Tuesday, January 20, 2009

For America Or Israel?

After the massacre in Gaza temporarily subsided, an American holiday was celebrated just one day before a historically symbolic new president took power. Neither the massacre nor the holiday received proper attention, and the new president’s inauguration was as filled with emotional form as it was empty of material substance.

Martin Luther King has become a symbol for ending America’s sordid history of racial discrimination, but little attention is paid to his criticism of capitalism and its bloody international empire. The moving lines of his “ I have a dream” speech are replayed endlessly, with more attention given those words at the soul of a sermon, rather than the body of its message repeated in many speeches and writings of King’s which criticized America’s imperial wars as well as its racism .

We’re taught to acknowledge words which do not threaten the system itself, but only the way it is exercised. Along with a sanitized King, made to seem as though he only wanted to racially integrate those carrying out social policies he criticized, we have a new CEO showing little sign that the corporation's practice will change in anything but the style, design and color of its usual product.

And our executive is no different from our legislature, as indicated in the shameful performance of a congress that operates as an Israeli Caucus when dealing with Palestine . Of 535 members , only five had the sense and courage to oppose a resolution praising the Jewish apartheid state’s slaughter in Gaza, continuing to profess admiration for the colonial horror that has existed for more than sixty years and threatens to engulf more of the world in the bloodshed its racial supremacist immorality provokes.

But a new regime has begun in America, and the hope expressed by millions not only here but the world over is inspiring. Still, for the emotional extravaganza of the inauguration not to be remembered simply as a political Super Bowl with private products consumed at public expense , those inspired by the new leader must take actions that force him into real change. Some progress is to be expected, if only that Bush is gone and we have moved on to a president who couldn't possibly be as bad.

Could he?

This administration has not been placed in power simply by a mass of voters , but by a much smaller number who educated, developed and paid for the candidate’s consciousness and service long before he appeared on the ballot. As the slaughter took place in Gaza and was loudly praised here and in Israel, where did Obama stand ? Perhaps slightly to the left of Bush, who was slightly to the left of fascism, according to many liberals. What has the agent of change had to say about Israel and the Islamic world?

He trashed his former pastor for having: “...a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

Gaza’s people have been under murderous siege since Hamas won a democratic victory at the polls , but that plays to America’s new president as “perverse and hateful ideologies” emanating from “radical islam”. And during a campaign in which Obama thrilled millions by almost never speaking of black americans unless forced to , did he ever acknowledge uncomfortable facts like these?

In 1967 blacks earned 54 cents for every dollar made by whites, but by 2005 they had increased to 57 cents for every white dollar. That meteoric rise of three cents in 38 years means it will take more than 500 years for them to achieve dollar parity with whites. Of course there may be a speedier closing of that awesome gap now that Obama is in the White House ; like maybe only 400 years?

If we last that long, given the present deep recession with only the most hallucinogenic economists seeing any quick end to the survival problems affecting more Americans each day, and they are of every race, religion, ethnic hyphenation or political ideology. There will probably be some progress as celebrity faith and media hype translate into market gains and a rosier outlook after the dark days of the recent past. But we may have replaced a bold leader with almost no capacity to think with one who thinks carefully and cautiously, but is as likely to be bold as his predecessor was likely to be thoughtful. And if he does provoke action, will it be for the majority who voted for him , or for the wealthy and powerful minority that trained him to serve?

When the next explosion occurs in the Middle East, will he go on representing Israeli interests to the detriment of our own? How much longer can we tolerate a racist colonial regime being foisted on us as a peaceful democracy that we should finance and support to our own disadvantage? Palestine is the most serious issue confronting our nation, as continued support for the Jewish apartheid state is costing lives, money , losing world support and threatening our future more quickly than climate is changing or polar ice caps are melting.

The system of economic domination and racial supremacy that is moving us to ruin will not change as long as this government serves minority interest both here and abroad. Palestine needs to become what it once was, a land where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together in peace, but that cannot happen if America operates as a handmaiden for zionist principles that counter every positive aspect of the credos of any Abrahamic faith. This president and this government will work against American interest until we demand that they stop acting on behalf of a foreign power and start performing for the people of the USA.
All of us, and not just some of us.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.

This text may be used and shared in accordance with the
fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be
archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that
the author is notified and no fee is charged for access.
Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on
other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the author

frank scott
email: frankscott@comcast.net

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clueless in Gaza

by Michael K. Smith

"Nothing I saw in South Africa can compare with Gaza in misery, in sheer programmed oppression, in confinement and racial discrimination."
-----Edward Said, 1992

"I shall play music and celebrate what the Israeli Air Force is doing."
-----Ofer Schmerling Israeli Civil Defense official

The obtuseness of organized Jewry is clearly boundless. After caging 1.5 million Gazans like animals for years, leaving them unable to move, to work, to study, or to sell their fruits and vegetables, Israel has slaughtered more than 800 Gazans in two weeks on the pretext that the colonial subjects penned-up there pose a mortal threat to the Jewish state's existence. With the kill ratio more than 50 to 1 in favor of Israel, the perpetrators of this Holocaust now advance the intriguing thesis that they are the victims of the war, but also the victors. Jonathan Swift, eat your heart out.

It is difficult to avoid the impression that the ongoing massacre is a pilot project designed to develop new talent in the field of black comedy. Consider the remarks of Menachem Haygami, owner of a juice stand on fashionable Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv: "This war's been very successful . . .. It's very justified. Sure, people there are suffering, but also people here are suffering." In short, it's a symmetrical conflict. Perhaps there were WWII-era Germans who justified the killing of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto on similar grounds. And why not? Clearly, there was suffering on both sides.

Or consider the comments of Reudor Benziman, chief executive of Channel 10 News, a major private station in Israel. Acknowledging that the Israeli public is being spared images of Gaza's blood-spattered hospitals, he says: "The suffering of the citizens of Gaza is unbelievable. It's hell. [But] we don't pretend to show the whole picture, as though we are covering a war in Tanzania. It's our war." For Benziman, there is no obligation to show the Gazan victims because the overwhelming majority of Israelis accept the government's position that Hamas must be attacked. In other words, give the racist public what it wants. Democracy in action.

An anchor at Israel's Channel 2, the country's largest private broadcasting station, recently became the target of an online petition seeking to get her fired because her tone was considered too sympathetic to the Palestinians. Arad Nir, foreign editor and anchor with Channel 2, explains that anything more than perfunctory coverage of Palestinians coping with massive bombardment "would just make people angry." Indeed. And as we all know very well, the right to not be provoked to anger by accurate news coverage is a well-established principle of international law. Besides, what do graphic images of Gazans blown apart by the Israeli Air Force have to do with eternal Jewish victimhood anyway?

Israeli intelligence officers appear to have escalated the black humor to perverse practical joking. Officers are telephoning Gazans pretending to be sympathetic Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians, or Libyans. After expressing horror at the war and inquiring as to how their families are doing, the callers ask where the Hamas fighters are and whether the families support them. Candid Camera never had it so good.

U.S. officials are contributing their own witticisms to the macabre comedy, giving Israel whatever military equipment it requires and backing the slaughter to the hilt, while urging the Jewish state to avoid civilian casualties as it drops bombs on one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Organized Jewry simply does not get it. You don't "soften up" an enemy with bombs, you only harden resistance. It has been a generation since Gazans rose up against the rulers of this most wretched colonial outpost, an ancient people demanding the right to be born. In that first intifada, children heaved stones at Israeli tanks, and soldiers carrying automatic rifles. Old men too feeble to hurl their defiance gathered rocks in sacks for the kids to throw. Young and old alike went on strike, established liberated zones, directed an underground economy, and shut their shops at noon to honor imprisoned compatriots.

Israel never understood this outpouring of national dignity. Shooting and cursing, the occupiers chased the defiant kids through the unpaved, pothole-ridden streets, where open sewers reeked with a stomach-turning odor. With a violent banging they arrived at the door, ransacking homes and raiding hospitals, ever in pursuit of the child "terrorists." When a bullet found its mark, leaving a corpse lying in the road, they laughed, whistled, and clapped their hands with glee.

The Palestinians, ninety-eight percent of the West Bank and Gaza, were referred to by the Israeli government as the minorities. The two percent residing in Jewish settlements replete with green lawns and swimming pools - presumed themselves their masters.

Anyone caught using the word Palestine, or displaying a map of it, or showing the colors of its flag, was subject to torture at the hands of Israeli security. But hooded interrogations did not make the Palestinians sing, while their outlawed national anthem did.

Israel has learned nothing in the intervening 21 years. It still believes that wickedness drives the Palestinian resistance, and that the democratic election of Hamas never really happened. It cannot conceive of the slightest legitimacy in Gazan efforts to survive its ever more barbaric attacks. It believes that a permanent sequence of confiscation, demolition, surveillance, arrest, prison, torture, humiliation, deportation, bombardment, and death will somehow give it the legitimacy it lacks. It is convinced that military checkpoints, magnetized ID cards, barbed wire, armed patrols, tear gas, bombs, guns, tanks, grenades, explosives, helicopter gunships, and fighter jets are the route to "security." That 60 years of such policies have only yielded perpetual insecurity has yet to penetrate the national consciousness.

Organized Jewry is in the grips of what appears to be a terminal mental illness, based on the fallacy that Jewish supremacy will bring peace to the Middle East. This is sheer madness, and it is high time for the American people to put an end to it by withdrawing the blank check Washington has issued to the Jewish state to conquer and oppress an innocent people that never did anything to deserve the theft of its land and the destruction of its culture.

An extreme illness, Malcolm X used to say, cannot be cured by a moderate medicine. Organized Jewry needs to be put on notice that Jews are merely one ethnic group among many, not the master race. A good start would be to withdraw the tax-exempt status granted to Jewish charities that funnel money to Israel.


Griff Witte, "The View From Israel: Victors in a Necessary War," Washington Post, January 11, 2009

Steven Erlanger, "A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery," New York Times, January 11, 2009

Suzanne Baroud, "Children of Gaza, Run to the Angels," January 12, 2009, www.zmag.org

Israel Shamir, "Gaza at War," January 11, 2009, www.israelshamir.net

Mark Steel, "To portray this as a conflict betwen equals requires some imagination," London Independent, December 31, 2008

Johann Harl, "The true story behind this war is not the one Israel is telling," London Independent, December 29, 2008

"Israeli troops meet Hamas resistance deep in Gaza," Associated Press, January 11, 2009

Tariq A. Al-Maeena, "Aiding and abetting a Holocaust," January 11, 2009, www.aljazeera.com

Edward Said, "The Politics of Dispossession - The Struggle For Palestinian Self-Determination 1969-1994," (Chatto and Windus, 1994)

Edward Said, "The Pen and the Sword," (Common Courage, 1994)

Gloria Emerson, "Gaza - A Year in the Intifada: A Personal Account From an Occupied Land," (Atlantic Monthly, 1991)

Michael Palumbo, "Imperial Israel," (Bloomsbury, 1990)

-----Michael K. Smith is the author of "Portraits of Empire," and "The Madness of King George" (illustrations by Matt Wuerker), from Common Courage Press. He can be reached at proheresy@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Nakba, Gaza and American Responsibility

The continuing Nakba in Palestine has taken a more bloody and savage turn with the devastating attacks on Gaza . Corporate capital and religious tribalism maintain control of popular consciousness here , with many still believing that Hamas is assaulting holocaust survivors huddled in bunkers and praying for help. A recent headline cited Israel’s “dilemma” in the Gaza strip, which is like saying Germany had a “dilemma” in the Warsaw ghetto. Of course, Germany and Israel had the same problem: how to control, exile or wipe out a population they considered subhuman and in the way of their psychotic superiority cult . But only one of these historic episodes looms large as the victimization of innocents by a murderous antagonist. The other is somehow the reverse, contrary to facts on the ground, in the air, but not in the thoughts of people so tightly controlled they might believe a rapist had a “dilemma” with his victim, if that’s what they were told by their mind managers .

So the Gaza Palestinians continue being savaged because they had the audacity to elect a government their apartheid rulers did not like.
Hamas is described by much of the west as an islamic fundamentalist
source of terrorism, when it is really a provider for and representative of its people, in a world that denies their humanity and turns a deaf ear to their suffering. But the zionist fanatics who believe god gave them Palestine several thousand years ago are portrayed as logical, civilized, democratic innocents, simply trying to live in peace in a hostile world of evil arabs. But whether they profess godly or atheistic reason, they are willing to wipe out anyone who might already be living on their divine property, even if their prime mortgage deal with the deity is history's biggest and most deadly sub prime scandal .

However the outcome is played here, Hamas will win diplomatically , if not militarily as Hezbollah did in Lebanon. The disgraced official Palestinian leadership and puppet Arab rulers beholden to western power will incur increasing wrath from those they allegedly represent. And the diplomatic farce called “the international community” will once again reveal itself as no more than a US-Israeli employee. But the threat to ordinary people will increase, as the slaughter that has racial supremacists cheering may bring more harm to the citizens of both countries.

The USA is in a major economic crisis and its imperial power is declining , while the zionist state is under more stress than it can ultimately survive. But both have monstrous military forces at hand, with the power to kill, maim and destroy much more before they are finally transformed into human and democratic entities. Unless their people, especially in the USA, can bring about radical change, the immediate future will be much worse for them, as well as for those under their fast diminishing control.

Calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel are welcome, but it will take far more than commercial pressure to end an atrocity that has endured for more than sixty years . Political pressure must be greater than ever before or the fire ignited by this murderous siege will become a global inferno. Passionate hatreds unleashed by this latest slaughter may drive those most hopelessly alienated at the futility of all past measures to acts of increased desperation. The dreadful immorality of a Jewish state established on colonial land and with total disregard for a native population that had nothing to do with creating any such need - if there ever really was one - can no longer be tolerated by a world that needs to wake up to its responsibility , or face terrible consequences.

More than sixty years after the world war we still hear about the suffering of european jews and their attempted destruction at the hands of the nazis, but this never was nor should it be a rationalization for the suffering and attempted destruction of another people, however sanitized that horror has been by western mind management . Whether a result of irony or design, several films dealing with the evils of Hitler, nazis and the terrible plight of european Jews opened around the time of the newest assault on Gaza. This, while the jewish state was butchering Palestinians, in alleged retaliation against what it calls terrorism but is really defense of a homeland from its invaders and occupiers by people using a pitifully weak arsenal to wreak puny havoc, compared to what it suffers from one of the world’s foremost military powers.

In the long term, imperial corporate capitalism and zionist jewish
tribalism are dead, but in the short term they are capable of more
murder and mayhem than the world has already seen . These decadent forms of social organization are enemies of humanity and a menace to planetary survival, but just as a cornered rat is most dangerous, a crumbling empire can be more vicious than when at its peak of power. The fanaticism , greed and bigotry at the root of a force that threatens to engulf the earth in a colossal tragedy beyond religious or political fears must be stopped.

There is no better place to reverse the downward trend of history than in Palestine, where mythology and politics have used doctrines of racial superiority to create the single most dangerous injustice on earth. Those whose dream is for a better future need to wake up to the need for a democratic Palestine, which they can help bring about by creating a democratic USA . That means an end to political obedience to the needs of a foreign power that threatens national security here, and contradicts any notion of justice there, biblical or secular. The power of the Israeli caucus, often referred to as the American government, must end, once and for all. There is no other way to stop the horror in Palestine, nor create democracy and justice everywhere it is suppressed and prevented now.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.

This text may be used and shared in accordance with the
fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be
archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that
the author is notified and no fee is charged for access.
Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on
other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the author

frank scott
email: frankscott@comcast.net