"...Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
...Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?"
-- Bob Dylan, Blowin In The Wind

Speaking at a handover ceremony at the foreign ministry, new Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman said "The Annapolis conference, it has no validity."  He was referring to the peace deal with the Palestinians sponsored by the US in 2007.

Avigdor Lieberman is not known to many Americans.  He is described as a "hardliner."  I leave it to the reader to decide what term to use to describe him, but here is a nice article by Neve Gordon on Lieberman in Counterpunch.

SEE: Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's Shame

"Lieberman is an ex-member of Meir Kahane's party, Kach, which was outlawed due to its blatantly racist platform. Moreover, his views towards Arabs do not appear to have changed over the years. In 2003, when reacting to a commitment made by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to give amnesty to approximately 350 Palestinian prisoners, Lieberman declared that, as minister of transport, he would be more than happy to provide buses to take the prisoners to the sea and drown them there."

Our government has placed demands on Hamas - demanding they accept Israel's right to exist without question. Will our government sit down with Lieberman who lives illegally in the occupied territories while calling for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel proper?  What is there to negotiate - the timetable for the ethnic cleansing?

Every oppressed person desires a witness to hear, see and validate what they are experiencing. Because the oppressors regardless who they are, have learned the skill of not just physically controlling and abusing the victim, but also overpowering them mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. At times the oppression is so deep that the victim can only rage - as he or she is not aware of how to vocalize or put in words the oppression that he or she is experiencing. Oppression has a layer of brainwashing that needs to be understood. Many people judge the oppressed when they rage.

Psychotherapist Elyce M. Benham, M.S., says: "The techniques of brainwashing are simple: isolate the victim, expose them to inconsistent messages, mix with sleep deprivation, add some form of abuse, get the person to doubt what they know and feel, keep them on their toes, wear them down, and stir well."

For years, Palestinians have asked for international observers to come and witness the suffering they are going through. But the Israeli government has successfully isolated the Palestinians from the rest of the world. Journalists and politicians were routinely invited to Israel and exposed mainly to the Israeli narrative.

What was omitted was the Palestinian suffering which can be easily seen and heard if journalists and politicians found the courage to investigate and verify the facts on the ground. Not only has Israel refused journalists in Gaza during the recent bombardment, but it has always refused any UN observers, and kicked out activists who came with a camera to show the world what is going on. 

In January 2007, B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, launched a video advocacy project focusing on the Occupied Territories. B'Tselem provides Palestinians living in high-conflict areas with video cameras, with the goal of bringing the reality of their lives under occupation to the attention of the Israeli and international public, exposing and seeking redress for violations of human rights.

You can visit YouTube and search for the B'Tselem channel to view some of these videos.

This Saturday, April 4, 2009 - Native Americans and Palestinians will unite to address shared experiences of dispossession and genocide of their people in an event titled Parallel Injustice. CAIR National Director Nihad Awad, American Indian Movement leader Clyde Bellecourt, Nick Boswell of Red Indian Dawa, and Marvin Manypenny of The People's Land will be the main speakers. The event will be held at Hoversten Chapel, Augsburg College. The time for the event will be from 11am to 1pm. For further information email parallelinjustice@gmail.com.

Please attend the event this coming Saturday and allow the oppressed a chance to discuss their pain and suffering without judgment.

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