The subversive nature of criticizing israel and reporting on the truth of palestine


Palestinian boys prepare to welcome Women’s Boat to Gaza, which was intercepted by the Israeli naval blockade on Oct. 5, 2016

Dennis Bernstein, the Jewish grandson of a highly esteemed Rabbi, describes some the disgusting attacks and vile death threats he’s received for his journalism and lectures on the brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel in his ‘The Price for Criticizing Israel’, Dennis Bernstein, July 19, 2017, consortiumnews.com

In this piece, Berstein’s interviewing Australian filmmaker and journalist John Pilger, one he names for simply plowing ahead to bring the truth:

“Pilger has made two documentaries 25 years apart about Palestine, with almost the same name, Palestine is the Issue and then Palestine is Still the Issue.

I spoke recently with Pilger about Palestine and the brutality of the continuing occupation, and also about the responsibility for empowering and sustaining the occupation that falls at the feet of the Western press, based on its misreporting and, in some cases, not reporting at all the brutal realities of Israel’s iron-fisted occupation of Palestinians, which many critics, as well as several UN officials, have labeled as a form of ethnic cleansing that borders on genocide.

I also spoke with Pilger about the recent G-20 meetings in Germany, where President Trump held his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the Russia-gate frenzy. John Pilger’s latest film is The Coming War on China. He recently gave a moving talk at the Palestine Expo in London on the ongoing battle for the liberation of Palestine, excerpts of which have been published by Consortiumnews.”

It’s long and worth reading, but rather than pull loads of illuminating quotes from the interview, I’ve decided to focus mainly on Pilger’s updated film and few other hard-to-bear items in the independent journalism news save for these on Palestine:

JP: I suppose Mandela considered Palestine the greatest moral issue because it was about a people wronged. The Palestinians were not the Germans, they didn’t do terrible things to the Jewish people. In fact, they had lived peacefully with the Jewish people for a very long time. They were the majority people in their country. Jews, Muslims, Christians lived together in peace, generally speaking, until the state of Israel was imposed on them.

As Mustafa Barghouti put it, “The Zionists wanted a state at the expense of the Palestinians.” That’s what Mandela meant. Palestine is a classic colonial injustice. [Israel] is the fourth largest military power in the world backed by the largest military power, the European Union and other Western countries, taking away the freedom and imposing oppression on the people of Palestine.

DB: And the idea of a free Palestinian people is one that is very troubling to the Arab world that is aligned with the United States. It seems nobody wants to think about the liberation of Palestine because then they have to think about their own corrupt and vicious dictatorships. Palestine really is the issue of war and peace. Whether there will ever be peace depends on whether these people will ever have a place to call their home again.

JP: Certainly, until the Palestinians have justice–in a way that they recognize it–there will be no peace in the region. In a sense, all roads of conflict in this troubled region lead back to Palestine. If the Palestine issue were resolved, that would mean that Israel would be a normal country. Not armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and intimidating and oppressing the indigenous people, but a normal country living with equality within its own sphere. If that happened, if that were resolved, I’m not saying that peace would suddenly break out all over the Middle East, but it would be the beginning.

DB: Do you see the boycott/divestment movement as a hopeful light? Clearly, people who have supported it in the US, students and teachers, have suffered great repression. But do you see this as a viable movement? In some ways it is modeled on the South African anti-apartheid movement.

JP: All you have to do is look at the reaction in Israel. They are terrified of it. They have brought all kinds of pressure to bear on governments, particularly the British government, to stop the BDS movement having an influence. Just the other day, a court judgment found that local councils in Britain could indeed boycott, dis-invest and sanction whoever they please. The British government had told them they couldn’t. Well, they can. The BDS movement really worries the Israeli regime because it’s popular.

DB: It is interesting to see how strong the reaction has been to the boycott/divestment movement. Professors have lost their jobs, kids have been beaten up. Below the corporate media surface, it has really been reverberating out there in the grassroots.

Cue the AIPAC sponsored bill: ’45 senators, 235 congressmen support bill that makes boycotting Israel a crimeindependent.co.uk, July 21, 2017

“The so-called “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” would impose fines of up to $250,000 (£192,000) on any US citizen “engaged in interstate or foreign commerce” who supports a boycott of Israeli goods and services.

The US has long defended Israel in territorial disputes in the Middle East, even as the Israeli military has expanded into areas assigned to the Palestinians by international law.”, and so on.

John Pilger – Palestine Is Still The Issue [2002]  (53 min)

 

In his ‘Why Palestine is Still the Issue’, John Pilger, July 11, 2017, counterpunch and johnpilger.com, he gives background on his 2002 documentary.  It’s longish, and I’m having the devil’s own time cutting out any of it, but I’ll try my best, especially as some of it’s in the interview with Bernstein.

“When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them.

One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter.

“Arabs”, they said, “nomads”.  The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green.

They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

It was the first lie. Most of the orange groves and vineyards belonged to Palestinians who had been tilling the soil and exporting oranges and grapes to Europe since the eighteenth century. The former Palestinian town of Jaffa was known by its previous inhabitants as “the place of sad oranges”.

On the kibbutz, the word “Palestinian” was never used. Why, I asked. The answer was a troubled silence.

All over the colonised world, the true sovereignty of indigenous people is feared by those who can never quite cover the fact, and the crime, that they live on stolen land.

Denying people’s humanity is the next step – as the Jewish people know only too well. Defiling people’s dignity and culture and pride follows as logically as violence.

In Ramallah, following an invasion of the West Bank by the late Ariel Sharon in 2002, I walked through streets of crushed cars and demolished houses, to the Palestinian Cultural Centre. Until that morning, Israeli soldiers had camped there.

I was met by the centre’s director, the novelist, Liana Badr, whose original manuscripts lay scattered and torn across the floor. The hard drive containing her fiction, and a library of plays and poetry had been taken by Israeli soldiers. Almost everything was smashed, and defiled.

Not a single book survived with all its pages; not a single master tape from one of the best collections of Palestinian cinema.

The soldiers had urinated and defecated on the floors, on desks, on embroideries and works of art. They had smeared faeces on children’s paintings and written – in shit – “Born to kill”.

Liana Badr had tears in her eyes, but she was unbowed. She said, “We will make it right again.”

What enrages those who colonise and occupy, steal and oppress, vandalise and defile is the victims’ refusal to comply. And this is the tribute we all should pay the Palestinians. They refuse to comply. They go on. They wait – until they fight again. And they do so even when those governing them collaborate with their oppressors.

In the midst of the 2014 Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer never stopped reporting. He and his family were stricken; he queued for food and water and carried it through the rubble.  When I phoned him, I could hear the bombs outside his door. He refused to comply.

Mohammed’s reports, illustrated by his graphic photographs, were a model of professional journalism that shamed the compliant and craven reporting of the so-called mainstream in Britain and the United States. The BBC notion of objectivity – amplifying the myths and lies of authority, a practice of which it is proud – is shamed every day by the likes of Mohamed Omer.

For more than 40 years, I have recorded the refusal of the people of Palestine to comply with their oppressors: Israel, the United States, Britain, the European Union.

Since 2008, Britain alone has granted licences for export to Israel of arms and missiles, drones and sniper rifles, worth £434 million.

Those who have stood up to this, without weapons, those who have refused to comply, are among Palestinians I have been privileged to know:

My friend, the late Mohammed Jarella, who toiled for the United Nations agency UNRWA, in 1967 showed me a Palestinian refugee camp for the first time. It was a bitter winter’s day and schoolchildren shook with the cold. “One day …” he would say. “One day …”

Mustafa Barghouti, whose eloquence remains undimmed, who described the tolerance that existed in Palestine among Jews, Muslims and Christians until, as he told me, “the Zionists wanted  a state at the expense of the Palestinians.”

Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician in Gaza, whose passion was raising money for plastic surgery for children disfigured by Israeli bullets and shrapnel. Her hospital was flattened by Israeli bombs in 2014.

Dr. Khalid Dahlan, a psychiatrist, whose clinics for children in Gaza — children sent almost mad by Israeli violence — were oases of civilization.

Fatima and Nasser are a couple whose home stood in a village near Jerusalem designated “Zone A and B”, meaning that the land was declared for Jews only. Their parents had lived there; their grandparents had lived there. Today, the bulldozers are laying roads for Jews only, protected by laws for Jews only.

It was past midnight when Fatima went into labour with their second child. The baby was premature; and when they arrived at a checkpoint with the hospital in view, the young Israeli soldier said they needed another document.

Fatima was bleeding badly. The soldier laughed and imitated her moans and told them, “Go home”. The baby was born there in a truck. It was blue with cold and soon, without care, died from exposure. The baby’s name was Sultan.

For Palestinians, these will be familiar stories. The question is: why are they not familiar in London and Washington, Brussels and Sydney?

In Syria, a recent liberal cause — a George Clooney cause — is bankrolled handsomely in Britain and the United States, even though the beneficiaries, the so-called rebels, are dominated by jihadist fanatics, the product of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of modern Libya.

And yet, the longest occupation and resistance in modern times is not recognized. When the United Nations suddenly stirs and defines Israel as an apartheid state, as it did this year, there is outrage – not against a state whose “core purpose” is racism but against a UN commission that dared break the silence.

“Palestine,” said Nelson Mandela, “is the greatest moral issue of our time.”

Why is this truth suppressed, day after day, month after month, year after year?

On Israel – the apartheid state, guilty of a crime against humanity and of more international law-breaking than any other– the silence persists among those who know and whose job it is to keep the record straight.

On Israel, so much journalism is intimidated and controlled by a groupthink that demands silence on Palestine while honourable journalism has become dissidence: a metaphoric underground.

A single word – “conflict” – enables this silence.  “The Arab-Israeli conflict”, intone the robots at their tele-prompters. When a veteran BBC reporter, a man who knows the truth, refers to “two narratives”, the moral contortion is complete.

There is no conflict, no two narratives, with their moral fulcrum. There is a military occupation enforced by a nuclear-armed power backed by the greatest military power on earth; and there is an epic injustice.

The word “occupation” may be banned, deleted from the dictionary. But the memory of historical truth cannot be banned: of the systemic expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. “Plan D” the Israelis called it in 1948.

The Israeli historian Benny Morris describes how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was asked by one of his generals: “What shall we do with the Arabs?”

The prime minister, wrote Morris, “made a dismissive, energetic gesture with his hand”. “Expel them!” he said.

Seventy years later, this crime is suppressed in the intellectual and political culture of the West. Or it is debatable, or merely controversial.  Highly-paid journalists and eagerly accept Israeli government trips, hospitality and flattery, then are truculent in their protestations of independence. The term, “useful idiots”, was coined for them.

Understanding and deconstructing state and cultural propaganda is our most critical task. We are being frog-marched into a second cold war, whose eventual aim is to subdue and balkanise Russia and intimidate China.

When Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke privately for more than two hours at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, apparently about the need not to go to war with each other, the most vociferous objectors were those who have commandeered liberalism, such as the Zionist political writer of the Guardian.

“No wonder Putin was smiling in Hamburg,” wrote Jonathan Freedland. “He knows he has succeeded in his chief objective: he has made America weak again.”  Cue the hissing for Evil Vlad.

These propagandists have never known war but they love the imperial game of war. Like another noble concept, “democracy”, “human rights” has been all but emptied of its meaning and purpose.

Like “peace process” and “road map”, human rights in Palestine have been hijacked by Western governments and the corporate NGOs they fund and which claim a quixotic moral authority.

So when Israel is called upon by governments and NGOs to “respect human rights” in Palestine, nothing happens, because they all know there is nothing to fear; nothing will change.

Mark the silence of the European Union, which accommodates Israel while refusing to maintain its commitments to the people of Gaza — such as keeping the lifeline of the Rafah border crossing open: a measure it agreed to as part of its role in the cessation of fighting in 2014. A seaport for Gaza – agreed by Brussels in 2014 – has been abandoned.

The UN commission I have referred to – its full name is the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia — described Israel as, and I quote, “designed for the core purpose” of racial discrimination.

Millions understand this. What the governments in London, Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv cannot control is that humanity at street level is changing perhaps as never before.

People everywhere are stirring and are more aware, in my view, than ever before. Some are already in open revolt. The atrocity of Grenfell Tower in London has brought communities together in a vibrant almost national resistance.

For most of the 21st century, the fraud of corporate power posing as democracy has depended on the propaganda of distraction: largely on a cult of “me-ism” designed to disorientate our sense of looking out for others, of acting together, of social justice and internationalism.

At the heart of the Middle East is the historic injustice in Palestine. Until that is resolved, and Palestinians have their freedom and homeland, and Israelis are Palestinians equality before the law, there will be no peace in the region, or perhaps anywhere.

 

Events are moving quickly now. The remarkable Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) is succeeding, day by day; cities and towns, trade unions and student bodies are endorsing it. The British government’s attempt to restrict local councils from enforcing BDS has failed in the courts.

These are not straws in the wind. When the Palestinians rise again, as they will, they may not succeed at first — but they will eventually if we understand that they are us, and we are them.

This is an abridged version of John Pilger’s address to the Palestinian Expo in London on 8 July, 2017.

Some of the recent Telesur.english headlines on their ‘Palestine’ tab:

How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians into a Corner’; Israel feels that times are changing, as the Trump administration offers Israel a window of opportunity to normalize its illegal occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem.

Palestinians Killed and Scores Injured in Occupied Territories’

Israel Bans Muslim Men Under 50 From Al-Aqsa Compound’

Palestinians to Hold “Day of Rage” Against Al-Aqsa Restrictions’, Palestinian groups have denounced increased Israeli security measures at the site.

Jewish voices for peace on twitter.

amazing:

Gaza Blackout.org:

“For a decade, Israel has enforced a military blockade over two million Palestinians in Gaza. Now, people in Gaza only have an average of 4 hours of electricity per day. The below times show when five major cities in Gaza had power yesterday.” (and more ugly stats on water, ‘relocations’, and apartheid treatment)

44 responses to “The subversive nature of criticizing israel and reporting on the truth of palestine

  1. Boycott, divest, sanction eventually brought down Afrikaaners apartheid in South Africa. It is probably the most effective non-violent tactic available for apartheid/ethnic discrimination oppression. Of course the largest settler colonial state would consider making it illegal for their citizens (counter to its own Constitution, that quaint document).

    Of course, if you go back far enough what state isn’t a settler colonial state.

    And settler colonial states tend to have the least respect for the environment where they have occupied. They also have the least natural memory of environmental trends.

    • it’s no surprise that congress seems intent on passing the aipac law, but the twittersphere is noting that a few, like gillibrand, are saying they never knew what was in the law, must be some pressure for her or others to back-pedal, eh?

      i suppose there a lot of opinions as to what down apartheid in south africa, but what john pilger had said to dennis bernstein was: ““BDS on its own is not going to bring about freedom for the Palestinians. In South Africa, the sanctions did undoubtedly have an effect. But White South Africa managed to get around the sanctions. It was when it lost a powerful friend, when the Reagan administration decided that South Africa was causing more trouble than it was worth and finally withdrew its support, that the system fell.” and of course what the US does is key.

      i suspect we may never know what de klerk’s ‘secret negotiations’ w/ mandela comprised. but the u.s. state dept said that once the soviet union fell, it was all over but the shouting, as SA apartheid was ‘a bulwark against communism’. sounds facile, doesn’t it? but sigh; look at what the ANC is doing now.

      but looking about for other news related to abbas, i found this that i’d vaguely remembered, but hadn’t stuck on my hard drive; ‘Kushner meets with Abbas in bid to renew peace process; Kushner sounds out Netanyahu, Abbas on ways to move forward” june 22, 2017 it seemed very odd to me since herr T loved the idea of proclaiming jerusalem the undivided capital of israel or whatever. not too inflammatory, no….
      http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Abbas-Kushner-and-Greenblatt-discuss-two-state-solution-497561

      • Good point about the loss of the “bulwark against communism” argument. Good thing that Israel hasn’t positioned itself as a bulwark against anything, isn’t it? Gah. When Middle East peace breaks out, what country is the next “bulwark” and what are they against? Oh ye, Ukraine — and against Russia (like old times again).

        • yes it’s a good thing that israel isn’t a bulwark against anything save for: peace in the ME, sane, a quest towards non-violent policing (remember, the nypd has an office there, the IDF trained the federales to fight the zapatistas, etc.), *iran* getting the bomb and nuking israel out of existence, hence, proxy wars galore…

          but ukraine, oh ukraine. looks as though after poroshenko’s recent charm ofensive in deecee, ukraine will get enuff *defensive weapons* to use against The Bear. no, we swear: not offensive weapons, just shit that will destroy tanks and whatnot… jeebus. the most beautiful woild in the woild.

        • slightly OT, but david walsh in his wsws review of “Dunkirk” suggests that the troops were trapped and abandoned at Dunkirk precisely b/c so much of the European & esp. British aristocracy were completely sympathetic w/Hitler, esp. in the “they were a bulwark against Bolshevism” vein. no love loss over the jew thing either. Not provable, but probable: Hitler waited to attack the trapped troops b/c he & Churchill were in secret negotiations, that ultimately failed. but not for Churchill’s lack of trying to accommodate and appease the Moustache of Death. (again, the silence of Nolan’s film is very pernicious.)

          among other things, Israel is a bulwark against socialism. or any pretense of democratic aspiration, in Palestine & among its neighbors. what does one suppose that, e.g., Israel’s role was in the installation of al Sisi in Egypt? and is? and like w/the Nazis, the leaders are deep in the big muddy w/”the enemy”: isis, aq, etc. indeed, in the very large but still quite literal sense, AQ & Hitler are the products of the same people. not coincidentally, manufactured to fight against Russia.

    • Well put THD; BDS must be working, because the daddy state doesn’t like it.
      The view from the Hermitage is not a healthy one; Sheldon Wolen’s inverted totalitarianism appears to have taken a firm hold over yonder…
      Good luck with that.

      • You mean that plantation capitalism has taken its mask off again? No one has yet done an adequate study of white non-slaveowners during the antebellum period and why states operated as seemingly inverted totalitarian states but dominated by local oligarchies (touchingly referred to as “branches of the Southern or Yankee or Midwestern or California aristocracies”. But until the 1850s, it was the Southern branch that was dominant domestically but especially in foreign policy. The Yankee branch of the inverted totalitarian state lost big last fall.

        You might have had illusions about the nature of the society you grew up in. Seems we all did. Good luck standing in two societies; it has its own challenges.

        Yes, we are not in a healthy place. Between inverted totalitarianism and hereditary monarchical tyranny and corporate feudalism. Potentially civilization transitional moments. Likely ripples from here will wash on your shores.

        • Oh, indeed, the ripples have been coming for 50+ years; but our cultures are so different that the ripples get muted somewhat, but not entirely.
          I think it’s fairly obvious now, that the U.S. is in decline; Russia and China are ascendant; especially in S.E. Asia.
          But that creates a host of problems with the U.S. firmly in denial.
          A very dangerous road ahead me thinks…

  2. prince munchkin

    Israel is the truth of the world. the top dogs are on top thru more efficient methods of organized violence, against comparatively…not helpless, but outgunned, indigenous populations. but now the frontiers are all closed and there is nowhere else to run. what’s a poor colonial settler state to do since the natives can’t flee further west (as in 19th c. US)? build tighter cages? yes.

    Israel is the truth of the world. the west supports Israel b/c Israel embodies the right of the “superior” to dispossess & kill the “inferior,” as measured by capitalist efficiency, the rate at which one kills.

    what do you think the Palestinians think of the obamination? how come that Mandela quote doesn’t get trotted out in all the paeans & hosannas to Saint Nelson? (whatever his later failings & sins, you can see the flash of greatness in that little spark of humility & modesty. in that quote about Palestine.)

    that pink Floyd video was hard to watch. hard to watch young boys & girls pulling their hair out w/grief at what the elders have gotten their youngers (mostly boys) to do. so is this hard to watch:

    oh yeah, one effect of the erasure of Israeli border walls from Amerikan consciousness? the blind readiness of certain people to accept the idiotic & brutal notion of a wall with Mexico. you’ve kept the Mexicans & Palestinians in? how do you keep the Amerikans & Israelis out of those pens you’ve caged these people in? can’t be done. as the history of Israeli theft of land shows, walls are preludes to greater crimes, greater incursions, greater pillage. Mexico won’t be any different.

    • prince munchkin

      the dishonesty of outfits like the NYT, all of MSM really, about Israel has a corrupting effect on our own society. since Israel is both the experiment & the model for the world as each society deals w/restive populations, the dishonesty is part of the objective of making the US more like Israel. ditto the headchoppers in S Arabia. silence is consent is promotion. silence about a crime is to aid, abet and *foster*.

    • that was also hard to watch, prince. the one w/ ‘we shall overcome’ simply made me weep, so i couldn’t embed them. but explain this please? “….pulling their hair out w/grief at what the elders have gotten their youngers (mostly boys) to do”?

      you know, your math here seems obvious now you’ve said it out loud: “Israel is the truth of the world. the west supports Israel b/c Israel embodies the right of the “superior” to dispossess & kill the “inferior,” as measured by capitalist efficiency, the rate at which one kills.”, even if awfully cynical and hard to live with.

      cages. walls. cages. near-starvation, filthy water. stop the flotillas. remember when we read the formula for how many calories were permitted to get into occupied palestine and gaza? juuuuuust enough to keep them alive. “but oh”, the naysayers claim, “there’s so much food, medicines, so many weapons smuggled in”. as the poster said, “where is humanity?”

      barghouti’s quote below reminded me of young angela davis asking her teevee interlocutor: “and you ask ME if i approve of violence?!”.

      • prince munchkin

        sorry, “Palestinian children pulling their hair out in grief at what Israeli elders have gotten their Israeli youngers to do.” who owns the youth? for Israel, the youth embody the agency & will of the state. for Israel, Palestinian youth also embody the agency & will of the (enemy) state, and so must be killed. that the Palestinian (or Iraqi or Afghani or Libyan or Somali…) state exists only very, very tenuously, is irrelevant. people’s resistance is take as an expression of the “will of the state” and so those people become legitimized as targets. they can never be just people who don’t want a fucking Israeli bulldozer plowing thru their living room.

        • thanks for explaining better about ‘israeli elders getting their kids to do’. and it isn’t just military, either, as we know only too well. it can be a gang at a bus top, wherever, but ye, it’s been legitimized whole haug by the western media. as just some ‘conflict’ as pilgers said so well.

          yes, the media lies, obfuscations, false equivalencies serve to approve killing ‘rioters’, unarmed blacks, domestically here. some of the zionists on twitter embody it all only too well. well, forget it, i was about to name a few of the issues that brought out the heel-biters, but i don’t have the stomach for it.

          the Big News, of course, is that the aclu sent out a letter to congresscritters advising them not to cosponsor the two bills ‘until and unless some of the constitutional issues were sorted’ or somesuch. i went looking for the actual letter cuz one sentence bothered me a lot:

          “We take no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country, for that matter. However, we do assert that the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.”

          https://www.aclu.org/letter/aclu-letter-senate-opposing-israel-anti-boycott-act
          well, fine, okay. bu where i found it wasn’t at the aclu’s website, but at tada! the intercept, where grim and GG write: “It is no small thing for the ACLU to insert itself into this controversy. One of the most traumatic events in the organization’s history was when it lost large numbers of donors and supporters in the late 1970s after it defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois, a town with a large community of Holocaust survivors.

          Even the bravest of organizations often steadfastly avoid any controversies relating to Israel. Yet here, while appropriately pointing out that the ACLU “takes no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country,” the group categorically denounces this AIPAC-sponsored proposal for what it is: a bill that “seeks only to punish the exercise of constitutional rights.”

          well, tough crap. that’s their flipping job, or is supposed to be.

      • prince munchkin

        part of all this mashing peoples up into some state leviathan is, again, to equate the violence of the oppressed and the oppressor. it’s “Israel vs. Palestine,” not heavily armed soldiers & tanks & bombs vs. rock throwers & crude grenade launchers.

      • prince munchkin

        who was le dude who said, l’etat c’est moi? the US is its leadership class, its owners. Iraq is Saddam Hussein, that’s why you can punish the nation w/brutal sanctions in order to coerce the people to become someone else thru the toppling of the current leader. Millions of Russians are Putin. Panama is Noriega, so killing thousands of them is no biggie.

        but people don’t get to the pinnacle of power by believing in anything but the pinnacle of power, so these rationalizations for actions that are only about dominance can be discarded at any time. Uncle Sam doesn’t have “beliefs,” only pretexts. contradictions, incongruities, etc., don’t mean anything to the philosophy of just smashing stuff.

        or the “theology” of the wrecking ball. the triumphalist nonsense that gets spouted about the temple mount…so Israel will prove its “divine” legitimacy by dominating that piece of land? by taking a demolition crew to the Al Aqsa mosque, they prove their claim? if justice is the interest of the stronger (a la the opening of Plato’s Republic), where does it stop? nowhere. the right to rule secured by violence never has boundaries, partly b/c mastery thru violence is always threatened, in a state of perpetual fear. it can be seen in many of these people’s faces. Ariel Sharon & Bibi Yahoo look like the kind of people who never let anything go long enough to even have a bowel movement. unclenching is weakness. to riff off a dumbass deodorant commercial, never let ’em see you shit. i’m sure the only reason bibi ever steps into a men’s room is just to keep up appearances. anyway, enough on that grotesque subject. if forced conversions work on one side of the Jordan, why not on the other side? b/c of G-d’s “commands”? oh, I suspect one’ll find God to be as flexible on that & many other subjects as one needs him to be. I mean, nowhere in sacred writ does it say *don’t* conquer Syria, Lebanon, Babylon, Persia…China….the moon…amirite? what is not forbidden is permitted.

        • in keeping / your excrement meme, louis quatorze seems to have died from gangrene at that fundament. but these are offishully ‘deep thoughts’ on the pinnacle of power being simply that, munchkin, no belief system in play save for dominance. but while i was trying to think all of this/that through, including the obfuscating rationalizations that the public endorses for the most part, this news from VZ seems quite relevant; you all can decide what to make of it, as there are several layers of players involved.

          “In a televised interview, Maduro said, “The director of the CIA has said, ‘The CIA and the U.S. government work in direct collaboration with the Mexican government and the Colombian government to overthrow the constitutional government in Venezuela and to intervene in our beloved Venezuela.’”
          “I demand the government of Mexico and the government of Colombia to properly clarify the declarations from the CIA and I will make political and diplomatic decisions accordingly before this audacity,” he added.
          The comments come after CIA Director Mike Pompeo confirmed the United States is advising Mexico and Colombia on developments in Venezuela.”

          i went hunting for pompous’s words, found the video in a boilerplate ‘conspiracy # 324′ or so piece at columbiareports.com gods’ blood is he made in the same bloated, bad-breath mold as so many of them in this administration.

          “Any time you have a country as large and with the economic capacity of a country like Venezuela, America has a deep interest in making sure it is as stable© and as democratic™ as possible so we’re working hard to do that. I’m always careful when we talk about South and Central America and the CIA – and there’s a lot of ♫stories♪ – so I want to be careful with what I say, but suffice to say we are very hopeful that there could be a *transition in Venezuela* and we, the CIA, is (sic) doing its best to understand the dynamic there so that we can communicate to our state department and to others.

          I was just down in Mexico City and Bogotá the week before last, talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world, and for our part of the world.” – Mike Pompeo, July 20th, 2017 Taken from the Aspen Security Forum Interview

          of course the colombian minister denied it, but given tillerson, oil, mexico’s alliance w/ trump on oil pipelines, and that the cia has been busy in VZ for a decade, likely even embedded w/ the oppo protests, it’s like saying the truth in plain sight, but…rationally convincing to the rubes; those of similar purpose will understand. the question was from ‘Vanessa Neumann, president of business intelligence firm Asymmetrica‘. (public and private funding, oh ho)

          @Asymmetrica_ Trade intelligence; US & EU gov’t relations; LatAm & Africa business. UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED); UN Women
          Asymmetrica Retweeted
          Vanessa Neumann, PhD‏ @vanessaneumann Jul 23 “I will be on @AJEnglish in 45 minutes discussing #Venezuela’s July 30th Constituent Assembly that will kill democracy.”

  3. from RT: “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended all ties with Israel on Friday after deadly clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli police. Protests broke out after Israeli authorities installed security cameras and metal detectors at the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site.

    RT: Palestinian President Abbas suspended all relations with Israel. How would you comment on that? Are you surprised?

    Mustafa Barghouti: No, I am not, actually. He should have done that some time ago because the Israeli behavior is a behavior that wants to kill any possibility of peace in this place. Its policy is directed at destroying the two-state solution either by the measures they are taking at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is a very provocative act or by the law they have just passed which prohibits even negotiations over Jerusalem or by the increased settlement activities which have exceeded any previous expansion before. All these factors have led to this reaction. They have killed three of our people and injured no less than 432 demonstrators. All the people were just praying peacefully, I was there myself, and I saw myself – there was no violence from the Palestinian side and suddenly we were attacked with bullets, with the clubs, they were very aggressive toward the Palestinian prayers.”

    (deninis bernstein said this of barghouti: “DB: We just had on our show Arab Barghouti, the son of Mustafa Barghouti, who hasn’t touched his father for two years. Mustafa Barghouti has been in prison for fifteen years and just led a major hunger strike. Strong, articulate, he can’t be silenced.”

    “The Arab League has warned Israel about crossing “a red line” in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the sacred city of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, an Israeli minister said the metal detectors that triggered the violence will remain.

    The League’s foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.”

  4. good god all-friday, and not just to the ariel end-times theology, all of it.

    and a group of bds acivists were just prevented from getting on a flight to israel.

  5. a distinction w/o much difference? a response to jordanian and arab league pressure, apparently, anyhoo.

    sweet dreams if you can manage them; i’m going to *try* to be out for the night.

    on edit: yep, i’m out; storms from the southeast and northwest, and this wifi attracts lightning like…anything.

    so let this serve a a lullabye, and see the many drought-stricken planetary regions…raining, beautiful rain.

  6. The E✡CE$$ 0f EVIL !

  7. mariam barghouti was on trnn today: ‘Palestinian Protesters Defend Their ‘Right to Exist’; As the Al-Aqsa protests continue despite a deadly Israeli crackdown, writer Mariam Barghouti says Palestinians across the Occupied Territories “are reiterating their right to exist” (i believe she’s mustafa’s daughter.)
    from her twit account:

    concerning cameras instead of metal detectors al al aqsa:

  8. the corrupting influence of Israel on the world, but esp. the US, is abetted by the MSM’s unending falsification about the state of Israel. just one example: if the NYT reported w/even a bit of truthfulness about the effect of wall-building on Israeli society, how might that impact people’s thinking of wall-building on Mexico?

    and, to pick on libs as is my custom, it is more difficult to disbelieve the NYT than to believe one’s own eyes. after watching either or both of those Pink Floyd videos on Gaza, will they even notice the incongruity b/n what they *see* Israel doing (to children no less) and the way the MSM talks about Israel? nope. those children can scream & wail w/grief all they want. Israel still needs “a reliable partner.”

    excuse me while I go throw up.

    • or the fences and walls against immigrants in the EU, either isolating them in dangerous cages, or ‘exporting them’. i dunno how much it would matter to ‘the wall’ in mexico, really. kinda like the empire’s stenographers have long decided that there’s ‘good violence’ and ‘bad violence’.

      i admit i never embedded some of the instagrams of the bombings on twitter from bds, jewish voices for peace…they made me want to throw up. but two worthy tweets, one less appropriate to this discussion, but that i endorse. oh, and on the bds cultural boycotts, not only are folks railing at radiohead for going to israel, but there was a tweet to michael stipes and REM that: ‘no michael, the time for discussions, dialogue (something) has long passed. ish. i followed the message to REM’s twitter thang, and there they were, crowing over…bono! beats hell outta me. anyway:

      (America’s Trump, Not Trump’s America_

      • when they are done w/us all, we’ll be singing nothing but Mahler’s das klagende Lied (the wailing song) and Kindertotenlieder (child death songs.)

        prolly some folks kicking time’s can round these parts have seen this:

    • yes, israeli jets have been bombing syria and yemen, along w/ palestinians. and yes, a couple of the tweets in the OP are from jewish voices for peace. am i to understand that your meaning is that’s what the israeli (likud?) government endorses and condemns, as well as the west in continual obeisance to israel and ‘her’ apartheid and warlike policies?? iran, of course, must be stopped from…something…at any cost.

    • did the world pay attention when three self loathing jews© admonished israel?
      Peter, Paul, & Mary – Light One Candle (PBS Holiday Concert, 2014)

      how can a human w/ any sort of moral compass not have wept, and understood by way of an epiphany?

      Light one candle for the strength that we need
      To never become our own foe
      And light one candle for those who are suffering
      Pain we learned so long ago
      Light one candle for all we believe in
      That anger not tear us apart
      And light one candle to find us together
      With peace as the song in our hearts

      and yet, we continue to…kill the dove. for the sake of ‘expedience’? empire?
      class war?

      • if music changed anything, then surely god would have stepped in to put a stop to *this* crap after the first bar. and not let it get 350 million views. aren’t they just asking for it, tempting fate, and all that, w/this garbage?

        i bet after it’s all done we’ll find out that all along the Venusians (Venerealans?) were just about to save us…and then they heard this song…

        • i dunno what they’re even on about, nagelbett. makes me wanna say in derision: “oh, ish, these kids today”. but explain to an olde crone?

          • I have no idea. it’s just terrible. but it is a sign, like the drunk at the restaurant in “the birds” says: it’s the end of the world. just look at that big hair.

          • how can it be the final countdown if the clock is going backwards? who wrote this? George lucas?

          • after all that super serious music, I needed something that made me weep for different reasons. here I am Jonah-like wishing damnation on these evil Europe Ninevite big hair bastards…and not seeing the livestock jumping around w/their Bic lighters, who, when it comes to music at least, clearly don’t know left from right.

            • let’s kick their mataphorical asses, then. ‘europe spotify’? yeah clicking in got me nowhere in hell. but…as for bono, speak of the devil. think they’ll give him a lifetime sinecure on the CFR, too? what an odious one per-center of a spectacle. can’t even carry a tune, lol. (thanks, julian) ;-)

              on edit: bono’s One Foundation‘, ooopsie, mebbe they’ve changed their ways, but hell, ‘we get all our money from bill and mellie, honest! not billions from the public!’

        • The best thing about that song is that it inspires this kind of flattery:

      • (ok, a more serious response to this wonderful song)
        thou child of darkness, be not for aye a bail bondsman! I mean a baal bondsman (Melville is funny as hell; “baal” means owner, master).

        the classical greek word for interest, as in usury, is tokos, which means offspring, child. the mystery of compound interest, or how money, if you pile it all into a certain place like G Sax, manages to reproduce prodigiously. rub those coins together, and see if they breed. (the bard is damn funny too. the frottage of coins.)

        that sage j.c., in maybe the most well-known of his stories, tells of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost (aka, the prodigal) son in Luke 15, comparing 1/100, w/ 1/10, w/ 1/2. there’s more going on here than the simplistic stuff I was taught on those flannel graph boards in sunday school, but the lost coin is at the center for a reason. what is the value of the coin in the management of the house, the oikonomos, the economy? (economics: reducing questions of value to simplistic questions of arithmetic, ie, quantities of money. can i haz my nobel now? i’ll take that fake one, the prize for economics.)

        the asexual yet somehow self-reproducing coin has blinded us all, esp. the managers, to what is valuable in the household of the world. and so the sheep and the son, the true wealth of the world, its fertility and its future, remain lost. as the coins pile up, the house is ruined. (same question in Moby dick w/Ahab and the gold doubloon he nails up: what is the value of this coin relative to the whale/killing the white whale? the whale can only be converted to cash & its value relative to dollars disclosed by one & one means only: killing it. “money answers all,” as unchristian Solomon said. each member of Ahab’s crew has some question “answered” by Ahab’s money. the Raimi brothers do the same kind of thing, quite brilliantly i think, in the movie “drag me to hell:” what is the relative value of the button, the coin and a piece of jewelry, the ring? & so our young ambitious banker, the tragic heroine, winds up being literally dragged down to hell b/c she misses the question of value. cf. the gems in the eyes of the skulls that mock the dead men in Clarence’s dream of death & hell in Richard 3. or “those are pearls that were his eyes” in the tempest. “if your eye is double, how great is your darkness. for you cannot serve God & Mammon.” money & blindness. everyone has had one eye put out by a dollar sign. it is the sentiment of the woman as the nurturer of the household that determines the value of the coin. the reverse of this scenario is what obtains today: prostitution.)

        (yes, i know we’ve all seen this)

        be not for aye a bail bondsman. mind your eye.

        • my stars, the ode to joy was a brilliant background accompaniment to your various etymologies, literary references, and philosophical construct on coins. good job, bed-o-nails. and yeah i ♥ that video, watch it a lot, seldom fails to bring happy tears to mine eyes. the chirren. the chirren. bless their little hearts.

  9. a victory!

    aaaand, right on cue, bibi says he’s working toward shutting down al jazeera cuz they’re inciting violence at the temple mount w/ their coverage, the guardian.

    “I have spoken several times to law-enforcement authorities demanding the closure of al-Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem. If this does not happen because of legal interpretation, I will work to enact the required legislation to expel al-Jazeera from Israel,” the Israeli leader added.”

    i keep forgetting to say how sorry i am that we have to read the disgusting racist pornographic spam. i’d finally trashed the standing rock diary that had been their collective target repeatedly, and had hoped it wouldn’t start on a new thread. it *may be* that i’ve discovered how to blockade them, but only time will tell.

  10. everyone take hope, the advanced guard of the revolution is on the march, per NPR. Clive Bundy has discovered twitter and has created a massive crisis for the gov’t in getting “its message out.” Big Cattle vs. guvmint overlords. hard to know which side to pick. how to get thru the Bundy bullhorns of that dilemma. (some of the Clivens or the Bundies or whoever don’t even trust Fox!!!! oh the poor deluded flat-earthers who’ve gone off the edge of NPR’s map.) Oh, and not bankrupt enough to satisfy me Michael Moore, trying to deposit something somewhere beside more fat around his arteries, has set up a Trump whistleblower hotline. It’s the Mike & Me show! whistleblowers to the “left,” auditions for Showboat to the right….oh further scarifying newz from NPR: the truth brigade at snopes.com is running out of money! awww, welcome to Wikipedia country. seems advertisers don’t have much money for “fact-checking.”

    so here’s NPR w/its idiotic “media wars,” failing to note all the while how Google is censoring the news.

    and you wonder why no one knows shit about Palestine.

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