Saturday, 20 November 2010

GORDON DUFF: THE ‘WINGNUT” DEBATE (Freedom Watch-Geraldo-9/11-video)

GORDON DUFF: THE ‘WINGNUT” DEBATE (Freedom Watch-Geraldo-9/11-video)
November 20, 2010 posted by Gordon Duff · 4 Comments 

pitbull
WINGNUT QUEEN KISSES INVISIBLE FROG

“WINGNUTS”…AMERICA’S “PETS,” THEIR CARE AND FEEDING

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Friday, Fox “journalist” Geraldo Rivera, on Judge Napolitano’s “Freedom Watch” was interviewed about his new found beliefs on 9/11. 

For years, Rivera, infamous as a scandal monger, the “clown” of America’s news media, has tried to regain an air of respectability after a career filled with disasters. 

Now, the newly rehabilitated Geraldo Rivera, famous for calling 9/11 activists ‘wingnuts” has changed sides and, in a cowardly and hesitant manner, thrown in his lot with those advocating a new investigation of 9/11.

However, Rivera couldn’t get out five words without bringing up the Kennedy assassination and calling anyone who doubts the “lone gunman” theory, the one the 1975 congressional investigation threw out, “wingnuts.”

The term “wingnut” is the how the American corporate press, the controlled press, helps the government silence critics, by government, of course, we mean the real government, the one in Tel Aviv.  Rivera, the king of “wingnuts” has two tasks, controlling the spin on 9/11, a gun pointing at the head of Israel and, low and behold, to kill the new rumors, based on testimony by Mordecai Vanunu, Israeli nuclear whistleblower, that clearly ties the Kennedy murders to the Mossad.  This six year old story is only now coming to the surface and gaining momentum.  Rivera is out to stop it and “wingnut” is his ploy.

Watch Rivera try to contain speculation about government complicity in 9/11 while sneaking in his other agenda item, the Kennedy Assassination.  Those who follow both issues, know the well established facts are miles beyond where Rivera is willing to go.  Watch Rivera justify Israel’s trust when it awarded him citizenship.


Despite its misuse, the term “wingnut” one used continually in America, is a valid one but its use and application needs to be more reality based, not something bandied about by the shills and hangers-on that constitute America’s “infotainment” press.
This last week, President Obama ended any hope in American forces every leaving Afghanistan, pushing the timetable to 2014 and beyond.  The situation on the ground in Afghanistan may or may not justify this but President Obama isn’t a wingnut for what he did, but why he did it.  If you ask him, and nobody will, he will tell you that Afghanistan is where the 9/11 hijackers were trained and the attacks were staged from, attacks led by Osama bin Laden.

This makes President Obama a “wingnut.”

If another military or intelligence official, American, British, Pakistani or even Israeli, has to “leak” to the press one more time that Osama bin Laden has been dead forever, even his bones may be dust now, and that even the biggest “wingnut” terrorist wouldn’t be so stupid as to “train,” whatever that means, in Afghanistan, the nastiest place on earth…..

Take a hint, move on with life, the man is dead, invent someone else to turn out phony threats and amusing audio tapes.

When America “elected” (we aren’t so sure this happened anymore) “the decider,” a seemingly affable bungler, card carrying sociopath, “on again/off again” drunk and addict and his “Darth Vader” assistant, it left its gonads and common sense home in a dresser drawer and began a decade of lapping up wild conspiracy theories andchasing imaginary “boogeymen.”  In reality, “wingnut” America was heading for a “fleecing” like no sheep in history had received, at the hands of petty criminals and gangsters, bible toting con men so laughable that the world has looked on in dismay, all except Britain, of course, a nation easily as dumb as America or worse.

Ever see the BBC News or check out a London tabloid?  I rest my case.

Back in America,”wingnuts” had taken over everywhere, they ran the Federal Reserve, they took over our defense and intelligence services, they have always been the FBI, ever since J Edgar Hoover tried on his first dress.  Americans sat around and watched the kids they never would have played with as children, the “mamas boys” and “wimps,” the sneak thieves and snitches become “leaders of the free world” and, worst of all, phony  heroes.

Rudy Giuliani.  Proof enough?

Today, we are saddled with Barak Obama, clearly a man of some intellect whose beliefs, whatever those might be, are clearly rooted somewhere outside the asteroid belt.  Of course, surrounded by a Washington establishment, wingnuts all, who guide his every thought and looking across an American landscape that has to appear, even to “wingnut Obama” as dangerously maladjusted, what can we expect?

What would happen if a “Negro” president came out and told white people they were all bonkers?  I wait, almost pray for this every day.

The real Barak Obama is never going to do this, despite the race hatred millions of Americans are seething with, and can barely contain, Obama is not what they fear he is, and, thus, not what America needs him to be.  When it came time to dance “whitey” off to jail, Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzales, Rumsfeld, DeLay, Boehner, Ashcroft, Pearle, Zelikow and the 5 total maniacs on the Supreme Court, totalitarian extremists all, he did nothing.

Other Americans, those who oppose Obama are nearly as bad.  9/11 happened in 2001 and, from “day one” had a smell about it.  By January 2002, almost nine years ago, most basic constitutional rights had been suspended in America.  Search and seizure protections were gone, every phone could be wiretapped, millions were and still are.  The right to face your accuser in a court of law, right to counsel, those constitutional rights disappeared.

Due process, another constitutional right went away as did prohibitions on “cruel and unusual punishment.”  When the government set up “free speech zones,” they eliminated our constitutional rights to gather, protest and petition.  The constitution only applied to some people in some places at some times.  These things were done, supposedly, to protect Americans from dangerous terrorists, a threat more and more Americans are now learning was manufactured here at home by the government itself, the same way Hitler did it in Germany.

2.5 million Americans are in prison today.  That is enough to fill Auschwitz 125 times.  Do we really know who the American government is locking up?  With rights suspended, we can’t trust the reasons and with no free press, we can never know.  Never, even under British rule, have Americans had so few rights.

These aren’t minor rights but are the basis for American society, the things that define democracy, the real spirit behind the national anthem, the flag, the pledge of allegiance and all those other things that give Americans a feeling of pride.  The Constitution of the United States of America was, officially, suspended nine years ago and replaced with a series of decrees that are slowly being overturned by courts, where courts still exist.  The ‘checks and balances” are gone, the Bill of Rights, line by line, discarded, separation of church and state certainly obliterated, everything the Founding Fathers built, flushed away by a generation of weaklings and moral cowards.

Not everyone knew but many knew, many know and too few care.  Imagine, how do you define “wingnuts” in such a situation?  America is a police state, a dictatorship, just like all the others, the same rules apply.  The term “wingnut” was originally created to label anyone who stood against what can’t be called anything but evil.  It was easier and cheaper to discredit than to kill.  Not everyone could be sent to Bulgaria to be tortured and not every American flies in small planes that seem to conveniently crash so often.

Only so many members of the press can go the way of Helen Thomas or Dan Rather, eventually the “Don Bolles (McCain)  Steve Kanga (Bush)  Mike Connell (Rove) Vince Foster (Clinton)” solution is used or, as with the Israelis, they simply drive a bulldozer over the problem (Rachel Corrie) or 4 bullets to the head (Furgan Dogan).

You don’t know these names?  You would if you had a free press.  If you had a free press, they would all still be alive, these and thousands more.

Imagine a nation, the rulers of the land, sea and air, a nation whose children are groped and strip searched in airports, a nation willing to follow a semi-literate pit bull known to be a puppet of Wall Street and Tel Aviv.  Imagine an entire nation of people who do little but call each other “wingnuts.”

Are they ALL correct?

In America, the real “wingnuts” have always been the press, where failed “everything” goes when it starts to smell enough.  It it is on TV and getting paid, chances are it belongs in a mental hospital.  Glenn Beck?  Rush Limbaugh?  Sean Hannity?  Bill O’Reilly?  Jon Stewart?

I rest my case.

This fact is hidden from some, even still, because the free press, guaranteed by the first amendment is gone and the government is still moving further, introducing laws to limit speech even more, censorship of almost any idea that doesn’t agree with “wingnut”reality, how the losers and golfers in Washington DC see the world.
In 2006, the American government suspended habeas corpus.  To those who don’t know law or latin for that matter, this might not seem like a big deal.  What it means is that all rights of any kind no longer exist because the state can now decide who is or is not a person at all, the basic right to petition a court for rights disappeared.

Not long after that, the Supreme Court gave corporations the same rights that were taken away from people.  Defining a corporation as a person, the court allowed billions, yes, that much, to be paid out in bribes during elections.  The problem with this, the problem that defines, not only the court as “wingnuts” but those who let this happen quietly and even supported it, is that the rights corporations have, people don’t.  Nobody is torturing, imprisoning or murdering corporations.

Yes, that’s right, the state now believes it can kill any American citizen, break into their homes at night, haul them anywhere in the world, torture them or assassinate them, based on, not a warrant, no document or process of any kind, but an order from someone appointed by, well…..we aren’t sure.  In fact, we are no longer sure how many of these orders come from within the United States at all anymore.  How could we, we have a wingnut president, a wingnut court, wingnut press, wingnut congress, wingnut police, a wingnut military.

We even have a political movement that, in the name of “restoring” the constitution, actually supports making things worse.  Of course, this is a group that watched the constitution disappear in 2002 but woke up to the fact, just “all of a sudden like” in 2009, seven full years later, when an African American president took office.  These are the worst “wingnuts” of all and the most dangerous.

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Gaza War Lies Vs. Facts (mirror)

Facts!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 10:45AM Gilad Atzmon

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What Is Israel’s Purpose from Ghajar Withdrawal?

20/11/2010 Sane person cannot believe that Israel will withdraw from the Village of Ghajar unconditionally, or for no reasons. At least there is a package of goals the Zionist entity is trying to achieve through this attempt.

Few days after the Israeli cabinet had approved a pullout from the northern part of Ghajr village, the International forces deployed in south Lebanon said they were coordinating issues with the Israeli foreign ministry in order to finalize the withdrawal details.

On the other hand, the Lebanese daily an-Nahar quoted a Lebanese diplomat on Saturday, as saying that even if Israel withdraws from Ghajar and UNIFIL forces are deployed in the village, the government “will not consider the withdrawal complete until the Lebanese army is deployed there”.

In this context, many observers see Israel as using the village of Ghajar in order to present t self as internationally “responsible”, “sticking” to the United Nations’ resolutions and “fulfilling” its international commitments, while as Lebanon and especially Hezbollah is “violating” international laws.

Officials said that Israel is aiming to demand an official recognition from the UN that it is respecting the international laws. And this recognition surely will be in the face of "condemning" Hezbollah for its armament.

Also in this context, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams on Friday voiced “concerns” that Hezbollah’s arms supply is “worrisome”.

“Hezbollah’s weapons are mostly Iranian-made, and the arms’ transfer to Lebanon raises concerns,” Williams told Al-Arabiya television.

Observers can’t consider this Israeli “propaganda” as far away from the huge “scheme” aiming at targeting the defiant resistance in Lebanon.

Israel and the west behind it have been hardly trying to target the resistance. They had waged a destroying war in July 2006 in order to “topple” Hezbollah. However, they haven’t succeeded.

US Central Command Chief: US Military Aids aim at Resolutions 1559, 1701 Implementation

US Central Command Chief General James Mattis visited Lebanon for his first time on Friday, during which he met Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Minister of Defense Elias Murr, and Army Chief General Jean Qahwaji.

Before wrapping up his few-hours visit, Mattis announced that the US will continue its support for the Lebanese army on the level of aids and training.

This comes a week after the US administration decided to cancel the freeze of $100 Million military aid, which was adopted previously after clashes occurred between the "Israeli" enemy and the Lebanese army on the Oddaiseh border village.

On behalf of US President Barak Obama, General James Mattis said that the US support of the Lebanese army is part of an international commitment that stresses on enabling the Lebanese government of practicing its sovereignty on all Lebanese territories, in accordance with resolutions 1559 and 1701.

This is not the first time that a western, or to be precise, a US official speaks so well of Lebanon and how much the US administration is concerned with Lebanon's security, stability, and liberty.

The US claims to be committed to Lebanon to help in the implementation of resolution 1701, which almost every day, is being breached by the "Israeli" enemy, and yet the US and all the international community stand still and do not attempt to make a difference.


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Dreaming or spreading "Peace" Illusion??

My Comment:

Dreaming or spreading "Peace" Illusion"??

After considering Obama speaks at the UN...  A Goodbye to peace (I commented on that),

and

After his very late discovery: "Zionism and peace are incompatible" (I commented on that discovery).

Alan Hart still thinks Obama was naïve and  inexperienced, not programmed to enter the White House to do Zionism’s bidding, Therefore, Alan is dreaming that Obama may have the will and courage to play his ace card: tell Netanyaho the U.S. will NOT block a Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood, and will NOT obstruct efforts to call and hold Israel to account for war crimes, 

I wonder a "smart and experienced man" may forget the the other ace cards  already used, and may be used by Zionist Lobby to programm that naïve and inexperienced President and put him on the right zionist track???
Answering Hart's question: Obama-Clinton are playing Shalom Game, the same game you played with Arafat and Peres
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What, really, is the Obama-Clinton game plan for Israel/Palestine?
  • November 20, 2010
On the face of it the package of “incentives” Secretary of State Clinton offered Prime Minister Netanyahu to persuade him to buy and sell to his coalition government a one-time-only freeze of 90 days on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank could be summed up with one “c” word – criminal.

Criminal because by excluding occupied Arab East Jerusalem from the desired freeze, the Obama administration is not only going back on its own previous demands which were in accord with international law and various UN Security Council resolutions. It is effectively endorsing Israel’s illegal settlement activities there. Simply stated the U.S. is now openly complicit in Israel’s defiance of international law.
It doesn’t matter that Netanyahu may have said to Hillary Clinton in their seven or eight-hour conversation something like: “There’s no point in you asking for a freeze in Jerusalem. I couldn’t deliver it even if I wanted to, and I don’t.” What any Israeli prime minister can or cannot deliver because of the pathological mindset of most Israelis is not the point. It is that if peace is to have a last chance, the Zionist (not Jewish) state must be obliged to comply with international law (not to mention a host of UN Security Council resolutions).
In my analysis there are three possible readings of the Obama-Clinton game plan.

One is that terrified of offending the Zionist lobby too much, they are desperate and hoping that if they can develop a little momentum, something positive might happen.

Another is that Obama believes that, with the assistance of the Arab regimes, he will be able to bribe and bully Abbas and his quisling Palestinian Authority into accepting crumbs from Zionism’s table if negotiations can be re-started. (If the PA agrees to re-start talks with Israel while it goes on colonizing Arab East Jerusalem, Obama will imagine that he has a chance of earning his Nobel peace prize. He would, of course, be wrong – I really mean deluded – to think that).

It is interesting to note that there are Israeli leaders who believe that a way must be found to “force” the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. One who has said so openly is Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He said on Army Radio that Israel has two options. “Either we reach understandings with the Americans to find a way to force the Palestinians to sit around the negotiating table, or the Palestinians and the Arab world will reach understanding with the Americans and it will be us eating frogs.” (Whatever that means).
A third possibility – my speculation here will convince many that I have taken leave of my senses – is that Obama might have an ace up his sleeve.

Via Secretary of State Clinton, Obama told Netanyahu that if he put in place a 90-day moratorium on construction on the West Bank, he (Obama) will guarantee to continue the American presidential tradition of vetoing UN Security Council resolutions which are not to Israel’s liking. That would mean, among other things, blocking any Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood on the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and preventing Israel from being called to account for war crimes.

Probably Hillary Clinton did not say so to Netanyahu, but one possible implication of the American incentives package is that if Netanyahu fails to deliver a 90-day moratorium, or does and is still only playing games, the U.S. will NOT block a Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood, and will NOT obstruct efforts to call and hold Israel to account for war crimes.

As regular readers of my contributions to informed and honest debate know, I do not believe Obama entered the White House programmed to do Zionism’s bidding. I think, as I have written, that he was naïve and inexperienced.

The question for the coming days is whether Obama has the will and courage to play his ace card if Netanyahu continues to humiliate him and demonstrate, with or without a 90-day moratorium, that he and virtually all of his leadership colleagues are not interested in peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could just about accept.
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In Case you missed it, because it was ignored by many of the "Pro-Palestine" sites who care for the messenger , not the message: Who is trying to bluff Palestinians?


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Zionist entity excludes from any settlement freeze, plans to Judaize the occupied city of Lod

Jerusalem is excluded from any settlement freeze

[ 19/11/2010 - 09:16 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority stressed that “east Jerusalem” will not be included in any future settlement freeze.

Israeli officials said that the US administration has agreed to exclude east Jerusalem from the US proposed 90-day freeze on settlement building and that no other freeze on settlement building in the West Bank will be asked for by the US after the 90-day freeze is over.

Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, said that any future moratorium on settlement building will no cover Jerusalem adding that Israel differentiates between the West Bank and east Jerusalem and that the previous settlement freeze was not applied to Jerusalem, likewise any future freeze will not apply to Jerusalem.

The right wing Shas party demanded that the US provides written guarantees. The party was promised by the war minister Ehud Barak, that if they refrained from voting on the US proposals, he would approve the building of hundreds of settlement units in West Bank settlements immediately after the end of the freeze.

Reuters reported Friday that the United States is prepared to offer Israel written security guarantees if it would help to restart stalled Middle East peace talks.


[ 19/11/2010 - 07:30 PM ]

Al-Jalil, (PIC)-- The Arab member of Knesset, Ibrahim Sarsour warned of Zionist attempts to Judaize upper Galilee, in northern occupied Palestine, as well as the city of Lod through settlement of Jews in Arab neighbourhoods.

In an interview with “Palestine On Line” He criticised the Israeli government’s approval of a 160 million- shekel Judaization plan which targets the city of Lod under the rubric of solving security issues in the city.

He said that the proposed plan includes reinforcing the police force in the city, renovating the infrastructure and developing the road system.

The plan also includes marketing new flats and implementing the “law” regarding unlicensed buildings, which means targeting Palestinian residents of the city.

Sarsour also said that it was perplexing that the Israeli occupation government is claiming that such a settlement project aimed at improving social, cultural and educational services in Lod, pointing out that most of the help that will be provided will benefit Jewish settlers in the city.


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a sureal equality......


...... one misery can hide another.....



It is not fair....... !!
there must equality between all men and all women,
we are born equals and consequently we must
have equal chances and equal opportunities. .....

For example:
my wife went last week-end
to Vienna with her Girlfriend .
so why can't I go one week-end to Paris
with my Girlfriend ??

It is not fair ....!!
there must also equality between peoples.
Another example :
Israel has wiped-off Palestine from the Map
(60 years ago)
why can't , consequently ,the Palestinians wipe off Israel
of that same Map ??
(60 years later)


In that case ,
I shall not go to Paris with my Girlfriend, anymore
but I shall visit Haifa with my own wife ,
for one long week-end .


Eng. Moustafa Roosenbloom
a faithful-husband
24.09.08

Six casualties as a result of Israeli shelling in the Gaza Strip


[ 18/11/2010 - 10:00 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian medical sources said that six Palestinians were wounded on Friday in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli occupation strikes on in the central and southern Gaza Strip.

Medical services coordinator, Adham Abu Selmeyyah, said in a special statement to PIC that the Aqsa Martyrs Hospital received on Friday at noon four casualties, including two women, from the same family who were wounded when their home in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip was shelled. He added that their wounds were moderate.

He also said that a girl and a young man were treated at Naser hospital for light wounds they sustained as a result of an Israeli occupation airstrike that targeted east Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

In addition to the two air strikes carried out by the Israeli occupation against targets in the central and southern Gaza Strip which resulted in casualties, the PIC correspondent said that a number of airstrikes were also carried out near the Kisofim crossing.

The Israeli escalation came soon after Israeli claims that a Grad rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip targeting western Negev.

Israeli occupation claim a Grad rocket was fired at southern occupied Palestine

[ 19/11/2010 - 06:26 PM ]

NAZARETH, (PIC)-- Occupation police sources claimed that a Grad rocket was fired Friday morning from the Gaza Strip and fell somewhere in southern occupied Palestine for the first time since the war on Gaza two years ago.

Israeli radio quoted the sources as saying that the rocket fell at Ofakim, in the western Negev without any casualties being reported, but a parked car was damaged.

The police source further said that it was the first time a rocket of this type fell on occupied Palestine since the war on Gaza two years ago adding that five projectiles of various types have been fired from the Gaza Strip on Thursday at targets in western Negev.

Palestinian resistance target an IOF army jeep

Israeli Air Occupation Forces Strike Gaza Strip

20/11/2010 Israeli Air Forces carried out strikes on Gaza strip Friday after noon, both Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Palestinian sources reported that the Air Force bombed two targets in the Gaza Strip Friday afternoon, adding that six people were injured in the strikes – including two women and a child. An unoccupied building in Deir al-Balah collapsed upon being hit, and two other strikes took place in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

For its part, Israeli occupation sources said in a statement that the strike “was carried out in response to the rockets and mortar shells fired at the western Negev over the past day," adding that the army was holding Hamas responsible for the attacks.

Earlier, before the Israli strike, four bombs were launched into the occupied territories on Friday along with three mortar shells.
Three of the shells hit open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council, and the other four, fired an hour later, landed in open areas in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The Popular Resistance Committee's Salah al-Din Brigades claimed responsibility for the fire, saying it was a response to recent assassinations in Gaza.

Abu Mujahed, a PRC spokesman in Gaza, said that "the firing by Palestinian organizations from the Gaza Strip is part of our right to respond to the Israeli crimes and the recent assassinations."

Israeli Air Occupation Forces Strike Gaza Strip

20/11/2010 Israeli Air Forces carried out strikes on Gaza strip Friday after noon, both Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Palestinian sources reported that the Air Force bombed two targets in the Gaza Strip Friday afternoon, adding that six people were injured in the strikes – including two women and a child. An unoccupied building in Deir al-Balah collapsed upon being hit, and two other strikes took place in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

For its part, Israeli occupation sources said in a statement that the strike “was carried out in response to the rockets and mortar shells fired at the western Negev over the past day," adding that the army was holding Hamas responsible for the attacks.

Earlier, before the Israli strike, four bombs were launched into the occupied territories on Friday along with three mortar shells.

Three of the shells hit open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council, and the other four, fired an hour later, landed in open areas in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The Popular Resistance Committee's Salah al-Din Brigades claimed responsibility for the fire, saying it was a response to recent assassinations in Gaza.

Abu Mujahed, a PRC spokesman in Gaza, said that "the firing by Palestinian organizations from the Gaza Strip is part of our right to respond to the Israeli crimes and the recent assassinations."

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Arab Jews



Reflections By An ARAB JEW by Ella Habiba Shohat

Irvi Nasawi: Sephardic & Middle Eastern Cultures


Ella Habiba Shohat is Professor of Cultural Studies and Women's Studies at CUNY. A writer, orator and activist, she is the author of Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (Univ. of Texas Press, 1989) and the co-author (with Robert Stam) of Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (Routledge 1994). Shohat co-edited Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation and Postcolonial Reflections (University of Minnesota Press, 1997) and is the editor of Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age, (MIT Press/The New Museum, 2000). She writes often for such journals as Social Text and the Journal for Palestine Studies.
… more about the author

When issues of racial and colonial discourse are discussed in the U.S., people of Middle Eastern and North African origin are often excluded. This piece is written with the intent of opening up the multicultural debate, going beyond the U.S. census's simplistic categorization of Middle Eastern peoples as "whites."

It's also written with the intent of multiculturalizing American notions of Jewishness. My personal narrative questions the Eurocentric opposition of Arab and Jew, particularly the denial of Arab Jewish (Sephardic) voices both in the Middle Eastern and American contexts.

I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman living, writing and teaching in the U.S. Most members of my family were born and raised in Baghdad, and now live in Iraq, Israel, the U.S., England, and Holland. When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the '50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently--the European Jews--were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of "us" as Jews and "them" as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been "Muslim," "Jew," and "Christian," not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that "Arabness" referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences.

Americans are often amazed to discover the existentially nauseating or charmingly exotic possibilities of such a syncretic identity. I recall a well-established colleague who despite my elaborate lessons on the history of Arab Jews, still had trouble understanding that I was not a tragic anomaly--for instance, the daughter of an Arab (Palestinian) and an Israeli (European Jew). Living in North America makes it even more difficult to communicate that we are Jews and yet entitled to our Middle Eastern difference. And that we are Arabs and yet entitled to our religious difference, like Arab Christians and Arab Muslims.

It was precisely the policing of cultural borders in Israel that led some of us to escape into the metropolises of syncretic identities. Yet, in an American context, we face again a hegemony that allows us to narrate a single Jewish memory, i.e., a European one. For those of us who don't hide our Middle Easterness under one Jewish "we," it becomes tougher and tougher to exist in an American context hostile to the very notion of Easterness.

As an Arab Jew, I am often obliged to explain the "mysteries" of this oxymoronic entity. That we have spoken Arabic, not Yiddish; that for millennia our cultural creativity, secular and religious, had been largely articulated in Arabic (Maimonides being one of the few intellectuals to "make it" into the consciousness of the West); and that even the most religious of our communities in the Middle East and North Africa never expressed themselves in Yiddish-accented Hebrew prayers, nor did they practice liturgical-gestural norms and sartorial codes favoring the dark colors of centuries-ago Poland. Middle Eastern women similarly never wore wigs; their hair covers, if worn, consisted of different variations on regional clothing (and in the wake of British and French imperialism, many wore Western-style clothes). If you go to our synagogues, even in New York, Montreal, Paris or London, you'll be amazed to hear the winding quarter tones of our music which the uninitiated might imagine to be coming from a mosque.

Now that the three cultural topographies that compose my ruptured and dislocated history--Iraq, Israel and the U.S.--have been involved in a war, it is crucial to say that we exist. Some of us refuse to dissolve so as to facilitate "neat" national and ethnic divisions. My anxiety and pain during the Scud attacks on Israel, where some of my family lives, did not cancel out my fear and anguish for the victims of the bombardment of Iraq, where I also have relatives.

War, however, is the friend of binarisms, leaving little place for complex identities. The Gulf War, for example, intensified a pressure already familiar to the Arab Jewish diaspora in the wake of the Israeli-Arab conflict: a pressure to choose between being a Jew and being an Arab. For our families, who have lived in Mesopotamia since at least the Babylonian exile, who have been Arabized for millennia, and who were abruptly dislodged to Israel 45 years ago, to be suddenly forced to assume a homogenous European Jewish identity based on experiences in Russia, Poland and Germany, was an exercise in self devastation. To be a European or American Jew has hardly been perceived as a contradiction, but to be an Arab Jew has been seen as a kind of logical paradox, even an ontological subversion. This binarism has led many Oriental Jews (our name in Israel referring to our common Asian and African countries of origin is Mizrahi or Mizrachi) to a profound and visceral schizophrenia, since for the first time in our history Arabness and Jewishness have been imposed as antonyms.

Intellectual discourse in the West highlights a Judeo-Christian tradition, yet rarely acknowledges the Judeo-Muslim culture of the Middle East, of North Africa, or of pre-Expulsion Spain (1492) and of the European parts of the Ottoman Empire. The Jewish experience in the Muslim world has often been portrayed as an unending nightmare of oppression and humiliation.

Although I in no way want to idealize that experience--there were occasional tensions, discriminations, even violence--on the whole, we lived quite comfortably within Muslim societies.

Our history simply cannot be discussed in European Jewish terminology. As Iraqi Jews, while retaining a communal identity, we were generally well integrated and indigenous to the country, forming an inseparable part of its social and cultural life. Thoroughly Arabized, we used Arabic even in hymns and religious ceremonies. The liberal and secular trends of the 20th century engendered an even stronger association of Iraqi Jews and Arab culture, which brought Jews into an extremely active arena in public and cultural life. Prominent Jewish writers, poets and scholars played a vital role in Arab culture, distinguishing themselves in Arabic speaking theater, in music, as singers, composers, and players of traditional instruments.

In Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia, Jews became members of legislatures, of municipal councils, of the judiciary, and even occupied high economic positions. (The finance minister of Iraq in the '40s was Ishak Sasson, and in Egypt, Jamas Sanua--higher positions, ironically, than those our community had generally achieved within the Jewish state until the 1990s!)

The same historical process that dispossessed Palestinians of their property, lands and national-political rights, was linked to the dispossession of Middle Eastern and North African Jews of their property, lands, and rootedness in Muslim countries. As refugees, or mass immigrants (depending on one's political perspective), we were forced to leave everything behind and give up our Iraqi passports. The same process also affected our uprootedness or ambiguous positioning within Israel itself, where we have been systematically discriminated against by institutions that deployed their energies and material to the consistent advantage of European Jews and to the consistent disadvantage of Oriental Jews. Even our physiognomies betray us, leading to internalized colonialism or physical misperception. Sephardic Oriental women often dye their dark hair blond, while the men have more than once been arrested or beaten when mistaken for Palestinians. What for Ashkenazi immigrants from Russian and Poland was a social aliya (literally "ascent") was for Oriental Sephardic Jews a yerida ("descent").

Stripped of our history, we have been forced by our no-exit situation to repress our collective nostalgia, at least within the public sphere. The pervasive notion of "one people" reunited in their ancient homeland actively disauthorizes any affectionate memory of life before Israel. We have never been allowed to mourn a trauma that the images of Iraq's destruction only intensified and crystallized for some of us. Our cultural creativity in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic is hardly studied in Israeli schools, and it is becoming difficult to convince our children that we actually did exist there, and that some of us are still there in Iraq, Morocco, Yemen and Iran.

Western media much prefer the spectacle of the triumphant progress of Western technology to the survival of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East. The case of Arab Jews is just one of many elisions. From the outside, there is little sense of our community, and even less sense of the diversity of our political perspectives. Oriental-Sephardic peace movements, from the Black Panthers of the '70s to the new Keshet (a "Rainbow" coalition of Mizrahi groups in Israel) not only call for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians, but also for the cultural, political, and economic integration of Israel/Palestine into the Middle East. And thus an end to the binarisms of war, an end to a simplistic charting of Middle Eastern identities.


§ Links:
Irvi Nasawi
The Iraqi Jews (Naeim Giladi)
The Yemenite Mystique!
The Jews of the Arab world
Holy War
"Justice for Palestine" - Slide Show

"A Tale of Two Parties .."

Via friday Lunch-Club


'Istambouli: "This bullet is not meant for you but for the other dog'"

"...Nour was eventually convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, and largely forgotten. The parliamentary elections held later that year -- far from being free and fair, as Rice had demanded -- were marred by violence and widespread fraud. Now, as Egyptians gird themselves for yet another stolen election later this month, the incredible tale of Nour's Ghad party serves as a potent reminder of the creative lengths President Hosni Mubarak's regime will go to sideline its political opponents. You see, there are now not one, but two Ghad parties. One, the remnants of Nour's Ghad party, is not a legal entity. It is "boycotting" the elections, which it couldn't contest anyway. And there's a second Ghad party -- a legal one with close ties to the regime -- that will be running 31 candidates in districts nationwide. As a consequence, there is ample confusion among Egyptian voters and Washington analysts alike. ..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 3:49 PM
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

'I saw Ariel Sharon murder 2 Palestinian toddlers in Lebanon'

Via Friday-Lunch Club

"... "I met Sharon and saw him kill two children before my eyes,” said Sluizer, who lives in Amsterdam. Sluizer has made several documentaries about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but is best known for directing The Vanishing with Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland in 1992.
Sluizer repeated the accusation in an interview for Vrij Nederland, an intellectual magazine, published on November 13 ahead of a screening of his film at the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. “Sharon shot two children like you shoot rabbits, in front of my eyes,” he said.
The children, according to Sluizer, “were toddlers, two or three years old. He shot them from a distance of 10 meters with a pistol that he carried. I was very close to him.” Sluizer added he thought this happened in November, when Sharon was Israel’s minister of defense, but he was not sure of the month...."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 9:13 AM


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Cinematic therapy for Israeli soldiers

Belén Fernández, The Electronic Intifada, 19 November 2010

A scene from Lebanon

The award-winning 2009 film Lebanon, directed by Samuel Maoz and set entirely inside an Israeli tank, is based on the director's participation as a tank gunner in the 1982 Israeli invasion of that country. During his stint of service, Maoz was ordered to fire at a man driving a pickup truck, presumably a civilian -- an experience which resulted in psychological trauma and several decades later was converted into one of the critical scenes in the film.

The reduction of Lebanon to the interior of an Israeli military vehicle alerts us to the film's insular vision right away. The fact that traumatized members of an invading Israeli tank crew are portrayed as the ultimate victims of a war that according to journalist Robert Fisk killed at least 17,500 persons in Lebanon, mainly civilians, illustrates the Israeli knack for inverting the relationship between aggressor and victim.

This talent was most recently demonstrated after the May 2010 attack on the flotilla transporting aid to Gaza, when the world was encouraged to believe that Israeli commandos who killed nine humanitarian activists were instead themselves the recipients of aggression.

Israel's monopoly on emotional suffering is meanwhile demonstrated by its tendency to include citizens treated for shock and anxiety in official tallies of war casualties. The luxury of psychological injury is not generally offered to Arab populations subjected to Israeli military activity, perhaps because casualty figures would then be largely indistinguishable from general population size.

That the aim of Lebanon is merely personal validation in the context of Israeli society is suggested in an interview Maoz gave to The Observer, in which he explains how his wartime suffering was not recognized by his mother -- who did not realize she was "embracing an empty shell" when he returned home. Nor was his anguish affirmed by the older generation of concentration camp survivors, who "made us [returnees] feel we had no right to complain ... Even now, as I'm talking about it, I feel like a bad boy."

According to the The Observer: "For Maoz, making his film turned out to be, cliched though this sounds, healing. As he wrote the script, he realized he was at last able to put some distance between himself and his past. ... Physically, too, something changed. 'Two days into the shoot, I developed an infection in my leg. It was so painful I could hardly walk. The doctor gave me antibiotics and I went to bed for a day. When I woke up, the pain was gone.' He looked down at his foot and, there beside it on the mattress, were five small pieces of shrapnel, rejected by his body after nearly three decades, evidence, he believes, of 'the connection between body and soul.'"

For Palestinian filmmakers, on the other hand, therapeutic cinematic opportunities can be slightly more complex, given that there are more than psychological obstacles to isolating the past as an entity to be dealt with. For example, rather than waking up a few days into the shoot for Salt of This Sea (2008) to find that her conception of injustice had been neatly ejected from her leg, Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir instead awoke to the challenges of filming under Israeli occupation and attempts by Israeli settlers to run cast members over.

Salt of This Sea's protagonist is Soraya (played by Suheir Hammad), a Brooklyn-born Palestinian endeavoring to come to grips with her family's expulsion from Palestine during the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Soraya fittingly responds to the suggestion by the Israeli woman now occupying her grandfather's home in Jaffa that they put history behind them: "Your past is my everyday, my right now." Media reports regarding the bombing of Gaza City by Israeli F-16s and the bulldozing of 18 homes in Balata refugee camp outside the occupied West Bank city of Nablus are interjected sparingly throughout the film, recalling the opening black-and-white scene of Israeli war machinery tearing down Palestinian infrastructure and underscoring the continuity between past and present.

Lebanon, meanwhile, is merely an isolated snapshot of self-absorption, allowing us to spend 92 minutes aghast at the horrific effects of war in general on the individuals forced to fight them, and allowing Maoz to receive 20-minute standing ovations at the Venice Film Festival. Despite Maoz' pronouncements to The Observer that "[w]ar is no solution at all" and that the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 "was a totally bad idea," the film offers no fundamental condemnation of a state built on a policy of bellicosity.

At one point in the film, the Israeli commanding officer informs the tank crew that, as international law prohibits the use of phosphorus bombs, they are expected to refer to the substance instead as "flaming smoke." Recent Israeli military endeavors have made it clear that the progression from past to present has not elicited any change in Israel's willingness to melt the flesh of Arab women and children, but the continuity of Israeli behavior vis-à-vis external populations does not appear to be an overriding concern for Maoz. This is especially evident in his response to opposition to his film in Norway, where, he told The Observer, "people started to shout at me. 'Don't talk to us until your soldiers leave Gaza!' they said, as if I were a representative of the government. That was too much for me! No one likes the situation in Gaza, but still ... missiles are fired at Israeli cities from Gaza."

Like Lebanon, this statement lacks contextual details -- such as that rockets arriving from Gaza are generally the result of Israeli ceasefire violations and that approximately one Israeli civilian perished for every 400 Gaza civilians during the last war. As for what is not to like about the situation in Gaza, we can only hope that a conscientious Israeli pilot will decide to enlighten us by producing a film about hardships inside an F-16 cockpit.

Belén Fernández is an editor at PULSE Media and the author of Coffee with Hezbollah, a satirical political travelogue about hitchhiking through Lebanon in the aftermath of the July War. She can be reached at belengarciabernal [at] gmail [dot] com.

Israel moves to counter Hezbollah



By Victor Kotsev

TEL AVIV - In the past few months, Israel has gone out of its way to cast itself as a victim of aggression in case a war with Hezbollah breaks out. As the United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) inches closer to indicting senior Hezbollah officials for the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, and the likelihood grows that the Shi'ite militant group will stage a coup d'etat in response, the clouds of uncertainty hanging over Lebanon are only getting darker.

One would have to be blind not to notice the warning signs. The most recent one came this week when the Israeli government approved withdrawal from the northern part of the village of Ghajar - one of the last disputed territories which Hezbollah in the past has used as an excuse to keep its weapons and its feud with the Jewish State. "Israel wants [the] UN to declare it free of Lebanon

border violations," an unnamed senior government source told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on Wednesday.

This is a clear move to deny the Shi'ite militia any jus ad bellum (and thus to secure an impeccable right to wage war should an attack from Lebanon come). It was bolstered by detailed revelations of Hezbollah's mechanisms of smuggling in violation of UN resolutions. It was also preceded by serious efforts to set the stage for powerful jus in bello arguments justifying the use of massive force in the event of hostilities. Photographic proof of Hezbollah infractions such as its usage of civilians as human shields served the latter purpose.

Plans for withdrawal were approved against the backdrop of protests from the inhabitants of the village. "Just like the other citizens of Israel, we deserve fair treatment different from that which we have been receiving these past few years," a resident told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, adding that the inhabitants were united against the withdrawal.

What is notable is that the majority of the people in the village are Arabs who are Alawite by religion, and thus belong to the same sect of Islam as Syria's ruling family. By protesting the Israeli withdrawal, they break Arab consensus, and potentially set a precedent for other territories that are internationally recognized as occupied - for example, the Golan Heights.

Should Israel have wished to, it could have made quite a big deal out of their protest, and perhaps even tried to use it as a basis to "legalize" its presence in the northern part of the village. Such an attempt, however, would have taken some time to play out, and by choosing to withdraw, the Israeli government demonstrated that it is in a hurry to gain some legal high ground.

Similarly, a few months ago Israel demonstrated that it was willing to forego some tactical advantages for the sake of proving to the world that Hezbollah was using civilians as human shields. [1] Moreover, according to prominent Israeli analyst Ron Ben-Yishai, a detailed report of Hezbollah arms smuggling published by French newspaper Le Figaro last month, "prepares world for possible war". [2] A statement from a few days ago by the chief of staff of the Israeli army, Major General Gabi Ashkenazi, who warned that the Shi'ite organization may take over Lebanon in the near future, can be interpreted in a similar way. [3]

While Israel is clearly preparing for hostilities against Hezbollah, the full story need not at all be a simple or straightforward one. All this comes at a time when Hezbollah is facing indictments by the special tribunal for the murder of Hariri [4] and has threatened to overthrow the Lebanese government if this happens. [5] Its patron, Iran, is embroiled in a bitter dispute with the West over the illicit nuclear program it is widely assumed to be harboring, and the American administration is weighing choices ranging from a military intervention to a dramatic rapprochement. [6]

There are several main scenarios. Firstly, it is quite possible that Hezbollah would launch an attack, as happened in 2006 at the beginning of the second Lebanon war. It is somewhat unlikely that the Shi'ite militia would stage a major provocation (it has acknowledged that even in 2006 it miscalculated the Israeli response and did not intend to start a war), but if the international and domestic pressure resulting from the indictments intensifies, it could easily launch a few missiles into Israel as a distraction. In turn, given the elaborate steps taken by the Israeli government to justify a campaign in Lebanon, such an action could seamlessly blend into a second scenario: an Israeli preemptive attack on Lebanon.

We should not forget that Hezbollah is a major part of the Iranian deterrence against an attack on its nuclear facilities. An Israeli pre-emptive strike against the militia's missile arsenal could degrade its deterrent capacity severely, and could come as a prelude to an attack on the Islamic Republic. In an October report, prestigious American think-tank Stratfor writes: "We have identified three Iranian counters to an American or Israeli attack: Hezbollah, Iraq and the Strait of Hormuz ... these each have to be counteracted prior to an attack."

However, there is another major possibility, and it is that neither the Americans nor the Israelis intend to use violence to achieve their goals. While they are preparing for this scenario, they may be hoping that they can achieve their goals through non-violent pressure.

In addition to several UN Security Council resolutions (most recently UNSCR 1701) calling on Hezbollah to disarm, the issue of the Shi'ite militia's weapons has been brought up a few times in internal Lebanese debates. In the past, Hezbollah has used for domestic purposes the excuse that it needs to fight Israel in the south of the country (a large part of which was under Israeli occupation until 2000). After the Israeli withdrawal in 2000, the militia struggled to uphold this facade, and kept adding territorial claims for this purpose. [7]

However, with the withdrawal from northern Ghajar, there is a very real chance that the United Nations will declare Israel free of infractions on Lebanese sovereign territory (the international body has previously decided that the Sheba farms, another disputed territory, belongs to Syria rather than Lebanon). This would increase the pressure on Hezbollah to disarm, and, in addition to the STL indictments, could seriously delegitimize the militia. Even without a military intervention, such a sequence of events could bring about its downfall, particularly if Syria decides to abandon it. [8] The Syrian regime is arguably capable of preventing Hezbollah from initiating a violent escalation.

Such a course, moreover, seems very much in line with the current American administration's policy of soft pressure and diplomacy. It is far from clear that US President Barack Obama is ready for a rapprochement with Iran, but even in that scenario he would be well served by weakening the Iranian proxies, if only to be able to negotiate from a more favorable position. What is much more likely is that the United States will continue to pile pressure on the Islamic Republic, in which case Lebanon would be an obvious place to do that.

Thus, it could be that the Israelis are towing the American line for the moment. What they will receive in return is uncertain, but it could range from the F-35 planes which the United States offered to Israel last week, ostensibly in return for a settlement freeze extension, to more decisive American action against the Iranian nuclear program. In any case, they have little to lose with this course of action, and should hostilities break out, they will be prepared diplomatically as well as militarily.

Notes
1. IDF reveals intel on huge Hezbollah arms stockpile in southern Lebanon, Ha'aretz, July 8, 2010.
2. Message to the world, Ynetnews.com, October 27, 2010.
3. Warnings of Hamas, Hezbollah threats should be taken seriously, Ha'aretz, November 16, 2010.
4. U.N. Indictments Near in Lebanon Killing, The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2010.
5. Nasrallah: We'll hurt regime if charged with Hariri murder, , Ynetnews.com, November 16, 2010.
6. The Fog of Containment, Foreign Policy, November 15, 2010.
7. The Seven Villages: Origins and Implications, Now Lebanon, Undated (accessed November 18, 2010).
8. Syria, Hezbollah and Iran: An Alliance in Flux, Stratfor, October 14, 2010.

Victor Kotsev is a journalist and political analyst based in Tel Aviv.

(Copyright 2010 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

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Syrian-Saudi Efforts to Break Deadlock


19/11/2010 Syria and Saudi Arabia are intensifying their efforts in a bid to solve the current Lebanese crisis. In this context, Saudi King Abdullah's advisor is likely to visit Damascus in the coming hours in order to mull options that may lead to an exit.

Prince Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah will submit a set of answers to some suggestions that he had received from President Bashar Assad during a recent trip to Syria.

The Lebanese daily al-Akhbar considered on Friday the Saudi prince’s visit as decisive because it will hold solutions for stuck issues.

The daily also quoted well informed sources as saying that the “atmosphere is positive and there are signs of reaching a compromise despite all difficulties.”

For his part, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt said that Syrian-Saudi efforts to resolve Lebanese tensions have “reached an advanced stage, but that does not mean that the country has passed the stage of danger,” Ad-Diyar newspaper’s Friday edition quoted an anonymous source close to Jumblatt as saying.

On the other hand, the Lebanese daily as-Safir reported on Friday that the Prime Minister Saad Hariri is to visit Damascus prior to an expected trip to Tehran before the end of November.

Tensions are high in Lebanon after reports that the STL will soon indict members of Hezbollah in the Hariri’s assassination.Hezbollah condemns such indictment stressing that such move is orchestrated by the west especially by the United States in order to target the resistance and protect the Zionist entity.

Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said it loudly in November 11 that “any hand seeking to detain any of our mujahedeen will be cut off.”

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Friday, 19 November 2010

PALESTINIANS’ WHITE KNIGHT BLOTS HIS ESCUTCHEON

Via MCS

- 19. Nov, 2010

At last, here was a British leader who believed in justice for the cruelly oppressed.


By Stuart Littlewood


“Nick Clegg: we got it wrong on Israel”, screamed the Jewish Chronicle headline, following the Deputy Prime Minister’s speech to the Lib Dem Friends of Israel on 11 November.

From champion of the vulnerable to betrayer in one bound! Nick Clegg, Britain’s new deputy prime minister, is surprisingly agile.

Betrayal started with Sheffield Forgemasters, a well-respected company in Clegg’s own constituency, who were promised a government loan to enable them to compete for large contracts in the nuclear industry. This was cancelled as soon as the new government was formed with Clegg as deputy prime minister.

He had no shame fouling his own doorstep.

Before the election Clegg’s party, the Liberal Democrats, pledged to scrap university tuition fees and free graduates from crippling debt, but he has abandoned this too instead of putting up a fight. Millions are disgusted.

Now the betrayal extends to the question of justice for the Palestinians and the arrest of war criminals.

So brave then…

Nick Clegg was, until recently, regarded by many in the struggle as one of the Palestinians’ “white knights”.

In January 2009, at the height of Israel’s murderous blitz on Gaza, he rode to the rescue and railed against the British government.

“Gordon Brown, like Tony Blair, has made British foreign policy effectively subservient to Washington,” he thundered. “Brown must stop sitting on his hands. He must condemn unambiguously Israel’s tactics…

“He must lead the EU into using its economic and diplomatic leverage… The EU is by far Israel’s biggest export market, and by far the biggest donor to the Palestinians. It must immediately suspend the proposed new cooperation agreement with Israel until things change in Gaza…”

Bravo, Clegg.

He added: “Brown must also halt Britain’s arms exports to Israel, and persuade our EU counterparts to do the same… I want an immediate suspension of all arms exports from the EU.”

Eleven months later there was no improvement and he wrote in the Guardian about the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza and how “the legacy of Operation Cast Lead is a living nightmare…”

What, he asked, had the British government and the international community done to lift the blockade? “Next to nothing… It is a scandal…”

At last, here was a British leader who believed in justice for the cruelly oppressed.
He again pricked the EU with his lance. “At the same time as exercising leverage over Hamas, it should make clear that the web of preferential agreements which now exists between the EU and Israel … will be brought into question if there is no rapid progress.”
He finished by asking: “What will be the state of Gaza’s drinking water by next December? Of the health of its children? Of the economy?”

Well, next December is almost here. And we know the answer to Clegg’s questions. Bad, very bad, and appalling.

Naturally, the stooges Clegg had unhorsed hit back and he was soon on the receiving end of Nile Gardiner’s bile in the Telegraph, 21 April 2010, headed “Nick Clegg’s Israel-bashing is sickening”.

“While Nick Clegg has made it a personal mission to publicly whip the Israelis for defending their own country,” wrote Gardiner, “he has remained remarkably silent in the media about Iranian backing for terrorist groups, Tehran’s calls to wipe Israel off the map, and the massive levels of hatred directed at Israel from within the United Nations.”
Gardiner was also unhappy that Clegg hadn’t gone into print “warning against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, or calling for an end to the persecution of Israel by Islamist states.”
Tehran of course did not threaten to wipe Israel off the map, and if Clegg had no hard evidence of Iran’s nuclear ambitions military-wise, why should he comment?

Gardiner lambasted Clegg for his “sneering condescension towards Israel”, which undermined a close British ally while encouraging Israel’s enemies. “There is an important distinction between a free, democratic society like Israel, acting in self-defence, and brutal terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hizbollah. Clegg’s drawing of moral equivalence between the two sides is both sickening and offensive.”

Gardiner, a foreign affairs analyst based in Washington and a Conservative think-tank jockey, supported the war on Iraq. Clegg opposed the war so clearly the dagger had to be plunged in a few more times. The next month Gardiner attacked again.

“Clegg seems obsessed with dredging up the spectre of the Iraq war and accusing Britain’s intelligence services of complicity in torture, which only serves the interests of Britain’s enemies,” moaned Gardiner, also accusing him of demonizing Israel, “one of our only friends in the region”.

He’s so right about that last bit. With “friends” like Israel it can be lonely out there.
“Nick Clegg is the first major party leader to run for prime minister on an anti-British ticket,” continued Gardiner, trying hard to inflict electoral damage. “He is filled with a self-loathing for his nation and its institutions… I cannot think of a candidate for prime minister in recent memory who has accused his own country of involvement in torture…”
Well, at least this knight wasn’t in hock for his armour and horse to the pro-Israel lobby. Or so we thought.

…And so weak and wobbly now

Following the general election in May Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, became deputy prime minister in the Conservative-led coalition government.


David Cameron squirming in his boots after he admitted he called Deputy PM Nick Clegg “a joke”

The Conservative Party, it has been revealed, is a highly influential pro-Israel hot-house in which 80 per cent of Conservative MPs including their leader, David Cameron, like to bask.

As Cameron’s new lieutenant we can only suppose that Clegg was initiated by being put under intense pressure to tug the forelock, bend the knee and take an oath of allegiance to Cameron’s paymasters.

First sign was at the Liberal Democrats’ conference in September when Clegg attended a Friends of Israel fringe meeting but cold-shouldered the Friends of Palestine.

Then, earlier this month, he favoured the Friends of Israel again by speaking at their annual dinner. Guests included the chief rabbi. Clegg began by saying: “Chief Rabbi, it is hard to exaggerate the esteem in which you are held by British people of all faiths and of none.”

That set the sickly tone. He reminded his audience that, in 2007, the Liberal Democratic Party conference passed a motion condemning the proposed academic boycott of Israel.
The sucking-up continued with an apology for campaigning in the past so vigorously for the rights of Palestinian victims without broadcasting equally loudly and equally clearly “an awareness of the security challenges faced by Israel and of the right of Israel to defend itself against the threats that it continually faces”. He now wanted to make this clear:
Israel’s right to thrive in peace and security is non-negotiable for Liberal Democrats. No other country so continually has its right to exist called into question as does Israel, and that is intolerable. There can be no solution to the problems of the Middle East that does not include a full and proper recognition of Israel by all the parties to the conflict.
Those words might have been written by Israel’s chief propagandist, Mark Regev.
Then Clegg came to the bogus peace negotiations. “Whatever the UK can do … to support the Americans in furthering the peace process – whatever we can do, not only must be done, but will be done.”

Right now the Americans are bribing the psychopaths with even more death-dealing toys to play with if they’ll suspend settlement building for another measly three months, what happens after that being left up in the air. Is this what Clegg and his coalition partners are so eager to support?

“The EU can and should use its economic clout to put pressure on both sides; to encourage Israel to restrict its settlement building programme and to push all Palestinians into recognizing Israel’s right to exist.” Reduce Israel’s settlement building? The legal position requires nothing less than a permanent end to it. Clegg is letting Israel off the hook. And there’s no more talking of suspending the EU-Israel trading agreements.
If “recognition” of their enemy is to be wrung from the Palestinians, which borders is Clegg talking about? It stands to reason there can be no such recognition while the jackboot of brutal occupation is on the Palestinians’ throat. Unless Clegg understands that, he understands nothing.

The same goes for renouncing violence. Israelis use a thousand times more violence than Palestinians. Demanding, as the West’s cut-throats regularly do, that the resistance movement renounces violence without requiring the same from Israel, is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

Clegg then turned to the vexed question of universal jurisdiction, under which all states that signed up to the Geneva Conventions are under a solemn obligation to seek out and prosecute or extradite those suspected of grave breaches of the Conventions and bring them justice, regardless of nationality.

Clegg announced:
It is right that people suspected of such crimes should be held accountable by the courts. But the framers of the legislation never intended local magistrates to be able to issue politically motivated arrest warrants of people visiting the UK without reasonable grounds for doing so.
The issuing of such warrants should be a matter for one of central government’s senior law officers, not for local magistrates. This will strike the right balance between upholding Britain’s great traditions of respect for universal human rights and avoiding accusations based on poorly justified grounds against visitors to the UK.
This is nonsense. For a start, no magistrate issues a warrant without seeing compelling evidence. Furthermore, 51 Liberal Democrat MPs – the overwhelming majority of Clegg’s party – recently signed an early day motion in Parliament opposing any change in the law. Disregarding their wishes, Clegg has decided to support the Conservative plan to put matters into the hands of the director of public prosecutions, a move calculated to guarantee that any decision to hunt down and detain wanted criminals is strictly political.
As a consequence, Israel’s warmongers will be allowed to come and go as they please and continue their atrocities against Gaza’s women and children, and very soon against Iran’s and (again) Lebanon’s.
Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit : www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk


More Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg on Britain’s Future – Newsweek


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