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September 2014

Why I Think This World Should End

Born and raised on the North Side of St. Louis, Mo., 24-year-old rapper Prince Ea has a sound unlike most artists coming out of the Midwest.

Netanyahu plays the blame game at the UN to avoid responsibility for Israeli human rights violations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at the UN General Assembly today, presented a black and white, and upside down world view in which aggressors are victims and human rights violators deserve applause. Consistent with his now predictable approach to diplomacy, Netanyahu deployed fear-mongering and Islamophobic language to deflect attention from Israel’s aggression in Gaza this summer, and its ongoing occupation and illegal siege of Palestinian civilians.

Netanyahu said, “As Prime Minister of Israel, I’m entrusted with the awesome responsibility of ensuring the future of the Jewish people…”, eroding the distinction between the nation-state of Israel and the Jewish diaspora. As JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson stated, “Netanyahu’s claim that Israel is responsible for the entirety of the Jewish people worldwide is dangerous and flat-out wrong. In fact, increasing and record numbers of Jews, including here in the United States, have been vigorously protesting Israel’s assault on Gaza and ongoing occupation and repression of the Palestinian people.”

In equating Hamas, ISIS, Iran and and the Nazis, Netanyahu attempted to paint a black and white picture of global evil in order to clear Israel of responsibility for human rights violations and war crimes.

Netanyahu’s brazen claim that Israel “justly” defended itself this summer relied on dehumanizing representations of Palestinians as “human shields” in an appalling attempt to deny accountability for the killing of nearly 2000 civilians and over 500 children in Gaza. In fact, Israel invaded and occupied Gaza in 1967, an area largely populated by the descendants of refugees who lived in what is now Israel. In 2007, they imposed an ongoing illegal blockade, controlling the flow of fuel, food, and all other critical materials. And since 2008, Israel has initiated 3 large-scale military assaults on Gaza. Hamas has responded with vastly less ineffective weaponry: 4 civilians and 66 soldiers were killed in the most recent escalation.

Netanyahu’s assertion that “The people of Israel are not occupiers in the land of Israel” reflects his ongoing commitment to maintaining the status quo of military occupation over the land of Greater Israel, and his refusal to delineate the borders of the State of Israel.

For Netanyahu, ‘peace’ means the continuation of the status quo of Israeli domination. It is clear that he is not a partner for a just peace that includes equality, respect for human rights and justice for Palestinians and Israelis, and that pressure from the international community is needed to produce real change in the region.