Archive | December 10th, 2018

G20: You Can Smell Tear Gas in the Streets as the Oil Industry Squabbles

NOVANEWS

What the G20 and OPEC meetings mean for the political relations, economies, and people of the world

From the air-conditioned rooms of the oligarchy, we go to the tear gas of the streets. (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty)

From the air-conditioned rooms of the oligarchy, we go to the tear gas of the streets. (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty)

Last week, two important meetings took place—one, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of the Group of 20 (G20) nations, and two, in Vienna, Austria, of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil producers. The two meetings did not produce any resolution to the major economic challenges in the world. But they did soothe the nerves of financial markets. At the G20, the United States and China dialed down the temperature over trade but did not settle the long-term grievances each side has of the other. At the OPEC+ meeting, Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to cut production and raise the price of oil despite pressure from the United States and others to keep oil prices low.

At neither meeting did the major powers find solutions to their problems. They are all caught in mazes from which there are no easy exits. But what calmed the world of finance was that the geopolitical tension between the major powers seemed to have lessened. What impact this reduced tension has for the world’s people, however, is not clear.

Trade

The “trade war” engineered by U.S. President Donald Trump against China began with tariffs and ended with a damp squib. At the G20, Trump told China’s Xi Jinping that the U.S. tariffs that would have gone up to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports will no longer be applied. China, for its part, said that it would import more goods from the United States. No specifics were announced, which is why the tensions over even this agreement spilled over onto Twitter (courtesy of Trump’s hyperbole) and into more sober statements from the Chinese government.

There is so little democracy in the institutions that structure our lives.

The more fundamental questions of intellectual property and currency valuation remain unsolved. The United States accuses China of theft of the intellectual property of U.S. firms, but the Chinese counter—as they have in the arbitration panels of the World Trade Organization—that they merely draw from technology transferred as a result of commercial agreements freely made by firms eager to use Chinese labor. It will be impossible to resolve these two problems, since neither side sees the issues in the same way. Their worldviews regarding intellectual property and currency valuation are utterly alien to each other. If the United States believes that China is unfairly valuing its currency, the Chinese point to the unfair advantage that the dollar has over every currency in the world since it is used as one of the major global currencies for facilitation of trade and for the storage of wealth.

Oil

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman offered each other a friendly hand slap at the G20. Everyone seemed happy to see Mohammed bin Salman, despite the clear evidence of his role in the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But the real agreements between Russia and Saudi Arabia were not directly made in Buenos Aires. They were made more quietly in Vienna at the OPEC+ meeting. At Buenos Aires, Putin said, “yes, we have an agreement to prolong our accords.” He was referring to the deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia since 2016 to manage oil prices to their mutual benefit. The deal notwithstanding, Saudi Arabia has continued to pump itself into trouble—flooding the market with oil, driving prices down and depleting its own treasury as a result. Now Russia is eager to see oil production cuts and oil prices rise. Trapped by sanctions and by low oil prices, Russia has plunged into internal economic difficulties. The real issue was how much each country inside and outside OPEC should pump. That is why Putin said, “there is no final deal on volumes.” In fact, even after the deal has begun to emerge, there is no final deal. Saudi Arabia has not been a good partner here. It has pumped outside the numbers over the course of the past few years, largely under pressure from the United States.

There are two reasons why the United States wants low oil prices, despite the fact that the U.S. is now one of the world’s largest oil producers. First, low oil prices mean an immediate subsidy for the U.S. consumer and for U.S. manufacturing firms. There is no economic incentive to move to renewable energy when oil prices are low. Second, low oil prices hit adversaries of the U.S.-led world order that—as it happens—are major oil producers. The list includes Iran and Venezuela, two countries that have been sent into internal turmoil as oil prices have plummeted. But the United States has sufficient tools to hurt these countries without forcing oil prices down. For instance, even if oil prices rise, U.S. sanctions can be harsh enough to cut Iranian and Venezuelan oil out of the market. The lack of Iranian and Venezuelan oil operates as an effective cut in oil production, which will itself raise oil prices.

Saudi Arabia has already begun to pressure Libya and Nigeria to reduce oil exports, although both these African countries are reliant upon oil revenues. Saudi Arabia has succeeded in pushing Qatar out of OPEC on political grounds, but since Qatar only produces 2 percent of OPEC’s crude oil the departure, Qatexit is not meaningful. Inside the world of oil, there are those who are always pushed aside so that others can benefit.

Oil Buyers’ Club

In 2005, Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar assembled his counterparts from across Asia to start a discussion on a buyers’ club. The precise issue on the table was the “Asian Premium” charged by Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to Asian countries. The “Asian Premium” is substantial—close to $10 billion per year for the Asian consumers of Gulf oil. It is what bothered Aiyar and the other oil ministers. But they did not come to any agreement.

Asia is the largest importer of oil in the world. India and China, with the United States, are the three largest importers of oil. Right behind them are Japan and South Korea. If you add the oil imports by China, India, Japan and South Korea, then these four Asian countries import a full third of world oil imports. They are both reliant upon the oil exporters, but they also have power as a bloc of consumers.

In 2012, China’s premier Wen Jiabao said that there needed to be a counter-cartel to OPEC that should include Europe and the United States. Interest in his proposal was minimal. Oil had reached $100 per barrel. It stifled economic growth and did not move any of these industrial giants toward non-carbon renewable fuel.

The issue of a buyers’ cartel came back on the table in April this year at the International Energy Forum. The chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Sanjiv Singh and the chairman of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Wang Yilin then met in Beijing to go deeper into the possibility. By June, China and India—which import 17 percent of the world’s oil—had begun to openly talk about a buyers’ cartel to help create “stable and moderate” oil prices, as India’s current Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan put it.

China and India have been upset by the U.S. sanctions on Iran. They have felt that these produce an adverse impact on Asian economies. They are joined by Japan and the European Union, who are also not pleased with these sanctions. It is now being said that if China and India establish a buyers’ club, Japan and Europe will join in.

Smell of Tear Gas

From the air-conditioned rooms of the oligarchy, we go to the tear gas of the streets.

Protests in Paris, France, have been the most violent in decades. The yellow vests (gilets jaunes) appeared as if out of nowhere to demonstrate against the French government’s hike in fuel prices. They make the case that the violence of the economy has destroyed their ability to function. Any violence on the streets is a reflection of the violence that structures their lives. The streets of Paris smelled of tear gas.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, labor unions and political groups of one kind or another planned massive protests against the G20. They wanted to scream at their leaders, who have been deaf to their pleas. But the Argentinian government held the G20 meeting at the Costa Salguero convention center, on the magnificent Rio de La Plata. Police cordoned off the area, while the coast guard boats sailed up and down the river. No one could get near the site. None of the leaders were interrupted by the chants.

