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Hilton Obenzinger is the author of "American Palestine: Melville, Twain and the Holy Land Mania" (Princeton), among many other books of criticism, poetry and fiction, and the recipient of the American Book Award. His most recent book is the autobiographical novel "Busy Dying" (Chax). He is a long-time Jewish American advocate of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Hilton Obenzinger teaches writing and American literature at Stanford University.
A Haggadah after the election of the racist Netanyahu. Passover comes soon and this is an alternative Haggadah for those who have said "Enough Already." Once we were slaves, and now we are slaves again.
Monday, September 16, 2013(3 comments)
Syria: What The Hell Is Going On?
Syria brinkmanship diplomacy, neocon turn to war, or bumbling shrewd feint to war and slide-in for peace? And Putin comes off wise? It's all dizzying and baffling-and may end up with the chemicals removed or even a ceasefire. What do you think?
Saturday, November 10, 2012(1 comments)
Be Glad for a Day - Or Even More
Revel in the gains made - and how amazing it's been. Surprise after surprise. The ultra-right won't roll over - but the momentum goes in another direction today. Enjoy!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011(1 comments)
Giving Thanks During Occupy America
Here is an Occupy Thanksgiving prayer for this Thanksgiving and maybe even the next. Change it or add to it as you wish - but enjoy your feast, and then get back to the fight.
Monday, June 14, 2010(4 comments)
Everything is Spilling
Everything is spilling. Oil blots the Gulf after BP bursts the well of our Delusions. What else is spilling? How do we clean it all up? Can we step on the other side of stupidity caused by greed? Can we rise above all the extreme absurdities of the moment?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wish List for The New Decade
With the arrival of 2010 I've decided to collect an incomplete list of wishes for the New Year and the New Decade. Some wishes are major, some minor. All wishes are hapless, unimaginable, silly, fruitless, and unable to come true "quot; unless people make them happen. No miracles allowed. For example, I wish the weather maps wouldn't stop at the borders, that demagogues dunking the tea-baggers would drown in their own tea.
Monday, September 14, 2009(3 comments)
Stop the Lynch Mob: We Need the Real Deal
The ultra-right extremists believe their America has gotten stolen out from under them. Stolen right before their very eyes by the crazy fact of an election! And they've started up a lynch mob -- and we need to stop them. But a lot of progressives have their own criticisms of Obama. Progessives have to do something we're not used to: Support Obama at the same time we pressure him. We need the Real Deal to stop fascism.
Monday, January 5, 2009(1 comments)
Happy New Year Gaza Death
In the hiatus before Obama takes power Israel makes its move for a fait accompli. A while ago, an Israeli general promised a "shoah" (holocaust) for Gaza. Now the promise of death is being kept. Meanwhile, the world economy is contracting furiously. Obama's election was just a shift in power, not a revolution -- but the world conspires to give him a welcome in blood and misery. What next?
Saturday, September 13, 2008(9 comments)
November 5th, 2008: What Do You Expect?
Vision of America if McCain/Palin wins or if Obama/Biden. Onslaught and resistance. Worldwide organization of Committee in Solidarity with the people of the United States (CISPUS) to fight perky fascist takeover. American frontier of Alaska last-chance white domination or Hawaii mellow mix-mix. Your choice. What do you expect? What will you do?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008(1 comments)
Columbia Student Rebellion 1968 - 40 Years Later
In April 1968, black and white students occupied 5 buildings of Columbia University for a week protesting the Vietnam War and the university building a segregated gym in a public park overlooking Harlem. Forty years later, protestors returned to hold a conference to re-visit what happened. We met with the same intensity as we did 40 years ago -- minus the cops. And we confronted the legacy of racism between the students.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008(7 comments)
Some Words That Bug Me
As the new year begins, I reflect upon words that irritate me. "Faith-based", for example, or "intelligence," as in intelligence community. What words bug you?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Bomb Iran Follies: Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 25
Bush is cranking up to bomb Iran, Israel bombs a cube in the Syrian desert, all of the absurdities of the moment mount -- and Bush waterboards the democrats until they drown on their own cowardice. Remember this moment -- and try to explain it to future generations.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007(4 comments)
Yom Kippur Liturgy
Yom Kippur is the day that Jews ask for forgiveness for sins and transgressions. Years ago I wrote my own version of the
enumeration of shortcomings and sins and sent it out to friends. A magazine printed it, and I received a message from a professor of folklore that the piece had been circulating around, attributed to that prolific author, Anonymous. I send it out again, and may your name be inscribed in the Book of Life.
Saturday, September 1, 2007(10 comments)
On Both Sides of Israel's West Bank Wall
I have seen The Wall. Perhaps more accurately, The Wall took possession of my soul. Sure, I've seen photos and videos of it, but there's nothing like looking at it in the concrete, a looming monstrous scar across the landscape. The Wall is one of the cruel wonders of the world. So, should we boycott Israeli universities?
Wednesday, July 4, 2007(8 comments)
Bush/Cheney in '08?
Will Bush/Cheney devise a way to stay in power after 2008? Or will they wreck things sufficiently that the next president will not be able to disentangle from their wars, occupations, and their corporate dismantling of democratic government?
Monday, May 7, 2007(1 comments)
Words from the Presidential Candidates You'll Never Hear:
A while ago, John Edwards spoke the "M" word. After Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with incurable cancer, she told the world that "everyone's going to die," and her presidential candidate husband spoke about everyone having to face their mortality. Mortality? Since when do presidential candidates speak about icky things with anything approaching honesty? Here are some things you'll probably never hear during the campaign.
Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 20: Don't Support The Troops
Many others have commented on the manipulative use of such demagogic slogans to support the militarist mindset. But I want to address why I don't Support the Troops because volumes of history stand behind those three simple words. And that history is the war in Vietnam. If those who say Support the Troops realized that the anti-Vietnam war movement WAS the troops, they might change their tune.
Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 18: The New New Anti-Semitism
Critics of Israel's policies are once more slandered as purveyors of "The New Anti-Semitism," a phrase rolled out ever since 1967. Students at Stanford and other campuses are speaking out, and they now join Jimmy Carter and such prominent Jews as Tony Kushner, Adrienne Rich, the late Arthur Miller, and others in getting castigated. Such crude tactics stifle debate and are dangerous, obscuring real anti-Semitism.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 17: No Empire, No Iraq War: Do You Have a Dream?
MLK Day comes again, and "I have a Dream!" will be repeatedly endlessly. Bush has his own dream -- of widening, constant war. The splits in the elite are growing, and the oppsoition of the people is enormous. Most politicians call for "redeployment," but MLK's movement had other dreams: of justice and peace. We need the alternative that rejects empire and calls for the "other" American of King's dream. Do you have a dream?
Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies - 15: Quick Trip to Lebanon
I was invited to lecture for the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut. With that as an excuse, I was able to visit the city, the Bakaa Valley, and the towns in the south like Bint Jabail where the big battles took place. I was able to get a sense of our tax dollars in action, and of Lebanon's complex internal politics. They -- and we -- are waiting for the other shoe to drop.