Articles by: Moe Diab
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Tags: Debate, Gaza, israel, Israel Advocacy, Moe Diab, On Point, One America News, Palestine, Palestinian, peace, Philippe Assouline, Tomi Lahren
On this weeks episode of ‘On Point with Tomi Lahren’ the debate gets intense, as emotions run high. Middle East Analyst for ‘On Point with Tomi Larhen’ on One America News Network, Moe Diab, debates Israel Advocacy Strategist, Philippe Assouline, on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict– proposed solutions, set-backs to peace, Jewish Settlements on Occupied Palestinian Land and more.
Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Human Rights, Interview, israel, Moe Diab, On Point, One America News, PA, Palestine, Tomi Lahren, TV, United Nations, Zionism
Original airing on One America News 8-20-2014
Moe Diab joins the panel of “On Point” with Tomi Lahren: Moe Diab provides a rarely covered insight on Gaza & Hamas goals
Tags: Activist, Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing, Gaza, Genocide, Human Rights, inequality, injustice, israel, Moe Diab, Palestine, peace, Politics, segregation
The Palestinian death figure from more than a month of violence in Gaza has risen to 1,980 as a fragile truce persists between the two sides.
Sources in the besieged Gaza Strip said on Friday that some 10,200 Palestinians have also been injured by the Israeli aggression.
Watch “On Point” with Tomi Lahren on One America News on
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Moe Diab: With Israel and the US refusing to address key issues, “new” peace talks doomed to fail
Moe Diab: With Israel and the US refusing to address key issues, “new” peace talks doomed to fail
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.
Peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials are heading into their second round on Wednesday. But there’s news that Israel has just approved nearly 1,200 new settlement units in the West Bank, despite warnings by [snip] that such actions will threaten the peace process. Israel has agreed to release 26 long-held Palestinian security prisoners.
Now joining us to discuss all this is Moe Diab. He’s a Palestinian-American human rights activist and writer. He blogs at MoeDiab.com.
Thank you so much for being with us, Moe.
MOE DIAB, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST AND WRITER: Thank you so much for having me.
NOOR: So, Moe, we want to get your response to this latest news of Israel approving 1,200 new settlement units. And they’re particularly sensitive, because most of the units are located in isolated settlements that Israel is unlikely to retain if and when a Palestinian state is created. Can you talk about the impact this new announcement by Israel will have on these latest round of talks that Secretary Kerry is so optimistic about?
DIAB: Well, I think it comes as no surprise. They don’t comply with international law. The goals of this peace process don’t include ending the problems that are causing the conflict, just ending the claims and ending the conflict. So the fact that this was announced is really no surprise. They continued the building of the settlements in the last peace process. And at this point, they even openly announced that they are going to be building settlements in the proposed Palestinian state for this peace process, which is based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. So it comes as no surprise. And this process is bound to fail for that reason. So I don’t think anybody at all is surprised for this.
NOOR: And I think the Western media, the mainstream media often, you know, misses that key fact that it’s actually been during the years of the so-called peace process that Israel has had some of the largest settlement expansions in Palestinian territory.
DIAB: Yes, absolutely. I mean, the facts on the ground are largely ignored and they’re distorted and they’re presented in Western media to portray the situation as a complete opposite of what it is. It’s not portrayed as an occupation of Palestinian territory. It’s not portrayed as a military against an occupied people. It’s really portrayed as two sovereign nations involved in a conflict.
NOOR: Yet Secretary John Kerry insists that this round of peace talks will be different. Can you talk about his goals and what the actual outline of what’s being proposed looks like?
DIAB: Well, I think that’s a really good question a lot of people have been asking. And I think the best way to answer this for everyone is to look at the actual main source for this. About two weeks ago, on July 29, at the State Department’s official press briefing, spokesperson Jen Psaki was unable to answer Associated Press journalist Matt Lee’s simple and fundamental question asking what’s different this time, what’s changed. Considering Martin Indyk’s long record of failure–and the whole team’s record of failure, for that matter–and if the official spokesperson is unable to answer the most fundamental question, it’s clear that no changes have been made to increase the chances of reaching a sustainable resolution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The appointment of Martin Indyk, who is the former ambassador to Israel, as the U.S. envoy for these talks is another clear indication that no changes in the framework have been made from the last 22 years of failed U.S. diplomacy. And now we’re trying the same thing again and again for 22 years, and we’re not seeing a different result. That’s either insanity or it’s intentional failure.
