Legal Complaint Launched against Israeli-Canadian Charity

A request to revoke the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association’s charitable status is an important step towards lessening Canadian complicity in Palestinian dispossession. Registered Canadian charities provide significant support to Israel and drawing attention to the massive taxpayer subsidy undercuts the Israel lobby.

Today Palestinian-Canadian refugee Khaled Mouammar and Rabbi David Mivasair submitted a formal legal complaint to the Canada Revenue Agency concerning the charitable status of the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association (CZCA). The complaint asks the CRA to investigate whether the CZCA’s operations comply with its regulations for registered charities and if not revoke the group’s charitable status. NDP Critic for National Revenue Matthew Green is echoing the call for the CRA to investigate the CZCA.

CRA rules state clearly that “supporting the armed forces of another country is not” charitable yet the Israel Defense Forces website explicitly named the CZCA as an organization “authorized to raise donations for the IDF”. (When Global News reporter Stewart Bell began asking CZCA questions about its ties to the IDF, the Israeli military quickly removed CZCA from its list of international organizations.) In 2019 the CZCA allocated over $1.7 million to YAHAD, which says its “aim is raising funds for IDF soldiers.” CZCA appears to act as a conduit for funds to the Association for the Soldiers of Israel – Canada, which isn’t a registered charity.

CZCA is an egregious example of an organization defying CRA rules, but it is only one of many. In 2018 the HESEG Foundation, which was established “to recognize and honor the contribution of Lone Soldiers to Israel,” spent more than $9 million in Israel. Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel, the Jewish National Fund of Canada and Beit Halochem Canada (Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel) have also supported the IDF. A slew of other charities have more indirect ties to the IDF such as Canadian friends of Technion, which is a university with many ties to the Israeli military, and TanenbaumCHAT, a Toronto high school that organizes fundraisers for Israeli military initiatives and holds regular “IDF days”.

Charities that support West Bank settlements also contravene CRA rules since Ottawa officially considers them a violation of international law. A number of registered charities support settlement projects directly or indirectly. Located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, Canadian Friends of Ariel University is also a registered charity. So is Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, which says it “provides financial” support to “the Jews currently living in Biblical Israel —the communities of Judea and Samaria” (occupied West Bank).

Similarly, the CRA has a policy of promoting racial equality. Yet the JNF promotes explicitly racist land-use policies in Israel.

A thorough investigation into Israel-focused charities would likely uncover tens of millions of dollars of subsidized donations going to projects that contravene CRA guidelines. In 2018 registered charities raised more than a quarter-billion dollars for projects in Israel with taxpayers on the hook for as much as $100 million of that sum. By my calculation, about $5 billion has been raised for Israel-focused projects over the past half-century with taxpayers covering about $1.5 billion of the total.

This is an enormous subsidy that Palestine solidarity activists and progressive researchers must disrupt. Looking through the list of foreign-focused Canadian charities, Israel is the only country with dozens of organizations raising funds almost entirely for it. It’s also probably the single biggest recipient of subsidized private donations, receiving more than Kenya, Haiti, Afghanistan or 100 other poorer or more populous states.

Even if Israel wasn’t an apartheid state that regularly bombs its neighbors why should Canadian taxpayers subsidize the symphony, guide dog society, universities, etc. of a country with a GDP equivalent to Canada’s?

Drawing attention to subsidized charitable donations has an important political/ideological component. It puts the Israel lobby in an uncomfortable position since it is about Canadian law and can be framed as saving taxpayers money. The charities issue undercuts the lobby’s claim that Israel is being ‘singled out’ unfairly, demonstrating that they are in fact ‘singling Israel out’ on the taxpayers’ dime and sometimes in contravention of Canadian law.

There’s another political upside to challenging registered charities. Funds are often raised at public gatherings that function as pro-colonization or pro-IDF rallies. These events often include public figures sensitive to controversy. Challenging CZCA or other charities operations can drive away more perception-conscious individuals, which is probably what happened with Independent Jewish Voices complaint and campaign targeting the Jewish National Fund’s charitable status.

A significant share of the funds the CZCA raises come from an annual event they do with the Association for the Soldiers of Israel–Canada. A few months before the pandemic began, 1,000 people attended an event that “featured heartfelt and captivating speeches from IDF commanders, as well as a performance by the IDF Ensemble”, reported the Canadian Jewish News. Some public figures likely attended this Israeli military rally.

