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I enjoyed the site sooo much, it was enlightening, educational and is so needed! Thank you !
Damarys




I just ran into Said It yesterday and have been up late for two nights in a row unable to stop reading it. I LOVE IT! Reading this infused me with a stronger commitment towards fighting the good fight, not just in my own mind but in real time as well, I am trying to become a stronger woman and it's good to see I am not alone. I'm sad to see that there will be no more publications but I am sure that I am not the only woman who has been moved and energized by reading Said It. So you can probably expect a huge donation one day (like ten or twenty dollars -- wish I could donate a million) because regardless of future publications what I am reading now on the web is good enough for me to get up off my ass and actually contribute some sort of money towards.
I.B.




Please take part and spread the word! Say no to exploitative media ads of women!

If there’s one long-distance call to make this month, please make it to Lit, an expensive, quasi-trendy store based in Portland, OR, whose sexist advertising has gone on for months in the local Portland Mercury.

Their most recent pornographic ad ran in the paper the week of 3/6 - 3/12 featuring a man’s-eye view of a woman’s crotch and ass bent over from behind. The picture promotes rape, titillating the viewer with a “sneak peak” of the woman’s (girl’s? It’s hard to tell) white underwear and inviting ass.

For how long do women’s bodies have to be objectified and exploited to service and sell patriarchy? Another recent Lit ad showed what appeared to be a woman cut at the waist wearing jeans with a man standing above and behind her, his hands entering her unzipped pants. Unacceptable!

Let’s make our voices heard! Several women recently confronted the store owner, Kenny Wujek, with condescending and patronizing results (“But some of my best friends are feminists!”) that left us wanting to torch the place.

Please contact the store at (503) 827-3300, 214 Southwest 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, contact@litpdx.com

Sample Scripts:

-- Your advertising is insulting to me as a woman and a possible customer.

-- I won’t shop at your store because I believe that your advertising promotes violence against women.

--A woman is not just a crotch and ass to be sold to advertise your clothes. You can advertise your clothes without objectifying and denigrating women.

--If your friends think this advertising is okay, maybe you need to talk to people other than your friends, who will without a doubt have a problem with this.

--Don’t you think it’s sad that it’s come to this, that your exploitation is so normal that your friends would call themselves feminists and still support this?

--I won’t “respect your point of view” as long as it continues the epidemic of rape and violence against women.

Women unite! Fight back!

Rain and Thunder Collective




I have admired Loolwa Khazzoom since I first saw her writing in the Jewish feminist journal Bridges many years ago. I am grateful for her honest attention to the reality of Jewish oppression in Muslim lands and to the history of Mizrachim. However, I feel that her article paints a partial picture of the truth.

Palestinians were made refugees by the war of 1948. As Israeli historian Benni Morris has documented, the 800,000 Palestinian refugees of 1948 fled to avoid war, although there were also cases of expulsion, threat, forced removal, massacre and deception. After the end of war, most of them sought to return to their former homes. This return was systematically blocked by the Israeli leaders of the time, who hoped openly for a "population transfer" that would bring the Jews of Arab lands to Israel and ensure a more homogeneous Jewish state. While most Jews fled Arab lands in fear of the anti-Semitic violence that followed the establishment of Israel, some came out of love for Israel and Jerusalem, or were inspired by Israeli recruiters who came actively seeking their immigration. Indeed, there were even right-wing Jews who went so far as to plan and execute terrorist attacks against fellow Jews in Arab countries to encourage mass flight. Ben-Gurion welcomed these new immigrants, whom he consistently referred to as "primitive" and "uncivilized", because he knew that Israel needed both labor and Jewish population to consolidate its hold on new territories and to build a new state. In turn, he hoped that Palestinian refugees would eventually be absorbed by surrounding states -- a plan that served the needs of the new state of Israel alone, without reference to the desires or needs of either the refugees or the Arab states.

The lands and property of Palestinians who fled in 1948 were nationalized by Israel under the Absentee Property Law of 1950. Indeed, Jewish refugees from Arab lands were often settled directly into formerly Arab towns and Arab houses. These "development towns" where new immigrants were hastily settled remain undeveloped to this day. Arab agricultural land was licensed to Jewish kibbutzim and moshavim. Historical records show that Israeli leaders of that time systematically settled Arab Jewish refugees on formerly Palestinian land in order to make a return of the largely agrarian Palestinian population impossible.

Khazzoom's position, that the Arab states should follow Israel's example by "taking care of their own" is thus a tired repetition of Ben-Gurion's unilateral plan. The Israeli government absorbed Mizrachi Jewish refugees because that immigration served the ideological, political, and economic purposes of the new State. The Arabs states refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees for precisely the same reasons. Both sides sought to undermine the legitimacy of the other, and both used refugees a tool in a geopolitical game for control and world sympathy.

