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.

The Story of Daher Al-Umar Undermines Israel’s Own Origin Story

Daher Al-Umar Feature photo

Akka, Haifa, Tabaria, are all cities with a rich Arab history which Daher made into thriving towns, and yet little memory of him existents thanks to enormous efforts put forward by the state of Israel to control the historical narrative.

December 02nd, 2019

The history of Palestine, even its very recent history, has been all but forgotten. It was pushed out by a new version of history, a narrative that is based on faith and has very little to do with history. One striking example is that of the 18th-century Palestinian leader and unifier, Daher Al-Umar. For most people, neither the man or the period in which he ruled Palestine is known.

Here is what Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah writes about Daher Al-Umar:

This matchless character has long been worthy of the attention of novelists and film and television producers, who could have made him a luminous part of our popular consciousness and the ongoing struggle of the people who populated and gave life to the land of Palestine.”

 

Time to Remember

In his forward to The Lanterns of the King of Galilee, a historical novel based on the life of Daher Al-Umar published in 2011 in Arabic, and in English in 2014, Nasrallah writes, “What saddens me now is that I didn’t come to know this great man earlier in my life.” The man to which he is referring is Daher Al-Umar Al-Zaidani, also known as The King of Galilee, whose remarkable life spanned from 1689 to 1775.

Daher Al-Umar governed most of historic Palestine and shaped its economy and politics as well as the life of its inhabitants for the better part of the 18th century. He established ties – economic and political – with European empires and created a boost in the economy and lives of the people of Palestine that was unprecedented. Palestine, under Daher, was the closest thing to an independent state one could achieve in 18th century Levant.

I had only heard of Daher Al-Umar from reading Nasrallah’s book, which shows that Nasrallah is correct as he continues to say in his forward, “Unfortunately many people are ignorant of what Daher achieved toward establishing an autonomous Arab homeland in Palestine.” However, what is astonishing is that Nasrallah himself admits that he only came across the figure of Daher in 1985 while working on his epic novel, Time of White Horses, published in Arabic in 2007 and in English in 2012.

 

A Challenging Narrative

In his forward, Nasrallah doesn’t shy away from stating the obvious, that his homeland, the country which Daher unified and ruled, namely Palestine, “fell prey to the Zionist onslaught that wrested it from its owners by means of myths, tanks and collusion.”

One might add that these myths used by the ZIonists were not just any myths, but perhaps the most powerful myths the world has ever known. In fact, even referring to these stories as “myth” will surely give rise to serious opposition as we are talking about none other than the Bible itself.

The Zionists based their claims to rights over Palestine using the toughest narrative to challenge. It is not one that is tough to challenge because it is rooted in historical facts, but because it is rooted in faith. In establishing their stake to Palestine, the Zionists built a foundation on three myths that operate as three pillars: The myth of the Jewish people, the myth of the homeland and the myth of history, and all three stem from the biblical narrative.

Jewish refugee Palestine

700 Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. Parita arrive in Palestine on Aug. 22, 1939. Photo | AP

The myth of Jewish people claims that Jews are a nation like all nations, unified by a common language, history and country. This myth is in direct opposition to the way observant, orthodox Jewish people define themselves, which is as a people unified by a common faith and observance to the Almighty. This definition allows for Jewish people to be Arabs and speak Arabic, to be Polish and speak Polish or Yiddish or to be citizens of any other country in the world and still remain Jewish, as they had done for two millennia.

The myth of the homeland claims that Palestine is the homeland of the Jewish people and that it has been empty for thousands of years. This myth stands in contrast to the fact that Jews have a home and land wherever they reside, and Palestine is and always was inhabited and thriving.

The myth of that history involves the secularization of the Old Testament. It treats the Old Testament as a historical document that describes the history of the Jewish people. According to this myth, the Bible has historical value, even though centuries of research prove otherwise. Furthermore, this myth ignores the fact that the bible is not a history book but rather a book of faith with little significant historical foundation.

It is in the face of these challenging myths that opponents of Zionism and supporters of the rights of Palestinians have to struggle. It is in this context that knowing about Daher Al-Umar is so crucial, and one must ask, why and how a figure of such stature, influence and importance was erased from memory.

 

Daher’s Palestine is Nasrallah’s Palestine

Nasrallah writes that his acquaintance with Daher had given him the ability to “trace the roots that go so deep into the land of Palestine.” He continues to describe this Palestine specifically as, “Arab Palestine, the Palestine of beauty, tolerance and the willingness to embrace the other.” People who know Palestine, particularly pre-ZIonist Palestine, will agree with Nasrallah when he goes even further, calling it, “the Palestine of cultural, spiritual and human richness; the Palestine that aspires to all that is free, lovely and good.”

Daher was known for his tolerance and the good relations he forged with Christian communities, Jewish communities and the Shia community of southern Lebanon. At his invitation, Jews from Izmir had come to come to Tabaria, or Tiberias and settled there during his reign. Sadly, as a result of the 1948 Zionist destruction and forced exile, little remains of the Arab Tabaria of Daher.

Tiberias Palestine 1936

Tiberias pictured circa 1936, prior to the 1948 Nakba. Source | Kahvedjian Collection

The mosque Daher built in the city still stands. It is a monument that under any other circumstances would have been venerated, cared for and used by the faithful. According to Zochrot and to what any visitor can witness, the mosque still stands, but it was desecrated and until recently used by the city as a storage space. Now it remains closed and neglected.

Akka, Haifa, Tabaria, are all cities with a rich Arab history which Daher made into thriving towns, and yet no memory of him exists. The onslaught of Zionist erasure of the history, names and monuments on the one hand and enormous efforts put forward by the new state of Israel to push forward a historical narrative that supports Israel’s existence has been devastating and incredibly difficult to challenge.

 

Erasing Memories

All of the cities that existed in Palestine prior to 1948 and were subjected to ethnic cleansing had their streets renamed. Most, if not all, have streets named after Ben-Gurion, Weizman, Hertzel, Balfour, and other major Zionist figures. Streets have been renamed after Israeli generals like Rabin, Dayan, Bar-Lev, etc., and still others are named after military units, replacing the historical names that used to exist. This process continues to this day and can be seen clearly, particularly in Jerusalem where the “Zionization” process is in full force.

Ibrahim Nasrallah ends his forward expressing the hope that, “those who read this novel will relive all the feelings I experienced in the course of writing it, and when that happens I’m sure they’ll sense how much better they’ve become.” Having read the book, I must agree.

Feature photo | A painting of Daher Al-Umar by Ziad Daher Zaydany circa 2010

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.

Related Videos

Related

Why First Nations People Regard Thanksgiving Day as a National Day of Mourning

(And why Alexander Ramsey Should be Posthumously Tried for Crimes Against Humanity)

Global Research, November 28, 2019
Global Research 25 November 2014

“The Sioux (aka Lakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” – Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey

We turkey-celebrating, obese, sports-addicted, shop-until-you-drop, historically-illiterate couch potatoes are all beneficiaries of the acts of our guilty ancestors who may have been unaware perpetrators of the crimes against humanity that occurred during the never-ending, shameful 500 year-long history of genocide, ethnic cleansing, colonizing and occupation of the people and the land that rightfully belonged the aboriginal tribes that had inhabited North, Central and South America for thousands of years before Columbus (who had no clue as to where he was) and his sex-starved sailors disembarked from their stinking ships and started pillaging the land and raping the most nubile female inhabitants back in 1492. (Soon cutting off the hands of  those  who couldn’t bring in their quota of gold from precious metal-less mines.)

Thus started the systematic genocide against the aboriginal, non-white people that led eventually – and perhaps inevitably – to the cruelty and crimes against humanity that enslaved millions of black Africans, many of whom died in chains even before they reached this so-called “promised land”.

In many cases the psychopathic killer-conquistadors that followed Columbus, were initially welcomed, tolerated and even nurtured (a la the mythical First Thanksgiving) – rather than being killed off as the criminal invaders that they were. Trusting the intruders to return their hospitality – in the spirit of the Christian Golden Rule – turned out to have been a huge mistake, for within decades the slaughter began, performed in the name of Christ – with the blessings of the accompanying priests whose mission was to convert the heathen to Christianity  under threat of death.

Most of our European ancestors were greatly enriched by the US Army’s massacres, the occupation and theft of their land, the exploitation of the resources, the colonization and the destruction of their way of life. We pink-skinned progeny have been conditioned to believe way too many myths about our obfuscated history. Thanks to our cunningly censored history books and the myths learned in Sunday School over the ages, we have been led to believe the story about the “nice” Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 and who gratefully shared a feast with their new friendly Indian neighbors (who were soon to be driven off their land and annihilated by the Puritan so-called “christians” and others that soon followed).

The disinformation process about the first Thanksgiving (and the successor long week-end that happens every fourth Thursday of November in the US) has been designed to absolve our ancestors of guilt for the cruel bloodbaths that were perpetrated “in their names” by obedient soldiers against the militarily weaker aboriginals, a pattern that has been repeated against many weaker nations all around the world throughout our history.

The following censored-out stories about a few of our so-called “heroes” need to be told in the context of the true history of the American genocide of the First Nations people that happened right here in River City. Those “heroes” include Minnesota’s first two governors and one humiliated Civil War general.

The following quotes and explanatory commentary will expand on the title of this essay.

“The Sioux (aka Lakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” – Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey in a genocidal declaration made on Sept. 9, 1862. Ramsey had made a fortune in real estate because of his dealings selling property to white settlers and businessmen after he himself had negotiated US-Dakota treaties that cheated the Dakota tribes out of their land. (http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/alexander-ramsey-house/history)

“I shall do full justice, but no more.  I do not propose to murder any man, even a savage, who is shown to be innocent.” “I shall probably approve them (the executions of the 303 Dakota warriors) and hang the villains” — Ex-Minnesota Governor, Colonel Henry H. Sibley, whose troops had defeated Chief Little Crow in the Battle of Wood Lake on August 23. Sibley had appointed the five member military tribunal that tried, convicted and sentenced, via death by hanging, 303 Dakota warriors that had been captured in the battle that ended the 6 week US-Dakota War of 1862.. Sibley was commenting on the fate of the convicted warriors, all but 38 of whom had their death sentences commuted by President Lincoln. Many warriors were imprisoned at Camp McClellan, near Davenport, Iowa and more than 1,600 non-combatants were imprisoned at a concentration camp at Fort Snelling over the winter of 1862 – 63. Those that survived the cold, the starvation diets and the diseases were then deported to concentration camps in Nebraska and South Dakota (Pine Ridge). (http://www.minnpost.com/minnesota-history/2012/09/150-years-ago-us-dakota-war-ends-battle-wood-lake)

“The 38 Indians and half-breeds ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at 10 am. Everything went off quietly.” – Henry Sibley, in a December 27, 1862 telegraph message to President Lincoln. (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/dakota/sibley.html)

“There will be no peace in this region by virtue of treaties and Indian faith.  It is my purpose utterly to exterminate the Sioux (aka the Dakota) if I have the power to do so and even if it requires a campaign lasting the whole of next year.  Destroy everything belonging to them and force them out to the plains, unless, as I suggest, you can capture them.  They are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made.” – Civil war Major General John Pope, in a letter to Colonel Sibley, urging an all-out effort to totally exterminate the Dakota, (letter was dated September 28, 1862): The punitive 40 year-old Pope was infamous for his abrasiveness, conceit and loud mouth, with which he alienated his colleagues, his officer staff and his soldiers. Significantly, Pope had recently been summarily relieved of his command of the Union Army of Virginia and demoted to Minnesota after his humiliating defeat by Robert E. Lee at the Second Battle of Manassas just a month earlier (August 31, 1862). (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/secondmanassas/second-manassas-history-articles/second-battle-of-manassas.html and

http://usdakotawar.org/history/aftermath#sthash.XxnK8yhx.dpuf)

“As Europeans settled the East coast, they displaced eastern tribes who then migrated to get away from the White civilization, and they, in their turn, displaced weaker local tribes they encountered, and pushed many of those tribes farther from their homelands, as they took over their homelands.

“Westward moving Europeans would give the displaced eastern tribes … guns and gun powder and they would then instigate fights between the newly arrived tribes and the long established tribes in order to force the long established tribes from their homelands; and in doing so, extinguish the long established tribes’ ancestral ties that they had with the land, their ancestors and the spirit world. Evidence of this practice has shown itself time and time again throughout the Americas.

“Around 1750, a displaced East coast band of Ojibwe were pushed into the Dakota’s homeland and they then used French guns and gun powder to force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs Lake homeland.

“This was the strategy the European colonists used to greatly diminish the number of Dakota in their Mille Lacs homeland, which encouraged and made it possible for a French weapons armed, alcohol manipulated band of Ojibwe to violently force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs homeland.”

“Grieved by the loss of their lands, dissatisfied with reservation (aka, concentration camp) life, and ultimately brought to a condition of near starvation, the Dakota people appealed to US Indian agencies (involving ex-Minnesota governors Sibley and Ramsey) without success. The murder of five whites by four young Dakota Indians ignited a bloody uprising in which more than 300 whites and an unknown number of Indians were killed. In the aftermath, 38 Dakota captives were hanged in Mankato (the day after Christmas Day 1862) for ‘voluntary participation in murders and massacres,’ and the Dakota remaining in Minnesota were removed to reservations in Nebraska. Meanwhile, the Ojibwa were relegated to reservations on remnants of their former lands.

“What happened to the Dakota in 1862 and afterward was a grievous crime against humanity. If it had occurred in this present day and age the United Nations and the international community would condemn it and declare it to be ethnocide and genocide. A United Nations world court indictment would be issued and the perpetrators of this ethnocide and genocide would be rounded up, tried, convicted and punished for crimes against humanity.” — Thomas Dahlheimer from his long essay, entitled, A History Of The Dakota People In The Mille Lacs Area (http://www.towahkon.org/Dakotahistory.html)

Gov. Ramsey’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of November 3, 1862:

“WHEREAS, it is meet and in accordance with good and cherished custom of our fathers worthy to be “a statute forever in all our dwellings,” that the people “when they have gathered the fruit of the land,” should “keep a feast unto the Lord,” in commemoration of His goodness, and by a public act of Christian worship, acknowledge their dependence as a community upon Him in whose hands the kingdoms of the earth are but as dust in the balance.

“Therefore I, Alexander Ramsey, Governor of the State of Minnesota, do hereby set apart the twenty-seventh day of the present month of November, as a Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God for his wonderful mercy towards us–for all the good gifts of His providence–for health and restored domestic peace–and the measure of general prosperity which we enjoy.

“Especially let us recognize His mercy in that He has delivered our borders from the savage enemies who rose up against us, and cast them into the pit they had privily dug for us; that our friends have been rescued from the horrors of captivity, and that our homes and household treasures are now safe from the violence of Indian robbers and assassins.

“And let us praise Him for the continued preservation of the Government of our Fathers, from the assaults of traitors and rebels; for the sublime spirit of patriotism, and courage, and constancy with which He has filled the hearts of its defenders; for the victories won by the valor of our troops; for the glorious share of Minnesota in the struggles and triumphs of the Union cause; for the safety of her sons who have passed through the fire of battle unscathed, and the honorable fame of the gallant dead; for the alacrity and devotion with which our citizens have rushed from their unharvested fields to the standard of the nation; and, above all, for the assurance that their toils, and perils, and wounds, and self-devotion, are not in vain; for the tokens, now manifest, of His will, that, through the blood and sweat of suffering and sacrifice, the nation is to be saved from its great calamity, and the great crime of which it is at once the effect and punishment; and that behind the thunders, and lightnings, and clouds of the tempest, the awful form of Jehovah is visible, descending in fire upon the mount, to renew the broken tablets of the Constitution, and proclaim FREEDOM as the condition and the law of a restored and regenerated Union.

“Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State, at the City of St. Paul, this third day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two”.– Alexander Ramsey, Governor of the State of Minnesota

“Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in a National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.” — Text of a plaque on Cole’s Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, MA

Dr Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, Minnesota who has been involved in peace, nonviolence and justice issues and often writes about militarism, racism, fascism, imperialism, totalitarianism, economic oppression, anti-environmentalism and other violent, unsustainable, anti-democratic movements.

The Left is from Jerusalem

 

Left is from Jerusalem.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

We learned yesterday that Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion (“XR”) apologised after his comments about the Holocaust sparked outrage.

I was curious to find out what it was that Hallam said that led to such indignation. German Green politician Volker Beck accused Mr Hallam on Twitter of “bringing the climate movement into disrepute.” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the Nazi genocide was “uniquely inhumane” (can the German foreign minister provide a list of what he considers to have been  ‘humane’ genocides?). Ullstein, Hallam’s German publisher announced it had stopped publication of Hallam’s book on climate change and that it was disassociating itself from his comments.

Judging by the  scale of the histrionics I assumed that Hallam had broken every rule. He must have praised Hitler or perhaps justified or even denied the Holocaust all together.  Apparently, he said nothing at all like that. In an interview with Die Zeit, Hallam stated that the Holocaust was  “just another fuckery in human history.”  The “fact of the matter,” he said, “is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history.”  He concluded by observing that genocides have occurred repeatedly over the past 500 years and “in fact, you might say it is like a regular event”.

At least on its face, his statements were factually correct, Hallam didn’t deny or diminish anyone’s suffering.  Quite the opposite, he expressed a universal disgust with all forms of oppression and hatred.

What was Hallam’s crime? Apparently, that he spoke both authentically and ethically, and ignored the fact that this form of discourse is extinct within contemporary ‘Left’  and progressive circles.

XR’s Annemarie Botzki tweeted: “We distance ourselves from Roger Hallam’s trivialising and relativising comments about the Holocaust.”  Hallam is being accused of ‘trivializing’ and ‘relativizing’ the holocaust simply by noting the clear and undeniable fact that history has witnessed more than one systematic destruction of one people by another.

The study of history benefits from a  comparative approach. Our scholarly understanding of the past expands when we can see, for instance, the equivalence between the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the 1948 Palestinian Nakba. Our understanding of Zionism grows when we delve into the parallels between the national socialist aspirations of the early Labour Zionists and  those of German National Socialism that surfaced later. Yet, within the domain of the Holocaust religion such a scholarly comparative approach is regarded as the ultimate heresy. To examine the Holodomor, the Boer War, Stalin’s crimes, Neocon global atrocities, or Israeli War Crimes alongside the Holocaust is perceived by some as the ultimate profanity as it ‘relativises’ that which ‘must’ extend beyond history and reason, namely ‘The Holocaust.’

For Jewish institutions, Holocaust:  ‘Relativisation,’ ‘Trivialization’ and ‘Universalization’ are the ‘ultimate crimes’ as they tend to prevent the crystallization of the Holocaust as a unique chapter in human history. The attempt is made by these institutions to prevent  the application of language that is ‘specific to the holocaust’ to events that are unrelated to it or to Jewish suffering in general.

We are stumbling upon two core elements at the heart of the Holocaust religion.  One is, of course, the primacy of Jewish suffering. The other is the Orwellian attempt to dominate language, terminology, vocabulary and expressions by restricting the usage of certain words so the words themselves serve Jewish identitarian causes.

The great Israeli thinker Yeshayahu Leibowitz noticed as early as the 1970s that the Holocaust was morphing from an event in history into a dogmatic religion. It was he who coined the notion “Holocaust religion.” Leibowitz perceived that, although Jews believe in many different things, Judaism, Bolshevism, Human Rights, Zionism and Anti Zionism: all Jews believe in the Holocaust.  A decade later in 1987, Israeli philosopher Adi Ophir expanded on this shift in Jewish consciousness and identification. In his paper On Sanctifying the Holocaust: An Anti-Theological Treatise, Ophir admitted that “a religious consciousness built around the Holocaust may become the central aspect of a new religion.”

Ophir listed the four commandments of the new religion:

 1. “Thou shalt have no other holocaust.” 

2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or likeness.”

3. “Thou shalt not take the name in vain.” 

4. “Remember the day of the Holocaust to keep it holy, in memory of the destruction of the Jews of Europe.” 

Ophir’s commandments illuminate these two Judeo Centric core elements of the Holocaust religion. The primacy of Jewish Suffering (1, 2 and 4) and strict lingual restrictions (1,2 &3).

Orwell’s insights into left authoritarianism that made 1984 into a prophetic masterpiece together with Ophir’s thoughts  provide us with the intellectual framework to understand both the Jewish and the Left’s attitude toward the Holocaust. The Left that, at least in the past, attempted to unite us in the name of a universal ethos is now at the forefront of the battle against each of its own core values: the ethical, the universal (equality) and, most important, freedom.

Noticeably, not a single Left politician or thinker stood up for Hallam and his expression of a genuine humanist and universalist outlook. This is tragic but not surprising. It can easily be explained by the concepts of ‘Athens’ and ‘Jerusalem.’  If Athens is the birthplace of philosophy and Jerusalem is the home for Torah and Mitzvoth, then Athens teaches us how to think while Jerusalem produces a set of directives as, for example,  what ‘not to say.’ The Left’s call that was born of an Athenian instinct that was both dialectical and universal has generally been reduced into a Jerusalemite set of ‘commandments’ that are totally removed from truthfulness, authenticity or human nature.

It is this Jerusalemite authoritarian mode that is quintessential to contemporary Left politics and explains why Corbyn’s Labour has expelled its best members for truthful speech. Why is it that Corbyn himself never stood for Ken Livingstone and others who were telling the truth? This systematic failure of Left politics may explain why the promised revolution never materialized.   It also explains why Hallam was stabbed in the back by his allies for telling the truth.

Truth is from Athens but the Left is from Jerusalem.

NGOs Stand Against «Israeli» War Machine Invading Canadian Universities & Recruiting Students

NGOs Stand Against «Israeli» War Machine Invading Canadian Universities & Recruiting Students

By Fatima Haydar

Beirut – The words “Free Free Palestine!” rang out. The chant once unheard grew louder, livelier and stronger. No, this wasn’t in Palestine. It wasn’t in some Middle Eastern country either. This was halfway across the globe in faraway Canada!

On November 20, the prestigious York University, Canada’s third largest, hosted an on-campus event featuring reservists from the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF].

The event on Wednesday night, which included a panel discussion featuring “Reservists on Duty” – a group made up of former IOF soldiers, advertised the “Israeli” army’s strength and morale.

Meanwhile, prior to the event, activists and social media users called for a protest against the arrival of IOF members. Many denounced the university for hosting those who were tasked with upholding an illegal occupation, enforcing apartheid, murdering protesters and committing war crimes.

Canadian Defenders for Human Rights [CD4HR] – a registered non-profit organization dedicated to defending the rights of people of all backgrounds, color, and faith – was among those that spoke up.

The group’s director Firas Al Najim slammed the atrocious behavior of the Zionists in Canada.

A video clip shows Al Najim protesting against the event on campus and joining ranks with another demonstration held by York’s Students against “Israeli” Apartheid [SAIA]. He was crying out:

We condemn the Zionist regime.

You’re a bunch of cowards! You kill children! You kill senior citizens! You kill everybody!

You are WAR CRIMINALS!

You have the audacity to say a word!

You are a danger to the Canadian society!

Zionism is terrorism!

Holding up the Palestinian flag during the protest, Al Najim stressed his organization’s solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people of different religious backgrounds. He further condemned the “Israeli” occupation of the Holy Land of Palestine, calling for the “dismantlement of the illegitimate Zionist regime”.

Al Najim rejected the presence of the IOF, whom he called “a bunch of mercenaries from everywhere in the world”, promoting their “evil agenda”, hatred and their war crimes.

The Canadian activist further urged his government and its officials to condemn “Israeli” violations, thanking Canadian PM Justin Trudeau for his recent move and stance in condemning “Israel” and standing up for international law.

The Trudeau government on Tuesday reversed course and voted in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning the apartheid “Israeli” entity for its occupation of Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, Al Najim’s chants blended with those of students and SAIA members who came out to oppose the visit of IOF soldiers on campus, while yelling:

All Out! No “Israeli” soldiers on our campus!

They wanted to send a message that “Israeli” war criminals actively participating in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and violating their human rights are not welcome on their campus.

The “Israeli” entity has recently admitted to murdering Palestinian children in their homes and bombing residential buildings after the latest violence in occupied Palestinian territories.

To say that no one is above the law is to say that laws must be applied to everyone equally regardless of race, gender, status or any other consideration.

However, it appears that, as understood by Western capitals, there are people and institutions that are above the law; today’s war criminals in the Middle East – who portrayed themselves as yesterday’s “oppressed” minority, have a privileged status that shields them from indictment.

A pen is mightier than a sword! But in this case, even a word is mightier than the whole “Israeli” arsenal altogether.

The Jewish Progressive Agenda according to Bernie Sanders

 

sanders final.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Donate

 

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

 

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

https://youtu.be/pfxhicFBHSI

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

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

Hoole CEOIMG_8452.jpg

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

Here are final words from Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference:

 Chester Palestine Conference November 2nd 2019

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

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

 The day started with a brief interfaith service.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Donate

%d bloggers like this: