THE LATEST FROM BANKSY — HOW MUCH THE IDF LOVES PALESTINE

Banksy gives us this poster highlighting the absurdity of the Israeli occupation. The Palestine travel poster type says “The Israeli army liked it so much they never left!”

FASCISM >>>> THE ANTI OCCUPATION’S NEW ENERGIZER

Bolsonaro is a vulgar and violent man. His aggressive remarks leave no doubt regarding the kind of policies he plans on enacting. He also wholeheartedly supports Israel and its actions, which is hardly a surprise. 

Here’s why Israel loves him…..

The record reveals Bolsonaro as a racist, misogynist, homophobic, weaponizing thug, favoring a white, patriarchal, hierarchical, hetero-normative and “homogenous” Brazil.

 

The rise of the global far-right could energize the anti-occupation movement

The warm relations between Israel and a new crop of anti-democratic leaders are tragic, but they also expose the true nature of Israel’s relationship to the Palestinians.

By Eli Bitan

Only hours after Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil last Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to phone the extreme-right candidate. Netanyahu accepted Bolsonaro’s invitation to Brazil, inviting the president-elect to Jerusalem, after the latter declared his intention to move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem.

Bolsonaro is a vulgar and violent man. His aggressive remarks leave no doubt regarding the kind of policies he plans on enacting. He also wholeheartedly supports Israel and its actions, which is hardly a surprise. With Trump, Orban, Modi, Duterte and others, it has become self-evident that far-right leaders will immediately side with Israel, to which the Jewish state responds with a reciprocal warm embrace. There are few who are still embarrassed by this show, but in Israel, Netanyahu has been able to celebrate these victories as if he himself were kingmaker.

The more Israel becomes excited by these leaders, seemingly vestiges of centuries passed, who were elected with the help of Vladimir Putin, the more they feel it necessary to ignore Palestinian suffering and pledge support for continued occupation. The more right-wing commentators spout the main argument of the Right today, the more their opponents understand the extent to which the Israeli government and the occupation need both racism and regressive ideas to exist.

The congruence between the violence and the hate that these officials spread, and their complete, unquestioned support for Israel is astounding. It is doubtful whether there is anything that proves the irrelevance of all kinds of “liberal” justifications for the settlement enterprise and the occupations quite like the support of right-wing authoritarians. The world now sees who vouches for Israel — the only thing left to do is draw a line in the sand.

And yet the Foreign Ministry, the hasbara industry, the Jewish Agency, Birthright — they are all busy figuring out how to market this package deal. Netanyahu, of course, heads this industry, and each appearance on the world stage proves what his rivals have always claimed about him. Yet the occupation has long ago become Israel’s official policy.

This much is clear to all those who oppose this new wave of elected officials, and it is good news for Palestinians and activists who for decades have tried to convince Western leaders that the occupation and the settlements are littler more than theft and dispossession. That there is no connection between the occupation and the Holocaust or Israel’s security. Now it is clear that Israel is acting only to entrench military rule in the occupied territories, that this is the only obstacle to peace and to the end of the conflict. Today dissidents of all stripes are learning this truth, ironically thanks to Israeli funding.

There are people in Israel who believe that before Trump, the United States opposed the occupation. Those who know the details are aware that this is a joke. Trump is not a much bigger supporter of the occupation than Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, and the same goes for the rest of the leaders of the West. Some of them may have supported peace negotiations, while others have not, but backing for Israel’s policies was and remains near total. Israel has always enjoyed being part of the family of nations, economically, politically, or even morally.

Israel’s decision to peg its foreign policy to far-right authoritarians is a poor one, characterizing the paranoid and anxiety-driven era of Benjamin Netanyahu. But it is not the entire story: Trump, Orban, Modi, Duterte, and now Bolsonaro have happily jumped on the bandwagon. They are taking advantage of Israel’s liberal credit around the world in order to bolster themselves. In effect, they end up undercutting that very liberal credit.

The fact that these people are being elected is terrifying, both for their citizens as well as for the world. The same goes for the fact that they choose to support Israeli policies, and that Israel chooses to praise them and offer its support in return. But the Bolsonaros of the world have also left us with a worthy mission. On the day they are tossed into the dustbin of history, the struggle against the occupation, for the end of the conflict, and for peace, can find itself stronger and more stable, with many new partners who for years have gone along with Israel’s every whim.

Opponents of the occupation must now pick up the leftovers. There is no doubt that they must also contend with the new regimes, as awful as they may be, just as they must contend with Israel, the IDF, the Civil Administration, the courts, and the police. But this new crop of leaders has also provided us with a huge liberal camp with which we must form alliances. We must teach it about what is happening on the other side of the Green Line, and then we must fight together.

ISRAEL APPLAUDS THE EMERGENCE OF FASCISM IN BRAZIL

Fascist Bolsonaro wins Brazil Elections. During the campaign he promised to move Brazil’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and kick the Palestinian Embassy out of Brasilia.

Image by Carlos Latuff

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Davidi Hermelin, President of The Int’l Center for Public Diplomacy In Israel speaking at ILTV Studio about the evolving relationship with Brazil.

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SIGNS THAT PROVE HUMANITY IS REGRESSING

A must watch ….

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS MOURN THE PITTSBURGH MARTYRS

May their memory be a blessing for all of us

Hebrew Memorial Prayer

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Union Sq. NYC 10/27. Hundreds of people participated in a  memorial vigil for those murdered in the Pittsburgh synagogue- Tree Of Life.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM PALESTINE

Mahatma Gandhi correctly identified seven blunders of the world: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.”

Thoughts at 3 AM

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

We face unprecedented challenges that require unprecedented human
responses.Here are some now well characterized challenges that require not
so-well discussed solutions: 1) human population shooting up from 7 billion
to 10 billion soon, 2) consumption of non-renewable resources at an all
time high, 3) climate change accelerating thanks to human activities, 4)
water shortage in most of the planet, 5) politicians and other greedy
individuals pushing wars and arms-deals that ends-up in  genocides like
what is happening in Gaza and Yemen. We witness the mass of refugees
walking north towards the US border or those refugees in Gaza being shot at
the border as they try to return to their homes and lands taken from them
by force in Palestine in 1948. These and others resulted from a combination
of these factors (though mostly politics driven factors) but they are only
a harbinger of much worse things to come. Estimates range from 100 to 500
million "climate refugees" in the next two decades. The violent/repressive
response of those in political power will only exacerbate the problems.
Borders, racism, and repressive politics as usual will no longer contain
hundreds of millions (nay billions) of people who have no or scarce access
to clean water, food, healthcare or education.

How do we address this? First we must understand what faces us honesty.
Killing and dismembering one journalist or using white phosphorous ion
civilian populations of Yemen and Gaza are symptoms of something far deeper
and far more troubling.  Second we must rebel against the status quo while
in parallel work to create innovative alternatives. Each of us can and must
start to address these challenges. It is hard work and it is not easy.
Burying our head in the proverbial sand will no longer be feasible, We
can't be neutral on a moving train. The work we are doing locally (e.g. at
palestinenature.org) needs to go to a much higher level and far more
urgently than most people think. We must at least start a more serious
conversation and apply more serious work towards solutions. It is perhaps
the last test of our humanity. The choices are stark. We can continue down
this unsustainable path that could destroy us and our planet. Or we can
push hard to get our act together quickly as fellow human beings to care
for each other and for this planet. The stakes were never more stark.

Mahatma Gandhi correctly identified seven blunders of the world: wealth
without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character,
commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without
sacrifice, politics without principle."

Defend Lucy Peterson & John Cheney-Lippold - Support Academic Freedom &Right to Boycott


Palestine Future: Righteous Jews versus the new Afrikaners by John
Mearsheimer 

The Jamal Khashoggi I knew: mentor, bridge between cultures

Cook says Twenty-five years on, analysts say Oslo didn’t fail: it offered
Israel a formula to block the emergence of a Palestinian state


“One difference between South Africa and Israel is that Israel is stronger,
more sophisticated and better connected to the world. And it has done a
better job obscuring its apartheid. It’s big, strong and nondemocratic.
Israel oppresses the Palestinians through various means with one result:
There isn’t a single free Palestinian in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Their
fate is determined by the Israeli government in Jerusalem and the Defense
Ministry in Tel Aviv, and they have no rights at either one. Is this not
apartheid? Is it democracy?” Gideon Levy, Haaretz.

FROM JAIL CELL TO VIP SUITE

Ahed Tamimi is out of prison and on tour in Europe and the Middle East speaking out against Israeli occupation and Israeli officials are unhappy about it.

[Ahed] highlights to the world both how unjust the occupation is and how absurd their legal system is,” said Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority. “Israel instead wants subservient Palestinians who simply stay quiet in the face of the denial of freedom. Ahed shows that won’t happen — including not with this generation.”

Tamimi gained international attention last year when she confronted an Israeli soldier in front of her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. She kicked and slapped him, and then took a swing at a second soldier in a videotaped incident that spread quickly on social media.

On Wall Street … Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

Palestinian protest icon goes from jail cell to VIP suite

When Israel locked up Ahed Tamimi for slapping a soldier last year, it hoped to finally silence the teenage Palestinian activist. Instead, it created an international celebrity.

Less than three months after walking out of prison, Tamimi is on a victory tour, crisscrossing Europe and the Middle East as a superstar of the campaign against Israeli occupation. She has spoken to throngs of adoring fans, met world leaders and was even welcomed by the Real Madrid soccer club.

The VIP reception has dismayed Israeli officials and is prompting some to ask if Israel mishandled the case.

“We could have been smarter,” said Yoaz Hendel, a media commentator and former spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tamimi gained international attention last year when she confronted an Israeli soldier in front of her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. She kicked and slapped him, and then took a swing at a second soldier in a videotaped incident that spread quickly on social media.

Tamimi’s extended family has long been on Israel’s radar screen. Nabi Saleh is home to some 600 people, most of them members of the clan. For years, they have held weekly protests against the expansion of a nearby Israeli settlement, gatherings that sometimes turn to stone-throwing, prompting Israeli troops to respond with tear gas, rubber bullets or live fire.

For Israelis, the Tamimis are a group of provocateurs intent on manipulating the media to hurt the country’s image. One cousin, Ahlam Tamimi, was an accomplice to a suicide bombing. Among Palestinians, they are seen as brave heroes standing up to Israel.

But neither side anticipated the fallout from last December’s standoff, which occurred during one of the weekly protests.

The military said it moved in after villagers began throwing stones at troops. In the video, Tamimi and her cousin, Nour, walk toward the two soldiers. Tamimi tells the soldiers to leave, pushes and kicks them and slaps one of them.

As the cousin films the scene on her mobile phone, Tamimi’s mother, Nariman, arrives. At one point, she steps between Ahed and the soldiers, but then also tries to push back the soldiers, who do not respond. Ahed Tamimi later said that she was upset because a cousin had been shot in the face by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli troops.

As the video spread, Palestinians celebrated Ahed as a hero. Cartoons, posters and murals portrayed her as a Joan of Arc-like character, confronting the Israeli military with her mane of long, dirty-blond curls flowing in the breeze.

In Israel, the incident set off its own uproar. While the army praised the soldiers for showing restraint, politicians felt the army had been humiliated and called for tough action against the young firebrand. Days later, in an overnight raid, troops entered Tamimi’s house and took her and her mother away. Both were given eight-month prison sentences.

Israel has traditionally been obsessive about defending its image — making the term “hasbara,” which roughly translates as public relations, part of its national lexicon. But as the country has moved toward the right under the decade-long rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, charm has been replaced increasingly with confrontation.

Netanyahu, an admirer of President Donald Trump, rarely speaks to the media anymore and often lashes out at reporters for what he believes is unfair coverage. Under his watch, Israel has tried to weaken liberal advocacy groups critical of his policies, detained Jewish American critics at the airport for questioning and banned people who boycott the Jewish state from entering. It attempted to expel an American woman who will be studying at an Israeli university, accusing her of being a boycott activist. She was held in detention for two weeks until Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the expulsion order.

While widely supported at home, these policies risk backfiring on the international stage.

Weeks after her release from prison, Tamimi began a tour that has taken her to France, Spain, Greece, Tunisia and Jordan. At nearly every stop, she has been welcomed by cheering crowds.

“I don’t like living as a celebrity. It’s not an easy life to live. I’m exhausted,” she said in a telephone interview from the Jordanian capital, Amman. “But what I like more is delivering the message of my people. That makes me feel proud.”

She kicked off her tour on Sept. 14 in Paris, where she participated in the Communist Party’s “Humanity” rally. The popular weekend festival attracts rockers, rappers and other entertainers and celebrities. On the festival’s last day, she spoke to thousands of cheering supporters. She traveled to other cities around France at the invitation of the France Palestine Solidarity Association.

In Greece, she was a headliner for the 100th-anniversary celebration of the country’s Communist party, KKE. Addressing a crowd of thousands, she was interrupted by several long ovations and chants of “Freedom for Palestine.”

“Your support means a lot to me. It gives me a big push to return to my homeland and continue my struggle vigorously against the occupation,” she told the crowd. “Free people unite to face capitalism, imperialism and colonization … We are not victims. We are freedom fighters.”

Her family was invited as official guests of Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Israeli bombing of what was then the Palestine Liberation Organization’s headquarters. At the ceremony, Essebsi gave her a statue of a silver dove with an olive branch.

Meetings with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are in the works, said her father, Bassem Tamimi, who has been accompanying her.

“On the Champs-Elysees in Paris, we were surrounded by hundreds of people who wanted to talk to Ahed and take pictures with her,” her father said. “The same thing happened in every other city we visited.”

In a sign of her mainstream appeal, Tamimi recently wrote a first-person account of her time in prison for Vogue Arabia, a Middle Eastern edition of the popular fashion magazine.

“I want to be a regular 17-year-old. I like clothes, I like makeup. I get up in the morning, check my Instagram, have breakfast and walk in the hills around the village,” she wrote. “But I am not a normal teenager.”

Israeli officials have remained silent throughout her tour — with one exception. Tamimi’s reception at Real Madrid, where she met the legendary striker Emilio Butragueno and received a team jersey with her name on it, was too much to bear.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called the team’s embrace of Tamimi “shameful” in a Twitter post. “It would be morally wrong to stay silent while a person inciting to hatred and violence goes on a victory tour as if she is some kind of rock star,” he said.

Israel faces a dilemma — wanting to respond but fearing criticism will attract even more attention.

Michael Oren, Israel’s deputy minister for public diplomacy and a former ambassador to the United States, learned a bitter lesson when he acknowledged earlier this year leading a secret investigation into whether the Tamimis were “real” Palestinians.

He said their light features, Western clothes and long history of run-ins with Israeli forces suggested that they were actually paid provocateurs out to hurt the country’s image. The investigation concluded that the family was indeed real — prompting mockery and racism accusations from the Tamimis.

Tamimi is reflective of changing Palestinian sentiment. Where an older generation of political leaders sought either armed struggle or a two-state solution with Israel, many younger Palestinians have given up on the long-stalled peace process and instead favor a single state in which Jews and Arabs live equally. Israel objects to a binational state, saying it is merely an attempt to destroy the country through a nonviolent disguise.

“Israel is unhappy because she highlights to the world both how unjust the occupation is and how absurd their legal system is,” said Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority. “Israel instead wants subservient Palestinians who simply stay quiet in the face of the denial of freedom. Ahed shows that won’t happen — including not with this generation.”

Hendel, the former Israeli government spokesman, said he initially supported Israel’s tough response to the slapping incident but now thinks it was an error. He said issuing a fine or punishing her parents for their daughter’s actions might have generated less attention.

He acknowledged there is a broader problem for which Israel does not seem to have a good answer.

“She’s powerful, part of a sophisticated machine that tries to delegitimize Israel by using photos and creating scenarios that portray Israel as Goliath and the other side as David,” he said. “It is much easier to fight terrorism than to fight civilians motivated by terrorist leaders. I think Tamimi in this story is a kind of a front line for a much bigger organization, or even a process.”

Tamimi could continue to frustrate the Israelis for many years to come. She completed her high school studies in prison and now hopes to study international law in Britain. She dreams of one day representing the Palestinians in institutions like the International Criminal Court.

“International law is a strong tool to defend my people,” she said. “We are under occupation and we have to rely on international law to get the world behind us.”

TELL AMAZON TO STOP PEDDLING HATE

Let Amazon know that you live in a

The world was finally rid of the infamous Judeo nazi, Meir Kahane, 28 years ago on November 5th, 1990 …..

Yet, after all these years Amazon is still peddling his (and his son’s) hatred on line under the guise of religion. Let them know this is unacceptable! Post on their FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/Amazon/

Here is what they are peddling ….

This book contains 104 divrei Torah from Rabbis Meir and Binyamin Kahane — zealous firebrands who died for God’s land and people. Excerpted from their writings, the divrei Torah urge Jews to trust God, not man, and create a truly Jewish country — safe from enemies within and without. Also included in this volume is an appendix with four Kahane articles that typify their thought and reveal how they planned on triumphing despite Israel’s political ban against them.

 

Surely there are enough garbage dumpsters in your area where this type of trash might be found!

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Also this … (Just in time for Halloween)

Imagine being a Palestinian child and seeing another child dressed up as an IDF soldier at school or Halloween party. It’s time for Amazon to drop this costume.

Palestinian children are terrorized by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Each year Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. 3 out of 4 of these children experience physical violence during arrest or interrogation. Letting children dress up as IDF is a shameful activity and Amazon.com should follow the practice of other retailers in the U.S. and stop selling IDF costumes.

BREAKING NEWS ~~ MAJOR BDS VICTORY IN ISRAEL

Supreme Court allows US student accused of supporting BDS to enter Israel

Lara Alqasem’s lawyers hail ruling rejecting state’s attempt to bar her entry to study; interior minister calls decision a ‘disgrace’

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that an American student accused of advocating boycotts of Israel can enter the country, putting an end to a weeks-long saga that drew scrutiny of an Israeli law allowing alleged anti-Israel activists to be barred from entry.

Lara Alqasem, 22, has been held in detention for the past 15 days after arriving in Israel for a master’s program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The state alleged that Alqasem, who was a member of the pro-boycott Students for Justice in Palestine group while studying at the University of Florida, supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

In accepting her appeal, the Supreme Court overturned a ruling by a lower court that upheld the ban on her entry under a 2017 law forbidding BDS activists from entering Israel.

US student Lara Alqasem at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on October 17, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

More AT

MYSTERY OF THE DAY …. WHERE IS THIS PLACE?

Who knows where this place is?

PROUD TO BE A CANADIAN …… HERE IS JUST ONE REASON WHY

Canada steps up aid for UN agency for Palestinian refugees following US cut.

The easiest way to shut down UNRWA is to let the refugees return home

UNRWA and Palestinian refugees are being treated unfairly – Cartoon [AlArabi21News/Twitter]

Canada pledges $50m to UNRWA

Canada has announced that it is contributing $50 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Some $40 million would be allocated over two years to assist the health and education efforts of the refugee agency, a statement said.

Another $10 million is aimed at helping 460,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon.

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Canada’s new contribution would improve lives and “protect the human dignity” of millions of Palestinian refugees.

“This new funding to UNRWA is urgently needed, and it will bring some predictability to the agency as the needs on the ground are increasing,” Bibeau added.

UNRWA has been suffering from a budget deficit resulting from the ending of US funding.

The easiest way to shut down UNRWA is to let the refugees return home

ISRAEL’S ILLEGAL NUMBERS GAME

I never really understood the ‘numbers game‘ in the States, but the following one is pretty easy to understand ….

GOODBYE COLUMBUS!

Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop.

First landing of Columbus on the shores of the New World, at San Salvador, W.I., Oct. 12th 1492. ( Painting : Dióscoro Teófilo Puebla Tolín. Publisher : Currier and Ives)

Here’s why it’s time to abolish Columbus Day

 

Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop.

Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early February 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved Taínos to Spain. Columbus described those he enslaved as “well made and of very good intelligence,” and recommended to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that taxing slave shipments could help pay for supplies needed in the Indies. A year later, Columbus intensified his efforts to enslave Indigenous people in the Caribbean. He ordered 1,600 Taínos rounded up—people whom Columbus had earlier described as “so full of love and without greed”—and had 550 of the “best males and females,” according to one witness, Michele de Cuneo, chained and sent as slaves to Spain. “Of the rest who were left,” de Cuneo writes, “the announcement went around that whoever wanted them could take as many as he pleased; and this was done.”

Taíno slavery in Spain turned out to be unprofitable, but Columbus later wrote, “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”

The eminent historian of Africa, Basil Davidson, also assigns responsibility to Columbus for initiating the African slave trade to the Americas. According to Davidson, the first license granted to send enslaved Africans to the Caribbean was issued by the king and queen in 1501, during Columbus’s rule in the Indies, leading Davidson to dub Columbus the “father of the slave trade.”

From the very beginning, Columbus was not on a mission of discovery but of conquest and exploitation—he called his expedition la empresa, the enterprise. When slavery did not pay off, Columbus turned to a tribute system, forcing every Taíno, 14 or older, to fill a hawk’s bell with gold every three months. If successful, they were safe for another three months. If not, Columbus ordered that Taínos be “punished,” by having their hands chopped off, or they were chased down by attack dogs. As the Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas wrote, this tribute system was “impossible and intolerable.”

And Columbus deserves to be remembered as the first terrorist in the Americas. When resistance mounted to the Spaniards’ violence, Columbus sent an armed force to “spread terror among the Indians to show them how strong and powerful the Christians were,” according to the Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas. In his book Conquest of Paradise, Kirkpatrick Sale describes what happened when Columbus’s men encountered a force of Taínos in March of 1495 in a valley on the island of Hispañiola:

The soldiers mowed down dozens with point-blank volleys, loosed the dogs to rip open limbs and bellies, chased fleeing Indians into the bush to skewer them on sword and pike, and [according to Columbus’s biographer, his son Fernando] “with God’s aid soon gained a complete victory, killing many Indians and capturing others who were also killed.”

All this and much more has long been known and documented. As early as 1942 in his Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that Columbus’s policies in the Caribbean led to “complete genocide”—and Morison was a writer who admired Columbus.

If Indigenous peoples’ lives mattered in our society, and if Black people’s lives mattered in our society, it would be inconceivable that we would honor the father of the slave trade with a national holiday. The fact that we have this holiday legitimates a curriculum that is contemptuous of the lives of peoples of color. Elementary school libraries still feature books like Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus, by Peter Sis, which praise Columbus and say nothing of the lives destroyed by Spanish colonialism in the Americas.

No doubt, the movement launched 25 years ago in the buildup to the Columbus Quincentenary has made huge strides in introducing a more truthful and critical history about the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Teachers throughout the country put Columbus and the system of empire on trial, and write stories of the so-called discovery of America from the standpoint of the people who were here first.

But most textbooks still tip-toe around the truth. Houghton Mifflin’s United States History: Early Years attributes Taíno deaths to “epidemics,” and concludes its section on Columbus: “The Columbian Exchange benefited people all over the world.” The section’s only review question erases Taíno and African humanity: “How did the Columbian Exchange change the diet of Europeans?”

Too often, even in 2015, the Columbus story is still young children’s first curricular introduction to the meeting of different ethnicities, different cultures, different nationalities. In school-based literature on Columbus, they see him plant the flag, and name and claim “San Salvador” for an empire thousands of miles away; they’re taught that white people have the right to rule over peoples of color, that stronger nations can bully weaker nations, and that the only voices they need to listen to throughout history are those of powerful white guys like Columbus. Is this said explicitly? No, it doesn’t have to be. It’s the silences that speak.

For example, here’s how Peter Sis describes the encounter in his widely used book: “On October 12, 1492, just after midday, Christopher Columbus landed on a beach of white coral, claimed the land for the King and Queen of Spain, knelt and gave thanks to God…” The Taínos on the beach who greet Columbus are nameless and voiceless. What else can children conclude but that their lives don’t matter?

Enough already. Especially now, when the Black Lives Matter movement prompts us to look deeply into each nook and cranny of social life to ask whether our practices affirm the worth of every human being, it’s time to rethink Columbus, and to abandon the holiday that celebrates his crimes.

More cities—and school districts—ought to follow the example of Berkeley, Minneapolis, and Seattle, which have scrapped Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day—a day to commemorate the resistance and resilience of Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, and not just in a long-ago past, but today. Or what about studying and honoring the people Columbus enslaved and terrorized: the Taínos. Columbus said that they were gentle, generous, and intelligent, but how many students today even know the name Taíno, let alone know anything of who they were and how they lived?

Last year, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant put it well when she explained Seattle’s decision to abandon Columbus Day: “Learning about the history of Columbus and transforming this day into a celebration of Indigenous people and a celebration of social justice … allows us to make a connection between this painful history and the ongoing marginalization, discrimination, and poverty that Indigenous communities face to this day.”

We don’t have to wait for the federal government to transform Columbus Day into something more decent. Just as the climate justice movement is doing with fossil fuels, we can organize our communities and our schools to divest from Columbus. And that would be something to celebrate.

NEW IMAGE ~~ ISRAEL GOT NO TALENT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got low scores at the UN for his speech attacking Iran and pointing to secret nuclear sites. When will he get voted off the show?

Image by Carlos Latuff

Last year’s ‘entry’ …

This year’s ‘entry’ (same old, same old)

RELATED …

Trump channels Netanyahu at the U.N., as his top policy-makers meet with Iran-war-mongers

As you surely know, Donald Trump channeled Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly. He mentioned Iran 14 times (compared to 0 for Russia and 4 for Israel) and all but called for regime change. Iran’s “brutal regime” was financing the destruction of Syria, its leaders “sow chaos, death and destruction,” its “corrupt dictatorship” should be isolated by the world.

This sly appeal was right out of the Netanyahu script:

[W]e ask all nations to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.

The media made a lot of Trump’s sovereignty doctrine–  nationalism and “patriotism” over “globalism” and multilateralism–  but even those remarks had a pro-Israel cast. Trump was talking about the US rejection of two Israel-bugaboos, the UN Human Rights Council and International Criminal Court.

As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority…. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy….America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism…

There is an obvious reason Trump is parroting Netanyahu. Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam are the largest funders of Republicans, ponying up $55 million for the midterm elections. Trump needs Sheldon Adelson now more than ever, and Adelson has a simple agenda, Israel. Adelson backs Netanyahu, pushed the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, opposes negotiations with Palestinians, and called on President Obama to nuke Iran. Adelson wanted Trump to tear up the Iran deal, and he did.

The New York Times ran a good piece on Adelson’s influence last week, saying Sheldon and wife Miriam “have emerged as the biggest and potentially most influential contributors to Republicans in the midterm season,” and that the Adelsons have gotten “their most cherished priorities” from the “unflinchingly pro-Israel” Trump administration. The Times even ran a letter saying the Adelsons bought the presidency.

But it is disappointing that no one in the mainstream press is connecting the Trump administration’s theatrical anti-Iran push in New York yesterday with the rightwing Israel lobby, which seeks a war with Iran.

The agenda is clear. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, addressed an Adelson shop, the organization United Against Nuclear Iran, in NY yesterday, and it was a war party at the Westin Grand Central Hotel. Bolton issued a bellicose warning to Iran to great applause: “If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.” As Eli Clifton and Derek Davison reported ahead of time:

According to the organization’s guest list, in attendance will be virtually every prominent official both in the United States and overseas who has pushed for a military confrontation with Iran—a veritable who’s who of warmongers…

Those guests included leading officials from countries that want a war with Iran: Yossi Cohen, director of the Israeli Mossad; ambassadors from Bahrain and the UAE; and the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. Not to mention American hawks Dennis Ross and Joe Lieberman (the UANI chair), and a French one, Bernard Henri-Levy.

Bolton and Pompeo address warmongers at the Westin Grand Central Hotel, UANI conference.

Like Trump and the Republicans, UANI has been funded by Adelson. “Sheldon and Miriam Adelson… contributed $500,000 in 2013,” Clifton reports–  the same year Adelson called on Obama to nuke Iran.

UANI’s biggest funder is Thomas Kaplan, a billionaire investor who supports liberal and Jewish causes, such as wildlife conservation and the 92d Street Y. Five years ago, Kaplan introduced Benjamin Netanyahu at the 92d Street Y in fulsome terms –hailing the prime minister as the leader of “our people.”

It is… with great humility that we welcome the prime minister of Israel. On his shoulders rests the heavy decisions of  not only making a just peace, but confronting a fanatical regime that threatens his people, our people. We are inspired by your leadership, sustained by your faith, and truly honored by your presence.

UANI is closely aligned with Israel. Its board includes Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad director, and Irwin Cotler, the Canadian parliamentarian who is obsessed with BDS. Its contracts include $700,000 to Israeli consulting groups.

And you wonder why the media can’t touch the Israel lobby story; they’d have to talk about national interest, dual loyalty, whatever you want to call it. Sheldon Adelson once said he wished he’d served in the Israeli army, not the American one. Or as Obama said when he was trying to get the Iran deal through, only one country in the world was against it, Israel, and he’d be abrogating his constitutional duty if he didn’t work for the deal.

I recognize that Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees — disagrees strongly… I believe he is wrong.  I believe the facts support this deal.  I believe they are in America’s interest and Israel’s interest.  And as President of the United States, it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.  I do not believe that would be the right thing to do for the United States.  I do not believe it would be the right thing to do for Israel.

Obama said the only alternative to the deal was war.

And Trump owes war-mongering Adelson everything; and he tore up the Iran deal. And the media “has largely supported Trump’s fictitious view” of the deal.

That’s the real issue here. Trump has surrounded himself with warmongers. Though yesterday he tweeted that he is sure that Iranian president Hasan Rouhani is an “absolutely lovely man,” his militant speech at the U.N. was scripted; and the script is what we all have to worry about. Once again neoconservatives are scheming for the invasion of a sovereign country in the Middle East, and it would be helpful if the press described the agenda.

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ STANDING UP TO EVIL IN GAZA (INFLUENCED BY KING DAVID)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Image by Carlos Latuff

The bravest of all Mothers!

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PRINCIPLED ANTI ZIONISM ~~ A GUIDE

What does principled anti-Zionism look like?  And what might it accomplish?

At its best, a principled anti-Zionism understands that freedom isn’t merely an optimal byproduct of struggle, but its only acceptable outcome.

A guide to principled anti-Zionism

An optimal anti-Zionism supersedes Palestine’s geography.  It likewise transcends ethnocentric interests. Anti-Zionism is a politics and a discourse, sometimes a vocation, but at its best it is also a sensibility, one attuned to disorder and upheaval.  It is a commitment to unimaginable possibilities—that is, to realizing what arbiters of common sense like to call “impossible.”

What, then, does a principled anti-Zionism look like?  And what might it accomplish? Here are some suggestions:

  • It is internationalist in the classic Marxist sense of the term; as such, it informs and absorbs liberation movements around the world.
  • It is anti-capitalist because Palestine will be free only when nobody within its borders is exploited.  (You can agitate for something less perfect, yes, but the language should reflect the limitations of that approach.)
  • It recognizes that mass extinction is earth’s immediate forecast.  Israel has destroyed Palestine’s environment with an array of bulldozers, munitions, and chemical weapons, along with overdevelopment to accommodate settlers.  It is, in short, an ecological catastrophe requiring what Anthony Galluzzo terms a “decelerationist socialism” to avert or at least mitigate our “literal gothic nightmare.”
  • It moves beyond opposition to military occupation.  Decolonization is key. The difference may appear semantic, but it’s actually significant.  In addition to disrupting the colonizer’s physical and political control, decolonization aims to abolish the settler’s psychic influence.
  • It is feminist in both theory and practice.  There’s no pre-patriarchal history in Palestine to satisfy our nostalgia, but this shouldn’t prevent us from pursuing a post-patriarchal future.  It’s critical to decouple visions of this pursuit from Western orthodoxies around sex and gender.
  • It opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.  This principle on its own decisively rebukes Zionism.
  • It is anti-imperialist.  While anti-Zionism and anti-imperialism are coterminous, some elements of the pro-Palestine crowd yearn for a world the USA can dominate without Israeli interference.  Other elements of the crowd have a bad habit of supporting US interventions that either benefit or directly involve Israel (as in Syria). Imperialism executes colonial fantasies of redemption; it has no place in any serious political community.
  • It doesn’t reduce Palestine to a branding device that can be invoked or ignored depending on the mood of editors and prize committees, or an instrument of celebrity to be calibrated according to market fluctuations in the pundit economy.
  • It doesn’t give progressive politicians a pass when they suck up to the Israel lobby.

These suggestions, I realize, risk transforming Palestine into a utopian tableau, perhaps a search for some kind of “Palestinian Wakanda,” as a prominent activist put it at a recent event I attended.  There’s much to be said about the benefits that would come from basic freedoms (travel, medical care, civil rights, housing, and so forth). I see no appreciable conflict between efforts at short-term relief and long-term emancipation.  Upholding principles that maintain the dignity of struggle foregrounds an effective material politics. We oughtn’t surrender notions of possibility to people who adore a stunted imagination.

Moreover, the suggestions don’t simply appeal to Palestine solidarity activists; they also demand that progressive formations take up anti-Zionism.  We’re well past the point where it’s acceptable to dispose of Palestine as a matter of choice or necessity. There’s significant opposition to Israeli brutality on the US left, but hardly any consequence in electoral culture for cosigning or ignoring that brutality.

Done without care, opposition to Israeli brutality can reify other forms of oppression, or it can conceptualize Israel as an aberration from honorable American values.  Israel doesn’t corrupt the United States—nor does the United States corrupt Israel. Both states originated through corruption—as paragons of foreign settlement, land theft, environmental degradation, racial inequality, and labor exploitation—a condition they mutually reproduce within and beyond their borders.  Israel doesn’t distract the United States from its otherwise noble mission in the world; it helps the United States manage a world order beneficial to its ruling class.

Disrupting those benefits is easier than it might seem.  We shouldn’t voluntarily concede to the oppressor, first of all.  The needs of power aren’t our guidepost for liberation; our notions of justice aren’t derivative of colonial logic.  At its best, a principled anti-Zionism understands that freedom isn’t merely an optimal byproduct of struggle, but its only acceptable outcome.

NEW IMAGES SHOWING THE SCREWING OF PALESTINE

Images by Carlos Latuff

The Israeli blockade is a form of collective punishment that prevents Gazans from being able to support themselves and restrict access to food, medical care and education.

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Donald J. Trump directly ordered the $200 million dollar cut in much needed aid to Palestinians.

 

 

 

ISRAEL LOBBY LEAKS

First see THIS post for background info …..

New leaked excerpts from censored Al Jazeera film reveal The Israel Project’s secretive Facebook influence campaign.

Leaked Clips from Censored Documentary on Israel Lobby Reveal Attacks on US Activists

Excerpts of the censored Al Jazeera undercover film on the Israel lobby in the US have started to be leaked. The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah and the Grayzone Project’s Max Blumenthal explain how these clips show the Israeli government backing attacks on American pro-Palestinian activists and Black Lives Matter.

TOON FOR TODAY ~~ WHO’S NEXT?

Who’s next on Netanyahu’s & Donald Trump’s list of targets to undermine Palestine’s struggle for freedom?

Image by Carlos Latuff

ZION USES FACEBOOK TO TARGET THE POETRY OF FREEDOM

 Facebook campaigns were run by professional Washington D.C. political operatives who work for a group called the Israel on Campus Coalition, according to promotional materials obtained by ProPublica and the Forward.

 

Pro-Israel Group Secretly Ran Misleading Facebook Ads To Target Palestinian-American Poet

This story was co-published with ProPublica, the investigative journalism organization.

 

In 2016, as Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi performed at college campuses around the United States, his appearances seemed to spark student protests.

Before his visit to John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, a page called “John Jay Students Against Hate” appeared on Facebook with Kanazi’s face next to a uniformed cop, painting Kanazi as anti-police. When Kanazi crossed the country a few days later to visit San Jose State, a nearly-identical Facebook page popped up, this one called “SJSU Students Against Hate,” with Kanazi’s face superimposed over an image of military graves. Paid Facebook campaigns promoted both pages.

Despite their names, the Facebook campaigns were run by professional Washington D.C. political operatives who work for a group called the Israel on Campus Coalition, according to promotional materials obtained by ProPublica and the Forward.

In the materials, which the ICC distributed to its donors, the group describes each of the Facebook pages as an “anonymous digital campaign.” The group says it paid to promote the campaign, which reached tens of thousands of people.

The social media campaigns provide another example of how well-funded advocacy organizations are using deceptive strategies to promote their cause online. The ICC launched these campaigns during the 2016 election season, at the same time that entities linked to the Russian government bought misleading Facebook ads on a range of political issues.

The ICC didn’t respond to requests for comment. The group had a budget of $9 million in its fiscal year ending in June 2017, according to federal tax filings. Its funders include the foundations of billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer and philanthropist Lynn Schusterman.

Asked about the Israel on Campus Coalition pages, a Facebook spokesman said they “violate our policies against misrepresentation and they have been removed.”

In response to criticism of Russia-linked ads, Facebook recently created new rules requiring disclosure of who is paying for political ads on the site. How the company defines what is political remains murky.

Anonymous digital campaigns appear to be a central part of the ICC’s efforts to combat pro-Palestinian activism on U.S. campuses. This past spring, the ICC appears to have set up at least one anonymous website to oppose a George Washington University student government resolution that called on the school to divest its endowment from certain companies that students said were profiting from Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, the Forward reported.

The ICC’s leaders discussed their covert social media tactics in an unaired Al Jazeera documentary featuring hidden camera footage of Washington, D.C. pro-Israel advocacy officials.

“With the anti-Israel people, what’s most effective, what we found at least in the last year, is you do the opposition research, put up some anonymous website, and then put up targeted Facebook ads,” said the ICC’s executive director, Jacob Baime, in the Al Jazeera documentary, which was filmed in 2016. The film was viewed by ProPublica and the Forward.

Baime also said in the documentary that his organization’s work is based on a doctrine used to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban. “It’s modeled on General Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy,” Baime said. “We’ve copied a lot from that strategy that has been working really well for us, actually.”

McChrystal, who led the U.S. military’s special forces and the NATO war effort in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, emphasized so-called “offensive information operations” to embarrass and discredit violent insurgents.

The Al Jazeera documentary, in which a journalist went undercover as an intern for a pro-Israel advocacy group in Washington, has been the subject of months of international intrigue and has never been aired by the network. Decrying the undercover tactics, pro-Israel groups and members of Congress have pushed back against the documentary series and Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera. The network, which has faced public criticism from its own journalists for not airing the documentary, said in April it did not buckle under pressure from a pro-Israel group in deciding not to broadcast the program. A spokesman didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Footage in the documentary also shows ICC officials describing their working relationship with the Israeli government.

Baime says in the documentary that ICC officials “coordinate” or “communicate” with Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, an Israeli government department that has become the hub of the Israeli government’s overt and covert efforts against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in the U.S. and around the world. A spokesman for the agency didn’t respond to requests for comment.

In the same hidden camera footage, Ian Hersh, the ICC’s director of operations, said that the Ministry of Strategic Affairs participates in the group’s “Operations and Intelligence Brief,” a regular strategy meeting.

In recent days, some aspects of the Al Jazeera documentary as well as a short clip have been posted on the website Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian news site whose executive director, Ali Abunimah, appears as an interviewee in the film.

Baime and Hersh didn’t respond to requests for comment about the footage of them in the documentary.

The ICC’s online efforts against Kanazi, the Palestinian-American poet, began in November 2016 while he was touring college campuses to promote his book, “Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up From Brooklyn to Palestine.”

According to the ICC’s donor materials, the group identified and worked with a non-Jewish military veteran and San Jose State University student to write a blog post critical of Kanazi. The precise nature of the group’s work with the student is unclear from the donor materials, and the student did not respond to requests for comment.

The ICC then created and paid to promote the “SJSU Students Against Hate” page, which linked to the blog post.

“Kanazi preaches hate on the campuses he visits,” the student wrote in the post, which appeared on the website Medium and has since been deleted.

Kanazi said that he does not recall being aware of the anonymous Facebook pages at the time. “These insidious tactics are part of a larger campaign to smear students, professors, and anyone who dares speak up for Palestinian human rights at universities,” he said in an email.

Here is but one example of Remi’s ‘threat to zion’

Remi Kanazi – Normalize This!

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