The CRA needs to investigate Mouammar and Mivasair’s complaint concerning CZCA. If it finds the Canadian Zionist Cultural Association is defying its regulations the group’s charitable status must be revoked.

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

The post Legal Complaint Launched against Israeli-Canadian Charity appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

Hundreds of Palestinians Wounded by Israeli Army During Anti-Settlement Protests (VIDEO)

Some 270 Palestinians were injured in the occupied West Bank as they clashed with Israel Defense Forces troops, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds protesting illegal Israeli settlements.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered on Friday in the town of Beit Ummar, northwest of Hebron, to mourn the death of a protester who had been killed by the Israeli occupation forces a day before.

Shawkat Awad, 20, was shot in the head and abdomen on Thursday during clashes that erupted after the funeral of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who was also killed by Israeli troops earlier in the week. The mourners carried Awad’s body through the town, with the funeral procession spiraling into new clashes with Israeli soldiers.

Clashes also erupted at the village of Beita, near Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank. The town has seen numerous protests since May, when illegal Israeli settlers moved in and started setting up homes and building a road on a disputed stretch of land.

Images circulating online showed dozens of Palestinians using slingshots to hurl rocks at the Israeli military as burning tires let off thick clouds of black smoke – apparently, an effort to conceal themselves from the Israeli troops seen shooting at protesters.

The clashes left around 270 Palestinians injured across the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. While the majority of the victims were exposed to tear gas, around 50 were injured by rubber-coated bullets, while another seven reportedly suffered wounds as the result of live fire, the Red Crescent told the AFP news agency.

(RT, PC, Social Media)

The post Hundreds of Palestinians Wounded by Israeli Army During Anti-Settlement Protests (VIDEO) appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

Ben & Jerry’s Co-founders: Nothing ‘Anti-Semitic’ about Ice Cream Embargo of Illegal Israeli Settlements

Ben & Jerry’s co-founders have pushed back against claims of anti-Semitism following the company’s decision to stop offering its ice cream products in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, noting that they themselves are Jews.

Writing in the New York Times, Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield said they were “proud Jews” who view Israel’s occupation of the West Bank as a barrier to peace.

“It’s possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies, just as we’ve opposed policies of the US government. As such, we unequivocally support the decision of the company to end business in the occupied territories, which a majority of the international community, including the United Nations, has deemed an illegal occupation,” they argued, in an op-ed published on Wednesday.

The move to pull Ben & Jerry’s from shelves in Israeli-occupied territories was in keeping with the firm’s “progressive values.”

The iconic ice cream duo noted that, while they no longer have operational control of the company, they nonetheless felt that the boycott was “one of the most important decisions” that the firm has made in its more than 40-year history.

The co-founders also wanted to make it absolutely clear that they didn’t hate Jews. “That we support the company’s decision is not a contradiction nor is it anti-Semitic,” Cohen and Greenfield wrote. On the contrary, the boycott is in support of justice and human rights, “core tenets of Judaism.”

The op-ed comes amid ongoing uproar over the ice cream embargo. Earlier this week, reports emerged that an Israel Defense Forces soldier was attempting to sue Ben & Jerry’s, arguing that he had been unfairly deprived of his “preferred” dessert.

The Israeli government has expressed similar angst. Last week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog described the boycott as “a new sort of terrorism, economic terrorism,” against the Jewish State.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was also distraught over the ice cream embargo, and claimed that that Ben & Jerry’s had rebranded as an “antisemitic ice cream.”

The Vermont-based ice cream brand, which has developed a reputation over the years as a champion of progressive causes, announced in July that it would be “inconsistent” with its values to sell its ice cream in occupied territories in Gaza and the West Bank.

(RT, PC, Social Media)

The post Ben & Jerry’s Co-founders: Nothing ‘Anti-Semitic’ about Ice Cream Embargo of Illegal Israeli Settlements appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

The Two-State Compromise Normalizes Israeli Colonialism

Following the signing of last year’s Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump administration, the international community woke up to the normalisation of Israel’s colonization of Palestine; nobody seemed to be particularly averse to this.

It is telling that while normalizing relations between Israel and Arab states created a bit of a stir, the prior normalisation of Israel per se at an international level, first through its acceptance as a state and member of the UN, and later through the two-state compromise, upon which international consensus rests, must never be condemned.

The African Union’s (AU) decision to accept Israel as an observer state has been criticized as yet another achievement for the state’s diplomatic gains against the Palestinian people and rightly so. Africa still bears the scars of its own colonial history; the AU members ought to have known better than to lend their support to another settler-colonial entity which has been described as an “apartheid” state. If anyone knows the evils of apartheid, it should be countries in Africa, but apparently not.

In terms of the AU’s support for international consensus over Palestine, the two-state “solution” has not really been betrayed. The Palestinians themselves have, though, thanks to this internationally-imposed paradigm.

The AU Commission Chairman, Moussa Faki, reiterated the bloc’s commitment to the two-state compromise. “The path towards long-lasting peace and stability requires that the peace process and the solutions sought must not only be acceptable but must guarantee the rights of all parties,” he said.

To say that the AU betrayed its support for Palestine by embracing Israel is one thing, but the two-state paradigm itself is a betrayal of Palestine, international consensus or not. Just because certain countries agree on something, it doesn’t make it right or just.

What the AU has done is extend the impact of its conventional betrayal, which is overlooked because the international community apparently sees no contradiction in aligning itself with the settler-colonial state while claiming simultaneously to support the rights of the colonized people. As long as the claims to support Palestine retain political influence – this debacle is also supported by the Quisling Palestinian Authority – the lines will always be blurred, and always for Israel’s benefit.

Had the AU supported Palestinian liberation unequivocally, it would not have endorsed “two states”. The same goes for the rest of the world which does not want to see an end to Israeli colonialism.

The international community grasps the two-state paradigm to provide a veneer of support for Palestine, and the AU is doing the same. It can point to its commitment to the two-state compromise as support for the Palestinians, knowing full well that a state of Palestine is already far from viable and so is unlikely to come into being. In aligning itself with the rest of the international community, the AU has normalized Israel and its colonial politics and violence.

The union is thus engaged in a process that started with the 1947 UN Partition Plan, even though “two states” normalizes the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from 1948 onwards as well as Israel’s colonial existence. The AU should indeed be criticized for its stance, as should all other countries that have normalized colonial Israel. The roots of this political travesty must not be forgotten.

The PA’s preference for pragmatism endorses all the historical wrongs inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the international community. We should now be asking why the Palestinian leadership has never challenged the roots of normalizing Israel, even though Palestine is being eaten away by the settler-colonial state on a daily basis.

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.

The post The Two-State Compromise Normalizes Israeli Colonialism appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

How Ben & Jerry’s has Exposed Israel’s Anti-BDS Strategy

Ben & Jerry’s decision to suspend its operations in the occupied Palestinian West Bank is an event that is proving critical to Palestinian efforts, which ultimately aim at holding Israel accountable for its military occupation, apartheid and war crimes.

By responding to the Palestinian call for boycotting apartheid Israel, the ice cream giant has delivered a blow to Israel’s attempts at criminalizing and, ultimately, ending the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

What differentiates Ben & Jerry’s decision to abandon the ever-growing market of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank from previous decisions by other international corporations is the fact that the ice cream company has made it clear that its move was morally motivated. Indeed, Ben & Jerry’s did not attempt to mask or delude their decision in any way. “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” a statement by the Vermont, US-based company read on 19 July.

Expectedly, the Israeli government was infuriated by the decision, especially as it comes after years of a well-funded, state-sponsored, global campaign to discredit, demonize and altogether outlaw the BDS movement and any similar initiatives that aimed at boycotting Israel.

For years, the Israeli government has viewed the boycott movement as a real, tangible threat. Some Israeli officials went as far as perceiving the ‘delegitimization’ resulting from the boycott campaign as the primary threat faced by Israel at the present time. Well attended conferences were held in Las VegasBrusselsJerusalem and elsewhere, hundreds of millions of dollars raised, fiery speeches delivered, while politicians and ‘philanthropists’ lined up at many occasions, vowing their undying allegiance to Israel and accusing anyone who dare criticize the ‘Jewish State’ of ‘anti-Semitism’.

However, Israel’s biggest challenge was, and remains, its near-complete reliance on the support of self-serving politicians. True, those ‘friends of Israel’ can be quite helpful in formulating laws that, for example, falsely equate between criticizing Israel and anti-Semitism, or render the act of boycott illegal, and so on. In fact, many US states and European parliaments have bowed down to Israeli pressure to criminalize the BDS movement and its supporters, whether in the realm of business or even at the level of civil society and individuals. All of this is amounting to very little.

Additionally, Israel doubled down on its attempts to control the narrative in mainstream media, in academia and wherever the anti-Israeli occupation debate proved to be consequential. Through a Kafkaesque, and often bizarre logic, Israel and its supporters deliberately misinterpreted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, applying it at every platform where criticism of Israel or its Zionist ideology is found. The reckless Israeli dialectics was, sadly – albeit predictably – embraced by many of Israel’s Western benefactors, including the US, Canada and Italy, among others.

Yet, none of this has ended or even slowed down the momentum of the Palestinian boycott movement. This fact should hardly come as a surprise, for boycott movements are fundamentally designed to circumvent governmental control and to place pressure on politicians, state and corporate apparatuses, so that they may heed the calls of civil society. Thus, the more Israel attempts to use its allies to illegalize, delegitimize and suppress dissent, the more it actually fuels it.

The above is the secret of the BDS success and Israel’s very Achilles’ heel. By ignoring the boycott campaign, the movement grows exponentially; and by fighting it, using traditional means and predictable language, it grows even faster.

In order to appreciate Tel Aviv’s unsolvable quandary, just marvel at this odd response, which was offered by top Israeli officials in response to Ben & Jerry’s decision. Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, warned the British company that acquired Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, of “severe consequences”, threatening that Israel will take “strong action”, most likely referring to legal action.

But what was truly strange was the language used by Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, who accused Ben & Jerry’s of participating in “a new form of terrorism”, namely, “economic terrorism”. On 21 July, Herzog vowed to fight “this boycott and terrorism in any form.”

Note how the Israeli response to the continued success of the Palestinian boycott movement remains confined in terms of options and language. Yet on the legal front, most attempts at indicting BDS activists have repeatedly failed, as the recent court rulings in Washington demonstrate. On the other hand, the act of accusing an ice cream company of ‘terrorism’ deserves some serious examination.

Historically, Israel has situated its anti-Palestinian propaganda war within a handful of redundant terminology, predicated on the claim that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state, the security and very existence of which is constantly being threatened by terrorists and undermined by anti-Semites.

The above mantra may have succeeded in shielding Israel from criticism and tarnishing Israel’s victims, the Palestinians. However, it is no longer a guarantor of international sympathy and solidarity. Not only is the Palestinian struggle for freedom gaining global traction, but the pro-Israeli discourse is finally discovering its limitations.

By calling an ice cream company ‘terrorist’ for simply adhering to international law, Herzog has revealed the growing lack of credibility and absurdity of the official Israeli language.

But this is not the end of Israel’s problems. Regardless of whether they are branded successful or unsuccessful, all BDS campaigns are equally beneficial in the sense that each campaign kickstarts a conversation that often goes global, as we have seen repeatedly in the past. AirbnbG4S, and SodaStream, are but a few of many such examples. Any global debate on Israel’s military occupation and apartheid is a BDS success story.

That said, there is one strategy that will surely end the BDS campaign, and that is ending the Israeli occupation, dismantling the racial system of apartheid and giving Palestinians their freedom as enshrined and protected by international law. Alas, this is the only strategy that Israeli officials are yet to consider.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The post How Ben & Jerry’s has Exposed Israel’s Anti-BDS Strategy appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

The Little Talked About Covid-19 ‘Variants’: Vaccine Mismanagement Will Have Dire Repercussions

Do you remember the United Nations Millennium Development Goals? If not, you are not alone. 

These ambitious goals, which included the eradication of “extreme poverty and hunger”, to combating lethal diseases and reducing child mortality worldwide, proved to be yet another empty gesture which, unsurprisingly, amounted to little. 

Even if the architects of the project were well-intentioned as they labored to meet the 2015 deadline, the lack of true international solidarity made their commendable program simply impossible. 

Sadly, whatever positive difference that these objectives registered is now quickly vanishing, not because of the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to ravage the world, but because of the selfish and haphazard international response to it. 

Expectedly, the most vulnerable are the first to suffer. According to a July 15 World Health Organization (WHO) report, an estimated “23 million children missed out on basic vaccines through routine immunization services in 2020 – 3.7 million more than in 2019.” 

It should be no surprise that much of these ongoing health crises are occurring in the southern hemisphere. India, for example, which has experienced a devastatingly high number of Covid-19 deaths, lags behind in terms of immunization of other, equally deadly diseases. Over three million children in the world’s second most populous country did not receive the first dose of DTP-1, the combined vaccine for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis. 

While the obvious culprit may seem to be Covid-19, in actuality it is not the pandemic per se that has accelerated this dangerous trend. “The Covid-19 pandemic and related disruptions cost us valuable ground we cannot afford to lose – and the consequences will be paid in the lives and well-being of the most vulnerable,” Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF, sounded the alarm.

Practically, this means that, even when the current pandemic becomes a distant memory, millions of people in poor or relatively poor countries, will continue to pay a price for this unforgivable mismanagement of the global healthcare system. 

When WHO declared in March 2020 that Covid-19 was officially a “pandemic”, many global intellectuals romanticized the notion that Covid-19 has the potential to bring us closer together. A year and a half later, we realize that such high hopes were mere wishful thinking. If anything, the pandemic has deepened – and further highlighted – not only existing global inequalities, but the complete disregard of the poorer, readily exploited South by the wealthier, neocolonial North. 

In a thorough investigative report, entitled “Vaccine inequity: Inside the cutthroat race to secure doses,” the Associated Press revealed on July 18 the extent of the unfair international distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines. For example, while “Canada has procured more than 10 doses for every resident, Sierra Leone’s vaccination rate just cracked 1% on June 20,” AP reported.

The same disquieting paradigm applies elsewhere. While the United Kingdom, the European Union and the US have produced or acquired multiple vaccines for every person, Oman, Honduras, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are situated firmly at the bottom of the “vaccine procurement” list.

The much-celebrated COVAX, an international project championed by WHO and others to deliver billions of Covid-19 vaccinations to poorer countries in 2021-22, has proven to be a much slower process than once anticipated. Wealthy nations that have pledged to supply the program with the needed dosages seem more consumed with piling up or selling vaccine surplus to the highest bidder. 

Then, there is the problem of existing income inequality and widespread corruption in much of the South, which makes access to the few available vaccines nearly impossible for the poorest communities. 

According to a 2019 report by the World Inequality Database, income inequality in Africa is the highest in the world, where the average income of the top 10% is nearly 30 times higher than the bottom 50%. One is almost certain that those in the high-income bracket will be the first to access whatever little available vaccines, while the bottom 50% is likely to wait for years to receive the life-saving serum. 

Health inequality around the world is nothing new, but the Covid-19 pandemic has offered us a rare, live scenario of what this inequality means. Now, we realize that the old UN’s millennium goals were never truly possible under the current political paradigm. Despite sincere – although, ultimately, unrealistic – good intentions, the project was a mixture of political propaganda and empty rhetoric.

It is mind-boggling that, despite the fact that millions of people have perished as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and that, unprecedented in six decades, life expectancy rates have significantly dropped worldwide, the vaccines are still considered a commodity in an ever-competitive global economy. While the fate of millions of people rests on the availability of this cure, the vaccines remain beholden to the inhumane rules of supply and demand of the world’s market. 

While many are busy measuring the possible future repercussions of the pandemic in terms of economic output, life expectancy and such, it is critical that we consider other factors that are certain to result from this unbearable inequality: revolutions, mass migrations and famine. These are the other ‘variants’ that we must urgently address.

 – Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The post The Little Talked About Covid-19 ‘Variants’: Vaccine Mismanagement Will Have Dire Repercussions appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

Gaza Market Reels from Deadly Explosion (PHOTO)

Palestinian government workers and volunteers began the process of removing rubble and cleaning debris resulting from an explosion that rocked an old market in Gaza City last Thursday.

The massive explosion in the historic Al-Zawiya market had reportedly killed one Palestinian and wounded ten others. The causes of the blast, according to a spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Interior, Eyad al-Bazam, remain unknown. 

The explosion took place in a multiple-story building, resulting in the collapse of the residential structure and serious damages to homes and businesses throughout the area. 

“I woke up at the sound of the explosion,” Mohammed al-Tabatibi, a Gaza resident, said, adding, “I left my house and I saw people running, smoke was everywhere and many houses and shops were destroyed. Explosions never take a break in Gaza, even during holidays.”

Last year, 25 Palestinians were killed and scores of others wounded as a result of a massive fire, which itself resulted from a gas leak in a popular market in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

The post Gaza Market Reels from Deadly Explosion (PHOTO) appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed

(After the Apocalypse – America’s Role in a World Transformed.  Andrew Bacevich.  Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company.  New York.  2021.)

The contemporary apocalypse as seen by Andrew Bacevich in his latest book, “After the Apocalypse”, consists of four different horsemen: first mentioned are the severe climate effects of global warming; Trump “toxic and divisive” presidency is mentioned next; followed by the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic effects; and finally, “a mass movement demanding a reckoning with the nation’s legacy of racism”.

“After the Apocalypse” is a short book, more of an extended essay. Bacevich’s goal is a view to revising “the premises informing America’s role in the world. Put simply, basic US policy must change.” He does so by identifying “the connecting tissue between the delusions of the recent past and the trauma that are their progeny.” This is achieved through examining the “manufactured memory” of different aspects of US geopolitics, bureaucracy, national security, and imperial mismanagement.

The main part of the book presents the many facets of this manufactured memory. The language used as descriptors leaves the reader with no doubt about Bacevich’s perspective. Without extensive quoting this vocabulary tells a lot about the tales: arrogance, ignorance, delusions, obsolescence, reckless irresponsibility, miscalculations, hapless, defective, self-inflicted and on. Most of that refers to the establishment and its policies and personnel. He is not quite so expansive on the population in general but his word choice in that sense is also quite summative: lethargy, indifference, apathy. He does recognize that much of the latter is because of most of the former.

Topics

In short, Bacevich recognizes most of the problems occurring with the decline of the empire and provides sufficient information and detail to support his ideas. His topics include Christianity, in particular in relation to the ‘homeland’ and China. He acknowledges the financial advantage of the petrodollar as the global reserve currency. Due to human depredations of the environment, “nature itself becomes the threat.” He looks at the rise of China much more so than Russia, with a caveat on the latter as his first of three basic tenets of imperial management: don’t invade Russia.

In a sub-section titled “Plenty of daylight,” Bacevich examines US policy with Israel. Along the way, he recognizes “This de facto policy of colonization hugely complicates prospects of the “two-state solution” which successive US administrations…consistently professed to support.” Financially he identifies the obligation that makes it “incumbent upon the American taxpayer to sustain Israeli military superiority in perpetuity.” In its relationship with Iran, Washington’s inflexibility obliges it “to take sides in disputes that are extraneous to core American interests.”

Unfortunately while examining the US essential interests, the Palestinians are not directly mentioned other than through the use of the terms ‘colonization’ and ‘two-state solution’.

Solutions

It is Bacevich’s conclusion that provides the most room for thought, as Bacevich, in spite of his strong sense of what is happening in the US and around the world, still retains some of his military perspectives (Colonel, US Army, retired; currently Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies).

The Isreali ties are not mentioned directly other than within a “change in fiscal priorities. The share of discretionary spending allocated to the military-industrial complex will have to shrink considerably.”

His strongest recommendations, very direct, are to quit NATO, which in essence means the end of NATO as any kind of power. Further, he calls for the US to “liquidate” both Central Command (CENTCOM) and Africa Command (AFRICOM) and “once more classify terrorism as a criminal matter, falling under the purview of courts and law enforcement agencies” at all levels “rather than armies.”

Strangely enough, and this is where Bacevich’s residual militant thinking comes into play, is how he views China and its “provocations” that have “caused unease throughout the region.” He argues that “An abrupt change in the US military posture in the Indo-Pacific could trigger such a disaster [an actual shooting war]”. This is a rather backward logic, that maintaining the Indo-Pacific Command will help avoid actual conflict. His main argument that a US policy of “sustainable self-sufficiency will help to avert such a prospect” is given no definition.

1984

Militarism rises again as his final solution involves a “new North American Security Zone (NASZ)” creating a “common cause with Canadian and Mexican forces in maintaining the integrity of the NASZ perimeter.” Does this not describe Orwell’s 1984 vision of Oceania and Eurasia (the latter now including Orwell’s Eastasia)?

As a Canadian, recognizing that we are already a large part of US foreign policy, US culture, and US financial constructs, the last thing Canada needs is a stronger liaison with the U.S. We are already pretty much a de facto fifty-first state although we pretend otherwise – our economies are fully linked as are our militaries. Canada supports NATO, supports Israel in some aspects more strongly than the U.S., and supports other U.S. imperial interests across the world from Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba, over to Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China and on. We do not need 1984 realized.

Sum

Andrew Bacevich has written an important work examining the US empire. Unfortunately, he has not fully escaped from his inculturated need for military control of – something – in this case Canada and Mexico. “After the Apocalypse” summarizes enough of US history and current policies well enough to support his primary premise of deconstructing the “manufactured memory” in order to make progress domestically with less involvement in the world in its dominant military aspects.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

The post After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

On Cuba’s Historic Connections to Palestinian Liberation

“People be ‘nuancing’ and ‘both-siding,’ then a government is overthrown and a country falls into devastation and they are nowhere to be found.” That quote from Hood Communist sums up the history of imperialism and colonialism in the Global South.

In the case of Palestine, “both-side-ism” has a long and inglorious history. As Ramzy Baroud observes, the notion of a “conflict” with two equally responsible sides has never been applicable to the Occupation, a situation in which there is “unilateral” aggression on the part of the Occupier met with justifiable resistance from the other side.

Reiterating this point, Palestinian-American activist/commentator Steven Salaita lists “things that are complicated”: “planning a family reunion,” “assembling an Ikea futon,” among other ventures, but noticeably absent is “’solving’ the Palestine-Israel ‘conflict.’ A solution is only complicated,” Salaita adds,

“insofar as the many people (inside the colony and across the world) who benefit from Palestinian dispossession exhibit a violent unwillingness to alter the status quo. But the actual conditions for peace–return, equality, movement, dignity, restitution (in short, justice)–are exquisitely straightforward and haven’t changed in 72 years.”

Returning to the quote, Palestine is very much alive, a tribute to the sumoud (resilience) of its people. Nevertheless, its existence is often lost in the maze of Western media’s campaign to misrepresent facts by either skewing information or downright false reporting.

As Ajamu Baraka notes:

“The propagandists of death never sleep. Even as their system is being exposed as the generator of global warming (climate change), nuclear madness, cultural degeneration, and strange, violent societies and people, the ideological dirty workers are busy diverting attention away from the failures of their system to the internal contradictions found within the few examples of societies struggling to remake themselves in ways that center the needs and aspirations of the people.”

On July 14, 2021, for example, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) reported that the Israeli army had detained dozens of students from Birzeit University who had visited the Shalabi family to support them after the army had demolished their home. According to the PPS, this targeting of Palestinian students, particularly from Birzeit, stemmed from an effort to intimidate them into stepping down from leadership roles in what the young people feel is a just and rightful cause.

Compare that report, from the Palestine Chronicle blog, to an AP headline of the same event: “Israel arrests dozens of Hamas-linked students in West Bank.” In the body of the article there was an admission that the Israeli military had “no evidence to back up the claims,” but for those who read no farther, the headline was framed without questioning the validity of its source.

On the other side of the world, Cuba’s history as an island fiercely defending its 1956 revolution has much in common with Palestine, a people who struggle against the same powers that would like to see both nations disappear.

On a positive note, there is a flip side to the Unites States’ agenda. From ongoing U.S. efforts to overturn the Cuban Revolution to Zionists’ desire to freeze out Ben and Jerry’s decision to pull its sales from Illegal Israeli settlements, there is a direct correlation between level of oppression by the U.S. government and solidarity among the people it affects.

As in any transnational study, there are certain differences. Cuba has not been directly colonized by the United States, but it has been the target of US sanctions. Just as Gaza has suffered from the Israeli blockade, also supported by the US government, so Cuba experiences shortages in every sector due to American sanctions.

Despite campaign promises to the contrary, Joe Biden has done nothing to help this situation. On July 11, 2021, groups of counter-revolutionaries staged demonstrations in major Cuban cities. As Francisco Dominquez reports, along with sanctions there have been US-backed plans for destabilization. USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have been funding at least 54 groups opposed to the Cuban Revolution.

“We are doubtlessly witnessing part of this today,” he writes, “with the co-ordinated violent street demonstration combined with a U.S.-led social media offensive.” Like the Palestine-Israel “conflict,” it is all very “nuanced” in the media.

“All kinds of slick word salad maneuvers,” writes Mawusi Ture, “to try to give u.s. imperialism and other reactionary forces in Miami and other parts of Latin America a pass of some sort; ish about “nuance” and “layers,” she continues, “and other ish to diminish the importance of ending the u.s. embargo against Cuba.”

As sister to Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), who very early recognized the international potential of the Black radical struggle by linking it to Palestine and Cuba, Mawusi Ture carries on her brother’s legacy.

In “A Cosmovisión of Solidarity: Anticolonial Worldmaking in Havana, Palestine, and the Politics of Possibility,” Sorcha Thomson traces the evolution of Cuba’s historic ties with Palestine’s anti-colonial struggle. “For the Palestinians,” she writes, Havana was “a place where connections were built, connections that would support the ascent of the movement on the global stage, and outlast the high era of tricontinentalism, in an enduring model of reciprocal solidarity between anti-imperial struggles.”

As Cuba celebrates the 68th anniversary of its revolution on July 26, 2021, and the Palestinian solidarity movement gains increasing recognition around the world, these ties are all the more important. Grounded as they are, as Thomson writes, in the “collective practice of transformative solidarity,” their history offers “a shared belief in the possibility of alternative futures.”

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

The post On Cuba’s Historic Connections to Palestinian Liberation appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr

Right of Conquest: A Racist Doctrine

After the most recent Gaza war, I was asked to make a presentation to a local service club concerning events in Israel and the Middle East. The presentation started with an introduction of the current global situation, a broad brush covering the US empire, its petrodollar, and the new multipolar geopolitical world. From there, it covered the history that made it so, starting from the events of World War I and the clash of global empires.

During the question period following the presentation, a question was posed about the “right of conquest” pertaining to the World Wars as well as to Israel’s ‘conquest’ of part of the former British Mandate of Palestine. This struck me as peculiar – it was not an argument I had heard directly applied in support of Israel.

There are many problems with espousing a “right of conquest” doctrine. My initial rebuttal concerned the idea that yes, the doctrine existed but only as a rhetorical adjunct to imperial conquests and colonial settler societies; and further that the subject indigenous populations would not accept such a doctrine and sit down quietly and amicably acquiesce to being dominated by a foreign entity, or in current terms “get over it.”

Racism

The return argument was that “times were different then,” referring to World War I and the conquest of the Ottoman Empire followed by the creation of the British and French Mandates in Palestine and Syria/Lebanon respectively, as well as referring to the Jewish ‘conquest’ of Palestine after the British left. Yes, times were different, but a “right of conquest” regardless of the era is at its core a racist doctrine.

Essentially the “right of conquest” doctrine was and is promulgated by empires and military victors, not by a conquered populace. It has always been a rhetorical propaganda argument used to create a kind of self-serving victimhood: why are we being attacked by these savage amoral ingrates we have conquered?

Yet within the doctrine itself lies the seeds of opposition, insurgence, and asymmetrical resistance. The doctrine essentially says that “might is right”. It is simple really: if violence can be used to validate a conquest of another population (among others, the ancient Chinese and feudal European “divine will”) then it becomes valid to oppose that conquest through military resistance in hopes that the subjugated population, the indigenous people, will earn through ‘conquest’ the right of conquest to rule themselves.

Peace

The latter part is the crux of the statement. Local indigenous populations simply want to be left alone to get on with their lives; they do not want to be subjugated by foreigners with new laws who wish to extract the resources and riches of a country for themselves. They want peace, a peace based on their long-standing traditions and cultural practices (ranging from agriculture to religion) and not imposed through the force of others.

It is part of international law as expressed by many UN documents that occupied people have the right to resist occupation. It is interesting with international law that its “customary” usage and understanding is what counts: in other words, what the simplest explanation is and what the simplest common sense understanding is.

In the case of Israel/Palestine, the Palestinians under international law have a right to resist – and at the same time there is nothing in customary law that says any state has a right to exist, it does so on the recognition of other countries.

As far as “times being different” back then, yes, they were. But the essential racist element of the doctrine has always been present. The European empires pre World War I were all supportive of this doctrine as it obviously argued that “might is right”. It was not a valid doctrine then – and while it is not a doctrine used in modern times, its essence remains in the highly militarized structures of the US empire and Israel’s conquest of Palestine.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The post Right of Conquest: A Racist Doctrine appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

Source: chr