electronic intifada

Marjorie Greene, the QAnon anti-Semite gun fanatic who loves Israel
Michael F Brown, Electronic Intifada, Aug 8 2020

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a right-wing Thug and pro-Israel candidate, may well be the next representative from Georgia’s conservative 14th district. Greene won a first round of voting in June by close to 20%, but failed to clear the 50% threshold and consequently faces John Cowan in an Aug 11 run-off. The winner is widely expected to be the next representative for a district that voted overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016. Greene is among a number of candidates who support the QAnon conspiracy theory. Travis View, who has written about QAnon for the WaPo, has described it as being “based upon the idea that there is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshiping paedophiles who rule the world, essentially, and they control everything.” Greene goes beyond conspiracy into outright bigotry. In June, Politico released video evidence of Greene voicing her racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views. In one Facebook video she verbally attacked Muslims. she inveighed:

If you want Islam and Sharia law, you stay over there in the Middle East. You stay there, and you go to Mecca and do all your thing. And, you know what, you can have a whole bunch of wives, or goats, or sheep, or whatever you want.

Greene decried what she termed “an Islamic invasion into our government offices” following the 2018 elections. She also accused Muslim men of paedophilia. In another video, she suggested Black people are held down by gangs and lack of education rather than by white people. Greene contended that if she were Black she would feel “proud” to see Confederate monuments because they would show how far she had come. She repeated a common right-wing anti-Semitic attack against George Soros, a Demagog contributor and founder of the Open Society Institute, when she stated:

George Soros is the piece of crap that turned in, he’s a Jew, he turned in his own people over to the Nazis.

This is a repugnant misrepresentation of reality. Soros was a child at the time of WW2 and was in profound danger of death from the Nazis. Days before the run-off, she labeled Soros an “enemy of the people” on her campaign’s Facebook page. In another recent post, she referred to Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists, saying:

Soros funds the destruction of Pindostan by supporting BLM/Antifa /Fake News Media, the true enemy of the Pindo sheeple. He’s bank-rolling left-wing movements world-wide who want to destroy Israel, one of the few friends the Pindo sheeple have.

Greene posted a nearly 30-minute video following Trump’s election putting forward the theories of the internet commenter, or three commenters, known as Q. She noted the theories could also be found at hate site 4Chan. In the video, Greene speculates about the Faschingstein elite’s involvement in paedophilia and Demagog Satanic worship. She cites Q as discussing a triangle involving Toad Arabia, the Rothschilds and Soros. These are supposedly “the puppet masters that fund this global evil.” Greene adds, “I definitely would believe that.” She then says the triangle recently lost “one of its sides,” the Toads, around the time Trump visited the country to be honored there in 2017. This is a clear mishmash of anti-Semitism and anti-Arab sentiment. Nonetheless, Greene trumpets her pro-Israel credentials in the apparent expectation that it will wipe away her anti-Jewish views. In Nov 2018 she spoke up for George Papadopoulos, an adviser to Trump during the 2016 election campaign, and Michael T Flynn, a former NSA, regarding their “stance on Israel.”

In fact, according to the NYT, Flynn lied to the FBI about his discussion with Russian ambassador Sergey I Kislyak regarding how Russia would vote on UNSCR 2334 in late 2016. The resolution condemns illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. Flynn is a QAnon supporter who tweeted himself taking the group’s oath on Jul 4 this year. He has more than 855k followers on Twitter. Presumably, he anticipates that many will be taken in by this Satanist pedophilia conspiracy theory in the midst of a deadly pandemic that some believe is fake news. Papadopoulos, for his part, announced at the time of Trump’s inauguration: “We are looking forward to ushering in a new relationship with all of Israel, including the historic Judea and Samaria.” He later served 12 days in federal prison for lying to the FBI. Nearly four years later the Trump administration has signaled it might recognize Israel’s possible annexation of some of that West Bank territory in violation of international law. Greene also supported moving the Pindo embassy to Jerusalem and declaring it the capital of Israel. She has not displayed any understanding of the dispossession and occupation of the Palestinian people by Israeli forces.

The aspiring House representative has made clear her disdain for Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, claiming that they and other Congress critturs have “destroyed” the National Football League and are “destroying” the stock-car racing firm NASCAR, apparently for getting rid of the Confederate flag which for many Pindos represents treason, the enslavement of Black people and Jim Crow racial discrimination. She has gone so far as to make a claim of dual loyalty against Omar.

