I’m not one to hastily jump to conclusions about events like these, but the alleged shooting at the Canadian parliament and a nearby war memorial that took place today smells like a false-flag operation designed to expedite the Harper regime’s militarist agenda.
The mainstream media is in a furor over the incident. Non-stop wall-to-wall coverage has commenced. Even American and British outlets have picked up the story.
One very noticeable clue as to the fraudulent nature of this event is the immediate calls from establishment propagandists for a crack down on free speech (what they call “hate speech”) and the bolstering of Orwellian “anti-terrorism” laws which will in effect hand the state unlimited powers to spy on the citizenry of Canada and snuff out dissidents.
For example, the former CSIS Assistant Director Ray Boisvert said this on CBC:
“We need to get at those who are the purveyors of hate. So those who proselytize, those who are radicalizing, we need to find ways to go after them with respect to hate speech or perhaps its time for new legislation under the anti-terrorism act as we’re seeing in the UK.”
The former Canadian spy boss essentially echoed what British PM David Cameron said in a UN speech last month wherein he called for “non-violent extremists” to be criminalized. The traitorous British statesman specifically named 9/11 and 7/7 skeptics as falling within his dubious definition of “non-violent extremists.”
Another suspicious guest on the aforementioned CBC program used innuendo to try to link the Ottawa shooting to ISIS and Islamism, conveniently at a time when Stephen Harper is looking to justify his decision to whore out our military in the US-led bombing initiative in Iraq.
Shortly after the false-flag attacks of 9/11, the Canadian government mimicked its US counterpart by passing anti-terror laws which included the infamous “Section 13″ provision in the Human Rights Act that was consequently used by Zionists and their agents to silence critics on the internet.
Look for more of the same from the Zionist regime in Ottawa in the coming days. The mainstream media’s job is to whip up hysteria in order to scare the populace into accepting draconian laws that will eliminate our freedoms. Unfortunately most of the population are lemmings who will believe anything the government or media tells them and willingly forfeit their freedoms to the deceptive miscreants who currently occupy our government.
In any case, one cannot discount the very real possibility that the Canadian state had a hand in this.
Click here to listen to Joshua Blakeney’s commentary on the matter.
As expected, the recent fabricated ISIS terror scare that swept the headlines of Canada’s Zionist-owned media is being used by the neocon regime in Ottawa to give Canada’s spy agency CSIS more sweeping powers to spy on citizens and protect the identities of informants.
“The federal government will face intense scrutiny – perhaps even a constitutional challenge – when it introduces legislation to give its spies more legal powers,” reported the Ottawa Citizen.
Proposed amendments to the act governing CSIS will grant the Canadian spy agency more wiggle room to collaborate with the “Five Eyes” spy network comprised of US, UK, Australia and New Zealand espionage agencies. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the Five Eyes network has been neck-deep in illegal espionage activities targeting millions of their own citizens.
“A second measure,” the Citizen continued, “would give CSIS informants the same anonymity that already exists for police sources, who are not subject to cross-examination and can have their identities hidden, even from trial judges.” The Canadian government’s informants are more than likely responsible for spurring or otherwise concocting the very ‘terror’ plots CSIS claims to have foiled — just like its counterpart in the US has been caught doing time and time again. (See The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism by Trevor Aaronson) Problem, reaction, solution — the Machiavellian methodology never fails.
Like Canada, Australia and Britain are endeavoring to empower their spook agencies as well as stiffen their fraudulent “anti-terror” laws in the face of phony ISIS ‘terror plots’ that bear all the hallmarks of intelligence psyops.
That is what the ISIS sham threat is all about — creating a bogus pretext so our governments can strip us of our liberties and stamp out dissent.
British PM David Cameron unveiled the real agenda behind ISIS terrorism fear-mongering — silencing critics of the war on terror and skeptics of the US and UK government versions of 9/11 and 7/7. In September, Cameron delivered a bizarre speech at the UN in which he said with unreserved hubris:
“As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by preachers who claim not to encourage violence, but whose world view can be used as a justification for it. … The peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot and the 7/7 London attacks were staged. The idea that Muslims are persecuted all over the world as a deliberate act of Western policy. The concept of an inevitable clash of civilizations. We must be clear: to defeat the ideology of extremism we need to deal with all forms of extremism – not just violent extremism.”
More and more people are awakening to the truth that 9/11, 7/7 and other major terrorist incidents in the West were staged by US, UK and Israeli intelligence services to provide said countries a pretext to launch the pre-planned Zionist-contrived war on terror against Israel’s enemies. Innumerable masses of people are learning about the dark legacy of Zionism and are starting to speak out about it.
The public’s growing interest in alternative theories about 9/11, 7/7 and other false-flags has alarmed the Western powers-that-be whose present foreign policies hinge upon the big lies surrounding those events. If the true story of 9/11 and 7/7 emerged, the American and British public would rise up in revolt against the unjust and criminal regimes occupying their capitals. The perfidious elites cannot allow that to happen, hence Cameron’s insistence that “non-violent extremists” — 9/11 and 7/7 truthers, anti-Zionists, etc. — are akin to the head-chopping Takfiri marauders of ISIS and should be treated as such.
The manufactured ‘civil war’ in Syria, like the preceding one in Libya, is a deliberate Zionist policy of destabilization. Syria, like Iran, is one of the last bastions of resistance against Israeli hegemony in the region, and has therefore been earmarked for extinction by the usual suspects and their Western lapdogs.
Aside from being impediments to Israel’s imperium, countries like Syria, Iran, Libya, Iraq and other target states have been resilient to globalist attempts to import a degenerate American monoculture into their jurisdictions. These countries affirmed their sovereignty against the globalist cultural imperialists — headquartered in Washington — who seek to export MacDonalds, Burger King and Wal-Mart to the four corners of the earth. The globalists want to erect a global shopping mall on the ruins of traditional cultures.
Unlike in America and much of the deracinated West, the peoples of the Middle East have been widely educated about the Zio-American world menace. Instead of chowing down Big Macs or listening to the putrid rhymes of Kanye West, Middle Easterners are being informed on issues of global importance. Instead of reading trashy gossip mags and stewing over celebrity degeneracy, Iranians are perusing The Protocols of Zion and holding conferences questioning the veracity of ‘the holocaust.’
Neocon Zionists like Daniel Pipes, David Aaronovitch and Jonathan Kay have routinely decried the “conspiracy” culture emanating from homogenous Muslim societies. That’s what Pipes’ book The Hidden Hand: Middle East Fears of Conspiracy was all about; Aaronovitch’s Blaming the Jews documentary is of a similar vein. The reality is that the Muslim world has figured out the Zionists’ Machiavellian game plan and is therefore being punished for failing to succumb to their decrepit exceptionalist mythology.
A dumbed down, atomized mass of materialistic consumers is what the Zionists and their Big Money cohorts want. A pitiful populace comprised of tattooed, chain-smoking, money-chasing, burger-munching airheads is what pleases the moneyed elite.
The Frankfurt School Zionists conquered much of the West through the promotion of degenerate and dysgenic social norms, thereby weakening the traditional culture of their host nations and effectively taking them over. Since the nation-states of the Middle East have largely thwarted the cultural imperialists’ internal plots, the globalist armies of the West have besieged them.
But there is still a glimmer of hope in the West as more people come to terms with the truth about 9/11, 7/7 and the ‘war on terror’ hoax. Only time will tell if that will be enough to stop the globalist menace from devouring what’s left of our broken world.
Copyright 2014 Brandon Martinez
To understand Denis Rancourt and his book, Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism, you have to know the difference between critical thinking and independent thinking.
Critical thinking is nothing special. Every college student is taught to do it, to prepare for employment fielding matters for employers. On the job, critical thinking amounts to little more than the ability to say, “The boss isn’t going to like this.” You don’t need your own ideology to say that. You need only understand the boss’s ideology and use it to guide your work.
The safest way to avoid making a fatal mistake in such work, and to advance through the ranks, is to adopt the assigned way of thinking as your own. Your life becomes routine and you vanish from history, but you get a roof over your head and more than enough food for your pie hole. It’s the Devil’s bargain for survival in hierarchical organizations.
Rancourt is having none of it. Having become an activist and thereby having experienced the excitement, exhilaration and fulfillment of helping to shape the society he lives in, Rancourt sees cog-in-the-wheel life as a living death.
As a tenured professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Rancourt noticed that students were emerging from physics courses without truly grasping the concepts behind the techniques that they were learning. The instruction was more indoctrination than education. Grades reflected obedience and memorization more than real understanding. The system prepared students to be obedient critical thinkers but did not arm them with the understanding required to be independent thinkers. That served employers, who want technically trained employees who don’t have their own agendas.
