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Zionism is NOT a Green Value: An Uncomfortable Historical Parrallel

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Utilizing its tired tactics, the Zionist community has again chosen to hide behind name-calling and censorship in lieu of addressing the legitimate criticism of Israel's commitment to ethnic cleansing as a national policy. For those unfamiliar with the history of Palestine since the 1948 al-Nakba, the comments which have accumulated on this blog post at the AdBusters site makes for a convenient executive summary.

Those participating in the discussion at that site tap this history in much greater depth than your Party officers were able to recently in our letter urging state budget writers to join the Divestment movement. See Georgia Appropriations Chairmen Urged by Greens: Divest from Israel and the related press release.

In recent action by the Party's National Committee, considering a series of proposed changes to the Party's Platform, Green support for the BDS campaign urged by the Palestinian Civil Society (first articulated in our adoption of Resolution #190) was added to the Platform itself. Joining a growing international consensus on the question, our National Committee went further, stating: "we support a U.S. foreign policy that promotes the creation of one secular, democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan as the national home of both peoples, with Jerusalem as its capital"

In my capacity as an Alternate to the National Committee, early on the morning of the final day of the vote, with final passage at that moment very much in doubt, I offered these remarks, excerpted below, in that debate. I thank Georgia Delegates Adam Shapiro and Denice Traina and our colleagues on the National Committee for their support for adoption of Resolution #471. The rally of support on the final day of voting resolved that doubt, and led us to a final tally of 95-36-11, comfortably surpassing the two-third threshold required for passage of changes to the Party's Platform.

A GNC member from Virginia asked me for permission to reprint this in their state Party newsletter. It seemed that if Virginia Greens are to read this, I ought to at least share it here with Greens in Georgia. I hope you find this background useful as you join other Greens to engage our communities to debunk the Zionist mythology and challenge US complicity in the ongoing Crimes Against Humanity which are the Israeli occupation of Palestine.


Zionism is NOT a Green Value

Our adoption of #471 would mark a tremendous victory for our Party, and position us in a broad and growing movement supporting a one-state resolution to the warfare being perpetuated by Israel against Palestinians.

The defeat of #471 would mark a tremendous victory for the white supremacist tendencies within our Party we exist to transform. And that would be an awful defeat for our work.

#471 is simple and straight forward. It makes three discrete changes to our Platform: It (1) acknowledges the recent history of the apartheid occupation of Palestine, specifically the crimes against humanity perpetrated under the name 'Cast Lead' and the Goldstone Report to the UN Commissioner on Human Rights which documented those crimes; (2) it incorporates into our Platform our existing (GNC #190) support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign which Palestinian leaders have called for; and (3) it acknowledges our evolving support for a one-state solution which would provide equal protection under the law to all the residents of Palestine.

Even the United Nations General Assembly agreed in the 70's that Zionism is a racist ideology.

Israel is the creation of a collaboration between revisionist Zionist organizers, US and British bankers to create a colony in Palestine. The Zionist Movement was able to lay claim to a homeland (after looking earlier in Eastern Europe and Africa) while the bankers and imperialists got a base for control of the region's natural resources.

By the time of the 1948 al-Nakba we had already fought two world wars over control of the oil fields of Persia and Iraq. Forget the archduke they told you about in high school. That was just the cover story. The real issue was that the Kaiser was close to completing the Berlin-Baghdad Railroad, and gaining access to oil, bypassing the Brits.

So, fed by our nation and culture's fundamental commitment to the ideology of white supremacy, we (Britain and US) resettled European Jews into Palestine, displacing the native semitic people who had lived there peacefully for centuries. It seemed so natural, much like removing the Cherokee, hunting the Apache or displacing Dineh and Lakota for Unanium. Maniest Destiny heads East.

We could not have done that without discounting the humanity of those brown folks displaced in the effort.

Nor could we have done so without buying into the mythology of our own white superiority and entitlement. Not just that of the European Jews who were resettled, but also we as the US and Great Britain who exercised entitlement to use the recently organized UN to partition Palestine for this purpose, then arm our proxies to enforce that policy.

My commitment to non-violent social change does not preclude my support for the right to self defense. And the privileges I enjoy do not entitle me to stand in judgement of those whose necks are being trampled by boots paid for with US tax dollars.

When the ANC made the call, the world answered and our justice movement brought international pressure through a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions which opened the door to the start of change in another European Apartheid colony in South Africa.

So comes now the Palestinian Community, displaced and fighting for their very lives against a state sanctioned and funded campaign of genocidal tactics perhaps more patient, but no less effective, than a Hitlerian Holocaust, and pleads with those of us in the nation which funds this who are committed to social justice, that we stop being good Germans about the whole affair.

There are Republican Bars in Boston, New York, Chicago and likely elsewhere where funds have been raised to liberate Ireland from its Occupation by Britain. At those events folks were in our lifetimes asked to pony up for weapons to arm those who still endure that 400 year occupation.

But we have not been asked to contribute to a weapons cache to permit Palestinians to defend themselves from the armed agression made possible with our tax dollars. They ask only that we refuse to buy Israeli products, to invest in those firms which do business with the Apartheid state, that we withdraw our cooperation and collaboration with Israel's genocidal policies.

They ask no more of us, than do justice loving residents of Arizona who have asked us to boycott their state over its enactment of SB-1070.

And what does our Party do?

To watch the vote on #471, it would seem that too many of us are willing to be good Germans, to look the other way, to ignore the pleas of those victimized by our neo-colonial presence in Palestine, to allow the non-white native population of that region to remain invisible while we hold the myth that Israel has made the desert bloom, when in fact they have merely stolen the arable land, fresh water sources and family gardens from the Brown folks who they turned into refugees, prisoners and corpses.

And when we call out those who would support such policies, they have the gall to accuse us of anti-semitism.

We hear from folks saying they are voting no on a proposal which fails to address matters not central to the narrow focus on this question which the DC Statehood Party has put before us.

One wonders if they raised those concerns with the authors while this paper was still in discussion; or why perhaps they failed to advance a paper of their own to address those concerns.

One Delegate would distract us discussing her concerns with Hamas, while ignoring the Apartheid conditions which gave rise to their broad and popular support. (Surely, if we believe in Democracy, that must mean something.) Another Delegate from California would have us believe that to challenge this white supremacist fueled anti-semitic occupation of Palestine by European Jews somehow makes us racist and anti-semitic.

We, if anyone, ought to be able to see through those propaganda tactics.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed by 86 Platform proposals in a handful of weeks, . . . it is easy enough to understand why an important paper like #471 might get voted down in the mix.

I trust our Green Party will not let that happen.

-- Hugh Esco
Alternate, Georgia Green Party
and another Jew Against Zionism

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