Gaza Assault Exposes True Face of Israel’s Ugly Apartheid Regime

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Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal aera in Gaza City on October 9, 2023. Israel continued to battle Hamas fighters on October 10 and massed tens of thousands of troops and heavy armour around the Gaza Strip after vowing a massive blow over the Palestinian militants' surprise attack. Photo by Naaman Omar apaimages. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal aera in Gaza City on October 9, 2023. Israel continued to battle Hamas fighters on October 10 and massed tens of thousands of troops and heavy armour around the Gaza Strip after vowing a massive blow over the Palestinian militants’ surprise attack. Photo by Naaman Omar apaimages. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Original article by RAMZY BAROUD republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

A whole generation, if not more, has already built a perception of Israel as a genocidal regime and no number of future lies, Hollywood movies or Maxim Magazine spreads will ever lessen that in any way.

On Saturday, November 11, Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed in a press conference that Israel had killed a “terrorist” who had prevented 1,000 civilians from escaping the Shifa Hospital.

The allegations made little sense. Even by the standards of Israeli propaganda, falsifying such a piece of information while providing no context and no evidence, further contributes to the deteriorating credibility of Israel in international media and image worldwide.

Just one day earlier, an unnamed US official was cited by CNN as saying, in a diplomatic cable, “we are losing badly on the messaging battlespace”.

Damage in Gaza Strip during the October 2023 - 27

The diplomat was referring to American reputation in the Middle East—in fact, worldwide—which now lies in tatters due to blind American support for Israel.

Roles Reversed

This credibility deficit can be witnessed in Israel itself. Not only is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu losing credibility among Israelis, according to various public opinion polls, but the entire Israeli political establishment seems to be losing the trust of ordinary Israelis as well.

A common joke among Palestinians these days is that Israeli leaders are emulating Arab leaders in previous Arab-Israeli wars, in terms of language, phony victories and unsubstantiated gains on the military front.

For example, while Israel was quickly pushing Arab militaries back on all fronts in June 1967, with full US-Western backing, of course, the leadership of Arab armies were declaring through radio that they had arrived at the ‘gates of Tel Aviv’.

Fortunes seem to have been reversed. Abu Obeida and Abu Hamza, military spokesmen for the Al-Qassam Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades respectively, provide very careful accounts of the nature of the battle and the losses of advancing Israeli military forces in their regular, much-anticipated statements.

The Israeli military, on the other hand, speaks of impending victories, killing of unnamed ‘terrorists’, and the destruction of countless tunnels, while rarely providing any evidence. The only ‘evidence’ provided is the intentional targeting of hospitals, schools, and civilian homes.

And, while Abu Obeida’s statements are almost always followed by well-produced videos, documenting the systematic destruction of Israeli tanks, no such documentation substantiates Israeli military claims.

Beyond the Battlefield

But the issue of Israeli credibility, or rather, the lack of credibility, is not only taking place on the battlefield.

From the first day of the war, Palestinian doctors, civil defense workers, journalists, bloggers, and even ordinary people filmed or recorded every Israeli war crime anywhere and everywhere in the besieged Strip. And, despite the continuous shutting down of the internet and electricity in Gaza by the Israeli military, somehow, Palestinians kept track of every aspect of the ongoing Israeli genocide.

The precision of the Palestinian narrative even forced US officials, who initially doubted Palestinian numbers, to finally admit that Palestinians were telling the truth, after all.

Barbara Leaf, assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told a US House panel on November 9 that those killed by Israel in the war are likely “higher than is being cited.”

Indeed, every day, Israel loses credibility to the point that the initial Israeli lies of what had taken place on October 7, eventually proved disastrous to Israel’s overall image and credibility on the international stage.

Damage in Gaza Strip during the October 2023 - 30

Rape, ISIS, and Mein Kampf

In the euphoria of demonizing the Palestinian Resistance—as a way to justify Israel’s forthcoming genocide in Gaza—the Israeli government and military, then journalists and even ordinary people, were all recruited in an unprecedented hasbara campaign aimed at painting Palestinians as “human animals”—per the words of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Within hours of the events and, before any investigation was conducted, Netanyahu spoke of “decapitated babies,” supposedly mutilated at the hands of the Resistance; Gallant claimed that “young girls were raped violently”; even former military chief rabbi, Israel Weiss, said he had “seen a pregnant woman with her belly torn open and the baby cut out.”

Even the supposedly ‘moderate’ Israeli President Isaac Herzog made ludicrous statements on the BBC on November 12. When asked about Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, Herzog claimed that the book Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler in 1925, was found “in a children’s living room” in northern Gaza.

And, of course, there were the repeated references to the ISIS flags that, for some reason, were carried by Hamas fighters as they entered southern Israel on October 7, among other fairy tales.

The fact that ISIS is a sworn enemy of Hamas and that the Palestinian Movement has done everything in its power to eradicate any possibility for ISIS to extend its roots in the besieged Gaza Strip seemed irrelevant to Israel’s unhinged propaganda.

Expectedly, Israeli, US and European media repeated the claim of the Hamas-ISIS connection, with no rational discussion or the minimally-required fact-checking.

But, with time, Israeli lies were no longer able to withstand the pressure of the truth emanating from Gaza, documenting every atrocity and every battle, and obfuscating any drummed-up Israeli allegations.

Perhaps, the turning point of the relentless series of Israeli lies was the attack on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City on October 17. Though many adopted, and still, sadly, defend the Israeli lie—that a Resistance rocket fell on the hospital—the sheer bloodiness of that massacre, which killed hundreds, was, for many, a wake-up call.

One of the many questions that arose following the Baptist Hospital massacre is: If Israel was, indeed, honest about its version of events regarding what took place at the hospital, why did it bomb every other hospital in Gaza and continues to do so for weeks?

Israeli Hasbara Canceled

There are reasons why Israeli propaganda is no longer able to effectively influence public opinion even though mainstream media continues to side with Israel, even when the latter is committing a genocide.

Firstly, is that Palestinians and their supporters have managed to ‘cancel’ Israel using social media which, for the first time, overwhelmed the organized propaganda campaigns often engineered on behalf of Israel in corporate media.

An analysis of online content on popular social media platforms was conducted by the Israeli influencer marketing platform, Humanz. The study, published in November, admitted that “while 7.39 billion posts with pro-Israeli tags were published on Instagram and TikTok last month, in the same period 109.61 billion posts with pro-Palestinian tags were published on the platforms.” This, according to the company, means that pro-Palestinian views are 15 times more popular than pro-Israeli views.

Secondly, independent media, Palestinian and others, offered alternatives to those seeking a different version of events to what is taking place in Gaza.

A single Palestinian freelance journalist in Gaza, Motaz Azaiza, has managed to acquire more than 14 million followers on Instagram over the course of a single month because of his reporting from the ground.

Thirdly, the ‘surprise attack’ of October 7 has deprived Israel of the initiative, not only regarding the war itself, but also the justification for the war. Indeed, their genocidal war on Gaza has no specific objectives, but also has no precise media campaign to defend or rationalize these unspecified objectives. Therefore, the Israeli media narrative appears disconnected, haphazard and, at times, even self-damaging.

And, finally, the sheer brutality of the Israeli genocide in Gaza. If one is to juxtapose Israeli media lies with the horrific Israeli crimes committed in Gaza, one would find no plausible logic that could convincingly justify mass murder, displacement, starvation and genocide of a defenseless population.

Never has Israeli propaganda failed so astoundingly and never has the mainstream media failed to shield Israel from the global anger—in fact, seething hatred—for Israel’s ugly apartheid regime.

The repercussions of all of this will most certainly impact the way that history will remember the Israeli war on Gaza, which has, so far, killed, and wounded tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

A whole generation, if not more, has already built a perception of Israel as a genocidal regime and no number of future lies, Hollywood movies or Maxim Magazine spreads will ever lessen that in any way.

More importantly, this new perception is likely to compel people, not only to re-examine their views of Israel’s present and future, but of the past as well – the very foundation of the Zionist regime, itself predicated on nothing but lies.

Original article by RAMZY BAROUD republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingGaza Assault Exposes True Face of Israel’s Ugly Apartheid Regime

Progressive NY State Lawmakers Join 250+ Jews Protesting Netanyahu’s UN Speech

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Original article by BRETT WILKINS republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

“As Jewish New Yorkers committed to racial justice, we believe apartheid is indefensible,” said one protester. “Palestinians deserve to live with dignity and freedom.”

A pair of democratic socialist New York state lawmakers joined more than 250 Jewish demonstrators and allies on Friday afternoon outside United Nations headquarters in Midtown Manhattan to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s General Assembly speech defending his far-right government’s apartheid policies.

New York state Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-25) and state Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani (D-36) joined activists from Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Adalah Justice Project, and other human rights defenders as Netanyahu—whose government is widely considered the most extreme in Israeli history—addressed world leaders inside the U.N. building.

During his speech, Netanyahu displayed a map of the Middle East without Palestine, while claiming he has “long sought to make peace with the Palestinians.”

The protesters said there can be no peace under apartheid.

“As Jewish New Yorkers committed to racial justice, we believe apartheid is indefensible,” asserted JVP’s Jay Saper. “Palestinians deserve to live with dignity and freedom.”

Brisport—who in May introduced the Not On Our Dime! Act, which would prevent state-registered charities from funding violations of the Geneva Convention by Israeli settlers—said: “In Brooklyn we have a saying, ‘Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way.’ Netanyahu has spread hate and displacement. And that has no place in our city.”

