Ramzy Baroud on Pompeo’s Designation of BDS as ‘Antisemitic’

Source

November 20, 2020

Ramzy Baroud speaks about Pompeo’s visit to illegal Jewish settlements. (Photo: Video Grab)

The United States Secretary of State has made an unprecedented visit to an Israeli settlement in the illegally occupied West Bank and the disputed Golan Heights – the first chief diplomat from the U.S to do so.

Mike Pompeo visited The Psagot Winery – part of a network of settlements in the West Bank – which are considered illegal under international law.

Well, how significant is this trip? More so, that it comes hot on the heels of the projected victory of President-Elect Joe Biden, a past critic of illegal settlements.

To look into this, we spoke to Skype Dr. Ramzy Baroud, a US-Palestinian journalist, and Editor of the Palestine Chronicle.

Related News

Israel’s Power Is Unlimited

Source

PHILIP GIRALDI • NOVEMBER 17, 2020 

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

Democrats and Republicans bow to force majeure

Even though there was virtually no debate on foreign policy during the recent presidential campaign, there has been considerable discussion of what President Joe Biden’s national security team might look like. The general consensus is that the top levels of the government will be largely drawn from officials who previously served in the Obama administration and who are likely to be hawkish.

There has also been, inevitably, some discussion of how the new administration, if it is confirmed, will deal with Israel and the Middle East in general.

Israelis would have preferred a victory by Donald Trump as they clearly understand that he was and still is willing to defer to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on nearly all issues. Indeed, that process is ongoing even though Trump might only have about nine more weeks remaining in office. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reportedly preparing to sanction several international human rights organizations as anti-Semitic due to the fact that they criticize Israel’s brutality on the West Bank and its illegal settlement policies. The White House is also prepared to free convicted but paroled Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from travel restrictions so he can move to Israel, where he is regarded as a hero. Pollard was the most damaging spy in U.S. history and any mitigation of his sentence has been opposed by both the Pentagon, where he worked, and also by the intelligence community.

Finally, it is widely believed that before the end of the year Trump will declare that the United States accepts the legitimacy of Israeli intentions to declare annexation of nearly all the Palestinian West Bank. The White House will actually encourage such an initiative reportedly “to sow hostility between Israel and the Biden administration.” One should note that none of the pro-Israeli measures that are likely to come out of the White House enhance U.S. security in any way and they also do nothing particularly to benefit Trump’s campaign to be re-elected through legal challenges.

If Biden does succeed in becoming president, the special place that Israel occupies in the centers of American power are unlikely to be disturbed, which is why Netanyahu was quick off the mark in congratulating the possible new chief executive. Biden has proudly declared himself to be a “Zionist” and his running mate Kamala Harris has been a featured speaker at the annual gatherings of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington. Both are strongly supportive of the “special relationship” with the Israel and will make no effort to compromise America’s apparent commitment to protect and nourish the Jewish state.

Though Israel is central to how the United States conducts its foreign policy, the country was invisible in the debates and other discussions that took place among candidates during the recent campaign. American voters were therefore given the choice of one government that panders to Israel at the expense of U.S. security or another party that does exactly the same thing. To be sure, Biden did state that he would work to reinstate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) relating to Iran’s nuclear program, which was canceled by Trump. But he also indicated that it would require some amendment, meaning that the Iranians would have to include their missile program in the monitoring while also abandoning their alleged propensity to “interfere” in the Middle East region. The Iranian government has already indicated that additional conditions are unacceptable, so the deal is dead in the water. Israel has also privately and publicly objected to any new arrangement and has already declared that it would “save the option” of working through the Republican Senate to thwart any attempts by the Biden Administration to change things.

That Israel would blatantly and openly interfere in the deliberations of Congress raises some serious questions which the mainstream media predictably is not addressing. Jewish power in America is for real and it is something that some Jews are not shy about discussing among themselves. Jewish power is unique in terms of how it functions. If you’re an American (or British) politician, you very quickly are made to appreciate that Israel owns you and nearly all of your colleagues. Indeed, the process begins in the U.S. even before your election when the little man from AIPAC shows up with the check list that he wants you to sign off on. If you behave per instructions your career path will be smooth, and you will benefit from your understanding that everything happening inn Washington that is remotely connected to the interests of the state of Israel is to be determined by the Jewish state alone, not by the U.S. Congress or White House.

And, here is the tricky part, even while you are energetically kowtowing to Netanyahu, you must strenuously deny that there is Jewish power at work if anyone ever asks you about it. You behave in that fashion because you know that your pleasant life will be destroyed, painfully, if you fail to deny the existence of an Israel Lobby or the Jewish power that supports it.

It is a bold assertion, but there is plenty of evidence to support how that power is exerted and what the consequences are. Senators William Fulbright and Chuck Percy and Congressmen Paul Findlay, Pete McCloskey and Cynthia McKinney have all experienced the wrath of the Lobby and voted out of office. Currently Reverend Raphael Warnock, who is running against Georgia Loeffler for a senate seat in Georgia demonstrates exactly how candidates are convinced to stand on their heads by the Israel Lobby. Warnock was a strong supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of Israeli brutality. He said as recently as 2018 that the Israelis were shooting civilians and condemned the military occupation and settlement construction on the Palestinian West Bank, which he compared to apartheid South Africa. Now that he is running for the Senate, he is saying that he is opposed to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement due to what he calls the movement’s “anti-Semitic overtones.” He also supports continued military assistance for Israel and believes that Iran is in pursuit of a nuclear weapon, both of which are critical issues being promoted by the Zionist lobby.

There is some pushback in Washington to Israeli dominance, but not much. Recent senior Pentagon appointee Colonel Douglas Macgregor famously has pointed out that many American politicians get “very, very rich” through their support of Israel even though it means the United States being dragged into new wars. Just how Israel gains control of the U.S. political process is illustrated by the devastating insider tale of how the Obama Administration’s feeble attempts to do the right thing in the Middle East were derailed by American Jews in Congress, the media, party donors and from inside the White House itself. The story is of particularly interest as the Biden Administration will no doubt suffer the same fate if it seeks to reject or challenge Israel’s ability to manipulate and virtually control key aspects of U.S. foreign policy.

The account of Barack Obama’s struggle with Israel and the Israeli Lobby comes from a recently published memoir written by a former foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes. It is entitled The World As It Is, and it is extremely candid about how Jewish power was able to limit the foreign policy options of a popular sitting president. Rhodes recounts, for example, how Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel once nicknamed him “Hamas” after he dared to speak up for Palestinian human rights, angrily shouting at him “Hamas over here is going to make it impossible for my kid to have his fucking bar mitzvah in Israel.”

Rhodes cites numerous instances where Obama was forced to back down when confronted by Israel and its supporters in the U.S. as well as within the Democratic Party. On several occasions, Netanyahu lecture the U.S. president as if he were an errant schoolboy. And Obama just had to take it. Rhodes sums up the situation as follows: “In Washington, where support for Israel is an imperative for members of Congress, there was a natural deference to the views of the Israeli government on issues related to Iran, and Netanyahu was unfailingly confrontational, casting himself as an Israeli Churchill…. AIPAC and other organizations exist to make sure that the views of the Israeli government are effectively disseminated and opposing views discredited in Washington, and this dynamic was a permanent part of the landscape of the Obama presidency.”

And, returning to the persistent denial of Jewish power even existing when it is running full speed and relentlessly, Rhodes notes the essential dishonesty of the Israel Lobby as it operates in Washington: “Even to acknowledge the fact that AIPAC was spending tens of millions to defeat the Iran deal [JCPOA] was anti-Semitic. To observe that the same people who supported the war in Iraq also opposed the Iran deal was similarly off limits. It was an offensive way for people to avoid accountability for their own positions.”

Many Americans long to live in a country that is at peace with the world and respectful of the sovereignty of foreign nations. Alas, as long as Israeli interests driven by overwhelming Jewish power in the United States continue to corrupt our institutions that just will not be possible. It is time for all Americans, including Jews, to accept that Israel is a foreign country that must make its own decisions and thereby suffer the consequences. The United States does not exist to bail Israel out or to provide cover for its bad behavior. The so-called “special relationship” must end and the U.S. must deal with the Israelis as they would with any other country based on America’s own self-interests. Those interests definitely do not include funding the Israeli war machine, assassinating foreign leaders, or attacking a non-threatening Iran while continuing an illegal occupation of Syria.

BDS: US to label Israel boycott movement as ‘antisemitic’

ٍSource

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes announcement as he prepares to visit illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank

The United States will label the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians, as antisemitic, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday.

Calling the movement “a cancer”, Pompeo said the US “will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as antisemitic… We want to stand with all other nations that recognise the BDS movement for the cancer that it is.”

Pompeo made his comments in a joint appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he prepared to visit an illegal Israeli settlement in a controversial breach of diplomatic protocol.

The outgoing secretary of state also said he will defy convention and visit the occupied Golan Heights.

The Golan Heights is Syrian territory that has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war, but was unilaterally recognised as Israeli by the US last year.

Pompeo’s announcements come as four Republican Senators call on US President Donald Trump to allow goods made in Israeli settlements as to be labelled as “Made in Israel”. 

Established in 2005, the BDS movement seeks to apply financial pressure on Israel to address its violation of Palestinians’ rights, a tactic the Israeli government has actively sought to discredit. The movement is inspired by the international pressure placed on South Africa’s apartheid regime.

Over the years, Israeli authorities have increased efforts to fight BDS, passing a number of laws seeking to criminalise calls for a boycott of Israel or Israeli companies.

Settlement-building is seen by many as the greatest obstacle for Israeli-Palestinian peace. However it has seen a huge uptick since Trump, a staunch supporter of Israel, took office in 2016.

The Long Goodbye of Social-Democracy

The Long Goodbye of  Social-Democracy

November 17, 2020

by Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

The ongoing process of political degeneration which has been happening in the UK Labour Party is basically part of a deep-going movement which has been taking place in all left-of-centre parties in Europe. In political/ideological terms, they have been swept away by the rampaging neo-liberal globalist forces – circa 1980 onwards and have, like good little boys and girls, trimmed their sails to the globalist agenda. This, straight betrayal has been justified by the usual TINA cliche. The roll-call of the sell-outs has included the SPD (Germany) the PS (France) Pasok/Syriza (Greece) the old ex-communist party of Italy, (now rebranded as the Democratic Party) PSOE (Spain) not forgetting the Democratic Party in the US. This historical betrayal has given the militant right a chance to attack the very real sell-out of the centre-left parties and publications which includes the Guardian, New York Times, Economist, Washington Post, . L’Express, La Figaro, Der Spiegel – the list is extensive.

THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY

The Guardian newspaper had long been a supporter of the Labour Party but more recently has been the trend-setter in this ‘liberal turn’ if we may call it such. There has taken place an unseemly metamorphosis from centre-left to the Blairite right. Going back to earlier days the Manchester Guardian, as it was then called, steered an honest social-democratic course under the leadership of C.P.Scott famous for his catchphrase, ‘’Comment is free but facts are sacred.’’ was the ultimate statement of values for a free press and continued to under-pin the traditions of good newspapers throughout the western world, (but sadly of course this is no longer the case, not by a long shot).  Looking back, Scott and the then Manchester Guardian resolutely opposed the British war against the Dutch settlers (Boers) in South Africa (1899-1902). For his pains Scott’s home was physically attacked by jingoistic mobs and he required police protection, as did the property of the Manchester Guardian which was also attacked.

That was then, this is now.

The rot in the current Guardian newspaper began with the conversion of what was once a campaigning left-of-centre political publication into a straightforward business journal with a centre-right political orientation; this happened earlier in this century when the Scott Trust was rebranded as the Scott Trust Limited, along with the Guardian Media Group – GMG – both of whom became registered as a commercial company by decamping to the tax haven of the Cayman Islands British Overseas Territory, for tax reasons – i.e. tax avoidance.

THE CORBYN AFFAIR

As for the whole ‘anti-semitic’ brouhaha surrounding ex-leader of the Party, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Labour Party itself, this was engineered from both internal and external sources. It should be understood that anyone who is anyone in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and who entertains political and occupational preferment in the PLP is a member of the ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ – this is mandatory. The same is true of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. So we have here a situation where an ostensibly sovereign state, the UK, has been penetrated by another sovereign state, Israel which in effect is selecting who and who shall not be members of the Labour Party’s policy and decision-making processes. This blatant process was caught by a mole planted by the Kuwaiti TV Station Al Jazeera and televised under the name of ‘The Lobby’ where the mole in question interviewed a member of the London Israeli embassy – Shai Masot – about the ‘taking down’ of pro-Palestinian politicians and spreading Zionist influence inside independent political groups active in the UK. This TV interview showed Mr Masot – who was blissfully unaware of being televised – discussing with his interlocutor how to cause embarrassment to pro-Palestinian politicians deemed to be detrimental to Israeli interests.

Students and campaigners told a reporter posing as a pro-Israel activist they had been given funding and support from Israel’s embassy in London to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. When asked whether he had ever “built a group”, Mr Masot replied: “Yeah, I did several things like that, yeah…in Israel and here. Nothing I can share but yeah.’’

“It’s good to leave those organisations independent, but we help them actually.”

The UK National Union of Students said it was investigating alleged attempts to influence last year’s leadership election, which saw its first black, Muslim, female president Malia Bouattia voted in.

Following claims that opposing NUS members held “secret meetings” with activists supported by the Israeli embassy, a spokesperson for the union said: “The NUS takes these allegations seriously. We are looking into them and, when we have all the information available, the behaviour of NUS officers will be reviewed, and appropriate action taken.” (1)

This seemed outrageous, but such is the influence of extra-national political configurations in British politics. This was instanced in the manner in which the now ex-leader of the Labour party – Jeremy Corbyn – was subject to a relentless but bogus assault internally from the Blairites, the media and also Britain’s Jewish opponents on the basis of his ongoing support for Palestinian rights. Of course anyone who in Zionist terms is a supporter of Palestinian rights is ipso facto an anti-Semite. On absolutely no evidence Corbyn was suspended from the leadership of the party which was now under the leadership of one (Sir) Keir Starmer QC, who doesn’t seem to have any political views at all, apart from his unconditional support of Israel, which of course befits yet another political carpet bagger on the make. ‘What are my politics?’ What would you like them to be?’

Of course the same scenario also applies to the United States – a fortiori. This latter case of organized Jewish influence both internal and from outside (Israel) is so open, widespread and obvious that it barely needs mentioning. (2) Moreover, socialism in the United States, or even social-democracy, has, never, since the days of Eugene Debs been anything other than a minor curiosity and led by a leadership so venal that it collapses at the first serious challenge. Such was the fate of Bernie Sanders, who managed to capitulate to the DNC powers-that-be not once but twice.

But to return to the Labour Party, this political hollowing-out of what was once a mass and proud reformist party has by now been pretty much neutered and in keeping with centre-left conditions just about everywhere. The list does not make pretty reading. Currently there is no centre-left party, in western Europe at least, worthy of the name, the capitulation seems complete. As follows:

GREECE. THE RISE AND FALL OF SYRIZA

On its accession to power Syriza laid great emphasis on trying to convince their opponents that their proposals were financially sound and of benefit to all in the long-run. This is one of the characteristics of social-democracy. It is an approach based upon ‘the truth’, as they understood it, and rationality of their approach and compared favourably to the mistaken beliefs of their political opponents. What Syriza did not understand, however, was that the social virtues and heritage of social democratic reform was now history, buried deep under the refuse pile of new neoliberal values.

The political imperatives of SYRIZA’s position consisted of an adamantly committed policy to stay in the eurozone and the euro regime; but this was a regime of structural flaws which only benefitted the elites rather than ordinary folk. Concurrent with this the Greek people were consistently indicating in various polls taken that they did not want to leave the eurozone either. Like Syriza they wanted to end austerity and stay in Europe and keep the euro. Neither thus understood that the root of austerity lay in the neoliberal euro regime that they wanted to keep. One would have thought that following the crowd in this instance was a dereliction of duty on the part of the Syriza leadership who should have known better, but it is so much easier to take the easy way out than actually lead.

Syriza wanted a European version of the US 1930’s New Deal, but there was no FDR on the horizon, and, moreover, this was 70 years later, and history was not about to repeat itself.

The upshot of this sad historical nemesis was when Syriza took the road of least resistance. The European base of neoliberalism required the arrangement of goods and services and free movement of labour and capital which had indebted Greece (and other peripheral economies) and ensured some form of perpetual austerity. But this was precisely how the system was designed to work.

‘’Over the course of the third debt restructuring negotiations in 2015, Syriza would at first deny and then resist this reality, then concede in steps as it retreated from its positions and its Thessaloniki programme. In August 2015, it capitulated. Like its political predecessors, New Democracy in 2012, and PASOK in 2010, Syriza would also eventually settle into the ‘caretaker’ role for the neoliberal Troika.’’ (3)

FRANCE – LE PARTI SOCIALISTE – ABJECT FAILURE.

In late 2016, French President Francois Hollande became the first leader of the 5th Republic to announce that he would not seek re-election leaving his Parti Socialiste to find another candidate for the April 2017 presidential election. The five years of Hollande’s presidency had not been kind to the ruling party. Terrorist attacks, a shift to the right on domestic matters, persistent unemployment, internal party divisions, and even an illicit love affair, eroded confidence in Hollande’s government and left the Socialists with little in their playbook that remained popular with voters.

Hollande’s choice for economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, created new problems for the president right from the start. Just 36 when he was appointed in 2014, Macron was a former investment banker at a firm owned by the Rothschild family – an unusual choice for a president who once declared that the world of finance was his “enemy”.

Macron soon angered the Socialist’s left wing with his criticism  of the 35-hour work-week and by calling for the deregulation of the French economy. Socialist deputy Yann Galut spoke for many in his party when he accused Macron of “disowning all the values of the left”. But then what else from an investment banker did the party expect?

The pro-business reforms, known as the “Macron laws”, included allowing stores to remain open  on Sundays and late in the evenings. A more wide-ranging labour code 5, made it easier for firms to hire or fire and to extend employee working hours, soon followed suit. The proposed reforms prompted months of sometimes violent protests  over the summer from students and unions who were angry over diminished labour protections. Yes it was all straight from the neoliberal policy manual. Hollande’s government controversially pushed the bill  through parliament in June 2016 without holding a vote, igniting a new burst of outrage.

Macron was not the only member of Hollande’s cabinet to anger the party’s leftist base. Manuel Valls, 54 – the French Tony Blair – who served as interior minister and then prime minister before resigning to announce his own presidential run, has proved that even a Socialist Party can have a right wing.

As protests against labour reforms spread across France last summer, Valls once again took a hard line, moving to ban further demonstrations in Paris after sporadic outbreaks of violence. It was the first time since the 1960s that union demonstrations had been banned in France and it sparked outrage across the political spectrum, including within the already divided Socialist Party. After a weeklong stand-off, the unions were eventually allowed to hold a protest march via a different route.

Valls has said he wanted to ‘modernise’ the Socialist Party, even suggesting that it rename itself because the term “Socialist” is too “old-fashioned”. He says that a revitalised party could unite all of the country’s “progressive forces” into one movement. Valls’ brand of ‘right-wing Socialism’ (i.e., a neoliberal party) highlighted the quandary the party faced. If Hollande is seen as representing the traditional yet ineffectual left, its more dynamic members now look like the centre-right.

As unemployment continued to hit record highs, Valls infuriated many by saying more needed to be done to encourage the unemployed to get back to work. Macron, for his part, had said that the costly system of unemployment benefits needed to be revised, blaming the unions for deadlocking negotiations.

Statements such as these, coming as record numbers of French citizens struggled with a lack of job opportunities, have heightened resentment among much of the public and divided those within the Socialist party. And they seem more like admonishments that would come from the right-wing Les Républicains party than from the fresh new faces of France’s left. But after the erratic Hollande years, the party now faced the task of reinventing itself as a movement that combines traditional leftist values with a fresh dynamism that is ready to meet the challenges of the future. In short, the PS had to change into a neoliberal outfit. After all – TINA!

Humiliated, unloved, and threatened to be plundered by Macron’s movement, the French socialists stood shivering at a crossroad. Hardly unexpected of course. France was, after all, being corralled into the neoliberal sheep-pen.

France has predictably followed the universal neoliberal economic prescriptions and rewarded with the wholly expected failed outcomes. After growing at an estimated rate of 1.7% in 2018, GDP grew by an abysmal estimated 1.3% in 2019. Minimal growth rates needed to overcome this economic standstill needed to be at least 2% to make any impact on what has become a secular stagnation. This has had political ramifications.

The European elections of May 2019 saw the victory of the National Rally of Marine Le Pen (far right), gathering 23% of the vote, compared to 22% for the Republic in March of Emmanuel Macron. On the international scene, the president intends to strengthen the integration of the euro zone by revitalizing the Franco-German partnership. But Macron’s delusions of grandeur are simply swimming against the stream here with unemployment at 10%, trade figures all negative, private debt to GDP at 227% and Sovereign debt at 98%. Unquestionably France is in a deep structural political/economic crisis.

From Gaullism in 1945 consisting of independence and distrust of the Anglo-Saxon bloc, to the current force feeding of neoliberalism and an unquestioning loyalty to NATO. Mission accomplished? Not quite. And then comes the emergence of the Gilet Jaunes. What next for France?

GERMANY: THE SPD

The oldest, Social Democratic Party in Europe, the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, can be traced back to the 1860s, and for much of the 20th and 21st centuries it has represented the centre-left in German politics, although not the far left politics of the pre-war KPD (Communists) and SAP (Socialist Workers’ Party’ where Willie Brandt was once a member). Nevertheless from 1891 to 1959 the Party at least theoretically espoused Marxism. Of course this all changed in the main due to Cold War but more importantly for the need for political deals and coalition governments which were made the sine qua non for the formation of governments in Germany. At the present time, the SPD is in a fragile coalition government together with the conservative CDU/CSU and the SPD, the Grand Coalition as it is called.

THE EUROPEAN POWER-HOUSE:

In economic terms Germany had always been the economic powerhouse of Europe and possibly even the world. It’s dynamism came from a globally competitive industrial base, pivoting on automobiles, chemicals, and machine tools. Its exports enabled it to command vast surpluses on current account thus providing the wherewithal to lend globally.

Whether this Teutonic pre-eminence was a conscious policy choice on the part of Germany, or merely a policy-drift due to the internal structure of Germany’s post-war policy configuration seems debatable. Germany had certainly bucked the Anglo-American trend of de-industrialisation and financialization which had become de rigueur internationally as a result of the putative ‘efficiency’ of the Anglo-American model. Germany had not deindustrialised, had a smallish stock market compared with other developed states, eschewed as far as possible a system of equity funding and maintained a traditional reliance on bank funding for industry since long term relations were easier to develop among corporations and banks and the internal structure of corporations is not driven by the desire to placate stock markets. Moreover, the German banking system had a multitiered and competitively structured organization which included a raft of smaller and medium sized banks, the Sparkassen, which operated with a local focus. This stood in stark opposition to the oligopolistic banking monoliths of the Atlantic world.

Additionally, there were further reasons why Germany emerged as the EU hegemon. Primarily, Germany did not sacrifice its world class industrial-export sector on the altar of deindustrialisation. But instead adopted and adapted its own variant of financialization while at the same time protected its industrial sector by manipulating its exchange rate to protect exports. The German manufacturing sector is highly productive, export-oriented and has maintained relatively strong union representation in the wage formation process compared to the rest of the private (domestic) sector which has modest productivity and relatively weak unions in comparison with other EU countries.

In the domestic economy, however, Germany was able to restructure (i.e., lower) wage costs and working conditions with the imposition of the Hartz reforms – a set of policies arrayed against German labour which pushed down costs through the implementation of ‘flexible’ labour markets. This gave Germany a competitive first-mover, edge in intra-European trade resulting in an ongoing surplus on its current account. And when one state achieves a (recurring) surplus on current account other states must record a deficit on current account. In this instance this was the southern periphery. If this smacked of neoliberalism –that’s because it was.

In sharp contrast to the southern periphery the eastern periphery of central Europe was not part of the eurozone which means that they were not ensnared in the Iron Cage of EMU and enabled to keep their own currencies. But heavy German investment in this area produced a core-periphery relationship where low-wage, semi-skilled assembly work was farmed out to Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. That is the usual pattern of FDI supply chains. High-end production, including R&D was kept at Home Base.

Additionally, Central European peripheries have come to depend heavily on Germany for technology and markets. If Germany faced a severe recession so would probably be the whole of Central Europe.

Thus, Germany was to become the overseer of an increasingly neo-liberal order precisely at the time when the 2008 blow-out was to cross the Atlantic and usher in a quasi-permanent period of instability for the whole EU project. The main actors in the future development of the EU were the ECB the EC and the IMF, the infamous Troika. The ECB in particular was the paragon of Banking, monetary and fiscal rectitude. This was underlined insofar as it was domiciled in Frankfurt as was the Bundesbank and was heavily influenced in policy terms by this particular institution.

Then came the 2020 derailment. Prior to this, however, growth rates had been zero to miniscule at less than 1% per quarter since 2018. Then came the yo-yo bounce in 2020. Ten Year Bunds Yields were at -0.53 (that’s a minus sign BTW), unemployment was beginning to rise, inflation was at -0.2% which means that it was actually deflation, interest rates were at zero, consumer confidence was at -3.1, retail sales at -2.2%, Sovereign Debt-to-GDP 68%, Private Debt-to-GDP at 154% (but these latter private figures were based upon 2018 statistics).

THE SPD VANISHING TRICK:

And where was the SPD during all this time? It was following the trend of course. The then party leader and Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, defended his counter-reformist ‘Agenda 2010’ and praised Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’ as a successful example of ‘modern’ social democracy. At the same time, up and down the country, some 90,000 workers responded to a call by the Trade Union Federation, the DGB, and demonstrated against attempts to dismantle the welfare state. In East Germany, 84% of all steel workers organised in the IG Metall voted in favour of industrial action for the 35-hour week which had been introduced in the West back in the 1990s.

Horrified by high unemployment (4) and fear of recession and even depression, Schroder and his think tanks were doing what they had always accused the previous Helmut Kohl government of doing: they were attacking the unemployed and not unemployment. They claimed that dismantling the welfare state and massive tax reductions were to the benefit of the employers and the rich but in general would open the path towards economic growth and a new jobs miracle. In doing this, they could count on the applause of the bourgeois media and politicians who kept pushing them further and further down that road.

But later developments in 2019 have led to a new inward turn of the SPD which will give the already rapidly changing party system a further push. Both the CDU and SPD have lost dramatically during recent European and regional elections. The winners have been the ‘woke’ Green party and the far-right Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD). The Green party, also led by a new team since January 2018, has been a clear beneficiary of the rise of the urban middle-class and the weakness of the two governing parties. The Green party is now solidly number two in the party system and highly likely to join the next government, either with the CDU or the two parties on the ‘left’, the SPD left centrist and Der Linke the old East German Communist Party.

CONCLUSION

Throughout Europe the Social-Democratic tradition has been in crisis since the 1980s onwards and is heading rapidly toward marginalization and oblivion. Having prostrated itself before the deities of neo-liberalism and globalization, and swallowed the holy dogmas whole there seems no way back. And if anything the situation in the southern and eastern peripheries are even more dire than those in Western Europe. The political structures in Europe now range from outright fascist, right and centre right, and an allegedly centre-left that acts like a centre-right, a Guardian-style liberal woke party. That’s it folks. Europe seems to be heading to a turbulent and ugly future

NOTES

(1) The Lobby – Al Jazeera – The Independent newspaper – London 12-January-2017

(2) The Israel Lobby – John J Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt – passim.

(3) Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges – Jack Rasmus – passim.

(4) The story of the German jobs miracle is misleading. It is true that the number of people in employment increased by more than 10 percent between 2003 and the end of 2016 from 39 to 43 million. But this was achieved mainly by replacing full-time jobs by part-time and mini jobs. In fact, actual working time did not increase at all up to 2010; the work was just spread over more people.” And also since the economic climate improved in 2011, the volume of work has been growing much more slowly than employment and is still below the levels of the early 1990s. And that is why in 2016, 4.8 million people in Germany were living entirely from mini jobs. A further 1.5 million are working against their will in part-time jobs. And then there are around 1 million contract workers and more than 2 million self-employed without employees, and most of them do not have enough work.

The “industrial reserve army“ of the unemployed, as Karl Marx once called them, “was reduced in size at the price of a growth in the reserve army of the under-employed in part-time work and the over-employed who have to do several jobs to get by.”

Suspension of Corbyn will define Starmer as Iraq defined Blair

Source

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.

Democrats Go All-Out for Israel

Joe is a Zionist and Kamala panders to Jewish donors

Source

PHILIP GIRALDI • SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif. speaks at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Those of us who have longed for an end to America’s military engagement in the Middle East have hoped for a candidate who was not tied hand and foot to Israel, which is the root cause of the badly-broken and essentially pointless U.S. foreign policy in the region. But the real tragedy is that in spite of Israel’s near-constant interference in government process at all levels in the United States, no candidate will mention it except in the most laudatory fashion. It will be praised as America’s best friend and closest ally, but the price the U.S. has paid for all that balderdash while it has simultaneously been turning itself into the slave of the Jewish state will never surface.

The Democratic Party leadership is owned by Israel through its big Jewish donors whose billions come with only one string attached, i.e. that the Jewish state must be protected, empowered and enriched no matter what damage it does to actual U.S. interests. Number one Israeli-American billionaire donor Haim Saban has said that he has only one interest, and that is Israel. How such a man can have major influence over American foreign policy and the internal workings of one of its two major parties might be considered the death of real democracy. At the Israel America Council’s National Conference Nancy Pelosi explicitly put Israel’s interests before America’s: “I have said to people when they ask me if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid…and I don’t even call it aid…our cooperation with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.”

Jews are not surprisingly considerably over-represented in the Democratic Party Establishment. The influence of powerful Jewish Democrats recently insured that there would be no criticism of Israel, nor mention of Palestine, in the party platform for November’s election. So extreme is the virulence of some Jews against the Palestinians that a liberal Zionist Rabbi Mark Winer speaking at a Joe Biden rally in Florida recently denounced “progressives” as infected with the “anti-Semitism virus” over their support for Palestinian rights and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. No one even sought to challenge him. Another progressive Zionist Rabbi Jill Jacobs tweeted about how liberals have to embrace Israel to avoid offending Jews. She wrote: While Israel is likely the most divisive issue in the progressive world, setting a litmus test that one cannot consider oneself pro-Israel, or support two states, would divide the vast majority of Jews from the left. Not what we need when fighting white nationalism.

So-called white nationalists therefore appear to be the preferred enemies of progressive Jews, requiring one to close ranks even – or perhaps especially – when Palestinians are being brutalized. Joe Biden does not venture into that extreme-think zone, but he has made his loyalties clear. He has said that “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist. I am a Zionist.” More recently he has denounced Trump as “bad for Israel.” And to demonstrate his bona fides, he kicked Democratic Party Palestinian-activist Linda Sarsour under the bus when she appeared on a DNC convention panel discussing how to appeal to Muslim voters. Biden’s campaign office issued a statement saying that he “…has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform. She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.”

With that lead in, it is difficult to imagine how Biden would suddenly recognize the humanity of the long-suffering Palestinians, to include those who are, like he claims to be, Catholic. Biden is close to AIPAC and has spoken at their annual convention a number of times. He is opposed to putting any pressure on the Jewish state at any time and for any reason, which presumably includes not even protecting U.S. interests or the lives and property of American citizens.

Biden also worked for President Barack Obama and was a colleague in office of Hillary Clinton. Both did the usual pander to Israel and neither was particularly well disposed to the Palestinians, though Obama talked the talk of a man of peace so effectively that he was awarded a Nobel Prize. Bear in mind that Obama personally disliked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but he increased the money from the U.S. Treasury going directly to Israel to $3.8 billion per annum and guaranteed it for ten years, an unprecedented move. The fact is that money was and is illegal under American law due to the 1976 Symington Amendment, which banned any aid to any country with a nuclear program that was not declared and subject to inspection under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Obama, who claims to be a “constitutional lawyer,” surely was aware of that but rewarded Israel anyway.

One can expect nothing from Kamala Harris. Her husband is Jewish and she has made her career in California by sleeping with power brokers and pandering to Israel. She, like Biden, has been a fixture at the AIPAC annual conference. She has already made her mark with the party’s pro-Israel crowd by having a conference call with 1800 Jewish Democratic donors, during which she repeatedly assured them a Biden-Harris Administration will never resort to cutting current levels of aid over any “political decisions that Israel makes,” adding personally “…and I couldn’t agree more.” She promised to demonstrate what she described as “unwavering support” for Israel. She also reminded the donors that Joe Biden had been behind the “largest military aid package” to any country ever when President Obama signed off on the $38 billion package in 2016.

Optimists point to the fact that the Democrats have now elected a number of congressmen who are willing to criticize Israel and they also cite opinion polls that suggest that a majority of registered Democrats want fair treatment for the Palestinians without any major bias in favor of the Jewish state. In spite of a news blackout on stories critical of Israel, there is broad understanding of the fact that the Israelis are serial human rights abusers. But those observations matter little in a situation in which the top of the party, to include those who manage elections and allocate money to promising prospective candidates, identify as strongly and often passionately friends of Israel. That is not an accident and one can assume that major effort has gone into maintaining that level of control.

How exactly this fissure in the Democratic Party will play out after November is anyone’s guess and, of course, if Trump wins there will be an autopsy to find out who to blame. Israel certainly won’t be looked at because no one is allowed to talk about it anyway, but some progressives at least will demand a review of a foreign policy platform that was heavy on intervention and global democracy promotion and light on getting along with adversaries, making it largely indistinguishable from that of the Republicans.

Israel for its part has played its cards carefully. It knows that either Biden or Trump will do whatever it wants, but it has deferred its planned annexation of much of the Palestinian West Bank, which will now take place after the election. It did that knowing that otherwise some liberals in the Democratic Party might try to turn Israel into an issue and split the Jewish community while also alienating Jewish donorsand some Jewish voters if the annexation had taken place. After November 3rd, no matter who wins Israel will benefit and will have a free hand to do anything it wishes to the Palestinians. Or perhaps one should say the “remaining Palestinians” until they are all gone.

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

BDS Victory, Manchester university divest from Caterpillar

By Elfalasteen -August 5, 2020

MANCHESTER, PALESTINOW.COM — Students across the UK have called on universities to end their complicity in Israeli apartheid. ‘Apartheid off Campus’ actions were held at over 30 universities this week.

Stop Arming Colonialism

The protests are part of the annual Israeli Apartheid Week, an international series of events that “seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people and build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

Israel is currently militarily occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem, maintaining a siege of the Gaza Strip and denying equal rights to its Palestinian citizens.

Israeli Apartheid Week is now in its 15th year. The theme of the event this year is #StopArmingColonialism.

Students call for divestment from Caterpillar

In the UK, students at Manchester University called for an end to university investments in Caterpillar:The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel) society marched through the University of Manchester campus to demand that the University divests its shares, worth £482,381.26, from Caterpillar, and in solidarity to the Palestinians protesting every day during the Great March of Return, of which over 200 have been killed by the Israeli military.

The protest is part of a three-year campaign against the university’s investments in Caterpillar. In February, students occupied a meeting of the Board of Governors, demanding that the university divest.

Caterpillar bulldozers used in revenge attacks on Palestinian families

Caterpillar, a US multinational, provides D9 military bulldozers to the Israeli army through the US’ Foreign Military Sales programme. According to a recent book by research group Corporate Occupation, Caterpillar bulldozers were used in demolitions of at least 41 Palestinian properties by Israeli authorities during 2018. Seven of these demolitions were acts of collective punishment against the families of Palestinians accused of involvement in resistance attacks on Israeli soldiers or colonists. The Israeli policy of punitive home demolitions is widely accepted to be in breach of international law.

Caterpillar D9 bulldozers were used in January 2018 to demolish houses near Jenin in the West Bank. The demolition was carried out as a revenge attack against the family of Ahmad Jarrar. Jarrar was suspected of fatally shooting an Israeli colonist. According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the soldiers, accompanied by Caterpillar D9 bulldozers, began the demolition while people were still inside one of the houses. One Palestinian man was killed during the incident.

“Our kids were so frightened they were in tears”

In a testimony given on 24 January 2018, Nassim Jarrar said:


Shortly after 3am we heard cars and a bulldozer approaching our house. The bulldozer started demolishing the western side of the house. My husband, children and I started screaming because we were scared the house would collapse on top of us. We felt the ground shake and heard parts of the house come crashing down. We went into the kitchen and stood there, confused and scared. Our kids were so frightened they were in tears. The sounds of the demolition grew louder.

Caterpillar D9 Bulldozers are also regularly used in invasions of the Gaza strip, razing Palestinian farmland in the area close to the apartheid barrier between Gaza and Israel, levelling the land to give Israeli snipers a clear shot at Palestinian Great March of Return protesters.

Bulldozer used in yet another murder

On 19 March, the Israeli military shot dead two young Palestinian men. Raed Hamdan, 21, and Zayed Nuri, 20, were driving in their car when soldiers opened fire on them. A military bulldozer was then used to drag and crush the car. The bulldozer appears to be manufactured by Caterpillar. Palestinian people tweeted that the men were still inside the car when it was bulldozed:


About last night in #Nablus and the killing of the two friends, Raed and Zayed.
“Then an Israeli bulldozer drove over the car several times, and the screaming of the guys inside the car was heard, until they were no longer screaming”. pic.twitter.com/TWM8KKB0hG

— Fidaa فِداء (@fidaazaanin) March 20, 2019

The Canary contacted Caterpillar for comment but had not received a reply at the time of publication.

The Apartheid Week protest comes as campaigns against Israel’s home demolition policies are gathering momentum. The #StopTheDemolitions campaign aims to persuade construction equipment manufacturers to stop supplying the Israeli authorities. The Israeli state used military and civilian bulldozers to demolish 461 Palestinian structures in the West Bank last year.

Caterpillar isn’t the only company being targeted. Activists have also taken direct against bulldozer company JCB twice within a year, blockading its factories and preventing goods from arriving and leaving.

On 21 March, four #StopTheDemolitions activists appeared in court in Newcastle-under-Lyme to plead not guilty. They were charged with blockading the JCB Global Logistics Headquarters earlier this month. UK company JCB also manufactures bulldozers which the Israeli authorities use to demolish Palestinian homes. The defendants plan to argue that their actions were justified because of JCB’s complicity in Israel’s home demolitions.

As activists face prosecution, Israel continues to act with impunity, while the bulldozer companies continue to rake in the profits.

‘The Deal of Shame’: Thousands in Gaza Protest against Annexation, Urge Boycott of Israel (PHOTOS)

Source

Thousands of Palestinians rally in the besieged Gaza Strip in protest of Israel’s annexation plan. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Thousands of Palestinians on Wednesday rallied in the besieged Gaza Strip in protest of an Israeli government’s plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank. 

The protesters were led by representatives of all Palestinian political groups and civil society organizations. The crowds, which descended from across the Strip, carried Palestinian flags and placards condemning US bias towards Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to confiscate more Palestinian land.

Annexing approximately a third of the occupied West Bank means that Israel would officially consider the newly-annexed Palestinian land as part of the Israeli state, similar to Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in 1980 and ‘81 respectively.

Annexation also means that some 4.5% of the Palestinian population of the West Bank will be living in isolated enclaves within the annexed territories.

“The annexation is a threat to the Palestinians and violates international legitimacy resolutions,” Saadi Abed of the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) said, addressing the rally in Gaza, TRT News reported. 

“The land grip will give away for a new Palestinian intifada,” he said, going on to call on the Palestinians to close ranks and “end the rift to face occupation plans.”

Netanyahu’s government coalition had set July 1 as the date to begin the implementation of the annexation plan, as part of the US President Donald Trump’s Administration’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’.

Similar mobilization was reported in the West Bank as well, and many protests have already been scheduled for the coming days. 

Protesters in Gaza held signs in English and Arabic that read in part, “The annexation is contrary to the UN charter and a fundamentally illegal act,” “Palestinian Lives Matter,” “Our People Are United against Annexation,” “No Apartheid No Annexation,” “Down with the Deal of the Century,” “The Deal of Shame,” and “BDS: Boycott Israel.” 

Aside from the political factions that participated in the Gaza rally, women groups, student groups, and many civil society organizations were also present, including representatives from the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

(All Photos: Fawzi Mahmoud)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Related

ترنّح اللوبي الصهيوني في أميركا

زياد حافظ

ما زالت بعض النخب العربية وفي لبنان تعتقد أنّ الولايات المتحدة قدر مفروض على العالم وأنّ الكيان الصهيوني له اليد العليا في الولايات المتحدة عبر نفوذ اللوبي الصهيوني الذي يطيح بكلّ من يقف ضدّ الكيان. وضحايا اللوبي الصهيوني في الفضاء السياسي الرسمي وفي الفضاء الجامعي والفضاء الإعلامي كان عددهم كبيراً يُضرب المثل بهم. حتى الآن.

لكن من يتتبّع بدّقة التحوّلات التي تحصل في المجتمع الأميركي وفي السياسة وفي الجامعة وفي الإعلام يرى بكلّ وضوح خطاً بيانياً يشير إلى ترهّل ذلك النفوذ منذ نهاية ولاية بوش الابن. فالمغامرة الأميركية غير المحسوبة (نعم) في احتلالها للعراق لا لسبب وجيه كالمصلحة الأميركية، أو الأمن القومي الأميركي، ولا الحرص على السلام العالمي، فهذه المغامرة المكلفة بشرياً، واقتصادياً، وقبل كلّ ذلك معنوياً وأخلاقياً كانت لمصلحة الكيان أولاً وأخيراً. فسياسة المحافظين الجدد كانت وما زالت سياسة صهيونية فقط لا غير تلبس لباس المصلحة الأميركية. لكن انكشافهم كان ملحوظاً وإنْ حالفهم في ولايتي باراك أوباما المتدخلّون الليبراليون. فبدأ المشهد يتغيّر تدريجياً حيث نرى عبارات كـ «الحلف الانجلو صهيوني» في مواقع الكترونية محافظة كموقع «اونز ريفيو» على سبيل المثال وليس الحصر.

نتائج الحرب على العراق من جهة وانتشار وسائل التواصل الإعلامي التي تجاوزت احتكار المعلومات بالإعلام المهيمن والذي يقوده اللوبي الصهيوني من جهة أخرى ساهما في فضح انتهاكات الكيان الصهيوني كما كشفا أيضاً ضعف الكيان وعجزه عن تحقيق مصالح الولايات المتحدة. فحرب تموز 2006 التي يحيي لبنان ذكراها الرابعة عشر قريباً كانت نقطة تحوّل في الوعي الأميركي حول «الأسطورة الصهيونية» والجيش الذي لا يُقهر. فالوعي الباطني الأميركي لا يحبّذ الخاسر وينظر إلى القوّة بعين الإعجاب وإنْ لم يقدر على التعبير عن ذلك بشكل صريح.

واللوبي الصهيوني مُني خلال السنوات الماضية بسلسلة من الهزائم في الفضاء السياسي والجامعي والإعلامي. فعلى الصعيد السياسي كانت رهانات اللوبي الصهيوني خاسرة خلال الانتخابات الرئاسية سنة 2008 و2012 و2016. فاللوبي الصهيوني لم يدعم باراك أوباما في انتخابات 2008 بل دعم منافسه جون ماكين، وفي انتخابات 2012 تدخّل نتنياهو بشكل سافر ومعه اللوبي في الانتخابات ودعم ميتش رومني ضدّ باراك أوباما، وفي انتخابات 2016 دعم بشكل سافر هيلاري كلنتون. واللوبي الصهيوني في أميركا لم يوقف الحملات ضدّ دونالد ترامب منذ بداية الولاية رغم العلاقة الحميمة بين ترامب ونتنياهو. وتجلّى ذلك في موقف الاعلام المهيمن والمناهض لترامب الذي يسيطر عليه اللوبي الصهيوني بدون منازع.

أما على صعيد الكونغرس الأميركي تلقّى اللوبي الصهيوني صفعات متتالية عامي 2018 و2020 في الانتخابات الأولية لتسمية مرشّحي الحزب الديمقراطي. ففي 2018 تمّت هزيمة جو كرولي النائب عن الدائرة رقم 14 في المدينة، ورئيس تجمّع الديمقراطيين في مدينة نيويورك والرقم الثالث في التراتبية الحزبية داخل الكونغرس بعد نانسي بيلوزي. فمدينة نيويورك هي المعقل الرئيسي للجالية اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة، والهزيمة أتت على يد شابة في التاسعة والعشرين من عمرها ومنحدرة من أصول بورتوريكية الكسندرا اوكازيو كورتيز. واشتهرت كورتيز، مع زميلتيها في مجلس النوّاب الأميركي رشيدة طليب والهان عمر، خلال ولايتهن الأولى بتأييد القضية الفلسطينية وطرح أجندة تقدّمية للإصلاح الاقتصادي والسياسي الأميركي ما أغضب قيادة الحزب الديمقراطي.

واعتبر اللوبي الصهيوني أنها صدفة لن تتكرّر وعمل سنة 2020على رصد أموال لصالح منافستها في الانتخابات الأولية في مدينة نيويورك. رغم ذلك استطاعت كورتيز التفوّق على منافستها ميشال كاروزو كابريرا، وهي مراسلة في محطة «ان بي سي» الأميركية، بنسبة 73 بالمائة من الأصوات.

لكن الصدمة الأكبر التي تلقّاها اللوبي الصهيوني هي خسارة أكثر المتشدّدين لصالح الكيان الصهيوني اليوت انجيل رئيس لجنة العلاقات الخارجية في مجلس النوّاب الأميركي وأيضاً في مدينة نيويورك المعقل الرئيسي للوبي الصهيوني. هزيمة انجيل كانت أيضاً بفارق كبير لصالح منافسه جمال بومان المنحدر من أصول أفريقية الذي فاز بنسبة 61 بالمائة. الفارق الكبير بين المرشح الصهيوني المهزوم في الدائرتين له دلائل عدّة.

الدلالة الأولى هي أنّ قيادة الحزب الديمقراطي لا تستطيع السيطرة على القاعدة وخاصة القاعدة الشبابية وفي الجاليات الأقلّية. فهناك انقطاع كبير بين القيادة والقاعدة الشبابية يبرز في العديد من الملفّات التي تهمّ القاعدة والتي تعارضها القيادة، والعكس صحيح.

الدلالة الثانية هي أنّ الانفصام داخل الحزب الديمقراطي قد يلقي بظلاله على الانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني حيث مرشّح اللوبي الصهيوني جوزيف بايدن الذي يحظى بتأييد الاعلام المهيمن لا يستهوي القاعدة الشبابية. ومن مؤشرات ذلك الحماس المنخفض هو أنّ في الانتخابات الفرعية التي جرت في الدائرة 25 في ولاية كاليفورنيا في شهر أيار 2020 استطاع المرشحّ الجمهوري مايك غارسيا أن يهزم منافسته من الحزب الديمقراطي كريستي سميث. والمعروف أنّ ولاية كاليفورنيا صوّتت بشكل مكثّف لصالح هيلاري كلنتون سنة 2016 بفارق 3 ملايين صوت! صحيح أنّ دائرة واحدة لا تعني أنّ كلّ الدوائر مثلها لكن ما حصل كان بمثابة إنذار للحزب الديمقراطي. فرغم الدعاية ضدّ الحزب الجمهوري وضدّ الرئيس ترامب شخصياً استطاع الحزب الجمهوري الفوز وسط هذه الأجواء المشحونة بالاحتقان الحزبي. لم يقدم الشباب الديمقراطي على التصويت كما كان مرتقباً وهذا ينذر بنتائج وخيمة للمرشح الرئاسي جوزيف بايدن في تشرين الثاني 2020.

الدلالة الثالثة أنّ المال والإعلام المهيمن اللذين يملكهما اللوبي الصهيوني لم يعد كافياً في مواجهة المعلومات المتدفّقة على المواطن الأميركي عبر التواصل الاجتماعي. فالسردية التي كانت سائدة لصالح الكيان لم تعد مقبولة. لذلك نرى تصاعد الدعوات عند عدد من أعضاء الكونغرس لقطع المساعدات للكيان الصهيوني في الحدّ الأقصى أو تخفيضها في الحدّ الأدنى بسبب انتهاك الكيان الصهيوني لحقوق الإنسان ونظام التمييز العنصري الذي يفرضه الكيان على الفلسطينيين. هذه ظاهرة جديدة لم تكن مألوفة ومسموحة. فالتمييز العنصري الصهيوني في فلسطين يصطدم مع الموجة العارمة المناهضة للعنصرية التي تجتاح المدن الأميركية ما يؤجّج التعبئة ضدّ الكيان ويفسّر الظاهرة الجديدة.

وهناك إشارة إضافية حول التحوّل في المزاج السياسي الأميركي. فإذا كان الكونغرس الأميركي أرضاً محتلّة من قبل اللوبي الصهيوني وفقاً لمقولة بات بيوكنان وما زال، فإنّ أصوات داخل الحزب الجمهوري الذي يسيطر عليه الانجيليون الجدد ترتفع مندّدة بمحاولة ضمّ الضفة الغربية إلى الكيان. فالعريضة التي وقّعها منذ بضعة أسابيع 116 نائب من الحزب الجمهوري من أصل 198 يؤّيدون فيها ضمّ الضفة الغربية بحجة أنها ضرورية لأمن الكيان إلاّ أن تخلّف 72 نائب عن التوقيع له دلالات كبيرة وذلك في موسم انتخابي في غاية الشحن والاستقطاب. صحيح أنّ أكثرية وقّعت على العريضة ولكنها ليست كاسحة كما أنّ المعارضين لها أقلّية ولكنها وازنة. هذا لم يكن موجودا أو ممكناً منذ بضعة أشهر. ويعتبر المحلّل المرموق فيليب جيرالدي أنّ نتائج الانتخابات الأولية في نيويورك قد لا تكون حاسمة إلاّ أنها تنذر بتغييرات كبيرة في المشهد السياسي. ما لم يكن ممكناً أن يتصوّره المرء منذ بضعة سنين أصبح واقعاً وإن لم يصل إلى درجة الهيمنة. لكن مسار الأمور هي اتجاه تراجع نفوذ اللوبي الصهيوني.

تصرّفات حكومة نتنياهو وسوء إدارة البيت الأبيض للملف الفلسطيني من قبل الرئيس بسبب نفوذ صهره جاريد كوشنر ووزير خارجيته مايك بومبيو أصبح مصدراً للقلق عند القيادات اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة. فدنيس روس يعتقد أنّ قرار الضمّ قد يهدّد ليس فقط الكيان عبر انتفاضة عارمة بل أيضاً مستقبل الجالية اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة بسبب التصرّف اللاإنساني لحكومة الكيان. ويشاطر في هذا الرأي العديد من القيادات اليهودية التي لا تريد الانشقاق عن الموقف العام لكنّها غير راضية عن مسار الأمور في الكيان وانعكاساته المحتملة على الجالية اليهودية. من ضمن هذه الشخصيات جاريد غرينبلاط المستشار السابق في الأبيض للرئيس ترامب والمسؤول مع صهر الرئيس كوشنر عن الملفّ الفلسطيني.

أما على صعيد الفضاء الجامعي فهناك شبه تسليم بأنّ الكيان الصهيوني خسر الحرب الدعائية. فنجاح حملة «بي دي أس» في العديد من الجامعات الأميركية الكبيرة ستكون له ارتدادات في الوعي السياسي للنخب عندما يصبح الطلاّب في مراكز القرار بعد بضعة سنين. كما أنّ قرار مجمع الكنائس الانجيلية البريسبيتارية بإنهاء استثمارات أوقافها في محفظات مالية توظّف في الكيان الصهيوني له أيضاً دلالات كبيرة وإنْ لم تكن تلك الكنيسة أكبر الكنائس الانجيلية في الولايات المتحدة. هذا لا يعني أنّ الحرب انتهت فاللوبي الصهيوني استطاع أن ينتزع تشريعات في المجالس المحلّية في 28 ولاية تعاقب من يلتزم بالمقاطعة وتمنع التعامل والمقاولة مع كلّ من لا يوقّع على وثيقة يلتزم بها في نبذ المقاطعة. القضية أصبحت في المحاكم الاتحادية ويعتبر العديد من الحقوقيين أنّ تلك التشريعات تخالف الدستور بشكل واضح خاصة في ما يتعلّق بحرّية التعبير والتعاقد.

وعلى الصعيد الإعلامي أيضاً نشهد في الإعلام الموازي للإعلام الشركاتي المهيمن تنامي المقالات والأبحاث التي تندّد بجرائم الكيان الصهيوني وتندّد أيضاً بالإعلام المهيمن الذي يسكت عن تلك التجاوزات بل يمعن أيضاً في تشويه المشهد في فلسطين. والاعلام الموازي يحظى بأقلام نيّرة وعالمة بينما الكتاب في الإعلام المهيمن في منتهى الرداءة الفكرية والأخلاقية. هناك عالمان مختلفان. ففي عالم الإعلام الموازي الذي يضمّ العديد من المواقع الإلكترونية المتخصصة بالشؤون الدولية والداخلية في الولايات المتحدة تتبلور ثقافة تميّز بين مصالح الولايات المتحدة ومصالح الكيان بينما ذلك التمايز مفقود في الإعلام المهيمن.

هذه الملاحظات لا تعني أنّ اللوبي الصهيوني انتهى. فما زال قويا ومؤثّرا في الكونغرس رغم الانتكاسات التي عرضناها. بات واضحاً أنّ حدود نفوذه لم تعد تتجاوز الكونغرس ومحيط واشنطن الكبرى وهذا دليل على التراجع مع الزمن وبسبب نضال الجهات المعادية لنفوذ الكيان الصهيوني في المجتمع الأميركي. فالانتكاسات تتكاثر لتتخطّى «الصدفة» او «الحالة الفريدة» وقد تبشّر بانقلاب كامل في الموقف. فمكان مستحيلاً منذ فترة قصيرة أصبح ممكنا. لعلّ النخب العربية واللبنانية تتعظ من تلك التحوّلات فتخفّف من المراهنة على الكيان والولايات المتحدة.

Israel Prepares for Annexation of the West Bank

By Jeremy Salt

Source

Netanyha Gantz b3bd0

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, Israel and its global lobbies have had an extraordinary run of success.

In the US and Canada, the passage of laws against the BDS movement; US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the shifting of the embassy there; the appointment of an ambassador who is no more than Israel’s point man in Washington; the Kushner plan and US acceptance of Israeli annexation of the West Bank; and in the UK, the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn, partly if not largely based on  a slanderous campaign launched against the Labor Party generally and Corbyn personally.

This was the most malicious political assassination in British history, with the corporate media and the zionist lobby driving in the knives day after day. The main Jewish newspapers had already maligned Corbyn in the same front page editorial when the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, used the Corbyn-hating Times to attack Corbyn as “mendacious” and to plant fear amongst British Jews: “What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labor Party forms the next government?” Nothing would happen, of course, not to British Jews, but there would be significant changes affecting Britain’s relations with the racist settler enterprise it established in Palestine more than a century ago.

These attacks were not about Judaism but Israel. Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-semite. This is so obvious that it should not need saying. The false charge of anti-semitism is the weapon used by zionists throughout modern history to destroy critics of Israel and here it was being used again.

Had Corbyn expressed undying support for Israel – as Keir Starmer has since done –  this issue would never have arisen.  Jews inside and outside the Labor Party would have issued statements that while there were bad apples in every barrel,  anti-semitism was a minor issue which the party leadership was dealing with. They would not have hesitated to canvass votes for the Labor Party.

Corbyn has a lifelong record of defending human rights everywhere and that includes the human rights of the Palestinians. Had he been elected he would have re-orientated foreign policy in their favor. That had to be prevented at all costs and the accusation of anti semitism was the weapon used,  on the grounds that repeated often enough people would believe it.

Thus a good man with good policies was thrown aside and a buffoon with no policies installed in his place. In time, once they realize they were duped, the British people may remember the knifing of Corbyn by the zionists.

Now Israel is moving on to its next success, the annexation of the West Bank. This is due to begin on July 1, Netanyahu and Gantz having agreed on its fundamentals and the US ready to rubber-stamp whatever portion of territory they decide to take.

Initially, this seems to be 30 percent plus the Jordan Valley. The 70 percent ostensibly left to the Palestinians will mostly consist mostly of rural land running alongside the border with Jordan.

The Trump-Kushner  ‘peace’ plan was deliberately written to be unacceptable to the Palestinians, all of them, including the now-embittered Mahmud Abbas. His ‘threats’ to rip up all accords if they go ahead is no more than the squeaking of a rusty wheel. He used the zionists and they used him. Now he has been discarded, Mahmud Abbas is of no relevance to anyone.

In the soundings he would have taken before his plan was released,  Kushner would have known perfectly well that the Palestinians would never accept it. No capital in Jerusalem, disarmament in Gaza as well as on the West Bank, Israel in charge of ‘security’ and all borders, no right of return, no more legal claims against Israel on the basis of history, no independent foreign policy, no joining of any international organization except with Israel’s approval, no more payments to the families of martyrs (Israel’s ‘terrorists’) and the acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state.  This was the price demanded of the Palestinians in return for their ‘state’ and as Kushner well knew, they could not possibly pay it.  His plan was designed from the start to be rejected by the Palestinians.

Even if they had accepted this ‘deal’ every loophole had been inserted into it to make sure  Israel ultimately gets what it wants  – all of the West Bank – anyway.  This situation,  of an offer they could not possibly accept,  is one imposed on them throughout their modern history.  When they reject what they cannot possibly accept, whether it be the Peel partition plan of 1937, the UN partition plan of 1947, the establishment of Israel on their land in 1948 or  the Camp David plan of the 1990s,  it is they who are made to shoulder the blame for the failure of the latest ‘peace process.’ If there is a difference now, it is that the Kushner-Trump-Netanyahu plan is so transparently shoddy that anyone with eyes in their head can see right through it.

With increasing portions of the West Bank annexed, under the false sovereignty of an occupying power, the Palestinians will eventually be outnumbered by the settlers poured into their land.  This is the script being written by Netanyahu and his cohorts. A racist parliament will endorse it and even more pseudo-legal and practical obstacles will be raised to make life even more unbearable for the Palestinians.

This is a heinous plan, a plan devoid of any legality, a plan cooked up by criminals and charlatans. The zionists may see it as the end of the road but this is a long war and annexation is no more than another milestone in the struggle against the takeover of Palestine by European colonists in the 20th century.

Land Day 2020 in the Time of the Coronavirus

March 30, 2020

Samidoun issued a call for a rally in New York City to commemorate the second anniversary of the Great Return March in Gaza, that has been transformed into a virtual event. (Photo: via Samidoun)

By Benay Blend

On March 3, 2020, Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Network issued a call for a rally in New York City to commemorate the second anniversary of the Great Return March in Gaza.

