Rather Ironic isn’t it? Germany’s new Nazis see israel as role model

Germany’s new Nazis see Israel as role model

Israel and its supporters have made alliances with racists, anti-Semites and Islamophobes all over Europe. (via Flickr)

“Unfortunately, our worst fears have come true,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said of the electoral success in Sunday’s general election of Alternative for Germany.

Known by its German initials AfD, the extreme nationalist party won almost 100 seats in Germany’s lower house.

“A party that tolerates far-right views in its ranks and incites hate against minorities in our country is today not only in almost all state parliaments but also represented in the Bundestag,” Schuster said.

The party is notorious for harboring all manner of racists and extremists, including apologists for Germany’s war record and Holocaust revisionists.

It was a disaster that Germany’s mainstream politicians saw coming.

Sigmar Gabriel, the country’s foreign minister, warned earlier this month that if AfD scored well at the ballot box, “then we will have real Nazis in the German Reichstag for the first time since the end of World War II.”

Pro-Israel funder backs new Nazis

While Germany needs no lessons in how to be racist, this catastrophe can in part be attributed to leaders in Israel and their fanatical supporters: for years they have made common cause with Europe’s far right, demonizing Muslims as alien invaders who must be rejected and even expelled to maintain a mythical European purity.

It can also be attributed to German leaders who for decades have strengthened this racist Israel by financing Israel’s military occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

What happened in Germany is another facet of the white supremacist-Zionist alliance that has found a home in Donald Trump’s White House.

In the past few weeks, liberal flagships The New York Times and The Washington Post have been hunting for the nonexistent shadows of Russian interference in the German election.

Meanwhile, as Lee Fang reported for The Intercept, the Gatestone Institute, the think tank of major Islamophobia industry funder Nina Rosenwald, was flooding German social media with “a steady flow of inflammatory content about the German election, focused on stoking fears about immigrants and Muslims.”

The Gatestone Institute is chaired by John Bolton, the neoconservative former US diplomat notorious for his hawkish support of the invasion of Iraq.

Gatestone articles making claims about Christianity becoming “extinct” and warning about the construction of mosques in Germany were regularly translated into German and posted by AfD politicians and sympathizers.

Story after story claimed that migrants and refugees were raping German women and bringing dangerous diseases to the country, classic themes of the Nazi propaganda once used to incite genocidal hatred of Jews.

In a tragic irony, Rosenwald’s father, an heir to the Sears department store fortune, used his wealth to help Jewish refugees flee persecution in Europe.

His daughter took a different path. Journalist Max Blumenthal has called Nina Rosenwald the “sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate.”

Blumenthal reported in 2012 that Rosenwald “used her millions to cement the alliance between the pro-Israel lobby and the Islamophobic fringe.”

In addition to funding a host of the most notorious anti-Muslim demagogues, Blumenthal reported that Rosenwald “served on the board of AIPAC, the central arm of America’s Israel lobby, and holds leadership roles in a host of mainstream pro-Israel organizations.”

The party of Anders Breivik

In a profile the day after the election, The Jerusalem Report, published by the right-wing Jerusalem Post, gave AfD deputy leader Beatrix von Storch a platform to set out the party’s anti-Muslim ideology.

The Jerusalem Report also quotes German political scientist Marcel Lewandowsky explaining that “AfD members view the European Union as a traitor to Europe’s Christian heritage because they let in the Muslims. The view is that the Islamization of Europe was caused by the EU.”

“Replacement” by Muslims, Lewandowsky explained, “is the core of the fear of AfD voters.”

This means that the core ideology of the party is indistinguishable from that of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who murdered dozens of his fellow citizens, mostly teenagers at a Labor Party youth camp, in July 2011, in the name of stopping the “Islamization” of Europe.

One of the biggest benefactors of Rosenwald’s largesse, according to Blumenthal, has been Daniel Pipes, the influential pro-Israel, anti-Muslim demagogue who Breivik cited 18 times in his notorious manifesto.

Admiration for Israel

AfD deputy leader von Storch, who sits in the European Parliament, also uses The Jerusalem Report interview to lay out her party’s pro-Israel stance, comparing its German nationalism to Israel’s Zionist ideology.

According to the The Jerusalem Report, von Storch is a founder of “Friends of Judea and Samaria,” a far-right European Parliament grouping that supports Israel’s illegal colonization of occupied Palestinian land.

Bizarrely, that group lists as one of its contact persons the head of the “Shomron Regional Council,” a settler organization in the occupied West Bank.

“Israel could be a role model for Germany,” von Storch told The Jerusalem Report. “Israel is a democracy that has a free and pluralistic society. Israel also makes efforts to preserve its unique culture and traditions. The same should be possible for Germany and any other nation.”

Von Storch’s identification with Israel echoes that of US Nazi demagogue Richard Spencer, who has described his vision of an Aryan “ethno-state” as “white Zionism.”

AfD chair Frauke Petry has also expressed support for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. In February, she told the right-wing Jewish publication Tablet that her only visit to Israel gave her a positive view of the country.

“Suddenly the picture you get is somewhat different than what you got when you live far away,” she said.

Israel’s settler leaders have taken note. As the world reeled from AfD’s electoral success, Yehuda Glick, a lawmaker in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, tweeted that all those who were “in a panic” about AfD should rest assured that Petry was working “intensively” to expel any anti-Semitic elements.

Glick, a leader in the apocalyptic movement that seeks to destroy Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple, also recommended an article outlining AfD’s pro-Israel stance.

According to Tablet, Petry’s visit also led her to believe “that Europe should be learning more from Israel in its fight against terrorism.”

According to a recent survey, this strong support for Israel is felt across the ranks of AfD’s leadership.

Alliance with Zionism

There is a clear logic for AfD leaders to join the newly invigorated alliance between far-right, traditionally anti-Semitic forces on the one hand, and Israel and Zionists on the other.

Party chair Petry has argued that Jews should should be willing to talk to AfD over supposedly common interests, explaining, according to Tablet, that “it is the left wing in Germany and new Muslim immigrants who are leading her country’s anti-Israel movement.”

“Both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are strongest in the Islamic community, as well as the left,” von Storch said. “They reject the fact that the Judeo-Christian foundations of European civilization are instrumental to its success. We recognize the threat they pose to both Israel and Germany’s Jewish community and their safety is a high priority for us.”

This is of course the most brazen revisionism: for centuries Europe’s Christian authorities not only did not consider Jews as a foundational part of their “civilization,” but persecuted them mercilessly, eventually attempting genocide.

But such facts are glossed over in the interests of a present-day anti-Muslim alliance that is prepared to torch the increasingly frayed fabric of pluralistic societies for the sake of Israel and German national purification.

Israel’s support for fascists

Critically, as Glick’s tweets indicate, this has not been a one-way affair. It has been encouraged by Israel and its lobby groups.

The notion that Israel is the spearhead of a Western civilizational battlefront against Islam has been a key claim of Netanyahu.

He and other Israeli leaders have exploited every terrorist outrage in Europe to advance the poisonous message that Israel is “fighting the same fight.”

And powerful Israel lobby groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League, that are now expressing alarm at the electoral success of the AfD, are far from innocent.

For years, the Anti-Defamation League – which poses as an “anti-hate” group – courted and whitewashed influential anti-Muslim hate-preachers because they supported its pro-Israel agenda.

This embrace between Zionists and their supposed opposites continues to thrive in the welcome former Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka have found from Israel and its lobby groups.

Bannon will speak at the Zionist Organization of America’s upcoming gala, while Gorka, who has ties to Nazis and violent anti-Semitic militias, was recently welcomed in Israel.

It can be seen in the Israeli government’s long and conspicuous silence while the rest of the world condemned August’s neo-Nazi rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It can also be seen in Netanyahu’s embrace of far-right European leaders including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has attempted to rehabilitate his country’s Hitler-allied wartime leadership.

While the brazenness of this alliance may be shocking, it dates back to the early years of both the Zionist and Nazi movements. As Columbia University professor Joseph Massad has pointed out, Zionists and European anti-Semites historically shared the same analysis: that Jews were alien to Europe and had to be moved elsewhere.

And it continues: Israeli commentators are noting that Israel has not rushed to condemn AfD.

Netanyahu – always quick to pounce on the alleged anti-Semitism of Israel’s critics – took to Twitter to congratulate Chancellor Angela Merkel on her victory, but has so far remained silent about the subject that everyone else is talking about.

Going mainstream

Despite its electoral success, AfD is riven by splits: its chair Frauke Petry made the surprise announcement on Monday that she won’t join her party’s parliamentary caucus.

One strategy party leaders are deploying to make AfD more palatable is to try to assuage the fears of the Jewish community.

Undoubtedly, it will continue to attempt to do so by expressing admiration and support for Israel – the same approach as France’s historically anti-Semitic Front National.

We can expect to see AfD double down on its support of Israel, including its colonial settlements in “Judea and Samaria.”

But this is indeed a mark of its mainstreaming. Historically, Germany’s postwar establishment, including the governments led by Merkel, has “atoned” for the country’s genocide of Jews by supporting Israel to commit crimes against Palestinians.

Billions of dollars of German “reparations” went not to helping Holocaust survivors, but to arming Israel to carry out military occupation and colonization.

For Palestinians, then, Merkel’s “moderate” centrism and AfD’s overt bigotry and racism, are little different in effect.

Just as Donald Trump presents the unvarnished face of the American militarism and imperialism that has victimized people around the world for decades, AfD is in some ways a more honest voice of a Germany that speaks of “human rights,” while unconditionally supporting an Israel whose main export is extremism and Islamophobia.

Europe’s nativist racism joined with this ill-wind from Israel produces a toxic mix

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The imprisonment of 300 Palestinian minors in the Zionist prisons

The imprisonment of 300 Palestinian minors in the Zionist prisons

Recent polls shows an increase in the number of Palestinian children arrested by Zionist security forces.

According to the Palestinian Information Center, the Zionists has intensified the arrest of Palestinian children in the West Bank over the last few months, in particular the cities of al-Khalil and al-Quds.

The Palestinian Authorities said in a report that Zionist forces capture an average of 12 Palestinian children per month.

The report claims that 300 Palestinian children are currently being held in Zionist prisons and are tortured and interrogated, which is in contrast with all international laws and standards.

During 8 years of Netanyahu as Prime Minister, 53 mosques and churches have been burned down by Zionists

During 8 years of Netanyahu as Prime Minister, 53 mosques and churches have been burned down by Zionists

Since Benjamin Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister in 2009, dozens of mosques and churches have been destroyed and burned down.

The Haaretz newspaper reported that 53 mosques and churches were destroyed or burned since the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rose to power in 2009, the last of which is the “Beit Jamal” Church in the west of al-Quds city.

According to the report, only 9 people charged with involvement in the incident have so far been sued. Also it has been proved that seven of them are the followers of the extremist Jewish organization “Tadefi al-Thoman”. The remaining cases, which are about 45, have been closed.

The Pastor of Beit Jamal said that the Church has been severely damaged. the windows and the statue of Mary have been broken, also the dishes and furnishings inside this church have been ruined.”

Forget the anti-Semitism fallacy, let’s focus on the Palestinians

Forget the anti-Semitism fallacy, let’s focus on the Palestinians
Jewish anti-Zionist rabbi

Speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on 16 July 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron repeated the slogan that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. According to Macron, anti-Zionist and anti-Israel expressions are “a new type of anti- Semitism”. We hear this almost daily, and pretty soon one of us anti-Zionists will land in jail for arguing that only a democratic, Palestinian state in Palestine has a right to exist there.

Only a few decades ago, and only for a few decades, Zionism proclaimed by many as racist, but now, according to Mr Macron, the allegation is that it is anti-Zionism that is racist.

There is, however, a large logical flaw in the argument that believing Israel should be replaced by a democracy is anti-Semitic: the anti-Zionist position denies only the right of a Jewish state to exist in Palestine, at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians. It does not deny the right of Jews, or “the Jews”, to a state of their own somewhere, at nobody’s expense. Nor does it necessarily affirm it. This pro-Palestinian position simply denies the right of any state, whether Jewish or anything else, to impose itself on Palestine against the will of the indigenous Palestinians.

A British-enabled European colony

The issue has never been “Yes” or “No” to the question of Jewish self-determination as such, embodied in a state. Even if the answer is “Yes”, a “Yes” to Israel does not follow: the claim of some Jews, or Zionist Jews, or European Jews, or Christian Zionists, that “the Jews” own Palestine does not stand up. The land belonged and still belongs to the flesh-and-blood 20th century inhabitants whose ancestors had lived there for centuries or millennia.

Instead, the issue has always been on whose land and at whose cost a Jewish state could justly be established. Palestine could always be ruled out because, on any rational moral standard, the property rights and political rights of the Palestinians – be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish or atheist – had precedence.

These are the problems that make it impossible for Zionism – which insists its state must be in Palestine – to have any ethical justification. That the imposed state is Jewish is not relevant. What is relevant is only that it is imposed.

Anti-Zionism – better, pro-Palestinianism – thus takes no stand at all on the general question of Jewish self-determination. It can even, in spite of strong arguments in principle against ethno-religiously defined states, hold great sympathy for the wish of many Jews for a haven where they are safe from European persecution. But not at others’ existential expense.

For this discussion, it is not even necessary to define what one means by “Jewish state”: whether it is something cuddly, with a flag showing the Star of David and Hanukkah instead of Christmas, or the real Zionist entity which legally privileges Jews and refuses ethnically-cleansed Palestinians their right of return, is of no relevance. Either state, if rejected by a majority of Palestine’s indigenous people, is illegitimate.

This is in fact what it means to reject Israel’s legitimacy: it is a British-enabled, European colony. A necessary condition of the Zionist state was and is the eradication of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. The case for Israel’s illegitimacy thus has nothing to do intrinsically with Judaism or Jews, but only with the fact that Zionism threw the first stone of aggressive colonialism. The rightful polity never wanted Israel, period.

Thus, from a moral point of view Zionism’s problem is that Israel is in the wrong place. Any place would be wrong if the state’s existence presupposed military conquest and ethnic cleansing. That the anti-Semitism that gave rise to Zionism in the first place was European, having nothing to do with Palestinians, merely rubs salt in the wounds of Palestinians and of justice.

So, we can say that Israel has no right to exist (it is not right that it exists), where it is and in the manner that it maintains itself, without saying a single word about Jews, a Jewish collective, Jewish statehood or Jewish self-determination. We are talking about Palestine and Palestinians.

We should in fact start any discussion of Palestine and Israel with Palestine, not with philo- or anti-Semitism or with the ins and outs of the Zionist endeavour or with the historical claims of some long-ago residents. In the beginning of modern political Zionism were indigenous Palestinians, and their enduring and inalienable rights should be our focus, a positive focus in no need of defence against far-fetched accusations concerning one or the other attitude towards Jews and their national aspirations.

Our arguments for the sole legitimacy of a state determined by the majority of the Palestinians – wherever they now live – do in fact entail the negatively-expressed conclusion that Israel is illegitimate. But the argument for Palestinian self-determination, in Palestine, makes no necessary mention of the particular non-indigenous ethnic or religious group in terms of which Israel defines itself. Thus, the claim that the anti-Zionism entailed by full recognition of Palestinian rights is anti-Semitic simply falls flat for lack of an object.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition

The conflation of opposition to Israel with opposition to Jews is thus embarrassingly illogical. Yet we see the president of France doing exactly that, and likewise the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), but before looking at that organisation’s definition, what is anti-Semitism? It is not all that complicated. It is antipathy or violence towards Jews, or any other abuse of them, because of their descent or religion. (Without this motive, violence and abuse remain crimes, but not racist ones.) Nobody can help who their ancestors are, so such attitudes and actions are criminal and racist.

The definition of anti-Semitism now being used to shift the term away from Jews as such over on to Zionism and Israel has a long history, but here it is, black-on-white, in its IHRA version: “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Although the formulation “hatred toward Jews” leaves out the decisive phrase ‘because they are Jews’, let’s accept this so-called “non-legally binding working definition” adopted by the IHRA on 26 May 2016.

Then come the illogical parts: “Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity… Contemporary examples of anti-Semitism in public life… include… denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.”

But, of course, anti-Zionism doesn’t target Israel because it is a “Jewish collectivity” (whatever that means) and it doesn’t deny the abstract right of any ethnic or religious group to try to peacefully set up its own state. It does identify Zionism as racist against the non-Jews of Palestine.

Again, you can shout from the rooftops for the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in the form of a sovereign state – if done without violence on land purchased fair and square – and still reject Zionism and Israel. Saying that the wrong of European persecution of Jews does not justify the wrong of Palestinian dispossession is an ethical stand independent of the ethnicities or religions involved. Where is the anti-Semitism?

Baffling, at first sight, is the IHRA’s use of the phrase “a state of Israel” in place of “the state of Israel”. My guess is that the authors of the definition know very well that there are sufficient non-anti-Semitic reasons to reject Israel – mainly that it is in Palestine, paid for by the Palestinians. Through this elision I think they are trying to pin on us anti-Zionists opposition to any Jewish state, anywhere. But we have seen that this isn’t true. With full sympathy for any ethnic or religious groups under persecution, we are agnostic on this point.

Freedland weighs in

Next we have the same conflation committed by Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian’s resident apologist for the violent colonial entity in Palestine and who, to the discredit of that paper’s editors-in-chief, was and perhaps still is entrusted with overseeing the paper’s foreign-affairs editorial policy.

On 29 April 2016 Freedland explained, in an elaborate if not baroque piece in his newspaper, why returning Palestine to its rightful owners – why affirming the Palestinians’ right to self-determination – is racist against Jews.

He sets the stage for the conflation by drawing an analogy with a theoretical black state, rather than a Jewish one – “the only place in the world where the majority of the population… were black”. He then imagines there are a lot of people who reject this state, want it replaced. Disingenuously omitting mention of any reasons for this rejection (for instance, the state’s discrimination against non-blacks), he then asserts that such an attitude would obviously be anti-black racism, parallel to anti-Semitism: all good people “on the left… would be suspicious of this insistence that loathing of the world’s only black country was separate from attitudes to black people in general, especially because most black people had a strong affinity with this country, seeing it as a constitutive part of their own identity”.

The non-sequitur is obvious. To oppose Jewish or Aryan or Muslim or Hindu or Martian country X because it eliminates, expels and discriminates against other ethnic groups is not to oppose Jews, Aryans, Muslims, Hindus or Martians, respectively.

The argument is empty enough, but arguing from black people’s “strong affinity with this country” reduces it to a mere point about the subjective feelings of some ethnic or religious group. And, in fact, Freedland then leaves his analogy with the hypothetical black state to attest that Jews have “this connection to – this need for – Israel. … 93 per cent [of British Jews] told a 2015 survey that Israel forms some part of their identity as Jews… Though Israel’s creation came at a desperately high price for Palestinians… it is impossible for most Jews to see it as a mistake that should be undone.”

One can only as: since when do the feelings of any group override ethical principles and historical context? Using the obvious analogy, since when would the “affinity” of southern US whites for a slave-owning polity override the rights of blacks in that territory? Surely, such whites were heartbroken upon the demise of the Confederate States of America.

Freedland next detaches the discussion from fact or ethics altogether by claiming, with a straight face, that “when Jews call out something to be anti-Semitic”, it is anti-Semitic. This is Alice-in-Wonderland logic.

He then three times says that that “something” which “Jews” subjectively declare to be anti-Semitic is opposition to Israel’s “right to exist”. “Most Jews will defend Israel’s existence,” although it was “forged in bloodshed”. Yes, this is chilling right-wing stuff, but the general problem is that if such group feelings are the only compass, disagreements can only be settled by violence.

Freedland also rides hard the fact that Israel is “the world’s only Jewish country” – implying, I suppose, that were there several Jewish states, it would not be anti-Semitic to fundamentally oppose one or the other of them. But whether there is one ethnocracy of type X, or many, is irrelevant to the point that it is the racist violation of others’ rights in any one of them that motivates fundamental opposition.

Finally, Freedland graciously allows us to criticise Israel “for this or that policy”, but if we feel it is “better that this one black [Jewish] country had never been created”, we are OK with the “periodic persecution and slaughter” of a black/Jewish “minority”. Opposing British imposition of Zionism in the 1930s, as we oppose it now, we “would have denied those six million [Jewish victims] the one lifeline that might have saved them”. And if that isn’t anti-Semitic, what is?

This seems to be the “lifeboat ethics” argument of soft Zionism – it was either us or them. But Freedland is making the further claim that taking the side of the Palestinians in the lifeboat necessarily entails racial prejudice towards the Jews in the lifeboat. Again, a non-sequitur. But what is noteworthy is that since all Palestinians, ever since Zionism was put to paper, opposed the politicide it entailed, all Palestinians are, according to Freedland, anti-Jewish racists. A more slanderous, historically ignorant and generalised assertion, more devoid of empathy for the dispossessed and cleansed Palestinians, is not imaginable.

Go to jail

Macron, Freedland and the IHRA don’t get the point because they don’t take the Palestinians seriously. The Palestinians are simply not relevant to their stories, which begin and end with the Jewish experience. Because the indigenous Palestinians are the monkey wrench ruining their conflated arguments, they don’t count. Orientalism is alive.

Our immediate cause of concern, however, due to the power of these Zionists, is now to stay out of jail. The IHRA, which has equated anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, is not nobody. It is made up of countries, namely all European Union countries except Bulgaria and Portugal plus Argentina, Israel, Switzerland and the US. The European Parliament Working Group on anti-Semitism has adopted the IHRA definition word for word, as has the Austrian and UK governments, albeit not as law but only as policy guidance, and it has been recommended by the EU Parliament for adoption by all EU states.

We have seen that the president of France has a solo part in the IHRA choir, and it so happens that France has a recent history of trying to criminalise fundamental opposition to Israel and even to the rights-based Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Concerns about freedom of expression aside, the attempt is to criminalise as Jew-hatred the well-argued identification of Israel as a racist and usurper state.

In the US as well, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act passed the Senate unanimously on 1 December 2016. The Section 3 of the act defines anti-Semitism by reference to the US State Department’s Fact Sheet of 8 June 2010, which in turn – you guessed it – adopts as its definition of anti-Semitism the IHRA definition. Under the Fact Sheet’s heading “What is anti-Semitism relative to Israel?” we find our old chestnut: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist.” Don’t forget, anti-Semitism is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The IHRA definition has, to be sure, recently been rejected in an essay in the London Review of Books and by a legal opinion refuting the definition’s allegation that “claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour” is anti-Semitic: “Unless such a claim was informed by hatred to Jews, it would not be anti-Semitic to assert that as Israel defines itself as a Jewish state and thereby by race, and that because non-Jewish Israelis and non-Jews under its jurisdiction are discriminated against, the state of Israel is currently a racist endeavour.” To date, fortunately, the Macrons and Freedlands of this world do not openly assert that racist states have a right to exist.

In light of such refutations of the definition, a bill was unanimously passed by the US House of Representatives on 17 May 2017 seeking implicitly to unite all concerned behind the IHRA’s absurd definition.

My point about the definition’s basic fallacy is not new. Already 42 years ago Palestinian liberationist Shafiq al-Hout gave a lecture in Ottawa soon after the General Assembly had passed its resolution condemning Zionism as racist:

There was an intense discussion after my speech, with one rabbi asking: “You have talked about the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, but don’t the people of Israel also have the right to live by themselves in their own state?” I answered: “Yes, they do – as long as it is on land that legitimately belongs to them, and not over land that they have annexed.” He then metaphorically cut his own throat by saying: “But that means less than 10 per cent of the land.” I smiled, as I fine-tuned his answer: “Yes, 6.4 per cent, to be precise.” (Al-Hout, My Life in the PLO, p.136)

Clear Language

I am suggesting it is a good defensive argument to explain that denying Israel in no way implies denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination. Israel is a particular way in which some Jews can self-determine, and it is of necessity in a particular place, Palestine. There might be other places, and other ways of self-determining that do not require murder, dispossession and humiliation of another “self”. However, how and where the real Israel was “done”, and is still done, is immoral.

However, such defensive work is necessary only because Zionism has succeeded in setting the agenda of the debate. It has started with the Jewish, rather than the Palestinian, experience, and ridden on Western sympathy for persecuted Jews, enabling libellous accusations of anti-Semitism to seem legitimate. Anti-Zionists end up in the dock.

In reality, though, the burden of proof is on the person who accuses another person of something as horrible as racism. Supporters of all the rights of all the Palestinians are innocent until proven guilty. Proof of guilt requires demonstration of a necessary connection between wanting the removal of the state of Israel in favour of a Palestinian state comprised of all Palestinians, and ill-will towards Jews as Jews. This necessary connection cannot, of course, be found because it is not there.

I think we should simply say that when we are talking about who should rule the land of Palestine, we are first and foremost talking about just that – not about Jews, or Muslims, or Christians. Yes, it was Zionism which entered the picture through British power, uninvited, but it could have been anybody of any ethnicity. On the other hand, it wasn’t just anybody who got expelled and degraded, but by necessity the Palestinians who were living there.

In other words, I think we should shift the focus onto the rights of Palestinians. The end of the state presently occupying (all of) Palestine is not the point. It is only a consequence of justice. The entire argument which leads to a Palestinian successor state to Israel can and should be made without having to mention the specific ethnicity or religion by which Israel defines itself. If justice for Palestine leaves no choice but rejecting Israel, so be it. It has nothing to do with Israel’s being a Jewish state.

It might be a blessing in disguise that the Zionists have gone out on such an illogical limb, because it opens space for reframing the debate from negative to positive: What? Anti-Jewishness? We only want to redress injustices to the population of a colonised country. We are looking for a state to function in a de-partitioned Palestinian homeland which achieves redress. There is no room for any state entity not chosen by the colonised and expelled, whatever its ethno-religious self-definition.

Macron’s statements to Netanyahu with which this article began have drawn a reply from Israeli writer Shlomo Sand, who balks when Macron says that “anti-Zionism… is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism”. After first pointing out that Zionism is not Judaism and that many Jews were and are anti-Zionists, he fingers the ethical problem, namely the fact of the overwhelming anti-Zionist majority of indigenous Palestinians, and incisively wonders “if [Macron] seriously expect[s] of the Palestinians that they should not be anti-Zionists!”. He says of himself, not as an anti-Semite, but “as a democrat and a republican… I cannot support a Jewish state”.

There is no need to beat around the bush any longer over Israel’s “right to exist”. Anti-Zionism is not just criticism of this or that Israeli policy but of the very idea of an ethno-religious state in violation of the wishes of Palestine’s rightful citizenry. It is a no-brainer that the Zionist state should give way to a democracy in Palestine. Yet many supporters of Palestinian rights often fudge this issue, claiming that a state in Palestine that is somehow “Jewish” is somehow tolerable.

This includes supporters of the two-state solution, such as Barack Obama or Jeremy Corbyn, a Zionist solution tautologically, because one of the two advocated states is, alas, an intruder Jewish state in Palestine. But there is no reason to fear charges of racism when rejecting Israel. That rejection follows logically from the positive rights of the Palestinians, absent all connection to the anti-Semitic type of racism.

We can thus confidently dissociate anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism. To do this we need only stress that what must be corrected – the usurpation of Palestine, against the will of the people of Palestine – has nothing to do necessarily with Israel’s Jewishness, only with its colonialism and racism. But we can go one better by retaining a Palestinian orientation. That is, the whole discussion is first and foremost a question of justice for the dispossessed, from which the illegitimacy of Israel simply follows. It is a question of Palestine, not of Israel.


*Blake Alcott is an ecological economist and the director of One Democratic State in Palestine (England) Limited. A version of this article first appeared in The Palestine Chronicle

‘Jewish extremists’ condemned for vandalising Jerusalem church

‘Jewish extremists’ condemned for vandalising Jerusalem church

NOVANEWS

St. Stephen Church in occupied Jerusalem was vandalised on 21 September 2017 [Richard Hardigan‏/Twitter]
MEMO 

The Council of Catholic Churches in Jerusalem yesterday condemned the attack by “Jewish extremists” on one its houses of worship and called on the Israeli government to do more to curtail the escalating violence against Christians in the holy land.

Wednesday’s attack on St. Stephen Church in occupied Jerusalem resulted in the destruction of glass artwork and statues that depict the life of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary.

The new patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, speaking to AsiaNews said that the incident “fits in with the pattern of past incidents” and was carried out by “some fanatics” whom he described as most likely being “Jewish extremists”.

In addition to the “huge damage” caused by the destruction of statues and windows, there is the deep pain caused by “the fanaticism of these groups who do not want to accept diversity and the faith of others,” the patriarch said.

The attack took place near a chapel dedicated to St Stephen where a group of nuns and some members of the communities of the monastic family of Bethlehem live.

The Council of Catholic Churches moved swiftly to condemn the attack by releasing the statement calling on the State of Israel to punish those who were responsible for the acts “because” they said “it could easily lead to serious and unpredictable consequences, which would be most unwelcome in the current tense religious climate.”

Attacks by Jewish extremists on Christian and Muslim sites have been on the rise in recent years.  Earlier this month church leaders united in their condemnation of Israel for its systematic attempt to undermine the integrity of the Holy City of Jerusalem and weaken its Christian heritage in Palestine.

They appealed to Christians, as well as the heads of governments “and all people of good will” to support them in their efforts to stop the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian Christian community.

Read also:

Patriarch warns of Christian flight from holy land

israel Doomed

Israel Doomed

Lasha Darkmoon — Darkmoon Sept 23, 2017

“In ten years time, there will be no more Israel.”
— Henry Kissinger, October 2012

dees shot palestinean kid

PALESTINE, COME BACK AGAIN!

A controversial article was published yesterday on the Darkmoon site. Written by brilliant political analyst Franklyn Ryckaert, it was called Israel Is Here To Stay. Within a few hours of publication, the article had elicited almost 100 heated comments denouncing Mr Ryckaert as a “crypto-Jew”, if not a secret agent of Mossad. I was amazed. The readers of our site, being uniformly anti-Zionist, did not wish to hear that Israel was here to stay. They would have preferred to hear the opposite: that Israel was doomed—that certain annihilation awaited evil Zion.
In his closely reasoned article,  Mr Ryckaert advanced the view that the only feasible solution to the Arab-Israeli problem was for the Palestinians to bow before the might of Israel and accept a Two State solution on Israel’s terms. The Palestinians, Ryckaert argued persuasively, needed to be realistic. They were a defeated people and in no position to make demands. They should therefore accept whatever scraps of land Israel was ready to offer them and be grateful. Better a little rump state than no state at all.
I’m afraid I cannot agree with this solution to the Arab-Israeli problem, however reasonable and pragmatic it may appear to be at first sight. This is because it is based on a flawed assumption: the false premise that the Israelis are negotiating in good faith and would dearly love see a Two State solution that is fair and just. I question this basic assumption.
If ever an assumption were false, utterly false, it is this.
I am personally convinced that the Israelis have no intention of handing back any land to the Palestinians. They intend to keep nibbling away at the land ad nauseam, adding illegal settlement to illegal settlement, exactly as they have been doing for the last 70 years. They intend to swallow up every square inch of territory, leaving the Palestinians with nothing but isolated and disconnected bantustans—in short, with open prisons lacking even the basic amenities such as an adequate supply of water.
It is clear to most observers that the Israelis are not negotiating in good faith and this is something the Palestinians know. The mauvaise foi of the Israelis, fully supported in their duplicity by an equally double-tongued Trump administration weighed down with Israel Firsters, is clearly indicated by this comment in a recent article by James Petras:
‘Israel Firsters’ dominate the top economic and political positions within the Trump regime and, interestingly, are among the Administration’s most vociferous opponents. These include: the Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, as well as her Vice-Chair, Stanley Fischer, an Israeli citizen and former Governor of the Bank of Israel.
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an Orthodox Jew, acts as his top adviser on Middle East Affairs. Kushner, a New Jersey real estate mogul, set himself up as the archenemy of the economic nationalists in the Trump inner circle.
He supports every Israeli power and land grab in the Middle East and works closely with David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel (and fanatical supporter of the illegal Jewish settlements) and Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International negotiations. With three Israel Firsters determining Middle East policy, there is not even a fig leaf of balance.
Donald Trump has turned his entire Middle East policy over to his ultra-Zionist Political Advisor (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Political life in the United States cannot get worse — we really have touched bottom.
In circumstances like these, what hope for the Palestinians getting a fair deal? The Palestinians have no bargaining power, being an essentially defeated people. And beggars, as we know, cannot be choosers. They have as much chance of receiving back a single dunam of stolen land from the Israelis as the defeated Germans stood after WWI from receiving fair treatment from the merciless bloodsuckers who helped to craft the iniquitous Versailles Treaty.
The Jew are exacting taskmasters. The honest Jew Yossi Gurvitz gave the game away in a controversial video called, “When Israel is Mighty”. Here he makes it clear that Jews tend to be nice and accommodating when they have no alternative. When they are weak, they are ready to make concessions. But when they are strong, it’s a different story. Then they are utterly merciless.
Michael Hoffman notes:
“Maimonides ruled that when Judaic persons are weak they should feign friendship for Christians as a way of gaining power over them. But when Judaics are totally dominant, as they are in the Israeli state, they should slaughter anyone who obstructs their supremacy.”
A Two State solution, with Israel conceding land to the Palestinians, is just not possible “when Israel is mighty”. Sooner expect blood from a stone than concessions from Israel.
—   §   —
As far as Israel is concerned, there are no Occupied Territories. There are only disputed territories. And the endgame for Israel is not only the absorption of ‘Judea’ and ‘Samaria’ — i.e. the so-called occupied or “disputed” territories — into Israel proper, or Israel as we know it right now, but the continued expansion of the entire Jewish state beyond its present non-existent official borders into Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. Known as the Oded Yinon Planthis envisages a Greater Israel stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates:

greater Israel

Obviously, a people intent on conquering new lands are unlikely to hand back bits and pieces of their stolen lands to the wretched people whose lands they have plundered. This is why a Two State solution to the Arab-Israeli problem in Palestine is wildly improbable. How can you conquer new lands if you keep handing them back?
Is Greater Israel the ultimate goal of the Zionist Jew? No, it is not. The Revolutionary Jew will never be content until he has conquered the whole world. The whole world must be his glittering trinket. Nothing less will satisfy his insatiable appetite for power and dominion.
Greater Israel, in other words, is not the ultimate goal of the Revolutionary Jew. It is the penultimate goal. It is simply the stepping stone to full-spectrum world domination by international Jewry.
These prophetic words of Israel Shamir keep ringing in my ears:
“Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews; the world is. Palestine is just the place for world state headquarters. The Jews intend to turn Jerusalem into the supreme capital of the world, and its rebuilt temple into the focal point of the Spirit on Earth. Christianity will die, the spirit will depart from the nations in our part of the world, and our present dubious democracy will be supplanted by a vast theocratic state. De-spiritualized and uprooted, homeless and lonely, yesterday’s Masters of the World will become slaves in all but name.” 

Shamir quote

In light of the above, I see no possibility of a Two State solution. Maybe Henry Kissinger’s prediction — In ten years, there will be no more Israel” — will come true.
—  §  —
Kevin Barrett noted on Press TV some time ago that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been vilified in the Western media for daring to imagine “a world without Israel.” But according to news reports, Henry Kissinger and sixteen American intelligence agencies were to agree that in the near future, Israel would no longer exist. The New York Post had quoted Kissinger as saying “In 10 years, there will be no more Israel.”
Those were apparently Kissinger’s exact words.
Barrett continues:
The US Intelligence Community agrees, though perhaps not on the precise 2022 expiration date. Sixteen US intelligence agencies with a combined budget over $70 billion have issued an 82-page analysis entitled “Preparing for a Post-Israel Middle East.”
The US intelligence report observes that the 700,000 Israeli settlers illegally squatting on land stolen in 1967 – land that the entire world agrees belongs to Palestine, not Israel – are not going to pack up and leave peacefully. Since the world will never accept their ongoing presence on stolen land, Israel is like South Africa in the late 1980s: An unsustainable pariah state.
The extremist Likud coalition governing Israel, according to the US intelligence report, is increasingly condoning and supporting rampant violence and lawlessness by the illegal settlers. The Report states that the brutality and criminality of the settlers, and the growing apartheid-style infrastructure including the apartheid wall and the ever-more-draconian system of checkpoints, are indefensible, unsustainable, and out of synch with American values.
The sixteen US intelligence agencies agree that Israel cannot withstand the coming pro-Palestinian juggernaut consisting of the Arab Spring, the Islamic Awakening, and the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The US intelligence community report says that in light of these realities, the US government simply no longer has the military and financial resources to continue propping up Israel against the wishes of more than a billion of its neighbors. In order to normalize relations with 57 Islamic countries, the report suggests, the US will have to follow its own national interests and pull the plug on Israel.
Interestingly, neither Henry Kissinger nor the authors of the US Intelligence Report give any sign that they are going to mourn the demise of Israel. This is remarkable, given that Kissinger is Jewish.
Finally, we come to the least obvious – but most powerful – reason for Kissinger’s and the CIA’s complacency in the face of Israel’s implosion: The inexorable trickle-down of knowledge that Israel and its supporters, not radical Muslims, carried out the 9/11 false-flag attacks.
Increasingly, it is not fringe anti-Semitic groups, but high-level responsible observers, who are saying this. Alan Sabrosky, the half-Jewish former Director of Strategic Studies at the US Army War College, has come on my radio show to say that he has discussed with his colleagues the “100% certainty” that Israel and its supporters did 9/11. 
More Americans, including the US intelligence community as a whole, now recognize that the enemies of Israel do not have to be the enemies of the United States. In fact, the US is going broke and sacrificing thousands of lives in wars for Israel – wars that damage, rather than aid, US strategic interests.
As the recognition grows that 9/11 was not a radical Islamic attack, but an act of dastardly, bloody treason by supporters of Israel, it will become ever-easier for American policy makers, following in the footsteps of Kissinger and the sixteen intelligence agencies, to recognize the obvious: The state of Israel has reached the end of its shelf-life.
(Emphasis added)
This being the situation, any Two State solution to the Arab-Israeli problem—with miserly scraps of land handed back to the Palestinians, leaving Israel free to gobble up the best bits of real estate—would appear to be a dead duck in the water. Even if it were feasible, it would never be a fair. It would be a rip-off. Totally unacceptable to the Palestinians.
—  §  —
So what would be the ideal solution to this intractable problem? It would be a One State solution in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights.
In order for such a state to materialize, a state without apartheid, Israel would have to abandon the idea of continuing as an ethnically Jewish state, a state exclusively for Jews. This would be the end of the Jewish dream: a heaven on earth, a heaven haven just for Jews alone.
In a One State Israel-Palestine, Jews would in no time be outnumbered by Arabs. The One State solution would be the death warrant of Zionism. For this to occur, it would have to be imposed upon Israel by international law, by force of arms, with most Jews kicking and screaming “Over my dead body!”
The Jews would sooner blow up the entire world than accept the loss of their homeland. If I were a Jew, I would do no less. Having fought so long and hard for my heaven on earth, my spiritual homeland, I would rather die a thousand deaths than sacrifice my beloved country—the country of my dreams and the dreams of my ancestors. In the squalid shtetls and cold countries of my exile on earth, this was the dream that had kept me warm in the long watches of the night, that I’d cherished in my heart ever since I was a child. ‘Jerusalem tomorrow!’ Yes, I would sooner blow up the entire world and sacrifice everything, seeing it all go up in flames, than give up my bittersweet, mad, impossible dream.
My prognosis is a gloomy one.
There will never be a One State solution to which the Jews will agree, or a Two State solution that is remotely fair to the Palestinians. There will be more bloodshed, more intifadas. The ultimate solution to the Jewish problem will come when the Jews get too big for their boots and Israel is finally destroyed by a hailstorm of nuclear weapons, leaving the entire country a smoldering heap of radioactive ashes.

VIDEO  :  3.25 mins
‘Palestine, Come Back Again!’

This video, featuring a poem by Lasha Darkmoon read by the inimitable ‘Snordster’ (Patrick Willis), has relatively few views. There is a reason for this. When first released several years ago, the video received thousands of views but was banned almost immediately after protests from the Usual Suspects. A second version was released two years later and this time, mysteriously, it was not banned. This is the version you are now seeing. (JSM)

A Major Jewish Philanthropist Just Published A Plan To Ethnically Cleanse Palestinians

A Major Jewish Philanthropist Just Published A Plan To Ethnically Cleanse Palestinians

A far-right faction within Israel’s Likud-led governing coalition has endorsed a plan for Israel to annex the entire West Bank and encourage the Palestinian residents to immigrate to neighboring Arab countries. The plan would allow Palestinians who voluntarily gave up all “national aspirations” to remain, granting them limited municipal self-government, but without Israeli citizenship or Knesset voting rights.

Make no mistake about this — this plan amounts to a none-too-subtle form of ethnic cleansing. It presents Palestinians with an untenable choice: Leave your home or be stripped of basic civil rights, perhaps forever.

Despite (or because of) its draconian nature, the plan was adopted unanimously at a September 12 convention of the National Union-Tekuma party, which holds two Knesset seats as the junior partner in the religious-nationalist Jewish Home bloc. National Union leader Uri Ariel serves as minister of agriculture in Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet. The party’s other Knesset member, Bezalel Smotrich, is the author of the annexation plan.

It’s a marginal enough party that those concerned with human rights or with Israel’s international standing needn’t fear the plan’s immediate implementation. But we should be troubled by the plan’s institutional backing — not just in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, but also in the heart of American Jewish philanthropy.

Smotrich’s plan was released September 6 in an 8,600-word lead essay, “The Decision Plan” (Tochnit Ha-Hachra’ah), in the fall issue of the Hebrew-language bimonthly Hashiloach, a conservative journal of ideas published by the New York-based Tikvah Fund.

That’s right — this plan’s institutional backing includes one of the most distinguished philanthropies in Diaspora Jewry. Tikvah is one of several conservative foundations endowed by the estate of the late investment fund manager Zalman-Sanford Bernstein. It is largely controlled by his widow, the philanthropist Elaine Mem Bernstein, and Tikvah’s board of directors includes some of the most prominent names in Jewish neoconservatism, among them William Kristol and Elliott Abrams.

In addition to Hashiloach, launched a year ago, Tikvah has a number of other publications, including the English-language journals Mosaic, Jewish Review of Books and the Library of Jewish Ideas, a book series published jointly with Princeton University Press. Another Bernstein foundation, Keren Keshet-The Rainbow Fund, publishes Nextbook and Tablet magazine. A third, the Avi Chai Foundation, is a major force in Jewish education reform.

Hashiloach takes its name from an early Hebrew-language journal founded in 1897 by the Zionist essayist and gadfly Ahad Ha’am and later edited by the revered poet Hayim Nachman Bialik before folding in 1919. Tikvah’s choice of that name for its journal might be deemed ironic, given the contrast between the liberal stance of the original Hashiloach, which championed a spiritual, anti-nationalist brand of Zionism, and the hard-line politics of the current incarnation.

On the other hand, the choice is in character for the Bernstein family of publications, which tend to combine their core political conservatism with a free-wheeling cultural sensibility and an openness to diverse, challenging ideas.

Still, Smotrich’s right-wing theories are a stretch even for the free-wheeling, open-ended conservatism of Bernstein-world. The notion of a mass population transfer to rid Israel of Palestinians, even if imagined as somehow voluntary, has long been consigned to the fetid corners of Israel’s radical right. If it’s now moved into the mainstream to the point where it can be taken seriously in a distinguished journal of ideas, that’s a depressing comment on the current state of Israeli and Jewish political discourse. If, on the other hand, it hasn’t gained that sort of broad respectability, then its appearance in Hashiloach suggests an alarming erosion of moral focus in Jewish neoconservative thought, as represented by the Tikvah Fund and its affiliates.

The respectability granted to Smotrich’s essay is particularly puzzling given its intellectual weaknesses, from faulty logic to naivete regarding international relations to plain ignorance. He claims, for instance, that the name Palestine, coined by the ancient Romans after their conquest of Judea, was revived by the Arabs of the Holy Land “when they launched their struggle against the Zionist movement” — when in fact the name had been in common use in Europe for centuries before and was imposed on the local Arabs by the British Mandate, not vice versa.

At another point, Smotrich writes that Palestinian extremism and terrorism were products of the 1993 Oslo Accords. Perhaps the 37-year-old settler-lawyer, born and raised in the hermetic world of the settlements, is unfamiliar with the bloody record of the pre-1967 Palestinian Fedayeen. Maybe he’s never heard of the horrific wave of Palestinian terror attacks throughout the 1970s on Israeli homes, schools, hotels, airport terminals and even Olympic athletes. It was before his time.

Smotrich recites at great length the paradoxical argument that coexistence between two nations living side by side in the Land of Israel is impossible because, first, the Palestinians refuse to accept the legitimacy of Jewish statehood, and second, the Jewish claim to the land is the only legitimate claim — meaning, by his lights, that even if the Palestinians were to accept the legitimacy of two states, the Jews could not legitimately do so. That is, the Palestinians are at fault for not accepting the principle of sharing, which we don’t accept either.

Picking at the holes in Smotrich’s arguments shouldn’t distract us from the larger questions raised by his plan. A morally repugnant concept that was rightly condemned as racist a generation ago is now the policy of an Israeli government coalition partner. This should have caused an immediate coalition crisis but, shamefully, it hasn’t. The plan’s mainstreaming in Israeli public life has been partly enabled by one of American Jewry’s most important philanthropies. This should have caused a crisis in Israel-Diaspora relations but, again shamefully, it hasn’t.

If there’s a bright spot in all this, it’s that we have a week and a half until Yom Kippur — time enough to repent our sins, to do justice and love mercy

Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/383106/a-major-jewish-philanthropist-just-published-a-plan-to-ethnically-cleanse-p/

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