Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Piece on Israel's Bombing of Gaza

I have a new op-ed published on Speakout at Truthout. It’s about Israel’s bombing of Gaza and how it rests on the dehumanization of the Palestniain people. It can be viewed here, but here is a brief teaser--

In light of Israel’s bombing of Gaza, we can arrive at one conclusion: in order to support it one must show a complete and total disregard for the lives of Palestinians, or at the very least believe them to be worth less than that of their Israeli counterparts. Proponents of the bombing, including the Israeli government, maintain that they are merely defending human life from the unacceptable assault of the rockets. Yet, their own actions in just a few weeks have already taken far more human lives than the rockets have in over a decade. Even more jarring is the topsy-turvy world the Israeli government and their supporters seem to inhabit. In this world aggression is labeled defense and the narrative used to justify said inversions bares little relation to realty. No mention is made of what precipitated the latest round of violence nor is any mention made of the larger context--decades long policies of oppression directed towards the Palestinian people. None of this matters since after all the Palestinians don’t seem to matter.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The New York Times--Still Anti-Palestinian Even when "Critiquing" Israeli Policy

The New York Times criticized Israel’s latest violence, but only because it doesn’t seem to be an “effective way of advancing its long-term interests” and may “divert attention from what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly described as Israel’s biggest security threat: Iran’s nuclear program.” Israel’s actions are wrong not because they kill Palestinian civilians or violate international law, but because they might not advance Israel’s interest or get in the way of saber-rattling with Iran. Such an inability to assess Israel’s action from any other framework than Israel’s “interests” shows a callous indifference to the suffering of the Palestinian.   
This apathy should not be surprising. The only justification for Israel’s policies towards the Palestinian people, which include not only the latest round of aggression, but the expulsion of refugees, the refusal of their universally recognized legal right to return for the sole reason that they are Palestinian, the constant colonizing of land in the West Bank, can only rest on the dehumanization of the Palestinian people. The latest round of aggression is no exception

Saturday, November 10, 2012


.Truth-Out recently published an original op-ed by me on the subject of Occupy Wall Street and the Prison-Industrial Complex. The complete piece can be found here, but here is preview of what I wrote:

Since Occupy first exploded onto the scene, many within the political establishment and mainstream media have criticized occupiers alternatively for a lack of demands and for embracing too many seemingly unrelated demands. In spite of this confusion among those who are the self-appointed gatekeepers of political discourse, most people have understood Occupy as being a movement concerned with corporate influence over government, economic inequality and the economic crisis at large. It is precisely for those reasons that Occupy should be concerned about America's penal population (which is not to say that many Occupy groups and occupiers are not).
The current regime of mass incarceration is very much tied to the emergence of the neoliberal state in America. The neoliberal state demands stability for the market, but ultimately generates instability with its generation of surplus populations and lack of social resources. This means that while neoliberalism seeks to limit state intervention in the market and slash social welfare nets in the name of "freedom," it inevitably results in increased coercion, militarization and incarceration. And with its desire to subject every aspect of society to the market, prisons become not just a necessity under neoliberalism, but a profitable venture. These factors, not an epidemic of criminality, are the chief causes of mass incarceration in America. Prisons are therefore very much tied to the larger economic polices that Occupy opposes.