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Medical Students at Chile’s Largest University Overwhelmingly Vote for BDS

IMEMC | October 17, 2017

More than three-fourths of students at the University of Chile’s Faculty of Medicine voted to break institutional ties with Israeli universities in a student referendum held last month. They also voted against Israeli government sponsorship or attendance of events at their university.

This is the third such vote to take place at the University of Chile, the country’s largest university. Over the last two years, more than 90% of students at the Faculty of Social Sciences  and more than 60% of students at the Faculty of Law also voted in support of  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures.

BDS UChile, the university’s student coalition advocating for BDS, celebrated the victory, saying:

We are celebrating yet another win for the global BDS movement at the University of Chile. After students at the Faculty of Law and students at the Faculty of Social Sciences voted for BDS in 2015 and 2016 respectively, we are very proud that students at the Faculty of Medicine joined in to vote a resounding YES on having a university free of Israeli apartheid.

Before this vote took place, Palestinian medical students sent a video message to Chilean students, highlighting the impact of Israeli apartheid, military occupation and colonialism on their rights to health and education. They emphasized the importance of effective international solidarity through the academic boycott of Israeli universities.

Monia Kittana, a Birzeit University Palestinian medical student featured in the video, welcomed the referendum results, saying:

We are very thankful that medical students at the University of Chile have heeded our call to boycott Israeli apartheid. We applaud them for their principles and solidarity. They’ve set an example to be followed by other departments and universities in Chile and in all of Latin America. Palestinians need effective solidarity from around the world, and students can play a leading role in pressuring their universities to break ties with institutions that are complicit in Israel’s half-century of military occupation and nearly 70 years of dispossessing Palestinians from their homes and lands.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter @BDSmovement.

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

If you work for Justice in Palestine, why won’t you let Palestinians speak?

By Amena Elashkar | Dissident Voice | October 14, 2017

Until I came to the US last year, I had never met an Israeli, and only one American Jew. As a third generation Palestinian refugee living in a camp in Lebanon, such opportunities did not exist.

Then, when 85-year-old Mariam Fathalla and I came last year to speak throughout the US and Canada about the views of our community in Lebanon, I suddenly met lots of Jews, and a few Israelis, as well. In fact, it was often Jewish Voice for Peace groups that invited us or were among the co-sponsors of our events, as part of the North America Nakba Tour. This year I am touring with 84-year-old Khawla Hammad. Mariam and Khawla are both survivors of the 1948 Nakba (Palestinian genocide). We are all stateless, without any form of citizenship.

We were also invited by a roughly equal number of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) groups on many campuses. Everywhere we went, our presentation was enthusiastically received and our message welcomed. We were so pleased that it was such a success, and we made so many friends and allies (even a border officer we met re-entering the US from Canada last weekend).

But some refused to hear us, and we didn’t expect otherwise. The US is known for having some of the strongest Zionist groups and defenders of “Israel”, so we didn’t really expect to go unchallenged. That’s all right. They will spread their message and challenge ours, and we will do the same to them.

What surprised us, however, was that some of the groups calling themselves “Students for Justice in Palestine” would also challenge us. The first was at Stanford University last year, where they expressed a concern that Alison Weir had come with us to hear our talk, and where I was told that I should not say that “Israel” has no right to exist (which is not part of our presentation, but which is a view held by millions of Palestinians).

This earned us a reputation as “anti-Semites” in some circles, despite the fact that no one has shown anything anti-Semitic in any of our presentations. Some groups also object to statements made by some of the people in our organizing committee, composed of Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the International Solidarity Movement – Northern California and the Free Palestine Movement. But no one has produced any anti-Semitic statements from any of these groups, either. Most recently, we were informed by the SJP group at George Washington University in Washington, DC that our October 19 talk would be cancelled because we were “anti-Semitic”.

Of course, we expect such talk from our Zionist enemies, and we give it little importance. But to hear it from a group that claims to be standing for justice in Palestine? Do these groups really expect to have any credibility among Palestinians when they do this?

We have heard from some of them (including Stanford) that they are under tremendous pressure, and we don’t doubt that this is true. But why isn’t their first priority to defend and promote the voices of Palestinians speaking for themselves? Why don’t they stand up to whatever pressure is being placed upon them, even if they lose allies and are not recognized as a campus group? Do they think they are pursuing justice by allowing themselves to be intimidated? Don’t they care for their integrity?

Of course, we realize that many of these groups actually have plenty of integrity. In fact, last year, immediately after the terrible experience at Stanford, SJP-Pitzer welcomed us with open arms. The same is true of 72 other groups that sponsored or co-sponsored us last year, including other SJP and JVP chapters. What we’re saying is that it’s a disgrace for a group calling itself “Students for Justice in Palestine” to cancel one of our events or to allow itself to be pressured by groups or individuals that clearly do not stand for justice in Palestine and who have appointed themselves gatekeepers of what Palestinians may or may not say about their own genocide or anything else.

As a Palestinian, I request such groups to stop using “Justice in Palestine” in their name. We Palestinians understand what justice does and does not mean, and we do not give you permission to use our name or the name of our country for your corrupted image of justice.

Amena Elashkar is a stateless 23-year-old Palestinian translator and journalist living in the Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon.

