Sunday, February 18, 2007

The company he keeps

Kesher Talk friend Pamela Hall bravely "infiltrated" last week's End Israel Apartheid Week festivities in New York. Her three-part commentary is here, but it was her mention of the speech by American Indian Robert Robideau, a longtime pal of Colorado AIM, Glenn Morris and Ward Churchill, that caught my eye:
In between [two other speakers] we had the "Native American". I almost left. He NEVER shut up. On and on and on he went about the history of the "Indigenous Peoples" and America's holocaust and land-grabs that ....I wasn't ever really clear what he was asking for .... He was such a poor speaker. Read from notes. I thought at one point we were going to get a Ben Stein homage "Anyone...Anyone...?" Finally he popped an Apartheid reference...droned on some more and mercifully SAT DOWN!!. My friend said he chose that horrid 20 minutes or so to relive his WHOLE Senior Year in high school. (Wish I'd thought of that.) Nope! I actually tried to pay attention.
That's time you'll never get back, either, Pamela. I know. Robideau, not at all by the way, was tried (and acquitted) for the infamous 1975 murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota--the same murders his cousin Leonard Peltier was convicted of (Robideau later became director of Peltier's defense committee). Here's Robideau's all-over-the-place piece in Countercurrents last year, mostly on the Mohammed-mocking Cartoons of Death, but also pointing out the supposed parallels between Palestinians and American Indians:

Mr Zahar, the leader of Hamas who rose to power in 1989, reportedly said, "Spies and thieves must fear us," and "thieves are those who steal our land". As a member of the American Indian Movement, I know full well that the roads into the Americas were paved by thieves. It was A government spy sent to create internal disruption, who set the stage for the execution of Anna Mae Aquash, an icon in Indian country; and while over 150 government police terrorized communities on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota reservation in the summer of 1975, the federal government stole one eighth of the Pine Ridge reservation land.

The state of Israel sets on land that was originally Palestinian but Zionist movements in Europe and the United States claimed that the "land was given to them by God" and their belief that their race possessed some "natural superiority". Euro-Americas pray to "god and country" and teach their future generations to pray homage to the gangsters, outlaws and thieves who stole the country from Indian nations in god,s name.

The European idea that they possessed a "God given superiority" not only had brought them into conflict with the Palestinian people, but also North American Indian Nations in the 1800s.

Notice that Robideau doesn't mention his own involvement in the Pine Ridge mess.

But it's not only the barely literate Robideau who believes the situation of Palestinians is like that of American Indians. In fact (and here I go again "imputing" opinions to the guy) associate professor of political science at CU-Denver Glenn Morris spouted exactly the same line at the so-called March for Lebanon in Denver last August (scroll down, you'll see him): Palestine is the imperialists' 21st-century wild West, and the Palestinians are being exterminated just as "native" Americans were back then (and still are today). It's genocide, I tells ya.

Robideau's take on the cartoon controversy is worth noting, too:

Most European and North American newspapers support the editor of, Jyllands-Posten, the first paper to publish the offensively racist cartoons, expressed position, "we cannot apologize for freedom of expression."

The word "but" is a favorite transition of hypocrites who would have us believe on one hand that freedom of speech is a democratic principle to be defended at all cost, while on the other hand are quick to condemn when it attacks and incites hatred toward them and those they wish to protect.

For years Abu Hamza al-Masri, an Egyptian Muslim, had exercised his right to free speech at his Finsbury Park mosque in London. The British authorities attempted to revoke his citizenship and for years never brought criminal charges against him. With the new atmosphere created around the global war on terrorism (GWT) an English tribunal recently convicted and sentenced Hamza to seven years in prison for allegedly "directly and deliberately stirring up hatred against Jewish people and encouraging murder of those he referred to as non-believers." Certainly the same could be said of the cartoonist.

Oh, certainly. One-eyed hook-handed freak Abu Hamza, convicted not of exercising his right to free speech but of six counts of solicitation to murder, is just like cartoonists who draw pictures of Mohammed. Does Morris agree with Robideau on that as well?

Update: Glenn! Where are you? Why don't you write? If you're still embarrassed by that little imply/infer problem, awwww, forget it.

Update II: Notice that Robideau thinks the Cartoons of Death were drawn by a single person?

Update III: Needless to say (yeah sure), the typos in Robideau's piece are sic.

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