The Anti War Movement, SDS, The Weather Underground And The Jews.

May 13, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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In the 1960s, the United States had an authentic broad based peace movement that sprang from opposition to the War in Vietnam. Motives varied; fear of the draft, revulsion for the US strategy that was based on increasing enemy deaths, and general youthful rebellion probably all played a part. Yet by 1970, years before the end of the war, the anti war movement was in disarray. This paper addresses some of the reasons the movement was never able to capitalize on its support or to form a broad based Left anti war party. In fact, some remnants of the rancorous movement can be seen now in the US’ deeply divided politics.

Long term American involvement in Vietnam escalated after the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that gave President Johnson the power to wage war. As the war expanded in 1965, the fledgling anti war movement focused on ending US involvement in Vietnam. In his history of the anti war movement of which he was part, Bill Zimmerman writes that at first the movement adopted “two strategic goals: to give activists enough knowledge about Vietnam to be able to draw others into action, and to normalize opposition, since many Americans were hesitant to oppose their own country in a time of war.”

By 1967 the costs of the war were increasingly evident. As death tolls rose, the anti war movement grew and its stated goals evolved into a plan to build a mass movement and convert it into a political force. That year there were a number of large anti war demonstrations including 100,000 protesters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and 500,000 in New York.

As the war dragged on, it began to seem that although the US military could level a city, it was not equipped to win a limited war on foreign turf. Perhaps for this or other reasons in 1967 much of the anti war movement adopted a frankly anti American posture. According to Bill Zimmerman: “Our strategy, less coherent than in earlier stages, was to force an end to the war by creating instability, chaos and disruption at home.”

This shift can be seen in the changes in one of the largest anti war groups, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). SDS began in 1960 as a Leftist education and civil rights group that by 1965 had taken on a leadership role in the anti war movement. In 1968, SDS gained a large number of new members following North Vietnam’s Tet Offensive whose success came as a shock to many Americans who had been repeatedly informed that the communists’ resolve and resources were crumbling. Even the ordinarily prosaic newscaster Walter Cronkite remarked, “to say that we are mired in stalemate is the only reasonable, yet unsatisfactory conclusion.”

At its peak, in 1969, SDS had over 100,000 members and its actions made national news. Many of the members who had joined in 1968-9 were anti war, but not necessarily radical or Leftist, and tended to be from the south and the midwest. They were largely ignorant of and disinterested in the Left and its history. As Kirkpatrick Sale writes in his exhaustive history of the SDS: “They were non-Jewish, nonintellectual, nonurban, from a nonprofessional class, and often without any family tradition of political involvement, much less radicalism.”

With the influx of working class members, SDS, always a tumultuous organization, entered a period of destructive internal turmoil and battles for leadership that pitted the ‘old guard’ intellectual Leftists who fought to adopt radical policies against the ‘new guard’ who were more interested in demonstrations to end the war.

Steve Weissman, a veteran of the old guard, later regretted that the SDS had “underestimat[ed] … the importance of the anti war movement and lost the chance to create a permanent political force in America.” By failing to use the anti war movement for recruitment and education and peckishly insisting on increasingly far Left political positions, the SDS lost a chance to build an American left, one that included not only intellectuals and students but other strata of America as well.

The Yippies, formed at the end of 1967 by Abbie Hoffman and a few others, were a publicity hungry anti war group whose principal weapon was the public mockery of institutions. Famed Yippie actions included an “exorcism” and attempted levitation of the Pentagon and the guerrilla theater of Abbie Hoffman and other Yippies who dropped hundreds of dollar bills onto the New York Stock Exchange, effectively closing the floor as stockbrokers scrambled for the money. These well publicized comedic acts were deliberately intended to undermine the institutions they attacked.

Yippie activism captured perfectly the chaotic final years of the “movement,” as the New Left subsided into  factionalism and confusion over political objectives.

Their antics also contributed to the public’s widely held view that the  anti war movement was too countercultural, too radical.

In 1969 the deep divisions in SDS resulted in a convention that was so acrimonious that it “could hardly even agree upon a time to adjourn, much less an organization for revolution.”  SDS broke into two main factions, the Progressive Labor Party and the Weathermen, a self proclaimed radical group dedicated to fighting for the overthrow of American capitalism.

The Weathermen’s first declaration was that “the job of white Americans is to do anything they can in support of [revolutionary] struggles.”  Members of Weathermen contended that any efforts at organizing whites against their own perceived oppression were “attempts by whites to carve out even more privilege than they already derive from the imperialist nexus.” This sounds like the seeds of the contempt that the former anti war candidate, Hillary Clinton, showed unemployed coal miners and steel workers.

The white, mostly bourgeois, Weathermen found that the rest of the anti war movement failed to follow them. Despite their dwindling popularity, they somehow imagined that the urban communes they set up would become bases for organizing the would-be rank and file of the revolution, but predictably, they failed to rouse the proletariat.

Zimmerman, who came to view the Weathermen with contempt, believed that in order to make their movement grow they “had to make it easy for people to join us, not require them to carry foreign flags, risk arrest or adapt a militant posture toward a government many still considered their own.”

But the Weathermen were focused on demanding loyalty to itself.  New members were subjected to intense initiation rituals. Mass orgies entitled “smash monogamy” were scheduled with the intent of making the relationship with the group the only one that mattered.

With revolution rather than peace as its goal, the Weathermen turned to terrorism.  In 1969, the Weathermen issued a well-publicized call for a “fight the pigs” event in Chicago that the press dubbed “Days of Rage.” Two days prior to the protests, the group bombed the Haymarket Police statue. But the expected mobs of protestors failed to materialize.  A crowd of about 100 worked diligently to create chaos, but managed only to cause property damage and get arrested.

Frustrated, the Weathermen became increasingly violent. They built bombs to detonate at the sites of their purported oppressors. In March, 1970, a bomb meant for a dance at a nearby military base went off prematurely, blowing up their Greenwich Village town house, killing three and injuring two. At the time two additional bombs with 44 sticks of dynamite were defused with information provided by an undercover agent. The group ultimately set off about 25 bombs in various locations, including a nail bomb that killed a policeman. Historian Harvey Klehr writes that “the only reason they were not guilty of mass murder is mere incompetence.”

In September 1970, the Weathermen robbed a National Guard armory in Massachusetts stealing weapons and ammunition before setting fire to the armory. They used these weapons in a bank robbery during which they shot a police officer in the back. Three others were killed in a separate bank robbery.

Although the Weathermen diverted much of the anti war movement’s leadership, demonstrations against the war  continued, albeit on a more sporadic and spontaneous basis. In 1969, following the news of the1968 My Lai Massacre of 347 civilians, a broad based nationwide one day moratorium drew 500,000.

Then in 1970, the  invasion and bombing of Cambodia brought about large, violent and disorganized campus protests that resulted in the National Guard shooting into crowds of protestors, causing the deaths of 4 students at Kent State University and 2 at Jackson State University. Then again in 1971, demonstrations flared up after news broke of the invasion of Laos.

In part, organized demonstrations subsided in the wake of the departure of their far left organizers, and in part the movement lost its impetus when President Nixon and his defense Secretary, Melvin Laird, began to implement ‘Vietnamization,’ that is, the policy of transferring military operations from American troops to the South Vietnamese. Nixon gradually reduced the number of Americans in Vietnam until direct military involvement ended in 1973.

But the Weathermen remained energized throughout this period. They convened a  ‘war council’ in 1970 that issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the US government.The council ended with a speech by John Jacobs who condemned the “pacifism” of white middle-class American youth (of which, of course, he was one). And declared that: “We’re against everything that’s ‘good and decent’ in honky America,…We will burn and loot and destroy.” The anti-White hatred reflected in Jacobs’ remarks was a central theme of the council. The Weathermen even debated whether killing White babies was a salutary revolutionary act.

The generally sympathetic documentary, “The Weather Underground” (the group’s name changed when their lawlessness forced them underground), portrays Weather members who put their lives on the line for peace and to oppose racism and who saw themselves as joining Black people and the Vietnamese in revolution. The Black Panthers, whose communal living facilities were dedicated to providing food and services to Black neighborhoods, shunned the Weathermen, calling the group’s  violence “stupid and unnecessary.”

Brian Flanagan, a rare working class member of the Weather Underground, and alone among the former members interviewed in the Documentary, compared the Weathermen to Islamist terrorists and to Timothy McVeigh, noting that all shared the conviction that their own knowledge of what was right for society entitled them to break laws, to kill, to engage in terrorism. “When you feel that you have right on your side,” he said, “you can do some pretty horrific things.” Others interviewed in the Documentary remain unapologetic, and do not seem to see that their actions failed to inspire political change or even to help bring an end to the war. Bill Ayers, one of the group’s “rich kid radicals” said in a 2001interview, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Many in this movement that had superseded the anti war movement and transformed it into a divisive, patronizing, violent, disruptive force were Jewish. Why? Mark Rudd  former leader of SDS at Columbia University and of the Weather Underground, addressed this question in a later essay. As he explains, although he was a third generation American, he grew up in an insular world where his “family carried the Jewish ghettos of Newark and Elizabeth with them to the suburbs.” He writes that his family was far from “assimilated, if that means replacing a Jewish identity with an American one.”

Rudd’s explanation for his political alienation is instructive.  “As a child I never fell for the seduction of patriotism. It seemed so arbitrary, who’s an American and who’s not. If my relatives hadn’t emigrated, who would I be? Since I was also at core an idealist and a utopian—another Jewish tradition?—I wanted to skip all that obviously stupid and dangerous stuff that gave rise to wars and racism.”

This is an astounding statement. He views being an American as the arbitrary result of immigration (although immigration was a purposeful event) and his Jewishness as an irreducible and positive trait. Then after speaking of the racism of his family (they moved out when Black families moved into their Newark neighborhood) he sees patriotism, a sentiment that presumably embraces all Americans including Blacks, as racist and treats his own membership in an insular racial group as “idealist and utopian.”

When Rudd entered Columbia he joined SDS where all of his mentors and friends, and indeed, most of the group, were Jewish. Rudd recalls many conversations with his Jewish comrades but never a conversation in which they  “discussed the fact that so many of us were Jewish. This glaring lack alone might serve as a clue to what we were up to: by being radicals we thought we could escape our Jewishness. Left-wing radicalism was internationalist, not narrow nationalist; it favored the oppressed and the workers, not the privileged and elites, which our families were striving toward.”

While Rudd may have wanted to escape his identity and become one with the ‘workers,’ it seems that the workers had no interest in his revolutionary politics. Gilad Atzmon points out in ‘Being In Time,’ that when ‘revolutionary’ Jews went to Spain to join the Civil War, they found themselves in an International Brigade that was 1/4 Jewish and Yiddish was the lingua franca. While they wanted, as Rudd did, to escape their identity and join the proletariat, they found themselves in a “Jewish ghetto, fighting Spanish patriots.” They might have identified with the working class, but they were not a part of that class.  Atzmon explains, “[t]he Red Jews who traveled to Spain ended up fighting in Jewish legions because ID politics and Left-orientation are largely a Jewish intellectual domain that is actually quite foreign to working people.”

Then, as if to illustrate his confusion, in Rudd’s next paragraph he switches to seeing the ‘revolution’ not as an escape from his identity but as an affirmation of it, stating: “Identifying with the oppressed seemed to me at Columbia and since a natural Jewish value. What outraged me and my comrades so much about Columbia, along with its hypocrisy, was that despite the large number of Jewish students the University had “the air of genteel civility. Or should I say gentile?”

Here is the part of the anti war movement that is in complete rebellion against all that is ‘goyim.’ And yet it is Archie Bunker who we hold out as a racist. But even the fictional ‘racist’ Archie didn’t leave his home when a Black family moved next door as Rudd’s family had. Atzmon notes that ‘All in the Family’ was itself subversive of working class values. Beginning in 1971 we watched Archie railing against his son-in-law who represented what we now call ‘political correctness.’  Our universal denigration of Archie became a part of our adoption of identity politics, that eschews bigotry yet divides society into groups based on inherited characteristics.

Rudd’s explanations for why so many in the radical anti war movement were Jewish seems to me to be incomplete. The movement never was ‘internationalist,’ as it failed to convince the working class to join nor did the movement help Rudd escape his Jewish identity, he consistently identified as Jewish and found much to criticize about goyim. There are a few other possible motives that might have contributed to the phenomenon he addresses.

First, the Jews were the vast majority of the intellectuals of the movement. By adopting radical politics that were frankly anti American the Jews (in the movement) were able to differentiate themselves and escape the company of the seemingly unwelcome ‘middle Americans’ (goyim). Instead they formed an elitist apparatus within the so-called radical left.

George Tyler writes in “Weather Underground:Driving down a Dead End Street,” “Many of the Weather Underground leaders are sons and daughters of wealthy families – prominent corporation executives, lawyers, etc. …The arrogance, elitism and impatience stemming from their class background was reflected in their politics.” Much as they claimed proletarian values, these SDS leaders were unable to compromise or work with their working class brethren. Their contempt for others is not unlike the latter day critique of the ‘basket of deplorables.’

In fact, some former members of SDS saw the Weathermen’s violence and attacks on the middle class as deliberately designed to destroy the anti war movement. Although perhaps not intentional, it was at a minimum predictable that the Weather Underground’s actions would be repellent to most.

Also, and perhaps relevant, the radical split off and effective weakening of the anti war movement occurred  after 1967, the year of the Six Day War after which a victorious Israel was viewed with pride by many diaspora Jews. The radical students seeking the oppressed to represent might well instead have chosen the Palestinians who had been uprooted by the Jewish state. Was some of their anger at America transferred from embarrassment at the land grab  by the Israelis and the creation of thousands more refugees? Or instead, did they sympathize with Israel and feel themselves even stronger when represented by a victorious state? In any case, these radicals who identified as Jewish were more interested in ‘fixing’ the United States than in ‘fixing’ Israel.

Whatever the motivation, it was the intellectual and largely Jewish members of SDS who formed the Weathermen whose violence kneecapped the anti war movement. While they saw those who did not join them as ‘complicit’ in ‘America’s crimes,’ they were at least as complicit in that they accomplished nothing except to hurt the anti war movement by association.

However upset the Weathermen claimed to have been by the millions of deaths in Vietnam, even today most show no regret for the deaths they caused. In listening to them it is clear that there never was an achievable goal in their calls for a total revolution without a map. Atzmon points out that, “[t]hey didn’t want to liberate America, they wanted to liberate themselves from themselves by being themselves. It didn’t work very well.”

In the years since, many of the Weathermen have emerged from hiding, and have as  Larry Grathwohl, writes in his memoir of his time as an undercover agent, “pulled off [one of] their most audacious feats: they negotiated a return to society, avoided legal consequences for their most serious crimes, and rose to influential positions in academia and politics – all without renouncing their anti-American ideology or apologizing for the acts of terrorism they committed against ordinary Americans.”

Sale concludes his history of the SDS narrative by pointing out SDS’ ‘salutary’ long term effects. “SDS taught the mechanics of political organizing and protest to an activist segment of the student population and restored the legitimacy of mass dissent to the national scene, leading eventually to such direct political consequences as liberalized laws (with respect, for example, to abortion, marijuana, homosexuality, community control, and the rights of blacks, women, and the young), the reorganization of the Democratic Party and the nomination of George McGovern, and the extension of suffrage to eighteen-year-olds.”

Perhaps it is the residue of the elitism of the SDS that has left the Democratic Party alienated from its former working class base.

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Antisemitism is the Answer

May 03, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

In an interview with Israel Unwired, Rabbi Professor Jeffrey Woolf of Bar Ilan University practically admits that antisemitism has a positive impact on Jewish Life.

The Jewish outlet writes

“Just as anti-Semitism existed for thousands of years, it will not be going away today either. Wishing it away, posting on facebook about ‘stopping the hatred’ and even talking about how to stop the hatred won’t help. It just won’t. It is, and always has been, a reality that Jews had to live with both in Christian Europe and in the Muslim Middle East.”

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing according to Rabbi Woolf. In the interview Woolf refers to his teacher who proclaimed that

“the period between 1933-38 was the height of German Jewry…people turned, looked inward and they began to develop themselves as Jews.”

Antisemitism happens to unite the Jews, it brings them closer to themselves. The meaning of this is disturbing yet hardly new. As I argue in The Wandering Who, since Jewishness is defined by negation, the experience of being negated or even rejected is essential to Jewish existence. It is hardly a secret that it was the Holocaust that made the phantasmic promise of a ‘Jewish State’ into a troubling reality. It is the ludicrous fear of Corbyn that unites British Jewry and refines their identity crisis. In fact, the fear of the Goy is as old as the Jews. It is an ongoing saga that stretches from the Pharaoh, to Amalek and the book of Ester to White Nationalism, Bannon and Iran.

Israel Unwired produces the Jewish logos: “Now is the time for each and every Jew to learn, read, and better understand what it means to be a Jew. If all these people hate us, we must strengthen our understanding of our own history and identity.”

The above obviously entails a serious problem. Since being hated is essential for Jewish self-understanding or even existence, the so called ‘Jew-hater’ is reduced into a service provider. It is the so called ‘hater’ who induces Jewish self-realisation and collective consciousness.

This points at a very abusive dynamic between the Jew and the rest of humanity. However, it explains why Israel was so quick as well as effective in making itself hated by its neighbours. For Israel to understand itself as ‘the Jewish state,’ it must be hated. Once it is hated it is ‘entitled to defend itself’ killing civilians with impunity, something which induces more hatred. We are witnessing a snowball of vengeance that produces more hate and carnage with no scope of a better future or any harmony to come. This troubling dynamic explains why Jewish organisations are polling anti-Semitic sentiments 24/7. Rather than making Jews loved and accepted, they relentlessly insist on proving how Jews are actually hated.

I guess that Jesus dissected it all a while back.  Love your neighbour, turn your other cheek and search for grace were his remedies to tribal gravity. Jesus tried to save his brethren by enlightening their life by means of light. Jesus failed in his mission, but he managed to save humanity instead.

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

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Sanders speaks at US mosque in the wake of deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand

Sat Mar 23, 2019
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.

US Senator Bernie Sanders attends a mosque in the state of California in the wake of deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand by a white supremacist shooter.

“In this difficult moment, not only in American history where we see a rise in hate crimes, and not only in a world where we see a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, where demagogues are picking on minority communities all over this world, now is the time … for us to stand up to hatred of all kinds,” Sanders said during the event Saturday.

The 2020 presidential candidate visited the Islamic Center of Southern California, where religious leaders and people from other faiths had gathered to commemorate the 50 lives lost in the mass shooting earlier this month in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“To show the world that this nation in fact will be a leader in bringing our people together regardless of their religion, and to create an economy that works for all of us, an environment that works for all of us, and a world in which love will conquer hate,” said the Vermont senator.

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Bernie Sanders

@BernieSanders

In this difficult moment, where we see a rise in hate crimes and a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, now is the time for everybody to come together and to show the world that love will conquer hate.

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Fifty people died and dozens were injured in twin shootings on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.

Described as a terrorist attack by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in the country.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan. Muslims account for just over one percent of New Zealand’s population.

The attack revived calls for an end to Islamophobia in the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Trump has been urged to assure Muslims that they are protected and that he will not tolerate violence against their community.

The US president’s condemnation of the massacre was mild and did not involve the word “Muslims.”

Ever since he appeared in office, the New York billionaire has been running and anti-Muslim agenda, including the so-called Muslim ban.

Trump Supporters in Denial over New Zealand Massacre

Trump Supporters in Denial over New Zealand Massacre

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 17.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Trump Supporters in Denial over New Zealand Massacre

US President Donald Trump condemned the New Zealand massacre of 50 people by a self-declared white fascist as “horrible”. In an ambiguous choice of words, Trump said he sent his “warmest [sic] sympathies” to the victims of the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch. He also seemed to downplay white supremacy violence as a problem.

With several surviving victims still in a critical condition, the death toll could rise in coming days.

Of course, Trump would be obliged to join in the international outpouring of condemnation over the barbaric cold-blooded act of mass murder. How could he not, given the shocking horror and depravity of the crime?

But his repeated nationalistic and nativist rhetoric as well as the ideologues whom he associates with make it very hard for Trump and his supporters to deny that there is a link between the White House occupant and the terrorist attack on Muslims in New Zealand, or white supremacist violence generally.

Supporters of Trump have scoffed at media claims made against Trump following the massacre insinuating the president is associated with “white nationalism” and thereby linked to the violence.

Admittedly, anti-Trump media in the US, such as CNN and MSNBC, will always seek every opportunity to undermine Trump. Nevertheless, on the point of Trump’s dalliance with extremist rightwing groups and their ideological memes there is a valid criticism to be made.

The alleged shooter in the New Zealand attack Friday was named as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen. He openly declared himself to be a fascist, avowing white supremacist ideology. In a so-called manifesto, the suspect refers to Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity”.

More significantly, the themes the alleged murderer espouses are central to the Alt Right movement and numerous other white nationalist groups in the US and Europe, issues which Trump has also promoted for political gain.

The themes of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white genocide by “invasion” or “replacement” by brown-skinned foreigners are run-of-the-mill talking points for far-right nationalist movements, which Trump has at times endorsed or given credence to.

Only days before the New Zealand massacre, Trump gave an exclusive interview with Breitbart News. The publication is a proponent of many of the themes surrounding fears of the “white race” being over-run by hordes of foreigners, and especially Muslim foreigners.

In his latest interview for Breitbart, Trump appeared to be inciting street violence by imploring his followers in the police and military to “get tough”. He tweeted a link to the publication. But following the horror in Christchurch, Trump deleted his tweet. That move suggests the president is fully aware of the toxic association with Breitbart at such a politically sensitive moment.

Trump and his supporters may try to play the innocent card, decrying what they would call are scurrilous attempt by the “liberal media” to bracket him with the violence of the far-right.

However, what else is one to conclude about Trump when he has personally amplified the touchstone causes of numerous fascist, white nationalist groups?

This week, Trump has pushed on with his border wall project. He has repeatedly sought to justify that project in sensationalist, scaremongering terms of preventing an “invasion” into the US from Mexico. The actual figures of migration over the southern border do not merit such high priority given by Trump to the “problem”. The proposed expenditure of $8-9 billion and declared state of emergency are “dog-whistling” techniques by Trump to mobilize far-right nationalist support.

Look at the people who associate with Trump. He may claim that their association is not reciprocated.

White neo-Nazi groups like Proud Boys and Alt Right have been hosted at Trump rallies. Alt Right leader Richard Spencer is partial to giving Nazi salutes at conferences and declaring “Hail Trump!”

David Duke, the grandmaster of the Klu Klux Klan, has publicly endorsed Trump.

Steve Bannon, Trump’s former political strategist in the White House, is a big proponent of the “replacement theory” whereby it is claimed that Muslim, African and other immigrants are “invading” the US and Europe to obliterate traditional white Christian communities. This was a prime motive for the alleged shooter in the New Zealand massacre. It was also a motive for the mass murder in 2011 by Norwegian neo-Nazi Anders Breivik.

Trump has taken up the cause of white South African farmers who claim that they are being expelled from colonial lands by the ruling ANC black government. This theme has also been taken up in Zimbabwe, and is a major touchstone issue for white supremacist, fascist groups around the world. For Trump to dally with the issue is an unmistakable sign of his witting – albeit tacit – support to such ideology, even though he may publicly try to distance himself at times, such as in the aftermath of the Christchurch atrocity.

Typically with Trump there are abundant contradictions. His son-in-law and special advisor Jared Kushner is Jewish. Yet Trump was accused of giving support to a “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, where the torch-bearing marchers chanted slogans about not being replaced by Jews.

There seems little room for denial by Trump or his supporters about his links to the rise of extreme rightwing, white nationalist, fascist groups. His blanket ban on asylum-seekers from Muslim countries, his unhinged rhetoric about “invasion” by foreigners, and Trump’s association with racist, fascistic ideologues all put this president in the dock for incitement. The reckless rhetoric of Trump’s demagoguery is manifest in depraved actions such as the mass murder of 49 Muslims in New Zealand.

Trump can’t wash his hands after cynically dabbling in the cesspool of fascist ideology.

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 16.03.2019

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos.

Whitney WEBB

What is without question the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history took place on Friday when shooters, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant among them, opened fire at two Christchurch mosques. Four, including Tarrant, have been arrested for the heinous act, which claimed at least 49 innocent lives. Tarrant was responsible for killing more than 40 victims, among them several children, in a rampage he live-streamed on Facebook, sending chills throughout the Muslim community, particularly Muslims living in Western countries.

Tarrant’s motives and ideology, laid bare in a 74-page manifesto, show a concern over the fertility rates of non-white groups as well as the immigration of non-whites to countries like New Zealand and Australia, which he likened to an “invasion” that threatened the white majority in those countries. However, Tarrant — in his ignorance — failed to grasp that many of the Muslim immigrants he targeted had come to New Zealand after fleeing Western-backed invasions, occupations, or persecution in their home countries.

Notable among Tarrant’s views is the fact that he is a clear ethno-nationalist, promoting his view that different ethnic groups must be kept “separate, unique, undiluted in [sic] unrestrained in cultural or ethnic expression and autonomy.” Tarrant also claimed that he doesn’t necessarily hate Muslims and only targeted those Muslims {i.e., immigrants) that chose “to invade our lands, live on our soil and replace our people.”

He also stated that he chose to target Muslims because “Islamic nations, in particular, have high birth rates, regardless of race or ethnicity” and to satiate “a want for revenge against Islam for the 1,300 years of war and devastation that it has brought upon the people of the West and other peoples of the world.” His views are remarkably similar to those of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, which is unsurprising given that Tarrant named him as an inspiration for the shooting.

Though many — in the hours after the shooting — have sought to place blame and point fingers at notable demagogues like President Donald Trump or “counter-jihad” alt-right figures like Laura Loomer and Jacob Wohl, it is important to place Tarrant’s motivations in context.

Indeed, while Trump’s rise to political power has brought Islamophobic rhetoric into the public sphere in an undeniable way, it is a symptom of a much broader effort aimed at propagandizing the people of the United States and other Western countries to support wars in and military occupations of Muslim-majority countries. This manufactured Islamophobia, largely a product of Western governments and a compliant mass media, has sought to vilify all Muslims by maligning the religion itself as terrorism, in order to justify the plunder of their countries and deflect attention from their suffering.

It is a classic “divide and conquer” scam aimed at keeping Westerners divided from Muslims in their own countries and abroad. The horrific shooting in Christchurch is a testament to its unfortunate success and pervasiveness, as well as a potent reminder that it must be stopped. Indeed, this manufactured Islamophobia has made it so that Muslims in their home countries are in danger of dying from Western-backed wars and, if they flee to the “safer” West, they have targets on their backs painted by the very war propaganda used to justify Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority nations.

Islam, the media and “Forever Wars”: Who’s the “real” terrorist?

Since September 11th and the advent of the “War on Terror,” mass media reporting increasingly began to conflate Muslims and Muslim-majority nations with war, terrorism and violence in general. Indeed, 9 out of 10 mainstream news reports on Muslims, Islam, and Islamic organizations are related to violence and Muslims who are named on mainstream media are all-too-frequently warlords or terrorist leaders.

This near-constant association of Islam and violence has created the false perception that the religion of Islam, by its very nature, is violent and that Muslims too must then be violent and thus dangerous. This media-driven association has had very real and troubling consequences. For instance, a 2010 study by the University of Exeter found “empirical evidence to demonstrate that assailants of Muslims are invariably motivated by a negative view of Muslims they have acquired from either mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media.” In other words, Islamophobic media reports are directly related to hate crimes targeting Muslims.

This is no accident, as such biased reporting on Muslim-majority nations also began as Western-backed wars in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan sought to put these countries’ natural resources, namely their oil and mineral wealth, into the hands of American corporations. It should be no surprise then that top funders of media outlets that have routinely promoted Islamophobic narratives are also those who have profited considerably from the “War on Terror” and Western-backed regime-change wars in other countries.

This concerted effort to vilify Muslims has had the potent effect, likely by design, of reducing empathy among Westerners for the largely Muslim victims of Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, while mainstream news outlets often trumpet the imminent dangers Americans face from “radical Islamic terror,” the death toll of innocent people — most of them Muslim — that have been killed by the U.S.-led “War on Terror” is several orders of magnitude greater than the number of Americans who have died from all terror attacks over that same period.

For instance, from 2001 to 2013, an estimated 3,380 Americans died from domestic and foreign terrorism, including the September 11 attacks as well as acts of domestic terrorism carried out by white nationalists and supremacists. If one excludes the September 11 death toll, the number of American deaths over that same period stands at around 400, most of them victims of mass-killers who were not Muslim.

By comparison, an estimated 8 million innocent people in Muslim-majority nations died as a result of U.S. policies and wars in the Middle East and North Africa from 2001 to 2015. Yet, the magnitude of this loss of life of these “unworthy victims” is minimized by media and government silence, and the creation of a climate of Islamophobia in the West has only served to deepen the ease with which mass murder is accepted by the aggressor countries’ populations.

Beyond the staggering disparity in the death tolls caused by terror groups and Western-backed imperialist wars is the fact that many of these very Western governments that purport to be so concerned with “radical Islamic terror” have often created and funded the most notorious terror groups of all. Indeed, the U.S. government helped to create Al Qaeda and continues to protectits Syrian branch — Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — in Syria’s Idlib province to this day. In addition, the CIA was just recently revealed to be helping the Islamic State regroup in Syrian refugee camps. Furthermore, the U.S. has long turned a blind eye to the funding of terror groups by allied states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The role of Western money, arms and policy in the creation and maintenance of radical Wahhabi terrorist groups is often entirely ignored by Western media portrayals of Muslim-majority nations, thereby creating a false image that such violence is endemic to these nations when, in fact, it is often imported state-sponsored terror.

These nuances of the situation are rarely heard in the narratives parroted out on mainstream media and those who regularly consume mainstream news sources are more likely than not to support those narratives. For that reason, it is easy to see how someone like Donald Trump — who is said to watch television for eight hours every day, much of it Fox News — has espoused the views that he has. Thanks to the manufacturing of Islamophobia of mainstream media, racist policies like the so-called “Muslim ban” have found wide support, as this false narrative has conflated Islam with violence so often that many have come to believe that only by banning Islam can violence and terrorism in the U.S. be reduced.

However, the recent shooting in Christchurch, as well as the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and other recent acts of domestic terrorism, should alert us to the fact that it is the hate manufactured by this false narrative that is itself endangering American lives while also covering up the mass murder that has been perpetrated by the U.S. and other governments around the world for decades.

Israel’s leading role in stoking ethnonationalism

While the realities of post-9/11 America, as well as the rise in visibility of white ethnonationalism during the Trump Era, have done much to normalize attacks on immigrants, the country that has done the most to normalize anti-Muslim terrorism over this same time frame has been the state of Israel.

Israel, from its founding days, has long been steeped in neocolonialist ideology that is remarkably similar to the ideological basis behind other settler states like the United States, Australia and New Zealand. This system of beliefs holds that the native inhabitants of the land — whether the Palestinians, the Sioux or the Maori — are “primitive” and incompetent and that the land would have remained “wild” and undeveloped were it not for the “fortunate” appearance of European settlers. As MintPressnoted in a previous report on the subject, such narratives cast these settlers as both superior and normal while the natives become inferior and abnormal, thus obfuscating the settler’s status as foreigner and conqueror.

In Israel’s case, this ideology has promoted the idea that all Arabs are “sons of the desert” while the desert simultaneously represents a barbaric obstacle to “progress” and development. However, the state of Israel, under the lengthy tenure of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has seen these long-standing and somewhat hidden underpinnings of the Zionist state burst out into the open.

The result has been the overt expression of ethnonationalism in such a way that Israel has become an inspiration to white nationalists in the United States, like Richard Spencer, and far-right ethno-fascist leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and India’s Narendra Modi. The inspiration has been mutual, according to reports and testimonials published by Jewish newspaper The Forward.

For years, through its military occupation of Palestine, Israel’s government and military have sought to paint all Palestinians, including children, as “terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers.” Take, for example, current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who wrote in 2014, “This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people …”

A more recent example came from former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who asserted just last year that “no innocent people” live in the Gaza Strip and that every inhabitant in the enclave is somehow connected to Hamas, even though nearly half of Gaza’s population are children and teenagers. Such rhetoric has become par for the course and numerous examples show that Shaked and Lieberman’s views are increasingly accepted and “normal” in today’s Israel.

Yet, the clearest indication of anti-Muslim terror’s normalization in Israel is the recent rise of Otzma Yehudit, or the “Jewish Power” Party. This party, founded by devotees of radical American-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, has now merged — at Netanyahu’s urging — with the Jewish Home Party and stands to become part of Israel’s ruling coalition if Netanyahu manages to win in the country’s upcoming elections.

In the office of Itamar Ben Gvir, one of Otzma Yehudit’s leaders, is a framed picture of Baruch Goldstein. In an act that bears a striking similarity to the events in Christchurch, Goldstein — a long-time devotee of Kahane — entered a mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994 and opened fire, killing 29 and injuring more than 125 worshippers. After the act, Kahane’s Kach party — the predecessor of Otzma Yehudit — was labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel.

Despite official condemnation, Goldstein’s atrocious act has been the subject of praise and inspiration for subsequent extremists who, under Netanyahu’s government, have become increasingly normalized. Goldstein’s gravestone reads “He gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land” and continues to be used as a site of pilgrimage and homage by the very extremists that Netanyahu is openly courting for political gain.

While the followers of Kahane are making a comeback in Israel, several notable Arab political parties have been banned from participating Israel’s upcoming elections, with some being accused of “supporting terrorism” owing to their opposition to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of Palestine. Yet, by elevating clear terror supporters among the ranks of the Jewish Power Party, it has become increasingly clear that openly supporting and advocating anti-Muslim terrorism is no bar to legitimacy and political power in today’s Israel.

No ‘clash of civilizations,’ only manipulation and exploitation of differences

The tragic and barbaric shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand is yet another horrific and glaring reminder that the “divide and conquer” war propaganda that has sought to promote the so-called “clash of civilizations” between Christianity and Islam, West and East, has not only been monstrously effective but continues to be monstrously destructive to people on both sides.

However, the media’s manufacture of Islamophobia, in seeking to Wite-out Muslim suffering and reduce Western empathy for innocent Muslim civilians, has increasingly placed targets on the back of Muslims everywhere — in the West and the East — making it increasingly difficult for practitioners of the Islamic faith to feel safe regardless of where they live.

With most Muslim-majority countries now killing fields in Western-backed wars, ruled by oppressive, Western-backed dictatorships, or under threat of Western-backed regime change, even those Muslims who have sought a safer, quieter life in the “civilized” West have now found themselves targets thanks to the very war propaganda used to justify the destruction of their home countries.

