Archive for the ‘EAST JERUSALEM’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL’S THIRD FAVORITE GAME AFTER STEALING OTHERS’ LAND AND BOMBING CIVILIANS: RELEASING A HANDFUL OF PRISONERS BEFORE EACH AMERICAN-DRIVEN “PEACE TALK” AND CLAIMING A PR VICTORY – NOTE ON A PROPOSED GHASTLY LAW FOR EAST JERUSALEM   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Israel plays this prisoner-release game every time the U.S. manages to push it, once again, into negotiations. I’m amazed people don’t yawn en masse at the announcements.

Each time they play the game, mainline news media give Israel endless positive coverage, as though something significant or hopeful were happening.

But Israel holds many thousands of Palestinians in prisons, including some very young people and people guilty of no crime, so the release of a couple of dozen is virtually meaningless.

And since these particular prisoners are ones convicted of crimes but nearing the end of long sentences, a slightly early release is truly meaningless: it is what happens in the prison system of every Western nation.

The amount of publicity garnered by this paltry act – day after day in all the big-name papers – couldn’t be bought for a billion dollars.

So why do we hear endlessly about nothing as though it were something?

It is only one more stark proof of the inordinate influence of Israel and its apologists have over our sources of information.

These “peace talks” will go nowhere, just as countless others in the past have gone nowhere.

Why is that?

The obvious harsh truth is that Israel does not want, and never has wanted, peace as anyone outside Israel understands it.

Israel wants more land, minus its undesirable Arabic people, and it has had a long, slow process of ethnic-cleansing going on for decades. Just look at the announcement of still more settlements in the West Bank and the ugly manipulations underway in East Jerusalem to separate people from property they’ve owned for centuries. None of it anything less than legalized theft of the property of others who are forced to live under Israeli rule with absolutely no rights.

There is a fundamental truth to human history, and that is that tyranny and abuse ultimately fail. They succeed for a while – the Soviet Union had a run of ninety years – but it is impossible to maintain such a repressive regime indefinitely.

Here is Israel going through the motions yet again of negotiating, only this time it negotiates with an unelected Palestinian, Abbas, the U.S. has propped up in office because of his compliant nature, one moreover who does not even pretend to rule the Palestinians of Gaza.

Peace will come only when the U.S. gets tough with Israel and stops subsidizing and protecting its brutality, and I suspect that will never happen.

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Note that a new law has been proposed in Israel. This law would allow Israel to seize the property of all “non-resident” Palestinians who own land in East Jerusalem (Arabic in population for centuries), Palestinians who happen to have their primary residence in the West Bank or Gaza.

It is the equivalent of the state of Florida proposing a law to seize all the condos and vacation properties of people who live in the other forty-nine states. It is actually worse than that because Israel as illegal occupier has no right in international law to legislate such matters over the heads of Palestinians.

Apart from the bitter irony of such a law – after all, Jews are supposed to have left what was Israel two thousand years ago, and you cannot get more “absentee” than that – it is extremely difficult to understand how property-worshipping Americans can stomach such rigged legislation.

Of course, the American mainline press carries virtually no mention of the proposal.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PROPAGANDA PIECE ATTEMPTS TO COVER THE IDIOTIC ANTICS OF CANADA’S JOHN BAIRD IN EAST JERUSALEM – WHAT PEACE MEANS – ISRAEL’S COMPLETE LACK OF INTEREST IN WHAT MOST CALL PEACE – BUYING POLICY   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

EXPANDED FROM A POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY EINAT WILF AND NOAH SLEPKOV IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This piece is a set of words strung together almost without meaning and certainly without logic. Its only intention is to plant certain suggestions in readers’ minds, one of the key purposes of any propaganda. According to the authors, John Baird, Canada’s current foreign minister, was not guilty of provocation in blundering into East Jerusalem as a guest of Israeli politicians, rather he was being “brave” in the cause of peace.

Brave? John Baird?

Baird has always been a coward because only a coward acts aggressively towards the weak, as he does regularly in both domestic politics and in trips abroad, and certainly the Palestinians are weak, living at the mercy of Israel’s brutal and dishonest behavior.

The leaders of Israel do not want what any normal person calls peace. Their behaviors over decades make that abundantly clear to all but biased observers.

Israel has always followed the policy advocated by early Zionists called “the iron wall” in its attitude towards the Palestinians.

How much better would have been a policy of generosity towards its neighbors, but no, generosity in Israel’s attitude has never received the slightest consideration. The one prime minister who came just a little closer to altering the county’s brutal policies was assassinated, as it happened by an Israeli.

Israel holds all the cards – armaments, economic power, American influence, and absolute rule over millions of people – but it has never made a truly honest effort for genuine peace. Words, words, and more words combined with arrogant and impossible preconditions set even for discussions.

What we see is a garrison state, armed to the teeth, threatening its neighbors constantly, ready at the smallest provocation to kill thousands, and we see that state rule over 4.5 million conquered people with a heavy-handed system of apartheid, a system recognized as apartheid by every sensible and decent observer in the world from Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu to Jimmy Carter.

And, week by week, Israel slowly steals the land on which those 4.5 million people live, stealing it through all kinds of cynical and dishonest laws – an ongoing, slow-motion practice of ethnic-cleansing in every sense of the term.

What other state could accurately claim as its national symbol a D-9 armored bulldozer used to destroy the homes of others and sometimes simply to crush opponents?

Canada’s arrogant and ill-informed foreign minister, John Baird – and Canadians all know that he is arrogant and ill-informed owing to his everyday behavior at home – steps in to validate Israel’s ghastly behavior in East Jerusalem, never once saying anything about human or democratic rights.

And why does John Baird choose to behave in this obtuse fashion?

Because he is a creature of the Harper government which has as its goal, by its leader’s own admission, the elimination of the Liberal Party in Canada, a party which was always been even-handed in the Middle East, reflecting the attitude of a majority of Canadians.

Harper’s strategy includes having ended state support for political parties, using every disagreeable parliamentary dodge he can think of, being an enemy of transparency in government, suppressing the voices of experts in the civil service, and actively seeking a new and substantial flow of private financing, as it happens, from apologists for Israel eager to fund a turn in Canada’s historic and fair-minded policies.

In the United States, this pattern of funding is now an integral part of its foreign affairs. In just one example – and there are countless examples – the unpleasant Newt Gingrich received the best part of $20 million from just one wealthy American heavily involved in Israel’s affairs to run his presidential bid.

The price for that money? Newt’s peppering his speeches with ignorant assertions like “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian.” In another notorious example, Dick Armey, former House Majority Leader, once openly suggested that Israel just go ahead and run all the Palestinians out of the occupied territories – surely the kind of assertion that does not come naturally from an ultra-conservative economics major for whom property rights are virtually religious dogma.

And just so, John Baird’s bull-in-a-china-shop behavior in East Jerusalem and at the UN or Peter Kent’s sudden outbursts, almost like someone given to speaking in tongues, about Canada defending Israel or Harper’s regular speeches claiming credit as a warrior against (virtually non-existent) anti-Semitism and deliberately conflating legitimate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

In the normal world, we know peace in any violent disagreement is often only obtained by outside intervention and patient talks and mutual respect, but somehow when it comes to Israel, this common understanding just disappears. Israel is never pressured to treat its neighbors with respect, and it is never pressured to talk to them without arrogant preconditions. Never.

No one dares say a word about the decades of abusing 4.5 million people, of Israel’s endless torture and assassinations. Nor do the “brave” John Bairds of this world raise their voices when Israel kills 400 children as it did in its invasion of Gaza or when it commits piracy on the high seas or when it murders a Canadian officer serving as a UN observer or when it drops a million hideous cluster bombs on civilians as it did in Lebanon. No condemnation over the theft of farms and homes is ever heard. Not a word about endless illegal arrests and the imprisonment of thousands. Nor a word about the seizure of taxes and foreign aid moneys from their rightful owners.

Of course, there is never a word about the Six Day War so many decades ago, the very event which put all those people at Israel’s mercy, a war which Israel cynically started knowing it could win, aiming ultimately to create what is known as Greater Israel. Nor was a word said about Israel’s attacking a well-marked American intelligence ship, of which they had been advised in advance, during that war to silence signals informing Washington that Israel was turning around its armor to seize all of what it controls today. And there was not a word about the mass murder of hundreds of Egyptian prisoners in the Sinai to expedite that turnaround.

Does anyone in his right mind believe peace is obtained the way Israel has claimed to pursue it? Only if your definition of peace is Israel’s taking all the additional land it covets without any of the people who own it and live there, which is pretty much what the concept of Greater Israel involves. I suppose that is a kind of peace, the kind of peace brutal American soldiers achieved in My Lai, Vietnam, or in Fallujah, Iraq.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NETANYAHU AND THE AFTERMATH OF ISRAEL’S POINTED INSULT TO VISTING VICE-PRESIDENT BIDEN – WHERE ISRAEL’S SAVAGE BEHAVIOR IS TAKING US   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL

Netanyahu is beyond reaching by criticism or speeches, being one of the worst in a long series of prime ministers ready to do almost anything to achieve Israel’s unspoken goal: getting rid of all Palestinians and taking all their homes and farms.

There can be no defense of such unethical and brutal behavior, although a large number of Israel’s apologists keep trying. After all, the United States went to war when the Serbs were doing much the same kinds of things.

I fear Israel is going to confront the world with a true crisis in the next decade or so, as it drives out the 1.5 million people from Gaza and the several million from the West Bank, and it would do this with no compensation for taking people’s property or disrupting their lives.

The blockade of Gaza is nothing but a brutal attempt to drive the people out under the pretense that Israel can’t live with “terrorists.” Gaza has always been a nightmare for Israel’s leaders: 1.5 million refugees huddled in a small enclave inside Israel’s claimed territory.

There is little hope to preventing a disaster it seems to me simply because the United States is the only force on earth that can demand reason from Israel, and the lobby for Israel has the members of Congress caught in a web of sophisticated campaign-financing techniques and the threat of unpleasant, noisy opposition at each election.

When President Truman was pondering the question of whether the United States should immediately recognize the state of Israel then emerging from a wave of terror by outfits like Stern and Irgun, frightening Palestinians into a mass exodus from their homes, he is said to have remarked that the lobbying efforts coming at him were like nothing he had ever experienced, overwhelming.

And he faced an election as an underdog candidate, so campaign funds were critical, and that’s how Israel gained recognition.

And nothing has changed: Obama just signed an agreement for $30 billion in American assistance over ten years, yet Israel is neither a poor country nor is it seriously under threat from anyone. That’s more aid than anyone anywhere receives, even people in far greater need. That is only possible under the influence of an extremely tough lobby at home.

So despite well justified criticism from America’s administration as the Vice-president recovers from the grotesque public insult of Israel’s announcing new settlements in East Jerusalem to coincide with his trip, it is almost impossible America will start enforcing fairness on Israel.

And so a truly ugly world crisis seems unavoidable not too far in the future.

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“Mr Chuckman knows, Gaza is under the control of Hamas, a fundamentalist organization openly dedicated to anti-Semitic principles and to the destruction of Israel. Its goal is simply to cast out the infidels and impose Sharia law over all of Palestine.”

Just more of the countless repetitions of mindless, going-in-circles arguments.

First, Hamas is not a terrorist organization, except by Israeli declaration. Its history was overwhelmingly as a humanitarian organization.

It was actually secretly supported earlier by Israel’s secret service, in an effort to create competition for Fatah, so it cannot have been viewed as much of a threat.

When Hamas became a political party, it ran a clean election and was honestly elected. Most of its senior leaders are professional-type people, not terrorists. Hamas for the Palestinians represented the hope for clean government after the endless corruption of Fatah.

Anyway, no matter what you might imagine Hamas to be, one is supposed to talk to one’s opponents for peace. Just because I have neighbors with whom I don’t agree doesn’t give me the right to attack them, attempt to starve them out, imprison them, or murder them, but Israel claims this insane right.

Israel has never ever talked with a legitimate government. As we all know from history – Nixon and China for example – often extreme foes are better able to make peace.

Anyway, all Israel did for years was treat Arafat as though he were a clod of dirt, and many suspect Israel finally assassinated him with poison, something they’ve done many times to others.

If you want peace, you talk, you compromise, and you do not even need American assistance to do so.

If you don’t want peace – indeed, if you want to make those with whom you disagree disappear and you want to seize their property – you do just as Israel does year after year.

It truly is that simple.