Reclaiming the Narrative: How to Combat Israel’s Misuse of “Antisemitism”

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

At a talk I delivered in Northern England in March 2018, I proposed that the best response to falsified accusations of antisemitism, which are often lobbed against pro-Palestinian communities and intellectuals everywhere, is to draw even closer to the Palestinian narrative.

In fact, my proposal was not meant to be a sentimental response in any way.

“Reclaiming the Palestinian narrative” has been the main theme in most of my public speeches and writings in recent years. All of my books and much of my academic studies and research have largely focused on positioning the Palestinian people – their rights, history, culture, and political aspirations – at the very core of any genuine understanding of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonialism and apartheid.

True, there was nothing particularly special about my talk in Northern England. I had already delivered a version of that speech in other parts of the UK, Europe and elsewhere. But what made that event memorable is a conversation I had with a passionate activist, who introduced himself as an advisor to the office of the head of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Although the activist agreed with me regarding the need to embrace the Palestinian narrative, he insisted that the best way for Corbyn to deflect anti-Semitic accusations, which have dogged his leadership since day one, is for Labor to issue a sweeping and decisive condemnation of antisemitism, so that Corbyn may silence his critics and he is finally able to focus on the pressing subject of Palestinian rights.

I was doubtful. I explained to the animated and self-assured activist that Zionist manipulation and misuse of antisemitism is a phenomenon that has preceded Corbyn by many decades, and will always be there as long as the Israeli government finds the need to distract from its war crimes against Palestinians and to crush pro-Palestinian solidarity worldwide.

I explained to him that while anti-Jewish racism is a real phenomenon that must be confronted, “antisemitism”, as defined by Israel and its Zionist allies, is not a moral question that is meant to be solved by a press release, no matter how strongly-worded. Rather, it is a smokescreen, with the ultimate aim of distracting from the real conversation, that being the crimes of military occupation, racism, and apartheid in Palestine.

In other words, no amount of talking, debating or defending oneself can possibly convince the Zionists that demanding an end to the Israeli military occupation in Palestine or the dismantling of the Israeli apartheid regime, or any genuine criticism of the policies of Israel’s right-wing government are not, in fact, acts of antisemitism.

Alas, the activist insisted that a strong statement that would clarify Labor’s position on antisemitism would finally absolve Corbyn and protect his legacy against the undeserved smearing.

The rest is history. Labor went into a witch-hunt, to catch the “true” anti-Semites among its members. The unprecedented purge has reached many good people who have dedicated years to serving their communities and defending human rights in Palestine and elsewhere.

The statement to end all statements was followed by many others. Numerous articles and arguments were written and made in defense of Corbyn – to no avail. Only a few days before Labor lost the general election in December, the Simon Wiesenthal Center named Corbyn, one of Britain’s most sincere and well-intentioned leaders in the modern era, the “top anti-Semite of 2019.” So much for engaging the Zionists.

It doesn’t matter whether Corbyn’s party lost the elections in part because of Zionist smearing and unfounded anti-Semitic accusations. What truly matter for me as a Palestinian intellectual who has hoped that Corbyn’s leadership will constitute a paradigm shift regarding the country’s attitude towards Israel and Palestine, is the fact that the Zionists have indeed succeeded in keeping the conversation focused on Israeli priorities and Zionist sensibilities. It saddens me that while Palestine should have occupied the center stage, at least during Corbyn’s leadership years, it was still marginalized signifying once again that solidarity with Palestine has become a political liability to anyone hoping to win an election – in the UK and anywhere in the West as well.

Britain Labour Party Conference

I find it puzzling, indeed disturbing, that Israel, directly or otherwise, is able to determine the nature of any discussion on Palestine in the West, not only within typical mainstream platforms but within pro-Palestinian circles as well. For example, I have heard activists repeatedly questioning whether the one-state solution is at all possible because “Israel simply would never accept it”.

I often challenge my audiences to base their solidarity with Palestine on real love, support, and admiration for the Palestinian people, for their history, their anti-colonial struggle, and the thousands of heroes and heroines who have sacrificed their own lives so that their people may live in freedom.

How many of us can name Palestine’s top poets, artists, feminists, football players, singers, and historians? How familiar are we really, with Palestinian geography, the intricacies of its politics, and the richness of its culture?

Even in platforms that are sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle, there is an inherent fear that such sympathy could be misconstrued as antisemitism to the extent that Palestinian voices are often neglected, if not completely supplanted with anti-Zionist Jewish voices. I see this happening quite often even in Middle Eastern media that supposedly champion the Palestinian cause.

This phenomenon is largely linked to Palestine and Palestine only. While the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the civil rights struggle in the United States – as was the case of many genuine anti-colonial liberation movements around the world – have strategically used intersectionality to link with other groups, locally, nationally or internationally, the movements themselves relied on black voices as true representatives of their peoples’ struggles.

Historically, Palestinians have not always been marginalized within their own discourse. Once upon a time, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), despite its many shortcomings, provided unified Palestinian political discourse which served as a litmus test for any individual, group or government regarding their position on Palestinian rights and freedom.

The Oslo accords ended all of that – it fragmented the Palestinian discourse just as it has divided the Palestinian people. Since then, the message emanating from Palestine has become muddled, factionalized and often self-defeating. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) has done a tremendous job in bringing about some clarity by attempting to articulate a universal Palestinian discourse.

However, BDS is yet to yield a centralized political strategy that is communicated through a democratically-elected Palestinian body. As long as the PLO persists in its inertia and without a truly democratic alternative, the crisis of the Palestinian political discourse is likely to continue.

Concurrently, the Zionists must not be allowed to determine the nature of our solidarity with the Palestinian people. While true Palestinian solidarity requires the complete rejection of all forms of racism, including antisemitism, the pro-Israel camp must be sidelined entirely from any conversation pertaining to the values and morality of what it means to be “pro-Palestine”.

