Jun 17, 2012

Saud and Susya

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Nayef Al-Saud died at age 78.  Nayef was the Interior Minister known for his "efficient" crackdown on dissent and thus was praised by US administrators for dealing with "terrorism" (the same administrators who tortured and "rendered" subjects to be tortured).  I will briefly write information that maybe new to some you about this ruling family.  The founder of this kingdom was his father AbdulAziz Al- Saud (1876-1953) whose family made income by raids especially on the area of the Rashid clan who ruled much of the Arabian Peninsula then under the Ottoman Empire.  AbdulAziz consolidated his rule with British arms via wars against other ruling families and not just Al-Rashid but Al-Hashemites (also installed by the British to rule part of Arabia).   He established a western-leaning "kingdom" and named it after his family "Saudi Arabia". He married over 20 wives and had 37 children.  Today's succession of elderly men ruling Saudi Arabia were/are his children: Saud, Faisal (assassinated), Khalid, Fahd, and now 87-year old Abdullah. There are 7000 members of the "Royal Family" and they do not get along with each other and many are decent human beings.  Yet, much of the people's wealth is in the hands of elite few deposited in Western Banks profiting Zionists. Over $1 billion oil revenue flows in EVERY DAY. Another source of income for the kingdom is from millions of pilgrims flocking to Mecca and Medina for the Haj.  The trillions gathered could have made every citizen of the kingdom comfortably rich but there are over 20% unemployment and the disparity between rich and poor is one of the highest in the world. This Arab wealth could have helped develop sustainable economy in an integrated Arab world.  The Arab world, rich in natural resources and educated and talented people could have become far more advanced than Europe or the US. Instead, we remain mired in feudalism, tribalism, paternalism, factionalism, sexism, consumerism, autocracy, and excessive religiosity (promoted by rulers to keep people down).

The Ottoman Sultan AbdulHamid was forced to relinquish power because he refused to acquiesce to the Zionist project in Palestine.  By contrast, the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, wrote with his own hand in 1915: " I the Sultan Abdel Aziz Bin Abdel Alrahman Al-Faysal Al-Saud decide and acknowledge a thousand times to Sir Percy Cox representative of Great Britain that I have no objection to give Palestine to the poor Jews or to others as seen [fit] by Great Britain that I would not go outside [disobey] its opinion until the hour of calling [end of the world]." (See Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance in Palestine", Pluto Press 2011).  So while the kingdom's population grew, its riches continued to pass through the hands of people like these, individuals who routinely violate human rights, supported by Britain and now the USA.

Two days ago I was in Susya in the South of the West Bank.  Here Zionist European Ashkenazi established a colony and discovered an old Canaanite temple which they claim falsely to be connected to them.  Here they have demolished homes of native Palestinians (the real inheritors of these ancient civilizations).  Here settlers routinely attack Palestinians (see video below). Here good people helped build solar panels to give electricity to a community that Israel refuses to allow them to connect to an existing grid.  Here also is where last week Israeli authorities gave demolition orders that will make over 300 men, women, and children homeless.  Here also is a place where an elderly resident tells me that some Palestinians profit by capitulating on their miseries and.  Whether it is Palestinians or it is members of the Al-Saud family, all give us lessons in human frailty and humanity.  I did write my email last week on optimism and as the late Khalil Gibran stated: "The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose." Come to think of it in a hundred years who will be more remembered: dead kings and crown-princes or people like Khalil Gibran? Will it be the resident of Susya who stuck-it out and resisted or his brother who now live comfortably in Yatta while settler cultivate his land? Will it be a Palestinian who takes money from internationals for his pocket or one who is on a hunger strike in an Israeli jail?

We can say a kind word to real friends and to strangers in need.  We can do a gesture or a smile to help someone who is down. We can teach.  We can sing.  We can rebel. We can simply live in dignity even if we are dirt poor.  So I take this moment to thank you all: the activists who care about justice and human rights, the artists, the teachers, the peasants, the workers, and all those who maintain their humanity and do not sell out their souls. You are principled and will not compromise your integrity.  That is why our late friend Vittorio ended his emails with the admonition "Stay Human". May we all stay human. And may those who have sold their souls for a fistful of silver coins reclaim their humanity.  It is never too late.  I even have a dream that the next "king" of "Saudi Arabia" will be someone who uses his existing powers to remove that power and transfer it in an orderly way to the people and thus gains a perpetual place in history. I have a dream that Barack Obama or his successor will finally show some backbone and do a similar thing in America (challenging the Israel lobby). 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSDC_xUtf8o (colonial settlers attack an elderly couple)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPYmp9iIaQ4 (settlers attack farmers harvesting olives)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG6uU4ZYvHc (Settlers training their children to be thugs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIf_vdzcup4 (renewable energy project)

Sobering video of what's at Stake:  Total US debt is not just $14.8 trillion, but $61 trillion (including social security obligation that is off the balance sheet and only disclosed in the footnotes of US government's financial statements as of the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.)  Every US citizens and taxpaying US residents should take 10 minutes to watch this Video made by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and find more time to read the resources cited in the video, and get involved to change the direction the US is heading.  http://www.aicpa.org/Advocacy/Pages/CPAsInsight.aspx
(of course much of this debt is due to lavish funding for Israel and countless wars done at the behest of the Israel lobby including the $3 trillion Iraq war; watch for Iran now! The wonderful hard working Americans I met when I lived there do not deserve this)

Nurit Peled-Elhanan’s moving reflections on the occupation’s 45th birthday

State Dep’t official’s ‘Are you Jewish?’ question to US citizen keeps rattling Foggy Bottom

Supporter of human rights, Israeli Andrey Pshenichnikov moved to one of our refugee camps near Bethlehem, and asked for Palestinian citizenship. So "Israel detains ex-IDF soldier [and] accused [him] of ties to Palestinian terror group"

Action: Send TIAA-CREF’s Senior Vice President a note to let him know you are watching and you expect public—not backroom—engagement with companies, like Caterpillar, profiting from Israel's occupation.

Israel: Jesus was not born in Palestine!

Freedom bus upcoming events in Palestine

For interest-nonpolitical: Why is 'x' the unknown? By Terry Moore

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