Saturday, 31 December 2011

Visions of yesterday, today and tomorrow

From Paul J. Balles:

Have you chilled your bubbly for the New Year's toast? Thought about resolutions you want to make, and will probably break?

Before getting carried away with tomorrow and what can make the New Year a happy one, give a few moments to the year only hours from passing.

Twenty two years ago Taylor Addison wrote in Blue Mountain Arts, “Time for New Beginnings”: 

"This is a time for reflection as well as celebration.  As you look back on the past year and all that has taken place in your life,

Remember each experience for the good that has come of it and for the knowledge you have gained.

Remember the efforts you have made and the goals you have reached.

Remember the love you have shared and the happiness you have brought.

Remember the laughter, the joy, the hard work, and the tears.

And as you reflect on the past year, also be thinking of the new one to come. Because most importantly, this is a time of new beginnings and the celebration of life."

In his reflections, Addison includes only general reference to the things many of us have focused on—but not specifically on the violence of protests, the death and destruction of wars, the hardships of failing economies and natural disasters, and the injustices of occupations.

These should not be forgotten as we look back, but they should be put into the perspective of what can be gained from reporting and commenting on the bad news.

If your vision of the past has been to recollect the ills, now is the time to reflect on the gains, the achievements, the satisfactions, the learning and the happiness brought by the struggles endured to improve someone’s thinking or behaviour. 

We're only hugs away from making and sharing our wishes for a Happy New Year. A timely anecdote for the event is this “Recipe for a Happy New Year”:

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancour and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness.

In short, see that these months are freed from all the past—have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.

Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavour of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing—don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution.

Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humour.

That's about as good as recipes get.

In closing, William Arthur Ward’s poem “A New Year” merits some thought:

Another fresh new year is here--
     Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
     To love and laugh and give!

This bright New Year is given me
     To live each day with zest--
To daily grow and try to be
     My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
     Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
     And sing more joyful songs!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

There can be no surrender to bullying by Zionists and “anti-Zionist” pretenders

From Laura Stuart:

Not the first time that I have felt compelled to write about the phenomenon of outrageous bullying tactics used against Palestine activists and indeed anyone who is prepared to stand up and speak or write the truth about Israeli/Zionist crimes.

There can be no dispute about the fact that Israel – "the Jewish state" as it calls itself –  is a perpetrator of terrible human rights abuses and as a consequence has attracted more condemnations against it from the United Nations than any other country, least of all one which claims to be a democracy and ironically claims it's occupation forces as the "world’s most moral army".

Yesterday I attended the protest outside the Israeli embassy which takes place on the anniversary of the massacre named "Cast Lead". I am sure the many widows, orphans and parents who lost their children in Gaza during that 22-day offensive are enough of a testimony to the occupation forces’ so-called “morals”. The Samouni family, which lost so many members, is a prime and very tragic example. The fact that Judge Goldstone crumbled on his report under Zionist attack is a further testimony to the evil tactics of Zionist bullying and the pressure they can bring to bear.

More about Zionist bullying. It was with great interest that I read an article written by Ilan Pappe on the Electronic Intifada titled "Confronting intimidation working for justice in Palestine". I hope everyone will read the article and start to appreciate the levels of bullying that go on at every level from government down to activists like myself. It is no secret that the US leaders will always shamefully grovel to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and can be counted on to veto any resolution at the United Nations which might force Israel to be held accountable for the consequences of some of its actions. But we do not even need to look overseas; we need only reflect on the fact that 80 per cent of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party MPs are Friends of Israel.

No surprise to anyone who has read Gilad Atzmon's blog detailing the efforts the so-called “anti-Zionist” Jews will go to in hounding anyone who would share a platform with Gilad and the tactics of bullying and harassment involved, which includes being emailed and called repeatedly. Furthermore, any venue provider can expect the same treatment. Even I have been sent anonymous emails of a rather sinister nature and have many emails from such so-called “anti-Zionist” Jews as Tony Greenstein who even finds it somehow appropriate to blog about my clothes and post my photo on his blog describing me as the epitome of a "liberated woman", even though he had never met me and does not know me. You should well be asking what business what I choose to wear is of Tony Greenstein’s? I usually associate such Islamaphobic and fascist views with the likes of the EDL or Sarkozy. Just another example of an attempt at character assassination and bullying.

The list goes on and on. One activist, Nahida Izzat, wrote about the use of character assassination as a political tool after she suffered terribly at the hands of the so-called Jewish “anti-Zionists”. Others have their had their academic careers curtailed, such as Norman Finkelstein. Here on Paul Eisen's blog is a story of how people can be smeared by Zionists and let down by the leaders of the solidarity movement who somehow don't really understand the concept of solidarity. There seem to be absolutely no limits as to how far the Zionists and the self-proclaimed Jewish “anti-Zionists” are prepared to go in their attempts to discredit those who speak out.

Having described the environment in which activists for Palestine and indeed activists for justice against the Zionist/neocon so-called "war on terror" operate and the frequent attacks on them, which can be very damaging both at a personal and career level, I would suggest we need to be very alert and very steadfast in not giving in to Zionist bullying. All Palestine activists should be able to show at least a semblance of the sumoud – or steadfastness –  that Palestinians themselves are famous for.

In particular, organizations that claim to represent the "solidarity" movement of Palestinian activists need to be ever vigilant of Zionist and self-proclaimed “anti-Zionist” attempts to control them from both the inside and out. While I agree that many people are working hard on many different levels to bring justice to Palestine, it would be sad to see our biggest “solidarity" organization fragment as some regional branches choose to go it alone. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link and all of us would hate to see a Zionist victory using the old divide and conquer tactic.

Finally to end on a more upbeat note, I can't wait to hear more about the new forum called "deLiberation" which will shake off the Zio chains and take the discourse to new levels.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Pioneers have a vision of something better

From Paul J. Balles

Many of us devote much effort to commenting on what’s wrong with America and the rest of the world. Occasionally it helps to look at the glass that’s half full rather than half empty. The column attached focuses on America’s pioneering spirit.

Having been a frequent critic of what I've seen wrong with America, it's time to reminisce about some of what’s great about my country.

One of the most admirable traits of Americans is that we're pioneers. That's more than just praise for the rugged settlers who came to America from Europe or those who migrated from east to west.

Not everything about settling America is praiseworthy; but apart from the reprehensible treatment of some Indians on their land, the pioneering spirit became ingrained into the American psyche.

Going into unexplored territory in search of a new life became intrinsic to American culture. The pioneering spirit drove explorations and discoveries of every possible dimension from early medical research to travel in space.

What distinguishes the pioneering spirit that Americans are rightly proud of?

Pioneers are not happy with the present. They visualize something better beyond their immediate world and way of life.

People like Charles Lindberg who flew across the Atlantic for the first time looked forward as much as the later astronauts who blasted off into outer space for the first time.

The medical professionals who risked their lives in first-time experiments with drugs or procedures exemplified the nature of the pioneer.

Pioneers don't depend on others to guide their lives and futures. As someone once said, they "promote the exercise of one's own goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance."

Every once in awhile an individualist appears in politics. In America, we have two notable figures, both in the congress: Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich. Both Paul and Kucinich have constituents who appreciate their individualism. Unfortunately, the US Congress and the general electorate do not.

Pioneers exercise independent judgment, often in opposition to conventional wisdom. This has been true of many American business men and women.

Author Ayn Rand provided an excellent example of individualist thinking in her novels, the most famous of which is The Fountainhead.

The novel's hero, Howard Roark, agrees to provide the architectural design for a housing project on the promise that nothing be changed.  When the city's fathers permit changes to save money, he blows up the project. Rand's defence is a remarkable justification of Roark’s action. 

Nothing I've said so far is meant to imply that individualism is exclusive to America. Furthermore, many Americans exemplify collectivism.

Individuals use their ingenuity to develop inventions, innovations, enterprises and new ideas.  Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple provide excellent examples of innovative, pioneering American individuals.

To achieve their goals and desires, pioneers value independence and self-reliance. They are risk-takers, often with the courage to travel down untrodden paths and into perilous territory to reach their goals.

Last March, Forbes magazine ran a story on 39 gutsy entrepreneurs, executives, celebrities, politicians and athletes about the greatest risks they ever took.

As a result of their efforts, pioneers improve life for themselves, and they make the world a better place for the rest of us.

In America, the frequency and importance of our discoveries have distinguished the country's achievements.

In one of his speeches, President John F. Kennedy said about pioneering choices we make:

...not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win ....

I’m proud of the pioneering spirit America instilled in me.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Raw footage – aftermath of shooting of Palestinian protestee Nabi Saleh – 9 Dec 2011

A Palestinian protester is seen seriously injured after being hit in the face with a tear gas canister fired directly at him by an Israeli soldier at the weekly protest in a-Nabi Saleh.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

بيان المنظمة السـورية لحقوق الإنســـان

المنظمة السـورية لحقوق الإنســـان - سـواسـية

لكل فرد حق في الحياة والحرية وفي الأمان على شخصه
( المادة /3/ من الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان)

لكل شخص حق التمتع بحرية الرأي والتعبير ويشمل هذا الحق حريته باعتناق الآراء دون مضايقة وفي التماس الأنباء والأفكار وتلقيها ونقلها إلى الآخرين بأية وسيلة ودونما اعتبار للحدود.
( المادة 19 من الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنســان (

لا يجوز اعتقال أي إنسان أو حجزه أو نفية تعســفاً
( المادة /9/ من الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان (


في إطار الحملة الأمنية الجائرة  التي تخوضها الأجهزة الأمنية و شبه الأمنية  المنفلتة من عقالها في سوريا  بحق نشطاء المجتمع المدني  و المدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان.

 فقد أقدم جهاز المخابرات العسكرية " الفرع – 291 –   في تمام الساعة التاسعة من صباح يوم الجمعة الواقع في 18/11/2011   على اعتقال الطالب الجامعي  الزميل

بحر عبد الرزاق

 " عضو المنظمة السورية لحقوق الإنسان "

و ذلك بعد ثلاثة أيام من المراجعة الدورية و لمدة اثنا عشر ساعة يومياً  للفرع المذكور في خطوة  تعبّر عن الإصرار على النهج التصعيدي القمعي  بحق المدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان  و أنصار الحرية و الديمقراطية و الكرامة الإنسانية   في سوريا

تدين المنظمة السورية لحقوق الإنسان هذا النهج الشائن للسلطات السورية القائم على الاعتقال و الخطف و الإخفاء و الإقصاء و التعذيب و مؤخراً القتل خارج إطار القانون

و تبدي قلقها الشديد على مصير الزميل و المدون  بحر عبد الرزاق   و تذكر السلطات السورية بأن إجرائها يصطدم بالتزاماتها بموجب العهد الدولي الخاص بالحقوق المدنية و السياسية و الاتفاقية الدولية لمناهضة التعذيب و غيره من ضروب المعاملة القاسية و بإعلان الأمم المتحدة الصادر في ديسمبر عام 1998 والخاص بحماية المدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان و بتوصيات اللجنة المعنية بالمدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان لا سيما الفقرة السادسة من توصيات اللجنة بدورتها الرابعة والثمانين ( تموز 2005 ) و كذلك الفقرة الثانية عشر من هذه التوصيات والتي تطالب الدولة الطرف(سورية ( بأن تطلق فورا سراح جميع الأشخاص المحتجزين بسبب أنشطتهم في مجال حقوق الإنسان و أن تضع حدا لجميع ممارساتها في المضايقة والترهيب التي يتعرض لها المدافعون عن حقوق الإنسان

تطالب المنظمة السورية لحقوق الإنسان  السلطات الأمنية السورية بإطلاق سراح الزميل و المدون بحر عبد الرزاق مع كافة معتقلي الرأي و الضمير بسوريا و الشروع  فوراً بمبادرات إعادة الثقة ما بين النظام السياسي و المجتمع و التي تبدأ بإعادة الجيش لثكناته و حل المليشيات غير النظامية و كف يد الأجهزة الأمنية عن رقاب الناس  و إطلاق سراح السجناء السياسيين دونما استثناء و الاعتراف بالمطالب المشروعة للشعب السوري و التي تجلت مع نسائم الربيع العربي و التي تحلم  بدولة مدنية تعددية و دستور عصري ديمقراطي  لا يقيم حاكم أبدي يقوم على الاعتراف بالكرامة الإنسانية و الحقوق الأساسية للمواطن السوري.

كما تناشد المنظمة السورية لحقوق الإنسان كافة الهيئات و المؤسـسات العاملة في مجال حقوق الإنسان تحمل مسؤولياتها تجاه الزميل و الطالب الجامعي و المدون  بحر عبد الرزاق  و القيام بكل ما يلزم للوقوف إلى جانبه في قضيته العادلة.

دمشق 22/11/2011                                                        مجلس الإدارة

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Saturday, 19 November 2011

In defence of Gilad Atzmon

From Sarah Gillespie:

Herodotos is an historian who trains you as you read. It is a process of asking, searching, collecting, doubting, striving, testing, blaming, and above all standing amazed at the strange things humans do’ - Poet and translator of ancient Greek, Anne Carson, Nox (2011)

Gilad Atzmon’s intellectual expedition into the daunting terrain of Jewish identity politics has always evoked a storm of controversy. Still, when I first met Gilad, it was hard not to suspect he was exaggerating the extent of abuse he received from various UK pressure groups. Primarily, it’s not easy to wrap your head around the notion that a person can plausibly be branded as ‘a racist’ when they tour the world with a gypsy violinist, a black drummer, a Jewish bass player and a token English white boy on piano. However, as I began to understand the full complexities of Gilad’s arguments – a process, which, for me, required as much unlearning as it did learning – I reluctantly grasped the problem. And, to my utter horror, I also fathomed the full measure of pathological bile wielded against him. Indeed, some of it hemorrhaged in my direction.

After the 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza I organized a concert for ‘Medical Aid for Palestinians’ featuring iconic violinist Nigel Kennedy. Campaigners launched an onslaught from all sides - the right, the left, the Zionists and the anti-Zionists - individually and collectively, lobbied the owner of the venue, the director of MAP and myself, demanding that we cancel the event.  Some even accused us of mobalising art to fund rocket attacks on Jews. I was shocked, upset and embarrassed that I had inadvertently dragged my friend, who owns the club, into such a shameful debacle.

After the concert (a huge success) I was labeled a Holocaust denier.  Not only was this accusation ludicrous and totally unfounded it was potentially damaging to me. It is clear that in this culture, you could query the extent of the Holodomor, the Nakba or the annihilation of American Indians without raising much of an eyebrow in the public domain, but to do the same with the deaths of Jews in the Second World War is tantamount to career suicide. My lawyer advised me to get the accusation removed from the Internet but I think it best serves as a small, cyber monument to the preposterous and baseless sewage in which some people are content to swim.

More recently the cacophony of hysteria we are subjected to since Gilad’s polemic The Wondering Who crowned him a cause célèbre, has shot off the richter scale. Gilad puts up with it almost daily. Yesterday the Jewish Chronicle demanded that the Arts Counsel of Britain withdraw funding from the Raise Your Banner Festival that we are playing at together on 25th November. They failed of course, but have now resorted, in a separate piece, to simply comparing Gilad to a paedophile. I too have been inundated with hostile youtube comments, messages and emails insisting I either drop my gigs with Gilad, or issue a statement denouncing his views.

This inspired me to do the exact opposite, to state here categorically how much I support and admire Gilad Atzmon’s work, both as an artist and as a humanist, how much I cherish freedom of thought and speech and to declare that the day I withdraw from a festival because a few campaigners threaten to wreck my reputation, will be a cold day in hell. We are artists. We are entitled to express ourselves as we wish, we are entitled to sing, ask, dance, write and reflect.

It would be advantageous for Gilad’s opponents if he were, as they claim, a banal biological determinist who simply dislikes people according to the lottery of their DNA. If this were the case, I’m sure they would be slightly more successful in dismantling our concerts and banning Gilad’s talks. Unfortunately for them, too many people understand that Gilad is on an intellectual quest for truth. According to the Greek historian Herodotos, quoted above, this is most humane thing you can ever hope to do. We can not be banned from playing, from writing or form ‘wondering who’ we are. Lest we forget, the word ‘history’ comes from an ancient Greek verb meaning ‘to ask’. 

So, alas dear agitators, even if we dropped dead tomorrow someone somewhere would still listening to our albums and reading Gilad’s book. I’m afraid the battle might continue but the war is already won.

Sarah Gillespie is a singer songwriter based in London. She will be discussing the role of politics in music on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’ on Monday 21 November. Hear "How the Mighty Fall" here.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Why the West is demonizing Iran

From Stuart Littlewood:

Stuart Littlewood argues that behind the "non-stop, loud-mouthed sabre-rattling against Iran" lies the fact that the Anglo-American political establishment is still smarting from not getting its way.

When new recruits join British Petroleum (BP) they are fed romantic tales about how the company came into being.

William Knox D'Arcy, a Devon man, studied law and, after emigrating to Australia, made a fortune from the Mount Morgan gold-mining operations in the 1880s. Returning to England he agreed to fund a search for oil and minerals in Persia and negotiations with the Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar began in 1901. A sixty-year concession to explore for oil gave D'Arcy the oil rights to the entire country except for five provinces in northern Iran. The Iranian government would receive16 per cent of the oil company's annual profits.

Mozzafar ad-Din, seldom consulted on matters of state by his father, was naive in business matters and unprepared for kingship when the time came. He borrowed heavily from the Russians in order to finance his extravagant personal lifestyle and the costs of the state, and in order to pay off the debt, he signed away control of many Iranian industries and markets to foreigners. The deal D'Arcy cut was too sharp by far and would eventually lead to trouble.

He sent an exploration team headed by geologist George B Reynolds. In 1903 a company was formed and D'Arcy had to spend much of his fortune to cover the costs. Further financial support came from Glasgow-based Burmah Oil in return for a large share of the stock.

Drilling in southern Persia at Shardin continued until 1907 when the search was switched to Masjid-i-Souleiman. By1908 D'Arcy was almost bankrupt. Reynolds received a last-chance instruction: "Drill to 1,600 feet and give up." On 26 May, at 1,180 feet, he struck oil.

It was indeed a triumph of guts and determination. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was soon up and running and in 1911 completed a pipeline from the oilfield to its new refinery at Abadan. But the company was in trouble again by 1914. The golden age of motoring had not yet arrived and the industrial oil markets were sewn up by American and European interests. The sulphurous stench of the Persian oil, even after refining, ruled it out for domestic use, so D'Arcy had a marketing problem.

Luckily, Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was an enthusiast for oil and wanted to convert the British fleet from coal, especially now that a reliable oil source was secured. He famously told Parliament: “Look out upon the wide expanse of the oil regions of the world!” Only the British-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, he said, could protect British interests. His resolution passed and the British Government took a major shareholding in the company. Just in time too, for World War I started a few weeks later.

During the war the government seized the assets of a German company calling itself British Petroleum in order to market its products in Britain. Anglo-Persian acquired the assets from the Public Trustee complete with a ready-made distribution network with hundreds of depots, railway tank wagons, road vehicles, barges and so forth. This enabled Anglo-Persian to rapidly expand sales in petroleum-hungry Britain and Europe after the war.

In the inter-war years Anglo-Persian profited handsomely from paying the Iranians a measly 16 per cent , and an increasingly angry Iran tried to renegotiate the terms. Getting nowhere, the Iranians cancelled the D'Arcy agreement and the matter ended up at the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague. A new agreement in 1933 provided Anglo-Persian with a fresh 60-year concession but on a smaller area. The terms were an improvement for the Iranians but still didn’t amount to a square deal.

Anglo-Persian changed its name to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1935. By 1950 Abadan was the biggest oil refinery in the world and Britain, with its 51 per cent holding in Anglo-Iranian, had affectively colonised part of southern Iran.

Iran's small share of the profits became a big issue and so did the treatment of its oil workers. 6,000 withdrew their labour in 1946 and the strike was violently put down with 200 dead or injured. In 1951 Anglo-Iranian declared £40 million profit after tax but gave Iran only £7 million. Meanwhile Arabian American Oil was sharing profits with the Saudis on a 50/50 basis. Calls for nationalisation were intensifying.

Iran nationalised its oil to achieve economic and political independence and combat poverty

In March 1951 the Iranian Majlis and Senate voted to nationalise Anglo-Iranian, which had controlled Iran's oil industry since 1913 under terms disadvantageous to Iran. Respected social reformer Dr Mohammad Mossadeq was named prime minister the following month by a 79 to 12 majority. On 1 May Mossadeq carried out his government's wishes, cancelling Anglo-Iranian’s oil concession due to expire in 1993 and expropriating its assets.

His explanation, given in a speech in June 1951 (M. Fateh, Panjah Sal-e Naft-e Iran, p. 525), ran as follows...

Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries… have yielded no results this far. With the oil revenues we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence. 
The Iranian state prefers to take over the production of petroleum itself. The company should do nothing else but return its property to the rightful owners. The nationalization law provides that 25 per cent of the net profits on oil be set aside to meet all the legitimate claims of the company for compensation…
It has been asserted abroad that Iran intends to expel the foreign oil experts from the country and then shut down oil installations. Not only is this allegation absurd; it is utter invention…

For this he was eventually removed in a coup by MI5 and the CIA, imprisoned for 3 years then put under house arrest until his death.

In the meantime Britain orchestrated a world-wide boycott of Iranian oil, froze Iran’s stirling assets and threatened legal action against anyone purchasing oil produced in the formerly British-controlled refineries. It even considered invading. The Iranian economy was soon in ruins. Attempts by the Shah to replace Mossadeq failed and he returned with more power, but his coalition was slowly crumbling under the hardships imposed by the British blockade.

At first America was reluctant to join Britain’s destructive game but Churchill let it be known that Mossadeq was turning communist and pushing Iran into Russia's arms at a time when Cold War jumpiness was high. It was enough to get America's new president, Eisenhower, on board and plotting with Britain to bring Mossadeq down

Chief of the CIA's Near East and Africa division, Kermit Roosevelt Jr, arrived to play the leading role in an ugly game of provocation, mayhem and deception. An elaborate campaign of disinformation began, and the Shah signed two decrees, one dismissing Mossadeq and the other nominating the CIA's choice, General Fazlollah Zahedi, as prime minister. These decrees were written as dictated by Donald Wilbur the CIA architect of the plan

The Shah fled to Rome. When it was judged safe to do so he returned on 22 August 1953. Mossadeq was arrested, tried, convicted of treason by the Shah's military court and sentenced to death.

Mossadeq remarked …

My greatest sin is that I nationalised Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire… With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism.

I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.

The sentence was later commuted to three years' solitary in a military prison, followed by house arrest until he died on 5 March 1967. Mossadeq's supporters were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured or executed.

Zahedi's new government soon reached an agreement with foreign oil companies to form a consortium to restore the flow of Iranian oil, awarding the US and Great Britain the lion's share - 40 per cent going to Anglo-Iranian. The consortium agreed to share profits on a 50-50 basis with Iran but, tricky as ever, refused to open its books for inspection or verification by Iranian auditors or allow Iranians to sit on the board.

Anglo-Iranian changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954.

A grateful US massively funded the Shah's government, including his army and secret police force, SAVAK.

The West's fun came to an abrupt halt with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the book closed on a chapter in British enterprise that started heroically, turned nasty and ended in tears.

The US is still hated today for reinstating the Shah and his vicious SAVAK, and for demolishing the Iranians’ democratic system of government, which the Revolution unfortunately didn’t restore. Britain, as the instigator and junior partner in the sordid affair, is similarly despised.

On top of that, Iran harbours great resentment at the way the West, especially the US, helped Iraq develop its chemical weapons arsenal and armed forces, and how the international community failed to punish Iraq for its use of chemical weapons against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. The US, and eventually Britain, tilted strongly towards Saddam in that conflict and the alliance enabled Saddam to more easily acquire or develop forbidden chemical and biological weapons. At least 100,000 Iranians fell victim to them.

This is how John King, writing in 2003 , summed it up…

The United States used methods both legal and illegal to help build Saddam's army into the most powerful army in the Mideast outside of Israel. The US supplied chemical and biological agents and technology to Iraq when it knew Iraq was using chemical weapons against the Iranians. The US supplied the materials and technology for these weapons of mass destruction to Iraq at a time when it was know that Saddam was using this technology to kill his Kurdish citizens. The United States supplied intelligence and battle planning information to Iraq when those battle plans included the use of cyanide, mustard gas and nerve agents. The United States blocked UN censure of Iraq's use of chemical weapons. The United States did not act alone in this effort. The Soviet Union was the largest weapons supplier, but England, France and Germany were also involved in the shipment of arms and technology.

Which brings us to today… Why are we hearing non-stop, loud-mouthed sabre-rattling against Iran when we should be extending the hand of friendship and reconciliation?

David Cameron (b. 1966) wasn’t even a twinkle in his father’s eye when Britain crushed Iran’s democracy, and was probably carousing with his Bullingdon Club pals at Oxford while Iranians were dying in their thousands from Saddam’s poison gases. What does he know?

William Hague (b. 1961) seems similarly oblivious to the dirty tricks previous British foreign secretaries pulled on Iran.

Obama (b. 1961)? He was a community organiser in Chicago while the Iranians were being mustard-gassed by chemicals his country supplied to Saddam. What does he know?

As for Mrs Clinton (b. 1947), she’s old enough to know better.

So why are they demonising Iran instead of righting the wrongs? Why not live and let live?

Because the political establishment is still smarting.

They are the new-generation imperialists, the political spawn of those Dr Mossadeq and many others struggled against.

They haven’t learned from the past, and they won’t lift their eyes to a better future. It’s so depressing.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Alan Dershowitz’ lies and glitches

From Gilad Atzmon:

Rabid Zionist Alan Dershowitz is devastated by the success of The Wandering Who. He just cannot accept that professors and academics endorse the book “as ‘brilliant,’ ‘fascinating,’ ‘absorbing,’ and ‘moving’,” In his latest article he again misses an opportunity to debate the book, its message and its meaning. He prefers instead to indulge in the only things for which he possesses any talent at all - lying and bullying.

But why, I wonder, does Dershowitz insist on reducing a potentially ethical, intellectual and ideological debate to just one more Zionist exercise in mud-slinging? I can think of only two possible answers; First, Dershowitz lacks the necessary intellect to engage in a debate and second, that Zionism and Israel cannot be defended - ethically, morally or intellectually. 

But there is also an amusing aspect to Dershowitz’s Zio-centric tantrum.  For some strange reason, he believes that it’s down to him, an ultra Zionist, to decide who his kosher enough to lead the Palestinian solidarity discourse. “There is growing concern that some of Israel’s most vocal detractors are crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of Israel and legitimizing anti-Semitism,” he pontificates without really being able to point at any anti Semitism in mine or anyone else’s work. But is it down to Dershowitz or any other Zionist to define the ‘red lines’ of the solidarity discourse?

Dershowitz tries so hard to ‘prove’ that I am an anti-Semite but fails to even define what anti Semitism is. In the past, anti Semites were people who didn’t like Jews but on Planet Dershowitz, anti-Semites are simply those Dershowitz hates (or fears).  He mentions, for instance, the significant role of Austrian philosopher Otto Weininger in shaping my views  yet seems unable to suggest exactly what it is in Weininger’s influence that makes me into an ‘anti- Semite’.  He points at my contempt for the ‘the Jew in me’ but this leaves me wondering, why am I not permitted to hate myself?  Why am I not permitted to loathe ‘the Jew in me’? I’ll try to expand on this. Why is it that when I hate ‘myself’ Dershowitz is so devastatingly and personally offended? Is it possible that my loathing of the ‘Jew in me’ exposes an inherent problem at the core of Jewish identity politics in general? And if this is indeed the case, why can’t we just discuss it openly? What is Dershowitz afraid of?

It’s obvious that, like other Zionists, Dershowitz lacks the elementary capacity to engage in proper intellectual debate. Instead he prefers to take quotes out of context – or if that fails, well, he just lies.

In his latest article, Dershowitz conceals from his readers the fact that my book deals solely with Jewish ideology. It avoids any reference to Jews as people, race or ethnicity and concentrates only on ideology and culture. He probably realises that my avoidance of any form of criticism of the Jews as people or ethnicity leaves him and his life’s-work on a path to nowhere.

For example, I do indeed call the recent credit crunch a  ‘Zio-punch’ (22) and I insist that by no means was it “a Jewish conspiracy”.  Because, as I clearly prove, “it was all in the open” (30).

So why is this anti Semitic? I neither blame, nor associate the ‘Jew’ or the ‘Jews’ with the financial turmoil. But I do make the necessary connection between that financial turmoil and the criminal Zionist wars in which we are engaged. If Dershowitz is unhappy with my reading of the situation, well, all he has to do is to produce a counter-argument. Clearly, this is the one thing he cannot do. 

I also follow Israeli historian Shlomo Sand and argue that, as far as Israel is concerned, Influential Zionists had better stay right where they are in the Diaspora rather than make Aliya. Have not Wolfowitz, Rahm, Emmanuel, Dershowitz etc “proved far more effective for the Zionist cause by staying where they are”? (19). Is this an anti Semitic statement? Is it not rather an ‘astute political observation’?

And Dershowitz is right. I do insist that the American media “failed to warn the American people of the enemy within” (27), though it seems that those who now occupy Wall Street have certainly managed to grasp who the enemy are and where they may be found. But is it really anti-Semitic to oppose the influential lobby of a foreign State which dominates your country’s foreign policy? Is it anti-Semitic to oppose a politically motivated club that succeeds in driving your country to financial ruin?  

Dershowitz writes “Atzmon has written that Jews are evil and a menace to humanity”. This does leave me a touch bewildered, because, first, it doesn’t represent my views at all. Second, it doesn’t sound even remotely like me or my writing. Third,  not one single sentence in my book or in my writing  refers to ‘Jews’ as people or an ethnic group but only to Jewish identity politics, Jewish culture or Jewish ideology. Far more significant is the fact that Dershowitz fails to support his bizarre statement with any contextual reference whatsoever. Instead of citing any criticism of ‘Jews’ or the “Jew’ he just provides us with examples of my criticism of Israeli behaviour.  “With Fagin and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum.”

The truth is that, in my original text, the above sentence actually refers to Zionist lawyer Anthony Julius’ latest book. Here is the original quote in full: “It doesn’t take a genius to gather why Julius and others are concerned with Fagin or Shylock. Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the bloodthirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in mind, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians seems to be just a further event in an endless hellish continuum.” (51)

Harsh words indeed, but they refer clearly to Anthony Julius’ Zionist advocacy and his obsession with Jewish stereotypes such as Shylock and Fagin.  So what’s Dershowitz up to?

But, I’ll say this for him, he doesn’t give up. Again, he tries his luck - “The Homo Zionicus quickly became a mass murderer, detached from any recognised form of ethical thinking and engaged in a colossal crime against humanity.” – but again he fails. The ‘Homo Zionicus’ is not a ‘general’ reference to ‘Jews’ but a clear attempt to point at a particular form of Jewish national school of thought, namely Zionismus. Dershowitz should explain to us, once and for all why he believes that Zionism is beyond criticism.

Now Dershowitz gets desperate. His article is going nowhere so now he decides to deceive his readers.  He quotes me as saying “[T]o be a Jew is a deep commitment that goes far beyond any legal or moral order” (20) and this commitment “pulls more and more Jews into an obscure, dangerous and unethical fellowship” (21).

I was slightly surprised to read this quote since such a statement would be for me completely out of character. So I decided to check my original text. And would you believe it, it was immediately clear that Dershowitz had deliberately and consciously decided to drop the first half of the sentence. He was, quite simply, trying to trick the reader. Judge for yourself.

“(Jodeph) Lapid, later a member of Sharon’s cabinet, makes it very clear: to be a Jew is a deep commitment that goes far beyond any legal or moral order.”

Yes, the above sentence actually refers to right wing Israeli journalist Joseph Lapid’s perception of Jewishness. But in his article Dershowitz tries to attribute this view to me. Truly, Dershowitz does work ‘by the way of deception’.

I know Dershowitz is no fool. He knew what he was doing. He was lying in an attempt to score points. But the irony of this grubby little episode is that the above half-quote actually portrays Dershowitz’s true ethical attitude. For him at least, ‘to be a Zionist is a deep commitment that goes very far beyond any legal or moral order’. The question to ask here is whether Dershowitz’s deceitful attitude is symptomatic of the Zionist discourse. I am afraid that this may be indeed the case. After all, the Mossad’s mantra is plainly clear-“ by way of deception, thou shalt make war.”

Dershowitz continues. If Iran and Israel fight a nuclear war that kills tens of millions of people, “some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all’” (179). Here, I obviously stand by my words.  I really don’t think that Germans, Italian and French will be all that pleased to learn that a lethal radioactive cloud is approaching their borders due to an Israeli pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran. This is not wishful thinking on my part, as I clearly state in the book, but a clear warning to Israel. If Israel proceeds with its plans to nuke Iran, the consequences may well include a serious shift in the view of the Jewish past. 

Dershowitz says, “Atzmon regularly urges his readers to doubt the Holocaust and to reject Jewish history.” Here, correction is needed. I actually urge my readers to question every historical narrative and this obviously includes the Shoa and Jewish history. And yes, I do indeed oppose any notion of the primacy of Jewish suffering.

Dershowitz quotes me as saying “Even if we accept the Holocaust as the new Anglo-American liberal-democratic religion, we must allow people to be atheists.”  I must admit to being rather proud of my aphorism here so thank you Mr Dershowitz for sharing one of my gems with your Neo-con readers.

Anyway, he’s certainly not impressed by my idea that children should be allowed to question “how the teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matza out of young Goyim’s blood were indeed empty or groundless” (185). I suppose that Dershowitz the ignoramus hasn’t heard about Israeli professor Ariel Toaff’s study of Jewish medieval blood libel. Toaff found that accusations of blood rituals levelled against Jews in the Middle Ages were not entirely without foundation, to say the least. I suppose that if Dershowitz had heard about Toaff, his reaction to my take on the subject might have been a little more tolerant.

Dershowitz kindly says on my behalf that “the history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves” and he even provides page numbers: (175, 182).  Well, this statement sounded foreign to me, so I searched the relevant pages but could find none of the above. Is it possible that a professor at Harvard Law School would deceive so openly and repeatedly? I fear this indeed may be the case.

“Atzmon”, write Dershowitz,  “argues that Jews are corrupt and responsible for ‘why’ they are ‘hated’.” Again I’m puzzled because the book is not about ‘Jews’ but about Identity politics. So I was looking forward to seeing how Dershowitz supports this peculiar interpretation.  And yet again, it seems that it is Dershowitz himself who conflates the notions of the ‘Jew’ and ‘Israel’. Dershowitz quotes me saying- “[I]n order to promote Zionist interests, Israel must generate significant anti-Jewish sentiment. Cruelty against Palestinian civilians is a favourite Israeli means of achieving this aim.” It is totally clear that the above quote refers to Israel and Israeli politics. It doesn’t refer at all to the ‘Jew’ or ‘Jews’.

At one stage Dershowitz  just loses it. He starts to think that he can get away with downright deception. For instance, he accuses me of suggesting that “The ‘Judaic God’ described in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 ‘is an evil deity, who leads his people to plunder, robbery and theft’ (120).  But he deliberately fails to produce the most relevant quotes. Here they are, and I will leave it to you to come up with the appropriate judgment regarding Deuteronomy’s God:

 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations …you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.” (Deuteronomy 7:1–2)

“Do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them … as the Lord your God has commanded you …” (Deuteronomy 20:16)

I’m afraid that the above God does not appear to be the most compassionate and merciful around.
According to Dershowitz it is “Atzmon (who) explains that ‘Israel and Zionism … have instituted the plunder promised by the Hebrew God in the Judaic holy scriptures” (121).”

Here is the complete original quote. It makes a lot of sense to me, but is not in any way anti-Semitic. “The never-ending theft of Palestine in the name of the Jewish people is part of a spiritual, ideological, cultural and practical continuum between the Bible, Zionist ideology and the State of Israel (along with its overseas supporters). Israel and Zionism, both successful political systems, have instituted the plunder promised by the Hebrew God in the Judaic holy scriptures.” (121)

The above quote is certainly not very flattering to the Zionist project but it is, nonetheless, an attempt to understand the logos behind Israeli aggression. Dershowitz is entitled to present a counter-argument. But this is something, he never manages to do.

Rarely does Dershowitz manage to draw an appropriate and informed conclusion from the book. Here, somehow, he succeeded.  “The moral of the Book of Esther is that Jews ‘had better infiltrate the corridors of power’ if they wish to survive (158).”  This is, I believe, the primary moral of The Book of Esther. And in ‘The Wandering Who’ I do indeed establish an ideological continuum between The Book of Esther and the Book of AIPAC. Is it anti Semitic to trace the ideological background of an ethnocentric political aspiration?

Dershowitz also grasps that as far as I’m concerned, in some ways, Israel is indeed worse than  Nazi Germany. “Many of us including me tend to equate Israel to Nazi Germany. Rather often I myself join others and argue that Israelis are the Nazis of our time. I want to take this opportunity to amend my statement. Israelis are not the Nazis of our time and the Nazis were not the Israelis of their time. Israel is in fact far worse than Nazi Germany and the above equation is simply meaningless and misleading.”

For obvious reasons Dershowitz fails to provide a reference, and he also manages to forget to provide us with the next few lines which are crucial to the understanding of the above statement. “Unlike totalitarian Nazi Germany, the Jewish State is a 'democracy'. In other words, the entirety of its Jewish population is complicit in IDF crimes against humanity. As if this is not enough, the fact that 94% of Israel's Jewish population supported the IDF genocidal attack in Gaza just over a year ago makes the case against Israel solid like a rock.” It is a fact that Israel is a ‘democracy’ and that makes Israelis collectively complicit in the colossal and continuous Israeli crime against humanity.

Sad it may be, but in his entire article Dershowitz fails to provide a single example of ‘bigotry against Jews’. He instead tries to silence any criticism of Israel and Zionism. I would agree with Dershowitz that some of the things I say and write could be painful to both Zionist and Jewish ethnic activists, but here, Dershowitz may just have to come to terms with the fact that political, ideological and ethical matters are sometimes painful.  

Perhaps one day Dershowitz might admit that he couldn’t find any real fault in the book. “(L)ike other classic anti-Semites, Atzmon doesn’t simply fault the individual Jews he names; he concocts a worldwide Jewish conspiracy motivated by a ‘ruthless Zio-driven’ (27) ‘Jewish ideology’ (69) that finds its source in ‘the lethal spirit (122) of the Hebrew Bible.” Unfortunately Dershowitz is again not accurate. He’s right when he admits that I ‘do not fault individual Jews’, but surely he must also know that I oppose the notion of ‘Jewish conspiracy’. Every anecdote and reference in the book is subject to public and open scrutiny. In my work there is no Jewish conspiracy. Everything is done right out in the open. I indeed blame the ideology and look into the culture because I believe that Ideology must be subject to scrutiny and criticism.

But Dershowitz must believe that Jewish ideology is beyond criticism. On that I disagree. Being an anti-racist writer, I oppose any form of Jewish supremacy. Moreover, considering that Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and bearing in mind the level of its criminality, surely scrutinising Jewishness must be a primary humanist task.

Dershowitz ends his empty drivel by challenging Professors John J. Mearsheimer and Richard Falk to a public debate “about why they have endorsed and said such positive things about so hateful and anti-Semitic a book by so bigoted and dishonest a writer.”

It’s pretty obvious that Dershowitz has failed to produce a single shred of evidence of myself being anti-Semitic. But it’s also embarrassingly clear that when Dershowitz speaks about a “bigoted and dishonest writer” he actually projects his own symptoms onto me – yes, he is speaking about himself. This Zionist bigot must be tormented by his own life of deceit.

I doubt if respected academics and humanists such as Mearsheimer and Falk would find the time for Dershowitz.  However, as I said before, I will find the time for this Zionist mouthpiece. I would just adore tearing  him apart in public. As I said before, Mr Dershowitz, any place, any time.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Israel: how racist laws imprison a nation

"Like apartheid in South Africa, the one practised against Palestinian citizens inside Israel and Palestinian non-citizens outside the Israeli borders, in the occupied territories of Palestine, is legal and supported by laws." >> MORE

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Saving Sergeant Shalit

From: Clive Hambidge, Director, Facilitate Global

As a boy soldier returns home to assuage the ‘righteous indignation’ of a nation state, no longer “sensitive [even] to its image of democracy”, one can only agonise on the return of other soldiers and civilians of no blame but to be under the yoke of Israel, who on release from Israeli prisons, there incarcerated for resisting a “brutal occupation” find themselves in another prison, Gaza, many released into exile and an uncertain future.

Does Israel really care for its returned son? Or was he used as a political pawn? Was ‘partial intelligence’ soon after his capture enough to effect a rescue operation? Evidence suggests it was, but more importantly what of Gaza and the conditions inside Israel’s notorious prisons? The world must seek the testimonies of the returned sons and daughters of Palestine and learn of and from their ordeal.

The late Rachel Corrie said of Gaza in January 2003, “I couldn’t even believe that a place like this existed.” 147 square miles ‘packed’ with human suffering only matched by human stoicism and dignity. Over 1.5 million people two thirds of which are refugees toil in a open prison created and sustained by Israel through the pernicious and unconscionable use of ‘de-development,’ the “deliberate, systematic and progressive dismemberment of an indigenous economy by a dominant one, where economic -and by extension, societal- potential is not only distorted but denied.” This, to encourage a Semitic exodus. For those Semites that would leave: a denial of return, and ‘residence rights.’ For those that would stay: a life of subsistence under illegal blockade and the revealing by successive Israeli administrations of the worst aspects of the human condition, hate, leading to the inevitable expression of the evils of Apartheid.

General Karen Konig AbuZayd, warns Gaza “is on the threshold of becoming the first territory to be internationally reduced to a state of abject destitution.” Perhaps Israel will kill more children before then? Kathleen and the late Bill Christison wrote “Against a total of 13 Israeli civilians killed in Palestinian Qassam”, and I condemn any attack on any civilian, “rocket attacks from Gaza in the three and one-half years between mid 2004 and the end of 2007, the number of Palestinians killed in a much shorter period - from the beginning of 2006, when Hamas was elected and Israel began to concentrate its force on Gaza, through September 2008 - was over 1,400, the vast majority in Gaza. This is a kill ratio of more than 100 Palestinians to every one Israeli. Approximately 20 percent of the Palestinians killed were children.” We know that Israel is “good at killing” and good “at going wild.” They are good at this because the government is lacking in any morality. Is it a surprise then that Palestinian Israeli Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi said “Israel has a general atmosphere of a fascist state.”

The children of Gaza ask their parents in their trauma “when are we going to be killed”? What then of the children languishing in Israeli prisons? How does this fit with David Cameron’s statement of 2009 during a Conservative Friends of Israel annual lunch where he praised Israel because it “strives to protect innocent life” and this on the release of Gilad Shilat (2011) “I can only imagine the heartache of the last 5 years, and I am full of admiration for the courage and fortitude which Sergeant Shalit and his family have shown through his long cruel and unjustified captivity.”

What about the “the long cruel and unjustified captivity” of the Palestinian children where according to the United Nations Human Rights Council ‘administrative’ detention is regularly used against Palestinian children where they are, rights denied, thrown into “seriously bad prison conditions including over-crowding, family visits denied, arbitrary transfers, torture and ill-treatment by Israeli security soldiers and prison guards, deteriorating health conditions and increasing deaths in custody.”

The above corroborated by the abhorrent findings of The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) that “accused Israel of torturing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners by shackling them in violation of international standards. According to the Israeli Human Rights Organisation B’Tselem, as of October 2002, “85% of Palestinian detainees [had] been tortured during interrogation”. Most arrests are arbitrary a methodology of terror. Article 9.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”

And what happens in the notorious Facility 1391 an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv, Israel’s “Guantanamo Bay”, where Israel has consistently denied access to the Red Cross and other international organisations? What happens there in violation of ‘International Standards’? And why has Israel according to The Guardian “airbrushed from Israel, aerial photographs [of Facility 1391] and purged [it] from modern maps.” kept secret until 2003.  Facility 1391 is situated in a “Tegart fort on route 574 between Kibbutz Barkai and Kibbutz Ma’anit in northern Israel. Human rights lawyer, Manual Hazzan concluded that it “exists to make torture possible - a particular kind of torture that creates progressive states of dread, dependency, debility.” Does not this “dread, dependency, debility” permeate the citizens of Gaza? And, is this not wicked? Between 2001 and 2006 “600 complaints of alleged ill-treatment or torture were brought, “but none had been followed up.” One detainee Hassan Rawajbeh who during four months of detention only saw his persecutors said “you begin to feel like the jail exists only for you, that no one else is there.” 

As far back as 1968 The International Committee of The Red Cross reported that in one prison “A detainee was subjected to suspension by the hands. Burns with cigarette stubs. Blows by rods to the genitals. Tying up and blindfolding for days. Bites by dogs. Electric shocks at the temples, the mouth, the chest, and testicles.” What would  The International Committee of Red Cross find in Facility 1391 today?

Formed in 1987 and headed by the former Supreme Court Judge Justice Moshe Landau, the Landau Commission “found that the GSS [General Security Service] interrogators routinely used force during interrogation of prisoners, and then committed perjury at subsequent trials.” It was therefore of supreme importance that in 1984 the UN Committee Against Torture stated “The Landau Commission report, permitting as it does ‘moderate physical pressure’ as a lawful mode of interrogation, is completely unacceptable to this committee.” In the use of ‘physical pressure’ and reportedly worse, Israel contravenes the UN Convention Against Torture Article 1.1 which defines Torture as “Any act by which sever pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, [which] is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession.” Reinforcing the view that Israel does practice Apartheid. The International Convention for The Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973) holds that “by inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them” constitutes Apartheid. Moreover, “the practice of Apartheid is an international crime.”

Torture, as Israel and the mute international community knows, is absolutely prohibited and that prohibition is “accepted as a principle of customary international law.” As Noam Chomsky points out in Propaganda and the Public Mind “For years, Palestinian prisoners claimed that their confessions had been obtained under torture. The courts, all the way up to the High Court, uniformly rejected this charge. They just dismissed it as false.”   

So when “the [Israeli] Attorney General’s complete abstention from ordering the opening of criminal investigations against GSS interrogators suspected of torture and/or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment [enabling] the absolute lack of oversight of the happenings …within GSS interrogation rooms … All of this creates an unconditional defence for GSS interrogators.” What hope then for oversight and justice for the Palestinian prisoners of war when “unconditional defence” is for the indefensible, the continued and systematic abuse of Palestinians to include children?

These men, women and children will not be ‘airbrushed’ from our collective conscience or history. It also makes clear that ‘Universal Jurisdiction’ must be upheld and those leaders, aware of the abuse indeed are then complicit in it, must be brought before the International Court of Justice. 

The world needs to know that shockingly even civil matters have and had been “dealt with by Israeli military courts.” For decades now as soon as a child reaches the age of 16 and was accused, he was brought before the ‘kangaroo courts’ of the Israeli military in “flagrant violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Ignoring then international laws and conventions, these unprotected innocents were at the mercy of the brutal occupier and that is no mercy at all.

According to the organisation Global Geopolitics and Political Economy “Israel is the only state worldwide that has chid prisoners under the age 18 years.”  Friends of Humanity International reports that “Israel uses all sorts of punishment and tortures against child prisoners to recruit them as spies. They threaten them with rape and other forms of violence.” Further “The Israeli State and prison service facility has escalated their humiliating and torture tactics. Barely a week passes before another raid or attack against prison chambers.” Needless to say the psychological tension in expectation of the next brutal assault induces into the minds of prisoners an unbearable pain. Of course this is the intention of the Israeli authorities, and, makes this statement by Moshe Etzioni ‘one of the high court justices’ intolerable.  According to Chomsky and during an interview with Amnesty International Etzioni was asked “Why the Israelis were getting such a high confession. Everybody knows what that means. He said, Arabs tend to confess. “It’s part of their nature.”

It is a fact that on the 27 September 2011, “OC Central Command signed Amendment 10 to the order regarding Security Provisions.” The amendment changing “provisions relating to minors in the military-justice system, raising the age of minority from 16 to 18.” Still minors, mostly wrongly; accused of stone throwing have, according to B’Tselem their rights breached “at all stages of the process: arrest, interrogation, trial, and imprisonment.”   

Shame on Israel. Shame on David Cameron. And shame on America and the international community, for their continued silence and therefore continuing complicity.

Great Britain might be a High Contracting Party to the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is today acting as a low slithering retracting party to the “white wash of lies” issuing from Israel’s propaganda machine. Do we not recognise the nature of the present and past administrations of Israel from the litany above? And if we do, must we not speak out on every hand and at every opportunity? As Kathleen and Bill Christison warn in their book Palestine In Pieces “The United States and the rest of the international community, by winking at Israel’s aggressively expansionist policies, have given Israel virtual total impunity to do whatever it likes with Palestinian land and lives” indeed its children. 

Oh Israel you would do well to hearken to these words from one of your own. “If a child asks bread of you, would you offer a stone? If your child asked for fish to eat, would you offer a snake? Would you give a scorpion to the little one who asked for an egg?” And would you offer prison, torture and exile to the children that ‘cry freedom’.



Monday, 3 October 2011

Out now: The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics

In the last weeks Gilad Atzmon's new book The Wandering Who? has received incredible support from some of the most inspiring people around.

It is no secret that some very forceful elements have been investing a lot of effort trying to stop the book and its message. So far, they have failed.

You can now order The Wandering Who? on or

A new short video about the book is available here:

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Free Palestine book is posted on the internet as Holy Land looks to United Nations for justice and liberty

A book telling the plight of the Palestinians under the longest military occupation in modern times has just been made available on the internet in flip-page form.

It comes at a critical time for Palestinians as the UN considers their bid for statehood while America and the EU try to derail the application and force them back to negotiations with their tormentor, Israel.

The book, by Stuart Littlewood and Phillip Vine, was inspired by visits to the occupied territories. "The Holy Land and its people made a lasting impression on us both," says Stuart. "Phillip produced the deeply moving poetry while my task was to shoot pictures and write the narrative."

Radio Free Palestine is 172 pages with over 110 colour photos. It can now be read by visiting

Stuart hopes it will help people understand what lies behind the Palestinians' application to the United Nations. "It is a story of betrayal by the Western Powers, especially Britain and the United States. It is not taught in schools or covered accurately by mainstream media, and Parliament is so heavily influenced by the pro-Israel lobby that honest debate is regarded as 'politically incorrect'."

The Foreword, by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Jeff Halper, Coordinator of ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions,), describes the book as "a cry from the heart, written in moral anger by a person who bothered to leave his comfortable surroundings far from the suffering of another people, the Palestinians, and share, witness, expose and protest in the strongest voice he could find at what he saw and heard, what so few others have even cared to see or hear."

Christians and Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza have been slaughtered or had their homes, farms and water resources stolen while waiting in vain 63 years for the international community to deliver justice. Those who remain are prisoners inside sealed borders, unable to travel freely within their own territory, visit relatives, find work, choose which university to attend, or even worship at their holy places in Jerusalem. Israel now plans to steal their offshore gas.

Gaza continues to suffer under naval blockade and two-and-a-half years ago was ferociously bombarded in a killing-spree that annihilated 1,400 souls including hundreds of women and children, leaving thousands more maimed, making  tens of thousands homeless and destroying vital infrastructure. Ships bringing humanitarian relief have been attack on the high seas with impunity . Fishermen are regularly fired on if they put to sea.

The Christian population, once 20 percent, has now dwindled to around 2 percent. At this rate there will soon be no Christians where Christianity was born. The United Nations does nothing, Western Christendom does nothing and Britain and the EU continue to reward Israel with trading privileges.

Radio Free Palestine was published in 2007 and sold through Church channels so has not been widely available until now. "Phillip and I thought we should put it on the web for anyone and everyone to read in the hope that more people will know what is happening and why an immediate end to the occupation is so important to world peace," says Stuart.

"We wish all our friends in the Palestine good fortune in their quest for justice and freedom."

Monday, 26 September 2011

Mearsheimer responds to Goldberg's latest smear

From Foreign Policy:

Ever since John Mearsheimer and I began writing about the Israel lobby, some of our critics have leveled various personal charges against us. These attacks rarely addressed the substance of what we wrote -- a tacit concession that both facts and logic were on our side -- but instead accused us of being anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists. They used these false charges to try to discredit and/or marginalize us, and to distract people from the important issues of U.S. Middle East policy that we had raised.

The latest example of this tactic is a recent blog post from Jeffrey Goldberg, where he accused my co-author of endorsing a book by an alleged Holocaust denier and Nazi sympathizer. Goldberg has well-established record of making things up about us, and this latest episode is consistent with his usual approach. I asked Professor Mearsheimer if he wanted to respond to Goldberg's sally, and he sent the following reply.

John Mearsheimer writes:

In a certain sense, it is hard not to be impressed by the energy and imagination that Jeffrey Goldberg devotes to smearing Steve Walt and me. Although he clearly disagrees with our views about U.S.-Israel relations and the role of the Israel lobby, he does not bother to engage what we actually wrote in any meaningful way. Indeed, given what he writes about us, I am not even sure he has read our book or related articles. Instead of challenging the arguments and evidence that we presented, his modus operandi is to misrepresent and distort our views, in a transparent attempt to portray us as rabid anti-Semites.

His latest effort along these lines comes in a recent blog post, where he seizes on a dust jacket blurb I wrote for a new book by Gilad Atzmon titled The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. Here is what I said in my blurb:

Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it increasingly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their 'Jewishness.' Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon's own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.

The book, as my blurb makes clear, is an extended meditation on Jewish identity in the Diaspora and how it relates to the Holocaust, Israel, and Zionism. There is no question that the book is provocative, both in terms of its central argument and the overly hot language that Atzmon sometimes uses. But it is also filled with interesting insights that make the reader think long and hard about an important subject. Of course, I do not agree with everything that he says in the book -- what blurber does? -- but I found it thought provoking and likely to be of considerable interest to Jews and non-Jews, which is what I said in my brief comment.

Goldberg maintains that Atzmon is a categorically reprehensible person, and accuses him of being a Holocaust denier and an apologist for Hitler. These are two of the most devastating charges that can be leveled against anyone. According to Goldberg, the mere fact that I blurbed Atzmon's book is decisive evidence that I share Atzmon's supposedly odious views. This indictment of me is captured in the title of Goldberg's piece: "John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist."

This charge is so ludicrous that it is hard to know where to start my response. But let me begin by noting that I have taught countless University of Chicago students over the years about the Holocaust and about Hitler's role in it. Nobody who has been in my classes would ever accuse me of being sympathetic to Holocaust deniers or making excuses for what Hitler did to European Jews. Not surprisingly, those loathsome charges have never been leveled against me until Goldberg did so last week.

Equally important, Gilad Atzmon is neither a Holocaust denier nor an apologist for Hitler. Consider the following excerpt from The Wandering Who?

As much as I was a sceptic youngster, I was also horrified by the Holocaust. In the 1970s Holocaust survivors were part of our social landscape. They were our neighbours, we met them in our family gatherings, in the classroom, in politics, in the corner shop. The dark numbers tattooed on their white arms never faded away. It always had a chilling effect. . . . It was actually the internalization of the meaning of the Holocaust that transformed me into a strong opponent of Israel and Jewish-ness. It is the Holocaust that eventually made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return" (pp. 185-186).

It seems unequivocally clear to me from those sentences that Atzmon firmly believes that the Holocaust occurred and was a horrific tragedy. I cannot find evidence in his book or in his other writings that indicate he "traffics in Holocaust denial."

The real issue for Atzmon -- and this is reflected in the excerpt from his blog post that Goldberg quotes from -- is how the Holocaust is interpreted and used by the Jewish establishment. Atzmon has three complaints. He believes that it is used to justify Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians and to fend off criticism of Israel. This is an argument made by many other writers, including former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, historian Peter Novick, and political scientist Norman Finkelstein. Atzmon also rejects the claim that the Holocaust is exceptional, which is a position that other respected scholars have held. There have been other genocides in world history, after all, and this whole issue was actively debated in the negotiations that led to the building of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Whatever one thinks of Atzmon's position on this subject, it is hardly beyond the pale.

Finally, Atzmon is angry about the fact that it is difficult to raise certain questions about the causes and the conduct of the Holocaust without being personally attacked. These are all defensible if controversial positions to hold, which is not to say one has to agree with any of them. But in no way is he questioning that the Holocaust happened or denying its importance. In fact, his view is clear from one of Atzmon's sentences that Goldberg quotes: "We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place." Note that Atzmon is talking about "the holocaust" in a way that makes it clear he has no doubts about its occurrence, and the passage from The Wandering Who? cited above makes it clear that he has no doubts about its importance or its tragic dimensions; he merely believes it should be seen in a different way. Again, one need not agree with Atzmon to recognize that Goldberg has badly misrepresented his position.

There is also no evidence that I could find in The Wandering Who? to support Goldberg's claim that Atzmon is an apologist for Hitler or that he believes "Jews persecuted Hitler" and in so doing helped trigger the Holocaust. There is actually little discussion of Hitler in Atzmon's book, and the only discussion of interactions between Hitler and the Jews concerns the efforts of German Zionists to work out a modus vivendi with the Nazis. (pp. 162-165) This is why Goldberg is forced to go to one of Atzmon's blog posts to make the case that he is an apologist for Hitler.

Before I examine the substance of that charge, there is an important issue that needs to be addressed directly. Goldberg's indictment of Atzmon does not rely on anything that he wrote in The Wandering Who? Indeed, Goldberg's blog post is silent on whether he has actually read the book. If he did read it, he apparently could not find any evidence to support his indictment of Atzmon. Instead, he relied exclusively on evidence culled from Atzmon's own blog postings. That is why Goldberg's assault on me steers clear of criticizing Atzmon's book, which is what I blurbed. In short, he falsely accuses me of lending support to a Holocaust denier and defender of Hitler on the basis of writings that I did not read and did not comment upon.

This tactic puts me in a difficult position. I was asked to review Atzmon's book and see whether I would be willing to blurb it. This is something I do frequently, and in every case I focus on the book at hand and not on the personality of the author or their other writings. In other words, I did not read any of Atzmon's blog postings before I wrote my blurb. And just for the record, I have not met him and did not communicate with him before I was asked to review The Wandering Who? I read only the book and wrote a blurb that deals with it alone.

Goldberg, however, has shifted the focus onto what Atzmon has written on his blog. I discuss a couple of examples below, but I will not defend his blog output in detail for two reasons. First, I do not know what Atzmon may have said in all of his past blog posts and other writings or in the various talks that he has given over the years. Second, what he says in those places is not relevant to what I did, which was simply to read and react to his book.

Let me now turn to the specific claim that Atzmon is an "apologist for Hitler." Again, I am somewhat reluctant to do this, because this charge forces me to defend what Atzmon said in one of his blog posts. But given the prominence of the charge in Goldberg's indictment of Atzmon (and me), I cannot let it pass.

Plus, I see that Walter Russell Mead, who is also fond of smearing Steve Walt and me, has put this charge up in bright lights on his own blog. Picking up on Goldberg's original post, Mead describes Atzmon's argument this way: "poor Adolf Hitler's actions against German Jews only came after US Jews called a boycott on German goods following Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor. Gosh -- if it weren't for those pushy, aggressive Jews and their annoying boycotts, the Holocaust might not have happened!"

It is hard to imagine any sane person making such an argument, and Atzmon never does. Goldberg refers to a blog post that Atzmon wrote on March 25, 2010, written in response to news at the time that AIPAC had "decided to mount pressure" on President Obama. After describing what was happening with Obama, Atzmon notes that this kind of behavior is hardly unprecedented. In his words, "Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders and even superpowers." There is no question that this statement is accurate and not even all that controversial; Tom Friedman said as much in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago.

In the second half of this post, Atzmon says that AIPAC's behavior reminds him of the March 1933 Jewish boycott of German goods, which preceded Hitler's decision on March 28, 1933 to boycott Jewish stores and goods. His basic point is that the Jewish boycott had negative consequences, which it did. In Atzmon's narrative -- and this is a very important theme in his book -- Jews are not simply passive victims of other people's actions. On the contrary, he believes Jews have considerable agency and their actions are not always wise. One can agree or disagree with his views about the wisdom of the Jewish boycott -- and I happen to think he's wrong about it -- but he is not arguing that the Jews were "persecuting Hitler" and that this alleged "persecution" led to the Holocaust. In fact, he says nothing about the Holocaust in his post and he certainly does not justify in any way the murder of six million Jews.

Let me make one additional point about Goldberg's mining of Atzmon's blog posts. Goldberg ends his attack on me with the following quotation from a Feb. 19 blog post by Atzmon: "I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany." That quotation certainly makes Atzmon look like he has lost his mind and that nothing he has written could be trusted. But Goldberg has misrepresented what Atzmon really said, which is one of his standard tactics. Specifically, he quotes only part of a sentence from Atzmon's blog post; but when you look at the entire sentence, you see that Atzmon is making a different, and far more nuanced point. The entire sentence reads: "Indeed, I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany, for unlike Nazi Germany, Israel is a democracy and that implies that Israeli citizens are complicit in Israeli atrocities." This is not an argument I would make, but what Atzmon is saying is quite different from the way Goldberg portrays it.

Finally, let me address the charge that Atzmon himself is an anti-Semite and a self-hating Jew. The implication of this accusation, of course, is that I must be an anti-Semite too (I can't be a self-hating Jew) because I agreed to blurb Atzmon's book. I do not believe that Atzmon is an anti-Semite, although that charge is thrown around so carelessly these days that it has regrettably lost much of its meaning. If one believes that anyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite, then Atzmon clearly fits in that category. But that definition is foolish -- no country is perfect or above criticism-and not worth taking seriously.

The more important and interesting issue is whether Atzmon is a self-hating Jew. Here the answer is unequivocally yes. He openly describes himself in this way and he sees himself as part of a long dissident tradition that includes famous figures such as Marx and Spinoza. What is going on here?

The key to understanding Atzmon is that he rejects the claim that Jews are the "Chosen People." His main target, as he makes clear at the start of the book, is not with Judaism per se or with people who "happen to be of Jewish origin." Rather, his problem is with "those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits." Or to use other words of his: "I will present a harsh criticism of Jewish politics and identity ... This book doesn't deal with Jews as a people or ethnicity." (pp. 15-16)

In other words, Atzmon is a universalist who does not like the particularism that characterizes Zionism and which has a rich tradition among Jews and any number of other groups. He is the kind of person who intensely dislikes nationalism of any sort. Princeton professor Richard Falk captures this point nicely in his own blurb for the book, where he writes: "Atzmon has written an absorbing and moving account of his journey from hard-core Israeli nationalist to a de-Zionized patriot of humanity."

Atzmon's basic point is that Jews often talk in universalistic terms, but many of them think and act in particularistic terms. One might say they talk like liberals but act like nationalists. Atzmon will have none of this, which is why he labels himself a self-hating Jew. He fervently believes that Jews are not the "Chosen People" and that they should not privilege their "Jewish-ness" over their other human traits. Moreover, he believes that one must choose between Athens and Jerusalem, as they "can never be blended together into a lucid and coherent worldview." (p. 86) One can argue that his perspective is dead wrong, or maintain that it is a lovely idea in principle but just not the way the real world works. But it is hardly an illegitimate or ignoble way of thinking about humanity.

To take this matter a step further, Atzmon's book is really all about Jewish identity. He notes that "the disappearance of the ghetto and its maternal qualities" in the wake of the French Revolution caused "an identity crisis within the largely assimilated Jewish society." (p. 104) He believes that this crisis, about which there is an extensive literature, is still at the center of Jewish life today. In effect, Atzmon is telling the story of how he wrestled with his own identity over time and what he thinks is wrong with how most Jews self-identify today. It is in this context that he discusses what he calls the "Holocaust religion," Zionism, and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Again, to be perfectly clear, he has no animus toward Judaism as a religion or with individuals who are Jewish by birth. Rather, his target is the tribalism that he believes is common to most Jews, and I might add, to most other peoples as well. Atzmon focuses on Jews for the obvious reason that he is Jewish and is trying to make sense of his own identity.

In sum, Goldberg's charge that Atzman is a Holocaust denier or an apologist for Hitler is baseless. Nor is Atzmon an anti-Semite. He has controversial views for sure and he sometimes employs overly provocative language. But there is no question in my mind that he has written a fascinating book that, as I said in my blurb, "should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike." Regarding Goldberg's insinuation that I have any sympathy for Holocaust denial and am an anti-Semite, it is just another attempt in his longstanding effort to smear Steve Walt and me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Open society and the enemy within

From Gilad Atzmon:

This film is dedicated to the so-called Jewish "anti"-Zionists who were harassing and distracting us ahead of the Freiburg Conference ("Palestine, Israel and Germany – Boundaries of Open Discussion"). Ideally, we would like to see many Jews contributing to the discourse rather than attempting to dismantle it. However, we will prevail! 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Two different worlds: 9-11, the internet and mainstream media

From Paul J. Balles:

This past week the internet and mainstream media have both been chock-a-block with 9/11. But they haven't been in the same world. The contrasting stories have been absolutely amazing.

The mainstream media has covered the ceremonies honouring the dead and the courageous. Both deserve the honours – the dead as innocent victims and the courageous for sacrificing their lives and health in rescue efforts.

TV and print media have both gone into expansive detail about the victims and the heroism of first responders – police, fire fighters and paramedics.

The stories cover moving, appropriate memorials to the dead and injured.

But then there's the other world, which exists outside of the mainstream – the 9/11 truth seekers.

Truth seekers range from extreme conspiracy theorists, who believe that the Bush administration engineered the attacks to consolidate power, roll back civil liberties and help oil mogul friends.

More moderate factions simply insist that top government officials know more about the attacks than they have acknowledged, and then used the attacks as a pretext for invading Iraq.

A large percentage of activists proffer – often in great detail – what they call inconsistencies in government explanations of the attacks, which many consider a governmental cover-up.

The most amazing thing about these two worlds is that one of them doesn't even acknowledge that the other even exists.

Major newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and major networks like MSNBC, ABC, CBS and CNN have knowledgeable reporters, researchers and anchors working for them.

They can't possibly be so completely detached from the internet world and unaware of the truth seekers. They act as if they don't know the questions that have been raised or the findings that have been reported in the online world.

Mainstream media voices continue to talk about 9/11 as if thousands of intelligent researchers didn't even exist!

These people might as well have duct tape over their mouths! What silenced the media people who use remarkable resources to dig up facts, evaluate them and make sound judgments about other issues?

It's impossible to believe that mainstream commentators and their staffs have willingly buried their heads in the sand obliterating any honest investigation of the questions raised about 9/11.

How can they pretend to be honest anchors and programme hosts and not stay awake at night with guilt over what they have shoved under the carpet?

David Ray Griffin, Professor Emeritus, author of 11 books on 9/11 wrote, "All the proffered evidence that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11, when subjected to critical scrutiny, appears to have been fabricated." Have our brilliant news anchors been oblivious to this?

Apparently the wealthy networks and publications haven’t used their vast resources to investigate the findings of more than 3000 professionals and experts who have questioned the official story.

The findings that follow come from The Wisdom Fund.

More than 220 Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Government Officials, including two generals, have questioned the 9/11 Commission's report.

Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, Former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development said "Scholars and professionals . . . have established beyond any reasonable doubt that the official account of 9/11 is false and that the official 'investigations' have really been cover-up operations."

The following have all found serious flaws in the Commission's findings.

1500 plus architects and engineers; more than 250 pilots and aviation professionals; 400 plus professors, dedicated to research and teaching the truth; more than 300 survivors and family members; 200 plus artists, entertainers and media professionals.

A video released last week entitled AE 9/11Truth Experts Speak Out provides the clearest analysis of the 9/11 attacks from professional architects and engineers. It is, without doubt, the best and most comprehensive film yet produced challenging the official version of the WTC attacks. It’s also the appropriate antidote to the disinformation that continues to be pervasive in the US media.

The world of the mainstream media need not entertain flawed or questionable conspiracy theories. However, with their articulate anchors, investigative reporters and large staffs of producers and researchers, they have no excuse for wallowing in ignorance.

The major news organizations and networks need to get in tune with the cogent minds of scientists and credentialed professionals who have found legitimate flaws in the public accounts of 9/11.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Operation Cast Lead massacre

Dedicated to the suffering people of Gaza who have and will endure

By By Arthur F. Billy, William A. Cook and Gilad Atzmon

 The date 27 December 2008 opened with Israel’s invasion of a people locked behind walls with no place to go, an invasion by the world’s fourth largest military according to Israeli estimates, an invasion against a people that have no military, an invasion of a small speck of land that is home to 1.5 million people, an invasion that capped two years of siege by this same military that destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, preventing food and medicine and oil and gas and water from entering Gaza, an invasion that was as merciless as that of any ferocious animal killing its prey, but here the prey is not one but 1,400 with upwards of 5,000 wounded and maimed, an invasion that can only mark the perpetrators as ruthless killers without compassion or conscience, a robotic mass that has lost all sense of humane sensitivity, a people that should be and must be isolated from the law abiding nations of the world.

The video is more than just a memorial and requiem to the valiant people of Gaza. It is an expression of friendship, love and solidarity with all the Palestinian people to let them know that they are not alone.

There is no monument like it anywhere; it is the victims' tale of fear and suffering caught in the act of betrayal by those who have renounced their humanness. It is, therefore, a cry to all peoples everywhere that our civilized world of the 21st century has accomplished what no other barbaric horde of times past could achieve – a requiem for those who died conveyed through the weeping eyes and torn faces of those who witnessed this testament to inhumanity delivered by a nation that reverted back to tribal indifference of others and hate for others and vengeance to others.

May they and all Americans who view this memorial to the dead of Gaza give serious thought to what America has wrought in our undeviating support for the Zionist mind, because that mind suffers from no remorse, bears no responsibility for its acts, and willfully uses even our representatives as fools to gain their end.

The video documents the US complicity in Israel's outrageous, inhumane and barbarous Operation Cast Lead massacre of the Palestinian people of Gaza and the destruction of the Gaza Strip. One thing glaringly stood out: the truth about Operation Cast Lead was missing from the misinformation presented by the Israelis and their supporters, including the United States administration and especially most members of Congress and the Senate of the United States of America.

Dr. Arthur Billy started working on the video on 10 January 2010. It took about 1,450 hours to complete the presentation on 15 May 2011, with help from two very caring men: William A. Cook PhD, Professor of English, University of Laverne, Laverne, California, and Gilad Atzmon MPhil, musician and author, London, England.