Entries Tagged 'Krieg' ↓

Profiles in Collaboration

Part II of the Series:

A Who’s Who of the „Free Muslims Board

In Part I of this series, we examined the activities of Jon „Yani“ Haigh, a longtime Queensland resident who operates and monitors a network of racist troll groups on Facebook, and Kamal Nawash (for whom Haigh provides a range of web design and programming services) of the „Free Muslim Coalition Against Terror“ , a group that advocates the political repression and surveillance of the US Arab and Muslim communities (related to the Facebook group „Free Muslims“). This, the second part of the series, examines some of the other shady characters who make up the „Free“ Muslims Coalition.


The board of the Free Muslims are exactly what you’d expect of a group with the stated purpose of putting a Muslim face on the plethora of repressive measures, human rights violations, and outright war crimes that make up the „war on terror“.

Particularly fitting is the presence on the Board of Ray Hanania, who began his career as a journo in Chicago, covering local and regional politics for the Sun-Times and other print, radio, and TV outlets. During this period, he also hosted call-in radio chatshows on WLS, and appeared regularly on Dick Kay’s City Desk on WMAQ-TV. In 1990, he served as a panellist at the Chicago mayoral debate, which resulted in yet another electoral victory for the Daley clan. Two years later, he delved headfirst into the world of Chicago machine politics, founding the Urban Strategies Group, a full-service PR agency whose clients include Mayor-For-Life Daley himself, various city agencies, aldermen, Democratic committeemen, and „three successful candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives“.

Hanania boasts particular expertise in „crisis management“ for „those with serious public relation [sic] challenges“. One imagines that such expertise was quite useful during his stint providing „basic media training“ to the propaganda agency of Israel’s „Palestinian Authority“. Nor could it have hurt when he was called upon by the U.S. State Department and U.S. „Information“ Agency to „provide media training sessions, meetings and presentations…to foreign media and government officials.“ Continue reading →

Ron Paul and the Dysfunction of the American Left

(Deutsche Übersetzung)

One of the most disturbing aspects of the fragmentary American Left today is the tendency of many leftists in the US (though, obviously, not just in the US) to make decidedly poor choices when it comes to selecting allies. One well-known example of this – tirelessly pointed out by Paul Street, Glenn Ford, and many others – was the combination of wishful thinking and denial that led so many progressives and leftists to hitch their wagons to the star of centre-right neoliberal Barack Obama, the darling of such classic Left institutions as Wall Street and the nuclear power industry.

Over the past couple of years, there has been a dawning realisation that this was a very bad idea indeed, and that many on the Left had fallen for a product of the PR industry specifically designed for them to fall for. It certainly was one of Madison Avenue’s great successes, so much so, in fact, that the Obama campaign beat out Apple in 2008 for the industry’s coveted award for best ad campaign. However, Obama’s PR makeover, which transformed a centre-right, neoliberal militarist only Citigroup could love into the darling of the anti-war movement, can’t hold a candle to the image makeover enjoyed by one Ron Paul. While Madison Avenue managed to transmogrify the centre-right Obama into a supposed stealth leftist, Ron Paul’s PR has managed to make a potential Left ally out of a far-right white supremacist who courts the favour of the sort of people Trotsky once suggested should be ‘acquainted with the pavement’. However, much less has been written about this continuing strategic cockup than the subject deserves.

In the following, I will briefly sketch the actual views of Ron Paul, to show what sort of person so many on the anti-war left have hopped into bed with. I will then propose an explanation for why this sort of thing happens, and keeps happening. The Ron Paul readers will encounter in the following will bear little resemblance to the sanitised Ron Paul who courageously rails against the current wars and declares himself to be against empire and the National Security State, and for personal liberty.

The Real Ron Paul

(Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-Communist philanderer, Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressmen [sic]. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan Approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.)

Listen to a black radio talk show in any major city. The Racial Hatred makes a KKK rally look tame. The blacks talk about their own racial superiority, how the whites have a conspiracy to wipe them out, and how they are going to take over the country and enact retribution. They only differ over whether they should use King’s non-violent approach (i.e., state violence), or use private violence.

– Ron Paul on the Civil Rights Movement


When, on occasion, I have attempted to discuss Ron Paul’s views with his fans on the Left, I have regularly been accused of ‘smearing’ him. The accusation is understandable, because Ron Paul espouses views with which no decent person would willingly be associated. As we will see below, Ron Paul, far from being an ‘almost unique’ politician who ‘transcends the left-right pseudo-divide,’  and ‘doesn’t want to make a country of the left or a country of the right”, can in fact be quite easily located on the far-right end of the ‘left-right pseudo-divide’, alongside such ‘almost unique’ politicians as David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Paul Craig Roberts. All that is true in the laudatio quoted above is that Ron Paul most definitely ‘doesn’t want to make a country of the left’.

Before he rose to national prominence, Paul was a little less cautious about publicising his views. In 1996, the year Adolph Reed, Jr. became the first on the Left to call out ‘vacuous to repressive neoliberal’ politician Barack Obama, left-progressive Texan commentator Molly Ivins wrote:

Dallas‘ 5th District, East Texas‘ 2nd District and the amazing 14th District,which runs all over everywhere, are also in play. In the amazing 14th, Democrat Lefty Morris (his slogan is “Lefty is Right!“) faces the Republican/Libertarian Ron Paul, who is himself so far right that he’s sometimes left, as happens with your Libertarians. I think my favorite issue here is Paul’s 1993 newsletter advising “Frightened Americans“ on how to get their money out of the country. He advised that Peruvian citizenship could be purchased for a mere 25 grand. That we should all become Peruvians is one of the more innovative suggestions of this festive campaign season. But what will the Peruvians think of it?

This, it should be noted, is one of the relatively innocuous passages from the newsletters Ron Paul has sent out since 1978.

‘The criminals who terrorize our cities — in riots and on every non-riot day –‘, Paul’s newsletter proclaimed on one occasion, ‘are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are. As children, they are trained to hate whites, to believe that white oppression is responsible for all black ills, to ‚fight the power,‘ to steal and loot as much money from the white enemy as possible.’ Carjacking, we learn from a 1992 Ron Paul Newsletter, is the ‘hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos.’ This they may have learned by following the example of the ‘pro-Communist philanderer’ Martin Luther King, Jr., who ‘seduced underage girls and boys’, and ‘replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.’ Not unsurprisingly, Paul’s newsletter described Martin Luther King Day as ‘our annual Hate Whitey Day’.

In another story, Paul regales us with tales of ‘needlin’, a new form of racial terrorism’. ‘At least 39 white women’, he claims, ‘have been struck with used hypodermic needles –-perhaps infected with AIDS—by gangs of black girls between the ages of 12 and 14.’ Against this background, it is probably not terribly surprising that Paul’s newsletter refers to African Americans as ‘the animals’, and suggests that a more appropriate name for New York would be ‘Zooville’.

Much has been made of Paul’s attempts to deny any connection to the statements above, and many, many more like them, attempts that he only began making when it became clear that he had a shot at national prominence. Back in 1996, when his opponent for a Texas congressional seat distributed Paul’s newsletters to the voting public, he was not as coy:

Dr. Paul, who served in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s, said Tuesday that he has produced the newsletter since 1985 and distributes it to an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 subscribers. A phone call to the newsletter’s toll-free number was answered by his campaign staff. […]

Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation. […]

–Dallas Daily News, 22 May 1996

A campaign spokesman for Paul said statements about the fear of black males mirror pronouncements by black leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has decried the spread of urban crime.

Paul continues to write the newsletter for an undisclosed number of subscribers, the spokesman said.

Houston Chronicle, 23 May 1996

Essentially, then, Paul’s argument back in 1996 was that his writings – which he publicly admitted were his – were being taken out of context, a symptom of ‘The Coming Race War’, no doubt.

Twelve years later, however, Ron Paul had apparently realised that his ‘Sure, I called black people a bunch of criminal animals who want to rob you of everything you have and give you AIDS, but I didn’t mean it in a bad way’ defence probably would not cut it with his new, left-leaning national audience:

The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.

In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‚I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.‘

However, in Paul’s view, African American ‘animals’ are not the only threat we must face. As he explained in a 2007 interview with the white-supremacist website VDare.com (co-edited by none other than Paul Craig Roberts, another strange bedfellow), we face two other great dangers: undocumented workers, the social safety net, and the looming ‘United Nations government’:

Well, I start off with saying that [immigration is] a big problem. I don’t like to get involved with the Federal Government very much, but I do think it is a federal responsibility to protect our borders. This mess has come about for various reasons. One, the laws aren’t enforced. Another, the welfare state. We have a need for workers in this country because our welfare system literally encourages people not to work. Therefore, a lot of jobs go begging. This is an incentive for immigrants to come in and take those jobs.

It is compounded because of federal mandates on the states to provide free medical care—that’s literally bankrupting the hospitals in Texas—and free education.

So my main point is to get rid of incentives that cause people to break the law—entitlements as well as the promise of amnesty, citizenship.

I also want to revisit the whole idea of birthright citizenship. I don’t think many countries have that. I don’t think it was the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment. I personally think it could be fixed by legislation. But some people argue otherwise, so I’ve covered myself by introducing a constitutional amendment.

(emphasis supplied) The problem of undocumented workers taking our jobs is apparently compounded by something Paul calls ‘the racial component’. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

In the same interview, Paul also announced that ‘I don’t think we should have minimum wages to protect the price of labor. I want the market to determine this. At the upper level as well.’ The Haitian approach to labour law.

As a professed ‘libertarian’ (in the appropriated, right-wing sense of the word, not the traditional sense), Paul loves words like ‘freedom’ and liberty’. Indeed, he has said that: “On the right-to-life issue, I believe, I’m a real stickler for civil liberties,’ except those of women:

It’s academic to talk about civil liberties if you don’t talk about the true protection of all life. So if you are going to protect liberty, you have to protect the life of the unborn just as well.

I have a Bill in congress I certainly would promote and push as president, called the Sanctity of Life Amendment. We establish the principle that life begins at conception. And someone says, ‘oh why are you saying that?’ and I say, ‘well, that’s not a political statement — that’s a scientific statement that I’m making!“

I know we’re all interested in a better court system and amending the constitution to protect life. But sometimes I think that is dismissing the way we can handle this much quicker, and my bill removes the jurisdiction of the federal courts from the issue of abortion, if a state law says no abortion, it doesn’t go to the supreme court to be ruled out of order.

(emphasis supplied)

I’ve heard his Left (yes, Left!) defenders respond to me that Paul merely wants limited government on the issue of abortion, to get the federal courts and government out of the matter so that the states can decide. I wonder how they square that with his vote in favour of the federal ban on the life-saving dilation and extraction (D&X) procedure, upheld by the Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Gonzales v. Carhart.

Not surprisingly, then, Ron Paul generates enthusiasm in the sort of people the Left generally do not like to be associated with. The Neo-Nazi website Stormfront donated $500 to his campaign, which Paul pointedly refused to return. For their support, Stormfront leaders were rewarded with a photo-op. As a Stormfronter with the evocative handle ‘Wolfsnarl’ noted:

If we can get them to defend their race without them actively thinking they are doing so in those terms-through mainstream anti-immigration groups like NumbersUSA or Ron Paul activism for example. After all, how many foot soldiers of the jewish [sic]/communist takeover actively thought of themselves as communists or whatever?

Klan leader David Duke, too, ‘like[s] Ron Paul’s campaign’ enough to offer him some free advice on What Ron Paul Must Do to Win, even though ‘Ron Paul does not do enough to defend the heritage and interests of European Americans.’ Note that Duke’s criticism is not that Paul isn’t a white supremacist, but that he isn’t enough of one.

Now, it’s true that a person can’t entirely be faulted for the fans they accumulate. Anyone with any public persona at all will probably acquire a few fans whose views they do not share. Barack Obama, for example, still has quite a few left-progressive, antiwar fans.

However, a person can be faulted for how she deals with those fans. Barack Obama has made valiant efforts to show that left-progressives’ Obama admiration is not mutual. He has ridiculed and disparaged them on numerous occasions, and has pursued an agenda that stands for everything they stand against. Clearly, then, Obama cannot be faulted for the fact that some people just can’t take a fucking hint.

Not so Ron Paul. First of all, as we’ve seen above, Ron Paul does share the views of the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists in his cheering section. Indeed, he has long actively courted them, through his newsletter, by appearing at their meetings, by talking to their media (e.g., VDare), by taking their money, and by grinning into the camera at photo-ops with some of their leaders. This does not sound like the behaviour of a man who opposes everything the swastika-wearing Right stands for; this is the behaviour of someone who considers their views at least palatable, and who values their support. At the very least, Paul is a little too comfortable in the presence of people who would like to beat his Left supporters to a bloody pulp.

Ron Paul: A Symptom of Left Dysfunction

Despite a consistent, decades-long record of public pronouncements that, in any other country, would have anti-fascist activists shouting him down at every public appearance, quite a few left-leaning people in the US will defend Ron Paul to the death, attacking any critic who points out the niggling little matter of his positions on the issues. Why?

Most Left Paul supporters I’ve encountered sum up their support for him more or less as follows: He is anti-war, anti-USA PATRIOT Act, anti-empire, and for the legalisation of drugs. Any reference to the fact that he is also a misogynistic white supremacist who is virulently anti-labour is dismissed either as ‘smears’ or ‘fear-mongering’.

In other words: ‘He’s with us on one or two issues, so we have to support him. Who cares what kind of society he wants to build. You can’t have everything!’

This is the same thinking that has people in the Palestine solidarity movement approvingly quoting the likes of Jeff Blankfort, Paul Craig Roberts, and Gilad Atzmon.

Overall, the idea seems to be that we on the Left are alone in a corner, and can’t be choosy about our friends. ‘Well, if you don’t like Ron Paul’, I’ve often been asked, ‘name a politician you do like.’ The idea that there is no need to limit ourselves, in our search for ‘friends’, to the narrow-spectrum, ‘one-and-a-half-party’ political class, it seems, doesn’t even occur to them. No grass-roots movement building, no eschewing the corporate-managed electoral system in favour of exerting pressure from below and without – You picks yer candidate, and you tries yer luck. You can’t have everything. This is the thinking that allowed the Barack Obama campaign to sedate all of the grass-roots activism of the Bush years.

This is compounded by the often stunning political illiteracy one encounters in the American Left, where conspiracy theories from the far right have a disturbing tendency to migrate leftward (with certain modifications).

Witness the Fed conspiracy theories. The first time I heard someone (falsely) claim that ‘no one knows who owns the Fed’, and go on to (falsely) claim that the Fed is privately owned, it was in a ‘documentary’ called Freedom to Fascism. In this ‘documentary’, we hear that American workers enjoyed an almost utopian degree of freedom and prosperity until 1916, when the income tax was passed into law (women were free to not vote, all working people were free to not join a union or get shot, workers were free to be paid in company scrip instead of real money, African Americans were free to be photographed amongst grinning psychos whilst being burned at the stake, you know the drill). Luckily, the ‘documentary’ informed us that there was no law actually requiring us to pay income tax, quoting a number of notorious hucksters to this effect. Other examples of the looming ‘fascism’ cited by the film included the fact that, during Hurricane Katrina, white Louisiana residents were actually being investigated for opening fire on un-armed black Louisiana residents who made the fatal mistake of crossing a bridge into their neighbourhood in hopes of finding safety.

Two years later, I discovered that this Coughlinesque nonsense about an ‘international (Jewish) bankers’ conspiracy in the form of the ‘privately-owned’ Fed had been lapped up by quite a few left-progressives. Of course, the original narrative of the pre-union rights, pre-income tax, pre-women’s suffrage utopia wouldn’t sell in this crowd. Luckily, someone has come up with an alternate Utopia Lost narrative, using everyone’s favourite war criminal, JFK. JFK had long been the subject of misguided adulation on the American Left based on the idea that he had super-secret plans (so secret that they find not even the slightest hint of support in the declassified record) to end the war that he started and wholeheartedly supported. Now, not only was inveterate red-baiter John Fitzgerald Kennedy secretly going to end the occupation of Vietnam – he was going to take on the Fed by issuing silver certificates.

My intention in bringing this up is not to refute this or any other right-wing conspiracy theory that has made its way leftward – others more masochistic than I have already done an excellent job of that. Instead, my interest in this is that it parallels the dysfunctional choice of ‘friends’ we see in so many people on the fragmentary American Left. The appeal of these theories is not their veracity – they are so false as to be insulting. Their appeal – like that of Ron Paul and those like him – is that they appear, at least superficially, to be challenging powerful capitalist institutions. Moreover, they do so in a way that justifies inaction (they’re all-powerful, the ‘Sheeple’ just won’t listen, etc.), and appears to explain why we have no functional Left in this country without ever assigning any blame to the failure to engage in any sustained organising effort, the failure to distinguish healthy pluralism from dysfunctional opportunism (witness Ron Paul), and the failure to distinguish insistence on principle from insular sectarianism.

To be sure, there is plenty of blame to go around. We have decades-long attempts to infiltrate and undermine Left organisations by the FBI and local red squads, a propaganda system that convinces 80% of the population that they’re in the minority with their views, a Democratic Party that pretends to be progressive when they’re not in office, a Republican Party so scary that the Democratic Party looks good, and any number of other obstacles. However, those external obstacles do not absolve us from the responsibility to take a serious look at our internal dysfunction. There is little that a weak, fragmented, insular Left can do right now about the massive structural obstacles we face, but we can certainly do something about the mess in our own house.

South Dakota and the „War on Terror“

In the age of the re-declared War on Terrorism, one state legislature has decided to buck the system, placing itself in the vanguard of those who wish to end this war, which was declared by Reagan in 1980, re-declared by Bush in 2001, and is currently being enthusiastically prosecuted by “Dove”-in-Chief Barack Obama. And they’re not taking some wishy-washy, bourgeois civil libertarian stance, either – if a bill currently in the South Dakota state legislature is passed, South Dakota will have officially taken the most radical stance against the War on Terrorism that one can imagine: South Dakota will have officially legalised terrorism.

