orientalism: still swingin’ the sword

So, when the sword of Constantine began a swingin’, you could say that all the alternative visions, the heretical variations of Christianity, the Gnostics, Desert Hermits etc. all got the boot and we got the Church. At the other end, Mohammed, and the Koran appears to be quite transparent about this, was not walking around with doves and palm leaves. He was definitely a man of war, a militarist and showed a certain flair for conquest in crushing the Arabian Jews and defeating Arab pagans. After his death, the Caliphs did not miss a beat and went on conquering, pillaging looting and accumulating harem material. That is,  Islam and Christianity won by the sword, then started confronting with one another: Crusades,  Spain, North Africa,  Afghanistan; the Sam Huntington Clash of Civilizations. The idea of peace, making money and general welfare is something of a foreign concept hitherto off the radar.

---FACT! Since the signing of the Oslo 'peace' Agreement between Israed the P.L.O. ... 1,471 Jews have been murdered in bus bombings, shooting, stonings and other nefarious acts of Arab terror...while thousands of others have sustained severe injuries, many of whom remain hospitalized! FACT! MANY ARAB TERRORIST KILLERS OF THESE INNOCENT JEWISH MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE FREE, AND ARE NOW ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN RENEWED TERRORIST ACTIVITY AGAINST ISRAELIS UNDER THE "NEW LEADERSHIP" OF PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), A DEVOTED ARAFAT DISCIPLE.'- a blatant violation of the Oslo Agreement which obligates the 'palestinian authority' to extradite the murderers for trial in Israel.--- Read More:http://www.victimsofarabterror.com/facts.htm image:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/02/04/todays-letters-do-our-gun-laws-conflict-with-our-right-to-self-defence/

For the Palestinians, The present is  grim, and the future outlook is presupposed to be even worse. There is an ingrained fatalism and an absent and sweetly nostalgic past, romanticized which is wonderful. And in retrospect they is a valid point. But we live in the present, and in this world lived in the present a Palestinian revolution, an antifada, brings a sweetness that seemed to yearn and recall to the past, one which is far and  absent but guided by adjectives like  quixotic, fragile,  heroic, romantic,  smart.Its a poetic discourse that is not linear neither subject to the pressures of progress. Opposite to a West that communicates in figures. For many Palestinians, White America and Israel are remote,  demonic spheres, and their is a belief that Israel’s mastery of the language of war and use of a poetics of propaganda is  more sophisticated and even seductive to the West- partly through the fabrication of a essentially fictional Judeo-Christian heritage- than the legitimate injustices the Palestinian movement can marshall in its favor.

---Argentina's President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, said her country intends to spearhead the increased involvement of Latin American states in the Mideast peace process. Kirchner announced the decision over the weekend at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, where she met an Israeli-Palestinian delegation of the Peace NGO Forum. The delegation included Dr. Ron Pundak, the former director of the Peres Peace Center, Dr. Meir Margalit, Jerusalem city council member (Meretz), Nancy Sadiq, CEO of the Panorama organization in Ramallah, and Saman Khoury, co-chairman of the Forum. The delegation asked Kirchner to assist in renewing Israeli-Palestinian talks in order to achieve a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines. Khoury warned that if negotiations are not resumed the region could fall into a crisis with serious global ramifications. Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/argentine-president-calls-for-regional-involvement-in-israeli-palestinian-conflict-1.412332

In the Middle East of course, its pretty obvious that religious fundamentalism tends to undermine the religious institutions that spawned them and guarded their formation. Perhaps in an Oedipal complex, but a standard axiom is that every institution, which could include capitalism, democracy, the fragile civilization we have, all tend to perish through an excess of their own basic principles. In a sense, this idea of a permanent revolution, Leo Strauss and Trotsky excluded, does permit openings for new formerly disavowed or repressed movements to form and take hold, beginning a new cycle. Hopefully this NGO mission to Argentina with the hope of turning swords in ploughshares or perhaps e-readers will spark some reflection.

