حين يكون العدوان… وساماً

عادل سمارة

كتبت لي صديقة عروبية هذا الصباح بأنها تشعر بالإهانة بسبب الغزوة الصهيونية على مطار المزة في سورية. نعم وأنا أشعر كذلك، ولكن لديّ شعور آخر هو أنّ ذلك العدوان وسام لسورية. لماذا؟ سورية اليوم أشبه بمناضل في التحقيق؟ أليس خضوعه للتعذيب بطولة؟ وهل كونه اعتقل هو إدانة له، أم وسام؟ ذلك لأنّ سياق المرحلة هو عدوان معولم على سورية. هذه هي الحقيقة.

واللافت أنّ الأعداء يعلنون بأنهم يقومون بالعدوان، سواء بالإرهابيين أو التسليح او التمويل أو الإعلام أو حتى الجنس. بينما كثيرون منا يرون أنّ الموقف من غزوة الكيان يجب أن يكون بالردّ العسكري المباشر كأنّ الأمر ملاكمة فردية.

ما سأقوله قد يبدو تكراراً لما هو معروف، ولكنني دائماً أميل إلى التأصيل مخافة عامل النسيان وانشغال الناس في اليومي بينما الأعداء ينشغلون في اليومي والاستراتيجي.

مشروع الثورة المضادة هو سحق المشروع العروبي وليس إضعافه. ومن هنا يصبح اشتراك الكيان في العدوان على سورية حتمياً بعد ان تمّ الإجهاز على مصر وليبيا والعراق واستمرار العدوان على اليمن والتحضير ضدّ حزب الله. وفي هذا السياق علينا جميعاً أن نتذكّر بأنّ كثيرين منا ولأسباب جانبية سقطوا في مباركة احتلال العراق وليبيا. آهٍ لضيق الأفق الذي يقارب الخيانة بلا وعي وقصد. ثم الآن نجد من يدفعون سورية إلى حرب جديدة!

دائماً، علينا وضع ايّ عدوان ولو رصاصة واحدة في سياق طبيعة الصراع، وإلا سنشعر بالإهانة، ومن ثمّ ربما بتهالك العزيمة، وهذا لا يخدم إعادة بناء المشروع العروبي واستعادة الشارع العربي.

لنضع الأمر في سياقه الصحيح، بل لنرى سياقه الصحيح وهو معروض أمامنا حتى على شاشات التخدير التي للأسف غدت افيون العرب.

لا يمكننا قراءة هذا العدوان بعيداً عن السياق الاستراتيجي والتاريخي لوجوده واستمراره.

ففي الصراع مع الكيان الصهيوني، أو في قيامه بعدوان، لا بدّ من وضع الأمر في السياق التالي، وهو ليس تبريراً لسورية ولكن، كما أعتقد قراءة واقعية تقوم مسألتان: تاريخية ولحظية.

في المستوى التاريخي، علينا الأخذ الجدي باعتبار ما يلي:

1 – الكيان هو كلّ الغرب والحرب معه هي مع الغرب، وإلا كيف لدويلة قميئة كالدنمارك ان تشارك في قصف الجيش العربي السوري في دير الزور؟

2 – بل اليوم العدوان أوسع من الغرب، وإلا فما معنى اشتراك 93 دولة وضخ 360 ألف إرهابي ضدّ سورية.

3- الحدّ الأدنى للحرب مع هذا العدو المعولم/ الثورة المضادة يتطلب دور كلّ العرب… وكلّ العرب غائبون أو أعداء.

4 – أية أرض عربية تسقط أو تُحتلّ يجب ان تقاوم ولكن وحدها لا تستطيع هزيمة العدو المعولم.

5 – حاولت سورية الوصول الى توازن استراتيجي مع الكيان ولذا تعرّضت لما تتعرّض له اليوم.

لهذه الأسباب سورية لا يمكنها الردّ وحدها لا سيما وهي في حرب معولمة. وكلّ مزايدات في هذا السياق، كالحديث عن استعادة الجولان ليس سوى ثرثرة حمقاء بحقنة من الأعداء.

وفي المستوى اللحظي، فإنّ هذا العدوان الصهيوني مرتبط بأكثر من أمر:

1 – تحرير حلب مما أكد أننا أخذنا نرى نور ما بعد الانتصار.

2 – هذا العدوان تبهير لمؤتمر العملاء من السوريين في معهد ترومان في القدس المحتلة. وللإسم معناه، فترومان هو الرئيس الأميركي الذي اعترف بالكيان 1948.

3 – في نفس الفترة اكتشفت الجزائر شبكة تجسّس مما يؤكد أنّ العدوان المعولم، حتى لو رأس حربته الصهيونية، فهو يشمل العالم العربي بأسره. ولنتذكر أنّ «ابطال ثورة الناتو» في ليبيا أعطوا الكيان قاعدة عسكرية فوراً عام 2011. ولا أعتقد انها لضرب قصور آل سعود.

4 – كما ترافق مع التأكيد من العدو الأميركي على نقل سفارة أميركا إلى القدس. هذا مع أنني أعتقد أنّ القدس ليست أغلى من حيفا. ذلك لأنّ المبالغة في القدس تعني تقزيم الوطن لصالح مدينة ومن ثم المدينة لصالح الأقصى والأقصى ربما لمحراب صلاح الدين. وكلّ ذلك لحصر الصراع كأنه ديني.

5 – يأتي العدوان في وقت تتكثف غيوم العدوان العربي التركي الغربي المعولم على جنوب سورية.

6 – ويأتي العدوان ووفد من المغرب يزور الكيان مكوناً من ساسة ومثقفين إلخ… وبالمناسبة، وحتى قبل العدوان على سورية نحن في صراع مباشر مع ثلاثة كيانات معادية بنفس المستوى: الكيان الصهيوني في الوسط، تركيا في الشرق، والنظام المغربي في غرب العالم العربي.

7 – وقد تكون خاتمة هذه العوامل ما قاله أوباما في خطاب الوداع: لن تكون دولة فلسطينية. وهذا حقيقة هو موقف اميركا. وهو يكشف بأنّ كل رئيس أميركي سواء بقي دورة او اثنتين، فهو كذب على مدار رئاسته.

8 – ويأتي العدوان وروسيا على مشارف مؤتمر أستانة، إلى جانب إعلان تقليص قواتها كمقدّمة لتلطيف مناخ المؤتمر الذي يتأرجح بين الانعقاد والتعقيد.

ربما أختم بملاحظة تؤكد مجمل القول أعلاه، بأنّ المعسكر العدو/ الثورة المضادة لن تتردّد في حال هزيمة الكيان بأن تلجا إلى الخيار النووي، وهناك شاهدان على هذا:

الأول: ما قامت به الولايات المتحدة في حرب تشرين الأول/ اكتوبر 1973 حيث جهّزت في الطائرات أحد عشر قنبلة

والثانية ما قاله ثعلب الليبرالية الصهيوني نعوم تشومسكي منذ زمن بانّ الكيان في حال أشرف على الهزيمة سوف يلجأ للنووي، وهو هنا ليس بناء على تحليل، بل أعتقد نتيجة تواصل وارتباط.

من هنا، فالحرب طويلة، وخطوة الانتصار الأولى بقاء سورية، وبعدها لكلّ حادث حديث ولكلّ حرب حرب…

End of the US Empire: Russian Warships Just Arrived in the Philippines

By Darius Shahtahmasebi

January 06, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “ANTIMEDIA” – Notable American foreign policy critic and linguist, Professor Noam Chomsky, has stated numerous times that the United States’ power has steadily been declining since the end of World War II. As Chomsky notes, in 1945, the United States had “literally half the world’s wealth, incredible security, controlled the entire Western Hemisphere, both oceans, [and[ the opposite sides of both oceans.”

In that context – and in the context of the United States waging war in multiple countries across the globe with the most advanced military technology in the world – it is hard to understand how this has happened. But Chomsky is not wrong.

Beginning with what was referred to as the “loss of China” in the 1940s, the United States slowly began to lose areas of Southeast Asia, which led America to brutally launch the Indochina wars. As Chomsky notes, by destroying South Vietnam in the heavily criticized Vietnam War — a move designed to prevent Vietnam from achieving independence and perhaps becoming a Communist state — the U.S. sent a message to the rest of Indochina that if a nation attempted to break free of U.S-European control, it would likely be bombed into oblivion. The strategy worked at the time; as Chomsky notes, by 1965, every country in the region had dictatorships that were prepared to rule in a way suitable to America’s foreign policy interests. As recent developments in the Asian region have shown, however, the success of this bully-style strategy has been short-lived indeed.

Regardless, the United States has also lost South America. According to Chomsky, the “loss” of South America is easily observable:

“One sign is that the United States has been driven out of every single military base in South America. We’re trying to restore a few, but right now there are none.”

Over the course of the last few decades, the United States has begun to lose the Middle East, as well. In Iraq, the United States helped support Saddam Hussein’s rise to power and went so far to support his war of aggression against neighboring Iran. Then, the U.S. turned its back on Hussein, attacking Iraq in 1991 under the presidency of George H.W. Bush. As a result, the U.S. learned at least one valuable lesson from bombing Iraq in the early nineties: that Russia was not going to intervene in America’s ambitions in the Middle East.

The Middle East was, therefore, ripe for the taking, and this continued to be the case up until the Syrian war. What people fail to understand, however, is that the United States is not bombing the Middle East into submission because of its immense power, but because it is losing its power, influence, and control throughout the region.

As should be quite clear to anyone following the conflict, Russia has replaced the United States as judge, jury, and executioner (and supposed peace broker) in the five-year Syrian war, successfully retaking the major city of Aleppo from NATO-backed rebel groups.

Russia’s advances in the Middle East have spilled over to the rest of the world. In October of last year, the U.S. officially “lost” its stranglehold over the Philippines. Though it was previously seen as an integral ally U.S. ally vital to countering China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines openly and proudly boasted about their new ties with Russia and China.

As it transpires, the Philippines has put its money where its mouth is. Russian warships arrived in Filipino territory this Tuesday. According to the Philippines’ Navy, the visit is merely a “goodwill visit,” but the future of joint exercises is to be discussed. A report from Russia’s state-run Sputnik News seemed to contradict this, stating the ships were there specifically to conduct joint exercises with Philippine forces for the purposes of fighting maritime piracy and terrorism.

“You can choose to cooperate with United States of America or to cooperate with Russia,” Russian Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov said, speaking at the Manila Harbor.“But from our side we can help you in every way that you need. We are sure that in the future we’ll have exercises with you. Maybe just maneuvering or maybe use of combat systems and so on.”

Mikhailov also seemed to indicate that other players in the region, such as China and Malaysia, would coordinate with the potential training exercises within the next few years. Russia has also offered the Philippines sophisticated weaponry, including aircraft and submarines.

The United States has only one move left: surround Russia’s borders with NATO troops and missiles, which they are doing quite rapidly. Sooner or later, however, the United States will have to admit its very real decline in world standing and will have no choice but to learn to coordinate global affairs with the likes of Russia and China.

Let’s face it — what is the alternative?

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Information Clearing House editorial policy.

Duterte visits Russian destroyer, wants Moscow to be ally & protector: “We welcome our Russian friends. Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, for replenish supplies or maybe our ally to protect us,” Duterte said as cited by Reuters

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

Phyllis Bennis’ Delusions of ‘Massive Opposition’ to Israel Evaporate Under Harsh Light of Reality

Aletho News

By Jeff Blankfort | Dissident Voice | September 26, 2016

There is massive opposition to Israeli actions in the United States today, particularly importantly in the Jewish community, where there’s been an enormous shift in that discourse.

