Zionism is dangerous to human life

East Jerusalem (Ahmad Gharabli:AFP:Getty Images) Oct 24 2014

It is profoundly sad that 21-year-old Palestinian Abdelrahman Shaludi from Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem drove his car into a crowd of Israelis & killed a three-month-old baby. We express our deepest condolences to the infant’s family but we are not going to join the chorus of Zionists & other braying jackasses denouncing Shaludi as a “hit-&-run terrorist”–anymore than we denounce others who suffer posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Only hours before the incident on Wednesday evening, a doctor advised his mother to consult a therapist about signs of mental exhaustion in her son–mental exhaustion caused by Israeli military occupation & dispossession in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Young Shaludi was released from the Israeli gulag in December 2013 after 14 months for stone-throwing. He was again arrested in February & held for 20 days while Israeli cops tried to pound out his admission of Hamas connections which did not exist. His mother said: “They kept on harassing him & summoning him for questioning over & over again & they tried to enlist him into working for them, but he repeatedly refused. They threatened him, saying he would never find work or be able to continue his education or have a normal life.”

If there’s anybody to be denounced here, it’s Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing. It’s the Israeli regime for it’s continued brutal & illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, evicting Palestinian residents & moving in Zionist settlers from all over kingdom come. A good share of the settlers who claim Palestine as an inheritance from God probably haven’t seen the inside of a synagogue since their bar mitzvahs. It’s nothing but a land grab, a ruthless chance to get free land.

Israeli military attacks on Palestinian teens & children is not accidental. It is analogous to the US war on Black teens & is intended to thwart, demoralize, crush political rebellion against tyranny among the young. That’s why Israel’s Operation Ethnic Cleansing in Gaza directly targeted children. Many reports going back decades describe the psychological trauma of children in Gaza & the West Bank. PTSD is what happens when you systematically & constantly target kids for ethnic cleansing.

There is something so poignant about this photo of teens in East Jerusalem responding to the flood of Israeli soldiers after the car incident. Youth is a time of life for play & exploring, not a time to fight for your life. Netan-psycho-yahu has pledged the “harshest response” which means massive repression & an escalation of expropriating East Jerusalem for the Zionist monstrosity called Israel. Under international law (which has less legal power than a meter maid) that would be called “collective punishment.”

The media caption to this photo said, “police flooded volatile Arab neighborhoods in response to a Palestinian car attack.” “Volatile Arab neighborhoods” is how they describe Palestinian resistance to being thrown out of their homes to make room for settlers. And it’s very, very similar to descriptions of Ferguson, Missouri.

May the wee Israeli child RIP. And may Abdelrahman Shaludi RIP. Their lives were stolen from them by Israeli tyranny.

(Photo by Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Immigration is a human right; open the damn borders!

African immigrants (AFP) Oct 23 2014

There are several photos of this scene with African immigrants attempting to scale a seven-metre (23 feet) triple-layer razor wire fence to enter the Spanish territory of Melilla bordering Morocco on the north coast of Africa. They come from several sub-Saharan countries in order to enter the European Union (EU) for work. If they can make it into Melilla, those who aren’t deported stand a chance of moving north.

We know the perils of Central American immigrants crossing Mexico to the US border: hopping on & off dangerous, high-speed freight trains, attacks by military; paramilitary, & criminal gangs; robbery, rape, kidnapping, torture, dismemberment, disappearances into mass graves, murder. There is however insufficient reporting on how African immigrants cross to northern Africa, but women, children, & elderly people are also making the journey in hopes of making a better life than neoliberal predation allows in their own countries.

Thousands of these immigrants go to the forested area bordering Melilla in hopes of crossing the fence; photos show they are mostly young men. Thousands of other immigrants try to sail across the 15 kilometre (nine mile) strait from Morocco to Spain in makeshift boats & dinghies. Thousands drown in the attempt. Those who scale the fence camp on the Moroccan side waiting for an opportunity to charge the fence & enter Spanish territory. Their camps are frequently assaulted by Moroccan cops or they are rounded up & bussed several miles to the central Moroccan city of Fez.

When they attempt to cross, they are assaulted from the rear by Moroccan riot cops (are there any other kind of cops today?), who represent the southern flank of EU immigration policy, & they are beaten back by Spanish riot cops. Police violence against immigrants is unbridled. One incident recently caught on video by an immigrant rights group shows Spanish cops beating an immigrant from Cameroon as he hung from the fence & then carrying his unconscious body back to the Moroccan side.

