Archive | May 21st, 2014

A KKKnesset member whose irresponsible violence belies her appearance



She first appeared as a curiosity – a young and pretty secular woman from an upscale north Tel Aviv neighborhood, a fresh and well-educated Zionist who found a warm Jewish home — to borrow from her party’s name, Habayit Hayehudi. She doesn’t resemble extremist figures from the past like Meir Kahane and Moshe Levinger, or former MK Michael Ben-Ari. She’s much more attractive and elegant than the caricatures of crazed right-wingers with their bushy beards, skullcaps askew and Uzis dangling from their shoulders.

Still, MK Ayelet Shaked’s first term in the Knesset promises to be an opening round in a long career of bills aimed at annexing West Bank land, silencing leftist NGOs and entrenching Jewish supremacy. She’s gradually finding her place in the pantheon of the extreme right that has taken over the country.

Her modus operandi is simple and effective, appealing to popular sentiment on the heels of a terrorist attack. She takes an aggressive stance and whips up mob sentiment, usually targeting minorities — Arabs or asylum seekers — depending on the mood.

In recent days, Shaked has posted several status updates on her Facebook page, linking the recent killing of 20-year-old Shelly Dadon, whose death has not yet been established as a nationalist crime, with Shaked’s bill to prevent the president from pardoning certain murderers. David Tsur, a Hatnuah MK who co-sponsored Shaked’s bill, said it was designed to prevent the release of all types of murderers, but the language declares that it was intended to prevent prisoner-release deals common during peace negotiations.

Later on, after the public security minister’s declaration that at this point there’s no way of knowing the motive for the murder, Shaked dropped the subject and instead attacked the ministers who opposed the proposal; for example, Yesh Atid’s Jacob Perry, who filed an appeal against it. She wrote that “today it has become clear that petty politics are more important than the blood of Israeli citizens” — a status update that was later edited and toned down.

Even if it turns out that Dadon was murdered for nationalist reasons, Shaked’s propaganda methods are frightening in their irresponsible violence. And they’re infuriating in appropriating the tragedy for political purposes.

“That’s how it is in war …. It worked and made headlines,” Shaked said when she made sure the photos of the Fogels’ bodies were published; the family, from the settlement of Itamar, had been murdered by terrorists. That’s how it is in war, according to Shaked. An elected official can whip up a mob frenzy to promote a bill that’s a “moral correction,” as Shaked put it.

Is someone who refuses to use a murder victim to incite a mob less upset by the murder of an innocent young woman? Is someone who opposes the destruction of peace talks indifferent to the death of Israeli citizens? Is Perry less interested than Shaked in having despicable murderers punished?

The answer to all these questions is no. Similarly, someone who rejected a policy that dooms minorities to second-class citizenship, or opposes the annexation of the West Bank for an intolerable price, is no less of a patriot or Zionist than Shaked, her party’s leader Naftali Bennett and their electorate.

Shaked lives in Tel Aviv’s upscale Bavli neighborhood and says her lifestyle is secular. But as a public figure she’s the hawkish envoy of the messianic settlement community, which has taken control of government institutions and the heart of the Israeli consensus. She’s the representative of an ideology unembarrassed by its racism.

“Do you hope that when he’s doing reserve duty your pilot husband will bomb the Arabs as hard as possible?” she was asked in an amusing interview when she was elected to the Knesset. “Yes,” she replied, laughing, and continued on her way.

The riddle of Shaked remains unsolved. Is it unbridled teenage-style enthusiasm, limited binary thinking that includes childish worship of one-dimensional nationalist ideas, or are we witnessing a sophisticated, mathematical talent for harnessing the soul of the nation for the benefit of the settlers? Whatever the case, the result is the same, and it’s dangerous.

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On Citizenship in the 21st Century


by Richard Falk

[This post was previously published online at the website of the Global Transition Initiative, which is dedicated to promoting “Transformative Vision and Praxis.” It responds to an essay on global citizenship written by Professor Robert Paehlke (“Global Citizenship: Plausible Fears and Necessary Dreams”), who cogently advocates the formation of a Global Citizens Movement, including indicating how it might become effective. What seems important about such dialogue is the recognition that given the realities of this historical period, it is increasingly necessary for political thought and action to proceed by reference to human interests as well as being responsive to national, local, ethnic, and religious interests and values. A feature of modernity that is being rightly questioned from many angles is the presumed radical autonomy of human interests, especially the modernist illusion that the co-evolutionary dependence on nature and the environment was being superseded by the marvels of technological innovation. One way back to the future is to rethink political community—its boundaries and essential features—from the perspectives of participants, with citizenship being the secular signature of belonging and engagement, and ultimately, the sustainability not just of the community, but of the species.]

            Reading Robert Paehlke’s carefully crafted essay on global citizenship provides the occasion both for an appreciation of his approach and some doubts about its degree of responsiveness to the urgencies of the present or more specifically its adequacy in relation to the call for ‘transformative vision and praxis’ that lies at the heart of the ‘Great Transition Initiative.’ Paehlke is on strong ground when he ventures the opinion that the planetization of citizenship is an indispensable precondition for the establishment of global governance in forms that are both effective and fair. His insistence that global governance to be legitimate must address ethical issues as well as functional ones associated with sustainability is certainly welcome. He is also persuasive in advocating the formation of a global citizens movement (GCM) that takes advantage of the networking and mobilizing potential of the Internet, combining an initial focus on local challenges while nurturing a global perspective. His deepest sympathies clearly lie with a pluralistic and decentralized GCM that operates, at least for the foreseeable future, without leaders or a common program of action, and as such is likely in his words to be “less threatening” to the established order (p.3). But here is where my analysis and prescriptive horizons departs from his—if a transformative global movement is to emerge from current ferment, then it seems strategic to become more threatening, not less. Flying below the radar is not the kind of praxis that will awaken the human species from its long and increasingly dangerous world order slumber.

            I would say that the defining feature of Paehlke’s approach is an implicit belief that with enough patience and persistence we can get to the ‘there’ of effective and equitable global governance from the ‘here’ of neoliberal globalization and state-centricism that is accentuating inequality and human insecurity within and between states. He envisions a transformative movement as possible if prudent efforts are made to induce enough global reform to facilitate the kinds of economic development that manages to deliver equity and environmental protection across borders. There is present in Paehlke’s worldview a sophisticated linear interpretation of world history that is particularly exhibited through changes in the organizational scale of political communities and in the application of technology to the fundamentals of economic, social, and political life. In his well chosen words, the spread of GCM will likely occur “as crises mature and more people appreciate that global governance is where the long arc of human history is taking us—and has been for centuries.” In effect, just as the small kingdoms of feudal Europe became too small to handle the expansion of productive capacities and the enlargement of the market, so in the 21st Century the state is no longer able to be responsive to the magnitudes of the challenges facing humanity, a reality that he hopes the formation and activity of GCM will highlight and circumvent. Paehlke makes clear that his advocacy of global citizenship does not imply either a prediction or prescription that the only appropriate form of global governance is world government. He leaves open to the dynamics of interaction, how transformative governmental adjustments will be made, implying that there are alternative paths to optimal forms of future global governance and that history encourages the confidence that needed adjustments will be forthcoming.

            Understandably preoccupied with the inequalities stemming from current patterns of economic globalization, Paelhke believes that a robust GCM will tend to shift political consciousness from the competitive logic of a world of states to the communal logic of a world of people. Such a shift, should it occur in relation to the agenda of global policy bearing on human security would indeed go a long distance toward satisfying the ideational prerequisites of the Great Transition Initiative. But I find it hard to believe that this shift in outlook could come about unless it is actualized by a priorradical and worldwide social movement that shakes the foundations of the established political and economic order. These differing logics also reflect the multiple unevenness of various national circumstances that bear on the wages and safety of workers, and others, as well as fixing the appropriate level of environmental protection. At stake, also, is whether there exists enough common global ground to overcome geographic locus of global policy that has up to this point in modern times given us a world of competing national and transnational interests. How these kinds of tensions can be overcome by approaching policy making from the perspective of shared challenges and opportunities seems daunting, and suggests that the GCM, despite being oriented by Paehlke toward the local, will fail exert much transformative leverage. To exert transformative influence it would have to reorient political consciousness toward the North Star of human interests, which presupposes a qualitative departure from the bounded space of territorial sovereign states whose leadership regards itself pledged to maximize national interests while at the same time, without acknowledgement, promoting transnational financial flows and capital efficiency. The ‘without acknowledgement’ is important as national political leaders must hide the extent to which they are captives of entrenched economic elites and thus need to deceive the citizenry as to why certain policy adjustments cannot even be proposed.

            As Andreas Brummel aptly observes, a robust GCM would benefit greatly from the establishment of some form of global parliament, which has been long advocated by those who do not accept the conventional strictures of citizenship as linked to nationalism. Such a parliamentary institution, depending on how it emerged, could begin to articulate global policy from contrarian perspectives to those associated with the outlook of leading states. Especially important would be articulations of the human and global interest, as well as bringing to bear a variety of views not represented by governments acting on behalf of national interests and dedicated to the promotion of transnational capital in all its forms. To develop a transformative consciousness we must first understand the wide gaps between a nationally oriented political consciousness and one that is humanly oriented.

            Such a positive outcome cannot be assumed to follow from the mere establishment of a global parliament. As soon as such an institution achieves gains in stature it would almost inevitably become a site of struggle for competing worldviews, including class conflict and a variety of culture wars. I mention such concerns in light of the recent experience of the European Parliament, which has had the roller coaster ride of being long discounted as an irrelevant talk shop before being taken gradually more seriously, and now becoming significant enough to alert reactionary forces in Europe to its political potentialities. These regressive forces are now poised to take over the institution with the evident intention of pushing the European Union further in Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, and socially harsh directions. These risks of cooption and neutralization cast a thickening cloud over the near future of the European Parliament, and in various ways clarify why over the decades the United Nations has so disappointed expectations of those seeking a peaceful and just world order, and seems often to have been the scene of an institutional race to the bottom.

            In effect, I am arguing that a reformist outlook, while useful, is not mobilizing in relation to the deeper concerns about the human future. Such a more relaxed outlook as to the global setting implicitly believes that there is ample time and political space for the transformative forces of humanism to work their magic. I find the evidence and tendencies to be quite the opposite. We are living in a time of emergency as far as the human species is concerned. I know this political consciousness has existed previously. Some respected observers, insist that apocalyptic fears are nothing other than a symptom of all civilizational transitions, and that ours reflects the ending of modernity. In opposition, I would argue that the apocalyptic realities of the current challenges make the claim of emergency the only responsible reaction due to the evidence surrounding growing risks of species collapses. I realize that Paehlke is arguing against such world order ‘alarmism,’ which he and many other believe to be politically debilitating. I contend, in opposition, that we must orient praxis toward the real if we wish to act with sanity and in a aroused spirit of dedication.

            The world has had several decades to react and adapt, but has not done so. I would point to the normalization of nuclear weaponry in the security mentality of powerful states and the inability of these same states to act responsibly in relation to the strong scientific consensus as to the menace of climate change, particularly global warming. What these failures of response to such fundamentally threatening developments disclose, above all, is a biopolitical uncertainty as to whether the human species as a species has a sufficient will to survive. We know that individuals have such a will, which is generally extended to embrace family, loved ones, and even friends and neighbors. Also, nationalism has demonstrated the intensity of a national will to survive even at great potential cost to the partial self of nationhood and the larger self of humanity as a whole. The shared security commitment of lead governments to nuclear deterrence during the Cold War expressed an omnicidal readiness to risk the fate of the species, and thereby give an absolute value to the survival of the state and nation. Our hopes for the future depend on determining whether this apparent weak will to survive at the level of the human species is hard-wired into our collective mental processes or is a contingent byproduct of modernity encased in a state-centric and neoliberal world order that can be reconfigured for survival and justice, but not without a difficult struggle.

            Despite my appreciation of Paehlke’s hopes for the GCM and the fact that many of his formulations are congenial, I find the overall framework of thought and action too constrained by the assumptions that global citizenship can be understood and enacted as a spatial phenomenon. This includes the bias toward promotinglocal solutions to the extent possible to avoid dangerous and unpopular concentrations of political power. I would argue thattime is as important as space in the reconfiguration of citizenship, especially as the challenges become more severe with the passage of time. For instance, compare the relative simplicity of achieving total nuclear disarmament in 1945 when only one country possessed a few atomic bombs with the complexities associated with trying to negotiate a disarmament treaty with nine nuclear weapons states that have vastly different security priorities and perceptions. Or consider the difficulties of addressing climate change after the planet heats up by 4 degrees Celsius or more by mid-century as compared to dealing with greenhouse gas emissions effectively in the 1990s when the nature of the threat was first convincingly established by the overwhelming weight of scientific opinion. Even those with some sensitivity to gravity of the challenge, such as Barack Obama, are so constrained by the practicalities of politics, that they continue to limit recommended solutions to those that are market-based, and have already been demonstrated to be ineffective. The larger point here is that citizenship must become as oriented toward time and the future at least as much as toward the geographies and peoples now living within territorial boundaries. To capture this sense of space/time I have previously championed the ideal of ‘citizen pilgrims,’ those engaged in a journey toward a sustainable and emancipated future that acknowledges and acts upon mounting threats to human survival as well as tries hard to make the planet more morally, aesthetically, and spiritually responsible.

            Paehlke ends his essay by distancing himself from ideological markers of left/right, and by saying that GCM “need not primie facie oppose ‘globalization’ or ‘capitalism’” in its commitment to finding “quick, small, visible victories that enhance the efficacy felt by citizens” in relation to problems requiring global solutions. In his essay there is missing any critique of the links between militarism and neoliberal globalization or between global inequalities and the post-colonial interventionism and force projection of the West, especially the United States. There is a certain originality in Paehlke’s stress on the lack of confidence by citizens in relation to activity in the public sphere given the way state and market function in our world. Yet in the end I find restoring confidence in citizen efficacy and the encouragement of working within the system to be the wrong way to go given what we know, fear, and hope. So conceived GCM is likely to divert our attention while we as a species move ever closer to the Great Transition of our nightmares. In essence, to approach the Great Transition of happier dreams we must begin by distinguishing between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ This may seem divisive, but in a world so hierarchical and divided by class, race, gender, to do otherwise is to retreat disastrously from the realities of political life. It is fine to crave unity, but in the meantime we are entrapped in a series of structures that reward conflict, exploitation, and take disunity and enduring division as endemic to the human condition. At best, we can affirm dialogic modes of being in the world, an engagement with ‘otherness’ in all its forms, but also with the humbling recognition that there are radically different appreciations of what needs to be done.


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Turkey: This is not an accident, it is a massacre


At least 301 miners dead in Soma Mines, Turkey

By Communist Party of Turkey

A scene from a protest in İstanbul. The banner reads “Murderers, capital and AKP, we will bring the murderers of our workers to justice.”
Photo: Communist Party of Turkey

Miners being rescued by their comrades while AKP officials including Taner Yildiz, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources look on.

Yusuf Yerkel, aide to Prime Minister Erdogan, kicks protester being held down by riot police.

The police attempting to detain a 10 year old child in İzmir.

Scene from a protest in Ankara, May 14

Update and statement by the Communist Party of Turkey

On May 13 2014, Soma, a mining town in Manisa district of Turkey, turned into a crime scene where hundreds of miners were killed following an explosion that trapped miners in a private mine operated by Soma Coal, a company whose bosses are known to have very close relationships with the ruling Justice and Development party, AKP. Before emergency and medical teams were sent to the scene, AKP made sure that large numbers of military and police were deployed to the town to suppress potential protests in the region.

While there were still hundreds of miners still trapped in the mine, AKP officials initially tried to hide the true number of dead. Initial statements stated that there were only 5 dead but as the night progressed, news from the local sources put the figure much higher. As of today (May 17th), the official death-toll stands at 301 and while AKP government claims that there are only 2-3 miners still trapped in the mine, the final death-toll is believed to be close to 400. The fact that the precise number of miners who are missing cannot even be determined is a testimony to the unsafe operating procedures in the mine.

A Neoliberal love story, SOMA Holding and AKP

Soma Coal is owned by Soma Holding Mine Enterprises whose management is known to have very deep relations with AKP officials. In the recent local elections in March 2014, the wife of the General Manager of Soma Holding, Melike Doğru was elected to the Soma Municipal Council in AKP’s ranks. It is not a surprise that Soma Coal was the supplier of the charity packages distributed by the AKP during the recent local elections which also contained coal bags.

In an interview he gave in 2012, Soma Holding CEO Alp Gürkan was boasting that while a ton of coal from the mine cost $130-140 under the state-run TKİ (Turkish Coal Enterprises), when they took over the operation of the mine from the state in 2005 as a subcontractor, they could guarantee a cost of no more than $23.8 per ton.

It is no mystery that the reduction in costs and the explosion in profits for the company is the result of lack of proper safety measures, regular maintenance, lack of proper job training and last but not the least ruthless capitalist exploitation of labor (SOMA miners make about $600 a month).  Murderous neoliberal economic policies of the AKP government and its corresponding work practices enforced by Soma Holding are the true causes behind this recent massacre which killed hundreds of workers.

Only two weeks ago, on April 29th, a proposal of investigation about the working conditions into work accidents in Soma the town proposed by the opposition in the parliament was blocked by majority AKP votes.

World Federation of Trade Unions on the murderous policy in the mines of Turkey

WFTU released a statement on May 16th, expressing that what happened in Soma was no accident and that this was not an individual case, pointing out dozens of occupational and fatal accidents that occur throughout the year in the mines of Turkey. The WFTU denounced the Government of Turkey and the companies exploiting the mines for their murderous lack of safety measures and demanded the end of privatization of the people’s wealth, the natural resources, the modernization of the technology used in the mines, the immediate implementation of safety controls and the application of all necessary measures in all mines to protect the lives of the working people.

Erdogan goes back to 19th century: “These accidents are typical”

In a press conference he held in Soma, PM Erdogan stunned the listeners by his response to a question by a journalist who asked “How was this mine allowed to operate? Who is responsible here?” After farcically citing numbers from mining disasters in 19th and early 20th century, the PM brazenly concluded his response: “These accidents are typical incidents in the mining sector, look at the U.S., with all the technology and all that, 1907, 361 dead.”

During Erdogan’s speech outside Soma Municipality building, the crowd started whistling and booing him, shouting “Government resign!” While Erdogan’s police was violently dispersing the protesters, Erdogan continued his speech calling the protesters “immoral.”

AKP officials are not welcome in Soma, PM is captured on tape punching a protester

Video footage of the PM Erdogan has emerged showing the PM attacking the protesters. In the footage, PM’s car is stopped by an angry crowd shouting “Resign! Murderer! Thief! “. The PM ended up having to find refuge in a supermarket as he was jostled by the protesters. In the footage, the PM is seen punching one of the protesters as he calls him “Come here, you spawn of Israel.” After being hit by the PM, the video footage also shows the protester being beaten badly by his bodyguards afterwards. According to eyewitness reports, after entering the supermarket, Erdogan also allegedly punched a teenage girl repeatedly after she yelled at him, “What is the murderer of my father doing here?”

Another widely circulated photo shows one of Erdogan’s advisors, Yusuf Yerkel, kicking a protester as he is held down by the riot police. Yerkel shamelessly defended his actions, alleging that the man was “a militant left-wing demonstrator who had come to Soma specifically to cause disturbances.

Protests erupt in Soma and all over Turkey

Anti-AKP protests attended by thousands have erupted across Turkey. Police used teargas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. In Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, protests attended by thousands continued throughout the whole across multiple neighborhoods, protesters clashed with the police which used teargas, water and rubber bullets in an effort to disperse the crowds. In İzmir, the police attempted to detain a 10-year-old child.

On Friday, May 16th, relatives, co-workers and friends of the miners took to the streets in the thousands in Soma to denounce the AKP government, shouting “Government resign!” “Murderers!”, “People of Soma, show your solidarity with the miners.” Pointing to the market where the PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan had attacked a protester the day before, the people shouted the police “Where were you when Tayyip was punching people?” The police attacked the crowd with the usual combination of teargas and water cannons. There were reports of injuries.

Also on May 16th, students of Istanbul Technical University (ITU) occupied the Faculty of Mining Engineering where the CEO of Soma Holding Alp Gürkan is a board member. The students stated that the occupation will continue until Gürkan is taken off the board, the rectorship publicly releases a statement that what happened in Soma was murder, not an accident and until the subcontracting practies in the university is abolished.

The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), and the Chamber of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) called for a one day general strike on May 15th.

Statement by the Communist Party of Turkey on the massacre of miners in Soma

The Communist Party of Turkey released a statement on May 16th. The statement notes that AKP government and its whole basis is illegitimate and calls on all the deputies of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to leave their posts in the parliament in order to bring the government down.

The statement also makes the following demands:

1. The true death-toll of the miners should be released immediately

2. The PM should resign and be put on trial immediately

3. Ministers of health, energy and labor should resign and be put on trial immediately

4. The owner and the management of the company running the mine should be arrested on charges of premeditated murder and brought to justice

5. The system of subcontracting should be abolished

6. All mines should be nationalized immediately

Communist Party of Turkey

Central Office

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Honduras: Order from the national congress to repress all action by the opposition


Report from Honduras

By Marvin Palacios

Originally posted May 13 in Spanish on Defensores en Linea.

The President of the National Congress, Maurico Oliva, gave the order to brutally repress the opposition party Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE)  and the activists and leaders that were demonstrating peacefully below the National Congress.

The order of the day was repression and violence, said the congressmembers from LIBRE.  The violent actions led by agents of the State left several congressmembers hospitalized and dozens of demonstrators with serious blows/injuries, produced by the brutality with which riot troops and military police acted.

Around 4:00 in the afternoon a strong contingent of military police, police from the Special Operations Command (COBRA), and military troops entered into the hall of sessions of the National Congress, occupied strategic positions inside the big hall, surrounded the congressmembers of LIBRE and began to use batons, tear gas bombs, and shields to assault, push and mistreat and beat the representatives of the people.

There was no consideration for anyone, including congressmembers such as Claudia Garmendia, congressmember from the department of El Paraíso, who suffered the charge of the military soldiers, in which she was surrounded on the floor, and rescued by one of her congressmember companions.

Ex-President Zelaya, upon being expelled with shoves and blows from the second level of the National Congress, where he presides over the bench of the 36 congressmembers of LIBRE, said `those who are governing Honduras are beasts.’

Later he added sadly that `it’s only taken 100 days for president Juan Orlando Hernández to show us his fangs; he will not be releected to govern because the Honduran people reject his dictatorship.’

In the streets of the historic center you could breath smoke and pepper gas in industrial quantities, and while people covered their mouths with scarves, others were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform.

The central park was once again the scene of battle between demonstrators and police, but in disproportionate conditions.  Many of the protesters were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform.

Congressmember Claudia Garmendia was hospitalized because of the blows and gases she received inside the hall of sessions of the National Congress; also the congressmembers Elvia Argentin Erazo (Copán) and Audelia Rodríguez (Atlántida).

Congressmembers Hari Dixon, Rafael Alegría, and Wilfredo Paz were beaten.  The Red Cross transfered several disheartened and injured people to the Hospital Escuela.

Several days ago LIBRE called for a peaceful demonstration underneath the National Congress [Transl:  the building is sort of on big stilts, with an open area on the first floor; the actual congress is on the second floor], demanding that, because LIBRE is the second political force in the country, with 36 congressmembers, it be represented in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.  The demand was met by a response from the President of Congress Mauricio Oliva that LIBRE had to obtain 86 congressmembers in order to be included. And the other response from Oliva was made this afternoon, in ordering a brutal repression agains the opposition politicians, activists, and leaders of LIBRE.

The situation is worrisome to human rights bodies, considering tomorrow environmentalists will arrive at the National congress tomorrow to demand an end to concessions for extraction of the country’s mineral resources.

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Prince Charles ‘compares Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler’


The Prince of Wales reportedly tells woman who had lost relatives in the Holocaust that the Russian President is ‘doing just about the same as Hitler’ in Ukraine

HRH The Prince of Wales

Prince Charles causes controversy after reportedly likening Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler Photo: Rex Features.
Ed-Note: he has Nazi blood in his vaines, a defender of faith who had a marride Mistressand drove his wife to her death !!! Bollocks. He asked for it. PRINC CHARLES< NOT FIT TOBE DEFENDER OF FAITH. IN BREACH HAVING BEEN SHAGGING A MARRIED WOMAN< DROVE HIS WIFE TO DEATH AFTER EXTRACTING SONS< AND NOW MARRIED TO HIS MISTRESS A DIVRCED WOMAN< SKIP HIM< WILLIAM WILL BE NEXT MONARCH !! Charls is spilt and insane, been behaving like a fueadalLord, TAXING Cornish to the hilt.... away with you, off with your head. STALIN liberatedus from Your Slumbe, Russian have Class, you have horse shit!! for Morals.

By Keith Perry

Prince Charles has reportedly likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.

In an unguarded comment about the Russian President’s actions in the Ukraine, the Prince of Wales told a woman who had lost relatives in the Nazi Holocaust: “And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler,” the Daily Mail reported.

The Prince’s comment could potentially be seen as criticism of the West for failing to confront Mr Putin over his seizure of Crimea. The annexation was a first by a major power in Europe since 1945.

Commentators have likened Russia’s handing of the Ukraine crisis to Hitler’s takeovers of Poland and Czechoslovakia and have criticised Mr Putin’s use of special forces in disguise to stir up tension in disputed areas.

The Prince of Wales, who is due to meet Mr Putin at the D-Day commemorations in France on June 6, made his well-intentioned but unguarded comment during a visit to the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Mail said.

The prince is on a tour of Canada with the Duchess of Cornwall – they have 41 engagements in just three and a half days.

On Tuesday night Clarence House sources said the Prince of Wales had a private conversation with a woman who had lost relatives in the Holocaust.

“It was a private, empathetic, conversation with a lady who had lost family members in the Holocaust,” the source said.

On Monday, the pair paid tribute to Second World War veterans and their families at the museum in Halifax’s docks.

Prince Charles was introduced to Marienne Ferguson, a museum volunteer who fled to Canada with her Jewish family when she was just 13.

Mrs Ferguson, 78, was born in what is now the Polish city of Gdansk. A free city under the terms of the Versailles Treaty after the end of the Great War, it was seized by the Nazis on the first day of fighting in 1939.

Mrs Ferguson and her parents, two sisters and grandmother had managed to obtain permits to sail to Canada. But other members of her family failed to escape and were captured by the German forces.

They were sent to Nazi camps where they met their deaths along with an estimated six hundred Jews from the city,

Mrs Ferguson told her story to Prince Charles as she showed him the museum’s exhibits.

At the end of the visit, and surrounded by media, Prince Charles made his comment about the situation in Ukraine, the Mail said.

It was heard by several witnesses. Mother-of-three Mrs Ferguson said: “I had finished showing him the exhibit and talked with him about my own family background and how I came to Canada.

“The prince then said ‘And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler’.

“I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do. I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they [members of the Royal Family] aren’t meant to say these things but it was very heartfelt and honest.

“I told the prince that while my family and I were lucky to get a permit to travel, many of my other relatives had permits but were unable to get out before war broke out on September 1. They were sent to the concentration camps and died.”

It is unusual for a senior royal to express an opinion on sensitive political issues as they are supposed to remain politically neutral.

A spokesman for Clarence House said last night they would not comment on a private conversation.

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South African elections: Which way forward?


ANC victory with gains for left and right parties

In the most watched South African election since 1994, the African National Congress once again scored a resounding victory, reaping 62 percent of the eighteen million votes cast. Held within the context of rising social unrest inside the country, ten years after the first democratic elections, and in the wake of the death of Liberation leader Nelson Mandela, these recent elections were seen as the first where ANC hegemony faced potential challenge.

Despite their large victory, the ANC fell below the threshold that would allow their parliamentary deputies to amend the constitution; gains by parties on both the left and the right are electoral signs that the underlying contradictions that have been simmering since 1999 are breaking much more fully into the open.

The most obvious and glaring reality in South Africa is that ten years following the dawning of Black political power, the social situation for the majority of Africans remains abysmal. According to the official statistics agency, Stats SA, the percentage of South Africans living on less than $2 a day is 46 percent. Unemployment overall is 25 percent; among those under 35 it is a shocking and shameful 70 percent. Inequality is high and the spatial and racial inequities of apartheid mostly remain meaning the Black poor are trapped in slums surrounding major cities, impoverished mining camps, and relatively isolated rural areas. Service delivery remains at best spotty and at worst scandalous;  the South African Police Service routinely treats citizens with brutality—with no fear of using deadly force;  and corruption is a serious issue in government.

The African National Congress government is of course complicit in these outcomes. The ANC, and its alliance partners—Congress of South African Trade Unions and South African Communist Party—have followed a more or less neo-liberal economic path since 1994. While the ANC government has made attempts to rectify certain social imbalances, the inability to break from the overall neo-liberal growth model has meant the scale of the reforms have not met the increasingly dire growth of the social problems.

This has caused tremendous unrest inside the ruling alliance, which throughout the Liberation years was one of the most progressive social formations on earth, with its base firmly in the African working class. As such the rising sense of frustration with ANC rule has begun to splinter the alliance on the left and the right. The Democratic Alliance, the primary opposition party, which is more explicitly free-market and pro-capitalist than the ANC, saw a significant increase in their vote share from 16 percent to  22 percent. The DA is historically a “white” party and garnered 95 percent of the white vote, but has made moves to show a more “African” face, even making moves to appeal to township residents seeking to capitalize on their anger at service delivery.

It seems clear that one aspect in the increased DA vote has come from the ranks of those of the ANC right to who defected to the now stillborn Congress of the People (COPE). The general trend is that as the left inside the ANC asserts itself, the DA has emerged as a more viable alternative home for those who seeks to keep South Africa firmly on a capitalist path. Such forces  no doubt believe that fractures on the left open up electoral opportunity for the right.

However the DA is still relatively marginal, and the more significant developments are the moves happening left of center. The Economic Freedom Fighters,(led by expelled ANC member, former member of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, a fiery populist who has supported striking miners vigorously and called for rapid re-distribution of land),  was able to gain third place in the vote with just over 6 percent of the ballots cast, coming in second in Limpopo province.

The EFF captured a section of disgruntled ANC voters, but also it seems to have cut into the vote total of the two other Liberation parties, the Pan-Africanist Congress and Azanian Peoples Organization. The EFF is forthright, and critiques capitalism, but is more populist than communist with a quasi-military form of organization. While the party has a welcome militancy and touches on important working class issues, some on the left like the SACP have raised trenchant critiques, in particular that their calls for nationalization could (and in the eyes of critics will) serve as a smokescreen for buyouts of Black capitalists whose concessions are deeply indebted, and that nationalization evades the key discussion on how to advance a “socialization” that goes beyond government takeovers to placing capitalists assets under the control of the working class.

Also on the left there were both organized and unofficial abstention campaigns. One such open and loud campaign run by Ronnie Kasrils, former intelligence minister and Liberation leader . It is unclear how much the “Vote No” campaign contributed to spoiled ballots and voters staying away but it appears to have contributed. The National Union of Metal Workers (NUMSA)—a major communist-led labor union which fairly spectacularly broke with the ANC-alliance—while not officially organizing on behalf of any particular election outcome seems to have been the source of abstentions in some places. New socialist formation Workers and Socialists Party (WASP) which has gained some foothold in mass struggles came in with a tiny few thousand votes that nevertheless reflects working class disaffection with the ANC.

Clearly working class unrest will only grow. Strikes in the nation’s strategic mining sector are increasing and are not even remotely uncommon amongst the combative South African workers, there are dozens of township protests everyday and NUMSA is forging ahead with its attempt to create a united front to further coordinate social struggle, most likely leading to a new socialist formation. Nine unions are calling on COSATU to hold a special conference to take up key issues, and debates continue inside the ANC about how (and really if) the government should move in the direction of a “developmental” state, perhaps something akin to what exists in Venezuela as well as about how (and again if) to move towards socialism.

Meanwhile the issue of land reform remains unresolved.

Clearly the Black masses are frustrated with the lack of progress and seek either the promises of the freedom charter, or socialism outright. A small—roughly 6-10 percent of the electorate—are fed up enough with the ANC to seek to renew the Liberation movement outside of its structures. The vast majority continue to back the ANC in massive numbers. The reason is fairly obvious. The ANC has stood the test of time. Established in 1912 the ANC has overcome tremendous obstacles and achieved great feats;  undoubtedly significant sections of the working class and rule poor believe it can do so yet again and bring justice and equality to the nation.

As we have argued consistently in our publications, South Africa has no shortage of revolutionaries or working class militancy but lacks revolutionary unity. This is why we welcomed NUMSA’s united front initiative as potentially providing a space for unity in the struggle regardless of party identification, strengthening the bonds of the revolutionary camp. We still hope for such an outcome. Undoubtedly the direction of the struggle over the deepening of the Liberation struggle in South Africa will have tremendous implications for the global struggle against capitalism. The 2014 elections reflect the crossroads the Liberation movement faces. We offer our continued and deep solidarity with the South African working class and rural population in their struggle against capitalist exploitation.

Posted in AfricaComments Off on South African elections: Which way forward?

Venezuela to send oil to Palestine


 by Ma’an News 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro pledged to send oil and diesel to the Palestinian Authority, as part of agreements signed with its leader Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Caracas.

Venezuela, which sits atop the world’s largest oil reserves, said it would provide an initial shipment of 240,000 barrels of oil, but gave no details as to how it would send them.

“Thanks to Venezuela for supporting Palestine … to break Israel’s monopoly on our economy, for your response to our needs, for your willingness to support the Palestinian people in their long struggle,” Abbas said, according to an official translation.

During the meeting, Maduro also agreed to support the Palestinian Authority’s quest to be granted observer status in three Latin American regional organizations: the Union of South American Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

“The Palestinian people have the right to maintain commercial relations with the world as well,” Maduro said.

In the face of fierce Israeli opposition, the Palestinians won observer status at the United Nations in November 2012, opening the way for it to adopt a host of international accords.

During his third visit to Venezuela in five years, Abbas visited the grave of Maduro’s predecessor, longtime leader Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last year.

Abbas arrived in Caracas on Thursday after meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London the day before, a first since the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis collapsed.

Abbas’s visit comes amid months of at times bloody protests that have rocked Venezuela since February.

Maduro has called the unrest, which has claimed at least 42 lives, a coup attempt backed by the United States, raising tensions with Washington, which has repeatedly denied the claim.

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Jerusalem authorities ask Catholics to take down banner welcoming Pope Francis



by Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins

Here is some disturbing news from Israel, which calls itself the only democracy in the Middle East. Authorities in Jerusalem have asked Catholics to take down a banner featuring the Pope, lest it spur attacks ahead of the Pope’s visit May 25-26. AFP reports:

Police and the Shin Bet have reportedly been concerned Jewish extremists could increase attacks on Christian sites ahead of the pope’s arrival in an attempt to attract media attention.

In a sign of roiling tensions, Jerusalem police — at the request of municipal officials — asked a Franciscan centre just inside the Old City walls to take down a large banner welcoming Pope Francis in English, Arabic and Hebrew, informed sources said.

The highest western Christian authority in Jerusalem, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, gave a press conference yesterday addressing this and other issues. Haaretz:

In response to questions about images of Pope Francis being displayed in Jerusalem, Twal answered that they were put up just as they are throughout the rest of the world, to welcome the pope during his visit. Twal added that in Israel, it is common to put up pictures of athletes and soccer players when they visit, and asked why then should there be such criticism over pictures of the Pope.

UPI has reported on the rise in “price-tag” attacks by Jews on Christian sites.

The pope’s visit to Jordan and Israel, scheduled for May 24 to 26, comes after attacks of vandalism on Christian sites in Jerusalem, allegedly by far-right Jewish groups. Several Christian churches have been defaced, including a death threat painted in Hebrew on East Jerusalem’s Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame Center. The site is where the pope is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At his press conference, Patriarch Twal criticized the official non-response to these attacks:

“It damages, of course, the democracy that Israel purports itself to uphold,” Twal said at a news conference. According to the patriarch, the attacks have been met with only verbal condemnation from Israeli leaders and very few arrests. “All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” said Twal.

“Currently, the acts of unrestrained vandalism are poisoning the atmosphere, an atmosphere of coexistence, cooperation, especially now, two weeks before the visit of Pope Francis,” he continued.

The Economist reports that Israeli authorities are turning Christian holy sites into a “military base” so as to secure the visit; but this policy could make Jerusalem a ghost town, and drive a wedge between Francis and his massive following.

Will Jerusalem’s bustling Old City be turned into a ghost town when Pope Francis comes to the Holy Land on May 25th? That is what worries some of his officials. While the Palestinians are opening up the streets of Bethlehem and providing the pope with an open car when he visits their side of the biblical land, Israel is taking no chances. It is planning a strict permit regime, insisting that the Holy Father travels in an armoured car, with the public kept at arm’s length behind a security cordon. 

The Patriarch also had this comment on the intolerance of Israel’s new demand that it be recognized as a Jewish state:

“It can be said that dealing with this sad affair is not only restricted to the realm of law and order. A pressing question rises over how we educate our children, what do they learn about those who are different from them in terms of religion and ethnic and national identity? What effect is created by official discourse on Israel being a state for one group only?” he said.

More signs of intolerance. Agence French-Presse reports on a demonstration by the Orthodox ahead of the Pope’s visit, aimed at the “Cenacle,” a place alongside the Old City walls Jews believe is the site of King David’s Tomb, but that Christians regard as the site of the Last Supper.

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered Monday near the reputed scene of Jesus’s last supper in Jerusalem demanding that Israel keep sovereignty over the site where Pope Francis will celebrate mass….

“When ‘the crusaders’ come here making the sign of the cross and all kinds of rituals, this place will become idolatrous for us, and we will not have the right to pray there any more,” ultra-Orthodox Jewish protester Yitzhak Batzon told AFP.

Ultra-Orthodox protesters are planning another demonstration there on May 22 — just three days before the pope is due to arrive in Jerusalem.


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I$raHell locking up more children in isolation


by Dalia Hatuqa

Jamil was only 16 years old when Israeli soldiers raided his Bir al-Basha home near Jenin late last year. It was a few hours before dawn when he was awakened by a hard nudge, blindfolded and handcuffed, then taken away in his pyjamas and house slippers.

His ordeal took place in stages: At an Israeli military base, where he was beaten and forbidden from using the bathroom, at a detention centre where he was interrogated without a lawyer or parent present, and finally, when he was placed and held in an isolated cell for 13 days.

Like Jamil, an increasing number of Palestinian children are being subject to solitary confinement specifically for interrogation purposes while in Israeli detention, according to Defence for Children International.

“The use of isolation against Palestinian children as an interrogation tool is a growing trend,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCI’s Palestine chapter. “This is a violation of children’s rights and the international community must demand justice and accountability.”

In a recent report, the Geneva-based group said that of the approximately 100 cases it documented of children held in the Israeli military detention system, 21 percent were in solitary confinement during the interrogation process.

The cases recorded in 2013 affected children aged 12 to 17, and the numbers represented a two percent increase from the prior year. DCI said that minors held in solitary confinement spent an average of 10 days in isolation. The longest period of confinement documented in a single case was 29 days in 2012, and 28 days in 2013, the group said.

Globally, this measure is often taken to separate juveniles from the adult prisoner population. But in the case of Palestinian children, DCI says, it is being used to either extract confessions or gather intelligence against other individuals.

“The use of solitary confinement by Israeli authorities does not appear to be related to any disciplinary, protective, or medical rationale or justification,” the report said.

This seemed to be the case with Jamil, who was placed in Cell 36, a solitary holding room in Al-Jalameh Prison in Israel. “[The interrogator] … accused me of throwing stones several times, but I never confessed,” Jamil said. “In later rounds of interrogation [however], I confessed to throwing stones even though I did not. I confessed hoping he would get off my back and get me out from the cell.”

The minor was kept in solitary confinement for 13 days which he describes as “painful”. At one point, he was placed in another cell with an older Palestinian man, who later turned out to be an informant. “He asked me to tell him everything,” Jamil said. “He showed me a list of people’s names and asked me if they threw stones at Israeli cars. I told him that they all did it and I saw them doing it. I did not know he was a snitch.”

The group wants Israeli authorities to cease this practise and military judges to exclude evidence obtained through coercion by the use of solitary confinement. It is also demanding that the prohibition of isolation of juveniles be enshrined in Israeli law.

The Israeli prime minister’s spokesperson was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. The Foreign Ministry declined to address the report’s findings.

DCI had released a comprehensive report two years ago charging that there was a pattern of abuse towards children detained under the Israeli military court system. Back then, an Israeli spokesperson denied that isolation was used as an interrogation technique or as punishment to exert confessions out of minors.

The Israel Security Agency said that Palestinian children were given special protection because of their age, and that no one, including minors, was kept in isolation to extract confessions or as a punitive measure.

It also said that the children had a right to legal counsel and Red Cross visits. 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on I$raHell locking up more children in isolation

Palestinian Reconciliation, Netanyahu’s Rejectionism, and American Drift


by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti

The recent Hamas-PLO agreement is long overdue and either terribly misunderstood or willfully misrepresented by Israeli and American politicians. The PLO-Hamas deal is about bringing back democracy for Palestinians. That is a goal Americans and Israelis alike should support. Instead, they have grown accustomed to pointing out Palestinian flaws while overlooking the overt support for colonization and domination that pervade Israeli politics.

Currently, we have one-party rule in the West Bank (Fatah) though overall rule and control is clearly exercised by Israel. And in the Gaza Strip we also have one-party rule (Hamas) with Israel keeping 1.7 million people there under lock and key. This national consensus government, comprised of technocrats from neither Fatah nor Hamas, will be formed over an initial five-week period with legislative and presidential elections scheduled for six months from now. We are determined to right the terrible internecine struggle of the last seven years and return to a path of pluralism and power-sharing with a peaceful transition to a routine system of democratic elections with a functioning and strong legislature.

One reason why the new agreement was achieved is because both Hamas and Fatah finally realized they were running an authority without authority. Instead of wasting 90 percent of their energy on fighting for a left-over authority controlled by the Israeli occupation, they realized they need to work together and with other Palestinian groups to end the occupation itself.

From a Palestinian perspective it is vital to end internal divisions between the West Bank and Gaza that leads others – and too often ourselves – to view us as Gazans and West Bankers rather than Palestinians. The exchange of ideas, family relations, and business contacts between the West Bank and Gaza is essential if we are to be a whole people rather than divided and conquered by Israel. Shunted into West Bank and Gaza bantustans, our Palestinian culture will become insular and rather than contributing our educational know-how and business acumen to our neighbors and the world we will struggle to survive and put food on the table. Separation is Israel’s policy; we should play no part in abetting such divisions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has argued Fatah must choose between peace and Hamas. This is brilliant rhetoric, but false through and through. Quite simply, Netanyahu is playing games. When we were divided, he (and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman) argued President Mahmoud Abbas didn’t represent all Palestinians and that he could not make a deal with Palestinians because we were divided. Yet now that we are unified he (and Lieberman too) is switching the argument to say this reconciliation represents an obstruction of peace. Which, Mr. Netanyahu, is it?

Far from running against the interests of Israeli-Palestinian peace, this internal agreement should be seized upon by Israel as it calls for sustaining the ceasefire, provided Israel does, and for nonviolence. Were Israel interested in an historic deal and in a just peace it would be embracing the Palestinian rapprochement. Yet Israel has proved very adept at using both peace talks and conflict as an excuse for expansion of its settlement enterprise. If there’s negotiating, build, and if there’s conflict, build. It never ends. The only thing such non-stop building clearly accomplishes is to make the two-state solution less feasible, leaving only apartheid or one state with equal rights for all as alternatives.

Israel’s punishing response of withholding taxes it collects from Palestinians on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) – in return for a three percent commission – is an act of piracy and a violation of international law. This is our rightful money as agreed in both the Paris Protocols and the Oslo Accords. If the PA collapses as a foreseen – or unforeseen – consequence of Israel’s actions then what will come next? It is one thing if the Palestinian Authority decides its usefulness has run its course and dismantles itself due to Israeli intransigence regarding a sovereign Palestinian state, but it will be something very different if the PA collapses unexpectedly and chaos envelops us. Either way, Israel would have responsibility as the occupying power and the mammoth job of feeding while subjugating millions would again be crystal clear to the world.

Beyond taxes, Netanyahu shut down peace talks ahead of the original April 29 deadline. But Netanyahu never really was for these talks. He argues we must choose between peace and Hamas but the real choice is his: Settlements or peace, occupation or peace, apartheid or peace? Netanyahu has consistently chosen settlements, occupation, and apartheid. Now he is just telegraphing to the world what has long been clear to Palestinians living the grim on-the-ground reality.

I have long maintained that the only peace that can last is between democracies. Israel has long claimed to be the only democracy in the Middle East, but this is belied by its control over the lives of millions of Palestinians who have no say in the real governing decisions. We Palestinians have chosen a path putting us back on a democratic course. When will Israel, after decades of dominating and disenfranchising us from the decisions that affect our everyday lives, choose a similar path?

Permanent occupation and subjugation is a recipe for eventual disaster that Israel’s leaders seem incapable of addressing or even fully acknowledging. Astute American leadership would steer Israel rapidly away from the current disastrous path yet the American Congress seems incapable of recognizing the violent settlement imposition as the danger to stability and democracy that it represents. Congressional intransigence makes the White House and State Department more inclined to dither and attempt to muddle their way through looming trouble.

President Obama and Secretary Kerry have just three more years to act. Will they publicly express the very grave concerns they surely must hold as thinking adults regarding Israel’s seemingly permanent occupation? If the Americans bow out, I fear they will lack the good sense not to interfere with overdue European and United Nations mediation. 

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Palestinian Reconciliation, Netanyahu’s Rejectionism, and American Drift

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