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This is an edited version of a speech delivered by Students for Palestinian Rights member Rowland Robinson at the rally by SFPR and Laurier 4 Palestine against Israeli Apartheid on March 1st, 2010.
Rowland is in his 4B Honours Anthropology and Sociology term at the University of Waterloo. Much of his academic work has been on colonialism, post-colonialism and indigenous issues.
Apartheid. Apartheid is a powerful word that evokes many thoughts and feelings. It comes from Afrikaans, the language of the largest, primarily Dutch descended group of European settlers in South Africa. It means separateness, and was used to initially describe the National Partys system of enforced racial segregation. But apartheid is more than that; it is more than a system of laws that existed in a particular country over a specific period in history. Apartheid is a way in which groups with power structure their relationships with groups they have power over. This is of course why we are here today. We are here because we recognize the fact that apartheid is alive and well today in the land of historic Palestine.
We are far from alone in our recognition of this simple fact. In a letter to the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ontario, Willie Madisha, the President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions wrote, As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of the atrocities committed against the South Africans by the erstwhile apartheid regime in South Africa pale in comparison to those committed against the Palestinians. Also, On the 6th June 2008 Kgalema Motlanthe, the Deputy President of the African National Congress, who had recently visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, told a delegation of Arab Knesset members visiting South Africa that conditions for Palestinians under occupation were worse than conditions were for Blacks under the Apartheid regime. This point is driven home even more so by the fact that COSATU and the ANC were two of the lead organizations in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
However, we dont have to rely simply on the testimony of those who lived under and struggled against apartheid in South Africa in order to make this point, because the white minority government that instituted these unjust laws recognized these parallels themselves. Hendrik Verwoerd, former prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africas apartheid policies, said in 1961 that the Israelis took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.
The struggle against apartheid, whether in South Africa or in Palestine is a struggle for the rights and dignity of all people, and as such it touches all of us. You might be gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, Asian in Europe, Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a poor farmer in West Bengal, Mayan on the streets of San Cristobal, Jewish in Germany, Gypsy in Poland, Mohawk in Qubec, pacifist in Bosnia, a single woman on the Metro at 10 p.m., a Brazilian peasant without land, a gang member in the slums, an unemployed worker, or an unhappy student, the struggle against apartheid speaks to all of you. It demands for us not just the right to be who we are, but rather, as the Zapatistas say, to become who we want.
This is why it is so important that we are all here today. We are here to demand that the world move towards ending a situation which is unjust, and illegitimate. One in which pregnant women are forced to give birth at checkpoints; where children are used as human shields as soldiers invade the streets of their towns; and where schools and hospitals are destroyed under the cover of fighting terrorism. But deeper than that we are asking for an end to a situation in which apartheid exists. We want a world in which all apartheids have been brought crashing down to the ground.
Because of this I think that Israeli Apartheid Week is about more than just calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine, because in reality it is about all the struggles for true freedom, justice and equality by people all around the world, including right here in Canada. With that in mind I would also like to borrow a phrase from French Philosopher Michel Foucault. Foucault, in his introduction to Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattaris book Anti-dipus, wrote that one could easily subtitle the book an introduction to the non-fascist life, and I think that we could something like that here today and say that Israeli Apartheid Week is an introduction to the non-apartheid life, because that is what so much of this week is. We are not just here to shout slogans, wave flags and hold signs, we are also here to educate people about just what is going on in the world.
Finally, before I go I would like to leave you with a quote that I hope you will keep in your mind, both as we march here today, and throughout the rest of this week. It is a quote that I think helps us to remember both what it is that we are struggling for, but also that must continue to keep the struggle going beyond this week. It comes from Stendhals Vie de Napolon, and says this People only ever have the degree of freedom that their audacity wins from fear. Let us always remember those words. Let us be audacious this week as we stand for Palestine and all people struggling for freedom around the world.
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For over 14 years, Daniel Estulin has investigated and researched the Bilderberg Groups far-reaching influence on business and finance, global politics, war and peace, and control of the worlds resources and its money.
His book, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, was published in 2005 and is now updated in a new 2009 edition. He states that in 1954, the most powerful men in the world met for the first time in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, debated the future of the world, and decided to meet annually in secret. They called themselves the Bilderberg Group with a membership representing a whos who of world power elites, mostly from America, Canada, and Western Europe with familiar names like David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Lloyd Blankfein, George Soros, Donald Rumsfeld, Rupert Murdoch, other heads of state, influential senators, congressmen and parliamentarians, Pentagon and NATO brass, members of European royalty, selected media figures, and invited others some quietly by some accounts like Barack Obama and many of his top officials.
Always well represented are top figures from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), IMF, World Bank, Trilateral Commission, EU, and powerful central bankers from the Federal Reserve, the ECBs Jean-Claude Trichet, and Bank of Englands Mervyn King.
For over half a century, no agenda or discussion topics became public nor is any press coverage allowed. The few invited fourth estate attendees and their bosses are sworn to secrecy. Nonetheless, Estulin undertook an investigative journey that became his lifes work. He states:
Slowly, one by one, I have penetrated the layers of secrecy surrounding the Bilderberg Group, but I could not have done this withot help of conscientious objectors from inside, as well as outside, the Groups membership. As a result, he keeps their names confidential.
Whatever its early mission, the Group is now a shadow world government.threaten(ing) to take away our right to direct our own destinies (by creating) a disturbing reality very much harming the publics welfare. In short, Bilderbergers want to supplant individual nation-state sovereignty with an all-powerful global government, corporate controlled, and check-mated by militarized enforcement.
Imagine a private club where presidents, prime ministers, international bankers and generals rub shoulders, where gracious royal chaperones ensure everyone gets along, and where the people running the wars, markets, and Europe (and America) say what they never dare say in public.
Early in its history, Bilderbergers decided to create an Aristocracy of purpose between Europe and the United States (to reach consensus to rule the world on matters of) policy, economics, and (overall) strategy. NATO was essential for their plans to ensure perpetual war (and) nuclear blackmail to be used as necessary. Then proceed to loot the planet, achieve fabulous wealth and power, and crush all challengers to keep it.
Along with military dominance, controlling the worlds money is crucial for with it comes absolute control as the powerful 19th century Rothschild family understood. As the patriarch Amschel Rothschild once said: Give me control of a nations money and I care not who makes its laws.
Bilderbergers comprise the worlds most exclusive club. No one buys their way in. Only the Groups Steering Committee decides whom to invite, and in all cases participants are adherents to One World Order governance run by top power elites.
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Published on May 14, 2013
OCCUPY BILDERBERG 2013 – https://www.facebook.com/events/25390…
Originaly Uploaded by – WeAreChange NJ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rrGyA…
In 1954, “the most powerful men in the world met for the first time” in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, “debated the future of the world,” and decided to meet annually in secret. They called themselves the Bilderberg Group with a membership representing a who’s who of world power elites, mostly from America, Canada, and Western Europe with familiar names like David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Lloyd Blankfein, George Soros, Donald Rumsfeld, Rupert Murdoch, other heads of state, influential senators, congressmen and parliamentarians, Pentagon and NATO brass, members of European royalty, selected media figures, and invited others
The Group’s grand design is for “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace, policed by one world army, and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Their “wish list” includes:
— “one international identify (observing) one set of universal values;”
— centralized control of world populations by “mind control;” in other words, controlling world public opinion;
— a New World Order with no middle class, only “rulers and servants (serfs),” and, of course, no democracy;
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Founded in 1954, the Bilderberg Group holds “by invitation only” annual meetings of the rich and powerful. About two-thirds of the attendees are European, the rest American. Informally named for the site of the group’s first meeting, the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands.
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[Thursday, December 5, 2013] Israeli media sources have reported that United States Secretary General, John Kerry, will be separately meeting, later on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
John Kerry – Wikipedia
The sources state that Kerry intends to ask Netanyahu to refrain from issuing new bids for constructions in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and in occupied Jerusalem, as the issue of construction and expansion of Israeli settlement only leads to further complications to political talks.
Kerrys assistant, John Allens, would also be accompanying Kerry in his tour.
Israel believes that the United States has a plan that would help boost security arrangements on the Palestinian-Jordanian border, and that the plan would be presented to the Palestinians and Israelis during this tour.
Kerry would also be discussing the Iranian file during his talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, before heading to the central West Bank city of Ramallah for talks with President Abbas.
The Guardian has reported that the visit comes to revive the already troubled Israeli-Palestinian talks, and follows a statement made by the European Union regarding funding cuts to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, should talks make no progress.
The Guardian said that Mohammad Eshtiyya, a Palestinian negotiator who quit the Palestinian negotiations team last month due to Israels ongoing violations and escalating settlement construction activities, said that Israels escalating violations are only widening gaps in peace talks.
Eshtiyya stated that Israel just wants to illegally annex large areas of the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, and is not interested in real and comprehensive peace with the Palestinians.
Eshtiyya added that the U.S., which mediates direct talks, is leading an unbalanced position in favor of Tel Aviv and its illegitimate policies.
In some future millennium when the definitive history of Planet Earth is chronicled for all to see, the impact and influence of both ancient and modern Greece will occupy countless chapters. It was here in ancient times that many accomplished architects, philosophers, poets, teachers and thinkers would prove influential in the development of the Western World, and the collective works and legends of such great men as Aristotle, Hippocrates, Homer, Plato and Socrates live on today, and for very good reasons. The recorded history of Greece began in the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC), with the rise of many powerful regional cultures.
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Wed Dec 4, 2013 1:42pm EST
* Russian minister says can’t understand NATO’s criticism
* Lavrov says Iran nuclear deal removes need for NATO missile shield
* Lavrov asks if NATO plans to intervene in Ukraine, official says (Updates with U.S. official, Russia on NATO’s missile defence plans)
By Adrian Croft and David Brunnstrom
BRUSSELS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Russia criticised “aggressive actions” by Ukrainian demonstrators and the Western response to the protests on Wednesday, saying outsiders should not interfere in Ukraine’s affairs.
President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision last week to spurn a trade and cooperation pact with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia has triggered days of mass protests.
“I do not quite understand the scope of the aggressive actions on the part of the opposition,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference after talks with NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
Ukraine’s government had used its sovereign right to decide whether or not to ratify an agreement, Lavrov said.
“I hope that Ukrainian politicians will be able to bring the situation into a peaceful vein. We encourage everybody not to interfere,” Lavrov said, speaking through an interpreter.
We hear disturbing reports this year from southern Israel. The Israeli government proposes to relocate some 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their present homes to government-approved townships. This is called the Prawer Plan, and Israels parliament approved it by a three-vote majority in June.
The Prawer Plan would destroy 35 Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev) region and extinguish Bedouin claims to land seized from them after the foundation of Israel. The government denies basic services to these villages. Right beside them, in many cases, are new, modern, fully serviced communities for Jewish settlers.
Supporters of the Prawer Plan say that it will compensate the Bedouin for their lost lands and improve their economic status. Unconvinced, the European Parliament has condemned the plan and demanded its withdrawal. So has the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN Office for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch.
This plan has not been negotiated with the Bedouins and does not have their agreement. It is to be imposed on them. Many have called it ethnic cleansing.
Ethnic cleansing has been defined by the UN Security Council as the forcible removal by one ethnic or religious group of another such group in a geographic area. When I think of ethnic cleansing, I recall my own experience in France under Nazi occupation during the Second World War.
Six months before I was born, the French government of the time passed laws excluding Jews from the civil service, education, the media and other professions. They repealed the law against anti-Semitism and started a massive anti-Jewish hate campaign. Large numbers of Jews were rounded up and put in concentration camps.
Much of France was then under Nazi occupation, but the Nazis didnt ask for these measures. The French authorities volunteered and did it on their own. But soon the Nazis got into the act. They had a vast project to clear 10 million Jews out of all European countries not to deport but to exterminate them.
Ethnic cleansing on a grand scale.
The French police handed over to the Nazis tens of thousands of Jews and other French people to be sent to Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland, where they were almost all slaughtered. French authorities tore children from the arms of their mothers, and handed over the mothers to be exterminated.
Then, weeks later, the children were packed into a death train and sent to Auschwitz to also to die there. Among the adult victims was my mother, killed in Auschwitz in 1943.
Palestinian territories Largest cities Demonym Establishment – Israeli occupation established 1967 Area – Total 6,220km2 2,402sqmi – Water(%) 3.5 Population – 2012estimate 4,293,313 – 2007census 3,719,189 – Density 654/km2 1,694/sqmi HDI (2010) 0.645 medium 97th Currency (JOD, EGP, ILS) Time zone (UTC+2) – Summer(DST) (UTC+3) Calling code +970d Internet TLD a. Used in West Bank since 1950. b. Used in Gaza Strip since 1951. c. Used since 1985. d. +972 also used.
