VIDEO: The late historian Howard Zinn interviewed by Bill Moyers February 11, 2010

Editor’s Note:  Please watch this video.  Zinn does not talk specifically about Palestine, but he talks about the power of people’s movements and the terrible inequalities and oppression they overcame which should give a lot of hope to everyone working to defeat Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing.  Interspersed through this interview are vignettes from “The People Speak”, a play based on Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States” where words from the past come to life like Genora Dollinger’s “Cowards! Cowards! Shooting into the bellies of unarmed men and firing at the mothers of children” – words which rallied support for the hard-fought strike that finally pushed through reforms for industrial workers in the 1930s.  It is inspiring and should extinguish any doubts that change can possibly come from ordinary people.  Watch the video HERE.
Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn died at the age of 88 on 27 January 2010.   Although not a religious Jew, he said that he had felt satisfaction in 1948 that the Jews, so long victims and wanderers, would finally have a “homeland”.  He went on to say:

It did not occur to me–so little did I know about the Middle East–that the establishment of a Jewish state meant the dispossession of the Arab majority that lived on that land. I was as ignorant of that as, when in school, I was shown a classroom map of American “Western Expansion” and assumed the white settlers were moving into empty territory. In neither case did I grasp that the advance of “civilization” involved what we would today call “ethnic cleansing.”….It was only after the “Six-Day War” of 1967 and Israel’s occupation of territories seized in that war (the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, the Sinai peninsula) that I began to see Israel not simply as a beleaguered little nation surrounded by hostile Arab states, but as an expansionist power….I had long since understood that the phrases “national security” and “national defense” were used by the United States government to justify aggressive violence against other countries. Indeed, there was a clear bond between Israel and the United States in their respective foreign polices, illustrated by the military and economic support the United States was giving to Israel…” (From the Poisons of Nationalism in Tikkun Magazine)

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