‘ONLY HE TO WHOM THE LAND DOESN’T BELONG TO IS CAPABLE OF BURNING IT’

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Recently Israel was ablaze. The government was quick to declare the fires ‘arson’ set by Palestinians to destroy the land ….

But the reality is ….

“Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it”.

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Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski

English translation by Milena Rampoldi, , edited by William Hanna  

With regards to the recent fires in the “Jewish State” we can only agree with Naftali Bennett who tweeted: “Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it”. He is the right-wing Minister of Education and the President of the Party “Jewish Home” and the “Settlers‘ King” who made of the racist settlers‘ party a powerful coalition partner within the Netanyahu regime. And it is him who dreams of  Eretz Israel, the Great Israel, from the Mediterranean to Jordan, and in addition wants to annex big parts of the illegally occupied West Bank.  

Who does the land belong to? Certainly not to the ethnic cleansing Jewish occupiers who have displaced the indigenous Palestinian people. As a consequence of the fires, Bennett and his right-wing colleague, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for an expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied land and promptly authorized the building of 500 new settlement units! Also in this instance, the coward members of the German Government have remained silent because for them the existence of “a Jewish state” takes an important priority over human rights and international law.

This raises the question of “why is the Jewish state burning?” The majority of the hundreds of millions of trees planted since the Nakba by the Jewish National Fund, are conifers and particularly pines. The trees were planted for the benefit of the Jewish European immigrant ethnic cleansers so as to enable them to feel at home in a land for which they had no love, but simply wanted to possess.

Since Biblical times, trees planted in Palestine were suited for the dry land – such as olive trees – which were vital for the livelihood of Palestinian farmers and their families. Other trees included carob, mulberry, and low oaks which were all ecologically suitable vegetation. Such trees were and are still being systematically destroyed by the Zionist intruders to deprive the Palestinians of their livelihood.

This raises a further question of whether the current and previous fires – such as the 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire – were natural or cases of deliberate arson. The use of European monoculture to transform the “Jewish State” into a “Small Switzerland” is, however, doomed to failure. From the beginning, the Zionist intruders spoke about “Arabs” condescendingly with the Palestinians and their land being referred to as  “uncultured” and “uncultivated” as compared to the blossoming “Jewish” landscapes which alone were worthy of praise.

Consequently the effectiveness of this hasbara (propaganda) has deceived the whole world into overlooking the ethnic cleansing of Palestine while accepting Israel’s “green-wash” disinformation including that relating to the drainage of important lakes and water sources of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. The scarcity of water for Palestinians has been further exacerbated by decades of unrestricted theft by Israel of Palestinian water that is then used to supply the illegal settlements. The extensive damage caused by such water theft in the illegally occupied West Bank and the barbarically blockaded Gaza Strip is indescribable! So far,  the endless decades-long ethnic cleansing of Palestine has been tolerated by the hypocritical international community in general, and by the West and Germany in particular.

From the beginning, Zionism’s aim has been to erase the memory of the Nakba by rewriting history in favour of Israel and Judaising the map of Palestine. Such blatant “Nakba denial” must be also criminalized in line “Holocaust denial.” It is not without reason that the powerful Israel lobby repeatedly endeavours to prevent exhibitions that present the truth about the “Nakba” and the brutal forced expulsions that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

Since its foundation in 1948, with its Zionist exclusive right to the stolen land, the “Jewish State” has not only systematically violated human rights and international law, but also all accepted ecological standards. The destruction of Palestinian fields and olive groves; the systematic poisoning of fields of Palestinian farmers; and the ethnic cleansing by the “Jewish State,” Jewish settlers, the Jewish National Fund JNF/KKL under the guise of green-washing and international sponsorship that only served the colonialism of an Apartheid Jewish State. In this regard, Germany stands guilty of always donating more woods in the name of German Federal Regions or with the name of politicians (Mißfelder!) for the JNF and Israel. While Palestinians are displaced and their trees destroyed, German politicians spectacularly plant trees in the “Jewish State” like German Foreign Minister Steinmeier!

It is frightening that to this day the false Zionist sound bite of “a land without people, for a people without land” continues to justify land expropriations despite international human rights laws prohibiting such practices. A particularly bad example in this context is the so called “Canada Park” grassed for millions of Dollars by the Himnuta Organisation, a 99% subsidiary company of JNF/KKL on the ruins of Palestinian villages, with secret financial sources and expenses. (1)

For these “green-washers” the future US-President Donald Trump comes just at the right time, having already supported Israel’s right to have Jerusalem as its capital! Under the guise of environmental protection — at the expense of the Palestinian people, and by means of the land dispossession supported by German-Israeli projects in forestry and irrigation — this will in time become possible through continual illegal occupation and by dispossession of the land and water resources of a people “thirsty for justice”.

Without the displacement of Palestinians there would be no “Jewish State.” It was the infamous Josef Weitz, President of the Jewish National Fund, and one of the most fanatic advocates of “transferring” the Palestinians who in 1940 noted in his diary that  “the transfer does not just pursue the aim to reduce the Arab population, but it also serves for the second objective which is not unimportant and consists of emptying the land cultivated by Arabs to make it free for Jewish settlement. The only solution is to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries. We have not to omit neither one village nor one tribe.” All this and much more is cited by Ilan Pappe in his commendable book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

To this day, this “transfer” concept has been is the policy of both politicians in the “Jewish State” and of Jewish Saloon-Zionists in diaspora. That policy has included as its first priority the denial to Palestinian refugees their legitimate right of return to their homeland so as to conquer all of Palestine – in violation of international law – for a strictly “Jewish start.”

However, as long as the duplicitous Western “community of values” is complicit in this injustice, and as long as the blazing flames of the illegal occupation are not extinguished, the “Jewish State” will burn.

“Only he to whom the land doesn’t belong is capable of burning it” – what a truth!
From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free!

Written FOR

TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD AND THE US ELECTIONS

On the 7th of November 1917 the Bolsheviks took power in Russia putting an end to the Tsarist dictatorship that ruled their country for decades …

On the 8th of November 2016 a different type of revolution will take place in the USA, this time putting an end to the America we once knew and loved.

Even if you believe in the principle of non-interference in other’s internal affairs, the US is interfering with all of us. Its elections are likely to influence us more they do to most US citizens…

Whichever candidate wins, the people of America and the rest of the world lose

Whichever candidate wins, the people of America and the rest of the world lose

My fellow Blogger Yoav Haifawi posted the following on his Site Free Haifa, It’s a MUST read.

Sorry America, It is not YOU, it is US (*) …

Lessons from the USA election campaign

The coming elections in the US supplied an extraordinary drama, watched with both enthusiasm and disdain almost all over the world. If this is the most important democratic election for the most influential leadership position in the world, the scarcity of the debate about the real issues at stake must make people ask substantial questions about democracy. The identity and performance of the candidates, especially Republican Donald Trump, and the fact that an enormous establishment, with millions of people and billions of dollars, couldn’t produce a more respectable candidate, must raise even more substantial soul searching questions about the human nature.

The Big Picture

Lenin once said that, while the yellow press floods us with lies about everything, the good serious capitalist press feeds us with plenty of facts and information in order to hide the big picture. In the rest of this post I will try to relate to some of the big issues that all this election campaign and all the serious fact-finding and analysis around it are either ignoring or trying to hide…

Trump promises to “make America great again”. Clinton is trying to out-perform Trump’s patriotism by claiming that mighty America is as great as ever and couldn’t be diminished. But the whole election campaign is only a small animated illustration to the fact that the USA is not what it used to be.

The people of the US are famous for their ignorance of the world outside their borders. But for the last hundred years the fate and meaning of the USA, call it “greatness” or “the big Satan” or “imperialism” or “leader of the free world”, was not about what happens inside these borders but developed around its role as the strongest and finally the only world superpower.

This time is over. And it is not over because America became any smaller. It is over because we, the rest of the world, succeeded somehow to grow.

China’s rise, USA’s decline

In 2012, in one of the first posts in this blog, I presented an optimistic view on China’s rise. Let me try to sketch here in raw lines an optimistic view about America’s decline, or rather the decline of the North American imperialism.

First ask yourself what is “America”? Talking about the United States as “America” already ignores and marginalizes most of the people living in the American continents from Canada in the north to Chile and Argentine in the south. The population of the US is hardly a third of the almost billion people that live in the Americas. This naming that ignores your neighbors is only a symbol of the disregard toward and tramping over the people of the rest of the world…

Second, how do you define greatness? No doubt, at least when we speak about the most capitalist nation, that the economy is playing a central role in it. What most readers of the mainstream media might have easily missed is the “small” fact that the US is no more the biggest economy in the world. According to “The World Factbook”, a site maintained by the CIA, in 2015 China’s GDP (measured by purchasing power parity) was 19.7 trillion dollar, almost 10% more than the US’s 18 trillion. In fact China has already become the biggest economy in the world in 2014.

But this raw measure is far from revealing the whole picture. China’s economy is in a positive momentum, while the US (and the rest of the imperialist powers in Western Europe and Japan) failed to get their economies back on their feet after the 2008 world financial crisis. To hide this we can read every day articles about the “slowdown” in the Chinese economy, which means that it is developing steadily at 6-7% yearly. In China’s planned economy they build modern cities (no shanty towns there) for 300 million people that will move from their villages to the cities over the next 15 years – that alone is like building a brand new USA or Western Europe.

The difference between a rising productive power and a declining parasitic empire is illustrated as we look at the relations of the two economies with the outside world. According to the same source, China’s exports at 2.1 trillion are 40% higher than the US’s 1.5, while its imports at 1.6 are only 70% of the US’s 2.3.

The good jobs that went to China, manufacturing everything from steel to trains to computers and smartphones, are not such good jobs any more. They don’t pay western salaries. It is just that people around the world can now buy all of these things much cheaper. This is another reason why we don’t cry with our USA brothers.

China is a different kind of world power. Its 1.3 billion people made all the way from being one of the poorest people on earth, just fifty years ago, to the top of the world economy by hard work and (relatively) good management. They are the first great world power that didn’t gain its place through occupation and exploitation of other nations. This in itself is a basic fact to think about and a major reason for optimism.

Imperialism is not working any more

The hegemony of the Western powers, and over the second half of the 20thcentury the hegemony of the USA, enabled them to dictate the world division of labor and the terms of trade to the benefit of the big multinational capitalist companies. This was the source of the “good jobs” that the US and European citizens are now longing for. 80% of humanity was forced to sell its resources for cheap and work for pennies in marginalized agriculture or industry and serve as an open market for the Western developed economies.

After direct colonialism and military occupations were not sustainable any more, neocolonialism and neoliberalism served the same hegemony very well. In the second half of the 20th century, almost any local leader in the 3rd world that tried to do something to develop his country was either deposed or assassinated by agents of the USA. Look for the fate of Patrice Lumumba in Congo, Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran, Sukarno from Indonesia, Salvador Allende of Chile and Omar Torrijos of Panama, to name just a few.

Bloody dictatorships, regional wars, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, bombing and occupation – no cruelty was too much to force the subjugation of the third world – the vast majority of humanity – to imperialist rule. In the nineties, after the fall of the Soviet Union, there seemed to be no challenge left to the imperialist rule. By that time most 3rd world countries were under some form of sanctions by the “international community” for this reason or that. Real commodities prices, representing the terms of trade of the 3rd world, reached unprecedented historic lows (see graph taken from a study by David Jacks in NBER). The global gap between the starving majority and the prosperous imperialist center seemed widening forever.

But every party has its hangover. There came the surge of noisy protests at trade conferences and summits of the world imperialist leaders. There were the world social forums, looking for alternatives. When neoliberalism drove Argentine into an economic wall, mass mobilization casted away one government after another and brought to power (in 2003) the leftist Peronists, which refused to pay Argentine’s international debt. When, out of the blue, crazy Arab militants kidnapped airplanes and flew them into the WTC in New York, some people in the USA started to ask “why do they hate us?”

The empire tried to strike back to re-establish its authority, but somehow the world was not responding as expected. In 2002 the army in Venezuela tried to repeat the CIA coup scenario that worked so well in Latin America before, but the masses took to the streets and reinstated Hugo Chavez. When the US army occupied Iraq in 2003, it found that defeating the Iraqi army was the easiest part of it. Popular resistance made the occupation unsustainable and the ensuing US-imposed government in Iraq ended up doing business with China and closer politically to Iran, which is supposed to be the strategic rival of the US in the region. The US ended up burning about one trillion dollar in Iraq for no obvious benefit, (killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and destroying the lives of millions is nothing to count in world politics). It was about the same one trillion that were missing in its coffers when it financial system collapsed in 2008.

From Argentine to Iran, from Cuba to Sudan and Zimbabwe, when the Western powers were trying to force economic blockade of undisciplined third world nations, we’ve seen the new China factor. There is almost nothing you can’t buy in China these days. Over the last fifteen years the gap between the imperialist centers and the 3rd world started to contract. For the first time talking about “developing countries” doesn’t sound so hollow.

Dangerous curves ahead

Being optimist doesn’t mean that you should ignore the dangers ahead. One fact that makes the next period combustive is that while the USA is a declining economic power it still holds the strongest military by far. An irresponsible US president may try to use this power to try to “make America great again”. I do not think that there is a real danger that the USA can make itself the top world power again, but in the process of trying it can easily destroy humanity.

We have seen president Obama declaring his pivot to East Asia, trying to build all kind of military alliances in the region to contain China. We have read the capitalist media writing endlessly with running tears about the danger to World Peace from China building some artificial islands, while they see no danger in the easily preventable death of thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean and have little problem with the continuing killing of hundreds of thousands of Arabs in civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

Some good friends that are fed up by US interventions in our (and other) region(s) are hoping for a Trump victory. They believe it will be such a disgrace that it will accelerate the process of diminishing US influence worldwide. It could happen. You can forgive them if they are ready to sacrifice the US itself for another period of internal racist tension and upheavals. But as I see that the decline of US power is irreversible, and the main danger today is from a desperate attempt to reverse it, I wouldn’t recommend taking the pill that may kill you.

It is us, the people

I would like to finish with one more optimistic note about democracy in the USA and in general. When we speak about democracy we should look for the substance, not any symbolic representation. How much power people really have to control their future?

First start with what comes up in mind in this election, the qualities of the candidates… It is my humble opinion that the candidates in this election are not basically morally different from most candidates over the last decades. I think the main difference is that now we know much more about everything, including about the candidates past, their connections and obligations to the capitalist class, etc. The other factor that comes up in this election is that most people are angrier and less tolerant to the behavior of the candidates – only that they differ about their priority target for anger. So, even as there is no positive alternative in sight, we see that the basic balance of power between the establishment and the people is changing as a result of technological progress, education and the crisis of the system.

Second the content of democracy is not the “consumerist” free choice between Coca Cola and Pepsi, as many US elections used to be. Till now voters in Iran had more diverse options (consider Ahmadinejad vs. Khatami) and more influence about the general direction of the regime than US voters used to have. In this election for the first time a more profound option, the vaguely socialist Bernie Sanders, came anywhere close to be counted.

The US is not ripe for true change, but in this election it already raised the glass ceiling that prevented women from contesting the presidency, and it may have its first Ms President. Not a small change if you remember that women are allowed to vote there only since 1920.

The greatness of US imperialism left its people weak and helpless. It deprived them of free education and health care that are taken for granted in many much poorer countries. It made them work longer hours and be thrown to the dogs if they are not useful to the machine. If they are Native Americans, Black, Muslims or Hispanic they may be terrorized or humiliated. The only statistic in which the US leadership is unchallenged worldwide is the rate of incarceration.

While the US multinationals had the power to rule and rob the world, ordinary people could only run endlessly along the predesigned competition for career and consumerism, with minimal control over their own lives and no say about the future of their country.

Now, as the system is disintegrating, it is the time that the people will take control of their lives. The American people (from Canada to Argentine, NY & Texas included), like all the people of the world, will be the winners from the demise of US imperialism.

(*) Comment about the title

I don’t know whether you share my associations – so I may explain.

It is a common saying in “relations”, when a guy leaves a girl (or vice versa), that he tries to be nice and says: “It is not you, it is me”. Meaning, don’t blame yourself. I’m “not built for a lengthy connection”. It is intended to be polite, but as it became an easy pattern it is thought to be nasty.

I wanted to start with “Dear America” to emphasis the romantic cord – but many of my readers are too angry at “America” and may have no patience with my literature niceties…

But my American readers are really dear to me, and I hope they will find this piece somewhat consoling in these hard days.

THE PSEUDO-ZIONISTS AND THEIR DIRTY WAR AGAINST TRUTH!

“Beware of anti-Semitism and all other forms of racism, but also beware of all what tries to make you silent and of those who want to put all people criticising the oppressing Israeli politics as anti-Semites into pigeonholes.”

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by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski

Who are the real anti-Semites and what do philo-Semites and anti-Semites have in common? Is it not anti-Semitism when Jewish organisation consultants and Sayanim, their covert political and media helpers, subject them to enforced censorship? Which raises the question of whether the Central Council of Jews in Germany is being anti-Semitic and racist when it does everything to prohibit all kinds of projects, conferences, and events including those with Jewish speakers or to deny them public financial support? All of which culminates in censorship and event cancellations which result in the general public being denied the right to have an informed opinion.

So by exploiting false and unjustified accusations of anti-Semitism — which are particularly sensitive in Germany — against upright people who refuse to be cowed, pseudo-Zionists nonetheless manage to get favourable media coverage while the critics of Israeli policies are pilloried and denied their democratic right for freedom of speech.  It is patently evident that the pro-Israel lobbies try to prohibit any conferences or events that engage in factual documentation of what Israel is really doing in the occupied Palestinian territories. Even in Germany, discourse within the media and politics has been restricted to an unimaginable level.

My old friend Walter Herrmann, who has since unfortunately passed away, and his unforgettable and groundbreaking Kölner Klagemauer (Cologne Wailing Wall) always felt the effect of this. While constantly criticising the injustice and criminality of the “Jewish State”, he was inundated with lawsuits and slanders. Even after his death, his legacy was still portrayed in a negative and hateful light by different lobbyists and Israel understanders such as the olive-green politician Volker Beck. While the photos of murdered children of the “Genocide in Gaza” which he displayed on the “Wailing Wall in Cologne” elicited outrage and demands that they should not be shown, politically driven prime time media broadcasts, showed photos of mutilated and starving children from Syria or Africa, thereby in effect censoring and selecting the news and images that are put before us!

In the meantime, the phenomenon of the selection of “good” and “bad“ Jews and “good” and “bad” Muslims is the measure of all things. All criticism against the racist, Apartheid state of Israel is immediately branded as “hate against Jews” and “Anti-Semitism.” And all that the “Jewish State” does for its “security” is presented to us as a shining example and model. The strategy of concepts, the war of words is alarming. The Zionist “word creators” have been a political project of enormous significance since the foundation of the “Jewish State” from which time propaganda had a most important role with a board which served as the department of the Prime Minister and worked to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine also on a linguistic level! (1)

In fact, for dictatorships and “ethnocentric systems” it is particularly important to hide their crimes with linguistic distortions and inventions of words. In the meantime this variant about how to make politics by language is sold to the citizens so that by complicated linguistic creations almost nobody understands the real facts of the case.

While politics in Germany become more and more “remote from citizens,” people are surprised if parties like the right-wing AfD attract certain voters and sympathisers with their “simple” words like rat catchers. While “ethnic pipe dreamers and race theorist” such as Thilo Sarrazin are positively reviewed in German over-regional media and can stay in the German Socialist Party without any consequences, critics of Israel are subject to completely different treatment. The powerful Israel lobby has ensured that they can neither talk in parties nor in feuillotons or talk shows. And while the self-appointed critics of Islam have enjoyed prosperity and become favoured amongst the “media Gods,” critics of the “Jewish State” have become outcasts whose voices are to be avoided.

While the secret war against the BDS movement and its activists was started on a global scale that was financed by U.S. $45 million from the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs, critics of Israel encountered the implications directly (2).

In Germany, the government and its close media representatives do their best to make political concepts more and more incomprehensible. Did we not have a similar propaganda ministry in the past working almost in the same way? Already at that time there was fertile ground for many propaganda concepts. What is alarming in this context, is the constant level loss, beginning with the widely read newspaper Bildto which even governing politicians make reference to explain their political orientation. In fact, we are concerned with a dangerous political education programme. This is the shape of national dulling in Germany! Of course, in this context we have avoided mentioning that the newspaper Bild is in the frontline of this linguistic war for the “Jewish State” and extends the “long arm of Netanyahu” to Germany through the media.

So it is not surprising that the newspaper Bild pulls out of its hat a Jewish journalist by letting him compare Aleppo with the Holocaust … this relativization is left to certain Jews.

And what happens in Syria, is a war that was planned long ago with the aim of a “regime change,” an intriguing and proven method employed by USA and its henchmen. While jihadists are armed and supported by the Western Alliance, Russia comes to help Assad. And the well-known patterns are repeated: Russia is the mass murderer, while the upright USA just wants the best for the people (this is exactly what we can observe in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya).

In view of the fact that Israel supports the Nusra front, we should ask: Who benefits from this? The answer is of course the “Jewish State,” because a weakened Assad Regime helps to maintain the annexation of the Golan Heights with shameless violations of international law and crimes against humanity.

This is not just a case of a Holocaust and genocide of people, but also of a brutal proxy war shamelessly manipulated by an Israeli journalist who compared the Holocaust with Aleppo. Instead of such a heinous diversionary tactic, it would have been more appropriate and timely for an “Appeal from Israel“ to stop the illegal Judiazing and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. (3)

As soon as the hate campaigns of Springer and Bild started, the Sayanim occupied themselves by completely supporting this struggle. In Germany it is a shame that political parties and political leaders are more concerned with the dubious, inexistent “right of existence” of the “Jewish State” than with freedom of expression.

Jewish German or foreign citizens are not allowed to express their opinion. They are defamed as anti-Semites and denigrated only because they show civil courage and are opposed to Israel’s illegal occupation policies; support the BDS campaign; or openly identify themselves as “anti-Zionists.”

So who are the real Anti-Semites? The real anti-Semites are the political representatives who want to prevent Jewish citizens in Germany from speaking out or expressing their opinions. In this context it is interesting that in particular again and again German citizens whose parents or grandparents were deeply involved in the Nazi crimes persist in this deviation. Because of guilty feelings and their compensation, a philo-semitic exaggerated love towards Jews has become a very particular, second anti-Semitism.

The manipulation of the holocaust, shamelessly exploited by Jewish organisations and the “Jewish State”, is the most awful phenomenon after the shoah, which in the long run does not support either the murdered Jews or the “Jewish State.”

It is anti-Semitic if the suffering of the murdered Jews in Germany is misused to whitewash actual crimes of the Israeli State. It is totally immoral for Jewish officials to brand Jewish citizens as anti-Semites; and promote prejudice against Muslim immigrants and citizens by accusing them of anti-Semitic ideas and hate against Jews (like Charlotte Knobloch! does). But do Jewish officials not have a particular duty of care with concepts and language? In reality, it is exactly the opposite: they promote prejudice and make islamophobia socially acceptable and oppose freedom of speech. While DITIB is denigrated as anti-Semitic, and while Jewish critics of Israel have to endure hate speeches, Jewish organisations and the “Jewish State” – in spite of their international law violations against the Palestinian people – have been rewarded. While Amnesty International has just produced a well-documented accusatory report about the pattern of illegal murders and about the shocking disrespect for human lives, universities and conferences and their speakers who talk about these awful conditions are portrayed as “Jews‘ haters” which in Germany is like an employment ban. (4)

If we do not stop this trend, I am very pessimistic about the freedom of speech in Germany. All that is not suitable is hushed up. The fatal reality is that the German media has increasingly become an instrument of the U.S. whose continuous propaganda constitutes brainwashing. And it is a fact that by constant repetition the person gets more and more indifferent and memorises what should be questioned.

However, in the constant rabble-rousing against Russia, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon because the Germans – unlike most politicians and media pundits – are not stupid and want good relations with their Russian neighbours. Even more shocking is the behaviour of the Green and Conservative Parties with the infamous Marieluise Beck and Göring-Eckart constantly promoting the right-wing trend of the Green Party. While they kowtow to the “Jewish State” and U.S. war crimes, they oppose Putin, Erdogan and Assad. In future, these awful hawkish policies must defeated at the ballot box!

Therefore, I would like to conclude this article with the following quotation by Bishop Desmond Tutu which all democratic forces in Germany, the media, and political leaders should carefully consider:

“Beware of anti-Semitism and all other forms of racism, but also beware of all what tries to make you silent and of those who want to put all people criticising the oppressing Israeli politics as anti-Semites into pigeonholes.”

Originally appeared in German AT

English translation by Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik, edited by William Hanna

HELEN KELLER; BLIND, DEAF, BUT FAR FROM DUMB

A childhood illness rendered this dear woman blind, deaf and dumb ….

Yet, in adulthood she saw more than most people, heard of the injustices facing humanity and spoke volumes about it all.

“What are you committed to,” an interviewer asked her in 1916, “education or revolution?” “Revolution,” Keller replied.

The following poem was written in honour of her 136th birthday on the 27th of June

teacher-by-helen-keller-3-728

THREE LIVES

© By Tom Karlson

born June 27th, 1880

partial death two years later

coffined by the fever

without sound, without light, without words

for six years

hot and cold, odors, winds, vibrations

tantrum without words

nightmare without sound

 

blind deaf mute

but wait

Anne Sullivan is coming

grave robber and miracle worker

teaching Helen

turning lips into words, thoughts, visions

teaching Helen Braille, finger spelling,

signs and speech

vibration into pitch

pitch into Beethoven

thought into books, speeches

 

thought into action

socialism, the IWW,

labor rights, women’s rights, civil rights anti war

joins Debs’ Socialist Party

when Debs was jailed

when the ACLU was founded

Helen carried the card

when communism was under fire

Helen joined the fray

 

our blind deaf Helen roars

sees, hears, talks and writes of evil

the evils of war

the evils of exploitation

the evils of capitalism

MUHAMMAD ALI WAS A POWERFUL, DANGEROUS POLITICAL FORCE

His life was one of polarization and reconciliation, anger and love, and a ferocious, uncompromising commitment to nonviolence, all delivered through the scandalously dirty vessel of corruption known as boxing. Few have ever walked so confidently and casually from man to myth, and that journey was well earned.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

Don’t remember Muhammad Ali as a sanctified sports hero. He was a powerful, dangerous political force

by Dave Zirin


Muhammad Ali
‘s saga is without parallel: the champion boxer who was the most famous draft resister in history; a man whose phone was bugged by the Johnson and Nixon administrations yet who later was invited to the White House of Gerald Ford; a prodigal son whom his hometown city council in Louisville, Ky., condemned, but who a few years later had a main street renamed in his honor and today has a museum that bears his name.

His life was one of polarization and reconciliation, anger and love, and a ferocious, uncompromising commitment to nonviolence, all delivered through the scandalously dirty vessel of corruption known as boxing. Few have ever walked so confidently and casually from man to myth, and that journey was well earned.

As football great Jim Brown said to me last year: “It was unbelievable, the courage he had. He wasn’t just a championship athlete. He was a champion who fought for his people…. The man used his athletic ability as a platform to project himself right up there with world leaders … going after things that very few people have the courage to go after. From the standpoint of his ability to perform and his ability to be involved with the world, Ali was the most important sports figure in history.”

To this day it is awe-inspiring that he once bellowed ‘God damn the white man’s money’ at a time when such words were more than shocking — they were sacrilege.

Or, as Bill Russell said in 1967 in supporting Ali’s decision to risk five years in prison for resisting the draft: “I envy Muhammad Ali…. He has something I have never been able to attain and something very few people possess: He has absolute and sincere faith. I’m not worried about Muhammad Ali. He is better equipped than anyone I know to withstand the trials in store for him. What I’m worried about is the rest of us.”

Ali’s death, however, should be an opportunity to remember what made him so dangerous in the first place. The best place to start would be to recall the part of him that died decades ago: his voice. No athlete, no politician, no preacher ever had a voice quite like his or used it as effectively as he did. Ali’s voice was playful, lilting, with a rhythm that matched his otherworldly footwork in the boxing ring. It’s a voice that forced you to listen lest you miss a joke, a gibe or a flash of joy.

Retired New York Times sportswriter Robert Lipsyte said to me, “Before everything else, what I’ll remember about the young Ali was that he was so much fun.” And that his voice had a physical beauty that “beat you to death with his attractiveness.”

With that voice, face and body, the man Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. could have been Michael Jordan before Jordan: an icon of ungodly wealth and conspicuous consumption.

But Cassius Clay chose to be Muhammad Ali and do something different with that voice. He used it to speak out from a hyper-exalted sports platform to change the world. He joined the Nation of Islam in frustration with the pace and demands of the civil rights movement. He was willing to go to jail in opposition to the war in Vietnam. But one has to hear the voice, and read the words, to understand what exactly made it so dangerous and, by extension, made it all matter.

Imagine not only an athlete but a public figure telling these kinds of unvarnished truths. To this day it is awe-inspiring that he once bellowed “God damn the white man’s money” at a time when such words were more than shocking — they were sacrilege.

It is awe-inspiring that, when facing five years in prison, Ali said: “I strongly object to the fact that so many newspapers have given the American public and the world the impression that I have only two alternatives in this stand — either I go to jail or go to the Army. There is another alternative, and that alternative is justice. If justice prevails, if my constitutional rights are upheld, I will be forced to go neither to the Army nor jail. In the end, I am confident that justice will come my way, for the truth must eventually prevail.”

He was equally moving when he said on another occasion: “Boxing is nothing, just satisfying to some bloodthirsty people. I’m no longer a Cassius Clay, a Negro from Kentucky. I belong to the world, the black world. This is more than money.”

In 1967, long before it was obvious to most, Ali connected the black freedom struggle to the injustices of the war in Vietnam, saying: “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again: The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality…. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

We haven’t heard Ali speak for himself in more than a generation, and it says something damning about this country that he was only truly embraced after he lost his power of speech, stripped of that beautiful voice. Ali may have seemed like he was from another world, but his greatest gift was that he gave us quite a simple road map to walk his path. It is not about being a world-class athlete or an impossibly beautiful and charismatic person. It is simply to stand up for what you believe in.

Political courage might seem to be in short supply, but it was inside a young boxer from Louisville who dreamed about being King of the World. Goodbye, Champ. Rest in power and peace.

 

Be sure to see YESTERDAY’S POST

REMEMBERING MUHAMMAD ALI’S ‘FIGHTS’ OUTSIDE THE RING

REMEMBERING MUHAMMAD ALI’S ‘FIGHTS’ OUTSIDE THE RING

Ali’s official time of death was 9.10pm MST on Friday, and the cause of death was septic shock due to unspecified natural causes. He did not suffer.

Bella Ciao dear Brother

How we remember the Champ

How we remember the Champ

 

‘I Just Wanted to Be Free’: The Radical Reverberations of Muhammad Ali

by Dave Zirin

The reverberations. Not the rumbles, the reverberations. The death of Muhammad Ali will undoubtedly move people’s minds to his epic boxing matches against Joe Frazier and George Foreman, or there will be retrospectives about his epic “rumbles” against racism and war. But it’s the reverberations that we have to understand in order to see Muhammad Ali as what he remains: the most important athlete to ever live. It’s the reverberations that are our best defense against real-time efforts to pull out his political teeth and turn him into a harmless icon suitable for mass consumption.

When Dr. Martin Luther King came out against the war in Vietnam in 1967, he was criticized by the mainstream press and his own advisors who told him to not focus on “foreign” policy. But Dr. King forged ahead and to justify his new stand, said publicly, “Like Muhammad Ali puts it, we are all—black and brown and poor—victims of the same system of oppression.”

When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, he said that Muhammad Ali gave him hope that the walls would some day come tumbling down.

When John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the medal stand in Mexico City, one of their demands was to “Restore Muhammad Ali’s title.” They called Ali “the warrior-saint of the Black Athlete’s Revolt.”

When Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) volunteers in Lowndes County, Alabama launched an independent political party in 1965, their new group was the first to use the symbol of a black panther. Beneath the jungle cat’s black silhouette was a slogan straight from the champ: “WE Are the Greatest.”

When Billie Jean King was aiming to win equal rights for women in sports, Muhammad Ali would say to her, “Billie Jean King! YOU ARE THE QUEEN!” She said that this made her feel brave in her own skin.

The question is why? Why was he able to create this kind of radical ripple throughout the culture and across the world?

What Muhammad Ali did—in a culture that worships sports and violence as well as a culture that idolizes black athletes while criminalizing black skin—was redefine what it meant to be tough and collectivize the very idea of courage. Through the Champ’s words on the streets and deeds in the ring, bravery was not only standing up to Sonny Liston. It was speaking truth to power, no matter the cost. He was a boxer whose very presence taught a simple and dangerous lesson fifty years ago: “real men” fight for peace and “real women” raise their voices and join the fray. Or as Bryant Gumbel said years ago,  “Muhammad Ali refused to be afraid. And being that way, he gave other people courage.”

My favorite Ali line is not him saying, “I hospitalized a rock. I beat up a brick. I’m so bad I make medicine sick” or anything of the sort. It was when he was suspended from boxing for refusing to be drafted into the Vietnam War. He was attending a rally for fair housing in Louisville when he said, “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality…. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d jointomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

Damn. This is not only an assertion of black power, but a statement. It’s a statement of international solidarity: of oppressed people coming together in an act of collective resistance. It was a statement that connected wars abroad with attacks on the black, brown and poor at home, and it was said from the most hyper exalted platform our society offered at the time: the platform of being the Champ.

Please know that these views did not only earn him the hatred of the mainstream press and the right wing of this country. It also made him a target of liberals in the media as well as the mainstream civil rights movement, who did not like Ali for his membership in the Nation of Islam and opposition to what was Lyndon Johnson’s war.

But for an emerging movement that was demanding an end to racism by any means necessary and a very young, emerging anti-war struggle, he was a transformative figure. In the mid-1960s, the anti-war and anti-racist movements were on parallel tracks. Then you had the heavyweight champ. Or as poet Sonia Sanchez put it with aching beauty, “It’s hard now to relay the emotion of that time. This was still a time when hardly any well-known people were resisting the draft. It was a war that was disproportionately killing young Black brothers and here was this beautiful, funny poetical young man standing up and saying no! Imagine it for a moment! The heavyweight champion, a magical man, taking his fight out of the ring and into the arena of politics and standing firm. The message was sent.” We are still attempting to hear the full message that Muhammad Ali was attempting to relay: a message about the need to fight for peace.

Full articles can and should be written about his complexities: his fallout with Malcolm X, his depoliticization in the 1970s, the ways that warmongers attempted to use him like a prop as he suffered in failing health. But the most important part of his legacy is that time in the 1960s when he refused to be afraid. As he said years later, “Some people thought I was a hero. Some people said that what I did was wrong. But everything I did was according to my conscience. I wasn’t trying to be a leader. I just wanted to be free.” Not the fight, the reverberations. They are still being felt by a new generation of people. They ensure that the Champ’s name will outlive us all.

Bill Russell said it best in 1967. “I’m not worried about Muhammad Ali. I’m worried about the rest of us.” That is more true than ever.

A Real Champ!

In April 1967, Ali refused to be drafted and requested conscientious-objector status. He was immediately stripped of his title by boxing commissions around the country. Several months later he was convicted of draft evasion, a verdict he appealed. Credit Ed Kolenovsky/Associated Press

In April 1967, Ali refused to be drafted and requested conscientious-objector status. He was immediately stripped of his title by boxing commissions around the country. Several months later he was convicted of draft evasion, a verdict he appealed. Credit Ed Kolenovsky/Associated Press

Also see THIS post from the archives

MESSAGE TO OBAMA: YOU CAN’T HAVE MUHAMMAD ALI

POEM ~~ REAGAN’S GIFT

 Nominated To Supreme Court--President Reagan gestures during a news briefing at the White House

Scalia Nominated To Supreme Court–President Reagan gestures during a news briefing at the White House

 

Reagan’s Gift

© Tom Karlson

 

someone’s mother said don’t speak ill of the dead

not mine

she said a bastard is a bastard

dead or alive

 

haven’t you noticed that lying bastards

the Kissingers the Chaneys

never die

 

so when Scalia was reported dead

I thought it was a joke, how can this be

then the truth began to stomp and holler

yes he’s gone

now

men and women can marry who they will

women’s bodies belong to the brain attached

nurses can organize

a president will never be selected again by the high court

 

night and day lovers eulogize this man

who wept tears of legal restraint,

an original

who said I will not legislate from the bench

a mind reader of the dead

who knew what Franklin and Jefferson thought

covering his unrepentant race-class-sex hatred

behind a mumbo-jumbo of legalese

 

he died under a millionaires roof

this well travelled hooker

is recused with no more votes to sell

 

 

but what will Clarence Thomas do

RAPE IN THE NAME OF GOD

howthreeholybookscompareonrapebiblequran

GO FIGURE

Submitted by Mahan Singh Khalsa *

    The ISIS soldier comes home from manning the check point. He lays out his prayer rug, kneels and prays. Then he fetches his captive, a young Yazidi girl, and rapes her. He was horny and wanted sex. Then he goes back to his prayer rug and prays. Furthermore he claims his sacred text approves it. What he has done is a Holy thing.

    The Zionist soldier rises and goes to his temple to pray. Then he and his fellow soldiers go into the occupied territory. They drag a young Palestinian woman and her children out of their house into the street and bulldoze the house. They are greedy and want the land. Then he goes back to the temple to pray. Furthermore he claims his sacred text approves it. What he has done is a Holy thing.

    Meanwhile politics in the United States are such that the ignorant ISIS soldier is considered evil and the ignorant Zionist soldier is considered noble. The United States bombs ISIS and gives bombs to Zionists.  GO FIGURE!

*  I am member of “Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land” which is a member of “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and Sabeel North America”. I am also a member of “Military Families Speak Out” which is for families who have members in the U.S. military and are concerned about overseas involvements and deployments.

JEREMY CORBYN ~~ MENTCH* EXTRAORDINAIRE

*mentch

noun 

  1. (literally) A human or person.
  2. A person with integrity and concern for others.
  3. A gentleman.

Etymology: Yiddish (mentsh), an honorable person, from German Mensch (person).

Jeremy Corbyn, MP.

Jeremy Corbyn, MP.

When a bunch of neo-Nazis and antisemites threatened to march in Golders Green a few months ago, a wide campaign was organised to stop them with a counter-demonstration.  Only one of the current candidates for the Labour Party leadership sent a message of support to the counter-demonstrators.

Jeremy Corbyn, MP.

Yet this same Jeremy Corbyn has been the target of an ugly smear campaign attempting to brand him an enemy of Jewish people, by means of contrived “association” with antisemites. As Corbyn moved from outsider to a favourite to win,  addressing huge rallies of supporters, one Jewish newspaper even claimed Jews in Britain “feared” what might happen if he became leader of the Labour Party.

“Jews for Jeremy” was launched as a Facebook group by Ian Saville, primarily in response to the smear campaign, in order to counter the lies, spread awareness, and provide a rallying point for Jewish people who refuse to be regimented by such artificial “fear”.

Members have agreed the following statement –

A group of several hundred members of the British Jewish community has launched Jews for Jeremy, a group to support Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for leadership of the Labour Party.

Some members of the group live in Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency, some have worked with him on various campaigns, and many know him from his reputation and his tireless work for the disadvantaged in society, including migrants and asylum seekers, over the past 32 years. They are convinced that his policies are the right ones for the Labour Party to pursue both domestically and internationally at this time.

The Conservative government is implementing harsh austerity measures that are harming the British economy and the lives of British people. Members of Jews for Jeremy believe that Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would be more likely to bring both fairness and prosperity. Jeremy Corbyn’s economic plans have been endorsed by more than forty leading economists in a letter to the Observer this week, and members of the group believe they are sound, fair and realistic. They believe, as do many economists and commentators, that they will resonate with the British people, and that they will be popular with the electorate. They are impressed by Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to bring more democracy to the Labour Party, and to seek to bring in candidates for office from a wider range of backgrounds. They note that Jeremy Corbyn was the only leadership candidate to respond in full to questions from the environmental charity Friends of the Earth, with an environmental policy which is progressive and responsible.

In international relations, the group asserts that Jeremy Corbyn’s policies offer the best hope for peaceful resolution of conflicts both in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Members applaud his efforts to bring together opposing parties to many conflicts in dialogue in a constructive way, and are dismayed that in some cases this has been held against him. The group notes that even Tony Blair and the Israeli government have very recently engaged in such dialogue, and it is unfortunate that it was not begun much earlier.

Crucially, as Jews, members of the group are alarmed that some unscrupulous sections of the media have sought to label Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite, or a knowing associate and supporter of antisemites. Those who know Jeremy Corbyn and have worked with him believe that this is an absurd charge. Jeremy Corbyn has a long history of principled anti-racism, and has a close and amiable relationship with the Jewish community in his constituency. He has long had friendly contact with Jewish organisations throughout the UK and abroad. Members of Jews for Jeremy believe that these accusations are a cynical attempt to damage Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign, and do not think they amount to legitimate political criticism or debate.

The group appeals both to Jews who are Labour members or supporters and to those who support Jeremy Corbyn from outside Labour to join with them. For those who quite legitimately support other candidates, or are critical of left politics in general, members of the group are happy to debate or argue in a respectful and friendly manner, but hope to dispense with the smears which have characterised some of the debate so far.

Read more @ http://jewsforjeremy.org/

Sent by Charles Pottins

If THEY hate him, then YOU gotta love him!

#Where’sCharley?

where-s-charley-raul-julia-complete-on-2-cd-s-a64d

Where’s Charley

© By Tom Karlson

smashed glass

screams, detonations

darkness

16 dead journalists

 

not Paris

not 2015

this is Yugoslavia 1999

no Muslims

no jihadists

it is NATO

a missile attack

on Serbian TV

where is Charlie

 

it is July 2011

that Zionist Christian Islamaphobe is working

Norway

at nightfall 77 dead

teenagers

Charlie not here

 

Honduras, Columbia

40 executed journalists in a generation

no Charlie

 

January 2015

2 thugs at work

12 dead

jihad is war

jihad is terror

2 million march

here is Charlie

 

and now

Charlie is gone

no motive no issue

just mad men

to be hunted down

never an attack on god and country

an attack on one weekly magazine 

A TRIBUTE TO OUR MEN IN BLUE

maniac-cop-a

Men in Blue

By Tom Karlson

 

spawned under the rebel flag

to destroy the slave hating  antichrist

derail her railroad

poison the drinking gourd

send Harriet and Sojourner to the tobacco field

ball and chain Douglass back to Maryland

patrol and police Robert E Lee’s turf

the men in blue

are reincarnated at reconstructions death

in the north

Chicago and her sister cities

anywhere

that workers organize

anywhere

that immigrants march

anywhere there are scabs

there work  the men in blue

some men in blue

stop and frisk

arrest and arrest and arrest

using executors muscle

keeping the machine spinning

stocking the furnace

of the new Jim Crow

some men in blue

protect and serve

with brain and tongue

when forced to fight

for more pay and less hours

                                                  the militia  comes running

governor and mayor with whip and gun

Pinkerton and National Guard

those men in blue do learn quickly

they have no right to strike

against public safety

anywhere any reason anytime

LIVING IN ISRAEL ISN’T THE SOLUTION TO ANTI-SEMITISM

Living in Israel isn’t the solution to antisemitism, though many like the concept of a Jewish state despite its racial exclusivity. Modern Jewish identity isn’t about cowering in fear but should be about building decent communities that accept the diversity of human existence.

Israeli life isn’t a protection against real anti-Semitism

Antony Loewenstein

*

A woman holds a cardboard sign reading “Je suis Charlie, je suis Juive, je suis Musulmane, je suis Francaise,” meaning “I am Charlie, I am Jewish, I am a Muslim, I am French” during a unity rally in Paris on Jan. 11. (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman holds a cardboard sign reading “Je suis Charlie, je suis Juive, je suis Musulmane, je suis Francaise,” meaning “I am Charlie, I am Jewish, I am a Muslim, I am French” during a unity rally in Paris on Jan. 11. (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

“Europe will forever be tainted”, wrote Haaretz journalist Anshel Pfeffer in the wake of the terrorist attacks against Charlie Hebdo magazine and the kosher supermarket in Paris. “It will always be the continent of expulsion, blood libels, numerus clausus, ghettos and the Final Solution.”

It was an ominous warning to European Jewry that it “may be too late” to save them from discrimination, hatred and violence. “Freedom of speech is shrinking in Europe”, Pfeffer concluded, “hemmed in on all sides by libel laws, political correctness, financial pressure and religious intimidation.” Jews would inevitably flee, he argued, if “freedom and tolerance” didn’t survive across Europe; instinctively Jews knew the history of pogroms, expulsions and death camps and never felt safe away from Israel. 

This is the debate that never goes away. It’s a discussion that lurks under the surface of almost all arguments on the future of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Terror in France has unpicked a scab that never heals, unleashing insecurity over what it means to be a Jew in the 21st century and where to live it. Growing numbers of French Jews are moving to Israel, claiming they feel safer there than in their birth country, happy that they can openly wear a kippah [skullcap] and comforted with an army to protect them. There’s little comment about what that military actually does to the Palestinians, occupying and brutalising them daily.

It was a highly selective argument forcefully made recently by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling French Jews that they were only secure under his nation’s protection, though he was slammed for shamelessly appropriating a tragedy for political gain. Israel even pressured one of the Jewish victim’s families to be buried there.

Too much of the discussion in the last weeks has revolved around a clash of civilisations narrative, with refined Europe, Israel and the west on the one side and barbaric extremism of the Muslim fanatic on the other. This is a gross insult to the truth. Moroccan-Dutch writer Abdelkader Benali explains that the reason so many European Muslims are disenfranchised, and a tiny minority are attracted to violent jihad, is because “Muslims are every bit as European as the Roma, gays, intellectuals, farmers and factory workers. We have been in Europe for centuries and politicians and the press must stop acting as if we arrived yesterday. We are here to stay.” Both Said and Cherif Kouachi, the Charlie Hebdo killers, had a long history of radicalisation against France, the US and Jews.

Increasing numbers of Muslims have argued that Islam itself needs to become far more capable of both tolerating and accepting blasphemy in a non-violent way and acknowledging that virulent antisemitism, not simply in response to Israeli violence in Gaza or the West Bank, is a rising problem. Not all anti-Jewish hatred is about Israeli crimes in Palestine (though it is one of many causes). The Jews of France have felt increasingly targeted for the act of being Jewish. Historical anti-Semitism was always about targeting the “otherness” of Jews, playing on stereotypes that today finds an expression in Islamist attacks on Jewish centres of learning. Muslims also face deep discrimination for their faith, practices and alleged association with terrorism. In fact, separatist groups are the largest majority of perpetrators of political violence in Europe, not Islamist jihadis. For example, in 2013 there were 152 terror attacks across Europe and only two were “religiously motivated”, according to Europol.

Israel is hardly a good model of tolerance and plurality; there’s a reason European boycotts are surging, more young Israelis are refusing to serve in an occupying military and prominent Zionist groups decry intermarriage as treason. It’s a delusion to believe that Jews are either safer in Israel than in Europe or more able to live peaceful lives. The narrative pushed by Netanyahu that all Jews of the world should move to Israel – 90% of his election funding comes from American Jews, proving that a Jewish diaspora remains an essential support base for maintaining Israeli policies – cynically expands the belief that Jews are the eternal victim (despite now having a country with nuclear weapons). Islam is framed as the enemy, an image recently tweeted by the Israeli embassy in Ireland.

Instead, Israeli writer Orly Noy explains, it’s easier to “promote a worldview in which there is no national conflict, no occupation, no Palestinian people and no blatant disregard for human rights. There are only Jews and Muslims. Turns out we look a lot better fighting a religious war than we do running an occupation.” Free speech is constantly under threat in Israel with a vocal and active far-right, Jewish fundamentalist movement. 

Hypocrisy over free speech principles defines this debate. Muslims are accused of having no sense of humour over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed and yet Israel and its backers routinely try to censor images critical of the Jewish state.

France, with its historical and ongoing record of colonial adventures in Africa and the Middle East, claims to believe in free speech but wants to silence those with whom it disagrees. The Charlie Hebdo massacre should enlighten us to the real power of satire and how it affects those with and without power. Is it a false comparison to say that if you can insult the prophet Muhammad, you should be able to poke fun at the Holocaust? Does British journalist Mehdi Hasan have a point when he says that “Muslims are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren”?

British political parties such as the UK Independence Party have mainstreamed anti-Muslim rhetoric of the type once experienced by Jews. “The cold truth is that organised suspicion and denigration of Islam is the new antisemitism”, argues historian John Keane. Islamophobia is a scourge despite the term being dismissed by the French prime minister.

So what are Jews to do from Australia to Europe to America? In a recent survey, a majority of British Jews said they couldn’t imagine a long-term future in England, concerned with rising anti-Semitism. This Jewish feeling of insecurity is real and can’t be easily dismissed. British police have recently stepped up patrolling Jewish communities and soldiers in Belgium are guarding Jewish sites. The threat exists.

The answer isn’t more state surveillance, as proposed by Australia, Britain, France and the US, nor mass emigration. The facts speak to a vibrant Jewish diaspora that has the right, in light of the 20th century, to settle and be safe wherever they want. Fleeing to Israel isn’t the answer. It would be a “blatant capitulation to terror”, suggested Israeli reporter Chemi Shalev.

Israel has framed itself since its inception as a “light unto the nations”. “There is no demographic or practical existence for the Jewish people without a Jewish state”, Netanyahu proclaimed in 2010. But the vast bulk of global Jewry feels secure in their own multicultural country with full rights and responsibilities, a transformation from 100 years ago when Jews were often ghettoised.

Living in Israel isn’t the solution to antisemitism, though many like the concept of a Jewish state despite its racial exclusivity. Modern Jewish identity isn’t about cowering in fear but should be about building decent communities that accept the diversity of human existence.

Originally posted AT

APARTHEID; IN DEFENSE OF THE INDEFENSIBLE

Israel and its defenders go to great lengths to insist the “Jewish state” is not an apartheid one. Curious, then, that the only arguments they can muster in their favor are precisely those that were used to apologize for South Africa’s decades of indefensible discrimination and violence.

*

Defending Apartheid: Then in South Africa, Now in Palestine

By Nima Shirazi FOR

 *
Just like another Israel,
by enemies surrounded, lost in the veld,but for another Canaan elected,
led forward by God’s plan.

– Reverend J.D. du Toit, Potgieter’s Trek (1909)

*

This past May, in a relatively banal column touting the necessity of an impossible “two-state solution” in the context of what he deemed to be U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “specious comparison” of a potential Israeli future to South African apartheid, formerHa’aretz editor-in-chief David Landau wrote:

This resort to apartheid infuriates the majority of Israelis and Israel-lovers, including those in the peace camp, and one can readily understand why. Apartheid was based on racism; Israeli Jews are not racist. They may occupy, persecute and discriminate Palestinians, but they act out of misguided patriotism and a hundred years of bloody conflict. Not out of racism.

It would be a gross understatement to say that Landau’s formulation was fundamentally flawed.

First and foremost, there is a vast amount of evidence proving that Jewish Israeli society – built wholly upon the 19th century premise (and promise) of ethnic and religious superiority, exclusivity, and privilege enforced through ethnic cleansing,forced expulsion, displacement and dispossession, segregation, colonization and occupation – is somehow becoming even more openly racist. Poll after poll revealsincreasingly bigoted trends.

The work of reporters like David Sheen and Max Blumenthal, for instance, routinely demonstrates a viciously militarized and unjust society masquerading as an embattled liberal democracy, acting with aggression and impunity. More recently, pogroms targetingmigrants and refugees from Africa, incitement against Palestinians inside Israel, andexplicit anti-miscegenation campaigns are becoming more frequent and more dangerous.

A country for “the white man”

In a mid-2012 interview, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that Africans, “along with the Palestinians, will bring a quick end to the Zionist dream,” since “[m]ost of those people arriving here are Muslims who think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man.” Referring to refugees from Sudan and Eritrea as an “infiltrator threat,” he told the press he was eager to deport all African immigrants for, in his words, “the benefit of the Zionist dream.”

A chapter in a forthcoming book, detailing a three-year, anthropological study of the attitudes of typical, secular Israeli high school students conducted by Dr. Idan Yaron, isstark in its assessment of the cultural racism and hatred present in Israeli society. Reporter Ori Kashti notes that, based upon Yaron’s observations, “such hatred is a basic everyday element among youth, and a key component of their identity. Yaron portrays the hatred without rose-colored glasses or any attempt to present it as a sign of social ‘unity.’ What he observed is unfiltered hatred.”

Landau’s desperate defense against the apartheid label perfectly demonstrates theLiberal Zionist need to insist that Israel and its founding ideology are not inherently racist, a position less and less palatable to people who are actually paying attention.

His claim that because “Israeli Jews are not racist,” and therefore Israel can’t possibly be deemed a “apartheid” state, not only misunderstands the actual definition of apartheid, which isn’t merely race-based discrimination and oppression. It also mirrors precisely the arguments made by defenders of South African apartheid in opposition to calls for equal human and civil rights.

Zionism’s defenders mirror apartheid’s apologists

Beyond the shared “promised land” and “chosen people” rhetoric that has inspired boththe Afrikaner and Zionist ideologies of racial, religious, and ethnic supremacy, so has that of land redemption through settler-colonialism and transplanting indigenous populations. The connective tissue between apartheid and Zionism is thick, and not only in that both European colonial ideologies were officially institutionalized and implemented against native peoples as government policy in 1948.

Historian Donald Akenson has written, “The very spine of Afrikaner history (no less than the historical sense of the Hebrew scriptures upon which it is based) involves the winning of ‘the Land’ from alien, and indeed, evil forces.”

One can easily see a corollary in the words of David Ben-Gurion, written in a 1937 letter to his son, Amos. Palestine, he wrote, “contains vast colonization potential” for Jewish settlement to exploit. Moreover, he declared, “What we really want is not that the land remain whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish. A unified Eretz Israel would be no source of satisfaction for me – if it were Arab.” (emphasis in original)

This past June, settler leader Dani Dayan argued in the New York Times that, assummarized by David Samel, “Israel retain control of ‘Judea and Samaria,’ that it continue to exercise military rule over millions of stateless Palestinians, but that it loosen its stranglehold by making concerted efforts to make Palestinians happier despite the permanent loss of freedom, equality in the land of their birth, and justice under international law.”

Dayan’s essay calls for what is essentially, in Samel’s words, “window dressing of reduced restrictions on Palestinians” in order to “keep the natives happy.” Just like his more “liberal” counterparts like David Landau on the west side of the Green Line, Dayaninsists, “we settlers were never driven — except for fringe elements — by bigotry, hate or racism.”

This argument effectively relies on the disingenuous presumption that the actual victims of an exclusivist, 19th century European ideology – the colonized indigenous population – are merely incidental to the ideology itself. That is, as Landau wrote, “misguided patriotism and a hundred years of bloody conflict” are really to blame for the oppression, discrimination and violence against Palestinians, not the racist obligations of Zionism.

In October 1964, Foreign Affairs published the lengthy essay, “In Defense of Apartheid,” by Charles A. W. Manning. Not only did Manning accuse outside meddlers and finger-waggers of refusing to acknowledge South Africa’s right to exist as an apartheid state, he also justified its racist policies as “a heritage from a complicated past.”

Quoting approvingly from the 1954 Tomlinson Commission, Manning wrote that while “a continuation of the policy of integration would intensify racial friction and animosity… the only alternative is to promote the establishment of separate communities in their own separate territories where each will have the fullest opportunity for self-expression and development.”

Two states for two peoples, indeed.

In the face of international opprobrium, apartheid is “the philosophy of patriots,” Manning explained, “a remedial treatment for a state of things deriving from the past.” He added that apartheid is a matter of “nationalism, rather than racialism.”

It is easy for the foreigner to deride a nationalism which he does not share; but nowhere in human history has nationalism ever been destroyed by foreign scorn. Admittedly, Afrikaner nationalism is a form of collective selfishness; but to say this is simply to say that it is an authentic case of nationalism. For what is nationalism anywhere if not collective self-love? What underlies apartheid is at bottom an attitude not toward the black man, but toward the forefathers-and the future-of the Afrikaner people.

Manning continued:

Deplore the white man’s collective self-concern, and you may equally well damn every other example of nationalism, white or black. It is absurd to assume that nationalism is nice, or nasty, according to its color.

Manning bemoaned that, as a result of misunderstanding the necessity and, yes, benevolence of apartheid, even South Africa’s best friends were beginning to abandon it. “Israel finds it necessary to ignore the analogy between South Africa’s predicament and her own,” he lamented.

Still, Israel maintained diplomatic relations with South Africa into 1987 and was one of the last countries to join the international boycott campaign.

‘National suicide’

In 2012, Israel’s High Court upheld the state’s explicitly discriminatory “Citizenship and Entry” law, which, as Ben White has explained, “places severe restrictions on the ability of Palestinian citizens of Israel to live with spouses from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as from so-called ‘enemy states’ (defined as Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq).” The ruling stated that “Palestinians who gain Israeli citizenship through marriage pose a security threat.”

Writing in Al Jazeera, following the decision, White elaborated:

In the majority opinion, Justice Asher Grunis wrote that “human rights are not a prescription for national suicide”, a term often invoked by those worrying about what realising Palestinian rights would mean for Israel’s Jewish majority. This same phrase was invoked by the Interior Minister Eli Yishai, while coalition chair and Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin applauded the High Court judges for understanding, as he put it, that “human rights cannot jeopardize the State”.

A particularly instructive reaction came from Kadima MK Otniel Schneller, who said that the decision “articulates the rationale of separation between the (two) peoples and the need to maintain a Jewish majority and the (Jewish) character of the state”.

The notion that advocating and legislating in favor of “human rights” and equality would be the death knell of the Israeli state – “national suicide” – perfectly articulates that inherent injustice of Zionism; indeed, it is a self-indicting statement.

And, as has already been noted here and elsewhere, is yet one more example of how Israel’s apologists employ precisely the same logic, arguments and excuses – often literally the same words, verbatim – as the staunch defenders of the apartheid system in South Africa.

In April 1953, on the eve of assembly elections in South Africa, Prime Minister D.F. Malanwarned that outside forces – including “the United Nations, Communist Russia… as well as a hostile press” – were “trying to force upon us equality, which must inevitably mean to white South Africa nothing less than national suicide.”

Malan added, “I consider the approaching election South Africa’s last chance to remain a white man’s country.”

Just months after Malan and his National Party won the election and consolidated power, South Africa’s London-based High Commissioner A.L. Geyer delivered a speech on August 19, 1953 entitled, “The Case for Apartheid,” before the city’s Rotary Club. He argued against the indigenous claims of the native black population (“South Africa is no more the original home of its black Africans, the Bantu, than it is of its white Africans”); that the apartheid state is the only “homeland” known to white South Africans (“the only independent white nation in all Africa… a nation which has created a highly developed modern state”); and that “South Africa is the only independent country in the world in which white people are outnumbered by black people.”

These claims echo common hasbara tropes: that Palestinians are an “invented people” and that the Arab majority in Palestine was due to immigration into Palestine rather than an ancient indigenous population with roots in that land for centuries, if not millennia; that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East,” a bright bastion of technology and Western modernism amidst a sea of darker-skinned barbarians.

In his speech, Geyer – who was national chairman of the South African Bureau of Racial Affairs, known, ironically, by the acronym “SABRA” – turns to the question of what the future South Africa will look like and sees “two possible lines of development: Apartheidor Partnership.” He explains:

Partnership means Cooperation of the individual citizens within a single community, irrespective of race… [It] demands that there shall be no discrimination whatsoever in trade and industry, in the professions and the Public Service. Therefore, whether a man is black or a white African, must according to this policy be as irrelevant as whether in London a man is a Scotsman or an Englishman. I take it: that Partnership must also aim at the eventual disappearance of all social segregation based on race.

Geyer, speaking on behalf of those intent on maintaining a stratified and discriminatory society, was obviously not a fan of this prospective outcome. Just as those who still push for an illusorytwo-state solution” insist that a Jewish majority must be artificially engineered to exclude as many non-Jews as possible within the area controlled by Israel for a “Jewish and democratic” state to continue existing, Geyer too bristled at the idea of true self-determination wherein the result wasn’t already predetermined through gerrymandered demographics.

If the black population were to be given full voting rights, for instance, whites would no longer hold a monopoly on political power in the country. The inevitable result, Geyer warned, would be “black domination, in the sense that power must pass to the immense African majority.”

This sentiment was similarly articulated by Ehud Olmert, then the Israeli Prime Minister, in a 2007 interview with Ha’aretz. “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories),” he said “then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished.”

Here’s how Geyer, in 1953, articulated his argument against such a horrifying future of democracy, equality, and justice:

Need I say more to show that this policy of Partnership could, in South Africa, only mean the eventual disappearance of the white South African nation? And will you be greatly surprised if I tell you that this white nation is not prepared to commit national suicide, not even by slow poisoning? The only alternative is a policy ofapartheid, the policy of separate development.

Indeed, as Israeli Justice Grunis reminded us, “human rights are not a prescription for national suicide.” Geyer couldn’t have agreed more. Denying basic and fundamental rights, while promoting and implementing a policy of demographic segregation and geographic separation, was a matter of survival, Geyer argued – just like his Zionist successors do now.

“Apartheid is a policy of self-preservation,” Geyer said. “We make no apology for possessing that very natural urge. But it is more than that. It is an attempt at self­-preservation in a manner that will enable the Bantu to develop fully as a separate people.” As the native black Africa population in South Africa was, Geyer noted, “still very immature,” efforts must be made “to develop the Bantu areas both agriculturally and industrially, with the object of making these areas in every sense the national home of the Bantu.”

Thirty years later, very little had actually changed.

In his infamous “Rubicon” speech, delivered in Durban on August 15, 1985, South African president P.W. Botha declared that “most leaders in their own right in South Africa and reasonable South Africans will not accept the principle of one-man-one-vote in a unitary system. That would lead to domination of one over the other and it would lead to chaos. Consequently, I reject it as a solution.”

Botha added, “I am not prepared to lead White South Africans and other minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide. Destroy White South Africa and our influence, and this country will drift into faction strife, chaos and poverty.”

In response, ANC president Oliver Tambo condemned Botha’s disingenuous statements about his apartheid regime’s commitment to “the protection of minorities” and “the just and equal treatment of all parts of South Africa.” Botha, he said, had instead committed to the continued “oppression of the overwhelming majority of our people” and “promised our people more brutal repression.”

Calling for increased resistance, through both armed struggle and the imposition of international sanctions, Tambo declared that all victims of apartheid were “ready to make any and all sacrifices to achieve justice and democracy based on the principle of one man, one vote in a unitary South Africa.”

That very same year, Raphael Israeli, a professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem andfuture client of the neoconservative PR firm Benador Associates, published an essay promoting increased Zionist colonization of the West Bank and Gaza and then subsequent partition of what he called “Greater Palestine” (which includes Jordan) as part of a potential solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli argued that “the seemingly reasonable claim that the ‘state belongs to all its inhabitants'” anticipates the “nightmare of a bi-national state” in which “Israel is no longer a state of the Jews or a Jewish state.”

The essay, entitled “One Palestinian People and One Palestine,” was eventually included in a collection edited by Israeli himself entitled, “Dangers of a Palestinian State.”

In laying out his vision for a bizarre tripartite entity within “Greater Palestine,” with redefined parameters of sovereignty and self-determination in which a “Palestinian government” is established in Amman, Jordan, alongside the Hashemite monarchy, and Israeli military control over the West Bank continues until a final settlement on borders is agreed upon.

Israeli stresses that Jewish citizens of the Zionist state reject the implementation of a “one person, one vote” system throughout Israel and the territories it occupies because they would be “faced with an intractable dilemma: either a democratic and egalitarian Israel with rights for all, with the corollaries of a bi-national state immediately and an Arab-majority state in the future; or Jewish Israel where the Jews would maintain rights and rule and the Arabs would be devoid of both.”

“No Israeli government,” the renowned academic wrote, “could face that dilemma and resolve it in any acceptable way.”

For Zionism, as it was for apartheid, equality and human rights are non-starters. The fear that a “one person, one vote” system and of a “state for all its citizens” instills in Zionists is no different from that expressed by defenders of South African apartheid.

Defended by de Klerk

Following John Kerry’s “apartheid” comment earlier this year, F.W. de Klerk, the former South Africa prime minister who presided over the dismantling of the apartheid regime, came to Israel’s defense. “I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state,” he said.

This is the same de Klerk, however, who two years earlier reflected that, while “[i]n as much as it trampled human rights, [apartheid] was and remains morally indefensible,” he still defended what he said was the system’s “original concept of seeking to bring justice to all South Africans through the concept of nation states.”

De Klerk explained that the Bantustanization of South Africa was conceived as a way to “bring justice for black South Africans in a way which would not – that’s what I believed then – destroy the justice to which my people were entitled.”  He added that it was “not repugnant” to believe that “ethnic entities with one culture, with one language, can be happy and can fulfill their democratic aspirations in [their] own state,” separate from one another.
After his comments sparked negative reactions, de Klerk’s spokesman walked back his comments. When “an artificial creation” like apartheid fell, the spokesman said, “you can go two ways – either by going your separate ways like in the Soviet Union or in what is being suggested for Israel and Palestine, or by trying to build a multicultural society.”When “the first option” failed in South Africa, apartheid leaders “changed course,” he said, continuing, “It is not immoral for the Afrikaners to want to rule themselves any more than it is for the Israelis or the Scots to wish for the same things.”

Israel and its defenders go to great lengths to insist the “Jewish state” is not an apartheid one. Curious, then, that the only arguments they can muster in their favor are precisely those that were used to apologize for South Africa’s decades of indefensible discrimination and violence.

A LETTER FROM A CHILD’S GRAVE IN GAZA

I’m fine. Really, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves.

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un122807

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Don’t Cry For Me

The voice of a Palestinian child in Gaza, taken from this world by Israel — “the only democracy in the Middle East”

By Sam Bahour

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As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and maybe even more so, those who survive.

Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law—let alone their blatant disregard to their very own self-interests—would get us to this very point, fresh analysis and fresh vantage points are difficult to find. The only words I can muster now, while the images of the carnage are freshly etched into my mind, are the words that may have come from one of the child victims whose life was cut short by a U.S. supplied Israeli F-16 fighter jet missile.

Below is the imagined letter from the victim:

Dear Humankind,

Hi. My name is Eman; it means faith in Arabic. I doubt you will have seen or remember me; only particular photos make it to your TV screen, those are the ones you will remember. I’m a Palestinian child from Gaza. I like my dolls, playing with my sister, and swimming. I was told that many of you are crying for me, but please don’t cry for me. I just arrived to this place and wanted to write to let you know that I’m OK. Really, I’m fine. I just miss Mommy.

There are a lot of people here, just like back home in Gaza. Lots of Palestinian kids too, some have been here for a very long time. Why would you want to cry for only me?

My neighbor arrived a few months ago from the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria, he shares a room with someone who came from a different refugee camp in South Lebanon called Sabra who arrived in September 1982. I really don’t know what a refugee camp is, even though Mommy told me that’s where we live too.

Down the road I saw a really older girl, maybe 23 years old. Her name is also Iman, but she spells it with an “I”. Iman came here in October 2004. She told me she was walking home from school, not far from my house in Gaza, when an Israeli soldier emptied his magazine into her after she was wounded and laying on the ground. She says he was caught on radio communications saying he was “confirming the kill.” I don’t really know what that means, either.

There are a lot of old people here, too: mommies and daddies. Some have their kids with them and some are alone. I actually saw a sign on one house that said the person arrived from Kufer Kassem in 1948 (that’s a long time ago!). I think Kufer Kassem is not far from Gaza, but I really don’t know since Daddy never took us on trips far away.

Anyway, I made friends with another girl exactly my age, Amal, her name means hope and she is from Qana in Lebanon. She lives with her sisters; one arrived in 1996 and the other in 2006. There are really a lot of nice people here from Lebanon.

See, I’m in good company, so please, don’t cry for me.

I am exactly 8 years and 23 days old; pretty big girl, wouldn’t you say? I have one baby sister and two older brothers, or at least Mommy tells me that I have two brothers. I’ve only seen one, the other, Mommy says, lives in an Israeli prison and has been there for a very long time. Even though I never saw him, I still love him. 

It is true that I was born in Gaza, but Grandpa told me when I was very young that our real home is in a place called al-Majdal. He still has the key to his house. It’s all rusted but I think it may still work. I bet you don’t know where al-Majdal is located, but you may know a place called Ashkelon. I understand how this can happen, it happens all the time. Those people who made Grandma and Grandpa come to Gaza keep changing the names of everything, even their own names. They not only changed the name of al-Majdal, they changed the name of many cities and villages too. Daddy told me that one organization called Zochrot goes around and puts signs up with the original names where Palestinian towns and villages were wiped off the face of the earth. This way no one will forget. You really don’t need to worry, because here they must have a very big computer, as all the names are what they used to be, nothing is forgotten. So please, don’t cry for me. 

Let me tell you what happened to me last month. It was the beginning of Ramadan. I love Ramadan because at the end of the month there is a big feast and Daddy takes us all to the marketplace and we each are allowed to buy two toys. A few days before the end of Ramadan, Mommy takes us to buy new clothes and shoes. This is the happiest time of the year for me and my brother and sister. But this year, Mommy was sad. She stayed sitting in my room crying while she nursed my baby sister. When I asked her why she was crying she said that we would not be able to buy new clothes this year because all the stores were closed. I understood (I am almost 9 years old, you know) so I surprised her. I went to my closet and pulled out my dress from last year’s Ramadan and I dusted off the pink paddy leather shoes Mommy bought me on my last birthday and I told her she can stop crying because I don’t mind wearing old clothes, even if they don’t match. But she cried even more. I think I know why she was crying. The neighbors were playing with fireworks all night and day, even though Ramadan was only in its first week. Usually fireworks happen only at the end of Ramadan. I asked her if she wanted me to go tell them to stop but she said no, she liked to hear them. I pretended as if I liked the fireworks too, but I don’t think she was telling me the truth because they are scary, especially at night. I’m glad there are no fireworks here. 

Anyway, just as I was putting my Eid clothes back in the closet something happened. I want to tell you what happened but I really don’t know how. I felt like I was swimming, but I wasn’t. The water did not feel like the bathtub, it was warm and sticky. When I glanced down I think it was red too. The last thing I remember is looking up and seeing the light fixture in my room, the one that looks like a clown’s head (Daddy bought that for me when my sister was born). It was falling, coming straight at me. I know this is not making sense, because ceilings don’t fall, but I swear that was what it looked like. 

Next thing I knew, I was brought to this nice place. I love it here but I really miss Mommy and my baby sister. I wonder why they did not come here with me. Mom would love it. We have electricity all day and night and the stores never close. Really, I’m not joking. In my home here, I can drink water right out of the faucet any time I’m thirsty. One of my friends told me that when I get a little older we can even go on trips far, far away, even to Jerusalem. I’m not sure where that is but I’m sure I’ll be able to ride a plane for the first time ever to get there. 

I want to tell you so much more but I’ll have to write again later because I need to go now. My two newest friends, Hadar and Issa, are bringing their bikes to take turns in giving me a ride. Can you tell Mommy to send me my bike? I also forgot my toothbrush in the rush to get here so I need that too. Tell her not to send me my Eid dress and shoes. I want my baby sister to wear them for Ramadan next year, because I doubt the stores will open anytime soon. One more thing, please: tell Mommy to empty my piggybank, and send all my savings to The Palestine Children Relief Fund because I’m sure that many of my friends who did not come with me are going to need a lot of help. 

After going for the bike ride I’m coming back home to take a nap. I was so happy that I found the CD here with the same exact song that Mommy use to sing to me every night at bedtime. It’s this one.

So see, I’m fine. Really, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves.

Love,
Eman

 

TRIANGLE FIRE ~~ 104 YEARS AND COUNTING

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pilfering and work-breaks will not be tolerated

The Triangle Shirtwaist fire

March 23, 1911

By Tom Karlson

doors chained

exits blocked

!fire!

infernoed smoke and heat everywhere

elevator pulleys buckle,

fire-escape collapses

women leap

bodies smashed

sculpted by fire and crash

charred pick-up sticks

to be counted and named

by shattered lovers and family

148 sweatshop workers

148 Italian and Jewish women

148 from 14 to 48

on that sidewalk morgue

a flat temporary mausoleum

lined with

tears and blood

from mass murder will come new laws

protecting labor

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A look at the history

MUSLIMS IN ADVERTISING

The Anatomy of Advertising Deception Using Muslims

By Robin
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Where to begin? Let’s start with the advertisement itself. One that has “stirred controversy” yet according to the company who put out the ad, SnoreStop, their new campaign is supposed to be about diversity while it purposely stirs controversy. They have chosen to portray “couples” Couples who you “don’t see but which exist”

“As a snoring solution company, we’re in the business of keeping people together,” said Melody Devemark, spokeswoman and member of the family that owns the Camarillo, California-based company, in a press release. “So we found the most polarized couple and thought: ‘If we can keep them together, we can keep anybody together.'” 

The company said the ad is inspired by a real life couple — veteran Jamie Sutton and his wife Aleah, who is Muslim. (source) Note the spokeswoman says the ad was “inspired by”. She does not claim the couple portrayed on the billboard is an actual couple. Or do they? Five days ago “Stefanianne” who claims to be part of the promotion claimed on her  Instagram (note the comment by SlexyDayz and various hashtags)

Read what is purported in this San Diego FOX News report on the ad. “Officials said the models, U.S. soldier Paul Evans and his Muslim girlfriend are also a real couple.”

Are they? Let’s see. Starting with the female in the ad whose name is Lexi Panterra, “slexydayz” First question. Is Lexi a niqabi? Is this how she normally dresses as a conservative Muslim? You can judge for yourself from her own WEBSITEHERE is a music video of Lexi’s. Is niqab her attire as a conservative Muslim? Absolutely not.Now ask yourself these questions:


1. While the FOX News article claims Lexi is Paul Evans’ girlfriend. Ask yourself “do niqabis” have boyfriends? Besides, look at that wedding ring she is prominently showing on her finger on the billboard. The indication is that they are married.

2. Do conservative Muslim women marry non-Muslims? Answer is “no” they don’t.Per Islam, Muslim women marry Muslim men. Do mixed marriages occur sometimes between Muslim women and non-Muslim men? Yes. Among secular Muslims, not conservative Muslims who wear niqab, absolutely not. Can a non-Muslim male convert (actual proper term in Islam is REvert) to Islam and marry a Muslim woman? Yes, it happens often.  So the billboard might lead a thinking person to “assume” that since they are a “couple” as the company claims, Paul Evans must also be Muslim which is a very reasonable assumptioin due to the fact that there are many Muslims serving in the US military. Of course the woman in the ad is identified easily as a Muslim because she is wearing niqab. Paul Evans however is only portrayed as a soldier with no religious identity indicated in any way. Is this purposeful on the part of the advertising company and SnoreStop? I would say “definitely” otherwise the company would have clearly stated this is a Muslim COUPLE, not just a soldier, Paul Evans with a niqabi who has stated “”You know, as soldiers, that’s really what we fight for right there; I mean, we just want our freedoms, we just want that equality,” . (source) I ask Mr. Evans, did the US have to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupy those countries, in order for you and others to marry or DATE a conservative Muslim niqabi? Shades of WWII occupied Japan and Germany. Why not go further back and portray a US Calvary soldier with a Native American woman? After all, you became a soldier for “freedom” right? 
3. Are Paul Evans and Lexi Panterra (who is not a niqabi) a couple as both the company and Paul Evans claim? One needs to go no further than Lexi’s Instagram and Tumbler accounts to find the answer. On Halloween she posted an Instagram video “boyfriend’s makeup” Is that Paul Evans in the video? No it is not. It is a man named Sebastian Praga. How long have Lexi and her boyfriend Sebastian Praga been together? That can be documented per her Tumbler account to some degree by the pictures she has posted of him there. October 18,2013 “My boyfriend does my makeup tag“. You know conservative Muslim niqabis change out “boyfriends” easily right? They also take niqab on and off easily, one day making  sexy music videos, another day donning niqab as an ACTRESS in an ad to “keep couples together” by stopping snoring. 
SnoreStop must not work as claimed to “keep couples together” because if Paul Evans and Lexi Panterra were ever a couple in the first place, they sure aren’t now! #product fail #advertising deception #fighting wars so you can have the freedom to DATE slexidayz who dresses up as a niqabi and is NOT a niqabi #using deception in advertising to “stir controversy” when your product does not work as advertised LOL. 
To note, none of the above addresses the use of CONCOCTED political controversy when the US invasioins of Iraq resulted in the deaths of millions of Muslims and countless refugees, the longest US occupatiion of any country, Afghanistan which is an utter fail, the use of drones which have killed countless innocents. 
That’s a whole different aspect of this DECEPTIVE advertisement which is easily documented. 
Hat’s off to SnoreStop. You pulled a fast one all right.  Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite. 
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Video on the making of this ad can be found in THIS article at Huffington Post. 
Written FOR

THE ANATOMY OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

racism-on-wheels
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The Anatomy of Islamophobia: Rehash an OLD Story as New: Set LOOSE in Internet Land: How the Clarion Project Did It

FROM By Robin

To open, what this story is not about. It is not about the Qatif Girl. She is but a prop in this instance, used by an organization that has rightfully been named as one of the top propagators of Islamophobia, The organization is the Clarion Fund, founded in 2006 by Canadian-Israeli Raphael Shore. Read about this organization HERE giving their history, and their agenda.

Now for the unfolding of the Anatomy of Islamophobia: the REHASH of an old news story, set lose on the Internet. How I saw this unfold (and it’s still unfolding as more and more sites are posting this “news”)

On Thursday Sept 26 Nick Kristoff posted the following on his Facebook page, linking to an article at Examiner.com by Timothy Whiteman (who Loonwatch wrote about in a very interesting article) Note how many followers Nick Kristoff has (623,734) Notice how many likes he received for the post.(1,084)

 

 

Then commenters, including myself, did just a bit of digging and realized that the article he had linked to, the story, had an uncanny resemblance to the story of the Qatif Girl. However, what the Whiteman article failed to note was that the Qatif Girl story was old news, she had been pardoned in December 2007 by King Abdullah. Whiteman’s  story is alarming! It is NOW and the girl has had her punishment increased to 200 lashes just this week! Due to  proof of how this story seemed eerily similar to the Qatif Girl, Nick Kristoff wrote:

 

 
More comments ensued, namely by myself, noting that the Whiteman article that he had posted, sourced an article on the Clarion Fund website as the only source of his “news”.  Note the date Whiteman says Clarion posted the article: Sept 22, 2013. 
I asked Kristoff to look into the the organization that had rehashed an old story as “news”, leaving out the resolution of the story, the Qatif Girl’s pardon. I asked him to look into the Clarion Fund because they are a top propagator of Islamophobia. He ignored me and eventually deleted the entire post writing: “
 
Nicholas Kristof Folks, I don’t have confidence in this article any more, and I’m going to delete this post. I think it’s the 2007 Qatif Girl case, just recycled.
When I tried linking to the Clarion Project link Whiteman gave, it didn’t work (at that time). So I went to The Clarion Project’s Facebook page and lo and behold it was there. That link worked. The article has since been removed from the Clarion Project’s Facebook page. As well, the article date on the Clarion Project’s website has been changed from September 22, 2013 to November 15, 2007 (in keeping with when the news was actually news) As well an UPDATE has been added at the bottom which reads
Update: Since publishing this article it has been reported that Saudi King Abdullah took note of the negative media coverage surrounding this case and that resulted in his direct intervention in the case and the pardoning of the woman.” 
That update was added yesterday morning after I left a comment there that has been deleted, calling them “Liars”, this isn’t news, and the Qatif Girl was pardoned in December 07. 

Unable to find the article in cache with the original date of Sept 22, I have found other proof that Clarion published the article as “news” on Sept 22, 2013. As well, since they did, this “news” has spread to page after page of Whiteman’s article and Clarion’s original article. Here is the screenshot of Googling this phrase “Clarion Saudi Arabia lashing: Note the date.

Now, here is what I would like you to do, read the comments on Whiteman’s article. It’s the usual, Saudi Arabia of course is mentioned, but most of the comments (as usual) are bashing all Muslims. Why? Because this is how it works in the Islamophobe Industry, search out every single thing you can find negative regarding Muslims and then paint all Muslims with that brush. Paint them all as women abusers. (and in Whiteman’s case call the Clarion Project a “women’s rights news portal which is beyond laughable) Yes Saudi Arabia is rife for use by the Islamophobe Industry but this is NOT about the Qatif Girl or Saudi Arabia, this is about smearing all Muslims any chance you can get, even if it means rehashing OLD news and omitting that the woman in question has been free since December 2007 and never received ANY lashings and lashings are certainly not imminent for her NOW. Indeed it is Whiteman’s article that is spreading like wildfire across the internet, now on page after page NOT saying she was pardoned, but rather she is in danger NOW. Shark chum, and boy oh boy are they biting. They always do.Now, just as Whiteman picked up Clarion’s Sept 22nd “news” story, another journalist has also picked it up through other sources writing after Clarion’s article and written

his own story at opposingviews.com. Jonathan Vankin has listed his sources as New York Times,Daily Bhaskar and AP. Note the dates on the sources. The NYT article is from 2007, the AP article is from 2007 but the Daily Bhaskar article is dated Sept 27, 2013 and gets it ALL wrong saying the woman was raped on Sept 22 just last week! Notice that the Daily Bhashkar article sites the Clarion Project as the source. (apparently not reading it very thoroughly because Clarion states the case goes back to 2006) How could Jonathan Vanig who has so many credits to his name get it so wrong? Answer, he did, and he didn’t put two and two together that the 2007 articles had an entirely different date on which the woman was raped! I have emailed Mr. Vankin but as of this moment he has not responded to me. How many times is Mr. Vankin’s article now going to be shared in Internet Land? How many times is it going to be used NOW as shark chum to bash all Muslims? 

This latest shark chum all started with the Clarion Fund on Sept 22.  They have attempted to cover their tracks, but it doesn’t work, for the proof is there above, they published on Sept 22 and since then one more “incident” has hit Internet Land. A woman is going to be lashed 200 times! Look at those EVIL Muslims who are doing this. That old saying, “Everything old is new again” applies.

To liars.

(I will post updates as they occur)

Read: Fear Inc.

Read CAIR’s Sept 2013 report 

Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States

KERRY’S ‘PEACE’ PLAN ~~ A PEEK AND A LEAK

The first proclaimed leak from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat.
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abbas-netanyahu-kerry
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A Peek inside Kerry’s “Peace” Efforts or Propaganda?
By Sam Bahour

The first proclaimed leak from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat. The source is said to be from a posting from the website of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, who claim the information was leaked to them by someone attending the tightly closed negotiating sessions. The validity of this claim and the contents of the leak are unverifiable and the infighting between Hamas and Fatah give both a vested interest to publicly damage the other, however, a read through the supposed leaked information makes anyone familiar with this issue take a worrying note.

 

The Al-Hayat article on the leak states that Secretary Kerry obtained Palestinian President Abbas’ approval on general parameters for the restart of negotiations, at meetings between the two in Amman on 17-18 July 2013, prior to Secretary Kerry’s announcement that negotiations would restart. According to the leaked document, “Kerry set a maximum period of time ranging from 6 to 9 monthswould be dedicated to bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations … without anypreconditions,” beyond the principles listed below and whereby Jordanparticipates in meetings on refugees, Jerusalem and borders where necessary:

 

1.                The Separation Wall will serve as the security borders of the ‘Jewish’ state, and the temporary border of the ‘Palestinian’ state… Both parties will acknowledge and announce this.” 

2.                There will be “an exchange in disputed territories within the plan of the Separation Wall noted above, as agreed to by both parties and with the blessing of the Arab League Follow-up Committee, as specified by this Committee to Mr. Kerry during their last visit to Washington, ranging in size from eight to ten percent of West Bank lands.”

3.                There will be also be a “freeze in the settlement projects at a number of outposts, as approved by the Israeli government, which does not apply to existing projects in large settlement communities located in the vicinity of Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley, including the settlements of Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Har Homa, Gilo, Neve Yacov, Ramat Shlomo, Ramat Alman, Kiryat Arba’, and other densely populated settlements.

4.                The document adds that “residents in frozen settlement communities will have the right to choose between Israeli citizenship, or Palestinian citizenship, or both, at the conclusion of negotiations,” and that “talks will culminate with a historic agreement … along the lines of the Oslo Agreement, during which both parties will announce the end of the historic conflict between their peoples, as well as full normalization with all Arab states, at a celebratory meeting attended by the Arab League and representatives of all Arab countries, announcing their approval of Israel’s establishment of a Palestinian state within the limits set out … above, according to agreements…. concluded by the two parties at the end of the negotiations, which will also entail Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

5.                It adds that “at the end of negotiations some Palestinian families will be allowed to reunite in the West Bank, Rafah and Gaza, while others will have the right to compensation, or emigration … to Arab countries, especially the Gulf…” where they will be “…naturalized… utilizing the Right of Return Fund for this purpose.

6.                Concerning the status of East Jerusalem, the leaked document indicates that it will be “placed under an international administration (Palestinian-Israeli-Jordanian) for ten years, whereby  resident Israelis in East Jerusalem will have the right  to choose their identity,” i.e. citizenship. 

7.                Furthermore, “Israelis and Palestinians agree to discuss the issue of land exchanges, in the West Bank and Jerusalem, through negotiating committees despite the non-core points of contention between the two parties… especially those points that are considered important by the delegation of the Arab League, including the proposal to grant citizenship to every Palestinian who has been resident in the Gulf for more than ten years.

8.                The document indicates that there will be a “discussion of executive steps in this agreement during negotiations within the time-limit mentioned above, and that its implementation will extend to ten years from the signing of the agreement.

9.                Israel will also “release a number of Palestinian detainees have who spent twenty years or more in detention, and no longer pose a security threat.

10.           It also stipulates that “President Mahmoud Abbas will call for legislative and presidential elections in the West Bank after the public announcement of the Agreement, in anticipation of the possibility of the emergence of objections to it, and that the terms of the agreement will not fully be announced until after the start of negotiations and the preoccupation of Palestinians with the battles of the Legislative Council and the Presidency.

11.           It also says that “with the signing of the agreement at the end of the specified time-limit and the declaration of an independent Palestinian state, the Palestinians and Jordanians will, with the blessing of Israel and the Arabs, reach an understandings on the role of Jordanian security assistance … to the Palestinian Authority … to stand by its side and help it overcome potential internal or external dangers … as part of a Confederation, which will be announced in conjunction with a trilateral economic initiative, in which Israel will play an active role in its formation.

Shocking, to say the least!

 

If these are anywhere near the truth, the region should be preparing for yet another major fallout, this time in Palestine and Israel, again.

 

If the U.S. and Israel continue to choose the game of might is right, then they should expect, sooner rather than later, a new generation of Palestinians to lookIsrael straight in the eye and say, “You win! You get it all Israel: Israel, theWest Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, both east and west sides, all of the settlements, all of the water, all of the Jordan Valley, all of the electromagnetic spectrum, all of the airspace, and most importantly, you also get all of us. Now, we heard you have free health care in Israel; where do we pick up our medical cards? We also want some of that free education too.”

 

In other words, if the U.S. and Israel are adamant to throw into the sea international law, humanitarian law, UN resolutions, human rights, rights of refugees, and sheer common sense, then expect the Palestinians to redefine their self-determination from a struggle for statehood to a struggle for civil rights between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

 

In the words of the late Palestinian (and global) intellectual, Edward Said, it’s “equality or nothing.” What is it about these three simple words that are so hard to comprehend?

 

Written FOR

50 YEARS AFTER ‘THE DREAM’, THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES

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WHITE SKIN AMERICA
By Tom Karlson
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That White Skin

Another man gone done

He could not stand his ground                

Another man gone

Ah those riflin’

Standin’ your ground

Hoodie baitin’

Black skin huntin’

Legal lynchin’

Terrorizin’

White skinned privileged motherfucker

Judged prosecuted defended juried

Tag teamin’

three card Monty playin’

Strange fruit swingin’

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A shot to the heart

The dead man’s on trial

The shooter whines

Feared for his life

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The heads talk

And talk of

Post racial America

A black presidented America

A beyond reasonable doubt America

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Not a murmur

Of a million stop and frisks

A thousand legal lynchings

The 21st century Jim Crowed prison complex

And never not ever

0f white skin privileged America

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Another man done gone

He could not stand his ground

Another man done gone

Another man done gone

THE LANGUAGE OF POWER AND OTHER ISSUES

rhetoric-words-politics-1348800099
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Prepared by Nima Shirazi
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As expected, the dog whistles of war have began blowing again. And they’re as shrill as ever, regurgitating the same old talking points we’ve heard for decades now.  Whether from Obama’s pick for the next US Ambassador to the United Nations, a megalomaniacal, obsessed Israeli Prime Minister, or a delisted terrorist cult with deep pockets and well-connected friends, the media amplifies unfounded allegations as fact and fails, as usual, to challenge long-established narratives that lead inevitably to a misinformed and fearful public and the potential for unspeakable violence.

Below are links to a number of my recent posts on these (and some other) issues.

The Language of Power:

Obama’s “Humanitarian Hawk” & Israel’s New Gladiator at the UN
July 18, 2013

In her first appearance before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Samantha Power, Obama’s pick for next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, made clear that she will spend her time in the role much as her predecessor Susan Rice did: acting as Israel’s consummate defender, fear-mongering about Iran, and opposing any move to champion Palestinian human rights or self-determination.

In her confirmation hearing yesterday, Power revealed her adherence to AIPAC talking points, essentially working her way down the tried and true list of boilerplate phrases. Perhaps her most disturbing comments, however, were about Iran. She claimed that the Islamic Republic’s “continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to international peace and security,” echoing precisely George W. Bush’s own UN Ambassador, perennial Iran hawk John Bolton, who in 2006, insisted to the UN Security Council that Iran, by “continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons…constituted a direct threat to international peace and security.”

 
[Read more]

July 16, 2013

In a renewed propaganda blitz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS‘ Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” that Iran is getting “closer and closer to the bomb,” and resurrected a number of embarrassing phrases including “red line,” “credible military threat” and something about ticking clocks.

Netanyahu has been leading the charge against Iran since the mid-1990s, warning of weapons programs that don’t exist and calling for sanctions and explicit military threats. His talking points since then literally have not changed and are identical to those he used to encourage the United States to invade Iraq a decade ago.

Here’s a reminder of why the Israeli Prime Minister’s CBS interview may actually have been a rerun…

On January 11, 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu told a nearly empty Knesset hearing that “within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb, without having to import either the technology or the material.”  His solution to this crisis? “[The nuclear threat] must be uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S. It necessitates economic sanctions on Iran,” he declared.

Fourteen years later, then-Prime Ministerial candidate Benjamin Netanyahu told an American Congressional delegation that Israeli “experts” determined Iranian nuclear weapons capability “was probably only one or two years away.”

 
[Read more]

July 13, 2013

Embracing its recent removal from the U.S. State Department’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranianterror cult with deep pockets and close ties to the Washington establishment, is attempting to ramp up the fear-mongering and propaganda over Iran’s nuclear program following last month’s election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani as the Islamic Republic’s next president.

In April 2013, the group opened an office in Washington DC and officially registeredas a lobbying organization the following month.

Now, a Reuters article from July 11, 2013 reported the MEK and its affiliate organizations such as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) claim to have “obtained reliable information on a new and completely secret site designated for [Iran’s] nuclear project,” despite providing no credible evidence to back up the allegation.

 
[Read more]

Relax, Iran Isn’t Going to Withdraw from the NPT

July 11, 2013

An article in The Cairo Review by Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former ambassador who served as spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team from 2003 to 2005 under Hassan Rouhani, outlines five options for addressing the stand-off between the United States and Iran over the latter’s uranium enrichment and nuclear energy program.  The most striking option Mousavian floats is that Iran could potentially “[w]ithdraw from the NPT and all WMD treaties” and merely “substitute the treaties with the supreme leader’s religious fatwa banning all WMDs.”

“This move,” Mousavian writes, “will relieve Iran of its treaty obligations, which have been used by the West to place further sanctions on Tehran,” adding, “Withdrawing from the NPT has become an increasingly attractive option within the decision-making circles of the country,” because, he argues, “since the 1979 Revolution, the NPT has proven more harmful than beneficial for Iran.”

This argument, surprisingly coming from such a consistently reasoned and rationaldiplomat like Mousavian, doesn’t actually make much sense.  In fact, while it’s essentially the same suggestion that various Iranian parliamentarians have been making for a decade now out of frustration with Western duplicity and arrogance, Iranian policy towards the NPT has been consistent: as a charter member of the treaty, Iran abides by its tenets and will continue to do so.

 
[Read more]

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Nima Blogs AT
 

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