The Palestinian territories or occupied Palestinian territories (OPT or oPt) comprise the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. In 1993, following the Oslo Accords, parts of the territories politically came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority (Areas A and B). In 2007, the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip violently split from the Palestinian Authority, governing the area of Gaza independently since. Israel still exercises full military control and Israeli civil control over 61% of the West Bank (Area C). In April 2011, the Palestinian parties signed an agreement of reconciliation, but its implementation has stalled since. Subsequent reconciliation efforts in 2012 did not succeed either.
The areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were part of the territory west of the Jordan River of Mandatory Palestine under British governance, formed in 1922. From the 1948 ArabIsraeli War until the 1967 Six-Day War, the West Bank was occupied and annexed by Jordan (annexation recognized only by UK and Pakistan) and the Gaza Strip occupied by Egypt, though limited authority had been exercised in Gaza by the All-Palestine Government from September 1948 until 1959. The legal borders of the Palestinian territories are currently recognised by pro-Palestine factions the international community to be as established by the 1949 Armistice Agreements, and by Israel to fall within Israeli borders.
Since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt in 1967, the international community, including the UN and international legal bodies, has often referred to those areas as the occupied Palestinian territories.
In 1980, Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem. The annexation was condemned internationally and declared “null and void” by the United Nations Security Council, whereas Israel, as a nation, considers the whole of Jerusalem to be its capital. In 1988, with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) intention to declare a Palestinian State, Jordan renounced all territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, approximately 130 UN Member Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, comprising the Palestinian territories. It has not been recognized by Israel and some Western nations, including the United States. Shortly, however, the Palestinian Authority was formed in the outcome of the 1993 Oslo Accords, exercising limited control over parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian National Authority, the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross regard East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, and consequently a part of the Palestinian territories, while Israel regards it as part of Israel as a result of its annexation in 1980. According to the Israeli Supreme Court, the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits unilateral annexation of occupied territory, does not[dubious discuss] apply to East Jerusalem, as there was no[dubious discuss] “legitimate sovereign” recognised by Israel and its allies previously excercising control over the territory. The Palestinian National Authority (which recently officially changed its name to the State of Palestine, as a result of the UN recognising its sovereignty), which maintains a territorial claim to East Jerusalem, never exercised sovereignty over the area. Israeli sovereignty, however, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Oslo Accords (1995) established access to the sea for Gaza within 20 nautical miles from the shore. The Berlin Commitment of 2002 reduced this to 12miles (19km). In October 2006 Israel imposed a 6-mile limit, and at the conclusion of the Gaza War restricted access to a 3-nautical-mile limit, beyond which a no-go zone exists. As a result, over 3,000 fishermen are denied access to 85% of the maritime areas agreed to in 1995. The majority of the Dead Sea area is off-limits to Palestinian use, and Palestinians are denied access to its coast line.
The Hamas takeover of Gaza divided the Palestinian territories politically, with Abbass Fatah left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority. Both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are often still considered to be occupied by Israel, according to the international community. The Gaza Strip within the borders is governed by Hamas, while much of the West Bank is governed by the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Authority.
There are disagreements over what the Palestinian territories should be called. The United Nations, the European Union, International Committee of the Red Cross and the government of the United Kingdom all refer to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. The International Court of Justice refers to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as “the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and this term is used as the legal definition of the International Court of Justice in the ruling in July 2004.
Journalists also use the description to indicate lands outside the Green Line. The term is often used interchangeably with the term occupied territories, although this term is also applied to the Golan Heights, which is internationally recognized as part of Syria and not claimed by the Palestinians. The confusion stems from the fact that all these territories were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and are treated by the UN as territory occupied by Israel.
Other terms used to describe these areas collectively include “the disputed territories”, and “Israeli-occupied territories”. Further terms include “Palestine”, “State of Palestine”, “Yesha” (Judea-Samaria-Gaza), “Yosh” (Judea and Samaria), the “Katif Strip” (Gaza Strip), “Palestinian Autonomous Areas” (although this term is also used to specifically refer to Area’s A and B), “Palestinian Administered Territories”, “administered territories”, “territories of undetermined permanent status”, “1967 territories”, and simply “the territories”.
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