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If Only Palestinians Wore Saffron Gowns

Tibetan autonomy is like a jagged edge that pokes me when I get too complacent about my love for my native country. That not so fine line separating family tradition and culture from state authourity and government exists as a thin residual smear after a thorough thrashing of an education by the Communist state system. Thank Goodness I left after grade two. Nontheless, thanks to a couple of gray and old Jewish guys and free speech, I’ve come around.

How ever, unlike most, I’m not ready to join in with the demonstrations at this particular time. To be more precise, starting a few weeks ago.

Why? Well, it’s not because my past has come to haunt me, nor is it because of my politics. It’s because I feel like I’m getting jipped, like someone is brainwashing me and hoping I’d resort to some sort of hypocrisy. Let me explain.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Tibetan riots were clearly CIA coordinated, nor does it have to do with the little batch of pogroms the monks issued to some innocent Chinese store owners. Let’s give the poor monks the benefit of the doubt for a change. 50+ years of oppression warrants a little anger, even though it means sacrificing a little Buddhist teaching.

But it has to do with the sheer hypocrisy of our western media and the pick and choose nature of all foreign policy. They thunder and cry about Tibet. In thousands of editorials and talk-shows they heap curses and invective on the evil China. It seems as if the Tibetans are the only people on earth whose right to independence is being denied by brutal force, that if only Beijing would take its dirty hands off the saffron-robed monks, everything would be alright in this, the best of all possible worlds.

There’s no longer a doubt in my mind that Tibetans are entitled to autonomy. But are the Kurds in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey not entitled to the same thing? What about the Basques in Spain? The Corsicans in France? Its a bloody long list if you ask me. I’ve tried to answer this contradiction. I cannot.

To be honest, there is nobody like the Tibetans. They enjoy ideal conditions.

Fringed by the Himalayas, they are located in one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. For centuries, just to get there was an adventure. Their unique religion arouses curiosity and sympathy. Its non-violence is very attractive and elastic enough to cover even the ugliest atrocities, like the recent pogrom. The exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, is a romantic figure, a media rock-star. The Chinese regime is hated by many – by capitalists because it is a Communist dictatorship, by Communists because it has become capitalist. It promotes a crass and ugly materialism, the very opposite of the spiritual Buddhist monks, who spend their time in prayer and meditation. (www.normanfinkelstein.com

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Compared to this, the Chechnyans dont have much to offer. They are Muslim terrorist for all we care, baking their pittas with the blood of faithful Christians.
Putin can hit them as hard and as much as he wants.

This, cosmically and inevitably, leads us straight to a miserable and bloody little place called Palestine.

In the quest for world sympathy and media sympathy, the Palestinians are unlucky enough to have an oppressor who has already taken the crown for being the victim of the most heinous crime in western history. Plus, most Palestinians are suicide bombers who cant wait to screw virgins in heaven. Nobody gives a damn abut the Palestinian Christians. And anyone who denies any of this is either a Holocaust denier or an Anti-Semite.

The Dalai Lama arrived in Michigan recently and met with politicians discussing the outcry in Tibet. Even Canadian politicians went, with one conservative comparing the Chinese Leviathan to Hitler and such.

Let’s hope Richard Gere knows what he’s doing.

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So this is where political correctness leads us: IsraelApWk ban??

I don’t like to write when distracted, and there are a few distractions right now in my life.

Until I saw that over 100 University of Toronto faculty members placed a full page ad in the National Post to encourage the banning of Israeli Apartheid Week on campus.

The signers’ names, titles and departments were listed under a heading that stated: “We… oppose the hosting of the Israel Apartheid Week at our institution, and request that the administration stop this hateful and divisive event from returning to our university in future years.” (CJ News, 04/03/08)

One of the initiators is a Dr. Sergio Gristein, a biochem professor who said the reason for the ad was that talks with the administration were unproductive.

“Hateful”, “divisive”, “asymmetrical application of freedom of speech”, “attacking and villainizing the Jewish Community”. These are the accusations and the labels.

Given the facts and the documentary record, let’s break this down piece by piece.

1. Hateful
Hate is the wrong word to use. Its more like indignation. And if we are to include the word “hate”, those involved in IApW hate the Israeli application of apartheid (the SouAfr comparison is one made by both Ehud Omert and Ariel Sharon), and the apathy that the world shows. When one sees the open air prison that is Gaza and the numerous checkpoints, anger is more suitable as a description.

2. Divisive
Apartheid is Afrikaans for “separation”. What can separate more when an indigenous population is pushed to the brinks of survival. Of course, the comment is aimed at dividing the populations here. So, let us all look at the facts and decide as human beings, not Jews or Palestinians. There needs to be constant hatred and systematic separation for there to be divisiveness. IApW is not a good example of such a program. In fact, there are Jews and Rabbis who believe in Palestinian freedom.

3. Asymmetrical application of freedom of speech
This is a wax poetic. Probably not even said for anyone to understand. It doesnt deserve a response but one can only assume that somehow freedom of speech is abused in this case. Let me spell this out:

CRITICISM OF ISRAEL DOES NOT EQUAL ANTISEMITISM & HATE-SPEECH

Hate speech would be going after Jews of all nationalities with hateful language and anti-semitic epithets. The slogans being chanted don’t count. And if they do, then let them be punished.

4. Attacking and villainizing the Jewish Community
Goes back to the previous point. How convenient to lace Israel, its policies and its national existence with Jews everywhere regardless of individual beliefs, practices and opinions. No doubt, many a Jew would defend Israel to the death and excuse it from international law. But many would look to their conscience and make a serious moral choice. Basic moral principle would conclude if someone else commits a crime and is guilty, then it is also wrong when we do it. There can be no exceptions. Israel is acting like an exception. The Jewish community, and every Jew in it, can make their own judgments. No one says in IApW that Jews are evil; the tactics of Israeli treatment of Palestinians is evil. No one is attacking Jews; if “attacking” is the preferred term, then we activists attack the apathy and silence of the uneducated individual and the global community.

This is also one of the few times that I can say I am proud of the U of T administration:

Robert Steiner, a U of T spokesperson, said the administration has responded to each of the 125 faculty members with an e-mailed letter that outlines the university’s reasons for allowing events such as Israeli Apartheid Week to take place on campus. “The university believes that free speech is a fundamental role of any university in a free society. But allowing for free speech doesn’t mean that we turn a blind eye to whatever is being said,” Steiner said. (CJ News, 04/03/08)

McMasters University has banned the term “Israeli Apartheid” (with endorsement of the student union, mothereffers) and U of T faculty members are putting up ads on newspapers for the cessation of activism.

Who’s messing with freedom of speech here, really?

Ref: http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14362&Itemid=101

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