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Let’s Boycott Israel and Its Friends

If you want change, begin to play hardball

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • December 18, 2018

In his recent article “Averting World Conflict with China” Ron Unz has come up with an intriguing suggestion for the Chinese government to turn the tables on the December 1st arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada. Canada detained Mrs. Meng, CFO of the world’s largest telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei, at the request of the United States so she could be extradited to New York to face charges that she and her company had violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. The sanctions in question had been imposed unilaterally by Washington and it is widely believed that the Trump Administration is sending a signal that when the ban on purchasing oil from Iran comes into full effect in May there will be no excuses accepted from any country that is unwilling to comply with the U.S. government’s demands. Washington will exercise universal jurisdiction over those who violate its sanctions, meaning that foreign officials and heads of corporations that continue to deal with Iran can be arrested when traveling internationally and will be extradited to be tried in American courts.

There is, of course, a considerable downside to arresting a top executive of a leading foreign corporation from a country that is a major U.S. trading partner and which also, inter alia, holds a considerable portion of the U.S. national debt. Ron Unz has correctly noted the “…extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history.” One might add that Washington’s demands that other nations adhere to its sanctions on third countries opens up a Pandora’s box whereby no traveling executives will be considered safe from legal consequences when they do not adhere to policies being promoted by the United States. Unz cites Columbia’s Jeffrey Sachs as describing it as “almost a U.S. declaration of war on China’s business community.” If seizing and extraditing businessmen becomes the new normal those countries most affected will inevitably retaliate in kind. China has already detained two traveling Canadians to pressure Ottawa to release Mrs. Meng. Beijing is also contemplating some immediate retaliatory steps against Washington to include American companies operating in China if she is extradited to the U.S.

Ron Unz has suggested that Beijing might just want to execute a quid pro quo by pulling the licenses of Sheldon Adelson’s casinos operating in Macau, China and shutting them down, thereby eliminating a major source of his revenue. Why go after an Israeli-American casino operator rather than taking steps directly against the U.S. government? The answer is simple. Pressuring Washington is complicated as there are many players involved and unlikely to produce any positive results while Adelson is the prime mover on much of the Trump foreign policy, though one hesitates to refer to it as a policy at all.

Adelson is the world’s leading diaspora Israel-firster and he has the ear of the president of the United States, who reportedly speaks and meets with him regularly. And Adelson uses his considerable financial resources to back up his words of wisdom. He is the fifteenth wealthiest man in America with a reported fortune of $33 billion. He is the number one contributor to the GOP having given $81 million in the last cycle. Admittedly that is chump change to him, but it is more than enough to buy the money hungry and easily corruptible Republicans.

In a certain sense, Adelson has obtained control of the foreign policy of the political party that now controls both the White House and the Senate, and his mission in life is to advance Israeli interests. Among those interests is the continuous punishment of Iran, which does not threaten the United States in any way, through employment of increasingly savage sanctions and threats of violence, which brings us around to the arrest of Meng and the complicity of Adelson in that process. Adelson’s wholly owned talking head National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly had prior knowledge of the Canadian plans and may have actually been complicit in their formulation. Adelson has also been the major force behind moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has also convinced the Administration to stop its criticism of the illegal Israeli settlements on Arab land and has been instrumental in cutting off all humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. He prefers tough love when dealing with the Iranians, advocating dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran as a warning to the Mullahs of what more might be coming if they don’t comply with all the American and Israeli demands.

Meanwhile another Israeli, Haim Saban has performed similar work with the Democrats, contributing $5 million to their coffers, making him the top donor to the party. Saban has said that he is a “one issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”

Of course, one might reasonably argue that America’s problem with Jews who are passionately attached to Israel funding and controlling the major political parties is self-generated, that no one should be allowed to fund any political party to such an extent that one obtains control over policies. But that is an argument that will have to be directed at the Supreme Court, which permitted corporations to be treated as persons with its Citizens United ruling, allowing virtually unlimited money to flow into political PACs as a First Amendment right.

The lopsided wag-the-dog relationship with Israel is so dangerous to actual American interests in so many ways that the United States is now approaching a precipice and might soon find itself plummeting to ruin. Israel, not Russia, constantly interferes in the functioning of America’s remaining democracy. Fighting Israel’s wars and protecting it from any criticism have debased the value of being an American citizen and literally impoverished the country under a mountain of debt. The U.S. has been victimized by terrorism, much of which can be traced back to Israeli roots, and Washington is now isolated globally as the United States has become more and more like Israel, a militarized state, politically corrupt and abandoning basic liberties.

How does one right the sinking ship? For starters, the Ron Unz formula for correcting the problem with China provides an excellent roadmap. Israel and its friends do not have a grip on congress, the White House and the media because they are wonderful warm people that others find to be sympathetic. It is difficult even to imagine a scintillating conversation with a malignant toad like Sheldon Adelson. Israel’s ability to corrupt and misdirect is all based on Jewish money, a process in which Zionist oligarchs buy their way to power and access. So the solution is to hit back where it really hurts – boycott Israel and Israeli products and do the same for the companies that are the sources of income for the American Jews who are the principal supporters of the Zionist project.

The United States Congress is currently moving to make it illegal to openly advocate boycotts of Israel or even to inquire about doing so, while 25 states have already also done the same to a greater or lesser extent. Last week a speech therapist in Texas was fired from a job she had held for nine years because she refused to sign an oath affirming that she would not boycott Israel. It is a measure of Jewish power in the U.S. that American politicians choose to provide cover for Israel’s misdeeds even if it means the end of the First Amendment and free speech. But punitive steps intended to intimidate any and all critics of Israel aside, there is no reason why consumers cannot exercise judgement over what they buy and what they are supporting through their spending. If you want to visit Las Vegas, by all means go, but don’t patronize the casinos and hotels owned by Sheldon Adelson, which include The Venetian and Sands Resort.

Democratic party major donor Haim Saban, meanwhile, is a producer of Hollywood children’s entertainment, including the lucrative Power Rangers. You can stop your children from watching his violent programming and tell the network’s advertisers why you are doing so. And then there are businessmen including Bernard Marcus, who is a co-founder of Home Depot and a major supporter of Israel, and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. No one really has to spend $1000 to go to a football game, particularly if the owner is a good friend of Benjamin Netanyahu, and if you need something for your home or are seeking entertainment, choose to spend your dollars somewhere else. Readers can do the homework for the businesses and services that they normally patronize. If outspoken advocates for Israel own the company, take your dollars elsewhere.

As it is nearly impossible in the United States to vote for a politician who is in any way critical of Israel, those who are opposed to the terrible damage that the Israelis and their domestic lobby are doing to the U.S. can instead vote with their purchasing power. It does not afford the same pleasure as “throwing the bums out,” but there will be considerable satisfaction in being able to strike back against a powerful lobby that is so hubristic and insensitive to any criticism that it has become completely tone deaf.

Apart from domestic considerations, observers have noted that Israeli treatment of the Palestinians has been worse than apartheid under South Africa yet South Africa was subjected to multiple boycotts and bans on its participation in international fora, to include even sporting competitions. It is past time to do the same to Israel, which has been shooting dead hundreds of unarmed Palestinians for months now without paying any price at all. Boycotting Israel internationally is a good start. It is non-violent and proportionate and it just might be an idea that will spread and finally bring about some payback for what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabal of war criminals have done and continue to do. As the end of 2018 approaches, it would be something to look forward to if 2019 just might turn out to be the year of the international Israel Boycott.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is <a:inform@cnionline.org” title=”mailto:inform@cnionline.org” href=”mailto:inform@cnionline.org”>inform@cnionline.org</a:inform@cnionline.org”>.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Europeans refusing fuel to Iranian aircraft: Official

Press TV – December 18, 2018

Iran’s airspace remains open to all international flights, including US airliners, but most European countries refuse fuel to Iranian planes, an official says.

“Iran’s sky is open to all countries, except Israel,” head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Ali Abedzadeh said.

Currently, American airplanes are also passing through the Iranian sky and Iran has not imposed restrictions on any country, the official said. Likewise, no country has put any restrictions on the passage of Iranian planes.

However, “unfortunately, most European countries are refusing to supply fuel to Iranian aircraft and this creates problems for us, for which we have plans to overcome,” Abedzadeh said.

Fuel service providers in Europe and some other countries are citing new US sanctions in refusing to refuel Iranian aircraft.

“US goal is to cut off foreign flights of Iranian airlines,” Abedzadeh said.

Iran is already angry with the EU over its failure to stop European companies from leaving the Islamic Republic.

For months, the Europeans have been working on a virtual clearing house to process Iran-related transactions independent of the US.

The three main countries behind the initiative – Germany, France and the UK – say they have set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran.

However, they appear to be passing the buck on who should take the responsibility for the system and house it.

Last month, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said he had warned the Europeans that Iranian patience was wearing thin.

Salehi said while the European Union’s efforts were encouraging, “we have not yet seen any tangible results.”

Iran is disappointed with a mass exodus of major European companies which began even before the sanctions kicked in after President Donald Trump announced pulling the US out of the nuclear deal in May.

On Monday, national flag carrier Iran Air Chief Executive Farzaneh Sharafbafi called on the European Union to press US authorities to allow delivery of Airbus passenger aircraft purchased by Tehran.

European commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus signed a contract to sell 100 passenger aircraft to Iran Air after a 2015 nuclear deal was reached with the Islamic Republic.

The US revoked licenses for Airbus as well as Boeing which had signed the delivery of 80 planes to Iran Air after Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal.

“We hope that the EU can get the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) licenses for delivery of purchased Airbus planes,” Sharafbafi said.

The official urged the EU to press US authorities, “as OFAC licenses were issued for ATR planes” built by the Franco-Italian turboprop maker which had signed to deliver 20 planes to Iran Air.

ATR delivered 13 aircraft, some of which came after OFAC had withdrawn the licenses, with the rest remaining on order.

Airbus delivered only three aircraft before the licenses were withdrawn. The Europeans say they have to get American permits for their deliveries because 10 percent of the components of the aircraft are US-made.

On Wednesday, a top official said Iran needs some 500 planes and would likely back buying the Sukhoi Superjet 100 if Russia is willing to sell them to its airlines.

Russian officials have been reported as saying Sukhoi is working on reducing the number of US parts in the hopes of winning an Iranian order for up to 100 aircraft.

“If the Iranian airlines want to use this aircraft (Superjet 100 ) and the seller is willing to sell it to Iran, the Civil Aviation Organization is ready to issue its final comment on this aircraft,” Abedzadeh said.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

US Sanctions Against Iran

By Linh Dinh • Unz Review • December 18, 2018

Last month, I was interviewed by Jamejam Daily, an Iranian newspaper. Below is the English version:

There are calls inside and outside the country that Iranian officials would do well to get real about the US demands and drink the coup of poison sooner rather than later. They say the US “maximum pressure campaign” has already inflicted acute strains on Iran’s economy. What’s your view? What should Iran do? Will Iran prove capable of enduring the sanctions?

The US is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal because of pressure from Israel, that’s all. As long as Israel exists, Iran will be targeted. Israel was behind the American war against Iraq and Libya, and it’s seeking to destroy Syria and Iran also. Israel was founded on terror, and is maintained by terror, so peace won’t come to the Middle East until Israel disappears.

The renewal of American sanctions against Iran is causing problems to the entire world, not just Iran, and that’s why it will end up hurting America the most. There are all these countries that need to trade with Iran, and many will continue to do so, in defiance of the USA. Already, America is forced to allow China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey to buy Iranian oil, at least for six more months. This, after it has threatened to reduce Iranian oil export to zero!

European countries are talking about setting up an alternative to the SWIFT payment system, and it will happen, for the world needs to bypass American control and interference, not just in this instance, but for the future.

US officials have openly talked about the need for regime change in Iran. It seems they currently hope that the Iranian people will distance from the government and pressure for change from within the country will yield results. Are such hopes realistic? Will the US see the end of the Islamic Republic without shooting even a single bullet?

By waging economic war against Iran, the US and its Israeli master are hoping to sow discord and division with Iran, but no Iranian should believe the American rhetoric about human rights and democracy. The US has been demonizing not just Iran, but all Muslims, for decades, so it’s not aiming to help Iranians, but destroy them. Look at what’s happening to Syria. When the US attacked Iraq, Syria accepted hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees, but now, Syrians themselves are fleeing their homeland. I saw many of these refugees, including children, begging on the streets of Istanbul.

Preaching freedom and democracy, America brings death and destruction. Look at what’s happening in Ukraine. When I visited Kiev, I saw people, including old women, kneeling on the sidewalks, begging, in the middle of the winter, as snow was falling. America brings war and economic collapse, and it would love nothing more than to see Iran destroyed.

Some believe Iran and its allies will be able to shape the new world order in case they manage to resist the US pressure and pass the current stage. What’s your take on that?

As led by China and Russia, the Eurasian landmass is becoming economically integrated, and Iran is a key player in this, thanks to its oil, natural gas, size and geographical location. Although hampered for decades by American-led sanctions, Iran still has one of the strongest economies in the Middle East.

Iran will certainly survive these sanctions, which are already cracking. By standing up to the US and Israel, Iran is setting an admirable example to the rest of the world, and its stature will only increase as the American empire declines further.

Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Christopher Steele Admits He Was Hired To Help Hillary Challenge 2016 Election

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 12/17/2018

Former UK spy Christopher Steele admitted in a London court that he was hired to help Hillary Clinton contest the results of the 2016 election in case Trump won, according to the Washington Times.

Steele assembled an anti-Trump “dossier” of opposition research investigative firm Fusion GPS, which was in turn hired by DNC law firm Perkins Coie LLP. The document used “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,” and “a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin,” according to Vanity FairIn other words, Hillary Clinton – through Steele and other intermediaries – was working with Russians against Donald Trump.

He said the law firm Perkins Coie wanted to be in a position to contest the results based on evidence he unearthed on the Trump campaign conspiring with Moscow on election interference.

His scenario is contained in a sealed Aug. 2 declaration in a defamation law suit brought by three Russian bankers in London. The trio’s American attorneys filed his answers Tuesday in a libel lawsuit in Washington against the investigative firm Fusion GPS, which handled the former British intelligence officer.

In an answer to interrogatories, Mr. Steele wrote: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.” – Washington Times

During the election, Clinton told voters that Donald Trump would “threaten democracy” if he didn’t promise to accept the results of the 2016 election – after Trump suggested he might not accept the results of a “rigged” contest.

Now listen to Hillary when she thought she was going to win the election:

Meanwhile Clinton was open to challenging the election more than ten months after her historic loss – if only there were a way. “There are scholars, academics, who have arguments that it would be, but I don’t think they’re on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don’t think we have a mechanism,” Clinton told NPR in September 2017.

The dossier Steele produced was used as the basis for an FBI FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on members of the Trump campaign. Notably, the agency never told the FISA court that the dossier their application hinged on was paid for by the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, although it did indicate that it was opposition research.

The mainstream media used still-unverified key claims within the dossier to fuel a conspiracy theory that President Trump conspired with the Russian government to win the 2016 US election.

Meanwhile, as we reported earlier Monday, FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn’t believe a key claim contained in the “Steele Dossier,” the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.

The Post‘s Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross.

“We’ve talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere — they don’t believe that ever happened,” said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.

We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down… there’s an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to – just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty. -Greg Miller

Meanwhile, Trump is still living under the spectre of Russian collusion, while Hillary Clinton actually colluded Russians in her plan to challenge the 2016 election.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Just like Color Revolutions, Cyber Conflicts can Still Get People Killed

By Martin Berger – New Eastern Outlook – 18.12.2018

As it has been clearly demonstrated by the history of mankind, whenever new weapons are invented, they would invariably give an edge to the most developed state at of the era, allowing it to pursue further expansion of its dominance on the international stage.

Immediately after the creation of nuclear weapons, they were immediately tested in the course of monstrous attacks on peaceful citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the closing phases of the Second World War. Those tested resulted in a massive euphoria among the American ruling elites that immediately decided to bomb one of their allies in this war, namely the USSR back into the stone age. However, by the time the United States accumulated a nuclear arsenal sufficient for the destruction of the USSR, Moscow managed to build its own nukes at the cost of heroic efforts of its people, which allowed Russia’s population to escape a terrible fate.

In recent decades, the broad possibilities of the Internet and various media platforms allowed Washington to take down those states that would try to pursue a policy of their own through the use of so-called “color revolutions.” This meddling resulted in the entire Middle East getting submerged in a political chaos, which created preconditions for a number of armed conflicts in the course of which hundreds of thousands of civilians lost their lives. It goes without saying, of course, that the military-industrial complex of the United States and its NATO allies received super-profits from those by increasing their arms sales.

These days, new advances in IT technologies, along with new inventions in the field of biological, chemical and space warfare are further fueling the deranged fantasies of American military strategists. Many of the hawks that are occupying high-profile positions within the US society are literally prepared to use any sort of weapons in vain hopes of securing primacy over the entire world, even if it means destroying half of the world’s population in the process.

As many analysts believe, the war of tomorrow will not be waged with bullets and bombs as it will be taking place in the entirely different dimension – on the Internet. The hackers of today are capable of taking down any control system, hydroelectric power plant, or even a nuclear reactor. Therefore, a total of 19 hackers can inflict significantly more damage than the notorious 19 terrorists that [purportedly] hijacked four civilian jets on September 11, 2001, staging the most terrifying terrorist attacks in the history of the United States.

Many countries have already begun the arms race in cyberspace, and it’s hardly a secret that the US and UK are occupying leading places in it now. Suffice it to recall that the war in Iraq actually began in 2002 with powerful cyber attacks against the Iraqi government. By exploiting latest advancements in the field of cyber weapons, the CIA and the Pentagon infiltrated the information system of government agencies in Iraq, directly addressing each of the leaders of the ruling Ba’ath party and high-profile military figures, bombarding them with faxes, emails and phone calls. The attackers urged them to stage a coup d’etat and surrender all of the state and military secrets to US, ordering troops to desert after the initial outbreak of hostilities, thus sabotaging and undermining the power of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi state.

To provide themselves with an excuse to further develop and deploy their cyber capabilities, Washington initiated a massive public hysteria over the alleged meddling of Russia into the internal affairs of the United States, Britain and other Western countries. However, no special commission created to investigate those allegations in the United States and Britain has been able to provide any credible information to back these accusations up, forcing the US government to admit that those accusations were nothing but hearsay.

At the same time, alongside all sorts of fake publications in the Western media, one can come across reports of cyber attacks being used by the United States and Britain as a tool of meddling. For example, Norway has recently released documentary evidence that the Norwegian military intelligence in cooperation with US intelligence agencies would hack Russian communications networks for obtaining military strategic information on Russia’s defenses. This information is confirmed by the report of the US National Security Agency (NSA) on cooperation with the Norwegian military intelligence.

As part of the cyber command of the US armed forces, a special “Russian group” was created, as it was reported last July by the commander of the US cyber command, Genera Paul M. Nakasone. Pentagon’s contractor COLSA has recently announced recruitment of an additional bunch of agents tasked with monitoring Russian social networks; hiring people with strong command of the Russian language.

According to the Newsweek, the FBI hacked computers in more than a hundred countries in 2015, and it turns out one of those was Russia.

It’s also curious that the Trump administration has recently reversed an Obama-era memorandum dictating how and when the US government can deploy cyberweapons against its adversaries.

Further still, NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg announced the inclusion of national cybernetic elements, which are often described as offensive task teams within the NATO chain of command in early October. He also confirmed that NATO was planing to pursue cooperation with Kiev in the field of offensive cyber operations staging. However, Ukraine is hardly the only state that is going to become a base for all sorts of so-called “white hats”. With the help of the United States, five centers of cyber operations have already been deployed across Europe – in Finland, Estonia, Poland, Germany and France.

One can often come across reports that the NSA and US cyber command can exercise near-godlike omniscience over the Internet. The so-called cyber-troopers that they employ are drawn from all four branches of the military. Many deploy overseas, but many of them also drive to work each day in the suburban sprawl between Washington, DC and Baltimore at the National Security Agency on the Army’s Fort Meade.

However, Russia is hardly the only target that will become the victim of those malicious activities, as Washington may start spreading disinformation, panic, plant frustration with the ruling elites, and stage new revolutions in most any state that will find itself in the way of American designs.

This is the world we’re living in today. To many, it resembles the calm before the storm. As countries accumulate huge destructive capabilities, Western policymakers are just waiting for a pretext to unload them.

Along with that. There is also a growing understanding that there can be no winners in modern wars, but only losers.

Just recently, Robert Hannigan who used to occupy the position of director of CHQ announced that the situation in cyberspace has become so tense that it can trigger the Third World War at any given moment. That’s why he’s convinced that we need to come to some kind of international agreement about what’s acceptable and what isn’t on the Internet, before it’s too late.

Against this backdrop, it’s obvious that Russia has made an important step at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, proposing that the international community develop a convention on combat cybercrime and develop rules of engagement in the information space. In the same aspect, the adoption by the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (the document was supported by a total of 88 states) of a Russian resolution draft on countering the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes deserves particular attention, since it has the potential of cooling the heads of a number of Western strategists that are keen to see the world drawn into a conflict, cyber or not.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites

Photo Source Flisadam Pointer | CC BY 2.0
By Susan Abulhawa | CounterPunch | December 17, 2018

Temple University’s administration announced the unsurprising news that it has found no grounds to punish or investigate Professor Marc Lamont Hill for his speech at the United Nations on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Yet, the university’s Board of Trustees felt compelled, nonetheless, to issue a statement further maligning Dr Hill, albeit indirectly this time, by quoting the slanderous language of others against him.

Remarkably, the Board’s statement implicitly acknowledges there was nothing inherently offensive in Dr Hill’s speech. Rather, the university’s objection lies in the way “many regard[ed]” it and how it was “widely perceived” or “broadly criticized.” In essence, the university was unable to reasonably rebuke what was ultimately a call for justice and freedom for the Palestinian people, the colonized indigenous nation that has continuously inhabited the land between the River Jordan and Mediterranean Sea for millennia. It is therefore stunning and unprecedented that a university would hold its professor responsible not for his words, but for the ways in which others interpret them.

It is also worth noting that no such statement was issued by the Board of Trustees following the exposure of Temple journalism professor Francesca Viola, who admitted to posting conspiracy theories against Muslims and immigrants. Among other things, her anonymous account posted the word “scum” under a photo of Muslims praying and called to “get rid of them.”

It beggars the imagination to consider why Temple’s Board of Trustees would ignore the abhorrent and overtly racists posts in the account of one professor, while exceeding its mandate in order to rebuke an avowedly anti-racist professor, not for the content of his speech, but for the ways in which that speech was received.

In the second paragraph of the statement, Temple’s Board attempts to divest Dr. Hill from his professional position and identity as a scholar and intellectual using wording crafted to deny his right to academic freedom. The claim that Dr. Hill was speaking as a private citizen and therefore his words simply fall under the purview of the First Amendment belies the reality that his speech as a Temple faculty member is fully protected under the principles of academic freedom. In fact, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is explicit that “freedom of extramural utterance is a constitutive part of the American conception of academic freedom, and the AAUP has investigated and censured many institutions for dismissing faculty members over their extramural utterances.”

The unprincipled way in which members of Temple’s Board have berated and threatened an African American professor for criticizing Israel’s Jim Crow apartheid, while turning a blind eye to the egregious oppression faced by Palestinian students and scholars every day, a reality Dr. Hill described in his U.N. speech, is reprehensible. Comments by individuals on the Board of Trustees, the collective statement by the Board and their failure to defend academic freedom are a testament to the alarmingly corrosive power that defenders of Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid exert on the academy.

In a Philadelphia oped, Stephen Cozen, a member of Temple’s Board, proclaimed himself an authority on anti-Semitism before describing Hill’s words as “hate speech.” For good measure, he cast that disparaging net onto TAUP (Temple Association of University Professors), describing them “an association of folks who promote intersectionality, a practice which has fostered anti-Semitism from the left as well as the right.”

Ironically, the true anti-Semitism lies in conflating a 6000-year old faith with a contemporary settler-colonial nation-state that explicitly apportions human rights based on one’s religion. Indeed, it is anti-Semitic, and patently false, to assume that all Jews are of one mind that reflexively takes offense at criticism of Israel.

Marc Lamont Hill’s call for Palestinian freedom from the river to the sea upholds the the noble tenets of justice relevant to all monotheistic religions. It is also an acknowledgement of the basic historic truth that we Palestinians are not merely some miscellaneous Arabs clustered in the West Bank and Gaza, but a native and ancient nation that also comes from Akka, Haifa, Yafa, Nazareth, Jerusalem, the Galilee and all parts of Historic Palestine. This fact, which Israel has long sought to erase, is what Israel’s defenders find objectionable. But it is a fact nonetheless.

Susan Abulhawa is a bestselling novelist and essayist. Her new novel, The Blue Between Sky and Water, was released this year and simultaneously published in multiple languages, including German.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas school pathologist files lawsuit after being denied work for refusing to sign pro-Israel oath

RT | December 17, 2018

A Texas elementary school speech pathologist has filed a federal lawsuit after her school district refused to renew her contract unless she signed a pro-Israel oath.

Bahia Amawi has worked for the Pflugerville Independent School District since 2009 on a contract basis. Each year when it came to the time to renew her contract, the school district did so. Amawi always signed the correct documents, and had another year of guaranteed employment.

But this year, in August, there was a new addition to the contract papers. That addition was an oath which Amawi was being asked to sign, promising that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract” and will refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israel-controlled territory.”

That was a problem for Amawi, who, along with her family, refrains from buying goods from Israeli companies in support of the global boycott to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

But aside from that, Amawi noted that the very fact that this was the only oath she was being asked to sign – and it was to do with Israel – was extremely strange.

“It’s baffling that they can throw this down our throats, and decide to protect another country’s economy versus protecting our constitutional rights,” Amawi, who was born in Austria and is of Palestinian descent, told The Intercept.

She said it was entirely out of the question to sign such an oath, as it would not only be doing Palestinians a disservice, but also Americans.

“I couldn’t in good conscience do that. If I did, I would not only be betraying Palestinians suffering under an occupation that I believe is unjust…but I’d also be betraying my fellow Americans by enabling violations of our constitutional rights to free speech and to protest peacefully,” said Amawi, who has lived in America for the last 30 years and is a US citizen.

Additionally, the disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired students of Pflugerville Independent School District are also losing out. Those who speak Arabic are at a particular disadvantage, as Amawi says she is the only certified child’s speech pathologist in the district that speaks the language.

Amawi’s attorney has filed a lawsuit, alleging a violation of her First Amendment right of free speech.

The oath was produced under a pro-Israel Texas state law enacted on May 2, 2017, which bans state agencies from working with contractors who boycott Israel. When the bill was signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, he said that “any anti-Israel policy is an anti-Texas policy.”

The law is incredibly far-reaching, and meant that some Hurricane Harvey victims were told they could only receive state disaster relief if they signed the same kind of pro-Israel oath. The author of the bill, State Rep. Phil King, later said that its application to hurricane assistance was a “misunderstanding.”

However, Texas isn’t alone in requiring its contractors not to boycott Israel. A total of 26 states have enacted such laws, and similar bills are pending in 13 other states.

The state laws come as the Trump administration has repeatedly expressed its steadfast support for Israel, opting to recognize Jerusalem as the country’s capital last year. The move led to global protests and condemnation from other UN member states.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Americans are waking up to Israel’s brutal and discriminatory tactics

With opinion now evenly split between those who favour a one or two-state solution, many in the US are turning their attention to the systemic inequities faced by Palestinians

By Jonathon Cook | The National | December 17, 2018

Two years of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu as a Middle East peacemaking team appear to be having a transformative effect – and in ways that will please neither of them.

The American public is now evenly split between those who want a two-state solution and those who prefer a single state, shared by Israelis and Palestinians, according to a survey published last week by the University of Maryland.

And if a Palestinian state is off the table – as a growing number of analysts of the region conclude, given Israel’s intransigence and the endless postponement of Mr Trump’s peace plan – then support for one state rises steeply, to nearly two-thirds of Americans.

But Mr Netanyahu cannot take comfort from the thought that ordinary Americans share his vision of a single state of Greater Israel. Respondents demand a one-state solution guaranteeing Israelis and Palestinians equal rights.

By contrast, only 17 per cent of Americans expressing a view – presumably Christian evangelicals and hardline Jewish advocates for Israel – prefer the approach of Israel’s governing parties: either to continue the occupation or annex Palestinian areas without offering the inhabitants citizenship.

All of this is occurring even though US politicians and the media express no support for a one-state solution. In fact, quite the reverse.

The movement to boycott Israel, known as BDS, is growing on US campuses, but vilified by Washington officials, who claim its goal is to end Israel as a Jewish state by bringing about a single state, in which all inhabitants would be equal. The US Congress is even considering legislation to outlaw boycott activism.

And last month CNN sacked its commentator Marc Lamont Hill for using a speech at the United Nations to advocate a one-state solution – a position endorsed by 35 per cent of the US public.

There is every reason to assume that, over time, these figures will swing even more sharply against Mr Netanyahu’s Greater Israel plans and against Washington’s claims to be an honest broker.

Among younger Americans, support for one state climbs to 42 per cent. That makes it easily the most popular outcome among this age group for a Middle East peace deal.

In another sign of how far removed Washington is from the American public, 40 per cent of respondents want the US to impose sanctions to stop Israel expanding its settlements on Palestinian territory. In short, they support the most severe penalty on the BDS platform.

And who is chiefly to blame for Washington’s unresponsiveness? Some 38 per cent say that Israel has “too much influence” on US politics.

That is a view almost reflexively cited by Israel lobbyists as evidence of anti-semitism. And yet a similar proportion of US Jews share concerns about Israel’s meddling.

In part, the survey’s findings should be understood as a logical reaction to the Oslo peace process. Backed by the US for the past quarter-century, it has failed to produce any benefits for the Palestinians.

But the findings signify more. Oslo’s interminable talks over two states have provided Israel with an alibi to seize more Palestinian land for its illegal settlements.

Under cover of an Oslo “consensus”, Israel has transferred ever-larger numbers of Jews into the occupied territories, thereby making a peaceful resolution of the conflict near impossible. According to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, that is a war crime.

Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the court in The Hague, warned this month that she was close to finishing a preliminary inquiry needed before she can decide whether to investigate Israel for war crimes, including the settlements.

The reality, however, is that the ICC has been dragging out the inquiry to avoid arriving at a decision that would inevitably provoke a backlash from the White House. Nonetheless, the facts are staring the court in the face.

Israel’s logic – and proof that it is in gross violation of international law – were fully on display this week. The Israeli army locked down the Ramallah, the effective and supposedly self-governing capital of occupied Palestine, as “punishment” after two Israeli soldiers were shot dead outside the city.

The Netanyahu government also approved yet another splurge of settlement-building, again supposedly in “retaliation” for a recent upsurge in Palestinian attacks.

But Israel and its western allies know only too well that settlements and Palestinian violence are intrinsically linked. One leads to the other.

Palestinians directly experience the settlements’ land grabs as Israeli state-sanctioned violence. Their communities are ever more tightly ghettoised, their movements more narrowly policed to maintain the settlers’ privileges.

If Palestinians resist such restrictions or their own displacement, if they assert their rights and their dignity, clashes with soldiers or settlers are inescapable. Violence is inbuilt into Israel’s settlement project.

Israel has constructed a perfect, self-rationalising system in the occupied territories. It inflicts war crimes on Palestinians, who then weakly lash out, justifying yet more Israeli war crimes as Israel flaunts its victimhood, all to a soundtrack of western consolation.

The hypocrisy is becoming ever harder to hide, and the cognitive dissonance ever harder for western publics to stomach.

In Israel itself, institutionalised racism against the country’s large minority of Palestinian citizens – a fifth of the population – is being entrenched in full view.

Last week Natalie Portman, an American-Israeli actor, voiced her disgust at what she termed the “racist” nation-state basic law, legislation passed in the summer that formally classifies Israel’s Palestinian population as inferior.

Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s grown-up son, voiced a sentiment widely popular in Israel last week when he wrote on Facebook that he wished “All the Muslims [sic] leave the land of Israel”. He was referring to Greater Israel – a territorial area that does not distinguish between Israel and the occupied territories.

In fact, Israel’s Jim Crow-style policies – segregation of the type once inflicted on African-Americans in the US – is becoming ever more overt.

Last month the Jewish city of Afula banned Palestinian citizens from entering its main public park while vowing it wanted to “preserve its Jewish character”. A court case last week showed that a major Israeli construction firm has systematically blocked Palestinian citizens from buying houses near Jews. And the parliament is expanding a law to prevent Palestinian citizens from living on most of Israel’s land.

A bill to reverse this trend, committing Israel instead to “equal political rights amongst all its citizens”, was drummed out of the parliament last week by an overwhelming majority of legislators.

Americans, like other westerners, are waking up to this ugly reality. A growing number understand that it is time for a new, single state model, one that ends Israel’s treatment of Jews as separate from and superior to Palestinians, and instead offers freedom and equality for all.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Afghan Taliban say will hold fresh talks with US officials in UAE on Monday

Press TV – December 17, 2018

The Afghan Taliban militant group says it is set to hold a fresh round of talks with US officials this time in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite earlier reports that suggested the meeting would take place in neighboring Pakistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a Twitter post that delegates from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE will also attend Monday’s discussions.

The militant group has already held two meetings with US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar.

The latest round was held last month at the Taliban’s political headquarters in the country, where the Taliban said they failed to reach any agreement with the United States, citing dissatisfaction with a deadline set by Khalilzad to end the war.

The militant outfit issued a statement last month, demanding the lifting of sanctions against its leaders, the release of prisoners and the recognition of its office in Qatar.

The Taliban, however, have so far refused to deal directly with the government in Kabul, which they consider as “illegitimate.”

The militants also view the presence of foreign forces, including those of the US, in Afghanistan as the main obstacle to peace. They have said they are open to negotiations on issues such as mutual recognition with the Afghan government, constitutional changes and women’s rights.

Kabul, on the other hand, is strongly opposed to any recognition of the Qatar office, which was established at the request of Washington in 2013 to “facilitate peace talks.”

The Taliban’s latest announcement came despite earlier reports that the new round of talks could take place in Pakistan.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had said Saturday that Islamabad facilitated the new round of discussions at Washington’s request.

Khan’s announcement prompted a reaction from the Afghan government, with its Foreign Ministry hailing the move as Islamabad’s first practical step towards the peace process in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an end in the wake of a US-led invasion in 2001, but 17 years on, the militant group continues to flex its muscles against the government and the foreign troops remaining on Afghan soil.

Since the onset of the US-led invasion, Afghanistan has never been as insecure as it currently is.

The Taliban have strengthened their grip over the past three years, with the government in Kabul controlling just 56 percent of the country, down from 72 percent in 2015, a recent US government report showed.

Taking advantage of the chaos, the Takfiri Daesh terror group has also established a foothold in the war-torn country.

Having failed to end the militancy campaign, Washington has over the past months stepped up its political efforts to secure a truce with Taliban.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | Leave a comment

US Scrapped Arctic Drills Fearing Only Russia Can Save Its Icebreaker – Official

Sputnik – 17.12.2018

While Russia possesses dozens of icebreakers, including heavy types for polar duty in the Arctic and Antarctica, the US has only two such ships, among them only one heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, with an ever-dwindling service life.

The US Coast Guard at one point decided not to conduct exercises in the Arctic due to fears that the Polar Star, the US’ only heavy icebreaker, could break down and the American side would have to seek help from Russia, according to former Coast Guard commandant Paul Zukunft.

He was cited by Business Insider as saying that when he was the commandant, the National Security Council notified him of their plans to send the Polar Star through the Northern Sea Route and carry out a freedom of navigation drill.

“I said, ‘Au contraire, it’s a 40-year-old ship. We’re cannibalizing parts off its sister ship just to keep this thing running, and I can’t guarantee you that it won’t have a catastrophic engineering casualty as it’s doing a freedom of navigation exercise, and now I’ve got to call on Russia to pull me out of harm’s way. So this is not the time to do it”, Zukunft pointed out.

He did not elaborate on when the drills were due to be conducted.

Additionally, Zukunft underscored the importance of creating dual-use infrastructure in the Artic in order to support US national defence.

“But the immediate need right now is for commercial [operations], and that was driven home when we didn’t get the fuel delivery into [the Alaskan city of] Nome. At that point in time we were able to call upon Russia to provide an ice-capable tanker escorted by the Coast Guard cutter Healy to resupply Nome”, he said, apparently referring to an incident in 2012, when Nome was iced-in and on the verge of running out of fuel.

Unlike Russia, which has dozens of icebreakers, including some designed for operating in severe weather conditions in the Arctic, the US is in possession of just two such vessels. The country’s only operational heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, was commissioned in 1976 and refurbished in 2012 to extend its service life.

Earlier, the US Department of Homeland Security said that at least $750 million should be allocated for the construction of a new heavy polar icebreaker in the new fiscal year, which kicked off on 1 October.

Coast Guard commandant Karl Schultz, for his part, said that he remains “guardedly optimistic” about funding being available for a new polar icebreaker, as US lawmakers grapple with other spending priorities, including a wall on the US-Mexico border.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

Connecting the dots: Crack, Contras, and the CIA

Brass Check TV

This 1996 interview with Gary Webb took place after his “Dark Alliance” newspaper series made waves across the country for piecing together the puzzle of the US crack epidemic.

The pipeline of CIA backed drug smuggling into the country and money smuggling out of the country to support the Nicaraguan Contras was wide open from the mid 1970s on, with players using everything from their shoes to freighters to move cocaine.

Webb was widely smeared by the CIA’s favorite newspapers (The New York Times, the Washington Post, The LA Times ) shortly after this interview.

He was eventually vindicated, but not before his career was destroyed. He was found dead of an apparent suicide in 2005. The price of being a whistleblower?

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Fanning the Flames of Dissent: The Ruling Class Is Having Trouble with Its Israel-Palestine Narrative

By Jason Hirthler | American Herald Tribune | December 15, 2018

Recently, the White House hosted two Hanukkah celebrations attended by the president, first lady, and vice president. One can imagine the general bonhomie as the Trumps rubbed elbows with fellow billionaire Sheldon Adelson and other luminaries of the ‘special relationship’. Trump was cheered for his provocative move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something many observers call a sea change in U.S. foreign policy. Of course, almost every recent president has publicly stated that Jerusalem is Israel’s proper capital. Trump was simply the first president to actually follow through on the implications of that position.

In its coverage of the events, Trump was assailed by the Times of Israel for telling American Jews that Israel was “your country”, as if they were not American citizens. The paper noted that if Barack Obama had made such a rhetorical misstep, he would’ve been savaged by conservative media. As it was, Trump’s language was generally passed over in silence in the mainstream press. Despite that, the president and his coterie of Zionist comrades are likely becoming an ever more isolated pack of wolves on the American scene, their inflexible ideology and its brutal manifestations alienating them from popular opinion in the U.S.

The Scourge of Self-Deception

In his excellent book The Folly of Fools, evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers expounded his theory of deceit and self-deception among humans, including his concept of false historical narratives. A false historical narrative is essentially when a nation or tribe or people collectively believe a false version of their history. Trivers’ particular example? Israel. The author unpacks the country’s long-standing denial of Palestinian agency in its zealous Zionist pursuit of Greater Israel as a form of collective self-delusion. One that has had considerable influence in the United States where AIPAC wields outsized influence on Capitol Hill.

One wonders if false historical narratives are more likely to befall colonial settler nations. After all, the United States itself is beholden to any number of false historical narratives: the belief that America promotes and defends freedom around the world; the belief that it won World War Two; the lack of acknowledgement of the Native American genocide in its historical narrative; and that it has served as an impartial mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This latter belief has been lately exploded by several excellent books, among them Rashid Khalidi’s Brokers of Deceit. Thanks in large part to such works, the rise of social media, and the militancy and visibility of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the general tenor of debate in the United States, at least, has changed. This is deeply troubling for Tel Aviv and Washington, which have long depended on a tightly controlled, top-down narrative to control opinion on Palestinian issues, a storyline dutifully disseminated by sycophantic corporate media. But a false narrative cannot survive or thrive amid a digital space of unbridled debate, much of it agitated unmediated wrangling with a tendency to devolve into ad hominem attacks, but also plenty of powerful non-mainstream journalism bringing fresh perspectives to the topic.

Damming the Flood

Only heavy-handed censorship can hope to stem the tide of dissident voices from chopping the legs out from beneath the mainstream fairy tale of Israeli rectitude and Arab savagery. And that is, of course, precisely what is happening in the social space.

Facebook has purged some 400 pro-Palestinian voices from its platform for violating “community standards,” an ironic phrase given that real community standards would necessarily have to be created by the community, rather than its ‘owner’, presently being advised by the neoliberal, neocon Atlantic Council. Facebook labeled the banned commentary as “hate speech”, a term unsupported by the Supreme Court but happily flung about by the Israeli lobby–alongside the stalwart ‘anti-Semitism’–in efforts to shutter dissent. Twitter, too, has fallen in line with the pro-Israel position of both the government and its mainstream media lapdogs. It has shuttered attempts to out IDF commando unit soldiers who raided Gaza last month. The censorship aligns with Israeli military censors in Tel Aviv.

CNN wasted no time firing Marc Lamont Hill after a fairly normal speech at the United Nations during its commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Board members at Temple University, where he teaches, rumbled about punitive measures. The treatment of Hill falls in line with a long history of attacks on African-Americans who disagree with American foreign policy, from Paul Robeson during the McCarthy era, the many victims of the FBI’s COINTELPRO effort to destroy black solidarity movements. Even Andrew Young, serving as Jimmy Carter’s UN Ambassador, was forced to resign when he took the bold step of actually talking to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). An alliance of oppressed peoples across national borders is a true existential nightmare for imperialists, explaining in part why so many African-American leftists have been swift and energetically besieged by establishment agencies.

A Leaky Vessel

But it may be too little too late. Holes are being ripped in the Zionist false narrative, and it is leaking hard truths like a sieve. At last, Americans are beginning to recognize the cruelty of the Israeli occupation. For years the international community has angrily brandished UN resolutions against the occupation, about the right of return, and others declaring Zionism as a form of racism. To little avail. Some sixty resolutions have been widely ignored in the west. With this occupation more than any other conflict in the geopolitical arena, it is as if international law does not exist.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt punctured a gaping hole in the side of stealthy Zionist influence with their landmark work The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. But the social media response to the brutal Israeli siege of Gaza in 2014 was likely the watershed moment. Progressives like Max Blumenthal assiduously documented the assault, while the glib Obama administration’s willingness to sell arms to Israel in the midst of its crushing attack struck many Americans as almost unconscionably blasé. So too the international response to the recently passed Basic Law, in which Israel is confirmed as a Jewish-ethnic state, with all mention of democracy stripped from the language. In one recent step by a major company, Airbnb recused itself from doing business in occupied territories, a move lauded by Palestinian supporters and naturally deplored by Zionists.

The perceptual gap between the views of the American populace and the Israeli citizenry appears to be widening. A recent polling result in Israel uncovered widespread racism targeting Arabs and Palestinians. Israelis were uncomfortable in large numbers to a variety of hypothetical interactions with Palestinians: if their children made friends with Palestinian children, if their neighbors were Palestinian, if people near them spoke in Arabic, and so on. Likewise, many said they’d be unlikely to rent to Palestinians and felt Israelis deserved job placement consideration over Arabs. As a comparison with a comparable European poll showed, Israeli discomfort with Arabs was more widespread than European discomfort with Jews, undermining the MSM discussion of rising anti-Semitism, a phenomenon that Foreign Policy argued was not tied to rising criticism of Israel.

A University of Maryland poll of Americans showed growing support for a one-state solution, as more observers have come to believe that rampant Israeli settlement-building in occupied territory have made a two-state solution completely unrealistic apart from some construction that posited a Palestinian state composed of tiny isolated cantons vigilantly policed by the IDF on the least arable land available (the rest having been annexed by entitled settlers).

A one-state solution is an anathema to Zionists. Israel has long harbored a fear of one day being outnumbered by Arabs in its own ‘homeland’. One hears the occasional trumpeting of a demographic ‘time bomb’ (and sometimes arguments that give lie to the concept). Israelis have cited the ‘security situation’ as an incentive to reproduce. In any event, settlements continue apace. It is instructive to note that inside Israel, there is vigorous debate on this issue: not about the validity of settlements, but the pace at which they are constructed.

Americans also increasingly support sanctions on Israel for its continued settlement activity. This undoubtedly partly owing to the aforementioned thaw in the commentary, particularly of the non-professional variety, but also perhaps has to do with the fact that Washington has leveled sanctions against so many perceived foes in recent years: Venezuela, Nicaragua, Russia, China, Syria, Iran, and on and on. Why, the public must wonder, is Israel left out of this seemingly indiscriminate use of economic leverage?

Zionists have mounted vigorous resistance to BDS, and have persuaded Congress to put forward the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would criminalize any kind of voluntary boycotting of Israel and its settlements. This last argument reflects the threadbare smear that pro-Israeli hawks like Alan Dershowitz and other informally appointed paladins of the cause have long used to defend criticism of Israel: that any criticism of Israel or Zionism is a de facto attack on Jews and therefore anti-Semitic. This attempt to conflate Israel with all Jewry is not unlike the facile use of the “hate speech” to encompass all varieties of criticism.

The Race to Narrative Hegemony

Yet dire reports surface almost daily, as Israel clamors to bar and ban and liquidate resistance. Among the recent stories that must have Israeli PR groups a furor: the expelling of Human Rights Watch officials from the country, the shooting of unarmed protestors during the ‘Great March of Return’ border protests, remorseless extrajudicial killings, the expansion of “admissions committees” to restrict Palestinian access to housing, the rationing of electricity and medicines to desperate Gazans, the forcible exile of Bedouins from historic villages. The list is interminable.

Perhaps for these reasons rather in spite of them, some 38 percent of Americans, including 37 percent of Jewish Americans polled, think Israel has too much influence in the American political system. Democrats in particular are increasingly favorable to actually neutral policies toward Israelis and Palestinians, not least because of Obama’s chilly relationship with Tel Aviv, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s undermining of the former president’s JCPOA with Iran.

It is critical to note the yawning abyss between the corporate state and corporate media positions on Israeli-Palestinian issues and those of the American public. While the MSM continues its pro-Israel stance, the ideological ground beneath it is shifting like sand, as Americans have engaged in online debates that have in some cases broadened their perspectives and in others deepened their partisanship. It is forever ironic that efforts to suppress a particular viewpoint tend to exacerbate it. As the mainstream become ever more strident in their response to heterodox opinions, the objections only grow louder. As one might expect, the historical narrative around Israel is now freighted with heretical objections, its propositions subject to relentless dissection in the digital sphere.

It is no surprise then, that Trump’s friends at those White House Hanukkah parties have grown shrill and heavy-handed in their attempts to shout down a rising chorus of resistance to the party line. The question is, can they push Washington and America’s social media giants hard enough to foreclose the numberless avenues of dissent fast enough to salvage what’s left of a tawdry argument for apartheid.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 8 Comments