Is lasting peace possible?

June 08, 2022

Source

By William T. Hathaway

The wise men of the establishment are again telling us that hopes for lasting peace are a delusion. They declare that human nature makes it impossible, that war is built into our genes. They point to research by evolutionary biologists that indicates our closest genetic relatives, the chimpanzees, make war. Therefore war must be part of our heredity.

“We’ve always had wars,” they claim. “Humans are a warring species. Without a military to defend us, someone will always try to conquer us.” These assumptions have become axioms of our culture. They generate despair but also a certain comfort because they relieve us of the responsibility to change.

It’s true that in certain situations chimpanzees do raid neighboring colonies and kill other chimps. Those studies on killer apes got enormous publicity because they implied that war is hardwired into human nature. Most scientists didn’t draw those conclusions from the evidence, but the establishment media kept reinforcing that message.

Further research, however, led to a key discovery: The chimps who invaded their neighbors were suffering from shrinking territory and food sources. They were struggling for survival. Groups with adequate resources didn’t raid other colonies. The aggression wasn’t a behavioral constant but was caused by the stress they were under. Their genes gave them the capacity for violence, but the stress factor had to be there to trigger it into combat. This new research showed that war is not inevitable but rather a function of the stress a society is under. Our biological nature doesn’t force us to war, it just gives us the potential for it. Without stress to provoke it, violence can remain one of the many unexpressed capacities our human evolution has given us. Studies by professors Douglas Fry, Frans de Waal, and Robert Sapolsky present the evidence for this.

Militarists point to history and say it’s just one war after another. But that’s the history only of our patriarchal civilization. The early matriarchal civilization of south-eastern Europe enjoyed centuries of peace. UCLA anthropologist Marija Gimbutas described the archaeological research in The Living Goddesses. No trace of warfare has been found in excavations of the Minoan, Harappa, and Caral cultures. Many of the Pacific islands were pacifistic. The ancient Vedic civilization of India had meditation techniques that preserved the peace, and those are being revived today to reduce stress in society.

Our society, though, has a deeply entrenched assumption that stress is essential to life. Many of our social and economic structures are based on conflict. Capitalism’s need for continually expanding profits generates stress in all of us. We’ve been indoctrinated to think this is normal and natural, but it’s really pathological. It damages life in ways we can barely perceive because they’re so built into us.

We don’t have to live this way. We can reduce the stress humanity suffers under. We can create a society that meets human needs and distributes the world’s resources more evenly. We can live at peace with one another. But that’s going to take basic changes.

These changes threaten the power holders of our society. Since capitalism is a predatory social and economic system, predatory personalities rise to power. They view the world through a lens of aggression. But it’s not merely a view. They really are surrounded by enemy competitors. So they believe this false axiom they are propagating that wars are inevitable.

In the past their predecessors defended their power by propagating other nonsense: kings had a divine right to rule us, Blacks were inferior to Whites, women should obey men. We’ve outgrown those humbugs, and we can outgrow this one.

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William T. Hathaway is an emeritus Fulbright professor of American studies at universities in Germany. His new novel, Lila, the Revolutionary, is a fable for adults about an eight-year-old girl who sparks a world revolution for social justice.

After a 6-year enforced ban, Bahrain’s Shiites congregate for Friday central prayers

May 23, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Sondoss Al Asaad 

The pulpit of Bahrain’s oppressed and deprived people, for decades, used to firmly appeal for stolen rights, reforms, rapprochement, and reconciliation.

After a 6-year enforced ban, Bahrain’s Shiites congregate for Friday central prayers

With the resume of Bahrain’s central Friday congregational prayer for Shiite citizens in the Imam Al-Sadiq mosque in the village of Duraz, the popular and political concerns have again been brought to the pulpit of Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim, the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s Shia community. That pulpit for long has been used to address the people’s dilemmas resulting from the wrong policies pursued by the regime that controls their wealth and fate. 

The pulpit of Bahrain’s oppressed and deprived people, both Sunnis and Shiites, for decades, used to firmly appeal for stolen rights, reforms, rapprochement, and reconciliation, and call for a comprehensive, sound, and a realistic approach to the political and rights reality.

Henceforth, this perturbed the government and its security services, which assiduously tried to deviate its moderate sermons and those of the Bahraini clerics. Indeed, those religious leaders have positively contributed to controlling the masses, adjusting their discourse, and preventing attempts to divert them into violence. 

The auspicious resume of the central prayer coincides with the anniversary of the 23rd of May, known as the anniversary of the five martyrs of redemption, who fell in defense of the religious and national leadership of Ayatollah Qassem in 2017, a year after the arbitrary revocation of his citizenship due to his keenness to renounce atonement and combat corruption, and his repeated calls for fairness to all citizens.

His Eminence is the most senior cleric of Bahrain’s Shiites, who constitute an estimated 65% of the country’s citizen population. In 1972, he was elected as a member of the historic Constitutional Assembly, which wrote Bahrain’s first constitution. 

On June 20, 2016, Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior arbitrarily stripped the citizenship of Ayatollah Qassim, rendering him stateless. In a statement, it claimed that Ayatollah Qassim, through sermons and religious edicts, had “fomented sectarianism, collected funds unlawfully, and exploited the religious pulpit for political purposes to serve foreign interests.”

In response, hundreds of followers began a peaceful sit-in around his home on Duraz. For their part, the authorities subjected the village to an unprecedented lockdown, in what is a form of collective retribution. All major and minor entrances were sealed off with concrete slabs, sandbags, police cars, and barbed wire. Besides, all major Internet Service Providers enforced an internet blackout for long hours.

One year later, on May 21, 2017, and just a day after former US President Trump met Bahrain’s King in Riyadh and told him there would be “no strain” between their two countries, Ayatollah Qassim was sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence on fabricated charges of “money laundering”, solely linked to the religious practice of Khums – a religious donation to senior clerics, who, in turn, distribute it for religious and charitable purposes. 

Two days later, on 23 May 2017, police stormed into Duraz and, using excessive force, arrested over 280 armless protesters and brutally murdered 5 (aka martyrs of redemption). 

Due to the culture of impunity, no one has been held accountableو and Duraz remained under a police blockade with a permanent police presence outside Ayatollah Qassim’s house, which led to the deterioration of his health, for which he later left Bahrain to receive medical treatment abroad.

For those interested in understanding Bahrain’s politics, it is essential indeed to study and reflect on the sermons of Imam Al-Sadiq mosque to comprehend the ongoing crisis, as it approaches not only religious but also political and rights appalling issues.

Through this platform, various unifying national stances were expressed, reflecting the visions of the moderate opposition seeking to build a robust state that does justice to all its citizens and preserves their national identity, rejecting sectarianism, denouncing global arrogance and imperialism, supporting the Palestinian cause, and rejecting the temporary occupying entity.

Decades of systematic persecution arrests and displacements of political and religious figures, stifling inalienable freedoms, and silencing the opposition have all failed to curb this national, religious, ideological, political, and pro-rights platform, and to intimidate the people who are getting more and more insistent on their legitimate, non-negotiable rights.

On the other hand, there were pulpits in Bahrain that incite blasphemy and hatred, call for takfir, send aid to the terrorists in Syria, and encourage the futile aggressive war on Yemen.

Accordingly, the large crowds this week have reflected, as the International Quds Day rallies and despite the escalating political circumstance, the failure of the repressive security policy.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

McGill University Administration Amps up Anti-Palestinian Campaign

May 7, 2022

McGill University is silencing Silence Palestine Solidarity. (Poster: via BDS Coalition)

By Yves Engler

 – Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

The McGill administration and Israel lobby have waged a multiyear campaign against student democracy and Palestinian solidarity and recently threatened the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) financial arrangement after students voted overwhelmingly for the “Palestine Solidarity Policy”.

A month ago, 71% of students voted for a resolution that commits SSMU to take a stand against Israel’s system of racial discrimination. The resolution called for a host of measures including SSMU divesting from and boycotting “corporations and institutions complicit in settler-colonial apartheid against Palestinians.”
In response, B’nai B’rith released a statement labeling “SSMU’s behavior…antisemitic”. It “called on McGill University to immediately cease funding SSMU until it rescinds this bogus referendum result.”

The administration responded by threatening to terminate its Memorandum of Agreement with SSMU, which regulates fees, use of name and other matters between the university and student union. The administration claimed the Palestine Solidarity Policy encourages “a culture of ostracization and disrespect due to students’ identity, religious or political beliefs.” But the resolution does not mention any ethnicity or nationality.

The administration’s bid to portray their student body as anti-Jewish is not new. As students have sought to express support for the long-oppressed Palestinians, they’ve repeatedly made similar claims.

Between 2014 and 2016 there were three votes inspired by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement at biannual SSMU general assemblies. Fearing students at the prestigious institution would support BDS, the Israel lobby went into overdrive. Among a slew of pressure tactics, they got Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau to tweet that “the BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses. As a McGill alum, I’m disappointed. Enough is Enough.”

In February 2016 a motion mandating the student union support some BDS demands passed the union’s largest ever general assembly. But after the McGill administration, Montreal’s English media and pro-Israel Jewish groups blitzed students the online confirmation vote failed. The resolution’s constitutionality was subsequently challenged by Zionists who sought to have SSMU’s Judicial Board outlaw any motion that expressed support for BDS.

Students challenged the effort to block their ability to collectively challenge Israeli apartheid. An October 2017 challenge of the SSMU Judicial Board’s decision to declare a BDS resolution unconstitutional prompted Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee activist Noah Lew to smear other students. After failing to be re-elected to the Board of Directors Lew claimed he was “blocked from participating in student government because of my Jewish identity and my affiliations with Jewish organizations.” Lew’s claim received international coverage and McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier sent out two emails to all students and faculty concerning the matter.

But an investigation by the administration found no basis for Lew’s claim.

The principal form of racism on display on this subject is the university power structure’s deep-seated anti-Palestinianism. As I previously detailed, McGill administrators openly associated with the Jewish National Fund, an explicitly racist organization that excludes Palestinian citizens of Israel from living on land stolen from Palestinians.

Fortunately, students have persevered in campaigning for Palestinian rights despite the smears, underhanded moves and outside attacks. The large margin that voted for the recent Palestine Solidarity Policy suggests that support for Palestinian rights is growing.

But Israel lobby and administration pressure led SSMU’s unelected judicial board to reject the constitutionality of the Palestine Solidarity Policy. They also impeached the elected president of the student union, Darshan Daryanan, in part due to his sympathy toward student democracy and Palestinian rights.

Happily, there’s some pushback. Students have organized rallies and outside groups have petitioned the administration. Rock legend Roger Waters, author Yann Martel, former MP Libby Davies, author Chris Hedges and 200 others signed a recent public letter criticizing the administration’s threats as anti-democratic and anti-Palestinian. Signed by 40 organizations, the letter also applauds McGill students for pushing their union to fulfill its stated commitment to leadership in “matters of human rights and social justice.”

It’s important for outside forces to publicly embarrass McGill’s administration, pressure wobbly student representatives and embolden the student organizers driving the struggle on campus. As the Israel lobby fully understands, the struggle for Palestinian rights runs through student activism.

Is Europe Really More Civilized? Ukraine Conflict a Platform for Racism and Rewriting History

April 4, 2022

CBS correspondent Charlie D’Agata has prompted backlash after comparing violence in Afghanistan to the invasion of “relatively civilized” Ukraine. (Photo: video grab)

By Ramzy Baroud

When a gruesome six-minute video of Ukrainian soldiers shooting and torturing handcuffed and tied up Russian soldiers circulated online, outraged people on social media and elsewhere compared this barbaric behavior to that of Daesh.

In a rare admission of moral responsibility, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian President, quickly reminded Ukrainian fighters of their responsibility under international law. “I would like to remind all our military, civilian and defense forces, once again, that the abuse of prisoners is a war crime that has no amnesty under military law and has no statute of limitations,” he said, asserting that “We are a European army”, as if the latter is synonymous with civilized behavior.

Even that supposed claim of responsibility conveyed subtle racism, as if to suggest that non-westerners, non-Europeans, may carry out such grisly and cowardly violence, but certainly not the more rational, humane and intellectually superior Europeans.

The comment, though less obvious, reminds one of the racist remarks by CBS’ foreign correspondent, Charlie D’Agata, on February 26, when he shamelessly compared Middle Eastern cities with the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, stating that “Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, (…) this is a relatively civilized, relatively European city”.

The Russia-Ukraine war has been a stage of racist comments and behavior, some explicit and obvious, others implicit and indirect. Far from being implicit, however, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, did not mince words when, last February, he addressed the issue of Ukrainian refugees. Europe can benefit from Ukrainian refugees, he said, because “these people are Europeans. (…) These people are intelligent, they are educated people. This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists.”

One of many other telling episodes that highlight western racism, but also continued denial of its grim reality, was an interview conducted by the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, with the Ukrainian Azov Battalion Commander, Dmytro Kuharchuck. The latter’s militia is known for its far-right politics, outright racism and horrific acts of violence. Yet, the newspaper described Kuharchuck as “the kind of fighter you don’t expect. He reads Kant and he doesn’t only use his bazooka.”If this is not the very definition of denial, what is?

That said, our proud European friends must be careful before supplanting the word ‘European’ with ‘civilization’ and respect for human rights. They ought not to forget their past or rewrite their history because, after all, racially-based slavery is a European and western brand. The slave trade, as a result of which millions of slaves were shipped from Africa during the course of four centuries, was very much European. According to Encyclopedia Virginia, 1.8 million people “died on the Middle Passage of the transatlantic slave trade”. Other estimations put the number much higher.

Colonialism is another European quality. Starting in the 15th century, and lasting for centuries afterward, colonialism ravaged the entire Global South. Unlike the slave trade, colonialism enslaved entirepeoples and divided whole continents, like Africa, among European spheres of influence.

The nation of Congo was literally owned by one person, Belgian King Leopold II. India was effectively controlled and colonized by the British East India Company and, later, by the British government. The fate of South America was largely determined by the US-imposed Monroe Doctrines of 1823. For nearly 200 years, this continent has paid – and continues to pay – an extremely heavy price of US colonialism and neocolonialism. No numbers or figures can possibly express the destruction and death toll inflicted by Western-European colonialism on the rest of the world, simply because the victims are still being counted. But for the sake of illustration, according to American historian, Adam Hochschild, ten million people have died in Congo alone from 1885 to 1908.

And how can we forget that World War I and II are also entirely European, leaving behind around 40 million and 75 million dead, respectively. (Other estimations are significantly higher). The gruesomeness of these European wars can only be compared to the atrocities committed, also by Europeans, throughout the South, for hundreds of years prior.

Mere months after The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949, the eager western partners were quick to flex their muscles in Korea in 1950, instigating a war that lasted for three years, resulting in the death of nearly 5 million people. The Korean war, like many other NATO-instigated conflicts, remains an unhealed wound to this day.

The list goes on and on, from the disgraceful Opium Wars on China, starting in 1839, to the nuclear bombings of Japan in 1945, to the destruction of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, in 1954, 1959 and 1970 respectively, to the political meddling, military interventions and regime change in numerous countries around the world. They are all the work of the West, of the US and its ever-willing ‘European partners’, all done in the name of spreading democracy, freedom and human rights.

If it were not for the Europeans, Palestine would have gained its independence decades ago, and its people, this writer included, would have not been made refugees, suffering under the yoke of Zionist Israel. If it were not for the US and the Europeans, Iraq would have remained a sovereign country and millions of lives would have been spared in one of the world’s oldest civilizations; and Afghanistan would have not endured this untold hardship. Even when the US and its European friends finally relented and left Afghanistan last year, they continue to hold the country hostage, by blocking the release of its funds, leading to actual starvation among the people of that war-torn country.

So before bragging about the virtues of Europe, and the demeaning of everyone else, the likes of Arestovych, D’Agata, and Petkov should take a look at themselves in the mirror and reconsider their unsubstantiated ethnocentric view of the world and of history. In fact, if anyone deserves bragging rights it is those colonized nations that resisted colonialism, the slaves that fought for their freedom, and the oppressed nations that resisted their European oppressors, despite the pain and suffering that such struggles entailed.

Sadly, for Europe, however, instead of using the Russia-Ukraine war as an opportunity to reflect on the future of the European project, whatever that is, it is being used as an opportunity to score cheap points against the very victims of Europe everywhere. Once more, valuable lessons remain unlearned.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

“Israel” or the wolf disguised as a sheep

29 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Mikhael Marzuqa 

“Israel” tried to disguise itself as an honest mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but honesty is a trait that is hard to come by once the occupation’s history is full of atrocities and war crimes.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict comes to revalue the need for the rule of International Law and a renewal of the commitment of the entire international community to subscribe to it.

The defense of the sovereignty of Ukraine revives the neglected relevance of promoting the sovereignty of Palestine based mainly on:

– The withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Palestinian territories declared in resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly of November 29, 1947, that “recommended” the partition of Palestine into two States, but without “Israel” allowing the consolidation of the Palestinian State.

– Allow the return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes by “Israel”, according to resolutions 194 of December 11, 1948, and 3236 of November 22, 1974, recognizing the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.

– Israeli withdrawal from Occupied Palestine, including the Eastern part of occupied al-Quds, is based on Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, of the UN Security Council, which emanates from this body and is binding.

– End of colonialism and Israeli apartheid considered a form of racial discrimination according to Resolution 3379 of the UN General Assembly in 1975.

– End of the colonial expansion based on settlements of settlers brought from other nations to Palestine, based on Resolutions 446 of March 22, 1979 and 2334 of December 23, 2016 of the UN Security Council (both binding resolutions).

– Demolition of the Separation Wall or “Shame” that penetrates into Palestinian territory expropriating more territories, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice on July 9, 2004

Since 1948, and even before, with the action of the Zionist terrorist organizations, which later became the Israeli army, “Israel” has systematically invaded Palestine, expelling its original population, periodically bombing and committing crimes against the civilian population, selectively assassinating the political leaders of the Palestinian people including their former president Yasser Arafat, demolished their homes and farm fields, seized water sources, turned the West Bank into a huge concentration camp, violently expelled the residents of al-Quds and other Palestinian cities, changed the names and in general the legal status of the territory, prohibited free expression and the operation of NGOs for the defense of Human Rights, converted Gaza into the largest extermination camp and, ultimately, undermined the possibilities of installing a Free and democratic Palestinian state as declared by the national charter of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine.

It is ironic to see how “Israel” first offered itself as the venue for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and currently offers itself as a mediator since it is the state most condemned by the UN and international human rights organizations and one of the key suppliers of weapons to Ukraine. Therefore, ending this international hypocrisy is imperative today, since we run the risk of widening the lock gates of more flagrant inconsistencies and violations of the norms that regulate coexistence among peoples.

Chile and other Latin-American countries that subscribe to the UN Charter and its resolutions, as well as international law organizations, including the ICJ, must commit themselves to their own actions, as well as promote in the regional economic and political organizations of Latin America and The Caribbean, initiatives that lead to oblige “Israel” to cease its violations, respect international laws and adopt UN resolutions without conditions.

It is appropriate that those who have an international tradition to respect and promote international human rights. Along these lines, they are compelled to adhere to the reports of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and promote the existence of all the facilities for the investigation of the International Criminal Court on war crimes committed by “Israel”.
 
It is important that the Latin American countries deploy a diplomatic crusade at the international level so that the United States, Great Britain and the European Union, mainly, are consistent between their speech and their international action so that, just as they have deployed innumerable and forceful sanctions against Russia, similarly condemn and promote condemnation and similar sanctions against the Israeli regime so that it respects international law. It is pertinent that governments that set themselves up as defenders of democracy, do not jeopardize their declared values ​​of respect for peace, justice, sovereignty, and self-determination, that they assume the moral obligation of consequence between their words and actions and honor the reputation of the states those they represent so as not to be condemned by history as only defenders of interests of power and hegemony.

Promoting the peaceful and respectful coexistence of the legality that the international community has imposed on itself is today transcendent for the world that we are bequeathing to future generations.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

The West and Hypocrisy: I Wish I Had the Bluest Eyes!

March 17, 2022

By Fatima Haydar

To begin with, not a single person deserves to go through the horrible atrocities of war, regardless of their nationality, race and religion. My heart goes out to all the people in Ukraine – as it does first and foremost to the persevering people in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – hoping they would find safety and security.

Beirut – The conflict in Ukraine has been the talk of the town, with masses and politicians in the west showing their undivided support to the people in Ukraine. Statements of solidarity from western leaders outpoured. But what catches one’s attention is the hypocritical way the conflict has been dealt with.

Since day one of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Western media hypocrisy has been the bone of contention. Three weeks have passed since the conflict began, and corporate western media has relentlessly continued its double-standard coverage of the events.

The hypocrisy of the media coverage of the Ukrainian conflict is so obvious that many news outlets have written on the matter over the past weeks, highlighting that to the West, having blue eyes and blond hair is the criteria by which victims of conflicts are worthy of the international community’s sympathy. 

As the conflict prolongs, the dark and ugly side of western media unfolds and the aforementioned criteria solidifies the notion that our looks and economic factors play a role in determining whether the war is somehow normal and expected in areas of the world and not in others; that: it’s ok when non-blue-eyed people get killed!

A quick search on the definition of HYPOCRISY discloses that it is “the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another or the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.”

To put it in clearer and simpler words, hypocrisy is when western media wants the world to treat the situation in Ukraine “equally” to the way other conflicts are being treated, when “western democracies” themselves don’t.

Let’s take the refugee crisis as an example. The West wanted the world to welcome with open arms the refugees from Ukraine and denounce what it called a “Russian invasion”, while it launched a calumnious attack on the Indian government over the Citizenship Amendment Act [CAA] and the riots, deported African migrants from its shores in Italy and Spain, and turned away Syrian refugees from its borders in Poland and Denmark; regardless of the fact that it turned a blind eye on the wars backed or waged by the United States and its allies in every corner of the globe.

And the list goes on.

Recently, in a small multireligious Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea called Lebanon, a Lebanese woman has been targeted by US sanctions. Mrs. Abir Khalil, mother of martyr Mohammad Tamer who was gunned down during last October’s massacre in the Tayouneh neighborhood of Beirut, says she has been banned from social media, including Whatsapp, and her travel and tourism company has been sanctioned.

The West and Hypocrisy: I Wish I Had the Bluest Eyes!
Mrs. Abir Khalil and her son martyr Mohammad Tamer

Mrs. Khalil explained that she was first blocked from using her and her martyred son’s Facebook pages, until they banned the pages and now both pages do not exist.

Regarding her business, she can no longer send or receive money to and from her customers via Western Union. Afterwards, she used her daughters name in her business’ monetary transactions, but after a couple of money transfers, they were banned again.

Mrs. Khalil says that on February 25, she was banned from using Whatsapp for violating the Terms of Service over allegations of violence and terrorism. “The funny thing is,” she says, “I just use the application to post pictures of martyr Mohammad. I’m not waging a war or anything and I don’t post pictures of weapons!”

As she details the incidents, she sheds light on the hypocrisy of western media coverage of the double-standard measures by “western democracies” headed by the US.

“This weakness and cowardness of the US government… they are intimidated by the simplest word we write, picture we post or voice we utter that they attempt to silence us by silencing these, but they will not be able to silence the word of God in us! We will be stronger than ever and nothing will stop us from striving,” she explains.

Regarding the US sanctions, Mrs. Khalil says, “Those who have sacrificed their most precious for the sake of this path, will not yield to trivial sanctions.”

What is worth mentioning is that martyr Mohammad Tamer was a civilian and is not a member of the Lebanese Resistance movement Hezbollah, and yet his mother has been targeted by US sanctions just because she “persists on proving the injustice against the fallen martyrs”.

Here the hypocrisy is two-folded; double-standard on the part of the US which claims to be a “western democracy” and the other by western media that claims to report news objectively.

First, the US did not practice what it preached. In the US constitution, people are protected by The First Amendment which guarantees the right to free expression and free association, which means that the government does not have the right to forbid anyone from saying what they like and writing what they like. Under the constitution, people can form clubs and organizations, and take part in demonstrations and rallies.

This is hypocrisy in action! So, it is OK for Americans to express themselves freely, but it’s not OK for other nationals to do so!

Where is the media coverage on this? Why aren’t more people talking about it?

Mrs. Khalil’s story has not been mentioned, neither was the actual incidents of the martyrdom of her son. And if the incident was spoken about, then it was manipulated to suit the interests of the west.

The western world seems to care the most when the country suffering is full of white people, because it only matters when those suffering are Europeans.

This war has highlighted the hypocrisy and the double-standards of the West where suffering does not warrant empathy but skin color and interests do.

To Maintain Jewish Demographic Control, Israel Cloaks Family Unification Law in Security Concerns

February 25th, 2022

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — A controversial law banning family unification between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories expired last summer, but right-wing politicians are seeking to resurrect it with a vengeance. This month, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved, in the first of three votes, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, preventing Palestinians married to Israeli citizens from receiving permits to enter into 1948-occupied Palestine (or modern-day Israel).

“It’s one of the most racist, apartheid laws that was ever passed in the world,” Adi Mansour, attorney with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, told MintPress News. “There is no other law that’s even remotely close to this law in the effects … that it has on family lives.”

Known as the family unification ban, the bill passed in 2003 and has been renewed annually since its inception — until last year. In July, the law was defeated after former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party voted against it to disrupt the new coalition government.

Now, right-wing Knesset members are hoping to breathe new life into the legislation by adding more restrictive amendments to a law human rights organizations already deem deeply discriminatory.

Making a harsh law even harsher

Knesset member Simcha Rothman of the far-right Religious Zionism Party negotiated with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to add tougher amendments to the law and get it back on the agenda.

Rothman’s applied amendments include setting a maximum yearly quota for those eligible to receive Israeli citizenship from the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and requiring the Interior Ministry submit a monthly report on the number of permits granted. While this law is classified as a temporary order, the newest version also allows the government to extend its enforcement for longer than one year at a time, meaning it won’t need to be renewed annually.

“The amendment that was filed by the opposition brings to the surface the real intention of the law —  to prevent a supposed attack on the Jewish majority of the state,” Mansour said.  Rothman and the spokesperson for the Knesset did not respond to requests for comment.

Despite the law’s expiration, Shaked ordered the Population and Immigration Authority to apply the law to family unification requests. Israeli non-profit organizations HaMoked, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, filed a joint petition to the Israeli Court of Administrative Affairs. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which prompted the Interior Ministry to establish two temporary procedures. One of the procedures — HaMoked argues — simply “perpetuates the relevant provisions of the expired law, under a different name.”

More than just preventing the Palestinian right of return

HaMoked opposes the law, but Dani Shenhar, who heads HaMoked’s legal department, said that if it does pass, there are several amendments they are advocating to have attached to the bill in order to make it constitutional. These include: not applying the law to women over the age of 50, men over the age of 55, and minors; providing full government benefits to those given an entry permit; and giving permanent residency or citizenship to those applying on humanitarian grounds.

“When the law didn’t pass in July, many politicians said that it’s very important for keeping the demographics of Israel under control — not having Palestinians receive Israeli IDs,” Shenhar told MintPress. “This is the real concern of the state.”

Proponents of the law argue it’s necessary for security purposes, specifically claiming unified families are more likely to commit acts of terrorism. Shenhar explained, however, that Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that from 2001 to 2016 only 104 individuals from families who obtained residency or citizenship through family reunification were involved in terrorist activity. From his perspective, these low numbers suggest there isn’t a security concern. “Security is an explanation used by the state because it’s easier for the court to give its green light to this law when there’s a security basis for it,” Shenhar said. “It’s more difficult to justify this kind of law on the basis of demographics or racial profiling.”

Even Minister of Interior Shaked suggested this law isn’t just for security purposes. In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Shaked admitted the law is meant to prevent the “creeping [Palestinian] right of return.” “The law wants to reduce the motivation for immigration to Israel. Primarily for security reasons, and then also for demographic reasons,” Shaked said.

Adalah’s Mansour argued that family reunification isn’t about the right of return. “We want the right of return, but still when we fall in love with a person, we do not think, ‘Let’s implement the right of return.’ This is not part of the rationality of love and relationships,” he said.

Instead, Mansour argues that the narrative that the law is about the right of return is merely strategic — to better persuade the Israeli media and public of the need for such a law. “The motive to prevent the right of return is not real,” he said, emphasizing the law’s agenda is Zionist and racist. “The real motive is preventing any demographic changes and preventing Palestinians from implementing their right to family life.”

“To basically build and sustain an apartheid regime,” Mansour added.

Denying the right to family life

Earlier this month Amensty International released a comprehensive report declaring Israel an apartheid state. The organization’s analysis highlighted the family reunification ban, calling it a “clear example of how Israel fragments and segregates Palestinians through a single system.”

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

“By contrast, the 2003 law explicitly did not apply to residents of Jewish settlements in the West Bank wanting to marry and live with their spouse inside Israel, making it, and the ongoing policy underpinning it, blatantly discriminatory,” Amnesty wrote. The organization also noted that information from the Ministry of Interior indicated the rejection of about 43% of family unification applications from 2000-2013.

Families affected by the legislation were unable to speak on the record to MintPress, given that the bill is still being debated and voted on. However, Amnesty collected anonymous testimonies on how this law has disrupted families’ lives.

One spouse, who moved from the West Bank to 1948-occupied Palestine, applied for family reunification but while awaiting approval and without proper documentation, she lived in a perpetual state of anxiety. “There was a constant fear in my life. I was terrified of getting sick for example, because of this fear of having to go to the hospital without the necessary documents, getting caught [by Israeli authorities], and paying lots of money to cover for any kind of procedure or treatment,” she told Amnesty. She had married in 2003 when she was 18 but, according to the Citizenship Law, couldn’t apply for family reunification until she turned 25.

Another woman was rejected when trying to renew her permanent residency. She is now confined to Jerusalem in fear of arrest if she crosses Israeli checkpoints. She told Amnesty International how the law has impacted her life:

Since 2008, I have not been able to see my children as I please, because I cannot cross Israeli military checkpoints. I can only see my children and grandchildren through video calls. I have spent 12 years of my life trying to solve this, but the [Israeli] authorities keep stalling. I have spent half of my life either at the Ministry of Interior offices or gathering papers for them. This is exhausting.”

Adalah’s Mansour detailed the various cases he’s worked on regarding family reunification and called their experiences “devastating.” One example he offered:

During corona, a woman who was from Ramallah couldn’t leave Ramallah through the checkpoint because there was a lockdown. So she had to live for at least a month away from her kids and her family because they had citizenship and could go back to where her family lived, but she had to stay in Ramallah with her parents.”

In some situations, individuals could only get a driver’s license after 10 years. In other cases, individuals couldn’t find work in 1948-occupied Palestine because they didn’t have citizenship.

Often employers are unwilling to hire individuals with the family unification permit because, since it only lasts a year, their residency status is seen as unstable. Mansour summed it up:

People fall in love and they live together and they get married and they don’t think of the consequences. But eventually what happens is either you leave the country and live abroad, which is a decision that a lot of people don’t want to take because this is their homeland. On the other side, you have people who suffer every day from the consequences of not being able to unify their family.”

Adalah has been working with families on a potential upcoming petition against the legislation. In characterizing the bill, Mansour equated it to doctrines used by the German Nazi and Italian fascist regimes during World War II, in which governments would discriminate against people because of their nationalities. “It’s a law that attacks the very existence of Palestinians for being Palestinians,” he said.

Black History Month: Black oppression in the United States

February 9, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Mohammad Al-Jaber

The United States, though claiming to have advanced in terms of civil rights and racial discrimination, is still stuck in the same pattern of racism and hatred, only having changed on paper.

The United States: did it really advance in terms of black liberation and empowerment?

The United States has been home to black people since the late 16th century when they were brought in aboard slave ships, so it was not too kind of a home. They were shipped in as part of the transatlantic slave trade, which took them from their homes, from their families, and they were not treated with the slightest bit of humanity or compassion.

An oppressed people, they struggled for their liberation for centuries, working to abolish the slavery imposed by their white oppressors, who put them in the worst conditions one could think of, not liveable in the slightest.

Black people not only lost the only home they had known, as they were transferred into toys in the hands of their oppressors, who unethically used them in unpaid labor, ranging from domestic slavery to slavery within the plantation systems, mainly the notorious cotton fields.

Many brutal punishments were on the table for the most minor of inconveniences, sometimes without one at all – just as a display of authority and even for pleasure and entertainment. All of this was legal under the constitution of the self-proclaimed land of the free.

Black people fought tooth and nail for their emancipation until the civil rights movement succeeded in achieving its conquest and even thereafter. Racism is still widespread, and discrimination may be better than it was 500 years ago, but that is in no way a standard.

You can’t compare modern times to ones where black people were auctioned off, bid on as they fought to the death, whipped, raped, and had their families broken up for the sole purpose of revenue. Injustice was more rampant back then, but it still is now – through different means nonetheless, but not in an acceptable manner.

Life under slavery may not have lasted forever, but it must have felt like it did for all of its victims. Came the emancipation proclamation in 1863 after so many efforts from abolitionists who put everything on the line to ensure the freedom of their enslaved brethren, such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Leonard Grimes.

One burden was off; slavery, but another was still there, and it was heavily harming the black community within the United States, segregation. Racism was still conspicuous, and it was a tool used to propagate the white supremacist narrative used by the ruling race to violate the rights of those who were seen as a “lesser race”, allowing for their treatment as second-class citizens within their own country.

Segregation was used to propagate many hate crimes and massacres, ones backed by politicians and officials against local black communities and individuals. From lynching to full-on massacres, the US government and people made life unbearable for the black population.

White massacres against black civilians

New York City Draft Massacre

On July 13, 1863, white rioters stormed Manhattan to protest against draft laws in light of the civil war, but they ended up setting fire to a colored orphanage, killing black civilians they found on the street by various, violent means, and the victims amounted to nearly 120.

Memphis Massacre

Between May 1-3, 1866, white civilians and police officers stormed Memphis, Tennessee, and burned down homes, churches, and schools in the city, eventually killing 46 black civilians and injuring many more.

Opelousas Massacre

On September 28, 1868, a KKK-inspired group, Knights of the White Camelia, massacred hundreds of black Americans in Opelousas, Louisiana, over the promotion of equality in voter registration and education. The exact victim count is unknown, but it crossed the 200 threshold.

Clinton Massacre

On September 4, 1875, a white mob killed nearly 50 black civilians in Clinton, Mississippi, who had gathered for a rally hosted for their election candidates. The violence was carried out indiscriminately and claimed the lives of many children.

Thibodaux Massacre

On November 23, 1887, the Louisiana Militia, with help from white citizens, shot and killed peaceful, unarmed black sugar workers who were striking to demand their labor rights. The victim toll was between 30-60 unarmed black workers.

Tulsa Race Massacre

Between May 31-June 1, 1921, one of the biggest domestic massacres in US history took place in the prospering Greenwood District, a historic black community that became the victim of blind white hatred. The district was undergoing its “golden age” and its citizens were living way better than they would have lived anywhere else in the US under the segregation laws that were in place at the time.

The district was stormed by white mobs some of whose members were armed by city officials, and they wreaked havoc in a place renowned for the opportunities it provided for black people. The death toll surpassed 200 black residents and 800 total injuries as attackers burned and destroyed more than 370 square meters of the neighborhood.

‘Separate but equal’

Following all the massacres and hate crimes committed against black people after their emancipation, segregation was still a heavy burden to bear, and overcoming it was a goal for the civil rights movement.

Black people were not allowed to share the same restaurants and cafes as white people. They were allowed education but could not attend the same schools and universities as their white counterparts, they could not go to the same workplaces, and if they did, they would have their own separate offices. They lived in separate neighborhoods, sat in separate places on public transport, and even had separate bathrooms.

All of this was under the auspices of the US constitution, as it sponsored these acts via the “separate but equal” doctrine that argued racial segregation was not in violation of the 14th Amendment, which guaranteed “legal protection” for all peoples and races, though that was absent from reality in more ways that one.

The constructs of separation and segregation were so striking in the United States the entire American society was built upon it until the civil rights movement was finally able to achieve its goals after a decades-long struggle.

Civil rights movement

Key civil rights movement leaders paid a heavy price, i.e. with their blood, to propagate their cause of social equality. Starting in the first half of the ’60s, the civil rights movement aimed to topple the status quo that allowed for the violation of their rights in various spheres.

Black Americans were able to vote under the law, but there were many obstacles put in place by racists who did not believe they should have had that right, which the south took to their hands through implementing disenfranchisement, prohibiting black people from registering to vote, and voting, meaning another one of their rights that were supposedly sponsored by the US constitution was being infringed.

The “Jim Crow laws” were the chief contributor to the infringement of the voting rights of black Americans. The laws were implemented in the late 19th century, and they sponsored the disenfranchisement and removal of political and economic gains made by black people during the Reconstruction period that succeeded the American Civil War. Many states outside the South adopted these laws though they were on the opposite side of the Civil War, but perhaps racism unites the United States.

The “Jim Crow laws” made inequality rampant on many levels; not only in terms of voting. As was said above, they sponsored the disenfranchisement of economic gains made by black people during the Reconstruction period, setting the black community far behind their white counterparts, making progress that much more difficult for them, and widening a pre-existing wealth gap.

Long story short, the civil rights movement, sparked by prominent figures and groups like Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., the Little Rock Nine, and the Black Panthers, ended up succeeding and achieving its goal of overcoming segregation, with then-President Lyndon Johnson passing the Rights Act and abolishing segregation after many protests, riots, and deaths.

The path to equality was paved by the blood of black activists who fought until the last breath to ensure the true freedom of their people who had to bear the brunt of racism for centuries. The Civil Rights Movement took the lives of many of its activists and initiators, many of whom were killed by the government.

Among those murdered over their activism included:

George Lee

One of the first black people registered to vote in Humphreys, Tennessee, and a prominent voice in urging others to join him. He was offered protection by white officials in exchange for ending his voter registration efforts, but he rejected their advances, eventually leading to his murder over his activism.

Malcolm X

Malcolm X was, arguably, the most prominent black American figure and activist within the United States and one of the most prominent during the civil rights movement. His cause included black empowerment and the overcoming of segregation, not to mention equality.

He was very vocal with his teaching of black empowerment, and he made his way into leadership by becoming the leader of the Nation of Islam, preaching the message of Islam within the black community, and advocating the rising of the black community among political ranks.

He called for charging the United States with human rights violations against black people in the United States at the United Nations, prompting anger from within Washington, and within a year, at 39 years of age, he was assassinated on a podium as he was preparing to give a speech, and many speculate that the FBI or the CIA were behind his assassination due to his external links and his domestic efforts.

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King is most probably the most famous black liberation leader within the United States, joining the Civil Rights Movement early on and becoming one of its leaders until his assassination.

He advocated and advanced civil rights for all people of color in the US, using peaceful means such as nonviolent protests and civil disobedience that carried the banner of voting rights, desegregation, labor rights, and socioeconomic equality. He also oversaw the Montogomery bus boycott sparked by his fellow activist Rosa Parks.

King was allegedly assassinated by an escaped fugitive, James Earl Ray, or so the FBI found, though MLK, throughout his years as a black rights advocate, was constantly harassed by the FBI and was even called “the most notorious liar in the country” by its director. He was killed a day after his final speech, “I’ve been to the mountaintops”, while on his motel room balcony.

Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton was a black rights activist and leader of the Black Panther Party, the most prominent black advocacy political party that contributed to the housing and aid of black people in various spheres, such as healthcare and education, all over the United States, voicing support for socialism, black nationalism, and armed self-defense against police brutality.

His and his party’s contributions to the black rights movement and the American black community were unprecedented, prompting concerns from within the United States government and its agencies.

Hampton, a Marxist-Leninist, worked for social change, staunchly opposed fascism and racism alike, spreading awareness within the black community to prompt activity against systemic racism and police brutality. His activism made him an enemy of the FBI, which saw him as a radical threat and used many tools to undermine his activities, such as disinformation campaigns and espionage.

He was later assassinated as part of the FBI’s COINTERLPRO operation aimed at undermining domestic political organizations, which oversaw a raid on his apartment in Chicago, Ilinois, that saw heavily armed officers raiding his home at dawn. He had been asleep at the time of his killing, with a police officer killing him in his bed with two gunshots to the head.

He was only 21-years-young at the time of his death, but his legacy went on to redefine the black struggle for decades to come.

No longer separate, but not so equal

The black US population, though emancipated and granted civil rights and equality, is still suffering from chronic discrimination in its home country, having contrasting ratios with their white counterparts in the various socioeconomic aspects of life.

Labour and wages

Black workers comprise nearly 13% of the US workforce but disproportionally make 9.6% of total US wages, with the median annual wage for black workers being 30% lower than that of their white counterparts, which heavily affects the black community and weighs down their ability to make wealth and leads to wider racial wealth gaps comparable to those pre the civil rights act.

The wage gap leads black people, due to making less and high-cost housing, to live in poorer neighborhoods, sometimes “the projects”, which are infested by crime and drugs due to the terrible social and economic conditions plaguing these communities.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, throughout the past two years, the unemployment rate of black men over 20 is more than double that of white men. Unemployment rates between black (7.72%) and white (4.51%) women over 20 are less severe but still vast.

This practically sets up black communities for a life that they are criticized and incarcerated for.

Incarceration ratios

The way life for black people is set up is reflected in terms of imprisoned population by ethnicity, the US does not try to hide its prejudice with 1,096 black prisoners incarcerated per 100,000 prisoners while the white population only has 214 white prisoners incarcerated per 100,000 prisoners.

Black minors are just as heavily affected by systemic racism, only making up 15% of American minors; US minors comprise 35% of all juvenile arrests all over the country.

The justice system completes the circle by disproportionally imprisoning black people. How?

Sentencing disparities

We’ve already established that more black people are incarcerated than whites, but the judicial system is the one that put them behind bars, to begin with.

Black people mostly face a harsher sentence for the same crimes as white people, as black male offenders receive sentences 19.1% longer than similarly situated white counterparts. Non-sponsored departures also contribute to these disparities, as judges get to sentence prisoners at their own discretion, bringing color to a system not meant to see it.

Black males are 21.2% less likely to receive non-government-sponsored departures and variances than white males, and upon receiving one, their sentences are 16.8% longer than those of white males.

Before reaching the justice system, prisoners naturally go through the police force, but many don’t make it through, as police brutality claims countless lives, most of which, ratio-wise, are black.

Colored police brutality

Black people are nearly three times more likely to be killed at the hands of the police than white people in the United States.

Making up 12.8% of the population, black people, through data collected between 2013-2022, suffered 61 killings per one million people in the United States, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Data on nonfatal police brutality is lacking, but it surely constitutes a reflection and an augmentation of fatal police brutality, with the police force using force against suspects without any trial before a court of law, showing the extent of police brutality in the US to which no solution has been found.

Representation?

Black representation in private and public positions is definitely better than it used to be a hundred years ago, which is quite easy to calculate since there was none.

Today, those who claim to advocate black equity argue that representation is in a good state in America; however, representation is not necessarily serving the black population.

Current US Vice President Kamala Harris, upon serving as deputy district attorney and district attorney in Oakland, California, was behind mass incarceration of black people despite her ethnicity.

Former US President Barack Obama, though the first-ever black president in the history of the country, failed black people by not pursuing any efforts or policies to close the racial wealth gap, and under his administration, the racial unemployment rate gap had not improved since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The black people holding political positions are mere token individuals handpicked to serve the government’s goals of imperialism, not achieve the goals of black liberation movements and abolish the racist status quo.

Looking back at the past and comparing it to the present, one sees that the United States is basically just the same, except in the constitution. Though the situation may be better, hatred is rampant. Otherwise, protests would not have roamed the US with global support to demand racial equality and the protection of black lives.

Just a few days ago, in a scene similar to Fred Hampton’s killing, police broke into a young black man’s home at dawn and murdered him while he was on his sofa, where he was supposed to be safe, and this is a reflection of the past, showing that despite all self-proclaimed progress in the United States, the American population is still on square one, not having moved at all.

Desmond Tutu commemorated at Cape Town tribute

December 30 2021

Net Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

Days after his passing, Cape Town, South Africa celebrated the life of anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu.

From Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s commemoration ceremony in Cape Town

Cape town held Wednesday a musical in commemoration of anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, who passed away just a few days ago.

The service was held at City Hall as a tribute to Tutu, and it was attended by his family members and politicians. Many attendees wore purple in honor of the Nobel peace laureate’s renowned purple robes. He had been nominated for the prize in 1981, 1982, 1983 and finally won it in 1984.

The funeral was one of many events held to commemorate the South African icon known for his activism that knew no bounds, which he did not stop despite his old age.

He was one of the main figures to lead to the end of South Africa’s apartheid rule, under which black South Africans suffered at the hands of the white minority of the country.

Ahead of his funeral on Saturday, South Africans commemorated him all over their country, celebrating the life of the hard-working liberation fighter, who was also renowned for his criticism of human rights abuses across the world.

The late was a confidant and friend of South African leader Nelson Mandela.

He saw that the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation was similar to the liberation struggle against the South African apartheid government, comparing the two oppressive regimes, and taking a solid stance in favor of Palestine, which he eternalized in many of his addresses and articles throughout his life.

Tutu went as far as to urge the Episcopal Church not to invest in companies that support the Israeli occupation, and asked for a global boycott of “Israel”.

Despite limited numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commemorations appropriately celebrated the icon, with many South African artists attending and performing in a tribute to the late Archbishop.

The Mother of All Talkshows with George Galloway – Episode 132

December 29 2021

Critical Race Theory and America’s Fear of Reality

November 22, 2021 

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Reality and the Mind

Here is a story of a clash of ideas between two 18th-century thinkers, the Anglican Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753) and litterateur/curmudgeon Samuel Johnson (1709-1784). At this time, there was an argument over the nature of reality. Berkeley argued that what we know of reality is limited to the ideas the mind derives from our senses. It is not that there is no reality external to us, it is just that we can’t know it in and of itself. We can only be aware of it (including features such as solidity) as sensory impressions. This was misunderstood by folks like Johnson, who thought Berkeley was denying an  external, material world. He famously told his friend and biographer James Boswell that “I refute him [Berkeley] thus” and kicked a stone. 

Despite Johnson’s scorn, there is room to draw lessons from Berkeley’s insight. Almost all of us mingle belief with reality. That is, we assume that the ideas in our heads reflect reality faithfully. Most of the time the two do correspond well enough, at least at a mundane level, for us to get through our day. But the correspondence is not there all of the time, and this fact can get us into trouble. Yet, so powerful is the assumed melding of perception and reality that we rarely bother kicking the stone—which here stands in for seeking objective evidence of that apparent connection. Instead, we go with first impressions, automatically accept community or peer group judgments, or are committed to misleading ideologies. Having done so, confirmation bias sets in and we downgrade any suggestion that our views are inaccurate. 

If one is interested in examples of these sorts of problems, there are a number of good books to consult. One classic is Irving L. Janis, Victims of Groupthink (Houghton Mifflin,1972). Janis looks at such historical incidents as Kennedy’s decision to support the Bay of Pigs invasion and the misbeliefs that contributed to the U.S. war in Vietnam. One should also take a look at Madeleine L. Van Hecke, Blind Spots (Prometheus Books, 2007), which takes up such topics as thoughtlessness, “my-side bias,” and “trapped by categories.”

Part II—Critical Race Theory, Part 1

Today, we have an ongoing example of what happens when you mistake the ideas in your head for reality. It is the controversy that rages due to a purposefully distorted and fear-driven misrepresentation of critical race theory (CRT). CRT began as a field of academic study. This actually honed its accuracy as a social critique because, within the academic setting, it itself was open to critical analyses based on logic and evidence. What the theory posits is that, despite the reality that all human beings are biologically the same, “racism is institutionalized and is embedded in America’s history, legal systems, and policies.” 

There is plenty of historical evidence for this. The process of institutionalization began quite early. The U.S. Constitution, as originally promulgated, legalized slavery. That status lasted into the 1860s, by which time racial bias and discrimination were accepted aspects of white society. Even after slavery was officially done away with, popular racist attitudes stood firm. Thus, following a brief period of “reconstruction,” the federal government turned a blind eye to state-based laws and practices that affirmed the continuing legal nature of racial discrimination. That official myopia lasted until the 1960s.

Thus, for most of the country’s history, over 200 years, racism was an expression of the white majority’s belief in non-white, and especially Black, inferiority. Such a long-embedded belief system does not go away easily. Indeed, a more common move is to defend it as part of sacred tradition. Therefore it is, even today, an element in the American psyche. On this basis, CRT “critiques how institutionalized racism [still] perpetuates a caste system [white privilege] that is inherently unequal.”

Despite the relative ease with which CRT’s claims can be defended using an objective reading of U.S. history, it remains both disturbing and confusing to most white Americans. For instance, many conservative white people dismiss CRT as a cover for the failure of those Black Americans to better themselves by their own efforts. These conservatives point to their own immigrant ancestors, many of whom were unofficially discriminated against yet “made it” to a comfortable middle-class life. While there is some truth to these immigrant stories, the comparison they engender is a false one. The mostly European ancestors of white Americans were never legally enslaved, were not systematically discriminated against via legalized racist practices lasting for multiple generations, and thus were relatively quickly able to assimilate into the dominant white society. 

Some liberal white Americans have an even harder time with CRT. They often regard themselves as personally free of racism. They resent being seen as part of society’s racist problem by virtue of a white privilege they neither chose nor could have avoided. Structured into the institutions of their society, white privilege was simply there for them when they were born. 

Part III—Critical Race Theory, Part 2

A reaction to CRT based on emotion has caused it to become a major point of public contention in the nation’s never-ending culture war. Here is an example. On Tuesday, 2 November 2021, I went to vote for a number of local elected offices, including school board membership. As I was walking to the poll building, a woman came up and, shoving a flyer at me, said I must vote for this write-in candidate because she is “against teaching CRT to our children.” I asked her to explain CRT to me. She said, “I don’t know much about it” but showed me an handout allegedly used in a public school that traced episodes of institutional racism in the U.S. in the 20th century. When I pointed out to her that, as far as I could tell, the examples were all historically accurate she got flustered and declared, “It’s politics. We have to keep politics out of the classroom.” When I suggested that the decision by a school board to censor history is a political one, she turned around and walked away. A certain idea of CRT had taken residence in her head and resulted in the distortion of reality. She obviously never bothered to “kick the stone” in order to get at the truth of the matter.

This sort of episode is not unique. The syndicated columnist Will Bunch, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 7 November 2021, pointed out that in the recent Virginia governor’s election (won by the Republican candidate) “a surprisingly large number of Virginians [25% of voters] said they were energized [to vote Republican] by the out-of-nowhere rise of the perceived issue of critical race theory.” Bunch goes on to explain that a twisted notion of CRT has come to stand in for how the issue of racism is taught in the schools. He also noted that this same distorted notion is presented nightly by “Fox TV’s race-baiter-in-chief Tucker Carlson,” who also recently confessed “I’ve never figured out what critical race theory is, to be totally honest, after a year of talking about it.” Bunch concludes that the high-anxiety response to the idea of CRT in the schools is based on the fear that white children are being seduced away from “a traditional [white-dominated] American way of life.”

We can compare Will Bunch’s outlook with that of Marc Thiessen, a syndicated columnist who represents the hard right. How hard? Thiessen learned his trade as a speechwriter for George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, both arguably war criminals responsible for the unnecessary U.S. invasion of Iraq. 

Thiessen’s columns also appear in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and one concerning CRT was published on 12 November 2021. He also focuses on the Virginia voters’ concerns about race education in the schools. He sees as legitimate the fears and anger of some parents in Virginia’s Loudoun County  because the local teachers were allegedly exposed to CRT during a series of inservice sessions run by Equity Collaborative, (EC). EC is “a national consulting firm focused on helping schools, school systems, and youth development organizations create educational equity.” Thiessen accuses EC of using CRT to teach that “racism is an inherent part of American civilization.” He does not challenge the accuracy of CRT’s view, but assumes it is, in any case, a scandalous proposition promoting the notion that even the American school systems support “systematic oppression.” Thiessen cites support for his charge using isolated quotes and the complaints of parents upset with CRT. EC has taken note of the charges and responded with a posting on its web site which describes its activities in Loudoun County and the concepts that were taught to the teachers attending their sessions. 

Thiessen is also upset by what he describes as the “Left’s denial” that CRT is being taught to children in the schools. He says that the denial is “intellectually dishonest.” How so? Well, he asserts that America’s children are being instructed by teachers “trained in CRT to see everything through the prism of race.” He compares it to having all schoolchildren taught by “teachers trained in Marxist thought.” The truth is that most teachers report that they are not being pressured to integrate CRT into the curriculum, nor do they want it to be. As we will see below, these attitudes reflect the nation’s

tensions.

So Thiessen is wrong. CRT is not being pushed onto K-12 faculty or students. In fact, for most of the nation’s history, school systems have been doing just the opposite. Take a look at the interview with the historian Donald Yacovone published recently in the Harvard Gazette. Yacovone is an expert on the presentation of Black America in U.S. textbooks. He explains that the issues of slavery and subsequent discrimination and segregation of Black Americans were largely absent from textbooks and school lessons until the 1960s. “In the mid-1960s, textbooks began to change because attitudes and scholarship were changing in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement.” However, Yacovone points out that “even when textbooks are accurate, teachers have to be willing to teach it. We know there are many white teachers who are afraid of doing it. And you have to have school systems, both public and private, committed to doing this work and not to punish teachers for doing so.” He concludes that today such punishment is being carried out or threatened. Certainly this punitive approach was favored by some parents and educational administrators in Virginia.

Could it be that the backlash described by Will Bunch in Virginia is part of the effort to prevent teachers and school systems from teaching an accurate portrayal of the historical and contemporary influence of race in American society? And could it be that Marc Thiessen favors that suppression?

Part IV—Conclusion

There can be little doubt that traditional white America has always been deeply racist. As Yacovone concludes, “white supremacy precedes the origins of the United States. Every aspect of social interaction, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, was dominated by white identity, and white supremacy became an expression of American identity.” 

This attitude persisted without effective challenge for over 200 years. That was plenty of time for socially contrived beliefs about white supremacy to dominate over the reality of a shared human status of all races. A challenge (the kicking of the stone) finally came in the 1960s when a successful alliance of black and white progressives temporarily marshaled the political power to overcome racist resistance at the state and federal government levels. The result was the enactment of laws that banned discrimination in the public realm. However, a decade of progressive political victories could not be sustained on a foundation of 200 years of racist tradition, and by the 1980s a pushback by conservative whites began. We are still experiencing that effort today.

That pushback has exacerbated tempers in an already divided nation. Unlike those capable of original thinking, such as Berkeley and Johnson, the average person sees his environment largely through community or peer group judgments and ideologies. It is groupthink that is comfortable for most, so no fact checking seems necessary. However, CRT is just that: fact checking. The result is a potentially effective challenge to assumptions that rationalize white privilege. And the result of that is school board meetings with parents screaming their heads off.

WATCH: Israeli Authorities Demolish Palestinian Home in Lod

October 31, 2021

Israel demolished a Palestinian house in Lod. (Photo: via WAFA news agency)

Israeli authorities on Sunday demolished a Palestinian house in the Palestinian city of Lod inside Israel, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers, raided the al-Mahatta neighborhood in Lod and demolished the house, according to eyewitness reports. The house belonged to Ibrahim Touri, a Palestinian man who has Israeli citizenship, WAFA noted.

“The house demolition came under the Israeli pretext it was built without getting a permit from the Israeli government,” Touri told local media, according to WAFA.

In the 1948 war, about 957,000 Palestinians, or 66 percent of the Palestinians who lived in historical Palestine, were expelled and displaced.

The remaining Palestinians continued to live in their cities, which were inside Israel’s 1948 border. They were subsequently given Israeli citizenship.

The Palestinian community today makes up 21 percent of Israel’s total population of more than 9.3 million.

Palestinians in Israel have suffered discrimination from authorities, according to rights groups reports, and have seen many of their homes demolished under the pretext of not having the required permits – which is often not granted or takes a long time to be approved.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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Amazon, Google Employees: Crimes against Palestinians to Get ’Deadlier’ After Tech Giants Contract with ’Israel

October 13, 2021

Amazon, Google Employees: Crimes against Palestinians to Get ’Deadlier’ After Tech Giants Contract with ’Israel

By Staff, Agencies

Over 1,600 employees at tech giants Amazon and Google have urged their employers to pull out of a contract under which they will sell “dangerous technology” to the Zionist entity and its military and cut all ties with the regime over its atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Initially, more than 90 workers at Google and more than 300 at Amazon anonymously signed an open letter published by the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, demanding the termination of Project Nimbus, which will provide cloud services for the Tel Aviv regime.

“The technology our companies have contracted to build will make the systematic discrimination and displacement carried out by the ‘Israeli’ military and government even crueler and deadlier for Palestinians,” the employees said in the letter.

“We condemn Amazon and Google’s decision to sign the Project Nimbus contract with the ‘Israeli’ military and government, and ask them to reject this contract and future contracts that will harm our users,” they said.

They underlined the need for the two companies to stop contracting with any militarized organization in the US and beyond.

Project Nimbus is a $1.2bn contract awarded last April to Google and Amazon, which succeeded in beating out bids from Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM, to provide cloud services for the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime and its military.

There are fears that the technology would allow for further illegal surveillance of Palestinians and facilitate the expansion of the Zionist regime’s illegal settlements across the occupied territories.

“This contract was signed the same week that the ‘Israeli’ military attacked Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, killing nearly 250 people, including more than 60 children,” said the “employees of conscience,” referring to the ‘Israeli’ regime’s latest war on Gaza which occurred in May and lasted for 11 consecutive days.

“We cannot look the other way, as the products we build are used to deny Palestinians their basic rights, force Palestinians out of their homes and attack Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, actions that have prompted war crime investigations by the international criminal court.”

In another opinion piece posted hours later on NBC, two workers at the tech giants updated the number of signatories, saying that nearly 1,000 anonymous signatories at Amazon and more than 600 at Google have joined the campaign.

“Since we have no ability to guarantee that the technology we build won’t be used to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians, cutting the contracts entirely is the only ethical option left for our companies,” Gabriel Schubiner, software engineer and researcher at Google, and Bathool Syed, content strategist at Amazon, wrote in the article.

The two employees said they agree with the two companies’ stated commitment to ethics, but also pointed to their hypocrisy. “We want to work for companies that do more than pay lip service to ethical business practices,” they noted.

“Instead, our companies signed contracts that they knew would be highly controversial, yet relinquishes their ability to enforce their own publicly stated principles while attempting to deny workers our say in how our labor is used.”

“Israel” – Beyond Apartheid

September 30, 2021

See the source image

Source: Al Mayadeen

Fra Hughes

Many observers and organizations make parallels between the apartheid segregated Society of South Africa, the Jim Crow racial segregation laws of North America, and “Israel”.

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Apartheid (/əˈpɑːrt(h)aɪt/, especially South African English: /əˈpɑːrt(h)eɪt/, Afrikaans: [aˈpartɦɛit]; transl. “separateness”, lit. “aparthood”) was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South-West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s.

20 years on from the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, in conjunction with the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, held in Durban South Africa, where are we now?

The use of the law, in this case, an unjust and immoral law in South Africa by the minority white Dutch Afrikaans and the minority white British colonial invaders, was designed to keep white Europeans, in the ascendancy in South Africa.

Thirteen percent of the population who were white-ruled sixty-eight percent of the population who were black with an Asian community representing the remaining nineteen percent.

First, they ruled through a brutal military occupation, using the gun.

Then they ruled through a brutal racist government using repression and separation laws.

It was the use of apartheid laws that legalized and enforced a system of ‘separateness’. A system of dual apartness which left the races unable to socialize, congregate or work together as brothers and sisters, equal and indivisible under the constitution.

In South Africa, they legalized colonial white supremism through parliamentary statute, police enforcement, and judicial sentencing.

The first apartheid law passed in 1949 was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. This was followed by the Immorality Act of 1950 which made it illegal for many South Africans to marry or have sexual relations across racial lines.

The Pass laws were designed to force black people to live in designated areas, corralled as it were, like animals in a pen, thereby making them available as cheap labor for white farmers.

It was the coming to power of the African National Party in 1948 who created the apartheid laws and system of governing South African society, that reinforced the racial discrimination already self-evident in the country. A series of Land Acts gave more than 80% of the land to whites and banned Black crop sharers from working the land.

A series of discriminatory, racially biased laws, saw the permanent separation of the races, alongside a parallel system of separate transport systems, public lavatories, and housing districts.

In effect, the National Party which won the 1948 parliamentary elections on the slogan of Apartheid meaning ‘separateness’ created a privileged white minority class that used the indigenous black South Africans as a labor pool to work on the farms, clean their homes, as a subjugated underclass, kept in perpetual poverty, in appalling substandard housing units in shantytowns with poor education, poor health, and poor social provision.

Like all colonialists, they strove to keep the people apart by fomenting sectarian tensions between the regional ethnic groups in order to prevent a unified opposition to their racist endeavor. They encouraged black-on-black violence in the townships and in the countryside.

A land of milk and honey for the white supremacist colonial invaders beside a land of despair, oppression, and governmental indifference for the natives.

Apartheid lasted for 50 years in South Africa and only officially ended when the ANC, African National Conference which had historically opposed the apartheid system and fought a legitimate war against the unjust white only parliamentary system, finally came to power in 1993, when the majority of citizens were given the right to vote and they elected Nelson Mandela as the first Black President of the Republic of South Africa,

It can be claimed that not much has changed for the indigenous peoples of South Africa, While it is true they have a majority black representative government, the whites still own the land. White farmers still get rich while employing cheap black labor.

The captains of industry are still white although a new elite cadre of black politicians and civil servants may now live in gated (separate) communities, much of the pain of being poor, disenfranchised, and black has changed very little for so many.

A new black capitalist class also rides high above the black dispossessed workers and those who go to bed hungry.

Many observers and organizations make parallels between the apartheid segregated Society of South Africa, the Jim Crow racial segregation laws of North America, and “Israel”. The use of Israeli-only roads and Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank are prime examples of Israeli separation laws.

The discrimination against black African Americans is again reflective of the white European racism that underpins white American society. It is mirrored in the majority of the white legislator, judiciary, police, and army aficionados in power in American civil society and in the corporate, business, and banking sectors.

White Americans control the levers of power and influence, in the media as well as on Capitol Hill.

The continued destruction of black Afro American society through the widespread use of drugs, criminal gangs, poverty, underinvestment, governmental neglect, police brutality, judicial repression, are continued proof if it were needed, that a white European colonial mindset underpins discrimination and racial prejudice in societies where white Europeans want to maintain an internal hegemonic position of superiority which is then reflected in their foreign policies of exploitation and subjugation, in order to maintain white economic privilege in the countries of the EU, North America, Canada, and Australia.

All the countries I have mentioned above are guilty of genocide, racial intolerance, oppression, military adventurism, and ethnic cleansing.

Is “Israel” any different?

“Israel” is a white European colonial settler state.

It has followed all the steps taken by previous white European settler-colonial states such as South Africa, North America, Canada, and Australia,

It has colonized, subjugated, ethnically cleansed, and marginalized the indigenous populations of the country they have militarily conquered and supplanted.

“Israel” has its Nations state Law which many international observers see as a template for a Jewish only Israeli state that separates non-Jews and others from playing an active role in the state.

“Israel” now has usurped 85% of historic Palestine.

To me, apartheid is an abhorrent manifestation of a supremacist ideology that seeks to separate one from the other, to create disharmony, bitterness, hatred, and a divided dysfunctional broken society based on racial or religious purity.

“Israel” fulfills all these roles but it does so much more.

An apartheid state might use the law to discriminate. It may use the law to repress and isolate those it seeks to subdue but it doesn’t bomb kindergartens, schools, hospitals, and bakeries, does it?

It may have separate roads and separate housing areas but it doesn’t shoot countless children in the legs for throwing stones or bringing water to the kids resisting an illegal occupation, creating crippled boys, does it?

It does not shoot paramedics and leave the wounded to bleed out on the street to die, does it?

It does not murder physicists in another jurisdiction, indiscriminately bomb bridges and civil infrastructure in neighboring countries, does it?

It does not count the calorific intake of those it is legally responsible for, to break their will to resist, to withhold food, medicine, vaccines, fuel in order to impoverish and emasculate an entire population of 1.8 million people, does it?

It does not bomb neighboring countries that are not at war with it, deny building permits to the indigenous population while simultaneously dismantling their homes in a land you are illegally occupying, and forcing homes owners to destroy their properties. To detain citizens under Administrative detention, internment without trial. To murder, maim, imprison, torture, and kill at will with impunity, is this Apartheid? I think not. Yet these are the everyday actions of a rogue unaccountable state immune to international law and international sanctions, actively supported protected, and facilitated by the other white European ethnic colonies that Israel aspires to be.

“Israel” is Beyond Apartheid.

We must find a new way to describe “Israel” based on its everyday practices of Ethnic cleansing, murder, colonization, dispossession, and expansion.

We must call “Israel”, not an Apartheid State which it is, but an Ethno cleansing pariah genocidal rogue state, because that it was, it does? That is what it is. That is what we must call it.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Iranian President Pledges to Wipe Out Poverty, Discrimination during Sistan-And-Baluchestan Visit

September 03, 2021

Iranian President Pledges to Wipe Out Poverty, Discrimination during Sistan-And-Baluchestan Visit

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi visited the Islamic Republic’s remotest border province of Sistan and Baluchestan, where he pledged to wipe out poverty and discrimination as he talked to locals to get to understand the problems and challenges of living in the deprived province.

Raisi arrived in Sistan and Baluchestan on Thursday, marking his second unannounced visit since he became president, in what is widely regarded as his attempt to fulfill his campaign promise of uprooting poverty and wealth inequality.

He said living in huts due to poverty is not a desirable situation for the people of the area, stressing that any measure to improve the living conditions of deprived areas is an admirable deed for those behind the move.

While also paying a visit to the coastal region of Makran, Raisi described Makran coasts as a “national treasure”, and said more attention should be paid to the coastal region.

“We should develop a good mechanism for a production boom [in the region],” he said. “The issue of development of Makran coasts must be seen and followed in a special way.”

“If given the required attention, the Makran and Chabahar regions by themselves will increase the capacity of the province’s economic development and eradicate poverty in Sistan and Baluchestan,” Raisi added.

He also expressed joy over the unity he witnessed between Shias and Sunnis in the province.

Raisi continued his trip to different areas of Sistan and Baluchestan on Friday, when he promised to follow up on the people’s water issue in order to turn the “threat” and “problem” into an “opportunity” and resolve the underprivileged people’s problems with respect to drinking and agricultural water.

“We intend to pursue everything that is raised during provincial trips and inform people about the outcomes afterward,” he said.

Raisi noted that he was saddened over the issues faced by the people who live in huts in the suburbs, and said measures must be carried out immediately to address those issues by the end of the current Iranian year, which falls on March 20.

According to him, more power and privileges have been given to the governors of deprived provinces, including Sistan and Baluchestan, in order to resolve their problems more rapidly.

Raisi made his first unannounced visit to Iran’s key province of Khuzestan last Friday, only two days after the formation of his cabinet. There, he promised to launch a concerted campaign to tackle the province’s problems.

“People should know that in the administration, we will put solving the problems of the country in general and solving the problems of Khuzestan in particular on our agenda, and it seems that with the participation of the people, many knots will be untied,” he said upon arriving at the General Qasem Soleimani International Airport in Ahvaz city on August 27.

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Before They Preach to us about White Privilege

 

BY GILAD ATZMON

Stanford University study reveals: “Some 80% of (Jews of colour) respondents said that they had ‘experienced discrimination’ within Jewish settings, including synagogues, congregations, and Jewish spiritual communities.”
Stanford University study reveals: “Some 80% of (Jews of colour) respondents said that they had ‘experienced discrimination’ within Jewish settings, including synagogues, congregations, and Jewish spiritual communities.”

By Gilad Atzmon

 People who are familiar with the history of Zionism are aware of the rich history of White Jewish (AKA Ashkenazi) abuse towards Arab and Sephardi Jews in Israel. In the years after the creation of the Israeli state hundreds of babies went missing. Their parents, mostly Jewish immigrants from Yemen, were told their children had died, but suspicions linger that they were secretly given away to White Jewish childless families. The Israeli government approved earlier this year a NIS162 million settlement with the families of these ‘vanishing’ children.

Volunteering the Israeli population as guinea pigs wasn’t invented by Netanyahu or/and Pfizer. Blood samples drawn from Yemenites Jews in the 1950s were tested to determine whether they had “Negro blood.” According to the Times of Israel “60 hearts were harvested from the bodies of new immigrants from Yemen post-mortem for purposes of medical research, in a project purportedly funded by the US.” Also in the same period, the Jewish state irradiated children who arrived from North Africa and the Middle East en masse in an attempt to fight ringworm. In the years to follow many of these children died from cancer. In 1995 the Israeli government decided to compensate the victims and families of the Ringworm Affair.

In the late 1950-1960s Jewish immigrants from Morocco were sprayed with DDT as soon as their feet touched the ‘promised land.’ For them, this bitter departure was merely an introduction to decades of abuse and humiliation that is still taking place.

It took the Israeli Government more than a few decades to lift its 1977 ban preventing Jews from Ethiopia donating blood.  This late immigration wave of African Jews sent their children to serve in the army and to die for Israel but apparently their blood wasn’t as good as their fellow Israelis.

The Yemenites, Moroccans and Ethiopians have something in common. They are ‘Jews of colour,’ not exactly the most privileged Jews in Israel. Just slightly above the Palestinians and the African non-Jewish immigrants.  Some anti-Zionists may insist that this is exactly what we should expect from a racist criminal State. However, the fate of American Jews of colour isn’t any better, in fact it is far worse.

The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday on a study conducted by researchers at Stanford University that delved into the experiences of American Jews of Color. The new report titled Beyond the Count revealed large and systemic discrimination and scrutinization based on race in the Jewish Society.

The data was gathered at Stanford University by a multi-racial team of researchers, with over 1,118 respondents participating. It revealed that “Some 80% of respondents said that they had ‘experienced discrimination’ within Jewish settings, including synagogues, congregations, and Jewish spiritual communities.”

“Additionally, respondents indicated that they had previously experienced an increased sense of awareness regarding how others perceive them because of either their race or their Jewishness.” Some participants admitted they found it “more difficult for their identities to co-exist in predominantly white Jewish spaces than in Black indigenous people of color spaces.” Furthermore, 44% said they had changed how they dress or speak in white Jewish spaces, and 66% reported feeling “disconnected from their Jewish identities at times.”

I wouldn’t dare to ask Jews or anyone else to morph, to become more tolerant or harmonious, as that is not my task in life. I wouldn’t expect anyone who upholds racist and/or white supremacist views to change their spots. I just expect Jews in general and Jewish institutions (such as the ADL or AIPAC) in particular, to look in the mirror twice before they preach to us about ‘race’ in general or white privilege in particular.  

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Russia’s position at the seventy-sixth session of the UN General Assembly

August 05, 2021

Russia’s position at the seventy-sixth session of the UN General Assembly

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4834791

1.      The goal of the 76-th session of the UN General Assembly (GA) is to reaffirm the central and coordinating role of the Organization in international affairs. Owing to its representativeness and universality, the UN is rightfully viewed as a unique platform for an equitable dialogue aimed at reaching compromise solutions with due regard to different opinions. Attempts to undermine the authority and legitimacy of the UN are, in our view, extremely dangerous, as they can lead to the dismantlement of the multipolar system of international relations.

2.      We have consistently advocated the strengthening of the genuine multilateral framework of international relations and world economy based on the norms of international law, including the UN Charter, with an emphasis on the unconditional respect for the sovereignty of States and non-interference in their internal affairs. We deem unacceptable the attempts of Western States to replace the universally recognized international legal principles with the so-called “rules-based world order” elaborated behind the scenes.

3.      We support the coordinated efforts of the international community to curb the spread of the new coronavirus infection as well as to mitigate its consequences in the political, health care, social and economic sectors. In this regard, we consider it unacceptable to politicize the issue of COVID-19 dissemination. We also stress the importance of showing unity and solidarity among all Member States and organizations of the United Nations system in the face of a common challenge. Russia stands for a gradual return to the face-to-face format of events at the UN as the epidemiological situation in the world improves.

4.      Preventing conflicts and addressing their consequences is our first priority. However, effective international assistance in this sphere, including from the UN, is only possible with the consent of the States concerned and in line with the UN Charter. This applies equally to good offices, preventive diplomacy and mediation, which should be conducted impartially and with respect for the sovereignty of States. It is crucial that there should be no universal “conflict indicators”: each situation calls for a delicate and unbiased approach as well as a thorough search for a tailored solution that would take into account the roots and history of the conflict.

5.        We believe that the goal of the UN Security Council reform is to increase the representation of developing States from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Council without prejudice to its effectiveness and operational efficiency. Efforts to identify the best reform model, which would enjoy consensus or at least the support of the overwhelming majority of Member States, should continue in the current format of Intergovernmental Negotiations. The prerogatives of the UNSC permanent members shall not be subject to revision. The veto power is a unique tool that encourages the necessary compromises and allows the Council to reach well-considered and balanced decisions.

6.        We support realistic initiatives to revitalize the work of the UN General Assembly within the relevant Ad Hoc Working Group. We attach particular importance to fine-tuning the UNGA working methods, streamlining its overloaded agenda and strengthening multilingualism. Any innovation should be reasonable and correspond to the current needs. Any redistribution of the powers of other statutory bodies, especially the Security Council, in favour of the General Assembly is unacceptable.

7.      We support increased cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in line with the UN Charter, first and foremost, its Chapter VIII. The activities of regional associations, according to the UN Charter, should be in conformity with their objectives and principles. It is essential to further enhance partnership between the UN and such organizations as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the BRICS and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The biennial resolutions on cooperation between the UN and the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO, uunanimously adopted at the previous 75th UNGA Session, prove the relevance of this task.

8.      The distortion of history and revision of the outcomes of World War II are unacceptable. We attach particular importance to the annual UNGA draft resolution on Combating Glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and Other Practices that Contribute to Fuelling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. This document has traditionally enjoyed the support of the majority of UN Member States. We call on the delegations that abstained or voted against this initiative last year to reconsider their position.

9.      The destructive policies of certain extra-regional players in the Middle East and North Africa are clearly part of a global strategy to destroy the UN‑centric architecture established after World War II and replace it with a completely illegitimate “rules-based world order”.

We support the international legal parameters for resolving conflicts in this region agreed upon at the UN and implemented solely through political and diplomatic means. Our proposal to create a regional security architecture in the Persian Gulf and, in the longer term, throughout the whole Middle East remains on the table.

10.      One of the top priorities in the Middle East is the Syrian settlement. Achieving lasting and long-term stabilisation and security in the country is only possible through the full restoration of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its national territory. The continuation of the fight against international terrorist groups recognized as such by the UN Security Council remains critical.

On the political track, we support the promotion of a Syrian-led settlement process implemented by the Syrian people themselves with the UN assistance, as provided for in UNSC resolution 2254. We have consistently supported the relevant work of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, Geir Pedersen, but also stressed that his efforts should not go beyond the mandate defined by the Security Council.

There is growing concern about the significant deterioration of the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the Syrian Arab Republic against the backdrop of tougher unilateral sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic. We call on responsible members of the international community to refrain from politicising purely humanitarian issues and render assistance to all Syrians in coordination with Damascus, provide for sanctions exemptions for reconstruction projects and facilitate the return of refugees and IDPs.

11.       We are convinced that one of the foundations for establishing peace and security in the Middle East is the revival of the Middle East settlement process with the resolution of the Palestinian problem at its core.

We attach key importance to preventing an escalation of violence between Palestinians and Israelis and to providing extensive humanitarian assistance to those affected and in need in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the same time, we advocate for the restart of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on all issues concerning the final status on the universally recognized international legal basis, including a two-State solution. We call on the parties to show restraint, to refrain from unilateral steps and provocative actions (forced evictions, expropriation of houses and land, settlement construction, arbitrary arrests and any forms of violence) as well as to respect the special status and integrity of the Holy Sites of Jerusalem.

We consider it imperative to step up efforts within the framework of the Middle East Quartet, including its interaction with regional actors. We support the arrangement of a Quartet meeting at the ministerial level.

12.    We believe that there is no alternative to a political settlement in Libya. We highlight the need to take into account the views of all Libyan sides, including while planning for international assistance aimed at putting an end to the conflict. We engage with all parties and call for an early cessation of hostilities and the restoration of sustainable and integrated state institutions, including security agencies.

We support the observance of the ceasefire and a political and diplomatic settlement in Libya. All influential political forces should be heard and involved in the political life of the country. We welcome the formation of the Government of National Unity aimed at making arrangements for the national elections scheduled for December 2021. We encourage Libyan actors to seek compromise and to establish strong and effective unified authorities. We support the activities of Special Envoy Ján Kubiš.

13.    We advocate for the cessation of hostilities in Yemen, which exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation in the country. We urge the States involved to engage in the dialogue with a view to reaching a comprehensive settlement which would be accepted by all stakeholders in Yemen.

14.    We support the Iraqi leadership’s efforts to stabilize security situation and implement long-term social and economic reforms. We emphasize the significance of the forthcoming parliamentary elections. It is important that they contribute to bridging the divide between various ethnic and religious groups and political forces. We welcome the dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil. We believe that Iraq should not be subject to external interference and become an arena for regional rivalries.

15.    We consistently pursue the policy aimed at facilitating the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan. We provide assistance in building a country free from terrorism and drug-related crime. We are seriously concerned about the continuing influence of ISIS in the north and north east of the country as well as the threat of the spillover of terrorist activities into Central Asia and the use of a deteriorating domestic political environment to undermine the peace process. Together with our partners within the “Troika Plus” and with the participation of both Afghan negotiating teams we are working to advance national reconciliation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We attach particular importance to regional co-operation, primarily through the SCO and the CSTO. We note the continuing relevance of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan. We support the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

16.    There is no alternative to the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, enshrined in UNSC resolution 2202, as a framework for the internal settlement in Ukraine. Effective international assistance, including through the UN, should be aimed at implementing this decision and supporting the current settlement format, which includes the Contact Group in Minsk and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

Sustainable political and diplomatic settlement of the internal crisis in Ukraine can only be achieved through a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass, while taking into account the legitimate demands of all the regions of Ukraine and its linguistic, ethnic and sectarian groups at the constitutional level. We will continue to actively assist in addressing the acute humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, which has persisted for many years and was brought about by the actions of the authorities in Kiev.

We insist on a full, thorough and independent international investigation of the MH17 plane crash over the Ukrainian territory based on irrefutable facts and in line with UNSC resolution 2166. Neither the technical investigation into the causes of the Malaysian Boeing crash conducted by the Dutch Safety Board nor the criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team meet these criteria.

We expect that all cases of violence against civilians and journalists that have occurred since the beginning of the internal crisis in Ukraine will be investigated fairly and impartially, and that all those responsible will be brought to justice.

17.       The territorial status of Crimea was definitively determined by the Crimean population itself during a referendum in March 2014. Any discussions on the situation in this Russian region that do not involve its residents bear no relation to reality. This issue as well as the situation around the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, which lies within the scope of the Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relations, cannot be part of the UN-led discussion on the developments in Ukraine.

We condemn the efforts of the Ukrainian delegation to introduce the Crimean issue in the UNGA through a politicized resolution on the “militarization” of the peninsula as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.           The resolution is built on groundless, unacceptable accusations against Russia and is intended to put the blame for all of Ukraine’s internal problems on the mythical “Russian aggression”. The document contains Kiev’s twisted interpretation of the provocation it carried out on 25 November 2018, when three Ukrainian vessels attempted to enter the Kerch Strait without first notifying the Russian side. The allegations on the alleged militarization of Crimea and parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov contained in the aforementioned resolution also contradict the truth.

In case this odious draft resolution is again introduced in the UNGA, we call on all States to vote firmly against its adoption.

18.    The implementation of the trilateral statements of 9 November 2020 and 11 January 2021 is a priority for normalizing the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area. We consider it useful to involve UN agencies and in particular the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in humanitarian activities in the Russian peacekeeping operation area. The parameters for their possible work should be agreed upon in direct coordination with Baku and Yerevan.

19.    The problem of the Korean Peninsula should be resolved by political and diplomatic means. Building up sanctions pressure is counterproductive. The creation of a new security architecture in North-East Asia that would take into account the legitimate interests of all States in the region, including the DPRK itself, is key to achieving the settlement of this issue. Various Russian-Chinese initiatives, including the relevant “Roadmap’, the “Action Plan” and a UNSC political resolution are all important tools in this regard.

20.    The early restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed at settling the situation with the Iranian nuclear program is a priority task. We call on the US to return as soon as possible to full compliance with UNSC resolution 2231 and to implement the JCPOA, including through lifting the unilateral anti-Iranian sanctions imposed after the withdrawal of Washington from the “nuclear deal”.

21.    The solution to the Cyprus issue should be elaborated by the Cypriot communities themselves without any external pressure. Russia is guided by relevant UNSC resolutions which call for the formation of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single international legal personality, sovereignty and citizenship. The existing security guarantee system has become obsolete, is no longer able to alleviate the concerns of the parties involved and should be replaced with the guarantees from the UN Security Council.

22.    Russia fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the principle of equality of the three state-constituting peoples and the two entities with broad constitutional powers in full compliance with the 1995 Dayton Accords. In this context, we strongly disagree with the so-called appointment of a new High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council. Without the UNSC approval this decision has no executive force. Moreover, the abolition of the Office of the High Representative is long overdue.

23.    The settlement of the Kosovo issue should be based on international law, first and foremost on UNSC resolution 1244. Belgrade and Pristina should come to an agreement themselves, while the task of the international community is to help the parties find mutually acceptable solutions without external pressure. The EU, as a mediator in the dialogue in accordance with UNGA resolution 64/298 of 9 September 2010, should seek to ensure that the parties implement the agreed decisions, primarily, the establishment of the Community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo (the CSMK; the agreement reached in 2013 has still not been implemented). We support the work of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

24.    Internal disputes in Venezuela can only be resolved by the Venezuelans themselves, through a broad and direct dialogue and with full respect for the country’s Constitution. Effective international cooperation is possible only if it is aimed at supporting such a dialogue.

The illegal unilateral coercive measures imposed against Venezuela undermine the efforts of the Venezuelan authorities to effectively combat the pandemic, as well as impede the normalization of the humanitarian situation in the country and the improvement of the migration situation in the region. Humanitarian assistance should be provided without politicisation and in accordance with the UN guiding principles enshrined in UNGA resolution 46/182.

We will continue to oppose any attempts to question the mandates of Venezuela’s official delegations at various international organizations.

25.    We learned with deep sorrow the news of the assassination of the President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse. We have been closely following the investigation into this crime. We are seriously concerned about information regarding the involvement of foreign nationals, including from the US and Colombia, in this brutal murder. This indicates that once again external forces are trying to exploit the purely internal conflict to promote their destructive interests.

We are convinced that the only way to normalize the situation in the country is to reach broad internal political consensus in strict conformity with the universally recognized norms and principles of international law. It is important that all decisions should be taken through peaceful political means by the Haitians themselves, with international support but without destructive external interference in order to elaborate solutions acceptable to the opposing parties.

26.    The Final Peace Agreement is the international legal basis for the settlement in Colombia. This document made it possible for the UNSC and the UN Secretary-General to support the peace process. Unilateral attempts to alter the substance of its provisions are unacceptable. Comprehensive sustainable settlement in Colombia is impossible without involving the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the peace process.

27.    We call on all parties to the conflict in Myanmar to put an end to violence and launch a constructive dialogue in order to move towards national reconciliation. International community should avoid politicising the issue, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign State and abandon sanctions threats. We emphasize the ASEAN special role in the peace process. The current situation in Myanmar does not pose any threat to international peace and security, thus the only issue on the UNSC agenda in this context should be the situation in the Rakhine State.

28.    We support the aspiration of India and Pakistan to normalize relations in the context of the situation in the Kashmir region. We hope that a new escalation along the line of control will be prevented. Only direct negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad can form the basis for a long-term settlement of this sensitive issue.

29.    We believe that conflict settlement in Africa should be based on a leading role of the countries of the African continent and supported by the international community. We call for the strengthening of cooperation between the UN and the African Union as well as the continent’s sub-regional organizations. As a permanent member of the UNSC, we will continue to facilitate a political resolution of the crises in the CAR, the DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Sahara-Sahel region as a whole.

We are firmly committed to actively supporting the efforts of the CAR authorities to improve governance and provide security on the basis of the 2019 peace agreement. At the same time, we will keep engaging constructively with all responsible stakeholders that support stabilisation in the country.

In cooperation with like-minded partners, it is important to assist Sudan in implementing the tasks of the transition period. We insist that the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) should always take into account the views of the authorities in Khartoum.

We stand for in an early normalization of the situation in the Ethiopian region of Tigray. Restoring stability in Ethiopia is certain to have a positive effect on the entire Horn of Africa. We consider the decision of the Federal Government of Ethiopia to establish a ceasefire in the region a step in the right direction. We call on all those involved to support this initiative of the authorities in order to stop the bloodshed and improve the humanitarian and social and economic situation.

30.    The UNGA Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) will remain relevant until a definitive solution to the issue of all 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories is reached. We will continue to actively participate in the work of this body.

31.    UN peacekeeping should fully comply with the basic principles of the UN work in this area (consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force, except for self-defence and defence of the mandate) as well as with the UN Charter. The primary task is to promote political settlement of conflicts and national reconciliation. The adaptation of UN peacekeeping operations to contemporary realities should be implemented in strict accordance with the decisions agreed upon in the intergovernmental format. This includes, inter alia, the issues of “peacekeeping intelligence” and the use of new technologies, which should serve the sole purpose of ensuring peacekeepers’ safety and protection of civilians. Vesting peacekeeping operations with additional powers, including with respect to the use of force, is only possible upon a UNSC decision that takes into account the specific situation in each country.

The UNGA Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) should be responsible for defining the further development of UN peacekeeping activities.         Peacebuilding and peacekeeping are inextricably linked and based on the principle of national ownership in prioritising post-conflict reconstruction and development. International support should only be provided upon request of the host government and be aimed at enhancing the States’ own capacity.

32.    The UNSC sanctions, as one of the strongest instruments of ‘targeted action’ to tackle threats to international peace and security, should not be abused. As a measure of last resort in the area of conflict resolution, they cannot be applied without first taking into account the full range of their possible humanitarian, social and economic and human rights consequences. It is unacceptable to use them as a means of unfair competition and pressure on “undesirable regimes”. The functions of the existing institution of the Ombudsperson should be expanded to protect the interests of all the entities on the Security Council sanctions list. It is unacceptable to supplement Security Council sanctions with unilateral restrictions, especially those of an extraterritorial nature.

33.    We believe that all Member States should join efforts in the fight against terrorism, with the UN playing a central coordinating role. We firmly reject any double standards or hidden agendas in this area. We are convinced that the issue of terrorism should be addressed through the implementation of the relevant universal conventions and protocols, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant UNSC and UNGA resolutions.

Support for the counter-terrorism bodies of the United Nations system, first and foremost the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), remains a priority. We advocate for the expansion of the UNOCT financing from the UN regular budget. We also intend to increase our voluntary contributions to the Office and call on other Member States to do the same. We believe that law enforcement and prevention-oriented initiatives should remain at the core of the UNOCT programme and project activities.

We consider it critical to make greater use of the tools of the specialized subsidiary UNSC bodies, primarily its Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the sanctions committees on ISIL, Al-Qaida and the Taliban Movement. We are committed to a constructive dialogue with regard to the review of the mandate of the CTC Executive Directorate.

We call for ensuring full compliance with UNSC resolutions against the financing of terrorism, as well as with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

We intend to step up efforts to cut off weapons, financial and material support for terrorists, to stop the spread of terrorist propaganda, including through the use of modern information and communication technologies, and to eliminate links between terrorist groups and drug trafficking and other organized crime groups. It is necessary to strengthen cooperation between countries in countering foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and bringing them to justice more quickly.

We oppose the dilution of the international legal framework by non-consensual concepts, such as “countering violent extremism“, which allow for the interference in the internal affairs of States and the reorientation of international cooperation on counter-terrorism towards secondary gender and human rights issues. We believe it necessary to enhance efforts to combat various manifestations of extremism, including right-wing radicalism, while countering attempts to use this issue for political purposes and as an excuse to increase anti-Russian sanctions pressure.

34.    We strongly oppose the revision and weakening of the current international drug control system, including by legalising all recreational (non-medical) drug use, as well as imposing questionable drug treatment practices as a “universal standard” and promoting drug use as a socially acceptable norm.

We advocate the strengthening of the policy-making role of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in the area of drug control. We intend to further continue to actively oppose efforts aimed at creating and institutionalising mechanisms that duplicate the CND work, and at imposing an alternative strategy for addressing the world drug problem bypassing the CND. We emphasize the need for States to strictly comply with the international anti-drug conventions. In view of the re-election to the CND for the period of 2022-2025, the Russian Federation will continue to promote a consistent line on the Commission’s platform as well as in negotiating the resolutions and decisions of the 76th UNGA Session.

We are concerned about the drastic deterioration of the drug situation in Afghanistan and its possible projection into increased smuggling of opiates into Russia and Central Asian countries. In the context of the withdrawal of NATO troops from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, international and regional anti-drug efforts, such as the Paris Pact, the SCO, the CIS, and the CARICC, are of particular importance. We believe that consistent, effective anti-drug efforts by the Afghan leadership based on the principle of common and shared responsibility of States, are essential for achieving security in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

35.    We support the key role of the United Nations in consolidating international efforts to combat transnational organised crime. We note the importance of an impartial Mechanism for the Review of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. We advocate strengthening the legal framework of international cooperation, including the development of new international legal instruments in a number of areas, including cybercrime, asset recovery, extradition and mutual legal assistance.

36.    We facilitate the development of the international anti-corruption cooperation, with the UN playing the central and coordinating role, based on the unique universal agreement, the UN Convention against Corruption (CAC). We support the effective functioning of the Mechanism for the Review of the Convention Implementation. We welcome the results of the first UNGA Special Session against Corruption which took place in June 2021. We consider it important that the political declaration of the UNGA Special Session confirmed the existence of gaps in international law governing the return from abroad of assets obtained as a result of corruption offences. We emphasise the need to develop an international legal instrument on asset recovery under the auspices of the UN to complement the UN Convention against Corruption.

37.    We support the key role of the UN in consolidating joint efforts to ensure international information security (IIS). They should result in the elaboration and adoption under the UN auspices of universal and comprehensive rules of responsible behaviour of States in information space aimed at preventing conflicts therein and promoting the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for peaceful purposes.

We welcome the adoption of the consensus reports of the UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and the UN Group of Governmental Experts on IIS. We note the unique spirit of the constructive dialogue at these platforms.

During the 76th UNGA Session, we intend to introduce in its First Committee an updated draft resolution on “Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security” welcoming the successful conclusion of the work of both groups as well as the launch of a new Russia-initiated OEWG on Security in the Use of ICTs and ICTs themselves 2021-2025 (in accordance with UNGA resolution 75/240).

We assume that the new Group will ensure the continuity and consistency of an inclusive and truly democratic negotiation process on IIS under the UN auspices within a single mechanism. We call on all States to take an active part in the work of the OEWG 2021-2025 and contribute to building a fair and equitable IIS system.

In line with the relevant UNGA resolutions adopted at the initiative of the Russian Federation, we advocate for an early drafting, under the auspices of the UN, of an international convention countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes. The consensus modalities set out while preparing for the negotiation process in the relevant UNGA Ad Hoc Committee enable us to count on constructive and comprehensive participation of the entire international community in developing a universal and effective instrument to counter digital crime.

We call on our partners to support our First Committee draft resolution as well as to unequivocally endorse full implementation of the mandates of the new OEWG and the Ad Hoc Committee.

38. We have consistently advocated strengthening the existing treaty regimes and developing, through consensus, new arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (ACDNP) regimes. The UN and its multilateral disarmament mechanism should play a central role in this process. We are committed to ensuring the coherence and improving the performance of its three key elements – the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament and the UN Disarmament Commission – while unconditionally respecting the mandates of these forums.

We deem it necessary to counter any attempts to revise the existing disarmament architecture by means of unilateral coercive measures that bypass the UN Security Council.

The main focus of multilateral efforts and fundamentally new approaches to address the whole range of problems in the field of the ACDNP may be considered at a summit of the permanent members of the UN Security Council which Russia has proposed to hold.

39. We strictly comply with our obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and advocate for its early entry into force. We call on the eight states on which the launch of the Treaty depends to sign and/or ratify it without delay. We believe that the key destructive factor here is the position of the United States which is the only state to have officially refused to ratify the Treaty. We expect Washington to reconsider its approach to the CTBT.

40. We support the noble cause of shaping a world free of nuclear weapons. We make a substantial practical contribution to achieving this goal. However, we are convinced there is a need for a balanced approach that takes into account all factors affecting strategic stability, including disruptive US steps aimed at undermining the existing ACDNP architecture. We do not support radical initiatives on introducing an early nuclear weapons ban (namely, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, TPNW).

41. We consider the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to be the most important international legal instrument for ensuring international security and one of the pillars of the modern world order. Our common task is to prevent the final collapse of the system of international disarmament and arms control agreements that has been developed over decades and the regimes based upon them.

In this regard, we attach primary importance to the viability of the NPT. We call on all States Parties to make every effort at the 10th Review Conference postponed until 2022 because of the new coronavirus pandemic to strengthen the Treaty and to help achieve its goals rather than cause more controversy around it. The ultimate goal is to draft a document that would reaffirm the viability of the Treaty and the willingness of the States Parties to strictly abide by their commitments.

We fully support the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an international organisation that possesses the necessary authority and competence to monitor the observance of the non-proliferation obligations under the NPT through the application of Agency safeguards, which, in its turn, is an important condition for the States to exercise their right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

We believe that further development of the IAEA safeguards system serves to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, provided that it keeps intact the basic principles of verification – impartiality, technical feasibility, and transparency.

We are concerned about the recent tendency to politicise the IAEA safeguards system. As a result, claims are being made against States based on the ‘very likely/highly likely’ approach while deployment of nuclear weapons belonging to some countries in the territory of other formally non-nuclear States is being ignored.

The IAEA should not be turned into a nuclear disarmament verification tool, as this is neither a statutory purpose nor a function of the Agency. We believe that the participation of the IAEA Secretariat staff in the January 2022 Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Vienna is inappropriate.

42. We regard the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction held in New York on 18-22 November 2019 as a landmark event both in terms of ensuring stability and sustainability in the region and in the context of global efforts towards WMD non-proliferation. We intend to further support the idea of such conferences. We believe that efforts to elaborate a legally binding agreement on creating a WMD-free zone in the Middle East serve the interests of all states in the region.

We hope that the second Conference on the establishment of a WMD-free zone due to be held in New York in November 2020 but postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic will take place this year, which would allow to kick start a somewhat stagnant process.

43. We are confident that there is still potential for political and diplomatic settlement of the situation arising from the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) based on Russia’s initiative to ensure predictability and restraint in the missile sphere.

We intend to maintain a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of land-based intermediate-range or shorter-range missiles in regions where no similar US-made weapons would appear. Despite the absence of a constructive response to this initiative on the part of NATO, we still consider a moratorium to be a promising idea that would make it possible to avoid new ‘missile crises’. We propose that the US and their NATO allies take on a similar commitment.

We reaffirm our commitment to the strict compliance with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (the New START) and welcome its extension for five years without any preconditions – something that the Russian Federation has long and consistently called for. The extension of this Treaty set the stage for resuming a comprehensive dialogue with the United States on future arms control and the maintenance of strategic stability. At the Russian-US summit in Geneva on June 16, 2021 it was agreed to launch such a dialogue in the near future, as reflected in the Joint Statement by the Presidents at the meeting.

We believe that the goal of this engagement is to develop a new ‘security formula’ that takes into account all major factors of strategic stability, covers offensive and defensive nuclear and non-nuclear weapons capable of meeting strategic challenges, as well as the emergence of new technologies and new weapons.

44. We highly commend efforts of the UN Security Council and its ad-hoc 1540 Committee on the WMD non-proliferation. We are determined to engage in a substantive and constructive dialogue in the framework of the comprehensive review of the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540. We expect that the procedure will result in the confirmation of the 1540 Committee’s current mandate.

45. Russia has initiated the development of important multilateral agreements in the ACDNP area, such as the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space Treaty (PAROS) and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Chemical and Biological Terrorism. We believe that a constructive dialogue on these issues will provide an opportunity to engage in substantive work (including negotiations) at the UN platform.

The imperative of preserving space for peaceful purposes and taking cooperative practical measures to this end is shared by the vast majority of States. We consider the globalisation of the no-first placement of weapons in outer space initiative to be an important but only interim step on the way towards the conclusion of an international treaty on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space on the basis of a relevant Chinese-Russian draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force against outer space objects.

At the 76th session of the General Assembly, we will traditionally submit to the First Committee draft resolutions on no first placement of weapons in outer space, transparency and confidence-building measures in space activities and further practical measures to prevent an arms race in outer space.

46. We consider it necessary to continue strengthening the central and coordinating role of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). We are against the practice of addressing issues that fall within the competence of the Committee at other non-specialised international fora. We are concerned about the trend towards the consolidation of unilateral approaches in the policies of certain States aimed at establishing of a regime for the research, development and use of space resources, which carries serious risks for international cooperation, including with respect to outer space.

We continue to actively engage in the work of COPUOS to improve the security regime for space operations. We have succeeded in establishing the Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities. The Group’s mandate is to implement the existing and develop new guidelines on long-term sustainability of outer space activities, which is of particular importance against the background of the rapidly changing environment in which space activities take place.

We are against moving the issues traditionally on the COPUOS agenda to parallel platforms, including the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, as part of the concept of the so-called ‘responsible behaviours in outer space’. Neglecting the Committee’s key role with regard to space debris and space traffic management may negatively affect the adoption of balanced consensus decisions in these areas.

We are in favour of the successful completion of efforts to develop the Space-2030 agenda and its implementation plan, with a view to presenting this document at the current session of the General Assembly.

47. We are in favour of strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention, the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, as well as the Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons.

In order to ensure the effective operation of this UN Secretary-General’s Mechanism, at the 76th session of the General Assembly we will submit a relevant draft resolution to the First Committee.

We come out against attempts by Western states to politicise the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in violation of the norms set in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). We regard as illegitimate their actions aimed at vesting the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW with the function of ‘identifying those responsible’ for the use of chemical weapons (attribution), including the creation of an illegitimate Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). We strongly disagree with its biased conclusions. We also have a whole range of complaints about the work of other OPCW inspection missions in the Syrian Arab Republic which violate the methods of investigation set out in the CWC. We urge the OPCW leadership to take action as soon as possible to rectify this deplorable situation.

We support impartial and highly professional investigations into chemical provocations by anti-government forces in Syria and all manifestations of ‘chemical terrorism’ in the Middle East in strict accordance with the high standards of the CWC.

48. We note the negative impact on international security of yet another destructive step by the United States – the decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies (OST) under the pretext of alleged violations of the Treaty by Russia. Alongside the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, as a consequence of which the Treaty ceased to have effect, this step is fully in line with Washington’s policy of destroying the whole range of arms control agreements and causes real damage to the European security system. The United States have upset the balance of rights and obligations of the States Parties to the OST, that is why Russia was forced to take measures to protect its national security interests and begin the procedure of withdrawal from the Treaty (to be completed by 18 December this year).

49. We continue to underline the unique role of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as a universal instrument creating a comprehensive legal regime for international cooperation of States in the World Ocean. We highly appreciate the work of such conventional mechanisms as the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Seabed Authority. We believe it is vital that they work strictly within their mandates under the Convention avoiding any broad interpretation of the competence granted to them or politicising their decisions.

50. The Russian Federation supports the work of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the main judicial body of the United Nations and is ready to assist the creation of conditions enabling its effective and unbiased functioning.

We closely follow the situation around the implementation of the provisions of the UNGA resolution of May 22, 2019 concerning the Chagos Archipelago, adopted in accordance with the relevant advisory opinion of the ICJ. We view the above-mentioned General Assembly decision in the context of the completion of the decolonisation processes.

Elections to the ICJ are planned for the autumn of 2023 at the Security Council and the 78th session of the UNGA. The Russian group in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) decided to nominate sitting judge K.Gevorgyan for re-election to the ICJ for the period 2024-2033. We are counting on the support of our candidate by the Member States of the Organisation in the forthcoming elections.

51. The Russian Federation facilitates the work of the International Law Commission (ILC) which contributes significantly to the codification and progressive development of international law. We believe that the UN should further build on its most valuable outputs.

In the autumn of 2021, during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, elections to the ILC are scheduled to take place. The Russian Federation nominated the current member of the Commission, Director of the Legal Department of the MFA of Russia E.Zagaynov, for re-election to the Commission for the period 2023–2027. We hope that the UN Member States will support our candidate in the upcoming elections.

52. The credibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is steadily declining. It is becoming more politically biased and one-sided. We note the low quality of its work and the lack of any tangible contribution to conflict settlement.

53. We underline that the mandate of the Residual Mechanism is strictly limited, and it is necessary to complete its activity as soon as possible. We have to acknowledge yet again that the Mechanism inherited the worst practices from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which is demonstrated by its consistent anti-Serbian attitudes. We monitor respect for the rights of persons accused and convicted by the Residual Mechanism. We do not consider it expedient at this point to establish new judicial bodies of this kind.

54. We continue to assume the legal nullity of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 established by the UN General Assembly acting beyond its authority. We object to the funding of the Mechanism from the UN regular budget and to the Mechanism gaining access to the archives of the OPCW-UN Joint Mechanism.

55. We continue to regard the issue of “the rule of law” with an emphasis on its international dimension, i.e. the primacy of international law, particularly the UN Charter. We continue to oppose attempts to use it to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign States under the pretext of strengthening the “rule of law” at the national level.

Given the confrontational incorporation of the permanent item “responsibility to protect” (R2P) in the UNGA agenda, we underline the loss of the consensual nature of this concept. We will continue to block attempts to legitimise it.

56. It is States that bear the primary responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights, while the UN executive structures are to play a supporting role. We believe that equal cooperation between States based on the rule of international law, respect for sovereignty and equality of States should be the main principle in the work of the United Nations to promote and protect human rights. It is inadmissible to duplicate the work of the main bodies of the United Nations through unjustified integration of the human rights agenda into all areas of the UN activities. We are against strengthening the link between the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the UN Security Council. We oppose attempts to reform the HRC in order to turn it into a quasi-judicial monitoring mechanism.

We consider it unacceptable to include politicised country-specific resolutions and topics outside the scope of their mandate in the agenda of United Nations human rights mechanisms. We condemn the use of human rights issues as a pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of States and undermining the principles of international law. It is in this light that we regard the resolution on the situation of human rights in Crimea, which, since 2016, has been regularly submitted to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly by the Ukrainian delegation. This document has nothing to do with the actual situation in this region of the Russian Federation. We will vote against this resolution during the 76th session of the UNGA, and we call on our partners to do the same.

The work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should become more transparent and accountable to the UN Member States in order to avoid politically motivated approaches to assessing human rights situations in different countries.

We will continue to promote intercivilisational, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and due respect for the diversity of cultures, civilisations, traditions and historical developments in the promotion and protection of human rights.

57. We strongly condemn all forms and manifestations of discrimination. The ban on discrimination enshrined in international human rights instruments is universal and applies to all persons without exception. We see no value added in defining new vulnerable groups (such as members of the LGBT community, human rights activists, bloggers) that allegedly require a special legal protection regime or new categories of rights. Such steps by a number of countries only lead to de-universalization of legal protection regimes and increased politicisation and confrontation within the UN human rights mechanisms.

58. Active practical work in the area of social development aimed at eradicating poverty, promoting social integration, ensuring full employment and decent work for all will facilitate effective implementation of the decisions adopted at the World Summit for Social Development and the 24th special session of the UN General Assembly.

We consider the UN Commission for Social Development to be the main UN coordinating body that develops framework for harmonised actions on general issues of social protection, ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, problems of ageing population, improving the situation of young people and strengthening the role of the traditional family. We resolutely oppose any initiatives that undermine its role, as well as the calls for its dissolution.

59. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) remains the main intergovernmental platform for discussion of a broad range of issues relating to improvement of the status of women and achieving gender equality in particular. We believe it is important to avoid politicization of these issues or their automatic inclusion into the UN documents focusing on other topics. Special attention in documents on improving the status of women should be devoted to social and economic rights, as well as social protection and support for women and their families.

We believe that gender equality issues should be taken into account in the work of the UN system in a balanced manner, without absolute prioritisation or selective use.

We commend the work of UN Women which should render assistance only within the framework of its mandate, upon request and with the consent of the States concerned. We will continue to interact actively with it within the framework of the Executive Board.

60. We reaffirm the need for strengthening international cooperation in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child on the basis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the outcome document of the 27th special session of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “A World Fit for Children”. We consider unacceptable attempts by a number of countries to deprive parents and legal guardians of their role in the upbringing of children and the development of their potential, including by granting young children autonomy in their decision-making. Programmes to support the family in its traditional sense, to ensure access to education and healthcare are important for the successful upbringing of children.

We devote close attention to the problem of children in armed conflict. We support the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and develop cooperation with her, including as part of the programme for repatriation of Russian children from Syria and Iraq.

61. We support discussion at the United Nations General Assembly of the problems of interreligious and intercultural interaction and the development of intercivilisational dialogue, especially within the framework of the Alliance of Civilisations (AoC). We regard the establishment of a culture of peace as an essential prerequisite for peaceful co-existence and global cooperation for the sake of peace and development.

We are actively preparing for holding the World Conference on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue (St Petersburg, May 2022).

62. We are ready for the cooperation on the UN agenda issues with all interested relevant non-governmental organizations. Their involvement in the work of the United Nations should take place within the framework of the established practice, which requires the obligatory consent of Member States. We encourage the adequate representation of the Russian non-governmental corps in the activities of the relevant segments, bodies and structures of the United Nations.

63. To overcome the consequences of migration crises affecting individual countries and regions of the world, global efforts are required under the central coordinating role of the United Nations.

We commend the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on ensuring more effective international protection for refugees and other categories of persons under its responsibility. We consider the work of the UNHCR particularly important in situations of major humanitarian crises.

Russia makes a significant contribution to international efforts to improve the situation of refugees, including by accepting forcibly displaced persons from Ukraine and also through programmes for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. Each year our country voluntarily contributes some $2 million to the UNHCR budget.

We reaffirm our commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which should form the basis of comprehensive long-term cooperation aimed at creating legal channels for migration and countering irregular flows.

Russia took an active part in the first meeting of the Global Refugee Forum. We expect that this platform will help to attract the attention of the international community to the problems of refugees and to consolidate efforts to implement the GCR.

We welcome the strengthening of the UN migration pillar under the coordinating role of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). We support a comprehensive approach of the UNHCR and IOM to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 among persons of concern. We are convinced that one of the effective measures to combat the pandemic should be large-scale vaccination of the population, including forcibly displaced persons.

We note the effectiveness of the UNHCR’s work with Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). We look forward to the world community pursuing a non-politicized approach in dealing with this issue and providing greater assistance in rebuilding infrastructure and ensuring conditions for their early return.

We appreciate and contribute, including financially, to the UNHCR’s efforts to address the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the internal Ukrainian crisis. We support the UNHCR programmes aimed at eliminating statelessness, in particular in European countries.

We are interested in the UNHCR facilitating the return of IDPs and refugees to Nagorny Karabakh and the surrounding areas.

64. We consider the Georgian UNGA resolution on the status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be counter-productive and to entail the risk of aggravating the situation “on the ground” and further stalling the Geneva discussions, which remain the only negotiation platform enabling direct dialogue between the representatives of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia. We also note that at a time when the Abkhaz and South Ossetian representatives are deprived of the opportunity to convey their position to the General Assembly because of the systematic refusal of the United States authorities to grant them entry visas, discussions in New York on the topic of “refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia” without their direct participation are meaningless.

65. We consistently advocate for the strengthening of UNESCO‘s international standing. We believe that the adaptation of UNESCO’s working methods to the emerging challenges, including in the context of the new coronavirus pandemic, should be in line with the intergovernmental nature of the Organisation and be based on unconditional compliance with the provisions of the UNESCO Constitution, rules of procedure and directives of the decision-making bodies.

We oppose to the artificial integration of human rights issues in UNESCO’s activities in order to avoid duplication of functions of other UN specialised agencies. We aim to increase the effectiveness of the Organisation by depoliticising it and removing from its agenda issues of territorial integrity and sovereignty that do not belong to it.

Russia contributes significantly to UNESCO activities. In 2022, Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, will host one of the largest and most significant UNESCO events – the 45th Anniversary Session of the World Heritage Committee, which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

66. We view cooperation in sports and the promotion of sport ideals worldwide as effective ways to foster respect and mutual understanding among nations.

We believe that politicisation of sports and discrimination of athletes, including Paralympians, in the form of collective punishment are unacceptable. We advocate the development of a universal system of international sports cooperation based on the principles of independence and autonomy of sports.

67.    In the context of international cooperation to address social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, we support intensified efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) as a holistic and balanced strategy to guide the work of the UN in the social, economic, environmental and related fields. We underline the integrated, non-politicised and indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with poverty eradication being the key objective.

We support stronger coordination between the UNGA and ECOSOC, including through the dialogue platform of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The HLPF is designed to serve as a forum that brings together all stakeholders, including members of the business community (not only NGOs), to review the progress made in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the global level. Russia’s first Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the SDGs presented in 2020 has been a significant contribution to these efforts.

We promote a balanced approach in the energy sector with a focus on ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy sources in line with SDG 7. We recognise the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while believing that it should be fulfilled not only through the transition to renewable energy sources but also through the introduction of advanced low-carbon technologies in the use of all types of energy sources, including fossil fuels. In this context, we advocate increased use of natural gas as the most environmentally acceptable fossil fuel, as well as the recognition of nuclear power and hydropower as clean energy sources due to the absence of a carbon footprint. In this spirit, we intend to ensure Russia’s participation in the High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021.

68.    We will continue to uphold the basic parameters for international humanitarian assistance outlined in UNGA resolution 46/182 and other decisions of the General Assembly and ECOSOC. We will oppose revision of fundamental principles, in particular the respect for the sovereignty of an affected state and the need to obtain its consent for assistance. We will continue to urge UN humanitarian agencies to act as “honest brokers” and base their work on carefully verified data about the humanitarian situation “on the ground”.

We are concerned about the worsening of humanitarian crises triggered by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As humanitarian needs grow considerably, we believe it crucial to avoid politicising humanitarian assistance.

69.    We condemn individual countries’ practice of imposing unilateral coercive measures contrary to the United Nations Charter and international law. We therefore support the idea of joining efforts of sanctioned countries in line with the Russian President’s initiative to create sanctions-free “green corridors” to provide countries with access to medicines and essential goods.

70.    We call for accelerated implementation of the Addis-Ababa Action Agenda decisions on financing for development in order to mobilise and make effective use of resources to achieve the SDGs.

We support the principle of prioritising the interests of international development assistance recipients. We offer assistance to interested countries based on a de-politicised approach, promoting domestic innovation and expertise.

We recognise the importance of reaching international consensus on global taxation, in particular in the fight against tax evasion. We support the increased intergovernmental cooperation in curbing illicit financial flows and repatriation of income generated from illegal activities.

71.    We oppose attempts by individual countries to reduce socio-economic development solely to the achievement of environmental protection goals, namely climate change. We see such a one-sided position as an indication of unfair competition and trade protectionism, which are inconsistent with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) principles of a universal, open, non-discriminatory multilateral trading system.

72.    We welcome the further strengthening of the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to achieve sustainable development of the United Nations.

We support the consolidation of UNEP’s role as the key universal intergovernmental platform establishing the integrated global environmental agenda.

We advocate greater efficiency and stronger financial discipline within UN-Habitat as part of the Programme’s structural reform implemented in accordance with resolution 73/239 of the General Assembly.

We stress the need for strict adherence to the principle of equitable geographical representation in the staffing of UNEP and UN-Habitat and the inadmissibility of politicisation of these programmes’ mandates.

73.    We stand for the continued leadership of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in coordinating international efforts to eliminate hunger, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. We will encourage these Rome-based organisations to engage in a closer inter-agency cooperation within the UN system in addressing these issues.

In practical terms, we are actively involved in preparations for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. We expect it to deliver a comprehensive analysis of optimal agri-food chain models to help eradicate hunger and improve food security, including the provision of healthy food for the population. We believe that commonly agreed and universally supported sectoral approaches and proposals should be reflected in the Summit outcome documents in a balanced way. We hope that the upcoming event will set the course for the transformation of global food systems, particularly in the context of overcoming the consequences of the new coronavirus pandemic, and give further impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

We pay careful attention to preventing the risk of a food crisis, namely in view of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to provide humanitarian food aid to countries most in need, first of all to those of the former Soviet Union, as well as in Africa and Latin America.

74.    We attach great importance to the work carried out by the UNGA to support the multilateral efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and overcoming its impact. We advocate a universal, equitable, fair and unhindered access to medical technologies as well as safe, high-quality, effective and affordable vaccines and medicines for the new coronavirus infection.

We consider increasing global preparedness and response capacity for health emergencies to be a priority task. We are ready for a constructive dialogue with all partners in the framework of the relevant formats. Yet we believe that the World Health Organisation (WHO) should continue to be the main forum for discussing global health issues.

We consistently support WHO as the focal point for the international human health cooperation. We call for enhancing the efficiency of its work through increased transparency and accountability to Member States.

75.    We will further strengthen the multi-stakeholder partnership for disaster risk reduction under the Sendai Framework 2015–2030. Amid the ongoing pandemic, we believe that special attention should be paid to building States’ capacity to respond to emergencies, including in health care.

76.    We seek to keep down the growth of the UN regular programme budget for 2022, as well as estimates for peacekeeping operations and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. We propose targeted and justified reductions in requested resources. Any requests for additional funding should first undergo careful internal scrutiny. At the same time, the Secretariat should step up its efforts to improve the efficiency of its working methods in order to minimise the associated costs of achieving UN’s objectives. We insist on stronger accountability, strict budgetary discipline and improved transparency in the Secretariat’s work.

77.    Ensuring parity among the six official UN languages in conference services and information and communication activities remains one of the priorities in our interaction with the Organisation’s Secretariat. The principle of multilingualism should be given primary consideration when implementing all media projects and information campaigns as well as allocating financial and human resources to the language services of the UN Secretariat.

Legalized Apartheid: The Israeli Supreme Court Just Cemented Jewish Supremacy into Law

July 16th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

JERUSALEM — In November of last year, an Israeli judge invoked the controversial Jewish Nation-State Basic Law when striking down a lawsuit against the city of Karmiel over funding transportation for two Palestinian students.

In his ruling, the chief registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court, Yaniv Luzon, said that establishing an Arabic-language school in Karmiel or funding transportation for Palestinian Arab students would “damage the city’s Jewish character” and may encourage Palestinian citizens of Israel to move into Jewish cities, thereby “altering the demographic balance.”

Luzon cited Section 7 of Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law, writing:

The development and establishment of Jewish settlement is a national value enshrined in the Basic Law and is a worthy and prominent consideration in municipal decision-making, including the establishment of schools and the determination of policies relating to the funding of [school] busing [of students] from outside the city.

The students’ father, Kasem Bakri, said of the judge’s decision, “The municipality treats my sons as guests in the best of times and as enemies in the worst of times.” The family was fined 2,000 shekels (roughly $600) and ordered to pay all of the court’s expenses.

The court ruling came just before a Supreme Court hearing on 15 petitions submitted by human rights organizations and Palestinian political leaders challenging the Nation-State Law in December. After only one discussion on the law, the high court last week rejected the petitions and upheld the 2018 law in a 10 to 1 decision.  The single dissenting opinion was from the only Palestinian justice on the court, Justice George Kara.

Swift condemnation of the Supreme Court’s decision

“The Israel Supreme Court approved a law that establishes a constitutional identity, which completely excludes those who do not belong to the majority group. This Law is illegitimate and violates absolute prohibitions of international law,” Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote in a press release. Adalah, one of the law’s petitioners, deemed this piece of legislation “a law that clearly shows the Israeli regime as a colonial one, with distinct characteristics of apartheid.”

Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid
Activists drop a banner reading “Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid” from atop the Israeli military court in Jaffa, July 12, 2020. Photo | Activestills

“The Supreme Court refrained from doing what was essential — to defend the basic right to equality,” Dr. Yousef Jabareen, chair of the Human Rights Forum in the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and a former member of the Knesset, said in a statement, adding:

The so-called ‘Jewish Nation-State’ law formalizes in Israeli constitutional law the superior rights and privileges that Jewish citizens of the state enjoy over its indigenous Palestinian minority, who comprise roughly 20% of the population.”

What is the Jewish nation-state law?

In 2018, the Knesset voted to approve the nation-state law by 62 to 55. The basic law essentially legalizes Israel’s apartheid nature and states the following:

  • Exercising the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
  • The name of the state is ‘Israel.’
  • A greater, united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The director of the land and planning rights unit at Adalah, Adv. Suhad Bishara, helped formulate Adalah’s petition against the nation-state law. “The overriding objective of the basic law is to violate both the right to equality and the right to dignity of the Arab citizens of Israel,” she said.

Additionally, the law promotes Jewish settlement and views it as a national value. It also demotes Arabic from one of the two official languages to a “special status.” With the nation-state law’s basic tenets, Palestinian history and identity are effectively erased from the land.

Emphasizing the law’s notion of Jewish settlement and demotion of Arabic, Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu — co-director of Abraham Initiatives, an Israeli nonprofit focused on Jewish-Arab partnership — said the legislation institutionalizes inequality between Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel. “It’s creating a situation in which, according to our basic laws, there is a sector in society that is not equal,” Be’eri-Sulitzeanu told MintPress News. “This is something that no democracy can allow.”

In a tweet, Abraham Initiatives advocated for repealing the law, writing that it “establishes the status of Arab citizens in Israel as second-class citizens.”

The nation-state law’s impact

Only a few years old, the nation-state law has already proven it can serve as a legal tool for discrimination and racial segregation.

The Bakri family in Karmiel sued the local municipality over their school transportation costs. Since there isn’t an Arabic-language school in Karmiel, the Bakri children were forced to travel nearly four miles to the town of Rameh for their education. According to the Bakris, the traffic often made the commute more than 30 minutes and cost the family 1,500 shekels (or roughly $460) each month. The family’s lawsuit requested reimbursement for their transportation costs totaling 25,000 shekels (about $7,683).

Nizar Bakri, the children’s uncle and the attorney who filed the lawsuit, condemned the magistrate court’s dismissal of the suit, saying, “The court’s decision wasn’t based on law; it was based on Jewish existence.” Following the ruling, Nizar Bakri filed an appeal with the Haifa District Court. The district court denied the Bakris’ appeal in February but determined the lower court’s reliance on the nation-state law was “fundamentally wrong” and “liable to damage the public’s trust in the courts.”

“The court may have unequivocally ruled that the registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court made a mistake in the use of the nation-state law and its connection to this case, but this ruling should not satisfy the opponents and victims of the nation-state law,” Nizar Bakri told Haaretz.

For Adalah’s Bishara, the district court’s opposition to the magistrate’s court’s use of the nation-state law is irrelevant when it comes to future court decisions, as the grounds for discrimination are officially embedded into law. She explained:

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s explicitly mentioned or not because it’s the legal, constitutional framework that’s there that sets the basic principles of supremacy and of the right to self-determination only for one national ethnic group in the state. This sends a very clear message to all the authorities that you can not only go on with what you have been doing so far in terms of violating the rights of the Palestinian citizens as individuals and as a group, but this will certainly give you more backing to deepen these policies.”

Bishara told MintPress that she anticipates the legislation will add another dimension to Israel’s ongoing discrimination and have huge implications for Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line — not just 1948-occupied Palestine. “Since it speaks about the land of Israel as the historic land of the Jewish people and Jewish settlement as a constitutional value, this combination of both becomes very problematic both in Israel proper and in the Occupied Territories,” she said.

Israel’s long list of discriminatory laws

Globally, the state of Israel touts itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” but Dr. Jabareen said the nation-state law “prioritizes the Jewishness of the state over its democratic character,” specifically in “omitting any reference to democracy or equality.” He added:

The nation-state law further marginalizes the Arab-Palestinian community and entrenches Israel’s regime of racial discrimination and deterioration into apartheid. It will lead to more racist, anti-democratic laws, adding to the more than 50 laws already on the books that disadvantage non-Jewish citizens.”

Eyal checkpoint Israel
Palestinian workers cross the Eyal checkpoint, January 10, 2021. Keren Manor | Activestills

According to an Adalah database, Israel has more than 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These laws encompass nearly every facet of daily life, from property and housing rights to citizenship and finances. The following are just a few notable examples:

  • The Admissions’ Committees Law, which permits towns built on state land to deny housing to Palestinians based upon the criterion of “social suitability.”
  • The Nakba Law, which bans groups or schools receiving government funding from commemorating Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians during the state’s founding (known as the Nakba or Catastrophe).
  • The Boycott Law, which prohibits calls to boycott Israel. This legislation effectively outlaws the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
  • The Absentees’ Property Law, which categorizes individuals who were expelled or fled their property after November 1947 as absentees and thereby having no ownership claims to their properties. However, Jews who lost property during this time are allowed to reclaim their land through the Legal and Administrative Matters Law. These laws are often used to displace Palestinian communities, as has been witnessed in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
  • The Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to all Jews. No law exists guaranteeing Palestinians the right to citizenship — even if they were born in what is now considered modern-day Israel.
  • The Citizenship Law, which bans citizenship rights to Palestinians living in the OPT who are married to Israeli citizens. Settlers living in the Occupied West Bank are exempt. Israel’s new government failed to extend the law this month, but reunification still remains a significant problem for many Palestinian families.

Codifying apartheid into law

While the principles outlined in the nation-state law have always been part of Israel’s foundation and way of governing, enacting this legislation turns these de facto concepts into de jure ones and opens the floodgates for further inequity.

“This nation-state law is validating racist behavior against Palestinian Arabs,” Kasem Bakri said.

Despite the controversial legislation remaining, Kasem Bakri is steadfast. “I exist here as an Arab person and I have the right to be here,” he said. “Palestinians exist here like the cactus and the olive trees. We will never be gone from here.”

Apartheid vs. Apartheid in the time of ‘wokeness’

Apartheid vs. Apartheid in the time of ‘wokeness’

June 02, 2021

By Remote Writer for the Saker Blog

Whose Apartheid is/was the worst? This analysis will focus on the severity of South Africa’s Apartheid and will touch on other forms of Apartheid too.  This article is motivated by The Saker’s call for action in seeking out the Truth, in his recent article: “Woke insanity: why is there so little pushback?!”

Before we proceed to South Africa, the following question is posed: What is/was the level of “Apartheid” (if any) in the following states/countries? Israel and Palestine (current/ongoing conflict); Ireland (Catholic and Protestant divisions in Northern Ireland); India (caste system); China (problems with ethnic minorities); Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador (Quality of life and education for indigenous peoples versus that for Europeans), Middle East (Sunni and Shia divisions); the formation and breakup of Yugoslavia; “Safe Spaces” for Woke?

Bearing that in mind, we now turn our attention to the Apartheid of South Africa (then and now).

The claim is often made that South Africa’s Apartheid was uniquely evil under the Afrikaners/Boers and that nobody could hold a candle to them (except perhaps Israel). First, we need to look at the definition of Apartheid. There are two definitions for it. When people refer to Apartheid, the first definition [below] is the one they usually refer to:

1. The term “Apartheid” was officially named a crime against humanity in 1966 by the United Nations General Assembly. The U.N. defined Apartheid as “inhumane acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group over persons of another racial group and systematically oppressing them.” The National Security Council adopted a stance against Apartheid in 1984 as a criminal act (Resource 1).

2. The Afrikaner government who were the originators of the term “Apartheid”, defined it differently. For them it was based on the parallel (separate) development of the different nations within South Africa:

“My point is this that, if mixed development is to be the policy of the future of South Africa, it will lead to the most terrific clash of interests imaginable. The endeavors and desires of the Bantu and the endeavors and objectives of all Europeans will be antagonistic. Such a clash can only bring unhappiness and misery to both. Both Bantu and European must, therefore, consider in good time how this misery can be averted from themselves and from their descendants.

They must find a plan to provide the two population groups with opportunities for the full development of their respective powers and ambitions without coming into conflict. The only possible way out is the second alternative, namely, that both adopt a development divorced from each other. That is all that the word apartheid means.”

– Speech of the Minister of Native Affairs, 5 December 1950, South Africa

It is often stated that Afrikaner leaders were the architects of Apartheid, but about 80% of the segregation laws for the Apartheid policy were already in place (in some form or another) before Apartheid was created (Resource 2). Those foundational segregation laws were promulgated by the Dutch and British colonial powers prior to the Afrikaners coming into power in 1948 (Resource 14).

The Apartheid policy (its reasons and objectives), as it developed, was openly and transparently communicated to local and international audiences by way of press releases, newsreels (Resource 3), and documents made available by South African foreign missions abroad. Here is an excerpt from one such document, a booklet titled, ‘Progress Through Separate Development – South Africa in Peaceful Transition’:

Cannot you understand us fighting to death for our existence? And yet we do not only seek and fight for a solution which will mean our survival but seek one which will grant survival and full development, politically and economically to each of the other racial groups as well, and we are even prepared to pay a high price out of our earnings for their future.” “We prefer each of our population groups to be controlled and governed by themselves, as nations are. Then they can cooperate as in a commonwealth or in an economic association of nations where necessary. Where is the evil in this?” (Resource 4)

Two sentences in the above statement stand out, namely (1) “… us fighting to death for our existence” and (2) “…we are even prepared to pay a high price out of our earnings for their future.” For context both of these need to be interrogated:

1. “Cannot you understand us fighting to death for our existence?”

This sentence stands out because South Africa was not at war at that time, so it must have meant something else:

The Afrikaners/Boers were drastically seeking a solution that would guarantee and secure their survival as a nation at the foot of the African continent – for several reasons:

  • During the Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902) just 46 years prior to them getting into power in 1948, the Boers had lost virtually everything through a scorched earth policy enacted by the British. Their farms (30,000 were burned down), and their independence was lost, and very many of their women and children (26,000) died in concentration camps (22,000 were children under the age of 16). (Resource 5).
  • The Boers had lost their internationally recognized Boer Republics as a result of the Anglo-Boer War, so they couldn’t draw borders around themselves for protection. Post-war they were incorporated into a union of nations (the Union of South Africa) by the Imperial British government in 1910. In 1948 the Afrikaners came into power and inherited this Union of South Africa, along with responsibility for all the nations within the Union.
  • Demographic growth: The Afrikaners/Boers’ numbers and birthrates would have been much higher had they not lost so many females during the Anglo-Boer War. Moreover, their birthrates have always been much lower than African groups within South Africa (Resource 6).
  • The European colonies in other African countries were systematically being disbanded through a process of decolonization which was fully supported (and initiated in some case) by European countries. At the same time Western and Eastern nations were vying with each other, and among themselves, for favor (access to resources) among newly decolonized and decolonizing African leaderships by supporting Pan-Africanism against the local whites in Africa (Resource 7).
  • Afrikaners/Boers had no right of return to Europe, whereas whites in the other African nations did have that right (mainly British, French, Dutch, Belgian, Portuguese and German passport holders). Afrikaners held only South African passports. As a side-note, there were no Boer Republic passports, because the Boer Republics didn’t exist anymore after the Anglo-Boer War.

A common misconception is that Afrikaners/Boers are Dutch and can/should “go back to Europe”. Afrikaners are genetically, according to 2020 research, 34% to 37% Dutch, 27% to 34% German, 13% to 26% French and 6% to 12% non-European (mainly Asian and Khoisan). (Resource 8).

  • The Afrikaners have no right of return to the Netherlands because in 1814 the Netherlands sold its temporary Dutch colony at the Cape (including all the Afrikaners/Boers) to the British for 3 million pounds sterling, with no right for them to return to the Netherlands. In other words, the Afrikaners were “sold lock stock and barrel”. To this day the Dutch do not recognize Afrikaners as Dutch, or that they have a right of return (Resource 9).
  • The Afrikaners have no right of return to Germany, because the Germans who went to South Africa were single men, tradesmen, and artisans who migrated to South Africa for work and assimilated into the Afrikaner nation.
  • The Afrikaners have no right of return to France because the French immigrants that went to South Africa were Protestant refugees escaping religious persecution in France after Protestantism was outlawed in the 1680’s. No right of return to France exists for Huguenots to this day.

The ‘no right of return’ concept is not something that is so out-of-the-ordinary. The same would apply for many/most Chileans, Argentinians and Uruguayans because they are descendants from several European nations with a blended heritage, for example from Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Poland.

Where would/could the Afrikaners go/have gone to? In their minds, they were/are already home (they consider/ed themselves to be White Africans), but after they gained power in 1948 they were also between a rock and hard place (no more Boer Republics). They decided to continue on with the segregation policies already put in place. At that time forms of segregation were also still in place in several other nations, such as USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The new objective with segregation (now called Apartheid) was for the devolution of the already existing traditional ethnic tribal Homelands into autonomous self-ruling ‘state-lets’ within greater South Africa. This devolution and self-rule would then pave the way for complete independence for each of the Homelands. In the interim, and even after independence, economic support would be available from the Apartheid state (Resource 4),

What was the reasoning behind that approach? The lack of industrialization in the Homelands caused an influx of migrant workers out of the Homelands to cities and towns in wider South Africa. This created the formation of townships (‘shantytowns’) on the outskirts of cities and towns by migrant workers (with resulting social issues). It has often been claimed that the Apartheid state “created” such townships, but they formed naturally because of that economic migration from the underdeveloped Homelands.

The populations of the tribal Homelands were becoming increasingly dependent on jobs far away, while not much modern development was happening naturally inside of them. The Apartheid state’s solution was to finance Homeland development (with state finances, i.e. white tax payers money, because black South Africans were exempted from taxes), so that there would be sufficient job creation and infrastructure development within the Homelands and their border areas, to reduce the economic migration. It was hoped such an aproach would result in reducing the informal settlement/squatter camp (and related) issues and would be the impetus for the long-term natural development of the Homelands.

2. “…we are even prepared to pay a high price out of our earnings for their future.”

  • Between 1964 and 1973 the Homeland of Transkei alone had already received $152-million (USD) from the Apartheid government (Resource 10).
  • By 1966 the equivalent of more or less (at the exhange rate at the time) $420-million (USD) had been invested in the development of border area industries neat to the Homelands and by that time 100,000 jobs had been created. (Resource 11).
  • Between 1962 and 1972 the UN paid out $298 Million USD to underdeveloped countries. In that same period it is estimated that South Africa (the Apartheid government) spent $558 Million USD on the development of the traditional tribal homelands for Self Rule (Resource 12).

The above figures are rather significant, even by today’s standards. Should the be adjusted for inflation to the equivalent in today’s terms these sums become even more impressive. Could it be that the white Apartheid government invested more in the development of indigenous peoples’ regions, within a short period of time than any other Western nation in history? This would have to be verified through research, but that seems to be a distinct possibility.

It has frequently been stated by activists that the Apartheid government created the Bantustans (Homelands) and dumped black South Africans in them against their will and that these areas were the least habitable and least desirable parts of the country – that they are desolate places resembling the Gaza strip … But, what are the facts?

  • The Homeland areas were originally inhabited by the Bantu African tribes during their migration into Southern Africa from the Great Lakes/Central and West Africa region (Resource 13). Clearly, Bantustans/Homelands were not created by the Apartheid government. Moreover, the outlines of the Homelands had already been confirmed by colonial administrations prior to Afrikaners coming into power in 1948 (Resource 14).
  • The Eastern part of South Africa, where the Homelands are situated, is actually the most fertile part of the country with the best agricultural potential, not the worst, and this can easily be observed and verified by looking at maps and also by looking at rainfall figures and soil quality (Resource 15).

Were human rights abuses committed in the process of implementing Separate Development, which was one of the components of Apartheid? Was this policy implemented explicitly “… for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group over persons of another racial group and systematically oppressing them”?

Separate development for Self Rule, which was the original South African meaning of Apartheid, does not seem to fit very well into the U.N.’s definition of Apartheid. That said, Apartheid had other components to it. In the rest of South Africa, outside of the Homelands, there were various segregation laws already in place that were inherited by the Afrikaners when they came into power. Those laws resembled the Jim Crow laws of the United States.

After 1948, the state increased the levels of segregation through Apartheid policies and in some cases removed some rights that had already been in place, like the voting rights for Brown people in the Cape Provence for example. Worse than that, it mandated that in some cases families had to be separated from each other when their members were of mixed ethnicity. Those were clearly human rights abuses and some of the most shameful excesses of the Apartheid regime.

If the worst excesses of South African Apartheid are considered as a benchmark for some of the worst human rights abuses of the nineteenth century, as has been claimed (Resource 16), then where would, for example, the caste system in India fall within the spectrum of worst human rights abuses? Or, for example, the forceful removal of aboriginal children from their families in Australia (the Stolen Generations) for assimilation into white families:

“Official government estimates are that in certain regions between one in ten and one in three Indigenous Australian children were forcibly taken from their families and communities between 1910 and 1970” (Resource 17)

Further on this subject, how were indigenous peoples treated in South America and Central America during the Spanish conquest and Portuguese colonialism, and how would that compare to the policy of separate development and/or Apartheid in general, in South Africa? The same questions could be posed about North American countries’ treatment of the indigenous peoples.

The point of the examples above is not to “embarrass anyone”, it is to make the point that the severity of South African Apartheid should be evaluated alongside all past and present segregation policies around the world where similar circumstances applied. Only through side-by-side analysis can an objective analysis be made. That’s the scientific method. Such a study has to date never been done. That’s perhaps for obvious reasons because the vast majority of people in the anti-Apartheid movements were/are from nations that would not escape scrutiny, should such an analysis ever be done honestly.

Why is such an analysis important? Because of the level of disinformation about what really happened during Apartheid. For example, in the document titled ‘Comparing South African Apartheid to Israeli Apartheid’ (Resource 1) the following claims are made about South African Apartheid:

  • Claim: The Apartheid regime created the Bantustans. (Incorrect: They already existed in some form).
  • Claim: Black citizens were made involuntary citizens of those Homelands. (Incorrect: Homelands were settled by Bantu tribes when they migrated into South Africa, although it’s true that not all people originally from Homelands wanted to return there against their will. There was strong support for Self-Rule among the leaders of the Homelands (sources available).
  • Claim: The objective of the “creation” of the Homelands was for the demographic majority of whites in South Africa to be preserved. (Incorrect: The objective of industrializing and developing the Homelands and border areas was to draw Homeland inhabitants back to the Homelands in order to reduce the problems associated with migrant labor, such as informal settlements. In addition, much higher birth rates among African demographic groups presented numerous future challenges related to infrastructure development (carrying capacity) and water resources as well as the future of social and cultural cohesion. The separate development project of the Apartheid government was meant to deal with some of those problems in advance, while – as stated before – the policy would also preserve the survival of Afrikaners/Whites in South Africa. That objective was honestly stated in communiques by the Apartheid government.
  • Claim: Apartheid was about keeping the best parts of the country for the whites and sending the black population to the least habitable, least desirable parts of the country. (Incorrect: The Homelands were and are the most fertile regions of the country).
  • Claim: Blacks were forcibly removed and relocated to black homelands and much of their land seized during Apartheid. (Facts: It is true that many blacks were forcibly removed and relocated to Homelands, but in the majority of cases compensation was involved (Resource 18). White people were also forcefully removed – the Apartheid government forced whites out of the Homelands back into greater South Africa).

A common claim that is made about Apartheid (and/or Afrikaners/Boers) is that tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of black people were killed during Apartheid. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report spearheaded by Rev Desmond Tutu (among other prominent black human rights activists), concluded that around 700 such deaths occurred in 46 years:

“Then there are people who argue that apartheid was a policy in terms of which huge numbers of black people were killed by the apartheid government. It is indeed true that black people were killed by the apartheid government, but the correct figures will come as a surprise to many people. The Human Rights Committee and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that roughly 21 000 people died in political violence between 1948 and 1994. Of those 21 000 people, roughly 100 were killed by white rightists and roughly 600 by members of the security forces. Roughly 19 000 people died following the ANC’s launch of the people’s war against competing black [black against black] institutions and organizations.” (Resource 19)

Finally, it would only be fair to evaluate what’s happening in South Africa today, as opposed to South Africa under Apartheid. How do South Africa’s racial policies in 2021 compare to the original Apartheid policies?

  • By the year 2017, there had been no less than 1700 farm murders (many seem to be politically motivated) and 12 245 farm attacks according to the statistics of the South African police. Only a small number of farmers murdered are black farmers (Resource 20)
  • Today there are more race-based laws in South Africa that discriminate against white people after 27 years of democracy than there were under 48 years of Apartheid and 38 years of British colonialism combined:

“The real problem, inadvertently highlighted by the controversy, is that such a large part of the media, civil society, and the DA do not see the ANC’s race laws as a problem. In fact, they are barely conscious that they exist at all. And yet it is simply impossible to understand South Africa’s predicament without reference to the ANC’s racial project, the plunder that this enabled, and the institutional and economic destruction that resulted.” (Resource 21).

For a few precious years in the early to mid-1990s South Africa was, for the first and last time, a country without operative racial laws. Over the past 26 years the ANC has put in place a web of binding racial requirements through constitutional provisions, legislation, white papers, regulations, charters, and party resolutions; as it has sought to advance through the different stages of the revolution, towards the goal of pure racial proportionality, everywhere. This article has documented some eighty of these, but this is not a complete list. It lists only a handful of regulations. By one count the ANC has incorporated racial requirements into ninety acts of parliament, excluding the Constitution, though many of these relate to the application of the “representivity” principle to the boards of statutory bodies. In addition, there are a number of judgments issued by the Constitutional Court, bending the interpretation of the Constitution in favor of the national revolution. ” (Resource 21).

Somehow the BDS movement has not picked up on these developments, but the question must be posed: “Does South Africa in 2021 (with its multitude of race laws, more than under the old Apartheid) qualify as “an Apartheid state” according to the U.N.’s definition of Apartheid?

The U.N. defined Apartheid as “inhumane acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group over persons of another racial group and systematically oppressing them”.

When they came into power in 1948 the Afrikaner government wanted to secure a future for the Afrikaners/Boers within South Africa, because they had lost their Homelands (the Boer Republics), which were their cultural heartlands. They, therefore, assumed that the policy of separate development (self-determination through self-rule for everyone) would be welcomed.

They also believed that the only way to secure a future for themselves would be to at the same time also secure a future for all the other nations within the artificially created country known as South Africa. They believed that if they did not do that, their future within South Africa would not be guaranteed. In other words, they acted from a position of self-preservation, which is the most basic human instinct.

Were they just being paranoid?

The following policies among others are currently in development in South Africa, or are already being implemented:

  • A land confiscation policy known as “Expropriation without compensation” is on the cards in South Africa. If this is passed it would be much worse than the Apartheid government’s forced removals to the Homelands and its resettlement policy in general because there will be no compensation. In other words, Afrikaners/Boers stand to lose everything, notwithstanding their historical developmental, economic, or financial contributions to the country or to black people in particular. (Resource 22).
  • The Afrikaans language, the language of the Afrikaners and also the first language of many Brown people in the Western Cape, has been deemed “non-indigenous” to South Africa in a new language policy by the current South African government. Universities in South Africa are already implementing this new policy and the Afrikaans language has been removed as a main form of instruction. English has been installed in its place. (Resource 23).
  • Affirmative action policies are in place that are formulated according to racial demographics. Higher birth rates for African groups mean higher growth numbers for them, meaning that whites are increasingly squeezed out of the economy for access to jobs, access to education, and access to government services. To an extent also applies to the private sector. (Resource 21).
  • Covid relief funds in some sectors have been made available only to Black Empowerment beneficiaries, while white people did not qualify for financial relief. (Resource 24).
  • Radical politicians in South Africa regularly call on their members to commit acts of violence with regards to farmers, with devastating consequences. Such actions (or worse) hardly ever make it into mainstream media coverage. (Resource 25).

The roots of all the current “wokeness” in the world are to be found in the selective blindness of the anti-Apartheid movements. Wokeness equals selective outrage and double standards with the objective to scapegoat. Most people have supported anti-Apartheid movements, but few are prepared to publicly denounce glaringly obvious discriminatory race policies against white people in South Africa in the present day.

Closing comments:

Some “experts in metaphysics” have claimed that Afrikaners/Boers “deserve” their current circumstances, because of “bad karma”. Apparently, according to them, it’s “just desserts” for their implementation of Apartheid policies in the past. If that is how Karma works (As ye sow, so ye shall reap), it would be interesting to see what the future holds for groups/individuals that have done or are doing, much worse things than were done by/under apartheid. How Karma really works is more likely based upon not bringing bad Karma upon oneself by wishing bad Karma upon others. Today we can see that a lot of South Africa’s problems regarding race issues have arrived in Western Nations too, while “the woke” are demanding their own apartheid: “safe spaces”.

…………

Resource 1:

Article/Report: Comparing South African Apartheid to Israeli Apartheid. itisapartheid.org. http://www.itisapartheid.org/Documents_pdf_etc/outlineapartheidproofedbyc8.15.12-old.pdf

Rescource 2:

Book: South Africa’s Greatest Prime Minister by Stephen Mitford Goodson (2016).P22. ISBN: 978-0-620-68123-0

Resource 3:

News Reel: Creation of the first Bantu state (1962). Pathé.

https://archive.org/details/creation-of-first-bantu-state-transkei-1962

Resource 4:

Booklet: Progress Through Separate Development – South Africa in Peaceful Transition (1963 – First Edition), P4.

https://archive.org/details/ProgressThroughSeparateDevelopmentSouthAfricaInPeacefulTransition

Resource 5:

Book: Apartheid, Britain’s B-Child by Hélène Opperman Lewis (2016).ISBN: 978-0-620-70223-2.

Resource 6:

South Africa population – 1910 to 2016:

(1) https://www.reddit.com/r/southafrica/comments/84g1vt/south_africa_population_1910_to_2016/

(2) https://maroelamedia.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/SA-bevolking.jpg

Resource 7:

Book: Segregeer of Sterf (‘Segregate or Die)’ ) by HJJM van der Merwe (1961).

Resource 8:

Book: Huguenots at the Cape by Philippa van Aardt & Elaine Ridge (2020), P247. ISBN 978-0-620-85911-0.

Resource 9:

Book: AmaBhulu – The Birth and Death of the Second America by Harry Booyens (2014).P99. ISBN 978-0-9921590-1-6.

Resource 10:

Book: Progress Through Separate Development – South Africa in Peaceful Transition (1963 – Fourth Edition), P68.

Resource 11:

Book: Apartheid en Partnership by N.J. Rhoodie (1968/1971). P337.

Resource 12:

“… it is estimated that South Africa (the Apartheid government) spent $558 Million USD on the development of the traditional tribal homelands for Self Rule”.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150513032714/https://the-truth-about-south-africa.org/south-africa/leaked-homeland-financials-year-ending-31-march-1977/

Resource 13:

Video: How the Bantus Permanently Changed the Face of Africa 2,000 Years Ago (History of the Bantu Peoples)

Resource 14

Booklet: Progress Through Separate Development – South Africa in Peaceful Transition (1963 – First Edition), Pages 59,61,63,64,65.

https://archive.org/details/ProgressThroughSeparateDevelopmentSouthAfricaInPeacefulTransition

Resource 15:

Video: South Africa – The Truth About Land:

Resource 16:

“If the worst excesses of South African Apartheid are considered as a benchmark for some of the worst human rights abuses of the nineteenth century – as has been claimed on occasion”:

https://www.countercurrents.org/chengu200415.htm

Resource 17:

Australia’s Stolen Generations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Generations

Resource 18:

Video: Disrupted Land Documentary:

https://www.disruptedland.co.za/en/

Resource 19:

Article: Apartheid Deaths:

https://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/what-afriforum-did-and-did-not-say-about-apartheid

Resource 20:

Statistics: Farm Murders Racial Breakdown 1991 – 2018:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4428330-Farm-Murders-Racial-Breakdown-1990-2018.html

Resource 21:

Article: The many many race laws of the ANC:

https://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/the-many-many-race-laws-of-the-anc

Resource 22:

Campaign: Enormous Ramifications of Expropriation without Compensation:

https://irr.org.za/campaigns/kill-the-bill-stop-ewc

Resource 23:

Article [translated]: Politics is behind ANC, SU’s definition of Afrikaans as ‘foreign’:

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=af&u=https://maroelamedia.co.za/debat/meningsvormers/politiek-sit-agter-anc-us-se-definisie-van-afrikaans-as-uitheems/&prev=search&pto=aue

Resource 24:

Article: ANC abuses COVID-19 to push racist agenda against SMME’s:

https://www.politicsweb.co.za/documents/anc-abuses-covid19-to-push-racist-agenda-against-s

Resource 25:

Video: Arson targeting farmers all over South Africa (Oct 2020)


Warm wishes from early-winter South Africa,
Remote Writer

Apartheid from the Sea to the River

By Jeremy Salt

Source

BTselem apartheid Israel Palestine Latuff 46b11

B’Tselem’s description of Israel an apartheid state is valuable because B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights organization, is saying it.  Otherwise, the reaction should be of course it is. B’Tselem applies the word to all of Palestine and not just the remaining territories seized in 1967.  Again, of course it should.  Structural discrimination against the Palestinians is built into every level of government except elections,  which allows Israel repeatedly to tell the world that it is the only democracy in the Middle East, as if the ballot box is the only measure of democracy, blurring the reality unless people take a close look.

Israel and the policy of apartheid were born in the same year, 1948,  Israel as a colonial-settler declared unilaterally over occupied Palestine on May 15 and apartheid as the election-winning policy of South Africa’s National Party on May 26. On December 9 the same year, the UN General Assemby adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  

The convention describes genocide as acts intended to destroy “in whole or part” a national,  ethnical, racial or religious group.   There is no other way to describe Israel’s intentions in 1948.  Hundreds of Palestinian villages were razed and about 800,000 people driven out of their native land to make way for European settlers.   As for why they had to go there are two reasons:   they were not Jews,  and they were living in a land the zionists wanted to turn into a Jewish state.   

The occupation of the rest of Palestine in 1967 and the military, economic and pseudo-legal weapons used to suffocate the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem ever since are no more than an extension of what began in 1948.

B’tselem’s declaration revives the debate over whether zionism is a ‘racist’ ideology.  For the victims of racism in other colonized countries,  of course it is. Only in the imperial ‘west,’ with its own long history of racism, occupation and massacre, could the question even arise. 

In fact, racism has been in zionism’s DNA ever since Herzl talked of “spiriting” the Palestians out of their land to make way for a Jewish state.   How to get rid of them was the central consideration of the Zionist planners who followed him.

Everything evil committed against the Palestinians since 1948 speaks to the historical racism of the zionist enterprise.  You don’t treat people with the brutality that has accompanied the zionist march through history if you think they have the same rights as you do. Your soldiers, police and settlers do not kill or massacre people if they think they have the same right to life as they do.

Your state doesn’t create different laws and different rights if it thinks all people should have the same rights and live under the same laws. The state does not give a false right of return to Jews wherever they live and deny the genuine right of return of Palestinians. The state does not declare that the state is the state of the Jewish people and not the state of  its citizens,  Jewish or not.  

On November 10, 1975, the UN General Assembly passed resolution 3379,  describing zionism “as a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The word ‘race’ has no basis in science but everyone knows what it means in practice:   discrimination against specific groups on the basis of religion, ethnicity or skin color.  The Israeli ambassador,  Chaim Herzog,  was so enraged when the resolution was passed (72-35 with 32 abstentions) that he tore up his printout.

The passage of this resolution led to an immediate counter-attack by Israel, supported by the US and other governments.   As always, the bludgeon used was anti-semitism, with the US, from behind the scenes, prodding governments that had voted for the resolution to change their minds.  The tactics worked. On December 16,1991, the General Assembly revoked the resolution in resolution 46/86, passed 111-25 with 13 abstentions and 15 absentees.

Daniel Moynihan, the US ambassador at the UN and a zionist diehard, commented before 3379 was revoked that the UN “is about to make anti-semitism international law.” Of course, the resolution had nothing to do with anti-semitism but was born of the growing need to expose the ideology of a state which even by then had wrought massive destruction in the Middle East.

On the basis of  the commitments it had made to respect UN principles,   Israel was accepted as a UN member (Resolution 273, May 11, 1949), the General Assembly having resolved  that Israel “is a peace-loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the charter and is able and willing to carry  out those obligations.”  The next day it signed a protocol accepting resolution 194 (III) of 1948, setting out the basic rights of the Palestinians, including the right of return to their homeland, and the preservation of their property.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Even at the time Israel was not “peace loving”: in hindsight the phrase is grotesque.  Neither did Israel have any intention of abiding by the commitments it had made to the Palestinians whom it had ethnically cleansed.  They would never be allowed to return. 

As for their property,  Israel was asked to suspend its ‘’Emergency Applications on Absentee Property’’ until a final peace settlement could be reached.  It responded that the so-called “custodian of absentee property” was acting only as a trustee for the owners,  “whose property is being administered in their interests.” 

This was a blatant lie. The “absentee property” was already being distributed among settlers old and new. It included village and town houses and a mass of agricultural land which had Chaim Weizmann, the state’s first president, in absolute raptures.  So much of it, and all of it acquired at absolutely no cost:

“ … about five million dunums of land [1.235 million acres] at least which could be taken under the plough almost at once,  but we have not yet got the people. In the district between Ramleh and Latrun there are about two milion dunums of the best land in Palestine for which, if we had to buy it, we would have to pay at least LP [Palestine pounds] per dunum and as you know, one could never buy land between Ramleh and Latrun. Now it is all free, overgrown with weeds and it is very doubtful whether the Arabs will ever come back to work it. Eveybody seems to think they have gone for good.”

This master dissembler knew perfectly well that Israel had no intention of allowing  ‘the Arabs’ back,  and as for a land “overgrown with weeds,” it was fertile and intensively worked by Palestinian farmers.

Everything the owners of “absentee property” had left behind was destroyed or stolen, down to furniture and small household items. The houses left standing were handed over to settlers,  senior zionist figures taking some of the best for themselves. 

An additional category was added to the list of absentees. These were the “present absentees” who fled from one part of Palestine to another during the fighting.   They were not allowed back to their original place of residence and their property was stolen too.

The lies told by Israel to secure UN membership were followed by the serial violations of Palestinian rights and international law along the spectrum of human rights which have continued to the present day. 

This being the case,  the rules of the club should surely prevail.  Anyone who joins a club and refuses to abide by the rules is usually warned once, warned twice,  suspended on the third offence and then thrown out if it still ignores the conditions of membership.  

Israel was admitted to the club on the basis of a false application.  It then refused to obey the rules, not once, twice or thrice but thousands of times but is still allowed to remain a member. 

Without the protection of the US, the UN General Assembly almost certainly would have voted for suspension of Israel decades ago and then ejection if it still refused to comply.   Thanks to the US, however, not only does  Israel remain a member but it is never punished for its crimes.

Noam Chomsky has described Israeli apartheid as “much worse” than South African apartheid. On the basis of the number of people who have died as a result of Israel’s racist policies, there is actually no comparison.

Under an apartheid government,  South African police, soldiers and white settlers beat, tortured and killed Africans.  Israeli police, soldiers and settlers do the same to Palestinians but whereas the worst state massacres in apartheid South Africa were Sharpeville (March 21, 1960), when police killed 69 people and wounded 180 others demonstrating against the pass laws,  and Soweto (June 16, 1976),  when at least 176 students (estimates are as high as 700) demonstrating against having to learn Afrikaans were killed,  the victims of Israel’s massacres run into the tens of thousands. 

This state of affairs will continue as long as the “international community” refuses to punish Israel for violation of the laws it has passed to protect human rights and preserve global peace.  Such punishment would be imposed through suspension from the UN and the suspension by governments of diplomatic and trade relations with Israel, but as long as it does not have to pay for its crimes and its contempt for international law it will see no reason to change.   As long as it refuses to change, it will remain a threat to Middle Eastern regional and global peace.

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