Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage before He Exits?

Global Research, September 20, 2019

For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?

Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, Israelis have made their verdict clear: Netanyahu’s time is up.

In April’s inconclusive election, which led to this re-run, Netanyahu’s Likud party tied with its main opponent in the Blue and White party, led by retired general Benny Gantz. This time Gantz appears to have nudged ahead, with 33 seats to Netanyahu’s 31 in the 120-member parliament. Both parties fared worse than they did in April, when they each secured 35 seats.

But much more significantly, Netanyahu appears to have fallen short of the 61-seat majority he needs to form yet another far-right government comprising settler and religious parties.

His failure is all the more glaring, given that he conducted by far the ugliest – and most reckless – campaign in Israeli history. That was because the stakes were sky-high.

Only a government of the far-right – one entirely beholden to Netanyahu – could be relied on to pass legislation guaranteeing him immunity from a legal process due to begin next month. Without it, he is likely to be indicted on multiple charges of fraud and breach of trust.

So desperate was Netanyahu to avoid that fate, according to reports published in the Israeli media on election day, that he was only a hair’s breadth away from launching a war on Gaza last week as a way to postpone the election.

Israel’s chief law officer, attorney general Avichai Mendelblit, stepped in to halt the attack when he discovered the security cabinet had approved it only after Netanyahu concealed the army command’s major reservations.

Netanyahu also tried to bribe right-wing voters by promising last week that he would annex much of the West Bank immediately after the election – a stunt that blatantly violated campaigning laws, according to Mendelblit.

Facebook was forced to shut down Netanyahu’s page on two occasions for hate speech – in one case after it sent out a message that “Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men”. That sentiment appeared to include the 20 per cent of the Israeli population who are Palestinian citizens.

Netanyahu incited against the country’s Palestinian minority in other ways, not least by constantly suggesting that their votes constituted fraud and that they were trying to “steal the election”.

He even tried to force through a law allowing his Likud party activists to film in Arab polling stations – as they covertly did in April’s election – in an unconcealed attempt at voter intimidation.

The move appeared to have backfired, with Palestinian citizens turning out in larger numbers than they did in April.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, intervened on Netanyahu’s behalf by announcing the possibility of a defence pact requiring the US to come to Israel’s aid in the event of a regional confrontation.

None of it helped.

Netanayhu’s only hope of political survival – and possible avoidance of jail time – depends on his working the political magic he is famed for.

That may prove a tall order. To pass the 61-seat threshold, he must persuade Avigdor Lieberman and his ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party to support him.

Netanyahu and Lieberman, who is a settler, are normally ideological allies. But these are not normal times. Netanyahu had to restage the election this week after Lieberman, sensing the prime minister’s weakness, refused in April to sit alongside religious parties in a Netanyahu-led government.

Netanyahu might try to lure the fickle Lieberman back with an irresistible offer, such as the two of them rotating the prime ministership.

But Lieberman risks huge public opprobrium if, after putting the country through a deeply unpopular re-run election, he now does what he refused on principle to do five months ago.

Lieberman increased his party’s number of seats to eight by insisting that he is the champion of the secular Israeli public.

Most importantly for Lieberman, he finds himself once again in the role of kingmaker. It is almost certain he will shape the character of the next government. And whoever he anoints as prime minister will be indebted to him.

The deadlock that blocked the formation of a government in April still stands. Israel faces the likelihood of weeks of frantic horse-trading and even the possibility of a third election.

Nonetheless, from the perspective of Palestinians – whether those under occupation or those living in Israel as third-class citizens – the next Israeli government is going to be a hardline right one.

On paper, Gantz is best placed to form a government of what is preposterously labelled the “centre-left”. But given that its backbone will comprise Blue and White, led by a bevy of hawkish generals, and Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, it would, in practice, be nearly as right wing as Netanyahu’s.

Gantz even accused Netanyahu of stealing his idea in announcing last week that he would annex large parts of the West Bank.

The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. That is something Lieberman has rejected out of hand, calling the idea “absurd” early on Wednesday as results were filtering in. Gantz appears only a little more accommodating.

The solution could be a national unity government comprising much of the right: Gantz’s Blue and White teamed up with Likud and Lieberman. Both Gantz and Lieberman indicated that was their preferred choice on Wednesday.

The question then would be whether Netanyahu can worm his way into such a government, or whether Gantz demands his ousting as a price for Likud’s inclusion.

Netanyahu’s hand in such circumstances would not be strong, especially if he is immersed in a protracted legal battle on corruption charges. There are already rumblings of an uprising in Likud to depose him.

One interesting outcome of a unity government is that it could provoke a constitutional crisis by making the Joint List, the third-largest party, the official opposition. That is the same Joint List described by Netanyahu as a “dangerous anti-Zionist” party.

Ayman Odeh would become the first leader of the Palestinian minority to attend regular briefings by the prime minister and security chiefs.

Netanyahu will continue as caretaker prime minister for several more weeks – until a new government is formed. If he stays true to form, there is plenty of mischief he can instigate in the meantime.

*

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Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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Fake Has Become Realer Than Real And The Dogs Of War Are There To Keep It That Way

May 17, 2019

by Denis A. Conroy for the Saker Blog

Fake Has Become Realer Than Real And The Dogs Of War Are There To Keep It That Way

America’s self-imagined custodianship of human rights and freedom epitomize problems associated with fake prophesies. That Americans now rally behind the latest battle-cry of the Republic, ‘Make America Great Again’, indicate that they are indifferent to the fact that their country has been barnstorming across the globe these past six decades killing vast numbers of innocent people with the objective of creating a pre-eminently militaristic empire to strategically control the skies, oceans, their market-share plus control of space. In implementing these belligerent objectives, the US has repeatedly unleashed auto-da fes to destroy many countries across the globe who failed to fall in line.

Foremostly, America’s firebrand passage through Muslim countries clearly illustrate how a neophyte culture with racist baggage can implode the nation’s reputation, leaving it bereft of respect and credibility. This now appears to be what is happening in America. The two-tiered (or three) aspect of this enterprise requires closer examination.

