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Jews vs. Israelis

By Gilad Atzmon | September 16, 2019

 Now would be the correct time for Ali Abunimah, JVP,  & CO to form an orderly queue to issue their deep and sincere apology to me. Since the early 2000s my detractors within the so called Jewish ‘Left’ together with  their sometime stooges, have been harassing me, my publishers and my readers for pointing out that Zionism is an obsolete concept with little meaning for Israel, Israelis  and their politics let alone the conflict that has been destroying the Eastern Mediterranean region.

In my 2011 book The Wandering Who, I argue that “Since Israel defines itself openly as the ‘Jewish State’, we should ask what the notions of ’Judaism’, ‘Jewishness’, ‘Jewish culture’ and ‘Jewish ideology’ stand for.” Just before the publication of the book I was urged by both JVP’s leader and Ali Abunimah to drop the J-Word and focus solely on Zionism. In Britain, a gang of so called ‘anti’ Zionist Jews relentlessly terrorised my publisher and promoters. Funny, most of these authoritarian tribals who worked 24/7 to silence me have been expelled from the British Labour Party for alleged anti-Semitism. Now, they promote the ideal of ‘freedom of speech.’

In ‘The Wandering Who’ and in the years preceding its publication, I realised that the Palestinian solidarity discourse has been suffocated with misleading and often duplicitous terminology that was set to divert  attention from the root cause of the conflict and that acted  to prevent intelligible discussion of  possible solutions.

Let’s face it. Israel doesn’t see  itself as the Zionist State: not one Israeli party integrated the word ‘Zionism’ into its name. To Israelis, Zionism is a dated and clichéd concept that describes the ideology that promised to erect a Jewish homeland in Palestine. For Israelis, Zionism fulfilled its purpose in 1948, it is now an archaic term. In ‘The Wandering Who’ I presented a so-far unrefuted argument that an understanding of ‘Jewishness’, a term familiar to every self-identified Jew, may provide answers to most questions related to Israel and its politics. It may also help us to grasp the fake dissent that has dominated the so- called Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist campaign for the last two decades.

Though I was probably the first to write about the crucial shift in Israeli society in favour of Judeo-centrism, this shift is now mainstream news. Haaretz’s lead writer, Anshel Pfeffer, just wrote a spectacular analysis of this transformation. Pfeffer’s view is that Israelis are going to the polls this Tuesday to decide whether they are “Jews” or “Israelis.”

According to Pfeffer, in the mid 1990s it was Netanyahu’s American campaign guru, Arthur Finkelstein, who promoted  “a message that could reach secular and religious voters alike. In his polling, he had asked voters whether they considered themselves ‘more Jewish’ or ‘more Israeli.’ The results convinced him there was a much larger constituency of voters, not just religious ones, who emphasized their Jewish identity over their Israeli one.”

In light of Finkelstein’s observation, Likud focused its message on Jerusalem. Its campaign slogan was: “Peres will divide Jerusalem.” In the final 48 hours before Election Day there was also “an unofficial slogan, emblazoned on millions of posters and bumper stickers distributed by Chabad Hasidim: “Netanyahu is good for the Jews.”

In a Haaretz interview after his narrow 1996 defeat, Peres lamented that “the Israelis lost the election.” When asked then who had won, he answered, “The Jews won.”

Pfeffer points out that Netanyahu learned from Finkelstein that the “Jew” is the primary unifier for Israelis. This certainly applies to religious Jews but also to those who regard themselves as secular. After all, Israel has really been the “Jewish State” for a while.

This is probably the right place to point out that Netanyahu’s move of locating Jewishness at the heart of Israel is a reversal of the original Zionist promise. While early Zionism was a desperate attempt to divorce the Jews from the ghetto and their tribal obsession and make them “people like all other people,” the present adherence to Jewishness and kinship induces  a return to Judeo-centric chauvinism. As odd as this may sound, Netanyahu’s transformation of Israel into a ‘Jewish realm’ makes him an ardent anti Zionist probably more anti Zionist than JVP, Mondoweiss and the BDS together.

Pfeffer points out that when Netanyahu returned to power in 2009 and  formed a right-wing/ religious coalition, was when “the Jews prevailed — and have done so ever since in four consecutive elections, including the last one in April 2019.”

To illustrate this Pfeffer cites the 2012 Israeli  High Court of Justice decision to deny a petition by writer Yoram Kaniuk and others to allow themselves to be registered solely as ‘Israelis’ as opposed to ‘Jews.’

Every so often we hear from one Torah rabbi or another that “Zionism is not Judaism.” Those who have reached this point surely grasp that ‘Zionism vs. Judaism’ is a fake dichotomy. It serves to confuse and to divert questioning minds from the path toward an understanding of the conflict: In Israel Zionism is an empty concept, politically, ideologically and spiritually. Israel defines itself as ‘The Jewish state’ and orthodox rabbis are at the centre of this transition in Israeli politics and life.

I guess that Abunimah and JVP were desperate to silence me at the time as they foolishly believed that shooting the messenger or alternatively burning books was the way forward for human rights activism. I stood firm. The observations I produced in ‘The Wandering Who’ were endorsed by the most profound thinkers associated with the conflict and the anti war movement. My observations are more relevant than ever and in Israel they have entered mainstream analysis. When it comes to Palestine solidarity we have managed to waste a good two decades of intellectual progress thanks to authoritarian lobbies operating in our midst. For truth and justice to prevail, we have to learn to speak the truth as we see it, and to accept JVP and Abumimah’s apologies when they are mature enough to come clean.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

In Israel the Push to Destroy Jerusalem’s Iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque Goes Mainstream

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | June 24, 2019

The iconic golden dome of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque, located on the Temple Mount or Haram el-Sharif, is the third holiest site in Islam and is recognized throughout the world as a symbol of the city of Jerusalem. Yet, this ancient site that dates back to the year 705 C.E. is being targeted for destruction by increasingly influential extremist groups that seek to erase Jerusalem’s Muslim heritage in pursuit of colonial ambitions and the fulfillment of end-times prophecy.

Some observers may have noticed the growing effort by some Israeli government and religious officials to remove the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque from the Jerusalem skyline, not only erasing the holy site in official posters, banners and educational material but also physically removing the building itself. For instance, current Knesset member of the ruling Likud Party, American-born Yehuda Glick, was also the director of the government-funded Temple Institute, which has created relics and detailed architectural plans for a temple that they hope will soon replace Al-Aqsa. Glick is also close friends with Yehuda Etzion, who was part of a failed plot in 1984 to blow up Al-Aqsa mosque and served prison time as a result.

“In the end we’ll build the temple and it will be a house of prayer for all nations,” Glick told Israeli newspaper Maariv in 2012. A year later, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel stated that “[w]e’ve built many little, little temples… but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount.” Ariel stated that the new Jewish Temple must be built on the site where Al-Aqsa currently sits “as it is at the forefront of Jewish salvation.” Since then, prominent Israeli politicians have become more and more overt in their support for the end of Jordanian-Palestinian sovereignty over the mosque compound, leading many prominent Palestinians to warn in recent years of plans to destroy the mosque.

In recent years, a centuries-old effort by what was once a small group of extremists has gone increasingly mainstream in Israel, with prominent politicians, religious figures and political parties advocating for the destruction of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque in order to fulfill a specific interpretation of an end-times prophecy that was once considered fringe among practitioners of Judaism.

As Miko Peled, Israeli author and human-rights activist, told MintPress, the movement to destroy Al-Aqsa and replace it with a reimagined Temple “became notable after the 1967 war,” and has since grown into “a massive colonial project that uses religious, biblical mythology and symbols to justify its actions” — a project now garnering support from both religious and secular Israelis.

While the push to destroy Al-Aqsa and replace it with a physical Third Temple has gained traction in Israel in recent years, this effort has advanced at a remarkably fast pace in just the past few weeks, owing to a confluence of factors. These factors, as this report will show, include the upcoming revelation of the so-called “Deal of the Century,” the push for a war with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and the Trump administration’s dramatic lenience in regards to the activity of Jewish extremist groups and extremist settlements in Israel.

These factors correlate with a quickening of efforts to destroy Al-Aqsa and the very real danger the centuries-old holy site faces. While the U.S. press has occasionally mentioned the role of religious extremism in dictating the foreign policy of prominent U.S. politicians like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it has rarely shone a light on the role of Jewish extremism in directing Israel’s foreign policy — foreign policy that, in turn, is well-known to influence American policies.

When taken together, the threats to Al-Aqsa are clearly revealed to be much greater than the loss of a physical building, though that itself would be a grave loss for the world’s Muslim community, which includes over 1.8 billion people. In addition, the site’s destruction would very likely result in a regional and perhaps even global war with clear religious dimensions.

To prevent such an outcome, it is essential to highlight the role that extremist, apocalyptic interpretations of both the Jewish and Christian faiths are playing in trends that, if left unchecked, could have truly terrifying consequences. Both of these extremist groups are heavily influenced by colonial ambitions that often supersede their religious underpinning.

In Part I of this two-part series, MintPress examines the growth of extremist movements in Israel that openly promote the destruction of Al-Aqsa, from a relatively isolated fringe movement within Zionism to mainstream prominence in Israel today; as well as how threats to the historic mosque have grown precipitously in just the past month. MintPress interviewed Israeli author and activist Miko Peled; Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta in New York; Imam and scholar of Shia Islam, Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini, of the Islamic Institute of America; and Palestinian journalist and academic Ramzy Baroud for their perspectives on these extremist groups, their growing popularity, and the increasing threats to the current status quo at Haram El-Sharif/Temple Mount.

The second part of this series will detail the influence of this extremist movement in Israeli politics as well as American politics, particularly among Christian Zionist politicians in the United States. The ways in which this movement’s goal have also influenced Israeli and U.S. policy — particularly in relation to the so-called “Deal of the Century,” President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the push for war against Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah — will also be examined.

Two centuries in the cross-hairs

Though efforts to wrest the contested holy site from Jordanian and Palestinian control have picked up dramatically in recent weeks, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound had long been targeted prior to Israel’s founding and even prior to the formation of the modern Zionist movement.

For instance, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Kalisher — who promoted the European Jewish colonization of Palestine from a religious perspective well before Zionism became a movement — expounded on an early form of what would later be labeled “religious Zionism” and was particularly interested in the acquisition of Haram el-Sharif (i.e., the Temple Mount) as a means of fulfilling prophecy.

As noted in the essay “Proto-Zionism and its Proto-Herzl: The Philosophy and Efforts of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalisher” by Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Professor of Israeli Politics and Judaic Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, Kalisher sought to court wealthy European Jews to finance the purchase of Israel for the purpose of resettlement, particularly the Temple Mount. In an 1836 letter to Baron Amschel Rothschild, Kalisher suggested that the eldest brother of the wealthy banker family use his abundant funds to bring Jewish sovereignty to Palestine, specifically Jerusalem and the Temple Mount:

[E]specially at a time like this, when the Land of Israel is under the dominion of the Pasha… perhaps if his most noble Excellency pays him a handsome sum and purchases for him some other country (in Africa) in exchange for the Holy Land, which is presently small in quantity but great in quality… this money would certainly not be wasted… for when the leaders of Israel are gathered from every corner of the world… and transform it into an inhabited country, the many G-d-fearing and charitable Jews will travel there to take up their residency in the Holy Land under Jewish sovereignty… and be worthy to take up their portion in the offering upon the altar. And if the master (Ibrahim Pasha) does not desire to sell the entire land, then at least he should sell Jerusalem and its environs… or at least the Temple Mount and surrounding areas.” (emphasis added)

Kalisher’s request was met with a noncommittal response from Baron Rothschild, leading Kalisher to pursue other wealthy European Jewish families, like the Montefiores, with the same goal in mind. And, though Kalisher was initially unsuccessful in winning the support of the Rothschild family, other notable members of the wealthy European banking dynasty eventually did become enthusiastic supporters of Zionism in the decades that followed.

Kalisher was also influential in another way, as he was arguably the first modern Rabbi to reject the idea of patiently waiting for God to fulfill prophecy and proposed instead that man should take concrete steps that would lead to the fulfillment of such prophecies, a belief that Kalisher described as “self help.” For Kalisher, settling European Jews in Palestine was but the first step, to be followed by other steps that would form an active as opposed to a passive approach towards Jewish Messianism. These subsequent steps included the construction of a Third Temple, to replace the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans around the year 70 C.E., and the reinitiation of ritual animal sacrifices in that Temple, which Kalisher believed could only be placed on the Temple Mount, where Al-Aqsa then sat and still sits.

Kalisher wasn’t alone in his views, as his contemporary, Rabbi Judah Alkalai, wrote the following in his book Shalom Yerushalayim:

It is obvious that the Mashiach ben David [Messiah of the House of David] will not appear out of thin air in a fiery chariot with fiery horses, but will come if the Children of Israel bend to the task of preparing themselves for him.”

Though Kalisher wasn’t the lone voice promoting these ideas, his beliefs — aside from promoting the physical settlement of European Jews in Palestine — remained relatively fringe for decades, if not more than a century, as secular Jews were hugely influential in the Zionist movement after its official formation. However, prominent religious Zionists did influence the Zionist movement in key ways prior to Israel’s founding. One such figure was Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, who sought to reconcile Zionism and Orthodox Judaism as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, a position he assumed in 1924.

Yet, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group based in New York that opposes Zionism, told MintPress that many religious Zionists have since latched onto Kalisher’s ideas, which were widely rejected during his lifetime, in order to justify neocolonial actions sought by secular Zionists. “This rabbi, at the time, other rabbis ‘roared’ against him and his beliefs weren’t accepted,” Rabbi Weiss stated, “But now, the ones who are talking about building this Third Temple…. these are Zionists and they have found some rabbi whose ideas benefit them that they have been using to justify Zionist acts” that are not aligned with Judaism “and make them kosher.”

Weiss further expanded on this point, noting that the participants of the modern religious Zionism movement that seek to build a new Jewish temple where Al-Aqsa currently stands are, at their core, Zionists who have used religious imagery and specific interpretations of religious texts as cover for neo-colonial acts, such as the complete re-making of the Temple Mount.

“It’s like a wolf in a sheepskin… These people who want to incorporate the teachings of this rabbi [Rabbi Kalisher] are proudly saying that they are Jewish, but are doing things Jews are forbidden from doing,” such as ascending to and standing upon the Temple Mount, which Rabbi Weiss stated was “a breach of Jewish law,” long forbidden by that law according to a consensus among Jewish scholars and rabbis around the world that continued well beyond the formation of the Zionist movement in the 19th century.

Weiss also told MintPress:

There are only a few sins in Judaism — which has many, many laws, that lead to a Jew being cut off from God — and to go up to the Temple Mount is one of them… This is because you need a certain level of holiness to ascend and… the process to attain that level of holiness and purity cannot be done today, because [aspects of and the items required by] the necessary purity rituals no longer exist today.”

Rabbi Weiss noted that, for this reason, the Muslim community that has historically governed the area where Al-Aqsa mosque stands never had any problems with the Jewish community in relation to the Temple Mount, as it has been known for centuries that Jews cannot ascend to the area where the mosque currently sits and instead prayed only at the Western Wall. He also stated that the prophetic idea of a Third Temple was, prior to Zionism, understood as indicating not a change in physical structures on the Temple Mount, but a metaphysical, spiritual change that would unite all of mankind to worship and serve God in unison.

Rabbi Weiss asserted that the conflict regarding Al-Aqsa mosque started only with the advent of Zionism and the associated neo-colonial ambition to fundamentally alter the status quo and structures present at the site as a means of erasing key parts (i.e., Palestinian parts) of its heritage. “This [the use of religion to justify ascending to and taking control of the Temple Mount] is a trap for conning other people into supporting them,” concluded the Rabbi.

Nonetheless, Kalisher’s impact can be seen in today’s Israel more than ever, thanks to the rise and mainstream acceptance within Israel of once-fringe elements of religious Zionism, which were deeply influenced by the ideas of rabbis like Kalisher and have served in recent decades as an incubator for some of Israel’s most radical political elements.

Meanwhile, as the debate within Judaism over the Temple Mount has changed dramatically since the 19th century, its significance in Islam has remained steadfast. According to Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini, “Al-Aqsa is the third holiest mosque in Islam… it is considered to be the place where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven and has been mentioned in the Qoran, which glorifies that mosque and identifies it as a blessed mosque. All Muslims, whether they are Sunni or Shia, revere that mosque” — a fact that has remained unchanged for over a millennium and continues to today.

Religious Zionism gains political force

The modern rise of the religious Zionist movements that promote the destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque and its replacement with a Third Jewish Temple is most often traced back to the Six Day War of 1967. According to Miko Peled, who recently wrote a piece for MintPress News regarding the threats facing Al-Aqsa, “religious Zionism” as a political force became more noticeable following the 1967 war. Peled told MintPress:

After the ‘heartland’ of Biblical Israel came under Israeli control, the religious Zionists, who before then were marginalized, saw it as their mission to settle those newly conquered lands, and to be the new pioneers, so to speak. They took on the job that the socialist Zionist ideologues had in settling Palestine and ridding it of its native Arab population in the years leading up to Israel’s establishment and up to the early 1950s. They saw the “return” of Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, or Shchem and, of course, the Old City of Jerusalem as divine intervention and now it was their turn to make their mark.

It began with a small group of Messianic fanatics who forced the government – who at that point, after 1967, was still secular Zionist – to accept their existence in the highly populated areas within the West Bank. That was how the city of Kiryat Arba [illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank] was established. The government, it is worth noting, was happy to be forced into this. From a small group that people thought were fringe lunatics to a Jewish city in the heart of Hebron region.”

Peled further noted that this model, employed by the religious extremist groups that founded illegal West Bank settlements like Kiryat Arba, “has been used successfully since then and it is now used by the groups that are promoting the new Temple in place of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.” He continued, pointing out that “whereas 20-30 years ago they were considered a fringe group, this year they expect more than 50,000 people to enter the compound to support the group and their goals. Religious Israeli youth who opt out of military service and choose national service instead may work with the [Third] Temple building organizations.”

Extremist settlers escorted by Israeli after they stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on July 22, 2018. Mostafa Alkharouf | Anadolu

Dr. Ramzy Baroud — journalist, academic and founder of The Palestine Chronicle — agreed with Peled’s sense that the Third Temple movement or Temple Activist movement has grown dramatically in recent years and has become increasingly mainstream in Israel. Baroud told MintPress:

There has been a massive increase in the number of Israeli Jews who force their way into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound to pray and practice various rituals… In 2017 alone, over 25,000 Jews who visited the compound — accompanied by thousands of soldiers and police officers and provoking many clashes that resulted in the death and wounding of many Palestinians. Since 2017, the increase in Jews visiting the compound has been very significant if compared to the previous year when around 14,000 Jews made that same journey.”

Baroud also noted:

[The Temple Activist movement] has achieved a great deal in appealing to mainstream Israeli Jewish society in recent years. At one point, it was a marginal movement, but with the rise of the far right in Israel, their ideas and ideologies and religious aspirations have also become part of the Israeli mainstream.”

As a result, Baroud asserted:

[There is] an increasing degree of enthusiasm among Israeli Jews that is definitely not happening at the margins [of society], but is very much a part of the mainstream, more so than at any time in the past, to take over the Al-Aqsa mosque, demolish the mosque in order to rebuild the so-called Third Temple.”

However, Rabbi Weiss disagreed with Peled and Baroud that this faction presents a real threat to the mosque, given that the mosque’s destruction is widely rejected by Diaspora Jewry (i.e., Jews living outside of Israel) and that destroying it would not only cause conflicts with the global Muslim community but also numerous Jewish communities outside of Israel.

As Rabbi Weiss told MintPress:

Some of the largest and most religious [i.e. ultra-orthodox] Jewish communities outside of Israel, like the second largest community of religious [ultra-orthodox] Jews in Williamsburg, Brooklyn [in New York], and also in Israel … are opposed to this concept of taking over the Temple Mount and other related ideas.”

Weiss argued that many of these religious Zionists in Israel that are pushing for a new Temple “do not follow Jewish law to the letter and don’t come from the very religious communities, including the settlers…They don’t go to expressly religious schools, they go to Zionist schools. Their whole view is built on Zionism and [secondarily] incorporates the religion,” as opposed to the reverse. As a result, the destruction of the Al-Aqsa mosque, in Weiss’ view, could greatly alienate the state of Israel from these more religious and ultra-orthodox communities.

In addition, Rabbi Weiss felt that many Jewish and secular Israelis would also reject such a move because it would create even more conflicts, which many Israelis do not want. He described the Temple Activists as “a vocal minority” that represented a “fringe” among adherents to Judaism and a group within Zionism that has tried to use the Temple Mount “in order to be able to excuse their occupation and to try to portray this [the occupation of Palestine] as a religious conflict,” with the conflict surrounding the Temple Mount being an extension of that.

Weiss believed that the push to take over the Temple Mount was a “scare tactic” aimed at securing the indefinite nature of the occupation, and noted that many Israelis did not want a spike in or renewal of conflict that would inevitably result if the mosque were to be destroyed. He also added that he did not think there was a “real threat” of the mosque being targeted because international rabbinical authorities have stood fast in their opposition to the project promoted by the Temple Activists.

“Tomorrow might be too late”

It is hardly a coincidence that the growth of Temple Activism and associated movements like “neo-Zionism” have paralleled the growth in threats to the Al-Aqsa mosque itself. Many of these threats can be understood through the doctrine developed by Rabbi Kalisher and others in the mid-19th century — the idea that “active” steps must be taken to bring about the reconstruction of a Jewish Temple at Haram El-Sharif in order to bring about the Messianic Age.

Indeed, during the 1967 war, General Shlomo Goren, the chief rabbi of the IDF, had told Chief of Central Command Uzi Narkiss that, shortly after Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem’s Old City, the moment had come to blow up the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. “Do this and you will go down in history,” Goren told Narkiss. According to Tom Segev’s book 1967, Goren felt that the site’s destruction could only be done under the cover of war: “Tomorrow might be too late.”

Goren was among the first Israelis to arrive at the then-recently conquered Old City in Jerusalem and was joined at the newly “liberated” Al-Aqsa compound by a young Yisrael Ariel, who now is a major leader in the Temple Activist movement and head of the Temple Institute, which is dedicated to constructing a Third Temple where Al-Asqa mosque currently stands.

Narkiss rejected Goren’s request, but did approve the razing of Jerusalem’s Moroccan quarter. According to Mondoweiss, the destruction of the nearly seven centuries old Jerusalem neighborhood was done for the “holy purpose” of making the Western Wall more accessible to Jewish Israelis. Some 135 homes were flattened, along with several mosques, and over 700 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed as part of that operation.

Following the occupation of East Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa has come under increasing threat, just as extremist movements who seek to destroy the site have grown. In 1969, a Christian extremist from Australia, Daniel Rohan, set fire to the mosque. Rohan had been studying in Israel and, prior to committing arson, had told American theology student Arthur Jones, who was studying with Rohan, that he had become convinced that a new temple had to be built where Al-Aqsa stood.

Then, in 1984, a group of messianic extremists known as the Jewish Underground was arrested for plotting to use explosives to destroy Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Ehud Yatom, who was a security official and commander of the operation that foiled the plot, told Israel’s Channel 2 in 2004 that the planned destruction of the site would have been “horrible, terrible,” adding that it could provoke “the entire Muslim world [into a war] against the state of Israel and against the Western world, a war of religions.”

One of those arrested in 1984 in connection with the bomb plot, former Jewish Underground member Yehuda Etzion, subsequently wrote from prison that his group’s mistake was not in targeting the historic mosque, which he called an “abomination,” but in acting before Israeli society would accept such an act. “The generation was not ready,” Etzion wrote, adding that those sympathetic to the Jewish Underground movement “must build a new force that grows very slowly, moving its educational and social activity into a new leadership.”

“Of course I cannot predict whether the Dome of the Rock will be removed from the Mount while the new body is developing or after it actually leads the people,” Etzion stated, “but the clear fact is that the Mount will be purified [from Islamic shrines] with certainty…”

Upon his release from prison, Etzion founded the Chai Vekayam (Alive and Existing) movement, a group that Al Jazeera’s Mersiha Gadzo described as aimed at “shaping public opinion as a prerequisite for building a Third Temple in the religious complex in Jerusalem’s Old City where Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located.” Gadzo also notes that “according to messianic belief, building the Third Temple at the Al Aqsa compound — where the First and Second Temples stood some 2,000 years ago — would usher the coming of the Messiah.”

Six years later, another group called the Temple Mount Faithful, which is dedicated to building the Third Temple, provoked what became known as the Al-Aqsa massacre in 1990 after its members attempted to place a cornerstone for the Third Temple on the Temple Mount / Haram El-Sharif, leading to riots that saw Israeli police shoot and kill over 20 Palestinians and wound an estimated 150 more.

This was followed by the riots in 1996 after Israel opened up a series of tunnels that had been dug under Al-Aqsa mosque that many Palestinians worried would be used to damage or destroy the mosque. Those concerns may have been well-founded, given the involvement of then- and current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Third Temple activist groups in creating the tunnels and in subsequent excavations near the holy site, which were and continue to be officially described as “archaeological” in nature. During the 1996 incident, 80 Palestinians and 14 Israeli police officers were killed.

Some Israeli archaeologists have argued that these tunnels have not been built for archaeological or scientific purposes and are highly unlikely to result in any new discoveries. One such Israeli archaeologist, Yoram Tseverir, told Middle East Monitor in 2014 that “the claims that these excavations aim at finding scientific information are marginal” and called the still-ongoing government-sponsored excavations under Al-Aqsa “wrong.” When those “archaeological” excavations at Al-Aqsa resulted in damage to the Western Wall near Al-Aqsa last year, a chorus of prominent Palestinians, including the spokesman for the Fatah Party, claimed that Israel’s government had devised a plan to destroy the mosque.

Since 2000, Al-Aqsa mosque has been the site of incidents that have resulted in new state crackdowns by Israel against Palestinians both within and well outside of Jerusalem. Indeed, the Second Intifada was largely provoked by the visit of the then-Likud candidate for prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who entered Al-Aqsa mosque under heavy guard. Then-spokesman for Likud, Ofir Akounis, was later quoted by CNN as saying that the reason for Sharon’s visit was “to show that under a Likud government it [the Temple Mount] will remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

That single visit by Sharon led to five years of heightened tensions, more than three thousand dead Palestinians and an estimated thousand dead Israelis, as well as a massive and still continuing crackdown on Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud told MintPress that Sharon’s provocation in particular, and subsequent provocations, are often planned and used by Israeli politicians in order to justify crackdowns and restrictions on Palestinians. He argued:

[Some powerful Israeli politicians] use these regular provocations at Al Aqsa to create the kind of tensions that increase violence in the West Bank and to [then] carry out whatever policies they have in mind. They know exaclty how to provoke Palestinians and there is no other issue that is as sensitive and unifying in the Palestinian psyche as Al-Aqsa mosque.

Not only do we need to be aware of the fact that [provocations at] Al-Aqsa mosque are being used to implement archaic, destructive plans [i.e., destruction of Al-Aqsa and construction of a Third Temple] by certain elements that are now very much at the core of Israeli politics, but also the fact that this type of provocation is also used to implement broader policies pertaining to Palestinians elsewhere.”

Drums beating loud

While there have long been efforts to destroy the historic Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, recent weeks have seen a disturbing and dramatic uptick in incidents that suggest that the influential groups in Israel that have long pushed for the mosque’ s destruction may soon get their way. This reflects what Ramzy Baroud described to MintPress as how support for the construction of the Third Temple where Al-Aqsa currently sits is now “greater than at any time in the past” within Israeli society.

Earlier this month on June 2, a religious adviser to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Al-Habbash, took to social media to warn of an “Israeli plot against the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” adding that “If the Muslims don’t act now [to save the site]… the entire world will pay dearly.”

Al-Habbash’s statement was likely influenced by a disturbing event that occurred that same day at the revered compound when Israeli police provided cover for extremist Israeli settlers who illegally entered the compound during the final days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Israeli police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian worshippers who had gathered at the mosque during one of Islam’s most important holidays while allowing over a thousand Israeli Jews to enter the compound. Forty-five Palestinians were wounded and several were arrested.

Though such provocative visits by Jewish Israelis to Al-Aqsa have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years, this event was different because it up-ended a long-standing agreement between Jordan’s government, which manages the site, and Israel that no such visits take place during important Islamic holidays. As a consequence, Jordan accused Israel’s government of “flagrant violations” of that agreement by allowing visits from religious nationalists, which Jordan described as “provocative intrusions by extremists.”

Less than a week after the incident, Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister, Miri Regev, a member of the Netanyahu-led Likud Party, called for more settler extremists to storm the compound, stating: “We should do everything to keep ascending to the Temple Mount … And hopefully, soon we will pray in the Temple Mount, our sacred place.” In addition, Regev also thanked Israel’s Interior Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, and Jerusalem’s police chief for guarding the settler extremists who had entered the compound.

In 2013, then-member of the Likud Party Moshe Feiglin told the Knesset that allowing Jewish Israelis to enter the compound is “not about prayer.” “Arabs don’t mind that Jews pray to God. Why should they care? We all believe in God,” Feiglin — who now heads the Zehut, or Identity, Party — stated, adding, “The struggle is about sovereignty. That’s the true story here. The story is about one thing only: sovereignty.”

In other words, Likud and its ideological allies view granting Jewish Israelis entrance to “pray” at the site of the mosque as a strategy aimed at reducing Palestinian-Jordanian control over the site. Feiglin’s past comments give credibility to Rabbi Weiss’ claim, referenced earlier on in this report, that the religious underpinnings and religious appeals of the Temple Activists are secondary to the settler-colonial (i.e., Zionist) aspect of the movement, which seeks to remove Palestinian and Muslim heritage from the Temple Mount as part of the ongoing Zionist project.

Feiglin, earlier this year in April, called for the immediate construction of the Third Temple, telling a Tel Aviv conference, “I don’t want to build a [Third] Temple in one or two years, I want to build it now.” The Times of Israel, reporting on Feiglin’s comments, noted that the Israeli politician is “enjoying growing popularity.”

Earlier this month, and not long after Miri Regev’s controversial comments, an event attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, used a banner that depicted the Jerusalem skyline with the Dome of the Rock noticeably absent. Though some may write off such creative photo editing as a fluke, it is but the latest in a series of similar incidents where official events or materials have edited out the iconic building and, in some cases, have replaced it with a reconstructed Jewish temple.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman poses with a picture of the ‘Third Temple,’ May 22, 2018. Israel Cohen | Kikar Hashabat

The day before that event, Israeli police had arrested three members of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s Reconstruction Committee, which is overseen by the government of Jordan. Those arrested included the committee’s head and its deputy head, and the three men were arrested while performing minor restoration work in an Al-Aqsa courtyard. The Jordan-run authority condemned the arrests, for which no official reason was given, and called the move by Israeli police “an intervention in their [the men’s] reconstruction work.” According to Palestinian news agency Safa, Israeli police have also prevented the entry of tools necessary for restoration work to the site and have restricted members of the authority from performing critical maintenance work.

In addition, another important figure at Al-Aqsa, Hanadi Al-Halawani, who teaches at the mosque school and has long watched over the site to prevent its occupation by Israeli forces, was arrested late last month.

Arrests of other key Al-Aqsa personnel have continued in recent days, such as the arrest of seven Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, including guards of the mosque, and their subsequent ban from entering the site. The Palestinians were arrested at their homes last Sunday night in early morning raids and the official reason for their arrest remains unclear. So many arrests in such a short period have raised concerns that, should the spate of arrests of important Al-Aqsa personnel continue, future incidents at the site, such as the mysterious fire that broke out last April at Al-Aqsa while France’s Notre Dame was also ablaze, may not be handled as effectively owing to staff shortages.

Soon after those arrests, 60 members of a settler extremist group entered the al-Aqsa compound under heavy guard from Israeli police. Safa news agency reported that these settlers have recently been accompanied by Israeli intelligence officials in their incursions at the site.

All of these recent provocations and arrests in connection with the mosque come soon after the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, publicly stated in late March that he had recently come under great pressure to relinquish Jordan’s custodianship of the mosque and the contested holy site upon which it is built. Abdullah II vowed to continue custodianship over Christian and Muslim sites in Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa, and declined to say who was pressuring him over the site. However, his comments about this pressure to cede control over the mosque came just days after he had visited the U.S. and met with American Vice President Mike Pence, a Christian Zionist who believes that a Jewish Temple must replace Al-Aqsa to fulfill an end times prophecy.

In May, an Israeli government-linked research institute, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, wrote that Abdullah II had nearly been toppled in mid-April, just weeks after publicly discussing external pressure to relinquish control over Al-Aqsa. The report stated that Abdullah II had been a target of a “plot undermining his rule,” which led him to replace several senior members of his government. That report further claimed that the plot had been aimed at removing obstacles to the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century,” which is supported by Israel’s government.

Last year, some Israeli politicians sought to push for a transfer of the site’s custodianship to Saudi Arabia, sparking concern that this could be connected to plans by some Third Temple activists to remove Al-Aqsa from Jerusalem and transfer it piece-by-piece to the Saudi city of Mecca. On Thursday, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published an article asserting that “tectonic shifts” were taking place in relation to who controls Al-Aqsa, with a Saudi-funded political group making dramatic inroads that could soon alter which country controls the historic mosque compound.

Sayyed Hassan Al-Qazwini told MintPress that, in his view, the current custodianship involving Jordan’s government is not ideal, as control over the Al-Aqsa mosque “should lie in the hands of its people, [and] Al-Aqsa mosque belongs Palestine;” if not, at the very least, a committee of Muslim majority nations should be formed to govern the holy site because of its importance. As for Saudi Arabia potentially receiving control over the site, Al-Qazwini told MintPress that “the Saudis are not qualified as they are not even capable of running the holy sites in Saudi Arabia itself. Every year, there has been a tragedy and many pilgrims have died during hajj time [annual Islamic pilgrimage].”

Once fringe, now approaching consensus

The threat to Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock compound, the third holiest site in Islam and of key importance to three major world religions, is the result of the dramatic growth of what was once a fringe movement of extremists. After the Six Day War, these fringe elements have fought to become more mainstream within Israel and have sought to gain international support for their religious-colonialist vision, particularly in the United States. As this article has shown, the threats to Al-Aqsa have grown significantly in the past decades, spiking in just the past few weeks.

As former Jewish Underground member Yehuda Etzion had called for decades ago, an educational and social movement aimed at gaining influence with Israeli government leadership has been hugely successful in its goal of engineering consent for a Third Temple among many religious and secular Israelis. So successful has this movement been that numerous powerful and influential Israeli politicians, particularly since the 1990s, have not only openly promoted these beliefs, and the destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, but have also diverted significant amounts of government funding to organizations dedicated to replacing the historic mosque with a new temple.

As the second and final installment of this series will show, this movement has gained powerful allies, not just in Israel’s government, but among many evangelical Christians in the United States, including top figures in the Trump administration who also feel that the destruction of Al-Aqsa and the reconstruction of a Jewish Temple are prerequisites for the fulfillment of prophecy, albeit a different one. Furthermore, given the influence of such movements on the Israeli and U.S. governments, these beliefs of active Messianism are also informing key policies of these same governments and, in doing so, are pushing the world towards a dangerous war.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism

June 27, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jussie Smollett and Jewish Hoaxes

By Israel Shamir • Unz Review • February 22, 2019

The Jussie Smollett hoax and its debunking may yet change the trend of baseless accusations. God knows, the hoaxers went too far, and it’s high time for correction. The concise list of hoaxes would be too long for this essay, but here is a small list of very recent ones. They were met by public outrage and media indignation, for very little reason, and now we may expect a downward market correction, due to overpriced stock.

Some unlikely persons already attempt to capitalise on the expected reaction in order to channel it to the preferred direction – in a very unlikely medium. Mr Noah Rothman, an editor of Commentary magazine, condemned in The New York Times the imprudent haste of media falling for the hoax. Come on, really! The NY Times is a leading propagator of similar hoaxes. Whenever there is a story of a suffering diversity person, The New York Times usually takes it and plays it to its full extent. And when the hoax is revealed, usually the newspaper mentions it on page 46, at the bottom. So why is this night different, as the Jews ask on Passover night?

Mr Rothman is all against hoaxes by coloured and gay persons, that’s why. He mentions a few of them and adds his complaint: “There have been no similar national paroxysms amid a sharp uptick in violence targeting New York City’s Jewish population… The real tragedy … that hate crimes are, in fact, on the rise in the Trump era, particularly against Jews”. He does not mind hoaxes, he minds blacks arousing paroxysms of anguish at the expense of the Jews. The Americans and Europeans should feel sorry for Jews and anger for their adversaries, and every cry and tear for a black is a waste of a good cry and tear.

Among hoaxes he mentions, there is not a single one by a Jew, yet Jews are the leading perpetrators of hoaxes. Michael Kader of Ashkelon, Israel with over two thousand hoaxes to his account claiming attacks on Jewish community centres and synagogues is the shining example, but there are plenty of them. A Jewish woman had made a hoax bomb threat to a synagogue. A Jewish man spray-painted swastikas on his own house.

For Rothman, Jews are always innocent victims, as opposed to uppity blacks, who are guilty. This bias is a hallmark of Commentary Magazine, flagship of the Neocons, and the Neocon movement was established with a highly prejudiced attitude towards the blacks. Their open anti-black racism has been their entry card into white society.

The very word ‘racism’ has been grossly devalued, like the word ‘rape’. Nowadays having mutually consensual sex amounts to rape in case of buyers’ remorse, like in the case of Julian Assange, while standing still in front of a Native American drummer is defined as ‘racism’ (BTW, Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic student, is suing the perpetrator of this hoax, the Washington Post ). When everything is ‘racism’, nothing is. However, racism (and rape) could be a real thing. The most racist anti-black rant you can find on an American internet site is not on a KKK nor a Stormfront nor a Hollywood Nazi page, but on the Commentary site. It was written by Norman Podhoretz, its editor-in-chief, and published in 1963, that is, 55 years ago.

Norman Podhoretz

In the article My Negro Problem—And Ours the founder of the Neocon movement admits of “hating the Negroes with all my heart”. He tells of his mother who “in Yiddish cursed the goyim and the Schwartzes, the Schwartzes and the goyim.” All American whites are sick in their feelings about Negroes, he asserts. He admits that he “grew up fearing and envying and hating Negroes” and this feeling hasn’t gone. “Now do I fear them and envy them and hate them still? The answer is yes, but not in the same proportions and certainly not in the same way… I know it from the disgusting prurience that can stir in me at the sight of a mixed couple; If I were to be asked today whether I would like a daughter of mine ’to marry one,’ I would have to answer: ’No, I wouldn’t like it at all. I would rail and rave and rant and tear my hair.’”

Disgusting prurience – neither more, nor less! David Duke’s views are moderate compared to Norman Podhoretz’s, but Duke is ostracized while Podhoretz was a leading light of his generation. Podhoretz nursed a special hatred of Black Muslims, while Duke was friendly with them. Despite his admitted hate of the blacks, Podhoretz felt “the insane rage … at the thought of Negro anti-Semitism”. It is fine for him to hate them, but if they hate him, it is a reason for ‘insane rage’.

Podhoretz’s views, obnoxious as they were, derive from the traditional Jewish view as stated by Maimonides (Guide for the Perplexed, 3:51), namely “the Blacks are like dumb animals; they are not fully human; they are positioned below humans, but they are above monkeys for their appearance is like human and their mind is better than that of monkeys”.

With such views, you understand why some Jewish scribes like Mr Rothman hate Black hoaxes – and here they find an echo chamber within some White groups. They just do not mention Jewish hoaxes.

However, black and gay hoaxes are annoying, that’s all. Jewish hoaxes are very dangerous and expensive. Michael Kader’s hoaxes cost the American taxpayer a great deal, for his bomb threats were translated into hundreds of millions of dollars of grants for Jewish NGOs. These funds were given by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “because the Jews are the most commonly targeted religious group in the United States.” Now we know that the Jews were targeted by their coreligionist from Ashkelon, but the funds have not been returned, with apologies. There are no statistics for the total Jewish share in the DHS’s $50 billion annual budget, but my guess it is a large one.

Presenting a frivolous remark of the freshman senator Ilhan Omar as an “antisemitic attack” is another kind of Jewish hoax, or “The Growing Anti-Semitism Scam”, in words of our colleague Philip Giraldi.

Similar scams were practiced this week in England and France with powerful results. In England, seven (now eight) Jewish and Judeophile MPs have stormed out of the Labour Party claiming Labour has been ‘infected’ with ‘anti-Jewish racism’. Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected to lead the party, it became the most numerous one in Western Europe. It became popular because it regained its ties with the British worker. And immediately its philosemitic Blairite wing began to campaign against the new leader.

Their campaign is based on the Jewish hoax of Corbyn’s alleged antisemitism and racism. This hoax is as baseless as that of Jussie Smollett’s but far more dangerous. You can watch the Al Jazeera film The Lobby Part 3 and see how an encounter between an elderly lady pro-Palestinian Labour-supporter and the head of Labour Friends of Israel was misrepresented as an “antisemitic onslaught”. Actually, Smollett is a rather innocent bloke; he bayed for sympathy, while Joan Ryan, an MP and the chair of Labour Friends of Israel has collected over million dollars from Israel Embassy’s slush fund.

The scammers want to sabotage the British people’s desire to throw off the shackles of Brussels. Their “Independent [from Brits, not from Israel] Group” is against Brexit, for NATO, for nuclear weapons, for wars overseas, for neoliberalism, and that is quite aside from the Jewish and Israeli issues. They are being joined by a few ex-Tories of similar persuasion. (My British friend heartily approved of this step, for “all the rotten apples should be in one basket”).

A Labour MP said it was “possible” that Israel is a financial backer of the breakaway Independent Group of MPs, but almost immediately recanted and apologised for the suggestion.

Many reviews of the British Labour split explain it by Corbyn’s pro-Palestinian views. Corbyn and his allies also prefer this explanation.

Another, more plausible explanation crosses the bounds of the permissible in civilised society. What the heck, let us cross it.

The British Jews overwhelmingly vote for Tories; the Jews are for Remain in the EU; Jews are for banks and international institutions. Corbyn’s Labour stands for its direct opposite. These are words of Jeremy Corbyn just before his election: They, the world’s bankers, International Monetary Fund, European Union, they are utterly united in what they want. Utterly united in deflation, suppressing the economy, and creating unemployment. The word “Jew” or “Israel” wasn’t mentioned even once, but British and American Jews think that ‘bankers’, ‘IMF’ and ‘EU’ are them. They are what they are, in the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The State of Israel is important for them, perhaps the Bible, Talmud and talith are precious, but only on Saturdays. While their identification with banks, globalism, neoliberal practice is their daily routine. Marx advised to pay attention to the Weekday Jew, rather than to the Saturday Jew. This advice is still valid.

Corbyn has no problem with Jews qua Jews; everybody in the Socialist movement is used to Jews. He is against Israeli anti-Palestinian policies, and there are Jews of such views, too (though we take a lot of beating). But being against Israeli policies AND against bankers, IMF and EU means threatening the Weekday Jew’s bread and butter.

Thirty years ago, in the formative years of Jeremy Corbyn, Jews were more to the left, and then such a policy had been possible. But now the Jews have moved to the right, or to the moneyed centre for bankers, and they would have a problem with Corbyn even if he were studying Talmud daily.

The struggle of the Seven against ‘antisemitism’ has nothing to do with their alleged anti-racism. Angela Smith, a UK MP who quit the Labour Party over alleged racism, next day was caught on live TV appearing to refer to people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as having a “funny tinge”.

Our colleague and friend Jonathan Cook of Nazareth noticed that the departing MPs are united not only by their uncritical attitude to Israel, but also by “their enthusiasm for foreign wars, for the enrichment of a narrow neo-liberal elite; [they] are ambivalent about austerity policies, and are reticent at returning key utilities to public ownership”. In other words, they are for neo-liberalism, and complaints of antisemitism serve as a cover for it.

You can read my piece Love Labours Lost explaining this rightwards shift of Jews and dismay of British Labour at the loss of erstwhile allies.

In France, the Jews greatly improved on Smollett. A French Jewish scribe Alain Finkielkraut (let us call him f-Kraut for short) had been insulted by a kuffiyeh-wearing Palestinian who marched with other brave Gilets Jaunes along a Parisian street. It was a minor event; the scribe was not beaten or roughly handled in any way; he was called ‘a dirty Zionist’, not a big deal. He is a Zionist, no doubt. Other people in the street even invited f-Kraut to join them. Pretty much a non-event. If I was writing about every occasion I was called an ‘enemy of Israel’ or ‘enemy of the Jewish people’, I’d write of nothing else for lack of time. But the reaction in France was like a million Smolletts.

“A few insults directed against a certain essayist called “philosopher” by the media are infinitely more serious than the loss of an eye by a young student in philosophy of twenty years who had done absolutely nothing wrong” – acerbically commented our friend Jean Bricmont (a partner and co-author of the columnist Diana Johnstone).

Indeed, the same day Macron’s henchmen knocked out an eye of a young Gilet Jaune; they had left another one lacking an arm; thousands were attacked by gas in what was perhaps the biggest gas assault in Europe since Ypres. But the MSM took up the case of Finkielkraut and made a Kristallnacht out of it. They claimed f-Kraut was called a “dirty Jew” and that he was almost lynched, but saved by police. (Both claims are not true; though there were cases of journalists being roughed up at the demos, and calling someone a Jew is not an offence at all, but in this case it didn’t even happen).

While doing a full Smollett, the media and President Macron went after the Gilets Jaunes, describing them as antisemites and Nazis. Thus a non-event was turned into a huge affaire; and the first real popular movement in France since 1968 was besmirched. On the same occasion, Macron explicitly equalled anti-Zionism with antisemitism and made it a criminal offence.

In addition, some unknown Smolletts painted swastikas on the Jewish cemetery, as is their wont whenever Jews wish to show they are being persecuted. I have little doubt these swastikas are painted by persons hired by this or that Jewish organisation, or by Macron’s men who wanted to amplify the f-kraut non-event.

Tens of thousands of gullible French attended a rally for f-Kraut and against antisemitism. “The fawning eagerness of the political class rushing to demonstrate against something that hardly exists”, – noted a French writer. The French political class paid no attention when a church was desecrated. But for a Jew whom somebody dissed on a street – they all marched. Media published denunciations of Yellow Vests, and Macron made a lot of political capital out of it. In purely political terms, the fallout of the f-Kraut affair could be compared to Trump’s impeachment in the wake of the Smollett shenanigans.

