CNN reports on Israeli PM Netanyahu’s reception at the Vatican and plans for the Pope to visit Israel in May.
Recalling the shabby treatment of religious leaders on previous visits to the Holy Land, let us hope Pope Francis takes a firmer line than his predecessor and insists on seeing Gaza and ministering to his terrorised flock there.
In May 2009, when Benedict was Pope, the Vatican told the Israeli press that the Holy Father would refrain from visiting Gaza. The word ‘refrain’ was a peculiar one in the circumstances. “The Pope will refrain from visiting Gaza….” smacks of abstinence, as in refraining from sexual intercourse. Setting foot in Gaza was as sinful as sneaking into a brothel, it seems. Israel’s hoodlums of course were keen to prevent him seeing how the tiny, overcrowded enclave had been devastated 16 months earlier by their murderous blitzkrieg codenamed Cast Lead. And the Pope went along with it.
Gaza’s isolated and besieged Catholic community were none too happy with the Pope’s attitude, judging by the reaction of their redoubtable old priest Fr Manuel Mussallam. “We will ask him why he came, what he intends saying to the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims and why he isn’t coming to Gaza,” said Fr Manuel. “We’ll tell him that this is not the right moment to come and visit the holy places, while Jerusalem is occupied.”
Time for the Pope to join BDS?
Having decided to go to Palestine (via Israel) it was imperative for the Pope to include Gaza or it would look like he didn’t give a damn about the appalling persecution in the very land where Christianity was born. He might as well hammer one more nail into Christendom’s coffin. Then again, should he be going to Israel at all while Jerusalem, Bethlehem and many other places dear to Christian and Muslim religious belief are under the jackboot?
Indeed, has it finally come to the point where the Pope ought to do the decent thing and boycott Israel… join the BDS movement? Admittedly, it’s a tough call given the Catholic Church’s considerable interests out there.
But we have seen enough wimpish conduct by Christian leaders while Israel defiles the Holy Land. The previous November, while the regime was planning its vicious assault, codename Operation Cast Lead, on Gaza’s Muslims and Christians after softening them up with two years of blockade and starvation, we were treated to the spectacle of the Archbishop of Canterbury joining the Chief Rabbi on a visit to Auschwitz to show joint solidarity against extreme hostility and genocide. The Archbishop called it “a place of utter profanity” and spoke of the collective corruption and moral sickness that made the Holocaust possible.
Would the pair show the same spirit of righteous solidarity by visiting Gaza? The scale of horror might be different but the moral sickness is just as obscene. And this being the Holy Land the profanity is many times worse.
The Pope too had been to Auschwitz to pray for the people murdered there. “I had to come here as a duty to truth and to those that suffered,” he said and spoke of the Nazis’ mania for destruction and domination.
Very commendable. But he wasn’t so keen to come and pray for those suffering in Gaza, victims of much the same kind of criminal insanity. Nevertheless, he turned up at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and the Western (Wailing) Wall, and hobnobbed with the chief rabbis… but not with his brave priest and the shattered congregation in Gaza. What had happened to his ‘duty to truth’?
After my visit to Gaza in late 2007, 18 months after Israel’s merciless squeeze began, I wrote:
Fuel is running out, so are basics like washing powder. Shattered infrastructure and food shortages mean serious public health problems. Power cuts disrupt hospitals and vital drugs cannot be kept refrigerated. Thousands look death in the face as medicare collapses.
A friend emailed:
“Today in Gaza we have no cement to build graves for those who die.”
The subjugation and dispossession of Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land continues. It remains a mystery to me why our largely Christian democracy in Britain slavishly supports the Middle East ethnocracy that’s doing this…
The last six years have seen things go from bad to worse – much worse. Palestinians in the Holy Land, and especially Gaza, need to be shown that the Christian Church cares about them even if nobody else does. So where are these extravagantly robed and mitred Men of God when needed?
No repetition of the Benedict debâcle, please
Archbishop Rowan Williams, visiting in 2010, did manage to get into Gaza. But as far as I could discover he made no public statement about the wretched conditions there, nor did he reveal his findings to the House of Lords where he had the support of a large gaggle of bishops. This despite his claim to be “in a unique position to bring the needs and voices of those fighting poverty, disease and the effects of conflict, to the attention of national and international policy makers”.
And despite his declaration that “Christians need to witness boldly and clearly”.
And despite his urging greater awareness of the humanitarian crisis to ensure that the people of Gaza were not forgotten.
The Israelis, I heard, refused him access to Gaza from the start and only at the last minute allowed the Archbishop an hour or so, just enough for a quick visit to the Ahli Hospital and nowhere else. For that concession one wonders if he had to sign a gagging order.
His website, however, described how he, like the Pope, hobnobbed with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and paid respects to Yad Vashem and the Holocaust. He also talked with the President of Israel, who no doubt enjoyed his guest’s frustration at being prevented from seeing the horrors that had been inflicted on Gaza.
And news of any get-together with senior Islamic figures on the ground was conspicuously absent, leaving a question-mark over his commitment to inter-faith engagement.
Why on earth did he agree to fraternise with Jewish political and religious dignitaries when it was clear that his wish to carry out his Christian duty in Gaza would be obstructed? Does Lambeth Palace not realise that meekly accepting such insults only serves to legitimise the Israelis’ illegal occupation and gives a stamp of approval to the brutal siege of Gaza, the daily death-dealing air strikes against civilians, the persecution of Muslim and Christian communities and the regime’s utter contempt for international law and human rights?
One can only hope the Vatican realises it too and avoids a repetition of the Benedict debâcle.
The Israelis walk all over fawning sycophants masquerading as Western political leaders. Our spiritual leaders, however, are supposed to be made of sterner stuff and to have the moral backbone to face down evil.
Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, a new book by writer/professor Sarah Schulman, tells the story of Schulman’s transformation from a “Jewish, lesbian New Yorker” into a “Cosmopolitan queer and avid BDS advocate.” Her book is a must read—and not because it offers original ideological or political outlook, not at all. Schulman actually provides us with a unique and invaluable window into Jewish secular progressive thought. It unveils the structure of LGBT politics and its operation within the Palestinian solidarity movement. Schulman also provides the reader some crucial and juicy references to the direct involvement of George Soros’ network in promoting a gay rights revolution in the Arab world in general, and in Iran and Egypt in particular.
Schulman is a fluent writer, her narration is smooth and flowing. But more than anything, she is astonishingly honest in her attempt to describe her journey. Indeed, her genuine openness is almost suicidal at times. This fact alone may explain why, despite its sensational title, her book has received little attention from the usually loud Jewish progressive network.
In the very beginning of the book, Schulman provides us with an amazing confession most Jews would prefer to shove far under the carpet.
“We were raised with two Yiddish concepts about Christians: kopf and punim. Yiddishe kopf and Goyishe kopf. To say that someone had a Yiddishe kopf (A Jewish mind) was to say admiringly that he was a genius, that he was analytical and conceptual and an original thinker. To say that someone had a goyishe kopf was to say that he was dull-witted, conformist and slow” (p. 2).
One must admit that only rarely do Jews volunteer such intimate information that confirms the depth of racism and supremacy embedded within Jewish culture.