In this case, as we have seen in the past whenever these peace talks resurface, the timing of the process is usually followed by [incompr.] of crises in the Middle East. And in this case, the inability of the U.S. to respond strategically to these challenges is enough motive to use the peace talks as a way to distract from the the U.S. failures in the Middle East and as a way to reassure Israel’s backers and as reassertion of the U.S. as an existing power.
And if you want to mention the goals of this process, now, the goals were simply stated as ending the conflict, ending the claims. But it was also said that it was based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and everybody thinks that this is going to be a great start. And theoretically it would be a great start. However, what Kerry failed to mention was the slight U.S. and Israeli adjustment to the original 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which has deprived it of any potential it may have had. Originally in the plan, the Arab states were offered normalization with Israel only after full withdrawal from the 1967 territories and after recognizing the Palestinian right of return based on UN Resolution 194. So what we’re seeing is his goals are ignoring the facts on the ground and don’t address the problems which are causing the conflict. How can you simply end the conflict without changing anything?
NOOR: So, Moe, what are the facts on the ground in occupied Palestine right now?
DIAB: I think the facts on the ground are plain to see. Israel continues to annex Palestinian territory. Israel persists in demolishing Palestinian homes and populating Palestine with Israeli civilians. They routinely detain Palestinians without charges under the policy of administrative detention, and they maintain the policy of collectively punishing 1.57 million Palestinians through its imposition of the blockade on the Gaza Strip. And Israel prosecutes its occupation with impunity, refusing to accept the world’s calls to respect international law. Neither Israel nor its proxies can justify the facts on the ground in occupied Palestine, so they distract, distort, and [incompr.] to allow the violations to go on.
NOOR: And can you talk a little bit more about Martin Indyk? You know, he is appointed as the U.S. envoy to these talks, yet it would be hard to call him an impartial figure. You know, he was the deputy–he was the former deputy research director of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.
DIAB: Absolutely. And he was also the former ambassador to Israel. So choosing him to be the U.S. envoy for these peace talks for obvious reasons leads to the assumption that there is no good-faith intention in this peace talk. The mediator should coordinate with both sides a balanced and unbiased perspective. And what we’re seeing and what we have seen in the past is the simple U.S. siding with Israeli power and the deprivation of Palestinian representation and rights.
So if–something that also is very important is to recognize the fact that Israel, who is supported by the United States, has one of the most stable economies in the world, the fourth most powerful military in the world, and the U.S. is trying to mediate talks with the Palestinians, who are stateless and disempowered, who are living under constant occupation, who are living in apartheid conditions, who don’t have a military and don’t even have control of their own airspace. So for these reasons, until the negotiations are not based on support for Israeli power but based on international law, human rights, and equality for all, the peace process will unquestionably continue to fail.
NOOR: And so we spent the first seven minutes attacking these talks essentially, or at least to drawing out the criticisms of them. Do you have a proposal that you think would be a just solution to this, the Palestinian-Israel conflict?
DIAB: I think a good point to reference this would be from last March on MSNBC’s news program Up with Chris Hayes. He had guest speaker Rashid Khalidi on the show, and he made the really clear point that negotiations were designed to prevent Palestinian statehood and sovereignty. And the U.S. is–like I mentioned before, the U.S. is not playing the necessary balanced role as the mediator, and with heavily biased and corrupt mediators the logical thing to do, the first [incompr.] to do would be to remove the obstacles, in this case the U.S. being the mediator and arbitrator for these talks, ’cause they are preventing a good-faith peace process. And to involve new players is obviously very crucial in order to see an actual change in this process.
Also, human rights lawyer and Georgetown University associate adjunct professor Noura Erakat has suggested internationalization of the issue several times as a place to start. And she uses this term to reference letting go of America’s role as the arbitrator and aid donor and employing the United Nations General Assembly in the process. So while Israel and its proxies may wish to ignore the world’s efforts to induce compliance with international law, it’s contrary to the aims and purposes of the United Nations to distract attention or to distort the facts on the ground. So internationalization also refers to utilizing the resources that are made available by the United Nations, such as utilizing the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. Obviously, this alone is not going to completely solve the peace process and the conflict, but it definitely is more promising than following the last 22 years of failed U.S.-brokered attempts to resolve this issue.
NOOR: Moe Diab, thank you so much for joining us. Moe is a Palestinian-American human rights activist, blogs at MoeDiab.com.
DIAB: Thank you for having me.
NOOR: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
Posted: August 13, 2013 in human rights
Tags: 2002, Arab, chris hayes, initiative, israel, jen psaki, kerry, martin indyk, Moe Diab, negotiations, News, nura erakat, Palestine, peace, process, rashid khalidi, real news, trrn
“The Israeli government is moving forward with plans to demolish 40 Palestinian Bedouin villages, displacing up to 70,000 of their residents. Known as the Prower plan, it was approved in June and will relocate the Bedouins to six townships already suffering from serious problems of unemployment, poverty, and drugs, freeing up the land for occupation by the Jewish National Fund.
Now joining us to talk more about this plan and what it means for the affected populations is Moe Diab. He’s a Palestinian-American human rights activist, writer. He’s finishing up his masters in public health. And he’s spoken about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at numerous universities across the country, been on radio shows, and dialogs with peace activists such as Miko Peled. He also has his own blog, MoeDiab.com.
Thank you so much for being with us, Moe.”
Never Surrender: A Palestinian-American recounts harassment and discrimination during trip to Israel/PalestinePosted: June 11, 2013 in human rights
Tags: Airport, Apartheid, Apartheid Wall, Ben Gurion, Front Page, israel, Jerusalem, Moe Diab, Mondoweiss, Never Surrender, Palestine, Palestinian-American, Racial Profiling, Rasism, segregation, Tel Aviv
Never Surrender: A Palestinian-American recounts harassment and discrimination during trip to Israel/Palestine
Published on http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/palestinian-discrimination-israelpalestine.html on June 5, 2013
I am a 25-year-old Palestinian-American. I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I was raised to be proud of my Palestinian heritage and culture, and to be conscious of the daily Palestinian struggles and oppression, due to the Israeli occupation. My American upbringing instilled in me an appreciation for freedom, liberty, justice and equality. However, I never truly understood the significance of universal human rights in my daily American life, until the Israeli authorities stripped these so-called inalienable rights away from me.
In the summer of 2004, I traveled to East Jerusalem to visit my family. This was not my first time visiting; however, it was the first time in my life I ever felt like a vile unwanted intruder. I was visiting my family on the land where my ancestors thrived for generations, the origin of my culture and traditions, my roots. Regardless of the sentimental attachment I felt, I was treated as a dangerous trespasser.
Prior to this visit, I thought that I had already experienced the worst racial discrimination possible following 9-11. I went to bed on September 10th 2001, a normal American kid and woke up the next day labeled a “terrorist” Arab. I was targeted, teased and threatened; however, local law enforcement handled the situations in a reasonable manner, on most occasions. My epiphany began upon my arrival in Tel Aviv at Ben Gurion airport and continued throughout the duration of my visit. What shocked me the most was the fact that it was not the high school bullies and prejudiced civilians carrying out the racial discrimination and harassment towards my family and I, on the contrary, the Israeli authorities were systematically administering it!
After traveling for over a day, we arrived in Tel Aviv absolutely exhausted and anxious to see our family. The second I stepped foot off the plane, I immediately noticed there were two different sets of airport procedures. I noticed the passport control lines appeared to be racially segregated. Initially, it may have been my lack of sleep leading to my presumptions, however, after waiting in line for over an hour to have our travel documents stamped, we were detained and escorted by a security official to a special screening room. All the while, other non-Arab passengers proceeded to claim their baggage and meet their loved ones after passport control.
It was in the special screening room that I first felt a real hostility radiating from Israeli security officials, it made me angry. It wasn’t even so much the idea of being racially targeted to undergo another body and luggage search, despite the fact that my luggage hadn’t been touched since it was searched prior to boarding the flight in America. It was an aggressive, condescending superior-like attitude by the security personnel who conducted our screenings that enraged me. The way they spoke down to my mother like a criminal– I clenched my fists. With each additional disrespectful word and baseless insinuation directed towards her, I felt closer and closer to losing control. Fighting back the urge to defend my mother’s dignity, took everything in me. Within minutes in that room, I was sweaty all over, every muscle in my body was tense, and my fists were beginning to cramp from holding them so tightly.
Following additional security checks, my family was separated and questioned individually for hours. I was worried about my mother. They asked invasive intimate questions about my relationships, social networks, and other matters that was none of their business. Then I was hit with a barrage of aggressive personal questions and comments:
“Why did you come to Israel? You have nothing here.”
“This is the land for the Jews. Why do you visit if this is not your land?”
“Let me see your cell phone! Who did you contact before you got on the plane?”
“Log into your email account!”
“Where does your family live? What is their address?”
“We know what you have done, just tell us who is helping you!”
“I can sit here all day until you answer my questions, I know you are lying.”
No matter how calmly and honestly I answered the questions; the security officer always cut into my responses by degrading them with another comment or question. I later realized this technique of systematic questioning was used intentionally to emotionally assault my pride and dignity in an attempt to break my will. It felt inhumane.
I was told by the senior security officer to stay seated and instructed not to say a single word while he left the room to continue interrogating my mother. My luggage was being searched again, this time for explosive residue. There was a moment when the female security official was searching my luggage, after the supervisor had left the room, I could have given her a piece of my mind but I knew surely she would break and radio her supervisor to make an example out of me. But something strange happened I’ve thought about many times. I felt the tension in the room ease as soon as her supervisor left and it occurred to me the intimidating supervisor was making us both uncomfortable. Watching her across the small interrogation room, she seemed more relaxed. Her posture and expression changed. She picked up my boxers, turned to me smiling and said, “these are cute!” in a playful, sarcastic tone. At that moment I imagined this young woman, who couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, sensed my frustration and sympathized with me on some human level. But why would she be complicit with this blatant racist system if deep down she knew on some level it was wrong? Her comment threw me off. On one hand, I felt at any moment I was going to burst into a verbal defensive, my blood was boiling, my muscles were tense, it was against all I believed in to stay quiet while being dehumanized. On the other hand, I made it through the first stage of questioning without giving them a piece of my mind, and here was this young Israeli woman, as guilty as the rest of the security officials by complicity, allowing me to believe she was sympathetic, convincing me, deep down she hated complying. On reflection I think she was making an attempt to normalize the situation. She allowed herself to humanize for a moment and it seemed obvious to me she felt guilt when she realized I wasn’t going to respond or smile back. She failed at her attempts, much like racial segregation couldn’t be normalized during the African American civil rights movement. The only way to normalize racial segregation and oppression is by ending it through a system of equality and justice. The only way she could satisfy her inner resistance is not only by refusing to comply with the apartheid system, in essence be neutral, but also to voice her opinion against what is being done in her name.
After hours of individual harassment, we were finally released to go meet our family. I would be lying if I said that was the end of the discriminatory treatment. As we drove from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I was shocked to see the Wall for the first time. The construction of the Israeli Apartheid Wall began just two years prior to my visit and the intentions were already obvious. As we drove alongside of this twenty-five foot high concrete abomination with an abundance of trenches, barbed wire, electrified fencing with numerous watch towers, electronic sensors, thermal imaging and video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, sniper towers, and roads for patrol vehicles, I felt imprisoned within a police state.
During our drive home and throughout my trip, I was in complete disbelief each time we were questioned at checkpoints by kids my own age. Having a 17-18 year-old point an automatic assault rifle in my face, while aggressively snatching my American passport, gave me a deeper sense of how reckless Israel is with Palestinian life, in a way that penetrated my psyche. I started thinking about how feelings of superiority must begin early on in life, through prejudicial injurious rhetoric, then solidified when teenagers are handed military-grade automatic assault rifles and are required to dominate unarmed Palestinian civilians. Is it really the best idea to brainwash kids into believing they are racially superior to their co-inhabitants, then hand them lethal weapons to police their so-called “inferiors”? No! We have already seen the outcome to this type of catastrophe and it’s not a distant memory; but this is precisely the reason Israel forces teenagers to serve in their military. A conscious adult is more likely to question unjust acts and feel remorse for terrorizing innocent civilians. A growing number of Israeli citizens are refusing to serve in the Israeli Military. Is it a coincidence that the majority of those whom refuse to serve are well into their twenties and early thirties? I don’t think so; the majority of teenagers are not capable of making rational, consequential decisions. Between my mood swings, rash decisions and occasional angry outbursts at 17, I was in no way mentally prepared to be given a gun and handle the responsibility attached. In fact, more 17-year-olds commit crimes than any other age group, according to recent studies by psychiatrists, the same age as many Israelis entering the military. But being in this environment was making me more reflective about who I was, my life, and Palestine.
After my eye-opening experiences with the Israeli military occupation and numerous racially segregated checkpoints, it became obvious to me that the Apartheid Wall only reinforced Israel’s strangling system of permits and checkpoints, where Palestinians are harassed, degraded, humiliated, detained, beaten, and even shot.
Remembering and reflecting upon my experiences during this visit infuriates me on so many levels. Witnessing my family swallow their pride, while holding on to their dignity each time they were racially targeted for questioning or a car search, brought pain to my heart. My cousins only worried about my comfort, they were strong and composed because they didn’t want me to realize so much was out of their control. This was their reality, how could they be so selfless? This was their normal daily life but nothing was normal about it. It’s not normal having to constantly worry about your children being targeted and harassed. It’s not normal to have a constant fear of military assault, losing loved ones, random arrests and indefinite illegal detentions. No matter how calm my family remained, I could always see the frustration and resistance in their soul, through their eyes. They are not accepting the occupation as the norm, they are simply living through it, doing what they can, as best as they can, until equality is restored and justice is served.
And discriminatory treatment towards me, as a Palestinian-American, is not only demeaning; it’s completely disrespectful towards American-Israeli relations. Even more infuriating is that fact that the U.S. government has done absolutely nothing to stop American citizens from being discriminated against and harassed by Israeli officials, regardless of the thousands of reports filed. As an American a significant portion of my tax dollars is given to fund Israeli military, security and economic structures, the same military that racially profiled me, harassed me, detained me and said they could care less if I was American. Israel does not respect the citizens of the United States; regardless of the billions of dollars in aid we provide them annually. How foolish of me to assume that as an American, Israel would treat me with more respect than my family, given our “Unbreakable” military alliance and generous economic contribution, which funds their illegal military occupation. However, I have little to complain about compared to the daily discrimination, humiliation and abuse endured by Palestinians entrapped and oppressed by their constant violent encroachments.
After returning from my trip, I had the words “Never Surrender” tattooed across my back. At the time, I didn’t realize precisely why I had the desire to permanently scar my flesh with those words; it may have been my subconscious hinting at me to pursue action for my unsettling experience. In fact, those words would penetrate deeper than my skin. Those very words pierced my skin, engulfed my soul, and fueled my intellectual resistance. I just knew that something changed in me after that trip. I didn’t think the same. I didn’t even talk the same way. I perceived the world differently. I began to evolve into the human rights activist I am today. In the years following my trip, I came to learn that knowledge is far more powerful than any military force. By educating myself, I am able to educate others. By spreading awareness, I am awakening the sleeping conscience of neutrally compliant individuals. Knowledge is the most dangerous threat to an unjust system of oppression.
Regardless of the anticipated difficulties I may face, I plan on visiting my family in Palestine soon. So what if they detain me and question me again? It’s their way of instilling fear in the hearts of those wishing to visit their beloved homeland and families. Of all people, the Zionist government should know, as Palestinians we will not give up our right of return after 65 years of occupation, especially considering Zionists claim that same right after more than 2,000 years. I’m sure the intimidation, harassment, and vile treatment deters many Palestinians from returning home, but not this one. If there is one thing that Americans and Palestinians have in common, it’s that we ‘Never Surrender’.