The immigrant rights group which published the video say they spoke to the 23-year old Cameroonian man who said he was urinating blood & could not lie on his side but he had been given painkillers–though it could not be determined if he was treated in a hospital or remained in an immigrant encampment. What kind of barbarism is that!?

The UN–always Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to injustice–did their customary hand-wringing when they were shown the video of the beating. “This worries us,” said the spokeswoman in Spain for the UN High Commission for Refugees. She blithered on: “Whatever their reasons for trying to enter, these people must be respected & these images show that some parties are not acting as they should.” Beating a man to a pulp is “not acting as they should”? What the hell do they call murder? What do they call it when thousands of men, women, & children immigrants drown in the Mediterranean Sea? Another impropriety?

Open the damn borders! Immigration is a human right!

Rather than post the photos of Moroccan & Spanish cops assaulting the young men, we post this photo to show the spirit of the immigrants who have just been through hell & stand defiant.

(Photo from AFP)

This is what democracy looks like in the Black community in Ferguson

Ferguson (Scott Olson:Getty Images)

This is what democracy looks like in the Black community of Ferguson, Missouri, the heartland of the USA which has military operations in over seven countries to bring this kind of democracy to other people.

This is what media reports are calling a healing ritual where riot cops show up to stomp on the the democratic rights of the Black community, laid out in the US Bill of Rights, to protest their kids getting gunned down by cops. This protester was treated with the healing balm of mace for refusing to accept racist violence as her due.

After the murder of Michael Brown on October 10th, Attorney General Eric Holder marched into town in a dog & pony show of condolences & baloney. He promised a Justice Department investigation which could lead to prosecuting the killer cop on federal charges for violating Brown’s civil rights. Now what about prosecuting him for homicide? What about more than the naughty finger for shooting down an unarmed kid in cold blood?

Now the big guns in media–the NY Times & the Washington Post–are reporting that forensic evidence corroborates the alibi of Darren Wilson, the killer cop. They claim Brown’s blood is on the cop’s gun, uniform, & inside the patrol car. Since the agencies doing the forensics (the St. Louis cops, FBI, & Justice Department) are the very ones up to their eyeballs in the systemic denial of Black civil liberties & rights, the term “planted evidence” comes to mind. It’s reported this evidence will make it harder for the Justice Department to prosecute Wilson. Oh golly, what a surprise!

The Ferguson Black community must have seen that coming from a mile away: turning Brown into the criminal. Because they have not ceased with protest & demands for justice. They are leading one of the most momentous struggles in the US–the fight against racist tyranny built into the very fabric of society.

Every man & woman of good will must stand with them & champion their struggle because it’s potential is nothing less than ending the reign of terror against Black teens & leading to the social transformation of US society.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Palestinian bantustates are no substitute for justice and self-determination

Gazan widow (Mohammed Salem:Reuters) Oct 21 2014

This is one of thousands of stories Palestinian solidarity activists need to tell far & wide to build the economic & cultural boycott of Israel (BDS). This is 50-year-old Najah Abed al-Dayem holding a picture of her husband who was killed during Israel’s barbaric seven-week Operation Ethnic Cleansing in Gaza. She lost her right eye & her son, Abed, lost both his legs in the infamous incident when Israel bombed the school being used as a UN refugee center in Beit Lahiya (in northern Gaza) claiming it was a Hamas rocket nest. Beit Lahiya is just miles from the hills of Sderot, Israel where makeshift parlors were set up for a front row seat to ethnic cleansing, complete with waving Israeli flags, in a scene that will always stand in ignominy & condemn Zionism.

The foregone conclusion is now openly acknowledged: the Cairo conference to raise funds for Gaza reconstruction was a charade. They raised $5.4 billion of funny money, the only kind ever available for humanitarian purposes. Anybody who follows these aid charades saw that coming a mile away with Haiti & Afghanistan only the most recent examples.

Meanwhile Palestinians live midst mountains of unstable cement rubble, without housing, sufficient medical facilities, power, sanitation. A very simple problem: where do you go the toilet? Where do you take a bath? Where do you cook a meal? This state of affairs can give rise to dozens of health crises, just as the lack of humanitarian aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake facilitated the cholera epidemic. And in fact the situation in Gaza is very comparable to Haiti where thousands still do not have housing & are being railroaded into Clinton-orchestrated sweatshops.

The big-talking politicians in Cairo throwing around the funny money won’t do a damn thing to help the people of Gaza. That is where the role of Palestinian solidarity is absolutely vital. Israeli Zionist mythology claiming Palestine as an inheritance from God has taken an enormous beating. Only the craziest Christian Zionists cling to that baloney; everybody else recognizes Israel is colonialism. The problem is some can live with that, some (& not only left Zionists) justify that as a fait accompli: “Oh well, Israel’s there to stay now; there’s nothing to be done. Palestinians will have to accept bombed out bantustates & constant colonial inroads by Zionist settlers from all over kingdom come. History always has its losers.” The hell with that stuff!

Palestinians have a claim to self-determination & justice & no one has the right to rationalize that away by bowing to the neoliberal realities of Israeli colonialism. Barbaric edifices fall all the time under the unbearable contradictions of tyranny–from the Roman Empire to the USSR. There is only one realistic & desirable outcome for Palestine & Israel & that is the dismantling of the Zionist state down to its last ugly manifestation & the building of a democratic secular state where Jews & Palestinians can live in peace.

Palestinians have human & democratic rights & no one can blow those off with a defeated shrug toward the fait accompli. The situation for Palestinians grows more perilous as the BDS movement continues to grow internationally. Our job as solidarity activists is immense but our commitment to Palestinian justice, to telling the truth, to evangelizing for BDS can help Palestinians change the world to make it suitable for Jews & Palestinians to live in harmony.

(Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

Betty Windsor doesn’t have Alzheimer’s; dementia is her natural state

Betty Windsor Oct 20 2014

It’s such a shame you have to go to the supermarket to get the important news. If it wasn’t for tabloids at the checkout line we would know nothing about the misfortunes of Betty Windsor. And the poor beleaguered woman has a full plate of them. That damn Camilla is nothing but a trouble maker in the palace. She’s so afraid Betty won’t die in time for Chuckles to become king & her queen that she schemes constantly against poor KKKKaty, even hiding the one biscuit KKKKaty is allowed to eat per day. Now she’s turned her venom on our own Betty & is circulating scurrilous rumors that Betty has Alzheimer’s.

This is particularly malignant since Cammy & Betty seem inseparable & spend all their time together at the horse track. Many tabloids want to know, “How could Cammy do this to Betty when they give each other tips on the horses?” But Globe magazine reports there’s truth & not just libel to the claims. Betty has been found wandering lost & confused in the palace garden. Just last week she was found wandering in a field of ceramic poppies outside the Tower of London & she thought they were real. She spotted Phil across the field & thought he was the rear end of her favorite horse.

Worst of all she has mistaken her son Chuckles for her husband Phil. What’s the downside to that? She always did call Phil her “anus horribilis” & we concur. She also doesn’t remember Willy & KKKKaty’s wedding. There might be something to be said for Alzheimer’s.

In the few lucid moments Betty has left she speaks of exiling Cammy to a deserted island & begs Chuckles to divorce her. But then she reconsiders since who could she trust for racing tips other than Cammy & their bookie?

(Photo is front cover of Globe magazine, an indispensable source of news)

A rebuttal to those who vilify the democracy movement in Hong Kong

Tank girl Hong Kong Oct 19 2014

Many articles insist the Hong Kong democracy movement is orchestrated by the US State Department, because the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)–which is a US government agency likely chock full of CIA operatives–fed money to some organizations & activists. Those who make these allegations have read too many John LeCarre novels or listened too much to Alex Jones–& have participated in politics too little. Of course the US government is involved; they have vested interests in the outcome. But suggesting these protests are CIA street theater rather than a profound social movement for democracy is politically shabby & plays into the hands of reaction.

The CIA & other US agencies have a long-standing policy of intervening in political movements all over the world. There are volumes written on this, some books now decades old. All the most important social movements (including the US Civil Rights, women’s, labor, antiwar, & socialist movements) are/were infiltrated by provocateurs using bribery, blackmail, & other corrupting practices. It’s what undercover operatives do. That does does mean the entire movement is compromised nor does it render the entire movement bankrupt.

Too much has been written by conspiracy thinkers claiming the Arab uprisings are a sting operation of Mossad & the CIA; many circulated rumors that the Brazil anti-World Cup protests of millions were taken over by fascists; competing political forces have made a cacophony of dissenting analyses of Syria & the Ukraine. Now, based on a shred of evidence & massive speculation, some are on a band wagon denouncing the Hong Kong movement because the NED dished out dough to some participants. Does it surprise anyone that Beijing is making the exact same claim?

Some people who make these claims about the Hong Kong protests are Maoists, shamelessly attempting to cover for the undemocratic regime in China. Many are libertarian thinkers who have no respect for working people as the agents of social transformation & think they are only pawns in international espionage. Where will this nonsense end!? Those who don’t recognize the compelling realities of a mass social movement demanding democracy need to get out of the game & take up crocheting. Conspiracy models of social uprisings serve reaction, not justice. In many ways it’s just a shade away from the Zionist claim that Hamas rockets are the problem in Gaza rather than Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing.

In 1968, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to suppress the movement for democracy called the Prague Spring. Both Soviet & capitalist media reported the movement as anti-socialist–of course because that deceit served the interests of both. It justified suppression for the USSR & it discredited socialism for the US. But what the movement was demanding was democracy; they wanted democratic freedoms & the end of a police state. The point of the comparison is that misrepresenting & discrediting progressive movements is an old game that always plays into the hands of reaction, undercuts solidarity, & buttresses continued tyranny.

So who are these protesters in Hong Kong? They’re students, union organizations, & unaffiliated working people. Likely a section of them are even anti-communist & identify capitalism as democratic. Call it heresy, but that doesn’t invalidate their struggle for democratic suffrage one iota. They’ve been out on the street now for nearly three weeks (since Sept. 28th), setting up an Occupy encampment in Admiralty, the central business district & venue of financial institutions & government buildings. They also set up encampment in Mong Kok, a major commercial district with high end retailers & catering to the tourist & entertainment industry, particularly the sex industry, with brothels, massage parlors, nightclubs, & bars run by criminal cartels.

Democracy activists paralyzed commerce & traffic in both districts with makeshift metal, bamboo, & umbrella barricades. Since billions of dollars of business are transacted in Hong Kong & at least 44 banks were closed due to protests, business analysts are worried about the negative economic impact of the protests. Some alarmists speak of the need for financial markets to move to Singapore to escape the instability; some are concerned foreign investors will shy off. A few expressed indignation at the illegal character of the protests which defy a local ordinance that protests of more than 50 people must have police permits. It’s a good thing those analysts are good are making money because they stink at politics.This could be taken as a petulant & pissy complaint. But of course, it’s because they answer to the capitalist tycoons who run Hong Kong like a mafia. What’s regrettable is they differ so little from the Chinese “socialist” regime.

The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese government, issued a condemnation on October 1st which also calls the movement “an illegal gathering” which is “disrupting social order & harming Hong Kong’s economic livelihood.” It goes on to threaten that if the protests continue the “consequences will be unimaginable.” When you have the untenable situation of Hong Kong called “one country, two systems” & you can’t tell the difference between the two political systems, & when you have ostentatious wealth juxtaposed to thousands living in basement chicken coops, you gotta ask, ‘just where does the socialist side of that equation manifest’? And you have the cauldron that foments revolution.

It’s not certain which of the two systems governs Hong Kong’s riot cops because they act just like the ones at Tiananmen Square in 1989 & those we’ve experienced in all the political uprisings around the world. Starting last Tuesday, police using pepper spray & tear gas moved on the Admiralty & Mong Kok encampments, drove out the protesters, & armed with bolt cutters, chainsaws, & sledgehammers, dismantled the barricades.

Media has been reporting about scuffles between democracy activists & disgruntled local residents or supporters of the Beijing regime who counter-protest, attempt to remove the barricades blocking the streets, & attack the protesters. Let’s get real! They’re more likely to be goon squads hired by the brothel owners or bouncers at the local strip clubs than neighborhood people or political reactionaries. Multinational businesses can’t ply potential clients with booze & prostitutes if they have to traverse barricades & encampments to get to the brothels.

Protesters using the umbrellas that have come to symbolize their movement as weapons & shields against pepper spray & tear gas battled with riot cops & retook Mong Kok on Saturday morning. They retook Mong Kok, but do the protesters stand a chance of forcing the regime’s hand? Will political power in Hong Kong remain in the hands of a tiny elite of capitalist tycoons in league with the undemocratic regime in Beijing? Maybe for now they will only squeak out minor concessions; maybe Beijing will continue to let capitalist tycoons run the place. But a movement has emerged, the forces of social transformation have assembled. If that wasn’t making Beijing & the tycoons sweat bullets, Beijing would not have put up an internet firewall to prevent millions of discontent Chinese on the mainland from witnessing the undoing of the monstrosity called “one country, two systems.”

For our part, we salute the protesters in Hong Kong & extend our fullest solidarity.

Photo is an activist without umbrella or other defenses standing alone against the socialist-capitalist riot cops in a scene reminiscent of Tank Man in Tiananmen Square.

(Photographer unknown)

Palestinian children against bulldozers

Palestinian boy with rock (Abed Omar:Reuters) Oct 18 2014

There is a now iconic photo of 15-year-old Faris Odeh, a Palestinian boy from Gaza, standing in front of an Israeli tank hurling a rock. The photo was taken October 29th, 2000. Ten days later (Nov 8th), young Odeh was shot in the neck & killed by Israeli troops for again throwing rocks. He was part of what is called the Al-Aqsa Intifada (or Second Intifada), a period of intensified Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation & violence which began in September.

Today images of lone Palestinians, including men, women, & children, standing against Israeli tanks & bulldozers are common but have lost none of their power. Hundreds of Palestinian kids are arrested & prosecuted under Israeli military law for rock throwing; hundreds are indicted & serve time in the Israeli gulag. In contrast, very few Zionist settlers are arrested for their constant aggressions against Palestinians.

This young boy is going up against an armored wheel loader used in house demolitions in the West Bank. He’s part of a protest near the Zionist settlement of Qadomem (or Kedumim). Qadomem was settled in 1975 by Gush Emunim, a settlement movement which combined rabid Zionism with religious fanaticism. It was founded by the appropriately named Rabbi Tzvi Kook & existed from the mid-1970s until 1984 under the patronage of the most right-wing political forces in Israel. Their settlement strategy involved frequent terrorist attacks on Palestinians. While Gush Emunim no longer exists as an organization, Qadomem is still run by these political & religious nut cases who hold a deranged commitment to taking over Palestinian lands on the belief God gave it to the Jewish people. The Old Testament may not be bedtime reading, but you’d be hard-pressed to find chapter & verse justifying grand larceny, terrorist attacks, car bombings, vandalism of Palestinian property, physical attacks on Palestinians, burning of mosques & fields, uprooting of olive trees, & ethnic cleansing.

For most of the past 66 years, Palestinians have stood alone against a mighty & relentless military force. Those days are over. Today there are millions of people around the world who know the truth about that Exodus baloney, stand proudly with Palestinians, & form the international phalanx of intifada.

Honor & evangelize for the boycott of Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) to support Palestinians; support the cultural boycott of Israel; & demand “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Abed Omar/AP)

Protest in Acapulco, Mexico to demand safe return of disappeared student teachers

Acapulco protest (Eduardo Verdugo:AP) Oct 17 2014

This is a section of the protest today in Acapulco, Mexico to demand the safe return of the 43 disappeared student teachers on September 26th. You cannot see in this photo how massive the protest was & as always when protests are large, media described it only as “thousands of protestors.” We don’t know how large it was but they came from all over Mexico & included 20 busloads just from the teacher’s college the young men attended (it was an all male school). Guerrero governor Aquirre Rivero warned about “outside agitators” & claimed “anarchists are on the way from Oaxaca” to participate. Of course they were. That solidarity thing really befuddles the corrupt mind.

One of the most moving & constant features of protests about people “disappeared” by regimes around the world is images of the victims. Even decades after their disappearance, family members & those who demand justice will make immense photographic displays of the victims. They will never be forgotten. Until the demands of justice are met, their images will always haunt justice.

Our fullest solidarity with the protestors.

(Photo by Eduardo Verdugo/AP)

Solidarity with the teachers in Guerrero, Mexico against Mexico’s new dirty war

Teachers in Guerrero state capital (Felix Marquez:AP) Oct 17 2014

These teachers in Chilpancingo, the state capital of Guerrero state in Mexico, are battling riot cops in protest over the execution of six student teachers & the disappearance of 43 more on September 26th.

The Mexican government has 45,000 soldiers deployed who in the past several years have killed more than 60,000 civilians. Mexican military & paramilitary units & organized crime thugs have committed the most gruesome crimes against undocumented immigrants from Central America trying to get across Mexico to the US border. The US Pentagon bankrolls much of this carnage & has operatives on the ground in Mexico.

These teachers are up against mighty & violent social forces & superior military force invested in solidifying neoliberal economic & political tyranny in Mexico. As one of the most radical forces in Mexican politics, these activists are well aware of what they are up against. And yet they stand & fight.

We should honor them for their courage & know their tenacity combined with our international solidarity can vanquish the forces that seem so mighty. Our fullest respect & solidarity with them.

(Photo by Felix Marquez/AP)