Archive for the ‘PALESTINE’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON A COMMENT CALLING AMERICAN POLITICIANS OMAR AND TLAIB “WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING” – YOU CANNOT EXPECT COMPLETE HONESTY FROM ANY U.S. POLITICIAN – AFTER ALL WE ARE SPEAKING ABOUT THE CAPITAL OF AN EMPIRE, NOT 1960s SWEDEN – THE REALITIES OF LIBERALISM IN AMERICA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ITEM IN MOON OF ALABAMA

 

“There are freshmen from Michigan and Maryland in Congress who recently made some news with comments about the Zionist lobby. Some anti-imperialists and progressives lauded them for their efforts and defended them against attacks. But these are wolfs in sheep clothing.

“Rep. Ilhan Omar: ‘The people of Syria revolted against Assad’s repressive dictatorship 8 years ago today, demanding a more just and free government. Peace loving people around the world stand in solidarity with them in this struggle!’

“Rashida Tlaib: ‘The anniversary of the uprising against the oppression in Syria was yesterday. We must recognize the struggle of those who organized and stood up against injustice. It is my hope that we can see a Syria that is truly free one day.’”

 

I like Ilhan Omar for speaking out on Palestine, just as I like Tulsi Gabbard’s efforts to understand the ugly war in Syria. I admire them both for public courage.

But, please, this is America we are talking about.

To expect anyone in American politics to come along with completely fresh and informed and honest views is just dreaming.

Just as with Bernie Sanders’ so-called socialism or, indeed, anything at all about Sanders.

He’s a distinguished-looking bag of hot air.

He showed everyone what he was made of in his confrontation with the woman who plainly stole the nomination from him, Hillary Clinton.

He’s never been a strong voice against global empire, against the secret terror of the CIA, against the vast intrusions of the NSA, or against the monstrous waste and mass killing of the Pentagon.

And then we have that thoroughbred phony, Elizabeth Warren, making precious little noises all the time about progressive matters while voting for hateful defense and security budgets and never opposing all those wars and offering us in speeches smatterings of the establishment’s poison about Iran.

I’ve said it many times. There are no liberals, genuine liberals, in the United States, at least not in any positions of authority or influence. Not one in the national government. Not one in charge of a major news source. None guiding the nation’s great institutions and foundations and education establishments.

America is about empire and the wars required to sustain it, and that is pretty much it. The rest is elaborate window dressing, theater, playacting. Empires do not get built and maintained and expanded by nice guys, and the resources constantly pouring into empire leave no room for great human or humane efforts.

Another thing I’ve said many times is that you can have either an empire or a decent country, but you cannot have both. America made its choice, long ago.

The entire atmosphere of the place, the education system, the press, the churches, the politics – all immersed and saturated in war and the drive for empire with little room for other values. It can be seen and heard and felt in a thousand details.

What could be more blatantly unfair and anti-democratic than what we see being done to Venezuela today? Yet, where are the American voices against their government’s open use of threats and terror? The politicians? The editors? The great university heads? The church leaders?

Some might claim an excuse over events in Syria because many facts about responsibility for that set of atrocities remained well hidden for a long time. Many facts remain hidden still, despite our learning a good deal here and there.

But here, in the case of Venezuela, we see daily the blunt face of fascism telling people who they should vote for, who should swear himself in as President, who should control the country’s assets, and destroying the national power grid, an act of terror which undoubtedly killed and injured many and destroyed what was in the fridges of literally millions of the most ordinary people.

Why isn’t anyone shouting at the top of their lungs?

All this done by men who say they respect democracy and human rights and expect to be respected in the world as leaders.

You know, Hitler gave one of the great speeches about peace, not long before he started a new war. It was reported by that great journalist and chronicler of Nazi Germany, William Shirer.

And, under the Nazis, Germany had some window dressings of progressivity, various socialistic measures, if you will. It even sometimes held plebiscites.

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: JOHN BAIRD MAKES EFFORT TO STOP PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER SALAM FAYYAD FROM RESIGNING AND FAILS – NO LOSS TO PALESTINIANS ONLY TO ISRAELI INTERESTS   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad quit on Saturday after months of tension with President Mahmoud Abbas

We may safely assume that when the likes of John Baird care about a political figure such as the Palestinian prime minister staying in office, the resignation means absolutely nothing to the Palestinian people.

Apart from the fact that John Baird has no stature whatever in world affairs and no credibility as a statesman, the simple fact is that he is an ignoramus on affairs in the Middle East.

Baird is also a man – perhaps a reflection of his argumentative and destructive life as a domestic politician – who has proven he has no concern for the terrible situation of the Palestinians.

He is in addition a pathetic figure whose only objective in the region is to loyally serve American-Israeli positions – resembling in the act a wagging dog waiting for his master to hand out a treat.

Palestinian politicians like Abbas and those associated with him are pleasing to Israel because they maintain a totally submissive demeanor. There is almost something in them of the nature of the old minor Hollywood black actor known as Stepin Fetchit.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL RETURNS 91 DEAD “MILITANTS” : A PROPAGANDA STUNT PASSED OFF AS A MEASURE TOWARDS PEACE TALKS – THE IRONY OF DRAPING CHEAP COFFINS WITH PALESTINIAN FLAGS   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

I love that phony word, “militants”?

The people were either criminals or they were not.

If they were all genuine cases of people killed while attacking others, there would be no use for the word, “militant,” and I guarantee Israeli authorities would never use it.

The Globe has accepted Israel’s propaganda by using a euphemistic word which literally means nothing.

Of course, the word was intended to blur the distinction between shooting innocent people and shooting someone attacking you.

It’s a coward’s word.

And its constant propagation through news media is just a sign of how little genuine reporting goes on in these matters.

Shameful.
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Even Israel’s presentation here is phony propaganda.

The cheap boxes the remains are in are all covered with Palestinian flags, covering a coffin with a flag being the traditionally accepted way of burying a soldier.

But we have not one shred of evidence any of these are soldiers.

And we know, from countless experience, Israel blithely kills people who oppose it in the smallest way.

Witness the Palestinian family wiped out on a beach a few years ago.

Or the lovely young American girl deliberately crushed by a bulldozer.

Or the Canadian officer and 3 others murdered while bravely doing their UN observation duties as Israel once again invaded Lebanon.

Or the 400 children Israel murdered in Gaza.

Or the unarmed party aboard a ship on the high seas which Israeli commandos literally executed.

The list goes on and on.

And of course Israel holds thousands of Palestinians in prison with no proper trials or legal procedures.

And we have the report of the respected UN Raconteur for the region, Mr Falk, that Israel has killed over 1200 children just since 2000.

This pathetic effort by Israel is a cheap show.

It means nothing to return bodies.

And irony of ironies Israel uses a Palestinian flag, the flag of a country Israel refuses to allow to exist.

Good Lord, let’s use our critical faculties, and maybe then we can see some justice.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FURTHER TO IRAN AND JOHN BAIRD’S PATHETIC WORDS ON GERALD CAPLAN’S ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION: ON THE USE OF THE INSULT ‘ANTI-SEMITIC’ FOR CRITICS OF ISRAEL   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“Almost all the top comments here have unnecessary and ANTI-SEMITIC language.”

People who criticize Israel are not, ipso facto, anti-Semitic.

Nor are the people who apologize for Israel’s bloody excesses necessarily qualified to judge the motives of others who do not accept such behavior: fanatics in any realm of human activity are never people qualified to sit in judgement.

It is an insult to logic and intelligence to have this slur repeated, over and over, yet in every forum of public opinion concerning Israel, we have this name-calling repeated.

It is ad hominem attack which itself reflects clear prejudice and often just plain hatefulness.

If Israel is to be a state like any other state, it is subject to the same criticisms as any other state, full stop.

And today Israel, as a state, breaks almost every international norm and treaty and convention you care to name.

People who care about such things are not to be put off by gratuitous insults.

There are huge issues at stake in Israel’s behaviors and in its demands, and since Israel and her supporters demand of people in Canada, the United States, and Europe, never tire of seeking assistance and support, surely the people of these countries have the right and obligation to speak about very troubling matters.

Israel extra-judicially kills at will regularly. If you want to support that, fine, but there is no argument against the ugly fact.

Israel steals the homes and farms of others regularly. Again, if you want to support that, fine, but it is practice violating every norm of a free society and indeed of a free enterprise economy operating under laws.

Israel keeps millions in oppressive bondage with no genuine rights or application of just laws. You are free to support that, but others are right to observe it is a throwback to societies we all believed were things of the past.

Israel attacks every neighbor that it has, over and over, and it demands military action against countries like Iran who have made no threats. You are free to support that, but others are just as free – in our society at least – to say that the invasion of Iraq, which the U.S. conducted on Israel’s behalf, was a terrible war crime, responsible for deaths of a million souls, and repeating it in Iran is simply unthinkable.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL AND HAVING BEEN THERE 3000 YEARS – A COMMENT TO AN EDITORIAL SAYING THE PEACE TALKS SHOULDN’T BE BULLDOZED OVER SETTLEMENTS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 

POSTED COMMENT TO AN EDITORIAL IN THE TELEGRAPH

‘Well the Jews were there 3,000 years ago, 1,600 years before Islam even existed.’

That is typical of the kind of uninformed statements repeated over and over in defense of Israel’s current brutish behavior.

First, there is no history of Jews in Israel 3000 years ago. At that time, they were likely still part of ancient Mesopotamia, lands we today call Iraq, the place where they are thought to have originated.

But even more importantly, when people write about Israel’s additional territorial claims in terms of Hebrew Scripture, for most of the world’s people it makes as much sense as modern Greece claiming Turkey owing to the stories in the Iliad, Homer by the way actually going back about 3000 years and singing of still earlier events.

If you can quote Scripture as authority in Middle East affairs, you can justify literally anything, including killing all non-Jewish residents, for that is what the Biblical Hebrews were enjoined to do, over and over, supposedly by God but actually by their own prophets assuming the authority of God.

Many countries could have a claim on the territory we call Israel if this cloudcuckooland approach were valid, including the Egyptians who long, long ago ruled there, the Lebanese, viewed as the descendants of the ancient Phoenicians who also ruled there, and perhaps even the Iraqis, whose antecedents conquered the territory.

Go back far enough, and you can claim the territory we call Israel for the decedents of the early people who migrated out of Africa many tens of thousands of years ago.

The silliness of this ancient-writing-based claim is made even greater by the important research of an Israeli scholar who says that the Palestinians are, for the most part, the actual descendants of the ancient Israelis.

When Rome conquered territories, it typically did not remove the inhabitants, and it did not interfere with their religion, so long as they accepted Roman rule. Just because, after two turbulent millennia of history, most of the Palestinians are Muslim does not invalidate this concept. Moreover, DNA testing is tending to support this view.

So what we are really talking about with Israel’s modern activities is removing the descendants of ancient Israel who have lived there countless centuries in favor of new immigrants from New York or London. If that isn’t imperialism, I don’t know what is.

On still another level, Biblical claims must be rejected simply because they are dangerous and de-stabilizing. Greater Israel as it has been defined by Zionist scholars – and mind you, there are no maps in the Bible – includes the West Bank and Gaza and pieces of Syria and Lebanon. Does claiming that, or any portion of it, resemble anything but a certain formula for endless war and unrest?

Personal religious views and 2,500 year-old books have no place in international affairs.

In the end, if Israel wishes to be regarded as a state like any other state, then it must behave as we expect other states to behave, and that does not include undefined borders which constantly ooze out over the property of others.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE NEWS THAT ABBAS IS ABOUT TO STEP DOWN AS PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL
 
It cannot come too soon.

Abbas is a pathetic figure, representing a Palestinian version what in the United States used to be called a Step’n Fetchit, indeed there was a minor black comic actor who went by that name in early American films.

He has never served his people well, not through any bad intent on his part, but through a complete lack of the skills needed for his position.

It has at times been genuinely embarrassing watching him quietly swallow the garbage Israel regularly pitches in public, claiming it is working on the “peace process” while stealing more of other people’s land almost daily.

But, of course, one must also take account of the long line of assassinations of Palestinian leaders by Israel, including quite likely Arafat, who was probably poisoned in the same secretive way as an early attempt on Sheikh Yassin before he was finally blown up in his wheelchair by a Hellfire missile.

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stpnlll,

I applaud your sentiments, but they are just that sentiments, and sentiments have no role in the ugly game of power politics being played by Israel.

Israel has made it abundantly clear that it will never accept this outcome. Many prominent Israelis are on record as saying not only is a one-state solution unacceptable but also a two-state solution whether federated or not.

The continuous march of settlements and slow-motion ethnic-cleansing taking place in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem is in keeping with long-held beliefs by Israeli leaders that all of the parts of Israel from 2,500 years ago must be Jewish, and that certainly includes the West Bank.

As long ago as the Camp David talks with President Carter, Begin, an old Irgun terrorist, kept telling Carter that Israel must have Judea and Sumaria, ancient names for areas where millions of Arabs live.

That idea is such a fixation for many Israelis that indeed there can never be meaningful peace without U.S. intercession against it.

And what are the prospects for that?