It would appear that ‘greatness’ in the American context amounts to nothing more than upholding vulgar white-middle-class racist values as the measure of excellence, with fake ‘principled’ notions of cultural superiority leading the chase. When the dogs-of-war were unleashed to wreak havoc, pillage and plunder on the habitats of millions of hapless people across the globe, the silence of so-called conscionable America was deafening.

Violence had become an American staple and the voice of the Peace Movement is all but mute. It’s now impossible to ignore the fact that the three tiers of state, the top tier, the middle tier and the lower tier…the three classes…collude in a program whose singular use of power expresses an unwavering desire to ride the gravy train to the hilt and devil take the hindmost.

These three classes, battle hardened and indifferent to the chaos caused by their bloodthirsty military have been blindsided by their own government. There is the sense that the flag… the stars-and-strips…has become the nation’s birth certificate and each person’s birth certificate a little bit of a collective ‘stars and stripes’ denouement that entitles them to extrajudicial considerations and the right to be proud of their dubious record. However, finding one’s niche in this hierarchal edifice is another matter altogether.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are missives of choice for the middle class in matters relating to America’s monopolistic capitalist system. Predatory incursions into foreign countries resulting in bloodshed are routinely explained away in false-flag gibberish or in some other fashion to justify the actions of the government. This business of doing business attitude exists to negate everything else and the middle-class appear to have no qualms with this scenario. The sub-text here being, as God’s own people they believe that they have the right to expect ‘mana-from-heaven’ to rain down upon them from all quarters of the globe.

For the working class however, tweeting along with the paymaster appears to be an act of convenience. But when the music stops, as it most certainly will, the birthright question (all men are equal) will inevitable come into contention again when the issue of inequality needs to be confronted. However, the next generation may be more strident should they once again find themselves being herded back into a holding-pen position to await casino-capitalism’s next ‘flurry’ at the roulette table.

But irony of ironies, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal etc. are merely institutions that employ smoke and mirror tactics to conceal the nastiness of a two-tiered (or three) system that entails subjecting the public to a game of musical chairs, whose prime objective is to unseat a competitor each time Wall Street chooses to play its favourite game of ‘pass-the-stock-market-parcel’…the one designed to consolidate wealth in fewer hands each time it is played.

Musical chairs, also known as Trip to Jerusalem, is a game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music, with one fewer chair than players. When the music stops whichever player fails to sit on a chair is eliminated, with a chair then being removed and the process repeated until only one player remains. Alas! The origins of the game are unknown. On the other hand, we may safely assume that Karl Marx or Antonio Gramsci are not its authors.

So, the questions we need to ask here are, have Americans taken to wearing masks to hide their lack of conscience, like their President wears his hairpiece… do their masks, like Donald’s hairpiece, only make an appearance when orchestrating auto-da fes, or when administering sanctions designed to economically incinerate…or starve… apostates?

Or should we defer to another Donald…Donald Rumsfeld…for insights into America’s moral stature. “We don’t know what we don’t know. There are too many unknowns too many factors that we may not have yet considered,” said he. Which, when translated might mean, ‘Life is like a game of musical chairs and America has the right to take occupancy of the limited number of chairs available or our armed forces will be forced to use terror to procure knowable ends that are ultimately unknowable but desirable because they make us feel great.’

Narratives fed to the public by special interest groups come as hybridised versions of Hollywood cypher-speak-gibberish and are passed off as truths to the public for the purpose of indoctrinating them. A continuous repetition of false declamatory statements praising American exceptionality pour from the media to reinforce fake news. If there were a Noble Peace prize for hypocrisy, it would surely go to America.

America, the so-called leader of the so-called free world is awash with fallacious narratives that are put in place by corporate entities to implement a two-tiered (or three) system that strives to gain support in the public domain by using fearmongering tactics to implement its propaganda in every way possible. Fake narratives ceaselessly eat into public consciousness while cleverly concealing their real purpose, which is full spectrum Mafioso dominance. Think of the numerous corporate ploughshares that have insidiously penetrated a country near you!

As we now live in a technological age that has provided humans with the ability to engage in nuclear Armageddon, we can’t help but notice how worse-case scenarios abound. Some even suggest that evolution has run out of steam. Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine (MAD) is a minefield without canaries and we, in the lower tiers, are left painfully aware of our impotence on discovering that we are without a voice in the decision- making process. We are required to seal our lips and accept the reality that nuclear buttons now hang over our heads like the sword of Damocles.

We are constantly reminded that states exist, super and otherwise, their nuclear dogs-of-war straining on the leash in readiness should lines be crossed. We are repeatedly reminded of the fact that it is now possible to cause enormous casualties and destruction to civilian populations anywhere in the world by simply pressing a button from thousands of miles away.

We can no longer feel free because we can no longer free ourselves from the shadow of Dr. Strangelove. The more bloated the military budget becomes, the deeper we sink into gloom upon realizing how our anxiety increases exponentially with increases to the military budget.

Knowing that unknown knowns have consigned us to carceral spaces where modern-day Caesars busy themselves toying with their nuclear buttons, suggests that the middle and working classes have become prisoners in an ill-defined reality. The knowledge that capitalism engenders fear through its ‘security’ narrative has now become the problem. The ideology that keeps capitalism frothing at the mouth has produced its own evil doppelganger…a pedagogic Promethean pariah responsible for global degradation, its power ever more lethal in a world that has learned to fear its score card.

Four in ten Americans sometimes face what economists call “material hardship,” struggling to pay for basic needs such as food and housing, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Even middle-class families routinely struggle financially and are occasionally unable to pay their bills and more and more ordinary citizen are beginning to feel that they no longer have a part to play in a secular agenda that has become the property of the military establishment.

So, the problem now is that civilians seem unable to deal with facts. A shut-the-fuck-up mentality now exists to banish issues that relate to questions relating to social criteria and the people who write and whistle-blow the inequities of their government. People are relentlessly exposed to facts, but as civilians, are incapable of dealing with them. Facts appear on electronic screens ad nauseam to reveal how citizens have become captive to a static reality that uses fearmongering as a way of castrating public dissent. Facts that indicate that only the elite have skin in the game are everywhere in evidence.

At the Colosseum level…the elite level…the grand referee in the orange hairpiece keeps tweeting dealership gibberish while the classes in the lower tiers are expected to remain on standby to applaud this kind of hubris. Many are amused but few are chosen…unless you are an exponent of the rules of Republican Likud or are Likud Democrats building separation walls to keep Zion in and Allah out, per medium of a nasty game of musical chairs…a la currency wars!

Secondary development is fine, but at what cost to that primary narrative within us that depends on freedom of expression? It is ironic that many of the ‘learned’ amongst us strategically position themselves between the people and the elites, thereby limiting the potential for development within the masses. Traditionally, the policy of our rulers…shepherds… was to herd the ‘sheeple’ into the shepherd’s fold, lest he or she escape the soporific effects of propaganda or holy writ. To our great dismay, most of our teachers to this day do little other that look in the rear-view mirror for inspiration.

Justifications for releasing the ‘Dogs of War’ on civilians who can’t defend themselves are inevitable meaningless. For example, the American-Zionist agenda which manufactures fear for the purpose of manufacturing enemies for the purpose of manufacturing wars, has of itself become a war on truth. Sadly, the reason why investigative reporting became so highly selective is that in the US, truth had lost its place in the established media. The fact of the matter is, white-middle-class Americans respond with pique when confronted with criticism of their values. Sadly, exposing the injustices perpetrated on Muslims, Palestinians or Black People is a matter of little concern…a poignant example of what happens to complacent people when they turn away from the truth.

What William Kristol and Robert Kagan proposed when helping to draft the ‘Project for the New American Century’, was a manufactured narrative that led the average citizen to believe that their security depended on elites who could explain the threats they were exposed to…a win-win solution designed to keep them believing that they needed the protection of elites. And what the elites were telling them was that the military establishment was a bulwark against chaos, and the destruction of their state and the possibility that they might become subservient to non-white people.

The West, having created a bifurcated paradigm called democracy sold it to the public as a vector capable of promoting the verity of good governance. But unfortunately, as all paradigms contain bias, the model in question went to great lengths to conceal the presence of the schism within. An upper tier and a lower tier came into existence, whereby the resolution of conflicts was subject to the veto powers of the upper tier. Soon the upper tier set about training minds in the lower-tier to shepherd the resources of the state in ways that benefited the upper-tier. Sadly, over time, the upper tier became more interested in the subject of fiscal welfare (for themselves) rather than pursuing outcomes that could serve the interests of the entire polity.

The bifurcated concept of democracy as propounded by our learned founding-fathers was from the beginning a sleight of hand operating in deference to proprietorial principles enabling the architects of the system to retain control of their plan by fostering the notion that their vector of choice, democracy, could deliver justice for all.

In the US, a tiny number of people cream off virtually all the wealth. Ever since the first Cold War, the ‘sheeple’ have been led to believe that an external threat to their security existed and that it could only be managed by the ruling elite. Spending money to secure the two-tiered realm would require the creation of a global military force capable of warding off threats to American hegemony.

In recent times, emotions pertaining to loss of kudos led to acrimonious debate within the US. Insisting that the Western alliance would work better if individual members paid a bigger share of the costs involved in maintaining NATO came to the fore. This policing agency, the tip of the economic iceberg that was put in place to secure right-of-passage for US hegemony in the first instance, was now upping the ante…the cost of missiles had increased. To date, the dust may have settled, but the opprobrium (phlegm) released by Emperor continues to rile the ruled.

In middle America…the beltway…the media, academia and the entertainment industry share a quasi-moral narrative which floats like an iceberg in an inland sea. This inland sea has a mirror-like surface which reflects the vanity of its citizenry who need to bathe in the unholy waters of hubris. For the upper and middle classes, focusing on America’s military might enables them to revel in unadulterated vainglory. Hubris within the upper class had reached a point where debasement of human values became the norm. Celebrations of inhouse grandiosity suggesting that inverted middle-class American perspectives had passed their use-by-date.

And as the wealth of the nation continued its rise upwards, the lower tier showed signs that something had become unsustainable. The top-heaviness of the unequal economic order had begun to impact unfavourably on the lower tier. From the anonymity of the sheep-pen, the so-called sheeple people had discovered a flaw in that aphorism which stated, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. They discovered that these perspectives were held by pedagogic Prometheans peering into histories rear-view mirrors. They were teachers who would never experience the thrill that came with grassroot activity or feel passions that could change the course of history.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

The electoral fuss is not a sign of strength … Israel is weaker than the cobweb الضجيج الانتخابي ليس قوة… «إسرائيل» أوهن من بيت العنكبوت

 The electoral fuss is not a sign of strength … Israel is weaker than the cobweb

أبريل 29, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

When the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is satisfied with the explanations of the Egyptian mediator about the circumstances which led to Palestinian missiles on Tel Aviv because he fears going to war on the eve of the elections after it was an ideal electoral chance, and when neither the American gifts nor the Russian ones benefit in granting Netanyahu the secure decisive winning swaying between one vote and another against a new-born party formed by retired generals who did not present any new political vision, but they manipulate with the words of the Likud, and when Netanyahu begs the voters to go to the polls two hours before they are closed because the voters are not interested seriously in the elections and the participation is less than before then that is enough to know that the electoral fuss is not a sign of strength,,, and that Israel is weaker than a cobweb.

The strength of Israel exists only in the Arab rhetoric that wants to justify defeat, normalization, and what is demanded by America to serve the weak Israel. What cannot be taken by America and Israel from the Palestinians, the Arabs are demanded to snatch. The talk of the Arab rulers, elites, and Palestinian or Lebanese political leaders about the danger of the “deal of the century”, the danger of the announcement of Jerusalem as a capital of Israel, and the American recognition of the annexation of Golan to Israel reflects their fear of the their rhetoric which fell and their position which is swaying, simply because they built their policies on the hypothesis of a settlement with the occupation entity and they see it dispersing in front of their eyes. They see that the US desperate policy from finding a Palestinian partner who signs for the security of Israel paves the way for the equation of the conflict of existence rather than the conflict of borders on which the Arab official and partisan theories based half a century ago. This means; the recognition of those who adopt from the beginning the theory of the conflict of existence.

