Sunday, July 15, 2018

The arc of the moral universe

GUEST: Mazin Qumsiyeh, Director of the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability, professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, and author of several books including "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment," talks about his trip to the U.S. and how the illegal occupation will end.

Mazin gave me this interview before he did a book signing in Saugerties, NY. It is not the first time that Mazin has been a guest on Activist Radio. A friend of Joel Kovel, Mazin has visited the Hudson Valley before.

I don't always know how to interview Palestinians. There is my guilt for being a citizen of the country most responsible for the suffering of his people. And the news is always bad, Palestinians being beaten, shot or imprisoned. It is never my family in the crosshairs of some sniper's rifle. It is never my house that is being destroyed.

My questions always seem to focus on Palestinian suffering. In fact, my interviews are designed to do just that. It is only when millions of Americans have learned to acknowledge and reject the apartheid state of Israel that it will change. We are the supplier of bullets, the protector at the UN, and the funder of its state racism.

Mazin talks freely about the injustices inflicted on his people. He is sorrowful, and yet looks at the longer picture. Unless Israel commits the genocide of five million people, the Palestinians are there to stay. Like many indigenous peoples, they are masters of resistance, even in the face of overwhelming military superiority. One day, two peoples will inhabit the Holy Land, and as God's children they will be loved and cherished equally.

Like Martin Luther King, Mazin believes in the arc of the moral universe.

Monday, July 9, 2018

When the people lose faith in democracy

Guest: Steve Greenfield, long time activist, member of the New Paltz Fire Department, and Green Party Congressional Candidate for the NY-19th District, talks about running an intellectually honest campaign, one without any corporate funding.

Hudson Valley Green Party

Steve Greenfield For Congress NY-19

In the era of Trump, we need to be reminded of just how dysfunctional the two party system is.

Suddenly Donald appeared as president, a repulsive con man in place of the admirable statesmen who went before him. Or so the liberal media would have it.

It is a tidy analysis; all that is needed to right the ship of state is to vote for Democrats. Easy enough, but like most simple answers to complex questions, it is dead wrong.

We have had two bright, educated and throughly corrupt Democratic presidents who made a lot of rosy promises to America's workers, but delivered all the goods to the corporations. Clinton and Obama were true neoliberals, deregulating whole industries while privatizing any services the government could possibly give to the poor and middle class. Wages stagnated for 30 years while the wealthy became so filthy rich that they were able to buy both Congress and the White House.

Trump is the culmination of neoliberal policies, the election of a demagogue when enough people get enraged at a corrupted political system. We see this happening in the rest of the world: in Italy, Austria, Poland, and in the province of Ontario. And the right wing extremists are knocking on the door in many other developed countries, peddling a brand of racism, nationalism, militarism and right wing ideology.

So does unfettered capitalism bring about such anger that people eventually lose faith in democracy and turn towards a Trump? And how easy is it to turn back once the fascists are in control? These are questions that neither party wants Americans to think about.

What was being done in their name

Guest: Andrew Courtney, a New York based artist, teacher and activist who specializes in social justice event photography, and whose works have been exhibited in international, national and local gallery venues, talks about his most recent photography in Palestine.Sumoud - Steadfast Palestine

Andrew's stories are as engaging as his pictures. Here is Palestine off the beaten track. The occupation and the oppression lurk just below the surface, to remind the viewer that the people and culture they are viewing are destined to be destroyed by a US backed colonialism.

There is beauty and heartbreak, the real story that is always left out of our Zionist dominated media and political process. Most Americans would not put up with the slow genocide of the Palestinian People if they knew what was being done in their name.