A few pages later Schulman is honest enough to admit that she also is immersed in some deep biological determinist thinking.
“Of course, like many Jews, I do think of myself in biological terms, despite how convenient that is for anti-Semitism. There is after all, a genetic component, since Jewish Identity—from the Jewish point of view is biologically essentialist, dependent on having a Jewish mother” (p. 10).
It goes without saying that evolutionary psychologist Prof. Kevin MacDonald and Right Wing author David Duke are hounded relentlessly by the ADL and the progressive Jewish network for basically agreeing with Schulman.
Interestingly enough, despite her honesty, Schulman rarely thinks for herself on her path toward universal justice. Instead she always consults with such progressive luminaries as Judith Butler, who is ‘on the top’ of her “list of credible LGBT people.” As an activist and campaigner, Schulman always builds fronts and forms leagues. She always seeks advice, she always consults with someone who knows better. These facts are actually very significant: Schulman is telling us a story about someone who thinks and operates “as a Jew,” “as a lesbian,” “as a Queer International,” “as a progressive,” etc. The truth of the matter is that people who “think” and “act” “as a something” hardly think for themselves. Instead they operate within the parameters set by an imaginary political and ideological collective (the gay, the Jew, the progressive, the Queer International’ the Black, the Muslim) instead of thinking authentically and operating autonomously.
To a certain extent Schulman’s extended monologue helps us grasp marginal politics as a powerful attempt to reduce the individual to a mere “pile of signifiers.”
Jewish Victimhood and Homo-centrism
Two years ago Jewish pro-Palestinian blogger Philip Weiss was brave enough to admit to me in an interview that it is Jewish self-interest that motivates his pro-Palestinian activism. For Weiss it wasn’t an “altruistic” concern for the oppressed—he actually believed that his activism was ‘good for the Jews.’ Schulman reminds me of Weiss. Like Weiss she is brave and honest to say it all. But she is also interested in promoting her ‘queer political agenda’. For Schulman, Palestinians are simply a means toward her sacred progressive end. “If people like me are going to turn our backs on [Israeli] queer events in support of the boycott [BDS], then we must be assured that the boycott both recognizes queer support and acknowledges Palestinian LGBT organizing,” she writes.
In short, it is the primacy of “queer and LGBT interests” that determines Schulman’s commitment to a battle for “universal justice.” As one would expect, Schulman’s solidarity has a clear price tag—one attuned primarily to the benefit of the LGBT movement. To my mind the meaning of this is simple: Schulman has managed to successfully transfer her Jewish tribalism into a form of sexually oriented political affinity.
Schulman isn’t just a “boring gay” activist. She is also an Ashkenazi (European) Jew, with all the necessary victim paraphernalia which she waves proudly in the very beginning of her book. “I was born in 1958, 13 years after the end of the Holocaust” begins the third paragraph. “I was born only three years after my maternal grandmother finally confirmed that her two brothers and two sisters had been exterminated by the Nazis and their collaborators 10 to 15 years before,” she continues (p. 1). Her choice of words leaves no room for speculation: Schulman is a traumatized Ashkenazi Jew. She is an adherent and follower of what Israeli philosopher Adi Ophir defines as the Holocaust religion. Her entire universe is codified in reference to the “primacy of Jewish suffering.” Needless to say, this amalgam of Jewish suffering and gay victimhood translates in Schulman’s case into a solipsistic political argument.
I guess at this point I should admit that I have never been convinced that “the personal is political,” as many marginal ideologists insist. I’ve always been certain that the personal is actually personal—and, as such, consider an individual’s sexual orientation to be his or her own business—and that when it becomes political it stops being personal. But for Schulman, as for so many other political activists within her milieu, the ‘personal’ certainly is ‘political.’ She celebrates each of her symptoms publicly and politically and, if this is not enough, she is kind enough to share it all with us.
Homonationalism, the Queer International and Joseph Massad
Schulman’s political universe is divided into binary oppositions: Homonationalism vs. the Queer International is one example.
Homonationalism describes a contemporary phenomenon most prevalent in some liberal Western countries where “white gays, lesbians and bisexuals won a full range of rights…they become accepted and realigned with patriotic or nationalistic ideologies of their countries” (p. 104).
The notion of Homonationalism is particularly relevant to Israel, for the Zionist state has been very successful in mobilizing its patriotic gay community. It has managed to recruit the vast majority of its gay population in order to convey the perception that it is way ahead of its neighbors as far as gay rights are concerned. Being a “progressive Jew” and committed to the notion of “Tikkun Olam” (fixing the world), Schulman is very upset by Homonationalism in general and Israeli Homonationalism in particular. She would prefer that gays and lesbians be primarily committed to a universal political discourse defined by their sexual orientation. This is precisely where the notion of “Queer International” comes in. Schulman is aiming at a “worldwide movement that brings queer liberation and feminism to the principle of international autonomy from occupation, colonialism, and globalized capital.”
And yet, one question remains: How is it possible that so many gays prefer to identify with their national and patriotic environment rather than with a ‘universal’ sexually oriented ideology? Apparently most people, including gays and lesbians, accept a clear dichotomy between their sexual orientation and their political identification. It also seems natural to me that a country’s LGBT citizens would be thankful to a society or culture that liberates them and respects their needs and rights.
From a heterosexual perspective (as if that exists), the above observation seems very natural. Since the vast majority of healthy people spend most of their time out of bed, it only makes sense that one’s sexual orientation is not a primary focus of one’s civil and political life. Furthermore, Schulman’s so-called ‘progressive’ expectation of homosexuals that they be devoted primarily to queer ‘universal’ issues is in itself a form of oppression that borders on abuse, since it imposes on the individual an ideological collectivism and epistemological mantra.
As an enthusiastic advocate of Queer International, Schulman is up against Palestinian academic Joseph Massad. According to Massad, the heterosexual/homosexual binary opposition is itself foreign to the Orient – it is basically “a Western apparatus imposing concepts of homosexuality on Palestinian sex between men” (p. 66). For Massad gays and lesbians are not universal categories, and the attempt to universalize them is the direct outcome of human rights activists who project their own symptom at the expense of their ‘solidarity subject.’
I am far from being an admirer of Massad, yet his argument here is coherent and deserves attention. Like Heidegger and other developed minds, Massad considers the human subject to be a product of his/her culture, language, rituals, geography and so on. Schulman’s approach, on the other hand, is the outcome of the most simplistic phenomenological anthropocentric and Judeo-centric school of thought. Like many others, she naively believes that people are actually the authors of their own biography, and that this biography is somehow universal, transferable and translatable.
This ideological clash obviously is crucial, for if Massad is correct then the “universalization” of the queer condition suggested by Schulman and the Queer International is obviously a form of interventionism. It imposes Western liberal categories on the oppressed. As we will soon see, this exact agenda is far from being kept secret; to be precise, it is actually funded largely by the liberal Zionist George Soros and his Open Society Institute.
Schulman clearly views Massad as a threat, referring to him and his criticism at least twice in her book. Yet, she doesn’t make a single theoretical effort to counter Massad’s argument. Instead she informs us that Massad had never met with the “new wave of young queer Palestinian activists.” Schulman may well be correct here, yet this is far from being an argument. It is merely an anecdote. In other words, the fact that a few young Palestinian gays adopt some Western liberal ideas delivered to the region by an Israeli gay ideologist, an American Jewish lesbian activist, or even George Soros’ Open Society only proves that Massad is actually correct—the ‘universalization’ of marginal thought is in itself a form of crude cultural intervention.
Queer International and George Soros
A year ago I was shocked to discover that the BDS National Committee in Ramallah had made a crucial change to its goal statement. It changed the wording of its original (June 2005) mission statement from “demanding that Israel end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” to demanding that Israel end “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967.”
The BDS National Committee thus basically abandoned the most precious Palestinian right—it drifted away from the commitment to 1948 and limited its struggle to the liberation of lands occupied in 1967. An attempt to clarify who exactly made the change and what process was involved revealed that this significant change was made in a clandestine manner—it appeared only in English. It has never appeared in Arabic or any other language. It didn’t take long before it became evident that the change took place behind the back of the Palestinian people. Despite BDS’ claim to be a ‘civil society’ representing more than 170 Palestinian organizations, Palestinians are still unaware of the BDS National Committee’s compromise on their behalf.
Being an expert on Jewish marginal politics, it was clear to me that the radical change in the BDS goal statement and the non-democratic way in which it was introduced was meant to appease BDS’ Jewish adherents. Further investigation revealed that BDS—like most Palestinian NGOs—is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute. Yet, for obvious reasons, BDS National Committee (BNC) remained silent on the topic. It has never revealed its finances or the identity of its funders. The only reference to Soros’ links with BDS was made available by the Israeli right-wing NGO Monitor.
Now, however, thanks to Schulman’s book, this issue has been resolved. In her search for funding for a young Palestinian Queer USA tour in support of BDS, Schulman writes that she was advised to approach George Soros’ Open Society institute. The following account may leave you flabbergasted, as it did me:
“A former ACT UP staffer who worked for the Open Society Institute, George Soros’ foundation, suggested that I file an application there for funding for the tour. When I did so it turned out that the person on the other end had known me from when we both attended Hunter [College] High School in New York in the 1970s. He forwarded the application to the institutes’s office in Amman, Jordan, and I had an amazing one-hour conversation with Hanan Rabani, its director of the Women’s and Gender program for the Middle East region. Hanan told me that this tour would give great visibility to autonomous queer organizations in the region. That it would inspire queer Arabs—especially in Egypt and Iran…for that reason, she said, funding for the tour should come from the Amman office” (p. 108).
What we see here is clear and embarrassing evidence of a blunt intervention made by George Soros’ institute in an attempt to shape Arab culture and political life. We also learn about the manner in which Soros’ Open Society Institute introduces gay and queer politics to the region. Apparently money for a tour promoting Palestine and BDS is traveling from Soros’ Open Society to Jordan and then back to the USA with the hope that such a maneuver would “inspire” gays in Iran. At least now we know who stands behind the Arab gay revolution.
The moral is very clear: BDS had a very “good reason” to remain silent regarding its funding sources. After all, being funded directly or indirectly by a liberal Zionist philanthropy, a man who also funds the openly Zionist JStreet, is indeed slightly embarrassing. Furthermore, it seems as if this new evidence of Western intervention presented as a “Jordanian queer initiative” proves that Joseph Massed was more than correct— Queer International is a farce. In practice it is a network of proxy operations attempting to introduce liberal ideas to Arabs and Muslims in an attempt to undermine their culture.
Intellectual Integrity vs. Materialism
Since she is not a philosopher, Schulman is not interested in arguments or any kind of theoretical depth. Instead she specializes in marginal campaigns and Queer International activism. She is obviously very good at forming alliances and making things happen. When Schulman realizes, for instance, that Frameline, the San Francisco LGBT film festival, is funded by the Israeli Consulate, she offers to “fund-raise to replace the (Israeli) money.” This isn’t exactly an intellectual approach, yet it provides us with precious and intimate information about marginal politics and the way in which it operates behind the scenes. We are dealing here with a little solidarity industry. Sometimes it is Israel and Zionists who pay the bill, other times it is Soros and other liberal Zionists who fund the “opposition.”
Schulman’s personal journey toward BDS and Justice throws light on the path taken by the BDS in Ramallah toward the Jewish crowd, the queer movement and especially liberal Zionist money.
While during the early stage of Schulman’s campaign BDS leader Omar Barghouti was clearly reluctant to openly support or integrate queer politics into BDS, by the time the book ends Schulman is convinced by Barghouti’s “liberal credentials.” “Omar and I,” she says, “had both been motivated by love and need for justice to transform ourselves so that we were now reaching each other.” And, she continues, “now I know that there is a significant Palestinian ‘civil society’ that supports a nonviolent strategy for change and is feminist and now pro-gay.”
Mazal Tov is probably the most appropriate way to congratulate Barghouti, BDS, Soros—and Sarah Schulman, of course.
I am very impressed with this revelation about a leading Palestinian civil society becoming ‘pro-gay’ and ‘feminist. I guess that Soros and his institutions indeed have reason to be optimistic about their chance to change the face of the Arab society.
However, I would really like to know whether the Palestinians are aware of all this. For some reason I have a feeling that, as in the case of BDS surreptitiously changing its goals statement, the same Palestinian civil society now has become ‘pro-gay’ and ‘feminist’ without anyone in Palestine knowing about it. I can only say that I hope I am wrong.
In her first appearance before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Samantha Power, Obama’s pick for next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, made clear that she will spend her time in the role much as her predecessor Susan Rice did: acting as Israel’s consummate defender, fear-mongering about Iran, and opposing any move to champion Palestinian human rights or self-determination.
Rice, who has been appointed as Obama’s National Security Adviser, has said repeatedly that the American delegation to the UN “often works in ‘lockstep’ with the Israeli delegation” and spends “an enormous amount of time defending Israel’s right to defend itself and defending Israel’s legitimacy.”
“It’s an issue of utmost and daily concern for the United States,” she declared last year. A few months ago, she reiterated this point, insisting that her role as an apologist for the Israeli government is “a huge part of my work to the United Nations” and that the United States “will not rest in the crucial work of defending Israel’s security and legitimacy every day at the United Nations.”
Power has already proven herself a loyal replacement, disavowing any semblance of past critical thinking when it comes to Israeli human rights abuses and abrogation of international law and opposing fear-mongering about Iran’s nuclear program. It is no surprise Washington hawks and, even the Israeli government, are falling over themselves to sing her praises.
In her confirmation hearing yesterday, Power revealed her adherence to AIPAC talking points, essentially working her way down the tried and true list of boilerplate phrases. ”The United States has no greater friend in the world than the State of Israel,” she said, adding, “Israel is a country with whom we share security interests and, even more fundamentally, with whom we share core values – the values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
“America has a special relationship with Israel,” she stated, to the surprise of no one and the consternation of George Washington‘s ghost. “I will stand up for Israel and work tirelessly to defend it,” she promised.
Perhaps her most disturbing comments, however, were about Iran. Shamelessly exploiting the horror of the Holocaust to fear-monger about the Islamic Republic, she declared:
“…within this organization built in the wake of the Holocaust – built in part in order to apply the lessons of the Holocaust – we also see unacceptable bias and attacks against the State of Israel. We see the absurdity of Iran chairing the UN Conference on Disarmament, despite the fact that its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to international peace and security.”
With this statement, Power, in her eagerness to check off all the buzzword boxes prescribed by AIPAC, directly contradicts the consistent assessment of the United States’ own intelligence community, which has repeatedly concluded that Iran is, in fact, not pursuing a nuclear weapons as it has no nuclear weapons program.
Early last year, an unnamed U.S. intelligence official told the Washington Post that Iran has not decided to pursue nuclear weapons, explaining, “Our belief is that they are reserving judgment on whether to continue with key steps they haven’t taken regarding nuclear weapons.” At the time, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta affirmed this position, admitting, ”Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”
Soon thereafter, the New York Times reported, ”Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier.” This, the paper noted, “remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.”
Either Samantha Power is an idiot or she’s lying.
In fact, there was a time when Power wasn’t so confident in making such a declarative statement. In a 2008 interview with Miller-McCune, Power noted that she was “not an expert on Iran,” but condemned the “American sabre-rattling” of the George W. Bush administration. “The threats – implicit and explicit – of U.S. military action have united very diverse secular, Islamist and nationalist strands,” she said, adding that American “belligerence” had “backfired.”
When asked specifically about whether she thought “Iran is trying to create nuclear weapons,” Power replied, “It would surprise me if they weren’t, but I don’t know.”
Still, she disparaged the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate and simply assumed Iran “would see as in its interests to amass as much firepower as possible,” due to the foreign threats it faces. Nevertheless, she stated, “It does not seem as though the Iranian regime is close to possessing nuclear weapons” and said that “when U.S. leaders claim Iran poses an imminent threat, they are not currently heard as credible.”
Now, five years later, Power sounds exactly like Bush’s own UN Ambassador, perennial Iran hawk John Bolton, who in 2006, insisted to the UN Security Council that “Iran had defied the international community by continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons” and that this “pursuit of nuclear weapons constituted a direct threat to international peace and security.”
Furthermore, Power’s incredulity regarding what she deems the “absurdity of Iran chairing the UN Conference on Disarmament,” betrays her own ignorance on Iran’s constantly repeated stance regarding nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.
Iran has long championed a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East and is a party to all disarmament treaties on weapons of mass destruction, including the Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel, however, is not a member to any of them.
Last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi stated that Iran fully supports the establishment of a NWFZ, but that Israel, and its American backers, presented the ”only obstacle to the creation of such a zone…due to its persistent refusal to join the NPT and to place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards system.” The United States consistently blocks crucial international conferences dedicated to nuclear non-proliferation for the sole purpose of protecting Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal from scrutiny.
Samantha Power has surely embraced her new role in Turtle Bay as Israel’s stalwart apologist.
Abe Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s hasbarist-in-chief, once called Susan Rice a “gladiator” fighting in the United Nations on behalf of Israel. There is no question Samantha Power will, for the sake of our “special relationship” and “shared values” with an aggressive, nuclear-armed, settler-colonial apartheid state, similarly take up the sword and continue to unleash hell on the entire Middle East.
To understand Iran’s real stance toward the issue of the Holocaust, it is worth reviewing President Mahmoud Ahmadienjad’s remarks.
In an interview with NBC NEWS’s Brian Williams on Sept 19, 2006, Ahmadinejad raised three questions about the Holocaust:
1) In the Second World War, over 60 million people (at least 50 million civilians) lost their lives. They were all human beings. Why is it that only a select group of those who were killed have become so prominent and important?
2) If this event (Holocaust) happened, and if it is a historical event, then we should allow everyone to research it and study it. The more research and studies are done, the more we can become aware of the realities that happened. We still leave open to further studies absolute knowledge of science or math. Historical events are always subject to revisions, and reviews and studies…Why is it that those who ask questions are persecuted? Why is every word so sensitivity or such prohibition on further studies on the subject? Where as we can openly question God, the prophet, concepts such as freedom and democracy?
3) If this happened, where did it happen? Did the Palestinian people have anything to do with it? Why should the Palestinians pay for it now? Five million displaced Palestinian people is what I’m talking about. Over 60 years of living under threat. Losing the lives of thousands of dear ones. And homes that are destroyed on a daily basis over people’s heads. You might argue that the Jews have the right to have a government. We’re not against that. But where? At a place where their people were — several people will vote for them, and where they can govern. Not at the cost of displacing a whole nation. And occupying the whole territory.
The Israeli – Palestinian confrontation is one of the longest lasting world crises in recent times and many believe an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would also be the key to solving the other issues and conflicts in the region.
As Iran’s President has frequently asserted, if the Holocaust happened in Europe, what is the fault of the Palestinian people? The Palestinian people’s lives are being destroyed today in the pretext of the Holocaust. Lands have been occupied, usurped. But what is their fault? What role did they play in the Holocaust?
“Well, assuming that the Holocaust happened, then, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?”
So, What Are Iran doubts?
Let’s review some major points Iran has raised about the Holocaust:
1. The evidence of the honoured history of each nation is always open to study; you have never heard of a ban on studying war crimes; for instance Iran has always presented evidence and proof to the world of what Iraq did to Iran’s people, as most countries do; but the Holocaust is the only part of history, which is kept out of questioning!
2. Let’s consider that the Holocaust is true, and as they say, “six million Jews during World War II, were murdered by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout German-occupied territory.” Still we need to ask: Why Palestinians should pay the price?
Though the solution to this dispute is not very complicated! (Churchill once said: “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”) Iran suggests that the Holocaust events should be further investigated by independent and impartial parties;
Iran is against using the Holocaust to justify the behaviour of Israel in the region, and this is a merely a political and humanitarian argument, nothing to do with Jews and cannot be interpreted as anti – Semitic.
Jews, like other minorities are living peacefully in Iran. Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution and a seat is reserved for a Jew in the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament). Iran hosts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim-majority country. And it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.
Zionist narrative expects Israeli children to be imbued with a false sense of nationalism which is instrumental to the preservation of its illegally-acquired land. This abstract narrative, incorporating the unification of Jewish identity contrasted with the orientalist image of Palestinians, forms the basis of a culture based upon indoctrination and violence. The misrepresentation stems from the exclusion of the discourse of peace discourse to divert attention from any possible discussion of Israel’s colonial occupation.
Racist discourse is an essential component of Zionist education, creating a dissonance in the social, biological, cultural and demographic representation of Palestinians. The concept of exclusion is ingrained within Israeli collective memory at an early age in order to ascertain a smooth transition into a military philosophy which deems Palestinians as “issues” rather than a population massacred by apartheid laws.
Visually, the enforced elimination of Palestinians from their own history has resulted in a cultural and social vacuum, degenerating into the stereotype of violent, submissive and primitive Arabs. This projection has been expounded upon by the West, whose caricatures, especially within the corporate media, have become a kind of warped justification for ignoring the fundamental problem Palestinians have faced for many decades. Palestinian violence is thus isolated from the narrative of occupation and necessity of resistance. Israeli war crimes, meanwhile, are justified within Zionist discourse as a means of “security” which its citizens and Western governments and international organisations, including the UN, hail as legitimate intervention against a people deemed invisible by Zionism prior to the onset of Israel’s neo-colonialism.
Nurit Peled Elhanan, Professor of Language and Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem insists that “the orientalising imagery of the Arab citizen of Israel” fails to correspond to any immediate reality, “except in the imagination of the 19th century painter”. Israeli children fail to associate “the Arab” with Arab citizens of Israel, let alone a collective identity of Palestinians under occupation. In their formative years, children are bequeathed with an imaginary Jewish homeland in order to uphold the Palestinians’ dispossession. The notion of a suffering people is gleaned through Biblical references allowing for an interpretation of nationhood beyond the existence of the Palestinian state. The impediment to full recognition of Palestinians is restricted further by the imagery of Jews enduring trials and tribulations across many centuries, the recent history of the Holocaust and the “Jewish state” defending itself against Palestinian “terrorism”. Palestinians become ephemeral in Zionist narrative; they are either obliterated to suit Israel’s public sphere, or else are a tangible threat to security. The concept of Palestinians dispersed by the occupation and rendered as refugees in their own land are “issues” serving the permanent division of society. Furthermore, it reinforces a false projection of misery pertaining to Jewish identity with regard to its hold upon the fictitious homeland.
Elhanan declares the visual dramatisation of history without a concrete foundation as vital to sustaining the Zionist ideological stereotype. Since the education system is based upon the imparting of superiority, racism “functions as part of the ideological and the repressive apparatus of the state”. Failure to recognise that racism is actually far more deeply embedded than its manifestation in human rights violations suggests can only strengthen the racist indoctrination of the younger generations of Israelis.
In his upcoming Israel visit, US President Barack Obama will spend just a few hours in Palestinian Ramallah and the rest of the 3-day tour visiting grave of Zionism founder Theodor Herzl, a Holocaust memorial and an anti-missile system, among other Israeli sites.
During the visit that begins on Wednesday, Obama will spend “just a few hours” in the Palestinian Authority base of Ramallah, and the rest of his three-day stay in al-Quds (Jerusalem), where he plans to visit an “official” so-called Holocaust memorial, a partially US-built Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile site and Herzl’s grave, The Los Angele Times reports on Friday.
In visiting the grave site of the Zionism founder and the Holocaust spot, Obama intends to highlight the point he made during his widely publicized Cairo speech in 2009, when he urged his Egyptian audience to accept the Zionist regime’s right to exist while denouncing efforts to deny the increasingly suspicious Holocaust story, the report states, citing US and Israeli officials. … Full article
Forbidden words, taboo topics, witch hunts, smear campaigns, excommunications, thought-policing and book banning are no longer the trademark of fascists and right wing extremists, the profession is shared now by Jewish “anti-Zionists,” alleged “friends of Palestine.” We are left watching in astonishment and disbelief as some “anti-Zionists” are doing the work of hyper-Zionists the likes of ADL and BoDoBJ.
I have recently witnessed the ostracizing and excommunication of two activists, Paul Eisen and Gilad Atzmon, by my local group affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) using the Zionist method of character assassination of using the labels “racist” “anti-Semitic” as a method of muffling truth.
Yet, among the numerous intellectuals and political activists that have publicly defended Atzmon are many Jews for whom I have only high praise and have expressed much admiration.
It seems that those who wish to stifle discourse are acting as controlled opposition. They attempt to block intellectual discussion, suppress academic freedom, obstruct rational and scholarly debate, filter vital information and smother serious research that examines three main identifiable problems:
The problem of the ideology of Jewish supremacy
The problem of global Jewish-Zionist networking and lobbying
The problem of idolizing the holocaust (which is used as a tool to further Zionist aims)
In 2009, soon after the Gaza massacres, by sheer coincidence I came across the word Neshama. Curious, I googled the word, and lo and behold a Pandora’s Box opened before my eyes; a new learning curve began; I learned about a group called Chabad Lubavitch. I was horrified to discover the supremacist ideology at the core of this group and the level of influence accomplished by the Rebbe and his followers.
Horror-struck, I started investigating, studying then writing about two main issues; the supremacist ideology and the high influence of this prominent organization, attempting to alert our Jewish PSC allies to the danger of such ideology and influence… only to be faced with utter silence.
The problem of the ideology of Jewish supremacy
First; if we accept that Zionism is defined by the crime of genocide and the ethnic cleansing of a nation and has caused the wiping out of a country, then investigating the motivation behind such crime is essential to fight it and hopefully to defeat it. Without unfiltered scrutiny, we would never know who we are dealing with and how to stop them.
Second; supremacism in Jewish ideology is not above criticism; like every other ideology, it should be transparent, accessible and not kept secretive. Without unfiltered scrutiny we would never know what animates Zionists to act with such aggravated cruelty and sadism.
Third; to accuse of “anti-Semitism” and “racism” those who expose Jewish supremacy, is the equivalent of covering up the ideology behind the crime and dissuading people from learning about it, hence challenging and fighting this form of racism.
Dismissing such supremacist beliefs as irrelevant and obsolete would be a huge mistake because these views are the very motor that charges, motivates and energizes the Jewish settlers in Palestine, and gives them the sense of entitlement to do what they do without feeling any guilt or remorse.
For us Palestinians and for our supporters in the solidarity movement, it is a matter of extreme importance to inspect and scrutinize the ideology that motivates and animates the Jewish settlers in our occupied Palestine in order to better understand it, hence combat it. Restricting our understanding of the occupiers, their ideology and mindset cripples our ability to fight back against them knowledgeably and effectively. Furthermore, in our day and age, racism has become outlawed, when people learn about the extent of the ideological racism in the Zionist entity, it will enable us to fight them in their weakest point, thus, bring the day of our liberation closer.
The problem of global Jewish-Zionist networking and lobbying
First; when we look at Zionism as a crime, again, then logically we must identify and investigate the modus operandi. Failure to do so would leave us unable to understand how our oppressors operate and succeed.
Second; with regards to the Jewish-Zionist lobby: investigative work that examines information, no matter how well concealed, and attempts to identify at least some of the culprits and the real criminals behind the fearmongering, the endless wars and the catastrophic conditions that our world suffers is neither racist nor anti Semitic.
Third; devoid of proof or evidence for their false accusations the controlled opposition gate-keepers insidiously filter information through intimidation and by labeling anyone who dares to divulge vital facts. They disable Friends of Palestine (FoP) members from understanding the animus and the methods used to install and to perpetuate the criminal Zionist project, in particular the global network of collaborators who organize and effectively manipulate world policies by coercing world governments into continuous support of the Zionist project in spite of its growing inhumanity.
Expecting to become myself sooner or later a victim of such smear and filtering activity, I always utilize extensive links to primary sources I quote, mostly Jewish organizations. The network formed by these organizations involves large sections of Jewish communities worldwide, and its ultimate role is generally to support the Zionist entity, by inserting themselves in influential positions.
Suppression of inquiry amounts to a dynamic protection system (by peripheral concealment) of the global Zionist network.
Lite-Zionist critics of Israel are attempting to impose on FoP their restrictive dogma, i.e. that a majority of Jews worldwide, whether Zionist “diaspora” or “Israelis”, are not the manipulators of international policy with regards to “Israel”, but the complacent, docile instrument of U.S. imperialism.
To persist, such dogma imperatively needs, again, to filter out glaring facts such as the over-representation of Jewish-Zionist dual citizens in vital areas of UK-US policy making, or the cross-pollination of racist and supremacist ideology between many Talmudic Rabbis and many Secular Jewish-Zionist Organizations supporting the Zionist project.
The persistence of this dogma also requires strict and repressive censorship and gagging of whomever tries to scrutinize, analyze and discuss the facts, let alone expose them to an audience concerned by matters of equality and humanism, such as FoP and the Palestine solidarity movement in general was supposed to be. That is how and why smear campaigns with killer words such as “anti-Semitism” or “racism” are launched.
At best, such activity on part of alleged “friends of Palestine” is irresponsible. The logical implication of such nonsense, would be that Jewish Israelis, almost all of them serving at least 2 full years in the Israeli army, are just naïve and innocent victims. Thereby, this nonsensical dogma exculpates the notoriously perverted cruelty and psychopathy of the Israeli military’s crimes, up and down the command ladder.
The problem of idolizing the holocaust
First; “Facts” do NOT need laws to enforce or defend them, what they require is research to examine their narrative and correct it for better accuracy and understanding. The denial of these principles will invariably lead to the eradication of the Science of History, and thus cause the blind repetition of more genocides, as we already see in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan… Much like what we see with the cover up and suppression of information about The Truth about 9/11, who benefited and how the event was used to create a climate of hatred and fear which enables the power elite to continue waging wars of aggression and extermination.
Second; without understanding how the holocaust has been used by Zionists, from its onset til this very day, we would continue to succumb to intimidation and give allowances that legitimize and justify the existence of a criminal entity. By insisting on keeping an aura of holiness, uniqueness and exceptionality around the holocaust which would continue to put it above any historical event, preventing researchers from examining how this event has been used, and how it enables our occupier to continue to use it as justification for what they do in Palestine.
The holocaust ought to be studied as a historical event with a historical narrative that has NO sacred or exceptional dimension. The emotional, dogmatic and sacred luggage that has been attached to it has been systematically used and is still used by Zionists to justify and minimize their ongoing heinous crimes in Palestine, as well as the claim of special status with special benefits in their respective countries.
Third; there is absolutely no link -strictly none- between the so-called Holocaust and Palestinians. Nowhere can Palestinians be incriminated in the abhorrent oppression committed by central Europeans against Jews during World War II.
I, as a Palestinian, am not prepared to live in guilt, nor to pay for crimes my people haven’t committed. We refuse to accept and will reject forcibly if necessary, pathologically violent and racist Jewish occupiers.
Military conquest, terrorism, robbery, torture, ethnic cleansing and slow genocide ongoing since the arrival of the first Zionists in Palestine almost one century ago (i.e. before the holocaust) does NOT make someone the rightful “owners” or “co-owners” of my homeland, it makes them abject and violent occupiers.
I and with me my People are not accepting any more to keep having to listen to this narrative shoved down our throat with the repetition of tragedies about legendary love stories, human-fat soap or human-skin lamp shades in order that the Zionists continue to deceive, to trade with and reap the profit by deception and theft of a historical crime that has already been dealt with, and while they continue to use it to justify the ongoing theft of Palestine and extermination of Palestinians.
When someone claims to be in the solidarity movement with Palestine, but then at a crucial time when the Palestinian struggle for Liberation gains momentum, engages in such blatant cover up and concealment of vital information and analysis that would enable people to better understand the core problematic issues and how to effectively deal with them, I and with me every member of the FoP and the Palestine solidarity movement, have the right to question the dubious intentions and motivations of such acts, and to evaluate the damage such people are causing to the movement, hence to Palestinians.
I would like to add a thought about the accusation of racism and anti-Semitism used as a method to silence debate. Anti-Semitism is nothing but one form of racism. Jewish supremacy is yet another form of racism. All forms of racism are vile and ought to be rejected.
An aggravating factor makes the accuser’s motives appear to be even more dubious. Indeed the false accusations of racism is inconsistent with their deafening silence about the mountain of evidence of the wide-spread existence of the ominously racist Jewish supremacist ideologies. This utter silence is a glaring attempt to deflect from the real racism about which I happen to have done extensive research during the past 2 years.
Also, I perceive the attacks as an attempt to block intellectual debate about the problem of global Jewish-Zionist networking and lobbying, which to me is very worrisome, to say the least, when coming from self proclaimed “Friends of Palestine.”
What I find really mind-boggling and hard to fathom in all this is the inconsistency with regards to racism.
On the one hand they do not hesitate to throw such a label against many honorable activists, scholars and intellectuals, in fact they label as “racist” and “fools” anyone who exposes the revolting yet well concealed Jewish supremacy, anyone who notices the effect of Jewish-Zionist networking or who objects to their disproportionate over-representation in key positions with all what it entails of conflict of interest and promotion of the interest of a foreign entity at the detriment of the interest of their national constituency. Yet, on the other hand, mystifyingly, the same people, who without hesitation accuse us of racism, stay utterly mute about the massive, revolting and offensive racism that fills thousands of pages in the Talmud, and major Jewish religious books! And I am not talking about some fringe lunatic fundamentalists who use these always mutating texts as tools, what I am talking about is the inter-connective network of people deeply entrenched in the main centers of government, power and capital, and who are veritably driving policies, war-mongering and hate-mongering!
This sharp contrast between the fervent reaction of those disloyal activists to alleged “racism” on one hand, and on the other, their apathetic deflated reaction or lack thereof, to the sickening anti-human racism emanating from Jewish sources with its correlation with Zionists’ activities, leaves me speechless, beyond words.
Since I started exposing this racism, and over the past two years, I heard NOT ONE WORD about their outrage, opposition or willingness to expose or fight Jewish supremacist ideology, such as seen in the writing of one of the most respected, most reputable Jewish philosophers Moses Ben Maimon (also known as Maimonides).
“Maimonides’s Mishneh Torah is considered by traditionalist Jews even today as one of the chief authoritative codifications of Jewish law and ethics.” Moses Ben Maimon sees no problem with subjugating and enslaving gentiles:
“They shall be your subjects and serve you.”
“The subjugation they must accept consists of being on a lower level, scorned and humble.
They must never raise their heads against Israel, but must remain subjugated under their rule. They may never be appointed over a Jew in any matter whatsoever.”
He also talks about the right of the Jewish king to:
“wage a milchemet hareshut, (war of aggression) i.e. a war fought with other nations in order to expand the borders of Israel or magnify its greatness and reputation.“
These “chief authoritative codifications of Jewish law and ethics” do not see any ethical predicament with “Jewish wars” of extermination and annihilation either.
Since this notorious ideology is the unequivocal underlying animus and root cause of the Zionist aggression and occupation, and since the “facts on the ground” prove the cross-pollination between this degradation and the secular Zionist aims, including the irrefutably slow-genocidal Zionist military policies, scrutiny and criticism of this racist supremacist filth is not a matter of fringe theology, but a vital matter of totalitarian politics.
Now, where is their outrage against such blatant Jewish racism and supremacy and terrifying nihilistic ideology? Don’t they claim to be against racism wherever it comes from? Why don’t they have the guts to condemn and campaign against such racism?
Is it not ludicrous to hear them condemn instead, those who expose and vehemently oppose such racism?
Without using any commonsense they jump into the ADL bandwagon and rub shoulders with Zionists!
If someone obstinately objects to the massive control and unwelcome influence and the robbing of others rights and property, under the pretext of divine entitlement, does that person become the unreasonable “bigot” !
What kind of skewed logic is that?
This inconsistency is incomprehensible to me.
Why are they entitled to classify people and to dictate to people what they should read and what they should avoid?
Why this condescending attitude that appears to be claiming to know what is best for people and selecting their intellectual diet for them?
Why deprive people of the right to read a wide range of opinions, including my own writing, and allow them to make up their analysis, and conclusions without manipulation, repression or restraint?
In my writing I vehemently criticize racist Jewish ideology, but I never accuse all Jews of being racist, never put them -or anyone else for that matter, in one basket. Ever.
In my writing I quoted the poll that 95% of USA Jewry support Israel as a Jewish state and 90% of British Jewry believe that Israel is the ‘ancestral homeland’ of the Jewish people, and concluded that most world Jewry are supportive of the theft of Palestine.
Truth is that the majority of world Jewry insist that Jews have a right and claim to the land. Including some of our Jewish “anti-Zionist” friends under whatever pretext. Their claims are not acceptable and unjustifiable!
I have pointed out the influence of organized Jewish networks, such information is available for any serious researcher, it can be easily verified, yes it is troublesome to find such a tiny group extremely overrepresented in so many vital areas of public affairs, such as finance, media, security and policy making, more so when the interests of such a group are in conspicuous conflict with the interest of the larger group, and when this minority supports a genocidal entity that has not evolved in six decades.
Over-representation is as unfair as under-representation, and if anti-racists take it upon themselves to defend the rights of the under-represented minorities, it is of equal importance to do the same with over-representation.
Perhaps such questions of over-representation might have not surfaced had the behavior of those in question been shrouded with morality and humanity. Had they been working to establish social justice, building homes, schools and hospitals instead of destroying and polluting the planet for generations to come, and instead of law of the jungle where the super-rich eat the poor to the last bone, had they chosen cooperation instead never-ending conflict, and promoted peace and justice instead of fomenting perpetual wars.
No one should be slandered for observing and objecting to such blatant mockery of morality, equality and justice.
I do not need to focus on Christian Zionists because their ideology is almost entirely sourced from the Old-Testament which is none other than the Jewish Torah! Most authentic Christians consider the Christian Zionists as worshipers of “Israel” and of the “Jewish people” rather than God, and in that sense they share the same ideology as Jewish-Zionist supremacists, in terms of their reverence and idolization of the Jewish people as the “Chosen”, they are one and the same. Furthermore, those who occupy my land, those who drove me out of my homeland, and those who are still depriving me from going home are the Jewish Zionists.
I criticize the deafening silence of anti-Zionist Jews with regard to the racism that thrives amidst many Jewish communities. A silence which I believe will backfire one day, as they would be seen as not only complaisant but also complacent by deflecting away and concealing horrendous truths.
My criticism is motivated by concern and genuine care for good Jewish individuals that I have known and those whom I don’t know, because of what I perceive as the danger that would befall all of them if they continue to ignore the supremacist ideology, the growing influence of the adherents of this ideology and if they continue to ignore all the warning signs that point to accumulating bottled rage against such villainy, which no doubt would one day manifest itself violently as an inevitable backlash to much unsaid, yet felt, oppression and unspoken, but lived, subjugation.
I find it rather pathetic that the only defense mechanism that the accusers come up with is the smear, slander and the accusation of being a “racist” against anyone who pokes the boil exposing the pus infesting inside one of the most vile racist and supremacist ideologies thriving at the heart of some Jewish teachings as per Mishna Torah, Zohar, Tanya, and Talmud. By insisting on dismissing Jewish supremacy and Jewish-Zionist networks they only promote the most cruel and degenerative racism to be found on the planet by means of concealment and shifting attention away from the real racism that I vehemently fight and deplore.
The persons who resort to accusation, suppression, character assassination and smear campaigns very cunningly and dishonestly omit to mention that those who expose and condemn the racist concepts of “chosen-ness”, “exceptionality”, “superior morality”, “superior intelligence”, and “Jewish entitlement of world leadership” do not invent these concepts. It is not racist to expose or quote such abomination, it is not a crime to bring such Jewish-claims to the public awareness. Any honest criticism should be directed against those who believe such filth and make such revolting claims.
To those individuals who take part in such ADL style smear campaigns of accusation of racism, I say:
I accuse you of acting as a smoke screen to cover up real racism as manifested by Jewish supremacists
I accuse you of acting as protectors and gatekeepers of the global Jewish Zionist networks and lobby groups by denying their existence and effectiveness.
I accuse you of complicity by insisting to conceal planned crimes against humanity as manifested in the supremacist nihilistic Chabad ideology.
Any Solidarity Movement with Palestine should take the opinions, the interests, and the future well being of Palestinians at heart, otherwise, it speaks only for itself, not for Palestinians.
Palestinians have the right to fight for the full liberation of their country, those who are willing to march with us all the way are welcome, those who are not, may look for other more convenient and less controversial campaigns to support.
I denounce any person or group who pretends to speak in my name as a Palestinian, yet behind closed doors, they plot and whisper about how to mute Palestinian voices and curtail the spread and impact of daring Palestinian opinions.
I denounce any person or group who claims to work for Palestine, yet their actions are contrary to the legitimate interest and aspirations of Palestinian people. Allowing themselves to be used as a vehicle to secure the future of the Jewish-Zionist invaders by facilitating the permanent takeover of Palestine with the pretext of “two peoples, one future” blather or “equal rights to both sides” nonsense.
I denounce any person or group who turns a blind eye and reacts with a deafening silence to the unimaginable repulsive racism that oozes from some Jewish supremacist groups, yet instead, hysterically and shamelessly react to someone who accidentally came to discover such horrors.
Finally, I fully trust the Palestine solidarity movement to have the intellectual integrity and capacity to see through the fog of manipulation, and to have the assertiveness, the respect for their own intellect and enough open-mindedness to look at many sources of information, and that they have the courage to read for themselves and evaluate what they read independently, without having some gurus spoon-feeding them with filtered, processed, misrepresented or manipulated information.
Nahida Izzat is a Jerusalem-born Palestinian refugee who has lived in exile for over forty five years, after being forced to leave her homeland at the tender age of seven in 1967, during the six-day war. She has a degree in mathematics, but art is one of her favorite pastimes. She loves hand-made things and so makes dolls, cards, and most of her own clothing. She also writes poetry, participates in written dialogues and believes in building bridges, not walls.
October 26, 2009
Antonio Caracciolo is a scholar of philosophy of law who works at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Rome University.
Politically, he is a liberal in the Italian sense of the word: a believer in the separation of Church and state, constitutional democracy, the rule of law and a free market; however he keeps his opinions strictly out of his work, reserving them for his blog Civium Libertas.
Recently, his blog has dedicated much attention to the politics of Israel and the methods used by Zionist organizations in Italy to silence criticism of Israel in the Italian media and political sphere.
The Zionist discourse, in recent years, has focused increasingly on the extermination of the European Jews during the Second World War, and this has led Antonio Caracciolo to touch another topic. As a liberal and legal scholar, he considers the attempt to introduce prison sentences http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial against “Holocaust deniers” or “revisionists” incompatible with Articles 21 and 33 of the Italian constitution, which protect freedom of expression and of research. In this context, however, Antonio Caracciolo has refused to get involved in historical discussions, or to support any “revisionist” thesis.
His blog – one of hundreds of thousands on the net in Italy – passed unnoticed for over two years, until a few days ago Italy’s leading daily, La Republica, decided to make its existence front page news, under the more-than-misleading title:
Gianni Alemanno, mayor of Rome, immediately demanded that the President of Rome’s University, Luigi Frati, take steps against Antonio Caracciolo. It is ironical to remember that Alemanno is not only the first neo-Fascist to become mayor of the Italian capital, he has also been the historic leader of the mystic current in the Alleanza Nazionale (former MSI) party, and is the son-in-law of Pino Rauti, who introduced the esoteric ideas of Julius Evola into the neo-Fascist movement.
In Europe, even in the Middle Ages, mayors had no right to tell universities whom to hire or fire. However, the President of the University Luigi Frati, thanked Gianni Alemmano for his prompt action and promised to “look into taking disciplinary steps against Caracciolo”, which could include his being fired from his job.
The right-wing president of the Rome town Council, Marco Pomarici, declared that
“one cannot tolerate certain statements circulating freely around Europe’s largest university, especially in a course on Philosophy of Law. Such theories can generate a return of anti-Semitism and it is quite clear that Caracciolo is not suited to teach and must be dismissed.”
Irony again, since Marco Pomarici a short time before had declared publicly that “there were also many positive elements in Fascism.”
Riccardo Pacifici, the very Zionist president of the Jewish community elected by a first-time right wing majority (on a ticket explicitly called “For Israel”) and well known in Italy for an “aid to Gaza” hoax, calls directly for imprisoning Antonio Caracciolo:
“Such “gentlemen” in some European countries – alas, not in Italy yet – are punished by the law for the ideas they uphold.”
The next day, Riccardo Pacifici launched an appeal (directly from Israel) to the academic world, announcing that he would take legal action against Caracciolo’s blog, and calling on university professors to take steps to “prevent allowing certain people having contact with students” (La Repubblica, October 23, 2009). Specifically, he calls upon the professors to “help us so that Italy makes laws declaring holocaust denial a crime.”
Pacifici claimed the existence of a “true Holocaust denial network” in Internet, hardly surprising if we consider that Internet is a network. Pacifici also told the press that he had presented a black list of websites to the police.
“The problem of the net, emphasizes Pacifici, is that it is uncontrolled. The risk is that one can write anything by simply opening a website in Moscow. We also need to intervene in terms of legislation about this.”
Statements of indignation about Caracciolo’s blog “are not enough,” Pacifici goes on. “Unanimous condemnation is not enough. We need to act in terms of criminal law.”
The Caracciolo case opens a new frontier. Not only would unpopular opinions be banned, but also the right to criticize such bans. Pacifici’s proposal, if applied in Germany, would put Henryk Broder, candidate-president of the German Jewish Community, in gaol, as he has promised to fight for the repeal of Holocaust denial legislation. http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/henryk-m-broder-publizist-will-knobloch-im-zentralrat-abloesen_aid_446835.html
The following day, October 24, Repubblica itself published an article by Christopher Hitchens which called for a military attack on Iran, no less, but this seems not to have sent any shock waves through the media.
Far more than Holocaust revisionism/denial is at stake. Pacifici is calling for legislation able to outlaw a blog like Antonio Caracciolo, which criticizes a government of the Middle East, analyzes the action of public figures and organizations in Italy and defends freedom of speech.
Such legislation would be possible only if laws were passed forbidding opposition to government policies, or declaring certain foreign states to be above criticism, or forbidding even support for the notion of free speech.
This of course is the basic issue behind “Holocaust denial legislation”, which is actually only part of the general attempt by governments to control the Internet and to make opposition – outside of very limited channels – a crime: one need only think of the Czech Republic, where legislators slipped a few extra words into the the Holocaust denial legislation. In Prague today, one can go to prison for up to eight years for “supporting class hatred” in “print, film, radio, television.” “Hatred” of course is a purely emotional term, and any judge will be free to decide whether the person organizing a strike had such wicked feelings or not.
 The Italian neo-Fascist party, MSI (later Alleanza Nazionale, now dissolved into the governing centre-right party) was a complex coalition, with three main strands: very conservative, largely Catholic anti-Communists; the “left-wing” which saw Mussolini as the “true” Socialist in the progressive and secular nationalist tradition of the 19th century; and a mystic, largely pagan wing with close cultural ties to certain currents of German thought.
Touted on Twitter as a “must-read” by John McCain, Elie Wiesel had an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post titled “How to stop the Syria massacre.” Clearly distressed that the United States appears to be finally growing weary of fighting wars in Israel’s increasingly destabilized backyard, the prosperous Holocaust survivor lays on the guilt trip:
Military intervention? No. Why not? Because the American people are tired of waging distant wars. Because American families have lost too many sons and daughters in far-away conflicts. Should Syrian families suffer because of the help we have given others? Because of the sacrifices we have already made?
The warmongering Nobel Peace Prize laureate has another bright idea, however:
I am not sure that armed assistance is the only solution. Economic sanctions have proved to be relatively futile elsewhere. But why not imagine yet another option that might produce a dramatic effect?
Why not warn Assad that, unless he stops the murderous policy he is engaged in, he will be arrested and brought to the international criminal court in the Hague and charged with committing crimes against humanity?
Such a charge would have discouraging aspects. He would lose any support, any sympathy, in the world at large. No honorable person would come to his defense. No nation would offer him shelter. No statute of limitations would apply to his case.
If and when he realizes that, like Egypt’s dictator, Hosni Mubarak, he will end up in disgrace, locked in a prison cell, he might put an end to his senseless criminal struggle for survival.
Why not try it?
As Wiesel most likely knows from the efforts to “stop Gadhafi,” his humanitarian-sounding suggestion is almost guaranteed to have the opposite effect.
But American administrations should also know by now to be wary of his advice. All President Obama needs to do is to learn from the experience of his predecessor, George W. Bush:
In the winter of 2003, I sought opinions on Iraq from a variety of sources…. One of the most fascinating people I met with was Elie Wiesel, the author, Holocaust survivor, and deserving Nobel Prize recipient. Elie is a sober and gentle man. But there was passion in his seventy-four-year-old eyes when he compared Saddam Hussein’s brutality to the Nazi genocide. “Mr. President,” he said, “you have a moral obligation to act against evil.” The force of his conviction affected me deeply. Here was a man who had devoted his life to peace urging me to intervene in Iraq…
- Countering the Israel Lobby’s Dominance (alethonews.wordpress.com)