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Defend the #Right2Boycott

Omar Baddar | August 8, 2019

Free Speech is under attack by politicians who prioritize pandering on Israel ahead of protecting the Constitution.

August 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Time to Breach the Wall of Silence on Supporting Israeli War Crimes!

By Marion Kawas | Palestine Chronicle | August 25, 2019

The federal election in Canada is coming up on October 21, 2019, and once again there is a debate, both within the Palestinian community and the solidarity movement, on the best tactics and strategies to hold politicians to account. Parameters have shifted dramatically since 2015; four years ago, current PM Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party was still a shiny new commodity with untested big promises, and the Trump/Netanyahu racist “shock and awe” assault had yet to launch. Successive Canadian governments have been complicit in dispossessing Palestinians for over 70 years now, a legacy that has cut across party lines; activists are more determined than ever that politicians will not escape responsibility for their callous and racist anti-Palestinian stands.

Trudeau has lost credibility with many in Canada who thought he would bring a fresh perspective to foreign policy, especially on the issue of support for Palestinian rights. His government has voted the same way as the previous Conservative one at the United Nations on multiple resolutions, and one Liberal MP even bragged that the Trudeau government’s record surpassed its predecessor and was “almost identical” to the U.S. in protecting Israel; they helped pass a nasty anti-BDS motion in the House of Commons which condemned even individuals who support boycotting Israel; and a government minister wrapped it all up by endorsing the dangerous IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in June of this year. The government also reversed an initial decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on the correct labeling of settlement wines, something that was successfully challenged in Federal Court with a recent ruling that determined the “Product of Israel” label was “false, misleading and deceptive”; whether there will be an appeal of this court decision has not yet been announced.

Meanwhile, the opposition New Democratic Party under the helm of new leader Jagmeet Singh has been sending extremely mixed signals as to where their position stands. The party voted against the federal anti-BDS motion, has expressed clear reservations about the IHRA definition, and their recent statement welcoming the court decision on labeling of settlement wines was timely and, in the landscape of Canadian politics, could be considered strongly worded. However, they also blocked a pro-Palestine resolution at their national conference in 2018 and again at a provincial Ontario NDP conference in May of this year. And they have already “de-nominated” one new candidate, Rana Zaman, for comments made about the Palestinian Great Return March (a pattern started in 2015).

Such political opportunism seems to have gripped the Green Party as well. There is a good resolution on Palestine passed by the Green Party at their December 2016 convention, arguably the best amongst the major federal parties, but the leader Elizabeth May seems determined to either ignore it or flout it. Just recently, the Party also issued a statement supporting the Federal Court decision on settlement wines, but then in the same release, May was quoted as referring to the occupied Palestinian territories as “disputed”. After strong pushback from activists and Green Party members, the “disputed” was eventually replaced by “occupied”. This followed a statement last spring, where May inferred that the BDS movement was “anti-Semitic”, saying “We are not a party that condones BDS. We would never tolerate anybody in our party who violates our core values, who are anti-Semitic.”

The Conservative Party needs no further analysis, they are simply continuing the legacy of former PM Stephen Harper, who Netanyahu greeted in 2014 by saying, “You are a great friend of Israel”; their new leader has even promised to move the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem.

In the last election, the “strategic voting” card was played to great advantage by the Liberal Party who convinced many that voting for them was the best way to ensure that the regressive policies of the previous government would be ended. But here we are in 2019, with not only a continuation of the same old tired pro-Israel caravan on Parliament Hill but also a trashing of indigenous and environmental rights along with corruption scandals. And political and financial support for Trump’s attempted coup against Venezuela.

So, what are voters to do who are interested in a fair and just foreign policy and who realize that in today’s world, global issues are of strategic importance?

Palestinian activists in Canada are promoting a new approach and rather than trying to endorse one party or the other, want to make candidates accountable on complicity in Israeli war crimes and have pro-Palestinian policies put forward in as many forums as possible. They have launched a campaign entitled #IVotePalestine which lists 9 basic demands that can be presented to candidates and has already been endorsed and supported by 17 local and national organizations.

Last federal elections, BDS Quebec registered with third-party status and ran a pro-Palestinian poster campaign; the city of Montreal took down many of the posters, which resulted in a court case that BDS Quebec finally won in late 2018 and even received damage payments. Activists are also now publicly challenging Canadian politicians and cabinet ministers during press conferences and campaign launches regarding government policy on Palestine, and also other foreign policy issues like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Haiti.

Lawyer Dimitri Lascaris, author Yves Engler and filmmaker Malcolm Guy were part of one of the most publicized interventions to date that targeted leading Zionist and former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler (who has also been involved in the campaign to destabilize Venezuela).  Lascaris explained the importance of such actions this way: “When it comes to the imperative that we hold Israel truly accountable for its human rights violations, there is a virtual wall of silence in the Liberal and Conservative Parties. Disrupting Liberal and Conservative advocates for Israel at public events is one of the most effective ways to breach that wall of silence.”

The time is long overdue for a hard look at the records of all candidates on Palestine policy. It is not enough to simply claim you will be better than the worst of the worst; it is not enough to say you stand with Palestine and then proceed to stay silent or even be complicit in enacting policy and legislation that does the exact opposite. It is not enough to appear for a photo-op at an Eid celebration and then claim you are sensitive to the daily oppression faced by Palestinian and Arab Muslims.

This summer saw the nascent signs of a significant shift in Canadian opinion, with support for Palestine breaking into new domains like the Federal Court and Vancouver City Council. It also showed that the Zionist lobby is not invincible; however, all of the recent achievements for Palestinian rights in Canada were not the result of any initiatives on the part of the traditional political parties nor of their “moral awakening”, but rather the hard work of grass-roots activists who were organized, loud and persistent.

If enough candidates from various parties are pressured and held accountable to actually “walk the walk” instead of just playing political football with the lives, dignity, and suffering of the Palestinian people, then this emerging shift will eventually have to reach the still-insulated House of Commons. Although federal politicians always seem to be the last to grasp what the public supports, it is time that they are made to understand that there will be a price to pay for complicity in the oppression of the Palestinian people.

– Marion Kawas is a member of the Canada Palestine Association and co-host of Voice of Palestine. Visit:

August 25, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Smearing Paul Findley: Jonathan Schanzer Only Confirms That the Former Illinois Congressman Was Right

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald tribune | August 25, 2019

Former Republican congressman from Illinois Paul Findley died at age 98 on August 9th. Most obituaries and remembrances of him were respectful, but one that appeared in the American Jewish Committee founded neoconservative magazine Commentary written by Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) was particularly vile. Paul was one of the first in Congress to decry the Israeli grip over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond and for that unpardonable sin the Israel Lobby has condemned him to a modern version of damnatio memoriae, the ancient Roman practice whereby the very memory of bad leaders would be condemned and expunged from the record.

I know Paul, not as well as I would have liked, as I am now executive director of the Council for the National Interest, which he co-founded more than thirty years ago. As the name suggests, the Council “advocates for Middle East policies that serve the national interest; that represent the highest values of our founders and our citizens; and that work to sustain a nation of honor, decency, security and prosperity.” In particular, Paul was concerned about how Israeli interests in particular, cynically promoted by a powerful and wealthy domestic lobby, have continued to dominate all discussions of policy in the Middle East.

Paul was seen as a threat to the Jewish state’s control of congress and the Lobby worked to replace him. As Schanzer put it, “By 1980, the pro-Israel community in Washington had clearly identified Findley as a problem. In 1982, he lost his seat…” In fact, establishing what was to become a familiar pattern in dealing with recalcitrant legislators, in 1982 Israeli partisans put up and funded generously a candidate against Findley while also engaging in a smear campaign directed at him through its extensive contacts in the media.

It should be pointed out that Paul has not been alone in his one-issue defeat for reelection. Senator William Fullbright, Senator Chuck Percy, Congressman Pete McCloskey, and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney have all found themselves on the losing end of electoral campaigns because they dared to criticize Israel and its seemingly all-powerful Lobby. Say the right things about Israel and donors and favorable media coverage will follow. Criticize Israel, and the reverse is true. Recently elected Palestinian American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is already being confronted by an organized campaign by Detroit Jews to raise money and garner political support to replace her for “Jewish reasons.”

Jonathan Schanzer 429bc

The Schanzer article, which runs to just under 1,900 words, is a perfect example of what used to be called “poison pen.” FDD, it should be noted, is a neocon outfit funded by the usual Jewish oligarchs that is dedicated to having the United States attack Iran. It works very closely with the Israeli government in shaping and delivering its message, but oddly, like all other Jewish/Israeli advocacy organizations, it has never been required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

Schanzer’s article is entitled “The Congressman who hated Israel” and begins with “Consider this scenario: A legislator from the Midwest targets Israel with a passion and vitriol that smacks of anti-Semitism. The legislator alleges that Israel’s supporters in Washington are bought off with Jewish money and that they have too much influence over our politics. When many Americans express their outrage at such comments, the legislator invokes the right to free speech and insists that the sentiments expressed were all for the just cause of getting American policy on a more reasonable and moral path.”

Well, pausing right there, it might well be reasonably suggested that Israel’s sheeple in congress and the media are indeed bought off with Jewish money and few would doubt these days that Israel and its friends have too much influence over America’s politics, most particularly its foreign policy. In fact, a majority of Democratic Party voters now have more sympathy with the Palestinians than with the Israelis while the Party leadership is firmly aligned with Israel. That’s called corruption of the political process and the corruption comes from money.

Schanzer then notes that “This has been the dynamic surrounding Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar’s disturbing comments about Israel and America’s relationship with the Jewish state. But Omar’s false accusations and the outrage they’ve generated are not without precedent. She is not the first U.S. representative to give public voice to vicious anti-Israel (and anti-American) bigotry and claim the mantle of righteousness. Before Omar, there was the Republican congressman Paul Findley, who died August 9 at the age of 98.”

That’s called killing two birds with one stone. Findlay’s critique that Israel has too much power, echoed by Omar, is far from a fiction. That anti-Israeli criticism is “bigotry” is a lie and that it is also anti-American is complete nonsense, attempting to sustain the fiction that Israel and the U.S. share common interests and values. They do not.

More smearing of Findley follows, with claims that he was a terrorist supporter expressed by “concerned professionals from the pro-Israel community…”  And he is condemned for having written with complete accuracy how “scores of times over the years, I have sat in committee and in the chamber of the House of Representatives as my colleagues behaved, as an undersecretary of state once described them, like ‘trained poodles’ jumping through hoops held for them.” Schanzer observes that the “them” referred to pro-Israel organizations.

Schanzer continues “After Findley left office, however, things got far uglier. The seeming gentleman from Illinois dropped all pretense. In 1985, he authored They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby. In the book, updated and republished twice, Findley unleashed a torrent of venom toward Israel and its supporters, and lionized Israel’s detractors. He spoke disapprovingly of Jewish money, Jewish groups in Washington, Jewish groups on campus, Jewish congressmen, and Jewish influence. Findley claimed that the pro-Israel community had a stranglehold on congressional politics and American foreign policy… There were few realms of public life behind which Findley couldn’t detect the purported presence of Zionist manipulators. In 1990, amid the lead-up to the first war with Iraq, he asserted that Israel’s ‘zealous supporters occupy influential positions throughout U.S. society—not just in the media—and are employed by the U.S. government in every office that has any important relationship to the making of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Relentlessly, step by step, they have assiduously developed over the years a tight grip on America’s Middle East policy.’”

Thank you, Jonathan for providing the evidence that Paul Findley really nailed it. It doesn’t take much Googling to learn that everything he claimed about the many tentacles of Jewish power in the United States and its ability to corrupt our institutions from top to bottom is absolutely true. And he is correct in asserting that Zionists control every office in the United States government that has anything to do with foreign policy in the Middle East. An Israeli woman Sigal Mandelker even serves as the Department of the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which is in charge of handing out sanctions against the Iranians and other Muslim groups that Israel believes to be threatening.

Well Paul Findley is dead, and so what? The Israel Lobby operating under the cover provided by President Donald Trump reigns supreme. But the fact that Schanzer felt compelled to do a hit piece on Findley suggests that there is another agenda. To be sure there is, as Schanzer reveals the real object of his anger towards the end of his article, returning to the subject of Omar, writing that “Findley’s example shows how the vitriol exhibited today by Ilhan Omar or her co-freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is nothing new. These controversial legislators are Findley’s progeny.” And they are even worse, per Schanzer as “Findley, malign as his anti-Israel animus was, didn’t have the effect on public discourse that Omar and Tlaib now enjoy.”

So Schanzer objects to what Omar and Tlaib or saying but he is more troubled that there might be an audience out there listening. He wants a country where dual loyalty and “thou shall speak no ill of Israel” prevail in the belief that what is good for the Jewish state is good for the United States. It is not. Paul Findley was one of the first to challenge that notion and Omar and Tlaib have benefitted their country by opening up discussion of a subject that has long been considered off limits. Thank you Paul, may you rest in peace, and thank you also Rashida and Ilhan.

August 25, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi downs spy drone

Press TV – August 25, 2019

Forces from the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq have shot down a spy drone in the country’s northern Province of Nineveh.

The al-Sumaria television reported on Sunday that the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was targeted by the air defenses of the 50th Brigade of Hashd al-Sha’abi while it was approaching PMU bases in Nineveh.

It was not immediately clear who was operating the drone.

The Iraqi forces had shot down another spy drone on Thursday as it was flying in the vicinity of the 12th Brigade of Hashd al-Sha’abi and over the outskirts of the capital, Baghdad.

Last week, a number of powerful blasts rocked a position held by the PMU, next to the strategic Balad airbase, which hosts US forces and contractors and which is located about 80 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Hashd al-Sha’abi commanders confirmed that the intended target of the attack was the group’s position near the Balad base.

Hashd al-Sha’abi forces played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast, and north of Baghdad ever since the terrorists launched an offensive in the country in June 2014.

Some Iraqi officials have said the strikes were conducted by the Israeli regime.

Earlier, senior Iraqi cleric Ammar al-Hakim called on Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to adopt effective measures to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of strong indications that the US and Israel were involved in the series of recent attacks on PMU positions.

Two PMU fighters killed in drone strikes near Syria border

Later in the day, Iraqi popular forces issued a statement, saying that two of their fighters, including a field commander, were killed in strikes by an unidentified drone close to the Syrian border in Anbar Province.

According to Almayadeen news website, the statement added that the strike, which targeted the PMU’s 45th brigade, took place 15 km (9 miles) from the border.

An unspecified number of PMU fighters were also injured in the attack.

Reuters quoted a security source as saying that there were two air strikes. One struck the local headquarters of the brigade while the other struck a convoy of cars leaving the building.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

August 25, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment