FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bringing West Bank Rules to Chicago’s West Madison Street

by

If a supporter of Palestine had packed a pistol at a rally, his arrest would have been headline news. But Chicago Zionists get a pass.

Israel’s apologists spent more than a week building for their Wednesday Chicago rally in support of the mass slaughter of civilians in Gaza. Pro-Palestinian counter-protesters had a few scant days to organize a response – but met the Zionists body for body and chant for chant.

And occupation rules played out in Chicago at the dueling rallies, just as they do across occupied Palestine. Chicago police gave Israel’s advocates prime real estate in the center of the street in front of the Israeli consulate, which is located in a massive, high-rent downtown highrise that also houses a major train station. Palestinian allies? Cordoned off on a tiny corner hundreds of feet away, walled in by police horses, bicycle cops and dozens of Chicago cops, Homeland Security operatives, private police and their allies.

Chicago cops claimed they searched people attending the pro-Israel rally. They searched my camera bag when I entered. But they missed at least one Zionist supporter packing a handgun who was later detained after he bum-rushed pro-Palestine supporters.

That pretty much sums up the state of settler colonial relations, both right here at home in the vaunted democracy of the United States and in its proxy settler state of Israel.

This week, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel raised the prospect of another $225 million in aid to Israel, on top of more than $600 million in new aid approved earlier this month to support Israel’s war on the people of Gaza. That’s in addition to the billions of dollars in direct and indirect aid that US taxpayers provide each year to Israel for its apartheid state. So no shortage of funds for Israeli guns and bombs.

At the same time, Chicago has seen a rash of handwringing about gun violence from its current Mayor 1% — former Obama chief of staff, congressman and IDF volunteer Rahm Emanuel, who figures in a photo on the Facebook page of the Zionist arrested for packing at Wednesday’s Chicago protests. That arrestee is real estate dealer Andrew Glatz, who’s also peppered his Facebook page with photos of fellow Zionists and exhortations to support Israel’s agenda – and a pic of him with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

Had Glatz been your usual run-of-the-mill person of color or, say, a supporter of the Palestinians, his arrest would have been fodder for screaming op ed headlines from Zionist apologist rags like the Chicago Sun-Times. Instead, FIX. Glatz sells property for the likes of the new Chicago tower of Donald Trump – also a big fan of Israeli war criminal Bibi Netanyahu – and Glatz’ commercial raison d’être fits nicely with Rahm’s larger mission of ethnic cleansing and displacement here at home in Chicago. So it makes sense that Glatz’ support of ethnic cleansing and apartheid in Israel would merit not a whimper from the local powers that be.

Glatz is charged with a misdemeanor, for illegally packing a gun to a protest. Had he been pro-Palestinian, he’d be looking at huge bail and tarring and feathering in the local press. Instead, he was I-bonded out of jail – shelling out not a penny for bringing a pistol to public space, and then sprinting across the street to assault people who think slaughtering civilians is a bad idea.

Emanuel, who’s stewarded a wholesale assault on neighborhood public schools, public health clinics and public pensions in concert with Illinois politicians, has yet to utter a peep about his Zionist fan. And Chicago’s top cop, Garry McCarthy, has offered no public explanation of Glatz’ kid-gloves treatment. That’s unsurprising, given the current Chicago regime’s tacit embrace of tactics that range from police spying on activists to police brutality against people of color.

Glatz’ treatment is embedded in a dominant paradigm in Chicago and across the United States, where refugee children of color are painted as toxic alien invaders and inner city poor are branded as shirkers unwilling to bring themselves up by their bootstraps – even though they have no boots.

“The Zionists at Wednesday’s rally believe that the lives of invading Israeli soldiers in Gaza are of more value than the lives of over 650 Palestinian civilians who’ve been killed in Israel’s latest onslaught, including over 130 children,” says Hatem Abudayyeh of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine (CJP) and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. “At the same time, our counter-protest was corralled and policed like a criminal enterprise, when it was the pro-Israel protesters who harassed and assaulted us.”

The United States is the ultimate settler colonial state, built on the twin pillars of slavery and the genocide of indigenous peoples. So it’s little surprise that we confront special treatment for settler colonial behavior here, just as we continue to bankroll and cosign these policies in Israel. The injustice that Palestinians confront daily at Israel’s hands is the same kind of injustice the US state apparatus brings down on the heads of the poor, the non-white, the dispossessed and the disenfranchised within our borders on a daily basis. Just askDetroit residents, who are being starved of water just as Israel starves Palestinians of water. Or just ask any poor American living with the legacy of Bill Clinton’s welfare ‘reform’.

Glatz’ special treatment does more than mirror the impunity that Israel’s settler state employs for its privileged. It was born here, in the United States, where its ravages are under full bore advance – and this is where it must be challenged and demolished.

Chris Geovanis is a Chicago media activist, advocacy journalist and member of the HammerHard MediaWorks collective. You can reach her via Twitter @heavyseas, via her Facebook page or at chrisgeovanis(at)gmail.com

Chris Geovanis is a Chicago media activist, advocacy journalist and member of the HammerHard MediaWorks collective. You can reach her via Twitter @heavyseas, via her Facebook page or at chrisgeovanis(at)gmail.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail