Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nakba-60 Statement from South African Anti-Apartheid Activists and Organizations

Reposted from

We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!

Nakba-60 Statement from South African Anti-Apartheid Activists and Organizations

We, South Africans who faced the might of unjust and brutal Apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an apartheid state in the Middle East. While Israel and its apologists around the world will, with pomp and ceremony, loudly proclaim the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel this month, we who have lived with and struggled against oppression and colonialism will, instead, remember 6 decades of catastrophe for the Palestinian people. 60 years ago, 750,000 Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland, suffering persecution, massacres, and torture. They and their descendants remain refugees. This is no reason to celebrate.

WHEN we think of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, WE also remember the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948. WHEN we think of South Africa’s Bantustan policy, WE remember the bantustanisation of Palestine by the Israelis. WHEN we think of our heroes who languished on Robben Island and elsewhere, WE remember the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. WHEN we think of the massive land theft perpetrated against the people of South Africa, WE remember that the theft of Palestinian land continues with the building of illegal Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall. WHEN we think of the Group Areas Act and other such apartheid legislation, WE remember that 93% of the land in Israel is reserved for Jewish use only. WHEN we think of Black people being systematically dispossessed in South Africa, WE remember that Israel uses ethnic and racial dispossession to strike at the heart of Palestinian life. WHEN we think of how the SADF troops persecuted our people in the townships, WE remember that attacks from tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships are the daily experience of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory. WHEN we think of the SADF attacks against our neighboring states, WE remember that Israel deliberately destabilizes the Middle East region and threatens international peace and security, including with its 100s of nuclear warheads. WE who have fought against Apartheid and vowed not to allow it to happen again can not allow Israel to continue perpetrating apartheid, colonialism and occupation against the indigenous people of Palestine. WE dare not allow Israel to continue violating international law with impunity. WE will not stand by while Israel continues to starve and bomb the people of Gaza. WE who fought all our lives for South Africa to be a state for all its people demand that millions of Palestinian refugees must be accorded the right to return to the homes from where they were expelled.

Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights. It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israel's persecution of the Palestinians!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

8/21 Protest Report--Jalut Nervous

Reposted from Next Year in al-Quds:

It was a classic Dawud vs. Jalut--i.e. David vs. Goliath--confrontation at the Michigan State Fairgrounds yesterday as 60-70 spirited human rights activists faced off against thousands of racists and their friends coming to celebrate sixty years of Jewish supremacism in apartheid Israel. The Nakba celebrants showed their gleeful allegiance to the country that brutally occupies Palestine and has repeatedly invaded or attacked Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

Jalut was backed by a substantial uniformed and undercover police presence and they were kept in check by courageous legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild. While Dawud held his ground, Jalut was clearly rattled as evidenced by the glum demeanor, frequent middle finger salutes and other obscene gestures and shouts of the fairgoers. These frightened, angry folks know that while Zionist power seems invincible to some, Israel's days are numbered. Israel's ignominious retreat from Gaza, the humiliating defeat of the IDF by Hizbullah in Lebanon in 2006, the growing BDS movement, and the caterwauling about the "demographic threat" all signal the coming demise of the violent racist project that is Israel. The Jewish Federation's "Fair to Remember" yesterday is reminiscent of the South Africa's apartheid supporters partying at Sun City while their brutal regime goes down the toilet.

Below is the text from "Demonstrators protest apartheid at State fairgrounds" in today's Arab American News.
DETROIT — Dozens of pro-Palestinian, anti-occupation activists demonstrated outside the Michigan State fairgrounds on Thursday.

They protested a celebration of the 60th year since the creation of the state of Israel, put on by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (JFMD). Invitees of the JFMD had access to all the rides and other features of the State Fair one day before it opens to the public.

Activist Michelle J. Kinnucan organized the protest, enraged at the idea of holding a celebration of what she calls the "violent ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine in 1948," in a poor neighborhood in Detroit.

She said attendees seemed surprised by the demonstration, and hopes their presence will help to get people thinking about the plight of Palestinians.

"They weren't expecting it," she said. "You never know what's going to be effective. You have to do what you can. One of the things that we can do is stand out here and let them know that a celebration of the Naqba is not going to go unchallenged."

Protester Emilio Louchino, 16, an Ann Arbor high school student, said he became conscious of the conflict through reading about it online and hearing anecdotes about West Bank checkpoints from friends who serve in Jordan as members of the Peace Corps.

"I'm just here to speak my mind," he said. "It will maybe make people think about this."

He said the group got some hostile responses from passersby, but that they didn't let it discourage them from trying to raise consciousness of the issue.

"People don't realize that the biggest money in the entire world budget for foreign aid goes to Israel," said Thomas Olechowski, of Detroit. "And most of it goes to arms. It's being done in our name... The exploitation of the Palestinians is the same as the exploitation of the people in the community I live in in Detroit."

Demonstrator Elaine Rumman, 78, a Palestinian American from Ann Arbor who has family living in Bethlehem, said watching hundreds of people enter the State fairgrounds for the event made her intensely sad, but that her pain was eased by the presence of as many as 70 mostly non-Arab protesters outside the event.

"It makes me proud of them. These are the people who have conscience," she said. "Always, justice will rise up, whatever will happen."
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Atzmon on "the righteous Jewish Left police"

In a comment to "Time to Choose,"Joe Kane provided me with a link to a smear blog by Tony Greenstein (?) entitled Anti-Zionists against Anti-Semitism and I'm glad because reading some of the posts I was led to the brilliant Gilad Atzmon piece excerpted below. I hope Joe didn't send it to me because he agrees with the AZAAS blog. If that's the case then I hope he'll give Eisen (also targeted on the blog) and Atzmon a fair hearing, they're both in the UK like Joe.

I confess to not liking some of Israel Shamir's writings but I am almost always challenged by them and as Kafka said, "... we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us." Moreover, I've never read anything by him or Gilad Atzmon that satisifies any valid definition of 'anti-Semitic.' So far as I can see, the AZAAS blog doesn't refute anything Atzmon or Shamir have written, it's just more of the same sorry old smear tactics without much substance. Thus, it is not unlike the hatchet job Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish tried to do on Israel Shamir back in 2001. That is, before Ibish turned against Abunimah, Joseph Massad, and As'ad AbuKhalil for being insufficiently condemnatory of Hamas in 2006.

One of the most recent pieces on the AZAAS blog is about Norman Finkelstein. He has a great bit in his latest book that's spot on re: 'anti-Semitism' that I've quoted here before:
Wrapping themselves in the mantle of The Holocaust, these Jewish elites pretend—and, in their own solipsistic universe, perhaps imagine themselves—to be victims, dismissing any and all criticism as manifestations of "anti-Semitism." And, from this lethal brew of formidable power, chauvinistic arrogance, feigned (or imagined) victimhood, and Holocaust-immunity to criticism has sprung a terrifying recklessness and ruthlessness on the part of American Jewish elites. Alongside Israel, they are the main fomenters of anti-Semitism in the world today.
It's sad there's so much of this bogus 'anti-Semite' baiting going on in the Palestinian solidarity movement. It's probably one of the greatest obstacles to the movement that there is today and it underscores the importance of getting "Zionists Out of the Peace Movement." It's also important, of course, to disabuse sincere anti-Zionists of the poisonous indoctrination about Jews and 'anti-Semitism' that so many of them us have internalized. Orwell said, "Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy means unconsciousness." This crap about Shamir, Atzmon, and Paul Eisen being 'anti-Semites,' mostly boils down to the mindless spouting of orthodoxy, at best.

Well, here are the above mentioned excerpts from " 'NOT IN MY NAME’ – An analysis of Jewish righteousness" by Gilad Atzmon, 13 June 2004:
‘There are no English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America.’
Chaim Weizman August 1897, at the First Zionist Congress

I understand Zionists, I think that they are the biggest threat to world peace, I argue that they are war criminals, I fight them and I try to bring them down. I write about them, I compose music against them but I understand their logic. I understand their tricks, I know exactly where they are aiming and I do my best to stop them.

By contrast, I really do not understand those who fight Zionism in the name of their secular Jewish identity. I have never understood them. I have never really understood what secularism means for the Jewish people. Do they refer to a hidden core of Jewish secular ethic philosophy? I have always failed to understand those secular Jews who declare ‘not in my name’, those who claim to be ‘atheists’ and ‘enlightened humanists’ but at the same time talk in the name of a strange tribal brotherhood. There are many of them: Jews for peace, Jews for Palestine, Jews against oppression, Jews for human rights, Marxist Jews, Jews for this and Jews for that. More than often they approach me and ask for my support. Obviously, I share most if not all of their humanistic views but I always have to turn them down. I cannot understand why they choose to act under a strange clannish umbrella. If peace is that important, why turn it into a marginal business? If human rights are a universal aim why not fight for them among the rest of the humankind.

