Archive | June 3rd, 2020

Palestine: Hundreds March in West Bank for, Black American Police Brutality Victims

Protesters in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Bethlehem call for justice for Eyad Hallaq and George Floyd ■ Four activists detained in Jerusalem

People hold placards as they protest in solidarity with those in the United States protesting police brutality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Tel Aviv, Israel June 2, 2020.

People hold placards as they protest in solidarity with those in the U.S. protesting police brutality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Tel Aviv, occupied occupied Palestine 1948. June 2, 2020.

Hundreds of people protested on Tuesday in several cities across Palestine 1948 and the West Bank against police brutality, following last week’s killing of Eyad Hallaq by Nazi police, with four activists detained in Jerusalem.

The protests in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Bethlehem were mostly peaceful, but in Jerusalem a confrontation erupted between Nazi police and protesters, who marched to the Nazi police headquarters and blocked a main street on the way, tying up traffic on the light rail on Jaffa Street.

Nazi Police tried to forcibly disperse the demonstrators and arrested four, one of whom was released from custody on Tuesday evening and the other three on Wednesday morning.

The organisers of the Free Jerusalem movement link Hallaq’s death with that of George Floyd, a black American man who was killed last week after racist police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, which has triggered mass protests across the United States.

Protesters chanted the names of Nazi police brutality victims in such slogans as “Justice for Eyad,” and “Enough of the killing on the streets.”

In Haifa, hundreds protested in the city’s lower district in a “stand of rage” for Hallaq, an unarmed Palestinian man with special needs who was killed by Nazi Israeli Border Police in Jerusalem.

blob:https://www.facebook.com/93a80a73-943f-4e0d-895f-1f4d8c4cc8d8

Many held signs bearing the photographs of Floyd, Hallaq and Solomon Teka, an Ethiopian killed by a police officer last summer. Some protesters also held Palestinian flags as they marched in the streets, blocking several roads along the way.

There were no confrontations with police in Haifa, who let the demonstration proceed although the event was not coordinated in advance with the authorities. The Haifa protest was organized by the Hirak group and several other organizations.

At the same time, dozens of Palestinian protesters gathered in front of the Church of Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem to protest the oppression of black people in the U.S. and the aggression of the Nazi forces against Palestinians.

Protesters in Bethlehem lit candles in front of a photo of Floyd and Hallaq while chanting “Black lives matter, Palestinian lives matter.”

In Tel Aviv, around 300 people protested in front of U.S embassy branch office over black American George Floyd’s death in U.S. racist police custody

Protesters march in Haifa, June 2, 2020.

Protesters, some wearing surgical masks, held signs saying “I can’t breathe!” and chanted “Black lives matter.” Other protesters held up signs reading “I can’t breathe” which showed photos of black individuals killed by American racist police.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Palestine: Hundreds March in West Bank for, Black American Police Brutality Victims

From Minneapolis to Palestine, racism is the common enemy

Ahmed Abu Artema 

The Electronic Intifada 

Protester holds sign reading Black Lives matter
Thousands of people filled the streets of Manhattan on 30 May to protest against police brutality, after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Steve SanchezPacific Press/SIPA USA

The images of George Floyd suffocating under the knee of a racist police officer who ignored his pleas that he couldn’t breathe, until he gasped his last breath, were shocking to the conscience.

That video, which spread like wildfire among Americans and around the globe, showed an ugliness that still lurks in the world despite humanity’s supposed progress in civilization and social values.

Protesters march in Haifa, June 2, 2020.

Dignity and equality have long been enshrined in international laws and charters, but those who possess power and wealth act as if they are above the law, secure that they will face no accountability.

In Palestine, we know very well what it means to be discriminated against on the basis of characteristics one did not choose – whether race, color or religion.

We have experienced long and bitter suffering for no other reason than that we were born “non-Jews” in a land occupied by the Zionist movement, which forcibly expelled the native Palestinian population.

The Zionist movement subjected Palestinians who remained to all kinds of racial discrimination and abuse, to coerce them to leave and make way for settlers from another ethnic group who had not inhabited the land just a hundred years earlier.

Ethnic cleansing

In 1948, the catastrophe of the Palestinian people began when the Zionist movement – an extension of white European settler-colonialism backed by the British government – carried out a massive ethnic cleansing campaign.

During the Nakba, Zionist armed groups destroyed more than 500 Palestinian cities and villages and committed dozens of massacres.

The forcible displacement of some 800,000 Palestinians made way for the establishment of Israel on the ruins of the lives of the Palestinian population.

The catastrophe did not end that year. It continues to this day, with systematic policies aimed at driving the remaining population out: land theft, looting of resources and caging the Indigenous population in separate enclaves cut off from one another

Legal discrimination

The killing of George Floyd, an African American man, lays bare the brutality and danger that stems from a deeply embedded culture of racism.

The situation for Palestinians confronting the Zionist colonial project is no less challenging: Jewish supremacy and racial discrimination are entrenched in Israel’s constitutional law.

Israel proclaims itself a Jewish state, which by definition means it is not a state for all its citizens.

Even Palestinians with Israeli citizenship live under some 65 laws that are designed to discriminate against them and maintain Israeli-Jewish hegemony.

In 1950, just after the establishment of Israel, the Israeli parliament passed the Law of Return.

This grants any person in the world that Israel deems to be Jewish the right to settle in Israel – and the occupied West Bank – and to automatically receive citizenship.

As for Palestinians, Israel subjected them to the so-called Absentees Property Law, which it passed the same year.

With that law, Israel empowered itself to seize the land and property of Palestinian refugees, while it barred them from returning to the places from which they were expelled or fled.

Jewish settlers arriving in the country were the beneficiaries of the law, which allowed them to take over the property and homes of Palestinians.

The remainder of the Palestinian population is still subjected to racial discrimination under Israeli law.

How a person’s identity card fits into Israel’s official hierarchy affects where one can live, who one can marry, the quality of one’s education and work opportunities, access to basic services and the treatment one may face from police.

Whether someone is Jewish or Palestinian is a crucial distinction affecting those rights, even if both are citizens of Israel.

Shared values

The strategic alliance between the United States and Israel is rooted in similar histories of expulsion of Indigenous people, settler-colonialism and racism.

The United States has a dark history of genocide of Native Americans, enslavement of Africans and racial discrimination. While legalized racism may have ended, its impact persists culturally, socially and economically.

The United States sees Israel as its natural ally because they have similar settler-colonial origins and histories.

Israel likewise views the United States as a source of legitimacy for its policies, given the countries’ historical and present similarities.

While the civil rights movement in the United States delegitimized formal discrimination – although systemic racism persists – Palestinians still suffer under a system of legalized racism, expulsion and confinement to ghettos.

This system denies us the most basic rights enjoyed by people around the world, such as freedom of movement, the right to education and medical care, and the ability to obtain basic needs.

Israeli law asserts the “right to exercise national self-determination” in historic Palestine is “unique to the Jewish people.”

Indeed, what unites racists everywhere is the belief that they have superior characteristics to those of a different race or religion. This means the struggle against all forms of racial discrimination must be global.

It is therefore a duty for all of us, even and especially those of us who live with racism, to raise our awareness and voices against any attack on human dignity in any place.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on From Minneapolis to Palestine, racism is the common enemy

Palestine: Four-year-old girl Who Was Shot in the Head Dies of Her Wounds


Sarah Wilkinson@swilkinsonbc
·Jun 2 The 4 year-old Palestinian girl who Israel shot in the head with a live bullet several days ago in Issawiya has today died of her wounds #RIP.

A four-year old Palestinian girl who was shot in East Jerusalem a week and a half ago died of her wounds Monday, Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital said.

Rafif Qara’een, a resident of the Issawiya neighborhood, was hit by bullet fired by Nazi police on May 21.

Image

Sickening all these crimes againist humanity must be recorded, documented and taken to the International Criminal Justice Court.

A relative told the shoah.org.uk website at the time that the family had sat down to eat the traditional iftar meal held each night during the month of Ramadan fasts, when a bullet suddenly hit her in the head.

The hospital said in a statement that Qara’een was unconscious and in life-threatening danger when she was brought in and put on a respirator. Despite being operated on by a team of pediatric neurosurgery experts, her “brain injury was extremely severe,” it said.

Qara’een ‘s grandfather, Mahmoud Abu Riyaleh, told shoah.com.uk news website that the family could not believe that she “had just gone like that.”

Abu Riyaleh recalled that the family did not hear any sounds of shooting when Qara’een was injured on May 21 and that they only found out it was a gunshot wound after they arrived at the hospital and doctors found the bullet.


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Palestine: Four-year-old girl Who Was Shot in the Head Dies of Her Wounds

Will Jordan make the Nazi regime pay a price for annexation?

Will Jordan make Israel pay a price for annexation?

Tamara Nassar 

Man in suit standing before podium
King Abdullah of Jordan has warned of “massive conflict” if Israel moves ahead with plans to annex the West Bank. (European Parliament / Flickr)

King Abdullah of Jordan warned of dire consequences should Israel advance annexation plans in coming months.

“If Israel really annexes the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel.

When asked if the suspension of the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries was on the table, the king said, “I don’t want to make threats and create a loggerheads atmosphere, but we are considering all options.”

The peace treaty, widely rejected by Jordan’s population, normalized relations with Israel despite there being no restoration of Palestinian rights or an end to Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

The king’s remarks came days before Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as the head of Israel’s new unity government.

Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, reached an agreement to form a coalition after more than a year of political stalemate and three general elections.

The coalition agreement includes a commitment that the Israeli government and parliament will, from July, proceed with votes to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

While the king’s remarks garnered attention in Israeli and Arabic-language media, it remains to be seen if anything will come of them.

“Alternative homeland”

July’s planned annexation includes the Jordan Valley, more than a quarter of the occupied West Bank along the border with Jordan.

Annexation would be a formal enunciation of what Israel has been committing on the ground for years with muted Jordanian and international resistance: the quiet ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians in the area.

Annexation would deal a final blow to any remaining pretense that the already moribund two-state solution remains viable, and inch Israel closer to a formal one-apartheid-state reality.

Lack of such pretense would accentuate Jordanian leaders’ fears of the country becoming an “alternative homeland” for Palestinian refugees.

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan unveiled in January, which endorses annexation, also stipulates that “There shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the State of Israel.”

In other words, the US administration is attempting to cancel Palestinians’ internationally recognized right to return to towns and villages from which they were expelled, and change their status in host countries from refugees to permanent residents.

“We must recognize that of all the Arab countries, the Kingdom of Jordan has valiantly attempted to take care of the Palestinian people in Jordan,” the plan states.

But Jordan sees the American plan, which would permanently settle millions of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, as a threat to its current political order.

“The two-state solution is the only way for us to be able to move forward,” King Abdullah told the German magazine.

“Leaders who advocate a one-state solution do not understand what that would mean,” he said of the solution which many observers increasingly argue is the only one that can ensure equal rights for all.

“What would happen if the Palestinian National Authority collapsed?”

Said it before

This was not the first time King Abdullah warned of a strained relationship with Israel.

In December, he said relations between the two countries were at an “all-time low.”

Ironically, he spoke those words at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank affiliated with the powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC.

Yet the monarch has made some moves apparently aimed at placating public opinion.

King Abdullah announced in 2018 that Jordan would not renew Israel’s 25-year leases on the Jordanian territories of al-Baqoura and al-Ghamr that were agreed in the 1994 peace treaty.

Al-Baqoura, in northwest Jordan where the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers meet, and al-Ghamr, south of the Dead Sea, were farmed or used by Israelis before and during the lease.

Until last month, Israeli farmers were permitted to enter al-Ghamr and harvest produce cultivated before the lease ended.

As of 30 April, the grace period ended and the territories are now closed to Israelis.

Israel-Jordan gas deal

Taking back control of al-Baqoura and al-Ghamr was relatively easy, given that they are small strips of land.

A much bigger measure of Jordan’s resolve would be to cancel the Israel-Jordan gas deal.

The agreement, which is set to cost Jordan at least $10 billion over 15 years, is staunchly opposed by the public and parliament since its signing in 2016.

The full text of the deal was not revealed until last year. Its contents confirmed suspicions that the Jordanian government misled the public about its involvement in the deal, as well as the conditions for its cancellation and its implications for the Jordanian economy.

Jordanian lawmakers said that the signature of the deal without the approval of parliament is unconstitutional as it may violate Article 33 of the Jordanian constitution.

That article requires treaties and agreements “which entail any expenditures to the Treasury of the State or affect the public or private rights of Jordanians” to be approved by the legislature.

The constitution also requires that “in no case shall the secret terms in a treaty or agreement be contrary to the overt terms.”

Lawmakers referred the matter to the constitutional court last year.

The court ruled that the deal does not fall under Article 33 and does not require parliamentary approval because it is formally between two companies as opposed to two governments.

However, one of those companies is the Jordanian national electricity provider NEPCO, which is wholly owned and controlled by the government.

Despite strong opposition, Israel began pumping natural gas to Jordan earlier this year.

Last month, Jordan’s constitutional court provided an interpretation of Article 33 at the request of the Jordanian cabinet.

The court concluded that international treaties and agreements are binding, and it is not permissible for parliament to pass laws to cancel such agreements or contradict their terms.

Now, the Jordanian Campaign to Stop the Zionist Gas Deal is renewing its calls for the cancellation of the deal.

The campaign argues that the court’s statement “means that agreements formed outside the framework of Article 33 of the constitution, such as the agreement to import gas from the Zionist enemy, can be cancelled by the government,” the campaign stated.

The campaign is calling on the government not to shirk its “historical responsibility” to cancel the agreement, especially as the billions of dollars slated to be paid to Israel by Jordanian taxpayers and electricity customers could be directed to urgent needs at home, including Jordan’s health sector amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, ZIO-NAZI, JordanComments Off on Will Jordan make the Nazi regime pay a price for annexation?

Pompeo Used Staffer for Personal Chores

‘More Naked Corruption’: Inspector General Ousted by Trump Was Investigating Whether Pompeo Used Staffer for Personal Chores

“There is no form of corruption too small for this administration. Leave nothing behind. They’ll take the doorknobs too if they can figure out how to unscrew them.”

by: Jake Johnson,

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaves a press conference at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2020. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

The State Department inspector general was reportedly investigating whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo required a staffer to carry out personal chores when President Donald Trump fired him Friday night, a move that sparked widespread outcry and a probe by congressional Democrats.

According to the Washington Post, Steve Linick “was looking into allegations that a staffer for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was performing domestic errands and chores such as handling dry cleaning, walking the family dog, and making restaurant reservations” in violation of federal law. Trump replaced Linick with Stephen Akard, a U.S. diplomat and close ally of Vice President Mike Pence.

One anonymous congressional official told the Post that the State Department staffer “was a political appointee and that at least one congressional committee learned of the allegations around the time of Linick’s firing.”

Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, tweeted late Sunday that news of Linick’s investigation shows that “there is no form of corruption too small for this administration.”

“Leave nothing behind,” added Shaub. “They’ll take the doorknobs too if they can figure out how to unscrew them.”

NBC News reported Sunday that congressional officials investigating Trump’s firing of Linick—the latest inspector general ousted as part of the president’s far-reaching assault on government oversight—believe he was removed in direct retaliation for his investigation into Pompeo, who also faced scrutiny last year for allegedly using security officials to pick up his dog from the groomer and carry out other personal errands.

“Oh look, more naked corruption,” tweeted Vox‘s David Roberts.

An anonymous White House official said after Democrats launched an investigation into Linick’s firing that the inspector general was removed on Pompeo’s recommendation. Trump agreed with Pompeo’s request, the official said.

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Pompeo-Trump Effort to Force Through Saudi Arms Deal

Ousted Inspector General Was Also Probing Possible Illegal Pompeo-Trump Effort to Force Through Saudi Arms Deal

“Since day one, this president has thought he’s above the law, above criticism, and can get away with anything—including a fake ’emergency’ to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders.

by: Andrea Germanos,

A Yemeni boy rides a bike on rubble of houses destroyed in a recent airstrike carried out by warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition, on May 23, 2019 in Sana'a, Yemen.

A Yemeni boy rides a bike on rubble of houses destroyed in a recent airstrike carried out by warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition, on May 23, 2019 in Sana’a, Yemen. (Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

The State Department inspector general who was fired by President Donald Trump on Friday was investigating the Trump administration’s use last year of emergency powers to flout congressional oversight and sell billions of dollars in arms to Saudi Arabia, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Eliot Engel said Monday.

Eliot Engel@RepEliotEngel

I’ve learned there may be another reason for IG Linick’s firing. His office was investigating—at my request—Trump’s phony emergency declaration so he could send Saudi Arabia weapons. We don’t have the full picture yet, but it’s troubling that Sec Pompeo wanted Linick pushed out. https://twitter.com/RepEliotEngel/

Eliot Engel✔@RepEliotEngelToday I launched an investigation into President Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. @SenatorMenendez and I requested that administration officials preserve all records related to the firing & turn info over to the committees by Friday, May 22.

9,7205:45 PM – May 18, 2020

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

“Since day one, this president has thought he’s above the law, above criticism, and can get away with anything—including a fake ’emergency’ to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted Monday. “It is becoming clear he fired an inspector general for investigating such misconduct.”

Trump’s ousting of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick—reportedly at the behest of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—makes Linick the latest victim of Trump’s inspector general purge

The news that Linick was probing the emergency declaration came after the revelation that he was also looking into whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo required a staffer to carry out personal chores.

“Three officials from different congressional committees say investigators on Capitol Hill believe that Linick’s investigations into the Saudi arms sale and Pompeo’s use of the political aide contributed to his firing,” NBC News reported Monday.

Engel and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced Saturday they launched a probe into Trump’s firing of Linick. 

In a Monday interview with MSNBC, Menendez was asked if he believed Linick’s firing was a retaliatory move by the Trump administration.

“It certainly seems so,” Menendez said, adding that he believed Linick’s probe into the emergency powers declaration was “very close to coming to a conclusion.”

That conclusion was emerging apparently without much help from Pompeo. CNN reported Monday:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to sit for an interview with the State Department inspector general’s office as part of its probe into the administration’s move to bypass Congress and expedite last year’s $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia by declaring an emergency, a congressional aide told CNN Monday.

Linick is the fourth inspector general Trump has ousted in recent months.

Before Linick, Trump booted acting Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi A. GrimmGlenn Fine, the acting Pentagon inspector general who was also overseeing the federal government’s implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief law; and Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general.

Posted in USA, C.I.A, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Pompeo-Trump Effort to Force Through Saudi Arms Deal

A hand salute to Art Acevedo Houston Police Chief

,
By Mahmoud El-Yousseph

A hand salute to Houston, Texas police chief from this retired veteran. I was delighted to hear Chief Art Acevedo on CNN lecturing Trump on how to be a good leader in a time of national crisis by saying, “if you don’t have something constructive to say, please keep your mouth shut.” Most public officials prefer to go with the flow or stay on the sideline but not Chief Acevedo.

Inline image

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo marches with protesters. credit(www.chron.com)

Hopefully by giving Trump a lesson in the basic machinery of government, Trump will stop blasting governors and mayors and then telling them what they can and can not do.

On May 1st, Trump supported the armed protesters who had stormed the Michigan Capitol demanding the state lift Coronavirus restrictions. He tweeted that “these are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely!”

On May 31st, Trump called people protesting the injustice in America as,” looters, thugs, radical left, lowlife and scums” and he threatened rioter with ” vicious dog and ominous weapons.” It is worth noting here that hundreds of American police officers have been trained by Israeli army and police force that have terrorized Palestinians and violated their human rights violations for the last 72 years. Basically, that is where US police officers learn how to handle crowd control. Simply put, ” shoot first and ask questions later.”

Sadly this week, the president told governors they have to go arrest people and put them in jail for 10 years. He then has the nerve of ordering a peaceful protest dispersed using tear gas and rubber bullets so he could get pose with the a Bible for a photographs standing in front of Church next to the White House. Meanwhile, people from Berlin to Iran and from London to Brazil were marching in solidarity with the protesters’ demands. It was heartwarming to see a huge striking mural of George Floyd painted on a wall by two Syrian artists in the Syrian city of Idlib, with the caption “I can’t breath.”

Inline image

Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun painted this mural on the only standing wall of a bombed building to memorialize Floyd. (Fox7 auston.com)

Chief Acevedo has the courage to stand up to the President and give him some of his medicine when he told him to either come up with something constructive and helpful or “zip it” (my words, not his). Sometimes, I wonder what would it take of Trump’s “worshippers” to wise up to this con man. Horns growing out of his head?

Finally, I have confessed that I watched the interview with the Chief several times and I could not get enough of it. The Chief was a straight-shooter and went to the heart of the subject. It gave me hope that America’s better days are ahead. 

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on A hand salute to Art Acevedo Houston Police Chief

While US is in crisis, Congress posts 68 bills (and counting) for ‘Israel’

While US is in crisis, Congress posts 68 bills (and counting) for Israel

CONTACT@IFAMERICANSKNEW.ORG 

While US is in crisis, Congress posts 68 bills (and counting) for Israel

At the request of Democratic leaders, President Trump ordered last week that US flags on DC federal buildings fly at half-staff “in memory of the Americans we have lost to the Coronavirus.” Justice advocates also grieve at the persistence of pro-Israel legislation in Congress.

In the chaos that is the US – with coronavirus, racial tension, deep divisions, highly contested elections – Israel continues to hold sway over Capitol Hill. Congress members toil unwaveringly to win massive military aid money and special treats for the Jewish State with 68 pieces of legislation focused on Israel.

by Kathryn Shihadah

Back in January 2019, immediately after the swearing-in ceremony for the new Congress, advocacy for Israel began. On that first day, the Senate introduced a pro-Israel bill; the House introduced 3. By the end of 2019, lawmakers had presented over 50 pieces of legislation favoring Israel.

2020 pro-Israel bills have been arriving at a somewhat slower pace (as of this writing, the number stands at 18), but most of last year’s bills are still in circulation. At the end of this year, every bill that has not become law will die. The process starts over with the new Congress in January 2021.

Especially given this year’s massive financial disruption from COVID-19, Americans should be aware of our country’s lavish spending habits toward Israel – and not only because we need to be generally more frugal. Israel has a long, ugly record of human rights violations, the likes of which have been chronicled in detail by numerous human rights organizations.

Below is a description of pro-Israel bills that have been introduced in Congress in 2020 (grouped by subject), followed by a listing of bills that support justice for Palestinians (as of this writing, there is only one).

For the list of 50+ pro-Israel bills (and 2 that advocate for Palestinians) presented in 2019, please go here.

Pro-Israel legislation: military aid

S.3176 – “US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020” (To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 to make improvements to certain defense and security assistance provisions and to authorize the appropriations of funds to Israel, and for other purposes).

This is the Senate version of House bill H.R.1837, which was passed last July (read about it here). The bill outlines the US promise to give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion a year for the next ten years. In addition, it would give the President authority to provide Israel with unlimited weaponry and assistance without prior authorization from Congress.

These bills contradict the Leahy Laws, which clearly state that, in the words of principal sponsor Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT),  “when credible evidence of human rights violations exists, US aid must stop.” (For more on the Leahy Laws, read this.)

S.3176 passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 21, using several unscrupulous procedures. As Alison Weir reports,

First, Senate Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) refused to allow a livestream of the meeting, despite the fact that the Senate Rules panel had recommended that extra efforts be taken to ensure public transparency while the Capitol is closed to the public and the presence of reporters is severely limited. The Senate’s Press Gallery Standing Committee of Correspondents had objected strongly to Risch’s decision.

Second, the bill was passed without being named, debated, or even discussed, even though it would set into law the largest such aid package in U.S. history. There has been no US mention of the bill by US mainstream media.

Notably, a “manager’s amendment” to S.3176 replaced the entire content of the original bill with new text – and this text was not made public until after the conclusion of the hearing.

This pro-Israel bill also provides millions in new funding for various additional programs and programs benefiting Israel. As analyst Lara Friedman reports, the bill authorizes “funding for programs designed to make enhanced/expanded US-Israel cooperation part of the DNA of more and more U.S. government agencies.” It also establishes programs “that in effect recruit U.S. agencies/funding to the cause of expanding Israel’s relations and influence in the region (i.e., open normalization by Arab states) and around the world.”

There are a number of additional perks, including requiring NASA to work with the Israeli Space Agency, despite accusations of Israeli espionage.

As the US grapples with its Covid-induced economic devastation, Israel’s $3.8 billion aid package is expected to remain intact – this even as Israel actively removes Palestinians’ protections from the virus.

Introduced Jan. 9 by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Cosponsors to date: D – 19, R – 19.


Pro-Israel legislation: Israeli-exceptionalism bills

H.R.5595 – the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” (To impose additional prohibitions relating to foreign boycotts under Export Control Reform Act of 2018, and for other purposes).

H.R.5595 is the latest in a string of pro-Israel bills that many experts consider a violation of Americans’ right to free speech.

The bill would halt attempts to disrupt businesses that partner with illegal Israeli settlements. This same nonviolent strategy was instrumental in bringing down apartheid in South Africa.

Past anti-boycott bills have targeted businesses, organizations, and individuals; the current bill also targets global organizations – specifically the United Nations, which recently published a database of over 100 companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The human rights expert behind the effort “urged UN Member States to implement laws banning the import of goods produced in illegal settlements located in any occupied territory.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has stated unequivocally that anti-boycott legislation interferes with free speech, and is therefore unconstitutional. Nevertheless, thanks to pro-Israel influence, Congress has considered not less than 22 anti-BDS bills28 states have adopted anti-BDS laws (a number of these are being challenged).

President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and Middle East foreign policy expert, Lara Friedman, explains that anti-BDS legislation conflates voluntary political free speech – taking a stand against Israeli policy – with a type of coercive boycott that does not resemble the BDS movement.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is, in its own words,

a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law.

(For more on BDS legislation, read thisthis, and this.)

Introduced Jan. 13 by Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1). Cosponsors to date: D – 1, R – 63.


S.Res. 570 – A resolution opposing and condemning the potential prosecution of United States and Israeli nationals by the International Criminal Court.

As mentioned above, the ICC is a “court of last resort,” where it is possible to try individuals when their home country is unwilling or unable to do so. The allegations of American war crimes in Afghanistan, and Israeli war crimes in Israel/Palestine could be resolved if the US and Israel would self-investigate.

Instead of calling for due process in the home countries of the accused, however, the pro-Israel bill S.Res.570 calls for impunity – for American citizens and citizens of one other selected country.

Introduced on May 12 by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Cosponsors to date: D – 0, R – 0.


S.3775 – “The United States Israel Military Capability Act” (A bill to establish a United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group, and for other purposes). 

The senators believe that the US government has a “national security and moral imperative” to guarantee that American soldiers’ weapons are second to none.

Foundation for Defense of Democracies (recognized as an arm of the Israel lobby) reports that the pro-Israel bill S.3775 seeks to create a “permanent and dedicated forum” for “[sharing] intelligence-informed military capabilities.”

Israel’s behavior in this regard is extremely problematic. It has a record of stealing US technology and selling it to others, including to adversaries.

Israel has also developed advanced weapons systems and sold them all over the world – including to countries known to be human rights abusers. Although the US has bankrolled Israel’s Iron Dome for nine years, when the American military wanted to purchase its own Iron Dome systems, Israel refused to provide vital source codes.

Israel has also used its advanced surveillance technology to spy on the US repeatedly in spite of the fact that the US has given Israel over $230 billion in aid since 1946.

Introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on May 20. Cosponsors to date: D – 0, R – 1.


S.3722 and H.R.6829 To authorize funding for a bilateral cooperative program with Israel for the development of health technologies with a focus on combating COVID-19 (over two weeks after the legislation was introduced, the text is not available).

In its letter to activists, exhorting them to contact Congress members, AIPAC proclaims, “Israel is a world leader in medical innovation, and increased U.S.-Israel collaboration will greatly benefit the American public.”

Other organizations offered a fuller perspective of Israel vis-a-vis the pandemic.

Human Rights Watch reported that the temporary disruptions Israelis are experiencing shed some light on the experience of Palestinians living under occupation:

…far more sweeping restrictions on movement have been the norm for decades. Since 2007, Israeli authorities have largely sealed off the Gaza Strip, banning the movement of 2 million Palestinians living there outside of “exceptional humanitarian cases” and maintaining a formal “policy of separation” between Gaza and the West Bank. Israel’s closure of Gaza, which is vastly disproportionate to any concrete security threat, separates thousands of Palestinians from relatives in the West Bank, inside Israel, and abroad.

Unlike the temporary COVID-19 measures to protect Israelis, these longstanding restrictions are not meant to protect Palestinians and are not going away anytime soon.

Israel has reportedly closed down Palestinian COVID-19 testing sites, continued (in one case, escalated) its nightly routine of raiding homes, arresting Palestinians – including minors – and demolishing Palestinian homes and businesses. Israeli soldiers and settlers have also allegedly been spitting on Palestinians.

Israeli security forces, wearing protective masks as a precaution during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, stand on guard in the old city of Jerusalem on the Orthodox Christian holiday of Holy Friday on April 17, 2020.
Israeli security forces, wearing protective masks as a precaution during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, stand on guard in the old city of Jerusalem on the Orthodox Christian holiday of Holy Friday on April 17, 2020. (AFP)

Introduced by Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH-1) on May 12, 2020 and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on May 13, 2020. Senate cosponsors to date: D – 3, R – 3; House cosponsors to date: D – 4, R – 3.

H.R.5605 – United States-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act (To direct the Secretary of Defense to carry out a grant program to increase cooperation on post-traumatic stress disorder research between the United States and Israel).

Israelis have indeed witnessed violence: spates of stabbings and the infamous “rain of rockets” that have sent them scrambling for shelter (for facts on Gaza rockets, read this and this).

The rocket phenomenon in Gaza began in 2001, after the Israeli military had already killed hundreds of Gazan Palestinians. In fact those “rockets” have in most cases been small, homemade projectiles – many without explosive capability –  and in 19 years have caused 30 Israeli deaths. In the same time period, Israeli airstrikes have killed over 4,000 Gazan men, women, and children (this number does not include Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or Israel).

At least 10,006 Palestinians and 1,271 Israelis have been killed by someone from the other side since 2000. At least 2,172 Palestinian children and 134 Israeli children have been killed by someone from the other side since 2000.
At least 10,006 Palestinians and 1,271 Israelis have been killed by someone from the other side since 2000. (israelpalestinetimeline.org)

Overall, the death toll of Palestinians and Israelis is both tragic and lopsided: since 2000, over 10,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed. Vox reports that since 2005, 23 out of every 24 conflict-related deaths have been Palestinian.

Tragically, Palestinians’ experiences would provide a more abundant field for PTSD research.

Palestine has the heartbreaking distinction of having one of the highest rates of mental illness in the world – thanks to generations of oppression. For example, 1 in 4 Palestinian adolescents have attempted suicide, according to the World Journal of Medical Sciences.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has found that 54% of Gazan children who experienced heavy bombardment in the 2014 Israeli incursion known as Operation Protective Edge, suffer from severe PTSD, with symptoms including flashbacks and nightmares.

Palestinian psychiatrist and member of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Dr. Samah Jabr, says of such statistics,

What is sick, the context or the person? In Palestine, we see many people whose symptoms—unusual emotional reaction or a behaviors—are a normal reaction to a pathogenic context.

Palestinian children gather outside a United Nations-run school in the northern Gaza Strip, 2014. The head of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Gaza, Pernille Ironside, said Wednesday that nearly 400,000 Gaza kids were in urgent need of psychological and social support to overcome the trauma they have experienced during the Israeli genocidal attacks on the besieged Palestine enclave.
Palestinian children gather outside a United Nations-run school in the northern Gaza Strip. The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Gaza, Pernille Ironside, said  that nearly 400,000 Gaza kids were in urgent need of psychological and social support to overcome the trauma they experienced during the 2014 Israeli genocidal attacks on the besieged Palestine enclave. (Reuters)

One in four children in Gaza require psychosocial support.Israeli violence has made the Palestinian population a rich source for PTSD research. Palestinians have endured not stabbings, but machine gunssnipers, and tanks armed with missiles; not rains of rockets, but rains of illegal white phosphorus and one-ton bombs; not intermittent restaurant attacks, but tens of thousands of home demolitions and hundreds of thousands of detentions (including over 50,000 children since the beginning of the occupation), and the relentless cheapening and degradation of life. (For more on Palestinian and Israeli experiences of violence, read this.)

But if the US wants to study PTSD in combat veterans, a good starting place would be Breaking the Silence:

Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran soldiers who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.

We endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life. Our work aims to bring an end to the occupation.

Introduced Jan. 14 by Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL-6). Cosponsors to date: D – 25, R – 17.

S.3409 and H.R.6392 “Secure United States Bases Act” (To modify the conditions and terms of all foreign military training programs operated within the United States by the Department of Defense and the Department of State).

These pro-Israel bills would create a new, nonimmigrant visa category for foreign military students in Department of Defense and Department of State training programs. Foreign military students would be subject to comprehensive vetting to be eligible for the visa.

The requirements would apply retroactively, but students from NATO states and Israel would be exempt.

These bills are a response to the December 2019 deadly attack at a US military facility in Florida in which a Saudi national in military training shot 11 people, killing 3.

Interestingly, while the Senate puts great faith in Israeli military students’ loyalty to the US, it is well-known that Israel has a history of spying on the US – even stealing military secrets – and was caught red-handed as recently as 2019.

In an article entitled “Israel Spies and Spies and Spies,” Philip Giraldi, former CIA counterterrorism specialist adds, “The fact is that Israel conducts espionage and influence operations against the United States more aggressively than any other ‘friendly’ country.”

Nevertheless, Israeli military trainees appear to be considered trustworthy.

Introduced March 5, 2020 by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL-6). Senate cosponsors to date: D – 0, R – 1; House cosponsors to date: D – 0, R – 1.


Pro-Israel legislation: Anti-Semitism-related bills

H.Res.782 – Encouraging public schools to design and teach a curriculum about the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and the vital importance of the Jewish State of Israel.

The bill addresses the important issues of anti-Semitism and Holocaust education, but then turns a corner to once again target the peaceful Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement (see above).

It begins with a list of recent anti-Semitic incidents and concludes with a call for all public schools to

design and teach a curriculum about the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and the historic importance of the creation of the Jewish State of Israel in 1948 that served as a refuge for Jews all over the world to escape persecution following the Holocaust.

The bill ignores the fact that the creation of Israel was accomplished through a violent, massive ethnic cleansing against the indigenous population. It also ignores the fact that projects to create other refuges had been sabotaged by pro-Israel groups.

The legislation also blames the BDS movement for “rampant anti-Semitism,” although this is broadly considered untrue. As Lara Friedman points out,

Fun fact: NONE of the attacks listed in the resolution have anything to do with Israel or BDS. Yet the drafters make the resolution about both. Another fun fact: A decade ago then-President Obama was attacked (viciously and over and over) for using language mentioning the creation of Israel and the Holocaust in adjacent sentences.

Protesters hold a Palestinian flag and the initials of the anti-Israeli BDS movement on the occasion of the visit of the Israeli prime minister in Berlin
Protesters hold a Palestinian flag and the initials of the anti-Israeli BDS movement on the occasion of the visit of the Israeli prime minister in Berlin (EPA/Clemens Bilan)

The bill does not mandate anti-BDS instruction, but leaves the content of the curriculum open to interpretation.

H.Res.837 (introduced Feb. 6 by Rep. William Keating [D-MA-9]) similarly encourages European countries to teach about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. It does not name Israel, but does refer to “modern-day anti-Semitism,” – commonly understood as a reference to anti-Zionism, an ideology that opposes the “Jewish character of the State of Israel”

It is important to note that pro-Israel groups regularly pressure school textbook companies to present an Israel-centric version of history (read, for example, thisthisthis, and this) and shut down student organizationsprofessors, and curriculum that represent the Palestinian perspective.

Introduced Jan. 9 by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC-13). Cosponsors to date: D – 0; R – 5.

H.Res.837 – Reaffirming the need for transatlantic cooperation to combat anti-Semitism in Europe.

Whereas many European governments and the European Union have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism;

While the bill doesn’t report this, the IHRA working definition includes certain criticisms of Israel “antisemitic.” Thus, the resolution affirms an alleged “need” to cooperate in combatting efforts in support of Palestinian human rights.

(interestingly, in the cases of H.Res.732 and H.Res.884, bills about white supremacism and Islamophobia, the only cosponsors were Dems.)

Introduced Feb. 6 by Rep. William Keating (D-MA-9). Cosponsors to date: D – 3; R – 1.


Pro-Israel legislation: Iran-related bills

Israel has long targeted Iran as an “existential threat.” For this reason, the Israel lobby has often pushed for legislation in Congress that sanctions Iran. A separate report on Iran-related bills will be coming soon.


The single bill that is (peripherally) pro-Palestine:

H.Res.855 – “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the US should ratify the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court.”

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a “court of last resort” to “bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind” – crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity – when national courts can not or will not do so.

This resolution refers to the fact that the United States has never become a member of the ICC. Various groups and individual politicians (primarily Republican) have criticized the institution; others have denounced the critics for endorsing American exceptionalism.

Israel walks hand-in-hand with the US in defying the ICC, and has been resisting war crime investigations by the body for years.

Recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed, “If the ICC continues down its current course [toward prosecuting Israel], we will exact consequences.”

Notably, American politicians’ and conservative think tanks’ dismiss the legitimacy of the ICC’s jurisdiction, not the factual nature of the allegations against Israel (as well as those against the US), which include crimes (committed by both Israel and the Palestinians) in the Gaza War of 2014, in the building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, and in the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters at the Gaza border (apartheid – of which Israel has also been accused – is also considered a crime against humanity).

Introduced Feb. 12 by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-13). Cosponsors to date: D – 0, R – 0.

RELATED READING:

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Israeli Spying on US, Perfecting 24/7 Surveillance Tech

Israelis Have Taken To Spitting on Palestinians During Coronavirus

The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans: The Facts

Human rights reports on Israel-Palestine (regularly updated)

Trump-Kushner “Peace” Plan ignores elephants in the room: Israel created this mess

Congress has introduced 50 pieces of legislation about Israel in 2019

95% of Congress is ok with Israel’s torture of Palestinian children

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on While US is in crisis, Congress posts 68 bills (and counting) for ‘Israel’

VERSES OF IRON FOR CHE GUEVARA

A picture taken on September 8 2017 shows a portrait of late Argentinian revolutionary legend Ernesto Che Guevara painted on an exterior wall of the...

       Teresinka Pereira

I also want 

        to write

my song of fire

to the master 

       of guerrilla

    warfare.

It happens that I am

armed with several

languages and tears

in order to weave

verses of soft iron

with which his hands

can seed the memory

and the future

of our great country

Latin America!

Posted in LiteratureComments Off on VERSES OF IRON FOR CHE GUEVARA

Naomi Klein and Arundhati Roy Help Launch Global Green New Deal Project With Worldwide Invitation

“The time to build the future we deserve is now, and international solidarity is the tool we need to begin its construction.”

by: Andrea Germanos,

Image: Global Green New Deal

The coronavirus crisis has brought “the machine of capitalism… to a halt,” said Arundhati Roy. (Image: Global Green New Deal)

Authors Arundhati Roy and Naomi Klein took part in a virtual conversation on Tuesday to help launch a Global Green New Deal project to foster internationalism and visualize possibilities for a new and better world for people and the planet.

The online event, entitled “Into the Portal, No One Left Behind,” was co-sponsored by The Leap, War on Want, and Haymarket Books. Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want, moderated the discussion.

“We knew our system was broken. But the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the cruelty of the global economy, and deepened the visceral injustices of our societies,” organizers said in the conversation’s event description. “The time to build the future we deserve is now, and international solidarity is the tool we need to begin its construction.”

Global Green New Deal@GlobalGNDeal

“Corona is an X-Ray on our society” – @chilledasad100 #GlobalGND84:36 PM – May 19, 2020

Klein said that driving the cruelty is “the violence of a capitalist system” rooted in “an extractivist logic that treats… the Earth itself, individual places, and entire groups of people as disposable,” a “logic of endless extraction and disposal that really cherishes nothing and no one.”

Global Green New Deal@GlobalGNDeal

“The #GlobalGND grew out of a critique from Green New Deals in the UK, the US. We need a redistribution of resources on a scale that has never been seen before, recognizing the debt of the North on the South” –@NaomiAKlein244:10 PM – May 19, 2020

The coronavirus crisis means that we are now hearing the “roar of workers who are on the frontlines who are talking about being simultaneously essential and disposable or simultaneously essential and sacrificial,” said Klein, adding that this duality has parallels with slavery and land theft.

A more justice vision for life on the other side of the “portal” post-pandemic should be “bounded in treating no one as if they are sacrificeable—and nowhere,” she said.

Watch the full conversation:

Roy said the pandemic meant “the machine of capitalism has come to a halt,” and suggested a global movement toward justice could heed lessons from the “ferocious, beautiful, and militant movements” in India.

What those movements have done, said Roy, is to ask “the world to redefine the meaning of progress, to redefine he meaning of civilization, to redefine the meaning of happiness. Do you really need to treat the Earth like a resource in order to call yourself civilized?”

Global Green New Deal@GlobalGNDeal

We’re left with the language of justice which has been reduced to talk of human rights, the language where they adjudicate. The real crisis we face is how do we mobilize and how do we become militant about what we want and what we believe in. “- Arundhati Roy #GlobalGND224:23 PM – May 19, 2020

“If people think coronavirus is a problem, it’s a stuffed toy compared to the climate crisis that’s coming,” she added.

“The main thing is to change our imagination,” said Roy. “Once you understand that you just can’t extract everything, that things are finite,” a new, more just vision can emerge.

Roy said that it was important to acknowledge that “change doesn’t mean that you’re going to necessarily suffer.”

“Life,” she continued, “could be so much more beautiful.” People could be in a situation in which they respect the Earth and “have a more equal relationship with people.”

Getting from this moment of global crisis to justice will take a far-reaching effort.

“The answer to the question ‘How do we change the world?’ isn’t in any of us individually,” said Reyman. “It’s in all of us collectively.”

Global Green New Deal@GlobalGNDeal

“The answer to the question “how do we change the world?” isn’t in any of us individually, it’s in all of us collectively.” – @chilledasad100

Join us at http://globalgnd.org  to build from crisis to justice

The Global Green New Deal website says that a call to action is will be released in the coming weeks. “Together,” says the new site, “we will create a people’s plan to build a resilient global economy, based on the principles of a just transition and recovery, which guarantees the right to a dignified life for all.”

Posted in Environment, Health, Human RightsComments Off on Naomi Klein and Arundhati Roy Help Launch Global Green New Deal Project With Worldwide Invitation

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