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Boycott of Israeli universities angers NY lawmakers

Press TV – December 31, 2013

Two New York legislators say they will introduce a bill to strip state aid from universities that take part in a recent movement to boycott Israeli academic centers.

State Sen. Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat who is also a former member of the Jewish Defense League that was classified as a “terrorist group” by the FBI in 2001, say they want to cut off state aid to universities affiliated with the American Studies Association’s movement to boycott Israeli institutions.

Earlier this month, members of the ASA overwhelmingly voted to ban Israeli universities from collaborations with their campuses.

The organization said the reason behind its decision was that the Israeli institutions were “a party” to policies “that violate human rights” as Israel’s “violation of international law and UN resolutions” continues and the “impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students” is well-documented.

“The American Studies Association is carrying on a long and proud tradition of American academics by engaging in an academic boycott much like many professors did during apartheid South Africa,” Michael Shallcross, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine at Temple University in Philadelphia, told Press TV.

However, the move, which is part of a larger international effort to win boycotts of Israeli institutions, angered some US politicians both at state and federal level.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York) has urged the ASA to end the boycott, saying he was surprised by the organization’s decision.

And now, two pro-Israel Democrats in New York’s state legislature, Klein and Hikind, are trying to cut state aid to universities affiliated with the movement.

“[It] is a shameless attempt at censorship by powerful Zionist politicians in New York State by cutting off economic life lines that make higher education possible,” Shallcross said.

The ASA is the largest and oldest association involved in interdisciplinary studies of American culture and history.

December 31, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Video | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illegal settlers prevent family from leaving their home and attack internationals whilst Israeli soldiers watch

International Solidarity Movement | October 12, 2013

Yesterday, 11th October at 7 pm, a group of settlers of the illegal settlement of Tel Rumeida surrounded the entrance of the Azzeh family property and built a wire fence to block the exit. Young settlers fixed the fence in place using plastic cable ties.

Hashem Azzeh and his family were about to leave the house when they found the gate blocking their way and the settlers confronted them saying they couldn’t go out that way any more. A group of Israeli soldiers were present but did not stop the action.

Baruch Marzel.

Baruch Marzel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two international activists arrived on the scene and were surrounded by settlers and physically and verbally attacked by them, one of them had water thrown over his camera and another was kicked. An international journalist also present was hospitalized after a settler threw bleach into her eyes. After more international activists arrived, they managed to remove the fence. Despite multiple appeals to the Israeli soldiers to prevent the settler violence by both the Azzeh family and the international activists, they took no action. Jewish Defense League leader Baruch Marzel, was left free to verbally attack Hashem Azzeh.

The Azzeh family has long been a target of settler intimidation and harassment. Last Thursday during the night settlers trespassed on the Azzeh family property and stole about 400 Kilos of olives from 40 olive trees. Hashem Azzeh had been prevented from starting his olive harvest pending a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration. Four days after his olive trees had been raided, he was suddenly informed by the administration that he should start his harvest immediately, but unfortunately he doesn’t have any olive trees left.

October 11, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran Drops Bomb on Hollywood

By Kevin Barrett | Poor Richard’s | February 11, 2013

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been ferociously attacked by the American motion picture industry. The attacks have grown more vehement in recent years.

Iran’s response: Drop a “truth bomb” in retaliation.

The multi-megaton truth bomb – the third Hollywoodism Conference at the Fajr Film Festival – brought together fifty authors, scholars, political figures and filmmakers to oppose and expose Hollywood’s war on Islam in general, and the Islamic Republic in particular. (Full disclosure: I was a participant in the conference, which ended Wednesday.)

Former Senator Mike Gravel, a Democratic candidate for President in 2008, said Americans are being fed a distorted view of Iran. “Everything Iran has done has been entirely within its rights” (to develop peaceful nuclear energy) Gravel stated at the conference. Merlin Miller, another US presidential candidate who ran with the Third Position Party in 2012, added: “The nonexistent Iranian bomb is not the real issue.”

America’s CIA and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei agree on one very important thing: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Supreme Leader Khamenei has pronounced nuclear weapons haram (forbidden). Anyone who understands the role religious authority plays in Iran knows that no Iranian scientist would even think of contravening the Supreme Leader’s ruling.

Most of the participants, including Miller, agreed with Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) that Hollywood demonizes Iran for a fairly obvious reason: Hollywood, even more than the rest of the US media, is controlled by Zionists. Since Iran opposes Israeli apartheid, and supports the Palestinian resistance, Hollywood endlessly bashes Iran on behalf of Israel.

Weber cited quotes and statistics revealing that  Jewish power dominates Hollywood. According to Weber, the vast majority of Hollywood studio heads and top-level executives are Jewish and committed to Israel. Even at the lower-level but important creative positions, Weber argued, Jews are wildly over-represented. The result: Hollywood ceaselessly bashes Arabs, and churns out nonstop hate propaganda supporting Israel’s war on Islam and the Muslim world.

Weber cited Jewish Hollywood columnist Joel Stein, who famously tried to sweeten the bitter pill of Jewish-Zionist power with a dash of humor:

“How deeply Jewish is Hollywood? When the studio chiefs took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago to demand that the Screen Actors Guild settle its contract, the open letter was signed by: News Corp. President Peter Chernin (Jewish), Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey (Jewish), Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger (Jewish), Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton (surprise, Dutch Jew), Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer (Jewish), CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (so Jewish his great uncle was the first prime minister of Israel), MGM Chairman Harry Sloan (Jewish) and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker (mega-Jewish). If either of the Weinstein brothers had signed, this group would have not only the power to shut down all film production but to form a minyan with enough Fiji water on hand to fill a mikvah.”
Stein concluded:

“I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.”

Stein’s column was a response to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) press release celebrating a poll showing that only 22% of Americans know that Jews control Hollywood. In other words, the ADL was triumphantly celebrating the fact that 78% of Americans have been brainwashed into believing an outrageous, transparently false lie (“Jews don’t control Hollywood”). Talk about chutzpah.

And speaking of chutzpah, Abe Foxman and the ADL predictably launched a counter-attack on the Tehran Hollywoodism conference. Oddly, the ADL singled out four participants: Senator Mike Gravel, Jim Fetzer, Merlin Miller, and yours truly as the leaders of what they termed “a rogues’ gallery of conspiracy theorists, anti-Semites, and anti-Zionists.” (Though I am honored to be attacked by the ADL three times in less than two years, I must point out that all four of us are anti-Zionists, not anti-Semites.)

One of the conference’s most stimulating and controversial speakers was Dr. Michael Jones, a Catholic who wears his anti-Jewish credentials on his sleeve. Dr. Jones argued that the “Jewish revolutionary spirit” is the source of Hollywood’s attacks on traditional values, including the religious values of Islam. If the ADL feels the need to attack anti-Jewish thinkers, they should target Dr. Jones and give his sophisticated and disturbing work some much-deserved publicity.

A key theme of this year’s Hollywoodism conference was 9/11 truth. European 9/11 authors Thierry Meyssan (France) and Roberto Quaglia (Italy) joined such Americans as filmmaker-politician Art Olivier, philosophy professor Jim Fetzer, 9/11 hero and eyewitness William Rodriguez, and yours truly. All conference participants, and every Iranian we met, expressed skepticism about the official version of 9/11 and/or belief that it was an inside job.

Many participants observed that this conference could not have been held in any Western country, where it would have been harassed by the authorities, boycotted by the media, and (possibly) bombed by the officially-tolerated terrorist group the Jewish Defense League. Many though not all participants are holocaust revisionists, making them unemployable in the US and subject to arrest when they travel to many European countries.

The entire conference – roughly fifty hours of high-quality videos of the presentations and interviews – will be archived at the website Hollywoodism.org.

February 12, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Canadian Senator: ‘Bring Omar Khadr home’

Rehmat’s World | July 16, 2012

Canadian Senator Lt. Gen. Roméo A. Dallaire, (Ret’d) has issued an open petition to Israel-Firster Stephen Harper’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to bring former Canadian child soldier, Omar Khadr, from America’s notorious Guantánamo Bay concentration camp to Canada.

The case of Omar Khadr – a Canadian citizen and former child soldier – is a stain upon our society and shows a blatant disregard for Canada’s obligations under international law,” says Roméo A. Dallaire.

Omar Khadr, who turns 26 this year – was captured in 2002 by America’s Afghan collaborators, Northern Alliance warlords, for killing a US army medic while visiting his parents’ family in Afghanistan at the age of 15. He was first kept at the US detention facility at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan before being transfered to Guantánamo Bay. Omar was tried as “a terrorist” and not a  juvenile prisoner, by a military commission conceived by Israel-Firster former vice-president Dick Cheney and his Zionist advisers.

Omar was sentenced to 40 year in jail via a kangroo trail which was unrelated to any other form of US justice or the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – which specifically recognizes “the special needs of those children who are particularly vulnerable to recruitment or use in hostilities,” and requires its signatories to promote “the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who are victims of armed conflict.”

Both the US and Canada are signatory to the Optional Protocol. The way Omar has been tortured, humiliated and kept in isolation at Guantánamo Bay for the last ten years and the way Ottawa has abdicated its responsibilities towards him – should be a source of shame for the moral citizens of both countries.

A declassified report prepared by US Department of Defense (DoD) deputy inspector-general in September 2009 – admitted that detainees in custody of the US military were interrogated while drugged with powerful antipsychotic and other medications that “could impair an individual’s ability to provide accurate information“.

Omar’s defense lawyers have asked the federal court to force Vic Toews to make decision as to whether Khadr can return to Canada to serve his remaining sentence.

Just days ago, Marine Col. Jeffrey Colwell, chief defense counsel for military commissions openly chastised Canada for crippling US efforts to enter into plea agreements: If the US “can’t carry through on their end of the bargain, it has a chilling effect on the willingness of others to plead. There was an expectation by all parties involved that Khadr was going to be home last fall. It’s July, and he’s not.”

The pro-Israeli groups have turned Khadr’s case into an Islamophobia war. For example, the Toronto book launch of Omar Khadr, Oh Canada  was met by threats of violence and a demonstration by the the Jewish Defense League, a Jewish militant group which is declared a terrorist group by FBI and known for violence at Canadian Campuses.

Israeli propaganda and hacker website, BlazingCatFur, put the headline: “Vic Toews, Canadian Minister of Public Safety can Block Omar Khadr’s return to Canada by refusing to sign the ‘Prisoner Transfer Agreement’.”

Vic Toews’ parents and grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine.

July 15, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Canadian Senator: ‘Bring Omar Khadr home’

Canada’s Zionist lobby exposed in new book

By Andrew Stevens | The Electronic Intifada | 9 March 2012

In the summer of 2009, an academic conference co-sponsored by York University and Queen’s University proceeded without incident at the Glendon College Campus in Toronto, Ontario. Leading up to the event, however, York officials anticipated demonstrations and campaigns aimed at halting graduate contributions to the university.

One expects academic events to be intellectually stimulating, but rarely is a gathering of scholars in Canada cause for investigation by high-ranking government officials. In this case, the conference touched upon the new third rail of political and academic conversation in the country.

Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace was the theme of one conference sponsored as part of York University’s fiftieth anniversary celebration (U50). What the conference proposed to accomplish was a critical reading of Israel’s history, with the aim of working towards viable political resolutions to more than fifty years of occupation and war. Very quickly, the conference became an international target of lobby groups that aimed to have the event stopped.

Dangerous precedent

The Conservative government’s decision to intervene and put pressure on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to review its funding of the conference set a dangerous precedent. This controversy is the topic of No Debate: The Israel Lobby and Free Speech at Canadian Universities, by Jon Thompson, a retired professor at the University of New Brunswick.

No Debate provides an exceptional account of how the Israel lobby and its supporters in the government attempted to silence free speech. As Thompson’s book reveals, this was an unprecedented assault on academic freedom and the first incident of political intervention into the academic funding agency since its establishment in 1978. No Debate is based on a report of an investigation commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers that looked into attempts by the government to withdraw SSHRC’s financial support for the conference.

Within weeks of York announcing its U50 schedule, Zionist organizations like B’Nai Brith, the Jewish Defense League, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and the Canadian Jewish Congress pushed to have York withdraw its sponsorship. The conference was denounced in the press through op-ed pieces and full-page advertisements in leading Canadian papers. Senior York administrators, including President Mamdouh Shoukri, received a deluge of emails and phone calls. Through public records and freedom of information requests, Thompson catalogues the sea of correspondence between York officials, scholars and lobby groups that played a role in this sad affair.

Groundless accusations

As early as 4 October, 2008, the Jewish Defense League threatened to bring pressure on York to cancel the conference. The JDL also appealed to the federal government by making an argument that the conference presented ideas that were “contrary to official government policy” in Canada.

Despite groundless accusations against the conference organizers and keynote speakers, several York administrators met representatives from Israel lobby groups. What came from these meetings, Thompson shows, was particularly shameful. David DeWitt, then an associate vice-president at the university, suggested that the conference organizers swap the majority of the confirmed speakers for other, “worthy” contributors recommended by the very groups who sought to stop the event altogether.

DeWitt went so far as to say that the speakers were “tarnished by ideology and polemic.” That was an interesting charge, considering that DeWitt considered himself an “academic colleague” of Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, an individual who set out to publicly smear the names of conference speakers and organizers.

Spokespeople for the Israel lobby groups, and even scholars at York, accused conference speakers, such as The Electronic Intifada’s co-founder Ali Abunimah, of not possessing adequate credentials to participate in an academic debate. Even Jewish Israelis, like David Kretzmer of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who is a well-known human rights advocate and legal scholar, were targeted as being ideologically biased.

Ironically, this same chorus of opponents called for invitations to be extended to the likes of Liberal member of Parliament Bob Rae and former Liberal government minister Irvin Cotler to speak instead — neither of whom, to be sure, could be considered academic experts in this particular field, nor could they be expected to provide a sober and unbiased account of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Not a Jewish lobby

What No Debate offers is a comprehensive and historically grounded examination of academic freedom in theory and in practice. Thompson’s book also charts the rise of the Israel lobby and the threat this coalition poses to open discussion and academic freedom in the United States and, increasingly, Canada.

The author is clear that this is not a Jewish lobby, but a coterie of religious and secular groups that seek to undermine and silence any debate about Israel’s colonial history. Working in concert with a Conservative government that has, according to Thompson, been “eroding Canadian democracy in a variety of ways since 2006,” the Israel lobby is particularly dangerous to the fabric of free, scholarly inquiry and public debate.

In the case of the conference jointly sponsored by York and Queen’s, however, the lobby was not successful in its goals. In fact, the Canadian government’s attempt to force SSHRC’s hand was met with stiff, nation-wide resistance. Thompson concludes that the agency did not bend to the government’s wishes and its call for a second peer review.

No Debate is an important book for many reasons. For activists and scholars that stand in solidarity with Palestinian human rights to those who believe that academic freedoms everywhere need to be defended and expanded, Thompson’s book provides a politically potent and engaging read.

Andrew Stevens is co-host of Rank and File Radio, a weekly program about labor and unions in Canada that airs on CFRC 101.9FM. Andrew interviewed No Debate author Jon Thompson about the book in February. Archives of the program can be found at www.cfrc.ca and www.radio4all.net.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments