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Bernie Farber and Israel’s Brutal Treatment of Syrian Refugees

It is strange how supporters of Israel are responding to Donald Trump’s Muslim and Syrian refugee ban Some have applauded it, effectively acknowledging that Israel cheerleading is a right wing cause. Others have sought to be seen taking the side of anti-racism and religious tolerance, all the while ignoring Israel’s terrible treatment of Palestinian, Syrian and other refugees.

The case of Bernie Farber illustrates the difficulties this left/liberal camp faces. On Facebook the former Canadian Jewish Congress president and self-styled refugee rights advocate recently wrote, “while Trump is barring Syrian refugees…” and contrasted the move by posting a Times of Israel

Something is Happening

Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is: Do you?  No one knows, really, as this something is still evolving.  As we look back to 2016, though, it is abundantly clear that history has awoken from its slumber. We’ve had a couple events in the West last year: Brexit and Trump.

Politically-charged, dynamic events (as Alain Badiou might define them) have been rare in the West since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the USSR. Capitalism made it seem as if neoliberalism was winning in the 1990s, even as the …

Amnesty International’s Kangaroo Report on Syria

Introduction

Amnesty International (AI) has done some good investigations and reports over the years. This has won them widespread support. However, less well recognized, Amnesty International has also carried out faulty investigations contributing to bloody and disastrous actions. One prominent example is in Iraq, where AI “corroborated” the false story that Iraqi soldiers were stealing incubators from Kuwait, leaving babies to die on the cold floor. The deception was planned and carried out in Washington DC to influence the public and Congress. A more recent example is from 2011 where false accusations were being made about Libya and its leader …

For a Society without Jobs

No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea

To refer to economists as a priesthood has become a commonplace. Economists practice “a religion couched in the language of mathematics and statistics,” say Yanis Varoufakis. Their church, to carry the symbolism further, has a magnificent gold and marble altar where they offer praise to Capital. And, as in the magnificent centuries-old churches of Europe, there are chapels off to the sides of the main altar.

Sometimes these chapels rival the center altar in effulgent splendor. To the right of the Altar of Capital is the shrine dedicated to the Corporation, where the well heeled worship. And across the nave …

Palestinians ask Israeli Court to reject Land Grab Law

Israel’s move to retroactively legalise settler homes in the occupied West Bank has triggered a storm of criticism

Some 17 Palestinian municipalities in the occupied West Bank have petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to strike down a new law that retroactively sanctions the theft of their lands by settlers.

Lawyers representing the villages, who filed their petition on Wednesday, have in the meantime asked the court to impose an immediate freeze on the so-called Regulation Law, passed by the Israeli parliament on Monday night.

It is the first time that an Israeli law, rather than temporary military orders, has been directly applied to Palestinians in the West Bank.

Supporters of the settlements have hailed the law as a turning …

The West is finished, but why?

Despite certain economic and social setbacks, the Western Empire is doing remarkably well. That is, if we measure success by the ability to control the world, to condition the brains of human beings on all continents, and to crush almost all substantial dissent, at home and abroad.

What almost entirely disappeared from life, at least in such places like New York, London or Paris, is that simple human joy, which is so obvious and evident when it exists. Paradoxically, in the very centers of power, most people seem to be living anxious, unfulfilled, almost frightened lives.

It all somehow doesn’t feel right. …

The Rise of Islamo-Christian Civilization

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Photo: Mustafa Erkek)
We are told we live in a Judeo-Christian civilization, that the West has a Judeo-Christian heritage, a concept useful to a largely Christian empire where Jews play a powerful role, but one which is rejected by serious scholars, both Christian and Jewish. Talmudic scholar Jacob Neusner told Newsweek: “Theologically and historically, there is no such thing as the Judeo-Christian tradition. It’s a secular myth favored by people who are not really believers themselves.”

The concept was popularized in the 1940s as a reaction …

Censorship on Campus

I’m beginning to suspect that the self-proclaimed liberals who protest scheduled talks on college campuses across the US are. in fact, conservative students working undercover to foster public disgust with the left. Some of these fiascos have to be staged. After all, it’s difficult to imagine a better way of shoring up conservative politics than by depicting liberals as a lot of hypersensitive scoundrels playing fast and loose with the First Amendment.

Residing as I do on the far left of the political spectrum (I don’t usually identify as “liberal,” simply because I personally have no use for the term outside …

The Uncomfortable Truth: Are We Hating Donald Trump for the Wrong Reasons?

I fear that many of us are hating Donald Trump for the wrong reasons.

Multitudes are being swayed by mainstream media-inspired demonization of the new US president, based on selective assumptions and half-truths.

US mainstream media, which rarely deviates from supporting the American government’s conduct, however reckless, is now presenting Trump as if an aberration of otherwise egalitarian, sensible, and peace-loving US policies at home and abroad.

Trump may be described with all the demeaning terminology that one’s livid imagination can muster: evil, wicked, tyrannical, misogynist, war-mongering, rich buffoon, ‘insulting our allies’, infatuating with ‘dictators’, etc.

But do not miss the point.

If you …

“On Western Terrorism”: Interview with André Vltchek

As an American investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and novelist, André Vltchek has covered countless armed conflicts around the world. Among his most recent work we find “On Western Terrorism”, a discussion with Noam Chomsky, a renowned expert on propaganda. Together, they explore the legacy of colonialism that lasts to this day and denounce the hypocrisy of the West in regard to terrorism since it is largely responsible for its development. We have interviewed André Vltchek to get his thoughts on the book and much more.
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Alex Anfruns: 

Land Law is Final Nail in the Two-State Solution Coffin

The Israeli parliament passed the legalisation law on Monday night – a piece of legislation every bit as suspect as its title suggests. The law widens the powers of Israeli officials to seize the last fragments of Palestinian land in the West Bank that were supposed to be off-limits.

Palestinian leaders warned that the law hammered the last nail in the coffin of a two-state solution. Government ministers gleefully agreed. For them, this is the extension of Israeli law into the West Bank and the first step towards its formal annexation.

The legalisation law – also commonly translated from Hebrew as the …

No Pink Wooly Caps for Me

As I looked at the photos of women’s marches in Washington DC, San Francisco and all over the world on January 21, I was struck by one thing. Whiteness. The marchers were predominantly white – even in places like Nairobi. Not only were they white, they looked like they were upper middle class – able to afford the finest warm clothes and designer outfits, down jackets, sporting iPhones to record themselves. When interviewed they appeared to be educated and articulate. All of this raised alarm bells in me. Even before the march I had reservations. Why, I wondered, did the …

Capitalism and Racism: Evil Twins

Which comes first, racism or the systemic need for racism?

In all the reams of printed and digital discussion about Donald Trump’s (attempted) ban on Muslims from seven countries, the murder of six worshippers at a Quebec City mosque and Islamophobia in general, few commentators have mentioned the economic roots of racism.

But the truth is ideas have always been needed to justify treating other people badly in the competition for wealth and power. As long as there have been battles over resources people have objectified and demeaned the “other” to provide ideological cover and to motivate their side to victory.

This has …

The Path to achieving a truly Universal Basic Income

Is it a viable prospect to create a direct mechanism for transferring a universal basic income to all the world’s people? Not before we bring about a huge united voice of ordinary citizens in favour of sharing the world’s resources to end hunger and life-threatening poverty once and for all, argues Adam Parsons.

The following article is an edited version of a talk given at the World Basic Income conference held in Salford, UK, in February 2017.
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At STWR, we’ve long advocated the importance of sharing in relation to the world’s most pressing problems, from spiraling …

Will Conservative Party Quackery or NDP Principle determine Canada’s Palestine Policy

The Conservative party leadership campaign has unleashed pro-Israel quackery, but it is the NDP race that could have greater impact on Canada’s Palestine policy.

Aping Donald Trump, former Conservative minister Kellie Leitch recently asked her Twitter followers to “join me in calling on the Government of Canada to immediately move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.” This would likely contravene international law.

For her part, former cabinet minister and fellow leadership candidate Lisa Raitt dubbed the recently passed UN Security Council Resolution (2334) on Palestine “disgusting”. Offering Israel a diplomatic blank cheque, Raitt said …

To the Halls of Montezuma, from the Shores of Tripoli: Donald Trump as “Anti-Wilson”

A century ago, a Southern academic and racist emerged in Europe and the United States as a crusader to “make the world safe for democracy”. ((Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924, US President 1913-1921) was born in Virginia and educated in Georgia and South Carolina before taking degrees at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) and ultimately becoming president of Princeton University before launching his political career. Among his contributions upon becoming US President was to introduce the post-slavery Jim Crow regime into the federal civil service. (For the reader unfamiliar with US military institutions: the twisting citation in the title is from the …

Welcome to Sumatra, Indonesia, an Environmental Genocide in the Making

Outside Southeast Asia, few people know of Palembang, a city on Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world. A gloomy and immense city, with almost two million inhabitants, most of them living in cramped and squalid conditions.

The tropical River Musi bisects the city, a desperately polluted waterway, bordered by slums built on stilts and a few old colonial buildings.

Vessels of all types use the Musi, hauling everything that can be sold abroad or to the rest of Indonesia. The river is jammed with enormous barges …

Cold War Redux: The “Fake Information Age”

London — The great tedium of history is that those who refuse to acknowledge its immemorial works tend to see exceptional events everywhere.  The next event of terror is singular; the next act of technology inspired hacking is remarkable.

Listening to the crackling consternation of the airwaves this Friday morning, the sense of a dark, sulphuric fog, not unlike the polluted air of London descending upon the UK, is palpable. There is a terror that the UK is escaping the bosom of the European family, a painful process of separation involving a mixture of exhilaration and bile-filled disgust.

With equal terror is …

Trump Admin. Covers Up Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

Exaggerates Iran's Role

Journalist Ben Norton tells Paul Jay that the U.S. and Saudis are overwhelmingly responsible for the atrocities committed in Yemen.

Raising Hell in the Social Services Domain

Solidarity alliance of social workers sounds like a modern Wobbly Kind of Thing

Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.

— Sal Alinksy, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, 1971, Random House

Let’s make it clear – before Trump, things were really bad. For the homeless, the precarious workers (like, 70 percent of us), for minorities, Muslims, countries on the kill list or Colin Powell’s WMD list; for students, for the planet, for rivers, air, the native Americans fighting against privatization and Monsanto, for the peace makers, for the teachers, for the scientists, for the intellectuals, for the LQBTQ advocates, for non-profits looking to help …