draft – ‘only thus’

Remember the memory of Iqrit
a land torn under administrative procedure.
Only the cradle of church bones is left to mark the absence.

And, remember Kafr Bir’im
where the purchased victimization of Yeshuv expelled a whole people
as the Holocaust became the gaping wound by which
to lay the roots of Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot.

Here, where the transplant seeds of Sequoia now grow,
there are infinite baobabs that choke memory and what is truth.

Remember, the bones of Lod
(the slowing of the dead)
autumn’s memory is black.

Months, like the wrath of god, burn by different names
each moving towards the innocence
of winter, where all is absolved in the holy cause, by another name.

There is a permission for pain that is granted only to the
tender hands of the one who inflicts the torture
for, don’t they also have the difficult choice
of enforcing ideology on the bruises of other bodies?

Irgun declared רק כך (only thus), or one way
to a morality that is clarified, sanitized,
buried amid the pipes that siphon water
providing humanity with unprecedented technological advances
as a means of claiming more land.

The pride of a twisted cause is taught young
where belonging is understood as borders,
citizenship can be acquired simply by holy entitlement while declined from the blood of birth
and the horror of one obliteration is made into vengeance upon another.

Where there were bodies that borrowed their existence
and learned the first meaning of the crying wall after taking a gun in hand,
this country was made by the perfecting of death
and the justification of forms of murder by the commission,
the ignorability of the law.

Remember, the land that was sold into new measurements,
dunam made into hectares
someone, somewhere, had to own it
for the thief guards most closely that which was stolen.

Here, religion forgets its obligations to penitence
over the promises of bankers whose religion is the remaking of memory.

Where people bless the miracle of bread with the justification of another murder,
the meaning of matzah is rotten, bread is dust in the mouth,
when it covers the graves of the chosen people, the people who live too much,
for whom prisons are commissioned by American and Canadian companies.

Another soul, borrowed for the right to be,
borrowed life from life as existence became a matter for speculation

a reminder, we do not forget
for whom new memory is written,
where there are fewer homes for memory,
so was the memory sold.



Skyscrapers and Tunnels (Gratticieli e tunnel), Fortunato Depero, 1930 (detail)

READ FULL ARTICLE ON BERFROIS: http://www.berfrois.com/2018/01/lital-khaikin-to-justify-land-5/

It is not possible to justify the machinations of ‘natural capitalism’, or ‘green capitalism’ as truly sustainable, for we will find no end to these ecologically, socially, intimately destructive consequences by trying to imagine alternatives through logics that are already finite, compartmental, and contain the imaginaries of statehood, capital ownership, and hierarchies of superiority. It is necessary to reach outside of ourselves. It is necessary for ‘epistemic ruptures’ to come as social revolutions that are inspired out of worldviews entirely different from the roots of capitalist thought, from resistance that is borne out of languages and cosmologies that cannot even imagine, cannot give place to, ideas of nationalism, statehood, citizenship, and the privatization of the planet. Confrontation with extractive and industrial development, and the continued sale of land into private ownership, cannot just negate developments as they arise, but need to create a widespread ethical change by which such developments are not only unnecessary for their endless reliance on exploiting an absurd surplus, but are understood as morally unacceptable. This means “imagining futures” of entirely different ways of existing on the planet and relating to the earth, requiring as Cadena writes, “an insurgence of indigenous forces and practices with the capacity to significantly disrupt prevalent political formations, and reshuffle hegemonic antagonisms, first and foremost by rendering illegitimate (and, thus, denaturalizing) the exclusion of indigenous practices from nation-state institutions.”

“We left with empty hands, a hundred and seventy years ago, and we were right. We took nothing. Because there is nothing here but States and their weapons, the rich and their lies, and the poor and their misery. There is no way to act rightly, with a clear heart, on Urras. There is nothing you can do that profit does not enter into, and fear of loss, and the wish for power. You cannot say good morning without knowing which of you is ‘superior’ to the other, or trying to prove it. You cannot act like a brother to other people, you must manipulate them, or command them, or obey them, or trick them. You cannot touch another person, yet they will not leave you alone. There is no freedom. It is a box — Urras is a box, a package, with all the beautiful wrapping of blue sky and meadows and forests and great cities. And you open the box, and what is inside it? A black cellar full of dust, and a dead man. A man whose hand was shot off because he held it out to others.”

– Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed.


To Justify Land 3: Discrepancies in the Values is republished in the Media Co-Op:

full article: http://www.mediacoop.ca/story/justify-land-discrepancies-values/36673

Colonization’s impact on rivers, from Siberia to the Ottawa Valley


Hydroelectricity development continues in Québec, as Hydro-Québec currently targets the “protected” Magpie River, with recent contestation from the Natashquan Innu who blockaded La Romaine hydroelectric complex near Havre-Saint-Pierre in 2015. Yet, reparations for century-old projects are still being sought for their devastation of the environment throughout Nitassinan, across the borders of Québec and Labrador. Reparations are also still sought for a cultural genocide committed in favour of war-time industries and industrialist profiteering. The power of the northern rivers of the Boréal was monetized for the benefit of a few industrialists whose notions of progress still resonate today. The same companies still believe in their proud history of colonial brutality, of their conquest of the wild frontier, empowered by Canadian neoliberal policy. The same legacy of politicians believes that progress is continued surveying, extraction, production, land development, and prioritization of corporate interests over the truly global crisis of the endless growth of capital.

The mask of these extractive industries is the promise of employment – first to Québec workers and later, when they began to resist too effectively, to Innu communities. Just like the Nenets on the Yamal who were offered the opportunity to become subsidiaries of Russian oil and gas companies, the Innu too could now share in the revenues of mines, smelting factories, and profitable hydroelectric dams! In the process of negotiating rights for self-governance, Innu communities in Québec are being offered buy-in to ongoing hydroelectric projects. “In Nutashkuan, the Innu could have the option to partner with Québec in developing and profiting from a 50-MW hydroelectric dam.” (National Post, Feb. 7, 2016). Collaboration with extractive industries and power companies is cynically depicted as the only way to progress in negotiations with the Canadian state for better living conditions and self-governance in affected regions, and the only way by which to maintain a semblance of control and oversight on projects being developed. In “consultation”, permission for continued development is taken for granted as a guaranteed outcome, not as a point of true disputation. The compromise is employment opportunities and “guaranteed royalties”. Under the conditions of assimilation into the state, “progress”, “success” and “development” mean “revenue generation” that is based on “institution-building, economic development, land and natural resource use”. Co-operation with Indigenous peoples means enforcing an economic system that fosters dependency on private corporations for the provision of benefits and security, and enforcement of environmental regulations, when the conditions for self-governance in all of these areas is systemically oppressed by colonial states – autonomy, self-governance, independence are, after all, all enemies of the state.

“The philosophies of the Socialist World, too, are to some extent traceable to European contact with the Haude no sau nee. Lewis Henry Morgan noted the economic structure of the Hau de no sau nee, which he termed both primitive and communistic. Karl Marx used Morgan’s observations for the development of a model for classless, post-capitalistic society. The modern world has been greatly influenced by the fact of our existence.”

excerpt from Basic Call to Consciousness, presented by the Hau De No Sau Nee (Six Nations Iroquois) to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland (1977).

(la) Révolution (humaniste)

With the luxury of leisure expense,
the revolutionaries of today can purchase the words of the poor
for a visible consumption that affirms their righteousness.

These revolutionaries are quiet in their storm,
as they dress themselves with correct words and approval
as they pass their ethical capital from one to the next.

The middle class revolutionaries pay to have the appearance
of not having much at all.
To them, there is no place for the abundance of misery
for misery looks appalling and is in bad taste.

The root of their subsistence is apolitical and forgiven, for the blood of labour
that lines the pockets of government grant schemes.
The blood of labour is an abstraction from another era,
a metaphor for dispute removed from chicken blood and cow muscles,
the slice of machinery and speed of conveyor belts.

Compassion is a matter of choice: selecting where to give it,
to whom it goes, when it is convenient.

The important words of ethical revolutionaries are forms of justification,
how to be, continue to be, what it means to be,
another promising inertia for the movements that are always impending,
a state-sanctioned philosophical crisis about thinking about thinking.

The revolutionaries of the middle class are one purchase away from the truth,
one citation of another suicided prophet away from vicarious integrity,
one more inspiration away from making the beautiful choice,
nagged by their compassion, of joining the ranks of the poor for the greater cause.

The ethical revolutionaries of the middle class will condone empathy
for invisible labour, but be sure that you will have to buy access to their
dedicated research on labour’s history.