For the 0.5% not the 99.5%

 BY GILAD ATZMON

By Gilad Atzmon

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results, then the British Labour Party is institutionally insane and beyond recovery.

Labour’s  leadership candidates didn’t learn a thing from their Party’s humiliating electoral defeat last month. Instead of returning to universal anti racist politics consistent with so-called ‘Labour values,’ the compromised contenders for party leadership bow to the demands made by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a self-elected pressure group that claims to represent 0.5% of the British public.  Our Labour leadership candidates have attended to whims uttered by a tiny privileged voice while ignoring at least 99.5% of the British public. ‘For the very few and no one else,’ falls short of describing this political suicide.

This weekend, Labour’s first leadership hustings in Liverpool provided another spectacular display of the candidates’ spineless and unprincipled behaviour. Each waited his or her turn to utter embarrassing statements that they hoped would appease their party’s bitterest enemy.

During the event, leadership candidate Jess Phillips took a furious swipe at her rivals’ ‘alleged silence over anti-Semitism.’ She claimed thatLabour‘s failure on antisemitism had lost the party its “moral high ground” in the battle against racism. She referred in her comments to Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry and Sir Keir Starmer, who had all been part of Corbyn’s team.

Emily Thornberry, who just a week ago was on “her hands and knees” asking for Jewish “forgiveness,”  hit back at the accusations, saying she has always been clear that antisemitism “undermines us as a party.” Vowing to kick out so-called ‘antisemites,’ she said: “What the Israeli government is doing at the moment is completely unacceptable. But that is not the fault of the Jews.”

Someone should remind the ‘kneeling enthusiast’ that in his entire career, Corbyn never  criticised Jews, Judaism or Jewishness.  He did criticise Israel and Zionism, while making a clear distinction between Jews and Zionism. It is this critique of Israel and its politics that made Corbyn and the party ‘antisemitic’ in the eyes of the Zionist pressure groups. If Thornberry insists on getting on her hands and knees to ask for pardon, she ought to understand the ‘fault’ that has been attached to her party, otherwise, her conduct fits too well with the definition of insanity.

Frontrunner Sir Keir Starmer, candidate  Rebecca Long-Bailey and candidate Lisa Nandy all repeated the same line. Each vowed to repair Labour’s relationships with British Jews. There is nothing inherently wrong with altering the Party’s appeal to Jews but the leadership candidates must have failed to notice that Corbyn wasted his political energy as a Party leader trying to do just that.

In the early stages of his leadership, Corbyn’s  popularity was the result of the false perception that he was an ideologically principled leader. It was Corbyn’s anti war stand, opposition to Anglo-American imperialism and Zionism that so many liked. As time passed, it became clear that Corbyn, the person, had little or nothing in common with his revolutionary image. The man zigzagged around every possible topic including antisemitism and Zionism, let alone Brexit. The man who at one stage was perceived as a ‘Left Icon’ publicly transformed into a caricature of a political ‘left over.’ Corbyn lost the election because he was unfit to dwell in Number 10. The Brits realised that if Corbyn couldn’t handle a tiny foreign lobby, he would struggle to deal with Putin.

But there was a lesson entangled in Corbyn’s political demise.  When Corbyn showed a bit of  willingness to resist the Lobby’s pressure, his public support grew dramatically.  Two weeks before the election, while being interviewed by BBC’s Andrew Neil, Corbyn refused to apologise to the Jewish community. He took a firm stand and upheld a universal anti racist approach to discrimination.  The spike in the polls was immediate.  In some of the polls Labour halved the gap with the Tories. At the time, I was skeptical about Corbyn’s bravery.  I thought his reaction was likely accidental. Perhaps he wasn’t prepared for the question and forgot to crawl on demand. It only took a few days before Corbyn and his shadow chancellor  reverted to their usual apologetic take on the matter: the rest is history. Corbyn’s Labour suffered its worst electoral defeat in 84 years.

 Jeremy Corbyn interviewed by BBC’s Andrew Neil https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tecUadXe82k

This week we learned that Labour’s leadership candidates haven’t learned a thing.  ‘Insanely’ they repeated Corbyn’s mistakes maybe expecting different results. Instead of producing a firm position consistent with their Party’s universal ideology, they competed to appease the whims and demands  of one hostile foreign lobby.

As in every tragic story, there was a glimpse of hope: MP Diane Abbott reported in a tweet from the Liverpool hustings that “Richard Burgon gets the most applause of anyone at the Liverpool deputy leadership hustings for his thoughtful response on the anti-semitism issue.”Diane Abbott MP@HackneyAbbott

So Richard Burgon gets the most applause of anyone at the Liverpool deputy leadership hustings for his thoughtful response on the anti-semitism issue @RichardBurgon #LabourLeader

View image on Twitter

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Watching Deputy leader candidate Richard Burgon comments reveals that his seemingly  firm stand against the ‘antisemitism blitz,’ did indeed receive  warm applause from the Labour party members in the room.

Watch Richard Burgon’s attempt at reason: https://youtu.be/6S4czspYb9U

However, a careful listen to Burgon’s position clarifies that his stand on the issue is even more ridiculous than that of the other candidates. Burgon refuses to sign the BOD’s demands because he wants to work with the BOD as well as ‘all other Jewish organisations.” Burgon was referring particularly to the “minority within the minority, whether it would be LGBT Jewish people or Black Jewish people…”

The party that claimed to act for ‘the many not the few’ is now concerned with 5% (considered the demographics of sexual orientation and gender identity within western society) of the 0.5% of the entire British population. In mathematical terms,  Burgon rejects the BOD’s demands because he is concerned with a population that comprises 0.000025 of the country’s entire population. I haven’t  bothered to look at the percentage of Black Jews in Britain as there is no indication that such a community exists or is at all organized in Britain. And if it does exist, it has yet to oppose the BOD’s alleged hegemony.

Rather than looking  for a ‘minority within a minority’  to flirt with, Burgon and the Labour party  would do well to  reinstate the Party’s flat rejection of racism of all types. If such an approach comes short of satisfying the Israel Lobby, the Labour party is free to continue without their approval. This is the only meaning of acting as a true opposition party.  

It all paints a very grim picture. The Labour Party in its current form is an occupied zone. It is not occupied by Zionists, or Blairites, as we often hear, it is conquered by its own insanity.  The positive reaction to Burgon’s comments suggests that Labour supporters are still attuned to their party’s ideas. It is just the leadership that has drifted. 

Impeachment and Antisemitism

 BY GILAD ATZMON

An interview with Yonatan Stern, a Jewish Settler and an American patriot

by Gilad Atmon

https://www.unz.com/

A year ago I interviewed Yonatan Stern in a kosher pizzeria in Monticello, Catskills, New York. Yonatan is the man behind Cherev Gidon, an ‘Israeli Tactical Training Academy.’ Yonatan, an American who is also a former Israeli settler, correctly identified the demand for an Israeli-style military school to teach American Jews some of the IDF commando’s essentials for self-defense and the ability to fight back if necessary.

