Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
The twisted response in Washington to the surge of detentions of migrant children comes down to this: Deport them or deport them faster.
… The detainees transported to Murrieta had attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande region of Southeast Texas. Most were migrants who had traveled for months from Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
And most were children. They thus became a visible face for a trend that emerged into the headlines in the past month—a dramatic increase of unaccompanied children detained by immigration authorities, totaling 57,000 since last October.
To the anti-immigrant protesters, the detainees, no matter what their age, were criminals who should be deported as soon as possible. One of the demonstrators held a sign reading: “Send them back with birth control.”
A counter-protest of pro-immigrant supporters also came to show their solidarity with the victims of a system that forces them to make a terrible choice: continue living with violence and poverty, cut off from family members who have already fled—or face the deadly risks of going to the U.S. The popular Mexican-American singer Lupillo Rivera was among those immigrant supporters—he was spit on in the face by a racist protester.
… FOR ITS part, the Obama White House called on Congress to approve $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the crisis. Administration officials insist much of the money will be used to care for the children in detention, now and in the future, and Barack Obama criticized Republicans opposed to the proposal for their callous attitude toward the migrants.
But make no mistake: The emergency legislation is designed to speed up the deportation of children and adults alike, from extra funds for the Border Patrol to the appointment of more immigration judges to speed up proceedings against detainees. This is more of the same from a president who promised, as a presidential candidate, to seek justice for immigrants, but has carried out more deportations than any of his predecessors.
As usual, the supposed “champions of immigrants” among the Democrats defended the Deporter-in-Chief. In a press conference in Chicago, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin declared, “We don’t want any harm to come to these children. We want history to judge America as a country that cares and a country that did its best facing a humanitarian crisis.”
But Obama’s proposal to speed up deportation proceedings will assure that harm will come to them. Like Obama, Durbin—a co-sponsor of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, the last attempt at passing “immigration reform”—is simply pointing the finger at Republicans and saying, “I’m not them.”
what an utter piece of shit …
President Obama petitioned Congress last week to grant him the authority to deport thousands of unaccompanied migrant children who crossed into the United States from Central America.
The Obama administration is asking Congress to approve $2 billion in emergency appropriations for increased border security to prevent more children from crossing into the U.S. through the Southwest border, according to The Los Angeles Times.The influx of unaccompanied migrant children are overflowing immigrant detention facilities, forcing border patrol agents to send the children to centers in California and Oklahoma.
I sent this note to the White House, just now, please send your own…
Dear President Obama
I am shocked to learn from this evening’s NBC News broadcast the United States will return refugee children to Central America.
These children have risked everything to escape certain death. Their bravery and hope exceed easy description. Who sends innocent children to suffer gang violence? Have the promises of freedom and Christian lovingkindness finally been abandoned by America?
Mr. President I urge you to stand for human rights and for compassion and turn back from enacting this shameful plan.
Professor Stephen A. Kuusisto
Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies
Syracuse, NY 13244
The above is shared with permission from its author.
The full measure of justice, upon which the hopes of all humanity depend, requires no less.
Jewish activists, authors, scholars and supporters of Palestinian liberation expressed their support for this essential right in a statement issued New Year’s Day.
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Max Ajl, Writer and activist; Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
The incongruity of it seemed to be nothing short of a betrayal. After lightheartedly dancing his way into the hearts of Americans and gaining entrance to the inner sanctum of their cherished cult of celebrity, the Korean rapper, Psy, whose song “Gangam Style” became the most watched video in the history of YouTube and made him a pop culture sensation, has been revealed to have a politically active past which places him directly at odds with the American mainstream worldview and which violently decries its most basic articles of faith.
The man whom they enjoyed as an unthreatening, comically light-hearted foreigner dancing for their enjoyment was revealed to have only years earlier been a vociferous public critic of American policies and the country’s role in the world.
In a 2004 performance, the rapper famous for his “invisible horse dance” denounced the United States in a song called “Hey American”:
"Kill those f—-ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives
Kill those f—-ing Yankees who ordered them to torture
Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers
Kill them all slowly and painfully”
For an American public conditioned to the type of unquestionable worship of the military embodied in the phrase “Support the Troops”, Psy’s words represent nothing less than sacrilege. This song however was not his only offence.
In a previous performance, he had come on stage to protest the presence of 37,000 US troops in South Korea and smashed a miniature American tank in protest over the killing of two South Korean schoolgirls by American forces stationed in the country.
As it turned out, the Asian pop-star whom Americans had enthusiastically embraced, arguably the first entertainer to bridge the continental divide so successfully, brought with him not just a culturally unique style of song and dance, but also a worldview which is threateningly alien to most Americans.
If even an innocuous pop singer from a country perceived as benign could espouse views the typical American would attribute to menacing terrorists such as al-Qaeda, it begs serious questions about the pervasiveness of global anti-Americanism as well as to what informs it.
A legacy of violence
While the stories of American brutality in places such as Korea are unknown or ignored by the overwhelming majority of Americans, they are less quickly forgotten by the citizens of the countries which have suffered and continue to suffer horrific atrocities at the hands of US troops.
During the Korean War, American troops were believed to have been responsible for hundreds of instances of mass-killings of civilians, including the infamous No Gun Ri massacre in which members of the US 7th Cavalry Regiment massacred hundreds of Korean civilians under a railway underpass over the course of three days.
A 2009 investigative film revisiting the massacre documented the words of one Korean survivor who recalled how US troops had indiscriminately murdered men, women and children:
"Children were screaming in fear and the adults were praying for their lives… they never stopped shooting."
Another Korean War survivor described the common American tactic of firebombing villages with napalm in a scorched-earth campaign which killed countless civilians:
"When the napalm hit our village, many people were still sleeping in their homes…. Those who survived the flames ran…. We were trying to show the American pilots that we were civilians. But they strafed us, women and children."
The wanton disregard to Korean lives during America’s global campaign against Communism continues to extend to the present day in the form of rape and murder directed towards Korean civilians by US soldiers stationed at bases throughout the country.
In one 2011 incident, emblematic of long-documented practices by US troops in the country, a 21-year-old soldier, Kevin Flippin, broke into a Korean woman’s hotel room and raped and tortured her for several hours before robbing her of the equivalent of roughly US $5 and fleeing back to his base.
Sexual violence and murder has been a recurrent theme throughout the decades of American military presence in Korea and reflects longstanding behaviour in countless other countries across the world subject to US military basing and occupation.
… For Americans who are commonly feted with reassurances of their country’s benevolent role in the world, it may come as a surprise that half of all refugees on the planet today are running from American wars.
The wanton, industrial-scale violence, which the US has unleashed upon the civilians of countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia has naturally generated a tidal wave of negative feeling within these countries which many Americans utterly fail to grasp.
America’s wars are forcing Afghans and Iraqis to flee their homes in greater numbers. According to a recent U.N. High Commission for Refugees study, nearly one half of the world’s refugees are from Afghanistan and Iraq, 3.05 million and 1.68 million, respectively. But neither the United States nor much of the developed world bears the burden of the 10.55 million refugees under the UNHCR’s purview globally. Instead, Pakistan, Iran, and Syria serve as the top host countries.
U.S. imperialism casts human beings to the wind like so much dust. More than earthquakes, tsunamis, or civil wars, nothing wreaks havoc on the lives of so many people around the world as does the U.S. war machine.
With the protests on the anniversary of the Nakba—or catastrophe, as Palestinians refer to the 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign that established Israel on their land—plus plans for solidarity action in June, the Arab Spring has clearly spread to Palestine. Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian activist and author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights, talked with Eric Ruder about what the future holds.