A NATIONAL HISTORY OF SEX, LIES AND CORRUPTION

Last week, the Israeli police recommended indicting Prime Minister Netanyahu on two separate corruption charges. The cases have been under discussion for a long time now. Jonathan Cook has wrote for this site over a year ago, how the Netanyahu scandals “reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society”.

I will not go into further detail regarding Netanyahu in this writing, as I will explain later. Right now, I want to relate to another publication from last week, and draw a comparison to Netanyahu. This is an interview with Israeli author Tom Segev, who has just published a new book called “David Ben-Gurion: A State at All Costs”. He was interveíewed by Ofer Aderet in Haaretz, and the piece is titled “In Bed With Israel’s First Prime Minister: Historian Exposes David Ben-Gurion as You Never Knew Him” 

Indeed, as the title suggests, the novel aspect of this new book appears to be the new discoveries about Ben-Gurion’s sex life – where he had four mistresses, and where one of them was a steady sexual relationship lasting 40 years from 1926. Segev managed to reach these details through archives that were saved under the name of the mistress Rivka Katznelson. Segev’s curiosity about the relationship surged when the archive of the Israel Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry, which has a file under the name “Rivka Katznelson,” refused to open it to the public “for reasons of personal privacy.” Segev nonetheless managed to access Katznelson’s personal material in the Genazim archive, after Katznelson’s niece gave her consent to his perusal of the documents.

What I found even more interesting than Segev’s revelations, were his appraisals in the interview, of why this mattered, and what he thought of Ben-Gurion in light of this.

Segev responds to the question of where the boundary runs between cheap gossip and material of historical value, and why he interested himself in Ben-Gurion’s sex life: “The first answer is the standard one – that if the leader isn’t faithful to his wife, maybe he’s not faithful to his voters, either. If he cheats on her, maybe he cheats on them, too,” he says.

That’s fair enough. And this brings us immediately to the bridging notion between marital unfaithfulness and cheating in general. Corruption is cheating, in general, so I would say there’s a connection.

But interestingly, Segev opines that “Ben-Gurion was not a corrupt person”. He says this just after comparing him to Netanyahu:

“Ben-Gurion has become very popular in recent years,” he notes. “There’s hardly a day when he isn’t mentioned in a newspaper.”

(Aderet): What’s the reason, do you think?

(Segev): “There are powerful longings for a leader with integrity. The explanation, of course, lies in one word: Netanyahu.”

So for Segev, Ben Gurion is still “not corrupt”, and he’s indirectly suggesting he was a leader with integrity (albeit beset by “weaknesses and distress” as he calls it).

Segev again alludes to Netanyahu in pointing out just how Ben Gurion was “not corrupt”:

“He didn’t smoke cigars, didn’t drink champagne, and he chose to go third-class on a ship and share his cabin with other people”, Segev says.

Segev lightly mentions that it still  is possible to talk about corruption in connection with Ben Gurion:

“For example, there’s a problem regarding the house he bought in Tel Aviv, because it can’t be definitely established that he paid back all the loans he received from the Histadrut [labor federation] and from the bank. He also didn’t always pay for the thousands of books he bought”, Segev says (detailed reference for this here).

But all in all, Segev appears to believe that Ben-Gurion was definitely not corrupt – supposedly because he didn’t smoke cigars or drink champagne, even though he had systematic extra-marital affairs and even though he didn’t pay for his books and house.

Alright, let’s pause there.

We know that smoking cigars and drinking champagne are not crimes in themselves. It is always about something other than the appearance. It does not matter if Netanyahu did not ever cheat on his wife. Still, he could be corrupt by other means. The champagne and cigars don’t corrupt him per se. It’s about a bigger picture, that can have many appearances.

Now, was Ben-Gurion really a “man of integrity”?

When I was about 15, I had attended a lecture by the legendary professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Leibowitz is the one who coined the term ‘Judeo-Nazis’, and was hailed as “one of the greatest figures in the life of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in recent generations” by Former President Ezer Weizman, who added that he was “a spiritual conscience for many in Israel.” Leibowitz said something at that lecture which I never forgot. It was one short sentence:

“Ben-Gurion was a man of many virtues. Truth was not one of them”.

At the point, I was ignorant of the details of Ben Gurion’s deceptions. Nonetheless, Leibowitz’s sentence was etched in my consciousness, perhaps due to the shock effect of having this heroic persona (Ben-Gurion) simply being called a liar. It was only many years later, that I began to learn about the details of Ben Gurion’s corruption on the grand national scale.

In 1937, Ben-Gurion wrote to his son Amos how acceptance of Partition (it was the Peel Commission partition plan) was not an end but a beginning:

“My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.”

In other words, Ben-Gurion knew fully well, that any acceptance of a partial territory is not committing. It’s just a means of getting some legitimacy, from which to grow power and with which to eventually “liberate the entire country”.

When it came to 1948 and the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the US Truman administration wanted to know precisely what borders the Declaration referred to (as it was vague in territorial matters, although referring to UN 181 ‘Partition Plan’ as its ‘legitimacy’ and that it was ‘irrevocable’). Jewish Agency agent Eliahu Sasson thus wrote a memo to President Truman, stating that “the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within the frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of November 29th, 1947” (resolution 181). It took Truman only a few minutes to make the official recognition.

But Ben-Gurion knew that such ‘frontiers’ were only a start, and not an end.

It turns out, that in April 1947, five months before the 1947 UN ‘Partition Plan’, Ben Gurion was proposing his own ‘partition map’ to the British Cabinet. This also appears in Segev’s new book, and he managed to track down the map in the British National Achive (it is provided in the Haaretz article). The map is strikingly similar to the ‘Green line’ of the 1949 ceasefire lines (which ended up being 78% of historical Palestine), albeit appropriating the whole of the Gaza strip to the Jewish State.

Segev opines that “Ben-Gurion already had the results in his head”.

And why was the west Bank not part of the Jewish State in Ben-Gurion’s map? Well, let’s remember, that this still had to resemble “partition” rather than a complete Zionist takeover. The British had their own plans, which involved what has been referred to as the policy of “Greater Transjordan”. The Jordanians would get a part of Palestine, and in return, they would not unleash their force against the Jewish State.

Israeli-British historian Avi Shlaim:

“The policy of Greater Transjordan implied discreet support for a bid by Abdullah [King of Transjordan], nicknamed ‘Mr Bevin’s little king’ by the officials at the Foreign Office [Bevin was Foreign Secretary], to enlarge his kingdom by taking over the West Bank. At a secret meting in London on 7 February 1948, Bevin gave Tawfiq Abul Huda, Jordan’s Prime Minister, the green light to send the Arab Legion into Palestine immediately following the departure of the British forces. But Bevin also warned Jordan not to invade the area allocated by the UN to the Jews.  An attack on Jewish state territory, he said, would compel Britain to withdraw her subsidy and officers from the Arab Legion. [….] If Bevin was guilty of conspiring to unleash the Arab Legion, his target was not the Jews but the Palestinians. [….][B]y supporting Abdullah’s bid to capture the Arab part of Palestine adjacent to his kingdom, Bevin indirectly helped to ensure that the Palestinian state envisaged in the UN partition plan would be still-born.” 

So Ben-Gurion was aware that imperialist concerns need to be taken into account. And he went with it for a while. It is doubtful that without such arrangements, the nascent Israel could actually have succeeded to conquer so much more of historical Palestine as it did in 1948.

But as Ben-Gurion wrote to his son above, “this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole”. And then came 1967, and the task was territorially completed.  

All these things are colonialist conspiracies which are corrupt in their very essence. In fact, Israel’s second Prime Minister Moshe Sharett had noted this aspect clearly:

“I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism. These are historical facts that cannot be altered”, he said

So even according to Sharett, Ben Gurion had to be a deceitful leader.

Now, has this essentially changed much? I would say not. The deceit that Zionism applies in order to cover up for its colonialist designs to erase Palestine is a constant factor, and the goal is always corrupt. It’s even genocidal in its very essence. Author and journalist Ben Ehrenriech:

“The question about genocide– yes, it’s an incremental genocide. And I think that’s a word that gives a lot of people pause and it certainly should. We don’t see the absolutely mass slaughters, although in Gaza I think we’ve seen something very much like it that we usually associate with genocide. But– the attempts to erase a people, to just erase them, to erase their history, I think follow a logic that can only be called genocidal.”

So what is the place of corruption at the level of bribery, extra-marital affairs, unpaid bills, cigars and champagne measured against that grand-scale horror? Indeed, the bigger picture brings these things into perspective.

This is why Netanyahu’s personal corruptions, measured against the grand scale, are somewhat irrelevant to Palestinians. And it’s not like there’s hope ahead, even if he does resign. Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy wrote last week that “we may miss Netanyahu yet”, listing the options, and focusing particularly on the ‘centrist liberal’ Yair Lapid, whom I call ‘the pretty face of ultranationalism’ – the man with the motto “maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians”. Levy says about Netanyahu that “his heirs may steer clear of cigars and champagne, but none of them can fix Israel’s great corruption – the institutionalized state corruption arising from 50 years of occupation”.

I think Levy is being too generous, too mild, even too apologetic. That corruption goes back way further than 50 years.

Personally, I have generally refrained from going into detail of Netanyahu’s personal corruptions in all my writings so far. I have instinctively felt, that doing so contained the danger of distracting from the greater national corruption. This is also why I haven’t gone into detail here. I’m not saying Netanyahu’s personal corruption or Ben-Gurion’s personal corruption are irrelevant. But if you really think about the Palestinians, they have been nationally raped by Zionism from the start. You can’t do that and still be a “man [or woman] of integrity”.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. PRESIDENT

Truly a Republican worth loving …..
Lincoln Mural by Hugo Gellert
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All young children have heroes …. mine was Abraham Lincoln. His name, as well as his image were very much a part of my childhood.
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There was a savings bank in my neighbourhood which carried his name. The upper wall was adorned with a mural of Lincoln leading the slaves to freedom, very much in the style of Moses doing the same thing.
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The local High School, which I attended, was Abraham Lincoln High School. The Brigade of brave American volunteers that went off to fight Franco and his fascists in Spain was named the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, definitely the bravest men I ever met.
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So, wherever I went, whatever I did, the image of Abraham Lincoln was forever present.
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Today, 209 years after his birth, he is still my hero,  a man whose visions of justice would be welcome in America today.

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Happy Birthday Mr. President!
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His famous speech in Gettysburg is still an inspiration for all who strive for Statehood and Freedom….
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The Gettysburg Address
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– Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Nov. 19, 1863

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.

We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Image of Lincoln by Charles White


THE WARSAW GHETTO OF TODAY

I am forwarding to you an article I wrote  more than seven years ago on the situation in the Gaza Strip. Today, Gaza is in a very worse shape than ever before. Gaza is more or  less a real concentration camp where people are dying a slow but agonizing death due to the 12-years-old  Israeli siege which is no less harsh than the Nazi siege of Ghetto Warsaw..

Gaza is the “Warsaw Ghetto” of our time and Israel is responsible
 
Khalid Amayreh
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Sometimes, I feel I can’t communicate to the reader the full extent of the harshness of reality. This is not because words are failing me or I seriously lack the gift of gab.  It is rather because reality is too harsh and too overwhelming, so much so that language alone stands helpless to convey or describe it properly and adequately.
 
I am forwarding to you an article I wrote  more than seven years ago on the situation in the Gaza Strip. Today, Gaza is in a very worse shape than ever before. Gaza is more or  less a real concentration camp where people are dying a slow but agonizing death due to the 12-years-old  Israeli siege which is no less harsh than the Nazi siege of Ghetto Warsa..
 
Who is responsible?
 
Well, you don’t have to have a degree in Middle Eastern Studies to know the answer.
 
 
 
NAZIS PAR EXCELLENCE
 
November 19, 2008
 
By Khalid Amayreh in Israeli-Occupied Palestine
 
 
Israeli propagandists routinely dismiss comparisons between Nazi Germany and Israel as “corrupt” and “far-fetched.” Some Zionists would even argue that only pathological anti-Semites would dare make such comparisons.
 
However, in light of what Israel has been and is doing to the Palestinians, including the present ruthless blockade of the Gaza Strip, and the slow, agonizing death meted out to innocent Gazans, any honest person shouldn’t fail to observe the striking similarity between the Nazi mentality and the collective Israeli mindset.
 
The Nazis viewed their victims as “Untermenschen” while Zionist Jews simply refer to their equally tormented victims as “terrorists” or “potential terrorists.”
 
Even a 7-year-old Palestinian school child is often referred to in Israel as “a terrorist child.”
 
Needless to say, the demonizing, dehumanizing language is meant to make the readers, viewers and listeners hate the victims. This is exactly what the Nazis did during the Second World War.
 
For example, when a Jewish resistance fighter was killed in one of the many Jewish communities throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, the German and other pliant press would report the event with a caption reading “ a bandit fell to his death” or “a bandit emerges from his hideout.”
 
Many of the fighters would rather jump to their death from the a fourth or fifth floor than hand themselves over to the SS, very much like Palestinian freedom fighters are doing these days.
 
Today, the Israeli army and media use nearly identical epithets in reference to Palestinian victims of Israeli Nazism. They only replace the word “bandit” with the word “terrorist.” The rest is almost a verbatim rendition from German to Hebrew.
 
But, of course, the matter goes beyond Semantics. Israel today is imposing a manifestly brutal siege to the 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, which is strikingly similar to the German siege imposed on the 350,000 Jewish inhabitants of Ghetto Warsaw in 1942.
 
Yes, the modalities and circumstances may be somewhat different. But the mentality, the hatefulness and vindictiveness are undoubtedly the same.
 
The Israelis are cutting off food, electricity, fuel and gas supplies to the Gaza Strip, causing a human disaster on a very large scale.
 
The Germans did the same at Ghetto Warsaw, but on a comparatively smaller scale.
 
It is true that Israel is not transporting Gazans to death camps as the SS did at Ghetto Warsaw. However, it is also true that that Israel is killing and maiming Palestinians in droves, nearly on a daily basis as a result of denying them access to adequate food and health care, which causes many ill-Gazans to succumb to their often treatable illnesses.
 
This week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, spoke of a real humanitarian disaster in Gaza where hundreds of thousands of people are being starved for political reasons.
 
“We are talking about 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children are deprived of their most basic human rights for months.”
 
The words used by Pillay fall short of fully communicating the extent of the gigantic human disaster facing the people of Gaza where an entire people are pushed to the brink of physical extermination on no other account than them wanting to be free from Israeli Nazism.
 
Unfortunately, Israel, a country ruled by fascist politicians and former army generals who are war criminals par excellence , is constantly emboldened by the disgraceful silence or acquiescence of western powers, including the United States and Europe.
 
This Nazi-like state continues rather unflinchingly the sadistic policy of starving Gazans in the hope that they will rise up against their democratically elected government and join the American-backed regime in Ramallah, which many Palestinians have come to view as a quisling entity, very much like the Judenrate or Jewish councils that ran Jewish communities on behalf of the Nazis throughout Nazi-Occupied Europe.
 
I really don’t understand how Jews, who produced luminaries like Albert Einstein, are allowing themselves to behave in this visibly barbarian manner? Do they feel particularly virile and manly when they watch babies succumb to death due to lack of medicine or absence of health care?
 
Do they feel that by starving and killing innocent Gazans, they are punishing the Nazis vicariously?
 
I am raising these questions because I know there are hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews and non-Israeli Jews who are gleefully enjoying the macabre suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent Gazans, at the hands of their “Jewish army,” the “most moral army in the world.”
 
Well a truly moral army doesn’t behave like this. Only an army of thugs, gangsters, vile criminals, and psychopaths would withhold food and medicine from dying children?
 
It is only an army of a Wehrmacht style and political leaders of Hitler’s ilk that refuse to allow ill men and women seek urgently-needed medical care to proceed to their destination in the West Bank and Jordan?
 
What does preventing ill people from seeking medical care abroad have to do with security? Is saving a child’s life a serious threat to Israel’s security and territorial integrity?
 
What does preventing a truckload of flour or wheat from reaching Gaza have to do with security?
 
Well, it is the old adage: crime and lie go hand in hand.
 
Yes, these are the very people who have made the holocaust their ultimate religion, the people who think that Nazi atrocities during the Second World War justify the slow-motion genocide being meted out to the helpless Palestinians.
 
European governments are also shamefully watching the unfolding tragedy in Gaza, but are saying virtually nothing and doing nothing to stop it.
 
European diplomats, like British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, seem to pay far more attention to Sderot and other Jewish settlements bordering Gaza than to the Dresden-like death camp which Gaza has been transformed into, thanks to the west’s failure to rein in its monstrous brat.
 
In 1948, Harry Truman, who was instrumental in creating Israel, wrote the following:
 
“I fear very much that the Jews are like all underdogs. When they get on the top they are just as intolerant and cruel as the people were to them when they were underneath. I regret this situation very much because my sympathy has always been on their side.”
 
Well, I am afraid that Truman prophecy has been fulfilled. Some people would say that it was fulfilled many many years ago.

A MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ HOW WE GOT WHERE WE’RE AT

IN VIDEOS ~~ REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA AND PALESTINE

Hiroshima  before the U.S. destroyed it

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Palestine before the US/Israel destroyed it

HOW BALFOUR’S ‘PROMISE’ AND BRITAIN DESTROYED PALESTINE

Ninety-nine years later, the British government is yet to possess the moral courage to take responsibility for what their government has done to the Palestinian people.  

Ninety-nine years later, Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed, neither by Balfour, nor by his modern peers in “Her Majesty’s Government”.

"The Zionists claimed Palestine and renamed it 'Israel'" [Getty Images]

“The Zionists claimed Palestine and renamed it ‘Israel'” [Getty Images]

How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

Ninety-nine years since Balfour’s “promise”, Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

Ramzy Baroud

When I was a child growing up in a Gaza refugee camp, I looked forward to November 2. On that day, every year, thousands of students and camp residents would descend upon the main square of the camp, carrying Palestinian flags and placards, to denounce the Balfour Declaration.

Truthfully, my giddiness then was motivated largely by the fact that schools would inevitably shut down and, following a brief but bloody confrontation with the Israeli army, I would go home early to the loving embrace of my mother, where I would eat a snack and watch cartoons. 

At the time, I had no idea who Balfour actually was, and how his “declaration” all those years ago had altered the destiny of my family and, by extension, my life and the lives of my children as well.

All I knew was that he was a bad person and, because of his terrible deed, we subsisted in a refugee camp, encircled by a violent army and by an ever-expanding graveyard filled with “martyrs”.  

Decades later, destiny would lead me to visit the Whittingehame Church, a small parish in which Arthur James Balfour is now buried.  

While my parents and grandparents are buried in a refugee camp, an ever-shrinking space under a perpetual siege and immeasurable hardship, Balfour’s resting place is an oasis of peace and calmness. The empty meadow all around the church is large enough to host all the refugees in my camp.

Finally, I became fully aware of why Balfour was a “bad person”.   

Once Britain’s Prime Minister, then the Foreign Secretary from late 1916, Balfour had pledged my homeland to another people. That promise was made on November 2, 1917, on behalf of the British government in the form of a letter sent to the leader of the Jewish community in Britain, Walter Rothschild.  

At the time, Britain was not even in control of Palestine, which was still part of the Ottoman Empire. Either way, my homeland  was never Balfour’s to so casually transfer to anyone else. His letter read: 

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”  

He concluded, “I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.”  

Ironically, members of the British parliament have declared that the use of the term “Zionist” is both anti-Semitic and abusive.

The British government remains unrepentant after all these years. It has yet to take any measure of moral responsibility, however symbolic, for what it has done to the Palestinians. Worse, it is now busy attempting to control the very language used by Palestinians to identify those who have deprived them of their land and freedom.  

But the truth is, not only was Rothschild a Zionist, Balfour was, too. Zionism, then, before it deservedly became a swearword, was a political notion that Europeans prided themselves to be associated with.

In fact, just before he became Prime Minister, David Cameron declared, before the Conservative Friends of Israel meeting, that  he, too, was a Zionist. To some extent, being a Zionist remains a rite of passage for some Western leaders.  

Balfour was hardly acting on his own. True, the Declaration bears his name, yet, in reality, he was a loyal agent of an empire with massive geopolitical designs, not only concerning Palestine alone, but with Palestine as part of a larger Arab landscape.  

Just a year earlier, another sinister document was introduced, albeit secretly. It was endorsed by another top British diplomat, Mark Sykes and, on behalf of France, by François Georges-Picot. The Russians were informed of the agreement, as they too had received a piece of the Ottoman cake.  

The document indicated that, once the Ottomans were soundly defeated, their territories, including Palestine, would be split among the prospective victorious parties.  

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, also known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was signed in secret 100 years ago, two years into World War I. It signified the brutal nature of colonial powers that rarely associated land and resources with people that lived upon the land and owned those resources.  

The centrepiece of the agreement was a map that was marked with straight lines by a china graph pencil. The map largely determined the fate of the Arabs, dividing them in accordance with various haphazard assumptions of tribal and sectarian lines.  

Once the war was over, the loot was to be divided into spheres of influence:  

– France would receive areas marked (a), which included: the region of south-eastern Turkey, northern Iraq – including Mosel, most of Syria and Lebanon. 

– British-controlled areas were marked with the letter (b), which included: Jordan, southern Iraq, Haifa and Acre in Palestine and a coastal strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan. 

– Russia would be granted Istanbul, Armenia and the strategic Turkish Straits.  

The improvised map consisted not only of lines but also colours, along with language that attested to the fact that the two countries viewed the Arab region purely on materialistic terms, without paying the slightest attention to the possible repercussions of slicing up entire civilizations with a multifarious history of co-operation and conflict.

The agreement read, partly:  

“… in the blue area France, and in the red area Great Britain, shall be allowed to establish such direct or indirect administration or control as they desire and as they may think fit to arrange with the Arab state or confederation of Arab states.”  

The brown area, however, was designated as an international administration, the nature of which was to be decided upon after further consultation among Britain, France and Russia.  The Sykes-Picot negotiations finished in March 1916 and were official, although secretly signed on May 19, 1916. World War I concluded on November 11, 1918, after which the division of the Ottoman Empire began in earnest.

British and French mandates were extended over divided Arab entities, while Palestine was granted to the Zionist movement a year later, when Balfour conveyed the British government’s promise, sealing the fate of Palestine to live in perpetual war and turmoil. 

INTERACTIVE: A century on – Why Arabs resent Sykes-Picot

The idea of Western “peacemakers” and “honest-brokers”, who are very much a party in every Middle Eastern conflict, is not new. British betrayal of Arab aspirations goes back many decades. They used the Arabs as pawns in their Great Game against other colonial contenders, only to betray them later on, while still casting themselves as friends bearing gifts.

Nowhere else was this hypocrisy on full display as was in the case of Palestine. Starting with the first wave of Zionist Jewish migration to Palestine in 1882, European countries helped to facilitate the movement of illegal settlers and resources, where the establishment of many colonies, large and small, was afoot.    

So when Balfour sent his letter to Rothschild, the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was very much plausible.

Still, many supercilious promises were being made to the Arabs during the Great War years, as self-imposed Arab leadership sided with the British in their war against the Ottoman Empire. Arabs were promised instant independence, including that of the Palestinians.  

The understanding among Arab leaders was that Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations was to apply to Arab provinces that were ruled by the Ottomans. Arabs were told that they were to be respected as “a sacred trust of civilization”, and their communities were to be recognised as “independent nations”.  

Palestinians wanted to believe that they were also included in that civilization sacredness, and were deserving of independence, too. Their conduct in support of the Pan-Arab Congress, as voting delegates in July 1919, which elected Faisal as a King of a state comprising Palestine, Lebanon, Transjordan and Syria, and their continued support of Sharif Hussein of Mecca, were all expressions of their desire for the long-coveted sovereignty.

When the intentions of the British and their rapport with the Zionists became too apparent, Palestinians rebelled, a rebellion that has never ceased, 99 years later, for the horrific consequences of British colonialism and the eventual complete Zionist takeover of Palestine are still felt after all these years.  

Paltry attempts to pacify Palestinian anger were to no avail, especially after the League of Nations Council in July 1922 approved the terms of the British Mandate over Palestine – which was originally granted to Britain in April 1920 – without consulting the Palestinians at all, who would disappear from the British and international radar, only to reappear as negligible rioters, troublemakers, and obstacles to the joint British-Zionist colonial concoctions.  

Despite occasional assurances to the contrary, the British intention of ensuring the establishment of an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine was becoming clearer with time.

The Balfour Declaration was hardly an aberration, but had, indeed, set the stage for the full-scale ethnic cleansing that followed, three decades later. 

In his book, Before Their Diaspora, Palestinian scholar Walid Khalidi captured the true collective understanding among Palestinians regarding what had befallen their homeland nearly a century ago: 

“The Mandate, as a whole, was seen by the Palestinians as an Anglo-Zionist condominium and its terms as instrument for the implementation of the Zionist programme; it had been imposed on them by force, and they considered it to be both morally and legally invalid. The Palestinians constituted the vast majority of the population and owned the bulk of the land. Inevitably, the ensuing struggle centreed on this status quo. The British and the Zionists were determined to subvert and revolutionise it, the Palestinians to defend and preserve it.”  

In fact, that history remains in constant replay: The Zionists claimed Palestine and renamed it “Israel”; the British continue to support them, although never ceasing to pay lip service to the Arabs; the Palestinian people remain a nation that is geographically fragmented between refugee camps, in the diaspora, militarily occupied, or treated as second-class citizens in a country upon which their ancestors dwelt since time immemorial.  

While Balfour cannot be blamed for all the misfortunes that have befallen Palestinians since he communicated his brief but infamous letter, the notion that his “promise” embodied – that of complete disregard of the aspirations of the Palestinian Arab people – is handed from one generation of British diplomats to the next, the same way that Palestinian resistance to colonialism is also spread across generations.

In his essay in the Al-Ahram Weekly, entitled “Truth and Reconciliation“, the late Professor Edward Said wrote: “Neither the Balfour Declaration nor the Mandate ever specifically concede that Palestinians had political, as opposed to civil and religious, rights in Palestine.

The idea of inequality between Jews and Arabs was, therefore, built into British – and, subsequently, Israeli and US – policy from the start.”

That inequality continues, thus the perpetuation of the conflict. What the British, the early Zionists, the Americans and subsequent Israeli governments failed to understand, and continue to ignore at their own peril, is that there can be no peace without justice and equality in Palestine; and that Palestinians will continue to resist, as long as the reasons that inspired their rebellion nearly a century ago, remain in place.  

Ninety-nine years later, the British government is yet to possess the moral courage to take responsibility for what their government has done to the Palestinian people.  

Ninety-nine years later, Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed, neither by Balfour, nor by his modern peers in “Her Majesty’s Government”.

More photos and videos at SOURCE

IN MEMORY OF A GREAT DREAM

 

Rosa sat so Martin could walk …
Martin walked so Barack could run …
Barack ran so all our children could fly …
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There is no doubt in my mind that Martin Luther King would have rejoiced the day Obama was elected President of the United States. His dream was finally realised ….
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Or was it??
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The dream did not include the continuation of illegal wars …
Nor the racial profiling and hate crimes in the streets …
Nor the use of drones against innocent civilians …
Nor the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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The dream spoken about above was supposed to set us free, but we still have a long way to go.
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Don’t Give Up The Fight!
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This could be the end result …
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68 YEARS LATER ~~~ WHAT DO ISRAELIS KNOW ABOUT THE NAKBA?

What do Israelis really know about the Nakba? What do they think about the right of return of the Palestinian refugees?

SILENCING THE LAMBS …. YET AGAIN

 First there was THIS …..
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Famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson loses his court appeal to try to force the Department of State to grant him a passport. The continued government persecution of Robeson illustrated several interesting points about Cold War America.
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Robeson was seen as a danger because he often interspersed his performances with comments about race relations in the United States. Before and after his performances, he gave numerous interviews condemning segregation and discrimination in America. For some U.S. policymakers, who viewed America’s poor record of race relations as the nation’s “Achilles’ heel” in terms of the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, having a well known African-American denounce segregation and praise the Russians was unacceptable.
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Full report HERE
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Now THIS …..

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

 

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti 

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Barghouti, who lives with his family in Acre, has Israeli permanent residency and requires an Israeli travel document to be able to travel in and out of Palestine/Israel. His immediate reaction was: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace”.

Israel’s decision not to grant a renewal of the travel document on baseless bureaucratic pretenses is being viewed by human rights experts as the first step towards revoking Barghouti’s permanent residency.

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri had threatened as much at a recent anti-BDS conference held in Jerusalem when he disclosed that he was “inclined to fulfill” a request he had received from a far-right Israeli member of parliament to revoke Barghouti’s permanent residency.

The travel ban follows thinly-veiled incitement to physical violence against Barghouti and BDS activists by Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan. Katz called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders, while Erdan described BDS activists and leaders as threats and called for them to “pay the price” for their work, following this with a clarification that he does not mean “physical harm”. Defending “campaigns to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations”, Amnesty International has expressed its concern for “the safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti” following these threats, “including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights”.

As a leading volunteer with the BDS movement, Barghouti regularly travels internationally to raise awareness about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and to advocate for BDS as an effective strategy to end Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid. Rooted in a long heritage of Palestinian popular resistance, BDS is also inspired by the global boycott movement that helped to end South Africa’s apartheid regime and by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council has recently affirmed “the right of all individuals to participate in and advocate for boycott, divestment, and sanction actions”, calling on states and businesses to “uphold their related legal responsibilities”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“Having failed to stop the growth of BDS in the mainstream, Israel is now launching a desperate and dangerous global war of repression on the movement. After losing many battles for the hearts and minds at the grassroots level, Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups are pressuring western states to implement patently anti-democratic measures that threaten civil liberties at large”.

“By banning our colleague Omar Barghouti from travelling and threatening him with physical violence, Israel is showing the lengths it will go to in order to stop the spread of the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality”.

The international BDS movement aims to pressure Israel, as South African apartheid was pressured, to comply with international law. It has attracted the support of mainstream unions, churches and political parties across the world and compelled large corporations, including Veolia and Orange, to end their involvement in Israel’s human rights violations.

Prominent artists including Ms. Lauryn Hill and Roger Waters have refused to perform in Tel Aviv; several academic associations in the U.S. and thousands of academics in Europe, South Africa, North America and Latin America have endorsed a comprehensive boycott of Israeli universities. The authors of a recent UN report said that a 46% drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014 was partly due to the impact of BDS.

At Israel’s request, governments in the UK, France, Canada and state legislatures in the U.S. are introducing anti-BDS legislation and taking other anti-democratic measures to repress BDS activism. In France, one activist was arrested simply for wearing a BDS t-shirt.

Israel is also using its security services to spy on BDS activists across the world, as repeatedly reported in the Israeli media and by the Associated Press. This espionage is likely to involve monitoring of citizens’ communications in violation of domestic laws.

Journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, known for breaking the NSA surveillance story, has described this well-orchestrated series of draconian measures against the BDS movement as the “greatest threat to free speech in the West”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa added:

“The western governments that are repressing BDS activism at home are giving Israel a green light to continue its violations of international law with impunity. We urge governments, parliaments and human rights organisations to follow Amnesty International’s lead and uphold his rights as a human rights defender under threat”.

Find out more about Israel’s attacks on the BDS movement here.

Source Palestinian BDS National Committee  VIA

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ THE TAINTED MEMORY OF ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE

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This Wednesday evening at sundown Israel will mark 68 years as an independent state as Palestians mark 68 years since the Nakba which destroyed their nation.

Here are some of the photos …. (Click on link)

Photos of the Nakba (“the catastrophe”): the expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948. 

ANNIVERSARY TOONS ~~ CHERNOBYL DISASTER 30 YEARS ON

Images by Carlos Latuff

 30 Years After Chernobyl Catastrophe

30 Years After Chernobyl Catastrophe

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REMEMBERING THE TERROR THAT LED TO JEWISH STATEHOOD

#DeirYassinMassacre let us remember the innocent lives lost to terror

#DeirYassinMassacre let us remember the innocent lives lost to terror

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Palestinians mark 68th anniversary of Deir Yassin massacre

Palestinians on Saturday marked the 68th anniversary of the massacre of more than 100 Palestinians civilians carried out by Zionist paramilitary groups in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948 prior to the establishment of Israel.

Deir Yassin has long been a symbol of Israeli violence for Palestinians because of the particularly gruesome nature of the slaughter, which targeted men, women, children, and the elderly in the small village west of Jerusalem.

The number of victims is generally believed to be around 107, though figures given at the time reached up to 254, out of a village that numbered around 600 at the time.

The Deir Yassin massacre was led by the Irgun group, whose head was future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, with support from other paramilitary groups Haganah and Lehi whose primary aim was to push Palestinians out through force.
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Records of the massacre describe Palestinian homes blown up with residents inside, and families shot down as they attempted to flee.
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The massacre came in spite of Deir Yassin resident’s efforts to maintain positive relations with new Jewish neighbors, including the signing of pact that was approved by Haganah, a main Zionist paramilitary organization during the British Mandate of Palestine.
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An Israeli psychiatric hospital now lies on the ruins of Deir Yassin, the remainder of which was reportedly bulldozed in the 1980s to make way for Jewish housing and incorporated as a neighborhood of Jerusalem. Streets of the neighborhood hold names of Irgun militiamen who carried out the massacre.
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The massacre was one of the first in what would become a long line of attacks on countless Palestinian villages, part of a broader strategy called Plan Dalet by Zionist groups to strike fear into local Palestinians in hopes that the ensuing terror would lead to an Arab exodus, to ensure only Jews were left in the “Jewish state.”
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Thus the attack on Deir Yassin took place a month before the UN Partition Plan was expected to be carried out, and was part of reasons later given by neighboring Arab states for their intervention in Palestine.
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The combination of forced expulsion and flight that the massacres — what would later become known among Palestinians as the Nakba, or catastrophe — precipitated left around 750,000 Palestinians as refugees abroad. Today their descendants number more than five million, and their right to return to Palestine is a central political demand.
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The anniversary of the deadly razing of the village comes as modern day Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to fight for their livelihood in the face of illegal Israeli settlement expansion, widespread detention campaigns, extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces, and a surge in housing demolitions — most recently leaving 124 Palestinians homeless in a single day.
The 97 known victims of the Deir Yassin Massacre committed by Zionist Terrorist  in Palestine

The 97 known victims of the Deir Yassin Massacre committed by Zionist Terror in Palestine

FROM

LAND DAY ~~ REMEMBERING OUR LAND AND OUR MARTYRS

Palestinians from the Galilee town of Sakhnin commemorating Land Day, March 30, 2013. (Photo by: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Palestinians from the Galilee town of Sakhnin commemorating Land Day, March 30, 2013. (Photo by: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Why Land Day still matters

Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.

By Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis

Every year since 1976, on March 30, Palestinians around the world have commemorated Land Day. Though it may sound like an environmental celebration, Land Day marks a bloody day in Israel when security forces gunned down six Palestinians as they protested Israeli expropriation of Arab-owned land in the country’s north to build Jewish-only settlements.

The Land Day victims were not Palestinians from the occupied territory but citizens of the state, a group that now numbers over 1.6 million people, or more than 20.5 percent of the population. They are inferior citizens in a state that defines itself as Jewish and democratic, but in reality is neither.

On that dreadful day 40 years ago, in response to Israel’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of acres of Palestinian land for “security and settlement purposes,” a general strike and marches were organized in Palestinian towns within Israel, from the Galilee to the Negev. The night before, in a last-ditch attempt to block the planned protests, the government imposed a curfew on the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra and Kabul, in the Western Galilee. The curfew failed; citizens took to the streets. Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as those in the refugee communities across the Middle East, joined in solidarity demonstrations.

In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed, about 100 wounded and hundreds arrested. The day lives on, fresh in the Palestinian memory, since today, as in 1976, the conflict is not limited to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip but is ever-present in the country’s treatment of its own Palestinian Arab citizens.

The month following the killings, an internal government paper, written by senior Interior Ministry official Yisrael Koenig, was leaked to the press. The document, which became known as the Koenig Memorandum, offered recommendations intended to “ensure the [country’s] long-term Jewish national interests.” These included, “the possibility of diluting existing Arab population concentrations.”

Israel has been attempting to “dilute” its Palestinian population − both Muslims and Christians − ever since.

Forty years later, the situation is as dire as ever. Racism and discrimination, in their rawest forms, are rampant in Israel, and are often more insidious than physical violence. Legislation aimed at ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Israel is part of public discourse. Israeli ministers do not shy away from promoting “population transfers” of Palestinian citizens − code for forced displacement.

Israel’s adamant demand that the Palestinians recognize it as a “Jewish state” leaves them in a situation of having to inherently negate their own existence and accept the situation of inferiority in their own land. Recent efforts in the Knesset to link loyalty to citizenship threaten to target organizations and individuals who express dissent and even the revocation of citizenship, a practice unheard of in other countries.

Budgets for health and education allocated by the Israeli government to the Arab sector are, per capita, a fraction of those allocated to Jewish locales. Although hundreds of new Jewish towns and settlements have been approved and built since Israel’s creation, the state continues to prevent Arab towns and villages from expanding, suffocating their inhabitants and forcing new generations to leave in search of homes. Palestinians living in Israel are heavily discriminated against in employment and wages.

The message is clear: Israel has failed, abysmally, in realizing its oft-cried role as “the only democracy in the Middle East” with such discriminatory policies and a culture of antagonism and neglect vis-a-vis a fifth of its citizens. The original Land Day marked a pivotal point in terms of how Palestinians in Israel − living victims of Israel’s violent establishment − viewed their relations with the state. Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.

Memorial commemorating the deaths during the events of 1976. Annual Land Day commemoration in Sakhnin, March 30th, 2007. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Memorial commemorating the deaths during the events of 1976. Annual Land Day commemoration in Sakhnin, March 30th, 2007. (Photo by Activestills.org)

The names of the six victims of Land Day are written on the front of a monument in the cemetery of Sakhnin, accompanied by the words: “They sacrificed themselves for us to live … thus, they are alive − The martyrs of the day of defending the land, 30 March 1976.” On the back of the monument are the names of the two sculptors who created it: one Arab, one Jewish. Maybe it is this joint recognition of the tragedy of Palestinians that is required in Israel to get us beyond the chasm of denial.

For our part, as second-generation Palestinians born and raised outside Palestine who have decided to return to live in this troubled land, we view Land Day as an ongoing wake-up call to Israeli Jews and Jewry worldwide to understand that land, freedom and equality are an inseparable package − the only one that can deliver a lasting peace to all involved.

 

Originally written FOR

SIRENS SOUND IN ISRAEL AS AN ‘EDUCATIONAL EXERCISE’ … AND MEMORIES OF OUR OWN IN THE USA

Be sure not to miss my addition of Cold War Memories at the end of this post ….

Air raid sirens sounded throughout Israel as part of a nationwide drill for the educational system.

Is there a better way to prepare our students for Israel’s next planned aggression on Gaza?

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Air raid sirens sound throughout Israel in school drill

Air raid sirens sounded throughout Israel shortly after 10 AM as part of a nationwide drill for the educational system.

The IDF Homefront Command and  the Education Ministry announced the drill ahead of time.

The Israel Police, Magen David Adom emergency services, the Israel Fire and Rescue Service, and local authorities are simulating their response to a real missile attack on the Israeli home front from multiple arenas simultaneously, that strikes when schools are in session.

State and local radio stations were to play an audio recording announcing the drill, while announcements on TV stations and internet sites provided details about the exercise.

Pupils in institutions of learning have received instructions on how to respond.

Home Front Command search and rescue teams were scheduled to rehearse rescue operations in six schools across the country.

The IDF Spokesman’s Unit said the annual drill has been planned ahead of time for 2016.

 

Source

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Cold War Memories

Students in the USA were also ‘trained’ for the pending attack by the Soviet Union, the enemy of the day during the Cold War.

The sirens sounded and we had to huddle under our desks for protection ….

Original Caption: Open books are left on desks of the children of class 42-Junior High Elementary, as they dive under their desks during an "A" bomb drill. Top view of children under their desks.

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We were also ‘issued’ dog tags similar to those worn by soldiers. We were told that when the sirens sound we were to put them under our tongues so that our parents would be able to identify us after the bombs were dropped .

My father forbid me to wear this tag and assured me that the Soviets would never attack us …. so it sat in my drawer all these years.

A blast from the past ...

A blast from the past …

Those ‘games’ were not much different than the ones being played in Israel 60 years later.

With the demise of the Soviet Union, the West had to create a new enemy and demonize it as it did with the Soviets …. When will they ever learn?

Image by Latuff

Demonizing Islam

Demonizing Islam

SUNDAY MATINEE ~~ PALESTINIAN ART OF STEADFASTNESS

The history of modern Palestine can be traced through the work of its artists.

Sliman Mansour and the art of steadfastness

After the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, what has become known as the Nakba, the theme of refugees — “hopeless, helpless and without homes” — dominated.

But, as veteran artist Sliman Mansour explains, after the emergence of the armed struggle in the 1960s, “Palestinian art became proud.”

“The Palestinian woman with her nice dress, flowing hair and long neck: the woman is a symbol of the revolution,” he says.

Jerusalem soon became a symbol for Palestine, and Mansour is perhaps best known for his painting of an elderly man carrying its walled Old City, with the Dome of the Rock as its crown jewel, on his back.

“The main idea behind our work was to try to promote and develop and show that there is a Palestinian people and Palestinian identity and culture,” he says.

Political

Artists like Mansour didn’t choose to be political, but were only responding to their environment, he adds.

Mansour and his comrades in the Palestinian Art League printed their work on posters to reach the widest audience possible.

Their work was wildly successful.

“You can find Palestinian art posters in every home,” he says.

“This sudden fame also made the Israeli authorities aware of our existence,” he adds. “They confiscated some artwork. What happened to these artworks, we don’t know until now.”

Censorship

Israel began censoring Palestinian artists, and banned the colors red, white, black and green — the colors of the Palestinian flag.

During this time in the late 1980s known as the first intifada, Palestinian artists began working with natural materials, in observance of the boycott of Israeli products.

“Instead of painting a landscape, I will use the land to paint,” Mansour recalls thinking.

Mansour was once part of an initiative to try to change Israeli public opinion through art, under the banner of ending the occupation.

“We came to a conclusion that it is not working … so we stopped,” he says.

*Linda Paganelli is a visual anthropologist based in Palestine.

BEFORE ISLAMOPHOBIA THERE WAS THE RED SCARE ~~ THE HIDDEN STORY

As the Red Scare spread, about 300 workers in the entertainment industry were blacklisted.

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‘Trumbo’ and the Hidden Story of the Red Scare

James DiEugenio

The post-World War II years could have shaped America into a very different country by building on the foundations the New Deal and moving more along the lines of European allies with publicly financed health care and other social protections.

Instead, reactionary forces that never made peace with President Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era reforms generated a new Red Scare, wildly exaggerating the threat from a small number of mild-mannered communists and leftists in Hollywood to steer the nation in a right-wing direction favored by big business.

A new movie, Trumbo, recounts one early chapter in that saga, the persecution of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and other leftists in the movie industry who became known as the Hollywood Ten, subjected to jail and “blacklisting” for their political views.

The film tells Trumbo’s personal story as a victim of ambitious congressmen, a zealous columnist and intimidated movie executives, but also how this talented screenwriter ultimately prevailed with the help of actor Kirk Douglas and a few other Hollywood luminaries who appreciated Trumbo’s skills and saw the blacklisting as a hysterical witch hunt.

But what the movie fails to explain is how the scars from the Red Scare permanently changed America, making it a place of fearful conformity with a relatively narrow band of acceptable political thought. The era killed off a vibrant Left that could have challenged the Right’s hostility to government social programs fulfilling the constitutional mandate to “provide for the … general Welfare.”

Yet, as a tale of one man’s struggle against a fearsome combination of government pressure and industry complicity to control his freedom of thought, Trumbo is a worthy – and even rare – historical drama.

An Exceptional Talent

Dalton Trumbo was one of the most colorful, fascinating and prolific writers that the Hollywood film colony ever produced. Trumbo wrote, or co-wrote, well over 50 produced screenplays. In addition, he wrote numerous plays, novels and non-fiction books. Some of his most famous scripts were A Bill of Divorcement, A Guy Named Joe and Kitty Foyle.

Unfortunately for Trumbo, he was never allowed to walk up on stage to receive an Academy Award. Not because he did not win any. He actually won two: one for The Brave One and one for Roman Holiday. But at the time he won those Oscars — in the 1950s — he was on what became known as the Hollywood blacklist.

This was an unofficial assemblage of the names of persons working in the motion picture industry who were not allowed to be employed by any of the major studios or television networks. Therefore, when Trumbo won those two awards, his Oscars were given to people who either did not actually exist or who worked as a “front” for Trumbo.

A “front” was someone who had an acceptable name to the studios and who was deemed employable. This person did either little or no work on the completed script, but was allowed a percentage of the fees accrued for the screenplay. Trumbo was finally given his Oscar for The Brave One in 1975, the year before he died. It was not until 2011 that his name was restored to prints of Roman Holiday.

Trumbo was born in Colorado in 1905. He began writing in high school for his local newspaper. When he attended college at the University of Colorado, he worked as a reporter for the Boulder Daily Camera. After working for a number of years at a bakery and after years of having his stories and novels rejected, he finally began to have some success when his essays were accepted in some major magazines. He then became a script reader for Warner Brothers.

From about 1937 to 1947, Dalton Trumbo was one of the highest-paid writers in Hollywood. Some sources state that he was the highest paid writer in the film colony. Trumbo had two qualities that producers craved: he was versatile and he was fast. He could write in a variety of film genres, from comedy to fantasy to personal drama to the epic structure. And since he was a workaholic, he could produce completed screenplays and rewrites at a rate that was exceptional.

Actor Kirk Douglas was astonished at how fast Trumbo wrote the script for Spartacus. In Douglas’s book, I am Spartacus, the actor said Trumbo worked at least twice as fast as any writer with whom he worked. Those qualities, plus a gift for finding a story arc and creating credible characters and dialogue, helped Trumbo ascend to the highest peak of Hollywood success before the age of 40.

Hunting ‘Subversives’

Trumbo’s career all but collapsed when he ran headlong into the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). This infamous committee first became prominent under Texas Congressman Martin Dies in 1938 when it was initially supposed to investigate Nazi espionage in America. But since it was largely composed of Republicans and conservative Democrats (like Dies), it quickly turned to inquiring into one of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, the Federal Theater Project. (Robert F. Vaughn, Only Victims, p. 36)

The Federal Theater Project was a part of the Works Progress Administration, which became the largest single employment program of the New Deal. The Federal Theater Project was meant to employ out-of-work actors, directors and stage managers in federally funded stage productions; both in New York and several regional outlets.

It was a smashing success in that it produced nearly 1,000 plays in four years. These were seen by hundreds of thousands of spectators. Some of the plays were directed by Orson Welles and have become legendary in stage history, e.g., The Cradle Will Rock.

HUAC did not like the spectacular success of this program. Dies once said that the WPA was the greatest boon the communists ever had in the United States. (ibid) Dies called several people to testify about supposed communist influences in certain productions. The committee was so unsophisticated in its understanding that it criticized the director of the project for going to Russia to see new experimental plays by theater innovators like Konstantin Stanislavsky. (ibid, p. 61)

Congressman Joe Starnes famously asked project director Hallie Flanigan if playwright Christopher Marlowe was a communist, though Marlowe had died in 1593. Yet, these clownish blunderings became popular with newspapers and magazines. And, at first, HUAC gained a large amount of public support. Dies unsuccessfully called for the resignation of New Deal officers such as Harry Hopkins and Harold Ickes. (ibid, p. 70). But Dies did kill the Federal Theater Project.

After World War II, HUAC became a standing committee and – under new chairman Parnell Thomas – the panel decided to hold hearings into the Hollywood film industry. The committee investigators, led by Harry Stripling, assembled dossiers which were largely created from information delivered by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. HUAC then held open hearings, calling a series of prominent players in the entertainment field.

Contempt of Congress

The first panel consisted of “friendly witnesses” who essentially agreed with the committee’s judgments and aims – that Hollywood was filled with communist agents who were assembling works of propaganda in order to weaken the foundations of American life. Then, HUAC called “unfriendly witnesses” who did not agree with these judgments, refused to cooperate with the committee and were then indicted for contempt of Congress.

The “friendly witnesses” included three heads of major studios: Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer and Walt Disney, all extremely powerful, wealthy and politically connected. Warner volunteered the names of suspected communists, e.g. writers Alvah Bessie, Howard Koch and Ring Lardner Jr. (Vaughn, p. 81)

Disney testified that a strike his studio endured a year before was caused by communist infiltration of trade unions, and he named union leader Herbert K. Sorrell as a communist agent. Disney also named an animator at his studio, David Hilberman, as a communist. (ibid, p. 85)

Mayer testified that HUAC should write legislation that would regulate the employment of communists in private industry.

With Republicans in control of the committee, it enlisted novelist Ayn Rand as a witness who watched the film Song of Russia and evaluated whether or not it was propaganda. Rand declared that since the film did not depict normal life in Russia as a gulag, it was propaganda.

As author Victor Navasky has written, the parading of these friendly witnesses was little more than the scaffolding for a sideshow. Famous actors such as Robert Taylor, Adolphe Menjou, Robert Montgomery, Gary Cooper and Ronald Reagan joined the studio executives. (Reagan continued defending HUAC into the 1970s even after it was formally disbanded.)

There was a tactical aim in all of this. By presenting these witnesses first and urging them to deliver speeches and name suspected subversives, the 10 “unfriendly witnesses” who followed were set up in the public eye as being antagonistic toward the earlier star-spangled cavalcade.

Trumbo was in this second group. He had been a member of the Communist Party from about 1943, an isolationist and anti-war, an attitude conveyed by his famous novel Johnny Got His Gun, published in 1939. In the rapidly ascending spiral of Cold War demagoguery, these qualities made him a perfect target of HUAC and one of its ambitious young members, Richard Nixon.

Pleading the First

Trumbo and his group of fellow writers – Albert Maltz, Ring Lardner Jr., Lester Cole, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, John H. Lawson, Sam Ornitz, Adrian Scott and Edward Dmytryk (who was a writer-director) – decided to do battle with HUAC. They knew that the question the committee would ask was, if they were now or had ever been a member of the Communist Party, which would not be officially outlawed until 1954.

But the witnesses knew that if they admitted this, the next question would be: Who else do you know who is or was a member? Or the committee would ask, did you attend any meetings, and if so who did you see there?

Since they had already seen what men like Mayer, Warner and Disney did in getting rid of suspected leftists, the witnesses knew that not only would their careers be endangered but anyone else they named would be put at risk.

Therefore, Trumbo and other witnesses decided not to plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination but instead refused to directly answer the committee’s questions, citing their First Amendment rights of choice and privacy. For their stance, Trumbo and nine other witnesses, who became known as the Hollywood Ten, were prosecuted for contempt of Congress.

Their main attorney, Bartley Crum advised them that the Supreme Court would not uphold such a conviction. But after Trumbo was convicted in the lower court, the Supreme Court refused to hear his case. Trumbo went to prison for about 11 months in Ashland, Kentucky.

Besides prison terms, the Hollywood Ten case led to a blacklist by movie executives who “deplored the action of the 10 Hollywood men who have been cited for contempt by the House of Representatives.” All business ties and contracts with them were “suspended without compensation” and none would be re-employed until they were acquitted or purged themselves of contempt and declared under oath he is not a communist.

As the Red Scare spread, about 300 workers in the entertainment industry were blacklisted. Some, like actor Philip Loeb, were pushed to the edge. As Douglas notes in his book, Loeb could not care for his emotionally troubled son and committed suicide, a particularly painful experience for Douglas who knew Loeb when they were both up-and-coming actors in New York.

Eking Out a Living

When Trumbo emerged from prison, he first moved to Mexico for a couple of years. He tried to eke out a living writing scripts, but the man who once commanded $75,000 per screenplay could make only a fraction of that sum. So, he moved back to Los Angeles where he lived in a small house in Highland Park. For the next several years, he employed phony names and hired fronts to produce his scripts, even when he was dealing with small, independent production companies like the King Brothers.

Even though Trumbo was making much less money and working much harder and longer, he could not claim credit for his work. As Jay Roach’s Trumbo shows, this put a tremendous strain on Trumbo’s home life.

Beyond the movie executives, other powerful Hollywood figures piled on the Hollywood Ten and went after their support group, the Committee for the First Amendment. Actor John Wayne and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper formed the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservations of American Ideals.

When a performer or writer wanted to recant and purge himself, he got in contact with this group. As Reagan said in an interview for the film Hollywood on Trial, they would tell this person that the Alliance really could not help you unless you decided to help yourself. Once the person did so, he would get permission from studio executives to work again.

Roach’s film shows actor Edward G. Robinson, who had supported Trumbo with monetary contributions and didn’t work for a year, going through this penance under the approving eye of Wayne.

Some Hollywood Ten defendants, like director Edward Dmytryk, could not handle the pressures and made arrangements with the powers that be to recant and name names. As result, actress Lee Grant was added to the blacklist while the rehabilitated Dmytryk went on to direct films, including The Caine Mutiny, shot in 1954 at the high tide of the blacklist.

As the film shows, however, there were some brave souls who finally cracked the blacklist.

When Kirk Douglas came to Hollywood in 1945, he was hired to work on a film called The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. There was a strike going on, the one which Disney referred to in his testimony before HUAC. The striking union, largely representing set dressers, had asked the Screen Actor’s Guild to honor their picket line.

Under the influence of Guild leaders — such as George Murphy, Ronald Reagan and George Montgomery — SAG refused to do so. But the writer and the director of Douglas’s film, respectively Robert Rossen and Lewis Milestone, did support the strikers. They would not cross the picket line. Fearing a lockout, producer Hal Wallis had the actor sleep in his dressing room.

As Douglas related in his book, two years later, both Milestone and Rossen were called before HUAC. Milestone escaped to France. Rossen admitted membership in the Communist Party. Both men were blacklisted.

Another Douglas friend and colleague, Carl Foreman, producer of the film High Noon, was called to testify but fled to England. Foreman was targeted because some took High Noon as an allegory for what HUAC was doing to America.

A Disgusted Douglas

All this shocked Douglas, who knew that none of these men posed any threat to the security of the United States. He realized how absurd the practices of the HUAC actually were.

For instance, the committee called baseball player Jackie Robinson to testify against actor Paul Robeson, but Robinson could offer little or no information about the actor. Douglas concluded that the only reason Robinson was called was because, like Robeson, he was a famous African-American.

Douglas was also distressed by the fact that six of the Hollywood Ten were Jewish as was he and as were many of the executives who capitulated so completely before HUAC. Douglas could not understand why people of the Jewish faith, who fully understood the price and pain of being persecuted, would go along with the HUAC circus, led by a clown like Thomas.

As Douglas wrote and as the film shows, much of this stemmed from fear. Men such as Warner, Mayer and Harry Cohn were “terrified their great power would be taken away from them if their loyalty to America was called into question.”

Roach’s film shows a scene with columnist Hedda Hopper going into Mayer’s office, calling him a kike, and threatening to vilify him in her columns unless he cooperated with the committee.

But Douglas rejected such pressure, agreeing with actor Fredric March who said: “They’re after more than Hollywood. This reaches into every American city and town.”

Ironically, HUAC’s aggressive witch hunt against leftists in Hollywood contributed, indirectly, to the undoing of Trumbo’s isolation. In 1950, author Howard Fast was called before HUAC and grilled about his colleagues in a group opposing Spain’s fascist dictator Francisco Franco. When Fast refused to answer, he also was imprisoned.

In prison, Fast used the library to research the life of Spartacus, a slave who turned gladiator and finally became a rebel leader against Imperial Rome. After getting released from prison, Fast wrote a historical novel about the man who almost undid the Roman Empire.

But Fast’s life was not the same as it had been before. He was banned from speaking on college campuses. He was under surveillance by the FBI. And he was denied a passport, which deprived him of his right to do research on Spartacus in Europe.

When Fast finished his book, he tried to sell it to his old publisher, Little, Brown and Company, but was turned down after the FBI visited the publisher. Six other publishing houses also turned it down. With no other alternative, Fast published it himself. In four months, it sold 48,000 copies with Fast and his wife shipping out copies from their basement.

Finding Spartacus

By the 1950s, Kirk Douglas had built a very successful career as an actor. He also despised the fact that MGM made him sign a loyalty oath to play painter Vincent Van Gogh in Lust for Life. So, Douglas created his own production company with partner Ed Lewis, who dropped off a copy of Fast’s Spartacus on Douglas’s desk.

Douglas loved the book and decided to produce the film (and star in it). Fast insisted on writing the first draft of the script but it was quite poor, prompting Douglas to enlist Trumbo to do the re-write. But Douglas told Universal Studio chiefs Ed Muhl and Lew Wasserman that Lewis was writing the script.

About halfway through the film’s production, Trumbo stopped working, complaining that he had written about 250,000 words on the project so far and did not want to do that much work if his name was not on the film.

Douglas drove to Trumbo’s house and told him that when the film was finished, he would insist that Trumbo get screen credit, which is what Douglas wanted to do all along. Douglas invited Trumbo to a meeting at the Universal commissary with himself and director Stanley Kubrick, something Trumbo had not done for almost 13 years.

After columnist Hedda Hopper exposed the fact that Trumbo was secretly writing Spartacus, producer-director Otto Preminger approached Trumbo to write a movie from the Leon Uris book Exodus. Preminger announced this in the movie trade papers, joining Douglas in helping Trumbo crack the blacklist.

After Douglas and Preminger made their announcements, singer/actor Frank Sinatra also decided to employ a blacklisted writer, Albert Maltz, except Sinatra wanted to make this into a big event. But Trumbo advised Douglas to tell Sinatra to drop his crusade, since it would probably hurt Sen. John Kennedy in his presidential race against former HUAC member Richard Nixon. Joseph Kennedy, the candidate’s father, also advised Sinatra not to go that route.

A President Weighs In

But after Kennedy got elected in 1960, he and longtime friend, Paul Fay, attended a public screening of Spartacus. The American Legion was picketing and Kennedy could have asked for a private screening of the film. Wasserman and Muhl would have been glad to oblige.

But on the advice of his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the President made the deliberate public appearance.

Roach closes the film with a nice strophe. Hopper is in her living room watching television when a segment depicting Kennedy’s attendance at the film comes on the screen. The camera rotates around her face slowly, as she begins to realize that her reign of terror is now ending.

The scene dissolves to black. Out of the darkness, we see Trumbo in the wings about to go on stage in 1970 to collect his Laurel Award, the annual distinguished career award given out by the Writers’ Guild of America. Eloquently, Trumbo addresses the issue of the whole blacklist period and the film closes.

Director Jay Roach began his career in comedy, directing Michael Myers in the Austin Powers films. He also directed the Robert DeNiro comedy Meet the Parents before going to the small screen to direct works closer to his heart. For HBO, he directed the political dramas Recount about the Republican heist of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, and Game Change about Sen. John McCain’s decision to pick Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in 2008.

Roach has now made Trumbo, a political drama for the large screen. Overall, he does fairly well. Dalton Trumbo did several interviews that were captured on film and can be seen by almost anyone. Actor Bryan Cranston has obviously watched them at length as he does a nice job portraying Trumbo’s feisty character.

The English actress Helen Mirren plays Hedda Hopper. From the first time I saw Mirren in The Long Good Friday, I was struck by her intelligence, subtlety and technical proficiency. She furthers that tradition here with a nicely understated performance. In an easy part, John Goodman is strong and vivid as low-budget producer John King.

Roach likes to begin a scene low key and then build it to a powerful explosion or aria. For example, he does this with Goodman wielding a baseball bat at a representative of the producers’ alliance sent to intimidate him from employing blacklisted writers.

The one disappointment in the cast is Diane Lane as Trumbo’s wife Cleo. Either she could not find the center of her character, or Roach could not help her. It’s a completely blasé performance in a major role.

A Bigger Picture

In my opinion, some of the film’s shortcomings originate in the script by John McNamara. The film tries to make the opening of Spartacus into a crowning historical moment, which is not true. Because of the power of Douglas, Wasserman and Muhl, this achievement ended the blacklist for Trumbo but not for many others who did not have that kind of torque behind them. For them, it lingered on into the mid-1960s.

Another problem with the script is that it misses the core motivation for HUAC and the careers of some of its members, like Dies, Thomas and Nixon. For political reasons, they bitterly resented the scope and the goals of Roosevelt’s New Deal. They did not want government to be the solution to the Great Depression. So, they decided to poison the New Deal’s legacy with the taint of communism.

To a degree, they were successful. HUAC managed to drastically limit the American political spectrum by attacking, smearing, prosecuting and demonizing any political orientation left of the Democratic Party.

HUAC, Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare tilted the politics of the country decidedly to the right, meaning that – unlike many European industrialized countries – there is no serious left-leaning American political party.

Though HUAC Chairman Thomas went to prison on fraud charges, Sen. Joe McCarthy took up the anti-communist cause, expanding the Red Scare into the U.S. government and other aspects of American life. As with HUAC, FBI Director Hoover supplied information to McCarthy.

When Robert Kennedy became Attorney General, he looked at the information that Hoover had. There were maybe 50,000 members of the Communist Party in the United States and many of them were FBI informants. In other words, there was no real communist threat to fear. It was more a creation of men like Hoover who recognized that an exaggerated fear of communism was an effective weapon for gaining political advantage and personal power.

It was this subterranean agenda that the American public was never made to understand. Therefore the consequences went unabated.

Even today, prominent right-wingers decry government programs to create jobs or alleviate suffering – including President Barack Obama’s private-insurance-based health care program – as “socialism” or “communism.”

The value of scaring the American people has not been lost. Today, we live with another excessive threat, the War on Terror, which has led to the Patriot Act, torture, drone strikes and racial profiling.

The ability of Americans to resist these current excesses is crippled by the failure of politicians, the courts and the media to stop the Red Scare that started in Hollywood in 1947.

Trumbo is a decent enough picture. And Roach should be praised for his good intentions in filming it. There are few directors and producers making politically relevant films in America today.

But in my opinion, this subject would have been better served if Roach had made a mini-series on the subject. That would have given him the opportunity to depict a much wider American canvas and a much larger subject.

Dalton Trumbo was part of an epic struggle. In the end, he personally won, but the country lost.

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See the following from What Really Happened

(Click on link)

THE NEW McCARTHYISM

REWRITING HISTORY WITH HATRED RATHER THAN WITH INK

Some of you might remember the old school desks with an inkwell in the upper right corner ….

639df5ca3c5365d71d7ad1f555fd325b

Today, in some cases, documents or speeches are written using a different kind of well. This usually results in a complete falsehood of the intended subject. This was obviously the case when Netenyahu rewrote historical events regarding the holocaust ….

The first thing we can conclude is that Netanyahu is no historian. Himself the son of a crackpot historian, Bibi has adopted a fringe and discredited theory with no historical basis and made it the cornerstone of his understanding of the most traumatic and decisive event in Jewish history.
read more: 

hate-well

The second takeaway from Tuesday night’s speech is that Netanyahu has lost it. He’s raving. His hatred of the Palestinians and his frustration at their refusal to succumb to his brutality has become an obsession in which even Hitler, the archetype of evil and Jew-hatred, has to play second fiddle to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian predecessors.

The above is taken from an OpEd in HarAretz …

(Click on link to read)

In Mufti Speech, Netanyahu Showed His Obsessive Hatred of the Palestinians

Yet another opinion …

Hitler’s plan to exterminate European Jewry dated back to years before his meeting with Husseini, noting references to it in “Mein Kampf,” which was published in 1925, as well as the 1933 Nazi party charter and remarks in the Reichstag in 1939, when Hitler threatened to “exterminate the Jewish people.”

Yad Vashem’s Chief Historian on Hitler and the Mufti: Netanyahu Had It All Wrong

There is no evidence that Haj Amin al-Husseini proposed the ‘final solution’ to Hitler, according to Yad Vashem chief historian Dina Porat

Prof. Dina Porat, chief historian of Yad Vashem, called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Hitler did not seek to exterminate the Jews until his meeting with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem at the time, Haj Amin al-Husseini “completely erroneous, on all counts.”

Porat, a senior historian at Tel Aviv University who specializes in Holocaust studies, told Haaretz on Wednesday: “Hitler did not need anyone to encourage the final solution. In terms of the facts, there’s no debate … all these actions, Hitler’s obsessions, have no link to the mufti.”

In his speech to the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Netanyahu ostensibly quoted from the conversation between Hitler and the mufti at their meeting in Berlin in November 1941: “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’”

According to Netanyahu, Hitler asked Husseini, “So what should I do with them?,” to which the mufti replied, “Burn them.”

When asked whether Netanyahu fabricated the dialogue that he quoted, Porat said that Netanyahu is very knowledgeable about Jewish history. “He grew up in a home full of Jewish history. But what he said is not in the minutes of the meeting. That should be clear.”

The meeting between Hitler and Husseini was documented only with general statements and topic headings, and was not transcribed word for word. There is no record of Hitler asking Husseini what to do with Europe’s Jews.

“The mufti did not speak to Hitler in terms of ‘you should do this,’ or ‘what do you think of a final solution?’ Nor is it recorded that the mufti told Hitler to ‘burn them.’ Hitler never asked anyone what to do with the Jews,” Porat said. She did say, however, that Hitler told the mufti that he would “’continue his plans,’ meaning that he had already begun, and certainly not because the mufti asked him to.”

According to Porat, “all of the facts show that during Hitler and the mufti’s meeting, the ‘final solution’ was already under way.”

Porat explained that Hitler’s plan to exterminate European Jewry dated back to years before his meeting with Husseini, noting references to it in “Mein Kampf,” which was published in 1925, as well as the 1933 Nazi party charter and remarks in the Reichstag in 1939, when Hitler threatened to “exterminate the Jewish people.”

“And there’s no debating later on, with the invasion of Poland, the orders from Berlin to build ghettos, which were documented as a stage of the ‘final solution,’” Porat said.

Later, mass killings of Jews began with the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. “The order to kill wasn’t signed by Hitler, but the first death camp, Chelmno, began operating in December 1941, a few weeks after the meeting with the mufti — and it’s something that had been worked on long before,” added Porat.

Husseini asked Hitler to advance the final solution in the Middle East, but he certainly didn’t come up with the plan himself, Porat said. “Had Netanyahu added the words ‘in the Middle East’ to his speech, he wouldn’t be in this mess. But he didn’t add them,” Porat said: “That’s what the mufti wanted, and that’s why he went to Berlin.”

Our resident PsychoGal comes to the rescue of our Psycho PM in the following …

Crazy like a fox

One of her fabrications was ….

Husseini was indicted as a war criminal in Nuremberg. Rather than try him, the allies allowed him to flee to Egypt in 1946. There he was greeted as a war hero by King Farouk.

See if you can find evidence of that HERE

It’s amazing what the well of hate can write.

Click on title link to read her gibberish of the day.

EVEN GERMANY IS OFFENDED BY NETANYAHU’S WHITEWASHING OF HITLER

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

Not only were Netanyahu’s remarks regarding the holocaust refuted by historians and politicians ….

Even Germany itself was offended ….

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has re-affirmed her country’s responsibility for the Holocaust, following controversial comments by Israel’s prime minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu was criticised for saying Adolf Hitler had only wanted to expel Jews from Europe but that a Palestinian leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, told him to “burn them.”

Speaking at a joint news conference with Mr Netanyahu, Mrs Merkel said she was “very clear in [her] mind” that German soldiers were responsible.

FROM

The Israeli Prime Minister’s obvious hatred of the Palestinian people has finally come to a head via his remarks this week ….

An apology to the people of Palestine, as well as to the six million Jewish victims of the holocaust, their descendants and the survivors themselves is definitely in order.

This to be followed by by his resignation from the office of Prime Minister as he has definitely proven to be mentally unstable and not in a position to continue.

Nothing short of that would be acceptable.

Netanyahu said on Wednesday there was “much evidence” to back up his accusations against Husseini, including testimony by a deputy of Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Holocaust, at the Nuremberg war crimes trials after World War Two. (FROM) And that is a reliable source of historic events?

Netanyahu said on Wednesday there was “much evidence” to back up his accusations against Husseini, including testimony by a deputy of Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Holocaust, at the Nuremberg war crimes trials after World War Two. (FROM)
And that is a reliable source of historic events?

THIS Op-Ed from Ynet is a MUST READ

From WRH

From WRH

PALESTINIAN REFLECTIONS ON BLACK SEPTEMBER

And they searched his chest
But could only find his heart
And they searched his heart
And could only find his people
(Palestinian Poet Mahmud Darwish)

810310-263805

Black September Reflections

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

My political awareness started out in September 1970 when I was 13 years old. That is the first time I saw my late father cry. My parents had tried t isolate us from the miseries of the world but in this case he could not help it as he watched how politics results in innocent people massacred. The quarrel between the PLO and the Jordanian monarchy had peaked into a war. Jordanian troops with tanks entered refugee camps killing perhaps thousands (no one knows the number) of Palestinian refugees as they uprooted the PLO armed factions from Jordan. My father still would not talk much politics so I turned to my mother who gave me a brief history lesson much of it personal. For example she told me about her school friend Hayah Balbisi who was murdered with her students in Deir Yassin. The images on TV of flattened shaggy shantytowns over dead bodies still haunts me. I began to educate myself of things they do not teach us in school about our own history: that British invasion of Palestine September 1918 was a direct result of Zionist lobbies that gave the Balfour and the Jules Cambon declarations 1917 and learned of the British imposition of apartheid through the first Zionist ruler here Herbert Samuels.

In September 1982, it was my turn to cry uncontrollably as I saw images of the massacres at the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila (Israeli paid proxy militias). By September 2001, I had been living and working at Yale University for 1.5 years and I had been in the US for 22 years. In those 1.5 years in Connecticut, we had held over 20 events for Palestine and I had published dozens of letters and opinion articles on Palestine. We were happy we succeeded in pressuring Yasser Arafat not to sign onto the humiliating agreement offered him at Camp David that abrogated the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and lands (I cofounded a group that managed to collect over 800,000 signatures for refugee rights between 1997 to 1999). We were planning moe actions and more events especially in protest of the ongoing massacres committed by the war criminal Ariel Sharon in the occupied Palestinian territories. That was what some people had called the second Intifada 2000-2005 (my book on Popular resistance actually shows it is number 14 or 15). We planned events, held rallies, organized protest and also cared for the injured. We had already brought a girl who was 8 years old who lost her eye to an Israeli rubber-coated steel bullet and gave her a prosthetic eye (Hiam was one of hundreds of children to lose eyes and limbs in 2000-2003). Another girl Marwa Alsharif was coincidentally with us in September 2001. Marwa Al-Sharif had a bullet in her head which was just removed by neurosurgeon in Hartford and she was recovering (I acted as translater for her and her mother). On 10 September 2001 I was dealing with Zionist back lash and media distortions about the Israeli targeting of these children. On September 4, 2001, the Zionist group CAMERA posted to their members one of our media alerts and added “As you will see, pro-Palestinian activists are very focused and energetic and are using sophisticated and diverse methods to press their case. We can do no less!” An article by Rhonda L Maacarty and me appeared in Q magazine about the growing role of international solidarity in the struggle for freedom in Palestine. The struggle was plodding along but then it came to the USA in a big way on 11 September 2001. My first message after I recovered from the shock of the news was this sent at 11:30 AM on Tuesday 11 September 2001:

Talking points on the catastrophe
Many have already been contacted by the media for commentary on the attacks in NYC and Washington. Here are possible talking points:
1) This is an awful catastrophe.
2) Our first thoughts must be with the victims.
3) We condemn acts of terror in the strongest possible ways.
4) It is important not to jump to conclusions about who or how this was caused and to wait for the situation to be clear.
No need to say anything else.
Mazin Qumsiyeh

I checked on my friends in New York (an area only 40 minutes from our home in Orange, CT) and we held vigils for the victims at Yale (hundreds of victims were also Arab and/or Muslim Americans). I was interviewed at least 10 times in the next few hours. That night was sleepless night as we addressed emails and made phone calls etc. Marwa Al-Sharif and her mother were at the Friday prayers called for by all the mosques in the US after this catastrophic event to pray for the victims and pray for peace.

Marwa and her mother at the mosque after 11 Sept 2001

Marwa and her mother at the mosque after 11 Sept 2001

More AT

FIFTY TWO YEARS LATER … THE TRUTH THAT DIDN’T SET US FREE

 
Rosa sat so Martin could walk …
Martin walked so Barack could run …
Barack ran so all our children could fly …
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There is no doubt in my mind that Martin Luther King would have rejoiced the day Obama was elected President of the United States. His dream was finally realised ….
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Or was it??
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The dream did not include the continuation of illegal wars …
Nor the racial profiling and hate crimes in the streets …
Nor the use of drones against innocent civilians …
Nor the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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The dream spoken about above was supposed to set us free, but we still have a long way to go.
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Don’t Give Up The Fight!
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This could be the end result …
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