Suspension of Corbyn will define Starmer as Iraq defined Blair

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David Hearst

2 November 2020 17:54 UTC |

David Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.

Keir Starmer’s silence on Palestine and his treatment of his predecessor have set the Labour leader on a collision course with many within his own party

Keir Starmer (L) with Jeremy Corbyn at a press conference in London in December 2019 (AFP)


One of the lesser known aspects of Keir Starmer’s assault on the left of his party since becoming Labour leader is his growing silence on Palestine.

Silencing the Palestinian lobby in Britain has always been a goal of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which has gone to some lengths to condition debate inside the Labour Party on Israel.

In 2017, an Al Jazeera documentary exposed the efforts of the ministry’s man in London, Shai Masot, to start a youth wing in the Labour Party. Masot was also filmed by an undercover reporter saying he wanted to “take down” government ministers and MPs considered to be causing “problems” for Israel.

Silencing the Palestinian lobby in Britain has always been a goal of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which has gone to some lengths to condition debate inside the Labour Party on Israel

When Masot was rumbled and expelled, a continuous feed of Jeremy Corbyn’s meetings as a backbench MP with Palestinians, dating back in some cases over a decade, was created to stoke the furore over the then-Labour leader.

This feed was doctored.

When Corbyn met three Hamas politicians whose Jerusalem IDs had been revoked and had staged a sit-in a tent in the grounds of the Red Cross (this was a cause celebre at the time and many Israelis went to show solidarity with the case), the presence of a second Labour MP, Andy Slaughter, who is not a Corbyn ally but is pro-Palestinian, was excised from British reports.

However, a picture of Slaughter appeared in Israeli news channel i24’s exclusive of “Corbyn’s secret visit” in its report in 2018, which was eight years after the MPs’ visit took place in November 2010. 

Role of Shin Bet

The precise details of Corbyn’s visit to Israel in 2010, including who was on it, who arranged it and who they met, were monitored and logged by Israel’s domestic security service, Shin Bet.

When these visits were over, Shin Bet invited Corbyn’s local fixer in for what turned out to be five hours of questioning in a police station in Haifa.

Shin Bet told her they were relaxed about her charity work for the Palestinian cause, but would not tolerate her campaigning inside the Houses of Parliament in the UK.EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Corbyn questions impartiality of EHRC antisemitism inquiry

If she did not heed the warning, she would spend the rest of her days in prison as an enemy of the state. Her lawyer told her that such a charge could indeed be fabricated against her and that an Israeli court would send her to prison if this happened. She is an Israeli citizen.

At the very least, the warnings given to Corbyn’s fixer confirm that Israel’s security services had set their sights on the MP at least five years before he became Labour leader and long before antisemitism in Labour became a newsworthy issue.

Nobody in the Labour Party was bothered with Corbyn’s travels, which certainly were not secret. He was a backbencher on the fringes of the party. Only Shin Bet took note.

The smear campaign has been wonderfully effective. Of course, many groups joined in for different reasons, including people indifferent to the conflict in Palestine who had shown no past interest in it.

The compromising material of Corbyn’s past contacts would have had no purchase had there not been a determination within the Parliamentary Labour Party and at Labour headquarters to stop Corbyn at all costs. But taken together, it worked.

A poll conducted by Survation last year asked member of the British public who were aware of antisemitism in Labour what percentage of party members had complaints against them.

Their mean average reply was 34 percent. The real figure is a fraction of one percent. The perception of antisemitism was over 300 times the reality in Corbyn’s party.

Palestine lost

Since becoming leader, Keir Starmer has avoided contact with Palestinian leaders, either in Israel or in Britain.

Starmer has had two opportunities to engage.

On 26 June this year, 15 members of the Knesset who comprise the Joint List wrote to all party leaders in Britain to urge them to “actively oppose” attempts by Israel to annex territory unilaterally.Israel’s Joint List urges British political parties to oppose annexation

The Joint List, the main coalition representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, is the third largest group of MKs in the parliament. The letter was sent by Yousef Jabareen, the head of the Joint List’s international committee.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson instructed one of his ministers, James Cleverly, minister of state for the Middle East and North Africa, to reply.

“We continue to urge Israel not to take these steps. The prime minister has conveyed the UK’s opposition to unilateral annexation to Prime Minister Netanyahu on multiple occasions,” Cleverly wrote.

Starmer did not reply, and still has not replied. Jabareen received an automated reply from Starmer’s office, telling him that he receives hundreds of emails each day.

On 16 September, a group of leading British Palestinians, many of whom were members of Labour, but some not, wrote an open letter to the Labour Party insisting on “the right of Palestinians to accurately describe our experiences of dispossession and oppression” and rejecting Labour’s attempts to conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

The letter was accompanied by emails to Starmer to set up a meeting. They were told that Starmer was too busy to meet them. They were referred to Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, who also declined to meet them.

A ‘dressing down’

However when Stephen Kinnock, who comes from the right wing of the party and is a bitter critic of Corbyn, called in a parliamentary debate for the UK to “ban all products that originate from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories”, Nandy found the time to intervene.

Nandy told the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council – according to a source quoted by MailOnline – that Kinnock, a consistent and long-standing critic of Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians, had been given a “dressing down” for his remarks made during the Commons debate.

Starmer’s sole intervention in this debate occurred when he was asked by Jewish News about sanctions and he stressed the need instead to maintain a ‘strong working relationship with Israel’

“Lisa made no secret of the fact she and the leader were angry with Kinnock,” the source is quoted as saying.

“Especially after all the work that has been done to try and restore Labour’s relationship with the Jewish community.”

Starmer was said to be “infuriated”.

Nandy herself proposed a ban on the import of goods from illegal settlements in the West Bank, but only if Israel pressed ahead with annexation.

Starmer’s sole intervention in this debate occurred when he was asked by Jewish News about sanctions and he stressed the need instead to maintain a “strong working relationship with Israel”.

Starmer said: “I don’t agree with annexation and I don’t think it’s good for security in the region, and I think it’s very important that we say that.

“Whether sanctions follow is another matter but at the moment let’s resolve this in the proper way. But this is not good for security in the region. That should be a paramount consideration.

When pressed further, he added: “There needs to be a strong working relationship where we are able to exchange views frankly, as you would with an ally and on some of these issues, a frank exchange is what we most need, I think.”

Labour’s history

This Monday marks 103 years since the Balfour Declaration committed British governments to support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

The 1917 document predates Labour’s emergence as a political force in the years after World War One, but the party has a history of its own in the Middle East which no leader can ignore.Jeremy Corbyn suspended from Labour following antisemitism report

In 1944, when the territory of Palestine was still under British control, its national executive committee authored a motion, passed by conference, which read: “Palestine surely is a case, on human grounds and to promote a stable settlement, for transfer of population. Let the Arabs be encouraged to move out, as the Jews move in. Let them be compensated handsomely for their land and let their settlement elsewhere be carefully organised and generously financed.”

But it has history more recent than that.

The suspension of Corbyn after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into antisemitism last week contrasts with Corbyn’s treatment of Tony Blair, who as a former Labour prime minister was excoriated by the 2016 Chilcot Report over his decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

John Chilcot, a former senior diplomat, eviscerated Blair, stopping short of accusing him of lying to parliament.

Chilcot said that at the time of the invasion, Saddam Hussein “posed no imminent threat” and revealed a private note that Blair sent to Bush in July 2002 which read: “I will be with you, whatever.”

In a two-hour press conference following the publication of the report, Blair was unrepentant. “I believe we made the right decision and the world is better and safer,” he declared.

He argued that he had acted in good faith, based on intelligence at the time which said that Iraq’s president had weapons of mass destruction. This “turned out to be wrong”.

Corbyn’s suspension

Corbyn offered a total apology on behalf of the party for the decision to invade Iraq.

He said: “So I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq in March 2003. That apology is owed first of all to the people of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and the country is still living with the devastating consequences of the war and the forces it unleashed. They have paid the greatest price for the most serious foreign policy calamity of the last 60 years.”

He went on: “The apology is also owed to the families of those soldiers who died in Iraq or who have returned home injured or incapacitated. They did their duty but it was in a conflict they should never have been sent to.”

Corbyn appeared as if he was defying the leadership, even though at the time he spoke, he had no idea what Starmer would say on a key point that defined their dispute

Blair at the time was just a member of the party, in the same situation as Corbyn was last week.

Corbyn, however, did not suspend Blair for not apologising and uttering words which went against the party line.

Instead, the opposite was happening. The “party of war” within the Parliamentary Labour Party went on the offensive against the leadership.

MPs who had backed the Iraq war, and consistently voted against inquiries into it, went after Corbyn.

Of the 71 MPs who voted no confidence in Corbyn in 2016 and who had been in parliament in 2003, 92 percent had voted in favour of the Iraq war and seven against.

In justifying his action to suspend Corbyn, Starmer said that the former leader had defied his response to the EHRC report, which condemned anyone trying to claim that antisemitism had been exaggerated for political reasons.

The night before the report was published, Starmer phoned Corbyn to say he would not be condemning him by name in his statement of reply to the EHRC report. Corbyn and his team repeatedly asked Starmer what he would say in his statement. Starmer said he would send them his lines.

Angela Rayner, the deputy leader, also promised Corbyn’s team that she would send them the lines of Starmer’s statement. Both failed to do so. The reactions of the two men were thus set on collision course.

Corbyn appeared as if he was defying the leadership, even though at the time he spoke, he had no idea what Starmer would say on a key point that defined their dispute.

Corbyn subsequently failed to back down, but one possibility is that Starmer’s team knew what Corbyn would say, while Corbyn himself was kept in the dark until it was too late.

The left bites back

Corbyn did not defend himself against allegations that he tolerated antisemitism or that he himself was an antisemite, claims that are still being made today. To the extent that he let this campaign run unchallenged in the High Court, he himself is responsible.

Quite apart from the fate of Corbyn, support for Palestine is much greater in the party than Starmer is comfortable with. Palestine, which he knows about much less than Corbyn, is his blindspot

On the day Corbyn was suspended, the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the original complainant in the EHRC investigation, wrote to Starmer and David Evans, the general secretary, demanding investigations into 32 members of the Labour Party, including Angela Rayner, Starmer’s current deputy, and 10 other MPs. 

In response, seven trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party and one which backed Starmer as candidate, published a statement expressing “serious concern” about the manner and rationale for Corbyn’s suspension, suggesting it had undermined party unity and democratic processes.

Far from being his “Clause 4” moment – the issue that Tony Blair used to define New Labour by dropping the party’s historic commitment to state ownership of key industries – the suspension of Corbyn could define Starmer’s leadership in the same way that Blair’s decision to invade Iraq has cast a shadow over everything a man elected three times as prime minister did. The ghosts of Iraq follow Blair around to this day.

Quite apart from the fate of Corbyn, support for Palestine is much greater in the party than Starmer is comfortable with. Palestine, which he knows about much less than Corbyn, is his blindspot.

Unless Corbyn is reinstated quickly, the decision to suspend him from the party could prove to be a permanent and defining stain on Starmer’s leadership.

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

Anglo-Zionist Smearing of Jeremy Corbyn

By Stephen Lendman

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While anti-Semitism is real, time and again the accusation is made to smear and discredit individuals or groups for justifiable criticism of Israel.

It’s also an unjustifiable tactic used to divert attention from Israeli high crimes of war, against humanity, and persecution of Palestinians for not being Jewish — especially by Jewish state officials.

Anyone forthrightly criticizing Israeli apartheid ruthlessness is vulnerable to unjustifiable vilification.

Zionism is tyranny by another name. It’s undemocratic, hateful, ruthless, racist, destructive, and hostile to peace, equity, justice, and the rule of law.

It’s a monster threatening anyone and anything it opposes, a cancer infesting Israel, America, other Western societies and elsewhere.

The late Joel Kovel called Zionism “a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses.”

Daring to criticize Israel and Zionist extremism got him fired by Bard College. Other US academics have been mistreated the same or in similar ways.

Zionism is an ideological scourge. It considers Jews superior to others. Nazism believed in Aryan superiority.

Anglo-Zionism is a hugely destructive force threatening everyone everywhere. 

Britain’s so-called Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was legislatively established by the militantly hostile to peace, equity and justice Tony Blair regime in 2006.

Pretending to promote and enforce equality and non-discrimination in the UK, it unjustly and irresponsibly accused former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn of “serious failings (on the issue of) addressing antisemitism and an inadequate process for handling antisemitism complaints (sic).” 

“Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where its approach and leadership to tackling antisemitism was insufficient (sic),” according to its interim EHRC head Caroline Waters, adding:

“This is inexcusable and appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle antisemitism rather than an inability to do so (sic).”

Time and again in the West, anti-Semitism is over-hyped, and irresponsibly used to smear legitimate critics of Israeli viciousness.

Corbyn’s support for Palestinian rights got him falsely accused of anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions — the price he paid for honesty.

Throughout last year’s campaign ahead of parliamentary elections in Britain, establishment media one-sidedly supported hardline PM Boris Johnson-led Tories over Labor leader Corbyn’s progressive change agenda.

Last April, Keir Starmer replaced him as Labor leader in the wake of the vilification campaign against him that cost the party 59 seats in parliament.

On Thursday, a Labor spokesman said Corbyn was suspended from the party, pending an investigation, adding:

Under his leadership, the party became “institutionally anti-Semitic (sic).”

The phony accusation reflects how Israeli critics in government, academia, and other walks of life are systematically and wrongfully vilified.

Israeli influence in the West has much to do with singling out legitimate critics for vilification.

Often they’re sacked or in Corbyn’s case prevented from gaining a Labor Party electoral victory and being suspended — for doing the right thing.

Earlier and current anti-Semitism charges against Corbyn were and remain manufactured, not legitimate.

UK owned and controlled BBC propaganda falsely claimed anti-Semitism became “a big problem” in Britain’s Labor Party after “Corbyn’s election” as party leader in September 2015 (sic), adding:

“Mr Corbyn and his allies on the left had spent decades campaigning for Palestinian statehood, in contrast with the more nuanced position taken by many of his predecessors (sic).”

“Nuanced” is code language for one-sidedly supporting Israel, ignoring its decades of high crimes against Palestinians and regional states.

Accusations of anti-Semitism are longstanding canards used against public figures, academics, and others who forthrightly criticize Israel and call for accountability.

Ignored is that anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Semitism.

Yet the long ago discredited canard keeps resurfacing against figures like Corbyn and numerous other profiles in courage like him.