So you still have organizations, right-wing organizations like AIPAC that include very wealthy donors, no doubt, but they no longer can even make the claim–which was probably never true, but it certainly is no longer true–that they speak for the majority, let alone all, of the Jewish community.

You now have an organization like J Street in the center. You have Jewish Voice for Peace on the left, which has over 200,000 supporters across the country. So you have a very different scenario now of where public opinion is.

— Phyllis Bennis, interviewed on The Real News Network, September 14, 2016

Massive opposition to Israeli actions in the United States? Within the Jewish community? Who does Phyllis Bennis thinks she’s kidding and, as importantly, why is she doing so? That there is no sign of any activity or combination of activities in the US opposing Israel’s actions that qualify as massive among the larger public and definitely not within the Jewish community should be patently as well as painfully obvious.

Her comment becomes even more mystifying since it came on the day that Barack Obama announced that the US would award Israel a record breaking $38 billion in arms over the decade beginning in 2018. What opposition there was to the deal on the part of the public, much less the Jewish community, was barely visible.

This had been reflected a month earlier in the Democratic Party’s decision to bar any reference to Israel’s occupation or illegal settlement construction in its platform which was then approved without so much as a whimper by the convention delegates.  A week before, the Republicans, stepping back from their traditional lip service to the two-state illusion, discarded any notion that Israel would be obliged to surrender land to the Palestinians for their own state at any time in the future.

Bennis, speaking to The Real News Network’s Jaisal Noor, incredibly, portrayed the humiliating Democratic platform defeat as a victory:

I think he [Obama] is seriously misreading where the American people are at, where the Democratic Party is, where the public discourse on this question has shifted. I think he’s acting as if this was 20 years ago and no politician could do wrong by being more supportive than the other guy of Israel.

Now that’s not the case anymore. We saw that during the debate over the language on Israel and Palestine in the Democratic Party platform debate. (Emphasis added)

While it is true that there is less support for Israel among the youth and the Democratic Party’s base, what we learned from that debate was the degree to which the Congressional Black Caucus, including one of its most “liberal” members, Barbara Lee, is under the thumb of the Israel Lobby. Lee, appointed to the committee by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, cast the critical vote in the platform committee that eliminated any reference to Israel’s illegal occupation or the ongoing construction of Jewish settlements.

How Bennis could put a positive spin on that outcome should raise concerns not only about her judgment but also her agenda.

Despite the fact that it had been the subject of discussion in the US and Israeli media for more than a year, there was no attempt to mobilize opposition to the arms package for Israel, about which Bennis was being interviewed, by either Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) or the US Campaign to End Israel Occupation (USCEIO), the two largest organizations, ostensibly working for justice in Palestine over which Bennis appears to act as an éminence grise.

Bennis did not mention nor had either organization expressed support for or even note on their websites, the first of its kind lawsuit filed by the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy’s Grant Smith on August 8 that would block the announced arms deal on the basis of long standing US law that prohibits US aid to non-signatories of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty known to have nuclear weapons.

That Bennis, moreover, presented J Street in a positive light at that moment strongly suggests that projecting a positive image of the Jewish community within the Left and in the eyes of the larger public is her primary motivation.

J Street, after all, is nothing more than a light beer version of AIPAC. It was created for Jewish liberals whose self-image requires the display of an occasional whiff of conscience, but nothing that would jeopardize Israel’s domination of Washington. It was in such full applause mode over the arms deal that it issued a statement, welcoming it, on September 13, the day before the White House officially announced it:

J Street warmly welcomes the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel that will ensure Israel’s security and its qualitative military advantage over any potential enemy for the next 10 years.

We congratulate President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as all those who worked hard to produce this agreement, which represents the biggest pledge of US military assistance made to any country in our nation’s history.

And Jewish Voice for Peace? In a statement on the group’s website, JVP director, Israel-American dual citizen Rebecca Vilkomerson, after acknowledging that the deal had been “in months of negotiation,” declared that, As a result, the US is effectively underwriting Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies towards the Palestinians.”

True and well said, Rebecca, but what had JVP been doing to stop it during those months? And in the two weeks since, knowing that it is Congress that must ultimately approve the deal? Apparently nothing, judging from the constant stream of requests for money that arrive in my email box daily.

Rather ineffectively, if measured by the paucity of results, it has also been pushing for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) targeting companies doing business in the West Bank, giving it the appearance, if not the substance, of “doing something” for the Palestinian cause.

With steely determination, its leadership was also continuing a behind the scenes campaign to vilify and marginalize an individual and an organization, without the payroll and national outreach of JVP, that was attempting a nation-wide effort to alert the American people to the latest transfer of their earnings to Israel, namely Alison Weir and her organization, appropriately named “if Americans Knew.”

Through billboards, bus cards, bumper stickers, simulated checks, and postcards, carrying the slogan, “Stop the Blank Check for Israel,” Weir has made a tireless effort to inform all Americans, but particularly those without any vested interest in either Israel or Palestine, (who constitute the majority) about what is being done for Israel by the US government and members of Congress in their name. A useful exercise for readers would be to compare the If Americans Knew website with that of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Weir’s crime in the eyes of her critics is that she has ignored the Left choir and its gatekeepers and expressed a healthy willingness to speak to any group or media host that asks for her views on the largely hidden history of Israel’s domestic Zionist operations going back to World War One.  Several of those talk show hosts, which amount to a tiny fraction of Weir’s overall efforts, her attackers find objectionable even though some of them have appeared on the same programs.

Weir also has had the temerity to make exposing the cover-up by Congress and the media of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty off the coast of Egypt during the 1967 war a critical part of her work. The unprovoked assault on a clearly marked intelligence ship by Israel’s air force and navy left 34 US sailors dead and 171 wounded. The subject is as off-limits for Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, as well as the entire American Left, as it has been for the Jewish establishment. (The implications of that are worthy of an entire article by itself.)

