From 'God's Wrath' to 'Protective Edge'
Israel's Four-Decade-Long Assault on Palestine
In Beirut on July 8, 1972, thirty-six year old Ghassan Kanafani entered into his Volkswagen for the last time. The prolific writer and editor of Al Hadaf ("The Goal") was headed to the newspaper's office. His seventeen year old niece Lamis Najm was with him. Not long before, he had penned these words to her: "Dearest: You are rising now, while we start to fall. Our role is almost complete. The role of this generation was the shortest for any generation in history. We live in crucial times for the history of humanity and people are divided between participants and spectators… The battle is harsh and human capacity cannot tolerate this much. I, young one, chose not to be a spectator. It means that I chose to live the crucial moments of our history, no matter how short…." It was around 11 a.m. that Saturday when the explosion occurred, judging from the watch later found on what remained of Lamis' hand. Kanafani was a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the heart of the left-wing secular opposition to Israel. He was a noncombatant, and although pictures of Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara adorned his office, he never personally picked up a gun against his Zionist enemies, despite having every right to resist to the ongoing occupation by whatever means necessary. Yet, he still became a victim of Israeli terror.
From El Barrio to La Realidad
Women Lead Struggles to Transform the World
On May 24, hundreds of members of the Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York, mostly women of all ages, came together to honor the life and struggle of the murdered Zapatista from La Realidad, "Galeano". For this event, the prominent Mexican feminist, activist and thinker Sylvia Marcos sent her reflections on Being "Jovena" (a young woman) and Zapatista in La Realidad. The women of El Barrio and the Zapatista women of La Realidad are two examples of how women in struggle all over the world are coming together to inspire and learn from each other, and how, in the process, women are transforming the world. The Movement for Justice in El Barrio is a community-based organization, led by immigrant women who work for dignity and social justice and against oppression, gentrification and displacement in El Barrio, New York. The organization was founded nearly ten years ago by Mexican immigrant mothers, many of them indigenous. They had been displaced from their native land and forced to emigrate, and now found themselves faced with racism, brutal landlords, appalling living conditions, and a constant threat of displacement. These women had never participated in social struggles in Mexico, and they did not speak English. But they started listening to their neighbors and realized that they all shared the same problems...
When Conversations about Race Get Reduced to Republican vs. Democrat
Terry Young, Jr.
When I registered to vote, there was no question which party I would register under. I was not and am not a fan of war. I believe that the government should help those in need. As a gay man, I was not and am not a fan of anti-LGBT policies. Also, as a black man, I was not and am not a fan of policies that target black and brown bodies, such as the 'war on drugs.' Needless to say, I checked Democrat on my voter registration form. For the last 50 years, the Republican Party has been on the forefront of policy and ideas that have been detrimental to African Americans, including the painting of black women as "Welfare Queens," school zoning laws, mandatory minimums for victimless crimes, and a number of others. In contrast, Democrats have often combatted these initiatives and championed efforts like increases in minimum wage, increased access to healthcare, and more investment in public schools. As a result, the vast majority of African Americans are registered Democrats. In a number of Southern states, the Democratic Party is almost entirely black. As a result, what often occurs in conversations about race is that terms like "Democrat" and "liberal" get thrown around when they are not even really relevant.
Finding Alternatives to Greed and Dismantling Our Right-Wing World
Ming Chun Tang
Human history has been almost entirely dominated by the right-wing worldview. It's been an endless cycle in which privileged groups have taken turns dominating each other in a seemingly eternal battle between the powerful and the powerless. From the imperial conquests of the ancient world through European colonialism, the two World Wars and Soviet communism to modern neoliberal capitalism, it's always been the same story, flowing through different chapters but reaching the same inevitable conclusion: Oligarchy. It's a story familiar to the Zapatistas as well as countless other sites of confrontation between the haves and the have-nots in recent years. The hierarchical, conflict-ridden relationship today between those who rule the world and those who are ruled, between corporate bosses and workers, between autocrats and their citizens, between the rich and the poor, is a continuation of this cycle of domination. The right-wingers among us will assert that history simply reflects human nature, that it is in our nature to be maliciously selfish rather than compassionate, that this is the best we can do, or even that there's nothing wrong with the world we've created. But their argument fails to acknowledge that the dominant worldview of the past has created the world we know today.