The beauty and the beast – Gilad Atzmon vs. Rachel Riley

January 16, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

In recent weeks Rachel Riley, a British TV celebrity, has tossed the Antisemitic slur in the direction of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, Aaron Bastani, yours truly and others. In her first extended Ch 4 interview it became clear that Riley isn’t exactly an astute political philosopher. You can watch the entire Ch 4 interview here.

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

ATB

Gilad

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The way forward…

January 11, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

As you know, last year the nonstop slanderous blitz against me escalated with the stated purpose of destroying my music career and ruining me financially. Blowing the whistle on the roots of the current dystopia, and even simply honest debate, has been exhausting and expensive. Thanks to you I am not fighting this war alone.

Many thousands of you donated to bail me out and a substantial portion of my legal costs have been covered. I was excited and encouraged that thousands of music lovers and freedom enthusiasts signed the petition against Islington Council and filed complaints against this fully compromised ‘Labour’ authority that was caught in bed with the Likud UK director.

In the last few days I gave a series of house talks with music events throughout California. In each city I visited I explored my ideas with people many of whom were relatively new to my work. The events were a great success. By speaking directly to a smaller group, I could convey my ideas and have the time to discuss questions raised by those in attendance. It is an incredible way to make people think about and analyse identity politics and other issues that have led to our current situation. I intend to offer more talks (and music) in as many different regions as I can. Please let me know whether you are willing to arrange such an event in your town.

The battle ahead is demanding and unfortunately will necessitate  expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

Campaign to revoke Jewish National Fund charitable status important

Source

By Yves Engler · January 11, 2019

Last week the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), under pressure from Palestine solidarity activists, began an audit of the Jewish National Fund.

The audit is significant. Beyond weakening the oldest Israel-focused charity in the country, it will put other Israeli charities in Canada on notice and reflects the growth of Palestine solidarity activism.

Fulfilling the time-consuming audit will be a bureaucratic headache for a group that has eleven offices across Canada and has raised $100 million over the past five years. Already, the credibility of the second most powerful Israel-oriented charity in Canada has taken a hit with the CBC exposé headlined “Canadian charity  used donations to fund projects linked to Israeli military” and related  stories. If the CRA revokes the JNF’s charitable status it would be devastating for fundraising and deter politicians/celebrities from attending their events.

Similar to the JNF, other registered charities support the Israeli military in direct contravention of CRA rules. Additionally, some of these organizations — like the JNF — fund projects supporting West Bank settlements, which Global Affairs Canada considers in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

At a broader level, critical attention on the JNF could lead to questioning of why Canadian taxpayers subsidize hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to a wealthy country. Despite a GDP per capita greater than Spain or Italy (and equal to Japan), hundreds of registered Canadian charities deliver hundreds of millions of dollars a year to Israel. How many Canadian charities funnel money to Spain or Japan?

If the CRA revoked JNF’s charitable status it would boost Stop the JNF campaigns elsewhere. In England they convinced former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to withdraw as patron of the JNF (Theresa May seems to have also stayed away), and 68 members of parliament endorsed a bill to revoke the organization’s charitable status because “the JNF’s constitution is explicitly discriminatory by stating that land and property will never be rented, leased or sold to non-Jews.”

The CRA audit of a charity that’s found favour with numerous Canadian prime ministers is long in the making and reflects the growth of Palestinian solidarity consciousness. Born in a West Bank village demolished to make way for the JNF’s Canada Park, Ismail Zayid has been complaining to the CRA about its charitable status for 40 years. Lebanese Canadian Ron Saba “has been indefatigable over the years in writing to various Canadian government departments and officials, corporations, and media to rescind tax exemption status and endorsement of” what he calls the “racist JNF tax fraud”. During the Liberal party convention in 2006 Saba was widely smeared for drawing attention to leadership candidate Bob Rae’s ties to the JNF. Saba has put in multiple Access to Information requests regarding the JNF, demonstrating government spying of its critics and long-standing knowledge of the organization’s dubious practices. Under the headline “Event you may want to monitor,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Caitlin Workman sent the CRA a communication about a 2011 Independent Jewish Voices event in Ottawa stating: “author of the Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler, will give a talk on Canada and the Jewish National Fund.”

Former Independent Jewish Voices coordinator Tyler Levitan was smeared for working diligently on the issue. In addition to important organizing, he discovered that the Ottawa Citizen sponsored JNF galas they covered and, suggesting a formal financial relationship, ran an ad for the JNF’s 2013 Ottawa Gala the day after the event.

At the Green Party convention in 2016 Corey Levine pushed a resolution to revoke the JNF’s charitable status because it practices “institutional  discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel.” The effort brought the issue into the mainstream though she, IJV and the entire Green  Party were smeared  as “hard core  Jew haters” for even considering the resolution.

Fifteen months ago IJV and four individuals filed a detailed complaint to the CRA and Minister of National Revenue over the JNF. For a number of years IJV has run a “Stop the JNF” campaign and for more than a decade activists across the country have picketed local JNF fundraising galas. These efforts have benefited from many in Palestine/Israel, notably the work of Uri Davies and Adalah.

As I have written before, the campaign to revoke the JNF’s charitable status is important beyond winning the specific demand. It draws attention to the racism intrinsic to Zionism and highlights Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession.

The CRA is undoubtedly facing significant behind-the-scenes pressure to let the JNF off with little more than a slap on the wrists. So, it’s important that people send their MP  the CBC exposé and add their name to Independent Jewish Voices’ campaign  to revoke the Jewish National Fund’s charitable status.

Capitulation

January 08, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Black civil-rights icon, Angela Davis, was selected by Birmingham Civil Rights Institute as the recipient of the prestigious Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award at its annual gala in February 2019. BCRI’s CEO, Andrea Taylor, said of Davis that she is “one of the most globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak,”.  Dr. Davis is an American political activist, an academic and author.

However, it seems not everyone was happy with BCRI’s choice. Due to pressure from some of the local Jewish community, BCRI swiftly buckled and rescinded the award.  The Institute opted to cancel the annual event and refund tickets.  This decision has created a national outrage and harsh criticism directed towards BCRI.  That Birmingham Civil Rights Institute doesn’t get to decide who has best served its own community as well as represent universal human rights is a travesty.  To go as far as to say, “on closer inspection” they conclude this legendary civil rights activist “doesn’t meet the criteria’ is shameful.

To avoid repeating such embarrassing events such as this, maybe BCRI should get its humanist list from the ADL.  Maybe all organizations should check with their local synagogue to obtain a list of permissible saxophonists who can play with The Blockheads on Christmas, which Black men and women can be honored for their work on civil and human rights, who can write lyrics for Pink Floyd and the list goes on. This seems the best way to relieve future tensions with one community determined to dictate to all others who they are permitted to celebrate.

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

To support Gilad’s legal fund:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

Fired School Employee Sues Over israel (apartheid state) Loyalty Oath

Fired School Employee Sues Over Israel Loyalty Oath

A Texas school employee has sued her school district because it fired her after she refused to sign a loyalty oath to Israel, as Marjorie Cohn reports.

By Marjorie Cohn
Truthout

In a return to the bad old days of McCarthyism, Bahia Amawi, a U.S. citizen of Palestinian descent, lost her Texas elementary school job after refusing to pledge in writing that she would not participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Earlier this month, Amawi sued the school district that fired her.

The BDS movement against Israel has become a hot button issue in the closing month of 2018. A bipartisan group of senators tried to attach the Israel Anti-Boycott Act to the unanimous spending bill that Trump almost signed to avoid the current government shutdown. Meanwhile, Donorbox, a US software company, blocked the BDS fundraising account at the behest of a pro-Israel group.

“The language of the affirmation Amawi was told she must sign reads like Orwellian – or McCarthyite – self-parody, the classic political loyalty oath that every American should instinctively shudder upon reading,” Glenn Greenwald wrote at The Intercept.

Amwai: Knows firsthand oppression. (DemocracyNow/YouTube)

On Dec. 12, the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit on Amawi’s behalf in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas against Pflugerville Independent School District, alleging that Texas’ law requiring the oath violates the First Amendment. Amawi’s complaint says the law constitutes an impermissible attempt “to impose an ideological litmus test or compel speech related to government contractors’ political beliefs, associations, and expressions.”

Amawi had contracted with the school district for nine years to work with students with autism and developmental disabilities in Austin. This fall, for the first time, Amawi was required to sign an oath that she would not boycott Israel. When she refused to sign it, she was fired.

“The point of boycotting any product that supports Israel is to put pressure on the Israeli government to change its treatment, the inhumane treatment, of the Palestinian people,” Amawi explained. “Having grown up as a Palestinian, I know firsthand the oppression and the struggle that Palestinians face on a daily basis.”

BDS

The BDS movement was launched by representatives of Palestinian civil society in 2005, calling upon “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era … [including] embargoes and sanctions against Israel.”

This call specified that “these non-violent punitive measures” should last until Israel fully complies with international law by (1) ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the barrier wall; (2) recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and (3) respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land as stipulated in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194.

Even though it is a nonviolent movement, Israel sees BDS as a threat to its hegemony over the Palestinians. Israel illegally occupies Palestinian territories, maintaining effective control over Gaza’s land, airspace, seaport, electricity, water, telecommunications and population registry. Israel deprives Gazans of food, medicine, fuel and basic services, and continues to build illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Vikomerson: No progress without pressure on Israel. (Twitter)

“There will not be progress toward a just peace without pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian rights,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. “Bringing about that pressure, through a global grassroots mobilization, is exactly what BDS is about.”

After Amawi’s firing, The New York Times editorial board wrote,

“It’s not just Israel’s adversaries who find the [BDS] movement appealing. Many devoted supporters of Israel, including many American Jews, oppose the occupation of the West Bank and refuse to buy products of the settlements in occupied territories. Their right to protest in this way must be vigorously defended.”

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of BDS, said in an email to The New York Times, “Having lost many battles for hearts and minds at the grass-roots level, Israel has adopted since 2014 a new strategy to criminalize support for BDS from the top” in order to “shield Israel from accountability.”

Barghouti called Shurat HaDin, the group behind the Donorbox action blocking the BDS account, a “repressive organization with clear connections to the far-right Israeli government” that is “engaging in McCarthyite … tactics … in a desperate attempt to undermine our ability to challenge Israel’s regime of apartheid and oppression.”

Twenty-six U.S. states have anti-BDS laws and 13 others are pending. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would have to be reintroduced when the new Congress convenes in January, was supported by Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) opposed the bill.

Boycotts’ 1st Amendment Protection

The law that triggered Amawi’s firing prohibits the State of Texas from entering into government contracts with companies, including sole proprietorships, that boycott Israel. It defines “boycott Israel” to include “refusing to deal with, terminating business activities with, or otherwise taking any action that is intended to penalize, inflict harm on, or limit commercial relations specifically with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israeli-controlled territory.”

Boycotts are a constitutionally protected form of speech, assembly and association. They have long been used to oppose injustice and urge political change. The Supreme Court has held that “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection.” The high court ruled that advocating and supporting boycotts “to bring about political, social, and economic change” – like boycotts of Israel – are indisputably protected by the First Amendment.

The National Lawyers Guild, Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights wrote in a legal memorandum challenging anti-BDS legislation in New York that such laws “harken back to the McCarthy era when the state sought to deny the right to earn a livelihood to those who express controversial political views.” The memo says, “The courts long ago found such McCarthy-era legislation to be at war with the First Amendment,” as they “unconstitutionally target core political speech activities and infringe on the freedom to express political beliefs.”

Barghouti: McCarthyite tactics.  (YouTube/BBC)

Even staff members at the right-wing Anti-Defamation League (ADL) opposed anti-BDS laws and admitted they are unconstitutional. Although the leadership officially favors outlawing BDS, ADL staff wrote in an internal 2016 memo that anti-BDS laws divert “community resources to an ineffective, unworkable, and unconstitutional endeavor.”

Greenwald cited the grave danger anti-BDS laws pose to freedom of speech, tweeting, “The proliferation of these laws – where US citizens are barred from work or contracts unless they vow not to boycott Israel – is the single greatest free speech threat in the US.”

Demonstrating the incongruity of allowing Amawi to boycott any entity but Israel, Greenwald noted, “In order to continue to work, Amawi would be perfectly free to engage in any political activism against her own country, participate in an economic boycott of any state or city within the US, or work against the policies of any other government in the world — except Israel.”

The US government remains Israel’s lap dog on the world stage. On December 5 the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. The United States opposed the resolution.

Meanwhile, the BDS movement continues to achieve victories. After more than 24,000 people complained to HSBC, the banking giant pulled out its investments in Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. Elbit sells military equipment, including drones, aircraft, artillery and weapon control systems to the Israeli army, US Air Force and British Royal Air Force. It also provides surveillance equipment to the US Customs and Border Protection agency.

On the legal front, the ACLU has mounted successful court challenges to anti-BDS laws in Kansas and Arizona and has filed litigation in Arkansas and Texas.

Copyright Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and an advisory board member of Veterans for Peace. Her latest book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues, was recently published in an updated second edition.

Happy New Year from Gilad Atzmon

December 30, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Everything you need to know about Zionism, Controlled Opposition, The Post Political and Athens vs. Jerusalem so you are ready for 2019.

https://youtu.be/SRX55nHmuUQ

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

To support Gilad’s legal fund:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

 

I own my Words!

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

Email: assemblyhall@islington.gov.uk

Contact the Council: +4420 7527 2000

To support Gilad’s legal battles:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

Transcription:

Hello Everybody,

The smear campaign against me didn’t stop for Christmas.  However, it is becoming clear that thousands of people are behind me. So far almost 5000 people have signed a petition expressing their disgust with the Islington council’s decision against me. We are winning this essential battle for freedom.

Despite the orchestrated slander campaign against me, no one has produced a single racist or hateful quote by me. I have challenged those who called me a racist and a holocaust denier to find a single writing or speech by me in which I criticise Jews as a people, an ethnicity,, a  race or for biology.  I have also asked them to show me where I have denied the holocaust? Guess what: No ones found such a reference.

What this means is that in Britain in 2018, you can be accused of a hate crime (even by the mainstream press) without having committed or been charged with a single crime, let alone a hate crime.

The Guardian made an attempt to produce the ‘evidence’ of my most controversial quotes. They quoted my thoughts fairly accurately. This is fine, I actually own each of these quotes with pride. They are my opinions and I substantiate them in my writing.

The Guardian writes, “Atzmon has previously accused Jews of exploiting the Holocaust and distanced himself from his Jewish heritage.”  This is not a quote but it is true. But I am hardly alone. Norman Finkelstein makes a similar point in  ‘The Holocaust Industry’ and in the 1950s, Abba Eban, the legendary Israeli diplomat, coined the famous phrase ‘there is no business like Shoah Business.’ I guess this means that neither Abba Eban nor Norman Finkelstein are allowed to play saxophone in Islington.

In a 2003 essay, Atzmon (me) wrote: “We must begin to take the accusation that Zionists are trying to control the world very seriously.” Surely I should receive an award for saying that three years before Mearsheimer and Walt published their bestseller ‘The Israeli Lobby’ and many years before Bibi Netanyahu disrespected the Obama Administration by giving a sermon to the Joint Houses of Congress in America. I suggest that  Brits here check out how many of your MPs are members of Israel’s friends’ clubs.

The Guardian continues, in another article, he [Atzmon] denounced “the Holocaust religion” and said “Holocaust denial laws should be reconsidered.” Yes, I do believe that history should be subject to open discussion. And, guess what, I am not alone. Deborah Lipstadt, the legendary Jewish historian and probably the strongest opponent  of holocaust denial (as she calls it) also opposes holocaust denial laws. I am against all history laws. I believe that slavery, the Irish Famine, the Holodomor, the Nakba and the Holocaust; everything that happened in the past should be discussed freely.

“Atzmon” the Guardian reports,  “has suggested attacks on synagogues should be considered political acts rather than hate crimes.” “I am here to announce as loudly as I can: there is no antisemitism any more,” he wrote.  “In the devastating reality created by the Jewish state, antisemitism has been replaced by political reaction.” I  accept that some may not like what I’m saying, but this is what I believe. I don’t believe that the present situation is like  the 30s, when people hate Jews because of their genes. This may happen in some corners of society but a lot of the opposition we see to Jewish politics, institutions, political bodies, Israeli lobbying and so on are political reactions.

“I am not saying that synagogues haven’t been attacked, or that Jewish graves have not been brutally smashed up. I am saying that these acts, that are in no way legitimate, should be seen as political responses rather than racially motivated acts or ‘irrational’ hate crimes.”

Now, is this a hateful statement?  Not at all. Is this a call for violence or an incitement to violence? It’s actually the opposite. Why are some people so upset by my statement? Is it because it searches for rationality, reason, cause and effect where others insist upon imposing their view that hatred is always irrational? This is something that we see a lot in the left discourse in the western world. We use the word ‘phobia’ – Islamophobia, Judeophobia, transphobia, gayphobia to label hatred of a group. Once we label a ‘phobia,’ we somehow don’t examine it, we declare it irrational. I suggest that we do the opposite. We can try to understand where hatred is coming from. We are not justifying hatred, instead we try to understand its rationale in order to best tackle it. I insist that ‘rationality,’ the search for reason, is what we have lost in our public debate.

Instead of trying to understand, we are forced to navigate through minefields in which we must not speak without violating the  tyranny of correctness imposed on us by authoritarian forces.

To me, this war  is the most important war we must fight. We must reinstate our elementary freedoms to say what we think, to say what we believe to be true; to exercise our right to make mistakes, and to be corrected through open debate. Silencing and witch-hunts are not the answer. It’s the path towards darkness.

That’s all for today. I’ll meet you again in a few days, with more details on this battle, Thank you so much for

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