Undercover Documentaries on the Diabolical israeli (apartheid state) Lobby

Undercover Documentaries on the Diabolical Israeli Lobby

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Israeli lobby power exerts enormous influence over nearly all members of Congress. With rare exceptions, House or Senate members don’t dare confront it or criticize Israeli policies, a career ender for some who tried.

Truth-tellers about Israeli state terror risk being intimidated, blackmailed, smeared, pressured, removed from positions of authority, or called national security or terrorist threats.

Israel gets away with mass murder and much more because virtually no one in Washington, other Western capitals, or top UN officials dares challenge its apartheid viciousness, demanding it be held accountable for offenses too horrendous to ignore.

James Petras discussed the lobby’s enormous influence in his important titled “The Power of Israel in the United States.” 

Norman Finkelstein challenged Israel in his book titled “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.” A short article on his book launched my pro bono writing, a second career in retirement. 

Petras, Finkelstein, and others explained Israel’s longstanding abuse of power, its horrendous human and civil rights abuses, institutionalizing racist hate-mongering as official policy.

The lobby’s sinister operations have been ongoing since the early 1950s – AIPAC one of 52 major US Zionist organizations, the most prominent one with enormous influence over US foreign policy. 

The lobby has deep roots throughout government, the business community, the dominant media, academia, the clergy, and powerful wealthy Jewish and other families.

Broad support comes from doctors, lawyers, accountants, other professionals, philanthropists, journalists and other segments of society.

With help from its lobby, Israel created the eternal Jewish victim, the myth of unique Jewish suffering claimed. 

Vested interests take full advantage, deflecting or suppressing Israeli criticism, critics called anti-Semites. 

Criticizing Israel and Zionism have nothing to do with anti-Semitism – hostility or discrimination against Judaism as a religion. Israel is a nation-state. Criticizing its ruthlessness is essential to challenge what’s clearly intolerable.

Claiming otherwise is a long ago discredited canard – still surfacing, disgracefully denigrating Israeli critics, ignoring enormous Jewish state harm to Palestinians and others.

Al Jazeera produced a four-part undercover documentary on the Israeli lobby the Jewish state unsuccessfully tried to suppress – exposing its enormous influence in Britain, saying the following:

Episode One (Young Friends of Israel): In part one, Al Jazeera Investigations reveals how pro-Israel groups are trying to influence Britain’s youth.

 

Episode Two (The Training Session): In part two, our undercover reporter joins a delegation from the Israeli embassy at last year’s Labour Party Conference.

 

Episode Three (An Anti-Semitic Trope): In part three, our undercover reporter witnesses a heated conversation between two opposing activists. The evidence raises serious questions about whether accusations of anti-Semitism are used to stifle political debate.

 

Episode Four (The Takedown): In part four, the senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London discusses a potential plot to ‘take down’ British politicians – including a minister.”

A separate Al Jazeera undercover documentary titled The Lobby USA discusses its enormous influence in Washington.

The Electronic Intifada (EI) obtained a copy, publishing its four episodes, the first two below, the others to come on EI’s website, saying the following:

“To get unprecedented access to the Israel lobby’s inner workings, undercover reporter ‘Tony’ posed as a pro-Israel volunteer in Washington.”

“The resulting film exposes the efforts of Israel and its lobbyists to spy on, smear and intimidate US citizens who support Palestinian human rights, especially BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”

“It shows that Israel’s semi-covert black-ops government agency, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, is operating this effort in collusion with an extensive network of US-based organizations.”

“These include the Israel on Campus Coalition, The Israel Project and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.”

Watch both documentaries to learn how far the Israeli lobby is willing to go to promote the interests of a ruthless apartheid state – films the Jewish state wants no one to see.

Below are the links to access them:

 

Watch the film the Israel lobby didn’t want you to see

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American Terror Is Not New

U.S. Terror Is Not New
By Margaret Kimberley

Freedom Rider: American Terror Is Not New

Freedom Rider: American Terror Is Not New

The casual, endemic and racist violence that characterizes American behavior at home and abroad cannot be laid at the doorstep of the current buffoon in the White House.

“The most prevalent racially motivated murders are carried out by police across the country.”

Within the past week very disturbing and violent events took place in quick succession across the country. Two black people were shot to death in a Louisville, Kentucky supermarket. The white shooter made it clear that his goal was to kill black people when he said, “Whites don’t shoot whites,” as he was apprehended. No sooner had this crime occurred than a Florida man was arrested and charged with sending explosive devices to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Maxine Waters, and Eric Holder among others. One day later a shooting at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue left 11 people dead.

The unnamed suspect in all of these cases is Donald Trump. The bombing suspect made clear his love for the 45thpresident. He was described by his attorney as a previously apolitical man who nonetheless “found a father in Donald Trump.” The Louisville killing is the latest in a long line carried out by white racists. Anti-black violence is as old as white settlement on this continent.

“The bombing suspect was described as a previously a political man who nonetheless ‘found a father in Donald Trump.’”

Analysis of these recent incidents must be made very carefully. Trump differs from his predecessors mostly by tearing away the veneer of humanity and civility from a system which is relentlessly brutal. But the façade keeps many would be terrorists from carrying out their sick fantasies. There are people who keep their hatred to themselves until they know that they may be given some cover and acceptance. Hatred expressed by a president emboldens people who might not ordinarily act upon their racist impulses.

It is very dangerous for these hidden haters to think they can come out of their closets. At the same time we cannot forget that a racist shooter succeeded in entering a black church in Charleston, South Carolina and killing 9 people in 2015 when Barack Obama was president. The most prevalent racially motivated murders are carried out by police across the country when they kill an average of 300 black people every year.

“Anti-black violence is as old as white settlement on this continent.”

It is a mistake to see Trump as a singular evil in American history. He is also not an anomaly among world leaders. An avowed fascist just won a presidential race in Brazil. White supremacists march openly in European countries like Ukraine where the Obama administration helped to overthrow an elected president and install Nazis among the new leadership. Fascism is carried out daily not only by the police but by the neoliberal state and by the military as it carries out a war of terror all over the world.

The current moment is perilous and requires serious analysis. Trump is the low hanging fruit in any discussion of racism and other forms of bigotry. But the country cannot be given a pass and allowed to behave as if all was well until he was elected.White people cannot play innocent and black people can’t relax when the day comes that he is out office.

“White supremacists march openly in Ukraine where the Obama administration helped install Nazis.”

If Trump can be connected to all of these incidents it should be with the knowledge that the entire country is suffering from a terrible sickness that few want to confront. Americans prefer to think well of themselves and their nation and treat any information contradicting that belief as an inconvenience to be avoided at all costs. There were hate crimes before Donald Trump ran for president and most of them weren’t carried out by individuals. Most of them are still sanctioned by the state.

The crazed Trump lover may have tried to send bombs to Obama and Clinton but they sent bombs to Libya and destroyed a nation that still suffers from their terrorist acts. They are quite literally guilty of committing hate crimes, along with other NATO leaders and their predecessors in high places. The fact that they know how to express diplomatic niceties is no reason to see them as being on our side as we fight to defeat fascism at home and around the world.

Their enablers cannot be given a pass either. When we fight to make war and peace a political issue we are derided as purists and spoilers who ought to be quiet and allow imperialism to take place without hindrance. The people who join in the chorus of denunciation should not be allowed to wring their hands when dead bodies appear within our borders too.

“There were hate crimes before Donald Trump ran for president, most of them sanctioned by the state.”

If they want to denounce Trump they had an excellent opportunity recently. Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing unilaterally from the INF missile treaty with Russia. This decision quite literally puts the world closer to nuclear war. But the liberal Trump haters have had very little to say about a policy change which quite literally endangers all life on the planet. The numbers of people who realize the danger and speak against this action is miniscule, unlike the near unanimous condemnation of racist gun men and the would be mail bomber.

We always lived in a very dangerous nation. Trump makes it more difficult to be in denial. But we must fight against the crowd which averts its eyes until a racist buffoon enters the White House. There is nothing new about American terrorism. It can be found in high and low places regardless of presidential civility or lack thereof.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com . Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

This article was originally published by BAR

Has israel (apartheid state) Effectively Colonized the United States?

Has Israel Effectively Colonized the United States?

If Americans Knew, January 22, 2018

 

Has Israel Effectively Colonized the United States?

Israel “enjoys” its special relationship with the United States; the US is apparently stuck in a special relationship with Israel.

Israel may be small, but so was Britain when it controlled India. Israel doesn’t need to control everything in the US, just the important things: AIPAC (with the help of Christian Zionists) controls Middle East policy and keeps aid money flowing by controlling all branches of government; the label “anti-Semite” is used as a weapon; media is kept from any meaningful criticism of Israel; and “exceptionalism” allows the Jewish State to waive rules that every other country on the planet must obey.  

We normally think of colonizers as large countries, and the colonized as smaller and weaker nations. But this is not always the case. Colonization does not require occupation. It merely requires the subjugation of the colonized. With ambition, superior information and calculation, and the right mindset, smaller nations can (and have in the past) colonized and dominated larger and nominally more powerful countries.

India was successfully colonized by tiny Britain in the 18th century. The vehicle for colonization was the East India Company. It was only after the Indian mutiny that Britain acted directly and sent in troops to establish the British Raj. For the next 200 years India was drained of its wealth, its economy was restructured to support England’s needs and global ambitions, and its people militarized to fight and die on behalf of the British crown. The Indian leaders who remained were willing participants in this venture; those who felt otherwise were destroyed or marginalized.

In a similar vein, Israel today is in the process of colonizing the United States, which is vital to its global projection and exercise of power. The steps Israel is taking are visible to all (as was the case with British designs on India) and yet it is remarkably difficult to connect the dots while such a takeover is in process. Or, to do anything about it.

