Dear Outraged Liberals: Trump’s Just Taking Over Where Obama Left Off

Source

MINNEAPOLIS — Remember our former commander in chief — Barack Obama? Well he’s on vacation. After eight years in the Oval Office, he’s decided to unwind with billionaire Richard Branson. His recent kitesurfing adventure seems to be the only news item competing with President Trump’s “Muslim ban” and the opposition to it and the contentious confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education secretary.

Attention is turning to Obama’s post-presidency antics as we move further into the Trump administration.

The weekend that Trump took the oath of office, this country saw the largest political mobilization in U.S. history. And with each passing day of his presidency many Americans are growing increasingly outraged by the actions of the real estate mogul-turned reality TV-star-turned commander in chief.

And while the Democratic Party and the establishment left mourn Obama’s exit from the White House, they’re warning that we’ve entered a period of fascism in U.S. history. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets in protest. They’re also mobilizing online and over the phone in a swell of engagement and outrage that seems unprecedented in recent memory.

And to a certain point their outrage is justified: Our president is a man who campaigned on a platform of bigotry.

He drove racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and xenophobia into the mainstream, railing against political correctness and bringing into stark contrast the deep divisions among us.

Trump is waging war on the media and issuing orders that put a blanket ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries — nations that have been a target of U.S. imperialism and destabilization for more than 30 years. These orders are illegal, unconstitutional, and, frankly, morally reprehensible.

He could even breach international law if the U.S. Embassy in Israel is moved from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem, as he recently gave the green light for Israel to do so.

Trump has put Iran “on notice” — whatever that means — for an attack on the U.S. Navy which the Islamic Republic never committed. This has driven the United States into the closest military confrontation with Iran since 1979.

Millions of people gathered around the world in Women’s March protests the day after the inauguration. But as these protests swelled, one perhaps couldn’t help but wonder why there wasn’t any mobilization even remotely on this scale in the previous eight years during Obama’s presidency.

Perhaps it’s not too late to remind those who blindly followed the former “commander in cool,” who stamped each of his authoritarian policies with the platitudes of “Hope” and “Change,” of just how Trump’s new policies wouldn’t be possible without the full dictator’s toolkit that Obama and the Democratic Party prepared for him.

It was Obama who dropped more than 26,000 bombs on foreign soil — and that was just in 2016. It was Obama who destabilized and destroyed the very countries these victims of war are fleeing. And it was Obama who simultaneously approved arms sales to terror groups and dictatorships while expanding the war on terror.

It was Obama who expanded Bush’s drone war — a practically invisible war in which thousands of people have been killed without trial. Worse yet, many of those killed in drone strikes in countries like Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Afghanistan, have been civilians whose only “crime” was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was Obama who gave Israel a record rate of $6 billion in military aid,  more than any other administration in US history, emboldening the apartheid colony.

It was Obama who waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers. During Obama’s presidency there were eight prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act — that’s more than double those under all previous administrations combined.

It was Obama who continued to expand executive powers — including the ability to declare war unilaterally, meaning a president wouldn’t need congressional approval– that had already been dramatically expanded under the George W. Bush administration.

It was Obama who expanded Bush’s surveillance state right up until the very end.

Obama’s use of a secret court system, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, allowed his administration to ignore a federal court ruling that found bulk surveillance illegal. This ended up granting the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans.

With all the outrage over Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” and other policies, it seems logical that there would have been a similar blow back when Obama created the conditions for the death and destruction which refugees now hope to flee. Yet the same people calling executive overreach under Bush suddenly got quiet when Obama the Democrat came into office. But now that a Republican or Trump is behind the wheel of this enormous vehicle of practically unlimited power, those once quiet voices are rising up again.

Rather than reflecting on these and other horrendous acts perpetrated by the Obama administration, however, much of the Democratic and liberal bases are looking back on the Obama administration as “the good old days.” They and many others are demonstrating, en masse, against the powers that Donald Trump now has access to, ignoring the fact that not only did Obama himself use those powers, in many ways, his administration created and expanded them for the next successor.

The role of the independent press during times of great political upheaval is to wade through the chaos in order to provide the public with hard-hitting truths that transcend party lines.

Because the truth is, it doesn’t’ matter if a Republican or Democrat is in office — the policies from both parties look the same.

But we can’t begin to fight against the looming attacks against our civil liberties and the human rights of people everywhere — not just in the United States — without first acknowledging the crimes of previous administrations –Republican or Democrat — and the powers that they expanded for their successors.

If there’s going to be any genuine resistance to the Trump administration, then we have to be prepared for what tools he now has available, thanks largely to the former Democratic and Republican administrations before him, especially Obama.

With large swathes of America ready to protest, it’s time for the real anti-war movement to seize on that momentum and push for real change that actually creates conditions for a more peaceful world. It’s time to empty out the dictator’s toolbox and dismantle the system that’s brought us to this point. To “Hope” and “Change,” we say: Your move.

ترامب ونتنياهو إلى الممانعة أو «التصفير»

ترامب ونتنياهو إلى الممانعة أو «التصفير»

فبراير 16, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– فتح اللقاء الذي جمع الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب برئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو الباب للتكهنات والتساؤلات حول إمكانية ترجمة الخطاب التصعيدي الذي يلتقي عليه كلاهما، وكيفية هذه الترجمة. ويتساءل البعض عما إذا كان الخيار هو الحرب سواء نحو إيران، أو حزب الله، ويتجاهل هذا التحليل حقيقة أنّ اللقاء يجري بعدما جرت مياه كثير في أنهار الشرق الأوسط، سقطت فيها الجيوش الأميركية و«الإسرائيلية» في ضعف القدرة على بذل الدماء، ولم يكن سبب الفشل فيها التراخي والتخاذل من رئيس أميركي اسمه جورج بوش أو بيل كلينتون أو باراك أوباما. فالجيوش لم تخرج من ساحات الحرب وتسلّم الراية للمخابرات لتصنع الفتن إلا بعدما استنفدت كل فرص الاستثمار على فائض القوة التدميري والناري وإمكانيات الترهيب ووصلت إلى العجز عن تذليل العقبتين اللتين خرجت أميركا للحرب لأجلهما واحتلت أفغانستان والعراق لتطويقهما، وهما إيران وسورية. وتلاقت «إسرائيل» بالفشل مع أميركا في حربيها الكبيرتين ضد المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين في عامي 2006 و2008.

– يلتقي ترامب ونتنياهو بعدما صار شعار إسرائيل الاستراتيجي ترميم قدرة الدرع، وصارت الحرب آخر ما تفكر به «إسرائيل» لتحقيق هذه الغاية، فانكفأت خلف جدار وقبة، جدار تقطع به أوصال المناطق الفلسطينية لتجنّب تبعات الانتفاضات الفلسطينية، وقبّة صاروخية لتتفادى عبرها صواريخ حركات المقاومة، بينما يستعد ترامب للاحتماء خلف جدار وقبة، جدار جمركي يحمي البضائع الأميركية من المنافسة ويتصل بالجدار الذي بدأ ببنائه على الحدود مع المكسيك، وقبة إعلامية يصطنع بها عبر التصريحات والمواقف مظهر القوة، وكلما اصطدم موقف بحقيقة الضعف يحلّ مكانه موقف أشدّ ليونة وأقل تصلباً، كما في المنطقة الآمنة في سورية ونقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس والسعي لنسف الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، لتنتقل العنتريات إلى مسرح آخر مرة نحو أوروبا وأخرى نحو أستراليا وثالثة نحو الصين.

– ترامب ونتنياهو يقفان على رأس هرمين متشابهين في التكوين والثقافة. العجز عن بذل الدماء يجمعهما في لغة الحرب، والاستيطان كان أصل نشوء كيانيهما سياسياً وديمغرافياً، وشعار أرض الميعاد عقيدة الحلم الأميركي والحلم الصهيوني، لكنهما يتشاركان أيضاً في التناقض بين العجز عن الحرب وثقافة الغطرسة التي تدفع للتصعيد، بين الضعف في الميادين وتأثيره على نمو التطرف في المواقف، حيث تضعف المؤسسة الحاكمة نحو الناخبين وتحتاج خطاباً شعبوياً لكسب ودّهم، وتنطلق موجات العنصرية ولغة الحروب، لكنها عندما تصطدم بجدار القدرة تتحوّل أوراقاً تفاوضية. ومشكلة الكيانين واحدة في العجز عن صناعة الحرب والعجز عن صناعة السلام، ولهذا يحتمي كل منهما اليوم برفع سعر شراكته في التسويات، عبر فلسفة الممانعة، التي لجأت إليها قوى المقاومة يوم كانت في وضع الضعف عن صناعة الحروب وعدم ملاءمة المعروض من التسويات لثوابت الحد الأدنى لديها. هو تبادل مواقع وأدوار بين قوى الهيمنة والعدوان مع قوى المقاومة.

– ما يجري في واشنطن بين ترامب ونتنياهو هو تصفير ملفات التسويات من كل نقاط البديهيات والثوابت للانطلاق من صفر تفاهمات، والسعي لتحصيل ثمن جديد لكل خطوة في سلم التفاهم. هذا ما يفعله ترامب مع روسيا والصين، إيران، وهو ما يفعله ذاته نتنياهو تجاه القضية الفلسطينية، لكنّ كليهما يحتاج المفاوضات كمسار لتمييع المواجهة، وكليهما يخشى من المفاوضات أثمانها التي تعكس موازين القوى، فيسعى لتمييعها أيضاً. هو زمن التصفير وربط النزاع، وليس زمن الحرب ولا زمن التسوية.

(Visited 578 times, 578 visits today)
Related Videos
 
Related Articles

Egyptian parliament calls for Syria’s return to Arab League

The Committee of Arab Affairs at the Egyptian parliament called on the Syrian Arab Republic to restore its seat at the Arab League, describing the current situation as totally ‘unacceptable’.

The Committee states that the strategic ties and mutual struggle shared by both countries make it necessary to positively intervene in the Syrian case.

On the recently-held peace talks in Astana between the Syrian government and opposition, the CAF underlined the need to maintain the country’s institution, unity and sovereignty.

It also put a special emphasis on the fact that only Syrians have the right to decide the future of their country and form of government through democratic and free elections, taking into account the public interest of the country, expressing concerns about what it called ‘attempts to obliterate the Arabic and Islamic character of Syria through the draft constitution laid down by Russia.

Related Videos

/p>

Related articles

سورية حصن القدس… واللحظة مفصلية

سورية حصن القدس… واللحظة مفصلية

سامي كليب

بدأ الأوروبيون يستعدون لمرحلة ما بعد نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس. هم يعتبرون أن الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جادٌّ في ذلك ولديه الذريعة الفضلى للإقدام على هذه الجريمة التي لن تخدم سوى إسرائيل. فوفق مداولات داخلية للاتحاد الأوروبي مطلع الشهر الحالي قال مدير عام الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقية في جهاز العمل الخارجي نك وستكوت: «إن القرار الأميركي قد يُتخذ في خلال شهر أيار المقبل، أي فور انتهاء مفعول قرار تعليق نقل السفارة الذي كان باراك أوباما قد وقّعه»، ما يعني أن ترامب يستطيع القول أنا لم أتخذ قرار النقل وإنما أوقفت فقط تعليق إنفاذ القانون الصادر عن الكونغرس الأميركي عام ١٩٩٥ بشأن نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس.

مع هذه الخطوة، يكون ترامب قد حقق هدفين لإسرائيل، أولهما الاعتراف بسيطرتها على القدس، وثانيهما افتتاح عهده بتكثيف الهجوم على إيران. هو يعتقد أنه بذلك يضمن قاعدة تأييد له في الداخل الأميركي عبر اللوبي اليهودي الذي ينتمي إليه صهره المناصر بقوة لإسرائيل، كما يضمن فتح ما بقي من خزائن مالية خليجية ضد طهران.

يشار إلى أن ترامب قال صراحة لدى تعيينه سفير بلاده في الكيان الصهيوني: «إن السفير يتطلع لممارسة مهامه من سفارته في عاصمة إسرائيل الأبدية: القدس». بطبيعة الحال لم تتحرك أي جثة من جثث النظام العربي البائس للرد، فما بقي من هذا النظام الوهمي مهتم حالياً بتدمير الدول المركزية ويفتح علاقات مشبوهة تحت جنح الظلام مع أسوأ الحكومات الإسرائيلية.

ما علاقة سورية بالأمر؟

ما سيفعله ترامب، يحمل بذاته إحراجاً كبيراً للأنظمة العربية، من المملكة المغربية التي يُعتبر ملكها محمد السادس رئيس لجنة القدس إلى الأردن حيث الملك عبد الله الثاني هو الوصي الرسمي على المدينة المقدسة مروراً بالسعودية التي يسمى فيها الملك خادم الحرمين… كان العاهل المغربي قد قال قبل أسبوعين إن نقل السفارة يهدد السلم العالمي ووعد بأنه: «لن ندخر جهدا في الدفاع عن هذه المدينة المقدسة»… ممتاز، ولكن كيف ومتى وبأي وسيلة؟

المرجّح، أن محور المقاومة الحالي والذي يكاد ينحصر بسورية وحزب اللـه والمقاومة الفلسطينية الحقيقية وإيران، سيجد الفرصة مناسبة للانتعاش ورفع الصوت واتخاذ إجراءات سياسية وميدانية تجدد حضوره وتعزز موقعه في الشارع العربي. هذا مفيد بعد سنوات من الآلة الإعلامية والسياسية والأمنية والإرهابية الضخمة التي أُريد لها أن تصور حروب المنطقة على أنها حروب سنية شيعية.

هذا بالضبط ما يُقلق نتنياهو الذي يكاد ينصح بالتريث بنقل السفارة، لأن في هذه الخطوة ما يعزز حظوظ منافسه الإسرائيلي المتطرف زعيم البيت اليهودي نفتالي بينيت ويُنذر بتصعيد أمني ويسوغ دور إيران في المحيط العربي، ويقوي شوكة حزب اللـه وسورية، ناهيك عن عدد من المواقف الأوروبية التي صارت شبه مناهضة لنتنياهو.

استعادة وهج الخطاب السوري في الوسط العربي مهم في هذه اللحظة التاريخية، أولاً لأنه يأتي بعد أن انكشفت أوراق كثيرة حول حجم التآمر على سورية، وثانياً بعد التحولات الإقليمية والدولية والانتقال من المجاهرة برحيل الرئيس الأسد إلى القبول الضمني وعلى مضض ببقائه ودوره.

ففي آخر اجتماع أوروبي تم الاتفاق على التالي وفق معلوماتنا:

 ضرورة الحفاظ على نظام حكم مركزي في سورية مع احتمال بعض أوجه اللامركزية الثقافية مثلاً.
 ضرورة الحفاظ على مركزية الأجهزة الأمنية والعسكرية.

 اقتراح نظام نصف برلماني مع احتمال بعض الكوتا للأقليات الإثنية والدينية وتفادي النموذج اللبناني، لا بل القبول ببقاء حزب البعث تفادياً لما حصل في العراق بعد اجتثاثه.

 المباشرة بجهود الإنعاش الاقتصادي (حتى ولو أن بعض الدول مثل فرنسا لا تريد مطلقاً الحديث حالياً عن مشاركة أوروبية في إعادة الإعمار قبل إقرار المرحلة الانتقالية).

لا توجد أي كلمة عن الرئيس الأسد، تماماً كما كان الشأن في آخر لقاء سعودي تركي. ولا كلمة.

طبعاً لا دور لأوروبا في ظل احتمال التوافق الأميركي الروسي، لكن المهم في كل ما تقدم أن سورية التي صبرت وقاتلت وضحت ودُمر قسم كبير منها، حافظت على دورها وصوتها. ثمة فرصة كبيرة الآن لإعادة تعزيز حضور هذا الصوت في الشارع العربي من بوابة فلسطين.. فما رفضه الرئيس الأسد حين استقباله وزير الخارجية الأميركي كولن بأول عام ٢٠٠٣ أي في أوج السطوة الأميركية لناحية قطع العلاقة مع المقاومة وطرد التنظيمات الفلسطينية، لا يزال وسام شرف على الصدر السوري رغم الدمار والدماء والدموع.

من بوابة القدس سيعود الصوت السوري صادحاً في آذان العرب.

Fighting Hezbollah Tops Agenda of Netanyahu-Trump Meeting Plus 60 minutes with Nasser Kandil

February 13, 2017

US President Donald Trump - Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing to raise the issue of fighting Hezbollah during his upcoming meeting with the US President Donald Trump, according to Israeli media outlets which added that Tel Aviv aims at paralyzing the party financially.

Netanyahu will demand that Us administration imposes crippling sanctions on Iran in order to let it reconsider its support to Hezbollah, the Zionist reports added.

Maariv newspaper mentioned that the Hezbollah major military threat to ‘Israel’ will be also discussed during the meeting, as the Netanyahu wants Washington to conclude a deal with Russia to exclude Iran and Hezbollah from the Syrian formula.

The reports noted that the Zionists are frustrated with the Russian statements about Hezbollah anti-terror role, calling on Moscow to build an alliance with Washington because “granting Iran a major role in Syria endangers the Israeli entity.”

Source: Al-Manar Website

Related Articles

 

 

Trump’s Futile Efforts to Appease the Jews

Posted on February 8, 2017

 photo jewsagainsttrump_zps5p6q3gom.jpg

‘Israel accepts Jews only; and American Jews do not object to it; they do not compare Israeli leaders with Hitler or Trump…’

[ Ed. note – Israel Shamir is a noted author and commentator on Middle East issues. His books include Galilee Flowers, and Cabbala of Power. He is also a former Israeli and a Jewish convert to Christianity. In the article below he argues that the attacks on Trump we are seeing today, and particularly the strident protests over the president’s immigration ban from seven Muslim countries, are in reality a continuation of the war against Christianity, though under a different guise.

“The war on Christ and the Church is the most important element of Judaism,” he says. “Wherever Jews succeed, the Church suffers, and vice versa.”

In other words, the deep divisions we are witnessing now in American society are symptomatic of far more than simply political differences over how the country should be run. It is something much more primal and deep–and I’m not sure Trump fully understands this, if at all.

For these reasons, Shamir says, Trump’s efforts to win favor with Jews (by moving the US embassy, appointing hardcore Zionists to top positions in his administration, etc.) are likely to prove futile. He also notes something I noted in a post I put up a week ago–namely that the Jewish fundamentalists who hold power in Israel have different priorities from American Jews, and that appeasing one group does not necessarily gain Trump any ground with the other–and this also is not something the new occupant of the White House appears to comprehend fully.

Trump’s best hope of succeeding in his new job is to try and fathom the root source of the hostility now being directed against him. There are Bible verses that provide clues were he to take the time to read them–such as this one from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:20):  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” As I have said elsewhere, “Christian anti-Semitism” was not the cause of the split between Christianity and Judaism. The antipathy to Jesus’ teachings was present right from the start. ]

***

By Israel Shamir

President Trump had paid a hefty advance to the Jews. He did (almost) all they wanted for their Jewish state: he promised to move the US embassy to the occupied Jerusalem thus legalising their annexation of the holy city; he condoned their illegal settlements, he gave them starred positions in his administration; he told the Palestinians to drop their case in the ICC or else, he even threatened Iran with war. All that in vain. Jewish organisations and Jewish media attack Trump without slightest hesitation and consideration. His first step in curbing the soft invasion wave had been met with uniform Jewish vehemence.

He was called a new Hitler and accused of hatred of Muslims: what else could cause the President to arrest, even for a few months, the brave new migration wave from seven Middle Eastern states? Today he singles out Muslims, tomorrow he will single out Jews, said Jewish newspapers. Migration is the lifeblood of America, and the Muslim refugees are welcome to bring more diversity to the US.

Massive demonstrations, generously paid for by this notable Jewish philanthropist Mr George Soros, shook the States, while judges promptly banned the banning order. They insisted the orders are anti-Muslim, and therefore they are anti-constitutional. Somehow the constitution, they said, promises full equality of immigrants and does not allow to discriminate between a Muslim and a Christian.

This sounds an unlikely interpretation of the US Constitution. The US, and every other state, normally discriminates, or using a less loaded word, selects its potential citizens. The choice of seven states hasn’t been made by Donald Trump but by his saintly predecessor: President Barack Obama, this great friend of Muslims, made the choice personally some years earlier. So Trump had made a most moderate and modest step in the direction of blocking immigration by picking states already selected by the Democratic President.

One could reasonably claim that people of the seven states have a very good reason to hate America, and the reasons were supplied by previous US Presidents.

Libya, the most prosperous North African state until recently, had been ruined by President Obama: NATO invasion had brought Libya down; instead of stopping migration wave Libya had been turned into a jumping board for the Africans on their way North.

Syria is another Obama’s victim: by his insistence that ‘Assad must go’, by massive transfer of weaponry, money and equipment (remember white Toyota pickups?) to the Islamic extremists, he ruined this country.

Iraq has been ruined by President Bush Jr: he invaded the most advanced Sunni state, broke it to pieces and gave the centre of the country to the Isis.

Somalia has been ruined by President Bush Sr: he invaded this unfortunate country in the early nineties, when the USSR collapse allowed him to do so under the UN flag. Since then Somalia has become the supplier of choice of migrants and refugees for Sweden (there they formed the biggest community in Malmo and elsewhere), the US is also keen on getting them.

Yemen has been destroyed by Obama with Mme Clinton playing an important role: she facilitated delivery of weapons to Saudi Arabia in real time as they bombed Yemenis.

Sudan was bombed by President Clinton; afterwards this country had been dismembered and separate South Sudan had been created. Both halves became dysfunctional.

Iran is the odd one in the Magnificent Seven. It has not been invaded, has not been bombed, just threatened with invasion and bombardment for many years since President Carter. This country has no terrorists, it did not fail, its citizens are not running seeking for asylum. It was placed on the list by President Obama, who planned to bomb it, but never got to do it.

While Bush, Clinton and Obama bombed and invaded these countries, the Democratic humanitarians including their Jewish leaders just applauded and asked for more bombs. But they became appalled when Trump promised: no more regime change, end of “invade the world/invite the world” mode. Wikileaks put it well: bomb the Muslims, and you are fine; ban the Muslims, and you are the enemy.

Apparently, the people who instigated the Middle Eastern wars wanted to create a wave of refugees into Europe and North America in order to bring more colour and diversity to these poor monochrome lands. Welfare state, national cohesion, local labour and traditions will disappear, and these countries will undergo a process of homogenisation. Never again the natives will be able to single out Jews, for there will be no natives, just so many persons from all over the world, celebrating Kumbaya.

The Jews will be able to get and keep their privileged positions in Europe as they do in the US. They won’t be alone: by their success, they will establish a pattern to copycat for whoever wants to succeed in the new world, and masses of imitation-Jews will support the policies of real Jews.

Still, Jewish insistence on the Syrian refugees’ acceptance and on Muslim immigration in general is a strange and baffling phenomenon. Hypocrisy is too mild a word to describe that. We may exclude compassion as a cause for it. There are many thousands of natives of Haifa in Israel who suffer in Syria and dream to come back to their towns and villages, but the state of Israel does not allow these Syrian refugees to return for one crime: they aren’t Jews.

Israel accepts Jews only; and American Jews do not object to it; they do not compare Israeli leaders with Hitler or Trump. Israel had build a wall on its border with Sinai, and this wall stopped the black wave of African migrants. American Jews did not shout “No wall, no ban” in front of Israeli Embassy. Mystery, eh?

Kevin MacDonald wrote a thoughtful piece trying to unravel the mystery, Why Do Jewish Organizations Want Anti-Israel Refugees? and published it on January 17, a few days before Trump’s inauguration and full three weeks before the subject moved to the front burner. KMD correctly predicted that Donald Trump won’t appeal for “national unity” in his Inaugural Address, though this was the guess of mass media. Moreover, KMD correctly predicted that “Trump will announce an immediate pause in “refugee” admissions, currently surging, to be followed by a zero quota for the next fiscal year. There would be hysteria, in which the major Jewish organizations would, almost certainly, join. My (KMD’s) question: why would they do that?”

KMD provides a few possible answers, but none answers his own question. The world is full of troubles, and the US can get as many refugees as they wish from the Ukraine or Brazil, from China and Central Africa, without an anti-Israeli angle.

I’d suggest a simple explanation. Jews want to import Muslims to fight Christ and the Church.

Muslims of the Middle East are not, or weren’t, anti-Christian; they co-existed for millennia with their Christian neighbours. In Palestine, Christians and Muslims lived together and suffered together under the Jewish yoke.

But recently a new wind has blown in the Muslim faith, the wind of a very strong rejection of whatever is not strict Sunni Islam of the ISIS brand. Their first enemy is Shia Islam, but Christians follow Shias as a second-best object of persecution…

Continued here

Life under Zionism, USA moves to make free speech on israel a crime

States’ move to make free speech on Israel a crime

 

Activists fight new anti-BDS legislation across US

By Nora Barrows-Friedman, Electronic Intifada
February 09, 2017

Activists and lawyers in the state of Washington are challenging several bills which attack free speech rights and smear Palestine solidarity activists.

Meanwhile, a Virginia lawmaker attempted to classify Palestine advocacy as discrimination.

The barrage of legislation is part of a growing wave of laws aimed at punishing and silencing activists across the US involved with the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights.

In the past week, Palestine Legal, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation, sent a memo to Virginia state lawmakers urging them to oppose a bill that would categorize Palestine advocacy as discrimination.

The bill was killed in committee on 8 February.

The bill, which would have amended the Virginia Human Rights Act, sought to codify the US State Department’s definition of antisemitism. That definition is based on a discarded and discredited definition of antisemitism published, but never adopted, by a European Union agency.

Kenneth Stern, the lead author of the antisemitism definition used by the State Department, has himself opposed its adoption into legislation, warning that it would be used by Israel advocacy groups to police speech.

Stern warned in December that doing so would be “unconstitutional and unwise” and would “actually harm Jewish students and have a toxic effect on the academy.”

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Stern urged US lawmakers not to advance a similar piece of legislation in Congress, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, that would incorporate the definition into law.

That bill sailed through the US Senate but stalled in the House. It could be resurrected this year under the Trump administration.

Because religious discrimination is already prohibited by state and federal law, this amendment didn’t add any new legal protections to Jewish people in Virginia, Rahul Saksena, staff attorney with Palestine Legal, told The Electronic Intifada.

But it “would essentially classify Palestine advocacy as unlawful discrimination – in employment, public accommodation and educational institutions,” he explained.

The bill “makes a mockery of the state’s [established] Human Rights Act by punishing, rather than uplifting, human rights advocacy,” Saksena added.

Saksena pointed out that sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are not covered by the Virginia Human Rights Act.

“So if there’s actually an attempt to expand anti-discrimination laws in Virginia in this political climate – because we’re seeing a rise in hate crimes across the country – then instead of punishing Palestine advocacy, they should be expanding the roots of the anti-discrimination law,” he said.

Palestine Legal noted on Wednesday that “after intense pressure from Palestine solidarity and free speech advocates, HB 2261 died in committee. It will not be considered during the 2017 legislative session.”

Bullying students
The primary sponsor of the Virginia bill, House of Representatives member Dave LaRock, bullied student organizers of the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference which was held in the state at George Mason University last October.

LaRock demanded that university administrators block the conference while he smeared SJP as a group that “incites violence” and is linked to “terrorist organizations.”

An assistant to the lawmaker told the right-wing publication Algemeiner that LaRock has since been “working with different organizations to formulate legislation” on the issue of antisemitism, attempting to link SJP groups with anti-Jewish bigotry – a common smear tactic used by anti-Palestinian organizations to discredit student activism and distract from Israel’s human rights abuses.

In February, activists from a broad coalition in Virginia were able to successfully beat back an anti-BDS bill that would have required the state to compile information on the boycott Israel movement.

The bill could have also led to a McCarthyite blacklist of companies that don’t do business with Israel. It was tabled – effectively set aside – in a unanimous vote by the state senate, but could be brought back this year.

Banning free speech in Washington
Meanwhile in the state of Washington, organizers are mobilizing against several legislative attempts to punish human rights activists.

Anticipating these types of attacks on their BDS campaigns, activists formed Free Speech Washington, a group to defend the right to boycott.

Working with the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, more than 30 activist groups signed a letter pressuring their lawmakers to reject two anti-BDS bills in the state legislature.

