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Joel Kovel, Presente!

Published on: May 5, 2018

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Reported on Democracy Now! headline news, on May 1, 2018:

[I]n New York City, antiwar activist, author and professor Joel Kovel has died at the age of 81. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kovel was a well-known psychiatrist who left the Albert Einstein Medical School out of his opposition to the corporate influence over medicine. He became a prolific writer and scholar, who was also active in the movements against the Vietnam War and nuclear proliferation. He was the author of more than 10 books about systemic racism, ecology and global warming and other topics. Kovel went on to run for the U.S. Senate in New York with the Green Party in 1998. He also ran for U.S. president against Ralph Nader in the Green Party primary in 2000. This is Joel Kovel, speaking on Democracy Now! in 2007 after his book “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine” was temporarily dropped by the University of Michigan, after it caused a controversy.

Joel Kovel: “And I feel that the notion of Zionism, as that there is this kind of destiny of the Jewish people to have their own state, is just a wrong idea. And it’s an idea that requires signing on to imperialism. It means signing on to ethnic cleansing. It means—despite everything that has been said about it, it means basically becoming a racist situation, where you’re oppressing an indigenous population and depriving them of their right to existence, and then thinking that somehow you can go ahead and have a decent life on that basis. And you can’t, in my view. And I join hands with those people who feel that the time has come to basically think of Israel in the same category as South Africa, as a state that just has gone wrong and needs replacement.”

That’s author, scholar and activist Joel Kovel, speaking on Democracy Now! He died Monday in New York City at the age of 81.

One Response to Joel Kovel, Presente!

  1. Mike 71 says:

    Like Vietnam, Israel was a nation born through “armed struggle.” Under the 1954 Geneva Agreement, Vietnam was to be reunited following 1956 elections, which were blocked by John Foster Dulles, thus being temporarily partitioned into two states. In contrast, under the terms of UNGAR 181, providing for two states, “one Arab and one Jewish,” Israel was to be one of two states, but by virtue of prevailing in many “defensive wars of necessity,” became a single state. The Vietnamese won independence following “The French War,” through victory at Diem Bien Phu on. May 7, 1954, while Israel won its independence in the 1948-49 “War of Independence.” Vietnam was unified following “The American War,” with the fall of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) on April 30, 1975. Israel ensured its independence through victory following the June 5-10, 1967 “Six Day War.”

    Despite numerous attempts to negotiate a “two-state” solution, as prescribed by the U.N., both the P.L.O. and Hamas rejected numerous out offers from 1967 to the present. Following the 1967 war, they adopted the infamous “Three No’s (No negotiation, recognition, or peace with Israel)” of the Khartoum Conference, thus acquiescing in the so-called “occupation” of disputed land. Israel twice offered a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, which was rejected by Yasser Arafat in 2000 and Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, thus forfeiting all rights to any part of the city. In 2008-09, 2012 and 2014, Israel prevailed in Hamas initiated “wars of aggression,” costing Gaza increasing casualties and destruction.

    Israel continues to assert its “inherent right to individual or collective self-defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Under International Law, as the victorious belligerent of the 1967 “Six Day War,” Israel may retain captured land until possession is modified by peace treaty. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uti_possidetis (Latin: As you possess, you may continue to possess)

    For Israel, as much as for Vietnam, in the words of Ho Chi Minh: “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom!”

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