Rancourt became an outspoken critic of the university. (And I was fortunate enough to get to know him at that time.) He blogged about how the institution’s undemocratic structure and corporate orientation led to malfeasance at all levels, from the president’s office to the classroom. And he worked to promote student activism. In response, the university repeatedly tried to discipline him for various contrived infractions, but the repressive measures didn’t hold up upon review. Finally, the university fired Rancourt under the pretext that an unconventional grading system that he used in one class wasn’t permitted by the rules, despite its success in getting students to grasp concepts. His dismissal led to one of the biggest academic freedom cases in Canada.
The university continued to try to silence Rancourt even after it fired him. As I describe below, the university used public money to finance a private lawsuit against Rancourt for refusing to withdraw his stinging criticism of one of the university’s “service intellectuals” (a term that Rancourt uses incisively).
Rancourt’s book is more wide-ranging than its title implies, as it covers much more than the fight against racism. Rancourt argues for student liberation, tries to use biology to explain social hierarchy, discusses how workplace hierarchy is a source of stress and a health hazard, criticizes establishment medicine, describes how the social system works to keep individuals powerless, and discusses the role of collaborators in maintaining the status quo. He brings independent thinking to each topic, often opening up new lines of thinking about long-standing social problems. In this way his book is seminal, and one hopes that he and others will follow through on his ideas and see where they lead.
In a theme that pervades the book, Rancourt argues that the structure of society reflects the state of an ongoing battle between oppressive hierarchy and the individual’s impulse for freedom and influence. He says that the hierarchical system needs to disorient and incapacitate us. It uses brutal methods that exploit the dependence of our self-identities on our social status, over which the bosses exercise much control.
In another theme, Rancourt is highly critical of critical race theory. He argues that suppressing the expression of racist opinions prevents real, enlightening debate and thereby undermines the individual’s political development and the struggle against racism.
The racism issue that Rancourt addresses arose after the student union on his campus publicly reported a pattern of discrimination by the university. To the embarrassment of the university, the report received much media attention. In response, the president of the university asked a black assistant professor to publicly “evaluate” the student report. In just a few days’ time, and with university guidance behind the scenes, the professor produced an “independent” public report, which the university posted on its website, questioning the validity of the student findings.
To present as “independent” an evaluation produced in this way would be considered unethical in science, journalism, government, and even advertising. It would be seen as a gussied-up version of: “I’m not a racist, am I?” “Of course not, boss.”1,2 However, when Rancourt criticized the relationship between the professor and her employer in terms that Malcolm X used to describe similar situations, the university moved to silence him. It hired a top corporate lawyer to pursue a million dollar lawsuit against Rancourt, in the name of the black professor.
But that effort to silence Rancourt backfired. Lawyers usually advise litigants to shut up, but Rancourt repeatedly spoke out about the lawsuit and made its details public; the media reported on it. In the book, Rancourt discusses the suit and critiques the philosophy behind it.
I don’t agree with Rancourt on every issue. For example, he says that it is “self-evident” that social hierarchy is natural, a product of human biology. If such biological determinism hadn’t been discredited by 20th century history, then I would respond by asserting that the ongoing fight for democracy is natural. And in this I would quote Rancourt himself, for the main thrust of his book is that social hierarchy has to be forced upon people.
But Rancourt’s main goal isn’t to get you to agree with him on the issues. Rather, his goal is to provoke you to reject the boring, worn-out framework within which the issues are debated in the mass media and academe, and think independently. His book worked for me, as I ended up thinking about important issues in new ways.
- “Author Jeff Schmidt campaigns for just treatment of Professor Joanne St. Lewis.” [↩]
- “Author Jeff Schmidt apologizes to Professor Joanne St. Lewis.” [↩]
As most of the world has duly noted, Canada under the neo-Conservative Harper regime has been a front-runner in supporting Israel in its racial apartheid policies in Israel. Also, recently a discussion comparing South Africa’s apartheid system with that of Israel has occurred with South African testimony indicating that, while they are not the same, they are very similar, and in some circumstances, Israel’s apartheid is worse. What is not seen is Canada’s role in modeling apartheid for South Africa under the Afrikaner-dominated National Party. Canada’s role in developing these systems of apartheid has been seldom noted academically, and is given very little attention either domestically or internationally.
It is generally recognized that North America was a series of colonies from Great Britain, France, Spain, and Russia, with a few Dutch thrown into the mix. The first ‘discoverers’ of America, the Norse Vikings, died out through their lack of ability to adapt to the climatic changes that overtook them. The later colonial settlers survived in part because they did accept the graciousness of the indigenous peoples in assisting them, from which Canada and the U.S. derive their respective national holiday, Thanksgiving.
However, right from the start, these colonial-settler immigrants created myths that allowed them to overrun the native populations without too many qualms about the abuses they perpetrated. Religion, race, and government policies all had a great deal to do with this. The two main myths directed at the Indians of North America can be located elsewhere in the world where colonial-settler populations have invaded. The first myth is that North America was a vast empty land filled with riches to be exploited by the newcomers. Somewhat in contradiction to that is the myth that the Indians were primitives, needing to be civilized, a notion that included religion, land ownership, and the rule of white man’s law.
The reality of history is much more disconcerting for those concerned about human rights and the nature of our societies, as they were, and as they exist today. I will not deal with the history of the native population in the U.S., although it is interrelated with that of Canada. It is generally recognized that after the era of glorious movie westerns celebrating the settlement of the empty plains and mountains, the reality is that of a steady policy of genocide, racism, and warfare against the native people while capitalist ownership of land subjugated the landscape.
Canada’s native history
Canada’s story is a bit different, especially as perceived in comparison to that of the U.S. It is true we do not have the same degree of violent history over the native population, but it is a history that nonetheless is still violent, genocidal, and racist. Current events reflect that it is still violent, if of a different form, and still very much racist, although covered over with all sorts of ignorant platitudes. Unfortunately as well, the vestiges of apartheid still hang on within Canadian governance, never described as such, with the blame for its human rights abuses being blamed mainly on the recipients of that abuse—racism at its most civilized.
These thoughts all coalesced this summer while I was travelling across Canada. Somewhere along the line (literally—I went by train), I bought a powerful, damning critique of Canadian government policy during the era of Canada’s colonial settlement years across Canada’s vast resource rich prairie region. Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life, (University of Regina Press, 2013), written by James Daschuk, is a study of the Canadian settlement in relation to the early fur trade up to the time when the railroads opened up the plains for the large settler populations from Europe, most from eastern Europe. The title is very indicative of the content, and as I read it I was also reminded of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.
It is Diamond’s middle term, germs, that plays a significant role in Canada’s history, although guns and steel had their fair share, and all were tied into political policies of the day.
By the time the fur traders arrived in the Prairie region of Canada, epidemics of European origin had already swept through many of the tribes, decimating a population that had not previously been exposed to them. While this is an attribute of all peoples not previously exposed to particular microbes, the problem in Canada was significantly increased by both a lack of interest in native health—other than for labor for harvesting the beaver pelts – and later a government official policy of ‘near starvation.’ Without their historical access to food as the buffalo herds were decimated as a foodstock for the early traders and settlers, and without reliable water resources as the beaver population was decimated for the leisure class in Europe, the natives were highly susceptible to foreign microbes as malnutrition compromised their immune systems. As the fur trade progressed in its many facets, then died out to be replaced by the railroads and settlements, the vectors for transmission of disease increased. As the vectors increased, so did the government policies of starvation and apartheid.
Our current neo-Conservative government loves to promote the achievements of Sir John A. Macdonald, considered the ‘father of confederation.’ It is perhaps not surprising then that their current attitudes towards the native population are reminiscent of their political heritage. It was Sir John A. MacDonald who said, “We cannot allow them to die for want of food…. [We] are doing all we can, by refusing food until the Indians are on the verge of starvation, to reduce the expense.”
The Liberals were not significantly different as opposition to the government. They were “an important factor in constraining the government expenditures on the Indian population… the prime minister pre-empted criticism by promising to keep the hungry from dying, but assuring the House that his government would be “rigid, even stingy” in the distribution of food.”
This pretense of financial responsibility was of course part and parcel of the countries policy of settlement of the prairies. Along with this simple policy of starvation were several other factors (such as the lack of immunities mentioned above) that were part of Canada’s racial apartheid policy.
Today, much of Canada has no recognizable Indian territories other than the small parcels of land allocated to the various remaining band populations under the Indian Act (1876). This Act purportedly provided the Queen’s protection for the natives including the enforcement of the various treaties that ceded huge swaths of territory to the Canadian government. These reservations have a history of being revoked, resettled, cut-off, redrawn, leaving mostly small remnants of generally poorer geographical areas for native use.
The treaties themselves were and are generally treated as inconveniences for the government and were not much more than lip service for their underlying articles for rights and assistance. The Indian Act placed the native population under the care of the ‘crown’—the government—and has been used as a device to control and limit native power rather than to uphold treaty obligations: “To Canadian officials, the widespread occupation of reserves had another benefit: it greatly facilitated their control of the population.” This was managed in several ways along with the official policy of starvation.
Agricultural practices were one factor. Although encouraged to settle and take up farming, the government controlled agricultural practices, “An order in council was passed to forbid the inhabitants of reserves from “selling, bartering, exchanging or giving any person or persons whatsoever, any grain, or root crops, or any other produce grown on any Indian Reserve in the Northwest territories [as the prairie regions was then called].” The move was intended to preserve locally grown food for the communities that produced it, but it also had the effect of barring reserve farmers from participating in the commercial economy of the northwest.”
As usual the excuse for the action and the intended effect are contradictory. The ultimate idea “was not that the Indian should become self-supporting. He was only to be kept quiet till the country filled up when his ill will could be ignored.”
With the arrival of the railways, sections of land were given to immigrants in order to establish an agricultural economy. This was done through providing the railways themselves with enormous tracts of land, and relocating the natives.
“The most significant relocation was the forced removal of communities from their chosen reserves in the Cypress Hills after the decision to build the Canadian Pacific Railway along the southern prairies…. In doing so, the Canadian government accomplished the ethnic cleansing of southwestern Saskatchewan of its indigenous population.”
Starvation was a tool within this policy as “Rations were deliberately withheld until the chief capitulated.”
Another factor of control was the institution of a pass system. With a pass, the natives were given certain rights subject to the Indian Act and ultimate control by the government. It was “perhaps the most onerous regulation placed on the Indians after the rebellion,” implemented to limit the mobility of treaty Indians, keeping them on their reserves and away from European communities.”
Once the land was removed—and the land is essential to any indigenous people’s culture—the cultural attributes of the indigenous people were attacked. Foremost among these efforts were the Residential schools controlled mainly by the Catholic and Anglican religions (paid for by the government) that followed the white man into the prairies. Native languages and religious rituals were forbidden, visitations were limited, the program of minimal nourishment and lack of health care continued, the latter contributing to many unrecorded deaths among the native children. Along with these limitations and prohibitions, the religious orders created a situation ripe for sexual abuse and assault. These institutions existed until as late as 1996 when the last one was closed down.
Beyond the residential schools, band based religious practices were forbidden. Indigenous rights to access courts were forbidden. The right to vote did not arrive fully until 1960; before then if a native were to vote, their treaty rights—such as they were—were revoked, another means to control the reserve populations.
Racism was easily inculcated into the settlers across the prairies as by the time they arrived in the late Nineteenth Century, they were witness to the nadir of native health and culture. What they saw was a population decimated by disease, incapable of supporting themselves, unkempt and “uncivilized”. They did not know or care to know the conditions that had reduced the once self-sufficient and culturally whole tribes to a state of haggard dependency on an uncaring government.
The Indian Act still controls the reserve system and is still used and abused by the government to control the native population. While outright starvation is not a serious problem, modern diseases—AIDS, diabetes, alcoholism, suicide—are significantly higher in native populations than in the rest of Canada.
Education is still used as a tool to manipulate both the native people and the opinions of the non-native population. The latter is managed by the latent racism that is not far below the surface of many Canadians of all political stripes, very clearly seen in response to protests or demonstrations, especially with the “Silent no more” actions.
Economic activity is another tool used to manipulate the current native populations. Individual economic agreements with bands are attempts to both divide the populations in the bands as well as get around Treaty requirements and other Federal or Provincial regulations in many aspects of the economy from agriculture to mining and forestry. Money is still used as a manipulator, with promises and conditions being put forward that overall are attempts by the government to destroy the resurgence in native culture, to destroy its ability to use constitutional law against the government.
The Canadian apartheid system is still alive. It is not as demonstrative or obvious as that of Israel or formerly of South Africa, but it still exists as a construct within Canadian governance. As concluded by Daschuk, “While Canadians see themselves as world leaders in social welfare, health care, and economic development, most reserves in Canada are economic backwaters with little prospect of material advancement and more in common with the third world than the rest of Canada.”
Apartheid in South Africa
As I indicated above, I will not discuss the relationships, differences, and commonalities between South Africa and Canada and Israel. There are two recent works that discuss Israeli apartheid in comparison to South African apartheid that I have read: The Battle for Justice in Palestine, (Haymarket Press, 2014) and The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid (Porcupine Press, SA, 2013). Both provide the obvious evidence for the state of apartheid in Israel, with valid comparisons to South Africa.
There is however a Canadian link. Officially Canada opposed South Africa’s apartheid system, but underneath trade and economic business carried on as usual. Canada only went against it when popular opinion became too strong to resist as a political platform. The real tie to South African apartheid is not at this level, but comes from South Africa modelling the Canadian reserve system and its instruments in order to implement apartheid in South Africa.
“Notwithstanding this self-congratulatory revisionism, Canada mostly supported apartheid in South Africa. First, by providing it with a model. South Africa patterned its policy towards Blacks after Canadian policy towards First Nations. Ambiguous Champion [University of Toronto Press, 1997] explains, ‘South African officials regularly came to Canada to examine reserves set aside for First Nations, following colleagues who had studied residential schools in earlier parts of the century.’”
More recently Thomas Mulcair, as opposition leader to the current neo-Cons, commenting after the passing of Nelson Mandela, “makes a fairly direct comparison between South Africa’s apartheid regime and Canada’s treatment of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. He’s not wrong, either — in fact, the apartheid system was based on Canada’s Indian Act. Our residential schools, Indian Reserve and many other deeply racist systems inspired South Africa’s oppressive regime. I’m glad that at least one of our federal leaders has (somewhat) acknowledged this in their remarks on Mandela’s death.”
Thus for all of Canada’s rhetoric about apartheid in South Africa and its rhetoric in support of Israeli and therefore its apartheid, there is a strong linkage demonstrating the positive role Canada has had in creating and maintaining the apartheid systems.
Apartheid in Israel is obvious to anyone reading about how the overall cultural-geopolitical landscape is managed. Accompanying apartheid, ethnic cleansing has also occurred, on a scale probably larger and more violent than occurred in Canada; genocide has not been a significant factor in Israel yet (other than used as an ongoing excuse for being the global victim of ethnic hatred), but was a considerable factor in Canada.
Certainly there are similarities and differences. Israel, like Canada, is a colonial-settler country, with the original Zionist philosophers clearly recognizing the problem of an already existing population in Palestine. Theodore Herzl recognized it clearly, advocating the ethnic cleansing of the region, “Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” (Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.)
Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 after the independence war and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their villages and towns, “We must do everything to ensure they (the Palestinians) never do return.” Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes, “The old will die and the young will forget.
The lie of denial of an existing population, reminiscent of North America’s ‘unoccupied’ lands is frequently quoted from Golda Meir, “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” (Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.) “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” (Golda Meir Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969.)
Apartheid is a construct that includes both cultural and geographical elements. The idea of ethnic cleansing and the denial of existence as above is one such factor. There are many others.
Strangely enough, the idea of starvation as a manipulator of populations has been one of the more recent manifestations of Israeli policy, most particularly as directed against Gaza. Dov Weisglass, advisor to Ehud Olmert stated, “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” Sounds strangely familiar to Canada’s policy of the Nineteenth century.
Canada somehow calculated what it thought were minimal survival rations for its indigenous populations, and it appears that Israel carried that forward with even more mathematical precision, “While the health ministry determined that Gazans needed a daily average of 2,279 calories each to avoid malnutrition – requiring 170 lorries a day – military officials then found a host of pretexts to whittle the number down to a fraction of the original figure. The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 lorries – much less than half of the minimum requirement – entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 lorries before the blockade began.”
Other cultural factors
Racism, ethnic cleansing, starvation are manifestations of cultural policies that support apartheid and its purposes. The purpose in Israel, unlike Canada, is the great demographic fear of the burgeoning Arab population within Israel and cantonized Palestine.
There are many other cultural factors that come into play, similar in several respects to Canada’s apartheid system.
Education is controlled centrally, and the knowledge base allowed for Palestinian education ignores completely the ‘nakba’ and its ethnic cleansing and instances of mass murder. Islam is obviously an ongoing religious base for the Palestinians, but it is increasingly demonized as an ideology of evil, resulting in the ever present rhetoric of an existential threat. Many laws are discriminatory, with rulings on land ownership, residency, marriage, mobility, and other facets of civilian life being restricted by Israeli courts.
Most Palestinians live under military rule where civilian law simply does not exist. Movement of any kind and daily life can all be controlled at the whim of regional military personnel and/or Shin Bet.
The reality of apartheid however is the physical setting. Racism and ethnic hatred can spread throughout cultural systems and can support apartheid, but they are not apartheid itself. Israel is clearly an apartheid state from its actions on the ground. These have been well explained in many, many books and articles over the past several decades.
The physical landscape of apartheid is clearly visible in Israel. The euphemistic ‘wall’ is one of the larger barriers, supposedly to keep out ‘terrorists’ but in reality enclosing prime settlements, agricultural lands, and water sources. The settlements are designed to capture and hold prime landscapes for demographic control as well as resource control, physically grabbing land and effectively denying the validity of a two state solution with a contiguous Palestinian state. Roads are built that bypass Palestinian settlements, providing both a barrier to Palestinian movement and a continuous web of encroachment and encirclement of Palestinian villages and farmlands. The indiscriminate destruction of Palestinian housing on various trumped up civilian rules and on military authorizations to evict resistance fighters slowly clears land to be later incorporated into Israeli settlements using various laws concerning land usage and residency.
Looking at a map of areas ‘controlled’ by Palestine reveals a largely diminished and fragmented series of bantustan style areas remaining. The West Bank is ostensibly under the rule of Abbas, but its apartheid nature is still clear from the descriptions given above. Gaza is the largest indicator of Israeli apartheid, and an indicator of the viciousness of Israeli apartheid.
Starvation as a policy is directly applied—and acknowledged—as a control mechanism for Gaza. Gaza is technically not occupied but all of its land, sea, and air space is controlled by Israeli military force. It is in essence a large concentration camp, completely controlled in all its physical aspects by Israel.
The ultimate purpose of Israeli apartheid is similar to that of Canada, the Palestinians are “to be kept quiet till the country filled up when his ill will could be ignored.” That purpose cannot be realized without much violence: Canada’s indigenous population is very small in comparison with the overall population; Gaza in particular and the Palestinians in general are about on par with the Israeli population, but with a higher birth rate that, as always, gives the big demographic threat to the idea of a unitary theological state called Israel.
Partners in apartheid
Apartheid in Israel is a process used to try and eliminate as many Palestinians through emigration as possible, and perhaps the same conditions as in Canada: starvation leading to malnutrition, compromised immune systems, especially among the young, and an eventual and inevitable outbreak of some epidemic.
Fortunately for the Palestinians, the world is watching. Drastic actions, including the past three invasions of Gaza by Israel, are openly observed by the world. The result of all these actions has been an increase in support for Palestinians and a much more critical view of Israel and its national intentions. The boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement has strengthened and Israel is increasingly recognized globally as a threat to Middle East peace.
Canada remains in the forefront of countries supporting Israel. This devolves from Canada’s history of Christian Zionism, its support of Britain’s colonial systems, and its current neo-Conservative government with its fundamentalist evangelical mythology. On the surface the Harper neo-Conservatives argue in terms of human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and the evil of terror perpetrated by “Islamicism” (Harper’s coined term to try and create a pejorative view of Islam). Underneath lies the religious fundamentalism combined with strong support for non-democratic corporate control of governance. Canada has distinct problems with human rights, the ongoing problems with the Indian communities and reserves being the largest, its ongoing support of Israel and its apartheid policies being another.
Final word to Canada’s indigenous population
Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come, attending the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP), an historic two-day meeting, that began on Sept. 22 at the UN General Assembly in New York, summarized Canada’s position, “For years, the Harper government has refused to consult indigenous rights-holders on crucial issues, especially when it involves international forums. This repeated failure to consult violates Canada’s duty under Canadian constitutional and international law.”
In his opening remarks, Ban declared to indigenous peoples from all regions of the world, “You will always have a home at the United Nations.” Yet in our own home in Canada, the federal government refuses to respect democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
Last Friday, the centre of Caracas was filled with thousands of mourning citizens as they accompanied two flag draped coffins loaded with flowers they had cast upon it in homage.
If a Member of Parliament representing the Venezuelan opposition had been brutally tortured and stabbed to death in his own home, the Western press –including Canada’s- would have splashed the news in headlines around the world.
Yet this has just happened to a Member of Parliament from the governing party of Venezuela, but the international press is mostly silent. International politicians have not wrung their hands with indignation or regret, as they have about the lawful incarceration of opposition leader Leopoldo López who publicly and repeatedly incited mobs to violence and caused has at least 47 deaths.
On Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Robert Serra, 27 years old, a lawyer and legislator from the governing party PSUV, the youngest Member of Parliament of Venezuela, and his partner Maria Herrera, were assassinated in their own home in a central area of Caracas. It was an outrageous and deliberate act of terror. Robert Serra and María Herrera were tortured, stabbed and then bled to death. He specialized in criminology, and was engaged in the task of helping to curb crime in the country. María Herrera assisted him in this vital work. Robert Serra came from a poor family; his mother worked as a street hawker to help him go to law school. He was famous for his insightful interventions in parliament and was much beloved, some referred to him as “ a future Chávez”.
Their deaths were carried out systematically. Ernesto Samper, ex-president of Colombia and current president of UNASUR, said: “This crime is evidence of the infiltration of Colombian paramilitary in Venezuela.”
Just a few weeks ago, President Santos of Colombia deported to Venezuela a young man, Lorent Saleh, who had been meeting with paramilitaries in Colombia to conspire against the Venezuelan government. He appears in a video with Alvaro Uribe, ex-president of Colombia, who owes his political career to his connections to Escobar, the head of Colombian narco-traffic, and is accused by the Colombian Senate of being behind the proliferation of the paramilitary there. Saleh stated he was buying arms of war and contracting snipers and explosive experts because “they” were going to carry out selective assassination of 20 leaders of the Venezuelan government in order to bring it down. Then he said who “they” were: leaders of Venezuela’s opposition parties.
In Parliament, days before his assassination, Robert Serra had denounced -in no uncertain terms- the terrorist plans of Alvaro Uribe and Lorent Saleh.
The Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro has been under relentless and continuous attack since it was elected. It has been submitted to economic sabotage with contraband and withholding of food and goods, a deliberate campaign of false rumors, and three months of street violence to create the appearance of chaos and lack of governability. These subversive actions were deftly overcome by a government that stuck to the letter of the law, refused to take the bait of meeting violence with violence, and its call for peace included setting up negotiations with the opposition facilitated by ministers of neighboring countries. The Venezuelan people overwhelmingly repudiated the violent opposition tactics, and gave Mr. Maduro’s popularity an even larger boost.
In an attempt to produce “regime change”, violence has been intensified now to include assassinations. This was agreed upon in a meeting at Guadarrama, Spain at the end of June hosted by the Spanish spy agency CNI and the FAES – a think tank of the party Partido Popular of ex-president of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar. The USA’s CIA carries out the financing and training of the CNI, as Edward Snowdon has revealed.[i]
Two Venezuelan opposition leaders, Julio Borges and Ramon Muchacho, who were also behind the street violence, were present, and a video message from Maria Corina Machado was viewed. She could not be present as she is being investigated for her part in the street violence, which she enthusiastically led. Machado, as a standing member of Venezuela’s parliament, ignominiously accepted simultaneously the position of ambassador of Panama in order to address the OAS in 2014. According to the Constitution, she in effect, forfeited her condition of parliamentarian by representing a foreign government – and one, which at that time- was against Venezuela.
Machado, along with Lopez, instigated the street violence that cost so many deaths and millions in damages. Yet, holding such disdain for the rule of law, she was invited by the Canadian Council for the Americas to speak at the prestigious Canadian law firm of Cassel Brock and Blackwell last May. This was a clear example either of Canadian willful ignorance or connivance.
The imperial forces believe Venezuela’s oil is just too rich a prize to leave in the hands of its people. The sterling leadership that the country has shown in promoting the integration of Latin America for the purposes of solving its common social problems and to protect its natural resources is just unacceptable to the greed of multinationals, the United States, and their subservient allies who seem to think the petroleum is theirs to take.
The assassinations of Robert Serra and María Herrera, of Eliézer Otáiz head of Caracas Municipality 5 months ago, the killings during the street riots of last March that were led by paramilitary (not students as the world press stated) and the bombing death of district attorney Danilo Anderson ten years ago, as well as the hundreds of rural leaders that have been assassinated by paramilitary mercenaries hired by the large landowners, have only fed the determination of the Venezuelan people. They know that their Bolivarian government, no matter how besieged and no matter how big the problems, is a government on their side, not on the side of the powerful elites and their foreign owners that have never in Venezuelan history sided with the poor or the nation’s best interest.
As the crowds wound their slow way towards the cemetery where Robert Serra and María Herrera were to be buried, the ubiquitous cry that was heard at every step was: “Justice! Justice! We want justice!” The Venezuelan authorities dare not ignore this clamor.
María Páez Victor, Ph.D. is a Venezuelan born sociologist living in Canada.
[i] Carlos Fazio, “Violencia y terrorismo son ejes de la nueva fase de desetabilizacion subversive”, Resumen Latinoamericano, 2 octubre 2014, http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org/
Finland – In a groundbreaking study Awara Group reveals that the real GDP growth of Western countries has been in negative territory for years. Only by massively loading up debt have they been able to hide the true picture and delay the onset of an inevitable collapse of their respective economies. The study shows that the real GDP of those countries hides hefty losses after netting the debt figures, which gives the Real-GDP-net-of-debt.
The moral of the study is that GDP growth figures as such reveal very little about the underlying dynamics of an economy if one does not simultaneously attempt to analyze what part of the growth is credited to simply artificially fueling the economy with new loans.
The study has found that the Western countries have lost the capacity to grow their economies. All they have left is a capacity to pile up debts. By massively accumulating new debt, they are able to keep up a semblance of at least sluggish growth, or of hovering around the zero growth mark.
If this massive debt would go towards investments, then there would be nothing wrong with it. But, it is not. The debt is going towards financing the losses in the national economies and essentially it all is wasted on consumption that the countries in reality cannot afford. The Western countries act like a 19th century heir to aristocratic wealth, borrowing from year to year to keep up the former lifestyle, while the estate is relentlessly dwindling. Sooner or later the prodigal heir would be forced to face reality and sell the remaining property to stave off the creditors, downgrade his dwellings, and rein in spending. Inevitably, the European countries and the USA will have to curb their excessive consumption, too, but for the time being they are putting off the final reckoning with new debt rather the way a drunkard reaches for the morning after drink to put off sobering up. In the case of the EU and the USA, we are speaking about a debt binge that has been going on for a decade.
While the situation has been generally bad for the last decade or so, it took a dramatic turn for the worse, or should we say for the catastrophic, following the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. The shocking figures depicting the virtual crippling of the Western economies from 2009 to 2013 are illustrated in Chart 1. It depicts the development of real-GDP-growth per country in years 2005 to 2013. The chart shows that during this period Russia has been able to deliver real non-debt fueled GDP growth, whereas the Western countries are running huge deficits. The accumulated growth of the Russian economy from 2005 to 2013 was 147% while the Western countries accumulated losses from 16.5% (Germany) to 58% (USA). In the case of Russia, the real-GDP-net-of-debt figure is also corrected to adjust for the calculation error caused by an erroneous GDP deflator that Russian Statistics Agency (Rosstat) has used. We have discussed the persistent problem of Russia’s GDP growth having been underestimated due to the use of a wrong GDP deflator in the study Awara Group Research on the Effects of Putin’s Tax Reforms 2000-2012 on State Tax Revenue and GDP
Chart 2 shows the real GDP growth net-of-debt after deducting the growth of public debt from the GDP figure. Net of debt we see the scale of the Western economies, for example the Spanish economy, which amounts to the staggering figure of minus 56.3%. This while the conventional official method of crediting GDP growth with growth of debt would give only minus 6.7%.
The analysis shows that by these measures Russian economic growth, unlike that of the Western countries, has been comparatively healthy and not debt-driven. Russia has in fact a resoundingly positive ratio by these measures, where GDP growth has exceeded growth of debt by a staggering 14 times (1400%). The figure is astonishing when compared with the Western countries that have been flooded with new debt.
Chart 3 shows how much the accumulation of debt in the Western countries exceeds the official GDP growth. The USA is leading the pack with an increase in the debt load in years 2004 to 2013 of USD 9.8 trillion (in the chart in euros, EUR 7 trillion). In those years, the growth of the USA public debt exceeded the GDP growth 9 times (900%), which is illustrated by Chart 4, comparing the proportion of growth of debt to that of growth of GDP.
The comparison of growth of debt to growth of GDP reveals the UK, as the country that has amassed the most amount of new debt relative to GDP growth, having a new-debt-to-GDP-growth ratio of 9 to 1; in other words UK has taken on 900% new debt relative to the GDP growth. But the picture is grim for all the Western countries surveyed, less so for Germany, while Russia’s debt increase amounts to only a fraction of the GDP growth.
The analysis shows that by these measures Russian economic growth, unlike that of the Western countries, has been comparatively healthy and not debt-driven. Russia has in fact a resoundingly positive ratio by these measures, where GDP growth has exceeded growth of debt by a staggering 14 times (1400%). The figure is astonishing when compared with the Western countries that have been flooded with new debt.
The above figures are adjusted taking into account public debt (general government debt), but the situation is even worse when we consider the effect of private debt on the GDP. New debt of corporations and households have at least doubled private debt of most of the Western countries since year 1996 (Chart 5).
Reviewing these figures, it becomes evident that in reality Western economies have not grown in the past decade, rather the countries have massively inflated their debt load. With these levels of debt reached this cannot continue for long. There is a real risk that the bluff will be called sooner rather than later dropping the Western economies to GDP levels that they can carry without debt leverage. But in that situation they will not be able to serve the accumulated debts leading to catastrophe scenarios.
We have not included Japan and China in the analysis due to the difficulties attributed to finding consistent data for all the input variables. For those countries we have come across problems of fractured data that do not capture all the relevant years; inconsistent data across the samples we looked at; and uncertainties about conversion of the input data into euros. (We are sure that major research houses could overcome such problems, having greater and more sophisticated resources than ours). This exclusion of Japan and China is regrettable as Japan is the country worst affected by the problem of debt-fueled GDP growth, having a public debt to GDP ratio of well above 200%, and would therefore have been very instructive for our purposes.
Japan has been essentially living on debt since the early 1990’s. However, some of the more irrational Western analysts want to take Japan as a prime example to follow, arguing that since Japan has been able to pile up debt for some 25 years now, all the Western countries would be able to do it as well for the foreseeable future. In this they fail to grasp that Japan earlier had the luxury of being the sole country living on such exorbitant levels of debt. Japan has enjoyed great support from the Western countries to be able to continue that practice, not least for political reasons. Another important consideration against the idea that Western countries could continue to accumulate debt is that they have, since the early 1990’s, rapidly lost their economic hegemony in terms of share of world trade and global GDP. I have written about this in a recent article entitled Why the West is Destined to Decline.
The West is fast shrinking in economic significance relative to the rest of the world. This is demonstrated by comparing the GDP of the Western powers as represented by the G7 countries (USA, Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy and Canada) with the GDP of emerging powers. As recently as 1990, the combined GDP of the G7 was overwhelming in relation to that of today’s 7 emerging powers: China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and South Korea (not necessarily constituting one political block). In 1990, the G7 countries had a combined GDP of USD 14.4 trillion and the emerging 7 had a GDP of USD 2.3, but by 2013 the tables had been turned, as the G7 had USD 32 trillion and the emerging 7 had USD 35 trillion. (Chart 6).
With the challenge of the ever increasing share of world economy belonging to the emerging countries, it becomes clear that the Western countries will not be able to profit sufficiently from world trade to service their debt loads.
For the time being the Western countries benefit from the privilege of having currencies that the rest of the world still largely trusts as reserve currencies. In essence, the USD and the euro enjoy a kind of monopoly status. This is what allows Western countries to gain access to cheap debt and fuel their economies with central bank financing (quantitative easing or “printing of money”). But the risk is that, with the deteriorating debt situation and diminishing share of the global economy, they will forfeit this privilege, perhaps even in the near future. What would follow from this is sharply more expensive financing and inflation, with hyperinflation as the eventual outcome. In this scenario – which I consider inevitable over the next 5 to 10 years – the economies of Western countries would essentially collapse.
The problem is that there is no way of averting this scenario, because the Western powers have lost their competitive advantages as economic powers. Eventually, their economies must shrink to match their resource and population bases. (I have written about this in the article referred to above). But it seems that the ruling Western elites have no intention of facing up to these realities. They will try to keep up a semblance of prosperity with ever new debt, as long as they can. The political parties of the West have been essentially converted into voting machines with one singular concern – that of winning the next elections. To do that they will continue to engage in what amounts to bribing of the electorate – creating new debt that fuels the national economy.
But there is no way to turn back this historical tide. Just as the aristocrat of the old regime eventually squandered his legacy, so will the Western powers. This inevitability of the process is what makes it really scary, because I am afraid that the Western elite might be tempted to bail itself out from this doomsday scenario with a war of epic proportions. We are now truly approaching the Armageddon between the West, with its desperate economic circumstances, and the emerging world powers.
Jon Hellevig is a business consultant and economic and political observer. He is the co-editor and co-author of Putin’s New Russia and several books on philosophy and political and social sciences.
A US-led military maneuver has begun in western Ukraine, amid continued fighting between government troops and pro-Russian forces in the country’s east.
The military drill, dubbed “Rapid Trident 14,” started early Monday near Ukraine’s border with Poland and involves 1,300 troops from over a dozen countries.
According to the US army, the troops come from 12 NATO members, including Germany, the UK, Poland, Norway and Canada, as well as non-members Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova.
The eleven-day drills will take place near the western city of Yavoriv and will not involve the live firing of weapons.
The US Defense Ministry said the exercise will increase interoperability among Ukraine and the participating nations.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey earlier announced that NATO member states have begun supplying weapons to the country’s forces despite a truce between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russians.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting between government troops and pro-Russian forces continues around the eastern city of Donetsk. According to Donetsk city hall officials, six civilians were killed on Sunday in heavy shelling around the city and its airport.
Kiev accused pro-Russians of threatening the truce by intensifying attacks against government positions. This is while, on September 13, the pro-Russia forces defending a checkpoint near the village of Olenivka, south of Donetsk accused the Ukrainian army of violating the truce.
The ceasefire agreement was reached between Kiev and the pro-Russians on September 5, after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hammered out a compromise deal aimed at ending the heavy fighting.
The unique national strategy for the state of Israel
Strangler fig is the generic name given to a class of vines that sprouts high in the canopy of trees in tropical forests. It is deposited by birds that eat its fruit. Its roots envelope the tree and feed off it, weakening the tree. If the process is allowed to continue indefinitely, it sinks its roots into the ground at the base of the tree and destroys it completely but takes its form, creating a hollow shell of living vines where the tree once stood.
On Friday, July 18, 2014, as one of the most powerful military forces in the world laid waste to the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, leaving widows and orphans in its wake while nevertheless killing a significant number of them, the United States Senate, without objection and by unanimous consent from all 100 senators, passed a resolution supporting this act of genocide and condemning its victims for provoking the powerful aggressor by trying to resist.
At that point, Israel had killed more than 250 Palestinians, mostly civilians, while the resistance forces in Gaza had killed one Israeli, who had been delivering food to troops at the time. The Senate resolution had been drafted by the AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the pillars of the Israel Lobby. Fifty days later more than 2000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 72 Israelis, mostly soldiers, lay dead.
How did the Israel Lobby come to so totally dominate the US Senate and in fact the entire US government?
The story goes back more than a century, to the early years of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state. Zionism grew out of the 19th and 20th century European racist and nationalist philosophies like Fascism, Nazism and Falangism, which promoted the idea that each race in the world needed a homeland and should seek to fulfill its national destiny there.
The definition of both race and homeland were given much latitude. Despite all genetic evidence to the contrary, Jews were considered a race, and after considering Uganda and Argentina as potential homelands, the Zionists settled on Palestine.
In order to fulfill its “destiny”, however, the Zionists realized that they would need the support of at least one great power in order to force themselves upon an unwilling population in Palestine and ultimately expel or eliminate them, as the Europeans had largely accomplished in the great genocide of indigenous peoples in the western hemisphere. For this purpose, they selected Great Britain as it was about to take control of Palestine, and when the Zionists might be able to argue that their support could be critical to British ambitions, both during and after the Great War.
Indeed, Britain served their purpose well, facilitating the settlement of Palestine with Zionist Europeans. Zionist leaders also assisted Nazi Germany in removing its Jewish population and transferring them to Palestine, arguing that Nazism and Zionism had complementary interests. Before long, however, the relationship with Britain turned adversarial when Zionist terrorist groups began attacking the British in Palestine, with a view toward forcing the creation of an independent Jewish state in a territory where they constituted a minority of the population.
Although the Zionists continued to maintain an important support community in Great Britain, they knew that they would need other sponsors, and found their warmest welcome in the United States, starting in the late 19th century. Following World War II, President Harry Truman considered the Zionists to be important enough to his 1948 election campaign that he showered them with whatever they wanted, and especially immediate recognition of their declaration of statehood on May 14, 1948. This event set a pattern for Zionist influence in the US that would be repeated on a vast scale decades later.
During the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, the Israel Lobby, though powerful, could not act with impunity. Eisenhower suspended aid to Israel and forced it to pull back from its invasion of Sinai in 1956. Kennedy supported Senator J. William Fulbright’s hearings to force AIPAC to register as a foreign agent.
Those hearings were cut short in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, and Lyndon Johnson proved much more compliant, twice ordering the US sixth fleet to recall its aircraft sent to defend the US naval ship Liberty, which was attacked by Israeli air and naval forces in June, 1967. The Liberty sustained 34 dead and 171 wounded US military personnel, and barely avoided being sunk with all lives lost. However, the entire affair was quashed, with the Johnson administration foisting flimsy excuses upon a compliant American press and public, which accepted them with little question.
Since then, the Israel Lobby has grown with few constraints, fed by its domination of the American Jewish community, extensive control of publishing and the media, the establishment and control of strategic think tanks that provide governmental advisers, and by a well-coordinated and lavishly funded political campaign machine. This machine is now sufficiently influential to assure huge congressional appropriations to Israel that are filled by contractors who in turn show their gratitude by donating to the lobby that feeds them.
This history is well documented in works like The Lobby: Jewish political power and American foreign policy, by Edward Tivnan (1987), The Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt (2008), Against Our Better Judgement, by Alison Weir (2014), and other publications and articles. Today, Israel oversees the careers of politicians throughout the US from the city and county level up to state and national races to make sure that no one hostile to Israel achieves significant political office and that its agenda receives overwhelming approval. It prevails upon the gratitude of elected officials to appoint its candidates as staffers throughout Congress as well as state and local offices. It maintains control of news, cinema, television, publishing and other media, so that its narrative will dominate public portrayal of Middle East issues. It even implants both volunteers and paid staff to populate web comment lists.
As a result, Israel is now much more than a lobby. Powerful lobbies may bend a government to their benefit, but their strength and survival ultimately depend upon the health of the country or countries that are their home. In a sense, therefore, they serve the national interest, even if they serve the interests of certain segments of society more than others. This is also why they care little for the health of the countries that they exploit, which are not their home.
It also explains why Israel increasingly treats the US like an exploited colony: the Israeli elite can use the US to their benefit, but it is not their home. Israel now controls US policy in the Middle East much more than it ever did Great Britain, to such an extent that it can often use US resources and power even in defiance of US national interest.
Trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives have been expended to destroy Iraq, Libya, Syria and Lebanon. Did these wars strengthen or weaken the strategic interest of the US and its economy? Would these wars have been fought if not for the Israel lobby in the US? While Israeli policy has been to weaken and destroy its neighbors, it is far from obvious that the same policy is in the US national interest.
To the contrary, until the end of World War II and even until the 1960s, the US was widely regarded in the Arab world as the “good” western power, untainted by colonialism in the region and without Arab blood on its hands. As John Sheehan, SJ said, “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.”
Of course, some will argue that these and other US government policies and actions are in fact consistent with some definition of national interest. That is necessary, because anything that is obviously destructive to the well-being of the country will encounter too much resistance to implement. Every policy benefits someone. However, there is an important difference between those who benefit more than others from enterprise that in fact strengthens the nation and those who benefit from the sacrifices – and to the detriment – of the rest of the nation.
The Middle East wars of the G.W. Bush and Obama administrations are different from earlier ones, including the first Iraq war, primarily with respect to the degree to which Israel supplied the intelligence on which they were based and the extent to which their lobby influenced Congress to act. The Bush administration, for example, is notable for the Office of Special Plans, which was a veritable Israel liaison office in the heart of the Pentagon with extraordinary access to top secret information and in fact set up by Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense.
In fact, the G.W. Bush administration marks the maturation of a program of Israel-nurtured neoconservative influence and control that began at least a decade earlier and coalesced into the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a Washington think tank that brought together many of the principals that would hold high office in that administration. Although initially derided as fanciful in the Clinton administration and its predecessors, it constituted the first open presentation of plans to orient and ultimately subordinate U.S. policy to the goals and policies of the state of Israel.
The plans took shape as part of what became known as the neoconservative agenda. This was a major departure from the paradigm that began in 1947 with the publication of George Kennan’s seminal work counseling the projection of American power in order to maintain an equilibrium of power, (known as the “containment” principle) in international relations, so as to avoid disastrous and dangerous confrontations of the type that characterized the first half of the twentieth century. One may argue the extent to which such policy was effective, but the neoconservatives in PNAC argued that the end of the Soviet Union and the advent of the unipolar world provided the US with an unprecedented opportunity for domination, if only it would pursue a policy of military intervention and adventurism.
It is no accident that the early movement found favor with Israel. Israel quickly saw that neocon interventionism could be made to use American military might to serve Israel’s agenda of crushing its real, potential and perceived opponents in the Middle East. The Israel lobby therefore invested heavily in university departments and think tanks devoted to strategic studies and promoting the careers of neoconservatives that became advisers and appointed officials throughout government.
Examples of these are the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, the Hudson Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Cato Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Project for a New American Century, the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (founded by AIPAC) and others. Through their doors have passed the likes of Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, John Bolton, Dennis Ross, Douglas Feith, Robert Kagan, Martin Indyk, David Wurmser, Michael Ledeen and many others that have achieved high government office, especially since the start of the G.W. Bush administration in 2001.
Israel’s investments have paid off in a big way. Today, all officials elected or appointed to national office are either pro-Israel or must say they are. In fact, they cannot deviate or dissent or disagree with the Israel lobby in any way without risk of losing their career, as Cynthia McKinney, Paul Findley, Earl Hilliard, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Roger Jepsen, Adlai Stevenson III and others have discovered to their dismay. Other prominent figures, like Vanessa Redgrave and others in entertainment and the arts, that have dared to criticize Israel, also find themselves pilloried in the press and subject to fewer opportunities for their professional practice. Those aspiring to careers in mainstream film, journalism and even sports or music may find the doors closed to them if speak out in any way against Israel.
Israel has thus constructed a strangler fig network of roots and vines that is feeding itself from the resources of world’s most powerful nation while gradually starving that nation. It is placing itself inside the workings of the US government and society so as to hobble its workings to Israel’s requirements under the carefully crafted illusion that they are serving the US national interest.
An example of this is the US relationship with Iran, and specifically the Iranian nuclear program, as set forth in Gareth Porter’s book, Manufactured Crisis [Just World Books, 2014]. As Porter meticulously shows, although Iran has no nuclear weapons program, never had one and never proposed to have one, and although the US has repeatedly found no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program and only evidence to the contrary, the US continues to impose sanctions against Iran for the sole reason that Israel wants to do as much damage as possible to Iran and to prevent good and productive relations between Iran and the United States.
Porter shows that Israel has brought to bear its skill in creating forged documents, its influence in American intelligence, its threat of Congressional opposition to administration policies and other instruments of deception and coercion in order to prevent a rapprochement between the US and Iran. Israel’s hand can also be seen in US policy toward Syria, the rise of ISIS, the overthrow of Egypt’s very first democratically elected government, the destruction of Libya and many other of the developments in the Middle East. If we ask cui bono, Israel will be at the top of the list, at least from its own definition of objectives. Whether the US benefits from a strategic and economic viewpoint is highly questionable, although Israel’s allies in the US rarely fail to come out ahead.
There are of course limitations to Israel’s power. Even a strangler fig cannot change the shape of the tree. The US has thus far resisted the Israeli attempt to create an actual war with Iran, and it barely skirted direct intervention in Syria, which continues to be on Israel’s wish list. Nevertheless, the power of Israel over the workings of the US government and society is unprecedented in international relations that are otherwise as asymmetrical as those of the US and Israel.
Ordinarily the relation is the reverse: powerful nations are infamous for manipulating their vassals and colonial nations for exploiting their colonies. Yet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu infamously bragged that “America is a thing you can move very easily.” What Israel has done is to create the potential for a new type of superpower, a small nation that survives and advances its interests by penetrating the workings of nations that have larger economies and militaries, and harnessing those resources.
In fact, Israel appears to be applying this model to other countries. In England, for example, a majority of the MPs of the three major parties belong to the “Friends of Israel” societies within those parties. Similarly, the BBC coverage of Israel and the Middle East is controlled by appointees that are invariably selected for their bias towards Israel. Canada and India are two formerly nonaligned nations that are now governed by parties and coalitions that have sworn allegiance to Israel. In India’s case, Israel’s promotion of Islamophobia has created an alliance with racist Hindu nationalist parties while making India the world’s largest customer of the Israeli arms industry.
Where will it end? Will Israel exhaust the economic and military resources of the US for its own perceived benefit? To what extent did it already contribute to the economic problems of the last decade? Or will Israel overextend its reach and find that the Zionist experiment to create and perpetuate a nation based on dubious historical, ethnic and religious claims and at the expense of other peoples will precipitate the very reaction that it was ostensibly formed to prevent?
This much we know: that if a strangler fig is allowed to thrive, its host will wither and die, and only its form will remain as an empty shell for as long as the parasite continues to survive.
Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement.
Taking a page from their United States counterparts, European Union trade negotiators apparently interpret the word “consultation” as a synonym for “ignore.” Fresh evidence for this attitude toward the public was provided thanks to a leak of the final text of the proposed “free trade” agreement between Canada and the EU.
Although the E.U. trade office, the European Commission Directorate General for Trade, promotes a process of public consultation on its web site, it isn’t the public who gets listened to. The final text of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) includes language mirroring corporate wish lists unchanged from previous drafts despite the fact that the E.U. trade office has not had time to analyze comments submitted by the public.
This farce of a “consultation” process mirrors the secretive negotiations in the better known Trans-Pacific and Transatlantic trade agreements. Corporate lobbyists are well represented in these talks, but the public, watchdog groups and even parliamentarians and legislators are barred from seeing the text. The CETA text is also secret, but was leaked by the German television news program Tagesschau, which published the entire 521-page document on its web site. Yep, 521 pages.
Critical to understanding the CETA text is Section 33, the portion simply labeled “dispute settlement.” Under that bland heading a reader finds the muscle — what is known as an “investor-state dispute mechanism.” These “mechanisms,” found in many bilateral and multilateral trade deals, are corporate-dominated secret tribunals that hand down one-sided decisions with no oversight, no public notice and no appeals. Governments that agree to these mechanisms legally bind themselves to mandatory arbitration with “investors” in these secret tribunals on which most of the judges are corporate lawyers who represent the “investors” in other legal proceedings.
Kenneth Haar, a spokesman for the watchdog group Corporate Europe Observatory, in an interview with the EurActiv news site, called the dispute mechanism “an outright danger to democracy,” and said:
“The Commission is not really serious about its own consultation. It’s more about image than substance. … I think those who chose to respond to the Commission’s consultation are being ridiculed.”
Decisions will be final and unaccountable
Employing the standard sweeping language, CETA’s Article 14.2 (the articles here are numbered “14” even though they are found in Section 33) states: “[T]his Chapter applies to any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the provisions of this Agreement” [page 472]. Article 14.10 goes on to declare, “The ruling of the arbitration panel shall be binding on the Parties. … The panel shall interpret the provisions referred to in Article 14.2 in accordance with customary rules of interpretation of public international law” [page 476].
“Customary” international law is whatever one of these secret tribunals says it is. Environmental regulations, “buy local” laws or any other government action that a corporation claims will hurt its profits can be, and frequently are, ruled illegal by these tribunals when adjudicating disputes under existing trade agreements. Such rulings set precedents that become “customary” international law.
In case these “customary” laws are not clear, on page 480 of the CETA text is Article 14.16, which would supersede national law:
“No Party may provide for a right of action under its domestic law against the other Party on the ground that a measure of the other Party is inconsistent with this Agreement.”
Your law was passed in a democratic process? Too bad — it will be overruled if an “investor” doesn’t like it.
CETA’s proposed rules are consistent with what is being secretly negotiated in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and E.U., and in the Trans-Pacific Partnership being negotiated among 12 Pacific Rim countries. A majority of the world’s economy would be removed from any possibility of democratic control should these three trade deals come into effect.
The watchdog group Council of Canadians warns:
“The Harper government has thrown Canadian municipalities under the bus, forever banning ‘buy local’ and other sustainable purchasing policies that help create jobs, protect the environment and support local farmers and businesses. The Harper government has also agreed to lengthen patents and give new monopoly protections to already profitable brand name drug companies, which will needlessly add hundreds of millions to the cost of prescription drugs in Canada.”
Not even water would be exempt. If a water system is privatized and a local government chooses to re-municipalize it because rates have risen while service declines (as has routinely occurred on both sides of the Atlantic), the investor would be able to hold out for an extra windfall under the terms of the trade deal.
Only corporate lobbyists need apply
Although the public, and public-interest groups, are not heard, corporate lobbyists are. For example, there are 605 “advisers” with access to the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and who shape U.S. negotiating positions. Virtually every one is an executive of a multi-national corporation or a corporate lobbyist working for an industry association.
It is little different in Europe. Corporate Europe Observatory reports that 92 percent of the closed-doors meetings of the E.U. trade office have been with corporate lobbyists, while only four percent have been with public-interest groups. The trade office has gone so far as to actively solicit the involvement of corporate lobbyists. That perspectives other than those of multi-national capital are not considered can be inferred from the very way public input is solicited, the Observatory said:
“How would the average citizen respond to questions such as: ‘If you are concerned by barriers to investment, what are the estimated additional costs for your business (in percentage of the investment) resulting from the barriers?’ So, clearly, the close involvement of business lobbyists in drawing up the EU’s position for the [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership] talks is a result of the privileged access granted to them.”
It’s no different for CETA, and the same dynamic exists across the Atlantic. Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk once admitted that if people knew what was in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would never pass. It is important to remember that these massive “free trade” deals are not simply business as usual — they go well beyond even the draconian rules of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
So although the competitive pressures of each country attempting to give an advantage to its multi-national corporations does mean that maneuvering through differing interests requires lengthy negotiations — not to mention the sometimes conflicting interests of various industries — at bottom there is a unifying class interest in the overall project. It is true that the U.S. adopts the hardest line in the trade negotiations it participates in (before we even get to the military muscle it applies to force open Southern countries), yet the absence of the U.S. from a Canada-European Union trade deal has made no practical difference to its outcome.
That different countries, different administrations, reach similar one-sided “free trade” agreements in which “investors” are allowed to overrule national laws, and labor, safety and environmental regulations are “harmonized” at the lowest level, is a product of capitalist competition. The rigors of that structural competition mandate expansion and growth — as local markets mature, capital has no choice, if it is to survive relentless pressure from competitors, other than opening new markets and relentlessly cutting costs to maintain profit levels. “Free trade” agreements represent one of the most effective ways to accomplish that.
Popular revolts against these agreements must be continued, and strengthened, but there will be no end to them as long as economic and social decisions are allowed to be made by “markets,” which are not disembodied entities sitting dispassionately on an Olympian throne but rather are the aggregate interests of the most powerful industrialists and financiers.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki announced on Wednesday that his ministry had sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the leaders of other countries, requesting them to bear their responsibility for implementing international law regarding foreigners who volunteered in the Israeli army during the latest assault on Gaza.
Citing the Palestinian foreign ministry statement, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news website reported that in cooperation with human rights organisations, the ministry has found that foreigners volunteered in the Israeli army during the latest aggression and carried out war crimes.
The news website said they took part in the war as part of two programmes called Mahal and Ser-Al. The Palestinian ministry stressed the necessity to prosecute them.
As part of the programmes, Jews and non-Jews who do not hold an Israeli ID can travel to Israel to take part in military service for a year and a half in order to get the ID.
The ministry called for specifying those who volunteered in the Israeli army or helped it, identifying their war crimes and the breaches of international law that they committed through the Israeli army, as well as telling them about the potential criminal responsibility for what they did during the war.
In addition, the ministry called upon those countries where the citizen volunteers are from to prosecute them inside the judicial system of their geographical areas.
Under the framework of international law, “which Israeli cannot evade”, the ministry is also seeking to prosecute everyone who committed war crimes in Gaza, including Israelis.
The ministry called for accelerating the convention of international bodies to require Israel to implement the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Palestinian territories.
When is a Canadian who leaves this country to join a foreign military force and participate in the killing of innocent civilians, including children, called a “terror tourist” and sent to jail? The answer is: Only when that person joins a military force the Conservative government disagrees with.
Numerous ministers in the current federal government have loudly denounced the radicalization of Canadian youth in foreign wars. Last year, the Conservatives passed a law that sets a maximum fifteen year prison sentence for “leaving or attempting to leave Canada” to commit terrorism. Jason Kenney, the minister for multiculturalism, recently said the government is trying “to monitor networks that recruit and radicalize youth.”
Last month, Somali-Canadian Mohamed Hersi was sentenced to ten years in prison for attempting to join the al-Shabab militia in Somalia. Arrested at Toronto’s Pearson airport before leaving, Hersi was not found guilty of committing or plotting a specific act of violence, but according to the presiding judge, was “poised to become a terror tourist.”
Yet our government does nothing to hundreds of other Canadians who join a different foreign military force which daily terrorizes millions of people and often uses explosives to kill thousands — most of whom are civilians.
It’s unknown exactly how many Canadians are participating in Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza but an Israeli military spokesperson has said there were 139 Canadians in the Israeli military in 2013. The Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program, an organization supporting the Israeli military, has referred to 145 Canadians in the Israeli military. That figure, however, only refers to what the organization calls Canadian “lone soldiers” — soldiers without family in Israel.
Breaking the stereotype of radicalized youth who join terror groups, recent media reports suggest that most of the Canadians joining the Israeli military are children of lawyers, doctors and other professionals. When thirty individuals attended the 2012 launch of a Toronto support group for Parents of Lone Soldiers, it took place at the home of Perla and Ron Riesenbach. The latter is a vice-president at the University of Toronto’s Baycrest Health Sciences Centre.
Earlier this month the French language website La Presse quoted a McGill University law student, Menachem Freedman, who recently completed a stint with the Israeli military and now does legal work for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.
A partner in a Toronto law firm, Audrey Shecter has two kids with Israeli military experience. According to the National Post, Shecter’s son completed 27 months with the Israeli military in February and her daughter, Orli Broer, currently serves on a base in the illegally occupied West Bank.
Broer, a 19-year-old Torontonian, who is in a unit that processes visas and other paperwork, helps to deny Palestinians freedom of movement in their own homeland. “It’s my home and I have to protect my home,” the Canadian born and raised Broer told the National Post.
While the Foreign Enlistment Act technically prohibits Canadians from recruiting for a foreign army, there are a number of organizations that help individuals enlist in the Israeli military. At its Toronto office, the Friends of Israeli Scouts’ Garin Tzabar program provides Hebrew lessons and support services, as well as help with transport and accommodation in Israel, for twenty-five to thirty Canadian “lone soldiers” each year.
According to a Garin Tzabar spokesperson who spoke to La Presse, the recent killing and destruction in Gaza has prompted a flood of inquiries about joining the Israeli military.
Part of the tab for lone soldier support services is picked up by Canadian taxpayers through tax credits for “charitable” donations. The Israel-based Lone Soldier Center has Canadian charitable status through the Ne’eman Foundation. So does the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which has, according to its website, sponsored “fun activities” for “lone soldiers.”
Financial backing for lone soldiers reaches the top echelons of the Canadian business world. Billionaire Toronto couple Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman created the Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers. Reisman and Schwartz provide up to $3 million per year for post-military scholarships for these non-Israeli soldiers.
Members of the Israeli high command — Heseg’s board has included a number of generals and a former head of the secret service Mossad — say “lone soldiers” are of value beyond their military capacities. Foreigners volunteering to fight for Israel are a powerful symbol to reassure Israelis weary of their country’s violent behavior. Schwartz and Reisman’s support for Heseg has spurred a campaign to boycott the Indigo, Chapters and Cole bookstore chain they own.
Canadians in the Israeli military benefit from various Canadian-financed support programs and may also find other Canadians stocking their equipment. Approximately 150 Canadians serve as volunteers on Israeli army supply bases each year through the Zionist organization Sar-El. That organization takes out ads in the Canadian Jewish News calling on individuals to “Express your Zionism by serving as a civilian volunteer on an Israeli army supply base.”
There are a number of other registered Canadian “charities” that aid the Israeli army. Money sent to Disabled Veterans of Israel or Beit Halochem (Canada) and Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel support the Israeli military in different ways. Established in 1971, the Association for the Soldiers of Israel – Canada, which gives tax receipts through the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association, provides financial and “moral” support to active duty soldiers.
Various Canadian organizations have long supported the Israeli military and individuals from this country have directly participated in its violence. At least 25 volunteers from the Greater Toronto Area fought in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, the three-week assault in late 2008 and early 2009, which left some 1,400 Palestinians dead.
Canada’s military contribution to the conquest of Palestine predates the creation of Israel.
During the First World War, Québec City-born Lieutenant General Sir Charles MacPherson Dobell, fresh from leading the Anglo-French conquest of German West Africa, was given a command position in the 1917 Egyptian expeditionary force sent to seize Gaza from the Ottomans. Additionally, as many as four hundred Canadians (approximately half recruited specifically for the task) fought in British General Edmund Allenby’s Jewish Legion that helped conquer Palestine.
A number of Canadians, with at least tacit support from the Ottawa authorities, played a direct role in “de-Arabizing” Palestine in 1947 and 1948. Representatives from the Haganah, the primary Zionist military force behind the Nakba — the ethnic cleansing leading to Israel’s foundation — recruited three hundred experienced Canadian soldiers.
The heir to the menswear firm Tip Top Tailors, Ben Dunkelman, was Haganah’s main recruiter in Canada. He claimed that “about 1,000” Canadians “fought to establish Israel.” During the Nakba, Israel’s small air force was almost entirely foreign, with at least 53 Canadians, including 15 non-Jews, enlisted.
Given this country’s past, perhaps today’s double standard about “terror tourism” is not surprising. But those of us who want a just Canadian foreign policy must nonetheless expose our government’s hypocrisy.
While al-Shabab has committed many reprehensible acts and espouses a terribly repressive ideology, the group’s growth and radicalization is largely a response to the 2006 US-sponsored foreign invasion of Somalia that has left tens of thousands of Somalis dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
On the other hand, it’s as if the Canadians fighting with Israel are unsatisfied with their and their ancestors’ dispossession of First Nations in North America and now want to help colonize yet another indigenous people.
The double standard is extreme. It is illegal for Somali Canadians to fight in that country but it is okay for Canadian Jews to kill Palestinians in Gaza. And the government will give you a charitable tax credit if you give money to support the latter.
Fortunately, activists in one country have made strides on this issue. A Palestine solidarity group in South Africa recently launched a case against citizens of that country who have served in the Israeli military.
Some have suggested another solution. Eminent Canadian historian Jack Granatstein recently said: “In my view, no one who is a Canadian should be able to enlist in some other country’s military and keep his Canadian citizenship.”
Canadians of good conscience must at least insist upon fairness and an end to an outrageous double standard.
The decision was made unanimously by the participants of the union’s General Assembly meeting which was held at the Ryerson University, Toronto, and affects all 300,000 members.
Anna Goldfinch, a member of the union’s Board of Directors, said the decision to include the boycott of Israel, divestment and the application of sanctions was taken to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The President of the Students Union of the University of Ryerson, Rajean Hoilett said Israel had committed war crimes against the Palestinian people, and the Canadian universities that maintain relations with Israel also engage in war crimes.