From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Last December 24, I noted that the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) had recently posted some “Frequently Asked Questions” about the group at its website (www.palsolidarity.org), and I predicted that their official answers to these questions would probably be composed in prose even more purple than the questions’ current font. At that point, the ISM still hadn’t gotten around to posting their own answers, so I made a quick stab at ISM-speak to predict what their responses might be. I had planned, per the website’s suggestion, to “check back in a few days” when they had posted links to their responses, so as to compare and contrast our answers. But it’s looking like a lost cause, as it’s been well over a month and they still haven’t posted responses to their own questions. Oh, well.

In Nablus, numerous Palestinians have been deliberately shot in the legs, including a former police chief who was shot in the back of the knees. Amneh Abu Hijleh, 37, was shot dead as she entered a pharmacy to buy cough syrup for her infant daughter. Firas Aghbar, 13, was killed as he walked on his way to the barber for a birthday trim. The genocidal IDF is getting out of hand! Oh, wait. These deaths, and many others like them, are the result of Palestinian violence against other Palestinians (and one wonders how many of these deaths are included in the Palestinian death toll of the second Intifada). Indeed, “Distinctions between nationalist militant and criminal gang activities have blurred as Fatah has splintered into armed groups, many spun off from Palestinian security services disabled by Israeli offensives in the West Bank.” According to one regional Fatah official, 90 percent (!) of gang lawlessness could be traced to people still on a Palestinian Authority payroll (and this doesn’t include the Palestinian Authority policeman who detonated himself on a crowded Jerusalem bus last week, killing eleven innocent people and wounding scores more).

Funny how the ISM never misses a chance to castigate Israel whenever a Palestinian death can be blamed on Israelis but they never seem to have much (if anything) to say about deaths of Palestinians killed by other parties, especially other Palestinians, or about the violence, especially gang violence, (on the part of President Arafat’s Fatah group, no less, and other such parties) that has injured and killed so many Palestinians. Why isn’t the ISM parading around in solidarity with these Palestinians as well? Why aren’t ISM activists openly and deliberately interfering in Palestinian affairs so as to protect innocent Palestinians, just as they interfere in Israeli affairs, especially military operations, for supposedly the same reason? Why aren’t they publicizing and agitating against this widespread violence and killing of Palestinians in the same way they publicize and agitate against Israeli military measures? I get inundated with emails from various pro-Palestinian groups whenever a Palestinian is killed by the IDF, yet when it’s Palestinians killing and terrorizing Palestinians… well, an odd sort of muteness emerges. Where’s the highly publicized solidarity with these Palestinians?

As I’ve noted before, it appears that when standing in solidarity with Palestinians can’t be used to manufacture anti-Israel publicity or gushing letters back home about how mean and nasty the IDF is, well, these noble advocates of justice and solidarity just don’t seem especially interested or concerned. Their lack of protests and demonstrations against Palestinian elements that terrorize other Palestinians speaks volumes about their “solidarity.” Of course, I look forward to the first Solidarity protest against the Palestinian Authority and other such groups. Perhaps a spirited march (nonviolent, of course!), complete with bullhorns and banners, outside the local Fatah headquarters….

Of course, these folks know that challenging the genocidal IDF won’t result in their being summarily shot (in the back of the knees, say) as collaborators, so they’ll likely stick to annoying Israelis rather than Palestinians, not to mention publicly badmouthing Ariel Sharon and his political supporters rather than Arafat and his political supporters, no matter how corrupt and entangled in violence against Palestinians the latter parties may be. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before we see ISM activists openly challenging armed Palestinian Authority figures in the same way they antagonize Israeli troops, yes? (But, but, but… It’s all about, like, totally rising up against The Occupation, man! Palestinian terrorism, even against other Palestinians, is, like, so totally Israel’s fault, even when such gangsterism and violence comes from, like, the Palestinian Authority itself, y’know? Rise up, rise up! Zionism is racism but Palestinian nationalism is so totally radical!) Once again, we see that “solidarity” activists implicitly concede the moral superiority of the IDF over groups like Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.

But seeing as how many ISM activists are self-proclaimed anarchists, perhaps this “Anarchy in the P.A.” (the title of my next album, perhaps) is a perfectly satisfactory state of affairs to them, regardless of how many Palestinians are injured or killed as a result. It does make you wonder. (Argh, can’t we just please talk about the evil wall of Apartheid, already!?)

In other news, Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, who’s supposedly some sort of moderate or something, “lashed out at the powerful Zionist lobby in the United States,” claiming that America’s capital is not in Washington, D.C. but, you know, in Tel Aviv. He also reiterated that Israel is not a legitimate state. Oy vey, and this guy is considered a moderate?

Speaking of moderates, I suspect that Saudi Princess Fahda bint Saud ibn Abd Al-Aziz, who acccording to the Saudi press is "the daughter of King Saud and the historian of her father's reign," either isn’t playing with a full Uno deck or has added quite a few extra Royal Draw Four cards to it. Remember, Princess: Just because you’re paranoid (or a royal paranoid, as the case may be) doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

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