Full Moon Fever

Sublime Reflections

Imagine: Lennon’s Response To McCartney’s ‘Friendship First’ Concert In Israel

By Eileen Fleming*, 01 September, 2008 Countercurrents.org

Four decades ago, Israel banned The Beatles fearing their revolutionary message of love and peace would corrupt their youth.

On September 25, 2008, Sir Paul McCartney will perform his ‘Friendship First’ concert in Tel Aviv for $4.3 million and is being promoted as one of “music’s most revered stars” and a holder of “the key principals of friendship – loyalty and respect.”

As I wondered what Lennon might have said to his old mate in regards to making money from an apartheid state, I reminisced to REVOLUTION

The Beatles – Revolution

You say you want a revolution? Well, you know we all want to change the world, but when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out; when you [take] money [from] people with minds that hate, all I can tell you brother is:

No Way! Haven’t you seen The Wall of Hate?

Haven’t you heard The Word from The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel/PACBI that urged you to just say no to Israel, because its creation 60 years ago dispossessed and uprooted over 700,000 indigenous Palestinians from their homes and lands, condemning them to live like a refugee in exile and destitution.

Israel at 60 is still denying Palestinian refugees their inalienable human rights and UN-sanctioned rights, because they are “non-Jews.”

The world allows Israel to illegally occupy Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. Israel persistently defies international law and denies fundamental human rights with impunity! US and European economic, diplomatic and political support collude and treat Palestinian citizens with institutionalized discrimination.

Israel has been “committing horrific war crimes in the occupied Gaza Strip, where its illegal and immoral policy of collective punishment — through a hermetic military siege and an almost complete blockage of fuel, electric power, and even food and medicine — is pushing 1.5 million Palestinian civilians to the brink of starvation. Without electricity, incubators are shutting down; hospitals are fast coming to a standstill; water is not being properly purified nor separated from raw sewage; whatever is left from the local economy is undergoing a meltdown; and the most vulnerable sectors of the population, the children, the elderly, and the acutely ill, are languishing under unspeakable hardships.” [1]

Israel’s wanton killings of civilians, demolition of homes and property, uprooting of more than a million fruit bearing trees, incessant theft of land and water resources, denial of freedom of movement to millions, dividing indigenous Palestinian’s into Bantustans caged by walls, fences and hundreds of roadblocks, is not to be celebrated, but condemned and changed.

In 1985 Bono joined forces with a group of artists concerned about Apartheid in South Africa. I IMAGINE, if Lennon were with us today, he would be among a group of artists concerned about Apartheid in Israel Palestine.

I also hope that Paul just doesn’t yet know that Apartheid can be summed up as a structured process of gross human rights violations perpetrated against a conquered ethnic majority by a state and society mainly controlled by an invading ethnic minority and its descendants, mainly immigrants that have been deemed part of the ethnic elite.

The following nine categories make up the necessary, sufficient, and defining characteristics of apartheid regimes:

1. Violence: Apartheid is a state of war initiated by a de facto invading ethnic minority, which at least in the short term originates from a non-neighboring locality. In all main instances of apartheid most if not all members of the invading group originate from a different continent. The invading ethnic minority and its self-defined descendants then continue to dominate the indigenous majority by means of their military superiority and by their continuous threats and uses of violence.

2. Repopulation: Apartheid is also a continuation of depopulation and population transfer. One example is seen in the obliteration of the indigenous Bedouins that Israel denies free movement to graze their herds and are silently transferring the Bedouins to new locales, such as atop of garbage dumps.

3. Citizenship: The indigenous people are often denied citizenship in their own country by the apartheid state authorities, which are ironically and irrationally, run and staffed by the recent arrivals to the country.

4. Land: Apartheid entails land confiscation, land redistribution and forced removals, almost without exception to the benefit of the invading ethnic minority. Usually, members of the ethnic majority are forced on to barren and unfertile soils, where they must also try to survive under impoverished and overcrowded conditions.

5. Work: Apartheid displays systematic exploitation of the indigenous class in the production process and different pay or taxation for the same work.

6. Access: There is ethnically differentiated access to employment, food, water, health care, emergency services, clean air, and other needs, including the need for leisure activities, in each case ensuring superior access for the favored ethnic community.

7. Education: There are also different kinds of education offered and forced upon the different ethnic groups.

8. Language: A basic apartheid characteristic is the fact that only very few of the invaders and their descendants ever learn the language(s) of the indigenous victims.

9. Thought: Finally, apartheid contains ideologies or ‘necessary illusions’ in order to convince the privileged minorities that they are inherently superior and the indigenous majorities that they are inherently inferior. Much of apartheid thought is shaped by typical war propaganda. The enemy is dehumanized by both sides’ ideologies, words and other symbols are used to incite or provoke people to violence, but mostly so by the invaders and their descendants. [2]

After recently returning from Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence in South African Government wrote how it was “like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints — more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger…A journey from one West Bank town to another that could take 20 minutes by car now takes seven hours for Palestinians, with manifold indignities at the hands of teenage soldiers…The monstrous apartheid wall cuts off East Jerusalem…Bethlehem too is totally enclosed by the wall, with two gated entry points. The Israelis have added insult to injury by plastering the entrances with giant scenic posters welcoming tourists to Christ’s birthplace.” [3]

Upon The Wall next to the checkpoint that leads from Jerusalem to her sister city, Bethlehem that enormous Orwellian sign Karlis refers to hangs and in Orwellian speak proclaims:

“PEACE BE WITH YOU”

The Wall is spun as a ‘security barrier’ but it “is designed to crush the human spirit as much as to enclose the Palestinians in ghettos. Like a reptile, it transforms its shape and cuts across agricultural lands as a steel-and-wire barrier, with watchtowers, ditches, patrol roads and alarm systems. It will be 700km long and, at a height of 8m to 9m in places, dwarfs the Berlin Wall. The purpose of the barrier becomes clearest in open country. Its route cuts huge swathes into the West Bank to incorporate into Israel the illegal Jewish settlements — some of which are huge towns — and annexes more and more Palestinian territory.” [Ibid]

“It has become abundantly clear that the wall and checkpoints are principally aimed at advancing the safety, convenience and comfort of settlers.”- Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad. [Ibid]

“The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison…roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa.” [Ibid]

John Lennon did say that “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends…I believe that as soon as people want peace in the world they can have it. The only trouble is they are not aware they can get it. …All we are saying is give peace a chance…All you need is love…Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”

On December 20, 2006, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless work confronting and challenging South Africa’s Apartheid regime spoke to The Guardian: “I’ve been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land. I have seen the humiliation at the checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about…Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice…If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land.”

Justice requires equal human rights, liberty and self-determination for all people. Justice requires honoring International Law and the Declaration of Human Rights. There can be no peace without justice; and that will take require either a Revolution of love-or BDS: Boycott, Divest and Sanction.

LEARN MORE:

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Open Letter to Artists Against Apartheid 

1. Press Release: Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

2. Paraphrased from pages 71-73, Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.. 

3. Mail & Guardian, Israel 2007: Worse than Apartheid, by Ronnie Kasrils. 

Other Sources:
Paul McCartney

McCartney will be paid on performance eve

*Eileen Fleming, Reporter and Editor WAWA, Author “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory” Producer “30 Minutes With Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

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September 2, 2008 - Posted by | Apartheid, Israel, John Lennon, Paul McCartney

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