Alice Walker on Encountering the Horror

From the Voices Education Project

Alice Walker is one of my favourite American poets and political activists. She is, I believe, a role model for all poets and all citizens of the world. In her recent essay, OVERCOMING SPEECHLESSNESS: A Poet Encounters “the horror” in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel,” she details the horrors of hatre,d and the amazing capacity of women to survive, with references to each of those locations, most particularly Gaza.

There is no hiding what Israel has done or what it does on a daily basis to protect and extend its power. It uses weapons that cut off limbs without bleeding; it drops bombs into people’s homes that never stop detonating in the bodies of anyone who is hit; it causes pollution so severe it is probable that Gaza may be uninhabitable for years to come, though Palestinians, having nowhere else to go, will have to live there.

She reminds us that Israel fed the South African Apartheid government a diet of arms and expertise,  but that regime fell thanks to worldwide pressure.  She encourages each of us to take action, to speak out, to make our voices heard so that we bring down the Israeli regime.

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Iggy the Idiot, Part II

Oy!  I just finish noting Ignatieff’s idiocy and find out he’s up to more of it!  What is wrong with this man?  Does he now have an idjit writing his opinion pieces?  Oh, wait!  Lack of logic and poor argument are standard fare for Iggy.

His clever wordplay doesn’t disguise a poor grasp of the facts. Reading Ignatieff’s feature articles in the New York Times Magazine over the past four years, one discovers that the pompous professor is a bad student who doesn’t actually learn from his own mistakes. In ‘Nation Building Lite’ (July 2002), Ignatieff calls for heavy-handed nation-building in Afghanistan: ‘The [Afghans] understand the difficult truth that their best hope of freedom lies in a temporary experience of imperial rule.’ And to work, ‘imperial power requires controlling the subject people’s sense of time, convincing them that they will be ruled forever.’

Today’s illogical screed furthers his aim for idiocy:

International law defines “apartheid” as a crime against humanity. Labelling Israel as an “apartheid” state is a deliberate attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself.

Criticism of Israel is legitimate. Attempting to describe its very existence as a crime against humanity is not.

As my friend, skdadl, pointed out at BnR, this is not a logical argument.  The first two sentences set up a false relationship.  In the Apartheid days in South Africa, no one working in the anti-Apartheid movement denied the right of South Africa to exist.

Likewise now, with Israel.  No one is denying the right of Israel to exist.  But what folks are saying is that the treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state is reprehensible and is an example of an Apartheid regime.

Take a look at the word, apartheid.  The Free Online Dictionary says it is, “An official policy of racial segregation.”  Israel has segregated Palestinians, that much is very clear.  And it’s done so systematically and with brute force.

And that, Mr. Ignatieff, is apartheid.

But hey, if you don’t believe me see what Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States of America, has to say.

Oh, and here are a few others on Iggy:

Anti-Ignatieff Primer
Ignatieff’s Public Hissy Fit
Ignatieff: Pop Intellectual
Bionic Liberal

Thanks to the BnR gang for motivation!

UPDATE:  Double oy!  Mister pogge’s nailed it! Sophistry, indeed!

UPDATE2:  Had to add Mentarch to the list.  Be sure to take the “once again” link!