Cinnamon Stillwell covers this weekend's poorpalestinian propaganda conference in Chicago at Front Page Magazine. Turns out the anti-Israel forces are meeting at the Wyndham O'Hare in Rosemont, Illinois, even as we speak. Probably just a coincidence that it's the weekend of Tisha b'Av. Let's see what we're missing.
Friday afternoon, while we Jews were cleaning house and making challah, these folks were "Immortalizing [their] Narrative" and watching a film series on the "global Palestinian refugee experience."
In Al-Quds… a cabbage vender from Georgia… Tiring of his wife… a holiday he plans or his walls he shall paint… In Al-Quds a Torah and an old man from upper Manhattan did come… Its codes and rules a Polish kid teaches… In Al-Quds an Abyssinian policeman closes a road in the market… A machinegun on a twenty years old settler's shoulder is carried… A skullcap greeting the Wailing Wall… Blond European tourists, Al-Quds they never see… Photos they take for each other or with a reddish woman vender… In Al-Quds soldiers with their boots as if over the clouds they creep… In Al-Quds on the asphalt we prayed… In Al-Quds. Others are in Al-Quds, except you… History stirred at me smiling… To see somebody else or err you thought??? Here they are facing you, they are the writing, and you are the margin …
While we sat in shul on Shabbos morning, the enemy was choosing which workshop to attend.
- Transforming Narrative ... into Action
- Public Art / Culture of Resistance and Return
- Engaging Elected Officials
- Empowering the refugees to resist
- Inserting Palestine into high school curricula in the US
- Children's Workshop ("intended for children aged 7 to 14")
As we listened to the rebuke of Moses ("So I spoke to you, but you did not listen, and you rebelled") and the vision of Isaiah ("Your princes are rebellious and companions of thieves; everyone loves bribes and runs after payments") -- attendees at the conference were hearing a panel of Israel-haters on the subject of "palestinian political prisoners in the U.S."
According to Stillwell:
One of them, former University of South Florida computer science professor Sami Al-Arian, who pled guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide goods and services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and who awaits an August 13 trial for criminal contempt, will be represented on the panel by his daughter...Al-Arian's radicalism is nothing new: at a 1991 commemoration of the Palestinian Intifada featuring Islamic Jihad spiritual leader Abdel-Aziz Odeh, he called Jews "apes and pigs."
When my family and I moved from shul into "the new social hall" for a kiddush luncheon in honor of an upcoming marriage, the anti-Israel forces in Chicago were also having lunch. And listening to Dr. Rabab Abdelhadi's keynote address.
After lunch we walked home for a Shabbos shluf, as the enemy was taking part in a Town Hall meeting to discuss "What Comes Next" - and breaking afterwards for "Salat (prayers)."
Then, after napping, as I cozied up to read with my little Yidlet, the conference was breaking into afternoon workshops.
- Media 101: How to get a job in the industry and get heard
- The imperative of building community-based networks
- Hip-Hop and spoken word
- Break the siege on Gaza [live video from the ISM boatniks]
- (in Arabic) Finding new ways to collaboration to move forward
- Children's Workshop: Mapping out Palestine
While we enjoyed our Third Meal which would have to tide us over through the coming fast, the conference broke for prayers again and then went into their third workshop session of the day.
- The Imperative for working with mainstream churches
- Dabkeh 101: folkloric dance
- Institutionalizing youth and student activism
- Past, present and future of palestinian activism in the U.S.
- Solidarity (with other liberation struggles) workshop
- Children's Workshop: Arab-Black indigenous relations
Finally, last night, while we sat on the floor in shadow and listened to our Lamentations, our cousins the Ishmaelites held a "Cultural Banquet," complete with keynote speakers, performances of hip hop, poetry, and folkloric music, followed by an art auction.
Enough, yeah? You can read today's program for yourselves. The good news is that, since you're fasting, you're less likely to vomit. I think.
If you want me, I'll be at shul.