My name is Chuck Hamilton, and I’m from Chattanooga, TN, USA. I’m 53 years old and have favored Scottish independence most of my life, joining the SNP in 1997 just before the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the devolution referendum. I had to leave that body after the Westminster Parliament voted to dissallow foreign membership in UK political parties in the early 2000s but have been associated with the SRSM and have friends who are members and ex-members of the SSP. Personally, I would like to see Scotland completely independent as a republic, preferably a democratic socialist republic.
Here on this side of the Atlantic, I was with the Democratic Party until the 1990s when the neo-Dixiecrats of the Democratic Leadership Council took it over and turned it into the neoliberal cabal it is today. Since then I have been a member of a few socialist parties until joining the Green Party USA and changing support to Jill Stein a few weeks before Bernie Sanders did to the movement which supported him what Mir Hussein Moussavi did to the Green Movement in Iran in 2009. Among other things, I have also been involved since the 1990s to varying degrees over the years with a local group founded by Maxine Cousins and Lorenzo Ervin in 1983 called Concerned Citizens for Justice, now serving as the local branch of Black Lives Matter, which very openly supports the Palestinian people.
Speaking of the Green Movement, I’d like credit to go where credit is due with regards to the conversation Neil and Kevin had on Independence Live about Facebook becoming a tool for political activists in terms of educating, agitating, and organizing. While there had been some small-scale activity politically, it was the Iranian Green Movement which pioneered doing that on a mass-scale during the events of 2009, the following year, and into 2011, when the events of the Arab Spring, the Israeli social justice movement, the indignado movement in Spain, and the Occupy movement took over the center stage. I should point out, by the way, that almost everyone active in the Green Movement and posting to Facebook back then still is and is still doing so.
It was in 2011 that I became involved with the Palestinian anti-apartheid movement. I had traveled to Paris to meet and spend time with the French Iranian woman with whom I was having a relationship, mostly over Skype, leaving the day after 300 tornadoes had struck the Southeast USA. After we’d spent a week together, she and I took a boat tour and met two fellows, one a Palestinian Arab and the other an Israeli Jew, who were in the city attending a conference of anti-apartheid activitists from Palestine and Israel. A photo we had taken of the four of us together (with the caption “A Palestinian, an American, an Iranian, and an Israeli got onto a Batobus tour boat on the River Seine in Paris”) serves as the cover for my Facebook newsgroup, Terran News.
The Jewish, or, to be more exact, Judaicist, State of Israel in the Levant (JSIL) is a sectarian ethnocracy engaged in widespread racial discrimination, ethnic-cleansing, deliberate cultural destruction, vicious apartheid that would make even the most hardcore white supremacist in South Africa (or in the American South, for that matter) cringe with embarrassment, and occasionally outright genocide in the narrower definition of the term. By the definition of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish Jew who coined the term, all of those things are genocide. As a genocidal entity, Israel does not have a “right to exist” as a state. Its people do, no matter how bigoted many of them are, but they do not “have the right” to their own state apparatus with which to manifest the fruits of that bigotry upon its targets while at the same time denying those targets, their fellow humans, equal access to that same apparatus to use in their defense, as is the case, now and since 1948.
As great as the atrocities suffered by the Palestinians of the West Bank, and Palestinian citizens of Israel for that matter, are, those still pale in comparison to the situation of those in the Gaza Strip, which would be more accurately called the Gaza Ghetto. It is the world’s largest prison camp, the largest in the entire history of the world. Within its walled, barbed wired, machine gun-equipped towers are 1.82 million people crammed into a mere 138 square miles. That’s 13,188 humans per square mile, the highest density in the world. Even that is being generous; the loosely-defined buffer zone around the prison walls reduces the available territory even more.
Imagine if Scotland won independence and enacted a constitution granting full citizenship only to those who could prove descent from one of the historic Highland clans, Lowland houses, or Border grains, and, furthermore, were registered Protestant Christians. The only difference would be a lack of native population to ethnically cleanse and condemn to years of occupation and harsh oppression. The fairest solution, the only fair and just solution, is to dissolve both JSIL and the PA (Palestinian Authority) and establish in its place One Democratic State that is completely secular and guarantees to all its people equal rights before the law. Now, I know working out the details would be a wee bit hairy and face more than a few obstacles to overcome, but that is the only solution to the situation in the Southern Levant.
Yeah, I know, ODS (One Democratic State) seems like a dream. But thirty-five years ago it seemed as if the situation in apartheid South Africa, a state strongly supported by Israel, mind you, even to the point of sharing it nuclear weapons technology, would go on for decades or even a century. Ten years ago, no one envisioned that Burma, or Myanmar, would have a mostly elected civilian legislature or that Aung San Syu Kyi would be first minister in all but name. I know that in most countries where it took place the Arab Spring has stumbled or collapsed, but no one at the time thought any of the regimes against which the people rose would be removed from power. Two years ago, most people thought another indyref was years or decades in the future. Until Brexit happened.
The way the people of the world can support Palestinians and the Israelis fighting for their human rights is to support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, and to make their support known on Facebook and other avenues of education and agitation.
The name of my Facebook newsgroup, Terran News, comes from a saying I had posted on my old Yahoo360 page when that still existed. “I am a Terran, a citizen of Earth. The whole world is my home, and all its people my brothers, sisters, and cousins.” There’re no exceptions to that last bit.
In closing, I’d like to say to my Palestinian friends, Sayati yawm’lana, and to my fellow Scots nationalists, Thig ar latha. Alba gu brath.
Link to the pocast: http://ungagged.podbean.com/e/two-furra-pound/