What time doesn’t change

Being in New York continues to rock. Yesterday afternoon I ran into Ramsay Clark, the maverick activist and lawyer. I wanted to talk, so we chatted on the street for a brief while. So, what was it like representing Saddam?

Only in this city would local Fox News still praise George W. Bush’s “brave” immigration bill. And really, the New York Times is a very average newspaper in print.

Just discovered this latest report on Israel’s occupation of Palestine:

Researcher Says Israel Responsible for at least 97.8 Percent of Serious Human Rights Abuses in Conflict

As Israel comes under increasing pressure over its policies against Palestinians, an independent Swedish researcher today releases an extensive analysis of the Middle Eastern conflict since the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. According to Dr. Anthony Löwstedt, the vast majority of grave violations of human rights falls under the responsibility of the Jewish state.

In the third edition of his study, ‘Apartheid: Ancient, Past, and Present’, Löwstedt concludes that no less than 97.8 percent of gross human rights violations so far committed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are sole responsibilities of the Israeli Jews, and 2.2 percent, at the most, are Palestinian crimes.

Israel was accused of apartheid by John Dugard, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Envoy to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in February this year. In a report to the Council, Dugard recommended bringing the charge of apartheid, a crime against humanity under international law, against Israel to the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Previously, two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and the former South African Anglican Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, had also raised accusations of apartheid against Israel.

According to all four and many others, Israel is implementing the same system of oppression that Whites used against the indigenous black majority in South Africa until 1994. And just like Blacks committed a number of violent crimes against Whites and occasionally incited people to violence against South African Whites in the liberation struggle there, Palestinians have carried out similar crimes against Israeli Jews.

However, the overwhelming majority of violent crimes as well as cases of incitement to violence are responsibilities of the privileged ethnicities in both countries, according to Löwstedt. Moreover, he points out seven kinds of systematic, racist crimes which he says are the sole responsibilities of the Israeli Jews and the South African Whites and of similar ethnic elites in other apartheid societies. These crimes include ethnically discriminatory repopulation, citizenship, land, work, access, education, and language policies and practices.

Löwstedt has worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as in South Africa as an academic and for the UN. He currently teaches at Webster University in Vienna, Austria.

In many ways, New York is utterly removed from mainstream America. While this is clearly a good thing in many ways, it also reinforces a sense of isolation and perhaps even superiority amongst many people. One of the most refreshing things here, though, is the great amount of dissenting Jews and their desire to push forward their humanitarian agenda. And, slowly at least, we’re having an effect worldwide.