Mind you, this f-kraut deserved to be insulted all right. He is a French Norman (“I hate Niggers!”) Podhoretz. He spoke of “Black hatred for France”, said that “Gaza has too many children, and they have no place in the world”; ridiculed Black football players of France for being black; he is an enemy of Palestinians and of Muslims, and he does not care much for the French people either. He is known for his claim “What is good for the Jews is good for France”, for his call for segregation between Jews and Palestinians. It is amazing that a Jew with such views is considered to be “on the left”, and he is invited to TV and newspaper interviews, though he is more racist than French nationalists like Le Pen or Soral. He also wrote a nasty piece against the Gilets Jaunes, but the GJs have insulted him far less than he deserves.

In England and in France, as well as in the US, the Jews became a symbol of the present neo-liberal regime, as the scams and hoaxes make it apparent. This is more important for people here than the issue of Palestine, and unavoidable reaction to neo-liberalism will cause collapse of this Jewish role and incidentally will bring equality of Jew and Gentile to Israel/Palestine.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

February 22, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

How the rule of the rabbis is fuelling a holy war in Israel

By Jonathon Cook | February 13, 2019

In which country did a senior, state-salaried cleric urge his followers last month to become “warriors”, emulating a group of young men who had murdered a woman of another faith?

The cleric did so with impunity. In fact, he was only echoing other highly placed colleagues who have endorsed a book – again without penalty – urging their disciples to murder babies belonging to other religions.

Where can the head of the clergy call black people “monkeys” and urge the expulsion of other religious communities?

Where does a clerical elite wield so much power that they alone decide who can marry or get divorced – and are backed by a law that can jail someone who tries to wed without their approval? They can even shut down the national railway system without notice.

Where are these holy men so feared that women are scrubbed from billboards, college campuses introduce gender segregation to appease them, and women find themselves literally pushed to the back of the bus?

Is the country Saudi Arabia? Or Myanmar? Or perhaps, Iran?

No. It is Israel, the world’s only self-declared Jewish state.

Which ‘shared values’?

There is barely a politician in Washington seeking election who has not at some point declared an “unbreakable bond” between the United States and Israel, or claimed the two uphold “shared values”. Few, it seems, have any idea what values Israel really represents.

There are many grounds for criticising Israel, including its brutal oppression of Palestinians under occupation and its system of institutionalised segregation and discrimination against the fifth of its population who are not Jewish – its Palestinian minority.

But largely ignored by critics have been Israel’s increasing theocratic tendencies.

This hasn’t simply proved regressive for Israel’s Jewish population, especially women, as the rabbis exert ever greater control over the lives of religious and secular Jews alike.

It also has alarming implications for Palestinians, both under occupation and those living in Israel, as a national conflict with familiar colonial origins is gradually transformed into a holy war, fuelled by extremist rabbis with the state’s implicit blessing.

Control of personal status

Despite Israel’s founding fathers being avowedly secular, the separation between church and state in Israel has always been flimsy at best – and it is now breaking down at an ever-accelerating rate.

After Israel’s establishment, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, decided to subordinate important areas of life for Israeli Jews to the jurisdiction of an Orthodox rabbinate, representing the strictest, most traditional and conservative stream of Judaism. Other, more liberal streams have no official standing in Israel to this day.

Ben Gurion’s decision in part reflected a desire to ensure his new state embraced two differing conceptions of Jewishness: both those who identified as Jews in a secular ethnic or cultural sense, and those who maintained the religious traditions of Judaism. He hoped to fuse the two into a new notion of a Jewish “nationality”.

For that reason, the Orthodox rabbis were given exclusive control over important parts of the public sphere – personal status matters, such as conversions, births, deaths and marriages.

Biblical justifications

Bolstering the rabbis’ power was the urgent need of Israel’s secular leaders to obscure the state’s settler-colonial origins. This could be achieved by using education to emphasise Biblical justifications for the usurpation by Jews of the lands of the native Palestinian population.

As the late peace activist Uri Avnery observed, the Zionist claim was “based on the Biblical history of the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan, the kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon … Israeli schools teach the Bible as real history.”

Such indoctrination, combined with a much higher birth rate among religious Jews, has contributed to an explosion in the numbers identifying as religious. They now comprise half the population.

Today, about a quarter of Israeli Jews belong to the Orthodox stream, which reads the Torah literally, and one in seven belong to the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredim, the most fundamentalist of the Jewish religious streams. Forecasts suggest that in 40 years the latter will comprise a third of the country’s Jewish population.

‘Conquer the government’

Both the growing power and extremism of the Orthodox in Israel was highlighted in the last week of January when one of their most influential rabbis, Shmuel Eliyahu, publicly came to the defence of five students accused of murdering Aisha Rabi, a Palestinian mother of eight. Back in October they stoned her car near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, forcing her off the road.

Eliyahu is the son of a former chief rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Eliyahu, and himself sits on the Chief Rabbinical Council, which controls many areas of life for Israelis. He is also the municipal rabbi of Safed, a city that in Judaism has the equivalent status of Medina in Islam or Bethlehem in Christianity, so his words carry a great deal of weight with Orthodox Jews.

Last month, a video came to light of a talk he gave at the seminary where the five accused studied, in the illegal settlement of Rehelim, south of Nablus.

Eliyahu not only praised the five as “warriors” but told fellow students that they needed to overthrow the “rotten” secular court system. He told them it was vital to “conquer the government” too, but without guns or tanks. “You have to take the state’s key positions,” he urged them.

Law-breaking judges

In truth, that process is already well-advanced.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who should have been the first to denounce Eliyahu’s comments, is closely aligned with religious settlers. Tellingly, she and other government ministers have maintained a studious silence.

That is because the political representatives of Israel’s religious Jewish communities, including the settlers, have now become the lynchpin of Israeli coalition governments. They are the kingmakers and can extract enormous concessions from other parties.

For some time, Shaked has been using her position to bring more openly nationalistic and religious judges into the legal system, including to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court.

Two of its current 15 judges, Noam Sohlberg and David Mintz, are law-breakers, openly living in West Bank settlements in violation of international law. Several more judges appointed to the bench by Shaked are religious and conservative.

This is a significant victory for the Orthodox religious and the settlers. The court is the last line of defence for the secular against an assault on their religious freedoms and on gender equality.

And the court offers the only recourse for Palestinians seeking to mitigate the worst excesses of the violent and discriminatory policies of the Israeli government, army and settlers.

Chosen people

Shaked’s colleague, Naftali Bennett, another ideologue of the settlement movement, has been education minister in the Netanyahu government for four years. This post has long been a critical one for the Orthodox because it shapes Israel’s next generation.

After decades of concessions to the rabbis, Israel’s school system is already heavily skewed towards religion. A survey in 2016 showed 51 percent of Jewish pupils attended sex-segregated religious schools, which emphasise Biblical dogma – up from 33 percent only 15 years earlier.

This may explain why a recent poll found that 51 percent believe Jews have a divine right to the land of Israel, and slightly more – 56 percent – believe that Jews are a “chosen people”.

Those results are likely to get even worse in the coming years. Bennett has been placing much greater weight in the curriculum on Jewish tribal identity, Bible studies and religious claims to Greater Israel, including to the Palestinian territories – which he wants to annex.

Conversely, science and maths are increasingly downplayed in the education system, and entirely absent from schools for the ultra-Orthodox. Evolution, for example, has been mostly erased from the syllabus, even in secular schools.

‘No mercy’ to Palestinians

Another key sphere of state power being taken over by the religious, and especially the settlers, are the security services. Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh lived for years in a settlement renowned for its violent attacks on Palestinians, and the force’s current chief rabbi, Rahamim Brachyahu, is also a settler.

Both have actively promoted a programme, Believers in the Police, that recruits more religious Jews into the police force. Nahi Eyal, the programme’s founder, has said his aim is to help the settler community “find our way into the command ranks”.

The trend is even more entrenched in the Israeli military. Figures show that the national-religious community, to which settlers belong – though only 10 percent of the population – make up half of all new officer cadets. Half of Israel’s military academies are now religious.

That has translated into an increasing role for extremist Orthodox rabbis in motivating soldiers on the battlefield. In Israel’s 2008-09 ground invasion of Gaza, soldiers were issued with pamphlets by the army rabbinate using Biblical injunctions to persuade them to “show no mercy” to Palestinians.

Call to kill babies

Meanwhile, the rapidly growing ultra-Orthodox population has been encouraged by the government to move into West Bank settlements purpose-built for them, such as Modi’in Illit and Beitar Illit. That, in turn, is gradually fuelling the emergence of an aggressive nationalism among their youth.

Once the Haredim were openly hostile, or at best ambivalent, towards Israeli state institutions, believing that a Jewish state was sacrilegious until the Messiah arrived to rule over Jews.

Now, for the first time, young Haredim are serving in the Israeli army, adding to the pressure on the military command to accommodate their religious fundamentalist ideology. A new term for these hawkish Haredi soldiers has been coined: they are known as the “Hardal”.

Brachyahu and rabbis for the Hardal are among the senior rabbis who have endorsed a terrifying book, the King’s Torah, written by two settler rabbis, that urges Jews to treat non-Jews, and specifically Palestinians, mercilessly.

It offers God’s blessing for Jewish terror – not only against Palestinians who try to resist their displacement by settlers, but against all Palestinians, even babies, on the principle that “it is clear that they will grow [up] to harm us.”

Gender segregation expands

The dramatic rise in religiosity is creating internal problems for Israeli society too, especially for the shrinking secular population and for women.

Posters for the forthcoming election – as with adverts more generally – are being “cleaned” of women’s faces in parts of the country to avoid causing offence.

Last month, the Supreme Court criticised Israel’s Council for Higher Education for allowing segregation between men and women in college classrooms to spread to the rest of the campus, including libraries and communal areas. Female students and lecturers are facing “modesty” dress codes.

The council has even announced that it intends to expand segregation because it is proving difficult to persuade religious Jews to attend higher education.

Violence of the mob

Israel has always been a society deeply structured to keep Israeli Jews and Palestinians apart, both physically and in terms of rights. That is equally true for Israel’s large Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population, who live almost entirely apart from Jews in segregated communities. Their children are kept away from Jewish children in separate schools.

But the greater emphasis in Israel on a religious definition of Jewishness means that Palestinians now face not only the cold structural violence designed by Israel’s secular founders, but additionally a hot-tempered, Biblically sanctioned hostility from religious extremists.

That is most keenly evident in the rapid rise of physical assaults on Palestinians and their property, as well as their holy places, in Israel and the occupied territories. Among Israelis, this violence is legitimised as “price tag” attacks, as though Palestinians have brought such harm on themselves.

YouTube is now full of videos of gun- or baton-wielding settlers attacking Palestinians, typically as they try to access their olive groves or springs, while Israeli soldiers stand passively by or assist.

Arson attacks have spread from olive groves to Palestinian homes, sometimes with horrifying results, as families are burned alive.

Rabbis such as Eliyahu have stoked this new wave of attacks with their Biblical justifications. State terrorism and mob violence have merged.

Destroying al-Aqsa

The biggest potential flashpoint is in occupied East Jerusalem, where the growing symbolic and political power of these Messianic rabbis risks exploding at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Secular politicians have long played with fire at this Islamic holy site, using archaeological claims to try to convert it into a symbol of historic Jewish entitlement to the land, including the occupied territories.

But their claim that the mosque is built over two Jewish temples, the last of which was destroyed two millennia ago, has been rapidly reconfigured for incendiary, modern political purposes.

The growing influence of religious Jews in parliament, the government, the courts and the security services means that officials grow ever bolder in staking a physical claim to sovereignty over al-Aqsa.

It also entails an ever greater indulgence towards religious extremists who demand more than physical control over the mosque site. They want al-Aqsa destroyed and replaced with a Third Temple.

The gathering holy war

Slowly, Israel is transforming a settler-colonial project against the Palestinians into a battle with the wider Islamic world. It is turning a territorial conflict into a holy war.

The demographic growth of Israel’s religious population, the cultivation by the school system of an ever-more extreme ideology based on the Bible, the takeover of the state’s key power centres by the religious, and the emergence of a class of influential rabbis who preach genocide against Israel’s neighbours has set the stage for a perfect storm in the region.

The question now is at what point will Israel’s allies, in the US and Europe, finally wake up to the catastrophic direction Israel is heading in – and find the will to take the necessary action to stop it.

February 20, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish State of Israel

Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish State of Israel: Separateness, ontological uniqueness and Jewish morality are its characteristics

By Lynda Burstein Brayer | The Saker Blog | November 23, 2018

Western thinking and intellectual endeavor is very much epitomized by formality, rationality and clear boundaries or limits. These qualities no doubt derive from the Aristotelian philosophical and analytical basis of Western Christendom, in which the Excluded Middle of Aristotelian logic reigns supreme when it comes to the formulation of a thesis or argument. Aristotelian logic posits an absolute binary division between opposites. Its basic formula is an either/or contrast. Truth and falsehood are opposites: there is no half-truth or half-falsehood. This binary division permeates all other fields of quantifiable intellectual endeavor and finds expression in such opposites as good/evil, right/wrong, friend/enemy, legal/illegal, etc. There are obvious benefits to such clarity of thought, and no doubt it is this methodology which has contributed to the scientific achievements of the West. While such sharp divisions cannot always be imposed upon contingent reality because it is situational and circumstantial, rather than absolute, when this principle is violated in the law, the outcome is not only, or merely egregious, it defies ordinary human understanding and contributes to an inaccurate, if not corrupt, view of reality.

The Jewish oxymoron as an instrument of overcoming the limits set by Aristotelian logic

One of the binary opposites of Aristotelian classification in modern times is the democracy/dictatorship opposition. Democracy is recognized and understood to be of whole cloth, such that there is no such animal as a “somewhat” democratic state, or a “nearly” democratic state. A political system is not democratic if all the citizens of the country cannot participate on an equal basis. Either a political system is, or is not, democratic. Jewish genius however, has overcome this opposition with a number of oxymoronic legal definitions. The Jewish state of Israel characterizes itself as a “Jewish and democratic” state, although the latest law of the Knesset wishes to raise “Jewishness” above “democracy”. However, it must be blindingly obvious to anyone not in thrall to the ruling narratives, that when a minority of a population is regarded as hostile, is unwelcome and therefore is never part of a governing coalition, democracy must be a casualty, especially when that minority has been singled out for discriminatory and dispossessory treatment, despite the legal somersaulting of the greatest of Jewish legal minds.

The designation of Israel as an apartheid state characterized by apartheid- style laws has been accepted by leading jurists and many international organizations. As a former South African I not only know the meaning of the term in its original language of Afrikaans– separateness- but saw its effects upon the non-White population. In political practice, separate means unequal. It was only many years after my coming to Israel on aliya as a young Jewish woman and subsequent to obtaining a law degree from the Hebrew University and engaging in legal work for Palestinians, that the resemblance of Israeli legal system to South African apartheid really struck me. In fact I was quoted on the front page of the Ha’aretz intellectual daily newspaper as making this comparison. The first person to invoke the comparison was Dr. Uri Davis, an Israeli sociologist, who wrote a book called Israel: An Apartheid State.

I would like to elaborate on those elements which contribute to making Israel not only an apartheid State, apartheid being confined to the law, but rather the wider sociological cultural phenomena of discrimination in which the legal system is placed. The matrix of the society is based on force, violence, and inhumanity which derive from “values” of the Jewish religion.

The basic values of the Jewish religion as the basis of Israeli culture and politics

It can be stated without any fear of contradiction, that the Jewish state of Israel is built upon the principle of separation, which is why the apartheid comparison holds. But it must be understood how and why this is the case as well as the limits of the comparison. It is not an accident, nor a choice based merely upon economic, political or cultural considerations. Rather the principle of separation is at the heart of the Jewish religion itself and Zionism is the political expression of the Jewish religion. Normative Judaism in Israel is Rabbinical Judaism or Talmudic Judaism, which, historically, has been normative for nearly two thousand years. This is the Judaism developed by the Rabbis following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, or who were then known as the Pharisees. This Judaism is not a biblical religion: rather it is a religion based upon the interpretation of the Torah – the relevant parts of the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy – by a succession of Torah interpreters known as rabbis. I would like to stress that the bible is not normative In Judaism, that is, it is not binding nor is it obligatory for Jews: only the Talmudic rulings are binding. It is for this reason that the politically-concocted “Judeo-Christian” heritage does not hold. Christianity sees the Bible, both Old and New Testaments its standard-setting texts. Not so for Judaism. Judaism and Christianity do not share a parent/child relationship nor an older sibling/younger sibling relationship, as per the politically correct Roman Catholic Church.

The first codification of these interpretations was made in 200 CE and consisted of the six-part Mishnah. To this was subsequently added further interpretations; the Gomorrah and later, the Responsa literature – all products of Jewish community-acknowledged rabbinical experts of the law. This Judaism held a monopoly which began to be challenged only in the mid-nineteenth century in Germany as a result of the influence of what is called the Enlightenment, the source of the secularism of the West and the secularism of a majority of Western Jews, most of whom, nonetheless, have not broken with Judaism’s basic rituals of circumcision, the bar-mitzvah, Jewish divorce and burial.

The late Professor of Biblical studies at the Hebrew University, Shemaryahu Talmon, explained in a lecture to Catholic Christian Zionists, that the basic value of Judaism is the principle of separation. He illustrated his point with the binary opposites of sacred and profane, holy and unholy, Shabbat and non-Shabbat or weekdays, and, of course, kashrut, the laws governing pure and impure food and clothing. All of these pairs are exemplars of the underlying opposition of purity and impurity with purity being the ideal state.

At that meeting He did not however explicate in detail the source and full effects no doubt in deference to his audience. He left out the most significant binary opposition of Rabbinical Judaism: the Jew/Gentile or Jewish/goy opposition, the consequences of which have always been, and remain, central to Jewish life. Talmon did not explain that the principle of separation derives from kadosh – which is translated as holy, but its literal meaning is “set aside” or “separate from”. The separation that both exists and is demanded for Jews is the separation from the “impure”. God is kadosh and His people must be kadosh too. This is the significance of “chosenness” – chosen by God to have the existential quality of purity. The Jew is pure because he possesses a soul – – nefesh in Hebrew. The purpose of all Jewish ritual is to sustain the state of purity of the Jew. Jews are commanded to do all in their power to avoid being contaminated by what is considered impure. In contrast to Jews, goys or goyim, the latter having the same dictionary meaning as gentium, people, fall into the category of the impure because they are not born with souls and are therefore, existentially separated from God without any possibility of “closing the gap”. Hence in the Jewish lexicon the term goy has a pejorative meaning while gentium does not. This is the fundamental reason that the Jew is not required to the treat the goy as an equal because, according to Judaism, he is not equal. In fact, the goy is considered as chattel because chattel do not have souls. The goy is therefore not fully human. In this essay I shall only use the term goy for this reason.

This existential distinction between the Jew and the goy is reflected in the absence of a Jewish universal moral code, an absence which is not found within either Christianity or Islam. Judaism’s moral code is characterized by its particularity: it only binds Jews vis-à-vis Jews, not Jews vis-à-vis goys. The most outstanding exemplar of this system is that a Jew is not bound to save the life of a goy if saving the life requires the use of electricity or travelling in a motor vehicle, such as an ambulance, because such activities are forbidden on the Sabbath as they are considered forms or work, and a Jew may not work on the Sabbath. a Jew may do so for another Jew according to the law known as pikuah nefesh which translates as saving a soul. A Jew not only may break the Sabbath to save a Jewish soul, he is obligated to do so. Pikuah may be translated as to take care of and to oversee, and nefesh means soul: because goys do not have souls, pikuah nefesh cannot be applied. In addition, another exceptional phenomena of the Jewish moral code is that it does also not make truth binding upon the Jew with respect to the goy. There are only two instances where it is recommended that a Jew ought to tell the truth to a goy: when there is a danger to his life, or if it is in the interests of the Jew or the Jewish community.

The question may now be asked as to why this information has been placed as a prolegomena to a description and analysis of the laws and practices of the Jewish state. The reason is quite straightforward: everything that I have described does not fall within the written laws passed by the legislative body of Israel, the Knesset, but serves, rather, as the matrix in which the laws are embedded and out of which the laws spring.

The Israeli legal system

It is this background that serves to explain why Aristotelian logic does not have an exclusive hold on the Israeli legal system and why a formal legal analysis cannot, by definition, grasp the entire experiential reality of the separateness/apartheid of the Jewish state. Once the lives of goys have no more value than chattel, the Jewish Israeli legal system cannot provide value to that which has no value to Jews. The minute a Jewish/goy conflict is encountered, that which is regarded as universal morality does not apply. A personal experience of this nature found expression during a hearing on a petition I submitted to the Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice (Court of Equity concerning Administrative law and practice) requesting the voiding of a sale of Palestinian land by the majority of its owners (the land was not parcellated and therefore owned jointly by all the owners). A Justice in the hearing asked me what was wrong with an affidavit containing a blatant lie concerning the “sale” of Palestinian land to a Jew in militarily occupied territory, which is forbidden in international law. My response was that the perjury occurred to make the sale “kosher” at least in Jewish eyes. So the Justice asked what would happen if we just removed the affidavit to which I answered that the “sale” could not go through. The “sale” was not voided by the Court.

The State of Israel does not recognize the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of Civilians and hors de combat as legally binding upon it, although it is recognized as conventional international law, and not just treaty law, and hence binding upon all states. It is not that the Jewish state denies its conventional status but rather because the preamble refers to “High Contracting Parties” and the Palestinians are not, or at least were not, a High Contracting Party. This is a perfect instance of Talmudic logic – catch on to an irrelevant point and avoid the substance and rationale of the Convention. Therefore the Jewish state denies Palestinians, who are both civilians and hors de combat legal protection whilst living under a brutal military occupation whilst the Jewish appellation of the nature of the military occupation is “a benign military occupation” – one of the many oxymorons of Jewish thinking. Therefore the High Court cannot evoke this Fourth Geneva Convention to protect Palestinians in the militarily occupied territories from the Israeli army and refers instead to “humanitarian” considerations with respect to Palestinians, but never ever spells them out. But how could “humanitarian” considerations apply to Palestinians? After all they are goys, and goys have no souls and are therefore like chattel. They don’t deserve humanitarian considerations. This term therefore, in this context, is no more than flatus vocis – empty air, having no corresponding reality.

It is more than interesting to note, in contrast, that while South African apartheid was motivated by cultural concerns, not to say economic and political ones, it was not based upon an understanding that blacks and whites constitute different species of mankind. In fact, the South African government had to legislate criminal laws to prevent “miscegenation” i.e. the marriage or sexual relationships between people of different races, yet despite the attempts at prohibition, the fact is that as a result of “miscegenation”, a whole new category of “race” or “color” grew up in South Africa numbering in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. The children of such unions were called “Coloreds”.

In contrast to that situation, the marriage ratio of Jew and Arab in Israel is infinitesimal and there are no laws against it. Instead, Israel has preserved the millet system from the Ottomans, millet meaning religious community, according to which people can only marry legally within their own religious group. Naturally this was not considered discriminatory at the time, because secularism had not yet set in. “Mixed marriages” involving Israeli Jews and goys have to take place abroad or abroad by proxy. But any Jewish woman wanting to divorce a non-Jewish man and remarry a Jew, has to have a Jewish divorce. There are special types of divorces for these cases, when they are applicable. Otherwise if she remarries a Jew without obtaining a Jewish divorce, called a get, her children and their descendents will be Jewish bastards and forbidden to marry within the normal Jewish community for ten generations! The Rabbinate keeps a list of the names of bastards.

Amongst the most egregious discriminatory laws are those legislated soon after the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine. There is a full list of them with comments compiled on the Israeli Arab legal site Adalah and may be accessed by anyone interested. I shall not deal with all of them naturally, but will touch on the most outstanding of them.

One of the first and most crucial of such laws for the Jewish state is the Law of Return 1950. This is another oxymoronic manifestation of Jewish genius. This law says that Jews, who were not born in the Jewish state, may return to it because it is their “land of birth”. The term in Hebrew is moledet the root of which means “to be born”. What the law does is ignore the fact of birth outside of Israel of a Jew, that is, the de facto status of a foreign-born Jew, while assigning to him a de iure legal right of birth in the Jewish state. The legal right overcomes the fact. This translates into a situation that a Jew not born in the Jewish state may return to his land of birth of Israel where he was not born.

An Arab Palestinian refugee, born in Palestine has no right of return to the country of his birth according to the Citizenship Law. One of the mechanisms for the application of this law is the ius sanguinis – the law of blood. That is to say, that if you are born to a Jew you have acquired birthrights in Palestine whether you were born there or not. This is what accounts for the free entrance of Diaspora Jews into Israel.

The Arabs acquire citizenship in Israel according to the ius soli, that is to say, because they were born in this territory – on the soil, so to speak. But these are not inheritable rights. In other words, if a Palestinian Israeli family with Israeli citizenship moves abroad for a few years, any child born abroad has no automatic right of return to Israel, particularly as an adult. This is the law that forbids the return of the 1948 refugees and their descendants. But it must be understood that this law is crucial in order to have a Jewish state in Palestine. You have to keep out Palestinians to keep Israel Jewish.

A second crucial law, also from 1950 is the Absentees Property Law concerned the dispossession of Arab private property within the Jewish State. The state invented a new category of persons, who, despite enjoying de iure property rights prior to the creation of the Jewish state, suddenly found themselves deprived of property rights, a status unheard of elsewhere in the world, seeing as the central significance of the scope of property rights is erga omnes – rights against anyone encroaching on these property rights. Jewish genius not only managed to by-pass this exclusionary factor but transformed the de iure right into a de facto issue with the wave of a pen contingent upon a factual situation. What the Jewish law created was a new status of a “present absentee” for the Arab property owner another somersault defying Aristotle’s Excluded Middle without any difficulty whatsoever. What is a “present absentee”? Well, first of all only an Arab can be an “absentee”, an Arab born in Palestine or in the Ottoman Empire before Palestine was extruded from Greater Syria. It never applies to a Jew born in Palestine nor to Jewish immigrant to Palestine nor to Jews who live abroad but who own property in Israel. The “absentee” of the law, through its labyrinthine twists refers to Arabs who own property in Palestine/Israel but who were absent from their homes, even if for only one day during a period beginning on the 29th November 1947 – even before the Jewish state existed. It refers to those people who fled from the war, who were in “enemy territory” in Palestine and those who were expelled from Palestine itself or were ordered to leave their homes by the Jewish forces. That is to say, even someone who was “absent” from his home since that date, continuing through the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, but who managed to remain in the Jewish State of Israel, lost his property rights. The villages in Northern Galilee of Ikrit and Bir’in are examples of their populations being expelled by the Jewish forces and who were prevented from returning when the war was over. For the purposes of all other laws in Israel, a Palestinian Arab is “present” in the Jewish state. I estimate that Palestinians have lost more than 90 % of their privately owned land. Since then, the Town Planning Law has been eating away at the rest.

The latest laws which have caused stirs abroad concern the downgrading of the Arabic language from being an official language – in law – but never in practice. And the other law, the National Law posits that the Jewish state of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish nation leaving out all reference to the Palestinian Arab population but I am not sure how it is going to be applicable, particularly as there are other discriminatory pracises to do its business.

The Discriminatory administration of non-discriminatory Laws

What I would like to bring to the reader’s attention here is where the repugnant discrimination, humiliation and deprivation are felt on a daily basis. It must be understood that the outcomes of administrative decisions are deliberate and the destruction they wreak is foreseeable. Administrative law, that is to say, those norms governing the actual administration or laws, is based on equity. Included in equity is treating equals equally, justice, fairness, honesty, and using the law for the said purposes of the law itself. These values are included in what is called “discretionary power”. Discretion is one of the difficult or “hard” issues in laws because it is a power, yet a power which is exercised contingent upon circumstances and the judgment of the person or persons wielding that power. The greatest danger with discretionary power is that it may veer towards its opposite very quickly which is arbitrary power. It is at this juncture of the law and equity that one finds the intrusion of those norms characteristic of Judaism. Compared to the total number of laws on Israel’s law books, the actual number of discriminatory laws, or sections of laws, is not very large, although key with respect to certain subjects, such as land use, ownership, disposition and rights to family. Where the real, hard, anti-Arab forces kick in is in the discretionary or arbitrary application of laws which in themselves make no reference at all to either Jew or Arab.

The budget of the government is unashamedly discriminatory and funds are not distributed proportionately amongst Jews and Arabs. Naturally there has been an unbroken verbal against this situation, but the Arabs have no power at all to change anything. It is important to take cognizance of the fact that no Jewish government has ever gone into coalition with an Arab party in order to form a majority government. This is, or would be, considered treason, to put it mildly. Therefore they have no way of influencing governmental decisions. Although the Arabs constitute approximately one-fifth i.e. 20.9% of the population, their fraction of the national cake, so to speak, is nowhere near proportional to their numbers. See reliable figures from those compiled by the Adva non-profit organization and and from the Mossawa non-profit organization – both of them highly reliable sources. An internet search for budgetary discrimination against Arabs in Israel will yield a rich treasure.

With the discrimination in the budget as the starting point, and keeping it in mind, I would like to concentrate on other areas where this administrative apartheid is not only apparent, but which has had, and continues to have, disastrous effects upon the Arab population in Israel, not to speak of the Occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Arab Land Use

Arab land ownership has been exponentially diminished in the Jewish State. The following is an excellent article on how this was achieved but it is not my intention to further explicate this subject.

I shall only deal with the actual use of Arab-owned land because this remains the chief instrument of deprivation financially and socially as well as actual emotional suffering affecting a person’s well-being, under Israel’s apartheid. The prime weapon in this on-going war against Arab Israeli citizens is the Building and Planning Law of 1965. That it is old-fashioned and dates from the time of the British mandate in its approach, utterly undemocratic, top heavy with apparatchiks, has not prevented its usefulness to the Jewish population. Israel has set up new towns all over Israel proper as well as in the Occupied territories with modern, admirable infrastructure and public spaces. I believe that within the Jewish community women and Jewish institutions may have an input. The importance of this law lies in the fact that it is used as the main administrative tool of control over the Arab population. Town Planning is the central and main tool used for urbanization and therefore modernization, industrialization, socialization and economic development. It developed as a result of the industrial revolution, mass production and urbanization of the peasants and it plays a critical role in a country’s development. Israel has settled most nearly all of its Jewish population – most of which is of course an immigrant population in cities, towns and what are called development towns crucially located within the country according to perceived needs of Jewish society.

In contrast the Arab community has had no town planning in the modern meaning of the word and neither do Arabs have any planning rights. They are also not consulted as to the needs of the communities. The town planners are 90% Jewish with an occasional Arab brought in for appearances sake and their “planning” is devoted to the inhibition of growth Arab “towns” or overgrown villages. The Arab “towns” are actually “townships” equivalent to the South African black townships. I remember Alexandra township just north of Johannesburg way back when. A “township” lacks modern planning for modern facilities and modern land disposition: there is no proper infrastructure of any kind: sewage, drainage, electricity, road design, transportation facilities, and no proper land parcellation and zoning! Modern cadastral zoning takes into account current ownership and possibilities of parcellation, allocation of uses of land and can increase building space. As a striking example, on land taken from Arab owners in the Galilee to build a Jewish settlement as part of the “judaization of the Galilee” building rights on Jewish parcels can range well above 100% as a result of permission to build upwards, while on Arab land in the identical vicinity it was 20%. This is repeated in the entire country. Modern land use builds to height and creates separate private properties within single buildings called condominiums. In Hebrew it is called cooperative housing. Arab land has not been zoned to permit this multiplication of space within the “town” or village limits. In the township in which I live, the population of which is approximately 30,000, there are not more than five buildings taller than three storeys! No public housing has been erected in any of them, no public facilities have been developed and there are no parks, no proper sidewalks nor parking arrangements. It is all higgledy-piggledy. And this is not because the Arabs do not know how to plan or how to build. In contrast to the South African townships where the housing is often leantos, Arab private housing is built up to the most modern standards and can be exceptionally elaborate with attention to aesthetic details. But the building is at strangulation levels. The main intended effect of the lack of planning is that it is almost impossible to get a building license. So the vast majority of all homes are built without licenses: according to the law they can be destroyed by administrative decision. And many are. Many organizations have spoken up against house demolition but they have not questioned the basic cause of such demolitions. Jewish town planning is based on the principle, according to them, of “natural increase”. This principle is totally absent from the town planning for Arabs and one could say that its opposite governs town planning considerations: rather than expansion the aim is restriction and constriction.

Another outcome of this approach is that there is no distinction between industrial zones and city and residential uses of land. What this means, is that the infrastructure required for certain industries, such as the food canning industry, is absent where an Arab has managed to set up a factory. The lack of sewage facilities leads to land pollution with the intendant fines imposed by the government for “breaking the laws”.

The municipal courts are packed full of Arab “scoff law” cases about homes built without building permits. The list of cases in the Jerusalem municipal court hardly mentions Jews and when it does, it is for building a verandah without a license or something similarly negligible.

On the other hand, new Jewish towns and settlements have been planned and built on Arab land such as to not only dispossess Arab owners, but to literally trespass into actual housing. The land allocated to a Jewish settlement includes huge “border” land swathes of hundreds of meters which are not necessarily needed or used for building, but the purpose of which is to prevent Arab building. A visit to the town of Sakhnin illustrates this perfectly. The Jewish settlement is built at the top of the hill whilst its border went through the Arab home’s living room in which I sat at the bottom of the hill.

In another Arab “town plan” a line was drawn through a plot dividing it with no rhyme or reason. It imposed an almost unbearable burden on the owners of the land, because they could not use the land properly. After eight years there were murmurings of it having been a mistake, just like that, but no change was made to the plan.

In a word, every single decision concerning Arab town planning is based on an attempt to make life as difficult and as uncomfortable as possible for Arabs. It also is completely arbitrary and therefore there are no logical or coherent arguments that one can use which are persuasive within the system. Outside the system their rationale is obvious, but not within it and there are no officials to whom they may turn for salvation. And this rationale cannot be used in the courts.

Another result is that there is no building inspectorate because if there is no town plan permitting building, why do you need inspectors? However a vacuum has not been left: in place of an inspectorate used to enhance living, there is a policing of illegal buildings – not for the purposes of safety, efficiency of use, functionality or aesthetics, but rather for the purpose of imposing fines to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per building. The state sues the person who built illegally, and as a consequence, after a show trial, the owner finds himself having to pay a fine which is about ten or twenty times the size of his monthly earnings. Naturally this is deliberate. Not only shall an Arab man not have his castle, but he shall not have the means to even live comfortably, if not at all lavishly. After one has been present in many of these hearings, they are so transparently evil that it becomes unbearable.

I would like to interject my own personal experience in the municipal court of Jerusalem, in my attempt to prevent the demolition of a home built without a license. The judge was an American Jew who had come on aliya to Israel so he and I shared at least the same language barriers, if not the same language. In defense of my client I quoted a South African court decision, S v. Govender, 1982 of the Transvaal Supreme Court, reported as 1986 (3) SA 969 (T)concerning the Urban Areas Act, which determined which areas or towns or neighborhoods were reserved for which racial groups. Govender, an Indian, had moved into a White area in Johannesburg and the State wished to expel him from that area. Justice Goldstone argued that seeing that housing was a basic need of a human being, and that there was no housing available for Govender, it would be unjust to expel him from the only housing he could find. This case marked the beginning of the collapse of the Urban Areas Act. I used this case, mutatis mutandis, in favor of my client, arguing that there was no housing available for him and that as he owned the land upon which he had built, but which had been zoned as “open landscape area” – a designation absent in all Jewish town plans – he built his house under duress, which is a mitigating circumstance of the Israeli criminal code, in order to protect his family. If the state wanted to destroy this house, it would have to provide alternative dwelling for my client.

Nobody had ever argued this before, and I understand that this was taken up to the Supreme Court behind the scenes, where my argument being dismissed on the grounds that “it was not from Israel’s legal system”. Naturally the moral and existential values included in it played no rôle in the court’s decision rejecting my argument. But there was a quite unexpected outcome to this case. I was called into the Justice’s chambers a short while thereafter and he told me he was leaving the municipal court and going to the family court. When I asked him the reason for this move he looked at me and said “How long can a man sign demolition orders for family homes?”

I wanted to cry and still do, even while writing this. Why? I believe that this Jewish principle of separation, this principle that determines that Jews are not the same species as goys, enforces a psychopathy on its adherents. The justice could not bear what he was doing, so he just ran away. He did not stop and stand up and ask what the hell was going on? Why the hell was a state destroying the housing of human beings? Yet he knew that it was wrong. He knew that it was evil.

It is for this reason that I believe that Zionism has wrought the destruction of the Jewish heart. After all, what is touched when we see the suffering of others? Our hearts. And I discovered that this heartlessness was not confined to Arabs. In a labor case, I represented a man of about 63 who was the head of a government hospital kitchen accused of stealing food. The “food” stolen was the leftovers of chicken soup the bones of which had been through three preparations, together with leftover vegetables on his and others’ plates. He took this “food” home for the thirteen cats which his mentally ill wife looked after in her madness. He was a religious Jew and would not consider putting her in a mental home. The reason for the accusation was that someone wanted his job. After I clarified the nature of the food and provided his history, his having been through four camps during the war, and his wife having lived underground in hiding for a couple of years, I burst out into tears, pointing out how grotesque the entire process was in all its aspects. The prosecutor replied by telling me “not to be so emotional” and my reply to her was that as soon as I no longer felt emotional about human suffering, I would give up the profession of law. I did win the case however, and the judge in the trial always spoke to me fondly when we met in other venues.

This hardness of heart finds expression with respect to the marriage of Arabs – both Christian and Moslem. There is no overall protection of non-Jewish marriage either in the Jewish state or in the militarily occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel controls all ports and points of entry and exist into the Palestinian territory east of the River Jordan. The Jewish State treats some non-Jewish marriages as neither sacred nor as the basic building block of society. On the contrary. For twelve years now, marriage between Arabs with Israeli citizenship who live in Israel proper with spouses from either the militarily occupied West Bank and Gaza or even from abroad receive no conjugal rights in the Jewish State of Israel. Therefore an Israeli Arab has no rights to create a family in Israel if his spouse is from Palestinian territories or from abroad. West Bank Arabs are not allowed to bring in spouses from Jordan or elsewhere. In other words, Israel does its best to limit demographic growth of Arabs under its control. The hardships are unbearable in most cases: some couples have to split up, others lose their homes and/or their livelihood, are split off from families etc. etc. The barrier wall built on Palestinian land to protect Israel has split towns, village, families and homes to an egregious extent. It can take up to one or two hours for people to make a one-way trip to the other side of the wall.

It is clear therefore that there is a profound cruelty and inhumanity at the basis of the Israeli system and as the one example I gave demonstrated, it is not always confined to Arabs, except in 99% of the cases.

What can be observed from this overview of interlocking fields of endeavor, is that the Jewish regime in Palestine has done and continues to deprive Palestinians of many of their rights in law as well as their rights as human beings. Is it unreasonable to suspect that the Jewish regime has not let up in its efforts to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its non-Jewish residents, following the huge success of the Naqba or Catastrophe, as the Arabs call it, in 1948 when 90% of the Arab Palestinian population was expelled from Jewish-controlled Palestine?

I have been asked as to what I consider to be the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There will never be a freely-agreed upon political solution unless the Jews admit to their theft and destruction of Palestine which nobody can see happening. But I do see Israel “bleeding” its Ashkenazi or “white” population leaving behind a far weaker country with no proper ruling elite. In this case, I do not see how a Jewish State will survive, despite its being a creation of the international banking cartel.

The author is an Israeli lawyer who has represented Palestinians in the Israeli courts. She has lived in Israel/Palestine for over fifty years and considers herself political dissident and lives in an Arab township. She writes out of her own experiences.

November 28, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Jewish Past vs Jewish State

Young Palestinians protestors at the Gaza border carry signs in Hebrew: “Soldier, we are not objects, we are human beings.’
By Gilad Atzmon | May 14, 2018

Zionism promised to solve the Jewish problem. It vowed to fix Diaspora Jews by means of a ‘homecoming,’ to make the Jews loved, empathic, bond them to the soil; in essence, to make them ‘people like all other people.’

The horrific scenes flooding in from Gaza today demonstrate that Zionism failed miserably. The Jewish State is an embarrassment to its original humanist endeavour and to humanity in general.

Just today, at least 43 Palestinian protestors have been killed and 2,200 wounded by Israeli troops at the Gaza border. Some reports suggest that half of the injuries were caused by live ammunition. This is  devastating news. The criminality of Israel is institutional. This is not about one odd sniper who laughs as he shoots a young Palestinian in the knee, crippling him for life. Israel is displaying a systematic hierarchic murderous apparatus designed to sustain the oppression of the indigenous people of the land for an unlimited period.

Despite the Zionist dream, the Jewish state isn’t loved by its neighbours. It isn’t loved by the rest of the world either. In fact Israel’s actions evoke global repulsion. Instead of solving the Jewish problem, Zionism has only relocated the problem and amplified the symptoms it vowed to eliminate.

Truth can be a disturbing notion; no matter how much you try to suppress it, truth manages to come out. Accordingly, it is impossible to grasp the history of Jewish suffering without taking into consideration the atrocious actions of the Jewish state.  As it happens, Israeli politics is driven by a complete dismissal of the other. The Israeli military operation in Gaza is simply a license to murder. One would hope that a state that names itself the Jewish State would be slightly more vigilant with its excessive  use of power.

By now I believe that Israel is going to be remembered as the darkest chapter in Jewish history and beyond.

May 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Zionism: Imperialism in the Age of Counter-revolution

Coercive Engineered Migration: Zionism’s War on Europe (Part 2 of an 11 Part Series)

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin | Dissident Voice | January 17, 2016

During the 1920s General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin formulated what he considered to be the essential contribution of Lenin to Marxist political economy. Leninism, he wrote, is Marxism in the era of proletarian revolution. Since 1989 proletarian and national liberation revolutions throughout the world have been overturned by a general, global counter-revolutionary upsurge. It is a counter-revolutionary upsurge that has seen the onslaught of US colour revolutions, which seek to do away with the bourgeois nation-state itself, the last barrier to the total exploitation of the world by the global corporate and financial elite.

In this essay we have argued that the contemporary form of this counter-revolutionary ideology, of this imperial drive for global domination, is Zionism. One could therefore assert that Zionism is imperialism in the age of capitalist counter-revolution. In other words, Zionism is the very form of contemporary Western imperialism. Therefore, unlike Russian and Chinese imperialism, Western imperialism or Zionism has both a religious and ethnic dimension. Zionism is a Messianic and racist ideology based on Talmudic Judaism.

Zionism, through its control of Western finance capitalism, is striving for global governance. Lenin, writing in 1915, described as ‘indisputable’ the fact that ‘development is proceeding towards monopolies, hence, towards a single world monopoly, towards a single world trust’. But Lenin also pointed out that this drive towards unipolar global power would also intensify the contradictions in the global economy. A cogent example of this today is the low-intensity covert war currently being waged by the United States/Israel against Germany: The Western imperial alliance is turning on itself.

However, no people’s resistance to Zionism can be mounted if the empire continues to outsmart its opponents. The aforementioned General Barnett understands his enemies well. He used to teach Marxism in Harvard university and has written a book comparing the African policies of the German Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Romania. In his book Blueprint For Action, he points out that the father of Fourth Generation Warfare is Mao Tse Tung. Imperial grand strategy is now waging war using techniques developed during the Chinese revolution, one of the greatest anti-colonial struggles in history. The key for anti-imperialist resistance today is, therefore, to understand how to turn the tools of imperialism against imperialism.

Marxism is a useful and indispensable tool but is insufficient for an full understanding of the complexities of the information age in the context of imperial strategy and tactics. Barnett and many other US and Israeli military strategists are keen students of social psychology, and in particular General Boyd’s OODA Loop Theory. The OODA stands for observation, orientation, decision, action. According to Boyd, decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby “get inside” the opponent’s decision cycle and gain the advantage.

One could see this psychology at work during the Arab Spring. The rigid ideological orientation of the average ‘leftist’ saw the uprisings in Tunisia as proof that people were rebelling against a US-backed dictator and his ‘neo-liberal’ regime. This interpretation was reinforced by strategically placed ‘critics’ of US-foreign policy in the news station of Zionism’s ancillary regime, Qatar, while the initial indifference of the Western press confirmed the interpretation of the Tunisian revolt as a genuine, grass roots uprising against US imperialism.

US and Israeli strategists were capable of doing this through their deep understanding of ‘leftist’ discourse. They also understood that the ‘anti-globalisation’ form of the protest movement would fool genuine critics of US imperialism, thereby impeding their ability to react to the US-orchestrated revolutions in a rational manner.

In the Arab Spring, inverted Marxian dialectics, Systems Theory, Psychology, Military Science and Utility Theory were waged against a feckless and discombobulated anti-war movement who would repeat the sound bites of ‘popular uprising’ and the ‘defeat of US imperialism in the Middle East’ implanted in their minds by one of the most impressive and successful US/Israeli geostrategic operations in modern history.

On the eve of NATO’s bombing of Libya, the BBC predictably called upon an old reliable ‘critic of US foreign-policy’ Noam Chomsky. The veteran American philosopher agreed that the West had a “duty” to “stop the massacres” in Libya thus ensuring there would be no moral outrage among the so-called anti-war movement. The invitation of Noam Chomsky by the Zionist-controlled BBC shows the importance for British intelligence of ideologically disarming potential ‘leftist’ opponents in the run-up to meticulously planned wars of aggression, disguised as ‘humanitarian interventions’.

Given Chomsky’s anarchist ideology, the very ideology instrumentalised by the CIA in colour revolutions, the BBC knew he would go along with their fake ‘popular uprising’ in Benghazi, thus providing justification to wage ‘humanitarian’ warfare in support of the ‘revolution’.

In 2013, a massive military destablisation of Brazil was undertaken by US NGOs, operating under the guidance of the CIA, in order to weaken the popularity of a government moving far too close to Russia and China in the eyes of Washington. Again, the CIA’s ‘Vinegar revolution‘ received full support from most ‘leftist’ quarters. Once again, military geostrategy had triumphed over anti-imperialist analysis.

The current refugee crisis proves that US/Israeli military geostrategy is running circles around its opponents, who, instead of identifying the culprits who are using human beings as weapons, are unwittingly collaborating with Zionism’s plan to inundate Europe with migrants for the purposes of fomenting civil war in the European peninsula, in a desperate effort to prevent Eurasian integration, a prospect inimical to what the Pentagon refers to as ‘full spectrum dominance’, US/Zionist global hegemony.

Those who have joined in the chorus of welcoming the refugees/migrants are unwitting participants in an extension of Zionism’s neo-colonial wars in Africa and the Middle East. They are also complicit in the endorsement and cover-up of a modern slave trade. Opposing imperialism requires study of the logic of its geostrategic operations. Imperialism’s deliberate flooding of Europe with a Wahhabised lumpen-proletariat from a war-torn Southern Hemisphere will not help the cause of labour, the cause of human freedom. Rather, it will contribute to prevent the unification of the European-peninsula with Russia and Asia. It will contribute towards the further colonisation and destruction of independent African and Middle Eastern nations such as Eritrea and Syria.

An example of Marxist Leninist parties’ inability to deal with imperialism’s weaponization of migrants comes from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist). Their argument in favour of immigration is sound under normal circumstances but they fail to address the problem of when immigration becomes a tool of imperialism, a specific geopolitical strategy aimed at destabilizing both the country of origin and the destination of the migrant.

The recent resolution of the CPGBML is worth reproducing here in full:

This party firmly believes that immigration is not the cause of the ills of the working class in Britain, which are solely the result of the failings of the capitalist system.

Immigration and asylum legislation and controls under capitalism have only one real goal: the division of the working class along racial lines, thus fatally weakening that class’s ability to organise itself and to wage a revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of imperialism.

These controls have the further effect of creating an army of ‘illegal’ immigrant workers, prey to super exploitation and living in dire conditions as an underclass, outside the system, afraid to organise and exercising a downward pull on the wages and conditions of all workers.

The scourge of racism, along with all other ills of capitalism, will only be finally abolished after the successful overthrow of imperialism. But since immigration can no more be abolished under capitalism than can wage slavery, our call should not be for the further control and scapegoating of immigrants, but the abolition of all border controls, as part of the wider fight to uproot racism from the working-class movement and build unity among workers in Britain, so strengthening the fight for communism.

The problem here is that no distinction is made between immigration into imperialist countries and immigration into semi-colonial type countries. For example, Syria has been forced to close its borders due to the passage of terrorists in the service of imperialism. In such circumstances, it would be ludicrous to condemn the Syrian government for erecting fences to protect its borders. Similarly, Hungary, a small country which has just taken modest steps towards escaping from the clutches of US imperialism under the control of the IMF, has decided to erect fences to protect its borders from what it perceives as an attempt by US imperialism to destablize the country. Under these conditions, such a decision is entirely justified. The CPGBML argues correctly that “the scourge of racism, along with all other ills of capitalism, will only be finally abolished after the successful overthrow of imperialism.”  The erection of fences in Hungary is part of that fight against imperialism, when migrants are clearly being used as weapons of imperialist strategy against recalcitrant nation-states.

The fact that Zionism is using the refugee crisis to further its imperialist agenda does not mean, however, that all refugees in the world are being used for this purpose. Rather, just as in the Arab Spring where the social inequalities of capitalism were used by imperialism to further the cause of capitalism, so are many refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa being used for the same purpose.

Throughout the world Homo sapiens is being supplanted by homo economicus: a vacuous, brain-washed, rootless cosmopolitan, a deterritorialised and acculturated nomad, hopelessly blown hither and thither by the exigencies of capital. Meanwhile, Zionism continues to stoke up the incessant and utterly fraudulent ‘War on Terror’, with omnipresent mass surveillance of the “nations” (goyim) while at the same time Jews are being encouraged by the Israeli regime to leave Europe for settlement on Arab lands, ruined and depopulated by Zionism’s wars.

The ‘refugee crisis’ is indubitably one more step towards the creation of a Greater Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu recently told the Israeli National News that Israel must become a “world power”.

To politically correct pundits, Victor Orban’s fence might appear inhumane and xenophobic, but at this moment in history the concrete choice presented to us is between temporary fences designed to protect nations from imperialism or Zionist walls built to imprison humanity.

Part I

January 17, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Zionist Power: Swindlers and Impunity, Traitors and Pardons

By James Petras | November 24, 2015

We work so hard to establish ourselves and to get where we are and to have somebody (Jonathan Pollard) screw it up… and then have Jewish organizations line up behind this guy and try to make him out a hero of the Jewish people, it bothers the hell out of me…

— Admiral Sumner Shapiro, US Navy Rear Admiral who served as Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence (1978-82), Washington Post, 6/16/2008

We … feel obligated to go on record with the facts regarding Pollard in order to dispel the myths that have arisen from the clever public relations campaign… aiming at transforming Pollard from greedy, arrogant betrayer of the American national trust into Pollard committed Israeli patriot.

— Sumner Shapiro, William Studeman, John Butts and Thomas Brooks, former Directors of Naval Intelligence cited in Ronald Olive, Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How one of the Most Notorious Spies in American History Was Brought to Justice, Annapolis Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 248.

Over two decades ago, Harvard political science professor, Samuel Huntington, argued that global politics would be defined by a ‘clash of civilizations’. His theories have found some of the most aggressive advocates among militant Zionists, inside Israel and abroad.

During the past month, the Israeli regime has been slaughtering and wounding thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel. The Israeli state terrorists, who commit mass murder in Palestine, are part of a movement that sees an inevitable mortal final battle between Zionism and the Islamic and Western world.

Many Western democratic leaders have questioned Huntington’s prognosis and discreetly refuted the Zionist belief that different faiths and cultures cannot live and work together.

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, leading Western Zionist ideologues have argued that, while liberal values should be reaffirmed, the US and EU leaders must recognize ‘malign global Islamic trends’. Influential Western Zionist journalists and ideologues, who dominate the mass media, argue that ‘hardline Islamism’ is on the rise, even in previously moderate Muslim countries like Turkey, Malaysia and Bangladesh… These ideologues (for example Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times ) systematically avoid commenting on the rise of hardline Zionism in its most racist form in Israel and the conversion of formerly moderate Zionist organizations into willing accomplices of Israeli state terror against a captive people.

Together, these developments in Israel and among the major Zionist organizations in the US and the European Union have limited the space for critics of the ‘clash of civilizations’ dogma.

State terror assaults, such as those taking place daily in Palestine, incite tensions between Zionists and non-Zionists – and that is their intent. Larger structural and systemic forces are at work and are driving Zionist radicalization. One of the most pernicious is the way in which wealthy US and EU Zionist individuals and organizations, in particular the Presidents of the 52 Major American Jewish Organizations, have used their economic power to spread the most intolerant forms of Judaism into the rest of the Western World.

The effects are now visible in the major political institutions and media of the US, England and the Continent. Previously, France was held up as an example of a successful multi-cultural nation – a dubious assumption as any historian of colonial France can testify. But that image is rapidly changing. Influential Zionists have fomented widespread Islamophobia and authored legislation restricting free speech which has outlawed criticism of Israel as ‘anti-Semitism’.

French civil libertarians have noted that political and social space has increasingly narrowed for ‘non-Zionists’, especially for anyone critical of Israel’s state terrorism. In other words, there is immense pressure in France to ‘keep quiet’ or self-censor in the face of Zionist racist brutality – so much for Les Droits de L’Homme et Du Citoyen.

For over a decade, Zionist influence, especially from Israel’s far-right Netanyahu regime, has eroded the French version of ‘moderate Zionism’, replacing it with a more doctrinaire, exclusivist and authoritarian version. World-wide condemnation of Israel’s massacre of over 4,000 entrapped Palestinians in Gaza, the world largest prison camp, led the Netanyahu regime to resort to a virulent Zionist version of ‘identity politics’ to rally support for the slaughter – or enforce silence among the horrified. Israeli Cabinet ministers recently denounced US President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry as ‘anti-Semites’ for their administration’s negotiations over Iran. Numerous prestigious rabbis have blessed the killing of unarmed Palestinians. A prominent Israeli jurist, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked urged the killing of Arab women so they would not give birth to ‘little snakes’. Israeli-Jewish judges have exonerated Israeli soldiers, police, and settlers for killing Palestinian children – even unarmed teenage Arab girls hysterical over their brutal humiliation. And world public opinion is ordered to ‘move along, look away, nothing for you to see here…’

All the major overseas Jewish organizations have marched in step. In the United States, a country with a democratic constitution and centuries-old Bill of Rights, self-styled ‘mainstream Zionists’ have defended Israeli spies and criminals, as well as un-extraditable swindlers, and organized nation-wide networks of university, professional and business organizations to demand the firing of colleagues and to suppress free speech and free assembly of Israel’s critics.

First and foremost, major Zionist organizations and leaders have stoked the fire of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racist rhetoric, which has become commonplace in the mass media and among Republican candidates engaged in the current Presidential nomination campaign.

The convergence of these developments in Israel and among the Zionist power configuration in North America, Europe and the Middle East is fueling the idea of a ‘clash of civilizations’.

The ideological marriage of Herzl and Huntington is fast eroding the former reality of Jewish and non-Jewish integration and intermingling across the globe. The alternative to a plural civilization is more primitive and brutal injustice, violence and death.

Contemporary Manifestations of Zionist Power: The Release of the Most Damaging Spy-Traitor in US History

On November 20, 2015, former Naval Intelligence Analyst, Jonathan Pollard, the American-Jewish spy for Israel, was freed by the Obama regime under Zionist pressure after repeated refusals by three Republican and one Democratic President and over the objections of the heads of all 27 major US intelligence agencies. The significance of this release has to be viewed against the history of Pollard’s crimes.

Fabricating Lies to Justify Obama’s Release of Pollard

The mass media and the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations (AIPAC, ADL, etc…), claim that 1) Pollard committed espionage against US security for ‘altruistic reasons’ — a deep concern for Israel’s security and because US intelligence agencies had refused to share crucial information with Israel’s intelligence counterparts (out of anti-Semitism), 2) the information Pollard handed over had no lasting harm and did not endanger US security, and 3) Pollard’s punishment was ‘excessive’, his ‘repentance’ was sincere and his example precluded any future Israeli espionage activity against the US. These assertions are completely false.

Pollard was a mercenary, spying against the US out of greed. He lived a decadent, expensive lifestyle and had demanded the Israelis pay him a total package of over $250,000 for his work. The Israeli Embassy was known to have paid Pollard, a US Naval Analyst, to spy against the United States government. Court records reveal that he collected over $50,000 for ‘expenses’ during his espionage career, including expensive jewelry, and a monthly stipend of $2500. Court records furthermore reveal that he offered to sell additional secret documents to Pakistan, Apartheid South Africa, Australia, Russia and some Middle East countries. He collected dozens of box-loads of confidential documents, many of which had nothing to do with the ‘security of Israel’, but were deemed essential to US global security, including a top secret ten volume set of National Security Agency high level codes exposing the most advanced means and methods of espionage and the main targets of intelligence collection. Some of his ‘vacuumed-up’ treasure trove included the identity of US intelligence operatives and assets in Warsaw pact countries and the Soviet Union. The 27 US intelligence agencies have consistently opposed Pollard’s release because his sale of this information to the Israelis led to the capture and execution of US operatives after Israel handed over this top-secret information to the Soviet Union in exchange for allowing Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel in massive numbers. Needless to say, this treason crippled US intelligence operations and led to deaths. US military and intelligence officials view Pollard as having ‘blood on his hands’. So much for the ‘altruistic American Zionist keen on helping insecure, little Israel.’ Years of Zionist propaganda and lobbying have obscured this aspect of Pollard’s crimes.

Excessive Punishment or Excessive Leniency?

Far right Israeli Cabinet Ministers and liberal American Jews, supporters and opponents of Pollard, pundits and editorialists argue that the life imprisonment given to Pollard was out of proportion to the crime of treason. They claim that, after 30 years, he was ‘overdue’ for release.

The severity of the punishment is determined by the crime and the damage caused. In case of treason and espionage committed by US officials, (especially for money), the sentence is always severe. The leaders of the John Anthony Walker Naval spy ring were given multiple life sentences in 1985 and there are many other similar cases.

Among the documents Pollard handed over to his Israeli handlers (operating out of the Israeli Embassy), was US intelligence on strategic installations in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. No doubt, this provided Israel with strategic coordinates to bomb major security facilities in those countries as well as facilitated their brutal invasion and occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s. Pollard’s treachery led to the death of thousands of civilian lives in Lebanon and facilitated the wars in Iraq and Syria. The damage to those countries and to innocent people would not have been considered by the judge in Pollard’s life sentence – but it must be considered here, in understanding the enormity of his crimes. Pollard has boasted that he was operating out of a ‘racial imperative’ to protect Israel.

Pollard did not serve a life sentence. In fact, while in prison he became an Israeli citizen, a salaried officer in the Israeli armed forces and, after divorcing his American wife (who had also engaged in espionage for pay and served several years in prison), he re-married a Canadian-Israeli woman. This sheds a different light on the ‘severity’ of a life sentence for treason.

Pollard did not serve this ‘life sentence’. He was paroled in November 2015 (to the cheers of his adoring Jewish-American fans) demonstrating the wealth and power of American Zionists and their ability to buy the support of US politicians, domestic and foreign notables and the entire Israeli-Jewish political spectrum-and push aside the objections of the heads of the three major US armed services and intelligence agencies.

Israeli public opinion overwhelmingly supports Pollard and regards him as a ‘role model’ for other US Zionists in official positions. Contrary to Israeli lies, several other major Israeli spy operations occurred in the US after Pollard, including the case involving AIPAC officials, Rosen and Weissman, and Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin during George W. Bush’s administration.

In stark contrast to the freeing of an Israeli spy responsible for endangering the security of thousands of US operatives abroad and millions of innocent civilians, two authentic American political prisoners, who have fought for the rights of minorities, rot in jail with no prospect of freedom. Leonard Peltier, a Native American leader has spent 38 years in the highest security prison and Mumia Abu-Jamal, an African-American leader from Philadelphia, whose 33 years in prison have been on death row or brutal solitary confinement. Both were framed by perjured evidence in a parody of justice, which has revolted millions around the world. Neither threatened US security. Over the years, numerous witnesses, legal authorities and academics have testified regarding the miscarriage of justice that characterized their ‘show trials’ and have pleaded for their humanitarian release.

Unlike Pollard, and despite decades of worldwide campaigns for their release, Peltier and Abu-Jamal will probably die entombed in prison. Unlike Pollard, their cases were never about treason, selling information and greed. They have worked hard for justice within their communities, hence earning the hatred of the police state. They fought to serve their oppressed American communities, rather than an oppressive and racist Israeli elite – determined to oppress and erase the native Palestinian population.

The decisive factor has been the political power of Pollard’s supporters, the US Zionist Power Configuration, which leads President Obama and 430 US members of Congress by the nose. Through their media connections, they can lie about Pollard’s case and his motives. They can minimize the consequences of his treason and twist the arms of obedient politicians to support a traitor. Despite the fact that scores of high-ranking US intelligence and military officials have repeatedly attested to the damage inflicted by Pollard on the US, campaign finance hungry politicians recite the Zionist line that Pollard’s treason did not warrant a harsh sentence!

Beyond the immediate shame of a US president caving in to Israeli pressure with regard to this spy, there is the issue of the flagrant double standard:

Why do Israeli spies (or American Zionist traitors) evoke the unconditional support of the entire US Zionist apparatus? Why do thousands of rabbis, hundreds of movie executives and media moguls and scores of billionaires (talk about the 0.01%!) campaign on behalf of this arrogant, greedy thief? Why does Pollard merit a totally different standard of justice, in stark contrast to the vast majority of American minorities – who can rot in dungeons even when clearly innocent? Why does a self-described Israeli (who renounced his US citizenship in jail), who sold vital national secrets to fund a decadent life-style and for what he described as a ‘race imperative’ merit such favors while hundreds of thousands of poor US citizens are routinely denied leniency – let alone mercy? Clearly, the interests of Israel, a foreign regime, carry much greater weight within the US judicial system than millions of American minorities…

Cyber Crimes of Our Times: Billionaire Israeli Swindlers and the Chinese Military

For over three years, the Obama administration, the NSA and the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter have fed their media mouthpieces breathless denunciations against China for cyber-theft. Every week, there are lurid stories about the theft of confidential US industrial, military and political intelligence committed by the Chinese. The Obama regime has followed up his charges of ‘cybertheft” by threatening to confront China in the South China Sea, apply sanctions and raise the military ante in the Pacific against the world’s most dynamic economic superpower.

Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland (Nudelman-Kaplan) has claimed that Chinese cyber theft is a top national security threat requiring an immediate military-security response. US officials have provided no evidence that Chinese officials, at any level, are involved in espionage. Moreover, they have presented no proof that cyber theft is a policy of the Chinese government! There has been no evidence that these alleged thefts have damaged US companies or security interests. Nevertheless, US hostility toward China has been justified by unproven accusations and are used to increase the possibility of a major confrontation.

Contrasted with the ‘allegations’ against the Chinese, three ‘Israeli businessmen’ have been officially charged by US prosecutors with running a multi-billion dollar cyber-hacking scam within the US over the past five years. Dubbed the biggest financial hack in US history, the story hardly made headlines in the US media and was conveniently buried by subsequent ‘terror attacks’ in Europe.

The case is instructive. Three Israelis (one a US-Israeli dual citizen) hacked-attacked ten of the largest US financial institutions, including JP Morgan Chase and Fidelity Investments, as well as the Wall Street Journal … downloading protected information on over 100 million Americans – the biggest hack-attack in US history. Gery Shalon, Ziv Orenstein and Joshua Samuel Aaron employed hundreds of employees in Israel and elsewhere running a mega-cybercriminal enterprise.

According to the Financial Times (11/11/2015, p1), “the hacks took place from 2012 to mid-2015 and were aimed at aiding stock market manipulation that generated tens of millions of dollars.” In addition to selling ‘pumped-up’ stocks to millions of customers of the companies they had hacked, Shalom et al. launched cyber attacks to launder millions (more likely billions) for illegal drug and counterfeit software dealers, malicious malware distributors, illegal online casinos and an illegal ‘bitcoin exchange’ known as ‘Coin.mx.’ Someone within the financial security apparatus of the US government (white collar crime unit) must have tipped them off. They are safe in Israel; the Netanyahu regime has yet to act on a US extradition order, although they are reportedly under ‘house arrest’ in their villas.

In contrast to the on-going bellicose rhetoric, which Washington has directed against China’s alleged hackers, Washington has been ‘very reluctant’ to press the issue of extraditing the cyber-thieves with its ‘special partner’ in Tel Aviv.

Israeli super-hackers launched virulent attacks against major US financial institutions and American investors with apparent impunity, following the practice of Israeli info-tech operatives who have raided US military, technology and industrial sites for years.

While the US sends air squadrons and an armada of warships to Chinese waters over a few sand-bars, and brays about arresting Chinese researchers (who it later released with no charges) for alleged cyber-theft, it cannot persuade its ‘closest strategic ally’, Israel, to hand over a trio of formally charged swindlers. Instead, the US increased its annual $3 billion in military aid and provides an open market for Israeli ‘security’ products based on stolen US technology!

The reason for the differential response is not the nature of the ‘crimes’ – it is who commits the crimes! Israeli dominance of US politics via the unconditional support of its US Zionist power configuration ensures impunity for Israeli citizens, including the ability to delay or postpone the extradition of notorious multi-billion cyber thieves! Washington feels free to accuse China, without proof of official Chinese complicity, despite overwhelming evidence, while it cannot persuade its close ‘friend’ Israel to extradite criminals. Netanyahu, backed by his Israeli-Jewish public will decide if, when and where to extradite. When it comes to shielding Israeli or American-Israeli criminals from American justice, Israel treats its ally in Washington like an enemy.

Zionist political clout is evident in Washington’s judicial leniency toward other mega-swindlers with ties to Israel. Michael Milken contributed millions of (swindled) dollars to Israeli and US Zionist programs and won a ‘get out of jail’ card despite his conviction for major financial scams. He served 2 years out of a 10-year sentence and was granted a ‘humanitarian release’ because he was ‘dying’ of extensive terminal metastatic prostate cancer. So far, Michael’s quarter century of miraculous remission from ‘terminal metastatic prostate cancer’ constitutes a first in the annals of urologic cancer! He has gone on to re-constitute his fortune and prominence, while welfare mothers who took a few extra dollars rot in jail.

Ivan Boesky, another uber-Zionist and mega-donor to Israel was a swindler of gargantuan proportions. He raked in hundreds of millions a year. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to a mere 42 months in prison. He was out in less than 24 months, thanks to the support of ….

Marc Rich, a mega- billionaire rogue trader who broke US sanctions against trading with enemies, was also a self-described agent for the Israeli Mossad. Despite having been convicted in absentia in US courts for fraud, (he had skipped bail for Switzerland), President ‘Bill’ Clinton pardoned the ‘absentee felon’ in absentia– a historical first for a criminal who had never spent a day in jail. Mrs. Rich’s $100,000 donation to the Hilary Clinton New York senatorial campaign probably did little to influence the President’s sense of mercy…..

However, ‘Bernie’ Madoff, a $50 billion dollar swindler’ who gave huge amounts of illicit earnings to Zionist charities and projects in Israel was convicted and sentenced to over 100 years in prison. Unlike the above mentioned ‘untouchables’, Madoff will never breathe free again because he made the unforgivable mistake of mostly swindling other Jews, ardent Zionists and even ripping off a number of pro-Israel foundations. His differential treatment stems from his poor choice of victims rather than the crimes… Otherwise he might now be enjoying a comfortable villa in Israel rather than a cold cell in Pennsylvania.

Conclusions

Israeli capacity to manipulate and influence the American judicial process is based on 52 powerful front organizations – organized in the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations. This situation has made a mockery of the American court system and feeds the cynicism and bitterness of the average American. Zionist officials and allies occupy strategic position within the White House and judiciary.

Through their influence in the mass media, they converted a grotesque mercenary spy, like Jonathan Pollard, into an altruistic, Israeli-Jewish patriot, celebrated throughout Israel and within US Zionist circles. Veteran American intelligence and military officials who opposed his release have been painted with the broad brush of ‘anti-Semite’. The formidable Zionist power configuration, nurtured and financed by mega-swindlers, successfully secured his release. Zionist dominance essentially guarantees that the US will treat an indicted Israeli cyber-thief with extreme tact, supplicating the Israeli government for their extradition, while going ballistic over an alleged Chinese hacker.

Few progressive web sites or even the micro-Marxist journals confront these issues, more out of moral cowardice (self-censorship) than ignorance. Instead they bleat general clichés and ‘radical rhetoric’ about ‘US imperialism’ and the ‘rise of the right’ without identifying the precise social and political identity of the forces who move national policy. In a word, the Zionist Power Configuration gets more than a ‘free ride’. Across the political spectrum it continues to campaign on behalf of Israeli spies and Zionist financial swindlers. This corruption of the American judicial system and the betrayal of American trust have far-reaching consequences and undermine efforts to effectively address major national problems.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rabbis: Killing captive Palestinian resistance fighters ‘a religious duty’

shmuel-eliyahu

Chief Rabbi of the city of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu
MEMO | October 16, 2015

Rabbis have declared the killing of Palestinian resistance fighters “a religious duty”, Israeli media reported.

Israeli news website Walla reported that right-wing rabbis replied to questions including: “Am I allowed to kick the insurgent, hit him or shoot him in order to kill him after he has been arrested or is this prohibited?”

Rabbi Rav Benzion Mutzafi replied: “It is not only desirable to do so, but it is a religious duty that you hold his head down to the ground and hit him until his last breath.”

Mutzafi expressed anger towards Rabbi David Staph’s response. Staph said it is prohibited for people to attack a Palestinian perpetrator of an operation after he has been injured or when he is posing no danger. Mutzafi responded: “Do not listen to Staph because those who have mercy on the cruel will end up being cruel toward the righteous.”

Chief Rabbi of the city of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu called on all Israeli police officers and soldiers who allow Palestinian resistance fighters to live after their arrest:

“It is prohibited to keep the vandal alive after the operation, because if he is left alive, there is a fear that he would be released and then he would kill others,” Eliyahu wrote on Facebook.

October 16, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Illegal Occupation, the Elephant In The Room

The Origin of Modern Terror and Crumbling Western Values

Israeli-military-raid-Palestinian-home-June-2014

By John Chuckman | Aletho News | January 26, 2015

Do you ever solve problems by ignoring them? Most of us would say that is not possible, yet that is precisely what western governments do in their efforts to counteract what is called “Islamic terror.” Yes, there are vast and costly efforts to suppress the symptoms of what western governments regard as a modern plague, including killing many people presumed to be infected with it, fomenting rebellion and destruction in places presumed to be prone to it, secretly returning to barbaric practices such as torture, things we thought had been left behind centuries ago, to fight it, and violating rights of their own citizens we thought were as firmly established as the need for food and shelter. Governments ignore, in all these destructive efforts, what in private they know very well is the origin of the problem.

Have Islamic radicals always existed? Yes, we have records through the history of British and French empire-building of strange and fearsome groups. It appears every large religion has a spectrum of believers, always including at one end of the spectrum extreme fundamentalists. They are not a new phenomenon anywhere, so why has one group of them, in the sands of the Middle East, become part of our everyday awareness?

It is also nothing new that young men become hot-blooded and disturbed over what they regard as attacks upon their kind. Western society’s record of crusades, religious wars, colonial wars, and revolts, all total likely having no equal in the histories of the world’s peoples, offers countless examples of young men being angered by this or that circumstance and joining up or running off to fight.

George Bush told us today’s terrorists hate our freedom and democratic values, but like virtually every utterance of George Bush, that one was fatuous, explaining nothing. Nevertheless, his is the explanation pounded into public consciousness because governments and the corporate press never stop repeating versions of it, the Charlie Hebdo affair and its theatrical posturing over free speech being only the latest. Theatrical? Yes, when we know perfectly well that most of those who marched at the front of the parade in Paris are anything but friends of free speech.

All backward peoples are uncomfortable with certain western values, that being the nature of backwardness, and backwardness is a defining characteristic of all fundamentalist religious groups – Hasidic or ultra-Orthodox Jews, Mennonites, Roman Catholic Cardinals, cloistered nuns, Sikhs, and many others – who typically choose modes of dress, rules to obey, and even foods to eat having little or no relationship with the contemporary world and science. Of course, that is their right so long as they are peaceful and law-abiding.

Any fundamentalist group, pushed by more powerful people from outside their community, is entirely capable of, and even prone to, violence, and all human beings are capable of violence when faced with abuse and injustice. Centuries of religious wars and terrors in Europe about such matters as how the Mass is celebrated prove the proposition and should be held as a warning, but they are forgotten by most, if they were ever known. The tendency towards violence continues today amongst many fundamentalist faiths. In so relatively small and seemingly homogeneous a society as Israel, there are regular attacks from ultra-Orthodox Jews against the country’s worldly citizens or against fair-minded rules about such pedestrian matters as women riding buses or walking on a street. The attacks become quite violent – punching, spitting, burning down homes, and killing sometimes – and all go against what we call western values, but because the scale is fairly small, and our press also has a constant protective bias concerning all things Israeli, these events rarely make our mainline news. They must be found on the Internet.

It took Western Europe literally centuries to leave behind such recurrent and violent themes as witches and the need to burn them alive, the Evil Eye, casting out demons, execution for differences of belief, and countless other stupidities which characterized whole societies and destroyed lives. And if you want to go still further back, go to the Old Testament, a collection of ancient writing packed with violence, superstition, prejudice, and just plain ignorance, which Christians and others even today regard as containing important truths for contemporary life. Human progress, at least in some matters, takes a very long time indeed.

Our world has more backward people than most of us can imagine. The news does not feature their extremes and savageries because it serves no political purpose. In Africa, for example, we find practices and beliefs utterly repellent to modern minds: the practice of senior village men raping young girls as an accepted right, the genital mutilation of 3 million girls annually (an African, not an Islamic, practice), the hunting down and butchering such “strange” people as albinos, their parts to be eaten as medicine, and many others. In India, a country well on its way to becoming modern yet one with a huge backward population, we have practices such as marrying off mere girls to old men rich enough to pay dowries to poor parents. At one stroke this enriches the parents and relieves them of the burden of a child, a female child too, always viewed less favorably. The practice generates a large population of widows when the old husbands of girls married at, say, twelve die. These women are then condemned to entire lives as widows, never allowed to remarry, required to dress and eat in certain ways, and basically shunned to live in squalid equivalents of old folks homes, living entirely meaningless lives. India also has the practice of “bride burning” where new brides who are deemed unacceptable for various reasons become the prey of the groom’s family, literally being burned alive. There are many other barbarities in that society too, including “honor killing” and young women who are made inmates in certain temples to serve as glorified prostitutes.

Our press assiduously avoids much of the world’s horrors as it focuses on “Islamic extremism,” and politics are the only explanation for the bias. The press theme of Islamic terror and indeed real incidents of terror grow from a reality always taken for granted, never debated, and certainly never criticised: the elephant in the room, as it were, is Israel’s illegal and agonizingly long occupation of the Palestinians.

It may be not be important to our press and governments that Israel holds millions as prisoners, crippling the lives of generation after generation, or that Israel periodically strikes out in every direction – Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank – causing the deaths of many thousands, or that Israel is seen to bulldoze people’s homes and sacred monuments with complete impunity, but it very much matters to many millions of Muslims in the world, and some of them, fundamentalist men, strike out against it just as young men everywhere have sometimes struck out against keenly-felt hurts and injustice.

In western countries, under the hard influence of America, a country in turn under the hard influence of the world’s best organized and financed lobby, the Israel Lobby, we have come to regard Israel’s behavior as normal, but it is, of course, not normal, not in any detail. What is normal about holding several million people prisoner for half a century? What is normal about bulldozing homes and literally stealing the land upon which they stood? What is normal about declaring an honestly elected government as criminal and treating its people as though they were criminals? What is normal about limiting people’s opportunity to earn a living or to import some of the needs of life? What is normal about killing nearly a thousand children, as Israel has done just in Gaza, since 2008?

Pretending that Israel’s behavior is not the major cause of what screams from our headlines and news broadcasts has reached absurd levels. America has only vastly compounded the problem of Israel’s organized abuse of a people: it and its silent partners have destroyed Iraq, destroyed Libya, are working hard to destroy Syria, have seen to it that Egypt’s tens of millions again live under absolute government, ignore countless inequities and barbarities in secretly-helpful countries like Saudi Arabia, and carry out extra-judicial killings through much of the region. All of it is carried out on Israel’s behalf and with Israel’s cooperation. Can any reasonable person not see that this vast factory of death also manufactures countless grievances and vendettas? The stupidity is on a colossal scale, rooted in the notion that you can kill your way out of the terrible consequences of terrible policies.

In America, paid political shills (Newt Gingrich was one) have campaigned about there being no such thing as a Palestinian. Others (Dick Armey was one) have said that millions of Palestinians should be removed, all their land left conveniently to Israel. That last is an odd thing to say, isn’t it, considering there are supposed to be no such thing as Palestinians? And just what country would take millions of “non-existent” Palestinians? Obviously no politician with even pretence of integrity would say such things, and how can intelligent and successful people like America’s Jews take satisfaction in hearing politicians reciting such embarrassing scripts? But this is a good measure of the way intelligence and sound thinking are scorned in American politics. How can you achieve anything worth achieving without intelligence and sound thinking? You cannot, but that doesn’t stop American Presidents and Secretaries of State from carrying on the world’s longest-running dumb show, something called the “peace process.” The sombre, moose-like figure of John Kerry is photographed playacting at statesmanship while American-supplied arms just keep killing thousands of innocent people.

January 26, 2015 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments