to the West Bank leadership.) They reward these old men; they sanction them as representatives of the Palestinian people. And the futile negotiations and receptions go on.  

Unable to exercise a true election in the West Bank, perhaps it’s residents now have to follow the example of their Tunisian and Egyptians brothers and sisters. It’s ironic since the street resistance of Palestinians against Israeli occupation has always been a beacon for them.  

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