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Resisting Israeli Politics

Six months prior to the upcoming UK general election, the Board of Deputies of British Jews published its “2015 General Election Jewish Manifesto.”  This forty-page document urges both existing and prospective members of the UK Parliament to support various “policy asks” and to “champion these causes.”  The Manifesto was styled after a very similar one created for the 2014 EU elections.  Indeed their goals appear the same: to ensure a pro-Israeli agenda in the House of Commons and beyond.

The 2015 Manifesto does include some discussion of faith-based issues, such as underscoring the need of the Jewish community …

Netanyahu the Mythbuster: “Special Relationship” No More

Imagine if an American presidential candidate made a plea to his supporters on election day with the following statement: “The Republican administration is in danger. Black voters are going en masse to the polls. Liberal NGOs are bringing them on buses.”

Even in a country where Chris Matthews is a media celebrity and Pamela Geller is an intellectual, the statement would be scandalous, a political death wish even. In Israel, however, the opposite is true.

In a message delivered in a video on Facebook, incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a sinister call appealing to …

Videos of Israeli Raids on Sleeping Children

I suspect the word “occupation” – even the more precise “belligerent occupation” – fails to convey to most people the reality of daily horrors inflicted on the Palestinians. Of course, we know that occupations in general are bad and that it would be better if this particular one ended. But what does an occupation feel like if you’re a child, if you’re four or eight years old?

Here are two videos, released by B’Tselem, to remind us of what an occupation is like as lived experience rather than as an abstract concept. They document masked, armed soldiers breaking into the homes of Palestinians …

Marxist Praxis, Catholic Solidarity, and Human Dignity

Pope Francis I has denied being a communist, noting that he simply urges activism against the “structural causes” of poverty. This activism follows from Christian doctrine. Francis has said that any pronouncements regarding economic policy and welfare stem from Church doctrine rather than “leftist ideology.” Nevertheless, it appears that Marxist principles have emerged within Catholic social teaching, specifically with respect to notions of praxis (which are endogenous to both Marxist and Catholic social thought) and social analysis. This comes as no surprise as philosophers such as Peter Singer note, “Marx’s impact can only be compared with that of religious figures …

California Water Wars

Another Form of Asset Strippiing?

In California’s epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the …

The Roots of Netanyahu’s Electoral Victory

Colonial Expansion and Fascist Ideology

“It is always a meritorious deed to get hold of a Palestinian’s possessions.”

— The code of Jewish Law revised and updated by Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election makes him the longest serving prime minister in Israel’s history. His 20% margin of victory (30 Knesset seats to 24 for his nearest opponent) underlines the mass base of his consolidation of power.

Most critical commentators cite Netanyahu’s racist pronouncements; his rejection of any two state solution and his overt appeal for a mass Jewish voter turnout to counteract the …

Authentic Journalism that Challenges Empire and Its Centers of Power

Review of Andre Vltchek’s Exposing Lies of the Empire

Some years back, I was approached to come up with a story that I’d really like to cover. There were many, but right away I was drawn to a story whose angle was completely marginalized in any media I had checked. I was interested to go to Zimbabwe and get a genuine impression from Zimbabweans of how they view the direction of their country under the government of Robert Mugabe. How they viewed the redistribution of land within the country.

In the case of theft, when the stolen property is recovered, the usually accepted, and rightful, custom is that the …

Against Imperialism’s “Development”

Coopting Development’s History and Power

The North-centric and Western version of development history begins in 19th century Europe, the mythic seedbed of global development itself. Sandra Halperin describes some of the historians in her book, Re-Envisioning Global Development: A Horizontal Perspective, who tout Europe’s “dynamic developments” as the impetus for “world-historical ‘revolutions’ in science and technology, agricultural and commercial practices, intellectual life, and social and political institutions.” Yet, there is a glaring problem with this approach: Long before Europe was a blip on the global economic map, the world already had a robust, global, and cultural system of trade. This Asian-rooted …

Jump Out of the Pot!

“I’m getting hot,” croaked the frog as he floated in a pot of water from which steam was beginning to rise.

“Me too,” croaked the other frog as she paddled listlessly. “This water used to be warm. Now it’s too hot.”

“Oh well…nothing we can do about it. Maybe it’ll get better.”

“Let’s enjoy what we can,” she croaked. “We’ll listen to the music and watch the pictures on the ceiling that keep changing. They’re pretty.”

“OK…I’m feeling dreamy.”

As the water simmered, the frogs slipped into a stupor; they were unconscious as they began to boil.

Like the frogs, we are provided with pictures, music, …

The Morality Police

In Saudi Arabia, the Mutaween are 3,500 public officials and thousands of volunteers who work for the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. They are responsible for enforcing strict religious laws. Among the many laws are those that require all women to wear head scarves and black gowns when in public.

The “Morality Police” also exist in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and several fundamentalist Arab countries.

It isn’t only in Arab countries that morals are regimented and institutionalized.

In France, the minister of health, a physician, believes there should be laws to prohibit companies and advertisers from using anorexic …

Isn’t It Time to “Send in the Cavalry” for the Coming U.S. Climate Catastrophies?

An overheated planet doesn’t just mean an extraordinarily early blooming of cherry trees and daffodils. It means rising sea levels all along our coasts from melting glaciers inundating East and West coasts and all Gulf states. Atmospheric clashes of hot and cold air from now on will be spawning super-sized hurricanes and tornados for the Gulf and Midwest. Killer heat waves—not just 18 days of 90+ºF in New York City, but 76 days. As for the near-waterless Southwest and California, they’ll be exploding in historic, widespread, ferocious forest fires.

Add to this reality the creation of millions …

The Jewish Left Is Not the Solution; It Is the Heart of the Problem

I have never met Jeff Halper. What I know about him is that he is an American Jew who settled on Palestinian land but opposes Israeli house demolition. Halper appears to be a participant in the Zionist project while at the same time opposing the measures that have been implemented to sustain that plunderous project.

Halper’s moral discrepancy shouldn’t take us by surprise; he is far from alone. This behavioural mode is symptomatic of Jewish Left thinking in general and the Jewish anti-Zionist call in particular. Instead of presenting a genuine ethical argument, the Jewish Left is a desperate attempt to …

National Data Retention in Oz

The Next Phase

Q: When is a lie not a lie? A: When it’s an excuse.
Charlie Brooker, Dawn of the Dumb (2007), 66.

March 19 should be scratched down in the diary of police state antics, if only because it was one when Australia’s non-service providing politicians decided, fairly broadly, that data retention would be a fine thing indeed. Telecommunication companies will be required by law to keep encrypted information on email, phone calls and text messages to enable access by concerned authorities for up to two years.

In the words of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking during Question Time, “The Australian …

Lies and Deceptions on the Left

The Politics of Self Destruction

Over the past year, what appeared as hopeful signs, that Left governments were emerging as powerful alternatives to right-wing pro-US regimes, is turning into a historic rout, which will relegate them to the dustbin of history for many years to come. The rise and rapid decay of left-wing governments in France, Greece, and Brazil is not the result of a military coup, nor is it due to the machinations of the CIA. The debacle of left governments is a result of deliberate political decisions, which break decisively with the progressive programs, promises and commitments that political leaders …

Senate Yes/No Vote on Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch’s confirmation for Attorney General has been held up by Republicans in the Senate for 117 days, the third longest in America’s history.  They are demanding ransom before confirming her appointment, part of an overall bunker mentality that has worsened since Obama became President. Republican, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is saying, in effect, “We will hold up the vote for Loretta Lynch’s confirmation unless Democrats provide the ransom of a yes vote for a stalled human trafficking bill.”

Believe it or not, the human trafficking bill got stalled because appearing-to-be lethargic Democrats (and their aides) were tardy …

A Very Kosher Dishonesty

It’s now well known that the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) was pressured by Zionist lobbyists North West Friends of Israel (NWFOI) to cancel a concert by internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon. What is less well known is that the co-chair and spokesperson for NWFOI is one Anthony Dennison (Mr Dennison’s name and role in the organisation may be confirmed here). These machinations by the NWFOI and the leading role played by Mr Dennison were duly reported by the Jewish Chronicle.

So far, so… well, if not exactly good, certainly understandable.

Less understandable is the fact (not …

‘SBlood 3: Stop Talking Ridiculous

Failing to extract intelligence from me, they went after my next of kin. My sister was away on business, making the rich and famous more so, or helping flash-in-the-pan short-timers maximize celebrity-market-value before the inevitable Shoe dropped. Public Relations. She was good, very good, a myth-maker/purveyor with a future in the pantheon of major leaguers: Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Howard Cosell.

My father came up from Florida.

“Hey, kid.”

He looked a bit rumpled in his suit. Very unlike him. He looked drawn – not as in ‘cartoon’ drawn, though he was always that as well, but tired. Spent.

“I spoke to Doctor…shit, …

When Free Speech Got Foolish: France’s Dieudonné Verdict

It lies in the ambiguity of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 10, the provision that provides for the protection of free speech, can hardly be said to be the broad creature it purports to be.  Restrictions will be tolerated, as long as they be “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”.

Similarly, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (Art. 19) notes that the exercise of free speech “carries with it special duties and responsibilities.”  Governments have that greatest of get out clauses in targeting those they deem a threat to “national security” or “public …

The Charade of Europe’s Annual “Threats”

There is something deeply mendacious and cowardly about this ritual leaking by European diplomats of their annual report on Jerusalem. This year they’ve chosen to deposit the “confidential” report in the hands of the Guardian.

Obviously, the Europeans – and Americans – want this information about how angry they are with Israel disseminated as widely as possible in the wake of Netanyahu’s election win. “We’re mad and we’re not going to take it any more!” they shout – yet again, as they have done over the past four or five years.

As ever, the report is being described as “hard-hitting”; as ever, it …

Ecuador: Why Did It Take Sweden 1,000 Days to Agree to Question Julian Assange in Our U.K. Embassy?

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño responds to recent reports Swedish prosecutors will seek to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange has never been charged over allegations of sexual assault, yet he has been holed up in the embassy since 2012, fearing that if he steps outside, he will be arrested and extradited to Sweden, which could lead to his extradition to the United States — which is investigating Assange over WikiLeaks publishing classified documents. “We are pleased to see the Swedish prosecutors say that they now want to take the statements from Julian Assange …