The senator has previously drawn attention to the more than 700,000 Israelis living in over 250 illegal settlements built on Palestinian land in the unlawfully occupied West Bank, with the backing of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Many of the illegal colonies are funded by New York-based organizations.

Last year, the Israeli government forcibly displaced more than 1,000 Palestinians from their homes in what many critics have called acts of ethnic cleansing. Hundreds more Palestinians have been displaced this year to make way for Jewish settler-colonists.

There have also been multiple deadly settler rampages through Palestinian towns this year, revenge attacks that a wide range of critics—from Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) to conservative U.S. Jewish groups and an IDF generalcalled “pogroms.”

“We should refuse to host a man who has openly lauded the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, who gave the green light for bombing campaigns that left large parts of Gaza uninhabitable, a man who approved killing sprees that riddled streets with Palestinians wounded and killed,” Adalah Justice Project communications and strategy director Sumaya Awad told the demonstrators.

According to the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed at least 200 Palestinians this year, making it the deadliest year for Palestinians since the final year of the second intifada, or general uprising, in 2005. The advocacy group Defense for Children International Palestine says 45 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis so far this year. At least 30 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian militant attacks in 2023.

Through it all, the U.S. continues to give Israel—the 13th-wealthiest nation in the world per capita, according to the International Monetary Fund—billions of dollars in nearly unconditional annual aid.

“Earlier today, someone asked me, ‘Why should New Yorkers care about what’s happening halfway across the world in Israel?'” said Mamdani, a co-sponsor of Brisport’s bill. “There are 3.8 billion reasons for us to care: Same as the number of dollars that go from the U.S. to Israel in military aid every year.”

“As Americans,” he added, “this is a fight that recognizes our complicity in this apartheid regime in Israel.”

Original article by BRETT WILKINS republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingProgressive NY State Lawmakers Join 250+ Jews Protesting Netanyahu’s UN Speech

Israeli violence at al-Aqsa mosque shows ‘sheer brutality’ of apartheid, says Amnesty International UK

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ISRAEL has been condemned for mounting a second brutal attack on worshippers at one of Islam’s holiest sites — the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), who were filmed on Tuesday using clubs and stun grenades to attack Palestinian worshippers, returned to the mosque on Wednesday for a repeat of the operation.

Human rights group Amnesty International UK said the second attack on al-Aqsa “illustrates the sheer brutality of Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.”

Heba Morayef of Amnesty said: “Once again, the Israeli security forces have shown the world what apartheid looks like.

“These orchestrated attacks demonstrate just how far the Israeli authorities will go to maintain their cruel system of apartheid.

“Israeli security forces have now subjected Palestinian worshippers to two consecutive nights of horror and turned one of the holiest sites in Islam into a crime scene.

Continue ReadingIsraeli violence at al-Aqsa mosque shows ‘sheer brutality’ of apartheid, says Amnesty International UK

About Starmer following Blair and Corbyn

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Image of Keir Starmer sucking up to the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum, Davos
Image of Keir Starmer sucking up to the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum, Davos

Shakespeare himself could not conceive of the dramatic fall from grace experienced by Jeremy Corbyn, under whose leadership between 2015 and 2019 the UK Labour Party could boast a mass membership of 600,000 to make it the largest political party in Europe, and under whose leadership Labour came within just under 2500 votes of winning the 2017 general election on a transformational programme of wealth redistribution, meaningful policies to end homelessness and poverty, and a foreign policy placing a priority on peace over war and hope over fear.

That his outstanding performance in 2017 came in the face of a concerted attempt by Labour Party officials to undermine his leadership and election campaign, and despite a treacherous PLP of unreconstructed bastards, this only makes the question of ‘What if?’ all the more salient and also tragic.

His successor, Starmer, went out of his way to court Corbyn’s supporters in order to get himself elected as leader, while announcing with the sincerity of a mafia boss that “Jeremy is a friend as well as a colleague.”

The issue of antisemitism has again been weaponised to demonise the most principled anti-racist politician in Britain, again at the behest of an establishment of bastards in the eyes of which the Palestinian people are deemed children of a lesser God.

The issue within a Parliamentary Labour Party stacked full of apologists for apartheid and white supremacist Zionist ideology that underpins it, has never been antipathy towards Jewish people; it has and continues to be the thoroughly dishonest smearing of those who dare stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and their just struggle against occupation, siege, and the most sustained apparatus of injustice in modern history.

23/2/23 The quote “Jeremy is a friend as well as a colleague.” appears not quite correct. Unless it’s quoting a different occasion it should be “I want to pay tribute to Jeremy Corbyn, who led our party through some really difficult times, who energised our movement, & who’s a friend as well as a colleague”. I wouldn’t truncate it like that without making it clear, that’s your academic rigour eh? Can be watched here

Apologies, this one

Continue ReadingAbout Starmer following Blair and Corbyn

Commentary and analysis of recent political events

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There’s a special edition of BBC Question Time tonight from Johannesburg, South Africa. I hope that somebody will discuss the real legacy of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress: that South Africa is still an Apartheid state. The clearest indicator of this is the massacre of 34 striking miners at Marikana

Nelson Mandela: The Reluctant Revolutionary is an article about the South African campaign for liberation. It discusses the Apartheid regime and the history of Nelson Mandela, the ANC and anti-apartheid campaigning. It recognises that the ANC leadership was repeatedly a moderating force opposed to radical campaigning while simultaneously claiming that it had organised that same radical campaigning. Recommended.

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Firefighters launch fresh strikes over pension changes

Firefighters in England and Wales are to launch a fresh wave of strikes in their long-running row with the government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will walk out for four hours from 6pm on Friday, and again from the same time on Saturday, with the threat of further action in the new year.

One brigade urged Christmas partygoers to buy takeaway food during the strike rather than try to cook at home if drunk.

FBU members have gone on strike four times in recent months in protest against changes to pensions and their retirement age. The union argues that older firefighters face losing their jobs if they fail fitness tests as part of changes to the pension age from 55 to 60.

The general secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “It’s now been almost two months since the government has been willing to meet us for negotiations despite several invitations from us.

“Until they do, and until they start to actually resolve the dispute, we’ll keep up the pressure for the sake of public safety and our members’ pensions.

‘UK’s stale energy market makes it easy for Big Six to hike prices,’ says new study

Image of an electricity pylon tree

Six years ago Britain had the healthiest record among all major developed economies for people shopping around for the cheapest prices, but the country has badly slipped down international league tables. While 21 per cent were changing companies in 2006, just 11.5 per cent have changed this year (including estimates for December). This is partly because the Big Six stopped door-step selling in the second half of 2011 after a series of fines for misleading customers.

The figures will fuel suspicions the Big Six firms, which have all hiked their prices significantly above inflation in recent weeks while announcing huge profits, are taking advantage of the problems people experience in changing provider.

Prime Minister David Cameron has urged customers to switch to better deals – but many find the process difficult and time-consuming.

EU migrants face 100 new questions to make it harder to obtain benefits

Image of protest. Placard reads 'Stop blaming the Romanians for your failures!"

Income-related benefits such as housing benefit, income support and council tax benefit are to be harder for EU migrants to obtain from Friday as they face a string of 100 questions, including the reasons they were unable to find a job in their home country. They will also be asked about their ability to speak English.

The new 100 questions in the fresh habitual residence test is being rushed out ahead of the transitional controls on Romanians and Bulgarians being lifted on 1 January.

The European Union insists on the free movement of workers within the EU, but the government believes it is legally entitled to ask tougher questions of migrants before they are entitled to make benefit claims.

Revised UK welfare sanctions mean more punishment for the poor

Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) sanctions are set to put many Britons in “dire financial conditions,” according to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

The report [!350&app=WordPdf&wdo=2&authkey=!AJTbB-gzwsSCayQ], published in October 2013 by the Manchester CAB on behalf of the Greater Manchester Citizens Advice Bureaux Cluster Group, is an in-depth evaluation of the impact of the sanctions. It describes benefit sanctions as “financial penalties” that are driving people already in devastating financial crisis even further into dire conditions. They raise concerns about the increase in the number of clients they had seen in relation to these sanctions.

Although the majority of the respondents were sanctioned for four weeks, one third had been given 10 week sanctions, with the average duration working out at eight weeks.

Two thirds had been left with no income. Twenty-three percent who had sanctions imposed had children, and 10 percent were lone parents.

Eighty percent of respondents borrowed money from family and friends, 8 percent borrowed from banks and 9 percent from pay day loan companies, which charge astronomical annual percentage rates.

The sanctions described in the CAB report are part of £21.8 billion in welfare cuts being imposed by the Conservative/Liberal government. Last month Prime Minister David Cameron declared that austerity cuts would be made permanent, meaning that escalating numbers of people will join the many already struggling to put food on the table, to find shelter and afford necessities like heating and lighting.

US drone strike in Yemen kills 15

At least 15 people were killed yesterday in central Yemen, when missiles fired from an unmanned US drone slammed into a wedding convoy. Yemeni security officials said the attack took place near the city of Radda, the capital of Bayda province, leaving behind charred bodies and burnt out vehicles.

No names and few details have been released. The CIA and US military, which are responsible for the criminal program of targeted assassinations in Yemen, Pakistan and other countries, have made no statement.

Yemeni security officials have provided conflicting accounts of the attack. “An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy,” one official told Reuters. “Ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital.” Another five people were injured. No attempt was made to explain what the real target was, or why “a mistake” was made.

Continue ReadingCommentary and analysis of recent political events