Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Defining "war"

"Israeli Apartheid Week" 2009

Thursday, March 5th: Part 4: Robert Lovelace
University of Toronto

According to his IAW bio:

"Robert Lovelace is a retired Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation. He is an Adjunct Lecturer in Global Development Studies at Queen's University and a professor in Ecosystems Management at Sir Sandford Fleming College. He has written about community development and social reform as a de-colonizing strategy. On February 15, 2008, Robert Lovelace was sentenced to 6 months in prison for contempt of court. His crime was taking a leadership role in securing Algonquin land and refusing to permit exploration for uranium near Ardoch, Ontario."

I don't know if Mr. Lovelace was right or wrong or if his conviction and sentence were just. In all honesty, his presentation bored me. He spoke in a monotone and went on for far too long. In addition, he obviously did not get the memo that there is no "th" in apartheid.

Here's a link to a series of articles that give some background information about the dispute over which Mr. Lovelace fought and went to prison.

Mr. Lovelace gave some general information about his experiences and talked about being a "revolutionary." I couldn't tell if the young pro-Palestinians in the audience were interested in what he was saying but they applauded loudly when he was done. The university professor seated next to me was enthralled by him. To my dismay, during the Q&A he asked Mr. Lovelace an open-ended question like, "So, how is the struggle going now?" and the response swallowed up most of the Q&A time slot.

"Colonialism is a war," Robert Lovelace told us, and in this war, "it is better to be a revolutionary rather than a reactionary." To be a revolutionary, he said, you need enlightenment, engagement and self-sacrifice. And to challenge colonialism, you need education, art, debate, supply (food and medicine) and divestment.

His ancestors, the Algonquins, lived in the Ottawa Valley. He said that 200 years ago there were no buildings, dams or roads there, just his native language.

"Now," he added, "there is just devastation, with almost no trees over 100 years old."

The white people, he said, are to blame for "the rape of the world and the oppression of indigenous peoples."
When Mr. Lovelace said that peace is a verb, a process, in his Algonquin language, I wondered if he knew that, in Islamic religious tradition, peace means submission to Allah.
This is what the Palestinian government of Gaza says about the Middle East peace process:
Hamas Charter, Article 13

"The initiatives, the so-called peace solutions, and the international conferences for resolving the Palestinian problem stand in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement, for to neglect any part of Palestine is to neglect part of the Islamic faith. The nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its [Islamic] faith. It is in the light of this principle that its members are educated, and they wage jihad in order to raise the banner of Allah over the homeland...

"From time to time there are calls to hold an international conference in order to seek a solution for the [Palestinian] problem. Some accept this [proposal] and some reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the fulfillment of some condition or conditions before they agree to hold the conference and participate in it. However, the Islamic Resistance Movement - since it is familiar with the parties participating in the conference and with their past and current positions on the issues of the Muslims - does not believe that these conferences can meet the demands or restore the rights [of the Palestinians], or bring equity to the oppressed. These conferences are nothing but a way to give the infidels power of arbitration over Muslim land, and when have the infidels ever been equitable towards the believers...

"There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce. The Palestinian people is far too eminent to have its future, its rights and its destiny toyed with."

Peace out.