Archive | January 30th, 2020

Venezuela’s foreign minister: ‘Lenin’s definition of imperialism was correct’

Workers’ representatives from the five continents meet in Caracas to forge ahead with world anti-imperialist struggle.

Proletarian writers

Representing two fronts of the axis of resistance: Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Arreaza shakes hands with Syrian minister Mohsen Bilal, as the two countries pledge their continued solidarity in the struggle against imperialist aggression. Caracas, 24 January 2020.

On Friday 24 January, representatives of progressive parties and governments from every continent met in the ministry of foreign affairs in Caracas, Venezuela to reaffirm their commitment to the struggle against imperialism and to pledge themselves to taking concrete and coordinated action to unite their various struggles into a mighty and unstoppable force.

Minister of foreign affairs Comrade Jorge Arreaza made a powerful opening speech before opening the floor to the visiting delegates, who were in town to participate in the three-day world meeting against imperialism, organised by the PSUV, Venezuela’s ruling socialist party, under the slogan ‘For life, sovereignty and peace’.

Know your enemy

Introducing his remarks, Minister Arreaza talked about the hopelessness that the peoples of Latin America felt when the Berlin Wall fell and the imperialist ideologues pronounced the ‘end of history’. People generally, and young people in particular at that time, had no understanding of the term ‘imperialism’, which seemed exclusively to be used by ‘old, bearded communists’, he said. The mass of the youth rejected what they perceived as the ‘dogmatism’ of these veteran Marxists and declined to learn from them.

But the spirit of rebellion continued nevertheless throughout this period, which was full of struggle, despite a lack of clarity regarding the character of the enemy the people were facing.

Time, said the minister, has proved the old Marxist guerrillas right. Lenin’s definition of imperialism was absolutely correct and is as relevant as ever.

What contributed to this understanding? The resistance of communist Cuba, which has shone like a beacon for Latin America’s struggling poor. The teachings of Comandante Hugo Chávez, who ‘called a spade a spade’ and never minced his words when talking about the enemy that the people faced.

And lastly, the accession to power of US president Donald Trump, who has ripped the mask from the face of imperialism, exposing the PR spin and the media lies for what they are and making perfectly clear the empire’s intention towards the oppressed and their resources.

No doubt remains in our minds, said the minister, that imperialism exists or what its character is. The system is in decline, but it is still extremely dangerous.

Venezuela today, he said, is at the epicentre of the anti-imperialist struggle in the western hemisphere, while the heroic Syrian people are leading the struggle in the east. The fight may take different forms, but it is the same struggle and we need a collective plan of action to maximise our ability to counter imperialist aggression wherever it occurs.

2019 coup attempt: a case study in imperialist intervention

In the Trump era, said Comrade Jorge, there is no longer any secrecy about imperialism’s plans and manoeuvres in Venezuela. The US openly issues its orders to the opposition forces in Venezuela, openly pays the expenses of its members and decides their strategy and tactics. The state department’s meetings with these stooges are carried out in plain sight and are well documented, down to the stipends and expenses its members receive.

The US’s coup attempt in Venezuela is a case study in imperialist interference in a sovereign country, said the minister. Its diplomatic war alone makes Al Capone look like a saint. The bullying and pressure applied to small and weak countries during the campaign to prevent Venezuela being elected to the United Nations human rights council is just one example of this diplomatic war, which has been carried out in international forums around the world.

The US threatened many states with dire consequences if they supported Venezuela’s appointment to the council, including vowing to cut aid to countries in Africa, threatening ministers of Caribbean countries and more. And yet despite all these efforts, 106 countries voted for Venezuela as opposed to 90 who succumbed to pressure and sided with the US. The struggle went on until the last moment before the vote, and many heads of state and ministers were present at the session where the vote took place to avert any underhand action in the chamber itself.

The minister outlined the many avenues of bullying and aggression by the US against Venezuela in the last two years – not only diplomatic manoeuvrings and blackmail, but also the barrage of media lies, the attacks on Venezuela’s infrastructure and economy, the theft of its assets overseas, the attempted coup via its puppet Juan Guaidó and more. But never for a second in all of this did we consider surrendering, he told the meeting.

The sanctions, he said, are a punishment beating, inflicted on Venezuela’s people for their temerity in refusing to bow to the imperialist diktat. They are meant to starve the people into rejecting their government, but they have failed. Despite the difficulties caused – shortages of food, medicine and all sorts of essential goods – the masses remain firm in their defence of the government and their defiance against imperialism.

The minister described the disbelief in US ruling circles when their coup plot came to nothing. In the event, the assembled forces were so small and unsure of themselves (the majority of the soldiers assembled with Guaidó had been duped and left following phone calls from loyal officers explaining what they were involved in) that they were dispersed with nothing more than tear gas. The remaining handful ended the day in which they had been supposed to seize state power eating jamón serrano in the Spanish embassy.

The Bolivarian government of Nicolás Maduro remains firm: there can be no talks with the US until the genocidal blockade is lifted.

Opposition in disarray as new elections approach

Meanwhile, the opposition is in disarray now that Guaidó has been revealed as a busted flush. He has recently been rejected by the majority even of anti-government forces (he has never been of any interest to the mass of Venezuelans, many of whom have never heard of him).

More than half of Venezuela’s opposition MPs are now in favour of negotiating a peace agreement with the government, contra to the orders of the puppetmasters in Washington, who are still trying to push the ridiculous idea that Guaidó, a man who has never stood in a presidential election, is the ‘legitimate president’ of Venezuela.

Speaking of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the minister said that the anti-imperialist forces are in a strong position and owe it to the Venezuelan people to take back control of the legislative assembly that was lost five years ago, and which has in recent years done nothing but try to obstruct the work of the government, refusing to pass legislation or get on with the business of the day.

After three years of Brexit shambles in our own parliament, workers in Britain will recognise the picture the minister drew of a legislative assembly at odds with the will of the people. The coming election, he said, offered a chance to restore harmony between the arms of government and remove the mechanism of obstruction that has been so gleefully utilised by the agents of Venezuela’s imperialist-backed oligarchs.

Venezuela: one front in a world struggle against imperialism

Comrade Jorge went on to put Venezuela’s struggle back into a world context, where it is just one of many fronts in the struggle. Recently returned from a visit to Iran, he reaffirmed the need for collective solidarity against imperialist blockades and aggression, and for a vibrant and coordinated world movement against imperialism.

The last year of struggle had been fierce and extremely difficult, but Venezuela had emerged triumphant at the end of 2019. Ours is not a perfect government, said the minister, but the people support us because they know we love them and are genuinely trying to solve their problems. We couldn’t survive as we have without that support.

The battle against imperialism is one we need to win, he said. All over our continent and around the world the imperialists are trying to crush the popular movements that are springing up. And yet, the people keep struggling.

Returning to the subject of the hated US leader, he said again that President Trump has a positive side: that he perfectly embodies the selfish, thuggish, supremacist nature of imperialism – is, in fact, a perfect posterchild for all the negative values of capitalist-imperialist society. No wonder the ‘rulers of the free world’ long for a return to the days of Obama with his slick suits, fake smiles and forked tongue!

The US made a serious miscalculation in relation to Venezuela. They thought the revolution would die with Chávez, but Chávez’s programme and ideas took deep roots among the masses and in this way he could not be killed. Chávez, he said, is everywhere that workers are enjoying rights – pensions, housing, education, culture – that they did not have before.

Minister Arreaza emphasised the need for Venezuela to learn from its mistakes and setbacks. Referring to the fact that the main levers of the economy have remained in the hands of a hostile class, he said that the government could not allow the bankers and the bourgeois to continue to rule even as the popular government wins election after election.

New difficulties are surely coming, he told the assembled representatives, and we will need all of your support and solidarity, especially when it comes to breaking the hold of the imperialist media on the minds of the masses everywhere. We must build a new global network of anti-imperialist media, exchanging information directly with one another and using every means at our disposal to disseminate the truth to workers everywhere.

Despite these lies, however, the truth is asserting itself. The Bolivarian revolution has been strengthened by the battles of the past year and its leadership tempered.

The minister paid tribute to the heroism of the Syrian people and their victorious struggle against imperialist invasion, and also to Iran’s murdered general Qasem Soleimani, the scourge of Isis and the other imperialist-backed terrorists in the middle east.

The action of the US in slaying General Soleimani, and the lies that Trump told about him, had once again made it very clear that the real goal of imperialism in the middle east is not to destroy the terrorists but to save them; not to free the people of the region but to enslave them.

No doubt the puppetmasters in Washington would like to see some well-presented, nicely-spoken lady elected as president to carry on destroying the world with a smile on her face. But we must understand, he said, that the problem is the system of imperialism, not the character of the particular leader who happens to act as frontman or woman for that system.

The minister quoted with approval something his Chinese counterpart had said to him in a recent meeting: “To effectively confront our imperialist enemy, we must understand him in depth.” We must thoroughly study the nature of imperialism if we are to be successful in destroying it.

We have a lot to do, said Comrade Jorge, if we are to destroy imperialism. We must have a concrete plan of coordinated action and be able to carry it out. But this work can and must be done. We do not have another 200 years in which to try and fail. The continued existence of humanity depends upon our success.

Comrade Joti: Let us learn from Lenin how to defeat our enemy

Speaking on behalf of Britain’s communists, Comrade Joti Brar made a brief contribution to the meeting. She started by bringing solidarity to the people and government of Venezuela from communist and anti-imperialist workers in Britain, and extended these greetings in particular to the people and governments of Cuba and Syria, also struggling on the front lines of the world struggle against imperialism.

She thanked the minister for his excellent and informative speech and took the opportunity to underline three important points that he had raised.

First was the nature of Donald Trump and his presidency. It is true, she said, what the minister said about Trump having ripped the mask of respectability from the face of imperialism. His words and actions, shorn of all pretence, are teaching lessons to workers that in more stable times our rulers have taken good care they should not understand – the nature of capitalist ‘democracy’; the class nature of the state, of the media, of the judiciary and so on.

His election was a sign of the deep crisis in the world capitalist system, and of divisions amongst the ruling class in the US – divisions that are mirrored in capitalist and imperialist ruling circles all over the world.

Our party, she said, describes Trump as a loose cannon on the imperialist deck, because he is shooting in all directions, and some of his missiles are hitting his own side. Imperialism is fractured and weakening, and this provides opportunities for the anti-imperialist forces to make gains, which we must be sure to take advantage of.

Still, although imperialism is weaker than it was, we must be aware that it is still extremely dangerous in its decaying state.

The second point underlined by Comrade Joti was in relation to Lenin’s teachings on imperialism. She thanked the minister for pointing out the correctness of Lenin’s analysis and reminded the meeting that Lenin was also the first to lead a successful struggle against imperialism.

In this 150th anniversary year of Lenin’s birth, she said, let us take advantage of the opportunity to popularise the writings of Comrade Lenin amongst the masses everywhere. Let us learn from Lenin and the Bolsheviks everything we can about the nature of our enemy; let us learn from them the theory and practice of revolution; let us learn how to wage the struggle and win!

Thirdly, Comrade Joti re-emphasised the importance of a worldwide anti-imperialist movement. Our struggle is one, and indivisible, she said, agreeing with the minister’s earlier words.

In Britain, she said, the communists are working to bring an anti-imperialist consciousness to workers, explaining the importance of opposing the imperialists’ economic, military and propaganda wars against oppressed and independent countries.

Our slogans in this struggle, she said are ‘No cooperation with imperialist war’, and we pay attention not only to the physical aspects of the war machine – materials, arms and transportation etc – but also to the all-important lie machine – the propaganda that facilitates the wars and demonises leaders of peoples struggling for independence and freedom.

Comrade Joti emphasised the importance of creating a new, anti-imperialist media able to bring the truth to workers and break the hold of the corporate lie machine on their minds, and ended her contribution by emphasising the need for such a media to give full support to all those struggling against imperialism, encapsulated in the communists’ slogan of ‘Victory to the resistance!

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بسبب موقفها المشرف من القضية الفلسطينية جوليا بطرس تتعرّض لهجوم شرس.. ومطالبات بسحب الجنسية اللبنانية منها!

تعرّضت الفنانة جوليا بطرس للهجوم بسبب تغريدتها حول “صفقة القرن” المتعلقة بفك النزاع بين الفلسطينين والإسرائيليين، والتي أعلن عن بنودها الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب يوم الثلاثاء الماضي.

وكتبت جوليا عبر حسابها الخاص على انستغرام: “بيتي هنا… أرضي هنا… البحرُ السهلُ النهرُ لنا. #القدس_عاصمة_فلسطين_الأبدية”، حتى انهالت عليها التعليقات المسيئة من الشعب اللبناني، حيث هاجموها بقسوة شديدة

وأرجع رواد مواقع التواصل السبب، لالتزام جوليا الصمت تجاه الثورة في لبنان وعدم خروجها بأي تصريح مساند لمحنة الشعب أو المواطنين.

وتفاعل رواد تويتر بشكل كبير مع تغريدة جوليا، فالبعض تساءل أين كانت بطرس المعروفة بوطنيتها وبأغانيها التي تعبّر عن غضب الشعب وثوراته، في ظل ما يشهده بلدها لبنان؟

وخرج آخرون متسائلين ما إذا كان زوجها وزيع الدفاع السابق إلياس أبوصعب هو من يدفعها للصمت كي يحافظ على مكانته في السلطة.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Arabic, LebanonComments Off on بسبب موقفها المشرف من القضية الفلسطينية جوليا بطرس تتعرّض لهجوم شرس.. ومطالبات بسحب الجنسية اللبنانية منها!

Syria Army Advance on Saraqib. Liberated Areas held by Al Qaeda (Hayat Tahir al Sham)

By South Front

Idlib militants seem to be in disarray amid the developing advance of the Syrian Army. Since the liberation of Maarat al-Numan, government forces have achieved several important breakthroughs on the frontline in southeastern Idlib and southwestern Aleppo.

The army has liberated the villages of al-Qahira, al-Jaradah, Khan Assubul, Maarrat Dibsah and Ain Halbane‏, all located on the M5 highway north of Maartan al-Numan. Near Aleppo city, government forces have liberated Tell Maher, Tell Abiad, Tell al-Zaitoun, Tell al-Mahruqat, Jurf al-Sakhr, the Rashidin 5 neighborhood and one of the key militant strongpoints – Khan Tuman.

Most of these areas were liberated without significant resistance from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) or the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation. Despite this, according to pro-opposition sources, up to 200 militants have been killed or wounded in clashes with the Syrian Army.

The setbacks of al-Qaeda-backed militants and their pro-Turkish allies has caused discontent in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that Russia “hasn’t abided by either the Astana or the Sochi agreements.”Syrian Government Forces Are Close to Full Liberation of Aleppo CityVideo Player00:0003:17

“We have waited until now, but from this point, we are going to take our own actions. This is not a threat but our expectation is that Russia will give the regime the necessary warning,” the President said.

The main point of contradictions between Turkey and the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance is the fighting of terrorism and the separation of opposition groups from terrorist  groups like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Ankara does not want or just cannot separate its proxies in Idlib from al-Qaeda. So, it sees anti-terrorism efforts by the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance as a threat to its own interests and influence.

On January 29, reports appeared that Syrian government forces had shelled a Turkish military convoy west of Aleppo city. According to photos which appeared online, the shelling destroyed at least one vehicle. However, it remains unclear if it belonged to the Turkish Army. Turkish military convoys moving through Idlib often include members and equipment of Turkish-backed militant groups. So, one of these vehicles may have become a target of the Syrian strike. This would explain the lack of reaction from the Turkish Defense Ministry.

Currently, the advance of government forces seems to be focused on the M5 highway area. The army and its allies exploit the internal contradictions among Idlib militant groups who have failed to cooperate properly to set up strong defenses deep inside the region. It is no secret that mighty Idlib fighters prefer taking selfies to digging trenches.

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How Not to Fight Antisemitism

A Critique of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA-WDA)

By Independent Jewish Voices

Executive Summary

Antisemitism is a form of racism and as such must be opposed on general anti-racist principles, in solidarity with other anti-racist struggles and in concert with the principles of human rights and equality for all. Unfortunately, both the government of Israel and Zionist groups the world over are using society’s legitimate concern about antisemitism to redefine it to include criticism of Israel and the Zionist ideology behind it. Their goal is to suppress — and even criminalize — criticism of Israel and support for Palestinian rights. Indeed, according to a recent survey, almost half of Canadian Jews believe that accusations of antisemitism are “often used to silence legitimate criticism of Israeli policies.”

One of the primary vehicles that Israel and its supporters are using to equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism is the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA-WDA). An international campaign is currently underway to have this definition adopted by national and subnational governments and legislatures, as well as by universities and other public institutions.

The IHRA-WDA was originally developed (but never formally adopted) by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) to provide a common set of guidelines for researchers, agencies and governments monitoring incidents of antisemitism in Europe. It was authored by American attorney Kenneth Stern as a discussion paper and ad hoc guide for researchers and statisticians.

The IHRA adopted Stern’s definition quickly and with no debate. It was subsequently picked up by the government of Israel and other Zionist organizations because it was a handy cudgel — with the imprimatur of the IHRA, an organization whose mandate is Holocaust education and memorialization — with which to beat back criticism of Israel, anti-Zionist and Palestinian rights discourses, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Zionist organizations and their allies are now working to give the IHRA- WDA legal and administrative power, something it was never intended to have and for which it is totally unfit.

In Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is lobbying to have the IHRA-WDA adopted by all levels of government and included as part of all university codes of conduct. It is also working to “educate” police as to the nature of “the new antisemitism” using the IHRA-WDA.

The IHRA-WDA is a deeply flawed document. It fails to provide an adequate objective standard that can be used to identify antisemitic incidents and/or antisemitic speech. It is insufficiently precise for legal and administrative uses, and its adoption for this purpose by Zionist lobby groups is opportunistic. Even Kenneth Stern has strongly opposed its use as a legal or administrative definition of antisemitism. He has warned that such a use will be a threat to both academic freedom and freedom of expression in general.

The actual definition of antisemitism embedded within the IHRA-WDA is so vague and tautological as to be almost meaningless, and it provides virtually no help in deciding if a particular incident is or is not antisemitic. The numerous examples, which make up the bulk of the definition, are poorly crafted from a legal/administrative point of view, as they are completely context-reliant. In the fine print, the IHRA-WDA actually admits that its examples do not describe definitive incidents of antisemitism, just that they might beantisemitism. Unfortunately, the examples are being taken up by advocates for the IHRA- WDA as absolute litmus tests.

Thus, on its own terms, the IHRA-WDA is not fit as a tool to adjudicate whether an incident is or is not antisemitic. It certainly should not be used as the basis of any formal condemnation or sanction. Yet this is precisely what is being proposed and how it is already being used. If the IHRA-WDA is formally adopted, as CIJA urges, those who voice legitimate opposition to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians will be prevented from speaking or punished if they do speak.International Campaign Is Criminalizing Criticism of Israel As ‘Anti-Semitism’

All this should be enough reason to reject the IHRA-WDA for any legal, quasi-legal, or administrative purpose, even if it was being presented as a good faith effort to educate about and fight against antisemitism. But it is not being presented in good faith. Its pro- Israel agenda is clear. Seven of its eleven examples label criticism of Israel or Zionism as antisemitic. CIJA states in its own press releases that adoption of the IHRA-WDA is part of its campaign to fight the “new antisemitism” wherein Zionism is an essential and core Jewish tenet, and trenchant critiques of Israeli policies are motivated by antisemitism rather than a legitimate concern for Palestinians or for human rights.

Ultimately, the IHRA-WDA is a poor definition of antisemitism. The primary goal of those promoting it — and we fear its actual effect if it is adopted — is to ban or criminalize criticism of both Israel and Zionism, along with support for Palestinian rights. As such it represents a threat to the struggle for justice and human rights in Israel-Palestine, as well as to academic freedom, freedom of expression and the right to protest.

Antisemitism is a real problem and must be fought in all its forms. But this is not the way. The fight against antisemitism is inseparable from the struggles against racism, xenophobia and hatred of ethnic and religious groups. The fight against antisemitism must be joined to the struggle for equality and human rights for all people in Canada, in Israel-Palestine and around the world. We urge readers of this report to join us in opposing the adoption of the IHRA-WDA by Canadian governments, universities, police and other authorities.

Introduction 

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) defines antisemitism as hostility, prejudice or discrimination against Jews because they are Jews. Modern antisemitism encompasses many, often contradictory ideas, but at its root it is an ideology that views the entire Jewish people as a single demonic collective, acting in harmony in a conspiracy to subvert others, usually in order to gain profit. We are painfully aware of the evils of antisemitism, especially in Christian Europe, and its ultimate horrific expression in the Holocaust. Many of us lost family members in that genocide. Some of our members are themselves Holocaust survivors.

Moreover, recent events in Europe as well as the U.S., where 12 Jewish congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue were murdered by a white supremacist shouting antisemitic slogans, provide unwelcome evidence that this age-old scourge is still with us, and indeed has been worsening in the past few years.

IJV is active in the struggle against antisemitism. In fighting antisemitism, we emphasize that we reject all forms of racism and oppression. We believe that antisemitism is a type of racism that is intimately tied to other forms of racism, and that antisemitism increases when racism, xenophobia and intolerance of all sorts are on the rise. We are committed to realizing the goal of “Never again,” ensuring that it means “Never again — for anyone.” For these reasons, we believe that the battle against antisemitism is actually undermined when opposition to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians is branded antisemitic.

We insist that it is antisemitic to oppose oppressive Israeli policies or to support resistance to that oppression in solidarity with the Palestinians, such as heeding Palestinian civil society’s call to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, whose purpose is to pressure Israel to abide by international law and respect Palestinians’ human rights. Like many other Jews, we see it as our moral responsibility to challenge the legitimacy of a situation in which a modern state discriminates against Palestinians and non-Jews using overwhelming political, economic, and military power to oppress them.

Recently, the Israeli government and Israel advocacy organizations such as the Centre for Israel Canada Affairs (CIJA) and B’nai Brith Canada have been attempting to exploit concern about antisemitism by redefining antisemitism to include criticism of Israel and of the Zionist ideology that impels it. Their purpose is to deflect and ultimately delegitimize criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. To see how misguided this strategy is, note that, according to a recent survey,[1] approximately 60 percent of Canadian Jews do not see criticism of Israel as necessarily antisemitic, and almost half (48 percent) believe that accusations of antisemitism are “often used to silence legitimate criticism of Israeli policies”.

One of the recent and most dangerous manifestations of this manipulative strategy of equating criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism with antisemitism is the recommendation that governments and institutions adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA-WDA). This is ultimately an attempt to render criticism of Israel or participation in BDS-related activity illegal and/or generate support for censorship.

Labelling critics of Israel’s laws, policies or actions as antisemites is designed to divert attention from the fact that Israel is an oppressive military superpower that is occupying Palestinian lands and subjecting Palestinian citizens of Israel to a range of discriminatory laws. Fabricated charges of antisemitism serve to shut down all debate regarding Israel by perpetuating the myth that Israel, and by extension Jews in general, are in existential danger. Similarly, labelling Palestinian rights supporters as antisemitic[2] a priori disqualifies and invalidates their claims. Both these false charges of antisemitism imperil any possibilities for peace and justice in Israel-Palestine.

In the September 7, 2018 CIJA electronic newsletter, CIJA Chair David J. Cape announced that,

We are launching a national campaign to have government and police adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism […] because it explicitly confirms that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. [Emphasis added.]

Included in the organization’s 2018 Federal Issues Guide is the recommendation that

[t]he Government of Canada and relevant departments and agencies should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism for domestic Canadian purposes.[3]

CIJA’s goal is to have the definition written into Canadian federal, provincial and municipal law, as well as university and other administrative policies, to serve as a criteria by which to censor or punish Canadian advocates and organizations supportive of Palestinian rights. However, the IHRA definition was not developed for this purpose. It was not originally designed as a legal or administrative guideline and, as a result, it is open to highly subjective interpretations. Furthermore, the examples it provides — which make up the bulk of this “definition” — frequently condemn “anti-Israel advocacy” while largely ignoring more traditional and truly dangerous forms of antisemitism. In short, the IHRA definition is not fit to be used in any sort of legal or quasi-legal document.

Kenneth Stern, the American attorney who originally drafted the IHRA-WDA, has condemned the way it is now being used to curb freedom of speech: He has asserted that his definition is being used for an entirely different purpose from that for which it was designed.[4] Originally created as a draft “working definition” to help standardize data collection on antisemitic hate crimes in different countries of Europe (and never even officially adopted as such), it is now being used by Israel and its supporters to curb the exercise of free speech by those who extend solidarity to Palestinians. Even worse, the use of this definition threatens academic freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of protest.[5]

In South Carolina, where the State Legislature recently passed a bill that that would require colleges to apply the IHRA-WDA when deciding whether an incident or speech violates anti-discrimination policies and necessitates penalties, Jewish Studies professors have come out against the bill saying it would curb academic freedom, require them to update existing courses, and put a chill on academic and political discussion.[6]

It is important to fight antisemitism in all its forms and wherever it appears. But adoption of the IHRA-WDA is not the way. Rather it is more important than ever that we extend our hand in solidarity and forge alliances of mutual support with targets of oppression everywhere, including Palestinians. We must also reject attempts to delegitimize or criminalize those engaged in this necessary solidarity work. We must oppose all attempts to have the IHRA-WDA adopted by legislative, legal and administrative bodies in Canada and worldwide.

Click here to read the complete report.

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Russian Delegation Reminds US that Occupied Golan Heights Is Syrian Territory

By Almasdar News

Global Research,

Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, mentioned to the authors of the “Deal of the Century” that the occupied Golan Heights is Syrian territory.

“Yesterday, Washington’s vision of a settlement in the Middle East was published and we noticed the maps included in the plan that the Golan Heights were defined as Israeli territory, and in this regard, we would like to remind the authors of the geographical maps that we [Russia] and UN Security Council Resolution 497 do not recognize the sovereignty of Israel,” Nebenzia said.

The Permanent Representative of Russia told the U.N. that the “Golan Heights is Syrian land illegally occupied.”

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his peace plan to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, known medially as the “Deal of the Century”, in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ambassadors of Oman, Bahrain and the UAE.

Trump’s peace plan has already been rejected by most of the countries in the Arab League, along with the Palestinian Authority.

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US Sanctions Bar Iran from Accessing $5B Energy Export Revenue

By Tsvetana Paraskova

Global Research,

Due to the U.S. sanctions on Iran, Tehran is unable to use or transfer US$5 billion in revenues it has received from Iraq for supplying natural gas and electricity to its neighbor, an Iranian official told local media on Wednesday.

Even after the U.S. slapped sanctions on Iran’s energy exports, Iraq continues to import natural gas and electricity from Iran under a special waiver that the United States has regularly extended to Iraq.

Major Iraqi power plants are dependent on Iranian natural gas supply, and Iraq also imports electricity from Iran, as Baghdad’s power generation is not enough to ensure domestic supply.

Despite the U.S. waiver for energy trade between Iran and Iraq, Iran is unable to use the money Iraq has paid in Iraqi dinars for the energy it imports from Iran.

Up to $5 billion sits in an escrow account at the central bank of Iraq, but Iran cannot touch it because of the U.S. sanctions, Hamid Hosseini, a spokesman for Iranian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Association (OPEX) told Iranian news outlet Press-TV on Wednesday. Iran has been cut off from the global SWIFT payment system, and because of this, it hasn’t found a way yet to have the money transferred, according to Press-TV.

The situation highlights how the U.S. sanctions are crippling Iranian revenues and how Iran cannot access money from its energy exports even if those exports are allowed under the U.S. sanctions.

Iraq, for its part, may have serious problems in securing its energy needs if the United States doesn’t extend a waiver for an Iraqi bank to process payments for Iraq’s imports of electricity and natural gas from Iran, the head of the Iraqi bank told AFP last week.

The waiver for the Iraqi bank handling the payments to Iran in Iraqi dinars expires next month. If the U.S. doesn’t extend the waiver, the bank—Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI)—will stop processing payments, the head of the bank Faisal al-Haimus told AFP last week.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on US Sanctions Bar Iran from Accessing $5B Energy Export Revenue

Trump’s “No-Peace/Peace Plan” for Palestine.

Trump’s “No-Peace/Peace Plan” for Palestine. Netanyahu/Gantz Invited to White House to Discuss “Deal of the Century”

By Stephen Lendman

Leaked information shows Trump’s so-called deal of the century is a one-sided scam, favoring Israel at the expense of fundamental Palestinian rights.

The so-called peace process is the greatest hoax in modern times, along with the US war OF terror worldwide, not on it.

Israeli/Palestinian no-peace/peace plans have been around since the 1970s — a near-half century of failure to reach accommodation proof positive of US/Israeli unwillingness to respect Palestinian rights.

If both countries wanted conflict resolution resolution with Palestinians, it would have happened long ago.

Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir explained why not. He and his predecessors wanted forever talks accomplishing nothing – giving Israel time to steal all valued Palestinian land.

His successors to the present day followed the same strategy.

Since Israel seized control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967, colonizing and developing the most valued Palestinian land for exclusive Jewish use became official state policy — explained by Yigal Allon’s regional scheme, its elements including:

  • permanent militarized occupation;
  • maximum land for Jews with minimum Arabs;
  • dispossessing Palestinians from areas Israel wants for exclusive Jewish development and use;
  • annexing all valued parts of Judea and Sumaria;
  • controlling Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital;
  • establishing settlements, military bases, free-fire zones, commercial locations, tourist sites, nature reserves, no-go areas, Jews-only roads, checkpoints, other barriers, and other exclusive Jewish areas — non-Jews excluded from them;
  • stealing Palestinian resources; and
  • cracking down hard on resisters.

The above policies make peace, stability, equity and justice for Palestinians unattainable.

Achieving them defeats the US/Israeli agenda — dependent on endless regional conflicts and instability.

It’s why decades of peace plans when unveiled were dead on arrival, Trump’s let em eat cake deal of the century dead before arrival.

Partly introduced last June at a so-called “Peace to Prosperity Workshop” in Bahrain, the Trump regime’s dog and pony PR show was boycotted by Palestinians.

Deceptively billed as “a vision to empower the Palestinian people to build a prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society,” the economic plan has nothing to do with peace, equity and justice for long-suffering Palestinians — everything to do with one-sidedly serving US/Israeli interests.

Based on what’s known so far, subject to fine-tuning, Trump’s overall scheme ignores fundamental final status issues, especially real Palestinian self-determination free from Israeli occupation and control, Israeli land theft, air and water rights, other resources, the right of diaspora Palestinians to return to their homeland, and East Jerusalem as exclusive Palestinian capital.Trump Regime’s Criminal “Deal of the Century”: Breaking Palestine, Endorsing “Greater Israel”?

He illegally recognized Jerusalem (a UN-established international city) as Israel’s exclusive capital, moved the US embassy there, abandoned a legitimate two-state solution, recognized Israel’s unlawful Golan annexation, and no longer considers illegal settlements occupied territory.

Trump and hardliners surrounding him are no friends of Palestinians or ordinary people anywhere, not at home or abroad.

Information leaked last month about his no-peace/peace plan revealed it excludes 70% or more of West Bank land controlled by Israel, including the Jordan Valley, closed military zones, exclusive Jewish commercial areas, tourist sites, no-go areas, and illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

Jerusalem is to remain undivided, the city “shared between Israel and New Palestine” — Israel maintaining exclusive control, the way it’s been for over half a century.

On July 30, 1980, the Knesset Jerusalem Law officially annexed the city as Israel’s exclusive capital — breaching Security Council Res. 465 (March 1980).

It declared actions taken by Israel “to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…”

In July 2004,  the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development (and) have been established in breach of international law.”

Time and again, the US and Israel breach Security Council resolutions and other international laws.

Trump’s no-peace/peace plan is all about serving US and Israeli interests at the expense of regional peace, stability, and fundamental Palestinian rights.

According to Mike Pence on Thursday, Netanyahu and his chief political rival Benny Gantz will meet with Trump in the White House next week to discuss regional issues and what PA official Saeb Erekat called Trump’s “deal of the next century,” a conspiracy against Palestinian rights.

Reuters reported that the Trump regime will release his no-peace/peace plan ahead of the January 28 meeting with Netanyahu and Gantz.

DJT calling it “a great plan” defies reality. PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh reaffirmed the Palestinian demand for an independent state within June 1967 borders — free from Israeli occupation and control.

On Thursday, Israel’s Channel 12, citing unnamed Netanyahu regime sources, said Trump’s plan includes exclusive Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, illegal settlements, and the Jordan Valley adding:

It supports the illusion of Palestinian self-determination, demanding a demilitarized Hamas, along with Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Jerusalem its capital.

It also reportedly stipulates that if Palestinians reject the so-called plan, the Trump regime will support Israeli annexation of illegal settlements unilaterally.

According to the Wafa PA news site, Rudeineh said the following:

“If the announcement of this deal, with these unacceptable formulas, is made, the (PA) leadership will announce a series of measures to preserve our legitimate rights, and we will call on Israel to assume its responsibilities as an occupying power,” adding:

“We warn (the Netanyahu and Trump regimes) to not cross the red lines.”

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim said “any deal or project that does not contain our people’s full rights in our land and holy sites will not stand,” adding:

“All the attempts to make this deal come to pass will be squashed by our people’s resistance and steadfastness.”

“Our Palestinian people will determine its fate by way of its ongoing revolution, legitimate struggle and absolute belief in the justness of its cause.”

On Thursday, Trump tweeted:

“Reports about details and timing of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative.”

If its provisions resemble what’s discussed above, it’ll clearly be rejected by the PA, Hamas, and the Palestinian street.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Trump’s “No-Peace/Peace Plan” for Palestine.

Benefits of the Century Deal for Lebanon on MTV!

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

The MTV planet is always tweeting outside the Arab swarm. It is not the first time that “Al-Murr Station” has stirred up confusion about an issue on which millions of Arabs are united, not rulers. The Palestinian issue is the focus today.

In keeping with the disastrous deal announced by US President Donald Trump in partnership and cooperation with the occupation leaders, and instead of giving the Palestinian position priority in the newsletter, the channel rushed to a spokesperson speaking on behalf of the US State Department, then broadcast a report on Lebanon’s share of the deal. A public embellishment of the terms of the settlement, so the report’s author, who was subject to the Editorial Administration, presents what he called the positive aspects of Trump’s plan and its implications for Lebanon.

The preparer says in his report that he chose to address it as “the economic benefits of the century deal for Lebanon”: “$ 6.35 billion this amount would revive the country economically by reforming and improving the Lebanese roads and extending an easier way to obtain loans to small and medium companies, supporting the construction of a railway network inside Lebanon With the possibility of contacting a regional railway, supporting construction and logistical services related to the expansion of Beirut airport, the expansion of Lebanese ports in Beirut and Tripoli, and the modernization of border crossings, but the price of resettlement of Palestinians.

Those concerned may be justified as a mistake in the expression, but the missteps always reveal attitudes and intentions, and did replacing Palestine with “Israel” more than once to denote the map of the occupied land in the news reports also mistakenly omitted?

Posted in LebanonComments Off on Benefits of the Century Deal for Lebanon on MTV!

Zionist puppet Patel’s plan to tackle radicalised youth is so flawed it’s mad, says study

Priti Patel’s plan to tackle radicalised youth is so flawed it’s mad, says study

The research, part funded by the Home Office, says positive psychology is better than the home secretary’s punitive approach

Mark Townsend

Prisoners in jail
 Home office policy favours taking a hard line with radicalised youths, whereas the research found ‘positive psychology’ yielded better results. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

A Home Office-funded study into tackling radicalisation among young people has concluded that the approach being pushed through by the home secretary, Priti Patel, is so flawed that it is “madness”.

Instead the research, which will be unveiled on Wednesday and is described as one of the biggest scientific surveys of its type in Europe, found that the most effective strategy was precisely the opposite approach pursued by Patel. Generating “positive psychology” among young people was found to be significantly more effective than punitive policies when challenging “violent youth radicalisation”, defined as gang crime through to the development of extreme ideologies.

Its conclusions contradict Patel’s hardline approach, typified by measures announced last week that emphasised longer jail terms for violent and terrorist offenders, lie-detector tests and increased monitoring.

Rather than rolling out more draconian measures to contain “risk”, the Youth Empowerment and Innovation Project, part funded by the Home Office, found that offering encouragement to youngsters and addressing factors such as social exclusion was a better way to mitigate violent youth radicalisation.

The findings will be unveiled this week at an international conference at the University of East London’s school of psychology with speakers including the shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, officials from the European Commission and prominent academics.

However, Home Office enthusiasm for the project has, say sources, cooled over the past year under Sajid Javid and Patel, who succeeded Javid as home secretary last July. No minister from the Home Office has so far accepted an invitation to appear at the conference.

“Unfortunately the Home Office, which was supposed to lead on this project, has disengaged over the last year,” said Professor Theo Gavrielides, who led the three-year study.

Gavrielides, whose researchers interviewed 3,540 young people and professionals in schools, youth prisons, universities, migrant centres and online, said the UK government’s policy of managing risk and profiling possible offenders was backfiring.

Our project showed a positive way of engaging youth at risk, tapping into their talentsProfessor Theo Gavrielides, project coordinator

“The research provides new evidence that by attempting to profile and predict violent youth radicalisation, we may in fact be breeding the very reasons that lead those at risk to violent acts.

“They are trying to minimise risk by putting people in prison or using rehabilitation programmes because they have profiled them because of their religion and so forth, but that creates more aggravation. It is madness to continue investing in the same philosophy and expecting to get a different result when we know that 75% of young people will end up reoffending. That is why we piloted a completely different approach,” added Gavrielides.Advertisement

The project, piloted in schools, universities and youth offending institutions, found that when young people were encouraged to develop a talent or pastime, the radicalisation process was successfully challenged.

Gavrielides added: “Our project showed a positive way of engaging youth at risk, tapping into their talents rather than treating them as society risks.”

He added there were significant economic benefits with the average £80,000 annual cost of keeping an individual in a Youth Offending Institute sufficient to fund the same young person to the best university for three years.

His research also received funding from the EU’s Erasmus+ programme as well as other public bodies from across Europe and was coordinated by the IARS International Institute.

Professor Aneta Tunariu, dean of the school of psychology at the University of East London, said: “The YEIP represents a remarkable milestone in our collective understanding and approach to tackling the psychosocial conditions that overshadow and silence life-hope and its primordial place for human flourishing, fuelling marginalisation, misunderstandings, injustice and ultimately anger and division.”

Unveiling her new measures last week, Patel said the government had faced “hard truths” since the London Bridge attack in November, which was carried out by convicted terrorist Usman Khan out on licence from prison.

Among the measures included in a bill to be brought before parliament by mid-March was a minimum jail term of 14 years for serious crimes

Posted in UKComments Off on Zionist puppet Patel’s plan to tackle radicalised youth is so flawed it’s mad, says study

The campaign to expel Palestinians from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City is continuing

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 7.50.39 PM

Nazi Occupied Jerusalem: The Nazi occupation police continue their campaign to drive the Palestinians away from Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City for varying periods, in conjunction with the “Great Dawn” campaign.

Today, Friday, the occupation police decided to deport two journalists, Abdel Karim Darwish and Amjad Arafa, from the Al-Aqsa Mosque for ten days, while the youths, Tamer Khalafawi, Ahmed al-Jolani and Muhammad al-Alami, were expelled for two weeks.

Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh also issued a deportation order from Al-Aqsa Mosque for four months, as she had expelled him for a week and renewed his deportation “administratively” today.

As for the teacher Hanadi Halawani, she was released on the condition that she was removed from the old town for two days, and to attend the court next Sunday. Moaz Al-Ashhab was also removed from the old city for two weeks.

The Nazi occupation police handed the young man, Qutaiba Abu Shakra, a decision to remove him from the mosque for a week.

It is noteworthy that orders to deport the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Old City, and Jerusalem have risen for more than sixty decisions since the beginning of this year, in an attempt to empty the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Nazi occupation police escalated this campaign following popular calls to perform the Fajr prayer every Friday periodically in Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the Ibrahimi Mosque, as well as in the central mosques in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

It is noteworthy that the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, today broke the occupation’s decision to remove him from the mosque, as he entered from the “tribes’ door ”, accompanied by a number of lawyers and Palestinians, carried on the shoulders, rejecting the occupation’s decisions.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on The campaign to expel Palestinians from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City is continuing

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