even the trots are frightened of pindostan losing power over yrup

EU leaders call for rapid British exit and European military build-up
Alex Lantier, WSWS, Jun 28 2016

Merkel, Hollande and Renzi met in Berlin yesterday to discuss Britain’s vote to exit the European Union. The leaders of the three largest eurozone economies held a joint press conference in advance of a two-day EU summit that begins today in Brussels. At the press conference, they pushed for a rapid exit by Britain and a massive build-up of EU military and police operations. Despite the carefully scripted character of their remarks, it was clear that the Brexit vote has unleashed a series of financial and political crises with vast global ramifications. Stunned by Brexit, the EU is trying to integrate its remaining 27 member states on the basis of a further shift to the right, including increased austerity and a militarist foreign policy. This sets the stage not only for an escalation of attacks on the working class, but also for explosive international conflicts, including with Washington. Merkel aligned herself with European leaders demanding that London move rapidly to leave the EU. She declared:

We are united in considering that Article 50 of European treaties makes very clear that an EU member state that would like to leave the EU must notify the EU Council. Before this has taken place, no further step can be undertaken. … This means, and on this we are united, that no informal or formal talks on a British exit from the EU can take place before a formal request on a British exit from the EU lies before the EU Council.

Warning against anything that could “strengthen centrifugal tendencies,” Merkel called for a new “impulse” to drive forward the EU after Brexit. She identified as key issues the build-up of military and police forces and the boosting of business competitiveness. With European and Pindosi stock markets continuing to tumble, Hollande cited the danger of a financial panic to justify a rapid separation of the EU from Britain, saying:

Our responsibility is not to lose time in dealing with the issue of the British exit from the EU, or the new impulse we need to give to the 27-member EU. Nothing is worse than uncertainty. It generates political conduct that is often irrational. Uncertainty also generates financial conduct that can be irrational. The UK is already undergoing painful experiences of this, both financially and politically.

After endorsing Merkel’s proposal to boost military and security spending, Hollande called for “social and budgetary harmonization in the euro zone,” saying that “this is one of our priorities.” With the euro zone countries already carrying out draconian attacks on wages and social rights, boosting military spending and standardizing EU countries’ budgets will inevitably involve new, even deeper attacks on working-class living standards. Renzi, whose government is seeking EU approval for a new €40 billion bailout for the country’s banks, said:

We are sad about the decision of the British citizens, but it is a new era for Europe.

EU calls for harsh treatment of Britain are exposing not only the breakdown of relations within Europe, but also a growth of tensions between Europe and Pindostan. Jackass Kerry flew to Europe yesterday to meet top EU and NATO officials. He warned the EU not to “start dreaming up vengeful premises” about how to deal with the Brexit crisis. Speaking to Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, he pointedly said that 22 EU member states were also in NATO, and that there should be “as much stability, as much certainty, as possible.” An article on Monday by David Sanger, the NYT’s chief Washington correspondent, the NYT aired concerns of Pindo boxtops that Brexit has undermined the Pindo-Euro alliance. Under the title, “With Brexit, Washington’s Direct Line to the Continent Suddenly Frays,” Sanger wrote:

Few nations were as willing to put a thumb as firmly on the scales of European debates in ways that benefit Pindostan. Now that quiet diplomatic leverage, including moderating European trade demands and strong-arming nations to contribute more to NATO military missions, is suddenly diminished. … Germany still harbors deep suspicions of Pindostan, and Paris often goes its own way … Special in an era of global diplomacy was Britain’s ability to act for Washington with the Europeans, to bridge the gap. Now, as one White House official put it, the bridge has been wiped out by a surge that few predicted.

The immediate aftermath of the referendum has already made clear that the Brexit crisis marks a historic turning point on a world scale, and that the rising conflict between the UK and the EU is charged with far wider conflicts deeply rooted in the contradictions of world imperialism. The Brexit vote itself reflected the breakdown of the EU, undermined by deepening antagonisms between EU countries and widely discredited in the eyes of the working class as a result of years of austerity and social and economic retrogression. The bankruptcy of the EU and the impossibility of unifying Europe on a capitalist basis are only the expression within Europe of a broader, insoluble contradiction between globally integrated production and the nation-state system. The last great crisis of British-European relations, De Gaulle’s veto of British entry into the European Common Market in 1963 and 1967, was closely bound up with conflicts with Washington. Angry over rising US influence in France’s former colonial sphere, notably during Algeria’s war for independence from France, and frustrated by the economic advantages Washington derived from the dollar’s role as the world reserve currency, de Gaulle sought to limit Pindo influence in Europe. He withdrew France from the NATO military command and bluntly attacked Britain as a “Trojan horse” for Pindo influence in Europe. After de Gaulle’s death, however, France bowed to the desire of other European countries to include Britain in the common market.

Over an entire period, however, tensions have been rising in US-European relations. The Stalinist dissolution of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism across Eastern Europe deprived the NATO alliance of the unifying effect of sharing a common adversary. Over the same period, the United States’ economic decline and its attempt to offset this decline by waging ever wider and bloodier wars in the MENA, further intensified Pindo-Euro tensions. France and Germany openly opposed the illegal 2003 Pindo invasion of Iraq. It is increasingly evident that the escalating Pindo war drive against Russia and China in the aftermath of the 2008 Wall Street crash, which threatens to provoke a global nuclear war, has triggered deep opposition in sections of the European bourgeoisie. The EU countries defied the US “pivot to Asia” last year by joining China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Even though Berlin supported the 2014 Kiev putsch that installed a pro-NATO government in Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier recently denounced NATO military exercises led by Pindostan and aimed at Russia as “warmongering.” Now, threatened with being torn apart by the Brexit crisis, the EU is trying to survive by effecting a massive integration of its military and police forces, directed both at rising social anger at home and at external rivals, including the United States. This emerges clearly in documents prepared in advance of the EU summit that starts today, one by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and a second authored jointly by Steinmeier and French Foreign Minister Ayrault. Both are predicated on developing the EU’s ability to act militarily independently of Washington. The Mogherini paper calls for “structured cooperation,” in which EU countries pool military equipment, units and their chains of command—essentially laying the basis for forming a common European army. The paper states:

The EU will systematically encourage defense cooperation and strive to create a solid European defense industry, which is critical for Europe’s autonomy of decision and action.

The document reportedly indicates that Brexit will help repair the EU’s political and economic relations with Russia, which nosedived after Washington demanded that the EU impose punishing sanctions against Moscow. It says that the EU and Russia are “interdependent,” and pledges closer ties:

We will therefore engage Russia to discuss disagreements and to cooperate if and when our interests overlap.

The Steinmeier-Ayrault paper, for its part, declares:

In an international environment ever more strongly characterized by diverging great power interests, France and Germany must work to develop the EU step by step as an independent global actor. The goal is to translate our knowledge and our civilian and military equipment into an ever more effective and realistic policy.

if b’tzelem and breaking the silence are persecuted and 972 mag isn’t, that speaks for itself

again in this, you see mairav mention BDS w/o endorsing it

What it means when occupation is the consensus
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine, Jun 28 2016

Breaking the Silence, an organization of former IDF soldiers who oppose Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians, was supposed to receive the Berelson Prize for Jewish-Arab Understanding from Ben-Gurion University this week, a ₪20k ($5k) award that the university’s Middle East studies department has given out annually for a quarter century. However, university president Professor Rivka Carmi decided to overrule the decision and vetoed Breaking the Silence’s award. The reason the university cited is that the organization, which publishes testimonies of soldiers about their military service in the occupied territories, is “an organization that isn’t in the national consensus, and giving it the prize is liable to be interpreted as an appearance of political bias.” As Haaretz pointed out, recipients of the prize in years past “include Egyptian playwright Ali Salem; Palestinian poet in Israel, Siham Daoud; Parents Circle & Families Forum, linked organizations of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian Jewish & Arab families; Physicians for Human Rights; a bilingual school in the Galilee; Sikkuy Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality; and the Andalus publishing house.” Considering this list, Breaking the Silence does not constitute much more “political bias” than most of the others.

Carmi’s move to deliberately go out of her way and revoke the prize is rare and noteworthy, especially because she is thought of as a liberal and an advocate of academic freedom who has taken the Right to task for opposing those values. This is the same university and the same president who have been the targets of attacks by Im Tirtzu, which in 2010 threatened to encourage donor boycotts of the university over what it deemed the “anti-Zionist tilt” of its politics and government department. At the time, Carmi came out resolutely against Im Tirzu, becoming a prominent voice in Israel advocating for academic freedom. In a 2013 oped she wrote, ”a strong Israel is one where everyone’s opinion can be heard without fear, if only to help us learn to articulate why we don’t agree.” This is also the same university that is home to professors like Oren Yitachel and Neve Gordon, whose work inside and outside the classroom highlights Israeli human rights violations and directly opposes Israeli occupation. Gordon has even come out in support of an international boycott of Israel.

Surely Carmi is concerned about maintaining and growing the university’s donor base, and trying to strike a balance between academic freedom and academic survival in an increasingly intolerant and illiberal climate. These days, granting a prize to Breaking the Silence is tantamount to treason and a provocation garnering unwanted attention. Last May, for example, a prominent British donor and university board member, Michael Gross, withheld a $1m donation because Breaking the Silence had been invited to participate on a panel at the university. A majority of the institution’s donors are centre-right or right-wing, according to a professor at the university who asked not to be named. Moreover, the professor told +972 Magazine that the university administration discourages professors from criticizing the occupation and the government, and there is an official policy that professors who write op-eds cannot list Ben-Gurion University as their employer when doing so. However, the professor added, there were no known donor threats against the university for granting the prize to Breaking the Silence.

When the IOF accredited a college in the West Bank settlement of Ariel as Israel’s eighth university in 2012, Carmi headed the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, which opposed the move at the time. However, once Ariel officially became a university and a group of Israeli academics called for a boycott of the institution, Carmi came out vehemently against boycott in any shape or form, writing:

We condemn boycotts wherever and whenever: by out-of-Israel institutions, by Israeli institutions, against Israeli or non-Israeli institutions, by organizations, by individuals. We don’t think that there are different kinds of boycott. A boycott is a boycott, and we are against it. … You can be against the occupation in the territories, but a boycott is totally unacceptable.

She appears to have shot herself in the foot with the decision to cancel the prize to Breaking the Silence. It not only undermines the academic independence and freedom of the university, setting a dangerous precedent for further restrictions and the silencing of those who oppose Israeli policies, but it also is constitutes an effective boycott of Breaking the Silence, something she has categorically rejected. Perhaps unintentionally, Carmi has boosted the legitimacy of boycotts in general as a tool, and academic boycott in particular, by endorsing it herself in order to keep her institution afloat. I point all this out not as an indictment against Carmi, although she is indeed responsible for this horrendous decision, which sets a precedent for the further silencing of critics inside and outside academia.

This decision is especially significant because of the identity of the person putting Breaking the Silence in her cross-hairs this time around. Surely it is not surprising when right-wing politicians, settlers or advocacy groups attack, slander or delegitimize Breaking the Silence, but the president of a university that stands for academic freedom and independent thought? This is a marker of just how bad things have become. When Carmi decides that Breaking the Silence is outside the national consensus, she is making the decision to stand with the silencers, with the oppressors. As human rights attorney Michael Sfard (who is also Breaking the Silence’s legal advisor) wrote one his Facebook page in response to her decision: by appeasing the forces in the Israeli “consensus” that deny the entire Palestinian people their rights, you too assume responsiblity for the occupation. He wrote:

One must make a choice today. Either you are with the democrats or you are with the fascists.

All this demonstrates that even those Israelis who are educated, who advocate for civil liberties and highlight the importance of free speech, who are against settlements and against the occupation, who support a two-state solution, who believe in human rights, and who may even identify as “left,” even they can be part of the problem, part of the “consensus,” part of the status quo that preserves and perpetuates injustices, and civil and human rights violations. In today’s climate, when you are forced to choose between what is just and right and your own survival and comfort, choosing the latter will only exacerbate the problem. By declaring that opposing the occupation is “outside the Israeli consensus,” Carmi is helping cement the idea that occupation is itself the Israeli consensus.

BDS victory in britain

Three councils cleared of anti-Semitism over Israeli goods boycott
Gabriel Samuels, Independent, Jun 28 2016

Three UK councils have been cleared of anti-Semitism by the High Court after they imposed boycotts on Israeli goods, a ruling pro-boycott campaigners have described as an “important victory.” The charity astroturf pressure group Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) brought judicial charges against Leicester City Council, Swansea City Council and Gwynedd Council for discrimination, but the claims were dismissed. All three local authorities had passed motions to boycott any produce coming into the cities from “illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, until such time as Israel complies with international law and withdraws from the OPT.” The move to ban Israeli goods was made by Swansea council in Jun 2010, and by Gwynedd and Leicester councils in Oct & Nov 2014 respectively. The case against the councils was described as “misconceived” by defence lawyers and failed on an analysis of the facts and applicable legal principles, according to BBC News. Presiding judge “Lord Justice” Simon said:

The evidence is clear. The council resolutions did not override, or even affect, the lawful exercise of its public functions in relation to public supply or works contracts, and no contracts or potential contracts were affected by the resolutions.

Jeffrey Kaufman, a Jewish member of Leicestershire council, meanwhile said the authority had “picked on Israel” and described his “dismay” at the High Court’s resolution. In its original review application JHRW likened the “divisive” council action to the boycott of Jewish shops in 1930s Nazi Germany, and emphasised “the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment of Jewish people” in the UK. The charity has announced its decision to appeal the ruling, which it described as “disappointing.” JHRW claimed all three councils ignored their duty to eliminate discrimination and harassment of British Jewish people and to encourage strong community relations. Placing an embargo on goods coming from parts of Israel also breached the councils’ obligations to act even handedly in procurement matters, it was also claimed. In February this year the government announced local councils, public bodies and student unions may be banned from boycotting Israeli goods in future as part of a controversial crackdown, a move Jeremy Corbyn called “an attack on local democracy.” Sara Apps, director at Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), told The Independent:

Today’s High Court ruling is an important victory for the Palestinian-led (sick of being told this – RB) BDS campaign and for democracy itself. The UK government’s attempts to intimidate local councils into dropping ethical procurement and investment policies clearly have no legal basis. Councils can legally adopt policies which avoid or end links with Israel’s illegal settlements.

Swansea council leader Rob Stewart described the High Court’s decision as “a victory for free speech,” while Leicester’s mayor Peter Soulsby reinforced the right of councillors to “discuss issues of concern to their electorate.” The Independent has contacted all three councils for comment.

my guess is that 972 magazine would lose their funding if they supported BDS

I know my headline sounds far-fetched, but here is the 972 Magazine “Special Coverage” of BDS, and it is not an endorsement – RB

constantly rattling putin’s cage

Russia is harassing Pindosi diplomats all over Europe
Josh Rogin, WaPo, Jun 27 2016

Russian intelligence and security services have been waging a campaign of harassment and intimidation against Pindosi diplomats, embassy staff and their families in Moscow and several other European capitals that has rattled ambassadors and prompted Jackass Kerry to ask Vladimir Putin to put a stop to it. At a recent meeting of Pindo ambassadors to Russia and Europe in Faschingstein, the ambassadors to several European countries complained that Russian intelligence officers were constantly perpetrating acts of harassment against their diplomatic staff that ranged from the weird to the downright scary. Some of the intimidation has been routine: following diplomats or their family members, showing up at their social events uninvited or paying reporters to write negative stories about them. But many of the recent acts of intimidation by Russian security services have crossed the line into apparent criminality. In a series of secret memos sent back to Faschingstein, diplomats reported that Russian intruders had broken into their homes late at night, only to rearrange the furniture or turn on all the lights and televisions, and then leave. One diplomat reported that an intruder had defecated on his living room carpet. In Moscow, where the harassment is most pervasive, diplomats reported slashed tires and regular harassment by traffic police. Former ambassador Michael McFaul was hounded by government-paid protesters, and intelligence personnel followed his children to school. The harassment is not new; in the first term of the Obama administration, Russian intelligence personnel broke into the house of the Pindosi defence attaché CIA station chief in Moscow and killed his dog. But since the 2014 Russian intervention in Ukraine, which prompted a wide range of Pindosi sanctions against Russian boxtops and businesses close to Putin, harassment and surveillance of Pindo diplomatic staff in Moscow by security personnel and traffic police have increased significantly. Norm Eisen, Pindo ambassador the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014 a big donor to Obama’s 2008 campaign, said:

Since the return of Putin, Russia has been engaged in an increasingly aggressive grey war across Europe. Now it’s in retaliation for Western sanctions because of Ukraine. The widely-reported harassment is another front in the grey war. They are hitting Pindosi diplomats literally where they live.

The State Dept has taken several measures in response to the increased level of nefarious activity by the Russian government. All Pindosi diplomats headed for Europe now receive increased training on how to handle Russian harassment, and the European affairs bureau run by Asst Sec Toria (“Fuck the EU”) Nuland has set up regular inter-agency meetings on tracking and responding to the incidents. McFaul told me he and his family were regularly followed and the Russian intelligence services wanted his family to know they were being watched. Other embassy boxtops also suffered routine harassment that increased significantly after the Ukraine-related sanctions. Those diplomats who were trying to report on Russian activities faced the worst of it. McFaul said:

It was part of a way to put pressure on government boxtops who were trying to do their reporting jobs. It definitely escalated when I was there. After the invasion of Ukraine it got much, much worse. We were feeling embattled out there in the embassy.

There was a debate inside the Obama administration about how to respond, McFaul said, and ultimately Obama made the decision not to respond with similar measures against Russian diplomats. A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington sent me a long statement both tacitly admitting to the harassment and defending it as a response to what he called Pindosi provocations and mistreatment of Russian diplomats in Pindostan. He wrote:

The deterioration of Pindo-Russian relations, which was not caused by us, but rather by the current administration’s policy of sanctions and attempts to isolate Russia, has had a negative affect on the functioning of diplomatic missions, both in Pindostan and in Russia. In diplomatic practice there is always the principle of reciprocity, and indeed for the last couple of years our diplomatic staff in Pindostan has been facing certain problems. The Russian side has never acted proactively to negatively affect Pindosi diplomats in any way.

Evelyn Farkas, who served as Deputy Asst Sec Def for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia until last year, said that there is no equivalence between whatever restrictions Russian diplomats are subjected to in Pindostan, and the harassment and intimation that Pindo diplomats suffer at the hands of the Russian security services. The fact that the Russian government stands accused of murdering prominent diplomats and defectors in European countries adds a level of fear for Russia’s targets. Farkas said:

When the Russian government singles people out for this kind of intimidation, going from intimidation to harassment to something worse is not inconceivable.

Kirby told me:

The State Dept takes the safety and well-being of Pindosi diplomatic and consular personnel abroad and their accompanying family members extremely seriously. We have therefore repeatedly raised our concerns about harassment of our diplomatic and consular staff with the Russians, including at the highest levels.

Jackass raised the issue directly with Putin during his visit to Moscow in March. Putin made no promises about ending the harassment, which continued after Jackass returned to Washington. The Pindo ambassadors to Europe are asking Foggy Bottom to do more. Leading Congress critturs involved in diplomacy with Europe see the lack of a more robust Pindosi response as part of an effort by the Obama administration to project a veneer of positive Pindo-Russian relations that doesn’t really exist. Rep Mike Turner (R-Ohio), president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said:

The problem is there have been no consequences for Russia. The administration continues to pursue a false narrative that Russia can be our partner. They clearly don’t want to be our partner. They’ve identified us as an adversary, and we need to prepare for that type of relationship.

all they really need is the seven samurai

Pindo has trained less than 100 in Syria to fight ISIS
Tara Copp, Stars and Stripes, Jun 27 2016

WASHINGTON — Less than 100 additional Syrian leaders have been trained under a revamped Pentagon program to fight ISIS, boxtops said Monday. In October, the Pentagon halted another train-and-equip program in Syria, which transported whole units of fighters out of the country to train at facilities in Turkey, Jordan and other locations. The fighters were given Pindosi equipment, trained and transported back to Syria. But the vast majority of the Syrian units left the program or turned over their Pindosi-provided equipment to other groups. The Pentagon had planned to train about 5,000 fighters each year in the first program, which cost $346.8m in FY 2015. But in September, Gen Lloyd Austin, who led CENTCOM at the time, informed Congress that only “four or five” Pindo-trained fighters were in Syria. On Monday, three Pindosi officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity described the new train-and-equip program, which was started in March. The revamped program does not try to train entire units. Instead, it identifies key Syrian leaders and trains them in skills such as spotting potential targets for Pindosi and coalition airstrikes. One of the three Pentagon officials who briefed reporters on the status of the new Syria train-and-equip program said:

We’re not necessarily training large units to maneuver in fire. Rather than training ten people to use a rifle, if you can train a smaller number of people to accurately describe their own position relative to the position of enemy forces, it enables them to better coordinate resupply and describe enemy positions.

The program returns those leaders to their units to push that training down the ranks and provides equipment to the forces that they lead. The new program to train the leaders has $416m budgeted for it in FY 2016, and includes the equipment that Pindostan is providing. The newly-trained leaders are returning to their units with communications equipment, small arms and ammunition to distribute. The units are also getting vehicles and some artillery. Over the weekend, the NYT reported another Pindo program to train and equip Syrian forces had lost equipment to Jordanian intelligence operatives who were siphoning off and selling that supply as they moved through the country on their way to Syria. The officials would not comment Monday on the CIA program but said the DoD’s equipping program was enforcing accountability by only distributing limited amounts of ammunition and guns, and by keeping “eyes on” the units using the larger equipment. The officials estimated between earlier efforts to train and equip forces and this new program, Pindostan has reached approximately 10,000 Sunni Arab forces. All of the units getting training and equipment through the new program are Sunni, the officials said. “Those numbers don’t include our Kurdish partners,” one official said. Kurdish forces are also getting assistance and working with Pindo advisers in Syria, but that effort is separate from this program, one of the officials said.

julian assange & his fight against the eunuchs

“blood libel” and “anti-semitic trope” are nothing but typically jewish cant and hypocrisy, anyway

Media accusations of blood libels against Abbas and Sanders amplify a Jewish tribal racist fantasy
Yakov Hirsch, MondoWeiss, Jun 27 2016

The goal of every speech by PA Pres Abbas to an international audience is to push his cause. That was the case with his speech  to the European Parliament last week. Let us establish some facts about that speech:

He said Israel was acting above international law and by settling the West Bank and had undermined the two state solution; He called on the west to support a two-state solution on the ’67 lines; He said Israel was exporting violence to the occupied West Bank and cited the killings of the Dawabshe family, of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, and the execution of Palestinians accused of attacks; He described Gaza as an open-air prison and asked why international law did not apply to Israel’s isolation of the strip; He brought up the “fascism” charges leveled at Netanyahu by Barak and Ya’alon, maybe hoping they would get the attention they deserved in places like the NYT, which has largely ignored the story till now. He called on Europe to appoint an incitement arbitration committee to call out incitement on both sides. And in that EXACT  context he lamented the incitement by West Bank rabbis calling for poisoning the water of Palestinians living under occupation and said that this was an example of incitement and  a provocation and a call to violence.

That last statement is the only thing we have seen in the Pindosi press in the coverage of Abbas’s speech. The NYT’s Diaa Hadid set the tone in an article headlined Mahmoud Abbas Claims Rabbis Urged Israel to Poison Palestinians’ Water. Abbas uttered an “anti-semitic trope,” says the WaPo’s Ruth Eglash. AFP also made hay of the Palestinian president’s statement, writing:

Israel accused the Palestinian president of libelling the Jewish people after he charged Thursday that rabbis had called for Palestinian wells to be poisoned. The PMO said in a statement: “Abu Mazen showed his true face in Brussels. Someone who refuses to meet Pres Rivlin … and spreads a blood libel in the European parliament, falsely claiming that his hand is extended in peace.

On Friday night, Abbas issued a statement saying that it has now become evident that statements reported by various Arab media outlets last week, by a rabbi on poisoning Palestinian water, were “baseless.” The WaPo headline was “Abbas apologizes for anti-semitic comments.” The statement released in English stated:

Palestine is the cradle of the three monotheistic faiths. We stand strongly against any attack on any religion. Pres Abbas has affirmed that he didn’t intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world.

Netanyahu’s response to the apology upped the ante, saying that Abbas is opposed to peace:

Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet fan club meeting, referring to Abbas: “Abu Mazen again proved that he isn’t interested in direct negotiations with Israel, and worse than that, he is spreading despicable lies about Israel and Judaism. While he was quick to issue a feeble, half-hearted apology, what he said is compatible with the things he’s said at other opportunities, including at the UN, and people can conclude from this who wishes to advance peace and who doesn’t.

At this point, any half-serious journalist must ask one simple question about this story: Was Abbas’s statement innocent or malicious? Did Abbas think that the statement about the rabbis’ was true and so he was expressing genuine outrage to the European Parliament? Or, as reported, did he intend to repeat a 700-year-old blood libel because he is anti-Semitic? The answer is obvious. Abbas did not know that the the poisoning water story was debunked. Think about what it would mean in real life if Abbas was intentionally attempting to play on ancient anti-Semitic stereotypes here. Abbas would have to be thinking as he went to Brussels, “Nothing seems to be working with this European Parliament audience.” And then suddenly, out of the blue, a Jew hatred epiphany: To get the support of the Christians in the room he needed to remind them of the stories of Jews poisoning Christian water! That would shake them out of their apathy over what was happening to the Palestinian people!

The absurdity of the claim is borne out by the overwhelming response to Abbas’s misstatement. Does anyone think that he really wanted his many points about the occupation to a European audience to be overshadowed by the craziness that has descended on his water comments? Did he really intend for Bibi to get to issue a denunciation of his comments, and for the NYT to run not one but two stories about the mistake? Of course not! No-one was more thrilled by Abbas’s “incitement” than Bibi, because if you have not noticed, his only strategic vision is to win the news cycle, and in this case he won the cycle for two or three days’ running. Did Abbas really mean for all that to happen when he was giving a serious speech to European diplomats? No, he is not that self-destructive. He has not led a conciliatory life into his 80s just so he could throw around slurs against Jews. The only logical interpretation of Abbas’s statement is that it was an innocent mistake. For if Abbas had known it was a bad story, he could have easily predicted the chain reaction to his “anti-Semitism.” Netanyahu and his propagandists’ hasbara campaigns against the Palestinians are no secret. Neither is the repeating message that the Palestinian national movement and its supporters are driven by Jew hatred, and that resistance to occupation by Palestinians and their supporters, whether violent or not, is a continuation of an ancient hatred of Jews which is the impetus of all opponents of Israel. This is the narrative Israeli leaders have been selling. Bibi the old furniture salesman and his apostles here such as Jeffrey Goldberg will lie and cheat to make that sale. So we are supposed to believe that Abbas said to himself: Why don’t I give you guys some gift-wrapped hasbara?  Remembering all of Jeffrey Goldberg’s years of hard work tainting the Palestinians and their supporters with the “anti-Semitism” label, Abbas thought to himself, Why not give Goldberg a good old-fashioned “Jews poisoning water” blood libel to work with! And work with it, he did:

Is it in Abbas’s interest that Jewish tribal racist halfwits such as Yair Rosenberg are now spreading the poison that Abbas is anti-Semitic? How many Jews and others are reading the malarkey in the NYT and other mainstream outlets and thinking, How can Israel trust Abbas? How many of them have even read Abbas’s apology? If they did, would they realize he is not the inciter here? Would they see that it’s obvious he wants Jews on his side of the struggle? Yet how can he compete with the discourse poisoners? On any other issue in the world, the NYT knows the difference between something intentional and unintentional, and knows that it matters if the harm was intended. Does it not interest the NYT that the message has been unambiguous from Israeli intelligence officials as long as anyone can remember, that Abbas does not incite? Does the NYT not understand that Abbas doesn’t need a “blood libel” to condemn Israel? That Abbas does not want for occupation horror stories? That the reality of the occupation is bad enough?

Bernie Sanders’s misstatement of deaths in Gaza as 10,000, an off-the-cuff estimate given to the Daily News, even as he looked around to reporters and asked, “Help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures. Does that sound right?” was also turned by opportunistic Israel supporters Zionazis into nothing less than a blood libel, and the media blew up an innocent statement into endless headlines. And now the NYT has gotten two big stories in a row out of Abbas’s alleged anti-Semitism. So we come to the real problem: the crazed response to Abbas’s misstatement is a tribal Jewish one: “OMG, there the gentiles go again! How can he say these things about us?” As if Abbas is another evil goy who just can’t wait to spout bigotry. To believe that is to believe that the whole world thinks like ethnocentric Jews: that Abbas when complaining about the crazy settler rabbis is making connections to medieval European Jewish history in his head. Then as soon as the charge of anti-Semitism is made, there can be one legitimate response of our media, outrage, because they have adopted the Jewish tribal racist narrative put out by Bibi and his propagandist disciples, that all the goyim have always hated the Jews and they always will. So when Abbas stumbles in Brussels, there’s nothing innocent about it. That is the real crime here. That is the lie. That is the manipulation. That a Palestinian leader having spent his life compromising on Palestinian rights is somehow going to wait till he’s in Europe in front of non-Jewish leaders to let loose with his hatred of Jews. Indeed, that the whole world just can’t wait to come out with the 700-year-old blood libels against the Jews. When the world really doesn’t even know about that 700-year-old story. When no one in that European audience was thinking, “there go the Jews again, poisoning the water supply.” That is just a fantasy. It has nothing to do with the real world. And the NYT has shown itself to be a proud member of this Jewish tribal racist fantasy world. This is a serious failing, because the newspaper’s decisions about how to report these stories makes peace more or less possible. The NYT should have had the integrity to treat Abbas’s misstatement as an innocent error: it should have left it till the end of the story. It should have told us the real news. Instead it did even worse than that. It tried to make a case against Abbas. The last paragraph of Hadid’s article reads:

In October, he erroneously accused Israeli forces  of killing a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who had taken part in the stabbings of two Israelis. The boy had actually been wounded and later recovered.

You cannot read this paragraph any other way than:

This is not the first time Abbas has made stuff up about the Jews.

Meanwhile the reality of Israel and Palestine is just what Abbas actually described in his speech: creeping fascism in Israel and violence in the OPT is the real news. The same day as Abbas was strung up in the world press for a misstatement, IIF troops opened fire on a Palestinian vehicle in the OPT because they suspected that the car was carrying boys who had thrown stones, and as a result killed a 15-year-old boy travelling with his family from an outing, and later admitted they had done so “by mistake.” IIF troops indiscriminately killing a boy with his life in front of him, is the reality in Isro-Pal today, but it will not be the headline in the NYT, so long as an accidental misstatement that remind ethnocentric racist fanatics about long-forgotten “anti-Semitic canards” is more “real” to editors in New York than another dead Palestinian kid child.

rania & charlotte are worth 10 of lisa goldman etc

Democrats try to bury Palestine in middle of the night
Rania Khalek, Electronic Intifada, Jun 27 2016

In the early morning hours of Jun 25, while many Pindosis were asleep, Hillary Clinton allies on the Democrat Party’s platform drafting committee blocked a motion that called for an end to Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlement enterprise. The vote came after several gruelling hours of bickering between members named to the committee by Clinton and Democratic National Committee chair D Wasserman Schultz, on the one hand, and those appointed by Bernie Sanders, on the other. The video above shows highlights of the heated exchanges surrounding the vote. Deeper struggles over Israel taking place within the party have been brought into the open since Sanders named prominent supporters of Palestinian rights to the committee that is writing the party’s general election platform. Clinton members back her staunchly pro-Israel line. Throughout the day, Clinton surrogates shot down motions endorsing universal health care, a carbon tax, stronger support for raising the minimum wage, forceful opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a moratorium on fracking. While these defeats took place during the day, committee organizers waited until the dead of night to deliberate on issues related to Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. The vote appeared to be deliberately timed to garner as little attention as possible. It was the very last section raised, and by then it was nearly 1am. Holding votes in the middle of the night is a Republican tactic for passing right-wing measures with as little public scrutiny as possible. But if the purpose in this case was to suppress public debate over Israel, it doesn’t seem to be working.

James Zogby, a Sanders appointee, introduced an amendment to revise the language in the Isro/Pal section of the platform, proposing deletion of a drafted pledge to oppose so-called delegitimization of Israel at the UN or by the BDS movement. He also proposed removing a reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital. He pushed for wording that called for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements so that [Palestinians] may live in independence, sovereignty and dignity,” “an international effort to rebuild Gaza which the UN warns could be uninhabitable by 2020” and recognition that Palestinians, like Israelis, “deserve security, recognition and a normal life free from violence, terror and incitement.” Sanders “had direct input” in crafting the amendment, Zogby said, arguing:

The term “occupation” shouldn’t be controversial.

Indeed, there was nothing radical about the amendment, which left the pledged Pindo commitment to subsidizing Israel’s military machine and the reference to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” intact. J Street did not object to the word “occupation,” although the memo it circulated to members of the platform committee urged them to adopt language opposing BDS. Clinton appointee Wendy Sherman, a lobbyist who effectively sells access to government officials, said that BDS and the UN “create anti-Semitism.” Former Congress crittur turned lobbyist Howard Berman framed opposition to Israel’s occupation as “one-sided” and suggested that Palestinians bear some responsibility for Israel’s illegal conduct. B Schaefer, former joint-CEO of a jewelry chain called Claire’s Stores, didn’t even bother addressing the issues raised in the amendment. Instead, she engaged in pinkwashing. opining:

As a gay Jewish Zionist, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, as we all know, the only place in the Middle East that I can walk down the street with my wife hand in hand and not be afraid.

A Clinton supporter and major donor to the Democrat Party, Schaefer was named to the committee by the DNC. Zogby fired back:

You can go and walk down the street of Tel Aviv holding the hand of your wife? I can’t get in the airport without seven hours of harassment, because I’m of Arab descent. We have to be able to call it what it is. It’s an occupation that humiliates people, that breeds contempt, anger, despair and hopelessness that leads to violence.

Cornel West, an outspoken supporter of BDS appointed by Sanders, expressed outrage, saying:

When the IOF kills innocent people, over 500 babies in 51 days, no matter how many shields they say Hamas uses, it’s wrong. Democrat Party must tell the truth. We can never fully respect the Palestinians unless we can name … the boot on their necks. … I come from a people who’ve been hated.

The motion was nonetheless defeated in an 8-5 vote, with Sanders’ representatives being the only committee members to back it. That vote, combined with other defeats throughout the day, prompted West to abstain from approving the platform altogether, exclaining:

[If] we can’t say a word about TPP, if we can’t talk about Medicare for all explicitly, if the greatest prophetic voice dealing with impending ecological catastrophe can hardly win a vote and if we can’t even acknowledge occupation as something that’s real in the lives of a slice of humanity … it just seems to me there’s no way in good conscience I can say take it to the next stage. I have to abstain. I have no other moral option, it would be a violation of my own limited sense of moral integrity and spiritual conscience. That’s how I roll.

The Clinton wing of the party has attempted to neutralize them through the most cynical form of identity politicking. CNN reported:

Concerned that Zogby and West’s viewpoint may be gaining traction at least in the public narrative, Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina representative and now a CNN commentator, sent a letter signed by 60 Black African politicians Uncle Toms around the country to the co-chairs of the platform committee last week urging them to stick to the traditional language on Israel. [as a] counterpoint to West, a prominent member of the Black community.

Josh Ruebner, policy director of the Pindosi Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (Jewish-led fraud – RB), told EI:

As Dr Jim Zogby noted in the debate last night, there is a fundamental disconnect between official Pindostani policy and the unwillingness of the Democrat Party to back it.

It called on activists to urge both parties to support Palestinian rights in their platforms.


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