Facing my criticism they produce the same two arguments:

1. They say that being Jewish makes their views sound stronger.

2. And they say that in light of the crimes committed by Zionism in the name of the Jewish people it makes sense to prove to the world that, in fact, there are more than a few ‘good Jews’ around.

The first argument is weak and counter-effective to its very cause. In fact, to offer such an argument is to admit to a certain degree of intellectual dishonesty. If we believe in the transparency of a rational argument we must accept that the ethnic origin of an argument’s provider should not have any effect on its validity. Consequently, being a Jew doesn’t cover any argumentative flaws. If Zionism is categorically wrong, then the racial or ethnic belonging of its critics is irrelevant.

The second argument is, at first sight, more convincing. Jewish leftists occasionally claim that Zionism stains world Jewry with its continuous criminal activity. The logic behind such a statement is fairly straightforward. On the one hand, Zionism presents itself as the official voice of the Jewish people. On the other hand, Zionism is daily engaged with serious war crimes and atrocities. The synthesis of the two leads to the conclusion that world Jewry is criminally liable for the Zionist crimes. Theoretically speaking, those Jews who refuse to accept responsibility are more than entitled to stand up against Zionism. They usually apply the ‘not in my name’ strategy; sometimes they define themselves as ‘humanist Jews’ or even ‘Jews for peace’. Superficially their actions appear noble; in fact, it is with these actions that the real problems start. By saying not in ‘my’ name, they label the rest of the Jewish people as criminally liable for Zionist crime. I will try to elucidate this point.

... While Zionism appointed itself from its early days to talk and to act on behalf of the Jewish people, it is actually the sporadic rebels who criticise Zionism in the name of their Jewish secular identity who affirm the Zionist ‘totalitarian’ agenda. Bizarrely enough, it is the Jewish Left which turns Zionism into the official voice of the Jewish people.

... It is the enlightened Jewish leftist who crowns Zionism as the voice of the Jewish people. We are thus entitled to consider that all Jewish people – except Moishe’l, Yitzchak’l and Yanke’l who apparently have proved themselves to be ‘Jewish peace activists’, ‘Jewish human rights enthusiasts’, ‘Marxists Jew’ etc. – support or at least are liable for Zionist crimes. Though I would appear to be blaming ‘good Jews’ for affirming Zionism I am fairly sure that those who apply such methods of resistance are far from being vicious. They are just naïve. They are presumably unaware of the implications of their marginal humanistic attitude. They no doubt do not understand that by fighting Zionism in the name of their Jewish identity they approve Zionism. They must fail to realise that their form of resistance contributes to the labelling of the entire Jewish people as war criminals.

The Birth of Evil

We face here a carefully conceived trap set by early Zionist ideologists. Zionists would argue that every Jew is a Zionist unless proved different. Until recently I myself fell into this trap; I argued that every Jew who felt unease with Zionist crimes should do their utmost and be public about it. Only recently did I realise that I was categorically wrong. To demand that Jews disapprove of Zionism in the name of their Jewish identity is to accept the Zionist philosophy. To resist Zionism as a secular Jew involves an acceptance of basic Zionist terminology, that is to say, a surrendering to Jewish racist and nationalist philosophy. To talk as a Jew is to surrender to Weizman’s Zionist philosophy. According to Weizman, ‘There are no English Jews’ but rather ‘Jews who live in England’. In other words, you are first and foremost a Jew by race and nation; every other label is secondary.

We must admit that we have never come across a German dove who defines himself as an ‘Aryan for peace’; neither do we know of Russians who define themselves as ‘Slavs for human rights’. We do not know too many ‘Celtic Marxists’ either. Such combinations sound pretty peculiar, not to say funny. Somehow political or humanist titles seem misplaced when they precede or follow racial labels. Accordingly, defining oneself as a ‘Marxist Jew’ or a ‘Jew for peace’ should sound peculiar. But somehow it doesn’t. No one raises an eyebrow when confronting a ‘Jew for human rights’. Presumably this relates to the fact that, as far as Jews are concerned, the demarcation between racial identity and nationalist identity is very ambiguous. If we want to soften the peculiarity involved with those Jewish humanist titles, we must leave aside the racist interpretation and re-examine those titles as nationalistic labels. At least, linguistically it would make more sense. We can easily conceive of a German Marxist or a Serbian peace activist. Accordingly, if we regard Jewish identity as a national definition then the label ‘Jew for peace’ or ‘Jew for human rights’ makes sense. We would refer to the above dove as a man who holds left-wing views and who happens to be Jewish by nation. However, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that by doing so we accept the notion of Jewish nationalism. In other words, we become devoted Zionists.

Jews cannot criticise Zionism in the name of their ethnic belonging because such an act is in itself an approval of Zionism. Practically speaking, Jews can’t really oppose Zionism unless they adopt an alternative view that questions the Zionist totality.

Zionist Totality

While nationalism is a celebration of the differences between peoples, Jewish nationalism goes one step further. As well as being different from all other nations, Jews must be different from themselves. Being a total ideology, Zionism classifies and names any form or shape of Jewish appearance. Every Jew has a role in the emerging Jewish nationalist revolution. Essentially, we have two poles:

1. The ultimate Zionist: a Jew by race, a nationalist, a colonialist, a Biblically inspired being, living on Palestinian confiscated land, preferably in a West Bank settlement.

2. The ultimate self-hater: a secular, cosmopolitan, peace lover, inspired by humanistic views, in a mixed married, living in the Diaspora.

While the former represents the hard-core pioneer of the contemporary Zionist agenda – who invades Palestinian lands and engages in daily atrocities – it is the latter who makes Zionism into a dynamic movement. It is the ‘self-hater’ who serves as an inside enemy. It is he who will convert (to Zionism) in the next anti-Semitic wave. It is he who makes Zionism into an eternal struggle for ‘Jewish salvation’. And, if this were not enough, it is he, the peace lover, who proves beyond doubt that deep in their souls Jews are peace enthusiasts and great humanists.

Looking at those distinct poles we find the contemporary Jewish people in a severely schizophrenic state. This malaise is the fuel of the Zionist revolution; it guarantees a never-ending struggle for self-definition. Within such a struggle, Zionism, being the voice of the Jewish people, positions itself beyond the debate itself. Zionism becomes a form of a meta-dialectic ideology. It is a medium of activity rather than a set of political manoeuvres.

Why is this issue a major concern?

I frequently hear complaints that it is the Jewish Left which dominates the ‘Palestinian solidarity campaign’. I can confirm that I am approached by many Jewish seculars who are devoted Palestinian supporters. A significant number of them would proudly admit to acting in the name of their Jewishness. A few days ago I attended a Palestinian solidarity event in London. It was pretty depressing to find that Hebrew was the most noticeable language in the theatre. On the surface, the situation looks encouraging, as if we are dealing with people of integrity and high human values. But the truth is slightly less heroic. I learn from Palestinians and other supporters of the Palestinian cause that it is the Jewish and Israeli Left which defines the boundaries of the discussion. It is Jewish Left which decides what is right and what is wrong. For instance, political criticism of Zionism is more than welcome as long as you stick to a very limited socio-political discussion. The Jewish Left is happy to denounce Sharon or Peres but any comparison between Zionism and other manifestations of evil are forbidden. As soon as any real scrutiny of Zionism in metaphysical terms is posited, the righteous Jewish Left police will stop it immediately. As a result, Palestinian intellectuals and artists are paralysed. Most of them are terrified that if they say what they think the ‘good Jews’ will label them as anti-Semites. I will use this opportunity to declare that the only way to further understand Zionism is to throw light on contemporary Jewish identity. Zionism and Jewish identity are not as foreign to each other as Jewish leftists insist. Zionism is an extreme appearance of Jewish identity. It is the embodiment of every wrong aspect of Jewish secular thinking. It is racist, it is nationalist, and it is Biblically inspired (rather than spiritually inspired). Being a fundamentalist movement, Zionism is not categorically different from the Nazism. Only when we understand Zionism in its nationalist and racist context will we begin to comprehend the depth of its atrocities. Only then will we realise how the Nakba (the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people in 1948) took place (just three years after the end of the Jewish Holocaust). We will then understand Ben Gurion’s motivations, Sharon’s popularity and Peres’ commitment to Sharon’s notion of peace. We will even get a glimpse into the deteriorated morality of the newly retired ‘good Jew’ Prof’ Benny Morris.

I do not doubt the genuine good will of those who fight Zionism in the name of their Jewish identity. I do think that they fail to think it through. In practice, left-wing Jews act as the Zionist fig leaf against their will. In modern Zionist terminology they provide Israel with a mighty intellectual defence wall. ...
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Time to Choose

Here is an excerpt from "The Politics of Anti-Semitism: Zionism, the Bund and Jewish Identity Politics" by Gilad Atzmon. It appears on his web site but none of the three browsers on my computer displayed it legibly (emphases added):
Those amongst us who support the Palestinian people, those amongst us who are devastated by the growing scale of Israeli atrocities, those who want to bring justice to Palestine and this includes bringing Palestinians back to their land, will have to make up their minds sooner or later. From now on, everything we do or say about the Jewish state is seen by one Jew or another as anti-Semitism. We have to make up our minds and decide once and for all, is it world Jewry which we are trying to appease, or is it the Palestinians we are fighting for?

I myself made up my mind. For me it is Palestine and the Palestinian people. If this makes me into an anti-Semite in the eyes of some confused Diaspora Jews (left, right and centre), I will have to learn to live with it. At the end of the day, I cannot make everyone happy.

Already in 1973, Abba Eban, then Israeli foreign minister, identified anti-Zionism as 'the new anti-Semitism':

"Throughout the 19th century, the revolutionary left literature is full of invidious remarks about the Jewish insistence on self-affirmation and survival. The assumption was that in a free national society there would be no room for the maintenance of Jewish particularism. It was assumed that the destiny and duty of Jews was to disappear in the universal utopia. When Zionism came on the scene as the product not only of specific currents in Judaism but also of European nationalism, the phrase nationalism no longer had about it the fine glow that it possessed in the days of Garibaldi… recently we have witnessed the rise of the new left which identifies Israel with the establishment, with acquisition, with smug satisfaction, with, in fact, all the basic enemies… Let there be no mistake: the new left is the author and the progenitor of the new anti-Semitism. One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all. Anti-Zionism is merely the new anti-Semitism. The old classic anti-Semitism declared that equal rights belong to all individuals within the society, except the Jews. The new anti-Semitism says that the right to establish and maintain an independent national sovereign state is the prerogative of all nations, so long as they happen not to be Jewish. And when this right is exercised not by the Maldive Islands, not by the state of Gabon, not by Barbados… but by the oldest and most authentic of all nationhoods, then this is said to be exclusivism, particularism, and a flight of the Jewish people from its universal mission."

(Abba Eban, Congress Bi-Weekly, American Jewish Congress publication 1973)
See also: "Freedom of Speech: the right to equate Gaza with Auschwitz"

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Jewish Gangsters or "they could be good to their people, too"

From the American Jewish Historical Society via the Jewish Virtual Library (emphases added).
There are few excuses for the behavior of Jewish gangsters in the 1920s and 1930s. The best known Jewish gangsters – Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Longy Zwillman, Moe Dalitz — were involved in the numbers rackets, illegal drug dealing, prostitution, gambling and loan sharking [Not to mention murder; no, do not mention murder or Murder, Inc., for that mattter--PM]. They were not nice men. During the rise of American Nazism in the 1930s and when Israel was being founded between 1945 and 1948, however, they proved staunch defenders of the Jewish people.

The roots of Jewish gangsterism lay in the ethnic neighborhoods of the Lower East Side; Brownsville, Brooklyn; Maxwell Street in Chicago; and Boyle Heights in Los Angeles. Like other newly arrived groups in American history, a few Jews who considered themselves blocked from respectable professions used crime as a means to "make good" economically. The market for vice flourished during Prohibition and Jews joined with others to exploit the artificial market created by the legal bans on alcohol, gambling, paid sex and narcotics.

Few of these men were religiously observant. They rarely attended services, although they did support congregations financially. They did not keep kosher or send their children to day schools. However, at crucial moments they protected other Jews, in America and around the world.

The 1930s were a period of rampant anti-Semitism in America, particularly in the Midwest. Father Charles Coughlin, the Radio Priest in Detroit, and William Pelley of Minneapolis, among others, openly called for Jews to be driven from positions of responsibility, if not from the country itself [I don't know about Pelley but this a bald-faced lie about Coughlin, who was no anti-Semite nor a Nazi--PM]. Organized Brown Shirts in New York and Silver Shirts in Minneapolis outraged and terrorized American Jewry. While the older and more respectable Jewish organizations pondered a response that would not alienate non-Jewish supporters, others – including a few rabbis –asked the gangsters to break up American Nazi rallies.

Historian Robert Rockaway, writing in the journal of the American Jewish Historical Society, notes that German-American Bund rallies in the New York City area posed a dilemma for mainstream Jewish leaders. They wanted the rallies stopped, but had no legal grounds on which to do so. New York State Judge Nathan Perlman personally contacted Meyer Lansky to ask him to disrupt the Bund rallies, [What a fine upstanding thing for the judge to do, who needs the law when you've got Meyer Lansky on your side? Civil liberties for Bundists? Piffle! Not when Jews are "outraged and terrorized." Nowhere in the original article does it say that Jews were killed or injured during this "period of rampant anti-Semitism in America."--PM] with the proviso that Lansky’s henchmen stop short of killing any Bundists. Enthusiastic for the assignment, if disappointed by the restraints, Lansky accepted all of Perlman’s terms except one: he would take no money for the work. Lansky later observed, "I was a Jew and felt for those Jews in Europe who were suffering. They were my brothers." For months, Lansky’s workmen effectively broke up one Nazi rally after another. As Rockaway notes, "Nazi arms, legs and ribs were broken and skulls were cracked, but no one died." [Of course, who could doubt the word of the right honorable Meyer Lansky--PM]

Lansky recalled breaking up a Brown Shirt rally in the Yorkville section of Manhattan: "The stage was decorated with a swastika and a picture of Hitler. The speakers started ranting. There were only fifteen of us, but we went into action. We … threw some of them out the windows. . . . Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out. We chased them and beat them up. . . . We wanted to show them that Jews would not always sit back and accept insults."

In Minneapolis, William Dudley Pelley organized a Silver Shirt Legion to "rescue" America from an imaginary Jewish-Communist conspiracy. In Pelley’s own words, just as "Mussolini and his Black Shirts saved Italy and as Hitler and his Brown Shirts saved Germany," he would save America from Jewish communists. Minneapolis gambling czar David Berman confronted Pelley’s Silver Shirts on behalf of the Minneapolis Jewish community.

Berman learned that Silver Shirts were mounting a rally at a nearby Elks’ Lodge. When the Nazi leader called for all the "Jew bastards" in the city to be expelled, or worse, Berman and his associates burst in to the room and started cracking heads. After ten minutes, they had emptied the hall. His suit covered in blood, Berman took the microphone and announced, "This is a warning. Anybody who says anything against Jews gets the same treatment. Only next time it will be worse." After Berman broke up two more rallies, there were no more public Silver Shirt meetings in Minneapolis.

Jewish gangsters also helped establish Israel after the war. [Gangster help for a gangster state, that makes sense--PM] One famous example is a meeting between Bugsy Siegel and Reuven Dafne, a Haganah emissary, in 1945. Dafne was seeking funds and guns to help liberate Palestine from British rule [sic!]. A mutual friend arranged for the two men to meet. "You mean to tell me Jews are fighting?" Siegel asked. "You mean fighting as in killing?" Dafne answered in the affirmative. Siegel replied, "I’m with you." For weeks, Dafne received suitcases filled with $5 and $10 bills -- $50,000 in all -- from Siegel.

No one should paint gangsters as heroes. [Um, didn't you just kind of already do that?--PM] They committed acts of great evil. Historian Rockaway has presented a textured version of Jewish gangster history in a book ironically titled, But They Were Good to their Mothers. Some have observed that, despite their disreputable behavior, they could be good to their people, too.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Solomon and Gabriel Play Softball

Paid professional Muslim and Arab-hater Brigitte Gabriel was the focus of a softball interview in the August 17 New York Times by Deborah Solomon. I have already written in some detail about the flaws, gaps, and contradictions in Gabriel's personal story in "Report on Brigitte Gabriel Talk" and in less detail in "Islam-Basher Brigitte Gabriel to Visit Ann Arbor on 12/4." Below are parts of the recent interview with my comments interspersed in italics. Solomon's questions appear in bold and Gabriel's answers are in plain text.
As a Lebanese-Christian immigrant who spent her girlhood amid the bloody devastation of the Lebanese civil war, you have lately emerged as one of the most vehement critics of radical Islam in this country. Are you concerned that your new book, “They Must Be Stopped,” will feed animosity toward Muslims? I do not think I am feeding animosity. I am bringing an issue to light. I disapprove of any religion that calls for the killing of other people. If Christianity called for that, I would condemn it.
PM: So-called "radical Islam" is largely a response to global neo-imperialism spearheaded primarily by Christians and Jews. If you want to stop the resistance, you must stop the oppression. The West could start by ending its military occupation of Muslim and/or Arab countries, e.g. Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. This would end the near encirclement of Iran, too. The next step would be to end the diplomatic, military, and, in some cases, financial support of undemocratic, repressive countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the Persian Gulf emirates, and Pakistan.

Of course, the goal of Gabriel and her ilk are quite the contrary: To impose more subservient authoritarian regimes on the Muslim and Arab world and to decimate any regimes that cannot be brought into submission. Far be it for Solomon to actually delve into these subjects let alone question Gabriel's
unbelievable personal narrative.

Questions Solomon should have asked: Isn't true that the US and Israel have killed far more people than "radical Islam"? Why did you write in
FrontPage magazine that you drank your own blood to survive when you were a child in Lebanon, I mean, c'mon?
What about all the moderate Muslims who represent our hope for the future? Why don’t you write about them? The moderate Muslims at this point are truly irrelevant. I grew up in the Paris of the Middle East, and because we refused to read the writing on the wall, we lost our country to Hezbollah and the radicals who are now controlling it.
PM: French troops didn't leave Lebanon until 1946 and two years later some Lebanese troops joined with other Arab forces in the struggle for the "establishment of a unitary Palestinian State, in accordance with democratic principles, whereby its inhabitants will enjoy complete equality before the law, [and whereby] minorities will be assured of all the guarantees recognised in democratic constitutional countries," as stated in the Arab League Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine. So, from the outset there was opposition within the "Paris of the Middle East" to the Zionist project of Jewish supremacism but for thirty pieces of silver the Maronite leaders (like the Hashemite Jordanian monarch) betrayed their Lebanese and Palestinian brothers and sisters in the fight against a larger, better equipped, better-trained, and better-led Zionist force.

Gabriel is a Maronite Christian who bemoans the loss of the domination of Lebanon by her people. It is not enough for her that, under the Taif Accord, Maronites are guaranteed, by quota, 34 out of 128 seats--the largest single bloc--in the National Assembly and currently are part of the majority March 14 Alliance.

In your new book, you write about the Muslim presence in America and bemoan the rise of Islamic day schools and jihad summer camp. Is there really such a thing? Yes. Instead of taking lessons on swimming and gymnastics, the kids are listening to speakers give lectures titled “Preparation for Death” and “The Life in the Grave."
PM: Gabriel is not a credible source on this and her answer provides zero evidence. On the other hand, as documented by Chris Hedges in "Summer Camp Teaches U.S. Teens To Fight Israeli Style" some Jews teach their kids who and how to kill. This kind of militancy includes a local synagogue here in southeast Michigan. Of course, the sins of Jewish parents don't justify the sins of anyone else but it's funny how you almost never hear about Jews teaching their kids to hate and kill.
You also lament the public foot baths that have been installed at the University of Michigan and elsewhere to accommodate Muslim students. I lived in the Middle East for the first 24 years of my life. Never once did I see any foot-washing basins in airports or public buildings. So why are they pushing them down the throats of Americans? ...
PM: Question Solomon should have asked: The government spends billions of American taxpayer dollars on that "shitty little country"--the Jewish state--where there is no separation of synagogue and state and you are complaining about foot baths? Not to mention state government-enforced kosher food laws in places like New York.
Are your parents still in Lebanon? I became an orphan at the age of 23. Both my parents are buried in Israel, on Mount Zion, with Oskar Schindler.

Why did you bury them in Israel? I wanted to honor my parents. After all, it is the Holy Land. And I wanted to ensure that both my children will know where my loyalty lies — with Israel, because Israel for me represents democracy, respect and human rights, something that no other country in the Arabic world offers.
PM: In fact, Israel is an apartheid state, check out these laws and consider also that for more than forty years Israel has forcibly ruled Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, now totalling more than 4 million, who have no vote or rights as citizens with regard to the people who control major aspects of their lives. Then, too, there are 4.5 million UN-registered Palestinian refugees (figure includes refugees living in the West Bank and Gaza and outside Mandate Palestine) denied by Israel their human right to return to home.