And she released a racist Facebook attack against Ocasio-Cortez and Omar that suggests they like the damage to Pindo cities from recent protests over the killing of George Floyd because, in words falsely attributed to Omar, it feels “more like home.” Greene is a staunch proponent of the second amendment which has made the US one of the most dangerous countries in the world, particularly for schoolchildren. One of her campaign advertisements has her drive up in a Humvee before firing an AR-15 at signs saying “gun control,” “open borders,” the “Green New Deal” and “socialism.” The “open borders” shot is a clear threat to undocumented migrant workers crossing the southern Pindo border and fits with the racism she has expressed elsewhere. In another ad, she touts Trump as declaring antifa to be a “domestic terrorist organization.” Holding her AR-15, Greene hints at her capacity for violence when she warns “antifa terrorists” to “stay the hell out of northwest Georgia.” The anti-science Greene is certain to promote conspiracy theories, a more gun-stuffed PidoS and belligerent support for Israeli colonial expansion if she wins her August runoff and again in November. At the moment, there’s a strong possibility she will be in Faschingstein in January as the next representative of Georgia’s 14th congressional district.

Palestinian child jailed by Israel has coronavirus
Tamara Nassar, Electronic Intifada, Aug 7 2020

Palestinians in Bethlehem rally in support of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, Jul 23.
Photo: Sharona Weiss/ActiveStills

A Palestinian child imprisoned by Israel has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, amid an outbreak in Israeli detention centers. Israel arrested the 15-year-old from his home in the Jalazone refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Jul 23. This is the first known case of a Palestinian child detainee contracting the virus. His identity is being protected by human rights group Defense for Children International Palestine for privacy reasons. Israeli forces transferred the child to the Shikma interrogation center in Ashkelon, southern Israel. They postponed his interrogation after he tested positive for the virus. But despite being infected, Israeli authorities extended the boy’s detention for another eight days “since he has yet to be interrogated,” according to the human rights group. Israel is currently holding the child at a police station in Acre in northern Israel. Ayed Abu Eqtaish, a program director with the rights group, stated:

There is no way Israeli forces can justify the detention of a child currently infected with COVID-19. Israeli authorities are recklessly endangering his health and well-being along with the health of other detainees.

Israel is the only country in the world that systematically subjects children, and only Palestinian children, to military tribunals. Abu Eqtaish reiterated DCI Palestine’s calls to release all Palestinian children from Israeli jails immediately. Another prisoner tested positive for the coronavirus at Ofer military prison near Ramallah, where Israeli occupation forces also detain Palestinian children. Naim Abu Turki, 38, was taken into quarantine along with five others who came into contact with him. Abu Turki was being held in section 14 of the Ofer military prison. Israeli occupation forces imprison Palestinian children in nearby section 13. Israel was holding 160 Palestinian children in its prisons in June. The pandemic has not derailed Israel’s arrest of Palestinians, including civil society and cultural figures. Israel raided cultural centers in occupied East Jerusalem last month and arrested their directors. IOF interrogated and detained for 12 hours Rania Elias, head of the Yabous Cultural Center, and Suhail Khoury, the head of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. While detaining the couple, Israeli occupation forces raided the Yabous Cultural Center and the music conservatory. Israel has for years waged a violent campaign against cultural and civic institutions and individuals in occupied East Jerusalem, closing down many organizations as part of its effort to erase the city’s Palestinian character. An Israeli military court also convicted a Palestinian educator for giving a lecture at Birzeit University. Ahmad Qatamesh was given “a suspended sentence for four months in prison in the coming three years if he gives a lecture again in the mentioned period,” according to prisoners rights group Addameer. Qatamesh was arrested and charged in December. An Israeli military court granted him conditional release on bail. Instead of releasing him in January, he was issued with four months of administrative detention, without charge or trial, which was later renewed to an additional four months. Addameer stated:

Qatamesh is charged and on trial and at the same time is facing administrative detention.

Between 1992 and 1998, Qatamesh spent six years in Israeli administrative detention, the longest period a Palestinian had been jailed by Israeli occupation forces without charge or trial. He was detained again in 2011 and held for another two and a half years without charge or trial. In 2013, Amnesty International determined that Qatamesh was a “prisoner of conscience who is being detained solely for expressing nonviolent political beliefs.” Meanwhile, on Aug 2, an Israeli military court extended for 15 days the detention of Mahmoud Nawajaa, general coordinator of the BDS movement. Nawajaa was seized from his home near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank during a night raid by Israeli soldiers on Jul 30. Amnesty International has also named Nawajaa a prisoner of conscience.