I’m sure that some readers may be a bit surprised, to put it mildly, to hear this. A crazy, right-wing state legislature like South Dakota’s taking a stand against the bipartisan US Right’s favourite war?

It seems inconceivable, I know, but it is true. South Dakota is considering a bill that would make it justifiable for religious fanatics, egged on by foamy-mouthed fundamentalist clerics seeking to establish a misogynist, homophobic, transphobic theocracy right on US soil, to murder civilians in furtherance of that goal. That, it’s worth recalling, is the definition of terrorism Congress itself enacted in Title 18 of the United States Code: targeted attacks on civilians and civilian objects in order to intimidate a civilian population or otherwise in pursuit of political or religious ideological goals.

Assuming you heard the news at all, you probably heard things a bit differently. Most likely, you heard that South Dakota is considering making it justifiable homicide to kill abortion providers. The word “terrorism” was almost certainly not used, even though this bill would legalise precisely what we are constantly told that that the US trying to stop in Afghanistan: religious fanatics murdering anyone who dares to provide needed health care to women (yes, it’s bullshit, but it’s the official justification, and if that’s good enough for ‘progressive’ intellectuals to justify blowing up Libyan civilians, it’s certainly good enough for argument’s sake).

The federal government, and the US political class and media generally, take a more nuanced position, to be sure. To use the words of US State Department Spokesperson P.J. Crowley’s attempt to explain the US position on the Mubarak dictatorship on Al-Jazeera English, our political class doesn’t see this as an “either-or proposition”. To them, “terrorism” is a feeling, a vibe, like abstract art. You can’t just go around applying rigid legal definitions to a thing like terrorism or you miss the whole point of having the term.

Thus, it isn’t automatically “terrorism” just because religious fanatics commit cowardly murders against defenceless civilians in order to intimidate women and those who support their rights. It all depends on context. When it happens in Afghanistan, and is done by the Taliban (rather than our even more misogynistic collaborators there), it’s terrorism. Indeed, it’s even terrorism when the Afghan resistance (some of whom are Taliban as we understand the term, and many of whom are not) launch attacks on the military personnel who are illegally occupying their territory, even though that clearly does not constitute an attack on civilians.

But when enraged and deluded white men decide to kill gynaecologists, it’s not terrorism. When one of them opens fire at a member of Congress, it’s not terrorism. Indeed, even firebombing a mosque doesn’t count as terrorism (though, judging from the FBI’s surveillance practises, attending one does). And blowing hundreds of thousands of defenceless civilians to bits in an effort to “liberate” them from the idea that they should be the ones choosing their government, when that’s clearly our job, certainly isn’t terrorism. That goes without saying.

Clearly, then, this “terrorism” business is much more complex than it seems, if an act is generally agreed to constitute terrorism in one case, when identical – or sometimes much worse – acts cannot be considered terrorism in other cases.

This apparent paradox quickly evaporates once we abandon our prescriptive approach and acknowledge that the operative usage of “terrorism” bears only a faint resemblance to the actual definition of the term. Implicit in the actual usage of the term is an unspoken requirement: “…if and to the extent that such attacks harm the interests of the powerful.”

This requirement is clearly met in the case of attacks on major US financial and commercial hubs, and just as clearly met in the case of attacks on foreign governments installed or propped up by, or otherwise subservient or useful to the US. Indeed, if the requirement of harm to powerful interests is met, even clear definitional requirements – such as the requirement that the attack be directed against civilians or civilian objects – are superseded, as in the case of an attack by indigenous resistance fighters against a US military occupation, or the revelation by a journalist of documents conclusively proving US war crimes and showing US policy in general in an excessively realistic light.

However, when the paramilitary wing of the openly theocratic fundamentalist Christian movement in the US bombs a gynaecologist’s office, and/or murders doctors, nurses, and patients, the power structure is not harmed. Therefore, it is not terrorism, and those who commit these crimes need not worry about drone attacks on their homes and offices or the prospect of being abducted in the dead of night to be tortured at a clandestine concentration camp. They are not terrorists; their crimes are just deplorable excesses to some – or, to others, laudable contributions – in the ongoing public debate on whether or not women are human beings with human rights, a matter on which “reasonable” minds can clearly differ.

„Who Owns Jerusalem“ – A CAMERA Hoax Approved for MCLE Credit

CAMERA’s Latest Scam:

The San Remo Irrelevancy and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Sometimes the much-maligned Facebook ads have their merits. Last night, I happened upon a Facebook ad offering a course approved by the State Bar of California for credit towards the Bar’s minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements entitled “Who owns Jerusalem?“.

It turned out to be an advertisement for a “course”, sponsored by the “pro”-Israeli PR organisation CAMERA and held by an obscure Canadian lawyer by the name of Jacques Gauthier, claiming that an even more obscure document from 1920 known as the “San Remo Resolution” had vested full legal title to the entirety of Palestine to Israel.

Before we turn to the content of the San Remo document, let us recall what the International Court of Justice, the supreme judicial body in the international system, concluded about the legal status of the territories occupied in 1967 (including East Jerusalem) after exhaustive analysis of the matter:

78.          The Court would observe that, under customary international law as reflected (see paragraph 89 below) in Article 42 of the Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention of 18 October 1907 (hereinafter „the Hague Regulations of 1907“), territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army, and the occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

The territories situated between the Green Line (see paragraph 72 above) and the former eastern boundary of Palestine under the Mandate were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the armed conflict between Israel and Jordan. Under customary international law, these were therefore occupied territories in which Israel had the status of occupying Power. Subsequent events in these territories, as described in paragraphs 75 to 77 above, have done nothing to alter this situation. All these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power.

Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, paragraph 78 (emphasis added).

Put briefly, under the basic international legal principle of the “inadmissibility of territorial acquisition by war”, Israel has no claim to sovereignty over any of the territories occupied in the 1967 war. Those territories – the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem – are and remain “occupied territories”. The Court based this conclusion on an exhaustive study of the relevant legal framework, including foundational documents of international humanitarian law such as the Hague Regulations of 1907, the General Assembly’s Partition Resolution (on the strength of which the State of Israel was founded), and various Security Council resolutions calling for the withdrawal from the occupied territories (UNSC 242) and declaring “totally invalid”

„all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the: City of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties, transfer of populations and legislation aimed at the incorporation of the occupied section […]”

(UNSC 298).

CAMERA and Gauthier claim that the San Remo document negates all this, and gives Israel full title not only to the territory within Israel’s recognised (pre-June 1967) borders, but to the territory occupied in the 1967 war. If this is true, then the entire international legal consensus on the status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory is dead wrong.

This, of course, raises the question: Is it true? In order to answer this question, two fairly obvious requirements must be met:

(a)   The San Remo document must actually grant sovereignty to Israel (or, given that Israel would not exist for another 28 years, to a „Jewish state“ to be created on the entire territory of Mandatory Palestine); and

(b)   It must continue to be valid and applicable, meaning that any and all subsequent enactments must either not concern the subject matter of the San Remo document, or, if related, not conflict with it (the “last-in-time” principle – lex posterior derogat priori).

Note that (b) is a subsidiary question. If the San Remo document does not actually grant sovereignty over the territory in question to Israel or a future “Jewish state”, then its continuing vitality is of no relevance to whether Israel has any claim to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Thus, we must first turn to the relevant provisions of the San Remo document:

(a)     To accept the terms of the Mandates Article as given below with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted in the proces-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine; this undertaking not to refer to the question of the religious protectorate of France, which had been settled earlier in the previous afternoon by the undertaking given by the French Government that they recognized this protectorate as being at an end.

(b) that the terms of the Mandates Article should be as follows:


The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

In other words, the San Remo document calls for the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, which called for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, and twice provides that the “rights hitherto enjoyed”/”civil and religious rights” shall in no way be impaired by the establishment of this “national home”. There is no reference to a “Jewish state”, nor any transfer of sovereignty to “the Jewish people” or to anyone else, merely a “national home” for Jews “in Palestine”. Even more fatally to Gauthier’s claims, the San Remo document makes no determination whatsoever as to boundaries, only noting that boundaries are to be determined on some later date by the Principal Allied Powers.

When I raised these fairly obvious issues on the Facebook event page set up by CAMERA Regional Coordinator, attorney Talia Shulman Gold, she claimed that “national home” and “state” were the same thing: “Just what do you think establishing a „national home“ meant anyway, Elise[1]?“

While this assertion may have some superficial appeal owing to the peculiarity of the phrase “national home”, there remains an obvious problem. The term “state” was in common use at the time that the San Remo document was signed. The drafters of the document can be reasonably assumed to have been aware of the term “state” and of its meaning. And yet, they did not use the term “state” to describe what they were creating for “the Jewish people” in Palestine, preferring the term “national home”. If they had intended to establish a legal basis for the creation of a “Jewish state”, they could quite simply have referred to “the establishment in Palestine of a state for the Jewish people”. Instead, they specifically chose to use a different term. To claim, as Shulman Gold has (and Gauthier must), that the drafters actually meant “state” is to claim that they did not really mean what they wrote.

Even if we were to accept, for the sake of argument, that it is permissible to read “state” where “national home” is written, the central claim – that the San Remo document gives Israel full sovereignty over the entirety of Mandatory Palestine, including the Occupied Palestinian Territory – runs into an even more serious problem: The San Remo document makes no determination at all with regard to boundaries, except to provide that “the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, [is entrusted] to a Mandatory” (emphasis added). The Principal Allied Powers left the determination of the boundaries of Palestine for a later date.

In other words, the Gauthier-CAMERA claim that the San Remo Resolution made a final and irrevocable determination that the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem should be contained within the boundaries of the State of Israel is a cynical fraud. Israel’s lawful boundaries are the internationally recognised, pre-June 1967 boundaries, and the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem are – as was authoritatively reaffirmed by the International Court of Justice – Occupied Palestinian Territory.

A Hoax Worthy of Joan Peters

It is worth noting that this blatant misrepresentation of the content and legal status of the San Remo Resolution is not the only fraud promoted by the „Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America”. CAMERA’s “suggested book list” includes such lowlights of American intellectual life as Joan Peters’ discredited From Time Immemorial, which grossly falsified archival documents in an effort to claim that Palestine was uninhabited on the eve of Zionist colonisation, and Alan Dershowitz‘ The Case for Israel, which plagiarises numerous passages from From Time Immemorial, and embellishes on it with further absurdities.

Why would an organisation ostensibly dedicated to “accuracy” in media reporting promote a long-since-exposed hoax like From Time Immemorial (absurdly claiming that “Joan Peters dispels the myth of Zionist dispossession of „native“ arabs [sic] in Palestine, drawing on rarely examined archives and statistics. She makes a credible case for Jewish indigenous habitation lasting thousands of years; a groundbreaking study necessary to any discussion of the current conflict in the region.”) and a phantasmagorical distortion of the San Remo Resolution and the legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory?

Obviously, these stories aren’t being promoted for their “accuracy”, so there must be some other motive. What goal could CAMERA be pursuing by promoting a work that falsely claims that Palestine was uninhabited prior to Zionist colonisation, and that an obscure 1920 document grants Israel full title to the Occupied Palestinian Territory? Simple: Promoting works such as these provides a pretext under which moral and legal objections to the constant violations of Palestinian rights by the US and Israel – from the ethnic cleansing (“Nakba”) of 1948 to the 1967 occupation and the displacement of Palestinians through state-subsidised illegal settlements – can be dismissed. It provides rhetorical cover for some of Israel’s most severe crimes.

They Give CLE Credit for This?

It is not particularly shocking that CAMERA is promoting a hoax that provides fraudulent reasons for ignoring Palestinian human rights. This is what they do, and they make no bones about it (even Dershowitz at least tried to camouflage his reliance on the Peters hoax). However, it should be the slightest bit alarming that the State Bar of California has seen fit to give attorneys continuing education credits for listening to a lecture that promotes it.

The California State Bar’s standards for approving MCLE activities are set forth in Rule 3.501 of the Rules of the State Bar, which requires that the activity “relate to legal subjects directly relevant to members of the State Bar and have significant current professional and practical content” (Rule 3.501(A)) and that the provider “have significant professional or academic experience related to its content” (Rule 3.501 (B). Unless California is a hotbed of litigation on the legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, it is hard to see how even an accurate lecture on “Who Owns Jerusalem?” could be considered “directly relevant” or to have “significant current professional and practical content”.

Moreover, it seems a bit of a stretch to claim that Gauthier, who, based on a Google search for ‘“Jacques Gauthier” Israel’ (the latter term added to narrow down the vast multitude of people called ‘Jacques Gauthier’ in the world), has never held an academic post, has never published in a peer-reviewed journal of international law, and whose “academic or professional experience” appears to be limited to giving lectures like this to various right-wing Israeli PR organisations, qualifies as having had “significant academic or professional experience” on the subject.

There is no explicit requirement in the rules on approval of MCLE activities that an activity provide an accurate portrayal of applicable law; however, it seems fairly reasonable to assume that the California State Bar would not grant MCLE approval to, say, the hucksters who claim that there is no obligation to pay income taxes, or the right-wing “common law” militias who claim that the Fourteenth Amendment is invalid and that the only competent courts in the US are the “common law courts” they have created. Lest these seem like somewhat extreme examples, it is worthwhile to recall at this point that we are talking about a lecturer who claims that the entire international legal consensus on the status of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem is wrong, and bases this on a blatant distortion of an obscure 1920 document that has long since been superseded, in an effort to deny the Palestinians any right to self-determination or even protection under the Fourth Geneva Convention. This is a serious fraud.

The State Bar of California needs to answer a few questions in this matter:

(a)   Is the “Who Owns Jerusalem” lecture in fact approved as an MCLE activity, as is claimed on its Facebook event page?

(b)   What representations were made in the request for approval?

(c)    Was the request signed by a member of the State Bar of California?

(d)   On what basis was the lecture found to have “direct relevance” and “significant current professional or practical content”?

(e)    How in-depth is the Bar’s review of proposed MCLE activities?

(f)     What safeguards, if any, are in place to prevent the approval of fraudulent providers?

[1] Perhaps thinking the better of allowing open debate on the original Facebook event page, Shulman Gold has since deleted it. However, in anticipation of this, I had already saved the relevant threads to a Word document.

The Audacity of Cynicism – Barack Obama’s Iraq Speech

Barack Obama has balls as big as all outdoors

Before we begin, a challenge: I defy anyone to find a single phrase in Obama’s speech on Iraq last night that couldn’t have issued forth from the foetid maw of George W. Bush (with the possible exception of his mentions of George W. Bush).

Barack Obama’s Iraq speech last night is an impressive entry in the annals of war propaganda. In it, he glosses over a criminal war as ‘a remarkable chapter’ in US history, and creates the false impression that the occupation of Iraq is over. He places the responsibility rebuilding a society out of the rubble we created on the shoulders of the Iraqi people (we are, of course, blameless), and tells us that it’s time to ‘turn the page’ on a crime that is continuing, and for which not a single perpetrator has yet even been indicted. It is a wonder that he wasn’t struck by lightning before finishing.

The Withdrawal that Isn’t

In his speech last night, Obama announced that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.” This, many people will – not unreasonably – conclude, means that the war against Iraq, the long national nightmare we have visited on millions of people, is over.

It’s not.

In reality, Obama is continuing a rhetorical shell game that he started in the campaign, betting that most people will hear that he intended to end “combat operations” and assume that that meant ending the occupation (a word that Obama used not a single time in his speech) of Iraq. After all, isn’t the entire occupation one big “combat operation”? Isn’t every US soldier and mercenary there – engaged, as they are, in controlling Iraq by the gun and the electrode – a “combat soldier”?

“Nothing could be further from the truth”, Seumas Milne writes in the Guardian newspaper:

The US isn’t withdrawing from Iraq at all – it’s rebranding the occupation. Just as George Bush’s war on terror was retitled „overseas contingency operations“ when Obama became president, US „combat operations“ will be rebadged from next month as „stability operations“.

But as Major General Stephen Lanza, the US military spokesman in Iraq, told the New York Times: „In practical terms, nothing will change“. After this month’s withdrawal, there will still be 50,000 US troops in 94 military bases, „advising“ and training the Iraqi army, „providing security“ and carrying out „counter-terrorism“ missions. In US military speak, that covers pretty well everything they might want to do.

Granted, 50,000 is a major reduction on the numbers in Iraq a year ago. But what Obama once called „the dumb war“ goes remorselessly on. In fact, violence has been increasing as the Iraqi political factions remain deadlocked for the fifth month in a row in the Green Zone. More civilians are being killed in Iraq than Afghanistan: 535 last month alone, according to the Iraqi government – the worst figure for two years.

(emphasis added)

Simply put, Obama isn’t using the words “the occupation of Iraq is over” because the occupation of Iraq is not over.

A ‘Remarkable Chapter in the History of the United States and Iraq’

Whitewashing a Criminal War

Having cleared up that rather important terminological issue, let’s return to Obama’s speech:

From this desk, seven-and-a-half years ago, President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq. Much has changed since that night. A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency. Terrorism and sectarian warfare threatened to tear Iraq apart. Thousands of Americans gave their lives; tens of thousands have been wounded. Our relations abroad were strained. Our unity at home…

Hold on just one second. What did he just say?

“A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency.“

Allow me to repeat that once again, just to make sure the important bit really sinks in:

A war to disarm a state (???!!!!) became a fight against an insurgency.“

Yes, that’s right. Obama just said, with a straight face, that the purpose of US aggression against Iraq was “to disarm a state”. Obama is seriously telling us, seven years after the last remnants of the Bush Administration’s claims about WMD were exposed as an utter fraud, that this war, in which the United States has killed well over a million Iraqis and rendered 4 million homeless, was about “disarming” a country that everyone involved knew was long since disarmed.  For those who cling to the illusion that Obama is – or ever was – some kind of ‘peace candidate’, it’s worth noting that the speech contains not a single word questioning the WMD Deception. He repeated the lie not to correct it, but to join in it.

While he tells us that ‘Thousands of Americans gave their lives; tens of thousands have been wounded’, he wastes not a single word on the number of Iraqis killed. Indeed, Iraqi civilians are only mentioned a single time, in which we hear that they are attacked by ‘extremists’ (theirs, not ours).  While there is a single mention of the refugees, they are merely ‘displaced by war’ in an agentless tragedy.

Of note, too, is the language Obama uses to discuss the war. As noted above, the word ‘occupation’ does not occur even once in his speech. Similarly, he describes the start of the US war in the following terms: ‘President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq.’ The ‘beginning of military operations in Iraq’, as if it were a start-up company in Basra just opening its doors. It is with this mealy-mouthed euphemism that Obama avoids ever stating the truth: That the US (and the UK) invaded Iraq. That, on the orders of George W. Bush, the United States military violated the borders of that country and proceeded to engage in a vicious bombing campaign that killed thousands in just the first few weeks. The word “invade/invasion” is nowhere to be found in the speech.

We hear precious little in the way of specifics about what these US troops have been doing since they ‘began military operations in Iraq’ back in 2003. When they’re not ‘giving their lives’ (our troops never, ever take anyone’s life), they’re ‘serv[ing] with courage and resolve,’ the ‘one constant amongst these shifting tides.’ Obama tells us that:

"The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given. They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people. Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future."

As commander-in-chief, I am incredibly proud of their service. And like all Americans, I am awed by their sacrifice and by the sacrifices of their families.

The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given. They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people. Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future.

They shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people, trained Iraqi security forces, and took out terrorist leaders. Because of our troops and civilians — and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people — Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain.

We’ve persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people, a belief that, out of the

"Because of our troops and civilians -- and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people -- Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain."

ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibilities.

This is a slightly less crass echo of his campaign-trail call for ‘victory’ in (i.e. over) Iraq, in which he praised US occupation soldiers for ‘performing their duty with bravery, with brilliance, and without question‘ noted that: ‘The American people have been extraordinarily resolved. They have seen their sons and daughters killed or wounded in the streets of Fallujah.’

Apparently, Obama feels that this ‘remarkable chapter in the history of the United States in Iraq’ is a ‘glorious page that has not and will not be written’, at least judging from his unwillingness to discuss the nature of the ‘sacrifices’ made by the US occupation (especially who was doing the sacrificing and who got sacrificed). While Obama may prefer to present this singularly murderous occupation in high school civics book platitudes and Hallmark sentiments, we would do well to look more closely, and there’s no better place to start than Fallujah to get an idea of the kind of ‘duty’ the occupation soldiers performed with the ‘brilliance and without question’ that Obama had so admired on the campaign trail.

Fallujah had been a symbol of Iraqi resistance to occupation ever since the people of the city took to the streets to protest the occupation forces’ confiscation of a school for use as a post. The US occupation forces responded violently to the demonstrations, killing 20 local residents and wounding 85. In response, even more Fallujis defied the US-imposed curfew to demonstrate against the confiscation and the killings of the demonstrators. Resistance in Fallujah came to a head when a gang of four Blackwater mercenaries were captured and killed after entering the city.

The US response was a massacre. The US set up a perimeter to ensure that refugees could not leave the city, with snipers firing at anyone who tried. They attacked and ransacked the only major hospital in the city, holding doctors, nurses, and patients hostage and looting medical equipment. When a provisional hospital was set up nearby to treat those wounded in the US onslaught, the occupation forces bombed it. In addition to destroying the places where the wounded could have been treated, the US forces attacked ambulances (including during an alleged ‘ceasefire’), thus preventing the wounded being evacuated, as well.

In an assault that would seem to have been the model for the ‘Cast Lead’ massacre in Gaza, the US bombed the entire city – and its captive population – with napalm and white phosphorus. Anyone found in the streets was subject to attack by the US military, and even the wounded were not spared. To compound these war crimes, the occupation forces also denied the Red Crescent access to the city. Entire neighbourhoods were razed, and mass graves were being found in the city long after the massacre. According to the US, occupation forces killed an estimated 1,500 people there, though Spanish journalist Javier Couso estimates that “more than six thousand” were killed (http://www.josecouso.info/article.php3?id_article=128).

Today, almost certainly as a result of the use of chemical weapons such as white phosphorus, napalm, and depleted uranium (DU) munitions, “cancer and leukaemia in the city of Fallujah…exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.”

Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.

Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait.

Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster and one of the authors of the survey of 4,800 individuals in Fallujah, said it is difficult to pin down the exact cause of the cancers and birth defects. He added that „to produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened“.

…After an eight-month stand-off, the Marines stormed the city in November using artillery and aerial bombing against rebel positions. US forces later admitted that they had employed white phosphorus as well as other munitions.

In the assault US commanders largely treated Fallujah as a free-fire zone to try to reduce casualties among their own troops. British officers were appalled by the lack of concern for civilian casualties. „During preparatory operations in the November 2004 Fallujah clearance operation, on one night over 40 155mm artillery rounds were fired into a small sector of the city,“ recalled Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, a British commander serving with the American forces in Baghdad.

He added that the US commander who ordered this devastating use of firepower did not consider it significant enough to mention it in his daily report to the US general in command. Dr Busby says that while he cannot identify the type of armaments used by the Marines, the extent of genetic damage suffered by inhabitants suggests the use of uranium in some form. He said: „My guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside.“

(emphasis added)

Also not feeling the love are the women of Iraq, whose rights had already deteriorated under the 12 years of US-UK sanctions, which are estimated to have killed 1,000,000 people, including 700,000 children. However, even given the disastrous situation prior to the US invasion, Iraqi law granted women constitutional equality and the right to work, study, divorce, marry without anyone’s permission, and to dress in Western or traditional clothing.

The writing was on the wall from the start: One of the first acts of the “Governing Council” hand-picked by the US occupation after the war was to put an end to all that, by issuing a decision that brought domestic relations law – which had been governed by a statute based on the French Civil Code since 1958 – under Sharia rule. Not long thereafter, a new US-imposed “Iraqi” constitution was passed, which demoted women from constitutionally equal to “equal to the extent consistent with Sharia”.

Since the US invasion, Iraqi women have been living something akin to an Arabic-English-language remake of The Handmaid’s Tale. Women who work, drive, go outside alone, wear trousers, wear makeup, don’t cover their heads or faces, go to school, go to university, or do any number of things that Iraqi women have been doing for quite some time now run the risk of being lynched. And that, it’s worth bearing in mind, is in addition to the risk of being raped, murdered, or abducted by the occupation forces.

While Obama does not mention this, or any of the other wonderful features of the US occupation directly (the concentration camps, the torture facilities, the death squads, the looting of the oil reserves, the looting of the cultural heritage of what he calls ‘the cradle of civilisation’, the enclosed ghettos, the ethnic cleansing of Sunnis, etc.), the above might be what he means by:

The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given. They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people. Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future.

They shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people, trained Iraqi security forces, and took out terrorist leaders. Because of our troops and civilians — and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people — Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain.

The US should know a thing or two about “the resilience of the Iraqi people” – they’ve been testing it since 1991.

And what exactly are “Iraqi security forces”? Are they being trained and equipped to combat the main security threat the Iraqi people face, i.e., the fact that they have been overrun by heavily armed foreign teenagers who can’t pronounce the place name and have the quaint habit of breaking into their homes in the middle of the night and dragging their family members off to torture camps? Of course not. They’re being trained and equipped to kill the main security threat that the occupation faces, i.e., Iraqis.

Here’s a thought experiment: Let’s say the US were occupied by a hostile foreign power bent on robbing us and imposing a puppet regime (though about the only force that is as militarily powerful compared to the US as the US is compared to Iraq would be those aliens from the otherwise forgettable Independence Day). What would people here call anyone who joined forces with the occupying army and started torturing, killing, and abducting us? Somehow, I don’t think the term would be ‘security forces’.

No, the term we’d probably use is ‘collaborators’ (though ‘traitors’ would also be an acceptable answer), just as they were called in occupied Europe.

Translating from bullshit, then, Obama is saying that the rebranding of the occupation has been made possible because the US has press-ganged an army of collaborators who will kill and torture their own people. And, now that the US occupation is a ‘stability mission’, the collaborators will be able to count on the support of US ‘advisers’, just like in the old days with our good friend Diem.

Another interesting expression in Obama’s speech is ‘credible elections’: “This year also saw Iraq hold credible elections that drew a strong turnout.” Note that he doesn’t say ‘free’, ‘fair’, ‘legitimate’, ‘valid’, ‘lawful’, or any number of things. He doesn’t, because the elections weren’t any of those things. However, they were ‘credible’. They were ‘elections we can believe in’.

And elections held under hostile military occupation that bring a long-time employee of the occupying power (Iyad Allawi) to power amidst “the banning and killing of candidates and activists and subsequent political breakdown“ (Seumas Milne in the Guardian) and widespread accusations of fraud, are certainly not free or legitimate, but they are probably ‘credible’ enough for the folks back home.

Looking back on years of mass murder and plunder, Obama can think of nothing better to say than: ‘We have met our responsibilities. Now it’s time to turn the page.’ Yes, now that ‘Iraq is dead, never to rise again’ (Nir Rosen), it’s time for us to move on. While the devastation we’ve wrought may cause a few difficulties for the people there, it’s time for them to step up to the plate. If they find it’s difficult to build a viable society out of the wreckage, they’re just not trying hard enough and we will have every reason to be sorely disappointed in them.

‘It’s Time to Turn the Page’ – Obama Calls for Amnesia

‘Turning the page’ is what this speech is really all about. By creating the (false) impression that the occupation of Iraq is over – when, in reality ‘In practical terms, nothing will change’ (Gen. Lanza) – he is telling the population that it’s time to shut up about Iraq. The ‘patriots’ both supporting and opposing a murderous, patently illegal war of aggression (none of whom ‘can doubt President Bush’s support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security’) that began with a massive deception are now supposed to ‘[turn] the page’ and realise that ‘[t]he greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences’ and unite in support of the equally illegal, equally murderous war against Afghanistan (euphemised here as ‘our fight against Al Qaeda’).

This is how abusers talk. ‘Of course we differ about what I did, baby. You call it “abuse”, and I insist that it was love, but I’ve said I’m not going to do it again, so can’t we just move past our differences and leave all that ancient history behind? It doesn’t matter now, anyway.’

It matters. Even if the occupation were really ending, even if every last permanent base were emptied, and all but enough space in the Vatican-sized ‘embassy’ complex for a genuine embassy were given back to the Iraqis, the country would still be devastated. The treasury would still be looted. The oil would still be under foreign control. The rights of women would still be flagrantly violated. The infrastructure would still be destroyed. The cancer and leukaemia rate would still be well above average, and there would be no end to the birth defects. The rifts in the society created by the occupation’s divided-and-conquer strategy would still exist (though a majority of Iraqis did say in an occupation-run poll that they thought that they could probably work out their differences if the occupation left). The million killed by 12 years of murderous ‘sanctions’ would still be dead, as would the about 2 million killed by now by US aggression. There’s no ‘turning the page’ for them. They have to live in the hell we’ve built them.

And there can be no turning the page for us, either. Not until the last person involved in the planning of this war of aggression (‘the supreme international crime’ in the words of the Nuremberg Tribunal) has been brought before the International Criminal Court, not until the Iraqis get the billions in reparations due them (in addition to the money plundered from the treasury, plus interest), not until the US government issues an official, unqualified, abject apology to the people of Iraq and the world, not until the generation that let this happen – my generation – is truly overcome by shame and guilt for the crime that some of us actively participated in, others did nothing to stop, and still others didn’t do enough to stop. This war – this ‘supreme international crime’ – is our disgrace, and we should all be deeply ashamed. There is much that we must do, but we must not forget even for an instant that it is our responsibility to make sure that these criminals, who would have been hanged at Nuremberg, but will live comfortably as ‘elder statesmen’ or the like in our ‘civilised’ society, are accompanied everywhere they go by the memory of their crimes. If they cannot be brought to justice, then they should not get even a moment’s peace, nor should we.

And, as hard as it will be for some to accept this, we need to realise that Obama is one of them. He didn’t just ‘inherit’ these crimes – he has become a very active participant in them, and now he is helping to cover them up. Obama is as guilty as anyone in the Bush White House.

The first German feature film after the end of the Second World War was the 1946 DEFA production Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are in Our Midst). In it, the protagonist, a Wehrmacht veteran, comes to realise that his commanding officer, who had gone on to become a ‘respectable’ industrialist in the post-war, was in reality a war criminal who ordered a massacre of defenceless men, women, and children on Christmas Eve. The message was clear: ‘The criminals who participated in aggression and mass murder walk free in our society, and it is our duty to bring them to justice, because their crimes were our crimes.’

Today, the lawyers who helped create a fig leaf of legality for torture and who prosecuted and continue to prosecute those detained in our concentration camps (for that’s what they are – in the original sense of the word) in bogus kangaroo courts, the strategists who planned a war of aggression, the doctors and psychologists who aided in torture and issued false death certificates to cover up the real cause of death of those who died under torture, the officers who ordered terrorist attacks on Iraqi and Afghan civilians – they are in our midst. Many of them will no doubt ‘turn the page’, and reenter society in our hospitals, law firms, doctor’s offices, prosecutor’s offices, judges’ chambers, and other ‘respectable’ places. It is our duty to find them and expose them.

At the height of US aggression in Indochina, Noam Chomsky – contemplating a display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry that invited children to participate in a simulated massacre of a Vietnamese village – asked whether this country needs ‘dissent or denazification’.

We need denazification.

Jeff Blankfort and the Tender Embrace of Opportunism

Opportunism makes strange bedfellows. How else can Jeff Blankfort’s prominence in what is supposedly a Palestinian solidarity movement be explained?

 The Lobby Hypothesis

Blankfort’s basic claim is that a Jewish Lobby has absolute control over US policy in the Middle East. This is hardly a novel claim – it’s been advanced by various congressional Republicans and mainstream hawks like Walt and Mearsheimer, who claim that The Lobby is the reason that the US deviate from their general foreign policy of support for “democracy” when it comes to the Middle East, and that the Lobby is harming “national interests”.

There are, however, some obvious problems with this theory, which I will outline only briefly, as they have been discussed in great detail elsewhere. If we are to assume that The Lobby is the driving force behind US Mid-East policy, in particular of US support for the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, it is useful to ask a few basic questions:

  1. Does US policy in the Middle East differ in any fundamental, qualitative way from US policy anywhere else in the world (i.e., is US policy towards Israel, Palestine, and the rest of the region unique in the annals of US foreign policy)?
  2. Are there any other interests within the US that might benefit from US support for Israeli militarism?
  3. What happens when Israeli policies conflict with US strategic interests?
  4. Based on the overall US record, could we reasonably expect the US to pursue a policy of supporting the human rights of Palestinians if it were not for The Lobby?

One might further ask how one defines “national interests”, and whether a discourse of “national interests” is necessarily a good thing for Palestinian rights.

The answer to the first question is a resounding NO. The essentials of US Middle East policy – supporting murderous dictators, racist regimes, illegal military occupations, rampant violations of human rights and international law, and acts of aggression and genocide – characterise not only US policy in the Middle East, but US policy virtually everywhere else. The US installed and decisively supported the genocidal Suharto regime in Indonesia, which celebrated its inauguration by slaughtering between half a million and a million Indonesian peasants (often based on US-supplied hit lists), and went on to invade and occupy East Timor, carrying out a decades-long bloodbath (politely ignored in the US corporate media) that killed as much as one fifth of the population of that small, defenceless country. US support for genocidal regimes includes decisive support for Saddam Hussein’s slaughter of Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s, Turkey’s ethnic cleansing of Kurds in the 1980s and 1990s, the mass slaughter of the indigenous people of Guatemala (lasting almost half a century), and its own genocidal warfare against Indochina, from which that region has yet to recover. Clearly, then, US policy towards Israel and Palestine is best characterised as highly consistent with US policy elsewhere. It is hard to sustain the idea that the dark machinations of an all-powerful lobby are the driving force behind a policy of doing basically the same thing everywhere in the world.

The answer to the second question is an obvious YES. Certainly, the US has an interest – going beyond the obvious commercial benefits – in controlling the Middle East’s oil reserves, which have been deemed by US planners to be the key to world domination going back to the end of the Second World War. Obviously, US oil corporations aren’t exactly hurting from this arrangement, either. Additionally, US military aid to Israel – 75% of which ends up in the pockets of US arms manufacturers – helps spur on a regional arms race, ensuring constant demand, and thus constant profits. Moreover, Israel is virtually the only state in the region that has little to no danger of being “infected” by “radical [i.e., independent] Arab nationalism”. Mubbarak & Co. might be overthrown tomorrow, but there’s no chance of Israel being a base for resurgent Nasserism.

As for the third question, when US interests conflict with Israeli policies, US interests consistently prevail. It is first important to remember that US interests do not include “ideological slogans about human rights”, as George Kennan put it half a century ago. From a strategic standpoint, the US couldn’t really care less what happens to the Palestinians. However, the US does care – to name just one example – about whether the Chinese government get their hands on classified US technology, and when Israel tried to make a deal to do just that, the US put a stop to it with a few phone calls and a well-timed snubbing. A deal like this is not a small matter for Israel. Israeli strategists have long been ambivalent about the exclusivity of the US-Israeli “special relationship”, and Israel certainly has a long-term interest in reducing its dependency on US armaments in order to ensure maximum manoeuvring room on policy. Losing the China deal, thus, was a real blow. One might have expected The Lobby to attack the US government for doing such harm to Israeli interests. One would have been wrong.

If The Lobby is truly the driving force behind US support for the oppression and dispossession of Palestinians, the answer to the fourth question – whether the US would truly support Palestinian human rights if it weren’t for The Lobby – would have to be YES. This does not rise to the level of a bad joke, as even a cursory glance at US policy elsewhere demonstrates. The US has enthusiastically supported and engaged in genocide and ethnic cleansing all over the world, from the Kurds in Turkey and Iraq, to the Timorese, to the Mayas of Guatemala, to the indigenous peoples of Paraguay, to the people of Indochina, and, last but not least, the genocide by which ‘The West [not to mention the East, South, North, and Midwest] Was Won’. Proponents of the Lobby Hypothesis do not even attempt to explain why the US would care more about Palestinians than about the millions of others whose slaughter they have supported.

As for “national interests”, the first problem is conceptual. Can we really claim, with any validity, that all people within “the nation” have the same interests, that unemployed auto workers have the same interests as the owners of auto companies, that the working class base of the US military has the same interests as the CEO of Halliburton? Of course not. “National interests” is a meaningless, obfuscatory concept. However, even if it were not, a discourse of “national interests” would be of little help to the Palestinians. What benefit do they confer on “the nation”? Moreover, if we accept “national interests” as the basis of the Palestinian solidarity movement, the movement would, by definition, have to end if it were ever conclusively proven that “national interests” are harmed by enforcing the human rights of Palestinians. Clearly, the Palestinians cannot hope to find reliable friends amongst those who base their advocacy on imagined “national interests”.

In other words, in order to sustain the Lobby Hypothesis, we must essentially forget all we know about US history and foreign policy. This sort of willful ignorance, while not particularly helpful to the Palestinians, is quite useful for those who simply want to improve the effectiveness of US imperialism. By placing all of the blame on an all-powerful lobby, they give US planners a ready-made alibi for their crimes against the Palestinian people: “The lobby made me do it!” Moreover, this hypothesis ensures that activism will miss one of the most important targets: the US government, and focus instead narrowly on Israel. This would be a serious tactical error – if activism is aimed solely at increasing the cost of the occupation for Israel, the US can easily find ways of counteracting those costs through extensive aid. Only by targeting not only Israel, but also the US government – without which none of these crimes would be possible – and US institutions that profit directly from the oppression of Palestinians can we hope to be effective in our work for Palestinian rights.

Blankfort’s Dishonesty

Blankfort’s contribution to this rather dubious theory – though even it is hardly original – is to respond to those who take issue with his claims by suggesting that they are of Jewish ancestry.

And yet, Blankfort is given a forum by blogs that otherwise seem to have some degree of quality control. MondoWeiss, for example, which often publishes quality material on the Israel-Palestine conflict (apart from Weiss’ obsession with “dual loyalty” and the Lobby Hypothesis) even went so far as to suggest that an interview between Ali Abunimah and Blankfort signified “a sense of a torch being passed here, or of the older left not being suited for the new conversation about Israel/Palestine.”

It is perhaps worthwhile to ask to whom this metaphorical torch is being passed.

Blankfort has made attacking Chomsky his life’s work. By this, I do not mean criticising Chomsky’s views, but actively, consistently, and knowingly misrepresenting them. In the torch-passing interview, for example, Blankfort claimed that Chomsky had never written about the role of US trade unions in calling for US support for Israeli militarism. This claim, as anyone who has read up to page 30 of The Fateful Triangle will know, is patently false. In that 1983 book, Chomsky discusses the role of trade unions at some length, and points out the flaws in the Lobby Hypothesis, which Blankfort also claimed Chomsky hasn’t written about. In other words, there are only two possibilities: Either Blankfort makes claims despite being ignorant of the facts, or he makes claims knowing full well that they contradict the facts.

Since this was my first encounter with Blankfort, I became curious, and discovered that his misrepresentations in the Abunimah interview were not isolated. Jeremy Hammond – whose masochism in delving into the Blankfort Bog greatly outstrips my own – has documented extensive distortions of Chomsky’s actual record that Blankfort demonstrably knows to be false. For example, that Blankfort has distorted Chomsky’s statements about Salam Fayyad’s pursuit of “sound and sensible policies” that seek to lay the groundwork for a de facto Palestinian state (something Chomsky describes, using a popular Zionist expression, as “creating facts on the ground”) to claim that Fayyad is “a favorite of both Washington and Israel and, it would appear, Chomsky”.

What is the proof that Blankfort knew that he was misrepresenting Chomsky’s statement in the interview? ‚Blankfort himself participated [in the interview in question] as well, having called in to the live program.‘

In order to support his claims that Chomsky is involved in ‚damage control‘ for Israel, Blankfort has quoted that statement by Chomsky in an interview on Israeli TV that ‚I don’t regard myself as a critic of Israel. I regard myself as a supporter of Israel.‘ When Hammond noted in comments to a piece defending Blankfort on Dissident Voice that “Chomsky means he is opposed to Israeli crimes against Palestinians when he says he is “a supporter of Israel”, Blankfort’s terse response, in its entirety, was:


The problem is that Chomsky did qualify it, in the very next sentence:

“The people who are harming Israel, in my opinion, it’s what I’ve said many times, are those who claim to be supporting it. They are helping [to] drive Israel towards moral degeneration and possible ultimate destruction. I think support for Israel should be support for policies which are for its benefit.”

This distinction, of which Blankfort must certainly be aware if he is as familiar with Chomsky’s work as he claims to be, dates back at least to a passage in the first chapter of The Fateful Triangle (p. 4 of the 1999 updated edition), which merits quoting in full:

These remarks will be critical of Israel’s policies: its consistent rejection of any political settlement that accommodates the national rights of the indigenous population; its repression and state terrorism over many years; its propaganda efforts, which have been remarkably successful – much to Israel’s detriment in my view – in the United States. But this presentation may be misleading, in two respects. In the first place, this is not an attempt at a general history; the focus is on what I think is and has been wrong and what should be changed, not on what I think has been right. Secondly, the focus on Israeli actions and initiatives may obscure the fact that my real concern is the policies that have been pursued by the U.S. government and our responsibility in shaping or tolerating these policies. To a remarkable extent, articulate opinion and attitudes in the U.S. have been dominated by people who describe themselves as “supporters of Israel,” a term that I will also adopt, though with much reluctance, since I think they should more properly be called “supporters of the moral degeneration and ultimate destruction of Israel,” and not Israel alone. Given this ideological climate and the concrete U.S. actions that it has helped to engender, it is natural enough that Israeli policies have evolved in their predictable way. Perpetuation of these tendencies within the U.S. and in U.S.-Israel relations portends a rather gloomy future, in my view, for reasons that I hope will become clearer as we proceed. If so, a large measure of responsibility lies right here, as in the recent past.

(emphasis supplied, footnote omitted).

In other words, Chomsky’s distinction between what he considers real supporters of Israel (i.e., critics of criminal Israeli policies) and those who “should more properly be called ‘supporters of the moral degeneration and ultimate destruction of Israel’ is not a new point. Just to hammer this home, Chomsky puts the phrases ‘support for/supporters of Israel’ in inverted commas throughout the book.

Now, it is certainly possible that Blankfort is simply not as familiar with Chomsky’s writings as he holds himself out to be, and that he was just unaware of Chomsky’s deconstruction of the notion of ‘support for Israel’ at the very beginning of his best-known book on the subject, but the fact remains that Chomsky made the very same point, albeit more briefly, in the very next sentence in the very interview that Blankfort quotes. Thus, Blankfort’s claim that Chomsky “DID NOT QUALIFY HIS STATEMENT” can only be characterised as a lie.

Why, then, to return to the initial question, do people who otherwise show some discernment in their editorial decisions, associate themselves with the likes of Blankfort? Blankfort’s writings contain nothing novel, original, unique, or even intellectually honest. He has an irrational vendetta against Chomsky for reasons unknown, and is willing to lie outright in order to discredit him. One of Blankfort’s most common responses to criticism is to make insinuations about his critics’ ancestry, deflecting, for example, from Jeremy Hammond’s questions about obvious contradictions in Blankfort’s claims with the following remarks:

You know how it is with names. Hammond could be Protestant, Quaker, Methodist, Catholic, or, in this case, I suspect Jewish. And why? It seems that only Jews, thus far, have become hysterical over my critique of Chomsky which will come back to haunt them when they wish people to take them seriously.

Blankfort is, to be blunt, an asshole, and arguably a racist one at that. The only explanation why an unoriginal, dishonest, racist asshole like Blankfort is allowed to bring discredit on the Palestinian solidarity movement is that the movement (or at least some segments of it) has developed something of a habit of embracing assholes. When you’re already embracing imperialists like Walt and Mearsheimer, as well as racists like Pat Buchanan (who regularly excoriated opponents of original-flavour apartheid), Gilad Atzmon, and Paul Craig Roberts, what’s one more addition to the list? The response one invariably gets when this issue is raised is that “We may not agree on everything, but [whoever it is] opposes the occupation, and that’s all that matters”.

No, it bloody well isn’t. It’s one thing to encourage a healthy pluralism within a movement; it’s quite another to align oneself with people whose goals and ideologies (one hopes, anyway!) are diametrically opposed to one’s own, just because of an agreement-in-principle on one part of an overall issue. While this is quite beneficial to people like Blankfort and Buchanan, who would much prefer to be thought of as supporters of human rights than as proto-fascist reactionaries, it is toxic to a movement that is based on human rights and opposition to racism. While Buchanan, Roberts, Blankfort et al. get a reputation upgrade by association with the movement for Palestinian human rights, the movement itself can only be harmed by association with people like Buchanan, Blankfort, and Roberts. Assholes get legitimised, the movement gets delegitimised, everybody – especially the Palestinians – loses. That is the danger of opportunism.

The Tacitus Principle: How Israel and its Apologists Defend the Indefensible

If there is one piece of ancient wisdom that has never lost even a bit of its validity over the centuries, it is Cornelius Tacitus‘ axiom that, “Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.” Indeed, this appears to be the underlying principle of the US-Israeli PR campaign that has been launched in the wake of the almost universally condemned Israeli commando raid on the unarmed Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which carried aid to the Gaza Strip in an effort to break the siege that has strangled the 1.5 million people there since 2007.

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Münklers Erfolgsrezept für die neue Ostfront

Herfried Münkler von der HU-Berlin hat im SPIEGEL – diesem sich ständig unterbietenden Glanzbeispiel der deutschen Quantitätspresse – endlich das geliefert, worauf ein ganz bestimmter Jahrgang der deutschen Generalität vergeblich wartete: Eine praktische Anleitung, wie man an der Ostfront siegen kann. Eine etwas weiter östliche Ostfront, aber Ostfront bleibt Ostfront, und es ist ja nie zu spät, Versäumtes nachzuholen.

Der tückische David heißt der Text, und darin wird ausführlich skizziert, wie man als fremde Besatzungsmacht dem einheimischen Widerstand den Garaus machen kann – wenn das der Führer gewußt hätte!

Aggressor zu sein, konstatiert Münkler, der diesen häßlichen Ausdruck tunlichst meidet und lieber von „Goliath“ redet, ist kein beneidenswertes Los. Man steht als schwer bewaffneter Migrant von irgendwelchen fremden Leuten umgeben, deren Sprache man nicht versteht, und die einen am allerliebsten gleich wieder loswerden möchten (das gebührliche Mitleid bringen diese tückischen Davids natürlich nie und nimmer auf). Schlimmer als der deutsche Soldat an der neuen Ostfront hat es kein abgeschobener Sinti.

„Eigentlich hatte Goliath schon verloren, bevor der Kampf begann, weil er eben Goliath war.

Immerhin hätte er präventiv handeln können: Argwöhnisch geworden, weil der Knabe zunächst im Bach nach Steinen suchte, hätte er antizipieren können, dass ihn ein Kiesel aus seiner Schleuder treffen und kampfunfähig machen könnte. Er hätte also, um dem zuvorzukommen, seinen Speer auf den Jugendlichen schleudern und ihn töten können. Doch dann hätte es geheißen, der Krieger Goliath habe ein unschuldiges Kind beim Spielen am Bach getötet. Das hätte nicht bloß sein Hässlichkeits-Image verstärkt, sondern ihn auch Ehre und Ansehen gekostet. Womöglich hätten sich sogar seien Kriegskameraden von ihm abgewandt(!!). Nicht als strahlender Sieger, sondern mit dem Odium des Kriegsverbrechens belastet, wäre er nach Hause zurückgekehrt.“

Hierbei ist vorsichtshalber anzumerken, daß das nicht satirisch gemeint ist. Der Münkler meint es wirklich ernst. Daß der Goliath das mit dem rechtswidrigen Überfall vielleicht besser gelassen hätte, fällt ihm natürlich nicht ein. Und Kriegsverbrecher zu sein, ist für ihn nur ein Image-Problem – das sind die erhabenen Werte des Abendlandes, die wir diesen primitiven Afghanern jetzt mühsam beibringen!  

Ja, selbst dann, wenn man den Widerstand besiegt, schreibt Münkler mit rührendem Selbstmitleid, hat man ein (aus der Geschichte wohl bekanntes) „Legitimationsproblem“. Für die Bevölkerung ist man ja immer noch die fremde Besatzungsmacht, die ihre Landsleute umgebracht hat, und die Überlebenden der Gewalt käuflicher Massenmörder unterworfen hat, und zwar selbst dann, wenn man sich „Wohlwollen erkaufen“ will, indem man seinen Verpflichtungen nach dem 4. Genfer Abkommen durch die Errichtung einiger Schulen und Polykliniken teilweise nachkommt. Der Undank dieser wilden Ostvölker kennt wahrlich keine Grenzen.

Dafür hat Münkler jetzt die Lösung:

„Materielle Hilfe für die afghanische Bevölkerung muss konditioniert sein, verknüpft mit eindeutigen Loyalitätsbeweisen (sprich: Beweisen der Kollaborationsbereitschaft). Im Idealfall konkurrieren dann in einem Distrik die Dörfer, die sich dem Westen angeschlossen haben, mit denen, in denen die Gegner des Westens das Sagen haben."

Mit anderen Worten: Wir scheißen auf die Genfer Abkommen! Ärztliche und sonstige Grundversorgung kriegen nur die Käuflichen. Wer kollaboriert und denunziert, dem soll es einigermaßen gutgehn. Wer aber die Besatzung ablehnt, soll verrecken. „Es muss sichtbar werden, dass sich die Entscheidung für den Westen lohnt und die gegen ihn einen hohen Preis hat. Kopf und Seele kann man nur gewinnen, wenn der Leib etwas zu verlieren hat.“ Wenn man einen an den Eiern packt, folgen Kopf und Seele gleich danach, wie es der Stalin mal so schön auf den Punkt gebracht hat.

Münkler hat recht: Man muß aus den Fehlern der Vergangenheit lernen. Hätte sich damals die Kollaboration mehr gelohnt, wäre die letzte deutsche Goliathkampagne vielleicht anders ausgegangen.

Käuflichkeit muß sich wieder lohnen! Nur so kann Münklers demokratischer Verfassungsstaat verhindern, daß sich die Geschichte wiederholt.

(Plus ça) Change

Der masturbatorische Philosemitismus – nochmals zu den Antideutschen

Einige haben bemängelt, daß mein satirischer Kurztext zum Thema „Antideutsche“ eben keine politologische Abhandlung mit allerhand Fundstellennachweisen sei. Zwar könnte man dagegen einwenden, daß das schließlich zwei völlig unterschiedliche Genres seien, die unterschiedliche Stilmittel einsetzen und unterschiedliche Ziele verfolgen. Damit wäre eigentlich alles gesagt.

Der Kernfrage – Was sind diese „Antideutschen" eigentlich für welche? – möchte ich mich aber schon etwas ausführlicher zuwenden. Die im folgenden zitierten Äußerungen habe ich repräsentativen antideutschen Presseorganen entnommen, und zwar teils dem Aufsatz „Gegen die antisemitische Internationale“ und Teils den „Aktuell“-Artikeln des antideutschen Verlags „BAHAMAS“. Wer als Antideutsche/r der Ansicht ist, daß diese Quellen nicht repräsentativ für die ganze besondere antideutsche Denkart seien, ist selbstverständlich herzlich eingeladen, in den Kommentaren repräsentativere Quellen zu verlinken (bitte beachten, daß Umlaute nicht angezeigt werden können – woran das liegt, ist mir ein Rätsel, also bitte: Keine Umlaute und keine Sonderzeichen).

Zum antideutschen Judenbild
Für den Nazi bin ich Hassobjekt. Für den Antideutschen bin ich Wichsvorlage.
Für keinen von beiden bin ich Mensch.

Die Antideutschen haben ein wirklich merkwürdiges Verhältnis zum Judentum. Zum Ausdruck kommt dieses Verhältnis u.a. im Untertitel des Aufsatzes Israelkritik – die zarteste Versuchung seit es Antisemitismus gibt: „Warum den Antisemitismus nicht kritisieren kann, wer mit Israel nicht solidarisch ist.“ Die grammatischen Besonderheiten dieser Äußerung sollen uns nicht weiter aufhalten. Wichtig ist zunächst die Frage, was man nach Auffassung der Antideutschen unter „mit Israel solidarisch“ zu verstehen hat. Diese Frage haben die Volksgenossen bei BAHAMAS mehrfach beantwortet. „Solidarität mit Israel, so weiß antideutsche Kritik“, heißt es in einem Beitrag von Tjark Kunstreich, der unter Antideutschen als so etwas wie ein Intellektueller zu gelten scheint, „ist entweder bedingungslos oder sie ist keine.“ So stellt schon „die trotzige Beanspruchung [des Rechts], Israel kritisieren zu dürfen“ einen „Verrat an Israel“ dar.  In der „Verteidigung Israels gegen jede Kritik“, so der Aufruf zu einer antideutschen Konferenz (auch bei BAHAMAS zu finden), liege eine der Hauptaufgaben der antideutschen „Kritik“.
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