The weekend miscellany
Obviously, I have been a bit obsessed with Gilad Atzmon this week and his local acolyte, John Hamilton's Telegraph Hill ant-Zionist choir, the Strawberry Thieves. Atzmon, incidentally, is endorsed by right-wing foreign policy wonk John Mearsheimer, who was a disciple of Henry Kissinger, who, it has just been revealed, called the Jews self-serving bastards in 1972.
My other villains of the week are the Israeli right, both the theocratic right and the ultra-nationalist right. Every week, I find the news from Israel more disheartening. As Mira says, not everything in Israel is complicated: the shutting down of a pro-peace radio station, eroding press freedom, the dispossession of the Bedouin, a proposed ethnically exclusive Israeli identity law, the removal of images of women from the streets of Jerusalem, the spread of gender segregation in public space, as well as the ridiculous proposed NGO law. A few years ago, I would never have thought I'd see Tzipi Livni as one of the good guys. Here she is: "We have always prided ourselves on being the only democracy in the Middle East. We were a democracy, and the others were dictatorships," she said. "While Egypt is trying to become a democracy like us, we're passing laws that will turn Israel into a dictatorship."
Heroes of the week
I only just read about this appalling incident in St Louis, in which an Iraqi poet, Alaa Alsaegh, who converted to Christianity was dragged for his car and had a Star of David carved into his back in revenge for an Arabic poem, "Tears inside the Holocaust" posted on Nonie Darwish's Arabs for Israel website. It should not be an act of great bravery to write a poem in America, but sadly it is.
Another hero this week is Aliya’a Magda el-Mahdi, the Egyptian blogger who posted pictures of herself naked as an act of resistance to the growing power of Islamism in Egypt. The revolution continues in Egypt, where Islamism on the one hand, and the military junta on the other, stamp down on freedom. So, the people of Eygpt are the other big hero for the week. Here's some links from Entdinglichung:
- The Egyptian masses rise up again to complete their revolution! Testimony from an Egyptian anarchist (anarkismo.net)
- The Sharraf government resignation bluff will not stop the people’s struggle in Egypt (anarkismo.net)
- Egypt: Independent Union Federation joins Tahrir sit-in (ESSF)
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies: Urgent Appeal for Action on Egypt (ESSF)
- Aliaa is not obscene; you are! (Maryam Namazie)
- More from LabourStart
Ambivalences of the week
The RCP's Brendan O'Neil keeps up his barrage of interesting contrarian negativity about the Occupy movement. Here he gets curmudgeonly about the hubris of the movement in comparing itself to the civil rights movement. Some of his points I agree with, others not. Barry Rubin is, of course, even more negative, and this piece channelling Karl Marx on Wall Street is worth a read. Terry Glavin is negative too and a great read. eM is more ambivalent, with a wonderful piece on Occupy Seattle. Roland is also ambivalent. Read his report from the West Coast.