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For NYT, Israel Is Always Nearing ‘Apartheid,’ but Never Quite Gets There

By Gregory Shupak | FAIR | April 26, 2019

Following Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as Israeli prime minister earlier this month, the New York Times’ editorial board (4/11/19) wrote:

Under Mr. Netanyahu, Israel is on a trajectory to become what critics say will be an apartheid state like the former South Africa—a country in which Palestinians will eventually be a majority, but without the rights of citizens.

A harsh criticism? Actually, the paper has been saying that Israel/Palestine could “become” an apartheid state for the better part of two decades. It ran a piece in 2003 (1/29/03) arguing that

if Israel does not give up the territories, it will face a choice: relinquish either democracy or the ideal of a Jewish state. Granting Palestinians in the territories the right to vote would turn Israel into an Arab state with a Jewish minority. Not allowing them to vote would result in a form of permanent apartheid.

For almost 20 years, the paper has suggested that Israel/Palestine risks devolving into an apartheid state if it continues to rule over Palestinians in the territories—Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem—who cannot choose their rulers. This population includes approximately 4.75 million occupied Palestinians—320,000 in East Jerusalem, 2.8 million in the rest of the West Bank and 1.8 million in besieged Gaza—to say nothing of the millions of Palestinian refugees who cannot return to their homes and participate in elections because the people who put on those elections won’t let them.

That situation has remained the same, not only for the period that the Times has been publishing material saying the arrangement might someday add up to apartheid, but since 1967. Yet the Times persists in characterizing Israeli apartheid as a hypothetical future development. The paper acknowledges that governing millions of Palestinians but denying them the vote is a form of apartheid, so there’s no justification for saying, after nearly 52 years of such disenfranchisement, that that will eventually constitute apartheid, but for some unspecified reason doesn’t yet at this point.

Tom Friedman’s Groundhog Day

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman appears to be having a Groundhog Day experience: He keeps waking up, looking at Israel’s ethnocracy, and saying that if it continues to be apartheid, it will become apartheid. In 2002 (10/16/02), he commented:

If you think it is hard to defend Israel on campus today, imagine doing it in 2010, when the colonial settlers have so locked Israel into the territories it can rule them only by apartheid-like policies.

2010 came and went, and the “apartheid-like” conditions remained, but Friedman persisted in treating Israeli apartheid as a mere possibility, writing  (2/1/11) of the 2011 protests in Egypt:

If Israelis tell themselves that Egypt’s unrest proves why Israel cannot make peace with the Palestinian Authority, then they will be talking themselves into becoming an apartheid state — they will be talking themselves into permanently absorbing the West Bank and thereby laying the seeds for an Arab majority ruled by a Jewish minority between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

A year later (8/1/12), Friedman said:

It is in Israel’s overwhelming interest to test, test and have the US keep testing creative ideas for a two-state solution. That is what a real US friend would promise to do. Otherwise, Israel could be doomed to become a kind of apartheid South Africa.

Two years after that (2/11/14), Friedman said that “Israel by default could become some kind of apartheid-like state in permanent control over… 2.5 million Palestinians.” Even in this so-called criticism of Israel, Friedman does the state a favor by acting as though the West Bank Palestinians are the only ones disenfranchised by Israel, overlooking the refugees and Gaza, even as Israel continues to control the latter. (He also appears to leave out Palestinian Jerusalemites.)

Evidence for Already-Existing Apartheid

As Friedman and his paper kept predicting that Israel/Palestine could turn into an apartheid entity, evidence mounted that it is exactly that. For example, United Nations special rapporteur John Dugard found in 2007 that “elements of the [Israeli] occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law.” He went on to say that at the checkpoints throughout the West Bank and surrounding Jerusalem,

a [Palestinian] person may be refused passage through a checkpoint for arguing with a soldier or explaining his documents…. Checkpoints and the poor quality of secondary roads Palestinians are obliged to use, in order to leave the main roads free for settler use, result in journeys that previously took 10 to 20 minutes taking 2 to 3 hours…. In apartheid South Africa, a similar system [was] designed to restrict the free movement of blacks —the notorious “pass laws.”

Another UN special rapporteur, Richard Falk, noted in 2010 that “among the salient apartheid features of the Israeli occupation” are “discriminatory arrangements for movement in the West Bank and to and from Jerusalem,” as well as

extensive burdening of Palestinian movement, including checkpoints applying differential limitations on Palestinians and on Israeli settlers, and onerous permit and identification requirements imposed only on Palestinians.

A March 2017 report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia concluded that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

That July, however, Friedman (7/12/17) continued to treat Israeli apartheid as something that might happen down the road, wishing that President Trump had admonished Netanyahu in a meeting between the two:

Bibi, you win every debate, but meanwhile every day the separation of Israel from the Palestinians grows less likely, putting Israel on a “slippery slope toward apartheid,” as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak recently warned.

Last September (9/19/18), Friedman was still worried about this supposedly theoretical scenario:

Without some dramatic advance, there is a real chance that whatever Palestinian governance exists will crumble, and Israel will have to take full responsibility for the health, education and welfare of the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel would then have to decide whether to govern the West Bank with one legal authority or two, which would mean Israel would be choosing between bi-nationalism and apartheid, both disasters for a Jewish democracy.

Netanyahu, Friedman went on to say, has failed to offer “any new, or old, ideas on how to separate from the Palestinians to avoid the terrible choices of bi-nationalism and apartheid.”

Erasing Palestinians

Setting aside the troubling assertion that Israelis and Palestinians living as equals would be not only a “disaster,” but as bad a “disaster” as apartheid, Friedman ignored the fact that just two months earlier, the Knesset had passed the Nation State Law that defined Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. The law asserted that “the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” even though 20 percent of the population living inside Israel is not Jewish; encouraged “the development of Jewish settlement” and vowed that the state will “promote its establishment and consolidation.” It declared that “the state’s language is Hebrew,” deprecating Arabic, the first language of roughly half the people under that state’s control.

The Nation State Law demonstrates that the bad faith, future tense descriptions of Israeli apartheid are overly narrow, in that they focus exclusively on the Palestinian territories that Israel has occupied since 1967. Yet on the Israeli-held side of the Green Line, Palestinians are systematically discriminated against.

It’s not only the occupation that make Israel/Palestine apartheid. It’s the Israeli state’s foundational principles and actions: driving two-thirds of the indigenous Palestinian population from their homes at its birth, subsequently making more than 2 million of them refugees, and then denying their right to return, despite its being mandated under international law.

Meanwhile, Jewish people anywhere on Earth are given the right to immigrate, because Israeli leaders want to maintain a demographic advantage. They pursue this goal—with decisive help from their sponsors in Washington—through their longstanding operational policy mantra: maximum land, minimum Arabs.

Not even three full days after the New York Times’ most recent brooding about how Israel might “become” an apartheid state, Israel’s Supreme Court approved the demolition of 500 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem. Is it apartheid yet?

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 6 Comments

Hamas slams UAE for inviting Israel to Dubai Expo

Palestine Information Center – April 28, 2019

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has strongly denounced the participation of Israel in the 2020 World Expo in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, describing it as a serious development.

In Twitter remarks, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri urged UAE to backtrack on its decision to invite Israel to participate in the event.

Abu Zuhri said that allowing Israel to participate in Arab events would encourage it to persist in committing more crimes against the Palestinians and usurping the Arab nation’s rights, describing the UAE’s step as “a violation of the decisions taken during the Tunis summit.”

UAE invited Israel to the event despite not recognizing Israel as a state, which comes as another omen of strengthening ties between Tel Aviv and Arab Gulf countries spearheaded by Saudi Arabia among fears that these countries seek to liquidate the Palestinian cause through backing the US deal of the century.

For its part, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu hailed UAE for inviting Israel to the event, describing the participation in the event as “another expression of Israel’s rising status in the world and the region.”

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

Secret UK Military Lab Gassed, Killed 48,400 Animals in 7 Years – Report

Sputnik – 28.04.2019

Around 48,400 animals, — namely pigs, monkeys, and guinea pigs — were killed in experiments conducted at the secret Porton Down laboratory in Wiltshire between 2007 and 2017, the Sunday Mirror reported. The Ministry of Defence supported the practice as being life-saving for British troops.

Porton Down reportedly tested experimental body armour by blasting animals covered in it with various explosives. It also tested poisonous substances, gases, and nerve agents on animals.

The news was not well received by animal rights groups, with Animal Aid slamming the experiments for causing “extreme suffering and death”, calling them morally unconscionable. The NGO stated that such experiments are unnecessary and noted that the number of killed animals is “alarming”.

Porton Down laboratory entered the limelight in connection with the poisoning of former Russian GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in 2018. The laboratory ran tests to determine which agent was used on them, but Russia suspects that the nerve agent could have originated from Porton Down’s own experiments, as it has historically dealt with such substances. Moscow demanded that London explain the nature of Porton Down’s latest experiments, as the laboratory is located so close to Salisbury, where the Skripals lived.

The UK, in turn, has pushed a narrative of blaming Moscow for the attack without presenting any credible evidence supporting the accusations.

The laboratory is also known for past questionable experiments. Namely, it contaminated an entire island in order to turn anthrax bacteria into a weapon that could be used against German cities during the Second World War. Porton Down also conducted dubious experiments on British servicemen in a bid to develop protection from certain nerve agents. One such experiment led to the death of Ronald Maddison, aged 20, in 1953.

See also:

Top 3 Facts About Salisbury’s Porton Down Lab as Its Chemicals Allegedly Found in Syria

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 3 Comments

Israeli NGO Demands Israel Revoke BDS Founder’s Residency

teleSUR | April 28, 2019

The Israeli human rights group, Betzalmo, has called on Israel’s Attorney General and Minister of Interior to cancel BDS-founder Omar Al-Barghouti’s residency status, Arutz Sheva reported Sunday.

According to a letter that was dated for April 24, 2019, the Israeli NGO argued how it was possible that Barghouthi could be denied entry into the United States, but not in Israel, which is the country he is calling on the world to boycott.

“A recent law authorizes the Minister of the Interior, with the approval of the Attorney General, to revoke residency for anyone who harms state security or violates allegiance to the state, or endangers public peace,” Betzalmo stated. “Undoubtedly Barghouti’s leadership of the boycott movement against all citizens of the State of Israel severely harms the State of Israel and is a blatant breach of allegiance, as well as a threat to Israel’s security and defense by pushing for an arms embargo against Israel.”

The Israeli NGO said “in addition, the BDS movement collaborates with terrorist organizations, so there is undoubtedly an indirect link between Mr. Barghouti and terrorist organizations.”

Betzalmo CEO Shai Glick also released a statement in which he corroborated the claims in the letter that was dated for April 24.

“The State of Israel is a democratic and liberal state, but it must, in the name of democracy and liberalism, defend itself and its citizens. A determined struggle against the boycott constitutes true defense of the citizens of the State of Israel.” Glick said. “We cannot demand from our allies in the world to prevent the entry of a boycott activist and to prevent conferences of boycott organizations, while allowing those leading BDS activists residency in Israel, giving them State benefits and a platform. We are certain that the Interior Minister and the Attorney General will act with determination and immediately revoke Mr. Barghouti’s residency so he will be able to disseminate his toxic teaching only outside Israel.”

Barghouti was previously denied entry in to the United States, despite having the necessary documentation to enter the country.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is a global campaign that has called for the economic boycott of Israel until it meets its “obligations under international law.”

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 1 Comment

The “We Don’t Have Time” Cult

Cory Morningstar | Wrong Kind Of Green | January 21, 2019

… GretaThunberg has stated repeatedly that her strike will continue “until Sweden is aligned with the Paris Agreement.” Therefore, by her own statements, this is the singular, overall purpose and goal of the strike. The foundation of the Paris Agreement is the expansion of nuclear, the financialization of nature, further privatization at an unprecedented scale, “large scale CO2 reduction” (carbon capture storage), a desperate attempt to revitalize economic growth, and more market “solutions” that will further perpetuate our multiple crises. Therefore, the Thunberg campaign is in part to create a demand upon governments across the globe to align with the Paris agreement. (A demand to obtain what the ruling classes have already decided to unleash on us, our planet, and all life.) As adherence to the Paris Accords is a running theme in the mainstream NGO movement, the marketing campaign is helped along by, Avaaz, WWF, Greenpeace, in tandem with the UN (“Changing Together”), the World Bank (“Stepping Up“)[2], and more recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF). … Read full article

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment

Yellow vest protests hit Strasbourg in sign of trouble for EU

Press TV – April 28, 2019

The “yellow vest” protests in France have spread to Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament, on the 24th consecutive weekend of a revolt which shows no sign of abating.

Thousands gathered near European Union institutions late Saturday, with organizers hoping to make the protest international a month ahead of EU-wide parliamentary elections.

Police fired tear gas to push back protesters trying to march on the European Parliament building and eyewitness footage showed arrests being made.

Authorities had banned protests and barricaded the neighborhood where the parliament and other EU institutions are located.

Protests were held elsewhere across France, coming two days after President Emmanuel Macron outlined policy proposals including tax cuts worth around 5 billion euros in response to the revolt.

The Interior Ministry said around 23,600 protesters took part in rallies across the country, including Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Dijon and Toulouse.

The protests, named after motorists’ high-visibility yellow jackets, began in November over fuel tax increases but morphed into a nationwide movement against government policies.

The yellow vests coalition includes numerous anti-Europe protesters, many of whom are calling for a ‘Frexit’, which would see France leave the EU.

Thousands of police and soldiers are drafted into the French capital every Saturday, when there is regular fighting and fires being lit.

The situation is now so extreme that vast areas of Paris – including the district around the Elysee Palace – are shut off every weekend.

The trouble has extended to other major cities, including Bordeaux and Toulouse, where hundreds have been arrested, or injured by police weapons ranging from flash ball rubber bullets to batons.

Macron has pledged more money for rural areas, but he is still regularly described as a “President of the Rich” who is primarily interested in supporting big businesses.

He has already scrapped wealth taxes, and made it far easier for companies to hire and fire employees.

Macron had originally planned to deliver a reform speech to the nation a week ago, but it was postponed because of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Some 1 billion euros has now been pledged for the rebuilding of the medieval place of worship – prompting the yellow vests to ask why other funds cannot be found to deal with their own grievances.

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Butina Case Creates ‘Pretty Dangerous Situation’ for All Foreign Nationals

Sputnik – April 27, 2019

On Friday, 30-year-old Russian national Maria Butina was sentenced in a US federal court to 18 months in prison for conspiring to act as a “foreign agent.” However, even though the government agreed with Butina’s case, it twisted her sentencing in such a way as to nullify her plea deal and give her more time behind bars.

Judge Tanya Chutkan gave Butina 18 months in a US prison for actions she said were “sophisticated and penetrated deep into political organizations,” threatening US national security. In practice, this means that Butina will serve another nine months, having been imprisoned since her July arrest.

The former American University grad student pleaded guilty last month to one count of conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent as part of a plea deal negotiated late last year. She sought immediate deportation to Russia following her sentencing, but the Daily Beast reported that won’t happen until her prison sentence is completed.

“She looked shocked the whole time,” Sputnik News analyst Nicole Roussell told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Friday, noting that most people, including Butina’s attorneys, expected her to be sentenced to time served and be expelled. “She’s served nine months, and a lot of that has been in solitary confinement. This is for someone who — as the judge noted — never had any [prior convictions], is clearly hard-working, intelligent, had 24 letters of character and recommendation on her record. The judge noted a ton of positive stuff about her during the sentencing hearing, so it was definitely a little bit of a shock to see that [the judge] went entirely with the side of the prosecution and gave the full 18 months, meaning she has nine more in prison.”

​Butina spoke before the court Friday, saying, “My parents discovered my arrest on the morning news they watch in their rural house in a Siberian village,” she said. “I love them dearly, but I harmed them morally and financially. They are suffering from all of that. I destroyed my own life as well. I came to the United States not under any orders, but with hope, and now nothing remains but penitence.”

Butina’s charge stems from her political lobbying work with the National Rifle Association — work the government says required her to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), an obscure measure dating to the 1930s that’s been revived in recent years in the interests of prosecuting foreign nationals and repressing alternative news sources. Sputnik, as well as RT, Xinhua and CGTN, have all been required to register under FARA due to their associations with the governments of other countries.

However, Butina isn’t associated with the Russian government and didn’t act on its behalf. She noted in a February interview that she never attempted to conceal her actions because she didn’t believe she was doing anything wrong.

“Anyone who thinks that someone who wasn’t Russian would be in this situation is fooling themselves,” Butina’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll, told Roussell Friday.

Roussell recalled Judge Chutkan saying to Butina in the courtroom: “No doubt you have suffered greatly due to the national atmosphere, including salacious details proven to be untrue.”

“So she noted these things, and yet, went ahead and just agreed” with the prosecution, ignoring that those “salacious details” had been given to reporters by the prosecution, the most notorious of which was that she’d traded sex for information and political connections, Roussell said. Becker noted that such a charge would never be levied against a male suspect.

“I think it would apply very broadly to very large numbers of people,” Driscoll told reporters Friday. “The government’s theory that you act as an agent whenever you do anything for a foreign official — I think that is an extremely broad interpretation that can apply not only to people like Maria, but to other people. I think it’s something that should be looked at. I think anyone who is a foreign national in this country should be exceedingly concerned by the government’s position in this case and what they did here.”

“This is a little bit different than some of the cases we’ve seen,” Roussell told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. “When some of these FARA regulations started to be prosecuted, what, two years ago, we were all a little bit shocked — very shocked, actually — because this was a statute that had not really ever been regulated, hadn’t really been criminally prosecuted. But even when they started to prosecute those FARA charges, it was for people who… there was a real case against them, even if it was something that was clearly politically motivated.”

“In this case, she never lied; she never stole documents; she never funnelled money to the NRA; she cooperated; she was an extroverted student interested in political discourse,” Roussell noted.

“The irony of this case is, the government believed her,” Roussell said.

“When we look at the record, when we look at what was said, she wasn’t a spy. She was not an agent of the Russian government, in the sense of ‘secret agent.’ She was more of an agent in the sense of a principal agent,” Driscoll said, noting that “if I buy you some opera tickets, I’m your agent.”

“When we entered into the plea agreement, the understanding was that if she cooperated she would get a downward departure motion, but the government’s decision not to try to apply guideline, and then jack up a base offense level, essentially took away the departure motion with their left hand while offering it with their right,” Driscoll said. “So, the substantive effect of the departure motion was probably nil.”

In other words, while promising Butina it would decrease the amount of time she would be sentenced to serve, the federal government chose to charge her with a more serious crime, increasing the amount of time she could possibly serve and then applying the deal from there, resulting in more time in prison for Butina than before.

Roussell said the precedent set by the case has “far-reaching implications.”

“Maria could not have been prosecuted under civil FARA, which is the one that everyone knows about through [Paul] Manafort and other cases, because she had no knowledge of the statute,” Driscoll explained to Roussell. “In order to be criminally prosecuted under FARA, you need to have a willful violation.”

“So, because of her lack of knowledge, she ended up being charged with a more serious crime under the foreign agent statute. I think it’s an area that’s ripe for reform. If you take it seriously and literally, the government’s position in this case, and applied it to other circumstances, you really end up in a pretty dangerous situation. Not only for foreign nationals here, but I think for Americans abroad doing similar activities, I think would not be thrilled with this,” Driscoll explained.

Butina’s lawyer also noted that, while Judge Chutkan invoked special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigation, his client was wholly unconnected to any events described in that report.

“She had nothing to do with the Mueller investigation. The Mueller team was aware of Maria, they were aware of this case, they interviewed her as part of her cooperation, and obviously she didn’t appear anywhere in the Mueller report. I found it curious that that was mentioned, that what she did was during the time of Russian election interference, it was alleged by the judge, when in fact, had she been involved in any of that, I would imagine that special counsel Mueller would have mentioned it somewhere in his 400 pages if she had anything to do with it,” Driscoll said. “But he did not.”

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment