jewish leftists are fucking worthless garbage

Israel lobby urges Biden to ramp up attacks on college activists
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Electronic Intifada, Jan 15 2021

Boring pointless Jewish-sponsored pro-Palestinian demonstration (Photo: Joe Catron)

Leaders of major Israel advocacy groups in the US are calling on the incoming Biden administration to further suppress Palestinian rights activism on college campuses. In a letter sent on Jan 12, they make no mention of the events six days prior when anti-Semitic extremists, white nationalists and other Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol Building. Rather, the heads of the ADL, the JFNA, the AJC and others representing dozens of members of the CPMAJO praise the current and two former administrations and claim that “some anti-Israel activity is simply a modern form of anti-Semitism,” pointing squarely to Palestine solidarity activism on college campuses. For their part, some of these same organizational leaders had separately expressed their dismay and horror at the blatant anti-Semites and their ilk who took part in the Jan 6 attack.

Attempting to shield Israel from criticism, lobby organizations have for years shifted the blame for violent acts of anti-Semitism by white supremacists toward defenders of Palestinian rights instead. The habitual claim that the Palestine solidarity movement, particularly at universities, is a hotbed of anti-Semitism paved the way for the executive order issued by Trump in Dec 2019. Trump’s order officially adopts the IHRA ‘definition’ of anti-Semitism, which conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish bigotry. The CPMAJO urge the Biden White House to “maintain and build upon” the recognition by the last three Presidents that “anti-Semitism on college campuses is a serious problem.” But the claim that rampant anti-Jewish bigotry is related to college Palestine solidarity activism bears no proof, according to the ADL itself. Still, Israel lobby groups continue to use these assertions in order to advance their agenda.

The CPMAJO offer their help to the incoming administration to implement the IHRA ‘definition’ of anti-Semitism. Additionally, they claim that the plan to implement the IHRA ‘definition’ through the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, enjoys “widespread bipartisan support” in Congress. Though that legislation has been stalled since 2018 amid free speech concerns, the former head of the Dept of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Israel lobbyist Kenneth Marcus, unilaterally and extra-legally adopted the IHRA ‘definition’ as policy in order to charge Palestine rights activists with ethnic discrimination against Jewish students. Marcus’ move was a gift to Israel lobby groups that had been pushing the US government to use the IHRA ‘definition’ to shield Israel from criticism on college campuses. On Thursday, the Democratic Majority for Israel, the US Congress’ in-house lobby, echoed the calls for the Biden administration to adopt the IHRA ‘definition.’

The lawmakers’ group claimed that critics of the IHRA ‘definition’ “are simply wrong on the facts,” adding that European countries that have already adopted the ‘definition’ have not become “hotbeds of anti-speech activity.” Here, DMFI overlooks the recent policies passed in Germany and France, two countries it cites, that have openly infringed on the rights of their citizens to criticize Israel and participate in the BDS campaign. Meanwhile, human rights defenders are rejecting this latest attempt by Israel lobby groups to police students’ speech and smear Palestine solidarity activists as anti-Semites. Jewish Voice for Peace called the CPMAJO letter “shameful.” The group has also set up an online petition to counter-pressure Biden, urging him to reject the IHRA ‘definition.’

Admonishing the letter, Yonah Lieberman of the progressive Jewish group IfNotNow said:

Israel’s vaccination program is morally indefensible
Omar Karmi, Electronic Intifada, Jan 15 2021

Israel’s exclusion of 5m people from its COVID-19 vaccine program continues to raise protest. This week, the UN called on Israel to ensure “swift and equitable access” to the vaccine for Palestinians who live under its occupation. Since Israel began its vaccine rollout, Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations have protested that the country is failing in its obligations as an occupying power by not offering the vaccine to the Palestinians of occupied territory. It is a policy, said Amnesty International on Jan 6, that exposes Israel’s “institutional discrimination.” Israel, especially Netanyahu, who is facing yet another election at the end of March, just when the vaccine program is scheduled to have reached most Israelis, is proud of a program that has seen a reported 10% of its population vaccinated in less than a month. Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are eligible, as are Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and Jewish settlers living in contradiction to international law in the occupied West Bank. But Israel’s officials have struggled to explain and intentionally misled when challenged about why it has not extended the program to the 5m Palestinians of occupied territory. As the occupying power, Israel has a responsibility under international law, including article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to ensure “public health and hygiene in the occupied territory.” Article 56 makes “particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.” But Israeli officials have argued that the Oslo accords have superceded international law, leaving the Palestinian Authority responsible.

Under the Oslo agreements, the PA is supposed to maintain international vaccination standards. However, that is not the same as responding to a global pandemic. And the 1995 interim agreements specifically and separately mention epidemics calling, in Article 17, on Israel to help the PA combat “epidemics and contagious diseases, develop methods for exchange of medical files and documents.” The Israeli human rights organization Gisha has dismissed the idea that the Oslo accords negate Israel’s obligations under international law. Gisha said in a statement earlier this month:

Any role played by Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza does not absolve Israel from its ultimate responsibility toward Palestinians living under occupation.

On Thursday, UN human rights experts also rejected that argument. Israel’s decision to exclude Palestinians under its rule, according to the UN, is indefensible. They stated:

The Oslo accords must be interpreted and applied consistent with international law, and cannot derogate from its broad protections. The ultimate responsibility for health services remains with the occupying power until the occupation has fully and finally ended. Morally and legally, this differential access to necessary health care in the midst of the worst global health crisis in a century is unacceptable.

Israel has also blamed the PA for not asking for help as officials tried to fend off criticism. An Israeli defense ministry official told the JPost in December:

Israel is willing to assist the Palestinians but first it needs to create dialogue with them. Until now, unfortunately, this dialogue has not happened. We are still waiting for the Palestinian Authority to engage us on this matter.

And PA officials themselves muddied the water by sending out mixed signals. One unnamed official told the the JPost last month that the PA did not expect Israel to sell them or procure for them any vaccine. However, this month, the PA’s foreign ministry announced that while the PA had obligations toward its own population, that in no way absolved Israel from its international legal and humanitarian obligations, writing:

As the illegal occupant of the State of Palestine, Israel has absolute and full control over all the crossings and borders as well as airspace.

The statement also pointed out that Israel does not in any case permit the PA to operate in occupied East Jerusalem or Area C of the West Bank, which comprises some 60% of the area. Moreover, and in apparent contradiction of its official position of standing ready to help, Israel has reportedly rebuffed an unofficial request from the WHO to make vaccines available to Palestinian medical workers.

On the ground, Palestinians fear that COVID-19 is raging out of control. The PA is cash-strapped and ill able to afford a mass vaccination program without international aid. Moreover, reduced health-care capacity in the occupied West Bank means the area, home to 3m Palestinians, only has two freezers capable of storing the Pfizer vaccine, which demands special storage conditions, leaving that particular possibility impractical. So far, the PA has been unable to offer any vaccines to anyone and while there is talk of agreements with four vaccine makers, no deliveries are expected for weeks. Especially acute is the problem in the densely populated Gaza Strip, where some 2m people have been kept on the brink of starvation by an Israeli and Egyptian siege for 14 years. There, a dilapidated health sector, undermined by the nearly a decade and a half of sanctions, was already struggling to secure enough essential medicines when the first cases of community transmission of COVID-19 were diagnosed. So far, nearly 170k Palestinians in occupied territory have contracted COVID-19. There have been more than 1.8k deaths.

EU border guards ask no questions as they shop for Israel’s drones
David Cronin, Electronic Intifada, Jan 15 2021

The mainstream media has failed to properly scrutinize the major new contract that Greece has awarded to an Israeli weapons firm. Announcing that it had won the $1.7b deal for air force training, the weapons firm Elbit Systems boasted of its “tested knowhow and proven technologies.” Journalists seeing that boast ought to have done a little research into how Elbit’s equipment has been “proven” and its knowhow “tested.” Had journalists done so, they would have realized that Elbit supplies drones and surveillance equipment are used by Israel to oppress Palestinians. That salient fact was, however, omitted from reporting on the Greek deal.

Benny Gantz, Israel’s defense minister, would have everyone believe that the deal will help regional stability. His claim was reproduced uncritically by Le Monde, even though there are good reasons to suspect he was lying. Since when did Israel have a reputation for bringing calm to troublespots? As head of Israel’s military, Gantz oversaw the deadly 2014 offensive against Gaza. A man who directed acts of extreme violence is hardly credible when he expresses a desire for regional stability, to put it mildly. Through the new deal, Israel is openly siding with Greece at a time of heightened tensions with Turkey. Instead of enabling stability, the new deal risks making a volatile situation even worse. It is by no means the first time that Greece has turned to Israel’s weapons industry. Last year, the Greek air force leased Heron drones made by another weapons firm, Israel Aerospace Industries. Those drones are a similar example of “proven” technology. With them, Israel has attacked civilians in Gaza.

Greece is one of three countries selected by Frontex, the European Union’s border guard agency, to host a drone project. Under the project, Elbit Systems and a partnership involving Israel Aerospace Industries and the multinational Airbus have been awarded a combined total of around $118m. There is a sordid logic at work here. Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries have both tested out their drones on Palestinian refugees, people uprooted by Zionist forces in the 1940s and their descendants. Now the same type of drones will enable Frontex to spy on refugees from various countries as they embark on perilous journeys toward Europe’s shores. Speaking about that logic nonetheless appears taboo among Frontex’s leadership. I recently made a freedom of information request seeking details of briefing notes prepared for Fabrice Leggeri, the Frontex chief, on drones made by Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries. The response from Frontex indicated that representatives from these companies were invited to a “kickoff” event for the drone project that the agency held online during October. A presentation prepared for that event crams a dizzying amount of jargon into 10 pages. Rather than using the term “drone,” it refers to “remotely piloted aircraft systems.” One point is nonetheless telling. Frontex stresses that the crew operating these drones are “experienced,” without spelling out what that means. There is nothing in the presentation to suggest that operators who have gained experience attacking Palestinians will be disqualified. Nor do any of the documents released by Frontex allude to how Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries have profited from the suffering inflicted on Palestinians.

Frontex has a habit of accommodating human rights abuses. An investigation published by Der Spiegel during 2020 revealed that Frontex staff were involved in operations where the Greek authorities pushed refugees back to the sea. The revelations make a mockery of Frontex’s claims that rescuing people in distress at sea is a “top priority” for the agency. Frontex is one of the few EU bodies that has the power to buy or lease military or quasi-military equipment. The weapons industry has sniffed plenty of business opportunities arising from Europe’s cruelty to refugees. And Israeli firms have proven especially adept at milking those opportunities.

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