There were no protests in Vienna. The OPEC building was nonetheless surrounded by the elite WEGA units. No one knew that the meeting was being held. There is so little democracy in the institutions that structure our lives.

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Trump’s International Anti-Iran Coalition

NOVANEWS

Trump’s International Anti-Iran Coalition Looks Like It’s Falling Apart. He Doesn’t Have a Back-Up Plan.

The president upended diplomatic relations based on support from the leaders from Saudi Arabia and Israel. Now our position is rather precarious.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with then-Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (Photo: Evan Vucci / AP file )

President Donald Trump shakes hands with then-Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (Photo: Evan Vucci / AP file )

President Donald Trump set out to pick a fight with Iran from the early days of his administration. But a set of astonishing developments has pulled the rug out from under his feet, and the next three months will determine whether Trump will opt to escalate his provocations or find a face-saving exit from his bravado.

Only a few months ago, Trump was oozing with confidence, having pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, worked with the Saudis to squeeze oil exports and announced the reimposition of sanctions to the pleasure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As a result, the Iranian currency, the rial, was tanking and a noticeable sense of nervousness permeated Iran. The country had weathered sanctions before, but something felt different this time around.

Trump certainly thought there was: “I know they’re having a lot of problems and their economy is collapsing,” he told reporters on July 12. “[A]t a certain point, they’re going to call me and they’re going to say, ‘Let’s make a deal’.”

Fast forward five months, though, and all three pillars of Trump’s policy of strangulating Iran are at risk.

First, Saudi-US relations now arguably face the greatest crisis in history following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The US has long turned a blind eye to the Saudis involvement in the spread of terrorism, but Trump’s shameless protection of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman — who the CIA believes, with high confidence, ordered the murder — may be considered egregious.

Republican Senators who were briefed on the matter by CIA Director Gina Haspel this week left with little doubt of Salman’s guilt. “You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intrinsically involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi,” Trump ally Lindsey Graham said after the briefing.

Even if the Republicans end up siding with Trump on continuing relations with Saudi Arabia on the current terms, the Democrats are unlikely to simply allow the relationship to return to business-as-usual.

This is partly because the Saudi-U.S. relationship embodies everything progressives oppose: A cozy relationship with a brutal authoritarian ruler driven by the greed of arms manufacturers, all while the U.S. is complicit in a Saudi-engineered famine in Yemen and the House of Saud’s human rights and women’s rights abuses.

Plus, Saudi has already annoyed Trump by cutting its oil production, arguably undermining its sole role in Trump’s Iran strategy.

Second, Israel has played a critical behind-the-scenes role in Trump’s Iran policy. Netanyahu, in particular, has been a central conduit for the relationship between Salman and Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, which in turn helped pave the way for the close coordination between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and for the U.S. to turn against Iran.

But Netanyahu is now facing an existential fight for his political future. Israeli prosecutors have recommended indicting him again this week and he may soon face early elections as his government collapses. Though the next Israeli government is not likely to pursue a different Iran policy, it may not unconditionally embrace Trump and the Saudi Crown Prince as Netanyahu has.This could create a dangerous crack in the U.S.-Israel-Saudi front against Iran.

Third, Trump’s own political maneuverability is at risk: Trump will face far greater political obstacles going forward from the midterm elections, with the House likely investigating everything from his taxes, to his relationship with Saudi Arabia to his policy of picking a fight with Iran. Forced to play defense at home, Trump may not be able to continue to make Iran a priority.

But the most important indicator of the eventual failure of Trump’s Iran policy lies not with the health of the pillars, but what the current sanctions policy failed to produce before it was at risk.

Trump promised that the Iranian currency would continue to fall and that Tehran’s oil exports would go down to zero. Yet, though the Iranian economy certainly is hurting, the currency has stabilized and Trump was himself forced to issue eight sanctions waivers to European and Asian countries, undermining the policy from the get-go.

And the whole plan was predicated on the idea that an economic collapse would compel Iranians to rise up against their government. According to the New York Times, Trump was presented with a $2 billion plan to destabilize the Iranian economy and manipulate social media to foment unrest in Iran by causing the Iranian public to lose confidence in the regime’s ability to survive. Much indicates that the plan was adopted by Trump, yet it failed. The rial has stabilized andfew are today willing to bank on the regime’s demise, even though the public’s discontent with the country’s theocracy remains very high.

Today, if you’re sitting in Tehran, you’re probably more confident in the future than if you’re in Riyadh or Washington. Trump has thrown everything he has at Iran, and it hasn’t worked. And once the European “Special Purpose Vehicle” — an alternative payment system that will enable companies to defy Trump’s sanctions — is up and running next year, the Trump’s Iran strategy may face yet another crippling blow.

The question is what Salman and Netanyahu will push Trump to do once the failure of the current policy is evident. If past is prologue, they will press him to go to war. But, at that point, even Trump may grow tired of being treated as the junior partner in this relationship.

Posted in USA, Iran, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Trump’s International Anti-Iran Coalition

NAZI REGIME ATTACKS CHRISTMAS TREE DISPLAY

NOVANEWS

UPROAR IN ASHDOD AS MAYOR ATTACKS MALL FOR CHRISTMAS TREE DISPLAY

On Monday, a few days after the placement of the tree, a menorah was added to the display.

BY TAMAR BEERI

Uproar in Ashdod as mayor attacks mall for Christmas tree display

 A man dressed as Santa Claus gestures in front of a Christmas tree. (photo credit: OSWALDO RIVAS/REUTERS)

A shopping center in Ashdod displayed a fir tree, commonly associated with Christmas, in the centre of the mall plaza, sparking the displeasure of city council member and current acting mayor Avi Amsalem, according to a report in Zionist media.

Amsalem, who belongs to the Shas party, claimed in a post on Facebook that “this is no longer the subject of a disagreement between haredi [ultra-Orthodox] people and secular people… this is something intended to hurt anyone who identifies as Jewish.”

Big Fashion mall in Ashdod had been run for the past five years “without symbols that arouse incitement and division,” according to a post by Amsalem on his Facebook page.

“Respect the buyers and especially the business owners in the facility,” Amsalem said, addressing the mall’s owners. “Your job is to create commerce, not to display symbols that hurt the feelings of the city’s traditional residents.” “For generations, tradition always won,” he added.

In response, the company said that a large part of the community in Ashdod and of visitors to the mall are immigrants from the former Soviet Union who, according to commonly held stereotypes, observe Christmas.

“Any word beyond that is unnecessary,” the company said.

Big Fashion, which owns shopping centers all over ‘Israel’, said that they have had Christmas trees on display in the past and never received such a response.

On Monday, a few days following the opening of the tree display, a menorah was added. This did not satisfy the acting mayor, however, who responded saying that “the last candle was lit yesterday.” “Remove the disgrace,” he said, “the sooner the better.”

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The new Nepal and its place in Asia and the world ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

Image result for nepal flag

Originally posted on the Liberation News YouTube channel. 

Over the past two decades, Nepal has undergone a major political transformation. This event was a historic opportunity for George Washington University students and the larger DC community to hear exciting new developments in the country and region, as Nepal transforms from a feudal monarchy to a rapidly developing republic. Guest speakers included Mr. Subhas Raj Kaphley, Chairperson of the People’s Socialist Party of Nepal, Mr. Chandra Prakash Mainali, current General Secretary of Government, Hiranya Lal Sherestha, former Nepalese ambassador to Russia, and Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

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Testimonies From the Censored Deir Yassin Massacre: ‘They Piled Bodies and Burned Them’

NOVANEWS

A young fellow tied to a tree and set on fire. A woman and an old man shot in back. Girls lined up against a wall and shot with a submachine gun. The testimonies collected by filmmaker Neta Shoshani about the massacre in Deir Yassin are difficult to process even 70 years after the fact

For two years now a document that makes for difficult reading has been lying in the archives of the association to commemorate the heritage of Lehi – the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel pre-state underground militia. It was written by a member of the underground about 70 years ago. Reading it could reopen a bleeding wound from the days of the War of Independence that to this day stirs a great deal of emotion in Israeli society.

“Last Friday together with Etzel” – the acronym for the National Military Organization, also known as the Irgun, another pre-state underground militia, led by Menachem Begin – “our movement carried out a tremendous operation to occupy the Arab village on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road – Deir Yassin. I participated in this operation in the most active way,” wrote Yehuda Feder, whose nom de guerre in Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang) was “Giora.”

Further along in the letter, he describes in detail his part in the massacre that took place there. “This was the first time in my life that at my hands and before my eyes Arabs fell. In the village I killed an armed Arab man and two Arab girls of 16 or 17 who were helping the Arab who was shooting. I stood them against a wall and blasted them with two rounds from the Tommy gun,” he wrote, describing how he carried out the execution of the girls with a submachine gun.

Along with that, he tells about looting in the village with his buddies after it was occupied. “We confiscated a lot of money and silver and gold jewelry fell into our hands,” he wrote. He concludes the letter with the words: “This was a really tremendous operation and it is with reason that the left is vilifying us again.”

Pictures of the occupation of Deir Yassin. Most researchers state that 110 inhabitants of the village were killed there. IDF archive / Defense Ministry

This letter is one of the historical documents revealed in a new documentary film entitled “Born in Deir Yassin” by director Neta Shoshani, who devoted the past several years to comprehensive historical research on the Deir Yassin massacre, one of the constitutive incidents of the War of Independence, which has remained a blot on Israel to this day.

In advance of the premiere screening of the film at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Shoshani showed Haaretz the testimonies she has gathered about the incident, the result of extensive digging in archives along with in-depth interviews with the last living participants in the action. Some of them broke a silence of decades when they spoke to her, often for the first time in front of a camera.

The assault on the village of Deir Yassin began on the morning of April 9, 1948, as part of Operation Nachshon to break through the blockaded road to Jerusalem, with the participation of about 130 Lehi and Irgun fighters who received aid from the Haganah – the pre-independence army. The fighters encountered stiff resistance and sniper fire and advanced slowly through the village lanes while throwing grenades and blowing up houses.

Four of the fighters were killed and dozens were wounded. The number of Arab inhabitants who were killed there and the circumstances of their deaths has been disputed for many years, but most researchers state that 110 inhabitants of the village, among them women, children and elderly people, were killed there.

“They ran like cats,” related the commander of the operation, Yehoshua Zettler, the Jerusalem commander of Lehi, as he described the Arabs fleeing from their homes. Shoshani interviewed him in 2009, a few weeks before his death. Zettler denied that his people carried out a massacre in the village but he spared no words to describe the way its inhabitants were killed. “I won’t tell you that we were there with kid gloves on. House after house … we’re putting in explosives and they are running away. An explosion and move on, an explosion and move on and within a few hours, half the village isn’t there any more,” he said.

Zettler also provided a harsh account of the burning of the bodies of those who were killed, after the village was occupied. “Our guys made a number of mistakes there that made me angry. Why did they do that?” he said. “They took dead people, piled them up and burned them. There began to be a stink. This is not so simple.”

Another harsh account was provided by Prof. Mordechai Gichon, a lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces reserves, who was a Haganah intelligence officer sent to Deir Yassin when the battle ended. “To me it looked a bit like a pogrom,” said Gichon, who died about a year ago. “If you’re occupying an army position – it’s not a pogrom, even if a hundred people are killed. But if you are coming into a civilian locale and dead people are scattered around in it – then it looks like a pogrom. When the Cossacks burst into Jewish neighborhoods, then that should have looked something like this.”

According to Gichon, “There was a feeling of considerable slaughter and it was hard for me to explain it to myself as having been done in self-defense. My impression was more of a massacre than anything else. If it is a matter of killing innocent civilians, then it can be called a massacre.”

Yair Tsaban, a former Meretz MK and government minister, related in his interview with Shoshani that after the massacre, in which he did not participate, he was sent with fellow members of the Youth Brigades to bury the corpses of the dead. “The rationale was that the Red Cross was liable to show up at any moment and it was necessary to blur the traces [of the killings] because publication of pictures and testimonies about what had happened in the village would be very damaging to the image of our War of Independence,” he said.

‘They ran like cats,’ related the commander of the operation, Yehoshua Zettler, the Jerusalem commander of Lehi, as he described the Arabs fleeing from their homes in Deir Yassin. IDF archive / Defense Ministry

“I saw a fair number of corpses,” he added. “I don’t remember encountering the corpse of a fighting man. Not at all. I remember mostly women and old men.” Tsaban testified that he saw inhabitants shot in the back and dismissed the claims of some of participants in the action that the locals had been hit in exchanges of fire. “An old man and a woman, sitting in the corner of a room with their faces to the wall, and they are shot in the back,” he recalled. “That cannot have been in the heat of battle. No way.”

The massacre at Deir Yassin had many repercussions. The Jewish Agency, the chief rabbis and the heads of the Haganah condemned it. The left used it to denounce the right. Abroad, it was compared to the crimes of the Nazis. Additionally, as historian Benny Morris notes in his book “Righteous Victims,” “Deir Yassin had a profound demographic and political effect: It was followed by mass flight of Arabs from their locales.”

Shoshani first became interested in the Deir Yassin story about a decade ago, while working on her final project at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, which focused on visual documentation of the Kfar Shaul state psychiatric hospital, which in turn was built on the lands of Deir Yassin after the war. Following her documentation of the place as it is today, with its buildings that had served the village’s inhabitants in the past and today are part of the hospital, she also wanted to find historical pictures of the massacre that took place there 70 years ago.

A street in Deir Yassin, today and in 1948. ‘Within a few hours, half the village wasn’t there any more,’ Zettler wrote of the day. Itai Raziel (today), Zionist Archive (1948) / Still from the film ‘Born in Deir Yassin’

To her surprise, she found that the task was not at all simple. “On the internet are pictures of corpses that are captioned as having been photographed at Deir Yassin, but they are from Sabra and Chatila,” she says, referring to the 1982 massacre by Christian militiamen of hundreds of residents of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. “In the IDF Archive they released to me for publication pictures of the fighters from Deir Yassin themselves,” she continued and displayed a series of photos showing armed Irgun and Lehi members, but no trace of the Arabs who were killed.

At the Haganah Archive, where Shoshani continued her search – “like an naive child,” as she said – another surprise awaited her. “An older man came up to me, very hush-hush, took me to a side room and told me that he had taken pictures immediately after the massacre,” she said.

The man was Shraga Peled, 91, who at the time of the massacre was in the Haganah Information Service. He told Shoshani that after the battle he was sent to the village with a camera to document what he saw there. “When I got to Deir Yassin, the first thing I saw was a big tree to which a young Arab fellow was tied. And this tree was burnt in a fire. They had tied him to it and burned him. I photographed that,” he related. He also claims he photographed from afar what looked like a few dozen other corpses collected in a quarry adjacent to the village. He handed the film over to his superiors, he says, and since then he has not seen the photos.

‘When the Cossacks burst into Jewish neighborhoods, then that should have looked something like this,’ wrote Lt. Col. Mordechai Gichon of Deir Yassin. IDF archive / Defense Ministry

Possibly this is because the photos are part of the visual material that is hidden to this day in the Archive of the IDF and the Defense Ministry, of which the state is prohibiting publication even 70 years after the fact. Shoshani petitioned the High Court of Justice about this a decade ago as part of her final project at Bezalel. Haaretz joined her in the petition.

The state explained that publication of the pictures was liable to damage the state’s foreign relations and the “respect for the dead.” In 2010, after viewing the pictures, the Supreme Court justices rejected the petition, leaving the material far from the public eye. In the meantime Shoshani managed to get hold of some other photos connected to the massacre, among them a series of pictures documenting orphaned children whose parents had been killed at Deir Yassin.

The Deir Yassin massacre continues to upset everyone who deals with it, even at a distance of 70 years. Not everyone agrees with the characterization “massacre.” Historian Dr. Uri Milstein, who studies Israel’s wars, does a lot to propagate the thesis that there wasn’t any massacre in the village. In many articles he has written, he claims that this is “a mendacious myth” and “a blood libel” and that the Arab dead were killed in “a battle in a built-up area.”

“I don’t think that anyone there had the intention of coming there and killing children,” says Shoshani in summing up the materials she has gathered about the incident. However, she says, “This was not a battle against fighters but rather the sudden occupation of a village, in confrontation with inhabitants who defended their homes with meager means. There were also cases, apparently isolated, of mowing down inhabitants, ‘executions,’ after the fighting was over, for the purpose of deterrence and out of fear.”

The Deir Yassin massacre was the first of a number of incidents in which Jewish fighters were involved in killing civilians in the War of Independence and after it was over. Another infamous incident was the one at Kafr Qasem in 1956, on the day the fighting in the Sinai Campaign began. Forty-eight Israeli Arab citizens were killed by Border Police gunfire. As in the case of Deir Yassin, the state is still censoring the archival materials from Kafr Qasem.

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A VICTORY FOR FREE SPEECH

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A VICTORY FOR FREE SPEECH – Twitter Restores Tony Greenstein’s Suspended Account

Malicious Zionist Complaint of ‘Anti-Semitism’ by Jack Mendel of Jewish Newshas been Rejected by Twitter.

 
Twitter’s standard response to my initial appeals

On November 17th there was a message on my Twitter account informing me that my account had been suspended for ‘hateful conduct’.  It quickly became apparent that a complaint had been made by a ‘journalist’ Jack Mendel @mendelpol of Jewish News.

I immediately posted an article and followed it up withanother article a few days later. Mendel openly boasted of his cowardly deed stating

I reported Greenstein for repeatedly sending me messages filled with hate, including using far right ‘Zio’ term, and various comparisons of Jews and Israel to nazism.

 fake journalist Jack Mendel knows no shame
 fake journalist Jack Mendel knows no shame

Jack Mendel was and is a liar. Far from me contacting him it was the other way around.  I was responding to him and his friends. Nothing I said had anything to do with hate.  I don’t do hate nor do I hate this ‘so-called journalist’ (his description not mine) who, unable to engage in the cut and thrust of political debate, reached for Twitter’s censor. However I have nothing but contempt for a ‘journalist’ who attempts to close down free speech. All under the guise of opposing ‘hate speech’ no less. What I hate is racism and Zionism.

Twitter’s standard response
Twitter’s standard response

The facts are quite simple. The Jewish Leadership Council, an unelected Zionist group tweeted three times its support of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which was supposedly in response to the firing of firecrackers (‘rockets’). To the JLC and its faithful lapdog Mendel, Israel was reacting to Hamas’s firing. In actual fact Hamas was reacting to a botched operation in Gaza by an undercover Israeli military squad that went wrong.  Botched Israeli Operation in Gaza Endangers Human Rights Groups. Israel’s undercover squad posed as aid workers for a charity working in Gaza thus endangering all humanitarian relief workers.  They murdered 7 people for the loss of one of their own as they extricated themselves.

 
Battling for Israel – Zionism’s Fake Journalist Jack Mendel

On November 15th I responded pointing out that there is a long record of aggressors posing as the victim. I pointed out that 80 years ago, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland it pretended that it was the victim. Nazi soldiers dressed up in Polish uniforms staged a mock attack on a German radio station at Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia. The details can be found in the second of Richard Evan’s trilogy ‘The Third Reich in Power’. pp.699/700.

According to @mendelpol these were ‘despicable remarks’. To most people with a few brain cells this was a historical analogy. That is what history is about, comparisons. Otherwise how do you make sense of historical events? Being unable to rebut my remarks Mendel sought the assistance of Twitter’s censor.

 
Canary article helps launch campaign against Twitter censorship

On the 16th November I responded by saying that what was despicable was the shooting down in cold blood of 200 unarmed demonstrators in Gaza and the decade long starvation siege. In Mendel’s morbid mind this became ‘This morning a Jewish activist sent me a tweet filled with anti-Semitic tropes.’ Zionists love the word tropes. It’s a cliché they use as a substitute for thinking, probably because it rhymes with dopes. According to Mendel ‘Being Jewish or having Jewish ancestry isn’t a free pass to saying things which play down antiSemitism/in the second case are anti-Semitic.’ 

Being incapable of responding with anything useful Useless Jack Mendel reached for Twitter’s Censor
Being incapable of responding with anything useful Useless Jack Mendel reached for Twitter’s Censor

I agree. Being Jewish doesn’t mean you can’t be anti-Semitic. Mendel himself is a good example of a Jewish anti-semite. Zionism was founded by an anti-Semite, Theodor Herzl and it is led today by another anti-Semite, Benjamin Netanyahu, a Holocaust Revisionist who cuddles up to all manner of anti-Semites including the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban. [see Rewriting the Holocaust – Jacobin]

It wasn’t me who said that Palestine was an ‘institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin’ but Israel’s first Minister of Justice, Pinhas Rosenbluth. Zionism is a form of Jewish Anti-Semitism.

Nothing I said was even remotely anti-Semitic. How can condemning Israel’s siege of Gaza or the murder of  unarmed Palestinians, including 21 year old medic Razan al-Najar, as she was dashing to help the wounded, be anti-Semitic?

If Mendel tried for once to engage  what passes for his brain he might realise that if anyone was being anti-Semitic it was he. What he was suggesting is that the murder of children and unarmed demonstrators is the embodiment of Jewish identity. That it is Jewish to kill innocent people. That is akin to saying that Jews are bloodthirsty creatures who enjoy killing children and young people.  It’s a modern version of the medieval blood libel. That is Zionism in the 21st century.

To this very day Yousaf’s account is still active although it hasn’t been used for 2 years, which suggests that it was a paid Israeli troll account
Being told it was a pity you didn’t die in the Holocaust was not a breach of Twitter rules!
To this very day Yousaf’s account is still active although it hasn’t been used for 2 years, which suggests that it was a paid Israeli troll account
Being told it was a pity you didn’t die in the Holocaust was not a breach of Twitter rules!

What was particularly outrageous about Twitter’s closing of my account was that repeatedly over the past two years I have complained of abuse from Zionist trolls including being told by a George Yousaf that it was a great shame that my family and I had not died in the Holocaust. To all my complaints Twitter responded that these were not breaches of their rules yet Mendel’s false and malicious complaint was upheld. When I appealed against my suspension I received a negative standard response and got the same response repeatedly. Clearly these replies are not generated by human beings but by algorithm.

An example of the comments that Twitter found didn’t breach their rules
An example of the comments that Twitter found didn’t breach their rules

It was only when a live human being at Twitter, because none of the responses I got was signed by a named person, was contacted personally and told that their refusal to reinstate my account was unacceptable and their practices would be raised if necessary in Parliament that my account was reinstated.

Twitter’s standard response to complaints
Twitter’s standard response to complaints

What happened to me is not unique. Twitter and Facebook have been removing accounts of anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians at the behest of Zionist bigots like @mendelpol. Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets are giant monopolies akin to the great trusts of the 19th century.  The reaction then was to break these trusts up as being inimical to the public interest.  The control of an important area of public debate by private groups is something that sooner or later parliament is going to have to regulate.  It is unacceptable that unaccountable corporations can remove or censor people at will.

 
Abuse by Zionist supporter of Tommy Robinson, Mark Haringman – I am a thief, fraudster, child abuser and socialist – in no particular order – only in the twisted mind of a Zionist fascist would being a socialist be a crime!
Twitter finds that Haringman (Newsdude) Tweets are in order

Like the privatised utilities, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc. should be treated as emanations of the State and thus be subject to public control and susceptible to Judicial Review and other forms of legal restraint. At the moment faceless people or machines make decisions without any independent oversight.

As long as Twitter and Facebook remain privately controlled one can expect malicious Zionists like @mendelpol to use the power of the Israeli state and Zionism’s pernicious influence to effect the same censorship that the Israeli state itself imposes on its subjects.

I have a number of people and organisations to thank for helping me reverse Mendel’s squalid little attempt at censorship. In no particular order.

Philip Weiss, of Mondoweiss, who carried my article Twitter closes down my account for ‘hateful conduct’ at a time when I was eager to get my story out.

A big thank you to Afroze Zaidi-Jivraj a journalist on the Canary, the Independent Media site whose article Twitter censors pro-Palestinian Jewish activist while allowing antisemitic abuse against him was immensely helpful. Afroze was also helpful in other ways despite not being well.

Thanks also to Asa Winstanley, the Electronic Intifada journalist for his article in Middle East Monitor, The relentless censorship of anti-Zionist Jews which started with the line that Tony Greenstein is slowly but surely being disappeared from the internet’. I began to wonder whether my death sentence had been pronounced prematurely!  In the purported words of Mark Twain, the announcement of my death had been greatly exaggerated!

Also to be mentioned in dispatches are Ali Abunimah, the Director of Electronic Intifada and Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam for their helpful advice at a difficult time

Naturally the right-wing pro-war site Harry’s Place, despite purporting to defend free speech, engaged in a piece of whatabouttery in order to rationalise Twitter’s censorship. HP, despite having as their slogan Orwell’s ‘Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear’ refused to defend my right to tell Zionists like @mendelpol what he didn’t want to hear!  But then HP has always been quite selective when it came to deciding whose free speech they defended! Or as the Muslim group Mendsuggested, Orwell’s ‘‘Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful … and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind’ is far more appropriate to hypocrites like HP and Jack Mendel.

It is to be expected that Zionist papers like Jewish News will employ ‘journalists’ who see it as their job to censor those whom they disagree with. That is because the Jewish Newsand the Jewish Chronicle are not so much newspapers as Zionist propaganda rags. Contrast this with the vigorousJewish Forward in the United States which doesn’t hesitate to debate out all these issues.

It is a small but vital victory over those who would limit the free speech of Palestinian supporters and anti-Zionists.

Tony Greenstein

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on A VICTORY FOR FREE SPEECH

Macron looks to create new European army

NOVANEWS
Trump and Macron. Public domain image.

Armistice Day commemorations were marred by sharp disagreements between U.S. and West European political leaders about the exact nature of their “partnership”. As people mourned the one hundredth anniversary of the end to World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron earned the ire of Trump by saying a European armyneeded to be developed. His rationale is that a European army is needed to counter the “threats” of Russia and China and that Europe relies too much on the U.S. military.

Other European leaders have expressed differing levels agreement with Macron’s sentiments. German President Angela Merkel endorsed the comments while Eastern European governments which have traditionally been more closely tied to Washington have been reticent to endanger the relationship with their trans-Atlantic master.

There are several lessons to be learned from this episode. The most obvious is the extreme callousness with which capitalist politicians view the lives of their citizens. Macron made his remarks about the need to rearm Europe on an occasion when people the world over were remembering the slaughter of 11 million people, all so that capitalist politicians could re-divide a world that had already been divided by imperialist powers. The call to create a new army to “protect” Europe belies Macron and Merkel’s supposed devotion to peace.

U.S. corporate media has reported these developments in a confused way, obfuscating the dynamics between European capitalists, their political representatives and the U.S. state. So what does Macron really stand for and why is he opposed to Trump’s political agenda? Before moving to the particularities of French politics, it’s necessary to have a clear view of the European Union.

What is the “European Union”?

As Liberation News has noted, the “European project” has always been at its core a strategy for capitalists to bolster their own standing in the world and ability to undermine the social programs and other protections the workers’ movement has won. The free movement of capital within the economic and monetary union has allowed for trade unions to be smashed, production to be shipped abroad to low wage countries, and the wealth of capitalists to go untaxed by funneling assets into opaque shadow banking and accounting networks in the City of London.

The rhetoric coming from the centers of power concerning this issue has been disorienting. Pro-EU capitalist politicians structure the debate as one between “nationalism and multilateralism.” They claim that defending the neoliberal status quo means defending an open society. Thus, in this view, those who support the rights of migrants and refugees should support the EU.

The relatively small section of the European ruling class that is opposed to the EU have seized upon some workers’ very legitimate skepticism of the neoliberal European order to push a racist agenda, demonizing those who come to Europe to flee wars started by the United States in the Middle East and North Africa. This demonization is another tool in the bloody toolbox of the capitalist state: turning on migrants and refugees shatters the solidarity of our class. Creating a racist scapegoat allows for the system to direct popular anger against “foreigners” –the formerly colonized peoples–rather than against the real enemy of European workers, the European capitalist bosses.

Political differences in elite French politics

With this background in mind we can see the rifts within the ruling class and two trends developing. To deal with the crisis of capitalism, neoliberal sectors of the French capitalist class have coalesced around Macron’s new political party, “On the Move.” Like the Democrats and Republicans in the U.S., this is not a political party per se so much as a political affinity group. There are many different views expressed in this bloc but chief among them is the commitment to maintaining the EU.

Given the historical legacy of post-war French politics, Macron walks a fine line between a putative commitment to French sovereignty and his very realcommitment to the technocratic, unaccountable rule of Brussels. He has styled himself a patriot while selling out the workers of France to international capital. Acting as a strikebreaker and bringer of austerity, Macron has dramatically shrunk the public sphere and sought to destroy what is left of the heroic legacy of French “syndicalisme radical.” Massive strikes by rail workers earlier this year expressed popular disgust with the privatization of public service, In many ways, Macron has been more “Gaulliste” than Les Républicains, initiating constitutional reforms that would consolidate an even greater amount of power in his person.

The other capitalist political trend arising out of the crisis in Europe is the insurgent far right. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN), formerly the National Front, has been the main beneficiary of this rightward shift in politics. The scion of a father who denies the Holocaust and tortured FLN fighters in Algeria, Le Pen has sought to maintain the imprimatur of the far right while bringing her odious ideas into the mainstream. The RN panders to a far right base rooted in deep-seated French anti-Semitism and anti-Arab racism while broadening her message to try to take advantage of bona fide dissatisfaction with the EU.

Opportunistically twisting political grievances to serve a racist agenda is a core feature of fascism. The only antidote to this blight is revolutionary socialism.

Europe and the United States

Key to understanding the trajectory of these two trends is their relationship to U.S. Empire. Macron represents a sector of the capitalist class that is scared of the potentially destabilizing effects of Trump’s policies and chauvinistic attitude towards the “junior partners” of U.S. imperialism.

This is not only embarrassing for politicians who have to explain their servility to U.S. interests to their people but also stands to be economically harmful to some European capitalists. Since taking office, the Trump administration has made extensive use of tariffs to bolster U.S. businesses at the expense of their international competitors. Many establishment thinkers believe this policy creates more problems than it solves, increasing military overextension and alienating potential partners. Among this camp would be included Macron, Merkel, and Obama, whom Macron admires.

Sensing intransigence from a United States committed to redefining the “rules-based international order” in its own favor, these European leaders are increasingly seeing their fate as being separate from that of the United States. Since the Suez crisis of 1956, European powers have played a junior role in the management of world imperialism, subordinate to the leadership of the United States when it comes to issues of central geopolitical importance. The primacy of the U.S. ruling class in the imperialist club is based in large part on the enormous size and capacity of its armed forces. So why create a new pan-European army?

One aspect of this rationale is the increasing erraticism of U.S. policy makers. Another factor potentially influencing Macron’s decision to consider the creation of a European army is the fact that there are serious questions being raised about the efficacy of the U.S. military in a conventional war. With “great power conflict” being the focus of the new National Defense Strategy, neoliberal European leaders might be calculating that the U.S. emperor has no clothes.

Whatever the future may bring it is clear that the creation of a European army would signal the beginning of a breakdown in the system of alliances that has served European and U.S. capitalists well since WWII. It is up to the workers of all countries to stand together against militarism and empire!

Posted in FranceComments Off on Macron looks to create new European army

CONNECTING THE DOTS: CRACK, CONTRAS, AND THE CIA ‘ Video’

NOVANEWS

Image result for CONTRAS, AND THE CIA CARTOON

 

GARY WEBB BEFORE THEY BLEW HIM UP

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

This 1996 interview with Gary Webb took place after his “Dark Alliance” newspaper series made waves across the country for piecing together the puzzle of the US crack epidemic.

The pipeline of CIA backed drug smuggling into the country and money smuggling out of the country to support the Nicaraguan Contras was wide open from the mid 1970s on, with players using everything from their shoes to freighters to move cocaine.

Webb was widely smeared by the CIA’s favorite newspapers (The New York Times, the Washington Post, The LA Times) shortly after this interview.

He was eventually vindicated, but not before his career was destroyed. He was found dead of an apparent suicide in 2005. The price of being a whistleblower?

Posted in USA, NicaraguaComments Off on CONNECTING THE DOTS: CRACK, CONTRAS, AND THE CIA ‘ Video’

As U.S. forces fire tear gas on migrants, over 25 cities mobilize in solidarity with Caravan

NOVANEWS

As U.S. forces fire tear gas on migrants, over 25 cities mobilize in solidarity with Caravan

PSL members joined and organized activities in 25 cities nationwide. Above, the contingent at the San Ysidro border crossing where U.S. forces fired tear gas at migrants

San Diego protesters mobilize to the border crossing. Liberation photo

The Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition, and its supporters, took to the streets Sunday morning in San Diego on the National Day of Action to show their support and solidarity for the migrants of the Caravan.

Protesters marched to the San Ysidro Port of Entry where they were confronted by agents and officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Homeland and Security (DHS), as well as San Diego Police.

Nearby, DHS agents sickeningly fired tear gas at migrant families in Tijuana when they made their way to the border wall, with hopes of crossing and applying for asylum in the United States.

Nov. 25 was declared an international day of solidarity with the refugee caravan that has traveled from Honduras to the borders of the United States. Following are reports from some of the many actions held in the United States, which the PSL participated in and helped organize.

Columbia, South Carolina

Liberation photo

Columbia, SC. Liberation photo

PSL mobilized its members and other activists to do outreach and distribute hundreds of bilingual leaflets condemning the imperialist establishment’s racist, anti-immigrant frenzy and calling for solidarity with the caravanistas in Columbia’s working class neighborhoods and communities. One unemployed worker we spoke with embodied the feeling of an increasing number of class conscious workers, dismissing the anti-immigrant hatred pushed by the Trump administration in response to the caravan as “a rich man’s plot.”

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Liberation photo

Baton Rouge. Liberation photo

A small group gathered with signs on Sherwood on the corner of Southfork drive, the corner where the U.S. border patrol has an office. The security was less welcoming than the crowd and insisted that we stay off the grass and on the sidewalk. Participants complied then returned to Sherwood where the action was more visible. Claire Marshall, a Biology major at LSU said, “I think it’s super important for people to welcome refugees at the border …having people there to welcome them and treat them like your family or treat them like so they will be less lonely.”

New York City

NYC. Liberation photo

NYC. Liberation photo

About 250-300 immigrants’ rights activists gathered at the NYPL on Fifth Avenue and 41st street to say “immigrants are welcome, open the borders!” “No Family Separations, Jail or Deportations,” and “They’re killing us with guns made in the USA.” The group marched to Mexican consulate, where there was a collection of flowers and teddy bears left to honor those killed by border patrol or trying to cross over to the U.S.

San Francisco , Ca.

San Francisco. Liberation photo

In the Mission, a predominately Latino community in San Francisco, the Party for Socialism and Liberation held a rally in solidarity with the Caravan. Several speakers at the rally had immigrated through previous caravans and spoke of their harrowing journey to escape the poverty and violence U.S. imperialism has created in their homelands. They faced racism, exploitation, and prison as they struggled to gain refugee status. Speakers drove home the point that this is not an immigration crisis but a crisis of neoliberal capitalism which has pushed so many countries to extreme poverty as their super exploited wealth moved from these nations into the pockets of U.S. capitalists. It is not immigrants who prevent us from finding decent jobs and lives of dignity but monopolies, such as Amazon, which use their power to drive workers’ wages into the ground.

Lancaster, Pa.

Lancaster, Pa. Liberation photo.

Lancaster, Pa. Liberation photo.

Community organizers gathered to express solidarity with the asylum seekers from Central America. Organizers discussed with community members the need to express international workers’ solidarity and expose the lies by Trump about immigrants. Many people expressed their support for the refugees. Lancaster has a long tradition of supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas. Liberation photo.

Fayetteville, Arkansas. Liberation photo.

The Northwest Arkansas ANSWER Coalition organized an emergency demonstration in the early afternoon in Springdale.  Springdale is an extremely diverse city, hosting a large Latino and Marshallese population. As such the caravan and the treatment of refugees is an important one to the people of Springdale. The overall response was a very positive one, with numerous people slowing down to shout words of support and denunciations of Trump’s refugee and immigration policies.

Geneva, NY

Geneva, NY. Liberation photo.

Geneva, NY. Liberation photo.

Demonstrators held up signs on a busy traffic route (outside the Tim Hortons on 5&20 in the Town of Geneva). Several cars passing by honked to show their support. After the demonstration, we had a branch meeting to discuss, among other things, Geneva’s personal stakes in conversations about immigrant rights. For instance, Geneva has seen a major influx of immigrants from Central and South America: Geneva City School District’s Latino population has grown 20 percent in recent years. The branch will be holding a “peace talk” event to further discuss immigration issues.

Minneapolis, Mn. 

Minneapolis. Liberation photo

Minneapolis. Liberation photo

On Nov. 25, PSL members distributed flyers in downtown Minneapolis announcing the “We welcome Honduran refugees! No troops at the border!” rally organized by Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Immigrant Movement for Justice and other progressive organizations in the Minnesota/Twin Cities area. Minneapolitans responded to news of the rally with approval and support. The rally is scheduled for 5 P.M. November 30, at the U.S. Federal Courthouse.

Bradenton, Fl

Bradenton, Florida. Liberation photo.

Bradenton, Florida. Liberation photo.

A group of around activists and community members gathered at the intersection of 14th Street West and Cortez Road. Organizers spoke about the role of U.S. imperialism in bringing about the conditions in Central America which have lead to the refugee crisis, as well as for the need for a mass movement for socialism to end forced migration. Many people driving by honked and showed support for the action.

New Haven, Ct.

New Haven hosted a free community study group and discussion on the caravan and the roots of mass migration from Latin America. Community members met up at a local coffee shop and were able to learn about how to combat common propaganda against immigrants in the U.S.. Shortly after our study group ended, participants heard from friends in a local immigrant rights group asking for to help coordinate an emergency action in solidarity with the caravan on Nov. 26.

Seattle, Wa

Seattle. Photo by Susan Fried, used with permission.

Seattle. Photo by Susan Fried, used with permission.

Some 45 people came down to Westlake Park in downtown Seattle for the National Day of Action in Solidarity with the Caravan. In the time between the “Thanksgiving” holiday and Christmas, this area is full of holiday shoppers and families enjoying window displays, decorated trees and a carousel. Tonight’s action was initiated by PSL and ANSWER Seattle. Other groups which mobilized for the action included Radical Women, International Socialist Organization, Freedom Socialist Party and Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity. Participants chanted “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!” A spirited open mic attracted attention from passersby as demonstrators passed out statements.

Denver, Co.

Denver. Liberation photo.

Denver. Liberation photo.

PSL in Denver organized a demonstration in front of the state capitol building in coalition with Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, MUJERR, Abolish ICE Denver, Denver DSA, Denver ISO, Boulder ISO, UMAS y MEXA de Boulder, Front Range Mutual Aid Network, and ANSWER Coalition: Colorado. Bruno from PSL spoke about the interconnectedness of all working and oppressed peoples’ struggles and the importance of organizing for socialism and the of U.S. imperialism. Jeanette Vizguerra, who gained national prominence in 2017 after seeking asylum in a Denver church, spoke about her experience as an organizer and an undocumented mother fighting the deportation machine. She and several other local organizers echoed the importance of organizing and the responsibility of U.S. imperialism for violence, exploitation, and destabilization in Latin America. After hearing from speakers, the crowd then marched through the city.

Sacramento,Ca.

In solidarity with the refugee caravan gathering at the US-Mexico border, the Sacramento branch of the PSL held a study session at its office on Florin road. The focus of the reading and discussion was the history of U.S. military involvement in human rights abuses in Honduras following the 1981 “transition to democracy.” This period saw Honduras act as a base for U.S. funded Contras seeking to destabilize the neighboring Sandinista-led Nicaragua as well as supporting the military against the FMLN in El Salvador. The construction of the Palmerola Air Base and organization of the Battalion 3-16 death squad are two lasting legacies of this period. This historical context is necessary to understand the conditions in Honduras that have forced so many thousands to flee for the United States.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City. Liberation photo.

Salt Lake City. Liberation photo.

PSL Salt Lake organized a rally in solidarity with the refugee caravan at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building. PSL members spoke about the effects of U.S. imperialism on Central America and how the struggle of caravanistas intersects with all workers’ struggles. The list of demands made by the Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition was read between chants. Utah Against Police Brutality, Students for a Democratic Society and Colectiva La Nopalera also spoke, providing information about other upcoming local actions in support of the migrant community. Attendance was moderate, but the message of solidarity and need for further agitation was well-received.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Pittsburgh, Pa. Liberation photo.

Pittsburgh, Pa. Liberation photo.

A speak out took place in Pittsburgh, explaining  the importance of solidarity with the caravan and giving a history of the coup in Hondorus that lead to this caravan and why it is important to build a movement to make sure we stand in solidarity with the caravanistas. Melissa Kira of PSL read and refuted myths about immigrants and as well as the demands of the coalition, which got a round of applause for support. We chanted for some time and then our next speaker, Rev. Paul Dordal, spoke about the importance of Christians accepting refugees and the moral imperative of caring for one another.

El Paso, Texas

El Paso protesters mobilize to the border crossing. Liberation photo

Activists and El Paso community members rallied together at the El Paso County Detention Center to stand in solidarity with the Honduran refugee caravan. Those in attendance demanded an end to U.S. imperialism in Latin America and made it loud and clear that refugees are welcome here! The rally was followed by a march to the U.S. Mexico border where speakers highlighted the history of El Paso and Juarez as sister cities where working class people are being exploited by U.S. corporations on both sides of the border.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas, TX. Liberation photo.

Poets, activists, and working people gathered on a windy afternoon in Dallas to stand with the asylum seekers. Over ten progressive organizations worked as a coalition to answer the call placed for international solidarity. Many emotional stories were shared and much unity was inspired. Speakers point to the role of imperialism in devastating the homes of Hondurans, El Salvadorans and others and why right wing scare-mongering should not be tolerated now, or ever! The demonstrators speak out against xenophobia, bigotry, and the unnecessary violence against LGBTQ caravanistas, women, children and families alike.

Boston, Ma. 

Boston. Liberation photo.

Boston. Liberation photo.

On a chilly Boston evening the PSL held a speak out and rally outside of Maverick T station in East Boston. Roughly 25 people gathered and spoke out against the criminal role that the U.S. played in destabilizing Central America, specifically supporting a coup in Honduras in 2009 against the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. Members spoke about the history immigration law in the U.S. and how it is mired with racism, the need to organize against the racist prison state and its arms like I.C.E., and the need for multinational working class unity and international solidarity to combat the oppression that refugees and migrants face as a result of imperialism. Many passerby stopped by to listen and took flyers for the Party’s community forum on U.S. imperialism and Latin America. Members from Cosecha Boston and the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador were also present and participated in the rally and speak out.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on As U.S. forces fire tear gas on migrants, over 25 cities mobilize in solidarity with Caravan

PSL statement: Solidarity with the Palestinian people

NOVANEWS
PSL statement: Solidarity with the Palestinian people

Liberation photo: Ben Huff

November 29 is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Observed since 1977 following the success of a United Nations resolution recalling the anniversary of the post-war partition of Palestine by imperialist powers, the day honors the decades long struggle of the people of Palestine to secure freedom and independence from imperialism and colonialism. Despite the traditional role of the UN as an instrument of the United States and its junior partners in maintaining imperialist domination over Palestine, there have been a number of notable victories secured in this arena by the Palestinian people, along with other oppressed peoples. The honoring of this day would not have happened were it not for the heroism and the resolve of the Palestinian people in the face of the vicious attacks of imperialism. It was won through bitter struggle.

All revolutionary and progressive people in the United States should honor this day as a lasting expression of the immeasurable contributions of the Palestinian people to the movement for a better world. As a movement which takes its principal aim at the Israeli occupation, the main outpost of American imperialism in the region, workers and oppressed people in the US share a common enemy with Palestinian liberation, one which ties the fate of both of our struggles by a million threads.

As imperialism’s crises continues to deepen every day, solidarity with Palestinian liberation becomes more and more essential. Riding off the wave of political crises shaking the upper echelons of the ruling classes in the core imperialist countries, Israel continues sharpening its criminal attacks on the people of Palestine, raising them to new extremes with the indispensable help of the US government through its billions of dollars worth of the most advanced instruments of war. Israel continues to expose itself as one of the worst violators of international law in as it massacres peaceful protesters in Gaza demanding the right of return, a right enshrined by resolution 194 of the United Nations, the very body which Israel and the US continue to utilize to hold Palestine under a perpetual occupation.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation expresses our full solidarity with the people of Palestine, and the various ongoing movements to bring mass attention to their struggle for emancipation, such as the international call for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), taking aim at the massive financial strength imperialism provides to Israel’s colonial project in return for protection of imperialist interests in the Middle East, or the Great March of Return still ongoing in Gaza. We support the right of return for all Palestinian refugees, an end to all forms of occupation and an end to the colonization of all Arab lands.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USAComments Off on PSL statement: Solidarity with the Palestinian people


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