40 killed in New Zealand after gunmen attack mosques

40 killed in New Zealand after gunmen attack mosques

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/shooter-situation-zealand-mosque-attack-190315015927391.html

Two Muslim places of worship hit by automatic weapon fire with ‘a number of fatalities’ as police arrest four suspects.

Ambulance staff take a wounded man from outside the mosque in central Christchurch on Friday [Mark Baker/AP]

Ambulance staff take a wounded man from outside the mosque in central Christchurch on Friday [Mark Baker/AP]

Forty people have been killed and several others injured in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand‘s city of Christchurch in an unprecedented attack in the quiet country in the Pacific.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference that 20 people were in a serious condition after the “terrorist” attack.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said four suspects, including a woman, were in custody.

Sam Clarke, a reporter with TVNZ, spoke with several people inside the Masjid Al Noor mosque when the shooting began. He told Al Jazeera a man entered with an automatic weapon and began firing.

“A gunman – dressed in black with a helmet carrying a machine gun – came into the back of the mosque and started firing into the people praying there,” said Clarke.

Police confirmed a second shooting occurred at the Linwood mosque during Friday prayers in the South Island city, but no details were immediately available.

Ardern said: “This is, and will be, one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Authorities have not described the scale of Friday’s shootings but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors. New Zealand media reported between nine and 27 people were killed, but the death toll could not be confirmed.

Police warned worshippers not to visit mosques “anywhere in New Zealand”. A lockdown imposed throughout Christchurch was called off at about 05:00 GMT.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the suspects was an Australian national, calling him an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

Police patrol outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch [Mark Baker/AP]

Dressed in black

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

He said he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived.

Peneha – who lives next to the mosque – said he went into the building to try and help. “I saw dead people everywhere.”

One man in the mosque, with blood stains all over his clothes, said he hid under a bench as the shooting took place. He said about 50 people were inside the building.

Clarke said some worshippers managed to escape through windows and doors but “many people had been hit, some as young as 16”.

About 10 to 15 people were seen outside the mosque, “some alive, some dead”, he said.

“It was unbelievable. I saw about 20 people, some dead, some screaming,” one eyewitness told local television.

“I saw on the floor so many bullet shells, hundreds. I saw one guy trying to run out and he was shot dead.”

A man reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque [Mark Baker/AP]

One of the gunmen shared a livestream of the attack on Facebook and posted content on Instagram. Facebook said it has taken down the video and was removing praise for the gunman.

“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” a police statement said. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

There were reports racist literature was left behind at the scene denouncing “invaders”.

Commissioner Bush said local police officers apprehended the four suspects. “There’s been some absolute acts of bravery,” he said without elaborating.

“I won’t assume there aren’t others but I don’t have any information to that effect,” Bush told a press conference.

 

He said a number of bombs were detected and neutralised on the attackers’ automobiles.

“There were a few reports of IEDs strapped to vehicles which we were able to secure,” he said, referring to improved explosive devices.

Asked by reporters whether police considered Friday’s carnage a “terrorist attack”, Bush said an investigation was under way.

Bangladesh team

ESPN Cricinfo reporter Mohammed Isam said members of the Bangladesh cricket team, who are set to play a test match in Christchurch on Saturday, escaped from the mosque.

Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team, was quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying the team was close to where the shooting occurred, but was safe.

“The players are shaken up but fine,” Villavarayen was quoted as saying.

Peneha described the scene at Masjid Al Noor as ” unbelievable”.

“I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous. I’ve lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they’re very friendly. I just don’t understand it,” he said.

Muslims account for just one percent of New Zealand’s population, a 2013 census showed.

“Many of those who would have been affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand,” Ardern said.

“They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home … they are us. The persons who perpetuated this violence against us … have no place in New Zealand.”

Mass shootings in New Zealand are exceedingly rare. The deadliest in modern history occurred in the small town of Aramoana in 1990, when gunman David Gray shot and killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbour.

A survivor rests on the ground outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque [Mark Baker/AP]

Islamophobia Is the Dominant Form of Racism: Why Is No One Talking About It?

Islamophobia Is the Dominant Form of Racism: Why Is No One Talking About It?

Written by Chris Nineham

Attacks on Islam and muslims are the central organising principles of far-right movements across Europe argues Chris Nineham

NoToIslamophobia

“Really confronting Islamophobia, challenging the logic of the Prevent programme for example, or explaining the causes of terrorism, requires challenging the logic of the wars and foreign interventions so dear to the British establishment. There are too few in public life who are prepared to do that.”


It shouldn’t really need to be pointed out given the evidence, but it does. Islamophobia is the dominant form of racism in British society and across much of Europe.

According to a recent survey, 25% of people in England believe that Islam is a dangerous religion that incites violence. According to the same research a shocking 52% believe that Islam poses a serious threat to Western civilisation.
Attacks on Islam and Muslims are the central organising principles of far-right movements across Europe. For Tommy Robinson for instance, Islam is the main enemy. His key mobilising issues are terrorism, grooming and the threat of sharia law. When he claims to be defending freedom of speech it is against a fantasy political correctness that he believes blocks discussion of these issues.
But the far-right are not the source of Islamophobia. They are feeding off the mainstream. Islamophobia is deeply embedded in the main political parties, central to media discourse and to the functioning of the key bodies of the state.
The Muslim Council of Britain have repeatedly pointed to the growing number of Islamophobic posts or comments by representatives of the Tory party – there were for example nine in just two months of last year. Despite this and the fact that 66% of Tory voters see Islam as a threat, the Tory leadership has consistently refused to launch the enquiry into Islamophobia that the MCB demands.
There is a problem in the Labour Party too – 22% of Labour voters also believe Islam is a danger to our lifestyle. Islamophobia is a far more prominent problem in British politics than anti-semitism, although this too is growing in society. Studies of the media show almost daily stereotyping and demonisation of Muslims and statistics of stop and search, arrest and imprisonment reveal systematic anti-Muslim attitudes in the police and the courts.
The so-called Prevent strategy attempts to mobilise workers in all sorts of other state institutions in an initiative that often assumes that Muslims are a danger to society. Meanwhile data shows that discrimination against Muslims extends across the economy. Muslims are half as likely as the rest of society to have permanent jobs for example.
So why is there no national debate about this scandalous situation? The first problem is denial. It’s not just that the issue is ignored, there are regular debates in the media as to whether Islamophobia actually exists. Worse still, Islamophobic attitudes are often dressed up as liberal critiques of aspects of some Muslim’s lifestyles or what is often, absurdly, regarded as a uniquely reactionary religion. Such attitudes adopted by liberals and sometimes by people who regard themselves as progressives only give confidence to the right. So when Boris Johnson made his disgraceful comments about women in Burqas looking like letterboxes he felt confident to justify them in terms of opposing women’s oppression, ‘if you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree’.
Racist attitudes are second nature to the British ruling class of course, and various forms of racism against people of Asian or African descent have a long and horrible history which continue to this day. But Islamophobia’s ability to present as cultural critique means that it is a racism that it is peculiarly convenient at a time when ‘biological’ racism is largely regarded as unacceptable.
It is a form of racism that can pretend not to be one. But this isn’t the only cause of the denial. Islamophobia is deeply structured into British society because it has played a central role in attempting to create the conditions in which the British elites can fight unpopular foreign wars, particularly in central Asia and the Middle East. A series of studies have mapped the rise of Islamophobia to geopolitics and Western foreign policy priorities, including the shock of the Iranian revolution, the US retreat from the Lebanon in 1984, and in a different way the end of Cold War.
Islamophobia went mainstream after the start of the War on Terror in 2001 when the US, Britain and its other allies turned towards massive military intervention against Afghanistan and then Iraq. The damage and bitterness caused by these invasions has predictably unleashed an intensifying cycle of violence that threatens to sustain racism against the people who we have murderously attacked in the first place. Really confronting Islamophobia, challenging the logic of the Prevent programme for example, or explaining the causes of terrorism, requires challenging the logic of the wars and foreign interventions so dear to the British establishment. There are too few in public life who are prepared to do that.
Islamophobia can be overcome. Social attitudes are very contradictory. Despite some popular prejudice, the vast majority want to see more measures to improve relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, including for example better access to language teaching. Overwhelming numbers of people oppose the foreign wars that successive governments have dragged us into and the fact that we have a leader the Labour Party who is anti-war, a principled and public anti-racist and takes Islamophobia very seriously is important in itself and a sign of widespread anti-racist attitudes in Britain.
One of the most inspirational and significant moments in recent British politics was during the 2017 election campaign when Jeremy Corbyn responded to the dreadful terrorist attacks in Manchester with a press conference in which he argued that the main cause of  terrorism was our foreign policy. To the shock of the Tories and the right wing in Labour the next day opinion polls showed that 75% of the population agreed with him. This was a moment when it became clear how the Islamophobic narrative can be unravelled.
To do so will require concerted action. We have to insist on the cultural, economic and institutional importance of Islamophobia. We have to make the fight against Islamophobia as central to our movement as it is to the thought and actions of the establishment and the far right. But as well as calling it out and confronting it we have to tackle its causes. Muslims will not feel really safe and at home in Britain until we stop bombing and intervening in Muslim countries and start developing a foreign policy based peace and respect

 

France’s ‘Holy Secular Empire’ slurs Yellow Vests as anti-Semitic, bans anti-Zionism

Source

February 20, 2019

France’s ‘Holy Secular Empire’ slurs Yellow Vests as anti-Semitic, bans anti-Zionism

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

Back in November 2008, Rahm Emmanuel, then president-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff and later the detested mayor of Chicago, famously told The Wall Street Journal, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. … This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not before.” A wave of “socialise the losses” right-wing capitalism followed; millions lost their homes, pensions, jobs, sanity, neighbourhood cohesion, etc.

France is using the anti-establishment crisis of the Yellow Vests in a way that Zionist-supporter Emmanuel certainly approves of: they are using it to criminalise anti-Zionism.

Backtracking from just a day earlier, President Emmanuel Macron threw French liberty under the bus and said that France will now define “anti-Zionism as a modern-day form of anti-Semitism”.

Well I guess I better totally rewrite this article! LOL, not a chance.

France had an atrocious 74% leap in anti-Jewish acts in 2018, which caused nationwide demonstrations against anti-Semitism on February 19.

More against anti-Jew acts… I could not be.

But the demonstrations were a clear manipulation of righteous anti-racism sentiment, because they were orchestrated right alongside an effort to slander the anti-government Yellow Vest movement as a basket of racist, anti-Jewish, hillbilly, intolerant, uncultured deplorables. Now we see they had a second goal, just as I had openly suggested.

Domestic things first: France’s Holy Secular Empire rallies to attack tolerance & democracy

Given that they are calling for the resignation of the president and his cadres, from the very beginning of the Yellow Vest movement the government has obviously done everything they could to portray the Yellow Vests as such… and also as radicals, rioters and rejects of society – anything but legitimate.

But the marches show that (what I refer to as) France’s “Holy Secular Empire” has sprung back into action. The Holy Secular Empire is characterised by pro-French jingoism, intolerance for those who are deemed not tolerant enough of the “correct” things (no matter how morally repugnant and intellectually incorrect said things may be), and a hypocritical subversion of France’s constitutionally mandated and culturally revered laïcité (political secularism) towards all things regarding race and religion only when certain cultural groups are targeted.

The apex of the Holy Secular Empire was the Je Suis Charlie marches in 2015, when fake-leftists worldwide wept for the right to draw a picture of Prophet Mohammad with his butt cheeks spread open and star covering his anus and also Mohammad directing a pornography movie. (Yes, those are among the cartoons they published.)

The arrival of the anti-austerity, anti-neoliberal, anti-EU, anti-Eurozone, anti-1% Yellow Vest movement has forced the HSE’s fake-leftist ideals back to the fore. The last week has seen a massive media and political blitz which aims to instrumentalise the fight against racism as a way to turn public opinion against the Yellow Vests, and eventually put a stop to their marches.

The slur campaign went into overdrive when the atrociously right-wing and pro-Zionist writer Alain Finkielkraut was filmed at the Yellow Vest demonstration on February 16th being insulted (being correctly labelled) with the phrase “dirty Zionist”. Finkielkraut is a former leftist who renounced his leftist ideals for reactionary ones, and such sellouts – those who can perhaps best critique the left because they understood it at one time – are always adored by the 1% and the Mainstream Media.

Firstly, what is Alain Finkielkraut doing at a Yellow Vest march? Of course they hate him – he was similarly booed and shooed away at the leftist, Occupy-inspired Nuit Debout protests in 2016. The French say “once does not make a custom”, but it seems as if every leftist movement can now count on Finkielkraut getting back in the spotlight by annoying them with his presence. Of course, just like in 2016, Finkielkraut wants people to believe in 2019 it’s just anti-Jew hatred, but he clearly refuses to accept that people legitimately resent and detest him for being one of the French’s 1%’s leading intellectual toadies.

I saw Finkielkraut being interviewed on right-wing BFM TV just after the incident: he was doing his usual rear end-kissing of the average Frenchman’s bygone culture. He was going on and on about how the Roman Catholic French Church is a natural ally with the Jews, begging for their support and fraternity… and never mentioning Islam as their third Abrahamic brother. That’s odd, considering that much of the Koran’s very first chapter calls for unity with Jews and Christians, declares that Islam does not discriminate against their apostles and embraces them, how the children of Israel are exalted above other nations, and on and on and on. I asked a Middle Eastern Christian colleague why Finkielkraut didn’t include Islam, considering these obvious facts?

“Ramin,” he said, “why do you think Alain Finkielkraut would commit career suicide?”

LOL, good point. But this is why people on the left hate Finkielkraut – he makes bad things worse by insisting that la belle France réactionnaire doesn’t have to change.

The Finkielkraut episode, combined with a couple recent typical pro-Nazi graffiti taggings, allowed the Mainstream Media to point the finger at the Yellow Vests. Ever obliging, and you cannot make this up: French Parliamentarians rushed to try and ban anti-Zionist speech!

Surprised – why? In 2014, during Israel’s latest war on Gaza, France became the first country to ban pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

Foreign things second: Since when do French politicians care about the French?

Banning anti-Zionism is – without a doubt – truly dangerous for the safety of the French, ruinous for France’s international image, ruinous to France’s cultural values…but since when do French politicians care about France?

The Parliamentarians said the ban debate was on the grounds that “anti-Zionism” is the same as “anti-Semitism”.” For several days this falsity was relayed by every major news organisation with zero comment or a question. Cleary, the Holy Secular Empire is a mighty force, but not an enlightened one.

I am an anti-Zionist Jew

Such a conflation staggers the mind! “Zionism” is an imperialist project based on earthly political ideas – (the inherently racist idea that Jews need to be segregated into their own country); “Judaism” is a religion, based on faith. It has been truly sad to see what a poor job the average journalist, commentator, politician, editor and publisher did by conflating the two over the past week. This is why Yellow Vests hate us journalists, guys and gals.

One can be 100% anti-Zionist and 100% pro-Jew. Indeed, we all must be.

However, the reality is that – for fake-leftists and the Holy Secular Empire – one cannot be both pro-Jew and anti-Zionist… not even if you are a Jew.

Paris-based journalist George Kazolias emailed me this photo from the huge “Hipsters Against Anti-Jews” march at Place de la République in Paris on February 19. His sign reads, “I am Jewish and anti-Zionist”. Kazolias, who has decades of experience and whose integrity is unquestionable, told me that this intelligent young man was roughed up and forced to take his sign down.

That is the Holy Secular Empire at its finest: they claim to be anti-racist, but only when certain races are involved. “The Palestinians – not today, pal: you need to take a backseat to the Zionists right now. Frankly, let’s just ban anti-Zionism altogether.” They claim to be politically modern, and yet they support an imperialist project for which there is no doubt about who is in the wrong and who is in the right. They claim to be tolerant and demand that you be tolerant for their preferred groups, but they are willing to rough up a brave dissenter who dares to express a contrarian opinion (even when that dissenter is a member of the group being affected).

Surprised that France’s Holy Secular Empire is neither Holy (it is anti-Holy), nor Secular (it is incredibly partisan), but, like all Empires, based on illegitimate, anti-democratic force?

The surprise comes from the false, mainstream idea that France is what they say they are: a beacon of free speech, the world’s greatest adherents of the right to open debate on political issues, a fighter for truth, tolerance and other human rights… but it’s mostly for human rights which do very little to advance socioeconomic & political equality but which certainly allow the rich to express themselves unfettered in West European / Liberal Democratic / bourgeois systems.

Why the backtracking by Macron? I thought he was pro-Nazi? Let’s not forget that last November Macron was forced to call off his planned tribute to Vichy France leader and Nazi collaborator Marshall Petain – that makes him more responsible for the recent spike in anti-Jewish acts than anyone, no? People follow the lead of the leader, and he praised Nazi-era France.

From the beginning I openly said on social media that the timing of the marches made their legitimacy even more suspect: they were the night before the French President’s annual genuflecting before CRIF, the umbrella of Jewish groups which serves as France’s influential Jewish lobby. I felt bad for France’s Jews – the timing of these marches already seemed more like political manipulations which aimed to culminate in the criminalisation of anti-Zionism, but the timing helped perpetuate the idea that Jews are overly powerful among the French elite.

The annual genuflecting also shows that, while individual and anecdotal violence against Jews needs far steeper penalties in France, on the institutional level France’s Jews are not just well-represented but punching above their weight: there is no similar annual genuflecting by the French president at an French Muslim organisation, even though Muslims are 10 times the number of Jews in France. Each new French president even has the gall to create their own, preferred “new, improved, Franco-Muslim group”, which no Muslim takes remotely seriously but which the Mainstream Media takes as, LOL, legitimate.

Macron made his backtracking at the CRIF dinner. Ugh…bad for Jews, bad for France, bad for Palestinians, bad for those who oppose terrorism in France (i.e everyone) and on and on.

Global things third: we still have the Yellow Vests, at least. Also: I hate Zionism

Call the cops on me….

The reality is that mainstream journalists simply won’t stand up for the difference between Zionism and anti-Semitism – even if brave Jews like that one in the photo do – and even if such inaccuracies hurt the image of the everyday Jew.

But such is the effectiveness of Israeli hasbara, counter-information propaganda aimed at Western audiences, that even the word “Jew” cannot be broached. The Western concept that the word “Jew” is somehow a racial slur was hilariously lampooned by the US TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

And it affected this article, too: I thought the title should be, “France’s ‘Holy Secular Empire’ slurs Yellow Vests as anti-Jew, bans anti-Zionism” – and why not? It’s shorter, and I like to pretend that column inches still matter in digital media. It’s also more accurate: “Semitic” is a language – meaning the branch which includes Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic – yet it has been appropriated/given to the adherents of Judaism, regardless of national origin, for so long that the average person now associates “Semite” solely with Jews.

For example, I just had a fine English colleague proofread my upcoming book, Socialism’s Ignored Success Story: Iranian Islamic Socialism, and in one part I discussed out how the “non-Semitic Iranians” might have been predisposed to disagree with certain early Islamic leaders who pushed pro-Arab, and thus ethnically sectarian, policies. This intelligent journalist noted in red next to “the non-Semitic Iranians” the following: “?”. LOL, I changed it, because this is even more of a lost cause than my effort to use “Southwest Asian” instead of the Eurocentric “Middle East”. And I changed the headline because I thought that many half-hearted anti-racists would see “anti-Jew” and hysterically think, “I am too turned off to click on this link – the language is too harsh. The writer must be a nut.”

The mistake made by that young anti-Zionist Jew – who is my brother from another mother – is that he went to the wrong demonstration that night: he went to the fake-leftist / hipster / bobo (bourgeois bohémien) / politician photo-op / pro-Zionist / anti-Yellow Vest demonstration at Place de la République, when he should have been with me at Ménilmontant in the Arab part of town.

I covered that demonstration for PressTV. It was organised by the Union of French Jews for Peace, a wonderful group I have interviewed for years. Heck, some of the very best pro-Palestinian activists in France are Jewish! That is where this young man belonged. The protest was expressly against all racism and expressly against the attempt to slur the Yellow Vests as anti-Semitic.

We numbered about 700 people, with plenty of Yellow Vests, and we garnered far less media coverage (in FrenchAt Ménilmontant, a demonstration of real anti-racists’ against anti-Semitism), but plenty of Israeli hasbara. The Times of Israel headline read, “At Ménilmontant a man yelled ‘Netanyahu licks the (rear end) of Hitler”. If this is how they treat those who are protesting against anti-Semitism, imagine how they treat Palestinians, LOL….

As usual, the people I interviewed there put it better than I could, even though that’s my job:

The Yellow Vests are not ethnic nor religious – they are social, political and fiscal. These are workers who work yet still can’t pay their bills at the end of the month, even though France is such a rich country. If there are anti-Jews in the Yellow Vests, well, 58% of the country supports the Yellow Vests, which equates to 39 million people: out of 39 million people you will find some jerks, and also some racists, but the slurring of the Yellow Vests as anti-Jew is only because the establishment and their toadies will do anything to stop the Yellow Vest movement… which will absolutely not stop.

It won’t stop because, as I wrote at the very beginning of the movement: there is simply no political pathway for the Yellow Vests’ political ideas to be implemented. Therefore, they have no choice but to continue because political demands aren’t whims, but are almost implacably formed over time – in this case, eight years of far-right economic austerity. Yellow Vests can only turn to other Yellow Vests.

At the big demonstration at Place de la République there were 20,000 people – this is a very rare instance of a demonstration in France not being obviously undercounted by authorities; many put the official numbers of the Saturday Yellow Vests at 1/3rd the official total.

But I wasn’t going to to République to celebrate the fake-leftist idea of anti-racism, even though most everyone else did. You had Catholic bishops there, even though they are supposed to not get involved in political demonstrations; you had Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy; you had plenty of attractive, young, hip people in the very heart of hipster Paris. What’s certain is that everyone was breaking their arms patting each other (and themselves) on the back for being so very progressive, tolerant, modern and leftist.

That made it really quite similar to the largest ever gatherings of the Holy Secular Empire: the 4-million person marches after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, which was at Place de la République too. I was there doing my usual dissident thing in very unwelcoming environment, LOL, and back then what all those fake-leftists hemmed and hawed about was the answer to this simple question: “How is drawing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad bent over, with his butt cheeks spread, and a star over his anus, or a cartoon of Mohammad filming a porn movie not inflammatory / impolite/ dangerous / racist / Islamophobic / yelling “fire “in a crowded theater?” Fake-leftists still have no answer for that, of course, but they marched just the same and got teary over the sacred glories of French “liberty”.

Real leftists said, “Well, political science ain’t science, so like can attract like here: that stuff is dangerous and reactionary so I’m not surprised who they ran into….”

Another iteration of the media wing of the HSE was on the very day of the 2017 presidential election: French fake-leftist newspaper nonpareil Libération knowingly broke a law insisting on media neutrality just prior to elections by printing a cover which read, “Do what you want but vote Macron”.

This is way I imagined the paper’s budget meeting that day: the hysterical female journalists and the namby-pamby male journalist at Libé (or the namby-pamby female journalists and the hysterical male journalists – that’s fine by me) were sitting around their meeting room table and swearing before their atheistic god that they simply could not risk democracy taking place without fetters; their technocratic creed and noblesse oblige forced them – Gandhi-like – to flout the law in order to save the establishment from the far-right Marine Le Pen… even if that meant putting in the far-right (economically) Macron (who is also now a far-right imperialist, too). If history judged their efforts not the equal of Gandhi’s, Libération had but one choice: to formalise and protect a caste system, also like Gandhi.

The Yellow Vests do not believe that “Jews are secretly in charge” – what they oppose is the continuation of this caste culture, which allows high finance, careerist politicians and hipster Parisians to be the only ones writing public policy.

The Yellow Vests, I’m sure, are majority pro-Palestinian, but I’m even more sure that they view this banning of Zionism as a truly dangerous distraction which will not keep them from relying on food banks at the end of the month.

Those slurs won’t stick, but the Yellow Vests will – more marches are certain. Jews welcome… but only if they are Yellow Vest sympathisers – this is a class-based political movement, of course! Practitioners of identity politics will never be welcome.

As far as Macron… ugh. You have not failed to disappoint, and I openly expected you to be worse than Marine Le Pen, who is terrible. Macron proves, once again, that capitalism-imperialism is far worse than (and is the cause of) racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, sectarianism, etc.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

The Cowardly Abduction of Journalist: The FBI Abducts Journalist Marzieh Hashemi

Marwa Osman

A journalist has been kidnapped inside US territories without any charge or crime. On Sunday January 13, the FBI abducted American-born journalist and anchor Marzieh Hashemi , born Melanie Franklin, upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, , according to her family and friends.

Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, has been detained and imprisoned in the United States for unspecified reasons and is reportedly being treated badly by the authorities who abducted her. Press TV reported that Marzieh had arrived in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members. Her relatives were unable to contact her, and she was allowed to contact her daughter only two days after her arrest.

Hashemi, who has been living in Iran for years and is a Muslim revert, has told her daughter that she was handcuffed and shackled and was being treated like a criminal. The journalist also said that she had her hijab forcibly removed, and was photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.

As if forcing her hijab off was not enough humiliation for Hashemi, she has only been allowed to wear a T-shirt, and is currently using another one to cover her head. Furthermore, she has been offered only pork as meal – which is forbidden under Islamic law – and even denied bread and any other halal food after refusing to consume the meat. Hashemi told her daughter that the only food she has had over the past two days has been a packet of crackers.

The United States of America, which likes to remind us daily how it is amongst the few countries around the globe to respect human rights, freedom of speech and tolerates religious differences, has showed the world the absolute opposite by abducting Marzieh. Not only did the FBI illegally detain a person without any charges, they also resided to humiliating her by forcing her to remove what every pious Muslim woman holds sacred, her Hijab. To add salt to the injury, they offered only the type of food, which they knew for sure she wouldn’t eat because it contains pork which is considered ill-gotten in Islam.

Just think about it for a second, if a this is how an American citizen is treated while in FBI custody without any charge then imagine the cases inside US illegal detention centers which are spread across the globe to torture “suspects” whom the US “ believes” are a “threat to national security”. Who’s to say that Marzieh will get to have legal presentation to defend her? Who’s to say she will ever go to court? Who’s to say if we ever see Marzieh again?

The FBI or whichever US authority that had Marzieh abducted had only one thing in mind by incarcerating her. They want to punish Hashemi for being a beacon of truth at times of fake news peak and to intimidate all other journalist especially in English speaking TV channels in order to stay silent and not report what the US believes to be against its imperial agenda.

Violence against journalists which the US usually accuses other states of conducted has become the bread of the US authorities.  What the US has shown its own citizen Marzieh now is simply hatred because of her voice and her activism, which was amplified on social networks by Press TV’s viewers who now became the loudest defenders of Hashemi.

These expressions of hatred by US authorities against Marzieh legitimize violence against journalists all across the world, thereby undermining journalism, and democracy itself. The same democracy that the US wages wars and commits war crimes in order to impose on other “less fortunate countries”.

At a time when the US supposedly a “democracy” that has made “tolerance” its number one social goal, is failing miserably at both democracy and tolerance because the US is slowly but surely killing Freedom of Speech. The US allows journalists to say what they want, as long as their words don’t cause tangible harm to the empire’s agendas and interests.

Where the concept of Freedom of Speech is absent, people believe they are entitled to kill others who say things they find offensive or that may threaten their interests. Without Freedom of Speech, we would literally be living in the Dark Ages and that is exactly where the US government wants to take all of us who dare challenge the empire’s narrative and who dare expose the empire’s complicity in crimes all over the world.

However, we shall not be silenced, neither shall Marzieh. We shall be Marzieh’s voice and we shall make sure her message will be heard, one of tolerance, righteousness and sympathy with the oppressed. We can all voice our support to Marzieh Hashemi and our contempt to the illegal actions of the US authorities against Marzieh by tweeting, posting and writing about her story. Marzieh’s family members and media activists have launched a social media campaign with the hashtags #FreeMarziehHashemi and #Pray4MarziehHashemi in support of the detained journalist. Let us all use these hashtags and raise our voices to end violence against journalists everywhere.

Source: Al-Ahed News

The Cowardly Abduction of Journalist Marzieh Hashemi by the US Regime

Harun Elbinawi

News reached us of the cowardly abduction of prominent Journalist and Press TV news anchor Marzieh Hashemi by the Trump regime. Hashemi was born in the US and she is a US citizen. She went to visit her sick brother and other relatives in the US and was abducted. She is presently held in a FBI detention facility in Washington DC with no formal charge press against her.

Hashemi’s hijab was forcefully removed and they denied her halal food in the detention facility. Dear Friends, these are the barbarians that are always fraudulently parroting freedom and respect for Human Rights.

The abduction of an innocent Journalist is part of the Trump regime obsession with Iran. Trump and gang want the resistance axis to recognize the existence of the illegal and illegitimate Zionist regime occupying Palestine. The Trump gang are ignorant of the fact that the Political Earthquake that happened in Iran in 1979 is today bigger than Iran. Millions around the world are inspired by that glorious Revolution with hundreds of thousands of them in the US itself. That Revolution changed the course of history forever and the sanctions and savage barbarism of the Trump gang can never be able to alter this.

Marzieh Hashemi is a big fan of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and a strong supporter of the Islamic Movement. When I was in Iran I was informed that she organized workshops to highlight the extreme savagery and barbarism of Zaria Genocide by the Buhari regime.

Hashemi went to visit her sick brother and she was abducted be the desperate Trump regime. My blood brother is a US citizen but I cut all contacts with him when he became a US citizen. He protested but I told him I did that to protect him. I am already marked by them. They know me. They will try to use him to get at me. Murderous imperialists are genocidal savages.

God willing, we will mount campaign for the freedom of Hashemi from the dungeon of the Trump regime on all social media platforms. The Hash Tags are:

#FreeMarziehHashemi #Pray4MarziehHashemi

Source: elbinawi.wordpress.com, Edited by website team

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Riding the Tiger: Zionism, israel (apartheid state) and the Far Right

