Residential schools are a stain on Canada’s history that won’t be erased simply by appointing an indigenous Governor General

moi

July 30, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Governor General, Mary Simon, has spoken of reconciliation and moving forward. But such talk is meaningless until Canada owns up to the extent of its crimes against the indigenous peoples.

Recently, I wrote about the sudden emergence of media attention to the horrific issue of the Canada-wide “residential schools”, where starvation, torture, sexual and physical and mental abuse were rife.

In spite of this being raised for decades, and largely ignored in media, recent months has seen interest rise around the globe and suddenly the news awash with reports on the mass graves of native children interned at those institutions.

After publishing my thoughts on the matter, I received an email from Roland Chrisjohn, a PhD-educated clinical psychologist. He is also a professor heading the Native Studies department at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

His email was lengthy, for good reason. For decades, he has been, “fighting to get these issues in front of the public. And I admit it has been frustrating.”

Following our email correspondence, I spoke with Dr. Chrisjohn.

I was contacted in about 1986 by the Caribou Tribal Council in Williams Lake, British Columbia. One of the First Nations in the Council was Alkalai Lake, which had experienced a lot of deaths and suicides. They attributed that to the fact they had a 97% alcoholism rate, including children as young as 10 years old.”

At some point, Chrisjohn said, local women decided to fight this, in just a few years radically tipping the scale to 97% sobriety.

Like many who drink, they had good reasons to, Chrisjohn said. “It was a form of self medication, to forget what happened to them in the Williams Lake residential schools.”

He went on to describe a nearly three-year-long study conducted by residents of Williams Lake, with his guidance, and published in 1991, “Faith Misplaced: Lasting Effects of Abuse in a Native Community.”

It’s still the only real study of the lasting effects of residential schools. Everything else in the literature is simply reminisces of individual people, autobiographies, not data.”

According to Chrisjohn, the Caribou Tribal Council wanted to expand the study, and needed funding to do so.

The Catholic Church, he said, agreed to help with funding, “if the Council & nations would sign an agreement that there would be no litigation, no charges brought, no suing of the Catholic Church. She quite naturally decided to walk away from that agreement. This was the late 1980s, the church was already covering up what it knew would be a problem.”

When the Council didn’t agree, Chrisjohn said, the Church succeeded in disrupting the study by calling potential participants and threatening excommunication.

We finally got 187 people. We were targeting 500 people (in the study). The Church pulled the plug as best they could.”

In 1993, Chrisjohn was contacted by The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), to conduct a psychological and social study which he noted, never intended to address residential schooling; in fact, they were quite explicit about not conducting any kind of investigation of it.”

Chrisjohn explained that eventually he wrote The Circle Game, a book rejecting the predominant narrative that the schools were, “a well-intentioned mistake, that had caused Indians to come down with ‘residential school syndrome’, which (3) modern western psychiatrists, psychologists, and (especially) social workers could (and would) cure (for lots of money), and which (4) would clear up all the muss and fuss that was associated with Canada’s long history with Indian residential schooling.”

While, according to Chrisjohn, the feedback was “it is brilliant”, and an executive summary was requested, after providing it, he never heard officially from any member of the RCAP.

Not merely neglect, but torture

I asked Professor Chrisjohn about torture, having previously come across articles detailing grotesque methods employed at residential schools to discourage indigenous children from speaking their language and retaining their culture.

He spoke of a native man named Fred he had interviewed, who when he was a child said a word in a native language. The nuns stuck a knitting needle through his tongue, which he had to endure all day, to make an example of him for speaking in a native language.

He spoke of children in Fort Albany, northeastern Ontario, being tortured with electric shocks.

What could a kid have done to force you as a disciplinarian to electrocute their genitals?”

Lest this seem one-sided, I refer to other sources incriminating the Canadian government and churches for their role in torture and murder of indigenous peoples.

A recent article by Quebec-based journalist, Robin Philpot, cited former Chief Medical Officer of the Department of the Interior—responsible for the health of Indigenous children in the residential schools—Dr. P.H. Bryce, who became an early whistle-blower, publishing as early as 1922 about the crimes against indigenous kids.

At the time, Tuberculosis was rampant, and Bryce was attempting to bring attention to it.

Philpot wrote: “In the residential schools, the death rates were devastating, continually on the rise. The Indigenous population was plummeting each year because of tuberculosis, but each of Dr. Bryce’s reports was snuffed out. Worse yet, representatives of the Indian Affairs Department did everything possible to prevent Bryce from speaking out in public.”

According to Chrisjohn, the Tuberculosis epidemic was portrayed as an issue of natives being genetically predisposed to getting.

Tuberculosis is exacerbated by nutritional deficiency. “If you don’t get sufficient protein in your diet [and the bacteria which causes it is present], you will get it,” Chrisjohn told me. “When you’re feeding children desiccated, five-year-old, oatmeal with ground up cardboard added to it as filler, when you give that to native kids, they’re not getting B vitamins, not getting adequate nutrition, then they come down with Tuberculosis.”

Why the poor-quality oatmeal?

Indian agents were given a per capita budget. Anything that they don’t spend out of the budget, they get to keep. So while they had enough money to buy real oatmeal, dessicated oatmeal is free. It appears on the books as oatmeal. And the Indians die.”

He referred to a book written on the matter, “Enough to keep them alive,” noting that was the instruction given to an Indian Agent. “Enough to keep them alive, that’s what your job is. As long as we can deny that we actually killed them, then we’re good.”

I can’t continue without noting this reminds me of the strikingly similar Israeli policy of drastically limited imports into Gaza, to enforce a starvation diet, something revealed by Israeli journalist Amira Hass.

A 1998 report submitted to The Law Commission of Canada cites a number of researchers, including Chrisjohn. It begins:

Several generations of native people over the past one hundred and fifty years attended residential schools. Many children were subjected to horrific physical and sexual abuse, sometimes lasting over periods of year, and many of them died. Far more children experienced a standard level of brutality, in an environment characterised by forced labour, poor and inadequate food, harsh discipline, little or no medical attention, the absence of family and community ties, and a complete lack of emotional nurturing.”

Citing Chrisjohn, the report’s section on abuses includes highlighting: “forced sexual intercourse between men or women in authority and girls and/or boys in their charge; Forced oral-genital or masturbatory contact between men or women in authority and girls and/or boys in their charge; Arranging or inducing abortions in female children impregnated by men in authority; Sticking needles through the tongues of children, often leaving them in place for extended periods of time; Inserting needles into other regions of children’s anatomy; Burning or scalding children; beating children to the point of inflicting serious permanent or semi-permanent injuries, including broken arms, broken legs, broken ribs, fractured skulls, shattered eardrums; Using electric shock devices on physically restrained children; Forcing sick children to eat their own vomit…”

And, according to that report, beatings were administered with “Leather and rubber straps (used on children as young as four years old); Straps with tacks, nails, or wires embedded in them; Studded belts; Whips…”

As for the accusations of genocide, it noted: “Knowledge of the genocidal intent of the colonisers is well entrenched in aboriginal consciousness, but is still unknown and unrecognised by the larger Canadian public.”

Media silence, empty words

Chrisjohn’s work has now been noticed but, in general, the media has been predictably silent, save the recent flareups.

Following our interview, he commented in an email that the news has already gone completely dead on this, after inundating us with “’tragedy’, ‘healing’ (healing the dead? they’re going to get better?), and a ‘new page’ (aren’t we skipping huge sections of a book no one has been allowed to read?).”

And, he rightly noted that while there was talk of “healing” there was, “no discussion of the pursuit of justice.

As for justice, as complicated as it might seem, the first step is fairly straightforward.

My ninth recommendation in The Circle Game is: come clean. Stop temporizing, stop evading, stop covering up. Covering up is a crime as big as the crime. You’re an accessory after the fact.”

Back to our initial correspondence, Chrisjohn wrote, “You ask, ‘why this is happening only now?’ Short answer, based on my experience: it had been systematically suppressed and misdirected.”

Indeed.

I asked his opinion about the recent Governor General appointment of Mary Simon.

It is symbolic.”

I have to agree thus far. When appointed, she spoke about the need to balance the “tension of the past” with the “promise of the future,” and vowed to carry out her work with “humility and purpose.”

Words are cheap, and untold number of indigenous are waiting for actions, justice, not more words.

RELATED:

Media is FINALLY covering immense crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada that were known about DECADES ago. So why now?

-Roland Chrisjohn’s writings

One Racism; One World

Bouthaina Shaaban

2 Aug 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Bouthaina Shaaban

Any wrong or racist attitude may eclipse the truth for some time, but it cannot do so forever.

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Syrian sculptor, Rami Wakkaf

When the black movement in the US raised the motto “Black Lives Matter”, after the killing of George Floyd, the rest of the world should have joined by raising the motto “human lives matter”. So many people in different countries in the world have forgotten that they belong to one human race and one human family, either due to the colors of their skins and eyes, or due to the advanced positions their countries have reached in different domains. Amidst the hard competition we witness among people in different areas, it may well suit some to discriminate against others and belittle their achievements in order to get them out of their way. Athletes competing for medals are perhaps the most exposed to this kind of racism, which lately started to infect unusual territories, such as education and art, which until recently were thought to be totally safe from such practices. 

As London Art Biennale is a huge landmark for artists from all over the world, it is important to relate here to our dear readers an important incident that has taken place in 2021 London Art Biennale. The Syrian sculptor, Rami Wakkaf, responded to the invitation to participate in this Biennale by sending two of his works, which were very well received and bought almost immediately by the Biennale. Accordingly, he applied for a visa to attend the event, but of course he was not granted a visa because he is Syrian. 

After waiting patiently for the art judges, Rami was told that one of his works has got the prize for the best sculpture in the Biennale. Of course, he was very happy and excited and put the happy item on his Facebook and received congratulations and requests for media interviews. 

The next day, and perhaps after the Committee was reminded that he is Syrian, and no need to say that Syria is subjected to coercive US measures, he received a second email, which read that “the vote was very close, and during the jury recount, the artwork by Jason Briggs won that particular prize by one vote,” expressing sincere apologies for the mistake. 

Is it possible that the first email, which was sent to inform Rami Wakkaf that his work won the first prize, was sent before the final counting of the votes and before a final decision was made by the committee to choose this work? There is no doubt that the works of Rami Wakkaf would outlive the Committee’s decision and would receive the attention and celebration they are worthy of. 

Any wrong or racist attitude may eclipse the truth for some time, but it cannot do so forever. Racism is the antithesis of everything human, creative, and exceptional. 

It is the tool of those who fail to achieve and to appreciate the excellence of the achievements of others, and always for the wrong reasons. 

People in our region never used to believe that such things may happen in a Western country as they have an exaggerated idea of the absolute moral behavior of the West. But as means of communication are bridging distances, the truth is closer at hand. 

The West cannot indulge in racist practices, whilst keeping its moral superiority or its claims that it provides criteria for human behavior and ethics. It has to choose one or the other, or the choice will be made anyway. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Dr. Roland Chrisjohn on the barbaric “residential schools” & Canada’s coverup of murder & torture within

moi

 

Eva Bartlett

After I wrote about media finally covering the horrific issue of “residential schools”, I was contacted by Roland Chrisjohn, who is Onyota’a:ka of the Haudenaushaunee (Oneida of the Six Nations Confederacy), originally from the Oneida of the Thames reserve in southern Ontario and now living/working in New Brunswick.Chrisjohn is a clinical psychologist and a university Professor. He heads the Native Studies department at St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

He author of numerous studies and books, notably “The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada.”

Related:

“The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada.” (also here)

-Media is FINALLY covering immense crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada that were known about DECADES ago. So why now?

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/528360-crimes-indigenous-canada-children/

The People and the Unpeople: At home and abroad

The People and the Unpeople: At home and abroad

JULY 17, 2021

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

“The weak and ill-constituted shall perish: first principle of our philanthropy. And one should help them to do so … What is more harmful than any vice? Active sympathy for the ill-constituted and weak.’’ (1)

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Friedrich Nietzsche 1872

The Beast awakens – Second Time Around

Such were the sentiments – customarily referred to by Charles Darwin as the ‘’survival of the fittest’’ and of Friedrich Nietzsche’s worldview (see above); and moreover these are to all intents and purposes the unstated and philosophical stance of the incumbent ruling elites in the west. This is a dialogue delineating an unapologetic and ruthless amoral agenda presently emerging from the salons, studios and lecture halls and presently doing the rounds in the usual media and academic outlets. This project entails what is essentially a cultural revolution, a revolution sui generis; a massive project involving the construction of a fundamentally new order imposed from above and to be realised through a ‘Great Reset’. But this reset is nothing new, it has been in a long incubation period and even tolerated a qualified democracy; although this democracy never sat easily alongside the oligarchic elites; moreover, even this minimal democracy was to become an increasing irritant which finally has to be done away with. This has been a long struggle for elite hegemony, and these are early days to make any provisional assessment of these developments which are yet to play out.

Philosophical and Political déjà vu

What we can say, however, is that the origins of these theoretical roots (basically fascism) go back well-beyond the 20th century and into the late 19th. At that time (and to a lesser extent in ours) there has always been a general philosophical drift which was always an unquestionably right-wing, romantic-reactionary movement. It should be borne in mind, however, that it often contained a justifiable disappointment with bourgeois democracy, a disillusioned and sometimes relatively forward-looking experience of its social limitations. Let us recall Anatole France’s mockery of democratic equality before the law, magisterially prohibiting rich and poor alike from sleeping under the Parisian arches. On a more serious note there were the novels of Honoré De Balzac and his unforgettable quote in his novel Per Goriot: ‘’Corruption is powerful in the World: talent is scarce. So corruption is the instrument of swarming mediocrity, and you will feel its point everywhere.’’ Other French writers Zola, Stendhal, Flaubert et al. All also drew attention to the squalid reactionary swamp of French and by extension the rest of Europe’s bourgeois society and its ‘culture’.

Imperial Echoes

During the 19th and well into the 20th centuries there was a characteristic mixture of accurate criticism and muddled reactionary tendencies which were also to be observed in the writings and drama of George Bernard Shaw, together with his view of imperial rule – i.e., the white man’s burden – in Britain’s far-flung empire: He shamelessly opined that ‘’Good government is better than self-government.’’ Moreover, his literary side-kick, H.G.Wells’ eugenic disposition went even further, noting that ‘’ … those swarms of black and brown, and dirty white, and yellow who do not come into the new needs of ‘efficiency’ were self-evidently otiose. The world is a world and not a charitable institution, and I take it that they will have to go. The whole tenor and meaning of the world as I see it, is that they will have to go.’’ Yes, indeed British imperialism was leading the field culling the colonial unpeople and being closely followed by the French, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese and Americans. (2)

Additionally, the leading Fabians of that time the Webbs (Beatrice and Sidney), writing in the New Statesman exhibited an unspoken assumption of white racial superiority vis-à-vis the ‘non-adult’ races … what caused them particular concern were the differential birth rates between the races which logically implied that the white races were (from their point of view) in danger of being swamped by the non-white multitudes whose capacity and aptitude for the sort of civilization which Mr and Mrs Webb had in mind; this seemed to be wanting when comparison was made with the ‘higher races’. Even more worrying was the possibility of large-scale interbreeding which the Webbs regarded as a grave threat to western civilization.’’ (3) Such was the late 19th century imperial weltgeist. But of course the inhabitants of the colonial south were indeed the ‘unpeople’ to be viewed in the same way as domestic animals.

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(Rhodes statue – Oriel College Oxford)

Cecil Rhodes 1853-1902 was another important figure in the British imperial juggernaut and led expeditions which led to war in what became known as Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe); these were the Zulu wars, and later after his death in 1902 in South Africa, the Boer Wars. Rhodes was the leading figure in the British South Africa Chartered Company, (BSACC) and made no secret of his ambitions to plant the Union Jack in every African territory from Cape Town to Cairo. This was quite naked imperialism with strong overtones of a militant racialism.

One V.I.Lenin was to write in this connexion:

‘’In the most flourishing period of free competition in Great Britain between 1840 and 1860, the leading bourgeois politicians were opposed to a colonial policy and were of an opinion that the liberation of the colonies, their complete separation from Britain, was both inevitable and desirable. Benjamin Disraeli, a statesman (who twice served as UK Prime Minister) was generally inclined toward imperialism, declared: ‘’The colonies are millstones around our necks’’. But at the end of the 19th century the British heroes of the hour were Cecil Rhodes and Secretary of State for the Colonies, Joseph Chamberlain, who openly advocated imperialism and applied the imperialist policy in the most cynical manner.’’ (4)

Assuredly, British imperial policy was not without its critics of course. J.A.Hobson’s seminal work Imperialism: A Study, was first published in 1902 and was taken to be a definitive work on (British) imperialism. This along with Leonard Woolf (husband of the novelist, Virginia) wrote the classic study of imperialism: Empire and Commerce in Africa 1920. Lesser-known contributors included Leonard Barnes author of The New Boer War (1932) and Empire or Democracy (1939) who noted ironically, that ‘’no nation has ever colonised, annexed, or established a sphere of influence from motives of disinterested philanthropy toward a native people.’’ (5) It should be added that this imperial war machine policy was also applied in the United States during the Spanish-American wars which were by no means restricted to the US but stretched out to also encompass the Philippines. Moreover it should also be remembered that racism in the United States was probably even more toxic than that in Europe.

Democracy: Decline and Fall

However, in the non-English-speaking, world – primarily Europe and even more so in Germany – venomous political and philosophical irrationalist currents were to emerge from the depths of human consciousness and depravity and which were to give rise to the emergence of a new type of politics and culture -namely the rise of fascist/nazi regimes in Italy, followed by Germany. The murderous policies of these movements and the ferocious hostility was to be particularly directed in Germany toward social, political and ethnic groups: socialists, communists, trade unionists, religious groups like Seventh Day Adventists, homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet POWs and of course Jews and others who had become Europe’s new unpeople. In earlier times such philosophical ramblings were products of those professors ensconced in their ivory towers of learning. Their ruminations were initially restricted to the academic elites. But in the fullness of time the culmination of these depraved doctrines became visible in the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald and Belsen. This was not supposed to happen in a civilized society or even Europe, and all the overblown claims to, and obsession with, ‘scientific status’ of much 19th century thought – From Bentham to Marx – rested ultimately upon one article of faith: the belief in the innate rationality of man. Predictably this particular weltgiest with its attendant political cockpit produced an irrationalist backlash in the later 19th and earlier 20th century and moral ambience of the fin de siècle and those theorists who were in large part responsible for bringing it about – Sorel, Nietzsche, Freud and Pareto, for example – as well as the experience of the 20th century which was to cast doubt on what was always a piece of question-begging.

‘’In this connexion, German philosophy in the imperialist age proceeded, as we shall see, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Oswald Spengler and later in the Weimar period from Spengler to Fascism. If we stress this spadework by German philosophy from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche onwards, it might be objected that we are dealing with esoteric doctrines which circulated within quite small groups. We believe on the contrary, that one must not underestimate the indirect, subterranean effect on the masses of the fashionable reactionary ideologies analysed so far. These effects were not limited to the direct influence of these philosophers’ actual books, although it should be remembered that editions of the works of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche certainly never reached many tens of thousands. But by universities, public lectures and the press, et cetera these ideologies also spread to the broadest masses – needless to say in a coarsened form, but this strengthened rather than weakened their reactionary content, their ultimate irrationalism and pessimism, since the central ideas now received greater attention at the expense of qualifying statements. Through such ideologies the masses can be intensively corrupted without ever glimpsing the immediate source of the corruption. Nietzsche’s barbarising of the instincts his vitalism* his ‘heroic pessimism’ and so forth which were the necessary products of the imperialist age, and his speeding up of the process operated on the minds of tens of thousands of people who had never even heard of Nietzsche.(6)

Democracy or Empire?

But the external wars against those ‘lesser breeds without the law’ – Rudyard Kipling – came home to roost in the imperial heartlands, albeit with many centuries in the making. The methods used by the Athenians came back to be used against their own populace – now the unpeople – which eventuated in the decline of the Athenian state itself. As Pericles noted: ‘’It is right and proper for you to support the imperial dignity of Athens … But do not imagine that what we are fighting for is simply a question of freedom and slavery: there is also involved the loss of our empire and the dangers arising from the hatred which we have incurred in administering it. Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire, though there may be some people in the mood of sudden panic and in a spirit of political apathy who think that this would be a fine and noble thing to do. Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go.’’ (7) The Athenian city state seems to have had its own cadre of neo-cons, but the outcome would be the same today as it was then: decline and fall.

Conclusions:

At the present time it is something of a cliché to say that the world is experiencing a crisis of huge dimensions, as the economic political and geopolitical tectonic plates simultaneously collide. Both domestic and economic policies are now subsumed under the all-encompassing global disaster, particularly in the West and Global South. When the everything bubble blew up in 2020, it arrived like an economic volcano, and the decline of the American century became manifest and spread to Europe which is presently threshing about like a landed salmon. Euro/American weaknesses are both internal and external and are becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to turn around. Moreover, its chief allies in Europe are at a loss and appear to be being dragged into the political/economic maelstrom. This is bad enough but given the wretched performance of the Atlanticist elites who seem to be living in a bygone age, the future of the Atlanticist bloc becomes increasingly problematic.

Additionally, the emergence of the Sino-Russian alliance casts an ominous shadow – both geopolitically and economic – over a corrupt and declining west. This not just a matter of concern to the imperialist bloc but also and of crucial importance as a beacon of light to the Global South with the Chinese sponsored Belt and Road Initiative. Nemesis not only seems to have arrived but is actually knocking at the door.


NOTES

Vitalism: Vitalism is the belief that “living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things”

(1) Friedrich Nietzsche – The Anti-Christ – p115 – paragraph 2.

(2) H.G.Wells – Anticipations – London 1918 – p.317.

(3) New Statesman -The Guardianship of the Non-Adult Races and the Great Alternative – August 2, 20 1913. – Quoted in Fabianism and Colonialism – Francis Lee – p.189.

(4) V.I.Lenin – Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism – Moscow 1920 – pp. 15, 75, 88, 96, 100.

(5) Critics of Empire: 1902-1919

(6) Georg Lukacs – The Destruction of Reason – p.84

(7) Speech by Pericles – 430 BC – The History of the Peloponnesian War – Thucydides.

New Symbolic Role for the Israeli Flag

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

(23 February 2021)

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Flying the Israeli Flag

During the January 6 insurrection, hardly any of the U.S. media took note of the following fact: amongst the signs and banners of rightwing organizations—the “South will rise again” Confederate states enthusiasts, the fascist-like Rambo militias, and the disparate run-amok MAGA maniacs—stood a very large Israeli flag.

If you are looking for comment and contextualization of this appearance, the best place to go is the Israeli progressive web-based magazine, 972.  There you will find a very good piece, dated 22 January 2021, by Ben Lorder. 

Lorder explains that the presence of the Israeli flag in this milieu is not a rarity. “It is hardly the first time,” he tells us. It has also shown up at “Straight Pride parades and pro-Trump car caravans.” Indeed, according to Lorder, “for the ascendant forces of right-wing populism in the United States and around the world … support for Israel takes on a special intensity.” Now, why would that be so? Not exactly for progressive and humanitarian reasons. It would seem that for the rightwing hate-groups presently feeling their time has come, “Israel has become a symbol for a set of values, an entire worldview. … A canvas to project their own fantasies of nationalist chauvinism.”

Interestingly, this rightwing admiration is limited to the Israeli state, which is seen as powerful, aggressive and xenophobic—all necessary qualities for the defense of the Caucasian West against “ethno-religious Others.” This admiration does not extend to diaspora Jews, because American and European rightwing revival is also anti-Semitic. This situation makes for strange bedfellows. Most of these rightist ideologues share the Zionist hope that all those diaspora Jews will pack up and leave—for Israel. 

Part II—Making the Identification—the Israeli State

One might raise the objection that this identification of a demonstrably racist Western rightwing movement with the Israeli state is a serious misinterpretation—resulting in a misappropriation of the Israeli flag. Israel just can’t be the fiercely xenophobic place these fanatics think it is. 

Unfortunately, this objection runs counter to the facts. There is abundant evidence the State of Israel is aggressive and xenophobic and, what is more, is willing to ally with the present Western rightwing movements. The flag, of course, comes along for the ride. For instance, in a Washington Post article by Ishaan Tharoor, entitled “Israel strengthens its ties with the West’s Far Right,” the author notes that “Under [Prime Minister] Netanyahu’s watch, Israel has amassed a conspicuous crop of illiberal allies. Some, like [Italy’s Matteo] Salvini and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, represent political movements with histories of neofascism and anti-Semitism. Others, like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, espouse the agenda and rhetoric of would-be strongmen, promising the destruction of their enemies while scoffing at pearl-clutching human rights activists.” 

This has not gone unnoticed among American Zionists such as Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the Jewish American group 

J Street. Ben-Ami said that “In their zeal to maintain the occupation and reject all criticism of its policies towards the Palestinians, the Israeli Right clearly feels kinship with other ultranationalist leaders who are demonizing ethnic minorities, civil society groups and democratic institutions.”

Finally, one can point out that Prime Minister Netanyahu has hired Aaron Klein as his new campaign manager. Klein is a “former reporter for the right-wing Breitbart News site [and] worked with Steve Bannon on Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign. … Klein also collaborated with Bannon to support disgraced former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of sexually assaulting multiple women. The Yeshiva University graduate wrote articles in Breitbart in an effort to discredit Moore’s accusers.”  All one can say here is like finds like.

Part III—Making the Identification—the Israeli Jews

Yet, one can still raise a doubt. One can say that just because the Israeli government has gained racist allies who support its policies of ethnic cleansing, that does not mean that the majority of Israeli Jews are supportive of this. But again, the evidence is incriminating. After all, Israeli Jews democratically elect their prime minister and Netanyahu is certainly not an unknown politician. He leads the country’s rightwing Likud Party and has run the government since 2009. Obviously, he and his policies are both familiar and acceptable to at least a hefty plurality of Israeli Jews. Perhaps as a result of this fact, few Israelis are making a fuss about the use of their flag by the extremist right. 

Nonetheless, it is important to understand that the present Israeli ethnocentrism and the racist policies it engenders are not new. They do not have their origin with Benjamin Netanyahu’s time in office, or the current generation of Israeli Jewish citizens. The present culture and politics have a deeper origin. It lies with the nation’s founding ideology of Zionism.

Part IV—Zionism Sets the Direction

Let’s take a look at Israel’s founding ideology and the factors that historically shaped it in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

First: Zionism is the ideology that makes the claim that the Jews are a nation and they have the right to their own state. It arose as a predictable consequence of long periods of European (not Middle Eastern, Arab or Muslim) anti-Semitism. It also arose out of a 19th- and 20th-century European political culture wherein the standard organizational arrangement was nation-states, most of which were relatively homogeneous in population.  

Second: As a consequence of this political standard, the Zionist leaders concluded that the answer to the suffering caused by anti-Semitism was the creation of a Jewish state.

As the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann said, the goal was a state “as Jewish as England is English.” By the end of the 19th century, the World Zionist Organization had launched a campaign to convince Europe’s great powers to support the founding of such a state.

Third: The open question was where such a state would be founded. Although, most of the Zionists were not religious, they eventually fixated on Palestine because of its Biblical relationship to the ancient Hebrews. By 1917, in the midst of World War I, Chaim Weizmann managed to recruit British backing for the founding of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine.

Fourth: And “therein lies the rub,” as Hamlet would say. The mass influx of Europeans, in this case Jews, into a well-populated non-European land—according to British Mandate records, there were some 700,000 Arabs living in Palestine—presaged disaster. The fact that these Zionist immigrants sought domination, ultimately a state for one group alone, would inevitably introduce a corrosive racist element into the country. The indigenous population would eventually have to be segregated out and denied resources and rights—a process, which over time, would lead to an apartheid state of affairs. 

The fact that this predictable path discouraged neither the Zionist Jews nor their British patrons tells us that, when Weizmann made his deal with the British, it was done in a time and place operating on the racist assumptions of colonialism. Indeed, it turns out that Israel is the last great disaster of the age of colonialism—an age in which Europeans took their superiority (both physically and religiously) for granted. And, if they lorded over non-Europeans it could only be for the benefit of the latter, as was suggested by Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden.” All of this was shown to be both obsolete and obscene with the coming of the Nazis and World War II.

Fifth: The racist prognosis described above has been realized in Israel. Here is a snapshot of the present situation. B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human-rights organization, has been documenting the violations of human rights in Israel’s Judea and Samaria (more properly known as the occupied Palestinian territories) since 1989. Earlier this month, it issued a position paper announcing that it has decided to call out Israeli policy for what it is—organized, state-sponsored racism. The paper is titled “A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This Is Apartheid.” The paper makes the case that “what looks like apartheid—which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines as inhumane acts committed under a regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups—ought to be called apartheid.”

Sixth: Present-day Israel came about in a predetermined way flowing from Zionism’s initial assumptions. In the first half of the 20th century, Europe and the United States saw nothing wrong with colonialism and helped the Zionists establish a Jewish national home in Palestine. Then came World War II, and the West’s attitude toward racism changed. Yet, in the shadow of the Holocaust, now stood Israel, whose leaders were convinced more than ever that only an ethnocentric, exclusively Jewish nation-state could guarantee survival. So their original purpose and their original racist practice never has changed.

Part V—Conclusion

The resulting apartheid state has attracted the rising wave of today’s rightist fringe like bears to honey. Whether they are white nationalists, Christian nationalists, or just nationalist thugs in suits, they all sense something laudable in Israel. It is a standard-bearer for their own hopes and dreams. To repeat Ben Lorder’s phrasing, the Zionist state has become “a canvas to project their own fantasies of nationalist chauvinism.” As a consequence, the Israeli flag is no longer just Israel’s. Its symbolism has become broader in an all-too-negative way. That is why it was so avidly displayed at the failed insurrection of January 6. 

The ‘Western’ Racist Roots of Israeli Apartheid

by Jeremy Salt

Source

Palestinian phoenix 4510c

Joe Biden supports a two-state solution to the ‘Palestine problem’. Well, first of all, it never was a Palestine problem. It was a  zionist problem, leading to the colonization and takeover of Palestine by a settler minority. 

Second, the two-state solution is a chimera. Israel is not interested and by supporting a two-state solution that is a delusion,  Biden is actually supporting the continuation of a policy of no solution. In fact, his bogus two-state solution is no more than a mask drawn over the face of his real policy, of continuing lavish support for Israel whatever it does. The one issue Biden does have to face is the Israeli threat to attack Iran if he dares to take the US back into the nuclear agreement breached by Trump. We have to wait to see how he works this out.   

By themselves, the Palestinians have never counted for less in the strategic and political calculations of the zionists. They are treated as a defeated people who should have surrendered long ago and true, the zionists have never been stronger at the material level,  the Palestinians never weaker. 

Only the Palestinians have the right to decide what to do next in the current calamitous situation, but friends can make suggestions and an obvious one would be the need to reconstitute themselves as a national community, building tactical and strategic consensus, before going any further.

In the absence of a two-state solution, the pendulum swings back to one state, either one  Jewish national state or one state for all.  This second aspiration takes the issue back to the 1960s and the one secular state advanced at that time by the PLO.

This soon foundered on the reef of zionist ideology, which from the beginning was based on a Jewish state established over all of Palestine.  That was the whole point of taking the land in the first place: it was a delusion to think the zionists would ever accept anything less than a Jewish state.  Israel’s extended dissembling over the past two decades has merely enabled what was intended,  its colonization of east Jerusalem and the West Bank to reach the point of what many believe to be irreversibility.   

Irreversibility has no meaning in history, of course. The examples are too numerous even to bother proving the point but apparent irreversibility manifested in the 600,000 settlers occupying East Jerusalem and the West Bank has led many Palestinians back to the idea of  one state for all across all of Palestine. 

The pooling of resources in one state with equal rights for Jews, Muslims and Christians (and anyone else) is an attractive and sensible option, of course,  even with all the immense practical difficulties that such an idea entails, beginning with acceptance of the right to return of Palestinians (and their heirs) to the places they came from,  taken over by Jewish settlers in 1948/9 as illegally as the settlers living in east Jerusalem or the West Bank since 1967.

However, even if all this could be sorted out theoretically (and a new name devised for this shared land),  the Jews of today’s Israel do not want it any more than their forebears did.   

For secular Jews living in pre-1967 Israel/occupied Palestine,  the ‘right’ of Israel to exist as a Jewish state is the rock of their collective existence:   for religious Jews living in the territories taken in 1967,  God’s mandate and not Israel’s ‘right’ to exist explains their position but the two positions dovetail in the belief of the necessity of a Jewish state, across all if not most of Palestine.

Just as there were a handful of brave Afrikaners who fought white settler apartheid, so there have always been Jews who challenge zionist racism:  Judah Magnes and the small circle around him in the 1920s-40s who believed in a binational state,  Uri Avnery and the peaceniks in the 1960s and 1970s and currently,  the scholar Ilan Pappe and the journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy.  They expose the lies of the state and the endorsement of its crimes by the people but they represent a tiny minority, allowing the state and the people to shrug them off. 

The similarities between apartheid South Africa and apartheid Israel should not blind people into thinking that the outcome will be the same, that one day,  like the white settlers in South Africa,  the zionists will voluntarily see the error of their ways and change course. 

As far as we can see ahead, this would be another delusion. By 1990 the small white minority of South Africa had declined to about 13 percent of the total population.  Apart from the numbers, the apartheid regime was isolated internationally, with sanctions being imposed that spelled economic ruin: ultimately it had no choice but to give in to what was manifestly inevitable.    

By comparison, while the demographics continue to change against them all the time,  Jews still constitute about 50 percent of the population of Palestine between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. They still have sufficient numbers as well as the armed might for Israel to be able to put down any Palestinian challenge from inside.   

Furthermore,  there is little effective pressure on Israel from the ‘western’ world to change its ways.   BDS has damaged Israel,  but at the cost of a counter-reaction which has resulted in  Israel being given additional protection by the passage of anti-BDS measures by state legislatures across the US and by parliaments in Canada,  Britain, France and Germany.  The gains have been heavily offset by the cost.

The cash flow from the US continues undiminished,  and neither the UN as a collective body or any of its member governments seeks to restrain Israel in any serious way. Not only that,  but they give their fervent support to the charge of anti-semitism which Israel continues to use unscrupulously to destroy those who stand against its racism, the most recent high profile scalp being Jeremy Corbyn’s.

In such an environment of international indulgence,  with only notional marginal interest at home in a genuine one-state settlement, the Israeli government sees no need to change course.  It knows it can do virtually whatever it wants  without the ‘international community’ stepping forward to stand in its way.  Not even the killing of children on the West Bank or in Gaza have been sufficient to push it into making Israel pay for the consequences of its actions.   

Holocaust guilt helps to explain indulgence of Israel but so does the racism of the ‘west,’  past and present,  as manifested yet again by the recent slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Middle Eastern lands.

Far from generating absolute horror at such crimes,  these deaths count for little in the ‘western’ homeland.  Black lives in the US, Canada, or Australia might matter but black or brown lives destroyed in Iraq,  Syria,  Libya, Yemen,  Palestine and numerous other places count for very little in these same countries.

The deaths of 3000 people on 9/11 were widely described as a turning point.  By comparison, no episode of the mass killing of people of color has ever been described as a turning point in history. 

These deaths have little impact in the countries where they are decided:  the faces are faceless, the names nameless,  the features featureless,  the deaths not counted,  no more than an estimate if someone asks.    

There is no turning point for these victims of racist wars:  their world will continue to turn the same way it always has done.  Their deaths do not register because they are not exceptional  – as the deaths on 9/11 were –  but only the normal continuation of what has been going on for centuries in Latin America,  Africa, the Middle East and South-east Asia, with no end in sight even now, and one does not sit up and take notice of the normal.

The ending of these lives of unequal value at the hands of ‘western’ armies is ignored or quickly forgotten:  no-one in the ‘western’ homeland is ever held responsible, not the politicians launching the wars,  not the pilots firing the missiles, and not the media giving encouragement on the home front.

These two complementary forms of racism, zionist apartheid  on one hand and deeply imprinted  ‘western’ racism on the other,  have been fundamental to the success of Zionism from the beginning. 

With support continuing from the US at all levels,  and with the ‘international community’ reluctant to intervene,  it would be a delusion to think that Israel will one day voluntarily accept a genuine one-state settlement.  The great bulk of Jewish Israelis do not want it and the state will fight it tooth and claw if it ever becomes a serious threat (an extremely remote prospect at the moment).   

There are no signs that sufficient momentum can be developed to compel Israel to accept such a solution.  BDS is effective but only up to a certain point.  The ‘international community’ is not interested in challenging Israel in any meaningful way.  Arab governments never genuinely committed to the Palestine cause in the first place are now coming out of hiding and signing agreements with the enemy who never was. 

To see where any prospect of breaking this deadlock might lie, one has to look at the regional strategic situation as seen through Israeli eyes. The dominant feature in military circles is alarm, born not just of Israel’s failure to intimidate its enemies but the fact that they are stronger now than they were a decade ago. 

The exception is Syria, which has withstood the most determined attempt ever made to destroy an Arab government, has had to pay a terrible price in the loss of life and destruction of its towns and cities and is still battling armed takfiri groups in different parts of the country. It has to concentrate on its own recovery: there is not much else it can do at the moment but its strategic allies, Iran and Hizbullah, remain a standing cause of active preparation for war in Israel.

Inside their homeland, the Palestinians can be killed, bullied and beaten, and otherwise oppressed by a suffocating network of pseudo-legal ‘laws’ but Israel has no such control beyond Palestine’s borders. This external dimension of the Palestinian question –  as an Arab question, historically, politically, culturally, and geographically; as a Muslim question, with the enormous weight that this signifies; and as a human rights question that resonates around the world – has always represented the greatest threat to the zionist state,  as by themselves the Palestinians would never have been capable of overcoming the vast power wielded against them after 1918. 

Resistance to Israel by Iran and Hizbullah arises from the centrality of Palestine in Arab and Muslim consciousness.  They have paid heavily for their commitment but they have not backed off because,  to put it as it is understood in Iran and by Hizbullah, the cause is sacred. Their resistance is deeply principled,  something the ‘western’ homeland cannot allow itself to understand if Israel is to be defended,  but as much as they are demeaned and abused in the ‘western’ homeland as ‘terrorists’  it is they who have human rights and international law on their side,  not Israel.  

In this external form, from beyond Palestine’s borders, the Palestinian phoenix rises again from the ashes of its suffering to haunt its enemy.  An idea can be much harder to crush than a people, because it has to be countermanded by ideas and Israel has none in its armoury, at least not any good ones. 

In the event of another regional war, unfortunately, a probability more than a possibility, on the basis of all past experience, Iran and Hizbullah have the missile capacity to damage Israel well beyond anything it has ever experienced.

Only the trauma of such an experience is likely to push Israel in the direction of one state for everyone living in the land of Palestine,  with the doors of return opened to the refugees. This is clearly the common-sense solution, the humane solution, but it is not one that Israel is likely to embrace voluntarily.

هل «الدِّين لله والوطن للجميع» أم الوطن للأقوياء والأغنياء والدِّين للفقراء والمستضعفين؟

د. عصام نعمان

لعقود وأجيال كان الآباء والأمهات والمعلمون والأوصياء والأولياء يعظون الناس بعد كلّ منازعة دينية او فتنة طائفية بأنّ «الدِّين لله والوطن للجميع».

والحال انّ الله مصدرُ الدين والموحي به ليس بحاجة إليه، والوطن لم يكن لجميع المواطنين بل لقلّة منهم أقوياء ينعمون بموارده وخيراته ويمسكون بمقاليد حكمه وسلطاته، وانّ المتديّنين الفقراء والضعفاء صدّقوا مقولات الأقوياء والأغنياء ورضخوا لسلطانهم وجبروتهم أزماناً طويلة.

غير انّ مستنيرين أفذاذاً بين الضعفاء أقوياء في نفوسهم تصدّوا لذوي السلطة والثروة بأفكارٍ جريئة مضادة. واحد منهم، كارل ماركس، قال إنّ الدين أفيون الشعوب. آخرون من المتدينين المستنيرين ردّوا: بل الدين محرر الشعوب. ألم يحرر الإسلام العرب من جاهلية مقيتة طافحة بشرور التوحّش والاقتتال ووأد البنات، وقادهم الى رحاب الرحمة والسماحة والإيمان بوحدة الخالق الرحمن الرحيم؟

في صفوف كِلا الفريقين كان وما زال ثمة متطرفون لم يقتنعوا بنهج إقناع الآخرين بالموعظة والقدوة الحسنة. أرادوا اختصار الطريق الى الغاية المرتجاة باستعمال العنف. هكذا عانت البشرية من قادة حركات وحكام دول علمانية استعملوا العنف بوحشية فائقة. من أبرز هؤلاء في العصر الحديث موسوليني في إيطاليا وهتلر في ألمانيا وستالين في روسيا السوفياتية.

قبل العلمانيين المتوحّشين، مارس حكام متديّنون عنفاً وحشياً أشدّ في أزمان غابرة، وتفوّق عليهم في العصر الحديث متديّنون متعصّبون إسلامويون، أشهرهم «الدواعش» في كلّ زمان ومكان، لا سيما في العراق وسورية ولبنان.

الدافع إلى هذا الكلام ما قامت به أخيراً في فرنسا «ذئاب منفردة» من هجمات وحشية بإسم الإسلام إدّعت أنها ردّ على اخرى مماثلة قام بها افراد وجماعات استهدفت الرسول الأعظم (ص) بإهانات شنيعة متكرّرة.

وسائل الإعلام والتواصل الإجتماعي في الغرب الاوروبي والأميركي حاولت وتحاول إيهام الرأي العام بأنّ المذابح والهجمات الوحشية هي وقف على متطرّفين «جهاديين» مسلمين وحسب. والحال انّ المجرمين الأكثر توحّشاً في هذا المجال هم متطرفون بيض عنصريون كـأنديرز بريفك مرتكب المذبحة الرهيبة في النروج العام 2011، وبرينتون تارانت مرتكب مجزرة المسجد في نيوزيلندا العام 2019، وامثالهما كثر في أوروبا وأميركا.

في غمرة ظاهرة التوحش العالمية هذه تبرز حقائق ثلاث:

الأولى، انّ الغرب الأبيض العنصري، حكاماً وأفراداً، كان وما زال سبّاقاً في استعمال العنف لأغراض سياسية. ولماذا نذهب بعيداً ألم يتهم دونالد ترامب غريمته في انتخابات الرئاسة، وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية السابقة هيلاري كلينتون العام 2016، بأنها كانت وراء تمويل تنظيم «داعش» وحضّه على ضرب نظاميّ الحكم في العراق وسوريا لتقسيمهما، وانّ رسائل وتوجيهات لها جرى كشفها في الآونة الأخيرة؟

الثانية، وجود مسلمين كثر قاطنين في دول أوروبية معادين لحكوماتها ما ساعد المتطرفين منهم على شنّ هجمات عنف وتخريب داخل تلك الدول أو على مساعدة تنظيمات متطرفة على القيام بها.

الثالثة، انّ التوحش واستخدام العنف لأغراض سياسة ليسا وقفاً على دول ومسؤولين حكوميين بل أصبحا في زماننا ظاهرة مشتركة بين أفراد وحكومات لا ينشطون متواطئين بالضرورة بل يعملون باستقلالٍ عن بعضهم بعضاً.

الأصحّ القول إنّ بعض حكام دول الغرب الأوروبي والأميركي لجأ الى نشر ثقافة التمييز العنصري والكراهية ضدّ الإسلام والمسلمين ما أدّى الى تشرّب أفراد وجماعات هذه الثقافة العدائية وبالتالي إلى قيام بعض من هؤلاء، بإرادة ذاتية، باقتراف جرائم ومجازر ضدّ الآخر المسلم الذي بات في أذهانهم عدواً. لذا لا يُستبعَد البتة ان يكون الذي قتل الأبرياء الثلاثة في كنيسة نوتردام بمدينة نيس الفرنسية «ذئباً منفرداً»، بمعنى أنه تصرّف من تلقاء نفسه وليس بتواطؤ مع حكومة او جماعة في الخارج.

في ضوء ضلوع بعض مسؤولي دول الغرب الأوروبي والأميركي في ترسيخ ثقافة التمييز العنصري والكراهية للإسلام والمسلمين، تبدو دعوة شيخ الأزهر الشريف الى تشريع عهد اممي بتجريم المسّ بالأديان السماوية وبضرورة احترام مقدسات المؤمنين بها غير قابلةٍ لإستجابةٍ سريعة، خصوصاً من جانب رؤساء دولٍ منخرطين في سياسات عنصرية أو معادية للإسلام.

الى ذلك، ثمة تحدّ تجدُ فرنسا نفسها وحكومات تتعاون معها سياسياً واقتصادياً أنها مضطرة الى مواجهته قبل فوات الأوان. فالرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون كان زار لبنان مرتين وتمكّن من إقناع أمراء طوائفه المتصارعين بالتزام بنود مبادرته للإصلاح ومكافحة الفساد. لكن بعد الأحداث الدموية الأخيرة في بلاده أطلق ماكرون تصريحات فسّرها مسؤولو بعض التنظيمات الإسلامية في لبنان بأنها عدائية، فنظموا في معرض الردّ عليه تظاهرات تنديد حول السفارة الفرنسية.

أشدّ المحرجين هو سعد الحريري، المكلّف تأليف الحكومة الجديدة، اذ كان أعلن أنّ بيان حكومته العتيدة سيكون مبادرة ماكرون الإصلاحية. صحيح انّ قادة القوى السياسية لم يتفوّهوا بما يسيء الى الرئيس الفرنسي او الى مبادرته، لكن تعقيدات الوضع السياسي في لبنان وضحالة التفاهمات بين قادته السياسيين من جهة، واحتمال لجوء قوى خارجية الى التدخل مجدّداً في شؤونه الداخلية من جهة أخرى قد يتسبّب في وضع عقبات أمام الحريري وجهوده لتأليف الحكومة. ذلك كله حمل ماكرون على التصريح بأنه «يتفهّم مشاعر الذين اعترضوا وتألموا لنشر رسومٍ كاريكاتورية للنبي محمد».

يبقى ان يقتنع القادة السياسيون اللبنانيون بصدقٍ ويتصرفون بجدّية على أساس أنّ الدين والوطن للجميع وليسا حكراً للأقوياء والأغنياء أو امتيازاً على حساب حقوق الفقراء والمستضعفين.

_ نائب ووزير سابق

الإرهاب ليس إسلامياً

بثينة شعبان 

المصدر: الميادين نت

2 تشرين ثاني 00:0

عشرات الآلاف من الإرهابيين الذين عاثوا فساداً في سوريا قدموا من الدول الأوروبية
عشرات الآلاف من الإرهابيين الذين عاثوا فساداً في سوريا قدموا من الدول الأوروبية

لقد ضرب مئات الألوف من الإرهابيين، الذين قدِموا من أكثر من مائة دولة، أجزاءً مختلفةً من سوريا وساهموا في تدمير مؤسساتها ولكننا لم نتّهم دين أحد، ولا جنسية أحد منهم.

علّ الخطيئة الأكبر التي اقترفها الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون في تصريحاته المتوترة حول الأحداث الأخيرة في فرنسا هي تصريحه أن “بلادنا تعرضت لهجوم من الإرهاب الإسلامي”. وسواء أكانت هذه العبارة مقصودة أو ناجمة عن جهل أثرها وانعدام صحتها، فهي لا شك خطيرة جداً وفي هذا التوقيت بالذات، ليس على المسلمين فقط، وإنما على فرنسا وأوروبا اللّتين تتشاطران الهوية المسلمة مع  وجود عدد غير قليل من المواطنين المسلمين الذين أصبحوا فرنسيين وأوروبيين، بفعل الهجرة والولادة أو تبنّي الإسلام ديناً لهم، ولا أحد يستطيع إنكار ذلك عليهم. 

أما السبب الثاني فيكمن في خطورة ارتدادات هكذا تصريح. نحن أمام رئيس أوروبي خلط بين إجرامٍ يقوم به بعض المجرمين لأسبابهم الخاصة والمختلفة وبين جنسيتهم أو هويتهم الدينية، وإذا ما تمّ تعميم هذا الأمر على البقع الجغرافية التي يضرب فيها الإرهاب، لانتهينا إلى وجود إرهاب فرنسي وألماني وهولندي وبلجيكي ومسيحي ويهودي وبوذي.. والقائمة تطول. ولذلك فإنه من المحظور أن تُلصق تهمة الإرهاب بدينٍ أو جنسية فقط لأن أحد مرتكبي الجرائم الإرهابية ينتمي إلى هذا الدين أو هذه الجنسية. إنّ الدين والجنسية براء مما يقوم به الإرهابيون. 

لقد ضرب الإرهاب يا سيد ماكرون الجمهورية العربية السورية كأبشع ما تكون به الضربات والعدوان على شعب وتاريخ وحضارة وهوية ومؤسسات، ولكنّ أحداً في العالم لم يسمع جملة واحدة نَطق بها أي سوري، جملةٌ تتحدث عن إرهاب أوروبي أو مسيحي أو ما شابه ذلك لا سمح الله، فنحن ندرك أن هؤلاء الإرهابيين شذاذ آفاقٍ لا علاقة لهم بأي دين سماوي، وأخلاق الديانات السّمحة براء منهم. 

الأكثر من ذلك، إنّ عدداً لا بأس به من هؤلاء كانوا أوروبيين وعدداً منهم كانوا فرنسيين ويتكلمون الفرنسية ويمثلون بالجثث على الأرض السورية وهم يهللون للقتل بلغتهم الفرنسية. ومع ذلك، لم نسمع ولم يسمع العالم تصريحاً سورياً واحداً يتحدّث عن إرهابٍ فرنسي أو إرهابٍ أوروبي رغم أن الأبحاث الموضوعية تُثبت أن عشرات الآلاف من الإرهابيين الذين عاثوا فساداً في سوريا قدِموا من الدول الأوروبية عبر تركيا، حاملين جوازات أوروبية بما فيها الفرنسية، والكثير منهم كان مسلحاً برشاشات لا يستخدمها غير الجيش الفرنسي، أي أن الإرهابيين في غرب دمشق كانوا مسلّحين من قبل الجيش الفرنسي مباشرة.

وما زال 600 طفل من إنجاب هؤلاء عالقين في شرق سوريا ولا تريد دولهم، وعلى رأسها فرنسا، استردادهم رغم نداءات الأمم المتحدة التي دعت هذه الدول إلى تحمّل مسؤوليتها تجاه رعاياها، ولا شك لدينا أنهم حظوا بتمويل وتسليح وتسهيلات من أجهزة المخابرات الفرنسية. ومع ذلك، فقد استهدفنا الإرهابيين أنفسهم في كلّ عملٍ وقولٍ ولم نأتِ على ذكر دينهم أو جنسيتهم ولم نوصم أياً منهما بالإرهاب. 

الفرق بين موقفنا وموقف ماكرون هو أننا نؤمن أن العالم أسرة واحدة وأنّ الإرهاب لا دين ولا وطن له وأنّ الإجرام الذي مارسته تلك العصابات على سوريا والسوريين وقبلهم على اللّيبيين والعراقيين، يمكن أن ينتقل إلى أي مكان في العالم، لأن الخطر الأساس كما أكّد السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد منذ البداية هو الإيديولوجية الإرهابية وليس وجود الإرهابيين فقط، ولذلك لابدّ من التعاون العالمي لاجتثاث جذور هذه الإيديولوجية وإلا فسيبقى الإرهاب يفاجئ الأبرياء من أفغانستان إلى العراق وسوريا وليبيا وفرنسا. ولكن أوروبا ومنها فرنسا الرسمية، عبر مخابراتها السرية، ساهمت بتغذية وتمويل وتسليح الإرهاب الذي ضرب سوريا. 

أما تركيا، فقد شكّلت ولا زالت تشكل ملاذاً آمناً للإرهابيين القادمين إلى سوريا وسهّلت لهم عبورهم وتموضعهم على الأرض السورية، وفي هذا المضمار أيضاً قال الرئيس بوتين “حين نحارب الإرهاب في سوريا فنحن ندافع عن موسكو”، وهذا صحيح ولكن الجيشين السوري والروسي لا يدافعان عن سوريا وروسيا فحسب، إنّما يدافعان عن أمن العالم برمّته في مواجهة هذه الآفة الخطيرة.

المشكلة في الموقف الفرنسي خصوصاً والغربي عموماً هو انقسام العالم إلى “هم” و”نحن”، وهنا يأتي تصريح الرئيس ماكرون ليبرهن على ذلك حين قال: “تعرضنا للهجوم بسبب قيم الحرية لدينا وعدم خضوعنا للإرهاب” متناسياً أنّ العالم كلّه يعرف أنّ المخابرات السرية الغربية والجيوش الاستعمارية القادمة من الغرب متورّطة ومنذ زمن الاستعمار القديم بالإرهاب والمجازر الوحشية. وما السبب برأيك يا سيد ماكرون بأن سوريا تعرضت لهجمات إرهابية أقسى وأعتى مما تعرّضتم له، وعلى مدى عشر سنوات، إذا كانت برأيك تفتقر إلى قيم الحرية التي تعتبرها حكراً عليك وعلى الغرب؟ إن حرية المعتقد والعيش المشترك الذي عُرفت به سوريا على مدى قرون، كان الهدف الأساس لهذه الحرب الإرهابية الظالمة التي تعرّض لها الشعب السوري، وإذا ما أردتم إصلاحاً حقيقياً وآمناً للعالم برمته، فلا بدّ أن تفكروا بطريقة مختلفة لا تُنبئ عن تفكير فوقي يكاد يصل إلى حدود العنصرية ضد الشعوب والأديان الأخرى. 

لقد ضرب مئات الألوف من الإرهابيين، الذين قدِموا من أكثر من مائة دولة، أجزاءً مختلفةً من سوريا وساهموا في تدمير مؤسساتها ولكننا لم نتّهم دين أحد ولا جنسية أحد منهم، ولم نزِر وازرةً وزر أُخْرَى، لما قامت به من شرذمة على أيدي المضلَّل بهم وشذاذ الآفاق الذين تبنّوا هذه الإيديولوجية البشعة لأسباب لا علاقة لها بالدين أو بالإنسانية. 

إنّ هؤلاء الذين يدّعون الدفاع عن الإسلام من ورثة العبودية العثمانية، هم أنفسهم الذين لعبوا دوراً أساسياً في استقدام إرهابيين من كلّ أصقاع الأرض ونظرياً من أتباع كلّ الديانات، إلى سوريا بلد الإسلام والمسيحية والعيش المشترك، فكيف يستوي ادّعاؤهم بالدفاع عن الإسلام والمسلمين مع تدمير بلد قدّم للبشرية أنموذجاً للمحبة والتآخي من بين أتباع الديانات السماوية؟ ثم ماذا عن الإرهاب الذي يضرب الأراضي الفلسطينية والشعب الفلسطيني؟ وماذا عن ذبح المسلمين وهم ساجدون في الحرم الإبراهيمي الشريف على يد المجرم باروخ غولدشتاين والذي أقام الإحتلال الإسرائيلي له نُصُباً تذكارياً؟ هل أسميتم ذلك الإرهاب إرهاباً يهودياً؟ فلماذا إذاً يتم تجريم الإسلام والمسلمين بسبب بعض المجرمين الذين لا يتورّعون عن قتل المسلمين وقتل أتباع الديانات الأخرى لأنهم لا يعرفون الدين أو الإيمان؟

من أجل التخلص من شرورهم، لا بدّ أولاً من التخلص من الموقف التمييزي الذي يقسم العالم إلى أعلى وأدنى، ويعتبر أن القيم التي يتمتع بها حكراً عليه. وما رأيه إذا كانت القيم الحضارية المغروسة في هذه الأرض والمتوارثة على مدى أكثر من عشرة آلاف عام هي القيم المؤهلة لإنقاذ البشرية ليس من خطر الإرهاب فقط، وإنما من خطر التمييز والعنصرية اللّذين يهددان بلدانكم من الداخل؛ فهل من مراجعة عاقلة ومسؤولة لهذا التخبط المفهوماتي والإعلامي الذي يصبّ الزيت على النار بدلاً من معالجة أسباب التوتر المجتمعي والسياسي بحكمة واتزان ومسؤولية؟ وهل من تشريع على مستوى عالمي يحرّم على الجميع تناول الرموز الدينية والمقدّسات لأتباع كلّ الديانات التي يؤمن بها البشر؟ حينذاك فقط، يمكن أن نعزل الإرهابيين ونقضي على شرورهم في كلّ مكان. 

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