One of us was active in the 1960s civil rights movement in Louisiana, and we regard this as the most effective social movement in our lifetimes to mobilize a majority of Americans not directly affected by a problem to empathize and correct egregious injustices toward a minority population. One of us is the son of a Nakba survivor, and the echoes of Jim Crow in Israel from its beginnings are unmistakable and haunting. The attitudes and language of racial supremacy and the violent, often sadistic suppression and exploitation of the dehumanized, disadvantaged population are nearly identical (For a striking example, see a YouTube video of hooded Israeli settlers attacking Palestinian farmers with clubs). With a half-century advantage in technological "progress," Israel conducts its more antiseptic lynchings with F-16s, helicopter gunships and remote-controlled aerial drones.
Since the rest of the world is much better informed than Americans by the more honest world press, the U.S. alone supports Israel in the United Nations and elsewhere while pretending to be a neutral mediator. Thus, if Americans awaken and demand an end to our knee-jerk financial and military support and diplomatic protection, Israel will be forced to transform itself in the face of world condemnation and international sanctions. Our strategy therefore focuses on the education of Americans.
But, to be effective, education must not be limited to the verbal, conceptual, cognitive level of consciousness. The MLK methods brought compelling visual images to the American public together with eloquent reminders of our collective ideals. Along with knowledge for the mind, MLK appealed to the heart and the conscience, to America's higher collective self, without appeal to financial or other self-interests. Without a collective identity worthy of respect, what are we as a nation? The same is true of Israel.
Attempting to follow a similar strategy, we provide a weekly display in our city adjacent to a Saturday Market and a Farmers Market which includes (1) large, provocative signage in colloquial language, visible from the street to evoke interest, curiosity and gut reactions, (2) conspicuous photographic images of Gazan and Lebanese children slaughtered and dismembered by Israeli invasions with high-tech weaponry, inviting viewers to imagine these as our own children, (3) a comprehensive array of about 50 papers - some with pictures - by scholars, book authors, international lawyers and respected journalists detailing the Nakba reality vs the Exodus myth, the many documents of international law violated by Israel, the manipulations of the Israel Lobby, the defects of the 2-state model compared with the one-state model, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, Palestinians' inalienable right of return, and other topics selected to counter current pro-Israel arguments.
In addition, we show films and bring public speakers to the community, often in collaboration with Muslim and other student activist groups at a local major university. We do regular community television broadcasts, are ever-present to challenge public presentations by Israeli apologists, and seize opportunities to publish letters, columns and op-eds in three local newspapers of substantial circulation. And we are working to challenge the Israel lobby/network in its efforts to abort BDS campaigns in mainstream Christian churches and Palestinian human rights movements on univeristy campuses.
We cannot hope to match the financial and social networking resources of Israel and its Lobby. But our advantage is having on our side the truths of history and international law, as well as natural human empathy with helpless victims of injustice and natural human outrage over theft, murder and deception.
Demand Freedom, Justice and Equality in the Holy Land