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Can Arabs do the MLK thing, and start marching?

By: Debbie Menon

Debbie Menon

"Will things ever change?"  A typical Arab question.

The kind asked by those predestinationists who believe in preordination, who thank God or a god for all that went well, and take refuge in absolving themselves from blame for anything which did not. Few on this planet inherited oil fields from God!  Arabs and Muslims did!  Look what they have done with all of this power! As has been said so many times by so many pundits. I have written about it, in terms of oil - "Curse or Blessing?"  "Life is what you make of it." God provides... but Man decides!  Our track record is not very good!

I do not believe in destiny, or pre-destination.  "Inshallah,"  "si Dios quiere,"  "as God wills," are all cop-outs used by ignorant, weak people to absolve themselves from the ravages of their own ignorance and incompetence, deny accountability, and blame someone else!  

Those whom God or whoever has blessed or cursed with oil have done very little to make His gift a blessing, except to indulge themselves and act like bickering street gangs from different 'hoods, cruising about and conducting drive-by shootings from diamond studded Mercedes!  It is sickening to read about the dichotomy and disorganization among these petty squabbling little princely states with their petty egos and soiled manners, while their subjects are being murdered everyday in a deadly blitz, in broad daylight by the occupiers of their lands.

The Jews in the diaspora did not have much to work with, but, they have learned to use it well, and in concert with each other. And, they are raping the rest of the world!

In this context, nothing will change.

Nothing will change, that is, until someone does something different which changes it. The Israelis change their strategy?  Hardly likely, I would think.

The Palestinians change or do something different?  The Arab "Leaders"? The UN?  The US?  The EU?  God?

Well, someone?  Who?

The same people have been asking the same question for a long time now.  Perhaps they should ask who is going to make the first step toward change, or get off their duffs and take it instead of waiting for fates, destiny, or "Someone Else" to take charge and do it?

How many have to die before..... ?

How many times must we ask how many have to die before...?


It's time for Arabs and Muslims to move beyond complaints and acquire a genuine clout.  

  1. Why do other countries not use the General Assembly's "Uniting for Peace" approach to circumvent the US veto on the Security Council and take action in Palestine? Really straightforward: a total embargo on Israel itself, and then on any countries that trade with Israel. How long would the staggering US economy make it without imports and technical support from China and India, for instance? 

  2. No sacrifice of troops needed just no trade. It could these writers suggest:


Want to End the Violence in Gaza? Boycott Israel. By Naomi Klein
Hit them in their pocket books!

For Boycott to Be Effective, an International Coalition Is Indispensable. By Ramzy Baroud

It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody and merciless occupation of Palestinian lands is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa."

In the USA, it's illegal to boycott Israel. See the following government website: complianc...tcompliance.htm

The law prohibits anyone in government from informing you of the ownership and organization of Israeli companies and products.  How can you ensure that you are in compliance with this law if the Bureau of Commerce will not send you a list of which companies and products you deal with are Israeli, so that you can make sure you are in compliance?

Government of the people, by the people, and for the people (the Israeli business people).

An equity in Law observation:

I wonder what would happen if you went down to the KLCC and sat in front of the Marx & Spencer Emporium with your little Boycott Israel sign?

When a complete list is compiled, I suspect a great many people are going to be shocked and surprised at how much of the world in which they shop is owned, managed, and profitable to Israeli/Jewish interests.  They will find it inconvenient, if not downright difficult; to feed, clothe and house their families, or to borrow the money with which they do all of this.

The first small step to achieving this goal would be to first get 'the List' and start publishing it and circulating it. Some European countries and Malaysia have already spearheaded campaigns to boycott Israeli products by canceling orders and stopping shipments until Israel ceases its murderous expansionist policy towards Palestine.
"Apartheid government was an exclusively South African endeavor, made resonantly and repeatedly by the African National Council (ANC)" says Baroud.   True!  The ANC was not formed overnight; So about time, get the Palestinian Youth onboard and backed by the various resistance movements in Palestine and in exile, and form a coalition of the willing. If nothing else atleast make the "Resistance" pleasantly visible, the masks and the rifles notwithstanding.  The message communicated to the international community should be a clear, simple, united and persuasive one:

"An end to Apartheid"
Baroud correctly laments, "The wait has been too long and arduous.  To achieve this, one must not dwell on specifics ( the debate of one vs. two states, armed struggle vs passive resistance, Hamas vs Fatah, are cases in point.) but search for unifying themes... The conflict in Palestine is at a very critical juncture. Israel, brazenly aided by the two remaining imperialist forces, the US and the UK, is in the final stages of crafting its Bantustanization of the disconnected pockets that remain of historic Palestine. Martin Luther King Jr. once said 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'."  

MLK also did most of his talkin' whilst a' walkin'.  As long as it is allowed to remain in the debate stage. We have a good chance of winning a debate. This is more than a debate; at least that is what Baroud and other writers seem to be saying.  So, if it is a battle, then let's do the MLK thing, and let's start marching.  Lets get 'the list' out, unify and start publishing it.

And at the political level, only a determined Resistance Movement like Hamas can solve the Palestinian question.  The PA should be dismantled, Hamas must take over West Bank, reconstitute the PLO where there are still some honest nationalists left, declare Independence, and seek immediate admission to the UN.  They should organize their rank around the principles of resistance, not necessarily as a violent concept, but as the only reasonable retort.

Colonialism can only be resisted; If the price that Israel has to pay for its occupation and colonialism is not higher than that of its many benefits, and as long as the sources of power that feed that colonial project are not confronted, and stopped: we shall gather here years from now, reiterating the exact same points, offering more or less a similar analysis and bemoaning the exact same grievances.

There are two sides to every coin.  Might is not always right, but it is easier to side with the mighty! Cowards and lackeys usually do so!
(Debbie Menon is an independent writer based in Dubai.  She can be reached at:

... Payvand News - 01/19/09 ... --

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