HOW ZIONISTS VIEW THE SANCTITY OF LIFE

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At the Israeli youths’ funeral on Tuesday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contrasted Israelis from those who killed the youths.

“They sanctify death, we sanctify life,” Netanyahu said. “They sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion.” 

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Now read on …

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Jerusalem “lynch mobs” attack Palestinians after Israeli teens’ funerals

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Amnesty warns against “revenge”

Amnesty International today condemned Israel’s use of collective punishment against Palestinians.

“Justice will not be served by Israel seeking revenge by imposing collective punishment, or committing other violations of Palestinians’ rights,” the group stated.

Occupation forces ransacked and partially destroyed the Hebron homes of the families of two Hamas members Israel says were responsible for killing the boys.

But as Amnesty notes, “The Israeli authorities have not presented any evidence to back their assertion that Hamas or the two named suspects were responsible for the teens’ abductions and murders.”

With thanks to David Sheen (@davidsheen on Twitter).

NO SCHOOL FOR GIRLS OF SEPHARDIC ORIGIN IN ISRAEL

They can stay in the kitchen, learn to cook, go barefoot and get pregnant!
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Who said Israel was the only Democracy in the Middle East?

Obviously someone that never read the following two reports …

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Haredi school admits only 5 Sephardic girls 

Education Ministry cancels registration of girls to New Beit Yaakov seminary in ultra-Orthodox city of Elad after learning that 83% of students accepted for next school year are Ashkenazi.

Read the full report HERE

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Even worse is the fact that Sephardic leaders endorse this madness

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Rabbi’s ban on women’s studies embarrasses Shas 

After haredi movement’s new spiritual leader rules that women must not pursue academic degree, members present three letters in which late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef encouraged women to study.

Full report HERE

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First they didn’t allow Arab kids in Israeli schools

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Then they removed Ethiopian kids from their schools in Israel

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Now it’s girls of Sephardic origin …

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And some of us DID SPEAK OUT!

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MISSISSIPPI BURNT DOWN 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

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Fifty years ago the State of Mississippi was burning …. burning with the same hatred that we see in the State of Israel today. Three young men went missing the summer of 1964. Two of them were Jewish, the third was African American. 

Fifty years ago today Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were murdered in cold blood by active members of the KKK.

But 50 years after Freedom Summer, we once again need to cause some trouble. The tragedy of the “Mississippi Burning” murders became a travesty of justice when only a handful of the perpetrators were convicted on federal charges, none spending more than a half-dozen years in prison because the state wouldn’t pursue a murder prosecution.

Time for a FREEDOM SUMMER THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD!

Below is a report from the younger brother of Andrew Goodman …. let us never forget the bravery of these young men and the many others that gave their lives for the Freedom of others. Let us never forgive those that snuffed out those lives.

 

‘Freedom Summer’ 2014

50 years after the murder of my brother, Andrew Goodman, voter rights still threatened.
David Goodman
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The Andrew Goodman Foundation
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Fifty years ago, on June 21, 1964, my older brother, Andrew Goodman, was murdered near Philadelphia, Miss. He and his colleagues Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were ambushed by more than a dozen members of the Ku Klux Klan, including the county’s deputy sheriff. They were taken to an unmarked dirt road and shot, one by one. Their bodies weren’t discovered for 44 days, a mystery and a tragedy that continues to elicit raw emotions even a half-century later.

It happened on the first day of Freedom Summer, an effort by the black leadership to flood Mississippi with northern college students who would help register African-American voters.

At the time, barely 7% of Mississippi’s black residents were registered to vote. In eight of the 13 mostly black counties in the state, not a single African American had ever voted. A century after the Civil War, they remained disenfranchised — citizens without a voice. It was more than segregation; it was subjugation. Something had to be done.

A daring initiative

The 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project was a bold initiative. Given the widespread hatred of “outside agitators,” it was an act of remarkable bravery by all who participated.

As the late Maya Angelou wrote in the foreword to My Mantelpiece, the recently published posthumous memoir of my mother, Carolyn Goodman, “Those three young men represent 300,000 young men and women who dared, who had the courage to go to the lion’s den and try to scrub the lion’s teeth.”

When 20-year-old Andy asked my parents for permission to volunteer in Mississippi, their urge to protect their son was trumped by the understanding that he was a spiritual reflection of themselves and their willingness to take action. His death devastated my family, but the brazenness of the act also shocked the nation. Sadly, it was largely because two of the three victims were white.

In fact, as officials searched through the forests and swamps of Mississippi, they discovered many black lynching victims who simply had been ignored because their tragic fate had become commonplace. So the case, which inspired the movie Mississippi Burning, lit a fire for the cause. It is no coincidence that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed the following year.

Yet here we go again. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of that landmark piece of legislation, and immediately a number of states moved to implement laws that would essentially reduce voter turnout among minority groups. Dubious claims ofvoter fraud are being used to once again disenfranchise a portion of the population.

In 1964, black would-be voters were turned away by intimidation and poll tests. Now, voter ID requirements and limited voting hourswill disproportionately turn away, or inconvenience, low-income and minority voters. It is a more sophisticated and insidious form of voter suppression.

Not letting go

Something has to be done. After Andy’s death, my mother devoted the rest of her life to ensuring that he did not die in vain. She formed The Andrew Goodman Foundation, celebrated youth activists, and worked tirelessly for voting rights and human rights (she was even arrested during a protest at age 83).

As the estimable Rep. John Lewis put it, “She got in trouble. … It was necessary trouble. And she inspired many of us to continue to get in trouble.”

But 50 years after Freedom Summer, we once again need to cause some trouble. The tragedy of the “Mississippi Burning” murders became a travesty of justice when only a handful of the perpetrators were convicted on federal charges, none spending more than a half-dozen years in prison because the state wouldn’t pursue a murder prosecution.

It wasn’t until 41 years later that the ringleader of the group wasconvicted of three counts of manslaughter. My 89-year-old mother testified at the trial, a trial that happened because a few determined folks, inside and outside of Mississippi, wouldn’t let it go.

So we cannot let this new movement — these cynical and sinister attempts to disenfranchise Americans — go. If it takes an act of “outside agitation,” so be it. If it requires courage, we can summon it. If it means replacing cynicism with optimism and apathy with action, we can accomplish it. After all, there is a tiny hamlet right next to Philadelphia, Miss. It is a town called Hope.

David Goodman is The Andrew Goodman Foundation president.

‘CELEBRATING’ 66 YEARS OF APARTHEID

There are two peoples here, and one people controls the other people. It controls its freedom of movement, its education, its social and economic development, where it lives and where it doesn’t, what it will do for a living and where. The Jews control the Palestinians and decide what is right and what is wrong for them. There is no other description of the reality of our life here apart from racial segregation.

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Apartheid is 66 years old

Op-ed: There are two peoples here, and one controls the other’s freedom of movement, education and development. What is that if not racial segregation?

Khaled Titi*

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“If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two-state solution,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in an effort to minimize the damage caused by his comments leaked from a closed forum, that Israel could become an apartheid state.

In other words, if he had the option, he would have described the reality of racial segregation Israel is approaching, but without irritating the Jewish lobby in the United States.

So why is apartheid so irritating in the Israeli context? First of all, because Israel, which has just celebrated 66 years of independence, is the only country in the world which can still be mentioned in the apartheid context in the 21st century.

Secondly, the connotation of the term “apartheid” focuses on a comparison which will lead to a complete overlap between the reality of life in Israel and the reality of life in South Africa in the 20th century – a regime/policy of racial segregation.

It’s true that there isn’t a complete overlap between Israel today and South Africa of those days, but if we examine the reality of life in Israel in accordance with the racial segregation theory, apartheid is already here, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and no green or purple line can blur it, and neither can artificial definitions of territories and populations.

There are two peoples here, and one people controls the other people. It controls its freedom of movement, its education, its social and economic development, where it lives and where it doesn’t, what it will do for a living and where. The Jews control the Palestinians and decide what is right and what is wrong for them. There is no other description of the reality of our life here apart from racial segregation.

The refusal to accept this argument stems from the disregard towards the slew of examples on the ground which prove the Jewish control over the Palestinians’ lives.

If there is no apartheid here, what should we call a situation in which the civil law applies to the settlers and the military law applies to the Palestinians? What is the political meaning of stripping Palestinians of their land, restricting them with a concrete fence and building multi-story buildings on that land for the Jews? And what is the explanation for the humiliation of a laborer from Hebron at Israeli checkpoints?

The Israeli control alongside the loss of any chance for the existence of a sovereign Palestinian state on the ground will officially turn into apartheid. No other name will change the content. The early stage of this process will be a bi-national state, which is the final institutionalization of the Jewish state as a state of racial segregation.

Don’t get me wrong. The exclusivity of the Jewish control, which will soon enjoy a legal status, is not only relevant to the occupied Palestinians. The “separate development” theory is alive and kicking within the State of Israel too.

The Palestinian citizens of Israel are second-class citizens. They live and “develop” separately from the Jews. It’s true that we vote in the Knesset elections, but the question is whether we have any control on making decisions about our lives? The state controls all the systems of our lives, the education, the culture and the urban and economic development, and without official legislation.

One of the famous laws in South Africa, the Mine and Works Act, fixed the manning of senior positions with white people only. That sounds familiar, right? There is no such law in Israel, but that is what is actually happening.

Jews and Arabs live separately. Arabs cannot live in Jewish cities, because that will of course affect the “Jewish identity.” Moshavim and kibbutzim has special legislation which blocs the entry of Arabs, and now the finance minister even wants to determine that an Arab will pay more for an apartment.

Jews cannot live n Arab villages either. There is nothing for them there – no infrastructures, no new neighborhoods, no education or sports facilities. And we have yet to mention the Prawer Plan for the eradication of the Bedouin settlement in the Negev, and the division of the Palestinians into ethnic groups. When one ethnic group controls another ethnic group and intervenes in shaping its national identity, it is exercising a de-facto apartheid regime.

Apartheid is also a matter of consciousness which creates “acceptable” patterns of behavior between the masters and the subjects and allows the Jewish public to feel like the Palestinians’ master.

The Jewish public has become accustomed to not letting the facts, as harsh as they may be, confuse it. Most people have adopted ready responses like “this is the Jewish state,” “without loyalty there will be no citizenship” or, for example, “Go to Gaza, and say thank you that you’re not living in Syria.”

Thank you, really. And really, just admit it: We are living in an apartheid after all.

*Adv. Khaled Titi is the parliamentary assistant of Knesset Member Dr. Basel Ghattas.

ISRAELI RACISM 101

The now official legalisation of racism in Israel has a history …. it didn’t start with Netanyahu and surely won’t end with him …

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Some attitudes and policies … Prepared by Michael Rivero

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1. “There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies, not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.” Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001

2. “The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more”…. Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time – August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

3. ” [The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs.” Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the Beasts”. New Statesman, 25 June 1982.

4. “The Palestinians” would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” ” Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

5. “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

6. “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” Golda Maier, March 8, 1969.

7. “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

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And now, the defense of same ….

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Israel PM defends plans for law on Jewish state FROM
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) chairs the weekly cabinet
meeting at his office in Jerusalem, on May 4, 2014 (AFP/Oliver Weiken)
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JERUSALEM (AFP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday moved to defend his plans to enshrine Israel’s status as the national homeland for the Jewish people in law.Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the aim was to “anchor” in law Israel’s status and ensure it would remain a Jewish state following any peace deal with the Palestinians.”There are those who do not want Israel to be defined as the national homeland for the Jewish people,” he said in remarks broadcast on public radio.

“They want a Palestinian national homeland to be established here next to us, and that Israel be gradually turned into a bi-national Jewish-Arab state within our reduced borders,” he told ministers in a reference to Israel’s Arab minority who number just over 20 percent of the population.

Netanyahu and others in the rightwing camp have long expressed fears that following the establishment of a Palestinian state, Israel’s Arab citizens would seek to press their own claims for territory in the northern Galilee and southern Negev regions.

“You cannot say we want to break away from the Palestinians to prevent a bi-national state — something which has a certain logic — and at the same time give your blessing to a bi-national, Jewish-Arab state within Israel’s permanent borders,” he said.

“Israel gives full equal rights to all of its citizens but it is the national homeland of just one people – the Jewish people.”

Throughout the most recent round of peace talks, which ended in crisis on Tuesday with the sides bitterly at odds, Netanyahu demanded such recognition from the Palestinians, insisting it was a core issue of the conflict.

The Palestinians have refused.

For them, accepting Israel as a Jewish state would mean accepting the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, that befell them when 760,000 of their people fled or were forced out of their homes in the war that accompanied Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Israel’s Arab minority are the descendants of the 160,000 Palestinians who remained on their land after 1948.

According to figures published ahead of independence day, which is marked from sundown Monday, Israel’s population stands at 8.2 million, the Central Bureau of Statistics said.

Of that figure, 75 percent, or 6,135,000 people, are Jewish, while Arab Israelis account for 20.7 percent, or 1,694,000 people.

IT’S OFFICIAL ~~ ISRAEL IS A RACIST STATE!

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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It took 66 years, but Netanyahu finally admitted that Israel is a racist (for Jews only) state …

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“The state of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its citizens, but it is the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the state of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, I intend to submit a basic law that will anchor this status.”

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Netanyahu pushes to define Israel as nation state of Jewish people only

PM proposes rare change to basic law in response to ‘constant and increasing assault’ on aspects of Israel’s legitimacy
Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem FOR
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Binyamin Netanyahu

Binyamin Netanyahu, centre, at the weekly meeting of his cabinet. Photograph: Oliver Weiken/AFP/Getty Images

Binyamin Netanyahu will push ahead with a rare change to Israel‘s basic laws – which amount to the country’s constitution – to insist Israel is “the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people”.

At Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the civil rights of minorities, including Arabs, would be guaranteed, and the move was vital at a time when aspects of Israel’s legitimacy were “under a constant and increasing assault from abroad and at home”.

Netanyahu proposed the change last week during a visit to Tel Aviv’s Independence Hall, attracting fierce criticism from political rivals and support from some of his allies. The move follows a Palestinian refusal in peace talks to recognise the status that Netanyahu described.

The proposed law would be in addition to Israel’s declaration of independence of May 1948 – the anniversary of which is celebrated on Tuesday – which defines Israel as a Jewish state.

Most of Israel’s basic laws deal with procedural issues relating to elections, the appointment of the prime minister, state payments and the administration of the judiciary, but some laws have been more controversial, including the 1980 law that designated Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Despite the intention that the new law should guarantee full equal rights, critics say it strays into contentious territory in its explicit definition which, regardless of passport and citizenship, would codify a differential notion of nationhood.

Netanyahu laid out his rationale for the change at the cabinet meeting. “The state of Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. Our basic laws give full expression to the democratic side of the state,” he said. “On the other hand, that the state of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people is not sufficiently expressed in our basic laws, and this is what the draft basic law is meant to provide.

“The state of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its citizens, but it is the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the state of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, I intend to submit a basic law that will anchor this status.”

He added: “Of course, there are those who do not want the state of Israel to be defined as the nation state of the Jewish people. They want a Palestinian nation state to be established alongside us and that Israel should gradually become a binational, Arab-Jewish state inside shrunken borders. But I simply say that one cannot hold the national stick at both of its national ends.

“They cannot say that they want to separate from the Palestinians in order to prevent a binational state, which has a certain logic, and also sanctify a binational, Jewish-Arab state within the permanent borders of the state of Israel.”

Among those who have expressed concern over the proposal is the justice minister, Tzipi Livni. Although in favour of defining Israel more clearly in law as “the national home of the Jewish people and a democratic state”, she has expressed opposition to “any law that gives superiority” to the Jewish nature of state over the country’s democratic values.

She said she could only support legislation where “Jewish and democratic would have the same weight, not more Jewish than democratic, nor more democratic than Jewish”.

Her remarks echoed those of the Labour party leader, Isaac Herzog, last week when the idea was first floated. “With all its being, the Labour party supports Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” he said. “Labour built the state and its leaders formulated the declaration of independence, the foundational document that anchors Israel as a Jewish state.

“Unfortunately, the diplomatic destruction Netanyahu is causing will lead Israel to lose its Jewish majority and become a binational state. This unfortunate fact is something no law can hide.”

RABBIS AGAINST RACISM SPEAK OUT

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In recent years, Eliyahu sought to keep Arabs from moving into Safed, whose local college has some 1,500 Arab students. He said that selling or renting homes to Arabs “is prohibited by Jewish law.”

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Over 1,000 rabbis urge Jerusalem mayor not to pick Islamophobe for chief rabbi

Rick Jacobs, Julie Schonfeld, Asher Lopatin and Debra Waxman among signatories who say choice of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, now chief rabbi of Safed, would send ‘message of divisiveness and intolerance.’

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Shmuel Eliyahu

Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed. Photo by Nir Kafri
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Over 1,000 liberal Diaspora rabbis have appealed to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat not to appoint Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu as the capital’s chief Sephardi rabbi, citing his history of anti-Arab remarks and rulings. Reports are that Barkat is leaning toward Eliyahu for the appointment, which is being fought over by Jerusalem’s Orthodox Jewish powers.

Prominent among the rabbis signing the letter were Reform Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Conservative Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, liberal Orthodox Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Reconstructionist Rabbi Deborah Waxman and Rabbi Brian Lurie, president of the New Israel Fund.

The letter notes that Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed, “made a halakhic ruling barring Jews from renting apartments to Arabs, opposed military service for women, characterized Arabs and Muslims in racist and humiliating terms, while the attorney general said his candidacy for [Sephardi] chief rabbi was inappropriate.”
The rabbis told Barkat that appointing Eliyahu to the post would “send a message of divisiveness and intolerance” from Jerusalem.

In recent years, Eliyahu sought to keep Arabs from moving into Safed, whose local college has some 1,500 Arab students. He said that selling or renting homes to Arabs “is prohibited by Jewish law.”

On one occasion he was quoted as saying, “The Arab society has an agenda; they want to Islamicize the world. Arab society is, generally and without generalizations, a violent society.”

Another time he came out against girls serving in the army, saying it puts them “into inappropriate situations that harm their faith, emotions and often, sadly, their bodies.”

Eliyahu’s late father, Mordechai, was chief Sephardi rabbi of Israel and later a spiritual leader to many extremist settler youth, delivering a eulogy at Meir Kahane’s funeral.

 

Written FOR

 

RACISM SURFACES AGAIN AT NEW YORK TIMES

‘All the racism that’s fit to print’ …. OR NOT!

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The Times must apologize to all its readers, especially to those who are “Palestinian Arabs,” and the newspaper should also reprimand the editor who allowed this libel to get into print.

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‘NYT Book Review’ owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians

AN AFRO-AMERICAN RELIVES SEGREGATION ON A VISIT TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE

When I first visited Occupied Palestine, in 2011, there was something about the experience that seemed very familiar. It was not only the sense of the racist oppression the Palestinians were experiencing; it was something else. When I returned home I realized what it was.

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Traveling Through Palestine While Black: A Firsthand Look at a Slow-Moving Annexation

Witnessing a brutal occupation, where permanent insecurity and maximum humiliation are the norm.
By Bill Fletcher, Jr.*
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A Palestinian boy and Israeli soldier in front of the Israeli West Bank separation barrier.
Photo Credit: Justin McIntosh/Wikimedia Commons

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In the first several days after returning from Israel and Occupied Palestine, I dreamed of Palestine each night. It was never a pleasant dream. While I cannot remember the details, I was always left with a feeling of anxiety and insecurity. In that sense the dreams matched the realities of the Palestinians, be they citizens of Israel or residents of the Occupied Territories. It also corresponded to the emotions raised in a recent trip in which I participated.