What is going on is a unification of the territories occupied since 1967 and the territories occupied since 1948, therefore it is a curse on the occupation and on those who built their discourse on separating the fate of theses occupied territories; because territories of 1967 became Arab, while territories of 1948 became Israeli. So those who cry for the new American recognition do not deny that they were willing to barter an American recognition of the Arab descent of the 1967 territories with Arab recognition of the Israeli decent of the 1948 territories. This is the essence of the Arab peace initiative. But if Israel was able to bear its cost it would do so, and won and embarrassed the resistance forces and their allies.

The most important result of the Israeli elections is the boycotting of more than four-fifths of the Arab voters because the fall of the settlement project has reunited the people of the occupied territories in 1948 with the people of the occupied territories in 1967 and has ended the bets on the lie of the Israeli democracy after the declaration of a Jewish state. Therefore the Palestinians responded by ending the bet on the lie of the western democracy on the remembrance of the fall of Baghdad by the US invasion.

It is no longer important who will form the government of the occupation; since it is a government of vacancy, loss, and Diaspora. Netanyahu who wants to form the government and who is the most prominent candidate for such a task has to prepare himself to face the hour of truth. But how can the government of the cobweb withstand?

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

الضجيج الانتخابي ليس قوة… «إسرائيل» أوهن من بيت العنكبوت

أبريل 10, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– عندما يكتفي رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو بتوضيحات الوسيط المصري عن ظروف الطقس التي أدت لانطلاق صواريخ فلسطينية على تل أبيب لأنه يخشى الذهاب إلى الحرب عشية الانتخابات، بعدما كان الذهاب للحرب وصفة انتخابية نموذجية، وعندما لا تنفع الهدايا الأميركية والروسية في منح نتنياهو الفوز الآمن والواثق فيتأرجح على صوت زائد أو ناقص، مع حزب ولد قبل شهور قليلة شكّله جنرالات متقاعدون، لم يقدموا أي رؤية سياسية جديدة، وتلاعبوا بالكلمات بخطاب الليكود ذاته. وعندما يتوسل نتنياهو للناخبين للذهاب إلى صناديق الاقتراع قبل ساعتين من إقفالها، لأن الناخبين لا يكترثون جدياً والمشاركة أقل من اي انتخابات سابقة، فهذا كافٍ للتحقق من أن الضجيج الانتخابي ليس قوة، وأن «إسرائيل» فعلاً أوهن من بيت العنكبوت.

– قوة «إسرائيل» موجودة فقط في خطاب فريق عربي، يريد التهويل بهذه القوة لتبرير الانهزام والتطبيع وتمرير ما يطلبه الأميركي، خدمة لـ«إسرائيل» الضعيفة من كيس العرب، فما تعجز أميركا و«إسرائيل» عن انتزاعه من الفلسطينيين، يُراد أن يتولى العرب انتزاعه، وحديث حكام عرب أو نخب عربية أو قادة سياسيون عرب فلسطينيون ولبنانيون، عن خطر صفقة القرن، وخطر ما بعد إعلان القدس عاصمة لكيان الاحتلال، وما بعد الاعتراف الأميركي بضم «إسرائيل» للجولان السوري المحتل، هو خوفهم هم على خطابهم الذي سقط وموقعهم الذي يهتزّ، لأنهم قاموا وبنوا سياساتهم، وتشكّل خطابهم على فرضية وجود مشروع تسوية مع كيان الاحتلال، وهم يرونه يتبدّد، ويرون السياسة الأميركية اليائسة من إيجاد شريك فلسطيني يوقع على دفتر شروط أمن «إسرائيل»، إخلاء للساحة لمعادلة صراع الوجود بدلاً من صراع الحدود الذي قامت عليه النظريات العربية الرسمية والحزبية لنصف قرن مضى. وهذا يعني التسليم بانتقال الراية إلى الذين قامت معادلاتهم من الأصل على عقيدة صراع الوجود لا صراع الحدود مع كيان الاحتلال.

– لا صفقة قرن ولا توطين، ولا ضياع للجولان والقدس، فكل ما يجري هو توحيد لمصائر الأراضي المحتلة عام 1967 بالأراضي المحتلة عام 1948، وهذه نعمة لا نقمة. وهي نقمة على الاحتلال وعلى الذين بنوا خطابهم على فصل المصائر بين المناطق المحتلة، فكانت المعادلة، أراضي العام 67 عربية وأراضي العام 48 إسرائيلية، والمتباكون على الاعترافات الأميركية الجديدة، لا ينكرون أنهم كانوا مستعدين لمقايضة اعتراف أميركي بعروبة أراضي الـ67 باعتراف عربي بإسرائيلية أراضي الـ48. وهذا هو جوهر المبادرة العربية للسلام، ولو كان ممكناً لـ«إسرائيل» تحمل كلفتها لفعلتها، وكسبت الفوز بأكبر عملية خلط أوراق في المنطقة، وقادت أكبر إحراج لقوى المقاومة وحلفائها.

– أهم نتيجة تقولها الانتخابات الإسرائيلية هي مقاطعة أكثر من أربعة أخماس الناخبين العرب لأن سقوط فكر ومشروع التسوية أعاد الشعور لأبناء المناطق المحتلة العام 1948 بوحدة المصير مع أبناء المناطق المحتلة العام 1967، ودفن الرهانات على كذبة الديمقراطية الإسرائيلية بعد إعلانها دولة يهودية، وللذين يعرفون عمق الرموز التي يكتبها التاريخ بمغزى خاص، يرد الفلسطينيون بإسقاط كذبة الديمقراطية الغربية، في ذكرى سقوط بغداد أمام الغزو الأميركي.

– لم يعُد مهماً مَن يشكل حكومة الاحتلال، فهي حكومة الفراغ والضياع والشتات وقد فرغت الأرانب من أكمام دونالد ترامب، وبات على نتنياهو الراغب بتشكيل الحكومة والمرشح الأبرز للمهمة أن يستعدّ لمواجهة ساعة الحقيقة، كيف ستواجه حكومة بيت العنكبوت أعشاش الدبابير التي تحيطها من كل حدب وصوب؟

Are Democracy and Despotic Racism Compatible

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Are Democracy and Despotic Racism Compatible? An Analysis (12 April 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—The Israeli Model and Its American Supporters

On 25 February 2019, the Jewish American publication Forward, printed a remarkable opinion piece by Joshua Leifer. Leifer, who had worked in Israel for the anti-establishment +972 Magazine, is currently an associate editor ofDissent. His piece in the Forward was entitled “Wake Up, American Jews: You’ve Enabled Israel’s Racism for Years.”

Leifer begins by saying that the Israeli rightwing political parties have always been racist, though there was a time, back in the 1980s, when they objected to being too upfront about this. Thus, for the sake of public relations, they held their violent and despotic fringe—the Kahanists—at arm’s length. As Leifer puts it, what was frowned upon was the style rather than the substance of “explicit, violent racism.” That objection is now gone. The goal of a “Jewish supremacist state” is out in the open—an explicit political goal. And the Palestinians, including those who are Israeli citizens, are to be condemned to “forever live subjugated under military occupation, confined to isolated Bantustans, or … expelled.” Those Jews, both Israelis and diaspora Jews, who object to this process will be labeled as “traitors.”

Having established these facts on the ground, Leifer asks “how has the American Jewish establishment responded?” His answer is, they have either been silent or, more often, have actively sought to enable the power of Israel’s despotic racism. They have cooperated with, lobbied for, and raised money to underpin Israel’s racist policies. Of course, a Zionist is sure to assert that the lobbying and money are pursued for the sake of Israeli security. Yet, today’s Israeli leaders don’t define security, with the possible exceptions of Gaza and the Lebanese frontier, in terms of borders. Instead security is defined in terms of achieving and maintaining Jewish supremacy in all territory under Zionist control. This is why all of Israel’s Zionist parties have pledged never to include the token number of Arabs in the Knesset in a governing coalition.

In their effort to support Zionist Israel, America’s establishment Jewish leaders have proven themselves willing to undermine the constitutional freedoms of their own native country, as has been the case with their relentless attacks on the right of free speech as practiced in the boycott Israel movement—BDS. In the end, there can be no more convincing proof that these organizations serve as de facto agents of a foreign power, than to see how their leadership willingly discards the modern principles of civil and human rights found in the U.S. Constitution—to say nothing of international law—in order to support a state that openly pursues apartheid ends.

Leifer offers two possible reasons for why establishment Jewish organizations in the U.S. have chosen this path. The first possibility is “willful ignorance,” that is, a psychological inability to face the truth about a state that they, as American Jewish leaders, have always seen as an ultimate haven if a new Holocaust threat arises. The second possibility is that the leadership of the American Jewish organizations are themselves conscious racists when it comes to a Jewish supremacist state. According to Leifer, “No one exemplifies this better than Ambassador David Friedman, whose rhetoric—calling JStreet “worse than kapos”—mirrors the kind of rhetoric popular on the Israeli right.”

Part II—Racism Beyond the Israeli Right

This is a strong, and quite searing, condemnation of Israeli society and its American Jewish allies. Still, things can and do get worse. On 4 April 2019 the British anti-Zionist Jewish writer Tony Greenstein posted an essay entitled “There Is Nothing That Netanyahu Has Done That Labour Zionism Didn’t Do Before Him.” Greenstein begins by citing an 11 March 2019 piecein Haaretz written by Amira Haas, one of the few prominent non-Zionist Jewish journalists still working in Israel. Haas draws attention to the fact that “when Israeli governments in the 1960s and 1970s worked hard to steal Palestinian land while quoting God’s promises to atheists, they paved the way for parties promoting Jewish supremacy.” Thus, as Greenstein puts it: “It is often forgotten that it wasn’t Likud but the Israeli Labour Alignment which helped to launch the settler movement.” The remorseless absorption of Palestinian land and the oppressive treatment of its native population is not the work solely of the Israeli right wing. From the beginning, all of the major Zionist political parties, left and right, supported these policies as a way of fulfilling Zionist destiny.

Haas is unflinching in her characterization of their actions. For her, this “racist messianism” smacks of the policy of “Lebensraum” or “the urge to create living space.” Haas goes on to lament the fact that “we thought that in the end, the heads of the Labour movement would learn from the expansionist impulses of other nations. After all, they were the sons and brothers of the victims of Lebensraum.” In other words, at least in this policy of expansion and expulsion, all Israeli governing coalitions have adopted behaviors toward the Palestinians reminiscent of those practiced by the persecutors of Europe’s Jews.

Part III—The Question Answered

Considering that Israel and its supporters often proclaim that it is a Western-style democracy, and given the bit of history laid out above, we can ask if democracy and racist despotism can in fact be compatible. And, while the example of Israel serves as our backdrop for this query, we can consider the question generically. Can any democracy prove compatible with racist despotism?

Historically, the answer is an obvious yes. All that needs to happen is that a powerful group within the nation identifies itself as a privileged elite and reserves democratic procedures and privileges for itself, while condemning others to discrimination, segregation, or worse. Again, this posture has nothing to do with Jewishness. Any ethnicity or self-identified group can adopt it—based on color, religion, gender, or something else. The much-idealized ancient democracy of Athens did it based on gender and citizenship linked to birth.The United States ran as a selective democracy/racist despotism that practiced slavery until the middle of the 19th century while statutory discrimination persisted until the 1960s. Recent events indicate a revival of virulent white supremacism.

If there is a remedy to this it is in the rule of law functioning as an enforced regulatory process—one linked to a tenets of human rights. The U.S. Bill of Rights and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights are good, if incomplete models. Politics, including democratic politics, has to be constitutionally regulated to assure equity (much like economies), and the regulations have to be applied consistently until they become ingrained as natural expectations within the consciousness of the citizenry. This probably requires generations of equalitarian practice. And, even then, what you achieve is the minimizing of the infiltration of corruptive bias, and other such variants corrosive of genuine democracy, into the system. The truth is that you probably cannot eliminate the threat altogether.

Getting back to Israel: under the present circumstances, there is no reason to believe that the outcome of the recent 9 April 2019 Israeli elections would have changed the fate of either the the country’s Jews or the Palestinians. And, now that we know that Benjamin Netanyahu and his rightwing Likud Party will lead the next coalition government, it is certain that the illegal Zionist colonization of the West Bank, and its accompanying oppression, will continue apace. This, by the way, is simply the maintenance of a long-standing status quo—a conscious policy in its own right. And, it is a policy that reflects the fact that “for years, most Israelis have passively or actively allowed values of equality, justice, and yes, peace, to go by the wayside.”

So what is the legacy of Zionism? Is it the establishment of a genuine democracy in the Middle East? Is it even the realization of a haven for the world’s Jews against the next Holocaust? No, it is neither of these. It is rather the melding of an elitist pseudo-democracy with racist despotism—the realization of an elitist fortress from which Israel maintains distinctly undemocratic control of a hinterland full of conquered people. To paraphrase the odious Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, this whole setup smells nothing like democracy. It smells to me like fascism.

About Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

Wealthy Immigrants, Netanyahu and the Movie Tycoon

April 12, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Eve Mykytyn April 11, 2019

What connects wealthy immigrants to Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and Arnon Milchan, (Israeli operative and producer of 145 movies including 12 Years a Slave and Pretty Woman)? They are all supporters of an Israeli tax exemption that is designed to encourage Jewish billionaires to move to Israel.

Since 1950, Israel’s Law of Return has offered automatic citizenship to any­one with one Jewish grandparent who resides in Israel for 90 days. Despite some tensions, immigration has overall been profitable for Israel. Ostensively to encourage immigration, during the 2008 global financial slowdown, Israel enacted Amendment 168 to its tax code exempting from both tax and reporting all foreign source income (income earned outside of Israel) of new or returning residents. By so exempting newcomers, Israel made itself into a tax haven.

Amendment 168 was called the Milchan Law in honor of the man who lobbied for the amendment and, in 2009, the Tablet announced that the “fertilizer company scion-turned-movie mogul Arnon Milchan is taking advantage of the generous benefits and moving back to Israel.”

In response to the law, in 2009-2010 many an expatriate Israeli billionaire decided to return to his homeland and in 2018 Russian Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich became an Israeli citizen and instantly became the country’s wealthiest citizen with a net worth, according to Forbes, of $11.5 billion.

The provision may be a factor in the outsized number of millionaire immigrants to Israel. In 2015 over 4000 millionaires moved to Israel, more than 10% of that year’s 31,013 immigrants. In fact, Israel was fourth in millionaire inflow — after Australia, the United States and Canada, in that order.

Haaretz called for a repeal to the exemption noting that it provides a “clear benefit to the billionaires who save on taxes for 10 years… [and] enjoy the fog of not having to report for 10 years – a fog that gives them time to conceal their assets and profits.” This benefit is paid for “by the citizens of countries where billionaires no longer have to pay taxes, and the citizens of Israel, who don’t benefit from a tax on the billionaires’ income.”

Israel’s Tax Authority Director, General Moshe Asher, said Milchan’s law made Israel into one of the world’s “most generous tax havens.”  Asher defined a  tax haven as a place that a) one doesn’t pay taxes and b) there is an exemption from reporting one’s income. And, Asher pointed out: “In Israel we have something extra. We have an expansive network of tax treaties with developed countries that a typical offshore tax haven does not have. [This means that the immigrant] would pay no taxes abroad because of the tax treaty with Israel, and no taxes in Israel because of the law here.”

Israel’s state comptroller worried that the Amendment gave immigrants an incentive to launder money or to use money that was laundered abroad, “activities which may encourage crime and damage the integrity of Israeli society and the economy.”  In 2014, an audit of 600 bank accounts belonging to recent immigrants found one hundred accounts to have irregular activity that caused the bank to flag them for suspected money laundering.

The reporting exemption also prevents Israel from honoring its 2013 commitment to follow OECD rules and share tax information with other countries. But each year since 2014, a provision canceling the reporting exemption has been included in legislation and each year it has been removed before the legislation was even voted on.

Despite these issues, Netanyahu attempted to increase the exemption period to 20 years in a move that would have helped Milchan but was rejected by the Finance Ministry. The Attorney General has accused Netanyahu of seeking the extension on Milchan’s behalf.

Milchan‘s biography is novelistic. While running businesses in dozens of countries and producing hit Hollywood movies,  Milchan secretly worked for Israel’s intelligence service, acquiring technology and weapons. His efforts included helping Israel develop its nuclear weapons by sourcing uranium from South Africa.

Netanyahu and Milchan’s difficulties began in 2013, when Milchan gave an interview to the Israeli news program Uvda. In the interview Milchan detailed his secret spy work. His revelations led the U.S. to deny Milchan an extension of his ten-year residence visa, jeopardizing his Hollywood career. Netanyahu intervened on Milchan’s behalf with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Milchan was granted an extension.

Then, also in 2013, Milchan began expressing his gratitude by providing luxuries and cash that Netanyahu claims were just gifts from a friend. Under repeated questioning by Israel’s Attorney General Mandelblit, Milchan admitted that what Netanyahu and his wife received were not ‘gifts between friends’ but rather responses to demands made by the Netanyahus.

Mandelblit has announced that after Israel’s election he intends to charge Netanyahu with taking bribes to gain influence and political favors. (The charges resulting from his relationship with Milchan are not the only charges.) Borrowing a page from his friend Donald Trump, Netanyahu has dismissed the investigation as a political witch hunt.  In another echo of Trump, polls show it wouldn’t cost Likud any seats in the Knesset if he were to face charges.


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.

Scandal: An Impoverished Labour Council spent £136.000 to stop me from playing sax and got Santa Claus instead

February 02, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

The corrupted Islington Labour Council has disclosed that it spent the staggering amount of £136.000 on legal fees in its efforts to stop me from playing sax with the Blockheads at a Christmas concert.

 Islington Labour council claims to be impoverished, as a result it has evicted disabled people, it  struggles with housing and can’t find the necessary cash to feed impoverished kids in school.  Instead  they used the £136.000 of the taxpayers’ money to try to interfere with the arts, freedom of expression and a Christmas musical celebration. If this story doesn’t become a huge scandal, Britain is a free place no more.

£136.000 could provide a roof for more than 270 disabled and homeless people for a month…

Background:

On 3 December, Islington Council received an email from Likud Uk Director Martin Rankoff. Rankoff claimed to be so upset by my appearance at a council venue that he would be forced not to attend. Council leader Richard Watts took immediate action. In an email to Rankoff he vowed to prevent me from appearing with the Blockheads. On the 4th the Council sent a letter to the Band informing them that they had to remove me from the  concert or face a cancelation. The Band was indignant that the Council was interfering with their performance and published a very strong statement opposing the Council’s demand.  I hired a legal team to help me fight the Council’s autocratic demand.

On its part, the bankrupt Council hired the Simkins law firm. Simkins, already one of Britain’s most expensive legal firms, deployed two partners for the task of stopping me playing the sax. Not surprisingly,  one of these partners had represented ultra Zionist tycoon Sheldon Adelson, a benefactor of both President Trump and Likud leader Bibi Netanyahu.

A few days before the concert, I publicised the matter, having decided that the public deserved to know how their Council was spending its time and their money. And I was determined to expose the troubling collusion between the Labour Council and Likud UK.

A petition expressing disgust with the Council was launched and quickly gathered almost 7000 signatures, but the Council refused to employ common sense. Thousands off complaints were filed with the council. But the Labour council preferred to listen to UK Likud Director. I was told that the Council was spending tens of thousands of pounds on legal fees to justify its unlawful act. Some of  my supporters filed Freedom of Information requests to find out how much Cllr Watts’ ‘decision’ cost Islington’s residents.

I thought there had been an outlandish waste of £40-60.000. Today, through the Freedom of Information replies, we learned that the corrupted Labour politicians spent three times that amount. And in response to a request for an explanation of the Council’s actions, the Labour councillors showed that they were not even brave enough to take responsibility for their own wasteful and absurd actions. Their claim was that the Council’s employees had been the decision makers.  “The operative decision to ban Mr Atzmon was not taken by a councillor. Rather, the decision was taken by Martin Bevis, Assistant Director Financial Operations and Customer Service, and that decision was upheld on appeal by Ian Adams, Director Financial Operations and Customer Services.”

Try to Figure Out Where Labour Ends and Likud Starts

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By Gilad Atzmon

A few days before Christmas, Labour Cllr Richard Watts and the Islington Council, acting at the request of the UK Likud Herut Director, chose to stop me from playing with the Blockheads. The impoverished Council, in an odd interpretation of working for its citizens, hired two partners from one of London’s most expensive law firms to help them in their crusade against my saxophone.

Their action prompted hundreds of complaints and a petition of protest from  almost 7000. Despite the backlash, another Labour councillor has stepped in to try to ruin my musical career.  Rachel Eden has in the past attempted to interfere with my literature event at Reading Literary Festival, organised a protest against me without knowing who I was and what I stood for, and is on the Zionist We Believe in Israel list of 2016 General Election candidates who pledge their support for Israel.

Dear xxxx,

Hope you’re well and enjoying the run up to Christmas…
Sorry to email you about something controversial but I suspect that you’d rather I let you know.  (the comments in brackets are my own GA)

I just wanted to alert you that I am sure inadvertantly (sic) Progress has taken a booking from Gilead (sic) Atzmon.  He’s not a household name but he is very well known by the Jewish community as an anti-semite, last time he came to Reading he claimed that Jerusalem-ites doing mitzvot caused the Grenfell Tower tragedy:
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/atzmon-blames-grenfell-tower-tragedy-on-jerusalemites-following-mitzvot-1.447012 (GA: If Mrs. Eden had actually bothered to read the JC article, she would have noticed that I emphasise that Jerusalem vs. Athens is not a Jew vs Gentile binary. I pointed out that tragedies like the Grenfell tower come about because in Jerusalem people are trained to follow patterns and regulations: as opposed to thinking authentically and ethically as in Athens.)

As you’ll see from this story he was protested by a mix of Jewish and LGBT residents, he is also a holocaust ‘skeptic’ and Labour councillors including me. (GA: I am not a Holocaust ‘skeptic’ as I am not an historian, however, I support the idea that every event in the past must be subject to  historical analysis and revision!)

If you want to know a bit more about him the Jewish Chronicle keeps an eye on him:
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/antisemite-gilad-atzmon-banned-from-performing-islington-council-1.474094  (GA: now there’s an unbiased source)

He recently lost a libel lawsuit in which was sued by the campaign against anti-semetism:(sic) (GA: I settled a libel suit with CAA’s Gideon Falter, and the issue was not relevant to antisemitism.) https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/gilad-atzmon-forced-to-ask-supporters-for-funds-after-campaign-against-antisemitism-libel-lawsuit-1.473179
Hope not hate have a bit about him here:
https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/2017/10/20/gilad-atzmon-heads-reading/

(GA: Hope not Hate is a notorious Zionist operation and has been exposed as such many times in the past.)

All in all I am guessing you and the committee probably didn’t know any of this as he is trying to portray himself as “just” a jazz musician, but I would assume he’s not the sort of person you want associated with Progress Theatre.

Rachel

The promoters of the concert replied to Cllr Eden as follows: “Our focus is on – and our interest is in – the music, nothing else. We do not aim to provide a platform for people to express their personal views on any non-musical subject. We have not received complaints of offence being caused at any of our concerts in the fourteen years we have been promoting jazz, despite programming a wide variety of acts and individuals. In the case of Gilad Atzmon, we understand that he has never even been questioned by any law enforcement authority about the allegations to which you refer, let alone convicted.”

It would be a blessing for the kingdom if our politicians had the clarity of thinking, ethical stand and respect for free speech displayed by our musical promoters and venues. Apparently, despite Eden’s persistent  harassment of the venue, the promoters held fast against her onslaught.

As expected, when it became clear that Cllr. Eden would not be able to stop my concert, the notorious ultra Zionist Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) in accord with its stated goal to ruin anyone it deems a threat to Zion, openly re-joined the effort to rid Britain of my saxophone.

Apparently, numerous promoters around the country have received threatening letters from Stephen Silverman, a ‘music teacher’ as well as The CAA’s ‘Director of Investigation and Enforcement.’ A charity is defined as “an organisation set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.” I wonder what it is that qualifies an organisation as charitable when instead of helping others it operates to investigate and ‘enforce’ rules of its own making.

Enforcement commissar Silverman’s email is a rehash of their usual list of misleading, misquoted and badly sourced accusations and ends with, what for them is an unusually polite declaration:  “It would, of course, be inappropriate for us to attempt to dictate who appears at your venue, and that is not my intention. The purpose of this letter is merely to provide you and your venue with information of which you may be unaware.”

Naturally, Silverman does not actually mean his deferential words. Once a venue replies that it does not intend to accede to the demands of Silverman and his klan, Silverman sends a second letter accusing the venue of “taking side” with haters, in “dereliction of duty” to side with Jews. The email ends with a clear threatening note:

From: stephen.silverman@antixxxxx.uk

Sent: 18 January 2019 17:11
To: XXXX
Cc: ‘Anthony Orkin’ anthony.orkin@antixxxxx.uk
Subject: RE: Gilad Atzmon

Thank you for your reply. On the basis of your response it is clear that, by failing to stand up to antisemitism, you have chosen to side with those who seek to stir up hatred towards this country’s Jewish communityYour willingness to turn a blind eye to the activities of this leading antisemite shames you, your board and your arts centre, and is nothing less than a dereliction of duty. 

There is a vast amount of documented evidence, accumulated over many years, that bears witness to the extent of Gilad Atzmon’s antisemitism. He attempts to shield himself from the consequences of this with a bogus philosophy of his own devising that purports to be critical of ‘Jewishness’, Jewish politics and Jewish culture rather than of Jews. It is a paper-thin facade that crumbles under even the most cursory scrutiny.

This is someone who publicly told a Jewish man that he detested the Jew in hone (GA: actually, this was in reply to a tweet that “as a Jew” I should want to kill Arabs. The tweet was from vile hateful character @onepound1 who was subsequently banned from twitter for hate speech. I didn’t know that @onepound1 is indeed Jewish, perhaps Mr. Silverman is more familiar with this anonymous twitter user and his murderous intent?) stated that burning synagogues could be considered a rational act (GA: indeed, as are many violent actions in a war. They are rational not ethical and not desirable. The Guardian published my letter in that regard)  and invited the Jewish people to apologise for being so hateful that the world has been forced to persecute them (GA: here’s the quote in context:  “Instead of constantly blaming the Goyim for inflicting pain on Jews, it is time for Jews to look in the mirror and try to identify what it is in Jews and their culture that evokes so much fury. It may even be possible that some Jews would take this opportunity to apologise to the Gentiles around them for evoking all this anger.”). He repeats some of the same discredited antisemitic views about Jewish power that were employed by the Nazi regime to pave the way for the Holocaust, and he uses his blogs, videos and public talks to encourage others to share his hatred. (GA: noticeably Silverman doesn’t present a single hateful comment by me.) In 2012, he was disavowed by a group of prominent Palestinian writers and activists who refused to have anything further to do with his antisemitism. (GA: here he is telling you that a group of 20 Palestinian activists are more sensitive to accusations of antisemitism then they are in furthering their cause.)

We will endeavour to ensure that your actions, positive or negative, receive the attention that they deserve.

Kind regards

Stephen Silverman

Director of Investigations and Enforcement

Direct: 0330 822 XXXX extn 203

– –

As I point out above, Silverman’s accusations are misleading. However, threatening emails from this specific Jewish charity raise some serious concerns. In August, 2017, after the CAA and Silverman sent similar threatening notes to an Oxford bookshop that refused to acquiesce to their demands, a member of the audience was the victim of a  vicious physical attack that left him with a severe eye injury. After the attack, audience members, some of whom were Jewish, responded with angry letters to the CAA, but the British ‘charitable’ organisation refused to take any responsibility for the attack.

Friday night’s concert at the Progress Theatre was a sold out success, in spite of Cllr Eden’s campaign and CAA’s threatening messages. Last night we performed at the Ropetackle Arts Centre which has received similar threatening emails from Silverman and one Simon Butler, a NYC ‘CAA’s volunteer.’

The Ropetackle Arts Centre responded to the threats as follows:

“The letter from Mr Silverman has been passed to me in my capacity as chairman of the charity which runs the Ropetackle Arts Centre.

We recently received a similar request from Simon Butler. After very careful consideration, we informed him that we were intending to go ahead with the concert. This remains our decision which we do not feel appropriate to explain or justify other than to point out that Gilad Atzmon has performed at our Centre on numerous previous occasion without any complaint.”

If the CAA wants to fight antisemitism for real they should consider ceasing their operation tomorrow morning.  Their mean spirited attempt to ruin people financially reflects disastrously on them and anyone who is associated with their campaign. The more their operation and its methodology become known, the more likely the public is to believe that their bullying is supported by Jews in general. Such thoughts could lead to a real backlash which is a result antithetical to the goals of those of us who oppose all racism and violence.

 


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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