Detention of BDS coordinator in Israel is a “violation,” EU says
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, Aug 7 2020

The EU has broken its silence about Israel’s arbitrary detention of the general coordinator of the BDS movement. Mahmoud Nawajaa was seized from his home near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank during a night raid by Israeli soldiers on Jul 30. The EU said in a statement emailed to The Electronic Intifada on Friday:

We are following this case very closely through our channels and contacts on the ground. The reasons for the arrest and the charges brought against Mr Nawajaa are not yet known. No formal charges have been issued and he continues to be prevented from seeing his lawyer. According to our information, he was transferred from the West Bank to a detention facility in Israel. Transferring a prisoner to detention facilities outside the OPT is a violation of article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Detainees are also entitled to formally receive charges against them, should be given access to legal aid, and tried within a reasonable time or released.

On Aug 2, at the request of Israel’s Shin Bet, an Israeli military court extended Nawajaa’s detention for 15 days, and he has another hearing scheduled for Sunday. The EU has pointedly not condemned the arrest of a prominent human rights defender outright, nor demanded Nawajaa’s immediate release.

This is in marked contrast to Amnesty International, which stated on Friday:

Israel should immediately and unconditionally release Palestinian human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa. He has been detained solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association and is therefore a prisoner of conscience.

On Thursday, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council called “on the international community to effectively intervene for the immediate release of Nawajaa.” It added that under the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, Nawajaa “enjoys protection on grounds of his BDS activity and opposition to racial discrimination policies implemented by the Israeli colonial state against Palestinian citizens.”

The EU told The Electronic Intifada it has been “regularly addressing the issue of Palestinian prisoners with Israel.” It said it has “called on Israel to fully respect international humanitarian law as well as its human rights obligations and international standards towards all prisoners, also in light of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” The statement also asserts that the EU “regularly expresses a long-standing concern about Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention without formal charge.” While the EU acknowledges how extensive Israel’s human rights abuses are, the 27-nation bloc’s “long-standing concerns” have been accompanied by no actions to hold Israel accountable. On the contrary, the EU continues to increase its support for Israel despite such abuses, including Israel’s plans to illegally annex more occupied Palestinian land.

Ex-general appointed by Trump says he was in Gaza with Israeli army
Michael F Brown, Electronic Intifada, Aug 6 2020

Anthony J Tata. Photo: Chris Seward/MCT

Trump picked Gen (Retd) Anthony J Tata on Sunday to perform the duties of the Deputy Under-Sec Def for Policy. Earlier in the day, Tata had backed out of consideration for the role of Under-Sec Def for Policy, the third-highest in the Pentagon, because that position requires Senate confirmation. It had become clear last week he would not receive it from the Senate Armed Services Committee after numerous bigoted comments from Tata surfaced. If Tata stays in the position for 90 days, he can then take the original job in an acting capacity without Senate confirmation. House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith voiced his dismay at Trump’s sidestepping of Senate approval. Smith stated:

If an appointee cannot gain the support of the Senate, as is clearly the case with Tata, then the President should not put that person into an identical temporary role. This evasion of scrutiny makes our government less accountable and prioritizes loyalty over competence.

Once caught for his numerous explosive remarks, and with his nomination in jeopardy, Tata expressed “regret” for his comments. His previous opinions included the claim that former DCI Brennan had sent a coded tweet to have Trump assassinated. He urged that Brennan be arrested immediately.

Much of the negative attention Tata garnered last week was connected to his view that “Islam is the most oppressive violent religion I know of” and a tweet calling Obama a “terrorist leader” due to the Fox News commentator’s angst over Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

On another occasion Tata called Obama a “Muslim,” intending it as an insult, and “terrorist” who “did more harm to vital Pindo interests and help Islamic countries than any president in history.” Tata also claimed Obama is an “anti-Semite,” dangerously and falsely weaponizing a very serious charge. As reported by CNN’s Kfile, the network’s investigative unit, he insisted during a 2018 radio appearance :

Obama wanted Iran to be flushed with cash so that they could support Hizballah and Hamas and their fight against Israel, because Obama is an anti-Semite.

In a separate Kfile report, CNN noted Tata’s claim that Obama tried to “help Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood.” MSM did not explicitly note Tata’s anti-Palestinian racism, an enormous problem within both main parties. Yet in a May 2019 op-ed for Fox News, Tata argued:

Politicians in Pindostan such as Reps Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib who support Hamas and Hizballah need to either visit Israel to witness the precarious geopolitical position of our chief ally in the region, or they should leave Congress to support our enemies and those of our allies.

This is McCarthyism 101. Love the country Tata’s way or leave it. Two months later, Trump made almost the same racist argument.

Tata also made an unusual claim in the same op-ed. He maintained that he had “recently spent a week with the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza, Galilee, and the Golan Heights.” He makes light of being in the Golan Heights with an occupying military guarding settler-colonial outposts, but it’s the comment about being in Gaza with Israeli military forces that doesn’t ring true. If true, however, in what capacity was a former one-star general maneuvering in Gaza with Israeli forces? Did he enter a few yards into a boundary tunnel discovered by Israel or was he merely in the vicinity of Gaza? The claim that he was in Gaza with Israeli military forces is a lie, a misrepresentation or an alarming new indication of just how deep into Gaza Israeli mistaravim, undercover Israeli agents dressed as Palestinians to abduct, attack and infiltrate groups of civilians, often during protests against Israel’s military occupation, are. Yet it’s practically inconceivable that a retired Pindo general would be invited for a ride along. A flyover also seems unlikely, though they are known to occur for Pindo boxtops with helicopters over the occupied West Bank. The claim is one that should be investigated by Congress. Otherwise, Tata should quickly retract it or explain what transpired. This is almost certainly a display of bravado about an unreal or exaggerated event, but if true, the claim has enormous implications for Pindo foreign and military policy. It would be astonishingly reckless of Israel and of Tata, and perhaps the Pindo military, if he entered Gaza with Israeli military forces. If true, Pindostan is more complicit in the Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza than previously known. Interacting with another Twitter user last year regarding the Great March of Return protests along Gaza’s boundary with Israel, Tata claimed:

These ‘rock throwers’ are brutal Hamas terrorists who would gladly slit your throat because you’re a Pindo (I presume).

This is propaganda. He can cite no such example of Pindo civilian visitors to Gaza having their throats slit by Hamas members. It simply hasn’t happened. Additionally, his tweet downplays the very real civilian casualties, including among children, press and medical workers, suffered by Palestinians along the boundary during these protests for the right of return and against the Israeli siege. Tata is now in a position to further pursue his anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hatred as Deputy Under-Sec Def for Policy. Sadly, given the endless wars Pindostan has been waging on Muslim-majority countries in recent decades, that may make him a perfect fit.

Israel, destroyer of Lebanon, poses as its savior
Tamara Nassar, Electronic Intifada, Aug 6 2020

Israeli girls in Kiryat Shmona write messages on heavy artillery shells before they are fired
into Lebanon, Jul 17 2006. Photo: Sebastian Scheiner/AP

Even amidst catastrophe, Israel’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 135 people, injuring more than 5,000 and displacing hundreds of thousands. The death toll is likely to climb as rescue workers search the devastated Lebanese capital. The blast left little unscathed, as citizens posted pictures and videos of shattered homes, damaged cars and collapsed buildings across the city. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Lebanese officials linked it to 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored for the past six years in warehouses at the port without safety precautions. Now, Israel is exploiting the tragedy to erase its own crimes against Lebanon, distract from military occupation and polish its image, a propaganda strategy called bluewashing. Israel announced it was offering Lebanon humanitarian aid through diplomatic channels. The official account of the Israeli military tweeted:

On Wednesday evening, Tel Aviv even lit up its city hall with the Lebanese flag.

The breathtaking hypocrisy was not lost on Twitter users who posted notorious images taken during Israel’s 2006 invasion showing Israeli children writing messages on artillery shells before the army fired them into Lebanon.

The offers of “humanitarian” aid come from the same country that has killed and injured tens of thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and regularly threatens to destroy Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure as it has done time and again. During the 2006 invasion, Israel fired more than a million cluster munitions into the country. An Israeli army officer told Haaretz:

What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs.

In the course of that war, Israel dropped some 7k bombs and missiles, and bombarded all parts of Lebanon by land and naval artillery as well. More than 1.1k people were killed and some 4.4k injured, the vast majority civilians. An investigation by Human Rights Watch completely debunked Israel’s claims that the horrifying toll was as a result of “collateral damage” because Hizballah fighters were hiding among civilians or using them as “human shields.” Human Rights Watch concluded that Israel indiscriminately targeted civilian areas, a strategy known as the “Dahiya Doctrine,” after the southern suburb of Beirut that Israel deliberately flattened. And Israeli leaders frequently threaten to do it again. In 2018, for example, Yisrael Katz, a senior member of Netanyahu’s government, threatened to bomb Lebanon to the “Stone Age” and “the age of cavemen.” And just days ago, after claiming that Hizballah fighters had attempted to attack the Israeli army across the border, Netanyahu alluded to the 2006 war.In a barely veiled threat to repeat the same massive destruction, Netanyahu said on Jul 27:

In 2006, Nasrallah made a big mistake in testing Israel’s determination to defend itself, and the Lebanese state has paid a heavy price for this. I suggest he does not repeat this mistake.

Netanyahu repeated his threats just hours before the Beirut explosion.

For maximum propaganda value, Israel is reportedly insisting on keeping Hebrew markings on any aid shipments that might reach Lebanon, although Lebanon is almost certain to reject such aid.

Meanwhile, Israel rushed to spread baseless rumors blaming Hizballah for the blast. 4IL, a propaganda outlet of Israel’s strategic affairs ministry tweeted:

Absolutely no such evidence has come to light. Israel regularly violates Lebanese airspace and sovereignty, flying unmanned aircraft and fighter jets over the south of the country and even its capital. Instead of condemning such violations and calling for justice for the victims of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon, Nikolai Mladenov, the UN’s Middle East peace envoy, lauded Israel for offering aid:

Mladenov appeared to be cynically using the tragedy as an opportunity to advance a political agenda of normalizing regional ties with Israel, whose Arabic-language propaganda Twitter account continued to put out shameless assertions of “solidarity” with the Lebanese people:

Not everyone was on message, however. Moshe Feiglin, the former deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset, celebrated the blast in Beirut as “spectacular pyrotechnics show” and a “wonderful celebration” coinciding with a date Jews mark as a holiday of love. This is the same Feiglin who during Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza proposed a plan to “concentrate” Palestinians in border camps and “exterminate” any who resisted, while destroying all civilian housing and infrastructure. But most Israeli politicians apparently got the memo that these sorts of declarations are not the image Israel wants to send out. Even as Israel lights up Tel Aviv city hall in a cynical display of support, few Lebanese will forget that almost 14 years ago to the day, Israel was lighting up Lebanon’s skies with missiles and bombs.

BDS supporter Cori Bush wins Missouri congressional primary
Michael F Brown, Electronic Intifada, Aug 5 2020

Cori Bush, holding megaphone. Photo: Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

In one of the most remarkable and inspiring primary elections in recent history, Cori Bush upset long-time incumbent Representative William Lacy Clay Jr. Lacy Clay and his father have represented Missouri’s 1st congressional district for more than half a century. Bush is a Ferguson activist, nurse, pastor and progressive leader.

Her campaign website emphasizes her pledge:

I shall fight tooth and nail to eradicate targeted, hateful discrimination and enact federal policies that protect and uplift ALL people. I fight because I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, to be burdened with student and medical debt, and to live day to day in St Louis where poverty is violence, crime is rampant, and our unhoused community grows daily.

Confronted by Lacy Clay in a deeply disturbing attack over her support for the BDS movement, Bush stood strongly for BDS and did not simply back it as a free speech right as the Demagog platform does. She wrote:

Cori Bush has always been sympathetic to the BDS movement, and she stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people, just as they have stood in solidarity with Black Pindos fighting for their own lives.

Her campaign also pushed back against the Lacy Clay mailer for “digitally altering Cori’s skin tone” and for “falsely and grossly” accusing her of anti-Semitism for appearing in a photo alongside Pindo-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour at an interfaith event to protest the government’s caging of migrant children. Her campaign’s response accused Lacy Clay of using the photo “to stoke fears of anti-Semitism and promote Islamophobia, both of which are unacceptable.”

The excitement over her victory from the Palestine rights community is palpable.

The Black-Palestine solidarity emerging out of the Ferguson Black Lives Matter movement is likely to grow as Bush is expected to win in November and join fellow BDS supporters Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in Faschingstein. Tlaib on Tuesday handily defeated her primary challenger, almost certainly ensuring she will return to Congress following November’s general election. Omar faces a primary next week. Pro-Israel groups are channeling huge sums of money to her challenger. Establishment Demagogs should brace for long overdue change. The primary victories of Jamaal Bowman and Bush are sending a very strong progressive message.

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