Prison

It has become almost a cliché to speak of Gaza, the Palestinian territories on the Mediterranean controlled by Hamas and blockaded by Israel, as the largest open-air prison on the planet. Yet I am not sure I will any longer agree with the limits of that characterization. The Palestinians are all in prison. While Gaza may be a maximum security facility, the West Bank is nevertheless a prison. So little is actually controlled by Palestinians despite the formal notion of autonomy. Israeli military incursions can and do happen at any time convenient for the Israeli government and its military occupation. Palestinians are prohibited from using certain roads. The ominous and illegal separation wall, better known as the apartheid wall, spreads like a disease across the land, dividing the Palestinians not as much from the Israelis as from their own land.

For all of that, it is the sense of permanent insecurity and maximum humiliation that reinforces the feeling one gets of being in a prison. There are checkpoints at seemingly every turn; one is subjected to being stopped at any time. There is an attitude of arrogance and contempt on the part of most of the Israeli military personnel. With their submachine guns and their insistence on using Hebrew in communicating with the Arabic-speaking Palestinians, they invade the space of the indigenous population, always reminding them that there is no such thing as privacy in the Occupied Territories.

An African-American delegation

Within black America there has for decades been an amorphous constituency that, at a minimum, has been interested in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and in many cases has been supportive of Palestinians and their fight for national self-determination and democracy. Yet the issue of Palestine has rarely been one around which African Americans, in any great numbers, have organized and mobilized, or for that matter even spoken out.

It has nevertheless been the case that since the June 1967 Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors, there have been African Americans who have raised questions about the objectives of Israel in its occupation of Palestinian territories and its treatment of its own Palestinian minority. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) offered an historic condemnation of Israel in the aftermath of the June 1967 war, resulting in SNCC losing a significant portion of its white support in the USA. The black radical movement, of which SNCC was part[during the course of the 1970s], frequently linked the cause of the Palestinians with the struggles against colonialism and white minority rule in Africa. And during the 1970s and 1980s, center-left political figures such as Rev. Jesse Jackson began pushing the US mainstream consensus around the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, insisting on the legitimacy of the demands of the Palestinian people.

The small African-American delegation of which I was a part of in many ways reflected this internationalist tradition. Though broadly speaking progressive, most of the members of the delegation were under 45 and had little background in the Palestinian liberation struggle. Comprised largely of artists, the members of the delegation were individuals cognizant of but not immersed in international issues at the level of organizing and mobilizing.

Almost universally, delegation members were unprepared for the in-your-face brutality of the Occupation. While it may seem melodramatic, the visit was potentially life-changing for each member of the delegation. The question is whether the overwhelming sense of the criminality of the Occupation will be suppressed inside each of us over time since such feelings compel one to ask several questions, not the least being, how can the USA be so complicit in this horror?

The Middle East’s One True Democracy?

It is clear that it is more than possible to visit Israel and have no sense of the apartheid system that operates both within its borders as well as in the Occupied Territories. Such visits happen all the time. It is not possible, however, to visit the Occupied Territories and walk away with such ignorance intact unless, perhaps, one goes directly from Jerusalem to a settlement in the dead of night and fails to leave the settlement’s confines.

Israel has been an explicit occupying power—by international standards—since the June 1967 war when it seized the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai from Egypt.1 Almost immediately after the commencement of the Occupation, Israel began to construct a system and program of settlements in the Occupied Territories. What too many people in the USA fail to understand—or do not wish to understand—is that settlements on occupied territory represent a violation of international law. Both Israel and Morocco (in the latter’s occupation of the Western Sahara) are explicitly in violation of international law through their respective colonization projects. The United Nations has been quite clear that Israel should stop settlements, but in large part due to the refusal of the United States to take a serious stand against this practice, Israel has snubbed its nose at the UN and at most of the rest of the world.2

The term “settlement” does not properly convey what one sees in the Occupied Territories. What strikes any first-time visitor is that the settlements can better be described as suburban communities, not unlike the communities of stucco-tiled homes that line the hills along the coast of southern California. The word settlements brings to mind tent cities or other impermanent housing arrangements with neither water nor sewer service out in the middle of nowhere. That is not what one sees in the West Bank.

Much as they did within Israel proper, the Israeli authorities have seized lands owned by Palestinians in order to create, in this case, settlements on the West Bank. This land has been seized in the name of security in some instances, and has been seized in other instances because the Palestinians have allegedly abandoned it. In still other cases, land has been seized because Israeli authorities have proclaimed an archeological find located in the territory inhabited by Palestinians, thus justifying land theft and the removal of Palestinians. There are a host of reasons that are offered, with desperate attempts to find justification within an alleged legal framework.

But here is where the trick unfolds. The Israeli authorities make and then enforce respect for the laws that they need in order to advance their own objectives. Even in situations such as Hebron where the Israeli court has agreed that certain territory should be returned to the Palestinians, the Israeli military refuses to comply and nothing has been done about it.3

The “settlements” begin with what look like camps. Indeed, some of them are called outposts if they’re originally built without explicit government approval. They seem innocuous at first, but what is striking is that they are each designed as part of a process of surrounding Palestinian cities. While, for instance, the city of Bethlehem is Palestinian, Israeli settlements have been established around Bethlehem which, in conjunction with the refusal of the Israeli authorities to allow Palestinian expansion, essentially chokes the city itself.

So, for a moment, think about a nice suburban community in the USA. Now, think about several such communities being located on hilltops surrounding a central community inhabited by a different ethnic group that is not allowed to partake in any of the resources of those suburban communities. In fact, residents of that central community are not permitted to use the same roads as the settlers and are not even guaranteed water. It was pointed out that one can tell the difference between Israeli settlements and Palestinian communities by who has water tanks on their roofs. Why? Because the settlers are guaranteed access to water pumped into their homes. Palestinians have to rely on water that is collected over time and stored in water tanks on their roofs.

The West Bank is divided into three zones: A, B and C. “A” are those zones under Palestinian control. “B” is under Palestinian administrative control, but the Israeli military has the final word. “C” is under Israeli military control. Sixty percent of the West Bank is classified as Zone C. These designations, which arose out of the fateful Oslo Peace Accords, have resulted in the interminable squeezing of the Palestinian population. There is no room for their expansion, they control no water and there is the ominous separation wall which disrespects international law by its very existence, cutting through the West Bank and cutting off entire communities from the land that they farm. As one Palestinian explained to me, the Palestinian experience is akin to the legendary Chinese water torture, with the drops of water falling on one’s forehead, slowly driving the person insane. In this case, each drop—each micro- and macro-aggression—is aimed at making the situation so intolerable for the Palestinians that they will abandon their homeland.

You Cannot Run Away From Race

Israel and the Occupied Territories exist within the framework of a particular and peculiar racial hierarchy. During the first three decades of its existence, the world was led to believe that race was not a factor in Israel, discounting, of course, the treatment of the Palestinians. With the appearance of the Israeli Black Panther movement in the early 1970s, all of that changed, and actually introduced complications.

The Israeli Black Panthers originated in the Mizrahi community, that is, Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. They emerged as a militant protest movement challenging an Israeli establishment that was dominated by Ashkenazis (Jews from Europe). Though the movement borrowed the name from the US-based Black Panther Party, in reality the movements had little in common other than addressing, to varying degrees, race. The Israeli Black Panthers were not a particularly left-wing formation and they were not at all sympathetic to the Palestinian people. Instead, they were a movement that challenged racial discrimination and privilege within the Jewish Israeli bloc, but in no way suggested that the very existence of an Israel that marginalized and oppressed Palestinians undermined any intentions or efforts to eradicate racial discrimination.

Thus, the Israeli racial hierarchy exists with the Ashkenazi Jews largely at the top; then the Mizrahi. At that point the hierarchy reformats given that outside of the Jewish Israeli bloc there are three very separate groups: the Palestinians, the Druze (an ethno-religious community), and most recently, African migrants.

There are many people who have been involved with the issue of Palestine who refrain from references to “race” when it comes to describing or analyzing the situation of the Palestinians. Instead, they focus on the “national” aspect of the oppression and the generalized denial of human rights. Yet in walking the streets of Occupied Palestine, and also in walking through Israel-proper, members of our African-American delegation could not escape the feeling that we had seen this before.

The United Nations definition of the “crime of apartheid” from 1973 reads in part: “Inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” This definition is of critical importance for several reasons, not the least being that it is not limited to the South African or even Southern African context. In other words, as far as the international community is concerned, “apartheid,” as a system, is a category of racist oppression that can exist outside of Southern Africa, though the term itself was coined in South Africa.

The stench of race and the racism perpetrated against the Palestinians is evident throughout Israel and the Occupied Territories, manifesting itself in various forms. The most obvious form surrounds the matter of the “right of return.” Jews, regardless of nationality, are guaranteed a home in Israel. Palestinians, irrespective of whether their families inhabited a piece of land for generations, are not guaranteed the right to return to their lands in Israel if the Israeli state has declared that they have abandoned the land. This is once again in contravention to United Nations resolutions and Geneva Conventions.

Palestinians, regardless of their country of residence, are subject to humiliating harassment when they attempt to enter or leave Israel. Palestinian citizens of Israel find themselves subject to full body searches at airports and other exit points, not to mention extensive interrogations.

As noted earlier, there are certain roads on which Palestinians are prohibited. This was a matter that our delegation directly experienced. The van we were using was authorized to travel on settler-only roads, but our Palestinian guide could only travel with special permission. Yet these “settler-only” roads often run under or through Palestinian land. The inability of Palestinians to use these roads means that travel between various points within the West Bank is nothing short of onerous. A trip that would normally take 30 minutes can end up taking 90 minutes or more.

An additional feature to “race” in Israel and the Occupied Territories is something that can perhaps be described as ecological racism. It concerns trees—specifically, pine trees. In the vicinity of many of the Israeli settlements one finds pine trees. They are very beautiful but there is a problem. These pine trees are not native to Israel/Palestine. They have been brought to the region by Europeans. The planting of these pine trees is as ecologically catastrophic as it is offensive to the Palestinians. There are pine trees that are native to the region, but the settlers have decided to ignore that reality and bring in alien vegetation that is harmful to the land and the water table.4 The settlers have made a practice of planting these European pine trees on the locations of Palestinian villages in the Occupied Territories that were destroyed in order to make way for the Israeli settlements.

In order to understand race, one must appreciate the notion of arbitrariness. Anyone who has directly experienced racism realizes that it is the insecurity and the notion that at any moment matters can be taken out of your hands that makes the racist oppression ever-present and very real. In the case of an African American in the USA, the idea that one can be stopped by the police when driving through a white neighborhood, or in a different scenario, shot and killed by a white homeowner if you happen to knock on his door, that emphasizes the perpetual vulnerability that one experiences.

This is very much the same with Palestinians. A former Israeli soldier, offering insight into the workings of the Occupation, noted that Israeli soldiers are trained and encouraged to engage in random, violent acts against the Palestinians, for example, through invading the homes of Palestinians for no apparent reason. The idea behind such psychological warfare is to keep the Palestinian people perpetually unstable and uneasy.

Violence perpetrated against Palestinians, particularly by settlers, is rarely punished by the Israeli state. Yet any violence by Palestinians against settlers earns the wrath of the settlers and the Israeli military. Again, despite the pretense of a system governed by laws, the Israeli domination of the Palestinians—whether in Israel or in the Occupied Territories—is outside the law. To borrow from the Dred Scott decision in the US, the Palestinians have few, if any rights, that Israelis are bound to respect. Though this is frequently covered in religious and semi-religious rhetoric, the basic fact remains that the Palestinians exist as a subordinate species as far as most Israelis are concerned.

This sense of violence surrounded our experience as a delegation. We never feared a terrorist attack or armed assault by Palestinians. Yet every day, it is fair to say, we approached our activities with caution vis-a-vis the Israelis. One never knew, from one moment to the next, whether we would be held and interrogated, or whether our Palestinian guide would at some point be whisked away from us for allegedly breaking any of the myriad restrictions imposed on the Palestinians by the Israeli establishment.

But the sense of violence was concrete in a different manner. At one point, in a tour of the South Hebron Hills, our van stopped and a guide, who happened to be a former Israeli soldier, had us outside while he was explaining the Israeli system of outposts and settlements. Several settlers drove by, slowly, watching us. In one case a settler, who as it turned out had been implicated in physical assaults on Palestinians, drove by twice, the second time stopping his vehicle immediately behind us where he just sat for several minutes, glowering. Although our Israeli guide was not particularly worried, our delegation, keenly aware of African-American history and black experience at the hands of white vigilantes, was less than sanguine about sitting out in the middle of nowhere. At the end of the day, we all knew that there existed scant (no) justice (system) in the Occupied Territories for people like us.

Race has taken on a newer form in Israel with the introduction of African migrants. There are actually two sets of African migrants. First, the Ethiopian Jews (Falasha), many of whom were brought to Israel in a mass retrieval. The Israeli establishment, irrespective of their rhetoric, has never been entirely comfortable with this population, and Israeli right-wing and semi-fascists are even less so. A recent incident whereby a Falasha, who is an elected member of the Knesset, was not allowed to donate blood highlights the point. Nevertheless, this segment of the population is considered, officially at least, to be legitimate. They are found in the Israel Defense Forces and elsewhere.

Separate and apart from the Falasha are the African migrants who have traveled to Israel as political refugees. Described by none other than Prime Minister Netanyahu as “infiltrators”—a term which I only recently learned had originally been coined to describe expelled Palestinians who crossed back into Israel—this population has grown over the last decade. A significant percentage of these migrants are from Eritrea and Sudan. Their likelihood of gaining citizenship or a legal status is slim to none. Yet, as with migrants in so many other parts of the world—including but not limited to the US—the Israeli economy finds such migrants quite useful as a productive and vulnerable workforce, even if the Israeli political Right wishes them expelled.

Walking through the streets of South Tel Aviv on a Saturday afternoon is a surreal experience. Our delegation saw a huge wedding party of East Africans. A park became the home for hundreds of African men, socializing or simply hanging out. This migrant population has become an unstable element in Israel. The political establishment has shown no interest in offering asylum—temporary or permanent—to these migrants, so many of whom have sought freedom from hunger, repression and war. Instead they have been locked up or are living lives in the shadows. In the recent past they have begun to organize and mobilize, insisting upon their human rights. In fact, our delegation spoke with Israeli supporters of the migrants who informed us that the loose organization of migrants wishes to take their case to the United Nations if the Israeli government continues to refuse to recognize their rights as legitimate refugees.

In the case of both the Palestinians and the African undocumented migrants there is a demographic concern that eats away at the Israeli political establishment. They are actually quite open about this concern. Contrary to the international notion of an ethnically pluralist democracy, the Israeli establishment believes that they, and they alone, have the right to an ethnically/religiously pure nation-state. However, they face four problems: the existence of Palestinian citizens of Israel who represent approximately 20% of the state of Israel and are growing; the Palestinians in the West Bank; a Palestinian Diaspora that insists upon its internationally recognized right to return to the land that they believed that they temporarily vacated in 1948, and later in 1967; and the undocumented Africans.

For the Israeli establishment the sum total of these problems is a demographic threat to Israel. Specifically, the Israeli establishment is deeply worried that they will quickly become another apartheid South Africa or white minority Rhodesia, wherein the Jewish population ends up constituting a minority and is swamped by non-Jews.5 Although publicly cast in religious terms, the problem really comes down to cold demographics, in that sense so very similar to the US Southwest in the period after the US war against Mexico and the white expansion into lands populated by Mexicans and those populated by Native Americans.

Since We Are Talking About Race…

There is another side to race in Israel and Palestine that gained the attention of our delegation: race within the Palestinian community.

Among Arabs, race is a very complicated matter that cannot be distilled down to skin tone or hair texture. The Arabic word that is frequently used for “blacks” is the same word that is used for “slaves” (Abeed or Abid). Yet, some who use that term—as in the case of Northern Sudanese—would be described as black in a US context.6 It is also worth noting that there has been struggle around the very usage of the term, much as there has been in the USA around terms such as “Oriental.”

One can get different signals from within both Arab and Muslim history regarding race. One of the most important people in Islamic history was an Ethiopian slave liberated by the Prophet Muhammad, named Bilal ibn Rabah. And certainly a “black” presence can be seen throughout the Arab world and Arab history, e.g., in the recent past, Egypt’s Nasser and Sadat. At the same time there was the Arab-run slave trade and in various parts of the Arab World biases against those seen or described as black.

Arabs who migrated to the USA (pre-1980) by and large developed a relationship with African Americans that was less than solidaristic. Arab/African American tensions in the US in part reflected the economic niche that many Arabs came to occupy, that is, store owners in African-American neighborhoods, and otherwise having little constructive contact. This was compounded by attempts by Arab immigrants to assimilate into white America, attempts which grew in complexity in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

The problematic side to the relationship between Arabs and African Americans in the US contrasts with the emergence of a significant Muslim trend within black America and also with the attention that the Arab world received within progressive political circles in black America in the context of the anti-colonial struggles of the 20th century. For example, the Egyptian Revolution and the Algerian Revolution were discussed in African-American political movements and frequently served as points of inspiration. The favorable feeling toward the Arab world in much of black America was aided by the outstanding assistance that Arab nations, such as Egypt and Algeria, offered to anti-colonial struggles in other parts of Africa.

The Palestinian movement, as it moved to the Left and became more radical in its analysis and approach, also saw itself as aligned with other anti-colonial and national liberation movements. This included attention to the African-American people’s movement in the US. The Left within the Palestinian movement had an appreciation of the African-American struggle, but the global solidarity work of the Palestine Liberation Organization never matched that of South Africa’s African National Congress or Pan African Congress of Azania in terms of building a breadth of organized support.

Nevertheless, certainly by the time of the Oslo Accords (1993), the PLO/Palestinian Authority adopted a different and more insular view. Much like Ireland’s Sinn Fein, which in the aftermath of the cease fire in the north of Ireland slowly but surely abandoned many of the broader international relationships it had cultivated, the Palestinian Authority turned in on itself, ignoring many of its global supporters, and sadly, ignoring many from the global Palestinian Diaspora as well. As such, connections that seemed to have existed between the Palestinian movement and black America dried up.

Attention to the matter of racism among Arabs reemerged in the context of the civil war that took place in the Sudan (between the North and the South), and subsequently, the war in Darfur and the genocide that unfolded. As a result of the fact that so many countries of the Arab world united behind Sudanese President Al Bashir in both internal conflicts (claiming that the West was attempting to dismantle the Sudan), and ignored the plight of those who suffered at the hands of his and prior regimes, sensitivity to this issue has grown within segments of black America.

Our delegation was not immune to that sensitivity. Thus, it was fascinating to have begun the trip with a discussion with Afro-Palestinians. There is a lengthy African presence within and among the Palestinian people. While there are those who can trace their ancestry back 1,000 years, over the last 100 years migrants from various parts of Africa settled in Palestine (what is now Israel as well as the Occupied Territories) and were absorbed into the larger Palestinian community. This community sees itself as Palestinian and there has been much intermarriage with other segments of the Palestinian community. Yet, shades of color and the legacy of the Arab slave trade remain a component of the Arab reality, compounded by the impact of European colonialism and its modification of the ignominious color line.

The biases we occasionally encountered were not surprising, any more than unpleasant encounters between an Arab delegation and some African Americans, if the former were visiting the US. The critical matter that confronted us, as a delegation, was the attitude of leading elements of the Palestinian movement toward race both within and among the Palestinian people, but also vis-à-vis the Arab relationship within and toward the larger African world.7 It was here that we began a constructive dialogue that can be mutually beneficial. Among other things it reminded the African Americans that race does not play itself out identically around the world. Our experience with white supremacy in the US, for instance, is quite different from the rationale and operation of race among Arabs, a formerly colonized people. Our experience with white supremacy, however, shares a great deal in common with the Palestinian experience with Israeli apartheid in both the state of Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Time Running Out

When I first visited Occupied Palestine, in 2011, there was something about the experience that seemed very familiar. It was not only the sense of the racist oppression the Palestinians were experiencing; it was something else. When I returned home I realized what it was.

In 2005 I drove with my family from Los Angeles to Boulder, CO. We drove through a Navaho area. There was a sense of depression, if not despair, from the Navaho we encountered and the realization that this proud people had been relegated by a conqueror to less than perfect lands where they were to remain. Some Native Americans were not so “lucky.” They are only remembered by the names of some rivers and towns, having been annihilated in the process of the European expansion westward.

There was a moment in the early 19th century when the demographic balance of North America was not so unbalanced that it might have been possible for Native Americans to have constructed a different outcome. This was the principal focus of the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, but there were others who also recognized the nature of the challenge. Unfortunately, by the time of the US war against Mexico, the balance was clearly against Native Americans. Immigrants from Europe were flooding into North America, and combined with technology (including military technology), the Native Americans were defeated and ultimately marginalized.

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. may have been correct in affirming that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice, this does not mean that every morally just struggle wins, at least in the short-term. There is something about timing, which is linked to organization and the extent of support any cause has within both a nation-state context and globally.

As our delegation rode through Israel and the Occupied Territories I could not help but wonder how much time remained for the Palestinians. I do not mean to suggest that they face physical annihilation, in the sense of extermination through mass executions.8 They do face the possibility of a different sort of annihilation. If their land continues to be seized; if they cannot build; if they remain cornered like rats in a maze; they will cease to exist. They will find themselves without their homeland, and much like Native Americans in North America, relocated to some other territory or simply dispersed onto the winds.

Much of the Israeli political establishment believes that Palestinians should be evicted and moved to Jordan. In that sense the Israeli strategy for a slow-moving annexation of the West Bank, as criminal as it is, is nevertheless quite understandable. They want to turn the conditions in the Occupied Territories, along with the conditions for Palestinian citizens of Israel, into something so inhospitable, that there is no choice but to move.

Our delegation certainly was moved to speak out against this abomination. Yet so much more is necessary. Insofar as the leadership of the Palestinian Authority is prepared to make serial and humiliating concessions to the demands of Israel and its US sponsors, the future of the Palestinians will resemble the reality of today’s Native American nations in North America. In the alternative, the extent to which the global community is moved to counter the current denial of Palestinian rights, appropriation of Palestinian lands, and displacement of Palestinian people—as occurred with regard to colonialism and white minority rule in Africa—is the extent to which Dr. King’s arc will bend toward justice.

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1 Some in the Palestinian movement have taken the position that the entire area of historic Palestine is occupied. They base this claim on the manner in which the United Nations divided up the then-British-controlled “Palestine Mandate” into Jewish zones and Arab zones (and Jerusalem as an international city) without the input or approval of any Arabs, not the least being the exclusion of the Palestinians themselves. In the text of this essay, however, the use of the term “occupied” makes reference to territories seized by Israel through the June 1967 war.

2 Morocco, in part due to its alliance with France and the US, has done much the same.

3 For more on the situation in Hebron, see: Allison Deger, “Palestinians in Hebron demand Israel ‘Open Shuhada Street’ and protest 20th anniversary of Ibrahimi Mosque massacre,” Feb. 24, 2014, mondoweiss.net/2014/02/palestinians-twentieth-anniversary.html. Additionally, see: Alternative Information Center, “Settler Aggression Against Palestinian Children in Hebron,” Institute for Middle East Understanding, April 14, 2011, at imeu.net/news/printer0020752.shtml.

4 It is interesting to note that European settlers did much the same thing in South Africa. The post-apartheid government began taking steps to remove the alien vegetation due to its impact on the environment.

5 A close examination of the current numbers, if one were to look at the Gaza, West Bank, and Palestinian citizens of Israel, points to the basis for the demographic unease within the Israeli establishment. This helps to explain the xenophobic tendencies within the right-wing of the Israeli establishment that would actually like to envision a wholesale population “swap.”

6 Look at a picture of Sudan President Al Bashir, for instance.

7 The wording of this challenge is complicated by many factors. “Arab” represents a culture and Arabic is a language. Arabs are themselves quite diverse. In fact, there is an overlap between Arabs and other ethnic groups in North Africa especially, e.g., the Berbers. Arabs are part of Africa (and Asia) and the broader African world, while at the same constituting their own Arab world. Neither is monolithic. The Maghreb, or the Arab world to the west of Egypt, includes various tribes and ethnicities as far west as the Western Sahara and Mauritania.

8 The Deir Yassin massacre is among the most well-known of the ethnic cleansings carried out against Palestinians between 1946-’49 at the hands of Zionist military units.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a racial justice, labor and international writer and activist. He is a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com, and the co-author of Solidarity Divided.

 

Related Links

 

RABBINICAL SATANIC VERSES

The Rabbis of The Devil

Posted by Khalid Amayreh

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Rabbis of the Devil

 

By Khalid Amayreh

Imagine, just imagine, the outcry that would follow an imagined call by a European Muslim or Christian religious leader suggesting sending hundreds of thousands of Jews to concentration camps.  The Sheikh or priest or  bishop would be lambasted  beyond imagination, and his  denomination  or church  would immediately distance itself from his foolish remarks.

Political authorities would also declare that Nazi-minded Sheikh or bishop has no place in modern Europe and that governments would nip the hateful and racist elements in the bud. In short, he would be looked upon  as a pariah, to say the very least. He even might be forced to commit suicide under public pressure.

 As to Jewish circles, their protests would be clarion and omnipresent.

But how would things look like if such a call took place in Israel and was made by a popular rabbi, with hundreds of thousands of followers?

According to a weekly Hebrew magazine, several rabbis, including the rabbi of Safad, Shmuel Eliyahu,  recently proposed  the establishment of death camps for the Palestinians.

The magazine indicated that the creation of these camps would be the duty of all devout Jews.

The Yedeot Ahronot’s YNet on Saturday, 15 January quoted the rabbis  as stating that the Torah requires Jews to wipe out any trace of the so-called Amalek in Palestine . Many religious Jews refer to their perceived or real enemies as Amalek.

The YNet quoted Jewish intellectual Audi Aloni as saying that calls for the extermination of Palestinians are openly made in the synagogues as the genocidal idea has become a practical option.

“No one objected to Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safad and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Chief Rabbi of Beit El, who undersigned the advisory opinion, which suggested approval for their opinion.”

I realize that these evil men don’t represent Jews everywhere, nor do they even represent the entire rabbinic community. There are many esteemed rabbis who reject outright the satanic mindset permeating through the landscape of the sick minds of people like Elyahu,  his cohorts and evil colleagues. 

The Torah, after all, was supposed to be a light upon humanity. But when it becomes, thanks to those rabbis of Satan, a tool for genocide, there is obviously a huge catch-22 hanging over Judaism’s conscience.

Again, the fact that these nefarious rabbis don’t represent the entirety of Judaism is no guarantee that their damage will be limited. A fool man’s fire could frustrate a thousand wise men who wouldn’t know how to put it off.

Isn’t this the way the holocaust started? It didn’t start with concentration camps, or even with Kristalnacht.  Such death camps as Auschwitz , Treblinka, Mauthauzen and Bergen Belsen became only known much later.

The purpose of this small piece is not to vilify or demonize Jews. Nor am I particularly enthusiastic about hurling Nazi epithets at Jews. However, nothing should be further from truth.

The call for sending millions of Palestinians to concentration camps means that a sizeable segment of the Israeli Jewish society is capable, at least mentally, of embarking on the unthinkable. It means that a real Jewish holocaust against the Palestinian people is not outside the realm of imagination.

This matter is well known, even known too well for us who live in this part of the world. After all, Israel demonstrated two years ago, during its Nazi-like onslaught on the Gaza Strip, that it could do the unthinkable.

And that was not the first time Israel behaved manifestly nefariously. In 2006, during the Israeli aggression on Lebanon , the Israeli air force dropped more than 2,000,000 cluster bomblets on South Lebanon civilian areas, arguably enough to kill or maim at least  2 million Lebanese children.

The scant media coverage of the latest diabolic statements by the rabbis of evil in no way lessens their gravity and seriousness. After all, these are not marginal or isolated figures in society.

In fact, paying not sufficient attention to this phenomenon is tantamount to encouraging it. If Germans and others had not kept silence in the late 1920s and early 1930s, many things wouldn’t have occurred.

I would want to be cautious drawing historical analogy between every thing happening in Israel today and everything that happened in Europe several decades ago.  However, there are certain parallels that shouldn’t escape our attention, and the latest outrageous statements by these diabolical rabbis are one of them.

Let no one say that words are innocuous and can’t kill; nay, words can kill and do kill. A few years ago, a Jewish immigrant from France decapitated a Palestinian cabby from East Jerusalem after the taxi-driver gave the killer a ride to his home north of Tel Aviv. And when the murderer was eventually arrested and interrogated by the police, he said he heard his neighborhood synagogue rabbi say that the lives of non-Jews had no sanctity.

More to the point, it is abundantly clear that thousands of Israeli soldiers would rather heed and obey their respective rabbis’ homilies than their army superiors’ instructions when it comes to treating Palestinians. This fact was revealed during the Israeli onslaught on Gaza two years ago when Israeli soldiers knowingly and deliberately murdered innocent civilians, including children, by the hundreds.

But this is not the time for demonization; it is rather the time for action. Jewish leaders of all orientations should speak up as strongly as possible against those who are besmirching the good name of their religion.

The likes of Shmuel Eliyahu must be told that there is no place in Judaism for those who advocate genocide for non-Jews. In the final analysis, when Jews or anybody else think or behave or act like the Nazis acted, they simply become Nazis themselves.

Finally, Jews shouldn’t keep silent in the face of these abominations just because the media and public opinion in the West are more or less keeping silent. Well, since when a moral stance was decided by other people’s apathy or silence?   In fact, the immoral silence of much of the west toward what is happening in Israel these days is bad and dangerous for Jews and their future.

Anything that causes moral desensitization to occur is definitely bad, and this is putting it mildly. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSA PARKS

 

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Rosa is 104 today

Rosa

By Tom Karlson

She is supported  yes

Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Mother Jones, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Lucy Parsons,

and la rage des oublies

She stands, then sits and fifty thousand walk

(three hundred and eighty days)

CNN wants us to believe

this small framed seamstress…chosen by god…mother of the civil rights movement… humble… meek…tired

YES TIRED of Jim Crow, racism, lynching

yes tired

but this is no stripped down fox-murdock retelling

her’s is no spur of the moment

forty-two years of forged steel

and three hundred years of chained ghosts

this is the time

of

Emmet Till

joe mccarthy-j edgar hoover

and the Highlander Center

where Marx and Gandhi sing songs of struggle

and students, auto workers, and coal miners

are schooled on integration, sit-ins, boycotts and strikes

as the NAACP and A Phillip Randolph fight for freedom

half a century later

Rosa lies in state

and brings honor to the Rotunda

a smile to the great liberator

(where twenty three years before j edgar was deposited briefly before burial)


GHOSTS OF RACIST PAST ARE HAUNTING ISRAEL TODAY

Occasionally, not often enough however, rational opinions appear in the zionist press. Today that happened with the following  Op-Ed in Ynet…
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By the way, comments similar to his (Lieberman) made us drive American immigrant Meir Kahane out of the Knesset running. Now the foreign minister is making them. This is enough to show just how far we have gone down the slippery slope of dark racism.
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NetanyahuandLieberman
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Let’s swap Lieberman and keep Wadi Ara

Op-ed: Foreign minister’s proposal to transfer Arab communities to a new Palestinian state is just aimed at inflaming tensions

Yigal Sarna*

There is a wonderful Hebrew term – “a quarrelsome person.” A. Lieberman is such a person. As long as it’s within the community, who cares? When it turns into a nationwide problem, it’s serious trouble.

Once in a while, this angry-faced person, who claims to be living in paradise, comes up with proposals meant to turn life into hell on earth. Violent proposals made by a person who has no interest in peace for anyone but himself in his many comfortable travels beyond what was once called the Iron Curtain. His proposals are always aimed at inflaming tensions, as if they were rage, hatred and anxiety – the stuff A. Lieberman is fed in his eternal paradise.

This time Lieberman is again bringing up a stale proposal for swapping land filled with people. I am in favor of land exchanges – sand for sand, something based on reciprocity. But Lieberman, as always, has to leave a poisonous sting in the tail of every proposal. He is suggesting transferring Wadi Ara, with all its populated villages and small towns, to the Palestinian Authority. That wadi thatIsrael insisted upon so much in its agreements with the Jordanians more than 60 years ago, so that it would not be left with a waist that is too narrow and a belly that is too soft.

If that is the case, Lieberman is also proposing to harm a security interest.

By the way, comments similar to his made us drive American immigrant Meir Kahane out of the Knesset running. Now the foreign minister is making them. This is enough to show just how far we have gone down the slippery slope of dark racism.

So if it were in my hands, I would be glad to carry out a much less dramatic and inflammatory population exchange. A. Lieberman, who immigrated at the age of 20 from Kishinev in Moldova, could remain in his home in the settlement of Nokdim as a Jewish enclave under the PA’s control beyond the West Bank fence, while my friend, lawyer and human rights activist Hussein Abu Hussein, whose great-grandfather was born in Wadi Ara, would stay put as an Israeli citizen working frequently in the PA territories. Thus everyone’s problems would be solved.

TODAY’S TOON ~~ WHAT COLOUR WAS JESUS (AND WHO CARES)?

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
megyn-kelly-jesus-was-a-white-man
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Related (FROM)
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Fox News host Megyn Kelly says Jesus and Santa are white

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IN DEFENSE OF DYLAN’S RACISM

Leave it to the zionists to twist the facts around for their own advantage …..

Yesterday’s post apparently ruffled a few feathers as can be seen in the following from the Forward;

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In Pursuing Bob Dylan for Hate Speech, Croatian Group Denies Holocaust

Controversy Over Odd Interview Sheds Light on Old Atrocities

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Where Men Bathe in Perfume and Celebrate Free Speech: Bob Dylan, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year, is being investigated for engaging in hate speech.
GETTY IMAGES
Where Men Bathe in Perfume and Celebrate Free Speech: Bob Dylan, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year, is being investigated for engaging in hate speech.

By Jay Michaelson

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Bob Dylan uttered hate speech?! Not so fast. In fact, it’s his accusers are engaged in hate speech: specifically, denying the Holocaust.

The blogosphere was abuzz with the news Tuesday that Dylan was being investigated by French authorities for comments he’d made in a Rolling Stone magazine interview, published in English in September, 2012, and in French a month later. Those remarks are alleged to have insulted Croatians. But a close look at what Dylan actually said should clear him of all charges, even under the notoriously draconian French laws, and in fact, implicates his accusers.

Here’s what Dylan said, in context:

“The United States burned and destroyed itself for the sake of slavery. The USA wouldn’t give it up. It had to be grinded out. The whole system had to be ripped out with force. A lot of killing. What, like, 500,000 people? A lot of destruction to end slavery. And that’s what it really was all about. This country is just too f–ked up about color. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different color. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back – or any neighborhood back. Or any anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery – that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”

Actually, perhaps a little more context is relevant. The Rolling Stone interview in question is an exceedingly weird conversation, even by Bob Dylan standards. Though the interviewer doesn’t say so, it seems like Dylan must have been under the influence of some substance or other – he rambles, goes on wacky digressions, and, several times, refers to his “transfiguration,” which may or may not be a quasi-messianic reincarnation, but which seems to have something to do with his near-fatal 1966 motorcycle crash. It’s a weird read, and the above excerpt is typical.

So, let’s parse out what Dylan was actually talking about: the legacy of slavery in America, and how it lingers on, particularly in the South. Dylan frames it in a peculiar, somewhat mystical way: that African Americans can “sense” if a white person has “slave master or Klan in your blood.” That is part of the weirdness of the interview. But his point is clear enough: that the legacy of slavery lives on, and leaves its traces today. (I made the same point myself, in a recent editorial in these pages, about how some Southerners are unrepentant about slavery and its legacy.)

And then there’s the comparison that, according to a French-Croatian group, is hate speech: that as blacks are to ex-slaveholders, Jews are to ex-Nazis, and Serbs are to Croats.

Probably, Dylan will quickly apologize for this analogy – which is all the group, the Representative Council of Croat Institutions of France, is actually asking for. But in fact, it’s the RCCIF that is evading the truth.

Incredibly, the organization is alleging that Dylan is referring to the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. But this is obviously not the case. What Dylan is surely referring to is the genocide against Serbs perpetrated by the Croatian Revolutionary Movement, or Ustasha, in the 1940s. From 1941-1945, the Ustasha set up a system of concentration camp, murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma, and others. The Ustasha were fascists, allies of the Nazis and of Mussolini. At least 300,000 ethnic Serbs were murdered during this period.

Amazingly, even the Nazis were shocked at the Ustasha’s brutality – according to one source, a report given to Heinrich Himmler described victims as “sadistically tortured to death” in a “bestial manner.”

Obviously, that is what Dylan was referring to in his remarks: a genocide, on par (in quality, if not in scale) with the Nazi genocide against the Jews and the enslavement of Africans by white Americans. To imagine that Dylan was referring to the 1990s is ludicrous. It is so ludicrous, in fact, as to invite one to wonder what the RCCIF could possibly be thinking. Or refusing to think.

Now, Dylan did over-generalize. Notice that he didn’t say “whites” and “Germans”; he said “slaveholders” and “Nazis.” But he did say “Croatians.” In this slip, he did indeed cast aspersions on all Croats, as opposed to those who supported the Ustasha. And so some apology is warranted.

On the other hand, how many of us even know the word “Ustasha”? Dylan was searching for examples of historical memory, and he mentioned two of them. He should have been more specific. But it’s impressive that, in whatever altered state he seemed to have been during the interview, he remembered the Serbian genocide at all.

Under French hate-speech law, it is a crime to incite violence against any group: Jews, Muslims, French Nationalists, anyone. But all Dylan said is that victims of historical genocide remember the past, and perhaps can ‘sense’ it in the descendants of the perpetrators.

Surely many Jews can appreciate this comment. How many of us still won’t drive German cars? Or feel vaguely uneasy when we hear people shouting in German. I have German friends, and yet I still can feel that way, particularly when I’m in Germany itself. The past casts a shadow.

And indeed, the same is true for Serbs. I remember how a Serbian-American friend recounted the history of the genocide when I confronted him about Serbia’s own ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. Serbs, like everyone else, remember.

Indeed, it seems the only ones who choose not to remember is the French Croatian council. By falsely accusing an icon, they have shined a harsh light on their own selective amnesia.

RACISM TEST // CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?

The following appeared today as an OpEd on Ynet News …. it’s definitely worth the read …

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The racism test

 Non-Jews often suffer discrimination, humiliation under guise of security reasons

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Here’s a small “spot the differences” style test referring to two stories reported in recent days. The first, which appeared on the IsraeliLifeUSA.com website, was about a blind passenger who was taken off a flight from Philadelphia to Long Island because his service dog, Doxy, refused to remain under the seat in front of him, violating safety instructions. The rest of the passengers rebelled and got off the plane as one. One of them reportedly said that he would rather ride a bus for 3.5 hours than travel with such insensitive people.

The second story has to do with us. A bus filled with soldiers arrived at the Dimona nuclear reactor for a security drill. The soldiers handed over their certificates, and it was then revealed that the three Druze troops among them were barred from entering the facility. They were only allowed to go in half an hour later.

The clear differences to an Israeli eye are as follows: There it was a flight, here – a bus. There it took place in Philadelphia, here – at the nuclear reactor in Dimona. There it “only” had to do with safety instructions, and here it had to do with the holy of holiest – security orders. And of course, there a dog was removed, and here – minorities.

These answers are correct, but they conceal the truth. The real answer is that there the passengers left the plane and the flight was canceled, and here several soldiers suggested “staying in the bus,” but the drill was held as planned, without the Druze soldiers.

Troubled by anyone who isn’t Jewish

This is a grim story because it’s not exceptional. The discrimination and humiliation suffered by non-Jews takes place frequently under the guise of security reasons. As the Nuclear Research Center said, “Everyone entering the Nuclear Research Center undergoes a security check at the gate, and this is what happened in this case too.” That is what they say at Ben-Gurion Airport as well in response to the repeated cases of humiliation.

That is also the excuse which the law preventing Palestinian family reunions in Israel was based on. The court accepted the claim that the partners arriving from the territories would be more inclined to support terror, although that security argument was not too strong. According to data which appeared in one of the verdicts, 130,000 Palestinians received a permit to stay in Israel from 1994 to 2006, and only few of them were suspected of security offenses.

Judge Procaccia, in a minority opinion, did not hesitate comparing the result to the infamous verdict in the Korematsu v. United States case, which approved putting Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II based on a general suspicion of treason due to their descent. Meanwhile, time has passed and the Americans regret this verdict. Here people say that it’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s a good piece of advice, but when it’s translated into a “rule of thumb” identifying dangerousness with Arabs, it turns into a racist instruction.

This security-related axiom is an admission ticket to the land of apartheid, where suspecting, checking and separating minorities seem like a normal and normative thing to us if they are covered with the “security” reasons.

We are troubled by anyone who is not Jewish: Arabs, migrants and even Druze who serve in the army. That is why we agree to join the shortened line reserved exclusively for Jews and turn a blind eye to the obstacle course reserved for others. We don’t leave the plane together with the dog. We take care of ourselves so much that we lose our humanity.

DID BOB DYLAN LEARN HOW TO BE A RACIST WHEN HE VISITED ISRAEL?

The American singer Bob Dylan is being investigated in France after a Croatian community organization alleged that comments he made to Rolling Stone magazine last year amounted to incitement to racial hatred, Paris prosecutors said on Monday.
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dylan - Reuters - April 10 2011
Singer Bob Dylan performs during his show in Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh city, April 10, 2011.Photo by Reuters
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Once the voice of the American Protest Movement …. once the voice of the Anti-Segregation and Peace Movments …. Now the voice of racism???
Despite appeals not to perform in Israel two years ago, he did just that.
‘The times they really are a’changing’
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Bob Dylan investigated in France for ‘racist’ comments

Croatian organization alleges singer incited to racial hatred when he said in an interview that “just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”

By Reuters
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The American singer Bob Dylan is being investigated in France after a Croatian community organization alleged that comments he made to Rolling Stone magazine last year amounted to incitement to racial hatred, Paris prosecutors said on Monday.

In the interview, published in the magazine’s September 27, 2012 edition, the singer said racism was holding America back.

“If you got a slave master or (Ku Klux) Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that,” he was quoted as saying. “That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”

The formal investigation followed a legal complaint from the organization, CRICCF, which is based in France, alleging that the comments as carried in the French version of the magazine violated French racial hatred laws.

In France, racism complaints automatically trigger formal investigations, irrespective of the merits of the case.

Dylan was awarded France’s prestigious Legion d’Honneur award last month in Paris. Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said that, for French people, he embodied a “subversive cultural force that can change people and the world.”

CRICCF did not return an email seeking comment. Dylan’s manager did not immediately respond to a phone call. Rolling Stone said it had no comment.

HOW DID THE ADL MISS THIS ONE?

If it isn’t about Jews, it just isn’t!

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ADC Asks Coachella Valley High School “Arabs” To Reconsider Mascot, Name

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Washington, DC | www.adc.org | November 6, 2013 – Recently, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expressed direct concern to the Coachella Valley Unified School District, over the use of  “Arab” as the team name and mascot for the Coachella Valley High School (CVHS), located in Thermal, California.

The CVHS mascot, the “Arab” depicts a man with a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing a Kaffiay. This imagery is plastered and advertised all over CVHS’s athletic facilities and at sporting events. At CVHS sporting events, a student dressed as the “Arab” is present. During half-time shows at sporting events, the “Arab” performs, while a female dressed as a belly dancer entertains the mascot by dancing for him. The attendees and participants at these sporting events clearly show orientalist stereotyping of Arabs. 

Video from the halftime shows can be viewed here and here.

ADC communicated with Coachella Valley Unified School District Superintendent Darryl S. Adams and CVHS Principal Victor Uribe, and expressed concern with CVHS and the school district permitting and endorsing this imagery about Arabs and Arab Americans. ADC also contacted Coachella Valley Unified School District Board Members, and expressed our community’s concerns. 

The ADC letter sent to CVHS Principal and the school district can be read here.

ADC understands that CVHS is located in a city once home to a large Arab population working in the establishment of the date palm industry in the 1920s. However, the imagery associated with the CVHS mascot, the “Arab” is far removed from recognition with any historical reference. Furthermore, there are alternative ways to recognize Coachella Valley’s history than the ethnic stereotypical depiction of the “Arab” by CVHS. The continued use of the “Arab” mascot perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and Arab Americans. CVHS gross ethnic stereotyping cannot be tolerated.

ADC President Warren David stated, “ADC is and has been at the forefront of fighting stereotypes and defamation since inception. The negative image portrayed by the dipiction of the Coachella Valley mascot is a disgrace and unacceptable to all who respect an accurate image of Arabs.” 

ADC has been contacted by Dr. Darryl S. Adams, Superintendent of the Coachella Valley Unified School District, and further communication to resolve the issue have been scheduled. ADC has launched a petition asking the school district to consider changing the team name and mascot. 

Act Now! Sign the ADC Peition Asking CVHS to Reconsider its Name and Mascot

LAX SHOOTING // IT WASN’T A MUSLIM SO IT ISN’T TERRORISM

Despite the government having fairly clear definitions of what constitutes an act of “terrorism,” the terms “terrorist” or “terrorism” are used not to describe actions but to label people.

It is clear these are racialized terms, applied in a discriminatory way to people perceived as Muslim, Arab or nonwhite. And as such they are terms that stigmatize entire groups of people and to justify the government’s increasingly unaccountable power.

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Why isn’t the government calling the LAX shooting “terrorism?”

Ali Abunimah 

LAX shooting suspect Paul Ciancia

 (AP/FBI)

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“Paul Ciancia, the alleged gunman who paralyzed much of Los Angeles International Airport [LAX] in a Friday shooting spree, could have turned the nation’s third-busiest airport into a massive killing zone had it not been for the quick response by airport police,” officials told USA Today on Saturday.

Using an assault rifle, Ciancia allegedly shot and killed Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer, and injured two more TSA officers and two civilians before he was stopped.

Ciancia was shot and injured by police and taken into custody. He has been charged, among other offenses, with killing a federal officer.

Based on available information, Ciancia’s alleged actions amount to a textbook case of “terrorism” according to the US government’s own definitions. But for some reason neither media nor officials are describing it that way.

It is instructive to look at how the US defines “terrorism” and compare the reaction to the LAX shooting to the aftermath of last April’s Boston Marathon bombing.

US definition of “terrorism”

As I’ve noted previously, the US government has no single definition of “terrorism” but the National Institute of Justice at the US Department of Justice points to two influential standards that are in use, one enshrined in law and the other provided by the FBI:

Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Both definitions of terrorism share a common theme: the use of force intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal. In most cases, NIJ researchers adopt the FBI definition, which stresses methods over motivations and is generally accepted by law enforcement communities.

These definitions, it should also be noted, are carefully crafted to avoid including state violence as “terrorism” even when in every other respect, except the identity of its perpetrator, it fits the descriptions.

Ciancia’s alleged motive

Based on information released by officials, Ciancia’s intent was not in doubt. USA Todayreports:

Investigators recovered a rambling note from the bag the shooter allegedly was carrying, which detailed an intent to “kill” TSA officers, said two federal law enforcement officials familiar with the message’s contents.

[FBI Special Agent David] Bowdich said the handwritten note made it clear that the suspect intended to kill “multiple” TSA employees and to “instill fear into their traitorous minds.

The officials, who are not authorized to comment publicly, told USA TODAY that the note was written in a way that suggested the author expected to lose his life.

One of the officials described the incident as a suicide mission.

The Associated Press described the materials that were allegedly in Ciancia’s possession as “Patriot movement propaganda.”

There is no doubt Ciancia’s alleged actions clearly meet the government definition of “terrorism”: there is evidence of premeditation, a clear anti-government motivation and an intent to “instill fear.”

If any example of violence deserves to be treated as “terrorism” then it is hard to think of a more clear-cut example.

Is it “terrorism” yet?

And yet, neither major media nor public officials have, as far as I can determine, applied the terms “terrorism” or “terrorist” to what happened at LAX.

While the incident received major news coverage, there has been no national panic on the scale that followed the 15 April Boston Marathon bombing.

Recall that after that attack, media and officials all rushed to declare the incident a “terrorist” attack.

President Barack Obama, after initially hesitating, described the Boston bombing as an “act of terrorism” the very next day even before the identities of the suspects were known.

With the “terrorism” panic in full force, the city of Boston was placed under an unprecedented curfew – effectively martial law – with thousands of police scouring the streets and invading people’s homes as the search for the suspects went on.

After 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured by police, Obama made astatement declaring: “We will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.”

He followed up with a video address to the nation, declaring that “an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three people at the Boston Marathon.”

Members of Congress demanded publicly that the surviving Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, be treated as an “enemy combatant.”

In fact officials of Obama’s Justice Department deprived Tsarnaev of his basic civil rights by questioning him for an extended period after he was taken into custody without reading him his Miranda rights. This violation met with broad public and elite approval.

After all, weren’t we dealing with “terrorism?”

Contrast

Contrast this with Obama’s silence after the LAX shooting. There’s no statement about it on the White House website as of today.

Obama has kept a low profile, speaking to officials by telephone, but saying nothing publicly to reassure an alarmed nation of his resolve against “terrorism.”

What’s important to remember is that in the Boston case, unlike the LAX shooting, there was and is no clear evidence of a political motivation that would meet the government’s definitions of terrorism.

The only “evidence” was that Dzhokar and his older brother Tamerlan, killed during the manhunt, were of Chechen ancestry and Muslim background.

Despite massive efforts, the government has found no credible evidence that the Tsarnaevs were acting on behalf of any group.

(More than a month after the bombing an anonymous official source claimed – rather incredibly – that the heavily bleeding Dzhokar had scrawled a note on the side of the boat he was hiding in when he was captured, stating the attack had something to do with US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Meanwhile, police have uncovered evidence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in a triple homicide in 2011, suggesting a hardened criminal who did not kill from a political motivation.

Not if it’s a white guy…

By now it should be clear that there is a pattern: acts of spectacular violence, predominantly by white men, are rarely termed “terrorist” even when all the evidence points in that direction according to the government’s own standards.

The LAX shooting is not an isolated case. Recall that on 18 February 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack flew an aircraft into an Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas, in an apparent suicide mission.

Stack killed himself and an IRS worker, Vernon Hunter. And just like Ciancia allegedly did, Stack also left a note explaining his anti-government motivations.

Yet even as information about Stack emerged, the Obama White House and various public officials refused to label his suicide mission a “terrorist” attack.

Similarly, Obama refused to term the August 2012 massacre of six persons at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin a “terrorist” attack.

The shooter, Wade Michael Page, was a US army veteran and white supremacist.

Blaming “mental illness”

Instead of the “terrorism” label, the media immediately begin to pursue a line of thought suggesting that the suspect (if white) is “mentally ill” or a “disturbed” loner.

This is already happening with Ciancia, whom The New York Times described today as “a troubled 23-year-old, with an assault rifle and an apparent grudge against the government.”

Ciancia, we are informed, attended a Catholic school, but there’s no speculation about what role religious education might have played in his alleged actions.

“Several family friends, neighbors and classmates described him as having been a reserved, quiet boy who, along with his younger brother, Taylor, seemed to be scarred by his mother’s long battle with multiple sclerosis and her death in 2009,” the Times reports.

It quotes a 21-year-old server in a local diner in the family’s New Jersey hometown claiming that the Ciancia brothers “had some depression issues, and they both got obsessive.” The Times does not explain what qualifications the server had to make such a clinical diagnosis.

Aside from stigmatizing mental illness, the absence of this knee-jerk reaction when Muslims are accused reflects a bizarre belief that only white people can be “disturbed” or “mentally ill.”

“Terrorist” as a racial term

Despite the government having fairly clear definitions of what constitutes an act of “terrorism,” the terms “terrorist” or “terrorism” are used not to describe actions but to label people.

It is clear these are racialized terms, applied in a discriminatory way to people perceived as Muslim, Arab or nonwhite. And as such they are terms that stigmatize entire groups of people and to justify the government’s increasingly unaccountable power.

 

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WHAT THE NEW YORK TIMES DIDN’T SEE ‘FIT TO PRINT’

Not fit to print

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Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blementhal, helps us to understand why.

Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it.

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Watch the video on Israeli racism The New York Times didn’t want you to see

 Ali Abunimah
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Regular readers of The Electronic Intifada are familiar with the shocking and escalating racism in Israel against people from countries in Africa.

Our extensive coverage of the incitement and attacks on Africans, thanks in large part to the work of David Sheen, demonstrates that this phenomenon is not marginal, but is incited by Israel’s top political leadership.

When Israeli government ministers incite angry mobs, calling Africans “cancer,” they are simply expressing another face of the racism that Palestinians have always experienced.

Solicited, then rejected by The New York Times

Yet rarely does this knowledge make it into mainstream media.

The example of the video above, Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blumenthal, helps us to understand why.

Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it:

I was asked to submit something by The New York Times op docs, a new section on the website that published short video documentaries. I am known for short video documentaries about the right wing in the US, and extremism in Israel. They solicited a video from me, and when I didn’t produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it. So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.

We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv, and interviews with human rights activists. I thought it was a well-done documentary about a situation very few Americans were familiar with. We included analysis. We tailored it to their style, and of course it was rejected without an explanation after being solicited. I sent it to some other major websites and they have not even responded to me, when they had often solicited articles from me in the past.

Eventually, The Nation – which has also typically been quite timid in airing criticism of Israel – agreed to publish it.

While some of the footage in the video has already appeared on The Electronic Intifada, Sheen’s commentary is a good primer for those unfamiliar with the topic.

There is also a previously unseen interview with Michael Ben-Ari, one of Israel’s most notorious anti-African racists and a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Ben-Ari also has a long history of inciting racism and hatred against Palestinians andChristians.

In the same Consortium News interview Blumenthal, author of the bestselling and widely promoted 2009 book Republican Gomorrah, also spoke about the difficulty he has had getting any mainstream media attention for his new book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

Just like this video, Blumenthal’s new book offers an unflinching look at the racist reality of Israel that America’s establishment media simply does not have the guts to confront.

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FANNING THE FLAMES OF ISRAELI RACISM … VIDEO

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In the last three years, angry residents of south Tel Aviv have repeatedly taken to the streets, marching through neighborhoods now populated by significant numbers of non-Jewish Africans, demanding that they all be expelled from the country. Right-wing lawmakers have sought to score political points by attending the protests and fanning the flames of racial hatred.
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Video: Israeli crowd cheers as Africans called “slaves”

David Sheen*

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An Israeli high court decision on 16 September striking down legislation authorizing the indefinite incarceration of asylum-seekers from Africa brought hundreds of residents of Tel Aviv into the streets in protest the following day.

Blocking the intersection at the entrance to the Hatikvah market in south Tel Aviv to traffic for an hour and a half, Jewish Israelis decried the court ruling, which mandates that the 2,000 Africans jailed in Israel on the basis of the invalidated law must be released within ninety days.

In the last several years, south Tel Aviv has become home to approximately 30,000 non-Jewish African nationals, most of whom entered the country by walking across Israel’s desert border with Egypt.

Israelis opposed to their presence accuse them of migrating to Israel solely to earn more money than they could hope to in their home countries, while advocates for the Africans claim that most of them have fled dictatorial regimes and ethnic cleansing campaigns.

Fanning the flames

The overturned amendment represents part of the Israeli government’s unconcealed efforts to dissuade other Africans from arriving and to convince those already in the country to leave quickly. Other anti-African measures implemented by the government include the construction of border fences and the refusal to grant refugee status or even temporary work permits to the vast majority of the asylum-seekers. Without any legal means of sustenance, most of the Africans remain impoverished, living in the only areas they can afford to — neighborhoods which were poor to begin with.

Some Israelis from the political left and center have urged the government to grant residency to the asylum-seekers, which would allow them to contribute to the economy, earn a living and relieve some of the economic burden on poorer neighborhoods like south Tel Aviv. But the political and religious ultra-right, which has ruled uninterrupted since 2009, refuses to consider that option, since it vehemently opposes any proposals which would permit a significant number of non-Jewish persons to remain in the country on a long-term basis.

In the last three years, angry residents of south Tel Aviv have repeatedly taken to the streets, marching through neighborhoods now populated by significant numbers of non-Jewish Africans, demanding that they all be expelled from the country. Right-wing lawmakers have sought to score political points by attending the protests and fanning the flames of racial hatred. With municipal elections scheduled for 22 October, several candidates for Tel Aviv-Jaffa city council capitalized on the 17 September rally and filled the crowd with their activists and banners.

Frightening

The above video, which I shot at the rally, gives the viewer a court-side seat to the one of the most frightening displays of ultra-nationalism to come out of Israel in recent years. The rally’s master of ceremonies characterizes all Africans as slaves, and the crowd cheers him on.

Michael Ben-Ari, a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, calls for martial law to prevent “ten million Chinese, five million Indians and twenty million Africans” from entering the country and turning Israel from a “Jewish state” to a “multi-national state.” Little children chant: “The people demand the expulsion of the Sudanese!” to the delight of their adult guardians.

But what stands out for me as the most revealing episode of the evening is my interview with a twenty-year-old Israeli soldier in civilian attire who says that he is afraid of being attacked when he walks around the neighborhood, even when he is armed with an assault rifle. When I asked what had happened to him to have aroused such intense fears, he told me that the anxiety took hold when he observed non-Jewish African people smoking and cooking outdoors on Yom Kippur, a day when these behaviors are forbidden to Jewish people.

It is difficult to imagine that there might be a single Jewish person anywhere in the world outside of Israel who stepped out of a synagogue on Yom Kippur, saw a non-Jewish person taking a drag on a cigarette or flipping a burger on a barbecue grill, and suddenly became afraid for his or her life.

The fact that this is the reported experience of a battle-ready Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv, the largest Jewish-majority city in the history of the world — leads one to surmise that this fear of African asylum-seekers probably has more to do with state-sponsored propaganda demonizing non-white non-Jewish people, than with any supposed demonic qualities that propaganda ascribes to its victims.

*David Sheen is an independent writer and filmmaker. Born in Toronto, Canada, Sheen now lives in Dimona.

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