2.6.10

The madness of arrogance

Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla
By Alan Sabrosky
Alan Sabrosky argues that Israel may have overreached itself by murdering international aid workers bound for beleaguered Gaza, and that this act of wanton savagery provides the civilized world with an opportunity to rein in the rogue Jewish state once and for all. Israel's attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla on America's Memorial Day was all too predictable, although the form it took surprised even me. And it confirms the old proverb that "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad", for the attack was the kind of madness only unbridled arrogance can assume. It wasn't just that foreigners as well as Palestinians, flying flags other than that of Palestine, were attacked. Israel has a long history of doing such things, especially to the UN. But except for the USS Liberty incident in 1967, it has generally done that on inland sites – Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon – where it can largely block news and visual evidence, and control the spin it puts on events, counting on its friends in the US and other mainstream media to say little or nothing to contradict them. The attack reprisedNot this time. An attack on the open seas, in acknowledged international waters, against unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid with passengers and crews from many countries – especially a direct attack against a Turkish ship – is a different matter, and potentially an explosive one. The number of shipboard casualties indicates that once fighting started, the Israeli commandoes simply sprayed automatic weapons fire into the people around them – another of their long-standing habits.
And technology is their enemy here, just as it became in an earlier day the enemy of communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries. Too many images and videos were taken, and some sent, and too many witnesses reported what was happening, before the Israelis were able to suppress communications from their victims. Bad for their victims, but also potentially very bad for Israel, and the initial Israeli public-relations damage control efforts show that they are at least dimly aware of that fact. Trying to cast the attack in international waters as an exercise in self-defence would be ludicrous in the best or worst of circumstances – has anyone ever seen wheelchairs used as offensive weaponry? And for the Israeli spokeswoman to try to spin an assault by warships and armed commandos as defence against a "lynch" (I guess she was trying to push an American "hot button" for Obama – someone should tell her it is "lynching" or "lynch mob") would have embarrassed even her public relations soulmate, Dr Josef Goebbels. But desperate do what desperation dictates, I suppose, although this time they may well have gone way too far. A judging, long overdueAnd that is what the initial responses appear to affirm. All of the major US and many other media outlets are carrying this story, and even with the slant from many Jewish correspondents based in Jerusalem or Ashdod, the bloody particulars are slowly coming through to at least a general American audience for the first time: 1. The unarmed ships with unarmed passengers were trying to ferry humanitarian and reconstruction aid to ravaged and embattled Gaza. 2. Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza, probably if not certainly in violation of international law, supported largely by US vetoes in the UN Security Council. 3. Israeli warships and commandos intercepted and attacked the aid flotilla in international waters – which is an act of war, piracy or state terrorism, depending on one's view of the details. 4. Under attack, some of the passengers tried to defend themselves, scores were killed or wounded, and some Israeli commandoes were also wounded – doubtless a surprise to them, but then their usual run of victims may have made them a bit too cocky. 5. Many governments and publics around the world – not only in Arab capitals – are openly outraged, and the discussion forums on US news websites carrying the story suggest that much the same is happening at a public level in this country. 6. But for Israel, this is just another "we are the misunderstood victim" incident in a long, sordid and utterly unbelievable litany of such things – except that this time they may not get away with it. Seizing the momentThis is a time for those interested in justice for Palestine to seize the moment and act, building on the promise engendered but not fulfilled after the submission of the Goldstone report to the UN Human Rights Council.
I would like to think that President Obama would take a stand, and perhaps he will, but if he does it will be with words and not with deeds. Neither the Congress nor White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would let him do much more, whatever his predisposition – and who knows, he may believe the "lynch" metaphor, or pretend to do so. Americans shouldn't bother with letters or emails to US Senators or Representatives, or Obama; the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will be there ahead of you with more letters and money than you can generate. Go instead directly to the local offices of US Senators and Representatives, stay until you speak personally to the senior person there, and make your case as forcefully as you can. Make sure as many people hear you as possible – but be polite, and leave your signs at home.For the world community, now is the time and this is the incident to drive home the UN "Uniting for Peace" resolution in both the Security Council and the General Assembly as needed. The nationalities of the victims will at least neutralize many European countries that might have opposed it before. Sanctions, embargoes, even the suspension or expulsion of Israel from the UN itself – do as much as quickly and as forcefully as possible. Press the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign everywhere hard.And for the US armed forces, on this Memorial Day, it would be well to reflect on the meaning of duty and service to country and people. Oaths of allegiance, obedience and loyalty are important to professionals in the armed forces, in or out of uniform. They were to me when I was in the Marines, and later as a civilian at West Point and the Army War College. I'm sure serving professionals today are no different.But the elected and appointed civilians overseeing the armed services have also taken their own oaths, and many have violated them by serving the interests of Israel rather than the US itself, and especially by spending American lives and treasure furthering Israeli interests rather than safeguarding American ones. This, to me, is clearly treason, and utterly negates any loyalty anyone else owes to them.Remember that the cornerstone of our oaths is not to obedience, but to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Think about it on this Memorial Day
Alan Sabrosky (PhD, University of Michigan) is a 10-year US Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the US Army War College.

Gaza and Auschwitz

The right to equate Gaza with Auschwitz -By Gilad Atzmon- 8 March 2008
(This article appeared on:http://www.redress.cc/)
Gilad Atzmon argues that, since the Palestinians are facing Nazi-like state terrorism, the Holocaust narrative and its meaning belongs to them at least as much as it belongs to the Jews or anyone else. They [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves” – Matan Vilnai, Israeli Deputy Defence Minister, 29 February 2008 It is clear beyond any doubt that the Israeli deputy defence minister was anything but reluctant to equate Israel with Nazi Germany when revealing the genocidal future awaiting the Palestinian people. Yet, for some reason, this is precisely what Western media outlets refrain from doing. In spite of the facts that are right in front of our eyes, in spite of the starvation in Gaza, in spite of an Israeli official admitting genocidal inclinations against the Palestinians, in spite of the mounting carnage and death, we are still afraid to admit that Gaza is a concentration camp and it is on the verge of becoming a deadly one. For some peculiar reason, many of us have yet to accept that, as far as evil is concerned, Israel is the world champion in mercilessness and vengeance. Liberty and authorityIn his invaluable text On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argued that struggle always takes place between the competing demands of liberty and authority. In other words, freedom and hegemony are set to battle each other. However, Western egalitarian liberal ideology introduces a political alternative. It nourishes the myth that “authority” and “freedom” could be seen as two sides of the same coin. Today, I will try to elaborate on the structural dynamic of liberal discourse and the different elements that are involved in maintaining the false image of “freedom”, “freedom of speech” and “freedom of thought”. I will try to argue that it is our alleged “freedom” that actually stops us from thinking freely and ethically. As you may notice I said “false image of freedom” because I am totally convinced that, as far as liberal discourse is concerned, freedom is nothing more than a mere image. In practice, there is no such thing. The image of “freedom” is there to fuel and maintain our righteous, self-loving discourse so we can keep sending our soldiers to kill millions in the name of “democracy”. Freedom of speech and freedom of thoughtI would like to introduce this with an elaboration of the distinction between “freedom of speech” and “freedom of thought”. Freedom of speech can be realized as one’s liberty to expresses one's own thoughts. Bearing in mind that humans are expressive creatures, there is no easy policing method to guarantee the silencing of the dissident voice. Since speaking is inherent to human nature, any exercise of litigation to do with the curtailing of such an elementary right is rather complicated: you ban one’s books? One would then spread leaflets in the streets. You confiscate one’s flyers? One would then agitate over the internet. You cut one’s power, confiscate one’s computer? One may start to shout one’s head off. You chop off one’s tongue? One would then nod in approval when others are repeating one’s manifesto. You are then left with no other option but chopping one’s head off, but even then, all you do is make one into a martyr. Two available methods are used by liberals to silence the dissident: prohibition (financial penalty and imprisonment) and social exclusion. However, it is crucial to mention that, within the so-called liberal discourse, any attempt to ban an idea or a dissident voice is counter-productive; if anything it reflects badly on the liberal authority and the system. This is why liberals try to facilitate some rather sophisticated methods of censorship and thought policing that would involve very little authoritarian intervention. As we will see soon, in liberal society censorship and thought policing is mostly self-imposed. As much as it is difficult to curtail freedom of speech, suppressing freedom of thought is almost impossible. Freedom of thought could be realized as the liberty to think, to feel, to dream, to remember, to forget, to forgive, to love and to hate. As difficult as it may be to impose thought on others, it is almost unfeasible to stop people from seeing the truth for themselves. Yet, there are some methods to suppress and restrain intuitive thinking and ethical insight. I am obviously referring here to guilt. Guilt, inflicted mostly via a set of axioms conveyed as “political correctness”, is the most effective method to keep society or any given discourse in a state of “self-policing”. It turns the so-called autonomous liberal subject into a subservient, self-moderated, obedient citizen. Yet, the authority is spared from making any intervention. It is the liberal subject who curtails oneself from accepting a set of fixed ideas that support the egalitarian image of freedom and ecumenical society. However, at this point I see the necessity to suggest that, in spite of the liberal claim to peace seeking, liberal societies in general and the Anglo-American ones in particular are currently involved in crimes against humanity on a genocidal scale. Consequently, the more horrid the West is becoming, the greater is the gap between “freedom of thought” and “freedom of speech”. This gap can easily evolve into a cognitive dissonance that in many cases matures into some severe form of apathy. It is said that “all it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing”. This summarizes perfectly well the apathetic negligence of the Western masses. Not many care much about the genocide in Iraq that is committed in our name or the mass murder in Palestine that is committed with the support of our governments. Why are we apathetic? Because when we want to stand up and say what we feel, when we want to celebrate our alleged freedom and to equate Gaza with Auschwitz, or Baghdad with Dresden, something inside us stops us from doing so. It is not the government, legislation or any other form of authority, it is rather a small and highly effective self-inflicted “guilt microchip” acting as policing regulator in the name of “political correctness”. I will now try to follow the historical and philosophical evolution that leads us from the liberal-egalitarian-utopia to the current ethical and intellectual self-castration disaster. The harm principleJohn Stuart Mill, the founder of modern liberal thinking, tells us that any doctrine should be allowed the light of day no matter how immoral it may seem to everyone else. This is obviously the ultimate expression of liberal thinking. It ascribes absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, ethical, political, religious or theological. Though Mill endorsed the fullest form of liberty of expression, he suggested a limitation attached to freedom set by the prevention of “harm to others”. It is obviously very difficult to defend freedom of speech once it leads to the invasion of the rights of others. The question to ask is, therefore: What types of speech may cause harm? Mill distinguishes between legitimate and illegitimate harm. According to Mill, only when speech causes a direct and clear violation of rights, can it be limited. But then, what kind of speech may cause such violation? Feminists, for instance, have been maintaining that pornography degrades, endangers and harms the lives of women. Another difficult case is hate speech. Most European liberal democracies have limitations on hate speech. Yet, it is debatable whether a ban on pornography or hate speech can be supported by the harm principle as articulated by Mill. One would obviously have to prove that such speech or imagery violates rights, directly and in the first instance. Consequently, Mill’s harm principle is criticized for being too narrow as well as too broad. It is too narrow for failing to defend the right of the marginal; it is too broad because, when interpreted extensively, it may potentially lead to the abolition of almost every political, religious or socially-orientated speech. The offence principle and free speechBearing in mind the shortcomings of the “harm principle”, it didn’t take long before an “offence principle” had been called into play. The offence principle can be articulated as follows: “One’s freedom of expression should not be interfered with unless it causes an offence to others.” The basic reasoning behind the “offence principle” is trivial. It is there to defend the rights of the marginal and the weak. It is there to amend the hole created by the far-too-broad harm principle. The offence principle is obviously pretty effective in curtailing pornography and hate speech. As in the case of violent pornography, strictly speaking the offence that is caused by a Nazi march through a Jewish neighbourhood cannot be avoided and must be addressed. However, the offence principle can be criticized for setting the bar far too low. Theoretically speaking, everyone can be “offended” by anything. The Jewish lobbies and the liberal discourseThere is no doubt that the vast utilization of the offence principle ascribes a lot of political power to some marginal lobbies in general and Jewish lobbies in particular. Counting on the premise of the “offence principle”, Jewish nationalist ethnic activists claim to be offended by any form of criticism of the Jewish state and Zionism. But in fact it goes further; in practice it isn’t just criticism of Zionism and Israel which we are asked to avoid. Jewish leftists insist that we must avoid any discussion to do with the Jewish national project, Jewish identity and even Jewish history. In short, with the vast support of the offence principle, Jewish ethnic leaders both on the left and the right have succeeded in demolishing the possibility of any criticism of Jewish identity and politics. Employing the offence principle, Jewish lobbies right, left and centre, have managed practically to silence any possible criticism of Israel and its crimes against the Palestinians. More worryingly, Jewish leftist political activists and intellectuals outrageously demand that criticism of Jewish lobbies in the USA and in Britain be avoided. As we can see, the “offence principle” regulates and even serves some notorious Zionist as well as Jewish leftist political lobbies at the heart of the so-called liberal democratic West. In practice, we are terrorized into submission by a group of gatekeepers who limit our freedom via an elastic dynamic operator that is there to suppress our thoughts before they mature into an ethical insight. Manipulation set by political correctness is the nourishing ground of our shattering cognitive dissonance. This is exactly where freedom of expression doesn’t agree with freedom of the thought. Auschwitz versus Gaza in the light of political correctnessWe tend to agree that marginal discourses should be protected by the offence principle, so the marginal subject maintains his unique voice. We obviously agree also that such an approach must be applicable to the manifold of Jewish marginal discourses (religious, nationalist, Trotskyite, etc.). Seemingly, Jewish political lobbies want far more than just that: they insist upon delegitimizing any intellectual reference to current Jewish political lobbying and global Zionism. As if this is not enough, any reference to modern Jewish history is prohibited unless kosherly approved by a “Zionist” authority. As bizarre as it may be, the Jewish Holocaust has now been intellectually set as a meta-historical event. It is an event in the past that won’t allow any historical, ideological, theological or sociological scrutiny. Bearing in mind the offence principle, Jews are entitled to argue that any form of speculation regarding their past suffering is “offensive and hurtful”. Yet, one may demand some explanations. How is it that historical research that may lead to some different visions of past events that occurred six and a half decades ago offends those who live among us today? Clearly, it is not easy to suggest a rational answer to such a question. Plainly, historical research shouldn’t cause harm or offence to the contemporary Jew or any other human subject around. Unless, of course, the Holocaust itself is utilized against the Palestinians or those who are accused of being the “enemies of Israel”. As we learnt from Matan Vilnai recently, the Jewish state wouldn’t refrain from bringing a Shoah on the Palestinian people. The Israelis and their supporters do not stop themselves from putting the Holocaust into rhetorical usage. Yet, the Jewish lobbies around the world would do their very best to stop the rest of us from grasping what Shoah may mean. They would use their ultimate powers to stop us from utilizing the Holocaust as a critical tool of Israeli barbarism. As one may predict by now, in order to censor historical research into Jewish history and a further understanding of current Israeli evil, political correctness is called into play. Political correctness is there to stop us from seeing and expressing the obvious. Political correctness is there to stop us realizing that truth and historical truth in particular is an elastic notion. Yet, you may wonder what exactly political correctness is. Political correctness, for those who fail to understand it, is basically a political stand that doesn’t allow political criticism. Political correctness is a stand that cannot be fully justified in rational, philosophical or political terms. It is implanted as a set of axioms at the heart of the liberal discourse. It operates as a self-imposed silencing regulator powered by self-inflicted guilt. Political correctness is in fact the crudest assault on freedom of speech, freedom of thought and human liberty; yet, manipulatively, it conveys itself as the ultimate embodiment of freedom. Hence, I would argue as forcefully as I can that political correctness is the bitterest enemy of human liberty and those who regulate those social axioms and plant them in our discourse are the gravest enemies of humanity. I would argue as forcefully as I can that since the Palestinians are facing Nazi-like state terrorism, the Holocaust narrative and its meaning belongs to them at least as much as it belongs to the Jews or anyone else. I would argue as forcefully as I can that, if the Palestinians are indeed the last victims of Hitler, then the Holocaust and its meaning do belong to them more than anyone else. Bearing all that in mind, equating Gaza with Auschwitz is the right and only way forward... Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed and My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. His CD, Exile, was named the year's best jazz CD by the BBC.

1.6.10

Noam Chomsky describing the RASCAL STATE OF ISRAEL

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Latuff featuring savage Zionists

Political Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza. Up to 16 people were killed and more than 30 people injured when troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said: [link]I beg you all of you that make th...is tragedy circulate ad nauseam through the Internet along my cartoon. People are free for reproducing it on blogs, papers, magazines, TV, everywhere.

Free people, Free Minds, Free Speech

CROCODILE TEARS OF ZIONISTS
The Zionists indeed learnt well from the Nazis. So well that it seems that their morally repugnant treatment of the Palestinians, and their attempts to destroy Palestinian society within Israel and the occupied territories, reveals them as basically Nazis with beards and black hats.”
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