All posts tagged: Palestine

Hamas Won Again

Gilad Atzmon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a decisive victory yesterday. He is likely to carry on to a fifth term in office. As of this morning, the right-wing bloc has a clear advantage of 65 seats (out of 120) over the centre/left parties and seems more likely to form a coalition. The meaning of yesterday’s election results are obvious and undeniable. The Israeli left is now marginal, verging on non-existent. The Israeli Labour party has been reduced to a miniature caricature, pretty much the size of Meretz, themselves a parody of left thinking. Needless to mention that these two parties are Zionist to the core. They deny the Palestinian right of return and believe in segregation between Jews and Arabs by means of a two-state solution. Netanyahu is, beyond doubt, the most sophisticated player in the Israeli political theatre. In the weekend he vowed to annex the West Bank Settlements. By performing this election ploy, he managed to completely obliterate his hard-line rivals on the right such as Bennett-Shaked’s New Right and even Zehut, …

All Major Candidates in Israel’s Presidential Election Are Far-Right

Eric Zuesse If “far-right” or “nazi” refers to proponents of racism, capitalism, and dictatorship, then all of Israel’s Presidential candidates are nazis — not German ones, of course, not members of Hitler’s German (the original) Nazi Party and a dictatorship of and by Aryans against Jews, but instead Jewish nazis and a dictatorship of and by Jews against Palestinians. On April 6th, Joel Greenberg, of BBC Monitoring, headlined “Israel election: Who are the key candidates?” and he described each of the seven, and the proposals from each. Here are highlights from his descriptions: Benjamin Netanyahu is the only one who needs no introduction to foreign audiences: He is well-known to be a racist against Palestinians, and he is a strong supporter of corporate Israel, and of apartheid in which Palestinians are legally discriminated-against and in which Jews have the right to take Palestinian land and used it for new settlements by Jews. “During the election campaign, he has warned that his challengers would allow the creation of a Palestinian state, calling it a mortal threat …

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Gaza’ by Norman G Finklestein

o, the ultimate question is, do Palestinians have the right to symbolically resist slow death punctuated by periodic massacres, or is it incumbent on them to lie down and die?

U.S. to ICC: We Will Break Your Legs

Andre Vltchek Well, not exactly like that, but in a way, yes. Now, finally, ‘the gloves are off’. The U.S. is openly threatening the historically timid ICC (International Criminal Court) and its judges. And unexpectedly, the ICC is hitting back. It refuses to shut up, to kneel, and to beg for mercy. Suddenly, even the Western mass media outlets cannot conceal the aggressive mafia-style outbursts of the U.S. government officials. On March 15, Reuters reported: The United States will withdraw or deny visas to any International Criminal Court personnel investigating possible war crimes by U.S. forces or allies in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday. The court, which sits in The Hague, responded that it was an independent and impartial institution and would continue to do its work “undeterred” by Washington’s actions. The Trump administration threatened in September to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States and sanction funds they have there if the court launched a probe of war crimes in Afghanistan. Washington took the first step on …

Breast cancer, feminism & Israeli warplanes

Philip Roddis I’m critical of identity politics both in its passive form, as theory-lite substitute for class analyses of oppression and exploitation, and in its more active manifestations. Such as when, in 2016, millions of progressives bought the idea of HRC as the self evidently superior White House contender. This despite a role in Libya that should have seen her in the dock at the Hague, and a commitment to ‘no fly zones’ in Syria that would, in the view of America’s highest-ranking military officer (indeed, of any rational observer) have brought the world closer to WW3. Such as when liberal media drip feed, into their hawkish charge sheets against Russia, Putin’s alleged homophobia.[1] Or when self styled liberals vie in Guardian features to pour ordure of the vilest kind on Julian Assange, a man true progressives – God knows there’s enough of the easy kind to go round – owe a profound debt of gratitude. Then there’s Israel, regarded by many of us as an apartheid state and by some of us as regional …

10 Facts about Labour’s Alleged “Anti-Semitism”

David Lindsay The Budget has fallen flat, so here comes the 2018 silly season’s greatest hit and dampest squib, “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party”. It is not clear that there really is a Police investigation into that. But if there is, then ask the Police about Orgreave. The decision as to whether or not to bring a prosecution would in any case be made by the Crown Prosecution Service, which has unilaterally adopted the self-appointed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s convoluted Definition of anti-Semitism as the law of the land, without reference to minor bodies such as Parliament. The Labour Party, however, is the only body in the world to have adopted that Definition after the enactment of Israel’s apartheid Nation-State Law. Even as much as Tony Blair’s continued membership of it, that makes me proud beyond words that that party long ago banned me for life. Anyway, here are 10 little facts. Fact 1 The definition of anti-Semitism in the Oxford English Dictionary is perfectly sufficient: “Hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” Fact 2 The …

Still Running Wild

W Stephen Gilbert The issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has not gone away, nor will it. It first arose ahead of the local elections in 2016, the first electoral test of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. The local elections of 2017 were subsumed under the general election campaign, but the matter recurred before the local elections this year. There are further such elections next May, when it may be expected to resurface with new supposed outrages from the past. There is a very simple reason why this will happen. As a means to damage Corbyn and to weaken his chance of leading the party into the next general election, it is a proven success. It is very tricky for him to refute decisively: denial is readily twisted into the ineffectual state of being deemed to be psychologically “in denial”. Corbyn’s long-established support for Palestinian self-determination is readily reframed as opposition to Israel and then parlayed into an existential threat to the Jewish state. His widely recognised reputation both as an anti-racist and as a straight …

Three Point Failure: The Guardian’s racist campaign against “dirty Russian money”

by Kit Since the initial press hysteria over the Skripal case, the major political parties of the UK have been clambering over each other in an effort to scale the highest peak of moral high ground. Every paper, pundit and career minded MP only too eager to denounce the inherent badness of Russia, and everything Russia-related. RT was attacked again – despite having literally nothing to do with the Skripal case – and threatened with having its broadcasting license revoked, whilst the Tories and Labour argued over who appeared on the channel the most. The “liberal” press, and even some Labour MPs who should know better, went on the attack over “dirty Russian money” in the Tory party. Just as in the US, with the ludicrous “Russia-gate” investigation, any kind of connection to Russia was treated as an automatic taint, and MPs and journalists alike rushed to wash themselves clean and make it clear they were the most anti-Russian. The pro-Corbyn Left missed the mark to greatest degree, overly keen to smash their “soft on …

Livingstone on antisemitism

Philip Roddis Back in April 2016, at the time of the suspension from the British Labour Party of Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, I wrote: Thinking people can go into a tailspin of despair when confronted with the stark truth they’ve overestimated the power of reason. Yesterday self righteousness, pack instinct, unthinking emotionalism, malice and rank opportunism swept reason aside in the Labour Party. I took the matter seriously, but not seriously enough. At the time the brouhaha seemed just one more attack – of a piece with those on bombing Syria, shooting terrorists for Laura, losing Scotland for Labour, Virgin Traingate (did you spot the anachronism there?) and lamentable dress sense – on what Jonathan Cook recently and with characteristic cogencycalled “an old school socialist Labour Leader, whose programme threatens to loosen the 40-year stranglehold of neoliberalism on British society”. In short I was complacent. I failed to foresee that the antics of John Mann – who under Labour rules should have had the whip withdrawn, while finding himself on the losing end of a slander writ – would prove an opening shot …

The goal of propaganda is a population that polices itself…

Propaganda has reached its zenith when each member of the target population thinks the same; when they are afraid to think differently. At this point ‘leadership’ may commit whatever atrocities it sees fit…in the certainty that the population will either not ‘see’ it, or will view the expression of criticism as a more heinous crime than the act being observed. This is achieved through cementing a ‘false equivalence’ in the mind of the group. Such a false equivalence is being cemented in the UK right now – the idea that criticism of Israel’s persecution of Palestinians is an act of anti-Semitism.

Exclusive: The Complete Moral Collapse of Labour Friends of Israel

It is hard to imagine anything so nauseating as a group of affluent liberals defending the mass murder of poor colonized people in the name of democracy and security. Though a species of moral turpitude associated with 19th century colonial tropes, in 2018 it remains very much alive under the banner of the UK Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).

Do you want to travel around the Middle East? Think twice!

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek Do you think it is that simple to travel around the Middle East? Think twice! Ask Palestinians, about trying to get from a point A to a point B in their own nation. Some time ago, sitting in an old Ottoman hotel in Bethlehem, I asked a waiter what it takes to travel from there to Gaza, where he said, several of his relatives were living. He looked at me as if I had fallen from the Moon: “There is no way I could travel there. If my relatives get very sick or die, then, in theory, I could apply for an Israeli travel permit to go there, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they would approve, or that I could get to Gaza on time…” I tried to appear naïve: “And what if someone from an Arab country which does not recognize Israel, wants to come here, to Bethlehem? Like, a Lebanese pilgrim or just a tourist? Could he or she enter from Jordan?” The waiter weighed …

Barcelona, Roger Waters, White Helmets

by Phillip Roddis A Pink Floyd fan for half a century, and neutral on the band’s acrimonious eighties divorce, I was thrilled by Roger Waters’ denunciation – an unequivocal exception to the rule that celebs are intimidated by the Western world’s most powerful lobby – of an Israel I recently described as: [the] world’s premier ethnographic crime scene and, alongside the USA, its most serial breacher of international law. Also – a fact insufficiently appreciated by a pro-Palestinian lobby understandably focused on immediate injustices – up there with Saudi Arabia as regional enforcer, covert and overt, for the West. Alas, many who support the Palestinian cause nevertheless buy the mainstream line on Syria. A vitriolic example is given by this comment from the pro-Palestinian Israeli – yes, there are more of them than Labour Friends of Israel would have us think – Dimi Reider, who took to FB to say: If you think Assad is somehow an anti-imperialist actor, or if your basic assumption is that he COULDN’T POSSIBLY gas his own people and it …

The Victims in Gaza and Douma

by David William Pear, first published by The Greanville Post In their book Manufacturing Consent Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky distinguished between two kinds of victims: the worthy victims and the unworthy victims. The “worthy victims” are the victims (real and alleged) of leaders on the U.S. enemies list, such as Bashar al-Assad. The “unworthy victims” are those of the U.S. and its client states, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. led cabal calling itself the “international community” is outraged when there are worthy victims. For example the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley holds up pictures of dead Syrian babies for the world to see. Worthy victims are granted human rights, and Assad deserves our outrage. Unworthy victims for example are the 50,000 Yemeni children who have died of starvation because of Saudi Arabia’s total blockade of Yemen, including blockading food, water and medicine. Unworthy victims are blamed for being victims and ignored by the international community and the mainstream media. Unworthy victims have no human rights. Yemen is a humanitarian …

Palestine is Still the Issue

When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter. “Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green. They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

Enclosure of Gaza as a “Prison Territory”

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, via Global Research Construction of New High Tech Surveillance Wall to Separate Gaza from Israel Israeli media reports confirm the construction of a new high tech 65 km security and surveillance wall equipped with cameras and sensors “to separate Gaza from Israel” thereby reinforcing the enclosure of Gaza as a de facto “prison territory” with a population of more than 1.85 million. This initiative constitutes the latest stage of a process started in 1994 with the establishment of the so-called Israel Gaza security barrier. As we recall the barrier was in part torn down during the Second Intifada in 2000 and was then rebuilt. There has been virtually no coverage or analysis of this latest project. “The ambitious project, budgeted to cost 3 billion shekhels ($850 million), will see an integrated wire fence, 6 to eight metres high, equipped with sensors and cameras built above the ground, over the 65-kilometre Gazan border, while heavy concrete slabs strengthened with iron rods will be built dozens of metres underground.” The Jerusalem Post (June …

Endgame: Comparing results and intentions in the terrorism narrative

Generally speaking, ideas are like plants and animals. Over time, they evolve, things change – we keep what works and throw away what doesn’t. Humans don’t have tails. Dolphins don’t have feet. Moths without camouflage get eaten. Methods and techniques are perfected, and accepted as “the way things are done”. If you want to move something efficiently, you need wheels. If you want to lift something heavy, you use levers and pulleys. We make knives out of steel because it’s hard and can take an edge. We make clothes out of wool because its warm. Nobody makes teapots out of chocolate….and yet terrorists routinely use tools that are not fit for purpose.

The BLACKGUARDING of JACQUELINE WALKER

by W Stephen Gilbert It’s crucial to remember that anti-Semitism is the McGuffin, a plot device that fifth columnists in the Labour Party deploy to further their aim of undermining Jeremy Corbyn. The Jewish community has for centuries been one of the most progressive, radical and creative contributors to Britain’s politics and culture, and there has been a natural and easy affinity between Socialism and Judaism. What Marx called “the Jewish question” has always attracted lively interest and sympathy on the left. This has not changed since Corbyn became Labour leader; not one iota. Though anti-Semitism has frequently been expressed on the right of British politics, racial and/or tribal and/or cultural distinction has rarely before caused dissension on the left. It’s true that male chauvinism and homophobia have been more difficult for the left to grasp, but not for all on the left; James Connolly, the Irish patriot and Socialist thinker who was executed a century ago this year, wrote wisely and well about feminism though he, like all thoughtful men, would not claim to …

Syria: French Academic Exposes Left-Wing Charlatans as Harbingers of Terrorism

by Bruno Guigue,  21st Century Wire Following the death of a prominent leader of the Arab-Lebanese resistance, murdered by the Zionist forces while on Syrian soil, I address this open letter to all left-wing  intellectuals and activists who have aligned themselves with the Syrian “revolution” and believe that by dreaming of the fall of Damascus, they are defending the Palestinian cause. In the spring of 2011, you were telling us that the Arab revolutions represented an unprecedented hope for the peoples living under oppressive, bloodthirsty tyrants.  Our excessive optimism persuaded us to listen to your arguments for this miraculously flourishing democracy and your proclamations on the universal human rights. You almost persuaded us that these popular uprisings deposing the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators were going to universally sweep tyranny from the Arab world, in Libya as in Syria, in Yemen as in Bahrain and who knows where else. However the flaws in this evolving narrative began to reveal themselves. The first glaring flaw appeared in Libya. A UN resolution, adopted by the Security Council to …

The Caesar Photos and Impunity in Syria

by Steven Chovanec Western media are reporting headline claims that “new evidence supports claims about Syrian state detention deaths”, saying that “a leading rights group has released new evidence that up to 7,000 Syrians who died in state detention centres were tortured, mistreated, or executed”, noting that this information is a moral wakeup call and demanding that officials being held to account should be “central to peace efforts.” However, as is usually so, not everything is quite as it seems.  So let’s take a look at the facts. First the timing. As has been commonplace the timing of the reports like these have almost always coincided with important diplomatic meetings or just after important UN resolutions are passed. For example, beginning in mid-March claims began to pour in that Assad had been using chlorine bombs against his opponents.  Media reports would cite the fact that only 2 months later the government had already been accused of using chlorine 35 times.  What they failed to mention however was that no claims were made for an entire …