Weir’s slim but fact-packed, copiously foot noted paperback, “Against Our Better Judgment” detailing the obscured activities of the Zionist Lobby both before and after Israeli statehood, has sold more than 27,000 copies on Amazon and, apart from making them more than a trifle jealous, has, I suspect, been an irritant to JVP and USCEIO whose founder and current policy director, Josh Ruebner, is, like JVP’s Vilkomerson, an Israel-US dual citizen. (This apparently raises no questions as would, say, if white South Africans had played prominent roles in the American anti-apartheid movement.)

What JVP really appears to be about is establishing the acceptable parameters within which those who support justice for Palestine can criticize Israel or Jewish support for it without being labeled anti-Semitic.

The latest target of Vilkomerson is Miko Peled, the son of former Israeli major general, Matti Peled, the only representative of Israel’s top military echelon ever to advocate for Palestinian justice.

Living in San Diego and now a US citizen, Peled has become one of Israel’s most forthright critics and supporters of the BDS movement but fell afoul of Vilkomerson over a tweet that she considered to be anti-Semitic.

Responding to the announcement of the arms deal, Peled tweeted, “Then theyr surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves #apartheidisrael doesn’t need or deserve these $$.” Vilkomerson, in turn, tweeted, “No place 4 antisemitism in our movement” and congratulated the Princeton Committee for Palestine for using her tweet as the basis for canceling a scheduled speaking engagement by Peled at the university, “to show our commitment towards educating our campus about Israel-Palestine issues.”

If justification for Peled’s tweet is needed, all one has to do is read the op-ed in the Washington Post(9/14) by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and the speech before the AIPAC spawn, Washington Inst. For Near East Policy, by former Israeli defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon (Times of Israel, 9/15) in which each of them expressed their fury at Netanyahu for not getting yet more than the record $38 billion. Seriously. There is no limit to their sense of entitlement.

The USCEIO which usually follows JVP’s lead has yet to weigh in on the Peled controversy, but there are dated references to the arms deal for Israel on its website, including a petition to President Obama launched in September, 2015, asking him not to approve it. The petition gathered more than 65,000 signatures but since it was still collecting them the day Obama announced the deal, there is no indication it was ever sent.

Now, two weeks after Obama’s announcement, there is no mention of it on its website nor was there any suggestion that people should go beyond signing a petition and confront the members of Congress in their home districts who will be voting on the $38 billion appropriation.

This is particularly noteworthy while USCEIO will be holding its national conference in Arlington, VA, October 14 to 17, there is no mention of it on its tentative agenda.

That campaigns to stop aid to Israel are missing from the agenda of both USCEIO and JVP, I would argue, is significant given that, in the early 80s, it was a nationwide campaign on the part of Nicaragua solidarity activists to have the public call members of Congress in their districts that produced the Boland Amendment, halting a $15 million appropriation for the Contras.

For reasons that I can only speculate such a grassroots campaign has never been undertaken by either organization over which, as noted above, Phyllis Bennis exerts an outsized influence.

The speculation centers on Bennis’s past history of minimizing the importance of both Congress and the pro-Israel Lobby, most notably AIPAC, in formulating US Middle East policy.

In 2002, at a three-day conference at the University of California in Berkeley, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, I took a seat with a friend in the back of a lecture hall where Bennis was speaking on a topic relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict. At one point in her presentation, having apparently seen me enter and looking directly at me, she interrupted her talk to loudly blurt out, “Congress is not Israeli Occupied Territory!”

I quickly assumed she was referring to an essay that I had written 10 years earlier that was published in the 1992 edition of the City Lights Review, entitled, “Occupied Territory: Congress, the Israel Lobby and Jewish Responsibility.” In the essay I had sharply criticized the Left and particularly the Jewish supporters of the Palestinian movement for their failure to deal with the issue of the Israel lobby.

I am not one to interrupt speakers with whom I don’t agree but since her outburst was clearly intended for me, I responded with an immediate “Yes, it is!”. “No it isn’t!” she shouted back, rather displeased, and went on to describe an effort that some members of the Congressional Black Caucus were making regarding the illegal use of US arms by the Israelis against Palestinian civilians (an effort that, of course, went nowhere).

During the question period she seemed anxious to keep me from getting the floor. In an unusually long-winded and virtually content-free response as to what people could do to help the Palestinian cause, she appeared to be hoping time would run out for the session.

What would she have activists do? Believe it or not: write letters to the editor once a week. That’s what she said. As far as calling their members of Congress objecting to their support for Israel, Bennis said nary a word.

Despite an obvious effort on her part to get the moderator who had promised me the next question, to choose someone else–I seized the moment and proceeded to describe four situations in which the Israel lobby had demonstrated its power over Congress.  I explained how it had run members of the Black Caucus who criticized Israel out of office and was trying to do the same (and would later succeed) with CBC’s remaining critic of Israel at that time, Atlanta’s Cynthia McKinney.

As I wrote shortly afterward, (Palestine Chronicle 3/26/07) neither Bennis nor her co-panelist, a Jewish professor, said a word when I finished, (although the latter later falsely circulated an email that he had). Since I had known Bennis for 20 years, had previously worked with her in the San Francisco Bay Area on Palestinian issues and, a year earlier had her as a guest on my first radio program on my current station, I went over to say hello and jokingly mentioned that she still had not yet understood the role of the Israel Lobby.

She was neither friendly nor amused. “The issue is dead and has been dead,” she replied. End of conversation and though our paths have crossed over the years we haven’t spoken since.

Though the issue isn’t dead for Jewish Voice for Peace or the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, by any measurable standards, it might as well be.

Informing their members or member organizations, in the case of USCEIO, of the extent and methodology of AIPAC’s control over Congress is noticeably missing from their agendas and websites.

There was an exception. In September, 2012, I participated in a workshop on AIPAC and the Israel Lobby at USCEIO’s annual organizing conference in St. Louis. It was the only workshop even remotely related to the subject and had been organized by the now purged Alison Weir, whose If Americans Knew was, at the time, one of USCEIO’s member organizations.  With Weir and her organization now gone from the USCEIO, AIPAC has less to worry about.

This guarantees to a certainty that whatever approach it takes to members of Congress with the ostensible goal of changing US policy will continue to end in failure.

This is exemplified in a section on its website– “Building relationships with congressional staff and Members of Congress is critical to enacting policy change”—which links to a step by step process that should ordinarily be followed by anyone seeking an audience with a member of Congress, or her or his chief of staff or legislative aide on most issues.  But the Israel-Palestine issue is not like any other.

The notion that politely presenting US legislators or their aides with evidence of Israel’s latest atrocities or the damage that US support for Israel has done to the US image globally will move any of them to change their positions, as if ignorance of the facts is the only obstacle, is naïve at best. Nevertheless, that’s what those attending the USA CEIO’s upcoming conference will do on their day of lobbying on Capitol Hill.

By Einstein’s definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result–the approach advocated by USCEIO and practiced by JVP, qualifies as insane since nothing has changed with regard to US support for Israel.

A more productive tactic would be to impolitely challenge members of Congress in their home districts, ideally but not necessarily at public events, exposing to the utmost degree possible the amounts of money they have received from pro-Israel sources and circulating statements that they most likely have made expressing their affection for Israel which can usually be found on the internet.

Why hasn’t either the USCEIO, JVP, or for that matter, Phyllis Bennis encouraged such an activity? Well, we already know Bennis’s bold plan; write letters to the editor.

There was nary a word about Congress’s role from Bennis in her latest interview despite telling TRNN’s Paul Jay in December, 2013, that “We have massively changed the discourse in this country,” an exaggeration then as now. She did then acknowledge, “What has not changed is the policy, and that has far more to do“ at which point Jay interrupted, saying, “The policy and the politics, like, congressional politics,” and Bennis replying, “Yes, but that’s where the policy gets made. That hasn’t changed. And that’s the huge challenge that we face. (Emphasis added)

In that same interview, she offered a rare view of AIPAC and the Lobby:

It used to be that AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the other pro-Israel lobbies in the Jewish community, could meet with members of Congress and say, look, we’ve got money. We may give you some. Mostly we’re going to hold you hostage, that if you don’t toe the line, we’re going to fund an opponent that you don’t even expect yet.

But we’ll also bring you votes, because we have influence in the Jewish community and people will vote the way we tell them.

They can’t say that anymore. And that’s huge. They still have the money, but they don’t have the votes, because the Jewish community has changed.

Her comment is only partly true and overly simplified, revealing an ignorance that should be embarrassing for someone who has spent so many years in Washington analyzing US Middle East politics.

AIPAC would never promise a politician that it would deliver Jewish votes. It has been mostly about getting them money, expert technical assistance and assigning key, experienced AIPAC members from the legislator’s district to work in his or her campaigns and use their clout with the local media to gain its support.

Bennis then goes on to regurgitate an argument that Noam Chomsky has frequently made but with a twist that fails to make it any more valid. Whereas the professor compares the Lobby’s successful efforts to pushing through an open door, when what it advocates is already White House policy, she compares it to pushing a moving car:

The reason that the lobby often seems so powerful is that, yes, it does have a lot of influence. I don’t–I’m not denying that. But it has been historically pushing in the same direction as the majority of U.S. policymakers want to go.

So imagine if you’re running behind a car, and you start to push the car as it goes forward, and the car starts to go fast. You can claim, wow, I was really strong–I pushed that car 30 miles an hour. You know, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were pushing it in the direction it wanted to go anyway.

Neither Chomsky nor Bennis have ever shown a willingness to debate their critics but this argument is more an example of “damage control” than fact on their part and can easily be refuted by examining what is nearest to hand, the origins of the Iraq war.

It is well documented that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was on the Israel Lobby’s agenda well before it became US policy. In fact, the first president George HW Bush was reamed by his Jewish critics in the mainstream media; Mortimer Zuckerman, owner of the US News & World Report and the NY Daily News, Abe Rosenthal and William Safire in the New York Times, and Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, to cite four who come to mind, for not going all the way to Baghdad and taking out Saddam in 1991.

The reason Poppy Bush gave for not overthrowing Saddam was that it would destabilize the entire region, one whose stability was essential to America’s national security and would involve the US military in an endless quagmire That opinion was shared by his Secretary of State, James Baker, his National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the ouster of the Iraqi army from Kuwait But what did they know?

The election of his son, George W, did not change the senior Bush’s mind, nor that of his former aides, Baker, Scowcroft and Schwarzkopf. All of them opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a fact ignored by those who claimed it was “a war for oil,” and one that becomes more important when we consider that the war has left hundreds of thousands dead and wounded and millions displaced as refugees across the entire region.

When asked by the late Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press about his father’s opposition to the war, Dubya responded that “I answer to a higher father.” Who or what, in fact, he was answering to was PNAC, the Project for a New American Century, three signatories of which, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser, had contributed to a paper for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, entitled, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which called for the overthrow of Saddam as did the PNAC screed that appeared the following year.

Subsequent to the election of George W Bush in 2000, the three of them were brought into the highest levels of the national security apparatus along with Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, fellow signatories to the PNAC declaration. They began immediately to plan the invasion of Iraq and create the false intelligence to justify it within days of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, ‘the Pearl Harbor event’ that the PNAC document said was necessary to put its plans of global conquest into action. This scenario is fairly well known and not contested.

It, like subsequent events in the Middle East, seemed consistent with a plan laid out by Oded Yinon, a former member of the Israeli government who, in 1982, wrote a proposal, ‘A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s,” which was published by the World Zionist Council. Yinon’s plan called for dissolution of Iraq and Syria into areas controlled by its respective religious communities. Sound familiar?

Clearly, the war on Iraq was not a case of the Israel Lobby, of which the neocons were and remain a major part, getting behind an already moving car or pushing through an open door but one in which they took over the entire premises.

I have given up expecting Phyllis Bennis to understand this but I assume there are those who read this who will appreciate and nod their heads when reading what Lenni Brenner, the foremost authority on Nazi-Zionist collaboration, told me in the late 90s when I interviewed him on San Francisco’s KPOO radio:

The left is the rear guard of the Israel Lobby.

Clarity in Writing

Utopia, Nostalgia and the Jew

August 28, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

 

By Gilad Atzmon

Utopia, the imaginary ideal society, the Eden of collective and universal yearning is at the root of Left and progressive thought. A utopian society is the political and social goal of some leftist and progressive narratives. For others the perfect society is itself the ideological means toward redemption. No left or progressive intellectual narrative is impervious to some sort of utopian ideal.

But for about half of the American people, utopia is nostalgic.  The return of the ‘American Dream,’ of being great once again – this is the idyllic dream shared by supporters of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

The history of ideas has seen this transition before.  The Jewish Cultural Marxists of the 1930s were shocked by a similar development.  Wilhelm Reich and prominent members of the Frankfurt School were bewildered by the success of National Socialism and Fascism. They couldn’t figure out how was it possible that the German and Italian workers favoured ‘reactionary’ fascism over a ‘communist utopia.’

In Germany in the 1930s, as in America 2016, it was nostalgia and romanticism that gave utopia meaning, the yearning for a national rootedness over a ‘progressive’ Shangri La.

The Jewish ‘Left’ quickly diagnosed what was wrong with the Germans, for Wilhelm Reich it was German sexuality.  He had the ridiculous idea that German women being sexually suppressed was at the core of German inclination towards authoritarianism. The Jewish psychoanalyst must have been convinced that dildos were the key to a communist revolution. A few years later, Adorno improved on Reich’s paradigm, adding a few other criteria to the model of the “authoritarian personality.”  Adorno, Reich and the rest of the cultural Marxists were obviously deluded. Pornography, dildos and the sexual revolution didn’t mature into a political revolution. Quite the opposite, they contributed to alienation, reification and suppression of pretty much every human value.

The Germans and the National Socialists weren’t too tolerant of Reich and the the members of the Frankfurt School. Reich and the Frankfurt Schoolers had to run for their lives. The Frankfurt Research Institute relocated at Columbia University in New York City from where it devoted the next few years to the destruction of the cohesiveness of the American people.

Unlike the German people who were quick to reject the Jewish revolutionary progressive school, it took the American intelligentsia half a century to detect the subversive role of the Institute that planted identity politics and political correctness at the heart of America’s academia, culture, media and politics.

And now, in 2016, the Jewish progressive elite is making exactly the same mistake the Frankfurt School made in the 1930s. The reaction of the likes of Noam Chomsky and The Jewish Daily Forward to the American working people is catastrophic and dangerous. Chomsky calls Trump voters “White poor working class*, The Jewish Daily Forward calls them “White supremacist,” “losers” and “bullies.” And what is the real the crime of all these “White losers”? Simple, they are nostalgic.

Chomsky calls Trump voters “White poor working class”, is he misinformed or just lying?* 

Chomsky calls Trump voters “White poor working class”, is he misinformed or just lying?*

It is noticeable that Jewish progressive institutions and left icons are horrified by “White people” being ‘nostalgic,’ but why? Why are the Jews, a people who are obsessed with their own past, so afraid of other people, say ‘White’ people, being nostalgic for their own past? Ready? Beware; I am about to drop a bomb.

The progressive Jew grasps that the working class are nostalgic for a pre-Jerusalem Dominated society; a time when American politics weren’t controlled by the likes of Saban, Soros, Goldman, Sachs and other global capitalists who are isolated from production, manufacturing and farming.  The so called ‘progressives’ in Democracy Now, Real News, The Jewish Daily Forward and the other Soros funded outlets can interpret the primaries. They are fearful of being relegated to the ghetto.

But do they have reason? Has anyone mentioned expelling the Jews? Or curtailing Jewish power? Not at all. The progressive fear of the so-called ‘reactionary’ is fuelled by a deep understanding that the American past was indeed greater than the progressive present – the tyranny of correctness, the identitarian dictatorship and, more than anything else, the lack of a future that is attached to Mammonism – the relentless sick of Mammon for the sake of Mammon.

On a further note, in historical retrospect, the entire work of the Cultural Marxists, Wilhelm Reich, the Frankfurt school and their contemporary progressive merchants can be trashed. Their agenda has become transparent, they were committed to misleading society about the simple fact that true utopia is nostalgic. They devoted themselves to concealing what is obvious and undeniable: for the working people rootedness is true liberation and romanticism is truly romantic.

*As usual it is hard to figure out whether Chomsky is misinformed or just lying. A quick internet search reveals that Trump’s “voters are better off economically compared with most Americans.” (click here) Trump also enjoys a growing number of educated people (click here). When Chomsky refers to ‘wide general agreement’ you should always expect a lie. Being a linguist, Chomsky has established a manner of non-committal spin culture — ‘general agreement’ doesn’t have to correspond with truth.

9/11: How Noam Chomsky shielded Israel

ProfNoamChomskycpd[1]Canadian professor Tony Hall in his latest 7-part research article, Noam Chomsky and Zionism has claimed that Dr. Noam Chomsky is an Israel ‘Gatekeeper’ for September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

American Jewish philosopher Noam Chomsky was the first to author the 128-page booklet, 9-11 in December 2001. In the booklet, Chomsky tries to divert public attention from the real evildoers and claim it as a blow-back to United States imperial foreign policy by aiding western puppet regimes in Nicaragua, Turkey, and Israel in order to commit genocide of local people, Kurds and Palestinians living outside proper Israel.

Chomsky also claimed that the US along with the UK, Egypt, France, Pakistan organized, trained, funded,[HE IGNORED SAIDIS] and trained so-called Muslim radical groups.

However, during an interview on Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky stated that he believes Osama Bin Laden was probably behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. The statement was curious because in earlier interviews Chomsky described the evidence against bin Laden as thin to nonexistent, which was accurate and, no doubt, explains why the US Department of Justice never indicted bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks.

Two investigative journalists, Barrie Zwicker and Kevin Barrett, PhD concur that Noam Chomsky’s nonsensical interventions on 9/11 constitute an important part – indeed, perhaps the single most instrumental part – of the 9/11 cover up. If Chomsky’s adoring fans had been treated with respect and truth rather than with duplicity and lies, they might have joined together in a timely and effective way to get to the bottom of the 9/11 deception and to demand some legal and political accountability for the fraud.

Canadian-born Barrie Zwicker in an interview with young Iranian journalist and author Kourosh Ziabari said that 9/11 was not planned and executed by Muslims but it was carried out by Israel and the Zionists in Bush administration.

In response to a question at the University of Florida recently, Chomsky claimed that there were only a minuscule number of architects and engineers who felt that the official account of WTC Building 7 should be treated with skepticism. Chomsky followed-up by saying, a tiny number – a couple of them—are perfectly serious. The reality is that close to 2,500 architects and engineers have expressed their doubts about the government’s explanation of how and why the towers fell. It doesn’t matter how many professionals or intellectuals are willing to admit it. The facts remain that the US government’s account for the destruction of the WTC on 9/11 is purely false. There is no science behind the government’s explanation for WTC 7 or for the Twin Towers and everyone, including the government, admits that WTC Building 7 experienced free fall on 9/11. There is no explanation for that other than the use of explosives.

On May 23, 2016, Dave Alpert at the Intrepid Report exposed both Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! being 9/11 disinformation agents for the Zionist entity.

Chomsky and Goodman are bright, knowledgeable, intelligent people. What has influenced them to avoid confronting the government regarding the events of 9/11? Their influence on people who view themselves as progressive cannot be over estimated. When I began questioning the government’s role regarding 9/11, several of my friends responded to me negatively and said specifically that if my suspicions had any legitimacy, Chomsky and Goodman would be speaking out,” Alpert said.

When 9/11 occurred, it was an historical event and an event that changed the course of history. Where was Amy? Relatively silent. She invited David Ray Griffin, who has written several books illustrating the lies and misdirections of the government’s narrative about that day, to Democracy Now! which one could claim was a significant journalistic move. However, instead of interviewing him so that he could reveal to her listening audience the facts that he had accumulated that put into question the government’s explanations of that day, she paired him with a pro-government guest who spent the hour attacking Griffin personally and ignoring any of the data Griffin produced. It became a three-ring circus and helped sabotage any impetus the Truth Movement might have gained within the progressive community. Was that her goal?,” Alpert said.

Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

July 31, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

GA: A very interesting piece of writing by Eric Walberg. Along the years I have learned a lot from Walberg, one of the very few creative thinkers left within the Left.

Source: http://ericwalberg.com/

Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

By Eric Walberg

For years now, I’ve known there was something wrong when my well-meaning anti-Zionist Jewish friends found it necessary to join Jewish anti-Zionist groups opposing Israel. In the US, Jewish Voice for Peace, in Canada, Not in Our Name; in Britain, Jews Against Zionism — every country has its group, usually more than one. “I am a Jewish witness against Israel,” I would be told. Sounds good, even brave. Sand’s latest deconstruction of Jewishness and Israel, How I Stopped Being a Jew (2014), makes it clear why my suspicions were well founded.

Barely 100 pages, it is a page-turner, a precis of his earlier more scholarly works, arguing that the romantic, heroic age of Jewish nationalism, as embodied in the creation of a Jewish state, is coming to an end. Israel will not disappear, but it is an anachronism, an embarrassment in the postmodern age. A reminder of the horrors of Nazism, but not as the Zionist crafters of the “holocaust industry”, or “holocaust religion”, would have it. The Zionist project is exposed by Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir and many more Jewish critics as reenacting the same policies of yesteryear. A flawed answer that is doomed, “an insidious form of racism“.

For the Israeli Sand, the Jewish “national” identity is a fraud (an Israeli identity is fine); the only viable Jewish identity is a religious one, and as a nonbeliever, he logically concludes,  “Cogito, ergo non sum.”

Gilad Atzmon takes Sand’s logic further. He tore up his Israeli passport, becoming an ex-Israeli as well as an ex-Jew. 

What’s so wrong with a secular, ethnic Jewish identity? Well, it can be based on only one of two things: persecution (being “forced” into being a Jew whether one likes it or not, as in the Nazi’s racial laws) or being “born” into the Jewish people. The former is no longer an issue and the latter is full of holes, and based on a dangerous myth.

When was the Jewish People invented?

Sand’s answer is simple:

“At a certain stage in the 19th century, intellectuals of Jewish origin in Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon themselves the task of inventing a people ‘retrospectively’, out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people.”

For Jews, this required a homeland, and the westernized Jewish elite were able to provide this. As the West suffered one mortal blow after another (WWI&II), Zionism took on a new meaning. Voila! Israel.

But the exile legend is a myth. Sand is a historian and couldn’t find any texts supporting it. The Romans did not exile peoples.

“Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled.”

Jews continued to live in the Holy Land through thick and thin, freer under Muslim rule than Christian, but even the latter never “ethnically cleansed” them. Most converted to Christianity or Islam. Voila! The (Christian, Muslim) Palestinians. However, a tiny core stuck stubbornly to the original monotheism, nurtured by the Babylonian exile in the 6th century BC (the only bona fide exile–from which they returned, the earlier Egyptian exile legend being crafted much later, when the Torah was written down and collected in the 3rd century BC).

Jews are not a race but rather a collective of many ethnic groups who were hijacked by a late 19th century ‘national’ movement. There is no racial or ethnic basis for being Jewish any more than there is for being Christian or Muslim. The great majority of those who today consider themselves Jewish are descended from converts in Central Asia, eastern Europe and north Africa, not from ancient Hebrews expelled from the Holy Land by the Romans. They are not ethnic “Semites”, of near eastern origin, or ethnic anything else.

Atzmon is a noted jazz musician, and deconstructs a popular 1970s Israeli pop song by Shlomo Artzi: All of a sudden a man wakes up in the morning. He feels he is people and to

Scene from Shoval’s ‘Youth’ (2016)

everyone he comes across he says shalom.Artzi’s youth suggests Jews suddenly became “people” thanks to the state of Israel, conflating being Jewish with being Israeli, suggesting only Israelis can really feel free as Jews. What Artzi ignores is that feeling proud to be an Israeli is only for those Israelis who have “Jew” stamped in their passport, and, among them, only those who are blind to the bloody colonial basis for this privilege. Hardly a recipe for a healthy feeling.

Can a liar tell the truth?

Israel is a “democratic and Jewish state” according to Israeli law. The “Jewish” nature was first defined in the Declaration of Independence of 1948. The “democratic” character was added by the Knesset in 1985. This is a contradiction in terms, as Jewish by definition determines the state according to race, making it undemocratic for those in the state not Jewish. In cartesian lingo, both ‘A’ and ‘not A’ are true.

This flawed logic now lies at the heart of what it means to call oneself a secular Jew, either Israeli or ‘diaspora’. Sand joins other ex-Jews, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, and Will Self, who have renounced Jewishness, either as secularists, or as converts to Christianity, shedding a contradictory, now empty, signifier.  Given what Israel has become, “democratic” and “Jewish” are no longer compatible. Sand rejects the faux Jewish nationalism served up by Zionism, which excludes non-Jews from the narrative, and is left with nothing except himself, his books, his sense of right and wrong. A lonely world.

Atzmon takes Sand’s attack on identity politics a step further, arguing in The Wandering Who that secular Jewish anti-Zionism feeds into the Zionist narrative, the do-gooder counterpoint to the more sinister role of the diaspora, taking Sand’s concerns to an even more uncomfortable conclusion: The Jewish Diaspora is there to mobilize lobbies by recruiting international support. The Neocons transform the American army into an Israeli mission force. Anti-Zionists of Jewish descent (and this may even include proud self-haters such as myself) are there to portray an image of ideological plurality and ethical concern.*

Sand dismisses both religion and nationalism as the basis for his identity. Atzmon argues both are legitimate, though they both are perverted in the case of the Israeli state. Nationalism is an authentic “bond with one’s soil, heritage, culture, language”, a cathartic experience, not at all “empty” as a signifier.  Though nationalism may well be an invention, it is still “an intrinsically authentic fulfilling experience”. It can be misused, is often suicidal, but nonetheless, “it sometimes manages to integrate man, soil and sacrifice into a state of spiritual unification.”

What is especially moving about ex-Jews like Sand, and ex-Israel ex-Jews like Atzmon, is that they are trapped by their own Israeli heritage, whether or not they emigrate. Reading Sand’s book in Hebrew, writes Atzmon,

“is for me, an ex-Jew and ex-Israeli, a truly authentic experience that brings me closer to my roots, my forgotten homeland and its fading landscape, my mother tongue or shall I simply say my Being.”

He is confronted not by some “‘identity’ or politics but rather the Israeliness, that concrete nationalist discourse that matured into Hebraic poetry, patriotism, ideology, jargon, a dream and a tragedy to follow.” Israel’s present state has “robbed him of that Israeliness which was once to him a home.”

Hollow identity

Most still yearn to keep a diaspora Jewish identity alive. Judith Butler’s Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (2013) is by a liberal-leaning Jew who feels she must salvage her Jewishness from Israel’s nationalism and occupation policies. “A new Jewish identity might emerge that connects Tel Aviv with New York’s Upper West Side, Berlin, Paris, London and Buenos Aires — and all of them on an equal footing,” writes Carlo Strener in hisreview.

For Sand and Atzmon, there is no “new Jewish identity” possible, because there is no diaspora. French Jews are French. Canadian ones are Canadian. It’s fine to be a believing ‘person of the Book’, and even an Israeli, speaking Israeli (really a new language) and being a citizen of a well-behaved multi-ethnic nation state, based on universal norms, like France or Canada. But everyone eats matzo balls already.

Assimilation is not like extermination, despite Golda Meir’s cries of “Wolf!” Non-religious Jewishness will continue to evaporate, along with Christian and Muslim identities for those who abandon their faith. There is no shame in calling oneself an ex-Christian or ex-Muslim. 

Occam’s Razor: less is more

Anti-Zionists “rightly see [Zionist] policies as threatening the renewal of Judeophobia” that identifies all Jews as a “certain race-people, and confuses them with Zionists.”** Yes, but, as Atzmon argues, this “confusion” is part of the agenda, pushing Jews outside of Israel to support Israel unthinkingly and accept the resultant resentment they experience as “anti-Semitism”.

And even if they protest–as Jews–they inadvertently support the “Zionist world conspiracy”:

If those who call themselves anti-Zionist Jews without having lived in Israel, and without knowing its language or having experienced its culture, claim a particular right, different from that of non-Jews, to make accusations against Israel, how can one criticize overt pro-Zionists for granting themselves the privilege of actively intervening in decisions regarding

Codepink’s Medea Benjamin

the future and fate of Israel?* 

The Jewish signifier undermines the anti-Zionist one. Slots muddy things. Medea Benjamin, a “one percenter, a nice little Jewish girl” founded the now legendary peace group Codepink. QAIA (Queers against Israeli apartheid) folded when its organizers realized by highlighting their ‘gay’ signifier, they were doing more harm than good. The queers don’t have the luxury of renouncing their queerness, but thoughtful Jews like Benjamin similarly downplay their own tribalism, and Sand and Atzmon have renounced it, as the honorable way out of their Catch-22.

xxx

* Gilad Atzmon, The Wandering Who?, Zero Books, 2011, p70.
** Shlomo Sand, How I Stopped being a Jew, Verso, 2014, p94–95.

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