The Zero State One Nation Solution: Terra Nullius

by H. Gibrain

A viable solution which would respect the human rights of all concerned and which would solve the problem of borders and resources, as well as demographics and the right to return for all peoples, Palestinian and otherwise, would be to declare the geographic boundaries defined by the Palestine Mandate as terra nullius – no one’s land.

Since this “disputed” land (annexed and occupied by the UN and Israel and the US and others by proxy) is really the last great colonial product of the British Empire – now perpetuated by the US and the other former colonized British states – let it be the first place on earth where there is no state control based on any discriminatory factor, where no one owns the land and where all people are seen as equal under the moral code of the nation as determined by what could be a stateless nation with a constitution (not defining a government structure, per se, but defining a moral code analogous to the Bill of Rights in the US and other international declarations based on equality, peace, justice, liberty, freedom, truth, dignity, trust and the rest of the virtues.

Such a move will require a great deal of courage from the United Nations organs and member states who are willing to uphold the law through their words and actions, an organized popular resistance from Palestinian civil society – and potentially the PA (as, say, exhibited in Abbas’ speech at the UN (in 2011 I think it might have been), and the international solidarity movement through BDS and other means of non-violent popular struggle.

The UN, in order to overcome the inertia of the security council and other organs that prevent the UN organizations – as an expression of its member states – to carry out its functions as prescribed by international law, the UN will likely need to change the structure since the current structure is not properly carrying out its function. The possibility and effects of a Second UN Charter convention should be seriously contemplated by the General Assembly and other appropriate bodies of the UN. Primarily, a restructuring or elimination of the Security Council, the veto, or how it can be used needs to be evaluated and the creation of some body representing civil society needs to take place – a people’s parliament.

In a Newtonian sense, when there are forces acting on a body creating a certain trajectory, in order to alter that trajectory and get it to go in the direction of an international law and human rights based system, the right actions need to take place from the right forces. In this case, as history has shown, there is no political will or skill from the main stakeholders to change the trajectory, so the Palestinian civil society and the respective civil societies of the world need to learn the principles and practices of non-violent popular struggle – which has shown, historically, to be a much more effective means of conflict transformation. It is not the military might that will win the struggle for legitimacy, it is the struggle for equality and justice from international solidarity with the Palestinians that will usher in a durable peace.

 

 

MSMBS Breaking News: Swiss Knesset passes Direct Engagement Law

Posted on 20th August 2014 in MSMBS, Nonviolence Resistance, Stories

 

The Swiss Parliament passed the “Direct Engagement”  law last week by a near unanimous vote. This new law requires arms manufacturers to train and deploy soldiers, militants, resistance and terrorists to fight with the weapons they sell to foreign governments. It is seen as both a victory for peace workers who believe that a neutral country, as Switzerland, can not maintain neutrality in conflict when it is, in fact one of the largest arms dealers in the world.

 

“How can we provide the means of war and still considered ourselves a neutral country. It is sheer absurdity to have such a belief that we do not engage in direct violence when we provide the world with the most sophisticated weapons on earth,” says Reudi Knopfler, a former parliamentarian from Bern.

 

Ironically, it is also considered a victory by arms manufacturers and the military. Since all men must go into the military, Switzerland’s defensive defense posture still makes it one of the most militarized countries in the world – up there with Germany and Israel.

 

“The very notion that we will be able to fight with and for our comrades in foreign lands, putting our training to good use and, finally, being able to utilize our sophisticated war machinery – which we are most certainly proud of – is a boon to all of our brave young men,” says General Sarmad Rossi one of the bills co-founders.

 

Still, there are many controversial issues surrounding the new law, yet with a majority of neo-nazi and national socialist groups now on the rise in Swiss parliament and the Swiss population at large, currently amounting to around 33% of the Swiss parliament, this sort of militarization was seen as inevitable by the left and more moderate members of parliament and civil society.

 

The new law has some rather peculiar features which are sure to raise red flags in the United Nations as they contradict some basic tenets of international law. However, the new law is crafted such that it treads in a sort of no mans land whereby a nations sovereignty supersedes certain aspects of international law when it comes to corporate personhood and the registration of international corporations on sovereign territory. One of the tenets, for example, forbids arms deals that will land weapons in the hands of children of those nations to where arms are sold. However, the bill allows for the training of Swiss children to go and fight as child soldiers under the flag of other nations since the skirts the issue of illegality of arming children of foreign nations. The first group of Swiss child soldiers is already set to deploy to South Sudan at the end of November after their basic training is complete. Protests in Geneva, Bern, Zurich and Basel were peacefully disrupted with tear gas canisters and rubber coated bullets sending a strong message that fringe elements of society will not control the destiny of a legitimately elected democracy.

 

Another battalion of resistance fighters are training in the alps to fight in Gaza as a result of a long investigation which traced arms sales from Dubai, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the US which finally ended up in the hands of Hamas resistance fighters in Gaza. The new law does not allow for the proxy sales of Swiss weapons to foreign nationals but it does allow for the direct engagement of Swiss civil society in conflicts throughout the world and, thus legitimizes the Swiss battalions intentions to go fight alongside their Palestinian brothers and sisters who would, ultimately, be using their weapons in some sense.

 

Similar regiments of Swiss civilians are in training to go fight US intelligence in Syria and Iraq as well as the Ukraine, Nigeria, Sudan, and other conflict zones around the world that would ultimately see the equivalent of “made in Switzerland” printed on shells and other ordinance dropped and deployed in their countries.

 

Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Holland are considering similar legislation. One Dutch Parliamentarian argues, “it makes complete sense, why should we arm innocents and subject them to the brutality of our governments policies which are completely outside of their purview. We don’t see Palestinians voting in Nederlandischer Parliamentary elections, do we? So we shouldn’t see them being subject to our policies without their voice being heard and to that end I support similar legislation as the Direct Engagement law that Switzerland has pioneered. It puts the middle man back in his rightful place. Let out brave citizens fight for our agenda in foreign lands – the way we used to do it during our proud colonial days.”

MSMBS Breaking News: Israel puts travel ban on domestic and feral animals: Scorpion detained at border, Falcon shot down.

Posted on 3rd August 2014 in Animal Rights, Articles, MSMBS, Stories

In a latest decision by the Israeli Knesset, legislation was passed forbidding anyone born in the Palestinian Territories from entering Israel until they’re done bombing Gaza. While the new legislation does not explicitly prohibit the travel and migration of other than human animals into Israel’s walled off enclave, there have been numerous reports indicating that this legislation does not explicitly not ban cross border travel for other than human animals. Earlier this morning there was an incident reported at the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem in which a Falcon, presumably Palestinian according to the IDF soldier, attempted to fly across the border into Israel.

“While there is no real way of telling if this is a Palestinian Falcon or an Israeli Falcon, we can’t take the risk. It is worth it to sacrifice one of our own for the sake of preventing… well, I’m not really sure but who cares. If it’s Palestinian, it has no right to be in Israel.”

At another less frequented checkpoint where most of the traffic are settlers going in and out of the illegal settlements in and out of Israel proper, a scorpion was detained, questioned and released back in the direction West Bank as it was attempting to cross the checkpoint. The same scorpion, it was presumed, later attempted to cross again and this time was shot by an IDF soldier.

“We will have none of this. This person was detained, questioned and sent back. At the second attempt to cross the border it was immediately considered a security threat and neutralized,” said the IDF soldier who asked to remain anonymous.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed a grave concern for such measures indicating a greater isolation for Israel among the member states to the UN Charter.

“While such measures do indicate that Israel is ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to extending the right of legal personhood to non-human species, we are concerned since these measures seem to be used only as a means to further isolate and discriminate against the indigenous population. However, seeing as we are the UN, based on our current structure we are powerless to do anything against this decision and until the UN has a second charter convention and gets rid of the security council you can expect that Israel will continue to act with impunity… oh, and so will the US, Russia, China, France, the UK and so on.”

Adam Roufberg interviewed by Activist Radio about his experiences in the West Bank and on The Jenin Freedom Bus

Posted on 22nd April 2014 in Interviews, Reflections, Self Determination

Fred Nagel of Activist Radio interviews Adam Roufberg – peace researcher, human rights activist and former radio host at WVKR (RadioActiveLunch), to discuss his experiences in the West Bank and on the Jenin Freedom Theater’s Freedom Ride. [the interview begins at 24:00]

  

Listen to the interview >>

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The Freedom Theatre
The Freedom Bus
Youtube Videos from Nabi Saleh >>
Alrowwad – Beautiful Resistance >>

 

 

 

Wall Vaulting: The New Fad Sport of Nonviolent Popular Resistance in Palestine

by Enchanted Prison Guard

 

There are many forms of non-violent popular resistance – of which there are many types. There is the type in which civil society is simply rebuilding its own identity through the forms. There is the type of direct confrontation between belligerent occupier and the occupied. There is the type in which individuals educate themselves and act with the intention to educate others of the forms and types of non-violent popular resistance. I’m sure there are more. Please send me your thoughts.

Of course, some forms employ a mix of types. Sports for example, no matter where they are played, tend to build relationships of many types, some cooperative, some competitive, some mutually inductive and some mutually restrictive. In any case, so it seems, a new fad sport appears to be evolving in the West Bank of Palestine incorporating a study of the forms and types of Nonviolent Popular Resistance using sport, education, team building, media outreach, and communication with the police and military on both sides which directly engages both occupier and occupied with the intention of having fun and making a point. As you can tell from the title of this piece, pole vaulting the wall/Wall appears to becoming a popular sport in the West Bank of Palestine.

Teams are training in class rooms studying the principles of peaceful beautiful resistance: Gandhi, Sharp, King Jr., Galtung and international law are just a small part of the required reading material for the curriculum. Then of course there is the rigorous training in sport employing a mutually inductive cooperation through competition. These people are strong. Intellectually. Physically. Morally.

People are reaching out to the media to inform the world of who they are and what is their intention. To put it simply, in the words of one of the participants, “simply stated, the wall is not impenetrable. We penetrate it with love… in our hearts and we make it known that we are non-violent and this has a profound effect on any act of physical violence the Israeli Defense Force or Police might take against us. We get arrested. We have lawyers. Some of us spend time in jail. Some of us get tortured. A few of us have been brutally wounded. One of us was killed. We know the risks. We’re Committed. We just turn around and do it again. The word is getting out and it’s making it difficult for the Israeli Army to do anything in terms of physical violence at this point. We have a lot of international support through the media, the internet, and even the Secretary General of the U.N. Has commented in support of our actions.”

The group, of course, calls themselves Palestinian Wall Vaulters for Peace and they work with a group affiliated with security called Fighters for Peace which is comprised of former Palestinian and Israeli combatants who act, essentially as observers and human shields. They also work with “Doctors Beyond Boundaries” for obvious reasons as well as Free Legal Aid, an array of international lawyers working pro bono publico for other obvious reasons.

I am told there is a website in the works. Apparently some one bought the best combinations of domain names when they heard of the group and the group is not yet in a position to purchase any of them (for not so obvious reasons) and is reluctant to choose amongst the list of poor combinations that might be available.

Needless to say, they’re looking for support. They’re not asking for any money. Poles are cheap and the attire is not well defined yet. The wall/Wall is where it is and it is what it is so there are many locations for practice and performance.  The type of support they are looking for is in the form of acknowledgement (if not solidarity with the same forms and types they are engaged with): that they have the inalienable right to self determine, to human rights (at least at its current theory and practice) and to provide for their human needs unimpeded.

At the moment they are asking not to take or expose any pictures since it just makes it easier to be spotted as they usually set up “flying break points” spoofing on the “flying checkpoints” the Israeli Defense Force might set up. “We hope people will come to Palestine and experience our beautiful culture and experience all there is to experience in the West Bank,” says one of the organizers for the group.

Immodest Proposal

Posted on 6th February 2014 in Peace, Reflections, Self Determination

Due to the longevity of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the obvious lack of political will mixed with sheer political ineptitude – on a global scale, really – to properly transform the situation (at least to enforce international law) I’ve come up with a somewhat absurd partial solution towards transforming and transcending the conflict. The idea itself is nothing new – I’m not that creative or knowledgeable about the shituation: the boundaries of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories will be combined into a bi-national state. There are many reasons why this is favorable for Israelis, Palestinians and Peace (the rest of us) and that complex of simple reasons emerges as the answer to the following question: what would a Palestinian state of scattered and segregated lands look like as a result of settlements, the wall, and the harsh economic, political and military sanctions driving the Palestinians into a fragmented and isolated society?

In any case, my level, or style if you will, of creativity is in the naming of this new nation; a new name that will satisfy both cultures: PalIstein/stien. Its construction is obvious taking the first three letters of the word Palestine, the first two letters of Israel, and then changing the “stine” of Palestine into “stein/stien” so that it resonates with the suffix of many Jewish peoples names,  yet the pronunciation could be in dispute as to whether there is a hard “e” vowel sound or a hard “i” vowel sound (which, no doubt, would make Palestinians smile, even though it was at the sacrifice of switching the “e” in the English spelling of their countries name with the “i”, capitalized, from the English spelling of Israel). One country, one name with two pronunciations and still something to fight about.

As one nation, there will be a shared economy, a shared political system, shared roadways, shared schools, and above all and encompassing all, equality as citizens and all of the benefits that come with getting to know and love your neighbor. No doubt it will take a generation or two (or seven) to work things out, but under the current circumstances there is such a limited cultural exchange because of the inability of Palestinians and Israelis to freely move from the OPTs to the NonOPTs as well as the taboo of normalization for Pals to engage with Izzies in any way that legitimizes the regime of inequality. Since the respective and collective governments who are stakeholders in this process have proven incapable of establishing equality this task will have to be accomplished by Israeli and Palestinian civil societies who will, themselves, have to transcend the walls of normalization and the convolution of victim and perpetrator.

In addition to a new name, one other important piece of propaganda is essential to forging a new common narrative: a banner. At first thought it would be interesting to have a two faced flag with the Israeli flag on one side and the Palestinian flag on the other but after some immodest consideration I’m thinking the flag should be  a screen playing pixelated permutations of both flags along with other randomly generated visualizations. Let’s leave it at that.

For now, changing the name and flying the first kaleidobanner is enough. When people get use to seeing and hearing these new implants, civil society will begin to change and, again, in a generation or two when all of the old school dogmaticians die off, peace will begin to flourish. Let freedom reign. Pass the felafel, please.