Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Young Jews bolt AIPAC

March 19, 2018

Philadelphian Emily Mayer is a founding member of IfNotNow, a movement led by young Jews to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation.
She recently wrote a piece for Haaretz (Mar.6,2018)  explaining  Why Young Jews and Democrats Are Waving Goodbye to AIPAC.




Mayer is counted among those young American Jews whose last straw was the silence of organized Jewry to condemn the mass murder of defenceless women and children in Gaza in the summer of 2014.




“My generation has only known Israel as an occupier. We won’t back anyone who supports that injustice – including the powerful lobby that is AIPAC,” a “festival’ she has little time for.


She wrote:

As a young Jew and leader with IfNotNow who marched, sang, and chanted in the chilly March weather outside AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference last year, I know that the forces pulling progressives out of AIPAC are of the Jewish establishment and the Israeli government’s making.

As long as they insist on supporting and maintaining the occupation of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, progressives will turn away from pro-Israel advocacy in increasing numbers — both within and outside the Jewish community.


Just look at the polling of the future American Jewish community: Support for Israel among Jewish college students in the United States dropped an astounding 32 percent between 2010 and 2016.
While the Jewish establishment, anxious to make sense of these numbers, points to assimilation and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, the fact cannot be ignored: My generation has only known Israel as an occupier which denies millions of Palestinians access to water, proper medical care, and the ability to elect their own government. Supporting such a system as dogma is a dead-end to the thriving Jewish future we all want.”


Mayer pointed out that this is not only anestablishment Jewish problem it is a huge problem among Democrats


A Pew study released in January showed that while 79% of Republicans sympathize more with Israel, only 27% of Democrats hold that view, the largest divide between the two parties’ views on Israel since the poll was first conducted in 1978.”

Mayer asks how can you be a supposed Democrat, and align yourself with occupation. Bernie Sanders didn’t and he’s a Jew! So what is Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer inter alios  bending their knees to AIPAC?




It will not be enough to protest outside of AIPAC. Progressives of all stripes must demonstrate that the future of the Democratic party lies in policies that push for an end to the occupation and support freedom and dignity for both Palestinians and Israelis.


If Democratic leaders want to be a party of the rising American electorate – those of us Jewish and otherwise committed to freedom and dignity for all – they must refuse to put their values aside for campaign funding or easy endorsements.

As an aside the most bizarre among Israel’s idolators is the powerful House Dem Chuck Schumer. Unpack this bizarre statement uttered by himself at AIPAC if you can.


There is no peace between Israel and Palestine because — well, because the Palestinians don’t believe in the Torah. Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah.So that’s the reason there is not peace.”
Maybe the answer that Schumer does not believe in the Torah which twice in Deuteronomy repeats Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof. Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live. (Deut. 16:20).


Why “justice” twice? asks rabbi Arthur Waskow
To teach us: Pursue the goal of justice through means that are just. And to teach us: Justice for our selves. And justice for the other.

Young Jews like Mayer and unlike Schumer understand that there is no peace in Israel because there is no justice for Palestinians. When people self-identify as Jews and support and unjust occupation they are betraying Judaism



IJV challenges Michael Enright

March 15, 2018

The Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) do valuable work in promoting a human rights/progressive approach to Israel/Palestine.Because they are Jewish they give lie to the worn out canard that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.


Their recent activity bears some is the first of two.

In February IJV called out Michael Enright the outstanding generalist who hosts Sunday Morning on the CBC. Michael is a veteran journalist who does excellent work for our public broadcaster. However, it must be said that he works and lives in Toronto and is often susceptible to pressure from the heart of Zionist Jewry, Toronto.


Give Enright his due when the great Israeli columnist Gideon Levy appeared in Toronto in March 2015 to a packed house in the Anglican cathedral he did a half hour interview with the modern Jeremiah. For this he received heat from the Zionist police.This made him very careful in dealing with Israel/Palestine and really who needs a full court press from the well organized Zionist promoters B’nai Brith and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

Enright, his February produced an embarrassing piece on the phenomenon of anti-Semitism, a virus which has largely run its course in educated climes. There are still small pockets of this prejudice but by and large it is not much of a factor in our public life. It’s akin to the waning power of the Orange Lodge.


anti Z
Well,the CBC then, with Enright’s pulpit read 5 congratulatory letters from Canadian Jews about Michael’s brave mini-essay. This was overkill and reflected the CBC’s self-censorship on the issue of Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians



IJV member Martha Roth challenged Enright’s editorial:
Your powerful response to that letter, “Anti-Semitism is not just going away; it’s growing,” warns about the danger of anti-Semitism in Canada, which you describe as “in large measure…a hatred of Israel.” To support your claim that anti-Semitism is a growing problem, you cited information from a B’nai Brith study reporting a total of 1,728 incidents of “anti-Semitism” in Canada in 2016, an increase of 26% over 2015 – a shocking statistic indeed.


Here is the crux of the matter. I am a non-zionist Jew and I do not support the idea of a Jewish state. I am also a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada, an organization that believes in democracy, in equality for all, in Israel as in Canada. Along with thousands of other Canadians, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and unaffiliated, we support the international call to boycott Israel until it respects the three democratic demands of the BDS movement: an end to the occupation, equality for non-Jews living in Israel, and a just solution for Palestinian refugees.




That means that every time I say this, write it or attend a demonstration, B’nai Brith can report it as an anti-Semitic “incident.” B’nai Brith should brace for more anti-Semitic “incidents” as the BDS movement continues to grow. But to call them “anti-Semitic incidents” is utter nonsense.


Many Canadians, including Jewish Canadians, support BDS, driven not by antisemitism but by a sense of justice and a commitment to equality and democracy. Their support for equality makes them opponents of Zionism, which proposes a Jewish state as a way to defend Jews. The Zionist notion of protecting Jews by creating a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab world, expelling most of the people living there and refusing refugees the right to return, while giving Jews more rights than non-Jews, is not a good approach. It is a recipe for continual friction, pain and strife.



The only lasting approach to protecting Jews is the same as every other minority – a culture of tolerance. Supported by a strong legal framework. Ironically, while antisemitism was the kindling for Zionism in the 19th century, today it is Zionism and its claim to an exclusive Jewish state that are the fuel for what B’nai Brith calls antisemitism.


Miko Peled and “the call of the hour”

March 6, 2018

Miko Peled, is the son of Abu Salaam, Matti Peled the Israeli general who fought in the 6 Day War and told the government to give the territories back to Palestine or there would be eternal war. He went on to do a doctorate in Arabic studies and founded that department in Tel Aviv. Peled pater became a lifelong peace activist, hence his honorific of Abu Salaam, the son of peace.


Miko Peled was with Palestinian friends in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah after participating in the “48K March” for Gaza as Israel began its catastrophic mass murder of July/August 2014 called Protective Edge. In this barbaric assault 467 children were killed, 3000 were wounded,1800 were orphaned and 25 schools destroyed.

Journalist Chris Hedges at rally in NYC said:

“God weeps because the failure to condemn Israeli war crimes by our political establishment and our compliant media betrays the memory of those killed in other genocides, from the Holocaust to Cambodia to Rwanda to Bosnia. God weeps because we have failed to learn the fundamental lesson of the Holocaust, which is not that Jews are unique or eternal victims, but that when you have the capacity to stop genocide, and you do not, you are culpable.”

The only Edge of this absurd attack was the final edge which drove progressive Jews to see Zionism what it was, a colonialist movement which made war on an indigenous people

Miko Peled wrote this during the devastation of Gaza




Whether we are Palestinian or not, the call of the hour is non-cooperation and resistance against injustice.


Today, Israel and its supporters lay the blame for the violence in Gaza on Hamas. But Israel did not start its assaults on the Gaza Strip when Hamas was established in the late 1980s. Israel began attacking Gaza when the Strip was populated with the first generation refugees in the early 1950s.


Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, are not faced with an option to resist and be killed or live in peace. They are presented with the options of being killed standing up and fighting or being killed sleeping in their beds.




“Sea of hatred


Gaza is being punished because Gaza is a constant reminder to Israel and the world of the original sin of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of a so-called Jewish state. Even though Palestinian resistance has never presented a military threat to Israel, it has always been portrayed as an existential threat to the state.


Moshe Dayan, the famed Israeli general with the eyepatch, described this in a speech in April 1956. He spoke in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, an Israeli settlement on the boundary of the Gaza Strip where Israeli tanks park each time there is a ground invasion of Gaza.


“Beyond the furrow of this border, there surges a sea of hatred and revenge,” Dayan said then. Ironically, when six months later Israel had occupied Gaza and my father was appointed its military governor, he said that he saw “no hatred or desire for vengeance but a people eager to live and work together for a better future.”



Still, today, Israeli commanders and politicians say pretty much the same: Israel is destined to live by the sword and must strike Gaza whenever possible. Never mind the fact that Palestinians have never posed a military challenge, much less a threat to Israel.


After all, Palestinians have never possessed as much as a tank, a warship or a fighter jet, not to say a regular army.


So why the fear? Why the constant, six-decade-long campaign against Gaza? Because Palestinians in Gaza, more so than anywhere else, pose a threat to Israel’s legitimacy.
Israel is an illegitimate creation brought about by a union between racism and colonialism. The refugees who make up the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip are a constant reminder of this.


They are a reminder of the crime of ethnic cleansing upon which Israel was established. The poverty, lack of resources and lack of freedom stand in stark contrast to the abundance, freedom and power that exist in Israel and that rightfully belongs to Palestinians.

Generous offer


As I write these words, the number of Palestinians murdered by Israel in Gaza has exceeded two thousand. Ending the insufferable, brutal and racist regime that was created by the Zionists in Palestine is the call of our time.


Criticizing Palestinian resistance is unconscionable. Israel must be subjected to boycott, divestment and sanctions. Israeli diplomats must be sent home in shame. Israeli leaders, and Israeli commanders traveling abroad, must fear prosecution.


And these measures are to be combined with disobedience, non-cooperation and uncompromising resistance. This and only this will show mothers, fathers and children in Gaza that the world cares and that “never again” is more than an empty promise.

Miko Peled is the author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.

Bil’in symbol of resistance

March 5, 2018

The International Middle East Media Center reported that 
on Friday, March 2 after prayers in the Mosque dozens of Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli and international peace activists, marched in Bil‘in village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, marking the 13th anniversary of ongoing popular nonviolent resistance against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and colonies, before the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force, injured five, and dragged and abducted an international peace activist.

In 2010 my brother and I accompanied the villagers in a similar protest. The demonstrations have taken place every Friday since February 2005, when Israeli bulldozers first arrived to start clearing olive trees to make room for the wall. When the wall was first built, it expropriated some 1,950 dunams of the village’s agricultural land.
Today Bil’in is a powerful symbol of nonviolent popular resistance against everything that’s wrong about occupation—military rule, lack of political power(no voting rights) the apartheid wall in contravention of international law which Israel snubs on a daily basis.


Bil’in 2010

Following years of struggle and a Supreme Court ruling, the wall was repositioned in 2011, returning some 600 dunams of land back to the village, but over 1,000 remain on the other side of the wall, near the ultra-orthodox settlement of Modi’in Ilit. Bil’in’s residents continue to demand the return of all of their land.




One wonders what Israel was thinking. Should these indigenous stand by and watch ancestral lands being stolen under their eyes? Who would not resist such thievery?The 7th commandment, thou shalt not steal after all is in the decalogue—but that’s Judaism, this is Zionism.



Many Palestinians from various areas of the occupied West Bank, including heads and members of local councils, senior political leaders, in addition to current and former ambassadors, also participated in the nonviolent procession




Some protesters dressed like native Americans, representing the displacement and massacres against the indigenous population, and others dressed like Avatar characters, while many children carried balloons with pictures of Palestinians who were killed by the army during nonviolent processions, and those who were abducted and imprisoned, including ‘Ahed Tamimi and Monther Amira, before the balloons were released to fly freely in the air. They also chanted for national unity, the liberation of Palestinian, including its occupied capital, Jerusalem, in addition to calling for the release of all political prisoners.


PI Indians4e5g

Upon reaching the gate of the annexation wall, some protesters wrote graffiti, while others started banging at the gate with stones and raised Palestinian flags. The soldiers filmed the nonviolent protesters and resorted to the excessive use of force against them, before firing live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades, and attacked many of them.




The Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bil‘in said the soldiers shot five Palestinians, including cameraman Issam Rimawi, who was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his arm. One Palestinian was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his shoulder, while resident  Adeeb Abu Rahma, who was killed with a gas bomb in the head, his sister, Jawaher, suffocated to death from tear gas inhalation.
VIDEO: Bil‘in marks 13th anniversary of nonviolent resistance against the Wall, colonies
Video by Haitham Khatib

South Africa to Cut All Diplomatic Ties With Israel

March 2, 2018


The ironies abound. South Africa, a former apartheid state, has been vocal in its support for the Palestinian cause against the over 50-year-old Israeli occupation. Now it means to do something about it. Marginalize it so that it can come to its senses. It’s 2018 and you simply can not treat people like this and call yourself a serious democracy.


Apartheid is listed as a “crime against humanity” in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted in 1998 – four years after the formal end of apartheid in South Africa.



The Rome Statute defines apartheid as “inhumane acts…committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”


Do Israeli laws and practices match this definition? In the words of the US State Department, Palestinian citizens face “institutional and societal discrimination”. This affects areas such as immigration and family life, land and housing.


There is no legal guarantee of equality, and human rights defenders have identified more than 50 discriminatory laws.


Hafrada, is the Hebrew word used in Israel, ethnic segregation,(mmmm smells like the deep American south of the Jim Crow era) is a purely Israeli invention —keep ‘em apart, they’re not liker us—build walls so we never see them and see that they really are like us—the term has been cloaked in softer and gentler expressions–– such as “convergence” and “disengagement”––to the average Israeli, the term simply meant, and continues to mean, one thing: “Separation” and “segregation.” In other words, “apartheid.”




Former CBC reporter Neil Macdonald wrote:


The time has come to call the duck a duck. It’s time to agree with a long list of Israeli political leaders, academics and public figures on both the political left and right, including three former prime ministers, a winner of the Israel prize, two former heads of the Israeli internal security service Shin Bet, and one of the country’s principal newspapers, all of whom have warned that the Jewish state is becoming, or already is, an apartheid state.




The South African government is intending to cut diplomatic ties with Israel in protest of its treatment of the Palestinian people, the country’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor announced yesterday.


Pandor informed parliamentarians of the government’s resolution during a ten-hour joint debate on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he delivered last week.




“The majority party has agreed, that government must cut diplomatic ties with Israel, given the absence of genuine initiatives by Israel to secure lasting peace and a viable two-state solution that includes full freedom and democracy for the Palestinian people,” she said.


The government’s decision was further confirmed on the South African Parliament’s official Twitter account.



South Africa has been a staunch ally of the Palestinian struggle and regularly spoken out against the atrocities committed by the Israeli government.


Last month, the South African representative to the UN told the Human Rights Council that Israel is the “only state in the world that can be described as an apartheid state”, just days after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party called for government ministers to strengthen the country’s visa restrictions with Israel.


Last year, the government also resolved to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a liaison office, and cautioned Tel Aviv for blacklisting supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which included prominent figures of the ANC.


The BDS South Africa campaign has witnessed significant support from the nation’s public, with universities and churches backing a cultural and economic boycott of Israel affiliated organisations.



AIPAC still calls the tune

February 27, 2018

In recent years, some Americans have come to look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of human rights—and this is especially true for younger Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans. You have to be deaf,dumb and blind not to see the horrific oppression visited daily on Palestinians, the extraordinary asymmetry of power at work here .Despite this huge gap, social media has fiprovided absolute proof of




Israeli violence. Its propaganda has run out of steam.
Israel’s government the most rightwing in history is peopled with racists who would be laughed off the stage in any Canadian or american parliament.This makes them sensitive to the hardships faced by Palestinian civilians, and to certain Israeli practices, like housing demolitions. These groups form a larger proportion of the voting public than they have in the past, and a growing proportion of the Democratic Party’s core constituency.


Minister of Just Us

This is the voice of the street. Phil Weiss points out that AIPAC still has a grip on both political parties, more so of course with Republicans.
New York’s pols are hopelessly pro-Israel, craven politicians like Cuomo, deBlasio, Schumer all in Israel’s back pocket in the most Jewish state in America. There is not a prophetic gene among these lifers.



Israel firster Schumer
Weiss writes
The purpose of AIPAC is to maintain US establishment support for Israel, and these centrist-liberals are serving that purpose (and surely helping their careers) by taking the podium for Israel.They are sewing together both parties at a time when Israel support is fragmenting among progressives/leftwingers. The AIPAC speakers’ list makes clear that it’s working: the establishment is still pro-Israel, and support for Israel is a necessary credential for entry into the establishment. No wonder my liberal Congressman says he’s with Israel till death doth them part. The progressive base is not able to call him to account, yet. He is like Dems, PEP Progressive except for Israel

As no one is calling Wittes and Shipman and Kurtzer for speaking alongside Ayelet Shaked, who has posted racist screeds comparing Palestinian children to snakes, or Dror Ben-Yemini, who has said that a Jewish “sickness” explains young American Jews’ sympathy for Palestinians.

Yet some folks are calling AIPAC to account. Jewish Voice for Peace actively opposes AIPAC and points out its rightwing agenda in an email today:


What has always made AIPAC so effective is their ability to repackage an ultra-conservative vision as bipartisan unity. Just like the NRA, they have perfected the art of presenting their own narrow agenda as in line with the interests and values of the American people— even though it’s anything but.


[Trump and Netanyahu’s] dangerous views will be on full display next month, when Netanyahu will address the AIPAC conference and hold a meeting with Trump.
They’ll heap blame on the Palestinians, ignore [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas’ proposal, and neither endorse a two-state solution nor present a viable alternative to it. Against the wishes and interests of the majority of Israelis and pro-Israel Americans, they’ll do whatever they can to prevent progress towards a viable peace.

In fact, I don’t think AIPAC is practicing any deception on these liberal politicians. It is forthrightly always on Israel’s side; and liberal Democrats need the pro-Israel credential to get political funding and access. If you support BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), you instantly make yourself radioactive inside the establishment. Those are the rules.

Meantime, none of these same Democrats would have anything to do with the NRA. They can oppose that agenda; and the media can talk about NRA boycotts and United and Delta Air Lines can dissociate themselves from the gun lobby. And AIPAC smells like a rose. Being pro-Israel is still the only game in town for liberal establishment funding.


It’s Official: Israel apartheid

February 25, 2018

Now here’s a real justice minister for you.




Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli justice minister  has done it again: On Monday February 12 She has spelled out Israeli Apartheid in unequivocal terms, and tied it directly to Zionism:
“There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights.”
Shaked was speaking about Israel’s “Nation State of the Jewish People” bill, and made it clear that equality was essentially anathema to the “Jewish State”:

On the coalition’s intent to keep the word “equality” out of the nation-state bill, Shaked said that

“Israel is a Jewish state. It isn’t a state of all its nations. That is, equal rights to all citizens but not equal national rights.”

Shaked said the word “equality” was very general and the court could take it “very far,” adding that “There are places where the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish state must be maintained and this sometimes comes at the expense of equality.”


Quite a shocking statement for a mimister of the crown. Shaked would have been fired in  canada for  some of her other breathless quotes:


She is thus echoing what she said half a year ago – that “Zionism should not – and I’m saying here that it will not – continue to bow its head to a system of individual rights interpreted in a universal manner”.


No that would mean Judaism not Zionism.
Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy had then thanked Shaked for telling the truth:
“Thus Shaked believes, as do so many around the world, that Israel is built on foundations of injustice and therefore must be defended from the hostile talk of justice. How else can the repulsion to discussing rights be explained? Individual rights are important, she said, but not when they are disconnected from ‘the Zionist challenges.’ Right again: The Zionist challenges indeed stand in contradiction to human rights…”
And he concluded:

Zionism is Israel’s fundamentalist religion, and as in any religion, its denial is prohibited. In Israel, ‘non-Zionist’ or ‘anti-Zionist’ aren’t insults, they are social expulsion orders. There’s nothing like it in any free society. But now that Shaked has exposed Zionism, put her hand to the flame and admitted the truth, we can finally think about Zionism more freely. We can admit that the Jews’ right to a state contradicted the Palestinians’ right to their land, and that righteous Zionism gave birth to a terrible national wrong that has never been righted; that there are ways to resolve and atone for this contradiction, but the Zionist Israelis won’t agree to them.”

