Archive for gennaio 2011

Happy new year to all. Some three weeks ago I returned to Jerusalem after spending two weeks travelling in Italy with a Palestinian colleague, Deema Darawshy, and talking to school children and activists on the occupation in Israel-Palestine and the need for effective international pressure to end it. Thinking back on the experience , I am grateful to all those who helped us, and amazed at the power of caring involved. That for two weeks we travelled through Italy, ate and slept and appeared before audiences, means many many people gave of their time, energy and money to help make that happen. none of these people, I think, did this out of economic interest (can our Marxist friends explain that?) and none were motivated, as we were, by the knowledge that political change in Israel-Palestine is critical to their personal future.

Now, in our case, we could attribute most of that to one man, it was Massimo Tesei who did a huge amount of the organization and the paying and all the driving. we could just say: Massimo really cares about this issue and is a caring enough and capable enough person to make things happen. But this doesn’t explain all of it. it certainly doesn’t explain how another two speakers, also Israeli and Palestinian, were travelling the country at the same time, talking to women’s groups all over the country (an initiative by Luisa Morgantini) nor does it explain how Palestinian activist and organizer Mazin Qumsiyeh is just now setting out on another mission to Italy. What all these things mean is, there are many people in Italy who truly care about this issue and are willing to give their time, energy and money for it. This is a good sign. A less positive sign is that these efforts appear largely uncoordinated- the people who care and do mostly don’t know each other, certainly don’t plan together. This probably means that some of that energy, time and money are being wasted doing the same things twice, and some things are just not getting done.

In the end this is a political question– effecting Italian and European policy on Israel Palestine depends on educating the Italian public through direct encounters like the ones we had, through religious pilgrimages (very few of the pilgrims stay overnight in Bethlehem or Nazareth and meet directly with the Palestinians who live there), through media work and through lobbying of politicians. These things can be done by small individual group, but they can be done better with effective coordination. If groups got together to assess what were effective campaigns– against Italian or international corporations involved with the occupation, against politicians supporting it, for public education, they might think on how to make those campaigns national and focused. 2011 will be an important year for us here, and it is not looking good. In the first two days of the year already two unarmed Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army in the occupied territories, and it looks like nobody will be seriously investigated for either of these cases. Palestinian civilians just aren’t very important to Israeli authorities, dead or alive. The Palestinian authority is disintegrating, the political atmosphere in Israel is increasingly racist and undemocratic, and the governments of the west continue to close their eyes and send money, hoping the problem will go away.

As things disintegrate into violence here, Europe will be forced to take a clearer stand – that could be a clear support for Israeli aggression or a clear stand against it. It is hard to underestimate the importance of this, and much of it depends on the people who care, all over the world. If you will organize to inform the public, to make churches and workers union take a stand, to lobby governments, you may be instrumental in saving us.

Perhaps this year the Italian friends of Israel Palestine can grow from a collection of small local group to  a coordinated national lobby.

Many thanks to all

Yahav Zohar, Jan 9th, 2011

read also: Israele-Italia-Palestina:Spazi di Pace


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Sullo sfondo abbiamo le guerre: dall’Iraq all’Afghanistan, e ancor prima la Palestina, la Cecenia, le guerre dimenticate dell’Africa e dell’Asia, le guerre che stanno preparando. Tutte quante fallimentari, una sequela di inutili massacri, caos e confusione, di menzogne inestricabili in cui affondano leader politici, giornalisti, opinionisti, presunte guide spirituali. Con ipocrisia, tracotanza, disperazione, confidano nella violenza: continuano a  pensare che la guerra sia lo strumento ultimo a cui affidare la soluzione dei problemi politici del nostro tempo.
Nonostante il ripetersi sistematico dei fallimenti, rivelatori della loro inadeguatezza,  occupano tutta la scena, perseguendo i loro mediocri e superati fini particolari. Essi rappresentano il principale ostacolo alla comprensione della novità che è maturata nei fatti, e non solo, come in passato, nelle parole di qualche spirito illuminato : l’umanità è definitivamente unificata. Se l’universalismo in passato era frutto di una scelta ideale oggi si dispiega nella concretezza del processo storico. Ed è proprio la sua effettualità a suscitare ogni sorta di ripulse e paure, a cui è necessario e vitale sottrarsi e contrapporsi perché se prevarranno non ci sarà una prospettiva di futuro. (altro…)

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