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18.12.2018
Much has been made in recent years by defenders of Israel of the purported estrangement of the political Left from the cause of Zionism. This perceived anti-Israelism, borne out of the Leftist view that Israel is a fundamentally unjust and inequitable colonial-settler state, is argued to extend further from an ideological animus to one of racial hostility; a state of affairs which has been expressed as “the Left’s Jewish problem”. One of the key manifestations of this hostility is claimed to be a putative alliance between the Left and political Islam. Jewish and Israeli critics have written perplexedly about a union between the “illiberal Left and political Islam”, and other times of the Left’s “hypocritical embrace of Islamism”. However, these critics are somewhat muted and even silent about the links between pro-Zionist Jewish organisations and individuals with extremists of the political Far Right.
Further, Israel has developed alliances and arrangements with several European parties of the Far-Right, a phenomenon that is redolent of the agreements reached between some within the Zionist movement and the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy prior to World War Two. These contemporary alliances with nationalist movements, many of which are overtly racially conscious and in most instances, avowedly anti-Muslim, raise three key problems.
First, is that such collaborations carry with them the risk of legitimising racist attitudes and philosophies.
Secondly, it brings into sharp focus troublesome parallels between political Zionism and white nationalist aspirations, and, thirdly, it can be argued that they contribute to facilitating the creation of a climate of racial and religious intolerance, which will in the long run produce negative, unintended consequences for Jewry.
“In working for Palestine, I would even ally myself with the devil.”
– Vladimir Jabotinsky
The rise of nationalist sentiment has historically being a thing of concern for Jewish diaspora communities. The inevitable emphasis by nationalist movements on having a shared cultural identity and what often tended towards an inevitable insistence on racial exclusivity, left Jews vulnerable to being designated as an alien people upon whom fear, hostility and contempt could be focused.
For instance, during the interwar years of the 20th century, many European countries experienced a surge in the numbers of political parties espousing nationalistic ideologies which were defined by anti-Semitism. The anti-Republican alliance prior to and during the Spanish Civil War was marked to a degree by anti-Jewish attitudes. And while Spain had a relatively small Jewish population, the larger Jewish communities in eastern Europe were victimised during a period of increased influence of Fascist parties such as the Iron Guard in Romania, the Arrow Cross Party in Hungary, as well as the ultra-nationalist parties which emerged in Poland after the era of the philo-Semitic Marshal Pilsudski. In Fascist Italy, the promulgation of the leggi razziali in 1938 followed the template set by the Nuremberg Laws three years earlier by Nazi Germany. These developments were, of course, part of the prelude that led to the catastrophe that befell European Jewry during World War Two.
Today, nationalism and white identitarian-thinking is on the rise in both Europe and North America. Among the pot-pourri of political parties, pressure groups and media outlets are those designated as the ‘alt-right’ who espouse philosophies such as biological determinism, and who pronounce political agendas that aim to create white-only ethno-states. They are usually anti-immigration and invariably anti-Muslim. Some are avowedly anti-Jewish. Yet, while they are universally judged to fit into the far-Right of the political spectrum, there are significant links between many of these movements and Jewish individuals, Jewish organisations and the Jewish state of Israel.
While the record of historical and contemporary alliances and accommodations with extremist movements may ultimately be construed as a survival strategy for a people who have long perceived themselves as being constantly imperilled by the threat of periodic outbursts by other peoples who seek their destruction, these connections require scrutiny, not least because of the moral contradictions which they reveal.
What is more, the rationalising by some of the efficacy of such accommodations as the prudent exercise of pragmatism may come to be seen in hindsight as short-sightedness in circumstances where links can be made with situations where Jews as individuals and communities are harmed. For instance, if Jewish individuals or organisations co-operate with or otherwise give succour to white nationalist organisations on the basis of each having a shared hatred for Islam and its adherents, to what degree should there be a residual responsibility for acts directed at Jews in a climate of fomented hate?
They may also raise an uncomfortable analysis of a coherence in philosophies between the ideologies of groups deemed to be objectionable and that of the state which much of organised Jewry is pledged to preserve and protect. After all, it was Richard Spencer, an intellectual leader of the ‘alt-right’ who proclaimed his “great admiration” for Israel’s recently passed nation-state law. “Jews”, Spencer tweeted, “are, once again, at the vanguard, rethinking politics and sovereignty for the future, showing a path forward for Europeans.”
The implications of Spencer’s praise are not lost to the objective bystander. They speak of an ideological affinity which he has consistently alluded to. It was Spencer who while informing an audience at the University of Florida in October 2017 of the states from the past to the present which had influenced his thinking, offered a conclusion that “the most important and perhaps most revolutionary ethno-state, the one that I turn to for guidance, even though I might not always agree with its foreign policy decisions (is) the Jewish state of Israel.”
Spencer’s views about Israel and its state ideology were echoed by the far-Right Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, who in praising the passage of Israel’s nation-state law as “fantastic” and an “example to us all”, called on his countrymen to “define our own nation-state, our indigenous culture, our language and flag, define who and what we are and make it dominant by law”.
Many were simultaneously perplexed and repulsed by the presence of Israeli flags at rallies of Pegida, the German nationalist movement which is stridently anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. This is a phenomenon repeated at rallies by offshoot groups in countries such as Britain and Australia where the flag of Israel has been waved alongside banners identifying with neo-Nazism and neo-Fascism. The blue hexagram and blue stripes of Israel have also been flown at demonstrations and meetings of the far-Right English Defence League (EDL), which for a period of time had a Jewish Division led by Jewish individuals respectively of Brazilian and Canadian origin.
In Germany, some members of the Jewish community offer vociferous support to the far-Right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party. And as was the case with the EDL, it formed its own Jewish wing in October of this year headed by a female Jewish physician of Uzbek origin. The aims of the Jewish component is revealing.They are against the immigration of “Muslim males with anti-Semitic views”, and consider the AfD to be “defenders” of German Jews and Israel.
Some months ago, it was revealed that the Middle East Forum (MEF), a hardline pro-Israel think-tank had helped fund the legal expenses of Tommy Robinson, a former leader of the EDL, as well as the the costs of organising protests which had taken place in support of him while he was in jail for contempt of court.
The MEF issued a statement explaining that it had helped Robinson “in his moment of danger” in “three main ways”. These were firstly, by using “monies to fund his legal defence”, secondly, by “bringing foreign pressure on the UK government to ensure Mr. Robinson’s safety and eventual release”, and thirdly, by “organising and funding” a rally held on June 9th, 2018.
The MEF along with the David Horowitz Freedom Centre, which describes itself as a “right-wing Conservative foundation”, were both recently involved in attempts to organise a speaking tour of the United States by Robinson. Robinson is also employed by Rebel Media, which is run by Ezra Levant, a Jewish-Canadian who is often at pains to emphasise the boundaries between the sort of civic nationalism he purportedly represents and the race-based nationalism of white identitarians. Yet, what these Israel-supporting entities have in common alongside individuals such as Debbie Schlussel, Laura Loomer and Melanie Phillips is a raison detre to stoke up anti-Muslim sentiment. It is an objective that is consistent with an overarching aim of political Zionism.
Stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment has been an avowed goal of Israel for many decades. The rationale behind this strategy is based on the desire to reframe the conflict with the Palestinian people and the wider Arab world from one between a colonising power and a people with genuine grievances about being dispossessed of their land, to that of a conflict between two antithetical philosophies with Israel purportedly reflecting the Western value system that is ‘democratic’ and ‘tolerant’, and the majority Muslim Arabs reflecting ‘tyranny’ and ‘intolerance’.
In other words, it is intended to create a climate in which the injustice of dispossessing the Palestinians of a substantial portion of land upon which they lived for centuries is overshadowed. A corollary of this is to legitimise the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from what land they have left in the militarily occupied West Bank, which many Jews, regardless of their ideological inclinations or level of religious observance believe is the God-given land of what they refer to as Judea and Samaria.
Israel’s relations with far-Right governments in Europe is based on harnessing the fears and misgivings that they have about Islam to the disadvantage of Palestinian interests. Thus it is that Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s current prime minister, sees the Right-wing governments of Poland and Hungary as key allies among the member states of the European Union who are useful when it comes to blocking policies and initiatives which are favourable to the Palestinians.
It is an alliance which Israel has strenuously sought to preserve despite misgivings over the overt anti-Semitism that plays a part in the policies followed by the ruling parties of both countries, as well as the historical legacy of eastern Europe as the repository of the most virulent forms of anti-Semitism.
Indeed, the Christian nationalist anti-Semitism of Poland’s Law and Justice Party and Hungary’s Fidesz Party, both purveyors of what has been termed “Zionist anti-Semitism”, forms the basis of a consensus ad idem with the Jewish state. The mentality of Zionist anti-Semites, whose ranks have included the Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik, is to consider Israel to be the first line of defence against the Muslim hordes who in their thinking are primed to expand into Europe.
Netanyahu has praised Hungary for its abstention from the United Nations General Assembly’s overwhelming rejection of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It had, along with the Czech Republic and Romania, blocked an EU statement criticising America’s decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
But such alliances with anti-Semitic, far-Right and other extremist states and organisations are not new to adherents to the cause of Zionism. There is a well-documented history going all the way back to the deeds of the modern founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, as well as key Zionist figures such as Vladimir Jabotinsky and Avharam Stern.
Herzl, the founding father of modern Zionism, reached out to Vyacheslav von Plevhe, the Tsarist minister of the interior who is said to have been the brainchild behind the pogrom in Kishenev, Bessarabia during the Easter of 1903. Herzl’s goal was to convince Russia’s influential ministers to use the taxes collected from its Jewish subjects to fund emigration to Palestine and to finance any forms of negotiation with the Ottoman Empire over the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Eighteen years after Herzl’s meeting with von Plevhe in August 1903, Vladimir Jabotinsky met with Maxim Slavinsky, the ambassador of the pogromist Ukrainian leader, Symon Petlura in Prague. The idea was that Jabotinsky, the founder of the Haganah (the precursor of the the Israeli Defence Force), would organise a Zionist police force which would guard Jewish populations found in territories that Ukrainian nationalists could manage to reclaim from the Bolshevik Expeditionary Force which had run Petlura’s short-lived government out of Kiev.
Jabotinsky’s Ukrainian Pact of 1921 earned the scorn of many Jews who were aware that Petlura’s armies had been responsible for about half of the deaths of an estimated 60,000 Jews murdered in Ukraine between 1917 and 1921. But while his agreement had brought the disapprobation of members of the World Zionist Organisation, Jabotinsky, whose efforts on behalf of the allied cause during World War 1 had rendered him in the eyes of many Jews as an associate of the dreaded Tsarist government, would appropriate the words of Giuseppe Mazzini and boldly state “In working for Palestine, I would even ally myself with the devil.”
A deal with the devil is how many perceived -and still perceive- the agreement reached between elements within the Zionist movement and Nazi Germany. The Ha’avara (or Transfer) Agreement was achieved because of a coincidence of interests: The National Socialist aim of removing the Jews from Germany somewhat mirrored the Zionist goal of persuading German Jews to leave. And to Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann and Reinhard Heydrich, there appeared to be an inexorable logic to refer to themselves as “Zionist”.
Heydrich, a prominent leader of the SS is claimed to have remarked to his associates: “As a National Socialist, I am a Zionist”. And in a conversation with one Anny Stern, a survivor of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Eichmann, after ascertaining that Stern was a Zionist, told her “I am a Zionist too. I want every Jew to leave for Palestine.” Eichmann was quoted in a 1960 Lifemagazine article as informing Jews with whom he had dealings that if he had been a Jew, “I would have been a fanatical Zionist”.
The Ha’avara Agreement observed the following modus operandi: A German Jew would deposit money into a specific account in a German bank. The money would then be used to buy German goods for export, usually to Palestine. The Jewish emigres to Palestine would then receive payment for the goods which they had previously purchased after their final sale.
This occurred at a moment in time when the majority of world Jewry was embarked on a trade boycott against the Nazi regime, and the German Zionist-Nazi trade agreement arguably served to undermine this. It split the Zionist movement, and one consequence was the 1933 assassination of Chaim Arlosoroff in Tel Aviv soon after his return from negotiations in Germany.
While Jabotinsky had opposed any dealings with the Nazis and had sneered at Mussolini’s Fascist movement in the 1920s, as the 1930s progressed, he warmed to Italian Fascism which he began to perceive as “an ideology of racial equality”. In fact, he made an alliance between his Betar youth movement and the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini by establishing a naval training academy at Civitavecchia, a naval base north of Rome. Mussolini himself would tell David Prato, who later became Chief Rabbi of Rome that “For Zionism to succeed you need to have a Jewish state, with a Jewish flag and a Jewish language. The person who really understands that is your fascist, Jabotinsky”.
Another Zionist leader who counternanced forming an alliance with Fascist Italy was Avharam Stern. Stern was the leader of the terror group known as Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), which is better known today by the British designation ‘The Stern Gang’. The group was formed after Stern’s release from British custody in 1940 and was an offshoot of the Irgun, the main Zionist terror group in Palestine.
While other Zionists suspended operations against the British for the duration of the war against Nazi Germany, Stern refused to do this unless the British recognised the claim for a Jewish state on both sides of the River Jordan. In his thinking, only the defeat Britain in the Middle East by an outside power would bring about a Jewish state. To this end, he sought a pact first with Fascist Italy, and, after being rebuffed, he pinned his hopes on forming an alliance with Nazi Germany.
Stern was contemptuous of liberal democracy and imbued with a volkish-like racism. The proposed pact with Nazi Germany referred to the “establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis” in a new order in which there would be “cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed Volkish-national Hebrium”. The 1941 document, which was discovered among files in the German Embassy in Ankara, offered to “actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”
That is the history. And the state which came into being in 1948 has continued to nurture alliances with a range of politically extreme forces. Apart from Israel’s arrangement with eastern European Christian Nationalist parties, there is evidence of links to far-Right groups in Ukraine and a long relationship with a litany of Islamist groups.
The United States-sponsored Maidan coup which culminated in the overthrow of the elected government led by Viktor Yanukovytch, involved the use of far-Right and ultra-nationalist proxies, most, if not all of whom were Banderovsti, the name given to contemporary disciples and worshippers of Stepan Bandera, the nationalist figure whose organisation was behind the slaughter of Jewish and Polish communities during the Second World War. During that conflict, Banderites were members of specially composed Ukrainian Waffen-SS units such as the Galician, Nictengall and Roland Divisions.
Yet, Israel supplies arms to the Ukrainian military which is composed of significant elements who honour Bandera’s legacy, and whose members are unabashedly anti-Semitic in attitude and ideologically neo-Nazi. According to the founder of the militia, Andriy Biletsky, who is now a Ukrainian member of parliament, “(Ukraine’s) historic mission at this critical juncture is to lead the final march of the white race towards its survival. This is a march against sub-humans who are led by the Semite race.”
Pictures of members of the Azov Battalion, a former volunteer militia that has since been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, posing with Israeli-made weapons incensed Israeli human rights groups who filed a petition seeking a court injunction to prevent arms exports to Ukraine. This is not the first time that the government of Israel has armed an anti-Semitic regime. Back in the 1970s, it supplied arms to the Argentinian military Junta which was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews.
It is also worth noting the involvement of Israeli citizens during the Maidan coup. Five Ukrainian Jewish emigres, who were former Israeli Defence Force soldiers, led a group of 40 street thugs in battles against the security forces of the Yanukovytch government. These street fighters belonged to the ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok had in the past spoken about liberating Ukraine from what he described as the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia”. An article in April 2013 carried by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported a cadre of Svoboda thugs wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Beat the kikes.”
Tyahnybok would in the latter part of 2013 given a pledge to the Israeli ambassador that his party was no longer anti-Semitic. Similar assurances were given in February 2014 by the neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor group to the ambassador when its leader claimed that it had rejected xenophobia and anti-Semitism.
As to what motive Israel would have beyond financial gain and diplomatic influence in Ukraine, it may be that such support is predicated on a trans-generational Jewish antipathy towards Russia, a country with which it maintains a complex relationship. But as with its links to Polish and Hungarian ruling parties, it raises the disturbing issue of the Israeli state supporting governments which seek to minimise and even deny the historical role of their nations in the calamity that befell Jews in the 20th century.
Israel has also cultivated links with Islamic extremist groups. From funding the nascent Hamas organisation so that it would serve as a counter-weight to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), to funding, arming and medically treating militia men linked to al-Qaeda who are fighting the secular government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Israel has sought to bolster its geopolitical objectives.
While such scheming may be justified on the rationale that it operates on “strong survival instincts”, it again opens up the legitimate criticism of the policies of the Zionist state being prone to short-sighted expediency and to moral contradiction.
It accuses Hamas, a group elected to power in Gaza, of being a “terrorist” body when in fact it bears a huge responsibility for its genesis into a political and military force. Israel’s role in building Hamas was admitted to by Brigadier-General Yitzhak Segev, a military governor of Gaza in the 1980s.
Its support of Islamist groups in Syria, which was recently revealed not to be limited to those located near the Golan Heights, has helped prolong a particularly cruel conflict.
The initial position that it was offering medical aid to jihadists professing the ideology of those who are said to bear responsibility for the September 11 attacks for humanitarian reasons, was exposed as patently untrue. When Efraim Halevy, a former head of Mossad, asserted that it was always useful to “deal with your enemies in a humane way”, he was challenged as to whether Israel would support the treatment of wounded Hezbollah fighters. To this, Halevy responded that while Israel has been targeted by Hezbollah, it had not been “specifically targeted by al-Qaeda.”
It should also be noted that during the Soviet-Afghan War, Israeli military intelligence was responsible for arming and training the guerillas of Herzb-i-Islami Mujahideen, one of the most hardline of the anti-Soviet Islamist groups of that war. Led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the group splintered after the war and its remnants merged into al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
From the time of its creation, Israel has worked tirelessly through multifarious channels to ensure that it has the political, economic and military backing of the United States. It has an extremely well-funded and aggressive lobby working on its behalf. One of the most critically important alliances forged by Jewish organisations and the government of Israel in the realm of American politics is that with conservative Christian Christian evangelicals.
In Christian Zionism, political Zionism again has formed an alliance with an ideological partner which ultimately is antithetical to Judaism. For while many such as John Hagee, chairman of Christians United for Israel, pledge a love for Israel, the eschatological doctrine is premised on the belief that the Jews, who rejected Jesus, will be given a final opportunity to accept Christ as their saviour and will be put to the sword if they refuse.
Arthur Balfour, whose letter to Lord Lionel Rothschild, the leader of Britain’s Jews, provided a critical step towards the creation of a Jewish homeland, was what would be termed today a Christian Zionist. Such homeland made perfect sense to a man who recoiled from the idea of Britain accepting more Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. Modern leaders of the pre-tribulationist, pre-millennial dispensationalists of the pro-Israel Christian Right have on occasion betrayed anti-Jewish sentiment. For instance, Pat Robertson, the founder of the strongly pro-Israel Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) once referred to the Jewish founder of the US Military Religious Foundation as a “little Jewish radical” for promoting secularism in the American military. Robertson had earlier claimed that Jews were too busy “polishing diamonds” to do weekend chores. His contemporary, the late Jerry Falwell once stated that “most evangelicals believe the antichrist will, by necessity, be a Jewish male”.
Yet, for Israel, nurturing American evangelicals has been a beneficial task because of the importance of the Christian Right in American politics. They have exercised influence on American foreign policy and have contributed millions of dollars to Israeli groups. Their practical use for Zionism is that they economically support those in Israel’s society who are most opposed to any form of concessions to the Palestinians and encourage the colonisation of Palestinian land by the most fanatical Jewish settlers.
While it is argued that this “long, uneasy love affair” may have peaked, the American evangelical Right is still viewed favourably by the Israel. In early 2018, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Right-wing Home Party, expressed his happiness at the relationship and was quoted as saying: “We need to use the opportunity to the best of Israel’s national interests and security.”
In Donald Trump, the current American president, Israeli interests and security are assiduously catered to. The most pro-Israel president since Lyndon Johnson has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has moved his country’s embassy to that city. He has abrogated the Five Plus One Treaty in which the United States and other world powers reached agreement with Iran to monitor its nuclear development programme. Indeed, Trump’s overarching objective in cultivating an anti-Iranian Middle East coalition, at the heart of which are Israel and Saudi Arabia, is clearly designed towards staging a military attack on Iran.
So lauded have Trump’s efforts being that Binyamin Netanyahu compared him to Cyrus the Great, the ancient Persian King who enabled the return of Jews from exile 2,500 years ago. Netanyahu also compared Trump to Lord Balfour and President Harry Truman, the former being the instigator of ‘The Balfour Declaration’ while the latter provided Israel with de facto recognition after its declaration of independence in 1948. Balfour’s anti-Semitism is well known, and while Harry Truman was largely thought of as being a philo-Semite, a posthumously revealed entry in his diary recorded that he found Jews to be “very, very selfish”. “When they have power”, he continued, “physical, financial or political, neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment for the underdog”.
While in Trump, the Jewish state has found an extremely supportive ally in the White House, it is also clear that he has purposefully courted those among his countrymen who are sympathetic to the cause of white nationalism. In doing this, he resorted to using what were considered as anti-Semitic tropes during his campaign for the presidency. There were numerous examples of this. For instance, his comments before a gathering of potential Jewish donors at the Republican Jewish Convention about them not supporting him “because I don’t want your money”, more than hinted at the stereotype of Jews controlling electoral candidates. So too was his delay in disavowing the endorsement given to him by David Duke, the former Klansman who now styles himself as a white civil rights activist. He also posted a twitter meme of Hillary Clinton implying that what he captioned “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” was backed by Jewish money. Then his final campaign advertisement, which juxtaposed images of Jewish figures in the financial world with rhetoric alluding to Jewish power (“global power structure”), effectively suggested that Jews were at the heart of America’s economic malaise.
Yet, this has not stopped influential Jewish figures such as Alan Dershowitz from offering Trump critical support because of Trump’s pro-Israel policies. Prime Minister Netanyahu has often voiced his support for Trump including his proposal to build a wall on the United States border with Mexico. “President Trump is right”, Netanyahu tweeted in January 2017. “I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”
Netanyahu’s comments came after the furore caused by using Israel as an example when forcefully putting forward his case that a wall be built on the US’s southern border. Trump’s proposal was criticised as being symptomatic of the intolerant streak running through many of his policies. Yet, many of his critics do not react in the same manner when attention is turned to Israel.
Contemporary Israel is not the bastion of tolerance which many of its advocates are fond of proclaiming. The coalition government which presently governs it is by common agreement the most Right-wing in Israeli history. It is a drift which several people foresaw in 1948 when Herut, the Right-wing nationalist party headed by former Irgun leader Menachem Begin was formed. This development was met with great dismay by many Jewish intellectuals including Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt who took it upon themselves to write an open letter to the New York Times to warn that Israel would head down a path which legitimised “ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial supremacy”.
Israel maintains a brutal occupation of what is left of Palestine in the West Bank and continues the strangulation of Gaza via a blockade, showing no moral qualms when snipers of the IDF kill and maim unarmed Palestinian protesters with little chance of breaching the system of iron wiring and moats which surround them. The colonising of West Bank continues with Palestinian land being taken by force while plans for the fresh construction of settlements are given intermittently. The Jewish settlers are then given choice land on which to reside and their security as well as day-to-day living needs are catered to. For instance, they travel on roads reserved only for Jews and have access to water resources which are increasingly in short supply to the inexorably constricted Palestinian enclaves.
In contemporary Israel, which demonises African migrants as ‘infiltrators’ -a term consistently used by Netanyahu himself- a clear majority of the population oppose the accepting of refugees. African refugees, who at a peak population of 60,000 would amount to one per cent of the 8 million Israeli population, were, because they were black and non-Jewish, claimed to pose a threat to Israel’s Jewish character. According to Miri Regev, a Likud member of the Knesset who is now culture minister, they are like a “cancer in the body”. Although she offered an apology, a poll conducted soon after her statement by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) Peace Index in May 2012, found that 52% of Israelis agreed with her.
As of writing, fewer than a dozen African migrants had been granted asylum, and Israel has consistently sought ways by which refugees can be removed or otherwise persuaded to leave: by threat of jail, deportations to third party African states, and through a regulation whereby 20 percent of their wages are retained by the state until they leave the country. In 2012, set against a rise in widespread fear and animosity over migrants who were blamed for worsening the economy and crime rates, anti-black rioting broke out in Tel-Aviv. This involved acts of vandalism, looting and firebombing. No deaths were reported, but there were many injuries.
Anti-black racism has also been directed at Ethiopian Jews, many of whom live in poverty and are socially ostracised. Some years previously, it was discovered that the Israeli state had embarked on programme of secretly sterilising Ethiopian Jewish women. They are also subjected to harassment and brutality at the hands of police. In a notorious incident in 2016, an IDF soldier of Ethiopian ethnicity was captured on camera being violently assaulted by a police officer who had threatened to put a bullet in his head.
But the passage of the nation-state law, which one Arab member of the Knesset bitterly denounced as “the end of democracy”, and “the official beginning of fascism and apartheid”, is in many respects merely consolidating a long-existing state of affairs. After all, Israel’s identification as the Jewish state found quick expression through the passage in 1950 of the Law of Return. This has intrinsically meant that the needs of its non-Jewish citizens, the approximately 21 percent Arab minority, is less of a priority than those of its Jewish citizens, and, indeed, that of the Jewish diaspora. The discrimination against and the neglect of Arab-Israeli communities was acknowledged in the report issued by the Orr Commission in 2003.
The governing Likud Party, which first came to power in 1977, and which for a lengthy period of time has returned the largest number of seats in the Knesset, is an offshoot of Begin’s Herut party, the creation of which caused such consternation in the likes of Einstein and Arendt. Likud thus traces a direct line of influence to the Revisionist Zionism of Jabotinsky, who Mussolini referred to as a “fascist”.
The ‘Iron Wall’ mentality and its values permeate Israel today. After all it was, Yair Golan then deputy chief of staff of the IDF who at a speech at the Holocaust Remembrance Day in May 2016 likened “revolting trends” in Israeli society to that of pre-Holocaust Nazi Germany. And Moshe Yaalon, a former IDF chief of staff, who resigned from his position as minister of defence prior to being replaced by the hardliner Avigdor Lieberman, said that he was “fearful for Israel’s future” given this tilt to the Right.
Israel’s embrace of the global far-Right led by Likud’s Netanyahu thus cannot be characterised solely as an expedient manoeuvre that is a continuum of the Zionist mentality aiming to perform any bargain that advances the interests if its cause. There is also a marked coherence in ideology. When Netanyahu hails the electoral victory in Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro and refers to Bolsonaro as “a true friend of the state of Israel”, and the Italian far-Right politician, Matteo Salvini as “a great friend of Israel”, his gestures have not gone unrequited. Like Netanyahu, both are nationalist and xenophobic in both philosophy and policies.
And just as Avharam Stern contemplated an ethno-Jewish state forming a part of a New Order in the Middle East which would complement the racial New Order he expected to come to fruition in a Europe under Nazi domination, Netanyahu’s actions in highlighting the commonalities between Israel and the global far-Right provides evidence of an acceptance and welcoming of a new-era form of global ethno-nationalism.
It is something Israel has sought to impose on its neighbours in the Middle East via their balkanisation into ethnic and religious mini-states, albeit that its motivation for doing this is to promote its regional hegemony. The creation of Sunni, Shia and Christian mini-states would serve not only to weaken countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, but also provide a justification for Israel’s existence as an ethno-state.
The allure of ethno-nationalism to Right-wing secular and religious Jews is apparent to those in Jewish communities who have been dismayed by those Jews who offer support and succour to the extremist element of the European and North American extreme Right. Among American Orthodox Jews, the majority of whom voted for Donald Trump, there has been a noticeable spread of white nationalist sentiment. They, along with those neoconservatives such as Ben Shapiro, Joel Pollack and Dennis Prager, as well as those associated with the alt-right such as Laura Loomer who applaud and condone the typically derogatory statements directed at non-whites and Muslims by the alt-right are accused by their fellow Jews of creating the conditions which will have negative consequences for Jews.
These stances reveal a fundamental hypocrisy. For those Jewish individuals who claim to be supportive of European nationalism and North American white nationalism, so long as it is a “healthy” sort, it is often the case that they are contented only when vitriol is directed at others and not at Jews.
But even then, the support by some is not overridden by demonstrable anti-Semitism. Consider for instance the statement made by the co-leader of the German AfD who minimised the Nazi persecution of Jews when stating that the Nazi-era was a mere “speck of bird poo in over 1,000 years of successful German history”. And Ezra Levant was noticeably forgiving after Gavin McInnes, a contributor to Levant’s Rebel Media, once spoke about the Jews “ruining the world with their lies and their money and their hooked-nose bagel-eating faces”.
As noted earlier, the key reason why the embrace of the alt-Right and white nationalism by some Jews is considered to be a surprising development is because they have historically borne the brunt of attendant hatred and persecution from nationalist movements. Thus, Jewish communities have, for good reason, long being considered to be ineluctably hostile to nationalist movements, albeit that the extreme Right has traditionally maintained that leaders of organised Jewry conveniently do not extend their reservations to Jewish nationalism.
Jewish-American uneasiness about Donald Trump, whose recent statement that he was a “nationalist” was interpreted as a coded reference to the ideology of white nationalism, was expressed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) when Trump first referred to his election platform as being one of “America First”. The ADL urged him to drop his ‘America First’ campaign slogan on the grounds that it had an “anti-Semitic past”, owing to the stance of prominent members of the America First Committee such as Charles Lindbergh who asserted that Jews were pushing isolationist America towards military involvement in the European war that became World War II.
Some may be inclined to consider whether some Diaspora Jews have been lulled into a false sense of security. They have, after all, lived during an era when levels of anti-Semitism fell to record lows, are proud of their social and economic achievements, and consider themselves conservative and sufficiently distinct from the traditional extreme-Right conception of the Jew as a dangerous leftist radical. Importantly, most are white-skinned and of European (Ashkenazi) descent.
But this is, of course, not the equivalent of possessing anAriernachweis, and many would consider it to be a dangerous speculation to assume that Jewish communities will be unscathed when, amid great polarisations in society, campaigns of demonisation ensue and violence erupts.
Yet, for those Jews who support the sentiments of white nationalist hatred and contempt for non-whites, the remarks made by Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch in a sermon delivered at the Stephen Wise Synagogue after the murder of of eleven worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, present a cautionary note: “Even if we are not the immediate target of prejudice, sooner or later it will come back to the Jews anyway,” adding poignantly, “Did anyone think that an atmosphere of intolerance would bypass Jews?…that we can mark the doorposts of our house and that the angel of death can pass over us?”
They are words worth ruminating over by those Jews, whether as representatives of the Jewish state or as individuals, who enthusiastically continue to ride the tiger of white nationalism.

Source

Making a Massacre into a Lesson

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22 July is among the most interesting films in recent years. It is a dramatisation of the 2011 attacks in Norway that were committed by lone terrorist Anders Behring Breivik against the government and a Workers’ Youth League Student summer camp. The title comes from the day Breivik murdered 77 people and injured hundreds more.

Paul Greengrass wrote, directed and produced the film and he presents a unique perspective on objectivism. Instead of the usual banal presentation of a killer as a psychotic character removed from any recognisable human path, we meet Breivik, a cold, calculating person who is fully aware of his actions. Motivated by a political call, he takes the lives of dozens. The film examines the logos behind the deadliest attack in Europe since World War II by giving us an intimate look into the mind of an ideological cold blooded mass murderer and exploring his political mantra.

In this profound effort at cinematic objectivism, Greengrass breaks out of the clichéd liberal universe that is limited to a regime of correctness and obscene name-calling. The film invites us to look closely at Breivik’s universe: to examine his logic, to face his lethal boldness, to be horrified by his inhumanity but also to accept that he could easily be our next door neighbour. In his introductory  meeting with his lawyer Geir Lippestad, the latter asks Breivik to  explain his actions. In the coldest possible manner, Breivik answers,

“I have started a war to take control of Norway and the West.”

Of the innocent kids that were massacred by him Breivik says,

“they were traitors, children of the elite, leaders of tomorrow…”

Later, facing a detective investigation, Breivik says it as he sees it.

“We want Islam out of Europe.”

Breivik never shows remorse. To the question ‘why kids?’ Breivik answers

“I wanted to hit them (the liberals, the elite, etc.) where it hurts the most.”

Breivik doesn’t feel sorry for his victims, he sees himself as a freedom fighter.  For him it is a war of life or death. He insists upon defending his actions in court despite the fact that his lawyer suggested that he might be able to use an ‘insanity defense’  to be institutionalised instead of imprisoned.

We live in a world in which mass shooting are daily news. They are not just an American symptom associated with the availability of ‘automatic weapons;’ political terror is at least as common.  Such killings mark a new development that must be related to a significant global cultural shift. This is not merely an anecdotal battle over the 2nd Amendment, it demands a profound study of the transition in our human conditions that has made mass killings everyday events. I believe the shift has something to do with people growing up in a universe with no prospect of a future. It has something to do with the reduction of the working class into a workless mass. It has a lot to do with the collapse of the family and the war against family values. It has a lot to do with the war against the church. It may also have something to do with the fact that our governments are wiping out countries and people in the name of immoral interventionism and Ziocon interests.  And of course, it has a lot to do with the internet and game culture. If people do not go to work, they must be kept busy, and this is done by the internet, computer games and free drugs.

22 July is a crucial document because Breivik is not alone. In fact, Breiviks have won many battles since  2011. They won the Brexit referendum, they won the election in the USA and Breivik’s mantra (as opposed to his actions) has transformed into a popular political stand that is winning ground in the West and for a reason.

To cure our society and to save the West is to roll back time to identify where we lost our ability to listen, to be compassionate, to care for each other and to understand the crucial role of the church and the family. Unfortunately, so-called liberals and the new left aren’t helpful in this goal. Instead, they separate us into self centred identitarian factions dominated by a strict Jerusalemite regime of correctness and righteousness. What we must do is to reinstate the Athenian ethos of true pluralism, governed by the search for truth, beauty, ethics and the universal.

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Boris (the clown) Johnson slammed over Islamophobic comments

UK: Boris Johnson slammed over Islamophobic comments

New calls for Islamophobia inquiry in Johnson’s party after he says…

New calls for Islamophobia inquiry in Johnson’s party after he says women wearing face veils resemble ‘letter boxes’.

Boris Johnson

Johnson resigned last month as foreign secretary [File: Reuters]

Boris Johnson, the former British foreign secretary, has come under fire after Islamophobic comments targeting Muslim women wearing face veils.

In an opinion piece published in Monday’s Daily Telegraph, the Tory politician and leading figure in a campaign for Britain to leave the EU said that Muslim women wearing the veils look like “letter boxes” and compared them to “bank robbers”.

His comments prompted Muslim groups in the UK to renew calls for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

“Boris Johnson’s latest racist insults cannot be laughed off, like they often are,” said Naz Shah, the opposition Labour Party’s shadow equalities minister.

“Saying Muslim women look like letterboxes, comparing them to bank robbers and describing Islam as a ‘problem’ was a calculated attack and published in a national newspaper,” she added.

“[Prime Minister] Theresa May must condemn this blatant Islamophobia and Boris Johnson must apologise,” Shah said.

Many remarked on Twitter that Johnson has been in contact with Steve Bannon, former campaign manager for US President Donald Trump, and accused him of “pandering to the far-right” amid speculation over a future leadership contest within the Conservative Party.

 

David Lammy, a Labour MP, wrote on Twitter: “Muslim women are having their burkas pulled off by thugs in our streets & Boris Johnson’s response is to mock them for ‘looking like letter boxes.’ Our pound-shop Donald Trump is fanning the flames of Islamophobia to propel his grubby electoral ambitions.”

 

Others noted that this sort of language would not be tolerated against other minority groups.

 

Dehumanising remarks

Tell MAMA, an NGO tracking hate crime targeting Muslims in Britain, said in a statement that Johnson’s comments “dehumanise” Muslim women.

“He [Johnson] has little idea of the emotional, mental health and sometimes physical suffering these women feel when they are targeted for hate,” the statement said.

“Maybe he needs to spend some time with us Tell MAMA to understand the impact of dehumanising words on the lives and families of people who suffer hate.”

Islamophobia within the leading Conservative Party has been under scrutiny in recent months as calls to look into the problem have mounted.

Sayeeda Warsi, a senior Tory member, last month called for an inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia in the party.

Warsi, a member of the House of Lords, highlighted the acute issue surrounding Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric in her party in an open letter published by The Guardian in July.

“There should be a forensic, wide-ranging and transparent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party,” Warsi said, adding “the process should be published, those who are found wanting should be publicly named and membership withdrawn”.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) wrote two letters to the Conservatives this year urgently calling for an inquiry, as have groups such as the National Union of Students, the Union of Jewish Students, and institutions representing over 200 mosques in the UK.

 

“We need responsibility and action from our politicians, not pandering to the far-right,” the MCB said on Monday, in reaction to Johnson’s latest comments.

“Mr Johnson’s remarks also underscore the Muslim Council of Britain’s call for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party,” the council said on Twitter.

Johnson resigned last month as foreign secretary amid disagreement with May over her Brexit plans on future relations with the EU

American Islamophobia’s Fake Facts

Image by By Natasa Adzic via ShutterstockImage by By Natasa Adzic via Shutterstock

by Arnold R. Isaacs

Anti-Muslim activists in the United States were operating in a “post-truth era” and putting out “alternative facts” long before those phrases entered the language. For the last decade they have been spreading provable falsehoods through their well-organized network of publications and websites.

A major theme of those falsehoods is telling the U.S. public that Islam is inherently dangerous and that American Muslims, even if they do not embrace extremist religious beliefs or violent actions, are still a threat to national security. To back up that conclusion, the well-funded Islamophobia publicity machine incessantly repeats two specific assertions.

The first is that Muslims in this country have been engaged in a “stealth” or “civilizational jihad” — a long-term, far-reaching conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. legal system and other public institutions and bring America under Islamic law. The companion claim is that mainstream Muslim-American organizations are effectively “fronts” for the Muslim Brotherhood and so secretly controlled by international terrorists. In fact, the Brotherhood has not been designated as a terror organization by the U.S. government, and there are not the slightest grounds for thinking it, or any other secret force, controls any national Muslim-American group.

The Islamophobes offer only two pieces of supporting “evidence,” one for each of those claims. Exhibit A is a document falsely called the Brotherhood’s “master plan” for the clandestine effort to establish Muslim dominance in the United States. Exhibit B is a list of several hundred “unindicted co-conspirators,” including the Council on American Islamic Relations and other mainstream national Muslim organizations, that federal prosecutors put into the record during a 2007 terrorism-financing trial in Texas.

If you look at the exhibits themselves, instead of the descriptions of them by anti-Muslim groups, it’s obvious that neither is what the Islamophobes say it is or proves what they allege it proves.

The Secret Plan That Wasn’t

Let’s start with the so-called master plan, a memorandum written nearly three decades ago that is not just the centerpiece but essentially the sole source for the tale of a “civilizational jihad” conspiracy.

The Islamophobia network unfailingly refers to the memorandum as an official declaration of Muslim Brotherhood strategy. Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy and perhaps the country’s most prominent Islamophobe, called it “the Muslim Brotherhood secret plan for taking down our country.” Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, two other leading voices in the anti-Muslim chorus, have written that “the Brotherhood lays out a plan [in the document] to do nothing less than conquer and Islamize the United States.”

Those statements are, however, unsupported by facts of any sort. The document, dated May 1991 and titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” is real, but there is no evidence that it represents the views of anyone other than the single Brotherhood member who wrote it. For that matter, no one has ever found any indication that anyone other than the author even saw the text, written in Arabic, until 13 years after it was completed, when it was coincidentally unearthed in a storage box during an FBI search of a home in Annandale, Virginia. No other copy is known to exist. Its wording makes it unmistakably clear that the writer was proposing a strategy to the Brotherhood’s leadership, not presenting a plan approved by any authority. No evidence has come to light that suggests his proposals were ever considered, let alone adopted, by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership.

Gaffney and the many other Islamophobes who cite it as proof of a “stealth jihad” threat against the United States have never presented additional documentation of any kind. No known Muslim Brotherhood correspondence or records refer to the memorandum, as one would expect if there had been a formal discussion of it or even an exchange between the author and any Brotherhood governing body.

After a careful search of available Brotherhood records, researchers at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, which combats Islamophobia, determined that neither the memorandum nor its specific proposals appear in any documents they found. That includes records from the Brotherhood Shura Council’s 1991 meeting, where the memorandum’s author had specifically asked to have it put on the agenda. Other investigators have similarly failed to find any trace of the memorandum in other records. David Shipler, who wrote about it at length in his book Freedom of Speechcalls it an “orphan document” — and a childless orphan at that.

Taking Down Our Country? Not Exactly…

As well as falsely representing the memorandum’s status, the Islamophobes are also notably less than accurate in describing its contents.

They regularly quote a single sentence that refers to “destroying the Western civilization from within” so that “God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” But that’s the only line in 18 pages of text that even comes close to suggesting the idea of “taking down our country,” as Gaffney puts it. Aside from that single reference there is no other mention of destroying Western civilization, no discussion of when that downfall might come about or how it might be achieved “from within.” There’s not a word about penetrating government structures or the legal system, nothing about clandestine action or a secret plot to take power.

Instead, the plan’s dominant concept — similar to the evangelical vision preached in many religions — is achieving Islamic supremacy through proselytizing and conversion. Virtually the entire text focuses on believers, not non-believers, and how to organize and strengthen the Muslim community in the U.S. so that it will be better able to carry out that effort.

“It is not a plot. It is a missionary strategy,” Edward Curtis IV, professor of religious studies and editor of the Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, told me in an email after reading the memorandum. The document comes much closer to that description than to Gaffney’s. At its heart is a long list of specific ideas for establishing — openly, not secretly — Muslim structures in many areas of public life: education, law, media, financial institutions, art and culture, social and charitable work, and so on. A recommendation to create “clubs for training and learning self-defense techniques” is the only item on the list that even glancingly touches on any sort of violent action.

The purpose of such an organizing effort, the author explains, is to pursue the Brotherhood’s declared goal of “enablement of Islam in North America,” which he says has these components: “establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”

When those aims are achieved, the writer argues, Muslims will be more united, politically and economically stronger, truer to their faith, and more committed to dawa (proselytizing), which will eventually realize the Prophet’s vision and establish Islam as the universally accepted one true religion. For many believers, dawa (also spelled dawah) has political as well as spiritual goals, including the ultimate establishment of an Islamic state. But the Brotherhood has traditionally conceived of it as a nonviolent process, conducted through persuasion and grassroots organizing, not a violent one carried out through acts of terror or sabotage.

The memorandum’s message is consistent with the Brotherhood’s conservative theology and its dream of an Islamized world. But it is not the sinister conspiracy the Islamophobes keep talking about without providing any evidence that it exists.

The Co-Conspiracy Theory Is Missing Any Facts

The other main thread in the anti-Muslim narrative — the charge that mainstream Muslim-American organizations generally, and CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) in particular, have “terror ties” — is similarly based on a single piece of “evidence.” Like the Brotherhood’s “master plan,” it, too, is misleadingly presented and does not prove the Islamophobes’ allegations.

The document that supposedly verifies the claim that CAIR and other groups are linked to Islamist terrorism is a list of “unindicted co-conspirators” attached to a pre-trial brief submitted by prosecutors in 2007 in the Holy Land Foundation case. (By the way, that’s the same trial where the “explanatory memorandum” first surfaced.) In that case, five leaders of a Texas-based Islamic charity were eventually convicted of donating to charitable programs linked with Hamas, the group that now controls the Gaza Strip and is a U.S. government-designated terrorist organization.

That list was not submitted as evidence and, despite the ominous sound of that label “co-conspirator,” it was not accompanied by any specific allegations of terrorist involvement or of an explicit conspiratorial act by any of the organizations or individuals named on the list. Rather, the prosecutors filed the brief for purely tactical reasons. Their aim: getting around the usual ban on hearsay testimony, which can be introduced when an out-of-court statement comes from someone officially named as a co-conspirator.

In the Holy Land case itself, the defendants were not accused of directly aiding any terrorist activity, and no specific violent act is mentioned anywhere in the charges. The U.S. government itself acknowledged that some of the donated funds supported legitimate humanitarian projects.

The connection with CAIR is even more tenuous. The only link: that CAIR’s founder, Omar Ahmad, was associated with the U.S. Palestine Committee, an umbrella group for Holy Land and other organizations. Ahmad’s activities, however, took place in the early 1990s before Hamas was declared a terrorist group.

In a 2009 ruling on a motion from CAIR and two other organizations seeking to be removed from the list, a U.S. district judge held that the co-conspirator designation was “unaccompanied by any facts” indicating possible terrorist connections. Strongly criticizing the prosecutors for putting it into the open record in the first place, he ordered the list sealed. It had, however, already been so widely circulated that no order could keep it from public view. Meanwhile, after reviewing the list, the Justice Department concluded that no criminal investigation of any sort was warranted.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the two other organizations named on the list — the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) — prosecutors made no claim that the “co-conspirators” had actually conspired in any way to help terrorists or engaged in any other criminal activity. In a press releaseaccompanying one of its court filings, the ACLU noted that “the government conceded… that it had absolutely no evidence proving that either ISNA or NAIT had engaged in a criminal conspiracy.” The lead prosecutor in the Holy Land case, the ACLU statement went on, told the organizations’ lawyers that they “were not subjects or targets in the HLF prosecution or in any other pending investigation.”

In the more than 11 years since the list was made public, no new information has emerged that corroborates the inflammatory assertion that CAIR or the other Muslim-American groups are terrorist organizations or fronts for Hamas. Nor have researchers who track homegrown terror cases turned up any known link between a national Muslim-American organization and any violent incident. David Sterman, who manages the think tank New America’s extensive Terrorism in America database, says flatly, “Neither CAIR nor any other major American Muslim organization has played a role in jihadist terrorist plotting in the United States.” (That’s true of the Muslim Brotherhood, too. Internationally, some Brotherhood offshoots have engaged in terrorism. But despite overwrought claims from the anti-Muslim set, the Brotherhood has never been implicated in any violent act of terror in the United States. Even the Trump administration has decided not to add it to the list of officially designated terror organizations.)

Proving a negative is always a hard proposition, but one strong backup for this one is what the Islamophobes themselves say — or, more precisely, don’t say. While they unceasingly slam CAIR’s alleged terrorism ties, Gaffney, Geller, and their cohorts have not offered a single plausible example of an incident of Islamist terrorism in which CAIR or one of the other organizations on their smear list was involved.

If the Islamophobes had even one actual case, they would certainly have proclaimed it nonstop, at top volume. So its absence from their rhetoric is a clear sign that they have no such evidence — in all likelihood because, like the Muslim Brotherhood’s “civilizational jihad,” it doesn’t exist.

Inventing Make-Believe Enemies Helps the Real Ones

Those untruths are not just bigoted and dishonest but dangerous. In the struggle against the real threat from violent Islamic extremism, the Islamophobes’ false statements and overall message help the terrorists, not the security of Americans.

Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones. As New America’s David Sterman points out, “The vast majority of jihadist activity today is not even organized by radical clerics, returned fighters, or militant operatives but instead is mediated online or via small peer groups of friends.” Those threats will not be detected by pursuing nonexistent conspiracies. The surest way to find them will be through information from relatives, neighbors, religious teachers, fellow worshippers — that is, in the great majority of cases, fellow Muslims.

The vast majority of American Muslims oppose extremism and violence by Muslims or anyone else and have no wish to live under the brutal rule practiced by jihadist fanatics. As a religious minority in a country where their faith makes them potential victims of hate crimes, Muslims have stronger reasons than most Americans for believing in and practicing religious tolerance, not holy war. Keeping Muslim Americans as allies and maintaining their trust in our common values and political and legal institutions will be critical in successfully opposing extremist violence. Losing that trust and driving them away, as the Islamophobes’ ugly falsehoods inevitably will, can only help the terrorists.

Reprinted, with permission, from TomDispatch.

Arnold R. Isaacs, a journalist and writer based in Maryland, is the author of From Troubled Lands: Listening to Pakistani and Afghan Americans in Post-9/11 America and two books relating to the Vietnam War. He is a TomDispatch regular. His website is www.arnoldisaacs.net. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, Beverly Gologorsky’s novel Every Body Has a Storyand Tom Engelhardt’s A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, and John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands. Copyright 2018 Arnold R. Isaacs

Dr. Kevin Barrett and Gilad Atzmon on Phobias and Politics

July 18, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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https://www.patreon.com/

Introduction by Dr. Kevin Barrett

In his new article “Silencing Diversity in the Name of Diversity” Gilad Atzmon argues Frankfurt School driven identity politics represents “a well-orchestrated attempt to obliterate our Western Athenian ethos in favor of a new Jerusalemite regime of ‘correctness.’”

Gilad’s new article was inspired by the Deep Truth Conference Zionism panel that he and I participated in. (Here is the link to the whole conference.)

In the new article, Gilad writes:

‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Accordingly, the notion of ‘Islamophobia,’ attributes irrationality or even madness to those who oppose Muslims and Islam….But fear of Muslims might be rational. As things stand, we in the West have been actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims and their countries for at least a century.”

Gilad’s point—that we need to distinguish rational from irrational elements of Islamophobia, Judeophobia, homophobia, etc.—is well taken. But if we accept his invitation and ask ourselves “how rational is the Islamophobia around us” we discover that it is almost entirely irrational. While the West has indeed been “actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims,” the chances that any given Western person will suffer or die in a Muslim revenge attack are essentially zero. (Terrorism is statistically a non-threat, far less dangerous than bathtubs and lightning, and Muslims commit less than 5% of the terrorist attacks in the West.) An American who fears Muslims because the West has been destroying Muslims is just as crazy as an American who fears Native Americans or Blacks or Chinese or Hindus or Buddhists because of the crimes of the West against those groups.

It is, of course, conceivable that some Muslim or Muslims (or Native Americans, Blacks, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.) will one day manage to wreak such massive revenge against the West, perhaps though a bioweapon targeting white people, that in retrospect fear of whichever group the “terrorist” emerged from will seem rational. But obviously hating on people today will not prevent such an attack tomorrow! On the contrary, it will make it more likely. Considered rationally, the Islamophobic discourse, which is actually a discourse of hate more than fear, is obviously counterproductive in terms of defusing the rather vague, nebulous, and improbable potential threats that might emerge from “angry Muslims” (or angry Native Americans, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.)

While ordinary Western people have no rational reason for Islamophobia, Zionist and neoliberal elites have good reasons to fear Islam. Muslims are the backbone of opposition to Zionism and usury, both of which are crucial to the neoliberal financier elites. To the extent that Islam triumphs, the Zionists and usury banksters will lose their ill-gotten gains along with most of their power and privileges. So the Zionist elite’s decision to orchestrate 9/11 in order to brainwash ordinary people into irrationally hating Islam was indeed rational, given that elite’s desire to maintain and expand its power and privileges.

 

political correctness

Silencing Diversity in the Name of Diversity

July 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

In my latest book, Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto, I explored different tactics used by the New Left – a loose collective of Frankfurt School graduates — to destroy political diversity and intellectual exchange.  I concluded that the ‘new order’ is maintained by ensuring that so-called ‘correctness’ dominates our vocabulary.  We are drowning in jargon, slogans and sound bites designed to suppress authentic thinking and more important, to suppress humane intellectual exchange. As I finished writing the book, I understood that this new language is a well-orchestrated attempt to obliterate our Western Athenian ethos in favor of a new Jerusalemite regime of ‘correctness.’

Yesterday I was interviewed  by Pakistani Journalist Tazeen Hasan. She was interested in my take on Islamophobia.  Hasan, I guess, expected me to denounce Islamophobia.  Since I am opposed to any form of bigotry*, hatred of Muslims is no exception. Though I am obviously troubled and strongly disagree with the views that are voiced with the so-called ‘Islamophbes,’  I am also troubled by the notion of ‘Islamophobia’. As opposed to the Identitarian Left, I contend that we humans should seek what unites us as humans. We should refuse to be shoved into biologically oriented (like gender, skin colour, sexual orientation etc.) boxes. I was probably expected to criticise Islamophobia by recycling a few tired slogans, but that was not my approach to the question. Instead of dealing with ‘Islamophobia,’ I decided that we should first dissect the notion of ‘phobia.’ I asked why some activists attribute ‘phobic’ inclinations (Islamophobia, homophobia, Judeophobia, etc.) to those with whom they disagree.

‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Accordingly, the notion of ‘Islamophobia,’ attributes irrationality or even madness to those who oppose Muslims and Islam. It suggests that ‘fear of Islam’ is an irrational hatred. This turns Islamophobia into a crazy fear of Islam that doesn’t deserve intellectual scrutiny, let alone an intellectual debate.

But fear of Musilms might be rational. As things stand, we in the West have been actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims and their countries for at least a century. We plunder their resources, we invade their lands, and we even gave some of their land to the so called ‘people of the book,’ and when those people committed a brutal ethnic cleansing, consistent with their ‘book,’ the West turned a blind eye. For the last three decades this genocidal war against Muslims and Arabs has intensified and become an official Western policy. This transition is the achievement of the Neocon school, who have attempted to redefine Zionism as the struggle for a promised planet instead of just a promised land. 

 Within the context of the global war we have declared on Muslims and Arabs on behalf of Zion, in the name of Coca Cola and Gay Rights, it is rational to expect that at some point Muslims may retaliate. So those who fear Muslims are not necessarily crazy or mad, they may even be more ethically aware or even guilt ridden than the progressives who castigate them for having ‘phobias’.’ If we are looking to dismantle ‘Islamic danger’  then we should find a rational and peaceful solution to the war we declared on Muslims. It will be probably more effective not to drop bombs on Arabs than to label fear of Muslims as irrational. Obliterating Israel’s nuclear facilities could also be a reasonable path to peace. A total embargo on Israel would probably be  the most effective way to calm the Middle East. That would certainly induce some deep thinking in the Jewish State that has been the catalyst in this developing global war.

It seems the term ‘phobia’ is routinely attached to anyone who disagrees with the new order. Are all those who oppose gay rights driven by ‘phobia’? Is it really ‘irrational’ for pious people (Christians, Muslims and Jews, etc.) to detect that gay culture may interfere with their churches or family values? Instead of addressing these conservative concerns, the New Left prefers to employ tyrannical abusive language designed to delegitimise the opposition. Similarly, those who look into organised Jewry and its political lobbying are reduced to ‘Judeophobes.’  But given the growing number of studies of the domineering effect of the Jewish Lobby in the USA, Britain and France, is it really ‘irrational’ or an act of ‘madness’ to scrutinise this lobby’s activity and the culture that fuels it?

However, in spite of these Orwellian ‘phobic’ tactics, awareness of its effects has grown. Increasingly, people see that the New Left corrosive agenda is driving these divisive Identitarian tactics. The tyrannical regime of correctness is a Machiavellian operation that in the name of ‘diversity,’ attempts to eliminate diversity all together. It dismisses the concerns of the so called ‘enemy’ by labelling them as irrational fears.

My message here is simple. The war against us is facilitated by cultural means. We are constantly subjected to terminological manipulations. To win this war we must first spot the terminological shifts as they appear. Then we have to identify those who put such manipulative tactics into play.

To support Gilad’s legal costs

The Israeli Government Role in Promoting Islamophobia Internationally

May 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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by Paul Larudee

Much of the study of Islamophobia is directed at the social and political causes and manifestations, including religious and political dimensions and racist characteristics.  However, Islamophobia is also used as a strategic tool or weapon; i.e., in pursuit of national agenda.

Many of us are familiar with Islamophobic movements within the Buddhist majority in Myanmar (against the Rohingya minority), and within Hindu nationalist parties in India. It is important to note, however, that it is characteristic of these movements that they direct their Islamophobia against particular groups of Muslims within their own societies, and are less concerned with creating an international movement against Islam.

This is what makes the case of Israel unique.  Although Israel, like Myanmar and India, seeks to marginalize and ultimately eliminate a specific population of Muslims – in this case the mostly Muslim Palestinians – part of its strategy for doing so includes encouraging and fostering Islamophobia internationally.  Thus, for example, Israel has successfully pursued strong military and diplomatic ties with the governments of Myanmar and India, and especially the Islamophobic movements within those countries.

It is clear, therefore, that Islamophobia within Israel is not only a matter of organized bigotry and social hatred, which one finds in other societies, but also of instrumentalizing or weaponizing Islamophobia as a strategic tool to legitimize and justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the territories under Israel’s control, as well as to support Israeli aggression towards other mostly Muslim countries in the region. Promoting and fostering Islamophobia internationally helps to increase and solidify international support for the Zionist genocidal project.  It is therefore treated as an important tool of Israeli and Zionist international influence.

My attention was first brought to this fact in casual but unusual circumstances. In early 1993 my family and I were on vacation at a Club Med in France where there were also Israeli intelligence officers and their families.  I got into a discussion with one in particular, who said that with the fall of the Soviet Union, Islam would replace communism as the new enemy.  It sounded a bit far-fetched, but in retrospect he knew what he was talking about, and more important, he was in a position to help make it happen, which of course it did.

The groundwork was laid much earlier.  As Deepa Kumar at Rutgers University reports, the effort to tie Islam to terrorism started at a Zionist funded neoconservative conference on international terrorism in 1979. Then, after a second such conference in 1984, “both US neocons and Zionists worked together to convince Western policy makers that ‘Islamic terrorism’ would replace communism as the West’s next great threat. By tying Islam to terrorism, neocons would gain political cover for their imperialistic ambitions in the Middle East, and Zionists would benefit from garnering Western sympathies for their struggle against Palestinian ‘terrorism.’”

Since then, researchers like Sarah Marusek, David Miller and others have cataloged international Zionist networks that sponsor Islamophobic propaganda and policies.  The work of Pamela Geller and the so-called American Freedom Defense Initiative is one of the well-known examples.  Geller’s anti-Islam billboards and bus advertisements are familiar to many, as well her so-called “Muhammed Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas in 2015, resulting in the police killing of two armed men.

Geller is hardly alone, however.  According to the Center for American Progress, the US has six major organizations that manipulate Islamophobia in order to further US support for Israel. These are the Center for Security Policy, the Society of Americans for National Existence, the Middle East Forum, Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of America, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.  Sarah Marusek includes even more groups in her paper entitled “The Transatlantic Network: Funding Islamophobia and Israeli Settlements”, published in the anthology, What is Islamophobia?

These organizations constitute a network, as Marusek says, but the complete network is much wider and more diverse than the assets concerned with promoting Islamophobia.  They are known as the sayanim, the Hebrew word for helpers or assistants, and are composed of Zionists who have achieved important and useful positions in societies from which they can exercise powerful initiatives, especially when they operate in concert. Thus, for example, friendly journalists can work with lobbyists and others to quickly and massively spread influence, information, analysis and disinformation that are useful to Israel.

Such initiatives require coordination, intelligence, strategic planning, covert action, technical assistance, and other expertise.  For many years, the sayanimwere coordinated by the Mossad. However, following a 2010 report from the influential Reut Institute (a prestigious strategic think tank in Israel), organizational changes were made that moved such responsibility to the Ministry of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs – better known as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.  The report also notes that there are as many as 4000 sayanim in each of the major centers of power and influence, such as London and New York. A concentration of sayanim in important sectors of society that inform the public, such as film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media permits them to help shape public opinion.

In line with Reut Institute recommendations, the Strategic Affairs Ministry has grown in size and secrecy over the last decade.  Reut projected that Israel’s main strategic threat would no longer be to its military security but rather to its image and influence in other countries, especially the US and Europe.  According to this view, BDS was to be regarded as a serious threat, as well as the human rights NGOs, Palestine solidarity groups and the critical alternative press.  The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was therefore selected to coordinate a major new effort to combat this perceived threat.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has informally been called the HasbaraMinistry, using the Hebrew word for explanation or propaganda. It certainly is that, but also much more.  The reorganization of the Strategic Affairs Ministry can be compared in scope to that of the Homeland Security Department.  A lot of security and intelligence functions were transferred from or shared with Mossad.  The Ministry became responsible for propaganda, influence and manipulation in other countries.  Coordination of the sayanim became part of its purview, as did thousands of students who were paid or received scholarships in return for haunting social media and the comments sections of websites.  The purpose was to dominate the media, insofar as possible, in countries vital to Israel’s plans and intentions, and to sway public opinion toward outcomes determined by Israel’s strategic goals.

Many readers are familiar with the “Brand Israel” campaign. Its function, suggested by the Reut Institute, is to mold Israel’s image in the media of the US and other countries.  Its tactics are PR on steroids, such as, for example, slipping subliminal questions into the Jeopardy quiz program and idyllic holy land vacations into Wheel of Fortune, but permeating nearly everything we see, hear and read in film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media for the purpose of molding public opinion.  With enough effort of this kind, we will presumably think of Israel as Disneyland.

Another example is Facebook and the personal collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg and Benjamin Netanyahu. After a meeting with Netanyahu, Zuckerberg hired a former employee at the Israeli embassy in Washington to be in charge of censoring so-called “fake news” on Facebook.  Only Facebook has the actual figures of who gets censored, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that a lot more anti-Zionists than Zionists are affected.  Similarly, Islamophobic postings and Tweets seem to be at least somewhat resistant to censorship compared to ones that are labeled anti-Semitic (which are often merely critical of Israel).

But it’s not just about making Israel look like the good guys. Demonizing and dehumanizing Muslims also helps to justify Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians, as well as its belligerent policies toward its mainly Muslim neighboring countries. A successful program of Islamophobia helps to support Israel’s pogroms of Palestinians in Gaza, its settlements in and economic strangulation of the West Bank, its invasions of Lebanon, its attacks against Syria, and its promotion of US wars against Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.  Making the US military a proxy for Israel greatly multiplies Israel’s capability, which is why Israel and its US lobby are working hard to create a new international war against Iran.

In order to provide the Strategic Affairs Ministry with all possible means of making such operations possible and successful, it has been assigned some important intelligence functions, including black ops and psy-ops capabilities, which used to be the exclusive purview of the Mossad.  This gives the ministry greater capability to engage in digging up or inventing dirt about people it wants to harm or discredit, especially in the BDS movement and other pro-Palestinian groups.

The hand of the Strategic Affairs Ministry is not always obvious, and it takes care to shun the light.  But occasionally its actions become known, as with the Aljazeera exposé of Israeli operative Shai Masot, working from the Israeli embassy in London and coordinating the actions of British citizens working with Israel. He coached them on how to demonize and “take down” members of parliament, including the Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, who was considered insufficiently supportive of the effort to suppress BDS.

Al Jazeera has produced a similar exposé on the workings of Israel and its US lobby, but the release has been indefinitely delayed, which may be an indication of Israel’s power and influence and the effectiveness of the operations coordinated by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.  Nevertheless, a glimpse of such operations can be seen in the 2004 espionage indictmentsagainst AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.  The indictments were ultimately dropped, partly because sensitive information would have to be revealed in order to successfully prosecute the cases (or perhaps that was just the excuse used to cover the fact that Tel Aviv gets to decide who gets prosecuted, not Washington).

France can be considered an extreme case.  People have been arrested there for wearing a Free Palestine T-shirt.  PayPal and several large banks in France recently closed the accounts of all organizations that support BDS, which has been ruled anti-Semitic.  Anti-Semitism is broadly defined, as you can see, and it is illegal in France.  You can be fined or jailed for practicing it.

But not for Islamophobia.  Islamophobia is free speech but anti-Semitism is racism. In fact, the French equivalent of AIPAC, known as CRIF, has publically declared that “Islamophobia is not a form of racism.  We have long drawn attention to the danger of conflating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  To do so would impede all criticism of Islam, such that the fundamental rights of [other] religions could not be respected. The CRIF will therefore block all resolutions against Islamophobia”.

The writings of Jacob Cohen are instructive in this regard. He has published a remarkable and very comprehensive exposé on the promotion of Islamophobia in France, including the actions of Israeli operatives and French Zionist organizations.  But there’s a catch.  In order to publish it in France without being arrested or sued, he has to disguise it as very thinly veiled fiction, in this case O.P.A. Kabbalistique sur les Nouveaux Indigènes. It is available only in French, but even in that language you have to know the persons and groups to which he refers with pseudonyms, and few outsiders know the French scene well enough to recognize more than a handful of them.

So what can we conclude from all this information about the involvement of Israel and the Zionist movement in sponsoring Islamophobia?  The point is that some sources of Islamophobia are not attitudes or social structures. We have to face the fact that there is a very potent, resourceful, well organized and well funded international movement that sees Islamophobia as a strategic tool in pursuit of its national interest. For this reason, it is largely impervious to education or negotiation or legal considerations.

In fact, Israel is also pursuing an apparently contradictory effort to encourage interfaith cooperation between Jews, Muslims and Christians, but with the same goal in mind.  That goal is to blunt criticism of Israel, whether by getting people to hate Muslims and thereby endorse Israel’s belligerence and ethnic cleansing, or by pressuring Muslims not to criticize Israel out of concern for potentially offending their Jewish brothers and sisters.  Since the two strategies are aimed at different populations, I suppose that they might be able to work simultaneously.  This is often how PR campaigns work.

The point is that in all the efforts at fostering tolerance and understanding we are faced with an adversary that is working quite diligently in the opposite direction for reasons that have nothing to do with how they view Islam as a religion or Muslims.  This is therefore a different type of challenge in trying to overcome Islamophobia.

• This article is a revised version of a paper read at the 9th Annual Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California, April 29, 2018.

Source: https://dissidentvoice.org

John Bolton, the anti-Muslim think tank (#Gatestone) and Brexit

Source

John Bolton, the anti-Muslim think tank and Brexit

President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser chaired a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, an NBC News review found.

From 2013 until last month, John Bolton was the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a New York-based advocacy group that warns of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.” The group’s authors have also appeared on Russian media, including Sputnik and RT News, criticizing mainstream European leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron.

The group has published numerous stories and headlines on its website with similar themes. “Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,” warned one from May 2017, about a single apartment rental property in Hamburg that had gone into temporary trusteeship. Another from February 2015 claimed the immigrants, for instance, Somalis in Sweden were turning that country into the “Rape Capital of the West.”

Gatestone is “a key part of the whole Islamaphobic cottage industry on the internet,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group. Hooper added that Bolton being associated with Gatestone, “and in one of the most powerful positions on the planet, is very disturbing.”

The NBC report also says: Alina Polyakova, a Brookings Institution fellow who studies far-right populism and disinformation campaigns in the European Union, said Gatestone is “putting out content that was clearly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and was echoing some of the Russian disinformation propaganda” being spread by internet trolls and on social media.

 

Birmingham, England – The no-go zone

Gatestone has been a significant promoter of the disputed notion that “no-go zones” exist in the heart of major cities where Muslims rule by Shariah law. In January 2015, then-Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican, cited Gatestone’s research in a speech in London.

In September 2015, Fox News contributor Steve Emerson, who’s also written for Gatestone, said in an appearance on the network that the British city of Birmingham is a “no-go zone” for non-Muslims. The claim prompted the British broadcasting regulator Ofcom to find the network in breach of its broadcasting code. Emerson later apologized.

 

Churches in London

One of the retweeted stories that Gatestone instigated claimed that 500 churches in London have closed while 423 new mosques have opened, which went viral and was picked up by numerous websites including Breitbart News. The fact-checking website Snopes.com said Gatestone used “shoddy research and cherry-picked data” for the story, which was clearly not true.

 

Cambridge Analytica/Trump/Brexit

Gatestone is in part funded by the William Rosenwald Family Fund, which funds a host of pro-Israel groups including the Middle East Forum.

Gatestone has also received financial backing from Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire father-daughter team who have supported conservative candidates in the U.S. including Cruz and Trump. The Mercers also co-founded Cambridge Analytica, the data company being scrutinized for its activities that have allegedly influenced the Brexit EU referendum. The British High Court granted the Information Commissioner’s Office a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s London offices in March. There are now a number of court action and libel cases currently in play.

In an archived 2017 web page, Rebekah Mercer was listed as a member of the Gatestone Board of Governors.

 

Notes via MediaBias/FactCheckThe Gatestone Institute, formerly Stonegate Institute, is a “not-for-profit international policy council and think tank based in New York City” with a specialization in strategy and defense issues. Gatestone Institute is  anti-Islamic, pro-Christian and Jewish/Israel. Many of the articles will link back to sites that don’t say what they claim or make the same rash judgments, without proof. Example: Obama tells Christians to not protest in Egypt then has no quotes or sources saying he said that. (M. Allen 12/30/2016)

Antisemitsm and Jewish Guilt

April 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 What is the meaning of Jewishness and whatdoes it offer in light of Israeli criminality? 

What is the meaning of Jewishness and whatdoes it offer in light of Israeli criminality?

By Gilad Atzmon

Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center’s 2017 Annual Report on Anti-Semitism Worldwide was released today and there is good news: The number of recorded violent antisemitic incidents in 2017 fell by about 9% as compared to 2016 – and by almost 50% compared to the 2006-14 average.

One would expect Jewish and Zionist institutions to celebrate the victory over antisemitsm and Jew hatred in general. This is not happening. According to the study,  Jews feel more insecure.

“This situation [the drop in violent incidents] is not necessarily perceived in Jewish communities as a sufficient positive development, because the presence of security measures means that they are a necessity, and mainly because it is overshadowed by the many verbal and visual expressions, some on the verge of violence, such as direct threats, harassments, hateful expressions and insults. These take place in working places, schools, universities, playgrounds, near Jewish homes and institutes, on football/soccer fields, during demonstrations in the streets, and all the more so in the social networks.”

Once again Corbyn, BDS and the Left are the objects of blame.

“The rise of leftist antisemitism that supports radical Muslim anti-Israeli attitudes expressed in antisemitic terms such as in the BDS  and Antifa movements, and certainly in the UK Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn.”

Apparently Jews in the UK are “losing their traditional political home” as a result of feeling betrayed by the Labour party. Maybe someone should explain to these snowflakes that political parties in the West are not ‘homes’ or properties nor do political parties need to make tribal commitments. But voters can drop political parties and choose a different  party. This is Western democracy. You support the political party that best reflects your beliefs rather than dictating your ideology to a political party. If Labour under Corbyn doesn’t reflect your beliefs, just move on, support another, or even form your own party.

We are confronting bizarre behaviour. Would women feel more or less vulnerable if we learned that rape incidents dropped by 10%? Would Blacks react negatively to a study revealing that anti black violence dropped by 10%? And what about Muslims, wouldn’t they welcome a drop of 10% in Islamophobic violence?

It seems to me that Jews have a lot of work to do, examining their own behavior. Rather than trying to portray Corbyn as the contemporary Oswald Mosley or turning the Labour Party into the enemy, Jews should look inward and find out what Jewishness means in 2018. What does it offer in light of Israeli criminality?  What is the meaning of the holocaust when social media spreads images of Jewish soldiers shooting Palestinians like sitting ducks?

I believe that Jews feel insecure despite the drop in anti-Semitic violence because they feel guilty. They do not seem to know how to encapsulate and compartmentalise their Jewish existence within a Jewish continuum that is shaped by Israeli belligerence  and relentless Zio-con advocacy of global conflicts.

Gilad meeds your support. For more information click here

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Sayyed Nasrallah Rejects US Presence in Iraq: We Stand by LA in Face of ’Israel’, No for Normalization

Sayyed Nasrallah Rejects US Presence in Iraq: We Stand by LA in Face of ’Israel’, No for Normalization

19-01-2018 | 19:50

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled various internal, regional topics.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech came during a memorial ceremony held to commemorate the martyrdom of the Resistance men in Syrian Quneitra in 2015, as well as the 40th anniversary of late Haj Fayez Mughniyeh, the father of Martyr Leader Haj Imad Mughniyeh as well, two other Resistance men as well as the grandfather of the martyr Jihad Imad Mughniyeh.

Hailing the Resistance efforts, His Eminence viewed that it should be widely known that one can’t talk about Lebanese security away from Hezbollah martyrs.

“When we talk about the reasons behind Daesh’s [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist “ISIS”/”ISIL” group] defeat, the credit goes to our martyrs, their resilient families, the wounded who are now suffering and the fighters in several arenas,” he added.

In parallel, His Eminence stressed that “the talk of the huge defeat of the American scheme in the region as well as the victories of the governments and the people of the region is due to those sacrifices of martyrs.”

Mentioning some of late Haj Fayez Mughniyeh’s traits, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Haj Abu Imad is a modest, pure and patient believer, who spent his life supporting the Resistance’s path. He was always present among the martyrs’ families.”

“Abu Imad’s generation was divided into two, some encouraged their sons to join the Resistance, while others didn’t prevent them from doing so,” he stated, pointing out that “offering a martyr leader like Haj Imad is a blessing for the whole family. However, Haj Fayez also offered one of his grandsons.”

The Resistance Leader went on to say: “From the blessings of Haj Abu Imad’s family is to offer a man and an exceptional Resistance leader to in Lebanon and Palestine, the Marty Leader Haj Imad Mughniyeh.”

In addition, His Eminence highlighted that “Haj Abu Imad asked in his will to be buried in his hometown, Tayrdebah . He wanted his family to continue to visit their village.”
Urging the people to follow Haj Fayez’ path, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the families in Beirut to return to their ancestral towns so that they continue to remember their families and return to their homes in their original hometowns.

He also added that their existed plans by the government and the civil society to lift the burden off the capital, in terms of trash, traffic and drugs.

“We in Hezbollah are thinking about this. We want most of those who work in the south, to live in the south and those in the Bekaa to live there,” His Eminence asserted., noting that “once the issue of transportation is resolved in Lebanon, things would be easier.”
On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah rejected US fabrications of the so-called Hezbollah narco-terror network.

In this context, he rejected the baseless claims mentioned [in Politico] and the fact that the
US Justice Department formed a committee to investigate how Hezbollah is related to drugs, and how [former US President Barack] Obama opened the door for Hezbollah.

Clarifying that

“drugs are against Hezbollah values,” he confirmed that “according to Islamic doctrine, selling drugs to enemy societies such as the “Israeli” society is impermissible.”

“This is our absolute commitment,” he reiterated, noting that

“Hezbollah proved that it was successful to fight terrorism. Thus, the US seeks to paint it as a criminal organization: trafficking drugs, auto theft. This is part of the war on us.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence explained that

“Hezbollah isn’t even involved in permissible trade or investments. Hezbollah has not authorized anyone to run investment projects under its name. We don’t have any money for investment. We need money for our arms. However, there are some rich people, but this is an individual thing. Hezbollah didn’t allow anyone to speak in its name.”

He then advised US statesmen to launch a full-scale investigation into the drug-related activities of their own intelligence bodies.

Commenting on the “Israeli” announcement that the entity intends to build a wall on the border with Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that

“there are 13 disputed areas between Lebanon and “Israel”. To us, we don’t recognize “Israel”. Thus, the disputed areas are to Lebanon or Occupied Palestine.”

“The Lebanese government refused any “Israeli” move in the disputed areas,” he said, announcing that “the Resistance supports the Lebanese government Army in their position.”

To “Israel”, His Eminence sent a sounding message:

“I tell “Israel” to take the Lebanese warning’s serious. We will uphold our responsibilities in this aspect.”

On the soft normalization taking place with “Israel”, Sayyed Nasrallah said Lebanon is committed not to normalize ties.

“There are many in Lebanon who won’t allow any means of normalizing ties with “Israel”. No one is telling you we are against cinema and arts, but doing so under this pretext shows that the state isn’t committed to this principle,” he said.

In this context, His Eminence mentioned Director Stephen Spielberg’s new film “The Post”.

“The issue is not with the movie but with the director – he is on the Lebanese blacklist because he had previously announced his support for 2006 “Israeli” brutal aggression against Lebanon. He even funded this war from his money. He paid $1 million to “Israel”. And now the Lebanese are going to pay to this director and this money might go to “Israel”. He paid $1 million to Israel [after the 2006 war].”


Regarding the recent bomb that targeted Hamas official in the Southern city, Sidon, Sayyed Nasrallah revealed that “all signs indicate that “Israel” was behind the assassination attempt.”

When the Lebanese security agencies conclude their investigations and find out that “Israel” is behind the attack, we hope that it is dealt with as a violation of the Lebanese sovereignty,” His Eminence added.

According to His Eminence,

“This is a dangerous beginning. I want to warn that the attack against the Hamas official represents the beginning of a dangerous security phase in Lebanon.”

He said that the resistance will take its responsibilities in this sense.

On the coming Lebanese parliamentary elections, Sayyed Nasrallah said:

“We support the state and we are not at the point where we have entered the elections phase and hence I will leave this discussion for the next few days in another televised speech.”

“I just want to say that there is an atmosphere of accusations in the country, just to be fair I don’t think that there is anyone in Lebanon who wants to delay or annul the elections,” he stated.

However, he commented on the recent political disputes by saying: “There is no need to cause tension and say that the elections will be postponed. This country can’t be governed by isolating anyone. We had previous experiences in this context.”

“This country can only continue through dialogue, integration and coexistence, not through elimination and marginalization,” His Eminence underlined.

Back to the regional front, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that

“the Americans want to return to Iraq and Syria under the pretext of Daesh. This is while the entire world knows it was the US administration that created the Takfiri group.”

“One of the major challenges Iraqi forces are to face is to reject the presence of US forces,” he viewed.

To the Americans, His Eminence said:

“If you want not to return to our region, ask your allies in the region and the world not to support Daesh.”

He further slammed US President Donald Trump’s use of “Islamic terrorism,” noting that such a terminology clearly proves his animosity towards Islam and Muslims.

“There exists a continuous discrimination from Trump’s administration, He uses the term “Muslim terrorism” on purpose. He has now come to discriminate against the African countries and Haiti.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned that

“Trump will continue to pressure Arab countries. There also appears to be Arab pressure on Palestine for a deal that has been offered to them [by the US] as long as the Palestinians refuse the deal. There are Arab regimes that continue to pressure the Palestinians to accept the little presented to them.”

Affirming the Resistance’s rejection to the American arrogance and the Zionist scheme, Sayyed Nasrallah concluded: “We have created victories and we will protect our country and side.”

Source: Al-Ahed news

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Trump discloses the decline of America’s status and its inability ترامب يفضح تراجع مكانة أميركا وعجزها

Trump discloses the decline of America’s status and its inability

سبتمبر 24, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The speech of the US President Donald Trump before the United Nations General Assembly revealed the degree of the decline in the US status in the international politics. The speech which is based on boasting of the glories and the greatness of America was disclosed by the speech of Trump himself in his electoral campaign that included great signs of the position of America on the brink of a disaster regarding culture, education, civilization, unemployment, and services. His focus on the danger of what he described as the Islamic terrorism and made it an international priority was disclosed by his electoral campaign through accusing the former administrations in the White House of their responsibility of making this terrorism and promoting it as a political commodity. There are two left accusations in his speech; one is full of clamor against the Northern Korea threatening of destroying it totally. This speech does not suit a president of a country that boasts of talking about human rights and threatens of eliminating a total nation from a map, while it claims that it seeks to liberate its people from what it describes as the regime’s dominance. Furthermore, it is a preconditioned threat with the initiative of the Northern of Korea to threaten America, so it loses its value as a threat politically. On the other hand, his words about Iran and accusing it along with Hezbollah of destabilizing the region, and the pretension to be weeping on the “sin” of singing the understanding on its nuclear program without daring to say any word of being prepared to regress from it. Above all of that his threats to Cuba and Venezuela of boycotting without a roadmap that prevents the same consequence resulted from the boycott adopted by the former administrations throughout many decades. Thus the rhetoric was for spreading hatred from the helpless, who is unable to behave, just uttering malevolent cries, does not have neither the ability nor the vision of how to turn them into practical steps.

This speech of hatred is as the speech of boasting, it is devoid of any valuable initiative to stop in front of the real problems facing by the humanity, he ignored the issues of the climate crisis which his administration has withdrawn from the only agreement which the industrial countries signed it successfully, knowing that the aggravation of this issue will threaten the future of humanity and the life on this planet. He ignored the issue of reducing the nuclear weapons which was pledged by the former presidents of the major countries, where America was at their forefront, and which consumed the financial and the scientific resources of those countries, and caused a crazy race of arming that will threaten of raising the level of tension and the dangers of the futile destructive wars, on the contrary he boasted of increasing the expenditure on arming, moreover, he ignored issues of no less importance as the rising waves of racism which sweep the world from America to Europe and the Far East , and which wait for effective initiatives for the culture of the common living among the nations, by the United Nations culturally, politically, socially, and economically, in order to encourage the exchange, the partnership, and the interaction among the different components religiously, culturally, socially, and ethnically.

Trump represented the inability of his government of playing a leading role worldwide in resolving the major crises and the initiative to lead the projects of combating; he showed a decline in the leading status of America in the world. On a more serious level, Trump has escaped from referring to all the regional explosive conflicts which the world is awaiting Washington’s initiatives. Neither the issue of the explosive Kurdish secession got a part of his rhetoric, nor the destructive inhuman war of Yemen, nor the war on Libya, the spread of terrorism in it, and the standstill of the internal reconciliation between its parties, nor the future of the endeavors of the political solution in Syria and the approach of the issue of changing the regimes by force under the slogans of democracy and the human rights, and what they led as growing the terrorism and increase of the waves of the displaced people, the threat of stability by making the chaos the only available alternative in the sensitive dangerous countries. America emerged as a major marginal country with an arrogant rhetoric but which is devoid of any initiatives.

What is dangerous in Trump’s rhetoric regarding our region is that he is the first President whose his speech is devoid of any reference to the Palestinian cause and the endeavors of spreading peace in the region. The countries and the leaderships which present Washington as a friend to the Arabs must read through the wide smile of the Head of the Occupation government Benjamin Netanyahu and his warm applause for trump’s words upon mentioning Hezbollah as a threat to stability in the region the suggestion which Netanyahu wanted to send to us that this speech was under his control.

Although the verbal American interest of the Palestinian cause would not provide any effort towards giving the Palestinians some of their rights or protection, but it was a sign of the degree of sticking of some of the Arab governments to the Palestinian cause, or to embarrass them for ignoring it, but this is no longer exist. Trump’s speech has revealed clearly this fact, as the escape from any responsibility in resolving the issues which the International Community was unable to implement its resolutions to solve them has revealed that America has lost the feature of the active country in making solutions for crises, after it was proven the inability of America to wage wars, no matter how long its president shouted and how much he spent militarily.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ترامب يفضح تراجع مكانة أميركا وعجزها

سبتمبر 20, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– كشف الخطاب الذي ألقاه الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب أمام الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة حجم التراجع في المكانة الأميركية في السياسة الدولية، فالخطاب الذي تركّز على التغني الفارغ بأمجاد وعظمة أميركا، يفضحه خطاب ترامب نفسه في حملته الانتخابية وما تضمّنه من إشارات بالغة لوقوف أميركا على شفا كارثة في الثقافة والتعليم والحضارة والبطالة والخدمات، كما تركيز ترامب على خطر ما وصفه بالإرهاب الإسلامي وجعله أولوية دولية، يفضحه كلامه في حملته الانتخابية عن اتهامه الإدارات التي سبقته في البيت الأبيض بالمسؤولية عن صناعة هذا الإرهاب وتوريده للعالم كسلعة سياسية، وبقي من الخطاب تهديدان فارغان، واحد مليء بالصخب ضد كوريا الشمالية بتدميرها كلياً. وهو كلام لا يليق برئيس دولة تتشدّق بالحديث عن حقوق الإنسان وتهدّد بمحو شعب كامل عن الخريطة، بينما تدّعي السعي لتخليص هذا الشعب مما تصفه بتسلط نظامه عليه. ومن جهة مقابلة هو تهديد مشروط بمبادرة كوريا الشمالية بتهديد أميركا، فيفقد قيمته كتهديد بالمعنى السياسي، وبالمقابل كلامه عن إيران واتهامها مع حزب الله بزعزعة استقرار المنطقة، والتباكي على «خطيئة» توقيع التفاهم على ملفها النووي، من دون التجرؤ على لفظ مفردة الاستعداد للانسحاب منه، وفوقهما تهديدات لكوبا وفنزويلا، بالمقاطعة من دون خريطة طريق لتجنب النتائج نفسها التي ترتبت على المقاطعة طوال عقود اعتمدتها الإدارات السابقة، ليصير الخطاب بثاً للكراهية من فاقد للحيلة وعاجز عن التحرك، يطلق الصرخات الحاقدة ولا يملك القدرة ولا الرؤيا لكيفية تحويلها خطوات عملية.

– خطاب الكراهية الذي أطلقه ترامب، كما هو خطاب التفاخر، خلا من أي مبادرة ذات قيمة للتوقف أمام المشكلات الحقيقية التي تواجهها البشرية. فهو تجاهل قضايا أزمة المناخ التي انسحبت إدارته من الاتفاقية الوحيدة التي نجحت الدول الصناعية بتوقيعها، والتهديد الذي يمثله تفاقم هذه القضية على مستقبل البشرية والحياة فوق الكوكب، كما تجاهل قضية خفض السلاح النووي التي تعهّدها رؤساء سابقون للدول الكبرى وأميركا في مقدّمتها، والتي تستهلك الموارد المالية والعلمية لتلك الدول، وتتسبّب بسباق جنون تسلّح يهدد برفع منسوب التوتر ومخاطر الحروب المدمّرة بلا طائل، ليسلك طريق التباهي بزيادة الإنفاق على التسلّح، وتجاهل قضايا لا تقلّ أهمية مثل تصاعد موجات العنصرية التي تجتاح العالم من أميركا إلى أوروبا والشرق الأقصى والتي تنتظر مبادرات فعالة لثقافة العيش الواحد بين الشعوب تقودها الأمم المتحدة، ثقافياً وسياسياً واجتماعياً، واقتصادياً، لتشجيع التبادل والتشارك والتفاعل بين المكوّنات المختلفة دينياً وثقافياً واجتماعياً وعرقياً.

– جسّد ترامب عجز حكومته عن لعب دور قيادي على مستوى العالم في حلّ الأزمات الكبرى والمبادرة لقيادة مشاريع التصدّي لتفاقمها، وأظهر تراجع مكانة أميركا القيادية في العالم، وعلى صعيد أشدّ خطورة وراهنية تنصل ترامب من التطرق لكل النزاعات الإقليمية المتفجّرة التي ينتظر العالم فيها، مبادرات من واشنطن، فلا قضية الانفصال الكردي المتفجّرة نالت كلمة من خطابه، ولا حرب اليمن المدمرة واللاإنسانية، ولا حرب ليبيا وتفشي الإرهاب فيها ومراوحة المصالحة الداخلية بين أطرافها مكانها، ولا مستقبل مساعي الحل السياسي في سورية ومقاربة قضايا تغيير الأنظمة بالقوة تحت شارات الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان وما أنتجته من نمو في الإرهاب وزيادة في موجات النازحين، وتهديد الاستقرار بجعل الفوضى بديلاً وحيداً متاحاً

في مناطق شديدة الحساسية والخطورة، وظهرت أميركا دولة هامشية كبرى، تملك خطاباً متعجرفاً ولغة صاخبة لكنها فارغة اليدين من المبادرات.

– الجديد الخطير في خطاب ترامب، الذي يعني شعوب منطقتنا، أنه أول رئيس أميركي يخلو خطابه أمام الأمم المتحدة من أي إشارة للقضية الفلسطينية ومساعي إحلال السلام في المنطقة. وهذا برسم الدول والقيادات التي تقدّم واشنطن صديقاً للعرب، أن تقرأ عبر الابتسامة العريضة لرئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو وتصفيقه الحار لكلمة ترامب، عند ذكر ترامب لحزب الله كخطر على الاستقرار في المنطقة، الإيحاء الذي أراد نتنياهو إيصاله لنا عن يده الطولى في هذا الخطاب.

– لم يكن الاهتمام الأميركي اللفظي بالقضية الفلسطينية يقدّم خطوة نحو نيل الفلسطينيين بعضاً من الحقوق، أو نيل البعض من الحماية، لكنّه كان علامة على حجم تمسّك بعض الحكومات العربية بالقضية الفلسطينية، أو إحراجهم من تجاهلها، وهو ما لم يعُد قائماً. وقد كشف خطاب ترامب هذه الحقيقة عارية بمثل ما كشف التنصّل من أي مسؤولية في حلّ القضايا التي عجز المجتمع الدولي عن تنفيذ قراراته لحلّها، أن أميركا قد فقدت صفة الدولة الفاعلة في صناعة الحلول للأزمات، بعدما حسم عجز أميركا عن خوض الحروب، مهما علا صراخ رئيسها وإنفاقه العسكري.

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نارام سرجون:بعد النصر .. استعدوا لخوض الحرب الأصعب والأقسى؟؟ .. اللحم سيقاتل العظم

“لانعرف حتى اللحظة كيف سيمكننا اجراء عملية فصل الاسلام عن التراث وفصل المسلم عن التراث دون أن نفصل المسلم عن الاسلام …… انها عملية تشبه فصل اللحم عن العظم .. فالتراث المنقول هو لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام .. ولحم التراث مليء بالاسرائيليات والمتناقضات ومليء بالطفيليات وبالعداء للتفكير والمنطق والفلسفة والعقل ..”

تعليق المحرر على المقالة

اتفق مع الكاتب بان الحرب مع مع داعش واخواتها من الحركات الاسلاموية (الوهابية واخوان الشياطين وحزب التحرير الاسلاموي…… الخ الخ) ، تنتهي بانتصار ناجز لا لبس فية، بدون “فصل المسلم عن الثراث المنقول لكني  لا اتفق مع مقولته عن “لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام” لأني ازعم ان الهياكل العظمي التي حملت لنا التراث المنقول ( العنعنة، وتابعه علم الرجال وعلم الناسخ والمنسوخ والاصول والمعلوم من الدين …..) هم  “علماء” و”فقهاء ” السلطان الاموي والعباسي و… و  والعثماني، والازهر وأم القرى وحميع حركات الاسلام السياسي الذين هجروا القران واعتبروا التراث المنقول وحيا ثانيا لا يمكن ان نفهم التنزبل الحكيم بدونه

وهنا لا بد من لفت انتباه الكاتب بان المشكلة لا تقتصر على العقل العربي المسلم فقط وانما العقل العربي “الداعشي” المسلم المسيحي والعلماني والملحد وكل عقل يدعي امتلاك الحقيقة المطلقة ويكفر الآخر

قال تعالى

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا 

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

قال تعالى:

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

 [الجزء: ٢٢ | سبأ ٣٤ | الآية: ٢٤]

 في الآية يخبر الله رسوله أن الرزق للمؤمن والمشرك  من الله

وويقول له ان الحقيقة الآنسانية نسبية ولا احد يمتلك الحقيقة المطلقة سوى الله

 : قل يا محمد:  “….. ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

اي : وانا (محمد) او اياكم (المشركين )

قال (او)  ولم يقل (و)

اي انا او انتم علي هدى

او انا أو انتم على ضلال مبين

هذه رسالة امر الله عزوجل رسوله الاعظم ان يبلغها ليس للمشركين فقط وانما للناس وخصوصا للذين نصبوا انفسهم ناطقين باسمه وباسم نبيه فحددوا من يدخل النار واختصروا الطريق الى الجنة بتلاوة كذا او كذا ووزعوا صكوك الغفران وبوالص التامين النبوي:

الدعوة الى سبيل الله

قال تعالى

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

 [الجزء: ١٤ | النحل ١٦ | الآية: ١٢٥]

قال: بالحكمة ولم يقل بالحكمة الحسنه لنفهم ان الحكمه حسنة بالضرورة ولا وجود لحكمة سيئة

وقال: بالموعظة الحسنة لنفهم ان الموعظة قد تكون حسنة وقد تكون سيئة

كلمة (الحسنة) ليست زائدة وليست حشوا

اذا هناك موعظة سيية

والدليل الحاسم هو فضائيات التكفير على اختلاف تلاوينها

وقال: وجادلهم بالتي هي احسن

اي لا تجادلهم بالتي هي اسوأ

اي  الجدال قد يكون سيء وقد يكون حسن وقد يكون احسن

والمطلوب هو الجدال الاحسن

وهل هناك احسن من يتواضع نبي ورسول ومبلغ رسالة لا تنطق عن الهوى فيقول للمشركين:

وانا او اياكم على هدى او في  ضلال مبين؟

وقال

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

 [الجزء: ٢٤ | فصلت ٤١ | الآية: ٣٤]

قال ادفع ولم يقل ادفش والدفع هنا لا يعني تسديد الدين

بل يعني الدفاع عن حرية الرأي والتعبير ليس بالسيف والتكفير والاتهام بالنفاق  واقامة الحجة بالتي هي أحسن وأخير ماهو سبيل الله وما هي كلمة الله التي سبقت

قال تعالى

وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ۖ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ – إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَ ۚ وَلِذَٰلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ ۗ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ (119)

 صدق الله العظيم انظر حولك فالناس مختلفين كما اخبرنا الله في تنزيلة الحكيم باستثاء من رحم ربي وهم الانبياء   ،  والرسل، وهو يخبرنا انه خلق الناس أحرار ليختلفوا بارادتهم الحرة، وباختلافهم تمت كلمته التي سبقت. وعلية فحيث يكون النسان حرا تكون كلمة الله هي العليا

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نارام سرجون:بعد النصر .. استعدوا لخوض الحرب الأصعب والأقسى؟؟ .. اللحم سيقاتل العظم

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبار ية

دعونا نتوقف الآن لالتقاط الانفاس ونقول ان هذه الحرب مع التيارات الاسلامية في المنطقة ستنتهي سريعا بانتصار ناجز لالبس فيه .. ولكن على هونكم ياسادة .. فلا تستعجلوا قرع الكؤوس والأنخاب وتبادل التهاني .. ولاتسترخوا .. لأنها فقط احدى جولاتها وهي الجولة الاطول والاقسى والاعنف وستتلوها هدنة طويلة الامد ولكن الحرب سجال ويجب على المنتصر الأن ان لايرقد مسترخيا بل أن يبدأ في الاعداد للحرب القادمة .. وهي الأقسى والأصعب ..

ان منتهى الخيال أن نعتقد أننا خضنا المعركة الأخيرة مع الاسلام السياسي الذي انطلق مع غياب آخر الخلافات وهي الخلافة العثمانية .. وظل الشغل الشاغل للأجيال منذ ذلك اليوم هو اعادة الخلافة أو شبه الخلافة .. لأن العقل الشرقي الاسلامي لايزال مقتنعا أن المؤامرة التي أسقطت الخلافة ستبقى في وجهه لمنع اعادتها وقيامها مجددا .. وعقب كل هزيمة عسكرية وانتهاء جيل من الاسلاميين يقر الجيل اللاحق بأن من سبقوهم أخطأوا التخطيط والتسديد .. ومايجب على الجيل القادم هو تلافي هذه الأخطاء وتطوير التجربة لأن الله سينصر عباده المؤمنين في نهاية المطاف !! .. وهم على موعد مع نصر حتمي قدره الله .. بدليل تعدد نسخ التجارب الجهادية في معظم بلدان المنطقة وكلها تعيد انتاج نفسها وبطرق عنف مختلفة تدل على أنها ليست مأزومة فقط بل مقتنعة تماما ان العنف الداخلي (الذي يسمى جهادا) هو السبيل الوحيد لاعادة الخلافة لأن ماسقط بالحرب لن يعود الا بالحرب .. وليس بالحب .. ولعل أكثر عبارة تدل على أن المعركة انتهت فقط مع هذا الجيل من الاسلاميين وان الجيل اللاحق يستعد هو عبارة يرددها الكثيرون ببراءة وسذاجة مفادها: (هذا الذي رأيناه ليس الاسلام الحقيقي) .. ولكن هذه العبارة هي التي ستشكل الحامل والرافعة للمشروع القادم الذي سيخترع أصحابه نسخة أخرى “حقيقية” جاءت كما ياتي المخلّص .. ويعتبرون ماحدث من هزائم حتى الآن هو جولات وعملية حقن الاسلام بلقاحات متنوعة يتعرض لها الجسم العسكري الاسلامي في سيرته الجهادية الطويلة .. ولذلك فانه من الطبيعي أن يتعرض لطفرات جديدة أو لعملية لقاح بالهزيمة تكسبه مزيدا من المناعة ..

وهنا لاأريد أن يفهم من كلامي انني ارى ان مافعله داعش هو الاسلام الحقيقي لأنني انا فعلا مقتنع أن ماقدمه داعش والنصرة هو برنامج اسلام من قماش تلمودي موسادي ووهابي التطريز .. ولكن العبارة (هذا ليس الاسلام الحقيقي) بحد ذاتها رغم دلالتها الكبيرة على أنها عملية القبول والاعتراف والتسليم بهزيمة المشروع الاسلامي مرحليا فان فكرة الهزيمة النهائية لاتزال غير مقبولة في نظر الاسلاميين بل ينظر اليها لى أن ماحدث مجرد معركة .. مثل معركة (أحد) مثلا لابد ان يتلوها نصر وفتح مبين ..

أبني كلامي واستنتاجي على قاعدة

أن جميع التنظيمات الجهادية اليوم مشتقة من بعضها وهي رغم تفاوتاتها وخلافاتها الفقهية فانها تملك ذات الجذر وذات المراجع الفقهية والرؤية التاريخية والفلسفية فالفرق بين الاخوان المسلمين وداعش يبدو شاسعا في السطح ولكنه في العمق متماه كثيرا من حيث فكرة التكفير والعلاقة مع الأغيار من غير المسلمين أو حتى من المذاهب المنشقة عن مذهب أهل السنة أو حتى المدارس السنية التي تخالفهم الرأي والاجتهاد .. بدليل أن الاخوان المسلمين لايمكن مثلا أن يصدروا بيانا يقولون فيه رأيا يخالف داعش من حيث تكفير الشيعة والدروز والعلويين والمسيحيين وغيرهم .. لأن هؤلاء جميعا كفار في نظر داعش والاخوان المسلمين وجبهة النصرة .. ومافعله داعش فقط أنه وسع دائرة الكفار حتى شملت أهل السنة والجماعة الذين يختلفون عنه .. ولو انه اكتفى بدائرة التكفير الاخوانية التقليدية لما تلعثم الاخوان المسلمون في تأييدهم لخلافة على منهاج النبوة تشبههم ولم يتأتئوا في تعبيرهم عن الانسجام مع أفكارها وبقيت الخلافات الفقهية الأخرى اجتهادات أخطأ فيها الدواعش ولهم فيها أجر واحد فقط لا أجران !!! .. هو ثواب المجتهد ..

وسنكون واقعيين جدا في الاعتراف بأن عملية نزع فتيل الصاعق من القنبلة “الاسلامية” لن تنجح بهذه البساطة لأنهم ببساطة ذخيرة للغرب ورصاص يوجهه الى صدورنا في أية لحظة لأن مفهوم الوطن مغيب لدى الاسلاميين أمام سطوة فكرة الخلافة التي تبتلع الأوطان جميعا وتضعها تحت عباءة خليفة .. فالاسلاميون الوهابيون احتلوا الحجاز ونجد وعطلوا فريضة الجهاد المكي ضد الغرب واسرائيل مما أوقف مليار مسلم عن عملية التطوع لنصرة فلسطين “الا بالدعاء” .. ولكن الغرب أيضا أطلق الاسلام الجهادي ضد الروس والسوفيت وضد الايرانيين وضد البعثيين القوميين العروبيين أيضا في سورية والعراق وضد المقاومة في لبنان ..

أما الاخوان المسلمون فهم النسخة الأخرى للوهابية وهما من ذات فصيلة الزواحف .. والفوارق هي في التكوين والبيئة .. فالوهابيون يشبهون في قسوتهم التماسيح التي تنهش فريستها بوحشية .. أما الاخوان فهم زواحف الدم البارد والأفاعي ذات الجلود الناعمة والتي تحقنك بالسم .. ثم تبتلعك بهدوء .. ولكن كلها زواحف ..

مسؤول “الاخوان” سعيد رمضان مع الرئيس الأمريكي إيزنهاور في البيت الأبيض عام 1953.

وقد جاء الربيع العربي ليثبت أن الاسلاميين على اختلاف مشاربهم ذخيرة عظيمة للغرب لن يساعدنا الغرب على التخلص منها بل سيعيدها الى الحظائر مؤقتا لاجراء صيانة وتزويد خطاباتها بقطع الغيار والملونات والمذاقات التي تخفي خطاب الكراهية ..

ويجب هنا الانتباه الى أن أي محاولة بريئة لاطلاق تيارات اسلامية موازية لامتصاص قوة هذه التيارات وانتزاع الجيل من الانتماء اليها بحجة أن اطلاق الاعتدال سيخفف من التطرف فاننا سنكون واهمين لأن أي خلل في الميزان سيجعل عملية الهجرة الى معسكر التطرف سهلة طالما أن المشتركات الفقهية كثيرة وعملية الانزياح في الاتجاهين واردة جدا وتتبع عوامل متحولة ..

ومانكون قد فعلناه هو اننا هيأنا جيشا رديفا للتطرف سينضم اليه عند أول تلاعب في الخطاب الديني كما حدث اليوم في حرب السنوات السبع عندما كانت المنطقة كلها معتدلة ومضبوطة بفعل العامل القومي الذي ما ان تراجع حتى تسلمت التيارات المتطرفة قيادة جزء من الجماهير المعتدلة بل والجماهير القومية والعلمانية .. لان عملية الانزياح هنا ليست بين دين ودين .. وليست بين مذهبين .. وبين سنة وشيعة .. بل تماه بين اتجاهين في نفس المذهب وعناصر في نفس الاناء ..
وهنا تكمن المعضلة .. لأننا لانريد أن نحاصر الاسلام ولكن في حصارنا للتيارات الفكرية الاسلامية سنجد أننا نبدو وكأننا في مواجهة مع الاسلام وفكر الاسلام وتبدو عملية الفرز والتمييز والفصل مستحيلة بين فكر الاسلام وبين أسلمة الفكر ..
ولذلك فان القطيعة مع الاسلاميين دون التأثير على الاسلام كعنصر هوية للمنطقة وموروث حضاري لايمكن أن تنجح الا بمشروع شامل يبدأ تأثيره من لحظة نزول الوحي في القرن السابع الميلادي وحتى هذه اللحظة .. والحقيقة أننا نقف جميعا حائرين أمام هذه المعضلة في عملية تقطير الاسلام ونزعه من مخالب الحزبية السياسية وتحويله الى كينونة ثقافية مندمجة في مشاريع التطوير الحضاري المتنوعة .. ورغم أن الاسلام الشيعي يعاني من نفس المعضلة الا أنه يبقى في تأثيره محصورا في جزء صغير من الأمة لأن العالم الاسلامي هو عالم سني في غالبيته .. فمهما حدث في الساحة الشيعية فان الهزات الارتدادية التي تصل الى العالم السني ضعيفة نسبيا وتبقى محصورة ..

لاأحد يملك جوابا عن مرحلة مابعد الربيع الاسلامي الأخير .. وكيف سيتم التعامل مع مفرزات هذه المرحلة وأنقاضها الخطيرة ودروسها .. ولانعرف حتى اللحظة كيف سيمكننا اجراء عملية فصل الاسلام عن التراث وفصل المسلم عن التراث دون أن نفصل المسلم عن الاسلام .. انها عملية تشبه فصل اللحم عن العظم .. فالتراث المنقول هو لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام .. ولحم التراث مليء بالاسرائيليات والمتناقضات ومليء بالطفيليات وبالعداء للتفكير والمنطق والفلسفة والعقل ..

اننا أمام عملية هي أصعب من مرحلة الحرب .. وهي استخلاص دروس الحرب التي تقاتل فيها اللحم مع العظم .. لأن الاستنتاجات الخاطئة أخطر مما نتوقع وهي تشبه الهزيمة .. اي خضنا حربا وانتصرنا ولكننا حصلنا على نتائج الهزيمة عندما لم نحول التجربة الى نتيجة وخلاصة .. لذلك يجب اطلاق هجوم معاكس في الحال بالضوء على الظلام .. يبدأ برنامجه في سطور التراث ومن رفوف الكتب وفي عملية التعليم .. ويعمل في قلب المساجد وحلقات الذكر وليس في التلفزيون من بعيد .. ويعتكف المفكرون والتنويريون لايجاد افضل طريقة لتحويل مسار الموجة الاسلامية القادمة على ابنائنا لتكون بردا وسلاما ..

ويجب أن نقوم بتدريس هذه المرحلة من الحرب على سورية بدقة وأمانة في المناهج والاعتراف بكل الأخطاء التي وقعت فيها جميع الأطراف .. ولكن ماهو مهم جدا هو أن يتم تخصيص جهد تأريخي واعلامي متواصل طوال العقدين القادمين لرواية الرواية السورية الوطنية دون انقطاع والاستفادة من جو الهزيمة العسكرية للاسلاميين التكفيريين ومن اعادة اعلام العرب وكلابه الى حظائره .. وأن يكون شرط اعادة العلاقات مع اي دولة عربية ان تعيد تقديم الرواية السورية على حقيقتها في اعلامها وافساح المجال للرواية السورية أن تقدم نفسها لأول مرة من دون تزوير .. لأن الجمهور العربي المغفل لايزال هو ماأنتجته الجزيرة .. فهو باختصار “ضحية” الجزيرة التي أرضعته طوال سبع سنوات ولايزال حليب ثدييها في فمه وفي عروقه .. ويجب أن تغسل أمعاؤه ودماؤه بالماء الصابون ..

ومع هذا فان أفضل علاج برأيي سيكون هو محاصرة و تدمير نموذج الدولة الدينية اليهودية في المنطقة التي قدمت نفسها على أنها الدولة الدينية الأولى ونموذج ملهم للاسلاميين وينظر لها من قبلهم على أنها ثمرة من ثمار سقوط الخلافة .. وأنها مشروع ديني ناجح يمكن تكراره بنسخة اسلامية حتى بطريقة تكوينها العنيفة .. وان اسقاط هذه الثمرة اليهودية لن يكون الا باعادة الخلافة الاسلامية التي أسقطت من أجل تسهيل قيام اسرائيل .. فيعود الاسلاميون كل مرة الى عاصمة عربية يرفعون فيها شعار أن الطريق الى القدس يمر من هنا .ولذلك لاأظن أنه يمكن ايقاف المد الاسلامي الا بايقاف المد اليهودي .. فكلاهما يتلاقحان وبتفاعلان ويتبادلان الخبرات والوجود .. بدليل تكرار تجربة الدولة اليهودية ونموذجها العنيف الارهابي بالتطهير العرقي في تجربة داعش التي كانت نسخة اسلامية عن اسرائيل ..

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YOU’RE LOSING YOUR MIND AND YOUR DECENCY, RABBI – NOT EUROPE

YOU’RE LOSING YOUR MIND AND YOUR DECENCY, RABBI – NOT EUROPE

August 29, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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by Michael Lesher

Because I have no ambition either to be the next Chief Rabbi of Barcelona or to be subject to the whims of whoever is – as it is, I’m not even Spanish – it’s of very little direct importance to me that the current occupant of that position, one Meir Bar-Hen, is a blithering idiot.

On the other hand, I am a Jew – and a human being. And on both counts it does matter very much to me that Rabbi Bar-Hen, who claims in the wake of a car-ramming attack in Barcelona (for which the motive remains unclear) that “Europe is lost” so long as its governments allow Muslims to live side by side with other citizens, is not only a fool but a bigot of unspeakable effrontery. In fact, he’s exactly the sort of man who, with Goebbels, would have pointed to Herschel Grynszpan’s murder of a young German diplomat in 1938 as “proof” that Jews could not be tolerated in Germany.

And yet I confess that even the rabbi’s racism – essentially a declaration of war against every Muslim in Europe – is less infuriating to me than the silent complacency with which his remarks have been received throughout the Jewish world.

One might have hoped a few Jews, even today, would remember that being stigmatized as a collective threat to civilization was a familiar Jewish experience not so long ago. In the previous century, when the Reverend A.E. Patton complained of the danger of immigrant “hordes” who were “stealthy and furtive in manner…too filthy to adopt ideals of cleanliness from the start, too bigoted to surrender any racial traditions or to absorb any true Americanism,” he was writing about Jews, not Muslims, and if asked for evidence of the threat would have pointed to nothing less momentous than the gathering storm in Russia. (The Nazis used similar “evidence,” for that matter; so did some of their descendants at the recent violent hatefest in Charlottesville.) Quite apart from its moral reprehensibility, then, is Muslim-bashing a clever game for Jews to play, given our continuing minority status and a little knowledge of our own history?

And in Spain, of all places! Has a Spanish rabbi utterly forgotten what Jewish historians once dubbed the “Golden Age” of medieval Jewry – namely in Spain, under Muslim ruleand that anti-Semitic persecutions followed on the heels of the expulsion of Muslims from that country?

But bigots don’t speak the language of history, just as they don’t speak the language of contemporary fact. They speak the language of power – and Rabbi Bar-Hen provides a fine example of how that language can turn the truth inside out. Just look at how neatly his recent statements, though at odds with reality, dovetail with Western imperial propaganda.

“I tell my congregants,” Rabbi Bar-Hen told JTA after the attack that left 14 random victims dead in Barcelona, “this place is lost. Don’t repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews. Better [get out] early than late.”

Say what?

Algerian Jews did face discriminatory treatment in the 1960s, in the wake of Algeria’s bloody war for independence from France (which the Jewish community, by and large, did not support). But Venezuela is a “historically open society without significant anti-Semitism,” the U.S. State Department concluded as recently as 2005. The only “grievance” of Venezuelan Jews JTA could scrape up the following year was that President Hugo Chavez had had the temerity to criticize Israeli war crimes in Lebanon.

And anyway, what has Venezuela got to do with Spain?

Well, nothing – except that Chavez was on Washington’s enemies’ list long before ISIS was. And that’s the clue to unpacking Rabbi Bar-Hen’s ominous reference to Latin America: it means, “Jews shouldn’t want open societies where the U.S. doesn’t want them. We must stay on the side of Big Brother.”

The same goes for Bar-Hen’s weird juxtaposition of Spain – where, he claims, Jews can’t survive because “radical” Muslims are “living among you” and “it’s very difficult to get rid of them” – against Israel, where he explicitly encourages his congregants to immigrate.

Now, Rabbi Bar-Hen knows as well as anyone that Israel and its occupied territories have a Muslim population too (in fact, one that is proportionally larger than the Muslim community in Spain), and that this population is not altogether acquiescent. If Spain is a “hub of Islamist terror for all of Europe,” as the rabbi claims, what in the world makes Israel a safe haven?

Again, nothing – except that Israel, unlike Spain, is an American client state. And so what the rabbi is really saying to Jews is, “Go where American power goes. The U.S. is fighting a war against the Muslim world, and we want to be on the side of the powerful – never mind what’s right or wrong.”

And then there’s Bar-Hen’s flagship “proof” that Spain is soft on Muslim terrorism: the fact that the government wouldn’t suppress the free travel of Leila Khaled, a Palestinian refugee who nearly 50 years ago helped hijack an airplane (hurting no one) and who wanted, to the horror of people like Rabbi Bar-Hen, to attend a book festival in Spain this year. This showed that Spanish authorities “do not understand the nature of terrorism, if they treat it as an action by the disenfranchised,” the rabbi told JTA.

Got it? In Bar-Hen’s world, a Palestinian woman who was driven out of her native Haifa at the age of 4 can’t possibly be “disenfranchised.” And any country that would dream of allowing a small-time Palestinian resistance fighter to set foot in it, five decades after her last illegal act – the same country having already welcomed the likes of Shimon Peres, the butcher of Qana and eager backer of apartheid South Africa – should be ashamed of itself. That is, if its moral standard is all about what’s good for the Empire.

Which, in a word, is Bar-Hen’s standard.

Taken separately, each one of Bar-Hen’s remarks amounts to pure stupidity. But their sum total is something rather more sinister. Bar-Hen may be a blithering idiot, as I called him a moment ago, but what am I to call a man who scorns the mayor of Barcelona for saying, after the tragic car-ramming deaths in her city, that “Barcelona is a city of peace,” and that “[t]error will not make us stop being who we are: a brave city open to the world”?

Bar-Hen thought so little of that fine statement that he said he might not attend the public solidarity rally called by the mayor, claiming security officials instructed him to avoid public areas in the coming days – because he is recognizably Jewish.

Rabbi, I doubt you’ll read this column. But if you do, I’m calling your bluff. I want to know which “security officials” told you it’s not safe for a Jew with a skullcap to be seen in the streets of Barcelona, though it’s apparently quite safe for Muslims to show themselves, even immediately after a terrible crime has been blamed on someone in their community, and even with the likes of you whipping up public hysteria against them all. I want to know what entitles you to claim victimhood at the same time you incite violence against roughly a billion people worldwide. I want to know why Leila Khaled’s 50-year-old violence is reprehensible to you, while Israel’s continuing brutality is not.

And I want to tell you something, Rabbi. You’re not losing “Europe.” What you’re losing is your mind – your ability to reason, to ground your opinions in fact, to guide your congregants with truth rather than propaganda.

And you’re losing something else, too: your common decency. Because behind your stupidity is, as I’ve shown, a corrupt agenda every Jew, let alone a rabbi, should repudiate. Because when you sell out to imperial power, you cease to be a religious leader and become one more toady to the powers that be. Because inciting hatred against an already demonized people puts you squarely, and exclusively, in the ranks of vulgar propagandists.

And this is one Jew who isn’t going to let rabbis like you forget how utterly, in a moment of crisis, you morally betrayed and abandoned us all.

Hour before the Dawn

[ Ed. note – Another poem by Palestinian poet Nahida Izzat. Nahida is a Muslim. As I read her poem, however, it brings to mind for me, strangely perhaps, the following spoken by Jesus after the resurrection: “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The words are from the very last line, in the final verse, in the final chapter, of the Gospel of Matthew.

Indeed, we seem to be fast approaching the end of an age. As Nahida puts it, “Earth is throbbing/The avalanche is fast approaching.” The poem also contains suggestions of a soul preparing to make the journey from life into the afterlife: “Raise your gaze up to the sky/Note the signs to your dwelling place.” Yet worth remembering is that in the post-apocalyptic age to come, heaven and earth will merge. This is the case in Christian theology, at any rate, and I suspect Islam probably has its parallel.

In any event, when I read poetry like this I tend to become convinced that it is the Palestinians (and certainly not the Khazars!!! ) who are the true descendants of the earliest followers of Jesus. Christians should consider that we potentially have far more in common with Muslims than we do with Jews. ]

 

Hour before the Dawn

* * *

Earth is throbbing in curious anticipation

The avalanche is fast approaching

People dazed in deep sleep

Some eyes are peeled as if they know

* * *
* * *

Time to retreat, weary soul

Time to retreat

Rest in a niche where Light descends

Hand it all over to the One Supreme

Carve a hole in your heart, braid your loved ones in

One by one

* * *

* * *

O soul

Put your temporary house in order

Clean up the mess before the storm

Pluck up the weeds and plow the soil

Scatter the seeds for those to come

Give it back better than you received

Stunning… Atrociously beautiful

Humbly put your head down and pray

A modest sign of ample gratitude

* * *

* * *

Raise your gaze up to the sky

Note the signs to your dwelling place

Adorn the garden of your home eternal

Let love flow free, let kindness prevail

Follow your soul, she knows the way

Let her guide you to your heavenly abode

Beneath the Throne of a Gracious Lord

Gaze in amazement at the glorious sight

Wither to nothingness before the Majesty

Splendour no eye had ever seen

* * *

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