Corruption on a Massive Scale

February 21, 2018


Netanyahu-corruption-charges-Israel-MondoweissJonathan Ofir is one of those Israelis who had enough of Zionist theft and corruption and so like so many others he shlepped off to another country—Denmark


In this edited article (Mondoweiss) below he makes the important point about not being sidetracked about a person’s particular moral failings. He takes issue with Tom Segev’s new biography (not yet released) of Ben-Gurion.


With new access to files Segev discovered the great leader was an adulterer of massive proportions and as we see below, Segev does ask the question that if the leader isn’t faithful to his wife, maybe he’s not faithful to his voters, either. If he cheats on her, maybe he cheats on them, too.”


To Segev, Ben-Gurion compared to Netanyahu was a knight in shining armour. Abstemious in his personal habits. he was not corrupt.

This is too much for thoughtful people like Ofir and Gideon Levy.

Ben-Gurion like many Zionists despite eschewing cigars and champagne (Netanyahu) was “corrupt on a grand national scale.”

Ofir writes:

Indeed, as the title suggests, the novel aspect of this new book appears to be the new discoveries about Ben-Gurion’s sex life – where he had four mistresses, and where one of them was a steady sexual relationship lasting 40 years from 1926.

Segev responds to the question of where the boundary runs between cheap gossip and material of historical value, and why he interested himself in Ben-Gurion’s sex life: “The first answer is the standard one – that if the leader isn’t faithful to his wife, maybe he’s not faithful to his voters, either. If he cheats on her, maybe he cheats on them, too,” he says.

“But all in all, Segev appears to believe that Ben-Gurion was definitely not corrupt – supposedly because he didn’t smoke cigars or drink champagne, even though he had systematic extra-marital affairs and even though he didn’t pay for his books and house.
Alright, let’s pause there.
We know that smoking cigars and drinking champagne are not crimes in themselves. It is always about something other than the appearance. It does not matter if Netanyahu did not ever cheat on his wife. Still, he could be corrupt by other means. The champagne and cigars don’t corrupt him per se. It’s about a bigger picture, that can have many appearances.

Now, was Ben-Gurion really a “man of integrity”?


When I was about 15, I had attended a lecture by the legendary professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Leibowitz is the one who coined the term ‘Judeo-Nazis’, and was hailed as “one of the greatest figures in the life of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in recent generations” by Former President Ezer Weizman, who added that he was “a spiritual conscience for many in Israel.” Leibowitz said something at that lecture which I never forgot. It was one short sentence:

Ben-Gurion was a man of many virtues. Truth was not one of them”.
At the point, I was ignorant of the details of Ben Gurion’s deceptions. Nonetheless, Leibowitz’s sentence was etched in my consciousness, perhaps due to the shock effect of having this heroic persona (Ben-Gurion) simply being called a liar. It was only many years later, that I began to learn about the details of Ben Gurion’s corruption on the grand national scale.

In 1937, Ben-Gurion wrote to his son Amos how acceptance of Partition (it was the Peel Commission partition plan) was not an end but a beginning:
“My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.”

In other words, Ben-Gurion knew fully well, that any acceptance of a partial territory is not committing. It’s just a means of getting some legitimacy, from which to grow power and with which to eventually “liberate the entire country”.

But as Ben-Gurion wrote to his son above, “this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole”. And then came 1967, and the task was territorially completed.


All these things are colonialist conspiracies which are corrupt in their very essence. In fact, Israel’s second Prime Minister Moshe Sharett had noted this aspect clearly:
“I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism. These are historical facts that cannot be altered”, he said.
So even according to Sharett, Ben Gurion had to be a deceitful leader.
Now, has this essentially changed much? I would say not. The deceit that Zionism applies in order to cover up for its colonialist designs to erase Palestine is a constant factor, and the goal is always corrupt. It’s even genocidal in its very essence. Author and journalist Ben Ehrenriech:
“The question about genocide– yes, it’s an incremental genocide. And I think that’s a word that gives a lot of people pause and it certainly should. We don’t see the absolutely mass slaughters, although in Gaza I think we’ve seen something very much like it that we usually associate with genocide. But– the attempts to erase a people, to just erase them, to erase their history, I think follow a logic that can only be called genocidal.”
Grand scale horror

So what is the place of corruption at the level of bribery, extra-marital affairs, unpaid bills, cigars and champagne measured against that grand-scale horror? Indeed, the bigger picture brings these things into perspective.

This is why Netanyahu’s personal corruptions, measured against the grand scale, are somewhat irrelevant to Palestinians. And it’s not like there’s hope ahead, even if he does resign. Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy wrote last week that “we may miss Netanyahu yet”, listing the options, and focusing particularly on the ‘centrist liberal’ Yair Lapid, whom I call ‘the pretty face of ultranationalism’ – the man with the motto “maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians”. Levy says about Netanyahu that “his heirs may steer clear of cigars and champagne, but none of them can fix Israel’s great corruption – the institutionalized state corruption arising from 50 years of occupation”.


I think Levy is being too generous, too mild, even too apologetic. That corruption goes back way further than 50 years.


Personally, I have generally refrained from going into detail of Netanyahu’s personal corruptions in all my writings so far. I have instinctively felt, that doing so contained the danger of distracting from the greater national corruption. This is also why I haven’t gone into detail here. I’m not saying Netanyahu’s personal corruption or Ben-Gurion’s personal corruption are irrelevant. But if you really think about the Palestinians, they have been nationally raped by Zionism from the start. You can’t do that and still be a “man [or woman] of integrity”.




Jonathan Ofir is an Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.


Will Canada Make up for Its Sad Anti-Palestinian History?

February 16, 2018


By Yves Engler

The anti-Palestinian consensus among Canada’s three main political parties is crumbling and NDP members could bury it this weekend.


After taking an all-expense paid trip to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference in Washington and participating in a Jewish National Fund event in Israel 14 months ago, the NDP’s foreign critic has begun challenging Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession.

Hélène Laverdière has repeatedly criticized the Trudeau government’s silence on Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. In response she tweeted, “a devastating day for those who believe in peace, justice and security in the Middle East. Where is Canada’s voice in protest of Trump’s decision on #Jerusalem? I urge Canada to condemn this decision in the strongest of terms.”


The party’s foreign critic also asked the federal government to condemn Israel’s detention of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi and hundreds of other Palestinian children who are usually tortured by Israeli forces.



Similarly, Laverdière has pressed Ottawa to properly label products from illegal Israeli settlements and submitted a petitionto Parliament calling “upon the Government of Canada to demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”


Two weeks ago I received an email on behalf of party leader Jagmeet Singh titled “all people deserve the same human rights”, which listed the party’s recent support for Palestinian rights. It noted,


“the NDP shares your concerns about Palestine. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his team of New Democrats have a consistent record of defending Palestinian rights as well as raising concerns over Islamophobia.”


A series of factors are likely driving Laverdière’s shift. She probably never backed former NDP leader Tom – “I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances” – Mulcair’s position. Additionally, last year’s NDP leadership race unleashed ever bolder expressions of support for the Palestinian cause.

Amidst the campaign, Laverdière was criticized for speaking at AIPAC’s 2016 conference in Washington and participating in an event put on by the explicitly racist Jewish National Fund. In August the NDP Socialist Caucus called for her resignation as foreign critic and it has submitted a motion to this weekend’s convention calling for her to be removed from that position.



Ottawa’s high-profile abstention at the UN General Assembly after Donald Trump announced that he would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem has given the NDP an opportunity to distinguish itself from the Trudeau government. And media coverage of subsequent Palestinian resistance, most notably Ahed Tamimi’s courageous slaps, has provided additional opportunities to highlight the Liberal’s extreme anti-Palestinianism.


The NDP leadership is also trying to head off members calls to boycott Israel (according to a 2017 Ekos poll, 84% of NDP members were open to sanctioning Israel). At least five resolutions (among more than ten concerning Palestine/Israel) submitted to the convention call for some type of boycott of Israel.


The NDP Socialist Caucus has called on the party to “actively campaign” in support of the (just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize) Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s demands. With probably more backing than any of the 100+ resolutions submitted, 30 riding associations/youth committees endorsed “Palestine Resolution”, which calls for “banning settlement products from Canadian markets, and using other forms of diplomatic and economic pressure to end the occupation.” Of course party leaders fear the media response to any type of boycott resolution being adopted.


Whatever the reason for Laverdière’s shift away from anti-Palestinianism, it remains insufficient. As I’ve detailed, the NDP continues to provide various forms of support to Israel and the party has an odious anti-Palestinian history. In the mid-1970s the party opposed Palestinian Liberation Organization participation in two UN conferences in Toronto and Vancouver and party leader Ed Broadbent called the PLO “terrorists and murderers whose aim is the destruction of the state of Israel.”


That year NDP icon Tommy Douglas also told the Histadrut labor federation: “The main enmity against Israel is that she has been an affront to those nations who do not treat their people and their workers as well as Israel has treated hers.” (Douglas’ 1975 speech was made while Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai, after it repeatedly invaded its neighbors and ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland.)


A progressive party worth its salt campaigns on an international issue in equal measure to its government/society’s contribution to that injustice. Over the past century Canada has played no small part in Palestinians dispossession. Hundreds of Canadians provided military force to realize the crassly anti-Palestinian Balfour Declaration and this country’s diplomats played a central role in the UN’s decision to give the Zionist movement most of Palestine in 1947.


Today, Ottawa regularly votes against Palestinian rights at the UN and subsidizes dozens of charities that channel tens of millions of dollars to projects supporting Israel’s powerful military, racist institutions and illegal settlements.



Additionally, Canada’s two-decade-old free trade agreement with Israel allows settlement products to enter Canada duty-free and over the past decade Ottawa has delivered over $100 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority in an explicit bid to advance Israel’s interests by building a security apparatus to protect the corrupt Palestinian Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building.


Hopefully, in the years to come the NDP can help Canada make up for its sad anti-Palestinian history. Perhaps this weekend the party will finally bury official Canada’s anti-Palestinian consensus.

I will be speaking about “What’s Wrong with NDP Foreign Policy?” on the sidelines of the convention.


– Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books.. He contributed this article to Visit his website:

JVP and BDS Common Sense

February 13, 2018


The Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!
Bjørnar Moxnes, the Norwegian Member of Parliament who formally made the nomination, said:
“Awarding this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the BDS movement would be a powerful signal, emphasising the international community’s commitment to support a just peace for the Palestinian people... the Israeli people and all people in the Middle East – and the world at large.”
This announcement and the wide coverage given to the shocking treatment of children in Israel’s prisons has sent the Zionist thought police into a massive flameout. the old and laughable canard about the outbreak of “the new anti-Semitism has been revved up once again. and it is largely failing as the Israel-firsters no longer control the narrative.there is simply too much evidence about the 50 year occupation.


The prophetic American group Jewish Voice for Peace recently wrote:
I don’t have to tell you how well-deserved this nomination is. For the past 12 years, people all over the world, often at great personal risk, have come together with this simple, irrefutable message:
Palestinians deserve justice, freedom, and dignity just like everyone else. 

BDS stands in the same proud tradition of nonviolent resistance as the Montgomery bus boycotts, the United Farm Workers grape boycott, the boycott against South African apartheid, Gandhi’s boycott of British goods… the list goes on.  And we know history will include BDS on that list.
In fact, we know it will be a model for grassroots movements to come. Using the BDS call as a strategic and moral guide, people all over the world have leveraged their power to wage unbelievably creative campaigns, driven by a truly beautiful and inclusive vision of what the world can be.
And just imagine the leap forward our work could take if BDS actually won the Nobel Peace Prize. Then they ask:

Sign our petition and tell the Nobel Committee: the movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions deserves recognition— because Palestinians deserve to be free.


Today— as was the case with all those other boycotts, in their time— not everyone sees BDS for the principled movement that it is. Every day, BDS activists are attacked by those devoted to defending Israel’s apartheid system.
That’s why it’s so important to come out strong in our support for this nomination. And that’s why JVP and PSC have come together to advocate for this important recognition.
The Nobel Committee will publish a shortlist of nominees by the end of September. We need to lift our collective voice as high as we can today, and seize this opportunity to take a meaningful step towards justice.

Let’s show the Nobel Committee how many people around the world agree with this nomination, and want to see the BDS movement recognized for its vital and courageous work for human rights.