How is it possible that the Right Wing Fox News asks all the right questions?

The answer is devastatingly simple: truth often interferes with the Left and Progressive’s worldview. It is then suppressed so it fits with a vision of correctness.

I delved into this question at length in my latest book: Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto:

Traditional Left Ideology sets out a vision of how the world ought to be. The ‘Left’ view can be summed up as the belief that social justice is the primary requirement for improving the world, and this better future entails the pursuit of equality in various forms. The Left ideologist believes that it is universally both ethical and moral to attempt to approach equality in terms of civil rights and material wealth.

But if the Left focuses on ‘what could be,’ the Right focuses on ‘what is.’ If the Left operates where people could be, the Right operates where people ‘are’ or at least, where they believe themselves to be. The Right does not aim to change human social reality but rather to celebrate, and to even maximize it. The Right is also concerned with rootedness that is often nostalgic and even romanticised.

The Left yearns for equality, but for the Right, the human landscape is diverse and multi-layered, with inequality not just tolerated but accepted as part of the human condition, a natural part of our social, spiritual and material world. Accordingly, Right ideology encompasses a certain degree of biological determination and even Social Darwinism. It is enthralled by the powerful, and cruel, evolutionary principle of the ‘survival of the fittest.’ For the Right ideologue, it is the ‘will to survive’ and even to attain power that makes social interactions exciting. It is that very struggle that brings humanity and humanism to life.

So, the traditional debate between Right and Left can loosely be summarized as the tension between equality and reality. The Right ideologue argues that, while the Left’s attempt to flatten the curve of human social reality in the name of equality may be ethically genuine and noble, it is nonetheless naive and erroneous.

Illusion vs Insomnia

Left ideology is like a dream. Aiming for what ‘ought to be’ rather than ‘what is’, it induces a level of utopian illusory detachment and depicts a phantasmal egalitarian world far removed from our abusive, oppressive and doomed reality. In this phantasmic future, people will just drift away from greed and gluttony, they will work less and learn to share, even to share that which they may not possess to start with.

This imaginary ‘dream’ helps explain why the (Western) Left ideology rarely appealed to the struggling classes, the masses who, consumed by the pursuit of bread and butter, were hardly going to be interested in utopian ‘dreams’ or futuristic social experiments. Bitten by the daily struggle and chased by existence, working people have never really subscribed to ‘the revolution’ usually because often they were just too busy working. This perhaps explains why so often it was the middle class agitators and bourgeois who became revolutionary icons. It was they who had access to that little bit extra to fund their revolutionary adventures.

The ‘Left dream’ is certainly appealing, perhaps a bit too appealing. Social justice, equality and even revolution may really be nothing but the addictive rush of effecting change and this is perhaps why hard-core Leftist agitators often find it impossible to wake from their social fantasy. They simply refuse to admit that reality has slipped from their grasp, preferring to remain in their cosy phantasmal universe, shielded by ghetto walls built of archaic terminology and political correctness.

In fact, the more appealing and convincing the revolutionary fantasy is, the less its supporters are willing to face reality, assuming they’re capable of doing so. This blindness helps explain why the Western ideological Left has failed on so many fronts. It was day-dreaming when the service economy was introduced, and it did not awaken when production and manufacturing were eviscerated. It yawned when it should have combatted corporate culture, big money and its worship, and it dozed when higher education became a luxury. The Left was certainly snoring noisily when, one after the other, its institutions were conquered by New Left Identitarian politics. So, rather than being a unifying force that could have made us all – workers, Black, women, Jews, gays etc. – into an unstoppable force in the battle against big capital, the Left became a divisionary factor, fighting amongst itself. But it wasn’t really the ideologues’ and activists’ fault; the failure to adapt to reality is a flaw tragically embedded in the Left’s very fantasised nature.

If I am right, it is these intrinsically idealistic and illusory characteristics that doom Left politics to failure. In short, that which makes the Left dream so appealing is also responsible for the Left being delusional and ineffectual. But how else could it be? How could such a utopian dream be sustained? I suspect that for Left politics to prevail, humanity would have to fly in the face of the human condition.

And what of the Right? If the Left appears doomed to failure, has the Right succeeded at all? As opposed to the ‘dreamy’ Left, the Right is consumed by reality and ‘concretisation.’ In the light of the globalized, brutal, hard capitalist world in which we live, traditionally conservative laissez-faire seems a naive, nostalgic, peaceful and even poetic thought.

While the Left sleeps, Right-wing insomnia has become a universal disease which has fuelled the new world order with its self-indulgence and greed. How can anyone sleep when there’s money to be made? This was well understood by Martin Scorsese who, in his The Wolf of Wall Street, depicts an abusive culture of sex, cocaine and amphetamine consumption at the very heart of the American capitalist engine. Maybe such persistent greed can be only maintained by addled, drug-induced and over-stimulated brains.

Rejection of fantasy, commitment to the concrete (or shall we say, the search for ‘being’ or ‘essence,’) positions the Right alongside German philosophy. The German idealists’ philosophical endeavour attempts to figure out the essence of things. From a German philosophical perspective, the question ‘what is (the essence of) beauty?’ is addressed by aesthetics. The question ‘what is (the essence of) being?’ is addressed by metaphysics. The questions: ‘what are people, what is their true nature, root and destiny?’ are often dealt with by Right-wing ideologists. It is possible that the deep affinity between Right ideology and German philosophy explains the spiritual and intellectual continuum between

German philosophy and German Fascism. It may also explain why Martin Heidegger, one of the most important philosophers in the last millennium, was, for a while at least, a National Socialist enthusiast.

The Right’s obsession with the true nature of things may explain its inclination towards nostalgia on one hand and Darwinist ideologies on the other. Right ideology can be used to support expansionism and imperialism at one time, and isolationism and pacifism at another. Right ideology is occasionally in favour of immigration as good for business, yet can also take the opposite position, calling for protection of its own interests by sealing the borders. The Right can provide war with logos and can give oppression a dialectical as well as ‘scientific’ foundation. Sometimes, a conflict may be justified by ‘growing demand’ and ‘expanding markets.’ Other times, one race is chosen to need living space at the expense of another.

The Right is sceptical about the prospects for social mobility. For the Right thinker, the slave* is a slave because his subservient nature is determined biologically, psychologically or culturally. In the eyes of the Left, such views are ‘anti-humanist’ and unacceptable. The Left would counter this essentialist determinism with a wide range of environmental, materialist, cultural criticism and post- colonial studies that produce evidence that slaves do liberate themselves eventually. And the Right would challenge this belief by asking ‘do they really?’ ( Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto pg. 13-17)

* I refer here to the slave in an Hegelian metaphorical way rather than literally.

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Venezuela Facing Western Hypocrisy

By Hussein Samawarchi

A few months after the brutal torture and execution of Imam Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr, Saddam Hussein gave the order to attack Iran. Imam Al-Sadr represented a peaceful opposition wave against dictatorship. The popular cleric used literature as a way of mending what was wrong. For that, he was made to watch his own sister being tortured and killed while, according to witnesses, the political prisoner was beaten with metal cables until his body was covered with cuts everywhere. Then, the torturers dragged him through acid before hammering an iron nail into his head.

When Saddam invaded Iran, the western world rallied behind him. The butcher of opposition leaders received support from diplomats who published books about ethical politics as their countries shipped to him one load after another of weapons. No one who lived through that era could forget Iraq’s Exocet missiles.

If Saddam is old news now, if something more contemporary exposing western hypocrisy is favored, the event that took place in Turkey last October might do.

A team of sloppy assassins was dispatched to Istanbul. They waited for a public figure in his country’s consulate to which he was sent by none other than the brother of the current crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Jamal Khashoggi might have been a controversial personality due to his historical affiliations with fanatic movements, links with Taliban, and statements that don’t abide by journalistic objectivity norms. But he spoke through western media and therefore deserved western protection. The man was cut to pieces after being subdued and drugged. It is still not clear if the drug used rendered him unconscious during the horrific act or just paralyzed him so he could witness and feel his arms and legs being sawn-off.

The world heard a lot of condemnations and denouncements. Still, at the end of the day, not one ambassador took part in a public display of support to a journalist who was merely hinting to the need for reform in his country.

Juan Guaidó returned to Venezuela after 10 days of prancing around with his people’s enemies. He violated the constitution by declaring himself president, broke the law by traveling, instigated popular violence, cooperated with hostile foreign powers, and initiated a contraband operation on a large scale from Colombia. The renegade politician was neither dragged in acid nor dismembered. He was allowed to enter Venezuela with strict orders from President Maduro that no one would obstruct his way.

The sight of the all those foreign ambassadors welcoming the man that Mike Pence views as an American investment gives a sufficient idea of who are the stakeholders in the future distribution of Venezuelan petroleum shares should the coup being staged by Trump’s gang succeed. It’s an indication for the minority of Venezuelan people who think riches will pour in if the country is handed over to American puppets. Do they not realize that every entity which recognized Guaidó as interim president will become their partner in their national wealth?

This is the level of degradation that the western political scene has reached. Ambassadors did not react when public figures were mutilated to death but ran to the airport to welcome a man who says “A la orden jefe” to John Bolton.

There is nothing wrong in forming an opposition; actually, it’s a basic requirement for a sound democratic political system. The opposing politicians’ main duty is to act as performance auditors and highlight the ruling party’s shortcomings which, inevitably, leads to the improvement of the country and the standard of living. What they don’t do is collude with foreign powers to surrender the country’s wealth. What they don’t do is act as internal agents in a hunger campaign against their own people. And what they definitely don’t do is sell their integrity knowing that they are public servants and that integrity represents their constituency.

The topic of Venezuela is not a discussion of a mere Latin American country. Rather, a modern-day political epidemic suffered by many states. It has to do with the injection of malicious agents into a national body while this body is battered with sanctions preventing it from acquiring the necessary antibiotics and nutrition. Syria recovered, Yemen is recovering, and Venezuela is following suit. Patriotism is the remedy and it is abundant in this proud Bolivarian state.

What if al-Aqsa Mosque caught fire?

It is doubtful in today’s US-dominated world that anyone would rally to its cause, as they did for Notre Dame
Palestinians gather at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in June 2018 (AFP)

On 15 April, a devastating fire broke out at France’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral.

In the course of the conflagration, the church’s distinctive 93-metre medieval spire and two thirds of its roof were destroyed. Had it not been for the tireless efforts of French firefighters, who fought day and night to extinguish the blaze, the damage would have been far more extensive.

For days, the story was front-page news in Western countries, and media outlets were saturated with expert analyses of the cathedral’s history, architecture and significance.

Symbol of national identity

There is no doubt that Notre Dame, dating from 1163, is a Gothic masterpiece and a Parisian landmark. It is a symbol of France and of Roman Catholicism, even though France is an officially secular state that prides itself on what it calls laicité. Church and state were formally separated in 1905.

But that did not stop crowds of people from singing hymns in a vigil near the stricken cathedral and marching in its honour. Paris’s deputy mayor of tourism and sports joined others in creating a human chain to save the ancient relics held inside the cathedral.

For Palestinians, al-Aqsa is their very own possession – a symbol of Arab historical continuity in a city claimed by non-Arabs

Notre Dame is today not just a religious monument, but a symbol of French national identity. For that reason, the French president quickly took on the responsibility of rebuilding the cathedral, and French billionaires and businesses have already pledged more than €700 million ($787m) towards that goal.

In recognition of that nationalist bond, many western states, from Australia to Europe, hastened to send their condolences to President Emmanuel Macron. Japan, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan did the same.

In the United States, the One World Trade Centre and the Empire State Building were lit up in the tricolour of the French flag, and the governor of New York pledged his city’s solidarity with the people of France.

Sacred character

What if a similar fate overtook al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem? This building is older than Notre Dame, built by the Umayyad caliphs in the eighth century, and has a long, rich history. The mosque was hit by earthquakes in 746 and 1033 and rebuilt each time; taken over by crusaders in 1099 and reclaimed by Saladin in 1187; then remained under Muslim rule until the war of 1967, when it came under Israel’s control.

Muslims everywhere revere this mosque. It is the third holiest place after the mosques of Mecca and Medina. Many associations bind al-Aqsa to Muslim religious sentiment.

Palestinians pray at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in May 2018 (AFP)
Palestinians pray at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in May 2018 (AFP)

Interpreted as the place referenced in the Isra verse in the Quran, al-Aqsa has taken on a sacred character, and is traditionally associated with the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous night journey to Jerusalem. Its spiritual significance for Muslims is hard to overstate. Jerusalem was Islam’s first qibla, or direction of prayer, and it has been an important place of pilgrimage ever since.

For Palestinians, al-Aqsa is their very own possession – a symbol of Arab historical continuity in a city claimed by non-Arabs, and an affirmation of Arab identity in an anti-Arab environment. Though it stands beside what is claimed to be the site of the now-vanished Jewish Second Temple, it is the only concrete historical building in that place.

No assaults by religious Jewish groups claiming rights to the mosque can alter this reality, nor have Israel’s constant excavations to detect a trace of Jewish history at the site since 1967 produced that evidence.

The case of the 1969 fire

What if this unique building, so meaningful for the 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, succumbed to fire, or collapsed after Israel’s archaeological digs weakened its ancient foundations?

Would the Arab and Islamic world rise up as one? Would Israel, the de facto custodian of Jerusalem’s holy places, be made accountable? Would world leaders rush to rebuild the mosque or to help the Palestinian people?

The struggle for al-Aqsa: Palestinians have ‘no one but God to help them’

Read More »

We have a preliminary answer in the case of the fire that burned Saladin’s minbar inside al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. Denis Michael Rohan, an evangelical Christian Australian, started a fire in the mosque to try to destroy it, aiming to clear the way for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt in its place, thus hastening Christ’s second coming. The incident led to the establishment of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Jordan’s representative to the UN presented letters of protest over the fire at al-Aqsa. These came from just 17 states, and a further 58 letters came from NGOs, Muslim religious bodies, other Muslim groups and Muslim individuals around the world. They called on the UN to intervene to protect the holy site from Israel’s occupation.

An orphan without allies

The Western response to the fire at al-Aqsa was muted. None displayed solidarity with Palestinians or Muslims, and no effective action was taken by the UN.

In the 50 years since the fire at al-Aqsa, Israel has only increased its hold on Jerusalem’s holy places. In 2017, it illegally installed turnstiles and metal detectors at the entrances to al-Haram al-Sharif, although they were subsequently removed. Religious settlers are now regularly allowed to march through al-Aqsa compound, threaten Muslim worshippers, and perform Jewish religious ceremonies.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is no less a religious and nationalist symbol for Arabs and Muslims than Notre Dame is for the French

Al-Aqsa Mosque is no less a religious and nationalist symbol for Arabs and Muslims than Notre Dame is for the French. But if it burned down, it is doubtful in today’s US-dominated world – and given Arab and Islamic weakness – that anyone would rally to its cause. Only the Palestinians who live there would go on fighting to defend it.

Like them, this wonderful Islamic icon is an orphan in a world without allies.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Ghada Karmi
Ghada Karmi is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She was born in Jerusalem and was forced to leave her home with her family as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948. The family moved to England in 1949, where she grew up and was educated. Karmi practised as a doctor for many years working as a specialist in the health of migrants and refugees. From 1999 to 2001 Karmi was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she led a major project on Israel-Palestinian reconciliation. In 2009, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Is May Scared of Putin? British Showing Double Standards Over Russia

British Prime Minister Theresa May © Getty Images

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone is an English politician, he served as the Mayor of London between 2000 and 2008. He is also a former MP and a former member of the Labour Party.
Although Saudi Arabia admitted weeks ago that its staff murdered Jamal Khashoggi, the UK hasn’t imposed sanctions on the Riyadh government. In stark contrast, when it comes to sanctioning Russia, London never lacks enthusiasm.

While no punishment has been inflicted on the Saudi government and no diplomats were expelled over the murder of the journalist in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, we have still got Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May demanding action against President Putin’s government because of recent conflict with Ukraine.

Even though it is now nine months since the attempted murder of the Skripals in Salisbury, there has still been no conclusive evidence that President Putin’s government was involved in any way. So why does Britain’s prime minister have such a double standard in how she handles events? She cannot really believe that Russia is going to go to war against the West, but there seems an absolute determination to see the removal of Putin’s government.

To understand this hysteria about Putin we need to look at the history of Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union back in 1991. Once Boris Yeltsin had seized power one of his first actions was to bring in a group of economists from the neo-liberal Institute of Economic Affairs which is based in London.

The result of Yeltsin adopting the neo-liberal economic agenda was effectively the looting of Russia’s economy with devastating effects on the Russian people. There was widespread support from the US government for Yeltsin’s policy with the so-called Wolfowitz Doctrine which spelt out that no nation must ever again be allowed to rise to the stature of the Soviet Union and there should now be a unipolar world under the domination of the United States.

The looting of Russia’s economy was finally stopped and the neo-liberalist economists thrown out when Vladimir Putin was elected president in 2000 and began the reversal of the destruction of Russia’s industries. Putin firmly rejected the Wolfowitz Doctrine which led to several insurgencies in Russia’s Caucasus which Moscow suspected had the backing and instigation of British intelligence.

Although President Trump seems uncertain about what his policy should be towards Russia and China, his vice-president Mike Pence has no doubts. On October 4, Pence made a speech at the Hudson Institute in which he strongly denounced China. The host was Mike Pillsbury, a consultant with the US Department of Defense, who has a long involvement in America’s policy towards China. He said that Pence’s speech represents a “significant influential minority around Trump, but not a government wide position. There is a rising influence in Trump’s administration, by those who wish to provoke conflict with both China and Russia with its members still committed to the neoconservative doctrine of America’s global predominance.

Similar views have been expressed by Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has constantly urged a hard line towards China and Russia. Bolton has opposed Trump’s policy towards North Korea and has been a key player in persuading Trump to get the USA to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which had been agreed between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987.

READ MORE: Business as usual: US INF pullout will delight arms industry as it threatens to reignite Cold War

To build support for this hostility to Putin’s administration the Western media has been filled with lies about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Up until 2014 there was a good relationship between Putin and the directly-elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. That year Yanukovych announced a delay in reaching an economic agreement with the European Union because he wished to ensure it did not damage Ukraine’s economic relations with its biggest trading partner, Russia.

Almost immediately right-wing demonstrators started protesting in Kiev’s central square. These protests quickly evolved into violent clashes with radical nationalists and paramilitary groups echoing the fascist ideology of Stepan Bandera, chanting Nazi and racist slogans and demanding the ethnic cleansing of Russians from Ukraine.

No-one will be surprised that Britain, the US and EU officials supported the coup, and there is little doubt that Western intelligence agencies had been up to their necks in encouraging these far-right groups ever since the end of WWII.

Nowhere in the Western media do we see honest reporting about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It is never mentioned that during the WWII, as Russian troops drove the Nazis out of Ukraine, many Ukrainians fought side-by-side with the Nazis against Stalin’s troops. This long-standing conflict has recently erupted following the Kerch Strait crisis.

The Western press constantly repeats the story that Russia has seized three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea and their crews and dismisses Russia’s claim that these ships had illegally entered Russian waters. President Putin pointed out that “it was without a doubt, a provocation. It was organised by the president ahead of the elections. The president is in fifth place ratings-wise and therefore had to do something. It was used as pretext to introduce martial law.”

The Russian newspaper Izvestia cited sources in Ukraine’s leadership saying that they have been trying to persuade the US (unsuccessfully) to open a military base in Ukraine. The report cannot be confirmed but could well be true.

I believe that Ukraine’s President Poroshenko is deliberately talking up the so-called threat from Russia because at the elections in March he seems doomed to lose. But his imposition of martial law in several parts of Ukraine could be used to rig the forthcoming election and he has warned of the risk of full-scale war, claiming to have detected a build up of Russian tanks on the border which overlooks the fact that Moscow moved army units closer to the border four years ago.

The hardliners in Trump’s administration want him to increase his support for NATO and Kiev, while Ukraine itself wishes to become a member of the organization which would mean the frontier of the military alliance coming right up to the border of Russia.

Poroshenko has also claimed that Putin is planning to annex Ukraine. On November 29, he told the German newspaper Bild “Don’t believe Putin’s lies. Putin wants the old Russian empire back. Crimea, Donbass, the whole country… He believes his empire cannot function without Ukraine. He sees us as his colony.

Poroshenko has been pushing for the West to increase economic sanctions against Russia and urged Germany’s Angela Merkel to drop a plan to cooperate with Russia on building a new gas pipeline. Poroshenko warned this would make the EU dependent on Russian energy and reduce Ukraine’s sales to the EU via its existing pipeline.

Given the enfeebled state of Ukraine’s economy it’s hard to see how Russia could benefit by taking it over. Back in August, in my first column for RT, I spelt out the truth about the history of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. From the beginning of the Soviet Union under Lenin, Crimea had never been a part of Ukraine and over ninety percent of its population were Russians. It was only in 1954 that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev changed the boundary to include Crimea in Ukraine.

After the overthrow of Ukraine’s government in 2014 the vast majority of Crimean residents decided to opt out of Ukraine and reunite with the Russia they had been part of for centuries before Khrushchev’s arbitrary decision. The whole of the Western media was screaming that Russia had gone to war to seize Crimea and this led to the US, UK and other European states imposing sanctions against Russia without recognising the right of Crimea’s people of to determine their own future.

Given the number of US satellites that circle the planet, spying around the world, it is surprising that America hasn’t been able to reveal the truth about whether or not Ukraine’s three ships deliberately crossed the boundary into Russian waters on November 25.

As Putin pointed out “Military vessels intruded into Russian territorial waters and did not answer [the border guards]… What were they supposed to do?” he said at a business forum in Moscow. “They would do the same in your country, this is absolutely obvious,” he told a foreign investor. “These territorial waters were always ours even before Crimea joined Russia.

As I wrote in my first article for RT, my generation was lied to all our lives about the so-called threat from the Soviet Union, so don’t be surprised if I don’t always believe what our prime ministers tell us.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish State of Israel

November 23, 2018

Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish State of Israel

Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish State of Israel: Separateness, ontological uniqueness and Jewish morality are its characteristics

by Lynda Burstein Brayer for The Saker Blog

Western thinking and intellectual endeavor is very much epitomized by formality, rationality and clear boundaries or limits. These qualities no doubt derive from the Aristotelian philosophical and analytical basis of Western Christendom, in which the Excluded Middle of Aristotelian logic reigns supreme when it comes to the formulation of a thesis or argument. Aristotelian logic posits an absolute binary division between opposites. Its basic formula is an either/or contrast. Truth and falsehood are opposites: there is no half-truth or half-falsehood. This binary division permeates all other fields of quantifiable intellectual endeavor and finds expression in such opposites as good/evil, right/wrong, friend/enemy, legal/illegal, etc. There are obvious benefits to such clarity of thought, and no doubt it is this methodology which has contributed to the scientific achievements of the West. While such sharp divisions cannot always be imposed upon contingent reality because it is situational and circumstantial, rather than absolute, when this principle is violated in the law, the outcome is not only, or merely egregious, it defies ordinary human understanding and contributes to an inaccurate, if not corrupt, view of reality.

The Jewish oxymoron as an instrument of overcoming the limits set by Aristotelian logic

One of the binary opposites of Aristotelian classification in modern times is the democracy/dictatorship opposition. Democracy is recognized and understood to be of whole cloth, such that there is no such animal as a “somewhat” democratic state, or a “nearly” democratic state. A political system is not democratic if all the citizens of the country cannot participate on an equal basis. Either a political system is, or is not, democratic. Jewish genius however, has overcome this opposition with a number of oxymoronic legal definitions. The Jewish state of Israel characterizes itself as a “Jewish and democratic” state, although the latest law of the Knesset wishes to raise “Jewishness” above “democracy”. However, it must be blindingly obvious to anyone not in thrall to the ruling narratives, that when a minority of a population is regarded as hostile, is unwelcome and therefore is never part of a governing coalition, democracy must be a casualty, especially when that minority has been singled out for discriminatory and dispossessory treatment, despite the legal somersaulting of the greatest of Jewish legal minds.

The designation of Israel as an apartheid state characterized by apartheid- style laws has been accepted by leading jurists and many international organizations. As a former South African I not only know the meaning of the term in its original language of Afrikaans– separateness- but saw its effects upon the non-White population. In political practice, separate means unequal. It was only many years after my coming to Israel on aliya as a young Jewish woman and subsequent to obtaining a law degree from the Hebrew University and engaging in legal work for Palestinians, that the resemblance of Israeli legal system to South African apartheid really struck me. In fact I was quoted on the front page of the Ha’aretz intellectual daily newspaper as making this comparison. The first person to invoke the comparison was Dr. Uri Davis, an Israeli sociologist, who wrote a book called Israel: An Apartheid State.

I would like to elaborate on those elements which contribute to making Israel not only an apartheid State, apartheidbeing confined to the law, but rather the wider sociological cultural phenomena of discrimination in which the legal system is placed. The matrix of the society is based on force, violence, and inhumanity which derive from “values” of the Jewish religion.

The basic values of the Jewish religion as the basis of Israeli culture and politics

It can be stated without any fear of contradiction, that the Jewish state of Israel is built upon the principle of separation, which is why the apartheid comparison holds. But it must be understood how and why this is the case as well as the limits of the comparison. It is not an accident, nor a choice based merely upon economic, political or cultural considerations. Rather the principle of separation is at the heart of the Jewish religion itself and Zionism is the political expression of the Jewish religion. Normative Judaism in Israel is Rabbinical Judaism or Talmudic Judaism, which, historically, has been normative for nearly two thousand years. This is the Judaism developed by the Rabbis following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, or who were then known as the Pharisees. This Judaism is not a biblical religion: rather it is a religion based upon the interpretation of the Torah – the relevant parts of the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy – by a succession of Torah interpreters known as rabbis. I would like to stress that the bible is not normative In Judaism, that is, it is not binding nor is it obligatory for Jews: only the Talmudic rulings are binding. It is for this reason that the politically-concocted “Judeo-Christian” heritage does not hold. Christianity sees the Bible, both Old and New Testaments its standard-setting texts. Not so for Judaism. Judaism and Christianity do not share a parent/child relationship nor an older sibling/younger sibling relationship, as per the politically correct Roman Catholic Church.

The first codification of these interpretations was made in 200 CE and consisted of the six-part Mishnah. To this was subsequently added further interpretations; the Gomorrah and later, the Responsa literature – all products of Jewish community-acknowledged rabbinical experts of the law. This Judaism held a monopoly which began to be challenged only in the mid-nineteenth century in Germany as a result of the influence of what is called the Enlightenment, the source of the secularism of the West and the secularism of a majority of Western Jews, most of whom, nonetheless, have not broken with Judaism’s basic rituals of circumcision, the bar-mitzvah, Jewish divorce and burial.

The late Professor of Biblical studies at the Hebrew University, Shemaryahu Talmon, explained in a lecture to Catholic Christian Zionists, that the basic value of Judaism is the principle of separation. He illustrated his point with the binary opposites of sacred and profane, holy and unholy, Shabbat and non-Shabbat or weekdays, and, of course, kashrut, the laws governing pure and impure food and clothing. All of these pairs are exemplars of the underlying opposition of purity and impurity with purity being the ideal state.

At that meeting He did not however explicate in detail the source and full effects no doubt in deference to his audience. He left out the most significant binary opposition of Rabbinical Judaism: the Jew/Gentile or Jewish/goy oppositionthe consequences of which have always been, and remain, central to Jewish life. Talmon did not explain that the principle of separation derives from kadosh – which is translated as holy, but its literal meaning is “set aside” or “separate from”. The separation that both exists and is demanded for Jews is the separation from the “impure”. God is kadosh and His people must be kadosh too. This is the significance of “chosenness” – chosen by God to have the existential quality of purity. The Jew is pure because he possesses a soul – – nefesh in Hebrew. The purpose of all Jewish ritual is to sustain the state of purity of the Jew. Jews are commanded to do all in their power to avoid being contaminated by what is considered impure. In contrast to Jews, goys or goyim, the latter having the same dictionary meaning as gentium, people, fall into the category of the impure because they are not born with souls and are therefore, existentially separated from God without any possibility of “closing the gap”. Hence in the Jewish lexicon the term goy has a pejorative meaning while gentium does not. This is the fundamental reason that the Jew is not required to the treat the goy as an equal because, according to Judaism, he is not equal. In fact, the goy is considered as chattel because chattel do not have souls. The goy is therefore not fully humanIn this essay I shall only use the term goy for this reason.

This existential distinction between the Jew and the goy is reflected in the absence of a Jewish universal moral code, an absence which is not found within either Christianity or Islam. Judaism’s moral code is characterized by its particularity: it only binds Jews vis-à-vis Jews, not Jews vis-à-vis goys. The most outstanding exemplar of this system is that a Jew is not bound to save the life of a goy if saving the life requires the use of electricity or travelling in a motor vehicle, such as an ambulance, because such activities are forbidden on the Sabbath as they are considered forms or work, and a Jew may not work on the Sabbath. a Jew may do so for another Jew according to the law known as pikuah nefesh which translates as saving a soul. A Jew not only may break the Sabbath to save a Jewish soul, he is obligated to do so. Pikuah may be translated as to take care of and to oversee, and nefesh means soul: because goys do not have souls, pikuah nefesh cannot be applied. In addition, another exceptional phenomena of the Jewish moral code is that it does also not make truth binding upon the Jew with respect to the goy. There are only two instances where it is recommended that a Jew ought to tell the truth to a goy: when there is a danger to his life, or if it is in the interests of the Jew or the Jewish community.

The question may now be asked as to why this information has been placed as a prolegomena to a description and analysis of the laws and practices of the Jewish state. The reason is quite straightforward: everything that I have described does not fall within the written laws passed by the legislative body of Israel, the Knesset, but serves, rather, as the matrix in which the laws are embedded and out of which the laws spring.

The Israeli legal system

It is this background that serves to explain why Aristotelian logic does not have an exclusive hold on the Israeli legal system and why a formal legal analysis cannot, by definition, grasp the entire experiential reality of the separateness/apartheid of the Jewish state. Once the lives of goys have no more value than chattel, the Jewish Israeli legal system cannot provide value to that which has no value to Jews. The minute a Jewish/goy conflict is encountered, that which is regarded as universal morality does not apply. A personal experience of this nature found expression during a hearing on a petition I submitted to the Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice (Court of Equity concerning Administrative law and practice) requesting the voiding of a sale of Palestinian land by the majority of its owners (the land was not parcellated and therefore owned jointly by all the owners). A Justice in the hearing asked me what was wrong with an affidavit containing a blatant lie concerning the “sale” of Palestinian land to a Jew in militarily occupied territory, which is forbidden in international law. My response was that the perjury occurred to make the sale “kosher” at least in Jewish eyes. So the Justice asked what would happen if we just removed the affidavit to which I answered that the “sale” could not go through. The “sale” was not voided by the Court.

The State of Israel does not recognize the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of Civilians and hors de combat as legally binding upon it, although it is recognized as conventional international law, and not just treaty law, and hence binding upon all states. It is not that the Jewish state denies its conventional status but rather because the preamble refers to “High Contracting Parties” and the Palestinians are not, or at least were not, a High Contracting Party. This is a perfect instance of Talmudic logic – catch on to an irrelevant point and avoid the substance and rationale of the Convention. Therefore the Jewish state denies Palestinians, who are both civilians and hors de combat legal protection whilst living under a brutal military occupation whilst the Jewish appellation of the nature of the military occupation is “a benign military occupation” – one of the many oxymorons of Jewish thinking. Therefore the High Court cannot evoke this Fourth Geneva Convention to protect Palestinians in the militarily occupied territories from the Israeli army and refers instead to “humanitarian” considerations with respect to Palestinians, but never ever spells them out. But how could “humanitarian” considerations apply to Palestinians? After all they are goys, and goys have no souls and are therefore like chattel. They don’t deserve humanitarian considerations. This term therefore, in this context, is no more than flatus vocis – empty air, having no corresponding reality.

It is more than interesting to note, in contrast, that while South African apartheid was motivated by cultural concerns, not to say economic and political ones, it was not based upon an understanding that blacks and whites constitute different species of mankind. In fact, the South African government had to legislate criminal laws to prevent “miscegenation” i.e. the marriage or sexual relationships between people of different races, yet despite the attempts at prohibition, the fact is that as a result of “miscegenation”, a whole new category of “race” or “color” grew up in South Africa numbering in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. The children of such unions were called “Coloreds”.

In contrast to that situation, the marriage ratio of Jew and Arab in Israel is infinitesimal and there are no laws against it. Instead, Israel has preserved the millet system from the Ottomans, millet meaning religious community, according to which people can only marry legally within their own religious group. Naturally this was not considered discriminatory at the time, because secularism had not yet set in. “Mixed marriages” involving Israeli Jews and goyshave to take place abroad or abroad by proxy. But any Jewish woman wanting to divorce a non-Jewish man and remarry a Jew, has to have a Jewish divorce. There are special types of divorces for these cases, when they are applicable. Otherwise if she remarries a Jew without obtaining a Jewish divorce, called a get, her children and their descendents will be Jewish bastards and forbidden to marry within the normal Jewish community for ten generations! The Rabbinate keeps a list of the names of bastards.

Amongst the most egregious discriminatory laws are those legislated soon after the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine. There is a full list of them with comments compiled on the Israeli Arab legal site Adalah and may be accessed by anyone interested. I shall not deal with all of them naturally, but will touch on the most outstanding of them. www.adalah.org/en/law/index?page=4

One of the first and most crucial of such laws for the Jewish state is the Law of Return 1950. This is another oxymoronic manifestation of Jewish genius. This law says that Jews, who were not born in the Jewish state, may return to it because it is their “land of birth”. The term in Hebrew is moledet the root of which means “to be born”. What the law does is ignore the fact of birth outside of Israel of a Jew, that is, the de facto status of a foreign-born Jew, while assigning to him a de iure legal right of birth in the Jewish state. The legal right overcomes the fact. This translates into a situation that a Jew not born in the Jewish state may return to his land of birth of Israel where he was not born.

An Arab Palestinian refugee, born in Palestine has no right of return to the country of his birth according to the Citizenship Law. One of the mechanisms for the application of this law is the ius sanguinis – the law of blood. That is to say, that if you are born to a Jew you have acquired birthrights in Palestine whether you were born there or not. This is what accounts for the free entrance of Diaspora Jews into Israel.

The Arabs acquire citizenship in Israel according to the ius soli, that is to say, because they were born in this territory – on the soil, so to speak. But these are not inheritable rights. In other words, if a Palestinian Israeli family with Israeli citizenship moves abroad for a few years, any child born abroad has no automatic right of return to Israel, particularly as an adult. This is the law that forbids the return of the 1948 refugees and their descendants. But it must be understood that this law is crucial in order to have a Jewish state in Palestine. You have to keep out Palestinians to keep Israel Jewish.

A second crucial law, also from 1950 is the Absentees Property Law concerned the dispossession of Arab private property within the Jewish State. The state invented a new category of persons, who, despite enjoying de iure property rights prior to the creation of the Jewish state, suddenly found themselves deprived of property rights, a status unheard of elsewhere in the world, seeing as the central significance of the scope of property rights is erga omnes – rights against anyone encroaching on these property rights. Jewish genius not only managed to by-pass this exclusionary factor but transformed the de iure right into a de facto issue with the wave of a pen contingent upon a factual situation. What the Jewish law created was a new status of a “present absentee” for the Arab property owner another somersault defying Aristotle’s Excluded Middle without any difficulty whatsoever. What is a “present absentee”? Well, first of all only an Arab can be an “absentee”, an Arab born in Palestine or in the Ottoman Empire before Palestine was extruded from Greater Syria. It never applies to a Jew born in Palestine nor to Jewish immigrant to Palestine nor to Jews who live abroad but who own property in Israel. The “absentee” of the law, through its labyrinthine twists refers to Arabs who own property in Palestine/Israel but who were absent from their homes, even if for only one day during a period beginning on the 29th November 1947 – even before the Jewish state existed. It refers to those people who fled from the war, who were in “enemy territory” in Palestine and those who were expelled from Palestine itself or were ordered to leave their homes by the Jewish forces. That is to say, even someone who was “absent” from his home since that date, continuing through the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, but who managed to remain in the Jewish State of Israel, lost his property rights. The villages in Northern Galilee of Ikrit and Bir’in are examples of their populations being expelled by the Jewish forces and who were prevented from returning when the war was over. For the purposes of all other laws in Israel, a Palestinian Arab is “present” in the Jewish state. I estimate that Palestinians have lost more than 90 % of their privately owned land. Since then, the Town Planning Law has been eating away at the rest.

The latest laws which have caused stirs abroad concern the downgrading of the Arabic language from being an official language – in law – but never in practice. And the other law, the National Law posits that the Jewish state of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish nation leaving out all reference to the Palestinian Arab population but I am not sure how it is going to be applicable, particularly as there are other discriminatory pracises to do its business.

The Discriminatory administration of non-discriminatory Laws

What I would like to bring to the reader’s attention here is where the repugnant discrimination, humiliation and deprivation are felt on a daily basis. It must be understood that the outcomes of administrative decisions are deliberate and the destruction they wreak is foreseeable. Administrative law, that is to say, those norms governing the actual administration or laws, is based on equity. Included in equity is treating equals equally, justice, fairness, honesty, and using the law for the said purposes of the law itself. These values are included in what is called “discretionary power”. Discretion is one of the difficult or “hard” issues in laws because it is a power, yet a power which is exercised contingent upon circumstances and the judgment of the person or persons wielding that power. The greatest danger with discretionary power is that it may veer towards its opposite very quickly which is arbitrary power. It is at this juncture of the law and equity that one finds the intrusion of those norms characteristic of Judaism. Compared to the total number of laws on Israel’s law books, the actual number of discriminatory laws, or sections of laws, is not very large, although key with respect to certain subjects, such as land use, ownership, disposition and rights to family. Where the real, hard, anti-Arab forces kick in is in the discretionary or arbitrary application of laws which in themselves make no reference at all to either Jew or Arab.

The budget of the government is unashamedly discriminatory and funds are not distributed proportionately amongst Jews and Arabs. Naturally there has been an unbroken verbal against this situation, but the Arabs have no power at all to change anything. It is important to take cognizance of the fact that no Jewish government has ever gone into coalition with an Arab party in order to form a majority government. This is, or would be, considered treason, to put it mildly. Therefore they have no way of influencing governmental decisions. Although the Arabs constitute approximately one-fifth i.e. 20.9% of the population, their fraction of the national cake, so to speak, is nowhere near proportional to their numbers. See reliable figures from those compiled by the Adva non-profit organization and http://adva.org/en/ and http://din-online.info/pdf/ms2.pdf from the Mossawa non-profit organization – both of them highly reliable sources. An internet search for budgetary discrimination against Arabs in Israel will yield a rich treasure.

With the discrimination in the budget as the starting point, and keeping it in mind, I would like to concentrate on other areas where this administrative apartheid is not only apparent, but which has had, and continues to have, disastrous effects upon the Arab population in Israel, not to speak of the Occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Arab Land Use

Arab land ownership has been exponentially diminished in the Jewish State. The following is an excellent article on how this was achieved but it is not my intention to further explicate this subject. https://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/historical-israeli-planning/

What I shall only deal with the actual use of Arab-owned land because this remains the chief instrument of deprivation financially and socially as well as actual emotional suffering affecting a person’s well-being, under Israel’s apartheid. The prime weapon in this on-going war against Arab Israeli citizens is the Building and Planning Law of 1965. That it is old-fashioned and dates from the time of the British mandate in its approach, utterly undemocratic, top heavy with apparatchiks, has not prevented its usefulness to the Jewish population. Israel has set up new towns all over Israel proper as well as in the Occupied territories with modern, admirable infrastructure and public spaces. I believe that within the Jewish community women and Jewish institutions may have an input. The importance of this law lies in the fact that it is used as the main administrative tool of control over the Arab population. Town Planning is the central and main tool used for urbanization and therefore modernization, industrialization, socialization and economic development. It developed as a result of the industrial revolution, mass production and urbanization of the peasants and it plays a critical role in a country’s development. Israel has settled most nearly all of its Jewish population – most of which is of course an immigrant population in cities, towns and what are called development towns crucially located within the country according to perceived needs of Jewish society.

In contrast the Arab community has had no town planning in the modern meaning of the word and neither do Arabs have any planning rights. They are also not consulted as to the needs of the communities. The town planners are 90% Jewish with an occasional Arab brought in for appearances sake and their “planning” is devoted to the inhibition of growth Arab “towns” or overgrown villages. The Arab “towns” are actually “townships” equivalent to the South African black townships. I remember Alexandra township just north of Johannesburg way back when. A “township” lacks modern planning for modern facilities and modern land disposition: there is no proper infrastructure of any kind: sewage, drainage, electricity, road design, transportation facilities, and no proper land parcellation and zoning! Modern cadastral zoning takes into account current ownership and possibilities of parcellation, allocation of uses of land and can increase building space. As a striking example, on land taken from Arab owners in the Galilee to build a Jewish settlement as part of the “judaization of the Galilee” building rights on Jewish parcels can range well above 100% as a result of permission to build upwards, while on Arab land in the identical vicinity it was 20%. This is repeated in the entire country. Modern land use builds to height and creates separate private properties within single buildings called condominiums. In Hebrew it is called cooperative housing. Arab land has not been zoned to permit this multiplication of space within the “town” or village limits. In the township in which I live, the population of which is approximately 30,000, there are not more than five buildings taller than three storeys! No public housing has been erected in any of them, no public facilities have been developed and there are no parks, no proper sidewalks nor parking arrangements. It is all higgledy-piggledy. And this is not because the Arabs do not know how to plan or how to build. In contrast to the South African townships where the housing is often leanto’s, Arab private housing is built up to the most modern standards and can be exceptionally elaborate with attention to aesthetic details. But the building is at strangulation levels. The main intended effect of the lack of planning is that it is almost impossible to get a building license. So the vast majority of all homes are built without licenses: according to the law they can be destroyed by administrative decision. And many are. Many organizations have spoken up against house demolition but they have not questioned the basic cause of such demolitions. Jewish town planning is based on the principle, according to them, of “natural increase”. This principle is totally absent from the town planning for Arabs and one could say that its opposite governs town planning considerations: rather than expansion the aim is restriction and constriction.

Another outcome of this approach is that there is no distinction between industrial zones and city and residential uses of land. What this means, is that the infrastructure required for certain industries, such as the food canning industry, is absent where an Arab has managed to set up a factory. The lack of sewage facilities leads to land pollution with the intendant fines imposed by the government for “breaking the laws”.

The municipal courts are packed full of Arab “scoff law” cases about homes built without building permits. The list of cases in the Jerusalem municipal court hardly mentions Jews and when it does, it is for building a verandah without a license or something similarly negligible.

On the other hand, new Jewish towns and settlements have been planned and built on Arab land such as to not only dispossess Arab owners, but to literally trespass into actual housing. The land allocated to a Jewish settlement includes huge “border” land swathes of hundreds of meters which are not necessarily needed or used for building, but the purpose of which is to prevent Arab building. A visit to the town of Sakhnin illustrates this perfectly. The Jewish settlement is built at the top of the hill whilst its border went through the Arab home’s living room in which I sat at the bottom of the hill.

In another Arab “town plan” a line was drawn through a plot dividing it with no rhyme or reason. It imposed an almost unbearable burden on the owners of the land, because they could not use the land properly. After eight years there were murmurings of it having been a mistake, just like that, but no change was made to the plan.

In a word, every single decision concerning Arab town planning is based on an attempt to make life as difficult and as uncomfortable as possible for Arabs. It also completely arbitrary and therefore there are no logical or coherent arguments that one can use which are persuasive within the system. Outside the system their rationale is obvious, but not within it and there are no officials to whom they may turn for salvation. And this rationale cannot be used in the courts.

Another result is that there is no building inspectorate because if there is no town plan permitting building, why do you need inspectors? However a vacuum has not been left: in place of an inspectorate used to enhance living, there is a policing of illegal buildings – not for the purposes of safety, efficiency of use, functionality or aesthetics, but rather for the purpose of imposing fines to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per building. The state sues the person who built illegally, and as a consequence, after a show trial, the owner finds himself having to pay a fine which is about ten or twenty times the size of his monthly earnings. Naturally this is deliberate. Not only shall an Arab man not have his castle, but he shall not have the means to even live comfortably, if not at all lavishly. After one has been present in many of these hearings, they are so transparently evil that it becomes unbearable.

I would like to interject my own personal experience in the municipal court of Jerusalem, in my attempt to prevent the demolition of a home built without a license. The judge was an American Jew who had come on aliya to Israel so he and I shared at least the same language barriers, if not the same language. In defense of my client I quoted a South African court decision, S v. Govender, 1982 of the Transvaal Supreme Court, reported as 1986 (3) SA 969 (T)concerning the Urban Areas Act, which determined which areas or towns or neighborhoods were reserved for which racial groups. Govender, an Indian, had moved into a White area in Johannesburg and the State wished to expel him from that area. Justice Goldstone argued that seeing that housing was a basic need of a human being, and that there was no housing available for Govender, it would be unjust to expel him from the only housing he could find. This case marked the beginning of the collapse of the Urban Areas Act. I used this case, mutatis mutandis, in favor of my client, arguing that there was no housing available for him and that as he owned the land upon which he had built, but which had been zoned as “open landscape area” – a designation absent in all Jewish town plans – he built his house under duress, which is a mitigating circumstance of the Israeli criminal code, in order to protect his family. If the state wanted to destroy this house, it would have to provide alternative dwelling for my client.

Nobody had ever argued this before, and I understand that this was taken up to the Supreme Court behind the scenes, where my argument being dismissed on the grounds that “it was not from Israel’s legal system”. Naturally the moral and existential values included in it played no rôle in the court’s decision rejecting my argument. But there was a quite unexpected outcome to this case. I was called into the Justice’s chambers a short while thereafter and he told me he was leaving the municipal court and going to the family court. When I asked him the reason for this move he looked at me and said “How long can a man sign demolition orders for family homes?”

I wanted to cry and still do, even while writing this. Why? I believe that this Jewish principle of separation, this principle that determines that Jews are not the same species as goys, enforces a psychopathy on its adherents. The justice could not bear what he was doing, so he just ran away. He did not stop and stand up and ask what the hell was going on? What the hell was a state destroying the housing of human beings? Yet he knew that it was wrong. He knew that it was evil.

It is for this reason that I believe that Zionism has wrought is the destruction of the Jewish heart. After all, what is touched when we see the suffering of others? Our hearts. And I discovered that this heartlessness was not confined to Arabs. In a labor case, I represented a man of about 63 who was the head of a government hospital kitchen accused of stealing food. The “food” stolen was the leftovers of chicken soup the bones of which had been through three preparations, together with leftover vegetables on his and others’ plates. He took this “food” home for the thirteen cats which his mentally ill wife looked after in her madness. He was a religious Jew and would not consider putting her in a mental home. The reason for the accusation was that someone wanted his job. After I clarified the nature of the food and provided his history, his having been through four camps during the war, and his wife having lived underground in hiding for a couple of years, I burst out into tears, pointing out how grotesque the entire process was in all its aspects. The prosecutor replied by telling me “not to be so emotional” and my reply to her was that as soon as I no longer felt emotional about human suffering, I would give up the profession of law. I did win the case however, and the judge in the trial always spoke to me fondly when we met in other venues.

This hardness of heart finds expression with respect to the marriage of Arabs – both Christian and Moslem. There is no overall protection of non-Jewish marriage either in the Jewish state or in the militarily occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel controls all ports and points of entry and exist into the Palestinian territory east of the River Jordan. The Jewish State treats some non-Jewish marriages as neither sacred nor as the basic building block of society. On the contrary. For twelve years now, marriage between Arabs with Israeli citizenship who live in Israel proper with spouses from either the militarily occupied West Bank and Gaza or even from abroad receive no conjugal rights in the Jewish State of Israel. Therefore an Israeli Arab has no rights to create a family in Israel if his spouse is from Palestinian territories or from abroad. West Bank Arabs are not allowed to bring in spouses from Jordan or elsewhere. In other words, Israel does its best to limit demographic growth of Arabs under its control. The hardships are unbearable in most cases: some couples have to split up, others lose their homes and/or their livelihood, are split off from families etc. etc. The barrier wall built on Palestinian land to protect Israel has split towns, village, families and homes to an egregious extent. It can take up to one or two hours for people to make a one-way trip to the other side of the wall.

It is clear therefore that there is a profound cruelty and inhumanity at the basis of the Israeli system and as the one example I gave demonstrated, it is not always confined to Arabs, except in 99% of the cases.

What can be observed from this overview of interlocking fields of endeavor, is that the Jewish regime in Palestine has done and continues to deprive Palestinians of many of their rights in law as well as their rights as human beings. Is it unreasonable to suspect that the Jewish regime has not let up in its efforts to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its non-Jewish residents, following the huge success of the Naqba or Catastrophe, as the Arabs call it, in 1948 when 90% of the Arab Palestinian population was expelled from Jewish-controlled Palestine?

I have been asked as to what I consider to be the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There will never be a freely-agreed upon political solution unless the Jews admit to their theft and destruction of Palestine which nobody can see happening. But I do see Israel “bleeding” its Ashkenazi or “white” population leaving behind a far weaker country with no proper ruling elite. In this case, I do not see how a Jewish State will survive, despite its being a creation of the international banking cartel.

The author is an Israeli lawyer who has represented Palestinians in the Israeli courts. She has lived in Israel/Palestine for over fifty years and considers herself political dissident and lives in an Arab township. She writes out of her own experiences.

بعد كلام السيّد: المعاملة بالمثل بين رئاسة الجمهورية ورئاسة الحكومة

نوفمبر 12, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– خلال الشهور التي أعقبت تسمية الرئيس المكلف بتشكيل الحكومة سعد الحريري تعطّل تشكيل الحكومة لشهور بسبب واضح تكشفه الحلحلة التي تمّت لعقدتي تمثيل كل من حزب القوات اللبنانية والحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي، حيث تراجع الاشتراكي عن مطلب غير محق ومضخّم بنيل ثلاثة مقاعد، وتراجعت القوات عن مطلب شديد المبالغة في التضخم نحو مكسب مضخم بدرجة نسبية لكن برضا شريك التمثيل في الطائفة الذي يمثله التيار الوطني الحر وبتنازل عن منصب نائب رئيس الحكومة من قبل رئيس الجمهورية، فبقيت القوات تحتل بـ15 نائباً 4 مقاعد وزارية وصار الاشتراكي ممثلاً بوزيرين. وهذا معناه عملياً تمثيل 24 نائباً بستة مقاعد وزارية، ومعيار التمثيل يكون هنا هو وزير لكل أربعة نواب، لكن رئيس الحكومة الذي قاتل بكل قواه لرفع نسبة تمثيل حلفائه وسعى لتحصيل مطالبهم الشديدة التضخم، لم يمتنع ولا منع حلفاءه من توجيه الاتهام مراراً خلال شهور التعطيل، لرئيس الجمهورية بالسعي للنيل من صلاحيات رئيس الحكومة، كما لم يمتنع ولا منع حلفاءه من رفع متاريس طائفية في قلب هذا الاتهام جامعاً رؤساء الحكومات السابقين ومستصدراً منهم بيانات داعمة لما أسماه معركة الصلاحيات، ومن دون التردد في إقحام دار الفتوى في هذه المعركة المفتعلة.

– بالمقابل بقي رئيس الجمهورية حريصاً على تأكيد احترامه لصلاحيات رئيس الحكومة كشريك كامل في تشكيل الحكومة، وكصاحب الحق الوحيد بعرض التشكيلة الحكومية مقابل حق رئيس الجمهورية بالاعتراض وطلب إدخال التعديلات عليها. وفي ذروة دفاع رئيس الجمهورية عن محاولات مكشوفة للنيل من صلاحياته وتحويله إلى مجرد بريد رسمي لإعلان تشكيلة رئيس الحكومة لحكومته، لم يستنفر رئيس الجمهورية حلفاءه ولا زجّ بالمرجعيات الدينية في معركة محقة هي الدفاع عن صلاحيات رئيس الجمهورية، كشريك كامل في تشكيل الحكومة وفقاً للدستور الذي خرج من اتفاق الطائف، وفي ذروة اندفاع رئيس الحكومة لتحصيل ما ليس محقاً لحلفائه، تعامل رئيس الجمهورية بلغة الاحتواء بدلاً من المواجهة، وأظهر حرصه على تدوير الزوايا فتولى حلحلة عقدة الحزب الاشتراكي، بما لم يكن رئيس الحكومة راضياً عن نتيجته، وتولى التنازل عن منصب نائب رئيس الحكومة لحساب القوات اللبنانية من حصته، ورئيس الحكومة يضغط خلال كل هذه الفترة على فريق رئيس الجمهورية لتقديم التنازلات لحساب حلفائه، بما لا تخوّلهم مقاعدهم النيابية بنيله.

– خلال الأيام القليلة الماضية ظهرت صعوبة ولادة الحكومة من دون تمثيل النواب السنة الذين يمثلون ثلث ناخبي طائفتهم ويحتلون ثلث مقاعدها النيابية، ويحق لهم ثلث مقاعدها الوزارية، ويرفض رئيس الحكومة منحهم مقعداً واحداً بدلاً من حقهم بمقعدين، ويشنّ عليهم حملة ظالمة ويطلق عليهم أوصافاً لا تليق برئاسة الحكومة، ولا بزعامة وطنية، يفترض أنها تحترم إرادة الشعب الذي يمنح النواب مقاعدهم في العملية الديمقراطية ومنه تستمدّ عبر مجلس النواب كل حكومة شرعيتها الدستورية، ومعها رئيسها، ورغم ذلك حاول رئيس الجمهورية أن يمون على حلفائه عبر ضغط نفسي ومعنوي وأدبي، بإعلان تضامنه مع رئيس الحكومة ورفض التسليم بحق النواب السنة، وتوصيف تمسك حزب الله بتمثيلهم خطأ تكتيكياً يصيب الاستراتيجية الوطنية.

– لأن رئيس الجمهورية فعل كل ما فعله في السابق لتسهيل ولادة الحكومة، وحاول أن يضغط للتسهيل، ولكنه وجد موقفاً لا مجال للتراجع فيه لدى حزب الله بعد كلام السيد حسن نصرالله، وصار أمام معادلة استعصاء فهو معنيّ من الموقع ذاته بالسعي لتذليل العقدة بغض النظر عن رغبته بكيفية تذليلها، وقد بات لذلك طريق واحد يعرف الرئيس أنه ليس السعي للضغط على حزب الله للتراجع عندما يكون مقتنعاً بأنه يقوم بعمل وطني، كما كان الحال يوم جمّد حزب الله تشكيل الحكومة الأولى للرئيس سعد الحريري شهوراً بانتظار توافق الحريري مع رئيس التيار الوطني الحر جبران باسيل عام 2009، وكما كان الحال يوم تحمّل حزب الله الاتهامات بتعطيل الانتخابات الرئاسية والتسبّب بالفراغ الرئاسي ليقينه بأحقية العماد ميشال عون بالرئاسة. وهو اليوم بلسان السيد نصرالله، يعلم أن الإجحاف السياسي بحق فريق الثامن من آذار في التشكيلة الحكومة بالمقارنة مع تمثيل الرابع عشر من آذار لا يمكن تبريره إلا بالضعف وليس بالتواضع. وحزب الله ليس ضعيفاً ليقبل بتمثيل فريقه بسبعة وزراء مقابل إثني عشر وزيراً لقوى الرابع عشر من آذار، وهما بحجم نيابي واحد، فإذا كان المعيار المعتمد وفقاً لتمثيل القوات والاشتراكي هو وزير لكل أربعة نواب، فلذلك نتيجة أولى أن يكون لتيار رئيس الحكومة خمسة وزراء فقط بدلاً من ستة، والفارق كافٍ لحل مشكلة تمثيل سنة الثامن من آذار، ونتيجة ثانية هي نيل فريق الثامن من آذار وفقاً للمعيار ذاته، لكن بالمقابل يرتضي فريق الثامن من آذار بتواضع، أن يطبق عليه معيار مزدوج بحيث يكون لكل 4 نواب من 14 آذار وزير ولكل ستة نواب من 8 آذار وزير، لأنه إذا طالب بالمعيار ذاته لتمثيل قوى الرابع عشر من آذار مقابل 45 نائباً يمثلهم فستكون حصته 11 عشر وزيراً كما هي حصة الرابع عشر من آذار، بينما هو يرتضي التمثيل بـ8 وزراء فقط إذا تم تحصيل مقعد وزاري للنواب السنة في اللقاء التشاوري.

– المعاملة بالمثل مع رئيس الحكومة تستدعي من رئيس الجمهورية مطالبته بالتنازل عن مقعد من طائفته ليحل المشكلة، علماً أن هذا المقعد حق ثابت، يريد رئيس الحكومة وضع اليد عليه بغير حق، بعدما لبّى رئيس الجمهورية طلب رئيس الحكومة بمنح مقعد غير مستحق من طائفته لحساب القوات اللبنانية وفوقه صفة نائب رئيس الحكومة، تحت عنوان التعاون لتسهيل ولادة الحكومة. وعسى ألا يقبل رئيس الحكومة بالتمني ليفتح باب تشكيل الحكومة من جديد، وفقاً لمعادلة التمثيل بمعيار واحد لأنه الأمثل والأكثر استقراراً وفقاً لكلام رئيس الجمهورية المتكرر، فإما حكومة بـ 36 وزير لتتسع لـ11 وزيراً لكل من 8 و14 آذار وتكون حصة التيار الوطني الحر وتكتله بـ 7 وزراء، وفقاً لمعيار وزير لكل 4 نواب، ووزير لكل من حزب الكتائب وتكتل الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي إذا رغبا وإلا تؤول حصتهما بوزير لكل من رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس الحكومة إضافة لـ 5 وزراء محسومين لرئيس الجمهورية. وهكذا تتمثل الأقليات ويتمثل العلويون، أو حكومة بـ 30 وزيراً وفقاً لمعيار وزير لكل خمسة نواب يكون فيها 9 وزراء لكل من 8 و14 آذار و6 وزراء للتيار الوطني الحر وتكتله و6 وزراء لرئيسي الجمهورية والحكومة 5 بـ 1 ، والنصيحة بلا جميلة وبلا جمل، لكن لا تضيّعوا وقتاً بغير هذا التفكير.

– اللهم اشهد أني بلغت.

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Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTV’s Serena Shim: A 4-part series

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

November 11, 2018

In October of 1965, 2014 and 2018 three journalists were prominently assassinated: Mehdi Ben Barka, Serena Shim and Jamal Khashoggi. Most readers likely don’t know the first two, while the entire world seems to know about the last one.

This is a 4-part series which explains what Jamal Khashoggi represented ideologically, the relevance of his ideology in the modern Islamic World, the perhaps-unexpected similarity of his ideology with the Western World, and why – even more unexpectedly – the world is still talking about Khashoggi six weeks after his death.

Why do so few remember Mehdi Ben Barka or care about Serena Shim even though they did far more for the People than Khashoggi ever did?

There is a quick answer to this question: Khashoggi remains in the spotlight because the House of Saud killed a Western journalist.

The location and details, or Khashoggi’s birthplace and background, are totally subservient to the fact that he worked for a top Western media and that he was blindly and foolishly loyal to their ideology. A Western journalist cannot be killed without media campaigns and even serious bilateral repercussions, but Khashoggi was no regular freelancer – he was a prominent editorialist at the United States’ 2nd-most important newspaper, the neoconservative The Washington Post.

Anyone familiar with American media knows that The New York Times and The Washington Post essentially set the agenda of discussion in the country. All of America’s other media – with such dwindled newsrooms and so much free, terrible content – have their low-wage 20-somethings essentially re-report what these two media put on their front pages. Television news, even at the very top channels, often starts with “The Washington Post reported that….”

So, forget everything else: kill a member of The Washington Post and it is certain to be huge news for a long time…because they will ensure that it stays in the national headlines.

Given that the US runs the Anglophone world, and add in that other Western nations (such as France) are constantly paying more attention to the US than their own backyards, and this all explains why the world is still talking about Khashoggi – if you think that the US isn’t the primary decider of what’s on the average screen, think again.

Why not Shim and Ben Barka? They believed in and reported from the ‘wrong’ view – class

However, kill a journalist who doesn’t work for the US and their interests and the Western media says,

“Who cares?”

That was the case with PressTV’s Serena Shim in 2014. She was born and raised in the US, half-Lebanese, a mother of two, and was doing ground-breaking, extremely brave reporting about Turkey’s collusion with Western NGOs to get terrorists across their border to Syria. She reported on PressTV about being threatened with assassination by the Turkish secret service two days before her suspicious death, and the West said…essentially nothing. Not their media, nor even the US government, even though Shim was a lifelong American citizen.

Or what about Morocco’s Mehdi Ben Barka? It’s no exaggeration to say that he was the most widely influential Muslim thinker and activist of the 1950s and 1960s. Ben Barka was the organiser of the Tricontinental Conference in Havana, an update of the famed Bandung Conference, and the last great gathering of international leftism. We are in desperate need of another anti-imperialist conference, and another Ben Barka: he was the man who truly did bridge the gap between African, Asian and Latin American leftists, but he also could have done the same for the Muslim and European worlds. Just as East Asia had China, and then Korea, and then Vietnam, Ben Barka would have taken what happened in Algeria to Morocco – one of the few fundamentally key Muslim nations, historically – but he was abducted off Paris streets just before the start of the Tricontinental. Who killed him, why won’t France open up their archives, what is his legacy, why doesn’t Western media do more reports on the annual October demonstrations in Paris (and who is wiping my annual reports from Google and YouTube?!) to keep his flame alive in the public mind? To all that the West says…nothing.

Both Shim and Ben Barka combine to disprove many unstated claims of the West: that they care about all journalists equally, that they care about Western journalists regardless of their political persuasion, that their presses are free, and that their leadership respects a free press more than in other nations.

Ben Barka was the son of the policeman and a math teacher before he got involved in politics. Serena Shim had chosen a career in journalism, but hardly a ladder-climbing one – working for Iranian government media would only land you a job in a top Western media if you then turned around and denounced Iran.

Khashoggi came from a totally different background: his grandfather made his family billionaires via the connections provided by his job – doctor to the king. Those billions helped future family members become prominent artists, journalists and intellectuals by purchasing gallery space, column space and bookshelf space. Jamal truly grew up among the political and cultural elite of Saudi life.

Khashoggi graduated from (the hardly prestigious, given his wealth and connections) Indiana State University, and did not even get trained as a journalist but got a degree in business administration. It is being widely misreported, even by places like Al-Jazeera, that he studied journalism, but Indiana State doesn’t even have a journalism program (top-notch work there, guys – score one for PressTV). “Business administration” says a lot about his intellectual orientation and his plans as a young man (to manage his millions).

But Khashoggi was so elite that he just had to ask to become king of the Saudi journalism sphere – he procured not one but two appointments to the newspaper Al Watan. After all, he had access to all the Saudis movers and shakers, was extremely close with Osama Bin Laden and was a high-level official at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington for two years.

All this explains why reading Khashoggi is to read a guy who essentially says, “What I’m writing here is going to be made into public policy” – and he means it and is right! For a journalist – who could ask for more? Contrarily, Ben Barka was hounded out of Morocco and nobody picked up on Shim’s reporting that UN World Food Organisation trucks headed for Syria were filled with people who looked and dressed like Takfiri terrorists.

Despite his influence and responsibility, Khashoggi’s journalism did not attempt to voice the needs of the People of Saudi Arabia. In his journalism he admitted his social station divorced him from their common experience. What is far worse is that after such admissions he simply dropped the subject – he never questioned his privilege nor the system that maintained it.

Even more so than a guy like The New York Times’ unbearable Thomas L. Friedman, who married into billions and is similarly influential in shaping policy discussions in the US, Khashoggi’s writing combines an aristocrat’s air of unquestionable authority with the certainty that the sun could never and should never set on his totally unmerited entitlements.

Khashoggi is being portrayed as some sort of dissident, but it’s absolutely not the case: he spilled tankers of ink showing that he was 100% supportive of the Saudi (monarchical, and thus anti-democratic) system – the only question was “which monarch”? He ran afoul of the wrong one, but his proffered solution was only another monarch, and one who could have just as easily vivisected him in a Turkish embassy.

Just ask his kids – his sons recently told CNN“Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy that it is the thing that is keeping the country together.”

Like all far-right proponents – not just monarchists – Khashoggi’s proffered solutions only suggested looking backward and deeper into his own tiny tribe – the 1% of Saudi Arabia. But Arabia is not all Saudi…and that is what Khashoggi’s journalism explicitly fought against – reflecting the democratic will of the Arabian Peninsula.

The outrage in the West should be over their support for such an elitist, out-of-touch, anti-democratic reactionary…and yet HE is now the poster child for freedom of the press?

No. We have Serena Shim – too many Serena Shims – for that. We will have more Serena Shims.

I regret that even this series talks about Khashoggi and not Shim and Ben Barka from this point forward, because they certainly deserve it, and because the Mainstream Media never does that. They were the dissidents, the real reformers, the true martyrs.

Jamal Khashoggi was not a victim but a willing, favoured participant in a system of exploitation and repression which he desperately wanted to uphold – read some Khashoggi and that will be clear. So why does the West support such a person?

Khashoggi: Cultural colonist extraordinaire, but the Muslim World doesn’t want more Westernization

Khashoggi obviously represented something which The Post wanted to promote. That is hardly an epiphany, but Khashoggi gives us a chance to examine exactly what that was on an ideological level. Such understanding will grant us better understanding of Western policy and political culture; it also allows us to fully compare “Khashoggi-Thought” with the ideologies of previous decades and centuries, and also with other ideologies available and being promoted in 2018.

Certainly, these intellectual currents are what are the most important to grasp when discussing Khashoggi. The media prefers to focus on that which is not relevant to our daily lives and struggles – the sensational and gruesome details of the killing, and the soap opera of the House of Saud’s latest, never-ending, internecine power struggles.

It is very telling that there has been essentially no discussion of Khashoggi’s actual ideas, writings and morals. The unsaid implication in the West, then, is that he was “one of us” – i.e. he thought like a Westerner and supported Westernization.

And he certainly bent over backwards to show them how much he wanted Saudi Arabia to exactly emulate the West. Khashoggi only wrote about 20 columns for The Washington Post and three of them were literally titled, “What Saudi Arabia could learn from…”, concluded by “Queen Elizabeth II”, “South Korea”, and even the Hollywood movie the “Black Panther”. A fourth carried the same message: “Why Saudi Arabia’s crown prince should visit Detroit”. Not only is that lazy and unoriginal headline writing, but it’s basically advertising (for Westernization) instead of journalism.

In his work at Al-Arabiya (the Saudi answer to Al-Jazeera) which published his columns from 2012-16, the publication most often cited by Khashoggi seems to be The Economist, capitalist newsmagazine nonpareil.

The West is mourning Khashoggi because they knew what they had: a Westerner in sheik’s clothing.

But what did Jamal Khashoggi really believe, this journalist for whom we are spending so much time, energy and consideration, for whom column inches are devoted to instead of Shim and Ben Barka? Illuminating these great unsaids is the goal of this series, which analyzes and quotes from Khashoggi’s writings at The Washington Post and Al-Arabiya.

And here is the quick upshot: Khashoggi ticked the three main ideological boxes a Saudi Arabian (or any Muslim) needs in order to win a prominent place in Western media:

Firstly, he despised Iran, by far the Muslim country which has most successfully rebelled against the West’s dictates, and was also an anti-Shia sectarian of the highest and most disgusting order.

Secondly, he was the foremost promoter of what I accurately term “Liberal Democratic Salafism”. That’s an incredibly stupid ideology which combines 1%-focused West European/bourgeois democracy with (Islamic) monarchism, but that’s exactly what he promoted. For this he was hailed as a “reformer” because…the West is full of monarchy-loving, backwards-looking Liberal Democratic Salafists whose only difference is that their Salafism is of the Christian variety.

Thirdly and lastly, “Liberal Democratic Salafism” combined with neoliberal capitalism is what made Khashoggi the prototypical fake-leftist of the monarchical Muslim World. Western 1%ers adored Khashoggi because the extremely limited and bourgeois changes he advocated would inevitably lead to mass privatization, thus giving Western high finance control over the single most powerful economic tool in the world today – Saudi oil. Handing over your country to such interests in the name of “reform” is obviously catastrophic, anti-socialist, unpatriotic, and fake-leftism.

Why care about Khashoggi at all? It’s no revelation to find out that he was a reactionary tool of the West, but how many people appreciate that “reactionary” in the Western and Islamic Worlds are not worlds apart, but fundamentally identical?

Clarifying what Khashoggi truly represented allows us to identify, call attention to, and fight against these reactionary forces, and also to appreciate the truly modern, cooperative, socialist-inspired world that Mehdi Ben Barka, Serena Shim and countless unheralded others have worked and died for.

***********************************

This is the 1st article in a 4-part series which examines Jamal Khashoggi’s ideology and how it relates to the Islamic World, Westernization and Socialism. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Khashoggi, Ben Barka & PressTV’s Serena Shim: A 4-part series

Khashoggi Part 2: A ‘reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran warmonger?

Khashoggi Part 3: ‘Liberal Democratic Salafism’ is a sham, ‘Islamic Socialism’ isn’t

Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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