Archive | January 19th, 2018

Palestine: ‘Two-state Solution’ ?

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The ‘Two-state Solution’ Only Ever Meant a Big Israel Ruling Over a Palestinian Bantustan

The ‘Two-state Solution’ Only Ever Meant a Big Israel Ruling Over a Palestinian Bantustan. Let It Go

When the Jewish ‘hard’ left leads the battle for one state, pushing the only political horizon that isn’t apartheid, U.S. Jews attack us – for fighting for the same democratic values they prize so highly back home

Jeff Halper       

In his Haaretz op-ed (What the ‘One-state Solution’ Really Means: Israeli-sanctioned Apartheid or Eternal, Bloody Civil War) Eric Yoffie asks: “Are there not sane Israelis – left, right, and especially center – who comprehend the dangers of [a one-state solution]?”

That question could be posed just as well in reverse: What else has to happen before Israelis, left, right and center, finally realize that their government has already deliberately, systematically and effectively eliminated the two-state solution?

Yoffie proposes a false symmetry: a “hard” left and a “hard” right both supporting, de facto or explicitly, a single bi-national state, while a putative future Israeli government will once again embody a “proud, liberal and democratic Jewish homeland,” living peacefully alongside its Palestinian neighbor in a two-state solution.

This is a skewered view, to say the least. In fact, every Israeli government since 1967 has failed to live up to those proud liberal values by pursuing an expanded Israel ruling over a truncated Palestinian Bantustan, even if they did it under the guise of a “two-state solution.”

Within weeks of the start of the occupation in 1967, the Allon Plan (under Labor prime minister Levi Eshkol) already proposed Israel annexing territory surrounding and isolating the Palestinian population centers.updated: Sign up to our newsletter

This plan has guided Israeli settlement policy these past 50 years and is today an irreversible fait accompli. When the Oslo “peace process” began, there were 200,000 settlers (and, yes, I do include East Jerusalem, which is occupied, regardless of what Israel and the Trump Administration claim).

By Oslo’s end in 2000, there were 400,000 settlers in massive “settlement blocs” that fragmented the Palestinian territory into some 70 tiny enclaves of Areas A and B, plus the prison that is Gaza. Today, the settler population approaches 800,000.

A banner supporting the creation of a single state for Israelis and Palestinians: ‘If I had to choose between one state and two states, I would choose one state.’ Ramallah, West Bank. Feb. 23, 2017Nasser Nasser/AP

If the two-state solution is gone, it is because of successive “sane” Israelis in government, in particular those of Golda Meir and Ehud Barak, as well as of the Likud, Kadima and the religious right, and the Zionist left, “hard” right, and the always malleable center that put them into office.

Netanyahu and the religious right proclaim the end of two states from the rooftops, while both parties of the Zionist left, Labor and Meretz, have effectively abandoned the struggle for peace, declaring themselves “social democratic” parties concerned primarily with domestic Israeli affairs. Labor leaders, particularly, have for several years explicitly agreed with the Likud that “the time is not ripe for a two-state solution.”

If any sector of Israeli society ever genuinely supported the two-state solution, it was the “hard” left – to the left of Meretz – which fought tirelessly for it outside of every government (and let’s be honest, the Palestinian Authority under Arafat and Abbas have also supported it, even when Israeli governments were eating away at it).

One of several proposed flags for the unified state of ‘Isratine’Wikimedia

Who, if not the extraparliamentary left, continually demonstrated against the building of settlements, an enterprise pursued as vigorously by Labor as by the Likud?

When, in 1999, then Prime Minister Ehud Barak declared after the collapse of the Camp David negotiations, that “There was no [Palestinian] partner for peace,” the Israeli Jewish public, including Meretz, Peace Now and the rest of the “Zionist left,” abandoned the search for a just peace – but not the “hard” left that has stayed engaged even as the two-state solution has disappeared before our eyes.

But Yoffie is also wrong about how he characterizes what he calls the “hard left’s” one-statism. Left groups who acknowledge the death of the two-state solution have not moved to a one-state alternative – at least not yet. Jewish Voice for Peace, which Yoffie demonizes because of its support for BDS, does not actively advocate for such a solution. And the rest of the “hard” left is still wrestling with where to go.

Although many of us still support the two-state solution as a workable, if not just, solution, it cannot mean apartheid. If the “hard” left has indeed, moved to a one-state solution, it is simply because we have had the courage to recognize political reality and the “facts on the ground”: The two-state solution died when the settlement enterprise reached a critical mass, when the fragmentation of Palestinian territory rendered a viable and sovereign Palestinian state no longer possible.

We are now left with only one way out. We must transform the single apartheid state Israel has created into a democratic state of equal rights for all its citizens. A democracy – which shouldn’t be a terribly foreign concept to an American like Yoffie, or to Israelis who claim their country is the only democracy in the Middle East.

The “hard” left must now lead the battle for a single, democratic, bi-national state in Israel/Palestine, not because we wanted to, but because it was Yoffie’s “sane” Zionists that left us with this as the only possible option to apartheid. It is the only way to prevent Jews becoming the Afrikaaners of the Middle East, or worse.

A rainbow over Palestinians in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. January 15, 2018\ IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS

We want a way out of political Zionism’s dead end, and a return to the cultural Zionism of Ben-Yehuda, Henrietta Szold, Ahad Ha-am, Judah Magnes and Martin Buber that envisioned a Hebrew people living together with their Palestinian neighbors.

This is a challenge that will truly liberate both peoples, a positive project of a new generation of cultural Zionists. We need a state which offers equal rights to all of its citizens – one citizenship, one vote, one parliament – but which constitutionally ensures the right of both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs to their identities, narratives and institutions.

There is no reason to believe this would lead to “endless and bloody civil war”, as Yoffie claims. Israeli Jews would have the right to live anywhere including the settlements; Palestinian refugees can come home; a common civil society would emerge; economically, the country would flourish, supported by two parallel affluent and educated Diasporas, Jewish and Palestinian.

This is the challenge the “hard” left must work to bring to reality. Like it or not, it is all that that the “sane” Zionists touted by Yoffie, together with the “hard” right Zionists that rule us, have left us.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Palestine: ‘Two-state Solution’ ?

Activists Demand Nazi regime Release Ahed Tamimi

Human rights defenders rally for Ahed Tamimi in Washington, DC’s Union Station. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini]


Some 50 human rights defenders rallied inside Washington, DC’s Union Station during the Jan. 10 evening commute, calling on Israel to release Ahed Tamimi and all Palestinian children from Israeli prisons and detention centers. At least 400 Palestinian children are presently being held in Israeli jails. Often arrested during the night, no family member is allowed to even speak to the child—who, once in custody, often is subjected to physical, psychological and verbal abuse and humiliation.

Tamimi was arrested in her home in Nabi Saleh in a pre-dawn raid on Dec. 19. The previous day, a video of the 16-year-old slapping an Israeli soldier outside her home, following the point-blank shooting of her 14-year-old cousin in the face by Israeli soldiers, went viral on the Internet.

Chanting “Free, Free Palestine,” “We want justice for Ahed” and “Not another nickel, not another dime—No more money for Israel’s crimes,” many activists held signs reading “Free Ahed” and “Stop the Show Trial.”

An array of groups sponsored the event, including Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Veterans for Peace.

—Elaine Pasquini

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Human rights defenders rally for Ahed Tamimi in Washington, DC’s Union Station. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini]

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Human rights defenders rally for Ahed Tamimi in Washington, DC’s Union Station. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini].

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Activists Demand Nazi regime Release Ahed Tamimi

Like It Did for South Africa, U.S. Film Industry Must Act on Palestinian Rights

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This Oscar season, former nominee Emad Burnat says Hollywood must do more to end Israeli apartheid. <Photo Courtesy kinolorber.com>.

By Emad Burnat

Bil’in, West Bank—On the evening of Dec. 10, the Israeli army kidnapped my 17-year-old nephew from our Palestinian village of Bil’in. It was a school night, and Abdel Khalik, a senior, had been preparing for his final exams. But instead of making it to class the next day, he has been held without trial, under military detention, joining the ranks of some 700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 who face a similar fate each year.

For our small farming village in the West Bank and countless others like it, this is not a new story. Five years ago, my Oscar-nominated documentary, “5 Broken Cameras,” showed how Israel’s 50-year military occupation had made Palestinian lives into mere targets for settlers and the soldiers who defend them. Although the film unfolds through the eyes of my 10-year-old son Gibreel, whose first words were “army” and “wall,” the story of Bil’in is ultimately the story of all Palestinians.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, contradicting half a century of international consensus about the illegal occupation there, hundreds of Palestinians have been abducted by Israeli forces. Hundreds more have been injured, including by steel-coated rubber bullets fired at unarmed demonstrators. And thousands more have been trapped behind military checkpoints, unable to get to school or work in neighboring towns and villages.

These are not abstract numbers. Like Palestinian parents everywhere in the occupied territories, I must contend every day with the possibility that my own children, like their cousin next door, could be kidnapped on their way to school, the playground, or their friends’ homes. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, for example, released a video showing seven- and eight-year-old children crying hysterically as they were being dragged by armed Israeli soldiers to a military jeep.

When they saw scenes like that in my film, the Americans I met were horrified. Many said it had changed their perspective on the Palestinian struggle. And among those, many high profile voices—including actors, directors, and producers in Hollywood—promised to support us.

Some have. My friend Michael Moore, an early champion of the film, came to my defense when I was detained at LAX en route to the Oscars. The actor Mark Ruffalo has been outspoken about the human suffering caused by Israel’s successive wars on Gaza. Alia Shawkat recently tweeted that “Palestine will not be forgotten.” Their principled stand echoes that of many famous athletes, musicians, and even U.S. lawmakers who have spoken out against Israel’s occupation.

But I know that Americans, especially in Hollywood, can do more.

In the apartheid era, the film industry was at the vanguard of efforts to boycott the South African regime. Popular films like Cry Freedom helped raise awareness about the plight of black South Africans, casting such big-name actors as Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline. These cinematic portrayals were backed by bold advocacy, bringing out the best in Hollywood and foreshadowing later efforts to shed light on other social justice causes (Leonardo di Caprio’s Blood Diamond is a personal favorite).

These were not publicity stunts. The actors I met at the Oscars understand that, with fame, comes the opportunity to shape public perceptions on issues that matter. In Palestine, more than 10,000 children have been arrested, detained, interrogated, and sometimes tortured by an Israeli military that has too long enjoyed impunity and even lavish praise in Hollywood. It is time for that to change.

Like those struggling against apartheid before us, Palestinians don’t need celebrities to come to our rescue. But as we fight for our children and our rights, Hollywood’s vocal support—the kind I heard behind-the-scenes at the Oscars—will make the road to peace shorter and help bring children like Abdel Khalik home.

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Like It Did for South Africa, U.S. Film Industry Must Act on Palestinian Rights

Trump is Determined to Provoke War ‘VIDEO’

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David Cay Johnston: Trump is Determined to Provoke War to Draw Focus from Racist & Erratic Behavior

The New York Times reports that the Pentagon is proposing widening the permissible use of nuclear weapons to include responding to cyberattacks and other non-nuclear attacks to U.S. infrastructure. The Pentagon has already outlined this expanded nuclear strategy in a draft document sent to President Trump for approval. It comes amid a series of moves by the Pentagon and President Trump that have escalated the threat of nuclear war. The Wall Street Journal reports the Pentagon is planning to develop two new sea-based nuclear weapons. The New York Times also reports the Pentagon is conducting a series of war games to prepare for a potential war with North Korea. DN! speaks to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has been covering Donald Trump for nearly 30 years. His latest book is just out, titled “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.”

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Why tobacco is legal, but cannabis is not?

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NOAM CHOMSKY HAS A THEORY
CANNABIS IS THE “SOLAR ENERGY” OF PLANTS

In the 1700s, cannabis and tobacco were both regularly grown crops.

In the 1800s, the same.

In the earliest part of the 1900s, the same.

Cannabis was to use to make rope and clothe and a new method for making it into paper was invented. It was also used – in tincture form, not smoked – as a medicine.

And then, after Prohibition was repealed, it was made illegal and became the biggest make-work program for cops and prison guards imaginable.

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Contextualising sexual harassment

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Sexual harassment

By Lawrence Davidson

Primitive instincts

Sigmund Freud published his book Civilisation and Its Discontents in 1930. Having witnessed World War I, Freud knew that discontent was part and parcel of the human condition. The question he sought to answer was why that was so.

The short answer he came up with goes like this:

Human beings have instinctual drives such as sex and violent aggression – expressions of the identity. Left unchecked they would destroy any hope of settled life and high culture. According to Freud, civilisation is the vehicle humans have created to control these inherent drives. Civilisation and its various component cultures create rules and regulations – as well as feelings of remorse and guilt (expressions of a culturally attuned superego) – that result in either suppression or sublimation of these primitive drives.

However, the results are not perfect, especially when it comes to controlling violent aggression. Indeed, as a consequence of the mass slaughter that was World War I, Freud came to the conclusion that human beings have a deep and permanent “death wish”. Even at less drastic levels of aggression, most societies experience frequent episodes of domestic violence, and a high degree of across-the-board neuroses.

In the Freudian scheme, control of the instinctual sexual drive (itself another form of aggression) is supposed to be a bit easier. Eros can be sublimated into the creation of beauty (art) as well as various intellectual achievements. Yet here too, what has evolved are imperfect controls, especially when encapsulated in cultures that promote male domination.

If one does not like Freud’s ideas, the whole issue of the activation and control of aggression and sex can be looked at in terms of brain function. In other words, our brains have evolved to promote survival and reproduction – originally in the pre-state, pre-tribal primate bands of distant prehistory. These tasks involve multiple parts of the cortex and amygdala, thalamus and hypothalamus, and so forth. There is one area of the brain that is particularly important in keeping instinct from running amok – the prefrontal cortex. Slow to mature (it is not fully on line until one’s mid-twenties) it is this part of the brain that exercises “executive function”. It encourages you “to do the right, though perhaps harder, thing”.

The role of culture

Despite the fact that the physical manner in which most individuals experience these primitive and instinctual drives is similar, culture makes a difference in how aggression and sexual urges are expressed. For instance, most of the world’s cultures are patriarchal. That is, they overtly assign authority, both in the public and private realms, to men. Men are supposed to exercise that authority within the confines of their culture’s rules and regulations. Sometimes these are relatively strict, damping down the “macho” impulses that rationalise aggressive physical and sexual behaviour. More often they condone or even encourage “macho”.

Keep in mind that the assignment of authority is the assignment of power, and power is the ability to act with aggression. Thus, in a patriarchy, it is with men that the issue of control is most immediate. If there are not sufficient mechanisms within such cultures that identify specific aggressive behaviour as unacceptable, or promote public shaming, or just generate a heck of a lot of remorse and guilt, you are going to have high degree male recklessness – everything from schoolyard bullying to criminal violence, as well as the sexual “acting out” we now see as not just rape, but also sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment as a worldwide problem

The common definition of sexual harassment is as follows: “uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (such as an employee or student)”. The legal definition in the US pertains chiefly to the workplace, where the unwelcome approach has the connotation of blackmail – something like, “Do this with me or you won’t get promoted.” There are also a myriad number of state and local laws that cover a wide range of situations. Many of these have been on the books only since the 1960s and, unfortunately, are not uniformly enforced.

It is hard to get exact numbers unless you start adding up the results of hundreds of surveys and polls that address the whole range of harassment-related situations. And these only give you the approximate numbers of reported incidents. Time Magazine had a series of particularly scandalous cases at Cornell and Harvard Universities in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and came up with an estimate that “as many as 18 million American females were harassed sexually while at work in 1979 and 1980”.

If this estimate is anywhere near accurate, the problem of sexual harassment has to be huge. We know it can’t be just a US problem. It has to be a worldwide phenomenon.

Sad to say, such a horrid diagnosis should not be surprising if sexual aggression stems from evolution-based drives and societal accommodation to this primal instinct through the encouragement of machismo male characteristics.

What to do?

If in nothing else, Freud was correct in seeing that culture is, albeit imperfectly, our only plausible line of defence. It takes on this role by serving as a guide for the prefrontal cortex – a guide to the “right, though harder, thing to do”. The problem is that, to date, patriarchal cultures have not defined the protection of the subordinate gender as a necessarily “right” thing. They are more interested in directing male aggression into pathways compatible with patriarchal power structures. In other words, the guide is corrupt.

Although this is the way it is, it is not the way it has to be. It is possible to reshape cultural concepts. For better or worse, religions and empowered ideologies have been doing this for a long time. However, their targets have not been male aggression, sexual or otherwise.

But now we may have a window of time when this important subject can be rethought – rethought to the end of improving the cultural assistance given to the mature prefrontal cortex. Along these lines, here are some potential steps to consider. All should be pursued in a non-ideological way. Let’s keep religion and politics out of these efforts, and let science and evolutionary awareness be our tutors.

— Educate both men and women about the nature of the primitive instincts they are subject to. As it is, most individuals grow up without having a clue about what they are experiencing. Explain the need to manage these instinctual urges in reasonable ways. Explain that this means maintaining responsible cultural values.

— Sexual egalitarianism should be implemented by law and then taught as “what is right” from kindergarten through college. The gender biases inherent in patriarchy should be seen as part of an unfortunate past history – like racism.

— Devise instructional lessons to prepare young folks for serious relationships and marriage based on egalitarian principles. Such lessons should be at least as detailed as those needed to get a driver’s license.

— Use the media to create a popular cultural environment that strongly condemns sexual harassment and other forms of aggression. The media should encourage serious remorse among bullies and harassers.

Conclusion

Do these suggestions sound like some civil authority should be allowed to shape how we think? Sorry, but in every culture, past and present, something like that has always been the case. You can also safely assume that those primitive instincts have always been playing with your mind.

And what have all the age-old, status quo cultural rules brought us so far? Civilisation? Well, perhaps. But it is a civilisation that still suffers periodic outbreaks of aggressive violence and rationalises a tradition of unwanted sexual behaviour abetted by patriarchal values. Not surprisingly, current laws, as they reflect the current state of culture, haven’t been very effective in holding either form of aggression back.

Now that the sexual harassment genie seems to have escaped the bottle, we can see the problem more clearly. It’s time to pursue serious culture renovation – to take on those primitive instincts and thoughtfully develop better, non-doctrinaire cultural ways to manage them. One thing is for sure, they are not going to go away on their own.

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Quit lying to us about Nazi-Palestinian “peace process”

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Quit lying to us about Israeli-Palestinian “peace process”
US-UK-Israel conspiracy against Palestine

Face the truth: Israel won’t willingly return the lands and resources it has stolen unless slapped with tough, sustained sanctions. Civil society in the US and UK must end the conspiracy among their warped government “élites” that makes a mockery of international law.

By Stuart Littlewood

It goes something like this:

Listen up, you wretched Palestinians. There’s no way you’re getting your lands back, or a state of your own, because that would make our Zionist buddies feel upset and insecure. And you know how their security matters above everyone else’s. Besides, God told them they could grab your land and kick you out even if they don’t really have any ancestral connection to it. So, you rabble don’t belong here. And you might as well know that we support them 100 per cent in their efforts to make life so f*cking unbearable that you all piss off somewhere else – and we don’t care where – just as long as our beloved friends get their hands on your farms and homes and resources. Naturally, we’ve suspended your human rights, and international law simply isn’t available to you.

You don’t like being shafted? Tough. Learn to accept it. Bow down to those who are favoured by God, as we have done. (Signed: US and UK, adoring sponsors of God’s Rogue Regime.)

That, essentially, has been the West’s attitude for the last 50 years. And, if we don’t change it, that’s how it will for another 50, by which time Israel will rule the Middle East and possibly beyond.

Life for the Palestinians hasn’t improved. It has only got worse under the tyranny of Israel’s military occupation. And throughout that time the performance of their representatives to the outside world, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation), has been chronic, verging on useless. Thanks in part to the Palestinian leadership’s diplomatic ineptitude and quisling tendencies Israel has been able to expand its frontiers and flourish far more than it had any right to.

By 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu felt untouchable enough to say that if he was returned to power, a Palestinian state would not be established because handing back territory would threaten Israel’s security.

And in August 2017 he announced that Israel would keep the West Bank permanently and there would be no more uprooting of settlements: “We are here to stay forever… This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land.”

Netanyahu’s ancestors, by the way, are from – where? And the rest of the thugs in his administration – where do their roots lie? Few if any can show ancestral links to the Biblical lands they claim are theirs. The true inheritors, of course, are the Palestinian peoples who have been there since the days when Jerusalem was a Canaanite city.

Netanyahu’s position echoes his Likud Party’s stance back in 1999 and 2009, so Western politicians should be well acquainted with it. To remind them, David Morrison has produced a neat analysis of Israel’s unchanging position:

  • “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River.”
  • “The Jordan Valley and the territories that dominate it shall be under Israeli sovereignty. The Jordan River will be the permanent eastern border of the state of Israel.”
  • “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the state of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
  • “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realisation of Zionist values [written before Israel removed its troops]. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defence of the vital interests of the state of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

Likud’s message still stands. Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister and second only in ranking to Netanyahu, told Israeli diplomats in 2015 that “we need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country…. This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that.” She rattled on about God having promised the land of Israel to the Jews and how she was going to get the international community to “recognise Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their homeland, everywhere”.

Zionist leaders before Netanyahu broadcast their fraudulent claims to the land and bragged about their plan to seize it. Their evil intent has been well advertised. Even if Netanyahu wanted a two-state solution he would be opposed by his own party and the five others making up his ruling coalition, virtually all of which stand against Palestinians having a state of their own.

Israel’s bad behaviour richly rewarded

As David Morrison and others have repeatedly pointed out, the UN Security Council has never applied sanctions against Israel to force a reversal of its illegal land grab. Instead of punishing the regime for its 50 years of terror, the US, UK and EU have showered it with privileges.

Since 1967, the US has handed Israel well over $100 billion in mostly military aid and provided political and diplomatic cover by vetoing resolutions critical of it in the UN Security Council. Obama before he left office guaranteed Israel a further $38 billion in military aid over the next ten years.

Hard-pressed American taxpayers still don’t seem to have grasped this misappropriation of their funds or they’d surely be angry enough to stop it.

The EU for its part allowed Israel to sign up to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in 1995 and gave it privileged access to EU markets under the EU-Israel Association Agreement of 2000, even though it breached the basic terms of membership from the start and continues to do so. So, there are no painful consequences for Israel’s bad behaviour, just rich rewards.

Maintaining the illusion of a peace process

The peace process is, of course, a sham. Anyone who believes in it is hallucinating. But to perpetuate the cruel illusion Netanyahu offers an occasional glimmer of hope for a “negotiated” settlement provided there are no awkward preconditions. In any event he will ensure the talks go nowhere, just as he has done many times before, aided and abetted by discredited “peace broker” America and always blaming the Palestinians. It is patently obvious that Israel and the US (and indeed the UK) conspire to keep the idea of a peace process alive in order to provide a smoke-screen while Israel continues its expansionist policy and establishes more “facts on the ground” designed to make its occupation irreversible.

The former UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said two years ago: “The United Nations is committed to working to create the conditions for the parties to return to meaningful negotiations. That is the one and only path to a just and lasting solution – an end to the occupation that began in 1967…”

First, “meaningful negotiations” simply aren’t going to happen; and if they do they’ll lead nowhere as before. Besides, negotiations between a strong party backed by mighty powers and a weak demoralised party are unlikely to produce a “just” solution. Second, it is not “the only path”. There’s law and sanctions. And the law has already spoken. All that’s needed is the integrity and guts to enforce it. Nothing will change until the UN – or a significant section of the international community – rises to the moral challenge and enforces international law and the many resolutions relating to Israel’s crimes, and slaps Israel with severe sanctions until it complies. As long as it does nothing the UN is seen to be in on the conspiracy too.

The British government knows the facts. So what on earth was Ambassador Peter Wilson, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, thinking when he recently addressed the Security Council briefing on the Middle East peace process?

Support for a two-state solution is the only way to ensure a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… The United Kingdom’s longstanding position on the Middle East peace process remains clear and unchanged: we support a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state; based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for refugees.

Theresa May has all her ministers and MPs mouthing and writing the same tosh, as did her predecessors. It isn’t difficult given that 80 per cent of them are reported to be signed-up Friends of Israel. We watched their grovelling worship of the rogue regime – and of the arch-criminal Netanyahu – at the Balfour centenary celebrations in London. Wilson added:

The leadership and engagement that President Trump and his administration have demonstrated in reinvigorating the Middle East peace process must have our support. We call on the region, Israelis, and Palestinians to seize the opportunity that this presents and turn 2017 not just into another anniversary of occupation, but a new anniversary of peace.

Well, we’ve seen Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop leadership at work, gifting Jerusalem to Israel, and what that did for peace.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an organisation not given to exaggeration, reacted by reminding everybody that acquiring or annexing territory is prohibited under international law, and the US is disregarding the international community’s long-standing position of not recognising Israel’s unlawful annexation of East Jerusalem. Recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is tantamount to condoning annexation and the occupation. Furthermore, Israel, as the occupying power, is prohibited from forcibly transferring Palestinians out of their homes in Jerusalem. Israel disregards this with its programme of evictions, home demolitions and residency revocations. It said:

The US administration’s declaration risks condoning these practices and other violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory that NRC witnesses daily… The international community should insist on respect for international law and the enforcement of existing UN resolutions, while governments should use their influence to hold those responsible for violations to account.

Unfortunately, respect for international law, enforcing UN resolutions and applying sanctions are not part of the US-UK tool kit unless directed against Iran and Israel’s other enemies.

So, as David Morrison warns, it looks as if “today’s Palestinian children will still be living under occupation when they are grandparents”.

And we as a nation will never be able to hold our heads up on account of the humiliation we heaped on them.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Quit lying to us about Nazi-Palestinian “peace process”

2017 Was the Year of Women’s Rebellion

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Adelina Marini

From the Istanbul Convention to Hollywood and Europe, the road was terribly long and winding, but the year 2017 showed that light was already visible in the tunnel, and it seemed to have reached a tipping point. For decades, public figures, politicians, governments, organizations and the media have fought a fierce battle against domestic violence, but last year, a huge wave of female dissatisfaction, even a tsunami, has begun to emerge as a powerful impetus for efforts all over the world. However, the biggest clash of values ​​is in Europe on several fronts, all of which are part of the resistance to the advancement of illiberalism and conservative revolutions in many parts of the European Union.

In the EU, for many years, gender equality and the fight against domestic violence have been major priorities, but so far they have sounded like something too remote, as an institutional campaign that has nothing to do with member states. And during this time, one out of every three women in the EU has been a victim of physical or sexual violence, and sometimes both. More than half of all women have suffered a sexual harassment after the age of 15. Some Member States offer different protection options and are quite advanced, but in others the situation is even primitive, including in terms of attitudes in society. And, ultimately, the suffering of thousands of young women and mothers remains trapped, just like women themselves, in the black chronicles of newspapers and police statistics if they even are registered.

Under the guidance of a brave woman, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová (Czech Republic, ALDE), who admitted in 2017 that she was a victim of domestic violence, the European Commission proposed on 4 March 2016 that the EU  join the International Convention for Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, adopted in Istanbul in 2011. Ms Věra Jourová then pointed out that the aim of the proposal is to send a clear signal that Europe is the place where victims of violence can feel protected. After presenting the statistics on the number of women victims of violence, she said: “These figures are unacceptable and this goes against our values“.

The main message of the international document is that violence against women is a violation of human rights. By ratifying it, member states commit to criminalize violence against women, which should include all forms of violence, like psychological, sexual, forced marriages, abortion, sterilization, stalking, rape and others. By ratifying the Convention, member states are committed to providing shelter for victims, equally distributed across the territories of the member states; to provide 24/7 hotlines for providing assistance; to work to change stereotypes at an early stage of education so that the problem of violence against women and gender stereotyping is eradicated by the change of generations.

With its proposal for the EU as a whole to ratify the Convention, the Commission has set itself a number of other objectives, one of the most important of which is data collection. There is currently insufficient data to show the scale and nature of violence against women. The Convention will oblige governments to start gathering and sending accurate and comparable data to Eurostat in order to better understand the problem and find a good solution accordingly. Furthermore, the EU hopes that this will achieve better accountability for the EU at international level, which will strengthen the Union’s role in combating gender-based violence on the international stage. This is important for the Union, which over the years has built an international image of an organization that defends human rights and fights for their promotion.

In the eye of the civilization clash

At the time of submitting the Commission’s proposal, 12 member states had already ratified the Convention – Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. Thirteen member states had not ratified it but had signed it. It took more than a year for the Council to decide on the signing of the Convention and, therefore, for a commitment to ratification. This happened during the presidency of Malta on 11 May 2017. “Violence against women is a violation of human rights and an extreme form of discrimination,” said then Maltese Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dali.

On June 13 last year, the Convention was formally signed on behalf of the EU by EU Commissioner Věra Jourová and Malta’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Joseph Filletti. The signing of the Convention on behalf of the EU was only the first step of the Community’s accession to the document. It is now necessary to adopt decisions that have to be agreed with the European Parliament. A process that will surely take time. After taking over the presidency from Malta, Estonia also ratified the document on October 26th. On January 1, Bulgaria’s presidency began, but the country has not yet ratified the document, and the debate in society reached the lowest level of primacy in the very first days of the presidency.

The topic of ratification of the document was on the agenda of the first meeting of the Bulgarian government this year, but revealed a deep division between the coalition partners. As a result, 8 ministers voted against the document. The arguments of the two deputy prime ministers of the nationalist and xenophobic Patriotic Front coalition, Krasimir Karakachanov, who is also a defense minister, and Valery Simeonov, responsible for economic and demographic policy, are that the Convention opens the way for sexual perversion. According to Mr Karakachanov, the convention imposes the vision of a “third sex” and his colleague Valery Simeonov added that “it is possible to introduce such panels and texts in the education that explain to the children that they are not him or her but that they are it“.

Two women from the third cabinet of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov bravely stood in defense of the Convention – Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva and Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva. For Ekaterina Zaharieva this has become a cause since the debate began. “Unfortunately, I think it is a false impression – the convention is for protection against domestic violence, and the texts in it for early childhood education provide for the creation of tolerance between men and women, the breaking of stereotypes in some countries that the woman may be subjected to domestic violence and this is considered to be normal,” Ms Zaharieva said during the government meeting, according to a shorthand published in several media outlets.

The document was adopted with the requirement to remove “loanwords” that create gender concerns and to add interpretative texts. Media, however, continue to stir up a fierce debate, revolving entirely on the so-called third sex, as the leader of the parliamentary group of the Patriotic Front, Volen Siderov, quite openly admitted that the problem is not in the third sex but in the fact that the very institution of marriage is being attacked directly. According to him, the convention allows the wife to complain that she has had sex with her legal husband without her consent, and on the basis he can become a defendant. “And she is marrying him because of that. If she does not then she can divorce,” said the politician, who is known for his frequent outbursts of violence in public, including against journalists.

Society in Bulgaria was shocked last year by the brutal murder of three young women by their former partners. However, the government continues to be apathetic to the problem.

There is also a toxic debate going on in Croatia that revolves around the so-called “gender ideology” – essentially the same concerns as in the Bulgarian case, but other terminology is used. Prime Minister Andrej Plenković had promised that the convention would be ratified by the end of 2017, but the document never reached the government’s agenda. Criticism of the Convention comes from the ultraconservative movement In the Name of Family, that a few years ago managed to collect signatures for a referendum, with which to be written explicitly in the Constitution that marriage is a union only between men and women. The referendum passed successfully for the movement that already has its party, and it is said to be supported by the Church in Croatia, where sharp criticism of the convention also often comes from.

The struggle against the convention is part of the unceasing attempts of the right-wing forces to carry out a conservative revolution after the model of Poland and Hungary, among which are additional ideologisation of education, strengthening of religion in schools, and resistance even against the infiltration of computer science in curricula. Education has, moreover, been the occasion for some of the most massive protests in Croatia’s recent history. They are an expression of the resistance to the conservative revolution.

There are supporters of the conservative revolution also within the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, which Andrej Plenković has promised to change with his coming to power at the head of the party and after winning the snap elections. However, since he is in power, he not only fails to reform the party, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that the party will either change him or throw him away. One of the most scandalous cases last year was with HDZ district governor Alojz Tomašević, whose wife revealed he had been systematically subjected to physical and psychological violence from him. Although Prime MinisterPlenković urged the governor to resign, Tomašević decided to leave HDZ but said he will remain governor.

This case is often used by government critics saying that HDZ actually protects domestic violence and therefore is protracting the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. The most voiced is former prime minister Jadranka Kosor, who was evicted from the HDZ by former party leader Tomislav Karamarko, during whose tenure the HDZ turned into an extreme right party and embraceddeep conservatism. Mrs Kosor comments on Twitter on a daily basis the case of the governor and the inaction of the government. One of her colorful tweets reads: “He who beats his wife is not influential: neither a lawyer nor a doctor, nor a professor, a doctor, a locksmith, a glassmaker, an academician, a minister, a governor, a member of any party. He who beats his wife is a coward and nothing else. Nobody and nothing“.

And after the New Year Eve, Jadranka Kosor did not fail to point out that “a second day after New Years nobody has mentioned the wife of the governor and the other beaten women, and how much beating they took during the celebrations. Let us not forget them this year, and demand a ratification of the Istanbul Convention, at least on Twitter, no matter how much unimportant they say it is“, said one of her tweets after the New Years celebrations.

Poland, where the conservative revolution is already well advanced, has been able to ratify the convention before the Law and Justice party came to power. It is not a matter of coincidence that all these conservative governments are working very quickly to undermine the rule of law, attack media, and in fact sell illiberalism as an alternative. This is, at the moment, the biggest challenge for the EU, as its Treaty explicitly lists the values ​​on which it is built: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. “These values ​​are common to the member states in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between men and women prevail,” says Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Hollywood led the fight

About the speed with which illiberalism is advancing, especially since Donald Trump became President of the United States, speaks the tremendous success of the television adaptation of the dystopian book “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. The crushingly good Hulu series of the same name led to a sharp rise in the sales of Margaret Atwood’s book, which was actually published in 1985. The series inspired protests in Zagreb and Split against the non-ratification of the Istanbul Convention, organized by several women’s organizations. Women dressed in the red dresses of the handmaids in the series stood before the Croatian parliament in the autumn of 2017, insisting that the document be ratified. The book is still in the most visible places in Croatian bookstores carrying the message “Read while it is still allowed“. It also has a slightly different title – instead of “maid”, the word “obedients” is used in the Croatian translation.

The dystopia, which Margaret Atwood describes in her novel, and which has been recreated in a particularly influential way in the  Hulu series, is actually already dangerously close to reality in some parts of the world. It is not an unrealistic possibility even in Europe if conservative revolutions are not stopped. The show was broadcast in the spring of 2017, and only a few months later, Hollywood was shaken by the most devastating scandal of all time, passing through with the “Me too” hashtag (#metoo). Several actresses for the first time publicly admitted that they had been sexually harassed by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. This unleashed a wave of revelations that showed the monstrous scale of the problem of violence against women far beyond Hollywood.

The wave has plunged even the European institutions, after several major media outlets revealed that women have been sexually abused in all the Union’s institutions, which has written in its treaty that gender equality is one of its core values.  This has severely hit the image of the EU and shows that the longer the Union takes with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, the more the Union becomes an accomplice in the suppression of the female sex.

And as if to avoid the entirely realistic opportunity of silencing the “Me too” campaign by gradually shifting to other no less important problems of mankind, this year’s Golden Globes Awards are a strong wind in the sails of the Istanbul Convention. “The Handmaid’s Tale” received the award in the “Best Television Series – Drama” category, and actress Elizabeth Moss, who played the character of the main heroine, received the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama. Nicole Kidman received a Golden Globe for her brilliant role in the miniseries “Big Little Lies”, whose screenplay is an extremely accurate illustration of the problem of domestic violence, its roots and severe consequences.

The icing on the cake of the Golden Globes ceremony this year was the speech of media star Oprah Winfrey, devoted entirely to the “Me too” campaign and the fight for equality for women.

Hollywood is a powerful tool for changing public attitudes. Once, the industry forced the macho, the cowboy, the Italian mafia guy to act as role models for men. Whole generations grew up with films like The Godfather. Hollywood has successfully fought against racial discrimination, cigarettes and alcohol, and has recently imposed the same-sex love as something quite normal. Certainly after this year’s Golden Globes Awards, which are often a harbinger for the Oscars, Hollywood will lead in the fight to impose gender equality as a public norm and example to educate future generations. The struggle, however, should not only remain in Hollywood’s hands. After all, let’s not forget that violence against women is a violation of human rights.

Posted in EuropeComments Off on 2017 Was the Year of Women’s Rebellion

The Hague Tribunal: Only the Serbs are Prosecuted, KLA and Croatian War Crimes Ignored

Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world! 

That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).

No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing action of the entire war occurred in the wake of Operation Storm, when 200,000 Serbs were removed from the territories of Serbian Krajina to create the homogenous Croatia we have today. Croatia’s wartime leader Tudjman died peacefully and was buried with full honors and with no protests from the West.

hague-double-standards

It’s hard to think of an ethnic group, barring the Jews and possibly the Armenians, that has had a more traumatic 20th century. 25% of Serbians died in World War I. Another 25% died again in WW2 at the hands of the Nazis’ rabid hounds, the Ustaše. They were then incorporated into a federal state headed by an ethnic Croat whose internal divisions stranded many Serbs outside of Serbia’s borders. When in the wake of Yugoslavia’s collapse those stranded Serbs took up arms to defend themselves against revived nationalisms in Croatia and Bosnia – and ultimately, in their own country, against the metastasized Molenbeek that was Kosovo – they were steadily pushed back to their bombed out heartlands, unable to mount a sustained resistance against the Clinton clique’s sponsorship of the Croats and the Kosovars, cowardly betrayals from the Yeltsin regime in Russia, and the vaccilating Milosevic himself, always seeking to make deals with the “Western partners” (he only wised up to the fact that you can never trust the West by the time he was on the dock).

To round it all off, it was Serbia that had to send all its wartime leaders and generals off to the absolutely fair and impartial judgments of the Hague Tribunal – so fair and impartial that three times as many Serbs received prison sentences than all the other combatant parties combined – to be sacrificed on the altar of promised Euro-Atlantic integration.

A promise that now rings as almost completely hollow, the only result since then being the accession of Croatia to the EU, while Serbia has continued falling apart with the loss of Montenegro. And as of today, it is increasingly clear that the only additional peoples the EU is interested in integrating – or trying to, anyway – are young male Muslim refugees.

But not all hope is yet lost.

Perhaps Karadzic will eventually be seen not as the last knight of a dying order, but as one of the first heralds of a new dawn. It was NATO’s attack on Serbia more than anything else that lifted Russia from its blind-drunk 1990s pro-Western stupor, and it has become more and more active at countering further Western designs on its territories – in Crimea and Novorossiya, and in the sovereign state of Syria. The pushback against the globalist cabal will continue and this time Serbia will no longer be alone should it rejoin the struggle.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Karadzic, despite his advanced age, will live long enough to see the wrongs done unto his people this past century avenged and to set foot one last time on a liberated Serbia.

Posted in Croatia, SerbiaComments Off on The Hague Tribunal: Only the Serbs are Prosecuted, KLA and Croatian War Crimes Ignored

Syria’s Kurdish Led SDF: “Border Force” or “Terror Army”?

The US announced that it will train a 30,000-strong “border force” of the Kurdish-led SDF in Northern Syria in a controversial move that was immediately slammed by Turkey as the creation of a “terror army”. President Erdogan has long been opposed to the establishment of a de-facto Kurdish statelet along his country’s southern border, and the US strategy is playing right into his greatest fears. Speaking to his supporters earlier this week, he bellowed that “a country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders. What can that terror army target but Turkey? Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.”

Syrian Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad stated that the US-Kurdish move “is an attempt to divide Syria and prolong the crisis in the country”, and President Assad had previously claimed that Kurdish and other forces who cooperate with the Americans are “traitors”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters during a large press conference that “this causes serious questions, concerning the maintenance of Syria’s territorial integrity”, though reaffirming that the Kurds are still an integral part of the Syrian nation and will nevertheless be represented in some capacity or another at the upcoming Sochi Summit at the end of the month.

The US is coy about its true intentions in building up a massive force that’s expected to be almost 50% larger than its own Border Patrol at home and deployed along the much geographically smaller area of the Turkish border and the so-called “deconfliction line” with the Syrian Arab Army in the Euphrates River Valley, but some observers are seriously concerned that Washington is trying to transform this anti-terrorist militia into a competent anti-state conventional fighting force, pointing to the large amount of weapons and equipment that they’ve received over the past couple of years. Most alarmingly, however, and in a move that could confirm these suspicions, reports have recently piled in that the US secretly gave MANPAD anti-air missiles to the Kurds, which if true would prove that they’re indeed capable of becoming an anti-state threat, whether to the Syrians, the Turks, or possibly even the Russians.

The Kurdish issue thus risks becoming the first post-Daesh crisis in Syria for this very reason, made all the more urgently important because of Turkey’s threats to eliminate the problem before it matures, and all eyes are on President Erdogan to see if he’ll make a move on the northwestern region of Afrin in the two weeks prior to the upcoming Sochi Summit and inadvertently risk subverting it, which might be exactly what the Americans are trying to tempt him into doing.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Syria’s Kurdish Led SDF: “Border Force” or “Terror Army”?

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