To be anti-Zionist is not always the same as being pro-Palestine, the former emanating from the rejection of racist, Zionist ideas and the latter indicating a real connection and bond with Palestine and her people.

To be pro-Palestine is also to respect the centrality of the Palestinian voice, because without the Palestinian narrative there can be no real or meaningful solidarity, and also because, ultimately it will be the Palestinian people who will liberate themselves.

“I am not a liberator,” said the iconic South American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. “Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves”.

For the Palestinians to “liberate themselves”, they have to claim their centrality in the struggle for Palestinian rights everywhere, to articulate their own discourse and to be the champions of their own freedom. Nothing else will suffice.

Pilots break strike unity as Macron’s ‘Thatcher moment’ is right now

December 31, 2019

By Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

But nobody is making a sound about it, and not even Macron.

Maybe they will now: The first union has selfishly broken ranks – French pilots and cabin crews. It’s a “universal” pension system, sure… except for the groups who Macron has to buy off to break the strike.

French President Emmanuel Macron has barely said two words about the general strike, even though it has lasted four weeks and will soon become the longest general strike ever in French history.

And many French don’t even mind. It’s a quirk of the French system I cannot yet explain: they view it as normal that Macron has not commented on the general strike because that is the domain of the prime minister.

French contradictions abound, and they think the mystery makes them appear deep: France’s president is well-known to be closest thing to a constitutional dictator the West has, and yet the PM is supposed to be given much latitude on domestic policy?

I have heard this often, but never seen it action: the idea that Macron’s PM is not beholden to the ideas and orders of his boss on the pension plan is absurd. To me it has always seen like a way for the president to have someone to blame his unpopular policies on.

But Macron has given one press conference in 2.5 years, and he didn’t say the words “Yellow Vest” in public until after 23 Saturdays, and no one seems up in arms about it (besides the Yellow Vests), so… c’est la France.

Macron will probably make a rote plea for unity at his annual New Year’s Eve wishes – the guy is speaking at 8pm, so if all you have going is watching Macron’s press conference then take heart: 2020 can only get better than 2019 for you.

The coverage of the general strike from non-French media reminds me of France’s recent coverage of the resolution (one step below a law) which equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism: there was a decent amount of coverage AFTER the resolution became a fact.

This was obvious to predict, but there is an omertà regarding France’s general strike from Anglophone media – it’s almost as if they don’t want to ruin a good thing. If there was any room for leftism in the West’s “free speech means corporate media own all speech” now would be the time to be up in arms with keyboards in hands. But people repeatedly tell me they can’t find anything about it in non-French sources.

Honestly: This can’t go on in France any longer

Without any exaggeration, the French (and certainly the “French model”, aka “Capitalism with French characteristics) simply cannot sustain more austerity attacks which “re(de)form” it into an Anglo-Saxon model and here’s why: If you take home €2,500 a month in France you have a really good job (especially in 2019). If you take home $2,500 per month in the US (making about $20 per hour) your job is desirable but not really good.

Yes, 42% of Americans don’t even make $15 hour but the point is: the French model is based on low wages. The Swiss, Germans, UK, etc. – they all make much more than rich France.

The reason France accepts lousy wages was their Nordic-level social safety net: so they had guaranteed work contracts (“CDIs”), 2-3 years of decent unemployment, 5 weeks paid vacation legal minimum, cheap schools from 3 months old to PhD, cheap medical care and a good pension. Make no mistake because I know you right wingers will: This is a system which is paid for by the French worker giving up 40% of their pay check every month, and then 10% annually in an income tax. I.e., low wages.

That concept is crucial to understand. A whopping 80% of the pension system is funded by taxes on individuals and bosses, and not the state. The French pension isn’t “unsustainable” at all: if it is “underfunded” it is only on the state side, and only because the state has purposely starved it of funds via funding cuts. With the stroke of a budget pen its minor deficit could be resolved. Baby Boomers will be dropping like flies by the 2030s reducing fiscal stress- the system works, and it can last.

This explains why all neoliberals can really come with to justify junking the ENTIRE system is that it is too “complex”. Why is complexity automatically a negative thing? I’m glad these guys didn’t take up physics. The other reason they deploy is that some people – like manual laborers, those who work in hard and/or dangerous conditions – retire early to avoid death/maiming on the job due to “you’re too old for this” syndrome. They have seized upon the “injustice” of these “special regimes”. All of a sudden neoliberals care about injustice….. Of course the one-size-fits-all, universal system is as regressive (not progressive) as a flat tax, and that’s why no nation does it.

But back to how this onslaught of “reforms” is just unsustainable: reduced services which used to be covered by the state, increased prices on everything, Housing Bubble II, new jobs are all one-month renewable contracts (CDDs), you have to work until 64 instead of 60 in 2009, your pension is going to leave you barely at poverty level – you cannot have this AND low wages in France.

It is just impossible, logically. Something has to give on one of the ends.

If they are going to make it so that all the state is provides is health care and education and then citizens are on their own – the glorious Apache-killing Arizona libertarian model (with a touch of European class) – then they have to vastly inflate wages.

But nobody is talking in France about raising wages to compensate for the worse pensions, nor for any of the austerity measures.

So this can’t go on.

And yet it will – Macron is tackling the unemployment system next, i.e. later this year. Is there going to be a General Strike Act 2?

If the US and UK are any example – no there won’t be. So this may be the end of “France”. Remember the US and UK prior to Reagan and Thatcher – sure was better back then, or at least far less unequal and unstable.

Can Macron get his wish? To be the youngest (despised) leader in Western capitalist history?

One can picture Macron just white-knuckling it right now – if he can just get break this strike… the dude will go down in right-wing history. Or is it “centrist” history for Macron?

When Thatcher died there was UK police brutality at the street parties celebrating her death. That sounded about right to me. The New York Times scolded us with superstition and expressed their fake shock in their pathetic Taboo on Speaking Ill of the Dead Widely Ignored Online After Thatcher’s Death.” This is a taboo in the West – since when? The West cares about taboos – since when? I know they don’t care about taboos because they need a loan word for this rather crucial social concept – the word itself is Tongan, and the English didn’t get to Polynesia until 1773.

As I led with, French pilots and cabin crews have called off a strike they had planned for January 3 – they got a sweetheart deal from Macron, and you can all go kick rocks for calling them “stewardesses”. The Macron administration has only negotiated en masse with unions for three days out of 26 consecutive strike days – they never wanted to make a broad deal but only a few small deals in order to “divide and conquer” and break the strike.

This has worked every time during the age of austerity. I have written this many times but I will say it again, cuz some of y’all think the Western system is the apex of everything political: This is what “independent” labor unions get you – sold out. The socialist model of “we’re all in one big union” means the workers are truly in the government, not against the government… and against the good of the People, and against their fellow workers, and against their fellow unions and against, against, against it’s called “capitalism” people.

But the West is “freer” than China, Iran, Cuba, etc. Sure, free to be unequal.

Back to France: it’s getting hard, having a commute 2-3 times longer for four weeks. I’m not breaking rocks all day, but it’s grating on people.

That’s really what the “general strike” has amounted to – public transport shutdowns. The burden of the national good is basically all on the backs of rail workers. The unions have only called 3 days of nationwide protest and strikes – this means that even politically-active people have probably only taken 3 strike days of lost wages, whereas “good” rail workers have lost a month. What a stupid system they have here? Plenty of protest marches and big talk but when it’s general strike time (finally!) it’s: “I can’t afford it – let the rail workers do it.”

Truly, before we had the Yellow Vests we only had the rail workers: in the age of austerity they were always the ones (along with some of us journalists) at the front lines getting gassed and beating back cops. They have led every major anti-austerity movement. Nobody really joined them when they tried to prevent the EU-forced privatisation of French rails (Same thing back then in the media: “The rail system is bankrupt!” No it’s not, it was purposely starved of state funding.) They led the huge 1995 strike as well.

Not the stewardesses and their Top Gun flyboys. They have left France in the lurch.

I guarantee that tonight many will have a few glasses of wine and say, “Zees solidarité ees all phony!”, just to appear smart and courageous (the French are always wishing each other “good courage”), and the strike will fall apart.

That’s the France I know – Windbag France, aka Faithless France.

But we have the Yellow Vests now. Maybe General Strike 2 is République Française VI? Tides turn, the moon waxes and wane, the meek inherit a decent pension.

General striking is hard, but just don’t be a stewardess. Excuse me, Airplane Cabin Executive. Gotta love that Western model….


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.’

As of today, I am the only winner of the 12 December Election!

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By Gilad Atzmon

For the last 15 years I have been warning both Brits and Jews of the possibility of serious consequences that might result from the intensive activities of the Jewish Lobby in Britain and beyond. I have written thousands of commentaries about the topic, given endless talks and interviews and published the best selling books on Jewish Identity politics in return for which I have received relentless abuse. However, I survive and with just a bit of luck Britain may also survive the present chaos inflicted on it by the Lobby and by its own compromised political establishment.

 For the last three years we have witnessed an orchestrated smear campaign conducted by many Jewish institutions against British political parties, politicians, intellectuals, artists, and various other members of the public.  The Labour Party has been subjected to a uniquely vile smear campaign: its leadership accused of being ‘anti-Semitic.’ The Labour Party, not, perhaps, a collective of distinctly sharp minds, was clumsy in its attempts to counter these empty accusations. The Party foolishly responded by surrendering to the  Lobby’s every demand: suspending and expelling some of its best members for telling the truth about Palestine and accepting the primacy of Jewish suffering by adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism. The Party and its leader repeatedly apologized to the Jewish community for acts it hadn’t committed although this failed to assuage the Lobby’s unquenchable appetite.

 In July 2018,  the three British Jewish newspapers united in an attempt to finish Corbyn’s political career by  simultaneously issuing a joint  editorial that declared: “Today, Britain’s three leading Jewish newspapers – Jewish Chronicle, Jewish News and Jewish Telegraph – take the unprecedented step of speaking as one by publishing the same front page. We do so because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.”

Since then Corbyn has been accused by  Labour MP Margaret Hodge and other Jewish celebrities   of being “racist” and “an anti-Semite”. In a uniquely foolish move that conveys a severe inability to read his neighbours’  mood, British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has launched an explosive and unprecedented attack on Jeremy Corbyn calling on the Brits not to vote Labour.

 When Rabbi Mirvis published his article the Tories were leading in the polls by 12-14 percent. Then came a remarkable shift. Corbyn was confronted by the BBC’s Andrew Neil who no doubt expected him to offer his customary words of appeasement but for some reason, this time the Labour leader refused to provide the goods. Four times Neil used the BBC to demand Corbyn’s apology and each time the Labour leader demurred. Corbyn stood firm and in the next poll, not surprisingly, the Labour Party bounced back.  The Tories and their leader, or so I read in the press, are in a panic and for good reason. A hung parliament may well result in Corbyn being the next British prime minister. Leading polling expert Sir John Curtice has warned that the recent election headlines predicting a Tory landslide were premature. The Brits have had enough of foreign Lobby interference with their politics. They are tired of a hostile pressure groups  weaponizing anti-Semitism, vandalising their culture and politics and openly defying the Athenian roots at the core of the British value system and its ethos.

 The outlandish conduct of British Jewish institutions is perplexing. The Jewish press, the Chief Rabbi, the unelected BOD that claims to represent British Jewry have all apparently focused their energies on smearing Britain’s opposition leader.  But here is an interesting riddle. Jewish institutions and celebrities have repeatedly described Corbyn as an “existential threat to British Jews.” They practically equate the life long anti racist campaigner with Hitler. I assume that British Jews know that in 1933 Hitler won the German election with the support of just 33% of the German population. As of yesterday’s polls, Corbyn and the Labour party enjoy the same level of support from the British public. I reckon that if these Jewish institutions really believed that Corbyn is a Hitler figure as he is so often outrageously described by their leaders and press, the fact that a third of the Brits support him would mean that Britain is the new Nazi Germany and a Shoah is just around the corner. If British Jews really believed in such a ludicrous scenario there would be a mass exodus of Jews out of Britain and real estate prices in North West London would plummet. As of now, this is not the case. The cost of a three bedroom house in Golders Green is still way above the British average.

 Not many scholars in the West tackle issues to do with Jewish politics, they don’t dare criticise Jewish power since Jewish power is  the power to silence every person who dares to criticise Jewish power. I first realised in the early 2000s that Jewish power is very dangerous for Jews and gentiles alike. Jewish power is a sophisticated apparatus. In fact it wasn’t the British politicians or establishment that defied that treacherous spirit that has haunted British politics for too long. It is actually the British people who have stood up and said, essentially, ‘enough is enough.’

 A video popped out this weekend showing health secretary Matt Hancock being  humiliated, booed and heckled at a general election meeting. In response to the Tory MP attempt to recycle  the ‘antisemitism’ spin, the entire gathering protested and ousted him within seconds.

The sudden unpredicted rise of Corbyn and Labour’s popularity is a fascinating phenomenon in light of  the failure of the dysfunctional British institutions to defend elementary freedoms in the kingdom. The transition of the Guardian, once a respected outlet, into a ‘Guardian of Judea’ is almost as compelling as the transformation of the BBC into BiBiC. Yet, in Britain, only a few brave souls have dared to look into these topics. David Icke has been doing an incredible job of this for which he has been subjected to relentless abuse. Stuart Littlewood has produced a substantial body of work on Zionist and Jewish pressure groups. Craig Murray has written a number of commanding articles about the Israeli grip on British politics. Jonathan Cook watches his homeland crumbling from the vantage point of Nazareth, Palestine. Each of them are intellectuals. They are not political nor activists yet are subjected to unrelenting abuse from the Lobby and its stooges within the British establishment.

I have immersed myself  in the study of the J-word. I realised a long time ago that as Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and enjoys the almost absolute support of world Jewry and its institutions, we need to ask what the J-word stands for. Instead of asking who or what are the Jews, I decided to examine what those who self-identify ‘as Jews’ mean by that term. In my books The Wandering Who and its sequel, Being in Time, I produced a study of the metaphysics of Jewishness. I examined different perspectives of Judeo-centrism. I attempted to untangle the concept of choseness. I have tried to understand what it is in Jewish culture that provokes animosity and causes Jewish history to be a tragic continuum.

In The Wandering Who I delved into the notion of Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PRE TSD). In PRE TSD, stress results from  a phantasmic event, an imaginary episode set in the future; an event that has never taken place. Unlike PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in which stress comes as a direct reaction to an event that (may) have taken place in the past, with PRE-TSD, the trauma is caused by an imaginary scenario of destruction. The fear of Corbyn is clearly an example of such a phantasy. The illusion is self- perpetuating as neither Corbyn nor his party did anything to contribute to its escalation. No one within the British Jewish community managed to stop this snowball of collective stress. And now the results of this are devastatingly clear.  A crack of mistrust has opened in British society between the Jews and their host nation. I would think that Jews who find this upsetting can easily identify the Jewish pressure groups, leaders and media outlets that led to this unnecessary development.

My guess is that reading my work rather than burning my books could have helped the Jewish community to introspect and prevent this development. Engaging with me rather than attempting to cancel my talks might have saved the Jewish institutions from repeating their most obvious historic mistakes. I accept that blowing the whistle is a challenge. I understand that for most people, living in a state of denial is convenient, but I also know that truth unveils itself to us, often, unexpectedly. In the real world it is not us, the people, who seek the truth, instead it is actually the truth that haunts us wherever we are and against all odds.


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

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The Jewish Progressive Agenda according to Bernie Sanders

 

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By Gilad Atzmon

In the 2016 Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders presented himself as an American who happened to be Jewish.  Now, in a radical shift, Sanders identifies as “a proud Jewish American.” The progressive politician went from speaking in a universalist voice to defining himself as a 3rd category Jew, i.e., a person who identifies politically as a Jew (as opposed to identifying religiously:1st category, or ancestrally: 2nd category). In his new capacity as a proud Jew, Sanders has declared all out war on Anti Semitism on behalf of his people and in the name of what he describes as ‘multicultural progressive values’.

In his recent extended article titled How to Fight Antisemitism, published by the purportedly ‘Left’ Jewish Currents, Sanders takes up the same line you’d expect from an ADL spokesman, ticking every Hasbara box from the Jewish right of ‘self determination ‘to the primacy of Jewish suffering.

It is hard to miss the echo of Zionist propaganda in Sanders’ drivel. Understandably, Sanders doesn’t like Anti-Semitism. In that he isn’t alone. I would venture that no one, including antisemites, likes anti-Semitism. However, fighting anti Semitism is pretty simple. All it takes is self-reflection. This is exactly what early Zionists did and it was pretty effective. Early Zionism promised  to introduce a new Hebrew: civilized, proletarian, universalist and ethical. Some of the worst anti-Semites were impressed with the idea, for a while even Hitler supported that Jewish nationalist project. At the time, Zionists were so popular that they were largely forgiven their 1948 racist ethnic cleansing crimes. Their introspective project was perceived as genuine.

Now, Sanders informs us, “antisemitism is rising in this country. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Jews rose by more than a third in 2017 and accounted for 58% of all religion-based hate crimes in America.”  Does the ‘progressive’ presidential wannabe bother to ask himself why an ethnic group that comprises only 2% of the American population is subject to the vast majority of religion based hate crimes?

Sanders doesn’t advocate that Jews reflect on whether there is something they do that provokes such crimes,  he prefers to blame everyone else and White identitarians in particular. He argues that antisemites such as the Pittsburgh Synagogue murderer “acted on a twisted belief that Jews were part of a nefarious plot to undermine white America. This wave of violence is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Although I am a harsh critic all forms of identitarianism,  Sanders seems to want it both ways, he identifies himself as a “proud Jewish American” and yet he is hostile to those who identify as White and to their political and identitarian agenda. In reading Sanders’ piece, one can’t miss the fact that the so-called ‘progressive’ seems to support all forms of identitarianism except the White one. “This wave of violence” he writes, “is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Politicians who explore ideas in a manner that is ignorant, uneducated and clumsy are now a universal Western symptom. However, Sanders manages to form a category of his own. “The antisemites who marched in Charlottesville don’t just hate Jews. They hate the idea of multiracial democracy.”

What is multiracial democracy? Are we supposed to know or should we guess? Are there any voices that should be excluded from this type of diverse democracy?

 “They [presumably, the White Identitarians] hate the idea of political equality.”

Is this true? Perhaps ‘they,’ rightly or wrongly, just see themselves as among the oppressed and want their plight addressed?

“They hate immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone else who stands in the way of a whites-only America.”

Does Sanders understand that ‘hating people’ (women, migrants, people of color, LGBTQ etc,) is not the same as opposing the identity politics that divides nations into a manifold of discrete identities?

Sanders accuses the anti-Semites of being conspiratorial. “this is the conspiracy theory that drove the Pittsburgh murderer—that Jews are conspiring to bring immigrants into the country to “replace” Americans.”

I feel obliged to remind Mr. Sanders it is hardly conspiratorial to acknowledge the fact that Jewish politics in the West and in America in particular, is pro-immigration. It is well documented and is actually rational. As opposed to the Jewish State that performs some of the most brutal anti immigration policies, Diaspora Jews tend to prefer to live in a society that is made of an amalgam of many groups and ethnicities. Sanders who identifies himself as a ‘proud Jew’ should ask himself why he supports ‘multicultural democracy’ and what he means by that. Sanders ought to look into the work of HIAS and decide for himself how well it reflects his own political sentiments.

 Bernie Sanders sees anti-Semitism as “a conspiracy theory that a secretly powerful  (Jewish) minority exercises control over society.”

Someone should ask Sanders to explain the peculiar phenomenon at work when Israeli PM Netanyahu received  29 standing ovations during his hard line speech in Congress. Mr. Sanders, who believes that pointing at Jewish power arises from ‘conspiratorial’ inclinations may want to ask himself what drove him to declare war against anti Semitism instead of joining battle against all racism. Does Sanders plan to speak at AIPAC or J-Street as part of his presidential campaign or does he intend to deny himself the support of the most influential political lobbies in Washington?

Sanders writes that “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people from one another and prevent us from fighting together for a shared future of equality, peace, prosperity, and environmental justice.” But if Sanders is genuine here and his objective is ‘unity,’ why does he single out  White identitarians? Shouldn’t he invite the Whites to join his phantasmic identitarian ‘unity’ as equal partners? And more to the point, if “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people” why not simply oppose all racism and bigotry in a universal manner?

According to the “proud Jewish American” who wants to be the next  president, “opposing antisemitism is a core value of progressivism.” Is it?  I would have thought that progressivism is about opposing all forms of racism in the largest and least discriminatory manner.

To illustrate his alliance with what is currently the most racist state on the planet, Sanders delves into nostalgic memories of his Zionist youth. “I have a connection to Israel going back many years. In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa. It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which Israel was founded.”

Mr Sanders forgets to mention that Sha’ar Haamakim, the Kibbutz he briefly dwelled in, was founded on the land of a Palestinian village; Al Zubaidat that had been the home of 60 Palestinian families. In 1925 a Zionist organisation purchased the village land from a rich Beiruty family and beginning in 1931, the Jewish Agency struggled to evict the Palestinians of  El Zubeidat. A few years later, in 1935,  Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim was founded by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. In short, the place Sanders describes as embodying  ‘progressive values’ was in fact, part of the vile racially driven, Zionist ethnic cleansing project.

The intellectually compromised Sanders goes on to describe a criminal state with a very odd use of the term ‘progressive.’  “I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.” I find this confusing.  Unless the words ‘progressive’ and ‘Jewish’ have morphed into synonyms, I do not understand what is ‘progressive’ about the process of violent racist ethnic cleansing.

I guess even Sanders must realise that his pro Israeli screed is easily ridiculed.

  “We must also be honest about this: The founding of Israel is understood by another people in the land of Palestine as the cause of their painful displacement.”

According to Sanders the Palestinian plight is simply a matter of a subjective perception, that  it was merely ‘understood’ by the Palestinians that the founding of Israel resulted in their own painful displacement.  Sanders dismisses reality, ignoring the chain of massacres of Palestinians in 1948, and the clear agenda of the Israeli military to cleanse the indigenous people of Palestine from their land. I can’t think of anything more disgusting and duplicitous than Sanders’ fake humanism.

 Sanders finds that “some criticism of Israel can cross the line into antisemitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination to Jews…” I allow myself to assert that no one out there denies Jews or anyone else’s right of self-determination but self determination becomes a serious problem when executed at the expense of others, whether this takes place in Palestine, in North America or anywhere else.

Bernie Sanders, a declared non universalist ‘progressive,’ uses a Jewish outlet to vow to his people “I will direct the Justice Department to prioritize the fight against white nationalist violence. I will not wait two years to appoint a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, as Trump did; I will appoint one immediately.”

If America intends, as it should, to fight racism and to heal its wounds it could be that Bernie Sanders is the worst possible candidate as he clearly expresses that what he cares about is the hatred of the one group that happens to be his own. Maybe president of  the ADL is the more fitting post for the pretentious self confessed “proud Jewish American.” Leading the American people and the world should be left to a proper universalist and a genuine ethical character assuming that such a person is available and willing to commit.


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

Donate

 

Gilad Atzmon on Truth, Faith and Palestine – Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference

 

 The following is a talk given at Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference 2019 on  (2.1.2019).

https://youtu.be/pfxhicFBHSI

 In the last few days Zionist and Israeli advocacy groups were desperate to cancel the  gathering of many local peace enthusiasts, intellectuals and religious leaders. Every Hasbara trick was put into play: Social media abuse, intimidating phone calls, smears and lies. But none of it worked. The pro- Israeli bigoted efforts backfired – – interest in the conference grew immediately, the local community stood for Palestine, peace, harmony and free speech!

Roderick Heather MBE, Chairman of Hoole Community Centre was subjected to vitriolic abuse.  I learned yesterday that Mr Heather decided to attend the conference meetings and to judge for himself whether it was a ‘hateful’ gathering. Apparently he was  impressed and announced to the group at the end of the first day  that they will always be welcome at the Hoole Centre.  Here is the message Mr Heather sent to North West Friends of Israel, the advocacy pressure group that led the campaign.

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One may wonder why Zionist operators are so desperate to cancel Palestinian meetings and are so fearful of my work in particular. As things stand, the law seems to be on their side. With the IHRA definition of antisemitsm  and current legislation designed to supress all criticism,  the Zionist advocacy groups could theoretically  seek to punish  everyone who even comes close to any disputes of the operation of  their community or their beloved state. You would expect Zionists to ignore Palestinian gatherings. If those gatherings were indeed ‘hateful’ they could have  locked many of us up behind bars a long time ago. Clearly, the friends of Israel know that the  reality is  different. Palestine solidarity is a peaceseeking mission. Despite my huge body of work, I have never been accused of making a single hate statement. Needless to mention, I do not need to mention that I have never been charged or even questioned by a any legal authority anywhere in the world about anything I have said or written. The same applies to Stephen Sizer. The Zionist Lobby groups accuse Palestinian solidarity gatherings of  being ‘hateful’  while knowing that this type of behaviour is something that Palestinian activism is free of.

Here are final words from Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference:

 Chester Palestine Conference November 2nd 2019

 The Chester Palestine Conference was even more successful on its second day.  We actually ran out of chairs!

 The theme for the day was “Grassroots for Palestine: making local links”.

 The day started with a brief interfaith service.

 Burnley Women’s Peace Group shared the experience of their Jerusalem Peace Pilgrimage this year. The images of Palestinian suffering were very moving. They are a Jewish, Christian and Muslim interfaith group.

 A Jewish Roma activist addressed the similarities between the Roma and Palestinian experience.

 Andrew Herbert from Chester’s Methodist Church spoke of his Palestinian house rebuilding experience with the Amos Trust.

 Gilad Atzmon the international jazz artist and author of best-selling books on Jewish identity politics flew in from Greece to give a wide-reaching presentation entitled “Zionism from Herzl to Bibi”.

Atzmon was born into a Jewish family in Tel Aviv, and conscripted into the Israeli regime army where he had a life-changing experience when he was shocked by the barbaric conditions imposed by the Israeli regime on the Palestinians during the Israeli invasion into Lebanon in 1982.

In his intellectual, philosophical and polemical style he engaged us to think deeply about the causes of the worsening trauma of the Palestinian people.

 Damien Short’s presentation on the Genocide of the Palestinians was unable to be shown due to technical problems. We will endeavour to distribute it to the conference attendees. Damien is a Reader in Human Rights at the University of London. His book “Redefining Genocide: Settler Colonialism, Social Death and Ecocide”, which includes a chapter on Genocide and Palestine, is highly recommended.

 The Israeli artist Zohar’s exhibition of Palestinian paintings is on show at Chester University Kingsway Arts Campus, Kingsway, Chester CH2 2LB for the month of November.

These accomplished and thought-provoking pictures are “witnessing the chaos and brutality inflicted on the Palestinian civilian population by an ever more confident and belligerent military power.”

(For insurance and practical reasons we were unable to show these at the conference).

 We look forward to the 3rd Annual Chester Palestine Conference in 2020 !


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

Donate

Wandering Israelis?

 

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By Eve Mykytyn*

One of Israel’s founding myths was that it would provide a homeland to a “people without a home.”  Before and especially after World War II, Zionists claimed that the countries in which Jews lived and were citizens were not a homeland.  Jews, like others, the argument went, were entitled to a homeland populated by Jews. Even at its peak, this argument never convinced a majority of Jews to move to Israel, although especially after 1967, many supported Israel from afar. It seems that some Israelis are also not convinced that they need to live in their ‘homeland.’

A PhD thesis by Omri Shafer Raviv, reported on recently by 972, documents the ‘professors committee’  formed by the Israeli government in 1967 in response to Israel’s sovereignty over the ousted Palestinians in conquered territories.  The committee explored how to limit resistance from and encourage the out migration of Palestinians. The professors were surprised by their findings that the Palestinians, the indigenous people of the land, did not want to leave even if promised a better life in, for instance, Kuwait.  The professors, who were among the first generation of Jews to live in their newly declared ‘homeland,’ seemed not to understand what it meant to be tied to a homeland. How else could they have failed to predict that what Palestinians wanted most was to return to their homes, their land, their villages? Over fifty years on, and despite the horrendous living conditions many of them suffer, the Palestinians refuse to disappear.

Emigration has been a continuing issue in Israel, and one that undermines the notion of Israel as a homeland. Initially scorned by Israelis, outward migration was dismissed, as by former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, as “a fallout of cowards.” But, from its inception, some immigrants chose to leave Israel, in 1942 of the 4,000 Jews who settled in mandatory Palestine, 450 left.  And even in the 1950s, when Israel had one of its greatest increases in population from immigration, outward migration was recognized as a problem. In 1953 the governor of the central bank of Israel, David Horowitz, argued that economic conditions would have to improve for the trend [of emigration] to change, implicitly recognizing that the pull of the homeland was weaker than the prospect of economic success. The discussion of emigration was and is perhaps a sign of Zionist insecurity. If Israel is truly the Jewish homeland, why do so many Jews and Israelis fail to see it that way? The Jerusalem Post notes a more practical concern, “Israelis are acutely aware that the future of Israel as both a Jewish and democratic country depends on maintaining a solid Jewish majority.”

How significant is the issue of outward migration? Despite a plethora of articles (see for ex.) trumpeting a decline in emigration, the number of Israelis who leave exceeds new immigration. The statistics  are opaque,  Israel doesn’t record or perhaps doesn’t  know the intent of those leaving. Recent analysis suggests that Israeli immigration to the UK surpassed British immigration to Israel by a ratio of three to two. Israel’s US Embassy estimates that between 750,000 and one million Israelis live in the United States.

But what is more important is that almost 40% of young  Israelis have expressed an interest in moving their lives elsewhere. They live in a Jewish homeland, and yet they want to wander.

The primary reason young Israelis give for leaving is their inability to earn a decent living. Some cite Israel’s cronyism and shady business deals, they either can’t or don’t choose to participate in a job market that is ‘fixed.’  One can hope that these young ex Israelis, having seen the corrosive effects of tribal rule, will be less inclined to treat the rules of their adopted countries with contempt.

One mother whose sons emigrated opined that it is the ‘finest’ who are leaving. “They are good, high-quality people who can contribute….who are leaving… They stand out abroad. They are considered smart and successful compared to the Canadians.” (Apparently supremacism is present in Israel.) Available statistics support her claim that more educated Israelis leave in greater numbers and this may be because they are the most able to find good jobs elsewhere. In 2017, 5.8% of Israelis with undergraduate degrees had been living abroad for at least three consecutive years. For Israelis with PhDs, it was 11%, a loss of one in nine PhDs. See for more details on the disproportionate Israeli brain drain phenomenon.

To counteract this trend, in 2011 Israel launched “The Israel Brain Gain Program” to help overseas Israelis find jobs at home. Apparently the targeted Israelis were not amenable to returning to their ‘homeland’ and the program was abandoned as a failure.

Does the lack of a Jewish identity cause young Israelis to make decisions based on economics?  Tomer Treves writes that people are leaving  “because of what became of the Zionist idea. The moment the tie with Israel is weakened, the point of remaining is measured by the quality of life, and Israel is not in a good place from that point of view…” Treves posits that the most important factor in loyalty to Israel is  “where on our scale of identity we place Jewish identity. [When the] decision to live in Israel is no longer based on values,” by which he means ‘identifying as Jewish’ “economic parameters enter the equation.” But this argument assumes that loyalty to Israel and a Jewish identity are the same. Those who leave are not renouncing their identity as Jewish, instead they are rejecting the notion that to be Jewish means living in Israel.

Do these recently departed Israelis retain their ties to Israel?  There was an interesting attempt to answer this question by the right wing organization, American Israel Council. AIC sent a questionnaire to Israeli immigrants in the United States that asked who they would support in the event of an Israeli/American rift, whether American Jews (even if they disagreed with Israel’s policies) had an obligation to defend Israel publicly and the extent to which they believed American Jews influenced America’s policies.

Haaretz noted that “two sensitive and potentially explosive” issues have “plagued” American Jews and their relationship to Israel. “The first relates to claims of  dual allegiance” to both Israel and the United States; the other “concerns the pro-Israel, American Jewish lobby.” The now widely utilized IHRA definition of anti Semitism provides that accusations of dual loyalty are anti Semitic. Yet a pro Zionist body asked about these issues  in a manner designed to elicit responses showing loyalty to Israel. Perhaps insecurity about the extent to which present day emigrants support Israel was the impetus for the AIC survey.

Israeli Professor Tamar Hermann worries that the children of Israeli emigrants will not be Israeli, instead they “become Americans, Canadians or Europeans… Israeliness is generally not sustained in the second generation.”  It is not only ‘Israeliness’ that is not sustained in the second generation. This is a hallmark of immigration in general, and in Israel itself. See, for ex. Is there something about Israel that makes it troublesome that the children of those who leave will likely identify with their new land?

Initially, Israel as a homeland was an attractive concept for Jews who felt victimized by widespread anti Semitism. Now it seems that emigrating Israelis are following in the steps of their ancestors, and not the mythical ones to whom God supposedly gave title to land. In the past, and despite the efforts of some to assimilate that were ultimately unsuccessful, the Jews maintained tribal rather than national ties. Young Israelis who move in search of better opportunities may have similarly limited loyalty to their ‘homeland’  and are simply behaving as wanderers.

* – https://www.evemykytyn.com/writing/wandering-israelis

The Texas Death Penalty as it Applies to a Jewish man

 

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by Eve Mykytyn*

The New York Times recently ran a story entitled “Texas Stays Execution of Jewish Man After Judge is Accused of Anti Semitism.”  The headline and the story imply that Randy Halprin, was, although possibly guilty, the victim of anti Semitism.

Let’s look at the story a little more carefully. (To the extent this is a disclaimer of bias, I am generally opposed to capital punishment and have wasted much time unsuccessfully working to keep the state from killing convicted criminals.)

First the Crimes:

In 2000, seven prisoners, the “Texas 7,” escaped and went on a crime spree in which they killed a young policeman. They were captured and in 2003 six of the seven were tried in front of a jury, convicted (the seventh killed himself) and sentenced to death. Four of the Texas 7 have been executed.

The two remaining Texas 7 alums, Halprin and Patrick Murphy each claim not to have actually shot the officer, although the group also ran over the officer after they shot him. In any case,  the jury did not have to decide who fired a gun, all six men were convicted under a Texas statute, similar to laws in  forty five other states for ‘felony murder’  that hold a defendant who commits a serious felony liable for any deaths that result from that felony.

When he escaped Halprin was serving a 30-year sentence for killing an infant.

The Buddhist

Murphy’s attorneys argued that Murphy, a Buddhist,  could not be executed without a Buddhist spiritual advisor present. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Murphy  and issued a rare stay of execution on the basis of religious discrimination. Justice Kavanaugh wrote for the court: “The choice of remedy going forward is up to the State. What the State may not do, in my view, is allow Christian or Muslim inmates but not Buddhist inmates to have a religious adviser of their religion in the execution room.” That is, the state need not provide a religious advisor, but if it does, it must provide such an advisor for all faiths. The cure for this constitutional defect in Texas law is clear and not unduly burdensome on that state.

The Jew

Halprin  claimed his conviction was tainted by the trial judge’s racism and anti Semitism as first discovered in an interview Judge Cunningham gave to the Dallas Morning News. In it, the judge admitted he had offered a reward to his own children if they married a White, Christian member of the opposite sex.

Halprin’s claims of judicial racism were buttressed by claims made by individuals who knew the Judge that: shortly after the trial he had described Halprin as “a fuckin’ Jew” and “goddamn kike” and had said that Jews had to be “shut down,”  had called some of Halprin’s co-defendants “wetbacks, ” said that people of color would “go down” in his courtroom and had made other racist remarks about African Americans, Jews and Latinos.

Judge Cunningham has denied using racist language and said his personal views never affected his decisions during court proceedings.

Claiming newly discovered evidence, Halprin’s lawyers appealed to the Federal district and appeals courts, claiming to have been unaware of Cunning­ham’s racism until 2018. The issue of potential anti Semitism provoked 100 of Texas’ Jewish attorneys to be named as supporters and to sign Halprin’s appeals brief. The Washington Post supported the appeal and helped their case by misstating that his original conviction was for “injury to a child.” The ADL was even inspired to file an amicus, or  “friend of the court” brief to provide historical context for the anti-Semitic terms attributed to the judge.

The Federal court ruled that the claim that Cunningham had been a racist in 2003 did not constitute ‘new’ grounds, but even if it did, it did not matter. The court said that a new trial can be granted only upon evidence of bias sufficient to make it likely a jury would change its verdict; as the Austin Chronicle stated, “the judges ruled that Halprin’s jury would still have found him guilty even if they’d known of Cunningham’s bigoted view.” Halprin filed an appeal to the US  Supreme Court for October 2019.

But on October 4th, the highest court in Texas found that Judge Cunningham was an anti Semitic racist and issued a stay of execution.

A trial court will now have to decide whether Halprin is entitled to a new trial.

The action of the Texas High Court is problematic for a number of reasons, and I find the widespread support among the Jewish legal community and the Jewish press for a double murderer equally troubling. Texas executes more of its citizens than any other state (565 since 1976), that alone ought to be grounds to be wary of a Texas death penalty case.

Assuming, for argument’s sake,  that Judge Cunningham is a racist, no finding was made or even alleged that Cunningham’s personal views had an  impact on his courtroom. Halprin’s lawyers explicitly granted that they saw no such effect by their claim that Cunningham’s beliefs constituted new evidence ‘discovered’ fifteen years after the trial.

Halprin was convicted with six others, all of whom should have an equal claim under this finding except that 4 of them have already been executed. And if Cunningham’s racism in 2018 tainted an otherwise sufficient trial in 2003, what of all the other trials over which Cunningham has presided? Should anyone convicted in such a trial be entitled to a new trial? Or is a new trial to be granted only to Blacks, Latinos and Jews, or only to Jews? Is it now the rule that discrimination is a problem only against an ethnicity that has a powerful voice in government? Do the 100 Jewish lawyers who signed the brief regularly sign such briefs for non Jewish defendants?

How are we to go about treating the personal racist views of a public employee? Perhaps in obnoxious cases we should seek their removal from office, but will appeals courts be forced to review all of the trials over which such a judge has presided? Shouldn’t the law require a racist effect, or are we to subject all judges (and jury members?) to a test for political correctness?

Capital punishment lawyers love to find successful grounds for a new trial, especially grounds that may have the effect of delaying or stopping other executions. Here, the grounds of a ‘racist’ judge without observable impact are wide indeed: its effects are by definition unknowable, its cure elusive and it will likely throw a large number of verdicts (and not just for death penalty cases) into question. I will certainly cite this case in Texas, and since Texas has more executions and therefore more capital punishment law than any other state,  I will try it as possibly persuasive in other states as well.

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