The question facing the Jewish world today is no longer, barukh hashem, how we will survive as an oppressed minority within a hostile society. The question is how we will live as a majority, and how we will use that power. Will Israel, like its Arab neighbors, become a place where rights and privileges are granted and denied based on ethnicity and religion? Will we refuse to recognize our collective Jewish responsibility for the dispossession of Palestinians in 1948 simply because the Arab states have not done teshuvah (repentance) for their own crimes?

I have always believed that the purpose of Jewish suffering throughout the ages was to teach us how to recognize oppression, so that we would never treat others the way they had treated us. The Israeli peace and human rights movement and its American allies still believe this, in contrast to those who believe that Might makes Right, or that G-d plays favorites with the Jewish people. The Israeli left, largerly Ashkenazi-led, has much to answer for in terms of its history of racism and exclusion towards Mizrachi Jews. However, the best within that movement also call for restitution and compensation for both Palestinian and Mizrachi refugees, and recognize that money spent on indefensible settlement projects in the West Bank and Gaza would be better spent on the education, social and economic development within Israel.

Mizrachim are the majority of Israeli Jews. While most of them vote right-wing, most of them also want a peace agreement and an end to both terror and war. I agree with Khazzoom that only a comprehensive peace, one that takes into account the concerns and history of Mizrachi Jews, will be successful. But that peace must be based on an honest look at crimes on both sides, not on a false narrative that protects Israel and early Jewish leaders from the criticism they deserves.
Susan Kane
a librarian, a proud Jew, and a peace activist in Seattle, WA.



Susan, I highly recommend Efraim Karsh’s Fabricating Israeli History for a shocking but thoroughly documented exposure of the forgery and poor scholarship of the “historian” Benny Morris.

But even Morris did not write that Jews organized terrorist attacks on other Jews in Muslim countries in order to get them to move to Israel. There is no evidence whatsoever for such a claim. Why repeat this anti-Semitic slander? Please remember while carrying out your peace activism that violence is committed against Jews -- in the U.S, in Europe, and in Israel -- because of widespread, inaccurate, anti-Israel propoganda.

Loolwa did not argue that “the Arab states should follow Israel's example by ‘taking care of their own.’” She wrote that Israel has done a great deal to solve the refugee problem and to better conditions for Palestinians, in contrast to Arab states, which have only obstructed such efforts. The Arab states have the geographical space and resources to end the Palestinian refugee crisis, a crisis they created through attacks against Israel, and their ongoing rejection of the existence of the Jewish state. Yet Israel alone is blamed internationally for the displacement and oppression of the Palestinians, while the Arab world is depicted as the champion of the Palestinian cause.
-- AS





I have written Bush on many occasions and I only get a thank you note. I ask you to read this letter which has much to say about the current policies concerning the policies for the poor and print it as an open letter to the President:

I am a disabled mom living in a HUD apartment, and unless my apartment owner can secure a loan for 50 thousand dollars to remodel, I will be homeless. At least one third of the people living in low-income housing are disabled. I am an ex-journalist, and I am horrified at what you are doing. You have cut HUD, the school lunch fund, medicaid, and even student loans. Each of these programs provide a future and many cases these programs provide life and safety to those that receive benefits from these programs. They are not frivilous. One truly frightening thing that is happening is that many children will be given to the state to raise, and that will cost tax payers more than cuts to the Hud and the school lunch program. All the promotion of adoption has still left many children in the system, and they become homeless as adults. Salvation Army reports in one state they can not keep up with the amount of homeless children that come directly out of foster care. This is a frightening thing that the government can take children, not because you are abusive or a bad parent because you are poor.

The poor have no voice in America, and hatred of the poor lead by Rush Limbaugh and others is destroying the poor. Many poor have no family or resources. They will become simply a homeless statistic left to die in the street. Sadly, writing many of the legislators in Washington only gets you a form letter, and it often praises the very office that you are complaining about. There is much waste and abuse that can be corrected, and many American citizens know where they are, and the citizens are a resource that legislators need to listen to.

The website Citizen's Against Government Waste lists hundreds of giveaway programs that the federal government is funding. One is to help build golf courses in America and even other countries. Another is one million dollars for the brown snake.

Site That Discusses Bush's Cuts
http://www.childrensdefense.org/release030211.php

Susan Denny
Hobbs, NM





Remember when video game manufacturers began making games where the players raped, maimed and killed women-- and slammed those of us who protested because it would escalate violence against women? Well, those "video games" have come to life. A 'Bambi Hunt' is advertised in Nevada's Cook County by one Michael Burdick for Las Vegas male tourists eager to bring home pictures of naked women wounded with paintball pellets. Michael Burdick's webpage makes it clear that his "service" is about hating, hunting, and raping women primarily for revenge. And in Las Vegas, this business is legal. This 'service' is being advertised with gruesomely misogynist copy at http://www.huntingforbambi.com/. The webpage for the "game" states this: "You can actually hunt one of our Bambi sluts and shoot her with paintballs while we film the whole thing and tape it for your own home video. We will send you a complete list of wall hangers to choose from once your reservation is confirmed for your hunt. With over 30 women ready to be chased down and shot like dogs we guarantee a wide variety of Bambi's to choose from. Whether it is a fat ass cow or a perfect 10 we have an abundance of these beauties. So if you are the ultimate sportsman and are seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush then come out to our ranch and shoot one of these nagging whinny bitches where it hurts and shut her the f[...] up. Then mount her like a "Real Man"." It states that the $10,000 price includes airfare and "Mount (not for virgins, you figure it out)." A recent KLAS-TV report reveals that the women made to run before shooters are not even allowed to wear protective equipment and risk losing an eye at this sick 'game': http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1356380&nav=168XGqk0

Loretta Kemsley




AN APOLOGY TO THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ

I confess I don't know much about you. In the weeks leading up to the war it was easy to find detailed stories in our media about the daily machinations of our president as he bought, bribed and bullied other countries into a "coalition of the willing," but there was almost nothing about you, the people of Iraq.

I imagine you have beautiful children with dark, wide eyes. I imagine you are afraid that you and your families will be killed when the bombs start falling, that your way of life will be lost forever when our troops come rumbling in. You must have felt abandoned by the world when the UN observers, weapons inspectors and western journalists scurried out of Iraq in the last days, leaving you alone to face the rain of fire. I can't imagine the terror you must feel.

Just as we know almost nothing about you, I'm sure you have few accurate perceptions of us Americans. Our mutual ignorance makes it easy for our leaders to stir the pot of hatred so they can advance their own nefarious policies. This is a shame because I have a feeling we could find much common ground. As you know, recently our country too came under attack, so we have a small taste of the fear and hated that violent aggression can generate.

You have every reason in the world to hate us. In 1991 our military dropped 88,000 tons of bombs on you, incinerating your sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, relatives and friends. Over 113,000 civilians died according to the Red Crescent Society of Jordan. Sixty percent of your casualties were children.

Your country was once prosperous, a thriving center of learning, literature and art. Now, after years of sanctions, with your cities in ruins and your economy in tatters, the winds of stagnation and despair blow down dusty streets, past the shuttered shops of your towns and villages. Mere survival has become a struggle.

We the people in the U.S. knew about the sanctions, but not enough of us tried to stop them. As citizens of a country with unparalleled international political influence and a monstrous military machine that sprawls around the globe, we have extraordinary responsibilities to restrain the natural tendencies of such a system to dominate and control everything everywhere. Unfortunately, we are for the most part a nation of self-absorbed individuals, more concerned about the latest electronic gadgets or Hollywood gossip than the suffering our government inflicts on other peoples of the world...

Unfortunately, our leaders are men of limited imaginations with "Christian" values that stress machismo and domination rather than consensus and cooperation. From the start, the military option was the only one they ever seriously considered.

Some of us Americans fear this war will bring horrendous carnage to your country. We, like our president, pray that the human toll will be much less this time, that our bombs will be smarter and stay away from your schools, hospitals and homes. Still, we know our aggression will kill and maim thousands of you, and in the regional chaos that follows many more may die and suffer the brutality of civil war and political violence.

Unlike many of my fellow citizens, I do not value Iraqi lives less than the lives of American troops. But our soldiers are human too. I hope you understand that most of them are just kids. Many come from poor neighborhoods with ramshackle schools and limited educational opportunities. The military promises them an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families through military job training and education programs. Despite their macho bluster, they are frightened like you, and most of them would rather just go home to their families and not have to kill anyone.

In Los Angeles on the Saturday before the war, thousands of us marched in a driving rain to show our solidarity with you. We were wet and cold and miserable, but we knew it was not as bad as having a 500-pound bomb dropped on your house. Afterwards, we climbed into our warm SUV's and drove back to our safe, comfortable homes.

Merely attending a demonstration does not absolve us of responsibility for this high-tech slaughter. Not enough of us did enough to stop this war. This war is being prosecuted with our money, by our elected officials, in our name. We all have your blood on our hands.

I can't speak for my government or the majority of my compatriots that feel murdering thousands of innocents is morally permissible. I can only speak for myself and a small minority of like-minded Americans when I say I am sorry for what we are doing to you. Now, as the bombs fall, we can only watch with helpless shame the sickening spectacle of destruction. We pledge to you we will try harder in the future, to agitate and protest and work to make this our country's last imperial war.

Fragments
http://www.fragmentsweb.org





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