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How Israel kills at will and in total impunity while the world asks the Palestinians for non-violent resistance

Frank Barat writes of the life and death of Bassem Abu Rahme, shot by an IOF soldier with “the rocket”, a new kind of weapon also used on critically injured US citizen Tristan Anderson some weeks ago.

On April the 17th, like any Friday afternoon for the last 4 years, the small village of Bil’in, north of Ramallah, was preparing for the usual demonstration against Israel’s annexation wall … The village of Bil’in has, since the mid eighties, lost more than 60% of its land for the purpose of Israeli growing settlements and the construction of the wall. The inhabitants of the village used to live mainly from agriculture and olive trees plantations but more and more, the people of Bil’in have to rely on the women to survive. Embroidery has become one of the main resource of the place, located a few kilometres away from Tel Aviv (on a nice day, you can see the “inaccessible”–for the Palestinians– beach from the roof tops of Bil’in).

In January 2005, a village committee (led by Mohamed Khatib, Iyad Burnat and Abdullah Abu Rahme) was created and a month later non-violent demonstrations started, first taking part every day, then once a week, on Yum Al Juma’a (Friday, day of prayer).

The village won a huge battle in August 2008 (1) when the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that the new route of the barrier in Bil’in was in violation of the Court ruling released on September 2007 (2) (which ruled that the Wall path was prejudicial to Bil’in and must be altered) and ordered the State to present within 45 days a new route, which will uphold the principles of the ruling.

On Friday the 17th of April 2009, the wall still had not moved one inch and while the inhabitants of the village were praying at the village mosque, many internationals (coming from all around the world) and the strong Israeli contingent (including people from the Alternative Information Centre (3) and Anarchists Against the Wall (4)) were looking for some shade (to hide from the baking sun) and chatting about the day’s event. As soon as prayer was over with, the demonstration started to move forward in direction of the wall, a few kilometres away.

You can be sure that Bassem (aka Phil) was right at the front of the march. He always was. I had met Bassem a few times while visiting Bil’in. He was a strong looking man, singing the loudest, joking all the time, jumping around and leading the way, accompanied by the rest of the village committee and the Israeli contingent.

As it usually happens, as soon as the march reached the corner where the Israeli soldiers can be seen, the tear gas started. A few brave ones, always continue anyway and reach the beginning of the wall, after a few minutes. Bassem, as usual, was one of those. The Israelis present at the front of the demonstration started talking with the nearby soldiers in Hebrew and Bassem too, screamed “We are in a non violent protest, there are kids and internationals…”. He was shot in the chest and never managed to finished his sentence. He fell on the floor, moved a little bit, fell again, and died. ( http://www.bilin-village.org/english/articles/testimonies/Basem-Abu-Rahme-killed-in-Bilin-weekly-protest , scroll down for stills and videos)

Bassem was shot by a new kind of Tear Gas, called “the rocket”. The soldier who shot was a mere 40 meters away. This is the same type of tear gas that critically injured US citizen Tristan Anderson a few weeks ago. Those tear gas canisters are as fast and lethal as live ammunition. Very hard to get away from. Normally, tear gas canisters fly in the air for a long time, then fall and bounce a few times. Those ones fly like a bullet and go straight, not up and down.

Once more, Israel using the West Bank as its testing ground, the Palestinians as guinea pigs.

The soldier who fired, knew what he was doing and who he was targeting. The shame is that he probably knew Bassem. Bassem was always at the front, and had been for a few years now. The soldiers often come back more than once in Bil’in and start to get to know the ones facing them. Bassem did not get a chance to say hi, or bye.

On April the 17th , Bil’in and Palestine lost one of their heroes.

What is going to happen next?

Israel has already said that it will investigate the incident (out of every single investigation into such crimes, only 6% of the soldiers were ever prosecuted, often let off with a few weeks suspension), but before it did, started the usual propaganda, saying that the protest had been really violent and that the soldiers had to react (the video of the demonstration clearly shows otherwise).

We might even hear in a few days that it was actually the Palestinians who fired the tear gas and killed their beloved friend.

The P.A, instead of issuing the strongest statement against this act, stopping once and for all the negotiations with the Israeli government and joining the demonstrators every Friday to be hand in hand with its people, said next to nothing, and is looking forward to the upcoming White House meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Obama (this is being planned while I write).

The media hardly reported this. The Palestinians do not count. Even more shocking when a video of the event is available to all and could have been used to great effect.

The international community (for what it means) will not mention this “incident” (it is for them) and continue issuing calls for the Palestinians to renounce violence and resist peacefully while saying nothing about Israel’s killings (since the start of the second intifada, 87% of the dead have been Palestinians), violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinians.

It is therefore down to us, the citizens of this world, to act, join solidarity groups, write articles, make films and talk, constantly, about the plight of the Palestinian people. Palestine has to become the number one issue.

This is a must.

For Bassem, his family, Bil’in and Palestine.

Frank Barat is in the organizing committee of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and a member of Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK.

1. http://www.bilin-village.org/english/articles/testimonies/The-Supreme-Court-The-new-barrier-in-Bilin-violates-the-Court-ruling
2. http://www.bilin-village.org/english/articles/press-and-independent-media/Palestinians-celebrate-rare-victory-over-hated-barrier
3. http://www.alternativenews.org/
4. http://www.awalls.org/

Article source

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

British ministers answer for GCHQ mass surveillance in European court

RT | January 24, 2014

The court in Strasbourg has ordered British ministers to provide submissions on mass surveillance programs by the UK’s spy agency to find out whether GCHQ’s secret activities went against the European convention on human rights.

Four European civil rights groups filed a case against Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at the European Court of Human Rights over its surveillance methods in September, after being denied the chance to challenge its practices in an open court in the UK.

The UK’s Big Brother Watch, English PEN and Open Rights Group, as well as the German internet activism group, Constanze Kurz, accused GCHQ of violating the European Convention of Human Rights, insisting that alleged hacking of vast amounts of online data, emails and social media breached Article 8 of the Convention, which guarantees European citizens the right to a private family life. Their case refers to two surveillance programs by the domestic spying agency, Prism and Tempora. The campaigners, who teamed up under the umbrella title of Privacy Not Prism, claimed that GCHQ has “illegally intruded on the privacy of millions of British and European citizens.”

In line with the data revealed by former US National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, about the mass surveillance programs operated by the US and Britain, the group said that “GCHQ has the capacity to collect more than 21 petabytes of data a day – equivalent to sending all the information in all the books in the British Library 192 times every 24 hours.” Meanwhile, under UK law, intelligence agencies are supposed to seek permission from the Secretary of State to read an individual’s text messages.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered the British government to provide their submissions by May, and the campaigners expect the court to make a ruling before the end of the year.

According to the lawyer for the groups, the ECHR has acted “remarkably quickly” communicating the case to the British government.

“It has also acted decisively by requiring the government to explain how the UK’s surveillance practices and oversight mechanisms comply with the right to privacy. This gives hope the ECHR will require reform if the government continues to insist that nothing is wrong,” Daniel Carey told the Guardian.

Both GCHQ and British ministers have insisted that none of their intelligence programs violated privacy laws and human rights.

According to GCHQ, all of its work is “carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence Services commissioners and the parliamentary intelligence and security committee.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague has continuously dismissed allegations that GCHQ breached the law, saying law-biding citizens have no reason whatsover to be alarmed.

“If we could tell the whole world and the whole country how we do this business, I think people would be enormously reassured by it and they would see that the law-abiding citizen has nothing to worry about,” he said in June.

“If we did that, it would defeat the objective – this is secret work, it is secret intelligence, it is secret for a reason, and a reason that is to do with protecting all the people of this country,” Mr Hague explained.

Last week a joint investigation conducted by the UK’s Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 News, and based on the new documents leaked by Snowden, revealed that the NSA created a secret system called Dishfire to collect hundreds of millions of text messages a day. The documents showed that GCHQ had used the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications of people in the UK. According to the Guardian report, “The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity.”

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Three Media Lies About the Syrian Peace Talks

The Propaganda War Heats Up

By Shamus Cooke | RINF | January 24, 2014

The media spin machine is again kicking into high gear, perfectly timed to accompany the “Geneva II” Syria peace talks. The lies are necessary to give the Obama administration an upper hand in the peace negotiations, which are not being used to pursue peace, but instead, to accomplish the Obama administration peace talks.

1) The removal of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was an agreed upon “precondition” for the Geneva II peace talks. 

This lie has been repeated over and over by government and media alike. It has zero basis. The Obama administration claims that this precondition was expressed in the “Geneva communiqué,” which was a road map agreement meant to guide the Geneva II peace talks, agreed upon by some of the major parties of the negotiations, including Russia.

The communiqué does indeed call for a negotiated political transition, but nowhere does it state that such a transition cannot include President Assad. Such a condition would have been outright rejected by Russia.

In fact, the Geneva communiqué includes this crucial statement:

 “[a transition government] could include members of the present [Syrian] government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.”

Nowhere does it specifically mention or imply President Assad.

The Los Angeles Times recently stepped out of line and exposed this lie:

“[John] Kerry regularly cites the “Geneva communiqué,” a kind of peace road map hammered out in June 2012 during a United Nations-organized summit. But the document does not explicitly call for Assad’s ouster.”

The Obama administration’s constant repeating of this lie only causes divisions in the peace process, undermining the chances that the peace process will succeed.

The Obama administration is especially adamant about this “Assad must go” pre-condition because it knows that, if free and fair elections were held tomorrow in Syria — as part of a UN-backed “transitional process”— President Assad would likely win. This is the result of the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria that have rallied behind President Assad, since they’ve witnessed the consistent religious sectarian atrocities committed by the U.S.-backed rebels (which the U.S. media loves to ignore or minimize).

Assad would probably win an election since there is also simply no one else on the government side or the opposition side with his name recognition or popularity. The U.S.-backed rebel war in Syria has vastly strengthened Assad’s political hand, but you wouldn’t know it from the Western, anti-Syrian media.

Demanding Assad’s ouster also does not reflect the situation on the ground.  The U.S.-backed rebels have never controlled more than one Syrian city, namely Raqaa, which is dominated by al-Qaeda and is governed under a Taliban-style interpretation of Islamic law, which includes a strict ban on music. Thus, the rebels don’t have the ground power that would even enable them to make the demand that “Assad must go”.

2) The U.S.-backed rebel militias are “moderate” Islamic groups.

The fact that this lie can even be uttered publicly without encountering ridicule is a major success of Western media propaganda. The media narrative paints the U.S.-backed “good” rebels fighting both the Syrian government and the “bad” al-Qaeda linked rebels.

But the “good” rebels in the U.S.-backed Islamic Front share the same vision for Syria’s future as the al-Qaeda rebels: a fundamentalist version of Sharia law, where women live in virtual house arrest and where religious minorities are second class citizens (non-Sunni Muslims would simply be butchered, as they are on a regular basis in Syria, which is again minimized or ignored in the Western media.)

The “moderate rebel” lie was further exposed recently when a top leader in the most powerful militia, Ahrar al Sham, within the Islamic Front declared Ahrar al Sham to be the “real” representative of al-Qaeda in Syria, as opposed to the rival al-Qaeda faction that the Islamic Front had recently begun fighting.

Ahrar al Sham has long been known to be an al-Qaeda type Islamist extremist group; the Western media simply chose to ignore it. But when it was recently made official, the U.S. media chose to continue its ignoring stance, since actually reporting on it would destroy their “moderate rebel” lie. The Western media also continues to ignore the fact that the “moderate” U.S.-backed Islamic Front issued a joint statement that aligned itself to the extremist views of Ahrar al Sham, the “real” al-Qaeda.

3) New Evidence of Syrian government “industrial scale” torture.  

The Western media recently blasted the “breaking news” of brand new evidence showing massive “NAZI-like” torture and murder by the Syrian government, released at the beginning of the Syrian peace talks. This may or may not be true, but the lie here is that the Western media promoted the “evidence” as being unquestionably true, when the story doesn’t reach first base when it comes to evidence-based journalism.

All we really know is that there are hundreds of pictures of dead people that a “trusted source” says were killed by the Syrian government. The trusted source was designated as such by pro-Western intellectuals, who have earned professional “credibility” by helping convict war criminals in the International Criminal Court [ICC]. But as author Diane Johnstone pointed out in her excellent book “Fools Crusade,” about the war against Yugoslavia — as well as in other articles — the ICC has long been used by western powers as a tool to create a pretext for war, or a tool to justify a war after the fact.

The evidence of the “NAZI-like” atrocities was written in a study paid for by the government of Qatar, which has long funneled cash, guns, and Jihadis to Syria in aid of the anti-government rebels.

Again, we don’t know if the story is true or not. But such an important investigation should be conducted by the UN or another more objective institution. The same biased dynamic occurred in relation to the infamous chemical weapons attack, where no real evidence was provided, though an unending string of “experts” were quoted in the Western media, testifying to the guilt of the Syrian Government. But when Pulitzer prizewinning journalist Seymour Hirsch reported that the Obama administration lied about the rebels not having the capacity to perform such an attack, the Western media simply ignored the legend of journalism. The wrench in the propaganda machine was simply dislodged.

How do these lies become such permanent fixtures in the Western media? An excellent article in the Guardian newspaper recently discussed in depth the principal sources the Western media has used to understand the Syrian conflict.

The article exposed the incredible bias of some of the most important Western media sources on Syria, which is why they were handpicked in the first place to be “expert” sources: they had political agendas that were aligned with the U.S. government’s foreign policy decisions. The other side of the conflict was completely ignored, except when it was targeted for ridicule. Thus, Americans and Europeans have a completely one-sided, if not fantasy-based perspective of what is happening in Syria. This has been systematic since the beginning of the conflict, as happened with the Yugoslav, Afghan, Iraq, and Libya wars.

The result of this media-led ignorance could result in yet more unnecessary deaths in a country that now has millions of refugees and over a 100,000 dead. Obama seems like he intends to exploit these peace talks with the intention of blaming the Syrian government for their failure. Having failed to defeat Assad on the battlefield in a proxy war, the Obama administration is trying to win the propaganda war. And once peace talks have failed, talk of war will resume, since “all other options have failed.”

 Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

Increase in homicides linked to “extermination groups” and ARENA campaign

CISPES | January 21, 2014

Since the beginning of the New Year and with the February 2nd presidential elections less than two weeks away, El Salvador has seen a dramatic increase in homicides.  In the month of January, El Salvador has seen an average of 9.4 violent deaths per day, a shocking increase from months past, many of them carried out en masse and reminiscent of death squad-style murders.

The Foundation for the Study of the Application of Law (FESPAD), a Salvadoran legal aid clinic and research group, reports that the murders are being carried out by “extermination groups.” Nelson Flores of FESPAD notes that these types of murders often occur prior to electoral periods, and that the “extermination groups” are trying to generate terror in the population and make the government look like it cannot stop this phenomenon.

The type of group that FESPAD describes have been operating in El Salvador since during the armed conflict; many of the groups take their names from “historic figures tied to the worst state violence, including General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, Domingo Monterrosa, Roberto D´Aubuisson.” This is not the first time that FESPAD has publicized the continued operation of social cleansing groups in El Salvador (For more background, download a report in Spanish here).

Even before FESPAD’s recent announcement, many prominent voices in El Salvador had been questioning whether the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party was behind the recent rise in homicides.

President Mauricio Funes expressed concern about a possible link between the increased violence and ARENA’s electoral campaign, while FMLN spokesperson Roberto Lorenzana described ARENA, wracked by internal crises and an unpopular candidate, as being driven to desperate measures, including the use of confrontation and violence as part of a last ditch effort at a “black campaign.”

ARENA’s new campaign manager, the infamous right-wing Venezuelan campaign manager J.J. Rendón, is renowned for his use of “rumorology” and smear tactics. At the very least, ARENA is taking advantage of the increase in murders in their campaign, which has in recent weeks turned more vitriolic, with a focus on violence and insecurity. Some ads use slogans like “My money will no longer go to gangs” and “Children will play safely in the streets again” while others directly attack the Funes administration’s public security policies.  In a recent presidential debate, ARENA candidate Norman Quijano, who was the only candidate to directly attack the administration, proposed militarizing public security as a solution to the insecurity problems, a measure that would directly violate El Salvador’s Constitution.

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Palestine 1948, The Nakba

Historical images over 60 years old, showing the fleeing of Palestinians from their land, homes, and properties, which would then be immediately seized by migrating Jews.

This video is an excerpt from a recent documentary series produced by Al-Manar Tv titled ‘If Hezbollah was Defeated’

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 2 Comments

Blasphemy in Secular France

The Shoah as State Religion?

By Diana Johnstone | CounterPunch | January 24, 2014

Paris – The campaign by the French government, mass media and influential organizations to silence the Franco-Cameroonese humorist Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala continues to expose a radical split in perception within the French population. The official “mobilization” against the standup comedian, first called for by Interior Minister Manuel Valls at a ruling Socialist Party gathering last summer, portrays the entertainer as a dangerous anti-Semitic rabble rouser, whose “quenelle”* gesture is interpreted as a “Nazi salute in reverse”.

For his fans and supporters, those accusations are false and absurd.

The most significant result of the Dieudonné uproar so far is probably the dawning realization, among more and more people, that the “Shoah”, or Holocaust, functions as the semi-official State Religion of France.

On RTL television last January 10, the well-known nonconformist commentator Eric Zemmour (who happens to be Jewish) observed that it was “grotesque and ridiculous” to associate Dieudonné with the Third Reich. Zemmour described Dieudonné as a product of the French left’s multiculturalism. “It’s the left that has taught us since May ’68 that it is prohibited to prohibit, that we must shock the bourgeois. It is the left that has turned the Shoah into the supreme religion of the Republic…”

Zemmour suggested that Dieudonné was provoking “the respectable left-wing bourgeoisie” and that he “reproaches Jews for wanting to conserve the monopoly of suffering and steal primacy in suffering from descendants of slavery”.

There is more than that at stake. Reminders of the Shoah serve indirectly to justify France’s increasingly pro-Israel foreign policy in the Middle East.  Dieudonné opposed the war against Libya enough to go there to show his solidarity with the country being bombed by NATO.

Dieudonné began his career as a militant anti-racist. Instead of apologizing for his 2003 sketch mocking an “extreme Zionist settler”, Dieudonné retorted by gradually extending his sphere of humor to cover the Shoah. The campaign against him can be seen as an effort to restore the sacred character of the Shoah by enforcing repression of a contemporary form of blasphemy.

To confirm this impression, on January 9 an “historic” agreement was reached between the Paris Prosecutor’s Office and the French Shoah Memorial that any teenager found guilty of anti-Semitism may be sentenced to undergo a course of “sensitivity to the extermination of the Jews”. Studying genocide is supposed to teach them “republican values of tolerance and respect for others”.

This is perhaps exactly what they don’t need. The Prosecutor’s Office may be unaware of all the young people who are saying that they have had too much, rather than not enough, Shoah education.

An atypical article in Le Monde of January 8 cited opinions anyone can easily hear from French youth, but which are usually ignored. After interviewing ten left-leaning, middle class spectators who denied any anti-Semitism, Soren Seelow quoted Nico, a 22-year-old left-voting law student at the Sorbonne, who adores Dieudonné for “liberating” laughter in what he considers a stuffy conformist society of “good thoughts”.  As for the Shoah, Nico complained that “they’ve been telling us about it since elementary school. When I was 12, I saw a film with bulldozers pushing bodies into ditches. We are subjected to a guilt-inducing morality from the earliest age.”

In addition to history courses, teachers organize commemorations of the Shoah and trips to Auschwitz. Media reminders of the Shoah are almost daily.  Unique in French history, the so-called Gayssot law provides that any statement denying or minimizing the Shoah can be prosecuted and even lead to prison.

Scores of messages received from French citizens in response to my earlier article as well as private conversations make it clear to me that reminders of the Shoah are widely experienced by people born decades after the defeat of Nazism as invitations to feel guilty or at least uncomfortable for crimes they did not commit. Like many demands for solemnity, the Shoah can be felt as a subject that imposes uneasy silence. Laughter is then felt as liberation.

But for others, such laughter can only be an abomination.

Dieudonné has been fined 8,000 euros for his song “Shoananas”, and further such condemnations are in the offing. Such lawsuits, brought primarily by LICRA (Ligue internationale contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme), also aim to wipe him out financially.

“Hatred”

One line in the chorus against Dieudonné is that he is “no longer a comedian” but has turned his shows into “anti-Semitic political meetings” which spread “hatred”. Even the distant New Yorker magazine has accused the humorist of making a career out of peddling “hatred”. This raises images of terrible things happening that are totally remote from a Dieudonné show or its consequences.

There was no atmosphere of hatred among the thousands of fans left holding their tickets when Dieudonné’s January 9 show in Nantes was banned at the last minute by France’s highest administrative authority, the Conseil d’Etat. Nobody was complaining of being deprived of a “Nazi rally”. Nobody thought of causing harm to anyone. All said they had come to enjoy the show. They represented a normal cross-section of French youth, largely well-educated middle class. The show was banned on the grounds of “immaterial disturbance of public order”. The disappointed crowd dispersed peacefully. Dieudonné’s shows have never led to any public disorder.

But there is no mistaking the virulent hatred against Dieudonné.

Philippe Tesson, a prominent editor, announced during a recent radio interview that he would “profoundly rejoice” at seeing Dieudonné executed by a firing squad. “He is a filthy beast, so get rid of him!” he exclaimed.

The internet Rabbi Rav Haim Dynovisz, in the course of a theology lesson, acknowledged that Darwin’s theory of evolution, which he rejects, had been proved by Dieudonné to apply to “certain” people, who must have descended from gorillas.

Two 17-year-olds have been permanently expelled from their high school for having made the quenelle gesture, on grounds of “crimes against humanity”. The Franco-Israeli web magazine JSSNews is busily investigating the identities of persons making the quenelle sign in order to try to get them fired from their jobs, boasting that it will “add to unemployment in France”.

The owners of the small Paris theater, “La Main d’Or”, rented by Dieudonné on a lease running until 2019, recently rushed back from Israel expressing their intention to use a technicality to end his lease and throw him out.

The worst thing Dieudonné has ever said during his performances, so far as I am aware, was a personal insult against the radio announcer Patrick Cohen.  Cohen has insistently urged that persons he calls “sick brains” such as Dieudonné or Tariq Ramadan be banned from television appearances. In late December, French television (which otherwise has kept Dieudonné off the airwaves) recorded Dieudonné  saying that “when I hear Patrick Cohen talking, I think to myself, you know, the gas chambers… Too bad…”

With the anti-Dieudonné campaign already well underway, this offensive comment was seized upon as if it were typical of Dieudonné’s shows. It was an excessively crude reaction by Dieudonné to virulent personal attacks against himself.

Irreverence is a staple for standup comics, like it or not. And Dieudonné’s references to the Holocaust, or Shoah, all fall into the category of irreverence.

On matters other than the Shoah, there is no shortage of irreverence in France.

Traditional religions, as well as prominent individuals, are regularly caricatured in a manner so scatological as to make the quenelle look prudish. In October, 2011, Paris police intervened against traditional Catholics who sought to interrupt a play which included (the apparent) pouring of excrement over the face of Jesus. The political-media establishment vigorously defended the play, unconcerned that it was perceived by some people as “offensive”.

Recently, France gave a big welcome to the Ukrainian group calling itself “Femen”, young women who seem to have studied Gene Sharp’s doctrines of provocation, and use their bare breasts as (ambiguous) statements. These women were rapidly granted residence papers (so hard to get for many immigrant workers) and allowed to set up shop in the midst of the main Muslim neighborhood in Paris, where they immediately attempted to try (unsuccessfully) to provoke the incredulous residents. The blonde Femen leader was even chosen to portray the symbol of the Republic, Marianne, on the current French postage stamp, although she does not speak French.

Last December 20, these “new feminists” invaded the Church of the Madeleine near the Elysée Palace in Paris, acted out “the abortion of Jesus” and then pissed on the high altar.  There were no cries of indignation from the French government. The Catholic Church is complaining, but such complaints have a feeble echo in France today.

Why the Shoah Must Be Sacred

When Dieudonné sings lightly of the Shoah, he is believed by some to be denying the Holocaust and calling for its repetition (a contradictory proposition, upon reflection). The sacred nature of the Shoah is defended by the argument that keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust is essential to prevent it from “happening again”. By suggesting the possibility of repetition, it keeps fear alive.

This argument is generally accepted as a sort of law of nature. We must keep commemorating genocide to prevent it from happening again. But is there really any evidence to support this argument?

Nothing proves that repeated reminders of an immense historic event that happened in the past prevent it from happening again. History doesn’t work that way. As for the Shoah, gas chambers and all, it is quite preposterous to imagine that it could happen again considering all the factors that made it happen in the first place. Hitler had a project to confirm the role of Germans as the master “Aryan” race in Europe, and hated the Jews as a dangerous rival elite. Who now has such a project? Certainly not a Franco-African humorist! Hitler is not coming back, nor is Napoleon Bonaparte, nor is Attila the Hun.

Constantly recalling the Shoah, in articles, movies, news items, as well as at school, far from preventing anything, can create a morbid fascination with “identities”. It fosters “victim rivalries”. This fascination can lead to unanticipated results. Some 330 schools in Paris bear plaques commemorating the Jewish children who were deported to Nazi concentration camps. How do little Jewish children today react to that? Do they find it reassuring?

This may be useful to the State of Israel, which is currently undertaking a three-year program to encourage more of France’s 600,000 Jews to leave France and go to Israel. In 2013, the number of Aliyah from France rose to more than 3,000, a trend attributed by the European Jewish Press to the “French Jewish community’s increasingly Zionistic mentality, particularly among young French Jews, and a manifestation of efforts by the Jewish Agency, the Israel government, and other non-profits to cultivate Jewish identity in France.”

“If this year we have seen Aliyah from France go from under 2,000 to more than 3,000, I look forward to seeing that number grow to 6,000 and beyond in the near future, as we connect ever more young people to Jewish life and to Israel,” declared Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Surely, one way to encourage Aliyah is to scare Jews with the threat of anti-Semitism, and claiming that Dieudonné’s numerous fans are Nazis in disguise is a good way to do this.

But as for Jews who want to live in France, is it really healthy to keep reminding Jewish children that, if they are not wary, their fellow citizens might one day want to herd them onto freight trains and ship them all to Auschwitz? I have heard people saying privately that this permanent reminder is close to child abuse.

Someone who thinks that way is Jonathan Moadab, a 25-year-old independent journalist who was interviewed by Soren Seelow. Moadab is both anti-Zionist and a practicing Jew. As a child he was taken to tour Auschwitz. He told Seelow that that living with that “victim indoctrination” had engendered a sort of “pre-traumatic stress syndrome”.

“Dieudonné’s jokes about the Shoah, like his song Shoananas, are not aimed at the Shoah itself,” he says, “but at the exploitation of the Holocaust described by the American political writer Norman Finkelstein.”

On January 22, on his web site Agence Info Libre, Jonathan Moadab openly called for “separating the State from the Holocaust religion”. Moadab cites professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz as the first to point out the many ways in which the Holocaust has become the new Jewish religion. If that is so, everyone has the right to practice the religion of the Shoah. But should it be the official religion of France?

French politicians never cease celebrating the “laicité”, the secularism, of the French Republic. Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who proclaims his own devotion to Israel, because his wife is Jewish, recently called the Shoah the “sanctuary that cannot be profaned”. Moadab concludes that if the Shoah is a sanctuary, then the Holocaust is a religion, and the Republic is not secular.

Changes are taking place in the attitude of young people in France. This change is not due to Dieudonné. It is due to the passage of time. The Holocaust became the religion of the West at a time when the generation after World War II was in the mood to blame their parents. Now we are with the grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, of those who lived through that period, and they want to look ahead. No law can stop this.

*As described in my earlier article, the “quenelle” is a vulgar gesture roughly meaning “up yours”, with one hand placed at the top of the other arm stretched down to signify “how far up” this is to be. Using the name of a French dumpling, Dieudonné started using this gesture in a wholly different context years ago, as an expression of defiance, incredulity or indifference.  

Diana Johnstone can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr


Dieudonné interviewé par Sky News – Complet-

January 23, 2014


January 24, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , | 2 Comments