Sallam O a'likum Friends,
This letter was originally only for the Staff members of GS, Upon the request of Mr Hussain, and further reflection, I have decided to share this letter with the general audience of GS.
I am honored to have been invite to contribute here, and will be sharing what I do.
Deeper thought and research is often necessary to digest the information I present. I usually bring in people bit, by bit... Show them small truths they can digest, then move on..
I do not want my viewers to be confused, as I deal with many issues that present controversy, and may on the surface seem unrelated. They are not. Human Rights are the common theme....
I usually do not go for the kill like in the letter I present to you today.
But, why not...whynotnews
Please allow me to introduce myself to your members,
I am a simple man, a farmer, father and an American. The issue of the "middle east" was no affair of mine until the planes came hurtling into the twin towers that September day. I called my military recruiter, ready to kick me some ass.
But then I took a step back, why would someone want to do this to us? Why indeed, The more I read about it the more confused I got... so thinking about it, I figured I should go to the center of the mess, Palestine, and see for myself. These people were willing to blow themselves up, maybe they could explain it to me.
I was a little nervous, being an Infidel and all, but I knew I had to find out what was up. My Nation was under attack. I got there in 2004, went to Abu Amars Funeral, Stayed in Jenin, and Ramallah, on weekends in Jerusalem... I was there for three months, I am a quick study, did not take long to figure who the bad guys were.... Turns out, it was us, The Americans, for backing Israel, and making war. Then it gets worse, turns out, the whole 911 thing looks fishy.... physics and all... And who looks like they did it ? Neocons... PNAC.... Keep going... almost there.... Zionists. Shit.
The deeper I looked the more I saw, it goes way back. The Zionist Jews think they can break the exile by force. I personally like what the NETUREI KARTA has to say about the matter....
Now I am not a hidden anti Semite, I have lots of Jewish friends. I went to Gaza with Jews. Judaism is not the problem, Militant Talmudic Zionism that has strayed from the Torah is the problem. But the way I deal with these issues is thus, Human Rights... for everybody. International Law prohibits land by conquest, and prohibits Collective Punishment. People are free to think what they want, just not at the expense of threatening humanity. They want to force the conditions for end times. God decides this, not them. But how many must suffer and die? All with my tax money.
It explains Iraq.... Palestine.... Iran... all that, all just to stop from being punished, they think. One can not force the will of Allah.
Normally I do not go in to all of this, but this site being dedicated to higher thought, I feel welcome to speak my mind.
I have blood on my hands as an American. I have a duty to struggle for Peace at the core. I found my calling with a Camera, documenting efforts for Peace and Justice to bring our nation to heel and abide by International Standards of Humanitarian Law.
After the attack on Gaza, I felt compelled to bear witness and express solidarity by coming. I preferred to come alone, but accepted an invitation to join a CodePink Peace Delegation, as to increase my chances of getting through Rafah . I spent a month there,The Videos I shot, tell that story. My work was to show the life. All we see on the other side of the wall is the propaganda. I choose to avoid internal Palestinian Politics in my work. I stand with the People, and the Palestinians must sort out there own affairs.
I understand resistance, but Resistance can take many forms. I choose non-violent resistance (but also I am not under attack). I choose to resist with my Camera, and my Body. Being a white American Male, The Israelis are leery of shooting me, although that is no guarantee. I have dodged bullets in the West Bank and really become almost bored with the "sound Bombs'. But they can not win that easy.. No sir.
When visiting Gaza, I also saw many youth on the Web. I had a common suggestion I gave to every group I met that went something like this. There is no way out or into Gaza, but the Internet and the tunnels. Use the net to reach out. If you are a student, reach students elsewhere talk about common themes they are familiar with. Like to Like. Doctor?, contact Doctors. Football players contact Ball clubs. Use what you have, and what you know. I cant tell you how many people I met with advanced degrees... sitting. They could be an Army on the Internet. Imagine if the Universities had a program, broken down into Language, region and interest, targeting different countries... a methodical process, building rapport, and following up on replys. French speaking group target France...English? ...English speaking countries... Like that.
Also, there are many talk back forums for news articles the world over, where no educated defense comes from the Arab or Muslim perspective to ignorant views. One can say, "Oh yea, well I live in (insert Muslim Nation here) and this is what I think..."
Most folks I saw, were down loading movies, chatting.. Not using it fully as a potential tool of Liberation. The net can achieve goals other forms of Resistance have not. A good video is worth a million bullets. Hearts and minds... We must break down misconceptions both ways.
Through all this for me, I have been introduced to Islam, live with Kashmiri (after the earth quake), worked with Islamic Relief (after Katrina) as well as being in Egypt, and Morocco, and of with course Our Beloved Palestinians. I have always been welcome, and felt at home. I love Gaza, the Food, The People, The Land.... what more could you want.... Well the Neighbors are Noisy..
For me, Islam is beautiful, I read the Quran, I will be fasting for Ramadan, and hope to learn to pray. I have studied many religions, out of curiosity, You got your Trinity's, Got your Hindus with lots and lots of Gods, for any occasion,and I never did figure out what the Holy Ghost was... I never was impressed with the Pope. But Allah? One God and Mohammad was his messenger. Allah Akbar, that I can accept. The call to prayer... well, I wish I could hear it here.
As to my video work, I try to keep my opinion out of it. People can speak for themselves, I just know where to be and how to get there to film it. I have never been paid for what I do, and have very little useful support.
The FreeGaza Folks invited me to Join the next aid ship to Gaza. They reached out to me after seeing my work. I happen to be handy to have on a boat, and I want to film what happens.... Inshallah, no problem, however there has been problems in the past. I can not stand by and do nothing as they starve Gaza.
I am putting this "out there".... I need help getting there. I need a plane ticket, and a grand in my pocket. I intend on going a little early as to help prepare the Ship. I usually fund my own operations, but I am tapped out, still trying pay off my credit card from my last trip to Gaza. So I need a Sponsor, for that I will show you what happens as we try, once again to break through the Siege of Gaza.
I have become a member and speaker for American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights and will be using my work to bolster their efforts.
Before I go to Cypress for passage to Gaza (Inshallah), I will be filming for the Veterans for Peace Convention
These are important to film, The soldiers that have the courage to resist have much to teach our Nation. I will also be sharing those videos with this group.
Another thing I am looking for is an Arabic Translator, to give subtitles, and translations to some of my WHYnotnews videos. The more languages we can operate with the better.
Also, I want to offer my work in any useful way. I can post things individually, send links... I just need to learn how to best interact with this site.
Many thanks to Mr Hussain for sharing my videos with your groups and making me feel welcome.
I would appreciate any feedback.
Here are videos made in Gaza during a month long visit there. I came with a Code Pink Delegation for International Woman's day, invited by the UN. The Delegation departed, I stayed on, that I might show a bit the world behind the siege.
Lincoln Vermont USARest of the post.