Unthinking Chosen: Gilad Atzmon on Adam Green’s Know More News

 BY GILAD ATZMON

I had an incredible time yesterday with Adam Green, we covered the most problematic aspects associated with Jewish ID politics (both Zionists and so called ‘anti’). We looked at projection, PRE TSD, Israeli war crimes, blindness, the Hasbara spin and many other topics.

Thanks for supporting Gilad’s battle for truth and justice.

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Jacob Cohen: “The Zionists Have Become Masters in The Art of Propaganda”

By Mohsen Abdelmoumen

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Jacob Cohen 54dba

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your analysis of the annexation of the West Bank this July 1?

Jacob Cohen: The Zionist regime is not crazy enough to annex the entire West Bank, because then it would have to naturalize all Palestinians. It only wants to annex the “useful” West Bank, i.e. the Jordan Valley, thus preventing a possible Palestinian State to control its own borders and the large Jewish settlement blocs. It would thus continue to have a submissive and cheap labor force at its disposal, and the cooperation of a docile Palestinian police force to maintain colonial order.

It is not sure that this annexation will take place on July 1. Zionists are pragmatic people and know how to step back to jump better.

But in any case, annexation or not, the Zionists will never give up these territories they claim. The Jordan Valley is already implicitly recognized to them by all the great powers, even Russia, to ensure “the security of Israel”. And no one can imagine that the Zionist regime would bring 700,000 settlers below the Green Line.

These are the main lines of a possible Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and the Palestinian Authority pretends to believe, madly or stupidly, that it could recover the whole of the West Bank.

How do you explain that twenty ministers of the Israeli government are of Moroccan origin? Israeli security and defense companies are based in Morocco. How do you analyze these facts? Is not Morocco a real launching pad for the normalization policy advocated by the Zionist entity of Israel?

Only ten ministers have a distant connection with Morocco, which they do not care about. It is the Judeo-Zionist lobby in Morocco, led by the “sayan” (Mossad agent) André Azoulay, advisor to the monarchy for forty years, who does everything to maintain the illusion of perfect understanding between Morocco and its former Jewish citizens. Everything is done in Morocco to rekindle an almost extinguished flame. This to allow the visit of Israelis to Morocco, tourists, artists, businessmen, to push towards an official normalization of Israeli-Moroccan relations.

It is true that Morocco, since the installation of Mossad in that country in the 1950s to send Moroccan Jews to Israel, and the agreement obtained from Hassan II in 1961 for this purpose, is Israel’s de facto ally and support for its legitimization in the Arab world. In 1986, in the middle of the Intifada, the King received with great pomp the Israeli leaders Rabin and Peres.

Furthermore Morocco, on the other hand, which needs American diplomatic support to ensure its stranglehold on Western Sahara, does everything possible to please Israel, whose influence on American institutions is known.

How do you explain the strategic redeployment of the Zionist entity of Israel throughout Africa?

This redeployment had begun in the fields of construction and agriculture as early as the 1960s, after African independences. A redeployment stopped by the June 1967 war and the military occupation of vast Arab territories. The non-aligned movement at the time was still very influential.

The Oslo Accords restored some good repute to the Zionist regime, because it was assumed that it would give a State to the Palestinians in the long run.

Africa from the 1990s was no longer this non-aligned bloc sensitive to a form of international justice. It had joined the globalist circuit and security issues had become paramount.

Israel had become an important and feared partner. Did it not contribute to the amputation of the southern part of Sudan? Its networks in East Africa are very active and their strike force is well known.

Finally, little by little, the Zionist regime has managed, something inconceivable 20 years ago, to win the diplomatic support of many African countries in crucial votes in international institutions.

Algeria is one of the few countries that does not recognize Israel. Doesn’t Algeria still remain a permanent target of the Zionist entity of Israel?

All Arab countries are a permanent target of the Zionist entity. Even countries that submit are not definitively spared. Thus, even Morocco is not immune to Mossad’s attempts to stir up separatism in the Berber areas. If for no other reason than to keep the pressure on this country and make it understand that it has an interest in keeping its nose clean.

Let us remember the fate of Iraq and Syria, which the Zionist regime contributed to destroying.

Algeria will not escape the Zionist vindictiveness, which will try to reach it in one way or another. But this country is far away, not very sensitive to foreign influence, sitting on a large income, with a long history of national resistance, and a strong sense of patriotism. This is what makes it one of the few countries to stand up to the Zionist entity. And because of its geographical position and size, it is a country that is essential to regional security and therefore preserved.

We know the weight of the Zionist lobby in the United States through AIPAC. What is the weight of the Zionist lobby in Europe?

No difference except from a formal point of view. In the United States, the Zionist lobby has a legal existence, with its recognized networks of influence, its buildings in Washington and elsewhere, its congresses, where any candidate for an important post, be it senator or president, must appear and express his support to Israel.

Whereas in Europe, the lobby is more discreet but no less effectivePractically all European countries have banned the BDS movement, and adopted the definition of anti-Semitism proposed by a Jewish organization fighting against the “Shoah”. With this in particular that any criticism of Israel is equated with anti-Semitism. European countries have not even been able to implement their resolution to label products that come from the Zionist settlements in the West Bank.

In France, at the CRIF (note: Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France) dinner, the entire establishment of the French Republic, including the President, bowed down and received instructions from the Judeo-Zionist lobby.

The European Union has set up a body to combat anti-Semitism headed by the German Katharina Von Schnurbein. How do you explain the fact that the European Union is setting up a body to defend Israel’s interests with European taxpayers’ money and that there is no hesitation in condemning all those who are against the criminal and fascist policies of Israel by calling them anti-Semites?

“Antisemitism” has been an extraordinary discovery of the Judeo-Zionist lobby in Europe. Of course, we know the history of the Second World War. But for the past 30 years or so, this lobby has been working hard to make it the greatest scourge of the 21st century. A few arranged or staged attacks, a few so-called verbal aggressions, a few desecrations that come in at the right time, a swastika lost here or there, and all the media networks are being used to make it look like there’s a resurgence of anti-Semitism. European governments are under pressure. They cannot afford any weakness.

But from criticism of Israel, we move on to anti-Semitism. The argument is fallacious, but it works. When you criticize Israel, you stir up “hatred” against that country and European Jewish citizens, and thus anti-Semitic aggression. Therefore, Israel should not be criticized. Anti-Zionism becomes an offense because it is equated with anti-Semitism. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are banned because they lead to anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism has become a kind of blank cheque given to the Zionists to do whatever they like in Palestine without being worried, condemned or criticized.

You are a great anti-Zionist activist and a defender of the just cause of the Palestinian people. In your book “Le printemps des Sayanim” (The Spring of the Sayanim), you talk about the role of the sayanim in the world. Can you explain to our readership what sayanim are and what exactly is their role?

The “sayanim”, in Hebrew “those who help”, are Jews who live outside Israel and who, by Zionist patriotism, collaborate with the Mossad in their fields of activity.

They were created as early as 1959 by the Mossad chief at the time, Méir Amit. They’re probably between 40,000 and 50,000. Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent and refugee in Canada, talks about it for certain cases. He estimated that in the 1980s, in London alone, there were 3,000 sayanim.

What is their utility? Mossad recruits sayanim who work voluntarily in all major areas. For example, the media: these Jewish journalists or press bosses around the world will orient information in such a way as to favor Israel at the expense of Arabs.

In the United States, the Jewish power in the film industry is well known. Just an example. In 1961, Hollywood produced the film “Exodus” with Paul Newman, which tells the story of the birth of Israel in 1948 from a Zionist point of view. This film has shaped Western consciousness for at least a generation.

The same could be said for the financial institutions based in New York and dominated by Judeo-Zionists.

In France, advertising, publishing, the press, television, university, etc. are more or less controlled by “sayanim”.

It is therefore easy to understand the Zionist lobby’s strike force, a strike force that remains moreover invisible.

Isn’t Zionism, which is the direct product of the Talmud and the Jewish Kabbalah, an ideology that is both racist and fascist?

If we take Zionism in its political sense, that is, in the nationalist vision of the political movements of the 19th century, it was a secular and progressive ideology. It had seduced tens of thousands of activists, particularly in Russia and Poland, who sought to realize their revolutionary ideal outside the progressive movements of the time. They wanted to transform the Jewish people, to make it “normal”.

Despite these characteristics, these activists, upon arriving in Palestine, had excluded the Arabs from their national project from the outset. The seeds of racism were already planted. The Arabs had to be expelled or got rid of somehow. Even the kibbutzim, the flagships of “Zionist socialism”, did not admit Arabs within them.

Wars and conquests, especially of the “biblical” cities in the West Bank, have plunged Israeli society into a messianic fascism and racism that no longer even hide. The latest “Law on the Nation of the Jewish People” clearly establishes racist elements, such as the possibility for a Jewish municipality to refuse Arab inhabitants, even though they have Israeli nationality.

Doesn’t the just cause of the Palestinian people need a more intense mobilization in the face of the criminal offensives of the fascist Israeli colonial army? Don’t you think that the role of BDS is very important to counter Israeli fascism?

For the reasons I mentioned earlier, the Zionist regime has managed to stifle, at least in part, the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people. As far as the media and relations with the governments of the major powers are concerned, the balance is tipped in favor of Zionism. That’s a fact. Even the majority of Arab countries, for reasons that cannot be confessed, are turning away from it.

BDS is an extraordinary weapon, but as I said, it is increasingly banned in the West because it is considered as an ” anti-Semitic ” movement. It’s absurd, sure, but it’s so. Example: Germany withdrew a European prize from a woman writer because she had tweeted pro-BDS a few months before.

How do you explain that at a time when freedom-loving Westerners support BDS, Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Qatar, etc. are normalizing their relations with the Zionist entity of Israel as part of the “deal of the century” spearheaded by Jared Kushner?

Historically, these monarchies have never supported the Palestinians, or at least with lip service, because they feared the revolutionary potential of the Palestinian movements in the 60s and 70s. The Arab world was then divided between “conservatives” and “progressives”. Following the example of Hassan II mentioned above, these monarchies were just waiting for the historic opportunity to normalize their relations with the Zionist regime. It is in their interest, the interest of the castes in power. We have seen what could happen to nationalist or progressive Arab regimes (Iraq, Syria, Libya). They were given a choice: fall in line and collaborate with Israel or some “Daesh” or separatist movements will drop on them. These monarchs do not have the suicidal instinct for a Palestine that has become an increasingly evanescent myth.

What is your opinion about the infamous blockade that the Palestinian people are suffering in Gaza while the world is in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Zionist regime is submitting the people of Gaza to a concentration camp quasi-regime. Why quasi? Because the Zionist conqueror remains just below, cynically and intelligently, the level that could no longer leave the world indifferent. The blockade is not hermetic, allowing to pass through it in dribs and drabs at the occupant’s discretion, just enough to not sink. The fishing area is reduced or increased so as to keep this sword of Damocles on any fisherman who dares to go out. Electricity is limited to a few hours a day. Information from the inside is reduced, travels are limited. Israel even took the liberty about two years ago of banning European parliamentarians from entering the Gaza Strip. All the more so as Egypt’s complicity makes it possible to maintain this situation, and the Palestinian Authority withhold all payments to officials in Gaza. The world is given the impression that the Gazans are struggling, indeed, but that they had something to do with it, because they launch a few rockets from time to time and Hamas is considered a “terrorist” organization. The Zionists have become masters in the art of propaganda, with the complicity of Western governments. And Gaza is paying a terrible price.

You have been threatened and attacked on several occasions, including by the LDJ (Jewish Defense League), for supporting the cause of the Palestinian people and for being anti-Zionist. How do you explain the fact that in France, a country that prides itself on being a State governed by the rule of law and which is a champion of human rights and freedom of speech, fascist militias like Betar (note: radical Zionist Jewish youth movement), LDJ, CRIF, which defend the interests of Israel can act with impunity?

First there is the history of the Second World War and the Vichy regime, which leaves a sense of guilt, a feeling cleverly exploited by the Judeo-Zionist lobby with the multiplication of films on the Shoah which are shown over and over again on French channels.

Then there is the action of the “sayanim” very presents in the media and other institutions, and who terrorize, the word is not too strong, all those who deviate even a little. Take Dieudonné (note: French humorist, actor and political activist), he has been made the devil to such an extent that he can be assassinated with impunity. On the other hand, saying two or three wrong words to Eric Zemmour (note: French political journalist, writer, essayist and polemicist) in the street, and the President of the Republic calls him on the phone for 40 minutes.

Finally, there is great cowardice on the part of French intellectuals, journalists and politicians who do not say what they think. The fear of the CRIF is paralyzing them. Remember Etienne Chouard, a very famous intellectual who became well known during the referendum on Europe in 2005 and for his support for Yellow Vests. He was summoned to explain himself about the gas chambers on the site “Le Média“. The unfortunate man tried to clear out. He’s been bombarded with insults. He went to apologize on “Sud Radio“. He has since lost all credibility.

How do you explain the fact that all the media remain silent about the crimes of the Zionist entity of Israel and do not give voice to people like you? Where is the freedom of speech those western countries brag about? In your opinion, doesn’t the mass media serve an oligarchy?

Modern media are not supposed to track down the truth and proclaim it. See the way they treated covid19 and big-pharma. See also the coverage of Presidents Trump and Putin by these media, or the Syrian case. The major media belong either to the State (public radio and television) or to the financial oligarchies, all of which are, as I have shown, close to the interests of the Zionist lobby. So, when they boast about being free and promoting freedom of speech, they’re just self-promotion by brazenly lying. Moreover, the tendency in the name of this “freedom to inform” is to track down the so-called fake news, in fact the information that don’t fit the mould. And as long as this balance of power lasts, the crimes of the Zionist entity will be silenced or diminished, and the rights of the Palestinian people will be ignored.

In your opinion, weren’t the Oslo Accords a big scam that harmed the Palestinians by depriving them of their rights?

The Oslo Accords were one of the finest diplomatic scams of the century. With the Palestinians’ consent. In a SM (sadomasochistic) relationship, the master and the slave freely assume their role. The Zionist master found in Arafat the ideal slave to play the role.

I say this with great sadness and rage. But the reality is there. Arafat disappeared from the international scene in 1992. When Rabin beckons him, he no longer holds back. He was about to come back into the limelight.

It’s Rabbi’s stroke of genius. Israel was in a very difficult, let’s say catastrophic situation. The Intifada showed an over-armed and brutal army of occupation in the face of stone-throwing kids. The Palestinian cause was at the top. If Rabin had contacted Barghouti, the leader of the Intifada, the latter would have had strict and inflexible demands: Independence or nothing.

Arafat has given up everything. On all the sensitive issues, the refugees, Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders, the independent State, Rabin told him: “we will see later”. And Arafat agreed.

And furthermore, he delivered 60 % of the West Bank under the total sovereignty of Israel. This is the Zone C, on which the major cities of occupation are built.

Ultimately, Arafat could have realized after 2 or 3 years that he had been manipulated, that the Zionists will never give him a State, and slam the door, and put the occupier back in front of his responsibilities. But no, he continued until his death and Mahmoud Abbas is continuing along the same path, which lead to the progressive strangulation of what remained of Palestine.

But for Rabin, and the Zionist regime, the gain was fantastic. Israel was no longer the occupant. The whole world was pretending to proclaim the need for 2 States. It was just a matter of being patient and negotiating. The Zionist regime has thus restored much of its international credibility and legitimacy.

We saw the United States and the whole world shocked by the way George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. However, Palestinians suffer the same abuses on a daily basis, as this hold (a technique known as strangulation) is often used by the Israeli army, Tsahal. How do you explain the fact that nobody protests this? The world was rightly moved by the murder of George Floyd, why does it not react when Palestinians are murdered?

We keep coming back to the same problem. It is the media that make the news. And who controls the media? The Palestinians do not have a voice for the reasons mentioned above. Because when the media decides to inflate a problem, they do.

Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen

Who is Jacob Cohen?

Jacob Cohen is a writer and lecturer born in 1944. Polyglot and traveler, anti-Zionist activist, he was a translator and teacher at the Faculty of Law in Casablanca. He obtained a law degree from the Faculty of Casablanca and then joined Science-Po in Paris where he obtained his degree in Science-Po as well as a postgraduate degree (DES) in public law. He lived in Montreal and then Berlin. In 1978, he returned to Morocco where he became an assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Casablanca until 1987. He then moved to Paris where he now focuses on writing. He has published several books,

On Israel’s Plans to Annex parts of the West Bank

 BY GILAD ATZMON

dersh pilpul.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Americans may be surprised to learn from Alan Dershowitz that their constitution is far more intrusive and oppressive than what they and their forefathers have believed for generations. The law ‘scholar’ declared yesterday that “you have no (constitutional) right to not be vaccinated.”

 Watch Video: You Have NO RIGHT to NOT be Vaccinated” – Alan Dershowitz:

 One possible explanation for Dershowitz’s peculiar constitutional ‘interpretation’ is that some parts of the American constitution were actually written in Yiddish, Hebrew and Aramaic. As such, their meaning is only accessible to a small privileged segment within the American population, one that amounts to 2% or less.

 But there is a far better explanation that shines light into the ‘reasoning’ offered by Dershowitz.  

 In a spectacularly brave Huffpost article titled What Is Pilpul , And Why On Earth Should I Care About It? author David Shasha writes, “ Pilpul is the Talmudic term used to describe a rhetorical process that the (Jewish) sages used to formulate their legal decisions… It is a catch-all term that in English is translated as ‘Casuistry’.”

 The English word ‘casuistry’ is defined as: “the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; sophistry.”

 Dershowitz, is a pilpul master. He often employs peculiar reasoning in relation to moral questions especially when it comes to his own morality and conduct.

 Shasha writes of the history of pilpul tradition that “the Ashkenazi rabbis were less concerned with promulgating the Law transmitted in the Talmud than they were with molding it to suit their own needs. Pilpul was a means to justify practices already fixed in the behaviors of the community by re-reading the Talmud to justify those practices.”

 Pilpul, as described, is not about understanding of the law and its meaning but about the deliberate miss- interpretation of the law so it fits with one’s core interests. 

 Shasha points out that “even though many contemporary Jews are not observant, pilpul continues to be deployed. Pilpul occurs any time the speaker is committed to ‘prove’ his point regardless of the evidence in front of him. The casuistic aspect of this hair-splitting leads to a labyrinthine form of argument where the speaker blows enough rhetorical smoke to make his interlocutor submit. Reason is not an issue when pilpul takes over: what counts is the establishment of a fixed, immutable point that can never truly be disputed.”

 Pilpul is basically a legalistic exercise that is removed from truthfulness, ethical thinking or even logic. What we see from Dershowitz is a dramatic pilpul-ization of the American legal culture and ethos.

 “In this context,” Shasha continues,  “the Law is not primary; it is the status of the jurist. Justice is extra-legal, thus denying social equality under the rubric of a horizontal system. Law is in the hands of the privileged rather than the mass.”

In a pretty accurate description of Dershowitz’ modus operandi Shasha writes, “Pilpul is the rhetorical means to mark as ‘true’ that which cannot ever be disputed by rational means.”

 Shasha, obviously had Dershowitz in mind when he wrote his Huffpost article. But Dershowitz is not the only one. In Shasha’s article Noam Chomsky is equally guilty of pilpulism. “The contentiousness of the Middle East conflict is intimately informed by pilpul. Whether it is Alan Dershowitz or Noam Chomsky, both of them Ashkenazim who had traditional Jewish educations, the terms of the debate are consistently framed by pilpul. What is most unfortunate about pilpul — and this is something that will be familiar to anyone who has followed the controversies involving Israel and Palestine — is that, since the rational has been removed from the process, all that is left is yelling, irrational emotionalism, and, ultimately, the threat of violence.”

I agree with Shasha. The Middle East conflict has been reduced into a pilpul battle ground between Zionists and their Anti Zionist Zionist twins.  The question for Americans is whether Pilpul, a Jewish Ashkenazi litigious practice that is removed from truthfulness, ethics and reason should interfere with American’s constitutional rights, way of living, politics, culture, spirit and vaccination policies.  

My Struggle

 BY GILAD ATZMON

By Gilad Atzmon

I launched my study into Jewishness two decades ago. It began as a result of my reaction to the relentless attacks on dissident Jewish thinkers who didn’t fit with the ‘revolutionary agenda’ of the so-called Jewish ‘anti Zionist’ Left.  I quickly grasped that it was actually the Jewish Left, the radicals and progressives, who displayed the most   problematic traits associated with Zionism and Jewish identitarianism.

I was perplexed: the same people who adhere to tribal politics and operate in racially segregated political cells preach universalism to others.  I came to understand that nothing was transparent or obvious about Jewish culture and identitarianism, and that this was by design. I decided to untangle the Jewish enigma from a new perspective: instead of asking who or what Jews are, I asked what those who self-identify as Jews believe in, what precepts they adhere to. This question was the beginning of my struggle.

By the time I published The Wandering Who?  (2011),  I realised that those who identify as Jews can be divided into three non-exclusive categories. 1. Those who follow Torah and Mitzvoth. 2. Those who identify with their Jewish ancestry. 3. Those who identify politically as Jews. In The Wandering Who I argued that while the first and the second categories are innocent, the third category is always contaminated by biological determinism. The third category is, in fact, racist to the core. While Jews aren’t necessarily a race, Jewish politics are, too often, racially oriented. This applies to both Zionists and the so called ‘anti’ Zionists. In my work there is no real distinction between Jewish Zionists and their Jewish dissenters. I have found them to be equally racist.

There is more to draw from this categorical approach. It is apparent that not many self identified Jews fall exclusively into just one of the categories. Jewish identity is a multilayered construct.  A West Bank settler, for instance, is usually a follower of Torah and Mitzvoth (cat’ 1), most often he/she speaks in the name of their Jewish ancestry and even claims lineage to Biblical figures (cat’ 2). And  it goes without saying that a West Bank Jewish settler identifies and acts politically as a Jew (cat’ 3). Surprisingly, a JVP activist in Brooklyn isn’t all that different. He or she may not adhere to the Torah but likely identifies ethnically as a Jew (cat’ 2) and certainly acts politically as a Jew (cat’ 3).

In The Wandering Who I argued that If Zionism is a racist ideology, then Jewish anti Zionists are at least as guilty of the same crime. In fact, in the Israeli Knesset, the third biggest party is a Palestinian party. You do the goy count: try to figure out how many Palestinians or Gentiles are on JVP’s board or amongst the British Jewish Voice for Labour (that doesn’t even accept gentiles as equal members).  Needless to mention, this observation didn’t make me overwhelmingly popular amongst Zionists and the so called ‘anti.’

On the day of the publication of The Wandering Who, hell broke loose. What started as a struggle to seek the truth or at least some understanding, evolved into a bloody war. Oddly, no one bothered to find a mistake in my work or pointed to where my argument was lacking. No one claimed that the facts I based my argument on were inaccurate. Both Zionists and ‘anti’ have deployed every trick in their Hasbara book to try and silence me. I was called a racist, an anti-Semite  and a Nazi despite the fact that my entire work is anti racist and in defiance of the Jewish racial argument.

Since 2011 I have been subject to a cowardly smear campaign. But the war called upon me has actually helped me to refine my views on Jewish Identity Politics. I realised that Jewishness (yehudiyut)  is a manifold of different forms of chosenness. Rabbinical Jews celebrate being God’s favorite children. Atheist Jews in practice, dumped  the God who first chose them in order to validate their own superiority as godless people. Jewish Marxists are special for their belief in equality. Tikun Olam Jews believe that it is down to them to save the Goyim. After a few more years of this study I realised that Judaism is just one Jewish religion amongst many and it is not even the most popular Jewish religion.

The great Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz figured out in the 1970s that while Jews uphold many religions and beliefs, all Jews believe in the Holocaust. It was this observation by Leibowitz that planted the notion of the Holocaust religion. When I wrote Being in Time, I realised that practically every precept can become a Jewish religion as long as it sustains a lucid concept of ‘chosenness’, self-love or auto validation.

The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan revealed that the  ‘unconscious is the discourse of the Other;’ the fear that one’s deepest secrets could be unveiled and make it into the public discourse.  In Lacanian terms, the Jewish unconscious is the fear that the ‘Goyim Know.’ Their torment is that people ‘out there’ will start to converse about what has taken place in front of their eyes: whether it is AIPAC dominance of US foreign policy or the destruction of the Labour Party or the constant threat to world peace imposed by Israel and its Lobby.   

Judging by their desperate attempts to silence me, I assume that I must be seen, at least in the eyes of my Jewish detractors, as a prime conduit for that ever expanding general awareness – after all I have been blowing the whistle for a while. 

Jews do not like those who leave the tribe. Jesus paid a price, as did Uriel da Costa and Spinoza.  For Jews, the former Jew, or ex-Jew, is a threat most likely because many Jews may feel insecure about the ethical ground of their core beliefs, culture and ideology. Enlightened Jewish progressives are probably clever enough to admit to themselves that being born into chosenness is a problematic racially supremacist concept. Honest Jews may have gathered that being chosen by a God you yourself invented to favour you over the rest of humanity is actually funny. Orthodox Jews understand that large parts of  their core beliefs are inconsistent with the western universal humanist tradition. Many Zionists know that their claims to a historic right to a land they have never been in are ridiculous.

The Jewish strategy to handle their fears includes the suppression of elementary freedoms: Jewish Power as I define it, is the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power. I believe that it was I who coined the slogan, ‘We Are All Palestinians.’ In accordance with my definition of Jewish power, Palestinians are those who can’t even utter the name of their oppressor. While Israel calls itself the Jewish State and boasts about itself as Jewish, the Palestinians and their solidarity movement go out of their way to avoid the ‘J word.’ When British Jewish institutions including the chief rabbi and the British Jewish press called an open war on the British Labour and its leader no one in the Labour party dared utter the ‘J word’ except when asking for Jewish forgiveness. The condition of being Palestinian, of not being able to name one’s oppressor, is now a global symptom. This suppression of speech and thought has evolved into a tyranny of correctness.

By the time I wrote Being in Time I understood that my struggle has implications that far exceed my initial intellectual objectives.  What we face as western subjects is a massive battle between Athens and Jerusalem, where Athens is the birthplace of Western thought and Jerusalem is the city of revelation. Athens teaches us how to think, Jerusalem demands our obedience. 

The Western humanist values and intellectual assets we are now nostalgic for came from Athens: democracy, tolerance, freedom of speech, philosophy, Agora, science, ethics, poesis and the tragedy. Jerusalem gave us laws, mitzvoth, regimes of prescribed and proscribed behavior. Athens teaches us how to think ethically: in Jerusalem, ethics are replaced by the Ten Commandments; rules to obey. Jerusalem is not solely a ‘Jewish domain.’ The Jerusalemization of our universe is apparent in every corner of society: from pop culture, to the work place, to academia and beyond.  It is the tyranny of correctness adopted by the new Left and it is at least as infectious within right identitarianism.  

My struggle as I now understand it, has evolved into a metaphysical quest.  I battle to reinstate Athens within my soul. If you want to make the West great again, my struggle is your struggle.  Defy Jerusalem, say no to authoritarianism, embrace Athens in your heart: learn to speak your mind, tell the truth as you see it and bear the consequences.   

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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.’

