Solidarity between Palestinians and Indigenous Activists has Deep Roots

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

Source

By Marion Kawas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They said in part:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, February 04, 2020

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

Details of the deal

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

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

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

The two-state solution

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

The Trump deal has bulldozed the two-state solution.

Resistance

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

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

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

Apartheid

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

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

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

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

President Trump

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

Occupation

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

Israelis don’t like the plan

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

Palestinian Christians

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

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

*

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

This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

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

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

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

January 29, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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

December 23, 2019  

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

 Lawrence Davidson 

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

Part I—Trump and the Constitution

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

Part II—Confusing Categories

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

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

Part III—A Zionist Project 

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

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

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

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

Part IV—Exporting the Fallacy

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

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

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

Part V—Conclusion

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

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

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Critics of «Israel»

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Critics of «Israel»

By Staff, Agencies

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

Image result for jewish power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Omar Shakir Feature photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Weak Argument

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

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

Omar Shakir Israel

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

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

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

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

 

Israel vs. the “occupation”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The truth hurts.

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

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

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

فرنسا تشهر سلاح القانون… دفاعاً عن الصهيونية

لينا كنوش

السبت 7 كانون الأول 2019

فرنسا تشهر سلاح القانون... دفاعاً عن الصهيونية

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

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

تحاول الدعاية الإسرائيلية الاستناد إلى نصوص قانونية لمحاربة «المقاطعة»

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

 

Waging War Against The Rule of Law

An Analysis (21 November 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—An Embarrassingly Hard Moment

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

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

Part II—Assaulting the Rule of Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part III—Accepting “Reality”

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

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

Part IV—Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Image result for lawrence davidson

About Lawrence Davidson

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

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

سحب جائزة أدبية من الكاتبة كاميلا شمسي لدعمها حركة المقاطعة

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

thumbnail_be1a3cec-f785-4968-ae4d-5d6f40210161

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


Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

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

 

ac freedom.jpg

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.

Donate

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?

 

justice for pls 2_edited-1.jpg

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

South Africa – Pretend Marxist Neo-Chiefs Practice Destructive Capitalism

August 17, 2019

A South African writer for The Saker Blog

Let’s set the social scene with a video from Vesti News:

People are getting accustomed to living this way. The Neo-Chiefs in the Ruling Party do not care for the minorities, and neither do they care for their own. In the final section, we will return to social issues.

Mentioning a second introductory point may be timely for a watch list. If real trouble strikes in the Persian Gulf and with Iran, the route around the Horn of Africa passing South Africa, may become of strategic significance.

The recent May elections.

48 political parties contested the 2019 elections The results were:

– The governing African National Congress (ANC) won its smallest percentage of votes for national office ever, reflecting the worst performance of this party in any national election since 1994. It still won 57.51 percent of the vote.

– The DA (Democratic Alliance) won 20.76 percent.

– The EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) won 10.79 percent.

– The remaining forty-five parties together won 10.94 percent, though most of them did not win enough to earn a seat.

– The ANC won eight of the nine provincial legislatures; the EFF retained its position as Official Opposition in Limpopo and the North West, beating the DA to second place in Mpumalanga.

– The DA obtained a second place in five provinces won by the ANC.

– In KwaZulu-Natal, the Inkatha Freedom Party beat the DA to second place for the first time since 2014 and grew to 3.38% on a national level.

– In the Western Cape, the only province not won by the ANC, the DA declined from 59.38% to 55.45%.

– The ruling ANC slipped to holding 230 parliament seats, while the main opposition DA now holds 84, the EFF holds 44 seats (with some wiggling and jiggling after the elections that changed a few seats but not materially).

To make these results more understandable for the larger world, the ANC is supposed to be the centrists (but they are not, they are the neo-chiefs), the DA is supposed to be the progressives, and the EFF is clearly the challengers and very far left. The small splinter parties represent a spectrum, including the right. https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/316134/south-african-national-election-2019-final-results/

Shortly after the elections and as is customary, Cyril Ramaphosa (now the 2nd richest man in the country) was again elected President and presented his State of the Nation Address that immediately was described as underwhelming. https://www.thebricspost.com/ramaphosas-state-of-the-nation-address-underwhelms/

The Cabinet changes after the State of the Nation address were described with ‘cautious optimism.’ https://www.thebricspost.com/new-south-african-cabinet-welcomed-with-cautious-optimism/

Ramaphosa’s speech reads like a Christmas tree, all kinds of lights flickering, and will last about as long as a Christmas tree.  This is simply a grab-bag of wish-list promises. He is going to do just everything! It is a pity that the country’s internal education does not supply the people with the ability to do what Ramaphosa’s says he wants to do. Again, he links everything to land redistribution in his opening paragraph, while the problems in the country are much more serious.

“We gather here at the start of the 6th Democratic Parliament, 106 years to the day after the Natives Land Act – one of the most devastating acts of dispossession, pain and humiliation – came into force. “http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/speeches/state-nation-address-president-cyril-ramaphosa%2C-parliament%2C-cape-town 

These neo-chiefs are beginning to sound like they have taken advertising lessons from Holocaust promoters and certainly not taking cognizance of who did what in history. These people that said vile things as depicted in the image on the right, are not in the country any longer; they are long dead and so is apartheid.

In South Africa, where trucks moving goods and food traveling the main North/South Highway (N2) are being pelted with petrol bombs, Ramaphosa wants to build a new smart city, just like in China.  He wants to bring in high speed rail, save the world, cut crime only by 50% percent, redistribute land and just about destroy the ability for food production, while, as is discussed under economy, the youth unemployment rate is 50% and the educational standards are exceedingly poor. Smart cities need engineers, software engineers, people who understand math and science and a host of other skills. Needless to say, the skill-set is just not there, and nothing serious is being done to materially educate people, let alone the electricity to support this notion.  Listening to the State of the Nation, one can only smack your head against a brick wall and say: “Mr Ramaphosa, I’m very happy that you saw smart cities and fast trains in China. But this is a trailing indicator of a 40+ year program of poverty eradication and education. This program is what you should have looked at and this is what you should dream about first. The Smarts and the Speed will Follow if you create a structural base, and we don’t see any of that! All we see, is a crumbling state and infrastructure.”

The initial election of Cyril Ramaphosa as president was covered for The Saker Blog here.

And even though there was a positive feeling in some parts of the country when Ramphosa was first elected, we will soon see that there is very little positivity left.  Even Al Jazeera is listing Ramaphosa’s current problems with sheer graft.

So, let us summarize and highlight:

  • As we move from the hard election results and to discussing South Africa and BRICS, we have a Russian news report unashamedly calling the killings of white farmers “Ethnic Cleansing.” This is in the open now.
  • And then, from China, we have this from the current Chinese ambassador to South Africa.  “Ramaphosa is the “last hope of this country,” Lin Songtian, the Chinese ambassador to South Africa, said in a Reuters interview.”

And the commentary on that:

  • “When the leader of a country starts getting, from abroad, compliments and expressions of support against rival factions — especially from a Chinese diplomat schooled to be studiously even-handed in public — it’s a sure indication that they think he is buried in the political crap. ”  https://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/the-timidity-of-sas-last-hope

South Africa in BRICS

Note that the previous section commenting on the recent elections contains two links, both from The BRICS post, and in each instance, not very flattering or with high enthusiasm. Is this what we can accept as the real sense from the other BRICS partners toward South Africa? Is South Africa the heavy brick that drags down BRICS? Certain forces seem to think so, as there is internal resistance against Brics – Gangsters and Banksters, the “Break the BRICS Coalition.”

As we do not have a cohesive society in the country, this gets complex. The understanding about BRICS in the country is abysmal. This, interestingly enough, illustrates the ideological schism existent for many years within South Africa where the previous dictatorial white government were aligned with the west during the cold war and in its denouement of anything USSR or Chinese at the time, but the black community saw especially the USSR style communist ideology as their only hope for their future; an important point to remember if one looks at South Africa today. This schism is still alive and appears in the strangest of places, especially if a traditional Marxist tells you how bad Russia and China is. The video below will illustrate.

On Thursday 26 July 2018 different formations calling themselves “Break the BRICS Coalition” marched to the Sandton Convention Centre, the venue of the 10th BRICS Summit. The march was a protest against what the coalition calls the capitalist nature of the BRICS states, their anti-working class behavior, and their environmentally destructive policies.”

As can be seen from the first part of the video, the leader of this coalition displays a breathtaking ignorance of the real conditions within China and Russia today, and he carries with him old western cold war ideas. The commentary is valuable however, as it illustrates the general state of education of the population, either for or against a non-existent notion of ‘communism’, but in other circles, talking up Marxism.

The overall interesting question is: Where does South Africa really stand in the move towards a multipolar world system? This anti-Brics coalition leader has some good ideas on that, and indeed, the start of the Free Trade African wide agreement is a good idea. In contrast to the first part of the conversation, which is old cold war rhetoric, this part of the interview starts at time marker 11:38.

BRICS Leaders Are Reinforcing, Not Replacing, the Global System of Power
Patrick Bond (August 2018)

In addition to the internal pushback against BRICS, there is almost symmetrical pushback against what is called the 4th Industrial Revolution. Frequently companies cannot modernize, as modern equipment is broken by workers, set on fire and otherwise tampered with under the slogan “This 4th Industrial Revolution will Take our Jobs.” (Now think of the Ramaphosa promise of a smart city and high speed rail and you will get an idea of how far removed his inauguration speech is from reality on the ground).

What is South Africa’s real role in BRICS? The reality becomes subsumed with all kinds of promises and flowery descriptions.  This study gives an overview:  https://www.unav.edu/documents/16800098/17755721/DT-01-2019_South-Africa_ENG+%281%29.pdf

From this China Daily report, it seems to hinge around the concept of a ‘gateway to Africa.’ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-09/15/content_13689717.htm

Studying these two documents and others, it seems as if South Africa is just ballast, only present as part of the ‘Global South’ sphere in BRICS, more for the investment opportunities it offers to the other BRICS countries, instead of anything more substantial that the state may provide to the BRICS coalition itself.

One may argue that they are in BRICS to stop them from being in any other alliance.

Nevertheless, this is the formal governmental description, and we will see if it makes sense when we look at the next section on the economy; specifically, the upbeat job creation scenario envisaged in the light of active ‘Staatskaping’ or State Capture.

Professor Wang Yong, in his 2012 Economic Diplomacy Programme paper titled: South Africa’s role in BRICS and the G20 summed up South Africa’s unique role in BRICS when he wrote: South Africa is in a position to make unique contributions, particularly in terms of development of the BRICS Africa agenda, promoting global economic governance reforms, and institution of the BRICS as a credible international organization”.

“Already, these five BRICS countries account for 40 percent of the world population, and as of this year, their combined nominal GDP amounted to US$18.6 trillion, about 23.2% of the gross world product.

Trade between the five countries has doubled in seven years, ballooning from R203 billion in 2010 to R462 billion last year.

South Africa’s membership of BRICS also gallops towards the realization of the country’s National Development Plan mandate of eliminating poverty and the reduction of inequality by 2030. This is aligned with BRICS’ five pillars of priority.

Investment deals between South Africa and the BRICS partners have reached fever pitch, with China leading the way. Several Chinese billion-dollar firms have headed south in recent times. Among them, mobile and green energy companies such as Hisense, FAW, Beijing Automobile International Corporation, Phalabora Mining Company, China Longyuan Power Group.

A PriceWaterCoopers (PwC) report recently showed that the bilateral trade between Pretoria and New Delhi has grown by 400% between 2004 and 2014. According to the report, the investment deals were in the environmental, financial services, mining, pharmaceuticals, automotive, and information technology sectors.

All this could mean one thing – the much-needed job creation. According to the PwC report, the R50 billion investments came with 18,000 jobs in tow.”  https://www.sanews.gov.za/features-south-africa/sa-worthy-member-brics

Let’s move on to the economy and see if we can find those 18,000 jobs.

The Economy is not a bright spot, BRICS, or no BRICS.

We start with a confused ideology. Black Agenda Radio in the US hit it exactly right on most points excepting two.  They say:

“South Africa is the only place in the world where the entire Black political class speaks in the language of Marxism-Leninism, even when they are in cahoots with Big Capital.”

https://soundcloud.com/user-887995524-149532189/talking-marxism-but-serving-capitalism-in-south-africa

The two points:

First – The wealth of the country is no longer centered in white hands and Black Agenda Radio presents as if the EFF are genuine Marxists. They are not.  They are instead the quasi-military wing of the ANC itself, and a violent grouping deeply involved in State Capture. They are now seeking a larger role and are disassociating themselves from the ANC, as the ‘real revolutionaries’. Yet even in this disassociation, the ideological lies are clear:

Get rich or lie trying: Why ANC millionaire Julius Malema posed as a radical.  https://libcom.org/library/get-rich-or-lie-trying-why-anc-millionaire-julius-malema-posed-radical

Second – While South Africa still claims the 2nd biggest economy in Africa (the 1st being Nigeria and the 3rd being Egypt) finding useful economic data becomes a difficult task. One of the frequently mentioned criticisms on Ramaphosa´s state of the nation speech after the May elections is that there is no vision and no expression of the real feeling on the ground. His speech indeed lacks vision and mission and precisely clear policy, paths to implementation of policy, and innovation to economically bring positive changes in the country. Is it because he is incompetent, or is it because there is no vision because vision is not required for the ruling party as their reality story is quite different from having a vision for a functioning country? I would suggest the latter.

After 25 + years of ‘democracy’ the country boasts:

  • a joblessness rate of more than 29% officially – of course, the number on the street is quoted as much higher, (2 out of 3 people not working, so where are those BRICS jobs quoted in the BRICS section?). In addition a youth joblessness rate of 50% +
  • A massive crime rate forced by joblessness, hopelessness, and despair.
  • A surge in foreign debt,
  • fairly open Northern border and a years-long surge-in of more hopeless people from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • The power provider (Eskom) is so poorly managed with unmaintained infrastructure that the country regularly is in rolling electricity blackouts. Btw, even the Chinese Ambassador expressed that the problems here are not financial, but management and application of skills. (machine translation https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=af&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.afriforum.co.za%2Fafriforum-eskom-verliese-en-hoer-werkloosheid-wys-ramaphosa-se-planne-werk-nie%2F
  • the tax collector SARS has not been able administratively to handle its job and is basically falling apart and imploding. – https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/special-reports/2019-02-21-revenue-collection-dire-cost-of-sarss-implosion/
  • Trains, planes, pick your government service and they are all in financial trouble – there is no end of problems, and infrastructure that worked is now coming to the end of its life. Because of no maintenance during these 25 + years, the end is one of implosion.
  • Labor strikes are too many to count. You can search for ‘strikes in South Africa 2019′. There are national strikes, local strikes, municipality worker’s strikes, mine workers, port authority, wildcat strikes, university strikes and so on, too many to mention.
  • Hospitals are exceedingly badly managed : Go in Alive, Come out a Corpse is the slogan
  • The Police service is in crisis with reports that 41% of officers failed their annual shooting test – People are relying on private security, which increases cost of living.
  • The problem of ‘staatskaping’ or State Capture of the wealth of the country is still in full swing. The form that State Capture takes is that the ANC owns or attempts to hold all of the wealth of the State, even above State objectives. The ANC with its neo-chiefs, enriches itself first. In the last election, however, this is beginning to unravel, because even ANC members and cadres now feel they are not getting their fair share of the hijacked state economy. Basically, all the might of the state and economic affairs is captured or pirated by the ruling party and run as a private enterprise for itself, and the country is left in rack and ruin. The rulers are redirecting the wealth and economy of the country into their own pockets and into their political party.   https://www.sastatecapture.org.za/site/hearings.  This is even visible in religious and church affairs, where the President asks for prayers for the ANC, and not for the country. https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2019-04-19-pray-for-us-ramaphosa-invites-the-church-to-be-ancs-watchdog/

Summary : Generally, 25 years+ into so-called democracy, the country is falling apart, but not for the neo-chiefs, who have never partied hardier.

An Experimental Comparison

Let us make a short comparison of what Russia has accomplished since the fall of the Soviet Union 1991, with South Africa’s freedom election in 1994. You may say this is an unfair comparison as Russia is a much bigger country with many more people and massive landmass. Yet, South Africa changed materially in 1994 and has the advantage in such a comparison as the average income in Russia was statistically expressed as 0, and the country was non-functioning, whereas South Africa was a functioning country. Both countries had to deal with the international sphere equally, and Russia was again handicapped with sanctions and having to protect itself militarily. Of the BRICS members, a comparison between South Africa and Russia makes the most sense. This is what it looks like in simple percentage terms:

Consumer Prices in South Africa are 11.36% higher than in Russia

Consumer Prices Including Rent in South Africa are 17.62% higher than in Russia

Rent Prices in South Africa are 39.29% higher than in Russia

Restaurant Prices in South Africa are 4.77% higher than in Russia

Groceries Prices in South Africa are 9.71% higher than in Russia

And a few more:

  • South Africa has a 29% official unemployment rate with a 50% youth unemployment rate, and Russia is in the range of 4% yet Russia was a non-functioning country being plundered in 1991 and South Africa a functioning state in 1994.
  • Russia is a respected country, and South Africa is floundering.
  • Russia does not have laws that exclude a mostly educated workforce from the workplace because of racism.
  • South Africa has a relatively young workforce with a median age of 26.3 years whereas we all know about the Russian people’s resistance against pension age changes for its population, which is of an older median age.
  • The wealth in South Africa has changed hands, and it is now estimated that 40% of the really rich are black neo-chiefs, so the accusation that the whites hold economic power is slowly eroding.
  • South Africa, as a country, has natural resources as has Russia.

Why does the current ANC government still hold the firm belief that making all the whites poor, will enrich the rest of the 55 Million blacks?. On the face of it, it is absurd, as the white minority is slowly going through the process of being impoverished. At this stage, this is nothing more than trumped-up racial revenge to hide the shortcomings of the current management in the country.

Some of the percentage differences between the two countries in a detailed cost of living comparison are quite breathtaking, and is submitted for those with time on their hands. https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Russia&country2=South+Africa

Russia clearly has an alive, growing and most importantly well-managed economy and South Africa has an economy teetering on stagnation with most public services imploding or falling apart. Just before Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, Moody’s made the statement that South Africa’s GDP growth will remain one of the lowest among Baa3-rated sovereigns. The debt burden is expected to rise but a brighter point is that the structure of the debt is resilient to shocks. Of course, the significant debt (as far as can be determined) is to China, and China has structured it to be resilient, very specifically the new loans to prop up South Africa’s power generation company Eskom. China works in a particular way with debt that cannot be serviced – they take over the project and infrastructure that the debt financed and run it themselves, leaving very little opportunity for state capture.

In South Africa, as you heard from Black Agenda Radio and many other studies, the inequality of people’s is the highest in the world. The rulers talk Marxism but practice extractive and exploitative capitalism.

So, high level only, what did Russia do differently from their lowest point as a country, in comparison to the steps that the new South African government took from what was a high point if one believed the Rainbow Nation advertising?

1. Russia got their oligarchs under control. In South Africa, the neo-chiefs are the oligarchs and are running the country. It is stated policy to create a black millionaire and billionaire class and that document was hastily hidden when it was first discovered.

2. Russia invested in technology, education, and food production (with sanctions accelerating and mandating this trajectory and they also needed to spend on defense). In South Africa, they are breaking down technology in protest against the so-called 4th industrial revolution, the education is liberal and weak, and the most significant agenda item is land redistribution without compensation, i.e., stealing. What a way to handle your productive food sector by threatening their lives, while saying BRICS is bringing all these jobs. All these jobs? Well, I don’t see them. South Africa is now an importer of maize and corn, and food imports are steadily increasing.

3. The most significant difference is that Russia invested in their country and their people. In South Africa, the neo-chiefs invested in themselves by capturing state income and economy for their own pockets and ideological political party.

4. Russia had an educated workforce and still to today education lacks in South Africa.

The evening before Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation speech, Moody’s dropped a severe report, warning that the country’s growth rate is in trouble and SA’s inequality of people’s is not just staying put, it’s on the increase. (Of course, it is the fault of the whites – everything is, as everything is the fault of Russia if one believes the western propaganda).

So taking a look at economic factors, what is reported is la-la land-like positive outcomes, interspersed with great speeches with promises of doing better when the la-la scenario does not manifest. The big gap, of course, is between promises for the future and how to actually get there. That piece is generally missing in the economic reporting. It is clear that economically South Africans of all colors and classes are struggling to the point of despair, not because they are not productive and good people, but because the country is managed as a ‘get rich’ piggy bank, focused on creating black millionaires and billionaires. If this makes you flash to the Ukraine in your thinking, you would be exactly right but for South Africa, even Mexico is voting Cape Town as exceedingly dangerous and in South Africa, they are even killing Ukrainians in hiding : http://www.radiofreesouthafrica.com/mexican-council-votes-cape-town-as-africas-most-dangerous-city/

Yet, the black cadres are still plotting and planning revolution : http://www.radiofreesouthafrica.com/we-foresee-a-revolution-militants-in-secret-black-power-drill/

Farm Murders and Land expropriation/re-distribution without compensation.

We have a first bright spot here with the ruling government now forced to acknowledge that farm murders are not common crimes but truly unique. These are very specific atrocities against the white farming and rural population perpetrated not only with extreme violence but exceedingly cruel torture (Kill The Boer). Bear in mind that it is difficult to defend yourself because the laws discriminate against the mainly white farming population and their employees.

63% Of the population is urban, so, that leaves us with around 47% of the people as rural. Farm murders are a type of violence in the background of land redistribution without compensation – it is the fear, torture and killing that is necessary to hide the program of state capture for the program of creating a class of black millionaires and billionaires – farm murders are not just crime, they are a project. These murders and attacks on relatively unprotected people show an increase of 60% over the past decade. One should also remember that volunteer groups kept the initial statistics as you could see from the woman killed in the first video by Vesti News. She was reporting on the murders. The hypocrisy does not even pass a first smell test. The ANC government initially stated clearly that they don’t count crimes on minorities separately from the overall crime rate. It is also generally known practice that even if dead and tortured people lay on the ground, the crime is classified as ‘burglary gone wrong’ or something similar. Yet, the rulers seem to count exactly how much land is in the hands of those minorities in a clear stance of egregious double standards. This is besides the fact that they got the numbers wrong by orders of magnitude as well.

Machine translation : https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=af&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fmaroelamedia.co.za%2Fnuus%2Fsa-nuus%2Fplaasaanvalle-styg-afgelope-dekade-met-60%2F

The ANC heads of Noordwes and Gauteng have admitted that farm murders must now be given attention to as priority crime.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza, has spoken out strongly against Farm Murders as well as illegal land grabs. Her deputy stated that the 1.4 million hectares of land that the state owns, will be re-distributed first and the tone of this statement is less racially biased.

Machine Translation: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=af&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fmaroelamedia.co.za%2Fnuus%2Fsa-nuus%2Fminister-veroordeel-plaasmoorde%2F

During July, Ramaphosa himself condemned farm murders, but with so much negative rhetoric stated toward the ones continually exposing the murders and torturous crimes, that his negative rhetoric virtually canceled his condemnation. Nobody believed the man. He has no principles, as you heard again from Black Agenda Radio regarding the Marikana massacres. Where there was some hope expressed after Ramaphosa was elected and I reported on that small hope here, that hope is also now gone.

With the relative loss of votes by the ANC, the visibility of unfair discrimination (workplace and crime rates) to educated minorities, the visibility of state capture, and the concomitant reduction of tourism and investment, the la-la land economic reporting, the service sectors of the state imploding, the balance of power is slowly beginning to change and the ANC might see the beginning of their loss of power. BRICS will not save them.

Then, the second bright spot : The internal knowledge base is slowly beginning to change as well, and reporting such as the following is becoming more common.

New world order looms amid US trade war with China, but SA seems clueless

“… the US does not want the locus of global power to shift from the West to the East. This is precisely what the trade war between China and the US is about. But where does SA stand in all this? Unfortunately, there is no evidence that either our intellectually bland president or our tired international relations minister has a clue. “  https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2019-06-24-new-world-order-looms-amid-us-trade-war-with-china-but-sa-seems-clueless/

It is hard to find bright spots in this downward trajectory of a once flourishing country, but these two, condemning farm murders and an assurance that land will be distributed from state coffers first, as well as some internationally savvy reporting, are indeed welcome. This won’t stop the process of changing the constitution to make land-grabs legal.

What can we say about the future?

Well, it looks bleak. This looks like a country on the way to being a failed state and on a similar trajectory as the Ukraine, only with neo-chiefs as oligarchs. We can only hope that the contact with Russia, China and other BRICS countries changes the level of education, knowledge and sheer intelligence to stop this slide. At least in terms of India there is a lot of interaction, with Indian channels available on the local television networks. This slow decline could continue until there is nothing left to loot and end up in a type of Mogadishu, with increasingly violent strikes, open violent faction fighting and a very poor country with exceedingly wealthy neo-chiefs.

It is a sad state of affairs overall, as South Africa can do much much better. Given government support for those that produce food in country, this sector can be repaired as the know-how is there (if somebody overcomes the fact the many white folks have the know-how). At this stage we have to say .. Get Over Apartheid Already!

We can also look at South Africa pragmatically, as the African Empire in the previous age, which is failing and falling.  So many lessons can be learned while we are all watching the current world Empire, failing and falling.

What would be really wise is to send a delegation to Venezuela to go and investigate and learn how to take a previously western centered capitalist country, to a socialist managed country and to end the State Capture.

To end the formal part of this depressing analysis, it would be best if the country is handed to China for day to day management, and the neo-chiefs maintain their positions only as ceremonial leaders to ‘learn on the job’ so to speak. At least China would have the smarts to put the 50% + unemployed youth into re-education camps and teach them math, science, language and a skill-set. Then, and only then would Ramaphosa’s dream of a smart city and fast rail have a hope.

History – when does it end?

I wrote this part as an ending because the situation is so bleak.  I wanted to find something, anything positive.

If you do not know South Africa or Africa, structurally there may be no method in your head to consider these issues. It is a strange place with a unique set of circumstances and a very unique people. To try and judge this country by what you know of other countries, will probably not be appropriate. If you have not been accused of being “the child of rapists, colonists and plunderers” by a stranger in an airplane, you are not the strange creature that is African, but white and there is only about 5 or 6 million of my kind on the earth.

One must also remember that anything that goes wrong is still blamed on the 5 Million whites and not on the 55 Million blacks. The general accusation against migrants is that migrants do not assimilate or integrate. I, and other similar creatures like me, have done the unthinkable. We assimilated and integrated, built a country and became part of the African Soul. Our feet are still profoundly stuck into the soil of South Africa, and I still cry when I hear the voice of Miriam Makeba. This video contains a short history of Miriam and a very haunting and beautiful love song.

If your skin is white in South Africa, some of your ancestors probably committed sins. These were sins of their times like traditional slavery was a sin of its time.

When does history end? What does a group of people have to do, if their forefathers committed sins? How do they clean their own slate?. Is there an international court that can announce and declare that their debt to society has been paid, and it is enough now, and this South African white minority must be freed from the sins of the ancestors? The laws that mostly prohibit these people to take part in the workplace must now be abolished. The weird race-based laws that virtually prevent any white South African from freely running a business must now be abolished. The slow killing of these people must now stop.

Each time I say these things, there is a chorus of ‘How Bad the Whites Were,’ where no attention is paid to the efforts made by this population to redress the wrongs of their forefathers. And indeed, we can question whether these were wrongs, or whether these were actions taken within the context of the times. I’ve said this before and will repeat it … there was never a conscious ‘killing of black tribes’ akin to the American slaughter of the indigenous Indians; the Trail of Tears, or outright gunning for the indigenous in bloodthirsty horse mounted regiments. There has never been conscious exploitation of South African black folks equal to the British toward the Indians where the Indians were forced to abandon their own food production and grow indigo specifically for the Crown, resulting in hunger for the local population. Where do you all think the ubiquitous blue jeans of the 60’s/70’s free love revolution came from? The cloth was made and dyed and sewed in India under British rule; the jeans were sent to Germany for adding shiny studs – remember Levy-Strauss? Well, the Indians made those, excepting the studs, and we in the west wore those jeans, as a proud emblem of our free love revolution, without knowing that those that dyed the cloth, were under a British slavery system.

But enough of that. Let’s take a more positive look when we all still hoped for the Nelson Mandela rainbow nation. The music was good and is still good, the wine is superb and the current wild flower season breathtaking.

A famous and idiosyncratic South African musician, David Kramer penned these lyrics, in a song to the world:

You’ve got da money but we’ve got da beat!  Everybody born here Mister got the rhythm in their feet!”

This is unique music and old now, but perhaps the equivalent of US country music, yet a very unique west-coast storytelling style. This is happy music, and crying in your beer music and foot-stomping music that everybody knows and everybody enjoys.

This is what South Africans thought they had voted for, when the ANC took over the country and the rainbow nation and Truth and Reconciliation was a word on everyone’s lips.

This is what we got:

Miriam Makeba eventually returned to her homeland after many years in exile, after suppression by both the Americans and the local South African government, and everyone else following. The US wanted to nail the Russians and the Chinese, and South Africa suffered and what has changed?

It is time that this strange creature, an African that is White, could return, without fear of Kill the Boer, because we did the unthinkable, we assimilated and integrated. The blame game toward the whites is slowly unraveling. I don’t have a clue what the Dutch do or what the French do, because we assimilated and created a country. We should be lauded for that, and our skills should be used freely to create a new version of this country.

A moment of silence for Johnny Clegg, who united through music.

Johnny Clegg, Anti-Apartheid Musician in South Africa, Dead at 66

We are the scatterlings of Africa

And finally, for those that always ask me What About Da Joos?

Da Joos still own much of the mining, now only sharing with black leadership. They do what they do in other countries, and of course many have left South Africa, so, they manage their holdings from afar, well integrated with the neo-chiefs. Those that are still there, still protest BDS and work for Israeli causes. But the Jews were inherently racist and the word ‘schwartzes’ was used frequently, so, the ordinary rank and file to a large measure left the country.

 


Additional reading

Black on White crime – An American perspective … https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2019/07/27/the-brutal-reality-of-black-on-white-crime/

The nature of farm murders described here

https://sputniknews.com/africa/201907181076286740-south-africa-new-farm-murder/

Paul Craig Roberts with a desperate question …. are whites too stupid to survive

http://www.unz.com/proberts/are-white-people-too-stupid-to-survive/

and Is White Genocide in our Future, where Roberts reports on South Africa

Seeing poor white people makes me happy. This was immediately censored, but it still exists in the internet archive

http://archive.vn/2cRrM#selection-713.0-713.39

Added for interest : Trump’s Vision for Africa: the 1960s

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/07/26/trumps-vision-for-africa-the-1960s/

History Reading

AmaBhulu (which means Afrikaners)

https://www.amazon.com/AmaBhulu-Birth-Death-Second-America/dp/0992159016

In 1797 the British Royal Navy feared South Africa would become a “Second America” for Britain, while, in the 20th century, the country was to Africa what the United States was to the world. AmaBhulu describes the developing crisis in the Second America that will inevitably entangle the First America. It is a study in the death of Civilization by its own collective hand; a severe warning for the West.

AmaBhulu is a view of South Africa through eyes different from those employed in fifty years of media reporting, social science, and politics. The author walks the reader from the 1652 landing of the Dutch to the present by following his own family bloodlines as example through the documented history of the country, supported by copious evidence. As settlers, soldiers, slaves, and indigenes, they farm, they fight, they triumph, and they lose. They are mercilessly impaled and massacred by savage African tyrants. They are hanged and fusilladed by an imperial overlord, and herded into concentration camps. Yet, they persevere to create a key Western Christian country; the envy of all Africa and a Cold War bulwark of the West. Eventually it falls to the author to describe the loss of his country through forces beyond his control.

Exclusive: Rashida Tlaib’s Granny Supports Her Refusal of ‘Israeli’ Conditions

By Al-Ahed Correspondent

Occupied Palestine – Soon after the ‘Israeli’ occupation imposed restrictions on the visit of Democratic US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s visit to the occupied territories, the family anticipating her was totally disappointed.

Tlaib was supposed to visit her grandmother’s home in the village of “Beit Aour al-Fawqa” in the West Bank.

But following the Zionist conditions imposed on the US congresswoman’s visit, Rashida voiced rejection and said in a tweet on her account:

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”

The lady in her nineties, called Muftiyya, told al-Ahed in an exclusive interview that she is sad that the occupation’s authorities barred Rashida from visiting occupied Palestine without conditions.

“I was happy with her visit, which was supposed to happen in the coming days, but the occupation’s conditions barred her,” she told al-Ahed, adding that “I prepared delicious meals to receive her, but the occupation killed our joy.”

Her family further voiced support for Rashida’s refusal to submit to the Zionist conditions, considering it a restriction of her freedom. They were also proud of the decision Rashida has made.

Tlaib’s uncle supports her decision

For his part, Rashida’s uncle Bassam said that their stance is the same as Rashida: “We reject the humiliating conditions that were put on her visit of family and relatives in Palestine,” adding that “Rashida has the right to visit Palestine without any condition.”

Bassam also hailed the congresswoman’s stance from the Zionist occupation, noting that the Zionist entity rejects the voices calling for people’s right to self-determination, explaining that the enemy wants Rashida to meet with ‘Israeli’ officials before visiting the Palestinian territories, which she rejected.

The Zionist occupation had blocked the visit of Rashida Tlaib and her fellow Ilhan Omar after pressures from US President Donald Trump. However, according to Zionist officials, the block came due to their Boycott, Divestment, Sanction ‘Israel’ BDS movement ties.

Earlier, Tlaib and Omar voiced solidarity with the pro-Palestinian BDS Movement due to the Zionist policies towards Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Tlaib later tweeted: One day @IlhanMN and I will see Bethlehem and InshAllah it will be free when we do. #FreePalestine

Related Videos

Related posts

Two US congresswomen barred from visiting Israel for backing BDS

Press TV

Thu Aug 15, 2019 03:31PM [Updated: Thu Aug 15, 2019

US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (L) and Ilhan Omar (Photo by AP)

US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (L) and Ilhan Omar (Photo by AP)

Israel has decided to prevent two American congresswomen from traveling to the occupied territories over their support for a boycott of the Tel Aviv regime.

Ilhan Omar, a representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, and Rashida Tlaib, a representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, are expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories at the weekend.

Omar, with a Somali origin and Tlaib, with Palestinian roots, have openly supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and been outspoken in their criticism of the Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

The movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations and later became international.

Israeli deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Thursday Tel Aviv had decided not to allow the members of US Congress to enter Israel.

“We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle this is a very justified decision,” she told the Kan public broadcaster.

Earlier in the day, AFP quoted an Israel official as saying that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu held consultations on the visit on Wednesday and a final decision was being weighed.

“There is a possibility that Israel will not allow the visit in its current proposed format,” the official said, adding, “Professional teams and legal counsel in various government ministries are continuing to examine the decision.”

The official further said that according to Israeli law, the interior minister who is now Aryeh Deri has the authority to decide on the issue.

Deri, 60, is the chairman of Shas, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish political party in Israel. Back in 1999, he was convicted of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, and received a three-year prison sentence.

“If Congresswoman Tlaib makes a humanitarian request to visit her family, the decision on her matter will be considered favorably,” the official noted.

Israel’s Knesset in 2017 passed a law banning entry to foreigners who support BDS, which is meant to initiate “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law” and ends its occupation of Palestinian lands.

Omar has accused the Tel Aviv regime of discrimination against Palestinians similar to apartheid.

In January, she enraged the large pro-Israel contingent in Congress, particularly the largely Democratic US Jewish community, by mocking America’s branding of Israel as a democracy.

Additionally on Thursday, American President Donald Trump urged Tel Aviv not to show “weakness” and firmly prevent the pair from visiting Israel.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!

48.1K people are talking about this
Israeli decision on US congresswomen ‘outrageous’: Palestinian official

Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official described Israel’s decision to bar two US congresswomen from visiting the Palestinian territories as “an outrageous act of hostility.”

“The Israeli decision to ban Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Palestine is an outrageous act of hostility against the American people and their representatives,” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement.

“This is a dangerous precedent that defies all diplomatic norms and an assault on the Palestinian people’s right to engage with the rest of the world,” she said.

Both women, who became the first Muslim members of the House of Representatives in January, have faced accusations of anti-Semitism, which they firmly deny.

Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer had previously signaled that the pair would be allowed to visit out of respect for Washington.

Omar and Tlaib’s support for BDS comes at a time when Trump has stepped up ties with Tel Aviv and stopped Palestinian aid.

Israel and its allies in Washington have long railed against calls for people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural and academic ties to the occupying regime.

 

The Goods, the Bad and the Ugly

August 08, 2019

by Jimmie Moglia (and Patrizia Cecconi) for The Saker Blog

The Goods, the Bad and the Ugly

In the instance, the goods are those boycotted by the BDS measure (Boycott-Divest-Sanctions), proposed in the American Congress .

The bad are the US congressmen and politicians who sold their soul to the Jews for thirty pieces of silver, and rejected even the symbolic and extremely platonic ‘non-binding’ initiative of boycotting goods tainted by crime, theft, barbarities of all sorts, and by the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Actually, there is a better word for ‘soul’ as in ‘politicians who sold their soul’, but I will forbear to mention it out of my inviolable respect for the ladies. Even Tulsie Gabbard, who has made a name for herself as an enemy of the status-quo, chose to oppose the measure, demonstrating the type of caution that cowards borrow from fear and attribute to policy.

Finally, the ugly are the criminals who killed and stole – and continue to kill, maim, imprison, humiliate and steal from the dispossessed Palestinians and rightful owners of Palestine.

If we were not living in a world upside down, the considerations that follow would be unnecessary.

The term ‘Jews’ excludes those (few or many, it is difficult to say), who reject the ‘chosen people’ philosophy of their sect – a philosophy known to many, but not many enough – for its meaning, history and implications.

For the voice of their dissenters is irrelevant, considering that the Jews, as a political-social entity, are a monolith, practicing a cultural-political hegemony that only blindness can deny. Hence, to edulcorate the truth by a quasi-synonym (Zionists) will not, in my view, do justice to the real dissenters.

In fact, many suspect, with cause, that some fake ‘dissenters’ are planted in the right places to ‘cover all bases’ – the metaphor of ‘gate-keepers’ being most appropriate. For hegemony to appear not overly conspicuous it must simulate some kind of antithesis or opposition. Why? So that hegemony may seem a choice and not an imposition.

Quoting from a Jewish writer about Jews in the Middle Ages.

“Without in any way minimizing the force of these factors (earlier referred to by the author as “a sense of frustration and exasperation aroused by Jews at large”), we believe nevertheless that they do not tell the whole story or even the essential part of the story. The most vivid impression to be gained from a reading of medieval allusions to the Jew is of hatred so vast and abysmal, so intense, that it leaves one gasping for comprehension. The unending piling up of violent epithets and accusations and curses, the consistent representation of the Jew as the epitome of everything evil and abominable, for whom in particular the unbounded scorn and contumely of the Christian world are reserved, must convince the most casual student that we are dealing here with a fanaticism altogether subjective and irrational.” (Joshua Trachtenberg, “The Devil and the Jews”)

Yes, it is irrational, but the position regarding the issue was clearly first stated by Pope Callistus II in 1120 AD, with his Bull “Sicut Judaeis Non.” And I quote from the Encyclopedia Judaica,

“It was a general Bull of Protection for the Jews, who had suffered at the hands of participants in the First Crusade (1095–96) and were being maltreated by their Christian neighbors. It forbade killing them, using force to convert them, and otherwise molesting them, their synagogues and cemeteries.”

And it is a position – we may all agree – that all rational people continue to maintain 900 years later. But it was expected from the Jews, at the time and in return, that they would not corrupt the Christian world.

The idea of corruption arose clearly when Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, translated the Talmud into Latin in the twelfth century. Here I quote from Wikipedia,

“Donin translated statements by Talmudic sages and pressed various charges against the Talmud by quoting a series of ‘allegedly blasphemous’ passages about Christianity. He also selected what he claimed were injunctions of Talmudic sages permitting Jews to kill non-Jews, to deceive Christians, and to break promises made to them without scruples.”

Note the inverted commas I added around ‘allegedly blasphemous,’ in view of what comes next.

The Catholic Church had shown little interest in the Talmud until Donin presented his translation. The Pope (now Gregory II) was surprised that the Jews relied on texts other than the Torah; texts that contained alleged blasphemies against Christianity. Equally surprised, we may add, are or would be many Americans today.

This lack of interest also affected, until then, the French monarchy that profited by the Jews’ money-making skills.

Given the astonishment generated by the translated Talmud, a debate was organized in Paris – it began on June 12, 1240. Donin represented the Christians. Four distinguished Rabbis represented the Jews, namely Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, and Samuel ben Solomon of Château-Thierry.

The four rabbis’ objective was to defend the Talmud against Donin’s accusations that it contained obscenities and blasphemies against the Christian religion and God. In one Talmudic passage, for example, reference is made to someone named Jesus, dispatched to hell to be boiled in excrement for eternity. The Rabbis denied that this is the Jesus of the New Testament, stating as a kind of proof that “not every Louis born in France is king.”

Interesting argument, contradicted by another contemporary Jewish scholar– more on this later.

Among the obscene folklore, there is a story that Adam copulated with each of the animals before finding Eve. And Noah, according to the Talmudic script, was castrated by his son Ham. Furthermore, by now and thanks to the diffusion of knowledge via the web, most readers are aware of what the Talmud considers ‘acceptable’ sex, for example, lowering the age of consent to a 3-year old girl.

I don’t know why, but the recent resurrection of the already well-known criminal porno-ring of underage girls in Epstein’s ‘Lolita Island’, comes to mind.

Until the debate of 1240, Christians associated the Jewish religion with the Mosaic faith of the Old Testament. Hence the Church, suddenly and officially, realized that the Talmud was the Jews’ equivalent of the New Testament.

It is usually believed that the crucifixion of Christ is the historical trigger of the inherent conflict between Jews and everyone else. Some prominent Catholic thinkers have advanced the thesis that by rejecting Christ, the Jews have rejected Reason, (also referred to as Logos), as the underlying principle on which Greek-inspired Western civilization was built. Lack of Reason leads to continual upheaval, as in Trotsky’s “permanent revolution.”

Maybe, but the issue precedes the birth of Christ. For example, in 59 BC Lelius, a Pompey’s lieutenant, brought a suit against Flacco, a pro-consul in Asia Minor. The suit had to do with the transport (or lack thereof) of Jewish gold to Jerusalem. Flacco chose Cicero as his defender.

Here are Cicero’s words in his related writing, “Pro Flacco.”

“Now as to the accusation regarding the Jewish gold – which is why this trial is held not very far from the Aurelian square (the Jewish quarter). Yes, for this accusation you (Lelius), have chosen this place and this assembly of people, because you know how great is their number, how great their unanimity of purpose and how much is their power in the assemblies. I will speak softly so as to be heard only by the judges. For individuals are not wanting, ready to incite these people (the Jews) against me and against any other respectable citizen. I don’t want to give them reason to facilitate their attacks.”

Advance the clock by 2060 years, and Cicero’s words could be applied almost verbatim to the US Congress, to the neo-cons, and to the objectively unbelievable proposition that any criticism of Jews amounts to ‘hate-crime,’ as does any reference to their history, or confutation of their documentably fantastic inventions of inexistent or unproven facts.

History is silent as to which seed was sowed, and to where, how, why and what created certain destructive characteristics of Jewish ideology. For all seed-sowings a mysterious thing, whether the seeds fall into the earth or into souls.

Maybe it was a little thing. For what we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, they are the embryos. It is the point of departure that may decide the whole future of an existence of a race or ethnic group. One single black speck may be the beginning of a decomposition, of a storm, of a revolution. From one insignificant misunderstanding hatred and separation may finally issue. An enormous avalanche begins by the displacement of one snow-crystal, and the conflagration of a town by the fall of a match. Almost everything comes from almost nothing. For accident plays a vast part in human affairs. Calculation has its uses but chance mocks it, and the result of a planned calculation is in no wise proportional to its merit.

It is a mystery. For it is in the origin of things that the great secret of destiny lies hidden, although the breathless sequence of after-events has often many surprises for us all. So that at first sight history seems to us accident and confusion; looked at for the second time, it seems to us logical and necessary; looked at for the third time, it appears to us a mixture of necessity and liberty; on the fourth examination we scarcely know what to think of it. For if force is the source of right, and chance the origin of the force, we come back to the first explanation, only with a heavier heart than when we began.

And equally, with a heavy heart, we observe that any effort at understanding the inner mechanisms of time and mind, whereby the US has become the secular arm of Israel, taints the researchers with anti-Semitism.

If the patient reader who read so far will catch his breath, I will now introduce Ms. Patrizia Cecconi, an Italian writer, a botanist and a strenuous defender of the cause of Gaza’s citizens and of Palestine at large.

In what amounts to a guerrilla of tactics, Patrizia has managed so far to reach Gaza and provide what help and support her organization makes possible. Among other things, she has published a very interesting and very well-written book titled “Vagando di erba in erba” (Roaming from herb to herb). In which Patrizia details an extended visit to the West Bank, using as a conductive theme, the description of Palestine’s natural flora, and the characteristic and beneficial uses of various wild plants. While, simultaneously, telling the reader of the life of the Palestinians she met, spoke with or was the guest of. I hope that the book may be available in English in the near future.

I will now translate the text of one of her recent articles published in Italy. The reported event – the destruction of Palestinian houses and apartment buildings in East Jerusalem, accompanied by the laughter of Israeli troops – almost coincided in time with the rejection by the US Congress of the BDS non-binding proposal.

The witness-reported Israeli laughter is not the first example of the lawless confidence of successful robbers. Some readers may remember the picnic tables and picnic chairs positioned above the wall dividing Gaza from the rest of Palestine. From where Israeli onlookers and tourists could watch Israeli soldiers gun down unarmed Palestinians, including women and children, as if they were pins in a bowling alley at a recreation center.

A Specter roams around… but it is not Communism

A specter roams around the Middle East, and from there, crossing seas and mountains, reaches everywhere, demonstrating the absolute inanity of the Universal Humanitarian Law and nullifying every rule of international legality, starting from the Geneva Conventions.

A specter that, with actual incontrovertible facts under our eyes, shows the useless foolishness of the United Nations Organization itself – reduced to be but a glass-palace shown to visiting school-children. Explaining to them how the dream of a “magnificent and progressive future” envisaged in those proud halls, was broken after three short years, thanks to self-declared birth of the Israeli State. A structure that, since its foundation, would ignore, dismiss, discard, disregard and trample-on all the United Nations’ principles and resolutions.

It would be reductive and factious to classify this statement as anti–Semitic. While not realizing, instead, the weight and danger – for the world at large – of Zionism’s long tentacles, obliterating universal humanitarian principles and every rule of international law. Any honest thinker, even minimally aware of reality, cannot but bitterly agree on the consequences of continuing to shelter Israel from the legal sanctions deserved by its criminal actions. Sanctions equally necessary to make that entity comply with the accepted standards of humanity, and to limit the horrendous damage, human and political it has produced for over a century.

For about 80 years, what occurred and occurs in 2000-year old Palestine, is an unrestrained use of power, applied in the name of Zionism. An ideology developed at the end of the 19th century by Austrian-born Theodor Herzl and later implemented in the establishment of the Israeli state, not respecting the UN Resolution 181, but through self-proclamation by Ben Gurion. This occurred shortly before the expiration of the British mandate, therefore outside the terms of the UN Resolution. Showing and declaring to the world that Israel stands above and beyond any human law, international or super-national. And making the only basis for the state’s existence a biblical tale that would entail or allow a “return to the Promised Land.”

What said above is not intended as a historical summary, but the not-to-be-forgotten basis for understanding Israel’s latest violation of international law and of the rights of the Palestinian people. Namely the recent demolition of large apartment blocks in Jerusalem, as part of the continuous, illegal and brutal confiscations of Palestinian property.

The Jewish state is carrying out the project of the “greater Israel,” envisaged prior to the establishment of the state and consisting in the step-by-step annexation of all historic Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, on the ground that God had decreed and promised to Jewish men and women the right to occupy this land. [My note, as clearly stated in the 1982 Odet-Yinon Plan, Israel is supposed to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates. When, thanks to the efforts of President Jimmy Carter, Israel had to give up the illegally occupied Sinai, a day of mourning was declared in Israel. Israeli president Rabin paid with his life for that ‘mistake.’]

In Israel, religion and politics blend as required, ever since 1897, when Theodor Herzl, though an atheist, found the biblical narrative useful for the establishment of a racist state, so that the religious aura would become the trump card, having the force of all founding myths.

Of course, without the interest of the then great powers of having a ‘Western reference point’ at the gates of the Middle East, no Sykes-Picot agreement (1916), nor the Balfour declaration (1917) would have been possible. And without the Shoa of WW2 perhaps we would not witness the Shoa of the Palestinians.

We use the term shoah, meaning a “devastating storm,” leading to the elimination of a population. With Nazism, the population was defined by race and was identified with its religion. The intention was to physically remove every individual associated with the race. In Israel and with the ongoing massacres of Palestinians the intent is not based on race or religion, but rather on the goal of driving them out, and to fully occupy the ground on which they have lived for centuries, even before the emergence of Islam.

Some call it the “ethnic cleansing of Palestine,” tracing it back to the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948. Others call it the ‘shoa,’ a Hebrew term, to make better understand the similarity between the Nazi-led and the Israeli-led ‘shoas’.

Yet all this does not disturb states that do business with Israel, even though they call themselves democratic, nor international and supranational organizations, even though their institutional representatives replenish their speeches with concepts such as ‘human rights,’ ‘justice’ and ‘peace.’

Israel benefits from a halo of false legality that, along with the tragedy of the (1972-born) Holocaust narrative, protects it as an unassailable armor. This is the will of the Israeli government, well supported by almost the entire population of approximately 9 million inhabitants. With the exception of twenty or so young activists plus a few journalists such as Gideon Levy or Amira Hass, who denounced the Israeli decision to destroy a dozen Palestinians apartment buildings, thus proceeding further on the path of destruction that has already affected tens of thousands of Palestinian buildings and homes.

It was an escalation beyond any possible justification, for the demolition affected even apartment buildings located in zone A – an area that, even according the Oslo agreements of 1993 (actually a trap to advance Jewish interests), should be under total Palestinian jurisdiction.

By so doing Israel, through Netanyahu, delivered a further kick to the law and to the already frayed Palestinian National Authority. Demonstrating once more, in the style of the “Iron Chancellor”, that agreements are but pieces of paper.

Israeli bulldozers and some 700 star-of-David-attired soldiers were ready to carry out the crime immediately after the Israeli Supreme Court, in total mockery of international legality, issued the predicted sentence of demolition. For in an act of foolish confidence the Palestinians had appealed to the (mock) Supreme Court.

In sum, like the Italian Jews, expelled from schools and jobs after November 1938, the Palestinians – in a tragic mockery that amuses the Israelis and is justified by sundry lackeys – saw their homes ‘legally’ demolished. This heinous abuse is repeated and recurrent. Between 1967 and 1973 Israel destroyed 9,000 homes, leaving thousands of Palestinian homeless, as documented by Jewish writer Felicia Langer in her book, “With My Eyes.” Then she left Israel because her action rarely had an effect on the rigged Israeli courts, though she unwillingly helped, by her legal attempts, to give a coat of legality to plain illegality, as the most recent case shows, with the Supreme Court deciding that it was legal to destroy the homes in East Jerusalem.

Did the (Italian) mass media adequately cover this umpteenth violation practiced on the Palestinians? – Did it note that by ridiculing international institutions, Israel removes from all citizens of the world the right to be protected by a Universal Law made mockery of? No the mass media was silent but for one ‘niche’ newspaper, “Il Manifesto,” that dedicated its first page to the event.

Therefore ‘mass-opinion,’ driven by the usual suspects concludes that the Palestinians built illegally, and that Israel, through its Supreme Court, has righted an illegality. We may wonder as to how many (Italians) may have thought that if we had an (Italian) Netaniahu there would not be so many building abuses (a plague in Italy).

While Israel will continue to do business with Italy and with other democratic Countries, the UN will issue a lamentation – it has already done so – and the European Union will issue their concern. In the end, the Palestinians will grow more desperate and understandably hateful of an entity that, for more than 70 years, humiliates them, stops them, injures them, kills them, expels them, and is even called democratic.

We saw the soldiers of the occupying army taking selfies and videos as they blew up the buildings, laughing and complimenting themselves. The Palestinians saw them too and we can imagine their feelings.

No one calls those soldiers terrorists, but according to Israel, terrorist is he who will rebel, perhaps with a stone or a kitchen knife, to this destruction of lives and rights.

Felicia Langer, the Israeli lawyer who left Israel shortly before she died, wrote, “The day will come when Israel will be forced to change its policy.” Perhaps it was an affirmation of faith, perhaps the desire to see justice triumph. But what we can see is only the multiplication of Israeli power and the contamination – as if it were a bacterium without an antibody– of every aspect of cultural, scientific, agricultural and industrial life everywhere in the world. With all this creating a kind of awe and discomfort that muzzles and prevents criticism. The fear refers to the anathema that condemns to isolation, anti-Semitism!

I wrote this before. Only independent newspapers can run the risk of an anathema without renouncing their function of making the truth known.

Here the truth is clear. Israel knows only abuse, and out of systematic abuse, only two results are possible, either resignation and flight, or resistance by all possible means, however right or wrong they may appear to our eyes as Western observers.

Meanwhile, while we write, the ten-story buildings with apartments adorned with velvet cushions, with curtains often bought in installments, with the tea glasses, the small cups for the ever-hot coffee, the dishes for the maqluba and the mussaqan, the rooms for the children , their games, their books, their clothes… all is now a pile of rubble. This is what the chosen people’s government wanted … except for twenty generous but impotent dissenters.

As for the rabbis of 13th century Paris, according to whom the Talmudic Jesus boiling in eternity in excrement is not the Christian Jesus, here are the thoughts of a Jewish scholar, Israel Shahak, a survivor of a WW2 concentration camp, who settled in Israel after WW2.

“Judaism is imbued with a very deep hatred towards Christianity, combined with ignorance about it. This attitude was clearly related to the Christian persecution of Jews, but is largely independent of them.

The deeply negative attitude is based on two main elements. First, on hatred and malicious slanders against Jesus. … The notion of collective and inherited guilt is both wicked and absurd. However, what is at issue here is not the actual fact about the Jesus, but the inaccurate and even slanderous reports in the Talmud and post Talmudic literature – which is what Jews believed until the 19th century and many, especially in Israel, still believe.

According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt for rabbinical authority. All classical Jewish sources that mention his execution are quite happy to take responsibility for it; in the Talmudic account the Romans are not even mentioned.

… In addition to the above crimes they accuse him of witchcraft. The very name ‘Jesus’ was for Jews a symbol of all that is abominable, and this popular tradition still persists. The Gospels are equally detested, and they are not allowed to be quoted (let alone taught) even in modern Israeli Jewish schools.”

But even before Christ – we may add – some historians interpret the celebration of Hanukah, for example, as a reminder of the rejection by the Jews of any Greek influence (and therefore Greek thought and values) into their midst – that is the rejection of Reason. It is the same Greek influence that, along with Christianity, molded Western thought and civilization at large – now under attack.

Israel Shahak titled his book, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion – The Weight of Three Thousand Years.” I doubt whether any of the US politicians who voted down the non-binding BDS proposal knows that the book exists.

Though even if they did, gold trumps justice, especially among the rich. For many, a Congressional seat, with all its emoluments, benefits, guaranteed luxurious life and dream-like pension, is well worth the sale of their soul. As Romeo said to the struggling pharmacist who sold him the poison Romeo wanted,

“There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,

Doing more murders in this loathsome world,

Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.”

 

Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep

Image result for Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep
Brian Cloughley
August 6, 2019
© Photo: Flickr / Official Photo by Caleb Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

%d bloggers like this: