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)

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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.

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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?

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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

Lebanese Cleric “Shaihk” Saleh Hamed Attends Arab anti-Boycott Meeting in London: ‘Israel’ Has Right to Exist

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From the protest squares in the Lebanese northern city of Tripoli, the cleric Saleh Hamed moved to London to attend a meeting for a number of Arab thinkers who advocate the restoration of ties with the Zionist entity.

Boycotting ‘Israel’ is a failure, and has only helped that country while damaging Arab nations that have long shunned the Jewish state, NYT quoted a small new group of Arab thinkers from across the Middle East who are pushing to engage with ‘Israel’ on the alleged theory that it would aid their societies and further the Palestinian cause.

The New York Times added that the members praised Hamed who attended in spite of the possibility of reprisal upon his return.

“We do not deny the rights of the Jews to have a country,” Sheikh Hamed said, citing the Prophet Muhammad’s kindness toward Jews. But he was careful to add that the Palestinians “should have their lands according to the 1967 borders.”

The meeting was blasted by the head of the Palestinian mission in London who belittled the attendees as an “extreme fringe of isolated individuals.” From Tunisia, whose new president has called it treasonous to engage with Israel, he said, to Lebanon, where protesters are waving the Palestinian flag alongside their own, “the sentiment of the vast majority of the Arab world is going in the other direction.”

Source: Al-Manar Website and other websites

 

Lawyer to File Complaint against Lebanese Cleric Who Calls for Normalizing Tie with ‘Israel’ 

A Lawyer from the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli is to file a complaint against Cleric Saleh Hamed, who attended earlier a meeting for a number of Arab thinkers who advocate the restoration of ties with the Zionist entity.

Lawyer Mohammad Monir Malas is to file complaint on Monday against Saleh, who is also from Tripoli, over his efforts to propagate the normalization of ties with the Israeli enemy, Al-Ahed News reported on Saturday.

Malas told Al-Ahed News that the security apparatus in Lebanon are aware of Hamed’s moves, stressing that his complaint to the involved judicial authorities is aimed at “offering details that convict” Hamed.

The lawyer stressed meanwhile, that the judiciary in Lebanon “must bear responsibility to take the issue seriously.”

Saleh Hamed had earlier attended a meeting in London for a group of Arab thinkers who consider that boycotting the Zionist entity is a ‘failure’, according to the New York Times.

The NYT reported on Wednesday (November 20) that Hamed was praised for attending the meeting in London “in spite of the possibility of reprisal upon his return.”

Hamed has been also known for his ties with several foreign embassies in Lebanon, including the US embassy, Al-Ahed News reported.

He has been repeatedly seen in the protests taking place in the northern city of Tripoli since October 17, 2019.

Source: Lebanese media

 

Israel’s Supreme Court — Upholding “Targeted Assassinations” and Torture

Global Research, November 08, 2019

Time and again, Israel’s high court upholds human and civil rights abuses committed by the state.

In 2006, the court upheld its targeted assassinations policy, claiming they’re OK when no other choices exist to protect against dangers to national security — that don’t exist it failed to say.

The policy contravenes Israeli law, the laws of war, and human rights law. Time and again, Israel falsely calls legitimate self-defense by Palestinians “terrorism,” unjustifiably justifying its lawless actions, most often upheld by its high court.

In Public Committee against Torture in Israel et al v. the Government of Israel et al (1999), Israel’s Supreme Court banned the practice it earlier OK’d, ruling “psychological pressure (and) a moderate degree of physical pressure” are permissible.

Israel’s 1987 Landau Commission condemned harsh interrogations amounting to torture, but approved the practice to obtain evidence for convictions in criminal proceedings, saying these tactics are necessary against “hostile (threats or acts of) terrorist activity and all expressions of Palestinian nationalism.”

Despite calling the 1984 UN Convention against Torture “absolute (with) no exceptions and no balances,” Israel’s high court OK’d coercive interrogations in three cases.

It permitted violent shaking, painful shackling, hooding, playing deafeningly loud music, sleep deprivation, and lengthly detainments.

Loopholes in the high court’s 1999 ruling OK’d abusive practices amounting to torture despite banning the practice.

It notably allowed physical force in so-called “ticking bomb” cases, giving Israeli interrogators and others wide latitude on their actions.

The court effectively ruled both ways, approving torture and other abusive practices despite banning it.

International law is clear and unequivocal on this issue, banning it at all times, under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.

In 2015, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by human rights groups and political movements that called for overturning the Anti-Boycott Law.

At the time, the Global BDS Movement and Coalition for Women for Peace called the bill “one of the most dangerous anti-democratic laws promoted” by Knesset members, adding:

“Boycott is a nonviolent, legal and legitimate means to promote social and political aims that are protected in civil rights of freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. The bill constitutes a fatal blow to all these civil rights.”

The police state law punishes entities or individuals that call for boycotting Israel, or an economic, cultural, or academic boycott of its illegal settlements.

According to the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Israel’s Supreme Court “ignored the chilling effect of this law, and missed the opportunity to tell legislators that there are limits to their anti-human rights actions. This law encourages discrimination against the Arabs in Israel.”

The 2012 Nakba Law “harms both the freedom of expression and the civil rights of Arab citizens, even before its implementation.”

“Because the law’s formulation is so broad and vague, many institutions have already begun and will self-censor in order not to risk incurring penalties.”

Israel’s high court upheld the law, falsely claiming it “does not raise difficult and complex questions.”

It violates Arab history, culture, heritage, and the right to express, teach, or disseminate it freely.

Arab intellectual Constantin Zureiq earlier called the Nakba “the worst catastrophe in the deepest sense of the word, to have befallen the Arabs in their long and disaster-ridden history.”

Compromising their ability to publicly denounce what happened compounds the high crime against them.

Speech, press, and academic freedoms in Israel are gravely endangered. In 2017, legislation was enacted that banned foreign nationals who support BDS from entering the country.

Last April, Israel’s Jerusalem district court ruled against Human Rights Watch’s Israeli office director Omar Shakir, a US citizen, ordering him deported for supporting the global BDS movement, his lawful free expression right.

HRW appealed the ruling, petitioning Israel’s Supreme Court to overturn the injustice. It got an injunction to let Shakir stay in the country until the high court heard his case.

On Tuesday, the court ruled against him, Shakir tweeting:

“Breaking: Israeli Supreme Court upholds my deportation over my rights advocacy. Decision now shifts back to Israeli gov; if it proceeds, I have 20 days to leave…(W)e won’t be the last.”

Critic of Israeli human rights abuses Amnesty International said

“the court has made it explicitly clear that those who dare to speak out about human rights violations by the Israeli authorities will be treated as enemies of the state.”

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against free expression. Without it, all other rights are jeopardized.

Compromising speech, press, and academic freedoms is the hallmark of totalitarian rule — the new normal in the US, other Western societies and Israel, affirmed by its high court.

Is is just a matter of time before Western ones rule the same way?

Is digital democracy in the West and Israel endangered?

Are abuses against Chelsea Manning, other whistleblowers, Julian Assange, and other independent journalists prelude for much more severe crackdowns against fundamental freedoms ahead?

*

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

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from IMEMC


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Protesting Israel Is a “Hate Crime” in U.S. Universities

By Philip Giraldi

Source

US Universities Bow to Pressure bf0cb

The Israel lobby in the United States and its counterparts in Europe have been paying particular attention to curtailing the activities of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). This is because BDS, which is non-violent and based on established human rights principles, is extremely appealing to college students, who will be tomorrow’s leaders. Israel, which promotes its own largely fictional narrative about itself, is reluctant to allow any competing stories about its foundation and current activities, so it has worked hard to exclude any and all criticism of its practices on college campuses and even among students in public high schools.

Unfortunately, many colleges and universities are all too ready to compromise their principles, such as they are, whenever a representative of Israel or of Jewish groups comes calling. A popular line that has proven to be particularly effective is that Jews on campus feel threatened whenever anyone advocates for the Palestinians or Iranians, intended to convey that their civil rights are being violated.

Even if that type of allegation is actually relevant to whether or not one allows free speech and association, one wonders how violated the Palestinians and Iranians must feel when confronted by the endless stream of hostility emanating from the U.S. media and Hollywood as well as from select politicians representing both parties and the White House.

In the most recent manifestation of suppression of views critical of Israel, the federal government’s Department of Education has ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to reorganize the Consortium for Middle East Studies program run jointly by the two colleges based on their failure to include enough “positive” content relating to Christianity and Judaism. The demand came with a threat to suspend federal funding of Title VI Higher Education Act international studies and foreign language grants to the two schools if the curriculum is not changed.

Of course, the demands have nothing to do with Christian groups demanding inclusion and everything to do with organized Jewish pressure to present Israel in a positive light while also casting aspersions on the Jewish state’s perceived enemies in the region and also on university campuses. Anyone who has even cursory knowledge about the Middle East knows that Christians and Jews constitute only a tiny minority in the region, so the emphasis on teaching about Islam, the Arabs, and the Persians makes sense if the instruction is to have any actual relevance.

One particular event that apparently led to an earlier investigation in June launched by the Education Department consisted of a conference in March called “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities.” A Republican congressman was outraged by the development and asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to investigate because the gathering was full of “radical anti-Israel bias.”

Even The New York Times acknowledged in their coverage of the story that “Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, has become increasingly aggressive in going after perceived anti-Israel bias in higher education.” Her deputy—who has served as a focal point for the effort to root out anti-Israel sentiment—is Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus, who might reasonably be described as “a career pro-Israel advocate.”

Marcus is the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a foundation that he has used to exclusively defend the rights of Jewish groups and individuals against BDS and other manifestations of Palestinian pushback against the Israeli occupation of their country. He has not hesitated to call opponents anti- Semites and has worked with Jewish students to file civil rights complaints against college administrations, including schools in Wisconsin and California. In an op-ed that appeared, not surprisingly, in The Jerusalem Post, he observed that even when student complaints were rejected, they created major problems for the institutions involved. “If a university shows a failure to treat initial complaints seriously, it hurts them with donors, faculty, political leaders, and prospective students.”

Last year Marcus reopened an investigation into alleged anti-Jewish bias at Rutgers University that the Obama administration had closed after finding that the charges were baseless. Marcus indicated that the re-examination was called for, as his office in the Education Department would henceforth be using the State Department definition of anti-Semitism that includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination,” making much criticism of Israel a hate crime.

In the current North Carolina-Duke case, DeVos and Marcus expressed concern over course content that had “a considerable emphasis placed on understanding the positive aspects of Islam, while there is an absolute absence of any similar focus on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion or belief system in the Middle East.” The complaint called for balancing content relating to “the historic discrimination faced by, and current circumstances of, religious minorities in the Middle East, including Christians, Jews, Baha’is, Yazidis, Kurds, Druze, and others.”

Zoha Khalili, a staff lawyer at Palestine Legal, explained how the message coming from Washington is actually quite simple and has nothing to do with balance: “They really want to send the message that if you want to criticize Israel, then the federal government is going to look very closely at your entire program and micromanage it to death. . . . [It] sends a message to Middle Eastern studies programs that their continued existence depends on their willingness to toe the government line on Israel.”

The possible consequences are very clear. If you are an educational institution that criticizes Israel in any way, shape or form, you will lose any funding you receive from the federal government. The move has nothing to do with budgetary demands or the national security of the United States or even with the efficacy of the programs that are being funded. It has everything to do with promoting Israeli interests. That a demonstrated and outspoken Israeli advocate like Marcus should be placed in a key position to decide who gets what based on his own biases is a travesty, but it is something that we should all be accustomed to by now, as there is apparently no limit to what the Trump administration is willing to do for Israel and for that monstrous country’s powerful, wealthy, and incessantly vocal supporters in the United States.

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

 

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by Gilad Atzmon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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On Criticism of Palestinian Resistance

 

Palestinian Ghandi.jpg

by Eve Mykytyn*

The Oxford definition of ‘terrorism’  is: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”    Although the term could apply to the belligerents in many wars, the term ‘terrorism’ takes on its everyday meaning when violence is perpetuated by the weak in resistance to the powerful.

What other form of resistance is available to an oppressed people?  One does not have to search hard to find a Jewish source begging for the peaceful resistance of a Palestinian Gandhi or King.

The request itself is odd, it invites a comparison to the conditions Gandhi and King fought, and is an implicit, although perhaps unintended,  admission that Israel represents another oppressive racist regime.

It takes chutzpah to complain about the form of resistance employed by the people you are oppressing. Why are the Palestinians obliged to meet violence with nonviolence? Certainly  you have to take your victims as they are.

Gandhi wrote about the uses of nonviolent resistance and King referred to Gandhi’s writings. For Gandhi and King nonviolence was not an end in itself, it was a strategy, a means to achieve a goal. Despite later deifications, neither Gandhi nor King was a saint,  they were leaders who employed non violent resistance because it was effective under their circumstances.

Both men were vastly outpowered by the brutal regimes they opposed. Nonviolence did not allow them or their followers  to escape injury or death, their battles required at least as much physical bravery as for any soldiers.

Both Gandhi and King deliberately provoked their enemies and then refused either to back down or to physically fight back. The decision to meet violence with nonviolent resistance was a powerful tool used to expose the brutality of the regime. The march to Selma would have amounted to little without the press. What they ‘achieved’ was  an unforgettably painful display of violence. To the extent nonviolence succeeded for King, it was because the ‘soldiers’ on the other side gave Americans a clear picture of the savagery to which blacks were subjected. It became increasingly difficult for those who had long averted their eyes to claim ignorance.

One reason the Palestinians are portrayed as ‘failing’ to meet the standard set  by Gandhi or King is that their use of the tactic of nonviolence has not attracted sympathetic coverage, it has not been effective enough in exposing Israel’s brutality. There are, of course, numerous examples of peaceful Palestinian resistance. One example is commemorated on ‘Land Day’ remembering the day in 1976 that Israel killed peaceful Palestinian protesters. Another occurred during the first intifada, as Neve Gordon writes in 972, when the “Palestinians adopted massive civil disobedience strategies, including daily protests” against Israel’s occupation. Israel responded with violence and  mass incarcerations. While they could easily provoke violence through peaceful protest, the Palestinians could not win the media nor shame the Israelis into change.

This, of course, begs the question of control of the media. King  was extensively covered in the media.  Do the Palestinians have access to the same?  At best, Haaretz might decry the proportionality of Israel’s violence, but will it explore the true meaning of Palestinian protest, both the original and the ongoing taking of their property and destruction of their society? Would  the international press do any better?

As I was writing this I realized that Palestinian nonviolent protests in Gaza have had perhaps a small effect on public opinion. The mainstream media in the US is universally favorable to Israel, but although they tried, the media was not entirely successful in creating sympathy for the  Israeli snipers. For example, The Guardian, in reporting that one year into the protest, the Israelis had killed 190 and wounded 28,000, noted that, “Children, journalists and medics have been killed, even when they were standing far back from the fence.”  Spin that one. Here’s an attempt by Eric Yoffe,  a self-described ‘liberal’ American Jew,  to justify killing protestors who had not killed a single Israeli.  “If 100 Jewish bodies were strewn across southern Israel, would the American left more readily forgive Israel’s defensive actions against an angry mob of tens of thousands propelled by the murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists of Hamas?”  This is simply a variation on the “I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first” defense. Perhaps the need to resort to such a  feeble rationale helps explain why we finally have a tiny Congressional support group for the Palestinians. Seventeen were so daring as to vote against an anti BDS bill.

Further, Israel has shown little sign that it is willing to change its basic  oppressive policies in response to any actions or restraint by the Palestinians. This is an interesting video in which Israeli ‘settlers’ are asked if they would move if told to do so by their government and knowing the move would mean peace in the region.  Their responses are variations on “No, I would not, it is my land.” Perhaps they are merely following the lessons of their religion.

In the story of Exodus, recounted annually even by many secular Jews at Passover, Moses unsuccessfully begs the Pharaoh for his peoples’ freedom. The lesson to be learned: Jewish liberation comes only after Egyptian civilians are subjected to terrible brutality.

What if the Palestinians Won a Battle and No One Knew?

 

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by Eve Mykytyn*

There is a lawsuit, Al-Tammimi v. Adelson, that is making its way through the federal courts. The lawsuit was brought by a group of  Palestinians and Palestinian/Americans asking for damages of 34.5 billion dollars resulting from Israeli settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians claim that the defendants, pro-Israel donors and organizations, banks, contractors working for Israel and deputy National Security Advisor Abrams conspired to expel Non Jews from their land and otherwise harm them. Defendants include Americans Sheldon Adelson, Lawrence Ellison, Haim Saban, Irving Moskowitz, John Hagee and Israeli Lev Leviev. The appeals court decision is here

The suit was first brought in a US  Federal district court (the “trial court”) alleging that the defendants “funneled millions of dollars through the defendant tax-exempt entities and banks to Israeli villages called “settlements.” Armed with this financial assistance, the settlement leaders hired full-time security coordinators who trained a militia of Israeli settlers to kill Palestinians and confiscate their property. The defendant construction and support firms destroyed property belonging to the Palestinians and built settlements in its place” and deputy national security advisor of the United States publicly endorsed the settlements.

The plaintiffs pressed four claims: “(1) civil conspiracy, (2) genocide and other war crimes, (3) aiding and abetting genocide and other war crimes and (4) trespass.”

The trial court dismissed the suit, relying on the doctrine that it is inappropriate for a court to determine matters that are inherently political and more properly decided by Congress and/or the President. The trial court found that the case required it to “adjudicate and resolve the lawfulness of the development of Israeli settlements…” Such a ruling, the trial court said, was “simply inappropriate for this court to resolve. Instead, these issues must be decided by the political branches.”

According to Haaretz, Israeli legal organization, Shurat Hadin, that claims to represent victims of terror, praised the trial court decision, and incorrectly stated that “cases such as this are brought solely to furnish a foundation of legal legitimacy for the BDS movement, and undermine the legitimacy of Israel.” And then, perhaps for vengeance, added the hope that  “the judge will see clear to impose the large costs of these proceedings on the plaintiffs.” Imposition of costs is routine in some countries but unusual in the US.

On February 19, 2019 a panel of the Washington, DC Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (the “appeals court”)  unanimously reversed the trial court and ruled that a trial court could find the defendants liable without deciding who owns the land. Although the appeals court did not decide liability, it sent the case back to the trial court for trial.

The appeals court agreed with the trial court that the issue of sovereignty over the land is political, but found that the case could be dismissed only if none of its claims could be resolved without deciding the political issue. In other words, they ruled that the Plaintiff’s claims can be separated from the issue of sovereignty over the land.

The lawsuit was brought primarily under a federal law entitled, the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”). The ATS provides, in part, that federal courts can hear a civil action by a nonresident non- US citizen for a wrong “that is committed in violation of the law of nations.” The appeals court noted that  “it is well settled that genocide violates the law of nations.” The court found that there is a definition of genocide within international law, that is: “[k]illing members of [a national, ethnic, racial or religious group] with intent to destroy [the group], in whole or in part.”

“Thus, the ATS—by incorporating the law of nations …—provides a judicially manageable standard to determine whether Israeli settlers are committing genocide.” In so stating, the appeals court is telling the trial court that this is the proper standard for its decision, and that this is not a “political” issue. (by political, they mean in the narrow sense of sovereignty involved in this case).

This decision can be appealed to a larger panel of the appeals court or to the Supreme Court, absent a successful appeal by the defendants, the Palestinians will be able to proceed.  The district court has not yet reheard the case.

It seems to me like a big deal that three federal appeals judges ruled unanimously that the plaintiffs may proceed to argue that Israeli settlers and their benefactors have committed or aided in genocide.

However, the mainstream media has declined to cover this crucial case. A  search of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal yielded no results.  The case was covered by a few smaller outlets and by BloombergReuters (which included a summary that was at least partially correct) and by the Jerusalem Post (that complained the Palestinian plaintiffs failed to present the Israeli narrative).  The Electronic Intifada covered the initial filing  but does not seem to have followed the case. And  Haaretz and the Times of Israel wrote about the dismissal by  the district court but not that it was overturned on appeal. This strikes me as scant coverage of an important case.

Finally, a part of the United States government is treating Palestinians as people who have at least potential rights even against billionaires, and most of our media has not bothered to tell us the story.

*source: https://www.evemykytyn.com/writing/2019/9/2/what-if-the-palestinians-won-a-battle-and-no-one-knew

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