Archive | February 6th, 2018

The Genesis of Nazi Violence

NOVANEWS
In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence

16-year-old Ahed Tamimi (l) protests before Israeli occupation troops in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah, after a May 12, 2016 demonstration following Friday prayers in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. On Dec. 19, 2017 she was arrested after she slapped an Israel soldier invading her home. (ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2018, pp. 10-11

From the Diaspora

By Ramzy Baroud

NOT A DAY passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.

Just recently, Israel’s minister of agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well,” he said.

Ariel’s calling for the killing of more Palestinians came on the heels of other repugnant statements concerning a 16-year-old teenage girl, Ahed Tamimi. Ahed was arrested in a violent Israeli army raid at her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A video recording showed her slapping an Israeli soldier a day after the Israeli army shot her cousin in the head, placing him in a coma.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison.”

A prominent Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, sought yet more punishment. He suggested that Ahed and girls like her should be raped in jail.

“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras,” he wrote in Hebrew.

This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.

Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett and Caspit are not angry statements uttered in a moment of rage. They are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for more than 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.

This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappé describes as “incremental genocide.”

Throughout this long legacy, little has changed except for names and titles. The Zionist militias that orchestrated the genocide of the Palestinians prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948 merged together to form the Israeli army; and the leaders of these groups became Israel’s leaders.

Israel’s violent birth in 1947-’48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years. It was the time when Zionist teachings of prior years were put into practice, and the outcome was simply horrifying.

“The tactic of isolating and attacking a certain village or town and executing its population in a horrible, indiscriminate massacre was a strategy employed, time and again, by Zionist bands to compel the population of surrounding villages and towns to flee,” Ahmad Al-Haaj told me when I asked him to reflect on Israel’s past and present.

Al-Haaj is a Palestinian historian and an expert on the Nakba, the “Catastrophe” that had befallen Palestinians in 1948.

The 85-year-old intellectual’s proficiency in the subject began 70 years ago, when, as a 15-year-old, he witnessed the massacre of Beit Daras at the hands of the Jewish Haganah militia.

The destruction of the southern Palestinian village and the killing of dozens of its inhabitants resulted in the depopulation of many adjacent villages, including al-Sawafir, Al-Haaj’s home village.

“The notorious Deir Yassin massacre was the first example of such wanton killing, a model that was duplicated in other parts of Palestine,” Al-Haaj said.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the time was orchestrated by several Zionist militias. The mainstream Jewish militia was the Haganah, which belonged to the Jewish Agency.

The latter functioned as a semi-government, under the auspices of the British Mandate government, while the Haganah served as its army.

However, other breakaway groups also operated according to their own agenda. Two leading bands among them were the Irgun (National Military Organization) and Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang). These groups carried out numerous terrorist attacks, including bus bombings and targeted assassinations.

Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

“Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest,” Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

The intrinsic link between words and actions remains unchanged.

Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became prime minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatila in 1982.

Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

Shamir served as the prime minister of Israel from 1983 to 84 and 1986 to 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as prime minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly nonviolent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.


 

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How They Do It– Why Did Adolf Hitler Hate the Jews?

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by: TUT

Although much of Adolf Hitler’s political manifesto, ‘Mein Kampf,’ was devoted to explaining that hatred, researchers have looked for a more personal explanation.

ed note–while we are at it, let’s ask other relevant questions as well–

Why did Pharaoh and the Egyptians ‘hate the Jews’?

Why did the Amelekites ‘hate the Jews’?

Why did the Phillistines ‘hate the Jews’?

Dittos with the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Turks, Armenians, English, Scottish, Irish, Icelanders, Scandinavians, Swedish, Finnish, Russians, French, Canadians, Argentines, Spanish, Portuguese, and even the Martians who–after making an impromptu visit to earth and running into some of ‘GAAAWD’S Chosen people’, ran at break-neck speed back to their spacecraft and got the hell out of here as quickly as possible.

‘Anti-Semitism’ as it is incorrectly termed, has been around since both the birth of Judaism and its inevitable by-product–obnoxious, arrogant, dishonest, and violent Judaic anti-Gentile behavior. What’s worse is that the Jews as a people have had 4,000 years to arrive at a very simple (and one might say inescapable) answer to a very simple question that requires the same amount of time in answering as it takes to read the instruction label on a role of toilet paper, but for reasons rooted in nurturing and coddling both their persecution and superiority complex, simply refuse to do it.

What’s worse is that Gentiles refuse to do it as well, and particularly those of a certain ‘Christian’ species who continue to doggedly adhere to the notion concerning what the Jews themselves believe about their being superior, better, and ‘chosen’.

And in the meantime, mankind continues to hurtle at breakneck speed towards its own destruction as a result of the unwillingness on the part of so many to deal rationally with this very easy-to-grasp ‘question’.

Please note the ridiculous lengths to which our esteemed Hebraic author goes in formulating his circular question and answer session, where everyone and everything is listed as a possible factor in ‘splaining’ Hitler’s visceral, allergic reaction to the Jews as a group except the one factor that tells the whole story in a mere 2 words–Judaic behavior–and not just in the 20th century, but indeed, going all the way back to the story told in the book of Genesis where Abraham and Sarah are kicked out of Egypt due to their ‘treachery’.

Haaretz

One can’t consider the Holocaust without wondering about the source of Adolf Hitler’s hatred for the Jews. Although much of his political manifesto, Mein Kampf, was devoted to explaining that hatred, which was clearly shared by an enthusiastic German nation, the actions taken against Europe’s Jews were so monstrous in both nature and scale that it was inevitable that researchers would look for a more personal explanation. Its natural that scholars and others would scrutinize every piece of available evidence for proof of some deeply personal psychological injury that will explain Hitler.

Illegitimate father

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Germany0 Comments

Our Enemy, Ourselves: Ten Common-Sense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War

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By William J. AstoreTomDispatch 

Activists display signs during a protest against US military action in Syria on April 8, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue)
Activists display signs during a protest against US military action in Syria on April 8, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue)

Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the US military is engaged globally. A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countries helps enable its wars and interventions. By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained. Lady Liberty may temporarily close when the US government grinds to a halt, but the country’s foreign military commitments, especially its wars, just keep humming along.

As a student of history, I was warned to avoid the notion of inevitability. Still, given such data points and others like them, is there anything more predictable in this country’s future than incessant warfare without a true victory in sight? Indeed, the last clear-cut American victory, the last true “mission accomplished” moment in a war of any significance, came in 1945 with the end of World War II.

Yet the lack of clear victories since then seems to faze no one in Washington. In this century, presidents have regularly boasted that the US military is the finest fighting force in human history, while no less regularly demanding that the most powerful military in today’s world be “rebuilt” and funded at ever more staggering levels. Indeed, while on the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised he’d invest so much in the military that it would become “so big and so strong and so great, and it will be so powerful that I don’t think we’re ever going to have to use it.”

As soon as he took office, however, he promptly appointed a set of generals to key positions in his government, stored the mothballs, and went back to war. Here, then, is a brief rundown of the first year of his presidency in war terms.

In 2017, Afghanistan saw a mini-surge of roughly 4,000 additional US troops (with more to come), a major spike in air strikes, and an onslaught of munitions of all sorts, including MOAB (the mother of all bombs), the never-before-used largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal, as well as precision weapons fired by B-52s against suspected Taliban drug laboratories. By the Air Force’s own count, 4,361 weapons were “released” in Afghanistan in 2017 compared to 1,337 in 2016. Despite this commitment of warriors and weapons, the Afghan war remains — according to American commanders putting the best possible light on the situation — “stalemated,” with that country’s capital Kabul currently under siege.

How about Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State? US-led coalition forces have launched more than 10,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since Donald Trump became president, unleashing 39,577 weapons in 2017. (The figure for 2016 was 30,743.) The “caliphate” is now gone and ISIS deflated but not defeated, since you can’t extinguish an ideology solely with bombs. Meanwhile, along the Syrian-Turkish border a new conflict seems to be heating up between American-backed Kurdish forces and NATO ally Turkey.

Yet another strife-riven country, Yemen, witnessed a sixfold increase in US airstrikes against al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (from 21 in 2016 to more than 131 in 2017). In Somalia, which has also seen a rise in such strikes against al-Shabaab militants, US forces on the ground have reached numbers not seen since the Black Hawk Down incident of 1993. In each of these countries, there are yet more ruins, yet more civilian casualties, and yet more displaced people.

Finally, we come to North Korea. Though no real shots have yet been fired, rhetorical shots by two less-than-stable leaders, “Little Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un and “dotard” Donald Trump, raise the possibility of a regional bloodbath. Trump, seemingly favoring military solutions to North Korea’s nuclear program even as his administration touts a new generation of more usable nuclear warheads, has been remarkably successful in moving the world’s doomsday clock ever closer to midnight.

Clearly, his “great” and “powerful” military has hardly been standing idly on the sidelines looking “big” and “strong.” More than ever, in fact, it seems to be lashing out across the Greater Middle East and Africa. Seventeen years after the 9/11 attacks began the Global War on Terror, all of this represents an eerily familiar attempt by the US military to kill its way to victory, whether against the Taliban, ISIS, or other terrorist organizations.

This kinetic reality should surprise no one. Once you invest so much in your military — not just financially but also culturally (by continually celebrating it in a fashion which has come to seem like a quasi-faith) — it’s natural to want to put it to use. This has been true of all recent administrations, Democratic and Republican alike, as reflected in the infamous question Madeleine Albright posed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell in 1992: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

With the very word “peace” rarely in Washington’s political vocabulary, America’s never-ending version of war seems as inevitable as anything is likely to be in history. Significant contingents of US troops and contractors remain an enduring presence in Iraq and there are now 2,000 US Special Operations forces and other personnel in Syria for the long haul. They are ostensibly engaged in training and stability operations. In Washington, however, the urge for regime change in both Syria and Iran remains strong — in the case of Iran implacably so. If past is prologue, then considering previous regime-change operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, the future looks grim indeed.

Despite the dismal record of the last decade and a half, our civilian leaders continue to insist that this country must have a military not only second to none but globally dominant. And few here wonder what such a quest for total dominance, the desire for absolute power, could do to this country. Two centuries ago, however, writing to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams couldn’t have been clearer on the subject. Power, he said, “must never be trusted without a check.”

The question today for the American people: How is the dominant military power of which US leaders so casually boast to be checked? How is the country’s almost total reliance on the military in foreign affairs to be reined in? How can the plans of the profiteers and arms makers to keep the good times rolling be brought under control?

As a start, consider one of Donald Trump’s favorite generals, Douglas MacArthur, speaking to the Sperry Rand Corporation in 1957:

“Our swollen budgets constantly have been misrepresented to the public. Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.”

No peacenik MacArthur. Other famed generals like Smedley Butler and Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke out with far more vigor against the corruptions of war and the perils to a democracy of an ever more powerful military, though such sentiments are seldom heard in this country today. Instead, America’s leaders insist that other people judge us by our words, our stated good intentions, not our murderous deeds and their results.

Perpetual Warfare Whistles Through Washington

Whether in IraqAfghanistan, or elsewhere in the war on terror, the US is now engaged in generational conflicts that are costing us trillions of dollars, driving up the national debt while weakening the underpinnings of our democracy. They have led to foreign casualties by the hundreds of thousands and created refugees in the millions, while turning cities like Iraq’s Mosul into wastelands.

In today’s climate of budget-busting “defense” appropriations, isn’t it finally time for Americans to apply a little commonsense to our disastrous pattern of war-making? To prime the pump for such a conversation, here are 10 suggestions for ways to focus on, limit, or possibly change Washington’s now eternal war-making and profligate war spending:

1. Abandon the notion of perfect security. You can’t have it.  It doesn’t exist. And abandon as well the idea that a huge military establishment translates into national safety. James Madison didn’t think so and neither did Dwight D. Eisenhower.

2. Who could have anything against calling the Pentagon a “defense” department, if defense were truly its focus? But let’s face it: the Pentagon is actually a war department. So let’s label it what it really is. After all, how can you deal with a problem if you can’t even name it accurately?

3. Isn’t it about time to start following the Constitution when it comes to our “wars”? Isn’t it time for Congress to finally step up to its constitutional duties? Whatever the Pentagon is called, this country should no longer be able to pursue its many conflicts without a formal congressional declaration of war. If we had followed that rule, the US wouldn’t have fought any of its wars since the end of World War II.

4. Generational wars — ones, that is, that never end — should not be considered a measure of American resolve, but of American stupidity. If you wage war long, you wage it wrong, especially if you want to protect democratic institutions in this country.

5. Generals generally like to wage war. Don’t blame them. It’s their profession. But for heaven’s sake, don’t put them in charge of the Department of “Defense” (James Mattis) or the National Security Council (H.R. McMaster) either — and above all, don’t let one of them (John Kelly) become the gatekeeper for a volatile, vain president. In our country, civilians should be in charge of the war makers, end of story.

6. You can’t win wars you never should have begun in the first place. America’s leaders failed to learn that lesson from Vietnam. Since then they have continued to wage wars for less-than-vital interests with predictably dismal results. Following the Vietnam example, America will only truly win its Afghan War when it chooses to rein in its pride and vanity — and leave.

7. The serious people in Washington snickered when, as a presidential candidate in 2004 and 2008, Congressman Dennis Kucinich called for a Department of Peace. Remind me, though, 17 years into our latest set of wars, what was so funny about that suggestion? Isn’t it better to wage peace than war? If you don’t believe me, ask a wounded veteran or a Gold Star family.

8. Want to invest in American jobs? Good idea! But stop making the military-industrial complex the preferred path to job creation. That’s a loser of a way to go. It’s proven that investments in “butter” create double or triple the number of jobs as those in “guns.” In other words, invest in education, health care, and civilian infrastructure, not more weaponry.

9. Get rid of the very idea behind the infamous Pottery Barn rule — the warning Secretary of State Colin Powell offered George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that if the US military “breaks” a country, somehow we’ve “bought” it and so have to take ownership of the resulting mess. Whether stated or not, it’s continued to be the basis for this century’s unending wars. Honestly, if somebody broke something valuable you owned, would you trust that person to put it back together? Folly doesn’t decrease by persisting in it.

10. I was an officer in the Air Force. When I entered that service, the ideal of the citizen-soldier still held sway. But during my career I witnessed a slow, insidious change. A citizen-soldier military morphed into a professional ethos of “warriors” and “warfighters,” a military that saw itself as better than the rest of us. It’s time to think about how to return to that citizen-soldier tradition, which made it harder to fight those generational wars.

Consider retired General John Kelly, who, while defending the president in a controversy over the president’s words to the mother of a dead Green Beret, refused to take questions from reporters unless they had a personal connection to fallen troops or to a Gold Star family. Consider as well the way that US politicians like Vice President Mike Pence are always so keen to exalt those in uniform, to speak of them as above the citizenry. (“You are the best of us.”)

Isn’t it time to stop praising our troops to the rooftops and thanking them endlessly for what they’ve done for us — for fighting those wars without end — and to start listening to them instead? Isn’t it time to try to understand them not as “heroes” in another universe, but as people like us in all their frailty and complexity? We’re never encouraged to see them as our neighbors, or as teenagers who struggled through high school, or as harried moms and dads.

Our troops are, of course, human and vulnerable and imperfect. We don’t help them when we put them on pedestals, give them flags to hold in the breeze, and salute them as icons of a feel-good brand of patriotism. Talk of warrior-heroes is worse than cheap: it enables our state of permanent war, elevates the Pentagon, ennobles the national security state, and silences dissent. That’s why it’s both dangerous and universally supported in rare bipartisan fashion by politicians in Washington.

So here’s my final point. Think of it as a bonus 11th suggestion: don’t make our troops into heroes, even when they’re in harm’s way. It would be so much better to make ourselves into heroes by getting them out of harm’s way.

Be exceptional, America. Make peace, not war.

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Why We Should Be Very Skeptical of Uber’s New “Portable Benefits” Scheme

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Lipstick on a Gig: Why We Should Be Very Skeptical of Uber’s New “Portable Benefits” Scheme

By Julianne TvetenIn These Times 

An iPhone with an Uber application login screen on October 25, 2017. (Photo:Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images)
An iPhone with an Uber application login screen on October 25, 2017. (Photo:Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In 2016, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) filed a class-action lawsuit against Uber, claiming the rideshare giant denied them benefits, even though they were full-time workers. The company accomplished this, the suit charged, by classifying workers who spent “six or seven” days a week “laboring for 12-plus-hour shifts” as independent contractors.

These grievances will likely sound familiar. Uber is widely reviled for its instrumental role in creating a tenuous 21st-century gig economy fueled by a precariat of contracted drivers — a point countless news outlets have exhaustively detailed. As a result of that negative press, and a rash of additional lawsuits challenging Uber’s labor abuses, the company now ostensibly seeks to mitigate the damage it’s done.

Last week, Uber floated the concept of a “portable benefits system” for its drivers in Washington state, wherein contract workers would be able to transfer benefits from job to job. While the plan’s contours remain unknown, at least publicly, the company has used the initiative to advance its image as a protector of labor rights. It is not immediately apparent who would fund the system, but Uber indicated in its statement that it aims to “create arrangements for social investments from private and public sources.” Uber acknowledges that workers need to “protect themselves and their loved ones” amid infirmity and retirement. The company vaunts its engagement with David Rolf, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 775, which represents workers in Washington and Montana.

The proposition, however, smacks of insincerity. Rather than an effort to improve workers’ lives, it’s likely a ploy to justify and obscure the volatile labor conditions the company has created in the name of cutting costs.

There are many reasons to question Uber’s sudden sympathy with union organizers and workers. The location choice of Washington state, for example, is revealing. The announcement follows the introduction of a state bill that would require companies to contribute funds to third-party providers to offer such benefits as paid time off, health insurance, auto insurance, and retirement to contractors. It’s thus probable that, fearing the obligation to spend more on workers and an onslaught of worker-misclassification lawsuits, Uber simply seeks to obviate any new financial losses.

Furthermore, Uber has vehemently opposed worker organizing within the city of Seattle. In 2015, the Seattle City Council passed an unprecedented law allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize. The move incurred a lawsuit from Uber, which has since adopted an anti-union propaganda campaign featuring television commercialspodcasts and a “driver independence” initiative known as Drive Forward Seattle. (Uber has not replied to a request for comment.)

While SEIU’s Rolf has thrown his public support behind the initiative, his position doesn’t represent that of labor more broadly — or even of his international union. Hector Figueroa, who serves as president of SEIU’s East Coast property services affiliate, told Bloomberg, “This is just a facelift by Uber to be able to look like they actually care about the people who they hire for the services they provide. I just cannot comprehend how today, as a labor leader, I would be encouraging the spread of ‘independent’ work.”

NYTWA director Bhairavi Desai added in an interview with Bloomberg, “This type of bogus agreement only gives them cover for exploitation. Selling out to the bosses is not innovative — It’s as old as capitalism.”

Rolf did not respond to a request for comment.

In unrolling the scheme, Uber also collaborated with Nick Hanauer, a Seattle venture capitalist who’s worked alongside Rolf in raising the minimum wage and severing ties with Well Fargo. Hanauer, a yacht-owning billionaire who’s invested in the ruthlessly anti-worker Amazon, has sought to make the case for “saving American capitalism.” Based on his writings, Hanauer doesn’t so much seek to ensure security and morale for the multitude as to stave off its pitchforks. (Hanauer has not responded to a request for comment.)

Such pro-business wrangling of limited worker protections has become a trend among tech elites. Mark ZuckerbergSam Altman and other industry executives have tendered publicly-funded basic-income schemes, putatively seeking to hedge the impact of income inequality. Yet, while Altman and others have suggested an income floor, there is not an equal push for an income ceiling. Meanwhile, as they outsource wages to the government, these individuals continue to support a free-market system for housing, healthcare and other essentials.

Uber insists that “the American social safety system, which was designed in the 20th century for a very different economy, has not kept pace with today’s workforce” and that a benefits system must accommodate “more flexible, independent” forms of work. While it’s true that the social-safety net, or lack thereof, has failed vast numbers of Americans — regardless of their employment status — this isn’t for the reasons Uber implies. The company would have the public believe that the temporary-work economy it’s helped to shape is the way of the future, and that economic, political and social systems must adapt. What it neglects to address, however, is the untenability of expecting workers to drift from one low-wage gig to another while their costs of living continue to soar.

The economic and psychological burdens on Uber drivers are far too heavy for any venture capitalist or CEO to lift. Workers don’t need corporate exploitation masquerading as inventive justice. They need free, accessible necessities and liberation from demoralizing labor. Far from solving a problem it’s created, Uber is merely chiseling away at it, as lucratively as it can, until the next lawsuit surfaces. If Hanauer and his cohorts truly seek to quell the masses, it seems they’ll have to find another way.

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Young Fascists on Campus: Turning Point USA and Its Far-Right Connections

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By Kristina Khan and Shane Burley

Charlie Kirk, Founder and Exec. Dir. of Turning Point USA, speaks on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty Images)

Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, speaks on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty Images)

On November 22, 2017, Joel Valdez and Blair Nelson, two members of Turning Point USA (TPUSA) and both students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), joined Gavin McInnes on his program, “Get Off My Lawn.” The young “conservatives” excitedly promoted their appearance on his show earlier in the week. McInnes, who is founder of the Proud Boys, has been thoroughly investigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center and describes himself as a “Western Chauvinist.” He has become a leader in the “civic nationalist” contingent encircling the “alt-right.” McInnis interviewed Valdez and Nelson about their encounter with a fellow student on campus on November 16, asking Nelson, “Why did you not punch him in the face?”

TPUSA, famous for its aggressive tactics against leftist professors across US campuses, was founded in 2012 by a disgruntled Charlie Kirk, who failed to get into the United States Military Academy at West Point. Kirk hardly built TPUSA into the organization it is today, however; the nonprofit is funded largely by Republican mega-donors and is a source of controversy for allegedly funding student government campaigns on several campuses.

McInnes asked them about an alleged “wild attack by an antifa professor” who supposedly confronted Nelson and Valdez “just for being conservatives.” The instructor they were referring to was Tariq Khan, a US Air Force veteran and graduate student at the university. Khan challenged this characterization, saying he confronted the two after they made what he felt was a veiled threat against his children. Khan, his wife (one of the authors of this piece) and one of his children had been filmed by right-wing, anti-Muslim student activists in the same spot on campus two years earlier, and UIUC’s chapter of TPUSA had already attempted to push two campaigns against two different women of color associated with UIUC this past fall: an undergraduate student and a staff member. After the confrontation between Valdez and Khan, TPUSA members and allies created a campaign of threats and intimidation across media platforms.

Targeting Campuses

According to TPUSA’s website, they have chapters at around 350 college campuses and approximately 64 chapters in high schools around the country. TPUSA is the home of the “Professor Watchlist,” a McCarthy-style blacklist of “biased” professors. On Comedy Central’s show, “The Opposition,” Kirk described the “Professor Watchlist” as “an awareness tool,” but if a professor makes the list, they then “coincidentally” become the target of malicious campaigns.

Amanda Gailey, an English professor at the University of Nebraska (UN), is one of now hundreds of professors across the country who were targeted by the group, receiving threats in her inbox after they launched a campaign against her and UN graduate student Courtney Lawton. These campaigns nearly all roll out the same way: TPUSA self publishes a story on their site, Campus Reform, of alleged “abuse” or bias from the left; the victim of the story starts getting threats; and universities find themselves dealing with outside pressure to get rid of the professor or student in question. Kirk said to CNN in December 2017 about his “Professor Watchlist,”

We do not call for any of that sort of harassment. We don’t condone it. We don’t try to facilitate any sort of cyber bullying or harassment. And just because you put up the words, or another article that’s been written about a professor in an aggregated format, does not mean we should be held responsible for what other people do.

But it’s not just anonymous virtual trolls that are intimidating professors. TPUSA’s tactics are shady, to say the least. Across the country, TPUSA members film leftists without their consent, both on and off campus. They have tried to infiltrate leftist meetings and spaces. They stalk leftists online, documenting their lives and doxxing them. Intimidation and infiltration strategies like these border on being illegal, and TPUSA knows it. Their members walk a carefully directed line to avoid negative publicity, and should any arise, they do massive amounts of damage control through their own media outlets.

The New Yorker published its own exposé on TPUSA, citing anti-Blackness and illegal election funding, which shed a bit more light on the practices of this nonprofit. But what’s yet to be thoroughly investigated but beginning to be uncovered in central Illinois and Nebraska are TPUSA’s connections to neo-fascist organizations and individuals.

Despite Valdez’ claims on “Get Off My Lawn” of being present for the anti-Trump rally because of an “interest in civil discourse,” TPUSA members harassed and filmed many of that day’s attendees and speakers, including Khan. One member, Andrew Minik, then posted the video they took on the Campus Reform site, along with the erroneous story about Khan. Andrew Minik is one of many TPUSA members paid to write for Campus Reform, which is a joint project of the National Leadership Institute. The Institute provides an online forum for students to “report liberal abuse” and to even “get paid to hold their school accountable.”

Joel Valdez, Blair Nelson and Andrew Minik aren’t doing anything other TPUSA members haven’t done. Lying about their interactions with their fellow students and their professors on campus is how TPUSA operates as an organization. Administrators at UIUC “knew it would be trouble,” when they became aware that there would be a TPUSA chapter on campus. But what makes the UIUC chapter seem unique is their happy interaction with the notorious McInnes.

From Trolling to Threats

The culture of “exposure” that TPUSA intends to bring to college campuses is patterned after identifying specific people, often students or adjunct faculty, and then spurring them on with erroneous claims that leave them personally and professionally vulnerable.

After Minik published his erroneous article about Khan on Campus Reform, the death threats started pouring in. Threats from Neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Islamophobes came from all over the country to Khan’s inbox. Khan, who is partially of Pakistani descent, appeared to be singled out in part because of his ethnicity, leaning to their heavy focus on Muslim immigration. His academic department and the Graduate Employees Union office received threats and phone calls demanding Khan be expelled. As the story exploded, it was picked up by sites like InfoWars and shared by Ben Shapiro, Lou Dobbs, Charlie Kirk and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

While Khan’s department refused to cave to the threats, university administrators in the Office of Conflict Resolution are punishing Khan for pushing back against Valdez’s threat. Khan was called in and an administrator assigned to the complaint filed by Valdez asked why Khan “didn’t just walk away.”

“We’ve been reporting the actions of these white supremacists to the administration for the last three years and they have done absolutely nothing to protect students, staff and faculty of color from white-supremacist threats,” said Khan. “So when a fascist made a veiled threat against my children, I had no choice but to confront them myself, because the administration won’t confront them.”

Khan was not allowed to read his entire defense statement in a meeting with administration and was told that if he appealed the university’s decision, he would have to pay more money for the punishment process — a threat of sorts to a graduate student father of three making poverty wages.

Campus Wars

Unfortunately, Khan’s situation of not finding support from his university is becoming terrifyingly common. On December 28, George Ciccariello-Maher announced his resignation from his tenured position at Drexel University. “After nearly a year of harassment by right-wing, white supremacist media outlets and internet mobs, after death threats and threats of violence directed against me and my family, my situation has become unsustainable,” said Ciccariello-Maher in a public statement. Academics like Mark Bray, Mike Isaacson and others have become targets of an increasingly hostile set of far-right student and media organizations, targeting them for casual statements or left-wing views in their private lives. While conservative organizations have always made an effort to confront what they see as left-wing bias on college campuses, the tenor of that activism has changed since Donald Trump and the trolls of the “alt-right” came on the scene, creating a cloud of potential violence and serious career implications.

Sitting under Minik’s Campus Reform article about Khan, comments such as “Chuck Neely’s” were reported by Khan’s department to police. “Expelled? No. We need to deal with this as white men in a white nation,” wrote “Neely.”

“This garbage dares to assault us? We physically remove him from this plane of existence. He has zero right to exist in our nation, he is made to leave one way or another.” Other TPUSA members joined in the threats, promising to pay the legal fees for any attacker.

Like his fellow TPUSA members, Valdez claims to simply be a “conservative” who believes in capitalism and the free market, yet he proudly shares on social media accounts the now infamous “alt-right” symbol Pepe the Frog, work by rape-apologist Mike Cernovich, and graciously thanks extremist “Infowars” conspiracy peddler Alex Jones for any retweets. Nelson has argued genocide is merely a leftist construct, an opinion that he disagrees with.

These patterns of racism make their way to the top of Turning Point’s leadership. As The New Yorker reported, Crystal Clayton, one of TPUSA’s most prominent members for five years, said, “I hate Black people. Like fuck them all…. I hate Blacks. End of story.” TPUSA also posted and then hastily removed a blatantly anti-Semitic tweet last November.

2018 0205tpusa2

UIUC released a statement in the fall restating their commitment to “defending free speech” on campus. Despite extremely racist chalking, white supremacist “It’s-okay-to-be-white” fliers, ongoing stalking incidents, harassment and filming of students of color by “conservative” students, and even physically violent incidents against people of color, it would seem that for now, the University of Illinois is choosing to uphold white supremacist values on campus. As the Traditionalist Worker Party and Vanguard America prepare to launch propaganda campaigns aimed at Midwestern universities this spring, some student activists of color at UIUC aren’t hopeful their campus will protect them.

More Than Conservative

While much of Turning Point’s public media argues that its members have no association with the white nationalists of the “alt-right” or the street violence of the Proud Boys, their short track-record has proven that rhetoric to be a mirage. Kirk’s relationship to the University of Illinois might help provide insight on how TPUSA doesn’t just condone this behavior, but was in fact founded on it.

In 2015, UIUC made national headlines over a newly established “white student union” on campus. White supremacists created it on Facebook directly after Black student activists held a rally on campus the same day. The page, reported by many people to police, asked for identification of Black activists who, the page’s owners claimed, were “terrorizing” the campus. The page also posted videos by Jared Taylor, founder of the white nationalist American Renaissance, and told people to “check out” Richard Spencer’s own National Policy Institute. With a lack of active support by the university to its students of color, students and community members met with campus police to try to educate them about these groups, yet the administration and the police failed to follow up on those concerns.

Other white student union pages started popping up around the country in response to the national attention, and it was rumored that most weren’t run by actual students. UIUC’s Illinois “White Student Union” page, however, was run by a group of UIUC students. In anonymously submitted screenshots of text messages, former Traditionalist Worker Party member Michelle Kapelski told Debbie Bernal, the current president of UIUC’s Turning Point chapter, that she helped start the page “as a joke.”

One of the first people who interacted with the page positively (liking and sharing its posts) was a student by the name of Artur Sak. Sak, a young man whose parents emigrated from Poland, has since graduated, but served on the first-ever national student board of TPUSA while at UIUC. When the story about the white student union blew up in the national news, Sak stopped interacting with the page entirely. As of last fall, both Sak and the page are gone from UIUC’s campus, yet Turning Point remains. In Sak’s bio for TPUSA he says he was with the organization from the beginning, an association that seems to echo TPUSA’s current membership.

While the extent to which TPUSA works with self-identified white nationalists and neo-fascists is not wholly clear, it is obvious that their conservative branding centered on “free-speech and free-markets” is misleading. Their roots are planted in racist ideologies and handed to enthusiastic young people unrestrained by a fear of consequences. At UIUC’s campus, for example, rather than seeing TPUSA members holding “civil discussions” on fiscal conservatism, one is more likely to see TPUSA members on the quad trying to convince passersby to sign a petition calling on the administration to reinstate “Chief Illiniwek,” a racist sports mascot that the National Collegiate Athletic Association forced UIUC to retire years ago.

Kaitlyn Mullen, a TPUSA campus coordinator at the University of Nebraska, was only one of three dissenting voices against a resolution by the City of Lincoln committing to standing up against hate speech in the wake of Charlottesville’s nightmare. The other two dissenting voices came from members of Patriot Front — otherwise known as “Blood and Soil” — one of whom had himself marched in Charlottesville the day Heather Heyer was murdered. All three voiced feeling victimized along with having a love of free markets. The city’s resolution against hate speech passed 5-0.

The “alt-right” targets universities because most are unable or unwilling to prohibit white nationalist and white supremacist ideas without serious legal battles. “Free speech” becomes the sound bite of university administrations and fascists alike in defending the presence of Turning Point USA, Richard Spencer and others like them. It has become so common for racist and fascist groups to plot on campuses that the Southern Poverty Law Center released a student resource guide for dealing with the “alt-right.” But as Khan’s case shows, these debates are hardly debates and they are hardly contained on university grounds.

Posted in USA, Education0 Comments

USA: Large Jump in African American Unemployment Rate

NOVANEWS

Large Jump in African American Unemployment Rate Brings It Back to Year-Ago Level

Image result for African American Unemployment CARTOON

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the African American unemployment rate jumped 0.9 percentage points in January to 7.7 percent, putting it just a hair under the 7.8 percent rate of January, 2017. This was associated with a 0.6 percentage point drop in the employment rate. Typically the African American unemployment rate is twice the white unemployment rate. However, with the white rate dropping to 3.5 percent, it is now substantially higher.

This is disappointing since the 6.8 percent rate in December was the lowest on record. The increase for men was 0.9 percentage points to 7.5 percent. For women the increase was 0.8 percentage points to 6.6 percent, and for teens the rise was 1.4 percentage points to 24.3 percent.

The data for African Americans are highly erratic and it is likely that much of this change is driven by measurement error, but it is nonetheless discouraging to see this reported jump.

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Nazi regime dumps young Palestinian girl in Gaza where she knows no one

NOVANEWS

Israel dumps young Palestinian girl in Gaza where she knows no one

Israeli solder pointing gun at children

A 14-year-old girl forced alone and at night into the Gaza cage. Another routine mishap for Israel’s occupation
By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

How did a 14-year-old Palestinian girl who has never set foot in the open-air prison of Gaza find herself being dumped there by Israeli officials – alone, at night and without her parents being informed?

The terrifying ordeal – a child realising she had not been taken home but discarded in a place where she knew no one – is hard to contemplate for any parent.

And yet for Israel’s gargantuan bureaucratic structure that has ruled over Palestinians for five decades, this was just another routine error. One mishap among many that day.

This is a bureaucracy… that controls the smallest details of Palestinians’ lives. With the flick of a pen, everything can be turned upside down…

A single, abstract noun – “occupation” – obscures a multitude of crimes.

What crushes Palestinian spirits is not just the calculated malevolence of Israel’s occupation authorities, as they kill and imprison Palestinians, seal them into ghettoes, steal lands and demolish homes. It is also the system’s casual indifference to their fate.

This is a bureaucracy – of respectable men and women – that controls the smallest details of Palestinians’ lives. With the flick of a pen, everything can be turned upside down. Palestinians are viewed as numbers and bodies rather than human beings.

The story of Ghada – as she has been identified – illustrates many features of this system of control.

She was arrested last month as an “illegal alien” in her own homeland for visiting her aunt. The two live a short distance apart, but while Israel considers Ghada a resident of the West Bank, her aunt is classified as a resident of Jerusalem. They might as well be on different planets.

Ghada, we should note, suffers from epilepsy. After two days in detention, and over opposition from Israeli police, a judge ordered her released on bail. All this happened without her parents present.

Israel controls the Palestinian population register too, and had recorded Ghada wrongly as a Gaza resident, even though she was born and raised far away in the West Bank. She is separated from Gaza by Israel, which she cannot enter.

Presumably, no Israeli official wanted to harm Ghada. It was just that none cared enough to notice that she was a frightened child – afraid of being alone, of the dark, of fences and watch-towers. And a child who needs regular medical care.

Was this not precisely what Hannah Arendt… meant when she identified the “banality of evil” while watching the trial of the holocaust’s architect, Adolph Eichmann, in Jerusalem in 1962?

Instead she was viewed simply as a package, to be delivered to whatever location was on the docket. Despite her anguished protests, she was forced through the electronic fence into the cage of Gaza.

She was finally released by Israel and returned to her parents on 8 February, two weeks after her ordeal began.

Was this not precisely what Hannah Arendt, the Jewish philosopher of totalitarianism, meant when she identified the “banality of evil” while watching the trial of the holocaust’s architect, Adolph Eichmann, in Jerusalem in 1962?

Arendt wrote that totalitarian systems were designed to turn men into “functionaries and mere cogs in the administrative machinery”, to “dehumanise them”.

Even the worst bureaucracies contain few monsters. Its officials have simply forgotten what it means to be human, losing the capacity for compassion and independent thought.

After five decades of ruling over Palestinians, with no limits or accountability, many Israelis have become cogs.

Most of the Palestinian victims of this “system” remain hidden from view – like the small children of Abu Nawar who awoke this week to find their village school had been levelled because Israel wants their land for the neighbouring illegal settlement of Maale Adumim.

But a Ghada occasionally throws a troubling light on the depths to which Israel has sunk.

Another example is Ahed Tamimi, who spent her 17th birthday in prison last week, charged with slapping a heavily armed soldier during an invasion of her home. Moments earlier his unit had shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, nearly killing him. She now risks a 10-year jail sentence for her justified anger.

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to Washington and now a government minister, was so unwilling to believe Ahed could be blonde-haired and blue-eyed – like him – that he ordered a secret investigation to try to prove her family were actors.

Oren Hazan, a parliament member from the ruling Likud party, told the BBC… that Ahed was not a child, but a “terrorist”. Had he been slapped, he said, “She would finish in the hospital for sure… I would kick, kick her face.”

Most Israelis cannot believe that a Palestinian child might fight for her home, and for her family’s right to live freely. Palestinians are expected to be passive recipients of Israel’s “civilising”, bureaucratic violence.

Soldiers helping settlers to steal her community’s farmland have scrawled death threats against her on the walls in her village, Nabi Saleh.

Oren Hazan, a parliament member from the ruling Likud party, told the BBC last week that Ahed was not a child, but a “terrorist”. Had he been slapped, he said, “She would finish in the hospital for sure… I would kick, kick her face.”

This dehumanising logic is directed at any non-Jew with a foothold in the enlarged fortress state Israel is creating.

But belatedly a few Israelis are drawing a line. A backlash has begun as Israel this week starts expelling 40,000 asylum seekers who fled wars in Sudan and Eritrea. In violation of international treaties, Israel wants these refugees returned to Africa, where they risk persecution or death.

Unlike Palestinians, these refugees tug at some liberal Israelis’ heartstrings, reminding them of European Jews who once needed shelter from genocide.

Nonetheless, Israel has incentivised its citizens to become bounty-hunters, offering them $9,000 bonuses for hunting down Africans. Progressive rabbis and social activists have called for Israelis to hide the refugees in attics and cellars, just as Europeans once protected Jews from their persecutors.

It is a battle for Israel’s soul. Can Israelis begin to see non-Jews – whether Palestinians like Ghada ot Africans – as fellow human beings, as equally deserving of compassion? Or will Israelis sink further into the darkness of a banal evil that threatens to engulf them?

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

UK Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard and freedom of speech

NOVANEWS

Jewish Chronicle Editor and Israel mouthpiece Stephen Pollard

Gilad Atzmon writes:

Stephen Pollard, the caricature of an editor for the rabid Zionist Jewish Chronicle, an outlet that operates as an Israeli mouthpiece and has openly waged intense campaigns against freedom of speech, has once again expressed his support for elementary rights, including the right to offend. In today’s Daily Mail, Pollard writes: “Snowflakes? They’re today’s fascists!”

Pollard often champions “freedom of speech”. This time he was probably trying to gain credit with the UK Prime Minister’s Office following the attack on Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as he attempted to give a talk to students at Bristol University. I need not mention that I didn’t see Pollard or the Jewish Chronicledenouncing Zionist hooligans who interfered with my right to play Jazz. Nor did I see the Jewish Chronicle or Pollard fight for Alison Chabloz’s right to perform her cabaret. Maybe in Pollard’s universe freedom of speech is an exclusive realm.

When Pollard writes “through editing the newspaper (the Jewish Chronicle), I am confronted daily with the legacy of that unique evil, including the suppression of debate, the distortion of truth and even the burning of books at the heart of that terrible chapter in our history”, it is hard to figure out whether he is describing the “Third Reich’s totalitarian impulse”, as he calls it, or his own editorial decisions. After all, before my literature event at Reading International Festival two months ago, Pollard’s Jewish Chronicle published the following headline: “‘Horror’ over appearance of Gilad Atzmon at Reading International Festival.”

Pollard’s Jewish Chronicle wrote: “Berkshire Jews are ‘horrified’ over the scheduled appearance of an anti-Semitic author at the Reading International Festival.” Is this how Pollard defines “welcoming debate”? In my universe the above line fits nicely within “suppression of debate” and is an extreme form of book burning. I can see a clear contradiction between Stephen Pollard “the advocate of freedom of speech” and the outlet which he edits that employs every trick in the Hasbara book to close debate on Israel, Zionism, Jewish identity politics, Jewish lobbying and the holocaust.

Pollard, article in the Daily Mail makes a surprising pivot and repeats the arguments I raised in my recent book, Being in Time. “We are now witnessing our own version of Newspeak, in which a form of cultural fascism masquerades as caring concern.”

In November Pollard’s paper campaigned to suppress a proposed debate on my book, and now he repeats the message of that book almost word for word. But, in my opinion, Pollard makes an error in his use of terminology. It is not “cultural fascism” that introduced the current tyranny of correctness. It was cultural Marxism, a bunch of post-Marxist tribal ideologists who thought and still think that it is down to them and only to them to decide who deserves a platform and what are the boundaries of freedom.

Listen to Stephen Pollard in advocacy of “freedom of speech”. His point seems to be: “You can say whatever you see the need to say as long as I can denounce you as an anti-Semite, a racist and a bigot.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Media, UK0 Comments

Immigration, Aid, and the Israelization of America

NOVANEWS

African migrants demonstrate against the Israeli government’s policy to forcibly deport African refugees and asylum seekers from Israel to Uganda and Rwanda, outside the ­Rwandan Embassy in the Israeli city of Herzliya, Jan. 22, 2018.(JACK GUEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2018, pp. 18, 38

Special Report

By Delinda C. Hanley

BACK IN 2002, longtime reader Dr. Clyde Farris wrote a letter to the Washington Report in which he said, “I am greatly disturbed by what I can only refer to as the ‘Israelization’ of American foreign policy. By that I mean our foreign policy resounds with a tone of belligerence and seems to lack regard for world opinion. It is the attitude of ‘we are totally good and they are totally evil.’ It is the attitude that the life of one of us is more important than the lives of hundreds of them.”

Both Americans and Israelis should be troubled by that kind of worldview, fueled today by both President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Both leaders advocate a brutality that seems born of racism, with little concern for the  hunger, homelessness, health and even death of those they consider adversaries. “I find this deterioration of our moral code truly alarming and I am concerned that someday our behavior will come back to haunt us. Whoever is advising our president in these matters is serving our country poorly,” Farris concluded.

Americans are constantly reminded that Israel and the U.S. share core values. Sure enough, America’s all-powerful defense industry and disregard for human rights or the rule of law abroad, and policing issues like surveillance and entrapment at home, are beginning to resemble Israel’s. Both countries are facing criticism for immigration and humanitarian aid failures.

Netanyahu calls asylum seekers from East Africa who crossed into Israel from Egypt on foot, before the construction of Israel’s border fence, “illegal labor infiltrators.” The Israeli government describes asylum seekers as economic migrants and not refugees, calling them dangerous. Many of them perform the manual labor Israel used to depend on Palestinians to do. There are currently about 35,000 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel, and another 5,000 children of asylum seekers. Netanyahu is planning to forcibly deport them to Rwanda and Uganda.

Reports from Sudanese and Eritreans asylum seekers, already deported to Africa from Israel, are harrowing. They’ve been robbed, sold into human trafficking and even killed, according to researchers quoted in Haaretz. A grassroots effort, including Holocaust survivors, airline pilots, writers and rabbis, is fighting the deportations. El Al pilot Yoel Piterbarg, wrote, “Refugees who are already living among us cannot be thrown away like stray dogs back to their countries, where suffering, rape of women and girls, and agonizing death awaits them—places like South Sudan and other African countries. Let the refugees remain here and be taken care of immediately, as human beings. Just like the Jews were refugees once, wanting to be cared for and not thrown out.”

Like Netanyahu, President Trump demonizes immigrants, especially from “s—hole countries,” and calls for a Muslim travel ban. Like some Israelis, many Americans are protesting the brutality of deporting immigrants, splitting up families, and evicting children who have grown up here. Trump has doubled down on the deportation of noncriminal illegal immigrants, and sees none of the economic contributions of immigrants. Like the Israeli prime minister, he forgets that his country was made prosperous by those who came from afar.

In President Trump’s first State of the Union address, he emphasized fear of gangs, criminal immigrants and foreign threats. He implied that America has put immigrants ahead of its own citizens, the “forgotten men and women” of America. Trump invited the parents of two African-American girls murdered by MS-13 gang members to his Jan. 30 address. As the parents wept, he promised to put MS-13 gang members in prison or on deportation flights. He also condemned “chain migration,” which he claimed allows immigrants to bring “virtually unlimited” numbers of family members to the U.S. Trump went on to blame the Diversity Immigrant Visa, also known as the green card lottery, for terrorist attacks in the U.S. (During Trump’s campaign he called for a border wall like Netanyahu’s, which Mexico would pay for. Instead, U.S. taxpayers will once again foot the bill, just like they did for Israel.)

Trump didn’t talk about the immigrants who came to America, many of them fearing for their safety, who have been sent back to their home countries, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, to violent deaths. He didn’t mention that, days earlier, immigration officials deported Amer Othman Adi, 57, a Palestinian businessman who had been living in the U.S. for nearly 40 years. After a routine ICE meeting, Adi was put on a plane to Amman.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who fought Adi’s deportation, said, “Amer was a pillar of the [Youngstown] community and brought commerce to a downtown that craved investment…In a highly irregular rebuke of congressional authority by ICE, Amer Othman was ripped from his four daughters, his wife, and the country that he has called home for over 30 years…I hope President Trump comes to realize that when his words become public policy in places like Youngstown, families like Amer’s are ripped apart,” Ryan said. “I’m sad that America, and the American presidency, has become a place where politics outweighs doing what is right.”

“A year of Trump’s ‘America first’ agenda has radically changed the U.S. role in the world,” Griff Witte and Michael Birnbaum wrote in a front-page article published in the  Jan. 22 Washington Post. The U.S. transformation “from a global leader working with partners to try to shape the world to an inwardly focused superpower that defines its international role more narrowly” is diminishing America’s role in the world, according to diplomats interviewed in the Post article.

A Gallup poll conducted in 135 countries, released on Jan. 18, showed that international support for U.S. leadership in the world dropped from a median of nearly half of people approving, under President Barack Obama, to fewer than a third under his successor.

A letter to the editor published in the Jan. 24 Washington Post, from Albert Fairchild, a retired U.S. diplomat, stated that Trump’s “undisciplined mouth can undo in seconds years of constructive work by U.S. diplomats and development experts.”

Trump took another move from the Israeli playbook this winter by cutting U.S. aid to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which operates schools, health clinics and other community projects (see p. 12). UNRWA’s Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl said, “It is very clear that the decision by the United States was not related to our performance. This has to be part of the debate that took place around Jerusalem.”

Whenever Israel gets the urge to punish Palestinians, it cuts off electricity to Gaza, compounding the misery of Gazans already enduring Israeli restrictions on food, medicine, building supplies and freedom of movement. President Trump’s cut in aid to Palestinians will worsen already dire humanitarian conditions for refugees in Gaza and Lebanon.

The world is growing weary of global crises, including famines in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, and conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Israel/Palestine. Need is growing and leaders like Netanyahu and Trump who place security and the interests of a wealthy minority above everybody else are destroying our moral code. Peacemakers, legislators, voters and donors need to step up to repair what our leaders are breaking.

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Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Ab-A$$ Rejects the U.S., Failed Oslo Accords—Now What?

NOVANEWS

Abbas Rejects the U.S., Failed Oslo Accords—Now What? 

Zionist puppet of Jordan’s King Abdullah II (r) welcomes Zionist puppet Mahmoud Ab-A$$ at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jan. 29, 2018. Following their meeting, the Jordanian monarch urged the international community to “fulfill its responsibilities” toward Palestinians in Jerusalem and support UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. (KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2018, pp. 16-17

Two Views

Abbas Is Right. Why Does Israel Keep Saying He’s Wrong?

By Gideon Levy

THE JOLLY CHOIR is shrieking again: Mahmoud Abbas. You have to see the responses to his speech to understand the extent to which Israel is speaking with one horrifically uniform voice, the extent to which there is no more left and right, no real argument and no ideological pluralism—only a blind, deafening nationalistic snarl.

From Nadav Eyal (“a wacky, despicable speech”) to Ben Dror Yemini (“delusional ideology”), they all competed for who will attack Abbas more. Nobody faced up to what he said. After all, he swore at Donald Trump, the champion of refined rhetoric, “may your house be demolished,” and the Israelis with their sensitive ears were oh so appalled. And he said colonialism, and the self-victimizing Israelis yelled: “anti-Semitism.” Nobody said what was incorrect in his speech and what was anti-Semitic about it. Except perhaps for “the Dutch fleet that brought Jews here,” Abbas spoke the truth. It’s hard to swallow. Israel chose to shriek. It always does when it has no answers.

Abbas said the Oslo agreement was over. Indeed, what is left of it, some 20 years after the final-status agreement was due to be signed? Israel did everything it could to sabotage it. Every soldier who invades Area A territories every night and every prisoner left in prison from before the Oslo agreement is a violation of it.

The current government and its supporters objected to Oslo, so now they’re offended when Abbas says it’s over? Abbas told the truth.

“We will no longer accept American sponsorship,” Abbas said. Does he have any choice? What is he supposed to do, bow his head to resounding slaps? Kneel before a president who ignores the occupation?

Wasn’t he telling the truth when he protested against Trump’s deranged argument that the Palestinians foiled the negotiations? A superpower that punishes the occupied instead of the occupier—that’s an inexplicable matter. Instead of stopping to finance and arm the occupier, the United States is stopping the funds to the rescue organization assisting the occupied party’s refugees. It’s insane. Abbas responded with restraint. American Ambassadors Nikki Haley and David Friedman are indeed friends of the occupier and enemies of international law; how can those two oddballs be described in any other way?

But the main shock happened when Abbas touched the rawest Israeli nerves and classified Zionism as part of the colonial project. What is incorrect here? When a sinking colonial power promises a country it isn’t ruling yet to a nation whose absolute majority doesn’t live in it, while ignoring the nation that does—what is it if not colonialism? When more than half the country is promised to less than a tenth of its residents, what is it if not a terrible injustice?

It’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth. The Balfour Declaration cannot be read differently. And what is more proper than to ask the British to apologize for it and now stand beside the Palestinians after all the years of being evicted and dispossessed, beginning with Balfour and continuing to this day?

Establishing Israel served the imperialist West. Abbas is right. Israel is seen as the last Western outpost against the Arab savages, as South Africa’s apartheid regime was seen by the same West as the last outpost against the communists and the blacks.

Then came the Holocaust and Israel became a rightful, just refuge, but this too was at the Palestinians’ expense. The world should have compensated them by liberating them from the 1967 occupation and given them equal rights or a state. That’s what Abbas was talking about.

Abbas is far from being the perfect statesman. He’s not a democrat. He’s unpopular, perhaps corrupt, certainly pathetic in his insistence on the dead two-state solution. But he’s the most peace-seeking, nonviolent Palestinian statesman imaginable. This is why he is so dangerous to Israel. This is why Binyamin Netanyahu celebrated his speech, echoed by the national choir. Israel wants everyone to be [Hamas leader and Gaza Prime Minister] Yahya Sinwar. It would make the occupation even more convenient.


Copyright © Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All rights reserved.

 

Palestinians Deserve—and Will Get—a More Serious Leadership

By Rami G. Khouri

THE CRUSHING IRONY for Palestinians today is that their cause remains widely supported by over 120 governments and billions of ordinary men and women around the world, yet the Palestinian leadership is a case study in hapless incompetence that verges on national shame. This was confirmed again in mid-January, when the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) issued a policy statement after days of deliberations that is a sad example of meaningless clichés uttered by aging men whose track record of political achievement is empty—and astoundingly so, in view of the massive and sustained support around the world for Palestinian national rights.

The Central Council is supposed to fill the gap between the National Council (parliament-in-exile) that represents all Palestinians around the world, and the Executive Committee that represents the major Palestinian political factions and functions like a government cabinet, headed by the president. In fact, these three organs of government and the presidency are all moribund institutions that have neither impact nor legitimacy, for the leadership has lost touch with the ordinary Palestinians whom it is supposed to represent and serve.

So it is no surprise that after another fiery but hollow speech by President Mahmoud Abbas, the Central Council has decided to “suspend” its recognition of Israel, end security cooperation with Israel, effectively nullify the 2003 Oslo accords, and call on the world to work for the creation of a Palestinian state and end Israel’s colonization policies. These meaningless words by a powerless leadership will have no impact on anything.

It is hard to know what else to say or do in the face of such a failed leadership of a noble Palestinian people that continues to struggle, mostly nonviolently, for their peaceful statehood and end to refugeehood and exile, alongside an Israeli state that would acknowledge those rights for Palestinians. But we must do something, because simply continuing with the same inept leadership that has excluded the vast majority of Palestinians from participating in their national decision-making only guarantees that daily life conditions and future prospects for those millions of Palestinians will only worsen with every passing month—and for those in refugee camps or under Israeli siege in Gaza, it is hard to imagine how life could get any more difficult.

The Palestinians cannot force major changes in the policies of the Israeli government that continues with the same colonial, apartheid-like policies that have defined Zionism since the 1947-48 creation of Israel and the dismemberment, disenfranchisement and dispersal of the Palestinians. But 1.5 million Palestinians of 1948 have become nine million or so today, and they do have the power to do one thing, whether they live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, as Israeli citizens inside Israel, or throughout the diaspora around the region and the world.

They can and must re-legitimize their national leadership into a single movement that listens to all their views, represents them legitimately, reaches policy decisions on the basis of serious consultations and consensus that allow Palestinians to speak in a single voice, and engages diplomatically around the world with the full support of all Palestinians.

None of these dynamics exists today, which is why the current leadership of the PLO under Mahmoud Abbas is not taken seriously in the region or internationally—least of all by the majority of Palestinians themselves, who have looked elsewhere for leadership in the years since the Oslo process proved to be a failure and Yasser Arafat started to lose his credibility. The leaderless condition of the Palestinian people today is reflected in how the three most dramatic examples of pubic political action in recent years have occurred without any meaningful input from the PLO, or from the Palestinian Authority (PA) which administers limited services and regions in the West Bank and Gaza where Israel gives it permission to do so.

Those three examples are: the current campaign around the world to support Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old girl from a West Bank village who is detained in an Israeli jail pending a possible military court trial, because she resisted Israeli occupation and slapped an Israeli soldier; the weeks of spontaneous popular protest last summer in Arab East Jerusalem, when tens of thousands of Palestinians there defended their holy sites at the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount, for Israelis); and the ongoing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by civil society to pressure Israel to stop its mistreatment and human rights denials of Palestinians in the three arenas of occupied Palestine, the state of Israel and the disapora.

Hamas’ challenge to the PLO leadership in Gaza is another sign of the PLO’s delinquency in protecting, representing or leading the Palestinians. It is difficult now to create a whole new national leadership, given the fragmented nature of the Palestinian community. Yet the cohesion that all Palestinians feel, wherever they live, also makes it feasible to at least start consultations among themselves to find a way out of the current nightmare by giving fresh blood and new life and legitimacy to existing PLO organs.

There is no reason why we should suffer this ghastly fate of being plagued by a colonial Zionist Israeli state that steadily eats up our land, ignored by a mostly caring world that is otherwise preoccupied by more pressing issues, and abandoned by a Palestinian leadership that has become powerless, dependent on donors, docile, a purveyor of empty clichés, and largely incoherent. Such situations might lull some observers to see the end of the Palestine issue, while a more likely conclusion would be that this low point will mark the start of a process of re-birth for the nine million Palestinians who have never stopped struggling and working for their national rights since the 1930s. They are certainly not going to stop now, regardless of the poor quality of their current leaders.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA0 Comments

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