While the murderer Tarrant had stated that he hoped his horrific crime would help stoke “civil war” in Western countries, this tragedy should and must serve as a wake up call for people everywhere that the real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos. These oligarchs loot from the people of the West just as they do from the people of the East and it is time to recognize that they are the real threats to a more peaceful world — not regular people praying, whether it be in a church, a synagogue or a mosque.

mintpressnews.com

White Nationalism Not Problem! Trump Says after NZ Attack

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump played down any threat posed by racist white nationalism on Friday after the terrorist accused of the New Zealand mosque massacre called the president “a symbol of renewed white identity.”

Trump, whose own previous responses to the movement have drawn scrutiny, expressed sympathy for the victims who died at “places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing.”

But he declined to join expressions of mounting concern about white nationalism, saying “I don’t, really” when asked whether he thought it was a rising threat around the world.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess,” Trump said.

“If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet. But it’s certainly a terrible thing.”

Questioned about the accused suspect’s reference to him, Trump professed ignorance.

“I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it,” he said. “But I think it’s a horrible event … a horrible, disgraceful thing and a horrible act.”

The man accused of the shootings left behind a lengthy document that outlined his motivations.

He proudly stated that he was a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants and was set off by attacks in Europe that were ‘perpetrated by Muslims.’ In a single reference, he mentioned the US president.

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

folder_openVoices access_time5 hours ago

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By Fatima Haydar

Beirut – A day after the hideous massacre at two Christchurch mosques that left 49 people dead, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday morning that “our gun laws will change”.

This effort by the authorities in New Zealand will certainly lead to the enforcement of a stricter gun control law, making it more difficult for individuals to acquire firearms.

However, this would not have prevented this particular crime. The perpetrator of the Christchurch mosques massacre, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, had already obtained a “Category A” gun license in November 2017 and began purchasing guns legally in December 2017.

According to PM Ardern, the gunman had two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

Tarrant left behind a lengthy document that outlined his motivations. In 74-page document titled “The Great Replacement”, he boasted of being a white nationalist who hates immigrants, espouses Islamophobic ideology and was set off by attacks in Europe that were executed by Takfiri extremists. He even mentioned US President Donald Trump – in a single reference – as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”.

Furthermore, at least one of the weapons used by the gunman appeared to have the names of previous mass-murderers, including Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed more than 70 people in 2011.

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

As Tarrant appeared in Christchurch District Court, he stood smirking when media photographed him in the dock where he was flanked by two police officers. He appeared to be making a gesture with his hands which has been interpreted by as a white supremacist sign – “White Power”.

Beginning in 2017, the gesture was at the center of an online prank in meme culture related to alt-right and white supremacy. The supposed association of the gesture with white supremacy derives from the assertion that the three upheld fingers resemble a ‘W’ and the circle made with the thumb and forefinger resemble the head of a ‘P’, together standing for “white power”.

In the light of this, it is clear that Tarrant premeditated and plotted to carry out the mass shooting. Hence, no gun control law would – no matter how strict or effective – prevent him from perpetrating his crime.

The thing is, what Tarrant did is directly related to his self-discipline; how he came to be what he is now. To be filled with such hatred and animosity, to have the will to cold-bloodedly murder peaceful worshipers in a mosque, takes a whole lot of indoctrination.

And to kill those people in a videogame-style attack is another thing! As if this heartless attacker is relishing in it. He even lived streamed the massacre on Facebook. The disturbing video ran for 17 minutes and showed the gunman walking in the mosque and opening fire to the sound of music.

Media outlets were quick to report the incident. Worldwide leaders condemned the attack and condoled the families of the victims. Though, some outlets justified his behavior, saying he was radicalized in some way on his travels after his athlete father died of cancer.

Messages of popular support and solidarity for the victims were delivered in New Zealand, Australia, Britain, America, Canada and other countries.

New Zealanders around the country have shown up at mosques en masse to show their support. People left piles of flowers and cards as close to the mosque as they were allowed to go. Supporters also drew messages of support on the mosque footpath in chalk. Similar scenes spread outside mosques in various cities in New Zealand. Some messages read: “We love you”, “We are one” and “Forever changed”. Vigils around New Zealand are being held to honor the victims of the attack.

In Australia, the response to the massacre was similarly heartfelt, with tributes pouring into mosques across the country. The outpouring of support continued in America where people also left candles outside mosques. Muslim places of worship in Canada also saw tributes, as well as in Britain.

Likewise, social media platforms were flooded with solidary and posts. Social media users took to Twitter and other platforms and shared posters and photos showing sympathy for Muslims and the Muslim community.

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

“Hello Brother” were the last words by a 71-year-old Muslim man at the mosque’s door; the reply was: 5 bullets in the chest! Why? What was he guilty of? He was guilty of being a Muslim and an Afghan refugee who escaped death in his country.

When will Islamophobia cease to exist? When will labeling others based on the sins of a few cease to exist? When will condemning a whole class of people based on the actions of some cease to exist?

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