Archive | March 18th, 2014

April 1-14: Global Commemoration of the Deir Yassin massacre on April 9,1948

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MEDIA BACKGROUNDER
Contact:
Deir Yassin Remembered
deiryassinremembered@hotmail.co.uk
Gill Kaffash
gillkaffash@hotmail.com
+44 7919 871845
Paul Eisen
paul.eisen@hotmail.co.uk
+44 77831 627560

Early in the morning of April 9th 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a beautiful Arab village with cut stone houses located on the west side of Jerusalem. It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate and the declaration of the State of Israel. The village lay outside the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish state; it had a peaceful reputation; it was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Arab militants. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and with the knowledge of the mainstream Jewish defence force, the Haganah, it was to be conquered and held.

In spite of being better armed, the two Jewish gangs were at first unable to conquer the village. But after they elicited the help of a small band of Palmach troops (the elite fighters of the Haganah), Deir Yassin soon fell. The Palmach soldiers left; it was then that the massacre began. That evening over tea and cookies, in the neighbouring Jewish settlement of Givat Shaul, gang members told foreign correspondents that over 200 Arabs were killed and forty taken prisoner. This was reported in the New York Times the very next day (4/10/48, p.6). The terrorists claimed to have lost four of their own forces. They boasted of the “battle” but made no mention of the male Palestinians whom they had loaded onto trucks, paraded through some Jewish sections of Jerusalem, and then taken back to a stone quarry between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death. On April 13th the New York Times reported that 254 Arab men, women, and children had been killed at Deir Yassin; there was no mention of prisoners.

The official Zionist leaders of the Haganah denounced the dissidents of the Irgun and the Stern Gang accusing them of massacre, robbery, looting and barbarism. Ben Gurion even sent an apology to King Abdullah. But this horrific act served the future state of Israel well. As Begin said, “Arabs throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of ‘Irgun butchery’ were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be over estimated.” (The Revolt, p.164)

While modern historians argue that Begin’s claims were exaggerated and that the actual number of Arabs killed was closer to 100, they all agree that the massacre at Deir Yassin marked the beginning of the depopulation of over 400 Arab villages and the exile of over 700,000 Palestinians.

In spite of protests by Martin Buber and other noted scholars, within a year the village was repopulated with orthodox Jewish immigrants from Poland, Rumania and Slovakia. Its cemetery was bulldozed and its name was wiped off the map.

Deir Yassin Today

Although virtually all Palestinians in the world know of Deir Yassin, few have ever been there. The site is not identified on post-1948 maps of Israel. But it is not difficult to find. The central part of Deir Yassin is a cluster of buildings now used as a mental hospital. To the east lies the industrial area of Givat Shaul; to the north lies Har Hamenuchot (the Jewish cemetery), to the west, built into the side of the mountain on which Deir Yassin is located is Har Nof, a new settlement of orthodox Jews. To the south is a steep valley terraced and containing part of the Jerusalem Forest. On the other side of that valley, roughly a mile and a half from Deir Yassin  and in clear view of it, are Mount Herzl and Yad Vashem.

While not difficult to find, Deir Yassin today is not easy to visit. There are few places to park. Admittance to the mental hospital grounds is understandably restricted. There are no signs, no plaques, no memorials of any kind. The cemetery is largely gone; the ruins of the deir (monastery) are unmarked; and the quarry from which the residents made a living and in which the bodies of those who were massacred were piled up and burned is likely buried under a fuel storage depot on the south side of the mountain. The orthodox Jews living in the area are not friendly to outsiders and either do not know or refuse to acknowledge any history of Deir Yassin. Not surprisingly, picture taking invites suspicion and criticism. There are no markers, no plaques, no memorials – to all intents and purposes Deir Yassin is no more.

“My mother was ill, she was pregnant. They threw something into our house. My sister ran to it and threw it out again & she sent me to tell our father who was still in Kastel.”

Deir Yassin survivor Abu Ashraf,  aged 7 at the time of the massacre, at London commemoration, Deir Yassin Day 2012

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Zio-Nazi envoy opens ‘hotline’ with Ukrainian ultra-nationalists

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Agreement aims to ‘prevent provocation’ and denounce the anti-Semitic tendencies of Ukraine’s nationalist camp.

JTA

Israel’s ambassador in Kiev, Reuven Din El, opened a hotline with a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist movement to “prevent provocations,” according to an agreement reached last week.

The agreement came at the end of a meeting between Din El and Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector paramilitary group, which participated in the overthrow of the government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

In the meeting, “Dmitry Yarosh stressed that Right Sector will oppose all [racist] phenomena, especially anti-Semitism, with all legitimate means,” the embassy wrote on its website.

“The parties agreed to establish a ‘hotline’ to prevent provocations and coordinate on issues as they arise,” it said.

Yarosh’s troops had a decisive role in the revolution that forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia.

Last month he told the Ukrainian Pravda newspaper that his outfit shares many beliefs with the xenophobic Svoboda party and cooperates with it, but rejects the xenophobia displayed by Svoboda members and leaders.

“We have a lot of common positions on ideological issues, but there are big differences. For example, I do not understand racist elements and I do not adopt them,” he said.

Yarosh said that “non-Ukrainians” should be treated according to principles set forth by Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera.

A one-time ally of Nazi Germany who later turned against the Nazis, Bandera said non-Ukrainian allies should be treated as brothers and neutral parties should be respected.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and other Jewish organizations have condemned the glorification in Ukraine of Bandera, whose troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews when they were allies of the Nazis in 1941.

Svoboda lawmakers have regularly used the pejorative “zhyd,” which is equivalent to “kike,” to describe Jews.

In response to protests from Jewish leaders, Svoboda argued “zhyd” was a correct and neutral, albeit archaic term. Svoboda’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has in the past referred to a “Moscow-Jewish mafia” which he said ruled Ukraine.

Din El and Tyahnybok spoke in March 2013 in a meeting which the Israeli foreign ministry said was not coordinated with Jerusalem.

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How Exactly Do Zio-Nazi Fit In To The Big Picture

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UK7 Comments

FIGHT AGAINST THE ILLEGAL ZIO-NAZI APARTHEID ENTITY

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There is no time to back up, the multitudes are joining in our fight against the illegal apartheid entity of #‎Israel‬ that for 70 years has murdered entire communities and demolished thousands of villages and had left no stone over stone to recognize the ancestral landscape of Palestine.

The time has arrived to stop the Zionist monsters that designed the plunder of the land of Palestine.
‪#‎BDS‬ is the non-violent movement sponsored by the Palestinian civil society and in collaboration with the world will serve to severe the line that supports the apartheid entity.
Israel no more.
Join us in the efforts to ‪#‎liberate‬ Palestine.
Support the efforts of the Student Union for Representation and Justice to pass a resolution at San Diego State University (SDSU) calling for divestment from companies that profit from occupation and apartheid and are complicit in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
This is just one step that the citizens of the world have to take as a global community.
The elimination of the illegal entity of Israel is primordial to bring peace to the world.
We cheer these students on in their stand with Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli occupation, apartheid, and colonization and in their commitment to ensure #‎SDSU‬ lives up to its mission to contribute to knowledge and the solution of problems.

 

 

SDSU Divestment Support
org.salsalabs.com
The Student Union for Representation and Justice at San Diego State University launched a campaign earlier this year to pass a resolution through their student government calling on their university to divest from corporations that profit from Israeli occupation and apartheid. The corporations being…

 

 

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Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela and beyond: Beware the Wars of March

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Global Research

In the 1930s it was a notorious fact the German government of Adolf Hitler chose the month 0f March ( Ides of Mars), to perpetrate its most daring moves in reasserting the nation as a continental power, culminating in the most deadly war in history.

For example:

March 1933: German federal election brings Hitler to power as chancellor

March 1936: Germany remilitarizes the Rhineland in contravention of the Treaty of Versailles

March 1937: The Third Reich’s Condor Legion bombs and attacks Durango, Spain and the next month bombs Guernica

March 1938: Germany absorbs Austria

Over the past fifteen years a not dissimilar pattern has emerged.

In March of 1999 the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization began Operation Allied Force, the 78-day air war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In March of 2003 the U.S. and several of its NATO allies began Operation Iraqi Freedom, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, ultimately with troops from 23 of NATO’s current 28 member states stationed in the country.

In March of 2011 the U.S. launched Operation Odyssey Dawn, nineteen days later taken over by NATO under the code name of Operation Unified Protector, a more than six-and-a-half-month-long air war and naval blockade against Libya.

The above were the first wars ever conducted by NATO and were, respectively, its first wars in three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.

In the unbroken series of direct, covert and proxy wars waged by the U.S. and NATO since the attack on Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999, the following nations and former nations have been seriously, more than likely fatally, wounded. Destroyed.

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (subsequently the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, now splintered into three entities)
Macedonia

Afghanistan (what was left of it after the U.S. and several of its NATO allies supported a fundamentalist-extremist insurgency operating out of Pakistan from 1978-1992 and then backhandedly supported the Taliban takeover in 1995-1996)

Iraq
Somalia
Ivory Coast
Libya
Yemen
Syria
Sudan
Mali
Ukraine

Posted in Syria, Ukraine, VenezuelaComments Off on Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela and beyond: Beware the Wars of March

Ukraine – Satanists Take Us to the Brink (Again)

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kerry.jpeg(left, Skull & Bones’ John Kerry, the ghoulish face of modern Satanism) 

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.But if they don’t, let’s be clearthat the usual suspects are responsible for the crisis in Ukraine and its consequences. 

by Henry Makow Ph.D. 


If the crisis in Ukraine spirals out of control,  we will all pay the price for letting Satanist Jews and Freemasons (the Illuminati) control the economy, government, culture and media in the West.

Whether this crisis results in war and/or a financial crash depends on two factors:

1. If the West imposes onerous sanctions on Russia that provoke retaliatory measures, a financial meltdown could take place. Russia could restrict oil and natural gas exports to Europe and the US causing prices to soar. It has warned that it will seize Western assets in Russia. It could undermine the US dollar. I don’t expect this to happen. Cooler heads will prevail and Western sanctions will be token and face-saving. (This appears to the case.) Western corporations like Pepsi and GE have already warned that, if Russia and the West get into a real pissing match, all bets for future growth are off.  EU banks are owed $200 billion from Russian loans while US Corporations export $11 billion annually to Russia, and have $14 billion invested.

2. The Kiev government or the Neo Nazi Right Sector, which is part of it, could decide to get Western help by provoking a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine by attacking pro-Russian Ukrainians living there.  Again, I expect cooler heads to prevail. 

Nevertheless, I am concerned. The same people that brought us 9-11 and the satanic wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are behind the regime change in Kiev. These are the Neo Con (Illuminati) Jews who control US foreign policy on behalf of the Rothschilds and the IMF.  Their ultimate goal is to own and control everything and everyone, body and soul, including sodomizing our children. Ukraine is a stepping stone to Russia which is thwarting their progress.

As we enter this decisive week, let’s keep the following facts in mind:

nuland.jpg

1. Putin has no illusions about who was behind the overthrow of Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich and neither should you. The Russians released this tape recording of Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs talking to Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador in Kiev. They were literally assembling the government that later took over.

In a speech to a Ukrainian group in Washington in December, she says she has just returned from Kiev, her third visit in five weeks. She says the US has “invested” $5 billion in Ukraine in the past two decades and requires IMF “reforms.” She says Ukrainians want the US to wrest Ukraine from Russia influence and make it “a responsive modern Western democracy” via closer ties with “Europe.”

Originally a “Nudelman”, Victoria Nuland’s husband is Robert Kagan, one of the co founders of Project for a New American Century. As a YouTube commenter writes. “They don’t get much more neo con than this guy. It should also be noted that Obama has publicly endorsed Kagan’s most recent book, The World America Made. The US govt. has been hijacked and is acting on behalf of … the globalists in order to weaken Russia & China, the only other two players in this game of geopolitical chess.”

2. The US and Europe (Obama and Merkel) double-crossed Putin. Sergei Markov, director of the Institute of Political Studies in Moscow writes, “U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel deceived President Vladimir Putin when they pursuaded him to convince Yanukovych to refrain from using force to quell the Maidan, and then to sign the Feb. 21 agreement — which they refused to uphold. Instead, they told Russia to accept the new reality in Ukraine. But why should Moscow accept that reality when it is directed against Russia, democracy and human rights?” The February 21 agreement called for a national unity government, a new constitution and new elections before December 2014. The Russians have asked for a return to this agreement as the basis of restoring order.

kerryyamulke.jpg

3. With a US puppet government in Kiev and a Jewish central banker as Prime Minister, Putin had no choice but to protect his Crimea naval base.  The US wants to weaken Russia ahead of removing Putin altogether.  Zbigniew Brzezinski writes: “Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine…would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state…if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

yatseniuk.jpg

(Left, Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk makes fascist salute)

4. The fact that the Illuminati Jews  can make common cause with anti Semitic Neo Nazis in Kiev shows that the Nazis have always been a branch of Illuminati. In this important article,  F. William Engdahl shows that the new government will not be a “responsive western democracy” as demonstrators were promised. Instead it has placed oligarch billionaires and Neo Nazis in charge. The Neo Nazi  Svoboda Party has six major cabinet ministries including the General Prosecutor’s Office. Deputy Prime Minister, Oleksandr Sych, is from Svoboda and will have key economic responsibilities. As well, Svoboda controls the Ecology Ministry and the important Agriculture Ministry. Ukraine is the third-largest corn exporter in the world.

5.  Finally the Western mass media has once again revealed that it is hardly more than a branch of the Illuminati-controlled government. It is laughable how these whores criticize the Russian media for being a propaganda outlet. 

CONCLUSION 


 The Illuminati position is indefensible. They have recognized referendums on self-determination when it is in their interest, from Kosovo in 2008 to South Sudan just last year. There is going to be one in Scotland next year

Eventually, we will pay a steep price for allowing a satanist foreign banking cartel to covertly control every aspect of our society and culture. Hopefully the Illuminati Jews and Freemasons will realize they have overreached in the Ukraine, and our day of reckoning will be postponed.

aa-neo-con-rogues-gallery.jpg

Illuminati Jews and Freemasons have started every war and revolution in modern history. They are responsible for the Jewish holocaust and for millions of deaths and immeasurable human suffering. Their handiwork jeopardizes the security of ordinary Freemasons; and ordinary Jews like myself. Ukraine is just another day of worship for Satan’s Illuminati minions.

Apparently Putin is the last line in the sand. He may be Illuminati himself, but he is not prepared to see Russia plundered and become a vassal state. 
When the people of the West learn the facts, they will support him over the imposters in power here.


——–
Related- Right sector Leader urges Sabotage of Russian Pipelines Crossing Ukraine 
Brother Nathaniel- How Ukraine Will Implode 
Ukrainian “Democracy”
Chris Ernesto – Bzrezinski Mapped Out Ukraine Strategy in 1997
News Conference – Putin Says Force is a Last Resort 
Wayne Madsen –  New Kiev Regime Behind Sniper Killings 
– See more at: http://henrymakow.com/2014/03/Ukraine%20-%20Will-we-Pay-for-Satanist.html#sthash.pLCh7VTQ.dpuf

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Zio-Nazi forces continue systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

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Palestinians carry the body of Raed Zeiter, 38, during his funeral in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, on March 11, 2014, a day after he was shot dead by the Israeli military. (AFP Photo / Ahmad Gharabli)

  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian judge at al-Karama border crossing with Jordan.
  • A Palestinian civilian was killed, northeast of Ramallah.
  • Israeli forces killed 3 members of Palestinian armed groups, south of the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces launched 30 airstrikes on different areas in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank.

–       6 Palestinian civilians, including 3 brothers, were wounded.

–       7 Palestinian civilians were wounded at the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

  • Israeli forces conducted 76 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited ones in the Gaza Strip.

–        A Palestinian civilian was wounded during an Israeli incursion in Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.

–       34 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were arrested.

  • Israel continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

–       Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank.

–       At least 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were arrested at checkpoints in the West Bank.

–       7 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were arrested north of the Gaza Strip, when they attempted to enter Israel through the border fence.

  • Israeli navy forces continued targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea.

–       2 fishermen were wounded, north of the Gaza Strip.

–       2 fishermen were arrested off Gaza City shore.

  • Israeli forces continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

–       Israeli forces issued house demolition notices.

–       Settlers attacked Palestinian farmers north of Ramallah.

–       The windshield of a journalist’s vehicle was smashed, due to which he sustained shrapnel wound.

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (06 – 12 March 2014).

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians, one of whom is a judge, in the West Bank, and 3 members of Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip. They wounded 16 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children. Fourteen of whom, including the 3 children in the West Bank, were wounded in the West Bank while the 2 others were wounded in the Gaza Strip. During the reporting period, Israeli forces launched 30 airstrikes on the northern and southern Gaza Strip; 29 of which were launched on Wednesday, 12 March 2014. Moreover, Israeli forces carried out 5 shooting incidents at fishing boats and 2 ones in the northern Gaza Strip.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed 3 members of Palestinian armed groups in al-Shouka village, east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday, 12 March 2014, Israeli forces launched 29 airstrikes on the north and south of the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rockets. Moreover, an Israeli warplane raided 2 agricultural areas, north of the Gaza Strip. However, no casualties were reported.

On 10 March 2014, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniya shore, north of Gaza City, wounded 2 fishermen.

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, Israeli navy forces opened fire 5 times at Palestinian fishing boats on 08 and 11 March 2014. Also on 11 March 2014, Israeli forces arrested 2 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza City shore and released them few hours later.

In the West Bank, in a cold-blooded murder, on Monday morning 10 March 2014, Israeli forces stationed at the al-Karamah crossing with Jordan killed a judge working in Amman Magistrate’s Court while he was on his way back to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).  Israeli forces claimed that the judge attempted to seize the weapon of an Israeli soldier who in response shot and killed him. Investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) refuted the Israeli claims and emphasized that the judge did not constitute any threat to the lives of the Israeli soldiers.

On the abovementioned day, in excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Beitin village, northeast of Ramallah. Israeli forces admitted they were responsible for killing the aforementioned person and claimed that Israeli soldiers opened fire at a number of Palestinian youngsters, who threw stones at settlers’ vehicles on road (60) near “Givat Asaf” settlement outpost in which a Palestinian was killed.

On 08 March 2014, a Palestinian civilian was hit by a gas canister during an Israeli incursion in Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.

In the same context, Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organised by Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 6 Palestinian civilians, including 3 brothers, were wounded during Bil’in and al-Nabi Saleh protests, west and northwest of Ramallah.

In the same context, 7 Palestinian civilians were wounded, 6 of whom sustained bullet wounds, during a peaceful protest at the south-eastern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

The full report is available online at:

http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10182:weekly-report-on-israeli-human-rights-violations-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory-06-12-march-2014-&catid=84:weekly-2009&Itemid=183

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Roger Waters: Why I must speak out on I$raHel, Palestine and BDS

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Salon exclusive: The Pink Floyd star details why he supports the boycott

Seventy years ago, my father – 2nd Lt. Eric Fletcher Waters – died in Italy fighting the N—s. He was a committed pacifist, and a conscientious objector at the start of the war, but as Hitler’s crimes spread across Europe, he swapped the ambulance he had driven through the London blitz for a tin hat and a commission in the Royal Fusiliers and he joined the fight against fascism. He was killed near Aprilia in the battle for the Anzio Bridgehead on Feb. 18, 1944.  My mother – Mary Duncan Waters – spent the rest of her life politically active, striving always to ensure that her children, and everyone else’s children, had no Sword of Damocles in the form of the despised N–i Creed or any other despicable creed hanging over their heads.

Last month, thanks to the good people of Aprilia and Anzio, I was able to pay tribute to the father I never knew by unveiling a memorial in the town where he died and laying a wreath to honor him, and all the other fallen. Losing my father before I ever knew him and being brought up by a single, working mother who fought tirelessly for equality and justice colored my life in far-reaching ways and has driven all my work. And, at this point in my journey, I like to think that I pay tribute to both my parents each time I speak out in support of any beleaguered people denied the freedom and justice that I believe all of us deserve.

After visiting Israel in 2005 and the West Bank the following year, I was deeply moved and concerned by what I saw, and determined to add my voice to those searching for an equitable and lawful solution to the problem – for both Palestinians and Jews.

Given my upbringing, I really had no choice.

In 2005, Palestinian civil society appealed to people of conscience all over the world to act where governments had failed. They asked us to join their nonviolent movement – for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) – which aims to end Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, to secure equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to uphold the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the cities and villages they were violently forced out of in 1948 and 1967.

After more than two decades of negotiations, the vulnerable Palestinian population still lives under occupation, while more land is taken, more illegal settlements built, and more Palestinians are imprisoned, injured or killed struggling for the right to live in dignity and peace, to raise their families, to till their land, to aspire to each and every human goal, just like the rest of us. The Palestinians’ prolonged statelessness has made them among the most vulnerable of all peoples, particularly in their diaspora where, as now in Syria, they are subject, as stateless, powerless refugees, to targeted violence, from all sides in that bloody conflict, subject to unimaginable hardship and  deprivation and, in many cases, particularly for the vulnerable young, to starvation.

What can we all do to advance the rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories, Israel and the diaspora? Well, BDS is a nonviolent, citizen-led movement that is grounded in universal principles of human rights for all people. All people! In consequence, I have determined that the BDS approach is one I can fully support.

I feel honored to stand in solidarity alongside my father and my mother, and alongside my Palestinian brothers and sisters, and so many others of all colors, faiths and circumstances from all over the world – including an ever-increasing number of courageous Jewish Americans and Israelis – who have also answered the call.

In the furor that exists in the U.S. today about BDS and the right and wrong of a cultural boycott of Israel, a quote from one of my heroes, Mahatma Gandhi, has been on my mind. He prophetically said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”  The BDS movement is fulfilling its promise and fits Gandhi’s description.  Once dismissed by many as a futile strategy that would “never work,” BDS has gained much ground in recent weeks, bringing with it the expected backlash.

Divestment votes at major U.S. universities, European pension funds divesting from Israeli banks that do business with illegal Israeli settlements, and the recent high-profile parting of the ways between actor Scarlett Johansson and the global anti-poverty group Oxfam are symptoms of a growing resistance to the Israeli subjugation of the indigenous people of Palestine, and also, to the decades of occupation of land designated by the U.N. as a future state for the Palestinian people.

And with each new BDS headline, the ferocious reaction from the movement’s critics, with Netanyahu and his AIPAC fulminations in the vanguard, has risen exponentially.  I think it’s safe to say BDS is in the “then they fight you” stage.

Some wrongly portray the boycott movement, which is modeled on the boycotts employed against Apartheid South Africa and used in the U.S. civil rights movement, to be an attack on the Israeli people or even on the Jewish people, as a whole. Nothing could be further from the truth. The movement recognizes universal human rights under the law for all people, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or color.

I do not claim to speak on behalf of the BDS movement, yet, as a vocal supporter, and because of my visibility in the music industry, I have become a natural target for those who wish to attack BDS, not by addressing the merits of its claims but, instead, by assigning hateful and racist motivations to BDS supporters like me. It has even been said, cruelly and wrongly, that I am a N–i and an anti-Semite.

When I remarked in a recent interview on historical parallels, stating that I would not have played Vichy France or Berlin in World War II, it was not my intention to compare the Israelis to N—s or the Holocaust to the decades-long oppression of the Palestinians.  There is no comparison to the Holocaust.  Nor did I intend or ever wish to compare the suffering of Jews then with the suffering of Palestinians now.  Comparing suffering is a painful, grotesque and diminishing exercise that dishonors the specific memory of all our fallen loved ones.

I believe that the root of all injustice and oppression has always been the same – the dehumanization of the other. It is the obsession with Us and Them that can lead us, regardless of racial or religious identity, into the abyss.

Let us never forget that oppression begets more oppression, and the tree of fear and bigotry bears only bitter fruit. The end of the occupation of Palestine, should we all manage to secure it, will mean freedom for the occupied and the occupiers and freedom from the bitter taste of all those wasted years and lives. And that will be a great gift to the world.

“Ashes and diamonds

Foe and friend

We were all equal

In the end.”

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Drone Victim to Address UK MPs for the First Time

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A Pakistani man who lost his son and brother to a 2009 CIA drone strike will tomorrow speak to MPs about his experiences, in the first event of its kind.

Kareem Khan, who in the past month has also been the victim of a kidnapping by what appeared to be Pakistani state agents, will address members of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Drones at 1700 GMT on 25 February 2014, in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House.

Mr Khan will be the first victim of a CIA drone strike to address Members of the British Parliament.

The strikes are carried out by the CIA and US Special Forces in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, using remotely-controlled, robotic aircraft known as ‘drones.’ The UK has been identified as playing a significant role in supporting such operations, both through the provision of intelligence and through communications infrastructure at US air bases on UK soil.

The strikes have caused the deaths of large numbers of civilians and have also proved controversial as they take place outside of declared warzones with little or no accountability or transparency – in violation of international law.

Mr Khan is seeking legal accountability for the killing of his teenage son and schoolteacher brother, and has brought a case against the Pakistani police over their failure to investigate their deaths. Supported by legal charity Reprieve, Mr Khan’s case was raised in a complaint to the International Criminal Court, filed last week.

The meeting will be hosted by Tom Watson MP, chair of the APPG on Drones. Mr Khan will be joined on the panel by Noor Behram, an investigative journalist from North Waziristan who has documented the aftermath of dozens of drone strikes; and Jemima Stratford QC, who advised APPG members in January of the potential legal consequences for GCHQ officials who may provide data for targeting.

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The Bleached Bones of the Dead: What the Modern World Owes Slavery

NOVANEWS

(It’s More Than Back Wages)

Many in the United States were outraged by the remarks of conservative evangelical preacher Pat Robertson, who blamed Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake on Haitians for selling their souls to Satan. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble — as many as 300,000 died — when Robertson went on TV and gave his viewing audience a little history lesson: the Haitians had been “under the heel of the French” but they “got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.'”

A supremely callous example of right-wing idiocy? Absolutely. Yet in his own kooky way, Robertson was also onto something. Haitians did, in fact, swear a pact with the devil for their freedom. Only Beelzebub arrived smelling not of sulfur, but of Parisian cologne.

Haitian slaves began to throw off the “heel of the French” in 1791, when they rose up and, after bitter years of fighting, eventually declared themselves free. Their French masters, however, refused to accept Haitian independence. The island, after all, had been an extremely profitable sugar producer, and so Paris offered Haiti a choice: compensate slave owners for lost property — their slaves (that is, themselves) — or face its imperial wrath. The fledgling nation was forced to finance this payout with usurious loans from French banks. As late as 1940, 80% of the government budget was still going to service this debt.

In the on-again, off-again debate that has taken place in the United States over the years about paying reparations for slavery, opponents of the idea insist that there is no precedent for such a proposal. But there is. It’s just that what was being paid was reparations-in-reverse, which has a venerable pedigree. After the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the U.S., London reimbursed southern planters more than a million dollars for having encouraged their slaves to run away in wartime. Within the United Kingdom, the British government also paid a small fortune to British slave owners, including the ancestors of Britain’s current Prime Minister, David Cameron, to compensate for abolition (which Adam Hochschild calculated in his 2005 book Bury the Chains to be “an amount equal to roughly 40% of the national budget then, and to about $2.2 billion today”).

Advocates of reparations — made to the descendants of enslaved peoples, not to their owners — tend to calculate the amount due based on the negative impact of slavery. They want to redress either unpaid wages during the slave period or injustices that took place after formal abolition (including debt servitude and exclusion from the benefits extended to the white working class by the New Deal). According to one estimate, for instance, 222,505,049 hours of forced labor were performed by slaves between 1619 and 1865, when slavery was ended. Compounded at interest and calculated in today’s currency, this adds up to trillions of dollars.

But back pay is, in reality, the least of it. The modern world owes its very existence to slavery.

Voyage of the Blind

Consider, for example, the way the advancement of medical knowledge was paid for with the lives of slaves.

The death rate on the trans-Atlantic voyage to the New World was staggeringly high. Slave ships, however, were more than floating tombs. They were floating laboratories, offering researchers a chance to examine the course of diseases in fairly controlled, quarantined environments.  Doctors and medical researchers could take advantage of high mortality rates to identify a bewildering number of symptoms, classify them into diseases, and hypothesize about their causes.

Corps of doctors tended to slave ports up and down the Atlantic seaboard. Some of them were committed to relieving suffering; others were simply looking for ways to make the slave system more profitable. In either case, they identified types of fevers, learned how to decrease mortality and increase fertility, experimented with how much water was needed for optimum numbers of slaves to survive on a diet of salted fish and beef jerky, and identified the best ratio of caloric intake to labor hours. Priceless epidemiological information on a range of diseases — malaria, smallpox, yellow fever, dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and so on — was gleaned from the bodies of the dying and the dead.

When slaves couldn’t be kept alive, their autopsied bodies still provided useful information. Of course, as the writer Harriet Washington has demonstrated in her stunning Medical Apartheid, such experimentation continued long after slavery ended: in the 1940s, one doctor said that the “future of the Negro lies more in the research laboratory than in the schools.” As late as the 1960s, another researcher, reminiscing in a speech given at Tulane Medical School, said that it was “cheaper to use Niggers than cats because they were everywhere and cheap experimental animals.”

Medical knowledge slowly filtered out of the slave industry into broader communities, since slavers made no proprietary claims on the techniques or data that came from treating their slaves. For instance, an epidemic of blindness that broke out in 1819 on the French slaverRôdeur, which had sailed from Bonny Island in the Niger Delta with about 72 slaves on board, helped eye doctors identify the causes, patterns, and symptoms of what is today known as trachoma.

The disease first appeared on the Rôdeur not long after it set sail, initially in the hold among the slaves and then on deck. In the end, it blinded all the voyagers except one member of the crew. According to a passenger’s account, sightless sailors worked under the direction of that single man “like machines” tied to the captain with a thick rope. “We were blind — stone blind, drifting like a wreck upon the ocean,” he recalled. Some of the sailors went mad and tried to drink themselves to death. Others retired to their hammocks, immobilized. Each “lived in a little dark world of his own, peopled by shadows and phantasms. We did not see the ship, nor the heavens, nor the sea, nor the faces of our comrades.”

But they could still hear the cries of the blinded slaves in the hold.

This went on for 10 days, through storms and calms, until the voyagers heard the sound of another ship. The Spanish slaver San León had drifted alongside the Rôdeur. But the entire crew and all the slaves of that ship, too, had been blinded. When the sailors of each vessel realized this “horrible coincidence,” they fell into a silence “like that of death.” Eventually, theSan León drifted away and was never heard from again.

The Rôdeur’s one seeing mate managed to pilot the ship to Guadeloupe, an island in the Caribbean. By now, a few of the crew, including the captain, had regained some of their vision. But 39 of the Africans hadn’t. So before entering the harbor the captain decided to drown them, tying weights to their legs and throwing them overboard. The ship was insured and their loss would be covered: the practice of insuring slaves and slave ships meant that slavers weighed the benefits of a dead slave versus living labor and acted accordingly.

Events on the Rôdeur caught the attention of Sébastien Guillié, chief of medicine at Paris’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. He wrote up his findings — which included a discussion of the disease’s symptoms, the manner in which it spread, and best treatment options — and published them in Bibliothèque Ophtalmologique, which was then cited in other medical journals as well as in an 1846 U.S. textbook, A Manual of the Diseases of the Eye.

Slaves spurred forward medicine in other ways, too. Africans, for instance, were the primary victims of smallpox in the New World and were also indispensable to its eradication. In the early 1800s, Spain ordered that all its American subjects be vaccinated against the disease, but didn’t provide enough money to carry out such an ambitious campaign. So doctors turned to the one institution that already reached across the far-flung Spanish Empire: slavery. They transported the live smallpox vaccine in the arms of Africans being moved along slave routes as cargo from one city to another to be sold: doctors chose one slave from a consignment, made a small incision in his or her arm, and inserted the vaccine (a mixture of lymph and pus containing the cowpox virus). A few days after the slaves set out on their journey, pustules would appear in the arm where the incision had been made, providing the material to perform the procedure on yet another slave in the lot — and then another and another until the consignment reached its destination. Thus the smallpox vaccine was disseminated through Spanish America, saving countless lives.

Slavery’s Great Schism

In 1945, Allied troops marched into the first of the Nazi death camps. What they saw inside, many have remarked, forced a radical break in the West’s moral imagination. The Nazi genocide of Jews, one scholar has written, is history’s “black hole,” swallowing up all the theological, ethical, and philosophical certainties that had earlier existed.

Yet before there was the Holocaust, there was slavery, an institution that also transformed the West’s collective consciousness, as I’ve tried to show in my new book, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World.

Take, for example, the case of the Joaquín, a Portuguese frigate that left Mozambique in late 1803 with 301 enslaved East Africans. Nearly six months later, when a port surgeon opened the ship’s hatch in Montevideo, Uruguay, he was sickened by what he saw: only 31 bone-thin survivors in a foul, bare room, otherwise empty save for hundreds of unused shackles.

City officials convened a commission of inquiry to explain the deaths of the other 270 slaves, calling on the expertise of five surgeons — two British doctors, a Spaniard, a Swiss Italian, and one from the United States. The doctors testified that before boarding the Joaquín, the captives would have felt extreme anguish, having already been forced to survive on roots and bugs until arriving on the African coast emaciated and with their stomachs distended. Then, once on the ocean, crowded into a dark hold with no ventilation, they would have had nothing to do other than listen to the cries of their companions and the clanking of their chains. Many would have gone mad trying to make sense of their situation, trying to ponder “the imponderable.” The surgeons decided that the East Africans had died from dehydration and chronic diarrhea, aggravated by the physical and psychological hardships of slavery — from, that is, what they called “nostalgia,” “melancholia,” and “cisma, a Spanish word that loosely means brooding or mourning.

The collective opinion of the five surgeons — who represented the state of medical knowledge in the U.S., Great Britain, and Spain — reveals the way slavery helped in what might be called the disenchanting of medicine. In it you can see how doctors dealing with the slave trade began taking concepts like melancholia out of the hands of priests, poets, and philosophers and giving them actual medical meaning.

Prior to the arrival of the Joaquín in Montevideo, for instance, the Royal Spanish Academy was still associating melancholia with actual nighttime demon possession. Cisma literally meant schism, a theological concept Spaniards used to refer to the spiritual split personality of fallen man. The doctors investigating the Joaquín, however, used these concepts in a decidedly secular, matter-of-fact manner and in ways that unmistakably affirmed the humanity of slaves. To diagnose enslaved Africans as suffering from nostalgia and melancholia was to acknowledge that they had selves that could be lost, inner lives that could suffer schism or alienation, and pasts over which they could mourn.

Two decades after the incident involving the Joaquín, the Spanish medical profession no longer thought melancholia to be caused by an incubus, but considered it a type of delirium, often related to seasickness. Medical dictionaries would later describe the condition in terms similar to those used by critics of the Middle Passage — as caused by rancid food, too close contact, extreme weather, and above all the “isolation” and “uniform and monotonous life” one experiences at sea. As to nostalgia, one Spanish dictionary came to define it as “a violent desire compelling those taken out of their country to return home.”

It was as if each time a doctor threw back a slave hatch to reveal the human-made horrors below, it became a little bit more difficult to blame mental illness on demons.

In the case of the Joaquín, however, the doctors didn’t extend the logic of their own reasoning to the slave trade and condemn it. Instead, they focused on the hardships of the Middle Passage as a technical concern. “It is in the interests of commerce and humanity,” said the Connecticut-born, Edinburgh-educated John Redhead, “to get slaves off their ships as soon as possible.”

Follow the Money

Slavery transformed other fields of knowledge as well. For instance, centuries of buying and selling human beings, of shipping them across oceans and continents, of defending, excoriating, or trying reform the practice, revolutionized both Christianity and secular law, giving rise to what we think of as modern human rights law.

In the realm of economics, the importance of slaves went well beyond the wealth generated from their uncompensated labor. Slavery was the flywheel on which America’s market revolution turned — not just in the United States, but in all of the Americas.

Starting in the 1770s, Spain began to deregulate the slave trade, hoping to establish what merchants, not mincing any words, called a “free trade in blacks.” Decades before slavery exploded in the United States (following the War of 1812 with Great Britain), the slave population increased dramatically in Spanish America. Enslaved Africans and African Americans slaughtered cattle and sheared wool on the pampas of Argentina, spun cotton and wove clothing in textile workshops in Mexico City, and planted coffee in the mountains outside Bogotá. They fermented grapes for wine at the foot of the Andes and boiled Peruvian sugar to make candy. In Guayaquil, Ecuador, enslaved shipwrights built cargo vessels that were used for carrying more slaves from Africa to Montevideo. Throughout the thriving cities of mainland Spanish America, slaves worked, often for wages, as laborers, bakers, brick makers, liverymen, cobblers, carpenters, tanners, smiths, rag pickers, cooks, and servants.

It wasn’t just their labor that spurred the commercialization of society. The driving of more and more slaves inland and across the continent, the opening up of new slave routes and the expansion of old ones, tied hinterland markets together and created local circuits of finance and trade. Enslaved peoples were investments (purchased and then rented out as laborers), credit (used to secure loans), property, commodities, and capital, making them an odd mix of abstract and concrete value. Collateral for loans and items for speculation, slaves were also objects of nostalgia, mementos of a fading aristocratic world even as they served as the coin for the creation of a new commercialized one.

Slaves literally made money: working in Lima’s mint, they trampled quicksilver into ore with their bare feet, pressing toxic mercury into their bloodstream in order to amalgamate the silver used for coins. And they were money — at least in a way. It wasn’t that the value of individual slaves was standardized in relation to currency, but that slaves were quite literally the standard.  When appraisers calculated the value of any given hacienda, or estate, slaves usually accounted for over half of its worth; they were, that is, much more valuable than inanimate capital goods like tools and millworks.

In the United States, scholars have demonstrated that profit wasn’t made just from southerners selling the cotton that slaves picked or the cane they cut.  Slavery was central to the establishment of the industries that today dominate the U.S. economy: finance, insurance, and real estate. And historian Caitlan Rosenthal has shown how Caribbean slave plantations helped pioneer “accounting and management tools, including depreciation and standardized efficiency metrics, to manage their land and their slaves” — techniques that were then used in northern factories.

Slavery, as the historian Lorenzo Green argued half a century ago, “formed the very basis of the economic life of New England: about it revolved, and on it depended, most of her other industries.” Fathers grew wealthy building slave ships or selling fish, clothing, and shoes to slave islands in the Caribbean; when they died, they left their money to sons who “built factories, chartered banks, incorporated canal and railroad enterprises, invested in government securities, and speculated in new financial instruments.”  In due course, they donated to build libraries, lecture halls, botanical gardens, and universities, as Craig Steven Wilder has revealed in his new book, Ebony and Ivy.

In Great Britain, historians have demonstrated how the “reparations” paid to slave-owning families “fuelled industry and the development of merchant banks and marine insurance, and how it was used to build country houses and to amass art collections.”

Follow the money, as the saying goes, and you don’t even have to move very far along the financial trail to begin to see the wealth and knowledge amassed through slavery. To this day, it remains all around us, in our museums, courts, places of learning and worship, and doctors’ offices. Even the tony clothier, Brooks Brothers (founded in New York in 1818), gotits start selling coarse slave clothing to southern plantations.  It now describes itself as an “institution that has shaped the American style of dress.”

Fever Dreams and the Bleached Bones of the Dead

In the United States, the reparations debate faded away with the 2008 election of Barack Obama — except as an idea that continues to haunt the fever dreams of the right-wing imagination. A significant part of the backlash against the president is driven by the fantasy that he is presiding over a radical redistribution of wealth — think of all those free cell phones that the Drudge Report says he’s handing out to African Americans! — part of a stealth plan to carry out reparations by any means possible.

“What they don’t know,” said Rush Limbaugh shortly after Obama’s inauguration, “is that Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.” The conservative National Legal Policy Center recently raised the specter of “slavery reparations courts” — Black Jacobin tribunals presided over by the likes of Jessie Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and Russell Simmons and empowered to levy a $50,000 tax on every white “man, woman, and child in this country.”  It’s time to rescue the discussion of reparations from the swamp of talk radio and the comment sections of the conservative blogosphere.

The idea that slavery made the modern world is not new, though it seems that every generation has to rediscover that truth anew. Almost a century ago, in 1915, W.E.B Du Boiswrote, “Raphael painted, Luther preached, Corneille wrote, and Milton sung; and through it all, for four hundred years, the dark captives wound to the sea amid the bleaching bones of the dead; for four hundred years the sharks followed the scurrying ships; for four hundred years America was strewn with the living and dying millions of a transplanted race; for four hundred years Ethiopia stretched forth her hands unto God.”

How would we calculate the value of what we today would call the intellectual property — in medicine and other fields — generated by slavery’s suffering? I’m not sure. But a revival of efforts to do so would be a step toward reckoning with slavery’s true legacy: our modern world.

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