And if Israel is such a grand place then why did so many former members of the Maronite-led, pro-Israel South Lebanon Army, living legally in Israel, want to leave the promised land and return to Lebanon? And why, just this month, are some them protesting the deprivation and discrimination they suffer in Israel?
Are you an agent of the U.S. government? No.
PM: Gabriel lived and worked in Israel for many years. It might make just as much sense to ask if she is an agent of the Israeli government. Whatever her formal relationship, she certainly functions as an Israeli agent.
Are you underwritten by the C.I.A.? No. Are you kidding? In 2000, I voted for Al Gore.
PM: As if voting for Al Gore (if she really did) means anything at all in this context. Gabriel has, in the past at least, been underwritten by the Rev. Pat Robertson, who has been thick as thieves with some of the CIA's minions. When I first heard Gabriel speak in 2006 I tried to ask her, "What is your relationship to Pat Robertson?" but that question was not approved by the screeners. At that time, the mailing address for Gabriel's American Congress for Truth was a post office box with the same zip code--23456--as Robertson's Virginia Beach media headquarters.
But I see that R. James Woolsey, a former director of the C.I.A., serves on the board of American Congress for Truth, your educational foundation. We also have John Loftus, a staunch Democrat and former Justice Department prosecutor. We are not Red or Blue.
PM: From the web site of said "staunch Democrat" (as if that meant anything in this context):

"It is possible that John Loftus may know more intelligence secrets than anyone alive. As a former Justice Department prosecutor, Loftus once held some of the highest security clearances in the world, with special access to NATO Cosmic, CIA codeword, and Top Secret Nuclear files. As a private attorney, he works without charge to help hundreds of intelligence agents obtain lawful permission to declassify and publish the hidden secrets of our times. ...

"As a young U.S. Army officer, John Loftus helped train Israelis on a covert operation that turned the tide of battle in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During the Carter and Reagan Administrations, he investigated CIA cases and Nazi War Criminals for the Attorney General of the United States. In 1982, his "60 Minutes" expose of Nazis on the US government payroll won the Emmy Award for outstanding investigative journalism.

"Born in Boston, Loftus now lives in St. Petersburg where he volunteers as the first Irish Catholic President of the Florida Holocaust Museum, the fifth largest in the world. Their goal is to end racism in our children's lifetime. After recovering from colon cancer, he is now completing his fifth book, a look at the Middle East through the life of Jonathan Pollard. ..."

The rest of the questions and/or answers were stupid and/or irrelevant.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Protest 8/21--No Celebrations of Racism in Detroit

Reposted from Next Year in al-Quds


No Celebrations of Racism in Detroit--Call for Support
Protest the Fair of Shame and "Israelization" in Detroit

When: Thursday, August 21, 2008, Time: 5 PM to 7 PM
Where: Michigan State Fairgrounds, 1120 W. State Fair Ave. (at Woodward) in Detroit. Meet in the grassy area just north of the SmartBus State Fair Transit Center off Woodward Ave.

In 1975, the United Nations affirmed that "zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination" (UN GA Res. 3379). Resolutions can be repealed but the truth cannot and what was true in 1948 and in 1975 is true today--Zionism is racism. Just as all humanity is interconnected, all forms of oppression are interconnected and so on August 21, 2008, a diverse group of advocates for peace and justice are expected to protest when the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit stages its "Fair to Remember" at the Michigan State Fairgrounds on that date. We will protest the exclusive, no-risk sweetheart deal granted by a state agency to a largely affluent community to stage a celebration of racism in a largely economically disenfranchised city. The celebration of 60 years of Israeli apartheid in Palestine is a slap in the face to those oppressed by centuries of de jure and de facto American apartheid. We will protest a triumphalist celebration of ethnic cleansing, robbery, and anti-Arab racism in Palestine--a celebration of what its victims call the Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe"--just a few miles from one of the largest Arab communities outside the Middle East. We will protest the Jewish Federation's "Fair to Remember" because we know it is, in reality, a "Fair of Shame" made possible by the hijacking of US foreign policy realized in the form of inordinate American diplomatic, financial, and military support for the Apartheid State of Israel.

We call upon supporters of justice and peace to help nonviolently protest the "Israelization," as the Jewish Federation puts it, of the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

What you can do:
1. Publicize this call and the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest.
2. Get organizations you support and work with to publicly endorse the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest.
3. Help organize and plan the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest (next meeting is Friday 8/8).
4. Attend the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest--bring friends, signs, and banners.

Sponsored by Middle East Task Force. Endorsed by Michigan Peace Team, Ann Arbor Middle East Film Society, Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, Huron Valley Greens, Green Party of Michigan

For more information, go to or send email to See also "Celebrating the Nakba and Making Money At It" in the Palestine Chronicle.

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