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.

 

Progress-- the Palestinian struggle is sidelined for the wider Arab revolutions

2011-04-16

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Some may not want to hear this. But it may be that Arab revolutions now underway are in part due to the failure of the Palestinian rebellion.

For decades Palestinian sovereignty has been the focus of all Arab nations. Citizens of 21 Arab states and the diaspora followed and supported their Palestinian brothers and sisters with admiration and fervor. If Palestinians could overthrow the Zionist oppressor, peace would spread across the region.

Arab leaders, one after another embraced the cause, and often paid severely for this policy. (Aiding Palestinians won these men severe criticisms and sanctions from the U.S.) “More Palestinian than the Palestinians” is a phrase I have heard throughout the region, often uttered with disapproval and dismay by Algerians, Syrians, Egyptians, for example.

Treaties with Israel by Jordan and Egypt were followed by growing exchanges between the Zionist state and some Gulf countries; ties between Israel and Morocco and Tunisia deepened. Those states were abandoning the Palestinian cause. And, as these overtures were ‘rewarded’ by the USA, these developments  further divided Arab peoples from their leadership.  (Egypt’s treaty with Israel has been a ‘cold’ peace.)

 Washington criticism and censure of states that continue to champion the Palestinian cause is a well oiled machine. Syria pays heavily for its support of the Palestinian movement. This is turn offers its government a cover for extensive surveillance and a beefy security apparatus. The US and Israel have both made it clear that Damascus’ backing of resistance against Zionism and Israeli aggression constitutes support for terrorism, for example. This makes Damascus an explicit target of western powers; at the same time it serves to weaken any chance for internal democratic reforms. (This is not to say the threat of Zionist expansion at all levels is not real. It is.)

By the end of 2010, the Palestinian struggle had reached a new low. The positions of the Gaza leadership and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank now seems irresolvable. Palestinians on both sides have made many mistakes. Daily, more land is lost, more homes crushed. Palestinian leadership is weak, unable to negotiate, unable to unite. The so called “peace process” is inarguably a farce; the sooner this ruse is exposed, the better.

One result: Palestinians no longer provide a beacon of hope. Nor are they an example of honesty, courage and wisdom.

Lebanese knew this much earlier. But it took Tunisians, Syrians, Egyptians, Yemenis and Jordanians until late November of last year to face this reality. Maybe it was the impotency of Barak Obama with his unrealistic, flawed and failed attempt to revive a ‘peace process’ last September.

At a conscious or unconscious level, Arabs across the region realized it was time to focus on themselves and their own liberation. No longer would they accept Palestinian dominion over their own national goals. The Palestinian emperor had no clothes! We finally took to the streets to win something for ourselves.

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