Plans were to hold the march in conjunction with the Palestine Writes Festival (March 27-29), but due to the Coronavirus the literary gathering has been postponed, and the march, like so many other events, has been transformed into a virtual event.

Two years ago, on March 30, 2018, Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip launched the Great March of Return in order to demand an end to Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip and the right of return for millions of Palestinian ethnically cleansed from their homes.

Despite Israel’s ongoing use of live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, Palestinians continue to use every legitimate means possible—including armed resistance, general strikes, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns, and the Great Return March—in their struggle for national liberation.

This year, in the words of Tamara Nassar: “Palestinians face two enemies: occupation and pandemic.” As Nassar notes, their struggle against the virus entails the same precautions as the rest of the world, while, in addition, Israel “continues to demolish structures, conduct night raids, arbitrarily arrest children and routinely harass civilians.”

For example, palinfo.com reports that on March 27, 2020, Israeli occupation soldiers invaded several areas in the West Bank city of al-Khalil where they “deliberately spat” at Palestinian homes and cars. After their departure, Palestinian workers sterilized the places where the soldiers spat in order to reduce the chances of infection.

Moreover, while the West Bank and Jerusalem are quarantined, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights last week recorded that Israelis undertook 59 home raids and 51 arrests.

All of these atrocities and more are unique to the Occupation. Nevertheless, there is a larger framework that makes it possible to place the Palestinian struggle within a broader context. As stated in Samidoun’s decision to transform the various rallies in support of Gaza into virtual events:

“Protecting each other’s health at this critical time is essential to continuing the struggle against the forces of oppression and exploitation that deny people health care or price it with a profit motive.”

For many in the labor force, this is not an option. In countries under the rule of right-wing capitalist leaders, workers are being told that they have a choice between staying home without a paycheck, thus placing their families under economic hardship, or going to workplaces that put them at risk for serious infection with the virus.

For example, the lieutenant governor of Texas Dan Patrick suggested that older Americans would surely sacrifice themselves in return for guaranteeing their grandchildren’s economic future. He also advocated that the country should be opened up for business in weeks, not months as health professionals propose.

President Donald Trump’s call to open up the country for business by Easter echoed a similar prioritizing of business and mega-church religious leaders over the lives of workers and their families.

In Palestine, too, Akram Al-Waara reports that workers face a similar dilemma, though aggravated by realities of the Occupation. For those working in Israel, new restrictions related to the Coronavirus mean that they have a choice between sacrificing a “much-needed income,” or taking the chance of being apart from their families for months.

As the virus continued to extend across Israel and the West Bank, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet, who had already closed the borders around Bethlehem, announced that only workers in “essential” fields—construction, healthcare, and agriculture—would be granted entry; everyone else would be quarantined at home.

“While the Israelis are staying inside their homes, they are putting us to work so that things don’t collapse,” Kareem, a Palestinian construction worker, told Middle East Eye, all “for the sake of saving their economy.” Though the situation is different within the context of the Occupation, the paradigm of profit over people is inevitable wherever there is a capitalist economy. In New Mexico, where I live, Indian reservations make up expendable labor pools, much like Palestinians are today.

In the preface to Simon Ortiz’s Fight Back: For the Sake of the People, For the Sake of the Land (1980), historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz explains that “Indians have a basis of unity with non-Indians,” and it is there, “in the fields and on the picket line, that they may see through the smokescreen of racism” to pinpoint the real cause of their oppression: capitalism.

She continues:

“For the Indian and non-Indian worker in the United States and most of the hemisphere, their exploited labor provides the profits for those who claim to own the land and the factories and have armies to back their claim.”

Dunbar-Ortiz’s analysis is more important today than ever as we see workers around the world faced with the choice of watching their families starve without a paycheck or bringing sickness home from their workplace.

As Italians called for a General Strike on March 25 under the slogan “Our lives are worth more than your profits,” and requests for a nationwide rent strike erupt in the U.S., it seems an excellent time for international solidarity among the working class, Indigenous, immigrants and all other oppressed groups of people.

Meanwhile, news sources such as NPR are using fears over the Coronavirus to air the following message: “Israelis and Palestinians now have a common enemy: the Coronavirus.”

Described by +972 Magazine as “ ‘colonization of the mind,’ whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only ‘normal’ reality that must be subscribed to, and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with,” “normalization” never sleeps. Neither does colonialist oppression, even during the height of the pandemic.

As Akram Al-Waara relates, Palestinian workers in Israel who are suspected to have the virus are “dumped…like trash” near the most convenient checkpoints. “This is the true face of the Israeli occupation,” Ibrahim Abu Safiya told Middle East Eye. “They kill us on a daily basis, so this isn’t any different for them.” No cooperation here over a “common enemy to battle,” as Daniel Estrin of NPR termed it, only the continuation of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

In Israel, the United States, and around the world, exploited groups of people are expendable, thrown away when no longer serving the needs of the elite. As a community activist and scholar Oliver Baker wrote on Facebook, this is how “whiteness in capitalism works. It expects you to consent to give it your labor and enforce empire. But it cares nothing about your life. It’s time to betray it, or if not, you’ll be in the way of people trying to free themselves from these conditions, and you don’t want to be in the way of that right now.”

Nevertheless, the message of Land Day 2020 remains one of sumoud (steadfastness) and creativity, as Palestinians from Gaza to Bethlehem mobilize collectively to fight the virus.

“If we can overcome Coronavirus, we can overcome the occupation,” writes Suha Arraf, a sentiment echoed by Lucy Thaljiyeh, a city council member and feminist political activist: “The solidarity between people has returned, the solidarity we had during the First Intifada which somehow disappeared in the Second Intifada. We are together once again, trapped; we are taking care of each other.”

As support gathers around the world in the coming days for Land Day 2020, it seems fitting to end with the words of Palestinian American activist and scholar Steven Salaita:

“I find myself thinking about the Gaza Strip, Attica, Wounded Knee, the Warsaw Ghetto, not because our situation is analogous, and not because suffering must be exceptional to have meaning, but because they’re examples of incredible strength amid hardship and insecurity and therefore provide a radical vision of fortitude in which victims of power, not its beneficiaries, serve as inspiration for survival.”

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Solidarity between Palestinians and Indigenous Activists has Deep Roots

Rally supporting indigenous communities in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo: Supplied)

Source

By Marion Kawas

Palestinian solidarity with indigenous struggles here in Turtle Island was highlighted last week, with both local and international Palestinian support for the Wet’suwet’en nation’s struggle on unceded territory in British Columbia.

The BDS National Committee (BNC) released a powerful statement at the same time as diaspora Palestinians in Vancouver sent greetings to the daily #WetsuwetenStrong protest in that city. Both emphasized the brave and tireless resistance of the indigenous defenders, with the BNC noting that Palestinians owe them “a great debt for teaching us how to resist settler colonialism generation after generation through your powerful resistance, grace and indomitable spirit”. 

But these strong expressions of Palestinian support are not new and have a long and rich history.

Mahmoud Darwish’s iconic and epic poem, “The Penultimate Speech of the ‘Red Indian’ to the White Man,” is one early example of the modern Palestinian resistance movement’s link with indigenous issues. Some verses of that poem have been put to music by Roger Waters in a segment appropriately entitled “Supremacy”.

Russell Means, leader of the American Indian Movement, also wrote a poem in response to Darwish, entitled “The Song of the Palestinian”. In fact, solidarity delegations of AIM visited Beirut in the 1970s and were welcomed at many Palestinian offices and centers.

Mahmoud Darwish was in Vancouver, Canada in 1976 as part of the Palestinian delegation to the UN-Habitat Conference. At a packed public meeting organized by local activists, he appeared on stage to recite his poetry along with celebrated indigenous poet Lee Maracle. He read several of his poems, and she presented the English translation of “Write Down, I am an Arab” for the audience.

Maracle later said that upon “Hearing his work…she felt an intrinsic connection. ‘He spoke to something so old inside my body it felt like floating in a sea of forever’.”

That same year, indigenous activists in Vancouver were also protesting the arrest and later extradition of Leonard Peltier. Peltier had been part of the 1973 resistance to the US military siege on Pine Ridge, but was falsely accused of murdering an FBI agent. He came to Canada, was jailed and later handed over to the US government, where he was incarcerated and remains to this day.

Weekly protests were held in 1976 to support Peltier, and Palestinians were there to support those actions. An article from the Native Study Group in a newsletter of the day “Palestine in Struggle”, highlighted Peltier’s case and showed why solidarity between all indigenous struggles is critical.

In 2012, there was a strong statement of support from Palestinians with the IdleNoMore movement and indigenous rights. Multiple organizations and individuals signed on to show the depth of support and understanding between the two struggles.

They said in part:

“We recognize the deep connections and similarities between the experiences of our peoples – settler colonialism, destruction and exploitation of our land and resources, denial of our identity and rights, genocide and attempted genocide.”

Indigenous activists from Canada have been part of the Gaza Flotilla multiple times. Both Robert Lovelace and more recently, Larry Commodore, sailed on Boat to Gaza vessels in solidarity with the Palestinians. Larry, in particular, was treated brutally and injured by the Israeli military upon his arrest from the al Awda in 2018.

Solidarity between Palestinian and Mohawk activists also has a long history across Canada. There are many examples of mutual support, with Mohawk flags being seen at Palestinian demos and Palestinian flags flying high on Six Nations land.

One activist, the late Splitting the Sky (John Boncore), who was part of the Gustafsen Lake standoff, was also pivotal in furthering indigenous solidarity in British Columbia. He joined the parents of Rachel Corrie and others on a Vancouver stage in 2003 in a remarkable meeting to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians.

Slogans such as “Sovereign Forever, Never Surrender” and “If you deny our Existence, Expect our Resistance” have been highlighted in the #WetsuwetenStrong protests. These slogans also resonate completely with the current phase of the Palestinian struggle, as Palestinians deal with Trump’s apartheid plan and the crushing vision for the future it embodies.

The bonds of shared trauma, shared resistance to settler colonialism and the enduring spirit of defending the land will keep the solidarity between Palestinians and the indigenous people of Turtle Island alive for generations.

– Marion Kawas is a member of the Canada Palestine Association and co-host of Voice of Palestine. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.cpavancouver.org.

The Shame of the Century: Kushner’s Deal Is Dead on Arrival

The “Deal of the Century” has been written by Israeli officials

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, February 04, 2020

Imagine a lawsuit being tried in a courtroom.  The case is coming to a close, and one side is sure of their position of being ‘in the right’, and then the opposing side offers a ‘deal’ to settle the case out of court.  However, the deal they offer is empty and does not satisfy the basic legal claims. They decide to reject the offer, and wait for the chance of winning their full rights, depending on the justice system, and the merits of their case as presented.

Details of the deal

The “Deal of the Century” has been written by Israeli officials, which is made clear not only from the style but content as well. President Trump announced the deal in the White House’s East Room on January 28, with his guest Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and others, giving Israel full control of the settlements and Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The illegal settlements will now be considered the same as any other part of Israel under Israeli law and by the US. Netanyahu was thrilled that Israel can now annex land in Judea and Samaria, which previously had threatened to bring sanctions in the UN Security Council.  “The idea of dividing Jerusalem is buried,” Netanyahu said while adding “The idea of returning to 1967 lines as we knew it is buried. The right of return is buried; not even one refugee will be entering Israel.” Additionally, the IDF and Israeli security forces will have access to defend all territory west of the Jordan River, and  Israel will control “air, sea, land and electromagnetic fields,” according to Netanyahu. The US will accept Israeli sovereignty over all Jerusalem neighborhoods within the security fence.

The US deal sets a plan for a Palestinian state if they meet conditions within four years, including stopping: terrorism; payments to terrorists; armed resistance. If the conditions are met, then a Palestinian state could be recognized, with limited sovereignty, as Israel would have full security control.

This is an American plan, and an American map, and not binding on anyone.  Some would call it a diktat, defined as ‘a harsh settlement unilaterally imposed on a defeated nation’, or ‘terms of capitulation.’

The two-state solution

The two-state solution has for decades been the basis of negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been the official policy of the United States, the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Beginning in 1948, Palestinians fled, or were expelled from their homes; however, the UN Resolution 194 was adopted on December 11, 1948, which guarantees everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Following the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, the UN adopted Security Council Resolution 242. The resolution calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied territories, adopted unanimously on November 22, 1967, and those are the borders referred to in the two-state solution. Jerusalem was to be divided into an Israeli West and a Palestinian East.

The Trump deal has bulldozed the two-state solution.

Resistance

Resistance to the occupation of Palestine was most often coordinated by a committee made up of local social and political leaders, who held strikes, protests, and general political activism. The occupied people supported tax revolts, general strikes, teach-ins, prisoner hunger strikes, as Israeli law allows for the arrest and detention of Palestinians without charge or trial.

In 2005 the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement began, targeting corporations and institutions that reinforce Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinian human rights.

All nonviolent protests have been brutally suppressed and popular resistance leaders have been imprisoned, exiled, and killed.  All public gatherings of more than 10 people are forbidden by Israeli military orders enforced by the Israeli military in the occupied Palestinian territory.  Nonviolent protest actions and public political and/or cultural gatherings of Palestinians in areas under Israeli control are broken up by the Israeli military and police, often using tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, rubber bullets, live ammunition, and physical force, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Apartheid

The ‘Deal of the Century’ regurgitates apartheid, a racist political system, and we only have to look to Israeli historian Uri Davis’s book “Apartheid Israel”.

Under the Trump deal, the Palestinians may have limited autonomy within a homeland that consists of multiple non-connecting enclaves scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Israel would retain security control over the enclaves and would continue to control borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime waters, and electromagnetic fields. Israel would be allowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians would be allowed to choose their leaders but would have no political rights in Israel, the state that rules over them.

The Trump deal for racial control and segregation harkens back to South Africa, before the ANC and armed resistance groups fought a bloody fight, which had international support, ultimately winning their freedom and rights with Nelson Mandela at the helm.

Like South Africa’s apartheid, the Trump deal gives the Palestinians autonomy over matters like education and healthcare, while trade, immigration, and security would remain under Israeli control. It would give Israelis a false sense of security while living under a regime based on racial oppression. The deal may constitute a crime against humanity, under the Rome Statute (1998), since it violates the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.

President Trump

President Trump has done more for Israel than any previous US President.  He allowed the personal ‘pet-project’ of his son in law, Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, to reverse decades of US foreign policy. Many have questioned what gives the US the power to decide that Palestinians will live under apartheid?

Occupation

According to Noam Chomsky, Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade. He wrote, a visitor to Gaza can’t help feeling disgusted at the obscenity of the occupation, compounded with guilt, because it is within our power to bring the suffering to an end and allow the Samidin to enjoy the lives of peace and dignity that they deserve.

Israelis don’t like the plan

Yisrael Beytenu leader, Avigdor Liberman, said: “The Trump plan is an escape plan from the real problems on the agenda” for Netanyahu, and the PM is using the deal to hide from real domestic issues he refuses to deal with. While Trump has been impeached by the House, Netanyahu has been indicted by the courts, and it seems the two wounded leaders are using the deal as camouflage.

Palestinian Christians

Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian journalist and secretary of the Jordan Evangelical Council in Amman, said after reading the deal, it “sounded more like a surrender dictate than a peace plan. The fact that of 13 million Palestinians, the Americans couldn’t find a single one to attend [the rollout] spoke volumes in its one-sidedness,” he added,  “It is a surrender document that will lay the grounds for Palestinians to continue to live under Israeli discrimination. This is a formula for further violence and unrest.”

The deal allows Israel to keep land they have managed illegally to grab, while they promise to pause for four years while the Palestinians capitulate to unjust terms, but the only offer on the table. If the Palestinians decide the deal is unacceptable, then Israel will undoubtedly begin to grab even more lands and justify their actions by pointing the finger of blame at the other side.  This is the likely outcome unless those insisting on justice will intervene from outside and exert pressure on Israel.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is a political commentator. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Jerusalem PostThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Steven Sahiounie, Global Research, 2020

Global Movement to Boycott USA Products Calls for Joining Its Efforts in Rejection of “Deal of the Century”

January 29, 2020

The Global Movement to Boycott USA Products issued a statement in which it denounced and rejected the “Deal of the Century” announced by the US President Donald Trump:

Once again, the United States of America demonstrates its total bias in favor of the Zionist entity at the expense of the rights of the Palestinian people in their historical land. Once again, the policies of the successive American administrations prove their hostility and threat to the peoples of the region in their presence, security and stability. Once again, Washington proves to be the lifeblood that provides the Zionist entity with all the reasons for survival and continuity.

The global movement to boycott USA products (BUP) denounces US President Donald Trump’s announcement of the alleged “Deal of the Century” and invites all Arab and Islamic peoples and free people of the world to participate in the activities of boycotting USA products, joining the efforts made in this context, describing the boycott as one of the effective weapons that people can use to express their rejection and condemnation of the hostile American policies towards them.

The movement believes that the Arab and Islamic peoples and the free people of the world have a duty to confront with the available capabilities, for the continuous American attempts to eliminate the central issue for them, and considers that the opportunity is appropriate today to move forward in an effective boycott as a popular option available to play the role assigned to us as the peoples of free and proud masses.

Global movement to boycott USA products (BUP) stresses that the Palestinian cause must remain the center of unanimous freedom in the world, to whatever nationality or religion they belong. It called for making the province an essential and complementary source of the efforts being made to overthrow the “Deal of the Century” project.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake

December 23, 2019  

Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

 Lawrence Davidson 

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake—An Analysis (23 December 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Trump and the Constitution

It is a pretty sure thing that President Donald Trump is ignorant of what is in the U.S. Constitution and, in any case, does not care much about what the document says. Take the idea of freedom of speech as set down in the First Amendment. Does he understand the importance of this amendment? Actually, it would seem that the only freedom of speech he finds sacrosanct is his own, expressed almost daily in angry, often rambling “tweets.” Those frequent missives hardly make the man a model of critical thinking and, as it turns out, for the price of some special interest’s political support, President Trump is willing to tell us all that we must believe the opposite of what is true. If we don’t, he will take away some federal benefit. Trump is by nature both authoritarian and simple-minded—not an unusual combination. 

Part II—Confusing Categories

It was in this simplistic frame of mind that, on 12 December, President Trump issued an executive order directing the federal government to deny funds to universities and colleges that allow alleged anti-Semitic speech on campus. Well, the reader might respond, such an order is understandable because we know that anti-Semitism is a particularly vicious form of racism. And so it is. The mistake here is to assume that President Trump actually knows how to recognize genuine anti-Semitism, so as not to confuse this expression of bigotry with its opposite: the support of human, civil and political rights—in this case, those of the Palestinians. Now, the reader might ask, how could anyone confuse these two categories: on the one hand, the support of an oppressed people’s rights and, on the other, racist anti-Semitism? It helps if you are ignorant, amoral and opportunistic. 

And so, with the encouragement of the Zionist lobby, a particularly powerful lobby dedicated solely to the interests of the Israeli state, President Trump, who is in fact ignorant, amoral and opportunistic, based this executive order on a logical fallacy—a category mistake. He identified protests against Israeli state behavior with anti-Semitic racism and declared that any university or college that allows the former (say, by permitting criticism of Israel for its violent suppression of Palestinian rights) is to be found guilty of the latter (anti-Semitism), and therefore is not to receive federal funds. 

Part III—A Zionist Project 

Working for the purposeful confusion of anti-Semitism and the support for Palestinian rights is a Zionist project. It should be emphasized that the Zionists who carry this project forward are not, like the president, ignorant or confused. They know what they are doing. And that is why this effort constitutes a tragedy of the highest order not only for the Palestinians, but for the Jewish people as well.

After World War II every sane individual knew that racism, particularly racism expressed through state power, was bad news. The consequences of such empowered bigotry was there to see across the world: Japanese behavior in China, Korea and Southeast Asia generally, along with German behavior throughout occupied Europe, constituted the worst examples. They resulted in the deaths of tens of millions—among them six million Jews. That is why as early as the late 1940s, an expansion of international law and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights sought to make such behavior criminal, particularly when carried out as the policy of governments.

As it turned out, those resolutions constituted direct obstacles to the Zionist goal of a “Jewish state” in Palestine. The Zionist conquest of Palestine in the military campaigns of   1948 and 1967, was followed by the systematic narrowing or outright denial of the human, civil and political rights for Palestinians. In the case of Palestinians residing in Israel proper, the racist policies and practices were often obscured behind a facade of benign-sounding declarations that, more often than not, had little impact on minority rights. No such facade was adopted within the Occupied Territories. In this way racism became an essential tool for achieving Zionism’s goal of ethnic exclusivity.  

So how do you rationalize this behavior? Even though Ashkenasi (that is, European) Jews have been one of the most persecuted groups in Western history, it was not hard for the Zionists to see their own racist behavior as necessary. Founding a state first and foremost for one group, in a territory already occupied by hundreds of thousands of “others,” easily led to discriminatory policies and practices. It also led to indoctrination of Israeli Jews and their diaspora supporters through the distortion of the history of conquest and colonial occupation. The inevitable resistance of the Palestinians, even when non-violent, became labeled as lawlessness at best and terrorism at worst. In this sense, Israeli society has mimicked not only the apartheid sentiments of South Africa, but also the culture that prevailed in the United States before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Part IV—Exporting the Fallacy

Yet it was not enough for the Israelis to convince their own Jewish citizens that Zionist racism was righteous self-defense and support of Palestinian rights the equivalent of anti-Semitism. This logical fallacy had to be pushed on Israel’s primary ally, the United States. And, at least in the halls of power, this effort has been remarkably successful, probably because the Zionist lobby has a lot of money to help or hinder ambitious American politicians. 

However, outside of those halls, the effort has been exposed for what it is: a dangerous reversal of categories that threatens to turn the clock back on much of the post-World War II progress in political, civil and human rights. As the growing popularity of the boycott Israel movement (BDS) has shown, American citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have an increasing ability to see the reality of the situation. A survey released in mid June 2017 by an organization known as the Brand Israel Group, “a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists” who consult for pro-Israel organizations, indicated that “approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys” while “Israel’s approval among all Americans dropped 14 points.” Brand Israel’s conclusion: in the future, the U.S. may “no longer believe that Israel shares their values.” This is the case not because of any big increase in anti-Semitism, but due to ever-growing evidence of Israeli racism.

One reaction to this increasing popular clarity of vision is President Trump’s executive order. If, in this case, colleges and universities do not enforce the Zionist logical fallacy, they lose federal money. 

Part V—Conclusion

Governments do not have a very good reputation for telling their citizens the truth. For instance, just this month it was made known that the U.S. government and military misled the American people about the ability to achieve victory in the Afghan war—a conflict that has been going on for 18 years. The same thing occurred during the Vietnam War. However, it is one thing to withhold information, or downright lie about a situation, and another to urge a population to swallow the category contradictions Trump and the Zionists are peddling. There is something Orwellian about that. It is no mistake that it is the brightest of college students, those who are actually overcoming ignorance and practicing the art of thinking straight, who are most put off by this propagandistic tactic. 

As for those Zionist students who claim that protests against Israeli policy and behavior on their campus make them feel uncomfortable, or even unsafe, they might try to learn something from those feelings. After all, it’s the closest they will ever come to the much more profound feelings of anxiety and danger that Palestinians feel every day, in their own homes, neighborhoods and campuses as well. So which category do all of us want to defend—the category of state-sponsored racism or the category of human, civil and political rights? Just be sure not to confuse one for the other.

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Critics of «Israel»

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Critics of «Israel»

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will make Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, amid concerns that it will be used to silence those who oppose the “Israeli” entity’s apartheid policy toward the Palestinians.

Image result for jewish power

The executive order, announced at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, empowers the US education department to penalize college campuses by withholding federal funds from those which allow criticism of the entity.

The measure targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement that has initiated “various forms of boycott against ‘Israel’ until it meets its obligations under international law.”

The BDS movement is gaining momentum in the United States and poses a serious threat to Israel’s “hegemonic power” in Washington, according to Myles Hoenig, a political activist based in Maryland.

The presidential order bans discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs and activities, such as colleges and universities, where the BDS movement has been very successful.

Title VI will extend the ban to target critics of “Israel”. A draft copy of the executive order was published Wednesday by the Jewish Insider.

Palestinian and progressive groups condemned the executive order as a blatant attempt to squash criticism of human rights abuses committed by the “Israeli” regime. Dima Khalidi, who is the director of Palestine Legal, described the order as a “bald-faced attempt to silence the movement for Palestinian rights on college campuses”.

“Defining antisemitism to include criticism of ‘Israel’ serves only to violate the free speech of students and professors who stand for equality and justice for all people,” she added.

 

Israel’s Case Against Human Rights Watch Reveals How Its Normalizing West Bank Land Theft

Omar Shakir Feature photo

The argument made by an Israeli court has been defacto reality in Israel since 1967: there is no West Bank, instead, the region is called Judea and Samaria, legitimate parts of the State of Israel. 

The Occupied West Bank — In November 2019, following a long legal battle, Israel revoked the work visa and deported Human Rights Watch (HRW) director Omar Shakir.  According to HRW, Israel argued that the state, “revoked the work visa of Shakir, a United States citizen, in May 2018 on the assertion that his advocacy violated a 2017 law that bars entry to people who advocate a boycott of Israel or its settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

HRW claims that this is not true and that the organization does not call for the boycott of Israel. On their website, they do claim, however, that, “Human Rights Watch urges businesses to stop operating in illegal settlements as part of their global duty to avoid complicity in human rights abuses.”

The case went all the way to Israel’s highest court which found that the position held by HRW regarding Israeli settlements constitutes grounds for deportation. The decision describes Human Rights Watch’s research on the activities of businesses, including the global tourism companies Airbnb and Booking.com, as “boycott-promoting activities.”

The truth is that HRW does recommend that businesses cease operations in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. According to Judge Tamar Bazak-Rapoport, Israel’s anti-boycott law does not distinguish between boycotts directed at Israel and those directed only at West Bank settlements.

At a recent event in Ramallah to commemorate International Palestine Solidarity Day, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Hirsh of Neturei Karta, weighed in on the ruling, saying to a group of Palestinians and liberal Israelis that:

The talk regarding the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank is irrelevant. This is because not only those settlements are a violation of international law, but the entire Zionist state is a violation of international law. Therefore the only thing that can stop the occupation is a global economic boycott of the Zionist state.”

 

A Weak Argument

The argument made by Judge Rapoport echoes what has been defacto reality in Israel since 1967: there is no West Bank, instead, the region is called Judea and Samaria, which are legitimate parts of the State of Israel.

Israel does not recognize that there are settlements that are “illegal” and ones that are legal because the official Israeli line is that Jews have a right to reside anywhere within the Land of Israel, and that includes Judea and Samaria.

Omar Shakir Israel

Omar Shakir Israel Omar Shakir poses with a copy of a report released following a two year investigation in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 23, 2018. Nasser Nasser | AP

The region that was once universally recognized as the West Bank is now officially the Judea and Samaria district, according to Israel. As an example, the Israeli police established the Shai District (Shai is the acronym in Hebrew for Shomron & Yehuda, or Samaria and Judea), in 1994. On their website, which is in Hebrew only, it says that the district is the second in size within the Israeli police force, but it is the first in “sensitivity.”  Sensitivity meaning security issues and clearly the reader will understand that they are speaking of the Arabs who reside within the district.

According to the site, the Shai district includes one hundred and twenty colonies, which are in fact cities and towns for Jews only. It contains three municipalities, twelve local councils, and six regional councils. It should come as no surprise that none of the countless cities and towns and villages that exist within that region and in which close to three million Palestinians reside are included on that list. In order to ensure the safety and security of the residents (Jewish residents), the website reads, the police district has to work alongside the army and the Shabak, or the secret police.

All this to say that the inclusion of Israeli settlements and colonies within Judea and Samaria into Israel, those same settlements that HRW refers to as “illegal,” is complete.

 

Israel vs. the “occupation”

The view taken by the Israeli courts regarding the deportation of Omar Shakir is, in fact, an honest assessment of the situation. Tel-Aviv is largely an illegal settlement sitting on the destroyed Palestinian city of Yafa. The same goes for many, if not most, of the Israeli neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The cities of Akka, Tabariya, Safad, Lydd, Ramle – to mention a few – all had a sizeable Palestinian population that was forcibly expelled and now Israeli Jews have taken their lands and their homes. Israeli colonies, stretching from Al-Jaleel in the north to the Naqab in the south, sit on lands taken by force from Palestinians. They are the same as the cities and towns built in what used to be the West Bank, a geopolitical entity that no longer exists.

The only remnant from the pre-1967 Israel is the quasi citizenship status held by the Palestinians who reside in the pre-1967 boundaries. While Israeli Jews are full-fledged citizens regardless of where they reside, the status of Palestinians is determined by their place of residence: 1948, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria or Gaza.

The concern within Israel is that, if HRW calls for a boycott of certain colonies, what will stop them from calling a boycott on the others? The argument made by HRW, and its denial of the claim that it calls for boycott, did not hold up in Israeli court and for good reason. It is an argument has no merit in the reality that exists in Palestine.

Trying to separate “Israel Proper” from the “occupation” is an exercise in futility. So the question is, why does HRW, and many other organizations for that matter, still treat some settlements as illegal and not others? Furthermore, Israel clearly states that a call for the boycott of any Israeli settlement is to call for a boycott of Israel, why call on business to cease working in Judea and Samaria but not in other parts of Palestine?

What is perhaps the most crucial question of them all, if indeed Human Rights Watch is serious about its claims of Israeli human rights violations, why does it not endorse the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions known as BDS?

The approach that maintains that there is a legitimate Israel, and an occupation that is a separate entity, is the line held by liberal Zionist groups that are sometimes called “Zionist Left.” It is, however, a false assertion. There is but one Israel, it is an apartheid regime that governs all of historic Palestine and anyone who opposes it must call for a boycott. Calling to boycott only some of it is tantamount to saying that racism and violence are acceptable within certain boundaries.

At the event in Ramallah where Rabbi Hirsh spoke, other Israelis were present. They disrupted and heckled the Rabbi to a point where the Palestinian host had to stop and reprimand the Israelis and ask them to demonstrate respect, as it was they who decided on the speakers. What troubled the members of the Zionist “Left” who were present was that Rabbi Hirsh stated that not only are Judea and Samaria settlements are a violation of international law, but that the entire Zionist project is.

The truth hurts.

Feature photo | Omar Shakir, center, a U.S. citizen and employee of Human Rights Watch, stands next to Kenneth Roth before being deported from Israel at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, November 25, 2019. Ammar Awad | Reuters

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

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.

 

Waging War Against The Rule of Law

An Analysis (21 November 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—An Embarrassingly Hard Moment

There is no doubt about it: at our present moment in history it is embarrassingly hard to be a defender of the rule of law. This is particularly so when such laws seek to assert and protect human rights. It is embarrassing because being supportive of such regulations should be a “no-brainer.” Instead, it pits you against the U.S. government and its closest ally, Israel.

Thus, there is the fact that while there are many countries that take no heed of international law in this regard, if you happen to be an outspoken humanitarian Jewish American, you are really going to have a tough time of it. You are assailed on one side by powerful American leaders who attack international law with manifestly faulty reasoning (see below). On the other side, one is confronted by Zionist Jews, both inside and outside of Israel, who would destroy not only the international law that stands in the way of their territorial greed, but the ethical and moral integrity of the Jewish people as well. For all those Jewish Americans who see value in defending human rights and the rule of law, I truly commiserate: it is not easy being us!

Part II—Assaulting the Rule of Law

In its latest assault on the rule of law, the Trump administration has declared that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are legitimate. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a self-described advocate of “Christian diplomacy” has led the way in this. He stated that: “After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan [who, back in 1980, expressed a similar sentiment]. The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”

No details were given on the “careful study” Pompeo claims to have been made. And, frankly, it is hard to take this assertion seriously because the Trump folks are not known to be objective, or even attentive, when it comes to detail. No information was given on what basis Ronald Reagan came to his opinion. Nor is it known whether or not Reagan was senile at the time he spoke. And, no elaboration was made as to what “per se” means in the context of Pompeo’s declaration.

The Secretary of State went on: “The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace. This is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”

This bit of conjecture is dubious at best, and if such conclusions are the product of the Secretary’s “careful study,” we can conclude that Pompeo is either being disingenuous or is ignorant to the point of incompetence. Here is what I mean:

—The conclusion that “there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict” is a contrived one. Pompeo should certainly know that there are readily discernible reasons, most of them coming from the U.S.-Israeli side, why attempts to apply international law as the basis of a settlement have so far failed. Actually, there are at least forty three reasons—that is the number of vetos the United States has cast in the UN Security Council to protect Israel, largely from international law, between 1972 and 2017. In addition, one should never say “never.”

—The assertion that “arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace” is also contrived. Again, you cannot acquiesce    in seventy-one years of Israeli behavior, much of it in violation of international law, all the while protecting, as most U.S. governments have done, the criminal party, and then say “international law will not bring peace.” Obviously, the historical context means nothing to Pompeo.

—Pompeo’s final conclusion that “this is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians” is simply a throwaway line that has no meaning given the history of those “negotiations” that have been attempted.

Part III—Accepting “Reality”

Perhaps the most egregious assertion made by Secretary Pompeo was that all the U.S. is doing is “recognizing the reality on the ground.” This same excuse was used by the Trump administration when it blessed the occupation of the Golan Heights. Subsequently, some people assigned to the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem have claimed that all Trump was doing was recognizing the “truth.”

These claims oversimplify and distort the current situation to the point of absurdity. Mr. Pompeo and those folks at the embassy are not dabbling in some field of physics here. They have not come along and discovered a new naturally occurring phenomenon. The fact is that in our social, economic and political worlds we humans do not discover reality, we create our own constantly fluctuating “reality.” And, as touched on above, today’s variation on fluctuating “reality” in places like Gaza, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank are the result of Israeli actions that defy international law. That makes those acts and their consequences—their “reality”—by definition, criminal. At the same time, as we have seen, the folks in Washington gave the necessary assistance that allowed the Israelis to get away with their criminal behavior. That makes the people in Washington who provided this cover, criminals as well.

Part IV—Conclusion

So what we have here is the Secretary of State of a country that has acted as an accomplice to years of illicit behavior throwing up his hands and saying “the law has failed”—while not mentioning the fact that he and others before him, acting in their official government capacities, helped to arrange that outcome.

This bit of sleight of hand was no doubt made easier for Mike Pompeo given that he has ridden the coattails of a boss who is himself lawless. That fast-and-loose attitude toward the rule of law is a main reason Donald Trump is going to be impeached.

Despite all, the struggle of the Palestinians and their allies will go on. Applying the appropriate biblical comparisons, the BDS movement (the boycott of Israel) has become the “light unto the nations” that Israel itself was mythically supposed to be. And outspoken anti-Zionist Jews, like some of those Old Testament prophets, are now the last bastion against Israel’s racist idolatry.

Addendum24 November 2019, supplied by a close historian friend : “In 1931, in contravention of International Law, Japan occupied Manchuria and turned it into a vassal state called Manchukuo. In response, the United States announced the Hoover-Stimson Doctrine declaring that this nation would never recognize territorial changes brought about by force.” How many of our working diplomates even remember that this doctrine exists?

Image result for lawrence davidson

About Lawrence Davidson

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

A literary prize was withdrawn from the writer Camila Shamsi for her support of the boycott movement

سحب جائزة أدبية من الكاتبة كاميلا شمسي لدعمها حركة المقاطعة

%d bloggers like this: