AHMAD MANASRA AND THE CRIME OF EXISTING WHILE PALESTINIAN

JULY 1ST, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

Conversations with Palestinians both young and old almost always end with them saying to me, “you [a Jewish Israeli] can say these things, but if we were to say them we would be excluded from all spaces and we would be called anti-semitic.” A young Palestinian interning in Washington, D.C. told me she felt that she needed an Israeli beside her to give her legitimacy. Not in her own eyes, but in the eyes of the D.C. establishment. Sadly, she is probably correct; in the anti-Arab, and particularly anti-Palestinian atmosphere in Washington, this is very likely true.

About ten years ago my very good friend Bassem Tamimi from Nabi Saleh told me the following story: He was in the United States for a speaking tour and on a certain occasion, an American activist came up and warmly shook his hand. He said to Bassem that since he, Bassem, is a friend of mine, then he too welcomes him. This was the same kind of skewed reality whereby people feel an Israeli is the barometer by which a Palestinian is to be measured. Bassem proceeded to tell the man that although it is true that he and I are friends, and that I slept at his house many times, he does not accept that anyone will judge him on the basis of his friendship with me. That was the end of that conversation and Bassem walked away from this person.

Bassem mentioned this story many, many times during our years of friendship, and he continues to do so, particularly when there are people around who may be thinking the way the man in the story does. I told this young Palestinian the story about Bassem and said that had he not had that kind of integrity, he and I could never have become friends.

A CHASM

There exists a chasm between the reality in Palestine and the way that reality is perceived by the “establishment” in Washington, D.C. Palestinians’ existence in their own country is tantamount to a living hell. Certainly, there are Palestinians who managed to secure a relatively comfortable life within the parameters set for them by Israel, but that does not mean it is any less of a living hell.

The Amnesty International report on Apartheid in Palestine speaks to this issue as well. Just because there are Palestinians who do live well and can survive and work and raise their children somewhat normally within the system of oppression, does not make the system less oppressive or the crime of Apartheid less violent.

One example of this violence is Israel’s administrative detention and torture of Palestinians. Amnesty International published a report about child prisoner Ahmed Manasra, stating that,

Israel continues to perpetrate widespread as well as systematic human rights violations against Palestinians, including children, against a backdrop of decades of state-sponsored discrimination, segregation and persecution.

Had he not been a Palestinian held by Isreal, the entire world would have stood up for Ahmed. Mansara was arrested when he was only 13 years old and was interrogated with no lawyer or parent present. A disturbing video showing his arrest and interrogation went viral.

The Amnesty International report states in no uncertain terms that his arrest and the conditions in which he has been held are tantamount to, “a flagrant violation of international law.” Amnesty goes on to say, “There is evidence that the treatment of Ahmed Manasra fits a wider pattern of discrimination against Palestinian children in the Israeli criminal justice system.” Manasra is, “still in prison despite worsening mental health.”

Amnesty demanded that the Israeli authorities release Manasra and immediately provide him with the medical and mental health care that he needs. Much of the deterioration of his mental health care is directly related to the manner in which both prison authorities and the Shabak – Israel’s secret police – treated him. These include prolonged periods of solitary confinement.

Again, from the Amnesty report:

Ahmad Manasra has been held in prolonged solitary confinement since the beginning of November 2021, in violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

There is no surprise – much less an outcry – that Israel regularly uses solitary confinement, as does the United States, as a tool for punishing inmates. Amnesty goes on to report that,

The Israel Prison Service asked to renew Ahmad’s solitary confinement for a further six months on 17 April 2022. A hearing that was scheduled to be held on 15 June 2022 with regards to his solitary confinement was postponed to a later date.

Ahmad Manasra’s mental health worsened during his incarceration to a point where there is a concern for his life. In October 2021, an independent Israeli clinical psychologist working with Physicians for Human Rights diagnosed him with severe psychiatric conditions and stated these had developed since his incarceration.

AN ABSURD REALITY

The vicious crimes perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians are well documented by credible agencies with no affiliation to either Israel or the Palestinians, such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch. However, when Israel is mentioned in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., there seems to be a sense of awe and admiration. This is also true in many churches and other non-governmental organizations.

Palestinians are far less welcome and when they are invited, they need to be sponsored – if not physically accompanied by an organization that includes Israelis or at least the blessing of Israelis. As was mentioned earlier, while many Palestinians reject this reality, others feel they cannot otherwise have their voice heard.

Perhaps this is a good time to speak of Palestinian generosity. For nearly a century, Palestinians by and large have been trying to make peace with the fact their country was taken and they have been forced to live as refugees or second-class citizens. Palestine, a country that was widely known had all of a sudden become a footnote to Israel. Israelis who consider themselves “progressives” are willing to “give” Palestinians a small portion of Palestine in order to have their own state. However, the real generosity is that Palestinians (in general) agree to the creation of a single democracy with equal rights in all of historic Palestine. Not to confine the Jewish settler-colonizers in small areas within Palestine, but full equality with the very people who killed and tortured them, stole their homes, and deprived them of their land and their rights.

Indeed, it makes more sense that if representatives of Israel are ever welcome anywhere, it should be only when sanctioned by Palestinians. To that end, we must all adopt and demand that sanctions and boycotts be placed on Israel, and without delay.

A Forgotten Anniversary

June 12, 2022

Source

By Jimmie Moglia

It is a property of the past to sink into oblivion, and of unpleasant truths to fade into evanescence. To such past belongs the attack on the USS Liberty.

When to the session of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, Israel’s 1967 war of Middle East invasion is/was for me but a negligible blip compared to other important personal events. Such as my getting ready to read the thesis for my degree in Electronic Engineering, in Genova, Italy.

Therefore, without particular consciousness I submitted to the sentences of the official media without examining the authority of the judge.

My first doubts arose not long later when I decided to visit the Eastern Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, located on the Sinai Peninsula at the very foot of Mt. Sinai. It could then only be reached from Tel Aviv via Sharm-el-Sheikh and a bus trip.

On welcoming the tourists on the bus the guide announced with pride that the Sinai was “now and forever an unalienable part of Israel.” I found the declaration irrelevant, if not odd, but I consider that moment as the beginning of my associated historical interest.

The official US line is that, on Jun 8, 1967, the Israelis mistakenly attacked by air, and torpedoed by sea, an unarmed US intelligence ship, killing 34 sailors and wounding 171 others. 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of that attack.

Following are some details of the ship, of the episode and of its aftermath. For, similar to occasions that perhaps we all have felt, a detail that uncalled-for returns to mind, rekindles fuller memories of a larger connected event, not otherwise spontaneously recalled. The detail is the inspired arrogance of the Israeli guide I mentioned. More in general, I think that the attack on the Liberty dramatically demonstrates the nature of who exercises actual power in the United States.

As in most cases involving Israel, any attempt to give a factual account of an event, fails in its promised impartiality. For in the corrupted currents of the world, the very terms ‘Jew’ or ‘Jewish,’ unless associated with praise or deference, taint their utterer with a halo of anti-Semitism.

That is, there is no neutral use of the words. The issue is very old and well explained, for example, by Jewish writer Joshua Trachtenberg in his book “The Devil and the Jews.” Where he documents how there has been a propensity at large, dating back to medieval times, to ascribe a legendary element of a biblical and obscure nature to the word ‘Jew’. That propensity has sunk into what Jung called “collective unconsciousness.”

I should also add that two men observing the same object will describe it differently, according to the point of view from which either beholds it. In the eyes of one it shall be a fair prospect, to the other a barren waste, and neither may see right. Wherefore, truth being the legitimate object of history, it is better that she should be sought-for by many than by few. Lest, for want of seekers, among the mists of prejudice and the false lights of interest, she is lost altogether.

The Liberty was first launched at the end of WW2 in Oregon and named then “Simmons Victor.” It belonged to a fleet of cargo carriers quickly built (one every 10 weeks), to replace the losses to submarine attacks during WW2.

Reconverted into a spy ship in 1964, she was renamed “Liberty”. On May 24, 1967, she was dispatched from the Ivory Coast to the Eastern Mediterranean, to monitor radio signals from both Egyptians and Israeli sources, as tensions grew between Israel and the Arab world.

While it is now acknowledged that Israel started the 1967 war, the only and univocal information channels of the time told the public that Egypt attacked and that Israel “had the right to defend itself” – a sentence now imprinted in the US collective mind, and repeated every time when Israel mounts an aggression, carpet bombs Gaza, demolishes Palestinian homes, builds Jewish “settlements” in Palestinian land, erects walls to keep the Palestinians out of the way, and kills Palestinians at large.

In May 1967, McNamara, the famous defense secretary, rendered infamous for his role in the Vietnam war, had informed Israel’s foreign minister that American intelligence showed Egypt did not plan to attack. And Johnson, then US president, had feebly called on Israel not to start a war. A call with as much effect as the “concern” of succeeding US presidents, whenever Palestinians are dispossessed of their lands and new massive Jewish colonial settlements are established on Palestinian land.

1967, in my view, is a historical milestone for the US and its vassalage to Zionist interests – for previous administrations were or seemed to be somewhat more reserved.

For example and for a time, the Jews hailed Roosevelt as a modern-day Moses, until some of his actions and unofficial records surfaced from the archives. Vice President Henry Wallace annotated in his diary a discussion between Roosevelt and Churchill (May 1943), on how to settle the “Jewish question.”

The notes say, “The President approved a plan to ‘spread the Jews thin’ all over the world. He said he had tried this experiment in the Meriweather County in Georgia (where he lived in the 1920s,) by adding only four or five Jewish families at each place. He claimed that the local population would have no objection if there were no more than that.” This was enough for the Jewish community at large to label Roosevelt a ‘traitor.’

In 1948 Truman recognized Israel but did not sell arms to the Jewish state. And in 1956, when Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal, Eisenhower threatened intervention and a halt to all foreign aid, if Israel did not withdraw.

But by 1960, President Kennedy had well understood Jewish power and its influence on domestic policies – he delivered sophisticated armaments and strengthened relations with Israel.

Johnson equaled or bettered Kennedy. After Kennedy’s assassination he said to an Israeli diplomat, “You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one.” And he chose and appointed a full cadre of Jewish and pro-Israel advisers to the White House.

On Jun 8, 1967, reconnaissance flights over the Liberty, sailing about 15 miles off the Egyptian coast, began at 5.15 AM, the next round at 8.50 AM and several other Israeli planes and jets circled the ship until 12.45 PM.

At 1.30 PM three Israeli Mirage jets began the attack. Completely taken by surprise, Liberty’s skipper William McGonagle ordered the only two 0.50 mm guns manned and fired – they were quickly taken out by the jets and the gunners pulverized before they could fire the first shots, however ineffective could the shots be anyway.

The attacks continued, one every 45 seconds, as the jets strafed the ship and circled back for another round. They hit with cannon and rockets. Then they aimed at the engine room below the smoke stack. Next came Napalm bombs that turned the deck into an inferno.

Six minutes into the attack, the Liberty, with whatever communication resources were left, radioed for help to the Sixth fleet located further west. “Any station, any station, this is Rockstar, we are under attack.” The operator on the aircraft carrier Saratoga could not understand the message. On the Liberty they changed transmitter. After some interminable minutes Saratoga replied “Roger” and Liberty screamed, “We are under attack and need immediate assistance.”

But now the Saratoga operator asked for the identification code. The Liberty’s operator, with cannon from three jets strafing the ship, had to retrieve the code from a book, and finally Saratoga replied reassuringly, “Authentication is correct. I am standing by for further traffic.”

Meanwhile, before the air attack began, the Liberty’s radar operator had spotted three unidentified ships approaching fast, and alerted the captain. In the confusion and carnage that followed, as the dead and wounded piled on deck, no one thought of the approaching ships. Now Captain McGonagle saw through his binoculars that the three boats, maneuvering in attack formation, were Israelis. Up to that moment he and everybody else thought that the attackers were Egyptians.

In the meantime the original mast with the US flag had been hit – and the Liberty sailors raised a new larger American flag.

The forward torpedo boat opened fire on the defenseless ship. This would provide cover for the attacking boats to get close and launch their torpedoes. Though crippled himself and with a crippled ship operating with one engine, McGonagle attempted evasive maneuvers. Of the 5 torpedoes launched by the Israelis, one hit – creating a gash 24 ft high and 39 ft wide. The Liberty listed by 8 degrees; the entire intelligence section was instantly flooded trapping and killing 20 people.

Now the torpedo boats halted fire while remaining at less than 800 yards from the Liberty. Still shocked, amazed and in disbelief, the Liberty signaled repeatedly with a hand-held Aldis lamp, “US Naval Ship.” “

Do you need any help?” signaled the Israelis. A response that, in the circumstances, was almost adding insult to injury. “No” signaled back the Liberty.

The torpedo boats had not yet departed when two oncoming Israeli helicopters circled the ship. Fearful of more attacks, McGonagle had the international flag hoisted signaling “Not Under Command.”

At 6.40 PM another Israeli helicopter arrived and dropped a bag containing a business card from the US Naval Attaché at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Ernest Castle. On the back of the card there was a hand-written question, “Have you any casualties?” Which seemed another insult added to injury. The Liberty’s deck was a wreck, still strewn with blood and some dead sailors… impossible to miss.

How about the call for help from the Sixth Fleet? After the signal was authenticated, the Saratoga launched some fighter jets but, moments later they were unexpectedly and inexplicably recalled, waiting for the arrival of another aircraft carrier, the America.

Eventually, the planes from the America took off and the squadron leader, while reassuring the Liberty radio operator, asked a logical question, “We are on the way, who is the enemy?” Good question. For the sailors on the Liberty, as well as Captain McGonagle could not as yet believe their eyes that the enemies were the Israelis.

At that moment, 4.14 PM, both the Saratoga and the America received a message from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, as follows, “Israeli aircraft erroneously attacked US ship. Israel sends apologies and wants to know which other US ships are near the war zone.” The US carriers immediately recalled all air strikes.

The first US ship to reach the Liberty to carry away the dead and wounded arrived at 6.40 AM the next day. It took three days for the crippled vessel to arrive at Malta. 20 corpses had remained unreachable in the area hit by the torpedo, drenching the ship with a smell of death.

The plan was to repair the Liberty, enabling her return to the US. It was the beginning of a tortuous public relations battle.

While the ship was still en route to Malta, some White House advisers in Washington suggested sinking it, to avoid or minimize embarrassment.

In Malta, a large tarpaulin-looking cover hid the gash caused by the torpedoes. All crewmembers, injured and uninjured were ordered, under threat of punishment, not to answer any questions from the press.

Meantime in the US, the Administration struggled to find what to say or do. The US press was jubilant about Israel’s victory in the Six Day War. The Jews organized a rally in Washington to celebrate it. Placards said “Moses led us out of the land of Egypt, now Moshe Dayan has led us back.” Jewish White House aids Levinson and Wattenberg, in a memo to the President, suggested that he express his full support for Israel. David Ginsburg, a president’s friend and leader of the Jewish community even wrote the encomiastic speech that the President would later deliver at the rally.

In the jubilation for Israel’s victory, the Liberty affair appeared a minor incident. The press completely bought the idea that the Israeli attack was an error. Senator Jacob Javits, stated, “With Israel we know it was a mistake, a miscalculation could take place in any place in the world.” Incidentally, Jacob Javits is the same senator who pushed through immigration reforms intended to make Americans of European descent a minority. Today any restraint is gone. The message that Europeans and Americans of European descent should become a disposable minority has almost become mainstream.

In the meantime, Egypt had accepted the cease-fire, but Israel had opened another front in Syria, to occupy the Golan Heights. As for the Liberty, the main interest of the media was not the attack, the dead and the wounded, but why the Navy had a ship in the area. Which shows how often trifles excite an exuberance of interest, while the core of an event receives lesser or little attention.

The first official White House explanation said it was a scientific research ship doing its job, but this did not satisfy the press. If so, why not inform the Israelis of the ship’s presence?

The administration then concocted an even more unbelievable story. The Liberty was verifying if communications exchanged by bouncing signals off the moon were reliable. In scope and absurdity, the explanation parallels the answer given by the head of NIST (National Institute of Research and Technology), Shyam Sunder, while presenting the official NIST report on 9/11.

During the conference, a physics teacher, David Chandler, had clearly demonstrated with a video, that building 7 had fallen at the acceleration of gravity, the signature of a controlled demolition. Unable to challenge the basics of physics, the director said, “Gravity is the force that keeps the universe together.” (I am not making it up)

As the number of reported Liberty casualties mounted, one reporter, during a press meeting, asked what was the President’s reaction. The Whitehouse spokesman replied that the President was “deeply grieved.”

In the meantime, Israel claimed that the Liberty, when spotted, appeared to escape at high speed toward Egypt, flew no flag and looked like an Egyptian cargo ship, the “El Queseir”, which was actually half the size of the Liberty and designed to carry 400 men and 40 horses.

Though almost incredible today, the Liberty attack stirred little interest or controversy at the time. But we must remember the moment, filled with enthusiasm about Israel’s victory, which, thanks to the Jewish sponsored massive celebrations, made it almost appear as an American victory. And, more ominously, the moment was filled with concerns about the mounting problems in Vietnam.

Besides, the dead and wounded of the Liberty were less than the price paid in one day by America, in life and limb, to ‘defend democracy’ in Vietnam.

The New York Times called the attack one of the “many mistakes that invariably occur in war…. the Israeli, flushed with victory made an error in identification… accident rather than design snuffed out (sic) the lives of some and caused injuries to others of the Liberty’s crew.”

One other striking aspect of the aftermath was the almost total lack of concern for the victims, whose reported number increased each day, while many sailors faced catastrophic injuries and a life of disability, impairment and pain. Proving how everything, on this side of the grave, is regarded rather in consequence of the habit of valuing it, than from any opinion that it deserved value. For the relative indifference to the victims is proof of the relative indifference to their value.

The main objective (inside the White House and notably with Johnson and McNamara), was not to antagonize Israel, along with the fear of not appearing sufficiently pro-Israel with the cadre of Israeli-firsters that comprised advisers, consultants, aids and secretaries within the Administration.

There were multiple meetings and exchanges between Jewish members of White House and the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Cynically, some suggested that the attack on the Liberty could help weaken the accusations of American support for Israel, and gain some credibility with the Arabs.

It was now clear that the Administration had (or for that matter has) no leverage with the Jewish state. The US had urged Israel not to launch a war. Just 20 days before the attack, Johnson had affirmed America’s commitment to the “political independence and territorial integrity of all Middle Eastern nations.” Israel itself had claimed that it had no territorial ambitions. The reader can decide for himself on the value or worth of those words.

But in the fevered exchanges with the Israeli US embassy, the Administration achieved one ‘success.’ Namely, the Israeli embassy agreed to tone down and backdate an official statement, ready to be released, essentially accusing the US of being responsible for the attack on the Liberty.

The Israeli ambassador had suggested to Tel Aviv to at least hold responsible some of the attackers – suggestion fiercely rejected by Israel. The official Israeli court inquiry was, expectedly, a joke. So, for that matter, was the official inquiry conducted in the US, which mainly centered on discrepancies in the timing of the attacks as reported by the surviving sailors called to depose.

The final transcript mirrors the shallowness of the investigation. Many officers said the court seemed afraid of uncovering information that could prove that Israel deliberately attacked the Liberty. A sailor, Scott, photographed the first reconnaissance plane in the morning of the attack. He thought he had given the court a critical piece of information, but the court was uninterested. They dismissed his testimony stating that reconnaissance flights began much later. Declassified Israeli records show that the plane photographed by Scott, was indeed the first to conduct a reconnaissance flight. Nor the American government even asked Israel to let its pilots, torpedo boat skippers or commanders, testify in the US Court.

In the end, the “conspiracy theorists” of this tragic event are, officially, those who do not believe that the attack on the Liberty was a mistake. In this regard, it was almost a return to the future of 9/11 – when 19 fumbling Arabs scored a checkmate on America, and displayed unbelievable acrobatic maneuvering skills in piloting jumbo jets for the first time in their life.

In 1980 Israel paid 6 m$ to the families of the Liberty’s dead and wounded (in 3 yearly installments of 2 m$/each). This is a fraction of a fraction of what constitutes America’s yearly payments to Israel.

The final telling episode involves the wounded skipper of the Liberty, William McGonagle. He received the Medal of Honor for bravery, but Johnson refused to give it to him in person, which is the tradition – “so as not to offend the Jews”. An Admiral commented, “I am surprised they didn’t just hand it to him under the 14th Street Bridge.”

On June 8, 1997, McGonagle met the remaining survivors of the Liberty at the Arlington Cemetery. Through the years he had been publicly silent, though he did not believe in the error of identification. In what was to be his last and only related public address, he told the survivors, “It’s about time that the State of Israel and the US Government tell what happened to the crewmembers of the Liberty and the American people.” He died less than two years later.

The first terrorist attack and burning of a TWA plane on the ground occurred in 1970, when it became clear that Israel would not return the lands illegally occupied in the 1967 war.

That was the beginning of hijackings, terrorist attacks, murders, Intifadas, genocides in Gaza and Lebanon, wars and more wars. During the 1980s the new Israel’s Oded-Yinon Plan called for a greater Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates. In the late 1990s came the call for a “New Pearl Harbor,” by the worthy husband of the equally worthy wife, Victoria Nudelman. In 2001 we had the “New Pearl Harbor”, followed by the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and countless other wars against sundry “terrorists.”

As far as we can know, the plan for a Greater Israel has not been canceled. During his administration, Obama declared that peace with the Palestinians should be achieved on the basis of returning to Palestine the lands occupied in 1967. Next day, uninvited, the Prime Minister of Israel, flew to Washington to deliver a counter-speech to the joint audience of Congress and the Senate. He received 29 standing ovations.

And how about Jewish influence? Here is a famous quote from the Los Angeles Times from Joel Stein, “I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.”

Jumping to current times, less known is the remarkable connection between Ukraine and the plans of Ihor Kolomoisky, governor (or now perhaps ex-governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk province and citizen of Israel, Ukraine and Cyprus.) Allegedly he is currently in Israel.

Kolomoisky was a key in organizing the Odessa massacre on 2 May 2014, with his private army, the 1st Dnipro Battalion. He also hired the son of US Vice-President Joe Biden, R. Hunter Biden, plus Secretary of State John Kerry’s support committee chairman, Devon Archer, as board members of his gas holding companies.

Though some related information can be found online, Kolomoisky’s plan is/was to turn Ukraine into a ‘second Israel,’ based on alleged historic claims by Ashkenazi Jews and their more or less mythical Khazarian (Ukranian) kingdom. Allegedly, Kolomoisky has spent millions to recruit right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis from other parts of Europe to fight against the Russian-speaking majority in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, and elsewhere.

Still a puzzle is the current paradoxical situation of a Ukrainian Jewish leadership linked, via an undeniable relationship, with allegedly the most militant and determined openly-Nazi section of the Ukrainian militias. Considering that Ukraine has a long history of anti-Semitism, dating at least from the treaty of Perejeslav of 1654 between the Cossacks of the legendary hetman Bohdan and the Tzar Alexis. Who, Khmelnytsky, masterminded rebellions against Jews, hated tax collectors and usurers for sundry landlords and peasant victims.

A more recent legacy of anti-Semitism is connected with the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 led by Lazar Kaganovich, one of the Jewish Bolshevik leaders of the revolution.

Not long ago I interviewed a Ukrainian Jewish family that immigrated to America during the last years of the Soviet Union. Although I could not distinguish or identify them as Jewish, they reported being negatively commented-on by sundry passers-by who recognized them as Jewish (in Kyev).

Without entering into refined speculation behind what can be found on various media, including Israeli media, it is interesting and perhaps meaningful that the Russian leadership has been recently less cautious than usual in airing related unconventional views on the subject. Such as Hitler having Jewish blood (Lavrov) or the historic Bolshevik leadership being 95% Jewish (Putin)

In the circumstances, that the Jewish Ukrainian administration has obvious close ties with a militia that historically embodies anti-Semitism defies – I think – any rational explanation.

All in all there is as much mystery in the current Ukrainian government-military arrangement as there still is in the events surrounding the attack on the USS Liberty.

To conclude, I attempted to relate the main events of the attack on the Liberty, the related opinions of some among the victims of the attack, and of some among the managers of its aftermath. To the best of my knowledge the information is correct.

I think that much injustice has been done, and much justice left undone by the parties involved after the attack on the Liberty. Just as the Western dome of power currently exerts equal and preposterous injustice in the treatment of Russia’s “Special Military Operation,” for the benefit and befuddling of those forming the base of the pyramid of subordination.

However, I am equally aware that when truth intrudes uncalled, and brings unpleasant memories in her train, the passes of the intellect are barred against her by prejudice and passion. If sometimes, she forces her way by undisputable evidence, she seldom keeps possession of her conquests, but is ejected by some favored enemy or, at best, obtains only a nominal sovereignty, without influence and without authority.

It’s Palestinian, not Israeli Flag, that Should Be Raised at Toronto’s City Hall

May 10, 2022

Toronto Mayor John Tory raises the Israeli flag on Israel’s ‘Independence Day’. (Photo: via Tory Twitter page)

By Paul Salvatori

Toronto Mayor, John Tory, is disingenuous. Honoring Israel’s ‘Independence Day’ at City Hall this week, he emphasized:

“There have been days, far too many of them where Jewish Torontonians felt insecure just walking down the street on the way to school. And that is not right. It should never be the case in this city or anywhere that people on their way to worship or just going about their lives should feel insecure or unsafe because of the faith that they have or because of their background in any way, shape or form.”

Is that what we really should be thinking about when we talk about Israel? Given all we know—confirmed by numerous and recent findings by United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other credible organizations—that Israel actually is: a criminal state, unrelenting in its violent oppression and colonization of the Palestinian people? What does that, at all, have to do with antisemitism? Why is Toronto still celebrating Israel?

What makes Tory’s statement all the worse is that a few days prior to it he singled out, on Twitter, the Al-Quds (pro-Palestinian) demonstration, suggesting its potential for violence:

This plays directly into the Zionist narrative that Palestinians are always suspect, a ‘terrorist’ risk that must be controlled, surveillanced, managed. If Tory were the “progressive” mayor he pretends to be, he would have expressed solidarity with the demonstrators, calling for an end to the current Israeli regime (never to be conflated with the Jewish people as the Israeli lobby does). That’s what someone who genuinely cares about human rights does. They support anyone, anywhere, being oppressed for who they are—in this case Palestinians for being Palestinian.

A Palestinian friend of mine in Toronto told me privately that whenever they see the Israeli flag they feel afraid, anxious, and automatically recall horrid stories told to them by their parents such as when the Israeli state illegally destroyed their mother’s home. As much as this saddens me it is not surprising.

Israel has traumatized the Palestinian people. Mayor Tory, as well as any principled public official, must reckon with and not turn away from this reality. They do so however every time they participate within the imaginary world of Zionists where Israel is an “exemplary” democracy, the perpetual victim of Palestinian attacks and have never been responsible for the slaughter and massacre of Palestinians. This is an outright lie that must be denounced, even if our so-called “leaders” won’t, be that out of fear of what Israeli supporters will do or contempt for the Palestinian people themselves.

Tory’s statement is also upsetting not because it is untrue. Antisemitism exists in Toronto and there’s absolutely no place for it. Rather, in foregrounding antisemitism (and saying nothing about Palestine) when talking about Israel, he misuses his power. Specifically, he impresses onto the public the message that when you think of Israel do not think of it as a colonial force or system of apartheid that disadvantages Palestinians. No. Think victims. A true friend of Israel would never frame it as the oppressor.

Where this kind of thinking gains currency it naturally creates an uninviting or even hostile situation for Palestinians, as well as their allies. Where they rightfully protest Israel’s criminality they’ll be slammed for it, silenced and called names like “antisemitic.” Writing this I’m reminded of a story by a friend and fellow Palestinian ally, Ted Schmidt. For wearing a Palestinian button someone on a Toronto elevator told him, “You should be killed.” Where is Tory, other Toronto politicians, speaking against such hostile anti-Palestinianism, all too common in the city? Why should Toronto be a safe place for only my Israeli brothers and sisters but not those of mine who are Palestinian? How can we, in good conscience, ever accept that?

If Tory is serious about honoring all Torontonians he will not shy away from, in addition to the Israeli flag this past Independence Day, raising the Palestinian one on May 15: Nakba Day. This will signal to Palestinians in Toronto and elsewhere that Toronto is serious about their receiving justice, remembering the Nakba catastrophe itself that—at the hands of violent Zionist forces—displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. This was to make way for the establishment of Israel itself in 1948 while preventing Palestinians from ever being able to return to their homes again.

It is also a test of sincerity. Tory and the City of Toronto more generally are expressly committed to truth and reconciliation efforts with Canadian Indigenous peoples. This, on the surface, means they are aware of the atrocities inflicted by colonization and want to rectify that, best as possible. If they are sincere about this they will show the same regard to Toronto Palestinians, who either experienced the Nakba firsthand or are descendants of those who have. The anti-colonial spirit is not selective. It does not oppose colonization in certain circumstances but not in others. It is neither bound to geography, Canadian or otherwise.

I stand with you Mayor Tory in combatting antisemitism. Will you stand with myself and many other fellow Torontonians, to combat the ongoing colonization of Palestine?

If so, raise the Palestinian flag at City Hall too.

– Paul Salvatori is a Toronto-based journalist, community worker and artist. Much of his work on Palestine involves public education, such as through his recently created interview series, “Palestine in Perspective” (The Dark Room Podcast), where he speaks with writers, scholars and activists. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Talking Reality Theories, With Airika Dollner, the Amazing Creative Mind of Art With Aim

 

Eva Bartlett

Some months ago, while chatting about world events, media lies, and how people who dare to think critically are often dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”, we joked about being “reality theorists”, and I liked the sound of that term. Our plans to have a conversation got delayed, but finally came about the other morning.

In our first conversation, Airika and I discussed a variety of things, from Palestine to Syria to Ukraine and more. Airika is a phenomenal researcher & very expressive, articulate, woman. We’ll be having these conversations a lot more frequently, on a wide range of issues, particularly things she has researched deeply.

Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones

23 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Aya Youssef 

Despite their battles on the ground and in the virtual world, Palestinians are still able to go viral.

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

“You are stealing my house!” yelled the Palestinian woman facing the illegal Israeli settler in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood, in occupied Al-Quds. 

“If I don’t steal it someone else is gonna steal it,” the settler replied with no hesitation. 

Comment, retweet, share, like, repost, and download. The outcome?

 Palestine has gone viral. 

Starting from the inside

Raw video footage of Israeli occupation forces storming Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan in 2021 started to circulate all over social media platforms. The videos were showing Israeli soldiers storming through screaming crowds throwing grenades and shooting rubber bullets into them. 

European states, US lawmakers, and prominent figures started to condemn such brutal acts on their social media platforms, and it didn’t take months for this footage to become viral; it took seconds.

Israeli brutality has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones


Salhiyya family’s home

Mahmoud Salhiyya stood up against the Israeli forces and threatened to set himself on fire as a last resort to prevent them from taking his and his sister’s home. Palestinian activists held their phones and live-streamed, took photos, and published with the click of a button.

At dawn, Israeli occupation forces bulldozed Salhiyya family home, but Palestinians were wide awake to live stream, hashtag, take pictures, and tweet.

Israeli occupation authorities have been trying everything to uproot Sheikh Jarrah residents, from sending aleatory and unlawful court-mandated eviction orders to allowing settlers to attack Palestinians living in the neighborhood. 

But guess what? Israeli crimes have gone viral, too. 

Save Al-Naqab

The Israeli occupation forces arrested a 12-year-old Palestinian girl named Julian Al-Atrash. While she was being dragged and handcuffed, she didn’t hesitate to smile.

That smile made it through social media platforms. Pro-Palestine activists started to draw, illustrate, and post the moment that girl smiled. 

Occupation forces started to storm Al-Naqab villages to bulldoze the area as a part of a plan led by the “Jewish National Fund” to confiscate Palestinian lands. 

There are more than 30 villages in Al-Naqab dubbed as “unrecognized” villages under the Israeli occupation government, so there are no means of transportation, no roads, and no schools in the area. 

Despite all of this, during the Israeli storming, Al-Naqab was being recognized more than ever online, with people retweeting and sharing “#SaveNaqab”.

The greenwashing of Israeli crimes has gone viral.

What’s going on in Al-Naqab in Palestine?

Palestine is going viral from the outside

Palestinian refugees who were forcibly displaced from their lands have been facing the Israeli occupation every single day. They have been fighting battles on their own. 

Shahd Abusalma’s case

Shahd is a Palestinian refugee and a lecturer living in the UK. Sheffield Hallam University suspended her teaching duties due to anti-Semitic claims and decided to investigate her. Shahd has done nothing but retweeting, liking, and commenting on videos showing the Israeli occupation’s brutality.

Solidarity campaigns started to go viral, websites started to write about Shahd’s case, and “#InSupportOfShahd” started to circulate all over Twitter. 

How did all this start? As soon as Shahd announced that she was subject to these campaigns on her Twitter account, retweets skyrocketed. 

The university restrained Shahd’s teaching duties without dropping the investigations regarding her case. Shahd didn’t stop there because guess what? 

Shahd’s case has gone viral.

Shahd has walked her followers through her journey regarding any new update on her case. 

A few days later, the university dropped all of the investigations that were made against Shahd and offered her a more secure contract that will afford her employee status.

Rasmy Hassouna’s case

A Palestinian-American citizen who was about to renew his contract with the government before he noticed a legal clause that forbids him and his company A&R Engineering and Testing, Inc, from ever protesting “Israel” and its products.

Rasmy filed a lawsuit against the Texas state law, which bans government contractors from boycotting the Israeli occupation and won the case.

US District Court Judge blocked Texas from imposing its anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) law against Hassouna because boycotting, any kind of boycott, was protected by the First Amendment, which is the right to participate in economic boycotts as a form of protest.

“It’s great, isn’t it?” Rasmy said to Al Mayadeen English as he received the news.   

Determined as ever, Rasmy said “Stand up for your rights, as expatriates, I believe we can do a lot for Palestine.” 

His victory made it through websites and social media platforms. 

And guess what? Rasmy’s victory has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

Don’t let tech giants fool you: Al-Kurd siblings as an example 

23-year-old Palestinians had nothing to defend their land with except their phones. They had no idea that anyone would care enough to watch illegal Israeli settlers storming their house or brutally assaulting young Palestinians. They didn’t know that anyone would care enough about a neighborhood in occupied Palestine. 

With every video or live-streaming posted, their followers were piling up by day, people started to refer to their accounts for news or updates regarding Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood. 

And now? Muna Al Kurd has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram while her brother, Mohammad al Kurd, has +7K followers on the platform. 

“Instagram is preventing me from going live!” 

Mona Al-Kurd was one of many live-streaming the ongoing events in Sheikh Jarrah when her streaming cut off suddenly. Al Kurd explained that her live-streaming feature was blocked while she was documenting the moment Al Salhiyya’s family home was demolished.

This has exposed Instagram’s complicity and censorship of Palestinian content. 

Censorship of Palestinian content is not new to some of the giant tech companies. Toward the end of last year, activists and journalists have started a campaign against Meta’s policies, which have been targeting Palestinian content and the Palestinian narrative. 

It is important not to forget Human Rights Watch’s report that highlighted Facebook’s policy, and how the tech giant has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including content regarding human rights abuses committed by “Israel” against Palestinians during its 11 days aggression on Gaza in 2021.

EXPLAINER: Why does France Attack Palestine Solidarity Organizations?

February 26, 2022

France decided to ban to Palestine solidarity groups. (Photo: via Collectif Palestine Vaincra FB Page)

By Claude Zurbach

As a gift to the pro-Israeli lobby, the French government, through its Minister of the Interior Gérard Darmanin, has announced its intention to dissolve two Palestine solidarity organizations: the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and the Comité d’Action Palestine.

Long History of Harassment of the BDS Campaign

In line with the policies of most European Union countries, pressure groups and political authorities in France have never skimped on filing complaints and administrative bans. And this has been the case for more than 10 years, since the lawsuit brought against the BDS campaigners in Mulhouse, in the east of France. Since then, many collectives have been subjected to various forms of harassment, including those of Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Paris, Mulhouse, Colmar, Perpignan, and Montpellier (and the list is non-exhaustive).

 The alleged arguments developed in this defamatory campaign invoke an alleged anti-Semitism, which constitutes the main angle of the Israeli attack against the international movement of solidarity with Palestine.

Throughout the years, these initiatives, aimed at suppressing any form of organized criticism of Israel, have been met with strong reactions, from a legal point of view, but also through grassroots mobilization and were almost always defeated in court.

But these repeated attacks are financially costly, can be morally exhausting, and require a lot of energy, which is then diverted into time-consuming and complex legal procedures.

Why Does France Attack Solidarity Organizations?

The reason behind these attacks is the solidarity, or deep connivance, between all the economic and political powers throughout the world and Israel. Tel Aviv is both the advanced point of Western domination in the Middle East and a laboratory for the sophisticated repressive and lethal tools (tested on the Palestinian population), which are sold to Western powers.

In this system of international domination, Israel has a place of choice, which explains the exceptional tolerance it enjoys while it has been multiplying its international law violations throughout occupied Palestine.

On the other hand, the proximity of the presidential campaign in France explains the timing of this decision. Most potential candidates have reaffirmed their unwavering support for the Zionist project, with the notable exception of candidates considered to be part of the ‘radical left’.

One right-wing candidate, Valérie Precress, even chose an outspoken Zionist as her advisor on international issues.

Winning overt or implicit support from the Israel lobbies is becoming an important element in France’s election campaign, all against a backdrop of the rising Islamophobia

Israel is particularly worried about the discredit at an international level. In this context, Tel Aviv knows that any show of complicity with the apartheid regime imposed in Palestine is supposed to produce gains.

Reaction of the Solidarity Movement in France

The Association France-Palestine Solidarity, the main association of solidarity with Palestine, reacted with a first unambiguous statement, recalling that “solidarity is not a crime, it is a duty” and quite rightly that “support for the legitimate claims of the Palestinian people is in no way comparable to any call for hatred towards Israel or the Israelis, it is a call for justice and the application of international law”.

In addition to the two associations concerned by the decision, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and the Comité d’Action Palestine, others such as the Union Juive Française pour la Paix and Europalestine have reacted quickly. A petition is online to show their refusal of the government’s liberticidal decisions.

 It would be important for other organizations, focused on the defense of individual and collective rights, to come forward to protest against these iniquitous decisions. Indeed, any breach of solidarity will be a loophole that can be exploited by the supporters of apartheid in Palestine to impose further bans and dissolutions.

– Claude Zurbach is the editor of Chronique de Palestine, the French version of the Palestine Chronicle website. A computer engineer by profession, he has been involved for many years in solidarity with the Palestinian national movement. His Twitter account is https://twitter.com/ClaudeZurbach

Suspension of Lebanese journalist proof of DW’s ‘free speech’ hypocrisy

February 8, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Aya Youssef

In an interview with Al Mayadeen English, Daoud Ibrahim explains that DW’s allegations of “anti-Semitism” are based on “false and misleading news.”

“The western standard for freedom of expression is tailored to only restrict us,” said Lebanese journalist Daoud Ibrahim to Al Mayadeen English. 

Suspension of Lebanese journalist proof of DW’s ‘free speech’ hypocrisy

Ibrahim, along with other 4 other journalists, were suspended from their job in the German state media  Deutsche Welle (DW) based on false allegations of anti-Semitism.

Pulling the tweets out 

Daoud was contacted by a German journalist who asked him about a tweet he wrote 10 years ago regarding the Holocaust. Back then, the Lebanese journalist wrote, “The Holocaust is a lie. #FreedomOfSpeech.” 

The tweet was written back in 2012, “and I explained that I wrote this tweet after the publication of abusive and satirical cartoons that were mocking certain beliefs and promoting extremism.” 

Daoud explains that at that time, people started to defend such mockery under the pretext of “freedom of expression”.

“What the tweet meant to say was whether an opinion regarding the Holocaust can fall under the same category,” Daoud clarifies. 

The journalist defended his stance regarding the matter and said that he did believe that the holocaust did happen, but “I was resolving a certain issue from a certain perspective,” at a certain time. 

Despite the clarifications, the German journalist fragmented Daoud’s replies and published the report according to his views and beliefs. “He didn’t include all the clarifications,” the Lebanese journalist added. 

Daoud isn’t even a DW employee 

DW Akademie, which offers media training for future or specialized journalistscontacted Daoud who is a contract trainer in that academy after the article was published and requested to do an internal hearing session. 

“During the session, I defended my case, especially since I am a trainer in the field of conflict-sensitive journalism and ethical journalism, so this topic was highly important to clarify.” 

Daoud isn’t contractually obligated to go with DW’s political policy, especially since he is a contract trainer, “I’m not obliged to do anything except for training, I’m not an employee,” Daoud clarifies. 

He stated that he’s the only one who is working with the academy, meaning that everyone who got suspended works with the institution itself or the website, “but I am a trainer, and this was something unexpected for me.” 

The DW decided to form a commission of inquiry that includes former German Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and Palestinian psychiatrist Ahmad Mansour. 

Into the hearing session 

The committee requested a video call session, and Daoud did accept on condition that he brings his own lawyer and the session be recorded. 

“The committee rejected my conditions and wanted to communicate through emails,” adding that he accepted. 

They sent in their questions to the Lebanese journalist. 

“Most of these questions were regarding the conditions of my work and my job in the academy,” Daoud said.

And then the mood of the questions started to shift as they ask about “my stance regarding ‘Israel’s’ right to exist.” 

All of Daoud’s responses were based on “the Lebanese law, the decisions of the Arab League, the right of return, and the right to self-determination.” Noting that the contract with DW indicates to “respect the laws of the countries in which we operate.” 

Daoud made sure during the hearing session to clarify that the accusation of anti-Semitism cannot be applied to the Lebanese people because “we are originally Semites.” 

In addition to this, he made it clear that examining a 10-year-old tweet without putting it in its context and the circumstances that were going on back then can be considered as “false and misleading news.” 

Daoud contacted DW Akademie and was informed that they will most likely stop training sessions with him as per the committee’s recommendation.

The Lebanese journalist stated that he had no problem with the people he used to work with; however, he thinks that the main problem is the institution’s new policies, and “surely these policies do not represent me if they are taking this direction.”  

Deutsche Welle does not want to publish Israeli crimes 

DW has long been condemned for its biased reporting on Israeli violations against Palestinians. Media outlets in Germany have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which equates criticism of “Israel” or its behavior to antisemitism.

According to HuMedia, during “Israel’s” deadly aggression on Gaza, DW distributed an internal two-page reporting guide to its journalists, forbidding them to make any connection between “Israel” and colonialism or to use the term apartheid.

Why “Israel” is really threatened by Amnesty’s apartheid report

Feb 04 2022

Why “Israel” is really threatened by Amnesty’s apartheid report

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh

Once again, when “Israel” is accused of something, it rushes to accuse others of “anti-Semitism”.

Prior to the release of Amnesty International’s near-300 page report supporting its position that “Israel” is committing the crime of Apartheid, the Israeli regime had already lashed out in order to delegitimize it as “anti-Semitic”. The reason for this is that “Israel’s” Jewish nature is now called into question.

Amnesty International’s lengthy report, which according to its Secretary-General, Agnes Callamard, was 4 years in the making, concludes that “massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to apartheid under international law. This system is maintained by violations which Amnesty International found to constitute apartheid as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute and Apartheid Convention.”

Without addressing any of the report’s findings, Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, claimed that “instead of seeking facts, Amnesty quotes lies spread by terrorist organizations”, labeling Amnesty as “just another radical organization.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry itself directly accused Amnesty of anti-Semitism, as did pro-“Israel” organizations such as the ADL, AIPAC, and others, all claiming that the only reason for the report was because “Israel” is Jewish. What’s interesting is that the lengthy Amnesty report is directly citing the laws implemented by the Israeli regime and begins with quoting its former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who said “Israel is not a state of all its citizens…[but rather] the nation-state of the Jewish people and only them.”

What’s interesting is that not a single Zionist organization, nor the Zionist regime itself, has attempted to go through the report and refute it, instead of attempting to obfuscate and mislead people into thinking that the world’s largest – renowned as liberal and moderate – human rights organization is in fact filled with anti-semitic terrorists. Yet, nobody is buying this, especially due to the fact that Amnesty is not alone in its conclusions.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), the second most influential human rights group, also released a 200 page report last year, entitled ‘A Threshold Crossed’, in which they concluded “Israel” was committing the crime of Apartheid. Additionally “Israel’s” top human rights group, B’Tselem, also released a position paper in which they accused “Tel Aviv” of operating “a regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” Israeli human rights group Yesh Din also released a legal conclusion that the occupation of the West Bank is Apartheid. On top of this, the accusation of Apartheid being practiced by the Zionist regime has been argued by the likes of the late anti-apartheid icon, Desmond Tutu, as well as Palestinian groups. Palestinians have argued that Apartheid is what they are suffering from for decades, way pre-dating any human rights groups taking the position they do today.

So with such consensus from leading human rights groups internationally, that “Israel” is an Apartheid regime, there is now a major issue for “Israel” that has to be well understood in its context. “Israel” has always been a regime of Jewish supremacy, of Apartheid, it was built around the understanding that this is to be the case and continues to implement its policies until this day. For long, “Israel” has been able to shield itself from the accusation that it is fundamentally a racist regime. With the fall of the Soviet Union, no superpower emerged willing to take up the banner of the Palestinian cause, and the United States maintained complete domination over dealing with the Palestine-“Israel” conflict. When things got tough for “Israel” during the first Intifada, they ended that problem with the Oslo Agreement, and since 1993, were able to get away with presenting the illusion of peace whilst continuing to ethnically cleanse and colonize Palestine. However, the so-called two-state solution and “peace process” were essentially destroyed during the Trump administration once and for all, meaning that the internationally agreed-upon consensus for ending the conflict had fallen flat and the US was not even pushing for that anymore. 

The Arab reactionary regimes began normalizing ties with “Israel”, making no pre-condition of a Palestinian State before doing so, whilst the international community sat back and allowed the situation to play out as Palestinians fought against Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan to rob them of the final 20% of their land. In this period, two very key things happened, one was that the final nail had been hammered into the two-state solution coffin, the other was that the Palestinian youth underwent a pivotal transformation and prepared themselves for waging resistance in order to liberate all of their lands. The latter mentioned point had of course progressed over a greater peroid of time, but with the Trump administrations recognition of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and illegal settlements as belonging to “Israel”, it contributed greatly to the mindset of the Palestinian youth today.

Being in Palestine to witness the reaction to Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, I saw the desperation, interviewed countless Palestinians, and spoke to friends on their feelings toward how to proceed with their struggle for national liberation. I recall speaking to Palestinian friends of mine in the occupied West Bank who had been lifelong proponents of nonviolent struggle, one of which told me, “I don’t believe in non-violence anymore, we need to take our land back by force.” At that time however, most people felt desperate, even depressed, and did not see a light at the end of the tunnel. Following the uprising, leading to 11-days of war, last May, the energy and hope is now alive and well, especially in the Palestinian youth.

All of this must be kept in mind now, because if the two-state solution is now dead, then what comes next? The human rights organizations have just paved the way for the very next step, “Israel’s” entire system is now the target, not just its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. The reports by Amnesty, HRW, and B’Tselem all demand that the Israeli regime drop its discriminatory policies everywhere in historic Palestine. If “Israel” is forced to do this, there can be no Jewish state, because in order for there to be one, “Israel” has to systematically oppress the Palestinian people.

This means that the only solutions left are the following; “Israel” kills every single Palestinian in a mass genocide, “Israel” is completely destroyed to be replaced by a new state structure, or the country is transformed into a democratic state under which the majority would be Palestinian and all citizens are treated equally. “Israel” knows that the latter two options mean the end of the Zionist dream and hence are not willing to accept any report telling it that it must change its racist settler colonial system. “Israel” has always been a racist endeavor, so to corrupt this is seen by its supporters as an existential threat. They know it’s Apartheid and that’s just the way they like it, but what they don’t like is being told they can no longer run an Apartheid regime.

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

The Israeli Pogrom

1 February 2022)

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.

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Israel’s Violent Squatters

On 21 January 2022, an organized gang of over a dozen masked Zionist “settlers” from the Givat Ronen outpost on the Occupied West Bank attacked Palestinians planting trees near the village of Burin. There were seven Israeli Jewish supporters with the Palestinians. The “settlers” attacked them as well.

I place the term “settler” in quotation marks because what we are really talking about are not settlers but squatters. I will use the term squatter except where settler appears in a quotation.

As is normal in cases of Israeli squatter violence, the Israeli authorities were slow to arrive at the scene of the attack and, subsequently, made no arrests. The Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev explained that “until the army gets there it takes time. Until the [Israeli] police were sent it took time and therefore … the moment the [Israeli] police arrive at the site, the terrorists are no longer there.” The Palestinian police, for their part, could not respond because they are “forbidden from reacting to acts of violence by Israeli settlers.” One can just imagine the army and the police rate of response if it was the Palestinians attacking the squatters. The double standard is obvious.

However, there was something novel in Bar-Lev’s statement. He said that “in my view” the attackers constituted “a terror group.” This designation apparently had nothing to do with the attack on Palestinians, but rather was warranted because the attackers had “targeted and harmed Israeli citizens.”

This might well be something like a “false flag” statement on the part of the public security minister. It was meant to reassure the Europeans and Americans who are concerned by the violence of the Israeli squatter movement. The minister subsequently told a U.S. official that the Israeli government takes the problem seriously and “is taking steps to tackle the phenomenon.” This is almost certainly a lie. Prime Minister Bennett has called squatter violence “insignificant,” and several of Bar-Lev’s fellow ministers criticized him for promoting a “distorted narrative.”

Squatter violence goes back at least into the 1980s. In 1983, an 11-year-old girl from Nablus was murdered by Jewish squatters. “In their defense, the chief rabbi of the Sephardic community reportedly cited a Talmudic text justifying killing an enemy on occasions when one may see from a child’s perspective that he or she will grow up to become your enemy.” One can imagine that a similar logic could justify, in the eyes of some Palestinians, the killing of every Israeli Jewish child.

Subsequently, “in the 21st century, there has been a steady increase in violence and terror perpetrated by Jewish settlers against Palestinians.” In 2008, the Israeli army command in the West Bank acknowledged that “a hard core of a few hundred activists were involved in violence against the Palestinians.” Though the army said it planned to address the situation, the problem persisted and grew worse. In 2011, the Israeli government again acknowledged “a growing problem with extremists.” Again, little was done about it. The United Nations and organizations such as Human Rights Watch have repeatedly voiced concern that the number of attacks were growing. The latter noted that “In many cases, settlers abuse Palestinians in front of Israeli soldiers or police with little interference from the authorities.”

Here is suggested a reason for the lack of any crackdown on squatter violence. It goes on with the tacit consent of the government. To quote B’Tselem, Israel’s main human rights organization, “Israel has been using settler violence as a major informal tool to drive Palestinians from farming and pasture lands in the occupied West Bank.”

Part II—Pogrom

What is the appropriate historical term for “informal,” supposedly “unofficial,” violence nonetheless carried out with the tacit approval of a government? How about pogrom? In this case, we can also call it an obscene embarrassment for all Jews who value human rights.

Pogrom is originally a Russian word which means “to wreak havoc.” Traditionally, it was and continues to be a weapon of intergroup discord, where one group seeks to harm or evict an opposing group of different ethnic or religious makeup. The term came to characterize a government-approved tactic of czarist Russia of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In that case, the traditional victims were Jews.

It would seem that successive Israeli governments have used the same tactic to encourage squatter violence against the Palestinians on the West Bank. The endgame here is not difficult to understand. As B’Tselem explains it, the aim of the Israeli government is to clear Judea and Samaria (the biblical names for the West Bank) of non-Jews. The Israeli army has already confiscated around 42% of this territory, and over time, an informal acceptance at all government levels was reached to allow Israeli squatter violence to help force the Palestinians off of the remaining land. The dismissive reaction of Bar-Lev’s government colleagues to the attack described above is the latest example of this consent.

Part III—A Reversal of Roles

It is painful for progressive Jews to delve into and try to explain why other Jews actively or passively support such tactics. The Zionists have spent a lot of time and energy trying to convince the world that, despite the fact that Israel is ranked the eighth most powerful country in the world, they are the innocent victims of, and also mortally threatened by, Palestinian anti-Semitic violence and hatred. To the extent that they, and the rest of the world, accept this narrative, Israeli tactics can be accepted as both defensive and warranted. But this narrative does not ring true. In fact, there has been a reversal of roles.

Most Zionists see the Palestinians as clones of those who persecuted Jews over the past several hundred years. The Palestinians also stand in the way of the territorial ambitions of the “Jewish state”—territorial ambitions which, once fulfilled, will supposedly provide a secure sanctuary for all the world’s Jews. Anyone standing in the way of this goal becomes, ipso facto, an anti-Semite and, as such, they can be seen as enemies of the Jews. In the case of the Palestinians, they may appear as replicas of the East European and Russian anti-Semites who carried out pogroms—kept contained only by Israeli control.

The suggestion that the Israelis are reversing roles here is sacrilege for the Zionists. Yet the evidence bears this out. Starting in 1917, it was mostly East European Jews who, with British assistance, invaded Arab Palestine and took control of ever increasing amounts of that territory. It is Israeli Jews who now seek to purge the land of non-Jews. Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, harassed in their towns and villages, now play the role the Jews of Europe used to play—victims of pogroms. Some well-placed Israelis recognize the problem. In 2016, Yair Golan, deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, told a public gathering in Israel, “If there is one thing that frightens me about the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying the revolting trends that occurred in Europe as a whole 70 to 80 years ago … and finding evidence of those trends here, among us, in 2016.” Israeli Jews brave enough to recognize and speak of this reversal of roles have always been rare, and they are getting rarer still: progressive Israelis are emigrating and rightwing governments have become the norm.

Part IV—Conclusion

It must be over twenty years since I spoke to this issue at a public presentation at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania. I had been invited to do so by a young untenured history professor. I had told him that it was a dangerous move, but for him, it was a matter of academic freedom and integrity. For me, it was part of a need to tell the truth about the Palestinian plight.

It was a full house, certainly over one hundred people. I gave a defense of Palestinian rights within a fact-based historical context. The real trouble came when someone in the audience suggested a comparison between Israeli behavior and that of the Nazis. I said that the comparison was false. The Israelis had neither set up concentration camps nor organized a technologically based slaughter of their enemies. However, what they had done was pushed Palestinians into ghettos and allowed for periodic pogroms. The shocked gasps of the Zionists in the audience were audible. They walked out en masse and my host never got tenure. Yet the pogroms have become more frequent and more dangerous, at once making life more miserable for the Palestinians and perverting the ethical standards Jews have endorsed particularly since the Holocaust. Learning bad habits from their past, the Zionists have made the tactic of pogrom their own.

“Israel’s” weapon of choice: Anti-Semitism

Jan 06 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Narjes El Zein

Once and for all, let us settle the debate and put things into perspective… What is anti-Semitism? And how is it used to criminalize any act of solidarity with the Palestinians?

  • Here is how any act of solidarity with Palestine is dubbed as anti-Semitic.

Between the corridors of political discourse in Hollywood, there is a reality that is seldom talked about and always intentionally ignored. It is a fact that is always whispered, spoken in secrecy, never fully vocalized, except by those who are brave enough to withstand the repercussions of supporting the Palestinian people. 

Careers have been ruined, sidetracked, and completely ravaged, all under the pretext of anti-Semitism. But in reality, all what those public figures have done was stand on the right side of history.

10 points for Gryffindor

Emma Watson is one of the latest Hollywood stars that has faced hatred and social media trolling as a result of her political stances and rightful support for the oppressed

Watson, an award-winning actress and activist, utilized her personal Instagram with over 64 million followers to post a message expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause… However, her post seemed to upset and trigger pro-“Israel” online commentators, prompting them of course to accuse the British star of anti-Semitism.

What happened with Watson is one of the latest controversies that reignited questions over the link between advocating Palestinian rights and randomly accusing people of being racist or anti-Semitic.

Some of the other celebrities and public figures that had been subjected to hate due to their support of the Palestinian cause are: Sally RooneyBella HadidMark RuffaloSusan Sarandon, and many others.

So once and for all, let us settle the debate and put things into perspective… What is anti-Semitism? 

Anti-semitism

The term anti-Semitism refers to any kind of hostility, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anti-Semitism is defined as [an act of] hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group. 

However, in 2016, a new definition of anti-Semitism has been reintroduced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which includes among its “contemporary examples” of anti-Semitism “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.”

As such, it goes without saying that anti-Semitism should not be defined by Israelis. 

Such re-definitions and endeavors to plagiarize terminologies express a systematic attempt to impose anti-Zionism as Jew-hatred in order to vilify and assume that “Israel” hatred is equivalent to Jews hatred. 

But, is the criticism of “Israel” anti-Semitic?

To answer this question, we must first address the following: 

Is every Jew Israeli? 

Most Jews do not live in “Israel” and not every inhabitant of “Israel” is Jewish. Claiming the contrary is false and even insulting to a vast number of Jews, who neither are Israeli nor do they possess this “connection” or “attachment” to “Israel”.

And the best proof of that is the Jewish opposition to the Zionist movement long before the “state of Israel” was declared in 1948. 

Thus, being a Zionist and being Jewish are not the same thing.

What is Zionism?

Zionism is a political and colonial movement, supported by plenty of non-Jews, including Western governments. It emerged in 19th Century Europe and was aimed at establishing a Jewish “homeland” in historic Palestine by any means necessary. 

And what we mean by any means necessary includes, but is not limited to: waging wars and carrying out endless aggressions, killing Palestinians (the original rightful owners of the land), stealing properties from the original rightful owners of the land leading to their displacement, and the orphaning of thousands of children, as well as segregation and apartheid policies. 

Thus, the implementation of the Zionist project necessitates the violent ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population and the building of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

Thus, Zionism itself is a racist ideology, based on the horrific war crimes practiced each and every day against Palestinian people, and it can only be realized through a colonial-settler project. 

Deliberately confusing ideological terms, symbols, and images has long been a tactic of propagandists whereby they manipulate the term “Zionist” to become a code word for “Jew”. 

This is absolutely not a minor speech “slip-up”, rather it is a long-term systematic strategy that Zionists and “Israel” continue to deploy every day to this very day.

Ideological warfare

How can you win against your opponent in the ideological arena? 

Simple: Manipulate the masses to reinforce the idea that criticizing you or the institution that you belong to is a “swearword” and it is an extremely discriminatory and bigotry act. 

Year after year, Zionists understood that they could capitalize on anti-“Israel” sentiments and brand them as anti-Semitic, especially when addressing the Western public opinion. Thus, any call for the end of the Zionist colonization project would be confronted with the conjuring of the argument of anti-Semitism. 

They are deliberately confusing anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism to discredit all attempts to attack apartheid “Israel”. 

So let us make one thing clear: Just as anti-Zionism is in no way the equal of anti-Semitism, the legitimate opposition of the “existence” and actions of apartheid “Israel” in no way reflects anti-Jewish prejudice. 

A camouflage to silence opposition

But, if we dig deeper to understand the reasoning behind this terminology usage in contemporary speech and in the present conflict in interpretation, in addition to the observation of the loosely related group of attitudes… we understand the motives behind it. 

Defining anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism and using the two terms interchangeably reduces the threat of attacking and calling out Israeli policies, which leaves “Israel” free to entrench and impose its own agenda to further expand within historic Palestine and deny millions of Palestinians their most basic rights.

Accusations of anti-Semitism are deployed to establish an environment that intimidates all sorts of people and urges them to attack and delegitimize criticism of Israeli policies. 

Debunking the myth

The brutal policies of the Israeli government, such as the systematic killing of Palestiniansdenying Palestinians their basic rights, imprisonment of women and childrenneglect of prisoners’ rights, and the building of settlements… to name a few, reflect the indignant and corrosive measures of Zionism, and Zionism only. 

Anti-Semitism has become a means to intimidate individuals and prevent them from voicing their support and expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people and standing against the many, many, many injustices the Palestinians are enduring each and every day. 

So to get to the bottom line, is Emma Watson (along with the other pro-Palestinian celebrities) an anti-Semite just for voicing her support for the Palestinians? 

No.

Is amplifying the voice of an oppressed nation anti-Semitic? 

No.

Quite the contrary.

Because at the heart of it and taking all the facts and stories happening every day into consideration, the rhetoric that does not speak of the sufferings of the indigenous Palestinian people emerges as one of the crudest forms of anti-HUMANITY! 

Let’s be honest, Zionist Israel is built on a tissue of lies

December 23, 2021

82-year-old, Diana Neslen [Youtube]
British journalist and author Yvonne Ridley provides political analysis on affairs related to the Middle East, Asia and the Global War on Terror. Her work has appeared in numerous publications around the world from East to West from titles as diverse as The Washington Post to the Tehran Times and the Tripoli Post earning recognition and awards in the USA and UK. Ten years working for major titles on Fleet Street she expanded her brief into the electronic and broadcast media producing a number of documentary films on Palestinian and other international issues from Guantanamo to Libya and the Arab Spring.

Yvonne Ridley 

Not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews, but say anything negative about the political ideology of Zionism or speak in favour of Palestine and the chances are, regardless of your religious beliefs or lack of them, you will end up being accused of anti-Semitism. In today’s world, posting negative tweets about Zionism or expressing the slightest criticism of Israel can land you in trouble. One 82-year-old woman in Britain, for example, could be expelled from the Labour Party having been accused of posting “anti-Semitic” views on social networks. Diana Neslen, though, is Jewish.

After three investigations by the party, Neslen has had enough and is fighting back. Her legal team has sent a warning letter to let Labour officials know that her anti-Zionist viewpoint is a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act. Furthermore, the lawyers at Bindmans say that she has been “subjected by the party to discrimination and harassment related to her protected philosophical belief.”

This has the potential to be a hugely significant case that will put the political ideology of Zionism under the spotlight. Its supporters, especially millions of Christian evangelicals around the world, especially in the US, would have us believe that political Zionism is older than Methuselah himself who, according to the Bible, reached the grand old age of 969. However, compared with the ancient patriarch, the nationalist movement is still in its infancy, having originated in eastern and central Europe towards the back end of the 19th century.

READ: UK media and politicians ‘misled public’ with support for far-right Israeli ambassador

Not only is Zionism a relatively new kid on the ideological block, therefore, but it’s also only relatively recently that the movement has been supported by mainstream Jewry and non-Jews of every political hue. It has taken root among Jews following decades of propaganda and millions of dollars spent lobbying the US and other western governments for legislation to criminalise those who would dare to criticise it.

It wasn’t always like this. Back in December 1938, election results in Poland saw the Zionist political project struggling to take hold within one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities. Only one of the 20 seats allocated to Jews was won by a Zionist candidate; 17 went to the anti-Zionist socialist party, Bund. The evidence suggests that pre-World War Two, orthodox Jews were not generally attracted to Zionism or the concept of a Jewish state. Mike Marqusee made this point in his book If I am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew (Verso Books, 2008): “As long as there has been Zionism, there have been anti-Zionist Jews. Indeed, decades before it even came to the notice of non-Jews, anti-Zionism was a well-established Jewish ideology and until World War II commanded wide support in the diaspora.”

The Nazi Holocaust did indeed change things when it murdered millions of Jews and other minority groups, including the disabled, trade unionists, gypsies and homosexuals. “I remember thinking at the end of the war, ‘Why didn’t the Germans do anything?'” said Neslen. “When there’s injustice done in your name you cannot close your eyes to it. That’s why I feel very strongly.” Israel, remember, claims to act on behalf of all Jews, no matter where they live.

The truth remains, though, that Zionism is based on lies. There, I’ve said it, and will no doubt be refused a platform by universities for incurring the wrath of the more rabid elements of Israel’s extreme supporters in the Zionist lobby groups. Like Neslen, however, I too have reached breaking point, although I am not a Jew. So it is time for me to stand my ground, and also fight back.

One of the most enduring of Zionism’s lies was promoted by British author Israel Zangwill 120 years ago when he repeated the well-worn slogan that Palestine was “a land without people for a people without a land”. After realising that this was simply not true, Zangwill parted company with the founders of Zionism and in 1904 started talking about the 600,000 Palestinians who occupied the so-called “land without a people” at the time. He continued to speak out about the Palestinian elephant in the Zionist living room. Today, no doubt, he would be slandered as anti-Semitic; in 1913 Zionists simply called him a traitor.

Like Zangwill, Diana Neslen was also a “committed Zionist” until she visited Israel and saw the self-styled Jewish State at close quarters. And, just like Zangwill, she has been punished, insulted and persecuted since turning her back on the racist ideology. She is not the only person who appears to have been persecuted for her anti-Zionist beliefs, and the fact that she is Jewish appears to cut no ice with her detractors. They continue to insist that the Labour Party must investigate her “anti-Semitism”. What did she say or do to deserve what her lawyers describe as a totally “unjustified and disproportionate” response? In one tweet in 2017 she wrote, “The existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavour and I am an antiracist Jew.”

Inside Israel itself, in response to accusations from Jews like Neslen that Zionism is colonialism, the goalposts are being moved yet again with new lie claiming that Jews are genetically “indigenous” to the land. It’s an argument that “swims in fascist waters” according to one Jewish writer who said that the blatant appropriation of anticolonial language changes the definition of Zionism. Far from being a Jewish nationalist movement founded in the 19th century, explained Abe Silberstein, these new zealots are trying to portray Zionism as “an indigenous rights movement, the implication being that virtually all Jews are indigenous to the land of Israel.”

OPINION: Overthrowing Israel’s bogus definition of anti-Semitism

As support for Israel among US Jews starts to fall, especially among the young, it seems as if Zionism is losing its mythical status as a benign ideology, even as the peaceful grassroots Boycott, Sanction and Divestment movement, BDS, rises in popularity. In 2015, a Yachad-Ipsos Mori survey conducted in British Jewish communities found that, while 90 per cent of Jews in the UK believe in Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, just 59 per cent identified themselves as Zionists, down from 72 per cent in 2010. It is no longer clear if “Zionist” means someone who supports Israel’s government, or simply the state’s right to exist.

In 2018, the Labour Party in Britain adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour,” says the IHRA, is an example of anti-Semitism. Opponents of its use in this way argue that legitimate criticism of a government is certainly not the same as illegal anti-Jewish racism. Indeed, even the person responsible for drafting the definition — and it remains a draft document; it’s not set in stone — has said that “pro-Israel lobby groups have weaponised the definition in an attempt to silence critics of Zionism.”

Jewish Voice for Labour, of which Neslen is a member, says there are at least 42 Jews in the Labour Party who have faced or are facing disciplinary charges relating to allegations of anti-Semitism. Ironically, under self-proclaimed Zionist and leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer, Jewish members are five times more likely to have faced complaints about anti-Semitism than non-Jewish members. It remains to be seen if Labour does apologise to Neslen and undertake not to pursue further investigations against her in respect of her beliefs, but it is clear that her lawyers will not drop the legal action.

According to Neslen in the Guardian, “The Labour Party has no idea, in my opinion, of what anti-Semitism is. My son was attacked by a luminary of the [British National Party] who was jailed for three years. I remember picking up the phone and being subjected to death threats from the BNP. People who have never experienced anti-Semitism have no idea what it means, what it means for a Jew to be found guilty of anti-Semitism.”

Like the Labour Party, most other the other main political parties in Britain have adopted the controversial, “seriously flawed” IHRA definition of anti-Semitism apart from in Scotland. There, the Scottish Greens hold two ministerial positions in Nicola Sturgeon’s government. Both co-leaders, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, still refuse to endorse the definition. The Greens have voted previously in favour of a motion that described Israel as a “racist state” based on “Jewish supremacy” and calls Zionism a racist endeavour. This is entirely consistent with the findings of Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem earlier this year.

READ: Jewish woman threatens to sue UK Labour over ‘anti-Semitism’ warnings

The far-right Israeli government is said to be increasingly concerned about the decline of support for Zionism. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has already instructed its embassies and lobby groups around the world to shore up support for the ideology in 2022. Indeed, as reported recently by MEMO, it seems that the pro-Israel lobbyists are going on the attack already; Sturgeon is facing mounting criticism over the Scottish National Party’s partnership with Scottish Greens. The First Minister has also been accused of Jew-hatred for discouraging “trade between Scotland and illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories”.

Such tactics make it no surprise, therefore, to hear that British MP Robert Jenrick has pledged to get the British government to outlaw BDS. Speaking at the Leadership Dialogue Institute (LDI), a think tank fostering closer cultural ties between Australia, the UK and Israel, he addressed BDS in a meeting under the inflammatory heading “Why Do So Many People Hate Jews?” Again, the attempt is to conflate legitimate criticism of a political ideology with totally illegitimate, abhorrent racism against Jews. As one leading pro-Palestine campaigner has said, “Anti-Zionism is a duty; anti-Semitism is a crime.”

When Zionists move the goalposts they unwittingly expose the tissue of lies on which the state of Israel has been built. The Jews in Europe pre-Holocaust saw Zionism for what it was and voted accordingly. It is time for the truth about the ideology to be told before any more Jews like Diana Neslen are persecuted for their wholly acceptable beliefs. Their right to freedom of thought and speech must not be curtailed as they seek justice for the people of occupied Palestine.

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

“حماس” في قائمة الإرهاب البريطانية.. فلماذا الآن؟

السبت 27 تشرين ثاني 2021

المصدر: الميادين نت

عمرو علان

كاتب وباحث سياسي في العديد من المنافذ الإخبارية العربية ، ومنها جريدة الأخبار ، وقناة الميادين الإخبارية الفضائية ، وعربي 21 ، وراي اليوم

يُثبت الغرب أنه في تعاطيه مع المنظمات الفلسطينية ينطلق من ثابتة مفادها محاولة تجريد الفلسطينيين من أيّ أوراق قوةٍ يتيسّر لهم الحصول عليها في مواجهة الكيان الغاصب.

جاء إعلان الحكومة البريطانية عزمها على تصنيف حركة المقاومة الإسلامية “حماس” بكاملها “منظمةً إرهابيةً” أمراً مستغرباً وخارج السياق، في نظرة أوّلية. فرغم السياسات البريطانية المعادية عموماً للقضايا العربية، تاريخياً وحاضراً، ورغم كون بريطانيا قد صنّفت منذ حين الذراع العسكرية لحركة “حماس”، “منظمةً إرهابيةً”، جاء إعلان وزيرة الداخلية البريطانية، بريتي باتل، عن سعيها لصبغ حركة “حماس” بكاملها بصبغة الإرهاب من دون أيّ مقدمات، فماذا إذن وراء الأكمة؟ وكيف ينبغي لحركة “حماس” وسائر فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية عموماً التعامل مع هذه المسألة وشبيهاتها؟ 

يُعَدّ الإجماع الذي تَشكَّل فلسطينياً على إدانة المسعى البريطاني أمراً مبشّراً 

لنستذكر بدايةً المسعى الذي قاده رئيس الوزراء البريطاني الأسبق – السيّئ الذكر – توني بلير أواسط العَقْد الماضي مع حركة “حماس”، ذاك المسعى الذي حاول من خلاله انتزاع تنازلاتٍ من حركة “حماس” في الثوابت الفلسطينية، وإقناعها بإدخال تغييرات في نهجها المقاوم، وكان ذلك من خلال تقديم مغرياتٍ للحركة على شاكلة وعودٍ بفتح قنوات تواصلٍ مع مؤسساتٍ وشخصياتٍ برلمانيةٍ أوروبيةٍ، تفضي إلى فتح قنوات تواصلٍ مع الحكومات الأوروبية وحصول الحركة على اعترافٍ غربيٍ بها. 

وعلى إثر مسعى بلير ذاك، كانت الحركة قد أصدرت ما بات يُعرف “بوثيقة حماس”، التي رغم تخفيف الحركة من حدّة لهجتها التقليدية فيها، واستخدامها في المقابل لغةً حمّالةَ أوجهٍ، لم تتضمن الوثيقة تعديلاً جوهرياً في مبادئ الحركة، وبهذا فشل مسعى بلير وجزَرتُه في تحقيق المراد الغربي والصهيوني منهما، ومن ثم عاد بعد ذلك الاحتلال إلى أسلوب العصا من أجل كسر شوكة المقاومة الفلسطينية، حتى جاءت معركة “سيف القدس” التي فاجأت فيها المقاومة الفلسطينية – وفي طليعتها كتائب الشهيد عز الدين القسام – العالم بمدى الاقتدار الذي وصلت إليه تسليحاً وتنظيماً وتكتيكاً، وحققت فيها المقاومة الفلسطينية بقيادة حركة “حماس” نقلةً نوعيةً في مسار مجابهة المحتل، وفرضت فيها حركة “حماس” نفسها لاعباً رئيساً في الساحة الفلسطينية – وحتى في الإقليم بقدرٍ ما – لكونها الفصيل المقاوم الأكبر والأكثر انتشاراً في الشارع الفلسطيني. 

ويضع البعض مسعى الحكومة البريطانية المستجد في سياق معاقبة حركة “حماس” على هذا الإنجاز، وفي سياق المحاولات الصهيونية لتفريغ الإنجاز الاستراتيجي الذي تحقق في “سيف القدس” من محتواه؛ فما رشح من مسار المباحثات الراهنة حول إعادة إعمار قطاع غزة المحاصر، يشي بزيادة الضغوط على حركة “حماس” من ناحية، وبتقديم المغريات المادية لها في إطار إعادة الإعمار من ناحية مقابِلة، وذلك بالتنسيق مع بريطانيا وأميركا وبعض الدول العربية بكل أسف. فالمطروح اليوم على الشعب الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لا يعدو كونه مقايضة الأرض والحقوق الفلسطينية المغتصبة بالغذاء والمساعدات المادية، وهذا أمرٌ جُرِّب مع الفلسطينيين في الماضي ولم ينجح، فهل ينجح اليوم بعدما بات للفلسطينيين سيفٌ ودرعٌ، كما ثبت عملياً في معركة “سيف القدس”؟

لكن في العموم، سواء أكانت دوافع بريطانيا من وراء مسعاها تصنيف حركة “حماس” بكليتها “منظمةً إرهابيةً” الالتفاف على نتائج “سيف القدس” الاستراتيجية كما سلف، أم كانت دوافع أخرى بريطانيةً داخليةً محضةً، ففي كل الأحوال فإنّ الخُلاصات والنتائج سيّان. 

مع كل منعطفٍ، يُثبت الغرب أنه في تعاطيه مع المنظمات الفلسطينية ينطلق من ثابتة مفادها محاولة تجريد الفلسطينيين من أيّ أوراق قوةٍ يتيسّر لهم الحصول عليها في مواجهة الكيان الغاصب، وتأتي المقاومة المسلحة المشروعة في رأس قائمة أوراق القوة الناجعة التي يمكن أن تمتلكها الشعوب الواقعة تحت الاحتلال، ويجيء المسعى البريطاني المستجد ضمن هذه الثابتة، واستمراراً لمساعي توني بلير السابقة، لكن بطريقة التهويل ورفع العصا هذه المرة، لذلك ينبغي على أي فصيل فلسطيني أخذ العبرة، وإدراك حقيقة أن الاعتراف الغربي لن يكون إلا بالتخلي عن نهج المقاومة سبيلاً للتحرير، وأن أيّ أثمانٍ أخرى يعرضها الفلسطيني لن تؤدي إلى قبول الغرب به، وهذه تجربة “م.ت.ف.” الكارثية على القضية الفلسطينية شاخصة أمامنا.

وبناءً عليه، تصير زيادة مراكمة القوة – كما حصل في “سيف القدس” – الطريق المفيد الوحيد أمام حركة “حماس” وباقي فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية لانتزاع حضورها في المعادلات الدولية، فمن يمسك بالأرض يفرض الشروط، بمعزل عن رضى الغرب عنه من عدمه، وهذه تجربة حركة طالبان التي حاربتها أميركا عقدين من الزمن، لتعود بعد ذلك إلى التفاوض معها بحسب معطيات الميدان، هذا بغض النظر عن تقييمنا لمسيرة حركة طالبان سلباً أو إيجاباً، وأيضاً أخذ العبرة ممّا جرى مع حركة المقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان، حزب الله، الذي يصنّفه الغرب “منظمةً إرهابيةً”، ولكن مع هذا وجدنا مبعوث الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون مرغماً على لقاء ممثل الحزب، حينما أرادت فرنسا التوسط في تأليف الحكومة اللبنانية، وجرى اللقاء داخل حرم السفارة الفرنسية ذاتها في لبنان.

يُعَدّ الإجماع الذي تَشكَّل فلسطينياً على إدانة المسعى البريطاني أمراً مبشّراً يمكن البناء عليه، ولا ضير في التحرك الدبلوماسي الموسع الذي أعلن عنه رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة “حماس” إسماعيل هنية من أجل الحد من مفاعيل هذا التوجه البريطاني، لكن الردّ الناجع كان في عملية “باب السلسلة” الأخيرة، التي نفّذها الشهيد فادي أبو شخيدم، القيادي في حركة “حماس”، والتي كانت استمراراً لمعركة “سيف القدس”، كما وصفتها فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية.

حماس تنعى الشهيد فادي أبو شخيدم منفذ عملية القدس المسلحة | البوابة

صحيحٌ أن هذه العملية لم تكن رداً مباشراً على مساعي بريطانيا مؤخّراً، إلا أن تصعيد العمل المقاوم في القدس والضفة الغربية، وتعزيز مفاعيل “سيف القدس” والبناء عليها، حتى الوصول إلى إشعال الانتفاضة الثالثة، بهدف إجبار الاحتلال على الانسحاب من الأراضي المحتلة عام 1967 من دون قيدٍ أو شرطٍ، تُعَدّ الطريق الأقصر إلى استعادة بعض من الحقوق الفلسطينية المسلوبة، وإبطال مفاعيل مثل هذه المساعي، من بريطانيا وغيرها. 

هذا كان على صعيد الداخل الفلسطيني، أما على مستوى الخارج، فعلينا الإقرار بأنَّ هذه الخطوة البريطانية الجائرة ستضيف تعقيدات جديدة أمام التحركات الشعبية البريطانية المناصرة للحق الفلسطيني، على غرار التحركات التي شهدناها خلال معركة “سيف القدس”، وذلك إذا ما أخذنا في الحسبان التعقيدات القائمة فعلاً بسبب قوانين “معاداة السامية”، تلك القوانين التي يجري استغلالها بصورة فاضحة لحماية كيان الاحتلال من أيّ انتقادات أو محاسبة عن جرائمه ضد الفلسطينيين. فهل يُعقَل التفريق بين أيّ دعمٍ ذي معنى لحقوق شعبٍ تحت الاحتلال، وبين دعم حقه المشروع والأصيل في مقاومة هذا الاحتلال بكل الوسائل المتاحة، وعلى رأسها المقاومة المسلحة؟

لكن في المحصّلة، يمكن للخارج تقديم ما يستطيع من دعم للداخل الفلسطيني ضمن المتاح في بيئته، وضمن مدى استعداد كل فرد للتضحية، شريطة أن لا يطلب الخارج من الداخل الفلسطيني الالتزام بالسقوف المنخفضة، فتبقى مواجهة المحتل على أرض فلسطين المحتلة وعلى باقي الأراضي العربية المحتلة هي الأصل، سواء أكان الاحتلال صهيونياً أم أميركياً. 

Banning of Palestinian NGOs: How Israel Tries to Silence Human Rights Defenders

November 22, 2021

By Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo

On October 21, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced the issuance of a military order designating six prominent Palestinian human rights groups as ‘terrorist organizations’. Gantz claimed that they are secretly linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a socialist political group that Israel considers, along with most Palestinian political parties, ‘a terrorist organization.’

The Palestinian organizations included in the Israeli order are Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights, Al-Haq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

Considering the significance of these organizations in Palestine and their global networks among like-minded civil society organizations, the Israeli decision provoked a public outcry. One of the many statements of condemnation was a joint statement by rights groups, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), in which they called Gantz’s move an “appalling and unjust decision”, which represents “an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement.”

Strong Words, but No Actions

AI and HRW, which have documented Israeli human rights violations of Palestinians for many years, fully understand that the ‘terrorist’ designation is consistent with a long trajectory of such unlawful moves:

“For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. While staff members of our organizations have faced deportation and travel bans, Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations.”

Equally important in the world’s leading rights groups’ statement is that it did not fail to highlight that the “decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.”

True to form, the international community did react to Gantz’s decision, albeit it was the kind of ineffectual reaction, which persisted in the realm of rhetoric that is rarely followed by substantive action.

A joint statement by UN experts called the Israeli decision “a frontal attack on the Palestinian human rights movement, and on human rights everywhere”.

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, criticized the “arbitrary” decision by Israel and warned of the “far-reaching consequences as a result,” in terms of work, funding and support for the targeted organizations.

Many governments around the world also condemned the Israeli move and echoed the sentiment conveyed by UN experts. Even the US expressed its ‘concern’, though, using the same typically cautious and non-committal language.

US State Department spokesman, Ned Price, told reporters on October 23, in Washington, that his country “believe(s) respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are critically important to responsible and responsive governance.” Instead of an outright condemnation, however, Price said that the US will “be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for these designations.”

However, like other governments, and certainly unlike AI and HRW, Price made no link between the Israeli decision of October 21 and numerous other past practices targeting human rights and civil society groups in Palestine and, more recently, in Israel as well. Also worth noting is that the supposed link between such organizations and the socialist PFLP is not new.

The following are a few examples of how Israel has attempted to silence some of these organizations, which, eventually were declared to be ‘terrorist.’

Raids, Arrests and Death Threats

Addameer – In December 2012, the Israeli army raided the headquarters of Addamer in Ramallah, confiscating laptops and a video camera. The offices of the Union of Palestinian Women Committees were also raided by Israeli occupation forces on the same day. The organization is one of the six now designated by Israel as ‘terrorist.’

In September 2019, Addameer’s offices were raided, once again. The Israeli military raid at the time, however, did not generate as much attention or outrage, despite the accompanying violence, let alone the blatant violation of human rights. Then, Al-Haq – also one of the other six effectively banned Palestinian groups – issued a statement warning that “the private property of human rights organizations in occupied territory is especially protected under Article 46 of the Hague Regulations (1907).”

Expectedly, such legal constraints mattered little to Israel.

Al-Haq – Al-Haq’s staff have faced many restrictions throughout the years. Shawan Jabarin, the General Director of Al-Haq, has been banned from travel on various occasions, starting in 2006.

In March 2009, Jabarin was prevented by Israel from traveling to the Netherlands to receive an award on behalf of his organization. Again, in November 2011, this time, Jabarin was now allowed to travel to Denmark.

The Israeli obstacles began taking even more sinister turns when, in March 2016, Jabarin began receiving death threats over the phone. These anonymous calls began arriving “in the context of increasing harassment of Al-Haq and its members, amid their recent work at the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking justice for human rights violations being committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” the Front Line Defenders website reported.

Defense for Children International-Palestine – In July, and again August 2021, Israeli forces raided Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) offices in Al-Bireh, in the occupied West Bank. They seized computers, hard drives and other material, alleging a link between the organization and the PFLP.

This allegation had already been advanced in 2018, when UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) persuaded Citibank and the Arab Bank PLC to stop providing banking services to DCIP, providing what they defined as “evidence of the close ties” to the PFLP.

While it is true that the recent Israeli measures against Palestinian NGOs are a continuation of an old policy, there are fundamental differences between the growing perception of Israel, now, as an apartheid state and the misconstrued perception of the past, namely Israel as an oasis of democracy.

Even international entities and groups that are yet to brand Israel an apartheid state are becoming familiar with the Israeli government’s undemocratic nature.

A ‘Tectonic Shift’

In December 2019, and after years of haggling, the ICC resolved that “there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to Article 53(1) of the (Rome) Statute.” Despite intense Israeli and western pressure, the last hurdle in the way of the investigation was removed last February, as the ICC has finally approved the Prosecutor’s request to open legal proceedings regarding war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

This legal milestone was cemented by major declarations, one made by Israel’s own rights group, B’tselem, in January, and another by HRW in April, both slamming Israeli policies in Palestine – not just the occupied territories – as ‘apartheid’.

This critical change in the international legal position regarding Israel’s new, unflattering status, was boosted by Israel’s own violent actions in East Jerusalem, Gaza and throughout Palestine in May. Unlike previous wars, the May events have shifted sympathy mostly towards Palestinians, who are fighting for their freedom, homes and other basic human rights.

The change was also notable within the US government itself, which is unprecedented by any account. An increasing number of US lawmakers are now openly critical of the State of Israel, due to a radical change in the US public opinion and, again, unprecedently, they are not paying a heavy price for it as was often the case in the past due to the great influence of the Zionist lobby in Washington.

“The shift is dramatic; it’s tectonic,” the BBC, on May 21, quoted US pollster, John Zogby, as saying. “In particular, younger generations are considerably more sympathetic to the Palestinians – and that age gap has been on full display with the Democratic Party,” the BBC noted.

Israel’s losses are not just sentimental or political, but economic as well. Last July, the international ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s decided to stop selling its products in illegal Jewish settlements while pinpointedly condemning Israeli occupation, a move that was described by Amnesty as “legitimate and necessary”. A few months later, the sports clothing manufacturer, Nike, followed suit, announcing that it will end the sale of its products in Israeli stores starting May 2022, although it did not justify its decision based on political reasoning.

While Israel continues to lash out at its critics, it no longer seems to behave according to a centralized strategy.

Lacking a strong leadership after the dethroning of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the formation of a diverse ‘unity government’, the new Israeli government does not seem capable of holding back international criticism of its conduct in occupied Palestine. The notion that everything that Israel does is justifiable as a form of ‘self-defense’ is simply no longer a strong selling point. The May war is the perfect example of this assertion.

In the case of the banned NGOs, for example, aside from sending a representative from the Israeli intelligence agency, Shin Bet, and another from the Israeli Foreign Ministry to Washington on October 25 with “relevant intelligence” to justify its decision, Tel Aviv continued to carry out the same policies that further exposes its apartheid in the eyes of the international community.

Indeed, on October 27, Israel announced the construction of thousands of new housing units in illegal Jewish settlements, in its first such move during the presidency of Joe Biden.

A perfect illustration of the frantic nature of the Israeli response came on October 29, when the Israeli envoy to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, during his speech at the General Assembly, tore into pieces a report issued by the UN Human Rights Council illustrating Israeli ongoing violations of international law.

“The Human Rights Council attacked and condemned Israel in 95 resolutions compared to 142 resolutions against the rest of the world,” Erdan said. “This distorted and one-sided report’s place is in the dustbin of anti-Semitism,” he ranted.

Branding Israeli Apartheid

We may be at the cusp of a fundamental change in terms of Israel’s relationship with the international community. While Tel Aviv continues to heavily invest in its apartheid infrastructure, the international community is slowly, but clearly, becoming aware that Israel’s apartheid status is a permanent one. The successive statements by B’Tselem, HRW, the joint HRW-Amnesty statement condemning the de facto outlawing of the Palestinian NGOs and, again, the ICC investigation are all indicative of this growing awareness.

The question remains – will Israel be able to use its power, influence and leverage in Western societies to force the world to accept and co-exist with a full-fledged apartheid regime in Palestine? And if yes, then, for how long?

The South African apartheid example showed that, despite decades of apartheid and initial acceptance, if not support, by western societies of legalized racial separation in South Africa, the pendulum eventually turned. Even before the formal end of apartheid in that country in 1994, it was becoming clear that the days of the racist regime of Pretoria were numbered. That realization was possible because of the growing international awareness, especially at grassroot, civil society level, of the evil of apartheid.

A similar scenario seems to be evolving in the case of Israeli apartheid in Palestine as well. A critical mass of support for Palestinian rights is being constructed around the world, thanks to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and hundreds of pro-Palestine civil society groups all around the globe.

For years, Israel seemed keen on countering the influence of Palestine’s solidarity around the world using a centralized strategy. Large sums of money were dedicated, or pledged, towards that end, and a partly government-controlled company was even established, in 2017, to guide the Israeli global campaign. Much of this has amounted to very little, however, as BDS continues to grow, and the conversation on Palestine and Israel is gradually changing from that of a political ‘conflict’ into recognition of Israeli racism, apartheid and utter disregard of international law.

Of course, it will take more time, more decided effort and, certainly, more sacrifices on the part of Palestinians and their supporters to expose Israeli apartheid to the rest of the world. Now that Israel seems to have accepted that there is little it can do to reverse this brand, it is accelerating its colonial efforts, while hunkering down for a long fight ahead.

The onus is now on the international community to force Israel into dismantling its apartheid regime. Though it is ultimately the people who liberate themselves, international solidarity is essential to the process of national liberation. This was the case in South Africa, and will surely be the case in Palestine, as well.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

– Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

Palestinian Resistance Factions Launch National Campaign in Face of UK Blacklist Decision against Hamas

November 20, 2021

manar-03573710016374034514

The Palestinian Resistance factions announced on Saturday launching a national campaign and a popular conference in face of the UK decision to label Hamas Movement as a terrorist group.

After holding a meeting in Gaza Strip, the Palestinian factions considered that the UK decision targets all the Palestinians and represents an extension of Britain’s colonial policy.

The Palestinian factions called on the UK authorities to undo their decision, urging the Arab League to reject it.

Member of Islamic Jihad politburo, Mohammad al-Hindi, described the UK decision as unjust and adding that it reflects grudge against all the Palestinians and their resistance.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement firmly denounced the UK decision decision against Hamas, voicing support to all the Palestinians and their resistance factions.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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The Globalization of the Twelve Tribes of Israel

 BY GILAD ATZMON

12 tribes.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on Wednesday at the seventh Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism. He said that antisemitism was part of a broad family of hatreds, and that antisemites start by attacking Jews but “always” move on to focus their hate and violence on other groups as well.

Lapid insisted that antisemitism was akin to other hatreds, such as ones held by those “who participated in the slave trade.”  Presumably the ignoramus isn’t aware that some historians assert that there were Jews prominent in the African slave trade. Lapid also pointed at the “Hutu massacres of Tutsis in Rwanda.”  Someone should mention to him that the 1948 Palestinian Nakba was launched with a manifold of Jewish paramilitary massacres of indigenous people. These horrendous actions led to an orchestrated ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Lapid maintained that “Antisemitism isn’t the first name of hate, it’s the family name.” I would advise the Israeli foreign minister that if racism is the appropriate family name for most forms of bigotry towards the Other, then chosenness (racial supremacy) should be considered its definitive first name.

If you allowed yourself for a second to believe that Lapid was motivated by a genuine humanist and a universalist agenda to fight racism and hatred, you were obviously wrong. Lapid devised a plan for the goyim: “Jewish people need allies and to enlist everyone who believes it is wrong to persecute people just because of their faith, sexuality, gender, nationality, or the colour of their skin…We need to tell them that antisemitism never ends with the Jews. It will always move on to the next target.”

According to Lapid, the survival of the Jewish nationalist project is dependent on the of the breaking up of the universe into identarian segments, while making sure they all adhere to the Jewish state and the Jewish people’s interests.  While the old Jewish Left pushed for a cosmopolitan agenda that removed barriers and borders between people regardless of their race, gender or nationality, the new Jewish progressive agenda is the complete opposite. It is there to divide us by means of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, etc. We are basically witnessing a globalized version of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Lapid reckons that “the fight isn’t between antisemites and Jews: The fight is between antisemites and anyone who believes in the values of equality, justice and liberty.” But the truth of the matter is that not many states in the world are as removed from ‘values of equality, justice and liberty’ as the Jewish state. Look how Israel treats its African asylum seekers or the black Hebrews. Can you think of any other state that locks millions of people in open air prisons for decades and make them subject to endless brutal blockades?    

Many in Israel didn’t approve of Lapid’s speech. Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the Foreign Minister of “minimizing” the concept of antisemitism and diminishing its uniqueness. Lapid was basically accused of trivializing the Holocaust. He isn’t the first; the ADL accuses yours truly of pretty much the same ‘crime.’

“Even though antisemitism, hatred of Jews, is part of the general human phenomenon of hatred of the foreigner, it is different from that in its strength, its durability over thousands of years and its murderous ideology that has been nourished throughout the generations in order to pave the way for the destruction of Jews.” Netanyahu argued. For a change, I agree with Netanyahu. Jewish history is indeed a chain of catastrophes. Jews have been experiencing rejection and abuse throughout their entire history.

Early Zionism, as such, was indeed a unique and refreshing movement that was destined to change the Jewish path and destiny. It vowed to ‘amend’ the Jews, to make them beloved and respected.  No one understood this revolutionary intellectual and spiritual shift in the Jewish mindset better than Benjamin Netanyahu’s father, who wrote what I believe to be one of the best historical dissections of the Early Zionist project. But the truth on the ground and the rise of antisemitsm are probably the best indication that Zionism failed catastrophically. Over time, it is clear that Zionism achieved the complete opposite.

If there are any true Zionist thinkers left in the Jewish world, they should look in the mirror and ask what Israel does to provoke antisemitism. What is it that Jewish lobby groups do that alienate so many people? Such an approach may prove to be more helpful on the long run than Lapid’s tactical offering to make identitarians worldwide into a new league of Zionist mercenaries.   

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Ilhan Omar screws the Jewish lobby

Two cheers for Illan Omar

By Jonas E. Alexis -June 12, 2021

…by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor

U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district Ilhan Omar has already burst onto the political scene, and apparently ethnic cleansers and the Jewish lobby in the United States do not like this.

Omar has recently upset “nearly half of the Jewish Democratic lawmakers in the House” because she has summoned the moral and political law in order to assess what the US and Israel have been doing over the past few years or so. She asserted:

We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

That’s not supposed to be controversial at all. But among those groups, guess which one is upset? Well, you’ve got it: the Jewish democrats came out with pitchforks saying:

“equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice. The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”

Let’s just lay it on the line: the Taliban cannot and will never be able to top either the United States or Israel when it comes to committing crimes against humanity. Never! If you think otherwise, then pick up just one scholarly study: Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States, by Rebecca Gordon. According to a 2018-report, the so-called war on terror, for example, is responsible for the deaths of at least 500,000 precious lives in Afghanistan Iraq, and Pakistan.

In any event, Omar was absolutely right: every country has to be examined on the same balance. If the United States and Israel cannot abide by the moral law, then they have absolutely no business going around killing precious civilians in the name of democracy and freedom. But it appears that Omar’s statement was viewed as anti-Semitic: “The House previously passed a resolution by Democrats condemning anti-Semitism in response to comments on Israel by Omar, and Republicans have long accused the Minnesota congresswoman of anti-Semitism — a charge she denies.”

It’s just plain silly. You can criticize the crimes in the black community, the United States, the UK, France, Japan, Korea, and you still can be on good terms with the powers that be. But the moment you say anything about the incestuous relationship between the United States and Israel, all of a sudden you are a vicious anti-Semite!

Well, that dumb ideology isn’t really having enough power over many people anymore, and that’s a good thing.

So, two cheers for Omar on this issue.

BIOGRAPHY

Jonas E. Alexis

Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.

Logoswars1@gmail.com

Zionist Academics Take The Side Of State Power

About me

11 June 2021

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Tensions in Academia

The growing divide in the United States between Zionists and supporters of Palestinian rights has led to pronounced tensions in academia. Much has been said about increasing pro-Palestinian student protests as well as the activities of pro-Israel boards of governors, presidents, deans, etc. The latter try to guard their campuses from pro-Palestinian faculty, student clubs, invited speakers and the like.

These tensions have found yet another academic front on which to contest. There are two historical associations in the U.S. for scholars of Middle East studies reflecting opposing attitudes toward Israel and its behavior toward the Palestinians. And this divide presents us with a dichotomy of values at the professional academic level.

The oldest of these is the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). It was founded in 1966 and currently has a membership of more than 2700. It also serves as a “constituent society of thirty-six affiliated organizations.” It puts out a quarterly journal and has an active Committee on Academic Freedom. MESA is a very successful learned society. Its scholars cover all of the Middle East and North Africa. It is dedicated to high standards of scholarship and diversity of interpretation.

By the 2000s the debate within academia over the expansionist nature of Israel and its treatment of conquered Palestinians was heating up. Because most of MESA members have a broad knowledge of the area, a sense of local perspectives, and also know the history of the Arab Israeli conflict, their positions tend to be critical of Israeli behavior and American support for it. And that led to an organizational split.

In 2007 two scholars, Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, decided to start a rival organization, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). They did so because, according to them, MESA was “dominated by academics who have been critical of Israel and America’s role in the Middle East.”

One might wonder why the position taken by many MESA members upset Lewis and Ajami. After all, debating issues from an historical perspective is, in part, what academics are supposed to do. If MESA was allegedly “dominated” by those critical of Israeli behavior, Lewis and Ajami’s answer was to establish a “politicized” organization “dominated” by Zionists. It made little sense in terms of dialog, but tactically it fit right in with how Zionists—those who uphold the legitimacy of a Jewish state in Palestine—react to criticism.

Over the last quarter century, a common tactic of Zionists has been to withdraw from public debate and, where they can, bring about enforced silence of anyone who is critical of Israel. That, of course, is what those pro-Israeli academic administrators and boards were and are doing. Part of this effort entails labelling those critical of Israel as anti-Semites. This stratagem is generally used to shut down negative assessments in the West. Seeking to expand the scope of this effort, ASMEA’s much lauded founder, Bernard Lewis, who died in May of 2018, sought to defame Islam with the same charge. That approach is carried on by ASMEA. The organization awards a Bernard Lewis Prize, a description of which quotes Lewis, “to an astonishing degree, the ideas, the literature, even the crudest inventions of the Nazis and their predecessors have been internalized and Islamized.” In competition for this award, young Middle East scholars are encouraged by ASMEA to identify Muslim Arab opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism.

Part II—Expressing Values

The two organizations have recently shown where this tension has taken them in terms of human rights. This was occasioned by the recent outbreak Palestinian resistance caused by threats of evictions (ethnic cleansing) of Arab families in Jerusalem, and aggressive Israeli actions at the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The latter actions, in particular, triggered rocket attacks from Gaza.

Here is part of a long and detailed MESA statement. The shorter ASMEA statement is given in full:

MESA (21 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Board of Directors.

“The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America condemns the ongoing and intensified Israeli government assault on the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip and those who are Israeli citizens. During May 7–20, 2021, Israeli military attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip damaged at least 51 educational facilities, including 2 kindergartens, 46 schools, 1 university, 1 vocational training center, and 1 Ministry of Education facility—among other vital infrastructure. Israeli air strikes and tank shells directly hit a number of these buildings. The deadly conditions created by the Israeli military attacks in Gaza forced all schools to remain closed for at least five days after the end of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, affecting the lives and access to education of 591,685 students. In addition, Israeli military strikes internally displaced at least 66,000 Palestinians who then sought refuge in 58 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), causing further disruptions to the population’s education–indeed, to their lives. …

“There is little doubt that successive Israeli governments across the political spectrum have carried out a decades-long attack on Palestinian students, teachers, and educational facilities. Indeed, this attack is part of a broader political, administrative, and legal system of racial discrimination and domination—regularly enforced through violence—that has defined the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinian people. And, as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch have found, the Israeli government’s purposeful and systematic privileging of Jewish Israelis while dominating and oppressing the Palestinian people amounts to apartheid.”

ASMEA (25 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Chairman, Professor Norman Stillman

“The recent wave of violence in the ongoing struggle between Israel and Hamas has left many members of our community of scholars deeply concerned. While we hope and pray no harm befalls any of our members, anywhere, and their loved ones, ASMEA remains committed to our founding principles as an academic association.

“As scholars, we believe in the pursuit of objective truth when studying and teaching the issues and topics affecting the regions of our academic concern. We recognize that these principles can create division and disagreement, but so long as scholarship contributes to the body of knowledge, we welcome and encourage vigorous debate.

“We stand behind and support our members in Israel and deride those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship than restoring balance to the Academy and protecting academic freedom in Middle East and African studies, and related disciplines.”

There are a couple of things to note about these two statements: (1) The MESA statement is issued in support of the Palestinians, and specifically their collective human right to education. It contains assertions about the Israeli violations of that right—assertions that can be fact checked. The statement also references the reports of international organizations concerned with civil and human rights. (2) The ASMEA statement claims objectivity and a willingness to debate, but then proceeds to defame and trivialize those who disagree with their position—“those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship.” Actually, one can characterize this charge as a psychological projection of the statement’s author who, being a Zionist stalwart must be, by definition, both politicized and partisan. The statement also makes no reference to the Palestinian situation under Israeli rule and reduces the struggle to one between Hamas and Israeli—an objectively incorrect and thus untrue assertion. This reductionist gambit is used by almost all contemporary supporters of Israel.

Part III—Crossing the Rubicon

There is a Rubicon (a fundamental crossing point) that all Jewish intellectuals are now confronting. Whether or not one crosses this line reveals the nature of their values. To cross it is to take the side of human rights and the rule of law. To refuse to cross is to take the side of state power—in this case, to align with the power of a proven apartheid state.

To add context to this choice, consider the case of Eva Illouz, a professor of sociology at Hebrew University. On 14 April 2014, she wrote an essay for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz entitled, “Is It Possible to be a Jewish Intellectual?” In this piece she sets forth two opposing positions: one is the Zionist/Israeli demand for the primacy of “ahavat Israel,” or the “love of the Jewish nation and people”–-the claim that all Jews have a “duty of the heart” to be loyal to the “Jewish nation.” The other position is that of the lone intellectual (here her model is the philosopher Hannah Arendt), whose obligation is to maintain the “disinterested intelligence” necessary to “speak truth to power.”
 
Illouz explains that Zionists have a “suspicion of critique” and use “the memorialization of the Shoah” (the Holocaust) and “ahavat Israel” to mute it. “The imperative of solidarity brings with it the injunction to not oppose or express publicly disagreement with official Jewish bodies.” It is within this context that she can ask if it is still possible to be a Jewish intellectual. Illouz’s conclusion is that it has become exceedingly difficult to be so because the demands for Jewish solidarity are particularly “brutal.” And then she makes her choice and, if you will, crosses the Rubicon. “In the face of the ongoing, unrelenting injustices toward Palestinians and Arabs living in Israel, his/her moral duty is to let go, achingly, of that solidarity.”

It is not difficult to recognize that ASMEA stands at the bank of this Rubicon and refuses to cross. The organization’s values do not reflect any devotion to universal principles such as human rights and the rule of law, much less “objective truth.” Their leadership, at least, has no interest in critiquing the use of power but rather is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the interests of a specific power. The values exalted here are the parochial codes those intellectuals (among others) use to rationalize service to a state even when it turns criminal. The independent-minded, outspoken intellectuals, such as Eva Illouz, demanding broader moral integrity and responsibility from their contemporaries, are rarities.

Part IV—Conclusion

Any speculation about which side of the Rubicon line “History” favors is really silly. Historical prediction, like the weather, is a short-range affair. However, one might sense a present shift in sentiment in the U.S. and the Western world generally. It is an apparent shift in favor of the Palestinians and against apartheid Israel. One might even hazard a guess that the shift will continue to grow. Why so? The reason is straightforward and quite simple. It should continue to grow just as long as Israel does not stop. That is, as long as it continues to evolve as a racist state—simultaneously destroying human rights and international law.

The American Left, the Jewish Question and the Repetition Compulsion

american left and the J question.jpg

 BY GILAD ATZMON

By Gilad Atzmon 

A few days ago, Ynet (the biggest Israeli media outlet) reported that the American progressive movement has come to acknowledge the problematic role of its Jewish elements. The Israeli outlet revealed that in the eyes of emerging progressive circles within the American left, Jews are perceived as “white oppressors” at the core of America’s social injustice. The Ynet report is based on a recent study made by Dafna Kaufman, an analyst at the Israeli Reut institute.

“The contemporary discourse of the American left divides society into (identitarian) squares: you are either with us or against us – and the Jews are left out.” Ynet sums up Kaufman’s argument. “Although the vast majority of American Jews support the Democratic Party, progressive circles no longer really allow Jews to be part of the struggle for social change, as long as they continue to be pro-Zionist and actively express their Jewishness.”  You may have already noticed that the Israeli outlet doesn’t refer solely to ‘Zionists’ as most Palestinian solidarity campaigners do out of fear of the ‘Jews in their movement.’  The Israeli news outlet refers to ‘Jews,’ ‘Jewishness’ and also to ‘Zionists’ as an integral organic spectrum of Jewish life, culture, identity and politics.   

Ynet stresses that the American Left has developed an intolerance towards Jewish politics and Jewish identitarianism. “The report further indicates that the radical progressive faction contributes to the growing exclusion of Jewish community organizations from the American left by denying Jews the right to complain about their discrimination or anti-Semitism.” Ynet quotes Kaufman’s report, “Jews are being identified as strong white oppressors, and so is the State of Israel.”

Ynet asks, ‘can I be white, Jewish, liberal and Democrat?’ Kaufman answers “Of course you can be, but some of your rights are pretty much revoked. You can be an ally in social struggles, but you can’t be at the center of the issue.” I guess that what Kaufman is telling us here is that you can be a ‘Jew’ and a ‘Lefty’ but your role as controlled opposition might have come to an end.

Ynet stresses that “it is important to remember that Jews have made progress in American society through the establishment, and this is a significant part of the influence of Jews on the United States, yet the progressive movement is very anti-establishment. Therefore, the conclusion is clearly that the Jews are the oppressive white. Of course, the real picture is more complex, but this binary division puts the Jews in certain boxes.”

The above Israeli discourse reminds me of an old Israeli joke:

An Israeli arrives at Heathrow. The immigration officer asks “occupation?”

“No” replies the Israeli, “just visiting.”

In the joke, the Israeli sees himself as an occupier, and also accepts being perceived as one, but most significantly, he is totally at ease with his role as an occupier. The British immigration officer is obviously blind to all of that, as he is engaged in routine questioning. He might even miss the joke. In the American reality as depicted by Ynet’s article, the progressives are awakening to the reality that has been openly inflicted on their movement by some powerful and loud lobbies, well-funded think tanks and pressure groups.  

The Jewish fear of anti-Semitism is exactly that moment of awakening, the tormenting thought that the immigration officer actually understands the joke and even allows himself to laugh loudly. This is exactly what the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan meant by  ‘the unconscious is the discourse of the other.’ It is the fear that the other sees you for what you are and even dares to share his/her thoughts about you with everyone else. Accordingly, if Jewish power is the power to silence criticism of Jewish power, then the fear of anti-Semitism is the tormenting thought that this power wanes off: the thought about people starting to call a spade a spade and even worse: leftists sticking to their principles of equality and justice. 

The other day, I asked a progressive member of my family to define history: “we learn about our past mistakes so we don’t repeat them in the future,” he cleverly said.  I corrected him slightly. ‘We learn about our past mistakes so we can understand our future mistakes within context.’  Delving into this complexity from a psychoanalytical perspective brings to light the notion of ‘Repetition Compulsion.’ Repetition Compulsion is often defined as a psychological phenomenon in which a human subject repeats an event or its circumstances over and over again. This entails putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again. The concept of repetition compulsion was first introduced by Freud who pointed at a situation in which “the patient does not remember anything of what he has forgotten and repressed, he acts it out, without, of course, knowing that he is repeating it …”

Yet, the Freudian concept fails to accurately describe the emerging dangerous circumstances as described by the Ynet article. As we know, self-identified Jews are fully aware of and actively identify with Jewish past suffering.   But, for one reason or another, some people do not learn from their past mistakes. They keep repeating the same mistakes and expect different outcomes.

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Defamation (השמצה‎‎) anti-Semitism

Posted May 30, 2021

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Must Watch

Documentary examines anti-Semitism, and its affect on Israeli and U.S. politics.

Defamation (השמצה‎‎) is a 2009 documentary film by award-winning filmmaker Yoav Shamir. It examines antisemitism and, in particular, the way perceptions of antisemitism affect Israeli and U.S. politics. Defamation won Best Documentary Feature Film at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

See also

“I’m hopeful now, and I haven’t been hopeful in a long time. What’s happening now is putting a check on Israel. They have a problem now.”

Jewish-American political analyst Dr Norman Finkelstein speaks to MEE about his views on Israel’s latest offensive in #Gaza pic.twitter.com/Xw3ZOwT7on— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 16, 2021

Now it’s ‘antisemitic’ to say that Israel practices ‘apartheid’

Jonathan Cook: Jewish groups that aid Israel’s war crimes can’t deny all responsibility for those crimes

Recantations Are All the Rage. Israel Has Lost the Public Relations War

Israel and its friends demonize critics

By Philip Giraldi

Global Research, June 01, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). 

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.

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Several things are happening simultaneously. Most important, Israel has lost the public opinion war in much of the world through its brutality during the recent attack on Gaza and it continues to lose ground even in the wake of a cease fire due to mass arrests of Palestinians and armed police intrusions in and around the al-Aqsa mosque. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is by its actions making clear that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine will continue at a time that he chooses. This in turn has produced a storm of criticism, including from Jewish groups and individuals, that is condemning the bloodshed and also sometimes explicitly seeking to distance Judaism the religion from Zionism, the political movement.

Some have suggested that we have finally reached a tipping point in which Israel has gone too far, evident in the Irish Government’s condemnation of Israeli “de facto annexation” of Palestinian land. Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told the Dial that

“The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is actually happening on the ground …”

The Jewish state has even succeeded in alienating many who are normally supporters in countries like the United States, quite possibly leading to an eventual shift in policy in Congress and at the White House. That view might be exaggerated given the power of the Israel Lobby and its ability to make past atrocities go away, but it might obtain some back-handed credibility from the ferocity of the counter-attack being waged by Israel and its friends against the celebrities and politicians who have finally developed backbones and have spoken out in defense of Palestinian rights.

The Jewish state’s reaction to criticism is being fueled by repeated assertions that anti-Semitism is surging in the United States and Europe. The media has become relentless on the issue, which is in any even irrelevant even if it were true. Last Saturday, internet news site Yahoo featured links to no less than three articles on increasing attacks on Jews, two coming from NBC and one from BBC.

Despite the recent one sided slaughter in Gaza, American Jewish organizations even had the hubris to declare last Thursday “In light of the surging wave of antisemitic violence, “A Day of Action Against Antisemitism.” Frustration of many people with Israeli behavior is indeed increasing, but the assumption that any shouted insult or organized protest directed at Netanyahu and/or his gang of cutthroats at a time when they are mass-killing Arabs represents pure hatred of Jews is quite frankly unsustainable. It is hatred not of religion but of what Israel is doing, supported by Washington and Israel’s powerful domestic lobby, and most people understand clearly that distinction.

The underlying narrative being offered is that Jews are always the victims, even when they initiate violence, because, they would argue, they are only acting of necessity and preemptively as self-defense. That argument means that they are never guilty of what many might call war crimes, and they are adept at fabricating stories about their opponents labeling them as both terrorists and cowards willing to use civilians as human shields to protect themselves. This effort to burnish the apartheid regime’s record also means in practice that there have to be regular invocations of the tale of increasing anti-Semitism as well as direct attacks on anyone who dares to appropriate or in any way diminish the so-called holocaust.

Numerous critics of the Israeli bombing of Gaza have been attacked by the Israel Lobby and its allies in the media. The idea is to humiliate the critic and put so much pressure on him or her that he or she will actually apologize for what was either said or written. Even better, the Israeli partisans often push far beyond that point to obtain a complete recantation of what appeared in the first place. In the case of actors or entertainers, for example, the weapon used is obvious. If one wants to continue to be gainfully employed in an industry that is dominated by Zionist Jews it is necessary to either keep one’s mouth shut or quickly apologize claiming that one was “misinformed” or “misspoke.”

Several recent mea culpa’s for criticizing Israel have made the news as has also the virtual crucifixion of a congresswoman for her citation of the holocaust. Actor Mark Ruffalo may have believed that he was doing the “right thing” by speaking out on Palestinian suffering. He tweeted

“Over 30 children killed. Mothers dead. Hundreds injured. We are on the brink of a full-scale war. Sanctions on South Africa helped free its Black people – it’s time for sanctions on Israel to free Palestinians. Join the call” and also in another tweet referred to the killing as “genocide.”

He came under intense pressure and soon apologized, tweeting

“I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide’. It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.”

Dua Lipa Fires Back At NY Times Ad Calling Lipa Plus Bella And Gigi Hadid To Condemn Hamas

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Ruffalo did not quite crawl on his belly to preserve his career, but the metaphor certainly comes to mind. And what Ruffalo experienced was a walk in the park compared to what was dished out to British pop singer Dua Lipa who was subjected to a full-page New York Times ad paid for by no less than “America’s rabbi” Shmuley Boteach’s World Values Network. The singer Dua Lipa as well as Palestinian-descended models Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid were accused of “anti-Semitism” after they expressed public support of the pro-Palestine cause. The Boteach ad claimed that the three women were “ignorant” and spreading “disgusting libel,” calling on them to instead “condemn [Hamas] now” arguing that “the three mega-influencers have vilified the Jewish state in a manner that is deeply troubling… Hamas calls for a second Holocaust.”

Dua Lipa did not however recant when confronted by the hideous Boteach’s rant. She responded in part

“This is the price you pay for defending Palestinian human rights against an Israeli government whose actions in Palestine [include both] persecution and discrimination.”

A number of other celebrity-critics of the Israeli slaughter in Gaza also stood firm, including comedian John Oliver and Susan Sarandon, but there were also more victims of the wrath of Zion. The Associated Press, itself having been on the receiving end of the Israeli bombing of Gaza, fired a reporter Emily Wilder for what were alleged to be pro-Palestinian views while an undergraduate at Stanford several years before. Wilder, who is Jewish, recently also posted a question which was used against her, asking why the US media regularly uses the word Israel but avoids referring to Palestine, legitimizing the statehood of the former at the expense of the latter.

In Fairfax County Virginia there were demands to remove a school board member Abrar Omeish who, during the attack on Gaza, had tweeted

“Hurts my heart to celebrate while Israel kills Palestinians & desecrates the Holy Land right now. Apartheid & colonization were wrong yesterday and will be today, here and there.”

She soon came under pressure and quickly recanted with

“War is terrible for everyone. I hear those hurting. I’m here for each of you. People of all faiths deserve Holy Land peace. Ensuring justice & honoring humanity of all remain urgent. I look ahead to robust & empathetic engagement with Jewish leaders. Let’s build together.”

Local resident Jennifer Katz was not satisfied, however, telling the board that the tweet “could be reasonably interpreted as a microaggression” against Jewish students.

But perhaps the most bizarre nonsense to surface from the knee-jerk defense of Israel effort played out, perhaps not surprisingly, on Capitol Hill where Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, to put it mildly, got in trouble. The first-term Republican Representative from Georgia had already attracted widespread criticism from both Democratic and Republican colleagues for her alleged trafficking in conspiracy theories but she unleashed the hounds of hell when she made an observation regarding the government’s compelling people working in grocery stores to submit to the COVID vaccines. She said

“You know, we can look back in a time and history where people were told to wear a gold star. And they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany.”

Congresswoman Greene is not renowned for her brain power and it was the sort of comment that is so stupid that it is best handled by ignoring it, but as it concerned the so-called holocaust that was not the end of it. She has been shredded by the leadership of both parties and also by individual legislators as well as the usual suspects in the media. She had previously been stripped of some of her committee assignments over other misdemeanors, but this time around her “colleagues” have been calling for her censure at a minimum and even possible expulsion from the House of Representatives. The lesson learned is that you trifle with the sanctity of the holocaust at your peril. It belongs to Jews and is a vital component of the uniqueness of Jewish suffering narrative.

Over the next few weeks there will no doubt be a flood of stories and commentary reminding everyone in America about just how much the Israelis were victims of a premeditated Hamas attack and what wonderful people they really are. It will be an attempt to regain the propaganda advantage for the Israel Lobby. And yes, more heads of critics will be rolling in the dust, with recantations by celebrities adding sparkle to the event. But even at the end of that process the true horror that modern day Israel represents will be remembered by many and as the game goes on there will hopefully be many more American voices raised in protest.

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This article was originally published on The Unz Review.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: Another attack on Gaza: Israel squeezing the life of Gaza – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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