Colonization does not mean total control of everything

It means total control of what matters. The British were interested in Indian wealth, and a standing army of Indians willing to die for their wars. They couldn’t care less about India’s internal petty politics that did not directly or indirectly impact their mission. An effective “divide and conquer” strategy pit Indians against each other and discouraged any kind of coordinated response, or sedition. The British leveraged their “outsider advantage” to objectively collect data with which to calculate and coordinate which Indian princes to support in battles, and which to connive with. Like pieces on a chessboard, Indian leaders exhausted themselves through internal battles, and were prevailed to seek cover provided by the British. Small amounts of leverage can change outcomes (as the Israeli lobby AIPAC has shown, in its path to dominating Congress and regional/local US politics), and over the years the British were able control and align India to the British crown. Less than 10,000 English controlled colonial India, which at that time had a population of 300 million.

It is instructive to note that while there were relatively few white Englishmen, a class of local “brown sahibs” was developed, to actually run things. This elite class was educated in English ways, and rewarded monetarily and through social stature. Britain was too small a country to ultimately matter by itself, but by leveraging India the English could pursue their global ambitions. India was the “Jewel in the (British) Crown”.

Today, Israel has effective control of US policy in the Mideast, and similar goals. Much has already been written about Israel’s control of Congress. Israel is now edging towards control over the US Executive Branch, with both presidential candidates supported by billionaires whose #1 agenda is Israel (Saban and Adelson). The Supreme Court will be one-third Jewish, and justices have community ties and families. As Israel demonstrated through its successful intimidation of Judge Goldstone, jurists are human and everyone has their price.

[if Obama’s nominee had been approved, the Supreme Court would have been almost half Jewish(Jewish Americans are 2.2 % of the population), with no protestant Christians (46.5 % of the population). There are still no Asian Americans (5.6 % of the population) on the highest court in the land.]

Israel’s “occupation force” in the US has long included AIPAC as well as the dense network of community organizations at the State and local levels [see here]. Through relationships that have been developed over years and with unlimited funds at their disposal, the “Israel Lobby” ensures that votes go the right way, and that opponents are squashed when Israel demands unity. In 2003 at the onset of George Bush’s Iraq war this occupation force was multiplied through the inclusion of Christian Zionists.

Critics of the Israel Lobby are marginalized by whatever means available, including being called anti-Semitic. The Lobby has been effective in securing massive aid packages for Israel even though Israel’s per-capita GDP exceeds that of several European nations. Israeli insiders permeate the US government, and it is US policy that there be “no light” between the countries so that where Israel is concerned there is no debate. Israel’s top priorities are the top priorities of the US. There are of course instances where this does not happen (such as, Iran) but the direction points to a tighter colonial noose in the years ahead.

The media matters: establishing beliefs and narratives

The colonizer must be a “Sacred Object” above criticism or objective review, and dangerous critics must be either destroyed or marginalized. No Englishman in India spoke of the mother country and its ways with anything other than reverence, even though during periods of the British Raj England was in turmoil. Within England there was a free press and active debate; but this was not permitted in India, about Britain. The only acceptable posture was that of reverence.

Today Israel has a free press, and it is easy to read translations of the Hebrew language press. Israeli commentators compare Netanyahu to Hitler, Israel is called a racist apartheid state based on evidence, and the extreme violence against and ongoing abuse of Palestinians is well documented. But, these same conversations are forbidden in the US. No newspaper would report them, nor are they permitted in polite company. Transgressors are labeled anti-Semitic, whether Jewish or not.

In the US today, boycotts are seen as a permitted non-violent form of free speech. Citizens have the right to boycott whatever they want from wherever they want without risk of penalty. The sole exception is Israel.

Exceptionalism

The British conquests were “for God and country”, and therefore justified. The British were superior, the natives inferior. This setup the moral justification for the mayhem wrought by the British as they colonized Asia and the Mideast. At that time, all men were not born equal, and it took the US Constitution to establish that self-evident fact.

Israel is seeking to revert to those days, by acting as though Arab lives are inferior, and (more recently) promoting Islamophobia to serve their Christian Zionism wing. In 2003, uber Zionist Bernard Lewis posed as “Arab expert” and advised president Bush that the only language Arabs understood was force. This helped to justify the attack on Iraq, as part of a neocon plan to “creatively destroy” the sovereign Arab states in Israel’s neighborhood, to facilitate Israel’s dominance. The Nazis at Nuremberg were shown greater respect than Saddam and his Ba’at leadership, and the contempt for Arabs was in full display.

Today, Israeli Jews are in the process of destroying Palestinian society and erasing Palestinian culture, with impunity. Churches and mosques are both being destroyed, though Israel would prefer to keep the spotlight on mosques, to fan a religious war between Islam on one side, and Christians and Jews on the other.

While the Israeli press records and debates Israel’s bad behavior, Americans are forbidden to publicly debate Israeli behavior critically.

Three Recent Examples:

1/ During the Congressional debate around the Iran deal president Obama had negotiated, Senator Chuck Schumer said he would vote “against”…not because of any independent analysis, but because this is what Netanyahu wanted. In other words, he publically said that he would follow the Israeli prime ministers’ direction, over that of his own president. Because, as he said, he was “guardian of Israel”.

