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Current Issue: Fall 2005


Purging the University
The Editors   

There has been a long history of repression by the U.S. government, college administrations and faculty against the Palestinian struggle and Arab organizers. In the 1960s the Palestinian issue arrived on the radar of the state when it became a source of solidarity for internationally-minded people in the United States and around the world. The General Union of Palestinian Students has long been a target of FBI intimidation. Islamic activists and secular nationalists alike have been subject to state harassment, arrest and deportation for decades on college campuses and in the community. They were a threat to U.S. empire precisely because they attempted to educate American people about the realities of colonialism and racism abroad. What’s more, their activity showed the possibilities of an effective people-to-people foreign policy inevitably in opposition to the aims and interests of the ruling class.

The Legacy and Lessons of Arafat
The Editors   

The passing of Yasser Arafat last November marked the end of an era in the Palestinian movement. With this event the American and Israeli regimes revamped their ideological offensive—pulling out a tried and tested method—declaring the “chances for peace” once again within grasp. Having allowed himself to be made a “statesman” by Oslo, Arafat, in the years preceding his death, was recreated into a dictator and a terrorist. Israel and the U.S. insisted—against all evidence—that Arafat was the instigator of the second Intifada exactly to cover up the rebellion’s democratic challenge to the tyranny of their own regimes and of the Palestinian Authority. At the same time hundreds of thousands attended the return of Arafat’s body to Ramallah. As tens of thousands crowded the landing helicopters it was evident from the signs of genuine anguish and defiance that Arafat’s passing represented a collective historical and tragic experience of a movement for freedom. Clearly behind every great historical personality is an epic movement of millions.

Armageddon Up Their Sleeves: When Liberal Dialogue Fails, Watch Out For the Christian Zionists
Matthew Hamilton   

Imagine this: It’s October 2002 and 10,000 supporters of the Christian Coalition are gathered at a pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C. They cheer and wave tiny blue and white Israeli flags as Benny Elon takes the stage. Rabbi Elon is a member of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and represents the far-right Moledet Party, which advocates continued ethnic cleansing through the “transfer” of Palestinians to bordering Arab nation-states. Now Elon is addressing an audience of American Protestant fundamentalist Christians, so he speaks their language: “Let’s turn to the Bible, which says very clearly…we have to resettle them, to relocate them, and to have a Jewish state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.”1 Once more the old colonial formula emerges: a Biblical justification for ethnic cleansing.

Zionism and Slavery in Sudan
Shemon Salam   

In the 1920s, Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) created perhaps the largest movement of black people in the U.S. An important aspect of the Garveyite movement was the idea of emigrating back to Africa. One of the places considered for emigration was Liberia. Liberia was an independent nation in West Africa created by former American slaves. However, not only did these former slaves constitute a new Creole ruling class, but the ironic existence of slavery in Liberia undermined the legitimacy of this project in freedom. Attempting to discredit Garvey, the U.S. government highlighted the existence of slavery in Liberia, declaring the hypocrisy of the movement to dare to stand for freedom. The fact that the U.S. government presided over racial terror and segregation in its own country and imperialism abroad seemed to be beside the point. Nevertheless, Garvey's Back-to-Africa-Movement was undermined partially by its own failings to ask sufficient questions about the meaning of slavery in that country.1

On the Wrong Side of the Fence: U.S. Labor as Ally to Israel
Lauren Ray   

Much attention in recent years has been paid to the efforts at university campuses for divestment from Israel, and even more recently, to the struggles within city government (as in Somerville, Massachusetts) and religious communities (as in the Presbyterian Church). Ironically enough, less attention has been paid to a prolific source of support for Israel: U.S. labor organizations.

Zionism is the Issue: Building a Strong Pro-Palestine Movement In the U.S.
Lana Habash and Noah Cohen   

"...[We are losing the media war,"] said Colonel Daniel Reisner, head of the international law branch of the IDF Legal Division, in an interview in the Fall 2002 Harvard Israel Review. "...It takes a long time to explain Israeli settlements to the uninitiated..."

Cornel West Means Business: A Review of Democracy Matters
J. Magid   

In his newest work Democracy Matters, Cornel West addresses contemporary issues of power and empire such as the struggle for Palestine, urban youth culture, and even “Nihilism in America.” Subtitled Winning the Fight Against Imperialism, the work invokes everyone from Socrates to KRS-One in attempt to form an uncompromising yet intellectual challenge to the status quo of imperialism and apathy.

Interns to the Barricades!: Horowitz's Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left
Aaron Love   

David Horowitz is better known among a younger generation for his various campaigns on college campuses around the country. In the last few years he has galvanized racist students by funding ads in college newspapers against African-American reparations and the Palestinian movement. More recently he has pushed forward a campaign for an “Academic Bill of Rights” with the help of his student front group “Students for Academic Freedom,” which would empower the state to police teachers and students in what they can and cannot discuss. For those with longer memories Horowitz is another example of a former authoritarian leftist turned conservative.

Dworkin's Scapegoating
Veronica A. Ouma   

For those of you not familiar with the intellect and personality of Andrea Dworkin, you will be introduced to her by reading this book. This radical western feminist, whose works include Women Hating, Pornography: Men Possessing Women, and Intercourse, are all filled with descriptions of what she considers the inherently violent nature of male sexual relations towards women. This trend continues in Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women’s Liberation where she compares the oppression of Jews historically (with particular attention to the Jewish holocaust) with violence against women internationally, with specific emphasis on Jewish and Palestinian women in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Chapters include: Jew-Hate/Women Hate, Pogrom/Rape, and Palestinians/Prostituted Women. As her book title suggests, Jews were racially scapegoated for societal ills in the pogroms of Russia and Nazi Germany just as women are subordinated through their gender in patriarchal societies, particularly in the Middle East.

New Age Zionism and the Discourse War: The Lessons of Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial
Chris Shortsleeve   

With the recent emergence of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” there has been much talk in U.S. and Israeli government and media circles of what is called “the demographic problem.” While the meaning of this term is often mystified by its development and humanitarian connotations, it essentially functions as Zionist code for the following question: “What are we going to do about the increasing number of brown people who are not pleased to live in our ‘democratic’ white, white Israel?”

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