October 15, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Ugly Canadian face now belongs to Trudeau

By Yves Engler · October 14, 2017

The “Ugly Canadian” is on the march, but now with a much prettier face at the helm. Across the planet, Canadian mining companies are in conflict with local communities and usually have the Trudeau government’s support.

A slew of disputes have arisen at Canadian run mines in recent weeks:

Last week in northern central Mexico, community members blockaded the main access road to Goldcorp Inc.’s Penasquito mine. They are protesting against the Vancouver-based company for using and contaminating their water without providing alternative sources.

In Northern Ireland two weeks ago, police forced activists out of a Cookstown hotel after they tried to confront representatives from Dalradian Resources. Community groups worry the Toronto firm’s proposed gold and silver mine will damage the Owenkillew River Special Area of Conservation.

Last weekend, an Argentinian senator denounced Blue Sky Uranium’s exploration in the Patagonia region. Magdalena Odarda said residents living near the planned mine fear the Vancouver company’s operations will harm their health.

On Wednesday more than 40 US congresspeople, as well as the Alaska’s Governor, criticized the removal of restrictions on mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, home to half the world’s sockeye salmon production. In May, Northern Dynasty CEO Thomas Collier met the new head of the US Environmental Protection Agency to ask for the lifting of restrictions on its Pebble Mine, which is expected to destroy the region’s salmon fishery. In a bid to gain government permission to move forward on the project, the Vancouver firm appointed a former chief of staff at the US Department of the Interior as its new CEO.

At the end of September, hundreds of families were displaced by the Filipino Army to make way for a mine jointly run by Australian and Canadian firms MRL Gold and Egerton Gold. The community in the Batangas Province was blocking a project expected to harm marine biodiversity.

In eastern Madagascar, farmers are in a dispute with DNI Metals over compensation for lands damaged by the Toronto firm.

In August, another person was allegedly killed by Acacia (Barrick Gold) security at its North Mara mine in Tanzania.

Last week, Barrick Gold agreed to pay $20-million to a Chilean a group after a year-long arbitration. The Toronto company had reneged on a $60-million 20-year agreement to compensate communities affected by its Pascua Lama gold, silver and copper project.

In mid-September, Eldorado Gold threatened to suspend its operations in Halkidiki, Greece, if the central government didn’t immediately approve permits for its operations. With the local Mayor and most of the community opposed to the mine, the social-democratic Syriza government was investigating whether a flawed technical study by the Vancouver company was a breach of its contract.

And in Guatemala, Indigenous protestors continue to blockade Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine despite a mid-September court decision in the company’s favour. Fearing for their water, health and land, eight municipalities in the area have voted against the Vancouver firm’s project.

The Liberals have largely maintained Stephen Harper’s aggressive support for Canada’s massive international mining industry. Last month Canada’s Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne backed El Dorado, denouncing the Greek government’s “troublesome” permit delays. Canada’s Ambassador to Madagascar, Sandra McCadell, appears to have backed DNI Metals during a meeting with that country’s mining minister.

As I detailed previously, the Trudeau government recently threw diplomatic weight behind Canada’s most controversial mining company in the country where it has committed its worst abuses. Amidst dozens of deaths at Barrick Gold’s North Mara mine in Tanzania and an escalating battle over the company’s unpaid royalties/tax, Canada’s High Commissioner Ian Myles organised a meeting between Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton and President John Magufuli. After the meeting Myles applauded Barrick’s commitment to “the highest standards, fairness and respect for laws and corporate social responsibility.”

Two years into their mandate the Trudeau regime has yet to follow through on their repeated promises to rein in Canada’s controversial international mining sector. Despite this commitment, they have adopted no measures to restrict public support for Canadian mining companies responsible for significant abuses abroad.

The ‘Ugly Canadian’ is running roughshod across the globe and pretty boy Justin is its new face.

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Time for All Palestinians and Their Supporters to Join the Resistance against Israel’s Cultural Offensives

By David Macilwain | American Herald Tribune | September 14, 2017

Before the launching of the war on Syria in 2011 by agents of the US and its Middle Eastern allies, the focus of my political activism was almost exclusively Palestine. “Self-radicalised” is a suitable descriptor for the slow awakening of my awareness of the way things were in the Israeli-occupied territory and the Arab and Islamic world around it.

As with many of my contemporaries, the 2003 attack on Iraq was a springboard in this radicalisation, not out of sympathy and understanding of Iraq but rather from antagonism to the US neo-con regime with its UK and Australian allies. Israel’s central role in orchestrating the attack on Iraq, as well as the pretext for it eighteen months earlier didn’t become clear – to me at least – until sometime later, when my antagonism began to concentrate on the Zionist State.

“Antagonism” doesn’t begin to describe the feelings that developed during Israel’s 26-day massacre of innocents of Gaza in 2009 however, nor the absolute disdain and disgust at Western leaders’ failure to condemn it. Notably too, the failure of Western media organisations to report the daily atrocities being committed by the IDF in Gaza revealed the extent of networks of propaganda support for the Zionist entity.

In the controversy that followed “Operation Cast Lead”, which finally came to an end just after Obama’s inauguration, it also became clear who was prepared to stand up for the people of Gaza and for Palestine and who was not. Many organisations we may have thought to be “impartial” turned out to be compromised when it came to Palestine, including the UN and NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Their failure to react and respond appropriately to the terrible injustices and atrocities inflicted on the civilian population of Gaza, in the false name of fighting “Hamas terrorism”, gave huge impetus to the BDS movement. In the absence of any real condemnation of Israel’s barbarity, leave alone sanctions, or enforcement of outstanding UN resolutions, boycott and divestment became the only means to support Palestinians’ rights.

One could never say that the BDS campaign against Israel’s occupation was a success, though there were successes. In countries with a strong Israel lobby like the US, UK, Australia and France, the lobby’s fightback with both propaganda and legal instruments began almost before any real action could be taken, while Zionist infiltration and influence on government members made sure Israeli interests were protected. The associated academic and cultural boycott – PACBI – had more success in influencing public opinion, with the help of some great artists like Roger Waters and Ken Loach, but the fightback against them was even more intense, and continues to this day.

In an attempt to convince ourselves that something has been achieved over the last ten years, we may consider this reaction to the boycott campaigns as a recognition of their effectiveness – or at least potential effectiveness; the opinion of one influential celebrity can sometimes change the minds of millions.

But doesn’t Israel know this!

The truth is that the state of Israel is founded on something like the antithesis of a boycott campaign – as a state of mind cultivated with centuries of sectarian propaganda. How else could you create a whole society in which individuals believe themselves to be “exceptional” and racially superior to the native inhabitants of the land they are occupying by force? A society for which militant racism is the sine qua non of its nationhood and identity.

Not only have Israel’s leaders and educators achieved this “state of denial” amongst the Jewish citizens and the diaspora – with some important exceptions – but they have managed to maintain credibility as a “democratic” state with Western nations against all odds. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times one points out that a state defined as “Jewish” cannot also be democratic if some of its citizens are not Jewish.

The immediate and current context of this discussion is the fiesta of Zionist propaganda that just took place in London’s Roundhouse centre, called “TLV in LDN”, and the protest campaign against it by a group of artists, including those venerable veterans named above. But the context is rather different from that of ten years ago when the siege of Gaza began, following Hamas’ victory in Palestinian elections.

In fact it begins to look a little desperate, and the defence of this opinion-twisting offensive a bit hysterical. The “facts on the ground” created in what was once Palestine by the Zionist regime in those ten years now mean that Israel’s legitimacy can only be defended with increasingly shrill accusations and violence against Palestinians and their true supporters in the West.

But there may be another reason for the creators and defenders of “The Israel Project” to have a feeling of panic – such as that shown by Netanyahu on his recent visit to Sochi. As Sharmine Narwani has described, things are changing rapidly on Israel’s borders, with Jordan and Lebanon moving to restore relations with Damascus, and other sometime allies like Turkey and Egypt, and even the US seeking to cooperate with Russia and Iran.

There is also something happening within Palestine, as the new Hamas leadership seeks reconciliation with Syria and Iran – effectively returning to the position of ten years earlier, when Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal lived in Damascus, and Iran was a key mediator for the democratically elected Hamas government.

Most ironic however is the situation for so many supporters of the Palestinian struggle, who tragically had followed Hamas’ lead and deserted Syria in 2011. One can hardly understate the devastating effect on the Syrian conflict, and on Western perceptions of it from this historic rift in the Resistance. That section of Western society that showed most concern for Palestinians, including many solidarity groups as well as human rights NGOs was effectively duped into siding with Israel against Syria.

While this “kidnapping” of the most influential anti-war and anti-Zionist activist populations was achieved primarily thanks to propaganda from Al Jazeera and its Western media partners like the Guardian, the contribution from groups like Avaaz and Amnesty suggests another partner in the propaganda war on Syria.

Given the IDF’s vital support role for Al Qaeda groups in Southern Syria, we might safely assume that Israel’s misinformation industry has also been working overtime in pursuit of the state’s cynical and criminal objectives. One key event in the propaganda war on Syria supports that assumption – the “siege” of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk – whose reality was so twisted by “humanitarian” NGOs and even by the UNRWA as to portray Al Qaeda as defending innocent civilians against the Syrian Army. The object of that propaganda campaign was creating a pretext for “humanitarian intervention” to save starving Palestinians from the Syrian Government, when it was actually protecting them.

As Palestinians in the occupied territories and in Gaza increasingly now look to Syria and its allies for defence against the malevolence and lies of their oppressive occupier, it’s past time for their many genuine supporters and allies in the West to get on the right side of history and join the Resistance! And that resistance includes fighting off Israel’s ingeniously engineered “cultural offensives”.

September 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ADL Campus guide describes how to block events about Palestine

The ADL claims to oppose injustice, but spends much of its huge budget defaming Palestinians and their allies who work for an end to Israel’s human rights abuses.
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | September 13, 2107

The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has just launched a new initiative for college students called “ADL CAMPUS: Tools for Dealing with Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel Incidents on Campus.”

This resource contains much useful information about addressing anti-Semitism, endorses such valuable principles as freedom of speech and non-violence, and recommends that students talk to others who may hold different perspectives.

It also, however, contains some deeply problematic components for anyone who believes that human rights and justice should apply to all people without exception.

Unfortunately, the ADL does not share this belief. While it announces prominently, “We protect the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all,” in reality the ADL supports Israeli injustice against Palestinians.

Its recent campus resource exemplifies this, and distorts facts and words in order to do so.