Yonatan was a perfect subject to interview: his views may be radical but they are based upon a sharp, coherent and consistent rationale. He was open in expressing his thoughts, which included some outrageous statements but which all left no doubt that he both meant what he said and said what he meant. I’ve observed that in America 2020, after half a century of the tyranny of correctness, very few Americans are brave enough to celebrate their constitutionally protected liberty to think and express themselves freely and authentically.

I heard from Yonatan, just before Christmas. “Things have been getting hot since we last met,” he wrote, referring to a string of attacks on Orthodox Jews in the NY area. He added, “Anyhow, all this antisemitism has brought me lots of clients so I’m keeping busy.”

This week Yonatan and I returned to the same kosher pizzeria in Monticello where we met before. Yonatan is very upset with Jewish Leftists. He believes that they are set to destroy the Jews, America and the whole world.

“My take on the current impeachment circus is that it is a typical display of subversive leftist Jewish attempts to undermine America from within.” In a manner of speech that is typical of so called ‘anti Semites’ Yonatan, a hard core ultra right wing Jew of the Rabbi Meir Kahane type, wrote to me that the “powerhouse behind this (impeachment) campaign are Jews, very visible Jews. And the worst part is that they are claiming it’s their “Jewish values” that are driving them to do this.”

I asked Yonatan who is a Jew, or rather what is a Jew and what are ‘Jewish values’? “The Jewish people is a nation, we are an ancient nation going back to the Biblical Israelites. But we are also a religion in a sense that we are guided by a religious dogma.” For Yonatan a Jew who is separated from the Torah can no more be called a Jew. Yonatan contends that Jewish liberals are engaged in a fraudulent exercise “pretending that multi cultural values and their misinterpretation of Tikun Olam are intrinsic to Judaism. [In fact] real Judaism of the Torah promotes things which Liberal Jews would consider brutality: such as slavery, polygamy, rape (at a time of a war), animal sacrifice, total prohibition on homosexuality etc.”

His answer surprised me and I asked Yonatan to elaborate on Judaism and slavery. Yonatan’s had no doubts. “Slavery is allowed in Judaism subject to rules of course.” I guess the take home message is that some Jews may oppose slavery however, the opposition to slavery is not a ‘Jewish value.’ They may even oppose slavery despite so-called ‘Jewish values.’

Like President Trump, Yonatan has harsh words on the Jewishness of the Jewish Left. “In reality these are assimilated, pork-eating, sabbath-desecrating fake Jews affiliated with the radical left wing Reform movement who ordain women as rabbis and conduct homosexual ‘marriages’ under a Chuppa. These Hellenist (Greek) frauds represent everything that is evil and ugly about American Judaism and they perpetuate the myth of the hook-nosed subversive Jew being behind every insidious attempt to undermine their host countries.”

It goes without saying that Yonatan doesn’t approve of the Jewish Left and its duplicitous mantra yet, I had to ask Yonatan whether he would be willing to militarily train a female rabbi or a gay cantor.

“The reality is this, these people caused the problem. It will come back to bite them in the end. Now should I come and save them from the trouble they caused me and all the Jews?”

“Their actions are endangering all of us, as many American gentiles see this rightly as an attempt to subvert our republic for which they fought and died, and identify the Jew as the subversive enemy behind it.” It is clear that in Yonatan’s universe, the Left Jew is by far the most dangerous element in Western society in general and in the USA in particular.

This fear of the assimilated and Leftist Jew may sound bizarre to those who are foreign to Jewish culture, history and tradition. The fear of Hellenist (Greek) Jews is as old as Judaism. There is nothing more frightening for rabbinical Jews than the thought that some of their brethren endorse the ethics of Goyim, subscribe to universalism, peace, harmony and equality. Zionism was born to stop assimilation; it promised to take the Diaspora Jews away to Palestine and to make them people like all other people. The anti Zionist Bund, an East European revolutionary Communist Jewish party that was literally born the same year as Zionism (1897), was also an attempt to prevent Jews from joining the ‘Hellenic’ route by offering Jews a tribal path within the context of a future Soviet revolution. Golda Meir thought the real threat to Jewish existence wasn’t the Arab-Israeli conflict but mixed marriages. Yonatan, like every observing Jew, knows that Hanukah is a celebration of the victory of traditional conservative Judaism over the Hellenic Jewish voices that threatened to liberate the Jews from themselves.

I asked Yonatan why Jews seem to be prone to subversive and revolutionary politics. For Yonatan, “there is a subversive and evil element within Judaism even before the Torah was given. There are numerous examples of the above in the Torah of Jews who are living in our midst and subverting our cause.” According to Yonatan Saul Alinsky is a perfect exemplar of such a revolutionary destructive Jew, as is Marx. I asked Yonatan whether Jesus should be added to the list of these subversive Jewish characters. Yonatan avoided the question probably because the wrong answering could jeopardise his wishful future alliance with the Christian Right.

Yonathan wrote to me that “it is usually the most identifiable (the Orthodox Jews ) who are the targets of the understandable antisemitic backlash.” It is people like himself, he wrote, who “are put into the position of having no choice but to fight right wing white Christian Conservatives, people who would be our natural allies under normal circumstances if these Hellenist Jews weren’t disgracing G-d’s name with their evil.”

I felt the need to correct Yonatan and pointed out to him that, at the moment, it isn’t ‘White nationalists’ who have targeted Orthodox Jews. It has been the Black communities in the NYC area who feel ethnically cleansed by the ever expanding Orthodox ghettos. I asked Yonatan what is at the core of this apparently emerging Jew/Black street war? Does it have something to do with Orthodox Jewish communities who may display some unethical tactics?

Yonatan is not impressed with Black Americans. For some reason he sees the clash between Jewish Orthodox and Black communities as a manifestation of a ‘Left’ revolutionary act. I pointed out to Yonatan that there is nothing remotely ‘lefty’ in recent attacks on orthodox communities. Yonatan then expressed some ardent racist views. I quote them not because they are true, as they are not, but to provide an accurate portrayal of Yonathan’s world view. He said that we are dealing with “wild people, they have been in America as long as Whites have been here. They are free of slavery for over 150 years. They enjoy the same freedom as whites, segregation ended 50 years ago… Despite that look where are they now, living on welfare, broken families, using crack, mayhem. Yet look at the Jews, we came over at the late 1800s and early 19th century. And look where we have come, we came poor, with rugs on our backs, we worked in sweatshops. We are now at the head of society. Trump’s son in law is Jewish, the Jews are the biggest bankers, we control the Fed, we control Hollywood, all those lawyers, the best attorneys, the best accountants, all the biggest doctors, we have wealth, we have power, yet this proportionate to our size we are only 2%of the population. Look at the Black man. He is 13% of the population, he for the most part, is living in poverty. They feel a tremendous sense of jealousy towards us which turns into a tremendous blood-thirsty hate.”

I pointed out to Yonatan that the recent attacks in NYC didn’t target Jewish bankers, doctors or lawyers but Orthodox Jews who tend to be poor and dependent on income support. Yonatan thinks this is simply because the Orthodox Jews are easily identifiable as Jews. I pointed to Yonatan that rabbinical communities have used some barbarian expansionist tactics to cleanse Blacks and others from areas they want to expand into such as Kiryas Joel, Crown Heights, New Jersey City etc. Yonatan admitted that this is true. The Jewish orthodox communities do indeed use some “unethical means” to accomplish their goal but, he said, they do not behave that way exclusively to Blacks but use such means against Whites as well. Yonatan seems to be saying that Orthodox Jews do not discriminate against Black people in particular, they are, in general, dismissive of others.

Yonatan believes that “Trump is the best friend the Jews have ever had and he has devoted so much effort to standing up for us and defending us…The least we owe him is to stand up for him against this evil leftist Jewish plot to overthrow the greatest hope America has had in many generations. It is our job to be a light onto the nations and that is exactly what we must do – by fighting our enemy from within, the leftist, multiculturalist, reform Jews.”

When I asked Yonatan whether we should expect an open battle between the so-called ‘real Jews’ and the ‘Leftist’ ones any time soon he said he thought so. Yonatan believes that the so-called Goyim do not have the ability to confront or even to address the symptoms of Left Jews: others don’t even begin to understand the depth of the problem. Only ‘real Jews’ can deal with the culturally invasive menace and eventually save the Jews, liberate America and the rest of the world. America is divided, he said, we are “digging in preparing for a boogaloo,” the coming all out civil war between American patriots who adhere to ‘Judeo-Christian values’ and the so called multi cultural left. In placing this future conflict within the context of the American southern/northern division Yonatan sees himself as a contemporary Confederate platoon.

I ended by asking Yonatan whether he can see that the situation in America in some ways resembles Germany in the 1930s. “Certainly,” he said.


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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The Labour Partly

 BY GILAD ATZMON

by Gilad Atzmon 

Historically, a popular coup against an opposition party is rare.  In the last General Election Corbyn’s Labour provided us with just such an exceptional spectacle.

Labour managed to alienate its voters. Its leader turned his back on its strongest allies including, among others,  Ken Livingstone and Chris Williamson. For some reason Corbyn’s Labour turned itself into an Orwellian authoritarian apparatus; it even dug into its members’ social media accounts picking out ‘dirt’ (human right’s concerns) in order to appease one distinctive foreign lobby.

The Brits saw it all, how dangerous the party became. Many former ardent Labour supporters angrily rejected their political home. They may never return.

The conduct of the contenders for Labour’s leadership in the last few days reveals that the Brits were spot on in humiliating their opposition party. 

At the moment, Labour’s leadership candidates are, without exception, competing amongst themselves to see who goes the lowest in pledging allegiance to a Lobby associated with a foreign state that is currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC)  for committing crimes against humanity.

Yesterday I discussed the topic with the Great Richie Allen: Richie Allen@RichieAllenShow

Here’s Tuesdays Show. Thanks Mark Steele and @GiladAtzmon https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/richieallen/episodes/2020-01-14T11_18_16-08_00 … Podomatic ‎@podomatic

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Leadership contender Emily Thornberry is apparently on her “hands and knees…asking  for forgiveness.” And she is not the only one. The Zionist Times of Israel’s headlines yesterday revealed that the top candidates for Labour leadership have all vowed to lead the fight against anti-Semitism. “Keir Starmer backs automatic expulsion for offenders; Rebecca Long-Bailey: Corbyn bears personal responsibility for crisis; Jess Phillips suspends aide over anti-Semitic tweets.”

On BBC Radio, front runner Keir Starmer said, “We should have done more on anti-Semitism.”  I wonder, what did Starmer mean by that? What is the next step after thought policing and spying on party members? Re-education centres? Indoctrination facilities?  Hypnosis or maybe physiological treatment or perhaps lobotomy for those who dare to tell the truth about Israel and its Lobby?

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday reported that leadership contender, Jess Phillips, had on Friday suspended an aide who equated the Jewish State with the Islamic one. 

Two days ago we learned that Zionist pressure on the Labour party isn’t fading away. The Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) published its demands of the candidates for Labour’s leadership.  The ultra Zionist Jewish Chronicle wrote “The Board of Deputies has demanded each of Labour’s candidates for leader and deputy leader sign up to its 10 ‘pledges’ in order to ‘begin healing its relationship with the Jewish community’…”

bod_10-pledges.jpg

Predictably, the demands made by the BOD do not accord with Western and Christian values of pluralism and tolerance. The BOD demands that contenders ‘pledge’ to  “prevent re-admittance of prominent offenders.” One may wonder what about forgiveness and compassion, are those fundamental Western values foreign to our Labour leadership candidates?

The BOD insists that leadership contenders pledge to “provide no platform for those who have been suspended or expelled for antisemitism.” What about freedom of speech and free debate? Are those also alien to Labour’s future leaders?

The new Labour leader is expected to support the bizarre idea that the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement will grant the kosher certificate for its “anti racism education program.” I thought to myself that if the Jewish Labour Movement is so good in ‘anti racism education,’ maybe, and before anything else, it should contribute towards the cleansing of racism in Israel.

The fact that a Jewish organisation such as the BOD is so bold as to publish such ludicrous demands from a British national party is no surprise. The bizarre development here is that Labour’s  leadership candidates are engaged in an undignified battle to gain the BOD’s support. 

I am not critical of the Jewish Lobby and its orbit of Zionist pressure groups. Those bodies clearly accomplished their mission.  But it is astonishing how dysfunctional the Labour party and its leadership are. The party can’t even draw the most elementary lesson from its recent electoral disaster.

Those who follow my work know that I have predicted the unfortunate downfall of Labour and the demise of the Left in general. The Left, as I have been arguing for a while, has failed to reinstate its relevance and authenticity. It is unfortunately dead in the water.


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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Code-Panic: A Controlled Opposition Spectacle

JANUARY 12, 2020BY GILAD ATZMON

code-panic.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

Ariel Gold is the national co-director of CODEPINK, an American female  “grassroots peace and social justice movement” that claims to  work “to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations.” Ariel claims to support the Palestinians and oppose Israel. She has published  articles in Jewish progressive outlets such as the Forward, Tikkun Magazine and Mondoweiss.

On January 3rd, just a few hours after the world became aware of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by an American drone attack,  Ariel, the so called ‘Jewish dissenter’ rushed to post the following tweet:

“Loving reminder to folks rightfully horrified the US attack on Iran: please don’t frame this as being as being done to please Israel. This is Donald Trump and his band of US war hawks, period. To suggest Jews are pulling the strings is nothing short of antisemitism.”

Ariel Gold אריאל NO WAR WITH IRAN @ArielElyseGold

Loving reminder to folks rightfully horrified the US attack on Iran: please don’t frame this as being as being done to please Israel. This is Donald Trump and his band of US warhawks, period. To suggest Jews are pulling the strings is nothing short of antisemitism.3031:37 PM – Jan 3, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy385 people are talking about this

The Jewish progressive activist basically insisted that any such criticism of  Israel was ‘antisemitism.’ She was also naive to prematurely vindicate the Jewish State of involvement in the unlawful assassination: a crime that may lead to unpredictable and lethal consequences in the near future.

Today’s news reports that Israel was deeply involved in the targeted assassination of the Iranian general. The Times of Israel ‘s headline this morning reads:

“Israeli intel helped US carry out strike that killed Iran’s Soleimani.” The article states that “Information provided by Jewish state confirmed that Quds Force leader was at Baghdad airport before missile strike, NBC News reports.”

Amongst my sins is the argument I have made for almost two decades: for the solidarity and peace movements to be genuine, functional and effective they must be emancipated from the grip of the so called Jewish progressives. As things stand at the moment,  solidarity with the oppressed is restricted by the sensitivities of the oppressor. 


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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Reclaiming the Narrative: How to Combat Israel’s Misuse of “Antisemitism”

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

At a talk I delivered in Northern England in March 2018, I proposed that the best response to falsified accusations of antisemitism, which are often lobbed against pro-Palestinian communities and intellectuals everywhere, is to draw even closer to the Palestinian narrative.

In fact, my proposal was not meant to be a sentimental response in any way.

“Reclaiming the Palestinian narrative” has been the main theme in most of my public speeches and writings in recent years. All of my books and much of my academic studies and research have largely focused on positioning the Palestinian people – their rights, history, culture, and political aspirations – at the very core of any genuine understanding of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonialism and apartheid.

True, there was nothing particularly special about my talk in Northern England. I had already delivered a version of that speech in other parts of the UK, Europe and elsewhere. But what made that event memorable is a conversation I had with a passionate activist, who introduced himself as an advisor to the office of the head of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Although the activist agreed with me regarding the need to embrace the Palestinian narrative, he insisted that the best way for Corbyn to deflect anti-Semitic accusations, which have dogged his leadership since day one, is for Labor to issue a sweeping and decisive condemnation of antisemitism, so that Corbyn may silence his critics and he is finally able to focus on the pressing subject of Palestinian rights.

I was doubtful. I explained to the animated and self-assured activist that Zionist manipulation and misuse of antisemitism is a phenomenon that has preceded Corbyn by many decades, and will always be there as long as the Israeli government finds the need to distract from its war crimes against Palestinians and to crush pro-Palestinian solidarity worldwide.

I explained to him that while anti-Jewish racism is a real phenomenon that must be confronted, “antisemitism”, as defined by Israel and its Zionist allies, is not a moral question that is meant to be solved by a press release, no matter how strongly-worded. Rather, it is a smokescreen, with the ultimate aim of distracting from the real conversation, that being the crimes of military occupation, racism, and apartheid in Palestine.

In other words, no amount of talking, debating or defending oneself can possibly convince the Zionists that demanding an end to the Israeli military occupation in Palestine or the dismantling of the Israeli apartheid regime, or any genuine criticism of the policies of Israel’s right-wing government are not, in fact, acts of antisemitism.

Alas, the activist insisted that a strong statement that would clarify Labor’s position on antisemitism would finally absolve Corbyn and protect his legacy against the undeserved smearing.

The rest is history. Labor went into a witch-hunt, to catch the “true” anti-Semites among its members. The unprecedented purge has reached many good people who have dedicated years to serving their communities and defending human rights in Palestine and elsewhere.

The statement to end all statements was followed by many others. Numerous articles and arguments were written and made in defense of Corbyn – to no avail. Only a few days before Labor lost the general election in December, the Simon Wiesenthal Center named Corbyn, one of Britain’s most sincere and well-intentioned leaders in the modern era, the “top anti-Semite of 2019.” So much for engaging the Zionists.

It doesn’t matter whether Corbyn’s party lost the elections in part because of Zionist smearing and unfounded anti-Semitic accusations. What truly matter for me as a Palestinian intellectual who has hoped that Corbyn’s leadership will constitute a paradigm shift regarding the country’s attitude towards Israel and Palestine, is the fact that the Zionists have indeed succeeded in keeping the conversation focused on Israeli priorities and Zionist sensibilities. It saddens me that while Palestine should have occupied the center stage, at least during Corbyn’s leadership years, it was still marginalized signifying once again that solidarity with Palestine has become a political liability to anyone hoping to win an election – in the UK and anywhere in the West as well.

Britain Labour Party Conference

I find it puzzling, indeed disturbing, that Israel, directly or otherwise, is able to determine the nature of any discussion on Palestine in the West, not only within typical mainstream platforms but within pro-Palestinian circles as well. For example, I have heard activists repeatedly questioning whether the one-state solution is at all possible because “Israel simply would never accept it”.

I often challenge my audiences to base their solidarity with Palestine on real love, support, and admiration for the Palestinian people, for their history, their anti-colonial struggle, and the thousands of heroes and heroines who have sacrificed their own lives so that their people may live in freedom.

How many of us can name Palestine’s top poets, artists, feminists, football players, singers, and historians? How familiar are we really, with Palestinian geography, the intricacies of its politics, and the richness of its culture?

Even in platforms that are sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle, there is an inherent fear that such sympathy could be misconstrued as antisemitism to the extent that Palestinian voices are often neglected, if not completely supplanted with anti-Zionist Jewish voices. I see this happening quite often even in Middle Eastern media that supposedly champion the Palestinian cause.

This phenomenon is largely linked to Palestine and Palestine only. While the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the civil rights struggle in the United States – as was the case of many genuine anti-colonial liberation movements around the world – have strategically used intersectionality to link with other groups, locally, nationally or internationally, the movements themselves relied on black voices as true representatives of their peoples’ struggles.

Historically, Palestinians have not always been marginalized within their own discourse. Once upon a time, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), despite its many shortcomings, provided unified Palestinian political discourse which served as a litmus test for any individual, group or government regarding their position on Palestinian rights and freedom.

The Oslo accords ended all of that – it fragmented the Palestinian discourse just as it has divided the Palestinian people. Since then, the message emanating from Palestine has become muddled, factionalized and often self-defeating. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) has done a tremendous job in bringing about some clarity by attempting to articulate a universal Palestinian discourse.

However, BDS is yet to yield a centralized political strategy that is communicated through a democratically-elected Palestinian body. As long as the PLO persists in its inertia and without a truly democratic alternative, the crisis of the Palestinian political discourse is likely to continue.

Concurrently, the Zionists must not be allowed to determine the nature of our solidarity with the Palestinian people. While true Palestinian solidarity requires the complete rejection of all forms of racism, including antisemitism, the pro-Israel camp must be sidelined entirely from any conversation pertaining to the values and morality of what it means to be “pro-Palestine”.

To be anti-Zionist is not always the same as being pro-Palestine, the former emanating from the rejection of racist, Zionist ideas and the latter indicating a real connection and bond with Palestine and her people.

To be pro-Palestine is also to respect the centrality of the Palestinian voice, because without the Palestinian narrative there can be no real or meaningful solidarity, and also because, ultimately it will be the Palestinian people who will liberate themselves.

“I am not a liberator,” said the iconic South American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. “Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves”.

For the Palestinians to “liberate themselves”, they have to claim their centrality in the struggle for Palestinian rights everywhere, to articulate their own discourse and to be the champions of their own freedom. Nothing else will suffice.

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake

December 23, 2019  

Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

 Lawrence Davidson 

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake—An Analysis (23 December 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Trump and the Constitution

It is a pretty sure thing that President Donald Trump is ignorant of what is in the U.S. Constitution and, in any case, does not care much about what the document says. Take the idea of freedom of speech as set down in the First Amendment. Does he understand the importance of this amendment? Actually, it would seem that the only freedom of speech he finds sacrosanct is his own, expressed almost daily in angry, often rambling “tweets.” Those frequent missives hardly make the man a model of critical thinking and, as it turns out, for the price of some special interest’s political support, President Trump is willing to tell us all that we must believe the opposite of what is true. If we don’t, he will take away some federal benefit. Trump is by nature both authoritarian and simple-minded—not an unusual combination. 

Part II—Confusing Categories

It was in this simplistic frame of mind that, on 12 December, President Trump issued an executive order directing the federal government to deny funds to universities and colleges that allow alleged anti-Semitic speech on campus. Well, the reader might respond, such an order is understandable because we know that anti-Semitism is a particularly vicious form of racism. And so it is. The mistake here is to assume that President Trump actually knows how to recognize genuine anti-Semitism, so as not to confuse this expression of bigotry with its opposite: the support of human, civil and political rights—in this case, those of the Palestinians. Now, the reader might ask, how could anyone confuse these two categories: on the one hand, the support of an oppressed people’s rights and, on the other, racist anti-Semitism? It helps if you are ignorant, amoral and opportunistic. 

And so, with the encouragement of the Zionist lobby, a particularly powerful lobby dedicated solely to the interests of the Israeli state, President Trump, who is in fact ignorant, amoral and opportunistic, based this executive order on a logical fallacy—a category mistake. He identified protests against Israeli state behavior with anti-Semitic racism and declared that any university or college that allows the former (say, by permitting criticism of Israel for its violent suppression of Palestinian rights) is to be found guilty of the latter (anti-Semitism), and therefore is not to receive federal funds. 

Part III—A Zionist Project 

Working for the purposeful confusion of anti-Semitism and the support for Palestinian rights is a Zionist project. It should be emphasized that the Zionists who carry this project forward are not, like the president, ignorant or confused. They know what they are doing. And that is why this effort constitutes a tragedy of the highest order not only for the Palestinians, but for the Jewish people as well.

After World War II every sane individual knew that racism, particularly racism expressed through state power, was bad news. The consequences of such empowered bigotry was there to see across the world: Japanese behavior in China, Korea and Southeast Asia generally, along with German behavior throughout occupied Europe, constituted the worst examples. They resulted in the deaths of tens of millions—among them six million Jews. That is why as early as the late 1940s, an expansion of international law and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights sought to make such behavior criminal, particularly when carried out as the policy of governments.

As it turned out, those resolutions constituted direct obstacles to the Zionist goal of a “Jewish state” in Palestine. The Zionist conquest of Palestine in the military campaigns of   1948 and 1967, was followed by the systematic narrowing or outright denial of the human, civil and political rights for Palestinians. In the case of Palestinians residing in Israel proper, the racist policies and practices were often obscured behind a facade of benign-sounding declarations that, more often than not, had little impact on minority rights. No such facade was adopted within the Occupied Territories. In this way racism became an essential tool for achieving Zionism’s goal of ethnic exclusivity.  

So how do you rationalize this behavior? Even though Ashkenasi (that is, European) Jews have been one of the most persecuted groups in Western history, it was not hard for the Zionists to see their own racist behavior as necessary. Founding a state first and foremost for one group, in a territory already occupied by hundreds of thousands of “others,” easily led to discriminatory policies and practices. It also led to indoctrination of Israeli Jews and their diaspora supporters through the distortion of the history of conquest and colonial occupation. The inevitable resistance of the Palestinians, even when non-violent, became labeled as lawlessness at best and terrorism at worst. In this sense, Israeli society has mimicked not only the apartheid sentiments of South Africa, but also the culture that prevailed in the United States before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Part IV—Exporting the Fallacy

Yet it was not enough for the Israelis to convince their own Jewish citizens that Zionist racism was righteous self-defense and support of Palestinian rights the equivalent of anti-Semitism. This logical fallacy had to be pushed on Israel’s primary ally, the United States. And, at least in the halls of power, this effort has been remarkably successful, probably because the Zionist lobby has a lot of money to help or hinder ambitious American politicians. 

However, outside of those halls, the effort has been exposed for what it is: a dangerous reversal of categories that threatens to turn the clock back on much of the post-World War II progress in political, civil and human rights. As the growing popularity of the boycott Israel movement (BDS) has shown, American citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have an increasing ability to see the reality of the situation. A survey released in mid June 2017 by an organization known as the Brand Israel Group, “a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists” who consult for pro-Israel organizations, indicated that “approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys” while “Israel’s approval among all Americans dropped 14 points.” Brand Israel’s conclusion: in the future, the U.S. may “no longer believe that Israel shares their values.” This is the case not because of any big increase in anti-Semitism, but due to ever-growing evidence of Israeli racism.

One reaction to this increasing popular clarity of vision is President Trump’s executive order. If, in this case, colleges and universities do not enforce the Zionist logical fallacy, they lose federal money. 

Part V—Conclusion

Governments do not have a very good reputation for telling their citizens the truth. For instance, just this month it was made known that the U.S. government and military misled the American people about the ability to achieve victory in the Afghan war—a conflict that has been going on for 18 years. The same thing occurred during the Vietnam War. However, it is one thing to withhold information, or downright lie about a situation, and another to urge a population to swallow the category contradictions Trump and the Zionists are peddling. There is something Orwellian about that. It is no mistake that it is the brightest of college students, those who are actually overcoming ignorance and practicing the art of thinking straight, who are most put off by this propagandistic tactic. 

As for those Zionist students who claim that protests against Israeli policy and behavior on their campus make them feel uncomfortable, or even unsafe, they might try to learn something from those feelings. After all, it’s the closest they will ever come to the much more profound feelings of anxiety and danger that Palestinians feel every day, in their own homes, neighborhoods and campuses as well. So which category do all of us want to defend—the category of state-sponsored racism or the category of human, civil and political rights? Just be sure not to confuse one for the other.

LIVE: Putin holds annual press conference in Moscow

December 19, 2019

The version from RT on Twitter is the best one available currently:

https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1dRKZLQDDYDJB

English Soundtrack:

Putin holds annual press conference in Moscow

Vladimir Putin addressed State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, heads of Russian regions and civil society representatives in the Kremlin.

Dear friends, we have gathered here today in connection with an issue that is of vital, historic significance to all of us. A referendum was held in Crimea on March 16 in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms.


More than 82 percent of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96 percent of them spoke out in favour of reuniting with Russia. These numbers speak for themselves.

To understand the reason behind such a choice it is enough to know the history of Crimea and what Russia and Crimea have always meant for each other.

Everything in Crimea speaks of our shared history and pride. This is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptised. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilisation and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The graves of Russian soldiers whose bravery brought Crimea into the Russian empire are also in Crimea. This is also Sevastopol – a legendary city with an outstanding history, a fortress that serves as the birthplace of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Crimea is Balaklava and Kerch, Malakhov Kurgan and Sapun Ridge. Each one of these places is dear to our hearts, symbolising Russian military glory and outstanding valour.

Crimea is a unique blend of different peoples’ cultures and traditions. This makes it similar to Russia as a whole, where not a single ethnic group has been lost over the centuries. Russians and Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and people of other ethnic groups have lived side by side in Crimea, retaining their own identity, traditions, languages and faith.

Incidentally, the total population of the Crimean Peninsula today is 2.2 million people, of whom almost 1.5 million are Russians, 350,000 are Ukrainians who predominantly consider Russian their native language, and about 290,000–300,000 are Crimean Tatars, who, as the referendum has shown, also lean towards Russia.

True, there was a time when Crimean Tatars were treated unfairly, just as a number of other peoples in the USSR. There is only one thing I can say here: millions of people of various ethnicities suffered during those repressions, and primarily Russians.

Crimean Tatars returned to their homeland. I believe we should make all the necessary political and legislative decisions to finalise the rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars, restore them in their rights and clear their good name.

We have great respect for people of all the ethnic groups living in Crimea. This is their common home, their motherland, and it would be right – I know the local population supports this – for Crimea to have three equal national languages: Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar.

Colleagues,

In people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia. This firm conviction is based on truth and justice and was passed from generation to generation, over time, under any circumstances, despite all the dramatic changes our country went through during the entire 20th century.

After the revolution, the Bolsheviks, for a number of reasons – may God judge them – added large sections of the historical South of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine. This was done with no consideration for the ethnic make-up of the population, and today these areas form the southeast of Ukraine. Then, in 1954, a decision was made to transfer Crimean Region to Ukraine, along with Sevastopol, despite the fact that it was a federal city. This was the personal initiative of the Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev. What stood behind this decision of his – a desire to win the support of the Ukrainian political establishment or to atone for the mass repressions of the 1930’s in Ukraine – is for historians to figure out.

What matters now is that this decision was made in clear violation of the constitutional norms that were in place even then. The decision was made behind the scenes. Naturally, in a totalitarian state nobody bothered to ask the citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol. They were faced with the fact. People, of course, wondered why all of a sudden Crimea became part of Ukraine. But on the whole – and we must state this clearly, we all know it – this decision was treated as a formality of sorts because the territory was transferred within the boundaries of a single state. Back then, it was impossible to imagine that Ukraine and Russia may split up and become two separate states. However, this has happened.

Unfortunately, what seemed impossible became a reality. The USSR fell apart. Things developed so swiftly that few people realised how truly dramatic those events and their consequences would be. Many people both in Russia and in Ukraine, as well as in other republics hoped that the Commonwealth of Independent States that was created at the time would become the new common form of statehood. They were told that there would be a single currency, a single economic space, joint armed forces; however, all this remained empty promises, while the big country was gone. It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realised that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered.

At the same time, we have to admit that by launching the sovereignty parade Russia itself aided in the collapse of the Soviet Union. And as this collapse was legalised, everyone forgot about Crimea and Sevastopol ­– the main base of the Black Sea Fleet. Millions of people went to bed in one country and awoke in different ones, overnight becoming ethnic minorities in former Union republics, while the Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders.

Now, many years later, I heard residents of Crimea say that back in 1991 they were handed over like a sack of potatoes. This is hard to disagree with. And what about the Russian state? What about Russia? It humbly accepted the situation. This country was going through such hard times then that realistically it was incapable of protecting its interests. However, the people could not reconcile themselves to this outrageous historical injustice. All these years, citizens and many public figures came back to this issue, saying that Crimea is historically Russian land and Sevastopol is a Russian city. Yes, we all knew this in our hearts and minds, but we had to proceed from the existing reality and build our good-neighbourly relations with independent Ukraine on a new basis. Meanwhile, our relations with Ukraine, with the fraternal Ukrainian people have always been and will remain of foremost importance for us.

Today we can speak about it openly, and I would like to share with you some details of the negotiations that took place in the early 2000s. The then President of Ukraine Mr Kuchma asked me to expedite the process of delimiting the Russian-Ukrainian border. At that time, the process was practically at a standstill. Russia seemed to have recognised Crimea as part of Ukraine, but there were no negotiations on delimiting the borders. Despite the complexity of the situation, I immediately issued instructions to Russian government agencies to speed up their work to document the borders, so that everyone had a clear understanding that by agreeing to delimit the border we admitted de facto and de jure that Crimea was Ukrainian territory, thereby closing the issue.

We accommodated Ukraine not only regarding Crimea, but also on such a complicated matter as the maritime boundary in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. What we proceeded from back then was that good relations with Ukraine matter most for us and they should not fall hostage to deadlock territorial disputes. However, we expected Ukraine to remain our good neighbour, we hoped that Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Ukraine, especially its southeast and Crimea, would live in a friendly, democratic and civilised state that would protect their rights in line with the norms of international law.

However, this is not how the situation developed. Time and time again attempts were made to deprive Russians of their historical memory, even of their language and to subject them to forced assimilation. Moreover, Russians, just as other citizens of Ukraine are suffering from the constant political and state crisis that has been rocking the country for over 20 years.

I understand why Ukrainian people wanted change. They have had enough of the authorities in power during the years of Ukraine’s independence. Presidents, prime ministers and parliamentarians changed, but their attitude to the country and its people remained the same. They milked the country, fought among themselves for power, assets and cash flows and did not care much about the ordinary people. They did not wonder why it was that millions of Ukrainian citizens saw no prospects at home and went to other countries to work as day labourers. I would like to stress this: it was not some Silicon Valley they fled to, but to become day labourers. Last year alone almost 3 million people found such jobs in Russia. According to some sources, in 2013 their earnings in Russia totalled over $20 billion, which is about 12% of Ukraine’s GDP.

I would like to reiterate that I understand those who came out on Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management and poverty. The right to peaceful protest, democratic procedures and elections exist for the sole purpose of replacing the authorities that do not satisfy the people. However, those who stood behind the latest events in Ukraine had a different agenda: they were preparing yet another government takeover; they wanted to seize power and would stop short of nothing. They resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day.

The new so-called authorities began by introducing a draft law to revise the language policy, which was a direct infringement on the rights of ethnic minorities. However, they were immediately ‘disciplined’ by the foreign sponsors of these so-called politicians. One has to admit that the mentors of these current authorities are smart and know well what such attempts to build a purely Ukrainian state may lead to. The draft law was set aside, but clearly reserved for the future. Hardly any mention is made of this attempt now, probably on the presumption that people have a short memory. Nevertheless, we can all clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.

It is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in Ukraine now, nobody to talk to. Many government agencies have been taken over by the impostors, but they do not have any control in the country, while they themselves – and I would like to stress this – are often controlled by radicals. In some cases, you need a special permit from the militants on Maidan to meet with certain ministers of the current government. This is not a joke – this is reality.

Those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives, in preventing the events that were unfolding and are still underway in Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkov and other Ukrainian cities.

Naturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress. This would have been betrayal on our part.

First, we had to help create conditions so that the residents of Crimea for the first time in history were able to peacefully express their free will regarding their own future. However, what do we hear from our colleagues in Western Europe and North America? They say we are violating norms of international law. Firstly, it’s a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law – better late than never.

Secondly, and most importantly – what exactly are we violating? True, the President of the Russian Federation received permission from the Upper House of Parliament to use the Armed Forces in Ukraine. However, strictly speaking, nobody has acted on this permission yet. Russia’s Armed Forces never entered Crimea; they were there already in line with an international agreement. True, we did enhance our forces there; however – this is something I would like everyone to hear and know – we did not exceed the personnel limit of our Armed Forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so.

Next. As it declared independence and decided to hold a referendum, the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination. Incidentally, I would like to remind you that when Ukraine seceded from the USSR it did exactly the same thing, almost word for word. Ukraine used this right, yet the residents of Crimea are denied it. Why is that?

Moreover, the Crimean authorities referred to the well-known Kosovo precedent – a precedent our western colleagues created with their own hands in a very similar situation, when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities. Pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 1 of the United Nations Charter, the UN International Court agreed with this approach and made the following comment in its ruling of July 22, 2010, and I quote: “No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,” and “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.” Crystal clear, as they say.

I do not like to resort to quotes, but in this case, I cannot help it. Here is a quote from another official document: the Written Statement of the United States America of April 17, 2009, submitted to the same UN International Court in connection with the hearings on Kosovo. Again, I quote: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.” End of quote. They wrote this, disseminated it all over the world, had everyone agree and now they are outraged. Over what? The actions of Crimean people completely fit in with these instructions, as it were. For some reason, things that Kosovo Albanians (and we have full respect for them) were permitted to do, Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea are not allowed. Again, one wonders why.

We keep hearing from the United States and Western Europe that Kosovo is some special case. What makes it so special in the eyes of our colleagues? It turns out that it is the fact that the conflict in Kosovo resulted in so many human casualties. Is this a legal argument? The ruling of the International Court says nothing about this. This is not even double standards; this is amazing, primitive, blunt cynicism. One should not try so crudely to make everything suit their interests, calling the same thing white today and black tomorrow. According to this logic, we have to make sure every conflict leads to human losses.

I will state clearly — if the Crimean local self-defence units had not taken the situation under control, there could have been casualties as well. Fortunately this did not happen. There was not a single armed confrontation in Crimea and no casualties. Why do you think this was so? The answer is simple: because it is very difficult, practically impossible to fight against the will of the people. Here I would like to thank the Ukrainian military – and this is 22,000 fully armed servicemen. I would like to thank those Ukrainian service members who refrained from bloodshed and did not smear their uniforms in blood.

Other thoughts come to mind in this connection. They keep talking of some Russian intervention in Crimea, some sort of aggression. This is strange to hear. I cannot recall a single case in history of an intervention without a single shot being fired and with no human casualties.

Colleagues,

Like a mirror, the situation in Ukraine reflects what is going on and what has been happening in the world over the past several decades. After the dissolutionof bipolarity on the planet, we no longer have stability. Key international institutions are not getting any stronger; on the contrary, in many cases, they are sadly degrading. Our western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.

This happened in Yugoslavia; we remember 1999 very well. It was hard to believe, even seeing it with my own eyes, that at the end of the 20th century, one of Europe’s capitals, Belgrade, was under missile attack for several weeks, and then came the real intervention. Was there a UN Security Council resolution on this matter, allowing for these actions? Nothing of the sort. And then, they hit Afghanistan, Iraq, and frankly violated the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, when instead of imposing the so-called no-fly zone over it they started bombing it too.

There was a whole series of controlled “colour” revolutions. Clearly, the people in those nations, where these events took place, were sick of tyranny and poverty, of their lack of prospects; but these feelings were taken advantage of cynically. Standards were imposed on these nations that did not in any way correspond to their way of life, traditions, or these peoples’ cultures. As a result, instead of democracy and freedom, there was chaos, outbreaks in violence and a series of upheavals. The Arab Spring turned into the Arab Winter.

A similar situation unfolded in Ukraine. In 2004, to push the necessary candidate through at the presidential elections, they thought up some sort of third round that was not stipulated by the law. It was absurd and a mockery of the constitution. And now, they have thrown in an organised and well-equipped army of militants.

We understand what is happening; we understand that these actions were aimed against Ukraine and Russia and against Eurasian integration. And all this while Russia strived to engage in dialogue with our colleagues in the West. We are constantly proposing cooperation on all key issues; we want to strengthen our level of trust and for our relations to be equal, open and fair. But we saw no reciprocal steps.

On the contrary, they have lied to us many times, made decisions behind our backs, placed us before an accomplished fact.This happened with NATO’s expansion to the East, as well as the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They kept telling us the same thing: “Well, this does not concern you.” That’s easy to say.

It happened with the deployment of a missile defence system. In spite of all our apprehensions, the project is working and moving forward. It happened with the endless foot-dragging in the talks on visa issues, promises of fair competition and free access to global markets.

Today, we are being threatened with sanctions, but we already experiencemany limitations, ones that are quite significant for us, our economy and our nation. For example, still during the times of the Cold War, the US and subsequently other nations restricted a large list of technologies and equipment from being sold to the USSR, creating the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls list. Today, they have formally been eliminated, but only formally; and in reality, many limitations are still in effect.

In short, we have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, led in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, continues today. They are constantly trying to sweep us into a cornerbecause we have an independent position, because we maintain it and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy. But there is a limit to everything. And with Ukraine, our western partners have crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally.

After all, they were fully aware that there are millions of Russians living in Ukraine and in Crimea. They must have really lacked political instinct and common sense not to foresee all the consequences of their actions. Russia found itself in a position it could not retreat from. If you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard. You must always remember this.

Today, it is imperative to end this hysteria, to refute the rhetoric of the cold war and to accept the obvious fact: Russia is an independent, active participant in international affairs; like other countries, it has its own national interests that need to be taken into account and respected.

At the same time, we are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea; we are grateful to the people of China, whose leaders have always consideredthe situation in Ukraine and Crimea taking into account the full historical and political context, and greatly appreciate India’s reserve and objectivity.

Today, I would like to address the people of the United States of America, the people who, since the foundation of their nation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, have been proud to hold freedom above all else. Isn’t the desire of Crimea’s residents to freely choose their fate such a value? Please understand us.

I believe that the Europeans, first and foremost, the Germans, will also understand me. Let me remind you that in the course of political consultations on the unification of East and West Germany, at the expert, though very high level, some nations that were then and are now Germany’s allies did not support the idea of unification. Our nation, however, unequivocally supported the sincere, unstoppable desire of the Germans for national unity. I am confident that you have not forgotten this, and I expect that the citizens of Germany will also support the aspiration of the Russians, of historical Russia, to restore unity.

I also want to address the people of Ukraine. I sincerely want you to understand us: we do not want to harm you in any way, or to hurt your national feelings. We have always respected the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state, incidentally, unlike those who sacrificed Ukraine’s unity for their political ambitions. They flaunt slogans about Ukraine’s greatness, but they are the ones who did everything to divide the nation. Today’s civil standoff is entirely on their conscience. I want you to hear me, my dear friends. Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea. We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that. As for Crimea, it was and remains a Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean-Tatar land.

I repeat, just as it has been for centuries, it will be a home to all the peoples living there. What it will never be and do is follow in Bandera’s footsteps!

Crimea is our common historical legacy and a very important factor in regional stability. And this strategic territory should be part of a strong and stable sovereignty, which today can only be Russian. Otherwise, dear friends (I am addressing both Ukraine and Russia), you and we – the Russians and the Ukrainians – could lose Crimea completely, and that could happen in the near historical perspective. Please think about it.

Let me note too that we have already heard declarations from Kiev about Ukraine soon joining NATO. What would this have meant for Crimea and Sevastopol in the future? It would have meant that NATO’s navy would be right there in this city of Russia’s military glory, and this would create not an illusory but a perfectly real threat to the whole of southern Russia. These are things that could have become reality were it not for the choice the Crimean people made, and I want to say thank you to them for this.

But let me say too that we are not opposed to cooperation with NATO, for this is certainly not the case. For all the internal processes within the organisation, NATO remains a military alliance, and we are against having a military alliance making itself at home right in our backyard or in our historic territory. I simply cannot imagine that we would travel to Sevastopol to visit NATO sailors. Of course, most of them are wonderful guys, but it would be better to have them come and visit us, be our guests, rather than the other way round.

Let me say quite frankly that it pains our hearts to see what is happening in Ukraine at the moment, see the people’s suffering and their uncertainty about how to get through today and what awaits them tomorrow. Our concerns are understandable because we are not simply close neighbours but, as I have said many times already, we are one people. Kiev is the mother of Russian cities. Ancient Rus is our common source and we cannot live without each other.

Let me say one other thing too. Millions of Russians and Russian-speaking people live in Ukraine and will continue to do so. Russia will always defend their interests using political, diplomatic and legal means. But it should be above all in Ukraine’s own interest to ensure that these people’s rights and interests are fully protected. This is the guarantee of Ukraine’s state stability and territorial integrity.

We want to be friends with Ukraine and we want Ukraine to be a strong, sovereign and self-sufficient country. Ukraine is one of our biggest partners after all. We have many joint projects and I believe in their success no matter what the current difficulties. Most importantly, we want peace and harmony to reign in Ukraine, and we are ready to work together with other countries to do everything possible to facilitate and support this. But as I said, only Ukraine’s own people can put their own house in order.

Residents of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the whole of Russia admired your courage, dignity and bravery. It was you who decided Crimea’s future. We were closer than ever over these days, supporting each other. These were sincere feelings of solidarity. It is at historic turning points such as these that a nation demonstrates its maturity and strength of spirit. The Russian people showed this maturity and strength through their united support for their compatriots.

Russia’s foreign policy position on this matter drew its firmness from the will of millions of our people, our national unity and the support of our country’s main political and public forces. I want to thank everyone for this patriotic spirit, everyone without exception. Now, we need to continue and maintain this kind of consolidation so as to resolve the tasks our country faces on its road ahead.

Obviously, we will encounter external opposition, but this is a decision that we need to make for ourselves. Are we ready to consistently defend our national interests, or will we forever give in, retreat to who knows where? Some Western politicians are already threatening us with not just sanctions but also the prospect of increasingly serious problems on the domestic front. I would like to know what it is they have in mind exactly: action by a fifth column, this disparate bunch of ‘national traitors’, or are they hoping to put us in a worsening social and economic situation so as to provoke public discontent? We consider such statements irresponsible and clearly aggressive in tone, and we will respond to them accordingly. At the same time, we will never seek confrontation with our partners, whether in the East or the West, but on the contrary, will do everything we can to build civilised and good-neighbourly relations as one is supposed to in the modern world. 

Colleagues,

I understand the people of Crimea, who put the question in the clearest possible terms in the referendum: should Crimea be with Ukraine or with Russia? We can be sure in saying that the authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol, the legislative authorities, when they formulated the question, set aside group and political interests and made the people’s fundamental interests alone the cornerstone of their work. The particular historic, population, political and economic circumstances of Crimea would have made any other proposed option — however tempting it could be at the first glance — only temporary and fragile and would have inevitably led to further worsening of the situation there, which would have had disastrous effects on people’s lives. The people of Crimea thus decided to put the question in firm and uncompromising form, with no grey areas. The referendum was fair and transparent, and the people of Crimea clearly and convincingly expressed their will and stated that they want to be with Russia.

Russia will also have to make a difficult decision now, taking into account the various domestic and external considerations. What do people here in Russia think? Here, like in any democratic country, people have different points of view, but I want to make the point that the absolute majority of our people clearly do support what is happening.

The most recent public opinion surveys conducted here in Russia show that 95 percent of people think that Russia should protect the interests of Russians and members of other ethnic groups living in Crimea – 95 percent of our citizens. More than 83 percent think that Russia should do this even if it will complicate our relations with some other countries. A total of 86 percent of our people see Crimea as still being Russian territory and part of our country’s lands. And one particularly important figure, which corresponds exactly with the result in Crimea’s referendum: almost 92 percent of our people support Crimea’s reunification with Russia. 

Thus we see that the overwhelming majority of people in Crimea and the absolute majority of the Russian Federation’s people support the reunification of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with Russia.

Now this is a matter for Russia’s own political decision, and any decision here can be based only on the people’s will, because the people is the ultimate source of all authority.

Members of the Federation Council, deputies of the State Duma, citizens of Russia, residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, today, in accordance with the people’s will, I submit to the Federal Assembly a request to consider a Constitutional Law on the creation of two new constituent entities within the Russian Federation: the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and to ratify the treaty on admitting to the Russian Federation Crimea and Sevastopol, which is already ready for signing. I stand assured of your support.

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