Introduced in January, House Joint Memorial 4004, and an identical bill, House Joint Memorial 4009, are non-binding resolutions. But both conflate the BDS movement with antisemitism and call on top governmental leaders of the US and Israel to condemn the boycott campaign and human rights activists.

The bills are sponsored by Republican and Democratic state lawmakers.

The bills also support Israel’s “right to self-defence” and, ignoring the evidence to the contrary, asserts that “the people of the state of Washington” condemn the BDS movement.

The measures are now in committee but no hearings have yet been scheduled.

corrie-parents
Craig and Cindy Corrie in Washington in 2003, with photographs of their daughter, Rachel. Photo by AP

“We’re focusing on this as a speech issue,” said Cindy Corrie of the Olympia-based Rachel Corrie Foundation and of Free Speech Washington. “In whatever form they take, all of these efforts are intended to stop speech on this issue and to limit our ability to utilize BDS as a response to injustices that we’re seeing.”

The text of the bills “really misrepresents BDS and the people who support it,” Corrie told The Electronic Intifada.

She noted that in 2016, the Democratic Party of Thurston County, where Olympia, the state capital, is located, adopted support for BDS in its platform. “It passed resoundingly, but it took work,” Corrie said. “We have our state legislature moving in one direction, but our county Democrats saying yes, this is our right to [engage in BDS campaigning].”

Activists are hoping the legislation won’t get a hearing. The bills “are clearly there because opponents want to fight BDS as an approach to challenging Israeli policy,” Corrie said. “No matter how people feel about Israel-Palestine and BDS, this is a speech issue and an affront to our First Amendment rights.”

Governor’s statement
The free speech coalition is also pushing back against a governors’ statement alleging that BDS activists “malign” Israel, which is “forced to defend itself against repeated and ongoing attempts to annihilate it.”

So far, the “Governors Against BDS” statement has been signed by 45 sitting or former governors, according to the American Jewish Committee, the Israel lobby group that initiated it.

Corrie said that she hoped Washington Governor Jay Inslee would not sign on, noting that when he was a member of Congress, he had supported an investigation into Israel’s 2003 slaying of her daughter Rachel Corrie in Gaza.

Suppressing student activism
Meanwhile, a Washington state senator is preparing to introduce a bill that would clamp down on student activism in support of Palestinian rights.

Republican Senator Michael Baumgartner likes to lobby for certain Middle East bodies, e.g. rich Saudis, but thinks students should be prohibited from doing the same for Palestinians.

 

 

 

 

Michael Baumgartner, a Republican, announced in late December that he is “troubled” by growing support for the BDS movement on campuses and promised to introduce legislation that would “block universities from engaging in divestment or boycotts targeted at the state of Israel.”

The bill would withhold state funds to institutions if they participate in “boycott activities.”

Baumgartner pointed to the passage of a divestment vote by students at Evergreen State College in Olympia in 2010, remarking that universities should be focused on education, not becoming “distracted by political correctness run amok with absurd and amateurish causes.”

Baumgartner claimed that public universities are being “used in misguided diplomatic attacks on Israel,” and cited his “experience on the ground in the Middle East” for his expertise on the claim that Palestine solidarity activism seeks to “wipe” Jewish people “off the map.”

The state senator’s experience in the region seems to refer to his previous role as an administrator, and later civilian contractor, with US occupation forces in Iraq. He also worked for the crown prince of Dubai and lobbied for Saudi businesses and US firms doing business in Saudi Arabia.

“Student activists learn through their activism – they have a constitutional right to engage in human rights boycotts,” Palestine Legal’s Rahul Saksena said.

With the senator introducing a bill to effectively prohibit students from engaging in their constitutional rights, “he’s taking away from one of the most important learning opportunities that prepare students to be fully engaged members of society,” Saksena added.

Cindy Corrie said she was shocked by Baumgartner’s disrespect toward students, but not surprised by his legislative plans.

She said that Free Speech Washington activists learned how to strategize in anticipation of anti-BDS legislation from meetings with activists in Virginia and Maryland, where anti-BDS bills were derailed due to sustained pressure from human rights activists and civil rights groups.

“It can be overwhelming, but it also makes us realize we really have to all step up and challenge these things and be heard,” Corrie said. “In this increasingly repressive environment, it’s more important than ever to do that.”

%d bloggers like this: