Archive for the ‘MIDDLE EAST’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ACTING AS A NAZI ISN’T RESTRICTED BY ETHNICITY OR RELIGION – EVERY GROUP IS PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF PRODUCING SOME PEOPLE WITH THIS BEHAVIOR – AS WE SEE TODAY AMONGST SOME DESCENDENTS OF THE NAZIS’ MOST TERRIBLE VICTIMS – ISRAEL AND ITS TREATMENT OF THE PALESTINIANS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY EVA BARTLETT IN MINT PRESS

 

“Under Fire from Ukraine and Misperceived by the West, The People of the DPR Share Their Stories

“Eva Bartlett traveled to the besieged Donetsk People’s Republic to see firsthand how residents are faring amidst a western-backed Ukrainian incursion”

__________________________

Response to a comment saying, ‘”There is a Nazi state in the middle of Europe in the 21st Century. They are dangerous both for us and for the Western world” ‘Give me a break. Ukraine is basically run by Jews.’ In the length of his comment, the reader was essentially saying it was a contradiction in terms to speak of Nazis in a place run by Jewish people.

 

First, as to the article author’s observation of “a Nazi state in the middle of Europe,” something to which this commenter takes exception, see the interesting discussion and photos at: https://southfront.org/the-saker-zelenskii-in-free-fall/ 

But the focus of my response here is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, a people whose numbers in the occupied territories and in Israel proper, are on the order of six million.

 

So, Jews can’t possibly behave as Nazis?

A ridiculous assertion when we see millions of people held against their will with no rights and no votes and no hope by Israel for over half a century. Not just held but frequently abused and wounded and killed.

The people, the Palestinians, are left in a kind of perpetual institutionalized hell, modelled from the words of the conquering general in the Six Day War, Moshe Dayan, who said publicly afterward that it would be necessary to make the Palestinians miserable enough so they’d want to leave voluntarily.

Dayan’s advice has been Israel’s unspoken policy ever since.

Frequently, there are even voices in Israel advocating such measures as driving the Palestinians off their land entirely. Quite prominent figures have thoughtlessly and angrily advocated that.

To where? Who cares? is basically the attitude.

And while they are held by Israel in a form of modern bondage, confined to Apartheid-style Bantustan districts, often, we see yet more homes and farms just openly stolen. Families are assaulted and, sometimes, killed. Farmers’ orchards and vines are often uprooted or vandalized. Streets are patrolled and homes are raided by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers.

The ugliest possible insults are used by some Israelis. Prominent voices have used the most savage language in describing Palestinians. Words like “vermin.” Gigantic concrete walls, with high observation and gun towers, have been constructed across some areas, always with their foundations laid on Palestinian land, walls which, apart from their dreariness, break up traditional routes and patterns, making life that much more difficult.

And where there aren’t walls, there are the many checkpoints at which people must stand in line sometimes for hours to speak to a rude soldier before being able to proceed to their destination. And if they don’t have their required identification in order, they won’t proceed at all.

Regular Israeli practices include improper imprisonment – that is, imprisonment with no proper legal charges or trial – for thousands. The arrest of children. Torture. Assassination of leaders and potential leaders. Brutally unfair laws and arbitrary restrictions, even around such humble, everyday matters as a small home improvement or repair. Harshly limited opportunities for employment and business growth. And really, just no opportunity for millions of people to thrive and develop as in a normal society.

That’s going on three entire generations of massive repression.

And the situation in the separate enclave of Gaza, a place whose very dense population reflects its having become a refugee camp for those driven from their homes and farms by the advancing terrors of 1948?

Gaza is one of the most appalling human situations on the planet. A giant, unsanitary, open-air prison surrounded by fences and automated radar-operated machine-gun towers and armed patrol boats on the water. Fishermen, in their tiny old-fashioned boats, straying at all from the tight distance limits imposed on the water have often been shot over the years.

Many of Gaza’s buildings and sanitary facilities have been left in ruins for years now after several successive Israeli attacks, attacks which killed several thousand people, some of the streets’ open gutters literally ran red with blood at the time. Supplies needed for repairs are not permitted under a years-long, war-like blockade.

And when residents protest in marches, invariably without guns, Israel’s “moral army” kneels behind a fence and shoots into the crowd, killing men, women, and children.

Over the last year and a half of protests, more than 300 have been killed and thousands wounded, some very seriously wounded because part of the “moral army” was using illegal butterfly-type ammunition, which, like dum-dums, blows big holes in limbs with even a slight contact.

The badly wounded only immensely compound the problems of poor sanitation, broken facilities, shortage of supplies, and no ability to receive adequate assistance from outside.

 

Posted October 18, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S GROTESQUE PRESIDENT ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING RIGHT IN LEAVING SYRIA, ALTHOUGH HE DID IT VERY BADLY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARKO MARJANOVIC IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Donald J. Trump’s Brilliant, Hilarious Rebuke of the War Party”

 

“Trump is a lazy, demented degenerate.”

Indeed.

He’s almost unbelievable. You have to rub your eyes watching him.

An American original grotesque. Like something strange escaped from a zoo. Or Victor Frankenstein’s creature lurching around.

But, despite his ghastly nature, getting out of Syria was a good thing, although he did it very badly, costing many lives.

I actually did not think it would happen. After all, it very much goes against Israel’s wishes.

I think the key considerations for Trump were that he felt he had done enough for Israel’s desires in other matters that he could afford to oppose them here, and, the really important thing for this ultimate narcissist, that he was convinced he needed a “withdrawal” somewhere to get re-elected.

And, I’m inclined to think him right in that. Biden or Warren running against him is just the same old, same old, undeviating support for Pentagon and Empire. He won’t have done much, but his opponent will have done nothing.

Of course, this for that other segment that supported him in 2016, not the base wearing red MAGA caps on shopping trips to Walmart, the folks who love walls and hate anyone kneeling near Old Glory or speaking Spanish.

His opponent will say he did Putin’s work for him, but I don’t think that charge carries any weight with those opposed to America’s insane wars.

He has created an extraordinary political situation.

Readers might like:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/john-chuckman-comment-trump-and-northeastern-syria-withdrawal-turkeys-invasion-putins-success-notes-on-saudi-arabias-crown-possibly-endangered-prince-irans-new-pride-in-its-capabiliti/

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SERIES OF COMMENTS ON AMERICAN SANCTIONS AND IRAN – WHY AMERICA HATES IRAN – IMPORTANT DETAILS OF IRAN’S PAST TREATMENT BY THE U.S. – REAL REASON ISRAEL HATES IRAN – DEMOCRACY IN THE WEST? – EXTREME DANGER OF A WORLD DICTATOR   1 comment

John Chuckman

SERIES OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS (SOME REMOVED)

 

“U.S. to end exemptions on Iranian oil sanctions for 5 nations, including China

“China, Japan, South Korea, India and Turkey had previously been allowed to keep importing, but no more”

 

Here are arrogant men trying to control what they call American foreign policy, deciding who may buy and sell things across an entire planet.

Some dedication to human freedom, freedom of speech and choice and commerce. To say nothing of contempt for the rule of law in attempting to apply American law to all countries on earth.

Can you imagine the manpower committed to this lunatic sanction enterprise, those keeping track of the thousands of arbitrary sanctions set against any number of countries? Literally, an American Bureaucracy of Apparatchiks.

Just unbelievable. Meanwhile, the same men have sold blood-soaked Saudi Arabia tens of billions in armaments.

And the same men bomb a dozen lands, make constant new threats, create piteous masses of refugees, overturn governments, and just generally try telling everyone what to do.

They support human freedom and democratic ideals nowhere that I can see, including at home, where spying on everyone and working to restrict free speech have become norms, along with repressive and brutal police tactics.

They are, by far, the world’s largest weapons merchant, spreading still more death and destruction.

They are, by a huge measure, the planet’s biggest investor in death. Their combined military and security budget is greater than those of all other major countries, and they now burn through about a trillion dollars a year.

And that from a country with $22 trillion in accumulated debt? Talk about irresponsible. How are they fit to tell anyone else what to do? They are not. Their financial behavior alone endangers the futures of us all.

They are now publicly committed to spreading belligerence into space, a place they once pretended wanting to keep peaceful.

And poor dear old Canada has the team of Trudeau and Freeland not only going along with every bit of it but actively supporting and cheerleading substantial portions.

I’m sure, Pierre’s spirit does not rest comfortably with that.

_________________________

 Response to a comment about the American coup in Iran which destroyed democratic government and created the situation now:

Intelligence services have a word for such results.

It’s called “blowback.”

They’ve experienced it in other places, too, such as Afghanistan.

But they really do not seem to learn.

That’s the nature of ideologues, like the folks running America.

They are just like religious fanatics. They never learn either.

________________________

 Response to a comment referring to the difficulties of democratic government:

Where do you see democracy?

America has a minority president.

And it is often said that it has the finest Congress money can buy.

In Canada, governments rule having the support of a high-thirties per cent of voters.

Regularly.

The British Parliament works exactly the same way.

That’s why we needed the vote reform Trudeau so let us down on.

_____________________________

Response to a comment about people defending Iran in the comments here:

That’s a mischaracterization of what I read here and what I write.

No one said anything about Iran as a “bastion of freedom.”

That’s actually what’s called a red herring or straw man argument in logic.

The Iranians mind their own business for the most part. Also, Iran has started no wars, not one. The United States starts them all the time, as does Israel.

Indeed, Iran has been, instead, attacked several times, including the major, horrible war of the 1980s started by Saddam’s Iraq with lots of American encouragement and assistance.

And there is only one country in the Middle East with genuine illicit nuclear weapons, not make-believe ones. Can you guess which one? Here’s hint, it isn’t Iran.

And the United States in fact loves tyrants and dictators in the Mideast, as in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, etc. That is, so long as they are ones who toe the American policy line.  They keep the people suppressed. Israel very much appreciates that too.

But a single world dictator is surely the worst of all possibilities, and that’s what the US works towards now vigorously. It’s our greatest threat to peace and freedom and fairness.

________________________

Response to a comment about religion causing these problems:

Religion is often cited as the cause of the Mideast’s turmoil, but I think it actually plays a rather small role.

In reality, power politics and geopolitical drives control international affairs. Religion is just a convenient cover. Almost used as a kind of disinformation item in the West.

The United States sees Israel as its pied-a-terre in the Middle East.

Effectively a kind of colony, a colony quite different than any other.

It is kept afloat by immense subsidies, unlike any other situation we can find in the world.

The closest comparison might be France and Algeria before de Gaulle.

Algeria was viewed for a very long time literally as a part of France.

The final break-up was extremely bloody and dirty.

_______________________________

Response to another reader comment:

That’s exactly the case.

The United States so resented Iran that it secretly encouraged and assisted a huge and terrible war against it in the 1980s.

Why did it so hate Iran? Because Iran resented the bloody, torture-employing Shah installed by the United States in the 1950s after a coup toppled the country’s genuinely democratic president, a man hated by Western oil interests.

The pressures in Iran rose to fever pitch and the revolution was the result. When the creepy Shah fled Iran for American protection, people only became angrier. Iranians embarrassed the United States by patiently piecing together numbers of shredded embassy secret documents – the remarkable work of Iranian carpet weavers – documents which were very revealing about American manipulation.

America resented losing Iran as its important foothold in the region. The Shah was America’s man there, and he was encouraged to buy large volumes of American weapons with his oil revenue, much as we see happening in Saudi Arabia today.

America’s government has never forgiven Iran, and today, Israel’s pleas for overturning Iran only add pressure. Israel, a nuclear power, is not really threatened by Iran as it pretends to be, but Israel does not want this huge country to be a competitor in the region for influence. It wants to be the key regional power, serving the US and reaping many benefits.

And the United States did more than just encourage Saddam. It saw to it that Iraq was supplied with chemical weapons so that it might overcome Iran’s huge manpower advantage of nearly four-to-one.

Saddam used these chemical weapons, horribly killing tens of thousands of Iranian soldiers caught not expecting such things. No one in the United States said one word against the atrocities. America’s elites were pleased with the results of bleeding and weakening Iran.

The war was literally the equivalent of a world war for Iran with loss of about a million people.

______________________________

Response to a comment complaining about the anti-American tone of many comments:

In case you hadn’t noticed, in most societies, there is dislike for bullies, dislike for would-be dictators, dislike for killers, and dislike for liars.

It has nothing to do with Canadians in particular.

Remember, the United States, which is ramming all this down everyone’s throat, represents less than 5 percent of the world’s population.

Very democratic in spirit, right?

The same less-than 5 percent has eviscerated parts of the UN, the ICC, the WTO, and many other international forums from which the other 95 percent of humanity might get to speak.

Actually, of course, it really isn’t America’s 5 percent or so of the globe doing all this. It’s the very privileged American power establishment, something like the 1 per cent of its own nation.

Ordinary Americans have virtually no say. And their Congress has been, rightly, described as the best that money can buy.

 

Posted April 23, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SHABBY EFFORT TO MALIGN BDS – ISRAEL AND APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA – ON BUILDING IRON WALLS INSTEAD OF BRIDGES – ISRAEL’S HELP WITH SOUTH AFRICAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS – WHY THERE IS NO “ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT” – IT’S A MANUFACTURED PHRASE TO HIDE REALITY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY GIL TROY ON CBC NEWS

 

“The BDS movement is nefarious, but it’s better to push back politically — not legally

“Anti-BDS legislation in the U.S. is unhelpful. BDS should be fought subtly, without giving it too much oxygen”

 

“The BDS movement is nefarious, but it’s better to push back politically — not legally”

 

The first part of that statement is simply insupportable.

Boycotts changed the landscape of Nationalist South Africa, peacefully. They played a big role in the American civil rights movement, too. What’s nefarious about that?

A boycott is a peaceful expression of disapproval, one with some economic bite, for the unacceptable acts of states. Free expression by millions.

The word “nefarious” has no place in the discussion. It actually could only fairly be applied to the author himself, for his effort, more roundabout than most, to equate criticism of a well-armed state with a form of prejudice.

Advocating a grant of exceptional status to any state – as in seeking to absolve it of blame or consequences for its wrongdoing – represents genuine prejudice.

It doesn’t matter whether the method used to obtain that status is constant social pressure, as we get with countless articles like this one, or lobby-driven, anti-democratic legislation. The result is the same, the suppression of the rights of millions to express their disapproval of something they regard as seriously wrong.

Would any clear-thinking person regard that as a suitable goal? Guaranteeing a powerful state that it may do as it pleases without objection or consequences?

“Anti-Semitism” claims about criticism of Israel’s actual behavior – not its identity, not its religion, not its ethnicity, but its actual behavior – are precisely parallel with someone’s having claimed that criticism of the Soviet Union – and we all know there was a great deal, both at home and abroad, to criticize in the practices of the Soviet Union – was the same thing as hating Russians, what today we would call “Russophobia.”

Anyone can understand the absurdity of that.

The only thing different in Israel’s case is the charged, threatening atmosphere that always accompanies accusations of “anti-Semitism,” an atmosphere that has been deliberately cultivated by apologists over many years.

_____________________

Response to another comment:

Well said. Exactly the case.

The United States government was long in Nationalist South Africa’s corner because South Africa was viewed as such a strategically important place during the Cold War.

Only the acts of millions of individuals and some companies, voting with their pocket books, finally drove the American government to act against South Africa.

And we all know the story after that. Apartheid died a welcome death.

Nothing about the Israeli situation is any different. Not a thing, except names and location.

We see open abuse and oppression. We see millions of people with no citizenship and no legal rights being held against their will. We see unequal laws and unequal treatment under the law.

For more than half a century. Good God. It’s appalling, but our governments and public figures are intimidated, afraid of being labelled “anti-Semitic,” in what itself is an unfair and genuinely nefarious campaign.

____________________

Response to another comment:

Well said.

Of course, it is not anti-Semitic.

Calling people who are concerned with human rights names like that is abusive and unacceptable.

By the way, concerning your reference to “building bridges,” perhaps the most famous Zionist writer, a Russian named Ze’ev Jabotinsky, regarded as a founder of modern Israel, wrote of the need for building “an iron wall.”

And that approach, from the beginning has characterized modern Israel, it maintains an iron wall.

It even keeps extending the area which the iron wall covers.

Albert Einstein offered a completely different approach to Palestine, but he was ignored.

_______________________

Response to another comment:

That is true about weapons and South Africa and Israel.

It is also true that Israel secretly assisted Apartheid South Africa to become, for a brief while, another small nuclear power.

The nuclear weapons were given up and dismantled after the fall of the Nationalists.

But the very fact Israel was assisting the Apartheid government in such a fashion tells us something about its feelings and attitudes of the time concerning human rights and democracy.

There have been relatively few cases of genuine proliferation in the history of nuclear weapons, and Israel’s was perhaps the most dramatic.

The story has always been downplayed in the mainline press, but over time, we have received enough information, here or there, to know some truth.

The United States in those days was definitely in Apartheid South Africa’s corner for Cold War strategic considerations.

And South Africa was then always playing up its anti-Communist credentials for America’s benefit. Of course, they could also say what a terrible threat the ANC and Nelson Mandela were to “the West” since they were regarded as having communist sympathies.

A few years back, we had an old secret document from top government officials in Israel released by South Africa, a document which concerned Israel’s willingness to sell “a package” to Nationalist South Africa. We know the Nationalists had at least six nuclear warheads when their government collapsed. Israel wanted to keep strong ties with South Africa for its long-term supplies of strategic materials.

Israel also assisted the Nationalists in building nuclear-capable missiles, South Africa having several such missiles at the time of its collapse.

____________________

Response to another comment:

Your tone is reasonable, but there is no such thing as an “Israel-Palestine conflict.”

That term is a creation of the mainline press. It hides far more than it reveals.

What we have is an occupation with constant abuse of five or six million people who have no rights at all and live under laws written and interpreted by their occupier.

The “conflict” could be over swiftly were Israel just to return to its original borders and tear down walls and fences and machine-gun towers built on the property of others.

But that is not going to happen any time soon. The government of the United States, which could enforce it – indeed, would have to enforce it – simply will not do so. Lobby interests hold the American government in a dark place regarding fairness or peace or rights in the region.

Posted March 11, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A WRITER SAYS WE CAN BE HOPEFUL ABOUT PALESTINE – I WISH IT WERE SO – BUT I SEE NO REASON FOR OPTIMISM – QUITE THE OPPOSITE WHEN YOU APPRECIATE THE ACTUAL BEHAVIOR OF ISRAEL AND AREN’T BLINDED BY IDEOLOGY AND FANCIFUL MYTHS   1 comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PETER F COHEN IN MONDOWEISS

 

“Why we can be hopeful on Palestine”

 

I very much wish the title represented something more than a new version of Candide’s optimism.

The single state solution is an idea that has been around a long time.

If I’m not mistaken, the late Edward Said embraced it many years ago.

It’s perfectly rational, but that is part of the reason that the bitter, brutal men running Israel will never accept it.

They are harsh ideologues, embracing a dark fantasy, the re-creation of an ancient land based on doubtful religious texts of 2,500 years, or more, ago. Texts in which people are stoned for doing things we do every day. Texts in which certain kinds of cloth and certain kinds of food, things we all use, are forbidden. Texts in which a great many events are either fantasies – Jonah and the whale or Lot’s wife as a pillar of salt or the Tower of Babel or Noah’s Ark – or things which never occurred – Israel’s captivity in Egypt and the reign of King David.

Those are hardly a sound basis for modern political affairs and the founding of a state which is heavily armed. But the truth is they provide only the start of a grim list of problems associated with today’s Israel.

Jews in fact flourish in a number of places in far better situations than they do in Israel. It seems to me that there is something in the Israeli temperament resembling the reclusive religious institutions of the Middle Ages, the ones where self-flagellation and other extremes were the norm – not the kind of people ready to embrace large numbers of outsiders with different ways. We find the same qualities in cults sometimes, the desire for separateness and unwillingness to mingle with others.

If Zionists had taken Albert Einstein’s advice, embracing the native people and living among them without iron walls, there could have been something harmonious and peaceful and constructive for everyone over the last 70 years.

But they did not embrace that vision. They embraced instead a bitter and hostile vision of iron walls and racial segregation. And militarism and police and security forces everywhere.

Moreover, Israel is the most heavily subsidized entity on earth, counting both government and private subsidies, and we all know the highly debilitating effects of subsidy over time. And subsidies cannot continue indefinitely. People do not endlessly give away money and resources, particularly when they see the recipient makes absolutely no progress at creating an improved situation.

It would be wise to seriously start making peace with the neighbors and cooperating because what we see today in Israel simply is not a situation which can be sustained long term, that is, without the kind of endless harshness we see, much the same kind of harshness we saw in the old Soviet Union, a state whose circumstances also were not sustainable. But fanatics, like the men who run Israel, do not look at hard realities.

Israel deliberately maintains an embattled situation, making life far more difficult for most there than in, say, Canada or the US or France or many other places.

Israel’s open abuse of millions causes its citizens to be greatly disliked in the world, too, and I don’t really think most people enjoy being disliked.

The place is an armed camp, a crusader fortress. The level of military and security services make it in many ways resemble the old USSR. A state top-heavy with military and police and spies is not a healthy one for the long term. A recent book revealed that Israel’s security services have conducted 2,700 assassinations. Serial murder, then, is a founding value of the nation.

The cost of living in Israel is very high, houses are hard to buy, and career opportunities are quite limited. It is a small place, with about half the population of Ecuador. It can never enjoy great economies of scale, and its international trade literally is force-fed by American subsidies and pressures on others.

People only voluntarily live that way – having actually gone out of their way to create the circumstances – when a fantasy or a fanatical belief dominates rational thinking. Fanatical beliefs provide no sound foundation for anything.

I wouldn’t care if Israelis wanted to indulge their fantasies, providing they could do so without hurting and abusing millions of others.

But they are hurting and abusing millions of others. That fact is at the heart of the matter.

It is not a matter of a war or conflict, as it is so often inaccurately and lopsidedly presented in our press and by our politicians, when you have a situation where other people’s farms and houses are regularly stolen. It represents a state where the rule of law does not apply, a kind of ongoing criminal enterprise with no justice for its victims.

The rule of law simply is not to be found in Israel and the territories it occupies. Something called the law exists, but it is the same kind of law we saw in places like the American Confederacy and in Nationalist South Africa. It is law to protect only a specific group of residents, and it is law which oppresses all others.

You simply cannot have a viable country in the long term without the stability of the rule of law, yet the people running Israel appear to believe that you can.

You know, it is impossible to look at images of Gaza and not immediately think of a giant concentration camp. And what we see there is Israel’s doing completely. Penning people in with fences and guard towers, including towers with automated, radar-activated machine guns. Bombing them frequently, invading them periodically, blockading their imports, even the materials required for repairs and rebuilding. Curtailing all their natural rights such as how far fishermen can go out in their boats and whether people can travel anywhere, even for medical care or education.

Just imagine how Israel would thrive treated the same way. Of course, it wouldn’t. It couldn’t. It would stagnate and begin to rot. In a way, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians provides a self-fulfilling prophecy for them. Many Israelis really do believe it is only themselves capable of making a thriving place. You can very much see that notion on display in propaganda films and lobbying efforts. It surely represents a form of racism which just jumps out at us periodically.

And when peaceful, desperate people protest for rights to which they are entitled by all the reckonings of Western tradition, Israel can only think of lining up firing squads of soldiers to shoot into the crowds from behind fences. Where in God’s name does such behavior take you? It is a one-way trip to nowhere.

The idea of a mixed state is abhorrent to a great many Israelis because it violates the confused dream that dominated the founders’ thinking.

It would only be possible if the United States used its inordinate power and authority to push for justice. Indeed, that is the reality for any settlement, whether two states or one. But how likely is that? It is not only unlikely, it is impossible given the political realities of America with its money-driven elections and its tolerance for powerful lobbies to supply money along with other assistance such as favorable press treatment.

The lobby for Israel in the United States is one of the most powerful and well-run in the country. It is for many a political death sentence to oppose it. It will maintain the status quo so long as the leaders in Israel want it to be so. There is a kind of vicious circle involved in all discussions of Israel-Palestinian peace.

Only in the remote case of American Jews becoming convinced that Israel should no longer be supported so vigorously, or in the equally remote case of America changing its terrible laws around money in politics and the governance of political lobbies, would there be a possibility for America to use its strength and influence for justice. Well, it’s gone on the way it is for seventy years, and there seems little reason to expect change in either of those American circumstances which support Israel.

Further contributing to Israel’s distaste for a single-state solution is the fact that, in general, Arab birth rates are higher, considerably, than Israeli ones. Of course, keeping Palestinians in relative poverty only helps to extend that reality since we know birth rates invariably drop with prosperity. So, how long would it be before Jews became a minority? I know Israel’s leadership is keenly aware of this reality and greatly fears it.

Israel plays an intellectual game around the concept of democracy, always trying to gain plaudits as the “only democracy in the Middle East.” But what kind of democracy is it where only certain people can immigrate, become full citizens, and vote? Yes, there is a minority population of Palestinians who are citizens (now about 20% of total population), but their status was an accident of history, of events around 1948.

It was never intended to be so, and many Israelis would like to change their status. Prominent people have addressed that very subject. Netanyahu once described them as a “demographic bomb,” such are his fair-minded views.

And this minority is treated unfairly with specialized laws against their interests. It is even spoken out against and threatened by some Israeli politicians, men of the caliber of Avigdor Lieberman, of which Israel has considerable numbers, their presence being consistently required in the formation of governments under Israel’s political system.

In effect, some of the darkest voices in Israel always have a seat at the table of government. They provide the required margin to form a government, and they employ that margin to maintain disproportionate influence.

As well, whenever Israel meets democracy in the Arab world around it, it treats it with open hostility. It loved the long-term dictator of Egypt, Mubarak, hated and worked against Egypt’s one brief democratic government, and now embraces the new Egyptian dictator, el-Sisi. It embraces the bloody tyrant in Saudi Arabia. It embraces the King of Jordan.

It tried to totally destroy democratically-elected Hamas in Gaza, whose original non-corrupt and democratic ways only got it labelled as “terrorist.” It somewhat supports the so-called President of Palestine, Abbas, a man whose legitimate mandate ended many years ago and who has not faced an election since. Its tepid tolerance for Abbas is based only on his relative ineffectiveness and his opposition to Hamas in Gaza.

Israel has little prospect for healthy future in-migration of Jews. Indeed, it experiences some years with net out-migration. Jews are a relatively small group in the world, and not many would trade their prosperity and opportunity and freedom for the intense stress and unpleasant realities of Israel.

The Russians were the world’s last remaining large source for serious immigration, and now that’s used up.

It is important for understanding Israel’s political psychology to realize that many of its leaders and leading economic citizens have dual citizenships, as American or British, and they are secure in the backs of their minds that they can always pack-up and leave should the situation become too nasty. That is not the case for many ordinary citizens now born there. They are stuck.

Israel’s prospects, with relatively low birth rates and limited in-migration are for population decline and a whole lot more of the same grief and violence, given the extreme ideologue beliefs of its leaders and the inherent instability of its situation.

It’s a bleak long-term outlook.

But accept Palestinians? Whew, that’s like telling devout, old-fashioned Catholics they should accept abortion and married priests and stop reciting the Rosary.

Modern Israel, by all objective evidence, is, in fact, a pretty racist society, too. We’ve seen ugly controversy and manipulation at every turn involving race. Black refugees were treated terribly. Black Jews from Africa, too, were not even allowed to live in some neighborhoods. Of course, the same is true for Arabs who cannot rent or buy in many places and face open hostility. Some national laws, too, are different for Jews versus non-Jews.

I just do not see how a hopeful future can come from that.

It really was a hopeless enterprise from the beginning, creating a nation based on ancient myths and mumbo-jumbo texts, an enterprise based on anger and desperation with no larger guiding vision. But, again, if it could have been done without hurting millions of others, that would be only Israel’s’ business. But it cannot be done without hurting millions of others, and things continues along that path without any signs of let-up.

There can be no repeat of the Holocaust. It was a unique event under unique circumstances, not to be repeated, which is indeed the case with all truly terrible events. New horrors will happen somewhere to someone, but they won’t be a repeat of the Holocaust. A brilliant ancient Greek compared history to a flowing river into which you could never step into the same place twice.

Yet the Holocaust is used almost as raison d’etre for Israel. It truly is not since most of the world’s Jews do not live there. Of course, this also ignores the fact that the Holocaust was an event in another continent, involving one group of Germans against another. The Ashkenazim who created Zionism and who dominate Israel are a Germanic, Eastern European people. The word Ashkenazi means German.

So, what are they doing in the Middle East generating misery for still another people, people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust? Well, again, who would care about them being in the Middle East so long as they respected their neighbors and lived in peace. But they do not.

It’s nonsense to believe that the Holocaust could be repeated, but holding it over people’s heads serves much like the threat of hell does in American Christian fundamentalism or did in the Catholic Church for centuries of the Dark Ages.

The phrase “never again” contains no hint of reality, both because history never repeats itself and because the very people uttering it have demonstrated insincerity and hypocrisy in their efforts. Again, just look at images of Gaza and see what Israel has consciously created while uttering the words. It’s beyond shameful.

I regret to say that I see virtually nothing in the entire situation about which to be optimistic.

 

 

 

 

Posted October 11, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE GO-NOWHERE ARGUMENT REPEATED ABOUT WHO WAS THERE FIRST IN THE HOLY LAND – AN IMPORTANT LIST OF FACTS FOR CLEAR THINKING ABOUT THE EXISTING MESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY FATHI NEMER IN MONDOWEISS

 

Pretty good piece.

But there is a major flaw in starting from the question, “So, in the end, who was there first?”

You are playing Israel’s own crooked game by even trying to answer.

The fact is that that is a totally irrelevant question for any territory or country you care to name.

Should Turkey be Greek owing to the Trojan War three thousand years ago?

Should Israel be Lebanese owing to the ancient Phoenicians who were there before Hebrews?

If you want to get ridiculous, you could say Europe belongs to descendants with Neanderthal genes (and there are such).

What possibly could be more ridiculous than basing anything in modern affairs on words from old manuscripts which speak of turning a woman into salt and a big fish swallowing a man?

It’s not only intellectually obtuse, it is guaranteed formula for conflict.

The fact is that the people running and populating most of today’s Israel are of European descent, the Ashkenazi.

Their native language, Yiddish, is related to German, and their food and physical culture point to central and eastern Europe – Latkes, schmaltz, bagels, etc. None of it is Middle Eastern.

DNA testing indicates two origins. One, a group arising near Italy about a thousand years ago which migrated north into Germany. Other tests support the old Khazars hypothesis, a people from around Ukraine about a thousand years ago.

At some point, it seems clear that the Hebrews became evangelical, seeing the immense success of Christianity which started as an obscure Hebrew cult. The two groups above both were converts.

Ashkenazi DNA shows some admixture of Semite people, but that is to be expected with movements in and out of various Jewish groups over the centuries.

The Hebrew language, except among some scholars and religious students, died. It was artificially revived by modern Israel.

The bottom line is that the Ashkenazi of Israel are not descendants of the Hebrews.

Indeed, the great irony is that the Palestinians have the best claim to that title. The Romans who were excellent record keepers recorded no expulsion of Jews in the conquest of the Holy Land. Indeed, it was not their habit to expel local populations in their various conquests.

The whole story of the wandering Jews of the last two thousand years is a myth, as complete a myth as Jonah being swallowed by a big fish or Noah and the Ark.

The Hebrews in Palestine themselves suffered conquests, conversions, and migrations, but that body of people is as close as we have to the ancient Hebrews.

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IRAN AND ISRAEL – NETANYAHU IN BRITAIN MAKING INSANE CLAIMS ABOUT IRAN – THE REAL REASON ISRAEL SO HATES IRAN   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

‘Iran seeks to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world. And it offers provocation after provocation’

Thus, the fetid imaginings of a proven street thug, thief, murderer, and serial liar (Presidents of two major Western countries having so described him a few years back).

Thus, Iran, which has attacked no one in its entire modern history, is characterized by the sick leader of a country which has attacked every neighbor that it has, some more than once.

Iran, which has been busy truly fighting ISIS alongside Russia, while we know Israel has always secretly supported the terrorists in Syria.

Iran, which knows full well, just as we all do, that Israel possesses a totally illegal nuclear arsenal which it uses to intimidate the entire Middle East, only seeks with its missiles to defend itself.

Were the Israel Lobby not so important in British and American politics, Netanyahu would be laughed out the door for making such insane, ranting claims.

We know also that Netanyahu was ready to strike Iran with no declaration of war some while back. Israel spent a lot of time and money practicing just that.

He was reportedly only stopped by Obama telling him he’d shoot Israel’s planes out of the sky if they attacked in one of Obama’s few sound moves in foreign policy.

_____________________________

Response to another reader:

Your bundling the names together is simply wrong.

Well, Trump Farage and Le Pen have yet to kill a single person.

Netanyahu has literally killed thousands, including hundreds of Palestinian children.

Trump Farage and Le Pen have yet to steal so much as a basket of apples.

Netanyahu has brazenly stolen the homes and farms of thousands.

______________________________

 Response to another reader:

Iran is hated by Israel for one simple reason.

It is a large country which happens to be Muslim, and it is potentially a powerful and influential one.

Israel, bristling with weapons out of all proportion to its economy or population, strives to be the miniature replica of the United States in the Middle East.

It wants to tell everyone in the region what to do and to keep anyone who does not agree with it intimidated.