A sitting US senator proclaimed allegiance to a foreign country, and nobody asked him to resign!

2/ The Israeli Prime Minister addresses the full US Congress to lobby against the Iran nuclear deal. When the deal does go through, Israel demands more US aid! And, is likely to get it. One can try various definitions of “blackmail” to see which one fits.

The US president is impotent in dealing with Israel. The so-called “pro Israel lobby” effectively functions like an agent of Israel. The Israel lobby is playing the role of the East India Company, in Britain’s colonization of India.

3/ The Israel Lobby interferes massively in US foreign policy in the region. The “mainstream” media such as NYT spins events to reflect Israel’s views (bureau chiefs are typically Jewish and resident in Israel). The Iraq war cost $1 trillion+ and cost thousands of US lives, created ISIS, and was pushed by the Lobby. Israel benefits from the distraction.

The colonization of the US by Israel is becoming increasingly explicit. It is now increasingly seen as “normal” to have a double standard: one for Israel, another for the rest of the world. The boycott-Israel movement is an example of that: you can boycott anything or anyone, but not Israel. This is true power, and the face of colonization.

Source

American Jews Are Funding the Far-right Dream of Greater Israel (apartheid state) . We Have to End This – Now

American Jews Are Funding the Far-right Dream of Greater Israel. We Have to End This – Now

ed note–the reader should prepare thyself for a schmorgas-board of the typical schmoozing that is part and parcel of all liberal Jewish clap-trap, where ‘good Jews of conscience’ from the left moralize how it is ‘not nice’ to oppress the Palestinians and how what Israel is/has been/always will be doing is a flagrant violation of the ‘peace and justice’ that flows through the vascular system of ‘true Judaism’ like sewage flows through a 6-inch drain pipe.

The reason for posting it is to highlight that indeed the entire ‘Greater Israel’ paradigm is the real deal, and despite the fact that our unesteemed Hebress does not go into any details as to what ‘Greater Israel’ portends, the fact of the matter is that indeed, the idea of ‘Greater Israel’ is a matter of fact, despite the denial-based hasbara campaign that is put into motion by Judaic interests plying their ‘by way of deception, we shall make war’ protocols whenever some mouthy Gentile decides to bring this fact up for discussion.

Haaretz

We now know far more about how far American Jewish dollars embitter Palestinian lives, target Israel’s critics and entrench the occupation. It’s time to say: Enough

This week, the Jewish Federations of North America is hosting its annual General Assembly in Israel, and this year’s theme is “We need to talk.”

The conference program is packed with high-profile speakers, from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to incoming Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog, to business, NGO, and communal leaders. The “need to talk” is a recurring theme across the Jewish community today; if we could just have more civil discourse with one another, all of our problems would go away.

However, the Federations’ professed commitment to civility belies a sad reality: it’s committed to civil discourse as long as any mention of Palestinians and the system of discrimination that they live under – and particularly any talk of changing that reality – is excluded.

So yes, we do need to talk. We need to talk about the extent of the American Jewish Establishment’s support for the occupation and the damage done by those claiming to represent us. And the events of the last two weeks have been a sore reminder that we need to move beyond talk into action.

During the two weeks that 22-year-old Palestinian-American student Lara Alqasem sat in an Israeli detention center, challenging an order to revoke her visa to study at Hebrew University and deport her from the country, we learned that Israeli authorities were getting their “evidence” from the McCarthyist blacklist site Canary Mission, which anonymously publishes dossiers on thousands of pro-Palestinian activists in order to ruin their careers.

At the same time, we learned that the shadowy Canary Mission received hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple major Jewish communal funds, including the Los Angeles Jewish Communal Fund. That Fund approved $250,000 to Canary Mission the same year that they blocked a $5,000 donation to IfNotNow, a grassroots, youth-led anti-occupation movement (which I co-founded).

In San Francisco, Canary Mission was in good company with a host of shameful, extremist, Islamophobic hate groups which also received donations from their local Federations. And who received these shadowy donations on behalf of Canary Mission? A Haaretz report revealed that it was far-right Kahanist activists living in Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, funding Canary Mission to silence dissent against Israeli policies is just the tip of the iceberg. A new report released by IfNotNow – “Beyond Talk: The 5 Ways the American Jewish Establishment Supports the Occupation” – shows us how, in word and deed, the entire Jewish communal apparatus defends and deepens injustice in Israel/Palestine. We should not be shocked, but we should be angry.

Jewish establishment organizations fund the dispossession of Palestinians, lobby politicians to empower Israel’s march toward full-blown apartheid, and celebrate the Israeli politicians leading that march. Many Jewish educational institutions erase and deny Palestinian narratives to keep kids ignorant of reality – and punish critical voices.

In so doing, the Jewish communal apparatus plays a significant role in enabling Israel’s occupation and the Israeli government’s attempts to silence dissent. When Israel threatened to deport Alqasem for her alleged involvement in a campaign to boycott Sabra hummus, it is not just the Israeli government but the Jewish communal establishment, which funded the blacklist that landed her in detention, and participates in the witch hunt against BDS activists, that must be held accountable.

The American Jewish community’s active participation in injustice goes far further. Unquestioning support for, and defense of, the Netanyahu government has emboldened the Israeli far-right’s war to gradually dominate all of “Greater Israel.” The Israeli right knows it can do whatever it wants on either side of the Green Line without so much as a word from American Jews – or, of course, from the Trump White House.

This is a war of attrition that stretches from the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank, where Ahed Tamimi was jailed for eight months for slapping an Israeli soldier, to Nazareth in Israel’s north, where poet Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, spent over two years under house arrest, and then three months in jail, for a poem she posted on Facebook.

Both Dareen and Ahed are Palestinian women who refused to quietly accept Israel’s oppression of their people, and they have been punished severely for it. Sadly, too many in our community don’t even know Dareen or Ahed’s names, much less the names of the millions of Palestinians whose lives are embittered by our communal dollars.

Israel’s drift to the far-right is part of a global move towards illiberalism. But American Jewish establishment organizations have been the Israeli government’s crucial partners, funders, enablers and defenders.

Our exemption of Israel from our commitment to universal civil and political freedoms has helped make space for the deeply anti-democratic, racist alliance between Trump and Netanyahu to thrive. We must not forget the standing ovations that candidate Trump was greeted with at the largest gathering of American Jews (and their Christian evangelical friends) in the country, AIPAC’s annual policy conference.

This is what should be discussed at the GA this week- but we already know it’s absent from the program. The JFNA’s public calls for civility are just a cynical diversion tactic.

To be sure, there were calls to defend Lara Alqasem from liberal corners of the community. However, taking one principled stand in an extreme moment hardly dents the fortified walls around Israel, both literal and intellectual, that the Jewish communal establishment has helped build, through years of financial and political support for successive Israeli governments.

Talk is cheap, but teshuva takes work. We should demand nothing less than full repentance from our institutions. Not simply public apologies, but active condemnation and promises to shift communal priorities and dollars to projects that advance freedom and equality.

Federations and other communal organizations that don’t should be condemned and protested. We must stop working with groups that silence dissent and facilitate human rights abuses, in violation of the principles of our people. We must work to remedy the harm we have caused.

Until then, activists from IfNotNow will continue to protest on the doorsteps of Jewish establishment organizations – because the crisis of American Jewish support for the Israeli occupation is too great to ignore, and because closed-door meetings and civil dialogue have not and will not drive the change that our community needs.

Some find our tactics disruptive and off-putting. We say we are committed to waking our community up – and to do that, we will do whatever it takes.

Finally a US lawmaker calls israel an apartheid state

Source

Hearing from constituents emboldened a member of congress to speak up against Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children.

Oren Ziv ActiveStills

There is not much to celebrate taking place on Capitol Hill these days.

Nearly two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, US advocates for Palestinian rights may be rightly discouraged from believing that any progress can be made to change the status quo of unconditional support for Israeli government policies and actions. Many issues of concern – the status of Jerusalem (and relocation of the US embassy), the rights of refugees, the blockade of Gaza and the expansion of Israeli settlements – continue to undermine any prospects for a just peace.

We continue to see progressive elected members of Congress and candidates for office shy away from criticizing US policies when it comes to Israel.

US aid to Israel continues to gain widespread Congressional support without any concern for the well-documented human rights violations committed by the Israeli military. State and federal laws have been introduced against the right to nonviolently protest the occupation of Palestine through boycotts and divestment.

But not everyone in Congress is staying silent.

Perhaps the most vocal champion of Palestinian rights in the US House of Representatives is Betty McCollum, elected to Congress since 2000 from St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 2015, she has led efforts in Congress to address the rights of Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation.

Nearly a year ago she introduced HR 4391, the first bill in Congress which seeks to certify that US tax dollars do not fund Israeli military detention and abuse of Palestinian children.

“As an American and as a mother, I don’t think it’s a particularly controversial or a statement of moral courage to condemn a government that systematically arrests and abuses children,” McCollum said recently at a conference for Palestinian rights held in Minnesota.

“And, as a member of Congress, I don’t believe it should be a statement of political courage to say the US government should not spend $1 of our taxpayer funds supporting a brutal military detention system that abuses children. Now, in Congress you would think that makes common sense but yet this is not the case when it comes to protecting Palestinian children.”

McCollum also addressed the nation-state law recently passed by Israel, stating, “Friends, the world has a name for the form of government that is codified in the nation-state law – it is called apartheid.”

Actions make a difference

How did McCollum become so outspoken, even using a term such as “apartheid” to describe Israeli law? Why is she willing to be courageous on the issue of Palestinian rights given the dynamics in Washington, DC?

In her speech in Minnesota, she provided important lessons for those interested in effective advocacy.

Early in her remarks she highlighted the impact of constituent engagement.

“My constituents here in Minnesota’s Fourth District who send me to Congress, they expect me to fight for progressive values, human rights and policies that respect and elevate our shared human dignity,” she said.

“I am representative, a reflection of the people who elect me. So my work to promote peace, attack poverty, defend the rights of children and stand in solidarity with the oppressed, including the Palestinian people, is because I have the support of my wonderful constituents.”

While it may often seem pointless to call members of Congress, send emails, attend town hall meetings, and go on lobby visits in Washington, McCollum reminds advocates that these small actions can make a difference and are counted when officials make decisions.

Building alliances with other communities on shared interests, such as the welfare of children, and mobilizing together can have even greater impact than individual efforts. As McCollum began her advocacy for Palestinian children, local groups joined together in the Twin Cities to support her – and helped to keep the phone calls and letters supporting her work coming over these past few years.

Silence is never progressive

In Chicago earlier this year, several groups – led by the American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace – organized a town hall meeting with Luis Gutierrez, another member of Congress. The meeting was called to thank Gutierrez for signing onto the bill initiated by McCollum.

“We cannot continue to call ourselves progressive … and profess to be dedicated to peace in the Middle East … if when Palestinian children are arrested, jailed and even tortured we say nothing,” Gutierrez said at the town hall gathering. He compared his own feelings as a grandfather wanting to protect his grandson growing up in Chicago to how difficult it is for parents of Palestinian children who have no rights or ability to protect their children under occupation.

Gutierrez was emboldened to speak out due to a visit to Palestine and experiences his daughter had while studying in the country. While Congressional delegations to Israel are well-funded and seemingly a right of passage for all lawmakers, far fewer members of Congress go to the region to examine the impact of US policies on Palestinians living under occupation.

The example of Gutierrez highlights the value in organizing more opportunities for visits to the region for members of Congress, or at least providing them an itinerary to visit Palestinian organizations should they make such a trip – and following up when they return home.

Many of the supporters of HR 4391 come from districts where Palestinian rights advocates have been working for years to inform the public and their officials on the impact of unconditional diplomatic support and military aid to Israel.

Education and direct engagement with those most affected by injustice are essential in getting members to speak out.

McCollum’s views on the nation-state law were informed by her meeting with Aida Touma-Sliman, a Palestinian member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

McCollum told the St. Paul crowd: “Aida is fighting Israel’s recently passed nation-state law which codifies separate and unequal. This is a standard of racism America rejects and outlawed more than 50 years ago.”

She added: “As Aida has written and told me, rather than working equally for the benefit of all citizens, irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, or national affiliation, Israel will now promote the development of exclusive Jewish communities. Aida inspired me with her courage and determination.”

In recent years, many groups active on Palestinian rights have organized briefings and visits to Capitol Hill to deliver first-hand accounts and analysis to Congressional staff. Over the past few weeks, the Haifa-based Mossawa Center has toured the US, bringing with it the perspective of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“We are often invisible in the conversations about the prospects for peace,” said Jafar Farah, Mossawa’s director, to an audience in Chicago. “We want to be members of a progressive front, cooperating together to gain our rights.”

In this moment there may be little political energy or interest beyond changing the balance of power in Congress on election day this November. But Palestinian rights activists should continue to prioritize campaigning for human rights in home districts and on Capitol Hill in the coming year – refining our advocacy skills and building our power to make change.

McCollum’s speech in Minnesota got activists on their feet, praising her courage for speaking up for Palestinian rights. May we continue the hard work of finding more members of Congress to follow her lead.

Jennifer Bing is director of the Palestine-Israel program for the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago and co-leader of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign.

 

Oil, Gas and Pipelines, Why the United States Will Not Leave Afghanistan Voluntarily

Why the United States Will Not Leave Afghanistan Voluntarily

The events of 11 September 2001 gave the United States its excuse to once again focus on ‘regime change’ in Kabul

By James ONeill

In 2013 Tom Engelhardt wrote, referring to the United States presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, where at eight United States air strikes had killed almost 300 wedding guests: “we have become a nation of wedding crashers, the uninvited guests who arrived under false pretenses, tore up the place, offered nary and apology, and refused to go home.”

That was never truer than in Afghanistan. Contrary to widespread news reports, the United States did not begin its involvement in Afghanistan with the invasion and occupation of the country in October 2001. Its modern focus on Afghanistan can be traced back at least to the 1970s.

In the late 1970s Afghanistan was ruled by a relatively secular regime. The last King, Mohammad Zahir Shah had been deposed in a 1973 coup and a republic established. Shah was replaced by Mohammad Daoud Khan who ruled from July 1973 to April 1978 when he was assassinated. His replacement, Nur Mohammed Taraki lasted until September 1979 when he was also assassinated, a fate that also befell his successor Hafizullah Amin.

The turmoil was not entirely domestic related. Throughout the 1970s, Afghanistan’s only real foreign friend was the Soviet Union. This was a temptation too great for the Americans to resist. United States President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski persuaded Carter to support an insurrection against the Taraki Government. To this end, foreign insurgents were to be trained in Pakistan, armed by the Americans, and largely financed by Saudi Arabia.

These insurgents were then infiltrated not only into Afghanistan, but also the Muslim dominant Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union, and Xinjiang province of China, also with a large Muslim population.

The objective, as Brzezinski disclosed in his book The Grand Chessboard, (1997) was “to give the Soviet Union it’s own Vietnam.” The program to train and infiltrate terrorists into Afghanistan, Xinjiang and the Central Asian republics was code named Operation Cyclone. This was the origin of the group that came to be known as al Qaeda, which in Arabic means “the list.” The members of that list were then known as Mujihideen, foreign fighters that could be relied upon to pursue goals consistent with the objectives of United States geopolicy.

One of the leaders of this fighting force was Osama bin Laden a Saudi Arabian from a wealthy Saudi family.

Brzezinski’s task was at least partially successful. The Soviet leader Brezhnev eventually agreed to the multiple requests of the Afghanistan government for assistance, and dispatched troops to Afghanistan. This has been falsely depicted as a Soviet “invasion” ever since. Militarily and politically it was a disastrous for the Soviet Union. The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ordered the withdrawal of the combat troops in May 1988 and it was successfully concluded by the following February.

Political instability continued however, with a bitter civil war that eventually led to the formation of the Taliban government. That government never had full control of all of Afghanistan’s territory, with significant portions under the control of sundry warlords, particularly in the north of the country. The Taliban’s singular achievement was to slash opium production to a tiny fraction of the volume that had produced more than 90% of the world’s heroin supply.

The events of 11 September 2001 gave the United States its excuse to once again focus on ‘regime change’ in Kabul. What the western media resolutely fails to tell its readers/ listeners is that the decision to invade Afghanistan was in fact taken in July 2001 when the Taliban Government refused to award the contract for a gas pipeline from the enormously resource-rich Caspian basin through Afghanistan to an American company, and instead gave to an Argentinian company Bridas.

Afghanistan was, for the Americans, the only feasible route for the pipeline as alternative routes were through Iran, Russia or China, none of whom were geopolitically feasible for the United States.

The ostensible public reason for the invasion and occupation was the alleged refusal of the Taliban Government to hand over Osama bin Laden, the alleged ringleader of the 9/f that evidence was produced they were willing to hand bin Laden over to an international tribunal for trial.

That evidence was never forthcoming. There were two reasons for this: the evidence is non-existent; and more importantly for present purposes, the decision to invade had already been made. Regardless of what the Afghanistan government did or did not do, their fate had already been determined.

Now, nearly 17 years later, the Americans and their allies such as Australia are still there. As Engelhardt said, they arrived uninvited, trashed the place, and refused to leave.

The longer they stay, the hollower the original justification is revealed to be the case. The public is still fed the same nonsensical excuses, such as training the Afghan troops to be able to be responsible for their own security. Evidence of ‘ghost’ troops, rampant corruption and a manifest unwillingness as well as an inability to be an effective fighting force has done nothing to diminish the propaganda.

Rather than bringing ‘peace and stability’, training Afghans to a mythical self-sufficiency, or helping rebuild Afghanistan’s shattered infrastructure, the time is long past for an honest appraisal of what western Allied forces are really trying to achieve in Afghanistan. There are a number of motives that readily reveal themselves.

The first relates to Afghanistan’s geography. It is strategically located in close proximity to, or bordering upon, the United States’ designated enemies, China, Iran and Russia. A map of US military bases shows that they closely follow the pipeline route, and are readily accessible to the poppy fields that once again produce more than 90% of the world’s heroin.

The refining of opium into heroin requires imported chemicals, and those are flown into Afghanistan on planes operated by the occupying NATO forces. This should not come as a surprise, despite being totally suppressed by the western media. Peter Dale Scott (American War Machine, 2010) and Alfred McCoy (Politics of Heroin New ed. 2003) have long pointed out the central role of drug trafficking in the financing of CIA clandestine operations.

Those military bases have also fulfilled a further role as ‘black sites’ where alleged terrorists are illegally rendered, to be tortured, indefinitely imprisoned, or simply disappeared.

A second reason relates to Afghanistan’s resource wealth. One of the least publicized facts about Afghanistan is it is enormous potential as a source of oil, gas, precious metals, precious stones, and perhaps most significantly rare earth minerals.

A number of US geological survey reports in recent years have conservatively estimated Afghanistan’s resources and those areas to be in excess of $3 trillion. It is hardly surprising given this potential bonanza, which Trump himself described as being sufficient to pay for Afghanistan’s own occupation, that the United States and its allies “refuse to go home.”

The third factor relates to the geopolitical changes occurring in the region. As corrupt and incompetent as the current Afghanistan government is, it is still able to discern that the continued US occupation is a road to nowhere. Afghanistan has, since June 2012 had observer status of the Shanghai Corporation Organisation, rapidly emerging as one of the most influential groups in the Eurasian region.

The SCO grouping poses a progressively stronger challenge to the US centred geopolitical world, and the US is not giving up its previous unipolar status without a fight.

The Mujihideen of the 1970s and 1980s, now morphed into various guises but still under US direction, is being used to destabilize and disrupt those same nations targeted during those earlier decades. It is one of the major reasons why the SCO has security related issues as a central focus.

On 4 September 2018 the Taliban will be participating in Russian sponsored peace talks in Moscow. Twelve countries and the Taliban were invited, but the United States and Afghanistan governments have announced that they will not be attending. The Afghan government says it prefers “direct talks” with the Taliban, although given the realities of the presence of foreign occupying troops, it is difficult to see how direct talks will produce a meaningful result while their status remains undetermined. It is also an open question as to how freely the Afghan government decision was made.

The Americans have also declined to take part, saying that the talks were “unlikely to yield any progress” toward a settlement. Rather obviously, progress is difficult if one of the principal players refuses to participate. The more likely real reason for American non-participation is that they do not control the agenda, the venue, or the outcome. Rather than being part of the solution, they remain instead a major part of the problem.

After nearly 17 years of occupation, destruction, civil war and a manifest absence of progress, it is clearly way past the time when there was a fresh approach with Afghanistan’s needs being the top priority. For the reasons set up above that has not been the case for the past several decades. Progress is unlikely to be achieved as long as the uninvited guests refuse to go home.

James O’Neill is an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Read more: http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2018/08/25/why-the-united-states-will-not-leave-afghanistan-voluntarily.html#ixzz5ThXYP3kC

Not just Canary Mission: SF Jewish Federation bankrolls these hate groups

Source

The Federation’s tax filings reveal a litany of radical-right and anti-Muslim groups that have received its support for years. The Federation says its review process has recently been strengthened but refuses to account for its funding of notorious Islamophobic hate groups.

File photo of an advertisement on a San Francisco public bus accusing the city of enforcing Sharia law, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which received funding from the SF Jewish Federation. (Steve Rhodes/CC 2.0)

File photo of an advertisement on a San Francisco public bus accusing the city of enforcing Sharia law, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which received funding from the SF Jewish Federation. (Steve Rhodes/CC 2.0)

 

Following the revelation last week in The Forward that the San Francisco Jewish Federation gave $100,000 to Canary Mission, the shadowy website that blacklists and intimidates students and professors who criticize Israel, the Federation assured its constituents that it was a “one-time grant” that would never happen again. But Canary Mission is just the tip of the iceberg.

An extensive review by +972 of the Federation’s tax filings shows that the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which the former controls and which it used to fund Canary Mission, have bankrolled an extensive list of extremist, far-right, anti-Muslim organizations in recent years.

The systematic pattern of financially supporting hate groups appears to also violate the SF Federation’s own guidelines, which specify that it will not fund organizations that “endorse or promote anti-Semitism, other forms of bigotry, violence or other extremist views.”

Among the extremist, radical right-wing, and anti-Muslim groups that received funds from the SF Federation, both directly and through the Diller Foundation, and some of which have received substantial and repeated grants over the years, include: Project Veritas, The AMCHA Initiative, The American Freedom Law Center, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, The David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the work of Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders (through the International Freedom Alliance Foundation). Others include the Clarion Fund, the Center for Security Policy (Frank Gaffney), the Middle East Forum (Daniel Pipes), the Tea Party Patriots Foundation, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Project Veritas, which the Federation gave $100,000 in 2016, is responsible for falsifying sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore last year to The Washington Post in hopes of entrapping the liberal mainstream media

The AMCHA Initiative, which received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the SF Federation and the Diller Foundation in recent years, operates similarly to Canary Mission, except that it primarily goes after faculty, not students.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center, which has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years, has been condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center as promoting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant attitudes.

The American Freedom Law Center and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative both target Islam as a threat to Western civilization. The former advances “anti-Sharia” legislation and filed an amicus brief in support of Trump’s Muslim ban. The latter, which has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group, was responsible for Islamophobic bus campaigns in several cities, and has been represented by the American Freedom Law Center.

+972 Magazine asked the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation about these grants and others that appear to violate its own guidelines against promoting bigotry, violence, and extremist views. The SF Federation’s senior director of communications, Kerry Philp, responded by email:

 

We review each grant recommendation at the time that it is submitted to the Federation, to determine if the organization adheres to the Federation’s granting guidelines. This applies to organizations across the political spectrum. We aim to make the best decisions with the information that we have at the time. Because organizations are dynamic, an organization that previously received a grant from the Federation may not be in compliance with the Federation’s grantmaking guidelines today, and vice versa. Also, per our statement, we strengthened the implementation of our review process in 2017 and continue to be committed to executing our grant review with a standard of care in regard to our guidelines.

Philp added that the Federation does indeed deny grants when they violate its guidelines but would not address any of the grants to the organizations listed in this article or why they were approved.

The San Francisco Jewish Community Federation is one of the largest Jewish charities in the United States with a budget of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. Furthermore, it is located in, and presumably represents, one of the most progressive cities and communities in the United States. Whether the SF Federation’s financial support of radical, right-wing, Islamophobic, bigoted, and McCarthyite groups aligns with that community’s values is ultimately up to its members.

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