Aletho News


Flashback: Oakland Police Settle Lawsuits for Bloody Monday

4 April 2006

Almost three years after the bloody police riot at the Port of Oakland, California, that left nine longshore workers and dozens of anti-war demonstrators injured and scores of protesters and one union business agent arrested, the City of Oakland finally settled the lawsuits against the police.

The settlement included not only monetary damages for the injuries and constitutional rights trampled, but new, more restrictive policies on the Oakland Police Department’s use of force during protests.

But the waterfront employers in the Pacific Maritime Association who colluded with the police in those actions have yet to pay for their crimes.

Shortly after the US invaded Iraq, peace activists organised a protest at the port to highlight war profiteering by some ship companies. Stevedoring Services of America received a no-bid contract to operate the Iraqi port of Um Qasr for the occupying forces and American President Lines had a contract with the US Government to ship munitions and other war materiel to Iraq.

Before the first shift on Monday, April 7, 2003, protesters set up picket lines outside the terminal gates. They had organised their action publicly, advertising it through flyers and web postings.

The employers and the police were aware of it and plotted their response in secret. Documents obtained through the lawsuits’ discovery process revealed that representatives of management and the Port of Oakland met with police several days before the demonstration. Oakland Police Department Lieutenant Edward Poulson, in charge of the police response, was granted his request that company and port representatives be present at the police command centre during the protest, and actually “deputised” an employer representative as part of the police “command and support team” to assist in arresting people.

The Tribune quoted the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center spokesman Mike Van Winkle justifying his agency’s tactics: “If you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that’s being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that [protest],” Van Winkle said. “You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act.”

With that kind of information and arguments the OPD greeted the demonstrators in full riot gear and armed with so-called “less-than-lethal” munitions, including wooden and rubber bullets, concussion grenades and lead-shot filled bean bags.

Longshore workers arriving for their morning shift at the terminals saw hundreds of people picketing the gates and a line of trucks backed up down the road. They stood by a good distance away as local officers had instructed, awaiting the arbitration. But the police did not.

One police officer, using a barely audible bull horn, declared the demonstration an illegal gathering and ordered everyone to disperse. Then the police moved in formation toward the demonstrators with rifles drawn and aimed head high. Suddenly shots rang out and concussion grenades arced overhead and boomed. Protesters and longshore workers alike fell to the fire. Others were run into by cops on motorcycles, beaten and arrested. Local 10 Business Agent Jack Heyman, rushing to help his members get out of harm’s way, was pulled out of his obviously marked ILWU Business Agent car, thrown to the ground, handcuffed and arrested.

Many of the injuries were severe enough to require hospitalisation and surgery. Video and photos showed the police aiming at people’s heads, in direct violation of the munitions manufacturers’ warnings that such practice could result in death. Injuries to heads and shoulders confirmed the violations were common. The multitude of wounds in the back showed police were shooting at retreating people.

The next day’s New York Times quoted Police Chief Richard Word saying the police dispersed the crowd at the behest of management. Outraged that ILWU members would be shot on orders from the employers, as if this were 1934 and Bloody Thursday once again, the Coast Committee fired off a letter to the Oakland mayor demanding an independent investigation.

While Local 10 and injured and arrested protesters prepared their lawsuits against the city and its police department, Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff moved preemptively. He charged 24 protesters with failure to disperse and interfering with a business, and charged BA Heyman with obstructing justice and failure to comply with a police officer’s order. Those charges were all eventually dropped.

From the day of the event the Mayor and City Council President defended the police action, claiming they were responding to demonstrators throwing rocks and bottles. But the police department’s own video showed no violence on the part of the demonstrators. Rather than go to trial without supporting evidence, the city offered an out-of-court settlement.

In total the police use of excessive force on peaceful citizens exercising their Constitutional rights of free speech, assembly and dissent cost Oakland taxpayers $1.25 million to settle 59 lawsuits, not including attorney and court fees.

“City politicians spent all this money to suppress civil liberties and trade union rights when it could have gone to Oakland schools and paid teachers decent wages and benefits,” said Jack Heyman.

Closing the deal, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously in February to pay up and get out of this embarrassing mess, all the while claiming they were not admitting guilt.

Local 10 declared victory and voted to accept the settlement. Only the employers have yet to answer for their role in putting ILWU members and protesters lives at risk that day-so far.

“The documents we got from the police in this case show without a doubt how today’s employers still turn to the police to enforce their power over workers just as they did in 1934,” Heyman said. “We won’t forget that.”

MUA Solidarity

To Jack, all our brothers and sisters in the ILWU and all progressive men and women who stand in defence of workers’ rights and the rights of people to peacefully protest against corporate war mongering, government corruption and police brutality, the members of the Maritime Union of Australia send you this message of support.

If the profits of war go unquestioned there will be no peace and if police brutality and government deception goes unchallenged, there will be no freedom.

The bloody attack on Monday April 7, 2003 against you, other anti-war demonstrators and longshore workers at terminal gates in the port of Oakland was a gross act of repression, condemned by the UN Rights Commission, progressive Americans and working people worldwide.

That the Oakland government turned its guns on its own people accusing you of terrorism for speaking out against war profiteers, giant corporations American President Lines and Stevedore Services of America is a gross violation of civil rights.

Blood flowed, but you refused to cower.

We congratulate all those involved for taking a stand against your persecutors and for your victory. In so doing you not only defend your rights, but our rights and the rights of all.

Paddy Crumlin

Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Flashback: Oakland Police Settle Lawsuits for Bloody Monday

Police Violence Shocks Activists, Others at Port of Oakland Protest

By Dana Hull |San Jose Mercury News | April 7, 2003

A protestor, who refused to give her name, bears the wounds after she says was hit by Oakland police weapon during a anti-war protest in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 7, 2003 outside the port area. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Berkeley resident Clay Hinson (R), who was shot once in the chest and twice in the back during an anti-war protest, shows his wounds to an Oakland Police sergeant (L) who takes his statement at the West Oakland train station, April 7, 2003. Oakland police fired rubber bullets and wooden pellets on Monday to disperse hundreds of anti-war protesters in what was believed to be their first such use against U.S. protesters since the American-led war on Iraq began. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

An anti-war demonstration at the Port of Oakland turned violent this morning when Oakland Police opened fire with wooden dowels, “sting balls,” concussion grenades, tear gas and other non-lethal weapons when protesters at the gates of two shipping lines refused an order to disperse.

Scores of protesters ran from a line of police or tried to hide behind nearby big rigs. At least a dozen demonstrators and nine longshoremen who were standing nearby were injured.

“Our guys were standing in one area waiting to go to work, and then the police started firing on the longshoremen,” said Henry Graham, the president of ILWU Local 10. “Some were hit in the chest with rubber bullets, and seven of our guys went to the hospital. I don’t want to imply that the police deliberately did this, but it doesn’t make sense.”

There have been so many anti-war demonstrations in the Bay Area in recent months that they have almost become routine, and most have been peaceful. Monday’s events mark the first time that local police have used projectiles to disperse crowds, and many demonstrators said they were stunned that the projectiles were fired at such close range.

“I was just marching in a big circle and the police lowered their guns at us,” said Scott Fleming, 29, who took off his shirt to reveal four large red and swollen welts on his back. “I turned to run and I started getting hit with wooden bullets. They just kept shooting at us, and I kept running. I’m a lawyer, and I’m seriously considering filing charges.”

The early morning mayhem came as a shock to veteran activists and Oakland leaders alike. Oakland was one of the first cities in the region to pass a resolution condeming the U.S.-led war with Iraq, and the City Council has a progressive reputation. Some well known public officials even turned out to participate in the early morning protest.

“I got hit a few times with rubber bullets,” said Dan Siegel, an attorney and member of the Oakland School Board. Siegel pulled a sting ball out of the pocket of his business suit and said he was outraged that the police fired on a peaceful protest. “The police totally overreacted. It’s over the top. They were reckless, and I also saw an officer on a motorcycle run over a woman’s foot.”

The port protest was one of several anti-war demonstrations held Monday in the Bay Area. Several people were arrested at the Concord Naval Weapons Station, and seven were arrested after they temporarily blocked an off-ramp from Interstate 280 in San Francisco. Other demonstrators walked in a circle in front of the federal building in San Francisco, drumming wooden spoons together as federal employees arrived for work.

The action at the Port was the largest. Hundreds of demonstrators met near dawn Monday at the terminals of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd.’s APL unit and Stevedoring Services of America, shipping companies that activists say are profiting from the war.

In late March, Stevedoring Services of America won a $4.8 million contract from the U.S. government to manage the Iraqi port Umm Qasr and ensure that urgent food assistance and materials flow smoothly through the seaport. Critics are screaming foul over the process, which excluded any foreign companies from bidding on the lucrative contracts.

The demonstrations at the port were planned with the quiet support of the ILWU, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Many rank-and-file members of ILWU Local 10 oppose the war with Iraq, and the local has its own Anti-War Action Committee.

Police fired into the crowd after some protesters failed to clear the street in front of the terminals.

“At that point, we fired non-lethal munitions,” said Danielle Ashford, an officer with the Oakland Police Department. “There were a few agitators in the crowd. The majority of them were peaceful.”

But others said they never saw any evidence of “agitators” and urged any witnesses to come to Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

“I was there from 5 a.m. on, and the only violence that I saw was from the police,” said Joel Tena, the constituent liason for Vice Mayor Nancy Nadel. “What happened today was very surprising. It seemed the police were operating under the assumption that they were not going to let any kind of protest happen.”

An Oakland Police officer fires a shotgun towards a group of anti-war protesters near the Port of Oakland, April 7, 2003. Oakland police fired rubber bullets and wooden pellets on Monday to disperse hundreds of anti-war protesters in what was believed to be the first such use against U.S. protesters since the American-led war on Iraq began. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Copyright 2003 San Jose Mercury News

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | 5 Comments

Reclaiming Self-Determination

Will a Palestinian state, no matter how sovereign, fulfill the Palestinian right to self-determination?

Ali Abunimah | 20 May 2010

Ali Abunimah reviews the evolution of the concept of self-determination, its applicability to the Palestinian people, and its gradual erosion since 1991. He argues not only that self-determination must return to the center of the Palestinian struggle; he also shows how the Palestinian exercise of this right can be compatible with eventual coexistence with Israeli Jews.

How the “peace process” eroded self-determination

In his 1974 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasir Arafat addressed “the roots of the Palestine question,” declaring, “Its causes do not stem from any conflict between two religions or two nationalisms. Neither is it a border conflict between neighboring States. It is the cause of a people deprived of its homeland, dispersed and uprooted, and living mostly in exile and in refugee camps.”

How ironic then that the “peace process” has re-conceived the Palestine question precisely as little more than a border dispute between Israel and a putative Palestinian state. The “roots” were first reduced to a laconic list of “final status issues”: borders, settlements, Jerusalem and refugees and then gradually buried. Lost has been any commitment to self-determination in principle or in practice.

Although they have rarely been formally discussed, it has long been conventional wisdom in peace process circles that the “final status” issues have already effectively been settled, largely according to Israel’s requirements (we have heard ad nauseam the refrain “everyone knows what a final settlement will look like”). The United States and its hand-picked Palestinian leaders have accepted that large Israeli “settlement blocs” housing most of the settlers, will remain where they are in the West Bank.

The same formula has been adopted for Jerusalem, as per the so-called Clinton parameters: Israel would get “Jewish neighborhoods” and the Palestinian state would get “Arab neighborhoods.” What this means in practice is that Israel would keep everything it illegally annexed and colonized since 1967, and Palestinians might get some form of self-rule in whatever is left – which is shrinking daily as Israel aggressively escalates its Judaization of eastern Jerusalem. While everything east of the 1967 line is divisible and “disputed,” the same does not apply to the west. Palestinians would not be entitled, for example, to seek the return of their West Jerusalem neighborhoods ethnically cleansed and colonized by Israel in 1948. The “peace process” has actually created an incentive for Israel to accelerate its colonization of eastern Jerusalem because Israel knows that whatever is left uncolonized would become the new maximum ceiling of what the United States and other peace process sponsors would support as Palestinian demands.

Similarly, the refugee question has been virtually “settled” as well. Palestinian Authority-appointed chief negotiator Saeb Erekat revealed in a paper he circulated last December that Fatah leader and acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had proposed to Israel that no more than 15,000 Palestinian refugees per year for ten years return to their original lands in what is now Israel.1 According to Erekat, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had countered with an offer of 1,000 refugees per year for a period of five years. In other words, the parties had already agreed to abrogate the fundamental rights of millions of Palestinian refugees, and were haggling only over the difference between 5,000 and 150,000, or less than three percent of the Palestinian refugees registered to receive services from UNRWA (the United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

So what is left to negotiate? Camille Mansour’s policy brief accurately summarizes the outstanding issues – as seen from within the peace process – the final borders and attributes of sovereignty of the Palestinian state. Mansour doubts that negotiations in present circumstances would lead to a peace treaty in which “Palestinian sovereignty requirements could be attained.”

Let us assume for the sake of argument that Israel were to agree to a Palestinian state in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip that satisfies official Palestinian positions and provides for a state no more or less sovereign than any other. The question that then arises is: Does this sovereign state provide for the self-determination of the Palestinian people? Does it restore and guarantee their fundamental rights? As argued, below, the answer is a clear no. And this underscores the need to distinguish the limited goal of sovereignty from that of self-determination.

Sovereignty is exercised by a state through the fulfillment of commonly agreed functions: effective control of territory, borders and resources, and maintenance of political independence among others. Self-determination is exercised by a people legitimately inhabiting a given territory. Self-determination may result in a sovereign state, but it may not. It is fundamental to understand this difference and to recognize that self-determination remains at the heart of the Palestinian struggle.

Understanding the principle of self-determination

The principle of self-determination as it is understood today was enunciated by US President Woodrow Wilson toward the end of World War I. In Wilson’s words, “the settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship” is to be made “upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not on the basis of the material interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for sake of its own exterior influence or mastery.”2

Put simply, territories and people could no longer be shifted around between empires and sovereigns like pieces on a chessboard. Any political arrangements ­– particularly in territories undergoing decolonization – had to enjoy the freely given consent of those who would have to live under them. The principle was no sooner enunciated than effectively violated in many cases after World War I, particularly in Palestine. However, it gained ground and was later enshrined in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter and other instruments, assuming particular importance in post-World War II decolonization.

Tomis Kapitan, a professor of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University, who has also previously taught at Birzeit University, provides an excellent summary of the history of the principle and its application. He argues persuasively that as conceived and practiced, the right belongs not to national groups qua national groups, but to the legitimate residents of any region whose status is unsettled (e.g. because it was previously colonized or under no sovereignty) or which is endangered because the current sovereign has persistently failed to protect, or has itself consistently violated the fundamental rights of the legitimate residents. The residents of regions meeting these criteria “have a right to determine their political future either by constituting themselves as an autonomous political unit, or by merging with another state, or by dissolving into smaller states.”3

Palestine, as Kapitan observes, “is the only territory placed under a League of Nations Mandate in which the established inhabitants were not granted this privilege.”4 Instead, Great Britain, the mandatory power, agreed to partition the country over the unified opposition of the overwhelming indigenous Arab majority, and aided and abetted the build up of settler-colonial Zionist forces arriving from other parts of the world and which eventually carried out a violent takeover of much of the country. By endorsing partition with Resolution 181 of 1947, Arafat noted in his 1974 speech, “the [UN] General Assembly partitioned what it had no right to divide – an indivisible homeland” and thus contributed to the denial of the right of self-determination. No form of consultation through referendum or plebiscite or other democratic process was ever contemplated.

Today, Kapitan argues, the legitimate residents of historic Palestine include at least all Palestinians living in any part of the country, and all refugees outside the country. “Because expulsion does not remove one’s right of residency, then these Palestinians also retain residency rights in those territories from which they were expelled.”5 Thus, the Palestinian people collectively retain “an entitlement to being self-determining in that region [historic Palestine]… not qua Palestinians, but qua legitimate residents. That force was used against them has not erased the fact that they are, and are recognized as being, a legitimate unit entitled to participate in their own self determination.”6

The peace process that began with the 1991 Madrid Conference has gradually excluded the majority of Palestinians from having any role in determining the future of their country. In the eyes of peace process sponsors, the “Palestinian people” constitutes at most residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, though even Gaza now finds itself as marginalized as the Diaspora. It is this exclusion that has allowed a cause of decolonization and self-determination to be reduced to little more than a “border dispute.”

Palestinian self-determination and the rights of Israeli Jews

How, and on what terms, could a Palestinian exercise of the right to self-determination throughout historic Palestine be compatible with eventual coexistence between Palestinians and Israeli Jews?

The concept that a settler-colonial community is entitled, under specific conditions, to participate in self-determination, not as a distinct national group, but as legitimate residents, accords fully with international law and with precedents in other decolonizing countries including South Africa, Namibia, Northern Ireland and Mozambique.

Omar Barghouti, a leader in the Palestinian campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel, has argued strongly against recognizing Israeli Jews as forming a national community in Palestine. Barghouti warns that “[r]ecognizing national rights of Jewish settlers in Palestine cannot but imply accepting their right to self-determination.”7 This would, he argues, contradict “the very letter, spirit and purpose of the universal principle of self-determination primarily as a means for ‘peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation,’ to realize their rights.” Such recognition, he warns, “may, at one extreme, lead to claims for secession or Jewish ‘national’ sovereignty on part of the land of Palestine.”

There can, Barghouti argues, be no “inherent or acquired Jewish right to self determination in Palestine that is equivalent, even morally symmetric, to the Palestinian right to self determination” as this would blur “the essential differences between the inalienable rights of the indigenous population and the acquired rights of the colonial-settler population.”

Yet under Kapitan’s formulation, Israeli Jews would be entitled to participate in self-determination not as a distinct national group, but to the extent that they are or become legitimate residents of the region. Barghouti spells out conditions under which colonial settlers can be accepted by the indigenous population as equal citizens living in a society “free from all colonial subjugation and discrimination.” It would require the settler-colonial community, in this case Israeli Jews, to relinquish their colonial character and settler privileges, and accept “unmitigated equality,” including the right of return and reparations for Palestinian refugees.

Inspired by the South African Freedom Charter and the 1998 Belfast Agreement, a group of intellectuals including Palestinians and Israelis set out similar principles in the 2007 One State Declaration:

The historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status;

Any system of government must be founded on the principle of equality in civil, political, social and cultural rights for all citizens. Power must be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all people in the diversity of their identities.8

Finally, the notion that Israeli Jews are legitimate residents, provided they shed their colonial character and privileges, derives directly from the traditional conception of Palestinian self-determination. As Arafat put it in his 1974 UN speech, “when we speak of our common hopes for the Palestine of tomorrow we include in our perspective all Jews now living in Palestine who choose to live with us there in peace and without discrimination.”

Focusing on self-determination

Placing self-determination back at the center of the Palestine question compels us to formulate a strategy that addresses the rights of all segments of the Palestinian community inside and outside historic Palestine, and which ensures their right to participate in the struggle for, and enjoy the fruits of, self-determination.

It requires setting out an agenda that addresses the three historic and current sources of injustice, the “roots” of the conflict. Such an agenda, as stated in the widely-endorsed 2005 Palestinian call for BDS, demands that Israel recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and uphold international law by:

(1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the [West Bank separation] Wall;

(2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and,

(3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.9

It is clear that the limited goal of sovereignty that a West Bank-Gaza state would achieve addresses at best only the first point and cannot possibly meet the minimum requirements of Palestinian self-determination. Therefore, the formula “everyone knows” is the answer – a state on a fraction of Palestine for a fraction of the Palestinian people – would only perpetuate the denial of self-determination for the vast majority of Palestinians no matter how “sovereign” that state.

It is of course possible in principle for all three demands to be met within the context of a two-state solution, but this would still require Israel to forgo its Zionist character and become a state of all its citizens in which Jews enjoy all the same individual rights and rights to community life and cultural expression as everyone else but no more.

The 1998 Belfast Agreement in Northern Ireland is an example of such a “two-state solution.” It maintained two separate jurisdictions on the island of Ireland: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but each is bound constitutionally, by treaty and under European law to be a state of all its citizens. Northern Ireland ceased to be, as it long was, “a Protestant state for a Protestant people.” Indeed, the core of the peace process has been to dismantle state institutions, symbols, laws and practices that enshrined second-class citizenship for Irish nationalist Catholics and to replace them with strong mechanisms to redress the historic imbalance in terms of political and cultural power, access to jobs, housing and other resources.

At the same time, Northern Ireland has no inherent “right to exist” as a separate jurisdiction. If a simple majority of the people who live in it vote for a united Ireland, the Belfast Agreement binds the United Kingdom and Irish governments to give effect to this wish. Protestant unionists – descended from settlers who arrived from England and Scotland in the 17th Century – thus established no right to self-determination as a separate national group even after more than three hundred years.

After 62 years, Israel is no closer to establishing its legitimacy. Neither passage of time, nor declarations cajoled, bullied or bought out of successive leaders of the Palestinian national movement, have settled the questions of Israel’s creation, or its demand to be recognized as a “Jewish state” with the right to discriminate against Palestinians. Palestinian claims for self-determination have not been extinguished, nor have Palestinians generally pursued them with any less vigor.

Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians must accept Israel’s “right to exist as a Jewish state,” is nothing if not an implicit recognition that without the active consent of the Palestinian people, the Zionist project can never enjoy legitimacy or stability. Palestinians have steadfastly resisted granting such recognition because to do so would negate their rights and indeed threaten their very existence.

Conclusion There has never been a more opportune moment for Palestinians to put forward their demands for equality and justice in clear, principled and visionary terms fully rooted in international law, numerous precedents and accepted principles. The tenacious resistance on the ground – in all its legitimate forms – and the growing global BDS solidarity movement need to be complemented by a program worthy of such efforts and sacrifices. Our energy should be invested in developing support for such a program rather than worrying about the minutiae of moribund negotiations, which cannot result in the restoration of Palestinian rights.

Once the equality principle at the heart of the Palestinian struggle is recognized, it becomes easier and more logical to conceive of a solution involving a single, democratic state encompassing Israeli Jews and Palestinians as equal citizens, albeit with necessary mechanisms to protect collective cultural rights and other interests, and explicit, vigorous and appropriate mechanisms for decolonization, restitution and correcting entrenched social and economic injustices.

Whether in one or more states, the focus of Palestinian efforts should be on the fulfillment of the rights of all Palestinians and achieving equality rather than perpetual negotiations, which serve to undermine both.


  1. 1Ali Abunimah, “PLO paper reveals leadership bereft of strategy, legitimacy,” The Electronic Intifada, 11 March 2010 (
  2. 2As quoted in Tomis Kapitan, “Self-Determination,” in Tomis Kapitan and Raja Halwani, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Philosophical Essays on Self-Determination, Terrorism and the One-State Solution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 13-71.
  3. 3Ibid., 27
  4. 4Ibid., 58
  5. 5Ibid., 59
  6. 6Ibid., 58
  7. 7Omar Barghouti, “Re-imagining Palestine: self-determination, ethical decolonization and equality,” Znet, 29 July 2009 (
  8. 8“The One State Declaration,” The Electronic Intifada, 29 November 2007 (
  9. 9“Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS),” PACBI, 9 July 2005 (
Ali Abunimah is a Policy Advisor for Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian policy network

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | Comments Off on Reclaiming Self-Determination

Noam Chomsky’s Hypocrisy

By Ghali Hassan| June 20, 2010

“I don’t regard myself as a critic of Israel. I regard myself a supporter of Israel … I think the U.S. should continue to support Israel”. [1] – Noam Chomsky

The American linguist Noam Chomsky is often described by Western media as “arguably the world’s most influential intellectual today”. To his friends, Chomsky is a “relentless thorn” in U.S.-Israel Zionist policies. But reading between the lines of his repetitive and recycled propaganda, Chomsky is an opportunistic hypocrite.

On May 16 2010, Noam Chomsky was illegally denied entry to the Israel-Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank. Chomsky was scheduled to meet with members of the Palestinian Authority (PA), including the unelected U.S.-imposed and Israel-backed collaborationist “Prime Minister”, Salam Fayyad.

We know that the Israeli military controls all the borders of Israel-Occupied Palestinian Territories, and subjects Palestinians to prison-like living conditions. Thousands of Palestinians, pregnant women, the elderly, and the sick are denied free movement every day. While Chomsky failed to condemn this Israeli illegal behaviour, he could have entered via Tel Aviv (as he did many times in the past) and gone on to meet Salam Fayyad in Ramallah. Israel has since apologised to Chomsky.

In an interview with Democracy Now on May 17, 2010, Chomsky said:

“I was going to meet with the [unelected] Prime Minister. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. But his office called me here in Amman this morning, and we had a long discussion. He is pursuing policies, which, in my view, are quite sensible, policies of essentially developing facts on the ground. It’s almost – I think it’s probably a conscious imitation of the early Zionist policies, establishing facts on the ground and hoping that the political forms that follow will be determined by them. And the policies sound to me like sensible and sound ones. The question, of course, is whether – the extent to which Israel and the United States, which is a determining, factor – the extent to which they’ll permit them to be implemented. But if implemented, and if, of course, Israel and the United States would terminate their systematic effort to separate Gaza from the West Bank, which is quite illegal, if that continues, yes, it could turn into a viable Palestinian state.”

Noam Chomsky sounds like Shimon Peres.

Chomsky’s argument does not withstand the slightest scrutiny. How could Chomsky, who claims to defend the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, be prepared to meet with an unelected stooge of a Vichy-like collaborationist regime? To present Fayyad as a saviour for the Palestinian people is to ignore his despicable record of collaboration with the criminal oppressors of the Palestinians.

The PA is a corrupt administration and has no significant support among the Palestinian population. Its security apparatus is a brutal militia acting to enforce the Occupation on behalf of Israel. Fayyad was a U.S. servant at the World Bank from 1987 to 1995 and remains so in a different capacity. He is known in Israel as “the Palestinian Ben-Gurion”. David Ben-Gurion – a criminal Zionist much admired by Noam Chomsky as a “great statesman” – was the architect of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands in 1948. This period of Palestinian history has come to be known as al-Nakbah (Arabic for ‘The Catastrophe’) which was, according to Chomsky, a “war of independence”. More than 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes, thousands of defenceless Palestinians were murder in countless cold-blooded massacred by Jewish terrorists, and more than 500 villages were destroyed. The same continues today.

Chomsky is said to be “encouraged” by Fayyad’s recent ranting that “the birth of a Palestinian state will be celebrated as a day of joy by the entire community of nations … it will come around August 2011”. It is a repackaged Camp David proposal, which was concocted in 2000 by Bill Clinton and his Zionist handlers and courageously rejected by the late Yasser Arafat. According to Fayyad, the new state will:

  • recognise Israel as a Jewish “biblical country”;
  • allow Israel to build Jewish colonies ‘within the valleys and hills of the West Bank’;
  • suppress – using U.S.-trained and Israeli-approved Palestinian militias (Keith Dayton-trained death squads) – all forms of resistance to Israel’s Zionist colonisation of Palestine; and
  • relinquish the Palestinian people’s right of return to their homes from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948.

The so-called “two-state” solution, which Chomsky supports, is a Zionist fraud. It has been around for decades. Israel and the U.S. use this fraud to manipulate the world’s public opinion and to continue forcing more Palestinians out of their homes and land. Most of the Palestinian arable land and water resources have been stolen and colonised by illegal Jewish colonists (‘settlers’) from the U.S., Poland, and the former Soviet satellite states. The new Palestinian “state” will be just a collection of Nazi-like ghettoes similar to the South African Bantustan hemmed in by Jews-only highways and the Apartheid Wall. Like the “peace process”, the “two-state” solution enables Israel to stall for time and continues the ghettoization of the Palestinians.

The largest of these ghettoes, Gaza, is now complete. Gaza is a state of the art Concentration Camp. It has been under complete Israeli military blockade since 2006, essentially imprisoning 1.5 million men, women, and children, and denying them food, medicine, and essential materials for building their demolished homes. Even the pro-Israel Western humanitarian agencies, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Amnesty International (AI), described the Israeli blockade is an illegal collective punishment , and an economic warfare aimed at terrorising the civilian population and toppling the democratically-elected administration of HAMAS. Even the Nazis wouldn’t resort to such wholesale brutality against 1.5 million innocent civilians. Instead of bragging about his meeting with Fayyad, Chomsky should call for an immediate and total end to the Israeli-imposed blockade and the withdrawal of the Israeli army and the illegal Jewish settlers from Palestinian lands.

For his support of the Palestinians, Chomsky opposes pressure to force Israel to behave according to international law and civilised norms. For example, Chomsky is against the peaceful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against Israel. Chomsky believes the boycott will hurt Israelis. The Campaign is based on the international boycott campaign used to end South Africa’s Apartheid rule. The BDS Campaign is a call by Palestinian and international civil societies, human rights organisations, unions, and NGOs to boycott Israel and expose Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinians. The Campaign is calling upon people of conscience around the world to boycott Israeli products and Israeli institutions that are complicit on Israel’s brutal oppression and war crimes. Successive Israeli regimes have violated international law and committed more crimes against the Palestinians. Without international pressure, Israel will not end the Occupation.

The Campaign is part of peaceful international resistance to force Israel to end its Occupation of Palestinian land and end Israel’s apartheid system. Chomsky is against boycotting a state with a regime that is enforcing an apartheid system worse than that of South Africa. “Under Israeli military occupation, repression is worse than South Africa’s. It’s a sophisticated form of social, economic, political and racial discrimination, strangulation, and genocide, incorporating the worst elements of colonialism and apartheid as well as repressive dispossession, displacement and state terrorism to separate Palestinians from their land and heritage, deny them their rightful civil and human rights, and gradually remove or eliminate them altogether”, writes the American writer, Stephen Lendman. Chomsky’s objection to the Campaign only underlines the hypocrisy and doublespeak of his alleged support for the oppressed people of Palestine.

For all Israel’s crimes and flagrant violations of international law, Chomsky blames the U.S., precisely the White House and the President. Chomsky has no quarrel with the powerful U.S. Congress, where the Zionist Jewish Lobby (the ‘Lobby’) exerts complete control. Indeed, the U.S. Congress is far more pro-Israel than the Israeli Knesset. For example, the recent premeditated barbaric murder of at least nine defenceless humanitarian aid volunteers on board the Free Gaza-bounded Mavi Marmara Flotilla by Israeli commandos is unconditionally defended by U.S. Democrat and Republican congressional leaders as an act of “self-defence”, not an act of state terrorism. Chomsky rejects the role of the Lobby and Zionist Jewish Organisations controlling U.S. foreign policies, particularly in the Middle East. Chomsky argues fiercely that the U.S. supports Israel because of Israel’s strategic position (close to the oil-rich region) and is “a reliable pro-Western military force protecting Arab dictators”. This argument is flawed and its aim is to deflect attention away from Israel and the Zionist Jewish organisations defending Israel’s terror. Credible research by respected scholars shows that Israel is unconditionally supported – financially, militarily, and politically – by the U.S. and European governments because of pressure from wealthy and powerful Zionist Jewish Organisations who are also in total control of nearly all mainstream media outlets, including the Internet, TV channels, and the print media. Indeed, Zionist control over the mainstream media is clearly demonstrated by the biased reporting through an Israel-Zionist lens [2, 3, & 4].

The U.S. does not need Israel to control the oil-rich region of the Middle East. For decades, the U.S. directly dominated the region through its massive military bases in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The U.S. does not need to pay Israel more than $3 billion a year in order to commit war crimes. It is true: Israel doesn’t act and commit crimes without the approval of its allies, particularly the U.S. government. They are accomplices to murder.

On Iran, Chomsky is very unclear. While he rightly argues that the U.S. and Israel are seriously threatening Iran, Chomsky has yet to show any evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Quoting Martin van Crevel, the Zionist military historian at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and adviser to the Israeli military, Chomsky argues that Iran is developing nuclear weapons to deter any U.S.-Israel aggression. If not, the Iranians “are crazy”. There is absolutely no evidence that Iran is enriching uranium for military use. Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. The rest is anti-Muslim Zionist warmongering propaganda. Iran has broken no agreement and is fulfilling all its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The real violator is Israel which stands in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and IAEA safeguards obligations. To date, Israel is refusing to open its nuclear facilities for inspection and threatening to use nuclear weapons against Iran.

Furthermore, Chomsky’s attack on the Iranian Government is unjustified. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the choice of the majority of the Iranian people (3-1), according to an analysis of multiple polls of the Iranian public conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA). [5] Like most Western “Leftists”, Chomsky believes the elections were rigged and supports the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister who was complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity at the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988. Chomsky’s reliance on anti-Muslim propaganda organs, such as the BBC, FOX News and CNN shows that he is a propagandist.

Given Chomsky’s defence of freedom and democratic principles, it was ironic that in 2005 Chomsky and his leftist friends supported the U.S.-staged fraudulent elections in Iraq to install a puppet government as “democratic” and “worthy of praise”. If people like Chomsky fail to condemn fraudulent elections staged by foreign military occupation, then the U.S. will continue to manipulate democracy to serve U.S. imperialist interest. He called the murderous Occupation “incompetence” and attacked the Iraqi Resistance as a “violent insurgency”. It is sad that Chomsky, a leading critic of U.S. imperialism and injustice, could have ignored U.S. imperialist motives.

Furthermore, according to Chomsky, Iraq has become ‘an incubator or a university for advanced training for terrorists’. Where is the evidence? And since when is legitimate resistance to illegal aggression called terrorism? Instead, Chomsky and his leftist friends should condemn the Occupation and demand the immediate and full withdrawal of U.S. troops and mercenaries from Iraq.

It is important to remember that while Chomsky protested against the criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq, he later justified the illegal invasion on the basis that it has “removed” not only Saddam Hussein but also the genocidal sanctions. Seven years after the criminal U.S. invasion, Iraq is far worse today than under Saddam Hussein and the genocidal sanctions. An entire nation has been deliberately destroyed. More than 1.5 million Iraqis have been killed and at least 5 millions Iraqis are refugees, including 2.7 million internally displaced Iraqis. According to the U.S. think-tank, the Brookings Institute, only 20 per cent of the Iraqi population have access to proper sanitation, 45 per cent to clean water, 50 per cent to more than 12 hours a day of electricity, 50 per cent to adequate housing, and 30 per cent to health services. A quarter of Iraq’s population is living in extreme poverty. Iraq remains under murderous U.S. military Occupation. The motive remains conspicuous; defending the Zionist state of Israel and enforcing long-lasting imperialist-Zionist control of the region.

It is important to acknowledge that despite Chomsky’s contradictions, he is a respected scholar. In addition to his contribution to the field of linguistics, Chomsky has on many occasions provided useful analyses of U.S. terrorism, propaganda, and U.S. imperialist foreign policy. However, his contradictions are not possible to redress.

As a scholar, Chomsky has admitted that all intellectuals (including Chomsky himself) are propagandists who serve power by manipulating the public. “Chomsky feeds our need for truth by providing analysis, an intellectual framework that resides in inaction. [He] feeds the false notion that one can understand the world and one’s place in it and oneself by reading books”, writes Denis Rancourt, a former professor of Physics at the University of Ottawa.

Finally, in an opinion poll conducted by the European Union Commission in Brussels between 8 and 16 October 2003 (published in the El Pais and the International Herald Tribune newspapers), a majority of 7,500 Europeans polled from 15 European Union countries (500 citizens from each EU member) said that Israel posed the most serious threat to regional and international peace, ahead of North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan. The poll proved to be accurate. On 02 March 2010, Martin van Crevel, the Zionist military historian and adviser to the Israeli army, told the Western media: “We [Jews] possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force … The Palestinians should all be deported … The people [Israeli Jews] who strive for this are waiting only for the right man and the right time. Two years ago only 7 or 8 percent of Israelis were of the opinion that this would be the best solution, two months ago [January 2010] it was 33 percent and now, according to a Gallup poll, the figure is 44 percent”. The comment shows that Israeli Zionists and those who defend their crimes lack morality and respect for international law.

How can any progressive-minded person support a state that was built on the ruins of Palestinian villages, genocide, and dispossession? How can anyone support a state that openly espouses a racist and fascist ideology and is in flagrant violation of international law and civilised norms?

“I don’t think there is one moral person in the world that supports what Israel stands for”, said Ilan Pappé, a Haifa-born Jewish history scholar at the University of Exeter in the UK and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. It is not unfair to describe Chomsky as the most influential pro-Israel propagandist.


  1. ? Noam Chomsky interviewed in Israel
  2. John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt, The Israel lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy , Middle East Policy . 13(3),29-87, 2006 ;
  3. James Petras, The Power of Israel in the United States , Clarity Press, 2006;
  4. M. Shahid Alam, Chomsky on Oil and the Israel Lobby , Dissident Voice , 31 January, 2009.
  5. Steven Kull, Clay Ramsay, Stephen Weber & Evan Lewis, An Analysis of multiple polls of Iranian Public , The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA),, Washington DC, February 2010.

Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 5 Comments

9/11 Experiments: Collapse vs. Demolition

Physics and Reason  —  June 15, 2010

Any theory that does not match experiment is wrong. It doesn’t matter what the computer models predict, how much funding is behind it, what the experts say, or what everyone “thinks”.

Part 1

Part 2

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | 3 Comments

American Military Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan Now Exceed 500,000

Pentagon fudges the numbers

18 June 2010 | by Matthew Nasuti | Kabul Press

Since 2001, the Pentagon has sought to downplay overall U.S. military losses by artfully redefining what is a combat-related “casualty.” It has published and then changed the rules several times regarding the reporting of casualties. Currently the Pentagon uses DoD Instruction 1300.18 to arbitrarily separate out “wounded in action” from non-battle injuries. Wounded in action is narrowly defined to essentially be an injury directly caused by an adversary. So called “friendly fire” injuries and deaths would apparently not be counted. The emphasis is on acute injuries caused by enemy munitions which pierce or penetrate.

Under this scheme, chronic injuries and many acute internal injuries such as hearing impairment, back injuries, mild traumatic brain injuries, mental health problems and a host of diseases suffered by personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan are usually not counted as being war-related regardless of how debilitating they are. They are either generally lumped into the category of “non-hostile wounded” or simply not counted at all.

Officially, the Pentagon admits that approximately 5,500 troops have been killed and only 38,000 wounded, amounting to 43,500 total casualties. What is left out (according to such sources as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the New England Journal of Medicine and the U.S. Navy) are:

– 170,000+ cases of hearing damage;

– 130,000+ cases of mild traumatic brain injuries; and

– 200,000+ cases of serious mental health problems.

If these data are included, the total well exceeds 500,000. Even that total would not include:

– over 30,000 serious disease cases, including a disfiguring, parasitic disease called leishmaniasis, which results from bites of sand flies;

– hundreds of thousands of minor disease cases which can be generally characterized as gastrointestinal (i.e., resulting in diarrhea, headaches, stomach cramps etc.). They are all the result of bacterial, viral or parasitic infections which usually have limited, short-term consequences, but not always;

– hundreds of accident injuries. For example, roadway accident injuries suffered by members of a quick reaction force heading to an ambush location are apparently not counted as combat-related;

– thousands of cases of respiratory disease linked to exposure to toxic burn pit smoke;

– hundreds of suicides;

– thousands of cases of back, spinal and foot injuries due to the wearing of cheap and unnecessarily heavy body armor (when lighter titanium layered Kevlar is available).

In a March 25, 2009, report by Hannah Fischer of the U.S. Congressional Research Service on American military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, she included the following initial statement:

“This report presents difficult-to-find statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF, Afghanistan), including those concerning medical evacuations, amputations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) website, whereas others have been obtained through contact with experts at DOD.”

Casualty data should not be “difficult-to-find” for the U.S. Congress and especially for the American public. There is unquestionably a serious transparency problem within the Pentagon on this issue which problem should not exist in a democracy.

If the Pentagon told the truth to the American people about military casualties, the public would learn that the Taliban and al-Qaeda have been stunningly effective adversaries and that both wars seem more akin to defeats than victories. Such revelations might prompt a public discussion over the value of preemptive (and unnecessary wars) and even worse, raise the issue of the competence of Pentagon generals and admirals to wage such wars. To forestall such a public review, the Pentagon has opted to endorse the maxim that truth must remain the first casualty of war.

This two-part series examines the Pentagon’s policy towards and treatment of hearing injuries, brain injuries and mental health problems. This article begins the series and focuses on hearing injuries suffered by American troops.

Battlefield noise can be divided into two parts: continuous noise, and blast or impulse noise. Continuous noise can cause hearing damage over time is the levels are above 85 decibels. The American way of war seems to be inherently noisy. Its addiction to heavy armored vehicles and helicopters guarantees that troops are assaulted by a steady stream of noise. Under the Pentagon’s own studies, riding in a Bradley combat vehicle, at 15 miles per hour, will produce continuous noise of 115 decibels, which presents very serious health concerns to all personnel within the vehicle. While personnel are encouraged to wear hearing protection, such protection, even if worn, is not protective. The reason is that noise does not simply enter the body through the ear canal, but also enters the body cavity. There is extensive evidence that such exposures can lead to a variety of diseases, including vibroacoustic disease (VAB). VAB is a general category of organ and cardiovascular illnesses that can result from exposure to excessive noise.

The other type of noise is impact noise or sudden spikes in noise levels. These are caused by gunshots, explosions or even the sound of a hammer slamming into a nail. There is some disagreement regarding the danger levels for impulse noise. While experts within the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Diseases agree that any exposure to impulse noise at or above 140 decibels (even for a second) will cause some permanent hearing damage, many experts believe that the danger level is in fact 130 decibels and still others believe it to be as low as 120 decibels.

Some examples of impulse noise are:

– An American M-4 rifle will produce 157 decibels to the shooter;

– An American SAW rifle will produce 160 decibels;

– An American Javelin anti-tank weapon will produce 172 decibels;

– An American TOW missile will produce 180 decibels;

– An American light anti-tank weapon will produce 182 decibels; and

– An American 60 mm mortar will produce 185 decibels.

In order to protect one’s hearing while firing a 60 mm mortar, the operators must wear hearing protection that reduces (attenuates) the impulse noise by 46 decibels (if one believes the American Government) or up to 66 decibels if one wants to be completely safe. The problem for American troops is that the Pentagon does not provide hearing protection that will permit the safe operation of the 60 mm mortar, even though such protection is available.

In order to achieve a satisfactory level of hearing protection, soldiers must be outfitted with multiple layers of hearing protection, including hearing inserts which are custom-made for their ears (as every ear is slightly different). Companies, such as Westone, have experts who will create impressions of each soldier’s ears and will then custom manufacture devices for each of them but this author has found no evidence that the Pentagon has ever purchased these services or products. The U.S. Army’s inventory consists of CAE (combat arms earplugs) which are cheap and inadequate, and some better, but still inadequate, musicians’ earplugs, along with a variety of headset ear protection. Even if one combined the CAEs with a headset, it still would not provide adequate protection. This author has confirmed that American retailer Home Depot carries better hearing protection than most American troops are issued.

The Pentagon seems to be “nickel and dimming” (to use an American expression) its troops by purchasing cheap hearing protection. A package of 24 ear plugs costs the Pentagon $15.55, while musician’s ear pieces can cost $102.60 (according to the General Services Administration). Custom ear pieces can cost hundreds of dollars a pair and computerized headsets with built-in communications gear can cost over $1,000 a pair.

The January/February 2010, issue of “Hearing Loss Magazine” carried a story entitled “Hearing Loss — The Price of War.” That caption is misleading. While some hearing loss is inevitable during war (such as that suffered in a sudden ambush or due to a rocket attack on a Forward Operating Base or due to traumatic brain injury resulting from an IED strike), other hearing losses (such as resulting from firing at the range, operating heavy equipment, riding in a Bradley fighting vehicle or operating a mortar) are preventable. The attitude that hearing loss is natural and inevitable helps to explain why the Pentagon does not consider hearing damage resulting in a combat zone to be an injury or a casualty.

Hearing Loss Magazine reported on a survey that revealed that 28% of American soldiers returning from Iraq had diminished hearing. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has certified that over 90,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have service-connected tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears), with another 80,000 suffer actual hearing damage. This does not include those who have completely lost their hearing due to an IED explosion. VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Magazine’s July 2006 issue reported on a U.S. Army study that found that 16% of soldiers surveyed had hearing loss so severe that it “would likely affect their performance in combat.” The test the Army used was one where a soldier with normal hearing could detect a weapon being cocked from 1,000 meters, while a soldier with degraded hearing could only hear such a sound from 46 meters.

These injuries, in many cases, were probably preventable, but these types of injuries are likely to continue because the Pentagon refuses to recognize that there is a problem. An Associated Press story from March 7, 2008, entitled: “Hearing Loss is Silent Epidemic in U.S. Troops” found the military hearing injury rate to be “staggering.”

The Pentagon’s refusal to acknowledge all the consequences of the decision to go to war (because of fear of repercussions), will not make these casualties go away. These casualties are real and are a direct result of fighting two wars. The soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who have suffered these combat injuries deserve to be recognized and the American people deserve a proper accounting of the mounting costs of their two seemingly endless wars. That accounting begins with an honest casualty count.

Copyright© Kabul Press

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Deception | 1 Comment

Friedman: Middle Easterners are scheming, except Israel

By Philip Weiss on June 20, 2010

Orientalism, the globalist variety: Notice how Tom Friedman, now in Istanbul, goes from describing as insane a conspiracy theory that on its face is plausible– the shocking possibility that the enemy of Israel’s new enemy is Israel’s friend– to mounting his own (mildly interesting) theory of why Erdogan used the flotilla as a radical raid on Israel.

Moreover, Erdogan has evolved from just railing against Israel’s attacks on Hamas in Gaza to spouting conspiracy theories — like the insane notion that Israel is backing the P.K.K. terrorists — as a way of consolidating his political base among conservative Muslims in Turkey and abroad…

Only two weeks before the Gaza flotilla incident, a leading poll showed Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., trailing his main opposition — the secularist Republican People’s Party — for the first time since the A.K.P. came to office in 2002. That is surely one reason Erdogan openly took sides with one of the most radical forces in the region, Hamas — to re-energize his political base. But did he overplay his hand?

I never forget that Friedman also dismissed as insane and conspiratorial the theory that American Zionists had anything to do with the decision to invade Iraq. Then a year or two later he essentially conceded the point to Haaretz (not his large American audience).

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | Comments Off on Friedman: Middle Easterners are scheming, except Israel

Getting Out of Palestine?

Is that how the Zionist project might end?
By M. Shahid Alam | Palestine Chronicle | June 19, 2010

When veteran journalist Helen Thomas was asked recently if she had any comments on Israel, she shot back, ‘Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.’ She apologized for the remark, but, as the campaign against her escalated, she chose to retire from her position as White House correspondent.

Putting aside the edginess in her words, does Helen Thomas’s remark deserve serious consideration?

Over the years, it has been receiving just that from many tens of thousands of Israelis, who have been emigrating from Israel, applying for emigration, or staying in Israel but holding or applying for dual citizenship. According to Arnaud de Borchgrave, half a million Israelis hold dual citizenship.

Although the Israel lobby expressed particular outrage at Helen Thomas’ suggestion that Israelis go back to Germany and Poland, many Israelis have done precisely that. In his book, The Seventh Million, Tom Segev writes that many thousands of Israelis have “requested and received German passports.” According to the Jewish Virtual Library, there were 118,000 Jews living in Germany in 2006. Another 49,700 lived in Hungary and 3,200 in Poland.

Disconcerting as some Zionists may find this, Jews have not stayed away from countries where they faced near extermination under the Nazis. Does this mean that these countries are now safer for Jews than Israel?

At least, that is what the record indicates. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, 22,682 Israelis died in Israeli wars or as a result of terrorist attacks.

Over the same period – that is, since 1948 – how many Jews in Europe have died as a result of anti – Semitic violence?

I am not suggesting Jewish emigration from Israel as my preferred solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question. Yet, now that Israel has tapped into nearly every Jewish population in the diaspora with an economic interest in emigrating to Israel, that is what we are likely to observe in the future.

Is that how the Zionist project might end?

That is a possibility. If Israel persists in its present policies of imposing apartheid in the West Bank, of strangulating Gaza, of carrying out carpet bombing of undefended Arab populations, Israel will continue to lose the liberal segments of its population to emigration.

Should this happen, Israel would face a shrinking Jewish population, drained of much of its talent, consisting of mostly right-wing Jewish zealots, angry, nervous, and with their fingers on triggers that could launch some 200 nuclear weapons at targets in the Middle East and perhaps beyond.

Starting in 1897, an increasing number of Jews mobilized to create what appeared to be an impossible Jewish settler-state in Palestine.

Now that this project, by virtue of its successes, has become a threat to itself, to the Jewish diaspora, to the Middle East and the world, can we hope that growing numbers of Jews will mobilize their gifts to work with the Palestinians and the world community to help unwind the Zionist project, and replace it with a society that will make full amends to all its victims.

For more than sixty years, the Jewish establishment has worked strenuously to demand that the world do justice to Jewish victims of the Nazis. Justice and honesty demand that they do the same for their own victims.

– M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2009) and Challenging the New Orientalism (IPI, 2006).

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | 5 Comments