فرنسا تشهر سلاح القانون… دفاعاً عن الصهيونية

لينا كنوش

السبت 7 كانون الأول 2019

فرنسا تشهر سلاح القانون... دفاعاً عن الصهيونية

حظي خطاب مساواة العداء للصهيونية بالعداء للسامية بأول اعتراف رسمي فرنسي سنة 2004 (أ ف ب )

تطوّر جديد على جبهة الحرب الأيديولوجية ـــــ الإعلامية الهادفة إلى مساواة العداء للصهيونية بالعداء للسامية، تمثّل في تصويت البرلمان الفرنسي على قرار، وهو بعكس أي نص قانوني ليست لديه صفة إلزامية، في الثالث من الشهر الجاري، بـ154 صوتاً من أصل 177، يتبنى فيه التعريف الغامض والتضليلي للعداء للسامية الذي يشيعه «التحالف الدولي لذاكرة الهلوكوست». وقد أدان 127 مثقفاً يهودياً، في مقالة نُشرت في اليوم نفسه، مبادرة غايتها «إسكات من ينتقد دولة إسرائيل خاصة منظمات حقوق الإنسان». إسباغ الشرعية على هذا الانزلاق اللغوي من «العداء للصهيونية»، أي رفض الأيديولوجيا التي تفترض أن اليهود غير قابلين للاندماج في بلدانهم الأصلية وأن عليهم إقامة دولة خاصة بهم، إلى «العداء للسامية»، وهو حال من العنصرية، يأتي كنتيجة لمعركة طويلة الأمد. إذ أطلقت مجموعة من التنظيمات والجمعيات والشخصيات الصهيونية الحملة الهادفة إلى المساواة بين العداء للصهيونية والعداء للسامية منذ سنة 2000. وأصدر «اتحاد الطلبة اليهود في فرنسا» وجمعية «إس. أو. أس عنصرية» كتاباً بعنوان «أعداء اليهود: الكتاب الأبيض عن أعمال العنف المعادية للسامية في فرنسا منذ أيلول 2000»، زعما فيه أن نمطاً جديداً من العداء للسامية نما متلطياً بأيديولوجية نزع الشرعية عن إسرائيل باسم الإسلام والنضال ضد الاستعمار ومناهضة العنصرية. ورأيا أن «العداء للسامية سيتراجع عندما سيتوقف العداء للصهيونية عن توفير الذرائع له. التهجم على اليهود بسبب تضامنهم مع دولة إسرائيل ليس بريئاً ولا إجبارهم على تبرير انتمائهم لإقصائهم عن الجماعة الوطنية». وذهب المفكر الصهيوني بيير أندري تاغييف، في الاتجاه نفسه في كتابه «العداء الحديث لليهود، تحولات الكراهية»، عندما رأى أن الأيديولوجيا التي تتهم إسرائيل بالعنف المنهجي وبممارسة التمييز العنصري وتدعو في صيغتها الأكثر راديكالية إلى إزالتها تشكّل «النمط الأخير من الكراهية القديمة والمتعدّدة الأشكال لليهود».

تحاول الدعاية الإسرائيلية الاستناد إلى نصوص قانونية لمحاربة «المقاطعة»

حظي خطاب مساواة العداء للصهيونية بالعداء للسامية بأول اعتراف رسمي فرنسي سنة 2004 عبر التقرير الذي أعدّه جان كريستوف روفان لوزير الداخلية، والذي يصف فيه «العداء الجذري للصهيونية بعداء غير مباشر للسامية»، لكن المرة الأولى التي أقدم فيها رئيس فرنسي على مثل هذه المساواة كانت سنة 2017. ففي خطاب ألقاه في 16/7/2017 بحضور بنيامين نتنياهو، أكد إيمانويل ماكرون تصميمه على «عدم تقديم تنازلات للعداء للصهيونية لأنها الشكل المستجدّ للعداء للسامية». ظن البعض آنذاك أن الأمر لا يتعدى ارتكاب ماكرون هفوة سياسية، لكن المؤرّخ دومنيك فيدال جزم في كتابه «معاداة الصهيونية =معاداة السامية؟ ردّ على إيمانويل ماكرون»، أن المساواة بين جناية (العداء للسامية) وموقف سياسي (العداء للصهيونية) تمثّل إنكاراً لوقائع التاريخ وخطأ سياسياً. ويذكر المؤلف أن الصهيونية بقيت تياراً هامشياً في مرحلة ما بين الحربين، لأن «الأغلبية الساحقة بين اليهود، 90% إلى 95% من يهود العالم، لا يؤيّدون مشروع تيودور هرتزل وذلك منذ عقد المؤتمر الصهيوني العالمي الأول سنة 1897 وإلى سنة 1939». هذا لا يعني بالطبع أنهم كانوا معادين للسامية، إلا إذا اعتمدنا الخطاب المؤيد لإسرائيل الذي يتهمهم بـ«كره الذات». ويحذر فيدال أن مثل هذه المساواة ستفضي إلى إعادة الاعتبار قانونياً لمفهوم جريمة الرأي للمرة الأولى منذ حرب الجزائر.
بالخلط المتعمّد بين العداء للصهيونية والعداء للسامية، يحاول أنصار إسرائيل منع أي نقد لسياسة تل أبيب وتجريم حركة المقاطعة «BDS»، التي تسببت في خسائر لها بعشرات مليارات الدولارات سنوياً. الدعاية الإسرائيلية تحاول الاستناد إلى نصوص قانونية لمحاربة حركة باتت تُصنَّف على أنها «تهديد استراتيجي أساسي» من تل أبيب التي استصدرت قانوناً في آذار 2017 يحظّر دخول المواطنين الأجانب الذين يدعون للمقاطعة.

 

On the liberty to teach, pursue, and discuss knowledge without restriction

 

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by Gilad Atzmon

It didn’t  take long for the American Administration to crudely interfere with an open society’s most sacred ethos, that of academic freedom.  We learned this weekend that the US Department of Education has ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remake their joint Middle East studies program after concluding that they were offering students “a biased curriculum that, among other complaints, did not present enough “positive” imagery of Judaism and Christianity in the region.”

Academic freedom is a relatively simple principle. It refers to the ”liberty to teach, pursue, and discuss knowledge without restriction or interference, as by school or public officials.”

This principle seems to be under attack in America.  The American administration has openly interfered with the liberty to freely teach, pursue and discuss knowledge.

The New York Times writes:  “in a rare instance of federal intervention in college course content, the department asserted that the universities’ Middle East program violated the standards of a federal program that awards funding to international studies and foreign language programs.”

According to the NYT the focus on ‘anti Israeli bias’ “appears to reflect the views of an agency leadership that includes a civil rights chief, Kenneth L. Marcus, who has made a career of pro-Israel advocacy and has waged a years long campaign to delegitimize and defund Middle East studies programs that he has criticized as rife with anti-Israel bias.”

One may wonder why America is willing to sacrifice its liberal ethos on the pro Israel altar?  Miriam Elman provides a possible answer. Elman is an associate professor at Syracuse University and executive director of the Academic Engagement Network, which opposes BDS. Elman told the NYT that this “should be a wake-up call… what they’re (the Federal government presumably) saying is, ‘If you want to be biased and show an unbalanced view of the Middle East, you can do that, but you’re not going to get federal and taxpayer money.”

In Elman’s view academic freedom has stayed intact, it is just the dollars  that will be  withheld unless a university adheres to pro Israel politics.

Those who follow the history of Zionism, Israeli politics and Jewish nationalism find this latest development unsurprising. Zionism, once dedicated to the concept of a “promised land,” morphed decades ago into an aspiration toward a ‘promised planet.’  Zionism is a global project operating in most, if not all, Western states. Jewish pressure groups, Zionist think tanks and Pro Israel lobbies work intensively to suppress elementary freedoms and reshape the public, political and cultural discourse all to achieve Zionism’s ambitious goal. After all, Jewish power, as I define it, is the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power.

This authoritarian symptom is not at all new. It is apparently a wandering phenomenon. It has popped out in different forms at different times.  What happened in the USSR  provides a perfect illustration of this  symptom. In the early days of Soviet Russia, anti-Semitism was met with the death penalty as stated by Joseph Stalin  in answer to an inquiry made by the Jewish News Agency: “In the U.S.S.R. anti-semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under U.S.S.R. law active anti-semites are liable to the death penalty.”

Germany saw the formation of Jewish anti defamation leagues attempted to suppress the rise in anti Jewish sentiments.* There’s no need to elaborate on the dramatic failure of these efforts in Germany. And despite Stalin’s early pro-Jewish stance, the Soviet leader turned against the so- called rootless cosmopolitans.” This campaign led to the 1950s Doctors’ plot, in which a group of doctors (mostly Jewish) were subjected to a show trial for supposedly having plotted to assassinate the Soviet leader.

In Britain and other Western nations we have seen fierce pro Israel campaigns waged to suppress criticism of Israel and Jewish politics. Different lobbies have been  utilizing different means amongst them the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism by governments and institutions. In Britain, France, Germany and other European countries, intellectuals, artists, politicians, party members and ordinary citizens are constantly harassed by a few powerful Jewish pressure groups. In dark Orwellian Britain 2019, critics of Israel have yet to face the death sentence, but they are subjected to severe reprisals ranging  from personal intimidation to police actions and criminal prosecution. People have lost their jobs for supporting Palestine, others have been expelled from Corbyn’s compromised Labour Party for making truthful statements. Some have even been jailed for satirical  content. And as you might guess, none of this has made Israel, its supporters or its stooges popular. Quite the opposite.  

I learned from the NYT that the administration “ordered” the universities’ consortium to submit a revised schedule of events it planned to support, a full list of the courses it offers and the professors working in its Middle East studies program.  I wonder who in the administration possesses the scholarly credentials to assess the academic level of university courses or professors? Professor Trump himself, or maybe Kushner & Ivanka or Kushner’s coffee boy Avi Berkovitch, or maybe recently retired ‘peace maker’ Jason Greenblatt?

 It takes years to build academic institutions, departments, libraries and research facilities. Apparently, it takes one determined lobby to ruin the future of American scholarship.

*In his book Final Solution David Cesarani brings the story of the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith) that operated in Germany since the late 19th century “suing rabble rousers for defamation, funding candidates pledging to contest antisemitism…” You can read about the association and its activity here


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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Jews vs. Israelis

 

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by Gilad Atzmon

 Now would be the correct time for Ali Abunimah, JVP,  & CO to form an orderly queue to issue their deep and sincere apology to me. Since the early 2000s my detractors within the so called Jewish ‘Left’ together with  their sometime stooges, have been harassing me, my publishers and my readers for pointing out that Zionism is an obsolete concept with little meaning for Israel, Israelis  and their politics let alone the conflict that has been destroying the Eastern Mediterranean region

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In my 2011 book The Wandering Who, I argue that “Since Israel defines itself openly as the ‘Jewish State’, we should ask what the notions of ’Judaism’, ‘Jewishness’, ‘Jewish culture’ and ‘Jewish ideology’ stand for.” Just before the publication of the book I was urged by both JVP’s leader and Ali Abunimah to drop the J-Word and focus solely on Zionism. In Britain, a gang of so called ‘anti’ Zionist Jews relentlessly terrorised my publisher and promoters. Funny, most of these authoritarian tribals who worked 24/7 to silence me have been expelled from the British Labour Party for alleged anti-Semitism. Now, they promote the ideal of ‘freedom of speech.’

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In ‘The Wandering Who’ and in the years preceding its publication, I realised that the Palestinian solidarity discourse has been suffocated with misleading and often duplicitous terminology that was set to divert  attention from the root cause of the conflict and that acted  to prevent intelligible discussion of  possible solutions.

Let’s face it. Israel doesn’t see  itself as the Zionist State: not one Israeli party integrated the word ‘Zionism’ into its name. To Israelis, Zionism is a dated and clichéd concept that describes the ideology that promised to erect a Jewish homeland in Palestine. For Israelis, Zionism fulfilled its purpose in 1948, it is now an archaic term. In ‘The Wandering Who’ I presented a so-far unrefuted argument that an understanding of ‘Jewishness’, a term familiar to every self-identified Jew, may provide answers to most questions related to Israel and its politics. It may also help us to grasp the fake dissent that has dominated the so- called Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist campaign for the last two decades.

Though I was probably the first to write about the crucial shift in Israeli society in favour of Judeo-centrism, this shift is now mainstream news.  Haaretz’s lead writer, Anshel Pfeffer, just wrote a spectacular analysis of this transformation. Pfeffer’s view is that Israelis are going to the polls this Tuesday to decide whether they are “Jews” or “Israelis.” 

According to Pfeffer, in the mid 1990s it was Netanyahu’s American campaign guru, Arthur Finkelstein, who promoted  “a message that could reach secular and religious voters alike. In his polling, he had asked voters whether they considered themselves ‘more Jewish’ or ‘more Israeli.’ The results convinced him there was a much larger constituency of voters, not just religious ones, who emphasized their Jewish identity over their Israeli one.”

In light of Finkelstein’s observation, Likud focused its message on Jerusalem. Its campaign slogan was:  “Peres will divide Jerusalem.” In the final 48 hours before Election Day there was also “an unofficial slogan, emblazoned on millions of posters and bumper stickers distributed by Chabad Hasidim: “Netanyahu is good for the Jews.”

In a Haaretz interview after his narrow 1996 defeat, Peres lamented that “the Israelis lost the election.” When asked then who had won, he answered, “The Jews won.”

Pfeffer points out that Netanyahu learned from Finkelstein that the “Jew” is the primary unifier for Israelis. This certainly applies to religious Jews but also to those who regard themselves as secular. After all, Israel has really been the “Jewish State” for a while.

This is probably the right place to point out that Netanyahu’s move of locating Jewishness at the heart of Israel is a reversal of the original Zionist promise. While early Zionism was a desperate attempt to divorce the Jews from the ghetto and their tribal obsession and make them “people like all other people,” the present adherence to Jewishness and kinship induces  a return to Judeo-centric chauvinism. As odd as this may sound, Netanyahu’s transformation of Israel into a ‘Jewish realm’ makes him an ardent anti Zionist probably more anti Zionist than JVP, Mondoweiss and the BDS together.

Pfeffer points out that when Netanyahu returned to power in 2009 and  formed a right-wing/ religious coalition, was when “the Jews prevailed — and have done so ever since in four consecutive elections, including the last one in April 2019.”

To illustrate this Pfeffer cites the 2012 Israeli  High Court of Justice decision to deny a petition by writer Yoram Kaniuk and others to allow themselves to be registered solely as ‘Israelis’ as opposed to ‘Jews.’

Every so often we hear from one Torah rabbi or another that “Zionism is not Judaism.” Those who have reached this point surely grasp that ‘Zionism vs. Judaism’ is a fake dichotomy. It serves to confuse and to divert questioning minds from the path toward an understanding of the conflict: In Israel Zionism is an empty concept, politically, ideologically and spiritually. Israel defines itself as ‘The Jewish state’ and orthodox rabbis are at the centre of this transition in Israeli politics and life.

I guess that Abunimah and JVP were desperate to silence me at the time as they foolishly believed that shooting the messenger or alternatively burning books was the way forward for human rights activism. I stood firm. The observations I produced in ‘The Wandering Who’ were endorsed by the most profound thinkers associated with the conflict and the anti war movement. My observations are more relevant than ever and in Israel they have entered mainstream analysis. When it comes to Palestine solidarity we have managed to waste a good two decades of intellectual progress thanks to authoritarian lobbies operating in our midst. For truth and justice to prevail, we have to learn to speak the truth as we see it, and to accept JVP and Abumimah’s apologies when they are mature enough to come clean.

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Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep

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Brian Cloughley
August 6, 2019
© Photo: Flickr / Official Photo by Caleb Smith

In the US House of Representatives on 23 July there was an overwhelming vote condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement which has the objective of encouraging the government of Israel to meet “its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

There is nothing morally or legally questionable in any of these aims.  But the United States Congress does not concern itself with morality or legality if these are inconsistent with its policy concerning Israel, which, as enunciated by Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, is based on the conviction that “Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom & liberty, surrounded by existential threats.”  Fox News reported that the condemnatory resolution “has been pushed by AIPAC, the influential Israel lobby in Washington,” which explains a great deal, as AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a very powerful organisation, with deep pockets and wide-spreading hands.

In February 2019 The Intercept noted  that “AIPAC, on its own website, recruits members to join its ‘Congressional Club,’ and commit to give at least $5,000 per election cycle.” In a film called The Lobby “Eric Gallagher, a top official at AIPAC from 2010 to 2015, tells an Al Jazeera reporter that AIPAC gets results.”  A secret recording revealed that “Getting $38 billion in security aid to Israel matters, which is what AIPAC just did. Everything AIPAC does is focused on influencing Congress.”

And AIPAC influences Congress and other agencies extremely efficiently, even to the extent of managing to have Al Jazeera refrain from broadcasting the US-focused version of The Lobby.The Director of Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, Clayton Swisher, said that pressure included “pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington threatening to convince Congress to register the network as ‘foreign agents,’ and false accusations of anti-Semitism against the producers of the documentary.”  That’s all you need:  the mere mention of anti-Semitism makes everyone suck their teeth, roll their eyes, and leap out of the way.

It so happened that the day before Congress condemned an initiative aimed at having Israel recognise the rights of Palestinians and abide by international law, the Israelis carried out an operation of destruction that was specifically aimed against the rights of Palestinians and was contrary to international law.  As the BBC reported, it involved 200 Israeli soldiers and 700 police, weapons at the ready, deploying to the Palestinian village of Wadi Hummus at 4 in the morning of July 22, along with bulldozers and excavators that proceeded to destroy Palestinian homes.

There wasn’t a word of objection from the US Administration whose Tweeter-in-Chief had made his views on Israel crystal-clear on 16 July when he announced that the four non-white female Members of Congress whom he loathes to the point of psychosis are “a bunch of Communists [who] hate Israel.”  Moreover, they “talk about Israel like they’re a bunch of   thugs, not victims of the entire region.”  On the other hand, the European Union stated that “Israel’s settlement policy, including actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes, is illegal under international law. In line with the EU’s long-standing position, we expect the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the ongoing demolitions.”  Fat chance of that — just as there is no possibility that the United states or the United Kingdom will support pursuit of international law when it is violated by Israel.

Britain is on its way out of the European Union, so has no say in EU policy, but in any case it wouldn’t agree about criticism of Israel because the governing Conservative Party fosters an organisation called ‘Conservative Friends of Israel’ (CFI) whose members constitute some eighty per cent of Conservative Members of Parliament.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Trump-loving new prime minister, is a fervid supporter of CFI which supported him in his bid to be head of the Conservative party. On 23 July, after his selection to be leader and thus prime minister, the CFI’s Chairmen, Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Pickles, and Honorary President Lord Polak declared that “From his refusal to boycott Israeli goods in his time as Mayor of London through to his instrumental role as Foreign Secretary…  Boris has a long history of standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel and the Jewish community. Mr Johnson continued to display his resolute support… reiterating his deep support for Israel and pledging to be a champion for Jews in Britain and around the world.”

One of Johnson’s first ministerial appointments was of Ms Priti Patel to be Home Secretary. She had resigned from the Cabinet of PM Theresa May in November 2017 because it had been discovered that she had been telling lies, which wasn’t in itself unusual, but the circumstances were intriguing.  As the BBC headlined about the then head of International Development :  “Priti Patel quits cabinet over Israel meetings row” which involved her apologising to the prime minister “after unauthorised meetings in August with Israeli politicians — including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — came to light. But it later emerged she had two further meetings without government officials present in September.”  Not only that, but in a media interview “she gave the false impression that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and the Foreign Office knew about her meetings in Israel.”

It’s one of these irregular verbs which were met with much laughter during the marvellous BBC series ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ — ‘I make a misstatement;  she gives a false impression;  he is in prison for telling lies.’

And it was decidedly strange that the egregious Lord Polak, he of the statement that Boris Johnson stands “shoulder to shoulder with Israel” accompanied Patel at 13 of her 14 meetings with Israeli officials during August and September. What on earth could have been going on?

Of course she had no reason to worry about having to resign for telling lies, because at the time of her disgrace Boris Johnson told the BBC that “Priti Patel has been a very good colleague and friend for a long time and a first class secretary of state for international development. It’s been a real pleasure working with her and I’m sure she has a great future ahead of her.”  The man has the gift of prophecy.

Then Johnson appointed Michael Gove to his Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which is a weird appointment that gives a lot of power and very little responsibility. Gove had been demonstrably disloyal to Johnson during the first leadership struggle, in what the Daily Telegraph called a “spectacular act of treachery” but all was forgiven because, as recorded approvingly by the Conservative Friends of Israel he believes that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are “two sides of the same coin”, which means that anybody who criticises Israel’s nationalistic persecution of Palestinians is an anti-Semite. He believes that “the test for any civilised society is whether it stands with the Jewish people, and whether it stands with Israel. It is a pleasure to stand with the Jewish people. It is a duty to stand with Israel.”

The Palestinians are not going to get one tiny bit of support from either the United States or Britain when their houses are bulldozed to rubble.  They can expect no criticism from Washington or London when their children are killed in Gaza by Israeli soldiers.

The West Bank of the Jordan River, between Israel and Jordan, was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Then it annexed East Jerusalem. Both areas are defined in international law as occupied territory.  Although this is ignored by the US and Britain it was intriguing that in a minor but telling legal finding in Canada on 30 July, a judge ruled that wines made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank should not carry labels that say “Product of Israel” because of course the settlements are built on Palestinian land.

But there’s no point in telling that to the Israeli-supporting wine connoisseur Donald Trump or the US Congress or any member of Britain’s governing Conservative party, because international law means nothing when there are other priorities.

What Tulsi Gabbard’s caving in to the Israel Lobby really shows

The Saker

July 24, 2019

What Tulsi Gabbard’s caving in to the Israel Lobby really shows

Yes, Tulsi Gabbard’s name was not found in the list of those members of Congress which voted “no” to the resolution condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.  This is the full list as reported by The Forward: Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), Andre Carson (D-Indiana), Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Illinois), Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona), Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), Barbara Lee (D-California), Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota), Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), Bobby Rush (D-Illinois), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey).

Thank you, so-called “US free and independent media”!

Truth be told, the Israeli Lobby did a superb job focusing what is left of the mind of those who expose themselves to the corporate Ziomedia’s propaganda on nonsensical pretend-issues such as who is in the so-called “squad”  (Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & Rashida Tlaib), on Ilhan Omar alledged anti-Semitism (what else is new?) and on Trump’s brilliant idea to send her “home” (only to disawow it later – in typical Trump style).  As a result, a major chunk of the First Amendement has now been chipped away.

I also note with interest that these 17 Democracts prove that the most pro-Zionist party is the GOP, not the Democrats.  I salute the courage of Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky)!

There were plenty of other signs that showed that for all her very real qualities and her likely sincerity, Tulsi Gabbard does not really dare to speak truth to power.  Here is a very good example of that:

I agree with the slogan she chose: the Kremlin’s darling?  Think again!

A very wise friend of mine wrote this about why Gabbard had to cave in:

I told you she is a single issue politician. It’s about wars without end. Everything else is Realpolitik and nothing is more real than Zionists controlling the politics and legislation in Washington.  She would have no hope of surviving the next round of laws. They are going to make anything “anti-Israel” equal “anti-Semitic” and that will be a crime like it is in France. She has high ideals on only a single issue. It’s a great issue. But you cannot count on a politician to be a noble warrior. Forget anyone doing the right thing all the time.  She shines bright on one issue. If she was really wise or clever, she would have abstained. So, she is neither. 

Again, I can only agree with him.

My personal conclusion from all this is that this is yet another strong indication that the US political system is completely unreformable.  And, furthermore, any political system which cannot adapt to new realities and reform itself is simply condemned to a sudden, catastrophic (and often violent) collapse.

This being said, Gabbard is still the only running candidate who wants to legalize cannabis (at least as far as I know), she wants to reform what is justly called the “US Gulag” system and she backs Medicare For All.  I still think that she is very likable and probably sincere.  But she sure does not have what it takes to tackle what is by far the worst problem of the United States: they are just a subservient and voiceless colony of the last openly racist state on the planet and that is a moral issue.  This is the type of issue in which no compromise is possible, at least for an honest person.  Gabbard chose to compromise on that, and this makes her useless to those who want to free the United States and restore in full their full sovereignty.

Too bad.

The Saker

 

The Plot to Keep Jeremy Corbyn Out of Power

 

 • JULY 4, 2019

 

In the latest of the interminable media “furores” about Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed unfitness to lead Britain’s Labour party – let alone become prime minister – it is easy to forget where we were shortly before he won the support of an overwhelming majority of Labour members to head the party.

In the preceding two years, it was hard to avoid on TV the figure of Russell Brand, a comedian and minor film star who had reinvented himself, after years of battling addiction, as a spiritual guru-cum-political revolutionary.

Brand’s fast-talking, plain-speaking criticism of the existing political order, calling it discredited, unaccountable and unrepresentative, was greeted with smirking condescension by the political and media establishment. Nonetheless, in an era before Donald Trump had become president of the United States, the British media were happy to indulge Brand for a while, seemingly believing he or his ideas might prove a ratings winner with younger audiences.

But Brand started to look rather more impressive than anyone could have imagined. He took on supposed media heavyweights like the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman and Channel 4’s Jon Snow and charmed and shamed them into submission – both with his compassion and his thoughtful radicalism. Even in the gladiatorial-style battle of wits so beloved of modern TV, he made these titans of the political interview look mediocre, shallow and out of touch. Videos of these head-to-heads went viral, and Brand won hundreds of thousands of new followers.

Then he overstepped the mark.

Democracy as charade

Instead of simply criticising the political system, Brand argued that it was in fact so rigged by the powerful, by corporate interests, that western democracy had become a charade. Elections were pointless. Our votes were simply a fig-leaf, concealing the fact that our political leaders were there to represent not us but the interests of globe-spanning corporations. Political and media elites had been captured by unshored corporate money. Our voices had become irrelevant.

Brand didn’t just talk the talk. He started committing to direct action. He shamed our do-nothing politicians and corporate media – the devastating Grenfell Tower fire had yet to happen – by helping to gain attention for a group of poor tenants in London who were taking on the might of a corporation that had become their landlord and wanted to evict them to develop their homes for a much richer clientele. Brand’s revolutionary words had turned into revolutionary action.

But just as Brand’s rejection of the old politics began to articulate a wider mood, it was stopped in its tracks. After Corbyn was unexpectedly elected Labour leader, offering for the first time in living memory a politics that listened to people before money, Brand’s style of rejectionism looked a little too cynical, or at least premature.

While Corbyn’s victory marked a sea-change, it is worth recalling, however, that it occurred only because of a mistake. Or perhaps two.

The Corbyn accident

First, a handful of Labour MPs agreed to nominate Corbyn for the leadership contest, scraping him past the threshold needed to get on the ballot paper. Most backed him only because they wanted to give the impression of an election that was fair and open. After his victory, some loudly regretted having assisted him. None had thought a representative of the tiny and besieged left wing of the parliamentary party stood a chance of winning – not after Tony Blair and his acolytes had spent more than two decades remaking Labour, using their own version of entryism to eradicate any vestiges of socialism in the party. These “New Labour” MPs were there, just as Brand had noted, to represent the interests of a corporate class, not ordinary people.

Corbyn had very different ideas from most of his colleagues. Over the years he had broken with the consensus of the dominant Blairite faction time and again in parliamentary votes, consistently taking a minority view that later proved to be on the right side of history. He alone among the leadership contenders spoke unequivocally against austerity, regarding it as a way to leech away more public money to enrich the corporations and banks that had already pocketed vast sums from the public coffers – so much so that by 2008 they had nearly bankrupted the entire western economic system.

And second, Corbyn won because of a recent change in the party’s rulebook – one now much regretted by party managers. A new internal balloting system gave more weight to the votes of ordinary members than the parliamentary party. The members, unlike the party machine, wanted Corbyn.

Corbyn’s success didn’t really prove Brand wrong. Even the best designed systems have flaws, especially when the maintenance of the system’s image as benevolent is considered vitally important. It wasn’t that Corbyn’s election had shown Britain’s political system was representative and accountable. It was simply evidence that corporate power had made itself vulnerable to a potential accident by preferring to work out of sight, in the shadows, to maintain the illusion of democracy. Corbyn was that accident.

‘Brainwashing under freedom’

Corbyn’s success also wasn’t evidence that the power structure he challenged had weakened. The system was still in place and it still had a chokehold on the political and media establishments that exist to uphold its interests. Which is why it has been mobilising these forces endlessly to damage Corbyn and avert the risk of a further, even more disastrous “accident”, such as his becoming prime minister.

Listing the ways the state-corporate media have sought to undermine Corbyn would sound preposterous to anyone not deeply immersed in these media-constructed narratives. But almost all of us have been exposed to this kind of “brainwashing under freedom” since birth.

The initial attacks on Corbyn were for being poorly dressed, sexist, unstatesmanlike, a national security threat, a Communist spy – relentless, unsubstantiated smears the like of which no other party leader had ever faced. But over time the allegations became even more outrageously propagandistic as the campaign to undermine him not only failed but backfired – not least, because Labour membership rocketed under Corbyn to make the party the largest in Europe.

As the establishment’s need to keep him away from power has grown more urgent and desperate so has the nature of the attacks.

Redefining anti-semitism

Corbyn was extremely unusual in many ways as the leader of a western party within sight of power. Personally he was self-effacing and lived modestly. Ideologically he was resolutely against the thrust of four decades of a turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism unleashed by Thatcher and Reagan in the early 1980s; and he opposed foreign wars for empire, fashionable “humanitarian interventions” whose real goal was to attack other sovereign states either to control their resources, usually oil, or line the pockets of the military-industrial complex.

It was difficult to attack Corbyn directly for these positions. There was the danger that they might prove popular with voters. But Corbyn was seen to have an Achilles’ heel. He was a life-long anti-racism activist and well known for his support for the rights of the long-suffering Palestinians. The political and media establishments quickly learnt that they could recharacterise his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as anti-semitism. He was soon being presented as a leader happy to preside over an “institutionally” anti-semitic party.

Under pressure of these attacks, Labour was forced to adopt a new and highly controversial definition of anti-semitism – one rejected by leading jurists and later repudiated by the lawyer who devised it – that expressly conflates criticism of Israel, and anti-Zionism, with Jew hatred. One by one Corbyn’s few ideological allies in the party – those outside the Blairite consensus – have been picked off as anti-semites. They have either fallen foul of this conflation or, as with Labour MP Chris Williamson, they have been tarred and feathered for trying to defend Labour’s record against the accusations of a supposed endemic anti-semitism in its ranks.

The bad faith of the anti-semitism smears were particularly clear in relation to Williamson. The comment that plunged him into so much trouble – now leading twice to his suspension – was videoed. In it he can be heard calling anti-semitism a “scourge” that must be confronted. But also, in line with all evidence, Williamson denied that Labour had any particular anti-semitism problem. In part he blamed the party for being too ready to concede unwarranted ground to critics, further stoking the attacks and smears. He noted that Labour had been “demonised as a racist, bigoted party”, adding: “Our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion … we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic.”

The Guardian has been typical in mischaracterising Williamson’s remarks not once but each time it has covered developments in his case. Every Guardian report has stated, against the audible evidence, that Williamson said Labour was “too apologetic about anti-semitism”. In short, the Guardian and the rest of the media have insinuated that Williamson approves of anti-semitism. But what he actually said was that Labour was “too apologetic” when dealing with unfair or unreasonable allegations of anti-semitism, that it had too willingly accepted the unfounded premise of its critics that the party condoned racism.

Like the Salem witch-hunts

The McCarthyite nature of this process of misrepresentation and guilt by association was underscored when Jewish Voice for Labour, a group of Jewish party members who have defended Corbyn against the anti-semitism smears, voiced their support for Williamson. Jon Lansman, a founder of the Momentum group originally close to Corbyn, turned on the JVL calling them “part of the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour Party”. In an additional, ugly but increasingly normalised remark, he added: “Neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community.”

In this febrile atmosphere, Corbyn’s allies have been required to confess that the party is institutionally anti-semitic, to distance themselves from Corbyn and often to submit to anti-semitism training. To do otherwise, to deny the accusation is, as in the Salem witch-hunts, treated as proof of guilt.

The anti-semitism claims have been regurgitated almost daily across the narrow corporate media “spectrum”, even though they are unsupported by any actual evidence of an anti-semitism problem in Labour beyond a marginal one representative of wider British society. The allegations have reached such fever-pitch, stoked into a hysteria by the media, that the party is now under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the only party apart from the neo-Nazi British National Party ever to face such an investigation.

These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago, when I first started reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then the claim that anti-Zionism – opposition to Israel as a state privileging Jews over non-Jews – was the same as anti-semitism sounded patently ridiculous. It was an idea promoted only by the most unhinged apologists for Israel.

Now, however, we have leading liberal commentators such as the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland claiming not only that Israel is integral to their Jewish identity but that they speak for all other Jews in making such an identification. To criticise Israel is to attack them as Jews, and by implication to attack all Jews. And therefore any Jew dissenting from this consensus, any Jew identifying as anti-Zionist, any Jew in Labour who supports Corbyn – and there are many, even if they are largely ignored – are denounced, in line with Lansman, as the “wrong kind of Jews”. It may be absurd logic, but such ideas are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable.

In fact, the weaponisation of anti-semitism against Corbyn has become so normal that, even while I was writing this post, a new nadir was reached. Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary who hopes to defeat Boris Johnson in the upcoming Tory leadership race, as good as accused Corbyn of being a new Hitler, a man who as prime minister might allow Jews to be exterminated, just as occurred in the Nazi death camps.

Too ‘frail’ to be PM

Although anti-semitism has become the favoured stick with which to beat Corbyn, other forms of attack regularly surface. The latest are comments by unnamed “senior civil servants” reported in the Times alleging that Corbyn is too physically frail and mentally ill-equipped to grasp the details necessary to serve as prime minister. It barely matters whether the comment was actually made by a senior official or simply concocted by the Times. It is yet further evidence of the political and media establishments’ anti-democratic efforts to discredit Corbyn as a general election looms.

One of the ironies is that media critics of Corbyn regularly accuse him of failing to make any political capital from the shambolic disarray of the ruling Conservative party, which is eating itself alive over the terms of Brexit, Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union. But it is the corporate media – which serves both as society’s main forum of debate and as a supposed watchdog on power – that is starkly failing to hold the Tories to account. While the media obsess about Corbyn’s supposed mental deficiencies, they have smoothed the path of Boris Johnson, a man who personifies the word “buffoon” like no one else in political life, to become the new leader of the Conservative party and therefore by default – and without an election – the next prime minister.

An indication of how the relentless character assassination of Corbyn is being coordinated was hinted at early on, months after his election as Labour leader in 2015. A British military general told the Times, again anonymously, that there would be “direct action” – what he also termed a “mutiny” – by the armed forces should Corbyn ever get in sight of power. The generals, he said, regarded Corbyn as a national security threat and would use any means, “fair or foul”, to prevent him implementing his political programme.

Running the gauntlet

But this campaign of domestic attacks on Corbyn needs to be understood in a still wider framework, which relates to Britain’s abiding Transatlantic “special relationship”, one that in reality means that the UK serves as Robin to the United States’ Batman, or as a very junior partner to the global hegemon.

Last month a private conversation concerning Corbyn between the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the heads of a handful of rightwing American Jewish organisations was leaked. Contrary to the refrain of the UK corporate media that Corbyn is so absurd a figure that he could never win an election, the fear expressed on both sides of that Washington conversation was that the Labour leader might soon become Britain’s prime minister.

Framing Corbyn yet again as an anti-semite, a US Jewish leader could be heard asking Pompeo if he would be “willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the UK”. Pompeo responded that it was possible “Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected” – a telling phrase that attracted remarkably little attention, as did the story itself, given that it revealed one of the most senior Trump administration officials explicitly talking about meddling directly in the outcome of a UK election.

Here is the dictionary definition of “run the gauntlet”: to take part in a form of corporal punishment in which the party judged guilty is forced to run between two rows of soldiers, who strike out and attack him.

So Pompeo was suggesting that there already is a gauntlet – systematic and organised blows and strikes against Corbyn – that he is being made to run through. In fact, “running the gauntlet” precisely describes the experience Corbyn has faced since he was elected Labour leader – from the corporate media, from the dominant Blairite faction of his own party, from rightwing, pro-Israel Jewish organisations like the Board of Deputies, and from anonymous generals and senior civil servants.

‘We cheated, we stole’

Pompeo continued: “You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

So, Washington’s view is that action must be taken before Corbyn reaches a position of power. To avoid any danger he might become the UK’s next prime minister, the US will do its “level best” to “push back”. Assuming that this hasn’t suddenly become the US administration’s priority, how much time does the US think it has before Corbyn might win power? How close is a UK election?

As everyone in Washington is only too keenly aware, a UK election has been a distinct possiblity since the Conservatives set up a minority goverment two years ago with the help of fickle, hardline Ulster loyalists. Elections have been looming ever since, as the UK ruling party has torn itself apart over Brexit, its MPs regularly defeating their own leader, prime minister Theresa May, in parliamentary votes.

So if Pompeo is saying, as he appears to be, that the US will do whatever it can to make sure Corbyn doesn’t win an election well before that election takes place, it means the US is already deeply mired in anti-Corbyn activity. Pompeo is not only saying that the US is ready to meddle in the UK’s election, which is bad enough; he is hinting that it is already meddling in UK politics to make sure the will of the British people does not bring to power the wrong leader.

Remember that Pompeo, a former CIA director, once effectively America’s spy chief, was unusually frank about what his agency got up to when he was in charge. He observed: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses.”

One would have to be remarkably naive to think that Pompeo changed the CIA’s culture during his short tenure. He simply became the figurehead of the world’s most powerful spying outfit, one that had spent decades developing the principles of US exceptionalism, that had lied its way to recent wars in Iraq and Libya, as it had done earlier in Vietnam and in justifying the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, and much more. Black ops and psyops were not invented by Pompeo. They have long been a mainstay of US foreign policy.

An eroding consensus

It takes a determined refusal to join the dots not to see a clear pattern here.

Brand was right that the system is rigged, that our political and media elites are captured, and that the power structure of our societies will defend itself by all means possible, “fair or foul”. Corbyn is far from alone in this treatment. The system is similarly rigged to stop a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders – though not a rich businessman like Donald Trump – winning the nomination for the US presidential race. It is also rigged to silence real journalists like Julian Assange who are trying to overturn the access journalism prized by the corporate media – with its reliance on official sources and insiders for stories – to divulge the secrets of the national security states we live in.

There is a conspiracy at work here, though it is not of the kind lampooned by critics: a small cabal of the rich secretly pullng the strings of our societies. The conspiracy operates at an institutional level, one that has evolved over time to create structures and refine and entrench values that keep power and wealth in the hands of the few. In that sense we are all part of the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy that embraces us every time we unquestioningly accept the “consensual” narratives laid out for us by our education systems, politicians and media. Our minds have been occupied with myths, fears and narratives that turned us into the turkeys that keep voting for Christmas.

That system is not impregnable, however. The consensus so carefully constructed over many decades is rapidly breaking down as the power structure that underpins it is forced to grapple with real-world problems it is entirely unsuited to resolve, such as the gradual collapse of western economies premised on infinite growth and a climate that is fighting back against our insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources.

As long as we colluded in the manufactured consensus of western societies, the system operated without challenge or meaningful dissent. A deeply ideological system destroying the planet was treated as if it was natural, immutable, the summit of human progress, the end of history. Those times are over. Accidents like Corbyn will happen more frequently, as will extreme climate events and economic crises. The power structures in place to prevent such accidents will by necessity grow more ham-fisted, more belligerent, less concealed to get their way. And we might finally understand that a system designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our children’s future and our own does not have to continue. That we can raise our voices and loudly say: “No!”

Not Every Jewish Woman is Gal Gadot

June 11, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

not Gal Gadot.jpg

Deconstruction by Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA: The DC Jewish Dyke march has been immersed in controversy,  its organisers banned marchers from carrying  rainbow Star of David flags. In the following interview Jill Raney a “mildly radical Southern queer Jewish feminist”  interviews  IfNotNow DC, a community partner of DC Dyke March. I have provided commentary for the interview, deconstructing and exposing the duplicitous nature of the Jewish anti Zionist argument. This interview is a crucial window into the Jewish Identitarian discourse and it provides proof,  yet again, that not every Jew is an Einstein and as the documentation of the march reveals, not every Jewish woman is Gal Gadot.

 Jewish dykes are welcome at DC Dyke March! Nationalist symbols are not.

https://medium.com/

Q: Are Jewish dykes welcome at DC Dyke March?

 A: Absolutely!

 GA: The question is whether Goyim are also welcome at this Purim celebration.

 Q: Why does it sometimes seem as though liberation for Jews and liberation for Palestinians are at odds with each other?

 GA: The obvious answer is that the two calls have nothing in common.  Jews are liberated and Palestinians are oppressed by the Jewish state. ‘Jews’ and Palestinians have little or nothing in common politically.

 A: Because white supremacy wants to divide us! Antisemitism structurally makes intersectional organizing more difficult by making Jews feel afraid of non-Jews. Zionism and the State of Israel are important to some Jews, but the particular way that the State of Israel was founded caused catastrophic harm to Palestinians. Antisemitism and white supremacy have pitted Jews and Palestinians against each other, and we say enough!

 GA: Did  “antisemitism and white supremacy” pit Jews and Palestinians against each other? NO! It is the Jewish State that commits crimes against the Palestinians in the name of the Jewish people and with the almost universal support of world Jewry and its institutions. It is blatantly duplicitous to blame  ‘White’ goyim for Israel’s crimes, although the accusation is symptomatic of the Jewish Left call.

 Q: What is antisemitism?

 A: “Originating in European Christianity, antisemitism is the form of ideological oppression that targets Jews. In Europe and the United States it has functioned to protect the prevailing economic system and the almost exclusively Christian ruling class by diverting blame for hardship onto Jews.”

— Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), Understanding Antisemitism

 GA: When you refer to  the ‘Christian Ruling class’ who do you have in mind? Are you thinking of Goldman Sachs, or perhaps you mean George Soros or the Kushner Family, or might you mean Haim Saban, a major funder of the Democratic Party or perhaps  you are thinking of  Sheldon Adelson who takes care of both Bibi and Trump’s campaigns?  Who,  I wonder do the IfNotNow’s Dykes intend to fool by this deception?

 Q: What is Anti-Zionism?

 A: “‘Anti-Zionism’ is a loose term referring to criticism of the current policies of the Israeli state, and/or moral, ethical, or religious criticism of the idea of a Jewish nation-state. There has been debate, criticism and opposition to Zionism within Jewish thought for as long as it has existed…

 GA: This is revealing. In the good old days, anti Zionism was understood to be opposition to the ‘right’ of the Jewish State to form a Jewish homeland at the expense of others. But as a result of the domination by Jewish groups of the anti Zionist discourse anti Zionism has been diminished into just  “criticism of the current policies of the Israeli state.”  Here, we are treated to an exposition of the controlled opposition apparatus.

 There are also many non-Jewish anti-Zionists whose perspectives may be informed by moral criticism of the policies of the Israeli government, problems with the impact of Zionist thinking in Israel on non-Jewish residents, and/or a criticism of ethno-nationalism more broadly.”

— Jewish Voice for Peace, “Our Approach to Zionism.”

 Q: What is the difference between antisemitism and Anti-Zionism?

 A: Antisemitism is hatred of Jews for being Jews, also known as bigotry.

Anti-Zionism is criticism of the actions and policies of the State of Israel and/or criticism of the idea of a Jewish nation-state.

 GA: Once again, under her definition, Anti Zionism is not the rejection of the Zionist agenda i.e., the erection of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It is merely criticism of Israel’s policies.

 Q: What is IfNotNow’s position on Zionism?

 A: A principle of our movement is: “We focus on what unites rather than what divides us…We do not take a unified stance on BDS, Zionism or the question of statehood. We work together to end American Jewish support for the occupation.”

 GA: IfNotNow could not be clearer, it is not even anti Zionist. It only opposes the occupation. In other words, it supports the existence of the Jewish State, and criticises only some of it policies.

 Zionism in practice causes many harms, but Zionism as a conceptual movement for Jewish liberation, and Israel as a place where Jewish people live and visit, are dear to many Jews. Most mainstream Jewish institutions assume all Jews must be Zionist and even hide from young Jews the reality of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians, so many Jewish dykes are unfamiliar with the harms Zionism has caused to Palestinians. We can take seriously the harms Zionism causes to Palestinians and to some Jews, and also welcome Jewish dykes who hold a variety of perspectives on Israel and Zionism.

 GA: This is consistent with the Likud Party’s philosophy. Making plain that IfNotNow is a left field Jewish Hasbara project. We do not need Jewish “progressives” to advise us that “Zionism as a conceptual movement for Jewish liberation, and Israel as a place where Jewish people live and visit, are dear to many Jews.” This is what the ADL are there for .

 Q: I want to show that I’m a proud Jewish dyke! Are there things I should think about?

 A: Jewish dykes deserve to be proud of their Jewishness at DC Dyke March. Certain symbols of Jewishness have been co-opted by the pinkwashing movement, an effort to conceal Israel’s harms against Palestinians. Palestinian dykes deserve to be proud of their Palestinian-ness at DC Dyke March too, and we believe that Jewish and Palestinian dykes can celebrate shared liberation at DC Dyke March. Is it frustrating that Jews are uniquely expected to consider another marginalized group’s needs before showing our own pride? Absolutely! It is very frustrating that Israel violates Palestinians’ human rights in the name of Jews around the world.

 GA: Just out of  interest, is the notion of ‘Dyke’ a form of sexually orientated stance on human rights or is it a well informed position on global politics?  Would the DC Jewish Dyke organisers who are defined sexually (as queers)  and racially (as Jews)  welcome Aryan Dykes to their kosher protest? If not, why not?  

 Q: What happened at Chicago Dyke March in 2017 and why were people upset about it?

A: A few Jewish dykes who were associated with A Wider Bridge, an Israel lobbying organization that engages in pinkwashing, brought a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the middle of it, which looks a lot like an Israeli flag, a Zionist symbol. These dykes purposefully disrupted the march and harassed attendees during the rally. Organizers of the march, including other Jewish dykes, asked them to stop their disruptive, harassing behavior and to put the flag away. They told press that they felt as though they could not be openly Jewish at Chicago Dyke March. This caused many Jewish dykes who heard about the event to worry that they would be unwelcome or asked to hide their Jewishness in dyke spaces. The dykes associated with A Wider Bridge took advantage of common public misunderstanding of the difference between being proudly Jewish, and carrying a flag that represented Zionism. This can be confusing because the Jewish star has been co-opted by Zionism and the State of Israel.

GA: What entitles these Jewish Dykes to decide for other Jewish (Zionist) Lesbians how  to identify and what symbols represent them? Their statements here provide a window into the tyrannical and vile nature of the Jewish Identitarian discourse.

 Q: What is pinkwashing?

 A: Pinkwashing is the practice of a country or corporation presenting itself as queer-friendly and progressive in order to downplay their negative behavior. The State of Israel practices pinkwashing by promoting itself as a safe haven for queer and trans people. This distracts attention from Israel’s denial of Palestinian human rights, erases queer and trans Palestinians and some queer and trans Jews who don’t have a safe haven in Israel, and promotes the Islamophobic and anti-Arab racist narrative that Palestinian queers must be saved from Arab and Muslim society.

 GA: Is this true? Do we really turn a blind eye to Israel’s criminality simply because it pretends to be gay friendly? Do we fail to see that Israel locks Palestinians in open air prisons because Israel pretends to be LGBTQ paradise? Sorry to deliver the news. The Anti Israeli Pinkwash campaign is a classic controlled opposition apparatus. It is there to rehabilitate the moral validity of the Jewish Identitarian Left and it does so at the expense of the Palestinians. It diverts the struggle from the essential Palestinian cause of the right of return to irrelevant Jew-related issues to do with queer politics. 

 Q: Why is IfNotNow cosponsoring DC Dyke March?

 A: One of IfNotNow’s principles as a movement is We show up for others. We stand with other movements, such as those working for racial, economic, and gender justice. We are building a world in which American Jews use our unique position to fight for the liberation of all people.” We are also here to show up for ourselves: there are a lot of Jewish dykes who are members of IfNotNow DC, and our work for queer and trans liberation and for Jewish liberation are deeply connected.

 GA: Since when do people who care for ‘all people’ dictate to others how they may or may not identify and what symbols to avoid? IfNotNow ought to be honest and admit that they really care for the Jews who think as they do. We are dealing here with an Orwellian synagogue. 

 Q: Can we talk more about the rainbow flag with the Star of David in the middle? What’s wrong with bringing that flag to DC Dyke March, and what are my other options?

 A: The flag that caused so much consternation back in 2017 was a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the middle that used the same proportions and line art as the Star of David in the middle of the Israeli flag. It was very specifically an Israeli flag and a rainbow flag merged together, a specifically Zionist symbol, not a neutral symbol of Jewish pride. DC Dyke March is a liberatory space for all dykes, and that includes liberation from violence, from cops, from militarism, and from nationalism. “We are asking people to not bring nationalist symbols because violent nationalism does not fit with our vision of queer liberation,” says a recent piece from DC Dyke March organizers.

 So DC Dyke March welcomes Jewish dykes and does not welcome nationalist symbols. What symbols of Jewish dyke pride are available to us? Paint a rainbow Star of David on your face! Scrawl the words YIDDISHKEIT DYKES across a rainbow flag, or a lesbian pride flag, a bi pride flag, an ace pride flag, a trans pride flag!

 Or if Yiddishkeit isn’t your thing, take your pride flag of choice and put a big menorah on it, or a Hamsa or a chai or a pomegranate, or a cool dinosaur wearing Star of David sunglasses and eating a bagel!

Wear a yarmulke, your rainbow tallis, maybe booty shorts that say Jewish Dyke across the ass! There are so many options! Go wild! See you there!

 GA: The Jewish Dykes certainly provide a list of kosher symbols. I could add a few: what about putting matzo balls in your bikini? Or gefilte fish in the bra? Maybe noodles dripping from armpits? I better stop now before I get too exited.  

Belfast councillors vote against sending rep on Israel trade trip — — Rebel Voice

Belfast councillors have voted against sending a representative on a business and investment mission to Israel, reported the Belfast Telegraph.According to the report, councillors rejected a plan to send the council’s Director of Economic Development on the trip with local businesses during a meeting on Wednesday.The purported aim of the visit was to “facilitate access… via […]

via Belfast councillors vote against sending rep on Israel trade trip — — Rebel Voice

Jazz Clubs are being terrorized by Labour Politicians – enough is enough!

March 26, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

labour terror.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

I read in the news that the Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism, but I can confirm that Labour politicians all over Britain are actually working 24/7, mounting pressure on Jazz clubs and venues that host my performances in a desperate attempt to appease one foreign Lobby.

In December it was Islington Council leader Richard Watts  (Labour) who acquiesced to a Likud UK’s director and banned me from playing a Christmas concert with the legendary Blockheads.  I will reiterate: a Labour politician surrendered to the ridiculous demands of a Zionist lobby actor who happens to be associated with a regime that is notorious for being racist and some say, crypto-fascist. Islington Council spent £136, 000 on legal fees attempting to justify its insane act. But as it seems, insanity is contagious within the current party environment. However, the Blockheads concert was a great success and apparently one Santa Claus managed to emulate my style perfectly well. Everyone was happy, except the local Labour Council.

In the new year, Councillor Rachel Eden (Labour), a dedicated friend of Israel, was desperate to cancel my concert at Reading Jazz club. She has failed twice now.  but this won’t deter her from trying once again as soon as I cross her region. The Reading concert, again, was a great success.

Two weeks ago, Hackney Council (Labour) was determined to cancel my gig at the Vortex.  It was joined by Momentum and Jewdas and even Owen Jones. Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville (Labour) sent a slanderous email to the club. But to his surprise, the club insisted that they have known me for 30 years, and the allegations against me are a pile of nonsense. But our Labour politicians didn’t give up.  Hackney Council sent the police to the venue and threatened to withdraw the club’s music license. But the Club didn’t surrender. In the next few weeks I will file a few Freedom of Information requests with Hackney Council and its Mayor. I will ask them to substantiate their claims against me. We will then follow up and see how much taxpayer money Labour politicians in Hackney were happy to spend to justify their dark actions.  Meanwhile I am happy to report that the Vortex gigs were totally sold out and were a great success.

On Friday I was supposed to perform at Southsea club Coastguard Studio. The concert sold out five weeks ago. But once again a bunch of Zionists, together with their Labour stooges, assaulted the club in the last few days. I spoke with Club’s owner yesterday and learned from him that his business was threatened by the council. Once again it is the license which our Labour politicians are threatening to revoke. Apparently the club was contacted by the ‘local MP.’ It didn’t take me too long to figure out that  Stephen Morgan MP is listed on the Labour Friends of Israel.

One may wonder why Corbyn’s Labour is stupid enough to operate as an Israeli stooge in such a battle against elementary freedom, in a continuous campaign which contradicts every British value. One answer is that our Labour politicians are lacking where it really matters. They are both senseless and compromised. Another answer is that someone in the Labour party may be foolish enough to believe that making me into their scapegoat will help to vindicate their party and its leader over anti-Semitism accusations.

Needless to say, I am in a win-win situation. Most times I just manage to survive these ludicrous campaigns but when I fail to do so it only exposes the Labour party and its true nature. Sooner or later, Brits will have to decide whether they can allow such a crude, dictatorial and corrupted party into government. I guess that I have made my decision by now.


Call For Action 

Don’t vote Labour, vote Vortex: I urge you to log in to All About Jazz https://www.allaboutjazz.com/ and give your vote to the Vortex who stood firmly against Labour hooliganism (and also support other British jazz clubs: 606, Ronnies, Pizza Express, The Bear Inn and many others).

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Israel Migrates to the Right

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Israel’s Tragic But Predictable “Migration” to the Right—An Analysis (22 March 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

 

Part I—Israel’s Movement Right

An article published in the Israeli news blog +972 on 19 November 2018posed the question: Why does the right keep winning elections in Israel? The answer offered was “because Israelis are right wing.” Simple enough, and apparently, quite true. The article estimates that over half of Israeli Jews think of themselves as “right wing.” Self-defined centrists are about 25 percent, and those Israeli Jews who still cling to “leftist” ideals are now only about 15 percent of the population. The remainder are non-committal.

This movement to the right is often blamed on the Palestinians, but that is largely an evasion. As the story goes, it was the Second Intifada (occurring from late 2000 to early 2005) that so scared a majority of Israeli Jews that it “led to a migration of left-wingers to the … political center… [and] centrists [to the] right, causing the percentage of Jewish right-wingers to drift upward over the decade.” While the “migration to the right” has certainly taken place, it is better understood as follows: under Palestinian pressure for democratic reforms and justice, along with corresponding resistance to oppression, Israeli Jews who could not face the prospect of real democracy had nowhere politically to go than to the right—what should properly be described as the racist right. And, so they went. From this point on there was no more obfuscation—Israeli “security” is now clearly a stand-in phrase for the maintenance of Israeli Jewish domination over non-Jews.

Part II—Enter the Fascists

The present shifting about on Israel’s political landscape prior to its April 2019 elections confirms this basically rightwing racist scene. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed that Israel is “the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.” A minority of Israeli Jews might denounce such racism, but Israel’s recently adopted nationality law states that the right of national self-determination in Israel is “unique to the Jewish people.” And

whether the “left” acknowledges the fact or not, this law is in perfect sync with Zionist ideology.

It should be noted that the prime minister’s personal preference is not for “the Jewish people” as a whole. Indeed, in his eyes, if you are an anti-Zionist Jew you are an anti-Semitic Jew—whatever that might mean. The prime minister is more comfortable with Jews of the fascist, racist right, with whom he has so much in common. This is the kind of Jew he has politically allied with. What in the world is a fascist Jew? Well, in this case, it is someone who uses violent methods to  realize the logical consequences of Zionism—if Israel is a “Jewish state,” then non-Jews must go. How they ultimately go has been left an open-ended question, though Israel is engaged in a continuous effort to destroy Palestinian infrastructure. Fascist Jews advocate expulsion of all Palestinians and sometimes engage in direct violence—akin to classic pogroms—in an effort to fulfill this goal.

You might shake your head in wonderment at the notion of Jewish fascists, but they have always been an important element in Zionist history. You can trace their activity from Vladimir Jabotinsky and his notion of an “iron wall” (1923) that would force the Palestinians to acquiesce in Zionist domination, right up to Meir Kahane, an advocate of expulsion, and his Kach Party (1971-1990). It is Kahane’s followers who now are political partners of Netanyahu. The “migration” of Israeli Jews to the right has narrowed the gap between the majority of “ordinary” citizens and the fascists. So, back into favor come the Kahanists.

Part III—What Is an Israeli Centrist?

Nor should we look for anti-racist activism among the 25 percent who see themselves as centrists. Presently, those who seek to capture the centrist vote are Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. Gantz is former chief-of-staff and a man who is being sued for war crimes. He is leader of the Israeli Resilience Party (Hosen Israel). That party has allied with Yair Lapid, a former TV celebrity, and his There is a future Party (Yesh Atid).

Both of these politicians call themselves “new centrists” and concentrate their platforms on “socio-economic issues such as the cost of living.” However, when it comes to the Palestinians, neither of them are interested in a democratic Israel that would afford non-Jews equal rights—nothing particularly “new” here for “centrists.” Gantz is the classic military maven so prevalent in Israeli politics. Here is his view of where “resilience” should take Israel relative to the Palestinians: “The Jordan Valley will remain our eastern security border,” Gantz declared. “We will maintain security in the entire Land of Israel … we will not allow the millions of Palestinians living beyond the separation fence to endanger our security and our identity as a Jewish state.” For someone who is campaigning on the theme that, under its present government, “Israel has lost its way,” Gantz’s intentions in this regard are remarkably similar to those of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yair Lapid’s position on the Palestinians is little different from that of Gantz. He says that “we need to separate from the Palestinians,” as if Israeli Jews haven’t been doing just that for the past 71 years. He goes on to demand that all issues of security have to “stay in Israel’s hands,” there is no such thing as a “right of return,” and Jerusalem will not be divided into two capitals.

On the Palestinian issue—the one that now divides Israel from increasing numbers of citizens in the democratic world—there is little difference between the Israeli rightists and the centrists except that the latter do not publicly talk about the forceful expulsion.

Part IV—Conclusion

That approximately 85 percent of Israeli Jews should end up unwilling to grant equal rights to the 20 percent of Palestinians who are their segregated neighbors; that they should support, or at best not act against the relentless, vicious process of illegal settlement in the Occupied Territories; and finally that they should react to Palestinian resistance to Zionist oppression by “migrating” to the right, is both tragic and predictable.

It must be realized that any country that allows racism to rule its public sphere cannot pass itself off as a democracy. It is simply a contradiction. The Zionist experiment looking toward a democratic Jewish state might have gone differently if it had been tried somewhere devoid of a non-Jewish population (like the moon), but then, in the end, the Zionists became obsessed with Palestine, fell in with the colonial mentality still prevalent during the first half of the twentieth  century, and have never progressed beyond it.

To this point, I beg the reader’s patience as I repeat an argument I have made more than once in past analyses: It is impossible to create a state exclusively for one people (call them people A) in a territory already populated by another people (call them people B) without the eventual adoption of racist policies by A and eventual resistance on the part of B. Under such circumstances, for A, there can be no real security, nor can there be anything like a healthy national culture.

Indeed, unless a majority of Israeli Jews are willing to go the route of South Africa and renounce their program of discriminatory dominion over millions of non-Jews, they have nowhere else to go but head-first into the hell that is the racist right. With 85 percent sharing, or at least acquiescing, in the views of Netanyahu, Gantz, and Lapid, the chances for redemption do not look good. In fact, it is probably the case that the “light unto the nations” has long since gone out.

About Lawrence DavidsonImage result for Lawrence Davidson

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

Talking About Israel

By Philip Giraldi
Source

Ilahn Omar Carlos Latuff c6e3e

recent article by Andrew Sullivan in the New York magazine considers how one might discuss the issue of Israel and its powerful domestic lobby without being accused of anti-Semitism. Sullivan is a keen observer of the dynamics of American political power and the article pretty clearly lays out why the relationship with Israel is poison for the United States, but he cautions that words matter and one has to be careful about the packaging surrounding any critique of the Israel Lobby and its American Jewish supporters.

Sullivan begins with:

“Let’s get this out of the way first: Using the phrases ‘all about the Benjamins’ and ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ when referring to the Israel lobby in D.C., as freshman Democratic representative Ilhan Omar recently did, is anti-Semitic. It should be possible to criticize Washington’s relationship with Israel without deploying crude and freighted language like this.”

And that is precisely where some critics of the Israel-America relationship might have a problem with observers like Sullivan as what for him passes as “crude and freighted” is for others frankness. Okay, “all about the Benjamins” is slang and the implication is that Jewish money is what has corrupted American politics and the media to stifle any honest discussion on Israel-Palestine and to skew U.S. government activity in the Middle East so that it favors what Israel perceives to be its own interests. This process operates right out in the open with Israel-firster Jewish billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban respectively serving as principal donors for the Republican and Democratic parties.

Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson b6f0f

This flood of Jewish money into foreign policy generation has done incalculable damage to the actual interests of the United States as Sullivan, to his credit, makes clear in his article. The point is that politics in America is all about money and Ilhan Omar was quite right to make that connection. Most congress-critters do not love Israel because they honestly like the hordes of lobbyists that it is able to send their way. In fact, many of them privately complain about the pressure, but they do love the campaign donations and the lucrative sinecure jobs in the financial services industry that come with their retirements. And they also know that if they cross Israeli interests while in office they will soon be unemployed.

And as for the “allegiance to a foreign country,” how else does one describe doing everything possible to favor a foreign state at the expense of the nation where one lives? Sullivan himself provides ample evidence in his article that the one-way relationship with Israel inflicts major damage on the United States and that the enabling of that process comes from a disciplined and well-funded lobbying effort that operates at all levels of government and also through the media. Is that not allegiance to a foreign country?

After expressing the “thou shalt nots” regarding Israel, Andrew Sullivan pulls no punches in his article, which should be read in extenso. He writes “The basic facts are not really in dispute. A very powerful lobby deploys the money and passions of its members to ensure that a foreign country gets very, very special treatment from the U.S.” and then goes on to detail exactly how Israel is a major liability to America. He discusses the $3.8 billion it receives annually in spite of the fact that is a wealthy country, its failure to support U.S. foreign policy objectives, its unwillingness to curtail a brutal occupation of the West Bank, its humiliation of President Obama because he entered into an agreement with Iran, and its nearly complete subjugation of Congress, congressional leaders and the White House.

Sullivan fails to mention how Israel also spies on the United States, steals U.S. developed technology and benefits hugely from beneficial trade agreements that kill American jobs. And there are also the “suspected but not proven” issues like Israel’s role in 9/11, its apparent manipulation of Jewish American officials in the Pentagon to start the disastrous 2003 war with Iraq, and its current clandestine agitation for Washington to attack Iran. Jewish billionaires also are the prime sources of “charitable” contributions that feed the illegal settlement outposts on the West Bank populated largely by fundamentalist Jews whose prime mission is to make the lives of their Palestinian neighbors so miserable that they will emigrate. That is sometimes referred to as ethnic cleansing. Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and David Friedman, the key components of the Trump Administration Middle East “peace” team, are all passionate about Israel and have all supported the illegal settlements. Friedman, in particular, has sought to eliminate the word “occupation” from official U.S. government descriptions of the Israeli activity in Palestinian areas.

Andrew Sullivan 1c6fc

And then there is the Israeli predilection to use unarmed Palestinian demonstrators for target practice and to bomb schools and vital infrastructure in Gaza, which once upon a time most Americans would have considered war crimes or crimes against humanity. Sullivan does mention how Congress is willing to pass legislation to restrict freedom of speech if such speech involves criticism of Israel, noting that the very first bill to come up in the Senate after the recent shutdown was supporting the punishment of those who advocate nonviolent boycotting of Israel. He might have added how Israel’s friends at state and local levels are pushing to rewrite world history texts to eliminate any references to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. And holocaust study is becoming mandatory in many U.S. school systems without any suggestion that the standard narrative might be in large part bogus. And then there are the holocaust museums springing up like mushrooms at the taxpayers’ expense. Is it all driven by money and enabled by the power that money buys to propagandize for Israel? And is it maybe just a bit of allegiance to a foreign country? Yes indeed, thank you, Ilhan Omar, for saying so.

All of this warm and fuzzy feeling about Israel did not happen by magic. By one estimate there are 600 Christian and Jewish organizations in the United States that have at least part of their agendas the promotion of the relationship with Israel. Christian Zionists are formidable in numbers but the money, as well as the political and media access that drive the so-called Israel Lobby process, is Jewish. The directors and presidents of those organizations meet regularly and discuss what they can do to help Israel. How does one describe such collusion? Some might prefer to call it a conspiracy.

So how should one view the dystopic nature of the relationship with Israel? No one has ever described it better than America’s first president George Washington. In his Farewell Address he wrote:

“The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest…So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.”

Andrew Sullivan concludes with some optimism and also a warning, which should be heeded: “Can our current controversy lead to a less inhibited debate? I sure hope so. Will that actually happen? All I can say is that AIPAC will wield all the power it can muster to prevent it.” It is, to be sure, AIPAC versus all decent Americans and one has to hope that this time the voice of the people will be heard in defense of the actual interests of the United States of America rather than those of Israel.

Is Macron a puppet and, if yes, whose puppet is he?

Check out this video of Macron at the biggest Zionist event of the year in France, the infamous “CRIF dinner”.  If you don’t now what the CRIF is, do not bother with the Wikipedia article – it’s all sanitized – but think of the French CRIF like (AIPAC+JINSA+ADL+B’nai B’rith)2: all the power of the Israel Lobby in the USA, but squared (yeah, I know, hard to imagine, but true).

Now check out this video: (FYI – the guy holding Macron’s wrist is the CRIF’s President)

Macron: No one can Blacklist A Lebanese Party Represented in the Government

By Staff

French President Emmanuel Macron said that his country has relations with “the political wing of Hezbollah represented in the Lebanese government.”

Macron further added that “no country can put a Lebanese party representing the government on the list of terrorism.”

In a joint press conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Macron expressed his happiness that “the US decided to keep US troops in Syria.”

“France continues its efforts to find solutions to the Syrian crisis,” he concluded.

Getting Rid of Omar: Neoconservatives Dig Deep to Remove a Critic of Israel

By Philip M. Giraldi
Source

Ilhan Omar Israel Lobby 3a5f7

It has been observed that the neoconservatives are a lot like the legendary bird the Phoenix, which burns to death and then, miraculously, rises from the ashes in new plumage. The neocons first rose to prominence under President Ronald Reagan, when they took over key offices in the Pentagon. They were subsequently somewhat ostracized under George H.W. Bush who did not like them, but they got their revenge by joining in the chorus that brought the incumbent elder Bush down and replaced him with Bill Clinton, who, in fact, pursued an interventionist foreign policy much more to their taste. Again dominant in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush, the neocons went into exile under President Barack Obama, though they were at the same time infiltrating the foreign policy establishment of the Democratic Party. This transformation produced Hillary the Hawk and the Democrats have now become the party of war just as enthusiastically as the Republicans, with both favoring what might be described as a neocon foreign policy.

The emergence of Donald Trump was a shock to the neocon ascendancy. Most neoconservatives condemned his candidacy because of his critique of useless Middle Eastern wars and his stated intention to mend relations with Russia. While some neocons have crept back into the White House, most notably John Bolton and Elliot Abrams, some have continued to rail against Trump. Under the banner of the “Never Trump Resistance” neocon leaders like Bill Kristol have continued the struggle to replace Trump with a more to their taste Mitt Romney or Lindsay Graham, leaders who are fully prepared to crush the Mullahs in Iran and to wage perpetual war against Godless communism.

Kristol nevertheless paid a personal price for his obstinacy. The neocon flagship publication The Weekly Standard, long Kristol’s mouthpiece, ceased publication in December, partly over to its waning popularity due to its hostile attitude towards Trump. But in today’s America, mendacity is nearly always rewarded and, in early January, a new webzine publication headed by Kristol emergedunder the banner of The Bulwark, which was at least somewhat intended to take the place of the oldWeekly Standard. The publication’s launch promoted the enterprise as the center of the “Never Trump Resistance.”

Given that pedigree, one might well have expected a barrage of articles condemning Donald Trump and all his works, which, indeed, are part of its still miniscule archive, but the first article on The Bulwark that has popped up somewhat into the mainstream is, predictably, all about Israel. It is entitled “How the Democrats Can Get Rid of Ilhan Omar: It’s going to take a primary opponent, but not just any primary opponent.”

Yes, the freshman congresswoman from Minnesota who dared to suggest that Jewish money just might be influencing congressional subservience to the state of Israel has now been elevated to public enemy number one in the eyes of the neoconservatives. “Never Trump” has been replaced by “Get Rid of Omar.” The Bulwark article refers to Ilhan Omar’s thinly veiled anti-Semitism and observes how she had resisted being properly schooled in the Israeli viewpoint on what is occurring in the Middle East so as to avoid inappropriate references to the Jewish state and its legion of diaspora supporters.

Ilhan Omar’s education in the realities of Jewish power has apparently been ongoing for the past year, since before she was elected to Congress. Minnesota media reports describe how “fellow Minnesotan U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Jew representing a neighboring district, engaged her in a type of educational discussion following what he called an “impassioned face-to-face conversation with Omar.” And last year, leaders of the Minneapolis Jewish community came together for what might be described as an “anti-Semitic intervention of Omar.” It was organized by state Senator Ron Latz, who invited Omar to his house, where a number of Jewish leaders had gathered. “We wanted to reach out to her. We were a bit troubled about several things she had said.” Among their concerns was a 2012 tweet in which Omar wrote: “Israel has hypnotized the world…” Subsequently, Latz would not describe in any detail what was discussed but he personally commented that the problem wasn’t in the policy dispute over Israel, but the “diction and tone.”

It should be noted that Omar has spoken and tweeted about Israel but has never denigrated American Jews either as a religion or ethnicity. Nevertheless, at the same time, it is clear that some American Jews have determined that nearly any criticism of Israel equals criticism of Jews which is equal to anti-Semitism, so one has to wonder about the standard that is being applied to the congresswoman even given Latz’s denial that it is a question of foreign policy.

The Bulwark article, which pointedly seeks to get rid of the freshman congresswoman for her anti-Israeli views, goes on to lament that “Omar’s district is solidly Democratic. No Republican will ever win it. So is America just stuck with a prominent, very vocal, publicity-seeking anti-Semite in Congress for an indefinite period? Is there anything Omar’s critics can do? They need to beat her in a primary. But that must be done carefully… with the right primary opponent, she could be vulnerable in 2020.”

The Bulwark advises that beating Omar requires a perfect candidate and they have just such a person in mind: Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins. Jenkins is a progressive dream candidate. She is the first transgender African-American woman elected to office in America. Enabling a generously funded and media-friendly campaign are child’s play for the Israel Lobby and the article notes that it would be impossible for Omar to depict herself as the victim of anti-Muslim bigotry in a race against Jenkins.

The Bulwark’s website features the subheading “Conservatism conserved.” Its article concludes that “Omar and her boosters had better hope that she stops alienating so many people so fast that her opponents could recruit, run, and vote for literally a tree trunk to replace her…” but the interesting point of the story is that while Bill Kristol and company paint themselves as principled America-first conservatives, they are anything but. They are prepared to do what it takes to get rid of a virtually powerless freshman congresswoman who suggested in a tweet that money fuels the congressional bias in favor of Israel, the protection of which is, of course, ever the neocons’ first priority. It is particularly ironic that Omar’s comment is something that everyone in politics and the media knows to be true about Jewish power in America but is afraid to talk about because of the intimidation coming from people like Kristol. And Kristol and his friends are proposing to get rid of the relatively minor nuisance represented by Omar by running a black transgender “woman” against her to undercut her support on the political left. Politics make for strange bedfellows, but perhaps it is time for the neoconservatives to cut the conservative part out of their own defining label while also removing it from top of the website of The Bulwark.

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