---Reading through the 3,000-year chronology presented in Simon Sebag Montefiore’s newly published Jerusalem: The Biography, one finds scarcely a century in which some substantial portion of the city’s population was not burned alive or crucified. During one 20-year stretch of Macedonian dominance in the 4th century AD, Jerusalem changed hands six times. In at least one case — Hadrian’s genocidal annihilation of the Jews following the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-136 AD — the scale of the slaughter approached that of modern industrial genocides. ...When besieged, the city often was bloated with pilgrims and festival-goers, who fell into butchery, cannibalism and derangement before the walls even had been breached. As Titus prepared to destroy the city in 70 AD with his four Roman legions, the historian Josephus described Jerusalem as “a wild beast gone mad which, for want of food, fell now upon eating its own flesh.” In a prefiguring of Auschwitz, surviving Jerusalemites were collected in concentration camps by Titus’ men and filtered out, the strong from the weak. “The young and the handsome were sold as slaves, chosen to be killed fighting lions in the circus,” Montefiore writes. Thousands of Jews died this way, fighting animals and each other to the death.--- Read More:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/02/12/3000-years-of-mass-murder-jerusalems-bloody-history-and-how-it-shaped-us-all/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter


Jonathan Kay:Judaism, Christianity and Islam also are united by the belief that Jerusalem is a portal to the “last days” originally foretold in the Book of Isaiah, a theme seized on by Jesus and his followers as the core of their Apocalyptic sect. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Israel’s ultra-orthodox Jews, and America’s fervent Christian Zionists all share an underlying belief that their mission on earth somehow involves laying the groundwork for supernatural events that will be centered on a few dozen acres in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Will Jerusalem witness yet another epic massacre in our lifetimes? Or has humanity learned anything since the days of Babylonians and Hittites?

Consider this: In June, 1967, when Israeli troops took Jerusalem’s Old City, the chief chaplain of the Israeli army urged his commanders to accelerate the arrival of the Messiah “by dynamiting the mosques on the Temple Mount.” It was a move that Titus, Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus all would have regarded as perfectly rational — expected, even. But IDF Jerusalem commander Uzi Narkiss immediately rejected the idea. In historical terms, the Israeli capture of Jerusalem ranks as one of the most bloodless power-shifts in the city’s history.

Progress? Definitely. A precedent for Ahmadinejad and Jerusalem’s other would-be conquerors? That’s more doubtful. Read More:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/02/12/3000-years-of-mass-murder-jerusalems-bloody-history-and-how-it-shaped-us-all/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem continue to face an increased threat of home-demolition and forced eviction. The neighbourhood of Silwan, located to the south of the old city of Jerusalem, and with a population of over 50,000 Palestinians, is at particular risk. The city municipality, whose unilaterally drawn borders were established by I

l in 1967 when East Jerusalem was illegally annexed, plans to demolish 88 Palestinian homes in al-Bustan area in the centre of Silwan (see map below) to make way for the development of a so-called archeological park, known as King David’s Garden. If the plan goes forward, more than 1,500 Palestinians will be left homeless and forcibly transferred.

The original plan for the demolition of al-Bustan area was drafted in 2002. Two years later, a collective demolition order was issued to the residents along with an order to confiscate their lands for the proposed park. In protest of the plans, the residents of Silwan set up a tent in the centre of the neighbourhood and organised al-Bustan committee to engage the services of lawyers to file a case against the city municipality in Israeli courts.Read More:http://www.alhaq.org/documentation/weekly-focuses/526-88-palestinian-houses-to-be-demolished-for-israeli-park
William Haver:Concomitantly, the violence of existence in its positivity is never to be conflated with institutionalized brutality: should the Palestinians or the Panthers ever have a territory or state, Genet will no longer be there. In a short essay that first appeared in Le Monde in 1977, and which occasioned a major furor in the press, Genet supported the actions of the RAF precisely as a creative violence that sought the destruction of state brutality . Not unlike Georges Sorel, Frantz Fanon, and others before him, Genet saw the positivity of violence to belong to the practical constitution of being, in the affirmation that is potentia rather than the affirmation of potestas; that is, in existence as the actualization of a possibility that did not exist before its actualization, and which does not survive the happening of that actualization, rather than in the brutality of institutionalized power. For Genet, the affirmation of violence as the actualized potential of existence depends not only upon its non- or para-instrumentality, but upon what one might call its »immediate finitude,« that fact that survival, continuity, institution, conservation, preservation, and salvation are quite beside the point.

Genet wrote: You have to understand that the people you call terrorists know without needing to be told that they, their persons and their ideas, will only be brief flashes against a world wrapped up in its own smartness. Saint-Just was dazzling, and knew his own brightness. The Black Panthers knew their own brilliance, and that they would disappear. Baader and his friends heralded the death of the Shah of Iran. And the fedayeen, too, are tracer bullets, knowing their traces vanish in the twinkling of an eye. I mention these truncated lives because I see in them a joy I think I also see in the final rush of Nasser’s funeral, in the ever more complicated and lively transports of the hands that drummed on the coffins, in the almost joyful passage in the ›Kyrie‹ of Mozart’s Requiem.

The only possibility for existence is, as Genet quoted an old Palestinian woman, “»to have been dangerous for a thousandth of a second. Read More:http://them.polylog.org/5/fhw-en.htm

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