First of all, ADL Campus conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Rather than meaning bigotry against Jewish people, the ADL’s use of the term anti-Semitism includes many forms of criticism of Israel. The Israeli government and certain of its partisans have been pushing this new, expanded definition in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

Below, this article will look in more detail at what kinds of criticism of Israel the ADL considers unacceptable, and why its parameters will include virtually all speakers truly critical of Israeli oppression of Palestinians. First, however, let us turn to the ADL’s advice on blocking events championing Palestinian human rights (and undermining free speech and academic inquiry).

ADL strategies to prevent events about Palestine

ADL Campus provides an entire section on how to block events on Palestine. The section starts out by assuring students that they have tremendous resources on their campuses to help them in this: faculty, Hillel, Chabad, J Street U, Stand With Us, The David Project, off-campus organizations like ADL, the Israel Action Network, Israel on Campus Coalition, AIPAC, and “your local Israeli Consulate.”

It provides an array of “Proactive Strategies to Prevent Anti-Israel Activity” – “steps you can take year-round to prevent an anti-Israel event from taking place on your campus, and to be prepared if and when an anti-Israel event does take place.”

They are advised to join – and lead, when possible – student organizations so that they can use this position to advocate for Israel and prevent campus activism on Palestine. The guide advises students to:

“Run for student government. Write for the campus newspaper. Join committees and other student organizations. Holding leadership positions on campus provides a great opportunity to meet new people, build coalitions, and exchange views with your peers. With a seat at the table, you can more effectively speak out (or even vote) against anti-Israel actions, including divestment resolutions.”

This is not a new idea. In 2010 an AIPAC official (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) said that AIPAC was going to take over student governments in order to block resolutions on behalf of Palestinian rights:

More recently, pro-Israel students have been working to insert an Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism into student governments. This then blocks university funding for student groups wishing to bring speakers on Palestine.

ADL Campus expands further upon the value of building relationships with other students as a strategy to prevent Palestine activism:

“Build coalitions with other student groups. Take the time to understand the needs and priorities of other groups and learn how to be an ally to other communities. Attend their events and meetings.  Join advocacy efforts for issues you care about. Think about opportunities for co-sponsoring events with these groups.”

Another suggested strategy is to put on Israel-related events; again the document suggests resources students can tap into:

“Hillel, the Israeli consulate responsible for the region in which your campus is located, ADL and other organizations, on campus and off, can help provide you with speakers and ideas.”

What to do if an event about Palestine is scheduled

If, despite their efforts, a program on Palestine is scheduled for their campus, ADL Campus tells students what to do next: investigate the speaker by contacting Hillel, ADL, ICC (Israel on Campus), or other organizations. (Some of these groups compile witch-hunt-like dossiers on Palestinian rights speakers which often contain inaccurate information, grossly exaggerated ad hominem attacks and claims that they are “anti-Semitic.”)

If they find that the speaker has engaged in alleged “hate speech, including anti-Semitic comments [sic],” ADL Campus tells them to contact the administration about it. Given that the ADL labels numerous valid statements about Israel “anti-Semitic (see below),” this could apply to virtually all honest and committed speakers on Palestine, and is often used in attempts to impugn the speaker’s integrity and block his or her talk. Such misrepresentations sometimes cause academic departments and other organizations to back out of sponsoring a lecture.

If an event does go forward with speakers that don’t pass ADL muster, ADL Campus tells students they should consider “an active, organized effort.” It advises them to “send a small contingent of pro-Israel students to the event to question the speaker about their views. Prepare some questions in advance based on what you’ve learned about the speaker [sic] in your research.”

ADL Campus also tells students: “Share information with fellow students attending the event about the speakers and organizations they’re about to hear from. Prepare fact sheets [sic] in advance that highlight how extreme the views of the speaker really are. ADL and other organizations make it easy to access information on extreme speakers who frequently appear on campuses.”

In reality, such “fact sheets” typically misrepresent speakers’ statements and contain non-factual information about Israel-Palestine in general and about the speaker in particular.

The ADL “deciphers” anti-Semitism

ADL Campus contains an entire section and video that claim to help students decipher when something is anti-Semitic or contains “anti-Israel bias” (the latter seems to be anti-Semitism’s almost equally objectionable sister sin).

According to the ADL, you are anti-Semitic if you who fail to affirm Israel’s alleged “right to exist as a Jewish state.”


Palestinians forced out in 1948 by Israel’s founding war

Affirming such a “right” may seem benign. In reality, it means affirming Israel’s “right” to have created its state through the violent expulsion of the majority indigenous population and confiscation of their land, simply because they were not Jewish. It also means you believe Israel has the “right” to prohibit these families from returning to their homes because they are of the “wrong” ethnicity or religion (even though returning to one’s home is an internationally recognized human right.)

In actuality, saying that Israel has a “right to exist as a Jewish state” entails the morally untenable position that universal human rights do not apply to the residents and indigenous people Israel does not want in its ethnically preferential state.

ADL Campus also states that BDS (Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions), the international nonviolent movement that works to require Israel to adhere to international law and end its violations of human rights, is “anti-Semitic.”

In fact, the ADL head has just endorsed legislation that would make Americans who support boycotts targeting Israel criminals to be punished by fines of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. Once again, we see the ADL turning morality on its head. Those who stand up for justice and who oppose oppression and discrimination are not bigots or criminals, they are human rights champions.

While the ADL Campus video allows in theory that “people can support the Palestinian cause without being anti-Israel,” it censures what the ADL claims is “illegitimate criticism.” As the narrator’s voice intones that this consists of “false accusations,” the screen shows the words apartheid, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.


Screenshot from ADL Campus video

Far from being “false accusations” and “illegitimate criticism,” however, all three characterizations of Israel and its actions are based on factual conditions and have been argued for by diverse scholars, institutions, and human rights advocates (see links below*).

ADL campus also decrees that statements comparing Israel to Nazis are “anti-Semitic” (reflecting the international redefinition of the term mentioned above). However, Israeli leaders themselves at times have referred to one another this way, beginning with Ben Gurion, who compared both Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky and future Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Hitler (Begin returned the epithet). An article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz is headlined: Calling your political rival a Nazi is a time-hallowed tradition in Israel.

And while such comparisons are exaggerated and imprecise, some years ago there was an uproar in Israel when an Israeli military officer suggested that studying how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto could be useful in finding strategies to use in seizing “a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the casbah in Nablus.” Author Melvin Goodman, describing the cruel situation in Gaza, concludes:  “Perhaps the comparison with the Warsaw Ghetto is not completely far-fetched after all.”

ADL helps mislead people, then calls them “anti-Semitic”

In one case, the ADL’s characterization of some statements about Israel as “anti-Semitic” may be legitimate. The ADL accuses individuals of being “anti-Semitic”– i.e. bigots – if they suggest that all Jewish people are responsible for the actions of Israel.

Such a conflation is erroneous and should be corrected. However, it is important to understand that the state of Israel itself and its strongest partisans, including the ADL, actively work to conflate Judaism and Jewish identity with Israel. This intentional conflation has gone on for decades. A century ago Supreme Court Justice and Zionist leader Louis Brandeis was known for specifically working to conflate Zionism with being Jewish at a time when most Jewish people were not Zionists.


Israeli flag featuring the “Star of David” Jewish identity symbol

Israel specifically calls itself “the Jewish state” and often claims to represent Jews worldwide, a claim specifically rejected by certain Jewish individuals and organizations.

The Israeli flag, which adorns tanks, helicopter gunships, and fighter jets that periodically attack Gaza civilians, consists of a star of David, thus working to symbolically conflate Israel and its actions with Judaism and Jews. Israelis regularly call the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. “the Jewish lobby.”

In addition, virtually every mainstream national Jewish institution in the U.S. publicly supports Israel, numerous synagogues and schools across the country exhibit the Israeli flag and affirm their attachment to Israel, and Jewish Community Relations Councils and Jewish Federations advocate for Israel in cities throughout the country.

The ADL’s 2015 Annual Report itself conflates Israel and “the Jewish people,” stating: “Since the founding purpose of ADL is to protect the Jewish people, our work on behalf of and in support of the State of Israel is a significant way of fulfilling that mission.” The ADL Campus video itself uses an image of a menorah, a religious symbol, to represent Israel.


Graphic featuring the menorah used in ADL Campus video

If some people critical of human rights abuses or other actions by the government of Israel or certain Israel partisans connect all Jews to Israel’s actions, this intentional conflation is part of the problem, not the solution. Those taken in by it are mistaken, not necessarily prejudiced.

ADL: Advocate for Israel

For many years the ADL has been held in high regard by many Americans who believe its purpose is to oppose bigotry and assist those being treated unfairly, and who are unaware of the ADL’s work to defame human rights defenders and maintain Israel’s power over Palestinians, one of the world’s most oppressed populations.

Through its own well-funded efforts combined with the support of media figures who may also be pro-Israel, the ADL has attained considerable power. Its frequent reports on alleged anti-Semitism are cited regularly as though they are the work of an objective, official, accountable entity.

In reality, the ADL is a non-governmental organization without public accountability whose work is non-transparent, lacks objective review, and which has a publicly stated goal of advocating for a foreign country—a nation whose system is antithetical to the principles held by most Americans, and whose actions are frequently harmful to the United States.

With its $142 million assets, the ADL crows that it helps “shape laws locally and nationally, and develop groundbreaking model legislation,” thus exerting influence from the highest levels of the U.S. government down to American campuses.

ADL Campus is its latest effort to maintain US taxpayers’ $10 million+ per day to Israel, and thus maintain Israel’s hegemony over Palestinians and others in the region.

Opposing bigotry, prejudice, and racism are noble actions that benefit everyone. Sadly, that’s not what the ADL is about.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.  

* According to the ADL, statements suggesting that Israeli actions and/or policies have constituted apartheid, genocide, and ethnic cleansing are “false claims” and therefore constitute “anti-Israel bias,” a phrase that the ADL seems to suggest is tantamount to anti-Semitism. In reality, however, there is considerable evidence that such statements are accurate; at minimum, they are valid criticisms worthy of investigation. Below are a few of the many resources available on these topics:

Apartheid

Genocide

Ethnic Cleansing

September 13, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BDS – Expressing Solidarity while Conducting Trade with Israel Is Hypocrisy

By Miko Peled | American Herald Tribune | September 11, 2017

Israel is all geared up for war against all for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and the de-legitimization of the Zionist state. The ministry of strategic affairs headed by Gil’ad Erdan – which is charged with this task – is now equipped with a budget, a former Israeli army general, retired Brig. General Sima Vakini-Gil who acts as the ministry’s General Director and a new assistant to the General Director, Tsahi Gavrieli who has brought a new wind to the sails of the anti-BDS ship. Gavrieli brought in a team that includes legal experts, economists and media people and according to a story recently published in Hebrew on Ynet they call on the Israeli public to take part in the campaign. According to the story, some parts of the campaign are overt and some covert, and the ministry will no longer be on the defensive but take an active, offensive position. Israelis are now encouraged to join this campaign with apps like ACT.IL which shows how to take the fight on social media and combat the “slurs” against Israel.

According to Gavrieli the BDS movement is losing ground in the US, and he brings as examples recent laws passed by over twenty states that criminalize the call to boycott Israel. Among those states are California, New York and New Jersey, to name a few. Currently there is a bill being proposed in the United States Senate that proposed to make the call to boycott Israel a federal offense that will carry a twenty-year prison sentence and a one million dollar fine. This bill was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU in a letter that was sent to members of the United States Senate. Gavrieli also claims that the BDS call is a “masked attempt to de-legitimize Israel by calling for Palestinian rights.” He said that the claim made by the BDS movement that Israel is an apartheid regime “is insulting to South Africans” and that it is “baseless.” “I call on every Israeli,” says Gavrieli “to take part in this.”

The aims of the BDS movement could not be more clearly stated, and all one needs to do is read them to see that the lies being spread by the State of Israel and its supporters, are unfounded. The call for BDS calls to impose Boycott, divestment and sanctions on the state of Israel until such time that the military occupation is ended, Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy equal rights, and Palestinian refugees are permitted to return to their homes and their land. There is no racism, no hate and no discrimination of any kind is suggested or implied. It is an unequivocal demand to bring the Zionist State to do what is needed to achieve these goals. We must remember that negotiations with consecutive Israeli governments have all have failed and Israel has made it clear that it has no intention to end its policies of occupation, killing, dispossession and racist discrimination and its demand that the Palestinians capitulate.

It is worth reviewing and replying to remarks made by Senator Chuck Schumer regarding BDS at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum on June 5, 2017. “Sometimes anti-Semitism is cloaked, hidden by certain movements that profess no bias but suspiciously hold Israel—and, by extension, the Jewish people—to a different standard than others.” This is in fact a very dangerous statement that could very well be misconstrued. Is the Senator implying that that all Jews should be held accountable for the acts of the government of Israel?

“There is no greater example than this insidious effort to harm the Jewish state than through the boycotts, divestment and sanctions” Schumer continued, and the question that begs to be asked here is, was South Africa harmed by the call to boycott the Apartheid regime? Certainly not the Black South Africans. “The global BDS movement is a deeply biased campaign aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish state,” Schumer says, yet nothing in the demands of the BDS call or the actions of the BDS movement speak of destroying or getting rid of the Jewish State. Rather, the demands call to improve the conditions in which Palestinians live, conditions that were created by Israel and for which Israel is responsible. The demands of the BDS call seek to repair the inequities within which Palestinians live, like the military occupation and lack of rights. “And” Schumer adds, “its supporters, sometimes wittingly, sometimes unwittingly, but all of them practice a modern form of anti-Semitism.” Indeed, is it wise to refer to calls for justice and equality anti-Semitism. What modern form of anti-Semitism is it which does not incite against Jews, does not call for the killing of or discrimination against Jews but rather demands inclusion of all people so that they all may enjoy the same privileges. Is Senator Schumer saying that the call for justice and freedom is antithetical to Judaism?

Tsahi Gavrieli says that there is something even more serious than the BDS movement, it is the de-legitimization of the Jewish state particularly within Jewish communities. He is right, this is a serious issue because from its very inception there was no way in which the state of Israel could be legitimized except by fraud and deception. It is a state that was established by a settler colonial movement, which means that like all settler colonial movements, it was founded on racism and the use of violence against indigenous people. Israel has been engaged in genocide, a claim easily proven by reading the Geneva Convention on the crime of Genocide: particularly article 2, a, b, and c and article 3. Furthermore, the state of Israel has been engaged in ethnic cleansing and has a legal system in which Palestinians are denied rights that are provided to Jews. Legitimizing such a state is indeed a serious if not an impossible task.

The Jerusalem Post recently published an article by Adnan Oktar who claims that BDS “serves the continuity if not the escalation of the conflict.” Indeed all resistance movements may be accused of “escalating” conflicts. According to this argument the French should not have fought the Germans during WW-2; the Algerians should not have fought the French; the Vietnamese should not have insisted on fighting the French and then the Americans. Certainly the Lebanese should not have fought the Israelis to end the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon. Indeed, an entire movement that we know today as Hezbollah was created by the Lebanese for that purpose and it was successful. According to Mr. Oktar’s argument had all oppressed people been willing to die in silence the world would be a peaceful place. But would it indeed? The oppressed are always to blame for their unwillingness to remain oppressed – but resistance is a response to violence, it is never the cause of violence.

What is clear from the many articles written, conferences held, strategies contrived and laws passed regarding BDS is the following: there is nothing in this world that can stop the Palestinian struggle for justice. The call for BDS and the movement which was created because of it cannot be defeated. Boycotting Israel is the right thing to do, indeed the demands listed by the BDS call are just, reasonable and measured and every person of conscience and every government must heed this call. One would want to remind governments that claim to support the Palestinian cause, that expressing solidarity while conducting trade with Israel is hypocrisy.

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Report reveals UK exploiting Qatar crisis for own profit through arms exports

Press TV – September 10, 2017

Britain is exploiting a rift between several Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and Qatar through designating both sides as the “priority markets” for its arms sales, a report suggests.

The Middle East Eye (MEE) report cited a list of 46 states highlighted by the UK Department for International Trade Defense and Security Organization as potentially lucrative markets for weapons exports.

The list included Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, which cut ties with Doha three months ago.

This is while many of the countries identified as key targets for the British arms sales are included in the government’s own “human rights priority registers.”

The list comes ahead of the Defense & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair scheduled to be held in London on September 12-15.

“The fact that, despite current tensions, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both on the list tells us everything we need to know,” Andrew Smith, spokesperson of the UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade organization, told the MEE.

Britain, he said, has “made clear that it will pull out all stops to sell arms to” both sides of the Qatar crisis.

Back in June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE imposed a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

They presented Qatar with a list of 13 wide-ranging demands and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face unspecified consequences.

Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty.

UK arms fair hosts despots

In a relevant development, the UK government published its official guest list for DSEI, comprising 56 countries, among them Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Qatar.

Smith said the list included “a roll call of despots, dictatorships and human rights abusers. They will be greeted by civil servants and government ministers who are there for one reason only: to promote weapons.”

MP Caroline Lucas, UK Green Party co-leader, also called for the closure of the London arms fair.

“DSEI is a dark stain on our country’s already tarnished reputation. It’s time that this festival of violence was shut down for good – and for the UK to engage in peace-building rather

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Illinois governor candidate ditches running mate in Israel boycott row

RT | September 8, 2017

Illinois governor candidate Daniel Bliss has dropped Carlos Ramirez-Rosa as his running mate following Rosa’s alleged support of a Palestinian group calling to boycott Israel.

Rosa’s support for the Palestinian-led ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) movement was the reason he was dropped from the ticket, Biss said in a statement.

BDS calls for companies to stop doing business with Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories.

The Democratic state senator wrote that Rosa told him he opposed the group prior to being chosen. Rosa’s position on the issue then changed, Biss claimed.

“I strongly support a two-state solution. I support Israel’s right to exist, and I support Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. I also care deeply about justice for Palestinians, and believe that a vision for the Middle East must include political and economic freedom for Palestinians,” Biss wrote, adding “That’s why I oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, as I believe it moves us further away from a peaceful solution.”

In a Facebook post, Rosa wrote that while he and Biss “both oppose pursuing BDS at the state level, the difference of opinion we have on the role the BDS movement plays at the federal level would make it impossible to continue moving forward as a ticket.”

Rosa did not immediately respond to RT’s request for comment.

Before Biss made his decision to drop Rosa, he lost the endorsement of Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider, who cited Rosa’s “past comments about the United States support of our ally Israel, and his affiliation with a group that is an outspoken supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.”

Schneider was referring to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a political organization, which passed a resolution supporting BDS.

Rosa joined DSA in March.

“I said, if someone could run for president of the United States and say ‘I’m a democratic socialist,’ then, hell, I can come out of the closet. I’ve come out of the closet before,” Rosa told the Chicago Reader, referring to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Rosa, 28, is the first openly gay Latino to serve on Chicago’s City Council. He is also the youngest current alderman.

“I was asked to join the ticket to even more strongly advocate for the critical issues facing this state, such as medicare for all, a $15 living wage today, affordable childcare, and free college tuition,” Rose wrote in his statement.

On Friday, Biss announced his new running mate – Democratic State Congresswoman Litesa Wallace.

“As a woman of color, she understands that justice and opportunity are not equally distributed and in fact are not available to many. As a champion for social and economic justice, she’s a proven fighter for the issues and people that Illinois government so often forgets about,” Biss said of Wallace in a video statement.

Wallace’s views on BDS were not immediately clear.

The international community has long called for a two-state solution in the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians where the two peoples would eventually live in separate states. Israel had formally agreed to the two-state solution but has yet to take any practical steps to make it happen.

In August, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Israel’s continued construction of settlements on what the UN recognizes as Palestinian territories was illegal and a “major obstacle” to achieving a two-state solution and peace with the Palestinians.

Read more

Israel is ‘key driver’ of Palestinian hardships in occupied territories – UN report

Israel Army stages mock war against Hezbollah, biggest exercise in 20yrs

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 3 Comments

Protests against UK arms sales to UAE at arms expo

MEMO | September 8, 2017

Campaign groups are teaming up tomorrow to protest against UK arms sales to the UAE in front of one of the largest arms expos in the world at the London ExCel Centre.

Activists and campaigners from the International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE (ICFUAE) will be joining a host of other campaigning organisations such as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition (DSEI) arms fair to protest against millions of dollars of arms trade with a regime, activists describe as being a notorious human rights violator.

The week of campaigning, which began with a protest against Israeli arms sales, will see crowds of people calling on the UK government to end arms sales to the UAE. The trade deals with Britain are said to involve highly sophisticated and invasive cyber surveillance technology which the UAE government uses to spy on its own citizens, and weaponry used to commit war crimes in Yemen.

Campaign groups say that between 2012 and 2016 the UAE was listed as the world’s third largest importer of weaponary; during this period, the UK licensed around £350 million worth of arms for export to the UAE. At the same time the UAE has become increasingly dismissive towards international treaties, human rights laws and UN conventions.

The UAE’s war in Yemen, which has caused untold death and destruction, is a major focal point for protestors. The Gulf alliance has been charged with committing war crimes in Yemen, where they hold a significant naval, ground and air presence. It was also recently revealed that UAE forces have been running clandestine prisons where there have been numerous reports of extreme torture.

Campaigners also claim that within their own borders, the Emirati authorities have committed numerous human rights violations against their own citizens and foreign nationals. Human rights organisations have documented numerous cases of torture, arbitrary detention, lack of freedom of speech and repression of political dissidents in the UAE.

The UK-registered BAE systems, who will be vying for new trade deals at the ExCel Centre is thought to have provided the cyber surveillance technology which was used in connection with the enforced disappearance of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor.

Campaigners are calling on the British government to revise their close trading relationship with the UAE. They say that by providing arms and weaponry to this authoritarian regime, the UK is being complicit in war crimes and human rights violation. Furthermore they say that the trade deal between the two nations is set to increase as the UK leaves the EU and having set itself an ambitious target of doubling bilateral trade to up to £25 billion by 2020.

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Save Craig Murray

By Craig Murray | September 6, 2017

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of the Daily Mail Online. Mr Wallis Simons is demanding £40,000 in damages and the High Court has approved over £100,000 in costs for Mark Lewis, Mr Wallis Simons’ lawyer. I may become liable for all of this should I lose the case, and furthermore I have no money to pay for my defence. I am currently a defendant in person. This case has the potential to bankrupt me and blight the lives of my wife and children. I have specifically been threatened by Mr Lewis with bankruptcy.

Mr Wallis Simons boasts on his website:

In 2015, I published a series of articles exposing Jeremy Corbyn’s links with anti-Semitic figures, and this led to what is now known as the “Labour anti-Semitism scandal.”

It was my Sky TV appearance on this subject which led to this libel action against me.

It is my view that English libel law remains an international disgrace, a device by which the wealthy and those with wealthy backers, and only they, can stifle freedom of speech. Contempt of Court laws – with a penalty of two years imprisonment – even prevent poor defendants like me from putting their case openly before the public in order to appeal for a public defence fund. I am extremely limited in what I can tell you.

How can it cost just one party six times the average annual national wage to litigate a five minute TV broadcast? The libel system, with its in-built advantage to the wealthy and those backed by the wealthy, is a complete disgrace. Andy Wightman, the brilliant Scottish land reform campaigner, has been going through the same Hell.

I find I am obliged to beg you for funds to help me defend the case. I need to ask every single person who reads this blog to find it in their heart to make at least some contribution, as much as you can afford. The scale of this thing is such that I need to ask those of you who are comfortably off to make a far larger donation than you might normally consider. In practice we are going to need to include some four figure donations to make the ludicrous amounts required. But every single penny mounts up and please do give something.

If you have ever enjoyed this blog – join the fight. If you dislike this blog but support freedom of speech – join the fight. If you support the right to defend Palestine without being labelled ant-Semitic – join the fight. If you despised the anti-Corbyn media campaign – join the fight. If the Daily Mail sickens you – join the fight.

Every donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully received. The case will be heard in the High Court on 7 November. In the event of victory, after costs are met (even a costs award does not cover all actual costs) excess donations will be returned pro-rata unless you specify they should be applied to the future of maintaining the blog.

This is a question not only of the continued existence of this blog, but of the future well-being of my young family. It is unfair on you for me to place all of that in your hands, but that is the situation into which I am forced.

Contact/Donate

September 6, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 3 Comments

Fadwa Barghouthi banned from visiting her husband in Israeli prison until 2019

Palestinian Fatah Movement leader Marwan Barghouti
Ma’an – September 5, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Fadwa Barghouthi, a Palestinian lawyer and the wife of imprisoned Fatah movement official Marwan Barghouthi, said that Israeli authorities have told her that she is banned from visiting her husband in prison until 2019.

Fadwa told Ma’an that after having being denied permission to visit Marwan since he led a mass prison hunger strike more than four months ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated a one-time permit for her to see Marwan last week.

However, after she left to visit her husband along with other relatives of Palestinian prisoners on Monday and waited outside the prison from between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Israeli forces eventually informed her that she would not be allowed to visit him until 2019, and that the permit issued to her had been a mistake.

Other reports said that the ban prevented her from visiting all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as well.

Fadwa said that the decision to deny her the visits was a punishment directed at her, not at her husband, for her actions during the hunger strike that started last April, presumably referring to her own activism and participation in numerous solidarity protests throughout the 40-day strike.

By Tuesday evening, an IPS spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment sent on Monday regarding the ban placed on Fadwa.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to Walmart, Don’t sign that union card

Bad Attitudes commentary:

“It’s not enough that people must work horrible jobs for minimum wage, they must also receive political re-education to get their minds right. Note the condescending tone and the assumption that the employees are complete idiots. I can tell you from personal experience that this is one of the worst aspects of these kinds of jobs. In addition to shitty hours, shitty pay, asshole bosses and zero benefits, management treats you like a special ed kid. It is thoroughly degrading, as it is no doubt intended to be.”

September 4, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment